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Comment: Pity it is done in iD Tech 5 (Score 1) 57

by Sycraft-fu (#49186897) Attached to: New Wolfenstein Game Announced: The Old Blood

But other than that, wonderful. New Order was a fantastic game. Such a strong showing for a first game from a studio. It isn't often you can have a game that is good, silly fun where you do crazy shit like dual wield assault rifles, and yet still have a solid story that makes you care. Good mechanics, good levels, good story, good visuals, good setting, just well done all around.

Only thing I would ding it on is the engine choice. iD Tech 5 just isn't very good compared to Unreal Engine, Cryengine or Frostbite. Even on my system with a XP941 SSD I can get some texture pop-in when I move the camera fast and while the visuals are good from a distance, they break down close up. I understand the choice, Bethesda owns the engine so it makes sense to use it, but I can't help but think it would look more impressive in a better engine.

Comment: Re:Also can be some of one and some of the other (Score 1) 644

by Sycraft-fu (#49179099) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Just saying that is an issue that would have to be overcome. It is a case where the trial could be fair, and the jury could believe he acted in good faith and the best interests of the public and still find him guilty, and have that upheld. Just further emphasizing how tricky the situation is. It isn't a case of "If they give him a fair trial he'll walk." No, in fact in a fair trial he could be convicted if the jury decided not to nullify.

Comment: Re:Also can be some of one and some of the other (Score 1) 644

by Sycraft-fu (#49176779) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Well in the case of civilians, you are in a special situation when you have access to classified data. You agree not to release it on penalty of criminal charges and you do so explicitly to be granted access. If you aren't ok with the restrictions, then you don't agree, and don't get clearance. Normal people like us aren't under any such restrictions, which is why the press doesn't get in trouble publishing it. They never agreed to shit.

As such it could be a situation where even if they agree it was just, it was still illegal.

Comment: Also can be some of one and some of the other (Score 1) 644

by Sycraft-fu (#49175649) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

He's leaked a lot of things. So even if the jury agreed that some of it was justified, a situation where the public's need to know outweighed his promise to keep it secret, they could rule that on other things that wasn't the case. It isn't the sort of thing that would have to be taken as part and parcel.

As you said though, even in cases that people feel are justified, he still might be held guilty. The agreement regarding classified information you undertake doesn't have exemptions, it doesn't say "You agree to keep this secret unless you think the public needs to know," it is pretty cut and dried. So even if the jury believes he did the right thing, they very well could find him guilty because he still broke the law.

Comment: Because that's what 3D visors are these days (Score 1) 96

by Sycraft-fu (#49164167) Attached to: Valve and HTC Reveal "Vive" SteamVR Headset

For whatever reason, the games industry has decided that these things are amazin' and everyone has to do it. Of course nobody is doing it, I mean Occulus has a prototype out that has some pretty major issues and no release date for final hardware but that's it. Everyone else doesn't even have any hardware at all.

So of course what companies lack in deliverables they make up in hype. Talk about how damn cool their shit will be, how the world will be changed, etc, etc. Particularly since it doesn't seem any of them have a solution to any of the issues. Most of the things aren't solved by magic, but by better technology which is being developed by other companies. Things like latency/refresh are largely going to be a combination of higher speed displays and faster GPUs to drive them. Well, those will get developed I'm sure, but by Samsung or LG, not by Occulus or Valve.

Valve has also been having some problems in this area as of late. They seem to wish to become more than just "the guys who run Steam" which makes sense, because Steam is super profitable but also unstable, people could migrate to a different store en masse for various reasons. However their "no bosses" organization means that a lot of playing happens and not as much delivering. So you see hype and noise, but not necessarily final products.

The Steam box is a good example. Heard lots about that for a long time, some hype videos about their controller, and yet nothing is on the market, and there is no date when anything might happen.

Comment: No kidding (Score 5, Interesting) 159

by Sycraft-fu (#49102513) Attached to: Nvidia Faces Suit Over GTX970 Performance Claims

It is just a bunch of whiny asshats who care about specs on paper rather than real world performance. The 970 is damn amazing. It makes the 980 nothing more than a overpriced luxury toy, and I say that as a 980 owner. Its performance is within 10-15% of a 980s and it is like half the price, what's not to like?

Also as for the memory thing this is actually a BONUS from nVidia, not a cripple. What I mean is in the past, they'd have just stuck 3.5GB on it and called it good. Then, if something needed more than 3.5GB, you go to system memory which is very slow 16GB/sec if you are running 16x PCIe 3 and much slower if you run less (like if you are doing SLI on a consumer board with PCIe 2 it would be 4GB/sec). However with this, you get another 512MB of RAM that is faster. Not as fast as the primary RAM, but much faster than hitting the system RAM over the PCIe bus. It won't perform as well as a 980 in those high memory situations, but it would perform better than if it just didn't have it at all.

