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Comment: Also it is a lot of calories, and empty ones (Score 1) 528

by Sycraft-fu (#49562409) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Soda has around 100 calories per 8 fluid ounces (varies slightly with type of soda). So you get a 32 ounce drink, that's 400 calories. That's a fair bit, even by fast food standards. Most fast food burgers are in the 800-1200 calorie range (a double quarter pounder with cheese is 740 calories for reference). So you are adding 33-50% more calories to a meal with a 32oz soda.

Well the thing is, the calories in that soda won't do much if anything to fill you up. Drink as much as you like, you still feel hungry. Not so with a hamburger. While it isn't high quality nutrition, it is still plenty of protein, fat, and carbs and your body is going to be satisfied by the consumption of it.

Thus cutting out the soda really can help. You reduce a non-trivial amount of calories and it isn't likely to make you feel less full. Ya, you are still eating fast food and it is not high quality nutrition, and it is high calorie for what you get, but it is better than just drinking sugar water which is more or less what soda is.

Weight loss and eating healthy isn't an all or nothing proposition. There is better and worse, and cutting out soda is doing better than leaving it in.

Comment: Re:what is Arimaa? (Score 1) 58

by santiago (#49514631) Attached to: Computer Beats Humans At Arimaa

I would be surprised if a high-end smartphone in the world could out-compute a reasonably spec'ed desktop from the early 2000s (which was point at which computers began to rather consistently beat grandmasters.) The lack of CPU fan is the biggest limiting factor of all.

An iPhone 6 can do 77 GFLOPS. Deep Blue could only manage 11 GFLOPS. Now, Deep Blue had specialized VLSI chips that are hard to measure, and chess computations are going to be mostly integer, not floating-point, but the point stands that a modern phone has plenty of computing power for crushing puny meatbags at chess.

Comment: No, he's not (Score 3, Insightful) 191

by Sycraft-fu (#49509271) Attached to: Assange Talk Spurs UK Judges To Boycott Legal Conference

The UK handled everything per the law. They received an extradition request from a country they have a treaty with regarding this. They are required by the treaty to deal with these, they can't ignore them. So they reviewed it in court, to make sure it was a valid request per the treaty and decided it was. He appealed and the case moved up the chain until the high court heard it and decided that this extradition request is legitimate under the treaty, the UK has no standing to refuse.

Up until this point, Assanage was in no trouble in the UK, he hadn't broken UK law, they were just acting based on the extradition request. However then he fled. That is now a violation of UK law. He violated the conditions of his bail. That makes him a criminal in the UK. Skipping bail doesn't make you a "political prisoner" it makes you a standard criminal.

Comment: I don't think it is crappy (Score 1) 229

I mean it is a really, really minimal legit player base it could possibly effect. You would have to be someone who plays only F2P games, and has made so few in-game purchases that you haven't even spent $5. There are just extremely few people who are like that. Further, even people like that can still play, they just can't participate in some of the other Steam features. The games are still available to them.

Comment: Particularly since you can still play games (Score 1) 229

None of the restrictions are on buying or playing games. So even if you've never spent money (I'm not clear that retail doesn't count but let's say it doesn't) you can still play all the games you've got, and buy more games to play (at which point your account becomes unlocked). So you can do with it the main purpose: Play games, including free to play ones. It isn't like they are demanding money to unlock an account.

Also in the event this really was an issue for someone, they could just buy something cheap. I mean if you've dropped $50+ on a retail game it is not that big a deal to spend another $5 if it comes to that.

Comment: Not sure, you'd have to check tests (Score 1) 133

by Sycraft-fu (#49503719) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

Part of it would depend on the relative OCs, of course. Also it would depend on if your encoder could use AVX2/FMA3 and if so, how much speedup it provides. For things that it matters on, there have been near 2X speed gains, but I don't know how applicable the instructions are to H.264 encoding.

Another option is if you can find an encoder you like that has a CUDA version, you could give it a video card to run on. However you'd want to check the implementation to make sure its quality is comparable. Also you might need to get a video card that has better double precision performance, as I'm given to understand single precision math isn't enough for top quality H.264 encoding. So like a GTX 480 or a normal Titan, the newer GPUs generally have less DP cores (to keep power/heat down).

Only applies if the encoder you want has CUDA support, of course, and if it knows how to use DP math.

Comment: Ummmm.... no (Score 1) 133

by Sycraft-fu (#49495033) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

Sorry but you are having some selective memory. AMD actually was only a performance leader for a very brief period of time, that being the P4 days. That was also not because of anything great they did, but rather because the P4 ended up being a bad design because it did not scale as Intel thought it would. Outside of that they were competitive during the P3 days, but behind other than that.

They also had serious problems outside of any business practices from Intel. The three big ones that really screwed them today:

1) Their disastrous chipset situation. When the Athlons came out, their chipsets were garbage. The AMD made chipsets lacked any advanced features. The VIA chipsets were full featured, but poorly implemented. I bought an Athlon, excited at the performance upgrade I'd get from my P2 and drawn in by the price. I spent two weeks fighting and fighting to make it work, before finally finding out that GeForce graphics card were just incompatible with the boards because of VIA's out-of-spec AGP implementation. I sent it all back, got a P3 on an Intel chipset, and it all worked from the word go. Experiences like that really put many people and vendors off of AMD (combined with things like lacking a thermal halt on the chip so if a heatsink fell off the chip would bur out).

2) Their utter lack of innovation/resting on laurels. AMD took FOREVER to get out any kind of real new architecture, that being the Bulldozer, and it was poor when it happened. For too long they kept rehashing their same CPU architecture, while Intel kept moving theirs forward. This became particularly acute when the Sandy Bridge came out, which was a really good architecture improvement. Having nothing new and just trying to glom more cores on the server products was not a winning strategy long term.

3) Ignoring the software side of things. One of the things that makes Intel chips perform so well is their excellent compiler. It generates faster code than any other compiler, in every single test I've ever seen. That matters in the real world since people aren't going to waste time hand-optimizing assembly. Only recently did AMD get a compiler out (I haven't seen benchmarks on how good it is), for most of their life they just relied on other compilers and whined that the Intel compiler was mean to their chips. That has been a problem, particularly in research settings where people need high performance but are not primarily programmers and need something good at automatic code optimization.

AMD has done a lot to screw themselves over long periods and it has built up to a situation now where they are struggling in a big way. If you think Intel is all to blame you've your head in the sand.

Comment: ...and? (Score 1) 133

by Sycraft-fu (#49494845) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

What is your proposal, people should purchase AMD chips as a charity?

Nobody other than Intel zealots wants to see AMD go away. However if AMD's products are not competitive for what they want, why should they buy them? Trying to argue charity buying is a non-starter and a very bad strategy.

AMD has been really screwing up on their processors as of late. Their performance is not that good in most things and their performance per watt is even worse. So for a great many tasks, they are not a great choice. Their "APU" concept is an interesting one, but one who's time seems to be up as Intel's integrated graphics have been very good lately and getting better with each generation so "a CPU with good graphics" is likely to just be what we think of as a CPU.

If AMD wants more sales they have to make a product that is compelling in some way. As it stands, it isn't compelling in that many markets.

Comment: Sure (Score 2) 133

by Sycraft-fu (#49494789) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

Look up "Shadowplay" by nVidia. That is their software that uses the "nvenc" feature of their new GPUs. It has near zero CPU and GPU load, just load on the disk. All encoding is done by a special dedicated encoder on the chip. It's a fast encoder too, it can do 2560x1600@60fps.

The downside is it is not as good looking per bit as some of the software encoders (particularly X264) so if the target is something low bitrate you may wish to capture high bitrate and then reencode to a lower bitrate with other software later.

Bandicam also claims to support the hardware encoders of all the platform (Intel calls their QuickSync, AMD calls there's AMD APP).

Comment: Also what kind of idiot buys at retail price? (Score 1) 325

by Sycraft-fu (#49491339) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

When you are big, you get to get stuff for a discount. At work we are a Dell partner and it means, at a minimum, that we get a 3 year basic warranty on their stuff for no charge, even for one off orders. If we are doing a big order, like a few hundred computers, you get additional discounts.

