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Comment Re:Right, but... (Score 1) 145

That is why all it takes to make the PS3 capable of 3D is a software upgrade.

Actually, the current PS3 will not be certified as Bluray 3D compatible. It can only support a subset of the new standards without hardware changes (it can't implement one of the required modes .. Frame alternative, I believe, but I could be wrong).

Comment Re:That's strange.. (Score 1) 859

You've never seen one explode a tire and send high-velocity rubber chunks flying out the side?

You do NOT want to be beside it when it happens, and with 18 wheels ready to pop, it happens too frequently for me to risk being in the trajectory when it does.

(Disclaimer: My daily drive is the stretch of 403/QEW which connects Niagra Falls (ie, the US) with Toronto (ie, the Canada), and there are a very large number of trucks on that road. Once you see a tire blow in front of you, you will never drive beside a truck again.)

Comment Re:Disney vs The Teaching Company (Score 1) 501

Assuming you've got access to a Windows machine (which is sadly the only platform for which 'hardcore' dvd ripping tools are written for), you should be able to attack the disk with a combination of AnyDVD (installs a device driver that will remove all known protection) and vStrip.

A word of warning: vStrip is NOT an easy tool to use (there are guides all over the place though), but it's by far the most powerful DVD ripping software I have ever found.

Comment Strange partial-fails of SDHC cards.. (Score 1) 357

I was given a 4GB SDHC card by a friend, frantic that all her photos had disappeared. She did not do anything do physically damage the card, it was sitting in her camera and just suddenly started showing 0 photos one day when she turned it on.

I popped it into my linux machine and started to dd all the data I could get off of it. The first 512MB were fine. The next 512MB were completely unreadable. The last 3GB were fine.

Not sure exactly what could cause this type of partial failure, but it certainly seems like SHDC cards are actually multiple devices internally connected together, and it's possible to have just one fail at a time. Alternate explanations are welcome.

(VirtualBox + XP + Kernel FAT NTFS did the trick by the way, was able to save 80% of the photos).

Comment Re:Call me a Luddite (Score 1) 492

Techno or any other "music" that requires all the effort of hitting some buttons.

I bet you think yourself mighty insightful, but exactly what do you do in order to play say, a piano? Beethoven was just hitting some buttons.

So how about you get off your high horse, and just admit that you don't like techno simply because you don't like it. This is fine, you are entitled to a personal opinion. Just don't claim your opinion is due to some inherent inferiority of the genre... it's not.

Comment Re:+Troll (Score 1) 781

Counter-anecdote: I have a Q6600 / 6GB 800Mhz RAM / 512mb Geforce 8600GT (almost the exact same system as you, with a little less RAM).

Running Ubuntu 8.04, with desktop effects cranked to maximum, at 1920x1200 .. everything is both responsive and beautiful. When friends come over and see my desktop, their jaws drop to the floor and they end up leaving with Ubuntu live CDs in their pockets.

I'm curious where your performance problems are coming from, considering our systems are so similar.. what motherboard chipset are you using? Intel ICH9 here (Asus P5K-C).

Comment Re:Macbook pro 17" (Score 1) 504

But the problem with S-PVA is that I will want to play sometimes and I wouldn't feel good with 30+ ms input lag, even if it may not affect my performance that much.

I know where you're coming from, and this was almost a deal-breaker for me when I was shopping for monitors. In the end though, I'm very happy that I decided to ignore the S-PVA input-lag naysayers. While I haven't tried anything recent, I can say that UT2k4 runs fantastic (and looks great) at 1920x1200, with no perceivable input lag.

Ultimately, being 1 frame behind is really not nearly as big of a deal as it's made out to be (like any game doesn't double- or triple- buffer anyway). Don't reject an otherwise all-around amazing display technology just because of that one thing.. at least not until you see it for yourself and realize just how stunning the images S-PVA displays can render are :)

Comment Re:Absence of real competitors (Score 1) 487

If you'd actually listened to some of the (admittedly small amount of) material available on SACD then you'd realise that the high cost and format lock-in are small prices to pay for an extraordinary step forwards in high-fidelity music. SACDs sound phenomenal compared to vanilla CDs.

What difference does higher quality make if nobody buys your products? The high cost and format lock-in were clearly not "small" prices to pay, because today the format is pretty much dead.


Computer Model Points To the Missing Matter 97

eldavojohn writes "There exists a little-known problem of missing regular matter that has perhaps been overshadowed by the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy. Computer models show that there should be about 40% more regular matter than we see... so where is it? From the article: 'The study indicated a significant portion of the gas is in the filaments — which connect galaxy clusters — hidden from direct observation in enormous gas clouds in intergalactic space known as the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium, or WHIM, said CU-Boulder Professor Jack Burns... The team performed one of the largest cosmological supercomputer simulations ever, cramming 2.5 percent of the visible universe inside a computer to model a region more than 1.5 billion light-years across.' This hypothesis will be investigated and hopefully proved/disproved when telescopes are completed in Chile and the Antarctic. The paper will be up for review in this week's edition of the the Astrophysical Journal."

EMI May Cut Funding To RIAA, IFPI 158

Teen Bainwolf notes a report that Big Four record label EMI, which is under new ownership, is considering a big cut in its funding for the IFPI and RIAA. Each of the labels reportedly contributed over $132 million per year to fund industry trade groups, and EMI apparently believes that money could be better spent elsewhere. "One of the chief activities of the RIAA is coordinating the Big Four labels' legal campaign, and those thousands of lawsuits have done nothing but generate ill will from record fans, while costing the labels millions of dollars and doing little (if anything) to actually reduce the amount of file-sharing going on."

MLB Fans Who Bought DRM Videos Get Hosed 299

Billosaur writes "Major League Baseball has just strengthened the case against DRM. If you downloaded videos of baseball games from before 2006, apparently they no longer work and you are out of luck., sometime during 2006, changed their DRM system. Result: game videos purchased before that time will now no longer work, as the previous DRM system is no longer supported. When the video is played, apparently the servers are contacted and a license obtained to verify the authenticity of the video; this is done by a web link. That link no longer exists, and so now the videos will no longer play, even though the MLB FAQ says that a license is only obtained once and will not need to be re-obtained. The blogger who is reporting this contacted MLB technical support, only to be told there are no refunds due to this problem."

Bot-avatar Pesters Second Life Users (For Science!) 124

holy_calamity writes "A bot-controlled avatar that tracks down lone avatars in Second Life and purposely invades their personal space has been created by UK researchers. The idea was to see if users value their virtual personal space. Bots avatars are not encouraged by Linden Labs — although this one is being deployed by academics, presumably spam-avatars (spavatars?) won't be far behind."

A New Way To Make Water, And Fuel Cells 107

Roland Piquepaille writes "You probably know that it is easy to combine hydrogen and oxygen to make water. After all, this chemical reaction is known for more than two centuries. But now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have discovered a new way to make water. As states the UIUC report, 'not only can they make water from unlikely starting materials, such as alcohols, their work could also lead to better catalysts and less expensive fuel cells.' But be warned: don't read the technical paper itself. It could win an obfuscated contest — if such a contest existed for scientific papers." Yet another advance in fuel cell technology; we discussed a different one just the other day.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955