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Comment Re:I have done my own comparisons (Score 1) 110

This is because release groups are completely, utterly clueless about video. The file size is set ahead of time. Most groups set e.g. "8GB for 1080p movie", "4GB for a 720p movie" etc. in x264. Historically speaking, these pre-selected sizes were designed to fit on different media types, such as CD, single-layer DVD, dual-layer DVD.
Few people use DVDs anymore, but most groups still make files far larger than they need to be.

I rarely download pre-made videos because of this, so haven't downloaded any encoded in h.265, but I suspect they simply chose a smaller pre-set size.

The correct, non-stupid thing to do is to set the quality and let the movie be however large it needs to be, usually under 4GB. This allows more easily encoded video, like CGI films (Toy Story, etc.) to be small while very difficult films (anything with a lot of noise and movement, like war films) are large but don't look terrible.

Comment I have done my own comparisons (Score 4, Interesting) 110

I have done my own comparisons of AVC (using x264, single-thread, veryslow preset) and HEVC (using x265, disabling wavefront processing because it slightly reduces quality, veryslow preset). All 1080p video, significant because HEVC is supposed to scale to 4K better than AVC.

My conclusions:

1) x265 takes FAR longer to encode, but we knew that. Understandable.
2) When "low in bits", x265 blurs images rather than making them look blocky. This sometimes looks better but to me often looks worse.
3) x265 seems to force a denoise filter. Video is far easier to encode efficiently when denoised, so I figure this is part of the data savings. It's a bit of a cheat, however, because I can get far smaller file sizes by running a denoise filter myself for x264-encoded video.

I looked closely, for example, at Captain America the Blu-ray. Much of the detail of, e.g. car leather and grass and tree leaves is lost in an x265 encode, even at about the same overall data rate as x265/

x265 supports "--tune grain", roughly analogous to "--tune film" for x264, but it makes the video vastly larger -- often larger than x264's version, and it often looks worse. It does a better job of keeping grain, however.

My experience is very similar to many others' in forums. I had committed to switching my encoding to HEVC, but the results of my tests showed it is not ready for prime time. Some may not mind blurry ("soft" is probably a better word) video, or video that looks like it has been through a denoise filter, but I do.

This is not to say that x265 is junk. I am sure it will mature over time just like x264 had to over time. x264 started out as being not all that much better than divx, the previous generation.

Submission + - How to Built a Truly Silent PC (formortals.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Last year, Slashdot covered Neuros's "Nearly" silent HTPC. Now, FM has built one that is truly silent. "It is possible to build a fast desktop PC without the slightest compromise in noise tolerance. Temperatures are reasonable even at full load and even with a poor case layout."
Red Hat Software

Submission + - Red Hat Nears $1 Billion, Closing Door on Clones (internetnews.com)

darthcamaro writes: Red Hat almost at its goal of being the first pure play open source vendor to hit $1 Billion in Revenues. Red Hat reported its fiscal 2011 revenues this week which hit $909 million. Going forward Red Hat has already taken steps to protect its business by changing the way it packages the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 kernel, making it harder for Oracle to clone.

"We are the top commercial contributor to most of the components of the Linux kernel and we think we have a lot of value and we want to make sure that, that value is recognized," Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said. "In terms of competition, I don't think we necessarily saw anything different from before but I'd say better to close the barn door before the horses leave than afterwards."


Submission + - The Solid State PC (formortals.com)

Sivar writes: "ForMortals.com built 'a truly solid-state PC'.
A silent PC is one that makes absolutely no noise, and by necessity has no moving parts (including fans). Such systems usually use very low-end hardware limited to trivial tasks such as running a cash register. The system introduced today, a Solid-State PC (SSPC) is a powerful quad-core Windows 7 system which runs most software faster than the majority of modern PCs, yet uses less than 25W idle."

Network

Submission + - Stock trades to exploit speed of light (bbc.co.uk)

SpuriousLogic writes: Financial institutions may soon change what they trade or where they do their trading because of the speed of light.

"High-frequency trading" carried out by computers often depends on differing prices of a financial instrument in two geographically-separated markets.

Exactly how far the signals have to go can make a difference in such trades.

Alexander Wissner-Gross told the American Physical Society meeting that financial institutions are looking at ways to exploit the light-speed trick.

Dr Wissner-Gross, of Harvard University, said that the latencies — essentially, the time delay for a signal to wing its way from one global financial centre to another — advantaged some locations for some trades and different locations for others.

There is a vast market for ever-faster fibre-optic cables to try to physically "get there faster" but Dr Wissner-Gross said that the purely technological approach to gaining an advantage was reaching a limit.

Trades now travel at nearly 90% of the ultimate speed limit set by physics, the speed of light in the cables.

Comment Show the CLI controlling the GUI (Score 5, Interesting) 467

Many GUI applications can be controlled via GUI commands. Showing this helps students understand the link between the magic that goes on under the hood, and the actual action that takes place to make that happen.
Sure, not everything is a GUI shell over a CLI program, but the concept of typing a command isn't that different from one of making an API call to Qt or GTK+.

Comment Re:But it's mnade out of PEOPLE !! (Score 3, Informative) 298

That's funny, I was just in several of the buildings in Redmond last week and found that all drinks -- even those in the cafeteria, are gratis. Paying isn't even an option -- there's simply nowhere to put the change.

For any personal issues you may find with Microsoft as a company, I have seen and heard nothing but good things from their employees.

Comment It works for printers (Score 2, Insightful) 511

Digital images are displayed in RGB, yes.

But colors are printed in CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Black), and you'll notice that the best photo inkjet printers have more than just those four color cartridges. They often have the four plus "photo cyan", "photo magenta", etc. and it does make a huge difference.

As you know, some colors cannot be accurately expressed in CMYK, nor can some in RGB (even though theoretically any color is possible, but theory is not reality in this case).

While the extra color may or may not make a big difference, there is at least precedent indicating that the idea is sound.

Comment Block only obnoxious ads (Score 1) 1051

Ad-block has a rather heavy handed policy of blocking every ad it possibly can, at least with the most common lists.
My proposed solution: Add a voting system, or some other means to detect when ads are very intrusive (like the flashing "You've Won!!!!" ads), and keep a list of ads or ad servers that follow that criteria.

Then, users can subscribe to an "obnoxious ad" list in adblock, eliminating the ones we all hate (discouraging their use at all), and allowing those which aren't bad, or are actually useful.

--Charles N. Burns

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