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Comment Re:Out of curiosity... (Score 1) 243

You'd be surprised at how low the resolution of the sensors is. What do you think it is?

I honestly have no idea, which is why I'm asking. In my experience with just poking touchscreens, it's always high enough (or well enough hidden behind clever software) that I don't encounter the 'no, damn it, I pressed over here, not over there!' effect (except with ATMs, because those have so much glass between the touch layer and the actual screen, so they are highly sensitive to parallax effects); but, because the intended use case is finger-as-stylus, I've never had occasion to test sub-fingertip levels of accuracy.

Comment Re:Biased (Score 2) 250

Of course we all know this will be biased. Piracy funds terrorism, illegal drugs, crime and violence.

Have they made any adjustments to the party line to deal with the fact that the economics of buying dodgy DVDs from some bloke down the pub and just torrenting everything are really quite dissimilar (and, indeed, likely direct rivals)?

It isn't rocket surgery to suspect, or even find the occasional confirmation in stories about some arrest, that people who deal in commodities that command a markup because they incur legal exposure will also deal in illicit media copies, since those are a commodity that commands a markup because it incurs legal exposure; but that flavor of skeezy vendor is probably the first against the wall when the ubiquitous online piracy starts up, since they offer none of the benefits of licit vendors and still cost considerably more than just downloading stuff.

Surely they have some heartbreaking story about the destruction of American Jobs and whatnot that covers the latter case?

Comment Out of curiosity... (Score 1) 243

Given that capacitive touchscreens are typically intended to be used with input devices (fingers or those ghastly little rubber stylus-things) that deform under pressure, is there something stopping you from computing approximate pressure by examining the size of the area of contact across the duration of the touch? A light touch would presumably be of nearly constant size, with little or no deformation of the user's finger, a heavy touch would have substantially greater surface area at its peak (when the user's finger is deformed against the rigid glass) than during the beginning or end of the touch.

Are current capacitive touchscreens not high resolution enough for that? Not a high enough refresh rate? Human-meat too unpredictable in deform-ability between subjects?

Comment Re:Will the insurance pay out on this? (Score 2) 526

The driver has admitted to driving the car after an accident, ignoring all warnings until told that the car had a problem so big that it was going to stop ( on fire). I would be interested in seeing the insurance companies response this this...

Unless Team Insurance can send somebody out and prove that the battery pack would have avoided thermal cascade if the driver had immediately stopped the engine (and that doing so is the driver's responsibility, in response to those error codes, rather than Tesla's responsibility to have the battery shut down harder, earlier), it probably won't help them much.

Discharging a battery excessively quickly can start the fire (especially if one of the cells was dodgy); but once one gets going, it doesn't much matter whether you stop the discharge or not, it'll burn.

Comment Re:Good Engineering Tesla (Score 1) 526

What I'd be curious to know; but don't really have a good guess 'by intuition' about, is how fast a moving car whose gas tank is punctured 'sheds' fuel (thus reducing the amount of fuel left to roast the occupants alive) by virtue of being relatively thinly protected and close to the bottom-rear of the car.

Moving it closer to the core of the vehicle would reduce the risk of puncture; but it would probably reduce the speed of drainage in the event of a puncture, and make it more likely that some or all of the spilled fuel will end up sloshing around various nooks and crannies of the car, instead of spilling into the road.

This obviously isn't an option with batteries, which are solid and not going anywhere; but with a liquid fuel, are you safer if catastrophic incidents bleed as much fuel as possible, as fast as possible? Or if the tank resists leakage as much as possible?

Comment Re:Low expectations (Score 5, Insightful) 526

The man has some seriously low expectations of a car.

For better or worse, by the standards of 'devices with more than a thousand pounds of Li-ion batteries right underneath the operator', responding to a massive puncture wound with a series of error messages and a controlled shutdown is pretty damn polite...

This doesn't necessarily mean you want to be the lucky driver of one; but I'm impressed that the system held off the worst of the failure cascade long enough for him to make it out alive, rather than just burning him into a grease spot and some mixed oxides right then and there. (I had the pleasure of one of Sony's defective battery packs back in the day, and after having to toss it, and the attached computer, off my lap in a hurry, I've never taken the term 'laptop' quite as literally. Those things go pretty fast, once they start.)

Comment Re:Console DRM? (Score 2) 166

Not much of a problem when you're dealing with an MMO-type game that requires you to be online anyway. Not more of a problem than the game-server being down, anyway.

The bigger problem will be getting game developers to take on the challenge (and risk, if it means that they can only sell their game to people who are paying extra for Xbox Live Platinum Cloud Physics Foundation Edition Home Ultimate) of creating a type of game that, like the MMO, is only possible in the context of this remote capability, rather than having the remote capability be an obvious cash grab/lockin attempt. Think of how much people liked the 'online' features of SimCity's recent reboot... It was obvious to all that it's value was close to zero to them, and its costs were substantially greater, and lo, great was their wrath.

In the hypothetical case of the game that could only be realized with 'Flare', people will grumble; but put up with it. If it's transparent to all that you need a monthly subscription and a fast broadband connection just so that the "generic glass fragments flying outward" effect that the art guy spent all day tweaking to look exactly like it does in the movies can be removed and replaced by a realtime finite element analysis of the window and computational fluid dynamics simulations of the trajectories taken by each glass fragment (totally different on the maps with higher atmospheric pressure, worth it!) in real time? That's a tech demo, not a feature.

Comment Re:Obvious: latency (Score 1) 166

The other issue with latency is that 'gaming' is something with pretty spiky demand over time. Evenings and weekends? The system will be hammered. During school hours and the workday? Demand minimal and largely impecunious. Holidays and vacation periods? Almost certain to be a peak large enough to provide lots of angry ranting customers (and at a time when lots and lots of other people are putzing around online, reading people's angry opinions and possibly making shopping decisions. Enjoy!).

Unless they can find some off-peak customer who will buy whatever computational capability they are selling (and this could get tricky, since Nvidia and friends tend to price hardware and enable/disable capabilities specifically to discourage cost insensitive 'pro' users from buying cheapy gamer gear rather than expensive workstation gear, so 'Flare' might have some trouble finding a crossover market), they'll be idling a hell of a lot of expensive chips, that aren't getting any better with age, for most of the day, then running into capacity crunches at peak times. That will be miserable.

Comment Re:Please insert coin to play (Score 1) 166

There might be some feature (I can't think of a killer app offhand; but I'm not excluding the possibility) that would make it worth it, because it simply couldn't be done otherwise (everybody knows that MMORPGs are priced and on a lease in a way that single player or party-level multiplayer RPGs aren't; but you can't really get the 'MMO' in 'MMORPG' any other way, and people seem willing to trade that off); but this will be a hard sell indeed if it mostly just gets used for tech demos and incremental increases in ambient prettiness.

Even on the PC side, which tends to be a bit more willing to spend cash on hardware, the number of gamers who actually own screaming top-of-range systems is pretty small compared to the number of people who buy something good enough and call it a day. Consoles appear to be much more cost sensitive. And, while already having somebody on the hook for XBL or whatever makes billing easier, it doesn't necessarily give you much headroom to increase the price to pay for those extra server resources.

Especially given how good developers have gotten at cheating and fudging on computationally-intractable physics and graphics problems (and, as in the tragic case of more than a few games' 'ragdoll' body-physics systems, how unnatural attempts at 'real' physics can look, with twitch glitches, clipping and contorting, etc. compared to a totally faked; but artfully canned, animation) any use of this system is going to have to be rather creative to be more than incrementally better than far less computationally (and financially, if the game sells a reasonable number of units) expensive faking.

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