Greg's recent activity

  1. Comment on The Trump SPAC is doing stonk things, which is hilarious in ~finance

    Greg
    Link Parent
    In a very, very strange way I found it comforting to read that, especially the last paragraph. Not because any of the facts are comforting - they're quite the opposite - but because at least...

    In a very, very strange way I found it comforting to read that, especially the last paragraph. Not because any of the facts are comforting - they're quite the opposite - but because at least someone else is pointing at all the absurdity and saying "yes, the world is insane, it's not just you".

    4 votes
  2. Comment on GeForce Now cloud gaming service adds new RTX 3080 membership tier, supporting streaming at up to 1440p and 120 FPS in ~games

    Greg
    Link Parent
    "At least 35Mbps" for 1440p120, according to the system requirements. That sounds low to me, but not absurdly so: Netflix pushes 4K content* at half that, although they've been accused of...

    "At least 35Mbps" for 1440p120, according to the system requirements. That sounds low to me, but not absurdly so: Netflix pushes 4K content* at half that, although they've been accused of sacrificing video quality to do so. I'd probably want a connection that could handle at least 60Mbps rock solid in order to be happy I was making worthwhile use of this over the lower tier, but I think you'd get into diminishing returns towards 100Mbps, and I imagine Nvidia aren't going to be dedicating quite that much of their upstream bandwidth to you anyway.

    Obviously the ISP market differs significantly from country to country, but I'm seeing more and more places with a straight divide between gigabit fibre and everything else now. If you've got FTTP, you can handle this, plus the rest of the family each watching Netflix/YouTube/TikTok without even breaking a sweat. If you've got anything else still within the realm of "decent connections" you'll still probably be fine but there's going to be some potential clipping of quality at the top end. If you're on a significantly older connection, yeah, you're probably out of luck on this one.


    *Roughly twice the pixels of 1440, but roughly half the frame rate we're talking about. They get the advantage of doing two-pass compression in advance rather that low latency real time compression, so for a back of an envelope calculation it'd track that Nvidia needs at least double to account for that plus a modest increase in quality.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on GeForce Now cloud gaming service adds new RTX 3080 membership tier, supporting streaming at up to 1440p and 120 FPS in ~games

    Greg
    Link Parent
    A combination of market segmentation and good old timesharing, I imagine. I doubt this'll cannibalise that many real sales of 3080s, simply because users of a card that high-end probably also care...

    A combination of market segmentation and good old timesharing, I imagine. I doubt this'll cannibalise that many real sales of 3080s, simply because users of a card that high-end probably also care more than the average about latency, and image quality, and compression artifacts, and all the other bits that streaming will never quite match local for.

    Plenty of people who don't care too much about those things being absolutely 100% optimised, wouldn't use the card enough to justify it, or just straight up couldn't afford it, can now give Nvidia money, though - and since those cores are being used by probably 6-10 people each day, that's more profit per core than just selling them in a standalone card. Less in total than selling 6-10 standalone cards, sure, but I'm assuming only 1-2 of those people would otherwise have been a buyer.

    Plus, obviously, we are in the midst of a multi-year chip shortage, so profit-per-chip suddenly becomes relevant because supply is constrained even for otherwise-willing consumers.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on At what height should I hang my TV? in ~talk

    Greg
    Link Parent
    It's become kind of self-reinforcing now, too: people mount TVs high because that's where a picture would go, or because there's a nice empty space above the fireplace, or because there'd be a...

    It's become kind of self-reinforcing now, too: people mount TVs high because that's where a picture would go, or because there's a nice empty space above the fireplace, or because there'd be a noticeable gap above otherwise - and then we all get used to seeing TVs mounted at a height better for standing than sitting, and it looks even more intuitively wrong to mount it at optimal sofa height.

    FWIW, I've got mine wall mounted with the base edge about 20cm above a sideboard. It's still a good height to watch the TV while sitting, but the piece of furniture below anchors it downwards and deemphasises the space above.

    5 votes
  5. Comment on Tour of 'The One', a $500m mansion in Bel-Air in ~design

    Greg
    Link
    I haven't watched it myself yet, but if anyone's interested YouTube does now keep recommending me a video from a couple of weeks ago from the same channel, with Nile Niami giving his side of the...

    I haven't watched it myself yet, but if anyone's interested YouTube does now keep recommending me a video from a couple of weeks ago from the same channel, with Nile Niami giving his side of the story on the foreclosure and general bad press.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on New MacBook Pros in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    Depends on your environment, I guess - I can only speak for software and video, but on both counts it's MacBook Pros as far as the eye can see in my experience. Many of them docked to extra...

    Depends on your environment, I guess - I can only speak for software and video, but on both counts it's MacBook Pros as far as the eye can see in my experience. Many of them docked to extra monitors, for sure, but still going with the laptop to keep the core portable.

    Could well be that I'm more used to seeing people who want to take their work on the road because I'm more closely surrounded by freelancers and small startups, so I can imagine larger companies with larger offices preferring to fit out fixed machines, but I can say with confidence that I could throw a rock and hit a professional who actively wants this laptop.

