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Comment Re:I get the feeling that (Score 1) 110

I get the feeling that dark matter is today's epicycles

Well you're not the first one, there have been multiple attempts to modify gravity so that it gives the right answers without introducing additional matter. Unfortunately that tends to break other results that our current theory of gravity gets right and trying to "fix" that usually ends up in just as convoluted theories as dark matter/dark energy. Personally I think it's easy to feel like solid matter is a wall but we know radio transmissions pass through it like it was nothing. And neutrinos pass through the planet without even noticing. I don't find it particularly hard to imagine that there are particles that have even less interaction, given what we already know.

Comment Re: The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 1) 1124

Investing isn't just "doing nothing". You have to chose well and know what will take off and what won't.

Speculation is trying to pick the right horse. Investment can be just as much about trying to create a balanced portfolio that'll get you a reliable return. You tend to hear all about the spectacular successes and failures, but a vast number of companies produce the nuts and bolts, everyday objects that don't change much at all - not the production systems, not the demand, not the competition. But somebody owns it and somebody's getting a return on it. It's not very exciting to hear that they got 5% ROI while the stock market index 4% ROI though, so you don't read about it much.

What really matters is the value of labor vs capital, once we had artisans and master craftsmen whose work was highly valued. Then we had industrialization and it trended more towards capital, then it trended more towards knowledge workers and now with automation it's trending more towards capital again. If the rich accumulate wealth quicker through capital than people do through labor then the gap widens. The winner is the ones who can invest a billion in self-driving cars, the loser all the people who used to earn a living driving.

Sure, some people will gamble and bet on the right horse or the wrong horse and either join the capitalists or flunk out back to the working class. But they're just statistical noise when it comes to the rest question, how much of the wealth does the 0,1%, 1%, 10% control? It excludes the whole issue about who left and who joined, only how unequal wealth is distributed. And last I heard the differences were increasing, the rich are accelerating away. They don't have to be super good at investing, they just need to not be super dumb.

Comment Re:honesty (Score 1) 57

Slashdot used to be very pro-uber. What happened? Is this the result of the new owners? Are people's opinions so easily swayed? Is this a case of not thinking it through originally?

Same thing that usually happens, you make this new and "flat" power structure then it turns out there's actually a few people/companies with a lot of power or making a lot of money anyway. Before artists had to deal with a few big labels, then they had to deal with a few big stores like iTunes now they have to deal with a few big streaming services like Spotify. Love Wikipedia, hate Jimmy Wales. Love Ubuntu, hate Mark Shuttleworth. Love Red Hat, hate Lennart Poettering. Break Microsoft's monopoly, get the Apple walled garden. Break Apple's walled garden, get Google's mass data mining.

I think some of the idealism and naivety have gone out of the /. crowd, they're much quicker to see what the end game will be and people's true agenda. And it's hardly as selfless as to revolutionize a taxi service stuck in the whip and buggy days. And I think a lot of the tech optimism I remember from the dotcom days has passed, I'm so good I can negotiate my own way I don't need any organization with dead weight holding me back. And then they outsource the whole thing to India or hire in cheap H1-Bs to replace you.

Not that regulation is all good, of course. But it's a bit more complicated than being all bad. Like the "here's a license that's practically a sale, without any of the benefits of ownership" or "here's a work contract that's practically employment, without any of the benefits of being an employee". Because companies have to problems sourcing labor where it's cheapest but sell you region-locked content so they can sell it expensive, they don't have any moral integrity. The social contract only works on small scales, on large scales with faceless mega-corporations answering to thousands of shareholders the only contract is the letter of the law.

Comment Re:Candy (Score 1) 413

I got her in to the pain clinic at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and the doctor there did a nerve ablation that gave her relief from the pain. It came back and she had to have further treatment but the last 3 years have been pain free. It seems that if doctors can't figure what to do they just throw pills at it.

I'm glad you figured out a way to end the pain, just realize that there are many painful diseases and injuries we don't have a cure for no matter how long and hard you search. Using medication to numb the pain is in many cases the best we can do to reduce suffering, whether it's short term until it heals, more or less permanent against chronic disease or just to ease the passing for terminal diseases. I don't think doctors want to "throw pills at it" if they can see a better option. But sometimes specialists can see possibilities others don't, that's why we have them so sure try all options. Just don't expect it to work for everyone.

Comment Re:it's a small step, but... (Score 1) 45

Real progress would, in fact, be not having to compile for dozens of different architectures. Such as describing a way, in a standardised language, of being able to do anything, no matter the underlying hardware. Remember those days? When languages did that for you?

Not really, no.

No more reinventing the fucking wheel for every platform, no more having to compile multiple versions and formats (...), the best performance you can get for that particular architecture

Hardware has different capabilities. Platforms have different capabilities. Abstractions and layers of indirection trade performance and simplicity for interoperability and reuse, you will never write code that is "perfect" on all metrics. So you want your application to output sound, great. So tell me how would you write code that runs on everything from a Sound Blaster from the 90s to bitstreaming over HDMI and any and all future formats yet to come? Does the OS have some kind of configuration if you want this to play on headphones or not?

That's when you start stubbing out APIs, my game wants to output sound and I'll make my own function do to the right thing for this sound card. Then maybe the OS will abstract that away and your app just hands it off so it can do the right thing. And then maybe the hardware will abstract that away so the OS can talk one standard like USB audio. But all of this is a work in progress that's constantly expanded because we want hardware or software to do new things. Maybe we want hardware mixing or don't want to play sound on this machine but pipe it somewhere else over the network.

What you are asking for is essentially like every other attempt at cross hardware/platform development ever. Write C, no more hardware-specific assembler. Don't write for 3dfx, matrox, nVidia, write for DirectX or OpenGL. Write Java, write once run everywhere. There's many reasons we move in that direction. There's also many reasons we sometimes move in the other direction, like now with Vulkan we're basically scaling back OpenGL and saying game engines use this low level interface instead of the abstractions because they're holding you back.

Comment Re:One more reason ... (Score 4, Insightful) 95

For starters, the only bird type that can hover in one spot is the Hummingbird. If you see a large bird hovering perfectly still in one spot, you can bet your ass it's a drone.

Well if you bothered to properly disguise your drone as a bird I'm sure you'd have a program to fly in gentle circles like a bird searching for pray to "hover" over an area. Otherwise it'd be kinda obvious.

Comment Re:Marriage (Score 1) 266

Tax benefits, hospital visitation, inheritance issues, insurance costs...and on, and on, and on.

FYI that won't be enough in the long run. We had that in Norway from 1993 to 2009, homosexuals could register as "partners" but not "married" but had equal rights in all of the above, though adoption was kept out of it. Despite being quite equal in law there was a strong emotion on both sides from homosexuals that felt their love wasn't regarded as equal and from fundamentalists who were quick to point out that this was not to be understood as marriage. So in our current law there is marriage and only marriage, regardless of sex.

Comment Re:PS4 XBone (Score 1) 99

Finally, cross-platform development has brought its own cancers to the PC side. I could have a bad encounter with a table saw and still be able to count on one hand how many AAA games released in the past two years allow for dedicated servers. (...) dedicated servers were a standard component for multiplayer PC games for over a decade, but are now an endangered species. Games used to frequently ship with level editors and modding kits, that allowed for new characters and maps to be community created (DLC used to be DIY, and free). Again, this is a highly exceptional state of affairs now, and I'm patently unconvinced it's a positive direction for PC gaming.

I'm quite sure the first one got nothing to do with being "cross-platform" and everything do with control. The market that doesn't have an always-on/cheap/reliable Internet connection has dwindled to the point where they don't care and by tying everything to central services they have control both over piracy and swinging the ban hammer. Any major organized LAN party will have a fat pipe to the Internet, heck if I wanted to pay $1750/month I could have 10 Gbps fiber at home today. I'd agree more with modding, there consoles have pretty strongly pushed the "one gaming experience for everyone" model. That said, not many games have the simple "LEGO block" model where you can just puzzle things together and have it work anymore. I do remember the games that had it, but I also remember the limitations and many games that didn't but were fun then and there even though they lacked the replay value.

Comment Re:Well, I _wanted_ to like her. (Score 5, Insightful) 175

But not by being "pro homeopathy" and generally come across like crackpots. Sigh. We need some real alternatives to Republicans and Democrats. "Real" being the key word.

