619: Supported Features
Title text: I hear many of you finally have smooth Flash support, but me and my Intel card are still waiting on a kernel patch somewhere in the pipeline before we can watch Jon Stewart smoothly.
This comic is a reference to Linux builds adding support and features that will not appeal to the majority of computer and Linux users. Cueball has created a patch that allows support for processors with 4,096 cores, even though most computers have only 8 cores or fewer. He considers this to be more worthwhile an endeavor than full-featured Flash support, which is much more commonly used. Flash movies are known for their bad performance and high consumption on CPU power compared with other movie formats. Cueball's friend is uninterested in the 4,096-core-processor fix, and only wants to know if it will help him with Flash video.
However, as of 2013, there are commercial computer systems that can be actually configured up to 2,048 cores (4,096 threads), e.g. SGI UV 2000. Linux powers 95% of the world's supercomputers, so while Flash video on desktop Linux would directly affect more people, the high performance computing industry relies on and actually funds Linux development. It should be noted that GNU/Linux now supports flash via Gnash. The first stable release was February 15, 2012; over two years after this comic was written.
The title text mentions the "American political satirist, writer, director, television host, actor, media critic, and stand-up comedian" Jon Stewart which further refers to his famous American late night satirical television program The Daily Show. The show is also available on the internet (www.thedailyshow.com), presenting the shows on Flash videos.
- Cueball: It took a lot of work, but this latest linux patch enables support for machines with 4,096 CPUs, up from the old limit of 1,024.
- Friend: Do you have support for smooth full-screen Flash video yet?
- Cueball: No, but who uses that?
- [Friend is holding a laptop.]