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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database For New Project?

Art3x Re:Do you need a database? (272 comments)

"Think of SQLite not as a replacement for Oracle but as a replacement for fopen()" --- About

about two weeks ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

Art3x Re:Designed? (224 comments)

The brain was not designed for reading

It wasn't designed for anything.

It is preprogrammed for learning spoken language. You might read Stephen Pinker's The Language Instinct.

about two weeks ago
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New MU-MIMO Standard Could Allow For Gigabit WiFi Throughput

Art3x Clunky name (32 comments)

The new standard, MU-MIMO (Multiple User — Multiple Input and Multiple Output) has a clunky name — but could make a significant difference...

I thought clunky names were an engineering tradition, like CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection), which means, Listening Among Others for a Chance to Speak.

about two weeks ago
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London Council Dumping Windows For Chromebooks To Save £400,000

Art3x More Savings, More Doing (193 comments)

From the article:

The council was previously running 3,500 Windows XP desktops and 800 XP laptops

and is much happier now.

about two weeks ago
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Canonical Shutting Down Ubuntu One File Services

Art3x From the cloud to the crowd (161 comments)

I'm curious, or maybe just ignorant, why the open source community does not already have a mature, widespread file storage application that is peer to peer, like BitTorrent Sync. Maybe because peer to peer is so much harder than client-server. But I would have thought it would be further along by now, given our:

- technical savvy
- awareness of the importance of good back-ups
- distrust of corporations and governments

If we had a free file back-up service that was standard for Linux (or if there were two or three, for the sake of competition, but that at least each distro had one that it picked as its standard), then I think it would help Linux catch on as well as improve the sense of community: I'm helping host some of your data, you're hosting some of mine --- even though I have no idea what or whose it is because I have just a bunch of encrypted shards.

about two weeks ago
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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way

Art3x Remove the middleman (323 comments)

I hate to say this, as much as I sympathize more with Netflix than a major studio, but shouldn't the studios eventually stream their movies themselves? Is the tech really that hard, why are they outsourcing it to Amazon and Netflix?

Like TV channels, we should just surf the studio websites until we find what we want (using Google, perhaps). That seems the inevitable future rather than one or two clearinghouses. That's what tech does: removes the middleman (except when there's a man in the middle ;).

about three weeks ago
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Oppo's New Phone Hits 538 PPI

Art3x Re: approximately the resolution of an adult eye @ (217 comments)

For an adult human, 400-600 is about the limit of what we can detect.

No.

For most average human adults, the limit is about 300 dpi.

Speaking as a graphic designer with over two decades of experience, there is a reason that graphic designers have always targeted a print resolution of 300 dpi for colour images.

How 400-600 entered the conversation is beyond me. The percentage of people who can visually tell the difference between a 300 dpi output and anything higher than that is very, very small. The number of people who can spot the difference at 400+ is not even a consideration for discussion.

When I was a graphic designer, I was told 300 dpi --- unless the image had type, in which case, 600. I've found some corroboration:

1. Experiments with Pixels Per Inch (PPI) on Printed Image Sharpness by Roger N. Clark
2. Guidelines for Author Supplied Electronic Text and Graphics
3. Digital Art Guidelines

Apparently the eye is more forgiving when looking at photographs than at text.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's New In Legacy Languages?

Art3x Re:Depends on your definition of legacy (247 comments)

"Legacy" is a buzzword for "old."

Multisyllabic and euphemistic, I'm sure it first came into being from the lips of an advertiser.

But if you want to think, write, and reason clearly about a subject, stick to the old, short words, the ones that your mind retranslates the words to anyway after hearing them.

about a month ago
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Why Robots Will Not Be Smarter Than Humans By 2029

Art3x Yeah but wait till he becomes a teenager... (294 comments)

From the summary:

it still might not have enough time to develop adult-equivalent intelligence by 2029

2029: Skynet is born. Nothing bad happens
2042: Skynet turns 13...

about a month and a half ago
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Open Source Video Editor Pitivi Seeks Crowdfunding to Reach 1.0

Art3x Resolve and LightWorks (79 comments)

There's also DaVinci Resolve and and LightWorks. Both with free Linux versions.

DaVinci Resolve is mainly for color tweaking but since version 10 also can cut. LightWorks has been used in Hollywood a lot.

In light of these two offerings, I'm surprised that PiTiVi is called the most mature. I haven't used any of them, though.

about 2 months ago
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Rise of the Super-High-Res Notebook Display

Art3x 1920 x 1280 (333 comments)

1920 x 1280 is about the resolution I want. It has enough res to watch movies in high definition, gives text just enough crispness, and has an aspect ratio of 3:2, yet doesn't requires a new set of icons all over the place.

about 4 months ago
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Red Hat Releases Ceylon Language 1.0.0

Art3x Potentially (159 comments)

elimination of potentially-harmful constructs

When did English speakers fall in love with the word potentially?

We already have a single word for potentially harmful: it's called dangerous.

Even worse is the infestation of the phrase could potentially, which means the same thing as could.

about 5 months ago
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Panasonic Announces an End To Plasma TVs In March

Art3x OLED (202 comments)

From the article:

It's a shame, because even though LCD tech has shown a lot of improvement, plasma displays have inherent advantages, primarily because the tech doesn't require a backlight -- unlike LCDs, which twist crystals in individual pixels to affect the light passing through, plasma pixels illuminate themselves.

And once big-screen OLED becomes cheap enough (OLED pixels, not just OLED backlit) then that advantage will dwindle away too.

about 6 months ago
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Researchers Tout Electricity Storage Tech That Could Recharge Devices In Minutes

Art3x Duplodocus (31 comments)

Duplodocus

about 6 months ago
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New Standard For Website Authentication Proposed: SQRL (Secure QR Login)

Art3x That's how I say SQL (234 comments)

Programmers argue whether the right way to say SQL is S Q L or sequel. A business analyst told me her way, and I thought it fit best: squirrel.

about 6 months ago
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A Peek At Apple's Planned $5B HQ

Art3x What kind of a critique is that? (257 comments)

doesn't look all that different from an old-school $3.95 6250 BPI magnetic tape reel

Or a ring, bracelet, flying saucer, hoola hoop, donut, or a million other things that are round. What is your point?

about 6 months ago
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45% of U.S. Jobs Vulnerable To Automation

Art3x Re:I can see it (625 comments)

Technology companies like Google and Facebook already give us things for free. I imagine that some day maybe they'll do the same with tangible things like food or an apartment.

A Facebook account, though seemingly trivial, is wealth. Seeing and chatting with friends and families across the country is a benefit given us for free.

GMail is a form of wealth. So are the other free Google apps like Calendar and Drive.

Because they're software, if distributed across the world, the cost for Google and Facebook for each account approaches zero, but it is not free for them (R&D, hard drives, electricity, and so on). But I guess somehow they're making enough money with advertising to offset their costs and even make a nice profit.

I can imagine one day food and apartments and transportation will be given away for free by Farmoo, MyPlace, and CarsRUs, if we only put up with a little bit of advertising.

Or also like Google, Pandora, etc., the fees that some are willing to pay for premium services (fancier food, apartments, cars) may defray the costs of the basic costs for the rest of us.

The Big If of course is when technology makes the production of food, apartments, and transportation (may be a bike or a bus for every person, not a whole car, or maybe self-driving taxi on demand) as cheap for a company as software more or less is. Sorry I left that out, but hopefully you all surmised it from the other facts of the conversation.

about 7 months ago
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45% of U.S. Jobs Vulnerable To Automation

Art3x I can see it (625 comments)

Technology companies like Google and Facebook already give us things for free. I imagine that some day maybe they'll do the same with tangible things like food or an apartment.

A Facebook account, though seemingly trivial, is wealth. Seeing and chatting with friends and families across the country is a benefit given us for free.

GMail is a form of wealth. So are the other free Google apps like Calendar and Drive.

