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Comment Re:Not just for professionals... (Score 4, Interesting) 164

Both CF and SD include the controller: CF cards actually look like PIO IDE drives, on a mechanically different connector, and SD is its own thing. Now, for whatever strange reason, the SD spec guys really skimped on maximum size(there are a few oddball 4GB, with some quirks in certain devices, with 2GB or less being the rule), while the CF spec didn't(not sure about 48-bit LBA in older devices; but that much Flash used to cost more than a new car, so who's checking?)

If they'd just found an extra penny or two in the budget for a higher capacity ceiling in the first place, the whole 'SD'->'mechanically identical and wholly incompatible SDHC' transition could have been avoided.

Comment Re:Where is voice recognition being done (Score 4, Interesting) 93

The proposed API itself is agnostic, it just provides a way for a page to ask for mic access and a 'plz speech-to-text-this-audio' mechanism.

Google's implementation, unshockingly enough, phones right back home to the mothership for speech recognition services. I would assume that(if this proposal makes it out of the cradle) implementations will vary: Google will phone home, Apple will 'siri' home, Microsoft might be awfully tempted to phone home on consumer SKUs, but not on enterprise ones; copies of Dragon NaturallySpeaking will probably include a browser plugin that brings your existing recognition training over to web text-to-speech, etc.

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...

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