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Comment: Re: Try and try again. (Score 4, Interesting) 208

by vux984 (#49183649) Attached to: Microsoft Convinced That Windows 10 Will Be Its Smartphone Breakthrough

The iPhone when it came out was far less useful than any of the windows phones, but it took off because it cost more, and did less, while being pretty.

Nope. Multitouch was simply worlds better than stylus + soft or slide out keyboard.

"Visual voicemail" or whatever it was called kicked the ass out of dial-in voicemail which was still the default on windows mobile devices.

And the whole UI being designed for touch instead of stylus made it a LOT easier to use.

Yes, you definitely gave up lots of functionality in terms of the iphone not having stylus, and only being able to interact with it with your fingers; editing a spreadsheet on an iphone 3G was terrible compared to Windows Mobile 5/6... but making a call or appointment or sending a text message was orders of magnitude better.

Comment: Re:I Read All of Heinlein's Stuff (Score 2) 201

by vux984 (#49182823) Attached to: 'The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress' Coming To the Big Screen

Not really.

Yes, its important to consider the context classical works were written from. The Flintstones for example or Huck Finn... etc. The various racial and gender issues in them can and should be attributed to values from 1880 or 1960 respectively.

We should of course, bear in mind that Heinlein is writing from the 40s through the 80s and need to keep that in focus, but they are not the background canvas that his works rest on he... he brings the social conventions to the forefront propses that we look at them his way, and in doing so demands that we consider them on their own merits. Whether its that we re-consider the family unit as a business-corporate entity; or to challenge us on incest and pedophilia; or his postulation that libertarian economic policy is ideal.

These are not the context; these are his theses. They demand critique.

Comment: Re:you care more for your own kind, its science! (Score 1) 200

by vux984 (#49182477) Attached to: Racial Discrimination Affects Virtual Reality Characters Too

Uh... they're *fun*?

Of course, but why are they *fun*? Do you really think it says nothing about you?

They certainly aren't universally viewed as fun; I know many people who would never choose to play one. And of those that do choose to play them their are a variety of motivations and reasons... I outlined some earlier; but there are lot more.

That you read anything else into a game says something about you, wouldn't you think?

That I even play games says something about me. Which games I choose, and how I choose to play them All reveal a great deal about me. Do I play them on easy or on hard? Do I care about "achievements" ? Do I care if others can see those achievements? Do I use cheats? Do I tend to play Iron man or do I save and reload often? Do I prefer strategy or tactics or reaction? How important are graphics? Do I prefer solo or competitive multiplayer or cooperative? Do I pirate games? Or buy them? Do I wait for sales or buy on realease day? Which games do I buy on release day? Do I choose avatars that are projections of me? (Mayor Sheldon Cooper of Sheldonopolis? Or are they whimsical? Or are they crude... Mayor Farts of Pooplandia? Do I only choose handsome male avatars? Or will I play a female or troll ... or troll female? Does it affect how I behave? Do you finish every quest you start? Do only do quests that give you measurable upgrades? Do you read the quest text? Do you care about the story at all? Do you bother with appearance items at all? Or are you look like a patchwork of mismatched armors? Do you want it to look impressive or fearsome or do you set out to make it look like a joke? Do you get into your character or is it just a puppet you steer around?

To suggest that how you play a game says nothing deep or penetrating about you is to be utterly naive. Sure playing a Rogue doesn't imply you are a criminal. But there's a wealth of information about you from how you play.

Comment: Re:I Read All of Heinlein's Stuff (Score 1) 201

by vux984 (#49182035) Attached to: 'The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress' Coming To the Big Screen

Yeah, I second the poster who suggests rereading them again now... except honestly most just weren't THAT good.

nobody is going to confuse Heinlein with Ayn Rand when it comes to message versus storytelling.

Actually I disagree, several of his works had lengthy tangents of just Heinlein channeling message that really didn't connect to the story. Friday for one, Farnham's Freehold for another, Number of the Beast, I will fear no evil, all stand out as examples for me. Probably others... to sail beyond the sunset...etc.

I think Stranger in a Strange Land ... well the commentary on society in that one was integral to the story.

A lot of his work was good, and even his weaker stuff is still worth a read -- some neat stuff explored; but your definitely looking through a window into Heinlein's political, economic, and sexual ideology and it becomes apparent to the point of being an annoying distraction.

Comment: Re:you care more for your own kind, its science! (Score 3, Interesting) 200

by vux984 (#49181761) Attached to: Racial Discrimination Affects Virtual Reality Characters Too

Not saving an avatar doesn't show that you're biased against them, because they don't exist.

