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Comment: Re:Old? Old. (Score 3, Informative) 33

by PopeRatzo (#49516807) Attached to: 3.46-Billion-Year-Old 'Fossils' Were Not Created By Life Forms

Australia has lots of weird animals. Hell, they've got moths down there that are as big as cocker spaniels. Animals that look like Jim Henson rejects. They've got freakin' yowies down there that make Sasquatch look like Pee-Wee Herman. I didn't actually see a yowie, but after I saw something that looked like a three-way cross between a rat, a jackrabbit and Dwayne Johnson, I don't doubt for a second that they exist. I went there a few years ago and visited a huge national park and it was like Land of the Lost.

I mean, it's a nice place. Nice people. They find out you're from Chicago and you won't have to pay for another drink. Great looking women. Good food. If it wasn't for the annoying accents, you'd think you were somewhere on the West Coast. But the wildlife, man. Way too spooky for me.

Comment: Re:Online blackouts (Score 1) 91

by Firethorn (#49516729) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming

'Live political news' can generally be had OTA(over the air) or via free internet sites(with some advertising if you must absolutely listen to the talking heads). You have a point about the live sports, but that's getting pricier and pricier for more people. Not just from rate increases, but from reduced usage outside of watching said live sports.

If you sit there and realize that you're spending $100/month for a cable plan you're not using except as a carrier for a $100 premium sports package, suddenly you're looking at said sports package costing you $200 month, which is more dear than a $100 sports package riding on the back of a $100 cable plan that justifies itself.

Comment: Re:$30 per month (Score 1) 91

by Firethorn (#49516703) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming

I don't think they're getting that much for the ads. After all, netflix manages to offer ad-free stuff for $8/month, same as Hulu+. It's probably closer to the difference between $8/month and $12.

I think the ultimate reason Netflix is creating it's own content is that the more content it controls, the more influence it has over the other media copyright holders. If Netflix can legitimately argue that if copyright holder X doesn't play ball, that it's average subscriber won't sign up to site Y for $Z revenue because the subscribers will simply watch something else, such as one of Netflix's exclusive shows, then they're leaving money on the table, and they don't like doing that.

Sort of like a backwards HBO. HBO does great shows, but are really exclusive about them. If you want to see Netflix's shows, you have to sign up, but it's not nearly as expensive as a cable package + HBO.

Comment: Re:This is an effective strategy... (Score 2) 91

by PopeRatzo (#49516607) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming

When net neutrality splits the Comcast network from the Comcast/NBC/Universal content, and Netflix has to compete for bandwidth on a level playing field, the money to create original content is going to dry up quickly.

Don't you have that exactly backwards? "Net Neutrality" has been the default. The new neutrality laws don't create a level playing field, they preserve it. Why would Net Neutrality and having Comcast separated from the content creators make it harder for Netflix? They're already paying for bandwidth. And Netflix users are already paying for bandwidth. And with the incestuous relationship severed, what would Comcast's incentive to screw with Netflix be?

Or do you believe we've reached peak bandwidth?

Comment: Re:Golddiggers of 1933, Out of the Past (Score 2) 91

by PopeRatzo (#49516535) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming

Oh shit. I just realized I made a grievous error, in attributing the "Trouble Man" soundtrack to Curtis Mayfield instead of its true creator, Marvin Gaye. Curtis Mayfield did the soundtrack for "Superfly" (which by the way, is also unavailable to stream from Netflix, those bastards). If you are unfamiliar with the Trouble Man soundtrack, go check it out on Youtube right now. You will come away understanding why Pharrell Williams is a punk ripoff.

I just stuck myself in the leg with a pen knife to atone for this terrible mis-attribution.

Comment: Golddiggers of 1933, Out of the Past (Score 2, Interesting) 91

by PopeRatzo (#49516493) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming

It's probably a good thing that companies like Netflix are making good original programming, but I've noticed that their catalog of classic films has shrunk significantly.

What I really want is a service like Netflix that is more Spotify-like, with an enormous catalog of old films, classic foreign films, art films, shorts, animation, etc.

I guess the fact that copyright trolls are scrambling to take old movies out of the public domain and congress has seen fit to extend copyright to ridiculous lengths makes that a problem. So even though I subscribe to Netflix, I find myself looking to torrent sites and the Internet Archive to scratch my film noir, King Vidor, Vittorio De Sica and Busby Berkely itch. Because sometimes Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve in "The April Fools" or Lee J Cobb in John Boorman's "Point Blank" is just what the movie doctor ordered. Sometimes, a creepy-as-hell Richard Widmark in the 1953 Sam Fuller classic, "Pickup on South Street" is preferable to watching Ryan Gosling try to create an expression on his face.

Hell, a little while ago, I just wanted to sit back and enjoy the 1973 blaxploitation classic, "The Mack" and learned that Netflix doesn't have it available for streaming (but you can get a DVD if you still use that legacy format). I mean, what the fuck. Who's gonna mess with physical media and snail mail just to watch a movie? Not only that, but they don't carry "Trouble Man" at all, and that has one of the greatest soundtracks ever by Curtis Mayfield.

In case you aren't familiar with cinematic masterpiece "The Mack", here's the scene where Goldy and Pretty Tony face off. Check the very young Richard Pryor: https://youtu.be/sdR_t5nsZqI

I'm spoiled because back in my university days, I worked as a projectionist at a revival house for seven years and got the most thorough education in film history one could ever hope for. But some of you younger folks might not know what came before The Avengers and Fast and Furious 7, and that makes me sad. Hell, the 1970s were a veritable golden age for independent films and hardly anybody gets to see those movies today. Even the "classic movie" channels on cable only play the same top forty old movies over and over again, never digging deep into back catalogs. There is so much cinema to be discovered. Don't fear the black and white or silent.

