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Comment: Re:Are you in the USA? (Score 1) 219

by (#46635987) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?

Had the same thing when I was a kid. 10' dish, receiver with analog meters. The whole setup was several grand if I remember right. I remember one week where I could switch between west and east coast feeds of a couple premium channels and watch Holy Grail and Delta Force back to back continuously. I think it was HBO and Cinemax. HBOw, CINw, HBOe, CINe, goto 10.

Crazy thing there was cable on the street behind us. The neighborhood all kicked in and paid to have the line extended. When my family found out, they asked if they could buy in and have cable run along the utility poles that ran thru our property to deliver electricity to their street. Offered to pay each house part of their cost then pay the full cost of running it on our poles. The assholes voted and said "no".

When encryption caught on, the dish was pretty much ignored. After I went to college, the cable company finally wired our street at no cost to us. (Other than the monthly subscription, of course.)

Comment: It's got a chance to drop in this time (Score 4, Interesting) 202

by (#46612321) Attached to: How interested are you in Virtual Reality tech?

I've been watching the hardware since the 90s and I think it's finally got a chance this time. Back in the early days, neither displays nor computers could generate anything beyond proof of concept. The displays and headgear showed that you could strap a display to a person's head and track their movement but the pixel count was laughably low. Which did't really matter because the hardware could barely generate wire frame environments in real time. For the last 5 or 6 years, we've had the hardware to generate pretty decent environments but the display hardware was stagnant. Now we're finally getting decent quality headsets to plug into high performance hardware. We also have game engines that are pretty well tuned to serving up complete 3 dimensional environments with active "camera" tracking. The ingredients are all available. Of course, I'm looking at it from a gamer's POV.

I almost bought one of Sony's sets a while back but it was just a bit too pixelated. Now I've got the DK2 on order and I'm really hoping Facepage doesn't screw things up. I liked Oculus when they were a hungry company that had to listen to their customers to get money to continue to exist.

Comment: Re:I think this is dangerous (Score 1) 100

by (#46527557) Attached to: Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 Ready For Pre-Order Today

And I couldn't play Wolfenstein 3D because it made me queasy. I was part of a small segment of the population who was incompatible with the game. That doesn't mean the game was defective. It means my optical sensing system is defective. I don't have that problem with current games running at 60Hz on LCD vs 70Hz on CRT. (Pretty sure 320x200x8bit was 70Hz in the VGA specs.) Hoping I won't have that problem with this new headset.

I just preordered a DK2. I've been waiting for a decent, affordable VR display since the early 90s when I played with some of the most cutting edge stuff available at the time. Holy crap, it was bad, bulky, and expensive. :) The goggles were massive and weighed several pounds. For head tracking you had to sit in just the right spot under a big frame holding sensors. The environment was barely beyond wire frame because that's all that portable equipment could render at the time.

Comment: $100,000? (Score 4, Insightful) 461

It shouldn't cost that much. Many planes already have data service (run thru satellites) that they sell to passengers. Shouldn't be that hard to tap into the available instrument data and send out a blurp every 10-15 seconds. Doesn't even need fancy 2-way handshaking. Just send the encrypted packets and grab them as they arrive at the NOC. Not a big deal if the occasional blurp gets missed. But, if they never get another blurp from a plane, at least they got the data right up to the point of disaster.

The "cutting edge" is getting rather dull. -- Andy Purshottam