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Comment: Re:X-Files vs. Bab-5 - ouch! (Score 1) 227

by Kjella (#48898523) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

ST:TNG worked better specifically because it was not serialized for the most part, and individual episodes were not building toward some specific thing that had to be modified and rewritten and adjusted every time the network messed with the show or cancelled it. It was also generally possible to enjoy episodes after having missed several, as for the most part there wasn't a lot of long-term backstory to need to be acquainted with just to follow the plot.

Yeah, Babylon 5 just didn't give a shit about casual viewers - there was only a very few episodes that had a recap of past event. The first time I was tipped about the series I saw an episode in the middle of the series and was just wondering who, what, why since there was absolutely no way to get into the series. It really wouldn't have hurt them to have a 30 second "Previously on Babylon 5" to give you the essentials.

Comment: Re:you can't boil this down to one variable (Score 1) 149

by Kjella (#48898075) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

Why? There's a hundred ways I could die in the next year, but there's no problem aggregating it so I don't see why the clock can't represent total risk. Besides, it's probably going to cascade anyway. If Russia pulls the trigger in Eastern Europe then NATO will get involved, China probably don't want NATO forces on their borders and at least somewhat back Russia and might decide the time is right to take back Taiwan and those Japanese islands and it all goes down hill from there. IS has openly stated their goal is to wage war on everyone until it's one caliphate. If shit hits the fan in the Middle East you know the US will back Israel which will drag NATO into it and the oil would bring everyone else. Same with North Korea, it could easily become a proxy war between China and the US that turns into a true war. I'm not exactly sure how an India-Pakistan war would escalate but an all-out war there already has 1.5 billion people involved. And that's just where it sparks, if you could guess that the rise of Hitler would lead to the attack on Pearl Harbor your crystal ball is good.

Remember, the world is a lot more connected than it used to be, with floods in Thailand the price of hard drives worldwide doubled. No matter where war breaks out it's going to have a lot of impact on US companies and US markets and there will be a lot more incentive to protect US economic interests around the globe than there used to be in the 1940s. Even when it's not cold war power plays it's going to be a lot harder to dismiss as not our problem.

Comment: Re:It also doesn't really matter (Score 1) 129

by Kjella (#48897631) Attached to: NVIDIA Responds To GTX 970 Memory Bug

Whether the GTX 970 has 3.5 or 4 GB effective it's still more than a standard GTX 780 Ti with 3 GB, so I'm guessing you have to run some rather extreme resolutions and AA modes to see a practical difference. In fact the latter will generally beat a 970 whether single vs single or SLI vs SLI at UHD (3840x2160) resolutions.

What I do know is that my 2x970 totally trashes a single GTX 980 at a 20% price premium as they do have 2x13/16 = 26/16 the shaders, both cards shut down the fans at idle so it's extremely quiet and even at full tilt both cards together pull just 2x145W = 290W. I'm kinda surprised nobody's done a single card version yet since it's still under the 300W ATX limit.

It runs games at 3840x2160 on a Samsung UD590 beautifully, even though it's a 1ms TN panel it's not for twitch gaming as it's 60 Hz on DisplayPort with no fancy sync options and 25ms input lag but it looks extremely good. And at monitor distances you can definitively see the upgrade over 1080p while the TV benefits are more dubious. There are better setups, but for being such a high-end system the price/performance was extremely good.

Comment: Re:Internet Explorer (Score 1) 93

by Kjella (#48896123) Attached to: In Addition To Project Spartan, Windows 10 Will Include Internet Explorer

Having been dredged into that market by no choice of my own, I can tell you this.: Picking a solution that works well in every browser is damn hard, even if you try. IE6 was the worst, but it did't look right in Safari either. I'm pretty sure Firefox and Opera was correct, but it doesn't really matter to th end user. You use an obscure client, it's your problem. It's only quite recently it's become their problem.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 280

by Kjella (#48896011) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

I have a 28" UHD monitor - the U28D590D if you want to be specific - and yes, you can tell the difference. That said, it was underwhelming to my eyes, I don't have the eyes to take full advantage of 4K. I think I could pick the 4K image in an A/B test, but not the 8K image. We're getting closer though, but I'm not sure it's meaningfully relevant. That is, would it matter if you got infinite resolution, infinite fps, infinite FPS? Or would it just be another failed atttempt.

Comment: Re:Other than the obligatory security theatre... (Score 1) 100

by Kjella (#48895913) Attached to: Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

If there's any indication that the craft is no longer under pilot control, then yes. Sorry if they might have reacted previously before 9/11, but at this point you'd better scramble and overpower the hijackers or be collateral. The dead people aren't exactly likely to give any testimony to the contrary, so the government's story that it was necessary will largely go unopposed. Except a few family members who "weren't there" and can't make a rational decision, of course.

Comment: Re:Uh...no (Score 2) 280

by Kjella (#48894277) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Just because Intel releases a 100 MHz faster CPU you don't have to buy it, you know. And TVs get incremental upgrades, but honestly how many generations of mainstream media has there been? VHS (1973), DVD (1995), BluRay (2006) and this will be the fourth. Does it really kill you that something better comes along once a decade? Sure, marketers will always tell you that you need something new, that's not just in their job description that is their job description. I like the state of the art moving forward, what's so great about being a luddite? Yes, a lot of modern media suck but when you look at the parts of old media that didn't survive the test of time there was a lot of crap in the past too.

Comment: There's more to it than that (Score 3, Informative) 280

by Kjella (#48894133) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

The new spec also brings HFR (up to 60 fps, probably), wider colors (Rec. 2020), more accurate colors (10-bit seems to go mainstream) as well as double resolution. But hey yes, a BluRay looks pretty sweet already. In any case, it doesn't hurt unlike 3D that some - me included - just doesn't like. I just checked my local version of pricewatch and of 646 TV models for sale 102 now feature UHD. They even sell 40" UHD TVs for $500 now, which makes no sense at all and all this with Netflix being just about the only source of non-upscale UHD content. So I think it's beyond a doubt that mainstream TVs will go there eventually.

Besides, the trend is only bigger TVs. When I grew up we had a 20-something inch TV, now I have a 60" TV. When prices go down, sizes go up. It won't be quick and it's not urgent at all, but just like FullHD settled in - there were a lot of naysayers then too - UHD will too. It's not like SACD and DVD Audio where people listen on the go and want playlists, watching movies/series is still primarily a living room couch activity where you sit down to watch one for 40 mins - 3 hours.

Comment: Re:Linux (Score 1) 120

by Kjella (#48893879) Attached to: Linus Fixes Kernel Regression Breaking Witcher 2

It's worth mentioning, he also wouldn't flame someone for breaking the kernel like this. The time he did flame someone for a similar bug, it was because the developer not only broke userland, but also began to argue that he was correct to do so. That is when he got flamed.

This. Linus is quite clear that breaking userspace is a bug and they've already added a patch that would restore the functionality, while still blocking possible exploits - which was why they broke it in the first place otherwise they'd revert. It's tough love though, if you make a bad API - and we know that happens - you're stuck with it practically forever.

Comment: Re:Why would anyone buy something from those catal (Score 1) 64

by Kjella (#48892603) Attached to: Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11

Why is there airport shopping, despite usually being more expensive than anywhere else except for tax-free? Because you have a trapped audience and once you got them wandering their store and find something they like many people will buy it right there. They won't make a note of it that they should check into buying one of those later. The time in the airport and the airplane seat is already a "sunk cost", spending my time shopping when I'm back on the ground is not. It's not cost efficient, but many have more money than time.

I used to travel a bit on an air plane due to work, the in-flight magazine was usually read cover-to-cover because well, there wasn't much else to do after finishing the newspaper. I don't think I'd read a mail order catalog like this seems to be though, but the "infomercial" travel stories, fashion/art items and such I think hit their target pretty well. I mean, it's not every day I read three pages about what's to see in Stockholm/Düsseldorf/Valencia but I know I have done so on the plane. And I'm not the one for buying overpriced crap, but it got me looking and a few times tempted because it was actually stylish.

These days, I'm on the phone. Went flying twice on Friday for a one-day meeting, didn't even consider looking in the seat pocket. Bring your own entertainment and for longer flights the in-flight entertainment system is actually getting pretty good. At least good enough to fill the dead time, which is exactly what companies like Skymall depended on. Which is why I'd love an autonomous car and don't understand the naysayers, spent 2+ hours today watching traffic. I honestly got better things to do, but since I'm driving I don't have a choice.

Comment: Not all that impressive (Score 1) 111

by Kjella (#48880807) Attached to: NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card

From the reviews I've read it's basically it's cool, quiet, has all the latest features but in the end has almost the same performance as the 760. Where the 970 went really aggressive on pricing the 960 looks to be their "money maker" that TechPowerUp called "a cheap-to-make GPU they paired with an extremely cost-efficient PCB design that has loads of margins in it for future price wars with AMD".

Not that I think AMD is in any mood for price wars after their Q4 financials, they posted a $330 million loss, a lot of one-time charges but also a $58 million inventory write-down on their APUs. Last quarter revenue was down 13% and guidance for Q1 2015 is another 15%, they really could use some killer graphics card very, very soon. Or to put it even more harshly, their last quarter wiped out 2/3rds of their stockholder value and one more quarter like would put them in bankruptcy court.

Comment: Re:Physics doesn't work like that. (Score 1) 54

by Kjella (#48880535) Attached to: TWEETHER Project Promises 10Gbps MmW 92-95GHz Based Wireless Broadband

It sounds like the absorption will be a feature, not a bug. This will allow many more antennas in a city like situation. It won't be any good in rural areas, but I don't think it is meant for that.

I really don't see it, in the city any point-to-point beam is going to be a lot slower, unreliable and probably more costly than just running a fiber. Wireless for consumers is a different story, people expect their cell phones and tablets and wifi laptops and whatnot to run at higher and higher speeds but this will be useless for that since it can't penetrate buildings.

Near my cabin in Norway they're planning a fiber rollout now, population density of county is about 35 people/km^2 (92/square mile) or a little higher than the US average. The planned build-out cost is $4500/house, of which they want $1000 up front and the rest over the lifetime of the fiber. While it hasn't been made explicit in the subscription cost you can estimate that the fiber will last 30 years = 360 months = $10/month. The rest of the monthly fee is paying for maintenance, data traffic, support and other overhead. That's a pretty rural community in a high-cost country and I actually expected it to be higher.

Comment: Re:Freedom of speech should be paramount (Score 1) 60

by Kjella (#48879703) Attached to: Calls For European ISPs To Filter Content Could Be Illegal

in the interests of national security

Distribution of classified information?

territorial integrity or public safety

Not sure what the former is, shouting "fire" in a crowded theater?

for the prevention of disorder or crime

Threats? Fraud? False advertising?

for the protection of health or morals

Obscenity? Showing porn to minors?

for the protection of the reputation or rights of others

Libel and slander? Copyright?

for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence

Doctor-patient privilege, attorney-client privilege?

maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary

Judges can't bias the jury? I don't know.

Seems to me most these loopholes are alive and well in the US too, despite the constitution not having any exceptions whatsoever. Yes, it's really hard to come up with a constitution that properly captures all the small details that "speech" is not simply "opinion".

Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 5, Insightful) 789

by Kjella (#48877185) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Unless you're blind, or happen to be looking the other way when the drunk in a prius bears down on you. Which is why some sort of fake engine noise will eventually be mandated (if it hasn't been already). The "tick tick" of your turn signals has been fake for years, mechanical relays are long past.

But not on your internal speakers, at worst you have to install an exterior speaker to deliver "engine" noises. In fact, you can probably do active noise cancellation of it internally so you barely hear your own engine. The turn signal on the other hand serves an actual purpose, to remind you that you're still signaling to other people that you're turning as in some curves it won't turn itself off. For driving a manual car the engine noise serves a purpose too, but it's getting more and more rare even here in Europe.

Comment: Re:Please develop for my dying platform! (Score 3, Interesting) 305

by Kjella (#48876925) Attached to: Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

In defense of Netflix, they support playing videos over HTML5 (with DRM extenstions of course). So if Blackberry would update their browser to support HTML5 with DRM, then blackberry users could watch Netflix on their devices.

You talk like Firefox could implement it, which they can't. They need keys, those keys need to stay secret and the content needs to stay protected until you can hand it over to the OS/graphics driver and probably all sorts of other nasty liabilities and penalties if you don't. The music industry had to abandon DRM, but the movie industry is still going full steam with HDCP 2.2 for 4K and when they finally make 4K BluRay this year it'll be choking full of AACS 2.0, BD+ 2.0, Cinavia 2.0 and whatever else they can throw at it.

I think they know this is their really last chance, BluRay looks pretty damn good (1080p, uncompressed sound) and 4K BluRay adds all the last bells and whistles like resolution on par with DCI 4K, high frame rate, 10 bit color, extremely wide color space Rec.2020, bigger dynamic range ,>HDTV 3D even if you only get half per eye, HEVC encoding... if you can rip one of those discs the source is likely to be better than anything you can play it with, so far there's not even a reference monitor at any price that can deliver 100% Rec.2020 coverage.

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