Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Crucial Launches MX100 SSD At Well Under 50 Cents Per GiB

asliarun Re: Ye Gods, an Ad (107 comments)

If you are looking for an even bigger performance jump, upgrade to pci-e based ssd. Works very very well for databases and for certain types of workloads. Fusion-io, Intel, and dell sell enterprise versions, but many other vendors are rapidly getting into this segment as well.

about 4 months ago

Neil Young's "Righteous" Pono Music Startup Raises $1 Million With Kickstarter

asliarun Re:It IS FLAC (413 comments)

Except that in every objective test the iOS devices show a near 0 THD, nearly flat recency response and a nearly perfect dynamic range. While perhaps "technically better" is the case with the Pono, the simple, physical, physiological and demonstrable fact that 100% of humans can not hear the differences you are taking about in any testing case means the different and "bitterness" is simply snake oil. Right up there with Monster 'monitor interconnects' and speaker isolation stands.

The question to ask is - if what you say is true, then why do studios record in these higher bitrate and higher bit depth formats? If they record in analog, they will again record the music in a high bandwidth medium like reel tape.

Then the second question is - if studios record in these high bandwidth formats, why can we not listen to music in the same format as well?

A decade ago, record companies would compress the music because storage and bandwidth was expensive.
However, with current tech and internet speeds, that should not be an excuse.

Heck, video content providers are able to stream high quality videos that consume a magnitude higher levels of bandwidth and storage space. There is absolutely no excuse why audio fidelity of source music should be needlessly compressed or butchered nowadays. And I really don't care if it is needless data. All I am asking is to give me the same file that the studio uses.

about 6 months ago

Neil Young's "Righteous" Pono Music Startup Raises $1 Million With Kickstarter

asliarun Re:It IS FLAC (413 comments)

HDtracks, eClassical, Linn, Bandcamp. All carry 24-bit, high resolution audio.

This expands the ecosystem; it doesn't create it.

Most of these online shops are not really an ecosystem. And that is really the problem.

Everyone keeps getting into the endless audiophile debates. You have one camp that disses everything that has the audiophile and calls it snake oil. Then you have the audiophiles that go into objective vs subjectives debates, and what not. Then you have the tech folks (and we have plenty) who want to correct everyone else and go into Nyquist/Shannon, signal processing, even harmonics, DAC internals, ESS Sabre chips, oversampling, and what not.

The real tragedy in all this is that we *still* don't have a good "ecosystem" that lets people download or stream studio quality music *with enough choice*, and be able to play back the music with sufficient fidelity that respects the quality of the source music.

This doesn't exist. Period. Instead you have this massively screwed up system where you either have esoteric knowledge of audio playback, audio components, internal workings, be able to differentiate between various capacitor types, analog circuitry, DAC chips, speaker drivers. Then be able to differentiate bullshit from fact, spend a ton of money with failed experiments swapping out audio components. Even then, the main battle remains. Hunt around or ask around for source music that is well mastered or well recorded. And guess what - most of the music will not even be in the genre you like or artists you like. Then figure out how/where you can legally download or purchase this music.

So all power to Pono and Neil Young's initiative if they are truly able to pull off this ecosystem. If they can let people access and listen to studio quality music and listen to it "at near studio quality" - that is nothing short of a revolution.

about 6 months ago

Who's On WhatsApp, and Why?

asliarun Re: my daughter (280 comments)

I find it funny that so many people like you are jumping up and down trying to come up with reasons why whatsapp sucks. Have you even used the app for starters? Why don't you try and figure out why the damn thing is so popular instead? As it is, Slashdot seems to be filled with posters who want to show their cleverness and prove why anything innovative is either done wrong, or how someone else has done something vaguely similar, or why it should never have been built in the first place.

At least greybeards like you don't need to get into this as well.

Whatsapp is successful because it is by far the best user experience you can find in any app. It does not require a login, is as lightweight as it gets, works very very well even in dog slow internet connections or in underpowered phones or even old feature phones, and messages get sent super fast and very reliably. It allows you to share text, images, and videos to a single person or to a group of people.