Discriminating between saving black vs white avatars does indicate some sort of bias. Deal with it.

Am I racist because I like green coloured avatars,

Adding green colored avatars would be an interesting experiment; would they similarly be discriminated against on average? Or would their introduction break the "real world to virtual world" parallel in the average mind and lead to any real-world biases not being applied; leading to no discernible bias... or perhaps you need to eliminate black and white as options and only have green, orange, and purple avatars... and then that might be interesting too. Would their be a bias... would people bias towards helping other avatars with the same color as their own avatar... would orange be universally favored regardless of the color of self? Would players own real life colorings affect the displayed bias or lack thereof. I couldn't say.

But if there is a definite bias displayed, then there is a definite bias. Racism is one possible and reasonable explanation that can't be discounted out of hand.

Although depending on the textures and lighting... maybe it was simply because the white ones were easier to see...?

or a criminal because I have a penchant for rogue classes?

A criminal? no. but it does say something about you; if you examine the reasons why you have a penchant for rogue classes; I'm sure you'll find something out about yourself reflected in that.

and I don't go around pickpocketing IRL either.

I find it interesting you mention pickpocketing at all. My interest in rogue classes tends to focus on their stealth and back stab attacks -- I have a friend who plays rogues and his interest is always in their fast-talk / deception skills. But you... you mentioned pickpocketing... interesting. ;)

Comment: Re:As the majority pointed out (Score 3, Informative) 128

by vux984 (#49173333) Attached to: Supreme Court Gives Tacit Approval To Warrantless DNA Collection

Anything you leave behind at a crime scene is fair game.

What about stuff you leave behind NOT at a crime scene?

So they got some DNA at a crime scene, but don't know whose it is. They think it might be you, but the judge denies them a warrant based on lack of evidence... so they follow you around until they see you throw away a cup, or a piece of gum, or sneeze and toss the tissue away in a public place. Then they amble up and help themselves.

The couldn't get a warrant for your DNA, but because its impossible to live a normal and free life without shedding DNA they just had to wait a while until you left some behind.

Whether or not that is "ok" is something that deserves national discussion.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 231

by vux984 (#49167877) Attached to: Samsung Officially Unpacks Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge At MWC

well the issue i am having now is that i have to pull the battery to do a real reset. how will the GS6 deal with that? when the soft button combo wont do a reset, pull the battery!

I've never run into an iPhone where I couldn't do the hard reset with the soft buttons. I'm sure its probably happened to somebody out there, and if they'd been able to pull the battery that would have been another option for them.

I also can't remember the last time I had to physically take the battery out of a laptop or pull the plug on a desktop computer either because the power off button combo wasn't being responded too.

You are making a mountain out of a molehill.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 231

by vux984 (#49166829) Attached to: Samsung Officially Unpacks Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge At MWC

Speak for yourself. I now have to use an external battery pack instead of just being able to carry around a relatively small battery.

That is where the market has gone even for phones with replaceable batteries. Nobody is carrying around an actual spare battery anymore.

I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, but I can't get a full day's use out of a smartphone.

I couldn't quite get a full day out of a galaxy s3 no matter what I did.

I can now get just barely 2 days out of an s5 if i forget to charge it. I don't use it continually, and I don't use it for music or games; or "social crap".

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 231

by vux984 (#49162491) Attached to: Samsung Officially Unpacks Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge At MWC

5 years ago that was true. Im still using my GS3 which works fine to this day. it gets a little hot, but after replacing the battery i could see me getting a good 2 more years out of it (longer if i wasnt using a bunch of apps)

You can replace the battery on most "sealed phones" too. Its just more of a process; and depending on your comfort level you might prefer to take it to a shop to do it for $20+price-of-battery for you. But you can still do that. And you only need to do it once, after 3-4 years.

Who cares if its super easy to replace the battery if its something you only do once after 3-4 years? As long as the 'non-replaceable battery' is shop replaceable that's good enough for me.

If its not shop replaceable, then I don't want it. But i know zillions of people with old iphones who have had the battery replaced.

The fact that they can't carry a spare and change it between calls? So what? Nobody does that? I don't even know I'd charge an extra samsung s5 battery if i owned one.

As long as I can get the battery replaced 2-5 years down the road for a nominal price; that's fine. So my concern isn't whether the S6 has a user replaceable battery or not... its whether the little shop down the road will be able to get one 4 years from now. Because he has no trouble getting iphone batteries for an iphone 3GS ... but my friends 3 year old Sony feature phone ?? Good luck... and that phone actually has a user replaceable battery!

Comment: Re:Number of optiosn (Score 1) 464

by vux984 (#49144431) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

Do I think the $10 unbranded one is cheap garbage with poor quality control? Yes.
Could somebody slap a fancy sticker on it, and try and sell it for $25. Yes. So what? Would you like a cookie or something?

Check the reviews... poor construction, falls apart, dead after minutes of use, power supply fails, fries drives, connections aren't snug...and even the "brand name ones" aren't exactly good. I'd expect to 10% disatisfied customers on a site like newegg. I'm seeing LOTs of products with HUNDREDS of reviews with 25%+ rating it 1 or 2 eggs. That's ABYSMAL.

These things are cheap junk. If someone actually makes a GOOD one and stands behind it, I'd love to hear about it. Because I'd love to have a good one on my test bench that will reliably work with any drive I plug into it.

As it is I plug them into the motherboard IDE socket on a test PC; and I have a laptop IDE adapter for it. That at least always works reliably if the hard drive isn't toast. Unlike these usb devices.

For the article poster, especially if all he's got are laptops to work with, then get an IDE kit and cross your fingers, be prepared to exchange it, but it should get the job done. Just don't expect it work if you need it again a year from now.

Comment: Number of optiosn (Score 1) 464

by vux984 (#49143345) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

with 160 Mb drive that I would want to copy in full to a newer machine.

Pull the hard drive, and attach it to the new computer via a USB kit.

Something like:

I'm not endorsing that kit in particular. I've had mixed experience with the quality of these kits... you get what you pay for. But it'll get the job done.

Comment: Re:meh (Score 2) 148

by vux984 (#49143285) Attached to: Artificial Intelligence Bests Humans At Classic Arcade Games

That echos my point, somewhat. It is pretty easy to design an AI for a lot of video games that can beat a human (without cheating).

Yes, albeit, for a slightly strained definition of "without cheating" :)

Whether you use the moniker "constraints" or call it "dumbing down",

I think the distinction is important. Dumbing it down would be deliberately sabotaging its ability to make good decisions. The constraints certainly have the same effect, but we aren't sabotaging the decision making itself, but merely restricting the information it actually has to work with access to human levels.

No perfect clock. No perfect positioning. etc.

It is odd that the hard part about making a game AI would be making an AI that isn't too competetive, but that's where we are.

Not really. It's just that we've devised a game that's difficult and interesting for humans, but is very easy and trivial for the bot; especially given that by default it has world state information we just don't have. (It knows what time it is, what its x/y/z is.

It can:

advance 4 units at 1 unit per second,
turn 28.5 degrees at 5 degrees per second
retreat 12 units at 11 units per second
turn 19 degrees a 11.4 degrees per second
advance 72 units at 15 units per second
can be arbitrarily long, is trivial for the bot to execute, doesn't require any sensory input/feedback, and can be replayed backwards.

I can't do that. No human can. We aren't that precise. We maintain position and navigate only approximately with constant correction from sensory input. And if I'm playing a game where perfect navigation is demonstrably a very valuable skill then I can't compete with a bot that is allowed to do that. (And my performance against bots drops considerably on open or lava catwalk Quake 3 maps vs closed tunnels maps due to their inhuman ability to navigate exactly where they wish to go whether they are looking where they are going or not...)

That's not "advanced AI"; that's "giving it rudimentary AI paired with superhuman ability". That's not much fun.

But here's the philosophical question: does the motivation behind someone's actions really matter, or is what they actually do the only thing that actually counts?

No it doesn't matter if they do the same thing. But they don't do the same thing. The current process of tweaking the AI's super human abilities and tossing a wrench into their decision making so its not always the optimal choice etc to make them appear more human like vs actually being human-like in response to human constraints does not result in them doing the same thing.

Instead of being truly human like. They end up acting like superhumans with narcolepsy... brilliantly efficient but occasionally they just fall asleep; and worse they usually can be relied upon to fall asleep at the wheel in a given set of circumstances that can be manufactured by the opponent (aka exploited)

For example, in RTS with harvestors a human player might trap a bunch of the AI's harvestors -- a human opponent would not be fooled once he saw what happened, and he'd build more, and suicide/free/destroy the trapped units. But the AI? The average AI will just starve, because it hasn't been programmed to recognize that scenario or how to respond when it happens. It has enough harvestors, so it won't build more... it has sent them orders to harvest...and they aren't under attack... so mission accomplished. Resources will arrive soon.... any minute now... still waiting... oh my base is under attack... hope those resources show up soon... man where are my resources... shit I lost.

All manner of path finding exploits are common in RTS games. Getting his units to stumble over themselves and get in their own way. Funnelling them into kill zones. Etc.

Oh, so there you are!