Comment: Re:Still There? (Score 1) 159

by Firethorn (#49516099) Attached to: ISS Could Be Fitted With Lasers To Shoot Down Space Junk

Getting the surface hot enough to melt and sublime will necessarily mean that the skin is just about the same temperature on the other side.

Most lasers for these sorts of purposes would be 'pulse' lasers anyways. Think of it like the difference between trying to melt part of an aluminum can with a MAPP torch or a match.

The higher heat of the torch, properly focused, can burn a hole in the can before the rest of the can heats up.

I'd imagine that there's a few options, but one is to hit the junk with a microsecond level pulse that indeed just vaporizes a flake of material, providing a relatively very small kick. But timed right, that kick will cause the junk to orbit a touch on a more elliptical orbit. A little deeper into the atmosphere lowers it's orbit much faster, and you can reduce something that will be up there for the next couple centuries without intervention to burning up in the atmosphere within a decade.

I'd just create a list - stuff that threatens the ISS first, then other satellites, then in descending order of hassle. Then program up the laser such that the highest priority object with a proper firing line available is shot first.

Comment: That's because they're not much faster (Score 4, Insightful) 108

by Solandri (#49515937) Attached to: New PCIe SSDs Load Games, Apps As Fast As Old SATA Drives

Slashdot has covered a bunch of new PCI Express SSDs over the past month, and for good reason. The latest crop offers much higher sequential and random I/O rates than predecessors based on old-school Serial ATA interfaces.

That's just it. Their speeds are not "much higher." They're only slightly faster. The speed increase is mostly an illusion created by measuring these things in MB/s. Our perception of disk speed is not MB/s, which is what you'd want to use if you only had x seconds of computing time and wanted to know how many MB of data you could read.

Our perception of disk speed is wait time, or sec/MB. If I have y MB of data I need read, how many seconds will it take? This is the inverse of MB/s. Consequently, the bigger MB/s figures actually represent progressively smaller reductions in wait times. I posted the explanation a few months ago, the same one I post to multiple tech sites. And oddly enough Slashdot was the only site where it was ridiculed.

If you measure these disks in terms of wait time to read 1 GB, and define the change in wait time from a 100 MB/s HDD to a 2 GB/s NVMe SSD as 100%, then:

A 100 MB/s HDD has a 10 sec wait time.
A 250 MB/s SATA2 SSD gives you 63% of the reduction in wait time (6 sec).
A 500 MB/s SATA3 SSD gives you 84% of the reduction in wait time (8 sec).
A 1 GB/s PCIe SSD gives you 95% of the reduction in wait time (9 sec).
The 2 GB/s NVMe SSD gives you 100% of the reduction in wait time (9.5 sec).

Or put another way:

The first 150 MB/s speedup results in a 6 sec reduction in wait time.
The next 250 MB/s speedup results in an extra 2 sec reduction in wait time.
The next 500 MB/s speedup results in an extra 1 sec reduction in wait time.
The next 1000 MB/s speedup results in an extra 0.5 sec reduction in wait time.

Each doubling of MB/s results in half the reduction in wait time of the previous step. Manufacturers love waving around huge MB/s figures, but the bigger those numbers get the less difference it makes in terms of wait times.

(The same problem crops up with car gas mileage. MPG is the inverse of fuel consumption. So those high MPG vehicles like the Prius actually make very little difference despite the impressively large MPG figures. Most of the rest of the world measures fuel economy in liters/100 km for this reason. If we weren't so misguidedly obsessed with achieving high MPG, we'd be correctly attempting to reduce fuel consumption by making changes where it matters the most - by first improving the efficiency of low-MPG vehicles like trucks and SUVs even though this results in tiny improvements in MPG.)

Comment: NAT is just bandaid (Score 1) 197

by DrYak (#49515863) Attached to: Why the Journey To IPv6 Is Still the Road Less Traveled

You know what else solves the "not enough IP addresses" problem? NAT.

It's a short-term quick hack which might make some problem seem to disappear, but creates ton of other problems.
NAT creates layers of indirection, and NAT makes machines not directly addressable.
Require hole punching and the like even for very basic functionality (like VoIP).
The internet was envisioned as a distributed network with all being equal peers, but NAT is contributing to the current assymetry of having a few key content distributor and every body else being a passive consumer.

And it's a lot less of a change than switching to IPv6.

IPv6 here. No it's not that complicated, and can be made automated. (e.g.: you don't even need to setup DHCP. your router just hands out prefixes, and the devices on the net autonomously decide their address by appending their mac address).
With NAT, you'll end up needing to fumble with your router and open / redirect ports anyway, just to be sure that everything works as it should.

Comment: Re:This is the long way to say... (Score 1) 108

by im_thatoneguy (#49515857) Attached to: New PCIe SSDs Load Games, Apps As Fast As Old SATA Drives

No, the Flash isn't the bottlneck. The problem is now the CPU processing the data coming off of the flash. If you have storage constrained tasks these drives are 3-4x faster than other SSDs. But loading a game mostly involves decompressing thousands of compressed textures. Your HDD doesn't help with that task.

"I've seen it. It's rubbish." -- Marvin the Paranoid Android