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Comment Re:I must admit... (Score 4, Interesting) 181

True, but consider this possibility:

Right now everyone's looking at the traditional model. That is, a portable CPU connected to a GPU connected to a display, and adding in a wireless form factor to it.

What if, instead, the base station contained the CPU AND the GPU connected directly together - much like a desktop system now - to do all the hard math and 3D rendering? - which then outputs a wireless PCIe signal, which is then picked up by the portable device, like a netbook, with a basic GPU, a small processor, and little to no HD space? It's only job would be, much like a thin client - would be to provide you access to the computing power in the "main" section of the house.

It would be like having a docking station for your netbook that turns it into a desktop powerhouse - only you could walk around the house with it. And, when the time comes that you want to take it outside, you still have the basic capabilities of a netbook.

That might be a product worth selling to, say, a family of four. "You can pay for four notebooks, or four netbooks and this powerful base station".

Comment Re:...chewie (Score 1) 210

If you really want to pay me back for the comment, wait until I sign up with my new login, "boykotemplatedigital", then put in a good word when I say something smart there.

Here's the thing. I'm in new media marketing. I write the company blog for CA|NetQoS, and part of it is promoting both the blog and the CA|NetQoS products... ...which are awesome... ...but from day one (October 9, 2006) I've always taken the stance that when I participate in blogs or social news sites, or forums, or whatever, when related to the business, that I disclose my affiliations so that people can use the information to determine whether or not I am biased - or more specifically - so that they know that I am when they evaluate my point.

So I signed in as "" when I registered for Slashdot. Right there is my name, and the company I work for.

In a couple weeks, I'm going to find out whether my immigration visa is approved to go work for a company in New Zealand called Template Digital. It's a start-up which hopes to be a buy-and-sell marketplace for motion graphics (Adobe AfterEffects) professionals who want to sell both to each other (it helps to start a project with a workable template rather than designing everything from scratch) or to final consumers of motion graphics work. (We actually sort-of segment the market by charging for "exclusivity." - so that a television production company, or large corporate entity could use one of the templates exclusively as part of their branding.)

I'm kinda getting ahead of myself here...

The point is, my excellent karma and +5 comments will not follow me to my next incarnation on Slashdot, a move I have to make both for transparency's sake - and also for accuracy's sake!

Just be kind, and keep a lookout for me.

-- Brian Boyko

Comment ...chewie (Score 5, Funny) 210

I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Like, okay, you know in Star Wars, when Leia hands out medals to Luke and Han, but Chewie's just standing there on the podium - he doesn't get a medal?

Well, here's the thing, if you're an Ubuntu contributor and you're chosen for membership, it's like getting those medals. But if you're an Ubuntu contributor, and you're not chosen for membership, you're like Chewie - no medal. But that's not a bad thing, because, you know what? Chewie is standing up there on the podium too, and you know what, it doesn't matter if he gets a medal - because Chewie is a frickin' bad ass, and Chewie knows it.

Hell, the only reason Chewie doesn't get a medal is cause he's got like 20 or so of his own from back in the day. Let the noobs have some fun, you know? Besides, if he wanted too, he could take that medal from whiny-boy or smirk-merc. Lightsabers? Blasters? They're no use when you fuggin' rip their arms out of their sockets.

Submission + - Explaining Latency and "Cloud" Gaming ( writes: PC gamers since the dawn of Quake understand the importance of low-latency connections, but deal primarily with it in the context of FPSes where the game runs locally and only the information about movement and shooting is sent to the server. With the new advent of "cloud" gaming apps, like OnLive and Spawn HD-720, latency plays a more dramatic role. In this blog post, Network Performance Daily illustrates the difficulty associated with latency in "cloud" gaming.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - The right amount of 'challenge' in IT & Gaming ( writes: "In an essay entitled "An Epiphany I Had While Playing Pac-Man," talks about how smart people have a need to find a certain amount of challenge from day to day. If they don't find it in their workplace, they'll end up playing complex, smart games, like Civilization IV or Chess — and if they do find it in their workplace, they're more likely to sit down with a nice game of Pac-Man, Katamari Damacy, or Peggle. FTA:

"When I look back on my life, and I compare the times in my life when I was playing simple games compared to the times in my life when I was playing complex ones... a pattern emerges. The more complexity and mental stimulation I was getting from other activities — usually my day job at the time — the less I needed mental stimulation in my free time. Conversely, in times in my life when I was working boring jobs, I'd be playing games that required a lot of thinking and mental gymnastics."

The author then goes on to speculate that some IT workers might unconsciously be giving themselves more challenges by choosing to deal with difficult problems than perform simple (but boring) preventative maintenance and proactive network management. published a similar column in 2007 on the relationship of gaming and IT, with an examination of why "IT geeks" are drawn to games like D&D."


Submission + - Has desktop development hit an event horizon? ( 1 writes: "A rhetorical question: Why is there such an emphasis these days on both the netbook — cheap laptops without tons of computing power — and cloud application development?

Is it because we have reached the practical limitations of the different types of applications that can be developed on the desktop — that is, an increase in computing power would not enable us to do new, different things from what we do now — but only to do them faster and better? Encoding MP3s used to be a chore. DVD playback required onerous hardware requirements. Back during the turn of the century, there were just some things that you just couldn't do without a fast computer.

In this essay, examines the idea that the attraction of the cloud to software developers is due, in no small part, to the idea that the cloud is where the remaining challenges are; that we've reached a point where there are no big challenges to be overcome in desktop development, but that defeating the limitations of high-latency, low-throughput networks is where the challenge lies."

