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Comment Re:Nuisance of free software (Score 3, Informative) 259

Did we already forget that Ubuntu also installed such and without consent [] (and Linux Mint) - here you atleast have the change to disallow installing it.

As someone mentioned here, it's not alarming as you make it seem. It's only in the alpha version and not meant for the release version. Granted, I would have liked them to be a bit more forward about it, I'm not terribly upset.

Comment Re:Does anyone pay attention to battery life anymo (Score 1) 200

I primarily run Ubuntu, although I've gotten very similar results from both Windows Vista and Fedora. I never really thought about installing a minimal version of Linux to get more battery life, so I might give that a try after summer break. An editor won't be an issue since I typically use vim. I'm probably going to buy a new laptop or netbook for taking notes, but it's still something I'll look at, especially if it gives me that little bit of extra battery life.

Comment Re:Does anyone pay attention to battery life anymo (Score 3, Interesting) 200

My latest laptop advertised 2.5 hours of battery life, which I would've been fine with. It's enough to last through two classes, after which I can normally find a power outlet.

I wasn't very careful looking at the battery life, and, to my dismay, I took it home to find out it could only hold a charge for 1.5 hours. This is even on pretty conservative settings with the screen dimmed as low as possible. Now that it's starting to age, I'm down to about 1 hour of battery, which doesn't even last through my 75 minute classes.

Most people expect 2.5 hours of "good use" out of a laptop battery when new. This number hasn't really changed since 1998 or so. I can't remember the last time I used battery life when evaluating a laptop - if you NEED more than 2.5 hours of battery life, you just buy a second battery.

Oh, how I wish that were the case.

Comment PulseAudio can be fast (Score 2, Insightful) 427

I have to wonder what program you are using to output the audio. On my desktop, there are settings that allow the audio to be routed immediately to output without processing in PulseAudio or anything.

But, more to the point, your latency relies on the program itself much more. I've been doing quite a bit of low-latency audio programming using both ALSA and PulseAudio, and they both get extremely small if you know what you're doing. With ALSA, I've gotten to around 1ms, while I can easily get PulseAudio to approximately 5ms. Using a PC that has two cores, I've gotten the numbers cut down to around 0.5ms and 2ms, respectively.

If you're having a real touchy time getting response that low, you likely have to bump up priority of the process. Using ALSA, simply setting the application to realtime scheduling will do it. With PulseAudio, you're going to need to set the audio server itself to realtime as well as the application (I haven't done too much testing with that, but that seems to be the consensus online). As a parent suggested, you probably want to look at using JACK. It does most of the dirty work for you.

I learned most of this working on a low-latency audio application. Just yesterday I got the thing to route a guitar at low latency using ALSA, and I'm looking to finish up the Pulse portion this next week or so.

Comment Re:No - there are plenty of safer alternatives (Score 1) 486

That strncpy probably isn't what you're looking for. From here: "If the array pointed to by s2 is a string that is shorter than n bytes, null bytes are appended to the copy in the array pointed to by s1, until n bytes in all are written." So that function isn't a very good idea if your destination buffer is really large and your source buffer is very small.

For a safe strcpy, you're probably going to want something like strcpy(dest, src, (dest src ? dest : src)). You can expand that out to a full if statement if inline conditionals give you a headache.

Comment Re:Patterns? (Score 1) 374

Well, having taken a graduate class on crypto, you're guaranteed to leak some kind of information unless your using a system with perfect secrecy, but that requires that your key be as long as your message. With modern cryptosystems, short keys (short compared to the message) are used, so some type of information is being leaked, although it is greatly obfuscated through the algorithm of the cryptosystem. I don't believe you can say for certainty that no information is leaked, but the premise is that a robust system ought not to leak noticeable information unless the attackers discovered the key. My professor said that designing a system that fit this description is closer to an art since the mathematics says some information should be leaked.

Disclaimer: This is what I know from a limited amount of experience with, so a lot of the details are fuzzy or incomplete. Please feel free to correct me (politely).

Comment Re:Too Dear.. (Score 1) 116

Yet many of my ~200 page books for college cost well over $100, making it about $0.50 per page. Besides, it's a price that would likely be worth it for many, especially so for a short. Heck, this is cheaper than many of the used books that are 1/2 or 1/4 the price. And yes, I know that college textbooks are already ridiculously expensive, but that's a different story.

Comment Re:Precious Snowflakes (Score 1) 1316

Woahhhh... sounds like I just met myself online from a parallel universe. So you went with BASIC? Huh... I did Visual Basic. You programmed a slot machine... I programmed tic-tac-toe. You learned bass guitar and keyboard. I went with electric guitar and piano a few months back. You started a service-based company. I started a information-based website.

In all seriousness, I've found a lot of the same. Most of the time, I find people discussing problems without and producing solutions. I find a lot of people like learning random skills, picking up a programming language here or there, but not actually applying these things. Presented with a problem, they have to tools to solve it but no understanding of how to get around it to solve the thing. It drives me crazy.

Comment Re:Halo Wars isn't a bad game... (Score 1) 177

Who says it's all about the control you have? I play both PC and console FPS games. I consider the "hindrance" of a joystick to be an obstacle that makes the games that much more different. You can't turn around blazing fast, but nobody on a console can. This moves gameplay away from running into the middle of a crowd and picking off people at high speeds. Instead, things like sneaking up behind someone becomes very valuable. For me, I turn the sensitivity way up in order to get an advantage, putting it at 10 for the first Halo, but moving down to 8 for the Halo III (mostly due to lag from somewhere between the wireless controllers or the LCD TV I use now).

So, you really like that control for a PC game that allows you to aim anywhere almost instantaneously? Great. I like it too. I also like console games where aim is more difficult, forcing you to keep your aimer pointed directly at where you expect the enemy. One isn't better than the other. They each have their perks. To each his own.

Comment Re:eye candy (Score 1) 559

In Xubuntu, you should be able to drag a window to off the screen using alt. I'm using it now, and it works just fine. Really helped with my girlfriend's computer using an Eee PC where half the windows don't fit on the screen properly.

My main gripe is that windows like to move to different workspaces without my consent. For example, search for something in firefox using '/', then move to a different workspace. Wait a few seconds, and look, there's Firefox, now on your current workspace. I've tried enabling focus-stealing prevention and various other options to no avail.

Comment Re:Quick! (Score 5, Insightful) 766

I think that we're probably going to see people defending Obama himself rather than his decision. I personally voted for him and generally support him (at least more than McCain), but I abhor this appointment. I hope that Obama will appoint other, anti-RIAA people to help balance things out. I don't follow politics enough to know all the ins and outs, so I can't provide any real insight in this decision. Hopefully some fellow /.ers will give some useful insight other than the typically "Politics as usual", "Democrats suck", "Both parties are the same", etc that goes on every time something political comes up. Maybe something new and useful, like an analysis of his other advisors and appointments to see if there are other pro-RIAA as well as anti-RIAA people.

Slashdot's Disagree Mail 206

Being in a relationship is not easy, more than half of all first marriages fail in this country. That statistic doesn't improve if you spend most of your time reading your favorite website and not tending to the needs of your family. Instead of asking me to help fix your relationship maybe you should try playing with your kids, talking to your wife, and not staring at a computer screen all day. You should realize that the help link doesn't provide help with your life. It's mostly for getting passwords and stuff. Below you'll find a collection of people that should have reached out to Dr. Phil and not Dr. Sam.

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