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Comment Re:excellent (Score 2) 226

I was shocked to find how poor the performance of expf() was compared to exp() in glibc. Turns out that in a handful of functions, they are changing the rounding mode of the FPU, which flushes the entire FPU state, obliterating performance. After switching to a different version -- from another library -- that didn't change rounding modes, performance was back on par.

It's perfectly understandable why rounding mode changes are necessary, since the FPU can be in any rounding mode coming in, and some guarantees are required, but they should really provide variations that do not do this. I truly hope the new implementation avoids it altogether, otherwise we're back on square one.

Classic Games (Games)

It's Time For the Descent Games Return 251

An anonymous reader writes "Gamers of a certain age will probably remember Descent, a game that combined first-person shooters with flight sims in a way that has never really been replicated. GameSpot has an article calling for a new entry in the Descent series, and it reminded me of all the stomach-churning battles I had as a kid (when the game wasn't bringing my 33MHz 486 to its knees). 'Here's where modern gaming innovations make Descent an even more tempting reboot. From the two-dimensional mines of Spelunky to the isometric caves of Path of Exile, procedurally generated levels help deliver fresh experiences to players in a number of genres. The mines of Descent would be perfect candidates for such creation, and they wouldn't have to be limited to the metallic walls and lunar geology of past Descent games.

Imagine exploring organic tunnels carved by some unknown alien creature, or floating past dazzling crystalline stalactites in pristine ancient caves. Perhaps the influences of Red Faction and Minecraft could also come into play as you bored your own shortcuts through layers of destructible sediment. All of Descent's dizzying navigation challenges could be even more exciting with the immersive potential of a virtual reality headset like the Oculus Rift or the Sony Morpheus. Feeling the mine walls close in on you from all sides could get your heart racing, and turning your head to spot shortcuts, power-ups, or delicate environmental details could greatly heighten the sense of being an explorer in an uncharted land.'"

Comment Re:Innovation vs rent-seeking (Score 5, Insightful) 166

SpaceX are fantastic, world-class innovators, but lobbying the government to tilt the playing field their way smacks of rent-seeking.

You're confused. It's called levelling the playing field. What the USAF did was sign a no-bid contract with the Boeing/Lockheed to purchase Russian rocket engines. A huge no-no in the public sphere, if not illegal. The only way to get them to reverse on that was to go to court.

Comment Re:Stretching the laws for corporations (Score 2) 161

Whoa, easy on the vitriol there, bub. Don't let bad design cloud your judgment of the actual case. It matters not how badly the AT&T folks implemented security (or not) on their system. The fact is Weev "stole" it (copied without permission) and then stupidly publicized it. What's more, he "shared it with various interested parties."

If AT&T had left printouts of highly personal data in a dumpster and someone had found it right there, then I don't think you would've had a problem fingering the culprit. AT&T, right? Dumpster diving would certainly not get someone 41 months in the slammer (e.g California v Greenwood).

In other words, it was right there in the open. Hence, the blame lies squarely with AT&T for not properly securing their customers' private information.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone calling their group Goatse Security needs to be punished anyway. I'm not interested in trying to explain to my 6yo what the fuck that means.

Your obvious lack of parenting skills is not his responsibility.

Comment Re:Say what? (Score 1) 226

The entire point of a HAL is that you just plug in your drivers.

The entire point of the HAL is to abstract hardware, any hardware, away from the OS. There's nothing that says it can't encompass more of the hardware than just the IO bus, CPU and MMU, like WinNT does. On an embedded device there's very little in terms of a standard IO bus that the OS can communicate through cleanly with peripherals, so might as well abstract the whole lot.

If it has syntax, it isn't user friendly.