Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Let me get this right. (Score 1) 151

Most DOS or Windows programs could be run directly until the 64-bit versions of Windows.

Lots of games worked, but many didn't. Good luck getting sound from a game that expects an ISA Sound Blaster or Adlib card. Some games used software delays to control the execution speed, which became unusably fast on newer CPUs. Regardless, having to install an old operating system is not what I'd call backwards compatibility.

The thing I miss most in 64-bit Win7 is the ability to enter 80x25 text mode. It really brought back the feeling of playing old Infocom games for the first time.

Comment Re:Let me get this right. (Score 1) 151

As someone who has never had a console, do I understand correctly that people normally have to re-buy games when they upgrade their consoles? i.e. not like a PC where something 20 years old can, sometimes with a bit of hacking, still be played on your current machine. That's... ugh... do you just stack all your consoles in your living room so you can select the appropriate one for the games you have? Are you people made of space and money?

We just keep the old consoles. They're not that big -- maybe a foot across. And (until they got internet connectivity) they were mostly guaranteed to work forever without user intervention.

Backwards compatibility on PCs was not trivial before DOSBox, and I understand that running Windows 3.1 games is still pretty difficult. Keep in mind that consoles don't have a single standard architecture. Different consoles in the same generation are not compatible, and the hardware on consoles changes much more from generation to generation. The NES and SNES used 6502 derivatives, and the PlayStations used custom Sony processors built around a MIPS or PowerPC core. The jump from one generation to the next typically isn't enough for software emulation. (The PS2 had a PS1 built into it, and the early model PS3s had a PS2 processor on the motherboard.) Aside from the CPUs, there are also special graphics and sound chips. The SNES even allowed for coprocessors on the game cartridges themselves! (That's why you need a multi-GHz CPU to properly emulate a ~21 MHz SNES.) The exception to all this is later model PS3s having software emulation for the PS2. I suspect this was possible because of the weird Cell processor, but I don't know for sure.

The Xboxes' hardware has always been closer to PCs, so I don't know what the Xbone's excuse is.


Persian Gulf Temperatures May Be At the Edge of Human Tolerance In 30 Years ( 488

An anonymous reader writes: According to a new climate study the Persian Gulf may become so hot and humid in the next 30 years that it will reach the threshold of human survivability. Ars reports: "Existing climate models have shown that a global temperature increase to the threshold of human survivability would be reached in some regions of the globe at a point in the distant future. However, a new paper published by Jeremy Pal and Elfatih Eltahir in Nature Climate Change presents evidence that this deadly combination of heat and humidity increases could occur in the Persian Gulf much earlier than previously anticipated."

Comment Re:To whom did he really appeal? (Score 1) 309

Yeah, I'm shocked at how naive most Slashdotters seem to be about politics. "What? A single-issue gimmick candidate who didn't actually want to be president (until he got laughed at) got shut out of a major public debate? CONSPIRACY!"

No shit, Sherlock. The DNC isn't a charity; they exist to get people elected. The debates promote the entire party, and they're trying to create a contrast with the Republican clown show. There's little benefit to adding fringe kooks to the debate.

"He's no more of a kook than anyone else who's running!" Yes he is. How was he planning to get any of his campaign finance reform passed? The House of Representatives will most likely remain in Republican hands until 2020. You can't just dictate policy to the opposition party, especially if they're as corrupt as you claim. (That's assuming you can get your own party to go along!) Overturning Citizens United certainly can't be done with an executive order. The idea that a president can swoop in and save the republic through sheer force of will is a fantasy -- a pleasant fantasy, but a fantasy nonetheless.

And now that he actually wants to *stay* president, he's even more of a joke. What experience does he have in domestic and foreign policy aside from a handful of pet issues?

Comment Re:Great. (Score 1) 311

GIF was created by Compuserve in 1987 for their BBS-like service, so they had a captive user base. Their previous image standard was black and white -- 8-bit color was a new thing. JPEG was created by an international standards group to handle photographs, and I get the impression it came along about as soon as computers could handle it. I couldn't find any earlier (pre-1992) lossy color image formats. PNG was developed in 1995, within a year of Unisys announcing that it was going to enforce patents on the LZW compression used in GIFs, and even then it took many years and some bad publicity for Unisys before PNG really caught on.

GIF and JPEG were the first major color image formats of their type, and they were created about as early as possible. PNG was created in response to the limitations of GIF's patent status and 8-bit color, and was adopted much more slowly. I don't see a new image format catching on without a compelling reason, and historically, improvements in compression have not been enough. A reasonably high-quality, high-resolution image is just not that big.

