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Comment Re: Build one (Score 1) 208

Newer games don't require the best card (never did actually), or at least you don't need the best to avoid stuttering and hitching. But system RAM helps a lot. If you have 2G video RAM then that's enough because it can be supplied from system RAM cache. For a middle of the road system, adding more system RAM or an SSD does more to help game performance for the same price than getting a new video card.

Comment Re:ALWAYS build, if you can (Score 1) 208

This was the rule of thumb for the high end elitist gamers in the past. But it's not true anymore. You only need to build your own if you want the "best" (an unachievable goal as only one person in the world can have the best system). Is the goal to play games, or to deal with the headache of building a computer? A commercial computer is cheaper and still more than enough to play the games.

Comment Re:BUILD (Score 1) 208

"Better" is the wrong goal I think. When a commercial computer gets you everything you need for top end gaming and more, why build it yourself? The only reason to build your own is when you're in the "overkill" zone that the original poster claimed to not want. Even Alienware is overkill.

Also dealing with all the parts, and the warranties, and shipping defective parts back and forth, is just not worth the effort unless your entire goal is to have a computer building hobby.

Comment Re:Build one (Score 1) 208

It's not necessary cheaper, and often is more expensive to build your own. What makes a good gaming computer these days is no longer the graphics card bur instead RAM and good storage, which are also commodity items for genera purpose high end computing and not just esoteric stuff for a handful of obsessive gamers. The higher end gaming oriented Dell computer will be absolutely fine for playing games from this year and next. It won't be "the best" but you will never get "the best" without overkill.

Comment Re:This! (Score 1) 130

Are they selling an object like a car or a service like access to a fairground?

Even ignoring quasi-legal arguments like software licensing, I'm inclined to feel this is an example of the latter.

This is not like selling costume packs for Skyrim, where both parties were involved in a transaction presented as a purchase of an object (again, legal arguments like licensing aside - user buys a box called "Skyrim", expects that to be the end of their relationship with Bethesda and Bethesda expected that to be the end of their relationship with the user, save for bug fixes and purchases of other products or services)

This is a straightforward "You pay us $X for access to our service.

And as such, just as paying money to access to a fairground doesn't mean you can reconfigure the rollercoaster, likewise you don't get to mod a multi-user game just because you paid money for access to it.

Comment Samsung's Quality Control is Crap (Score 4, Insightful) 207

"Either QC or the production process or both appear to be nearly fatally flawed for Samsung"

I'd lean towards this explanation, and not just in the matter of OLED displays. Over the years, I've noticed a trend of faulty hardware from Samsung. Samsung refrigerator/freezer whose temperature control is prone to go nuts after power outages (usually it stops bothering to cool the contents despite the temerature controls working and showing the current temerature accurately, though on one occasion getting stuck "on" and freezing everything in the fridge. Also, the ice maker ironically freezes up so it can't make ice), camera with a lens/focussing flaw that renders everything outside of a small circle in the center of every photo out-of-focus (sent in in for RMA, got it back unchanged a few weeks later with a note to make sure the battery was fully charged when using, WTF?), Galaxy "Mesmerize" (Galaxy S for US Cellular) whose 3G/wifi/gps/bluetooth radio would regularly completely die until the phone was power-cycled (its replacement actually was okay). My current phone is a Galaxy S4 (running Optimized CyanogenMod 12.1) that I'm actually pretty pleased with, but its USB port failed within a few months and I can't transfer data over it (it still charges and I can easily transfer data via sftp, so I haven't gotten around to getting the $5 replacement port and ripping the phone apart to fix it yet).

Samsung's Quality Control sucks. If I'd had the option of any other rootable phone from another manufacturer when I got the S4 I'd have gone with it instead, but US Cellular's selection is pretty meager. I'm just glad "have to use something other than USB to transfer files" is the only real problem I've had with it.

Comment Re:Hydro = from the sun (Score 1) 166

Direct solar may sound nice and work fine in small scale, but collectors would have to cover great areas to be effective

The total world energy consumption is somewhere around 100PWh/year. That's around 274TWh/day. The sunlight hitting the Earth is around 1kW/m^2, so 8kWh/m^2 assuming 8 hours of sunlight. If you assume 100% efficiency in conversion (totally impossible, but we'll start there and refine later), then that means that you need about 3.45E10 m^2 of land devoted to solar power. That's a square about 185km on each side. If you assume 10% efficiency (mass produced photovoltaics are 12-25% these days), then you need an area about 342000km^2, or about the area of Germany, to power the entire world. Now, given the efficiency of power distribution, you probably wouldn't want to put it all in one place, but you could easily fit solar panels enough that, even with transmission losses, you could power all of North America in Utah or Texas without anyone noticing. The difficulty is not the generation, it's the storage.

Comment Re:Wrong way around (Score 1) 734

Better explanation:

sysvinit is widely considered awful by most distro maintainers.

How do we know this? Well, because distro maintainers have been trying to get away from it for years. Even when everything was run from 'init' there have been multiple refactorings of /etc/*.d to try to produce a better start up environment.

At some point, some distributions, notably Ubuntu, switched to an initd replacement called Upstart. Because they were desperate to get away from sysvinit. ChromeOS, possibly the most widely used Desktop GNU/Linux distribution, was also an early adopter of Upstart. Again because it was considered better - more reliable, faster, etc - than horrible old init.

So why are they switching to systemd? Because systemd is considered better than Upstart (which in turn is considered better than sysvinit.) systemd has a better process model, and doesn't ignore required functionality (yes, the same program that configures devices at start up probably should configure USB devices that are plugged in dynamically, and the same processes that configure the network based upon what devices are plugged in at start up should probably configure the network based upon what devices become available later, etc. So yes, this supposed "monolithic" approach is basic common sense.)

Most of those complaining about systemd are actually fighting an argument they lost in 2006, when Upstart became part of Ubuntu 6.10. They've lost it not just in the GNU/Linux world, but also in, say, the Mac OS X world, where sysvinit was unceremoniously ejected back in 2005. Or the Solaris world. etc.

You know, I could understand this if we were actually losing anything by switching to systemd. The desire to remove X11 from *ix, for example, replacing it with a dumb graphics engine with a fraction of the functionality, I think is genuinely a tragedy. We'll lose much of what made *ix what it is if and when Wayland is adopted. But systemd doesn't remove anything. It's fast, efficient, and it fixes huge holes in GNU/Linux, problems we've been aware of since the mid-nineties but haven't had the spine to fix.

It's something to be welcomed.

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer