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UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

maccodemonkey Re: Nope (331 comments)

Industry is having trouble convincing people they need HD? A large majority of the market switched to HD. They're not having trouble convincing the market to adopt HD. They already did.

That's why they ended up doing 3D because their market dried up when everyone had an HDTV.

5 days ago
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UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

maccodemonkey Re: The future is not UHD (331 comments)

Any TV you can buy today can do 60 fps over HDMI. The frame rate push has been done for years, the content just never showed up:

It's also arguable if that's the future. Everyone seems pretty happy with the current refresh rates of film, and 60 fps Hobbit wasn't well received.

5 days ago
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UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

maccodemonkey Re: I won't notice (331 comments)

I've never seen a DVD that looks good on an HD TV above 40 inches. Same goes for H.264 SD content, which has a better encoding potential.

It always just looks like a blurry mess. Not totally unwatchable, but also not as enjoyable either.

5 days ago
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Time For Microsoft To Open Source Internet Explorer?

maccodemonkey Re:Too Late? (165 comments)

Isn't Microsoft announcing a new web browser intended to replace Internet Explorer today? Maybe it'll be open source. Maybe it'll even be based on Webkit.

I sure hope not. We need competing browser engines to keep things honest. The competition between them is the only way we ever get standards compliance.

Spoken by someone who wasn't around for the web browser wars of the 90s...

Multiple browsers led to less compliance, not more. Both Netscape and IE were in a rush to add their own non standard HTML elements to "outdate" the other. ActiveX didn't come along at a time that IE owned the market. ActiveX came along at a time when IE was in fierce competition with Netscape, and needed to BREAK the standard to push Netscape out of the market.

Having lived through that, I've never understood the logic of "we need multiple browsers to maintain standards." That's never actually happened in practice. It's like free market philosophy gone amok. Even today, we still see that a bit with either draft or pre-draft things getting added to web browsers outside of standards. Stuff like NaCL is not part of any web spec, and is entirely proprietary to Google, but hey, even with all the competition that's supposed to stop that, it still exists. Because competition promotes people creating their own proprietary stuff to beat the other browsers with.

about a week ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

maccodemonkey Re:So not Python, but VB? (647 comments)

I also disagree about C being "incredibly complex for a beginner". I found C to be very easy to grasp and very good at exposing what the computer is actually doing under the hood. I would agree that programming C well is complex (and also time-consuming), but that is because it is simple, not because it is complex.

As someone who went down this path and is now a professional software developer many years later... C sucks as an intro language.

Yes, it's very important for the work I do now. It's clean, simple, and easy to understand. It's also totally useless to a beginner.

I used BASIC (and HyperCard) way back when I was a kid because I could actually do things in it. Want to code a 3D game? I could do that. How about something that could play movies? Yep, easy. A basic text editor? I could do that too. With C? Lot's of hello world and "add these numbers together." C's minimalistic nature may be a strength for actual practice, but as a kid who wants to actually create things quickly, it sucks. I'd argue early education is about getting kids interested in coding, with less of an emphasis on actual practice they might use in a job 10 years down the road first. Just get them in the door first.

If C was my only intro to programming I would have lost my mind. Try to get more kids interested in development with only a command line interface and see how that goes. (Yes, there are libraries like SDL, but that takes you fair outside the realm of novice student development.)

about two weeks ago
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How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

maccodemonkey Re:How parallel does a Word Processor need to be? (449 comments)

Or a spreadsheet? (Sure, a small fraction of people will have monster multi-tab sheets, but they're idiots.)
Email programs?
Chat?
Web browsers get a big win from multi-processing, but not parallel algorithms.

Linus is right: most of what we do has limited need for massive parallelization, and the work that does benefit from parallelization has been parallelized.

This is kind of silly. Rendering, indexing and searching get pretty easy boosts from parallelization. That applies to all three cases you've listed above. Web browsers especially love tiled parallel rendering (very rarely these days does your web browser output get rendered into one giant buffer), and that can apply to spreadsheets to.

