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The Courts

Oculus Founder Hit With Lawsuit 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-so-luckey dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Palmer Luckey, founder of VR headset-maker Oculus, has been sued by a company accusing him of taking their confidential information and passing it off as his own. Total Recall Technologies, based in Hawaii, claims it hired Luckey in 2011 to build a head-mounted display. Part of that employment involved Luckey signing a confidentiality agreement. In August, 2012, Luckey launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Oculus Rift headset, and Facebook bought his company last year for $2 billion. TRT is seeking compensatory and punitive damages (PDF).

Comment: Re:Power savings (Score 1) 98

The difficulty in replacing it is of course a factor. People could buy a CPU+memory package as an upgrade for a motherboard, though, and still use card-slot peripherals like extra network cards and such. Many motherboards even in the enthusiast space now have networking, sound, lots of USB, and lots of SATA onboard.

I'd pay a few hundred dollars for a mid-line CPU with mid-high GPU and 16 or 32 GB of ultrafast memory on a card that mounts onto the motherboard in a great big socket. Heck, that motherboard could then have DIMM slots for a few GB of slower DDR3 just as a RAM cache for the drives. Better yet for a server would be 32GB of HBM with 128GB of DDR3 or DDR4 swap space.

This all assumes HP or IBM doesn't make it to market with memristors / big racetrack memory that's much faster still. Any of that, too, though, would benefit from being more tightly coupled to the CPU.

Comment: It's not consequences. It's the lack of control. (Score 1) 233

by mr_mischief (#49752601) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

People aren't so much scared of what could happen as they are about inability to do anything about it.

Being careful around traffic makes getting hit by a big truck less likely. Diet and exercise are not panaceas but are mitigating factors for lots of medical conditions even if you're genetically or epigenetically predisposed to them. Modern medicine, although imperfect, gives us far greater control over both of those types of things even after the fact.

In a plane crash, unless you're the pilot or mechanic, there's not much you can do. In an asteroid strike, unless it's a smaller one we know is coming and can evacuate people, there's not much anyone can do. With a disease with a high infection rate, high mortality rate and no known effective treatment, such as Ebola until recently was, there's not much that can be done other than avoiding high-risk areas and quarantining people in those high-risk areas.

Regardless of the odds, people fear loss of control sometimes as much or more than the actual negative impacts. Some competitive team sports athletes have a more difficult time watching their team from the sidelines after an injury than they have emotional difficulty in their recovery.

Comment: Re:An Old Story (Score 1) 386

by mr_mischief (#49718725) Attached to: Criticizing the Rust Language, and Why C/C++ Will Never Die

What little part did you grab onto without reading the whole post? That's right, the very first sentence.

Read the whole thing. It's about balancing speed of development with other factors, including performance of the code.

Nobody's talking about blazing fast, careless typing into an IDE. The biggest cost in software development tends to be the software developer. Making the software developer more productive saves money. Most of us don't have unlimited budgets.

People who code in Python, Perl, Scheme, JavaScript, or whatever rather than assembly aren't all "sloppy" developers. They're producing code that does a lot more work per source line than Assembly does. If they produce the same number of lines, then they're more productive.


The Auto Industry May Mimic the 1980s PC Industry 284

Posted by Soulskill
from the as-long-as-my-car-gets-a-turbo-button-i'm-ok-with-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes: An article at TechCrunch looks at some interesting parallels between the current automobile industry and the PC industry of the 1980s. IBM was dominant in 1985, employing four times as many people as its nearest competitor. But as soon as Windows was released, the platform became more important for most end users than the manufacturer. Over the next decade, IBM lost its throne. In 2015, we're on the cusp of a similar change: the computerized car. Automakers, though large and well-established, haven't put much effort into building the platform on which their cars run. Meanwhile, Google's Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are constantly improving. As soon as those hit a breakthrough point where it's more important for a customer to have the platform than the manufacturer's logo on the side, the industry is likely to resemble a replay of the PC industry in the 1980s.

Comment: Re:An Old Story (Score 3, Insightful) 386

by mr_mischief (#49677077) Attached to: Criticizing the Rust Language, and Why C/C++ Will Never Die

The best reason for avoiding assembly is that it's almost never the fastest way to get the programming done, and with a good C compiler it may not be the fastest way for the program to run, either. Assembly is great for bootstrapping a compiler or OS and inside tight loops. It can be handy if your hardware has an advanced feature not yet exposed through a library for a higher-level language. Not everything needs it, though.

Even C or C++ is often not the fastest way to get a project done. Sometimes there's a pretty big runtime penalty for using something that enables faster development, though.

There are lots of cases out there of Lua, Python, or some other language being used to wrap around a small core of C or C++ with maybe the most time-critical parts in assembly. Sometimes a higher-level language is the right tool for the situation, but sometimes not.

Comment: Mississippi River drinker here (Score 4, Informative) 278

In the Midwest it's common for a city or town to draw from the nearby major rivers like the Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Des Moines, and Ohio then treat that water for the tap. Then they take the sewage, separate out the solids, treat the liquids, and release that downstream.

I'm not sure I'd bitch so much about drinking what my own city or county was purifying on both ends. In the Midwest people are drinking what's been treated for drinking by their city, town, county, or water district but which was treated as wastewater by whoever was upstream. In the spring, sometimes the sewage treatment plants upstream flood. (A few cities and towns even continue to get fines from the EPA for their stormwater and sewage drains combined, so that flash flooding brings sewage up into their own streets.)

It's worked for decades elsewhere to re-treat wastewater as drinking water. California's supposed to be the progressive leader on this sort of thing. It's time they caught up.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"