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Comment Re:thrusting (Score 4, Insightful) 594

However, I'd argue that 3D movies have already gotten past the blue LED phase. Certainly Cameron's Avatar was a highly engrossing (both to the viewer and the bottom line) film even without the 3D, and without throwing somebody's yo-yo in your face ...

I've been telling people that Cameron got Avatar "right" in terms of 3D exactly for this reason. There is such a stark contrast between it and other 3D movies in that there were only a couple scenes where it was clear they were showing off the 3D. Even those had reasons where the scene kind of made sense (like refocusing on near/far during the diary videos). I think Avatar will be a real benchmark in 3D strictly because it shows you can do well with 3D without being an eye-poker movie. It will be interesting to see how many other directors learn from Cameron's willingness to try to do it right.

Comment Easy solution (Score 3, Interesting) 175

Don't post media on unprotected pages. No big loss behind this step. Friends and family can handle a simple user/password combination - we've been doing this for years. Trust me, the rest of the world doesn't really want to see your pictures of the kids at their friend Joey's birthday party.

Comment Re:ah yes, CC != subtitles (Score 1) 396

Grandparent: There is a pretty big difference between CC and subtitles. The former can be manipulated in format, font, etc and often include details like "Phone Ringing" that are left out of subtitles. Even subtitles that are supposedly for the deaf and hard of hearing often lack these audible descriptors. Subtitles also don't move based on the scene.. For example, text for edited CC is often positioned from side to side to match two people bantering or italicized for an off screen speaker (example). Real-time CC, which is not typical in movies, is the stuff you see scrolling at the top or bottom of screens in bars during sports and news. That's closer to subtitles due to the time pressure the captioner is under.

Parent: There is a digital CC spec but, like line21, it basically gets hosed by HDMI.

Comment Closed captions, hello? (Score 5, Interesting) 396

I can live with confusing names if they get around to supporting closed captioning data like they are supposed to. They misinterpreted the legal requirements for closed captioning as it being something which is handled by set-top boxes rather than TVs and elected to not transmit the data. HDMI's own FAQ makes this position clear. However, the law is quite clear that the TVs are required to render captions. Unfortunately, people use devices other than set-top boxes to push content to the TV. If you need captioning, you can't use HDMI with Blu-ray disc players or other devices.

Comment Great... for people with disabilities (Score 1) 609

Actually, joystick drive-by-wire systems have been on the market for some time now. These systems are often installed for people with disabilities who cannot manipulate a regular steering wheel. The vehicle modification industry is a mature market with its own national association.

This concept vehicle addresses one of the core problems - cost. A typical vehicle conversion can run well upwards of $20k (in addition to vehicle cost) and involves massive hardhacking of the vehicle itself. You're pretty much stuck with the vehicle until it dies since you won't be able to sell it. It is far better to have an OEM route.

In terms of safety and control dynamics, I'm pretty comfortable that these are surmountable issues.
  • First, most people who currently get a joystick system receive dedicated training by a certified driver rehabilitation therapist (CDRS). I would imagine that lessons learned in this field could be distilled down into a more generalized training approach for populations that don't have the severe dexterity impairments present in the current user base.
  • Second, the years of experience in the vehicle modification business is a good start towards safe control dynamics. Advanced vehicle control systems are the next big leap and are far better than they were even a decade ago. Paired with systems like lane tracking, stability control, and forward ranging systems, it would be quite possible to put a layer of "smarts" over the command inputs.
  • Third, removing the steering column makes it a lot easier to protect the driver in the event of a crash.

Comment Been there, done that (Score 2, Informative) 166

Mac mini, bluetooth keyboard and mouse. It is small, doesn't look ugly under your TV, has a super quiet fan, and you can get plenty of video adapters for whatever TV you have. It also has a DVD drive, so you can toss your DVD player. You can even get an EyeTV USB-stick add-on for DVR capability and export capability to your iPod/PMP. If you really want, you can even run a long USB extension cable to your couch so you can plug in a joystick and play video games. Likewise, you can also set it up as a home media server and/or remote access gateway when you're out and about.

Basically, you can do just about anything with one box.

Comment BodyMedia, research version (Score 2, Interesting) 188

This is probably outside the price range of most folks, but BodyMedia makes a research version.

And before you complain, yes research versions of such equipment are almost always more expensive than consumer versions. This has to do with the added technical support ("we want people to do [insert crazy unusual thing] while using your device, will it work?") and typical "hey, that's odd data, can you explain it?" types of follow-up. When you're doing research, this level of support and debugging has a definite, non-zero value.

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