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The Media

WikiLeaks Will Unveil Major Bank Scandal 1018

Atmanman writes "When WikiLeaks announced it was releasing 251,287 US diplomatic cables, we all thought we knew what was meant by its earlier ominous words that, 'The coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined.' It now appears the organization is sitting on a treasure trove of information so big that it has stopped taking submissions. Among data to be released are tens of thousands of documents from a major US banking firm and material from pharmaceutical companies, finance firms and energy companies."

Comment Re:It's just a jet contrail (Score 1) 858

I cannot for the life of me see what you're talking about. I found the area -- about halfway between the Channel Islands and Catalina Island, indicated by the news spot -- and it's flat black for the entire period. I see a lot of clouds that sort of look a little like contrails all over everywhere else.

Comment Re:That's uncharitable (Score 1) 233

Are you serious or is this just inane bitterness?

(a) We're talking about an SUV here, not a sports car. The design tradeoffs for the powertrain are going to be very different.

(b) Even if the Tesla Roadster really were that close to being the tzero, which is something I'm not convinced of, and the Model S were that close to the Roadster, Tesla's still the company with the integration and manufacturing experience.

(c) Tesla owns a manufacturing plant whose purpose is to produce powertrains for the Model S.

The electronics and control are the easy part. People who haven't thought about it don't really appreciate how much work goes into setting up a production run for machined metal parts: beyond the basic mechanical what-goes-where, there are tradeoffs in material choices, choices on which parts to source stock and which to manufacture custom, arranging manufacturing capacity and tooling up the plants where the production will be done, and QCing the finished product.

Comment That's uncharitable (Score 4, Insightful) 233

Of course they *could* do it, but Tesla has a powertrain that's pretty much exactly what they'd need already developed for the Model S, and they're presumably already gearing up for production of the components.

Tesla's proven they know what they're doing with the Roadster, so I can see why Toyota would want to spend $60M to adapt an almost-exactly-right design with a very low risk profile than spend probably more pulling together their existing R&D projects and tooling up, with all the entailing higher risk and extra development time.

The hybrid powertrains they've been developing are conceptually very similar to an all-electric powertrain, but there's a lot of mechanical re-engineering they'd have to do, and that takes time. Hell, maybe $60M is a loss, but they're doing this deal because all their best engineers are busy working on another project and they just don't have the staff to handle a big rush job right now. Staffing is a big deal!

Comment Re:Oh boy (Score 1) 240

In fact, if you really like developing games, you ought to take 8/5 corporate soul-crushing job (that will crush your soul much, much less) and just make games in your spare time (or at work during downtime) for fun.

Bad advice! If you do that you're working 80-hour weeks anyway, you might as well get one of those soul-crushing 80-hour-week games industry jobs and spend all your time doing what you want to and not just half of it. (Or did you think being a corporate programmer was fun and not soul-crushing...?)

Plus, if you're actually working in the industry, you will (a) get to work with other, more experienced game programmers and learn the game-specific parts of the trade 5x faster and (b) meet a lot of talented and motivated artists and game designers, so that when you do decide to break away and do some fun indie stuff, you don't have to do it alone. Unless you want to, in which case you can use those contacts for mentorship too.

And don't do Full Sail. People who care what school you went to will look down on you for it, people who don't care, well they don't care. Just be a great programmer, learn some assembler and the basics of working with vectors and matrices, and you'll be in demand.

Comment Re:Ya I want to know what Epic is on (Score 1) 104

Also people do like visuals and you can do more with a console than a phone. This is true no matter what the technology. If I can do a certain amount with a 1 watt GPU in a phone, I can do a lot more with a 10 or 50 or 100 watt GPU in a console.

I can say this with some authority as a game developer who's working on console titles and with mobile phones:

You are assuming that there's another, more advanced console generation on the horizon. There isn't. Microsoft hasn't announced it, Sony hasn't announced, and Nintendo is still catching up to the last generation. Oh sure, eventually we'll get one, but I'd be surprised if we even got an announcement about a more powerful console within a year.

Meanwhile, sub-1-watt GPUs are gaining ground FAST. The latest phone chipsets are within a stone's throw of "fast enough that nobody can afford to make content that fully uses the graphics hardware".

That's the real reason we're not seeing another console hardware generation: the art budget to fully take advantage of current-generation hardware is in the neighbourhood of $30M. You can't spend much more than that on average and still expect to make money on a game.

So, yeah, you're not wrong, but you're missing the big picture. Nintendo got it when they released the Wii; Epic gets it. It would be nice to get phones up to par with the consoles so we don't have to spend quite as much time optimizing our code, and so the lowest common denominator is better, but game developers aren't all that anxious for more graphics horsepower than the Xbox 360 offers.

I don't think the console form factor is going away, but regardless, there's a lot of value in unified tech across all platforms, PC, console, and mobile; mobile is going to be big enough soon that every serious game engine is going to have to be mobile-capable, even if games are still largely being targeted at consoles.

This was a bizarre concept at one point, there was no way you could use the same engine on e.g. the Nintendo DS and the Xbox 360. Now handhelds and consoles are close enough that it would be stupid not to use the same engine...

Comment Re:I can see the historians now (Score 4, Insightful) 470

You're not supposed to feel sympathy for the Japanese of the 30s and 40s; they were guilty of terrible atrocities, but that war is over now. You're supposed to feel sympathy for the Japanese of 2010, who weren't in charge almost universally weren't even alive for World War II and are not acting particularly imperialist or aggressive.

The point is that most white westerners have similarly barbaric atrocities of imperialism somewhere in their not-too-distant past. Go back far enough and everyone can find an ancestor that murdered a rival warlord's entire tribe; if you believe that what your grandparents' neighbours did should condemn you, we are all guilty!

Eventually we have to forgive, or at least forget, if we're going to live together.

Comment Re:Here we go again (Score 3, Interesting) 187

You people are not thinking nearly creative enough. The article doesn't make it clear why you'd want to move your memory farther away -- it would increase latency, yeah, but moreover, what are you going to put that close to the CPU? There isn't anything else competing for the space.

Here's a more interesting idea than just "outboard RAM": what if you replaced the RAM on a blade with a smaller but faster bank of cache memory, and for bulk memory had a giant federated memory bank that was shared by all the blades in an enclosure?

Think multi-hundred-CPU, modular, commodity servers instead of clusters.

Think taking two commodity servers, plugging their optical buses together, and getting something that behaves like a single machine with twice the resources. Seamless clustering handled at the hardware level, like SLI for computing instead of video if you want to make that analogy.

Minor complaint, the summary is a little misleading with units: they're advertising not 50 gigabits/s, but 50 gigabytes/s. Current i7 architectures already have substantially more memory bandwidth than this to local RAM, so the advantage is definitely communication distance here, not speed.

Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 148

Interesting speculation but unlikely. The Java-specific mode (Jazelle) is deprecated; ARM's for a few years already been moving instead to a mode that supports CLR and JVM managed runtimes equally well, called ThumbEE, which is already in the newer Cortex A8-based smartphone chipsets:

ThumbEE in Jazelle article on Wikipedia
Information on ThumbEE from the ARM tech docs

It's a much more elegant approach -- do all the easy transformations via JIT compilation to the existing native ARM instructions, and add a handful of extra instructions to speed up the expensive things you do all the time, like null pointer checks and array bounds tests.

Comment Re:Lies. (Score 1) 414

I don't. I bet it's low. When you run a team of 200 for 2 years it adds up to half that just for salary and facilities, never mind marketing, operations cost of running betas and building out server infrastructure, QA... and that's if they're actually doing a reasonably efficient job, which Blizzard is not exactly famous for.

This wasn't a 2-year sprint either, it's been what, 7 years of probably false starts and rewriting tech and toolchains? And Blizzard is known for high production values in their cutscenes. The figure is totally believable.

Hollywood has a really good (well, actually really terrible but understandable) reason to do Hollywood accounting: the producers are trying to screw the people who might be paid royalties. Nobody does game development for royalties, so there's really no reason for Activision to fudge the numbers like that.

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