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

Waccoon Re:I won't notice (326 comments)

To me, the move from DVD to Blu-ray is a big deal, since I no longer have to suffer with those horrible compression artifacts. I can't readily see the difference in resolution on my modestly-sized TV, but with DVDs, compression artifacts are extremely noticeable, especially when things are moving quickly on screen. I still buy a lot of DVDs since they are cheaper and I can watch them anywhere, but for the really good movies I get Blu-ray.

4K doesn't appeal to me because the biggest problem with image quality, compression, has been solved.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

Waccoon Re:New Laptop? Windows? (467 comments)

Wow. Just the fact the name contains "Mitigation Experience" is enough to make me run for the hills.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

Waccoon Re:Seriously??? (467 comments)

Aside from performance issues, this is the biggest reason I don't like using antivirus. Most programs are designed for idiots and helpfully take action for you, regardless of the circumstances or your experience. I'm shocked how many anti-virus programs will outright delete files without asking, let alone quarantine, and will not even give you the option to change the default behavior.

2 days ago
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Waccoon Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (800 comments)

My biggest complaint about automatics is they really want to go when you don't want them to. I hate it when a car wants to accelerate like mad without your foot on the fuel pedal, especially when going downhill, and I'll take a handbrake over a hill-holding transmission any day. Even with a drive-by-wire fuel pedal, a manual transmission gives a lot more confidence that you're driving the car and not the other way around.

Despite major changes over the years to improve responsiveness, shifting, and adding more gears, automatics simply don't perform logically. Forget paddle shifters -- if automatics had a "manual mode" which allowed the car to coast downhill or only move when your foot was on the fuel, I'd tolerate them much better (even if I still wouldn't want to own one for way more reasons than I care to list).

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

Waccoon Re:Cha Ching (790 comments)

I take it you haven't watched cartoons in a while. They usually continue to flaunt old-fashioned technology like some kind of skeuomorphic time machine.

Mr. Krabs from Spongebob Squarepants is something of a technophobe and insists on using an old-fashioned register he calls "Cashy".

I think kids will continue to understand things like cash registers, gramophones, steam engines, and pencil and paper for a long time. Too bad they may not appreciate actual cel animation, though.

about two weeks ago
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How Galaxies Are Disappearing From Our Universe

Waccoon Re: Balloons (174 comments)

Space is a giant roll of bubble wrap?

about three weeks ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

Waccoon Re:sansa story (269 comments)

The reason I bought an m200 series is specifically because it runs off an AAA battery. I figured it wouldn't crap out on me after a year since the battery is easily replaceable, unlike all the devices with built-in lithium batteries.

It still works perfectly, and I still use it, at least at my drawing desk. I'm also finding it very difficult to part with it, despite the lack of storage.

about a month and a half ago
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Russia Takes Down Steve Jobs Memorial After Apple's Tim Cook Comes Out

Waccoon Re:Terrible (430 comments)

Wait... that's not a bite out of the Apple logo?

about 3 months ago
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Mozilla Teases First Browser Dedicated To Devs

Waccoon Re:To infinity and beyond! (132 comments)

The real problem is that once all that memory is allocated, it never gets let go. It' perfectly fine to say that your copy of Firefox doesn't exceed 300 MB of memory usage in most cases, but if it does, only a restart can fix it. That may not be a "leak" in the traditional sense, which is why the geeks are upset about the meme, but the end result is the same. The problem is very much real, and has been for, oh... about 8 years!

AdBlock is greediest memory hog. After enabling that one extension, 10 minutes of browsing bloats memory usage to beyond 1GB and the browser slows down BIG time... to the point where it's practically unusable.

The issue appear to still be the JavaScript heap. Close all tabs and point your last open window to "about:blank". Then look at "about:memory". Almost all memory usage, probably several hundreds of MB, will be in the JS heap, not caches. I understand that a large part of the Firefox UI relies on JavaScript, but if you close all web pages, I would expect most memory, or at least a reasonable amount, to be released. If you're using an AdBlock-enabled version of Firefox which has allocated 1.5 GB of memory and then do the "about:blank" test, memory usage doesn't go down at all, despite the fact the browser isn't showing any live content.

The infamous "pausing" problems are also still present. They occur only when Firefox has allocated a huge amount of memory, and are probably related to either garbage collection or session state saves. Firefox really needs some sanity checks, or at least some tweaks so massive memory usage doesn't kill performance.

about 3 months ago
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How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

Waccoon Re:just like cell phones (415 comments)

My brother-in-law doesn't have a dedicated GPS in his car. He says he doesn't need it since he has his iPhone with him all the time. The problem is that when I'm driving and I need him to navigate, he keeps the iPhone tucked away 95% of the time. His justification? "I don't want to use up the battery."

I'll stick to my Garmin. It was cheap and works ten times better.

I for one don't understand how people so easily adapt to the practice of having to plug in their laptops and phones every couple hours, gravitate towards wall sockets, and lug around their wall warts all day (and leave them all over the place where you can trip over them).

about 3 months ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

Waccoon Re:Yosemite (370 comments)

Such toggles lead to low-use code paths in the OS, which means they don't get nearly the same amount of testing and they increase the complexity of the underlying software, increasing the risk of bugs in both settings

What testing? It's pretty solidly accepted that the last few iterations of iOS/OSX have been the buggiest in a long time.

After the iOS 8 update, scores of people on DeviantArt and other art sites I frequent said they were unable to upload any images from their Apple devices. Indeed, that was due to an OS bug. How the hell does something as fundamental to standards compliance get overlooked by QA?

about 3 months ago
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KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Waccoon Re:Simplification, n. (184 comments)

Old:
"Can I have that without onions?"
"Sure."

New:
"Can I have that without onions?"
"Why would you want that? Everybody else loves onions! Try them; you'll love them! Here you go!"

about 4 months ago
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Canon Printer Hacked To Run Doom Video Game

Waccoon Re:So it runs Doom ? (92 comments)

So that's why the damn cartridges run out so fast.

about 4 months ago
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RAYA: Real-time Audio Engine Simulation In Quake

Waccoon Sounds wrong (89 comments)

To me, this demo is serious uncanny valley territory.

When I was composing MOD music on my Amiga back in the late 80's, I was very much aware of the problem of playing the same instrument on the left and right channels at the same time, especially when doing pitch slides. You got all kinds of weird interference problems, or the audio version of moire effects, if you will. If you were good composer, it could be used to good effect in music in a lot of cases, but most of the time it was a real pain, especially with sound effects in games.

I hear plenty of that in this demo, and it's far different and more annoying than actual reverb. As it is, the sound is just too "off" for me to consider it an improvement, and just like 3D sound, I'd have this feature turned off.

about 5 months ago
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PHP 5.6.0 Released

Waccoon Re:Now almost as useful as python was 5 years ago! (118 comments)

Every time I update PHP on my Windows dev box, I have to re-arrange the order of the extensions in the config file to get PHP to start. Apparently, if you use any extensions that aren't enabled in a vanilla install, the default order of the extensions results in dependency issues. The helpful, paraphrased error message I get is something like, "PHP can't load this extension".

Yes, I know I'm talking about the Windows version, but installing PHP still isn't as simple as just unzipping an archive.

Then again, I've learned not to trust anything in PHP that is designed to make it portable across OSes. I used to use PHP_EOL to determine which newline style to use in my text files. On more than one occasion, PHP_EOL was broken and produced UN*X newlines.

about 5 months ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Waccoon Re:Also those sliding "give us your email' boxes (418 comments)

"Pop" is too kind a term. What usually happens is that the screen darkens, and an animated box will slowly scroll into view, then the ad will fade into the box, followed my more JQuery-ish transitions before the close gadget (if you can recognize it as such) finally comes last. Click the close gadget, and the whole thing proceeds in reverse. Really nice when combined with paginated content!

Once I see a page darken, I immediately hit F5. If it darkens again, I close the window. There are actually some sites on the Internet where I intentionally disable AdBlock, but I won't tolerate any site that attempts to block content on purpose.

about 6 months ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Waccoon Re:why? (418 comments)

Well, for one thing, the TV program usually starts before the ads, so I can at least see some of the show to determine whether it's worth watching. With Internet videos, the ads come first.

Without AdBlock, I spend a LOT more time watching ads being interrupted by content, not the other way around.

about 6 months ago
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Apple Kills Aperture, Says New Photos App Will Replace It

Waccoon Re:Aperture-specific plugins... (214 comments)

I used to argue like this, too, but the rest of the world seems to be catching up to Apple's tactics real fast.

about 7 months ago
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Secret of the Banjo's Unique Sound Discovered By Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist

Waccoon It's all in the bridge (101 comments)

It's been known for a while that if you place a banjo mute or any other metal object directly on the bridge, not only does it mute the volume but it also eliminates the characteristic, metallic ring. Placing objects anywhere else along the strings, pot, or even on the drum has little to no effect. The "valley" created by the bridge pressing into the drum is surprisingly small, so only a very small area of the drum affects the behavior of the bridge.

The bridge is what defines the sound of the banjo, and using differently shaped bridges has a bigger impact than using different drum materials.

It's a shame I lost most of the strength in my fingers over the years. I tried different setups for my banjo, but I could never actually play it. It's a wonderful and fascinating instrument.

about 7 months ago

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