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Comment Assembly (Score 2) 429

As languages further abstract away the underlying hardware, it's helpful to understand how it all works. Especially if you've never had to step into an assembly language debugger. The most likely (and probably relevant) architecture would be x86/x86-64, followed closely by some variation of ARM. IA64 isn't relevant, but if you read up on a little bit of it (there was a series of articles on Raymond Chen's blog a few weeks back), you'll learn about an interesting take on a processor architecture (which offloaded much of the optimization work to the compiler; it was also heavily slanted towards parallel processing unlike x86).

Comment Re:Sounds good. (Score 1) 614

Hmm... I don't know. It's a value proposition for me. I've been cable free for over ten years. If there's some show I want to watch badly enough, there's the internet, for everything else, OTA HDTV works great. I couldn't stomach paying $40+ (and up to $90 if you actually wanted a choice of channels), that's $480 to $1080 a year, for the privilege of perhaps seeing something entertaining (but we don't guarantee that).

Comment Decent... (Score 4, Interesting) 259

...but still lacking. I'm sad to see they're going with a proprietary memory card for games. I was hoping, at worst, they'd have two memory card slots, one proprietary one for games, and a standard SD or MS slot for expanding memory. Also sad to see video out is gone (PSP had video out at least, and I was hoping for a mini-HDMI connection or possibly wireless HDMI (since the standard is almost complete IIRC)). Oh well... maybe next console generation.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 700

Let's have a close look at these claims of yours...

What has been lost on the PS3: - Emotion Engine (hardware) First gen PS3 was very expensive, people bitched about the price and Sony responded by removing the PS2 compatibility. Sony still sells the PS2 console so there was no need to punish people who wanted a PS3 by forcing them to subsidize the PS2 owners. Less hardware = cheaper console.

Problem there chief, but it's very likely many PS2 games could be done in software. Neverminding the fact that the PS2 hardware needed is likely DIRT CHEAP for Sony (PS2 is $100 retail, and I suspect they're raking in profits off of those systems at this stage of the game).

- SACD playback (software) Did anyone actually want this? While it's likely that a PS3 owner would have an HDTV, it's unlikely they would own a high end audio setup to take advantage of SACD. Anyone serious about this functionality would own a proper standalone SACD player. Less hardware = cheaper console.

It's software, not hardware. They flipped a bit and turned it off for the Slim units, there's nothing hardware related with SACD playback...

- USB 2.0 ports (hardware) Not sure if reducing the number of ports counts as a "lost feature". Two ports is likely plenty for most people, and it's easy to add your own hub to increase the number of ports. Less hardware = cheaper console.

Oversimplified. USB ports (the hardware) cost PENNIES. Trust me, knocking off two USB ports didn't save Sony (or the consumer, for that matter) anything. About the only complaint I have about the 4 USB ports I have is that all four are on the front. I'd have preferred one or two on the back for external storage (so it looks nicer in my rack setup).

- Full PS2 backwards compatibility (software) PS3 never had full PS2 compatibility in software, purely a myth perpetuated by the un-informed. First generation PS3 had full hardware PS2 support; second generation had a mix of hardware and software emulation. Made the PS3 expensive and added redundant capabilities as the PS2 was (and is) still being sold. Less hardware = cheaper console.

Okay, you're obviously "informed". Educate me how the PS3 isn't powerful enough to run PS2 software?

- Other OS Linux (software): retroactively disabled on older hardware as well now with the new update Debatable whether this was a usable feature or not. Linux on the PS3 was horrible and Sony's removal of the option on the slim models was met with little but a yawn and "so what?" It wasn't until Geohot paraded around his so called PS3 hack and thousands of pirates perked up with the hope of finally getting their hands on some free PS3 games did anyone care about the OtherOS option. Sony acted to protect their platform and the pirates raised a ruckus. Anyone who used the old model PS3 for Cell programming couldn't care less, they didn't use the PS3 for games or playing blu-ray.

If you're one of those people still pissed off over having to choose between OtherOS or games/PSN, direct your anger to Geohot for pissing in your pool.

Why would I direct my rage at geohot when it's Sony who disabled it? Am I pro-piracy? No. But I am definitely all about consumer rights, and consumers bought a COMPUTER when they bought a PS3. Sony decided, on their own, unilaterally, to force people to choose between losing their computer or losing other portions of the device THEY PAID FOR. As I've said in dozens of other places, I'll be shocked if a class action lawsuit isn't started over this. If there was ever a "line in the sand" moment for people to stand up, this was it.

- SD and CF slots (hardware Redundant hardware, PS3 already had USB ports and there was no need to provide multiple ports for the same function. Less hardware = cheaper console.

Again, dirt cheap hardware. Slightly more expensive than the two USB ports, but still nothing to write home about (likely less than USD $1.00 for the whole kit).

All I know is that I paid $600 for this system and it promised me the ability to install other operating systems on it. That promise has been broken, and not by accident, but purposefully, with intent and malice. That strikes me as actionable in the courts here (and obviously it's already heading that way in more progressive regions of the world; the person who got a partial refund in Europe being a leading example).

Comment Re:HA! (Score 1) 342

One of the primary issues this bug causes is that it resets the clock to 12/31/1999. Most content (in fact, all content that I'm aware of) has a "licensed starting" date/time, and none of the titles I have will work at all. This tells me that they must have a secondary clock (a "real clock") that they use to tell when licensed content is valid/invalid (so people can't just change the date/time back two days to play a demo that has expired, or a rental that has expired, etc).

