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Comments

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SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

BenJeremy Thai floods and Sumitomo explosions (253 comments)

Platter drives have been artificially held high for the past few years... and it will burn them unless they start budging on capacity and price, as SSDs will continue to drop.

With 5TB and 6TB drives finally making it out into the consumer space, platter drive pricing may finally start dropping, but will it be too little too late? Will there be enough of a market now in the consumer space to support the larger drives? I suspect the average user has plenty of storage already - perhaps to the point of full porn saturation - but more seriously... how much drive space does Grandma need for her cat pictures and baby videos? 2TB is probably more than enough, and within the year, she'll be able to save all that to a 2TB SSD that boots her e-mail/web browsing machine in an eyeblink.

Of course, the platter drive makers have brought on this trouble themselves... like the DRAM price gouging back in 1994 (The Sumitomo explosion supposedly endangered epoxy resin supplies, prices of RAM tripled overnight), platter drive makers have taken the same opportunity to create a scarcity to drive prices up and keep them up. They also delayed higher capacity platter drives, giving the SSD makers an opportunity to catch up. They can't keep this up and stay in business.

2 days ago
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Amazon's Fire TV: Is It Worth Game Developers' Time?

BenJeremy DLNA?!?? (88 comments)

If this supported DLNA as a client (since I have a media server), I'd be all over this. If I owned one, I'd develop for it. Kindle owners BUY APPS. They are about on par with iOS users.

about two weeks ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

BenJeremy 'Involve' is the key word.. very deceiving. (367 comments)

Like "alcohol-related' accidents, where the police are required to check a box if either driver, whether to blame or not for the accident, and whether or not either is actually impaired, if they had a drink earlier in the day.

Same goes here, I suspect, padding the numbers because somebody was having a conversation at some point in their drive, and considered "involved" even if the driver who had the call wasn't to blame for the accident.

All this does is serve the personal agendas of "safety experts" who have decided to tie their career to an issue and doggedly pursue it, regardless of the facts and rational analysis.

Can it be a source for distracted driving? Certainly... but having a hands-free conversation is no different than having a conversation with a passenger, perhaps even less so, since you are less likely to take your eyes off the road when the other person is not in the car with you.

about three weeks ago
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Klingon Beer

BenJeremy Star Trek Experience and Quark's Bar (100 comments)

They used to have Romulan Ale and Klingon Blood wine, among other things.

Sad that a Michael Jackson show replaced the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton in Las Vegas. There had been talks of reviving it Downtown, but I guess that never materialized.

about three weeks ago
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Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

BenJeremy What about OS/2? (367 comments)

I was told OS/2 was the choice for ATM operating systems!

about a month ago
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Flash Is Dead; Long Live OpenFL!

BenJeremy Stage3D? (166 comments)

Can OpenFL handle something like Stage3D and wrappers like Starling?

I've used Haxe in the past, but found it lacking in support of things like sound and sprite animation for writing mobile games.

about a month ago
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Hubble Witnesses Mysterious Breakup of Asteroid

BenJeremy Re:My guess? (69 comments)

More likely Jango Fett detonated a concussion missile to try and kill the Jedi on his trail.

about a month and a half ago
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Scientists Revive a Giant 30,000 Year Old Virus From Ice

BenJeremy Has anybody asked.... (121 comments)

...what could possibly go wrong? Because, that simply can't be asked too many times, right?

Ugh.

It will actually turn out that this virus will simultaneously cure cancer and all known diseases in humans. They'll call it the Ponce de Leon infection as it also stops and even reverses the effects of old age, and will result in a sharp drop in mortality rates and a rapid increase in population.

Eventually, the Earth's population of humans will outstrip its ability to support them.

