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Jordanian Mayor Angry Over "Alien Invasion" Prank 217

krou writes "Jordanian mayor Mohammed Mleihan has taken a dim view of local newspaper Al-Ghad's April Fools prank, which saw a front page story claiming that 'flying saucers flown by 3m (10ft) creatures had landed in the desert town of Jafr.' The paper claimed that communication networks had gone down, and people were fleeing the area. The mayor called the local security authorities, who combed the area, but they were unable to find any evidence of the aliens. Mr Mleihan is now considering suing because of the distress it caused to residents: 'Students didn't go to school, their parents were frightened and I almost evacuated the town's 13,000 residents. People were scared that aliens would attack them.'" I guess they've never heard of Orson Welles in Jordan.
Data Storage

Colossus 3.5-in SSD Combines Quad Controllers 160

Vigile writes "The new Colossus SSD comes in capacities starting at 256GB and going all the way up to 1TB in a standard 3.5-in hard drive form factor. This larger size was required because the drive actually integrates not one but four Indilinx SSD controllers and three total RAID controllers in a nested RAID-0 array. All of this goodness combines to create an incredibly fast drive that beats most other options in terms of write speeds and is competitive in read tests as well. Using some custom 'garbage collection' firmware, the drive works around the fact that TRIM commands aren't supported in RAID configurations to maintain high speeds through the life of the SSD."

Comment Re:Do some truth (Score 1) 601

Sounds like time for ruthless application of the Last Responsible Moment principle:

When you are faced with one or more things that need doing and could be started (in other words, they aren't waiting on hard prerequisites), do first the thing for which you currently have the clearest information. Don't wait to start (which is a common misinterpretation of LRM), just select the thing for which you have the most information right now as, while that choice still may lack some information and contain risk, it contains less risk related to missing information than any of the other tasks. You can get busy knowing that you have made the best decision possible given the information available at that moment, and can make more progress than by procrastinating by waiting for perfect information.

Upon completion of that task (or becoming blocked on it) proceed to the task for which you, at that moment, have the most available information, and get going. Lather, rinse, repeat, always a) progressing on b) the task with the least risk of wasting effort.

Comment To reply to myself for clarity... (Score 1) 708

By music I mean not the composition or the performance but rather the recording and distribution thereof, whether as a physical product or a product consisting of ones and zeros. And by movies I mean to draw a similar line.

There is of course creativity in the process of creating these things, there is of course art in them, and there of course can be elements of their released product forms that trickle back into our culture (e.g. favorite quotes), but I would argue that that nasty bit in between that is the mass-produced product is not _itself_ culture or a part of our culture.

We would all be wise to draw clear boundaries between the culture and non-culture in this continuum, as the non-culture portions (while valuable and worthy of appropriate protection) should not be allowed to extract special treatment as if they were "culture" or a part thereof.

Comment Re:I don't buy it (Score 1) 708

re: "Culture is much more than what you can sell."

Heck, I would even go one step further than that: That which you can sell as product is not culture. While a product may _reflect_ upon culture or invoke a feeling from culture, the fact that it is a product IMHO discounts its consideration as culture. Note that by this logic I would not consider a painting as "product" in this sense, even though it could be sold. Music and movies, on the other hand...

Comment Re:Intelligent Design (Score 1) 497

Please refrain from presuming what I would or would not be fine with, especially when already reading far too much into my silly little comment.

For the record, I can't even tell from your post what you think I may or may not be fine with, given the sheer number of times you have used "it" in your reply without providing any context. What where you referring to, exactly? Treating dog breeds as different species? Labeling dog breeding as intelligent design? The wider use of the phrase "intelligent design" in order to dilute the term? Your meaning is impossible to safely determine, given the phrasing of your reply.

Comment Re:pixel perfect synched scrolling (Score 1) 249

True, they can have perfect sync, but in order to do so they have to double or triple buffer the display which introduces input lag.

