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Comment: It's lightfield, it is holography (sorta) (Score 4, Informative) 170

by jcupitt65 (#48873423) Attached to: Hands On With Microsoft's Holographic Goggles

It's not using simple stereo screens, they have lightfield projectors:

Project HoloLens is built, fittingly enough, around a set of holographic lenses. Each lens has three layers of glassâ"in blue, green, and redâ"full of microthin corrugated grooves that diffract light. There are multiple cameras at the front and sides of the device that do everything from head tracking to video capture. And it can see far and wide: The field of view spans 120 degrees by 120 degrees, significantly bigger than that of the Kinect camera. A âoelight engineâ above the lenses projects light into the glasses, where it hits the grating and then volleys between the layers of glass millions of times. That process, along with input from the device's myriad sensors, tricks the eye into perceiving the image as existing in the world beyond the lenses.

http://www.wired.com/2015/01/microsoft-nadella/

They track eye movement and adjust for that as well. I think you need the lightfield stuff so that the eye if forced to adapt focus for different distances, it's a depth cue that Oculus don't have.

It'll be interesting to see what frame rate and latency they achieve. It sounds like they have a lot of hardware in the headset, so it could be quite good. Plus they only need to render the bit right in the centre of the field of view at high quality.

Comment: Re:Why don't they ever try to "link" good stuff? (Score 2) 222

by jcupitt65 (#48607623) Attached to: Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

The temperature graph in that article is not very useful. It ends in 1850, before most of the modern warming, and in any case it's only the temperature for Greenland, it's not global temperature.

The Wikipedia page on Paleoclimatology is probably better:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoclimatology

They have this graph for the global temperature for the last 10,000 years:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoclimatology#mediaviewer/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

Comment: Re:Too weak because humans are not the cause (Score 1) 145

by jcupitt65 (#48456205) Attached to: Prospects Rise For a 2015 UN Climate Deal, But Likely To Be Weak

I think all the solar activity graphs look like that, they are based on the same satellite data. For example:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Solar-cycle-data.png

How can increased solar activity be causing global warming if solar activity is not increasing? Isn't it more likely that the huge increase in CO2, a strongly-warming gas, is the cause?

Comment: Re:Too weak because humans are not the cause (Score 1) 145

by jcupitt65 (#48456175) Attached to: Prospects Rise For a 2015 UN Climate Deal, But Likely To Be Weak

HadCRUT goes back a little further, 1850:

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT4.pdf

There aren't sufficient historical records to go back much further with direct measurement. You have to start relying on proxies, like tree measurements and ice cores.

Comment: Re:Too weak because humans are not the cause (Score 1) 145

by jcupitt65 (#48448289) Attached to: Prospects Rise For a 2015 UN Climate Deal, But Likely To Be Weak

It is warmer now than it's ever been in modern times, according to the people who try to measure global temperature. Here's the NOAA global temperature since 1880:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/glob/201410.gif

I realise that it's horribly cold in a lot of the US at the moment, but globally the world is very warm.

Comment: Re:Too weak because humans are not the cause (Score 1) 145

by jcupitt65 (#48447601) Attached to: Prospects Rise For a 2015 UN Climate Deal, But Likely To Be Weak

Are you sure? Here's the usual solar activity / climate graph and there's no clear correlation between the Sun's activity and temperature, but a very obvious link to CO2.

The article you link shows how cosmic rays can seed cloud formation, which may well be correct, but I don't think there's any evidence of the next step, increased temperature.

Comment: Re:Lucky sods (Score 1) 334

by jcupitt65 (#48340687) Attached to: Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

That's only the figure for the national road network, ie. motorways and some A roads (but not all, I think?). Local authorities spend bucketloads of money maintaining minor roads, more than enough to wipe out the direct taxes motorists pay.

Or that was all true last time I looked into it, perhaps things have shifted since.

Comment: Re:Lucky sods (Score 1) 334

by jcupitt65 (#48340439) Attached to: Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

The UK road system is subsidised by general taxation, ie. gas tax + road tax + VED + VAT on vehicles sales < cost of UK road network.

It depends a bit what you count as the road network: just the national highway system, or highways plus major roads, do you include roads paid for by local authorities etc. etc.

Comment: Re:What difference will it make? (Score 5, Informative) 125

by jcupitt65 (#48258765) Attached to: 16-Teraflops, &pound;97m Cray To Replace IBM At UK Meteorological Office

UK weather forecasts have become much more accurate over the last few decades as the computers that do the forecasting have become more powerful. This new machine will continue that trend.

For many years we have verified our forecasts by comparing forecasts of mean sea-level pressure with subsequent model analyses of mean sea-level pressure. These comparisons are made over an area covering the North Atlantic; most of western Europe, and north-eastern parts of North America. From this long-term comparison an average forecast error can be calculated.

The graph shows how many days into a forecast period this average error is reached compared to a baseline in 1980. This graph shows that a three-day forecast today is more accurate than a one-day forecast in 1980.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/image/7/2/capIndPlot-600.jpg

Comment: Re:how pretty (Score 3, Informative) 209

by jcupitt65 (#48193269) Attached to: More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10

I'm a working scientist. I have a Mac at home for playing, but work is all Linux. OS X has a very slow filesystem, no working package manager (or rather it has at least four, none of which are much good) and only runs on relatively expensive hardware. Good luck building a compute cluster from imacs. Windows is even worse, of course.

Comment: Re:Everyone should just say "interesting" (Score 1) 295

by jcupitt65 (#48100673) Attached to: NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

NASA and its climate partners (like GISS, NCDC) have been saying that. I don't know who else is saying that, unless they're quoting those sources.

For a long time I think NASA had the only satellite that could measure ice mass accurately. ESA launched their one a couple of years ago, quite a bit fancier than the NASA one, and it's showing the same thing:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27465050

West Antarctica continues to lose ice to the ocean and this loss appears to be accelerating, according to new data from Europe's Cryosat spacecraft. The dedicated polar mission finds the region now to be dumping over 150 cubic km of ice into the sea every year. It equates to a 15% increase in West Antarctica's contribution to global sea level rise.

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