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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Most Painless Intro To GPU Programming?

VertigoAce C++ AMP (198 comments)

Take a look at C++ AMP. It is a small language extension that lets you target the GPU using C++. The platform takes care of most of the mechanics of running code on the GPU. Also check out this blog post for links to tutorials and samples.

about a year ago
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Stroustrup Reveals What's New In C++ 11

VertigoAce Re:"Not a major overhaul"? (305 comments)

Slide 5 of the deck here says that initializer lists, template aliases, variadic templates, and other features are coming in a series of out of band releases after VC11 RTM (but sooner than the next major release of VC). That slide also lists the stdlib and language features that are included in VC11 Beta/RTM.

more than 2 years ago
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Australian Users Petitioning Against Windows 8 Secure Boot

VertigoAce Re:Europeans (386 comments)

The MS blog post discussing this specifically mentions a requirement that there is no programmatic control of secure boot policies. If it were possible to add certificates while the OS is running, it would be easier for malware to add those certificates themselves.

about 2 years ago
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Windows 8 Won't Support Plug-Ins; the End of Flash?

VertigoAce Re:Nope (661 comments)

Windows 8 does not have a different UI on different hardware. Based on the hardware being demoed this week, I think the lines between different kinds of hardware will be too blurry for that kind of distinction. The tablet given out to BUILD attendees has a docking station and supports HDMI output and a keyboard and mouse. You would likely stick to touch-friendly apps while using it as a tablet, but at home/work you could use things like Visual Studio and Photoshop.

more than 2 years ago
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IE6 Still Going Strong In China

VertigoAce Re:What internet (158 comments)

Perhaps that used to be the case. After reading your comment I tried paying my bill in Firefox 4 and it worked just fine. FF isn't my usual browser, so I can't say if this is a recent fix on T-Mobile's site.

more than 3 years ago
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Windows Already Up and Running On ARM Architecture

VertigoAce Re:Why is it sneaky? (348 comments)

Yes, I was referring to 64-bit binaries. Pointer alignment was what I was thinking would be the biggest issue for porting typical apps to ARM. I found a couple spots in the compiler documentation that suggest misalignment is already a warning on x86 with a note that it will be an error when compiling for a RISC processor. So hopefully most instances of this would show up as build breaks rather than runtime errors.

I think the IA-64 port of Windows forced any alignment issues in the OS (and SDK) to be addressed.

more than 3 years ago
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Windows Already Up and Running On ARM Architecture

VertigoAce Re:Why is it sneaky? (348 comments)

Office 2010 on ARM was demonstrated during CES in January. Also, .NET apps should be binary compatible. It would not surprise me if it is easier to port 32-bit apps to ARM than it is to port them to amd64.

more than 3 years ago
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Federal Judge Rejects Google Books Deal

VertigoAce Re:How does some guild get authority (234 comments)

The issue here is that it isn't possible for anybody else to negotiate the same deal Google was going for with this settlement. Google was trying to reach a deal with an entire class, not a specific group of authors. So while a competitor could negotiate a similar deal with specific authors or groups of authors, they would be unable to create a deal with the entire class of authors (unless faced with a class action lawsuit and able to negotiate the same settlement).

It sounds like the judge agreed with this objection and indicated that the deal might work if authors needed to opt-in rather than opt-out. Under an opt-in system, authors could opt-in to a competitor's service as well as Google's. Alternatively, Google could try to get copyright law changed so that their opt-out system would be allowed by law (and competitors could set up similar systems without facing infringement lawsuits).

more than 3 years ago
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Gtk 3.2 Will Let You Run Applications In a Browser

VertigoAce Re:Standards people! (184 comments)

The approach the IE team has started taking for unstable standards is to release prototypes independently of the main browser. For example, the websockets prototype is here: http://html5labs.interoperabilitybridges.com/prototypes/available-for-download/websockets. My understanding is that there have been breaking changes in the websockets protocol spec fairly recently (to resolve security issues), so shipping an implementation for widespread use isn't a good idea until the spec stabilizes.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Rewarding Employees Who Phone It In

VertigoAce Re:Wow! (280 comments)

The 30% is the cut that Microsoft takes from every app on the WP7 marketplace (same as Apple does with their app store). Employees get the same 70% that third party developers get.

