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Comments

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Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

EmperorOfCanada Drivers, its all about the drivers (90 comments)

For years MS had a near monopoly on drivers. Basically every device manufacturer made a driver for MS and maybe, kind of, sort of, possibly got around to a Mac driver, and then occasionally made a Linux driver. Thus anyone wanting to take on Windows would have had to reverse engineer and make a whole slate of device drivers. As an example, by Mac OS X making the switch to Intel it allowed hardware companies to more easily port their drivers so a few more did.

But over time Linux did managed to do just that, but being open source those drivers are then much more portable to entire other architectures such as ARM. This is then combined with the fact that few people hook devices up to their tablets makes for a near perfect environment to completely overtake the Wintel monopoly on drivers.

So for the first time in decades a consumer does not worry or even know about any driver issues and can choose their device and OS based upon features that are genuinely meaningful to themselves; such as price, app availability, and quality of the hardware.

So with the playing field is now much more level it is not surprising that the former Wintel monopoly is losing market share.

But there is a second and very critical issue and that is of CPU power. Quite simply a Raspberry Pi is around the minimum power that a typical Browser surfing, youtube watching user needs to have. Thus most people don't need the latest and greatest CPU to power their needs. So a halfway good arm inside a device is well enough for the vast majority. Also most people don't need to do much on their computers. A few simple games, some surfing, some video, some messaging. Thus a mobile device is becoming most people's primary portal to the world. Again this does not need to be a powerhouse; it just needs to be reasonably price, work well, and have a good battery life.

But lastly there is the way that ARM is structured. From what I can tell, if you want to buy 10 million arm processors then you buy 10 million arm processors. But if you want to buy 10 million Intel processors then Intel wants to make it complicated and have you enter into a "relationship". The same with the android OS vs the Microsoft OS. Personally I would be very wary dealing with either Intel or MS in that if suddenly my product was somehow incompatible with some corporate vision they had then they would cut me off or otherwise strangle my company. But ARM and Android just want you to buy/use their products.

I suspect that neither of these companies are going to adjust well to actually having competition who aren't even playing the same game meaning that neither Intel or MS will be able to squirrel the rules. Does anyone remember the phase Dell went through where they were Intel only? Can you imagine the angry conversations when Dell, HP, or anyone like that started to ship Linux machines? Do you think that anyone shipping ARM devices even wonders what ARM thinks?

6 hours ago
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How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

EmperorOfCanada Re:Business class is a misnomer (143 comments)

If you are in Canada around 80% of First/Business class will be populated by something government flavored. So actual government people (especially politicians), government funded companies such as the CBC, government granted monopolies (Emera/NSP), or companies that thrive doing government work such as politically connected advertising agencies.

When I was in the consulting world I often had to fly at the last moment so paid full fare economy, so by being polite while checking in I often was bumped to first. So I sat beside these self entitled douche bags and only twice did I sit beside someone who was employed by a private company that wasn't bankrupt within 5 years.

One notable exception was a guy who flew so much he had hit some uber-mega-ultra elite status and was now automatically bumped to first class after flying for years in economy.

But the government people all blah blahed about how important it was for them to show up in good shape and that first class allowed them to do that. The error of their thinking was that the two things that get you from flying are the bad air and the time zone induced jet lag. The lack of a warm towel doesn't hurt.

These were people who weren't paying for it and wanted to be treated like a princess so they get the tax-payers to pay for it.

My simple formula is that any organization that isn't governmental that has its employees flying first class (executives included) either doesn't pay enough taxes, or doesn't pay its employees well enough. Don't get me started about private jets.

yesterday
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How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

EmperorOfCanada Re:Only cheap for the big players (143 comments)

Unless you are deploying a zillion of these for each of your customers, at which time the chump change has decimated your cashflow.

yesterday
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How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

EmperorOfCanada Don't just cut, but clarify (143 comments)

I would love to use AWS but I am on a tight budget. I use Linode because I know that this month I will pay $20, and next month (surprise surprise) I will pay $20.

But I look at two scenarios with AWS, one is that I will screw something up and end up with a $2,000 bill. I will turn on some database crap that is insultingly expensive the way I am using it. My other fear is that I will get hit with an overnight DDOS that wipes out my budget for the month some time well before the month is over. Thus I would now have two options, one to pay more money and hope that it doesn't happen again. Or to shut down my service and stop making money.

Basically the rate pages (hard to find) for AWS are harder to read than my local cell company rates. I signed up for their free trial (had to give a CC) and still wasn't sure that I wasn't going to see a $2,000 bill on my CC so I basically was too afraid to push it. If there had been no CC I would have pushed it hard to see if it would meet my needs. But with my CC it sat for a year and did nothing.

yesterday
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Why the IETF Isn't Working

EmperorOfCanada Re:Oh no! (103 comments)

Maggie was a ten pound hammer used on a five pound problem. Things needed to change and she changed them, then kept on changing them. If I understand my history correctly British Leyland was on strike more day than they were in production (during one of their incarnations). Mayor Giuliani was similar, he massively reduced NYC's crime problem and when that was dealt with he started focusing on things like jaywalkers.

2 days ago
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Why the IETF Isn't Working

EmperorOfCanada Most organizations break down (103 comments)

Nearly every organization that I have come into contact with broke down in the exact same way. A few incompetents managed to redesign the system. So it goes off the rails of whatever purpose it originally had and begins to concentrate on navel gazing. More and more is spend on things like PR, conferences, communications, legal, and most important of all, who they let in. A simple way to detect if an organization has gone rancid would be the number of MBAs who are in "leadership" positions vs people who actually know how to solve the problems at hand.

It is not so much that an organization should not have MBAs but you never give them the keys, they should be limited to marketing and maybe a little bit of accounting. But once they are in the boardroom then the organization is a walking corpse.

Another simple test is whether the original founders would even be qualified at this point to pass muster as new hires.

2 days ago
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

EmperorOfCanada Re:Simple math (241 comments)

Good monitor (or three), laser mouse, gaming keyboard, good sound system. They might not get you to $1200 but they will cost quite a bit.

My perspective is all a bit warped as I do OpenCL programming and have two bonkers video cards in my machine; plus I don't have any games on it.

3 days ago
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IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

EmperorOfCanada Re:XP as bad IT test (322 comments)

I agree with you that XP is fine and is a symptom of Microsoft's larger problems. If XP had been continuously updated there would have been no reason for Windows Vista, 7, and 8. I actually wonder how much money MS makes from upgrades and how much it make from licenses on new machines? The main reason most people have had to upgrade from XP is that some new version of the software doesn't work on XP (either a driver or actual software).

But the reality is that Windows has moved on many times since XP so any product that won't run on the newer Microsoft operating systems is going to be a problem. Minimally people within any organization have bought new machines that will only run a newer OS.

This is one of the advantages of going web based. At least then there is less OS dependency. But even here the same problem has arisen; a web product is developed that only works with certain versions of the browser, so you end up in the same loop as my original post.

My theory is quiet simple. When you deploy a critical bit of internal code there must be one of two plans made. One is that it is rock solid and will never be touched; which would be fine for some code that runs a single machine in a factory or something. Or you must think of the code as a garden; in need of weeding, watering, and fertilizing as conditions demand.

But what makes the latter hard is that many mega IT consultancies will gouge the crap out of their clients during the "maintenance" cycle so most CFOs are wary about hearing anything being "planned" for maintenance beyond fixing critical bugs.

3 days ago
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

EmperorOfCanada Re:Simple math (241 comments)

A hardcore gamer will have everything possible to reduce latency. This would be for either set up. Router, choice of ISP, wired vs wireless, laser mouse, etc.

3 days ago
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

EmperorOfCanada Re:Simple math (241 comments)

If I came by and threw every single thing wired into your desktop into a fire (monitor, keyboard, mouse, router, etc) what is the total in receipts that you spent on that gear?

3 days ago
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

EmperorOfCanada Re:Simple math (241 comments)

But seeing that a console uses the home TV then the cost of monitor and whatnot must be included. Technically you could even include the desk and chair. Basically my point was that most PC gamers don't take their activity lightly. While there are many hardcore console gamers you can just buy a cheap console and you are good to go.

3 days ago
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

EmperorOfCanada Simple math (241 comments)

Most people who I know that are PC gamers are generally pretty dedicated. They have special keyboard, mice, monitors, routers, network providers, etc. This is isn't even talking about their machines. Minimally they have a $200 video card if not pushing past $500. Then there are the special motherboard, overclocking, crazy cooling systems, even the glowy bits.

That all said, they are not building these systems to play tetris. They are going to get the latest and greatest games as fast as they come out. Then if the game is good they are going to play the crap out of that game.

What probably distinguishes this market from the console market is that gamers typically are chosey about their games. They aren't getting these games as gifts. They are looking at the reviews and the opinions of their friends. Thus the crappy games that typically are pumped out to exploit the fans of various blockbusters (which are 90%+ crap) just won't get much traction in this market. Thus a bomb is probably a total bomb in the PC world whereas there are going to be grandparents, fanbois, and parents who get suckered into buying the latest Harry Potter movie for their little Harry Potter fans.

This would apply all the way down to the bargain bin. Steam has a bit of a bargain bin but I suspect that a Playstation bargain bin at Walmart will do far better than the same bargain bin for PC games.

Quite simply to have a halfway decent gaming rig you are plunking down a minimum of $1200 with many doing a multiple of that. Thus these are people who are proven willing buyers.

And then there is Goat Simulator....

3 days ago
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Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?

EmperorOfCanada Re:I dropped Dropbox (75 comments)

What non-US dropbox providers would you suggest? I am looking at opencloud and setting it up on my own server. But opencloud is seemingly a little not quite ready for primetime.

Ideally my data is stored encrypted on the server with password access limiting access to the data itself. But only decrypted on the client side. Also ideally it would have multiple user file sharing with all that implies.

But my dream feature is that you can access the data online (still client decrypted) through interfaces at least as capable as google docs(not terribly capable but good enough in a pinch).

To me having the data on the server encypted/decrypted on the client is the ultimate in two-factor security.

Other features such as versioning would be nice to haves.

The reason that I suggest Google instead of Dropbox is that I would like to see Dropbox punished for hiring that woman. All US data companies are basically now to be considered guilty until they are proven out of business.

4 days ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

EmperorOfCanada Re:SAR (214 comments)

In my area I don't think the local SAR have found anyone alive in years. Either they turn up themselves, or they turn up dead. But I bet that they have kick as safety briefings, training sessions, and paternalistic "we know what we are doing better than you civilians" crap.

Basically what I see with drones is not a few remote controlled toys with a camera but a flock of fast flying drones that are given hints as to where to look and fly at some optimal level over the trees looking for things that are interesting. Then slower quad copter drones then fly in to take a look at the interesting things such as deer, bears, and whatnot. Then if someone is found they are identified as either the lost person or a searcher. If the lost person is found, a heavy quad copter could fly in with some quick and dirty supplies including comm. Then the humans would go straight to the person, not only using an efficient route but one that was mapped out by the drones.

Keep in mind that a drone can use a nice combination of humans back at the base combines with cool sensors. They can look for colors that don't belong in the forest, the smell of sweat (a Vietnam war technology), infra red, things that look like people, etc. Then these images can be relayed back to base for verification. (Nope that is a sleeping bobcat, not a lost child).

If anything a bunch of humans tramping about might slow the drones down.

4 days ago
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IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

EmperorOfCanada XP as bad IT test (322 comments)

I think that any organization still using XP has failed an IT test. This does not mean that the IT people suck but that some aspect of IT sucks. It could be that the IT people can't proactively spend money to avoid expenses such as this and can only spend money when they have to. This is broken. I wouldn't be surprised if some dolts in these organizations are now saying that the budget to upgrade from XP has been eaten by these licensing costs.

What I have seen before is that some minor OS upgrade comes along and the various parties say, "Hey we need a minor upgrade to our software to keep up." this is then refused so after the next OS update they say, "He we pretty desperately need a medium sized upgrade to catch up." this is refused. This goes on and on until basically they are screaming, "We MUST upgrade now and the upgrade is a major overhaul of how everything works." then the worst thing in the world happens, they agree. The problem being that some sleazy mega-sized consulting company comes in and starts throwing around "best-practices" and $50 million later a completely useless system that is actually far worse than the 12 year old pile of crap they have is born. Then another $50 million is spent getting it to barely work.

The probable cost to have had a continuous stream of upgrades in the first place? Maybe $500,000 per year.

4 days ago
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Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?

EmperorOfCanada I dropped Dropbox (75 comments)

I don't know about that. I dropped Godaddy years ago because of what they were doing. And now I have dropped Dropbox for hiring a potential war criminal. It might not be a Watts riot but I know at least 3 people who have dropped Dropbox; this might not seem like many but that is a good chunk of people who I know personally who use it. Plus I will never recommend it again, which was how most of these people discovered it.