Then once the frame buffer information makes it to the display device any scaler that is in place (which is very common on our current 480p and 720p consoles when paired with our current 1080p panels) may add another frame or even two of delay, further compounding the input lag. (being between 2 and 4 frames behind may not seem like much but 2 affects the sense of immersion and control and 4 is downright HUGE even at 60p.)

And let's not forget that unless an app is very carefully developed it can miss one or more frames and momentarily drop down to an effective frame rate of 30fps, 20fps, 15fps, or some other frame rate that goes evenly into 60. Now the end user is facing continually-variable frame rate and large (and also continually-variable) input lag.

With heavy graphics workloads and lots of different pieces of hardware between your input and the final result, VSYNC certainly isn't making things any better and in fact makes things worse more often than not. Just ask any PC FPS player who swears by their CRT and why they will never get rid of it. :) They'll be running with VSYNC off and there will be tearing but at the update rates they are driving the CRT the tearing will be absolutely invisible.

It is no wonder that old, low-level consoles driving CRTs directly always give you a feeling of having much quicker, more direct control of the on-screen action.

Comment I'll tell you why... (Score 2, Insightful) 876

I highly suspect that this dichotomy stems from a belief (well-founded or not) that mechanics are below their station in life but high-tech professionals should be below it and are somehow above it.

For ages and ages, mechanics have been (even if only in perception) dirty, slightly lower-class people that fix our things when we need them to. On the other hand, high-tech professionals appear to be clean, generally-well-educated people that can make six-figure salaries for being not much more than being born introverted and socially awkward. :) They may only need a high-tech professional when something is broken and needs fixing, just like they would for a mechanic, but this seems to only magnify the problem in some strange way.

People would like to be seen as knowing a little something about what their mechanics do, if only to provide a mild threat against being ripped off, but are fine with not knowing all that much about it because if they did then it might indicate that they are closer to their mechanic's station in life. This is something they want to avoid if possible. On the other hand, people get very touchy when they can't pull off an air of understanding and correctness of matters related to stations in life that they perceive to be higher than theirs, even if the only aspect they care about in this particular case is the high-tech professional's earning potential and recognized demand in the marketplace.

Compounding all of this is the fact that while a mechanic may involve someone in diagnosing a problem by having them answer a few very simple questions, they generally involve them in the process less than a high-tech professional often has to, even ignoring for the moment that even if a high-tech professional needed to ask the same number of questions each of those questions can be much more difficult for them to answer.

As they do with a mechanic, they want to see the high-tech professional as a servant they can just throw problems at. Except that this "servant" is better-educated, works a cleaner job with generally better hours and quite regularly a higher salary than theirs, and is asking them questions they can't answer (or fake.) This combination seems to make their blood boil more often than not, and it certainly doesn't help that the high-tech professional's lifetime experience as a socially-awkward introvert means that when they do have to involve someone in the diagnostic process they don't present questions and process answers as smoothly as would help the situation along.

Comment Re:Yeah, good luck with that. (Score 2, Insightful) 681

Talk about a left-field attack! Try actually responding to their comment next time.

As an example, I'll respond directly to your earlier comment right here, right now:

It must require a very narrow view of life to think that writing code during the day and then going home and writing more code during the evenings and/or weekends can be remotely defined as having life balance. Having passion for one's interests does not require having a limited range of them, nor does it restrict oneself from having passion for a wide range of them and/or for each of them.

Comment Re:It's pretty standard these days (Score 1) 329

I can vouch for this too, and am glad to see at least one comment here stating the same.

Half of /. must think that musicians couldn't keep time before click tracks and/or that recording processes couldn't let them play together while recording to separate tracks.

That said, with so much programming (heck, even full-track drum programming for bands that have a solid live drummer), tempo-synced effects, cut-and-paste editing in the digital domain, etc. going on, its no surprise that laying down to a click track might make the rest that much easier.

That and because many drummers are shite at holding tempo. :D

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