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Comment Re:No Way! (Score 1) 261

Thank you for the correction. There's still something I don't understand, though:

Fast forward out of the CRT era, and you have TV screens that do a lot of the same things computer monitors started doing years before. The precise horizontal timing controls, buffering, pixel perfect rasterization without jitter... But the source still can't be synched with the screen because it's an external source.

My understanding was that modern HDTVs are computer monitors are essentially interchangeable (the panels are the same, at least), and that HDMI video and DVI-D are very similar. Digital video is of course encoded for a fixed resolution. So what's the difference between, say, a PC decoding Blu-ray video into a monitor vs. a set-top player decoding the same video into an HDTV?

Comment Re:No Way! (Score 1) 261

The whole reason why they went with 4k instead of 2160p for the name is because 4k is shorter, easier to say and looks like it is bigger than 2160p.

It's also a more accurate name in that horizontal resolution doesn't vary with a movie's aspect ratio. A "1080p" movie could be 1920x1080 (16:9) or ~1920x800 (21:9) or any other vertical resolution. The 1920 ("2k") is the real constant. I think the usage of lines was a holdover from the days of analog TV when vertical resolution was discrete but horizontal was continuous.

Comment Re:Ground down (Score 1) 1198

Sorry for this long cri de coeur, but you guys are my peeps and the responses broke my heart. You're my guys, my people, my tribe. Can't you back us up?

Thank you for posting. I'm sorry that so many of my brethren willfully ignore the direct personal experience of many, many, many women in favor of a comforting fantasy. Hopefully at least a few of them will be persuaded by your words.

Comment Re:Entire Article... (Score 1) 123

Yeah, this part is pretty ridiculous:

The problems started as soon as I made that decision. First I had to figure out how to buy Watch Dogs digitally for PC. That took more than simple Googling, surprisingly. I had to go to the official Ubisoft site originally, and figure out that Uplay is in fact Ubisoft’s digital storefront, and then there still wasn’t any clear indicator it would be digital delivery, except for the fact that they didn’t ask for a shipping address.

[emphasis mine]

He didn't think to try Steam? Or Origin? Or Amazon.com? Or, heck, picking up a DVD from GameStop or Best Buy? This is a big release. It's not exactly hard to find.

Comment Re:"causes fragmented data (Score 1) 68

I'm not sure about NAND flash, which is a block device, but in NOR flash sequential reads are faster due to prefetching, where the next memory word is read before the CPU has finished processing the first one. For NAND, I'd imagine you could start caching the next page. Not sure if that's actually done, though.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 403

It takes a bit of effort and a lot of downloading, but it is possible to get HD-quality fan reconstructions of the original theatrical cuts of the Star Wars trilogy. This obviously doesn't help the mass market, but if you want to show your friends and family the original movies, it's as close as one can currently get.

Harmy's STAR WARS Despecialized Edition
Harmy's THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Despecialized Edition
Harmy's RETURN OF THE JEDI Despecialized Edition

Comment Re:Just like Bulldozer? (Score 5, Interesting) 345

how is spinning off your fabrication capability 'good' in the long run?

I don't work at AMD, but I do work at another company that relies partly on foundries.

Basically, it's economies of sale and competition. Semiconductor fabrication processes keep getting more expensive. Foundries specialize in process development and spread the R&D across many, many customers. Unless you're willing to spend a fortune keeping up (as Intel is), have special requirements, or need a ton of volume, you have little to gain and a lot to lose from rolling your own process. Remember, you don't just have to make transistors, you also have to have good enough yield to turn a profit and good enough reliability to keep your customers. If you fail, you have to spend even more money to fix the fab on top of the money you're losing on the stuff you manufacture. Meanwhile, TSMC is cheerfully cranking out wafers for your competitors.

Comment Re:Or you could just you know... (Score 4, Insightful) 187

OpenWRT is so fucking easy to install and configure (easier than some consumer out-of-the-box experiences, even) that there really is no excuse if you expect a secure local network ... there is no actual technical knowledge required, just basic keyboard/mouse skills, and reading comprehension.

I think you're *wildly* overestimating the skill and confidence of the average home network user and the quality of open source project web sites. Let me walk you through the hidden minefield in your instructions. I'll use a Linksys WRT150N for reference.

The real Step 1 is "realize that I'm supposed to install OpenWrt, and understand what that means". Most users have little to no idea of how the router actually works, so the idea of upgrading the firmware is not an obvious one.

But let's say someone tells them to do it. They go to the OpenWrt web site. The second sentence under "What is OpenWrt?" is "Instead of trying to create a single, static firmware, OpenWrt provides a fully writable filesystem with package management.". Many users will be too terrified to proceed beyond this point. But let's say they make it to the Table of Hardware, and skip past the text about developer snapshots and hardware VLANs and the note from 2009 saying that the page might not be up to date. (That's not realistic -- many users expect to read sequentially.) Instead of a column that says "yes, this router is supported", there's a column named "Status" that gives the first OpenWrt version that supports the router. Next to that there's a column named "Version" that is undefined. I'm assuming it's the router version, but many users could get confused. But the important column is the "Target" column, which lists the specific OpenWrt platform that users should (but probably won't) remember for later. There are two targets for the WRT150N and no indication of which to choose. One of them no longer exists in the current version.

Clicking on the model number in the table gives me an unorganized series of notes from various users. One of them, "An account of flashing OpenWrt to a WRT150N", sounds sort of like installation instructions, but is too brief and technical to be of any use. It does have a working download link, but it's to a version that's five years old. The one after that suggests that one target option (the nonexistent one) is better than the other. None of this is in clear newbie-friendly language and it's all after pages of Linux log dumps. If they land on this page, most users will probably click the back button as fast as they can.

Alternately, we could do it your way:

Step 1, find out what runs on your router (at wikidevi or similar)

That's somewhat better, but they still have to read through a dense, abbreviation-heavy table of technical specs. (That's after they figure out they need to search for their router's model number and not "Linksys".) At least there's a simple indication that OpenWrt supports the router. But how would they know to go to WikiDevi? I hadn't even heard of it before today. And most importantly, how would they figure out which target to use, or even that targets exist?

step 2, download the firmware image

Now we're in for some fun! There's a download link at the top of the OpenWrt site. Clicking on it gives me a directory listing. None of the directory names look like they contain software to download, even to me. On the right side of the OpenWrt main page there's another download link for the latest release. This gives another directory listing. (Apparently the correct directory is /attitude_adjustment/12.09.) Now there's a list of subdirectories that look (to me) like part numbers for embedded SoCs. These are the targets. None of them say "Linksys" or have the router model number, so most users will be hopelessly lost here.

But wait! There's a README! Not a README.txt, so they'll have to tell Windows which program to open it with. No problem, let's try Notepad... oops, it's in Unix format, so there are no line breaks. If the user manages to open it in Wordpad, they'll find a recipe for a mixed drink (the aforementioned "attitude adjustment") and... nothing else of use.

The OpenWrt site also has a Beginners' Guide. It starts by saying that OpenWrt is very complex and that installation is highly context-dependent. After that it sends the user back to the Table of Hardware and the download directory. There is, however, one page with actual instructions: "The general method for picking the right image is visiting the Table of Hardware, then matching the 'Platform & Frequency' of your device with the image you're downloading. Sometimes, the 'Status' column will have additional information for your device, such as building its image or device-specific installation instructions." Hallelujah! Of course, the "Platform & Frequency" is two columns, and only "Platform" matters, and there's no indication that "Broadcom 4704" will be abbreviated to "brcm47xx" (as in the Target column), but it's a start.

Assuming that a traumatized newbie manages to stumble into /attitude_adjustment/12.09/brcm47xx/generic/, they're confronted with over two dozen files plus another freaking subdirectory and WAIT IS THAT MY ROUTER'S MODEL NUMBER OH MY GOD SOMETHING FINALLY MAKES SENSE IS THIS WHAT HEAVEN FEELS LIKE?

(there are even multiple forums with helpful folks to ask if you arent 100% sure)

You want them to ask random strangers on the internet for help? Assuming they realize that's okay and want to risk the potential abuse, where would they go? The OpenWrt forum doesn't exactly have "Help for Newbies!" stamped all over it. And don't forget that asking (and reading answers to) technical questions is a skill in itself. People write lengthy guides for how to do it.

step 3, flash it the same way you would a normal firmware update

What's a firmware update? Only tech-savvy users would think that a brand new product needs to be updated the moment you take it out of the box. And once it works, there's little reason to ever touch it again.

The OpenWrt installation guide has a warning at the top saying that installation could break your hardware. If the user realizes they want the OEM firmware option (unlikely), they will find the instructions unhelpful: "Open the WebUI of the OEM firmware with your web browser and install the OpenWrt factory firmware image file using the "Firmware Upgrade" option. Done.".

step 4 change the default password

Finally, something simple! Now the password is "123456" instead of "password". Security at last!

Sarcasm aside, I hope you can see that there really is a lot of technical knowledge and experience involved even in such a simple-sounding upgrade. To you and me, it's "grab the image file for your router's CPU and flash it in the usual way", but for people who don't know anything about routers it's a dozen-step process with plenty of opportunities for failure.

Comment Re:A crisis? (Score 1) 784

Wouldn't that mean that eons ago, we had a crisis to solve and managed to create the worlds biggest ice-box in the process...

There was no "we". That ice sheet formed tens of millions of years ago, which means it is older than hominids (not just humans). The "crisis" involved was a mass extinction event, which did not in any way get "solved".

The world is constantly changing, for better or worse, and people always seem genuinely surprised when it changes.

Yeah, having agriculture and cities will do that to you.

Comment Re:Overreacting (Score 4, Insightful) 384

I'm all for LGBT rights and such, but really to criticize a game just cuz it don't include your sexual orientation..?

You're talking like this is a small thing, like the game didn't include their exact hair color or that one shirt they like to wear. People were upset because Nintendo was pretending that their relationship with their spouse did not and could not exist. That's not a small thing in a "life simulator", nor is it an attitude that's limited to games. And when Nintendo was called on it, they tried to dodge the issue rather than confronting it.

A better question is, what about this bothers you so much? Regardless of what kind of product it is, customers (potential and actual) have every right to criticize it. This is core game functionality. What's wrong with talking about it?

What's next? Is the LGBT community going to demand air time in Disney cartoons next?

I'm not sure what you're exactly trying to say with that, but Disney might be a bit ahead of you there.

Comment Re:Eh? (Score 2) 568

First it was global warming, then climate change and now global climate disruption?

They're the same thing. People get confused because they expect "warming" to mean "hotter everywhere", when it really means "more energy in the atmosphere". Heat is energy. Energy makes things happen. The atmosphere is a huge, complex, nonlinear system. Adding energy to it is not as simple as putting a pot of water on the stove.

Dumping CO2 into the atmosphere causes the greenhouse effect, which leads to global warming. Global warming leads to global climate change. And since we've built our worldwide civilization around assumptions about local climates, it's fair to call that climate disruption.

These are very simple ideas. I'm not sure why people have so much trouble with them.

Comment Re:I wonder (Score 1) 119

I mean, its completely optional.

Not if you're a Slashdot reader it's not. Unless you know of a way to block all the stupid Bitcoin stories? If so, please share.

I always wonder what the vitriol against BitCoin comes from ... from a technical viewpoint it is a very very clever system. I really don't understand why people get so upset.

I get that it's a clever system, but that's not why it gets a story a day here. Bitcoin is billed as a world-changing grass-roots utopian revolution to create a new economy based around a "hard" currency. As a revolution, it's bad economics and worse politics. As a social movement, it's driven by for-profit right-wing propaganda originally designed to scare people into driving up the price of gold. As a commodity of value, it's driven by speculators. As an economy, it's tailor-made for money-laundering and smuggling. If it succeeds, it will start an era of money-driven politics that will make Citizens United seem like a fond memory. There is literally nothing to like about Bitcoin aside from the technology.

As far as effects on the outside world, the coin miners have driven up the price of decent video cards. I guess it's better than the gold speculators driving up the price of wedding rings, but still annoying.

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