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Comment Spiffy (Score 1) 611

For those of you saying, "That's nice, I'm good with my current speeds and don't need more", that's also nice, but there are others in the US, like me, who appreciate faster speeds, and it's been quite stagnant while prices have gone up. It shouldn't be a wonder why ISPs in the US are among the most-hated companies in the country. My current ISP seems to be creeping speeds up, however slowly. I can sometimes, though very rarely, get 2 MB/s downloads, but my connection still strains when one person is playing videos on YouTube and I'm trying to play Starcraft. When you've got multiple people using it, upload and download speeds are both key.

Comment Re:Okay... (Score 1) 443

Car manufacturers also encourage the secondary market. You hear "resale value" fairly often in car commercials. Steam should create some kind of secondhand market. Don't want a game anymore? Sell your license back to them! Of course, this has all kinds of problems in an environment like Steam...

Comment Re:My experiences of Fallout: New Vegas bugs (Score 1) 397

To be fair, when an application crashes it doesn't always have to be that it tried to write over other memory. A lot of things can cause crashes, such as trying to divide by zero or trying to use a variable that hasn't been initialized. There was a divide by zero error in Diablo 2 when you clicked on your character's feet. It was funny.

Any error that occurs that isn't explicitly handled by _something_ is going to cause Windows (or other OS) to stop the application and show you a "this program has crashed" dialog.

Comment Re:Not news (Score 1) 484

No, the solution is well-known, just unpalatable to many people: stop having the government attempting to micromanage the economy. Every time Congress decides to treat one segment of the economy differently than another, through special taxes, regulations, subsidies, privileges, etc., the lobbyists will appear. Note that I am not arguing against all taxes and such, just pointing out that all such interference produces lobbyists.

Besides, if you want Congress to (e.g.) redesign the health care system, do you think they would actually do a better job if doctors, hospitals, and drug companies weren't consulted at all? I don't. I think they'd end up with legislation that was even more clueless. Just because lobbyists are arguing for a particular group doesn't mean they're always wrong.

If you want to minimize lobbyists, advocate against all special tax breaks and subsidies and for making taxes and regulation as uniform, sensible, and simple as possible.

The scary thing is you believe that with the influence of lobbyists, the laws that are made won't be at least somewhat influenced by the company's or industry's interests and not those of the country as a whole. It's quite likely it's the lobbyists that are the ones responsible for some of the tax breaks that are afforded to certain industries. I was all for Obama when he said he was going to get rid of lobbyists and I am incredibly disappointed that promise fell through. The very idea of a representative of an industry or company putting his nose in lawmaking should be disgusting to anyone. Let the companies voice their opinion on laws like the rest of us: the Internet. It has the side benefit of making lawmaking more transparent because it's quite hard to hide stuff on the Internet in the first place (as ACS Law recently found out). Let the people hired to make laws make the laws and let the rest of the country have the same voice as any individual. In my mind, lobbying amounts to bribery and those with the most money can bribe the best, which is likely never a single individual. It really is disgusting. Different industries need different laws governing them if for nothing else than to tax them differently to promote growth.

Classic Games (Games)

Breathing New Life Into Old DirectDraw Games 274

An anonymous reader writes "I bought a bunch of old Wing Commander games for Windows, but they use DirectDraw, which Microsoft has deprecated. They don't work too well under Windows 7, so I ended up reimplementing ddraw.dll using OpenGL to output the games' graphics. I wrote an article describing the process and all the fun workarounds I had to come up with, and released all related source code for others to hack on."

Comment Do They Get the Hint, Yet? (Score 1) 404

I'm starting to think some of the ridiculous patents and patent trolls lately are trying to push the buttons of copyright law in the US just enough so that someone in the government gets a hint and enacts some kind of reform, or better yet, gets rid of software patents. Patenting OS shutdown, I would like to see some of the patents that get shot down in the IT industry. Someone should patent a whole bunch of useless stuff but just not sue. Get the patents just to see what kind of stuff they let through, and then point at them for the kind of ridiculousness they're allowing.

I know *that* is a bunch of crap too and it's probably just an arms race of stupid patents before the other guy gets it and sues you.

Comment Re:Great news (Score 0) 324

I'm gonna have to call poop on this one.

You bought one ATI card, and it turned out to be a dud (or you just didn't like it, I don't know), so by extension all ATI cards are duds? ATI wouldn't still be in business if its cards were that bad.

Much like motherboards with integrated GPUs (and sound cards, and network cards and hard drive controllers), there's probably going to be a way to insert any graphics card you like into a system packed with a Fusion GPU. You can, after all, disable the on-board GPU through the motherboard, and it's quite likely the motherboard will be able to turn off the on-die graphics core.

As video cards become more and more capable of general processing, it just makes more and more sense to stuff their capability into an x86 chip. The reason we have MMX, SSE, etc. is because it didn't make sense to make a separate chip for them and they were/are leaps and bounds better than the standard x86 FPU. Graphics cards are becoming leaps and bounds better than MMX/SSE for more and more cases as the GPUs get more flexible and in some cases even the integer unit (see here!). They're already capable of doing physics processing, rendering physics add-in cards obsolete (pun intended, and sorry, PhysX).

If only someone could decide on a physics API...
Security

25% of Worms Spread Via USB 190

An anonymous reader writes "In 2010, 25 percent of new worms have been specifically designed to spread through USB storage devices connected to computers, according to PandaLabs. This distribution technique is highly effective. With survey responses from more than 10,470 companies across 20 countries, it was revealed that approximately 48 percent of SMBs (with up to 1,000 computers) admit to having been infected by some type of malware over the last year. As further proof, 27 percent confirmed that the source of the infection was a USB device connected to a computer."
Image

Drunken Employee Shoots Server 309

Target Practice writes "A drunken mortgage worker at RANLife Home Loans decided for unknown reasons to take out the company's $100,000 server with a .45-caliber automatic, blaming the damage on an imagined assailant who: mugged him, assaulted him with his own weapon, drugged him, and then broke into his office to shoot said server. According to acquaintances, he had threatened earlier that day to shoot the server and maybe himself."

Comment Re:Framerate, not resolution (Score 0) 204

It seems like the biggest problem for the 4k videos is not the frame rate but the bit rate. There's a ton of compression artifacts in all those 4k videos that I'm not convinced are going to look any better on a 4k-capable monitor.

Also, I thought he wanted to shoot it at a higher frame rate because it would make the 3D less eye-straining?

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