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Comment: You can have that... for a lot of money (Score 1) 87

by Sycraft-fu (#47798893) Attached to: RAYA: Real-time Audio Engine Simulation In Quake

For whatever reason, it isn't something there's much interest in, but it does exist. I am aware of three options:

1) The HeaDSPeaker. The cheapest option. A little device from a not very well known company called VLSI Solutions. It handles the head tracking and HRTF, you provide the headphones. Runs about 340 Euro ($450). It can take input either as a Dolby Digital stream, or directly as USB from the computer.

2) The Beyerdynamic Headzone. This is an all-in-one solution from Beyerdynamic. Has a decoder, HRTF calculations, headphone amp, head tracking, and a pair of DT 880s. Costs about $1700. Requires DTS or DD input for multi-channel input.

3) Then the grand champion, the Smyth Research Realiser A8. This thing takes measurements of your headphones, ears, speakers, and room and so accurately recreates the sound it is more or less impossible to tell it apart. The unit handles measurement, decoding, HRTF, head tracking and so on. However it costs $2900 for the unit alone, $3700 with the Stax headphones and amp they recommend for it. Oh and you need a good surround system to measure, so you either need to own one or book time on one. Needs either multi-channel analogue or HDMI input.

So it is out there... but you pay a ton for it. That's all I know of at the moment, it is a topic I keep track of because I have a lot of interest in it.

Comment: That's a pretty silly statement (Score 1) 171

by Sycraft-fu (#47789321) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

In computer technology, there is ALWAYS something new next year. Yes, there'll be a 14nm shrink next year (or maybe later this year)... but then just a year away will be a technology update, a new core design that is more capable, and of course they'll have more experience on the 14nm process and it'll be better... however only like a year after that 10nm will be online and that'll be more efficient.

And so on and so forth.

With computers, you buy what you need when you need it. Playing the "Oh something better is coming," game is stupid because it is always happening, generally very quickly.

So if you want a 6 or 8 core system, this is what to buy (it's cheaper than their Xeon setups). Will there be a better ones later? For sure. However sitting in neutral waiting for "the next big thing" is silly. Get a system, keep it as long as it is useful, get a new one when you need a new one.

Also hating on this for being enthusiast is silly. Ya it is expensive. So don't get it if you don't need it. However for what it does, it isn't bad. Maybe you need that kind of power. Maybe you need more. Not long ago we had a faculty member purchase workstation with 2x 12 core CPUs. These things cost about $2600 PER CPU, never mind the other hardware to support it. System was over $10,000. However, for the simulations he was doing, it was worth it. I'd never buy that for home, my workloads are much lighter, but I'm not going to hate on him needing it.

Same shit here. Do most users need this? No. Heck most users don't need a quad core. But there are uses for it.

Comment: As wikipedia likes to say (Score 1) 171

by Sycraft-fu (#47789283) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

(citation needed)

I have never seen RAM as cheap as it is now. When you can buy a 16GB ECC DIMM for less than $200, it is rather wonderful. Our researchers that use big amounts of memory are extremely happy with how much memory they can stuff in desktops and servers for a reasonably price.

Now I'll admit, I don't have a chart of RAM prices, so I suppose I could be wrong, but then I've worked in IT for the last, oh, 20ish years on a continuous basis and spec'ing and buying hardware is a fairly common part of my job.

So please, show me some evidence from two years ago when RAM was half its current price. Right now I see a 16GB 1600MHz 2R ECC DIMM as running about $170, and a 4x4GB 1600MHz unbuffered set running about $150. So please show me some proof that two years ago I could get those for about $70-90 each.

Comment: How is that surprising? (Score 1) 171

by Sycraft-fu (#47789263) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

Have you looked at RAM prices? 32GB of DDR3 RAM is about $300-400 for a 4x8GB set, depending on speed and company. So $600-800 for 64GB. Ok well how about server memory, since you can get servers with 6TB of RAM if you like (really, check HP or Dell). For a 16GB DIMM, which is the largest you can get before the price per GB skyrockets, it is about $160-200. fo $640-800 for 64GB.

So hmmm, looks like DDR4 is right in what other ram costs, plus a bit of a premium since it is brand new tech. What a shock! Who would have every thought it would cost about what RAM costs!

Get off it. Also it is stupid to act like everyone would need to buy the max amount of RAM. That the system SUPPORTS 64GB doesn't mean you have to BUY 64GB. It means that if you need that much, you can have it. If you need less, get less. Most desktops sold today support 32GB in the form of 4 sticks of 8GB DDR3 RAM. Most systems ship with only 4-8GB of RAM, in 1 or 2 sticks. There is nothing stopping you from using less.

You see this even more on the server market. We like Dell R720XDs at work. They support 768GB of RAM. However 0 out of 5 that we have purchased have that much RAM. It is exceedingly expensive, since it needs 32GB DIMMS. However it also means that getting 384GB is much cheaper, since it has the ability to do that on 16GB DIMMS. That said, we have only one system that needs that much RAM. The rest? Between 128-256GB. The rest of the slots sit empty, ready to be filled as our needs grow. Two of the 128GB servers will probably be getting more memory soon.

