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

The Snowman Re:I won't notice (332 comments)

Exactly this. A well encoded DVD is plenty good enough for anything other than very large screens and for people with insanely large screens they won't be buying 4k because it will cost more than their homes.

Nope. I have a 46" 1080p HDTV and sit around 10 feet from it. I have compared DVD and Blu-ray versions of some of the same movies that I bought on both mediums. The difference is night and day. If I watch on my 1080p computer monitor, 23" and I sit about 2 feet away, it is even more noticeable.

DVDs annoy the piss out of me because they are so blurry. Blu-rays might not be the high-resolution king anymore, but they are certainly not blurry.

about a week ago

Porn Companies Are Going After GitHub

The Snowman Re:any repercussions? (165 comments)

The Github projects being taken down contain source code that is definitely somebody's intellectual property in each case. And by filing fraudulent DMCA takedown requests, these porn sites are misrepresenting themselves as the owners of that intellectual property.

I know this is Slashdot, and asking someone to read the article is a bit much, but nobody is removing projects or any IP from Github. They are demanding that Google remove the links from their search results. From the article, emphasis added:

Several Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaints filed to Google by companies representing various porn companies in the last month alone have resulted in dozens of legitimate GitHub URLs being removed from the search engine's results, TorrentFreak first reported.

The exact same text appears in the summary at the top of this page. You do not even have to read the article, just the summary!

about three weeks ago

Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

The Snowman Re:Shyeah, right. (284 comments)

I have two LG BD-R drives, but they are discontinued. Honestly I would just browse Amazon and read the reviews in-depth. There are some useless reviews out there but it is fairly easy to determine which products are good and bad based on the good reviews. I can say my older LG drives are still holding up just fine.

I remember back when CD drives were new in PCs (back when the CD was connected to the SoundBlaster, not PATA or SATA). After a while the mechanicals would go and they would fail to seek. I remember old burners failing to burn after a while. Honestly, any drive I have bought in the last 10-15 years has lasted as long as the rest of the computer without any problems, including the two BD-R drives I use. That is probably a combination of technology improving and the fact that I do my research and find good quality drives.

As to your SSD comment, they have improved quite a bit recently. I just bought a 512 GB for the same price as a 256 GB just two years prior. The quality and durability are improving as well. If you have been holding out making the switch, now is a good time and it will only get better.

about 2 months ago

Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

The Snowman Re:Shyeah, right. (284 comments)

I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and get a BD burner soon, does anybody here have exp with using BD for storage? How are they holding up?

I have two BD-R drives. Much like with DVDs, I use a good quality media: pretty much all of the good DVD brands also make good BD-Rs, e.g. Verbatim. I store the discs in a cool, dry place away from sunlight (disc binders). After about four years I have had no problems reading any disc I have burned.

Blu-ray discs have two advantages over DVD. First is size: a single layer disc holds 25 GB, or approximately three times as much as a dual layer DVD. Dual layer discs hold 50 GB, or approximately six times as much as a dual layer DVD. This drastically reduces both the annoyance of burning (sitting at the computer swapping discs) as well as the amount of physical space required.

The second advantage, which I wish applied to other media as well, is the scratch-resistant coating. Due to the much tighter storage density as well as the thinner layer of plastic required to get the laser closer to the data surface, a scratch is more serious for a Blu-ray. To help with this, they use a much more durable plastic that does not scratch easily unless you are deliberately gouging the surface.

For commercial use, go with tape. For home use, I love my BD-R. A 50 GB BD-R disc holds plenty of data for a home user, is durable, and can last years under residential conditions.

about 2 months ago

State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

The Snowman Re:The "old boys' club" (335 comments)


how? it's not interstate commerce.

Tesla Motors is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. They are trying to sell in as many states as possible, and this article is about them conducting commerce in Iowa. Last time I checked, Iowa and California were different states. Furthermore, Tesla is building a battery factory in Nevada and their assembly plant is in Fremont, CA. While obviously California-centric, they are involved in multiple states.

about 4 months ago

TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

The Snowman Re:Why does this always happen? (270 comments)

Nothing inspires more confidence in a complex cryptographic system than a name like "CipherShed.'

At least they did not call it The Gimp.

about 4 months ago

BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

The Snowman ORLY? (363 comments)

Lolwut? So when I connect to my corporate network to do legal stuff I get a paycheck for, I am a pirate?

about 5 months ago

How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

The Snowman Re:Phones + 1 laptop. (260 comments)

Desktops and the laser printer are all hard-wired. But we have two laptops, two phones, two tablets, and the Blu-ray player that are all wireless. Sometimes a third laptop. That puts me squarely in 7-8 territory.

about 5 months ago

The Doctor Will Skype You Now

The Snowman Re:Considering my doctor... (97 comments)

I would imagine these are for the case where the patient can't get to the doctor's office frequently. Whether this raise privacy concerns would be open for interpretation.

Or for follow-ups. I had an appointment with a specialist this last Monday. She prescribed some stuff, said to call back or come in (if necessary) in two weeks. What if I could Skype for five minutes and say how things are going, maybe show the affected area of my body on the camera for a quick look. Saves time all around. Then if I really do need to come in for a personal visit, we can schedule that.

Seems that often enough I just want to talk with a physician and do not necessarily need the hassle of driving there just to talk face to face. Yeah there are plenty of times I need to show up in person too, but this could be one more tool to save time and energy. I miss less work (or stay less late to make up the time), the physician gets to see more patients. It could be a win all around.

about 6 months ago

Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory

The Snowman Re:Doesn't surprise me (81 comments)

And when it was rumored that Chrysler was introducing another brand in the early 2010s, we "knew" that Plymouth was coming back. It didn't. RAM was split from Dodge instead.

Wow, news to me. Seriously, I am not being sarcastic. I just went to dodge.com and RAM Truck was an option: but it took me to a different site with a warning that I was leaving dodge.com. I was not aware of this until this evening.

about 6 months ago

Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

The Snowman Re:No. (502 comments)

Even then, the signal-to-noise ratios of onboard has been good enough for years now. Sure, you might notice a slight difference with a good pair of headphones, but in practice, not so much.

My previous computer was a Q6600 with a SoundBlaster. The sound card did have better sound than the integration audio. For the most part it sounded okay, but the onboard did have a small buzz which was noticeable at higher volumes. It also did not support as many channels, so a small amount of the time some sounds in games would cut out. The SoundBlaster card did not have any buzz, supported more channels, and generally sounded slightly better. But I admit the difference was minor.

When I put together my Ivy Bridge i7 system a year and a half ago, I again compared the state of a (then) brand new integrated chip (RealTek something or other) with the SoundBlaster. No difference. No buzzing either way, and the integrated sound supports plenty of channels. So I agree, but some people in this thread have mentioned the time was 10-15 years ago when I think it is half that long. Regardless of how we got to this point, this is where we are at now.

about 7 months ago

Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

The Snowman Re:I'll enjoy this.... (530 comments)

What entry level, minimum wage worker gets 40 hours per week? Employers might have to pay benefits on top of the extra wages!

about 7 months ago

Oracle Buying Micros Systems For $5.3 Billion

The Snowman Re:Gold Finger (71 comments)

Oracle is like the gold finger, everything they touch turns to gold and dies

As an ex-employee of Micros' retail division in Solon, Ohio, I can honestly say they do not need the help here. Micros (Retail) is already rotting from the inside out.

I do not expect Oracle coming in to save the day. There has already been too much brain drain and customers are already dropping them as a vendor. Big customers. Think $10 million and larger contracts, poof, like a fart in the wind.

Micros has some really good products, it is the services that kill them. While profitable, they add an exponential amount of work to the delivery and open them up to liabilities. Oracle will likely come in and say "one size (ours) will fit all." And that would probably be the best for everyone.

about 7 months ago

TrueCrypt Author Claims That Forking Is Impossible

The Snowman Re:What whas the problem in the first place? (250 comments)

There is also the fact that if someone decided to take all of TC's code, cut and paste it, and make it BSD licensed or GPL licensed, there is nobody that will step up to enforce TC's license. Is there a person that the code belongs to? Will the TC Foundation have the resources to get lawyers for it, even if it is just for a DMCA takedown notice?