A better question is how much parallelization we need for the average user. While the software algorithms should nicely scale to any reasonable processor/thread count, on the hardware side you do have to ask how many cores we really need, especially in since a lot of users are happy right now. But targeting these sorts of operations as a single thread is also the entirely wrong approach. It's not power efficient for mobile users, and it drastically limits the gains your code will see on new hardware, while competing source bases pass you up.

about a month ago
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School Defied Google and US Government, Let Boys Program White House Xmas Trees

maccodemonkey Re:Considering how few boys graduate at ALL (355 comments)

To be fair, teacher pay sucks. We all know it. There isn't a debate there.

So you don't exactly make a solid point by saying "Hey look! Women dominate in all the crappy low paying jobs! How are they oppressed?"

Do women dominate in teaching because they choose to go into teaching, or because society is corralling them into teaching because it's pretty much on the bottom end of the career ladder?

I'll tell you, any time I look at teaching (which I'd be interested in), I go "hell no" when I see the pay scales, and go back to my normal engineering job.

If you think discrimination is not a thing, perhaps you're deluded enough to think that women, as a large group, are all collectively putting themselves into low paying, low recognition work.

For bonus points, break out gender ratios in education teaching by pay scale. You'll find as the level of academia and pay increases, the ratio of women also declines. Gee, that's funny.

about 1 month ago
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Snowden Documents Show How Well NSA Codebreakers Can Pry

maccodemonkey Re:all this info for what? (278 comments)

3: Other country's laws. People don't realize it in the US that Thailand's lese majeste laws apply here? Well, they do, and an American can get shipped over there for breaking them, due to extradition treaties. Same with Turkey and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In theory, someone handing out events for their pagan festival or church bulletins can be shipped over there to be executed, due to violating Islamic sharia laws. Privacy is important, since it isn't just domestic LEOs, but LEOs of foreign countries who can press charges and have US citizens answer for them. Right now, it tends not to be enforced, but the laws are on the books, and the pastor who was televised burning a Koran might find himself in Riyadh facing an imam and a crowd with rocks and a can of gasoline.

Errrr, no, that's totally wrong. Where did you learn this stuff?

If you commit an illegal activity in Thailand, and then enter the United States, there is a chance that the US could return you to Thailand. If you do something that is illegal in Thailand but not illegal in the United States in the United Staes, then it does not matter at all. Only US law applies to acts committed in the US.

I don't know where you learned your understanding of extradition laws, but this is so far out in right field. Maybe you should lay off the internet conspiracy crack for a while.

Seriously, learn a few things about extradition. It only applies to crimes committed in the country trying to get their hands on the person.

about a month ago
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Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

maccodemonkey Re:Hasn't this been known? (163 comments)

Well, now I'm reading specs on USB 3.0 controllers. Ugh. There's a lot on mapping a bus address to a memory address for DMA, but nothing addressing the security implications of doing so, or what devices are allowed to do, just broad hints like the buffer has to exist in a DMA-able part of memory without saying if that's a security implication or a hardware implication.

It would be nice to see a follow up article on if/how USB 3.0 protects against these things, because I'm not a kernel USB developer sort of guy, so while I know DMA is there, I'm not feeling like I'd be able to dissect these implementation specs.

about a month ago
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Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

maccodemonkey Re:Hasn't this been known? (163 comments)

same thing as a pci-e / pci / cardbus / express card with a boot ROM or flash. They load pre boot at least on non mac systems you can go to bios and trun off option roms / set it to EFI only mode.

Apple exposes a bunch of pre boot options for the firmware on the command line, but I'm not sure if you can disable pre-boot EFI drivers from there.

about a month ago
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Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

maccodemonkey Re:Hasn't this been known? (163 comments)

I'm pretty sure in the case of USB 3 that DMA is a function of the host controller. A device by itself cannot inject into arbitrary memory. This thunderbolt "vulnerability" is the equivalent of the windows autorun on insertion function that was disabled years ago. Only this functions above the level of the current user (aka much worse).

