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Enthusiast Opts For $2200 Laser Eye Surgery To Enhance Oculus Rift Experience 109

An anonymous reader writes After 30 years of wearing glasses, one man says that the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has prompted him to get laser eye surgery. With farsightedness and astigmatism, he says, "Never thought much about the laser surgery until the Rift, that's for sure." He has an appointment to get the $2200 surgery on the 13th of this month. "For me it is clear, my eyeglasses are like an obstacle for optimal VR experience," he said. He hopes the surgery will remove his need for glasses, which can be uncomfortable inside of the Rift, if they fit at all, and cause several issues such as scratched lenses and lower field of view. Oculus plans to make the consumer version of the Oculus Rift (aka CV1) more friendly to glasses wearers, "...we have a lot of great ideas for supporting glasses in the consumer version [of the Rift] (especially since a huge portion of the Oculus team wears glasses everyday!)" they noted in their Kickstarter.

Comment Re:Not news (Score 1) 275

Sure, though somewhere on the net I've read a better technical explanation of how the modification was performed and how he Dani kept his equipment running despite intense NATO HARM coverage (basically he observed flight corridors, used short pulses of radar when he knew craft were along those corridors, and kept the main radar on the launcher off until the last second only using remote antennas that were positioned far enough from the launcher that a missile strike would not take out the crew or SAM)

Comment Not news (Score 5, Informative) 275

The F117 that was lost in the Balkans NATO mission in 1999 was shot down by an S-125 modified to use longer wavelenths than the RAM paint on the aircraft would absorb. The issue has been known since then and it's very likely that the F22 and F35 low observability design characteristics have taken this into account as much as physics and material science will allow.

Comment Re:Nobody kills Java (Score 4, Insightful) 371

Besides, who would want to work on a stable platform where all the major library needs have been met and vetted when one can be on the bleeding edge of something new to show off?

It is nothing to be too concerned about, it is part of the normal life cycle.

Like happens to all languages before it, Java has slowly changed from a lean and sexy system into an overweight, middle-aged, sometimes nagging system that is not really much to look at. While it is great to have around, cooks great meals, and keeps the house clean, it is not attractive any more.

Nothing to be ashamed of.

Systems get older. Usually they get less attractive as they age and stop attracting people.

Java was once that lean and sexy system when compared to its contemporaries. I was there when C++ was lean and sexy compared to predecessors. I remember hearing stories about C being lean and sexy compared to needing to rewrite the program for every system.

Lots of new languages are popping up that are new and sexy. Dart and Go and Boo languages are all cute (and are mature enough that people don't look away and mumble 'tsk tsk'). Apple's new Swift language looks cute but is still a bit too young. While I have a lot of code in Java, I'm not married to the language and can use them as they appeal to me.

Now for my rambling "get off my lawn" story. Stop reading here if you don't want to listen to grandpa babble about his old conquests and drift into a drooling sleep.

I first started playing with C++ around 1985. It was so easy to create systems compared to the C systems I was also working on. I could modify behavior really easy with inheritance. I didn't need to specify my structure on every single function, just use the fancy new member functions that passed it automatically with the this pointer. Function names were much simpler, instead of the format NounVerbNoun they could be reduced to VerbNoun or just Verb. So much less typing. I didn't need to maintain tables of function pointers inside every object. I didn't need to follow every allocation with a series of intialization statements, but throw them into a constructor. I didn't need to search the entire code base and make hundreds of changes when adding something to a structure, I could just modify a single file. It was wonderful. But over time people kept adding new requirements and best practices; when you do this you also need to do five other things. Build times radically increased as features like templates were added (they were not there originally) and then huge swaths of code was automatically generated at runtime, or hundreds or even thousands of potential types were evaluated as potentially deduced types. It slowly changed from young and sexy to old and ugly.