It just works. Very very well. It is the Google of messaging. From what I hear, the developers focus more on obsessing on the minutest of details and making sure any new feature works reliably, instead of getting into a rat race of introducing a new feature every sprint or every month. And that is what the competition does. They make creaky bloated software, and try to fix lack of usage by making their software even more creaky by introducing more features.

It is ironic that except for search and maybe email, even the mighty Google does not get this simple concept. Try using their chat, hangout, plus apps for example. The user experience is pathetic.

about 7 months ago

Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

asliarun Re:Who chose to pursue this case? (644 comments)

You are missing the fact that it is good advice to steer clear of single mothers.

Does your wife know you're trolling slashdot with this account these days? :)

Would she not be happy that her husband is trying to steer clear of single mothers?

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

asliarun Re:Categorize your books differently, sir (231 comments)

Do you read before you go to sleep?
Do you read on a train or a bus?
Do you read a few pages at a time?
Do you like to read a story end to end in one sitting?
Do you carry your book in a handbag or a manpurse?
Do you carry your book in your pocket?

Maybe some of what I said may not make sense.
However, we need to think deeper about why reading books are becoming more and more unpopular. We also need to think deeper as to why libraries are becoming more unpopular or are trying to do other things (besides being a place where people can read and borrow books).

Don't be so quick to judge and say "that makes no sense". I wasn't trying to be prescriptive in terms of saying exactly how we should redesign libraries. However, I do find it surprising that so little effort is made to keep evolving books and libraries according to how and why and when people are reading books. Books and libraries should fit into people's lifestyles, not the other way around. Yes, sure e-book lending etc has taken off, and libraries have become more of social centers, but that is only a couple of steps in this direction.

For example, I have often found it an utter shame when I have found myself lugging a book in my hand when it will not fit in my pocket, especially on crowded trains and buses. I have also often been frustrated when I have stayed up late consecutively for several nights and finished 2 parts of a trilogy only to discover that the third part hasn't even been published yet.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

asliarun Categorize your books differently, sir (231 comments)

Libraries are so often categorized on Victorian assumptions that we are there to do serious stuff - academic pursuits, seeking knowledge, a scholarship, research and such claptrap. Nobody feels, emotes, thinks, imagines, or dreams that way. And nobody reads books that way either.

Books should be categorized on emotions, imagination, our interests and passions, our quirks, our pursuits and hobbies. Books should also be categorized on *how* we read a book, not always on *what* we read.

I really don't subscribe to the standard answers of finding technology answers to these kind of problems. Technology only helps us solve some problems better. But we first need to know what the problem is, and how we want to solve it in the first place.

The problem is that libraries are not aligned with how people think and feel. Libraries are instead aligned with how a certain people once thought that people should think and feel. Which is bollocks.

about 8 months ago

Coca-Cola Reserves a Massive Range of MAC Addresses

asliarun Re:Not cans (371 comments)

On a slightly related note, there is a very nice Microsoft Research paper on password theft and bank fraud, and who actually gets affected.
I will admit that most of what I actually thought of this subject was quite wrong.


about 9 months ago

Justine Sacco, Internet Justice, and the Dangers of a Righteous Mob

asliarun Re:In the old days (399 comments)

People called foxes vermin and hunted them with a pack of dogs.
Now people call other people names and hunt them with a pack of other humans.

Aside from that, the basic drive is the same. It's a relic from our caveman days, so far as I'm concerned.

+5 Insightful.

Forming packs and hunting people is old sport too. There's a reason they call this activity a witch-hunt.

Along with the pack violence mentality that persists in us humans, what amazes me is our capacity for double standards.
There's a special sort of viciousness that we reserve for others, when we observe a trait in them - that we despise in ourselves.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Application Security Non-existent, Boss Doesn't Care. What To Do?

asliarun Re:EASY (310 comments)

Indeed. However good you document the lack of progress and the disinterest of the managers, when something happens it will be your fault and you will have a shitload of problems. Leave ASAP.

Yes, agree 100%. Leave ASAP.

The other way to think about this is - any organization is only as good as your boss. If she or he is is veritable shite, the organization is as well. You are not only wasting your time, you are doing the equivalent of hanging out with a bunch of dicey "friends" who might go do something illegal when they are tanked up.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

asliarun Re:One word (383 comments)

When the CEO comes in and rambles about printers not working - then let him choose between printer and a penalty for not meeting deadline for project X.

