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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

lytles Re:Pick your poison (337 comments)

i haven't used it, so take this with a grain of salt. but, it appears that it can be used as a laptop in profile mode, ie rotated 90s so that it's 11" and 2160 pixels tall, which no other small light laptop (probably any laptop) can come close to

so if what you care about is vertical pixels, it's a small light laptop with a crummy keyboard and an *amazing* display

about a month and a half ago

Surface Pro 3 Has 12" Screen, Intel Inside

lytles Re:Resolution (316 comments)

i've been in the same situation ... i'm still using my 2006 era x60 because it's 4:3 aspect ratio

what do you think of using the pro 3 as a laptop ?

about 4 months ago

Surface Pro 3 Has 12" Screen, Intel Inside

lytles Re:Resolution (316 comments)

not sure that it's a question of "going cheap" ... how many 2160x1440 laptops are out there ? it's been 6 months since i've looked, but when i looked i think the mac air was the only thing i found that was 16:10 or better aspect ratio. taking a quick look at the ultrabook page on wp, i don't see anything that comes close

i'm still running an x60 because i'm not willing to give up my 4:3 aspect ration

about 4 months ago

Goodbye, Google Voice

lytles Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (166 comments)

the complaint about MMS is legitimate, but it's not a question of google supporting it - AT&T and verizon refuse to send the messages to GV numbers. other than that, GV is awesome ... my cell phone bill is less than $10 per month

i haven't tried the hangouts integration - it's possible that that makes things worse

about 6 months ago

Goodbye, Google Voice

lytles Re:Silent MMS dropping is a deal breaker (166 comments)

i agree - silently dropping MMS is a killer

afaict, AT&T and verizon refuse to send the data to google so there's nothing technical that google can do, ie this has nothing to do with google being stingy and everything to do with AT&T and verizon being a virtual duopoly and using their market position to exclude competitors

here's an article talking about it. and from the google engineer's google+ page (emphasis mine) ...

T-Mobile has allowed MMS messages from their users to be sent to Google Voice users.

about 6 months ago

There Would Be No Iranian Nuclear Talks If Not For Fracking

lytles or put another way (236 comments)

the sanctions on iran have artificially raised the price of crude, transferring trillions of dollars from consumers to producers

about 10 months ago

Sprint May Have Unlimited Data Plans, But Not Unlimited Customers

lytles Re:t-mobile is the best low cost carrier (207 comments)

i've been doing t-mobile prepaid for the last several years with google voice being my primary number. when i started with t-mobile they allowed a la carte data, but have since switched to a $2 per day (or $3 for 3g) plan, and the coverage seems to have gotten worse (living in northern ohio). i need data but in very small doses - primarily for google voice to sync sms (voice calls go thru the cell network) - have wifi at the house/office/bar

i just switched to airvoice, an at&t mvno - data is $0.33 per MB, and the coverage has been much better. phone is a nexus s, which has the t-mobile 3g freqs, so i'm limited to 2g on at&t. thinking that my costs will end up being on the order of $3-10 per month, but has the potential to blow up if i don't keep track of when i'm using mobile data

ridiculous to be paying $300 per GB, but with so little competition for the low end it's the best that i could do

about a year ago

Epic Online Space Battle

lytles Re:How many entities? (296 comments)

not sure what an "entity" is, but it's 4000 humans acting in a coordinated manner. wouldn't be shocked if the military manages the same with war games, but doubt that it's an order of magnitude more than that (couldn't find any numbers for omni fusion). i don't play the game, but the organizational structure for these coalitions is extensive

about a year ago

Epic Online Space Battle

lytles Re:This story sounds familiar (296 comments)

guessing that they just picked the most "prestigious" source. there's been a lot written about the technical aspects of the battle on reddit - here's the best that i can find at the moment:

the technology and organization outside of the game is also interesting - thousands of people acting in a coordinated manner to achieve a real-time goal using technology (mumble, jabber, irc) is news - even if the goal is (much) less impressive than hacking the linux kernel

about a year ago

Epic Online Space Battle

lytles Re:Who cares (296 comments)

i don't play eve (or any other MMO), but have been following it for a year. this is "stuff that matters" for 2 reasons

first is the server load. ccp swapped out the node that normally hosts the home world and used it for this battle, they slowed things down in a planned way (time dilation), and there was lag beyond that. so this battle was the limit of their technology. if ccp is able to handle battles like this, the battles will get bigger, so what comes next, from a server and software standpoint, should be interesting

but maybe the more interesting aspect is that outside of the game, the 2 coalitions have built up technology infrastructure for organizing and coordinating the players. prior to the battle there was a huge push to motivate players to log on similar to the promotional blitz for a new game or a movie. and during the battle much of the communication happens outside the game itself - multiple channels of mumble, jabber and the web

it's news when twitter enables the arab spring. and it's news (to me) when 4000 geeks get together using online tools and coordinate their actions to achieve some goal (however useless that goal might be)

as for the game itself, i played for a few hours and found it boring. it's nominally played in a huge 3d world, but the locations are largely limited to small regions around a 2d "grid". the number of ships and weapons is mind-boggling and complicated, and the actions all more or less amount to selecting an from a menu, eg you don't aim at a target, you select it from a list. so after a few hours i found myself wishing it had a command line interface and quit

about a year ago

The Last GUADEC?

