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Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

Junta 'Disposable' seems a bit strong... (100 comments)

Though both are hedging as you say, I think both desperately want the other to overwhelmingly succeed. MS on ARM is not competitive due to a complete lack of support for legacy x86 applications and an otherwise uninspired design, so MS wants the world to run on x86 where they have home court advantage. Similarly, while Intel still has mostly better offerings, they cannot extract the desired margins out of such a highly competitive market like ARM where people will go without the very latest semiconductor process and gobs of performance. They want a software ecosystem that demands x86, which only Microsoft really has.

So yes, each has some 'worst case' contingency intended to keep them in the market. Those contingencies are both such long shots and will forever reduce margins even if they are 'successful'. That's why Intel has double downed on engineering with MS about platform sleep states and such without giving Android nearly as much attention (basically just token attention).

12 hours ago
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Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

Junta Questionable call... (100 comments)

Microsoft and Intel should be best friends. They are each others main hope for relevance. Intel competing against the horde of ARM vendors on even ground is not going to end well for Intel's margins no matter how much share they hypothetically get. In much the same way that MS is nothing without the momentum of decades of x86-only applications, Intel isn't much without MS applications. Well, Intel's products are a bit respectable in their own right, but the primary driver of their large margin is the x86 ecosystem where MS is ubiquitous.

Intel may be hedging their bets to try to assure they aren't completely left behind in an Android-centric world, but I wager they are strongly hoping for MS to provide a software platform experience on x86 that is too compelling to overlook. I will say that even the 'best' Android apps I deal with are pretty crappy ( having to mysteriously be killed because it hangs, sometimes needing their persistent storage wiped because it has no idea how to work back to working state from whatever state it stored persistently). Even chrome randomly decides 'I'm just going to stop being able to render certain pages altogether'. It's bizarre, since on Windows and Linux desktops I don't see nearly as much wonkiness from many of the exact same application vendors doing about as equivalent a product as can be imagined. For a given price, I'd honestly prefer an x86 tablet so long as secureboot can be disabled to run platforms I have a great deal of familiarity with.

12 hours ago
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Why the IETF Isn't Working

Junta It's complicated (103 comments)

I had an RFC go through a few years ago. It was an utterly trivial little thing that would have been a couple of paragraphs and maybe a week or two to get consensus in a private company setting. The RFC was about 10 pages and took over a year to get out of draft. At no point was the fundamental proposal actually objected to in any way by anyone, but little tweaks to the wornding and making certain sections more verbose. There is a lot of nitpicking in the process and a lot of discussion around mostly unimportant stuff. I'd say I had it easy having such a non-objectionable proposal to just suffer the tedium of debates about phrasing and such. Proposals which suggest anything requiring technical consensus are far more tricky.

At the same time, it feels like as of the early 2000s, the private industry has largely given up on driving improved standards in general (not just IETF, but DMTF and several other standards organizations have been relatively stagnant compared to their activity in the 90s). They've figured out it's cheaper (consensus, quicker and more profitable (patents are better than standards) to go it alone without bothering to try for a standard. Of course this leads to the opposite problem, technologies are pushed faster than they are ready. Also, it naturally creates more walled garden style experiences and less robustly federated services. For example, the big things of the 90s were email and the web. Providers were utterly interchangeable. The big things of this decade have been facebook, twitter, youtube. In the 90s, apart from cisco, network management was focused on utterly standardized mibs. Today, switch vendors emphasize proprietary interfaces that are unique for management.

3 days ago
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Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile

Junta Not the problem... (130 comments)

The problem is not that 'nobody can figure out how'. The problem is that '*everybody* can figure out how' in their own little proprietary way. The x86 ecosystem of incredibly interchangeable components is sadly the exception rather than the rule of how businesses choose to operate.

about a week ago
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AMD Unveils the Liquid-Cooled, Dual-GPU Radeon R9 295X2 At $1,500

Junta By that logic... (146 comments)

Might as well remove the radiator from your car, after all, it only gets cooled by the air, so you might as well just let air flow over the engine and it will be just as good.

Here, it looks like they are looking for additional heatsink and exhaust volume than they can fit in a dual-high form factor, meaning liquid transfer to the additional exhaust sink/fan. I personally think it a bit much in terms of GPU capabilities, but it doesn't mean it's totally silly.

about a week ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Junta Re:How does this simply not move the goalposts? (342 comments)

There must already exist *some* scenarios in which two trades are practically 'simultaneous' and therefore the ordering within that quantum is ambiguous. Chaotic factors like network jitter already cause bids to jump in front of each other in a manner that does not necessarily reflect the precise order in which they were fired off. You already do not have a system where bids do not have sequence preserved. In fact, that's what the whole HFT business seems to take advantage of, that you can exert enough resources to jump in front of a offer you *know* is coming thanks to latencies, which clearly shows that ordering is not preserved.

