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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

Brulath Re:Finally some HONESTY (295 comments)

So reduce the number of regulations and taxes that taxis are subject to and suddenly they'll be able to deliver the same service as Uber but even more reliable. The taxi drivers seem to be complaining about the unfair advantage that the Uber drivers have, so you either subject the Uber drivers, who certainly fall into the definition of "taxi", to regulation or you deregulate taxis.

I assume there's some good reasons behind most, but probably not all, of the regulations affecting taxis, so why would we want to allow some subset of drivers to bypass those but not others?

I'd personally prefer the route of all of them being subject to the taxi regulations, but those regulations being eased in areas where they might have grown absurd.

4 days ago
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AMD Offers a Performance Boost, Over 20 New Features With Catalyst Omega Drivers

Brulath Re:Babble (73 comments)

The rendering at higher resolution then down-scaling without the game being aware of it is a pretty dreadful idea, you're just going to get tiny interfaces in most games or, as apparently pictured, a massive field of view which makes it harder to see smaller details. Microsoft's DirectX12 (or was it 11?) for mobile devices allows you to render the game world at higher or lower resolution and the interface at native, then merges them when displaying it; requires hardware support, apparently, but that seems like the best approach to scaling.

I'll this seems like the introduction of Eyefinity/Surround/Stereoscopic 3D/hardware PhysX. They'd be cool if games supported them properly, but since each implementation is different (and they have to wrestle with the Windows display system) it becomes easier to just ignore them. You're only likely to find Eyefinity/Surround in racing games, and physx where nVidia has paid to add it. The chances of many games going to the effort of supporting an upscaling hack seem pretty low.

about a week ago
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Microsoft's New Windows Monetization Methods Could Mean 'Subscriptions'

Brulath Re:Maybe they should focus on... (415 comments)

Maybe 100MB is its upper limit and it'll auto-prune older entries to keep its own file size in check? Most hard drives these days can afford to spend a bit of space on logging if it helps you recover from a problem later on.

about a week ago
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Tao3D: a New Open-Source Programming Language For Real-Time 3D Animations

Brulath Where is IF-THEN-ELSE more verbose than that? (158 comments)

Defining if-then-else is literally a couple of lines of code.

I'm curious, when is the definition of a content-free if-then-else statement more than a couple of lines? A random line from a .ddd template (end of file) in their source code seems to indicate they're using an if( <condition> ) then block with no attached end statement, with whitespace presumably being meaningful (though in the sample I linked the indenting doesn't seem to be very consistent at the end). This seems like an odd thing to boast.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Enters the Wearables Market With 'Band'

Brulath Re:Device looking for a use case (135 comments)

I think you're incorrectly assuming they're supposed to be primarily a watch. These devices track your approximated movement, location, and, most importantly, heart rate (resting HR is one of the best measures of your fitness). That allows you to get a pretty decent overview of your health and which direction it's trending in over time. Alone, not necessarily very useful after the honeymoon period is over. But when folk figure out ways to use that to effectively motivate people to get better it'll be pretty revolutionary.

They have displays so they can show more detailed information about what they're tracking, but I suspect it'd be a mistake to assume people would be buying them primarily for the watch functionality. They're all a crap watches, but they're awesome fitness trackers.

about a month and a half ago
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The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

Brulath Re:Just keep it off the servers.... (347 comments)

... and no, searching for everything is NOT a solution. ...

This may be a stupid question, but why not? I've found pressing win+q and typing "proxy" then enter opening the proxy settings to be significantly faster than attempting to navigate to them manually. Win+Q and "event" is a fairly speedy way to get to the event viewer, though Win+X then V is probably faster. Searching for settings seems significantly easier than attempting to determine which sub-menu item/icon they placed a command under.

I'd argue that searching for everything is a good thing, but not all implementations are up to scratch. They can improve that, though, and have over a year before release, so there's still time to report the search terms that don't do what you expect (if you're ever bored enough to bother doing free testing for them – which is the problem).

about 2 months ago
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Data From Windows 10 Feedback Tool Exposes Problem Areas

Brulath Re:Too many issues to count (147 comments)

Its release date is in 2015, right? It's probably extremely safe to assume they'll change something else in the intervening 14 months. It's just a preview, after all, so I'm going to take a wild stab and guess that nothing is particularly locked down yet.

about 2 months ago
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Diners Tend To Eat More If Their Companions Are Overweight

Brulath Is the reverse true? (126 comments)

If the reverse is true, which seems fairly likely, there'll be an equilibrium at some point. If that point is overweight for both persons, it'd be interesting to which trend continued (assuming fat people eat less around slimmer people). I guess they'll publish more papers exploring the other combinations of people in the future.

about 2 months ago
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Diners Tend To Eat More If Their Companions Are Overweight

Brulath Re:Fat suit ? (126 comments)

I assume they wanted to control for facial attractiveness, for whatever that's worth.

about 2 months ago
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Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

Brulath Re:Memory doesn't cost that much. (264 comments)

User experience is probably pretty key; people will buy the cheapest SD cards they can find (despite some people buying their iPhones up-front, most get them 'free' with plans and like the 'cheap' route). Without some sort of quality control on the cards you could get some pretty dodgy performance. It seems Tom's Hardware did some performance testing of them a while ago, with the slowest random write being 25x slower than the fastest and the slowest random read being 4x slower than the fastest. Those are some pretty large differences.

about 3 months ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

Brulath Re:Winning the lottery (545 comments)

They may be brilliant, but Windows 8 (and I assume 9) has hidden them and basically deprecated the idea. They exist, and work, but they aren't made visible in the file browser by default.

about 3 months ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

Brulath Re:Nothing Useful (545 comments)

Windows 8 had a bunch of back-end upgrades that would be incorporated into Windows 9 and that you would be missing by running Windows 7. They probably won't be night and day, but native USB 3.0 support, DirectX12+ (I think Win7 doesn't get it?), file history, and powershell 4, amongst other things, might be useful.

The shell changes are interesting. The only Metro apps I use are Reader, because it scrolls much more smoothly than Adobe/foxit ever did for me, and Weather, because it's less typing than looking up a website. Having them not take the whole screen will be nice.

about 3 months ago
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Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

Brulath Re:Welcome to Australia, Ferengi. (139 comments)

Most of the complaints about pricing in Australia are around digital products, where there are apparently no protections outside the ability to return it if it doesn't work. That can't justify the 50-100% price increase on digital goods. You're correct that the increased price of things like e.g. Apple products is most likely due to them having to provide actual service without you paying extra, but that isn't what a lot of us are complaining about. A few years ago it was cheaper to take a flight to America and buy Adobe software then fly back than it was to buy it in Australia, despite gaining zero additional protections for it outside of a return if it doesn't work (which is fairly unlikely, depending on your definition of "doesn't work").

about 4 months ago
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Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

Brulath Re:Welcome to Australia, Ferengi. (139 comments)

It's pretty straight forward, if it breaks within the expected tolerances and lifetime that the average consumer would expect, and is critical to the operation of the device, they must repair, replace, or refund it. If it's a major fault that would've prevented its purchase in the first place, they must refund. If it costs over either $10,000 or $40,000 (I don't recall which off-hand, as it's rarely relevant) then it falls under different warranties, but anything under those is protected.

It basically says "buyer beware" is bullshit and sellers are responsible for providing quality products, not misleading people into buying crappy ones. Though you can still provide crappy products that work just well enough to not be considered broken - they're usable, at least.

about 4 months ago
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The Evolution of Diet

Brulath Re:ha! Inuit diet. Hazda diet. (281 comments)

The foods our ancestors consumed don't really exist anymore. No, really, that broccoli you're eating didn't exist back in their times, and the ancestor of the broccoli plant that they ate bears little resemblance to the vegetable today. They didn't eat fatty cuts of meat, they ate super-lean meat when they could catch it. They didn't eat onion and garlic fried in olive (or coconut) oil. If they found carrots, they weren't anywhere near as large, sweet, or nutrient-rich as the ones you buy in a supermarket. Here's an archaeologist talking about it.

So given that we can't eat the diet our ancestors consumed, why discount an enormous range of foods that we have created because some others we have created (through very selective breeding) evoke some "natural" ideal? It's not difficult to argue that eating excessive quantities of deep-fried starchy food is bad for you, but that's not cause to throw out grainy breads as well. You can try arguing that coconut oil is good for you, but there isn't enough research on the subject available to conclusively decide one way or the other yet - or we would've decided already.

