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Comment: Annoying, but workable (Score 1) 278

What the OP wants is perfectly possible. I'm typing this on an Ubuntu 12.04 box running the most recent Catalyst driver, and connected to three 1920x1080 monitors. Two are DVI, one is via a DisplayPort->DVI adapter. Video card is an older Radeon 6950. It works, more or less without issue, for what I do: coding in Eclipse, browsing the Internet, etc.

Using the open-source driver works for triple monitors, but the power management is not up to snuff in the open-source driver, and the fan on the video card gets annoyingly loud after a few minutes. This is the only reason I run the closed-source driver. Strangely video playback is smoother with the open-source driver in the triple monitor scenario.

Contrary to popular myths, you do not have to edit a config file for either closed or open-source drivers to enable magical triple monitor goodness. Both were able to detect and orient the monitors using either the Ubuntu monitor control panel or the Catalyst Control Center.

Things that don't work as well: video playback and 3D games. Video will get choppy full-screen if tear-free mode is enabled, and the tearing is intolerable when it's not. Likewise, performance for 3D games across 5760x1080 is iffy. I have a laptop for gaming and an HTPC for the video stuff, so it's not a deal-breaker for me. The OP did not specify what kind of engineering he/she does (circuit design? CAD? software?), so the 3D performance may well be an issue depending on the tools being used.

I have tried the Nvidia route several times, but always came away frustrated. AMD cards Just Worked for this application. Google 'Linus Torvalds middle finger' for a more complete technical discussion of why this is.

Getting a reliable triple monitor setup on Windows or Mac is much easier than in Linux, but most that experience can be chalked up to X. In theory, Wayland or Mir will handle this much better, but no stable distro uses them by default, and none of the high-level toolkits have mature support for it.

Comment: Re:Um, wrong cause for the effect. (Score 3, Insightful) 530

by Captain Damnit (#38197084) Attached to: Does Open Source Software Cost Jobs?

Picture a desert island with two people. At first they both work all day long to survive. Later, they improve their lot, to where they each only have to work half the time to survive. The other half can be spent loafing, or working to get more comfortable. Is one of them entitled to relax and do nothing while the other needs to work all day long to support them? Of course not. Each person has the option of working full time to improve their position, part time to simply survive, or they may die. They aren't owed anything.

Your analogy is missing a third party: the absentee owner of the island. A more accurate analogy would be that, having developed a more efficient means of harvesting coconuts, one of the two island inhabitants receives a slightly larger number of coconuts than before, while the second fellow's previous coconut wages were instead diverted to the island owner's offshore pina colada factory, leaving the second fellow to eke out a decidedly calorie-free lifestyle.

This is, in the island owner's view, the proper order of things: he paid the fellow to develop a more efficient coconut harvesting strategy, and thus is entitled to a nice drink at the end of the day.

This is, in the first fellow's view, also the proper order of things: he developed the improved technique, and thus is entitled to a few extra coconuts.

In the second fellow's view, any discussion about the abstract problems of coconut division in an isolated island economy is pointless academic frippery because he is, at this point, starving to death on a fucking desert island.

Sooner or later, productivity gains will land us in a scenario where there isn't enough work to go around, and the jobs that do remain will require so much technical expertise as to render them unattainable for most people. For the remaining majority, the question is: what the fuck are we going to do in order to earn our daily coconuts?

Comment: Re:PDF is fine (Score 1) 221

by Captain Damnit (#36988748) Attached to: Is Free Software Ready For E-publishing?

PDF is about the only format where you can mix a lot of elements, get it to look like you meant it to

Ah, but therein lies the problem...if you meant for the document to be printed on an 8.5x11" piece of paper, and I instead try and read it on my 7" Nook (rooted and running CyanogenMod, of course...), then we have a problem. Namely, that I need to zoom in and scroll around, when the text should just reflow.

Comment: Re:You are right, and wrong (Score 1) 728

by Captain Damnit (#34144088) Attached to: Considering a Fair Penalty For Illegal File-sharing

Simple...drive away with the Costco truck containing said pallet of 65" TVs while the driver is out in front gorging himself on cheap pizza and $2 hot dogs. And make sure you leave your gun at home.

Plus, if someone tries to mug you in the parking lot, you now have a truck with which to run them over. It's a win-win for everybody, except the mugger. And Costco, obviously.

Comment: Re:Dear aunt, (Score 2, Informative) 221

by Captain Damnit (#32980988) Attached to: Open Source Transcription Software?

13 years ago, when I entered the medical transcription industry, the fellow who sold us our dictation system told me that he was a dead man walking: voice recognition was going to KILL the transcription industry, and he almost felt guilty selling us the system. When we mentioned we had looked at Dragon, he practically cried. 13 years later, that salesman is now deceased, and the transcription industry is larger than ever. Voice recognition in transcription is like Linux on the desktop: every year, articles pop up saying that THIS year will be the year medical transcription dies at the merciless hands of voice recognition.

For a guy in an industry that Netcraft has confirmed is deader than FreeBSD, I'm doing pretty well.

I now own a medical services company that does transcription, so my opinion is certainly biased here, but I fail to see the economic logic in turning a physician, who makes between $120-250K per year, into a clerical worker editing his own files. Especially when said clerical worker can be seated in India. Time is money, and the time of physicians and surgeons is one of the most expensive line items on your medical bill. Even with transcription prices as they are today, tacking 20 minutes of extra editing time onto a doctor's already long work day means that I can do it cheaper with manual labor. Voice recognition just means that I need one MT and a voice recognizer instead of one transcriptionist and a QA person.