Because they're software, if distributed across the world, the cost for Google and Facebook for each account approaches zero, but it is not free for them (R&D, hard drives, electricity, and so on). But I guess somehow they're making enough money with advertising to offset their costs and even make a nice profit.

I can imagine one day food and apartments and transportation will be given away for free by Farmoo, MyPlace, and CarsRUs, if we only put up with a little bit of advertising.

Or also like Google, Pandora, etc., the fees that some are willing to pay for premium services (fancier food, apartments, cars) may defray the costs of the basic costs for the rest of us.

about 7 months ago
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Apple Unveils iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S

Art3x What is it with plastic? (773 comments)

Why does plastic make things so much cheaper? (I'm in software. With mechanical things, my IQ drops to 50. The answer is likely so obvious that will make me look even dumber.)

Why do manufacturers opt for plastic so much over metal (or rubber or glass or whatever higher-quality material is best for each part)? Phones weigh ounces, and aren't such materials still just pennies per ounce?

Yes, I know labor adds to the cost, so making a phone (or a camera or a computer) with better materials would be more than the cost of the raw materials. But still, in what seems to be my utter naivete, I would guess that still it would be just a few dollars per unit.

Why are so many things made from plastic and so few made from anything else? Does it really save the manufacturer that much money?

about 7 months ago
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Nvidia CEO: We Are Working On Next Generation Surface

Art3x From the summary: (200 comments)

Huang believes the second generation will be more successful with the inclusion of Outlook

Yay, Outlook

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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What's the cost of build quality?

Art3x Art3x writes  |  about a year ago

Art3x (973401) writes "Do cheap laptops have to be flimsy, with plastic shells instead of metal, dinky hinges, and mushy keys? I’m a programmer, not an industrial designer. Am I missing something? I would think that a solid build takes two things: good materials and fitting them together well. As for material, is metal really more than a dollar or so more per pound than plastic? As for fit, that’s a matter of knowledge and technique. If the manufacturer has well-built laptops at a higher price, they clearly have such knowledge. This same question applies to other devices, such as cameras. Why is anything over a few hundred dollars poorly made, especially by a company that can make it well?"
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Where do you find good programmers?

Art3x Art3x writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Art3x (973401) writes "Kernighan said, 'Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.' My past four coworkers subscribed to the copy-and-paste method of code reuse, preferred long names (they sound more official), and built unrequested features so they "wouldn't have to code it later." The code samples from applicants indicate they believe the same. Where do you find programmers who believe in tight design, DRY, and less-is-more? I feel that it would be easier to find an architect, painter, or writer and teach him programming than to find a programmer and teach him good design — or even get him to acknowledge its existence."
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The Internet is killing local news, says the FCC

Art3x Art3x writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Art3x (973401) writes "The rise of the Internet has led to a 'shortage of local, professional, accountability reporting' says a a 475-page report by the FCC, and the consequences could be 'more government waste, more local corruption,' 'less effective schools' and other problems. Even though there are more media choices today than ever, newspapers have been laying off reporters, leaving a gap that is yet to be filled."
Link to Original Source
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Google Chrome tag to abandon H.264

Art3x Art3x writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Art3x (973401) writes "As you know, HTML 5 introduced the <video> tag, so you don't have to use Flash, QuickTime, etc. It can even enclose several versions of the same video (H.264, WebM, Ogg, etc.) for different computers or browsers. Well, for Google Chrome in a couple months, you will have to provide it something other than H.264, because it is dropping support for H.246. 'Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies,' wrote Mike Jazayeri, Product Manager."
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Netflix likes open source

Art3x Art3x writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Art3x (973401) writes "Netflix's VP of Systems and E-commerce Engineering, Kevin McEntee, just blogged his appreciation for open-source software and open standards. 'At Netflix we jumped on for the ride a long time ago and we have benefited enormously from the virtuous cycles of actively evolving open source projects,' he writes, and he says that Netflix not only uses but has contributed back to projects such as Hudson, Hadoop, Hive, Honu, Apache, Tomcat, Ant, Ivy, Cassandra, and HBase. Instantly streamed in a bunch of comments asking why there's no player for Linux."
Link to Original Source
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Google puts forth new image format: WebP

