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Comment: Re:Not their fault (Score 1) 340

by hey! (#48918827) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

Something worth considering. We associate snow with cold, so it's tempting to see more and frequent snowstorms as disproof that the planet is warning. However temperature is only one of the constraints on snow. The other is moisture.

I have lived here in Boston over fifty years, and in the 60s and 70s the December climate was bitterly cold and *bone dry*. In recent decades there has been a marked tendency toward warmer AND wetter Decembers and Januaries, and thus frequent significant snow storms in December (almost unheard of) and January (rare until the 90s).

This storm was particularly intense, and in my town got two feet or more. This has happened on six prior occasions, once in 1888, and five times since 1969.

Comment: Consumers? No just whiny fanboys (Score 3, Insightful) 112

by Sycraft-fu (#48908011) Attached to: NVIDIA GTX 970 Specifications Corrected, Memory Pools Explained

Consumers are fine. The only benchmark that matters to a normal consumer is "How fast does it run my games?" and the answer for the 970 is "Extremely damn fast." It offers performance quite near the 980, for most games so fast that your monitor's refresh rate is the limit, and does so at half the cost. It is an extremely good buy, and I say this as someone who bought a 980 (because I always want the highest end toy).

Some people on forums are trying to make hay about this because they like to whine, but if you STFU and load up a game the thing is just great. While I agree companies need to keep their specs correct, the idea that this is some massive consumer issue is silly. The spec heads on forums are being outraged because they like to do that, regular consumers are playing their games happily, amazed at how much power $340 gets you these days.

Comment: Apple is almost that bad (Score 1) 539

They support two prior versions of OS-X and that's it. So OS-X 10.7, released 3 years ago, is unsupported as of October 2014. I guess that works if you have the attitude of just always updating to the latest OS, but it can be an issue for various enterprise setups that prefer to version freeze for longer times, or for 3rd party software/hardware that doesn't get updated. Also can screw you over if Apple decides to change hardware like with the PPC to Intel change.

Comment: And form talking to our researchers (Score 1) 105

by Sycraft-fu (#48901299) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: GPU of Choice For OpenCL On Linux?

Between a bit better language design and superior support and tools, CUDA is way easier to do your work in. We've 4 labs that use CUDA in one fashion or another, none that use OpenCL. A number have tried it (also tried lines like the Cell cards that IBM sold for awhile) but settled on CUDA as being the easiest in terms of development. Open standards are nice and all but they've got shit to do and never enough time to do it, so whatever works the easiest is a win for them.

On a different side of things, I've seen less issues out of nVidia on CUDA than AMD on OpenCL for video editing. Sony Vegas supports both for accelerating video effects and encoding. When I had an AMD card, it was crashes all the time with acceleration on. Sony had to disable acceleration on a number of effects with it. I had to turn it off to have a usable setup. With nVidia, I find problems are very infrequent.

Obviously this is one one data point and I don't know the details of development. However it is one of the few examples I know of a product that supports both APIs.

Comment: It's also a load of shit (Score 1) 328

by Sycraft-fu (#48897763) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

NTSC stuff is so bad when viewed on a large TV. It is amazing how blurry things look when you flip back and forth between the HD and SD channels. That is part of what lead to the rise of big screen TVs was actually having content for them. With NTSC, a large TV just meant a big blurry image. With ATSC it can mean a nice large image.

Comment: Also (Score 1) 328

by Sycraft-fu (#48897747) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Why shouldn't they continually improve their products? Even with NTSC sets this was done. New ones would be larger, have better focus, more clearly resolve the signal, have better phosphors, and so on. Why shouldn't this continue? They should keep trying to improve their products as technology allows.

None of that means you need to buy a new toy all the time though. You can stick with what you have until it breaks, or until the new stuff is a big enough leap that you wish to own it.

I think a lot of the whining from people comes down to simple jealousy. They'd like to own the new stuff, but cannot afford it, or do not wish to. So they try and hate on it and act like a luddite. You see it practically any time Slashdot has a story on new technology. People complain about it like it is somehow a bad thing that there might be something new.

Comment: And they could probably handle 120fps (Score 1) 328

by Sycraft-fu (#48897721) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Most panels in higher end screens are actually real 120fps panels. However that is just used for 3D and for reduced motion blur. The only set I know that advertises support for 120fps input is Vizio. Others could do it, if they wanted to, however.

As you say, the issue with higher refresh rates isn't in the display technology.

Part of it is just getting people used to the idea I think. We've seen shitty, jerky, frame rates in moves for so long people start to associate that with being "cinematic". People need to get used to the idea that's bullshit and maybe they'll start to like it more.

Hopefully sports and such will get shot at 60fps some day and that may help.

Comment: Oh yay, more about the bullshit clock (Score 5, Insightful) 215

by Sycraft-fu (#48897163) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

You know, when something says that we are so close to destruction for over half a century... well you have to wonder why anyone would put any stock in it. It is a bit hard to reconcile with being on the edge of destruction, and yet everything continuing to not be destroyed.

Comment: It also doesn't really matter (Score 4, Insightful) 145

by Sycraft-fu (#48895419) Attached to: NVIDIA Responds To GTX 970 Memory Bug

Thing thing is if you go and look at benchmarks of the cards in actual games, you find out the 970 wrecks shit, particularly given its price point. The 980 is an overpriced luxury (I say this as a 980 owner) because the 970 gets nearly the same performance for like half the price. The difference with its memory controller just doesn't seem to matter in actual games out there on the market.

And that's the real thing here the the spec head forget: You buy these to run actual software. If it does well on all actual software, then who gives a shit about the details?

Comment: Re:Ppl who don't know C++ slamming C++ (Score 5, Insightful) 190

by hey! (#48894501) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

Well it's been many, many years since I've used it, which was back in the late 80s and early 90s. My impression from this time is that C++ is unquestionably a work of genius, but that I didn't particularly like it. Part of that is that we didn't really know how to use it effectively. In that era most object oriented programmers used concrete inheritance way too much. Part of that is due to aspects of what we thought an OO language should have that turned out to add complexity while being only marginally useful in practice (e.g. multiple concrete inheritance and operator overloading).

But in terms of meeting its design goals C++ is a tour de force of ingenuity -- even if some of those goals are questionable by today's standards. The very fact that we know some of those features aren't necessarily ideal is because they were taken out of the realm of academic noodling and put into a practical and highly successful language that could tackle the problems of the day on the hardware of the day. It's hard to overstate the practical impact of C++ on the advancement of both theory and practice of software development.

Any prize for contributions to OO programming pretty that didn't include Stroustrup in its first recipients would be dubious.

Comment: Re:I have an even better idea (Score 3, Informative) 304

by hey! (#48894185) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

I have an even better idea: let's find a way to fix human beings so that they're perfectly consistent in their behavior.

While certainly taking demonstrably bad drivers off the road is a no-brainer, even good drivers have lapses. My teenaged son is learning to drive, and whenever someone does something like cut us off I make a point of saying we can't assume the driver did it on purpose, or did it because he was an inconsiderate or bad person. Even conscientious and courteous drivers make mistakes or have lapses of attention.

It's the law of large numbers. If you spend a few hours on the road, you'll encounter thousands of drivers. A few of them will be really horrible drivers who shouldn't be on the road. But a few will be conscientious drivers having a bad day, or even a bad 1500 milliseconds.

Comment: I was just there, can verify this is the case. (Score 4, Informative) 206

by ZackSchil (#48891827) Attached to: China Cuts Off Some VPNs

I was just in China a few days ago. Was there for 3 weeks prior to that. I have a VPN setup in my apartment back in the US and I typically dial in to it. It was great for the first two weeks and a half weeks. After that, it would fail to authenticate or work really slowly, randomly drop traffic, then disconnect after a minute. I was using a relatively insecure PPTP system with 128 bit encryption. I wasn't worried about getting spied on, I just wanted news, youtube, and social media unblocked.

Frustrated, I had a friend set up a PPTP link at his apartment, using different keys and a different IP. That worked perfectly for the last few days I was in the country. So they're definitely doing some kind of long-term traffic analysis over many days, and then blocking close to real time after that (30-60 seconds).

Basically I got to witness the blockage go into effect. Yes it's real. Yes it's general purpose, not a high level block on specific free websites. Yes it was a huge pain the the ass.

Comment: Not necessiarly (Score 1) 180

He may well have been as smart as he thought (I'm not saying that is the case for sure, mind) but turns out others were smart enough, and more knowledgeable in the ways that mattered.

Hans Reiser is a good example. Man is unquestionably very smart. However, he had the geek hubris that I call SMFU, Smartest Motherfucker in the Universe syndrome. He figured he was so much smarter than everyone else, he could easily get away with his crime. Turns out that the police have some smart people too, and those people know a lot more about criminal investigation than he did.

Those who claim the dead never return to life haven't ever been around here at quitting time.

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