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Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

DrYak Newtonian physics works (178 comments)

Newtonian physics looks kind of logical. It's completely wrong, but plenty of decisions are based on it. Despite that we know is wrong

It's not *completely* wrong.
In fact back then when it was discovered, it was experimentally proven to work within the parameters which were tested.

The reason it was used then and is still used now is that within this range of parameters, it still works. For everyday use, what newtonian predicts is within what is observed. That's a precise enough model.

What happened is that scientists started to consider much more extreme paramters range (higher energy, faster speed). At that point, newtonian physics breaks down. Does it mean that all the past results were wrong ? No it simply means that it's a model which is only works within a certain range of parameter (it's good for everyday use - you car) if you need to consider parameters outside this range (space ships, planets) you need a better model (general relativity, etc.)

Note:
- with Newtonian physics we speak about a physicis model. About a model that's used to approximate real-world events. This kind of things only get experimental proof (prediction fits the measured data or not). And will eventually get superseded by a better model which works better including for some corner cases or at higher range, smaller scales, etc. (String theory and such were born as a tentative at a better model than the dichotomy between relativity and quantum mechanics).

- with TFA: it's a bout a *mathematical proof* that 2 different models are really actually the same stuff just expressed in different ways. Take one model, tweak the equations, and you should obtain the other model. It doesn't speak about the quality of the models themselves, just the mathematical links between them.
(I fact, the quantum mechanics model has its limitation - what you call "wrong" and what I call "use it only within the range of value where it works the best.
QM works best at predict very small scale phenomena (particles, waves, etc.). QM completely sucks at being useful for anything at the other end of the scale: QM is a piece of shit for astronomy. And vice versa: relativity is good when you consider stars, useless when you consider particles. 2 models, each best at a different scale. And strings being a possible future model that could simultaneously work at both scales.). ...but usually, when you have a newer model, that is better experimentally, you usually also need to find a mathematical "link" between the two, an explanation why the old model used to work and only got contradicted in your experiment.
e.g.: take the relativity equations, and use them to compute the motion of your car - the level of energy and speed are so small, that all the "weird parts" of relativity can be approximated and rounded to 0, what remains ends up looking exactly like newtonian physics. Newtonions physicics are the same, simply with the relativity parts neglected, because they don't play any significant role at that scale.

Science constantly bases decisions on kinda logical principles until those principles are proven to be wrong.

Newtonian physics looks "kind of logic" because it's a model designed and tested and proven to predict a range of events (reasonable speed, low energy, human-size scale instead of particles, etc.) which happens to match what our monkey-brain have evolved to cope with.
(our ancestrors never had to think about nuclear bombs, supernovae, tunnel effect in electronics, etc.)
That's also why it got discovered first (we didn't first invent relativistic physics and the newtonian as handy simplified formula for some type of problems), because that's what was easiest for our monkey-brain to think about.

yesterday
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Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

DrYak Science, bitches, that's *how* it works! (178 comments)

"wave-particle duality is simply the quantum uncertainty principle" gets a "no shit" straight away from me, though I guess a rigorous proof of it is kind of news.

That's how science work. You don't base your decision on the mere principle that it more or less looks kind of logical.
(After all, it only looks "kind of logical" to your *brain*, which has spent the last few million years being optimized to help bipedal monkey survive together in the savanah. Actual science can some time feel "weird" and defy logic, because it defies the monkey-brain logic. - e.g.: the sum of all positive integer is a negative fraction)

You do thoroughly prove that by the numbers.
Yes, the double-slit experiment (where single particle behave like waves) strongly suggest that the uncertainty principle is at work (there's not *a signle photon* going through the slits, it's instead a function showing the distribution of the probabilities to pick it up at a certain place).
Now, we have mathematical proof that's indeed the case.

Science: the only place where it's actually correct to spend the time and mental ressource to formally prove that water *is* wet, and fire *does* burn. Because, along the way, you develop mathematical tools which come handy to do more advanced science.

yesterday
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Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

DrYak Different jurisdiction (137 comments)

If I own a car located in Sweden, and I'm a US citizen in the US, arrested in the US... can the court compel me to make arrangements to produce for the court something in that car's glove box? I don't actually know...could one? Its not entirely unreasonable to speculate that they could make that demand and then hold me in contempt if I refused to make that arrangement.

