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Comment Re:UPnP is a vulnerability (Score 1) 138

NAT is not an argument for security, don't combine it with a firewall like that. uPnP was a workaround to the NAT problem that was a workaround to the single public IP most ISP's provided to their customers. I remember I had to coax my ISP to give me more IPs so I could play Starcraft 1 online with my friends against other players. Great fun, and I got to play around with a Juniper traffic shaper and IP assignment.

If you want to run a server or host anything, having support for uPnP is great - you don't have to login to the router and open any ports. Just run the program or game and everything just works.

It is really sad that these security holes has been uncovered, but even more sad that hardware manufacturers seldom offer software support beyond their shelf time. I think we need a consumer law that says you can return or exchange your hardware if the manufacturer refuses to update their firmware. And if they won't provide new hardware to you, they should be forced to open-source their unsupported stuff in the name of security.

Hmmm that might become really insteresting if I think about Microsoft, Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 :D

Comment Why? (Score 1) 205

Bing is default search option bundled with Internet Explorer, which is default browser bundled with Windows. At work, almost everyone doesn't bother switching back when something have changed their search option. I make sure they have the option to run Firefox and Chrome, but even "free" cannot compete with bundled in the long run.

PC games are still mostly for Windows and with this, Microsoft would surely have their Windows monopoly well protected for a long while. Unless someone (EU) forces them to make the customer choose the search options at first run instead of providing a quick default setup with Bing.

Comment Re:Windows 7 (Score 1) 404

GPU accelerated desktop

Which one? GDI was hardware accelerated in Windows XP, but they threw out all that in Windows Vista and introduced window composition. We got nice transparency and no tearing while moving windows around, but much slower file browsing and awful tearing when resizing windows.

Windows 7 WDDM 1.1 brought back some GDI hardware acceleration but it still much more CPU intensive than XP. I look forward to a new PC that is as fast at regular file browsing as in Windows 7, as my previous PC was in Windows XP. A high end sandy bridge arcitecture CPU in late 2011. And maybe one of these new 120hz LCD monitors.

- The ASUS VG236H was my first exposure to 120Hz refresh displays that aren’t CRTs, and the difference is about as subtle as a dump truck driving through your living room. I spent the first half hour seriously just dragging windows back and forth across the desktop - from a 120Hz display to a 60Hz, stunned at how smooth and different 120Hz was. Yeah, it’s that different.

Comment Re:Windows 7 (Score 1) 404

DWM is nice in the beginning, but when everything else GDI+ is not hardware accelerated even normal file browsing feels somewhat sluggish. Picture browsing and resizing windows is also very sluggish. Yes GDI+ was mostly hardware accelerated and I hope Windows 8 being entirely Direct2D.

Windows 7 GUI slowness: file explorer

Mozilla Firefox Direct2D test

Comment Re:Windows 7 (Score 1) 404

Thunderbirds incorporation of windows search is very ugly. There was thousands of files in profile folder Inbox.mozmsgs and I was wondering why my backup process was so slow. But is it a poor implementation of Windows Search in Thunderbird, or is it a poorly written API for anything but Microsofts programs?

Comment Re:VMS - the indestructable OS (Score 1) 763

Brilliant ideas like communism? Just to put it on the edge; creating a perfect OS is not possible. You have to make compromises and decisions along the way. As hardware and software evolves, you eventually need new features you couldn't think of at the time of conception. It is like a society, full of compromises and half-measures. Do you go capitalism, or communism? It seems a little bit of all is best.

Comment Re:Response to genuine need or political pandering (Score 1) 97

It has an OS that is specifically written/modified to run on a touch based device, iOS have its entire UI running on the GPU while the CPU issues relatively small drawing calls. So far the other pads, PDAs and smartphones does not. Maybe Windows phone 7 OS is rewritten from scratch, but the older is not. I think they use a hardware accelerated layer on top of the old stuff so you get sweet animations in the initial use, but once you go browsing or managing files you use an old non accelerated portion of the system. Android OS and symbian is not hardware accelerated and they are noticeably jerkier than iOS.

Comment Valves hybrid threading (Score 3, Informative) 124

I found this article interesting. They write about Valves approach to multi-core CPU's and game engines.

The programmers at Valve considered three different models to solve their problem. The first was called "coarse threading" and was the easiest to implement. Many companies are already using coarse threading to improve their games for multiple core systems. The idea is to put whole subsystems on separate cores; for example, graphics rendering on one, AI on another, sound on a third, and so on. The problem with this approach is that some subsystems are less demanding on CPU time than others. Giving sound, for example, a whole core to itself would often leave up to 80 percent of that core sitting unused.