I agree they should have noted it better, but really who gives a shit in reality? The 970 is the best "step down" card they've ever made compared to the highest end. Amazing value for the money and real world benchmarks from somewhere like HardOCP show it kills at modern games.

It's also funny how they act like nVidia did this to "harm" people for some business reason. If anything, they'd want to make the 970 look worse so people would be more likely to spend the near double to get a 980. However instead they made the 970 as close to the 980 as they could and I'm sure that ate in to the 980 market.

Comment: No shit (Score 1) 213

by Sycraft-fu (#49095573) Attached to: Sony Offers a "Premium Sound" SD Card For a Premium Price

I get tired of seeing audio 'tards try to claim an expensive solution is needed to badly designed gear. I've seen this bullshtit with regards to S/PDIF cables and poorly designed DACs. It is true that you can get clock skew, reflections, etc with some cables. However any DAC worth its shit today should reclock and buffer the incoming signal, thus rendering transmission issues moot (so long as the signal is coherent enough to transfer the data). However, there are shitty "audiophile" DACs that don't and they try to use it as some kind of "proof" about cable quality.

What it comes down to is there are issues and they can be engineered around. When it comes to digital and noise ya, digital devices are noisy. Guess what? You properly ground and shield your analogue section and it is not an issue. It isn't like this is something super expensive and thus only available on the high end, just requires proper engineering. The answer isn't reducing digital noise since there is little that can be done on that front overall, it is making the analogue section immune to it.

Comment: Not really (Score 5, Interesting) 94

People confuse the difference between perceptible and optimal. So ya, to see every pixel on a 4k screen, it needs to be pretty big (or you need to be pretty close). However we should stop wanting that. Computer monitor have too long taught us that we should work at a resolution where we can make out each and ever pixel. Rather, the individual pixels should be so small that they are completely imperceptible under any circumstances. That requires a lot more pixels.

As for your other requests, have you done any research on what is available, and the difficulties of what you are asking? This is the real world here, there are real engineering challenges. Let's go one by one:

Rec 2020: That requires laser illuminates. Since the primaries are points along the spectral curve, you have to have monochormatic light sources, meaning lasers. You can get that from laser projectors currently, if you are willing to pay, no consumer displays. Of course it matters little since there is no Rec 2020 content. However you can have a DCI display no problem, the Panasonic 4k displays are just shy of a DCI gamut. Oh and Rec 2020 specifies an 8k resolution, by the way.

5k Brightness: You don't have a power plug in your house sufficient for that kind of brightness, nor would you want to crank a display that high. Go have a look a commercial displays sometime, go see one of these things turned up to 700-800 nits. They are painfully bright in anything but a very brightly lit space. We are talking stuff made for direct sunlight usage. You don't want that in your home. That aside, you'd need a massive amount of power to deal with something like that, and noisy cooling fans to go with it.

10000:1 contrast ratios: You can have that right now. High end LCDs pull it off with backlight dimming, OLEDs can handle it as is. You want an LCD that does it static? Not going to happen, and a basic understanding of how blocking technology works will tell you why. Emissive screens like OLED can do it without much trouble, but of course you are going to have real issues if you want a high bright display out of those since brightness is a killer for emissive technologies.

Seriously, less with the silly whining. If you truly are interested in display technology, go learn about it and the limitations and issues. But don't just bitch and act like people should be able to magically figure out a way around tough engineering challenges. If it was easy, it'd be done already. If you think you have a solution well then, get on that. Go solve it and make a bunch of money.

Comment: Re:Sadly, for various levels of good it is spendy (Score 1) 249

by Sycraft-fu (#49043945) Attached to: How good is your audio equipment?

Probably not as good as you might think. I've had a number of DIYers tell me about how good their systems supposedly are, but none have ever had empirical data to back it up, and the few I've heard have not held up to high end commercial equipment.

I think the problem is they look at the driver specs and say "well that's good" and assume it performs like that in box. No, when you take the cabinet resonances, diffraction, impedance, and so on in to account and then add in the crossover, well it doesn't end up being so impressive. And then of course you stick them in a room and it all goes to hell since regular rooms have lousy acoustics.

I'm not saying it is impossible, but I'd want to see the APx/LMS tests.

Comment: I call it (Score 3, Interesting) 580

by Sycraft-fu (#49043881) Attached to: Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities

Smartest Motherfucker in the Universe Syndrome. You see it all the time. One great famous geek example was Hans Reiser. He was so sure he was just smarter than everyone that he could get away with murder. No way those dumb cops could know more about criminal justice than him...

Geeks seem to have it the most, probably a combination of above average intelligence, below average social skills, and a culture that makes intelligence the be-all, end-all of being "better". However you see it in other areas too. My sister is really bad. Don't you dare to tell her about something she thinks she knows about, she'll jump all over your shit for that. As such, she's a fairly regular fountain of bad ideas. Mom calls me at least once every couple months to ask about some harebrained shit my sister is up on that is bad for her/necessary for her.

Comment: And SV is even less surprising (Score 4, Insightful) 580

by Sycraft-fu (#49043839) Attached to: Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities

As many people on Slashdot have probably noticed, there are more than a few geeks who are infected with Smartest Motherfucker in the Universe syndrome. Since they've gone through their lives generally being a good deal more intelligent than their peers, but with poor social skills, it can lead to an arrogance that they are smarter than basically anyone else, and that their knowledge is supreme not just in their field, but in all fields.

Well that then is ripe for anti-scientific shit like anti-vaxxer crap. They believe they are in on a secret that normal people are just too stupid to see, that they are smarter and better than those sheep doctors and so on and so forth. It feeds their ego on their intellect to believe they know better than the medical establishment.

So this surprises me not at all. SV has all the right elements to be a hotbed of this kind of shit.

Comment: NEC's professional displays (Score 2) 330

by Sycraft-fu (#49039277) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Affordable Large HD/UHD/4K "Stupid" Screens?

I don't know why you care, since you can always just not use the smart features, but if you insist you must not have them professional monitors fit the bill. NEC makes the ones I generally spec out. Very well built, high brightness, rated for 24/7 operation, etc. You pay for it, of course, since they are commercial grade rather than residential grade.

Comment: If you are willing to spend the money (Score 1) 249

by Sycraft-fu (#49036259) Attached to: How good is your audio equipment?

You can have what you want. You just have to move in to the professional arena. For what you are talking about a Roland XS-84H will do the trick. 8 inputs (each supporting HDMI, VGA, component, s-video and composite), 4 outputs (HDMI and HD Base-T) 100% routing control. You can route any input to any combination output. All have scalers on them so they can route multiple inputs to one physical output and do PiP or splitscreen in any combination you like. Audio is done with 4 separate submixes, so each output can have any and source audio at any level. Audio input and output is both via HDMI and analogue. All zones are equal since all outputs are equal, and all can be controlled separately.

The downside is, of course, price. Being a professional video matrix unit with such capabilities it is very expensive, $8,000 when we priced one for a classroom at work. On top of that you then might wish to use automation controllers to easily operate it (that or an iPad) which would run you a few hundred for a master controller, and a few hundred for each control station.

I doubt that is in your budget, but just an FYI that the kind of thing you want does indeed exist.

Also you can get some of what you want with cheaper gear. Basically presentation switchers and matrix switchers are the kind of items that give you some real flexibility in routing.

For an audio only volume solution for a second zone, you could go with a 70-volt system. You get transformers for your amp to step the audio signal up to a high impedance 70-volt signal (which needs smaller wire) and then on the other end you can get a volume control for it (Home Depot sells those). Total output is adjusted on the receiver, the zone 2 dial attenuates output to those speakers. Takes a bit more work than something with a truly separate mix, but it works.

Comment: Sadly, for various levels of good it is spendy (Score 1) 249

by Sycraft-fu (#49036195) Attached to: How good is your audio equipment?

Two areas that get unavoidably expensive if you want really good sound is speakers and the room. Both have a large impact on sound and both are pretty expensive to fix. I'm not talking audiophile impact of "We have to use lots of BS ephemeral words to talk about it," I'm talking easily measurable issues of frequency non-linearity, distortion, and phase issues.

For a room, it just ends up taking a lot of material to deal with issues, particularly at low frequencies. You need to absorb them to stop standing waves from building at eigenmodes but that takes large amounts of absorptive material. It can take a lot of room treatment for a good room. For a really good room, it needs to be built right from the start, no parallel walls and so on (look at a good concert hall sometime). None of it is complex or high technology, just lots of material.

For speakers you end up needing good engineering, tight tolerances, and complex machining, and sometimes more expensive materials to deal with the issues inherent to them. It just pushes the cost way up when you want ones with good linearity, low distortion, and a good dispersion pattern.

None of that is to say price indicates quality, it doesn't. You can spend a lot of money and not only get no return, but actually get something that is worse. But the real quality stuff does tend to cost a good bit.

Is it worth it? That's up to the individual but it is discernible no question. Easy to measure and easy to hear.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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