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+ - CDE 2.2.1 is released.-> 1

Submitted by idunham
idunham (2852899) writes "Version 2.2.1 of the Common Desktop Environment was released on March 1, featuring several bugfixes/warning fixes/portability improvements, localization, and a new port. UTF8 support has been greatly improved, to go with a new Greek UTF8 translation; an en_US.UTF8 locale was also added. dtinfo now builds and works (at least on Linux and FreeBSD). The new NetBSD port expands the BSD support to the big 3: FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD."
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Comment: Re:I dont blame power amplifiers (Score 3, Interesting) 110

by Spacelord (#41840269) Attached to: Breakthrough Promises Smartphones that Use Half the Power

It really is mostly the displays. On Android phones you can see what is using the battery, and it's almost always 60-70% the display.

As for those multicore CPUs, modern smartphone operating systems are remarkably good at keeping them clocked down when they're not needed. As a matter of fact, if I leave my Galaxy Nexus unattended (i.e. don't use the display), there hardly is any battery drain. I wouldn't be surprised if it would last a whole week that way.

Comment: Re:crazy (Score 1) 241

by Spacelord (#36079766) Attached to: Peugeot EX1 Sets Electric Car Lap Record At Nuerburgring

Yes, I've heard of that study too, but I don't completely buy it. First of all, it depends a lot on the length of the commute. For instance, I am pretty sure that the energy I burn on my 180km roundtrip could warm my apartment all day and then some.
It also depends on the thermal insulation of your home. New houses here have to comply with strict standards with regards to insulation these days and I only have to compare my heating bill of my new appartment with the old one to see that it helps a lot.
Then there's the local climate, we have a moderate climate and I really only need to turn on the heating in the coldest winter months. Most homes don't even have air conditioning here, so that's no issue in the summer.
Finally, heating and cooling are two things that are much less dependent on dirty fossil fuels than cars. Most homes here are still heated with gas, which, while still a fossil fuel, burns a lot cleaner than petrol or diesel in a combustion engine. It's also much easier to switch to energy efficient electric heat pumps for both cooling and heating than it is to switch to electric cars.

Comment: Re:crazy (Score 1) 241

by Spacelord (#36069302) Attached to: Peugeot EX1 Sets Electric Car Lap Record At Nuerburgring

Seriously, fuck narrow minded people like you who only see the bad side of personal transportation.

What you need to realize is that the availability of cheap energy and the development of personal transportation have contributed more than anything to the progress of Western civilization in the 20th century and the corresponding rise in life expectancy. In only 100 years, life expectancy in the US has risen from 47 to 76. Personal transportation is what enables a modern society to work, and without it it would collapse.

It's also not about one dude not wanting to give up his comfort, you have to look at the bigger picture. All the alternatives you mention are never going to be a suitable alternative for everyone. For instance, public transit is already near its peak capacity in my country (Belgium), yet it only supports 10-15% of the daily traffic, depending on whose figures you believe. Physically it's simply impossible to make trains and busses go from every place to every other place, on a reasonable time and at a reasonable cost. And mopeds and motorcycles? Are you kidding me? They are dangerous, uncomfortable and not all that environmentally friendly either.

Either way, at the end of the day, people are going to choose the mode of transportation that works best for them and you can't blame them if in most cases that happens to be a car.

Is this sustainable in the long term? No, it's not because eventually we will run out of oil, and we WILL need real alternatives. However, I believe that this problem will resolve itself economically. In the future oil prices will continue to rise, and at some point in time it will get so expensive that the alternatives become more attractive, and they will gain traction. That is when people will start to switch, not sooner. Until then ... let everyone use what works best for them.

Another thing I strongly believe in is that we shouldn't just focus on changing our mode of transportation, but we should also focus on making transportation less needed. For instance, I have a 90km one way daily commute. I could just as easily do most of my work from home or from a satelite office closer to home, all I need is a laptop and a network connection, but my employer insists that everyone works centralized and that my physical presence is required. There are many people just like me. Work on changing that mentality, and you will not only do good for the environment but you will also actually improve people's lives.

Comment: Re:9 min not very impressive .. (Score 1) 241

by Spacelord (#36069070) Attached to: Peugeot EX1 Sets Electric Car Lap Record At Nuerburgring

Well, seeing that Peugeot boasts about it and that it was a record breaking attempt and that it was without a doubt performed by a professional driver, yes I consider that 9 minute time to be representative and I find it rather underwhelming. I'm sure they could still shave off a few seconds if they tried, but it's not as if they could beat it down to sub 8 minutes, which is where the real performance cars start.

To give you a comparison: someone I know personally and who is a good-but-not-incredibly-talented amateur driver does 7:56 bridge-to-gantry (*) on tourist days with a stock 225bhp Renault R26R, which translates roughly to 8:18 for the full lap

As for the efficiency, it's well known (**) that batteries can store a lot less energy per kg than the energy content of 1kg of gasoline. Simply put: to store the equivalent energy of 1 kg of gasoline, you (roughtly) need 20kg of battery. So I would say it's not an unreasonable guess that weight is an issue with this car.

(*) On Tourist days you can't use the full length of the straight so times are usually measured from the bridge at the end of the straight to the gantry at the beginning of the straight. Bridge to gantry times are give or take 22 seconds shorter than a full lap time.

Comment: Re:9 min not very impressive .. (Score 1) 241

by Spacelord (#36065818) Attached to: Peugeot EX1 Sets Electric Car Lap Record At Nuerburgring

Those were exactly my thoughts. 9 minutes for a 340bhp car? That seems terribly slow. Even my 15 year old E36 M3 GT (295bhp) does better than that.

My guess is that the weight of the batteries is holding it back. This shows one of the biggest drawbacks of electrical cars: batteries make them way too heavy, so unless battery capacity increases drastically, the handling is going to be poor.

For what it's worth: the energy density of a battery is about 20 times less than that of gasoline. Now an electrical engine does make up for some of that because it runs more efficient than a combustion engine, but not 20 times more efficient.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Combat Vets On CoD: Black Ops, Medal of Honor Taliban 93

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-as-messy-as-the-real-deal dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Thom 'SSGTRAN' Tran, seen in the Call of Duty: Black Ops live action trailer and in the game as the NVA multiplayer character, gets interviewed and talks about Medal of Honor's Taliban drama. '... to me, it's a non-issue. This is Hollywood. This is entertainment. There has to be a bad guy if there's going to be a good guy. It's that simple. Regardless of whether you call them — "Taliban" or "Op For" — you're looking at the same thing. They're the bad guys.'" Gamasutra published a related story about military simulation games from the perspective of black ops veteran and awesome-name-contest winner Wolfgang Hammersmith. "In his view, all gunfights are a series of ordered and logical decisions; when he explains it to me, I can sense him performing mental math, brain exercise, the kind that appeals to gamers and game designers. Precise skill, calculated reaction. Combat operations and pistolcraft are the man's life's work."

Comment: Re:Failed Prisons? (Score 1) 545

by Spacelord (#33433844) Attached to: Building Prisons Without Walls Using GPS Devices
Why are the prisons filled with a good portion of non-violent criminals then? Because "doing harm" can also be non-violent and one could argue that one would want to protect society from non-violent crimes as well. Now of course you could argue about which offenses deserve jailtime and which don't. For instance, I don't believe in jailtime for small drug related offenses. But that's a legislation issue, it doesn't have anything to do with prisons being necessary or not. If the law says that you have go to prison for carrying a bit of weed, then the law is broken not the prison system.

Comment: Failed Prisons? (Score 3, Insightful) 545

by Spacelord (#33424480) Attached to: Building Prisons Without Walls Using GPS Devices

TFA claims that prisons have failed. I don't entirely agree. The way I see it, prisons have three roles: one is reeducation, when we release someone from prison, they should come out as better citizens, not better criminals. In that respect, you could say that prisons have failed.

The second role of prisons however is punishment: prison SHOULD be an unpleasant experience for someone who has committed a crime. It should be a deterrent, something they will never want to experience again. Also, if you're a victim of a crime, you want to know that the criminal actually gets punished and doesn't get off with just a slap on the wrist.

Finally, the third role of prisons is protecting society, taking dangerous individuals out of the loop for a considerable amount of time so that they can't do any harm.

It seems to me that while GPS tracking devices may help somewhat with role 1, they don't do anything for role 2 and 3. So in my opinion, they shouldn't be a replacement for a prison system, but an addition to it, for instance in combination with the parole system.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Infinity Ward Fights Against Modern Warfare 2 Cheaters 203

Posted by Soulskill
from the be-careful-they-cheat dept.
Faithbleed writes "IW's Robert Bowling reports on his twitter account that Infinity Ward is giving 2,500 Modern Warfare 2 cheaters the boot. The news comes as the war between IW and MW2's fans rages over the decision to go with IWnet hosting instead of dedicated servers. Unhappy players were quick to come up with hacks that would allow their own servers and various other changes." Despite the dedicated-server complaints, Modern Warfare 2 has sold ridiculously well.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley