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Comment: RTFA: TV HARDWARE is broken. Not programming. (Score 1) 839

by Nylathotep (#38270492) Attached to: TV Isn't Broken, So Why Fix It?

The article is about why TV hardware is broken. Not the shows available, which seems like every thread in this post is complaining about.

and to me it just sounds like this guy is channeling the ghost of Andy Rooney. TV is very broken once you start using any device other than an antenna. It takes so much work to make multiple devices work together, and even when you succeed, the chances of family members knowing how to work it is unlikely at best.

Every piece of hardware should have a universal control protocol that allows it to work together seamlessly. When you turn on the dvd, it should set the receiver and the tv input automatically. If you get vendor lock, sometimes you can get such things but even that's rare. Most people struggle with the very concept of tv inputs and when you have tvs with 8 or so, it's easy for mom to get lost.

No matter what, function requires a massive traditional remote control, which people don't use a 1/10 of. I don't know what the solution will look like, but it's nice to think at some point man will advance to a point where they can operate their entertainment system.

Comment: Unintended consequences (Score 1) 390

by Nylathotep (#34277298) Attached to: Senate Panel Approves Website Shut-Down Bill

The real problem is that sure, it can be argued that it makes sense from the point of view of taking down movie downloads, or whatever torrent of media is out there. But this will be used for constant shutdown of simple websites (text, images, macros) that grab things from other sites. Not that sites should steal content, but it's a bit heavy handed.

Businesses

Could CA Violent Game Law Lead To an Industry Exodus? 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-a-well-armed-uprising dept.
donniebaseball23 writes "Oral arguments for the California games law are set to begin on November 2. It's a hugely important court case for the industry, and if the Supreme Court sides with the legislators it could lead to an exodus of talent from the games business, says one attorney. 'Certainly less games would be produced and there would be a corresponding job loss,' said Patrick Sweeney, who leads the Video Game practice at Reed Smith LLP. 'But I expect the impact will likely be significantly deeper. I believe the independent development community would be severely impacted. Innovation, both from a creative and technological aspect, would also be stifled. The companies, brands and individuals that we should be embracing as the visionaries of this creative and collaborative industry will migrate their talents to a more expressive medium.' Meanwhile, Dr. Cheryl K. Olson, author of Grand Theft Childhood, notes that even if California gets its way, it could backfire."

Comment: Blocking camera w/ wallet (Score 1) 685

by Nylathotep (#34054560) Attached to: 1928 Time Traveler Caught On Film?

She probably sees the camera, doesn't want to be filmed, and is holding her wallet up to cover her face.

Or perhaps they are using some big ass lighting and its blinding her.

But I think a wallet is more sensible an answer than a cellphone.

Besides, this thing SCREAMS viral marketing.

I'll give it 7 out of 10 for being an interesting hook.

Software

Preserving Virtual Worlds 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-will-they-play-starcon-2-in-2150 dept.
The Opposable Thumbs blog has an interview with Jerome McDonough of the University of Illinois, who is involved with the Preserving Virtual Worlds project. The goal of the project is to recognize video games as cultural artifacts and to make sure they're accessible by future generations. Here McDonough talks about some of the technical difficulties in doing so: "Take, for example, Star Raiders on the Atari 2600. If you're going to preserve this, you've got a couple of problems. The first is that it is on a cartridge that is designed to work on a particular system that is no longer manufactured. And as long as you've got a hardware dependency there, you're really not going to be able to preserve this material very long. What we have been looking at is how feasible is it for things that fundamentally all have some level of hardware dependency there — even Doom has dependencies on DLLs with an operating system, and on particular chipsets and architectures for playing. How do you take that and turn it into something that isn't as dependent on a particular physical piece of hardware. And to do that, you need information about that platform. You need technical specifications that allow you to basically reproduce a virtualization that may enable you to run the software in its original form in the future. So what we're trying to do is preserve not only the games, but preserve the knowledge that you would need to create a virtualization platform to play the game."
AMD

Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 — Gaming On Six Panels 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-the-truly-dedicated dept.
MojoKid writes "AMD's 6-output Radeon has been seen in action at a number of events, but today the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition is being officially launched. HotHardware paired the card up with six 22" Dell LCD panels in a 3x2 configuration — with a max resolution of 5760x2160 — and ran it through a number of popular titles including Dirt 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Crysis. For specialized, high-end graphics cards like this, the market potential may be relatively small. If, however, the idea of multi-monitor gaming is appealing to you and you've got the means to score one of these cards (along with multiple displays), you won't be disappointed." Reader Vigile adds a different analysis of the card's six-monitor gaming: "PC Perspective found FPS games were basically unplayable because of the bezel through the middle of their vision while RTS and racing games like StarCraft 2 and DiRT 2 were spectacular."
Idle

Directed Energy Weapon Downs Mosquitos 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the two-pound-hammer-and-ten-penny-nail dept.
wisebabo writes "Nathan Myhrvol demonstrated at TED a laser, built from parts scrounged from eBay, capable of shooting down not one but 50 to 100 mosquitos a second. The system is 'so precise that it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted.' Currently, for the sake of efficiency, it leaves the males alone because only females are bloodsuckers. Best of all the system could cost as little as $50. Maybe that's too expensive for use in preventing malaria in Africa but I'd buy one in a second!" We ran a story about this last year. It looks like the company has added a bit more polish, and burning mosquito footage to their marketing.
PC Games (Games)

Future Ubisoft Games To Require Constant Internet Access 497

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-will-go-over-well dept.
Following up on our discussion yesterday of annoying game distribution platforms, Ubisoft has announced the details of their Online Services Platform, which they will use to distribute and administer future PC game releases. The platform will require internet access in order to play installed games, saved games will be stored remotely, and the game you're playing will even pause and try to reconnect if your connection is lost during play. Quoting Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "This seems like such a bizarre, bewildering backward step. Of course we haven't experienced it yet, but based on Ubi’s own description of the system so many concerns arise. Yes, certainly, most people have the internet all the time on their PCs. But not all people. So already a percentage of the audience is lost. Then comes those who own gaming laptops, who now will not be able to play games on trains, buses, in the park, or anywhere they may not be able to find a WiFi connection (something that’s rarely free in the UK, of course – fancy paying the £10/hour in the airport to play your Ubisoft game?). Then there's the day your internet is down, and the engineers can’t come out to fix it until tomorrow. No game for you. Or any of the dozens of other situations when the internet is not available to a player. But further, there are people who do not wish to let a publisher know their private gaming habits. People who do not wish to report in to a company they’ve no affiliation with, nor accountability to, whenever they play a game they’ve legally bought. People who don’t want their save data stored remotely. This new system renders all customers beholden to Ubisoft in perpetuity whenever they buy their games."
Software

Drupal's Dries Buytaert On Drupal 7 55

Posted by Soulskill
from the on-the-horizon dept.
itwbennett writes "The Drupal community has been working on Drupal 7 for two years, and there are 'hundreds of changes' to show for it, says Drupal creator Dries Buytaert in an interview with ITworld's Esther Schindler on the occasion of Drupal 7 going into Alpha test this week. Most notable for end users are 'some massive usability improvements,' says Buytaert, while site builders will see the greatest changes in the Drupal Content Construction Kit (CCK), which has been moved into the Drupal core. But one thing that hasn't changed is the not-so-easy upgrade path. 'The upgrade path for a Drupal site has never been really easy, to be honest,' Buytaert says. 'We do break backwards compatibility. It's a little bit painful because it requires all of the contributed modules — and there's 4,000-5,000 of them — to make changes.' But Buytaert doesn't think that's all bad. 'Innovation is key. Backwards compatibility limits innovation,' Buytaert contends. 'The rule we have is: We'll break the API if it makes a better API, and if it allows good innovation and progress to be made. Also: The second rule is that we'll never break people's data. We'll always provide an upgrade path for the data.'"

Comment: Re:After infiltrating several on-line forums .... (Score 1) 689

by Nylathotep (#30772164) Attached to: Obama Appointee Sunstein Favors Infiltrating Online Groups

the Obama administration has become very concerned with the situation in Azeroth and plan to spend 10 billion in on-line gold to help the cause.

I've heard rumors Azeroth is facing an upcoming Cataclysm that will allow the Obama administration to enforce marshal law and suspend elections.

Media

Lack of Manpower May Kill VLC For Mac 398

Posted by timothy
from the vlc-generally-rocks dept.
plasmacutter writes "The Video Lan dev team has recently come forward with a notice that the number of active developers for the project's MacOS X releases has dropped to zero, prompting a halt in the release schedule. There is now a disturbing possibility that support for Mac will be dropped as of 1.1.0. As the most versatile and user-friendly solution for bridging the video compatibility gap between OS X and windows, this will be a terrible loss for the Mac community. There is still hope, however, if the right volunteers come forward."

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