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Comment Re:Looking forwards (Score 1) 181

These gentleman's agreements are bunk, making the very idea of sports competitions a joke. These are not the best of the best, they're the best of what they feel like allowing - for now.

Maybe they need to have both. For instance, in sailing, there are several types of competition. There is One Design racing, where the boats are all required to be pretty much identical. Different boats have different restrictions (some restrict costs by doing things like limiting how many sets of sails you can buy each year, others pretty much say no limits), but within a fleet, the boats are pretty much identical. At some events, boats are even provided and/or you rotate between boats. This really means that the best sailor wins since they can't do anything to significantly alter the boat.

Then there are classes where the boats are all similar, but not identical. They are built to a specific rule, e.g. "As long as the boat fits in X dimensions and has sail area less than Y and the ballast doesn't weight more than Z". The boats tend to be fairly even, since a fast design soon takes over the competition, so the best sailors still tend to win. But it also leads to innovation. For instance, the Moth class has evolved from a boat that looks like this, to a crazy high performance design that hydrofoils above the water like this. The old moth would never be able to compete with the new designs...but that's ok. That's the price of allowing people to innovate.

There are even events that really have no rules...but generally people don't care much about them since the competition completely turns into a money pit. Generally what happens there, is a standards body assigns a handicap to level the playing field. So the super rich dudes still compete for who can have the flat-out fastest boat, but everybody else (and the people who have the fastest boat from 10 years ago) just compete for the best corrected time according to handicap.

Comment Re:Is a JPEG at 0% compression a RAW image? (Score 1) 206

I think it is more like saying, they want a print and/or a negative that was handed off to a teenager at a 24 hour photo place.

They want to stop people from screwing with photos...but their solution is basically to say "let the camera make its best guess at what you were trying to capture". So instead of spending time in the dark room trying to get the best print possible (starting from a raw file), you are handing it over to to a pimply kid to run through an automated machine (letting the camera guess at brightness/contrast/white balance/etc).

Sure, you could do some unacceptable retouching in the darkroom...but most of what you are trying to do is get the photo to come out right. Same with raw files...you don't need a raw file to Photoshop an extra explosion into the background (although it might make it a little easier to make it hard to detect)...but you do want the raw file when you are trying to correct your exposure. This is particularly important for photojournalists who are not working in studio conditions. Maybe you were shooting in a combat zone and your only non-blurry shots came out way under-exposed...having the raw file gives you the most detail and ability to correct the image back to something usable.

Comment Re:NYC taxi system could DESTROY uber (Score 4, Informative) 210

Plenty of cab companies and taxi associations have tried to create "official" taxi apps.

They are all god awful. People use uber partly because it is cheaper (is it even cheaper in NYC? I thought it cost more than a yellow cab there)...but they also use it because it is seamless, the cars are clean, and the drivers aren't smelly dudes yammering away on their phone. See the use of the more expensive "Uber Select" and "Uber Black" as proof that it is not just about undercutting the taxis.

Most NYC rides aren't dispatched anyways...they are flagged down on the street.

Comment Re:Let the Public Decide (Score 2) 439

Classic mentality of someone who thinks they understand money but really doesn't.

If I needed a new car, I could walk into a dealership and pay cash for it tomorrow. But why the hell would I do that if I could finance the purchase over several years at a rate less than 1%?

OPM. Other People's Money. Sure, in this case, I am not using it to buy a potentially appreciating asset...but why would I drop 30K today when I could drop 3k and keep the rest invested? You shouldn't use a car loan to buy a car you can't afford, but there are tons of reasons you should still take advantage of dealers and manufacturers who are desperate to sell you a car and will let you stretch out your payments over a few years for FREE. Heck, even if you don't invest it, I'd still rather keep the cash on hand. If an emergency comes up a year from now, you still have like $20k extra cash. Yeah, you might eventually need it to make the payments, but you don't need to replace it immediately. And hey, there are even banks paying just over 1% on savings accounts right now (not even CDs). You're an idiot to not take the financing at less than 1%...it at least lets you have the money just in case.

Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 259

Evanston just seems like kind of a bad example here. It's great that they are putting resources into this, but Evanston is certainly not a typical suburban enclave.

Evanston has a huge college student population. Like any other college town, most of those students don't own cars and need to be able to walk or bus everywhere.

Evanston is also integrated into Chicago's public transit system. This isn't one or two "park and ride" stations on a commuter rail line like most suburbs that have train access. This is the Chicago "L" and it covers the entire suburb from north to south. Except for the furthest corner of Evanston, you are never more than 1.5-2 miles away from a train station. So even if you live in Evanston and work in Chicago, you can totally live without a car...so in a way, the suburb us just nurturing the population that is choosing to live there.

If you took Evanston, removed the university, and dropped it out of reach of Chicago mass transit, I am not quite sure all of these things would work. You might be able to get to more of a "Park Once" downtown than those shitty suburbs that don't even build sidewalks in their commercial districts, but it would be pretty hard to make it car-free.

Comment Re:Sync to the audio (Score 1) 103

Did you guys even read the post? That is exactly how the $200 software he mentions does it.

It will sync up the crappy audio from the camera with the fancy audio from the recorder (and also can sync multiple video streams based on their audio).

His problem is that it costs $200 and doesn't run on linux. Also, probably that he has a single-camera setup and thus the features that sync video frames are not really necessary for him.

He isn't asking for some magical software that lip reads his video and syncs the audio (or even knows how to find the frame where a clapboard closes and sync it with the audio spike). He just wants something that will line up the audio. And, as others have mentioned, there may be clock-sync drift issues...would be nice if the software fixes that too.

Comment Re:Actually, they didn't learn anything new. (Score 1) 74

Ashley is a fantastic resource for learning which knots work for a task (although it has notable flaws when it comes to certain modern synthetic ropes...would love to see someone update the text), but it does not teach you how and why those knots work.

These knots have all been thoroughly tested. We know their breaking strength, we know their ease of untying, etc. But I don't think anyone knows how to predict the forces besides testing. If I designed a new knot, would anyone be able to model the attributes? What about if I designed a new kind of rope--would anyone be able to model knot performance on that rope without physical testing? This is similar to what goes on with un-sheathed dyneema--a bunch of old knots, that worked great on old ropes, are entirely useless because they slip on dyneema.

This is like saying "we already know which natural medicines work in which situations, no sense in actually studying why they work"

Comment Re:No description (Score 3, Insightful) 174

Yeah, but I've got to say that it is nice to see a bunch of comments actually talking about the compression algorithm.

The tiny bit of slashdot community that is left still talks about the actual things. If this were on Reddit, it would just be a stream of lame, overused references to the Silicon Valley show. Somebody would say "This guy fucks". Somebody else would make a joke about "Optimal tip-to-tip efficiency". Then somebody would ask "Do you know what tres commas means".

Those things were hilarious when put forth by a group of comedic actors. They are incredibly lame when they are overused every single time something even comes tangentially close to referencing them.

So while this particular story still sucks...it could be a lot worse.

Comment Re:Latency not a deal breaker (Score 1) 194

Yeah, people forget that in the web2.0 AJAX world, this has changed.

Between loading 50 billion off-site tracking/utility scripts and having a bunch of interactive page elements that don't load their content until you click/scroll/mouseover...just browsing HTTP sites can still be a huge pain with high latency.

I'm sure someone will come and argue that "well that's now how we should be building the internet and sites should be designed better"...but that doesn't help me much when I am on an airplane with shitty wifi trying to use someone else's even shittier website to answer a client's question.

Comment Re:Kickstarter forever (Score 1) 91

There does seem to be a difference though.

Some of the earliest kickstarters I kicked into fell into two buckets.

1) Something like "We want to make a second season of our video series, please kick in, we've got rewards at various tiers." This is great...I'm not really buying anything because the reward values are less than what I am paying. Also, they were generally making followup work or were established people starting a new project...so you knew what was coming.

2) Some craftsman wants to make something cool, but maybe he needs certain parts or materials which have a large order minimum. So he does a kickstarter. If at least 150 people want to buy one, he meets the minimums and starts working. If not, everybody gets their money back (like any unsuccessful kickstarter funding).

I know there is a place for the more ambitious projects. But they tend to get much further away from #2. They are no longer a leatherworker who needs a bulk discount on brass hardware to be profitable or a board game creator who has already completed their game but can't find a printer that is going to do less than 500 printings for a reasonable price. Instead they are people who maybe have a working prototype for some complicated electronic device, but they don't have a finalized design, and they definitely don't have working software to control it...they hope to pay for that with the kickstarter funds (I bought something like this...it eventually got delivered and the physical product is high quality, but the software was borderline unusable so I eventually gave up).

At that point you are asking for venture capital from strangers who have been promised an actual product--you are doing preorders without an obligation to deliver. Make your product sound really cool but set your funding goal low enough, and plenty of people will sign up.

Comment Re:Please Stop (Score 1) 155

The problem I have with following any team video game is that there can be many points of focus.

In pretty much every televised sport, the ball is the point of focus. If the ball goes to one person, the people on the other side of the field don't really matter. In CS:Go or a MOBA, you can have a lot of stuff going on simultaneously that is not easy to follow.

That goes double if you are trying to display it TV-style where it can be followed from a distance. It is one thing to watch a HOTS match fullscreen sitting in front of your computer: you can see the minimap, you can see the respawn timers, the objective timers, etc., and maybe you can look at talent pics and ability cooldowns. Compare that to when ESPN2 televised it. Losing the minimap and that meta information and having to rely on only what the "cameramen" showed you made it hard to follow as someone who has actually played the game a little bit. I imagine it was next to impossible to follow for someone with no familiarity.

If you took an american sports fan, sat them down in front of Australian rules football, and told them to root for the red team...they would be able to follow the action. Some rules wouldn't make sense, but they would know when their team made a good play or when they were getting hammered. Same would be true if you showed them many other rarely televised sport that they weren't already familiar with (lacrosse, field hockey, ultimate frisbee, etc). Hard to watch Dota, LOL, or HOTS without being an avid fan who is familiar with not only gameplay, but also the abilities and interactions of 30 different characters.

Comment Re:US (Score 2) 294

Yup...last september, in advance of foreign travel, I got a travel-oriented credit card. This thing advertises 0% foreign currency fees, travel miles, has a international collect phone # on it for any issues, etc.

The damn thing showed up with only a mag stripe and a 2017 expiration date. This is well after all Target stores switched to chip-compatible readers (after their data breach) and it is well known that the standard abroad is chip and pin.

Even so...my friend on the trip had a Chip+Signature card which was equally annoying. Sure, they can read the chip instead of the magstripe, but they still have to go and find you a pen (waiters often didn't carry them with the CC reader since nobody has to sign things anymore). And it doesn't work on vending machines for things like parking or train tickets since it doesn't have a PIN.

Make it right before you make it faster.