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Submission + - New Zealand School Shows Microsoft the Door (

carlmenezes writes: A school in Auckland, New Zealand has adopted an all-open source infrastructure, putting together in two months a system that continues to run fundamentally unchanged. Mark Osbourne, the school's deputy principle, is at the heart of the school's FOSS activities. The system consists of Ubuntu desktops and Mandriva servers, with students using open source applications including OpenOffice, Mahara, and Moodle. Students have reportedly connected everything from Macs to the Playstation Portable. The racks in the school's new server room, which was built with the usual Microsoft specs in mind, will have forty-four empty slots: Of the assumed forty-eight servers, this setup requires just four.

Comment Re:Science Fiction? (Score 1) 782

But that's my point - in the real world, the objects themselves are always sharp - it is up to you to direct your eyes and focus on one object while blurring out the others. The 3D was so convincing that it made you want to look around - a natural human reaction, but you couldn't, because what you wanted to look at was blurred. It is the lack of freedom of being able to look around in what otherwise seemed a beautiful 3D world that really took away a lot of the immersion.

Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 272

I have a problem with that test - it does not measure perceived accuracy. They used a paint program to draw straight lines. While that is a good test of the accuracy of the physical device, is that really a good test of the perceived accuracy? The perceived accuracy is what matters to most people. The iPhone may be able to draw straighter lines, but if the Android device feels more responsive and feels more accurate, then that's the one that's more accurate. I guess its like comparing two toys - while one may be made of better materials, etc etc, if the other one is more fun, then people will gravitate to it. As much as I hate it, being an audio guy myself, a system that delivers louder music with a more punchy bass is usually more appealing to people, though it makes my skin crawl when I think that using that system, you will never hear a piece of music the way the artist intended. I think its a similar thing here. If the android devices feel better, they will be more popular. That's it.

Comment Re:Science Fiction? (Score 1) 782

The CG effects were worth every penny. I saw it in IMAX 3D and wished I hadn't. The depth factor makes you want to focus to other things in the background because they are so beautifully done. Only, you can't, because they're blurred out by the camera that's focusing on the actor's face, which in my opinion was a lot less watchable than the beautiful detail in the background. Note to film makers: if you're going to make it viewable in 3D, PLEASE keep everything in focus so that the audience can choose what they would like to focus on. It multiplies the immersion factor. Keeping the background out of focus is telling your viewer, "this is not 3D because you can only look at what I want you to look at". That's ok to do in 2D, but not when the perception of depth is that much more pronounced. That's the impression I came away with, anyway. PS> If they do release a 3D version where everything is in focus, I'd watch it again and a few more times in a heartbeat. As of now though, I could have spent that money and time on better things.

Comment Re:It will NEVER catch on. (Score 1) 178

Actually, I think it will. The difference between 2D and the perceived 3D the glasses offer is enough that people will be willing to put up with the glasses, __ as long as they look good wearing them and as long as the glasses are comfortable __ . I mean, people all over the world are perfectly fine with wearing glasses so they can see clearer. The trade off - asking them to don glasses for a couple of hours for a much more immersive entertainment experience - is not really that big an ask. In addition, the next stumbling block would be the kind of VR sickness you get from too much 3D content if the camera angles don't co-incide with what your eyes are used to. I'm thinking of watching stuff like the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy in 3D. Its tiring enough watching them back to back in 2D :) Finally, I think the glasses will be temporary. In fact, I suspect there already are practical solutions that don't require glasses (if you take SIGGraph from 10 years ago as any kind of indication). Its just that the consumer is being made to shell out for incremental upgrades.

Comment Re:Uhhh... (Score 1) 438

Since you asked... Playing tennis on the Wii - she's really competitive :) Using XBMC with a Wiimote The fact that she can browse the net/watch movies over the home wi-fi network ...I've saved the best for last... The KDE desktop - she loves the big over sized clock widget on the second monitor and has not found one that does the same on Windows. Why? because she can still see the time from 20 feet away and she actually uses it from the kitchen, even though the stove has two built in timers :)

Comment Re:Not Really (Score 1) 849

Mod parent up. The "loudness" of the track has increased quite a bit in recent years. This is because a lot of sound engineers realize that 90%+ of the public are going to listen to music on relatively cheap systems/headphones, in relatively noisy environments and almost always in an environment that isn't tuned for perfect reproduction. The result? Try to jam in as much as possible for the audience - reduced dynamic range, aka louder tracks. This is also why commercials on the radio tend to sound louder although the volume remains the same - they use the same trick, but push things a bit further.

Comment Re:Not Really (Score 2, Interesting) 849

The brain bases the "quality" of music you listen to on the majority of music you have listened to in your younger ears. If that has been mp3, well then you would "prefer" an mp3 sound, weird as that may be. This is the same phenomenon that is responsible for people preferring vinyl over CD, for example. Try the same experiment on your kids and yes, they will prefer the mp3 version. If you were already listening to a lot of music when mp3s hit the mainstream, you'll probably find you prefer the lossless version and can tell the difference. Personally, I prefer lossless, though I have to admit that above 256kbps, my error rate goes up :)

Comment Re:Maybe because we treat them like criminals (Score 1) 757

Having lived nearly a quarter of my life in the US, I can tell you that I jumped at the chance to get away from it. Wouldn't go back there to live. Holiday, sure - its a beautiful place to holiday in with great people. Live there? Nope. The US media, pre-university education system, health care system, government policies and lobby groups will have to change big time before I even consider that.

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