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Comment: Control issues? (Score 1) 52

by XMark3 (#47522899) Attached to: Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging
I wonder if some of the people who refused to help the NPC were simply not too familiar with first-person games and confused about the controls? Moving a cabinet and pulling up a person to safety are things that could require complex interactions with the environment and many of the participants in the test were probably just getting used to walking around.

Comment: Comes with the territory (Score 1) 716

by XMark3 (#46223745) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?
Bugs and bug fixes are part of the territory in software development. Sure, the developer will get paid for time in which they are fixing their own bugs, but it's not like that gives developers an incentive to make buggier code. If your employer thinks that you're wasting too much time and company money fixing bugs that will figure into your hourly wages or salary, and if you're just constantly doing buggy code or your bug fixes keep causing more problems than they fix you'll probably get fired.

Comment: Windows 8 = massive miscalculation (Score 1) 1009

by XMark3 (#45941605) Attached to: Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.
They really shot themselves in the foot with Windows 8. They were trying to make it like a mobile OS, with the whole idea being that their interface is unified across desktop, tablet, phone, etc. But then their Surface tablets bombed and nobody ever really wanted a Windows phone... They failed to make a significant dent on the mobile market which is dominated by Apple and Google. So all they're left with is PC users wondering why their new computer is trying to act like a tablet, and everyone's just immediately going to the good old-fashioned desktop. They definitely need to go for the growing mobile market if they want to survive through the next decade, but at the same time they need to do it in a way that doesn't alienate their PC market.

Comment: Unmanned mission in 2018 (Score 4, Informative) 216

by XMark3 (#45821809) Attached to: Mars One Selects Second Round Candidate Astronauts
They are not going to be sending people starting in 2018. The 2018 trip, if it actually happens, will be an unmanned demonstration flight. I'm not sure how realistic the whole idea is but I'll wait to see if they actually do that unmanned trip before getting excited about Mars One.

Comment: Re:But will it give me a headache? (Score 1) 114

by XMark3 (#45684333) Attached to: Oculus Raises $75 Million To Make VR Headset
Haven't tried it myself - but if they actually do nail all the latency, resolution and head tracking issues, then the only unavoidable thing left would be the focal depth issue that all current 3D technologies suffer from (your eyes converge at a different depth than they are focusing on). This will remain a problem until true real-time holography becomes a reality, or at least some kind of advanced eye tracking to dynamically adjust focal depth to the point you're looking directly at, which is probably super-hard to do. I suppose that the headache issue will likely vary by person.

Comment: The promise of the 90s here at last? (Score 1) 42

by XMark3 (#45533517) Attached to: The Science Behind the InfinitEye's Panoramic Virtual Reality Headset
I remember the first VR fad in the 90s... it seemed like such a neat idea. However, the graphics were horrible, frame rates sucked, head tracking was laggy, headsets were bulky, screens were blurry, FOV was too small, and people were still trying to figure out 3D movement control schemes. I've felt that ever since around 2004 we've been ready to give VR another shot, now that we've fixed or have the technology to fix every single one of those problems. And it seems like a lot of different companies are going to be going head-to-head in an attempt to be the ones that bring VR back. Obviously Oculus Rift has the biggest head-start, but there's some promise in the other ones too. The Infiniteye seems to have the FOV advantage. The CastAR seems like it could be an awesome thing of its own (although it's meant more for AR than VR, so it's not in direct competition). I know Sony has a head-mounted display and Valve are planning to bring one out as well. In fact, I think this is what the true next generation of video games is going to be known for, rather than the consoles (though they will likely add support Oculus Rift or make their own headsets if VR turns out to be a thing) If they can get the head-tracking and motion-tracking down without any noticeable lag, then the only real problem remaining is the issue of focus depth for stereo 3D. And that's something that basically CAN'T be resolved without actual real-time holographic technology, which is still probably a few decades away.

Comment: Robot Safety Lessons (Score 2) 104

by XMark3 (#45342623) Attached to: Robots Can Learn To Hold Knives — and Not Stab Humans
For our safety, we should teach robots what types of actions would cause the most amount of bodily harm to a human, and where all our vital organs are located, so they'll have a better idea how to behave safely around us and prevent injury. I see no possible way this could backfire.

Comment: The bad guy (Score 1) 304

This certainly sounds like an attempt to go "Hey! You! Undecided people! Snowden is totally the bad guy because of this! Ignore the other stuff!" Of course, nothing in the real world is ever as simple as (person X) is the bad guy and (person Y) is the hero, but we need a narrative. We need to stick people into archetypal categories with heroes and villains, and episodes/chapters with clear resolutions and unambiguous morals.

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