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AMD Launches New Mobile APU Lineup, Kabini Gets Tested

tstrunk Re:hUMA (102 comments)

But even more puzzling to me is why both MSFT and Sony picked the absolute WEAKEST CHIP that AMD sells for their flagships...what the fuck?

Because of exactly what parent said:
AMD can provide unified memory (hUMA) with a decent GPU and a decent CPU on the same die. Intel cannot, nvidia cannot.
hUMA will not make your PC faster in general, but it will provide you with a feature, even a PC with 20 Geforce Titans does not have: Latency free data exchange between CPU and GPU.

It will make GPU processing more feasible especially on a small scale. I can't give you an example from gaming, but I can give you an example from my own expertise. When we simulate big proteins, we do it on a GPU. However, for small proteins, the latency overhead simply kills us. Processing on the GPU would be faster, but we need to copy back and forth all the time. We don't need faster GPUs, we need faster transfers. With hUMA: no problem.

about a year and a half ago

Massive Amount of Malware Targets Older Java Flaws

tstrunk Oracle Java UPDATER is the reason for this (102 comments)

Some posts above mine, people blame Oracle Java. I blame the updater.

My dad was hit by malware lately, which he got, because of an outdated Java on his system. He told me he always updated everything and blocked the install of everything else like toolbars. The last thing before he got the virus he remembered, was not allowing jusched.exe admin priviledges.

I get it: jusched mean java update scheduler and everytime it's run it asks for admin priviledges. First of all:
1.) This should be updated automatically by a package manager, hence I blame Microsoft
2.) If 1.) is not the case, it should at least be called JAVA UPDATE PROCESS
3.) It should display some kind of information before requesting Admin rights.

Not many people outside of Slashdot know what jusched.exe is. Updating needs to be automated. Actually: We should somehow take this into our own hands and provide OpenJDK for Windows also ourselves and get people to switch. Maybe even without the ASK Toolbar

about a year and a half ago

Why Is Science Behind a Paywall?

tstrunk Re:Impact Factor (210 comments)

To the previous poster - the problem with non-anonymous reviews is the risk of "trading" good reviews, retaliation etc if the reviewers are known. Scientists are people, as easily tempted to misbehavior as any other group.

I completely agree. As money is involved, the system will be gamed a lot. However you are not competing with a perfect system. You are competing with a completely flawed system, where misbehaviour is the norm and being published in the big magazines happens a) because your science is actually good (system works) or b) you have a bigshot name and can therefore already push articles over the initial review wall (system failed). Now this is all under wraps and nobody can see it (and it makes me look like a conspiracy nut), but with a system like the mentioned one it would be public.

I mentioned "diminishing returns" exactly because of what you said. If two people trade reviews, the first time they do their accumulated impact factor goes up by the full amount. If they do it again by 0.5... again by 0.25, etc. In other words it's healthy for you as a scientist to seek reviewers, who never reviewed your work yet. Reviewers could also be requested by the system at random (think Slashdot metamod). Public moderation systems can work as shown by slashdot comment moderation.

about a year and a half ago

Why Is Science Behind a Paywall?

tstrunk Impact Factor (210 comments)

The only reason scientists publish in journals behind paywalls is because they need the "Impact Factor" of the journal to put the publication on their CV so they can get better jobs and / or recognition among their peers. It's a vicious circle and one that science needs to leave

A few scientists organized an Elsevier boycott last year http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/01/27/1322234/scientists-organize-elsevier-boycott and I had an idea back then, which I copy and paste here:
My solution for this would be a public network of papers, where everybody can publish, read and ‘sign’ those papers. If you agree with a paper, you put your signature under it and the worth of this paper goes up. As your ‘worth’ goes up your signature also gains in weight, when signing other papers. Every paper gets a comment section, where reviews can be written and errors pointed out.

If a well known professor therefore signs your work, others will catch up to it. A ‘good’ paper will gain in publicity quickly due to being sent around a lot. One would also need to include a system of diminishing returns, as to avoid groups signing only their own papers. Ironing out these points of abuse will be the hardest part of this system.

The specification above only consists of four to five sentences and yet I would call it much more stable and open than the currently completely anonymous reviewing system.

about a year and a half ago

AMD Radeon HD 7990 Released: Dual GPUs and 6G of Memory for $1000

tstrunk Re:The drivers still suck, so why bother? (189 comments)

Since AMD drivers are total garbage, why bother?
Might as well stick with a card I can actually use.

