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Ask Slashdot: GPU of Choice For OpenCL On Linux?

Sycraft-fu And form talking to our researchers (94 comments)

Between a bit better language design and superior support and tools, CUDA is way easier to do your work in. We've 4 labs that use CUDA in one fashion or another, none that use OpenCL. A number have tried it (also tried lines like the Cell cards that IBM sold for awhile) but settled on CUDA as being the easiest in terms of development. Open standards are nice and all but they've got shit to do and never enough time to do it, so whatever works the easiest is a win for them.

On a different side of things, I've seen less issues out of nVidia on CUDA than AMD on OpenCL for video editing. Sony Vegas supports both for accelerating video effects and encoding. When I had an AMD card, it was crashes all the time with acceleration on. Sony had to disable acceleration on a number of effects with it. I had to turn it off to have a usable setup. With nVidia, I find problems are very infrequent.

Obviously this is one one data point and I don't know the details of development. However it is one of the few examples I know of a product that supports both APIs.

8 hours ago
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UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Sycraft-fu It's also a load of shit (300 comments)

NTSC stuff is so bad when viewed on a large TV. It is amazing how blurry things look when you flip back and forth between the HD and SD channels. That is part of what lead to the rise of big screen TVs was actually having content for them. With NTSC, a large TV just meant a big blurry image. With ATSC it can mean a nice large image.

yesterday
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UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Sycraft-fu Also (300 comments)

Why shouldn't they continually improve their products? Even with NTSC sets this was done. New ones would be larger, have better focus, more clearly resolve the signal, have better phosphors, and so on. Why shouldn't this continue? They should keep trying to improve their products as technology allows.

None of that means you need to buy a new toy all the time though. You can stick with what you have until it breaks, or until the new stuff is a big enough leap that you wish to own it.

I think a lot of the whining from people comes down to simple jealousy. They'd like to own the new stuff, but cannot afford it, or do not wish to. So they try and hate on it and act like a luddite. You see it practically any time Slashdot has a story on new technology. People complain about it like it is somehow a bad thing that there might be something new.

yesterday
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UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Sycraft-fu And they could probably handle 120fps (300 comments)

Most panels in higher end screens are actually real 120fps panels. However that is just used for 3D and for reduced motion blur. The only set I know that advertises support for 120fps input is Vizio. Others could do it, if they wanted to, however.

As you say, the issue with higher refresh rates isn't in the display technology.

Part of it is just getting people used to the idea I think. We've seen shitty, jerky, frame rates in moves for so long people start to associate that with being "cinematic". People need to get used to the idea that's bullshit and maybe they'll start to like it more.

Hopefully sports and such will get shot at 60fps some day and that may help.

yesterday
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Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

Sycraft-fu Oh yay, more about the bullshit clock (189 comments)

You know, when something says that we are so close to destruction for over half a century... well you have to wonder why anyone would put any stock in it. It is a bit hard to reconcile with being on the edge of destruction, and yet everything continuing to not be destroyed.

yesterday
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NVIDIA Responds To GTX 970 Memory Bug

Sycraft-fu It also doesn't really matter (137 comments)

Thing thing is if you go and look at benchmarks of the cards in actual games, you find out the 970 wrecks shit, particularly given its price point. The 980 is an overpriced luxury (I say this as a 980 owner) because the 970 gets nearly the same performance for like half the price. The difference with its memory controller just doesn't seem to matter in actual games out there on the market.

And that's the real thing here the the spec head forget: You buy these to run actual software. If it does well on all actual software, then who gives a shit about the details?

yesterday
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Silk Road Journal Found On Ulbricht's Laptop: "Everyone Knows Too Much"

Sycraft-fu Not necessiarly (179 comments)

He may well have been as smart as he thought (I'm not saying that is the case for sure, mind) but turns out others were smart enough, and more knowledgeable in the ways that mattered.

