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Cable boxes in europe (austria): They are a thing as in, you get one with literally any modern TV subscription (although you can opt not to use one at all and literally just plug a cable in the TV, but that is limited to an analog, crappy quality signal), but they don't come with a monthly fee (unless that is hidden within "service fees" or some other term). You definitely don't rent them for 10-20 bucks a month though, I can guarantee you that. Also, you can use 3rd party boxes that work just fine, some come with added functionality or simply work more smoothly, or you can (if you get the internet and cable subscription from the same provider, it might also work otherwise but I'm not sure) just use something like VLC to get the TV signal over the internet and watch it on any device/PC that is connected to the internet.
Cable is not really a thing in the UK, there is satellite and freeview (a digital radio wave service payed for by a tax of about 100 pounds a year). satellite TV often needs a box which is usually bundled in for free. with freeview being received directly by most TVs with some ISPs offering smart DVRs to gain access to catch up services and online video stores. there is also freesat similar to freeview with satallite instead of radio waves.
Theres virgin media, which their main product is cable tv and internet but its limited to the areas they have physical cable installed. I've never lived in one of those areas, my street always misses them (not that I want it). But it also gives you a free box for cable, and internet, etc. though you have to return it if you stop your service I think.
TL;DR: Cable boxes required for internet, not so much for TV, but they are mostly "free" in the contract.
Not true at least in germany. It is true most providers give you a cable box, which in most cases you have to rent (or it's "free" as in it's a limited supply or indirectly paid with the rest of the contract, whatever), but opting not to use it doesn't necessarily mean a worse signal. You get the same digital Signal into the TV, the difference is just really that you don't get any of the extra stuff the provider can give you, like VOD services, recording (obviously) etc. What you don't get either way is the private (as in non-public-by-law) channels in HD quality, you can get those with HD+, but it's just shitty upscaling anyway so really no need. The only thing where you really NEED a box is when you're using Sky or any other payTV that uses their own encryption and equipment.
Buuuutt, I think this discussion was more about the internet side of things. So, at least for me it works like this. I have the contract, get a Router for "free" (as in, again, paid through the rest of the contract) that really just acts as a receiver for the high-frequency signal from the plug. Now those boxes are really mostly free and you don't need to worry about them but too much (except that their pretty much shit for the most part). When we're looking at the DSL side of things, yeah you mostly get a router from your provider but you can also opt to use your own. I haven't had regular DSL for quite some time (cause the cable provider here is just the cheapest and fastest to use so..), but as far as I know you mostly actually buy the stuff and not just rent them (most of the time there is an option for both though).
Awesome stuff. I'm excited to see the new VGA passthrough video. I'm thinking of doing something similar with a Nvidia 950 card for the host and my more powerful R9 390 card on my x99 system (since it obviously lacks integrated graphics).
@wendell what distro are you planning on doing this on?
In the UK, there are 4 main ISPs (BT, virgin media, talk talk, and sky), however all of them apart from virgin media piggyback of BTs' infrastructure as I understand it. Pretty much every city and town has access to fibre broadband through either the virgin media or BT infrastructure, some rural areas still rely on dial-up though (this is the case for much of rural Wales).
In terms of speed, the fastest you can get in the UK on a residential connection is 152mb/s download with virgin media for £30/month + £17 line rental (£17.50 for the first year). It should be noted that this is not an upto speed, that's a consistent peak time speed (source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkEGFO-j-M8). The broadband is unlimited with no usage fees however heavy users can expect to be throttled (152mb/s will drop to 100mb/s for ~10 hours if you download too much in one day). There is no requirement to use the ISP supplied routers, many network companies (eg: netgear) will sell 3rd party routers.
TV in the UK is rather odd, freeview is paid for by a £150/year TV license that covers the main channels, many TVs come with built in freeview tuners but you can buy more advanced dedicated boxes with rewind / record functionality. ISP also offer their own TV services and boxes which come with extra channels at a monthly cost of as little as £15/month from virgin media, there are more expensive options with more channels and HD functionality, the boxes themselves are normally thrown in as a free extra.
When buying from an ISP you are normally able to choose which services you want from them, although many will offer bundles that make it cheaper to buy them all in one go.
Competition in the UK broadband and TV market is controlled by Ofcom, a "government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the United Kingdom" - wikipedia
Also Megaman should never be made. In the 90s some directors tried it and walked out several times because they never understood what the game was about or how everything operated...or maybe it should be made but by a director who is willing to take the time. In any case, only a drunkard would want to see that made.
Also @Logan we share the same birthdate..what a coincidence!
Im am not so sure on us keeping up with AI. While possible it will no doubt mean a larger brain therefore larger head. Babies already suffer brain trauma through the birth canal because our brains have evolved over time to get as big as they are now.
Would we image obsessed humans want to start having larger heads so we are smarter ? Larger hips to give birth or rely on surgery for all births ?
That "unified weapons master"-thing seems interesting. Coming from a HEMA background I would appreciate something like that for sparring obviously, having "full protection" (whatever that is supposed to mean, blunt weapons will still do their thing no matter what kind of protection you have) is nice and would enable more full contact sparring. You can already do that but it is risky and generally not recommended. The feedback about the force would make it more interesting than traditional fencing, since that literally trades away all force for speed since every contact counts as a "hit" no matter what you do. So, we basically already do that, but they're trying to make it more mainstream and safer I suppose. Chances are all the athletes will fall back to HEMA techniques since they're tested and work pretty damn well. But as I said, something like halfswording and murder strokes (or using a mace) will not end well, no matter what wizardry they're doing in terms of shock absorption. A blunt strike to the head or chest will end badly in that case, so I suppose there will have to be specific rules when it comes to that kind of stuff. And lastly, the price. I imagine it'll be ludicrously expensive, so they probably want professional teams and sponsors. Which is fine and all, but for 10000+ bucks you can also get a custom made reproduction suit of armor fitted perfectly for you, which is what I'd rather own than a high-tech "modern" suit with tons of sensors.
I'm not sure who their target audience is with that stuff, the HEMA crowd already does fencing and full contact sparring, and to see the full effect of a potential strike we test it on materials. Normal people or people who are into MMA, I'm not sure if it'll work for them since you can't necessarily appreciate what is going on in armored combat just from watching IMO. I also imagine that it'll be tied to so many rules that it'll end up looking unspectacular.
Just for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5w2Mh6CyXo That's already being done, and you can do so with most weapons. Full contact sparring would be a bit harsher and you'd need a bit more protection (or just deal with potential injuries). Blunt weapons don't work for full contact, but that also won't work with that suit. So, yeah. I'm in two minds about it honestly. Also, they don't take edge alignment into account now that I think about it, which is a shame and will also muddy the whole thing. That's already a problem with sparring, but in that case it is even worse since they'll be able to measure force and then come to wrong conclusions.
With regards to cable set top boxes it's actually interesting from the inside of a municipal provider.
With regards to Motorola since @wendell brought them up, they aren't really Motorola anymore. That was sold to Google as part of Motorola Mobility, and then Google turned around and subsequently sold it off to Arris who actually had been developing a competing product through an acquisition of a company called Moxi. Basically the Motorola set top boxes are a dead end product.
Also, the "guide" on your Motorola set top box is probably licensed from Rovi, or your provider is at least paying a few bucks every month for each subscriber to Rovi to cover patent licensing costs. They managed to get a boatload of patents on the "grid guide" that so many solutions use that you have to work really hard to avoid hitting their patents. Did I mention they actually brag about having 5,000 patents?
At this point though it seems most companies are just looking at ditching traditional RF delivery for video and go all IP. A number of industry talk has been about converting over to IPTV with DOCSIS 3.1 and maximizing the use of spectrum on the outside plant for data. Also with the huge past investment in provisioning of DOCSIS they have gotten standards so they can provision FTTP solutions like GPON using DOCSIS as well. Calix offers this currently, so I imagine they are trying to pick up converting companies which I expect will only pick up pace over the next few years.
To me it feels like these companies have gotten into a rut they know is going to be difficult to dig out from without huge investments in overbuilding with fiber, and each market is going to get won over by the first one to blink and build out FTTP and the other will just let their existing system rot like AT&T and Verizon are doing with their POTS infrastructure.
Regarding Bitcoin and banks, I think Bitcoin (the blockchain technology specifically not necessarily the cryptocurrency) could be used to replace the ACH system here in the US. It's been in place since the 70s (I think) and is essentially unchanged since its inception. Transactions have to be submitted in batches and it's slow in general, so It can sometimes take days for inter-bank money transfers to finalize. Those of you using the European banking system have a much newer back-end system that works a lot better though its name escapes me at the moment. Although, if Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency actually starts to become mainstream, I think banks will go the way of the buffalo. They might evolve and take on some other role like being one signatory for multi-signature wallets. There is few reasons for bank-like entities to exist in a world with Bitcoin.
I have a question regarding Intel Graphics. Does anyone know why Intel doesn't include the option for Iris graphics (i.e. eDRAM) on socketed chips? Both speculation and official statements are acceptable. Is it a physical limitation like there isn't enough room in the package under the heat spreader or is it that socketed chips tend to have higher TDPs and the DRAM could be adversely affected by more heat. Or is it a market segmentation thing and they don't offer it because those buying an enthusiast-level CPU would be more likely to have a discrete GPU?
I've got a Fury under Linux and I have all sorts of fun issues. Most are performance issues...unless we're talking about games running on Unity...then I get artifacting for seemingly no reason but after I reboot they go away. It's fun.