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AMD, NVIDIA, and Developers Weigh In On GameWorks Controversy

AndOne Re:AMD supports openGL just fine (80 comments)

AMD supports OpenGL just fine? That's gotta be the quote of the day. If AMD ever supports OpenGL just fine I'll throw them a fucking parade. Kernel panicking and bringing the entire system to it's knees because AMD doesn't check to see if a target is attached to a shader output? Sloppy coding yes, but not an acceptable response by the driver as you have no idea where the crash is coming from.. No OpenGL error message, just a crashing system. GPU to GPU buffer copies don't work unless you do any other memory operations first on the target buffer on AMD... Numerical precision is often dodgy on AMD cards. Phantom shader errors on certain generations of cards with no error message string... just failure to compile. Hell there was a series of crashes with AMD cards just trying to bind and clear framebuffers that only ended up being fixed by a driver update. Allocating too many vbo ID's causes cascading memory consumption and kills your application. And those are just the bugs I remember off hand today (and these were for their supposedly "good" Windows drivers, I shudder to think how bad their Linux stuff is. )

If the spec is even remotely vague about something, it seems like AMD consistently chooses the least robust and slapdash manner to resolve that ambiguity.

As a side note I'm fairly certain AMD only opened up their drivers because they're so terrible at writing them they're hoping the community will do it for them. It's not altruism, it's bottom line they don't have the resources to do it well and decided to try and look good. It's just PR.

about 8 months ago

How Ford's Virtual Reality Lab Helps Engineers

AndOne Re:Frame rate (49 comments)

The rendering frame rate of their system leaves a lot to be desired. The VR hardware looks good for their needs and usage, but that frame rate totally kills the immersion. That's inexcusable in this day and age - people have better gaming rigs than that. My guess is they have a very poorly optimized modeling system that has to pull data from whatever CAD systems they use.

1) The framerate doesn't need to be optimized as they're not going for immersion, but rather the ability to look things over from novel angles in a semi natural way. In fact immersion might run counter to their goals in this situation.

2) The car models are probably extremely detailed and overmeshed even to guarantee that the model has high physical fidelity. A large amount of the performance in games that is lost in CAD is due to geometry bandwidth.

3) Also X-Ray mode implies some pretty interesting alpha blending type effects so they're probably losing most of their Z-Culling and line drawing also isn't as optimized in graphics hardware as most people don't use it. It's actually a selling point on several CAD workstation graphics cards that they accelerate line drawing.

4) The motion capture system tracking their hands and heads also probably introduces some level of system latency.

about 10 months ago

Minecraft Creator Halts Plans For Oculus Version Following Facebook Acquisition

AndOne Shocked! (300 comments)

I am shocked! Shocked I say, that a company who's major VC investor sits on the board of Facebook was bought by Facebook.

Will this kill VR? Probably not. Is this going to usher in VR sooner? Maybe. Is this the wave of the future for social media? Probably not. Most people have no idea what the Oculus is nor do they care. The average person thinks you're a dork for wearing VR but will enjoy it for its novelty for a while. I say all this as someone who backed the Kickstarter and has a DK1.

VR is inherently anti-social and oriented for consumption of media. Most people want to hang out with their friends face to face and not in a virtual land because humans are hardwired for social contact (for the most part). Plus Facebook has an inherent asynchronous aspect that makes it appealing. It's a broadcast that people can respond to overtime. But VR demands equipment and attention. I don't see people having this commitment to VR for this sort of activity.

I honestly don't think it's just the technology not being there that held back VR all these years. The tech to do this has probably been here for about 6 to 10 years if the will to do it had been as well. I think the future of this sort of thing is much more likely in the field of Augmented Reality. Things that enhance your day to day life and help you complete tasks or activities. VR has some appeal for gaming/entertainment, but I think the only serious task I see for it might be teleoperation of robotic systems. Most of the time you want to be able to engage the world around you, not shut it out completely.

One last point, if VR is going to take off like people hope, we need rendering systems that can do real time photo realistic rendering of realistic scenes with serious fidelity. We're getting close, but it's still going to be a while and even then the computing power required is going to be stout.

about 9 months ago

Asm.js Gets Faster

AndOne Re: "So who needs native code now?" (289 comments)

There's nothing wrong with setters and getters provided one writes them well. It's extra work but I've had times where having setters and getters to put break points in would have allowed me to catch and fix highly insidious bugs caused by people doing bad things in other parts of the code. To be fair it was their use of globals that made it an issue in the first place :/.

That being said I always try to write them in attribute style as it looks almost as clean as direct public access.

about a year ago

What EMC Looks For When It's Hiring

AndOne Time to get out the black flags (223 comments)

Seriously, before DICE bought /. it seemed like I just didn't have enough time to catch up on all the articles I wanted to. Now I'm lucky if there's two or three articles a week that are interesting enough for even a second glance. And now this shit? Terrible...

I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Worth Going For a Graduate Degree In the Middle of Your Career?

AndOne Guarantees (260 comments)

A PhD doesn't really guarantee you anything. It can also be detrimental depending on what you want to do as some companies consider it too much or too expensive. You'll be better off starting in a Masters program and then deciding if you you really see a need or feel the desire to go for the PhD. A PhD is a LOT of work and time.

Really unless you plan to go into academia or hard core research I'd steer clear.

more than 2 years ago

'Social Jetlag' May Be Making You Fat

AndOne Re:Not Much You Can Do About That (197 comments)

I have the same issue. Sleep study confirmed and everything. I was working with a clinical behavioral psychologist to improve some, but life went crazy and my sleep is back to pretty much being shit.

Light therapy did help some though. I need to get back on trying that.

People are basically assclowns about it though.

more than 2 years ago

Majority of Landmark Cancer Studies Cannot Be Replicated

AndOne Re:I call bullshit (233 comments)

No you don't. You just need to read the published paper and attempt to reproduce what the paper reports. (A good scientific paper includes enough information to make the work it reports on reproducible.)

That's the ideal and idyllic world. In many areas there's a ton of hidden parameters and secret sauce that doesn't get reported. I found this to be especially true in robotics and machine vision and other computer science papers.

more than 2 years ago

Majority of Landmark Cancer Studies Cannot Be Replicated

AndOne Re:Absolute power corrupts absolutely. (233 comments)

I spent a year and a half working on trying to replicate results from one paper. Total failure. A few years later I was talking to one of the researchers and sure enough, the results only worked in that one case for that one data set and pretty much had no real chance of working any other way. That's pretty much the straw that broke my brain. The entire time it was my fault the results weren't being reproduced....

more than 2 years ago

Physics Is (NP-)Hard

AndOne Re:What ISN'T NP-Hard? (212 comments)

Correcting myself, NP-Hard isn't just the numerical version of NP-Complete. But rather the set of problems which are at least as hard as NP. NP-Hard includes the numerical versions. Sigh.

The numerical version of many NP-Complete decision problems are often NP-Hard.

more than 2 years ago

Physics Is (NP-)Hard

AndOne Re:What ISN'T NP-Hard? (212 comments)

I'd love to know what you consider the most basic algorithms. There are entire classes of problems which are polynomial and are not "basic". I also think you don't understand what it even means to be NP-Hard (which is just the numerical version of being NP-Complete.) Also to show that something is NP-Hard is equivalent to showing something is NP-Complete, which means you show there is a Polynomial time reduction to another problem in the appropriate class. Seriously, how did this get modded insightful.

Honestly, I don't think you even begin to understand complexity spaces or how they work.


more than 2 years ago

Obama Pushes For Cheaper Pennies

AndOne Re:Get rid of them (825 comments)


I've carried a 2 dollar bill in the back of my wallet for years as a good luck charm.

Maybe I'm siphoning the luck away from these other people.

more than 2 years ago

Alzheimer's Transmission Pathway Discovered

AndOne Re:Tau (154 comments)

Deploy the Deathwatch! The Ordo Xenos protects.

more than 2 years ago

Mozilla Releases Rust 0.1

AndOne Re:Great (232 comments)

Oh sure you've ruled out binary and unary, but you haven't eliminated ternary, hex, octal, and just about any other counting system. Won't somebody please think of the Slashdotters!

about 3 years ago

Mozilla Foundation Releases Firefox 7

AndOne Re:Memory? (452 comments)

I had firefox 6 clock in at just under 4GB of ram with about 60 to 90 tabs open before the stuttering got so bad I started closing things. It went down to 2.2 GB after I closed about half the tabs. It's common for me to have even more tabs open across multiple windows given the way I use the browser, but I must say that was the first time I've seen it stutter at 4GB like that. Usually it would sit around 2GB of ram with anywhere from 100 to 200 tabs open.

So with 39 tabs open I'm happy to see just 390MB of usage right now on FF7. Usually we'd be approaching 700MB already.

more than 3 years ago

5.8 Earthquake Hits East Coast of the US

AndOne Baltimore Area (614 comments)

I work a bit south of Baltimore. We felt it here for about 30 seconds. Of course my office is next to shipping and I thought maybe they'd finally lost it and knocked all the shelves over in an attempt to crush me finally. But nope.. earth quake. They've evacuated a number of office buildings in downtown Baltimore from what my wife is saying (she was sent home). Her brother said he felt it as far as Ft. Wayne IN as well.

more than 3 years ago

The End of the Gas Guzzler

AndOne Re:This ain't about you or what you want (897 comments)

Actually, Seatbelts and automotive safety took off once Murphy(yes of Murphy's law) showed the army how many men it was losing to automobile crashes and how many could be saved by seatbelts. Thus the saftey of automobiles was born. Plus having the shit sued out of you because you didn't make your car as safe as possible has some pretty good economic motivation behind it. Surprisingly enough most people don't want to drive death traps if they can avoid it.

more than 3 years ago

Have American Businesses Been Stranded By the MBAs?

AndOne Re:You need different kinds of people (487 comments)

Nerd moment. Best raid leader I ever played with was the MT. He delegated subleaders, but if there's one person who relies on healers and dps not to die time and time again.. it's the MT. The MT has to know the encounter, the movements, the timings, etc etc. The dps are dependent on the MT to not lose aggro, but the MT is dependent on them to not go nuts and draw aggro. The healers have to keep the MT up or they die, but they also have to watch other people. But what probably made this guy the best was that if he didn't know a fight, but someone else did, he'd put ego aside to learn things. So he was exactly what this article calls for, an expert who was willing to delegate when needed, but had a good core knowledge of the system.

Further nerd moment, having played as both a tank and dps... The needs of the healers and the dps really are secondary to those of the tank. Without a tank nothing happens, without healing there can be no tanking, and without dps ... well unless the fight has a timer... things just take longer.

To bring it back to the article, you need people with vision and skill running things, the only problem with having an engineer run the show is if he's got an ego and no social skills. But frankly I'd rather have an engineer in charge than someone from accounting or sales.

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft's SkyDrive Drops Silverlight

AndOne Objectivity (358 comments)

Whatever happened to posting stories that aren't filled with FUD and hate? Maybe HTML5 is more standards compliant and more widely available on other things... like say... Mobile devices... Which are probably one of the places many people would want to access the 'cloud' from. Or perhaps silverlight is too heavy for the task of being a portal UI... Whatever happened to using the right tool for the right job?

more than 3 years ago


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