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Comment: A reason why they SHOULD have... (Score 1) 43

by John Pfeiffer (#46763901) Attached to: Ubisoft Hands Out Nexus 7 Tablets At a Game's Press Event

Giving away Nexus 7's seems hard to explain away. I mean, I tried to think of any reason why they might have wanted to give them all 7" Android tablets, like maybe an interesting way of distributing a multimedia press kit or something, but that could have just as easily been handled by $75 Chinese-made Android tablets.

That did make me think that that'd be pretty cool though; imagine buying a bunch of modestly-spec'd 7" Android tablets from China wholesale, and using them as giveaway items to distribute really dynamite multimedia presentations.

I actually picked up FOUR 7" Android 4.x tablets from DealExtreme for ~$35 each last year, during a half-price sale...and I doubt they'd let even such a sale as that rob them entirely of profits... So I imagine if you're a company buying tablets like that wholesale, you can get some pretty sweet deals, AND get them all custom-branded.

Comment: Hmm... Guess my brain is weird. (Score 2) 224

by John Pfeiffer (#46692045) Attached to: Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

I've always been able to switch it on and off just fine, even after spending the vast majority of the past 15 years sitting at a computer, on the internet.

I skim through things at great speed when they don't really interest me, or I'm mostly looking for specific pieces of information, but it's never prevented me from being able to change gears and linearly read something...

And I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a patient person (or particularly disciplined, for that matter) so it's certainly not because I'm making a conscious effort *not* to skim when I read linearly.

Comment: Re:Laughable CYA Maneuver (Score 1) 178

The guy's obviously a jackoff with a toy quadcopter who shouldn't be flying it over peoples' heads.

Forget $1k setups, even a properly-configured $100 Chinese flight controller would've RTL'd when he lost control. There's absolutely no excuse.

Sadly, no one in the media is going to make note of the fact that this guy is a jackoff, so it's just "Some schmuck with a commercial drone injures athlete, story at 11!" and the rest of us are-- once again --one step closer to being branded terrorists or something.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 108

by John Pfeiffer (#46599793) Attached to: Did Facebook Buy Oculus To Counter Google Glass?

What I meant is that if the focus of the Rift's development shifts, or it tries to encompass the capabilities needed for both... There's bound to be tradeoffs or compromises. And when that happens, usually everyone loses.

Cameras (And it would have to be plural if it were to keep stereo vision) would add weight and bulk to the front, never good for an HMD. There's also price considerations...especially if they somehow come up with the perfect camera solution and create a product that's the best of both worlds... I'd expect the price to increase by 50%, at minimum. Whereas right now, at the pricepoint of a high-end GPU or a monitor, I think it's about perfect for what it is and will probably ensure very good sales.

(And that's not even taking into account the fact that Facebook might try jacking up the price anyway, even on the devkits, just to turn a profit.)

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 108

by John Pfeiffer (#46599729) Attached to: Did Facebook Buy Oculus To Counter Google Glass?

According to the information on the website, the camera pictured with 'DK2' is used to augment the head-tracking system.

At any rate, being that it looks like a pretty standard little webcam thing, I can't imagine it would provide any suitably high quality video to the wearer, which would be a step backwards in AR, or at the very least, standing still. I mean, the point is to overlay the Augmented Reality over something near as good as you see without the device, or better, no? (Besides, one camera? No stereo.)

But obviously, the USB accessory ports offer the opportunity for something to be developed down the road. Off the top of my head, it occurs to me that someone (Not me since I can't afford a devkit) could come up with something based on the guts of two of those Chinese keyfob cameras, with 120-degree sensor/lens modules mounted to the front of the Rift at IPD. I got one for FPV flight with a quadcopter, and for a $50 camera that easily fits in the palm of your hand it shoots pretty damned good 720p video.

Comment: What? (Score 1) 108

by John Pfeiffer (#46595351) Attached to: Did Facebook Buy Oculus To Counter Google Glass?

I really don't see how the Augmented Reality application and Virtual Reality gaming markets overlap, beyond the need for a head-mounted display. The Rift would have to have cameras to do AR and that would entirely warp its purpose.

Though I'm certainly open to the idea of it as an add-on, since it looks like DevKit2 (Which I want one of so badly to experiment with drone telepresence and stuff) has USB accessory ports on it...I could see attaching something like a stereoscopic Kinect to the front. But I think everything's screwed if the hardware gets redesigned to try and serve two very different purposes.

Comment: Question of safety is moot (Score 1) 183

by John Pfeiffer (#46513607) Attached to: Is DIY Brainhacking Safe?

The kind of people who actually would have the means, motivation, and wherewithal to do this probably face at least as much risk and danger in their everyday hobbies and activities. (Serious tinkerers and the like who play with electricity, fire, chemicals, metalworking tools, lasers, plasma cutters, etc. day in and day out.)