Then the real carnage begins.

about a month and a half ago
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Google Fiber Pondering 9 New Metro Areas

BenJeremy Google will get to you... by 2354A.D. (172 comments)

What pisses me off is that Google goes to areas that are already well serviced by other vendors, and taking FOREVER to roll out. At this rate, they'll manage 10% coverage in the US by the turn of the next century.

about 2 months ago
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HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack"

BenJeremy Re:Um.. Please Explain (573 comments)

Abstracting functionality across different hardware platforms is still not a hack. If different algorithms need to be used to get the same results on different browsers, it is still not a hack in the definition of the term. I guess if you want to be lazy in your use of the term, it can be described as just about anything... but no, it's not actually a hack. It's a bit sad that the precision of technical language has deteriorated so much in the internet age.

I described hacks. Hacks are unconventional workarounds that effectively break the standards/restrictions of whatever medium you are working in to achieve a goal. Exploits are a hack, using functions completely contrary to their purpose, in an effort to accomplish something the system is not supposed to accomplish (for example, causing a buffer overrun that in turn triggers code to operate at a higher privilege level). One might hack a hardware system by crossing specific wires. We might patch compiled binary code to overcome the limitations imposed by the original author's design. A hack might employ a combination of features on a hardware chip to exceed its capabilities.

jQuery.js is a collection of routines... some of them have quite a bit of code behind them to perform standard tasks that have to be done in completely different ways between two platforms. This is not a hack. It's just more javascript code. That javascript code is not doing anything that the javascript compiler or the DOM for that browser platform isn't allowing them to do. It might fall back to a safe failure mode.... but it isn't magically executing low-level assembly to re-write how the browser works or renders. In some cases, it is just unifying the misguided approaches two different browser development teams interpreted some ambiguous HTML or Javascript specification.

Now... I suppose the OP could just have written code specific to the Panasonic's implementation, but why bother? If he writes jQuery, he can easily port that code... or use other people's code. A good developer tries to not write more code than they have to... design is the important part. We don't build new car models every year with completely new wheels engineered for them, do we? Likewise, there is a WEALTH of javascript code out there and a lot of it works with jQuery. Why should he spend an extra few weeks creating custom code for the Panasonic's platform if he doesn't have to? Worse... why should he forgo leveraging other code that might use jQuery as a base? That's not using a hack, it's using a LIBRARY.

about 2 months ago
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HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack"

BenJeremy Re:Um.. Please Explain (573 comments)

What is being hacked? What exploit is required to make jQuery.js operate? How does it modify the javascript language to work?

jQuery.js is just a library of script routines designed to make a javascript programmer's life easier, like every other library out there, whether it's for C++, ActionScript, C# or assembler. It's not a binary... it is a collection of javascript functions.

Calling it a hack seems a bit ignorant of what hacks are. I've written hacks... patched XBox XDK libraries so I could get my Media X Menu to access extra hard drives in the system... interrupt routines loaded from DATA statements on my old C=64 that allowed me to display more sprites on screen than the hardware was supposed to display, or to do cool things with the borders. I've written multi-tasking kernels with assembler interspersed with the C code so I could directly access or manipulate hardware in embedded systems. Those are hacks.

At worst, you might call jQuery.js a kluge... but even then, jQuery.js works pretty well and doesn't require you to jump through hoops when making small changes (which kluges tend to do). ...so it's a library. A handy collection of useful routines developers can leverage so they do not have to write all that code again. Nothing more.

about 2 months ago
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Why Games Should Be In the Public Domain

BenJeremy Re:Yeah.. (360 comments)

Well, 10 years is fine, maybe a bit longer, but more importantly, 'supporting works' should be submitted with the government to maintain the copyright... in other words, software source code would have to be submitted to the government and kept in the Library of Congress, made available when the copyright expires.

Let's call this a measure to protect the heritage of technology.

The side issue is trademarks. I don't have a problem with trademarks not expiring (i.e., nobody could make a Mickey Mouse movie, though the copyright might have expired on Steamboat Willie, for example).

In that light, you'd be able to, say, use Duke Nukem code to make a new game after the copyright expires, but you wouldn't be able to make money on the Duke Nukem character. The repository would give open source a boost, though there would be problems with the tools themselves.

