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Comment Re:$1500 for a 1366x768 TN display. (Score 1) 403

Agreed. My ~ $1200 13" Macbook Air has a resolution of 1440x900 (16:10) . I would expect at least the same from any "high end" 13" ultrabook. Otherwise, I'm very interested. I prefer Linux and would pay to have hardware that is WELL supported. The Air is nice, but it has quirks with Linux.

Comment Donations (Score 1) 318

I just donated $20 and am downloading. I really like how you can choose where you want your money to go.

They've taken two approaches to raising funds (donations + shopping integration), while keeping Ubuntu free in the ways most of us care about vs. RedHat, who took a more restrictive route using their trademarks. If you like Ubuntu and are OK with either of these methods of fundraising, I suggest you support them. If they have more funds to make improvements and don't lose their way (queue the Unity comments), Ubuntu could easily surpass Windows and OS X in utility and value for the average user (not just for nerds and grandmas).

I'm not saying it needs to, but how cool would it be for a Free software OS to become the new "industry standard" as Windows has been for the last 15 or so years. I think it takes a leader/company with big resources and a solid plan to make it happen. We'd still have our options as to alternate window managers, etc, but we'd finally be free of working with the black box that is Windows.

Comment Not Just Energy Used (Score 1) 341

According to figure 1 in the study.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x/full#f1

The environmental impact of the battery production is more about other factors than energy used. From the figure freshwater eco-toxicity (FETP), mineral resource depletion (MDP), human toxicity (HTP), and terrestrial acidification (TAP) are the largest impact items from battery production. So maybe a little too much attention is being put on the energy use, which is represented by global warming (GWP) and is a relatively small part of the production "impact".

From the article:

Considering how the potential problem shifts mostly arise from material requirements of EV production, effective recycling programs and improved EV lifetimes would constitute an appropriate first response.

This is the conclusion I came to. Most of the impact is not energy use, but other environmental factors, which can be addressed.

Comment Linus's Input on Write Cache (Score 3, Interesting) 192

I think this is quite interesting.

http://yarchive.net/comp/linux/drive_caches.html

While I've often gotten the impression that the write cache opens up a large "write hole", Linus says that data is cached only for milliseconds, not held in the cache for several seconds. Still, I'd like to see battery backed caches in regular drives and/or controllers.

Would be nice to hear from some drive firmware writers.

Comment Re:Get Hardware RAID (Score 3, Interesting) 192

The only real advantage to "Hardware RAID" is the battery backed cache. Hardware RAID comes with the disadvantage of a whole other operating system "firmware" with its own bugs and often proprietary disk layout. Parity calculations are nothing for current CPUs, so the onboard processor is not so useful. Advanced filesystems such as ZFS or BTRFS need direct access to the disks. I'd like to see drives and/or controllers with battery backed cache. Until then, I rely on my UPS.

Comment Re:And you're celebrating this??? (Score 1) 70

I don't believe this is an analog problem as much as a delay problem. Cell phones are the worst. Call someone on a cell phone that you can see. The delay is probably .25-.50 seconds. By contrast, I frequently speak with relatives using direct VOIP (high quality SIP phones) and it's like standing in the room with them. If you have one of the multiple DECT phone sets, call one of the other phones in the set and I'll bet that you find the "digital" voice quality to be quite good.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 729

All school sports are a waste, and a distraction ...

Wrong. Very wrong. Sports may be over-emphasized, but they are essential and here is why. Although some of us would wish to be all brain and no body, we have bodies that need to be taken care of. Exercise is absolutely essential and sports makes exercise fun. It should be part of the school day because

  1. 6-7 hours is way to long to go without physical activity.
  2. Teaching physical activity as an integral part of one's lifestyle has lasting effects.

I guarantee there are a large number of readers who's health has suffered (overweight, high blood pressure, etc) because they held the parent's point of view, only to find out 20 years later it was killing them quickly and a change of lifestyle was required. Do your kids a favor by making physical activity an integral part of their day and making it fun. Again, sports makes exercise fun.

Comment Re:Valve finds Intel's driver to be great. (Score 1) 159

I have an i5 Sandy Bridge on Xubuntu LTS with xorg-edgers (latest graphics drivers from git). After reading this and following articles pointing to tests using this GPU, I found http://www.xonotic.org/, which is quite an impressive OSS game. I played it at 1920x1080 with Normal effects and it looked stunning with no apparent stutter. Though I'm sure there are plenty of recent games that would bring this GPU to its knees, it seems to be up to the task for moderate gaming.

Comment Re:Valve Linux Devs prefer Open Drivers (Score 1) 496

Assuming they work with AMD (which has 5-6? dedicated employees working on the ATI Radeon OSS driver) in the same way they have worked with Intel, Linux should obtain high quality drivers for both economy and performance chips.

It would be difficult to dream up a better scenario than what we're witnessing here. It's a benefit to all groups involved (kernel, driver, game devs) and the transparency delivered by OSS will allow graphics on Linux to surpass that of those with closed kernels and/or drivers. Let's hope that patents don't stifle progress here.

Comment Valve Linux Devs prefer Open Drivers (Score 5, Interesting) 496

I followed a few links and found my way here:

http://www.paranormal-entertainment.com/idr/blog/posts/2012-07-19T18%3A54%3A37Z-The_zombies_cometh/

It's a blog about an experience intel driver developers had working with the Valve Linux team. What I found interesting is that the Valve developers prefer working with open drivers for an obvious reason - It's hard to find out what went wrong when you're dealing with a black box. What I gathered from the discussion is that this openness was a huge boost to development of both the game and the driver. This gives me hope that there may be a bright future for open source graphics drivers and even gaming on Linux.

From the blog:

Haswell will have 40 execution units in it’s best bin. It’s 2,5 faster even if they not gonna change anything in shaders, which is unlikely. Plus 64 MB of on-package memory to deal with bandwidth problem.
With that performance and official open-source driver Intel will be the best choice for gaming in Linux next year, at least in notebooks.

A pretty good GPU + an open driver + an open kernel coupled with a working relations ship between the 3 groups should result in a super graphics and games on Linux. I'm not a gamer, but I'll buy their games just to support this. Typing this on a Sandy Bridge machine pulling from xorg-edgers.

Comment Re:It's about time (Score 2) 216

The theory of how this works is that it is a purified version of microfracture, which is now prevalent (especially among athletes) and accepted. Microfrature works because the stems cells from the bone marrow form new cartilage, which produces hyaline cartilage material, but also lots of stuff you don't want, making the result inferior to pure hyaline cartilage (called fibrocartilage). So in theory, if you remove the crap (isolate the stem cells), you can get a more pure cartilage formation.

It makes sense and Regenerative Sciences is claiming something like an 80% success rate. Microfrature was controversial at its infancy, but the results spoke for themselves and the sports industry took notice and became early adopters. A similar thing is happening now with stem cell therapy as athletes have taken notice (Bartolo Colón, Jarvis Green). I've been watching Regenerative Sciences for 3-4 years looking for the negative reports to come on (fraud, etc) and haven't seen them. Instead I've seen them rise in popularity, branching out and publishing (results as well as safety and complication data). They're claiming very good results and behaving responsibly as far as I can tell.

Comment I'll buy (Score 1) 218

I currently have a MacBook Air, which is a nice piece of hardware, but I've yet to stamp out all issues (hangs on external display, random suspend borks, etc) running Ubuntu. If they deliver a laptop of similar quality with everything working nicely, I will buy it.

Comment Re:Bad press... (Score 1) 443

I did the math once. Sorry I'm too lazy to look up figures and do the math now, but at 10 cents per kWH (rate where I live) and the range per battery capacity drained for the Volt (miles per kWH or whatever units you want), the "mileage" (comparing electric to gas costs) works out to be about 100 miles per gallon for full electric operation. Using inifinity makes it sound as if electric is free. BTW, I'm all for electric cars and I'm drooling over the Tesla Model S.

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