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Comment Not really (Score 3, Insightful) 1532

While some congressmen need their salary, most don't. You generally have to be fairly monied to make it that far in politics, meaning that the pay isn't a big deal. Also the lack of pay is something of a hollow threat as in all cases I know of, they authorized pay for employees retroactively after the shutdown.

That aside, if they were furloughed, they'd be prohibited from working meaning prohibited from resolving the situation.

A more effective solution would be to force them to work. Something like in the event of a shutdown they are required to stay in Washington and be in session 12 hours a day, 7 days a week until it is resolved. I think that would be more likely to work.

However, it is all academic since congress would be the ones who'd have to make that law (barring an amendment) so it won't happen.

Comment Distortion and linearity (Score 2) 102

Dynamic drivers, as are normally used in headphones and speakers, still have problems in that regard. We can build amps, DACs, and so on that are essentially better than our hearing. Their frequency response, noise level, and THD are so low that they are completely inaudible, you can swap them out in a blind test and nobody can tell.

Then you hit the playback device and that all goes to hell.

You are hard pressed to find something that is both economical and has a flat FR and low distortion. Ideally you want it flat to less than 1dB and THD under 1% at all volume levels, and even less could be useful (we don't have real good data on when things stop being audible, just that at those levels it is audible in almost all cases).

So, better technology could allow for better specs in this area. That is what we'd be after. To try and get drivers that are affordable, and are accurate to beyond the limits of hearing. We'd like to have an audio system that truly had no sound of its own, that reproduced whatever it was given perfectly, as far as our ears can tell.

Comment Re:Poignant (Score 4, Interesting) 168

In many ways we get all up an arms about Governments and Corporations "spying" or "profiling your information" however the internet wasn't ever really meant for private information. It design doesn't make private information easy. Sure we have came up with encryption and other crazy hacks to try to make us more secure, we are still communicating on a public network, to systems that we shouldn't fully trust.

Encryption and other privacy methods are akin to putting a lock on the door (Good enough to stop most casual attempts to poke around), often not enough to be rally secure, against any group that really wants to get it.

Remember this fact if you are going to choose a SaaS or Cloud solution. Not that using such systems are Bad or Evil like RMS likes to claim, however if you are going to trust your information to an outside source, you better be sure that you could handle a breach.

Comment What time of year is it? (Score 1) 112

You might note that all the games you listed were released later in the year. This is normal. The top flight titles come near Christmas since they sell better. October and November and December are the big release times. Checking my little OS clock, we don't seem to be in October yet.

There's also the additional issue of the new console releases, which devs will hold games for since that is a big money thing in more ways than one.

I haven't seen this year as being bad.

Comment No it won't be the future (Score 1) 112

It'll be part of it, but not THE future. There is still plenty of room for publishers. There is a demand, a large one, for big, well produced, titles. People like the stuff you can get from a game that has a $20-50 million budget (or even more), that you just don't see from crowd funding. Publishers are very useful for funding titles that have a widespread appeal. They can risk a bunch of money because the chance on return is good since the games have a broad enough appeal.

Crowd funding is more for titles that there's a sizable group that is interested in, but not a really huge one. You can get a smaller amount of funding and build a more specialized title, to give particular fans what they want.

That is largely what we've seen in terms of KS successes. Developers have gotten a couple million dollars, which is enough to do a game (see Shadowrun Returns) but not with all the polish of a AAA title.

So both are likely to continue.

Comment I think that's what benchmark fanboys forget (Score 1) 259

While you may have the benchmark you like the best that you think is wonderful, probably because it shows your favoured product in a good light, big numbers aren't what most people care about. They care about wall time of execution, or FPS, or the like of what they run. Well that varies person to person, but it is actual applications they care about.

That's the reason I have an Intel CPU. For the programs I use, it does better. I don't really care why. You can argue that it is lack of optimization, hating AMD, Intel nefariousness, whatever. Doesn't matter, what matters is it works faster for me. That is what I care about.

Comment Re:dying desktop. (Score 1) 631

How does one license a particular software make it more or less different then an other piece of software?

Windows and OS X and Linux are all very different. The uniqueness of Linux's interface isn't due to its open source, but due to the fact it's design was based on Unix and X-Windows, which usually requires a Windows Manager to run on top of the X-Server.

Comment dying desktop. (Score 5, Interesting) 631

Ok the desktop isn't going to die, but it is becoming more of a workstation than a personal computer.
That said, Windows, OS X, and Desktop based Linux distro's are going to take a hit.
All the big players are trying to make their OS more tablet like. However the desktop is becoming more niche in its use, so they really should focus their UI on what people need for desktops now aday.

Programming, Number crunching, CAD... Less sexy, but a move away from happy friendly OS for grandma to a serious work OS with work productivity in mind is important. I am not saying we should go back to all the old ways. There is a lot of new design work that needs to be done. But it is needs to be more business centric and less home centered.

Comment Re:Anyone else feel like they're having a stroke? (Score 1) 106

Back in them good old days before Hard Drives were common, people used software via Floppy Disk.

Common on the Apple PC was to put your program disk in, turn on your computer and the program will Run.
Common for the IBM PC was you put in your DOS Disk in. You booted DOS, take that disk out and put in your program disk and typed in the exe program to run. Once the program was done it would bring you to the DOS prompt (however if the program used too much memory, you may need to put your DOS disk back in to get to the prompt)
Common for the Commodore it would bring you to a Basic prompt you would put your floppy disk in and do a LOAD "*",8,1 then a RUN

Zork was odd that it didn't need an OS. so for the PC you just put the disk in and it booted and ran the program. For the most part your drive sounded like you had bad sectors.

Comment Re:Some people... (Score 1) 621

However it doesn't fall exactly on ones birthday, most normal children follow a rather regular cycle of development.
Most children will happily believe in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny (Unless you have joyless parents) Until they are between 5 - 8. Santa is real to them, in their stage of development there isn't anything questioning that, people who try convince them otherwise would be considered just as a silly joke. Then they get older, and the fact that Santa doesn't exist but it is their parents get accepted. This tend to happen with kids all around the same age.
Even later on most kids differences between reality and fantasy doesn't really solidify until they are around 10. Their view of fantasy is more based on acting, or lying. Now kids get confused when fantasy is mixing with real elements. Such as bringing up Saint Nicholas as a real person in history.
So by the time they are 10,11,12 they are usually solid on that however media shapes how they see the world. The look at a game like GTA, they see a world with people at their worst. They will then try to adapt to survive in that world. Now this doesn't make them murders or will join a gang, but it will make them sensitive and thinking how they could function in that world. They know it isn't fully true, but its elements are true and they should figure out how to deal with it if it happens.
Teens tend not to have good judgement, as their brains are still based on the here and now. Such influences could spark the idea this seems like fun right now.

Now some kids could handle a game like GTA when they are 10. Others not until they are 25. But by 18 most of them should be Ok. That is why we make these rules, not that 18 is a magic age where everything clicks into place. but the age most people have achieved a particular level or maturity.

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