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Comment: Re:That's all well and good.. (Score 1) 37

by Solandri (#48673645) Attached to: 300 Million Year Old Fossil Fish Likely Had Color Vision

Well, I don't know about that, but at least it was better than Oculus Rift, if images in TFA are anything to go by. Something like semi-spherical 320 by 240 degrees with 3D zone of maybe 120 by 240 degrees in the middle, or thereabouts.

20/20 vision is defined as the ability to distinguish a line pair separated by 1 arc-minute. So at 2 pixels per minute, your 320x240 degree angle of view translates into 38,400 x 28,800 pixels.

The human eye gets away with it because only a tiny amount of the center of your vision has that resolution. The rest is a blurry, indistinct mess. Alas, Oculus Rift does not know where in that 320x240 degree field you are looking at so it can't take advantage of this fact. In the future, maybe we'll have head-mounted projector displays which track where your eyes are looking, and project a high-resolution image only at that spot, while the rest of the field is projected at low-resolution. It would certainly reduce the burden on 3D graphics hardware.

Comment: Re:Congratulations Samsung... (Score 2) 71

by Solandri (#48671673) Attached to: Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Review
Lemme guess - you're a guy who carries his smartphone in his pocket, and is incapable of imagining any other use scenario.

The phone is designed with the Asian market in mind. Phablets are insanely popular there among women, who put a cover on them and carry them in their purses. The problem is that if you get a text, you have to pull the phone out of your purse and flip open the cover to read it. A cover with a cutout for the screen is one solution, but still requires taking out the phone to read the text. Putting a display on the edge allows you to read the text while the phone is still in the purse.

Comment: Re:To What End? (Score 1) 275

by Solandri (#48670271) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

So what's the motive then?

I'm skeptical it was North Korea too. But they do in fact have a huge motive. You know how Thailand's government gets their panties in a bunch every time a foreigner somehow mocks their king? Multiply that by a hundred. That's how much North Korea reveres their leader. Not just their government, but a good fraction of their people. They've had it drilled into their heads since birth that their leader is a god. They got upset at this commercial. Sony was gonna release a whole movie.

Comment: Re:Legit reviewing can be done using electronic ke (Score 1) 88

by Solandri (#48669137) Attached to: TripAdvisor Fined In Italy For Fake Reviews

Fake reviews can be eliminated by forcing the reviewers to post a key code along with the review.

So many ways to break this... Someone mad that his morning coffee was cold could lie and say the room was dirty, the bed uncomfortable, the hotel noisy, and the food was bad. Or a restaurant could give out $10 discounts for any customer coming back with proof that they posted a 5 star review (yes I have actually seen a store offering this). All the key codes would do is assure that the review was written by someone who'd actually been there. It doesn't thwart fake reviews.

Comment: Re:They do have one advantage (Score 1) 232

by Solandri (#48668857) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?

If we play a match of FIFA 2015 there will be absolutely no question as to who the winner is.

You have to be careful to distinguish between competitive sports like athletics or weightlifting, and game sports like football(soccer) or hockey. The former is purely about who is strongest, fastest, whatever on that particular day. The latter deliberately introduces variability ("luck") so that the outcome isn't always the same "best" person/team winning every time - because that would be boring.

So no, a match of FIFA 2015 wouldn't leave no question as to who the winner was. People would probably pour over the game logs to try to prove how the random number generator happened to favor the winning team on a crucial play.

Comment: Re:NO (Score 2) 232

by Solandri (#48668707) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?
Shooting (pistol/rifle target shooting) is the Olympic sport I think that most supports the inclusion of e-sports. Most "sports" involve physical strength, dexterity, and endurance (and the mental faculties to coordinate them). Shooting is nearly entirely dexterity-based. Just like video games. After shooting would be archery, which adds a physical strength requirement to holding the drawn bow. Interestingly, wheelchair-bound persons have competed in the regular Olympics in shooting and archery.

Any argument against e-sports works equally well against shooting and archery, except for the arbitrary requirement that the consequences of the "athelete's" actions have to be limited to the physical world. I suppose you could argue for the exclusion of shooting and archery from the Olympics, but competitive archery is one of the oldest sports, at least 2800 years old.

Comment: Re:and that's how we got the world of FIREFLY (Score 1) 263

by Solandri (#48664931) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

seriously though, the Chinese can destroy our country without setting a single boot on the ground simply through economic measures.

*Poof* You have your wish. China ceases all trade with the U.S. The $122 billion in stuff going to China, and $440 billion in stuff coming from China vanishes.

The U.S. economy has a GDP of $16.8 trillion. Trade with China was equivalent to 3.3% of that. And in fact since the U.S. runs a trade deficit, the cessation of trade with China actually increases its GDP to $17.1 trillion.

China's economy has a GDP of $6.8 trillion. The vanished trade was equivalent to 8.3% of that. And since they ran a trade surplus, their GDP shrinks to $6.5 trillion.

So China's GDP is hurt more and they lose a bigger chunk of their economy from these "economic measures." And you somehow interpret this as China having the power to destroy the U.S. economically?