So I guess my question is given that the current state of affairs where order is not preserved, but a door is open wide enough so that a big enough player can spend enough money to unfairly game the jitter, why would lifting the floor of that jitter to the level where all parties are equally impacted be a big game changer to the underlying mechanism (aside from the obvious of eliminating the ability for one party to jump in front of another reliably).

about a week ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Junta Re:How does this simply not move the goalposts? (342 comments)

Won't work. How do you suppose trades actually go through and prices get discovered? Trading and price discovery sort of works like an auction. An auction is not effective if you randomly scramble the order the bids come in.

I'll confess to not being very well versed in this field and anything I say on the matter should be scrutinized.

That said, with a more coarse grained timeline, wouldn't the same processes hold, but just at a larger timescale? E.g. a 'bidding war' would span multiple trading quantums. If two bids go in within 250 ms of each other, then a randomization of the order shouldn't fundamentally change things. At an auction in person, for example, if two hands go up within 250 ms of each other, the auctioneer has no idea who went first. In effect, the auctioneer considers two such bidders in 'random' order, yet discovery in that case is not seen as unfairly random.

I guess I don't understand how the scheme would break things. I think I'm coming to understand now why a static delay can have an effect specifically against HFT, but was thinking that other algorithmic low-latency trading schemes are in play/likely for the future (i.e. I wasn't sure if non-HFT algorithmic trading also causes problems like flash crashes).

about two weeks ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Junta Re:How does this simply not move the goalposts? (342 comments)

No, because HFT works by exploiting the tiniest of price differences and they are likely to vanish in those 500 ms.

Perhaps then much of the problems the mass media tags with 'HFT' might hint at more general artifacts of low latency trading, or I could be full of it. A lot of the observed 'weirdness' would be mitigated through larger quantums of trading. The so-called 'flash crashes' where algorithmic trading of some sort goes nuts faster than people can correct for would be significantly slowed if trades could not react to each other as frequently.

That would work as well, but is more complicated and you could run into trouble when your slots reach capacity.

Considering the volume of data inherent, the 'capacity' of a slot can be pretty damn high as to be inexhaustible from a practical perspective. Sure, the code should have a contingency for the condition and that should be tested, but it is unlikely to be a frequently hit contingency.

about two weeks ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Junta Re:How does this simply not move the goalposts? (342 comments)

In this case, the question is 'what's the downside?' If HFT isn't really a problem, then what harm would it be to level the playing field to 250 ms or whatever quantums? If HFT is a big deal, then this would fix it. If it is not, then it wouldn't change things much.

Certainly some financial institutions are heavily investing in HFT relevant schemes, so they at least believe that HFT impact can be significant.

about two weeks ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Junta random delay not enough... (342 comments)

Again, you have an 'average' 3 second baseline to compete against. What you really want to do is accumulate trades into a queue, have said queue stop taking new trades for some period of time, then process that queue in random order. Then there truly is no difference whatsoever between trades getting in within a quantum of the trade processing slice.

about two weeks ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Junta Re:How does this simply not move the goalposts? (342 comments)

Well my thought would be that multiple exchanges would implement the same scheme. In that case, someone coming in as late as 249 milliseconds after you has a 50/50 shot of being ahead of your trade anyway. Yes, one exchange wouldn't be enough, but the more exchanges that did the scheme, the less this would help.

about two weeks ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Junta How does this simply not move the goalposts? (342 comments)

If the whole point is to be x microseconds ahead of the other guys wouldn't a 500 ms delay simply mean the exact same game would become 'after 500 ms, still be a few microseconds ahead of the other guys'.

I would imagine a more effective approach would be to process trades 4 times per second. A request for a trade always gets processed in the slot after the next slot (meaning no less than a 250 ms delay, but no more than 500 ms delay). Within a given slot of trading activity, randomly shuffle the requests so that someone beating someone else by less than 250 ms doesn't actually affect things.

about two weeks ago
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Linus Torvalds Suspends Key Linux Developer

Junta I'm all for some systemd bashing... (641 comments)

But the most interesting thing to me on *this* particular event is that Torvalds seems to agree in principle with Kay Sievers on the core quote:

Generic terms are generic, not the first user owns them.

Torvalds eventually says in the thread:

we very much expose /proc/cmdline for a reason. System services are *supposed* to parse it [...] that does include "quiet" and "debug". Parsing them and doing something sane with them is not a bug, it's a feature.

Of course, the issue here is that a complaint represents the straw that broke the camel's back. Here systemd was horribly abusing a kernel interface in their userspace code and I assume there have been a lot of other incidents that have piled up to have Torvalds make a strong statement.

I do agree that 'debug' in /proc/cmdline shouldn't be considered sovereign territory of the kernel alone. The average joe linux admin is aware he is trying to debug 'the boot process' but not know if it is kernel or init or what. The issue here was not that systemd got a bit debug happy when a kernel was being debugged, but that their debug output horribly abused /dev/kmsg and perhaps was a bit more verbose than would be reasonable.

It did make me feel somewhat pleased to see so many prominent kernel development people express dissatisfaction with systemd though.

about two weeks ago
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Google Chairman on WhatsApp: $19 Bn For 50 People? Good For Them!

Junta Re:Read between the lines (303 comments)

moving people into STEM that would otherwise work in lower paid occupations.

While I can agree that the perspective is a bit protectionist, that would not pan out that way. Generally speaking, improving wages overall is either not going to happen, or happen because of inflation. While very rarely is something a zero sum game in economics, it also is the case that it doesn't at least somewhat behave like a zero sum situation. It's not necessarily a bad thing for society in general, but one should not pretend for a second that such moves would magically enable everyone to get six-figure standard of living.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's New In Legacy Languages?

Junta 'Legacy' is a relative term... (247 comments)

Though I'm not usually dealing with Microsoft platforms, I have enough experience with it to consider classifying it as 'legacy' in any sort of universal way an odd proposition. It is after all *the* first-party supported development framework for Microsoft platforms, very much continuing to be supported and developed by a pretty important market force (like it or not).

Of course 'Legacy' is mostly in the eye of the beholder. About the only place 'Legacy' seems to have unambiguous meaning is within a single development organization replacing/phasing out projects they control. COBOL continues to see pretty significant deployments and is actively being enhanced, though most people in the industry would consider that 'Legacy'. Similar story for Fortran. A number of languages that don't get so much 'glory' these days continue to play important roles in particular segments and continue to be developed. There are those that would consider PHP 'legacy' and others just moving onto the platform. If you try to name a platform that by popular opinion is almost certainly totally 'Legacy' you'll probably discover not only some groups doing new development in the language, but some companies or projects actually continuing to enhance the language for others. Basically, if you can remember it, it by some definition is probably still alive.

about a month ago
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Fedora To Have a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" For Contributors

Junta Re:"Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass G (212 comments)

To say it's 'export controlled' is an oversimplification of the restrictions around working with those nations.

But in simple terms, this is about *contributors*, not downloading. And if it weren't an issue, then Fedora people wouldn't be trying to game it for plausible deniability (which of course doesn't work when you say "Hey everyone, I want to be able to claim plausible deniability so could you just omit some information so I can do that?"

about a month ago
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Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

Junta Re:No conspriacy theory needed (704 comments)

While I agree that a government is almost certainly not behind this and thoughts that it is are people thinking a bit too much of BitCoin. That said, hypothetically I could see why a government would choose an underhanded way to bring down something like this compared to overt regulation.

Consider that bitcoin is in no small part driven by people fanatically thinking fiat currency is the devil (for some very literally calling the dollar the mark of the beast) and that gold standard or something like that is 'the' answer to all that ails any economy. Explicitly banning it bears the risk of inducing the supporters to say 'see, told you so!' (even though there are very practical reasons to not let it get carried away, the reasons are sufficiently complicated and nuanced that it would be hard to simply explain).

Of course, knowing precisely why an unregulated currency of this nature is a bad idea would leave the opportunity for a government to cause it to collapse by exploiting those flaws. Most likely the flaws are just naturally being exploited because you don't have to give crooks a big reason to be crooks, but it is a strategy that might be more effective than blanket laws.

about a month and a half ago
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Wolfram Language Demo Impresses

Junta Re:Perl (216 comments)

no utilities of your own written specifically for this purpose.

Why not? That is *precisely* what wolfram did here. He designed the 'language' and decided 'gee it would be nice to have a first class function for travelling salesman', and then when he goes to demo, he whips that out to say 'look at this obscure capability omitted from most languages'. This may be useful, but being excited around the linecount is not something compelling in this case, as it shows no particularly exciting grammer/syntax stuff, just that Wolfram deemed 'travelling salesman' a problem worthy of being a first class function in the namespace.

about a month and a half ago
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Most Alarming: IETF Draft Proposes "Trusted Proxy" In HTTP/2.0

Junta Well for one... (177 comments)

Pretty much anyone can submit an IETF RFC if they really want. The existence of a draft does not guarantee a ratified version will exist someday.

For another, it could be much worse. There is explicit wording at least here about seeking consent from the user and allowing opt-out even in the 'captive' case, as well as notifying the actual webserver of this intermediary, and that the intermediary must use a particular keyusage field meaning that some trusted CA has explicitly approved it (of course, the CA model is pretty horribly ill-suited for internet scale security, but better than nothing). Remember how Nokia confessed they silently and without consent had their mobile browser hijack and proxy https traffic without explicitly telling the user or server? While something like this being formalized wouldn't prevent such a trick, it would be very hard to defend a secretive approach in the face of this sort of standard being in the wild.

Keep in mind that in a large number of cases in mobile, the carriers are handing people the device including the browser they'll be using. A carrier could do what Nokia admits to in many cases without the user being the wiser and claim the secretive aspect is just a side effect today. If there was a standard clearly laying out that a carrier or mobile manufacturer should behave a certain way, that defense would go away.

I would always elect the 'opt out' myself, but I'd prefer anything seeking to proxy secure traffic be steered toward doing things on the up and up rather than pretending no one will do it and leaving the door open for ambiguous intentions.

about 2 months ago

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