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Comment Re: Money talks (Score 1) 354

One reason I still recommend Adblock Plus for non-technical users is that it is branded consistently and works across all major web browsers. It's much easier to train users that they should have a little red Stop Sign with an ABP in it regardless of their web browser than it is to explain that they need multiple products across IE, Chrome, Firefox and their mobile devices.

Also, while in my view there are no acceptable ads and I preach zero tolerance for advertising, some of my customers are more sensitive about the idea of blocking Google Ads, and are more comfortable with the idea of supporting services that do allow static, text-only advertisements than a blanket ban on everything.

Comment Re:The gun is pointing at the foot (Score 5, Interesting) 419

I'm overwhelmingly a user of Palemoon rather than Firefox. I am extremely satisfied with Palemoon, particularly given the stewardship Mozilla has provided of late.

I hate what Firefox has become. At this point, It's a marketing company with a technology product, not a technology company. I don't like third party applications being inflicted on me. I don't like the state of flux in the UI that has existed since Firefox 26, the change or removal of features I've been using for years. I don't like arbitrary, zero-notice changes to features I'm using. These are all bad things.

But I'm going to stick with a Mozilla-derived browser for as long as humanly possible because all the alternatives seem worse. I like leaving tabs open. Browsers that use One Process-per-tab will annihilate my available RAM. Chrome (-ium), Opera and Safari all lack privacy and security-related addons that I won't surf without. Edge, with no addon support at all and forthcoming "We're gonna try to use Chrome's!", is a complete non-starter. I need Java in a browser for IT operations tasks. Anecdotally, I see as many issues with fake/bad addons in Chrome's Extensions as I did with BHOs in IE6's heyday.

Chrome has gone from the simple, lightweight option to a bloated mess that duplicates a lot of OS functions. I don't even want to load on a low-spec machines any more. I know it's the web's new favorite, but I'd rather take the ham-fisted marketing driven Mozilla mismanagement any day than live in an ecosystem where Noscript and RequestPolicy aren't really available.

Comment EMP (Score 1) 60

It's all fun and games, until someone sets off a NNEMP device buried under the 50 yard line. ... I think that was part of the plot in a bad movie. I've noticed that a lot of credible threats are taken straight from movies and TV shows.

Comment Re:Netware 3 (Score 1) 332

The drives have been swapped at least three times over that system's life. The damned thing is using 9GB Seagate X15s right now, albeit only the first ~2GB of them. I've got the database stuff backed up and I think I could make it work on a new box if I had to, but I'm also absolutely positive there's two or three ~18 month old spare X15s sitting on a shelf for the next time I want to swap out the drives.

The thing has also outlives six or seven DDS/DAT drives. Nowadays it just gets copied to a couple flash drives and then on to Crashplan, so I don't worry so much about what Legato thinks it should be doing.

The guy signing the checks does not like change and he paid $35k for this whole custom system back when I was still in high school and he's bound and determined that it's going to run until he decides to retire and/or die.

Comment Re:I have done my own comparisons (Score 1) 110

This is because release groups are completely, utterly clueless about video. The file size is set ahead of time. Most groups set e.g. "8GB for 1080p movie", "4GB for a 720p movie" etc. in x264. Historically speaking, these pre-selected sizes were designed to fit on different media types, such as CD, single-layer DVD, dual-layer DVD.
Few people use DVDs anymore, but most groups still make files far larger than they need to be.

I rarely download pre-made videos because of this, so haven't downloaded any encoded in h.265, but I suspect they simply chose a smaller pre-set size.

The correct, non-stupid thing to do is to set the quality and let the movie be however large it needs to be, usually under 4GB. This allows more easily encoded video, like CGI films (Toy Story, etc.) to be small while very difficult films (anything with a lot of noise and movement, like war films) are large but don't look terrible.

Comment Netware 3 (Score 3, Interesting) 332

A customer of mine has a Netware 3 server running on a 1994-vintage IBM machine. It runs and makes reports from an inventory database they use. I was selected as the new IT guy for that customer on the basis that I'm the youngest person they could find with first-hand Netware experience. I'm 40.

Another customer I deal with has an IBM System/38 in his private office. He still has an active terminal for it. He's a photographer but I think in another life he was an engineer. He will not tell me what that thing does, but I do know he has a lot of hush-hush secrets around his (film) photo printing processes.

Comment 10GbE isn't that interesting (Score 2, Informative) 98

10GbE Ethernet, (at least over copper, which is the only way I've gotten to mess with it), kinda sucks. Cost per port is really high and actually so are the power requirements per port. Infiniband was a lot easier and cheaper for me to deal with and having it implemented in relatively common hardware might improve its adoption.

Comment I have done my own comparisons (Score 4, Interesting) 110

I have done my own comparisons of AVC (using x264, single-thread, veryslow preset) and HEVC (using x265, disabling wavefront processing because it slightly reduces quality, veryslow preset). All 1080p video, significant because HEVC is supposed to scale to 4K better than AVC.

My conclusions:

1) x265 takes FAR longer to encode, but we knew that. Understandable.
2) When "low in bits", x265 blurs images rather than making them look blocky. This sometimes looks better but to me often looks worse.
3) x265 seems to force a denoise filter. Video is far easier to encode efficiently when denoised, so I figure this is part of the data savings. It's a bit of a cheat, however, because I can get far smaller file sizes by running a denoise filter myself for x264-encoded video.

I looked closely, for example, at Captain America the Blu-ray. Much of the detail of, e.g. car leather and grass and tree leaves is lost in an x265 encode, even at about the same overall data rate as x265/

x265 supports "--tune grain", roughly analogous to "--tune film" for x264, but it makes the video vastly larger -- often larger than x264's version, and it often looks worse. It does a better job of keeping grain, however.

My experience is very similar to many others' in forums. I had committed to switching my encoding to HEVC, but the results of my tests showed it is not ready for prime time. Some may not mind blurry ("soft" is probably a better word) video, or video that looks like it has been through a denoise filter, but I do.

This is not to say that x265 is junk. I am sure it will mature over time just like x264 had to over time. x264 started out as being not all that much better than divx, the previous generation.

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