Plus depending on your use of Dropbox there are far better services. If you are simply storing and sharing files with a select few then Google drive gives you 15 GB which is a huge amount of storage in comparison.

Plus with someone like Rice onboard, how long before Dropbox ends up in an incestuous relationship with the NSA? So if I were any company that hadn't already dumped all US data providers it is now time to look into things like opencloud anyway.

4 days ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

EmperorOfCanada SAR (214 comments)

If you have ever met the local SAR types I am willing to bet that they were instrumental in shutting him down. The last thing in the world they would want is their "Seniority" to be challenged by some upstart with easy to use technology. If you want to see the living defintion of a blowhard then go meet your local SAR.

I am not talking about professionals such as the coast guard but these local types who periodically call for hikers to be licensed and whatnot.

Think about how easy SAR could be with semi-intelligent drones. They could blanket an area, looking for heat signatures(or other sensory clues) from a very low altitude, and then when one was found could potentially fly right down to the source for a look. Also they could fly in dangerously poor weather, at night, and at little cost. Also the mathematical patterns they could be doing would be pushing up against 100% efficiency so there would be little human input required.

4 days ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

EmperorOfCanada We still have turtles all the way down. (590 comments)

In what was there fluctuations? This might seem like a glib question but, I actually am interested in the answer. Their theory seems to cover the idea of where all the stuff (including space) came from. But where did the "thing" that was fluctuating come from? And no I am not implying religion.

5 days ago
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LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

EmperorOfCanada Re:Easy solution (322 comments)

I would say in the above case that the above cop was instantly demoted to helpful citizen. If the police are arresting someone and the guy is getting the better of them and you jump in and grab a leg, I am fairly sure that in most jurisdictions you would be fine. The key would be that he would have to fully recognize that he was no longer a cop. So no stop or I'll shoot. No telling people to get down. No putting handcuffs on people. Just assisting at most.

The key is that a copy without a recorder is like you are walking down the street and say, "Hey buddy stop right there while I search you for drugs." then you have just mugged someone.

Again the above provides the incentive for the cops to get recorders that aren't easily messed with.

Another thing that should be is that a cop can only be a cop while in uniform and their badge number in large letters. A detective not in uniform should be an investigator but being not in uniform should have zero powers of arrest. This might seem odd but it prevents cops from wandering around threatening people with their arrest powers and guns.

5 days ago

Submissions

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Japanese can build their own radiation detectors

EmperorOfCanada EmperorOfCanada writes  |  more than 3 years ago

EmperorOfCanada writes "Here is a DIY radiation detector For those Japanese wondering if radiation levels have gone up that can be made with household supplies: any clear sided container with a flat metal(preferably) lid, some black paint, rubbing alcohol, a can of keyboard air duster, and a flashlight . This won't give an absolute measurement but it will tell you if you are in a hot zone. The radiation leaves trails in the mist and looks very cool. Can't beat a home made Geiger counter in 10 minutes and for less than $20 US."
Link to Original Source
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Cheap cloud diffusion chamber with air duster

EmperorOfCanada EmperorOfCanada writes  |  more than 3 years ago

EmperorOfCanada writes "A 15 year old girl has invented a very cheap and easy way to build your own cloud diffusion chamber; which is a neat way to see various radiation particles leave trails. Radiation such as cosmic rays, background radiation, and any handy radiation sources such as a disassembled smoke detector.
Video"

Link to Original Source
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Avoiding eVoting fraud

EmperorOfCanada EmperorOfCanada writes  |  more than 5 years ago

EmperorOfCanada writes "I am looking for suggestions on how to prevent the use of eVoting in an upcoming election (Mid Oct.) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The city is going to allow people to vote both online and by telephone. As a security aware software developer I am frightened of the number of ways that an electronic portion of an election can go wrong. For well over a year I have been in contact with a senior city official over this issue supplying her with dozens of examples of eVoting going wrong in the many ways it tends to do so. Obviously security theater has won the day and here we are staring down the barrel of an election with votes recorded at the whim of the company running the evoting. How can this be prevented? Does anyone have any good examples of grassroots efforts that succeeded in preventing the use of electronic voting? Is there any way to force an audit of the code / machines / security / raw data that are involved in this craziness? Minimally can people comment expertly on just how stupid an idea it is to allow voting via the internet and by telephone? Thanks, A very concerned citizen."

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