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Comment: A lot depends on size of the monitor (Score 1) 280

by Sycraft-fu (#48442765) Attached to: Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

The bigger it is, the wider that is useful. Basically you find that you need a certain amount of vertical real estate to work effectively. So on a small screen like a laptop, a 4:3, or even more square, monitor can be of use. However when you start getting large desktop displays, wide is very nice. Personally I like 16:10 displays for the desktop, in part because I find them aesthetically pleasing (likely because they are near the golden ratio) but also because for the large sizes I like (30" currently) it provides a good amount of vertical real estate, but plenty of horizontal to fill my field of view and allow for multiple things to be displayed at once.

For TV, heck I could go even more than 16:9 if such a thing were standard. I was always partial to 1.85:1 3 perf and 2:1 Superscope for movies myself.

Comment: I imagine not (Score 1) 138

by Sycraft-fu (#48434371) Attached to: Microsoft Rolls Out Robot Security Guards

However the problem is that it can presumably notify security that you've done that. Given that they'll have full video of it, and know where the unit was, the chances of you getting caught are pretty high.

These aren't the kind of thing that would work well on their own out in the middle of nowhere but on a campus like MS's with human backup I imagine they are pretty effective. Rolling security cameras basically.

Comment: They do in Windows (Score 2) 326

by Sycraft-fu (#48398341) Attached to: Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

The generic MS drivers know how to see if the drive supports TRIM and send the commands if it does. That's the point of TRIM: It is an ATA standard command, so special software isn't needed.

In fact, in Windows all you use is the generic drivers. I mean you may install drivers for your SATA controller, but not for your drive. My laptop has a Samsung 840 Pro in it, with Samsung's Magician installed. However the drivers in use are disk.sys, partmgr.sys (both Microsoft files) and iastorf.sys (Intel's file). No Samsung provided drivers. Magician can directly send commands to optimize the drive if needed if the OS can't, but the OS sends TRIM commands no problem.

Comment: Ok conspiracy 'tard (Score 1) 339

by Sycraft-fu (#48395745) Attached to: Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

Or perhaps more likely "pro Russian shill" next time, spend a little more time doing research before you put together your bullshit theory. See you seem to have missed one little detail: This came from Russian TV. This isn't something that surfaced in the US, purporting to be originally from Russia, it was on Russian national television.

So, maybe think your bullshit conspiracy through next time,a nd make sure you know the sequence of events.

Comment: On enough with the whining (Score 1) 127

by Sycraft-fu (#48395589) Attached to: US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer

I hate this attitude that if you don't have the top spot, you are crap. It is so silly the attitude that the US somehow lost something by not having the first spot on the top 500 list.

I mean for one thing, the Chinese computer is more specialized than the big US supercomputers. It gets its performance using Intel Xeon Phi GPGPU type processors. Nothing wrong with hat but they are vector processors hanging off the PCIe bus. They work a lot like graphics cards. There are problems that they are very fast at, linpack (which is what's used to test) being one, but others they are not as fast at. Many of the US supercomputers (like BlueGene/Q) use just standard CPUs, meaning their performance holds steady over more kinds of tasks.

Then there's the fact that while the US might not have the #1 spot they have the #2, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 10 spots. In other words, half of the top 10 computers. That is more impressive than having one really big system. Ya it's nice to have a huge system and some simulations need really big systems to do, but there's something to be said for lots of different research groups having access to high power computers.

Also there's the fact that linkpack isn't necessarily the best benchmark.

I'm happy that the US is looking to invest more in HPC because money spent on research is always well spent in my opinion. However let's stop pretending like it is some major failure that the US doesn't have the #1 computer. Big deal.

Comment: People tend to believe their first media (Score 1) 339

by Sycraft-fu (#48394223) Attached to: Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

I've seen the same kind of thing. I know a lady who's from Serbia. Very smart woman, and she's lived in the US for a couple decades, immigrated and become a citizen. However, when it comes to world news, she believes the Serbian media over all others. It's pretty bad too, it makes Fox News look credible (well almost) with the level of propaganda and shit. However, to her, that's the truth.

It seems a somewhat common thing that whatever you start getting your news from first is what sticks with you as the "true" news if there's disagreement later.

Comment: For some reason (Score 2) 328

by Sycraft-fu (#48393837) Attached to: Former Police Officer Indicted For Teaching How To Pass a Polygraph Test

Geeks have real issues with the concepts of knowledge and intent mattering in the law. They think something is either ok, or not ok, and if it is ok it is ok in all situations. Of course that's not how the law work. Intent in particular matters a hell of a lot. Something can be illegal or legal just based off of intent, or can be a different level of crime. Likewise if you know you are helping someone commit a crime, that can get you in trouble whereas doing the same thing unknowingly can be fine.

It is complex, because it varies, there are crimes that don't require intent, or crimes where even doing it unknowingly will get you in trouble, but there are others that are not. It is complex with various shades of gray, which I guess is why geeks can't understand it. Many seem to be very binary thinkers and want absolutes in rules, which the law frequently doesn't have.

Comment: Re:Quit buying games on day one (Score 1) 473

I think it's fine to buy them soon after release if you want them and can afford them (remember, to some people $60 for entertainment isn't a huge deal) so long as it has been properly reviewed and your research indicates it is a good game. There are plenty of games that launch strong, just as there are plenty that don't.