Internally, we use a batch speech recognizer based on Sphinx, as the Dragon source is too expensive to license in the volumes that we do. As one of the earlier posters said, the code is the easy part...it's generating the speech corpus that's the really expensive part. Developing that was easily a seven-figure outlay in labor, which is why you don't see any usable free medical speech corpi available for free* on the Internet. You'd think with all the federal money being thrown at making medical records electronic that they could spare a few million to develop an open-source speech corpus, but that would make too much sense.

As long as physicians and surgeons are better paid than the rest of us, someone will be doing transcription.

--

* If you know of one, post a link...believe me, we've looked.

Comment: Linux users...screwed again (Score 5, Informative) 138

by Captain Damnit (#32245960) Attached to: AMD Multi-Display Tech Has Problems, Potential

According to ATI, support for Eyefinity on Linux will be enabled by a 'future Catalyst release'. Three releases of the Catalyst driver have come and gone since I got my Radeon in February, and they still have zero support for Eyefinity on Linux. Which is irritating as hell, because the famed YouTube demo of Eyefinity running a flight sim on 24 screens was a Linux box.

Some days, it really sucks to be a Linux zealot. This is one of them.

Comment: Re:Here we go again! (Score 0, Troll) 169

by abigsmurf (#30880458) Attached to: UK's Freeview HD To Go DRM
Sky+ has no issue with recording encrypted content (except for one off pay per view purchases). It simply records the encyrpted stream straight to the HDD and you can watch it whenever you want.

Your rights in the UK are to record something, watch it once, then delete/destroy it. This has been established since the VHS days. Services like Sky+ actually give you more rights than you legally have.

Comment: Re:Ideology meet reality (Score 3, Insightful) 675

by TheRaven64 (#30880446) Attached to: Mozilla's VP of Engineering On H.264

Sorry, back here in reality Theora's quality is at least on par with H.264 with the same size [xiph.org]. But thanks for your attempt at FUD, though.

Someone from Xiph.org isn't exactly an unbiased source - maybe you could cite someone who doesn't have a vested interest in one or the other. If you actually look at the videos on the site, you'll see that Theora performs a fair bit better than H.263 (not surprising; most things do these days), but watching the 17MB files next to each other it's immediately apparent which is which. The colours in the Theora version are washed out and details are fuzzy.

Now, if Flash would add support for Theora, then GooTube could easily ditch the H.263 versions and serve both Theora and H.264, rather than H.263 and H.264...

Comment: Re:HTML5 allows multiple codecs to be specified (Score 1) 675

by Midnight Thunder (#30880428) Attached to: Mozilla's VP of Engineering On H.264

Having to deal with multiple video formats means either increased storage requirements or processor requirements. I believe the reason for trying to standardise the supported video formats to a limited selection, is the same one for limiting the number of image formats officially supported by web pages: ensuring the content is viewable everywhere. If the specification said do what you want, we would see half a dozen different formats, browser supporting some of them and the users being caught in the cross-fire.

The day an Ogg endcoder/decoder is made available for things like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, Quicktime and Windows Media Player, using a BSD style license and also focus on quality for a given bit rate, then we aren't going to see widespread adoption.

While Ogg might be fine, it is not packaged as a solution suitable for commercial products. At the same time the MP4/H264 licensing means it is not suitable for open source. We have clash of cultures and each is wanting to stand in their ivory tower, and not come down to Earth.

Comment: Re:Lol, not a topic for slashdot (Score 1) 372

by Wannabe Code Monkey (#30879840) Attached to: Artwork Re-Sells Itself Weekly On eBay

I personally think he might be blowing a bit of smoke. But the failing is mine, not his.

I predict that only a handful of real /.ers can truly get art. Forever outsiders looking in.

These two quotes amount to two of the saddest most uninformed quotes I have ever read. You're a human being just as much as any artist. You have tastes and likes and dislikes. You've been somehow tricked to believe that you, or maybe just other slashdot readers, are somehow disconnected from great art. This is a depressing and ridiculous notion.

Comment: Shuttle X27D (Score 1) 349

by Captain Damnit (#30505336) Attached to: Where Are the Cheap Thin Clients?

From Newegg: Shuttle X27D

Add in a 2GB stick of RAM and you're looking at around $210-230 per seat. They PXE boot, work great with LTSP and Ubuntu, and they drive a Samsung 22" LCD at full resolution. How cheap are you expecting?

If you want to go below that, you're going to have to start salvaging old machines and converting them to thin clients. But then, you're only saving the purchase price, and the real compelling savings with an Atom-based thin client is the 50+ watt power consumption savings.

Comment: Calling Pons and Fleischmann... (Score 5, Insightful) 1747

by Captain Damnit (#30388660) Attached to: The Science Credibility Bubble

Didn't we see the same bloviation from the mainstream media when cold fusion went from the energy source of the future to a byword for scientific fraud? It seems to me if the reputation of hard science could survive out and out fraud like that, it will probably survive the climate change "fraud".

Space

+ - Test firing of Europe's biggest amateur rocket.->

Submitted by Michael Eriksen
Michael Eriksen (666) writes "The Danish amateur rocket group Copenhagen Suborbitals has successfully test fired their rocket. It is a 90,000 kW monster delivering a total of 140,000 Ns.

According to the group, this is by far the biggest amateur rocket ever fired i Europe.

The final goal is a manned (!) low orbital flight.

More at: http://www.copenhagensuborbitals.com/"

Link to Original Source

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?

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