Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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: Re:Searching (Score 1) 230

by Kjella (#49502441) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?

and nothing else.

Stop adding 'features' to things that don't need them!

YMMV, but that's one of the reasons I really like google. For example converting units, what's 53F in C again? I could get a thousand hits that could give me the formula or a conversion table or whatnot but just "searching" for it saves me a step or two. I often use it instead of the built-in calculator just because it's already up. I suppose it could go overboard with Clippy-isms but I haven't felt that has been the case.

Comment: Re:So much for long distance Listening (Score 3, Insightful) 223

by Kjella (#49502397) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

TETRA or P25 on a power for power basis with older analogue equipment works well over 3 times the distance where analogue becomes unintelligible.

Outside. I know particularly the firefighters have complained about poorer coverage inside buildings, which is usually where their life-saving work is done. Details...

Comment: Re:Scientific American begs to differ (Score 1) 318

by Kjella (#49502287) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

Some ten or fifteen years ago, Scientific American published an article about the positive correlation of "general intelligence" with virtually every measure of success in life. Like earning enough money to be comfortable, having the emotional intelligence to have a successful marriage, etc.

It's rare to find an objective measure where being stupid is a good thing, unless you're the cop who figured out the criminal mastermind's plan and got assassinated or similar corner cases. Even if you're not in a position to excel you're not going fail and I'd argue it's just as much your objective successes like a steady job and organized life that puts you ahead of the deadbeat drifters when it comes to finding a mate, tests show your EQ can suck despite a high IQ.

Obviously the lack of material goods can cause unhappiness, but most of us have the basic needs covered. The rest is pretty much a state of mind, are you happy? I'd be happier eating junk food if I didn't know all the crap it does to my body. I'd enjoy T&A more if I knew it wasn't a biological preference to easy child birth and ample breast feeding. And it certainly doesn't get better if you end up where it doesn't matter because you and everyone you knew will be dead and building a pyramid for a tomb is just stroking your ego.

I generally find my happiest moments are when I'm too preoccupied or suitably intoxicated not to think too much. Just existing in the moment, feeling good, having fun, enjoying the ride, savoring the taste. If you "pierce the veil" more or less and realize you're playing an RPG to get level+1, skills+1, armor+1, weapons+1 to fight monsters+1 or lather, rinse, repeat what used to be fun just loses all interest. I guess you can call it a more general form of suspension of disbelief, the suspension of further intellectual inquiry. If you're happy, stop thinking. You're only going to ruin it.

Comment: Re:About half (Score 5, Informative) 223

by Kjella (#49502115) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

Ooh, found my answer, "20 % of private cars are equipped with DAB radio." So 80% aren't. I think 80% of people are going to not like this once it happens.

That doesn't even begin to cover it, many people have an FM radio that they occasionally use for example at cabins or whatever, more than 80% will probably have to replace some radio. And note that they asked for "digital listeners" not "DAB listeners" meaning if you use your smartphone or tablet or PC to listen to radio, you get counted in favor of DAB even though you don't use DAB.

Actually this (Norwegian) is the truth, in 2014 about 64% of the population listened to radio daily and only 19% on DAB. There's no numbers for it but even less exclusively used DAB. I don't have a DAB radio. It sucks for any kind of battery-driven device, meaning just the kind of remote places and mobile appliances where you'd want radio. We'd do better just upgrading so we'd get 3G/4G coverage everywhere rather than DAB.

Nobody else is phasing out FM or even planning to phase out FM. This is just Norway going off on its own crusade urged on by commercial interests of 10+ new channels, fuck whether it makes sense to throw out millions of radios. On the bright side, I expect this to lead to a massive interest in building out 3G/4G coverage as ex-FMers give DAB the middle finger. Streaming with Spotify + offline playlists is likely to be the new "radio".

Comment: Re:Sadly, I don't see an "out" for AMD (Score 1) 125

by Kjella (#49493901) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

Sigh, where to begin.

AMD has .28 nm chips. Intel is down to .17 nm and skylark with .14 nm is just around the corner!AMD has .28 nm chips. Intel is down to .17 nm and skylark with .14 nm is just around the corner!

Not .28nm, just 28nm and Broadwell is made on the same 14nm process as Skylake.

Only saving grace is ATI graphics. If nvidia gets a hold of .17 nm chips then it's game over too.

