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Status Updates posted by vanished

  1. I recently had an idea for what some might call a smart watch, but significantly more restrained than the phone-on-your-wrist that most try to be.

    • No android or ios or any other big system, just a very simple firmware.
    • It would have an e-ink display and show just time, weather, and a notification counter.
    • It would be solar powered so hopefully no need to ever charge it "manually".
    • Because of this simplicity it would be a more agreeable form factor than some of the thicker options out there currently, not to mention quite a bit cheaper
    • It would use one of the various low power communication systems available for devices like this rather than bluetooth.  I realize that phones generally not having such a thing built in would be a problem in practice but I'm just brainstorming here :P

    I believe the purpose of a watch, smart or traditional, is to provide access to basic, commonly used information as quickly and effortlessly as possible.  You could simply check your phone directly, but perhaps saving those few seconds is a convenience worth having.  I think too many of them try to do too much however, and lure you into trying things like reading, typing, etc. that because they are so awkward on such a tiny device, end up taking longer than it would to just use your phone for in the first place, and this is what I've attempted to eliminate here.  By doing so, it frees up resources that can improve the device in other ways, such as size, cost, and battery life.


    What do you think?  Would there be any market for such a thing?  Does such a thing perhaps already exist unbeknownst to me?  I feel like it would actually do well, provided that hitch about communication with the phone could be resolved.

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Curufinwe_wins


      These devices did/do exist. Garmin has a solar smartwatch that is only slightly stripped down for 56 day rated batterylife, with a lower power mode that is "unlimited", likewise some early devices went that way instead. 

       I don't actually think it's all that popular of an option, but certainly there is a niche for it.



    3. vanished


      Ah well, that was sounding good up until I saw the price lol that may be why it's not popular

    4. Curufinwe_wins


      Yeah, a company called matrix has even less functional watches with endless battery life supposedly, but they are even more expensive (500-800 dollars), and pretty laggy.

  2. Congratulations!  You just found a cubic meter of solid gold!  You are now a billionaire and thus more wealthy than 99.997% of the world's population, and well on your way to matching the first percent of Jeff Bezos' net worth.  Keep it up!

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. PCGuy_5960


      Still fake news, no billion dimmadollars.

    3. Jumper118
    4. Jumper118


      i need to buy a fork lift truck first to move the damn thing, and a massive vault with armed guards 

  3. Regarding a HDD, in theory, if you had a folder full of many tiny files, and the partition was properly defragmented, they would all be stored contiguously, would they not?  And as such, if you were to copy or move the entire folder, despite the fact that technically it contains many tiny files and would thus normally be subject to the terrible random IO performance of HDDs, you could theoretically instead read the entire block of data that represents the contents of the folder sequentially for a massive performance improvement, could you not?  If anyone knows better I'd like to hear why this wouldn't be the case, or if it's correct, why such an optimization hasn't been created by now.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Sauron



      Regardless, wouldn't it make sense to try to keep all files within a folder together?

      I could be wrong but as far as I know defragmenting utilities don't do this because it takes longer for arguably no reason. Reading all files in a given folder contiguously isn't a very realistic scenario (if you're doing that often they should probably be a single file or in an archive). Moving all files to be contiguous among each other on the drive would take a lot of time since you may have to copy every single file (plus you may have to sort them to respect folder structure) and it would place a lot of unneeded stress on the platters and heads.

    3. TopHatProductions115


      Wouldn't this be considered an FS-level HDD optimisation? 

    4. vanished


      Perhaps, but I could imagine it being done on the HDD firmware level, or even the OS itself as well.  Perhaps it was naïve of me to think folders would be structured like this and thus that it should be common and easy to benefit from it, I can see that now.  With that said though, I think such an optimization would be nice.  Perhaps the opportunity to use it wouldn't come up often, and perhaps it would only end up applying on a large scale, or by chance on files that seemed to be unrelated, but when and if it could be done it would certainly help.

  4. I feel like there is an (undeserved) perception of titanium as this super metal that can do anything and is better than anything else.  In reality, steel can be as good or better in terms of both hardness and outright strength.  What makes titanium special (among other things) is just that it can be as strong as it is while weighing much less than comparable steels.  Much like aluminium then, it's stronger per mass but weaker (or at least similar) on an absolute scale.

