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Comment Alienware (Score 1) 123

Most Alienware computers are not gaming rigs. Or at least, they are so poorly optimized for the role that it would be shameful to call them such.

A gaming rig is a computer defined by its ability to play videogames well. For that, the single most important component is the graphics card or GPU, as most of the work done by a videogame is through the graphics APIs. It also needs a processor powerful enough to feed the graphics card. For modern games (since the late 00's), the processor doesn't need high single-threaded performance (because again, the work is done on the GPU, just needs to feed the GPU), but it is preferable to have more usable threads for some games (like Planetside 2) that track lots of physics.

Alienware computers typically are defined by having very high price tags (more on this later), powerful processors (typically top end i5's and i7's), but relatively weak graphics cards. Because of this, they typically play games at *lower* performance that their components might suggest (and certainly their price tags would). The reason for this bizarre design might have something to do with kickbacks from Intel (at least was true in the past), but also something akin to the MHz Myth for gaming and processor power, which allows Dell to sell PCs while still having a pretty fat profit margin.

When you buy an Alienware, you are paying close to retail (or usually a little more than retail) for the parts, plus some amount for labor, plus a pretty large (40-50%) profit margin on top of that.

Because of those things, you can oftentimes build a BETTER gaming rig for less than *half* the cost of an Alienware if you assemble yourself.

A good first build would have something like a low range i5, an FX-6300, or an FX-8350 combined with the most powerful graphics card you can afford. Right now the market is pretty much dominated by the GTX 960, 970, and 980 because of their amazing power, power/price point and their low power draw (about half the power draw of ATI/AMD's offerings). You can fit 2x GTX 960s plus an FX-6300 and the rest of the computer on a single 500W PSU, which is pretty remarkable.

Comment Re: unique id (Score 3, Interesting) 214

What is there to explain? Americans hate the idea of the UID *because* they all have direct experience with having a SSN. The way the SSN is, it is like having a password for very important things, but one that you have to give out to every street vendor to verify you as well. Identity theft nightmare for the owner.

Comment Re: Stupid article (Score 2) 226

Drag is a function of velocity. Rockets have to go fast in the atmosphere to build V to keep from wasting fuel fighting gravity. Skylon doesn't have to fight gravity the same way (it uses the atmosphere to fight gravity for it) and therefore doesn't have high drag by needing to punch straight through the atmosphere as fast as possible and where drag is the highest .

Your thinking is akin to two grave diggers. One uses a shovel to cut the earth and remove dirt (Skylon) making it an easy job to reach 6', while you are trying to suggest that is worse or equivalent to someone trying to dig a grave out of holes from someone pushing a 6' pole into the ground repeatedly.

Comment Re:fighting carbon pollution? (Score 3, Insightful) 369

"The oil will be used regardless."

Oil will be used, THAT very expensive and polluting to extract oil will likely not be as long as the oil prices stay below what it costs to develop the tar sands.

And jobs aren't *that* important. There are MANY things I'd rather not do despite what ever jobs they might create. Like restart slavery, or have government funded turd polishers, etc. There has to be a line drawn somewhere. The Keystone XL pipeline was bad for America (except for the many GOP Congresspeople who were investors in TransCanada) in EVERY way except for the bullshit 'jobs' excuse, which was a weak excuse to begin with.

Comment Re:fighting carbon pollution? (Score 2) 369

"is obama and his administration fucking retarded? did he flunk basic math and science?"

*Snickers* Really? After that first line doozy?

Here's some basic math and science for you, transporting the oil pollutes a negligible amount compared to extracting it. The Keystone XL pipeline was designed to reduce the cost of developing the tar sands. Tar sands are expensive to develop because they are energy intensive and very polluting to extract oil from. By keeping the cost of developing the tar sands high, it raises the barrier for developing them, reducing pollution dramatically by only sourcing oil from easy (and therefore, low polluting) sources.

Your thinking is akin to building a big bonfire out of a forest you just cut down, then bitching that it pollutes more for someone to wave the smoke away with a hand fan rather than hooking up an electric fan.


Canada gets a big deal out of the Keystone XL pipeline. The GOP (many of its members being investors tied to the Keystone XL project) make big money. America effectively whores itself out to another country without benefiting much of anything in return for the constant risk of and immediate environmental damage.

Comment Re: Environmentalism has to happen naturally! (Score 1) 208

That was one of the most convincing parodies I have seen on Slashdot in a while. Where it fell apart for me was when you suggested the EPA engineer or fund the technologies rather than fund a standard that engineers in the capitalist economy had to achieve. Nobody could be *that* stupid. If you had left it out, you would have made a pretty convincing crank.

Comment Ignoring sticks in own eyes (Score 1) 53

The U.S. is a big target because of high profile leaks exposing the programs, but it is pretty obvious given the level of cyber intelligence Intel shared between major world powers that every developed nation has similar programs.

The feigned outrage is especially hypocritical with the E.U. since the world leader in mass surveillance, the U.K., is a member. They not only have mass cyber surveillance, but their population willingly submits to mass video surveillance as well.

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval