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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:Hasn't Google been doing that for a while now? (Score 1) 109

by jma05 (#49427755) Attached to: Google Rolls Out VP9 Encoding For YouTube

I do indeed prefer mplayer over VLC since the CPU utilization is better. However, my mplayer does not do VP9. VLC nightly was suggested and it worked. But I would like to switch back to mplayer as soon as I can.

I did update my ffmpeg. The one that comes with Trusty did not work with youtube-dl.

Comment: Re:Beware Rust, Go, and D. (Score 1) 223

by jma05 (#49422255) Attached to: Mono 4 Released, First Version To Adopt Microsoft Code

I am aware. .NET Native just removes some JIT costs and improves load times (60% is the claim). It does not make actual program execution much faster. I don't expect the benchmarks to change much. Although, MS CLR was probably a bit better in performance than the Mono implementation. Let's see how this code merge fares. There are free and commercial native compilers for Java. They don't help all that much. I imagine things to be similar. No idea about how good the disk and memory improvements will play out.

Comment: Hasn't Google been doing that for a while now? (Score 3, Interesting) 109

by jma05 (#49420449) Attached to: Google Rolls Out VP9 Encoding For YouTube

I use youtube-dl to download presentations from Youtube. I have been getting VP9 webms for months from Youtube. If you type youtube -F , you can see all the DASH webm streams, which are encoded by VP9. The non-DASH webms are VP8 videos. With youtube-dl, you can select the DASH video and audio streams and combine them with ffmpeg. The file sizes are indeed much better.

Short Test Video:
youtube-dl --prefer-ffmpeg -f 247+171 https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
39 secs of this 720p clip comes out to 5.6 MB. With H264, it would 10.8 MB.

The only problem I have is that I have to play them by dropping them in Firefox. I have not managed to get any of my desktop media players to get the codecs (Ubuntu 14.04). If any of you solved this, let me know.

Comment: Re:Beware Rust, Go, and D. (Score 3, Interesting) 223

by jma05 (#49412749) Attached to: Mono 4 Released, First Version To Adopt Microsoft Code

> Both C# and C++ offer low level functionality

Not really. Can you write a device driver in C#? How about a plain DLL? CLR is a VM. Its CPU performance is OK (2-8 times slower than C).

http://benchmarksgame.alioth.d...

But programs written on it have memory requirements that are higher than ones written in plain systems languages. The runtime footprint on the disk is also massive. I don't think you can really make a case that C# is a low-level language. It is not that much more CPU efficient than Java. Mono performance is worse than Java.

http://benchmarksgame.alioth.d...

Of course, CLR is better than dynamic language aka scripting language runtimes. But that's about it.

Comment: Re:Disabling Heartbeat - scroll down! (Score 1) 156

by jma05 (#49384157) Attached to: Firefox 37 Released

I don't understand art very much and I certainly don't understand modern art. I don't have a taste for Picasso. But it cannot be denied that he introduced/developed several novel art forms and was a talented painter.

> I've cleaned a paintbrush on a piece of cloth and created something better than Picasso. I've seen preschoolers with finger paints do better.

That's just a cheap shot with no basis. You should at least make an effort to find out why people who venerate him as one of the greatest ever, do so. You and I are just not qualified to judge it. Your critiques are no different from a religious fundamentalist who pooh poohs Science without making an effort to study it beyond high school.

Comment: Re:Call me an old guy with a short attention span (Score 1) 87

by jma05 (#49380155) Attached to: No Film At 11: the Case For the Less-Video-Is-More MOOC

Well, of course, there are good and bad lectures and lecture videos.

> Well done presentations are the exception -- don't try to build a rule on them.

I am not sure I agree. I have been satisfied with the quality of video lectures in MOOCs. I expect MOOC videos (I just use Coursera) to be better than simple lecture videos that I was accustomed to in the pre-MOOC era. M is for Massive. So I do expect that better care is taken in their production.