So seriously, get off it. DDR4 really isn't much more expensive than DDR3, much less than I thought, and memory is cheaper than ever. All these boards mean is if you need a lot of RAM, you can have it.

Comment: Because people can twist religion as they like (Score 4, Insightful) 360

The thing is, religious texts say a lot of shit, particularly the major religions which often have a whole lot of text including not just their "official" book but all kinds of other documents that have some measure of authority in their belief system for various reasons. Also because the documents are old, and composed of various collected stories of various authorships, there are generally plenty of contradictions, things that have been shown to be untrue, and so on.

So what really happens is people choose to believe the parts they like, and ignore or reinterpret the rest. They follow the parts they wish and find justifications for not following the others. This happens all the time in all religions. Generally, religious ideology is an excuse, a justification, for a behaviour, not the case. People don't read a holy text and say "Oh, well I have to follow this to the letter!" Rather they have something they want to do and they find a way to make their belief system justify it.

You can see it with things like the "prosperity gospel" Christians and so on. Any even somewhat literal reading of Jesus's teachings shows the guy was the ultimate hippy. All about helping the poor, against material wealth, etc, etc. However, they find a way to justify their views in the bible.

Or the crazy things Orthodox Jews go through to supposedly obey arbitrary restrictions in the torah, while then skirting around them. Like they believe that the prohibition on making fire on the sabbath applies to electricity. However then there are things like ovens with timers greater than 24 hours, so you can have it come on automatically on the sabbath and that's ok. Oh Shabbos Goys, non-Jewish individuals you can hire to do things for you that you are not allowed to do on the sabbath.

Same shit with any of the variants of Islam. What the Koran says isn't really relevant. They'll find a way to make it justify what they want to believe. They can find a way to twist it to allow things that are specifically forbidden, or to ignore things that are required, or whatever.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 827

by gstoddart (#47781029) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

"Because, the yellow cake thing was a lie,"

Those gullible Canadians, buying 550 metric tons of non-existant yellow cake.

You should learn to fact check a little better:

Tuwaitha and an adjacent research facility were well known for decades as the centerpiece of Saddam's nuclear efforts.

Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.

Or, as the New York Times stated more plainly:

The yellowcake removed from Iraq was not the same yellowcake that President Bush claimed, in a now discredited section of his 2003 State of the Union address, that Mr. Hussein was trying to purchase in Africa.

The U.S. did manage to ameliorate a substantial security concern by secretly shipping stored yellowcake out of Iraq in mid-2008, but that act was not, as claimed above, proof that Iraq had been purchasing uranium and attempting to restart its nuclear program prior to the U.S. invasion.

Because you're full of shit.

Comment: Something many forget (Score 1) 827

by Sycraft-fu (#47778199) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Is that when you buy US Treasuries, you don't actually get anything. They don't send you a magic stone with powers to call in a debt. What happens is there's an entry made in a computer database, a computer that is in the US.

What this means is that the US ultimately has control over the repayment. Now both legally and practically the US is obligated to repay their securities per the agreed upon terms. However, that goes out the window in the case of a war. US law allows the freezing/seizing of assets, and other countries would have no problem with the idea.

So a situation could arise where the US simply declares China's holdings to be invalid and null. So long as the other bond holders are ok with this, and the (US) courts see it as legal, then China suddenly loses over a trillion dollars in investments. They can't just run off and sell them or something, they have nothing to sell. This would tank the renminbi and really screw China over. It actually could have a positive impact on the US, particularly if the other bond holders saw this as a positive (because the US owes less) and trusted that it wouldn't happen to them.

A country selling treasury notes isn't like taking out a loan with a loan shark. It works really different. US securities are:

1) Denominated in US dollars, and thus only worth something if the dollar is.

2) Payable on defined schedules, with no ability to "call in" the loan early.

3) Nothing more than promises to pay from the US government, and thus only valid if the government decides they will pay.

Comment: Re:They won't (Score 1) 126

by gstoddart (#47777833) Attached to: Microsoft Dumps 1,500 Apps From Its Windows Store

Aka "I pulled my initial claim out of my ass".

No, I pulled it from the Linux Mint VM I have which didn't give me any obvious mechanism to do something as trivial as setting my search provider to Google.

If it isn't in the drop down list, and I have to play hunt the wumpus to figure out WTF I need to be doing to add it, I'll stand by my initial assertion ... that, for whatever reason, they've made setting Google as a search provider less than easy or obvious.

Google is not in the default list, after spending a small amount of time trying to figure out how to do it, I gave up on the Distro entirely.

Comment: Bah ... (Score 4, Interesting) 146

by gstoddart (#47777563) Attached to: The American Workday, By Profession

The hookers come out at night to screw their clients, the stock market guys get up early to screw all of us.

Everything in the middle depends on who your clients are, and type of industry you're in.

Educated people see daylight (or get paid a premium), less educated get shift work.

