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Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

Sycraft-fu I don't think he has quite that much (106 comments)

Sweden has some pretty hardcore taxes for the rich. Don't get me wrong, he's still a very monied guy (he made plenty before the sale as well) but it isn't like he got to keep all the cash. Sweden doubtless took their cut.

1 hour ago
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Sycraft-fu No kidding (596 comments)

One of the reasons I live where I do is because I'm close to work, about 4 miles away. Lets me bike in. That way I don't have to deal with the expense and clusterfuck that is parking on a big campus. 4 miles is a very easy, short, ride so it is no problem. You don't need to change or anything, you don't work up a sweat.

about a week ago
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Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors

Sycraft-fu Because Apple has no fucks to give about Windows (161 comments)

You discover Apple software sucks way less on OS-X. The fanboys will tell you this is evidence of how much better OS-X is, of course, but the real reason is Apple doesn't do a good job on their ports. They really half-ass their Windows ports so they end up not being good software. It is possibly something to try and make OS-X look better but more likely simply laziness and a lack of good Windows developers.

about two weeks ago
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Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors

Sycraft-fu Windows doesn't stop it (161 comments)

There's a big difference between not going out of your way to support something and going out of your way to prevent it. Windows doesn't have a native POSIX interface (it used to have a basic one) but you can add one if you like. It can be done higher level via something like Cygwin, or it can be done directly in the executive just like the Win32/64 APIs. There is nothing stopping you from adding it, they don't care.

Same deal with DirectX and OpenGL. A Windows GPU driver has to provide DirectX support. It is just part of the WDDM driver. Windows provides no OpenGL acceleration, and no software emulation. However you can provide your own OpenGL driver if you wish, and Intel, nVidia, and AMD all elect to do so. Windows does nothing to stop this and they work great (if the company writes a good driver). Indeed you could develop your own graphic API and implement that, if you wished.

There's a big difference between saying "We aren't going to do any work to support your stuff," and saying "We are going to work to make sure your stuff can't be supported."

about two weeks ago
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Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications

Sycraft-fu That's not how it works (379 comments)

The court can't just jump up and say "We don't like that, it goes out." They have to follow procedure which means a challenge has to appear in front of them. That challenge can also only be brought by someone with standing, meaning that this law had a negative impact on you somehow.

That's one of the reasons the government loves the secret gathering so much, makes it harder for it to get challenged. If you can't show this harmed you, then you can't fight it in court.

So someone has to be impacted by this, challenge it, and it has to be appealed up to the SC. Then and only then do they rule on it.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft's New Windows Monetization Methods Could Mean 'Subscriptions'

Sycraft-fu They already do it for big companies (415 comments)

It is called Software Assurance. Been doing it for quite some time.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft's New Windows Monetization Methods Could Mean 'Subscriptions'

Sycraft-fu Less whining about SSDs plz (415 comments)

Write endurance is not an issue for desktop SSDs, even in power user setups. Slashdot had an article on it just a few days ago. Seriously, writing logs is not an issue, at all, with regards to the endurance of your drive.

about two weeks ago
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Consumer-Grade SSDs Survive Two Petabytes of Writes

Sycraft-fu Even power users don't have much to worry about (125 comments)

I write a lot more to my SSDs than most do because of lost of application installs, playing with audio, etc, etc. 6TB to date, drive was purchased about 20 months ago. Ok well assuming I maintain that rate of writing (3.6TB/year) it would be 13 years before I'd hit 50 TB of writes, on a 512GB drive which can probably take 1PB or more.

Even if you hit it harder than the norm, you still don't hit it that hard. It really has to be used for something like database access or a file server or the like before endurance becomes an issue.

about three weeks ago
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UK Announces 'Google Tax'

Sycraft-fu Particularly if you define income as revenue (602 comments)

Meaning the money a company takes in. The difference between revenues and profits is vast, and varies by company and company type. Some companies take in a lot of revenues to make very little profits. Target would be an example. They took in 73 Billion dollars in revenues the last 12 months. However on that, they only made about 1.5 Billion in actual profit, or 2% when put another way. Retail doesn't make a lot of money, particularly discount retail. So once you add up all their costs (buying the merchandise, payroll, buildings, taxes, power, insurance, etc) there isn't a huge percentage left over.

Compare that to Apple. Not only do they make more money, but they have a much higher profit margin. They took in 182 Billion, and made 39 Billion on it, a 25% margin. Because of the nature of their business, they make more profits per dollar of sales than a place like Target.

This is, of course, only talking about profitable businesses. There are plenty that don't make money. My parents ran a small quilt shop for a number of years. Did about $750,000 in sales per year, yet never made a profit. After they'd paid rent, taxes, insurance, salaries, replenished merchandise, and so on there was not only nothing left over, there was a deficit they had to cover.

about three weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

Sycraft-fu People who like to own a part of history (355 comments)

Hence why they'd pay so much. Not because it is worth that much, you could have a gold medal made much cheaper, but because it has historical significance and they wish to have that.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

Sycraft-fu Ya, pretty much (488 comments)

I have better shit to do with my time. When I'm off work, it's my time. I have other things I want to do rather than work. I enjoy my job, but it isn't fun as a hobby. I value a life-work balance.

about three weeks ago
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Intel Core M Notebooks Arrive, Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Tested

Sycraft-fu Re:For low power? None (78 comments)

No, it doesn't. HardOCP did a test with the new Haswell E series, as well as normal Haswell and Ivy Bridge chips, and then the AMD FX-9590. In every case, the AMD chip lost. Sandra Drystone, Sandra memory bandwidth, Hyper PI, Cinebench, POV Ray, Handbrake, LAME, WinRAR, and games, in call cases it scored below the Haswell chip. In most cases it scored below the Ivy Bridge chip, sometimes substantially. For example in Cinebench the Haswell-E 8 core scored 19.31, the normal Haswell 4 core scored 9.93, the AMD scored 7.93. Also the AMD chip was clocked 500 MHz higher than the Intel chips (all were OC'd, HardOCP is a performance site).

