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Comment Re:"Fairly cheap" A/V-to-HDMI converters (Score 1) 117

Even many TVs with appropriate inputs will not scale the output of old game consoles properly. Old game consoles used non-standard hacks to get 240-line progressive video out of a 480-line interlaced display. Many newer TVs will incorrectly interpret these "240p" signals as 480i signals and attempt to deinterlace them. This not only results in terrible picture quality but also introduces a ton of lag. You need a proper upscaler to correct this.

Comment Re:"Fairly cheap" A/V-to-HDMI converters (Score 1) 117

Well, input lag exists and can be measured, that much is not up for debate. Whether you notice will depend on the severity of the lag, the types of games you play, and, to put it bluntly, how skilled you are. You can adapt to a certain degree of lag, but once it gets very bad, it will impact your ability to play the twitchy action games that were the bread and butter of the Sega Genesis. Cheap upscalers tend to add several frames of latency on top of your TV's latency. It's cumulative and can easily add up to over 100 ms, which even casual players will notice.

Comment Re:Such a thing as "too hot" (Score 1) 348

I'll have to disagree. For me, at least, heat is not a distraction because it's not an actual flavor that can overpower other flavors. It's simply another dimension of the experience and makes certain foods more interesting. I suppose if you're not used to eating spicy food you might have a problem with it being a distraction, but I can assure you it's entirely possible to thoroughly enjoy subtle tastes and textures of even very spicy food.

Comment Re:1998 just called... (Score 1) 110

I can definitely corroborate your findings. I also have an Eee 900A (with the even slower 4GB SSD) that I use to do my engineering homework when I'm away from my desktop. It can't even run Windows XP SP3 to a useful extent, but Arch + KDE 4.6 is perfectly usable with all the eye candy turned on (except blur, which is a known bug with the Intel drivers, apparently). I don't see much of a performance difference versus Gnome, either.

Comment Are they serious? (Score 1) 131

Three hundred dollars? I mean, yeah, I'm sure a good number of hardcore gamers will spring for it, but I can't imagine the masses are going to be too thrilled at that price point. Even if it ends up releasing at $249.99 in the States, that's still a big chunk of change for a handheld. That's the same price as the PSP was at launch, and... well, it wasn't exactly the resounding success that Nintendo is used to from its handheld systems. I'm sure they've done their market research and everything and decided that that was the correct price point, but it seems like a pretty ballsy move, especially for Nintendo.

Comment Re:Hashapass (Score 1) 1007

I find that eight characters fits the vast majority of length requirements. Occasionally I run into one that requires a non-alphanumeric character or something, but there are only a few of those that I have to deal with, and I can remember a handful of passwords for those.
Space

Girl Who Named Pluto, At 11, Dies At 90 158

notthepainter notes the passing of the woman who, as an 11-year-old girl, named Pluto. "Frozen and lonely, Planet X circled the far reaches of the solar system awaiting discovery and a name. It got one thanks to an 11-year-old British girl named Venetia Burney, an enthusiast of the planets and classical myth. On March 14, 1930, the day newspapers reported that the long-suspected 'trans-Neptunian body' had been photographed for the first time, she proposed to her well-connected grandfather that it be named Pluto, after the Roman god of the underworld. Venetia Phair, as she became by marriage, died April 30 in her home in Banstead, in the county of Surrey, England. She was 90. ... More vexing to Mrs. Phair was the persistent notion that she had taken the name from the Disney character. 'It has now been satisfactorily proven that the dog was named after the planet, rather than the other way around,' she told the BBC. 'So, one is vindicated.' " Venetia's great-uncle Henry, who was a housemaster at Eton, had successfully proposed that the two dwarf moons of Mars be named Phobos and Deimos.
Windows

In-Depth With the Windows 7 Public Beta 785

Dozer writes "With the Windows 7 public beta out, Ars Technica has an in-depth look at the release. There's praise for Windows 7's UI changes and polish as well much-needed changes to UAC, but also a warning that those who have problems with Vista won't like Windows 7 much better. 'If you couldn't stand Vista's UI (whether it's because you didn't like Explorer, Aero, Control Panel, UAC, or anything else), Windows 7 is unlikely to do much to help, as it builds on the same UI. If Vista's hardware demands were too steep, Windows 7 will likely cause you the same grief, as its hardware demands match. And if Vista didn't work with a program or device you need to use, Windows 7 will offer no salvation, as its compatibility is virtually identical.'"
NASA

Why Does the US Have a Civil Space Program? 308

BDew writes "The Presidents of the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Engineering have commissioned a study on the Rationale and Goals of the US Civil Space Program. In short, the Academies are asking why the nation has a civil space program (including human, robotic, commercial, and personal spaceflight). The study is intended to provide a strategic framework for the nation's activities in space that can provide consistent guidance in an increasingly interconnected world. The members of the study committee are interested in the views (positive or negative) of the general public, particularly those people with a scientific and/or technological interest."
Programming

How Should I Teach a Basic Programming Course? 452

riverman writes "I have been 'provisioned' at the school where I work to teach a new Computer Science/Programming course. I'm supposed to be teaching everything from the very-very basics (i.e. where that myspace thing is in your computer monitor, and how it knows who your friends are) to the easy-advanced (i.e. PHP classes and Python/Google App Engine). I'm an experienced programmer, but I'm not sure where to start — I could easily assume that my students know something basic they don't. Are there any resources on the internet that could help me find a solid curriculum? What are your suggestions?" I'm sure many of us have gone through intro-level programming courses of some sort; what are some things your teacher or professor did that worked well, and what didn't work at all?

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