Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Actually, he's right (Score 4, Insightful) 496

by greg1104 (#48677147) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

The premise of this fairy tale is that great programmers have a quality unrelated to training. You split Zeus's skull, great programmers jump out, and then they are Rock Stars. There's no place for entry level jobs in that story.

I can't decide if this is more less funny than the idea that startups are constrained by programming talent instead of working business models. I used to enjoy Paul Graham's writing sometimes, but he's so drunk on the Y-Combinator Kool-Aid now it's kind of embarrassing.

Comment: Re:Many DDR3 modules? (Score 1) 135

by greg1104 (#48673795) Attached to: Many DDR3 Modules Vulnerable To Bit Rot By a Simple Program

Some ludicrously overpriced cable aimed at the mass market is stranded, with Monster being the biggest offender by volume. But most of the really expensive speaker cable is solid core instead of stranded, with the core size limited only by how flexible the cable needs to be. The stuff I like uses a number of 14 AWG wires that total to match 12 AWG. I've tried using twisted pairs of 12 AWG copper instead, just basic power cable from Home Depot, but I can barely route the stuff. I like the cables (and amplifiers) I use to be mechanically sound and measure perfectly, priority #1, so I never have to include them in troubleshooting why something sounds bad. Multi-component systems are hard to optimize, and making individual parts as perfect as is practical lowers the complexity. That doesn't lead me to $1000 speaker cables, but I'm not getting $5 ones either.

When audio changes are big enough to show on a scope, normally the only reason someone bothered to isolate them out is because they were audible. Some of what audiophiles complain about here is real albeit misunderstood. Let's say you start with low-feedback amplifiers with a low damping factor, which some people think are good things. That gives you an amp that's more prone to oscillation than is has to be. If you then combine that with a high capacitance cable, next thing you know there's a perfect storm of bad design that really does sound different. What's supposed to be ultrasonic junk moves into audible. And some idiots will think that because it's different, it's better, so next thing you know every part of people's system is tweaked for more of that junk.

There is a side of the market that demands the best engineered products for the price point at every step of the chain too though. I read audio reviews starting with the bench plots.

Comment: Re:I'm the app's developer. Happy to answer questi (Score 1) 125

by greg1104 (#48672131) Attached to: App Gives You Free Ebooks of Your Paperbacks When You Take a "Shelfie"

I already have an app that catalogues the books I own by reading the bar code (which contains the ISBN in most cases). It takes a couple of seconds on my cheap phone (Moto G) to scan each bar code - it takes longer to look them up in a DB.

The example they show takes a snapshot of 25 books at once, looking at the spines on a shelf, and then claims to identify all of them by doing OCR on the spine text combined with a database lookup. If that works, it will be quite a bit faster than anything that requires scanning individual books.

That's the theory, anyway. Looking at the reviews, it doesn't actually work well enough yet to bother.

Comment: Re:Many DDR3 modules? (Score 1) 135

by greg1104 (#48672077) Attached to: Many DDR3 Modules Vulnerable To Bit Rot By a Simple Program

Oxygen-free copper is very a much a real thing, and it does matter for some applications. The only part that's hard to support is whether those differences are audible in home audio. All other things being equal between two cables, it shouldn't matter. (All other things are usually not equal)

Comment: Re:Many DDR3 modules? (Score 1) 135

by greg1104 (#48672067) Attached to: Many DDR3 Modules Vulnerable To Bit Rot By a Simple Program

Inductance and capacitance impact total impedance, and it is possible to find bad combinations where that turns into an easily measurable problem with the cable. See high cap wire section of "Speaker Wire: A History" for how that comes out on a scope. It's very easy to find cases where the wire doesn't matter too. One of the funny things about objective audio testing is that people usually find what they set out to, because it's so easy to set up tests to give the results you want. That doesn't disprove there are no edge cases where those things do matter. Audible amplifier feedback and oscillation is a real thing.

Serious corrosion does happen in old audio cables, with them turning a lovely puke green eventually. I have some systems going back to the 80's here, and that copper is totally grody, fer sure! Preventing that is mainly about the jacket and termination though. Just using high quality copper doesn't make it go away.

That coat hanger wire vs. Monster Cable test used Martin Logan SL3 speakers, which was such a weird choice I have to throw the whole thing out as a waste of time. Those are electrostatic panels with a traditional woofer. Electrostatics have very different electrical properties than regular speakers. You can't really extrapolate from that exotic test to the rest of the market, where people are mainly using traditional cone and dome speakers. Car anology: you can observe that changing gas for a Tesla electric vehicle doesn't impact its performance, but that doesn't prove gas quality is irrelevant to regular engines.

Comment: Re:Many DDR3 modules? (Score 1) 135

by greg1104 (#48671999) Attached to: Many DDR3 Modules Vulnerable To Bit Rot By a Simple Program

That's not how it works. The way you spot a bottlenecks in performance work is that if you change anything else, there is zero impact on the resulting system speed. Conversely, if you alter something and the system really does get faster, you must have just hit one of the bottlenecks.

Given that, the way high detail performance goes from 83 to 86 FPS as RAM speed increases means that RAM speed must have been a bottleneck. If speed had been strictly limited by the video card instead, speeding up the memory would have given zero total system speed increase. It's not hard to get RAM fast enough to no longer be the bottleneck, but you can't just throw junk memory at this game without that turning into a limiter.

Comment: Re:good news for ECC memory makers (Score 1) 135

by greg1104 (#48667719) Attached to: Many DDR3 Modules Vulnerable To Bit Rot By a Simple Program

The test numbers in section 6.3 show that ECC mitigates most of the errors, as the bulk of them are single bit ones. And if you're on a system that's prone to this problem, the odds are you will see a warning about that ECC correction kicking in long before you'll hit one of the uncorrectable multi-bit errors.

Long computations which yield zero are probably all for naught.