I realize Apple doesn't like to offer this kind of thing which is a reason NOT TO GO WITH APPLE. If they aren't willing to give you a price break when you are ordering tens of thousands of units then they aren't worth being a vendor.

This reeks of someone who is a complete fanboy deciding everyone has to have a shiny toy rather than any kind of consideration about what product might work well.

Comment: Have a friend who had a similar experience (Score 1) 294

by Sycraft-fu (#49491291) Attached to: IT Worker's Lawsuit Accuses Tata of Discrimination

He decided to become an independent contractor, mostly because he was having so much trouble finding a job during the last big recession. He finally got a job as a contractor to a contractor basically. This firm is your typical contract programming shop, and they would contract to him, didn't bring him on full time. He's American, of Pacific Islander descent (native Hawaiian) the company is mostly Indian.

He continually faced a culture of "You can't know very much, you aren't Indian." Not stated outright, of course, but that attitude. He'd have Indian guys glommed on to a project he was doing who were utterly unhelpful, he'd consistently be the second or third choice, after Indian programmers had failed to be able to solve a problem, and so on. All the while he was kept contract.

Well, he's actually a really talented guy and got a really good reputation with the clients since he would deliver work on time, and as promised, and the rest of the consulting company was not so good at that. He ended up just getting more and more contracts on his own. Finally they realized what they were losing and tried to hire him full time, for an insultingly low figure, and he said no. Now they still bother him with jobs they want him to do from time to time, but he's booked solid, and not very interested in them.

Comment: They have been, but there's a snag (Score 2) 309

by Sycraft-fu (#49481157) Attached to: NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly

That being their drivers suck. Also that writing GPU drivers is hard and the OSS community hasn't done a good job.

AMD released a bunch of hardware info, and what code they could (they can't just open up all of their proprietary driver, there are things in it they legally can't release). There were claims of an absolutely amazin' driver that would be made, better than Windows, that there were thousands of skilled OSS programmers who were chomping at the bit to work on it.

Well that was mostly just people bragging on places like /. who didn't know what they were talking about, someone who'd fooled around writing a NIC or SATA driver and thought it was easy. Turns out graphics drivers are REALLY COMPLEX and each generation of hardware needs a new one. So the AMD OSS driver has been pretty poor quality. I mean it works, and supports some features, but it has some stability issues and is nowhere near the full feature set.

So ya, not really helping them. What the OSS community wants is for someone to write an nVidia quality driver, and open it up. Do all the work and then hand it out. Doesn't seem like anyone is interested in doing that. In part that is because some of what makes those closed drivers good is IP that gets licensed that can't be open sourced.

Comment: And what's more (Score 2) 309

by Sycraft-fu (#49480783) Attached to: NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly

Valve has little to no Linux gaming clout. Ya they released a rebadge of Ubtunu with Steam on it. Yay. So far it has had very little influence. Most people continue to game on Windows (and to a lesser extent OS-X). They are not migrating in droves, nor are there droves of people who used Linux but didn't game that are now. Valve has changed very little in the Linux gaming space, as of yet,

The Unity engine and Kickstarter have done a lot more for driving any sort of Linux gaming than Valve.

Most of nVidia's gaming customers play on Windows, and they don't care about closed source drivers. Indeed, binary drivers are the way of things, the users would be extremely mad if you gave them source packages and told them to download a compiler. On OS-X it is all Apple's way, all the time. You gets the drivers you gets from Apple and live with it. Only in the Linux arena is there any wish for OSS drivers, and then only form a minority of their customers. Most of nVidia's Linux customers are high end enterprises, doing simulations or CAD work. They want certified binary drivers, because they want everything to be verified to work.

Valve really doesn't have much they can do to change nVidia's mind. I mean maybe if Valve themselves made Steam Machines and they could threaten to change vendors, but they don't, all kinds of hardware companies make them and they all do business with nVidia.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe

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