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Comment: Re:I PC game, and have zero reason to upgrade (Score 1) 55

by tlhIngan (#47807407) Attached to: AMD Releases New Tonga GPU, Lowers 8-core CPU To $229

I PC game, and for the first time in decades have zero reasons to upgrade. My rig is now about 2 years old and runs every title at max setting. Unless I upgrade to 4K monitor (and I see no reason to) my PC should last me another 3-4 years before I get bumped to medium settings.

You can thank consoles becoming popular for that. Given how little money AAA titles make on PC (it generally covers the cost of the port), and yes, I mean money made, not copies actually in use (the only number that matters is "how much $$$ will I get on the PC platform"), so pirates, well, you count for zip. (Same goes for TV, movies, etc - the numbers that matter are commercial view, and everything is based off those numbers so even a stupidly popular series can get canned if it's mostly pirated and gets lower ratings than stupid stuff).

So AAA titles generally produce assets against a 1080p monitor that are only slightly better than what the target consoles can produce. Indie games rarely have a graphics budget, so they're not generally pushing polygons to the max (and they generally target the most popular GPU vendor - Intel).

So there are few reasons to upgrade because there are few PC-only games being released. Heck, even the likes of Blizzard have gone to consoles, leaving Valve to be one of the few PC-only companies left (though they have had forays into PS3, but that was awhile ago).

PC may be the most popular platform by far, but the dollars are being stretched thin because there is just so much content available for it, and most don't need kickass PCs anymore because they're designed to target the low end sub-$500 machines that sell by the boatload (much less PCs are sold that cost over $500, and Apple pretty much dominates above $1000).

It's the best hope for SteamPCs right now, though given the piss-poor hardware specs for the $500 models, their longevity is suspect. (And yes, while there are more expensive SteamPCs, as long as they're compared to consoles...)

Comment: Re:Russia is back to totalitarism (Score 1) 104

by tlhIngan (#47807285) Attached to: Kernel Developer Dmitry Monakhov Arrested For Protesting Ukraine Invasion

It's not as stupid as you might think. The cost of transporting it to the place where it's needed could far outweigh (in pure energy costs) the costs of growing it locally.

In general it's true. We grow more than enough food to eradicate starvation through the entire world.

The problem has never been growing "enough". We do that quite easily. The problem has always been distribution - getting the food to where it's needed is costly, and that more than a few governments do things that make it far harder than it needs to be.

Comment: Re:A change in diet - from what? (Score 1) 283

by tlhIngan (#47807229) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

Cutting back on fat would probably be the next, big step.

Ironically, it's probably the low-fat craze that got us where we are today to the high carb/high salt intake.

The problem being that people substituted sugar and salt for the missing flavor fat provides. (And honestly, it sucks. Low fat yogurt takes horrendous because they throw so much sugar in there and the texture's all wrong. It's just... gross.).

End result, more calories and more salt taken in.

Comment: Re:Broadcom don't deal with little guys (Score 1) 165

by tlhIngan (#47798281) Attached to: Update: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled

It's just the way they do business. I think they're about volume rather than margin. They're not even vaguely interested in enthusiasts or small scale jobs.

They are. If you take a look around, you'll find a Broadcom chip in everything. Be it WiFi, Bluetooth, FM radio, NFC, Ethernet (MAC or PHY or both, or switch chips), DOCSIS chipset, DSL chipset, router processors, etc. They make a custom SoC for everything.

Broadcom's business is basically a line item for your specific purpose - you want a DSL modem? Just buy the reference design and rebrand it, because they have it.

And the other reason is Broadcom chips are CHEAP. Stupidly cheap. That's why they're everywhere - take a hit on margin and make it up with volume.

Most silicon vendors are like that - they can only deal with big vendors, so they do. Sometimes you find an enlightened one who actually makes a deal with a company to be a point of contact for smaller orders. E.g., if you want to deal with Qualcomm directly, you have to be a big player. But you can still use Qualcomm's products because Qualcomm has a small set of companies to whom they pass smaller deals off to. These smaller companies deal with Qualcomm directly and get all the technical information from Qualcomm, but they're smaller and can deal with smaller projects far more easily than Qualcomm can.

