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Comment: Re:and what about the welfare for the people autom (Score 1) 216

by EnglishTim (#46355797) Attached to: Rolls Royce Developing Drone Cargo Ships

Just because occupations have popped up to replace these lost jobs in the past doesn't mean that they will in the future.

As machines become more and more capable, they can accomplish more and more of the things that previously only people could do, and will presumably tend towards being able to do anything a human could do. As we get closer to that point, it's quite possible there will be increasingly large sections of the population who find themselves effectively unemployable as there's very little they can do that cannot be done more cheaply by a machine.

It's nice to think that the new occupations will pop up to give us all something to do, but I think to believe that is basically an article of faith. I don't see any evidence that suggests it's guaranteed.

Comment: You can get a taste of it with Kinect + Oculus (Score 3, Interesting) 59

by EnglishTim (#46111979) Attached to: 30 Minutes Inside Valve's Prototype Virtual Reality Headset

I've been experimenting with using the Kinect for body positioning - allowing you to walk around a virtual room by walking around a real one. There are two big problems: First, the fidelity of the Kinect isn't great, so positioning is a bit inaccurate and gets jumpy with distance. Second, I had to make a cord bundle extension to give me room to walk about and you're always worried about tripping over it.

Comment: Trouble in the UK (Score 1) 159

by EnglishTim (#44573647) Attached to: Is Europe's Recession Really Over?

Recent figures suggesting (very) modest growth in the UK have been greeted with enthusiasm, but I still think as a country we're in trouble, and a big part of that I think is that wages have not in any way been keeping up with the huge rises in house prices over the last 20-30 years.

The government is encouraging banks to lend to house buyers by guaranteeing a portion of the mortgages, but it seems to me to just be encouraging another bubble.

The average full-time, permanent employee salary in the UK is around £24,500; the average house price is around £230,000 and rising; it'll be more in the South and less in the North, but even so, the average house price is nine times the average salary. It's just not sustainable.

Comment: Re:Too much sacrifice for openness (Score 1) 359

by EnglishTim (#41824887) Attached to: Google's Nexus 4, 7, 10 Strategy: Openness At All Costs

don't think its hardware. power off and power fixes hardware bugs? in what universe do you live?

The software runs on the hardware. If there's a hardware fault, the software may run incorrectly and find itself in a corrupt state. Turning on and off would reset the software state, thereby (temporarily) fixing the problem.

In your case, what if there's a fault in the touch sensor controller? Perhaps there's a counter that gets incremented with each tick and one of the bits in it is faulty and won't flip. After a certain number of ticks the counter might effectively reset rather than increment, which could force the controller into an invalid state which might prevent it from sending any sensible values to the operating system. A hardware fault that causes a software failure.

Comment: Re:PETA kills more animals than anyone (Score 1) 418

by EnglishTim (#41648879) Attached to: PETA Condemns Pokemon For Promoting Animal Abuse

I admit that it's possible that what they claim is true. However, given the record of the fast food, tobacco and alcohol industries of dishonesty when it suits their bottom line, I see no reason to consider that website a reliable source. Why would I? They have a history of dishonesty, why should I believe this is any different?

Comment: Re:Complexity (Score 1) 181

by EnglishTim (#40974429) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are The Days of Homebrew Gaming Over?

With respect, you can't possibly suggest that the Wii and 360 are using Cell processors! The defining characteristic of the Cell are the Synergistic Processing Units, which neither the 360 or the Wii have.

As far as I remember the aspect of the Cell design that Microsoft used was the in-order execution PowerPC cores, not the SPUs. The Cell was very definitely a custom processor - just because it has a couple of PowerPC cores in it does not make it off-the-shelf!

System checkpoint complete.