I don't even need to read TFA to know these things. ;-)

And, yes, I'm mostly kidding.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 5, Insightful) 827

by gstoddart (#47777487) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Some times non-invasive therapies are indicated, but quite often the best course is surgery. Sadly, what we have in the White House is a "herbal remedies" charlatan...

Right, as opposed to the previous guy, who went into Iraq to settle his daddy's score, and based on "intelligence" which was provably NOT true at the time? The overly simplistic moron who said "you're either with us or with the terrorists" when there was no connection between the war and what they said it was for? The one whose administration said they'd pay for that little jaunt with all the oil money you'd be getting? The one who started the sledge-hammer of an agency which is DHS?

Because, the yellow cake thing was a lie, there were no WMDs, they weren't sponsoring terrorism, and had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11.

You mean that kind of "surgery", where you blunder around with pointy objects in the dark making a lot of noise and hoping everyone swoons over your manliness?

Because, really the chimpanzee who was Bush the Second didn't exactly do anything with surgical precision. He wasn't even in the right country until far too late, and the country you did invade is falling into civil war.

So, tell us another story, please. But, we're still not buying it.

Comment: Re:Dominion & Munchkin (Score 1) 377

by gstoddart (#47777369) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

Yup, a former co-worker introduced me to these kind of games.

Any my immediate response was "why the hell have I had to put up with these other shitty games for so long?"

For many of us, the games like Monopoly were no fun, and made themselves less fun when taken to their extremes.

I like the mechanics of the game play of the German style games, and the social nature of them -- we can all laugh that you had something happen, because nobody is ganging up on you, and the conditions for someone "winning" could be completely random. Because one player getting hammered on until they're eliminated means they'll probably never play with you again.

Playing with a super competitive "I must win at any cost" person sucks all the fun out of a game, and isn't conducive to bringing in new people, or having a quick game where the stakes don't ratchet up into someone's mania about winning.

Screw that, I want my leisure time to be about fun, not magnifying the antisocial tendencies of one of the players. :-P

Want a fun game? Try one where a 5 year old might beat you with a random turn of a card and absolutely no strategy, instead of one in which you can feel good about yourself by constantly beating a 5 year old.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1, Interesting) 827

by gstoddart (#47777183) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

So USA isn't a bully?

I said nothing of the sort.

I said that sometimes you call the bluff of the "bully", and discover it isn't a bluff, and that the bully is far more dangerous than anybody realized.

Everything else, that's all your baggage and not mine.

I'm no more convinced that the Ukrainian government is blameless than I am that the 'referendum' wasn't rigged, and carried out by people who are, historically speaking, relatively new to Ukraine, and not actually representative of the entire population.

So, if all the Chinese Americans in California decided they were forming their own country, how would you feel about that?

I have a fairly simple rule: there's at least one more side to any story than that are actors involved. Which makes this a complex and multi-faceted thing where anybody who says "all of these people say this" are being overly reductionist.

But, I also know other Ukrainian expats who feel this is something which is being brought about by what are essentially Russian people who have been in Ukraine for however long and have decide they want to separate and join Russia.

So, either I conclude you're wrong, they're wrong, or like all things like this ... it's much more complicated and attempt to distill it down to one point is hopeless.

Comment: Re:old school ?? (Score 1) 377

by gstoddart (#47776979) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

#1 STOP USING 'old school', you aren't, and you sound like a douche bag.

OK, Grandpa, yes, we know it's all been downhill since the hoop and stick you used to play with ... but, really, the Atari 2600 came out in 1977, and really is considered "old school" by pretty much everybody as far as video games are concerned.

While you might be nostalgic for the old steam powered games of your youth, anybody up to the age of 50 considers the Atari 2600 as old school. Because prior to that was Pong, and actual mechanical pin-ball.

Now, do you need a blanket or a cup of tea? You're disturbing the children, and they're not actually on your lawn. ;-)

Comment: Re:Dominion & Munchkin (Score 1) 377

by gstoddart (#47776599) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

I've actually played Pandemic a few times.

And it's in a class of games which are either best played cooperatively, or which completely make the game mechanics drive the play.

Some co-workers used to play games at lunch -- in fact, they probably still do.

And the appeal of these games isn't "ha ha, I beat you". It's more like "Doh, Bob got eaten by a weasel, causing Sally to fall down the stairs, and when the flower pot landed on Steve's head he won." The victory/conclusion conditions change the dynamic of the play a lot -- to the extent that sometimes it's hilarious to be the one who "loses" or triggers the end of the game.

For many of us, we prefer it when the game mechanics preclude personal scores, or when one person gets to play king maker.

The games are much more social that way, and for many of us, that is a very big plus in games.

In fact, for many of us, games like Monopoly suck, because it's all about beating your opponents into the ground, or other things which suck the fun out of the game. And games which eliminate players means for the remainder of the game everyone is just sort of going "well, that wasn't really fun, and it's over, but they'll be at it a while".

It's a completely different style of play, and it is much more focused on play and having fun, than winning at all costs. And it means one person doesn't always win the game, and everyone else decides they have better things to do.

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster. - Voltaire