Here's what people like you don't get - China needs the U.S. more than the U.S. needs China. The U.S. buys manufactured goods from China. It doesn't have to buy from China. If China boycotted us, we could pay for manufacturing in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, or one of a hundred other developing countries eager for the business. OTOH, where is China going to sell the stuff they manufacture? If the U.S. doesn't buy it, who else will? There just aren't that many first world customers willing to fork over cash for merchandise. China already sells to all the first world customers willing to buy. The U.S. doesn't buy from all the developing nations willing to manufacture.

Comment: Re:Who will get (Score 3, Insightful) 360

by Solandri (#48657649) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down

The US force is a tripwire to draw the US into the conflict. That's why we are there. The US force is tiny and not sufficient to do anything useful except get overwhelmed. But when US bodies start showing up on newscasts, the DPRK is toast

Case in point, the troops there call themselves "speed bumps." They know their job in case of a N. Korean attack is to get overrun and die, so the U.S. populace will get all outraged and back a full reprisal in S. Korea's defense.

And to answer OP, the idea is that the outcome of a war between N. Korea and S. Korea has enough uncertainty that some loony of a N. Korean leader may actually try it. But the outcome of a war between N. Korea and the U.S. is so obvious that no N. Korean leader would try it. (Well, no sane N. Korean leader. I'm starting to have my doubts about how much sanity is left after 60 years of indoctrination about how "N. Korea drove the U.S. out" of half the peninsula.) If you talk with S. Koreans, most of them don't exactly like U.S. troops being there, but are willing to tolerate it for this tangible deterrence factor.

But couldn't the UN do something? When the original 1950 "police action" in Korea was authorized by the UN security council, China's vote was controlled by Taiwan, and the Soviet Union happened to be boycotting the UN to try to get that vote transferred to mainland China. Let's just say that if a similar situation should arise, there's considerable uncertainty about getting anything more than a strongly worded statement from the UN.

Comment: Re:Amazon was being dumb (Score 1) 291

by Solandri (#48653433) Attached to: Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens
Wouldn't it be easier to reprogram a few text-to-speech readers to look for both hyphens and dashes based on context, instead of forcing the rest of the world to distinguish between two visually nearly-identical symbols? Do the readers also break when I type things like Quebec, resume, creme brulee, etc. without their accent marks?

Comment: Re:And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (Score 1) 276

by Solandri (#48653273) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords
Most airports let you mail the items back home now. It's only confiscated if it's not worth the cost to mail it back.

The stuff on their prohibited list is pretty silly though. They wouldn't let me bring a piano tuning wrench in my carry on. It's basically a fixed socket wrench about 12 inches long, no sharp edges or points so can't be used for jabbing/prying like a screwdriver, and designed to be lightweight so you couldn't use it like a hammer. But there's some rule prohibiting tools over 8 inches, so they refused to let me bring it aboard. Unfortunately you can't just pick one up at the local hardware store, so I had to pay 25% of what a new one cost to check in my carry-on bag.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 2) 91

by Solandri (#48652297) Attached to: Major Security Vulnerabilities Uncovered At Frankfurt Airport

You might recall that the TSA got started by taking sackloads of private company-employed rent-a-cops and making them federal employees, thus unfirable. This ensured and still ensures a nice base level of incompetence as well as arrogance, and costs you more tax dollars than the private situation did.

Airport security has always been a government job for the simple reason that all commercial traffic airports (in the U.S.) are owned by the government. The local government may have chosen to subcontract out their security to a private company prior to 9/11, but they were still government employees or contractors. All the TSA did was move the responsibility from the local government to the federal government. Don't try to lay blame for this on the private sector.

The real problem, however, is that it's all security theatre. It doesn't do anything worthwhile. The hassle does the same thing that comfort noise does for voip and cellular phone connections. It assures you that "something is being done" without having the slightest connection as to whether something is actually being done or not.

Exactly. The real problem is that some of the folks in charge of airport security never got this memo, and take their jobs way too seriously. Unfortunately, reports like this one are bad for the people in charge who do realize their job is merely security theater, and increases the likelihood that they'll be fired and replaced by some bozo who thinks strictly enforcing the rules actually results in a statistically significant benefit to safety.

Comment: Re:In other news: (Score 1) 91

by Solandri (#48652187) Attached to: Major Security Vulnerabilities Uncovered At Frankfurt Airport

None of the confirmed hijackings since 2001 has casualties, though I suppose there's mysteries like MH370. Even if you assume the worst though, statistically you're far more likely to die from technical malfunction or pilot error.

Statistically, except for transcontinental and overseas flights, you're more likely to die in an accident on your drive to/from the airport than on the flight itself. And the only reason the risk is higher for longer flights is because, well, they're longer, so there's more time for something to possibly go wrong.

If you're seriously worried about terrorism impacting your flight, you should lock yourself in your room and never go out. Just about everything in the world is more likely to kill you than terrorism.

Comment: Re:I thought the surveilance was about terrorism (Score 2) 225

by Solandri (#48652085) Attached to: GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals
You think the folks working at the NSA and GCHQ sat around doing nothing before terrorists showed up on the scene? Their job (at least what they're supposed to be doing) is surveillance of criminal operations and foreign powers, of which terrorists are a subset. What got them into trouble was they started pointing their monitoring apparatus at people outside those categories - i.e. their general population.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming