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How Much Data Plan Bandwidth Is Wasted By DRM?

Ottibus Re:No DRM + multicast (195 comments)

You know, there's a technology, at least as old as IP networks, that's multicast. If you couple it with a nice lack of DRM, you can reduce the required bandwith.

Even if you could build a workable internet-wide multicast streaming solution it would still not reduce the bandwidth to your phone. The same number of packets come over the air to your device whether they are multicast or unicast. The benefits of unicast are in the network infrastructure not the transmitters or receivers and, so far, these benefits have not been seen to outweigh the disadvantages.

11 hours ago

The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

Ottibus Re:re; You Should? (558 comments)

The problem with a misinformed public is that they rapidly become the pitchfork and torch wielding public when it comes to public funding for science endeavors ("We don't need no moar money wasted on that thar space thingy!!!")

Accepting the Big Bang as scientific fact doesn't necessarily mean that you think that Big Bang research should be publicly funded. And it is arguable that the public visibility of these large science projects draws funding away from smaller, more valuable efforts. We are going to make many more interesting discoveries by spending millions on 1000 widely different projects than spending billions on just one narrowly-focussed project.

And just to be more contentious I would point out that the Space program is engineering, not science, and people don't have a problem with engineering because they can see that it works.


Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

Ottibus Re:I don't (669 comments)

AC obviously confused Warcraft with WoW.

Or the AC knew that you could play Warcraft without the disc.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

Ottibus Re:I don't (669 comments)

He said Warcraft. Not World of Warcraft. Noob.

Warcarft III (at least) could be made to run without a disc by copying all the data files into the install directory.

about 2 months ago

Isaac Asimov's 50-Year-Old Prediction For 2014 Is Viral and Wrong

Ottibus Borderline Facist (385 comments)

If you read a lot of his stories, they are about communist societies.

Most of his societies were based on benevolent Scientocracy: a small group of wise and powerful scientists ran the society for the benefit of the rest of the population. Look at the end of the Foundation series in particular, in which a highly secretive organisation called the Second Foundation was controlling and manipulating the whole of society with no form of accountability whatsoever.

I read a lot of Asimov as a teenager but stopped liking his writing when I realised just how much he was promoting right-wing authoritarian government rather than any real form of democracy or even accountability.

about 4 months ago

Isaac Asimov's 50-Year-Old Prediction For 2014 Is Viral and Wrong

Ottibus Where is Mobile? (385 comments)

The science and technology are amazingly accurate

I must have been reading a different article. The one I read had working Fusion reactors, cars that float above the ground, Cubic TVs, windowless underground houses, no electic cords, colonies on the moon and automatic cooking machines in every kitchen.

But the article has absolutely no mention of mobile devices which seems, to me, to be a massive failure of foresight.

about 4 months ago

Comparing G++ and Intel Compilers and Vectorized Code

Ottibus Re:Very different code (225 comments)

All my code is compiled with

    -Wall -Werror -pedantic

What is the problem writing correct code?

There is nothing wrong with writing correct code, but I would not use gcc warnings as a way of defining what is and is not correct code. In fact code that generates a warning is (by definition) correct, otherwise it would generate an error.

There is a problem with using "-Werror" because you cannot predict what code is going to generate warnings in future versions of the compiler or with different processor architectures. This may not be an issue for personal projects, but it can be a real pain when used on a large, long-running code base.

about 4 months ago

'Approximate Computing' Saves Energy

Ottibus Computation is not the big energy drain (154 comments)

The problem with this approach is that the energy used for computation is a relatively small part of the whole. Much more energy is spent on fetching instructions, decoding instructions, fetching data, predicting branches, managing caches and many other processes. And the addition of approximate arithmetic increases the area and leakage of the processor which increases engergy consumption for all programs.

Approximate computation is already widely used in media and numerical applications, but it is far from clear that it is a good idea to put approximate arithmetic circuits in a standard processor.

about 4 months ago

Intel Opens Doors To Rivals, Maybe

Ottibus Re:Probably Apple (59 comments)

Android I think is only scheduled to get 64-bit support in late 2014 as well.

I suspect that Android will get 64-bit support when there is a phone that needs it, but it feels like that will be closer to the middle of 2014 rather than the end.

I'm sure Intel's worried - the latest Bay Trail Atoms are basically even with the A7 in performance.

And Bay Trail is on a newer 22nm process compared to A7's 28nm. I don't know the mind of Intel, but they have to be concerned that their "process advantage" is still not delivering concrete benefits.

about 5 months ago

How To Better Verify Scientific Research

Ottibus Who decides which data is good? (197 comments)

Far too much is published already, and much of it just isn't very good.

But who decides what is "good"? The temptation is for scientists to publish the results that support their theory and reject the rest of the results as "bad" data, leading to massive selection bias.

Surely it is better to publish all the data so that others can check the conclusions that the author has drawn from it? And in the case of publicly-funded research it seems right that all the data should be made publicly available (with the obvious exception of sensitive information such as personal medical details).

about 6 months ago

British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

Ottibus No base cost (634 comments)

The NHS works at base cost, how can base cost + profit margin be a cheaper alternative and more sustainable?

Because there is no such thing as "base cost", there is just "cost". What the NHS considers "cost" can still be more than what the alternative calls "cost + profit margin".

about 6 months ago

Imagination Tech Announces MIPS-based 'Warrior P-Class' CPU Core

Ottibus Apple might drop PowerVR (122 comments)

Imagination will continue to thrive as long as Apple thrives

I wouldn't bet on that, Apple have been building a GPU team for a while now.

about 6 months ago

Shuttleworth: Apple Will Merge Mac and iPhone

Ottibus Re:Apple's actions say they won't (414 comments)

First, their Mac line will still run Intel CPUs, while the iOS line runs ARM based processors. You can't really merge the two for various reasons.

This is the weakest part of your argument. I agree that iOS and OSX will not be unified any time soon, but it is not really about the processor architecture. Apple have already created a 64-bit processor that matches Intel's equivalent design on a less favourable process, and they will always prefer a processor that they have made over one that they have to buy in. Running Intel apps on other processors with good performance is technical very feasible. There is no good reason why there won't be an OSX device containing an Apple processor within the next few years, in addition to a line of machines with Intel processors.

about 6 months ago

EU Court Holds News Website Liable For Readers' Comments

Ottibus Human rights (246 comments)

Get your thoughts into paper and contact/join a party like UKIP

So UKIP is opposed to the European Convention on Human Rights?


about 6 months ago

3mm Inexpensive Chip Revolutionizes Electron Accelerators

Ottibus Re:Computers are commercially funded (113 comments)

ENIAC was arguably the first general purpose electronic computer, and it was built for the US military (a wing of their government).

You are right, there was a lot of government funding at the start of the computing era. But most of the work that took us from the Antikythera Mechanism to the modern 28nm processor was privately funded.

My point is that you can't compare the development of modern computers, which was mostly a commercial engineering process, with the advancement of particle physics, which is mostly a tax-funded scientific process. The money that might have been "wasted" on colliders is a different kind of money from that used to create the i7.

about 7 months ago

3mm Inexpensive Chip Revolutionizes Electron Accelerators

Ottibus Computers are commercially funded (113 comments)

We clearly shouldn't have wasted all the money on mechanical and tube computers and just waited until we got i7s.

We didn't. Early computers were funded from commercial sources not taxation, and they had practical applications right from the start.

about 7 months ago

Why Apple Went 64-Bit With the iPhone 5s

Ottibus Re:Advantages and Disadvantages of 64-bit code (512 comments)

64-bit ARM is [] not necessarily the best thought out instruction set
The difference between ARM 32 and ARM 64 is far greater than the difference between X86 and X86_64.

Which parts of 64-bit ARM do you think are badly designed? I'm sure a lot of thought went in to it!!

But you are right about the differences. There are things in 32-bit ARM that seemed like a good idea in the 90s but now just make life complicated, so they are missing from 64-bit ARM.

about 7 months ago

Why Apple Went 64-Bit With the iPhone 5s

Ottibus Buy vs Build, not Intel vs. ARM (512 comments)

Are you seriously suggesting that Apple migrates their desktop machines to hardware that's about 10 years behind the curve in terms of performance when compared to x86?

The processor in the iPhone 5 was designed by Apple. So the question is whether Apple think they can design a better processor than Intel or ARM. And since this is Apple we are talking about, they almost certainly think that they can.

This is not a transition from one third-party processor to another: It is a transition from a third-party processor to a processor that is 100% controlled by Apple.

about 7 months ago

Why Apple Went 64-Bit With the iPhone 5s

Ottibus Re:No. (512 comments)

It's more like they didn't have much else for the iPhone 5S, just the fingerprint sensor.

Designing a new 64-bit processor is a strategic investment, not something you do for a minor marketing advantage on a single product.

about 7 months ago

Why Apple Went 64-Bit With the iPhone 5s

Ottibus Re: 64-bit BS (512 comments)

I seriously doubt that ARM itself is going to develop the 32-bit platform much beyond where it is today.

Do you seriously think your washing machine needs a 64 bit processor?

So they'll just use MIPS instead? Or older ARM chips?

ARM sells M-class processors for embedded applications and R-class processors for real-time applications like disc drives and automotive. These are active product lines, not older designs. These compete with MIPS, ARC, Intel Quark and a host of 8-bit and 16-bit devices.

about 7 months ago


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