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Comment: CHDK custom firmware for Canon digital cameras (Score 1) 508

by mariushm (#39533439) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: A Cheap, DIY Home Security and Surveillance System?

CHDK (link to their wikia page) is a custom firmware for a large number of Canon Powershot cameras that can be loaded from the card (and doesn't mess with the original camera firmware) and gives you a lot more features.

For example, after the firmware is loaded you can configure the camera to check for motion and snap pictures whenever there's a certain degree of motion in the frame.

It also gives you the ability to change the video quality to a much better level than the built in presets (selected by Canon to give users a good ratio between battery consumption and record time) so if you take a digital camera and power it from a DC adapter and stick a 16-32 GB card inside, you might just make a HD surveillance camera.

You can shove such modified camera in a teddybear or a larger book and have it conspicuously recording anything moving inside your room.


Comment: Swiftway (Score 1) 225

by mariushm (#39184791) Attached to: Suggestions For Music Hosting?

Happy customer of Swiftway here :

They have datacenters in US, Holland and maybe Poland (not sure about the last). Currently paying about 110$ for a dedicated server with unmetered 100 mbps port and using about 6 TB a month of that (didn't choose it for bandwidth needs but rather for location and value of hardware for money)

They also have streaming services and CDN that's relatively cheap so that may help you stream the music reliably to people.

I'd also like to recommend - check them out.

Comment: Downloads does not equal piracy (Score 4, Insightful) 383

by mariushm (#38555854) Attached to: Crysis 2 Most Pirated Game of 2011

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a multiplayer game - as far as I know the cracked game will NOT let you play in multiplayer mode... so the majority of the people that downloaded the game probably purchased legal keys or stuck to playing the single player mode or playing with friends in LAN.

Basically, the download acts as DEMO, incentive to buy the access to the multiplayer mode, and it definitely does not mean that a download equals a lost sale.

As for Crysis 2, I'm not sure how many of those downloads were just to "benchmark" their video cards...

Even so, even if a large part of the downloads were pirates, it doesn't mean lost money... it just means they don't make as much money as they wanted. I know in my own case I'm currently taking advantage of every Steam sale to buy games I pirated and enjoyed in the past - I couldn't afford spending 40 euro on a game but now I have no problems paying 5-10 euro for each of the STALKER games, for example.

I currently have over 200 games bought, in the Steam account.

Comment: No vps (Score 1) 137

by mariushm (#38292728) Attached to: Webhosting For A Large Art Project?

VPS won't be good enough for your needs - most VPSes share the disk space (a raid 5 is shared between 8-16 vps machines so they can't give you lots of space).

Talk to various companies advertising budget servers on Web Hosting Talk forums.

You should be able to rent an Atom based server or an older generation server they wouldn't otherwise be able to rent for about 40-50$ a month and some of the companies will even accept to physically mail them a hard drive and install it in your server for a few extra dollars a month.

Comment: Article on Techdirt (Score 4, Informative) 157

by mariushm (#38032910) Attached to: Warner Brothers: Automated Takedown Notices Hit Files That Weren't Ours

Techdirt has a great article about this:

It makes some interesting parallels to SOPA and E-Parasites bills and why the laws shouldn't be passed.

Comment: Re:Special paper... and expensive (Score 1) 176

by mariushm (#37994688) Attached to: Polaroid: This Time It's Digital

With Gillette blades, you only have to change one when it starts to bother you. For some it's once every two weeks or so, for me it's once every 2-3 months. And it's basically a few meters walk to where you store them.

With this camera, it's not like you're going to carry 20 packs of paper in your backpack every day... the purpose of the camera's gimmick, the integrated printer, is no longer there.

If you do plan on actually carrying photo paper, you'd have to get extra batteries because as they say it can only do 25 prints. In this case, you might as well carry a light photo printer with you then. Hell, as long as you still carry a backpack, you might get a cheap 50-100 watt inverter and a motorbike battery and be done with everything.

Comment: Special paper... and expensive (Score 3, Informative) 176

by mariushm (#37993550) Attached to: Polaroid: This Time It's Digital

Unfortunately, at 20$ for 30 sheets of the special photo paper it needs, I don't see it being successful.

I guess they're probably trying to use the classic inkjet printer selling scheme, where the printer is cheap but the cartridges are expensive... though their camera is 300$.

