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Comment: Re: Ok, looks good (Score 1) 377

by RockDoctor (#48611303) Attached to: Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG
What have licenses got to do with it? Unless you saw something in TFA which I didn't, it's Open Source, and Bellard has a solid history of liberal software licensing. Your images are yours. Other people's images, yes may be a problem. For user - submitted content, change your T&Cs to tell the users that all new content will be automatically converted into the new format. Make or get a tool to convert (incoming) JPEG images to the new format and tell your users to use it because the new format will load faster. Fairly rapidly - a few years there will only be a few hold outs. And they're your rump problem.

If you're running an archive site or service, then yes you've probably got a more complex problem.

Images from external tools. May be more of a question. But if this is a genuinely useful tool then your normal patching and upgrading should cover it before you're down to the rump of users.

Comment: Re:Quick question (Score 1) 56

by RockDoctor (#48610309) Attached to: Raspberry Pi In Space

For instance, many ICs are manufactured with depleted boron as a semiconductor dopant and in the borophosphosilicate glass insulating layer.

Since you're talking about isotopically purifying a material, that's going to be a damned sight more expensive than normal-isotope-mix boron. You've got the relatively large mass difference working on your side - 7.7% mass difference (borane) compared to (238+6*19)/(235+6*19) = 0.08% difference (UF6) - but you're still looking at a pretty big job. Even simple heavy water is thousands of times more expensive than normal reagent grade water (11.8% mass difference for D2O versus H2O).

I hadn't thought about the (relative) reactivity of 10B from a radiation-sensitivity point of view. But we've been using it to date the exposure of rock surfaces to the sky for a couple of decades now, and a damned useful tool for archaeological and geomorphological studies it is too. It's up there with thermoluminescence for dating fire damage.

Comment: Re:Hope he doesn't lose power (Score 1) 56

by RockDoctor (#48609891) Attached to: Raspberry Pi In Space

We have near 100 of these in the field and while I've bench-powerfailed them to no avail, out in the real world they die due to fs corruption.

Hang on, let's get that straight : if you pull the power when they're on the bench, then they don't fail, but if they suffer a power fail in the field they do suffer corruption and freeze/ hang/ fail to boot?

Obviously you've tried this, but are you sure that you're pulling the power on the bench while they're in mid-write? Because if you're doing ostensibly the same thing in two circumstances, but with different results, then I'd have to wonder if you're actually doing THE SAME THING both on the bench and in the field.

The way you've described it, it shouldn't do that.

Are the field and lab conditions - e.g. temperature - also the same. I could see temperature having a significant effect on write speeds on (flash) memory. It sounds perplexing. And quite worrying if your troubleshooting isn't replicating something that seems so simple. I know that troubleshooting can be a real time-sink, but if you're getting lots of these fails then the time to service the fialed field modules must add up too.

Are the Pis also under the same load conditions - data-logging, streaming, whatever - on the bench as in the field?

Comment: Re:Hyacinth ... (Score 1) 78

by RockDoctor (#48609469) Attached to: Proposed Theme Park Would Put BBC Shows On Display

I for one want to meet Mrs. Bucket, ulp, sorry Bouquet ...

He's a builder and excellent folk-singer who lives and works in North Yorkshire. Answers to "Pete".

No, I'm not joking.

I had to have the programme explained to me, never having watched more than 30 seconds of the repellent waste of electrons, but once I'd seen enough to recognise the character traits of Bucket-gob (the original) and Mrs Bouquet (the fictional derivative), the comparison was obvious. One or other of the (original) script-writers lives in the same street.

Comment: Re:Better comparison site (Score 1) 377

by RockDoctor (#48593981) Attached to: Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG
Fair question.

People who use JPEG for images with text in them should be burned at the stake, slowly. Partly because it would solve a significant chunk of the population bomb - there are a lot of them around. But mostly because it is just WRONG. However an image handling protocol which can handle text reasonably well and photographic images very well, would be a very good thing.