They haven't called it ATI graphics for 5 years, but now I'm quibbling. What's important is that both AMD and nVidia makes their GPUs at TSMC and so have access to the exact same technology if they pay.

I was a loyal AMD user too. I tried and stayed til last year. It is frustrating but an i7 4 core with 8 virtuals with hyperthreading really sped uo my games compared to the 6 core./

Hyperthreading has little to do with it, the step down with pure quad-core (i5-2500k, i5-3570k, i5-4690k) has usually been far more cost effective for gaming. Four Intel cores simply beat eight AMD Bulldozer cores.

AMD needs to leave [x86] and go all ATI to stay solvent.

They're in the same boat on graphics, the last major new architecture was GCN in 2011 and it's way overdue for a replacement. So that depends, have they actually invested in a new architecture? With their R&D money going everywhere else, I don't see how.

Comment: Re:We all need to realize... (Score 1) 125

by Kjella (#49493467) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

...we need AMD. Because if AMD goes away, Intel has zero competitors in the x86/64 market.

AMD gave up on the markets I care about in 2012 so I don't really care, what's worse it that without AMD there's really no competitor to nVidia in the high end GPU market either.

If AMD goes the way of the dodo bird, so do our cheap processors.

That's what smartphones and tablets are for, you only need x86 if you're doing anything CPU intensive and anything CPU intensive you shouldn't be doing on a cheap CPU in the first place.

Moreover, we'll likely lose a great deal of software freedom as what Intel says becomes law across the whole board. UEFI and TPM?

AMD supports all the same DRM standards as Intel.

What used to be the "traditional" AMD has already imploded, if anything they'll exit the consumer market and become a pure specialist/custom player but they're not recovering to compete with Intel/nVidia. They got $17 million left in stockholder equity, losing both on revenue and margin every quarter and way behind on both CPU and GPU technology. I don't think they can be saved in a way that matters to us.

Comment: I wonder why he bothers... (Score 1) 110

by Kjella (#49489599) Attached to: An Engineering Analysis of the Falcon 9 First Stage Landing Failure

In a later tweet that was subsequently withdrawn, Musk then indicated that "the issue was stiction in the biprop throttle valve, resulting in control system phase lag."

Anything he leaves for more than 0.5 seconds is going to be reported, retweeted, screenshotted and several articles posted. Just google "musk stiction biprop" and you get plenty hits, no real "undo" button for such a public figure.

Comment: Re:Students + Anonimity (Score 1) 231

by Kjella (#49486421) Attached to: Can Online Reporting System Help Prevent Sexual Assaults On Campus?

Indifferent is not the right word, but they're looking to see if there's a reasonable chance whether an investigation could result in a conviction and that's far from just rapes. I've had my car vandalized at night, no witnesses and really just reported it for the insurance claim. I've had a pair of brand new shoes stolen at the gym, no cameras pointing in that direction, I just reported it for the statistics so they know how much crime is really going on.

They come into the police station thinking now I'm going to get him caught and punished, but what they often end up hearing is essentially "So you were raped and from what you're telling me he's going to get away with it" and that really hurts. The standard of evidence often feels unreasonable, like what do you expect a written confession or a video recording? That's the flip side to the justice system, if you know you've been the victim of a crime but the perpetrator gets away with it the illusion that the law will protect you shatters.

Which is not to say that the gun nuts are right, it wouldn't have stopped my car from being vandalized or my shoes stolen and if she wasn't in any condition to put up a fight she wouldn't have been able to get hold of and fire a gun either. What you're really experiencing is that bad men will be able to do bad things to you and there's really no sane way of making 100% sure it doesn't. The justice system makes a difference, but it won't make things right and fair. And I'm pretty sure heaven and hell is a fairy tale for adults.

Comment: Re:Valve needs to use their clout (Score 1) 309

by Kjella (#49481955) Attached to: NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly

Their goal is to sell games.

Indeed and their goal with Linux is to have a gaming platform independent of Apple and Microsoft, from their perspective you have a choice of nVidia (closed), AMD (open and closed) and Intel (open) covering all the bases. I don't think Valve feels the need for more choice for Linux to be a choice.

Comment: Re:And this is news... (Score 2) 309

by Kjella (#49480511) Attached to: NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly

But why? It seems counter to business interests. The more people using your hardware, the better, yes?