Also please remember that normal Haswell has a TDP of around 90 watts.

Right now, AMD chips just are not a very good showing in terms of power per watt. Intel also is able to be price competitive because their more midrange chips compete with AMD's higher end. The Bulldozer architecture has not proven to be efficient, and Intel also gets to lean on their lead in lithography. All Intel's lines are on 22nm these days and they are rolling out 14nm chips for sale now. AMD is still using a 32nm process.

http://www.hardocp.com/article...

about three weeks ago
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Intel Core M Notebooks Arrive, Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Tested

Sycraft-fu For low power? None (78 comments)

AMD chips need a lot of juice for a given level of performance. Their Vishera chips that competes with Intel's high end desktop i5s in price and in some cases performance (depends on the benchmark, it is as fast in some, woefully slower in others) needs 220 watts to get that level of performance.

If you desire a power economical processor, Intel are your guys. AMD's architecture and lithography are just not up to Intel's level at the moment.

You also have to remember, with regards to lithography, Intel is WAY ahead of anyone else. AMD's chips are still 32nm, these new Broadwell chips are 14nm.

about three weeks ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Sycraft-fu Re:No it isn't that we won't (455 comments)

I know only what you chose to write and you said you are "now my life is betting on it." If that's hyperbole, then that's kinda silly and dial it back. If it is literal, then my point stands.

about a month ago
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Samsung Shows 'Eye Mouse' For People With Disabilities

Sycraft-fu Re:Good for them. (17 comments)

Also sounds like it may be much cheaper, which would be nice. I have repetitive strain injury from computer use and while it is manageable, I'd like a way to be able to not use the mouse when possible. An eye mouse would work well, but they are too much money. However this sounds like it might be in the range of something I could afford, and use as alternate input.

about a month ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

Sycraft-fu It sounds like some of them changed testimony (1128 comments)

Now why they changed I dunno, but that can change things. Also there was supposedly physical evidence that contradicted witness statements.

However if you are interested, it sounds like the unusual step of opening up the grand jury records will be taken in this case. So, keep up with it and read the transcript when it is available, and then see what you conclude.

about a month ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Sycraft-fu No it isn't that we won't (455 comments)

But that we are so far from any kind of AI that worrying about what form it might take is stupid. Yes, there are lots of things that might happen in the far future. Until they are closer, worrying about them is silly. There have been stories from people who are all paranoid about AI and think we need to start making with the rules. No we don't, we are so far away we don't even know how far away we are. We also have no idea what form it'll take. May turn out that self awareness is a uniquely biological trait and we never make computers that are truly strong AI.

Also if you are betting your life (regardless of if this means an actual bet, singular investment of all assets, etc) on something far off, you are a moron. You have no idea when a technology will happen, if it'll even be possible, and if it is if it'll even be marketable. Want a great example? SED, surface-conduction electron-emitter display. Reasonably chance you've never even heard of it. Was a new tech from Canon, basically a flat, large, hig rez take on CRT. Offered extremely high refresh rates (and thus low blur) great contrast ratio, wide viewing angle, etc. Very exciting display technology lots of people looked forward to as an LCD alternative. Wouldn't displace LCD, but would be a better technology for many uses. It was real too, actual working sets were shown at CES in 2006.

What happened? Well as a result of litigation, the financial downturn, and the general market, they decided to pack it in and stop development. They shut down and liquidated that division in 2010, and there's been no further development. So despite it being real and doable, it didn't happen and almost certainly never will happen.

Now compare that to the concept of strong AI, which we have no idea if it even can exist, if it does what form it will take, and if so what technology will be required. Maybe not the best thing to be betting the farm on.

about a month ago
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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

Sycraft-fu A lot depends on size of the monitor (330 comments)

The bigger it is, the wider that is useful. Basically you find that you need a certain amount of vertical real estate to work effectively. So on a small screen like a laptop, a 4:3, or even more square, monitor can be of use. However when you start getting large desktop displays, wide is very nice. Personally I like 16:10 displays for the desktop, in part because I find them aesthetically pleasing (likely because they are near the golden ratio) but also because for the large sizes I like (30" currently) it provides a good amount of vertical real estate, but plenty of horizontal to fill my field of view and allow for multiple things to be displayed at once.

For TV, heck I could go even more than 16:9 if such a thing were standard. I was always partial to 1.85:1 3 perf and 2:1 Superscope for movies myself.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Rolls Out Robot Security Guards

Sycraft-fu I imagine not (140 comments)

However the problem is that it can presumably notify security that you've done that. Given that they'll have full video of it, and know where the unit was, the chances of you getting caught are pretty high.

These aren't the kind of thing that would work well on their own out in the middle of nowhere but on a campus like MS's with human backup I imagine they are pretty effective. Rolling security cameras basically.

about a month ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

Sycraft-fu They do in Windows (327 comments)

The generic MS drivers know how to see if the drive supports TRIM and send the commands if it does. That's the point of TRIM: It is an ATA standard command, so special software isn't needed.

In fact, in Windows all you use is the generic drivers. I mean you may install drivers for your SATA controller, but not for your drive. My laptop has a Samsung 840 Pro in it, with Samsung's Magician installed. However the drivers in use are disk.sys, partmgr.sys (both Microsoft files) and iastorf.sys (Intel's file). No Samsung provided drivers. Magician can directly send commands to optimize the drive if needed if the OS can't, but the OS sends TRIM commands no problem.

about a month ago

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