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Comment: download bugbrain (Score 1) 200

by PJ6 (#48402935) Attached to: A Worm's Mind In a Lego Body
No need for a Lego body when you can download Bugbrain, the single best teaching software (AI or otherwise) I have ever encountered. It's worth digging up a 32 bit machine to run it if you have the time. I tried contacting the creator once, it really should be converted to Flash so everyone can play it, but I got no response.

I completed the game (I'm no expert, but the software is so good it also means I know a little), and I came away unconvinced that neurons are completely understood yet. I think there's more at work than just sigmoidal backpropagation.

Comment: It's not true 3D and it doesn't need to be. (Score 4, Interesting) 26

by PJ6 (#48402773) Attached to: Preview Jaunt's Made-for-VR 360 Degree, 3D Short Films
This is not an ad. Early VR projects are interesting, and this post (even though it could be used for publicity) belongs here.

Yes, you can technically make 360 degree 3D. You can even make it work even when the viewer tilts their head, if you have a ball of cameras and the right software to correctly adjust the view for each eye in real time according to head position. Jaunt's camera is not a ball. It's a disk. Yes, it could still be accurate 3D as long as you don't tilt your head. They say it's 3D, but it's not very high quality or convincing. In fact I wasn't able to tell if it was really 3D or just seeing the same view through both my eyes.

That being said, they do not need to have it in 3D at all. VR is already *very* convincing without 3D and the effect of parallax disappears at 20 feet or so. I didn't feel it was required at all for the demo videos they showed me.

I built my own 2x4K VR camera, specifically designed for accurate 3D, and demoed alongside Jaunt in Boston. It's got 90x170 degrees FOV, which is more than enough to cover the DK2 horizontal FOV, and almost enough to cover its 100 degree vertical FOV. For one of my demo videos, I put peanut butter under the camera and recorded my dog licking it. Everyone responded the same, putting their arms up in front of them to wave him away. There were some squeals of delight. That's the point of 3D VR, in my opinion - accuracy and proximity, to make you really feel like something is there in front of you. Otherwise you might as well just go 360 and not sweat parallax accuracy, like Jaunt did.

I was getting ready to sell my cameras, make movies, and work with other people improving the rig design, but honestly I thought there'd be more talent and interest to work with. Boston really isn't anywhere close to being a Silicon Valley of the East. And I say that being an MIT graduate myself.

Comment: I thought this was already settled in principle (Score 1) 429

by PJ6 (#48340591) Attached to: Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing
I'm still probably on Mount Stupid on this subject, but when I first discovered zero divisor algebra it changed the way I thought about zero, and numbers. Feynman said that the fundamental of physical law is conservation, but I feel it's deeper than that. Conservation assumes consistency, which is a plain way of not-quite saying 'formal system' - any one of which that is possible, by definition, can be described completely with mathematics... so suddenly it looked to me that Zero and Nothing were not synonymous at all, that maybe our idea of Nothing was nonsensical at a very fundamental level. I expected the idea to be obvious - if it had any merit at all - to those who wade through that stuff for a living.

Unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity since then to talk with someone learned enough in physics to disabuse me of the notion.

Comment: not a particularly good article (Score 1) 219

by PJ6 (#48279683) Attached to: Most Planets In the Universe Are Homeless

But here’s the funny thing: when we work out the numbers of our best theoretical calculations, the ones produced by getting kicked out of young solar systems represent far less than half of the rogue planets that we expect.

So the author tries to explain a huge number of expected rogue planets, but fails to describe how we've arrived at the number in the first place. "Work out the numbers"? Yes? Could you please share? Why didn't you start with that in the first paragraph?

Also what's with all the exclamation marks? Is this article pitched at grade-schoolers? Fine but if so, what is it doing here?

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks