Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:CPU leaks (Score 1) 236

by Hotsphink (#35340914) Attached to: Firefox 4 the Last Big Release From Mozilla
You're still using the original CPU that came with your computer? There's probably not much left of it by now. Lots of programs have CPU leaks. Sure, you can deal with it by restarting stuff over and over again, but you'll just have to keep doing it. It's a lot more convenient to just buy a bunch of extra CPUs and swap them in when the older ones get used up.

I've been buying them by the 6-pack at Fry's. It's much easier now that popular OSes support hot-swappable CPUs, though I'm never sure how long I'm supposed to put them in the toaster first.

(Btw, please file a bug. Or switch to a FF4 beta first to see if it still happens there. That may also may make it much easier to figure out whether it's a plugin, since they can run in another process in FF4.)

Comment: Ignore logic if it gets in the way of a story? (Score 1) 650

by Hotsphink (#34151742) Attached to: Income Tax Quashed, Ballmer To Cash In Billions
I love bashing the rich, Microsoft, and especially Ballmer as much as anyone but it's kind of hard to overlook the glaring logic error in the cynicism: whether or not that measure passed would have no effect on Ballmer's stock sales before the end of the year anyway. I suppose it would've looked a little worse if the measure passed and he immediately dumped a bunch of stock, but somehow I don't think that PR problem is worth the effort and expense.

Comment: Re:Cure? (Score 1) 363

by Hotsphink (#32217770) Attached to: Cheap Cancer Drug Finally Tested In Humans
Err... so you are taking a patient providing a guaranteed revenue stream from staving off a terminal illness, and replacing him/her with a patient with a possibility of providing a smaller revenue stream, maybe for a longer period if you're lucky?

And this is a patient who almost died and suffered through uncountable procedures and doctors and uncertainty, and you think they'll jump at the chance to play with even more pills and doctors? Everyone I know who has had a serious encounter with the medical establishment would do almost anything to avoid having anything to do with doctors again. And that includes dying. (Yes, it's anecdotal, but I have deceased family members in precisely this category.) Younger people especially may find the idea ludicrous, but the idea of living at all cost becomes far less appealing once you become personally acquainted with that cost.

Comment: Re:Cure? (Score 1) 363

by Hotsphink (#32217738) Attached to: Cheap Cancer Drug Finally Tested In Humans
No money for the drug companies, true.

But what about the other much-maligned member of the "health care" industry: insurance companies? They would save a ton of money if somebody came up with a proper cure. Not only would they not have to pay for the expensive last-ditch drugs for the currently incurable disease, but they wouldn't need to treat all of the complications that arise from late-stage terminal illness.

People would probably freak out if the "evil insurance industry" started to dabble in researching their own drugs and treatments, but they are the ones with the incentive. This whole idea was given to me by a friend of mine, who once suggested to a high-level insurance representative that they should be awarding bounties for cures. It makes a lot of sense, even though bounties are obviously limited in what activities they can support.

(Note: the quotation marks around "evil insurance industry" should not be taken to mean that I actually disagree with the label; personally, I find the insurance industry as it is currently set up to indeed be a systemic evil. I'd much rather they sold insurance for catastrophic health expenses, rather than being an integral part of the payment and approval process.)

Comment: Re:Cost v Benefit (Score 1) 716

by Hotsphink (#28254921) Attached to: Kids Score 40 Percent Higher When They Get Paid For Grades
Or pay kids twice as much and get double the benefit!

Better yet, don't bother with the other 95% and just pay the $500! You'd save billions!

You may argue that that isn't at all what you said, but your statement is equally ludicrous. You're trusting badly insufficient base data and going off and calculating meaningless resulting figures. Are you in marketing, by any chance?

Have you factored in whether the improvement is sustained, which wasn't tested in the study?

I would bet that removing the rewards would actually make these students do worse than they did before the study started. Have you factored in that possibility?

Has any learning actually increased, or just the test scores? They're nowhere close to being the same -- cheating, cramming, and test-taking strategies are just some of the obvious ways to inflate test scores while keeping learning (of the tested material) constant or declining.

Is there collateral damage? As in, do these students stop studying for any subject that they don't get paid for, or other things in their lives? Might need to factor that in.

Comment: Maybe 3DV can finally ship... (Score 1) 68

by Hotsphink (#27942117) Attached to: Microsoft Working On Motion-Sensing Camera For the Xbox 360
As a former employee of Reactrix Systems (may it rest in peace), I know something of this space. We had this working a few years ago (ok, we were on Linux and using the Tyzx 3D camera.)

I'm happy to see that MS bought 3DV. 3DV has been promising that their camera will be available at scale for years. I talked to them at GDC a year and a half ago. "It'll be out this summer." "Who's your manufacturer?" "Oh, we don't have one yet. We'll just get someone in Taiwan or China to do it. Manufacturers are a dime a dozen."

So are companies with unbuildable products. I had to resist the urge to laugh in his face -- they didn't have their sh*t together in February and they'd have product on the shelves in the summer? I pretty much gave up hope on them then.

Which is too bad. They have a nice product -- not as good as Tyzx or PrimeSense, but theoretically it could be far less expensive.

Don't think of the EyeToy. That's a simple 2D differencing system, and not a very good one. I actually think it's a good product overall -- not enough so that I'd bother to buy one, but you could have fun with the right content. The vision system could be done better even with the harsh constraints (working in just about anyone's living room is surprisingly difficult.) But 2D images are fundamentally limited.

A depth-sensing camera like the Z-Cam, Tyzx, or PrimeSense can pick out gestures in front of your body, it can measure direction and acceleration in 3D, and it can pick players out from the background far better.

At the same time, our intuition was (and our experience found) that trying to convert camera input into controller input is just a bad idea. You don't want this for playing Halo 3. You need games built for camera input. It's fun for more than games, too -- we prototyped some nifty photo, video, and 3D model interfaces.

One of our most eyecatching prototypes was a light saber game where you could slice through oncoming hordes of robots. The video is dark and not very well done, sorry.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.

Working...