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AMD Beema and Mullins Low Power 2014 APUs Tested, Faster Than Bay Trail

somersault Re:Please at least 6 sata ports and USB 3 (66 comments)

You could use all 4 SATA ports for HDDs, and install using a USB optical drive or stick when needed (which won't be very often..)

about 7 months ago
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All Else Being Equal: Disputing Claims of a Gender Pay Gap In Tech

somersault Re:Yeah, but women want it all (427 comments)

Just so you know, the AC may also be a woman. And actually probably is. Either that or a man who's never seen any news articles or blogs by "feminists".

about 9 months ago
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Stephen Hawking: 'There Are No Black Holes'

somersault Re:YouAreStupid (458 comments)

How about you figure out how the creation even began if something didn't already exist? How about you explain to me that it makes more sense that whatever existed was already sentient, rather than gradually ordering itself out of disorder (ie, how we came to exist)? Saying "god did it" doesn't answer anything, it just adds another turtle.

about 10 months ago
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Stephen Hawking: 'There Are No Black Holes'

somersault Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (458 comments)

Because religious people desperately want evidence that they can wave in the face of non believers to try to get them into their club. They will blindly refuse any evidence that doesn't agree with them of course. They're a bit like corporation funded researchers.

about 10 months ago
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New Oculus Rift Prototype Features Head Tracking, Reduced Motion Blur, HD AMOLED Display

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

That's part of the equation but it really is not the primary reason it has continued to fail. The primary reason is that this technology always has been a solution looking for a problem. It's neat but it doesn't really scratch an itch.

I remember similar things being said about tablet computing :) It doesn't particularly matter if it has "mass market" adoption anyway in the long run. As long as it becomes available to people like me who have been waiting for something that has "good enough" resolution and tracking, at a decent price, then it will have been worth it. I do think that there are a lot of gamers who would love this. Just look at how much the simple motion tracking on the first Wii changed the direction of console gaming.

I have peripherals like a steering wheel, nice joystick, drum kit etc which I generally leave in a corner because I can't be bothered setting it all up. But the fact remains that when I do set them up, they're very good at improving immersion (and controllability) in games. A headset should be a bit less hassle at least.

about 10 months ago
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New Oculus Rift Prototype Features Head Tracking, Reduced Motion Blur, HD AMOLED Display

somersault Re:never gonna happen (156 comments)

I'm not sure what you're talking about with "haven't sold one unit". Or do you not count the development kits?

about 10 months ago
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Senators Propose Bill Prohibiting Phone Calls On Planes

somersault Re:what? (513 comments)

I thought it was just a (relatively) common phrase..? Maybe I've watched Firefly too many times.

about a year ago
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Ford Self-Driving R&D Car Tells Small Animal From Paper Bag At 200 Ft.

somersault Re:salt and de-icer (207 comments)

Why? FWD has better traction because more weight is over the drive wheels, and it's more stable (when rear drive wheels slip the car fishtails)

Well, for one thing, I enjoy drifting/fishtailing when it's raining or there's snow (I only do that if there aren't other cars around though). Having weight over the drive wheels is pretty good for grip yes, but having the drive wheels also doing the steering is not a good thing, especially in unexpected situations. I suppose that a driver that's aware of the limitations of their vehicle will always fare better in poor weather than someone who knows nothing about drive systems and weight distribution, so it just comes down to preference. I prefer RWD (even over all wheel drive).

With thinner tyres, your car is more likely to sink through the snow and get better grip. It's perhaps bad in really deep snow, I wouldn't know.. but for the less than a foot of snow that we usually have on UK roads, it's definitely better with thinner tyres. I've never used real snow tyres, so I don't know about them.

about a year ago
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Ford Self-Driving R&D Car Tells Small Animal From Paper Bag At 200 Ft.

somersault Re:What are they really saying? (207 comments)

I don't really mind that you killed a kangaroo, but I don't think it's valid to use the same logic in areas where there's a high chance of humans being near the road.

If you don't have time to detect and avoid someone/something you don't want to kill (or is illegal to kill) walking out from cars or other objects at the side of the road, and especially if you don't have time to detect something that's already on the road, you're going too fast for the conditions.

about a year ago
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Ford Self-Driving R&D Car Tells Small Animal From Paper Bag At 200 Ft.

somersault Re:salt and de-icer (207 comments)

I love RWD in the snow. I'd say the width of your tyres mattes more than the drive system. It also depends how much snow you get I suppose. Snow is never a problem for me, but ice can really suck when it's on an incline (as in the car park at my last flat, where I had a lot of fun trying to get going some days..).

about a year ago
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Ford Self-Driving R&D Car Tells Small Animal From Paper Bag At 200 Ft.

somersault Re:ONE independent demo, please (207 comments)

They don't stand to profit from anything right now, this is just news about a research project. If you are annoyed at the lack of product reviews for a product that doesn't even exist yet, maybe you should stop reading tech news sites.

about a year ago
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Ford Self-Driving R&D Car Tells Small Animal From Paper Bag At 200 Ft.

somersault Re:ONE independent demo, please (207 comments)

The difference is that these articles are about research projects, not final products. This one doesn't even say that the car moves, just that it can detects things. So it's probably about one student's project into computer vision.. no, I haven't RTFA :p

about a year ago
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

somersault Re:When you have a bad driver ... (961 comments)

driving down small public roads on a sunny day is fun. Its why we play video games.

No, we play video games because doing the same things in real life is often either stupid/dangerous, or impossible (alien worlds, Portal guns, etc).

Driving can be very enjoyable without being dangerous about it. If you want to really let loose on a public road, I recommend not buying a car that can do 0-60mph in less than 6 seconds.

about a year ago
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Newly Discovered Greenhouse Gas Is 7,000 Times More Powerful Than CO2

somersault Re:Meanwhile in russia (216 comments)

hey the guy said he can reed, not ryt

about a year ago
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Thousands of Germans Threatened With €250 Fines For Streaming Porn

somersault Re:Oh Dear. (192 comments)

Out of morbid curiosity - who uploaded the content, and why isn't the law firm chasing that guy?

There's a possibility that the porn company uploaded it themselves, just so that they could execute this plan.

Th **AA have been caught doing similar things, so it's not unprecedented.

Of course it's very possible that a normal user uploaded them too.

about a year ago
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Microsoft's New Smart Bra Could Stop You From Over Eating

somersault Re:The blue tits of death. (299 comments)

Not really, I've just seen too many feminist posts on FB recently. The only one doing any cock blocking was himself. Plus lower UID people here are usually way older than me, and probably married.

about a year ago
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Scientists Discover Huge Freshwater Reserves Beneath the Ocean

somersault Re:Yo Dawg I Heard You Like Water (273 comments)

He didn't say muscle mass, he said muscle density.. lots of animals have much more powerful muscles than us. It's not something that's selected for in modern societies, because your lifting/jumping/whatever power is generally irrelevant.

about a year ago
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Scientists Discover Huge Freshwater Reserves Beneath the Ocean

somersault Re:Yo Dawg I Heard You Like Water (273 comments)

If they didn't, they would have made a military large enough to compete with ours.

Most countries aren't big enough for that. And very few other countries are crazy enough for it. Saying "they don't have a big army, so they must be hoping for our 'protection'" is a massive stretch.

about a year ago
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Study: People Are Biased Against Creative Thinking

somersault Re:BZZZZT! Article Suspect! (377 comments)

Because they were the first mainstream devices (that I'm aware of) with displays that were actually pleasant to use - because of the capacitive touch and big finger-friendly buttons. Resistive displays were pretty horrible even with a stylus. Apple forced other manufacturers to put more emphasis on their UIs (though the first generation iPhones were horrible in terms of features, and so I didn't even consider getting one). I had been using Windows Mobile custom ROMs until I switched to Android around version 2.2 I think.

about a year ago

Submissions

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somersault somersault writes  |  more than 7 years ago

somersault writes "You can now use your Wii to get streamed media content from your PC with a free app called Orb. From the site:

"Orb's free software allows you to enjoy all digital media from your home PC as well as online videos from the growing source of Internet TV and content sites on any other networked device with an internet browser"

Sounds worth investigating, I'm going to try it when I get home from work ;) Anyone on /. have any novel uses of this system or just want to let us know how well it works?"
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somersault somersault writes  |  more than 7 years ago

somersault writes "There have been a lot of people on /. making jokes at the expense of PHP recently, but how many common security flaws in PHP are the fault of the language, and how many the fault of the developer? A recent Security Focus article (this version is from El Reg, the layout is better) has a brief discussion which suggests that PHP is no less secure than any other scripting language, and that it is the users of the language themselves who need to be educated. The other side of the story is that the developers of PHP themselves work on tightening up the language to make it more 'idiot proof' by default. Should the team developing PHP take a more active role in controlling the use of their language? What will it take to ensure that users of the language learn to use it securely, short of defacing every vulnerable website out there?"

Journals

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Mindful Universe (book review and forum for discussion)

somersault somersault writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I've been reading Mindful Universe by Henry P Stapp, I think after someone mentioned it here on /.

Here's the review I just posted on Amazon (my first ever review):

While I found the sections of the book relating the development/history of quantum theory useful and interesting, I can't really say that the conclusions that Stapp tries to draw are particularly worthwhile or justified. He admits at the start of the book that he dislikes the idea that we are "automatons" without "free" will and that the universe is on a set path which can be predicted by what we now refer to as "classical" physics equations. He then tries to show that since quantum theory involves probability, and that our brain operates on a quantum level in some cases, that perhaps our consciousness can directly affect the quantum probabilities involved in the working of our brain moving from one moment to the next. Of course that conveniently sidesteps the issue of what consciousness is, whether it itself is purely emergent from the classical physical aspects of our brain or whether as he seems to be want to believe, it is due to quantum states that can never be truly predicted and therefore have some mystical spiritual element. Personally I don't see that it makes any difference either way - because there is definitely some physical aspect to consciousness, and whether it can be predicted or not does not change the fact that we can make decisions and have to take responsibility for our actions, whether we are physically predictable creatures or not. Besides, whether quantum effects come into play in the workings of our brain matters not a jot, because we don't really even understand the working of the brain on a macro scale yet let alone a micro scale.

Basically it feels like Stapp is trying to push a personal agenda by tugging on emotions and appealing to intuition (which can be a good guide, but initially can lead to wrong conceptions such as thinking the sun revolves around the earth rather than the other way around) rather than providing any solid arguments to support his position.

Have to agree with the other review that complains about the language too. Stapp himself says that the book is intended for the lay person, but had I had no previous knowledge of quantum mechanics I would have had no idea what he meant at certain points.

I'm tempted to write more, but I wonder has anyone else read the book, and what do they think on these matter whether they have read it or not? I read a couple of other reviews and comments online and at least some people agree that Stapp is trying to push something that there is no scientific basis for.

It is strange that the book has enlightened me more on quantum theory in the first few chapters, but in doing so has let me see for myself that the rest of the book seems to be a load of bunk.. quantum theory has lost some of its mystical 'magic' to me because now I see that it doesn't actually say that "this is the way nature is". All the cool ideas I've read in the past (like the multiple universe theory) seem to have missed the point that quantum theory doesn't describe the nature of reality, it only describes what we can know about our reality. So while it is unknown to us exactly what path the universe could take at a quantum level, there is no reason to believe that there is any more than one path being followed - when you measure you find one state (and of course destroy it at the same time). There may be several probable states in our model, but only one actual state, whether you measure it or not? I think I have seen it explained otherwise in the past when reading about quantum computers, but I can't remember the details. I have enjoy the magic of all the crazy ideas that are apparently grounded in quantum theory, but some of them seem much more like religious or philosophical standpoints rather than saying anything about the actual nature of reality. Of course perhaps that is kind of the point in the end, there are some things we just can't know.

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OpenPandora open for pre-orders!

somersault somersault writes  |  more than 6 years ago

The team at OpenPandora have opened up 3000 pre-order slots - better hurry up before they're all gone!

If you've no idea what the Pandora is, it's a handheld gaming console that runs linux, and is powerful enough to handle games like Quake III comfortably. Here are the basic specs:

  • ARM® Cortex(TM)-A8 600Mhz+ CPU running Linux
           
  • 430-MHz TMS320C64x+(TM) DSP Core
           
  • PowerVR SGX OpenGL 2.0 ES compliant 3D hardware
           
  • 800x480 4.3" 16.7 million colours touchscreen LCD
           
  • Wifi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth & High Speed USB 2.0 Host
           
  • Dual SDHC card slots & SVideo TV output
           
  • Dual Analogue and Digital gaming controls
           
  • 43 button QWERTY and numeric keypad
           
  • Around 10+ Hours battery life

I've placed my pre-order already - I think it's time to dust off the old OpenGL books! :)

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Virtualisation

somersault somersault writes  |  more than 6 years ago

So I finally got round to trying virtualisation :) When I looked at it before most options were rather expensive or limiting. Of course when I first looked at it I had the idea that I'd prefer to have direct disk access rather than run from a fake hard drive, but I can see the logic in keeping the hard drives in files as it will make it much easier to transfer the VMs between machines and create full backups really quickly.

