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Comment: Re:Smartphone with 50 Megapixel CCD sensor ? (Score 1) 88

by Jeremy Erwin (#48675661) Attached to: Kodak-Branded Smartphones On the Way

50 Megapixels in a phone is absurd. Even the most absurdly expensive glass has trouble keeping up with Nikon's full frame D800-- and that's only 36 Megapixels. It's more understandable in a medium format camera-- but those are significantly larger than phones, and far more expensive.

What really would be useful in a phone is decent low light performance-- noise free images at ISO 12,800 and beyond (as well as the focusing systems necessitated by this lack of light.)

Comment: Re:The culture of responsibility switches. (Score 5, Insightful) 262

This isn't a testing fault. I'm sure they tested the hell out of it. Dozens if not hundreds of QA people sat in cubes for months, maybe years, testing bits of this game as it got produced. And I'm sure that many of them wrote up really detailed, well reasoned explanations of just how broken it was in every single way that people are counting today.

And nobody cared because the game had to launch before the holiday season of 2014, Thousands of jobs and millions upon millions of dollars were at stake.

It isn't that nobody tested, it's that nobody really cared.

Comment: Re:If at first you don't succeed... (Score 1) 262

That is pretty much the only resource people have. And it won't work until lots of people try and do it, loudly, repeatedly, but politely. The fact that Ubisoft is already making excuses actually makes it seem like people might have a better case this time than in most, because it's not just going into a cone of silence.

Comment: Re:that's funny (Score 2) 262

It's a case where the developers looked at the raw numbers for the system that was coming, and said "Wow! We're going to have almost three times the cores, sixteen times the RAM and so much GPU!" and then went on ahead and jacked the engine demands up to a level that probably shouldn't have been reached until a few more years into the life cycle for the platform. It took years and years for the Xbox 360 and PS3 to be understood well enough to be able to create things like the GTAV engine, and possibly in part because of the switch to essentially PC hardware they now find themselves having to work with the hardware that was until recently considered second-tier to console hardware in general, but then in addition, they used AMD parts that have always been second-tier in the PC market.

This really should not have been that bad. They're overreaching, and that's basically the fundamental problem. Wait a few years, and games that try and pull off what Unity does will be successful and well optimized, but right now they're still working out just what's capable. It's just too bad for the customers that get screwed while inadvertently helping Ubisoft and other developers learn just how this hardware can be put to use.

Comment: Re:If at first you don't succeed... (Score 5, Interesting) 262

This is a side effect of what happens when game franchises become more profitable than movie franchises. Once the flow of money starts on a game with a budget in the tens of millions like the Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, or Grand Theft Auto franchises to name just a few - there comes a point of no return where you finish what you started, because you've sunk millions upon millions into something that just turned out *wrong*, like this. Just like Warner Brothers couldn't put the Green Lantern movie on hold and rewrite it to not suck, Ubisoft backed themselves into a corner.

Nobody had the balls or the power to say "Wait a minute, we're overreaching. Let's scale this back to something that will actually run." Instead, they launch a buggy, bad game because they're into just the marketing campaign for tens of millions of dollars. It's so much worse for consumers than a flop of a movie, because you're spending $60+ on the cost of entry, and when the reviewers are embargoed there's just no way to tell if you're going to get screwed. Thank the big budget productions and stock market demands for this kind of disaster.

Every time I see something like this, or a botched Call of Duty release, I get a *little* less annoyed with Valve for not saying a word about Half-Life 3/Ep. 3. They're private. They can take the time without investors freaking out.

Comment: Re:Ok, even giving them the benefit of the doubt (Score 5, Insightful) 262

Let's also take into account that Ubisoft had to know something was up, because the pre-release copies they gave game reviewers came with an embargo that lasted 17 hours into the release date. I'm not surprised at all to see this, though I'm admittedly surprised it's quite as large a problem as it is. When they announced the system requirements, I winced. I know that the horsepower demand for a game engine designed for a modern console is finally going to be a lot more demanding than last year's titles, but a GTX 680 as minimum specification? Someone screwed up engine design, plain and simple.

Comment: Re:Global warming for the win! (Score 0) 384

Don't tow the "Climate Change" line, don't get funded

Exactly! Without scientists to move it, the "climate change" line, or for that matter, any line marking the boundaries of current human knowledge, it stays stagnant and fixed. Towing the lines helps our society prosper and grow...

And to think that George Orwell thought it a Dying Metaphor!

Comment: Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 102

by Jeremy Erwin (#48179375) Attached to: Canada Will Ship 800 Doses of Experimental Ebola Drug to WHO

The US has a patent on an Ebola virus..
Human ebola virus species and compositions and methods thereof

Looks like a Canadian patent, owned by the " The Government Of The United States Of America As Represented By The Sec Retary, Department Of Health & Human Services, Center For Disease Control".

It's the wrong strain, though. Also I'm not sure why the US government would own a Canadian patent.

It isn't easy being the parent of a six-year-old. However, it's a pretty small price to pay for having somebody around the house who understands computers.