    1. Curufinwe_wins


      Yes and no... it is both underrated and overrated... 


      To give example... along the right axis, pine wood exhibits a higher specific strength than basically every single metal in existence (except for beta titanium alloys). Balsa wood can have twice the specific strength of the strongest metal alloys around.


      But titanium has much better temperature resistances than most steels or inconels (obviously superior to aluminium) and far better dimensional stability, while also being more workable/formable than high chrome iron/nickel alloys... better volumetric strength than any aluminum or magnesium alloy and among the best of conventional alloys (some high entropy alloys challenge things)....


      Point is... yes for normal people doing normal things it's overrated, but at the same point there is a reason it's used so incredibly much in the harshest/tightest environments where margins are the smallest to failure.

    2. Curufinwe_wins


      Oh and hardness is a pretty damn overrated spec, since ceramics exist.

  5. Does anyone know of a standalone device with an HDMI in and out that will do the kind of frame interpolation present in TVs?

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. vanished


      It might not, but I hope it does.  It certainly could.  It would be useful for adding the feature to displays that don't otherwise have it.  As a sidenote, I'd like to see it removed from TVs so by default they are as pure and fast as a PC monitor, with the option to add something like this when wanted.

    3. lewdicrous


      I think there's something called "mClassic", but I don't know if it's exactly what you're looking for.

    4. vanished


      That is a neat device for sure but it does spatially what I'd like to achieve temporally - that is, making up additional information as best as possible to achieve a better output.  In its case, that's sharpening, noise reduction, anti-aliasing, upscaling, etc.

  6. It may be a test for children but it seems that most governments also struggle considerably with the concept


    1. CircleTech


      If I was taking the marshmallow test at four, I personally would’ve liked to know of the strategy “take the marshmallow and put it way-the-fuck over on the other side of the table then cover it with the plate”. But nobody tells them that.


      Willpower is a finite resource, and the (adults) who do the best later in life resisting temptations aren’t those who have just an infinite amount of willpower, it’s adults who avoid the temptation altogether. Ex: you won’t be tempted to eat junk food if you never buy any. You can’t develop a gaming addiction if you have one computer you specifically use only for gaming, and you keep it in a different part of your house. Or if you’re like me and you don’t have a steam account.

  7. I'm sure we've all had the misfortune of experiencing this before: a program (which ordinarily remembers the last used setting for everything) crashes or has to be forcefully terminated, and when you re-open it, all settings changes made in that session have been lost.  As far as I can tell, this is due to the inexplicable design choice of saving these changes at close rather than when they actually happen.  Now, if we were talking about something that involves a lot of data or processing, I could potentially understand this, but it does not.  In every case that I've experienced, and more importantly, in every case I'm referring to here, it's a matter of literally a few bytes - the radius on a blur, or whether or not thumbnails should be shown, etc.  For simple things like that it doesn't really matter but in the event of a more significant creation like a large Photoshop action or an Audition preset, this can actually result in a fair amount of lost work for something that as far as I can tell makes absolutely no sense and provides no benefit whatsoever.  Are there any developers out there who can possibly shed some light on why this might be a good idea, despite the significant drawbacks?

    1. Skiiwee29


      All the time, especially on older games/software where you cant skip like a 5 minute long intro video or cinematic. This also happens when you Alt F4 and not quit the game through the normal menus. I to am curious to see why this is and hopefully there is a developer who can shed light on it. 

    2. vanished


      It's a long shot but I did just think of one possible reason.  If you only save settings on close, you can be relatively sure that the settings work and are safe to use.  That way, if a change is made which would cause instability, it will be automatically "reverted" on the next launch since it was never saved.


      I don't like this approach though.  I think this is an important feature to have - I even mentioned it in a post about Android launchers and wallpapers recently, which is what reminded me of this possibility - but I think there are better ways to go about it.  For example, every setting should be stored twice - one is the current value, and one is the previous value.  Every time a change is made, the current is written to the previous slot, and the new value is written to the current slot.  If things operate as intended, you can always simply read from the current slot.  If there is an "error condition" (something I elaborate on next), it is then a simple matter of restoring the settings from the previously known good configuration.


      The trick is choosing an intelligent "error condition".  If we select "any crash", the result will be functionally identical to the undesirable behaviour I described in the OP, even if it is more complex under the hood.  Ideally, this would happen if there is a crash during startup, and/or several crashes in a small time period, and when this condition is met, it would prompt the user saying that it believes something is wrong, and would offer to revert the settings - something they can then elect to not do if they know that the "crash" was in fact an intentional improper termination and nothing that will harm future operation.


      I can imagine the reason they don't do this is it would be more effort, but for a large, professional package that is supposed to be high quality and offers many other advanced features, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect.

  8. Have you ever been looking at an Amazon listing and wanted to copy the full res preview that pops up when you hover over the image?  Just "view source" on the page, "Find" in the source the tag "data-old-hires", and it'll be the link in front.  Bonus tip, the number after the "UL" at the end of the filename tell it what resolution to generate.  From what I can tell it caps at 5000, but feel free to play around.  I have no idea why they make this intentionally difficult, it's just a waste of time for everyone involved, but hey, now you know.

    1. vanished


      I could swear this system used to be better - that you could just click the thumbnail and it would popup a normal, working, persistent version of the image in a frame that you could easily copy, etc.  Maybe that's the mobile version, or I'm mis-remembering.  Maybe they really did change it though.  That would be a real shame.  Maybe I'm crazy but I feel like it's probably best to not needlessly irritate people who're considering spending hundreds of dollars with you.

  9. Density of gold: ~19,300 kg/m3 (~19.3x that of water)

    Price of gold: ~$58,000 per kg


    Value of 1 cubic meter of gold: ~$1.12B


    Blocks in a full Minecraft beacon: 164


    Value of full Minecraft beacon: ~$183B


    Jeff Bezos net worth: estimated >$180B



    Jeff Bezos can basically have a full gold beacon irl




    (yes I know this one is emeralds but I think you can still visualize)

    1. vanished


      Bonus fact: the gold nuggets that are so often tossed aside as insignificant would be worth, in real life, approximately $13.8M

  10. Some of you may remember a post I made long ago about performing a Windows 10 feature update on a system with very limited free space on C, and how it was able to utilize a spare flash drive as extra working room to accomplish the update when it would not have otherwise been possible.  A cool feature for sure, but apparently no longer necessary.  I just ran the 2004 update on that same machine (which to be clear has been reinstalled since then and kept lean), and not only did it not require a helper drive, it didn't even make a significant net change to my free space at all, and in fact once the update was complete, a "disk cleanup" was able to free a good 3 - 4 GB that were previously required by the OS.


    A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one - YouTube

  11. Between the numerous limitations on how and when you could use it, the questionable performance benefits, and above all, the abysmal degradation to image quality, I'm sure few have forgotten the disaster that was DLSS on launch, but as badly as it failed, I think the new and improved DLSS 2.0 is poised to succeed.  I had a look at some example images and video earlier today and it is truly astonishing, not only how far they've come from what it was, but what they've achieved outright.  Despite improving performance by at least an entire "tier" (think 2060 -> 2070) if not more, the image quality is not only at least as good as native but in many cases actually superior!  The only thing more confusing than the fact they've accomplished this is the fact it isn't getting more mainstream coverage from places like LTT.  Or, perhaps I've just missed it somehow?

    1. Bananasplit_00


      How much did NVIDIA put in your pocket now :P

    2. TopHatProductions115


      If it was available on older cards, I'd be more excited :D 

  12. I'm sure we've all seen cheap knock-offs of a popular product at one time or another, but what may not be quite as well-known is the process of starting with an existing cheap item, marking up the price, slapping a new logo on it, and marketing the heck out of it.  Whether it's watches, wireless earbuds, or any number of other things, I think it's important to be aware of this because once you are, you can either take what you would have spent on that and get something much better for the price, or, if their quality was sufficient, just go directly to their supplier on ebay/aliexpress/etc. and pick up the same item (sans logo) for 1/2, or even 1/100 the price.

