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Comment Couldn't they have addressed the privacy concern? (Score 2) 104

Make the site request permission, like it would for the camera or GPS location.

I don't see this is as some big thing, but just because I can't think of an important use case doesn't mean there isn't a good one somewhere. Surely somebody wanted this for some reason? Anyway, it seems weird to introduce it then take it back over concerns that seem pretty mild, and also pretty easy to address the same way other concerns have been addressed in the past.

Comment Re:I'm speaking as someone who manages IT... (Score 1) 524

I don't think you're being fair here. As before, I believe (based on experience) that Macs overall will require less support given time, and I'm aware of lots of problems with Windows PCs. I just don't believe it's going to stay at an 8 times ratio. Like you say, there's going to be lots of users that will require support no matter what they're given (ie. the kind of people who can't find the start menu). If nothing else, they'll be the leveler here. There's no way you'll keep the "Mac users who need support" at 1/8th as you bring more of "them" into the mix.

I think you're imagining that I'm fighting for some Windows side or something - I'm not, I'm just suggesting that we temper unrealistic expectations.

Moving on, it's "hand waving", not "hand waiving", and I was right to ignore his sad little anecdote. Lots of people who are into computers (of all types) manage to keep their computers going without support; the fact that he was able to keep his home Mac going brings nothing to the conversation. Would you find it interesting to know that my non-techie dad manages to keep a Windows PC going, year-after-year without help? Does that change your view of the whole thing? Of course not; that's the kind of dumb crap you bring up when you have no facts or knowledge, but you feel like you need to write -something- in your condescending garbage post.

Anyway, yeah, my post was a little sarcastic in that previous post, but when buddy is like "facepalm, don't you know Macs don't need any support?", my inclination to be polite kind of evaporates.

Comment I'm speaking as someone who manages IT... (Score 2) 524

...at a medium sized company that supports Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops. I'm more on the programming side, but I stay on top of the support issues for various departments. Macs need tech support largely for the same reason Windows users do: because most users aren't terribly computer savvy, aren't confident enough to just try plugging things in, make dumb mistakes, and generally don't know where to find easy answers.

From my experience, Macs need very little tech support when we give them to, say, the publications department - but become much more problematic for field staff and managers (especially to start) because things aren't where they've grown to expect them to be, because of limited software availability, and because of more limited "local guru helpers" (ie. that guy in cubicle 4 who's into computers).

So when I say that I wouldn't think IBM will see this sort of support benefit ratio as they move to wider roll out, I'm doing so based on experience, and also on a suspicion that IBM has motivation to present this information in an exaggerated way (a suspicion confirmed by insider perspectives in other comments).

But now that I know that you, personally, haven't had problems with your Macs... well that changes everything. Thanks so much.

Comment Were the users randomized? (Score 5, Insightful) 524

I mean, I'm sure our Linux users overall require the least tech support. But that's a function of who they are more than what they're using.

I don't doubt that Macs require less support, but 40% vs 5% says that something else is going on - and I doubt that sort of ratio will hold once people are converted in bulk.

Comment Re:this can't be (Score 3, Interesting) 43

..and Amazon will likely retain its lead in supporting large and/or public facing websites.

But there's a lot of businesses, usually non-IT focused ones, who will remain Microsoft shops. For them, hosting their internal, B2B, and smaller public applications on Azure makes a lot of sense, and it's going to be a growth area for MS for a while. Yes you can host your .NET applications lots of places, but all the Azure nonsense is baked into Visual Studio and so, to the extent it basically works, it's going to be the path of least resistance for a lot of people.

In a lot of ways, MS is in a different market than other cloud vendors.

Comment Don't worry guys, nothing will ever really change (Score 1) 917

In the past, technology destroyed some jobs but created many more. This has been happening for thousands of years and thus will continue to happen forever. People have worried about this in the past and been wrong, thus they are wrong now.

To summarize: technological progress will continue forever, but we'll never need to adapt economic policy because people will always be able to contribute something that machines can't - and those things will employ enough people for near full employment, in perpetuity, regardless of the capabilities of machines. Like most of the other reflexively doubtful posters in this thread, I can't posit what kind of things those will be (personal touch, maybe?) - but I'm sure it'll be something because:

1. People have been wrong previously about this
2. Cotton gins and farmers
3. Socialism is wrong
4. QED

Comment I don't use Netflix for movies much anymore (Score 5, Interesting) 181

I'd much rather Netflix spends their money on TV shows (especially originals) than chasing expensive, popular movies. If I feel I need to watch The Dark Knight again (and I don't expect to) I'll find a way. No - I stay subscribed to them for TV: Stranger Things and House of Cards and Better Call Saul.

Well, that and my kids have been into Digimon lately.

Comment Re:This is not a good next step (Score 1) 63

I don't have anything to add, and I don't mean to be weird... but, uh, thanks for posting. For the first time in a while, I've come away from a discussion on Slashdot with something new to think about.

Your perspective makes sense... and I am going to be wondering all day why wireless mice still perform so poorly.

Comment Re:This is not a good next step (Score 1) 63

You may well be right on graphics and how this will play out; I don't know what kinds of things people will make and what will catch on. I'm sure a lot of my opinion is just informed by what I want personally: the same setup I have now, but wireless.

And yeah, I'd be surprised if the HDMI->WiFi->HDMI type things end up producing something good (even though these guys in particular seem confident). Like, you say, I expect a proper wireless solution will require a custom protocol.

Comment Re:This is not a good next step (Score 1) 63

I agree that eventually a standalone option will be preferable - I just don't think you can make a good enough one now, and I think attempting it is going to mean either huge costs (since you're not reusing current hardware) or huge compromises (ie. terrible performance).

I'm currently running a Vive with a 1080, and I still often can't keep framerate perfect (which you really want) at good supersampling (which makes a huge difference too). Sure you'll get some advantages with a dedicated device and integration, but it won't nearly make up for what you're losing in raw horsepower. Worse, requirements still have a ways to go up before they settle - a HMD really wants ~4K/90FPS at very high quality (well, and very low latency). Even without the extra wrench of 2 perspectives, most normal PC games still can't hit that, even on very large advanced hardware that draws big watts. VR needs more raw power, not less. If there were easy shortcuts to get this stuff, PCs and consoles would be using them; turns out sometimes you just need a bajillion transistors and a big power supply.

While I don't think positioning is the hardest problem for a standalone solution to solve, it is a real problem and you could improve current GearVR solutions 10 fold and still have something that's garbage. Tracking needs to be pretty much perfect or else VR is a barf-fest. Eventually inside-out camera based positioning might be good enough - but it has a tough hill to climb to match current state of the art. SteamVR's spinning lasers and fancy algorithms are magically good - crazy accurate, fast, and even cheap to build. They completely outclass current camera based solutions (like the Oculus uses) even though those solutions are much simpler than inside-out (because it's easier to track a diode you control than random surroundings you don't). Tracking tech really is the magic of Vive, and even a small downgrade could really break the experience.

And yes, currently there's nobody doing wireless video with low enough latency, but that's not because it's an insurmountably hard task - it just needs dedicated work, and VR is a good reason to get around to that work. The hard part - bandwidth - is already there, you just need to trim out some protocol transitions and latency would be very good, perhaps better than wired HDMI by the end (assuming that we can start the wireless chain directly from the GPU). Even current Rube Goldberg setups - HDMI->WiFi->HDMI, often on general purpose computers - are close to good enough. I think this is solvable, but it does remain to be seen whether someone with enough juice (eg. NVidia) will give it a proper go.

Anyway, I'm getting a lot of fun out of VR already, and I think it's going to progress really fast over the next couple years. I'd be pleased as punch of someone came out with a great standalone solution, I just think that's still a ways off.

Comment This is not a good next step (Score 1) 63

The clear next step, to me, is wireless connection to a computer.

A good VR experience takes way more grunt than you're going to get in a low-power head mounted device anytime soon. Current VR experiences benefit from any extra bit of GPU horsepower, compute speed, or basically any improvement they can get. Using a Rift or Vive, you're working with i7s and GTX 1080s, and still you're not able to run consistently at the supersampling levels you want. Ideally, you'd also have a higher resolution screen with less latency than you're getting in current HMDs. To work well, VR will need even more resources going forward, not way less.

Also, making a standalone device, such that you're not able to reuse your current cell phone or home computer, isn't the path to making your overall device less expensive. For right now, a wireless connection to a computer is the most sensible solution from a technical and economic perspective, assuming they want a reasonable quality experience in the end.

Anyway - yes, wireless would be great, positional tracking is absolutely necessary (and the current "professional" Oculus Rift isn't good enough - the Vive is way better - and yes I've used both of them a lot), and it's all too expensive. Eventually obviously we should expect fully standalone devices, but for now it's just not going to happen, so this is not a reasonable step forwards at this time.

Comment Re:WTF is the point of VR? (Score 1) 125

It's easy to make people sick in VR - just spin their surroundings while they're not moving in real life. But your standard room scale experience doesn't do any of that; rather, as you walk around, the tracking is accurate enough that your vision stays synced with your real-life motion. I've had a lot of people use my Vive for longer than 15 minutes, and generally nobody gets sick until they decide they want to try feeling sick (currently I use "Fancy Skiing" for this purpose, it's kind of fun to get all woozified sometimes). This concern is part overblown, partly just a remnant from previous generations of technology and software that were pretty barfy (eg. the old NVidia 3d vision goggles with no head tracking, Oculus DK1s with ball-and-stick movement, etc..)

There's certain kinds of experience (those that need interactive, artificial motion) that are indeed hard to do well - and definitely people who just tried to no-effort port FPS-run-with-your-controller games have ended up making barf-fests - but even if you just give up on artificial locomotion entirely, there's plenty of neat things to do and see in VR. And as VR gets more popular, people's tolerances will go up. It's hard to imagine now, but people used to get sick playing Doom. Similarly, even roller coaster type games with jerky artificial rotation don't bother me now (while they did bother me a lot in the DK2 era). People will get used to it, or they'll limit themselves to stuff that doesn't tend to make anyone sick.

Comment Re:WTF is the point of VR? (Score 4, Insightful) 125

The only reason that VR isn't already a huge mainstream success is price. I've shown Vive games to probably 50 people; a few have since bought one, and pretty much everyone else was blown away... but don't have $3000 sitting around to set one up. Even people who aren't into gaming are often hard to get out of creative stuff like Tilt Brush, or just the experience of being somewhere else. If anything, lots of these things are even more potent to non-geeks who haven't acclimatized to 3d graphics for 20 years. Shooting a zombie in VR is intense; it's even more intense if you haven't played 100 hours of Left 4 Dead and what not.

One of the challenges VR will have over the next year or so is the proliferation of terrible pseudo-VR experiences. Like, I've talked to a few people online who write the whole thing off because they tried some GearVR plastic cell phone box, and those are pointlessly terrible. But eventually there'll be enough good stuff around that this conversation we're having now will disappear. A proper VR setup very quickly explains itself to anyone who tries it. And when such a setup is cheap (which it will be in a couple years), it'll be something that is very widespread, and will replace a good chunk of current TV, movie, and game content.

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