Yeah, shill on.
Windows Drivers are decent nowadays. OpenCL works better on AMD in my experience (some __constant memory bugs were just fixed recently for nvidia, see here: http://bloerg.net/2012/07/19/heterogenous-computing.html ). The Tomb Raider hair benchmark, which worked with DirectCompute better on AMD than nvidia also shows that for nvidia only CUDA is the prime citizen ( http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2013/3/6/tomb-raider-amd-touts-tressfx-hair-as-nvidia-apologizes-for-poor-experience.aspx ).
FGLRX is ok too, but lags behind nvidia, when looking at the support for new xorgs.
If you consider that AMD also provides some open source support, while nvidia provides none, for me the choice between them is a clear one.

Even if it's not clear for you "Might as well stick with a card I can actually use" is a clear flame.

about 2 years ago

Are Lenovo's ThinkPads Getting Worse?

tstrunk Did the EFI implementations get better? (271 comments)

Last Lenovo I had was an IdeaPad S205. EFI was crap. Windows didn't boot in EFI mode, Linux had problems with Wireless, reboot, everything ACPI related in EFI mode. There are still problems with either working card reader OR working USB ports (arguably a kernel problem) also in BIOS mode.

Do the Thinkpads work in EFI mode?

about 2 years ago

Linux Foundation's Secure Boot Pre-Bootloader Released

tstrunk Does SecureBoot force you to also use EFI? (178 comments)

If your mainboard requires you to use SecureBoot, does this mean you are also forced to boot using EFI instead of some legacy BIOS fallback?

I did not have the best experiences with using EFI in actual EFI mode and not some BIOS fallback mode. My laptop (a eeePC 1215B) refused to boot the windows install in EFI mode and had some wifi problems on Linux; everything works perfectly in BIOS land); I had similar experiences with a Lenovo S205 of a colleague.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

tstrunk Point and Click Adventures, No Mouselook! (550 comments)

First of all: If your wife never played games in her life, forget everything with Mouselook / Dual-Stick for the moment. It won't work. Forget WoW, because also that requires mouselook. It will frustrate her.

Try games, where reaction time is not required, games which are story driven similar to a movie.
My vote goes to something like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Played it together with the girlfriend on the wii and we both had a blast puzzling and solving cases. General Point & Click Adventures can provide a similar experience.

If you want to try something new with coop, which quite probably will not require so many skills, try The Cave, which will be out on the 23rd.

about 2 years ago

In Vitro Grown Meat 'Nearly Possible'

tstrunk Re:Ethics for veggies (260 comments)

I'm a vegetarian and I would eat it.
No central nervous system == no consciousness == karma neutral food^^

And the reason to eat it is simple: easy access to proteins and also good taste.
It's entirely possible to be on a completely vegetarian diet. But you don't have as much choice as the meat eaters, especially considering instant food.

about 2 years ago

Windows XP Drops Below 40% Market Share While Windows 8 Passes 1%

tstrunk Re:I Wonder? (310 comments)

My Macbook Pro is still running Snow Leopard for the same reason I'm disinterested in Windows 8 - later releases of OSX seemed to revolve around cellphone integration and fullscreen apps, i.e. serving Apple's interests in ecosystem lock-in. Pass.

Is Snow Leopard still supported with security fixes? Previous evidence pointed otherwise, which would also force you to upgrade quite soon. See here: http://www.sture.ch/node/196

more than 2 years ago

In Calculator Arms Race, Casio Fires Back: Color Touchscreen ClassPad

tstrunk No, it won't gain a strong following. (170 comments)

Why does one need a graphing calculator?
a) because it's actually required in an exam (didn't happen to me in my life).
b) because it makes life easier during an exam.

There's no math field work, where you need immediate mobility anymore. There's no need for a graphing calculator, which must not be used during exams.

about 2 years ago

Intel DC S3700 SSD Features New Proprietary Controller

tstrunk Marketing Speech? 10 writes per day for five years (54 comments)

The article makes me a bit suspicious:
"Intel's own high-endurance MLC NAND can be found in the drive, which is rated for 10 full disk writes per day for five years."
sounds pretty bad actually, if I understand it right.
Per cell this means: 365*10*5 = roughly 20.000 write cycles per cell? Sure wear leveling algorithms are there, but 20.000 cycles is not exceptional, or am I wrong?

Don't misunderstand this post. I think Intel's SSDs are good.

more than 2 years ago

Designing DNA Specific Bio-Weapons

tstrunk Not worth the effort (227 comments)

Maybe, but only maybe the article is right and it would be possible to design a protein, which binds specifically to a DNA sequence motif of a single human being killing the host. Currently this is a lot of work even for a few (as in 18) bases and not solvable by standard means. The design of a protein binding specifically to any random DNA sequence ( think huuuuuugee Zinc-Finger Nucleases : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc_finger_nuclease ) is in my opinion still nobel prize material.

