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Dell's New Alienware Case Goes to Extremes To Prevent Overheating

fa2k Re:Ineffective advertising (102 comments)

So we should compare this announcement with the Mac Pro one. Apple had to share a slashdot article between the MacBook and the Mac Pro. There's not many complaints about slashvertisement on the mac post.

The post about the Mac appears just as positive, but it packs a lot more facts in fewer sentences, so it's arguably better. Both have their share of marketing language and fluff, but the Alienware has a lot more of it.

9 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

fa2k Gigabit ethernet (541 comments)

Only because there's nothing faster easily available. (and I use Scientific LInux 6, the current version, but maybe that counts as old still)

9 hours ago
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Free Law Casebook Project Starts With IP Coursebook

fa2k IPv6 too? (22 comments)

An IP casebook, finally we'll get some lawyers and judges who know computers and the internet!

3 days ago
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Ross Ulbricht Faces New Drug Charges

fa2k What's with the phrasing? (102 comments)

In the middle of the article there's a list of charges, and all refer to a "detectable amount of [drug]". That's a pretty low standard. For example, when you're handling cash you're probably trafficking a detectable amount of cocaine.

5 days ago
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Email Is Not Going Anywhere

fa2k E-mail is the foundation of identity online (235 comments)

Nah, Many sites have Facebook / Google / etc. log-ins. E-mail is required for those services I just mentioned, but it's only kept around because it's currently the most convenient option.

about two weeks ago
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Bezos-Owned Washington Post Embeds Amazon Buy-It-Now Buttons Mid-sentence

fa2k Re:It's not going to work (136 comments)

Welfare is only fair if everybody gets it equally, not just the needy, and pays for food, and on top of it you can have a job, and buy like a fancier place than provided by welfare, or fancier food.

'

'No it's not fair, it's a matter of policy. Capitalism is "fair" -- you get money for doing others favours, and can buy favours in return. Any kind of tax or welfare disrupts this and is inherently unfair in this view. Most people don't, however, agree with the capitalistic definition of "favours" (or what ever the economists call it), or that you can accumulate or transfer unlimited amounts of such. Tax can then be seen as a fair way to dampen the dependence on the history of the system, placing more emphasis on recent favours. The rate of the tax and how it is spent is more of an ethical issue than an economic one.

The world is not fair, so a system that's internally consistent and fair, but doesn't take into account the different "luck" people have, probably doesn't agree with most people's concept of fairness.

All that said, I agree with the idea of giving everyone a basic wage (called citizen wage in my country, can't remember the English term). The productivity would probably drop as people did more useless things or did nothing, but we may also see more amazing breakthroughs, as the risk to any peson is lower. (currently, going on welfare and developing a new kind of nuclear reactor is seen as quite unaccceptable, yet there may be smart people who can't make it in academia or industry, and now have to take crappy jobs) This policy will become a necessity to have any kind of fair and humane society once automation makes even more jobs redundant, and we can only hope that people will accept the potential loss of productivity before it's too late.

about two weeks ago
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Curved TVs Nothing But a Gimmick

fa2k Re:Only Relevant to Projection (261 comments)

There is a different effect for TVs: If you sit close enough to the TV so the eyes' autofocus is not set to infinity, then more of the TV will be in focus when it's curved. This effect applies only to TVs, which are closer than the Far point of the eye, and not to cinema screens, which are further away. The optimal curvature depends on the distance from the TV.

about 3 months ago
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Valve In-Home Game Streaming Supports Windows, OS X & Linux

fa2k Re:Is this basically VNC? (106 comments)

Principle is the same as VNC, but the leap in technical sophistication is huge

There will probably be degradation of quality. From bandwidth concerns alone, there's no way they could stream uncompressed 1080p@60Hz, that would require 3 Gbit. By using something like 50Mbps they could get better quality than the ~8Mbps we se on high-quality TV streams, and could spare some CPU power by encoding less efficiently (also: decoding video requires power on the client).

In principle I'd think the clients would have problems displaying the video (this seems to be fixed if they're releasing it). Many low-end systems can't decode HD streams in real time with CPU only, and rely on hardware acceleration. There's a lot that can go wrong when displaying high quality video streams on linux: tearing, stuttering, A/V sync, etc.

It's a neat idea, but when I move, quite soon, I'll still prefer to pull a long-ish DVI (or DP if I can get a 4K monitor) and USB cable to have my gaming rig in a different room.

about 3 months ago
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Don't Be a Server Hugger! (Video)

fa2k Missing the point (409 comments)

Kind of ironic how the IP video connection sucks so bad, for someone advocating full reliance on the network.

Peterson has a point, some admins refuse to even look at the cloud as an option. The "cloud hugger" metaphor is wrong though, the cloud is not a new version of the local server which is more efficient, performant and clean (sure, there were advantages to having horses too (vs. cars), but no notable advantages related to the main purpose, transportation). The cloud is just a different thing altogether, like an airplane vs. a car. A good admin needs to decide if outsourcing the operations makes sense for each case, also factoring in the costs (and hope the management trusts that decision). It's easy to take too much pride in one's craft, and insist on perfect solutions, when the business maybe only needs a fairly good solution.

At an infrastructure level, using "cloud" tools (i.e. virtualisation, management), is reasonably safe. These are reasonably portable across the remote / on premises boundary, though porting requires some effort.

At the application level, if the plan is to use cloud tools exclusively, it's easy to end up with inconvenient workflows or being stuck with some provider. Inter-operation between applications is sparse. Many cloud applications provide APIs, sure, but if you need a server to call APIs and synchronise data across providers, and the business becomes reliant on those scripts, have you really gained anything..?

about 3 months ago
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Favorite Star Wars Movie?

fa2k Prepare for karma implosion (457 comments)

Episode I was well done visually and a decent stand-alone adventure film. The original trilogy somewhat fails to engage me emotionally or intellectually. Episodes II and III were just boring. Sorry for the flamebait, this is my opinion, but maybe slightly exaggerated. I probably wouldn't bother with replying;)

about 4 months ago
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Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

fa2k Re:Blank Media (477 comments)

Absolutely agree about quality. [I'd basically gone legal, but due to my financial situation I've gone on a bit of a torrenting spree recently. Always get the straight blue-ray rips if available. Storage is cheap and easy to manage...]

Just to add to the point about streaming, not many have tens of megabit connections, but additionally it would be quite expensive for the streamers to serve that quality. If you can have maybe 20 streams off a gigabit NIC, imagine the number of servers they'd need. It's not even clear if the economies of scale would work out for them on the technology side -- depends on where we'll see the imrpovements in the future (bandwidth/storage/etc)

about 4 months ago
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Valve Sponsors Work To Greatly Speed-Up Linux OpenGL Game Load Times

fa2k Compilation of shaders, eh (202 comments)

So that's what is taking so long when starting Dota. I was wondering what part of loading a game could max out a thread on the CPU.

As an example, the time from starting Dota 2 until the time actually being within the game is reduced by about 20 seconds on an Intel system.

A WTF comment if I ever saw one. One would prefer at least two numbers to know how good the improvement is, though a percentage would also be better. On my Intel system Dota2 takes about 15 seconds now. And what's with the pointless Intel name-drop anyway.

Caching seems like a better solution to me, but multithreaded compilation is also good. Well done Valve

about 4 months ago
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What percentage of your online communications are encrypted?

fa2k Percentage of...? (186 comments)

Percentage of online communication.. by number of bits: torrents dominate, and some HTTP downloads, and these are not encrypted. By my attention, there's more text-based communication, and I'm probably up at 50 %

about 4 months ago
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Hulu Blocks VPN Users

fa2k Seems fair (259 comments)

The content cartels are free make cold judgements of whether to provide services at all in some areas, even if they are shooting themselves in their feet. The blocks on IP addresses work surprisingly well (few false positive blockings), and are a technological manifestation of the terms of use or contract. People using VPNs are breaching those rules (and maybe copyright, but it's not clear with streaming). It seems contradictory that many people defend using VPNs yet are against torrenting.

about 4 months ago
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SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

fa2k Re:We do not need solid state to replace platter d (256 comments)

I agree that hybrid storage is great, but it can "easily" be done in software (there's a couple of projects for Linux, like bcache, as well as ZFS, and there's an Intel driver in Windows). Then you can pick the size of the SSD and HDD at will, and optionally make a RAIDs of the HDDs and SSDs to mitigate against the increased failure probability.

When multiple drives aren't an option, in laptops, the problem with hybrids is that you lose out on the non-performance advantages of SSD: low power usage and durability. The controllers could improve on this, by shutting down the hard drive and doing more writeback caching, but current hybrids lose on these points. (my laptop has a 256GB SSD, which I find about a factor 2 too small. I can't sync my /home there so everything on it becomes temporary and a syncing chore. Still I wouldn't change it for a bigger hybrid of the current generation, even if there was space for one, due to the decreased mobility).

about 4 months ago
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Steam's Most Popular Games

fa2k Re:Big data, spying? (118 comments)

Assume for a moment that it's harmful if the data, including IP addresses, timestamps, unique IDs, etc, gets shared with the world. The data was previously inaccessible due to technology, now it's only limited by the policies of the holding company. Some people don't trust those policies (or the comany's security) as much as they did the old model.

So is it harmful? The timestamp / IP combos place you at a given place (most likely home) for a period of time. There are dozens of other companies with the same data, so unless you're being super cautious, it's not worthwhile to worry about Steam especially. If such data were searchable online though, one could have some problems with robberies and with lying about ones whereabouts. The fact that they count "playing a game", not just being on steam, doesn't help with accuracy -- some people just leave their game open while doing other things. The chat histories are similar to what any other chat company does.

Steam *could* do some nefarious things with the gaming-specific data. For example, they could sell it to employers and others who may be interested. The information isn't enough to ruin a life though, and if they use it for anything more evil than advertising they would lose all consumer trust

about 4 months ago
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How Riot's Social Scientists Fight League of Legends Trolling

fa2k Re:There is one, and only one, way to fight trolli (116 comments)

By the way, I assumed they were using trolling in the new, incorrect sense of being a mean asshole (in the chat, etc). Not really clear from the article what they actually mean by trolling

about 5 months ago
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How Riot's Social Scientists Fight League of Legends Trolling

fa2k Re:There is one, and only one, way to fight trolli (116 comments)

Ensure that people need each other. If people can treat others like an expendable commodity, they will treat each other as such.

Works both ways. In games like LoL players really need each other. It's 5v5 PvP, frequently with random people. That can mean a lot of more and less justified grief between the teammates. However, if it wasn't as easy for a player to screw it up for the team, maybe it wouldn't be as fun...

about 5 months ago

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