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Valve Sponsors Work To Greatly Speed-Up Linux OpenGL Game Load Times 202

An anonymous reader writes "Valve Software has sponsored some interesting improvements developed by LunarG for the Mesa OpenGL library on Linux for deferred and threaded GLSL shader compilation. What these changes mean for users of the open-source Linux graphics drivers when running their favorite games is that OpenGL games now load a lot faster. As an example, the time from starting Dota 2 until the time actually being within the game is reduced by about 20 seconds on an Intel system. While Direct3D has offered similar functionality for a while, OpenGL has not, which has given it a bad reputation with regard to game load times until all shaders are compiled and cached — fortunately it's now addressed for OpenGL if using the Mesa Linux graphics drivers on a supported game."

Submission + - Slashdot creates beta site users express theirs dislike (slashdot.org) 4

who_stole_my_kidneys writes: Slashdot started redirecting users in February to its newly revamped webpage and received a huge backlash from users. The majority of comments dislike the new site while some do offer solutions to make it better. The question is will Slashdot force the unwanted change on its users that clearly do not want change?

Submission + - Once Slashdot beta has been foisted upon me, what site should I use instead? 2

somenickname writes: As a long time Slashdot reader, I'm wondering what website to transition to once the beta goes live. The new beta interface seems very well suited to tablets/phones but, it ignores the fact that the user base is, as one would expect, nerds sitting in front of very large LCD monitors and wasting their employers time. It's entirely possible that the browser ID information gathered by the site has indicated that they get far more hits on mobile devices where the new interface is reasonable but, I feel that no one has analyzed the browser ID (and screen resolution) against comments modded +5. I think you will find that most +5 comments are coming from devices (real fucking computers) that the new interface does not support well. Without an interface that invites the kind of users that post +5 comments, Slashdot is just a ho-hum news aggregation site that allows comments. So, my question is, once the beta is the default, where should Slashdot users go to?

Submission + - Slashdot beta sucks 9

An anonymous reader writes: Maybe some of the slashdot team should start listening to its users, most of which hate the new user interface. Thanks for ruining something that wasn't broken.

Submission + - Judge orders professor removed from no-fly list (seattletimes.com) 1

Okian Warrior writes: In a followup to Slashdot's previous article, a federal judge has ordered Rahinah Ibrahim removed from the U.S. government's no-fly list.

Rahinah Ibrahim eventually won the no-fly list ruling after her daughter, a US citizen, was prevented from returning to the country to testify at the trial.

Here's hoping this is the first of many successful challenges to the no-fly list.

Comment I'm glad I'm not an atractive woman. (Score 4, Interesting) 336

because no one would misuse this tech to act creepy.

True story:

Back around 1989 I was maintaining a minicomputer system for a small chain of Auto Body Shops near Ft. Worth Texas. I got to know a lot about how the business works and made friends with some of the VERY blue collar guys who sanded, welded, painted and whatnot.

At that time the body shop had dedicated terminal that could dial up the Texas DMV database and retrieve the registration info for a given license plate. On at least two separate occasions I observed one of the shop guys using the terminal to get the name and address of a car they observed that was driven by an attractive woman. Nothing creepy or potentially dangerous there? Yeah.

Maybe we should study CCTV operators in England to make sure that attractive women, or any other category of people, aren't being watched more closely than everyone else.

Comment Re:They don't go outside (Score 3, Insightful) 635

When I was a teen, one of the main functions of driving (and borrowing my parent's car) was to go be with my friends, hanging out or whatever. Otherwise I was stuck at home by myself.

My own kids are constantly texting, emailing, playing online with, or using other means to interact with their friends without physical proximity. They can do it from anywhere they have wireless connectivity, even when traveling out of town.

Again, back when I was a teen, we had a single land line telephone. If it wasn't in use, It was possible to call and just talk to one of my friends at a time, provided they were home, their line wasn't busy, and they were willing to be tethered by a cord to the phone's location in the house.

Comment A couple questions (Score 1) 187

Just a couple questions come to mind:

First: What is the purpose of keeping the information? If it's just to have a record for your own sake of what and when and how much, do you even need to scan the statement or receipt or keep the original? or can having all the info imported into a money manager be enough?

I've been using Quicken for over a decade (still using Quicken 2000 actually as later versions are bloaty) to keep all my financial history in detail. For answering questions like "When did I buy that Belkin KVM switch so I can see if the warranty period has expired" searching the register is good enough as I add enough info the memos. In this example (real one from just a week ago), finding the information easily was enough, and it's to my advantage to have all the individual statements and detail items combined into larger account histories rather than parse an archive tree full of pdf/ocr files (FWIW: even this old version of quicken lets me attach scans of receipts to entries)

Second Question: In what cases is the Original Paper required as opposed to a scan? If you need to show an original statement, receipt or other document to prove some thing or get something approved, do you know when an electronic copy or reproduction is as acceptable as the original? I don't think this is an area with consistent clear cut answers yet because of its newness.

Let's take an admittedly unlikely example. You have a house but have moved to take a job out of state, and you're trying to sell the house. Some scumbag squatter moves in and tries submitting false documents to claim ownership. All the documents relating to purchase and any mortgages have been scanned and shredded. Will the courts, police, banks, city and county offices etc. give you any trouble because they are not signed originals? What if the scumbag claims you fabricated the documents (like he did) and his are the originals? What if some entities accept a scan and others don't?

I've implemented a hybrid system where different documents get scanned / destroyed at different times. I have a single card-file cabinet (Filing cabinet with half-height drawers). Paper copies of everything from the current year and previous year are kept in a drawer. At the end of each year, I take all the documents from year-1, shred most of them (assuming any need for them has past), and put the ones I deem most critical in a small box to archive.

Comment Re:1.6 ghz? (Score 5, Informative) 284

As someone with some game development experience, let me throw in some observations. (*based on the specs mentioned here).

The 3.2 Ghz Power PC CPUs in the Xbox 360 and PS3 were in-order execution units. As I remember, code on the 360 typically executed about 0.2 IPC -(Instructions per cycle), sometimes worse. The very best hand optimized assembler doing tasks like video decoding could execute about 0.9 IPC once properly cached and unrolled.

AMD and Intel have decades of R&D now into out-of-order x86 execution (the x86/x64 opcodes being translated to internal micro ops), which is a major factor in their performance. Even the Power PC G5 chip devoted a good chunk of its silicon to Out-or-order execution. The 360 and PS3 CPUs - designed almost 10 years ago - traded Out of Order execution for die size and clock speed.

The specs say that the 1.6 Ghz CPUs can issue up to 2 instructions per cycle. If real world performance works out to an IPC of 1.2 to 1.6, which seems very doable, then you will see a 3x to 4x increase in the real-world rate of instructions being performed . ( 0.2 IPC @ 3.2Ghz == 0.4 IPC @ 1.6Ghz ). This doesn't take into account any efficiency gains due to the instruction set, cache, etc.

And at the same time, I would imagine it's a whole lot easier to deal with other things on the chipsets at 1,.6Ghz than at 3.2 Ghz (mature tech and all that)

Comment Re:also known for the UFO TV series (Score 2) 129

When I first watched Space:1999 season 1 in the mid-70s, one of the things they did made a big impression on me: Some of the episodes would end with something like this:

John: What the hell was that and how did we survive?
Victor: I don't know. We don't know. There's a lot of stuff in the universe that we have no idea about, and it could just as easily have killed us all. We survived due to sheer luck and not because we're anything special.

That's paraphrased of course, but compared to the tone and formula/attitude of all the other action and sci-fi on TV in that era, and it was downright subversive.

16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling