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Comment: Good. Piracy is wrong. (Score -1, Troll) 225

by rmdyer (#45246513) Attached to: File-Sharing Site Was Actually an Anti-Piracy Honeypot

Good, piracy is wrong... period.
There is no case in which piracy is ever right.
You... are NOT ENTITLED to products or services in which you have not paid money for.
If you are pirating data, you should be admitting to yourself that you are stealing.
If you want something so badly, pay for it, or ignore it.

Kids in grocery stores crying, yelling, in tantrums on the floor, trying to get their mothers to get them some candy is not a basis for how we should be acting as adults on the internet.

Your, "I can't have it so I'll just take it" does nothing to improve the state of prices that people pay for such items. And, the fact that people have pirated, has already created the environment for outright lies from the industry. Now, the industries get to price gouge us by saying that prices have to be as high as they are to cover for all the piracy!

You know, the very same media moguls who control the markets? You know, those one percenter's that have stolen from us, and taken all our money out of the US economy? Yes, those very same people are claiming that they now deserve all that money because why? Oh yes, that's right... poor people steal.

Well what do you know? Karma's a bitch isn't it?

Comment: Do the math. Get the degree. (Score 2) 656

by rmdyer (#43875977) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

YOU WON'T REGRET IT!

I started college out of high school as most do. I wasn't any good at 'math' either. I dropped out of college for a while. In the meantime I did a huge amount of hobby and semi-professional programming on my own. Later, after not being able to find a good job, I decided to go back to college. I decided early to actually, finally, try and 'get math'. I did it by forcing myself through math courses slowly, one at a time.

You know what? I finally got some good instructors, and with the combined knowledge I got from my personal programming, I finally 'got math'. And let me tell you, the sensation of actually knowing what was going on in math was exhilarating, amazing, and fun. It turns out that 'math', is nothing more than symbol manipulation, and rules for symbol manipulation (of course combined with various forms of logic). So 'math' actually -is- programming.

With 'math', you just sit around and memorize what the various symbols mean (nomenclature, discipline specific vernacular), what to do with them, and where they are applied. Turns out most of 'math' is algebraic in nature, so doing 'math' really well requires you understand the basic algebraic rules well. Anything else is logic specific to that dicsipline.

I would say now, that if you don't understand 'math', you really don't understand computers. You are just a trades person, and will rarely end up doing much more than vocational work.

Honestly, lacking the nature to push-through the crap envelope tells me a lot about your personality, and is why I would not hire you.

Comment: Uhh, no... (Score 0, Troll) 528

by rmdyer (#42800379) Attached to: Ask Dr. Robert Bakker About Dinosaurs and Merging Science and Religion

No, the argument is as old as human thought.

What governs the world? Magic or mechanism?

Science assumes that mechanism defines how things are the way they are, and how things change.
Religion assumes that magic defines how things are the way they are, and how things change.

The two thoughts are completely oppositional.

Magic fortunately, will not win this war, because only mechanistic thinking has the theory of information behind it. Mechanism defines that in order for anything to happen, or be changed, information is required to do it. Magic on the other hand requires no information beyond a "vague idea" about what occurs.

Consider for example a great and powerful "Oz" that can summon powerful things to happen at the drop of a wand. Perhaps a mighty "castle" simply appears at the top of a mountain, seemingly out of nothing.

Actually creating a castle requires a huge amount of materials, tools, a huge labor force, lots of time, and especially lots of thought. Using information theory we can show that it is perfectly inconcievable that anyone, including a "great wizard" could weild such power with such little thought ahead of time. Unless the wizard already has "pre-packaged" castles at his disposal, it would need to be thought out completely "on site". Doing an "on site" creation would require an assessment of exactly what kind of casle to create, and anyone who has ever had a house designed knows, we don't always know what we want, when we want it.

Extending this example a bit, with "the castle" now in existance, we walk in and find a trap door. We ask the great wizard "What is this trap door for?", and "For what reason was it made "1 meter by 1 meter?", and "Why use oak to make it with?", and "Was it nailed or glued?", and "How long did the tree live from whince it came?", and "What is that bit of gravel stuck in the middle of the timbers?", and on and on, and on the questions come.

Reason requires that we understand everything in our environment, and how it works. Magic on the other hand does not, and seems to invent information from nothing. Information from nothing is an absurd idea, as much as energy or matter from nothing is. We rightly understand that we already have matter and energy, and vast amounts of information floating around just ready to be picked up and changed.

In essence religion depends upon magic, and the religious have a kind of mental retardation that will prevent them from ever truely understanding information theory to its final inevitable outcome of thought, which is "There can be no being that could ever prevent the universe from existing. The universe must always exist, although it can change forms over time, and the first line of the judaic bible is completely and utterly false."

Comment: There are two kinds of gamers... (Score 0) 308

by rmdyer (#42088439) Attached to: Gameplay: the Missing Ingredient In Most Games

"Yes, I said it: nowadays, the CPU and GPU are too powerful, and game designers are hell-bent on 3D and other graphical gimmicks, instead of focusing on gameplay."

There are two kinds of gamers. Those who play games, and those who don't. And then there's everyone else in between. You seem to be the 'gamer' type. That's the type who is fond of figuring things out, playing puzzles, solving quests, etc. I would guess that games like Tetris appeal to you as well. While I enjoy that occasionally, but that is NOT why I like modern graphical 'games'.

When I buy a modern 3D game for my PC, I'm looking for a lushly graphical, photo-realistic, and impressively huge immersive environment in which to explore. I want the graphics and sound to be so good that I simply lose my mind in the environment as if I was there. Games like this don't come cheap, so I'm willing to save and spend my money on only the quality ones that matter. Too many 'me too' games are the fast food of the industry. There's a lot of games that just aren't worth the time and effort to play.

For me, the more time and effort a company has put into the graphics and sound, and the more effort that has gone into the character of the world the better. I simply don't play games that are 'just for gaming'. I play games that simulate another environment that I can journey to after a hard days work. Modern 3D graphics games like "Skyrim" are in many ways like reading a good book, a book that becomes your story. In those simulated worlds I can go places and do things I could never do in real life, no matter how much money I had. When is the last time you could go to Hawaii and have the whole island to yourself with ancient castles to explore?

If anything, the game Skyrim's failings were that it wasn't 'good enough' graphics for 2011. The game was dumbed down to make it fit in the console. It's great that modders for games like Crysis and Skyrim can step in and make them better, otherwise we'd be stuck in 2005 era graphics. I will say however that Skyrim, even though an ultimately boring game from the point of view of story and gameplay, pushed the envelope of what is possible.

So the 'list' in order of what I want is:

1. Insanely great photorealistic 3D graphics engine.
2. Huge immersive high quality environment to explore.
3. Story. A background mystery for me to solve.
4. Some baddies for me to take on.
5. Some skills to achieve. Note: NOT UNLOCKS. UNLOCKS SUCK.
6. Gameplay. Something like the Myst series of game play was fun.

So for me there are 'games', and then there are 'simulations'. Games are something you spend a little time on occasionally because you have nothing better to do, and you need to keep yourself occupied. Simulations are immersive 'cyber' environments that tell a story, have gaming aspects, and provide a place for me to get lost in. And they can be huge time sucks. I wouldn't mind spending over $100 USD on a photo-realistic simulation that would take over 6 months to play. Few companies care to go there however because they don't think people like me are out not out there. And they just care for the business of gaming and pushing out the me-too fast food.

Give me real-time ray-traced graphics and a world to explore as good as the intro to Final Fantasy 13...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIqbTw-lio8

Notes:

1. I think PC gamers world over recognize Crysis (the 2007 original) as the defacto standard for which all games of that era should be measured against. FarCry 2 is another. These are games in which the developers worked very hard. It was also the last generation of games that weren't dumbed down to console level. I see that CryEngine 3, and developers, are finally recognizing that we've got to move on. Being trapped in console level graphics just aren't going to get us anywhere in the future. As technology advances, we must constantly try to push the envelope of what is possible with technology. I'll put my money there.

2. Minecraft was an excellent example of what is possible on an individual level and I champion this. Indy games must also push the envelope of possible story lines and worlds that could be created. Big companies need something to measure themselves against there too.

Comment: Your topic is irrelevant... (Score 3, Interesting) 360

by rmdyer (#41131377) Attached to: Doctorow on the War on General Purpose Computing

People should at least know a couple of things. Some companies make computer hardware, and some companies make computer software. Software is something that works on computer hardware. It "can" be the case that the same companies who make the the hardware could also make the software, but this is NOT implied. In the past, we've had the pleasure that we could get our software from anyone because the PC design philosophy was "open".

The standard car analogy may suffice here. Some companies make cars. Some companies make gas. We don't buy "Ford" or "Chevrolet" gas do we? But the analogy gets deeper than this. The gas is seen as the OS in this analogy. We figure that if we put in a single type of gas, example "Ford" gas, we can still travel where we want. But the problem is that the "Ford" gas will only work on certain highways that the car maker will allow us to go down. Going forward in the computer industry, this exactly what is going on. If you use Apple computers and devices for example, you can only view the world through Apple's lens.

Comment: Google Earth from 30 miles up... (Score 0) 349

by rmdyer (#40741267) Attached to: World Population Grows Beyond 7 Billion

Anybody who does not believe the earth is too populated has not viewed the earth from 20 to 30 miles up. Given where I live in the southeastern U.S. I can see the massive devastation of forest and biomass that once existed here. In my lifetime, I have seen massive amounts of land just decimated by "developers". I can foresee that this will continue because of course, the land has no value until it is developed.

Comment: And after it's commercialized... (Score 3, Insightful) 57

by rmdyer (#38580196) Attached to: Medical Imaging With a Hacked LCD Projector

And later, after it is patented, made into a product, and commercialized, it will cost most hospitals more than $100,000.00. And when you need a scan, your bill will show an $8,000.00 medical imaging cost to the insurance company, while your out of pocket will be $2,000.00. And since it is patented, nobody will be able to raise the capital to compete for many years to come.

Comment: Re:Only once have I splurged like that (Score 1) 281

by rmdyer (#38467972) Attached to: AMD Radeon HD 7970 Launched, Fastest GPU Tested

The original Crysis game (CryEngine2), combined with mods like Real Lifesys (or other extreme tweak mods aka Photoreal), combined with HD textures, and all viewed on 1920x1200 or above res display devices (especially combined with multi-monitor setups), will make your jaws drop.

You really need pure GPU and CPU power to push this stuff over 50 FPS. Whoever tells you otherwise simply hasn't done it.
See...

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PivoSi2VvqA

        http://justsitback.deviantart.com/?title=Videogame%20Environments%20Realtime%203D&rssQuery=gallery:MadMaximus83/25304347

        http://www.facepunch.com/threads/714112-Photo-Realistic-Crysis-mod-AKA-Real-Life-sis-Orgasmic-Crysis

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPCJh8tYri0

Granted, Crysis has it's problems, but it is far and away better graphics-wise than anything console, or console ported to PC, and it's almost 5 years old now. Console ported games by comparison look a bit "cartoon'ish", even the strange changes they made in the CryEngine 3 to port Crysis to consoles (reduced res and color textures, etc). I'm one of the guys who purposely didn't buy Crysis 2 because I didn't think the graphics were any better than the original Crysis. I've also skipped Skyrim, for the graphics (poor), but also because slaying dragons (and every other creature in the woods that wants to do you in) all day does get old. Why can't Skyrim graphics look as good as this? ...

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7I6EBc4mRc
or,
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTuAw_i7ngI

I'll tell you why. It's because Skyrim was made for the CONSOLES that came out 5 years ago!

Personally I am a high-end enthusiast. I do run SLI and 1920x1200. I do have an overclocked 4.1 GHz machine. I do upgrade my graphics about every 2 to 3 years. I use my money to push the industry along. I honestly believe that if people quit buying high-end, then the state of the art in GPU/CPU will slow down dramatically and we will never reach pure photorealism as soon. Console designs will also suffer because of it. For example, the nex-gen consoles had better be coming with DX11 capable GPUs and 4+ Gig mem, or for this day in age they would fair poorly. I am the reason that this new AMD graphics card even exists.

I'm the type of person who would buy this...

        http://proavmagazine.com/projectors/high-resolution-projector-digital-projection-dvis.aspx

        http://www.digitalprojection.com/BrowseProjectors/SeriesList/ProjectorList/ProjectorDetail/tabid/87/ProjectorId/170/MarketTypeId/10/Default.aspx

... just to game on cold nights in the winter, so I can hang out on a Crysis style beach projected on my living room wall.

Sure, arguments can be made that the "game" is more important than the graphics. That is not entirely true, but it is why I still love a game of the now 11 year old Quake 3 Arena multi-player on occasion. But what I have been craving all my life is pure immersion. I'm an adult, and as such I'm looking not so much for a game, but more of a way to escape reality and go places that you cannot be in real life. I want massive exploration in a game, and I want that new environment to be as immersive as possible. Both with sound and graphics. And I'm willing to pay a company over $200 USD for the type of "simulation/game" environment that takes me away for 3 to 4 months playtime. It's a lot like reading a really good book. I am NOT looking for the McDonalds fast-food gaming experience where I'm bored to tears of the game after two weeks. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I'm looking for a game that would last almost 6 months or more of a world to explore. And I know that development wouldn't come cheap. So if I'm spending $500 on a graphics card, why not $250+ for a totally over the top ultra game?

Btw, FarCry 2 was an awesome game, with good graphics, with a very large environment to explore. I just loved how I didn't know what to expect around every mountain turn, or over a hill. I'm looking for a game world like that, and about 10 times bigger! I'd also like more realistic cloud, rain, weather, and sound environmentals.

I would say that anyone sitting at home, in their underwear, on the couch, on a console with a little stick controller, or jumping around the room with a kinect doesn't really care much about anything in-depth, and it isn't those people who are pushing the industry along. Those people are just pushing "fast-food" gaming, and everything is dumb'ed down because of them. They are the lowest common denominator, and just drag everything down with them. Yes those people have money, and I may be in the minority, BUT I HAVE MONEY TOO!

To the gaming industry: Get me a photorealistic ray-traced like environment, in 60+fps that's immersive as hell, and supports 2560x1600 graphics on multi-monitors and I WILL PAY YOU FOR IT. I make money. I have money. I will spend it. I'm not a child or teenager with ADHD and a little console at home. I'm looking for something like a FPS shooter / Myst series / FarCry / Final Fantasy massively huge immersive open-world game with absolutely stunningly beautiful graphics.

Note: I don't know any console gamers who have not questioned why the game play world looks so much poorer than the visual cut scenes in Final Fantasy. We want to play in the world of the visual cut scenes, NOT THE CONSOLE graphics...
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUyAPNzRa2E

PC game industry, Microsoft, hear me... let me play IN these worlds! Don't let console users crush our future. Occupy high-end gaming!

Comment: PADS are WAY OVERPRICED... (Score 1) 181

by rmdyer (#37210408) Attached to: Is the Quick Death of Failed Tech Products a Good Thing?

iSupply is wacked. The price would be less than $100.00 based on components in lots of 1000.
The prices listed in the BOM look like off-the-shelf component costs.

For example, here's the TOTAL comsumer cost for a new 27' TV...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001431&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Monitors+-+LCD+Flat+Panel-_-SAMSUNG-_-24001431

There is no way a tablet is going to be priced MORE than the above monitor.

Or how about this TOTAL consumer part...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130593

The cost of the high-end engineering that goes into the above graphics card is much more than most tablets these days. Even more considering the market for which these graphics cards are supposed to sell.

There is a reason that APPLE is making a killing on the iPads these days. Consumers wallets are getting taken to the cleaners.

Comment: I beg to differ... (Score 0) 78

by rmdyer (#36487608) Attached to: New Imaging Technique Helps Explain Unconsciousness

I beg to differ greatly with your assumption that "we don't have clue one about how to explain consciousness".

In fact we do know a few things...

You are never "conscious" all the time.
Every millisecond or so people are unconscious.
When you sleep you are also unconscious.
There can be many health related problems that would lead you to being unconscious.

Conscious machine properties:

      Has minimums related to spacial volume, and computational capacity for human level "consciousness".
      Has sensory input.
      Processes sensory input.
      Must have a set time-slice unit for processing new information (you will be unconscious during processing).
      Reduces and stores important processed sensory information (must have memory).
      Compares current sensory input with previous sensory input (negative and positive feedback).
      Can generate associative differential information based on the comparison of current to previous information (and stores that for future feedback).
      Can make decisions based on meta level associative differential information.
      Can interact with its surroundings based on decisions.
      Can process events over time, therefore reasoning that events occur over time.
      Requires a semi-stable, but not quiescent, environment from which to operate in.
      (Both environmental deprivation, and complete randomness for input would lead to a non-functioning machine.)
      Probably requires extended downtime to further process daily high level associative differential (and hash) information for higher level reasoning. (Sleep)
      Requires information loss. Must necessarily "forget" non-important (useless) information. It is impossible to store every sensory event.
      Time slice processing can increase or decrease rate based on emergency life protection need.
      (If your life is in danger, adrenaline will increase the rate of processing, and events will seem to "slow down".)
      (Consequently when you age, your sensory processing rate naturally slows, so events in your life seem to "go by faster".)

So the machine must have memory for consciousness, otherwise it is just pure sensory "awareness" without knowledge of itself within and apart from the world.

You are a biochemical machine. All humans are biochemical machines which are "self aware" because of the above properties.

Based on the above properties, it should be possible to build an analog amplifier (op amp) that is trainable to obtain the voltage outputs we desire based on the discrete voltage level inputs. This amplifier would not necessarily be "conscious" but would be the core of something that one day could become "self-aware", and then to "consciousness".

Some philosophical wanderings...

Suppose you awoke the next morning in someone elses body with someone elses memory. Would you then not be "that" person?

The ultimate question is, what makes "you", you?

If you could make a complete copy of yourself using say, a Star Trek like transporter, then what would be the difference between you, and the other "you"? Only one thing... location, which is a position in space-time from which to have and generate separate associative differential information.

It is impossible to have two conscious beings occupy the same space-time location.

Is the "self aware" you that is "you" the same "self aware" me that is "me"? Coo coo ca choo.

%whoami

Comment: How about trying paid service? (Score 2, Informative) 363

by rmdyer (#36057312) Attached to: Google/Facebook: Do-Not-Track Threatens CA Economy

Does it not occur to some internet companies that I may actually be alright with um, oh I don't know, PAYING THEM for the services they offer, instead of being tracked and advertised to? Or are they too afraid of making money the traditional tried and true way of customers paying for their "apparently" superior offerings.
I mean if the only way a company can make money is by tracking and advertising to people then what business does a company like that have being on the stock market? Apparently they've just admitted in this "protest letter" that they really have no products or services that are worth being "sold".

Comment: Forest meet trees... (Score 1) 235

by rmdyer (#35949066) Attached to: Chernobyl 25th Anniversary

Fallout from a meteor strike, and fallout from an entire reactor core after being vaporized are two completely different things.
Yes, while a Tunguska sized event would be catastrophic for New York, or Washington, it's effects are mainly localized except for some atmospheric dust. This is the exact example of what happened at Tunguska. Now imagine if all four Fukushima reactors were at ground zero of the Tunguska strike. All those radioactive isotopes could have been vaporized into the atmosphere. Possibly making a much larger area uninhabitable for thousands of years. Tunguska has already recovered, in well under a hundred, and with no lasting radiation.
If that Tunguska event had hit Chernobyl in 1986 instead of the simple explosion that happened, we may very well be seeing things much differently today.
Also remember, Plutonium is not natural.

Comment: Lesser risk? Really? (Score 3, Interesting) 235

by rmdyer (#35945672) Attached to: Chernobyl 25th Anniversary

I have to say I'm very much on the fence on this one. In my youth I was definitely against nuclear power, then later I was a strong supporter. Now I'm back to being not sure.
There's a big problem if, for example, you had perfected the containment process, then out of the blue, a Tunguska sized event (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event) happened nearby (or on top of) your nuclear sites.
The fallout from that would be impressive.
A Tunguska sized event is a "lesser risk" that we all live with every day, yet it did happen, and very probably will happen again within a few generations.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI

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