Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: States Rights (Score 5, Insightful) 289

by Cowclops (#49719539) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

While it seems like the federal government is out of line taking the right to govern away from the states, in reality it is the states that are taking away the right to govern from local governments that ACTUALLY WANT municipal broadband.

Ensuring that municipalities maintain their rights to roll out local broadband isn't a perversion of states rights, its preventing states rights from perverting local rights.

Comment: Re:SSDs (Score 4, Interesting) 162

by Cowclops (#49515113) Attached to: New PCIe SSDs Load Games, Apps As Fast As Old SATA Drives

I have an x25-m G2 80GB and a crucial M500. The crucial drive has substantially better random iops, and the system does feel faster booting off it than the x25-m. But the difference in "feel" is like a 7200rpm platter drive vs a 10,000rpm platter drive... same ballpark but the 10k is just a bit snappier.

Newer SSDs are definitely faster than earlier ones, but we've kind of hit a wall with needs for even more speed. The slowest (non-broken) SSD you can buy today will be no less beneficial in real world home-user operation than the fastest SSD you can buy. Its just that there is a little bit of room for improvement over 2008-2009 era SSDs. (Don't take this as a disagreement, just an elaboration).

Comment: Good timing (Score 1) 249

by Cowclops (#49036041) Attached to: How good is your audio equipment?

Interesting timing - I just went 10 years without upgrading my sound equipment, but I just recently decided to replace my ~40 year old large advent speakers with a pair of Mackie HR824 studio monitors and a HSU ULS-15 sub. Got the Mackies already and they're fantastic, a definite upgrade overall. The sub hasn't come yet, but I'm pretty excited for it. 15" sealed sub with a ton of linear excursion and very low distortion - there are louder subs out there, and there are more expensive subs out there, but this thing kills it for $999 according to the reviews. I picked "moderately expensive but only to a point." I recognize its more than most people spend on audio, but I absolutely won't spend stupid amounts of money on cabling or external DACs or anything like that, my source is my computer running over a toslink cable to my 10 year old Denon receiver. (And a set top bluray player for movies).

Comment: We're already there (Score 1) 577

by Cowclops (#48042145) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

I used to reinstall XP every year or two to get it back to a fresh copy, but I ran the same install of 7 from 2009 until... well, the present though that computer is my second one instead of my main one now. Including installing games and at one point switching from an nvidia to an ATI video card. Runs as awesome as ever. This problem has basically been solved... SSDs and huge amounts of ram help.

Comment: X wing series (Score 1) 382

by Cowclops (#47791621) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?
I've seen a lot of good posts but haven't seen anyone mention x-wing and it's sequels. Tie fighter is one of my favorite games of all time, and the original x-wing and x-wing alliance are excellent too. They strike a great balance between realistic tactics and complex missions without being too much to learn. They clearly put a lot of effort into designing each mission. You can't really call it a simulator, but it's more sim-like and less arcade like than games like rogue squadron and whatnot. A very rewarding experience.

Comment: Daily Currant (Score 4, Insightful) 131

by Cowclops (#47691391) Attached to: Facebook Tests "Satire" Tag To Avoid Confusion On News Feed

I just wish people would stop linking to Daily Currant articles. Their version of "Satire" is posting articles that aren't funny, but ARE plausible, just to incite a reaction. Its not like The Onion where the humor is usually right in the headline.

I wouldn't have a problem with it if they were skilled writers and I cracked up laughing while reading the article. Except its crap like "Sarah Palin: âEat Less Chinese Foodâ(TM) to Reduce Trade Deficit" or "Hilary: I'm running!"

I wouldn't be surprised if Sarah Palin said something like that, and I wouldn't be surprised if Hilary Clinton was running for president. Except there's no humor in fabricating plausible stories.

Comment: Re:Failsafe? (Score 3, Informative) 468

They don't touch down in zero visibility - you have to be able to see the runway before you get below IFR minimums or else you go around and circle till the fog clears or go to another airport. However, its still true that the other 98% of the flight, they don't need any visibility and a 3d display is just as good as anything else they could use in IFR conditions.

Comment: Re:Blur (Score 2, Informative) 215

by Cowclops (#47267453) Attached to: Was <em>Watch Dogs</em> For PC Handicapped On Purpose?

While its true that cameras with large sensors tend to have shallower depth of field, its actually a side effect of needing to use longer focal length lenses to get the same field of view. You might need 70mm on a 35mm camera to frame a subject for a portrait but only 12mm on a point and shoot to frame the same subject. Longer focal length means bigger actual lens aperture for the same f-stop, and thats what decreases depth of field.

For example, a 35mm f/2 lens on a full frame camera will have the same depth of field as a 35mm f/2 lens on a 2/3" CCD point and shoot, but the 35mm on a full frame camera is going to be a standard angle and 35mm on the point and shoot is going to be considerable telephoto.

People generally don't use the same range of focal lengths on full frame cameras as they do on tiny sensor point and shoots (or cell phones) so thats why it seems like its easier to achieve the shallower depth of field with a bigger imager.

Comment: Easily available loans (Score 4, Insightful) 538

by Cowclops (#46376141) Attached to: U.S. Students/Grads Carrying Over $1 Trillion In Debt

The problem is that anyone can get a loan, even people who definitely have no prospect of paying it back. With guarenteed loan money, schools can charge whatever they want and you'll just have to take out a bigger loan. And of course 18 year olds fresh out of high school don't understand the power of compound interest, they just know that they "have" to go to college to get a good job and they'll get a better job if they go to a fancy private school.

While you can't get a bachelors from our local community college, it only costs $2,500 a year in tuition and you're getting credits that can transfer to any state school. Why can a community college offer actual college classes for that little, but a 4 year school can charge $10,000, $20,000 or more for largely the same education? Its just insane.

Comment: Re: Nintendo is here to stay! (Score 2, Insightful) 277

by Cowclops (#45235965) Attached to: Can Nintendo Survive Gaming's Brave New World?
The Wii only achieved an odd form of success though. While lots of people bought it and Nintendo profited on the sales of the consoles, nowadays they're just sitting on people's shelves unused. Even with that kind of market saturation is it successful if the average Wii owner has, what, less than 5 games? Less than 2? I don't know the answer but if something is purchased but then rarely used it's only a partial success. They have to sell games too.

Comment: Re:Storage. (Score 1) 232

by Cowclops (#44854463) Attached to: I use spinning-drive storage media ...

The 4MB ram upgrade I put in my 386 in 1992 only cost $200 at the time... so ram prices were discontinuously high in 1995 if thats the case. My ~$1300 Compaq Presario 7180 came with 8MB ram in November 1995, and that included a 1.2GB hard drive and a P100 processor. I doubt the ram was the majority of the price of that system.

Do I think you're making it up? No. Do I think you might have been looking at some weirdly expensive memory? Probably.

Oh yeah, also, my 16MB upgrade cost about $150 the year after, in 1996... so if it was to a dollar a megabyte, I certainly got ripped off.

My own personal recollection of jumpy ram prices was that I paid about $20 for 256MB ram in October 2001 and $100 for 256MB ram a mere few months later. The prices definitely shot up after a shortage. However, I remember keeping my eyes on the advertised ram prices back in '95/'96 and $100 a megabyte sounds like way too much and $1 a megabyte sounds like way too little. It had to fluctuate around $10-$50 a megabyte, but I doubt it was ever as high as $100 or as low as $1 in the time span you said.

It is your destiny. - Darth Vader