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Comment: Re:Unless you've spent $300 on a GPU... (Score 2) 186

Basically PC games makes sense because most people already have a PC (or Mac).

In what way does PC gaming make more sense? I have a gaming PC that actually runs Linux (ie. Fedora) as my primary and only OS although I do have virtual machines which I hardly every run. Normally a Linux distribution will not run "Games for Windows" without an emulator which in my case I could not be bothered to do, however if the game is web based I normally can run it. I can even run EMU games such as NES, SNES, Megadrive etc. Having said that I actually prefer console games over PC games.

IMHO the gamer has to make the choice of which gaming system they prefer. If you like PC gaming then fine, if you prefer consoles then that is fine also and if you like both then that is fine as well.

Comment: Re:Unless you've spent $300 on a GPU... (Score 1) 186

Flame wars here we come. :)

Actually the best way to get console fanboys (yes there are girls as well), who are normally at each others throats to actually agree together is when PC fanboys criticize consoles. Still a high end (and more expensive) PC will always beat a console in terms of performance, however most PC's are not high end (as per the article) so the so called elitist criticism is rather childish.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 3, Insightful) 178

Providing the source code for Microsoft software to governments, sounds like a PR exercise. You would need the appropriate government representatives to be able to understand the source code for starters as well as being able to test it and to certify that a specific build and updates are actually from that source code. Personally I can't see that actually happening especially if said representatives have to sign a None Disclosure Contract.

Still I am quite sure Microsoft PR will state that this is our source code and "Trust Us" this compiles to make the binaries you are using and I am quite sure many government representatives will will be quite satisfied with this since they are effectively "locked in" to using Microsoft products anyway and it (to them) is a better alternative to using that "Communist" Linux thingy :)

Comment: Re:Sounds about right... (Score 4, Informative) 441

by donaldm (#47347051) Attached to: Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year
When considering solar power, wind farming is quite practical for large scale production (not for the residential home) however you still need some sort of storage or alternative power generation to offset the hours or even days when there is little or no wind (hence a survey).

Actually no matter what methods are used for large scale energy production it will always be "consumer pays", so if you as a home owner want to offset your electricity bill then solar panels are the way to go, but only after you have done your homework and by that you need to work out the initial costs verses the longs term benefits. Unfortunately it is so easy for so called "experts" to rip people off since most people have no idea how to work out what really is best for themselves in regard to energy utilisation.

Comment: Re:XFree86 is a pain to get working under VirtualB (Score 1) 176

by donaldm (#47331469) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

I managed to get 320x240 working on a Red Hat 6.2 VM I tried to stand up for nostalgia.

I hope you realise that Redhat 6.2 release/update came out on the 6th Dec 2011, which IMHO is fairly recent since 6.2 is still under "Production 1" support. Will it run on older hardware well yes it will providing you have checked what hardware is supported. I have actually upgraded (well reinstalled) from Redhat 3.1 to 6.1 on Proliant hardware with graphics support without issues.

I never have recommend upgrading (not just Redhat but all version of Linux/Unix) from one major release to another, preferring a fresh install. In fact I have found this to be far quicker with less problems.

As far as VM's go I have always used VirtualBox and have never had issues with Redhat. CentOS, Ubunto, Fedora and even Solaris.

Comment: Re:Let them drink! (Score 1) 532

by donaldm (#47331309) Attached to: NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

If people want to smash down 44oz of sugar like that then let them. If you need to regulate that then really you have to wonder about the intelligence of the sort of people you are imposing the ban on, the solution is to provide adequate education and if they still ignore that advice that is their choice! It isn't harming anybody else. I'm glad this sort of nanny-state rubbish has been defeated.

I agree, it sort of reminds me of the alcohol Prohibition from 1920 to 1933. While I would assume that was brought in by well meaning people, however they did not think it through and that led to "boot-legging" and organised crime. Even today alcohol abuse actually kills more adults than smoking which in itself can cause all sorts of health issues.

Banning so called recreation drugs including unhealthy food and drink is not really the way to go. The best solution is unbiased education but even then you are always going to get abusers who will ignore all the facts and do what they want since it is really their choice. Personally if people wish to abuse themselves and as long as they don't hurt others which is easier said than done then let them.

Comment: Re:Internal and External Simultaneously (Score 1) 104

by donaldm (#47261383) Attached to: Google and Facebook Can Be Legally Intercepted, Says UK Spy Boss
If it is legal for UK intelligence to monitor people connecting to a service outside of the UK then using their argument it should be legal for them to monitor all incoming and outgoing communication and by that I mean phone, fax, surface mail etc. Where do you draw the line? Hmm! better get out your brown shirts and polish your jackboots (be careful of knives in the night), fortunately I have not seen anyone sporting a Charlie Chaplin moustache yet :)

Comment: Re:Get a TV (Score 1) 186

by donaldm (#47261263) Attached to: 4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon

Frame rate is for gamers. Programmers need pixels.

Basically if you display 80 or even 120 lines of code it does not matter if the monitor is 1080 pixels or 2160 pixels in height. Sure the higher resolution will display a well designed highly detailed font better than a lower resolution font but that is all, however programmers normally use a mono-spaced font like "Courier" so a fine detailed font is pointless.

Displaying more than 100 lines of code in the window/screen is IMHO stupid because the human eye and consequently the brain is not going to help you debug or even write code any better than if you used 24 to 80 lines. When coding you need to know what you are writing the code for and you should be writing the code in such a way that it is easy to understand and hopefully easy to debug.

As for gamers a screen with a 30Hz refresh rate is pretty much the "sweet spot" for general gaming however fast action games such as FPS's and racing benefit from high refresh rates such as 60Hz and above.

If a programmer is coding for a game then they will need a high resolution monitor with a good refresh rate, assuming they are going to use the monitor for both applications, although if you look at game programmers they normally use two or more screens with at least one low resolution for programming and the other a high performance one to test out what they are developing.

Comment: Re:Oh Well There's Your Problem (Score 1) 372

I suppose you could ask the NSA to provide a copy of it, I'm fairly sure they keep every email from everyone, forever. Of course the NSA only replies to info requests from government organizations.

I assume NSA has such a massive amount of storage to do just this and it must be a logistical nightmare (not to mention expense) to back the whole thing up and keep the tapes safely stored. The next question to ask is how do they collect all this massive amount of data since they would have to have a means of capturing all emails from all mail servers that they can infiltrate since in most cases it would be done illegally. A "man in the middle main server" could do this but once known it is simple for a System Admin with appropriate approval to route mail to a different mail-server and notify the appropriate authorities (namely police) first.

Even capturing email metta-data is also problematic since the above still applies and foreign countries take a very dim view to this (especially if it done from another country), hence the backlash to the Snowden whistle blowing. Of course that is not to say some countries can't be hypocrites.

Comment: Re:Oh Well There's Your Problem (Score 2) 372

Its not that hard to recover data from a crashed drive most of the time.

It is when that hard drive has been hit with a sledge hammer a few times or put through a shredder, which is precisely what some organisations require when a drive is faulty. Of course the data on the faulty disk can't be copied over to the new drive because "the old drive was faulty" so data is effectively lost. Backups? what are they :)

Comment: Re:Very fishy (Score 1) 372

Government officials are required to keep official records, including emails, for freedom of information requests.

Actually keeping a copy of received emails is just about impossible without duplication since backups are normally carried out on a daily basis at specific times. If you as the receiver delete select emails before the backup can save the emails they are effectively lost. However if the mail system duplicates your email specifically for backup purposes then it can be argued that this is effectively tampering with mail and in most countries this is a serious offence. This won't stop backing up metta data (ie mail to/from and time) files which is important when users complain that their mail is either not being sent or they have not received it. Using the mail metta data for other purposes is IMHO tantamount to snooping which depending how the Law views this can be taken as a serious offence.

BTW. On the subject of email metta-data. The only way for an outside source to get this is either request it formally via legal channels or get it by stealth and if this is the case then the laws of most countries would treat this as a criminal offence. Of course the System Administrator has access to this data so like it or not you do have to trust your System Admin.

The problem any person (Government Official or other) has with email is deciding what to keep and what to delete and while keeping all outgoing transaction is fairly simple, keeping all incoming mail can result in your mail-box filling up which normally gets you a nasty email from the system administrator. Sure you can keep all mail on your PC (if you have one) but again you can still run into space problems and how many PC users seriously back-up their machines anyway :)

Comment: Re:Progenitors? (Score 1) 686

by donaldm (#47220185) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Life does not need intelligence.

True, but if you have radical changes to the environment and there have been a few in our planet's history then life-forms which cannot adapt are going to become extinct.

In fact intelligence itself is a handicap, and a product of sexual selection and its handicap principle.

In what way is intelligence a handicap? Intelligence allows what would be a fairly physically weak species to survive when stronger non-intelligent (from a human perspective) species die off or become extinct. Pit an unarmed human against pretty well any predator past and present and that predictor will win, however pit that same predator against an intelligent "armed" and organised human and in most cases the predator will most likely be food or clothing.

Comment: Re:It's Time To Move On. (Score 1) 218

by donaldm (#47188439) Attached to: Microsoft Fixing Windows 8 Flaws, But Leaving Them In Windows 7

Richard Stallman is full of crap if he is claiming that Windows is endemically, technically less secure. Anyone remember the Pwn2Own games? Anyone remember what OS fell first every time? Thats right, fully patched OSX (think that changed ~2012).

Err you do realize that OSX is not Linux don't you?

Comment: Re:This is awesome (Score 1) 217

by donaldm (#47179211) Attached to: New OpenSSL Man-in-the-Middle Flaw Affects All Clients

It's actually a false dichotomy...

The vast majority of software is poorly written, hacked-together junk written by dicks and idiots.

Open Source *can* be slightly less terrible, but it's all still terrible.

There are good and bad programmers. The bad ones don't last long before their credibility is in tatters and they never get to work in the programming field again. One major thing I always look for in software is it's ability to be maintained. If not, as far as I am concerned it is junk and should be replaced and replacing is not that difficult when you know the core requirements of the software.

Just saying all software is terrible (I won't de-nigh that some is) and insulting all people who do programming is very short sighted and your credibility in saying that is effectively shot.

Support Mental Health. Or I'll kill you.