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Comment: Re:Not much (Score 1) 232

Well, I think both augmented reality and head-mounted displays in general will be hugely successful in the next few years. If nothing else, it will become the defacto way to watch 3d content like movies and sports. Just wait until you get to watch a game via the 'ball cam'! Immersive 3d, not the shitty TV or movie version, is really going to propel 3d content into the mainstream.

Then you have games. Imagine a wireless head-mounted display that connects to your smartphone. Suddenly the small screen is no longer the limiting factor. You can have rich, immersive worlds on the go.

What remains to be seen is how profitable the market will be.

Comment: What's so special... (Score 1) 232

Does anyone know what's so special about Oculus? Do they have some intellectual property that will make them money, or are they just improving on 30 year old ideas?

It seems to me that all we're waiting for are component prices(high res, compact LCDs and accurate, fast sensors) to drop. Sure, there will be some software work, but we already have stereoscopic support in game engines and now 3d media content.

Sure, there will be a lot of work crafting new interfaces and presentation schemes, but that's all software and design, not hardware.

Comment: Re:VR not mature at all (Score 1) 300

Tracking an object like a head is trivial if you have the money to spend on industrial sensors. The technology is there, it just needs to be commoditized. It's like what happened when the wii-mote came out and helped drive down the price of accelerometers.

One could do it with a precision gyro and accelerometer... one could do it with a high-speed camera... with acoustic sensors... there are many ways to do it. Most of the delays happen inside the computer, so it's more of a software problem in my opinion.

There are a lot of VR solutions, they just don't cost $200. VR has been around since the 70's/80's... Here's one from NASA in '85:

Comment: Re:Very hard without additions (Score 1) 300

Regardless of what you use to sense position, you're going to have to put it into an input at some point. Chances are that it will be USB provided the latency is acceptible. If it isn't USB, it will have to be some other standardized input. In any case, developers of competing glasses will have access to that same input.

VR is just too big, and really too old and mature, to be controlled by one company. People got into a tizzy because Oculus released prototypes, but you can bet other companies had similar devices which they didn't want to prematurely demonstrate.

I'm guessing FB bought Oculus because, like many of the folks cheering Oculus, they don't understand hardware.

Comment: Private vs. public... (Score 1) 352

by jasno (#46411857) Attached to: Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

I have no problem with a private individual or company doing this.

I have a big problem with the government, who has the ability to deprive me of my posessions, my freedom, and my life, being able to do this.

I wonder how else a private company can work with the government to get around restrictions placed on the government?

Comment: Big whoop... (why is there still a subject entry?) (Score 1) 14

by jasno (#46295891) Attached to: GameFace: Making a Virtual Reality Android Headset

VR headsets will become popular when the component prices allow it. The technology isn't complicated. What's complicated is packaging two hi-resolution displays, sensors and optics in a package that is light enough to wear for a price that an average consumer can afford. When the prices come down, companies like Oculus will be forgotten as a wave of cheap Asian models floods the market.

VR is nothing new. I'm willing to bet most of the important patents have already expired.

I will say that I am looking forward to these devices, not as a gamer but as a programmer. I'm looking forward to reclaiming my desk space and ditching my huge monitors. I'm looking forward to working in a spherical desktop.... hell, not just spherical, but maybe even multisphered(i.e. roll my chair to the left and I'm in another sphere).

Comment: Re:Shut up and take my money (Score 1) 59

by jasno (#46114559) Attached to: 30 Minutes Inside Valve's Prototype Virtual Reality Headset

The limiting factor is the hardware. We can actually build a really nice VR display now, but the price would be too high for mass adoption so it's not being done. Once the component prices drop, I expect you'll see VR displays from a host of manufacturers. The tech really isn't all that special and the patents probably all expired by now. I really think Oculus will be the TiVo of VR displays - a pioneer that will fade from the limelight when the technology goes mainstream(except I think TiVo brought more innovation to the table, and ended up with more IP to enforce).

These displays are really going to change the way we interact with computers and the world around us. I can't wait to work inside a spherical desktop.

Comment: Nothing's changed... (Score 1) 118

by jasno (#45962047) Attached to: Target Hackers Have More Data Than They Can Sell

Let's face it - credit cards are insecure. They always have been, and they still are. I have long operated under the assumption that all of my cards are compromised, but that someone hasn't gotten around to making use of them yet. Even 20+ years ago when I was trading cards using stolen voicemail boxes, we had more cards than we knew what to do with. Sure, there are organized gangs now using smurfs to work the cards, but they're still few in number. When you have say, 1/2 of all credit cards at your disposal, it's going to take you quite a while to go through them all, gang or no gang.

Until the economics change, the financial companies have no incentive to change things. Adding another step to a credit card transaction which reduces convenience, leading to even a infinitesimal amount of spending reduction, could easily cost more than all of the fraud combined.

Comment: Re:Obama forgot he works for the Americans ! (Score 1) 312

by jasno (#45723111) Attached to: Tech Leaders Push Back Against Obama's Efforts To Divert Discussion From NSA

Hmmm... I don't think I'd equate government surveillance with data collection and analysis by a private company. The government can deprive me of my life and liberty and thus should be restrained. A private company, generally speaking, cannot.

Sure, a private company can always pass on whatever they like to the government. But it is possible to enumerate such uses in a contract which I have the option of declining. Companies can then compete for my dollars on the basis of privacy and data protection.

Now the third-party doctrine effectively makes that useless, and turns every private company into an arm of the state. If there's anything that needs to change, it's that.

Comment: Higher alcohols... (Score 5, Interesting) 328

by jasno (#45395957) Attached to: Scientist Seeks Investment For "Alcohol Substitute"

There are many substances that effect our bodies in ways that are similar or complimentary to ethanol. Many of those substances are already present in fermented products like wine and beer. Some of those are higher weight alcohols(i.e. - fusel oils) like or There are other components too, such as the chemicals found in hops. Most of these compounds do not metabolize into acetaldehyde so they do not result in a traditional hangover.

+ - First Solar Reports Largest Quarterly Decline in Cost to Under $0.60 per Watt->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes ""Thin-film solar market leader First Solar recently reported its largest quarterly decline in CdTe module costs per-watt since 2007, as part of its third quarter 2013 financial results report....“We have reduced our module manufacturing cost per watt to US $0.59 from US $0.67 last quarter, an US $0.08 per watt or 12% reduction quarter-on-quarter,” stated Jim Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of First Solar, in the conference call. “This is the best quarter-over-quarter cost improvement in six years on a per watt basis and highest percentage reduction since our IPO (in 2007).”"

Peeling off recycling and freight insurance costs, at their best plant they are down to $0.43/W for a straight manufacturing cost."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: Of course... (Score 1) 419

by jasno (#45188777) Attached to: Mark Shuttleworth Complains About the 'Open Source Tea Party'

So anytime someone works on a hobby without getting paid it's slavery now? Just like unauthorized copying is theft, right?

People can complain all they want. People can choose to use another software solution - or no software at all! What I'm taking issue with is people who are saying what the 'FOSS community' needs to do. Complain all you want, but keep your moral obligations to yourself - or, you know, pitch-in and do it.

Crafting open-source software is often like painting. Many people paint for fun, to fulfill their own desires. Maybe I painted a nice painting for my livingroom, and I post a picture of it online for others to use. Now if someone comes along and says my painting is crap and no one should download it - fine. If someone comes by and says all people who share their paintings need to use only blue tones, or coordinate with the colors in *his* livingroom... that's where I have a problem. That guy needs to STFU and paint his own damn picture, or break-out photoshop and fix the painting I shared.

You have some very strange ideas on how 'FOSS' works.

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.