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Comment Re:Exact Trafic Speed as PRNG (Score 2) 123

Theoretically, on a completely empty highway I can achieve speeds in excess of 200mph in a sufficiently powerful car. In practice, most highways will be congested, police officers will be present, the weather may be bad, etc., and I will never be able to go above an average of 60 (in rush hours of many cities, even less). To that effect my compact car is all I really need, and I am more interested in routes to and from work that will avoid congested areas instead of freeways that offer a theoretically higher speed.

Likewise, this article isn't about raw speed, it's about what is practically possible. This is an excellent guide for those interested in data plans.

Comment Nice concept... (Score 1) 68

...but the power of such a system is in interpreting the data. It sounds as if the 'ants' themselves wander about the network observing specific attributes, then leaving behind a few notes on anomalies found. Other ants come along, attracted by the 'scent' of the data, and add their own observations. This is all well and good, but my skepticism comes in when we try to interpret the 'odors'. The ants have a chance of observing an event they or another ant caused to happen, which introduces false positives. Other ants arrive, further interfering with the results and pointing virtual fingers at what could be an illusionary culprit. Therefore, the trouble with this approach is that there always exists a possibility of that which 'smelt' it, 'dealt' it.

Comment Re:X window (Score 1) 264

Good chance that the GUI request deals primarily with user-friendly aspects of using the cluster. There are always alternatives to GUI-based apps, but there are plenty of times where using one will save you time and effort. Have you ever tried substituting Gimp with Image Magick? You can't beat the latter for batch image processing, but I wouldn't ask anyone to design a logo with it.

Comment Re:I've always had to upgrade my MB (Score 2) 219

ASRock actually had a solution to this that I owned, known as the 939Dual-VSTA, which offered both fullspeed AGP and PCIe slots. Despite what you might think, it was a shockingly stable board that survived tortuous sessions of Planetside and several amateur computing experiments. It eased my transition to PCIe while even providing an upgrade path to AM2 cores.

Sadly, it wasn't really available until a good time after PCIe began to go mainstream.

Comment Re:Criminal Writing (Score 1) 1200

I honestly love Criminal Minds. I can forgive a lot. But why is it that Garcia is still 'clicking' away on a frickin' rubber keyboard? Don't get me wrong, any self respecting hacker would settle for nothing less than a true Das Keyboard (or better yet, one of the IBM originals).

What bothers me is the sound effect...

Comment Cool, but... (Score 1) 150

There's been a lot of talk about HTML5 transforming today's browsers into tomorrow's platforms as this simple search suggests. Essentially, with all of these additions, there seems to be a keen interest in providing "local application" experiences to web-based tools. For example, many of these additions essentially provide access to hardware devices in one form or another.

This is all nice in theory, but once we start including the 'kitchensink' tag, who's to say that browsers won't end up as bloated as Adobe Reader?

Comment Re:People don't multi-task well (Score 3, Insightful) 797

Don't assume that multiple monitors means someone is trying to juggle multiple tasks. 3 monitors has become a part of my life at work. Here's how:
Left - Maximized browser window looking at my web app
Center - Maximized IDE to develop/debug my web app, providing sufficient space for my code, log monitoring, and package browsing
Right - IM Window, Resource Monitor (particularly CPU and Memory), and a handful of widgets. If there's a web-share meeting, it gets maximized here.
When I switch to a portable environment or lose a monitor, believe me, my productivity suffers.

Comment Moving Forward or Raising Stakes on Jailbreaking? (Score 5, Interesting) 224

Although there's plenty that can go wrong, 'cloud' storage is a cool concept for my save data. It's not fun having to scrounge up a compatible device to backup my PS3's saves when I've upgraded the drive, and I'd hate to have to restart a game on my portable just because I lost my save on a Tiny-Micro-Whatever SD card no bigger than my pinky-nail.

That said, it raises the stakes on what happens if I decide to jailbreak my devices. Is there always going to be a hard copy, or do I get a nastygram message at startup saying "Your account (and all of those saves) have been locked out due to unlicensed use of your hardware"? Let's not forget that many manufacturers (Sony and Nintendo included) are moving towards digital delivery systems.

Comment Re:Poor programmer? (Score 2) 279

You've written quite a bit here about optimization. I certainly won't dispute that there's room for improvement, but I think you're missing something crucial. Minecraft has, and perhaps never will be, a game that relies on graphics, high-performance architecture, or even a reasonable FPS. If architecture bothers you that much, there's no shortage of games out there built on very robust engines such as the UDK. Instead, Notch has wisely chosen to focus on doing his best to refine the actual gameplay. The end result is a literally endless, randomly generated world that for some reason people are willing to pay good money to play in.

As for his choice of rendering tech, it's noteworthy to point out OpenGL 1.1 is one of the few graphics choices left that will practically run on anything calling itself a GPU.

Comment Smartphones, Entertainment, and Battery Life (Score 1) 305

I rely on my phone to keep me in touch with friends, family and work. As much as I'd love to get one, I'm concerned a smartphone will be a liability if I decided to play one too many rounds of Canabalt on a road trip or checking Slashdot in the checkout line. Instead, I "get by" with an iPod Touch and a dedicated phone. If my touch ever loses power, it's new big deal.

I'm wondering if my concerns are valid, and if so, when news reports start headlining car crash victims unable to dial for help due to one game too many of 'Angry Birds'.

Just because a device can play games doesn't mean it should.

Comment Security Holes & Closed Platforms (Score 3, Interesting) 429

I am curious as to how much longer we will go until the next security hole isn't used so benevolently.

Who's up for a virus that can't be removed by the user once it's in? How about a friendly bugger that takes advantage of your contact list? For that matter, let's bring back the old dialer viruses and have your phone call a 10$/minute hotline every night for an hour.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.