    All that said, bring on the desktops/AOIs as well! I imagine the next round of Mac Minis will hit a hell of a price/power/performance ratio, although I'm making no bets on the Mac Pro line at this point.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on New MacBook Pros in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    I totally agree, and I actually think that's something that's been done well here: it's a return to making that "Pro" name a bit more meaningful. Most people don't need this laptop, but the choice...

    I totally agree, and I actually think that's something that's been done well here: it's a return to making that "Pro" name a bit more meaningful.

    Most people don't need this laptop, but the choice of benchmarks (compiling code, rendering 3D artwork, editing video) shows exactly who it's for - if you really do tasks like this every day for a living, it's a very compelling option.

    Of course it'll carry some cachet because it's what the pros are using, and because it's expensive, and frankly just because it's got an Apple stamped on the back of the case, so there's definitely a non-pro market who'll still buy it and won't remotely be making use of the power, but that's a relatively small group in the scheme of things. The much larger population of people who might've bought a MacBook Pro a few years ago because it was kind of blurring itself into the consumer segment to make up for Apple's neglected and overpriced other ranges can now buy an M1 Air, or indeed any number of high quality Windows options, without feeling short changed.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on New MacBook Pros in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    There are dozens of us! Dozens!

    There are dozens of us! Dozens!

    4 votes
  9. Comment on New MacBook Pros in ~tech

    Greg
    Link
    Ok, nice, this seems like a genuinely worthwhile professional machine - I don't need an upgrade quite yet, but the faster 14" or its immediate successor should be pretty much spot on. No idea why...

    Ok, nice, this seems like a genuinely worthwhile professional machine - I don't need an upgrade quite yet, but the faster 14" or its immediate successor should be pretty much spot on. No idea why we lost MagSafe for those few years, but I'm incredibly happy to see it back, and I'm also pleased to see they didn't include USB-A; a card reader and HDMI make sense for specific tasks, but forcing device manufacturers to the new standard for general purpose connections is still a good thing.

    I know they're likely just clearing stock of the old 13" ones, but the fact that they were still selling a "Pro" model with 8GB/256GB was kind of embarrassing four years ago, let alone today. Glad to see the 14" base spec bumped up to something more worthwhile, and I've got my fingers crossed they'll keep that moving as time goes on.

    4 votes
  10. Comment on Russian actor and director back on earth after two weeks filming first film in space aboard the ISS in ~space

    Greg
    Link
    I saw some publicity stills from this and it's amazing to me how dated it looks, given what an incredible achievement it actually is. They're using technology that was designed for pure...

    I saw some publicity stills from this and it's amazing to me how dated it looks, given what an incredible achievement it actually is. They're using technology that was designed for pure utilitarianism and is in many cases decades old - which up until maybe five years ago would still have totally made sense because "that's what real spacecraft look like".

    As it is, they've jumped into a world where billionaires with a keen eye for branding are capturing the space-related headlines. I wouldn't be surprised if that's at least partially why this is happening now, but the result is that pure utility from the 90s is being set against sleek, sci-fi styled PR from the 2020s. It makes the state level agencies look absolutely plodding by comparison, which is both fascinating and a real shame to me.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on Amazon copied products and rigged search results to promote its own brands, documents show in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    It sounds like you're questioning monopoly/anti-trust laws as a concept; the short version is yes, it absolutely is because it's a more severe problem at vast scale. Very, very broadly, the moral...

    It sounds like you're questioning monopoly/anti-trust laws as a concept; the short version is yes, it absolutely is because it's a more severe problem at vast scale.

    Very, very broadly, the moral justification for Western legal systems supporting capitalism and free enterprise is that competition is in the interests of all citizens. Joe has the opportunity to start his furniture business and the ability to profit from it; the general public have the opportunity to buy quality furniture at a fair price because Joe will be outcompeted by someone else if he doesn't provide that. Obviously the reality is many millions of times more complex, but that's the basic pitch.

    When a single market player becomes too dominant, this starts to break down. They can sell below cost to crush all local competition, and any new entrants to the market, before raising prices as high as they like when they're the only player left in the game. They can buy up competitors that threaten to provide any real counterbalance to their prices or quality. They can squeeze suppliers out of business simply because they have nobody else to sell to. In short: once Joe's Furniture Shop dominates the landscape to a sufficient extent, he can sell crap products for high prices and nobody can stop him.

    That's the core purpose of anti-trust laws: the preservation of fair competition for the good of the population as a whole.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on Tour of 'The One', a $500m mansion in Bel-Air in ~design

    Greg
    Link Parent
    There's every chance you've already seen it, but Linus Sebastian has just bought a very large (albeit still human family scale) house and is doing periodic updates on the renovation, including...

    I wish I could see the networking setup. In a house like this, you know they aren't going to skimp on the wifi, but it all seems to have been hidden away. I'm curious what kind of equipment they're using.

    There's every chance you've already seen it, but Linus Sebastian has just bought a very large (albeit still human family scale) house and is doing periodic updates on the renovation, including incredibly overkill WiFi, and a NAS so fast that RAM could be the bottleneck, among others.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on The increasingly absurd story of a never-solved 1980s puzzle with a $1,000,000 prize in ~games.tabletop

    Greg
    Link
    This piqued my curiosity for puzzles, prizes, and general nerdery; it delivered on that and then gave back far, far more than I could have hoped for. It's an hour long video and quite slow to...

