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Comment Its not wearing glasses that causes headaches (Score 4, Interesting) 71

It's the forced stereoscopy.... when you project different images into each eye, unless you are sitting only at certain spots in the movie theater, the angle that your eyes will have to converge to fuse the two images into a single 3d image in your visual cortex is unnatural with respect the distance that the visual differences between the two objects conveys to your brain about the apparently distance of what you are seeing.

Holograms would not have this effect, since where you are focusing on when you view a hologram is consistent with where the 3d image actually is supposed to be. The image appears as fully 3 dimensional as would looking at real physical objects on the other side of a pane of clear glass, or looking at things in a mirror.

But I imagine we're still some years away from real holographic movies being a thing.

Nintendo

Nintendo Shares Plummet After Investors Realize It Doesn't Actually Make Pokemon Go (theverge.com) 177

Sam Byford, reporting for The Verge: Nintendo shares have skyrocketed since Pokemon Go's release and instant transformation into global cultural phenomenon, but they fell dramatically today after investors realized that Nintendo doesn't actually make the game. Nintendo put out a statement after the close of trading on Friday pointing out that the bottom-line impact will be "limited" as it only owns 32 percent of The Pokemon Company, and that revenue from the game and its Pokemon Go Plus smartwatch peripheral have been accounted for in the company's current forecasts. Pokemon Go is a collaboration between The Pokemon Company and Niantic Labs, the developer who previously created the similar AR game Ingress as part of Google. This apparent revelation caused shares to plummet in Monday trading, with the stock dropping 17 percent at one point, representing about $6.4 billion in value; as Bloomberg notes, Tokyo stock exchange rules prevent share prices from moving more than 18 percent in a single day.

Comment What's the plan here? (Score 2) 184

So Verizon bought AOL, and now they're buying Yahoo. What's next? Are they going to buy Compuserve, Prodigy, Lycos, or Excite?

But really, what's the plan here? I find it a little frightening that Verizon's strategy seems to be to acquire whatever large content sources they can get their hands on. They (and Comcast) have given some indications that they'd like to leverage their control over infrastructure to push their own content and services.

Biotech

Kurzweil Argues Technology Improves The World, Compares DNA to Code (geekwire.com) 200

Futurist Ray Kurzweil told a Seattle conference specific ways in which technology is already improving our lives. For example, while there's a general perception that the world's getting worse, "What's actually happening is our information about what's wrong in the world is getting better. A century ago, there would be a battle that wiped out the next village, you'd never even hear about it." An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes two of Kurzweil's other interesting insights: "We're only crowded because we've crowded ourselves into cities. Try taking a train trip across the United States, or Europe or Asia or anywhere in the world. Ninety-nine percent of the land is not used... we don't want to use it because you don't want to be out in the boondocks if you don't have people to work and play with. That's already changing now that we have some level of virtual communication..."

[And on the potential of human genomics] "It's not just collecting what is basically the object code of life that is expanding exponentially. Our ability to understand it, to reverse-engineer it, to simulate it, and most importantly to reprogram this outdated software is also expanding exponentially. Genes are software programs. It's not a metaphor. They are sequences of data. But they evolved many years ago, many tens of thousands of years ago..."

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 1) 511

Many jacks wear out because the standard audio jack has a moving part - a mechanical switch that allows the device to detect that a jack is plugged in so that the device can "know" to use the headphones for audio output instead of the speakers. This mechanical switch easily could be replaced with an optical sensor that detects when something is plugged into the jack without getting rid of the jack entirely.

Comment Re:get over it (Score 1) 511

By the time floppy drives stopped being standard on computers, not only was alternative and superior technology available, but it was so ubiquitous that including the obsoleted technology served no purpose for most people.

While you can certainly argue that alternative and possibly even superior technologies are available for the headphone jack, they are not so universally used that the headphone jack has already largely fallen out of disuse, as the floppy drive had by the time they had decided to replace it. Maybe that time will come, but we are not there yet.

Comment Apple Laptop (Score 1) 56

Years ago Apple had a laptop that let you switch out an internal module. You could add a device, such as high capacity drive, without changing the form factor. The advantage was high speed and plug and play. It was not a success because these were not good values and you still had to carry all this stuff around with the added mass of casing and connectors.

I can't imagine what the benefit of this would be. USB is fast, the connector small. You can probably get all this stuff cheaper, maybe even lighter, as standalone components. The connectors seem to be way more metal than a USB C. If the issue is multiple devices without a hub, the we need to find a daisy chain solution this is both USB and FireWire.

Comment Re: Analogue vs Digital, and DRM (Score 1) 511

The one good critism is DRM. Right now I can't watch movies on my desktop because my monitor is not HDMI. Which means content providers can block the headphones as well when the jack goes away.

Which I think it will. I see more kids using Bluetooth headphones. Think in a few year all the cool kids will use these. I wonder if you can pair multiple headphones to the same device?

Programming

Ask Slashdot: When Do You Include 'Unnecessary' Code? (sas.com) 234

"For more than 20 years I've been putting semicolons at the end of programming statements in SAS, C/C++, and Java/Javascript," writes Rick Wicklin, a researcher in computational statistics at SAS. "But lately I've been working in a computer language that does not require semicolons. Nevertheless... I catch myself typing unnecessary semicolons out of habit," he writes, while at other times "I include optional statements in my programs for clarity, readability, or to practice defensive programming." While Wicklin's post is geared towards SAS programming, Slashdot reader theodp writes that the question is a language-agnostic one: ...when to include technically-unnecessary code -- e.g., variable declarations, superfluous punctuation, block constructs for single statements, values for optional parameters that are the defaults, debugging/validation statements, non-critical error handling, explicitly destroying objects that would otherwise be deleted on exit, labeled NEXT statements, full qualification of objects/methods, unneeded code from templates...
He's wondering if other Slashdot readers have trouble tolerating their co-workers' unnecessary codes choices (which he demonstrates with a video clip from Silicon Valley). So leave your answers in the comments. When do you do include 'unnecessary' code in your programs -- and why?

Comment Here's a thought... (Score 1) 120

Say I'm being unreasonable, but here's my immediate reaction: infrastructure providers, whether they're fiber or cellular, should just provide the infrastructure. Voice service should be decoupled from the physical infrastructure. It should be competitive VoIP products based on open standards. The expectation should be that I can get a phone on Verizon's network, but my phone service might be through services like Google Hangouts or Skype, but that Google Hangouts and Skype can talk to each other the same way that Gmail can send email to Office 365. Same with video calls and messenger apps, frankly.

If you start from that viewpoint, then it's not about forcing Verizon to filter calls. All the questions boil down to "What should these open standards look like?" and "How do we get people to agree to use these standards?" If you have a set of good, secure standards, then you should have better luck verifying the identity of the source of the messages, and thereby identifying abusers. You'll still have some of the same problems we have in filtering spam, but (a) if you're building these standards from the ground up with modern knowledge, we can do better than what we've done with email; and (b) if you don't like your spam filtering, you can easily switch to a different provider that does a better job, and providing a good spam filter becomes a competitive edge.

Of course, this isn't going to happen. Everyone wants to lock their users into walled gardens. Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are all trying to strong-arm users into using their services rather than giving them a free choice to use the best provider. If the web were being designed today, it would all look like the early AOL, with everyone walled into the garden that they signed up for, completely unable to access content or services unless they are offered by their ISP. It's absurd.

Comment Re: Doing Trump's work for him (Score 1, Troll) 454

The only difference is that democrats want a safety net that they can't afford, whereas Republicans simply want their roads, their military, and their Medicare and want to live tax-free, apparently paying for the programs with manna from the sky.

So Democrats want a safety net they can't afford while Republicans want tax breaks they can't afford. Meanwhile a lot of the Republicans also want to have our government run as a theocracy, having our laws based on morals gleaned from their experience handling snakes and speaking in tongues.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

I don't need to stand by the rotation theory. However, the 2.5 degrees that the Earth rotates are about equivalent to the downrange distance.

The first stage is going about 1/5 of the target LEO orbital velocity at separation. While you might well model the trajectory as a parabola over flat ground, given the lack of fuel I would expect that SpaceX puts a lot more care into their trajectory. So far I've failed to attract the attention of the person responsible for Flight Club, the most trusted modeling of SpaceX flights, but I'll message him directly.

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