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Comment: Re:The Gripping Hand? (Score 1) 77

by Briareos (#47485239) Attached to: Wearable Robot Adds Two Fingers To Your Hand

These arms could be programmable to continue doing whatever you were doing, whether it be static, dynamic, or include aspects of both. For example, clamping two items together, operating a pump, or holding a camera steady, respectively.

That's a weird way to say masturbation.

Well, considering what Shirow has been up to lately it's probably the first thing that comes to mind...

Comment: Re:You can just buy a sim (Score 4, Informative) 146

by Briareos (#47341365) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: SIM-Card Solutions In North America?

Oh, and don't forget this in your research - there are at least three popular SIM card sizes roaming (no pun intended) in the wild these days, and they are mutually incompatible. So don't expect to take the full-sized SIM out of your feature phone and transfer it to the micro SIM slot of a Galaxy S4 or the nano SIM slot of an iPhone 5s ... although of course you can buy adapters that will make smaller SIMs fit into larger slots.

Except of course that SIM cards are mostly plastic, with a smart-card-y bit where the contacts are, so it's perfectly possible to cut a regular SIM card down to whatever size you need as long as you use a template and a pair of scissors or one of the cheap SIM cutters you can get on Amazon or ask the guys in the next phone shop to do it for you...

I used a mini SIM in my Motorola Milestone until I got a Samsung S3 when it came out and I needed a micro SIM card - converting my SIM was a rather short and simple home crafting project.

Comment: Re:Just be honest, it'll be fine (Score 1) 121

There have been machines made to do things like play a real trumpet with some success. I suppose that a robot could play a violin or other instruments as well. So [far] it is a question of how well a robot can play.

Exhibit A: Squarepusher x Z-MACHINES - Music For Robots...

Comment: This won't work on so many levels... (Score 2) 311

by Briareos (#47138357) Attached to: Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

Thunderf00t summed up a lot of arguments why this is futile and/or a scam in this video. From the summary:

Solar FREAKIN roadways is a nice idea, but then again is a pogostick that can hop to the moon as a cheap, reusable trans-orbital vehicle.

Is it plausible though. Well it basically proposes the union of 3 or 4 technologies. LED lights, solar panels, and glass roads.

Glass really isn't a feasible material to make roads out of.

1) its too expensive. Just coating the US road system with roads would cost many times the federal budget.
2) Its too soft. Even with a textured surface for traction, it will wear away too quickly. Dirt on roads is basically small rocks, which are generally much harder than glass. Imagine taking a handful of dirt and rubbing it [on] a window. Now imagine doing that with the wheels of a 20 ton tractor/trailer.
3) I have doubts about the physical properties of the glass to take the load and mechanical heat stress required of a road making material.

Solar panels under the road is a bad idea from the start. If they are under the roads, they are hard to maintain. They will have reduced light from parked cars etc. They are fragile. Not really congenial to the conditions you are likely to get on a road. In many ways building a shed over the road, or just having solar panels by the side of the road is a far better idea. However the power transport really isnt practical. One of the most efficient ways to transport electricity around is as high voltage AC. However to build those lines would probably double the cost of any construction. To bury the cables is even more expensive.

LEDs for variable road marking have been partially implemented. They are usually only cost effective in dynamic traffic management systems. For most roads its utterly pointless as the road markings almost never need to be altered. These LED are usually not easy to see (especially in full daylight when the solar panels are meant to be generating power).

However solar powered roadways has generated well over a million dollars for Julie and Scott Brusaw (a therapist and an engineer).

I'm still on the fence as to if they are just delusional dreamers or (now millionaire) con artists. A lot of this looks like just direct 'what if' daydreaming, but then you get the part of the promotional video where they are shoveling ground up coloured glass into a wheelbarrow, while narrating that they use as many recycled materials as possible in this project. It's very difficult to not see that as a direct lie. They must know full well that they did not use any of that material in the construction of their glass tiles.

(And yes, he's got a PhD in chemistry, so I trust he might have more of a clue or two what happens when a truck hits the road than an electrical engineer(!)...)

Games

'The Door Problem' of Game Design 305

Posted by Soulskill
from the making-adoorable-games dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Game design is one of those jobs everybody thinks they can do. After all, they've played a few games, and they know what they liked and disliked, right? How hard could it be? Well, professional game designer Liz England has summed up the difficulty of the job and the breadth of knowledge needed to do it in what she calls 'the door problem.' Quoting: 'Premise: You are making a game. Are there doors in your game? Can the player open them? Can the player open every door in the game? What tells a player a door is locked and will open, as opposed to a door that they will never open? What happens if there are two players? Does it only lock after both players pass through the door? What if the level is REALLY BIG and can't all exist at the same time?' This is just a few of the questions that need answering. She then goes through how other employees in the company respond to the issue, often complicating it. 'Network Programmer: "Do all the players need to see the door open at the same time?" Release Engineer: "You need to get your doors in by 3pm if you want them on the disk." Producer: "Do we need to give everyone those doors or can we save them for a pre-order bonus?"'"
XBox (Games)

Titanfall Dev Claims Xbox One Doesn't Need DX12 To Improve Performance 117

Posted by Soulskill
from the ask-carmack-for-some-tips dept.
MojoKid writes: "One of the hot topics in the wake of Titanfall's launch has been whether or not DirectX 12 would make a difference to the game's sometimes jerky framerate and lower-than-expected 792p resolution. According to Titanfall developer Jon Shirling, the new Microsoft API isn't needed to improve the game's performance, and updates coming down the pipe should improve Xbox One play in the near future. This confirms what many expected since DX12 was announced — the API may offer performance improvements in certain scenarios, but DX12 isn't a panacea for the Xbox One's lackluster performance compared to the PS4. It's an API that appears to mostly address scenarios where the CPU isn't able to keep the GPU fed due to draw call bottlenecks."

Comment: Re:Mmm (Score 1) 266

by Briareos (#46611387) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

Did you know it took 10+ years for Mozilla to fix the alert() denial loop [mozilla.org]? That bug is older than Mozilla itself, and the most obvious fix of "checkbox to stop further dialogs" was dismissed as a hack (compared to the destructive hack of force-killing Mozilla.)

Yeah, and it should be reverted to the prior behavior because it doesn't fix the issue.

Last I checked alert()s were tab-modal in Firefox, so where's the problem?

If you're giving someone an infinite alert loop, then your code is bad or malicious.

Whether it is bad or malicious this "fix" doesn't fix the issue at all. The very same "denial of service" is easily produced by wrapping an infinite loop in a short window.setInterval(...);. Then instead of an alert() popup you get a never-ending stream of "would you like to stop the script?" dialogs. So, if it's a pop-up dialog denial of service attack you're fixing, then that fucking moronic patch, didn't do jack shit, dingus.

That's why the "would you like to stop the script" dialog kills any and all JavaScript running in that tab, INCLUDING your setInterval...

Protip: Application Level Modal Dialogs are the problem -- That they prohibit you from using your browser functions, like the refresh button or address bar, and not just the page itself is the issue.

A "modal dialog" is a DENIAL OF SERVICE to all other application features. The fix should really happen at the OS UI level. Just fire all the UI designers who think modality is grand.

Protip: check to see if the dialog you're moaning about is even still modal before moaning about it. (Hint: it isn't)

Movies

Harold Ramis Dies At 69 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the print-is-dead dept.
samzenpus writes "Writer and comedian Harold Ramis has passed away at 69. Ramis had a hand in many classic comedies but is especially loved for playing the ghost-hunting Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters. 'His creativity, compassion, intelligence, humor and spirit will be missed by all who knew and loved him,' said his family in a statement."

Comment: Re:pretty quick on the C++14 support (Score 1) 118

by Briareos (#45922239) Attached to: LLVM and Clang 3.4 Are Out

The NetBeans one only talks about navigation to the declaration of something, which is a very far cry from autocompletion, background compilation for error detection, showing up-to-date documentation etc. that having an AST and other data from parsing a file fully encompasses, and it seems like they use the debug info generated by GCC, but that is neither on-the-fly nor even near the level of detail you get with actually having a parsed representation of all your code available.

The Eclipse one talks about their own implementation of a GCC-syntax-compatible scanner/parser they have implemented because they couldn't reuse the monolith that is GCC to use it to implement all the features I listed regarding NetBeans. They do use GCC for building the executable, of course.

Debug is human, de-fix divine.

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