But never buy it before you can research if it is good, and if you are likely to enjoy it.

Comment: You are completely correct (Score 2) 473

And I am one of many people who harp on the "Never preorder games!!" thing. So why do people do it? Two reasons:

One is they just get caught up in the hype. They are all excited and wanna have it as soon as possible. Silly, but human nature and it does happen time to time.

The other is that companies try to bribe you. They offer bonuses that you only get if your preorder, or that you have to pay for later. So there may be some day one DLC, but you can have it "free" if you preorder.

It is still, of course, and extremely bad idea to preorder and people should be talked out of it at every opportunity. Wait until it is out and reviewed, then decide if you want it.

Comment: Also how much similarity triggers things (Score 1) 319

by Sycraft-fu (#48368717) Attached to: Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

There are only so many ways someone is likely to design some functions, particularly if the class demands particular formatting. So if having one function that is very similar or the same triggers it, then it is rather bullshit.

I could see this too. Where I work professors are extremely lazy and grade via script. They don't read the programs students hand in because that would be "too much work", never mind that in the arts and humanities professors have to read papers all the time. Then they usually use some kind of automated cheat checker program. Well, said checkers aren't something that just makes sure files are bit identical. They allow for various fudge factor. That means they can match even on things that aren't actually copies of eachother.

Comment: Re:Ok but that's electricity, not energy (Score 1) 485

by Sycraft-fu (#48367711) Attached to: Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

I chose 25 degrees just since it is standard temperature. Either way if you don't believe me, look it up, a significant amount of energy use by humans is temperature related and cold areas use more than hot areas. Saul Griffith has done some great talks on the matter.

I know that it is something of an article of faith that AC is the devil and hugely wasteful but that just is not the case. Heat pumps (that's what an AC is) are very efficient and getting better but they only work if the evaporator coil is warm enough that water doesn't freeze on it, precluding their use as heaters in any place that gets near zero. Because of their thermal efficiency compared to heaters and the fact that sorry, but cold places DO get colder than hot places get hot, even if you set 20 as the benchmark, people use less energy when they live in warmer climates.

Comment: Ok but that's electricity, not energy (Score 2, Interesting) 485

by Sycraft-fu (#48366841) Attached to: Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Guess what? Cold places use MORE energy than warm ones. While people like to hate on ACs as some excess, they are actually quite efficient. Since they move heat, they can move more energy than they use. A good AC can easily move 3-5 watts of heat for each watt of energy it requires to operate. No such luck with heating systems, they at best get you 1 watt of heat for each watt they take.

Then there's the issue of temperature delta. If we take 25 degrees (C) as a target room temperature, well then you can see why cold places have it even worse. The hottest inhabited places on Earth only tend to reach 40 degrees regularly and peak at 50 rarely. So a 15-25 degree delta from normal. The cold places? Hell, even a "mildly" cold place hits 0, and they generally drop a good bit below that. Denmark sees 15-30 degrees below zero. So a 40-55 degree delta. Of course the bigger the delta, the more leakage you have, the more energy you need, etc.

If you intend that heating energy to be renewable, that means no oil, gas, etc furnaces. You can use electric, so long as the electricity is from a renewable source. I guess depending on your definition wood might be ok too. That's about it, unless you happen to live near some hotsprings and can get some geothermal heat.

So re-run the energy calculation when all the district and local heating has to stop using anything non-renewable.

Comment: Also batteries die (Score 1) 485

by Sycraft-fu (#48366801) Attached to: Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Remember we don't have battery technology that lasts forever, or really even for a long time. So you have to lifecycle those batteries, they will have to be replaced periodically. Probably once ever 5-10 years max. Well add in the cost of that now to the total cost. Also add in the energy required to create and dispose of said batteries to your calculation.

Ends up not being a great option with current battery technology.

Comment: We see that problem with graduate students (Score 1) 438

by Sycraft-fu (#48355167) Attached to: The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

Being an engineering college we see many Indian and Chinese grad students. In both cases we numerous students who have real difficulty with any kind of synthesis and application of knowledge. They want to memorize a bunch of facts and formulas and crunch numbers to get the result. Solving real problems is something they have a lot of difficulty with. In particular there's not a good concept of problem solving. If they don't know the answer to something they believe the solution is to seek the person that does, not apply problem skills.

It, unsurprisingly, comes from the elementary and undergraduate education they received. That is what learning is to them. It is a real issue since of course in real engineering, you don't get to work from a textbook.

Comment: I's just a bullshit semantics game (Score 2) 181

by Sycraft-fu (#48344385) Attached to: There's No Such Thing As a General-Purpose Processor

Guy is trying to play silly distinction games. Really, everyone in tech understands what people mean when they say "general purpose processor." Yes, said unit may have some specialized circuits and such, but it is made to be good at dealing with all kinds of problems. Integer, FP, branching, linear, etc doesn't matter its design can handle them all reasonably well.

That compares to something specialized like a GPU. For certain kinds of problems, specifically single precision vector math with fairly consistent branches, it does amazing. However for other things, not as much, though it is turning complete and capable of anything. Still a true processor and not an ASIC that can't be programmed, but not general purpose.

Try to play semantic games with it is silly. Are there going to be cases where the line might be blurred? Sure, but who cares? That's how life is. Everything doesn't always fit in to neat little boxes. It is still a generally useful way of looking at things.

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.