Comment: Re:Ok, looks good (Score 1) 377

by RockDoctor (#48593931) Attached to: Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

We have more bandwidth

You clearly don't have to pay for serious bandwidth. If you were running a significant site, you might have remembered re-processing your GIFs to PNGs, partly because of the threat of patent bullshit, and partly to reduce your bandwidth costs. And the effect works in the other direction too - on my work site (currently moving from West Africa to Turkey) we have 1Mbps available for all business and personal purposes of the up to 180 POB (Personnel On Board). That's not going to be upgraded - why would it?) But chopping a considerable chunk off the size of each photographic image loaded would have a considerable effect.

You may not have a use case for this sort of change. But other people do.

Comment: Re:Ok, looks good (Score 1) 377

by RockDoctor (#48593841) Attached to: Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

As soon as Photoshop and Firefox/Chrome start supporting it I can see widespread adoption.

Irfanview would be the crunch application for me. And yes, I might well make a new payment (I've already brought one copy) if it would fund the writing of the module.

Up to 14 bits/pixel/channel (does that include the alpha-channel? If TFA included it, I missed it.) would certainly be a major step up from 8bppc in JPEG, though I do occasionally handle data from 16bppc astronomical sensors, and I wonder about HDR photography, so I wonder if pushing up to 16bppc is feasible. We do have FITS for handling the astronomical data, and TIFF for medical up-to-32bppc imaging, so it's not necessarily unworkable. Actually, considering that this is, by design, a lossy format ... my worries are a non-issue. For serious work, you'd never use JPEG or BPG or any lossy format.

Bellard seriously knows his coding. Impressive breadth of contributions to the world over the years.

Comment: Re:Just wondering... (Score 1) 416

by RockDoctor (#48593689) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin
Actually, the twin research (by Mengele, mostly at Auschwitz) wasn't much use. On the other hand, pretty much every piece of cold protection clothing and equipment that has been designed and put into production since the 1940s uses some results of the freezing-Jews-&-homos experiments (mostly at Dachau). They might not know that they're using those results - the whole industry is rife with re-inventing the wheel - but the basic research work was done by killing prisoners (for a variety of crimes which were variants of "disagreeing with the people with guns) in Nazi Germany.

Your point is fair, but your example is pretty weak.

Comment: Re: rename it (Score 1) 179

by RockDoctor (#48571139) Attached to: Uber Banned In Delhi After Taxi Driver Accused of Rape
Those are some fair use cases. But I rather doubt that there would be enough business there to support several 40 G$ companies. But that is the investor's look - out.

The government (for all known values of "government") will want their pound of flesh or 20% VAT or 10% GST or whatever they call it. But they will want their tax, regardless of your wishes.

Comment: Re:rename it (Score 1) 179

by RockDoctor (#48563275) Attached to: Uber Banned In Delhi After Taxi Driver Accused of Rape
So, if this concept of "free market" works (a big "if" ; Like I said, Adam Smith was an Edinburian, and thus remains suspect), the higher fares that you say are available through Uber will allow some licensed taxi-owner to propose to a token holder that he rent the token for $225/day, and the token holder will, in the spirit of "free enterprise", decline the extra $25/day and refuse to allow Uber into the city.

Sorry, I'm having a problem here. Something doesn't add up. There is money in the system that you've not described. (Or the principles of "free enterprise" and "capitalism" are inaccurate descriptions of the world. And we know, as an article of faith, that the latter can't be true - 300 million Americans can't be wrong!)

Comment: Re:6. Profit, too (Score 1) 367

by RockDoctor (#48555235) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Niven is one of the few that spend great detail on the non-humanoid aliens. Both anatomically and culturally.

In Known Space, true. Sadly, I'm ploughing through Niven's recent collaboration with Greg Benford ("Bowl of Heaven", ISBN 0765366460) and thinking very much along the lines that Charlie is. Much though I like Niven's work (hint: I found it on the "N" shelf, where I was looking, not on the "B" shelf where I wasn't looking), I'm reading it and thinking "the Emperor's New Ringworld". I'll leave the rest as spoiler - but I haven't finished reading it yet.

What do I think of Charlie Stross's work? I'd used up my kilogramme new book allowance before I got to the "S" shelf, otherwise I'd probably have succumbed to the temptation. The last time I met Charlie - at a Linux User Group meeting - I hadn't read any of his stuff ; when I meet him again, I will feel obligated to buy him a pint.

Always draw your curves, then plot your reading.