The argument that you can eat "what we evolved to eat" is an appeal to nature, essentially. It's not possible to eat what we ate 150,000 years ago without putting a lot of effort into finding some really crappy meals. Paleo is a fad diet which may not be harmful, but its rules are as arbitrary as any others.

about 4 months ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

Brulath It's pretty hard to roll back automated updates (304 comments)

I hadn't realised it was an update which caused the error, so when I finally resorted to system restore it just auto-updated immediately and broke again. At which point a second System Restore decided it would fail to modify a file and thus refused to work. Four hours later, I had to format to get Windows back.

One thing I learned: Disable fast boot, if it's enabled, on your Windows machine (powercfg -h off will disable hibernation entirely). Apparently a Ubuntu boot dvd cannot mount an NTFS partition with write enabled if a hiberfile.sys is present (apparently windows leaves its mounts active and stored in said file, so modifying the file system would cause problems). You can mount it as read-only and get your data, but if you run into a problem that could be fixed by modifying or deleting files then you're out of luck if fast boot is enabled and the action required cannot be performed from the windows boot environment (you can't disable fast boot from it, the required services aren't loaded).

Your startup time will be a little slower, but you might just save that time if something ever goes wrong with your Windows install and system restore fails.

about 4 months ago
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Valve Discloses Source 2 Engine In Recent DOTA 2 Update

Brulath Re:About bloody time (97 comments)

All it has is reasonably decent physics and facial animation. (the former being very hacky at best. you can destroy the game so easily by doing even simple things, like giving something 0 weight, cool impossible division bro)

Branching on the scenario of an object having zero mass in a physics simulation would be a waste, surely? The probability of someone wanting to create something in a physics simulation for a game with a mass of zero is pretty low. Workaround with similar impact is to give it a mass of 1 and call it a day. That's not a problem a player would ever encounter nor most developers, seems like a pretty weak example.

Even the modding wasn't that good. Most of them were poor quality and the only really good ones either never came out, came out after all the hype died down, or got abandoned in a buggy state. Damn shame. So many good mods got left to rot from this supposed "godsend" to modders. (hey, at least it isn't UDK2, holy shit that UI, how could they have lived with such an obtuse and inflexible UI?!) I think Black Mesa is about the only really thing that kept the dream alive.

Mods have came out and hit it big, like Gary's Mod, and others have failed. That's not an indictment of the engine, but of the teams doing the modding that couldn't meet their ambitions. Sure, the engine definitely doesn't make it easy for them compared to e.g. Unity3D, but it's a decade old now; I don't think judging the engine based on what random people are doing with it today, whilst using the past tense, is fair. Valve have made some awesome games with it, so it can be done.

about 4 months ago
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Inside the Facebook Algorithm Most Users Don't Even Know Exists

Brulath Re:Because (130 comments)

You can, but it isn't the default and I'd wager that most users don't know the option exists. So they have to implement filtered news feeds to deal with the users that like everything / friend everyone.

about 4 months ago
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Inside the Facebook Algorithm Most Users Don't Even Know Exists

Brulath Re:Bubbles (130 comments)

Which, if you're eating with someone else, tends to prevent any kind of conversation. Conversation at dinner is good; it causes you to eat more slowly and it makes you a bit more aware that you're eating, as opposed to being engrossed in the television and mowing through dinner. Both of those help limit food intake, and conversation helps promote a bit of family interaction that might otherwise be lacking.

That and you don't have to think about the latest Paris Hilton replacement because you hear about it every night.

about 4 months ago
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How Google Handles 'Right To Be Forgotten' Requests

Brulath Re:Try to make me forget. (135 comments)

The Streisand Effect is quite overrated; I have serious doubts that even one percent of cases would actually invoke it, and suspect the fraction is even smaller than that. Same goes for 4chan and, actually, the news media in general; they find a couple of things and blow those up into huge scandals using creative storytelling, and let the rest slip past.

The Streisand Effect and 4chan are risks, but they're so unpredictable that it's probably not worth considering them as much of a factor in your decision to try and hide information.

about 4 months ago

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