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Comment Re:HDMI=mostly disadvantages (Score 1) 406

Not to mention the time it takes to "negociate" the link probably when you plug it and leaves you with the feeling that nothing works. I don't count the number of times I've seen people press every button on the laptop to see if it would change anything on the black display.

BTW at home I'm still running on the VGA connector at 1600x1200 on an excellent, very clear display. The secret is to use those 13W3 connector cables from Sun immediately connected after a converter plugged into the DB15. No echo, no color issues, runs fine at 90Hz (250 MHz). They contain 3 independently shielded coax cables for the colors. Yes that's the same number of pixels as full HD, at 90Hz. Unless I'm mistaken, we're not far from the original HDMI limit ?

Comment Re:What's so special... (Score 1) 116

In fact my own usage in my projects as well as at my company has justified to take it over till last summer. And since Moritz and Ben from the debian LTS team have done an incredible job at feeding me with security backports for free, when Ben told me that debian 6 would be maintained till february, I found it the least I could do to pursue its maintenance for a few extra months to return the favor. So the fact that it's been used by debian has indeed justified 6 more months, which is nice already.

Acute observers will also note that in parallel Greg has also pushed 3.10 EOL quite far. It's just an indication that LTS is more of a team than isolated individuals the kernel.org table seems to imply. People talk out of public lists. Some devote more time, some less, but everybody helps all other ones as time permits. This is a fun adventure that will go on after 2.6.32 :-)

Oh BTW, 3.2 is quite close to 2.6.32, it should be an excellent, riskless replacement. Over the last year I've pulled fixes exclusively from it.

Comment 14 years ago I answered questions on /. about VFX (Score 4, Interesting) 232

It's fun re-reading the questions and my answers on Slashdot back in 2002.

Back then somebody asked how to get into the field -- I said it was a bad idea (and it was at the time!) -- and perhaps that's true again. I left the biz a couple of years ago.

That said, as people note about Mad Max: Fury Road just about every shot of complex films is a VFX shot. Mad Max had insanely complex, aggressive, and unique practical effects, but there were still 2,000 VFX shots -- and there had to be!

When I started in VFX back on movies like Terminator 2 I told my friends that the one of the big points of VFX was safety. You can support stunt people with heavy cables, and remove them in post -- or replace the heads of stunt people with the lead actors so that they won't be in danger. This is still true, and will always be true.

One of the most interesting films nominated for VFX this year (not mentioned in the article) was the spectacular Ex Machina. Hundreds of beautiful VFX shots, that were a vital part of the story. Among the things that makes that movie special is that the VFX team was integral to the design of the film -- the budget was so small, that they had to work together with the director, set designer, etc to come up with a way to tell the story beautifully and inexpensively. The VFX budget was only $1.5M, probably 2% of the VFX budget for Avengers: Age of Ultron (not nominated!) The VFX Oscar winner a couple of years ago, Gravity was similar in that respect, the VFX team helped plan, and then shoot, every shot -- and then shooting the movie was incredibly quick. Perhaps this will happen more in the future of VFX, I hope so -- as it allows the VFX team to participate more intimately in the filmmaking.

Another thing that's not mentioned in the article is that a lot of filmmaking is about cost. VFX is these days often a heck of a lot cheaper than practical effects. Not just the cost of building things, but the time it takes to shoot them (a typical movie these days costs on the order of $300K/day)

CG VFX are not dying, not by any means. They may get to be more seamless (I hope so!) and more about telling the story and less about flashy hoo-haw. Every significant budget movie has a huge VFX component, and that's just not going to change.

Again, reading my questions and answers from my relative youth were interesting -- and foreshadow a lot of what happened in the last 14 years. One of the questions, though, was curiously wrong. I had thought that patents would rip through the industry, as it did to early effects work back in the 60's and 70's, but that didn't happen. What did happen was the studios have found ways to convince foreign (mostly) governments to finance VFX work in those countries, this has pretty much wiped out a huge portion of VFX in the US.

A bit of sadness is that my old company Hammerhead Productions that I started (and discussed in the article) is closing down after 21 years...but most of the questions and answers bring a smile. Thanks Slashdot!

Comment Re:Morphing (Score 1) 232

The best morphing ever done was Michael Jackson's Black or White video. It was also one of the first pieces that was done, starting about four months after I wrote the morphing tool.

The thing is, it took about a woman-year to do the work, it was really a tremendous amount of detailed effort. Once it was done, and was so close to perfect, nobody wanted to spend that kind of money again.

Comment Re:Press space to wipe and reenable OS verificatio (Score 1) 167

Sorry for the (partially) offtopic reply, but I just saw your question about Trusted Network Connect here.

I haven't been hearing much new news about Trusted Computing or Trusted Network Connect recently. Ordinarily I'd consider that a good sign that it wasn't moving forwards, however it's looking more like a successful slow-quiet-rollout strategy. Both Microsoft and Google make the Trust chip mandatory on phones, and Microsoft has declared that it's mandatory on all desktops and other devices in a few months. all new devices and computers must implement TPM 2.0 and ship with TPM support enabled , starting one year after the Win10 release. (Apparently August of this year.) The whole design of Win10 is to force rolling updates. It could get ugly if Microsoft simply pushes out all sorts of Trusted Computing crap as non-declinable "routine updates".

The phone lockdowns are definitely leading the way. Microsoft says phone manufacturers must prohibit users from turning off secureboot, and it looks like Google is also enforcing enforcing secure boot which (so far) permitting you to then drop to an eternal-nag non-Trusted mode. Sigh. Not good. I wouldn't be surprised if desktops also use a transition step of enforcing an eternal-nag-mode if you try to opt-out of Trusted Computing. At some point support can simply be ended for the nag-mode option. Then there's no opt-out at all.

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Comment Re:I have done my own comparisons (Score 1) 110

This is because release groups are completely, utterly clueless about video. The file size is set ahead of time. Most groups set e.g. "8GB for 1080p movie", "4GB for a 720p movie" etc. in x264. Historically speaking, these pre-selected sizes were designed to fit on different media types, such as CD, single-layer DVD, dual-layer DVD.
Few people use DVDs anymore, but most groups still make files far larger than they need to be.

I rarely download pre-made videos because of this, so haven't downloaded any encoded in h.265, but I suspect they simply chose a smaller pre-set size.

The correct, non-stupid thing to do is to set the quality and let the movie be however large it needs to be, usually under 4GB. This allows more easily encoded video, like CGI films (Toy Story, etc.) to be small while very difficult films (anything with a lot of noise and movement, like war films) are large but don't look terrible.

Comment I have done my own comparisons (Score 4, Interesting) 110

I have done my own comparisons of AVC (using x264, single-thread, veryslow preset) and HEVC (using x265, disabling wavefront processing because it slightly reduces quality, veryslow preset). All 1080p video, significant because HEVC is supposed to scale to 4K better than AVC.

My conclusions:

1) x265 takes FAR longer to encode, but we knew that. Understandable.
2) When "low in bits", x265 blurs images rather than making them look blocky. This sometimes looks better but to me often looks worse.
3) x265 seems to force a denoise filter. Video is far easier to encode efficiently when denoised, so I figure this is part of the data savings. It's a bit of a cheat, however, because I can get far smaller file sizes by running a denoise filter myself for x264-encoded video.

I looked closely, for example, at Captain America the Blu-ray. Much of the detail of, e.g. car leather and grass and tree leaves is lost in an x265 encode, even at about the same overall data rate as x265/

x265 supports "--tune grain", roughly analogous to "--tune film" for x264, but it makes the video vastly larger -- often larger than x264's version, and it often looks worse. It does a better job of keeping grain, however.

My experience is very similar to many others' in forums. I had committed to switching my encoding to HEVC, but the results of my tests showed it is not ready for prime time. Some may not mind blurry ("soft" is probably a better word) video, or video that looks like it has been through a denoise filter, but I do.

This is not to say that x265 is junk. I am sure it will mature over time just like x264 had to over time. x264 started out as being not all that much better than divx, the previous generation.

Comment Re:From a former editor (Score 1) 325

By that interpretation, the very damned Wikipedia is a blog, god damnit.

Absolutely correct. Wikipedia policy says:

Self-published sources
Anyone can create a personal web page or publish their own book, and also claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason, self-published media, such as books, patents, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, personal or group blogs (as distinguished from newsblogs, above), content farms, Internet forum postings, and social media postings, are largely not acceptable as sources.

and

Wikipedia and sources that mirror or use it
Do not use articles from Wikipedia as sources. Also, do not use websites that mirror Wikipedia content or publications that rely on material from Wikipedia as sources. Content from a Wikipedia article is not considered reliable unless it is backed up by citing reliable sources. Confirm that these sources support the content, then use them directly.

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Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 325

TigerNut, I glanced over the pages you alluded to. You had the misfortune to bump into Wikipedia's most infamous editor. He has been blocked repeatedly for his abusive treatment of other editors. The community has been reluctant to permanently block him because he produces a vast quantity of high quality work. There has been a lot of controversy about it. At what point does the harm he causes outweigh the value of his massive contributions?

You also ran into a second issue. I see you've pretty well figured it out, but I'll discuss it for public benefit. Most new editors are surprised to discover that Wikipedia does not allow articles to contain "truth". Instead, the goal of Wikipedia is to accurately summarize what reliable sources say.

If most reliable sources say the moon is made of cheese, then Wikipedia is going to accurately reflect those sources.

There's a pretty good reason for that. Editors show up at all sorts of articles wanting to write "truth". Articles about astrology, politics, evolution, ghosts, religions, global warming, everywhere. People know "the truth" and want to write it into the articles. As a matter of sanity and survival Wikipedia HAS to have a rule to shut down the kooks, believers, and activists. The rule is that Wikipedia don't deal in Truth, it deals in Reliable Sources. Editors don't judge the Truth, editors judge the Sources.

It is a messy problem when reliable sources are wrong. That's a problem Wikipedia can't fix. Editors can try to apply some common sense and hopefully find an agreeable way to deal with it. But when there's a dispute, the rule is to summarize the sources. Astrologers have to accept astrology is considered pseudoscience. Experts in recording ghost-voices have to accept that it's considered pseudoscience. Creationists and climate change deniers have to accept that evolution and global warming are considered solid mainstream accepted science. And as a side effect, you may have to accept that it's going to be difficult to fix an article if the available reliable sources screwed up.

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