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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Tapewolf Re:Hopefully. (375 comments)

'400 rads, ladies and gentlemen. A lethal dose to anyone within ten yards. Get it while it's hot!'

"'Azure' is a codeword indicating that the property is under some kind of electronic surveillance." Which is amusing, because Grogan rather reminds me of Bill Gates.

about 3 months ago

Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?

Tapewolf Re:Won't work in most rooms (197 comments)

I've heard Dolby's positional audio, being driven from a game, in the Dolby Labs screening room in San Francisco. It sounds great. You can hear people sneaking up behind you in the game. You can hear someone walking around you. There's a real sense of presence.

Before Creative destroyed them and threw away the technology behind it, Aureal had this capability 15 years ago, even when downmixed to stereo headphones. Playing System Shock 2 and suddenly having a voice behind you suddenly scream "THE MANY ARE STRONG!!" will make you jump out of your chair.

about 3 months ago

Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

Tapewolf Re:Boo (163 comments)

If you have tires rated to handle 100PSI without fault, you don't have $80 tires.

Adjusting for inflation it's more like $460 in present-day money - one reason I added the publication year after the citation. Even so, I doubt stock tires on a 1971 Cadillac were rated that hight. Of course, how much of that was actually autobiographical and how much of it is sheer fiction is open to debate.

about 4 months ago

Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

Tapewolf Re:Boo (163 comments)

As far as I can tell, tires just blow up when they feel like it. Ridiculous abuse hasn't failed my tires, but normal driving with 35-40psi in a 50psi rated tire has.

...fifty pounds each didn't seem to help with the cornering, so I went back a few hours later and told him I wanted to try seventy-five. He shook his head nervously. "Not me," he said, handing me the air-hose. Here. They're your tires, you do it."

"What's wrong?" I asked. "You think they can't take seventy-five?"

He nodded, moving away as I stooped to deal with the left front. "You're damn right," he said. "Those tires want twenty-eight in the front and thirty-two in the rear. Fifty's dangerous, but seventy-five is crazy. They'll explode!"

"I told you," I said, "Sandoz laboratories designed those tires. They're special. I could load them up to a hundred."

"God almighty!" he groaned. "Don't do that here."

"Not today," I replied, "I want to see how they corner at seventy-five."

He chuckled. "You won't even get to the corner, Mister."

"We'll see," I said, moving around to the rear with the air-hose. In truth, I was nervous. The two front ones were tighter than snare-drums; they felt like teak wood when I tapped on them with the rod. But what the hell? I thought. If they explode, so what? It's not often a man gets a chance to run terminal experiments on a virgin Cadillac and four brand-new $80 tires.

--Hunter S Thompson, 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas', 1971

about 4 months ago
top Announces Linux Support

Tapewolf Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (81 comments)

No offense, but that's a kind of dumb assumption. They explicitly state that they make the games compatible with modern systems. With a large portion of their catalog being 16-bit, and 64-bit OSes not able to load 16-bit apps, they *need* to be wrapping the games in emulators or the like.

Yes, the original game files - or very close, minimally-patched versions - are in there. However, the vast majority of their customer base wouldn't be able to do anything with those game files. Even if they were, it wouldn't be the simple and user-friendly experience that it is today.

Yeah, I appreciate that but I think you may have missed something in my post. I know exactly why they've done what they did and for the majority of cases it's a very good idea. But if you want to play the game in its original format, you are SOL.

Right now, you buy a game - you get a choice of downloading a Windows version or a Mac version. Would it have killed them to have had a third option to download the DOS version of the game? It would be a damn sight smaller than the bloaty thing I had to download.

I think what really pissed me off was the fact that they had deleted the original EXE files instead of just leaving them around for people who needed them.

about 4 months ago
top Announces Linux Support

Tapewolf Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (81 comments)

It's a little more complicated than that.

They have big all-in-one installer .exes that setup a full environment for the games.

This. I bought the Kyrandia series about a month ago, and after faffing around with WINE to extract the games - which was not fun because it only drew half the installer and I had to guess what it was trying to tell me - I found that they didn't actually include the bloody game program at all, just the data files and a scummvm installation of unknown provenance.

Yes, it does make it easier for someone without a DOS background to get the games up and running, I can't fault them for that. But I would much preferred to have had the option to get just the bare installation files so that I could play the actual game on the platform of my choosing. After all, I had assumed I was buying the original game, rather than some weird, dicked-about version of it :P

about 4 months ago

Are the Hard-to-Exploit Bugs In LZO Compression Algorithm Just Hype?