I first started programming with Java back in the 1.1 days, around 1996. It was so easy compared to the C++ systems I was also working on. I could create a good looking graphical program that I could run from a web page in a matter of minutes, or hours at most. My first real project at the time was a distributed image processing tool, with back-end clients running on 12 machines and a coordinating server, and the whole project took less than a week. If I needed to build a similar tool in C++ at the time it would have taken five or ten times the effort. Being able to simply rely on java.net.* rather than trying to find a networking library, relying on java.awt.Image classes to process the work, and otherwise having everything instantly available made development very easy. I could dynamically build images and pass them over the web with a trivial amount of human effort.

Today I could still do that, but it would upset people. I would be asked things like "Why doesn't it use Maven to build it? Why don't I use more advanced image processing packages? Why are these talking directly with network libraries rather than using a comprehensive REST-based system? Why is there no comprehensive unit testing?" All the little additions have crept in to the process making it just as time consuming --- if not more --- than C++ was at the time I picked up Java. That makes it no longer lean and sexy, more of an overbearing source of frustration.

Finishing up my ramblings, Java has become annoying to use. There are lean, sexy, young alternatives. Java could re-invent itself to appeal to a new crowd, but I don't think it will.

Comment Re:Not without warning. (Score 4, Insightful) 267

Yes, the posted on their skype.com blog that old versions would be discontinued in the ambiguous future date. It applied to all platforms. A few tech news sites picked up on it, but nothing major.

A post on their company blog is vastly different from notifying customers (especially corporate customers) that their paid service is going to become inaccessible.

People pay for the service, and shutting out older clients should have much more notification.

A proper response would be to sending out an email to ALL active accounts and their billing addresses notifying them of all the versions that were being discontinued due to the change. This would allow businesses (where software is sometimes tightly controlled) adequate notice to update all the machines and conference rooms. It would also allow users (who are now stranded) an opportunity to report that there are no viable upgrade paths, and a chance to use the balance of their accounts.

Instead it has become a PR nightmare.

Comment Re:Not good enough (Score 5, Informative) 59

People should be going to prison for such deceit. We don't hold our officials accountable.

The people who broke the law are not elected officials, they are employees. It is very difficult to hold those people accountable.

Lying in an FOIA request is potentially a federal crime. But 5 USC 552 provides a very long list of exemptions from the law, and it is federal prosecutors that need to decide to prosecute.

So the first thing you'd need to do is convince the federal prosecutors to go after the problem, which is very unlikely since they're part of the same Good-Ol'-Boys Network. Then you need to break through the qualified immunity enjoyed by all government workers and government agencies. Once the federal prosecutors fight through the process of appeals to gain permission to sue, the next step is to prove intent since that's what the law requires. The police can easily slip out of it through the gigantic loopholes like saying it might have an impact on current or future police investigations, or claiming it was one of the various legal oversights.

So in summary, they'd need to:
1. Anger a federal prosecutor enough to interest them
2. Convince their boss who controls the money (usually an elected person) to sue another branch of government (breaching the Good Ole' Boy's Club)
3. Fight through the courts, usually all the way to the state's supreme court, that qualified immunity doesn't apply
4. Convince the court that the individual should be personally liable, otherwise it is just a budgetary transfer from department to department
5. Prove it was either malicious or that the negligence was at criminal levels, otherwise it doesn't trigger any penalties
6. Reasonably counter all the objections that the person broke the law, knew or should have known they broke the law, and didn't fit the long list of exemptions
7. Get a conviction from a jury, since this is criminal law. Or just pressure the person into submission with a plea deal, which is the typical response once you hit #5 above.

Yeah, that will happen. </sarcasm>

These are not people you can vote out of office. You might be able to find a way to vote out a city mayor; in some places people like the police chief are elected rather than hired, but otherwise they're just regular government employees who enjoy things like tenure, golden handcuffs, and all kinds of legal immunities.

Comment Re:Face it ... (Score 2) 134

And what, as American Citizens, would you have us do? Rise up in arms? Overthrow our government?

First, contact elected officials, both your own and those in a position over the bill's progress. I wrote to six of them today when I read the story. I also contacted several of the committee members including Bob Goodlatte who is the committee chairman. Yes, one person is unlikely to get much change, but enough people contacting his office can induce change.

Second, encourage those around you contact their representitives, and encourage them to directly contact those in the committee who can get things changed. Just like I did up there in that first paragraph. Post the links on facebook and other social media (also already done this today). Encourage people to send a message, ANY MESSAGE, that references the bill to their legislator's office.

One or two messages won't do it. When it gets to be enough messages that the staffers notice, or even better enough that it overwhelms their office staff.

What would I have you do? Make a noise. Any noise you can. This reply is the first one that would be considered "preaching to the crowd", but is about my 15th communication about it today. That is what you can do. Make it clear to the legislators that it is important to you, raise the layperson's awareness of the issue, and help encourage others to contact the right offices. Even if it is nothing more than writing your own messages and then calling on the Internet Trolls that you know to send them messages, that is still something. Do what you can to get your voice heard, since it needs to be heard over the corporate money.

Comment Re:Rather than Google Fiber, let's have municipal. (Score 4, Informative) 71

The biggest problem with iProvo, which the residents didn't usually see, was the lawsuits.

Back when I lived there from 1999-2003, the mayor was pushing iProvo quite a lot. Many businesses and apartments signed up. The city started their rollout by providing hubs to the various city buildings, the historic library, and they even ran lines to the major traffic control cameras. They hooked up quite a few businesses along the main roads, like the main street plaza was covered from the overpass on the west to the roundabout on the east. University Ave, Freedom Blvd, and 500 West were installed from Orem on the North down to the mall and the Novell campus on the south. They got quite a lot of core infrastructure in place during those years. ...

... Then they were sued by basically everybody who had an interested in providing Internet services. As a result of the lawsuits they rolled back to just giving fiber to the city's buildings, to their own infrastructure like traffic cameras, and to some existing contracts. If you attended the city council meetings or watched their broadcasts (yeah, I know, who does that, except I remember it was on channel 17 at the time...) you could have listened to reports on how many million they were spending fighting off Qwest (now CenturyLink), Comcast, and the rest. They provided erratic service largely because the money was frequently redirected to the courts. Existing companies REALLY did not want municipal fiber, and they fought it hard.

While the mega-corps know they can stomp on a small city like Provo very easily, they were quickly outmatched when Google came in. They stopped the decade-long hemorrhaging of money to lawsuits, so the service became much better.

Utopia has also been heavily plagued by lawsuits and governmental contracts cancelled mid-deployment. Even the US government (under RUS) contracted out some services and then abandoned it, leaving the fiber network on the hook for over $11M (the lawsuit is still ongoing). People complain and suggest Utopia is mismanaged, and while they have had a few management missteps, their biggest problem has been the many millions of dollars spent trying to fight legal battles against incumbents.

Even today if you look a bit North up the Wasatch front corridor, Centerville is right now the hotbed of the issue. Comcast and CenturyLink are funding a bunch of signs for anyone who wants them. They're discussing putting municipal fiber in as a tax, complaining that residents shouldn't have to pay because they already have Internet providers. ... conveniently overlooking the fact that the very small tax will provide everybody in the city a minimum fiber to the home connection with 5 megabit if you don't pay for any plan, and 150 megabit or faster if you do pay for a plan, and the plans are far cheaper than either Comcast or CenturyLink.

Municipal fiber is the future, just like municipal sewer, municipal water, municipal trash, and other city-managed services. The incumbent companies are fighting with all their power and disinformation campaigns to keep their high profit system in place. Just like your Comcast salesmen knocking at the door trying to convince you fast and unlimited is bad, slow and bottlenecked is good, disinformation is really all they can rely on these days.

Comment This is just propagandic spin for Dumb Westerners. (Score 0, Troll) 167

From RT:
http://rt.com/politics/177248-...

Such authors will now have to register with the state watchdog Roskomnadzor, disclose their real identity and follow the same rules as journalists working in conventional state-registered mass media.

  The restrictions include the demand to verify information before publishing it and abstain from releasing reports containing slander, hate speech, extremist calls or other banned information such as, for example, advice on suicide. Also, the law bans popular bloggers from using obscene language, drawing heavy criticism and mockery from the online crowd.

So.., now you're not legally allowed to lie to a large number of people or incite violence based on those lies. Gee. That's bad how? Might be nice to have something like that in the West, because right now it's perfectly legal for FOX News to outright lie to their viewers.

Russia, like any large nation the US hates, (see Venezuela) must defend against the standard CIA tactics used to de-stabilize governments and population bases through grass roots propaganda tactics. Forcing creeps and liars out of the game seems like a pretty good way to do this. You don't want to be forced out? Then follow the law and back up your claims with fact checking verification of what you are writing, don't use hate speech and don't incite violence. How hard is that?

There's a reason you're not allowed to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater, and this falls neatly beneath the same rubric.

Honestly, think of the gossips and cruel kids in school spreading lies in deliberate attempts to undermine healthy energies. Putin has the guts to whip the carpet out from under such types.

So now, once you reach 3000 readers, the Russian government says you are a news source with real pull and must start acting in a manner befitting such responsibility. Is 3000 the right magic number to have picked? I don't know, but it makes perfect sense to draw a line somewhere.

Of course, any law can be abused, but right now I don't see this as an abuse. I see it as a sensible measure as Russia is under increasing media attack by a truly psychopathic nation whose leadership is completely disconnected from objective reality, has a tail-spinning economy and seemingly bottomless war lust. Of course you have to take measures to protect your populace from that kind of sickness.

But naturally, this proactive move is being spun with wicked and/or childish glee in the West (depending on whether you are CIA or just ignorant and easily led).

Comment Re:It's almost sane(really) (Score 1) 502

Actually doesn't matter if your US or Foreign a subpoena is a subpoena. You must produce the evidence if it is in your control. Where the evidence is irrelevant you are within the jurisdiction you are compelled to produce it. This has been applied to physical documents. Not this is not seizing evidence it is compelling an entity to produce it.

That is all very correct.

Note that first off, this is a warrant rather than a subpoena. This was covered in depth when the magistrate ruled on it. If they are looking for specific information and the company can review it and provide the information then a subpoena is the correct tool. The police stated in both reviews that they are searching for a broad range of documents and that they want their own discretion to review all of them associated with the email address. You wrote "This is not seizing evidence it is compelling an entity to produce it". If they could have just seized a US server, they would have gladly stormed the office and taken the entire box, as is the custom with a warrant. In this case they could not seize a specific computer and they could not justify attempting to seize all of Microsoft's mail servers. A subpoena would normally be the correct implement, but that is not what the police are using. They want a huge amount of stuff rather than specific stuff, which is why they are using a warrant.

Next, you are correct about things being in your control. Microsoft Corporation is a US based company. Microsoft Ireland is a different company. It is more along the lines of an umbrella company. Much like you have Viacom as the big NASDAQ traded company, then you have Viacom International, Paramount Pictures, BET Networks, and the rest. You don't sue Viacom (the parent) when you want documents from Paramount Pictures. Viacom owns Paramount but they don't control Paramount's documents. Similarly the police are going against Microsoft Corporation in Seattle when they should have been suing Microsoft's Irish subsidiary. The US based corporation owns the Irish subsidiary, but they don't control the documents of the subsidiary.

So as has been written, they are using the wrong tool, on the wrong company, in the wrong country. There is a proper way to do things, and this is not it. Microsoft is going to win this one in the long term. The judge may understand some aspects of law, but he clearly doesn't understand corporate organization and ownership.

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