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Comment: Re:But here comes Valve! (Score 2, Interesting) 124

by parasonic (#32664998) Attached to: Is LGP Going the Way of Loki Software?
I have been gaming on 64-bit Linux in GL mode since 2004. There aren't many titles to choose from, but everything that I have tried--Enemy Territory, UT2004, and a few others--run flawlessly and at higher framerates than they do in Windows XP, not to even get started with Win7. I have never had a video driver crash. I have been running NVIDIA 64-bit binary drivers the entire time.

At one point, I had a problem with ET not liking sound since it is Quake 3 based and was written to use OSS, but I was running Gentoo and of course had to spend a half hour trying to figure out how to restore sound. It runs flawlessly out of the box in Ubuntu.

The problem is not drivers and is entirely the selection of games out there. We will hopefully see some good Source-based games for Linux once Steam makes its way in.

Comment: It's not just Sony... (Score 5, Insightful) 292

by parasonic (#29475951) Attached to: The PS3's "Yellow Light of Death"
Sony does tend to have that "sucks to own next year" thing going on (as does Toshiba), but there are manufacturing problems all across the board. And the biggest one?

RoHS

Electronics have been soldered together for close to a hundred years with leaded solder. Then, the Europeans decided that it would be a really good idea to just pull the lead out of everything. Good move.

What can you replace the lead with? That's a really tough question, and companies have been trying to figure this out in the aftermath. You can't just throw silver or copper into the mix and expect everything to be the same. It ends up that when you do, the solder has a significantly higher melting point (i.e. ever tried desoldering RoHS process solder?) and is incredibly brittle. Where lead would stretch or distort, RoHS solder snaps. And here is your problem.

With IC package miniaturization, consumer electronics now use chip packages without leads. Cellular phones, portable devices, video cards, and many more now use BGA packages, where there are hundreds of balls of solder on the underside of the chip. Each ball has very little mechanical stability as the balls are so small. When the chip's CTE is not exactly matched to the board's CTE, one expands (or contracts) more quickly than the other, and BAM! you have a cold solder joint.

So in the end, what is worse for the environment? Throwing away a Sony product and buying another every year rather than three? Or dumping/recycling the product after three?

RoHS: Planned Obsolescence
Education

How To Teach Programming To Kids, Via XBox 124

Posted by timothy
from the if-it's-fun-it's-educational dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Chris Wilson reviews Kodu, the new XBox game that he calls 'Logo on Steroids.' The game allows you to build a world and program every object in it with an in-house graphical language, making the game a primitive example of 'reactive state machines' in a 'multi-agent concurrent system.' It sounds like what we call 'application specific integrated circuits' in engineering, where every line of code runs in parallel."
Transportation

Sahimo Hydrogen Vehicle Gets Over 1,300 mpg 453

Posted by kdawson
from the see-it-to-believe-it dept.
Mike writes "Students from Turkey's Sakarya University have unveiled a remarkable attempt at creating Europe's most fuel-efficient vehicle. Dubbed the Sahimo, their pint-sized hydrogen car is cable of eking out an incredible 568 km on 1 liter of fuel (about 1,336 miles per gallon). An aerodynamic carbon-fiber construction keeps the vehicle's weight down to less than 110 kg (243 lbs), and the designers hope to push the Sahimo's performance even further to a full 1,000 km per 1 liter of fuel before participating in the Global Green Challenge in October."

Comment: Re:Let it collapse (Score 4, Informative) 376

by parasonic (#28536721) Attached to: Ranchers Have Beef With USDA Program To ID Cattle

The "small rancher" is a myth, just like the "family farm".

On what grounds do you say something so daft? Living in Georgia, I get all of my buffalo meat from a rancher with thirty head of buffalo in exchange for a little computer work every couple of weeks. If he offers beef, sometimes I'll take a little longhorn. Another friend gives me angus by the truckload because his parents have a small farm in Tennessee with a few dozen cattle. I know a lot of people with small active farms and ranches and do not personally know anyone who works for one of the big outfits. When I was a kid, we had a few hundred head of holsteins on our farm and were able to break even with milk sales. The truck came by from farm to farm to farm to fill up at these little dairies. Corporate "farming" may be the mainstay of our food supply, especially in the poultry industry, but please do not be so ignorant about this. The buffalo rancher was breaking even at $2.50/pound for ground bison but with the USDA inspection, he already has to mark it up to $4.00/pound after taking into consideration both inspection and transportation. Any such regulation on cattle does hurt the small man because not only does he not own his own slaughterhouse, but he has to transport his cattle elsewhere and has to deal with a lot more overhead per capita than the corporation.

Besides being one step away from tagging humans--say prisoners guilty of certain crimes--this program would unquestionably harm the many small farms out there.

You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers. -- Steven Feiner

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