Tapewolf Re:Kernel bloat (65 comments)

Why should the Linux kernel have a compression algorithm in it?

Because it needs to compress and decompress things.

The kernel image is usually compressed anyway, then you've got things like page compression for zram, in-filesystem compression support - heck, BTRFS uses LZO! I think some network layer stuff like PPP supports header compression, and all that's only the things I'm vaguely aware of.

about 5 months ago

The Revolutionary American Weapons of War That Never Happened

Tapewolf Re:More Republican garbage (133 comments)

Government control over production and mass media isn't a left wing concept? You should coulda fooled me!

If you travel far enough to the left or to the right, you end up in the same place.

about 5 months ago

BlackBerry Back In Profit

Tapewolf Re:Blackberry - only vendor serious about security (67 comments)

Certainly they were - the old Blackberry OS was FIPS-certified. At the time, about 3 years ago, it was the only phone platform we could find that matched the government security requirements the company I worked for needed for a tender, and that was unfortunate, because the old OS is shit and horrific to program against.

I do not know if the QNX-based OS was ever secured as tightly as OS7.

about 5 months ago

Physical Media: Down, But Maybe Not Out

Tapewolf Re:Sure, let me know (116 comments)

How about SM911? It's bias-compatible.

about 5 months ago

Mesa 10.2 Improves Linux's Open-Source Graphics Drivers

Tapewolf Re:Still relevant nowadays? (58 comments)

Never heard of 'In Watermelon Sugar' before. It was weirdly beautiful.

about 5 months ago

SanDisk Announces 4TB SSD, Plans For 8TB Next Year

Tapewolf Re:Oh goody (264 comments)

If you only write infrequently (use for image editing) and then backup storage - how many years would the SSD maintain values?

If the drive is powered down, I wouldn't bet on it lasting the year. Intel only seem to guarantee up to 3 months without power for their drives:

Note also that the retention is said to go downwards as P/E cycles are used up. For me, I think they make great system drives, but I don't use them for anything precious.

about 7 months ago

Why Should Game Stories Make Sense?

Tapewolf Re:I just like interesting games (169 comments)

Replaying Morrowind at the moment. The plot and the worldbuilding in that is really what makes it for me. Not least the religious texts about Vivec... mind-bogglingly bizarre yet seemingly strung together with some otherworldly logic of their own.

System Shock 1 I found to be quite well-thought out too. It would have worked without the plot and background, and indeed there was even an option to turn it off. But without the text or audio logs strewn about depicting the fall of the station in poignant detail, it wouldn't have been nearly as memorable.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Tapewolf Watkins tape echo (702 comments)

I believe these were marketed as 'Guild' or something in the US. Mine came off ebay about a decade ago and appears to be one of the first all-transistor models, cira 1966 or so. I believe it's the oldest piece of equipment that I use regularly - I also have an Akai 210GX which I use occasionally.
Most of my studio equipment is from the late 1980s or early-mid 1990s, when open-reel technology had reached its peak (microprocessor control, built-in DBX noise reduction etc).

about 7 months ago

Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone

Tapewolf Re:Is anyone actually stuck on Snow Leopard? (241 comments)

I'm not sure you can actually get Lion anymore. I waited too long on Snow Leopard, and once Mountain Lion came out, that was the only upgrade offered, despite the fact it wouldn't run on the 2007 hardware. I bit the bullet and upgraded the hardware. I also considered ditching it at that point, but there are still a couple of pieces of software I need OSX for with no Linux equivalent and the win32 port doesn't run in WINE.

about 9 months ago

FFmpeg's VP9 Decoder Faster Than Google's

Tapewolf Re:Faster is not necessarily better: Quality matte (101 comments)

So, is the quality of the output equivalent or has it suffered due to compromises due to the speed increase?

It probably just means the reference implementation wasn't optimized very much.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: An Open Source PC Music Studio?

Tapewolf Re:An oddball solution (299 comments)

A couple of additional points: I use Rosegarden for the performance, partly because I can stick it on a laptop if I ever do some kind of live show, but also because SONAR was very temperamental about synchronizing to an external source. Rosegarden has had a tendency to flip out on occasion (I've sent patches), but it never, ever drifts the way SONAR would.

The other thing I should perhaps have clarified is that I mix down to 1/4" because I've often had problems with the audio glitching during digitization (and it was even worse in Windows). If I mixed it directly into the computer, Murphy's law says the take would glitch. Whereas if it's mixed to tape, I can go back and re-digitize it. It also means that I can go back and re-digitize the tape in some future format if need be.

about 10 months ago


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