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Comment: Firefox + 60fps = No Go (Score 5, Interesting) 157

by rsmith-mac (#47338545) Attached to: YouTube Introduces 60fps Video Support

Unfortunately YouTube's 60fps support pokes a pretty big hole in the current state of Firefox.

To play back 60fps videos you need to be using the HTML5 player and stream the 1080p version. The Flash player will not work here.

The problem? Firefox doesn't support Media Source Extensions, which is what YouTube uses for DASH adaptive streaming. Mozilla's developers are working on the matter, but only for WebM for now. H.264/MP4 MSE support will have to wait.

The end result is that 1080p60 playback works great on Chrome, Safari, and even IE11, but is all but useless on Firefox.

I don't want to slag the Firefox devs too badly (hey, it's a free browser), but once again FOSS orthodoxy is getting in the way of practical feature development. H.264 support took an embarrassingly long time to come, and now Firefox is the only browser that that can't play back 1080p60 on YouTube.

Between this and their constant attempts to turn Firefox into a Chrome-alike, it's getting harder and harder to justify using Firefox.

Comment: Re:A more contemporary example (Score 1) 105

by rsmith-mac (#47279569) Attached to: After 47 Years, Computerworld Ceases Print Publication

I remember watching cnet on television back in the mid 1990's. When it went off the air in in favor of an all web media outlet, I thought it was the end and was actually kind of depressed. It turned out television was limiting and now cnet probably makes more money from me browsing their site then they ever did with television advertising.

Yes. But technology has never been the same without Desmond Crisis, Richard Hart, Sofie Formica, and especially John C. Dvorak's silly little "Try It, Buy It, Skip It" reviews.

Though we could have done with less Ryan Seacrest. He was annoying, even in the 90s...

Comment: Re:Some questions (Score 2) 465

by rsmith-mac (#47260237) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

Please provide a list summarizing what other data was irretrievably lost in the computer crash. If the loss involved any personal data, was the loss disclosed to those impacted? If not, why?

The data was obliterated, not taken. Any personal data is gone, and disclosure implies a scenario that didn't happen. In other words no one would be impacted. Keep in mind that this was a personal laptop and not a server.

Comment: Re:screw that (Score 1) 110

by rsmith-mac (#47105991) Attached to: Nintendo To Split Ad Revenue With Streaming Gamers

It's not as reasonable as it gets. Plenty of other companies are ecstatic with the free publicity of gameplay videos and do not attempt to take any of the ad revenue. That's why it was seen as ridiculous that Nintendo took the stance that it did.

By modern standards Nintendo is an odd duck. Some of the things they do is outright antiquated (and I don't mean just videos) and some of the other things they do are weird. With that said, Nintendo markets differently and their customer base is wider than just "core gamers", so what works for the latter isn't necessarily the right move for Nintendo.

Since starting with Nintendo Directs, Nintendo has started doing a lot of low-key publicity on their own. The Directs are chock-full of gameplay footage (especially near launch time) and Nintendo frequently posts additional gameplay videos. Furthermore Nintendo seeds the press with review copies of games weeks in advance, and lets those reviews be published well before a game actually launches. This means that those reviewers have also put out their gameplay videos well in advance, and have had plenty of time to put them together.

This is massively different from how many other publishers handle promotions, as Nintendo is far more "open" than most publishers. Take the just-launched Watch Dogs for example: not only did Ubisoft primarily focus on cinematic trailers, but they gave reviewers a relatively short amount of time to work on their reviews and didn't allow reviews to be published until after the game shipped. I'd prefer not to be cynical, but when Ubisoft says that it's their most pre-ordered game yet, it's not a big leap to suspect that they are withholding information because it would hurt sales. Which makes reviews and gameplay videos all the more important, as this information isn't otherwise being volunteered in a timely manner.

The point of this being that while the "free publicity" angle can definitely help companies and buyers, the games that benefit the most are the games where the publisher is "closed" and withhold information, followed by indie games where they just outright lack promotion. Nintendo doesn't fall in to either of these categories; they have plenty of promotion and they demonstrate gameplay in a relatively transparent and open manner. Which is not to say that Nintendo should discourage these videos, but it's hard to imagine they gain much from them.

Comment: Go for it! (Score 1) 405

So it sits there. Unpublished by anyone. I'll never know if nobody likes it until I hit the go button. But I'm also scared to learn that I suck at something I enjoy doing.

I went through a similar process to yours, with agents liking (but not taking) my novel. My wife has won literary awards for works agents wouldn't take because they couldn't see her stories becoming best sellers. Not just doing well (which they admitted they would do), but becoming best sellers! The entire publisher/agent thing is a bad joke on creative talent. These self appointed gatekeepers of our culture often miss the next big thing and are rarely looking for a new, different voice despite what they claim, but rather the next celebrity ghostwritten tripe where they can make a quick buck.

I can relate to your fear of rejection...I share it...but I'd encourage you to go for it. Make sure your book is professionally edited and proofread (this is absolutely critical, and far too many self-published authors don't do this). While you're doing that, figure out a promotional strategy. For example, line up bookstores in your area for signings, create a presence on goodreads, participate in book fairs, lit fests, and conventions applicable to your genre, etc.

Don't be too disappointed if you don't sell a ton of copies (it is very hard to get noticed), and don't measure yourself on that...measure yourself on how well people enjoy your work. That is the real metric on how well you write, and how good your work is. My novel Autonomy received all kinds of good reviews (from people I've never met!), but it's still not a "best seller." Just put your edited, polished work out there and if those who read it love it, then you don't "suck at something" you enjoy. Quite the opposite.

Comment: Compared To What? (Score 5, Insightful) 68

I don't doubt that the researchers have hit on something interesting, but it's hard to make heads or tails of this article without knowing what algorithms they're comparing it to. The major SSD manufacturers - Intel, Sandforce/LSI, and Samsung - all already use some incredibly complex scheduling algorithms to collate writes and handle garbage collection. At first glance this does not sound significantly different than what is already being done. So it would be useful to know just how the researchers' algorithm compares to modern SSD algorithms in both design and performance. TFA as it stands is incredibly vague.

Comment: Re:SteamBox just got really interesting (Score 1) 106

by rsmith-mac (#47062923) Attached to: Valve In-Home Game Streaming Supports Windows, OS X & Linux

This is what Sony should have done with the PS4 - let users stream from their old PS3 to the PS4 rather than rely on the PSNow solution they're pushing but I guess they don't have the flexibility of a PC to do that sadly.

The PS3 is not well suited for the task. The PS4 has a dedicated H.264 hardware encoder - AMD's Video Codec Engine - which is what allows it to so easily stream to the Vita and Vita TV and with such low latency. The PS3 doesn't have a dedicated encoder, and heck it doesn't even have a dedicated decoder, as it does a good chunk of its H.264 decoding in software. This is why PS3 remote play to the PSP and Vita never worked well, nor would it work well streaming to a PS4.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI

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