What I've learned in my years in IT (about 12 total, 10 of those as an IT manager) is that you never go to a manager with only a problem. You go in with a problem and at least 3 well thought-out solutions. Waiting until some other shit hits the fan will only put you in a bad light and will show you are passive aggressive. Instead, give him your own hard numbers. Document the troubles and impacts, tell him how much of each persons average work week is spent on help desk calls and how late that made some big project X. Tell him how much time your programmers are spending helping other tasks. Then tell him how much time you put in in an average work week, and how much you would need to get everything done (i.e. if you're working over 50, that's grounds for 1/4 person. If instead you need over 50 to get the job done on time, ditto).

As a manager, it's your job to take care of your folks. Have a meeting with them and get their hard numbers, %time doing things, how late they anticipate things being, how many hours they work, etc... Then go in to the boss and tell him those facts and three possible solutions (for example): 1) We need X more bodies to do this and that. 2) We focus on the big projects and let help desk issues slip and miss deadlines or 3) We miss out on deadlines and opportunities because we have N hours per week dedicated to help desk work, when we should have Y.

Not contradicting you but making a tangential point. The main problem with your line of thinking is that you still think like an "IT Manager" or any first line manager. I've seen that in many cases, it is worthwhile to think like an entrepreneur instead.

The main problem is that IT has become perceived as a background problem or a fixed cost. Like electricity or water supply. We're nothing but glorified plumbers as far as senior management is concerned.

You cannot fix this by presenting an IT Manager type solution. They would perceive it the same way you would if your plumber told you about the three different ways he would solve your basement leak problem. While you would be interested in getting it fixed and getting it fixed "right" in a reasonable price, you really don't give a crap for the details or even how it gets done and with how many people.

You fix this by changing their mentality. Get them to believe that IT doesn't come for free (as a fixed cost on the balance sheet), and is not a cost center. Get them to believe that IT is really a "pay as you go" kind of service or capability. Get them to believe that IT is a profit center in itself. That it is an independent entity.

Infosys or IBM or Accenture is your competition. So treat them as such instead of just bitching about them in general (you didn't say that, just saying in general). You need to either match their cost or need to differentiate yourself (and your IT team) as a crack high quality and super reliable team.

I admit this stuff is easy to say, and much harder to do. But this is how it should be done, IMHO.

You know, the more I think about this, the more I realize that the real skill a good IT or software manager needs, at least in these types of roles, is really a good understanding of how finance works in an organization. Stuff like charge-back, reconciliation. I mean, if we were an independent contractor team handling a company's IT, this is exactly what we would be concerned with. Work is fine, but we and our organization needs to get paid correctly and on time.

I'm only talking about organizations where IT is a sub-organization. Of course, in pure IT shops or software development or software product shops, the dev team IS the profit center. So the point becomes moot.

about 10 months ago

AMD A10 Kaveri APU Details Emerge, Combining Steamroller and Graphics Core Next

asliarun Re: GCN goodies (105 comments)

Apologies for the double post. The submit button didn't respond for several seconds so I clicked it again. In fact, I think I did it thrice.

about 10 months ago

AMD A10 Kaveri APU Details Emerge, Combining Steamroller and Graphics Core Next

asliarun Re: GCN goodies (105 comments)

I think that Kaveri would become a very compelling choice for htpc and even gaming. You could easily build an entry level steam machine with this and because there is no discrete GPU, you could do a really small form factor with good airflow.

An audio server that uses true audio is another intriguing option.

There are even fanless cabinets that will take up to 95 watt CPUs like this one.

I also have a noob question. Can kaveri or even the existing a10 chips be used in crossfire mode? Meaning integrated graphics crossfired with a discrete GPU. Does it even make sense to do something like this? For example, it could be a good upgrade path.

about 10 months ago

AMD A10 Kaveri APU Details Emerge, Combining Steamroller and Graphics Core Next

asliarun Re: GCN goodies (105 comments)

I think that Kaveri would become a very compelling choice for htpc and even gaming. You could easily build an entry level steam machine with this and because there is no discrete GPU, you could do a really small form factor with good airflow.