    1. wkdpaul


      Agreed! Reminds me of the original Kove bluetooth speaker, it was just a rebranded nameless Chinese speaker (you could find the same speaker under a lot of different name on eBay and Aliexpress even before Kove started marketing heavily) and they were selling theirs at a huge markup (that's why they were always offering 50% off links/coupons on sponsored videos).


      Not sure about their current line up, but big discounts like this should be an automatic red flag IMO (just like how on Wish you see and 'original price' and then a 'discounted price' ... yeah, I'm sure your crappy 16bit gaming console full of pirated ROMs is worth $250 originally but is magically discounted to $29 !!!

  13. Tech tip for the day: Mini review of these things:




    Generic no-name capture "card" from China, you can find them on amazon, ebay, etc. under a variety of names/brands, but they always look like this.

    I ordered these a while ago but didn't want to comment on them until I'd tried it for myself.


    Review from a decent source:


    • Good quality
    • Up to 4K30 / 1080p60 input (have only tried 1080p60 myself)
    • Up to 1080p30 / 720p60 output
    • Low latency (though still a bit, you'll not want to game by watching the output)

    Personal opinions:

    • Testing on the output of a Raspberry Pi (desktop with text):
      • 720p60 output is very crisp, leaves nothing to be desired in terms of sharpness.  There are some jpg artifacts as you'd expect but it is minimal
      • 1080p30 is noticeably softer, not quite what I was hoping but absolutely usable
    • Testing on actual video content (cable TV, DSLR video output, etc.):
      • 1080p30 is perfectly fine.  When doing a A/B and looking for flaws, I can see them, but it is not a problem at all.
    • As far as I can tell, audio is only captured as mono, which may be a problem depending on what you plan to use it for
    • These are extremely affordable and as far as I can tell, in plentiful supply.  $15 USD, as stated in the video above, is even a bit high - I got mine for $12.61 CAD including shipping (free).  An Elgato CamLink goes for around $185 here, if you can even find one.  Really, for the money, these are every bit as awesome as they've been hyped up to be, and especially if the choice is between this or nothing, it's great to have the option.
    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. seee the state im in nooow

      seee the state im in nooow

      holy crap i might get one now O_O

    3. PonyBoyZ_


      Thank you for this. im gonna use this on the xbox 360 

    4. vanished


      @VegetableStu Based on what I've seen so far, I'd recommend it to anyone for whom these specs are sufficient.  There is simply nothing else that I'm aware of that comes close in terms of price/performance ratio.  I'm not saying that there is no point to better cards - they can offer higher quality and higher specs, which if necessary, make them, well, necessary, regardless of price - but if you don't need that, this is a great option from what I can tell.


      @PonyBoyZ_ Please be aware of the output resolution/frame rate limitations - 1080p at 30 fps or 720p at 60 fps.  If this is good enough for you then great!  It may not be enough for all though.  Please also be aware that this does not have a passthrough feature.  This means you will either have to game by watching the output from this capture card (not recommended due to the latency), or use a separate splitter so one signal can go to your TV/monitor while the other is recorded using this device.

  14. Some unsatisfying numbers:

    • 999
    • 265
    • 1204
    • 32678
    1. Bombastinator


      I’ll have to trust you in this.  You might get along well with my sister.  She has the same attitude about certain number strings.  No idea which ones.  All I know is she finds counting things relaxing.

    2. Den-Fi


      I think you just gave me a complex about 999.

      At first glance it seems like I should like given my penchant for repeating numerical sequences, but now it just looks unsatisfying.

  15. Interesting results


    I will also just add one note from my own experience: If you listen with the playback speed set to anything other than 1, this will dramatically disturb the sound and tone.  With some content, this doesn't matter and it's worth the ability to speed it up, but if you're trying to listen to subtle details, I would strongly recommend just spending a few extra minutes so you can at least hear it semi-accurately (well, as much as is possible given everything described in the video).

  16. I've not paid much attention to console leaks, rumours, etc. and certainly even less so to the apparent drama that's been going on, since the existence of which was entirely unknown to me until now, but this is an interesting video regardless... or perhaps, it's interesting because I've not seen much of the content yet.  Either way, take a look:


    The whole apology side is its own topic, and I'm mainly just curious about the technology.


    In short, it feels like a spiritual, if not straight up actual (though to a lesser degree) return to the old days of custom, specialized, purpose built hardware and optimizations in/for consoles - a device distinct from PC, rather than a subset of it.  In particular, a return to a meaningful implementation of this concept that produces positive results, rather than existing only in concept and not in practice.  When the very early rumours came out that they were going to be using NVMe or otherwise "next-gen" SSDs, I said in no unclear terms that of course at this stage I can't know for sure what will happen, but that I very much doubt they would do that, and listed a few reasons as to why, including:

    • they've never exactly pushed the limits in terms of storage tech before, staying with optical drives and later HDDs long after most people on PC had moved on,
    • it would cost more, and
    • last I checked (which is still true), while the jump from HDD to SATA SSD is certainly substantial, the jump from SATA to NVMe is basically non-existent, at least for gaming purposes

    What I didn't count on was this level of specialization, and games specifically designed to leverage it in order to create a meaningful difference despite the fact that currently, one does not exist.  I assume that, in particular this has to do with the way UE5 works (see their demo for more details).  This is interesting and exciting technology and I look forward both to what they can do with it, and what it might mean for PC hardware and software over the coming years.  If it really does turn out to be as good as they've described and they use it to the fullest extent, PC as a platform could very quickly end up as a limiting factor holding games back, as Linus says in the video.  That would be an unpleasant and entirely avoidable situation, and so it is one that I'm hopeful will be avoided through the hard work of talented software and hardware engineers moving forward.  It also means though that the new minimum spec for (at least some) games will become a high-end NMVe SSD, which may come as an unwelcome shock to some, but it really shouldn't be seen that way.  We all have to upgrade CPUs, GPUs, and other components over time.  Storage is no different.  When you look back over the history of games - loading from tape, or floppy, to optical, HDDs, etc. - this is nothing new, just the next step, and I think we are ready, particularly if what that (UE5) demo showed is what we can look forward to as a reward.

    1. Praesi


      Ya.. He made a mistake. No big Deal. 

      I havent heard any words of sorry from Bethesda & Co, and they tell Bullshit and Lies on a Daily bases.

    2. GDRRiley


      the thing that gives me hope PC won't have so many issues is ryzens adoption growing and AMD made the hardware that allows that IO die to compress and decompress data so fast. given I wouldn't be surprised if PS5 APUs were made months ago I would hope we'd see it ryzen 4000 chips.

      other part is I'd assume Microsoft is working on making their SSD faster so any software from that should be rolled into normal windows


    3. dizmo


      Agreed, though I don't think we'll see any games made for NVME for at least a couple of years. I wish we would, but let's be real, you'd alienate too many people.

      Maybe in 5 or 6 years we'll see a real push towards faster storage.

      It'll be interesting to see PC fall behind in some aspects of performance.

  17. What year will it be when Windows is finally updated to just use what you pick as wallpaper directly and no longer horribly compress it?

    I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that this is still done, or the fact that depending on the resolution, format, and program used to do the setting, the result is actually different.

    With that in mind, is there perhaps a program out there that can solve this in the mean time?

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. vanished


      ok I found this and an early test suggests that it has worked (the registry edit)



      I can understand having settings for which there's no proper interface to control, but I find it rather unusual that there is a setting based on a registry key that doesn't even exist by default.  Beyond that, as I already said, I also find it very strange that this compression is even used in the first place.  Not only is it silly in a vacuum but, as this guide points out, there are other images on the system (lock screen, etc.) that are functionally identical but do not suffer from compression.  It's almost like they wouldn't choose to do it like this today if they were starting fresh, but they're not, so they've just kept the old system even though it's obsolete.  Again, that brings me back to my original question of at what point will they find themselves bothered to fix it?


      At any rate, while not perfect (it just changes the JPEG quality from whatever garbage they were using to 100%), from what I can tell it's good enough, I don't really see a degradation (though that may change with other images).

    3. RGProductions


      Yeah, Windows works in mysterious ways. I’ve never had a good enough screen, or eyes for that matter, to see a difference so I usually don’t bother, but it’s very weird to me.

    4. vanished


      I spoke too soon, I can definitely still see issues resulting from the compression.  Setting the quality to 100% has at least removed the obvious stereotypical jpg artifacts but it is still muting and otherwise messing with the colours unfortunately, which comes across in some images more clearly than others.

  18. For anyone interested, I've completely re-written my backup guide.  It includes a bit more information and (hopefully) is presented in a cleaner fashion.


  19. Every now and then I think about this clip.  Nothing too particular, just sit and think.


    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Spotty



      so a little from column A, a little from column B...

      Just like their feet on the pedals

    3. seee the state im in nooow

      seee the state im in nooow

      i can't get over how hot wheels that car turtling over looks, LOL

    4. like_ooh_ahh


      only an idiot would park like that especially when the driveway is wide

  20. You can make your own FLIRC out of an Arduino, IR sensor, and some programming on the Arduino and PC side.  Fun little project

    1. wkdpaul


      shortest tutorial ever! /s :)

  21. Gotta love how Amazon sets $25 minimum for free shipping and then splits up the items anyway.  If I had a dollar for every time they've done that, I could afford to cover all the extra money they've wasted on shipping two boxes that could have been one lol (ok not really but you get the point)


    Oh well, doesn't bother me.  If anything it's nice because each item arrives asap, but it does make you wonder how that can possibly be sustainable.

    1. soldier_ph


      Amazon at it's best.

    2. Lurick


      I ordered 4x 0.3m fiber cables

      They sent three with some other stuff, waiting a few days, and then sent ONE by itself with no other items. They were shown as in stock the entire time, lol

  22. When you've been scrolling for 3 hours and there's no "jump to top" button



  23. I don't remember the exact wording, but I remember Linus once saying something along the lines of "well I'd certainly hope so" with the tone/implication that it was and should be assumed, in response to a company's claim that their latest product was the best they'd ever made.  I mean, what else are they going to do, make it worse?  I agree with this sentiment entirely, but I've seen too many examples to the contrary to think it can be trusted.  To list just a few that immediately come to mind, the Samsung S6 vs the S5, where it lost USB 3, removable battery, and expandable storage to name a few.  It was improved in other ways of course, but overall I remember people being generally disappointed and viewed it as a side-grade more than anything. I think it really marks the beginning of the "modern period" for smartphones, but I digress.  Another example is AMD CPUs from a while back that actually had lower IPC than the predecessor.


    Then there's situations where the product may actually be fine but the pricing has changed so wildly that it causes a similar predicament.  The first example that comes to mind is the RAM pricing issue from a while back.  Overall, I've always tended to think that a good rule of thumb for buying computer parts and tech in general is to always wait until you really need it because if you don't yet, by the time you do, something better or cheaper will be available, but over the years I've come to realize that exceptions to the rule are at least as common as the rule itself.


    I'm not sure there's a lesson here.  Maybe don't try to time purchases and just be happy with whatever you get whenever you get it?  Maybe don't feel bad buying something a little sooner than you otherwise would have in anticipation of a disaster?  Mainly I'm just venting frustration with and revealing the fact that the continual improvement of tech that we all take for granted (and frankly should be able to) is not actually anywhere near as continual as we'd like to think and is more akin to the stock market.

    1. minibois



      Maybe don't try to time purchases and just be happy with whatever you get whenever you get it? 


      Your CPU won't be worse, just because a new series of CPU's is out. It's just that usually a newer generation will bring more performance for the same price, or a lesser price for the same performance.


      But sometimes companies make 'side-grades', because they are moving in a different direction.

      The Galaxy S5 to S6 is a perfect example for that; as it shows the different direction Samsung (and much of the market) was making at the time.

      Glass-backed phones with a higher IP rating, more premium materials and a move towards what Google wanted in phones (no removable storage).


      The same can be said for AMD's move from the AM3 Phenom CPU's to the AM3+'s FX CPU's. More attention put towards high core counts, not as much regard towards IPC.


      There is not much of a lesson here, probably.

      We could say 'If the proceeding product release is not a direct improvement of the predecessor, it could indicate a change in thought [from the company]', but that feels like an oversimplification.