lytles Re:Its NOT smartphones. (376 comments)

i was an active user and *very* minor contributor in 1999-2005. gtk, glib and gobject are definitely awkward to use. some of that is due to being written in c, but much of the awkwardness is due to being written in a way that allows binding from other languages (bindings exist for javascript, python, java, c++, ...). eg, the callback "marshaling" made stepping thru code in gdb painful

i always hoped that someone would strip out the language-agnostic support and make a pure c library. but nobody seemed excited about the prospect

another problem was that gtk et al attempted to be incredibly generic. the language-agnostic support is one example. another is that i proposed a key binding that would break focus and guarantee that alt-f would activate the file menu and was told that there was "nothing special about the menubar" in the context of gtk. and then gnome was at the other extreme - attempting to be very minimal and rigid. in between was a vast no man's land

about a year ago

Taking the Pain Out of Debugging With Live Programming

lytles Re:REPL? (254 comments)

i totally agree with you wrt the value of a REPL. i've done a fair amount of work in matlab, and i would mock up a method and work in the command line interface while stopped in the debugger until i got something working and then paste it back into the editor

beanshell2 for java isn't bad, but it's not integrated into the debugger so it doesn't help much. i use netbeans as my IDE and the "evaluate expression" debugger tool is decent for java, as is gdb for c. but all 3 pale in comparison to the matlab environment. someday, i aspire to have the time to make a command line repl plugin for netbeans ...

So I'm wondering what else can one get with the new approach that is substantially better than a REPL-based development environment.

the only thing new that i see McDirmid proposing is that the output is continuously updated as you edit. that doesn't sound very useful. i'd prefer a REPL that's integrated with the debugger

about a year and a half ago

Non-Volatile DIMMs To Ship This Year

lytles access to raw nand (63 comments)

the article isn't loading for me, so it's possible that this is discussed there ...

but what i'd really like is a block of nand that's accessed directly. SSDs present a block interface and translate the writes to the nand. presumably these dimms continue to present the RAM model to the computer and do some behind the scenes translation

nand has a performance characteristic that is quite different from both RAM and block devices, and shoehorning it to look like one or the other is limiting it's usefulness. eg, SSDs only let you do a single write to a block before erasing it, but you can actually continue to update a block - it's just that the bits are additive. for some algorithms this would be useful and would dramatically extend the write endurance. but since the SSD interface doesn't expose that capability we're left brute-forcing the nand

tl;dr: i want raw nand

about a year and a half ago

Wayland/Weston Gets Forked As Northfield/Norwood

lytles Re:More information (252 comments)

nothing he said in there was anything worse than what linus posts, or many open source projects. you could have said "scott - i choose not to make the changes that you'd like. you're free to fork things". instead, you're talking out of both sides of your mouth - claiming that you were being accommodating and then stonewalling him, kicking him when he called you on it, and pretending that he's a bad egg for forking things

if you're going to bad-mouth someone for forking, then you're just playing politics

about a year and a half ago

Solaris Machine Shut Down After 3737 Days of Uptime

lytles in other news ... (409 comments)

a slab of concrete has been found with an uptime of 3737 years

maybe the sysadmins liked them but as a developer i hated solaris boxen. the libraries were always years old, nothing modern would compile, the cli tools were slightly incompatible with linux scripts, ...

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do SSDs Die?

lytles Re:CRC Errors (510 comments)

power corrupts. absolute power corrupts absolutely

about 2 years ago

Opus — the Codec To End All Codecs

lytles No no no (327 comments)

"one codec to *stream* them all"

about 2 years ago

Use Google's Nexus 7 Tablet As a VoIP Phone, For Free

lytles negativity (91 comments)

wow - lots of negativity in the comments so far. yes, on one level this is obvious, but in reality i've found this difficult

i use google voice as my primary number and most days i don't buy prepaid service (i'm spending $100 per year for the last 2 years) - so i'm wifi only. when i'm on a linux box (with a hardwired ethernet) i use the gmail to make calls. but i haven't found a great solution for my phone - google nexus s. what i'm doing is have google voice forward the call to ipkall (free pots to sip gateway) and then answer the call on my phone with csipsimple (seemed better than builtin, though i haven't tried the builtin sip since i upgraded to ICS). for testing, i do the same thing on my linux box using sflphone. the quality using gmail is much better than what i've gotten from either csipsimple or sflphone (i'm on a 1Mbit dsl connection)

so an android app that talks directly to GV seems incredibly useful to me. anyone know how this works - eg, are they just running a pots-to-sip gateway or have they actually implemented the GV protocol (i think it's jingle with some extensions). any other apps that are doing something similar, especially one that's Free ? or linux programs (on my laptop, leaving gmail open eats my battery) ? anybody else using GV + wifi as their primary means of communication ? how does the voice quality compare with gmail ?

yes, the article isn't great. but the idea is 100% geek - embrace it. in the meantime i'm going to go investigate GIPL and see if anyone else is implementing the GV protocol

more than 2 years ago

The Cost To 'Promote' a Facebook Post: $200 To $500

lytles Re:FTC disclosure (117 comments)

i'm an idiot ... the article says they show up with a "sponsored" tag

more than 2 years ago


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