I'm looking up DMA for USB3. Although there are some ways to secure DMA (like a white list of addresses/sizes that are safe to write to), all of the advertised functionality of USB3, such as the sustained data rates, would be very hard to achieve if you didn't have direct access to memory. That's why Firewire ruled for live streaming of data for so long: DMA made it's rates reliable, whereas USB's dependence on the controller and CPU for memory transfers made the throughput more flakey.

about a month ago
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Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

maccodemonkey Re:uh - by design? (163 comments)

Thunderbolt is more like USB to the user - it's a thing you use to connect untrusted devices to your system. You wouldn't expect that plugging in a USB thumbdrive would magically own your system (well, maybe you should, because it's happened in the past, but I think it's fair to say that it shouldn't). You'd think that plugging in a random Thunderbolt device would be designed to be safe. Apparently not: apparently Thunderbolt is unsafe by design.

USB 3.0 has this exact same feature (DMA), so yes, yes you should expect a USB thumb drive to be able to do this.

about a month ago
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Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

maccodemonkey Hasn't this been known? (163 comments)

Firewire, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt all have DMA, which means any device hooked to a host can pretty much do anything they want to the host, no matter what the host hardware or OS is. I didn't think this sort of thing was still news?

about a month ago
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FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

maccodemonkey Re: Ethics? (556 comments)

Dude, the entire industry is dirty. Here's a tip: if you're worried about ethics start boycotting every video game.

It's funny how when it comes out that a gaming company acted unethically Gamergaters suddenly lower their standards by a few notches rather than give up their favorite toys.

about a month ago
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FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

maccodemonkey Re: Who? (556 comments)

Wait wait what? The FBI investigating threats against a "commoner" is now reason for concern? Gosh, I'm sorry you feel it's so alarming that the FBI has decided to take a phone call from one of the little people.

about a month ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

maccodemonkey Re:Huh? (191 comments)

Wait, what? People no longer use MP3s? They don't buy iPods?

iTunes, the iPod, and the iPhone (which are either the default software player or the default hardware for most people, especially inside of the US) have been using MP4/AAC for years.

Google still seems to be using MP3 strangely (AAC compresses much better with higher audio quality, and you'd think they would like to save on bandwidth costs), but they could be doing that because they have to support a wider range of devices. Amazon falls into the same category.

So yeah, while MP3 is still around, but with 63 of all digital music sold in the MP4/AAC format, it's hard to argue it's the universal standard it once was.

about a month and a half ago
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Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

maccodemonkey Re: STEM is for suckers.. at least now. (454 comments)

You forgot 1812? Or the Civil War? You apparently don't like either side of the civil war, but there was an entire group of people who's freedom was won at the end of the rifle.

The same holds true of World War II, one of the last cleanly justifiable wars. They weren't US citizens, but there was a large group of people being shoved into ovens whose freedom was won at the end of a rifle.

Normally I'm a liberal against unnecessary war, but the military has also has it's place.

about 2 months ago
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Apple To Donate Profit Portion From Black Friday For AIDS Fight

maccodemonkey Re: Post Jobs charity (102 comments)

This charity was actually a favorite of Jobs' as well, and Apple has had multiple promotions around since maybe 2004? There was even a dedicated iPod RED model.

But of course because Tim Cook is gay, now people are noticing and it's a "deal." Sigh/face palm.

about 2 months ago
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Visual Studio 2015 Supports CLANG and Android (Emulator Included)

maccodemonkey Re: Embrace has started (192 comments)

The iOS support I've seen so far requires you rewrite any API facing code in the Cocoa APIs. You'll get to do it in C# instead of Swift or Obj-C, but you do have to rewrite.

Not that I'm complaining. I'd hate to see all the Java style train wrecks that would come to the platform from developers blindly hitting recompile buttons.

about 2 months ago
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The Subtle Developer Exodus From the Mac App Store

maccodemonkey Re:Not mysterious. Just lousy. (229 comments)

The sad thing is I really like the OS, and I'd be happy to develop for it if they made development accessible and quit leaving trails of unfixed bugs behind them.

How exactly is developed not accessible?

- Apps do not have to be distributed through the Mac App Store.
- Xcode is provided for free along with all documentation. There are tons of other IDEs and languages as well.
- Yes, there are bugs, but all platforms have bugs. Surely as an OS X user you can see bugs as well.

I'm not sure what you're looking for to make development more accessible.

about 3 months ago

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