Hans Reiser is a good example. Man is unquestionably very smart. However, he had the geek hubris that I call SMFU, Smartest Motherfucker in the Universe syndrome. He figured he was so much smarter than everyone else, he could easily get away with his crime. Turns out that the police have some smart people too, and those people know a lot more about criminal investigation than he did.

2 days ago
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Silk Road Journal Found On Ulbricht's Laptop: "Everyone Knows Too Much"

Sycraft-fu Right and wrong (179 comments)

Right in that yes, they already have a lot of evidence, and are just working to seal the deal. They like to have everything in a row and an overwhelming amount of evidence before going to trial.

Wrong about the contempt thing. If you look it up in the US you find out that the courts have decided the 5th amendment applies to passwords. So you can keep your mouth shut and they can't compel you to hand over a password. If it is locked with something physical like a key fob or fingerprint, that you have to hand over. Basically if something is solely in your mind, they can't compel you to hand that over if it can be used against you.

2 days ago
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Silk Road Journal Found On Ulbricht's Laptop: "Everyone Knows Too Much"

Sycraft-fu Geeks in particular tend to forget this (179 comments)

The FBI may not be all up to date on the latest technologies and they aren't great at dealing with things purely in the digital world. However they are one of, if not the best investigative organizations in the world. They have a lot of experience investigating crimes of all kinds, often committed by experienced criminal organizations that are quite clever.

So there's a good chance if they are interested in getting you, they will. They are quite literally professionals at it, and they institutionally learn from their experience. You very well may know a lot more about computers than they do, but they almost certainly know way more about criminal investigations than you do.

3 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Sycraft-fu I believe that was the point he's trying to make (661 comments)

What I am presuming the GP is going for as an analogy is that there was a real Saint Nicholas, but that there is also a false legend surrounding the real man that is far grander and more common.

Not perhaps the best analogy.

4 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Sycraft-fu Or potentially a 4th (661 comments)

"I believe that the Earth is getting warmer, however I do not find sufficient evidence to show that this will be a net bad thing for humanity. Further I do not believe that the proposed measures are the wisest course of action, and we should be investigating alternatives such as geoengineering. In any case we should not act yet, as we do not have a solid enough model of what will happen and the net impact on humanity."

They can easily find a way to say "I support science, but think that this issue isn't clear cut."

Goes double if the people who are doing the vote try and make it a black and white issue. If they try to make it an issue where you either have to support everything they say, or you are an evil denier of all science, it'll be much easier for people to abstain and have a good argument.

4 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Sycraft-fu How does science define policy? (661 comments)

Science is just a process for knowing about the natural universe. It never gives us guidance on what we should do, it only tells us what is, and lets us predict what will be. What to do is always policy and politics. You can have a matter in which there is complete agreement on facts and theory, yet a disagreement on what we should do about it. While a solid scientific theory backed by good facts could tell us what is likely to happen if we take a certain action (or if we do not take an action) we then have to judge that result and how we value it. We have to look at the benefits and costs (everything has costs) and decide if we believe it is the best course of action, and on that point people may disagree.

That is, I think, a flaw many people make in talking about the AGW argument. They believe that since the facts (things like temperature and CO2 measurements) and the theory (the causal explanation of the relation of the facts) is solid in their estimation, that the course of action they believe should be taken is therefore scientific. That because there is a scientific theory at the core of what is happening, that means the conclusion they have reached is also scientific.

That's just not the case. Policy and politics aren't science. They can, and should, use science heavily to have good information as to the policy that is decided upon, but that policy is always a human construction, always a value judgement.

4 days ago
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AMD Catalyst Is the Broken Wheel For Linux Gaming

Sycraft-fu Try a modern game (159 comments)

That it runs TF2 well isn't saying much. That wasn't very intense when it came out and it is very old. TF2 runs great on integrated Intel cards. Try a game that is a heavier hitter, and uses more modern API calls. Then you'll see issues.

