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Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Firefox?

grumbel Should have added screen cap support into Firefox (406 comments)

Bending over and adding DRM might not exaclty be a good thing, but I can see how it might be necessary if they want to stay relevant. Though I have to say they really should have waited with that until DRM actually becomes relevant to the Web, jumping on the DRM train this early is really sending the wrong signal. Anyway what they should have done it also just ship the anti-DRM messures right in the browser as well. Add a function to screen capture videos of your browser interaction isn't all that difficult and would have nicely shown just how pontless the whole DRM thing is.

about 2 months ago
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The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

grumbel Re:maybe KDE will be next (693 comments)

Right now in Xubuntu: The WindowButtons/Taskbar shows the wrong windows when using multiple monitors, the xfce-volumed is constantly hanging, not registering volume keys and using the wrong soundcard, the indicator-applet is completely broken and putting apps into fullscreen doesn't work properly any more either with multiple monitors. Most of this used to work a year or two ago. It feels like XFCE is just getting more and more broken as time progresses. It's pretty frustrating, guess it's time to try Mate.

about 4 months ago
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Oppo's New Phone Hits 538 PPI

grumbel Re: approximately the resolution of an adult eye @ (217 comments)

While 538PPI might be a bit overkill on a classical phone, those same screens are also used in the latest round of virtual reality headsets and they have still a long way to go before they get anywhere near human vision limits. And to go even further, Nvidia has demoed some microlens lightfield glasses a while a go and those need even more resolution then a classical headset display and who knows, if resolution keeps growing, having a lightfield display in your phone might actually start to become viable (meaning you could have a real 3D with proper focus, could hold your phone close to your face to use it as VR glasses and other funky sci-fi stuff).

about 4 months ago
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OpenSUSE 13.2 To Use Btrfs By Default

grumbel Re:An inspiring decision (91 comments)

"Shred" as in files getting cut to 0 bytes. With XFS there was a 50/50 chance that your desktop wouldn't boot after a powerloss as half the config files where suddenly empty.

about 4 months ago
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OpenSUSE 13.2 To Use Btrfs By Default

grumbel Re:An inspiring decision (91 comments)

Does XFS still shred your files on system crashes or power loss? FAQ claims they fixed that in 2.6.22, yet with 2.6.27 it was still shredding files like crazy for me. This was however years ago, has anything changed still then?

about 4 months ago
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Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 Ready For Pre-Order Today

grumbel Re:Dubious commercial prospects (100 comments)

already had very low persistence (60Hz display refresh, same as the new OR, but horrid resolution)

"Persistence" in this case doesn't just mean a higher refresh rate, but the time the image is on the display. With a classical LCD the image is on the display all the time, that's ok when you read text on a monitor, however for VR this leads to artifacts. When the image is on all the time and you move your head your eyes will receive an incorrect image until the next frame shows up, this leads to a lot of blurring and judder. With low persistence on the other side a frame is just flashed for a short amount and then the display goes black again (kind of like a CRT), meaning your eyes will receive always the right information and the judder and blur disappear. The black in between frames is filtered away by your brain. Abrash has some nice blog entries on the topic.

about 4 months ago
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Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 Ready For Pre-Order Today

grumbel Re:Dubious commercial prospects (100 comments)

Because the "wind in the sails" probably isn't as strong as you think.

Sony is now building their own VR headset for the PS4 with Project Morpheus, Valve already has VR support build into Steam, plenty of games started adding VR support and in the last year more virtual reality demos got produced then in the previous 20 years. Hard to tell how long the wind it will hold, but it's orders of magnitude stronger then what we had 20 years ago. It's also not limited to games, the current DevKit1, with all it's problems, is already used in a few non-game instalations, virtual fashion shows, movies, porn all that stuff. Also the nausea problems with VR have only recently been fixed with proper positional tracking and low persistence displays, something no previous consumer VR display had and that is critical for mass adoption. Given that the hype has been constantly growing ever since the first prototype was revealed almost two years ago, I doubt that VR will just fade away again, people want it, the price is cheap enough and it provides an experience that can't be provided by any other available technology.

about 4 months ago
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Crytek Ports CRYENGINE To Linux Support Ahead of Steam Machines Launch

grumbel Re:Linux sales figures (132 comments)

You're saying that GoG has games on multiple platforms but you only get one platform's install when you buy the game?

No, I am saying that you get two. If I buy for example Strike Suit Zero on GoG I get Mac and Windows versions. If I buy it on Steam I get Mac, Windows and Linux versions. GoG simply doesn't offer Linux versions, even if they exist and the developers are willing to provide them. GoG so far has completely refused to offer any Linux support at all, even so there is absolutely no reason to not have that in this day and age. See also this popular wishlist item:

http://www.gog.com/wishlist/si...

about 5 months ago
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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

grumbel What software can handle multiple HDDs well? (983 comments)

Simply going for multiple USB HDDs seems to be the obvious option (cheap, extendable, can be stored offsite and offline, etc.). However what would be some good Free Software to actually handle the backup? Common solutions such as duplicity, rsync, rdiff-backup, etc. all seem to assume that your backup target directory can hold the whole backup all at once and that the whole backup is online at the same time. While one can probably hack something together with union mounts to accomplish that, it seems like a very cumbersome and fragile solution.

Is there anything that allows you to just copy the data to a HDD and then plug-in a new one when the old one is full? Preferably in a data-format that is robust enough to handle some backup HDDs dieing without destroying the data on the other drives (i.e. no incremental changes across HDDs).

about 5 months ago
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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

grumbel Re:Go on the internet and find a DLT drive (983 comments)

LTO-6 can hold 2.5TB per tape, a tape cost ~$70, the drives cost $2000. That's still more expensive then just more HDDs for 20TB, but at >50TB it might be worth it.

about 5 months ago
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Crytek Ports CRYENGINE To Linux Support Ahead of Steam Machines Launch

grumbel Re:Linux sales figures (132 comments)

GOG doesn't have to pay anybody to offer a Linux version. When it comes to modern indie games all they have to do is give developers a place to upload them. With Mac versions they already do that, which you get for free if you bought the game. Only Linux versions are excluded. With those old DOS games things are a little bit trickier, as GOG themselves would need to do the porting work, but even that isn't exactly rocket science, DOSBox exist on Linux and simply offering the game as plain old .zip instead of self-extracting Windows installer would already go along way to make using GOG on Linux much easier. I really don't get why they avoid Linux as much as they do, as they could support it with very little extra work.

about 5 months ago
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Crytek Ports CRYENGINE To Linux Support Ahead of Steam Machines Launch

grumbel Re:Linux sales figures (132 comments)

Wouldn't it be nice if you could go and download all the ported games that you originally bought for Windows?

With Steam you can do that. If you bought a game there, Steam gives you all the different OS versions there are and all the languages the game was released in. There are other shops (most annoyingly GOG) that won't give you a Linux version, even if it's available, but as long as you bought the game is on Steam or activated it on Steam with a key you'll be fine.

about 5 months ago
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Report: Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) Scans Your DNS History

grumbel Re:So (373 comments)

There's no "Linux obviously" about it. It's a matter of trust, and Linux or not, users are far too trusting of the applications they install.

I don't think it's a problem with user trust, given all of the viruses and malware I don't think many are left that have trust in software. I think the problem is that no desktop OS gives you an easy way to properly isolate apps from each other. In Linux I can fudge around with multiple user accounts and such, but it's generally a mess, if there would something as easy as "sandbox ./your_untrustworthy_app" then people might actually use it.

about 5 months ago
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Report: Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) Scans Your DNS History

grumbel Re:So (373 comments)

DRM is DRM, and there's no such thing as "DRM done right."

While it would be nicer without DRM, DRM is really only a small piece of what makes the whole service. Take for example Linux versions, on Steam, you automatically get them when they become available for free. When you buy on GOG or physical discs you don't get them, either they aren't provided at all or you have to pay again for them. If you want to play a non-english version of a game you also have a much better chance at getting it on Steam then on any other service.

While that doesn't make the DRM go away, Steam does give me a lot more freedom on where and how I can play my games compared to other services. Would it be nice to have a DRM-free service with the same feature set as Steam? Sure, but as far as I know no one like it exists, closest thing is Humblebundle Store, which gives you both DRM-free versions as well as the Steam version, but they offer a lot less games then Steam at the moment.

about 5 months ago
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The Road To VR

grumbel Re:biggest drawback (61 comments)

The Crystal Cove prototype as well as Valves prototype have solved motion sickness for most part, as they have lower latency then the DevKit and track position, instead of just head rotation. If you play something ultra fast like Quake3 in them, you might still get motion sick, as the motion in that game and many others is far from realistic, but if you have a slower game that is build for VR you shouldn't have much of an issue.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

grumbel Re: The more simple you make it the less complex i (876 comments)

What you are describing is using a bunch of shell programs to achieve a simple task.

The task is very complex, it's just that the shell offers a very simple way to express it. As said, try to replicate shell behavior in your favorite programming language and you'll see that it is not simple.

Thankfully, most programming languages both have many such predefined functions

Calling cat, uniq and friends starts process, it's not just a function call. Processes unlike functions run in parallel. That's a huge difference.

Use the right tool for the job. Use the right tool for the job.

That to me is an excuse for shitty tools. There is no fundamental reason why a programming language couldn't offer constructs as powerful or even more powerful then what the shell has, yet they don't, as it apparently falls outside of the box in which programming language designers are stuck (aside from those Erlang guys).

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

grumbel Re:The more simple you make it the less complex it (876 comments)

Yes and that is far inferior to the shell version. If I have a file that's a few GB or TB in size, the shell version will run just fine (assuming the grep cut's down enough of the data), while your example will crash with out of memory. The "cat" program on the shell never needs to read the whole file at once, as what you are doing on the shell is setting up a filter pipeline, not just handing data from one function to another. Your average programming language doesn't have an easy way to do.

But that aside shell has many more benefits, such as isolated processes for example. If a program crashes on the shell, no big deal, you can just start another. If a function crashes in your favorite programming language, the whole program is toast. Your average programming language doesn't really have much in a way to isolate a function call from the next. Shell can also kill running processes, meanwhile you can't kill a thread safely.

Anyway, the point being here is that your Shell in combination with the OS provides you with tools that you cannot replicate within the realm of your programming language. Having a language graphical or not doesn't make that big of a difference when even such 30 year old fundamental tools aren't available to the programmer in the programming language. Programming language design is extremely stagnate and outside of syntax twiddling little has changed in a long long while.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

grumbel Re:The more simple you make it the less complex it (876 comments)

The reason programming languages are still as they are is for a simple reason, because you can't produce something complex with something simple

I don't think that's really the reason. Quite the opposite, with proper graphical tools you could build far more complex things then with flat text. As those tools could allow you everything text can do and a lot more, as you aren't restricted to simple serialized textual representation of the data you deal with.

Anyway, I think the whole graphics vs text debate is getting a bit ahead of itself, lets take a step back to things we already know and use every day. Take some simple shell code like:

cat file | grep "foo" | sort | uniq

Now try to reproduce that simple one liner in your favorite programming language. Can you make it that easy to read? Is your recreation as powerful as the original shell code (i.e. capable of running in parallel, easy to modify, etc.)? The answer to both of those would be "No" for almost any language out there. The code would not only get far more complex, but also far less flexible, slower and just downright miserable. Why is it that most mainstream programming languages don't have pipes or something similar as first class citizen? How can it be that some rusty old language from 30 years ago is far superior when it comes to such basic data flow and filtering?

about 6 months ago
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New Oculus Rift Prototype Features Head Tracking, Reduced Motion Blur, HD AMOLED Display

grumbel Re:Better in theory than practice (156 comments)

A few thousand units is not nearly enough to move the needle on price. Setup costs diminish greatly at around 10,000 units (usually) but that's isn't where the big money is here

They have shipped well over 20'000 developer kits so far. That's a device only sold through their website, known to be low-resolution, lacking position tracking and to become obsolete within a year due to release of the much improved consumer version. I have little doubt that they will sell a lot more units once the consumer versions hits the retail shelves. They also have something like $90 million venture capital, so they certainly can do some volume ordering.

The primary reason is that this technology always has been a solution looking for a problem.

Total immersion is a problem and people have wanted to solve for a long long time. At the moment it's still a little niche due to lack of hardware, but there is no shortage on people with tipple monitor setups, TrackIR and other gadgets to get as close to the real thing as possible. Rift can provide a better experience for much cheaper.

No matter how good the headset is, there simply isn't any evidence that there is mass market levels of demand for full immersion VR in any of the likely markets.

Look at some reaction videos on Youtube, everybody from 6 year old kids to 90 year old grandmas seems to enjoy the experience, a lot. Disney also did some research back in the 90's with they Aladdin Virtual Reality Carpet Ride and concluded that it's basically fun for all ages, no need to be some hardcore sci-fi geek to enjoy a bit of virtual reality. All the gaming aside, who would say no to an IMAX cinema in his living room? Virtual reality can provide that.

It's kind of like a Segway - neat but really just an expensive toy with limited real world application.

The Segway cost as much as a small car, so it's not that surprising that it didn't take of. If the Segway would have cost as much as a bike it would have had a much better time with mass market adoption. The Rift by contrast is pretty cheap, well within the realm of other gaming peripherals, cheaper then a big TV.

about 7 months ago

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