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Comments

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Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Lonewolf666 Re: Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

But the new corporate headquarters overseas would presumably not be bound by the subpoena. In that case, it sucks to be the guy in the US subsidiary who just got subpoenaed. Because he is unable to comply.

about a week ago
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Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

Lonewolf666 Re:Correct me if I'm wrong, but... (60 comments)

That said, the real papers you want to be on the lookout for are cathode improvements, there's a lot more potential for volume/mass reduction there than in the anode.

Exactly, all articles I can remember offhand for the cathode talk about a capacity of less than 200 mAh/g for existing cathode chemistries. So the cathode would make up most of the weight of the battery.

If the technology from TFA works out, maybe we can get a 20% - 30% improvement in overall energy density.

about two weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

Lonewolf666 Contacts matter (499 comments)

Many years ago, I joined a group of audiophile students at my university and we were building a pair of two-way loudspeakers with semi-expensive chassis. Students' budget, but it still had potential. When experimenting with crossover components, we soldered things together at first, then someone had the idea to use alligator clips (two each connected by a cable soldered to the clips) for faster turnaround.

The sound quality, which had been quite good up to that point, suddenly dropped to that of a cheap speaker from some supermarket. The ohmic resistance of the cable between the alligator clips was IMHO too low to have much of an influence.

Conclusion:
It must have been the alligator clips, and good contacts matter. Since that experience I like to use gold-plated connectors, but with standard cables to connect them. That combination tends to be cheap enough and works for me :-)

about two weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

Lonewolf666 Re:No. (499 comments)

Depends on your main board.

My last purchase from 2011, an ASUS M4A7LT, has an onboard sound chip that cannot drive headphones at more than low volume.

At low volume it sounds good, and I'm sure it would be adequate to drive the input of an amplifier. But when I put in my (low impedance, maybe 30 Ohms) walkman headphones it fails miserably. Severe clipping as soon as I turn up the volume a bit.

Instead of putting an external amplifier on my desk, I put a sound card into the PC. Problem solved.

about two weeks ago
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Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Lonewolf666 Don't forget mandatory insurance (389 comments)

Considering the low probability of a serious reactor accident, individual utility companies might bet on not having one in their powerplants and have no insurance unless it is mandatory, like compulsory vehicle insurance.

Set the minimum coverage to something that would cover Fukujima (estimated $100B) and there is your market-based solution ;-)

about two weeks ago
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No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

Lonewolf666 It depends on the company too (401 comments)

Sure there is some monkey work at the lower levels of support, especially in a "free" hotline where you don't get billed for calling. Several years ago I met a guy who did first level "support" for Microsoft, following a script from a database. But even there, I think second level should have some actual skills, as they are the ones who handle the cases that are too complex for the script monkeys.

At my current, relatively small company, the hotline (which is AFAIK costing more than peanuts to call) offers what you might find at second level support in a company that follows the above pattern. People who are familiar with the product and don't need to follow a fixed script. Some of them are actually quite good, based on years of experience.

Cases that are too hard for the hotline go to the "repair team", those are software testers who otherwise do QA on upcoming releases. I guess they are at least the equivalent of 3rd level support at a place like Microsoft. The "repair team" can talk directly to software development and ask for fixes, we trust them to distinguish bogus calls from real bugs.

about two weeks ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

Lonewolf666 Re:And here I'm hoping... (681 comments)

A stagnant unspending base of users damages the entire tech ecosystem. They hold back technological progress creating a tragedy of the commons when it comes to software and web services features.

Unspending users can only hold back technological progress if software vendors keep maintaining obsolete technology to please them. Which doesn't make much sense, except in the context of trying to keep meaningful competition from arising. But maybe that is exactly what Microsoft is trying to achieve, even at the expense of earning less from the well-paying customers who might embrace faster progress.

There is the following Bill Gates quote:
  "And as long as they're going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade." (Source: http://articles.latimes.com/2006/apr/09/business/fi-micropiracy9)
A clear case of trying to keep competition down even among the ultimate unspending non-customers.

about two weeks ago
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German Intelligence Employee Arrested On Suspicion of Spying For US On Bundestag

Lonewolf666 Re:In Soviet Germany... (74 comments)

This is beyond obvious by now. I'm somewhat surprised that the two major political parties don't suffer a larger loss of popularity over this (the SPD is gradually losing in the polls, but arguably for other reasons).

about two weeks ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

Lonewolf666 Re:And here I'm hoping... (681 comments)

That would make it the next flop. Lots of applications are still 32bit, and there is no reason to enforce a quick change here. 4 GByte are not enough for everyone, but for many users they are. Take x86 support away, and the complaints will be enormous.

It will take at least another 10 years until a Windows without x86 support is accepted.

about three weeks ago
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Why The Korean Government Could Go Open Source By 2020

Lonewolf666 e-document format? ODF? (64 comments)

For the most common purposes, like text documents and spreadsheets there is already ODF.
It is even an ISO standard. Unless there are unexpected problems with things like Asian fonts, that should be a no-brainer.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Tech Customers Forced Into Supporting Each Other?