Comment: Re:Wireless security (Score 2) 82

by tlhIngan (#47794181) Attached to: Wi-Fi Router Attack Only Requires a Single PIN Guess

Well, it's to make life simpler for users.

WPS - the alternative to this for "regular users" is no security. Great for those who need a hotspot in a hurry, not so great in general. Instead, all users need to is hit a button and enter a code.and they have encrypted WiFi working. It's just like TouchID on the iPhone - Apple realized people should use passcodes for security, but many don't because it's )@*#&%*(@ annoying to enter it (especially if you have "complex passcodes" on) 1,000 times a day.

WPA is still good, as long as you're using AES. TKIP is worthless, but that was designed for a time when WiFi chips had WEP accelerators and TKIP took advantage of that. These days everyone has AES accelerators and guess what? There have been no attacks on those running WPA-AES. And there is VERY little difference between WPA and WPA2 running in AES mode.

Guest networks - they're not open hotspots. You can lock them down as much as you want. But they allow you to have guests over and give them WiFi without letting them all over your network. You know, perhaps you have friends over and they want WiFi. You can be the crappy friend who doesn't let anyone on WiFi (use your data plan!) or just give them access to your guest network and know traffic is isolated.

Very useful if you have siblings who are less than technically skilled and come from from college with laptops loaded with spyware, worms, trojans and other nasties designed to infect other PCs. Well, give Sis guest access and keep your network safe. OR use that network while you're cleaning the crap off it.

Comment: Re:Please... (Score 4, Interesting) 90

by tlhIngan (#47789863) Attached to: Mozilla To Support Public Key Pinning In Firefox 32

How about a stable 64-bit version for Windows,

THere were stable builds for Windows. The problem was people needed plugins which weren't available (because a 64-bit browser can't run 32-bit plugins without a thunk layer). Chrome did it because Chrome ships with the plugins recompiled for 64-bit (because Google has the source code to Flash and all that).

It's the same reason why Microsoft actively discourages use of the 64-bit version of Office.

Though, other than being "64-bit", is there a real reason for having a 64-bit browser?

Comment: Re:Say what you will but this is cool (Score 1) 52

by tlhIngan (#47785029) Attached to: Google Testing Drone Delivery System: 'Project Wing'

Amazon recently announced it was getting into the advertisement business, and it beat out Google to acquire Twitch.

Pure speculation on my part, but I have to wonder if this is just Google's CEO trying to steal some of the spotlight away from Amazon?

The real reason Amazon scooped Twitch and not Google was Google was worried about anti-trust issues if it bought Twitch .

Amazon didn't get Twitch because they paid more than Google (Google offered more), Google walked away worried. Twitch probably egged Amazon on to get more money from Amazon after Google went away.

Comment: Re:Welcome to Australia, Ferengi. (Score 2) 136

by tlhIngan (#47784977) Attached to: Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

Reading about the US I really like consumer protection laws in Germany. Everything is so much more consumer friendly and open. Companies have to identify themselves (i.e. have an imprint), all taxes have to be included in prices and if you buy something you have all kinds of rights (two week period to send stuff back/cancel contracts, two year warranty on physical items and such) that cannot be taken away by ToSs.

It's such a different culture. US companies often struggle because they're used to the whole "corporations first" mindset.

On the flip side, you realize stuff in Europe is way more expensive, right? And why people in Australia complain that stuff is more expensive too.


If you mandate that everything has a 2 year warranty, then consider the next time anyone asks you in North America, "Do you want to buy an extended warranty?" and being forced to say "yes". Because that 2 years is now built into the price of the unit itself. It doesn't matter if you'd normally say "no" and be done with it, you're forced to say "yes" and pay up.

Likewise, if you're forced to handle returns on digital items, well, don't be surprised when people either a) don't want to do business with you (see music/movies geoblocking), b) charge for the privilege (i.e., it costs more).

Now, Australia is a bit funny in that respect because they want to encourage the practice of buying from other regions to get better pricing to help drive down the local prices. Yet at the same thing, those other retailers don't have to accept returns or deal with Australian law (and the Australian representatives can easily say since you didn't buy it in Australia, the law doesn't apply - if you want a refund, deal with the overseas store you got it from).

In fact, if you compare pricing, you'd find after warranties and embedded taxes, the price gap isn't as big as it once was.

