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Comment Re:Not sure I understand.... (Score 1) 168 168

If you argue that something is useless or inferior to an alternative, then you need to prove that it is that for everybody, not just for some people.

No I don't. I don't have to prove anything in this discussion, because I'm posting on an Internet message board and voicing my opinion. When I'm trying to get published in scientific journals, or if I'm on trial for something, those are the times I need to prove something.

And in this case, I'm not even arguing that nobody should buy an XBox. I don't care what people do, and if the XBox is, for whatever reason, more convenient, by all means go buy one. I don't care very much what some random asshole on the Internet buys. You could go buy yourself an XBox for every room of the house, and hey, it's your money, you can do that. I'm still aloud to post on the Internet that it seems excessive and stupid.

As far as whether streaming PC games to your XBox is a good idea, my guess is that the experience won't be great for twitch games, but if it's a good enough experience for you, then again, by all means, have at it. I'm not going to be an asshole and claim that you have to prove that's the best choice for everybody.

At the same time, if what you really want is a method to stream your Steam games to your TV over your home network through a set-top box, I would guess that there are cheaper solutions than the XBox. You don't even need something with much 3D rendering performance to stream video.

Comment Re:Not sure I understand.... (Score 1) 168 168

Let me do the same: No, it wouldn't.

Yes, it would. Gee, this is fun. Now your turn.

There are plenty of massively powered existing PCs not hooked up to the living room TV

And there are plenty that are. And there are plenty of people who don't hook it up to the TV because they don't want to. And there are plenty of people who buy more than one computer, understanding that it's "redundant hardware", because that's what they want to do. In fact, that's what you're doing if you buy an XBox when you already have a good gaming PC anyway.

And why are you getting butthurt because I don't want to buy an XBox?

suppose you have some awesome ... gaming PC, do not want to put it in the living room, want to use [it] ... in to your living room. How do you propose solving this conundrum in the easiest and cheapest manner?

Well the easiest and cheapest option is to quit being such a particular whiny bitch, and either play games in the game room or move your gaming rig to the living room. That's easy and cheap. It doesn't give you every little thing your heart desires, but it sure keeps things simple. All of the other solutions are going to have some trade-off between "cheap and easy" and "works well".

Comment Re:Not sure I understand.... (Score 1) 168 168

Buying an XBox would still be redundant hardware, for the most part (excluding exclusive games). Also, at least for me, my office computer and my gaming PC aren't really redundant. For my office/productivity use, I'm content with an older computer with an integrated graphics chipset. It's not a gaming PC, but it's fast enough to open web pages.

Comment Not sure I understand.... (Score 4, Insightful) 168 168

I'm not sure I understand why this would make steam machines useless. The main value of a steam machine, as I see it, is that it allows you to have the convenience of a console in what is essentially a generic gaming PC. That is, it has a controller and a GUI aimed at connecting it to a TV and not using a keyboard or mouse, but it's not a locked-down console. It's just generic hardware that will play all of your PC games, and those games don't become obsolete and unplayable when you upgrade to the next generation.

The article says:

if you can use your Xbox One to play your PC on your TV, then your Xbox One can use Steam and effectively become a Steam Machine.

So what they're saying is, if you have a PC running Steam (which is really all a "Steam Machine" is) and an XBox One, then it's kind of the same as having a Steam Machine. Yes, it is... because you're starting with the scenario where you have a Steam machine. It's like saying, "There's no reason to buy a car, since if I already own a car and I buy a bicycle, it's like owning a car!"

Look, you shouldn't assume that I want an XBox. I can get a PC with better graphics and avoid being locked into Microsoft's ecosystem. I can install game mods, my games don't all go unnecessarily obsolete with every new generation of PC, Steam often has very good sales, Steam doesn't make me pay a monthly subscription for online services, and I can use that PC for other things if I like. To me, the only thing that would want me to buy a console at this point is if there were an exclusive game that I really wanted to play, and I've found that I can live without it. I don't want an XBox, so it doesn't make sense to me to say, "If you buy a Steam machine and an XBox, then it's like having a Steam machine!" I'll just buy a Steam machine, thank you, even if it's not a branded "Steam Machine".

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 1) 502 502

They seem to think it is doing "something". Exactly what, may be in question. 8-)

From what I read back when the last time this was a story, a few people were saying, "It seems to be generating thrust, but on the other hand, the amount of thrust we're measuring is basically within the margin of error, so... we need to keep testing this."

Comment Re:Not the best summary... (Score 1) 195 195

That is included in the phrase of "those who cannot get vaccinated".

So in your head, some people who got vaccinated should be included in the classification "those who cannot get vaccinated. Well that says a lot about the strength of your argument.

Measles vaccination is a non-issue and non-risk. Using it to advance the principle that government can force people to inject stuff against their objections by exaggerating and fabricating numbers like "killing 3 million people" as if they had anything to do with measles is outrageously dishonest and deceptive.

