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Comment The obvious solution! (Score 5, Funny) 94

Surely any dedicated gamer would see the value in simply injecting a thickening agent into the endolymph of the Vestibular system. With careful dose control, that should induce a matching lag in the perception of motion, thus providing a highly realistic experience!

*Ability to walk and/or perform normal ocular saccades not guaranteed, please refrain from the use of industrial silicones in medical applications.

Comment Re:Robots good humans bad (Score 3, Informative) 130

Surgical 'robots' are pretty much entirely human operated cut-by-wire devices. "Waldos" of varying sophistication and shape.

Very handy because you can, say, mount the business end of the device on something a lot thinner and more flexible than a surgeon's wrist, and avoid having to crack the patient's entire chest open, or apply a filter between the input and the output, to allow the surgeon to make otherwise impossibly tiny motions.

To the best of my understanding, much of the remaining challenge is machine vision/sensing. Unlike assembly line robots, surgical bots can't make assumptions about product uniformity(indeed, if they have you cracked open for repair, abnormality is the only safe assumption, though even clinically normal people can vary considerably) and failure to correctly distinguish between tissue types or other visual mistakes can have unpleasant consequences.

In terms of pure steadiness, strength, or repeatability, humans are pretty screwed; but getting robots to stop fucking up magnificently when something unexpected happens has continued to be tricky.

Comment Re:Only in America (Score 2) 335

It's particularly curious when you consider that the US constitution also includes robust speech protections, so it isn't as though this is a 'Well, one is constitutionally protected and the other isn't, our hands are tied here' thing The speech protections don't even include that cryptic stuff about well regulated militias.

Comment Re:Spring is in the Air (Score 4, Informative) 335

American politicians are too afraid of the NRA nutters to ban real guns. So they want to ban toys.

The NRA has been doing their part to focus attention on the attention in that direction. As saith Wayne LaPierre himself:

"And here's another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?"

(Incidentally, why is it that people who hate video games apparently only revise their lists of horrifying games every 5-10 years? If you are going for 'timeless classics' where the fuck are 'Doom' and 'Postal'. If you are going for relevant, how about a few of the big console shooters that actually have major audiences? C'mon, guys...)

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 176

Because(in most product line ups) the one that has 80-90% of the performance, and often fewer warts, since it's a mass-market product, costs half as much.

Obviously, I'm fine with people buying whatever amuses them. If that's your hobby, rock on. It's still the case that bang-for-buck generally goes to hell at the very top end.

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 176

Since we're good at picking up motion in peripheral vision that's probably a lot harder to do effectivly than full screen rendering.

I imagine that the real trick would be in keeping the eye from perceiving the quality drop-off as movement. You certainly wouldn't need maximum texture quality or fancy bump-mapping or whatnot to fool peripheral vision; but a sensation that 'everything moves the moment I take my eyes off it' would be damn annoying...

Comment Re:Add-on CPU (Score 2) 176

I wonder what kind of yields Nvidia is getting... 3 times as many transistors as one of Intel's fancy parts, and on a slightly larger process(28 vs. 22nm) that's a serious slice of die right there.

On the plus side, I image that defects in many areas of the chip would only hit one of the identical stream processors, which can then just be lasered out and discounted slightly, rather than something critical to the entire chip working. That probably helps.

Comment Re:GK110 vs. 7970 (Score 4, Funny) 176

Hmm. $999 (2013) for 4.5 TF/s vs. $15 million (1984) for 400 MF/s from Cray-XMP. Hard to believe.

This is why I've stopped buying hardware altogether and am simply saving up for a time machine... Importing technology from the future is, by far, the most economically sensible decision one can make.

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 4, Interesting) 176

All games that have the budget for graphics these days are targeted at console limitations. I can't really see any reason to spend that much on a graphics card, except if you're a game developer yourself.

Buying the absolute-top-of-range card(or CPU) almost never makes any sense, just because such parts are always 'soak-the-enthusiasts' collectors items; but GPUs are actually one area where (while optional; because console specs haven't budged in years) you actually can get better results by throwing more power at the problem on all but the shittiest ports:

First, resolution: 'console' means 1920x1080, maximum, possibly less'. If you are in the market for a $250+ graphics card, you may also own a nicer monitor, or two or three running in whatever your vendor calls their 'unified' mode. A 2550x1440 is pretty affordable by the standards of enthusiast gear. That is substantially more pixels pushed.

(Again, all but the shittiest ports) you usually also have the option to monkey with draw-distance, Anti-aliasing, and sometimes various other detail levels, particle effects, etc. Because consoles provide such a relatively low floor, even cheap PC graphics will meet minimum specs, and possibly even look good doing it; but if the game allows you to tweak things like that(even in an .ini file somewhere, just as long as it doesn't crash), you can throw serious additional power at the task of looking better.

It is undeniable that there are some truly dire console ports out there, that seem hellbent on actively failing to make use of even basic things like 'a keyboard with more than a dozen buttons'; but graphics are probably the most flexible variable. It is quite unlikely(and would require considerable developer effort) for a game that can only handle X NPCs in the same cell as the player on the PS3 to be substantially modified for the PC release that has access to four times the RAM or enough CPU cores to handle the AI scripts or something. That would require having the gameplay guys essentially designing and testing parallel versions of substantial portions of the gameplay assets, and potentially even require re-balancing skill trees and things between platforms.

In the realm of pure graphics, though, only the brittlest 3d engines freak out horribly at changing viewport resolutions or draw distances, so there can be a reward for considerably greater power(for some games, there's also the matter of mods: Skyrim, say, throws enough state around that the PS3 teeters on the brink of falling over at any moment. However, on a sufficiently punchy PC, the actual game engine doesn't start running into (more serious than usual) stability problems until you throw substantially more cluttered gameworld at it.

Comment Re:Fuck yeah (Score 1) 161

Our government works for us, not the corporations who want to turn our private lives into profit.

HADOPI? It is undeniably true that France has a distinct distaste for data-hoovering American internet companies(how much out of a genuine commitment to privacy law, and how much out of an ongoing jealous spat over the surprising lack of data-hoovering French internet companies is somewhat unclear); but damn are they ever 'helpful' when it comes to protecting those culturally-vital copyright holders...

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