Depends on what is the car's glove box.

- If it's something that Sweden doesn't give a damn about (some trivial object), well you could produce it for the court, and the court might be unhappy if you refuse to produce it and actively make obstruction (if the court offer to send a swedish cop to retrieve the object and you refuse to give the key your are kindly asked to provide them, you're the problem)

BUT

- If it's something that is illegal to export out of the country according to Swedish or EU law (weapon, endangered specie, nuclear fuel, etc.), then you CANNOT LEGALLY produce it to the court. What the court is asking you is illegal in Sweden. If you do it anyway, you're going to have big problems with a Swedish court.

According to you, it is also the legal property of Microsoft US. They don't need to compel the Irish to do anything. They can (arguably) simply compel the US entity in their jurisdiction to summon its own property.

Sorry, no. They can't. It's not legal in EU countries (and a few other europeans countries) to move private data around without consent.

Microsoft US cannot summon data in Ireland, without the explicit consent of the data owner. If they move the data anyway, they can be sued in Ireland for it.

While in a foreign country, you cannot commit a crime (under that country's law), even if it's your home country asking for you.
(Otherwise, spying would be entirely legal: because it was done on the order of the spy's home country).

It is also subject to the orders of its owner, what with it being property and all. So as long a Microsoft US doesn't demand that it do something illegal by Irish law, it has to do whatever Microsoft US tells it to do.

But moving private data around without the owner's consent *IS* illegal in most EU and other european countries.

What the US court asks *IS* illegal in Ireland.
and the US court HAS NO power in Ireland. They are giving orders out of their jurisdiction.

If so, this boils down to can a court compel a property owner to direct his property to do something (such as forward a document in that properties possession), even if the property happens to be in another country? (one could also substitute "property" for "slave" in that sentence... and

When looked at like that, its not really ridiculous at all.

Except forwarding that document is absolutely illegal in Ireland.

It works better if you substitute "slave" in that sentence: What if there is no slavery in that country ?! What if all humans are considered free?

This is not a case of a court making demands directly of an Irish citizen; which is the possible strawman you erected.

No, but the data happens to be in Ireland, not in the US. Irish and EU law apply there. Nobody gives a damn shit about US there. Exporting the data IS illegal.

Again let's change the details. Let's take some Extremist / totalitarian government. The goverment asks one of its citizen to assassinate a target (that etremist / totalitarian regime has law that make this request legally binding and mandatory). The citizen then travels to US, and shoots the target: an innocent US citizen - who happen to have angered the government with some publication.
Is the assissnation legal, even if it was ordered according to the law of the extremist government? No, because that government has no jurisdiction in the US. In the US, US-law apply, and you are not allowed to shoot random inocent people, just because some other random dude accross the globe gave you an order.

Same situation here. Data is Ireland. Irish and EU law does apply. Law says that it's illegal to export data without owner's consent. Microsoft can't give it to US, even if US courts orders to.

This is the case of a court making demands of a US corporation. The nature of that demand is that the US corporation in turn compel its own property in Ireland to do its bidding.

It might seem equivalent in the end, but they are NOT the same thing. For example there is no way the courts in the USA can compel ME to do anything because I am not in the USA, nor am I the legal property of any entity in the USA.

And juste like you're out of US' jurisdiction, so is the data in Ireland, according to local laws.

3 days ago
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Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

DrYak Different country... (137 comments)

A person defies a valid court order? They're arrested and in jail for contempt of court.

Unless that "court order" comes from a completely different country, and ask the person to do something which is absolutely illegal in the current country of that person.
Then the person can laugh and throw the court order in the trash can. (But depending on the "completely different country" 's law, the person's car which was left back there could be seized and destroyed as a retribution).

That's exactly the situation here: A court in the *USA* issues an order to search data in *Ireland*.
No US court has any power to order whatever in the EU. They cannot force anyone in Ireland to do anything. They have no power here.
Not only that, but strict EU laws about data privacy make it *illegal* to do what the US court ask in any country of the EU (and a few other non-EU European countries). If anyone in Ireland were to do what the US asked, they would be thrown in jail for their illegal activities.

Now the court wants to harm Microsoft-US, in retaliation because Microsoft-EU choose to abide to EU-laws and not do what the US court told them to do.

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

DrYak Not exactly (295 comments)

instead listens to ordinary people who exercise their democratic voice.

Well, not exactly.

"Exercising a democratic yell on a megaphone" would be the appropriate way to describe the French way.
The small group which manage to piss off the most people is the one to obtain the attention.
Instead of having the most rich bully being at the top, you have the most annoying one.

Meanwhile, just on the other side of a border, you have countries like switzerland with a real direct democracy.
As in "it's the people who actually decide and have a final word on everything".
Want to change something ? Instead of pouring money or pissing of people, you just gather the necessary amount of signatures, and then you can submit your law propostion for voting. If it passes voting you law is passed and is enforced.
ANYONE can do it, just gather the necessary amount of signatures to be able to submit for vote.

That's what I call "Exercising the democratic voice".

5 days ago
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Windows 10 To Feature Native Support For MKV and FLAC

DrYak Google (313 comments)

Apple, Amazon, google are never going to natively support it on thier devices.

Except that WebM, the format that Google has pushed, IS USING MKV as a container.

about three weeks ago
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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

DrYak "4:3" vs "4x3" (330 comments)

It's not 4:3, it's 1:1

Yes. And he was saying "4x3". As in "put 12 display in an array. 3 row of 4 screens each."
You end up with a giant wall, with 4:3 aspect ratio (as each tile is square).

Then you buy 132 more displays, arrange them in 16 columns of 9 (16x9) and you can cover a building's facade with your very own 16:9 tiled jumbo diplay in LD ("ludicrous definition") and create an open-air cinema with your neightbours

But, as he mentionned, driving 144 display tiles in total is going to be a little bit complicated.
(5 display max per Radeon card. 4 Radeon cards per motherboard. 20 displays per PC Tower. You could probably driver 2 tiles per display port using splitters like matrox is down, so you need 1 PC tower per 40 tiles. So at least 4 bit PC towers to drive all this).

But totally worth so you and your neighbours can together brag about being the first "Ludicruous Definition" cinema of the city (256x the resolution of Ultra HD).

about a month ago
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Human Clinical Trials To Begin On Drug That Reverses Diabetes In Animal Models

DrYak Theory (140 comments)

You would effectively starve to death within a year of symptoms showing up, regardless of how much you ate. (IIRC, actual starvation could prevent/slow the progress in some way)

Well from a purely theoretical point of view:
it could be possible to survive on a low-carb diet, eating only proteins and fats and avoiding sugar completely.
Basically, eating only steak and salad, never bread.
(The kind of diet that bodybuilders use).

In that situation the body obtains most of its energy by burning fat and maintains blood sugar levels by gluconeogenesis.
(This metabolic regime consumes some proteins, hence the increase need of meat to avoid starvation).

But it's complicated to get correctly.
Compensating the Type 1's lack of insulin is much simpler.

That's what some think early human diet looked like before agriculture (the theory basis behind the paleo diet).
That's also used by body builders to burn fat (as mentionned above).
Before insulin that was the only way to keep Type 1 diabetics alive.
It was also recently been mentionned as a insuline-free alternative treatment. Was mentionned on /. recently.

about a month and a half ago
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Zuckerberg: Most of Facebook Will Be Video Within Five Years

DrYak Instagram (206 comments)

I think it's not so much that no one cares as that decent video calls require more infrastructure than a phone. The camera needs to be steady, lighting needs to be good, sound isolation needs to be good... all in all, video calls work much better from a laptop sitting on a desk in an office, or better yet in a conference room with dedicated video-conferencing equipment.

And some goes for most other forms of video.
Making a decent video clip instead of just quickly recording something with a camera phone, is difficult.
Much more than putting some effort into a photo.