I think the copyright period should be extended if the work is receiving "active and significant" support - i.e. the application or game is receiving regular enhancements and not abandoned.

about 2 months ago
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Midwestern Fault Zones Are Still Alive

BenJeremy No kidding? (115 comments)

Seriously, who writes this stuff? I remember a minor earthquake we had in Michigan in the mid-80s. Why would they suddenly stop? Geological activity occurs over geological time scales, which is to say, thousands, even millions of years.

about 3 months ago
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Great Firewall of UK Blocks Game Patch Because of Substring Matches

BenJeremy Experts Exchange (270 comments)

Reminds me of a time when I went to access expertsexchange.com on the job, to get a quick solution to a coding issue I was having, back around 2000... the web filter classified it as "sexually oriented" and it took me a minute to realize how the name had parsed out.

You can now get to the site via experts-exchange.com, though it is far less useful these days.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Suggestions For a Simple Media Server?

BenJeremy TVMobili DLNA Server (420 comments)

I've been using TVMobili on a Kubuntu machine I have set up as a media server. It's not free... you can pay a one-time fee of $30 or $1.50 per month - but you can try it out first, to see if you like it. I've found it just works for everything I've thrown at it, I mostly use it for playback on my Samsung plasma smart TV (AllShare feature), handling MKVs, MP4s without a hitch, as well as the usual formats and containers. It can also do transcoding, and it has a web interface (My server sits in our basement).

I have streamed to iOS and Android devices, too (with the right media player clients).

about 3 months ago
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Steam Controller Hands-on

BenJeremy SteamOS now supports... (138 comments)

...AMD GPUs, apparently. I haven't tried it yet, but I've been waiting to get it set up on a gaming rig I built for our living room.

about 3 months ago
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What Would It Cost To Build a Windows Version of the Pricey New Mac Pro?

BenJeremy Hard to believe (804 comments)

Why do I think they ordered those parts from the most expensive sources possible?

about 4 months ago
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Putting a Panic Button In Smartphone Users' Hands

BenJeremy Liability (175 comments)

Who wants to be the first developer to get sued when your program doesn't dial 911 (perhaps because there is no signal)? Who wants to be the first developer sued because it got the location wrong?

Way too much liability potential. IT is too important a thing to mess up, and you can bet that something will mess up eventually, and the developer will be blamed, regardless of whether or not they are actually responsible.

about 4 months ago
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Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

BenJeremy Re:Good... alternatives are better (314 comments)

Just a quick note... sugar cane ethanol costs about US$0.22 per liter to produce in Brazil, or about US$0.83/gallon.

IF E85 was less than $2/gallon, it would be viable to use, but since E85 has about 80% of the mileage rating as "regular" gasoline, I think it has to be even cheaper per mile to buy, since I am trading fuel range as well for the cheaper biofuel alternative. I might be willing to make more gas station stops for cheaper gas.

The last time I calculated it, it was still more expensive per mile to buy and use E85 in my car.

about 4 months ago
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Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

BenJeremy Good... alternatives are better (314 comments)

Switchgrass, Sugar Cane, and Hemp all provide more sustainable, easier-to-convert alternatives to creating ethanol, which, even with the subsidy, was more expensive per mile to operate vehicles with when made using corn.

These alternatives cost about 30% less to convert and are easier to grow.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Adobe trolls slick dealers

BenJeremy BenJeremy writes  |  about a year ago

BenJeremy (181303) writes "This morning, lots of bargain hunters awoke to great news: Adobe was offering their Creative Suite 2 for free, just for registering an Adobe account! Download links and serial numbers on Adobe's web site seemed to confirm the news, as "hot deal" sites and even Forbes published the news. The plug was pulled a few hours later as horrified Adobe employees discovered they had inadvertently exposed a web page intended to help Adobe customers (who were already licensed) deal with activation servers that Adobe shut down on December 15.

One would hope Adobe would simply say "we meant to do that, here you go, have fun with the old version of Creative Suite and consider purchasing a newer version" but it doesn't look like they will do that."

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