That is of course why software tends to use Unicode is used these days. A file can unambiguously include the chars it uses and the codepages they come from. How they are stored is where an encoding comes in. UTF-8 tends to be a popular encoding of Unicode because legacy tools tend to cope with it better and the files can be a bit smaller than UTF-16 depending on the contents (amount of markup vs text).
Why do we have to use something so complicated and unreadable without certain software? Something like markdown or even LaTeX if you have smart users would be better.
A bit condescending there. "Smart users" might prefer their time to be spent more productively with a WYSIWYG word processor than learning some stupid markup language just because the file format is potentially a bit simpler.
Besides, I'm sure someone could produce an ODT to Markdown / Latex tool if they wished. Both sides are fairly well documented and open standards after all.
If you are paranoid about it you could unplug the internet cable. After all, if you're worried about what your Blu Ray disc is capable of then you should also be worried about what ALL the software on the device is capable of. e.g. the Netflix app, BBC iPlayer, PS3 games or whatever else is on there.
The bigger failing IMO was that all the software hitting the custom hardware made it increasingly difficult for the platform to support higher resolutions, pixel bit depths and stuff like virtual memory. It was left to 3rd parties to provide a solution but by that point it was already too late.
There is no way to tell these sort of apps apart from some scummy Skinner box which hits you up for cash after you're sufficiently hooked.
I suppose a FPS would be possible providing the person can remain seated but there are obvious control issues to figure out. For example if I look around for real, e.g. turn my head to look over my shoulder, what does that mean in a game where I'm lying prone staring down an iron sight at the time? Or if I'm standing in the game and I I look right in real life and then click aim - does my virtual counterpart assume some ludicrous pose to accommodate my action, or does it reorient itself facing forward while my real self is still looking over to the right? How does it reset the camera afterwards? It could prove messy and just serve to increase the chance of disorientation.
On the plus side, I guess VR could pull of a very realistic FPS Saving Private Ryan game where the people puke their guts up on the virtual landing craft and stand a good chance of serious injury when they storm the beaches.
I think some of the smaller Miix and similar devices are less useful for some clear reasons:
- Metro doesn't have as many apps as it should. The situation is getting better it must be said but it's nowhere near as comparable to Android / iPad. This in itself must be a major reason people are turned off these devices
- The screen is too small to use as a desktop and the form factor is all wrong. Yeah you could poke away with a stylus or something but most desktop apps are designed for and expect a keyboard and mouse. These tablets should really come with a keyboard and stand.
- They don't have much performance or storage. They're packed with some low power atom processor and the 32GB is half eaten up with Windows OS and crapware.
- The cost similar to Android devices like the Nexus 7 which come with better screens, more apps and are better designed for that size
- Windows 8 has gotten a bad rap although 8.1 with the service update is actually quite good (except for the missing start menu)
I think Windows tablet / hybrids or 10, 11 or 12 sizes are far more viable, particularly for people who have to actually do work on the go but appreciate being able to flip their sideways and use them as a tablet for some mindless browsing or whatever.
Dart could compile to bitcode and then it would execute at near native speeds. Even stuff like asm.js that is an optimized usecase for machine generated js is still a workaround of the fundamental issue - the lack of a lower level alternative.