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Comment Re:The Theater Experience (Score 1) 313

Exactly. I bought a fairly decent set of speakers, a projector, and a DVD player for a total of around £450 in 2003. Back then, a ticket at my local cinema cost £4.50 (it's gone up), so roughly the same as going to the cinema 100 times. Popcorn was another £4 or so (drinks another £2-3), so that brought it down to about 50 trips - one a week for a year. I split the cost of the projector with my housemates back then and we'd have friends bring a DVD and food / beer around. By the end of the year, it had more or less paid for itself. One of my housemates bought the other shares in the projector when he moved and I bought a new one and have replaced the bulb once, so I've spent a total of about £500 (plus electricity) over a period of 13 years. The up-front cost was a lot higher, but over 13 years it's been cheaper than going to the cinema once a month and not having anything to eat / drink there. And that's just the cost for me: for the first few years when living with housemates and for the last few living with my partner the benefits have been shared by multiple people. Oh, and we get to watch TV shows in the same environment.

I stopped buying DVDs for a while because renting was a lot cheaper, but as BluRay and streaming start to see adoption the second-hand market is flooded with DVDs so it's easy to pick up a film for £1 or a season of a TV show for £3-5.

The real answer to piracy? Give people the product that they want for a reasonable price. Give me a service that let's me download DRM-free movies in a standard format that will work on the FreeBSD media centre box connected to my projector, my Mac laptop, my old WebOS tablet and my new iPad and I'll happily hand over money. Until then, I'll stick to DVDs.

Comment Re:The Theater Experience (Score 1) 313

Right, because old people are the ones that have good hearing. I had a similar experience the last time I went to a cinema. Sound settings so ludicrous that any base drowned out people talking and caused distortion in the speakers. I've not been to the cinema near where I live now, but they've just done a big refurbishment that ended up with a quarter the seating space that they had before. Apparently it's doing pretty well (people like the big comfy seats), but a apparently decade ago it was able to sell out most of the screens on a regular basis. Now they always have empty seats, even with a quarter the capacity.

Comment Re:Hatchet jobs aside (Score 1) 335

I look into the witness guy's background, he has UK security clearance FFS!

Having UK security clearance is not that hard. I did for a while (though it's long-since lapsed). Anyone who works on any defence-related project is likely to have security clearance. Remember when Snowden released all of the things he could access and it turned out that over a million people in the USA had security clearance? The UK isn't that much more restrictive in who it hands our clearance to.

Comment Re:Which version of C would you use? (Score 1) 264

C11 threads are also a horrible API full of mistakes that other threading libraries learned from and fixed two decades ago. It exists solely because someone thought that you can't have atomics in a language without a mechanism in the standard library for creating threads. C++11 threads are actually quite sensible. The only significant addition in C11 is the addition of a half-arsed port of C++11 atomics (right down to accidentally including a joke footnote from the C++11 draft spec that was removed before the C++11 spec was finalised). _Generic is vaguely useful.

Comment Re:Non-linear Presentation (Score 1) 91

It's very useful to be able to create presentations with multiple paths through them. You can embed deep-dives into things that you're trying to explain and skip over them if the audience either isn't interested in that part or that they want more information about. Quite a few other presentation tools provide support for non-linear presentations, PowerPoint is playing catchup.

Comment Re:As a C programmer (Score 1) 264

Look at LLVM as an instructive example. It's a large complex beast written in heavy C++, but there are bindings for every language you'd ever want to seriously write a compiler in.

Not a great counterexample - The LLVM C bindings are maintained by hand and all of the other bindings are machine-generated from the C bindings.

Comment Re:As a C programmer (Score 1) 264

Using C++ without templates is missing the point. One of the things I miss the most when writing C is the lack of efficient generic data structures. C equivalents of things like std::list, std::dequeue, and std::unordered_map all require lots of macros that cast things through void* (and therefore avoid any possibility of compile-time errors) and typically extra layers of indirection which hurt performance from d-cache misses more than templates will hurt from increased i-cache usage.

Apple's CoreFoundation is probably the nicest-designed C library providing core features, but it is a lot harder to work with than its Objective-C equivalent for similar performance and less efficient than a C++ version (though with stronger binary compatibility guarantees).

Comment Re:As a C programmer (Score 1) 264

As for the specific example (dst - src >= len): Comparing against a dst - len operation would require an intptr_t that as you pointed out is optional. dst - src requires a ptrdiff_t type that isn't optional in C99 and can be found in stddef.h

This is correct, however it is undefined behaviour to compare two pointers to different objects. In particular, C is intended to support environments where objects are allocated as segments and can be relocated in a linear address space (I work on one such architecture and wrote the C compiler for it, though we actually do support this idiom because so much real-world code depends on it). In such an environment (which includes the version of C that targets the CLR), there is no guarantee that the ordering of two objects in memory will be stable.

Comment Re:Apple's on the wrong road (Score 2) 138

They occasionally undercut their competitors. The first flash iPods were cheaper than any other consumer device (including USB flash drives) with that much flash because Apple anticipated the demand and bought up an entire year's flash production capacity from several suppliers, getting a reasonable discount. No one else could get flash chips at close to the rate that Apple was paying for a while. More recently, they've used their cash reserves to build factories for suppliers in exchange for the first year of output from them. They end up paying less for chips than anyone else, and the suppliers then get to keep operating the factory and selling the output after Apple has moved on to wanting the newer process.

Comment Re:What is the appeal of these things? (Score 1, Interesting) 129

I think that they're a fad in the same way that 1990s smartphones were a fad: the technology to build good ones doesn't exist yet. A watch needs to have a battery that lasts long enough that I never accidentally forget to charge it and end up with it not working (my current one is on its second battery and the first one lasted about 5 years) and be light enough that I don't notice that I'm wearing it. I have both of those from a Skagen watch, but if I could keep those requirements then I'd find it very useful to have things like my day's calendar sync'd to the watch, to be able to use it with Bluetooth for two-factor authentication, to be able to use something like Apple Pay and leave my wallet at home, and so on. Make it a quarter the current thickness and make the battery last a week and I'll happily buy one, but that isn't possible yet.

The same thing was true of Smartphones. It was obvious before the iPhone that there were a lot of useful things that a Smartphone could do, but until LiIon batteries, low-power WiFi chipsets and screens improved to a certain point, the downsides outweight the benefits. The difference between the iPhone and the Apple Watch is that the iPhone was released at precisely the time when the technology made it possible to build the useful thing, whereas the Apple Watch appears to be 5-10 years too early.

Comment Re:Hell No (Score 4, Insightful) 346

1) Chances are that "counterfeit" was made in the same factory line as the "real" one.

There have been a lot of cases of third-party batteries being made to significantly lower standards. Often the counterfeit ones are the QA rejects from the real factory.

2) Nikon wouldn't know if you you were using the "real" one or not.

LiIon batteries must communicate with the charger, some communicate things like serial numbers so they can tell it's a fake. A common failure mode is for the battery to expand significantly, at which point it may be difficult to remove it from the camera without causing damage that was obviously not done by the battery and thereby invalidating your warranty.

3) Relying on corporations to be sympathetic is pretty comical. Nikon doesn't care about you.

He's not relying on their sympathy, he's relying on consumer protection laws (you do have those in your country?). If I buy a battery from manufacturer A and put it in a device from manufacturer A, and it destroys the device, then it's clearly the responsibility of manufacturer A. If you buy a battery from A and it destroys a device from B then you're likely to have a lot of effort proving responsibility, and that's assuming that A is not some fly-by-night operator and still exists when you hit the problems.

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