The more I read about US politics, the more I realize that what would ordinarily be normal parties here in Norway are the factions within the democrats and republicans, while the fringe crackpots are the same. Imagine a system with:

Democratic Party
Liberal Party
Socialist Party
Republican Party
Tea Party
Christian Party
Libertarian Party
Green Party
Constitution Party

It would be not entirely unlike our parliament. Anything above 4% nationally gets proportional representation (19/169 representatives are held in a pool for this purpose), under 4% you'd have to get a direct vote from your area (the other 150/169). Coalitions are common and usually center around the main "left" or "right" party but who is in and who is out varies. In the US you have the same factions but first they make a red and blue coalition that they call a party, then they put it to a vote.

As long as you got a "first past the post" system, nothing matters unless you get a majority so first you must become part of something that could get a majority, then you can try pulling it in the direction you want. That's why we see candidates like Sanders, Trump, Ron Paul etc. join the main parties even if they're way on the fringes. Nobody's going to be able to change that without changing the electorate system and the keys to that is firmly locked up by the two parties that like their pseudo-monopoly on being the red and blue pill.

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 99

Intel is no doubt in search of a new area of focus. So that could change. Intel will probably not want to license technology from AMD, but they might at some point buy AMD and chop it up for parts.

Intel doesn't want AMD to actually fail, just be failing like they've been the last decade. If nobody else could supply x86 processors they'd have to work a lot harder to avoid anti-trust problems. The console business is low margin, you can tell that by AMDs financials despite powering every console of this generation and not at all the kind of market Intel is looking for. Heck, at this point I'm not surprised if they intentionally priced themselves out of the Playstation Neo / Xbox Scorpio to keep AMD on life support. They can read quarterly earnings reports as well as anybody, Thursday we'll see their Q2 results and I expect them to be circling the drain this quarter too. The RX 480 looks like it might put food on the table but that won't be until Q3.

And even if Zen is a massive success, AMD is still so on the ropes it'll take a long time to recover. What Intel would like is the phone/tablet/convertible space but for once the WinTel combo has failed and Apple/Google don't need x86, not sure what direction Intel's heading but tablet sales have fallen and PCs rebounded lately so it might not be that urgent anyway. Particularly since the plans for ARM servers seem to have lost steam, Intel is still making bank selling Xeons. They're clearly a bit on the defensive, but hey... I'd be more worried about the console companies themselves as they start to mimic PCs more and more. Well maybe not Microsoft as they have the PC gaming market but Sony and Nintendo, at this point unless they have a real winner I think Nintendo should concentrate on software like Pokemon Go. Yes, using Super Mario to sell consoles worked a while but I think they'd do just as well selling it for its own sake.

Comment Re:I don't think that's enough (Score 3, Informative) 99

No, you certainly are not a graphics expert. I am not either, but at least I know that scenes are not composed and rendered for each pixel. So, when you go from 1080p to 720p which has 2.25 times less pixels, you never get 2.25 times more frame rate.

Probably because there's some kind of setup time/synchronization between different types of rendering passes. But if you think of a 3840x2160 image as four 1920x1080 quadrants you'd think each step would take roughly 4x to do with the same level of detail. Just grabbing a few benchmarks from Anandtech, Dirt Rally (DX11):

1920*1080*132 = 274 million pixels/s
2560*1440*91 = 335 million pixels/s
3840*2160*49 = 406 million pixels/s

Clearly there's some scaling here, if it can render four quadrants at 49 fps ideally it should be able to render one at 49*4 = 196 fps. So if we take 132/196 = 2/3 as a rough number for the scaling benefit it should probably take around 4*2/3 = 2.7 times the horsepower to go from 1080p60 to 2160p60. Same setup/synchronization overhead, 4x runtime on each part, I'm sure you could try doing a linear regression and use Amdahl's law to see if this makes sense. Now I'm making a ton of assumptions here, but from my napkin calculations it doesn't look all that bad.

Comment Re:YES! (Score 2) 351

Fantastic! But they are *humanely* slaughtered, right?

Due to religious rules (halal/kosher) quite possibly not. Though a few countries like here in Norway have a total ban on all non-stunned slaughter, but many others have exceptions including the US. Fortunately we didn't let religious dogma get in the way of animal welfare, I understand the whole "freedom of religion" but those practices don't stand above the law.

Comment Re:So what is YOUR plan? (Score 4, Insightful) 406

Doing nothing is preferable to lashing out like a scared toddler.

Not if you're a politician, people will vote for a leader that takes resolute action over someone that shrugs and says live with it any day. Whether it actually helps doesn't matter, that's why you see security theater and such.

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