Regardless, that would be a bad idea. There are enough doubts about the security of the product now. Ideally there will be an OpenCrypt cleanroom clone of the product that is truly open source (not the almost open source license of TrueCrypt). There should be structure to the product: open code audits and security reviews, not some vague promise that it is secure.

Another critical feature of the new product should be a geographically diverse set of developers. The last thing we need is the FBI or NSA silencing the project. Maybe U.S.-based developers would be gagged, but with developers in multiple countries and well-placed canaries, that should be designed to backfire relatively quickly.

about 7 months ago

Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

The Snowman Re:Bad idea (275 comments)

You can't - as I understand it - legally IPO to only those sharing your vision. You are going to get pension funds and hedge funds and ... purchasing slices of your company to diversify their portfolios.

These may then not want you to go spending money on wild unprofitable in the next 10 years crap, but to make next years dividend larger.

This is part of the reason why every IPO files a prospectus with the SEC. SpaceX is what I would call "high risk" from an investment perspective. It could multiply my stock investment a thousand-fold, I could lose everything. This is not the sort of stock that most mutual and other funds would invest in. I believe the risk of going public is the stock market can be very fickle at times, especially with high risk, unproven technology: which describes SpaceX.

Staying private for now while the risk is higher means more stability for SpaceX. Elon Musk can still acquire capital and can still sell shares of the company, just not on a public market. Example: he could sell 25% of his company to a VC in return for a bucket of money, then pay it back in stock or cash after the IPO. But the company will not be subject to some of the market forces that govern publicly-traded corporations, which is a good thing in the short-term.

about 7 months ago

Tesla Releases Electric Car Patents To the Public

The Snowman Re:Trust but verify (211 comments)

Of course what Elon Musk is offering here is not a license or a promise, but a vaguely worded statement:

It's a trap.

Not really. It is a blanket contract with the public at large. This was a public statement made in a public forum, and it carries with it the full force of contract law. If he tries to sue anyone who acted "in good faith" this statement could be used as evidence against him in a court of law.

about 8 months ago

Synaptics Buys Key Apple Supplier

The Snowman Re:Apple better switch suppliers... (38 comments)

I've NEVER used a Synaptic touch pad that worked worth a shit... they are all terrible... and then you have to use their shitty drivers on top of it in Windows...meh, stay away.

In general they are VERY touchy. Typing on my laptop, not touching the touchpad, causes the mouse cursor to jump all over the place and sometimes even click. I always plug in a mouse and set the driver to disable the touchpad when a mouse is connected, which there normally is at either my home or work desk. I will even take my mouse with me to meetings just so I do not have to deal with the Synaptic touchpad.

That being said, my personal laptop is one of the better Synaptic touchpads I have used. It is not as bad as either of the cheaper work laptops I have used in the past year.

about 8 months ago

Physical Media: Down, But Maybe Not Out

The Snowman Re:Meh. (116 comments)

I'm spontaneous enough that I almost always stream. I can't imagine others are far behind.

I buy Blu-rays using Amazon Prime for less than $10 each. It gets here in two days, and if it costs $10 or more, it is not a good value and I do not watch it. Plus, I have physical media that stick around in case the cloud blows away in a breeze. Internet is down? I can still watch it. Cloud provider goes out of business due to lousy sales or MPAA greed or malfeasance? I still have the media. Sure, this means I do not get new releases right away, but why should I care?

about 8 months ago

Rising Sea Levels Uncover Japanese War Dead In Marshall Islands

The Snowman Re:Faster than the global average? (182 comments)

I would also add that the Moon is a factor. Its gravity is the reason for the tides: and with so much of the Earth's surface covered by water, it is reasonable that whatever ocean is facing the Moon at any given time will have a higher water level (tide) than the oceans not facing the Moon.

about 8 months ago

Sparse's Story Illustrates the Potholes Faced By Hardware Start-Ups

The Snowman Real Potholes (103 comments)

I misread that. I was hoping this was a startup that had some innovative, cheap way to repair potholes. Some of us have to deal with some really awful potholes even in June, well past the end of winter.

about 8 months ago



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