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Star Wars: the Old Republic Launches

Zhiroc Re:WoW 2.0 (389 comments)

Well, it's not that they don't have effect--your conversation choices will grant LS/DS points, as well as affect companion loyalty. It remains to be seen how much ME-style plot tracking will affect the story as the game develops.

more than 2 years ago
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Star Wars: the Old Republic Launches

Zhiroc Re:WoW 2.0 (389 comments)

Not to mention playing on the Empire side. I doubt a KotOR 3 would have had that.

more than 2 years ago
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Star Wars: the Old Republic Launches

Zhiroc Re:Looks like a good game, but I wont be playin'. (389 comments)

SWG never to my knowledge broke 500K subs. It was declining after the initial surge after launch, and while I'd agree that the changes hastened its demise, it's hard to peg it as a extremely successful MMO even in its heyday, at least compared with the expectations of what a Star Wars property should bring.

From what I hear, SWTOR had about a million pre-orders. Only time will tell if will live up to its own expectations.

more than 2 years ago
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NASA Considers Sending Telescope To the Outer Solar System

Zhiroc Re:Upwards? (152 comments)

Remember, you can't be "up" all the time. You are in an orbit that is tilted relative to the plane, and thus must pass through the plane twice on each revolution. If it were only at the distance of the earth's orbit, you would probably get significant "glare" for a significant amount of time compared to an earth-based telescope.

more than 2 years ago
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LEGO Universe To Shut Down

Zhiroc Re:Open Source an MMO? (121 comments)

I don't know the particulars of LEGO Universe, but the issue is very likely that they license a number of core technologies that sit at the center of their architecture (e.g. Big World, which I recall Stargate Worlds used). This and other packages would all have to be re-engineered, I imagine.

more than 3 years ago
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Firefox 8.0 Released

Zhiroc Re:new firefox release schedule moved me to Chrome (383 comments)

I was getting tired of FF4/5 using 800 MB of memory, so I decided to upgrade to FF7. Now it grows to 1.5 GB. Yes, it has almost doubled. On the plus side, it seems to perform a bit better at a higher memory level than FF4/5, but still gets to the same slow performance eventually (which is fairly quickly, on the order of a day). So no, FF7 did not have the great memory reduction it was touted to have, at least for me.

I've decided to experiment and disable most of my extensions. I'm now running with the minimum of Stylish, NoScript, and ABP. The growth rate has slowed it appears (maybe by half), but as of right now I am at 944 MB and slowly growing.

My suspicion? FF has terrible memory fragmentation behavior in their JS engine. The more things you run that need JS, the worse it gets. There's one, and only one thing holding me back from going with Chrome all the way: the lack of a Master password.

more than 3 years ago
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Soon, No More Film Movie Cameras

Zhiroc Re:And for good reasons... (227 comments)

Keeping archival copies is probably harder than everyone thinks.

  • In 1980, I saved my files from college on a DECtape. Few of you probably even know what that is.
  • In 1988, I saved files from grad school on an 1/2" reel tape.
  • In 1995, I saved files on 1/4" cartridge tapes.

So, basically, "archives" I made 15-30 yrs ago are basically trash to me (I'm not even sure the bits would have survived on those that long, but that's another story.)

Note that even if I had a DECtape reader that I could interface to modern computers, what's the format? It was a directory-based, block-structured device where files tended to be non-contiguous. Also, to get the most out of it, we generally uses FPIP to compress the data. And FPIP used a dynamic compression technique. That means if a byte corrupted in the file, you could no longer decompress as that would change the frequency counts used to determine the decompression tables.

So, in the list of archiving problems we have: old media, loss of integrity of the media, the hardware format of bits on the media, the software format of bits on the media, and the software encoding of those bits. How long will it be before MP4, etc., are no longer used?

more than 3 years ago
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Firefox 8.0 Beta Available

Zhiroc Re:are you kidding me? (305 comments)

I have one extension (at least) that doesn't support FF 6.0 yet. Until that changes, I don't move.

