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The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000

Art3x Re:Not Forgotten (185 comments)

Forgotten? Not by anyone who was in broadcasting in the early 90's. It was quite a machine for us, even though it took all night to render an animated flame-effect title overlay.

I also will always remember it. In my formative junior high years, I took a video class that had among its gear an Amiga 2500, and I tried to make something like a live-action take on Animator's Revenge with Daffy Duck. From the article:

With the Video Toaster card, it was now possible to do with video editing and special effects what before took literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to do.

In the hands of an imaginative seventh grader, the Amiga Toaster was a ton of fun. For the same reason, the execution severely lacking, my videos were hard to watch for anyone but family and friends.

2 days ago

Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

Art3x Re:Dilbert words: Can anything be as demoralizing? (382 comments)

You think Elon Musk went into Nokia with an understanding of what Nokia needed as a business? Or merely a view that whatever they were doing was wrong because it wasn't based on Microsoft stuff?

You mean Stephen Elop, not Elon Musk. Quite a difference, but I can see myself making the same Elop flip-flop.

about a week ago

Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

Art3x The Future's So Bright (415 comments)

I can't wait for this generation to saturate the industry. Fewer bugs, better features, from less nonsense to code programs with. They might even be better as people, with clearer heads. Python might even help you think more clearly.

about two weeks ago

Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

Art3x Fools. (370 comments)

Years of experience, to me, is at least as important in programming as in any other field. Experience makes you better at your job, not just 25% better, several times better.

Programming is designing. The hard things in programming are design choices, not learning some new syntax. Anyone can learn a language in a matter of weeks. But a designer can keep improving over the course of his whole life. As Steve Jobs said, the difference between an average taxi driver and the best taxi driver in the world is maybe 10-30%. But between average software and the best, ten or a hundred times.

about a month ago

Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

Art3x First Rhyme (636 comments)


about 2 months ago

PHP Next Generation

Art3x PHP isn't the bottleneck (213 comments)

Speed up PHP? It already runs in a fraction of a second. The database queries, meanwhile, can take many times longer.

about 2 months ago

Why Disney Can't Give Us High-Def Star Wars Where Han Shoots First

Art3x Just get on with it (210 comments)

Disney will have to get Fox's approval and probably cut Fox in for some of the profits, if they were to re-release the series.

First, why hasn't Fox put out DVDs or Blu-rays themselves?

Second, why would Disney scoff at such a deal? Even minus some to Fox, Disney would make a lot of money.

The originals in high resolution would be snatched up, both by fans who just like them that way and by collectors who deem first things higher.

about 2 months ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

Art3x More complicated is not more advanced (865 comments)

I have an unpopular theory that things should be as simple as possible, and specifically as purely mechanical or purely electronic as possible. The mixture of both gets me worried.

In general a computer is most advanced when it has no moving parts: no fan, no spinning disk. Keys are okay, but not on a smartphone.

On the other hand, I would rather advances in cars be mechanical, not electronical. It amazes me how little cars of the same size and shape have improved in miles per gallon over the decades. A 2014 Volkswagen Golf gets 39 MPG, but a 1982 Volkwagen Golf got 37 (

A lot of this can be chalked up to my first car being a 10-year-old 1985 Oldsmobile, full of automatic but old features, which all failed. My second car was stick shift, crank windows, etc., on purpose. Simpler is fewer things to break, to go on the fritz, to flake out, and to be expensively repaired.

about 3 months ago

Mozilla Offers FCC a Net Neutrality Plan With a Twist

Art3x My head hurts (123 comments)

Although I understood in the end, a few more commas and the word "that" could have helped smoothe the summary:

[Mozilla says that] the FCC doesn't have to reclassify the Internet access [that] ISPs offer consumers as a telecommunications service, subject to common carrier regulations under Title II of the Communications Act. Instead, the FCC should target the service [that] ISPs offer to edge providers, like Netflix and Dropbox, who need to send their bits over ISP networks to reach their customers.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Intelligently Moving From IT Into Management?

Art3x What? Why? (125 comments)

Intelligently Moving From IT Into Management?

Not possible.

Especially given:

since this has been a one-man shop for seven years; namely my shop, I confess some reservations about handing over the keys and moving permanently up to the top floor.

There is a chance that you are ready and all there is to it is for you to find a capable replacement for yourself. But there is a ever-so-slightly greater chance that you aren't ready, that you'll be a micromanager, making yourself and subordinates totally miserable.

about 3 months ago

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 3 months ago

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 3 months ago

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 4 months ago

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 4 months ago

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 4 months ago

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 4 months ago

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.


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 4 months ago

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 4 months ago

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 5 months ago

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 5 months ago



What's the cost of build quality?

Art3x Art3x writes  |  about a year and a half 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?"

Where do you find good programmers?

Art3x Art3x writes  |  about 2 years 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."

The Internet is killing local news, says the FCC

Art3x Art3x writes  |  more than 3 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

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."

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

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

Lightworks video editor to turn open source

Art3x Art3x writes  |  more than 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.'"

Will the iPad usher in HTML5 video?

Art3x Art3x writes  |  more than 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."

Microsoft lost by ignoring search query long tail

Art3x Art3x writes  |  more than 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

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

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

Convincing my company to use open source

Art3x Art3x writes  |  about 6 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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