A common misconception, with complex products there's always so many environments and conditions you never get all the corner cases worked out. So what you want is ten million people playing GTA V on Windows (7/8/Vista), not all these niche users finding subtle ways to break it on their special snowflake of a Linux setup. It costs time and money, hurts your brand and most companies would rather just sell to the 95%+ doing mainstream tasks.

Comment: Re:Economics would be the problem (Score 1) 362

by Kjella (#49472063) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

Complete loss of human knowledge is also a common trope in post-apocalyptic fiction, but I think that too would be unlikely. I doubt something is going to completely fry every single circuit and book. The entire content of wikipedia fits on a thumb drive. I've got one. And while no, wikipedia itself is not the same thing as having every technical journal, you can get a pretty good idea of the concepts that drive our technological society from it. Not having to re-derive Maxwell's equations is a huge leg up.

And how long will it last? WWII lasted six years and after the war there was rationing on everything, I imagine an apocalypse like that only bigger and worse. Power will have been out for years, generators don't have fuel and people will be too busy doing what the illiterate masses has done for most of human history, surviving. There won't be any replacement parts so when your machine fails it's dead, assuming you got clean power to begin with. And they need something useful at their current level of technology.

I don't think you understand how much of a downward spiral we'll have simply because the infrastructure and division of labor is collapsing. I'd probably be out in the fields trying to make food and firewood for the winter and sorry but if I had kids that's the kind of thing that'd be my first priority for them too. Learning what I know about computers wouldn't even rate as nice-to-have because it'd be bloody unlikely they'd see a transistor made after the apocalypse anyway. Life span would probably drop to what they were 2000 years ago because there's no industrial production of hygiene, sanitation or medical products. And when I'm dead and the computer's dead, yes maybe there's some books on a shelf... but it's a long, long way to recovery.

Comment: Re:"Old" vs "new" trolling (Score 1) 278

by Kjella (#49464545) Attached to: Researchers Developing An Algorithm That Can Detect Internet Trolls

"Trolling" meant "fishing." (...) Today they think "troll" is referring to monsters who live under bridges.

How many years is it since you first heard "Don't feed the troll", which clearly refers to it as the monster and not the fishing technique? Certainly before the dotcom days, in my case. I think you've fallen into the trap of defining the finer art of trolling as the only true trolling, when the ones posting goat.cx links were trolling for newbies just like you. Or taunting the guy with a short temper. Or tricking the veteran into writing a long, insightful reply just to realize he was wasting his time on a troll.

Baiting, flaming, pranking, bullying, flamebaiting, pretty much any way of subtly or not subtly at all trying to disrupt a discussion and have people go off on wild rants and off-topic discussions and flamefests and whatnot has been known as trolling for a very long time. Sure the elaborate trap to lure the wary was one part of it, but there were always those looking for the cheap lulz. And if you can't win by trolling, you can always accuse someone else of being a troll. And if you can't find anyone to take the bait, be the clueless n00b too so you can get everyone to shout at you to stop feeding the troll.

Comment: Re:Arbitrary major version jumps (Score 1) 172

by Kjella (#49464023) Attached to: Linux 4.0 Kernel Released

Parent poster here, I tried to convince the my manager and sales department to give support on a time basis based (X years after delivery date), but the "that is not how other companies bigger than ours do it" argument won over mine. So as a result we update our versions based around the time we think we supported the old versions long enough.

I think a combination works best, major releases makes most sense when it comes to technology/code you must support while a minimum number of years makes sure you won't go Firefox and suddenly be at version 40. For all the other bashing Microsoft can take, their policy is actually a good model:

Mainstream Support for Business, Developer, and Desktop Operating Systems will be provided for 5 years or for 2 years after the successor product (N+1) is released, whichever is longer. Microsoft will also provide Extended Support for the 5 years following Mainstream support or for 2 years after the second successor product (N+2) is released, whichever is longer.

Basically you get a guaranteed 10 years of support from release, 7 years as long as you're buying the latest version (minimum 2+5) and if it takes longer the support period stretches too. Don't expect another XP though, Vista runs from January 2007 to April 2017, Win7 from October 2009 to January 2020 both 10 years, 3 months. And with Win10 seemingly on schedule for release this year it'll be the same with Win8.

I've got all the money I'll ever need if I die by 4 o'clock. -- Henny Youngman