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Comment: Re:JPEG XR (Score 2) 155

by Negroponte J. Rabit (#46421081) Attached to: New Mozilla Encoder Improves JPEG Compression

The resistance to support WebP in Mozilla seems to be more politically motivated than technical.

Why not add JPEG-XR as well?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG_XR

"JPEG XR[3] (abbr. for JPEG extended range[4]) is a still-image compression standard and file format for continuous tone photographic images, based on technology originally developed and patented by Microsoft..."

Keyword in bold. Still, a very nice format.

Comment: Re:I wish they would focus on WebP instead (Score 3, Informative) 155

by Negroponte J. Rabit (#46420349) Attached to: New Mozilla Encoder Improves JPEG Compression

The resistance to support WebP in Mozilla seems to be more politically motivated than technical.

AMEN!!!! WebP is modern. JPEG, GIF and PNG are all older than most pop stars. Why do we use the image compression equivalent of MPEG1 still?

Seriously, this is so dumb. I continue using Firefox for two specific reasons (tagged bookmarks and Pentadactyl) but Vimperator and Pocket are making Chrome more tempting. I choose WebP (using the official encoder I build directly from Google's repository) for my online photo storage. Decades of photos and scans I would estimate occupy about 1/8th the space of JPEG with little perceptual difference. WebP really shines on very clean, noise-free images and occasionally I'll have 5 megapixel images compress down to under 200kb (variable block compression, it's the 21st century.

Few points about WebP. It might be nice for Google to fix encoder crashes with extremely large images, and maybe improve that GIF2WEB converter.

It is nice that Google provides an installer that makes Windows transparently handle WebP. Would love to see better support for it in KDE apps.

Comment: Re:Too big (Score 1) 520

by Negroponte J. Rabit (#45919945) Attached to: 4K Is For Programmers
UHD? 4096? You can't tell the difference. They do NOT look ridiculous as a computer monitor. Buttons feel cheap, yes - not touch sensitive like the LG that used to be in the same space - but who cares. Also, it turns on nicely when I turn my computer on. Barely any need to use front controls or remote. Picture quality is very good. Not sharp, pure like my Apple Cinema 2560x1440 display but to EVERY 1080p LCD/LED television set I've tried, Seiki's PC performance is much better than anything. I can read tiny fonts quite well (such as in FL Studio, which gets lots of use with this monitor). There is some color bleed when driving from PC at 3840x2160 but none of the crazy pixel noise/artifacting you get with 1080p TV sets plugged into a PC. I did not expect this, at all. Watching Bluray on this thing is *interesting* - optional video processing can do quite a number on noisy video footage (Spartacus) but on clean video from Bluray, like 2001, The Shining and etc, it's pretty astonishing what it can do. Upsampling & noise reduction do help quite a bit (see Fargo), and most vivid is interpolation - yeah, the "Soap Opera Effect" of 60fps video but it's *Beautiful* with Hugo - and The Shining looks oddly like a BBC TV production - not sure why. You can turn these off but it's fun to rewatch films now. Also, gaming - GTAV plays in 60fps now! Seriously - it feels responsive even with interpolation - sometimes games (and movies) seem to have audio sync issues but seem to correct itself after a while. Interesting note - the firmware update for Seiki UHD TVs appears to be unencrypted and looks like it contains a Darwin distro for MIPS architecture. Just sayin....

Comment: Re:Wait a sec... LEASING?! (Score 2) 214

by Negroponte J. Rabit (#44856423) Attached to: No Child Left Untableted
Maybe, but I'm assuming that this company did in fact come in with the lowest bid. To be fair, having parents who've been teachers, schools spend A-LOT of money on *CRAP* - CRAP standardized programs, CRAP books, CRAP software, CRAP consultants, CRAP tech, CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP! I was amazed to hear what one school paid to have specialized desks built, each with an embedded CRT and a PC with a RealMagic Hollywood card to play DVDs, and a huge 64-port Cisco router for the 15 or so machines, apparently none of which got much use. Money that could've gone to better things. Still, $200 to lease a tablet? Just buy the freaking tablets! Get Nook HD's - they're cheaper and keep Barnes and Nobles in business. Seriously, If I were in charge, I'd put Apple IIs, Atari 800's and TRS-80's back in classrooms. Maybe give a Raspberry Pi to every kid. There was something to using a device that essentially gave you a blank slate and you had to learn and create to make it do stuff. Now, everything comes flying at you with bright colors and stupid, condescending, badly drawn cartoon characters. By the way, remember that Neil Bush's No Child Left Behind program was a pretty nice deal for Neil Bush's IGNITE! company, formed the very same year that his brother ran for president. Gotta love family connections.

Comment: Solution: SVG and OpenVG support in framework? (Score 1) 331

by Negroponte J. Rabit (#44467277) Attached to: Why PBS Won't Do Android
ARM chipset vendors have been providing highly-optimized hardware-accelerated OpenVG libraries. Many of these run Android. The libraries even exist on some Android devices but appear unutilized. What's a good and efficient solution for developers to support multiple screen sizes? Easy! Use vector-defined graphics assets, but preparing bitmaps is somewhat time-consuming. OpenVG is designed for the very purpose of these tasks in hardware, and having seen some demos of OpenVG rendering smoothly on tiny devices at 1080p, it seems like a great solution to deal with the wide array of screen sizes. Other solutions are just scale up via OpenGL but this looks lame (especially on Nexus 10) or use one of few OpenGL-based VG renderers but these possibly are rather suboptimal compared to vendor's VG HW rasterization.

Comment: Re:Try OpenSuSE! (Score 1) 458

by Negroponte J. Rabit (#42668951) Attached to: Fedora 18 Installer: Counterintuitive and Confusing?

HOWever, how the heck did the Facebook logo appear beside your post? I don't use FB, so am unfamiliar with its workings, but did you post your comment to Slashdot's FB "wall" and it appeared here

I just logged into Slashdot using Facebook. I've had a Slashdot account for years but was just too lazy to type in my password so went for the one-click alternative. ;)

Comment: Re:Try OpenSuSE! (Score 1) 458

by Negroponte J. Rabit (#42668921) Attached to: Fedora 18 Installer: Counterintuitive and Confusing?

Apt hasn't involved mostly because, unlike RPM, it got many things right first time.

Not to get into religious battles but I'm talking improvements, not changes. There's will *always* and *forever* be room for improvements. Like verifying files for possible tampering, to managing backups of configs, to providing integrated snapshots, to "self-healing" features in case kernel update goes awry (zypper keeps x number of kernels installed, apt-get just keeps piling them on - annoying if you have smallish /boot partition) I used Ubuntu for years rigorously, often delving deep into dpkg functionality. I would say there is some room for improvement.

Comment: Re:Try OpenSuSE! (Score 1) 458

by Negroponte J. Rabit (#42668573) Attached to: Fedora 18 Installer: Counterintuitive and Confusing?
Right! Just about everything open source is some form of beta or another. Oh, and I'm no fan of virtual machines. The installer has no business touching partitions it was told not to touch, on drives not used for the install. There are bugs that are understandable, typos or errors in judgement, then there are bugs that clearly show the programmer has no idea WTF they are doing. This was the latter.

Comment: Re:Try OpenSuSE! (Score 1) 458

by Negroponte J. Rabit (#42668439) Attached to: Fedora 18 Installer: Counterintuitive and Confusing?

I started with Slackware, then switched to Debian in late 1999 and have been using it since. However I recently tried a bunch of distros, one of which was OpenSuSE (12.1) with KDE4 and I was surprised at how much I liked it. If I ever switch away from Debian, OpenSuSE would be one of my top choices. I also liked Arch (super-fast package installs, but there's no graphical installer) and Vector Linux (based on Slackware but with package management). I also liked Fedora 17, but for obvious reasons I don't currently consider it a condender. :-/

I started with Slackware as well - well, actually, the original dual floppy release, then self-managed HD install for a bit. After OpenSuSE, I tried a couple others like Mandrake, Knoppix, handful of others. Eventually found Ubuntu, which seemed like the very first Linux distro which someone began to really hammer down all the rough edges, enforce some harmony on Linux desktop. Well, mainly, no more eye-stabbingly ugly apps hardcoded 24pt X11 fonts. They were (and are) still there, just not part of the default environment.

Concerning RPM-based distros I'm assuming you're referring to the improvements via YUM rather than RPM internals. (Correct me if this isn't the case.) Debian has actually improved on some of the DEB packaging tools; it isn't obvious because the development of DEB tools starts from the source package side first. I mostly like the Debian packaging system -- it's still the best package management system that I know of -- except that it's a bit complicated to create source packages, especially if you want to use Git while doing so. If I were to complain about Debian and reasoning for leaving it, it would be more along the lines of social problems within the Debian community rather than technical issues.

You're right. I should have mentioned apt/dpkg (Ubuntu) vs. yum/rpm (Fedora) and zypper/rpm (OpenSuSE) but the core RPM tool seems more robust when you need to trace down why an app isn't starting up (dependency problems) or determine whether files have been tampered with. Although leaving Ubuntu coincides with buying a faster machine, it seems zypper/rpm is much faster than apt/dpkg, which could take hours to install (NOT including initial downloading). zypper/rpm has various options for how updates are performed (one file at a time, in small batches or after fully downloaded) among other options.

Comment: Try OpenSuSE! (Score 5, Informative) 458

by Negroponte J. Rabit (#42653609) Attached to: Fedora 18 Installer: Counterintuitive and Confusing?
A beta of Fedora 18's installer completely wiped my hard drive. I told it to partition the drive. It partitioned it, installed Linux fine, and ALSO formatted every NTFS partition to a fresh EXT4. Even for a beta, this is a sign there's something seriously wrong. After using SuSE for years, then Ubuntu for years, then a very brief love affair with Fedora 17 KDE (mainly, delta RPM updates), I returned to OpenSuSE after 10 years away and probably will never switch away again. As far as integrated admin tools and the installer, OpenSuSE's have always been exceptional. Also, my reason for switching from DEB to RPM-based distro was it seems Debian's core package management tools haven't seemed to evolve much in years while RPM appears to have improved quite a bit. The delta-compressed updates is a huge deal for me, but also the general speed of the tools. OpenSuSE's zypper tool also gives a bit of freedom in installing 'unmatched' later versions of libs but if things go wrong, it's easy to trace and downgrade. Also, the package management tools integrate with btrfs snapshots and there's a powerful tool called 'snapper' which gives you quick access to rollback or version diffs.

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