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Comment: Umm, yeah? (Score 1) 103 103

Surely there would already be a long list of people who have died while watching TV, playing videogames, or putzing around on the phone while sitting on the couch; at least if such incidents weren't(while individually tragic), so boring that nobody has bothered to compile a list?

This is not to say that highly immersive simulations are riskless; I'd personally want to be either sitting down, or in a decent sized room with no sharp-edge furniture and ideally a cushy carpet if I were going to play some VR horror sim that is likely to cause me to jump wildly and potentially fall over; but that's basically the same precaution I would apply to playing some Wii kiddie game that involves flailing around wildly so the accelerometers pick up my input.

Given that you are, effectively, blindfolded; and being fed spurious(relative to the room you are actually in) visual stimuli; VR gaming is going to require more caution than flat screen gaming, especially if standing up and moving around are involved; but "VR: It's So Scary You'll Die in Real Life!!!" doesn't seem like a major issue.

Comment: Re:I'm all for recreational drone use but... (Score 1) 55 55

I can't comment on operator demographics; but it's worth noting that even the fairly small drones(if the propellors are unshrouded or improperly shrouded) can fuck you up surprisingly well.

I imagine that one or two of us here may have had the misfortune of accidentally sticking a finger into an active case/CPU fan at some point. The zestier 80mm, and most of the 120s, will draw blood and possibly take a nail off without much trouble(though they might throw a blade doing so, and then tear their bearings apart, which can be fun to watch). Observe that those sorts of fans are too feeble to lift off. The same is not true of drone propellors. They can, and will, give you a pretty decent slashing.

Barring substantial bad luck, it'll mostly be surface soft tissue damage, lots of blood and maybe a little scarring but no serious long-term effects; but still not what you want to have happen.

Comment: Re:Umm, who are these guys? (Score 1) 79 79

I don't know if there are other sources or not. The concept of non-crystalline metal alloys is not itself patented; but the problem with them has historically been that they can only be fabricated by cooling the metal at truly heroic rates(achievable with hair-thin samples that are just large enough to poke at in the lab; but anything of actually useful size would partially or wholly crystalize during cooling). The 'Liquid Metal' guys originate from some Caltech research that identified alloys that remain amorphous during processing that is actually practical for parts of moderate size.

They certainly hold all the patents that they can surrounding that; but if somebody else has a sufficiently distinct alloy that also doesn't crystalize during cooling, they just need to avoid stepping on any trademarks.

Comment: Umm, who are these guys? (Score 1) 79 79

This product doesn't appear to be outside of the realm of the possible; bulk metallic glasses are a real thing (and apparently not excessively expensive for consumer electronics, a number of Sandisk's adequate-but-cheap-and-wholly-unexciting MP3 players used them as chassis materials); and the rest of the specs are on the high side; but available.

However, there appears to be almost nothing about this 'Turing Robotic Industries' except a couple of sites with the same 3d renders and vague puffery. Is 'cryptic' just what all the cool kids are doing these days, or is this the ever delightful scent of vaporware?

Comment: Re:Terrifying. (Score 1) 60 60

This is the most terrifying and ridiculous thing I've seen in my entire life.

No, the most terrifying and ridiculous thing would be if it was rewritten in JavaScript which outputted Java source that piped C# source that then, when compiled and executed, outputted as an x86 ASM program that produced a PHP script.

Comment: Re:What baffles me is.... (Score 2) 87 87

If this scum has a history of making false claims then why are they still allowed to make claims at all? Better yet, why haven't they been banned from Youtube altogether?

Alice posts a video using music that Bob owns the copyright to. Carol posts a video that uses music Bob falsely claims to also hold the copyright for. Unfortunately Bob's false claim against Carol doesn't change the fact that he actually does have a legitimate legal claim against Alice's video. So kicking him off the system means he's going to issue a takedown against Alice. The whole point of bringing him into the system was to give him an incentive to leave Alice alone.

The problem here isn't Bob and Alice -- that part of the scenario is working fine. The problem is Bob and Carol. There's no incentive for Bob not to make false claims against Carol. That's the bit that has to be fixed.

Comment: Re:Fee Fees Hurt? (Score 4, Insightful) 251 251

Well, it may interest you to know that courts judging "emotional distress" is not some new Internet fad. In the year 1348 an innkeeper brought suit against a man who had been banging on his tavern door demanding wine. When the innkeeper stuck his head out the doorway to tell the man to stop, the man buried the hatchet he was carrying into the door by the innkeeper's head. The defendant argued that since there was no physical harm inflicted no assault had taken place, but the judged ruled against him [ de S et Ux. v. W de S (1348)]. Ever since then non-physical, non-financial harm has been considered both an essential element of a number of of crimes, a potential aggravating factor in others, and an element weighed in establishing civil damages.

This does *not*, however, mean that hurt feelings in themselves constitute a crime. It's a difficult and sometimes ambiguous area of the law, but the law doesn't have the luxury of addressing easy and clear-cut cases only.

As to why a new law is need now, when the infliction of emotional distress has been something the law has been working on for 667 years, I'd say that the power of technology to uncouple interactions from space and time has to be addressed. Hundreds of years ago if someone was obnoxious to you at your favorite coffeehouse, you could go at a different time or choose a different coffeehouse. Now someone intent on spoiling your interactions with other people doesn't have to coordinate physical location and schedule with you to be a persistent, practically inescapable nuisance.

Does this mean every interaction that hurts your feelings on the Internet is a crime? No, no more than everything that happens in your physical presence you take offense at is a crime.

Comment: Re:This makes complete sense (Score 1) 43 43

Yeah, you put it way more concisely than I managed to.

I suppose you could also swap out an entire crew at a time; but I suspect that that plan wouldn't work as well in practice. You will need some alternative to just having the crew assembled for the duration of the operation; and then resting or replacing it when you return to port; whatever seems best.

Comment: Re:Please stop (Score 1) 64 64

Aren't all sports classified as 'games'?

It's certainly true that the impact of playing a field game vs. playing a computer game is likely to be different for the player(whether it will actually be healthier depends on how brutally the field sport chews up the human resources vs. how badly inactivity and carpal tunnel syndrome get you); but from the perspective of the audience there isn't much difference.

It's not as though watching intense phsyical exertion gives you exercise by osmosis; so while I'd tend to agree that gamers are not 'athletes', I have little time for the people who are sitting on the couch with a beer and a bowl of chips, decrying the physical passivity of the gamer geeks.

Comment: Re:eSports commentary is already superior (Score 1) 64 64

Aren't "analytics", at least at a fairly rudimentary level, something that was already present in most RTSes, long before it became a buzzword among online advertisers?

I'm not even terribly serious, and I remember most multiplayer or skirmish matches having an end-of-match display of CPM, units built/lost, structures built/lost, resources gathered/spent, graphs of all these variables over time, and so on.

Nobody even bothers to call that 'analytics'; it's just a summary of the salient aspects of the game. If you happen to have a second, 3rd, or nth screen available I don't see why you wouldn't want to be able to see those variables in real time; but the idea that 'analytics' is somehow novel or revolutionary is just nonsense.

Comment: Re:This makes complete sense (Score 1) 43 43

I didn't mean to imply that the crew were expendable; but to respond to the grandparent post's note that technology that enables very long deployments isn't going to stop the people from burning out after a while.

My intended point was that, while people do react increasingly poorly to very long deployments, that is a comparatively predictable problem, which can be combated by a moving people in and out of active duty to control the length of active service; which is something that militaries have done for quite some time. If some fancy ultra-long-endurance technology allows you to send a ship out for X years, determining how you'll rotate crew in and out to keep each sailor within acceptable limits is going to be more complex than it is in lower endurance ships were the endurance of the crew is equal to or greater than that of the ship, so everyone leaves and comes back at the same time; but steadily rotating part of the manpower of a relatively large ship, base, etc. in order to compromise between cohesion and length of active service isn't a fundamentally novel problem.

Experiments must be reproducible; they should all fail in the same way.