First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - "Achievements" & "Unlocks" for ( writes: "NetQoS, (the company I work for) makes enterprise IT network monitoring equipment. We're considering starting a program with "achievements" and "unlocks" (prizes) modeled after Team Fortress 2 — but before we start the program, we're looking for feedback. Slashdot has a really high population both of IT workers and of TF2 fans, so, we'd kinda like to know — is this a good idea or bad idea? What kind of achievements should their be, and what kind of "unlock" prizes? Finally, how would you administrate such an idea?"

Comment Re:I actually make documentaries (Score 1) 229

You're right - I've never done broadcast, where HDCam is the standard.

When you have an army at your disposal, tape is probably the way to go.

I don't have an army. All my shots are run-and-gun - for me, AVCHD has been the best thing since sliced bread.

I don't know if I'll ever work on a broadcast production, but I'm never going to buy a camera that uses tape ever again. Between dropouts, bulkiness, capture time, and disk space, I'm fed up with tape formats.

HDCam is higher quality than AVCHD; but most people can't tell the difference and I'd rather save the 48 hours of post time to do things more important.

Comment Re:I actually make documentaries (Score 2, Interesting) 229

> "- And why would it be hard to get a Mac replacement? You know they deliver, don't you?"

Delivery isn't "quickly" when you're filming a documentary - less so when filming, say, in many of the one-horse towns across the globe. If you're in Auckland or Wellington, New Zealand, you're okay, but if you're in anyplace smaller than, say, Palmerston North, you might be out of luck. (Basically, Dick Smiths does carry the Mac line, but not at all stores, but not at all locations.) I can't imagine trying to find an Apple store in someplace more rural.

Additionally, the "mac tax" may be mythical, but Apple doesn't sell low-end computers; so if you need something quick and don't care about the specs, you can go that one computer store in that one town and come out with a PC for much less than the Macs - lowest priced Apple notebook is $1858NZD ($1120USD) at - a netbook will cost you $758NZD ($450USD).

As for the speed of FCP; I can tell you this much: I had a MacBookPro 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo system with 4 MB of RAM. I used it to edit high definition footage what was filmed in AVCHD.

Even disabling RT, applying some really basic effects like color correction won't play until you render out that clip. Rendering clips in FCP is slow because it only uses one core; and I find myself having to render constantly so I can see what I'm working on. When rendering the final product, of course, I can use Compressor, which has multicore support, but that really doesn't matter.

I'm currently using Sony Vegas on PC for my workflow - and yes, from a UI standpoint, FCP is better. Tools such as LiveType and Motion are top notch. It's friendlier and easier to use.

But Vegas never prohibited me from seeing what I was working on when I was working on it - it dynamically adjusted resolution and framerate to do so, which means that I can edit once, render once, and be done with the project. The multi-core support helps me render faster.

And of course, by setting processor affinity, I can commit the cardinal sin; have an instance of Vegas rendering on one core, while I edit the next video on the other core.

There is no such thing as a "wrong" workflow, and FCP is rightly lauded as a great choice for filmmakers working in Hollywood. If you had to standardize on a workflow, that's a good one to standardize on. Preferring Vegas doesn't mean I'm FUDding Apple.

But I make short documentaries for the Web and I do it quickly. If I was stuck out in the wilderness and had a computer die on me, but I'm able to save the hard drive, I'd want the computer to be a PC, so I can just shove the old hard drive into the new computer, or put it into an enclosure, and be done with it.

Comment I actually make documentaries (Score 2, Informative) 229

I actually make travel documentaries - when I was on the road, the most important thing for me was a computer that worked, not the OS.

The OS really shouldn't matter, but I would advise using a Windows machine with the crew. The advantages of the Mac platform are in the editing phase, so the Final Cut Studio advantages aren't a big deal.

The thing is, most of your equipment will work with Windows out of the box - we're talking things like field recorders and video capture. But the biggest aspect of Windows-based PCs that you're going to appreciate on the road is that when it breaks (and I've had a Mac break on me in LAX, and spent 2 weeks in New Zealand without a computer,) you can get a new Windows-based PC quickly and easily, so you don't have to change your workflow up. Since you're cloud computing for most stuff, just make sure that you have Google Gears and you should be fine.


That should answer the original poster's post. That said, I think anyone editing on a Mac these days is missing out on a lot. Yes, Macs are still the standard for AfterEffects and Motion, but Final Cut Pro can't take advantage of multicore processing until you go through Compressor, and they can't take advantage of CUDA applications. That makes editing -slow-.

My personal workflow is Sony Vegas for a render to an uncompressed format, then Badaboom for render to MP4.

Though I'm thinking about getting Adobe Premiere Pro CS4.

Comment Re:Automatic claiming? (Score 4, Insightful) 196

I got hit with that once, doing a documentary on Austin's air-guitar competitions. I thought that 10-15 second clips, recorded through an analog hole - a microphone placed not near the speakers, but near the air guitar stage (I was more interested in capturing the grunting and movement of the performers than a picture-perfect rendition of old 80s tunes) ... point is, I thought that'd be fine.

Time Warner, as a whole, just doesn't get technology. CNN thinks "holograms" are a great way to tell the news, they want to put caps on broadband, and they are so worried about protecting "their copyrights" that they don't understand how or why people buy music, and what they use it for.

Every business that they run that has any technological background at all is running itself into the ground because they want to sell you something first, then TELL you how THEY want you to use it, and are willing to go to absurd lengths to make sure that you only use it in the manner that they wanted you to - not the reason you bought it in the first place.

This is why they'll sue auto repair companies playing CDs for employees to listen to at work, why they'll knock on people doing anime fun conversions, why they'll knock on air guitar guys.

It's also why they'll offer broadband but put in caps so people can't use it, why they'll offer news programs but only present one or two sides of a multifaceted issue...

What can I say? They're crappy.

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