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Month: November 2017

Intel Hardware RAID vs Microsoft Storage Spaces

Intel Hardware RAID vs Microsoft Storage Spaces

RAID systems on home servers and PC’s has become more common now. While we have been in a period of stubbornly elevated prices (from a historic standpoint), hard drives are always doubling in capacity on a regular cadence and improving performance.

There are several things you need to consider when setting up a RAID system. Will this set be my boot drive? What capacity do I need? How much fault tolerance do I need? What performance do I need?

The answer to these questions determines聽which RAID configuration聽you should set up. For my setup, I need fault tolerance and performance. This means I will continue to run RAID 5.

Question is, can I do better? There is software RAID available from Microsoft in Windows 10 called Storage Spaces. Also included with most Intel-based motherboards is a hardware RAID. So which should one choose?

Turns out someone has done the analysis between them, and done a good job too. Long story short, stick to hardware RAID, and RAID 5 is still the fastest and most fault tolerant configuration.

Windows vs Intel Raid Performance Smackdown

My 3 brand new 4TB 7200rpm drives are about to thank me. 馃檪

Remove objects from your videos

Remove objects from your videos

Adobe Photoshop has an amazing feature called context aware fill. But it was only available on still images. Now you can do it with video. While I do see a small tick here or there, it does a pretty good job with temporal smoothness.

Intel will ship processors with integrated AMD graphics

Intel will ship processors with integrated AMD graphics

From the Ars Technica article:

Intel has聽announced聽the 8th-generation H-series mobile processors will have a feature that’s nothing short of astonishing: they’ll integrate AMD GPUs.

The chip package will contain multiple pieces of silicon: an Intel CPU, a custom-built AMD Radeon GPU, and stacked second-generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2). Connecting the GPU and its memory is Intel’s new “Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge” (EMIB), a high-speed, short-range interconnect that Intel has designed to join different chips within a single package. Intel says that EMIB enables the creation of faster, thinner packages, enabling the multi-chip module to fit into slimline laptop form factors.

EMIB uses pieces of silicon to join the chips, rather than the circuit board traces found in conventional multi-chip modules. These pieces of silicon enable much denser packing of the interconnects. Overall, Intel claims that using EMIB shaves about 2.9 square inches (1,900 square millimeters) from the system motherboard and halves the power usage of a traditional design.


The company anticipates using EMIB for all kinds of integrations, such as processors with embedded FPGAs or other specialized chips. This AMD integration will be a good showcase for using the technology at scale. For AMD, it gives access to a market that tended to lean on Nvidia. Single-chip integrated graphics, even those found in AMD’s聽newly announced mobile Ryzen parts, just don’t offer the same performance as discrete parts with dedicated memory.

Mornington Crescent

Mornington Crescent

British humor can be pretty thick stuff at times, but boy can it can pay off.

For example, Mornington Crescent聽is an improvisational game featured in the聽BBC Radio 4聽comedy panel show聽I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, a series which satirizes聽panel games.聽The game consists of each panelist in turn announcing a landmark or street, most often a聽tube station聽on the聽London Underground聽system. The apparent aim is to be the first to announce “Mornington Crescent“, a station on the聽Northern line.聽Interspersed with the turns is humorous discussion among the panelists and host regarding the rules and legality of each move, as well as the strategy the panelists are using. Despite appearances, however, there are no rules to the game,聽and both the naming of stations and the specification of “rules” are based on stream-of-consciousness association and improvisation.聽Thus the game is intentionally incomprehensible.

 

It also appears to be an inspiration to the Mitchell and Webb series game NumberWang:

AR Dragons fly around the stadium at LoL World championships

AR Dragons fly around the stadium at LoL World championships

Yesterday was the final clash of the 2017聽League of Legends聽World Championships. Before the games started, Riot Games put on a massive opening ceremony including a giant trophy, a live performance of Worlds theme “Legends Never Die,” and a freaking dragon.

During the ceremony, an augmented reality dragon flew in, soared around the arena, and let out a good roar before taking off again. Apparently it was a little awkward for the fans in attendance because, well, they can’t see it. Which means you’re looking at one of the stream feeds on the giant screens instead of the live performers and spectacle that’s happening in the corporeal world.

Still, this sets a new bar. I wonder when we’ll be donning AR glasses at concerts and sporting events.

Yamanote Halloween Train

Yamanote Halloween Train

Original link

While Americans are carving pumpkins and buying candy for trick-or-treaters, the Japanese are preparing for聽Halloween聽a little differently. Horror-lovers are paying to get chased by pirate- and聽clown-zombies聽in Osaka. And folks over in聽Tokyo‘s Shibuya Crossing are prepping for a celebration akin to New Year’s Eve in Times Square, only with bloody nurses and Power Rangers. The country truly goes all out for the holiday鈥攂ut that wasn’t always the case. Just 25 years ago, Japanese Halloween celebrations were mysterious, borderline illegal, and could only be found in one very unexpected place: the subway.

It was the late 1980s, and the closest thing to Halloween in Japan was a spooky season of festivals honoring the dead during August. No one celebrated the candy- and costumed-filled holiday in October except for foreigners living in the country, who suffered from a lack of themed bar nights and parties to go to. So a group of young expats took matters into their own hands, which essentially consisted of them taking over Tokyo’s subway for an hour around Halloween. The strange, boozy, underground costume party soon became known as the “Yamanote Halloween Train” and gained notoriety by the early ’90s as the most disorderly Halloween bash around. The organizers were always unknown.

The event was anything but consistent, but the basic idea was for attendees to board the Yamanote Line and ride its entire loop around the edge of Tokyo (about one hour), hopping from car to car between each of the 29 stops. Judging from videos of the 1994 ride, it seemed to be a mix between NYC’s Santa Con and a nightclub Stefan would pitch on SNL’s Weekend Update. (It. Has. Everything.) People dressed as ’90s TV characters cram onto subway cars with open containers of booze, spray each other with silly string, and crawl up onto the train’s luggage racks. Partiers shout the station names as the train makes each stop, which is the only discernible sound punctuating the steady stream of cheers.
Not all the local commuters took kindly to the disruptive spectacle. And things only grew rowdier with each annual ride, reaching levels of near-unmanageability by the early 2000s.

Here’s some videos from those early days:

Sadly, it appears the festivities became overrun by douche-bags and turned into a really ugly party聽by foreigners. It has gone through years where there were angry responses by locals – which I think was well deserved after watching footage of what seems to be now just an annoying, drunken bro-fest on commuter trains of people just trying to get home. So, again, maybe it’s time to read up on ‘How to not be an ugly traveler‘ tips.


It now appears that the train parties have been replaced with massive street parties in Shibuya. However, sadly, it also turns into quite a trash-fest. But in true Japanese style, volunteers are the ones who come to clean up the mess.

 

Smartphones + social media = generation plagued by unhappiness?

Smartphones + social media = generation plagued by unhappiness?

A psychologist with decades of research behind him is seeing trends like never before. I personally am now limiting my social media time on Reddit/Facebook/Twitter/etc – and am also feeling much happier, balanced, and able to think more nuanced. I still continue to believe that too much social media and mindless web surfing actually hinders our ability to form meaningful bonds/relationships and makes us less happy. Japan has a trend called the hikikomori and there is some evidence this trend is also partly due to the reasons cited by this psychologist.

I鈥檝e been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum.聽Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data鈥攕ome reaching back to the 1930s鈥擨 had never seen anything like it.

Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It鈥檚 not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.

Even when a seismic event鈥攁 war, a technological leap, a free concert in the mud鈥攑lays an outsize role in shaping a group of young people, no single factor ever defines a generation. Parenting styles continue to change, as do school curricula and culture, and these things matter. But the twin rise of the smartphone and social media has caused an earthquake of a magnitude we鈥檝e not seen in a very long time, if ever. There is compelling evidence that the devices we鈥檝e placed in young people鈥檚 hands are having profound effects on their lives鈥攁nd making them seriously unhappy.

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/