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Canon Printer Hacked To Run Doom Video Game

Waccoon Re:So it runs Doom ? (87 comments)

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

2 days ago

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 two weeks ago

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 two weeks ago

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 2 months ago

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 2 months ago

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 3 months ago

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 3 months ago

Venture-Backed Bitcoin Miner Startup Can't Deliver On Time, Gets Sued

Waccoon Re:Breach of Contract (120 comments)

They have more confidence in cashing in on a fad, rather than the actual value of Bitcoins.

about 3 months ago

UK Ballistics Scientists: 3D-Printed Guns Are 'of No Use To Anyone'

Waccoon Re:But... (490 comments)

Only 4.8 per 100,000? I'm not sure that justifies talks about gun control. It might, however, justify talks about how to get rid of the slums that breed so many violent people in the first place.

about 4 months ago

Ford's Bringing Adaptive Steering To the Masses

Waccoon Re:I dislike electric power steering (128 comments)

I just bought a 2015 Subaru WRX with electric steering, and the feel is pretty incredible. Way better and gives much more feedback than my old 2005 WRX with hydraulic steering. People are still saying good things about the electric steering in the Subaru BRZ, too.

It wasn't long ago that all American cars were very soft and all drove like boats. Whether the technology works or not has little to do with the mechanics and more to do with the tuning and manufacturer's priorities. Thankfully, Ford has shaped up a lot since the 2008 economic crash,and they'll probably do it well. I'm not sure how GM and Chrysler would fare.

about 4 months ago

The Shrinking Giant Red Spot of Jupiter

Waccoon Re:Better question (160 comments)

Fluid simulations have shows that vortexes spinning in the opposite direction of a planet's rotation tend to continue spinning in a stable manner, and will eventually consolidate into a single vortex. Vortexes spinning with the planet's rotation will dissipate.

I assume something similar explains the hexagonal shape of the storm at the pole of Saturn.

about 4 months ago

Canadian Teen Arrested For Calling In 30+ Swattings, Bomb Threats

Waccoon Re:Lesson learned (350 comments)

The sad truth is that most criminals don't get caught until they brag about what they've done. Advertising services is one way of bragging.

about 4 months ago

Why Microsoft Shouldn't Patch the XP Internet Explorer Flaw

Waccoon Re:Microsoft Opened Themselves Up for Lawsuits (345 comments)

I sure hope you're talking about issues due to horrible drivers, not issues with Windows.

Get hardware that comes with good drivers, and Windows runs on everything.

about 4 months ago

Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

Waccoon Re:Recycling Personalities (448 comments)

You can change a massive deficit to a surplus in a single year just by adjusting the numbers in your budget.

Does that include multi-year corporate contracts?

Not all budgets can be turned on a dime, even with a change of management.

about 5 months ago

Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Waccoon Re:Sad, and not black and white either (351 comments)

The one that can still feed himself for a few months if he breaks a leg.

I'm not a very materialistic person and I don't make much money, but I do very much understand the concepts of emergency buffers and retirement savings.

about 5 months ago

Google Chrome 34 Is Out: Responsive Images, Supervised Users

Waccoon Re:Rather have vector (115 comments)

Ever heard of an autotracer? Some of the new ones work amazingly well.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

Waccoon Re:you can do better than that (423 comments)

If there's a vulnerability in your web browser, it really doesn't matter what OS you use.

about 6 months ago

Firefox Was the Most Attacked & Exploited Browser At Pwn2own 2014

Waccoon Re:Conditions of instability: (207 comments)

I have huge issues with Firefox, mostly with regards to memory management. However, stability is not one of them. I have maybe one or two crashes a year, and that's with a minimal, carefully culled selection of extensions.

The big disappointment is AdBlock Plus. This extension is the source of most slowdowns, and after the v27 update, AdBlock slows Firefox down to a crawl, and sucks up so much memory that regular restarts are needed to keep the browser from going berserk due to running out of memory.

I do know that AdBlock merely aggravates Firefox's memory management issues, though, rather than causing them. On its own, Firefox will still choke itself to death over time, and it appears to be related to its JavaScript engine.

about 6 months ago

Ars Technica Reviews Leaked Windows 8.1 Update

Waccoon Re:Nobody cares (194 comments)

In the 20 years I've been using computers, the only people I've ever heard say, "That computer is for old people" are fellow geeks.

about 6 months ago

New Mozilla Encoder Improves JPEG Compression

Waccoon Re:Why aren't we using PNG? (155 comments)

It would help if many paint programs had a default JPEG quality level higher than 70%. That's okay when dealing with 10 megapixel photos that are only shown on the screen or destined for 4x6 prints. Not so nice when dealing with large prints or artwork. I hate seeing Death by JPEG on sites like DeviantArt all the time.

about 6 months ago


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