If that was actually possible, people would use it to do good (Gene therapy etc). To knock out cancerous genes, while retaining the good ones. To bind specifically to Virus RNA or to just identifiy gene segments, which are connected somehow to genetical disorders (minus the killing of course in this case).

My point is: I don't think there is enough motivation in the scientific community to develop this just to kill a political target. There are definitely less costly ways, which leave less traces.

more than 2 years ago

Nintendo's Wii U Will Be Sold At a Loss

tstrunk Re:Still has the same problem as the 3DS (188 comments)

The 3DS was by far the worst console launch by Nintendo, possibly even of all game consoles.

Yeah, because the 3DS did so much worse than the Virtual Boy. ^^

more than 2 years ago

Is Qualcomm the New AMD?

tstrunk Re:If AMD Dies... (331 comments)

Have you looked at Intel CPU prices lately? It hasn't been this bad since the Pentium II times.

I agree. You are quoting a retail CPU. It's even worse in the server market, especially if you want many cores. We recently required a 32 CPU machine (single thread performance was not vitally important).
Suitable CPUs were:
1x16 Core AMD Interlagos: about 500 Euro
1x8 Core Intel Sandy-Bridge EP about 1000 Euro.

I know that people are going to say: but hey, single thread performance and Hyper Threading are going to make up for it. But that's not true: There is NO Intel CPU below 1000 Euro we could put into the system. There simply is no equivalent. It's a similar situation as with Apple: They make high-end products and people justify the price with it. That doesn't help the people who search for a low cost option.

more than 2 years ago

Hiring Smokers Banned In South Florida City

tstrunk Cigarettes would not be allowed to market nowadays (1199 comments)

No institution would allow a product like cigarettes to enter the market nowadays.
They exist and they are tolerated, but were they invented nowadays, they'd never be legalized.

more than 2 years ago

All Over But the Funding: Open Hardware Spectrometer Kit

tstrunk Blood sugar test? (62 comments)

Disclaimer: I'm no expert in spectroscopy.

Would it be possible to estimate the blood's sugar content with this kit?

It is possible non-invasively with Raman spectroscopy in the infrared:

The usual blood glucose meters have errors of up to 50% in the reading. And they still require those expensive analysis strips.
If a home blood glucose measurement would be possible with one of those kits (even if you still need to draw blood), that would rock.

more than 2 years ago

Recurly's Backup Mess Takes Days to Clean Up

tstrunk Re:Reminds me of Authorize.net (21 comments)

I know that technician! His name was Candlejack, right?
When he came to

more than 2 years ago

Mark Cuban Blames Himself For Losing Money On Facebook IPO

tstrunk Re:Facebook could charge $1 a month (186 comments)

Think about that. All those facebook addicts out there. I bet that most of them would be willing to pay $1 a month to use it. That's about $800,000,000 a MONTH in revenue. Even if only half of them sign up that's still $400,000,000. If you pay the dollar you get an add free version and maybe a little more control on how your data is used and shared. People pay to use Dropbox why not facebook?

Half of them won't sign up, i'd be surprised if 1% would sign up. Facebook needs critical mass. It they take a dollar to let you post stuff on your wall, there will be a huge outcry among all the users, even or especially the fans. Facebook will lose a lot of its fans and the mass will go to the next free social media platform: Google+

more than 2 years ago

California To License Self-Driving Cars

tstrunk Re:Get used the idea, I'm afraid (301 comments)

Think how easy it would be for a personal injury lawyer to wheel a child who was injured in front of a jury and get them all crying because the driver didn't use the proven safe self-driving mode. What will a few mega-million dollar suits do to your insurance?

First: I agree completely with your comment.

I just want to say: Maybe once we are at the point, where less manual drivers equates less fatal accidents, the time has come to actually sacrifice some of our freedom and just allow self-driving cars on the road. It's an ethical question and it would be a hard sell politically and definitely not win votes, though.

more than 2 years ago



Orbit Downloader registers user's computer in a botnet used for DDOS

tstrunk tstrunk writes  |  about a year and a half ago

tstrunk (2562139) writes "ZDNet reports (ZDNet article) that Orbit Downloader, a "popular freeware Windows download tool", downloads another Win32 PE binary upon starting and uses the host for a DDOS attack on remote computers. If you are a user of Orbit Downloader, now might be the time for a deinstallation, virus scan, disk format or nuking it from ... Orbit."
Link to Original Source


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