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Comment: Re:Interesting tidbit: 4 display output connectors (Score 2, Informative) 103

by GleeBot (#29081523) Attached to: AMD Previews DirectX 11 Gaming Performance

See, this is what I don't get - why does everyone think HDMI is so awesome? It's just DVI with a couple extra pins for audio. It's not inherently higher-quality; does it have a sufficiently higher bandwidth capacity than DVI + TOSLINK that it makes an impact in real-world environments (24fps 1080p video/5.1 surround sound)? And how is having your video card double as a sound card a good idea? Isn't that just asking for aural interference from the video components?

First point: HDMI is all-digital, so you don't get "aural interference from the video components". It's actually a pretty cool feature of the current batch of HD 4xx0 cards that you can run the output of an HTPC on one cable.

Second point: HDMI, in the later revisions of the spec (1.3+ or so), actually does have improved features over DVI, like deeper color support, and higher bandwidth to support higher resolution displays. (It also supports 7.1 sound, not merely 5.1. Not that you actually need any of this, but saying it's just DVI is misleading.) It doesn't hurt that the connectors are a lot smaller and easier to work with, too.

As an aside, the audio from HDMI isn't carried on separate pins. HDMI is digital signaling, it's all just bits. The reason to have so many pins is to enable more bandwidth by spread the signal across more wire pairs, not because you need extra wires to carry different parts of the signal.

Now, I'm not all rah-rah-rah HDMI (the only thing I'm using it for right now is to plug a Blu-ray player into a TV), but for home theater applications, it does seem pretty attractive.

I'm also not convinced all those connectors and slots belong to a single card, particularly in the final product. I'm more inclined to believe that it's an engineering sample designed with extra outputs for experimentation, perhaps even a dual card solution with some sort of extra bus. It'd be nice to have all the connectors you could want on one back panel, but I think it's ridiculous to believe most cards are going to have the space for them all.

Comment: Re:Not same as elevator (Score 1) 296

by GleeBot (#28260837) Attached to: Inflatable Tower Could Climb To the Edge of Space

Actually, it would be kinda fun if you could just take the elevator to get up to the space station.

The problem with that being that the space station goes around the Earth every 90 minutes, while a tower attached to the ground... well, shouldn't.

That does raise an interesting point about how much this would actually reduce launch costs, since the biggest energy requirement for launch is accelerating your payload to orbital velocity, not hefting it 200 km straight up.

A space elevator takes your payload to geo, and leeches the energy from a big counterweight anchored up there, and the Earth's rotation. A shorter tower is only really useful for avoiding atmospheric drag, which is usually only significant in the lower 10 km or so--a relatively short tower (like the Eiffel, only on a much bigger scale) would actually work perfectly for this.

Comment: Re:Shooting themselves in the foot. (Score 3, Interesting) 486

by GleeBot (#27969789) Attached to: Microsoft To Banish Memcpy()

Now, all that's going to happen is that programmers are going to write their own memcpy-like routines using a quicky for-loop or something. It'll be just as bug prone, and harder to detect via automated source code analysis.

Not to mention it'll be slower. memcpy is one of the most optimized functions in any C library. It's frequently handled as a compiler intrinsic, that can do stuff like unroll short copies, generate optimal machine code, etc.

Comment: Dual licensing and forks (Score 1) 306

by GleeBot (#27688841) Attached to: Sun Announces New MySQL, Michael Widenius Forks

What I don't understand is... OK, the original MySQL developers only have the right to fork the GPL-licensed version of the code. Presumably, the ability to commercial license remains solely with Sun (and I guess, now Oracle).

Doesn't that sorta shoot their old business model in the foot, where they would charge for a commercial license for non-GPL clients? Sure, fork away, but haven't they still screwed themselves over by selling out to Sun to begin with? It's not an ideal situation for them, either.

Comment: Re:How Is This Different? (Score 1) 644

by GleeBot (#27504081) Attached to: Konami Announces a Game Based On a 2004 Battle In Fallujah

A game is by definition about "winning". In movies its probably much easier to show that "sometimes the only way to win is not to play" or that in a war, both parties are loosing, no matter who might be "winning" in the end.

Winning doesn't mean killing everyone. "Winning" in a game can mean a lot of different things, even including "losing"--"winning" is just whatever the game designer decides is the outcome they want you to pick. Maybe that outcome is that you sacrifice yourself for the greater good, instead of waving a flag over a pile of skulls. You have just as much freedom to tell a complicated story in a game as in a movie.

I especially like the idea that there'll be video where Marines who actually fought will have a chance to tell their story. A little more meaningful than your typical video game cutscene, no?

Comment: Re:Sanctions overdue (Score 4, Informative) 303

by GleeBot (#27373879) Attached to: Vast Electronic Spying Operation Discovered

How do you think wealth is created? By magic? Hardly: it's by building and selling things to other countries, it's called trade.

This is categorically incorrect. You can create wealth without ever trading with another country on the entire planet. The idea that wealth only comes from a positive current account is a discredited idea that dates back to mercantilism.

You know how you really create wealth? By growing your GDP faster than your population, resulting in a growth in disposable income per capita. It doesn't matter if we're digging holes and filling them again, as long as at least one party in the economy finds this valuable to them.

Let's say I write a book and sell it to you for $10. Then let's say I pocket $2 of that as profit, then turn around and pay someone else $8 to print the book. That person turns around and pays someone else $6 for paper and ink. Etc., etc.

In exchange for your $10, you've made a whole series of people $2 richer, and you now own a book presumably worth $10 to you. That $10 just became $20 of national wealth, by the "magic" of economics. And no other countries were involved, no mining of gold or printing of money, just an input of domestic labor, capital, and resources to provide a product you value.

Economics is ultimately about everyone providing goods and services to everyone else. Money is just a mechanism for keeping score of who owes who what.

Comment: Re:DLC Hell (Score 1) 619

by GleeBot (#27230391) Attached to: iPhone 3.0 Software Announced

At least it seems to be limited to paid apps only. Meaning if someone gives away a free-as-in-beer app, they won't have an opportunity to pester you to buy an upgrade later--it'll be as free as advertised.

From a developer perspective, I can see where this cuts off some legitimate business models, but that's probably outweighed by the interest of the users not to get a lot of free-in-name-only apps bombarding you to unlock them.

Comment: Re:I watch TV while I work (Score 1) 94

by GleeBot (#27174437) Attached to: Concentrate Better By Doodling

I find TV to work a lot less effectively than some alternatives. Ultimately, it's just too distracting--I've timed myself performing a task with and without the TV on in the background, and it takes much longer than if I'm sitting in a quiet setting.

Actually, I think they did a study about this with playing music in the background. All that classical music floating around your cubicle may not be a good thing...

Remember: Silly is a state of Mind, Stupid is a way of Life. -- Dave Butler