Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Humans Constantly Screw Up at Mundane (Score 1) 451

by HannethCom (#49293459) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future
95% of driving might be mundane, but an alarming number of people where I live seem incapable of doing that 95%. The number of times I've seen someone on the side of the road that have run into a telephone pole. Daily I see at least 1 car that can't stay in a lane. Definitely multiple times a day that people just doesn't use their turn signals at all, and I know some of them. People driving through stop signs and red lights.

According to local statistics most accidents are caused by drugs and failures to follow traffic rules. Our police keep on going on about how speed kills and there are articles in the paper quite frequently about how these people were racing, or just driving really fast. The thing I find funny about these articles is that usually they will have the smallest line about them being way over on their blood alcohol level, high on heroin, or stoned on marijana, but they really try to downplay these parts.

Right now self driving cars would stop the majority of accidents.

How about that 5%? Well as more self driving cars would get on the road, that 5% would probably shrink to less than 1%, depending on the area. Plus there are already real time algorithms for detecting moving objects, coupled with multiple cameras the car can see things like deer and children much sooner than humans and react to them.

The main problems will be in the transition where there are still human drivers doing really stupid things and the self driving cars. We humans are affected by lack of sleep, by drugs, but not getting enough vitamins, distractions, tunnel vision, bad driving habits, missing signage, having two eyes facing one direction at a time, and sometimes just pure stupidity.

Comment: IE Slowness of Development and Why People Hate It (Score 1) 317

by HannethCom (#49279871) Attached to: Microsoft Is Killing Off the Internet Explorer Brand
Some problems in IE were from implementing things before the standard was complete. Other browsers did this as well, but the other browsers would usually change their browser to match the standard when it was complete. Microsoft would not change to the standard to keep backwards compatibility with pages made specifically for their non-standard implementation.

Now I can't blame them for trying to get ahead of the curve, but not fixing things I do blame them for. The really annoying part was Microsoft purposely implemented some parts of the standard incorrectly, so that things wouldn't render correctly in other browsers. The guy who implemented the original IE box model admitted that they purposely did not follow the other browser implementations to break compatibility, but they could claim ignorance since the standard wasn't 100% specific on how it should be done. They also implemented some standards in a non-standard way as they did not agree with how it was standardized. These were kept in place for a long time for backwards compatibility as well.

As for the slow pace of development of IE, they won the browser wars with IE6, so they disbanded the IE team for 4 years. IE7 came out 5 years after IE6, which means that they only spent 1 year working on IE7. Well, kind of. Most of the team ended up working on WPF for Windows Vista and the Trident Engine really became part of the OS. Yes, the Trident Engine was a core component included with Windows before that and integrated in the Explorer, but Windows Vista it became truly part of the graphics subsystem. Thus why IE7 on Windows Vista and Windows XP don't render exactly the same, IE7 on Vista and later have some improvements that Windows XP didn't get because they were part of the graphics subsystem redesign.

Comment: One Problem With Music Games is External Companies (Score 1) 163

by HannethCom (#49151249) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?
1. I agree.
Rock Band 2 improved on Rock Band in many ways. Rock Band 3 it was nice that people could join at any time, but it felt like in many ways it was not as good as the first 2 to me. Then came the point were new DLC songs would not work in RB2 because of the format change.

3. To be fair Harmonix tried hard to use standard USB. At least on the PS2 and PS3. Certain other console companies did not want this. Activision was the one that didn't want to be compatible and did everything they legally could to stop compatibility. They blocked Harmonix from publishing a patch to make Rock Band compatible with the Guitar Hero 3 controller. In 2010 Bobby Kotick of Activision said that it was a mistake that they didn't talk to Harmonix after acquiring the Guitar Hero brand.

4. The joys of licensing. That being said, I thought I read about them making sure they were licensing all the tracks in RB2 so they would be exportable to newer versions of Rock Band. Obviously something went wrong. One of the things I liked about RB was that you could export most of the songs, unlike Guitar Hero.

5. I think the songs available had a lot to do with licensing again. You want a big name band's less known song, $0.99 a song. You want one of their top songs, $2.99 a song. They had to balance number of songs, with licensing costs and the selling price of the game. This was true of DLC as well. Even the devil (Apple) has to deal with this, and they have a much stronger bargaining position.