The people I work with had the opposite reaction from what you suggest. The policy removed the uncertainty around moonlighting in this case and encouraged people to start developing apps. I don't think this would have been against policy in any case, but most employees aren't going to spend the time talking to their manager, legal, and HR just to get approval to release a $0.99 app.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple To Keep 30% of Magazine Subscription Revenue

VertigoAce Re:But Worse Than Distributing on Android? (381 comments)

The bigger issue is that some subscription services have less than a 30% profit margin already. This policy would mean losing money on every iPhone user that signs up through Apple. The obvious solution is to raise prices, but Apple's policy is that the iTunes price cannot be higher than the price available anywhere else. So prices go up for everybody, whether or not they are an Apple customer.

For example, Amazon gives publishers ~70% of the purchase price of a book. If they have to give the 30% to Apple, that leaves no profit for Amazon. Apple would end up with a huge ebook store with none of the overhead of actually negotiating with publishers (the guidelines require that Amazon provide the content for sale through the app store). When it becomes impossible to profit on Apple platforms, I'd expect Amazon to put their money behind Android and any other platforms.

more than 3 years ago
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Security Patch Breaks VMware Users' Windows Desktops

VertigoAce Re:Broke a few things so far (80 comments)

Here's the documentation for what is in 3.5.1: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977683. This list appears to include all publicly documented bugs that were fixed in 3.5.1 (in other words, bugs in earlier versions that warranted a hotfix and KB article).

I would guess that there were other bugs in 3.5 that didn't meet the hotfix bar (for example, low severity issues or ones that no customers had reported). Fixing these kinds of bugs on their own would require lots of testing. Instead, 3.5.1 included fixes for these issues and got to piggyback on all the testing that happens as part of a Windows release anyway.

more than 3 years ago
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Critics Call For Probe Into Google Government Ties

VertigoAce Re:not the CEO (289 comments)

The summary is where the incorrect title appears: "fundraiser at Google CEO Marissa Meyer's home."

more than 3 years ago
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Can We Legislate Past the H.264 Debate?

VertigoAce Re:No. Just pay up (310 comments)

Unless format B is lossless, you will degrade the quality when transcoding from format A to format B. By definition, a lossy encoding will result in the loss of some information from the source video. I haven't experimented with this, but I would guess that codecs that are similar to each other (i.e., both lose similar information) would result in less degradation with an output at roughly the same bitrate. If the codec is completely different (loses information unrelated to the information that the first codec discarded), I would imagine you would need to increase the bitrate closer to the point of being lossless in order to maintain the quality.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Secretly Beheads Notorious Waledac Botnet

VertigoAce Re:Standing (381 comments)

I assume that by owning @hotmail.com and @microsoft.com, Microsoft itself was the target of a large amount of spam from this botnet. That would give Microsoft standing to sue, as well as a lot of evidence to back up its claims.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Finally To Patch 17-Year-Old Bug

VertigoAce Re:You joke, but I think he'd like to (251 comments)

For what it's worth, the disk space requirements quoted for Windows are not for the OS, let alone the kernel. The disk space calculation is based on the OS, a set of applications (Office + other basic apps), room for documents, plus a couple service packs. The goal for Win7 was that it would be usable on a netbook with a 16GB SSD. I've heard of people getting a full install on an 8GB SSD, but it's not supported.

more than 4 years ago
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Once Again, US DoJ Opposes Google Book Search

VertigoAce Re:Yay! (218 comments)

The objection that the DoJ and other companies have is that Google is being granted a wide license by way of a class action settlement. Normally a company can't make a licensing agreement with all copyright owners without contacting each and every one of them. But since this is a class action settlement, all members of the class are automatically opted in to the agreement. Interestingly, all the publishers who sued Google in the first place have opted out of this particular arrangement (they negotiated better deals with Google). So this settlement is being agreed to by a group of publishers who have nothing to lose.

The only way a competitor could get a similar agreement is by being sued and hoping that a similar settlement is the end result.

The proper way for something like this to occur is for Congress to modify copyright law to allow any company to set up a similar service (potentially with a single entity in charge of distributing royalties and managing any opt-in/opt-out process).

more than 4 years ago
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Does Your PC Really Need a SysRq Button Anymore?

VertigoAce Re:I don't recall ever using it... (806 comments)

Hold Alt, navigate through the menus with the keyboard, then press PrtSc.

more than 4 years ago

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