Comment: Re:why the focus on gender balance? (Score 1) 571

by tlhIngan (#47784885) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

No doubt, history is filled with all kinds of evil misogyny, racism, and homophobia...and large swaths of the planet still have those problems, especially in the islamic world. But we lose sight of the truth, that people are individual *actors*, not *objects*, all too often. Fighting the scourges of discrimination of various sorts doesn't lead to some predetermined statistical balance, it gives individual actors the *freedom* to make the choices they'd like. Sometimes, those free choices are lopsided, and that's *okay*.

The problem is not if a gender imbalance is inappropriate, but the question we should be asking is, is there any systematic problem?

There's a fine line between "they don't want to do it" versus "they're being actively excluded from doing it".

So the question is - in all fields, is there something we're doing that prevents women from entering the tech field, or editing Wikipedia?

It could be something as simple as "women can't stand the immaturity of tech people" (given all the trolls and all that). In which case, the reason we don't have more women is systematic - we're all a bunch of immature idiots who cannot behave. Now, whether or not we think it's a problem is another issue altogether, but knowing that, it's a lot clearer as to why.

If the answer is instead "women just don't like tech" then fine, the imbalance will remain because we can't change personal preferences. We can ask perhaps why they don't like tech and it could be stuff like "don't want to sit in front of a screen all day" which is something we cannot change, and must accept.

That's the real question we should be asking - WHY is there an imbalance, and is it something we can potentially fix. If it isn't, then fine, we shouldn't bother trying - but at least we know. If it can be fixed, then perhaps we should look at ways to fix it.

If it's because of something stupid like "tech people are immature" it's a real problem we need to fix for many reasons, including simple respect - if you don't act like you deserve respect, don't be surprised when people don't. (Why do you think video games get the stereotype of teenage boys, despite the average gamer being over 35? Act like teenagers, and people believe you are).

Comment: Re:Obvious Reason (Score 4, Interesting) 571

by tlhIngan (#47781899) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Have you edited Wikipedia lately? It's a fucking nightmare of committee-watched articles and instantaneous reversions.

There we go, the real reason.

I mean, face it, men are just more willing to be the trolls and make life miserable for each other. Women see that and avoid the whole issue altogether.

We saw it with that article on games vs. women article. They simply see what happens as basically a bunch of horny teenagers with ragers going on, and simply steer clear to avoid the trouble. Wikipedia is the same - it's no better in the end.

Now, whether or not having women think all people who enjoy videogames or use wikipedia are immature teenagers is a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know. It just makes the entire population no better than construction workers who catcall women as they pass on the street. So much for intelligence, I guess?

Comment: Re:Walled garbage approach (Score 4, Interesting) 126

by tlhIngan (#47775281) Attached to: Microsoft Dumps 1,500 Apps From Its Windows Store

They should crowdsource this. Simply mark new apps as being in a probationary period and give downloaders the option of tagging the app as misleading, malware, abuse of permissions, etc. It would greatly help their human staff find the bad apples quickly. Of course the same goes for Google and Apple.

The problem comes when the apps are ported.

Say I make ACoolApp on iOS, and it's so good, someone makes an Android version. Call it "AndroidCoolApp". Now much richer from iOS sales, I decide to try my hand at Android development, and port it to Android. Now what?

ACoolApp for Android is technically "duplicate" of AndroidCoolApp, but that was a duplicate of ACoolApp to begin with.

It's happened a few times. And while it's true there are a few intentionally deceptive (search 1Password and find the REAL one), there are also plenty where both apps are legitimately developed - someone sees a cool app on the other platform, the developer is "taking too long" and release their own.

And that's the real problem - how do you properly draw the line between apps that are legitimate but happen to be similar because one inspired the other, and apps that are pure scamware and trying to undermine the original developer?

Hell, what if you make a flappy bird derivative that has some neat twists in it? Does your app no longer exist because of all the others? (And face it, most people would download the app, run it for two seconds and then mark it duplicate without trying to play it).

Comment: Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (Score 1) 523

by tlhIngan (#47766287) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Indeed. However, the Discovery Institute's chance of success depends entirely on obfuscating that goal. There's a lot more people who would support "intelligent design" as some sort of oppressed underdog "scientific theory" than who would support it as the blatant theocratic idea it really is.

