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Comment 16 bits in 1979! (Score 2) 857

Proudly, my first was a TI-99/4A. And did I ever get every penny out of that thing, nursing it along until 1993 or so. Texas Instruments makes more chips (to this day?) than Frito-Lay. So of course their computer was something special. 16 bit TMS9900 CPU. Amazingly high quality parts and construction - literally cast aluminum around my 32k RAM expansion card. And they built-in owner loyalty by fostering and supporting users groups, even after they'd left the Home Computer market. TI knew how to sell to scientists and engineers; they clearly didn't know how to sell to the general public. And they kept the software model closed (any different from Apple today?). It was the very earliest days of the digital age; they failed in the market as much for social reasons as for design reasons. So, sadly, that machine becomes an evolutionary dead end. But what a machine. Look at TMS9900 Assembly Language.

Comment The reasons it won't die (Score 4, Insightful) 140

It's not hard to figure out why email isn't dying and won't die:

* It's not tied to a single provider. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, iMessage and all the others are.
* It's an open, federated system. Companies in particular can take charge of their own email servers if they wish.
* Installed base.
* It is available on all devices from phones to tablets to PCs without the need to install additional software.

Comment Re:Alternative media. (Score 1) 301

You can always voluntarily demonetize and say anything you want (that fit legal bounds and are within the terms of service).

Google is a de-facto monopoly on search and video dissemination. So I think there's a reasonable argument to be made if Google impacts search results based on 'objectionable' content. But when their clients - advertisers - say, 'I don't want to pay to see my ad on that channel / content', it doesn't matter if it's hate speech or football talk. The whole point is to target ads at likely buyers. And maybe Pepsi marketing has determined the neo-nazi market isn't worth the trouble. In which case, they get to make that call. And if Google can't meet that customer need, maybe it makes sense for Pepsi to give Google the finger and yank their ads.

I mean, we used to call that a 'free market'. But when you see alt-right wingers whining on about their losing their free speech rights on a corporate platform they don't own, it seems these days things are topsy-turvy. You know, up is down, black is white, left is right.

Comment Re:I don't have any you insensitive clod! (Score 1) 197

There is a list.

If you apply for a visa waiver, you will be asked for your social media accounts right now but it is listed as OPTIONAL. There is a list on the visa waiver sites they want you to give details on accounts on, the list has about 30 sites on it as well as an "Other" where you can disclose information about anything else.

It is currently optional, but the question is already there even for visa-waiver countries.

Comment Re:"vacation" (Score 1) 197

All foreign journalists need a visa to go to the US.

Journalists do not qualify for visa free travel, even if they are from a visa waiver country, if they are going to the US for the purpose of journalism. (All other professions can go on business trips to the US visa-free - but journalists have always been excluded from this since the visa waiver program began).

Comment Re:What if you dont care about power consumption? (Score 1) 193

It's not just the decoder, branch prediction is more complex (more scope for bugs), the pipeline has to be more complex due to the variable length instructions that can be one byte long up to 7 bytes long. It doesn't matter a lot in chips where you have few very powerful processors (traditional servers), but where you have many many low power processors it adds up.

Comment Re:Nope... (Score 1) 193

Because ARM is entrenched in that market.

Just like Intel is entrenched in servers/desktops (and therefore incredibly hard to displace, despite the fact you could make an ARM chip just as powerful), ARM is entrenched in low power even though Intel could make a low power chip. It's not worth the effort for those making low power devices to switch to Intel due to the massive investment in time and tools it would take for what would be very slight advantage (if any - after all, due to the insane x86 instruction set the decoder and pipeline for an x86 is bigger than a whole ARM execution core)

Comment Blender (Score 1) 151

And what percent of GTX 1080 users need their Blender to render faster?

Yeah. So, having more cores helps speed the render. The latest Blender does support Pascal. It's very fast. But your real limiting factor here is how much of the scene can you fit into the card's memory? Because if you exceed total memory capacity of the card, you'll be rendering on your system CPU.

A Titan X Pascal ships with 12GB RAM and a few more rendering cores. Compared to GTX 1080TI at 11GB, it's a marginal difference for a whopping $600 savings. So, if you're rendering 3D photorealistic in Cycles, your question is, will that 1GB difference really matter? Because if not, you'll want to buy a second GTX1080 for a bit more than one Titan X Pascal, and you'll blow a single card away in rendering times. Or buy four of them for less than 2.5x the price of two Titan Xs.

For 2D cartoons, you'll see some benefit in Blender using planes and onion skinning. But not with OpenToonz, which really doesn't have extensive GL acceleration yet. So choose hardware carefully to the projects you expect will pay the bills.

Who in their right mind does this? Pro animators, it's not just film but also advertising and motion design for web. Or architects, who often shoot proposed sites with a drone and then use a 3D model with motion tracking to composite them together for clients.

So, when you're paid by the project, each extra hour of rendertime really matters. And easily justifies a few extra thousand dollars in hardware.

Comment Re:"borrow money to make it through the month" (Score 2) 805

$4K/mo left over is still a lot of money. That's almost as much as I take home *before* taxes and before paying a mortgage, yet I can afford to run a light aircraft *and* save money each month. If you've got $4k left over after paying the rent and taxes, you're still doing well, and if you're struggling on that then you're living extravagently.

Comment Retail Hell, More Proof Cats Are Better Than Dogs! (Score 1) 249

There's a reason people that own one cat go crazy and have brain damage and end up owning more of those things.

The Toxoplasma Gondii requires cats to multiply, so it alters the behavior of its host rodents in order to steer them towards a cat's digestive system.

Now, humans and cats have lived together for millenia; it makes perfect sense that the Toxoplasma Gondii might also have steered us into giving their furry brothels a comfortable place in our homes and our beds... And for the cats, they have two species directly feeding them: Mice and Men. Perfect case of symbiotic evolution.

You'll never see Lassie do anything that smart.

Now, back to the parent post about working at PetSmart:

I've seen coworkers that were normal before become irritable and irrational after getting a cat.

Are you sure that's not just caused by working retail for long enough?

And then there was me, working at Home Depot, wearing the trademark Orange Apron. We had a cat in the store; it ate the mice that lived on the birdseed in the Seasonal Department. As I walked into the lunchroom, about 30 people eating lunch, big shift change time of day...

"Hey Lawrence! I hear you found the store cat!"

"Well, I found part of the store cat..."

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