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Comment It's all in perspective (Score 1, Insightful) 203

I get it, you're pissed. You (the general population posting in these forums) hate Microsoft, this is a chance to try and get others to rally behind you. You claim that this is the feature/policy that broke the camels back and now you definitely will not be buying an xbox ever again. To you, charging for video streaming is just one more way that "the man" is trying to stick it to you. Last time it was Netflix, those bastards.

I tend to approach it from the other perspective. For the last 6 years I've been getting a great online experience. A reliable multiplayer utopia where I can have persistent chat rooms independent of what activity my friends are currently engaged in (ps3? no), access to countless media streaming services like netflix, hbo go, xfinity, vevo, syfy, espn, mlb.tv, etc., and it all costs me about $3 / mo (I don't know why people would pay full retail which is $5 / mo when the memberships are regularly on sale from Newegg and the like for ~$37 online). Outrageous, right? Well I don't think so. I think that's a hell of a deal for what I get. The PS3 fans are right in stating that they can use their consoles without PS+ to do this stuff but I know they're lying through their teeth OR they just don't know any better cause they've never tried XBLG. The PS chat system is HORRIBLE and you have what, 4 or 5 video streaming services and no audio services outside of Sony's own personal offerings? With channels like VEVO on the xbox I have 24 hours a day of music video streaming, on demand, any artist I want, my own personal MTV. Prefer music in the background, fire up Last.fm. Video rentals? Got those too from more sources than the PS3 can touch.

So while you see this as an affront to your console gaming experience, I see it as one MORE feature that my $3 / mo was getting me. Now I can stream video of me getting tea-bagged to all my friends, damn life is sweet.

Comment Re:Sad legitimate researchers (Score 1) 426

Three layers of security doesn't really relate to pressure at all. Temperature is much more critical as it relates to fuel integrity. Fuel is encased in Zinc and during emergency situations the main objective is to keep the temperature of the fuel below the melting temperature of the zinc alloy so that it remains contained. People should not be "scared", they should be educated. Secondly, we don't need thorium reactors to increase safety. The current generation of plants being designed and approved have many passive safety features and there are many more coming to market over the next decade which are entirely passive yet still based on uranium fuel cycles. I'd love to see fusion technology as much as anyone else, but as a commercial technology we're still a couple decades off.

Comment Re:Sad legitimate researchers (Score 2) 426

Politics makes nuclear fission expensive, not the technology. The technology is well understood, the fuel is abundant and inexpensive. The problem is that 1) the industry is so over-regulated due to public fear of catastrophe that the plants have 3+ layers of safety and redundancy at every level which is expensive and 2) the fear of terrorists obtaining weapons-grade nuclear material is considered to be high enough that we throw away a LOT of energy rich fuel to avoid getting in the situation where that fuel can be used to make a bomb.

Comment Re:What's wrong with Google cars (Score 1) 352

While that seems true on the surface it's not necessarily the case. There are very advanced automation systems associated with aviation which can go so far as to land a commercial jetliner carrying 300+ passengers in zero visibility at > 150 mph where no human possibly could (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoland). And in an airplane there are MANY collision scenarios that you must constantly be aware of, not only from other aircraft but buildings, ground, animals (including birds or animals on the runway). You must also be aware of changing weather conditions that drastically affect flying, mechanical failure, etc.

Comment Re:Don't have to be perfect, just better (Score 3, Funny) 352

I completely agree. You can imagine any emergency scenario you want with combinations of black ice, sand, curves, blowouts, etc. But a human being has to rely on what they've experienced to help them react to those situations and I'm willing to bet that most people are unprepared for that scenario. On the other hand, a computer which has been programmed for that scenario, or has learned from it, can easily benefit the entire population of cars via a software update. A computer can make real time assessments of weather, tire wear, etc to determine the best possible course of action. Most people I see around here can't even be expected to turn on their lights in inclement weather let alone know how to reactor to uncommon emergency situations.