Which is why it's called Intelligent Design. in fact, when they were converting from Creationism to Intelligent Design, they basically did a search and replace. And they left transition fossils to show how "Creationism" evolved into "Intelligent Design" because of a messed up search-and-replace.

(A transition fossil is just that - if you have animal A and animal B, and you know B evolved from A, then there has to exist a creature in-between A and B, called the transition fossil since evolution works on such timescales that many generations of creatures will exist between then and now).

Yes, there was evolution in the DI texts :).

It's too bad that more Americans believe in creationism than the great flood, since the latter is a lot more scientifically plausible than the other two ideas you mentioned. I mean, it's pretty clear that the "entire earth" didn't flood, but it may sure have seemed that way to somebody living in what is now the Black Sea about 7600 years ago.

True, there was evidence of it, however there was unlikely to be an Ark. Maybe 40 days and 40 nights of rain, but that's about it.

Approximately 40% of Americans believe God created humans as-is. (The rest believe either humans evolved, or humans evolved with God providing a helping hand). And that percentage has remained fairly stable over the past 30+ years.

Comment: Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (Score 4, Insightful) 523

by tlhIngan (#47765799) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

On the bright side, framing the debate in those terms might help convince the kind of people who would argue that we should "respect all sides of the issue" (or some politically-correct BS like that) that these anti-scientific ideas really don't belong in science class after all. I think the lawmaker did us a favor and I'm optimistic that his plans will backfire.

It doesn't matter. The WHOLE reason we're having this debate is not about science. It's not even about creationism or "intelligent design" or however we "evolve" the term.

The Discovery institute (the real organization behind all this) believes fundamentally, society went awry when we did the whole "separation of church and state" thing and that religion in school meant students were better behaved and more obedient, and society as a whole was just better off.

So that's the real end goal - to get religion - or more correctly, Christianity, back into schools so everyone becomes a "good little Christian boy".

(Yes, it glosses over a LOT of things, like racial issues, the fact that there are more religions than just Christianity, etc).

Basically all of society's ills are the direct result of secularism and the pursuit of "things" (money, toys, stuff) instead of spirituality.

It's just that creationism is the wedge issue that can get them in the door the easiest since a lot more Americans believe in it (than say, a great flood happened, or that everything we see was made in a week a few thousand years ago). And once you're in the door, spreading the other beliefs becomes a lot easier.

Comment: Re:Particle state stored in fixed total # of bits? (Score 1) 247

by tlhIngan (#47765655) Attached to: Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

Or Quantum theory. Ever notice how things are quantized (i.e., they come in discrete packets of stuff) rather than a continuous spectrum?

Or how once you get below a certain size, the rules of physics just seem to break down and it all becomes random?

Well, we hit the resolution limit of the simulation, and the quantum "foam" is the LSB of the simulation. Even in computing today (especially floating point) you have to be careful in how you order your operations so you don't lose TOO many bits in the mantissa due to computation error. Well, that's what the quantum world is - computation errors flipping the LSB around in random unpredictable ways. It's just we're able to guess at the likelihood of it being in a certain way because the simulation runs the same operations the same way (and loss of precision can generally be approximated). But it too loses precision during calculations which is why the quantum world is statistical. A software upgrade to the simulation can change the way the least precise bit behaves, if they changed that part of the simulation calculations.

So there you go. The resolution limit of the universe is h-bar, representing the limited precision of our simulation.

Comment: Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (Score 1) 135

by tlhIngan (#47765547) Attached to: HP Recalls 6 Million Power Cables Over Fire Hazard

How do you fuck something like that up?

Separate assemblies - the ones who do the power supply generally are very good at it (including the IEC plug the AC power goes into). The output end is typically just a header, and the cables are provided by a third party who specializes in making terminated cables. (Especially modern laptop cables which can have several conductors and indicators), with the only requirement that the power supply end use a mating connector.

Though, cases and other stuff are also often done by someone else (the power supply manufacturer will often assemble it all together though).

And customers are stupid and they yank on cords that cause the wires to stretch and break, or bend them tightly. It all frays the insulation.

Apple has the same problem and often times if you take in a power adapter with a frayed end, they may replace it for reduced cost. Moreso if the machine it goes with is under applecare (and since they're all compatible with each other...)...

"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." -- Peter De Vries