Until some startup finds a way to do the video equivalent of Instagram (i.e.: making it easy to create nice video clips) video won't be a major communication medium.

about a month and a half ago
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New NXP SoC Gives Android Its Apple Pay

DrYak (Ref) (122 comments)

I mean, for fuck's sake: hackers have been able to deduce GPG private key by reading signals leaking out of a compute. Noise. Captured by a smartphone's mic.

Ref

about a month and a half ago
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New NXP SoC Gives Android Its Apple Pay

DrYak Welcome to SIGINT (122 comments)

If you think that some software sandboxing is the equivalent of a "secure enclave" chip in terms of secure-ness, you're sadly mistaken.

If you think that a "secure enclave" is really secure, when its implemented as a SEPARATE CORE ON THE SAME FUCKING SILICON, you really don't believe in SIGINT.
In a world where scientist have been able to guess GPG private key just by analysing signal.
Accoustic signals: Noise.
Over a smartphone's crappy mic.
(Ref).
Do you really think that a "secure" core on the same piece of silicon stands any chance?

about a month and a half ago
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New NXP SoC Gives Android Its Apple Pay

DrYak Equivalence (122 comments)

Functionnally: They are equivalent.
- In both case, it's a payment system, and supports NFC protocol so that you can pay wirelessly just buy putting the phone next to the payment machine.

Hardware-wise: They are not exactly the same.
- Google Wallet is just a generic payment system (like PayPal, etc.) In most phone, it's simply the OS (Android) being able to talk over NFC to the payment machine. It's up to the OS and Application to hangle security any way they choose (might or might not involve hardware - most implementation do not. But some smartphone did have some form of it).
- Apple's system specifically uses a separate piece of hardware: a TPM-like chip that is secured and hardened and holds the actual banking information (which never leaves the chip). Security is by definition handled by the specific chip.The whole systems works like a wireless credit-card with a smartphone bolted next to it, the smartphone being able to act as a GUI to the credit card, but the card handling the transaction themselves.
Some Android Smartphone did in fact work exactly like that. (Had a dedicated chip which was more or less a micro credit card, which handled the NFC talk it self and the smartphone merely interfacing with the card).
- NXP is a vendor of chip that makes hardware components for payment. They've worked on Apple's chip. They are now selling this chip for android smartphone manufacturers too.

Apple's emphasis is on security: They want their "dedicated non-hackable credit-card-on-a-chip" approach.
Google's emphasis is on making the technology available everywhere. High end phone will have a chip, low-end phone will simply emulate a virtual credit card by having a piece of software talk over NFC. But it's going to be available as widely as possible.

From a security point of view:
Meh.
Google's idea isn't the most secure ever: it rellies on the OS being good at correctly isolating and sandboxing apps. But bugs happen.
Apple's idea isn't perfect either. In theory, a separate piece of hardware is easier to make tamper proof. In practice, it's just a subpart of the same piece of silicon as the rest of the system (they are SoC. System-on-chip. Nearly the whole modern smartphone is a single chip) hacker are bound to find a way to leak sensitive data (I mean, for fuck's sake: hackers have been able to deduce GPG private key by reading signals leaking out of a compute. Noise. Captured by a smartphone's mic. If they can steal your crypto just by listening caps singing over a crappy mic, do you really think that a core on the same piece of silicon is isolated enough ?!)

about a month and a half ago
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Tracking a Bitcoin Thief

DrYak Will they ? (64 comments)

So what? Since there's no central authority to block transactions or seize funds they'll simply be passed around until any relation with the crime is meaningless with almost everybody in the transaction chain is blissfully unaware that somewhere they were stolen.

Will they pass them around? Enough to blur any relation ship? In a secure way that never leaks any identity?
(oops, one of the exchange I sent money to managed to record my IP address. No matter how much I keep mixing downstream, part of identity are leaked here)

Remember that they have adversaries like government who (as recently proven for the NSA, for example) have quite a few ressources.
A single policeman might not be able to pull enough data and analysis.
But if goverment suspects that some big danger as possible ("pedo-terrorist pirates!" threat, or more realistically: juicy corporate spying opportunities :-P ) and decides to throw ressources at it, tracking might be achievable.

