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A Quick Look At KDE SC 4.5 Beta 1

carlmenezes Re:Stability Issues - is it your distro? (122 comments)

Mod parent up. I was on Kubuntu for the last couple of years. You would think that on a distro whose sole reason for existence is to give people a KDE based version of Ubuntu, that you would be able to get anything done without logging in to GNOME. No dice. Ok...maybe we'll show some tolerance here. Maybe GTK apps would at least be themed to look like they fit in on KDE? Nope. OK...getting harder to stomach this distro. At least, something as frequently used as Firefox would be themed correctly in KDE - file dialogs, menus and all? No dice. In summary, its not a KDE distro - its KDE bolted on to a distro. I finally grew tired of the constant tweaking required to get things to work right and the constant additional tweaking required every time some update was released. Time to jump ship. Looked around. There were reports of OpenSuse doing a good job. Tried them out. Paradise in comparison. Stuff just works. I can actually administer any part of the system from within KDE. Firefox is themed right - I didn't have to think about it. Guess what? I don't have GNOME installed, because I don't need it. Package management works beautifully and the fact that I can do a one click web install is pure icing on the cake. What do I miss from Kubuntu? Probably the software ratings. However, here is the important bit - has KDE broken once since I installed OpenSuse? Nope. I'm on KDE 4.4. and in 5 days, will be upgrading to OpenSuse 11.3 for some KDE 4.5 goodness. See, the OpenSuse guys proved to me that a nice enjoyable, stable KDE experience is possible and that by the time I start salivating about the next KDE release, there's a new version of the distro that is ready to release. I'll wait for the distro because I trust them to iron out the kinks for me. They've already done it once. I'm sure they will do it again. Look, if you're a KDE user and you're on Kubuntu, do yourself a huge favour and at least try out the OpenSuse live CD. A lot of effort has gone into that distro and it shows.

more than 4 years ago
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The End of the PC Era and Apple's Plan To Survive

carlmenezes Re:It's not ending... (549 comments)

I have to disagree. Tower PCs are currently only useful because our mobile PCs don't have the horse power. Mobile PCs will keep getting faster and smaller. So will tower PCs. There was a time they used to be a lot bigger and heavier. However, let us look at what made them that size : (1) hard drives - used to be huge and heavy. Seen SSDs of late? (2) CD-ROM drives - who needs them now when for half the space you get a memory card reader that takes media with more space? (3) power supplies - needed to be big and are probably what is keeping the tower PCs at their size, but there is now less need for large supplies with performance per watt going up. (4) graphics cards & CPUs - going to come full circle soon - these two will merge into one processor that uses less power than your average desktop CPU (5) motherboards - these are already really small. So, if you take these main components, the need for a full tower sized case actually is diminishing really rapidly. If you ask me, with tech like wireless HDMI, your tower pc is probably going to be confined to the attic or some unseen space very soon. We're very quickly reaching the point where smaller devices have enough computing power for most of our needs and as far as heavy lifting goes, I figure it is only a matter of time before every small little computing device at home is able to "lend a hand" and "help out" with all that computing. The very fact that PS3s are dominating the SETI distributed computing stats should say something. The PS3's cell processor is quite the beast. Are you trying to say that the PS4 is not going to be smaller and faster? What about the PS8? Do you thing you will be able to see it?

more than 4 years ago
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Toshiba Developing High-Density 1TB SSD

carlmenezes Re:Thank god. (149 comments)

Well, its like getting 50 teenagers into a mini.

more than 4 years ago
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Linux Foundation Announces 2010 "We're Linux" Video Contest

carlmenezes Re:Linux community? Ha! (460 comments)

These days, here's the thought train that Linux comes with: Linux->Open Source->XMBC->Linux MCE->Android->CHDK->Tomato,DDWRT->KDE->Firefox->VLC->Git->Linus->his blog->stuckincustoms->photography->digiKam->Picasa->WINE->games on Linux->how much things have changed. After that, it gets pretty random :)

more than 4 years ago
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KDE 4.4 Released Alongside Website Redesign

carlmenezes Re:Is it time to look yet? (368 comments)

Honestly, give up on Kubuntu if you want to use KDE. In fact, even using Ubuntu + KDE which was more stable than Kubuntu in my experience, I still had to manually customize a heap of stuff and it felt flaky. Then I switched to OpenSuse 11.2. Bliss I tell you. It is KDE how KDE should be done. I didn't have to tweak anything - even Firefox fitted in from the get go. Give OpenSuse a try. Those guys know what KDE should feel like and it shows when you use their distro.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Time Flies By As You Get Older

carlmenezes Re:Or its all in our head (252 comments)

Its simply because the older we get the more we are able to focus. Kids are inherently more distracted. The more we get absorbed in a task, the faster time seems to pass. As we get older, we involve ourselves in a lot of stuff.

more than 4 years ago
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Human Males Evolve At a Faster Pace Than Females

carlmenezes Re:At last... (454 comments)

Very true. A hostile environment for the sperm has been proven to result in a ratio of females to males that is greater than one. A friendly environment will bring the ratio to less than one.

more than 4 years ago
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Avatar Soars Into $1-Billion Territory

carlmenezes Re:Science Fiction? (782 comments)

But that's my point - in the real world, the objects themselves are always sharp - it is up to you to direct your eyes and focus on one object while blurring out the others. The 3D was so convincing that it made you want to look around - a natural human reaction, but you couldn't, because what you wanted to look at was blurred. It is the lack of freedom of being able to look around in what otherwise seemed a beautiful 3D world that really took away a lot of the immersion.

more than 4 years ago
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Google.cn Attack Part of a Broad Spying Effort

carlmenezes Re:Google may lose China... (515 comments)

Reminds me of a line from "V". "They're using the most powerful weapon - devotion"

more than 4 years ago
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An Android Developer's Top 10 Gripes

carlmenezes Re:What? (272 comments)

Because they tested slow movement. How many times have you moved your finger that slowly? To me, its an edge case as far as use cases go. That's why I'm skeptical.

more than 4 years ago
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An Android Developer's Top 10 Gripes

carlmenezes Re:What? (272 comments)

I have a problem with that test - it does not measure perceived accuracy. They used a paint program to draw straight lines. While that is a good test of the accuracy of the physical device, is that really a good test of the perceived accuracy? The perceived accuracy is what matters to most people. The iPhone may be able to draw straighter lines, but if the Android device feels more responsive and feels more accurate, then that's the one that's more accurate. I guess its like comparing two toys - while one may be made of better materials, etc etc, if the other one is more fun, then people will gravitate to it. As much as I hate it, being an audio guy myself, a system that delivers louder music with a more punchy bass is usually more appealing to people, though it makes my skin crawl when I think that using that system, you will never hear a piece of music the way the artist intended. I think its a similar thing here. If the android devices feel better, they will be more popular. That's it.

more than 4 years ago
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Avatar Soars Into $1-Billion Territory

carlmenezes Re:Science Fiction? (782 comments)

The CG effects were worth every penny. I saw it in IMAX 3D and wished I hadn't. The depth factor makes you want to focus to other things in the background because they are so beautifully done. Only, you can't, because they're blurred out by the camera that's focusing on the actor's face, which in my opinion was a lot less watchable than the beautiful detail in the background. Note to film makers: if you're going to make it viewable in 3D, PLEASE keep everything in focus so that the audience can choose what they would like to focus on. It multiplies the immersion factor. Keeping the background out of focus is telling your viewer, "this is not 3D because you can only look at what I want you to look at". That's ok to do in 2D, but not when the perception of depth is that much more pronounced. That's the impression I came away with, anyway. PS> If they do release a 3D version where everything is in focus, I'd watch it again and a few more times in a heartbeat. As of now though, I could have spent that money and time on better things.

more than 4 years ago
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Nvidia Announces 3D Blu-ray Format For 2010

carlmenezes Re:It will NEVER catch on. (178 comments)

Actually, I think it will. The difference between 2D and the perceived 3D the glasses offer is enough that people will be willing to put up with the glasses, __ as long as they look good wearing them and as long as the glasses are comfortable __ . I mean, people all over the world are perfectly fine with wearing glasses so they can see clearer. The trade off - asking them to don glasses for a couple of hours for a much more immersive entertainment experience - is not really that big an ask. In addition, the next stumbling block would be the kind of VR sickness you get from too much 3D content if the camera angles don't co-incide with what your eyes are used to. I'm thinking of watching stuff like the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy in 3D. Its tiring enough watching them back to back in 2D :) Finally, I think the glasses will be temporary. In fact, I suspect there already are practical solutions that don't require glasses (if you take SIGGraph from 10 years ago as any kind of indication). Its just that the consumer is being made to shell out for incremental upgrades.

more than 4 years ago
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Simple, Cost-Effective, Multiroom Audio?

carlmenezes Re:Uhhh... (438 comments)

Since you asked... Playing tennis on the Wii - she's really competitive :) Using XBMC with a Wiimote The fact that she can browse the net/watch movies over the home wi-fi network ...I've saved the best for last... The KDE desktop - she loves the big over sized clock widget on the second monitor and has not found one that does the same on Windows. Why? because she can still see the time from 20 feet away and she actually uses it from the kitchen, even though the stove has two built in timers :)

about 5 years ago
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Can We Really Tell Lossless From MP3?

carlmenezes Re:Not Really (849 comments)

Mod parent up. The "loudness" of the track has increased quite a bit in recent years. This is because a lot of sound engineers realize that 90%+ of the public are going to listen to music on relatively cheap systems/headphones, in relatively noisy environments and almost always in an environment that isn't tuned for perfect reproduction. The result? Try to jam in as much as possible for the audience - reduced dynamic range, aka louder tracks. This is also why commercials on the radio tend to sound louder although the volume remains the same - they use the same trick, but push things a bit further.

about 5 years ago
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Can We Really Tell Lossless From MP3?

carlmenezes Re:Not Really (849 comments)

The brain bases the "quality" of music you listen to on the majority of music you have listened to in your younger ears. If that has been mp3, well then you would "prefer" an mp3 sound, weird as that may be. This is the same phenomenon that is responsible for people preferring vinyl over CD, for example. Try the same experiment on your kids and yes, they will prefer the mp3 version. If you were already listening to a lot of music when mp3s hit the mainstream, you'll probably find you prefer the lossless version and can tell the difference. Personally, I prefer lossless, though I have to admit that above 256kbps, my error rate goes up :)

about 5 years ago

Submissions

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New Zealand School Shows Microsoft the Door

carlmenezes carlmenezes writes  |  more than 4 years ago

carlmenezes (204187) writes "A school in Auckland, New Zealand has adopted an all-open source infrastructure, putting together in two months a system that continues to run fundamentally unchanged. Mark Osbourne, the school's deputy principle, is at the heart of the school's FOSS activities. The system consists of Ubuntu desktops and Mandriva servers, with students using open source applications including OpenOffice, Mahara, and Moodle. Students have reportedly connected everything from Macs to the Playstation Portable. The racks in the school's new server room, which was built with the usual Microsoft specs in mind, will have forty-four empty slots: Of the assumed forty-eight servers, this setup requires just four."
Link to Original Source
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DRM does it again - Gears Of War for PC

carlmenezes carlmenezes writes  |  more than 5 years ago

carlmenezes (204187) writes "It seems that the DRM on Gears of War came with a built-in shut off date: the digital certificate for the game was only good until January 28, 2009. Now that the game fails to work unless you adjust your system's clock, what's Epic's response? "We're working on it.""
Link to Original Source
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Teslas coils playing the Mario Brothers theme

carlmenezes carlmenezes writes  |  about 7 years ago

carlmenezes (204187) writes "Twin Solid State Musical Tesla coils playing Mario Bros theme song at the 2007 Lightning on the Lawn Teslathon sponsored by DC Cox (Resonance Research Corp) in Baraboo WI. The music that you hear is coming from the sparks that these two identical high power solid state Tesla coils are generating. There are no speakers involved. The Tesla coils stand 7 feet tall and are each capable of putting out over 12 foot of spark. They are spaced about 18 feet apart. The coils are controlled over a fiber optic link by a single laptop computer. Each coil is assigned to a midi channel which it responds to by playing notes that are programed into the computer software.Video here"
Link to Original Source
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carlmenezes carlmenezes writes  |  more than 6 years ago

carlmenezes (204187) writes "1. A "Catastrophic Emergency", 2. Execute National Continuity Policy
The President will then have absolute control. Is this not effectively a dictatorship? Why was this not passed through congress? Why did it not receive the press coverage it deserves?"
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carlmenezes carlmenezes writes  |  more than 7 years ago

carlmenezes (204187) writes "Jeremy Reimer from Ars Technica writes about OpenXML getting fast tracked to become a standard — "The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), in a surprise move, has announced that it is putting Microsoft's Open XML format — the file format used for Office 2007 — on the fast track to become a full ISO standard. An e-mail by Lisa Rajchel, the secretariat of ISO's Joint Technical Committee, confirmed this decision. The move puts the document format on a five-month schedule that could see Open XML ratified as an open standard as early as this August." He also asks, "Is the war really over if both sides have won?" How long is pure information portability going to take?"
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carlmenezes carlmenezes writes  |  more than 7 years ago

carlmenezes (204187) writes "Arstechnica has an article on Microsoft's open letter to IBM that adds fresh ammunition to the battle of words between those who support Microsoft's Open XML and OpenOffice.org's OpenDocument file formats. Microsoft has strong words for IBM, which it accuses of deliberately trying to sabotage Microsoft's attempt to get Open XML certified as a standard by the ECMA. In the letter, general managers Tom Robertson and Jean Paol write: "When ODF was under consideration, Microsoft made no effort to slow down the process because we recognized customers' interest in the standardization of document formats." In contrast, the authors charge that IBM "led a global campaign" urging that governments and other organizations demand that International Standards Organization (ISO) reject Open XML outright.
Could MS actually be getting a taste of their own medicine?"
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carlmenezes carlmenezes writes  |  about 8 years ago

carlmenezes (204187) writes "The MPAA is lobbying congress to push through a new bill that would make unauthorized home theaters illegal. The group feels that all theaters should be sanctioned, whether they be commercial settings or at home. "Just because you buy a DVD to watch at home doesn't give you the right to invite friends over to watch it too. That's a violation of copyright and denies us the revenue that would be generated from DVD sales to your friends". Do you think they're going too far? Full story here"
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carlmenezes carlmenezes writes  |  about 8 years ago

carlmenezes (204187) writes "Could Linux end those constant tech support requests from your relatives? According to Selva's blog, the answer is a resounding yes and he's been free of tech support woes for some time now. He details the setup, why he chose Ubuntu versus Windows and what else he added on. According to him, it only took a couple of hours to "train" his parents on the new system. Is this an indicator that Ubuntu may be actually approaching that oh so elusive goal of usability that it seems even Windows could not get a handle on?"
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carlmenezes carlmenezes writes  |  more than 8 years ago

carlmenezes (204187) writes "The ability to discern good wine from bad, name the specific brand from a tiny sip and recommend a complementary cheese would seem to be about as human a skill as there is. In Japan, robots are doing it. "There are all kinds of robots out there doing many different things," said Hideo Shimazu, director of the NEC System Technology Research Laboratory and a joint-leader of the robot project. "But we decided to focus on wine because that seemed like a real challenge." Wired story here"

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