I've been meaning to look into this for months, but have been busy with coding and generally keeping things running as they are while at work. I'm often stuck between "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and the knowledge that I could improve the way things are working around here if it weren't for the fact that there are workers in Houston who need to connect into our network til about midnight UK time, so any serious maintenance I want to do I've had to do at midnight on a friday night. At home I spend most of my time playing the PS3 or watching movies, though this past weekend I finally remembered to try setting up a VM.

I have been using OSX exclusively at home and decided that I may as well run OSX at work too, with an XP VM for the things that need XP (Outlook, Windows development IDEs.. and I guess Winamp :p ), while the rest of the stuff I use (Firefox, Apache, perl, and even Remote Desktop) all have native OSX versions.

After a test of this I may consider rolling VMs out onto some of our servers, but I'm not convinced that the overhead involved in running several OSes instead of one will be worth it when it comes to server performance - especially when it comes to memory. Exchange likes its memory. Hardware permitting though, it would be pretty cool to be running a Linux base OS (which wouldn't need rebooting very often, if at all) and some Windows Server stuff on top, with different services across different VMS, so that if one service screws up it can be rebooted (or otherwise sorted, but reboots are usually a good start) without affecting anything else, and it would be easier to do stuff like roll back patches. Our fastest server is a dual core Opteron with 4GB of RAM - which to me doesn't seem suitable for server virtualisation. We're also going through a bit of a cash crisis at the moment (the sales department haven't been doing their job very well!), so I'm definitely not going to ask to upgrade any servers at the moment, but I'll bear it in mind for the next round of hardware :)

I'm also interested to see if any of our engineering packages can run properly on VMs (would probably require a decent level of OpenGL support to run at anything near acceptable speeds), and then I'd be justified in buying something like an 8 (or more :D ) core beast with oodles of RAM and a massive RAID array, then have the engineers remote desktop into it when they need to do heavy calculations. At the moment we have a couple of machines for fluid dynamics or stress calculations so that a solve can be left running without slowing down other work, but they are only running XP Pro and therefore can only have one user logged in at a time obviously.

If anyone reads this I'd be interested to hear what they have been doing with Virtualisation? One of the most basic and practical ideas I've heard is that someone does all his browsing in a VM - that's a great idea from a security standpoint, but if it requires keeping a spare copy of XP going just to browse then it is perhaps a bit wasteful. Running a browser in DSL could be a good idea from a resources standpoint, but then you can't use Internet Explorer for the very few sites that may still require it (though you could always install WINE). Thankfully I haven't seen any sites recently that don't work in Firefox :)

I do ramble a bit, sorry if my sporadic thoughts smack slightly of ADHD, or if my thinking is still a bit behind the bleeding edge - I am perfectly capable when it comes to technology and especially computers, but since I moved away from home I no longer spend all my spare time in geeky pursuits, as my friends have always been more interested in stuff like music and film. I love music and films too of course, but I often forget how much of a geek I really am deep down ;) It's funny to hear my friends or people on radio/TV talk about computers, you just have to laugh (or sometimes, cry) at how clueless they are. I've spent my whole life using computers so I just know so many things that seem so obvious to me, but other people only know what's going on onscreen and often have no clue of what's happening underneath. But I digress (massively, uncontrollably, neurotically). I shall stop here and let others either tear me apart or provide useful and informative discussion.

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Hehehe

somersault somersault writes  |  more than 6 years ago I thought aitchpeevee would have added me as a foe for my religious views, but after reading his latest journal I see it's more likely to be because I like Macs.. teehee :) I don't consider myself one of those posers who only switched because of their iPods though - I first used, and enjoyed macs in the late 80s when I were a young lad in primary school *nod*

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Subject

somersault somersault writes  |  more than 6 years ago Okay, so the girlfriend had no taste in music, self evaluation, logical ability, or indeed sense of irony. Dumped. Hehe.

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Short update on life.

somersault somersault writes  |  more than 6 years ago Woo, so I have a girlfriend now :p I've hardly mudded for like 2 weeks! :( She told me that she never thought she'd date a geek. I took that as a compliment. Anyway, now that she's off back home for Christmas I can indulge in some more geeky pastimes, though these days having a Wii doesn't really make you a geek.. though the fact that I had one before last Christmas probably does :D

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Hello, fans

somersault somersault writes  |  about 8 years ago I have no idea who you are, or why you have chosen me as a friend, but meh, I'll add you anyway :P

*wave*

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