It's when the technology goes 'As Seen On TV' and Joe Six-Pack can buy himself an "Easy-peasy dew-it-yerself brain-zappery kit" that the question of safety truly becomes relevant.

Comment: Re:I was wondering about that... (Score 1) 377

by John Pfeiffer (#46500163) Attached to: Measuring the Xbox One Against PCs With <em>Titanfall</em>

Yeah, nice try. But I was in the beta too, and the only things this game has in common with CoD is the developer, and that it's an FPS.

And the game was never 32 players. It would have been unplayable. The reason it's 6v6 plus bots-- and really, this is the genius of it --is that they wanted players, the Titan Pilots, to feel special in-universe (By having them surrounded by 'ordinary' infantry) and make them feel completely badass (By making the infantry easy to mow down a squad at a time.) without making actual players take on these other roles.

The other aspect the bots represent is making it so players of any skill level can contribute; you don't have to be able to take out other pilots, you can go around and take out dozens of AI troops instead. It's not as efficient, but it still earns points and XP, and all the weapons have Grunt/Spectre killing challenges.

If there were more than 12 players, Titan combat would be a complete clusterfuck, or they'd have to limit access to the Titans. And who the hell would want to play if they don't get a 6-meter-tall walking death machine?

Again, this goes back to making the players feel special in-universe; They are Titan Pilots. They are Elite Badass Motherfuckers. The AI infantry can be heard saying stuff like "Hey, it's a pilot! About time!" or "Did you see that! That pilot jumped right on the back of that Titan!"

There's more nuance in the Titan cockpit entry sequence than there is in the entirety of any Call of Duty game, so why don't you just stick to telling kids on Xbox Live about how you fucked their mom, you ignorant fuckwit.

Comment: Not a bad idea. (Score 4, Interesting) 334

by John Pfeiffer (#46499815) Attached to: Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"

I like this line of thinking. I mean, there's fish and lizards and stuff out there that live for hundreds of years... Why not humans?

I for one think that a longer life might be the key first step to that bright-shiny technological future we've been promised; Imagine what some of the greatest minds of our time could accomplish with an extra hundred years, or even an extra sixty.

Besides... Future generations should have a better life than us, otherwise what was the point?

Comment: I was wondering about that... (Score 5, Informative) 377

by John Pfeiffer (#46497363) Attached to: Measuring the Xbox One Against PCs With <em>Titanfall</em>

Whatever the rationale for the uncompressed audio, I've got a 3.20GHz hexacore, and it has trouble sometimes. A couple rounds I've had the audio completely cock up from what I can only describe as it trying to play too many sounds at once...then just playing broken bits...then completely breaking down, requiring me to tough it out until the audio is reinitialized with the start of the next round.

I'd also like to note that it took me about 45 minutes to download the whole game, and a whole hour and a half for the installation...most of which was spent extracting the audio.

That said, the game is abso-fucking-lutely amazing and I love it. I need to fix the cooler on my other 6870 so I can put it back in, SLI the suckers, and turn the graphics up to 11. :D

Comment: Bound to happen eventually. (Score 2) 85

by John Pfeiffer (#46436471) Attached to: Autodesk Says It's Killing Softimage Development, Support

Personally, I'm still a Newtek Lightwave 3D devotee due to its ease of use and intuitiveness compared to other packages, but I use a lot of Autodesk's more industrial design oriented software like Inventor...

It was really only a matter of time before something like this happened, though. I mean how long did people think Autodesk was going to try and maintain three competing 3D modelling and animation packages under the same roof when only one of them fits into their overall software suite ecosystem?

Comment: R.I.P. Will not be forgotten. (Score 2) 136

by John Pfeiffer (#46326873) Attached to: Harold Ramis Dies At 69

This news makes me really sad. Ghostbusters shaped an incalculably large portion of my childhood. :(

Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day are two of my all-time favorite comedies (My top-top probably being Grosse Pointe Blank) in fact I just watched Ghostbusters the other night on my new bigass TV, and was considering watching Groundhog Day... (And now, definitely will tonight.)

One of my favorite moments in Ghostbusters is when Egonâ" in a complete deviation from his usual demeanor, and out of all the people present â"ends up being the one who jumps Peck shouting "YOUR MOTHER!" when he accuses them of being responsible for the explosion at the firehouse. It's something that always stuck out in my mind as being particularly funny.

Comment: That explains it... (Score 1) 104

by John Pfeiffer (#46319831) Attached to: Amazon To Put Android In Set-top Box To Compete With Apple, Roku

I guess now I know why the Amazon Instant Video viewer app isn't available to any normal Android device... Bugs me because I already have an Android set-top box that flawlessly plays 1080p video, not just streaming stuff, but like h264 and whatnot... And it only cost me $25 unlike the $100+ I'm sure Amazon is going to charge.

Life's the same, except for the shoes. - The Cars