    This piqued my curiosity for puzzles, prizes, and general nerdery; it delivered on that and then gave back far, far more than I could have hoped for. It's an hour long video and quite slow to start, but the sheer absurdity of the second half is IMO very worth the buildup.

    Courtesy of Tom Scott's weekly newsletter, which is one of the vanishingly small number of email lists that I intentionally stay subscribed to.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on Tour of 'The One', a $500m mansion in Bel-Air in ~design

    Greg
    Link Parent
    It really is almost incomprehensible. I happened to be watching a video about Hard Rock Park - a full scale, high quality, internationally branded theme park that cost a little under $400m in...

    It really is almost incomprehensible. I happened to be watching a video about Hard Rock Park - a full scale, high quality, internationally branded theme park that cost a little under $400m in total.

    You could have your own, totally private Six Flags competitor and still have over $100m left to buy one of the top ten other most expensive mansions in the US.

    5 votes
  15. Comment on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp are all down in ~tech

    Greg
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    At risk of being one of those guys who throws excess tech at anything vaguely looking like a problem: she might benefit from setting up WiFi calling & SMS. Most UK networks support it, as do a...

    At risk of being one of those guys who throws excess tech at anything vaguely looking like a problem: she might benefit from setting up WiFi calling & SMS. Most UK networks support it, as do a significant chunk of phones (that list isn't exhaustive, but it's a great guide to roughly where to look), so it'd be a good emergency backup for situations exactly like yesterday.

    [Edit] cc @kwyjibo, in case it's relevant/helpful to you!

    7 votes
  16. Comment on Many economics experts are rethinking longstanding core ideas, including the importance of inflation expectations in ~finance

    Greg
    Link Parent
    Interesting video I happened to watch on the subject the other day: https://youtu.be/CCOdQsZa15o - even with the current set of incentives, the US could be seeing a lot higher density if it...

    Interesting video I happened to watch on the subject the other day: https://youtu.be/CCOdQsZa15o - even with the current set of incentives, the US could be seeing a lot higher density if it weren't literally illegal to build multi-family housing in the vast majority of places.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on An unprecedented California program is already fulfilling its promise to house the most vulnerable in ~life

    Greg
    Link Parent
    I've just looked up Monterey County and it seems to be one of the most expensive places in one of the most expensive states, so it makes a bit more sense that $500k actually would be equivalent to...

    I've just looked up Monterey County and it seems to be one of the most expensive places in one of the most expensive states, so it makes a bit more sense that $500k actually would be equivalent to the lower end market price in that situation. I'm not sure if that maps across the whole state, but it's at least a bit more understandable than my initial sticker shock reaction.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on An unprecedented California program is already fulfilling its promise to house the most vulnerable in ~life

    Greg
    Link Parent
    How?! Why on earth wouldn't the housing authority just buy on the open market long before that point?

    the typical cost of constructing affordable housing can run between $500,000-$750,000 per unit

    How?! Why on earth wouldn't the housing authority just buy on the open market long before that point?

    3 votes
  19. Comment on An unprecedented California program is already fulfilling its promise to house the most vulnerable in ~life

    Greg
    Link Parent
    Oh yeah, it's the kind of thing I run into once every month or two - almost exclusively sites exactly like this: local news organisations for a smallish US geography. Sometimes it'll be some...

    Oh yeah, it's the kind of thing I run into once every month or two - almost exclusively sites exactly like this: local news organisations for a smallish US geography.

    Sometimes it'll be some platitude about "We care about our European viewers and we're working to make this content available", sometimes more direct as this one is. I've definitely seen this exact wording/font/layout on other sites, although I couldn't tell you whether it's the same parent company or just the same software.

    I'm ambivalent about using a 451 for this. I feel like the code has an obvious intent: "I'm being blocked from showing you this content because of government censorship", and implying you're being censored for content when you actually just refuse to use compliant advertiser tracking (or present a plantext alternative like NPR does) rubs me the wrong way. Ultimately it is still "legal reasons", and it's not like there's any formal restriction on what HTTP codes you use anyway, but it's always struck me as kind of slimy.

    I also find it rather ironic to have gotten this error since the UK isn't in the EU anymore, and so none of its citizens are even protected by the GDPR anymore.

    This is an interesting one, actually! Most (all?) EU law affecting domestic policies, like data privacy, is implemented individually by each member state - they're obliged to do so by the EU, but the laws are their own. This means that the day one impact of Brexit was largely on international relations (particularly import/export and immigrants' rights) rather than on the laws applicable to UK citizens. I believe there was also effectively a snapshot taken of the then-current EU policies to use in cases where domestic law depended on them, although I'm not 100% on the specifics there.

    Either way, we still have GDPR-compliant privacy laws for now. I fully expect our current government to erode those rights in time, which they are only able to do because of Brexit, but thankfully they didn't disappear overnight.

    2 votes