I didn't claim that measles would kill 3 million people. I was using simple math to point out that "a small percentage of the population" might still include a whole lot of people.

Comment Re:No Compromises (Score 1) 150 150

To be fair, it's not clear what you consider a "compromise", or even what features are desirable.

For example, I want a very thin, lightweight, but sturdy phone, and any additional hardware you pack in there runs the risk of adding weight, and any port or removable piece is a potential weakness in the structural integrity. If you give me a SD card port, I won't use it. If you let me remove the battery, I'll pretty much never do that unless the battery actually fails within 2 years. Front speakers? For what?

Now I'm not trying to argue here that these aren't good features or that you shouldn't want them. I'm just pointing out that when they say, "no compromises", it's inherently a claim without a specific meaning, and one man's "compromise" is another man's "that's exactly what I want".

Comment Re:Not the best summary... (Score 1) 195 195

The only group that is really helped by other people's vaccinations is a small percentage of the population that cannot get vaccinated.

Not true. It's true that there are some people who cannot be vaccinated, and those people are helped by other people being vaccinated. Aside from those people, vaccines are not 100% effective. Some portion of the people who are vaccinated may still get sick if exposed to the virus, and those people are also protected by other people getting vaccinated.

In both of these cases, you can say, "it's a small percentage of the population." Small percentages of the population, however, can still represent a lot of people. If something kills 1% of the US population, that's still about 3 million people.

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 4, Insightful) 502 502

It's worth noting that there's a big difference between those theories and this engine. With this engine, they're putting forward a piece of technology and saying, "We don't know how this works, but we're claiming it does." In the case of Newton and Einstein, they put forward a mathematical model that was internally consistent, and the question was whether it applied to reality.

So in one case, they're putting forward a technology without a real explanation as to how it works, and in the other case, they're putting forward a coherent theory that seems to explain phenomena that we have witnessed. Also, both Newton and Einstein's theories had the benefit of providing a clean explanation to phenomena that we were having a lot of trouble explaining.

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 1) 502 502

I never got why so many people are so sceptical of this one.

I think some of the skepticism is not as to whether this might be an engine that produces some small amount of thrust. I mean, a little skepticism is a healthy response for any new scientific discovery, and it's not inappropriate to ask for proof. Since the thrust we're talking about is so small, the margin of error is large, and proving that it really works takes a bit of doing. I don't assume that it works, but I also don't really disbelieve it if NASA scientists say it does.

However, when this was reported, it was reported in many places as "OMG! NASA has created a warp drive. We can go faster than light now!" I'm skeptical about those claims.

Comment It's a larger problem (Score 3, Insightful) 46 46

I think that this is really part of a larger problem that eventually ties back to identity management and account management. That may sound like a strange thing to leap to, but hear me out.

One of the problems I've noticed for years is that it's not easy to keep track of all my accounts. Every time I sign up for a new account or trial, I have to create a new account, create a username, create a password, associate it with an email account, choose security questions, bla bla bla. Dual-factor authentication is supposed to help with some of the security problems associated with all this nonsense, but it also adds another complication to the whole thing. Once all that's done, I need to keep track of all that information that I used to sign up.

It's not so bad for individual accounts, but after a few decades of trying things out, abandoning accounts, signing up for trials that I end up not using, and all kinds of things, I really don't know what accounts I have available on which services, what the usernames are, or which email address they're associated with. When I answered security questions, I don't necessarily know what I answered with-- it asked for my favorite author, but was that my favorite author from 2 years ago or 10 years ago? Did I tell the truth when I answered it, or did I answer with a sarcastic joke answer? I honestly don't know for some accounts. I don't even know, for example, if I still have a MySpace account from roughly a decade ago, that I created, signed into a couple of times, and forgot about.

You're thinking this is completely off-topic, but here's the thing: as you have an "Internet of things", there's a good chance that each of those items are going to have their own account on their own service. You have some program to control your lights at home? That program will need an account. Someone invents a smart-vacuum, and it's internet connected? That'll have it's own account. These days, companies don't want to collaborate and develop standard APIs, common platforms, open protocols, or whatever else. Every company developing an app or a website wants to do it's own thing it's own way, while locking out the competition from interoperability. So now, every new Internet-connected thing is going to add complexity to your online life.

Asking to provide privacy controls to consumers is putting the cart before the horse. Even if you want to provide those controls, you're going to have different controls in different places in different UIs, all across different services with different accounts. Users won't be able to effectively manage those controls even if you provide them. What needs to happen first is that we need to develop some kind of identity management and SSO that begins to shrink the task of managing these various accounts. Once you have something like that, you could create APIs for managing those accounts, opening and shutting down accounts, viewing which private information is available in each account, and restricting/removing the private information as needed.

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks

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