Lonewolf666 Re:Microsoft (253 comments)

In other ways too. A few years ago they started using translation software for the non-english pages of MSDN. The quality is as expected.

Fortunately, my English is pretty good so I don't need translations. Unfortunately, even if I choose English, there are annoying popups with translated text that cover up links. And if I switch off Javascript, parts of the site won't work anymore.

about 2 months ago
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Goodbye, Ctrl-S

Lonewolf666 Re:I'd rather not use (521 comments)

Older Word versions (Word 6, Word 2000) were error prone enough that the number of software crashes exceeded my number of stupid mistakes.

Now Office 2010 has changed that for me, so *today* you are right (and Libre Office is also pretty stable). But historically, GP had good reasons for his attitude.

about a month ago
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AMD Preparing To Give Intel a Run For Its Money

Lonewolf666 Re:Just like Bulldozer? (345 comments)

Depends on how much that percent of the CPU die holds the rest back in terms of complexity and maybe performance limitations (not really my area of expertise). You may be right that it does not really matter.

On the other hand, "prior to 1992" means DOS and maybe Windows 3.x software. I'm aware that there are still a few DOS-based maintenance tools for the PC around, but otherwise I don't know anyone who still works with DOS software.

I used to work for a company that was really backwards that way, until a few years ago they produced a medical device with DOS-based software as "implicit real time system" (no other thread that can steal the CPU). But even they have given up on DOS, as the technical limitations became too bothersome. The successor of that device, now on the market, uses Windows 7 with a real time extension to the OS.

about 2 months ago
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AMD Preparing To Give Intel a Run For Its Money

Lonewolf666 Re:Just like Bulldozer? (345 comments)

By now it might be safe to ditch all 8, 16, and 32 bit backwards compatibility with the x86 family. But AMD64 compatibility is too important to ignore.

Dropping 16 bit backwards compatibility is probably OK by now, and I don't think there is such a thing as 8 bit programs on x86 at all. But 32 bit software is still widely used and backwards compatibility to it is an important feature of AMD64. AMD would be crazy to drop that in an AMD64 compatible CPU.

At the same time however, they are developing ARM-based server processors which are not x86 compatible at all. So there seems to be a market for that. There certainly is in the tablet world. I just don't see it for the desktop yet.

about 2 months ago
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AMD Preparing To Give Intel a Run For Its Money

Lonewolf666 Re:Just like Bulldozer? (345 comments)

Well I guess Intel have the volume too, so that is another thing going for them. AMD with its lower volume may be (more strongly) forced to go with a foundry.

At the same time, progress in fabrication processes seems to slow down a bit, and cost advantages are no longer so obvious with a new generation. Maybe the gap between Intel and AMD in manufacturing will shrink due to that.

about 2 months ago
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AMD Preparing To Give Intel a Run For Its Money

Lonewolf666 Re:Only the great Master of Paper can save AMD (345 comments)

Possible but not attractive if the time frames between upgrades was a bit longer.

Bought an Athlon X2 with DDR2 RAM in 2007.

Wanted an upgrade in 2011 and found that the price per GByte of DDR2 RAM was much higher than for DDR3 RAM. CPU and GPU needed changing anyway. 4GByte of DDR3 RAM were not more expensive than buying another 2GByte of DDR2 RAM would have cost. Some Athlons and Phenoms for socket AM2+ were still available but the socket AM3 CPUs looked considerably better.

So I settled on a Phenom II X4 on a relatively inexpensive new socket AM3 Board. Bottom line, I paid some extra for the new board but got better memory bandwidth and a more power efficient CPU out of it. The old board remained operational, as I did not rip out CPU, GPU or RAM.

I also still had a nice case from 2004 hanging around so I shelled out a bit additional money for a PSU and a new hard disk, and put the new system into the old case. Overall, I paid maybe 150 euros more than with maximum reuse of the old stuff. But that way I kept the 2007 PC usable, which is still useful from time to time :-)

about 2 months ago
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Game Industry Fights Rising Development Costs

Lonewolf666 Re:Voice acting... ugh (111 comments)

If it's done well, then yes, voice acting can enhance a game. But if writing and storytelling are weak, you might as well go back to displaying the text only and save a few bucks. Same for bad voice actors.

about 2 months ago
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Game Industry Fights Rising Development Costs

Lonewolf666 Re:Face the facts (111 comments)

That much is true, especially if you already have a fan base. The downside comes when you try to sell the next game after delivering something that barely deserves to be called a game, let alone a good one.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Sony ordered to pay refunds over "other OS" affair

Lonewolf666 Lonewolf666 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Lonewolf666 (259450) writes "The law firm Meiselman, Denlea, Packman, Carton & Eberz P.C. claims a legal success against Sony in a class action lawsuit concerning the "Other OS" feature.
According to the news on their homepage, Sony failed to defend it's intentions in court and now has to pay a refund to every PS3 owner, who bought his PS3 before March 27, 2010. The sum is 50% of the price when purchased.

Thanks to Evulsdrakab from the crystalhall.org forum for bringing this to my attention"

Link to Original Source

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