It's not impossible for the thief to manage to get out un-identified. But it requires being particuliarly smart.

Imagine if cash was that way, every time the grocery store tried to despoit money at the bank the bank would say "oh no, this and that bill came from a gas station robbery two years ago so we'll return it to the gas station and deduct it from your deposit.

Cash *does* function this way (a bit): bills have serial numbers. Of the grocery stores deposits a bill with a known serial number on it, police might show up the next day asking for the CCTV suveraillance tapes, because that serial number happens to be a bill passed through the hands of known drug kingpin/terrorist/pedophily ring leader/etc. do it enough with enough of such incidents, and you might get a vague idea of the identity of the people you're looking for.
Unless the criminals have been absolutely perfect in their laundering and have managed to never leak any info (i.e.: by the time the known bill are flagged, they're in the hand of complete random strangers).

Google for "Ransom bill reappear" type of news reports.

about 2 months ago
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Tracking a Bitcoin Thief

DrYak Mass analysis (64 comments)

1 single transaction tracked ? Yes, you mostly get just 1 other bitcoin wallet.

Massively track thousands of such transaction? (that's beyond the capabilities of a small budget research team. But that's well within the capabilities of any decent government) And correlate them with "end-point transaction" (transaction that can be traced to a real-world identity: buying something from an e-shop using bitcoins and ordering it delivered to an address) ?
then, if the tracked person isn't using an insanely high number of "tumbler/mixers" (i.e.: laundering) or moving it in-and-out of tons of exchanges (basically also a form of mixing), you might find some correlation:
aka "a significant number of these BTC have transited to these wallets all mapped to the same real-world address/person"
that is not enough to warrant an arrest, but that is enough to put these real-world persons with the shortest "path" to the tracked transaction on a suspects list for further investigation by classical police work.

(Saddly, often government don't have such concepts of "suspect list". Very often such unsure statistical result won't be used as a "hunch" but will get you put on the "no fly list" and such)

That's why bitcoin protocol is considered "pseudonymous" and not "anonymous".
That's also why we need to have:
- law against data-collection abuses (because someone brilliant in the NSA/CIA/etc. will definitely try to jail people on this base or at least put them on a "pedo watch list" without much tinking)
- better way to do anonymous transactions (optionnal tumblers/mixers for BTC, or alternate protocols that include provision for anonymity)

about 2 months ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

DrYak Workforce vs. number served (720 comments)

Currently, the way it's implemented in european country, McD doesn't use it to reduce workforce (you're still required to walk up to a clerk to retrieve your order).
McD uses it to accelerate it service and increase the "number served": by the time you finish typing your order and have confirmed, the order is already broadcast to employee's screen. By the time you finish paying and walk to the queue, your order is already ready.
This cuts drastically the waiting time, and european McD's use to cram more customer served per minutes.

In the long run such stategies won't neceessarily reduce the workforce that much, but on the other hand, they will be used to propel "fast food" to a whole new definition of "fast".
On the other hand, that will probably be quite alienating for the workforce: no more breaks between customers, no more small talk while ordering. Work experience is going to be Charlie Chaplin's "modern times"-style: read the screen, pack the bag, hand over the bag, as fast as possible and repeat so the next customer doesn't need to wait.

about 2 months ago
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Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

DrYak Good / Bad Idea (287 comments)

That's an idea which could be useful in theory.
(e.g.: Cars with drivers will still be able to display warning about red lights, speed limits, etc. based on the info broadcast by trafic signs)

But it has a few problems:

- The implementation will probably be botched. Expect the thing not being properly signed/authenticated, thus enabling malicious hackers to spoof information. (Similar to how hackers hijacked RDS-TMC and broadcast "bison crossing" in Germany a few year back on /. )

- Such system lacks a fail-safe option. A human might notice that a trafic light is off and will fall back to other driving behaviours. A robots might not realise that there is no emitting signal. (The robot can't see a missing emitter unlike a human who can notice a broken traffic light even without any light colour coming off). In some case it might be okay (missing traffic light: drivers are supposed to fall-back to priority-yield, which is probably the default behaviour of a robot when arriving at a crossing without signs), but it might be problematic in other case (a "danger ahead" sign with a broken emitter).

- Car insurance companies are going to abuse the shit out of this (cue in mandatory dongles that spy if you obey trafic signs. Of course driving dangerously and ignoring signs is bad. But violating privacy is bad too) At least european countries are a bit stricter regarding privacy.

about 2 months ago
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Google Adds USB Security Keys To 2-Factor Authentication Options

DrYak The way bank do it (121 comments)

The way some bank do it, is that the authification asker (a 2F-protected service provider) sends a signed/encrypted message, that the security token decodes/verifies/displays. That message can't be tampered with (cryptography).

So the token will display the message (something like "Authentication required to access GMail.com").
so if an attacker tries to intercept your credential by opening an actual google page in the background, you'll notice that what the thing pretends to be on screen and what the dongle register as an asker aren't the same.

The way to fool the user would be to try to look actually like the page you're trying to spoof. So an attacker needs to look like GMail, so the user thinks he's on Gmail, whereas actually it's a malware page maskarading as it and relying security tokens from the real Gmail.

Now the way that banks counter-act that, is that any critical action (payment, etc.) needs to be confirmed again by the security token system. So the theoretic man-in-the-middle can't inject payment for 10'000$ for his Cayman Islands account. Because every payment needs to be confirmed again. And the bank will issue confirmation message regarding transaction.
You'll notice if when paying a phone bill, the confirmation message instead is 10'000$ for Cayman Islands.

Overall, it works as if the security token is its very own separate device, designed to work over non-reliable non-trusty channel.

(The device doesn't implement a full TCP/IP stack. Most example device accepts only:
- a string of caracters as an input (i.e.: you need to type the last five digit of the account you need to send funds too. The bank will notice when you type the digit of your utility company, but the man-in-the-middle has tried to inject a cayman island account from your browser).
- a 2D flashing barcode to automate string input.
- for the most crazy solution: writing a string to file on a flash-disk, this flashdisk is shared with the security token's microcontroller.
Each time, the attack surface is very small. Only a short string of data is passed. You can't get much exploitable bugs.

For the output, only a string again:
- that you read and type from the token's screen.
- that the token can type on your behalf, communicating with a HID chip on the same device.
- the token can send it to a flash device that makes it visible inside a file.
Again, the security token it self is limited to send just a string. Very small attack surface. All the funny "stuff" are implemented outside, and thus very low risk of remote exploitability)

about 2 months ago
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Direct3D 9.0 Support On Track For Linux's Gallium3D Drivers

DrYak Again fixed pipe (55 comments)

Again, there's a reason why Glide wrapper tend to target OpenGL 1/2 instead of 3/4.

Glide is fixed pipe.
Glide and the other APIs back then (DirectX 7, OpenGL 1/2, etc.) where about just painting plain triangles. Paint triangle with tips at vertex v1,v2,v3 using texture T1, optionally a second texture T2 as lightmap (and for the few architecture that did have it: using a third texture T3 as a bump map).
That's it.
For any pixel on the screen, the only thing the hardware is capable of is geting 2 or 3 textures (interpolating them and mipmaping them), and combine these 3 texture in a hardware specific and fixed way.

Modern APIs (OpenGL 3/4, DirectX 9, and 10/11, Mantle) are all about programmable shader. For any pixel on the screen, you run a small program (a kernel in mathematics) which can do pretty much anything you want. You can ask the hardware to draw pretty much anything you want. You could even ask the hardware to draw a mandelbrot set (I've done that).
Your modern API relies on a back-end that export the functionality of these general-purpose highly parallel processor that are GPU (Gallium3D is exactly such a back-end. DirectX 11, Mantle, and OpenGL Next are API that promise to stay as close as possible to this low level) (and OpenCL is a way to make this available for other kind of general purpose computing). On top of it, it has a high level API that still works in a highly customisable way: you write shaders that will combine several texture in the way the artist would need (including effects like occlusion mapping, translucent and sub-surface scattering, etc.) and the API converts these mid- high-level shaders and texture accesses, into lower level kernels and memory access to generate whatever is needed on the screen, no matter how complex the maths behind are. (remember: a Mandelbrot set is perfectly doable, even if completely useless).

That's also why DirectX state tracker makes a bit sense: DirectX is supposed to be a little bit less high-level on the abstraction scale than OpenGL. It's better to DirectX-to-Gallium3D (would be like translating C into assembler as a regular compiler), rather than DirectX-to-OpenGL (would be like translating C into Python).

Glide on Gallium3D, would mean rewrite a complete fixed pipeline. Expressing all the classical "texture and lightmap" combination which back then were handled by hardware, and writing modern shaders that re-implements them. Well, guess what? Drawing polygons with a fixed pipe-line is already what OpenGL 1/2 does inside Mesa on Gallium.
Instead of rewriting the same stuff twice and risking to introduce twice as many bugs, simply use a Glide2GL wrapper. Glide and OpenGL are very closely related anyway.

about 2 months ago
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Direct3D 9.0 Support On Track For Linux's Gallium3D Drivers

DrYak Glide = Fixed pipe (55 comments)

It would be nice if support for Glide 2.1 and 3.0 be added also, there is a good chunk of oldies that would benefit and nowadays wine has dosbox built in, so even DOS games would be supported.

Very unlikely in my opinion:
Voodoo cards (and their Glide API) are fixed pipeline.
Whereas, from the ground up gallium3D was organised around the modern features found in a programmable-shader card.
There's a lot of difference between how these work.

On the other hand, Glide was designed with the simplest subset of OpenGL implementable in hardware in mind. That's why it easy to write miniGL or OpenGL implementations on top of it (and the reverse also: it's not impossible to write Glide-to-OpenGL wrappers).
Meaning that, in theory, it could be possible to build a Glide state tracker out of the building block that Gallium3D back-ends expose to the Mesa OpenGL tracker.

about 2 months ago
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Direct3D 9.0 Support On Track For Linux's Gallium3D Drivers

DrYak Small percentage (55 comments)

This support in mesa will allow these games to be ported more easily, rather than forcing a rewrite in a major portion of any game engine, the display layer.

This won't help much for porting. It only works for drivers that work on Gallium3D. Thus, it only works on Radeon and Nouveau (and the alternative Gallium3D powered ILO. The official Intel runs on classic Mesa).
So only a very few end users will be affected. It's not worth counting on Gallium Nine for the port, as you're missing the big part of users who instead run the proprietary and/or official drivers (specially since Nvidia's blob has way much better hardware support that the reverse engineered Nouveau - due to lack of documentation).

On the other hand, Gallium3D give a nice and faster route for Wine, so a few select users can get straigh Direct3D support instead of going through a transaltion layer. So it's a relative benefit for Wine itself.

The developer can even choose to go the wine route, and simply provide a wrapper for their product, such as Star Trek Online uses with thier Mac port.

That has technically been possible before the Gallium Nine driver, anyway. The presence or absence of this driver don't change the feasibility of such ports. It only makes them faster for a few select users by removing translation layers.

This may be hugely important for the Steam Box initiative.

Well, depends. I doubt that, when it comes out, it will rely on opensource drivers. At least not for Nvidia hardware: the difference of stability and hardware support isn't worth the effort.

On the other hand, if AMD get their shit together in time, and release the hybrid closed/source driver as promised (i.e.: you run the opensource kernel driver "amdgpu". Then, as an OpenGL implementation, you're free to use either the opensource Mesa Gallium3D driver or the Catalyst driver which will only be a GL+CL library running on top of the exact same opensource base), you might see the possibility of AMD Steamboxes that let the user switch between the two GL implementation on the go. That could mean using opensource GL/CL for the interface and for a few select game that need DirectX, and switching to Catalyst GL/CL for games that need GL 4.x, with Steam maintaining a database of which version runs better for which game and handling the switching without need of user intervention.

Over all, Direct3D is a much simpler and lower level API (at some point of time it was considered to be a back-end to be targeted by openGL drivers) so it would be supported faster than openGL and would give definitely a performance boost.

Also, specially if AMD releases Mantle for Linux (or if it becomes "OpenGL Next"), that might attract the interests of some multi-platform developers: such AMD powered Steamboxes would be closer to the hardware found in other consoles (AMD APU or GPU in all other consoles of this generation) and might help PC ports (at least on AMD it might get optimised a bit thank to re-using the work done on consoles).

about 2 months ago

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After ASUS, instant-on linux on HP and Dell

DrYak DrYak writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DrYak writes "Phoronix is reporting on DeviceVM's SplashTop popularity. In addition to ASUS (which started including it not only on all their motherboards but also on laptops — calling it Express Gate), other companies seem to be interested in this kind of technology. HP will be introducing a similar technology called Voodoo IOS Linux.

Details, however, have been short on this Voodoo IOS Linux.
tells Phoronix,

Representatives for DeviceVM have declined to comment whether Voodoo IOS is a re-branded version of SplashTop, but all signs are that it is.


Phoronix also reports that Dell is planning to introduce a similar technology :

Engadget has shared details surrounding the Dell E and E Slim. These notebooks are direct competition to the very popular ASUS Eee PCs. [...] The E and E Slim also ship with what Dell is calling "BlackTop" for providing an instant-on Linux solution. While BlackTop sounds quite similar to SplashTop, indications are that this is a separate solution from Dell.


Maybe, The Year Of The Linux Desktop still isn't there. But right after Asus' EEE PC has showed that this might potentially be The Year Of The Linux Laptop, maybe we are here witnessing the seeds of The Year Of The Linux BIOS too."

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Valve's Source engine to be ported on Linux

DrYak DrYak writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DrYak writes "Phoronix has received informations confirming that Valve is indeed porting its very popular Source engine to the Linux platform. There have been rumors since last year that Valve may be serious about porting Source games to Linux after Valve Software began seeking a senior software engineer with the responsibility of porting Windows-based games to the Linux platform. (as mentioned recently on /.)
They also have confirmation that Postal III — which uses Valve's Source Engine — would be supported on Linux (as well as on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Mac).

Until now compatibility layers such as Wine and CodeWeaver's CrossOver have been the only solution for Linux players, and Phoronix mentions that Valve's Orange Box compilation of Source-based games is among the top ranking vote for CrossOver, thus showing that there's indeed a market for Valve's game on Linux

Linux gamers worldwide start to rejoice."

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DrYak DrYak writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DrYak writes "After the recent slashdot speculations about ATI/AMD promising to fix some of their problems on open-source operating systems, it might be interesting to remind that there is some community development of open-source drivers for Radeon graphic cards. nVidia isn't the only target to receive efforts such as the nouveau project : as stated by Phoronix in a recent article, ATI Has Open-Source Drivers Too.

Since late last year the open-source Linux community has been ecstatic about the growing progress made by the Nouveau developers. [...] With NVIDIA Corporation not providing hardware specifications, this driver is being written through reverse-engineering NVIDIA's binary display driver. While the developers of Nouveau are making great strides and this driver is taking shape, the open-source ATI driver must not be forgotten.
The article provides a quick overview of the various project concerning the Radeon family of graphics chips :

ATI Technologies had released specifications to the Radeon R200 (8500 to 9200) [...] For those graphics cards, there is an excellent stable and open-source driver built into X.Org...
Support for the Radeon R300 series had to be reverse-engineered [...] The R300 driver now is nearly complete for desktop users wishing to play older games or simply benefit from Beryl and Compiz...
Recently [...] there has been work on reverse-engineering ATI's R500 (Radeon X1000) series. There is no dummy driver available yet or even a Wiki page, but I have covered some of the progress made on my blog at MichaelLarabel.com. [...] This driver is still in its infancy but in the coming months there should hopefully be some good news to report back. ...
Recently, the radeon driver project has started issuing an irregular development companion, similarly to the TiNDC."

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