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Comment Re:Let me get this right. (Score 2) 151

I haven't had any problems emulating an SNES with add-on stuff like SuperFX and Mode 7 graphics since, oh.. 450MHz PII-based Celeron using ZSNES. And everything pretty much works exactly as it did on the original system.

Sure. But the difference between "pretty much" and "indistinguishable from the original hardware" is not always a small one, and some people care about it more than others.

Comment Re:Let me get this right. (Score 1) 151

Most DOS or Windows programs could be run directly until the 64-bit versions of Windows.

Lots of games worked, but many didn't. Good luck getting sound from a game that expects an ISA Sound Blaster or Adlib card. Some games used software delays to control the execution speed, which became unusably fast on newer CPUs. Regardless, having to install an old operating system is not what I'd call backwards compatibility.

The thing I miss most in 64-bit Win7 is the ability to enter 80x25 text mode. It really brought back the feeling of playing old Infocom games for the first time.

Comment Re:Let me get this right. (Score 1) 151

As someone who has never had a console, do I understand correctly that people normally have to re-buy games when they upgrade their consoles? i.e. not like a PC where something 20 years old can, sometimes with a bit of hacking, still be played on your current machine. That's... ugh... do you just stack all your consoles in your living room so you can select the appropriate one for the games you have? Are you people made of space and money?

We just keep the old consoles. They're not that big -- maybe a foot across. And (until they got internet connectivity) they were mostly guaranteed to work forever without user intervention.

Backwards compatibility on PCs was not trivial before DOSBox, and I understand that running Windows 3.1 games is still pretty difficult. Keep in mind that consoles don't have a single standard architecture. Different consoles in the same generation are not compatible, and the hardware on consoles changes much more from generation to generation. The NES and SNES used 6502 derivatives, and the PlayStations used custom Sony processors built around a MIPS or PowerPC core. The jump from one generation to the next typically isn't enough for software emulation. (The PS2 had a PS1 built into it, and the early model PS3s had a PS2 processor on the motherboard.) Aside from the CPUs, there are also special graphics and sound chips. The SNES even allowed for coprocessors on the game cartridges themselves! (That's why you need a multi-GHz CPU to properly emulate a ~21 MHz SNES.) The exception to all this is later model PS3s having software emulation for the PS2. I suspect this was possible because of the weird Cell processor, but I don't know for sure.

The Xboxes' hardware has always been closer to PCs, so I don't know what the Xbone's excuse is.


Persian Gulf Temperatures May Be At the Edge of Human Tolerance In 30 Years ( 488

An anonymous reader writes: According to a new climate study the Persian Gulf may become so hot and humid in the next 30 years that it will reach the threshold of human survivability. Ars reports: "Existing climate models have shown that a global temperature increase to the threshold of human survivability would be reached in some regions of the globe at a point in the distant future. However, a new paper published by Jeremy Pal and Elfatih Eltahir in Nature Climate Change presents evidence that this deadly combination of heat and humidity increases could occur in the Persian Gulf much earlier than previously anticipated."

Comment Re:To whom did he really appeal? (Score 1) 309

Yeah, I'm shocked at how naive most Slashdotters seem to be about politics. "What? A single-issue gimmick candidate who didn't actually want to be president (until he got laughed at) got shut out of a major public debate? CONSPIRACY!"

No shit, Sherlock. The DNC isn't a charity; they exist to get people elected. The debates promote the entire party, and they're trying to create a contrast with the Republican clown show. There's little benefit to adding fringe kooks to the debate.

"He's no more of a kook than anyone else who's running!" Yes he is. How was he planning to get any of his campaign finance reform passed? The House of Representatives will most likely remain in Republican hands until 2020. You can't just dictate policy to the opposition party, especially if they're as corrupt as you claim. (That's assuming you can get your own party to go along!) Overturning Citizens United certainly can't be done with an executive order. The idea that a president can swoop in and save the republic through sheer force of will is a fantasy -- a pleasant fantasy, but a fantasy nonetheless.

And now that he actually wants to *stay* president, he's even more of a joke. What experience does he have in domestic and foreign policy aside from a handful of pet issues?

Comment Re: On Monday (Score 1) 130

Nothing could be further from the truth. I frequent a local scrapyard (electronic/industrial, not car) and in their mind, everything they get is just being shredder and recycled. I come in sometimes, buy stuff, and sell it on eBay/craigslist. I've bought thousands and thousands of dollars worth of computers, LCD monitors, etc, literally for a few cents a pound.

The amount of stuff (LCD monitors and TVs in particular) I've seen there that almost certainly worked when they got it, but they literally just threw it into a bin and cracked the screen, is insane.

Comment Re:Liberals (Score 1) 585

Liberals are all about freedom, expression, tolerance, etc. until you do or say something that they don't like.

And conservatives are all about small government until it's time to tell someone how to live their life.

The left/right bullshit is designed to take your eye off the ball. This is about control versus freedom.

Comment Re:Wasn't one of the other concerns (Score 2) 151

Like the AC pointed out . . . poorly . . . "diesel gas" is a bad term. Diesel and gasoline are two different fuels, and the terms are mutually exclusive.

That said, I agree with you about safety, even more so. Diesel is significantly safer to store than gasoline. It is significantly less volatile, and while the fumes from it can ignite, it is really difficult to get them to do so accidentally. Except in the presence of fertilizer, diesel is generally not explosive. While you can light a puddle of gasoline with a match easily and accidentally, you will need to take significant effort to light a puddle of diesel.

Obviously, a leak is still a potential problem, but the first concerns most people have are not going to be issues.

Comment Re:Most places that would be illegal (Score 1) 602

Why the excuse? "No!" should be sufficient. As I do not work for that company anymore, that isn't unreasonable.

I suspect that it is necessary to sign the agreement if you want to collect your severance package. Want to leave three months pay on the table?

That said, I would consider a duress defense.

Comment Re:A perfect example of why tech is cyclical.... (Score 1) 94

Was there ever a time this wasn't true?

Maybe five to ten years ago or so. I think that bandwidth shot up around then, which left us with a brief respite before people started demanding more data with the more bandwidth that they then had. At least, that's the way it seems to me. I was pretty happy with my bandwidth around then. I know that bandwidth has gone up since then, but that the demand for content has gone up more.

That's just my perception, though. YMMV.

At the same time, it seems like some things don't move or don't move much. Video seems to have settled in at around 4-8 Mbit/sec, which even works on some of the lower tiers of Internet service.

That, however, naturally leads me to the next point: Most Internet access isn't symmetrical, and hasn't been since 33.6k modems. I bought the particular level of service I have because I mix audio and video as a side-gig, and I need the outbound bandwidth. This solution from Amazon provides just exactly that, just the latency is kind of high.

Comment Re:Great. (Score 1) 311

GIF was created by Compuserve in 1987 for their BBS-like service, so they had a captive user base. Their previous image standard was black and white -- 8-bit color was a new thing. JPEG was created by an international standards group to handle photographs, and I get the impression it came along about as soon as computers could handle it. I couldn't find any earlier (pre-1992) lossy color image formats. PNG was developed in 1995, within a year of Unisys announcing that it was going to enforce patents on the LZW compression used in GIFs, and even then it took many years and some bad publicity for Unisys before PNG really caught on.

GIF and JPEG were the first major color image formats of their type, and they were created about as early as possible. PNG was created in response to the limitations of GIF's patent status and 8-bit color, and was adopted much more slowly. I don't see a new image format catching on without a compelling reason, and historically, improvements in compression have not been enough. A reasonably high-quality, high-resolution image is just not that big.

By comparison, new video formats come along more frequently due to the large and increasing bandwidth requirements of high-quality streaming video, with early adoption coming from pirates, anime fansubbers, and other tech-savvy user bases.

My mother is a fish. - William Faulkner