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Intel Announces Major Reorg To Combine Mobile and PC Divisions

willy_me Re:The problem is cost per mm of silicon (75 comments)

Remember that Intel has a massive war chest from $1000+ server CPU sales and $300+ desktop CPU sales,

This is true, but if Intel does not design better CPUs in a timely manner then those sales are going to drop dramatically. This is precisely the problem they are now facing. People are not buying new computers because those new computers are no faster then their old computers. But they are buying new mobiles.

Intel is competing against themselves. Unless they expand into a new market, as they are attempting to do with the mobile market, then the limited PC market will result in their demise. They can no longer rely on improved manufacturing to grow their market because we are reaching the limit of what is practical to manufacturer. Intel needs to produce a product people will want in the future or they will die. Everything Intel is currently doing demonstrates that they understand this and are acting accordingly.

about a week ago
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Intel Announces Major Reorg To Combine Mobile and PC Divisions

willy_me Re:Can Apple Move to ARM on the Desktop? (75 comments)

Multiple CPUs require the ability to synchronize cache. This requires more pins - a lot more pins. The A8x is already saturated with pins so adding this feature is not simple. A much better solution would be to remove the GPU and replace with additional CPU cores. Such a CPU could have 8 real cores and would post some impressive benchmarks.

about a week ago
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New Atomic Clock Reaches the Boundaries of Timekeeping

willy_me Re:Misleading Title (249 comments)

Space is about the only place such clocks would be of any use. I could see them being used to provide GPS like localization services for any craft designed to leave earth's orbit. For it to work you require synchronized clocks. But, unlike GPS, there is no way to perform such a synchronization. You end up having to rely on the accuracy of the two clocks.

about three weeks ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

willy_me Re:Good luck with that. (558 comments)

With the system in Canada there is always the possibility that someone bugs the Interac reader. Everyone using the machine will have their card number and pin stolen. The perpetrators then usually wait for some time, often years, then make purchases using your account. Waiting makes it more difficult for the police to track down the retailer that had their hardware bugged. Once identified the banks have everyone who used that machine change their pin code to prevent further theft.

This has happened several times in Canada. People have even installed fake bank machines designed for the sole purpose of stealing this information. Interac is great but still a big target for theft.

Apple Pay, and probably Google wallet, prevent this type of attack. Theft becomes a non-issue. So long as you do not have your phone stolen and fingers removed, your money is safe. This is a big improvement over Interac and will save a significant amount of money currently being spent on fraud prevention / compensation.

What we need is competition in this field. Let Apple have their system and let Google do whatever they want. Keep the hardware interface (NFC) standardized so that newer, better systems can be designed. Keep away from proprietary pay terminals. Multiple solutions should work with the available infrastructure thereby limiting the entry barriers when competing in this market. It will be interesting to see what gets developed.

about a month ago
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Apple A8X IPad Air 2 Processor Packs Triple-Core CPU, Hefty Graphics Punch

willy_me Re:Let's shit all over the customers (130 comments)

An informed individual posted an explanation for this. Apparently, the new Intel chips have different pinout requirements between the dual core and quad core variants - this is assuming you are soldering the CPU directly to the motherboard. Because of this difference Apple can not sell a quad core CPU without designing a new motherboard. So they sell it with the fastest CPUs that operate within the given power constraints and supports the required physical pinout.

In all likelihood, Apple will release a quad core update sooner rather then later. Holding off for 6 months gives them plenty of time to design the new hardware while also giving them the opportunity to make headlines once again in 6 months time.

The Mac Mini is a great little design. If one is in the market and wants to get the fastest one possible, it is probably best to either wait or purchase a quad of the previous model.

about 1 month ago
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Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

willy_me Re: It's the OS, Stupid (252 comments)

No, Apple gave up on getting certification some time ago. No one cared. Now OS X is like BSD in that it is just like UNIX but without the certification.

about a month ago
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

willy_me Re:So everything is protected by a 4 digit passcod (504 comments)

The fingerprint is embedded within the SOC and not accessible from any API - a write only part of the device. It will accept new fingerprints and perform comparisons but never reveal any currently stored fingerprints. This is a dedicated piece of hardware and short of dissolving the package away to access the storage directly, there is no way to recover a fingerprint. Without the fingerprint, the encryption key associated with that fingerprint will never be released. One assumes the encryption key was randomly generated and of sufficient length so that it provides maximum security for whatever encryption algorithm was used to secure the device.

about 2 months ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

willy_me Re:Definition of a successful intercept... (454 comments)

It would be cool to find out just what the real statistics are. I'm pretty sure, though, that Israel classifies this information as a state secret and we may never know in our lifetimes.

The rockets generate more psychological damage then physical. As far as weapons go, they are rather pathetic. All the iron dome really has to do is to make those it protects feel safe. If statistics have the potential of damaging this feeling of safety then you ca be assured that they will be kept secret.

The other purpose of the iron dome is to limit the desire to fire the rockets in the first place. If one thinks their efforts are in vain then they are less likely to follow through. If Israel can convince members of Hamas that their rockets are not working then there will be fewer rockets launched at Israel.

about 4 months ago
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Researchers Unveil Experimental 36-Core Chip

willy_me Re:Moore's Law (143 comments)

And hopefully in any lectures on Moore's Law, the students learn that Moore's Law refers to transistors on a die, not the speed of the chips. This 36-core chip probably jumps ahead of Moore's Law a bit, as it's got to be a fairly large die.

Moore's Law refers to the number of components per integrated circuit for minimum cost. Note that this is basically transistor density and is not impacted by core size. Silicon defects and transistor size determine the optimal number of components per IC.

A quote from Wikipedia,

Moore himself wrote only about the density of components, "a component being a transistor, resistor, diode or capacitor,"[26] at minimum cost.

about 5 months ago
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Huawei Successfully Tests New 802.11ax WiFi Standard At 10.53Gbps

willy_me Re:Nyquist (116 comments)

With MIMO you have multiple channels

I was under the impression that MIMO gives you multiple antenna to facilitate beam forming. Channel bandwidth requirements do not change nor does the number of channels required. MIMO still only requires 1 channel. A quick wiki search appears to agree with this impression.

Now you can also use multiple channels but this is independent of MIMO technology. Both techniques can be used together - and typically are which might explain the confusion. Either that or I am confused which is always a possibility....

about 6 months ago
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Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

willy_me Re:When did they add DMA? (355 comments)

Don't see much need for high power output when Thunderbolt devices like displays will probably need their own power supply anyway.

It's not high power output - it's high power transfer. It will be used as single connection display / ethernet / webcam / USB Audio / power adapter when connecting your laptop to a monitor. Sort of like the ultimate dock.

about 6 months ago
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Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

willy_me Re:They are orthogonal use cases (355 comments)

I built a FreeBSD 9.1 file server using usb 3 / usb 3 docks, but I failed them all back down to using their 2.0 interface due to persistent flakiness/dropping off the bus type issues.

If you look at MacZFS you will notice that ZFS over a USB bus is garbage. Far too many problems - developer says to not even bother reporting the bugs. And in my experience, FreeBSD is not much different in this regard. Had major problems with ZFS over USB while UFS appears to work fine. Use a different connection, like eSATA or Firewire, and ZFS starts to work again.

I only mention this because it is quite possible that USB was working fine. Glitches / delays / disconnects, regardless of which layer they originate in, appear to hit ZFS hard. Better to use eSATA if you have a FreeBSD box.

about 6 months ago
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US Climate Report Says Global Warming Impact Already Severe

willy_me Re:Frequent hurricanes? (627 comments)

The graph has a logarithmic horizontal scale. As a result, the deviation of sea level from thousands of years ago is calculated over a larger time from then the deviation reported for today. If the deviation for today was calculated using the same time frame it would be significantly larger then the value calculated for thousands of years ago. The fact you did not see this is somewhat disturbing and could just explain why you are arguing your point. Or you're a troll - you're probably just a troll - people on this site can not be that foolish.

about 7 months ago
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BMW Created the Most Efficient Electric Car In the US

willy_me Re: Range is the issue (258 comments)

Lithium is not that scarce and only make up a small part of the cost of a battery. You are correct about increased demand driving up prices, but once industry increases the supply the prices will be even lower then they were previously.

about 7 months ago
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Toyota Describes Combustion Engine That Generates Electricity Directly

willy_me Re:Efficiency? (234 comments)

The real question is how efficient is it?

It does not have to be any more efficient if they manage to reduct weight and increase reliability. Efficiency has a big part to play but even a less efficient engine would be desirable if they improve greatly on other aspects.

Remember that this is being targeted for vehicles that will run mostly on electric power. An ICE is a dead weight when not being used. If someone drives using 90% pure electric then the efficiency gains of carrying less weight could easily outweigh the losses of an ICE that was 5% less efficient but only operates for 10% of the time.

about 7 months ago
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Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

willy_me Re:What size does one take? (193 comments)

That was the original plan - 18650 batteries give you the most capacity for the smallest price. But once you start producing thousands of cars things change a little. It would now seem prudent for them to design their own. This would give them more efficient use of space and would make it easier to adopt new upcoming technologies. The economies of scale with respect to 18650 batteries will no longer apply.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

willy_me Re:HP Calculators (702 comments)

An amendment. Forget USB - add inductive charging. Now you do not require any physical ports. The keyboard membrane should be designed so that it also provides a watertight seal between the keyboard and the electronics. Now you have a calculator you can use in the rain, on a ship, or anywhere else you do not want to use a cell phone. Engineers can use it in the field - without taking off any gloves.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

willy_me Re:HP Calculators (702 comments)

Someone needs to start a Kickstarter project to create a decent calculator. A solid case and keyboard as per the older HP calculators. Color display - they're common enough. Embedded ARM CPU as you would expect in a cell phone. And similar to a cell phone, a rechargable battery. Add in bluetooth, WiFi, and USB for communication and your hardware is done.

The interesting part would be on the software end. One could attempt to emulate an HP calculator - but a standard Forth VM would also be interesting. Synchronizing with a PC is a huge area where things could be improved. It would be great to share a workspace with a computer so that once you solve a problem on the calculator - the requred functions would be available on the PC allowing you to automaticaly integrate the solution into your own code / spreadsheet / etc.

An open calculator design would open up lots of possibilities. Cell phones are great start but regardless of how impressive the software is, it still lacks a physical keyboard. Automatic type correction works great for text - not so much for calculators.

about 7 months ago
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WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever

willy_me Re:It is the single most reliable piece of tech (449 comments)

Get a repeater. An antenna mounted on your roof and pointed at the tower works wonders. Any attempt to replace a PTOS with wireless will most likely rely on such repeaters for approval.

about 8 months ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

willy_me Re:Statistics suck (367 comments)

I have observed that breasts outside the vehicle and penises inside the vehicle is also a bad combo. Especially on those hot days when people tend to perspire. I suppose the only solution is to keep both breasts and penises out of vehicles.

about 8 months ago

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