The second approach was fine-grained threading, which separates tasks into many discrete elements and then distributes them among as many cores as are available. For example, a loop that updates the position of 1,000 objects based on their velocity can be divided among, say, four cores, with each core handling 250 objects apiece. The drawback with this approach is that not all tasks divide neatly into discrete components that can operate independently. Also, if some entries in the list take longer to update than others, it becomes harder to scale the tasks evenly across multiple cores. Finally, the issue of memory bandwidth quickly becomes a limitation with this method. For certain specialized tasks, such as compiling, fine-grained threading works really well. Valve has already implemented a system whereby every computer in their offices automatically acts as a compiler node. When the programmers were getting ready to demonstrate their results on the conference room computer with the big screen, they had to quickly deactivate this feature first!

The approach that Valve finally chose was a combination of the coarse and fine-grained, with some extra enhancements thrown in. Some systems were split on multiple cores using coarse threading. Other tasks, such as VVIS (the calculations of what objects are visible to the player from their point of view) were split up using fine-grained threading. Lastly, whenever part of a core is idle, work that can be precalculated without lagging or adversely affecting the game experience (such as AI calculations or pathfinding) was queued up to be delivered to the game engine later.

Valve's approach was the most difficult of all possible methods for utilizing multiple cores, but if they could pull it off, it would deliver the maximum possible benefits on systems like Intel's new quad-core Kentsfield chips.

To deliver this hybrid threading platform, Valve made use of expert programmers like Tom Leonard, who was writing multithreaded code as early as 1991 when he worked on C++ development tools for companies like Zortech and Symantec. Tom walked us through the thought process behind Valve's new threading model.

Comment Re:So where's the story here? (Score 1) 124

Yeah until you see Modern Warfare 2 at 1920x1200, highest setting on an LCD monitor. It looks so sharp and the spectral and bump mapping and huge texture resolution really blew me a way. The hundreds of particles from various fires in the game, for instance the tree on fire in the sub urb map is an amazing sight I've never seen before. At 120hz for a more solid experience when you look around.

But yes gameplay is just as important. Monsters in Doom 1 and 2 that had pixelated blood splatters around the walls, and being stunned when hit is something i've missed in current FPS games. Doom 3, Quake 4 and Prey are pretty dumb. Red puffy sprites as blood and no depth in the gameplay. Destructive environments we had a long time ago, and been missed. The depth of games like System Shock 2 and Baldur's Gate might never come again. Many courses to choose, several ways to complete a level, hundreds of character development options. Add in an incredible story, excellent voice acting and exceedingly well written sentences and dialogue. Dragon Age is childish in comparison and not worth a "Baldur's Gate spiritual successor" in any means.

Comment Steam is perfect for Linux, and their zealots (Score 1) 520

Steam is digital distribution. If the cost of making the game is low, and it works good enough and doesn't require too much support from Valve, it can very well create a huge profit. They released X-COM: UFO Defense and X-COM: Terror from the Deep. They used DOSBox as an emulator, and I bought both. Easy porting, small download, but Steams digital distribution made it easy to reach customers all over the world. I doubt that would ever have happened if they had to use "the old way" with CDs and physical distribution.

If Linux zealots got it into their head that "supporting Steam is a good thing for open computing and democracy," you can bet there would be a lot of profit in their idealism alone.

Comment Re:Short summary of the treaty (Score 1) 201

- I'm too old to tilt at windmills. I leave that to the younger folks; I've tilted at anough windmillls in my life to know that resistance is futile.

Old people are full of wisdom and experience, but unfortunately also prejudice. Don't tell me what works and what is futile. If you have that attitude, and refuse working for a better earth, know that you are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem. If you are old and tired, psychologically or physically, please don't pacify the next generation.

I remember my dad replied "but that is an utopia, it is idealistic," clearly trying not to be bothered by my preaching. I thought of this and later I realized, utopic and idealism is relative. We have more then enough food, and every single piece of it is wrapped in plastic. Isn't that an idealistic thought a hundred years ago? The world is a better place because of a few idealistic individuals. Be the change in the world you want to see.

Comment Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (Score 1) 155

I dont' know about Canada or USA, but here in Norway, if a politician is caught lying or cheating on the tax or other bad things, they will get a lot of negative press. So much press that we have recently had two politicians resign in the last year, and others, like Thorbjørn Jagland and Kjell Magne Bondevik, going to hospital. Psychological stress they called it. Does this happen in other countries?

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