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jepler
11 hours ago
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whaaaaa
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Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

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storagedude writes: With LTO media sales down by 50% in the last six years, is the end near for tape? With such a large installed base, it may not be imminent, but the time is coming when vendors will find it increasingly difficult to justify continued investment in tape technology, writes Henry Newman at Enterprise Storage Forum.

"If multiple vendors invest in a technology, it has a good chance of winning over the long haul," writes Newman, a long-time proponent of tape technology. "If multiple vendors have a technology they're not investing in, it will eventually lose over time. Of course, over time market requirements can change. It is these interactions that I fear that are playing out in the tape market."
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jepler
11 hours ago
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At $DAY_JOB, we're in the process of moving from LTO to hard disks for the primary offsite back-up.

In the past year we also changed from having ~20GB backed up storage per developer to ~500GB.

I don't have access to the cost figures, but it's simply amazing that it's feasible to (A) outfit a 50TB storage system from common parts (B) and buy enough bandwidth to back up everybody's desktop to it over the internet.

Important enabling technologies for this are zfs and rsync. Besides the question of total cost, it's also better in terms of how many backups you have access to (zfs snapshots are much more space-efficient than incremental dumps ever were, and they're right in the face of e.g., deletions and renames) and how fast you can get access to that backup (it's online already, just 4ms of seek time plus 50ms of internet latency away)
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I Don't Need People, I Have Tumblr

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sleep is dumb
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jepler
11 hours ago
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oh red robot, we are like two peas in a pod
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Android gradient screenshot madness

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Another fine day at the QuirksMode test labs, where we test browsers so you don’t have to. Today’s topic is CSS gradients, and the subtle ways in which the various Android devices fuck them up. Also, the not-so-subtle ways in which Android devices fuck up screenshots of said gradients.

It turns out that there are differences between gradients on the various Android devices. This is not a browser thing, but an actual device thing. I compared the same gradient test on different Android devices in Firefox, Android WebKit, and Chrome, and found the same differences between the browsers. It became obvious that there are incompatibilities between these Androids’ graphical ... thingies, and that browsers don’t (can’t?) work around them.

So I thought I’d write a snarky post embellished with some screenshots. It was when I had made those screenshots that the other shoe dropped: the screenshots show different gradients than the screen. In other words, Android screenshots cannot be trusted to show subtle browser differences. Actual external pictures taken with a camera are mandatory.

This is all so marvelous. No wonder I can’t quit smoking.

Show, don’t tell

Compare the following two pictures and ponder the differences. Both show the first test on this page in Chrome 39 for Android on the Sony Xperia S.

The first one is a screenshot taken with the Xperia itself. It shows the more-or-less correct gradient. However, it doesn’t actually match what the device shows on-screen.

The second one is taken with an external camera. It shows what I see on-screen, and it’s clear that the gradient is subtly different from the one in the screenshot. The yellow doesn’t form a narrow band, and the gradient from red to orange takes much less space.

The first picture matches what I see in desktop browsers and most other Android devices. The second picture matches what Xperia users will actually see. How much of a problem this is depends on the site’s graphic design and the exact gradients you use, but it’s a problem you should be aware of.

One more for the road

Hell, let’s do another one. Here is the same test case, again in Chrome 39, but now on the LG L5. First the screenshot, then the external camera.

Again, there is a subtle difference between the gradients, though it’s less pronounced than with the Xperia. Again, the screenshot matches the other browsers much better than what’s actually on the screen.

What’s going on?

It seems clear that the screenshot app uses a different graphical ... thingy than the screen and/or browser. The screenshot app gets the correct gradients, while the browser window on the screen does not. Again, this is a device problem, and not a browser problem. Firefox, Android WebKit, and Chrome show roughly the same gradient on each device, and the same differences from device to device.

Since I don’t know anything about Android’s graphical thingies I cannot solve this riddle. Just be aware that there are gradient problems on Android, and also screenshot problems on Android. Wonderful, marvellous.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll go and drink myself into a stupor.

Update: The consensus among those who commented on this article is that the device's screens are badly calibrated. So far it seems LG and Sony are affected, but Samsung and HTC are not.

The fundamental issue is that a specific RGBA colour value looks different on different physical displays, but the screen buffer is generated without taking into account the properties of the display.

(Eli Fidler, BlackBerry)

The real point here is that Android screenshots (and remote testing solutions that depend on them) are not reliable enough for web developers to use.

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jepler
13 hours ago
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confusingly, the images shown here have also been quantized to just 32 colors and dithered, so that throws another wrench into comparing the "screenshots" and the "photos" to one another.
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acdha
19 hours ago
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Today in “Going to more work to deliver worse results”
Washington, DC
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20141125-change

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Change

Not many people adapt adopt to fundamental changes easily, but at least people can change at all. I'm sure what looks funny now has also been a painful experience, but... - that's life. Sometimes it sucks. And suddenly...

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Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART for Canon

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Dustin Abbott has completed a very in-depth review of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART series lens for Canon. There’s a written review, a video review as well as a sample gallery for you to check out. I agree with most of what Dustin says about the lens, especially the part where this lens is leaps and bounds better than the 50mm lens it replaces. I tend to use the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART more often than the Canon 50mm f/1.2L, as I find the AF inconsistencies from Sigma are far easier to deal with than the focus shifting of the Canon L.

From DustinAbbot.net
“All in all, Sigma has made a major breakthrough in creating a large aperture prime with world class optics that is in a price range that most professional and many amateur photographers can afford. While the stated “target” is the Zeiss Otus, there will actually be fairly few photographers that are cross-shopping these two lenses. The Otus is still the optical king and enjoys a certain cache that Sigma can’t touch. But the Sigma is a far more practical lens for most photographers, as most photographers need autofocus for their work. The inconsistency in the AF performance is a concern, but the truth of the matter is that there are a variety of focus concerns with other 50mm lenses, too. The AF in the 50mm ART is snappy and (most of the time) accurate. I have already used the lens in professional settings and have been mostly pleased with the results.  I wouldn’t hesitate to use it professionally in the future. This is an excellent lens that sets a new benchmark for autofocusing 50mm lenses.”

Read the full review | Sample Image Gallery | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART at B&H Photo

cr

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jepler
17 hours ago
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"While the stated “target” is the Zeiss Otus, there will actually be fairly few photographers that are cross-shopping these two lenses"
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