Comment: Video Editor and PCs Not Fixed Specs (Score 1) 146

I'm not sure how many people are going to care that there is a built in video editor, and not sure why they couldn't have released the port then added it later, but it was a decision they made.

The fact is that console platforms are fixed specs, the myriad of different hardware PCs can have makes it hard to get decent performance and look good on the widest range of hardware. Some people want to play on Intel graphics. Maybe you have 2 cores, or 6 cores on your processor. The game engine needs to take these things into account and adapt to the different configurations.

While some people think that nVidia's drivers and hardware are the best, the truth is that many developers write the game engine to work on DirectX, then spend extra time on working around image quality and speed issues related to major hardware bugs, or driver bugs that only exist on nVidia. I'm not claiming that AMD, or Intel are perfect, but generally if you use standard DirectX constructs, your game will work and perform decently, that is not generally the case on nVidia.

Comment: Bend Over Canada! (Score 4, Insightful) 227

by HannethCom (#48982829) Attached to: Canada, Japan Cave On Copyright Term Extension In TPP
It doesn't surprise me we are being asked to bend over. We do have Harper as the Prime Minister and he would have us bow down and take it from all our capitalist overlords. The Conservative Party is big business, thus they don't care about the 99.99997% of people in this country. (I estimated there are about 1000 big business owners)

Face it, we started taking in the ass the second the Conservatives got a majority government. It wasn't if this was going to happen, just a matter of when and how big would the objects be.

Comment: M-Disc (Score 1) 251

by HannethCom (#48916563) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?
If you are looking for long term storage, that is what M-Disc is made for.

Writable DVDs and Blu-rays use an organic coating that degrades over time. M-Disc says you only have up to 7 years of reliability before you start loosing data. A pressed CD/DVD will last up to 100 years, but I've had pressed music CDs that the media layer burned from very little use. Also pressed CD/DVD/Blu-rays are not practical for backup.

Hard drives are designed to be spinning. M-Disc claims hard drives are good up to 5 years, but if you don't spin them up every once in a while, they can fail in less than a year.

Flash Memory they say is up to 8 years. Again, if it isn't powered up every once in a while you can only be sure everything will be there for 2 years. If it is an SSD, your information can disappear any second. The SSD will still work fine, but they sometimes just loose everything on them.

Backup tapes have been the tried an true form of long term backup, but even those, people suggest having at least 1 backup of the backup as magnetic material degrades over time.

Comment: Re:Yes? No? Maybe So? (Score 1) 489

by HannethCom (#48851189) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?
That is the problem with Windows 10, you don't know what will still run on it.

When I downgraded to Windows 8 from 7 I could not play The Sims Medieval, Diablo 2 and a few other games. My Blu-ray player no longer worked, even though it was supported on Windows 8. The Blu-ray player problem turned out to be a missing system DLL caused by me upgrading to Windows 8 instead of doing a fresh install.

My prediction for Windows 10 is that more games and software will not work. Will it be something you use? Who knows.

The other fun thing was with Windows 8 my boot time increased from about 45 seconds to 90 seconds. Probably to do with upgrading instead of fresh install, but it takes a long time to get everything setup after a fresh install.

My computer died and I am happily running Windows 7 on the new one.

Comment: In Canada it is legal to download and rip movies (Score 4, Informative) 172

In Canada, once you have paid for a license of a movie, it is legal to rip it from a physical copy, or download a digital copy.
In Canada when you play money, you have to get something in return in the form of a physical item, a license, a limited license, or a service.
Home videos were going to be under the physical item category originally. The problem the MPAC had with this is that legally, in Canada, you cannot put any restrictions on what people do with an item that is labeled as physical.
The MPAC wanted home videos only to be used for private showings, thus they lobbied to have home videos be classified as a license. The problem they have now is that you own a license to watch that performance of the movie. If you have a VHS copy of The Jungle Book, it is legal for you to download the 1080p version and watch it.
The movie studios, or record companies, can get around this a bit by coming out with modified versions of the movies, or music. There is a threshold for how much change there needs to be for this to happen.
Also Herr Harper passed a law making it illegal to teach other people how to crack encryption. Though cracking the encryption for personal use is not illegal.

Basically, if you buy a movie, you own a license to view that performance, doesn't matter how you get it. Higher quality transfers, or remastering are generally still considered the same performance.

Comment: Re:Horrible track record (Score 4, Informative) 443

by HannethCom (#48257029) Attached to: Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch
You mean like this?

Two of their engines have blown caught fire, or blown up on the test harness. This adds a third explosion. They have successfully launched 3 times. Thus 3 time engines have blown up and 3 successful launches. Depending on how you look at this you will get different percentages.

4 engines have been destroyed, 6 have operated to their objective. You could also look at it as there are 3 disasters and 3 successes. You could also look at it that there have been 3 successful launches and 1 failed launch.

The way I look at it is that Orbital has cost NASA probably a few billion dollars in failures, and thousands of man hours. Two of those failures have been this year. I would call that pretty abysmal.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 4, Insightful) 242

by HannethCom (#48253299) Attached to: OEM Windows 7 License Sales End This Friday
Windows 8 Start screen sucks for organizing lots of programs. If I go to someone else's computer trying to find the desktop icon can be difficult. Actually with the live tiles most things are the obviously with just glancing at them. According to research done by Microsoft, switching contexts is confusing and non-intuitive, which is exactly what the start screen is.
Metro applications I've found to be too simple to the point of being useless.
Metro apps have to be purchased through the Microsoft Store. If nothing else this makes Metro a non-starter.

Configuration. While this has gotten better with 8.1 and some patches, configuration is now all over the place. Is it in the control panel, do you need to get to it through the charms bar, or the Metro configuration. Basically it went from being fairly easy to find and change the setting you want, to trying to figure out which interface should be used and flipping through multiple screen on that interface to finally find the one setting you need.

Ribbons, nuff said!

Application and games not working. The Sims Medieval, Diablo 2 are the two I know about. Now Diablo 2 is quite a old game, but The Sims Medieval came out after The Sims 3 and The Sims 3 works. Then there is WinDVD Pro 2011. Now I understand that for most people this works. For me it did not because I "upgraded" from Windows 7 and Windows 8 sometimes misses installing some key OS files. I think this case was scripting.dll, or something close to that. Only way to fix this problem would have been to reinstall the OS from scratch. I tried everything else. There were some other programs that I was able to get to work in Windows 8 with compatibility settings that weren't needed in Windows 7.

While file copying, less memory usage and less CPU usage was nice, the reasons listed above, plus some others I'm not remembering right now made me upgrade to Windows 7 when I got a new machine. Basically I was spending a lot of time babysitting an OS, where the OS is supposed to help me get work done.

Comment: Monochrome, Yes (Score 1) 347

by HannethCom (#48207489) Attached to: The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone
Simple answer is YES. Everything will be monochrome soon.

Have you seen Microsoft's Visual Studio lately? It is mostly a monochrome mess. You get bits of colour here and there, but I'm sure the next version will "fix" this.

Heck, you can also look at Corel for this stupidity. I think it was Paint Shop Pro X6 which by default all the icons were monochrome. They patched it later to add colour icons and then patched it again to make the colour icons the default.

Comment: Musk Innovated, Jobs Devolved (Score 1) 181

by HannethCom (#48142241) Attached to: The Cult of Elon Musk Shines With Steve Jobs' Aura
My grandmother was given a iPod. One of the ones with the "innovative" wheel. She never has learned how to use it. A year later my aunt gave her a Creative Zen. Though the Zen was something like 1/5th the size, my grandmother was able to use it no problem. Creative labs had the Jukebox and the Nomad before the iPod. The Nomad could play MP3s, FM radio and could record sound. Their products were easier to use, cheaper, more features and better built. They just didn't have the great marketing of Apple.

For phones you just have to look at Palm and Nokia. Both had touch phones with nice interfaces and more features before Apple. Actually Apple basically stole the Palm interface. Again, Apple had better marketing.

You look at the iPad. Many, many, many tablets came out before it. Though in this case it was the interface and marketing that made them come out on top.

What did Apple innovate on? Marketing. That or they think innovate means to take from other people, make it worse, but prettier.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.