Se what you are really saying is "A problem can be fixed by throwing enough hardware at it." Your GPU and CPU are unimaginably powerful compared to what was available in 2007. So of course it runs well, it could be running at 25% efficiency and still run well because your monitor's scan rate is the limiting factor.

However that's not so easy to do with new games that push the envelope. You can't just throw tons of hardware at them because they are already pushing the high end hardware that is out. So efficiency matters. If the driver is slow, you are going to have poor performance.

Further there is the issue of crashing. AMD drivers seem to have a tendency to 'asplode when you start throwing some of the new features at them. These features are there for a reason, they allow greater detail, more efficient rendering, new visuals, etc. If you can't support them, then that's an issue.

If you want a real test, fire up Metro Last Light Redux, see how that works.

about two weeks ago
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Google Releases More Windows Bugs

Sycraft-fu Particularly given their Android response (261 comments)

"Oh that's an old version, we aren't going to patch the bug." Really? That's an acceptable response that something that's 3 years old is too old to patch? But somehow, taking 100 days to patch a product that's 5 years old (in 7's case) is too long? Much easier to deal with patch issues if you just declare you only support the latest greatest and require everyone to upgrade all the time, no matter the issues.

MS's response is particularly understandable given the complexity of doing regression testing on the wide variety of hardware, software, and patch sets the patch might need to be applied against. If they released it and it caused issues, well then people would cry even more about how shitty they were for not testing it.

I think you are right about the mud slinging/political office: What with Chrome books Google now wishes to directly attack MS. They want to make Windows look bad, and thus make their own product look good by comparison. This isn't motivated by being a good citizen, it is motivated by something else.

For that matter one can get all conspiracy theorist and say maybe they chose their reporting date knowing MS's patch cycle to try and create just such a situation.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

Sycraft-fu Also they were looking for a reason to let him off (873 comments)

Aldrin is a hero, the hoaxer is a very annoying moron. While technically that shouldn't matter, justice should be truly blind, it isn't. Nobody wanted to find Aldrin guilty of any wrong doing, so any plausible explanation was taken to make sure he got off.

about two weeks ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

Sycraft-fu Re:Also not everyone has taxable investements (450 comments)

I'm talking about large pension plans. My employer (a university) has one of those. It is mandatory, they simply withhold part of your salary (and match it dollar for dollar) as a condition of your employment. If you work to retirement, it then pays out a defined benefit monthly, which is taxable. If you do not, you can roll it over to an IRA or other account, which can vary int terms of tax liability.

However while you work there, you don't report it, other than a check box that says you are participating in an employer retirement program. You have no access to the money, there's no provision for loans or anything, so it does not count as a gain of any sort. So even though you are having a sizable chunk invested on your behalf (12% of your salary matched so 24% total) it doesn't count as an investment that would need any schedule of reporting because you aren't actually investing it, just paying in to a defined benefit plan.

about two weeks ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

Sycraft-fu Re:Or H&R Block (450 comments)

Ya it looks like a good choice as well. Either of them are cheaper and better than Turbotax :P.

about two weeks ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

Sycraft-fu Also not everyone has taxable investements (450 comments)

What I mean is some places still offer defined benefit pensions. Those are investments, but they don't count as a normal investment does for tax purposes. You don't report on them or their value since you have no access to the money during your term of employment. So no need for a form for that.

about two weeks ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

Sycraft-fu Most people just don't bother (450 comments)

Not what they should be doing, but the IRS doesn't seem to care much to go after people for it. I can see it too, given that usually you'd end up close to even. While the money you charge is income, you can deduct the space used, expenses, etc, etc. As such I doubt there is a lot of extra taxes to be had for people with roommates and so the IRS doesn't do much in the way of enforcement.

about two weeks ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

Sycraft-fu Or H&R Block (450 comments)

I haven't used their equivalent of the deluxe version, but the standard one has worked well for me for quite a few years and costs less than Turbo Tax.

about two weeks ago

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