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook Cookies Track Users Even After Logging Out

Zhiroc Re:Automatically clear cookies (352 comments)

Yes, but how often do you actually exit? I never close mine, unless I'm forced to.

more than 3 years ago
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Netflix Creates Qwikster For DVD Only Business

Zhiroc Re:A new name divorced from their core? (481 comments)

mailflix.com is taken, according to a WHOIS search. Maybe it could be bought for the right price. Just about every *flix.com name is probably also gone by now.

more than 2 years ago
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KDE Plans To Support Wayland In 2012

Zhiroc Re:Stupid (413 comments)

Some timings. These are between the same Solaris 10 server and Ubuntu 10.10 client. X11 is via SSH port forwarding (unfortunately, it appears that Ubuntu doesn't even turn on X11 TCP connections, and I'd have to restart my display to set that up) and VNC is via a remote desktop. The times given are between issuing the command and the window being displayed, measured by a stopwatch.

  • xterm: 11.5s via X11, 1.5s via VNC
  • firefox: 56.5s via X11, 16s via VNC

Additionally, when I went to quit FF on the X11 connection, it took about 30s to display the File menu, while my system was frozen in a server grab.

more than 3 years ago
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KDE Plans To Support Wayland In 2012

Zhiroc Re:Stupid (413 comments)

On a high-latency WAN, using firefox as the benchmark, VNC is better from my experience. My guess is that it uses a lot of synchronous requests, and if you can only get about 10 requests/sec (at 100ms ping), it really adds up.

more than 3 years ago
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KDE Plans To Support Wayland In 2012

Zhiroc Re:Stupid (413 comments)

Count me as skeptical as to whether this is a good thing or not. I suppose one key aspect is how easy it will be to develop applications that are compatible with whatever the user is running. One thing I have to point out though, is that X11's greatest strength--virtualization--is also its greatest weakness. I work at home via a VPN connection to my company, and have about a 100ms ping time or so, and I can say that I'll run a remote display only under duress. It's slow to the point of being maddening. I will rather run a VNC desktop because that actually performs tons better. Of course, VNC is built on top of X11, but as long as something like that is possible, it isn't necessary to have a native remote window system.

more than 3 years ago
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HTC Is Paying Microsoft $5 For Every Android Phone

Zhiroc Re:Sad to see giants fall... (261 comments)

Actually, MS is a bit player in the cell phone wars. Take a look at this chart.

Isn't Apple trying to claim ownership of the word (abbreviation) "app"?

more than 3 years ago
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New Hampshire Bill Could Lead To Adoption of Approval Voting

Zhiroc A far cry from instant runoff/ranked voting (416 comments)

I don't think I like the concept of "approval voting". I much rather would like "instant runnoff"/ranked voting. The problem is, how far down the line of approval do you go before you stop "approving"? With approval voting, you are basically voting for everyone with the same priority. I'm not so sure that gets the result of the person who is "most approved", but rather who is "least disapproved", and there's a big difference in my mind.

For example, if you are for the Tea Party, and are a Republican, by approving of both the TP and mainstream candidate (who is presumably more towards the center), you are going to disadvantage your preferred candidate.

Also, there's a reason to whittle down a field of candidates via a primary or other system: it is hard, almost impossible maybe, to take the time to realistically research a field of 10 candidates. Debates with this large a field give everyone just a minute or two, or if more, very few questions, and no real debate is possible.

Perhaps the best compromise would be to use approval voting for primaries, where you select the top 5, and then ranked voting/instant runoff to do the final selection.

more than 3 years ago
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Will Tabbed Windows Be the Next Big Thing?

Zhiroc Re:Yes (528 comments)

Something I've always liked about the "old" X windows model that I dislike about Windows (and I think Mac as well), is the assumption that the application with the focus should be the one that is in front of all others. There are a lot of times when I'd like to type into one app, say a text editor, while viewing something else, like a browser loaded with a documentation page, where I want to see the whole browser while I type, even if that means just seeing a few lines of what I'm typing.

I know that GNOME allows a focus-follows-mouse mode, but it is partly incomplete as clicking in the window with the focus brings that window to the front. If anyone knows how to disable that, I'd appreciate it.

about 5 years ago
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Will Tabbed Windows Be the Next Big Thing?

Zhiroc Re:This is just the dumbest thing I have ever hear (528 comments)

This is what workspaces are for--to group windows together for a certain task. I have a GNOME desktop, and while I lament on the amount of CPU it seems to use, it has a pretty good model, particularly if you turn on the "group windows together on the taskbar" (something that I *don't* like on Windows, btw, because of the lack of workspaces).

It's even better when you have two monitors. However, I don't like the one-big-workspace-across-both model. I'd rather be able to select a workspace for each, though I'd go beyond what I've seen so far, and let one pick a workspace for either out of a common pool (of unlimited size), not a static set for each.

about 5 years ago

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