And since the clock is obviously integral to their protection mechanism, it is a flaw in said mechanism.

Note: No, I have no inside information, but this seems to be a reasonable deduction given the evidence at hand.


Giant Ribbon Discovered At Edge of Solar System 251

beadwindow writes "NASA's IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer) spacecraft has made the first all-sky maps of the heliosphere and the results have taken researchers by surprise. The maps are bisected by a bright, winding ribbon of unknown origin: 'This is a shocking new result,' says IBEX principal investigator Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute. 'We had no idea this ribbon existed — or what has created it. Our previous ideas about the outer heliosphere are going to have to be revised.' Another NASA scientist notes, '"This ribbon winds between the two Voyager spacecraft and was not observed by either of them.'"

Comment Re:Firmware 3.0 (Score 1) 427

Yeah, I think it's called "Divx HD", and there's already hardware coming with that certification. I do agree that Sony seems to be missing the boat when it comes to functionality beyond games, and I was personally hoping from something more from a major firmware revision.


Hell, it'd be nice to see them add exFAT support so I can watch movies larger than 4 GB on attached storage (currently only FAT32 is supported on USB mass storage class devices; this means full length HD content usually needs to either a) be copied from a DLNA network share or b) split in to separate files for storage on the FAT32 formatted device).

Comment Re:Firmware 3.0 (Score 1) 427

Whenever they update their Divx support the MKV support should be included (since the new Divx uses MKV files).

As for the rest, agreed. The web browser should just use some custom build of Firefox, and the PS2 backwards compatibility would help bring in the people who want to keep playing their existing PS2 games.


Battle Over Minimum Pricing Heating Up 272

The Wall Street Journal is covering developments in the gathering battle between manufacturers and retailers / discounters, especially online ones, over minimum prices. Earlier this year the Supreme Court upheld the right of manufacturers to enforce price floors for their products. Since then, manufacturers have increasingly been employing service companies like NetEnforcers to snitch on discounters who offer goods below "minimum advertised prices" (or MAPs), and to send DMCA takedown notices to the likes of eBay and Craigslist for below-minimum offers. Separately, the Journal reports that a coalition of discounters and retailers is using eBay as a stalking-horse in a campaign to get consumers, and then politicians, fired up enough to pass legislation outlawing MAPs.

Comment Eh, recent weeks have shown an uptake in sales (Score 2, Informative) 1276

I dunno who Ian is trying to fool, but recent weeks have been up, not down. Last week was because, quite honestly, there was nothing worth buying on Blu-ray Disc. However, the previous week set a record for Blu-ray vs. DVD (the week Transformers was finally put out on BD). Taking a down week and saying "oh look, it's failing" is just the ultimate in silliness.

The Courts

Ban On Price Floors Abandoned, Internet Prices May Rise 544

paro12 and i_like_spam informed us of a 5-4 decision by the US Supreme Court which abandons a 96-year-old ban on manufacturers and retailers setting price floors for products. The Slashdot community discussed the issue when the case was argued back in March. The ruling means that anti-competitive complaints based on price-fixing will have to be argued case-by-case and will be harder to prove. Discounts and discounters in all venues may be under pressure, with internet sales possibly the hardest hit. "Importantly, this case points a dagger at the heart of the most consumer-friendly aspects of the Internet. The Internet has shifted power to the consumer in two ways. First, it allows consumers to search for and gather information in a cost-effective, efficient manner. Second, it provides a low-cost means of retailing, making it easy for discounters to offer products to the public. This combination squeezes excess profits and inefficiencies out of product prices. Retail price maintenance seeks to short circuit this extremely consumer friendly process. By setting minimum prices, manufacturers can build in excess margins for themselves and for their favored retailers -- prices that consumers have no choice but to pay."
Role Playing (Games)

Student Makes a Million Online, Gets Deported 309

Via Kotaku, a story at the Mainichi daily news about an enterprising exchange student that got himself deported. Wang Yue Si, a Chinese student who went to Japan on a student visa, found himself in need of some spending money. Since he was a gamer, he decided to make some cash by selling virtual items online. He was so successful, the cops noticed. From the article: "He started selling items such as weapons and currency for online games through an Internet auction site in April this year, without obtaining the appropriate residency status. Wang, living in Kumamoto, has admitted that he sold the virtual goods for about 6 million yen ($US 1.3 Million), in violation of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law. A bank worker became suspicious when Wang regularly sent money back home to China and alerted police in August, prompting Kumamoto police officers to investigate the student."
User Journal

Journal Journal: My first karma troll! 2

A look at my recent postings shows that I have somebody trolling my posts. I feel pretty special that somebody would blow all their mod points modding every post of mine they could as Redundant. :P

Note to troll: Karma is still excellent, but keep trying. :P

User Journal

Journal Journal: United States

Whoo, I really hate this fucking country. Let's see, recession that lasts longer than most and with an administration that's not nearly as caring as most (extend unemployment benefits, pshaw right, why do that, let's let people go into debt!). Now that the recession is supposedly over and the economy is making a rebound, let's continue to allow corporations to off-shore high technology jobs overseas to India and elsewhere. What a great plan, this way now that the economy has started to try

New York... when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead of you. - David Letterman