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Ancient Egyptian Brewer's Tomb Found

Gwala Re:That Explains the Peace in Egypt (66 comments)

Prohibition didn't spring up out of no-where, Temperance was well established before WW1. The theory potentially holds.

about 8 months ago

How Much of ISON Survived Its Closest Approach To the Sun?

Gwala Dumb question, but...? (84 comments)

Probably a stupid question - but wouldn't the steam/plasma presumably have the same orbit as the original solid mass; similarly presumably wouldn't the solar wind blow the mass away fairly evenly - meaning in a long long time, it'll cool, condense and potentially (slowly) pull itself back together?

about 10 months ago

Google Dropping Netscape Plugin API Support In Chrome/Blink

Gwala Re:"standards-based web platform" (170 comments)

Unity3d may support NaCl; but it has a couple of glaring deficiencies - like a lack of network support (this is apparently a issue with the Pepper API not supporting it). The webplayer (NPAPI) version is unfortunately also a bit faster at runtime.

about a year ago

Nvidia CEO: We Are Working On Next Generation Surface

Gwala Re:From the summary: (200 comments)

Background: I've got a Surface RT - picked it up about a week ago due to the 30% price drop on impulse to replace my iPad while on holiday.

The email app on the Surface is roughly about as functional as the iPad email app - the design is fairly close; although I find the Surface one has a slight edge since it uses screen space better, and doesn't become unusable when you switch to portrait mode.

The big killer for me though (and why I got it to replace my iPad) is the built-in kickstand and the snap on keyboard -- I didn't flick on my laptop once to respond to a work email while away; that's a big change compared to the iPad where the onscreen keyboard (and the variety of crap external ones) are unusable for anything more than a sentence or two long; and I'd end up having to log onto a laptop to respond.

Showing recent emails on the start screen is nice too -- I have a Win8 desktop and hate metro there; but on the Surface it actually feels appropriate and good design (although things like switching tabs in IE don't "feel" right given it involves swiping in entirely different direction to e.g. changing applications).

about a year ago

Github Finally Agrees Public Repos Should Have Explicit Licenses

Gwala Re:what if i cannot choose a single license? (120 comments)

Anyone redistributing your code (e.g. Github, Sourceforge, etc.) would be in violation of the GPL.

You would only be able to redistribute your code under something more permissive - the LGPL would probably be OK, if you built a library-level barrier between them; but really for everyone's sake - just pick MIT/BSD/Apache.

about a year ago

Review: Oracle Database 12c

Gwala Re:New features? (147 comments)

--single-transaction is one of the 'tricks around this' - but it blows out the production databases memory use if the table is updated while the export is occurring. (e.g.someone does an update all for some insane reason)

about a year ago

Review: Oracle Database 12c

Gwala Re:New features? (147 comments)

mysqldump can and will lock tables during its backup - there's some tricks around this; but on a big production database, its really suboptimal.

about a year ago

California Sends a Cease and Desist Order To the Bitcoin Foundation

Gwala Re:When did bitcoin(tm) become a currency (396 comments)

The parent argued that commodities have intrinsic values. I am arguing by counter that there are commodities who have no real intrinsic value beyond the same intrinsic value of fiat currencies.

For example, Oil has value as a store of energy - its value is generally based around the value at which it is economically useful for a particular input. Gold on the other hand, has very few economic uses (rust proofing wiring, and a few other marginal uses) - and the majority of the value it is 'worth' in its commodity price is actually the same value stored in a currency like US dollars.

about a year ago

California Sends a Cease and Desist Order To the Bitcoin Foundation

Gwala Re:When did bitcoin(tm) become a currency (396 comments)

There are lots of commodities that trade so far above their intrinsic value that they are fiat.

E.g. Gold.

about a year ago

Longest Running Linux Distribution Slackware Adopts MariaDB

Gwala Re:GPL and LGPL? (109 comments)

No, but the interface bindings are shipped.

MySQL proceeded to piss off a whole bunch of developers by changing their bindings to GPL a few years back.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Phases Out XNA and DirectX?

Gwala Re:Use OpenGL instead (256 comments)

It's a shame OpenGL is a broken API comparatively.

It's still based on a 1980's Finite State Machine / Stack based renderer - which has almost zero correlation with modern graphics hardware.

about a year and a half ago

EFF Moves To Nix Trademark On "Gaymer"

Gwala Re:Really!? (231 comments)

If you want a legitimate answer from someone who's in one of the larger local Gaymer communities here's a couple of reasons:

1- Multiplayer gaming is an endless tirade of gay-this, faggot-that. It's nice to play games and socialise with people who aren't jerks. (Yes yes, harden the fuck up, etc - but it is annoying.)

2- It's an excuse to go hang out at a bar with a group of people with something in common every couple of weeks.

3- While I know it's not applicable to me (LTR), but the group I'm in has at least partly become a dating pool - for gay guys and girls, that's actually sometimes a bit harder than you may be used to.

about a year and a half ago

Windows RT Jailbreak Tool Released

Gwala Re:ARMless (101 comments)

Actually it looks like it does from my own examination of a Surface - it's just locked so that only Microsoft can use it.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft To Apple: Don't Take Your Normal 30% Cut of Office For iOS

Gwala Re:We are the 30% (724 comments)

Apple's terms of service prohibit doing exactly this. There's a most-favourable-price clause.

about 2 years ago

Valve Begins Listing Linux Requirements For Certain Games On Steam

Gwala Re:Why would you want to game on Linux (332 comments)

Speaking as someone with actual experience in this - DirectX is a monumental improvement over OpenGL; there's more to it than just being able to look at the underlying code (and frankly, 90% of both are just shims to pump commands into the drivers which is where the real magic happens -- drivers which generally tend to be very closed.)

Start with;
- A (arguably) better shading language (HLSL vs GLSL - I tend to find HLSL is easier to work with)
- A scenegraph representation that is not built around a 1980's pre-acceleration stack based renderer. (e.g. Objects are represented as full OO objects - complete with materials, rather than a matrix pushed onto a stack followed by a few vertex buffer array calls)
- A suite of excellent debugging utilities - which give you useful feedback (looking at the code != the value of a good debugger suite)

Leaving the 'free software' arguments aside, DirectX is better - by virtue of the fact that it's kept up to date with modern programming techniques. OpenGL needs to be replaced or at least significantly overhauled -- something which Khronos has not in the past actually been willing to do. OpenGLES improves the spec marginally, but it really needs a replacement to be on par with the ease and power DirectX offers you with far less effort.

That said; if anyones doing things at the DX/OGL level, they probably need to be hit over the head - anyone serious is using one of the many decent engines out there.

about 2 years ago

US Justice Dept. Sues eBay For Anti-Competitive Hiring Practices

Gwala Re:Is this the same for "contractor" companies? (66 comments)

My first guess would say no; and this is an uninformed opinion - but that is probably structured as a non-poach agreement, e.g. IBM is not allowed to poach employees from CDI.

That does tend to be legal - although the punishment is relatively thin. IBM would only have to pay for a recruiter to find someone of similar calibre to CDI in damages if it ever went to court/arbitration/settlement.

about 2 years ago

Foxconn Sees New Source of Cheap Labor: The United States

Gwala Re:So it's come to this. . . (430 comments)

Yes and no - the less skilled the job, the harder you have to deal with employee turnover.

For engineers though, providing you are running things well, you'll usually only have a big burst of turnover around the national holiday in March, when everyone gets paid a 13th salary as a bonus. The rest of the year though, everyone just waits until March so they don't lose their bonus. Turnover seems to be getting better too however - we only lost 2 from a team of 20 this past March (compared to 4-5 the previous year, and 5-7 the year before.)

about 2 years ago

Will the Star Citizen Project Fund Linux and Mac Ports For CryENGINE 3?

Gwala Re:If you believe phoronix article at all... (119 comments)

Unity does this actually - all shaders are written in Cg/HLSL, then cross-compiled to GLSL for OpenGL & OGLES. It's a surprisingly pleasant workflow - especially with their Surface Shader framework.

about 2 years ago

The Tricky Science of Olympic Gender Testing

Gwala Re:Overcomplicating things? (559 comments)

Well, intersexed persons make a bit of a mess of that. Since you can have both sets physical features in various strengths in some people. That's been where the biggest controversies have come up in recent history.

more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 Graphics: Microsoft Has Hardware-Accelerated Everything

Gwala Re:crash faster (563 comments)

Yes - it's basically just compiling small .NET programs from your input -- which tend to be pretty portable. You should only run into problems if you use new features that aren't available in older environments (but - I'm pretty sure the latest version of .NET can be installed on XP, so that might be a moot point.)

more than 2 years ago


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