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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: Something many forget (Score 1) 825

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: Pretty much (Score 1) 525

by Sycraft-fu (#47770653) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

If you tell me that the Earth is going to change for the worse, and there's nothing we can do to stop it, then my response is we shouldn't try. We should instead work on how to survive the change. No reason to waste resources trying to stop something that can't be, spend them on dealing with it instead.

Likewise if you tell me Earth is doomed, and there's nothing we can do to stop it, then my response is that we should just not worry about the future at all, and enjoy what time we have left because there isn't anything else to do.

However if you tell me that we are creating a problem, but we can fix that problem by changing what we are doing, then I'm interested in hearing what you propose we do, what it would cost, how it would mitigate the problem, etc, etc.

If a problem is solvable then it makes sense to talk about what it would take to solve it. If a problem is just something we can't do anything about then we shouldn't worry about trying.

Comment: Depends on a lot of things (Score 2) 334

The main question is how many channels are allocated for DOCSIS. Each channel gets you about 38mbps of bandwidth, though more can be had on newer standards with 4096QAM (if the SNR is good enough to support it). So if there's 4 downstream channels then a max of about 152mbps total down (upstream is separate).

How many channels can they add? Not sure with current DOCSIS specs, but the wire limits are either 600mhz for old systems, or 1ghz for most new ones. So you cold probably get in the range of 166 total channels or 6gbps or so. Of course in reality, some of those channels have to go to TV and so on.

Now DOCSIS 3.1 is adding new methods for operation and supposedly will pull 10gbps down. Not sure how much of that is tested and how much of that is pipe dream but it is what the spec claims.

Comment: Re:"Fan favorites"? (Score 5, Informative) 362

by Sycraft-fu (#47734671) Attached to: "MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

It should be understood that while her looks surely played a part in her getting cast on a permanent basis, that wasn't how she got in the door. They didn't post an ad looking for female models/actresses. She was an intern on the show, working there because she loved creating and wanted to work for M5. She got called on camera to help with a myth (by providing a mold of her butt) and that was what started it.

Skill got her the position with the show initially,

Also as you note, personality goes a long way, and she has a very good one for the screen. That is why Adam Savage is a part of the show. Mythbusters was originally pitched to Jamie Hyneman but he knew, correctly, that he wouldn't be able to carry a show like that alone because of his dry personality. So he suggested Savage, who he'd worked with in the past, in part because he's a goofball.

With a show like that it takes a combination of skill and presentation to make it a hit, and that was what the hosts had, Byron included.

Comment: No, he just never gets it in the first place (Score 1) 299

by Sycraft-fu (#47698101) Attached to: WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

Diplomatic status is granted by the host country, it is not automatic. What happens is a country says "We want this person to be our ambassador to you." The host country, if they are ok with that person, says "Ok we grant this person status as an ambassador and the immunity that comes with that." However there's no immunity, and related things (like an amount of time to leave the country) until then.

Immunity is not a one-way street. A country can't say "This person is a diplomat, you have to give them immunity."

Comment: Re:Desperate to have a wank. (Score 2) 299

by Sycraft-fu (#47697227) Attached to: WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

Yep, prior to that, he wasn't in any legal trouble in the UK. They were going to ship him off to Sweden, because they'd received an extradition request that their courts had determined legal, but he was in no trouble there.

However, as soon as he fled to the embassy, he broke UK law. So now he's in trouble in the UK, if nothing else. Regardless of the validity of the allegation in Sweden, he broke UK law by fleeing the extradition.

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