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Comment: Re:Pass around a real mic. (Score 3, Informative) 95

by bigmo (#49177201) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Wireless Microphone For Stand-up Meetings?

I hate to admit it but I am an AV guy, for a very long time. Passing around a wireless hand held mic (or even one with a wire if you can't afford W/L) is the only good solution. A cheap mic 4" from your mouth will sound better than an extremely expensive mic 4 feet away.

A fairly decent W/L mic from Shure is a bit less than a grand (a really good one is about $4000). You can get a W/L mic from a cheapo audio catalog for a few hundred bucks, but if you really can't afford a decent one, I'd suggest getting a decent wired mic - maybe a hundred bucks tops. It's not that big a deal to pass around a wired mic if you're at a conference table and if the room is big, get several and put them on stands so people can walk up to them and ask questions or whatever.

If the problem isn't big enough to warrant spending much of anything, just have the main presenter use a mic & repeat any questions.

By the way, if you don't like how much newer mics cost, tell the FCC to stop selling off the white space frequencies that W/L mics use.

Comment: remote video streaming (Score 1) 80

by bigmo (#49174863) Attached to: Linux and Multiple Internet Uplinks: a New Tool

I am unclear if this would work for a "single stream" like a video webcast source in a remote location using multiple cellular links like jetpacks. I can easily see how any given network request would go to one link or another depending on availability, but I'm assuming that this would not be able to take a network video stream and parse out portions of it to the various uplinks and then at the far end put the stream back together (in order to get either extra bandwidth or extra reliability) to forward on to a server. Teradek and other companies have specific hardware & software to do this. Can this fault tolerant router be made to do something like this, either with or without additional software?

Comment: Often easier to write yourself (Score 1) 158

by bigmo (#49147955) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome

I will usually spend an hour or so looking for an existing solution if I expect it to take only a couple days to write the code. Even when I expect it to take a week or two I won't spend more than a couple hours looking around. The problem is that even if I find code that does pretty much what I want to do, it will usually take a day or two of screwing around with it to figure out how to make some required part of it work in my overall project. Maybe 95% will be just the way I need it but there seems to always be a gotcha that I don't find until I'm well into the project. Generally I just find that it's faster to do myself rather than try to bend someone else's code to work with mine.

Comment: Re:Better OpenGL compliance please (Score 2) 73

A lot of it depends on what you consider correct. I work almost exclusively on amd platforms with opengl and am pretty happy over all with what I get. I have the reverse problem as you because supporting nVidia requires a lot of adjustment where amd and intel opengl work pretty much as is in my code. You can say that's because I'm doing it wrong and that nVidia has the proper implementation, but I think it's more that you get used to working with your own solutions and anything that requires additional work feels wrong headed in its design.

Comment: best thing for electric companies (Score 5, Insightful) 461

by bigmo (#48531497) Attached to: Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

Electric utilities would in fact love local storage for solar rooftops. The big technical problem for them is that when a cloud goes over an area, all the electricty being pumped back into the grid suddenly drops drastically and the power company has to have generation capacity to add in within seconds to avoid brown outs. By having even 30 minutes worth of storage in the home, the batteries could fill in for the local drop and ease the imapct on the power company.

This is becoming a very big problem in Germany now and there are companies whose sole business is to supply incredibly expensive (thousands of dollars per kilowatt hour in some cases) electricity within a few seconds notice. I believe there was even a bloomberg article on this a few months ago.

Comment: Bit Torrent (Score 2) 294

by bigmo (#48104741) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: An Accurate Broadband Speed Test?

It's hard to know if slow speeds are from your connection or the server you're connecting to or something in between. If you download a linux distro over bit torrent you'll be bypassing any individual server bottleneck and any (except local) general network slow downs. I usually get extremely good speeds from bit torrent, pushing 15 mbit, from my "15 mbit" fios connection. I don't use it a lot so I don't see any alleged throttling from it.

DSLReports or any of that stuff is only useful to determine if you have a decent working internet connection. They should never be used for any sort of benchmarking as one has to assume carriers optimize connections to them to make themselves look good.

Comment: sounds like a great product (Score 1) 53

If you want to quickly try something out this sounds like a great device. I often have ideas I want to try, but when I sit down & look at all the steps I have to go through to just to see if it's a good idea or not, I almost always put it back on the "when I have time shelf". It would also be an easy way for kids to be able to make something that works within their limited attention span. I plan to get one when they come out.

Comment: it costs money to do things well (Score 2) 15

I do video production and corporate event staging so I know how much it costs to do it well. If $8000 is what they need, I can tell you that it's a bargain basement price. I'm a little tired of trying to show people some great presentation on open source and then apologizing for a video that looks like it was done by a 5th grader. People see that and think it's just another adolescent geek doing a science fair project. I think we're all helped when work that is important to us is shown in a professional way. If this guy is willing to do it for that price, I'm going to the kickstarter page next to donate.

We are used to having big companies throw us freebies all the time. To them it's a drop in the bucket. When an individual or small group does something professional looking, it is a big expense for them. While we're all used to getting things for free on the internet, remember that there is still a price. We have to take what they feel like giving away and it may very well be a bunch of crap, put there for their purposes and not ours.

We can draw a line between sharing and charging money, cooperating and competing. All those things have a place and a time. We need to be able to look at the alternatives like adults. And we need to be willing to put our money where our mouth is.

Comment: direct open vs closed comparison (Score 1) 185

I didn't go through every page so I might have missed it, but were there any tests done using the same game or benchmarks for both closed and open source drivers? It looked like the previous article was using a completely different set of games than this test.

Anybody have links to actual apples to apples comparison? I'm using mostly amd cards for reasons that don't have anything to do with gaming but are opengl based. I'd like to get some idea just how far behind the open drivers are from the closed drivers on any recent fairly high end amd card. I know it depends on exactly what features are used and if a feature isn't available the fps will be zero.


Comment: decent project (Score 1) 32

by bigmo (#47221773) Attached to: Ellipto: a DIY Fitness Tracker and Dashboard In 70 Lines

This is actually a nice little project. It is what many projects out there should be if they want to be useful to normal people. It has a fairly simple hardware component and a fairly simple software component and a fairly decent reason for being created. My kids could take this as a starting point and within a few days have something physical that they have created and be able to modify it from there to do something useful or educational or both. These are the sorts of projects that should be done in school to show non-geeks they they can make things too.

Is this a slashdot-worthy article? I think it probably belongs on hack-a-day or something like that rather than slashdot, but I don't really care. If you care then you should complain to the moderators about their submission standards and stop beating up on someone who actually did something rather than just whine about how much of an unloved genius they are.

Comment: Re:Still don't know what everyone's complaining ab (Score 1) 168

by bigmo (#46623223) Attached to: NSA Infiltrated RSA Deeper Than Imagined

I can understand your feelings and I don't completely disagree with them either. However I think the issue is that many if not most people have a line they draw where everything beyond it is personal and private and they do not willingly share this information with people unless it's family or very close friends. There have been suicides over people being "outed" for their sexual preference or other intensely personal things. This is bad enough in the hands of normal bullies, but in the hands of government bullies people can be jailed, legitimate governments destroyed and illegitimate governments upheld. Commercial bullies can use secret information to coerce officials into placing outlandish restrictions on our rights as well. I could of course go on and on.

I am under no illusions that we in fact have any sort of real privacy anymore. I know that ended decades ago. However I think that we have the duty to try to make it difficult for those that want to catalog us in every way, reducing our humanity to data points. I for one will continue to try to shovel back the tide, no matter how pointless it may be.

Comment: have your cake and eat it (Score 1, Insightful) 361

by bigmo (#46274879) Attached to: Killing Net Neutrality Could Be Good For You

Caution, this is a rant:

People want to be able to download as much as they want from anywhere they want for a flat rate. This is childish.

I believe completely in net neutrality. The ISPs are in fact common carriers and should be treated as such.

However net neutrality does not come cheap. People have to pay for what they use in bandwidth the same way they pay for what they use for electricity, water and fuel. Someone who uses 10GB a month should pay ten times as much as someone who uses 1GB a month and they should be able to use 100GB if they can afford it.

This is not a social issue. A poor child doing their homework doesn't need a gigantic feed. It's for people who have nothing better to do than watch netflix and play games.

sorry, but I feel better now...

+ - Ask Slashdot: How to explain the need for privacy to the "uninitiated"?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: How do you — fellow Slashdotters — explain the need for privacy to people who don't think they should care? I feel it's wrong for Google to know who I am, where I live, where I work, who I know, for Vibre to have access to all the phone numbers in my phone, for loyalty card companies to record all my purchases and for government to spy on me with street cameras and PRISMs. But I struggle to explain why to people like my wife or teenage kids who claim they've got nothing to hide and therefore don't need to care. And all their peers are doing it so why shouldn't they? Especially if they can get a free service or marginal discounts — and think it's worth giving up the privacy. I feel it's wrong and try to minimise my exposure but it's inconvenient at times and have a hard time explaining why am I doing it. I've got nothing to hide either, I just don't think I should share everything I do with some anonymous organisations. Or should I not care, sign up and join the herd because it's a lost battle anyway?

+ - NASA and ESA to communicate with lunar orbiter using lasers->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover writes: Space communications have relied on radio since the first Sputnik in 1957. It’s a mature, reliable technology, but it’s reaching its limits. The amount of data sent has increased exponentially for decades and NASA expects the trend to continue. The current communications systems are reaching their limits, so NASA and ESA are going beyond radio as a solution. As part of this effort, ESA has finished tests of part of a new communications system, in preparations for a demonstration in October in which it will receive a laser data download from a NASA lunar orbiter.
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I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie