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NVIDIA Announces Tesla K40 GPU Accelerator and IBM Partnership In Supercomputing

Jthon Re:What about OpenCL 1.2 support? (59 comments)

Mantle is less an open specification than CUDA is, CUDA does have a full x86 implementation available which is mostly slower due the CPU not taking too much advantage of the massive parallelism of the GPU (not sure about how this play out with Xeon Phi).

Mantle on the other hand is a very low level Graphics API that basically exposes SW to some low level interactions with AMD's GPU. It's more like GLIDE than OpenCL. From what I've seen so far it's not clear to me Mantle will be very portable across several AMD generations. It works for GCN based cards out now but who knows if it will be fast for GCN++ without a major rewrite of the application. NVIDIA could implement Mantle but would probably have to translate so much stuff in SW to make it work you'd lose the low SW overhead.

From the one or two talks I listened to Mantle seems to basically expose the same interface the driver developers have access to and lets you go to town. This is great for the latest architecture but now it's up to your application to evolve as the HW does. There's a whole lot of work being done to optimize for each architecture release in the driver which allow older games that the publisher doesn't really want to support anymore to work and see performance boosts.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Is the Most Painless Intro To GPU Programming?

Jthon Nothing easy but Udacity can help (198 comments)

So there's nothing really easy about GPU programming. You can look at C++ AMP from Microsoft, OpenMP or one of the other abstractions but you really need to understand how these massively parallel machines work. It's possible to write some perfectly valid code in any of these environments which will run SLOWER than on the CPU because you didn't understand fundamentally how GPUs excel at processing.

Udacity currently has a fairly decent intro course on GPU programming at:

It's based around NVIDIA and CUDA but most of the concepts in the course can be applied to OpenCL or another GPU programming API with a little syntax translation. Also you can do everything for the course in your web-browser and you don't need an NVIDIA GPU to finish the course exercises.

I'd suggest running through that and then deciding on what API you want to end up using.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Good Linux Desktop Environment For Hi-Def/Retina Displays?

Jthon Re:Change the DPI setting (234 comments)

Your comment shows a lack of understanding as to what DPI is supposed to be used for since DPI shouldn't control scaling.

DPI stands for dots per inch, and you should configure that setting to match the actual number of dots per inch of your display. Then the SW environment should support some sort of sliding scale to let you change the size of any UI elements.

Sadly most desktop platforms don't do this correctly and bind the DPI to the size of UI elements. I will admit that resolution independence isn't easy, Microsoft didn't really start down that path until Windows 7, and Apple didn't start to get close until Mountain Lion.

Having used a retina display Mac it irritates me that they don't just have a slider to set UI scale, but instead you can select from several pre-set resolutions. I suspect this is because many applications still try to plot stuff pixel by pixel and so can't scale arbitrarily. It's not easy for most SW to be truly resolution independent and it seems most developers seem to skip handling that sanely on all platforms.

about 2 years ago

Facebook API Bug Deletes Contact Info On Phones

Jthon Not entirely a FB bug, phone software is the prob (178 comments)

The Facebook bug here is that if you ask Facebook for someone's email, it was returning the last one added which was that stupid email. But why was the phone deleting contact info and replacing it? If your only source of contact data for a person was their Facebook email then yeah I can see that swapping, but why isn't the phone keeping Facebook, and other contact info separate?

My phone shouldn't see Facebook info change, then go and delete the work email from my Google contacts, or phone contact. If these phones are doing that I'd argue you have a phone SW bug. I wouldn't want any random sync service to suddenly override my manually entered contact data.

As for people complaining about work emails being swapped, why do you sync work emails via facebook? You should have that entered into a separate place. My Android phone is smart enough to keep google contacts and facebook contacts separate, and merge the accounts for display purposes. (And my old Palm Pre back in the day did an even better job of this.)

more than 2 years ago

"Wi-Fi Refugees" Shelter in West Virginia Mountains

Jthon Re:From Wikipedia... (627 comments)

That's not radiation, that's because cheap CRTs tubes oscillate at 60 hertz and if you're not deaf in the upper frequencies you can hear them whine. Basically it's noise from the flyback transformer in the CRT. Many children can hear them but people often lose those frequencies as they get older.

I can still hear when a cheap CRT is on but I don't claim to be allergic to wifi.

See for some more info.

about 3 years ago

C++ 2011 and the Return of Native Code

Jthon Re:Carmack (616 comments)

I think there was a hope that computing power would catch up and make VMs a competitive alternative to native code.

While you're right there's a computing power issue here, the issue is battery life not lack of CPU cycles. VMs add overhead, as you add overhead you'll run longer and burn more power on the CPU. If you want to squeeze all you can out of a limited battery you need to optimize your code and in the end that's going to mean native code with very explicit memory management. VMs just don't play well in embedded environments.

about 3 years ago

Netflix Deflects Rage Over Price Increase

Jthon Re:Just Bizarre (722 comments)

I'm pretty sure the real goal is to force you to choose one or the other. In the long term I think they plan to drop or spin off the DVD business and become a 100% streaming company. I think they're hoping that everyone just decides that having both is too much money and choose to just stream. If everyone would just switch to the DVD only plan they'd probably rethink this strategy.

What annoys me is that they don't have a 3 DVD out at a time plan without streaming. My ages old plan is getting a massive rate hike come Sept. They still have too much DVD only content for me to really think that their rate hike is justified.

more than 3 years ago

Wisconsin Public Internet Struggles Against Telecom, Legislature

Jthon Re:Competitive? (259 comments)

The money they took is also available to telco's. The telco's are just pissed they didn't get the money first. As it is private industry already operates with millions of dollars worth of our tax money.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Plans New Spaceship-like Campus

Jthon Re:Interesting Highlights (279 comments)

Apple's already across the street, I doubt traffic would get too much worse since this place is right next to the freeway. Though at the moment Apple is spread out all over that area and now they'd be concentrating all those people into a couple blocks. Luckily I don't need to drive past Homestead and Wolfe all that often :D.

more than 3 years ago

Inside NVIDIA's Massive Hardware Emulation Lab

Jthon Re:Hey, Oracle. Here's another target for you. (51 comments)

These have nothing to do with virtual machines. These emulators are more like giant FPGAs than SW devices. Only instead of being implemented out of look up tables the system has a bunch of custom ASIC processors which accelerate gate level Verilog code.

more than 3 years ago

Ex-MS GM Can't Work 'Anywhere In the World' For Salesforce

Jthon Re:Microsoft's not the only company who does this (282 comments)

As for the second question, because it is near-impossible to get a technology-related job that doesn't require one.

Move to CA they're illegal here already and most companies won't event attempt to make you sign one.

more than 3 years ago

Ex-MS GM Can't Work 'Anywhere In the World' For Salesforce

Jthon Re:This is why I don't work for Microsoft (282 comments)

I asked if they would alter the agreement to strike the non-compete terms but he said they wouldn't do that. I know better than to accept some verbal assurance from a recruiter vs what the contract says. That's like believing that guy at BestBuy that your extended warranty covers the battery in an iPod (it won't). While at the time I didn't think I would have left MS very soon I was afraid that if I was a good performer that they'd be even more likely to try and enforce such a non-compete. I'm sure they let it slide if you suck at your job.

The trick here is that he got sued in WA court. I've heard of some companies trying to take the action up in CA first on such contract since CA courts would side with the employee as such terms are considered unconscionable in CA.

more than 3 years ago

Ex-MS GM Can't Work 'Anywhere In the World' For Salesforce

Jthon Re:Microsoft's not the only company who does this (282 comments)

I've seen it both ways, but more often than not it doesn't include pay such as in the case of Microsoft. Their draconian anti-employee contract is a major reason I don't work there today.

more than 3 years ago

Ex-MS GM Can't Work 'Anywhere In the World' For Salesforce

Jthon This is why I don't work for Microsoft (282 comments)

I had an offer to work at Microsoft just out of college. I was seriously considering the offer until I saw the draconian anti-employee non-compete they wanted me to sign. I told the recruiter that I didn't feel comfortable signing such an agreement since Microsoft works in so many different areas that there was no way to avoid some sort of conflict. I was assured by the recruiter that they don't usually enforce the agreement. Maybe that is generally true, but this ruling definitely proves that they will enforce it on occasion. Instead I ended up with a different company in CA where such draconian non-competes are illegal and most companies don't even attempt to get you to sign one.

I should also add that not all non-competes have to be as evil as Microsoft's. One company I had an offer for had a similar non-compete but it had a clause that if they decide to enforce it as long as it's in force and you're looking for other gainful employment they would continue to pay you your salary until the non-compete expired. I felt that this policy was more than fair since it allowed the company to decide how important enforcing the non-compete was and didn't have such negative consequences for you as an employee should they choose to enforce it. I personally feel all non-competes should include such a clause otherwise I would NEVER consider signing one.

more than 3 years ago

Xbox Head Proclaims Blu-ray Dead

Jthon Come back when I get unlimited downloads (547 comments)

I don't think Blu-Ray is done for quite yet. The biggest problem is that true high def content is large, 25-50GB large for a movie. Given bandwidth caps, and our poor broadband networks in the in the US I don't see downloading "real" HD content coming soon. Sure you can get HD movies on Hulu, iTunes, Netflix but the quality there is terrible compared to watching a Blu-Ray.

Another issue for purchased content is local storage. Even though hard drive space has increased exponentially on a 1TB drive one could only store about 40 HD movies. Not only that but hard drives are prone to failure and one could easily lose their entire movie collection if a hard drive fails, or gets reformatted. I have yet to see a site or company which offers downloadable movies where one can download their collection whenever they want. The ONLY reason I can accept buying games via steam is that I can delete, and re-download my games as much as I want on any computer I log into.

more than 3 years ago

Best Way To Publish an "Indie" Research Paper?

Jthon Re:Read a paper first (279 comments)

Actually in CS and Computer Engineering typically the Journals are the lowest bar, and conferences are more prestigious. Though a simple poster at a conference is probably easier than a Journal.

more than 4 years ago

13 Open Source Hardware Companies Make $1+ Million

Jthon Re:I gotta ask myself... (149 comments)

Because 1 million in Revenue (sales) isn't a big deal. I have a cousin who owns a small restaurant which primarily sells hotdogs (yes hotdogs). His small business has ~1 million in sales annually but after expenses he's lucky to break even.

All this article seems to say is that if you do open source hardware, you can make as much as a small restaurant per year in revenue! Which really isn't so impressive. Now if they had a 1+ million profit I'd be more impressed.

more than 4 years ago



Microsoft disables MSN music downloads

Jthon Jthon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Jthon (595383) writes "Information week is reporting that Microsoft plans to stop allowing the retrieval of license keys an authorization of additional computers with their MSN music service as of August 31st.

Given the DRM on all the music this means as of August 31st any music purchased on the MSN store will not work on new computers, mp3 devices, or on an upgraded PC. Given the average PC lifecycle most customer's won't be able to play their purchased music in 3-5 years, so much for buying a lifetime license.

Microsoft has given no reason for this change."

Jack Thompson Sues Best Buy

Jthon Jthon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Jthon (595383) writes "Game Politics is reporting that our favorite crazy lawyer Jack Thompson is suing Best Buy for selling M rated games to minors online. Apparently Jack is not happy that Best Buy's website doesn't require someone under 17 to submit proof of their age. Best Buy and the FTC both seem to think that requiring a credit card for an online purchase meets this requirement.

Apparently, a more thorough check is needed to stop all those 17 year olds with credit cards from buying games online."

Link to Original Source

PS 3 Price Drop Official

Jthon Jthon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Jthon (595383) writes "Gizmodo and others are reporting that Sony has announced a $100 price drop for the 80GB PS 3. The US will also be getting the previously announced 40 GB PS 3 with limited backward compatibility.

The new 40 GB Playstations arrive in the US on November 2nd."

Link to Original Source

Paramount/Dreamworks Drops Blu-Ray

Jthon Jthon writes  |  about 7 years ago

Jthon (595383) writes "Today Paramount and Dreamworks have announced that they will be exclusively supporting the HD-DVD format and future titles will not be released on Blu-Ray. This came as a surprise to many in the industry as Blu-Ray had been outselling HD-DVD 2 to 1 for the first half of 2007."
Link to Original Source


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