Art3x Art3x writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Art3x (973401) writes "Google has come up with another image format: WebP. Based on the intraframe compression of VP8, it shrinks JPEG files another 39%, on average, in their test of a million pictures across the Web. 'Images and photos make up about 65% of the bytes transmitted per web page today.' said Google. 'They can significantly slow down a user's web experience.' While some images shrank a mere 10%, some were 75% smaller than a JPEG at the same quality. Still, do you think a new web image format will take?"
Link to Original Source
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Lightworks video editor to turn open source

Art3x Art3x writes  |  about 4 years ago

Art3x (973401) writes "EditShare will release its video editor as open source this summer. Lightworks handles high-definition media, DPX, and RED, shares projects with Final Cut Pro and Avid, and was recently used by Academy-award-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker on Shutter Island. Introduced in in 1989 and bought by EditShare last year, it 'has come from over one million hours of software development,' says EditShare's James Richings. But he says releasing the source will 'generate concepts and capabilities never seen before. I expect that the Lightworks Open Source initiative will transform not only the technology, but also the opinions on what a professional editing tool can achieve.'"
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Will the iPad usher in HTML5 video?

Art3x Art3x writes  |  about 4 years ago

Art3x (973401) writes "A page on the Apple web site lists a dozen major web sites publishing their audio or video with the HTML 5 tags, including: CNN, the New York Times, ESPN, NPR, The White House, People magazine, CBS, and National Geographic. It might be that the HTML 5 media shows up just if you're on the iPad, but I was surprised by so many so soon."
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Microsoft lost by ignoring search query long tail

Art3x Art3x writes  |  about 4 years ago

Art3x (973401) writes "Microsoft focused on returning good results for popular queries but ignored the minor ones. 'It turned out the long tail was much more important,' said Bing's Yusuf Mehdi. 'One-third of queries that show up on Bing, it's the first time we've ever seen that query.' Yet the long tail is what makes most of Google's money.

Microsoft is so far behind that now maybe they won't crush Google but can live side by side, with Bing specializing in transactions like plane tickets, said Bing Director Stefan Weitz.

I doubt that will ever take off."

Link to Original Source
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Google Chrome Extensions Gallery Opened

Art3x Art3x writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Art3x (973401) writes "The Chromium team opened the extensions gallery today. If you are running a beta version of Chrome in Windows or Linux (Mac still to come), then you can now browse a gallery of about 300 extensions.

The closest thing to the coveted Adblock equivalent is Adsweep, but it is right now broken. Who wants to take this on?"

Link to Original Source
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Google releases JavaScript Library

Art3x Art3x writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Art3x (973401) writes "Google has released an open-source, modular JavaScript library called the Closure Library," which it developed in house for its own web applications like Gmail and Google Docs. "Web developers can pull just what they need from a wide set of reusable UI widgets and controls, as well as lower-level utilities for the DOM, server communication, animation, data structures, unit testing, rich-text editing, and much, much more.""
Link to Original Source
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Convincing my company to use open source

Art3x Art3x writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Art3x (973401) writes "Are there any good resources for helping move a company from Microsoft to open source? I work for a self-proclaimed "Microsoft shop." From time to time I have the a chance to present to the leaders, and I would like at least to plant a seed. Most of them think Microsoft is THE software vendor. Upon mention of open source, they say "Oh, yeah, freeware," — the hobby of a single hacker instead of a serious worldwide effort. Especially, software without "support" is an anathema to them.

I'm sure I could comb the Internet and cobble something together. But are there any good articles or books — or even companies — for just this purpose: to systematically guide an IT department to exchange (no pun intended) each of their Microsoft products for the open-source equivalent?

As a bonus, any article that clearly tells the story of how Microsoft came to dominance (i.e., not by merit) would also be appreciated."

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