By comparison, new video formats come along more frequently due to the large and increasing bandwidth requirements of high-quality streaming video, with early adoption coming from pirates, anime fansubbers, and other tech-savvy user bases.

Comment Re:Why do teens *need* all these drugs??? (Score 1) 133

Good Lord, We had no inclination of taking the slew of pharmaceutical drugs back in my day as a teen ... we did just fine without all the anti-depressants turning kids into zombies so early ln life.

What makes you think you would have known all about other people's mental illnesses when you were a teenager? Or who was medicated, or who attempted suicide? The first instinct most people (and their families) have is to *hide* their mental illness, and that's only if they make it past denial in the first place. SSRIs are usually taken once a day at home. When I went on Prozac in high school 15+ years ago I didn't tell anyone, and I don't think anyone knew. People noticed that I was in a better mood, and my grades went up, but it's not like there was a sign over my head that said "I don't want to kill myself anymore."

Comment Re:Judging by the story so far... (Score 1) 372

And that would help how?
Why would it matter?

Well, what you said before was (emphasis mine):

I myself have an account created on an escort-related forum, solely for reading other people's stories. I never used the service and I don't plan on doing so, but it was the only way to read the stories posted there. Now, that forum might get hacked, my account might be exposed and my wife might leave me for something I haven't done but she would think I did.

You presented a scenario: Your wife discovers something about you that she didn't know. This new information leads her to suspect that you have been deceiving her, and have broken the trust in your relationship. (Not an uncommon thing, sadly.) Telling her the information in advance averts the surprise, and makes your explanation appear less likely to be ("another") lie. She might even enjoy reading other people's stories too.

People are illogical.

I'm not talking about "people". I'm talking about one person, who (I hope) knows you pretty well.

No, I don't care. He's master over his own life and unlike others I don't impose my morality over his.

You don't seem terribly concerned about your friend's wife, or the control he's imposing over her life by lying to her. I'm not saying you should stop being friends with the guy, but not caring at all seems quite extreme.

Personally, I find that my friends influence how I change as a person over a long period of time. Thus, the morality of my friends matters to me. I'm not interested in imposing my morality on others, I'm interested in improving my own.

Comment Re:Judging by the story so far... (Score 1) 372

I myself have an account created on an escort-related forum, solely for reading other people's stories. I never used the service and I don't plan on doing so, but it was the only way to read the stories posted there. Now, that forum might get hacked, my account might be exposed and my wife might leave me for something I haven't done but she would think I did. Would that be fair?

This problem can be solved by the simple method of telling your wife that you have such an account.

I personally would never cheat on my wife, however I have no problem with a friend cheating on his wife. It's his problem and I won't think less of him for engaging in extramarital sex. To me, it's like smoking.

If you don't care whether your friend violates the trust of the person he's supposed to be closest to, that's your decision. But most people would consider that an extremely low standard. Would you care if he lied to you?

(If his wife knows about it and is okay with it, that's different. But it doesn't sound like that's what you're talking about.)

Comment Re:The 555 timer sucks. (Score 1) 170

Sure, people will scream "why waste a microcontroller on something a simple 555 timer can do." The answer is "because the microcontroller costs less and is way the fuck more reliable."

On the other hand, a microcontroller needs software, which means a development and programming toolchain. Those tend to change fairly often -- come back to that project in a few years and you might have a whole new IDE to learn.

Comment Re:Anyone thinking about health here? (Score 1) 43

Man I'd hate to be someone in the middle of that path without knowing it, perhaps where a fault or something ejects lots of these neutrinos upward through some guys bedroom where he sits idle for hours absorbing them.....

The neutrinos are traveling in a straight line through the Earth's crust. They barely interact with normal matter, so I don't think it's possible for there to be a "fault" that changes their path. For the same reason, neutrinos aren't terribly threatening to humans. Here's a Stack Exchange question with more information.


Comment Re:wft ever dude! (Score 1) 215

From everything I've seen it looks like a police state and media cartels wet dream, the ability to assign a unique address to every.single.device like a digital fingerprint so they can trivially trace back every statement, every video watched, every move, for later prosecution?

That was supposed to be the case with IPv4, and for a long time it was. If you want point-to-point communication, you need some kind of unique address on each end. It doesn't matter whether it's an IP address or a TCP port number. What makes it traceable is logging. Logging might be easier if every device actually has a pre-assigned static IP, but I suspect that for technical reasons ISPs will continue to prefer dynamic IP assignment. Tracing will probably be easier, but I doubt it will be "a police state and media cartel's wet dream".

Of course, inventing imaginary villains "SJWs" will ruin your mood regardless of technological infrastructure, so maybe you should work on that before worrying about IP addresses.

Slashdot Top Deals

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy