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Comment Re:This gen console hardware sucks (Score 3, Interesting) 51

I don't think it will drastically reduce the graphics quality. Correct me if I am wrong but with all these new deferred rendering and complex shader stuff, more and more things are done per-pixel rather than on the geometry. It should make the penalty proportionally less. We are also to the point where graphical improvements are becoming subtle : enough for people to feel the difference but not enough for most of them to say exactly why.
This should actually make split screen easier. Other parts of the game such as physics can be done once for all players.

But as I've seen somewhere, split screen is not just a feature, it is a way of life. Split screen or single screen multiplayer in general is a totally different experience from network and solo play. Reducing a very different way of enjoying a game to a question of detail in a 3D renderer is rather silly IMHO.

Comment Re:Marginal (Score 2) 67

The problem wasn't because they somehow didn't expect the low gravity environment, it was that the parts designed to deal with it failed.
The nitrogen thruster designed to push the lander down failed, something they knew beforehand, even though the reason is unknown. The harpoons designed to hold it in place also failed : reportedly the nitrocellulose propellant failed to ignite properly in a vacuum.
What they didn't expect that could have affected the lander's ability to stay in place is that the surface was harder than expected. This was one of the major discoveries made using Philae.

Comment Re:stop shilling kobo (Score 1) 85

I recently bought a e-reader and bought a Kobo because it fitted my needs, my budget and was easily available for me. There were other options, including "no-name" stuff, but one that was out of the equation right off the bat was the Kindle.
Come on... an e-reader that doesn't support ePub, are you serious?

Now, if you don't mind selling your soul to Amazon, sure, get a Kindle. I won't blame you, Amazon is convenient after all.

Comment Some people are winners (Score 1) 173

It seems to correlate with what I see in everyday life, especially at work.
Some people, especially higher management, seem to win more than others, even games they are not particularly skilled at. I think it is that they simply really want to win instead of just having fun, or, in the case of work, find an interesting job with a good work-life balance.
Cheating is very characteristic of this behavior. For non-winners, it spoils the fun and the negative of the risk of getting caught isn't enough to offset the benefit of winning. Increase the perceived benefit or winning and cheating becomes a more attractive option.

Comment Re:Maybe Wired needs new management. (Score 1) 667

Exactly. Ad-blockers can pretend to download the ads, but not show the ads. Not detectable by a web site.

One of the common tricks for detecting ad-blockers is to check the size of the element containing the ad banner using JS. If the size is smaller than expected (because no ad is displayed) or no element is present, trigger the anti-adblock code.
So if you pretend to download the ads but not show them, the script will detect it. You can, however, put a placeholder instead of the ad and download nothing or you can disable the script.
There is not one single method of detecting ad blockers.

Comment Re:That'll work well with automated vehicles.. (Score 1) 601

I don't remember the study but it seems that yes, breaking speed limits as well as other traffic laws increases the average throughput of the traffic. Of course, it also increase the number and severity of accidents.
The study is about cities with a lot of traffic and unsafe driving, such as Mexico city.

Comment Re:No such thing (Score 1) 356

That's with such reasoning like that things are unlikely to go forward.
One one side there are advertisers who seem to think that a good way to do business is to make sure that you only get ads and not what you initially came for, and the other side won't tolerate a single monetized pixel.
Yes, there are such things as acceptable ads, but it is not something that can be settled with brains switched off.
For example, are appeal to donation by charities acceptable? is self-promotion acceptable? is mentioning a friend's business in a blog post acceptable? is classified advertising (craigslist-style) acceptable? What is more tolerable for you : a small google text ad powered at the bottom of a page or an aggressive appeal to donation popup, Wikipedia-style, why? If both are unacceptable, how about a small text appeal to donation at the bottom of a page? And how about tracking? Is all tracking unacceptable, even if it is unrelated to ads? what about A/B testing? And opt-in tracking? Is there a difference if content, ads, tracking, whatever comes from a third party rather than a first party? What if the first party is Google?

Comment More analysis required (Score 4, Insightful) 580

One problem with the approach used is that the firewall is configured to drop all connections. This is not a realistic picture.
An analysis of the content would also be interesting because even with telemetry disabled, there are plenty of reason for connecting to Microsoft servers such as software updates. Most of them are port 80 and port 443. Port 80 is normal http traffic and is easy to analyse, port 443 is encrypted so it is a bit harder but if you can add your own certificate authority to the windows install, you can try doing man-in-the-middle. There is also UDP port 3544 which is related to IPv4 - IPv6 transition, which in itself is probably harmless but may hide other connection attempts (that's one of the reasons why you won't get a realistic picture by dropping everything).

The only thing this experiment tells us is that Windows communicates with MS servers even with telemetry disabled. It smells but without further analysis, it is not very useful information.

Comment Re:Internet service disruption? (Score 2) 167

Oooh, ooh, can an app mess with my internet connection by loading many ads? So anything that uses the device bandwidth excessively could also be banned now?

If it does it in the background than yes, probably. Google banned several apps that were a bit too aggressive running in the background because it interfered with the "doze" feature.
However, as long as you stay confined within you app, anything goes. There are ad blocking browsers on the Play store, there are also apps that abuse your bandwidth in the foreground, for ads or anything. What is forbidden is for an app to act on another app. And while Google may be a bit partial regarding this rule, it doesn't only apply to ad blockers, for example, they kicked out apps that did multi-window because it changed the way apps were rendered.

Comment Re:Cats & dogs living together (Score 5, Informative) 167

Buy a good Android device with an unlocked bootloader and use an AOSP based ROM with no gapps. Use Firefox mobile with your favorite blocking extensions as your browser. Use permission control to restrict apps that are a bit too curious. There you have it : premium device, no ads, no tracking. It may not be enough if you wear a tinfoil hat but nothing is good enough for tinfoil hats.
According to XDA, Sony seems to be the recommended brand because they are developer friendly and produce nice devices. Nexus have good support too. Also don't buy your phone through your carrier.

It is not as easy as buying a phone off the shelf and there are some downsides but you have understand that what you are asking is not what most people want. People want tracking because it allows plenty of nice features (like Google now), they like free stuff and ads are an effective way of financing free stuff, and they just want things to work out of the box rather than control all the details.

Comment Re:Mars is impossible (Score 1) 310

There are no alternatives. We have evolved to live on Earth only. It has the gravity and protection from the radiation we need. Also we cannot "colonize other planets". They are too far away. You are limited by physics from reaching the ones outside of our solar system. And the ones in our Solar System cannot sustain human life. We are stuck here.

Venus has 1g, protection from radiation, and a surface so hellish that even demons refuse to live there. But believe it or not, flying cities in the atmosphere of Venus are considered and may be a better choice than Mars for long term colonization, if such a thing is possible.

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