An audio server that uses true audio is another intriguing option.

There are even fanless cabinets that will take up to 95 watt CPUs like this one.

I also have a noob question. Can kaveri or even the existing a10 chips be used in crossfire mode? Meaning integrated graphics crossfired with a discrete GPU. Does it even make sense to do something like this? For example, it could be a good upgrade path.

about 10 months ago

First Lab Demonstration That the Ability To Evolve Can Itself Evolve

asliarun Re:All I know is... (72 comments)

My cassettes all migrated to CD's, and then from there to digital audio.

So extrapolating from that it seems the end game for all evolution is becoming beings of pure energy, DRM optional.

Not trying to do the "one up" thing here, but IMHO, the end game for evolution would be to become beings of pure information. Energy and matter are merely vehicles to store and transfer information content. We would probably get equally frustrated with the limitations of existing as energy beings as we currently do with the flaccid biological bags that we exist in.

And your DRM comment is indeed something to ponder on - the artificial copy protection mechanisms that we have slapped on top of our existence - not just at physical levels but even in our minds.

about 10 months ago

Astronomers Discover Largest Structure In the Universe

asliarun Re:Enter Metaphysics (143 comments)

This is as oppsed to the physical +1 Insightful atomicxblue would be sending you in the mail on a normal day.

Do you think that keyboard you are holding is ... real?


about 10 months ago

India's Mars Mission Back On Track After Brief Hiccup

asliarun Re:I am at awed at their low cost ... (73 comments)

PS. To my Indian friends, can you please share with us how you guys can keep the budget so low?

duh, they obviously outsourced the work to ind-uhh... that is a good question.

Heh, that was quite funny!

There's very little I know about ISRO. But there are a few things that work well in India (as a government run entity) and ISRO is definitely one of them. You have to understand that for several decades, Indian organzations like ISRO had to innovate and invent even basic engineering stuff largely in isolation. The homegrown Param supercomputer was also a repsonse to this - because most high technology items (even basic things like CPUs and interconnects) could not be imported as they were banned by the US.

As such, the frugality of organizations like ISRO is more of a byproduct of the severely constrained environment in which they grew up in. So they learnt to make do with what they had, learnt to develop workarounds and become really innovative. Plus, some early successes enabled ISRO to acquire pride of place even in the mind-numbingly inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy. Due to this, they were able to largely avoid a lot of red tape that is endemic to any Indian government organization. They were able to get reasonable amounts of funding and were also able to attract some reasonable levels of talent.

In terms of talent, the situation is still quite sad as most scientists who work in ISRO either do it because of a true calling or because of patriotism or both. They still know they get paid peanuts compared to their American or Chinese counterparts. It is a near miracle that organizations like ISRO survived and even thrived in the morass that is the Indian Administration Service - an ignoble legacy of the Brits, but something that was made a hundred times worse by the Indians themselves.

about 10 months ago

AMD Confirms Kaveri APU Is a 512-GPU Core Integrated Processor

asliarun Re:Cool (130 comments)

Why the needlessly stringent power draw? You can get passively cooled discrete GPUs or low-noise active cooling which would give you a major bump in performance. APUs won't be able to do 4K for a loooong time for anything but video.

You make a valid point - and I don't know *all* the options that exist.
It would actually be a very interesting exercise to do this kind of a comparison. Say, take some HTPC like constraints such as space and heat, identify the options available - both CPU+discrete graphics and CPU+GPU integrated, and compare the options using price and performance.

Back to your point, it is not just power draw - space and cooling are also factors. A reasonably strong integrated CPU+GPU system lets you build a cabinet that can be very slim - say, something that resembles a compact blue ray player.

I would also imagine that an integrated solution like this will allow better airflow.

Finally there's price. Undoubtedly discrete graphics will always have the performance crown. However, if you think of Moore's law, CPUs have already reached the point of diminishing returns in terms of size of individual cores or even number of cores in a chip. From now on, IMHO, Moore's law will be all about integrating as much of the motherboard as possible into a single chip or package. And GPU is the most obvious starting point.