> which brings us back to the thrust of the article -- doing video properly takes more time than it's worth

We have an article because these lecturers are the exception (IPython Notebooks are quite good teaching tools though). If I wanted a simple presentation with no expectation of effort on media, I'd normally just go download some course lectures from iTunesU.

A good presentation does not need a whole lot of effort. A screen cast format is not bad at all. It can involve slides, live code building, refer to web resources, screen drawing etc. That's pretty multi-modal and does not need a complex set up.

Comment: Re: There's a lot of stuff (Score 2) 87

by jma05 (#49379253) Attached to: No Film At 11: the Case For the Less-Video-Is-More MOOC

Hah. I have seen a bit of what you mean and I cringed myself. I am from a developing country (and studied in the West). Its just that the educational culture is a bit different over here. Students can get rather needy. Project work expectations are pretty low here (unlilke test performance) and they might be having a harder time to adjust. Its probably not a bad idea to have regional realms of some sort, so that students of similar cultures can participate, without stepping on other's toes.

Comment: Re:Call me an old guy with a short attention span (Score 1) 87

by jma05 (#49379141) Attached to: No Film At 11: the Case For the Less-Video-Is-More MOOC

Harsh. Tell a student to do Linux from scratch, he will find it intimidating. I assume most failed in the first few attempts, back when they was no video option. Show him a video of it once, he will find it much less intimidating. Video has its place.

Another thing is: you need "good written instructions", as you say. Not everyone can write good instructions. But just about anyone can show. Creating install videos does not require as much skill because a lot of information is informally and implicitly encoded in the demo.

Comment: Re:Call me an old guy with a short attention span (Score 3, Insightful) 87

by jma05 (#49379097) Attached to: No Film At 11: the Case For the Less-Video-Is-More MOOC

> Perhaps if you can't appreciate a mathematical subject as it is presented in its dry text form, then it isn't something you are likely to ever understand

I dunno. I find animations of mathematical concepts to be quite effective in communicating the intuition behind them, much better than text.

Perhaps, you just haven't seen good use of multimedia.

> I think one of the problems with the video format is that it entices you into being passive

I prefer videos over lectures. The reason is that I can pause them, replay them, for technical stuff, try things out.

You might say: Well, you can do that with a book. For me, the lecture uses a more approachable language than the more formal format of the book (good for further exploration and lookups). A video demonstration is just more compact and more effective because it is multi-modal, than the full description in text.

> because the three forms crowd each other out.

In a well-done presentation, they are complementary... multi-modal.

Comment: Re:Call me an old guy with a short attention span (Score 2) 87

by jma05 (#49379021) Attached to: No Film At 11: the Case For the Less-Video-Is-More MOOC

I find the MOOC format very suitable for my needs and I have consumed dozens. The lecture is a very different format from a book and is intended for very different purposes. Like most people, I prefer lectures to begin with and move to books for further detail.

> requires to watch the complete segment before realising it was not what I was looking for.

Videos are not meant for piece meal consumption, for stuff you already know... more or less... and are of course not intended for information lookup, if that is how you have been using them. You don't attend a classroom to look for stuff. An online course is no different. You attend it when you make a full commitment to learn a topic as defined by the lecturer.

What I don't understand is: How is your problem with MOOCs any different from any Distance Education lecture delivery, Great Lectures or simply classroom format (with a large enough audience where you cannot interrupt the Prof to ask questions). You could say: just read the book for all of those as well. Do you just dislike lectures in general? Would you say that Feynman lectures are a waste of time when you could have simply read a book?

Comment: Re:my experience: (Score 1) 269

by jma05 (#49342363) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple

I am not looking for guesswork or assumptions, just data. Indeed.com says that mobile devs are paid 100K based on the jobs advertised with them. I wanted to know how much independent devs were making when they were doing it alone. Perhaps, there is no data available for it yet. I do know that part-time devs don't make very much from anecdotes; but most seemed content as they regarded it as a supplemental income.

Ma Bell is a mean mother!

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