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Comment Re:SLA? (Score 1) 111

The Ottawa Citizen wrote a great article about where the problem lies, and came to the conclusion that Shared Services was doomed to fail before the project even started:

Basically, it was given a lofty mandate but was then starved of both the resources and authority required to actually accomplish what they were supposed to.

Comment Re:Practical? (Score 1) 142

The cheapest EC2 node has one CPU at a reserve pricing as low as $0.003 for a t2.nano instance. The exact math I used is:

(6500 * 365 * 24) * 0.003 = $170,820

I realize that a nano instances don't really have much CPU power available (they're intended to be used for bursty tasks), but Google didn't define what a "CPU hour" was, so neither did I.

Comment Re:Practical? (Score 1) 142

Assuming Amazon has sufficient capacity, it could be completed in an arbitrarily short amount of time by spinning up enough instances. Amazon bills by aggregate time, so the cost of one node for two days is the same as the cost of two nodes for one day.

My point was more to show that it's potentially achievable without Google or NSA sized budgets, and that the cost would only shrink from there over time.

Comment Re:Practical? (Score 4, Insightful) 142

Well, what exactly a time unit of CPU computation means isn't defined (it's like saying "This item cost me 500 monetary units", there's no context), but if we just take it to mean a literal amount of time on any random CPU...

6,500 years of CPU time potentially costs as little as ~$171k USD at Amazon, and compute costs are continuously falling.

Comment Re:Well there's a surprise (Score 1) 114

Sometimes they did invent it, or do it first. Sometimes they took something pre-existing and polished it enough to be practical. Sometimes it was done better by other companies first. But this sort of describes every major smartphone vendor.

My point is that while there's certainly some of it, Apple isn't entirely "me too". They've had some firsts, like beating everybody else to market with 64-bit ARM by something like a year, and they've generally been something like 3-6 months ahead of the curve in terms of SoC performance in general. They weren't the first to do fingerprint readers, but they were the first to do them well enough for mass-market use. And if the rumours hold and the next iPhone is able to read your fingerprints through the screen, that'd be a big first too.

Comment Re:As for the ink (Score 2) 86

The low-end ones (they start at $380) have a single long bar of printheads that isn't replaceable, but the higher-end ones use replaceable printhead modules. All of them have both the normal printhead cleaning routines, and they have optical sensors to detect individual clogged nozzles. A clogged nozzle is dealt with in a variety of ways depending on where it's located and which type it is. The individual printheads are staggered and overlap a bit, and a clogged nozzle in the overlap area is just replaced by the overlapping one. A clogged black nozzle that isn't overlapped is replaced on a per-nozzle basis by colour nozzles, and if that isn't available, then it just relies on the fact at at 1200dpi, the dots spread enough to overlap anyhow and a single missing nozzle won't really show up on the page (you'd need two or more adjacent clogged nozzles to produce a visible streak).

It's important to note that these are all business and professional printers, though. They're designed for high volume where nozzles clogged from lack of use isn't a problem.

Comment Re:Computer Chronicles (Score 2) 86

It's obviously a sendup of the '80s version of The Computer Chronicles. Their set is a close match for layout (including the table shape), their segments are the same, and even the rainbow-coloured title card from the 80s they used.

And yes, the Computer Chronicles was excellent: it didn't run uninterrupted for 19 years without good reason. It was ultimately the Internet that killed it, not lack of quality.

For anyone who would like to see for themselves, most of the 19 year run of the show is available on The Internet Archive:

Watching early episodes involving the introduction of things like the CD-ROM or the 486 is really fun.

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