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Comment Re:hardware limits (Score 3, Insightful) 309

Yes, I could imagine playing Gears of War 3, or any other similar, graphically-intensive game, on a tablet. However, I wouldn't expect to physically interact the tablet whilst doing so.

To elaborate on the first part, as smart phones and tablets become more complex and powerful, they will begin to encroach and eventually overlap with the processing and graphical capabilities of consoles. (The PowerVR G6200/G6400, let alone NVIDIA's Tegra offerings and the state-of-the-art devices in the research literature, are a testament to this, from a GPU standpoint. From a CPU one, the quad-core ARMv7 Cortex-A15 handily beats out the triple-core IBM Xenon in the Xbox 360 and the Cell processor in the PS3, in terms of MIPS.) As this happens, there will only be a handful of relatively minor reasons, most of which concern how to handle older, potentially out-dated devices, as to why we could not expect to see quality games ported over to these mobile platforms, let alone have studios change focus and solely push their titles for them.

Now, as for actually playing the games, it's easy to imagine a few scenarios for how this could be done for a variety of titles. One that would work well, in general, would be to interface the tablet or phone with a TV, either through an HDMI connection or perhaps wirelessly through something like the Apple TV, and rely on one or more Bluetooth controllers for input. In this instance, the device is functioning like a console; however, once you're done playing, you can just grab it, take it with you, and revert back to using it for a multitude of other purposes.

Comment Re:Yes, and 16k is enough for anyone too (Score 1) 331

To render in real-time for a video game (say 60 FPS), you would need a processor that was around 1 million times faster than what we have today.

What is needed is an architectural paradigm shift, not necessarily a more beefy, faster (single-instruction, multiple-threaded-based) GPU.

To elaborate, with a naive implementation where independent kernels are run in parallel, one of the major bottlenecks for ray/path tracing via GPGPU processing is that every warp, a set of 32 threads, essentially executes the same instruction, with branching realizing by transparently masking out threads; as such, if branching often leads to divergent threads, then there will be low hardware utilization and performance will degrade. With a more robust implementation, you can improve hardware utilization by appropriately partitioning sub-kernels, but you'll run into issues when you start handling secondary rays.

For ray/path tracing to be carried out in an expeditious manner, it would be prudent to move to a programmable multiple-instruction, multiple-threaded (MIMT) architecture with many small cores that can handle many threads. In fact, researchers have been moving in this direction for quite some time now and the results are rather promising: while an NVIDIA GTX 285, which has a die area of around 300mm^2, can handle around 100M primary rays/sec and 60M diffuse rays/sec, with a thread issue rate of ~70% and ~50%, respectively, a custom MIMT ASIC solution, with an area of 200mm^2 at the same fabrication level, can reach around 400M primary and diffuse rays/sec, with a thread issue rate of ~70-80% for both. (As an aside, I have a paper, that's being submitted to either the ACM Trans. Graphics or IEEE Trans. Comp. Graphics and Vis., on an FPGA and theorized ASIC solution that blows these numbers away.)

Comment Re:Where's the "Funny/Insightful" mod love? (Score 1) 96

Umm, if you're so rich traveling the world on interest payments and patent royalties why are you wasting time making a hackintosh and not just buying a mac pro? Haha.

On top of everything else you have reading comprehension issues. To help make things clear for you, I never said that I owned a hackintosh.

However, I will mention that I assembled my workstation, if you can even classify it as such, and it is far more powerful than a Mac Pro: it has 8 Xeon E7-8870s, for a total of 80 cores and 160 threads @ 2.4/2.8 GHz, a Supermicro X8OBN-F motherboard, 512 GB (16x 32 GB DIMMs) DDR3 RAM, and 4 NVIDIA M2070s. (As an aside, a single Xeon E7-8870 costs more than the entry-level, dual-socket Mac Pro and the entire computer is a few thousand dollars short of the price of a new Porsche 911 Carrera.) Oh, and yes, I routinely develop software or run simulations that actually require that much, or far more, computing power: try running lattice-Boltzmann/finite element or Stokesian particulate flows, for modeling thousands to hundreds of million red blood cells, on a Mac Pro.

Oh, you meant you're an unemployed old baby boomer who lives off his retirement account from Honeywell and has a very fixed income. Haha.

Continuing the above remark, it's laughable that you take what I've written and automatically default to assuming that I'm "unemployed," let alone a baby boomer. Just so you know, I'm not even 30.

Comment Re:Where's the "Funny/Insightful" mod love? (Score 2) 96

What a humorous, yet snide, response to my merely pointing out and verifying that you can have a workstation with the same quality as a Mac Pro, at least where the components are concerned, not necessarily functionality and aesthetics, for much, much less than what you could get through Apple; clearly, you have some serious issues that you need to address.

Oh, and to answer your question, yes I do have a job: I work as an applied maths researcher and pay for my salary, research endeavors, and travel arrangements to present papers at conferences like NIPS, ICCV, CVPR, and ECCV through the annual interest made on my investments and healthcare patent royalties from GE, Intel, Honeywell, etc. so I don't have to bother with writing grant proposals or department politics.

A Bare-Bones Linux+Mono+GUI Distro? 158

nimble99 writes "I am a computer software engineer, focused mainly on the Windows platform — but most of my development time is spent in .NET. I would like to move my .NET development to Linux in the form of Mono, in an attempt at building a media-center type of device. All I require, is a base operating system with simple hardware support, Mono, and a window manager that (preferably) does nothing but act as a host for mono applications. Is this available? I dont know a lot about Linux, so I thought I would ask if there is already something like this available. Obviously a 'Mono Operating System' would be the cleanest solution, but a similar thing could be achieved with the barest minimum of Linux distros right?"
United States

Helium Crisis Approaching 501

vrmlguy writes "Within nine years the National Helium Reserve will be depleted, according to an article in Science Daily. It quotes Dr. Lee Sobotka, of Washington University in St. Louis: 'Helium is non-renewable and irreplaceable. Its properties are unique and unlike hydrocarbon fuels (natural gas or oil), there are no biosynthetic ways to make an alternative to helium. All should make better efforts to recycle it.' (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a local article with quotes from Dr. Sobotka and representatives of the balloon industry.) On Earth, Helium is found mixed with natural gas, but few producers capture it. Extracting it from the atmosphere is not cost-effective. The US created a stockpile, the National Helium Reserve, in 1925 for use by military dirigibles, but stopped stockpiling it in 1995 as a cost-saving measure."

Submission + - New Government, New Network?

renegadesx writes: "Australia has a new government lead by Kevin Rudd and the center-left Labor party in a landslide victory Saturday night. For months Mr Rudd has promised if elected he intends on bringing Australia up-to-date broadband capacity in establishing a Fiber to the Node (FTTN) infastructure nation wide.

What challenges await the new PM in establishing this? Telstra, who of course want to retain their monopoly over Australia's infastructure. Can Rudd and Telstra play nice in the interests of bringing Australia out of the stone age of DSL capabilities?

Time will tell, the Howard Government and Telstra did not get along at all."

Comment Re:What do you expect on a free service? (Score 1) 173

That's like being a "security researcher" here at Slashdot, right?
And no, it's not like being a "security researcher." I regularly publish my work in international, scientific journals, attend conferences and brief my peers.

So "medical researcher" really means you're a stoner?
Damn, you mean it's that apparent I went to Berkeley?

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