To put it another way, in terms of price-performance-heat, discrete GPUs will not be able to compete with a highly integrated solution - over time. They will keep getting pushed into smaller and smaller niches. An integrated solution will generally be cheaper and cooler for equivalent performance. It wasn't a viable solution in many cases until now only because the performance was sub-par - but Kaveri is the first viable chip that gives you enough horsepower to play last gen games at full HD with reasonable frame rates. In two years, Kaveri will be at 2 teraflops - the same as a PS4.

about 10 months ago

AMD Confirms Kaveri APU Is a 512-GPU Core Integrated Processor

asliarun Re:Cool (130 comments)

So if I buy an AMD CPU, I can play games with low frame-rates at low detail settings (yeah, I know it says 'medium', but when almost all games now go at least up to 'ultra', 'medium' is the new 'low').

Or I could just buy a better CPU and a decent graphics card and play them properly.

Yes, but could you do that in a compact HTPC cabinet (breadbox sized or smaller) and have your total system draw less than 100W or so?

I'm really excited by this news - because it allows traditional desktops to reinvent themselves.

Think Steam Machines, think HTPC that lets you do full HD and 4k in the future, think HTPC that also lets you do light-weight or mid-level gaming.
Think of a replacement to consoles - a computing device that gives you 90% of the convenience of a dedicated console, but gives you full freedom to download and play from the app store of your choice (Steam or anything else), gives you better control of your hardware, and lets you mix and match controllers (Steam Controller, keyboard and mouse, or something else that someone invents a year down the line).

I'm long on AMD for this reason. Maybe I'm a sucker. But there is a chance that desktops can find a place in your living room instead of your basement. And I'm quite excited about that.

about 10 months ago

Largest US Power Storing Solar Array Goes Live

asliarun Re: WTF (377 comments)

Electricity is the relative flow of electrical charge so storing electricity is an absurd notion. You can store electrical charge however.

The cost of the plant works out to about 30k per home which leads to some very interesting ideas.

Every home could have footed the bill as incremental construction cost. Considering how much we pay for electricity, the initial cost would pay itself off in about 20 years which is actually not bad.

For this cost, every house could have fitted high efficiency solar panels - although I have no clue if it would be the same equivalent thing.

The govt should be investing in smart grids that encourage people to contribute to the grid efficiently, not subsidizing solar power plants.

Just some thoughts. I'm not an expert though.

about a year ago



Intel's Knights Landing - a 72 core, 3 teraflop beast

asliarun asliarun writes  |  about 9 months ago

asliarun (636603) writes "David Kanter of Realworldtech recently posted his take on Intel's upcoming Knights Landing chip. The technical specs are startling massive and shows Intel's new found focus on throughput processing (and possibly graphics). 72 Silvermont cores with beefy FP and vector units, mesh fabric with tile based architecture, DDR4 support with a 384bit memory controller, QPI connectivity instead of PCIe, and 16GB on-package eDRAM (yes, 16GB!). All this should ensure throughput of 3 teraflops/s double precision. Many of the architectural elements would also be the same as Intel's future CPU chips — so this is also a peek into Intel's vision of the future. Will Intel use this as a platform to compete with nVidia and AMD/ATI graphics? Or will this be another Larrabee? Or just an exotic HPC product like Knights Corner?"
Link to Original Source

Writer needs to pay Marvel $17000 for claiming authorship of Ghost Rider

asliarun asliarun writes  |  more than 2 years ago

asliarun (636603) writes "Gary Friedrich, the creator of Ghost Rider is being ordered to pay Marvel $17000 by the courts. It seems that he continued to claim to be the author and creator of Ghost Rider even after he signed over the rights of the character to Marvel. Profiting from this claim by merely attending conventions and seminars is now considered illegal in the eyes of the law, and he needs to pay back Marvel for all his ill-gotten gains, which amounts to the massive sum of seventeen thousand dollars. Gary also happens to be 68 year old and more or less broke. Shareholders and senior staff of Marvel were seen rejoicing on hearing this news, and the significant boost this money will provide to their annual profits and bonuses."
Link to Original Source


asliarun has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>