Comment Re:Don't have to be perfect, just better (Score 5, Insightful) 352

I have to respectfully disagree. All of the situations that you've mentioned thus far are well within the realm of possibilities given current and near term technological advancements. Human beings will always be limited to 1) their imperfect memory of the route being driven assuming they've driven it before and 2) their sole source of input which is the visual electromagnetic spectrum. Driving doesn't require true AI, in my opinion. There are only so many things that can happen from a programmatic standpoint and it really boils down to collision avoidance. You have a route and a volume of space that you occupy along that route at any given time. Either something (an object, person, animal, etc) is going to occupy the same volume at the same time or it isn't. Collision detection is very easy to program, and the technology is sufficiently advanced at this point to be able to detect objects both big and large and make real-time assessments to determine the action that leads to the best chance for survival of both the object and the car. Those calculations are performed by a computer operating much faster and with near-instantaneous reaction time compared to its human equivalent that has to spend time deciding whether it's best to accelerate, brake, swerve (or a combination of those) and then perform the muscle actuations to initiate that action.

Remember, too, that a computer system can have access to near-perfect data such as GPS records for the route, as well as other object/road input systems beyond just the visual spectrum. That's not to say the right this minute we have a perfect set of data for every road, but certainly for the majority of traveled roads we have a pretty complete picture which could be used to provide the car's route in the absence of visual feedback. When it snows here, 4 lanes turns into 2 because humans can't see the lane boundaries, but that's not a limitation for a computer system programmed with the road trajectory to within inches. You may be able to interpolate where the road is 300 feet in front of you, but someone not familiar with the area might not. I drive on some country roads around here where, during a blizzard, you have no feedback about the roads location except for the random house every 1/4 mile. If I didn't know that road was perfect straight, I'd be off of it in no time. An advanced optics system can see further, clearer and more completely than ANY human.

I'm not trying to say that this whole process is trivial and there are reasons why it will take a long time to develop and implement. But I don't believe that there are any reasons which can't be overcome with present day technology.

Comment Re:Nothing new in this generation (Score 1) 403

Not exactly, at least not an off-the-shelf processor that's currently be sold or marketed by AMD. It also uses a memory architecture more akin to a graphics card but with 8GB of GDDR5 memory with a throughput nearly 3X higher than a $2000 Intel Xeon processor. That is NOT cheap memory. While it's possible that the CPU/APU/GPU could be considered commodity or off-the-shelf hardware, the remainder of the internals are custom designed and built for this console, much like they are for the other consoles. It certainly will come at some expense and you can darn well bet that it's not going to come in at the same price as the currently 6-year-old PS3 hardware.

Comment Re:Not Even Close (Score 1) 403

One of the problems that the Wii U faces right now is that it's not the cheapest option. I'm sure Nintendo would like it to be, but it's not. For less money, you can get an XBox 360 or PS3, and while they sure are old at this point, they still have tons of life left in them. We'll be seeing new releases on those consoles for many more years to come. In addition to that, you get blu-ray (ps3) or dvd (xbox) player, netflix, amazon, vudu, last.fm (xbox), hbo (xbox), Syfy (xbox), VEVO (xbox), Youtube, ESPN (xbox), Hulu, the list goes on. So what is the Wii U bringing to the table, for extra money and a smaller game selection, that will drive buyers to pick one up.

If you ask me, where Nintendo dropped the ball was in their Network/Internet multiplayer implementation. It was a CHORE to try and play a game with a friend on the Wii (what's your ump-teen digit numerical user id?). They had the elements in place including a cool blue glow on the console to let you know you received a message, but it was nothing compared to the Xbox Live / PSN service. I don't know enough about the Wii U to know how or if they've addressed it, but it's another hurdle they face since their competition is now entrenched with tens of millions of consoles out there with connected users accustomed to playing games with one another. You have to convince them that they, and their friends, need to buy one to continue their co-op and competitive gaming quests with one another, and I don't think Nintendo can pull that off.

Comment Re:I hope it does well (Score 2) 403

No, Nintendo doesn't care about people who want to buy Halo 27 or CoD 12, they're more interested in the people that want Mario 33, or Mario Kart 18, or Paperboy ... But, pray tell, of the 10 Wii U exclusive titles out right now, which ones should the hypothetical Wii U purchaser be looking at?

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