It can also print just 25 photos with its battery which is not clear if it's removable or not - strange number considering the paper is sold in packs of 30.

Comment: Re:Who Knew? (Score 1) 229

by mariushm (#37473814) Attached to: Comcast Launches Program For Low-Income Families

And in other news, for a one time fee of about 13$, I can get 256 kbps/ 64kbps for free, for as long as I want, without bandwidth limits. It's not high speed but enough to access mail and various websites - pretty much anything except watching videos.

Or I could pay 5$ a month for 10/2 mbps. Or about 13$ a month for 120/6.... see divide prices by 3 to get the price in dollars.

Comcast (and the Internet prices in US) is a joke.

Comment: It's not always the controller's fault (Score 4, Informative) 138

by mariushm (#37279820) Attached to: Battle of the SATA 3.0 Controllers

It's not always the fault of the controllers, it can also be the way they're connected to the system.

These onboard controllers are connected to the system using PCI Express x1 - it's literally just like plugging them into a x1 slot only they're directly on the motherboard. The problem is there are two versions of PCI Express - the older PCI Express 1.0 provides 250 MB/s in each direction, while PCI Express 2.0 provides 500 MB/s in each direction.

AMD motherboards only had PCI Express 2.0 lanes but Intel had a mix of 2.0 lanes and 1.0 lanes - the most common was 32 x 2.0 lanes (for 2 x x16 lanes for graphics cards) and about 6 x 1.0 lanes coming from the southbridge. So motherboards manufacturers had to either use 1 lane from southbridge and get only 250 MB/s in each direction or resort to using some multiplexing chips that take 2 or more lanes and create a x4 path for the controller. More recently, motherboards detect if there is a card on the second pci express x16 and if there's nothing there, they "borrow" a few of those unused lanes to improve the performance of the various controllers integrated on the motherboard.

See this Anandtech article, it explains better than I can explain:

But the point is even if the pci express 2.0 is used, there's only 500 MB/s in each direction, SATA 6 gbps means that a maximum of 750 MB/s should be reachable - very few motherboards connect the controllers to more than one 1x lane so even if the controller could reach 750 MB/s, you won't get it.

This is nothing new - remember the gigabit network cards on PCI? The whole PCI system on your computer can do 133 MB/s and a gigabit link can do about 110 MB/s - would you sue anyone if you plug 4 pci cards in your system and can't reach a throughput higher than 133 MB/s ?

Comment: Technologically hard to do (Score 1) 287

by mariushm (#37044494) Attached to: New USB Specification Promises 100W of Power

Unless they will change the connector, it will be a mess. The current cables can not possibly deliver 100 watts of power, they're too thin... at best they probably an do about 30 watts.

People will use cheap cables with thin wires to power a printer that needs 40-60 watts of power and will find themselves with burnt cables or even worse, usb ports on the motherboards dead (the individual fuses blown up)

Also, power supplies at this time use separate circuits to deliver up to 3A to the USB ports even when the system is down - this is useful to have wake on key/mouse/modem capability and also to charge devices through USB ports. It's done this way for efficiency.

I don't know how they plan to keep this with the new standard - having ports that can't do high wattage and ports that can do on the back side of the computer would only confuse people.

And last, it's not unusual to have 6-8 USB 2.0 ports on the back of a motherboard - I just can't see how the metal traces on the motherboard could possibly support 100 watts of power to EACH connector... not to mention the metal traces and the whole area will warm up even more due to the high current flowing there, and there's already the cpu voltage regulation system there.

Comment: Read related links (Score 5, Informative) 94

by mariushm (#37024902) Attached to: Cisco, US DOJ Fire Another Salvo At Peter Adekeye

Comment: Re:Of all the choices, why pick on JSTOR????? (Score 3, Insightful) 242

by mariushm (#36854280) Attached to: Release of 33GiB of Scientific Publications

Even if a person scanning the pages is paid 100$ an hour for his work, that person can probably scan 2 pages a minute, at a cost of about 0.8$ per page. JSTOR charges 10$+ per article, which may be one or several pages, and you basically get a token that expires in 14 days. You don't even get permanent access to that article.

I'm sure nobody says they shouldn't try to recover their costs and cover the bandwidth and server costs but it probably costs less than 3$ to host a PDF file for 20-50 years. Charging tens of dollars for every access seems really greedy and wrong, especially since they didn't create the work, they didn't pay for it, they just host it and scanned it...

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.