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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).

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Comment: Re:Old is new again (Score 1) 283

by Malc (#49333809) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

Having owned or driven a few German cars, and I can tell you that speed limiters are no good if you don't live in Germany. My VW for instance was governed to 220 kph (the rating of the stock tyres) and had tyre pressure instructions inside the rim of the car door for speeds above/below 170 kph - I lived in Toronto at the time, where the speed limit on the fastest roads is 100 kph!

BTW, it seems fairly common in some cars, e.g. Audis, to have a speed warning buzzer. Maybe that's because they can go so damn fast without your realising.

Comment: Re: A turd by any other name (Score 1) 317

by Malc (#49281495) Attached to: Microsoft Is Killing Off the Internet Explorer Brand

As I remember, IE6 was actually the first decent version. Unfortunately it stuck around for years, without being updated, and under the eye of hindsight it appears pretty poor. The Netsape products from back then were equally as rubbish, but they were superseded more quickly. Firefox has technically stagnated more than IE ... that team still can't deliver the Electrolysis project, and is now definitely the weakest of the major browsers.

Comment: Re:The coping mechanism is to fix the room (Score 1) 95

by Malc (#49178661) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Wireless Microphone For Stand-up Meetings?

Yep, you can improve acoustics a little with soft furnishings and plants for instance. Bonus is a better environment.

Polycom isn't necessary. I work with two remote scrum teams who both try standing around a shared desktop in their rooms for their stand-ups via Lync. One of them has great audio, the other doesn't. Both are in large echoey rooms. The only difference in systems is their mic and room decoration.

The team in the room we can't hear clearly have resolved the issue by doing all meetings from their desks using headsets. They also now have long drawn out stand-ups. Hmmm, proves the point about standing up.

Comment: This isn't ethics (Score 1) 162

by Malc (#49128323) Attached to: Should a Service Robot Bring an Alcoholic a Drink?

This is neurotic navel gazing. Take responsibility for your own actions, which includes getting drunk in the first place because you know before the first drink that this will lead to suspension of judgement. If you choose to use a tool like a robot to get you a drink, that's your decision, even if it kills you. What next - a controlling nanny state that raises the drinking age to 21 or it makes it illegal to jaywalk?

Comment: Re:I've posted this 1312 times (Score 1) 147

by Malc (#49125817) Attached to: Firefox 36 Arrives With Full HTTP/2 Support, New Design For Android Tablets

I switched to Chrome a few years ago because I was fed-up with Firefox's monolithic single process architecture. With a single process I have no way to tell which tab is draining my battery, which is a bigger issue than the constant memory leaking. The devs at Mozilla and Netscape before it have never really understood the benefits of multi-processing.

My laptop failed a few days ago so I'm on an old machine I haven't used for three years, but seeing as Firefox is the default I thought I'd update it and give it a shot. Mistake. One tab having trouble loading a web page blocks the whole UI leaving me wondering whether the app has hung up and needs to be killed via Task Manager. What a load of utter shit. Internet Explorer is better these days.

When did they promise that Electrolysis would be done this Feb? How many years have they been promising it full-stop? Now it seems it'll be later this year. No commitment, and apparently incapable of either running a decent engineering operation that can deliver anything sensible in a predictable and reasonable time frame.

Back to Chrome.

Comment: Re: Bad format in the first place (Score 3, Interesting) 65

by Malc (#49078875) Attached to: BBC Radio Drops WMA For MPEG-DASH

I'm surprised you expect to hear about it here. Most people here seem to care about the codecs and whether they're free. DASH doesn't really care about codecs and really just defines how you create and use adaptive streams and is based on existing codecs/formats. It only standardised relatively recently and it's going to be big (but hopefully transparent), for example: http://www.dash-player.com/blo.... Expect to see it as a vendor neutral alternative to things like MS SmoothStreaming and even Apple's HLS, although the later requires you to have a player with your own decoders if you're sending more than a certain size to iOS devices.

That said, most implementors are doing AVC or HEVC with AAC in a fragmented MP4 container. VOD content is probably one file per stream and live is multiple files fragments) per stream.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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