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Comment Re:AMD supports openGL just fine (Score 2, Insightful) 80

AMD supports OpenGL just fine? That's gotta be the quote of the day. If AMD ever supports OpenGL just fine I'll throw them a fucking parade. Kernel panicking and bringing the entire system to it's knees because AMD doesn't check to see if a target is attached to a shader output? Sloppy coding yes, but not an acceptable response by the driver as you have no idea where the crash is coming from.. No OpenGL error message, just a crashing system. GPU to GPU buffer copies don't work unless you do any other memory operations first on the target buffer on AMD... Numerical precision is often dodgy on AMD cards. Phantom shader errors on certain generations of cards with no error message string... just failure to compile. Hell there was a series of crashes with AMD cards just trying to bind and clear framebuffers that only ended up being fixed by a driver update. Allocating too many vbo ID's causes cascading memory consumption and kills your application. And those are just the bugs I remember off hand today (and these were for their supposedly "good" Windows drivers, I shudder to think how bad their Linux stuff is. )

If the spec is even remotely vague about something, it seems like AMD consistently chooses the least robust and slapdash manner to resolve that ambiguity.

As a side note I'm fairly certain AMD only opened up their drivers because they're so terrible at writing them they're hoping the community will do it for them. It's not altruism, it's bottom line they don't have the resources to do it well and decided to try and look good. It's just PR.

Comment Re:Frame rate (Score 2) 49

The rendering frame rate of their system leaves a lot to be desired. The VR hardware looks good for their needs and usage, but that frame rate totally kills the immersion. That's inexcusable in this day and age - people have better gaming rigs than that. My guess is they have a very poorly optimized modeling system that has to pull data from whatever CAD systems they use.

1) The framerate doesn't need to be optimized as they're not going for immersion, but rather the ability to look things over from novel angles in a semi natural way. In fact immersion might run counter to their goals in this situation.

2) The car models are probably extremely detailed and overmeshed even to guarantee that the model has high physical fidelity. A large amount of the performance in games that is lost in CAD is due to geometry bandwidth.

3) Also X-Ray mode implies some pretty interesting alpha blending type effects so they're probably losing most of their Z-Culling and line drawing also isn't as optimized in graphics hardware as most people don't use it. It's actually a selling point on several CAD workstation graphics cards that they accelerate line drawing.

4) The motion capture system tracking their hands and heads also probably introduces some level of system latency.

Comment Shocked! (Score 1) 300

I am shocked! Shocked I say, that a company who's major VC investor sits on the board of Facebook was bought by Facebook.

Will this kill VR? Probably not. Is this going to usher in VR sooner? Maybe. Is this the wave of the future for social media? Probably not. Most people have no idea what the Oculus is nor do they care. The average person thinks you're a dork for wearing VR but will enjoy it for its novelty for a while. I say all this as someone who backed the Kickstarter and has a DK1.

VR is inherently anti-social and oriented for consumption of media. Most people want to hang out with their friends face to face and not in a virtual land because humans are hardwired for social contact (for the most part). Plus Facebook has an inherent asynchronous aspect that makes it appealing. It's a broadcast that people can respond to overtime. But VR demands equipment and attention. I don't see people having this commitment to VR for this sort of activity.

I honestly don't think it's just the technology not being there that held back VR all these years. The tech to do this has probably been here for about 6 to 10 years if the will to do it had been as well. I think the future of this sort of thing is much more likely in the field of Augmented Reality. Things that enhance your day to day life and help you complete tasks or activities. VR has some appeal for gaming/entertainment, but I think the only serious task I see for it might be teleoperation of robotic systems. Most of the time you want to be able to engage the world around you, not shut it out completely.

One last point, if VR is going to take off like people hope, we need rendering systems that can do real time photo realistic rendering of realistic scenes with serious fidelity. We're getting close, but it's still going to be a while and even then the computing power required is going to be stout.

Comment Re: "So who needs native code now?" (Score 1) 289

There's nothing wrong with setters and getters provided one writes them well. It's extra work but I've had times where having setters and getters to put break points in would have allowed me to catch and fix highly insidious bugs caused by people doing bad things in other parts of the code. To be fair it was their use of globals that made it an issue in the first place :/.

That being said I always try to write them in attribute style as it looks almost as clean as direct public access.

Comment Time to get out the black flags (Score 3, Insightful) 223

Seriously, before DICE bought /. it seemed like I just didn't have enough time to catch up on all the articles I wanted to. Now I'm lucky if there's two or three articles a week that are interesting enough for even a second glance. And now this shit? Terrible...

I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Comment Guarantees (Score 5, Informative) 260

A PhD doesn't really guarantee you anything. It can also be detrimental depending on what you want to do as some companies consider it too much or too expensive. You'll be better off starting in a Masters program and then deciding if you you really see a need or feel the desire to go for the PhD. A PhD is a LOT of work and time.

Really unless you plan to go into academia or hard core research I'd steer clear.

Comment Re:Not Much You Can Do About That (Score 1) 197

I have the same issue. Sleep study confirmed and everything. I was working with a clinical behavioral psychologist to improve some, but life went crazy and my sleep is back to pretty much being shit.

Light therapy did help some though. I need to get back on trying that.

People are basically assclowns about it though.

Comment Re:I call bullshit (Score 1) 233

No you don't. You just need to read the published paper and attempt to reproduce what the paper reports. (A good scientific paper includes enough information to make the work it reports on reproducible.)

That's the ideal and idyllic world. In many areas there's a ton of hidden parameters and secret sauce that doesn't get reported. I found this to be especially true in robotics and machine vision and other computer science papers.

Comment Re:Absolute power corrupts absolutely. (Score 2) 233

I spent a year and a half working on trying to replicate results from one paper. Total failure. A few years later I was talking to one of the researchers and sure enough, the results only worked in that one case for that one data set and pretty much had no real chance of working any other way. That's pretty much the straw that broke my brain. The entire time it was my fault the results weren't being reproduced....

Comment Re:OpenGL is the problem (Score 1) 649

Game developers and application developers are some of the biggest reasons for the current state of OpenGL actually. Devs wanted openGL to give them more freedom like DirectX or for things to be more closely aligned to openGL ES for compatibility reasons. Hell, if you look around a bit you'll find devs who want openGL to let them get even more low level than they can now for beter performance. All that fixed functionality came with a performance price and often forced the developers to play tricks to get the effects they wanted.

To your direct complaints,

Texture loading was always a pain and often neccesitated going to outside libraries(based upon data formats), but texturing has barely changed in the new opengl other than the use of shaders to do the look up.

The basic lighting equations and material properties that openGL used are easy to find and can be implemented in shaders in about 15 minutes(hell the orange books should have most of them already implemented).

Matix math libraries have been available for ages and if that is still too much effort, there are libraries like GLM which have almost line for line direct replacements for the openGL matrix commands.

OpenGL shaders should mostly be cross platform. The real problems they had probably had to do with various extensions or features not being supported across all hardware or the hardware having different limitations. OpenGL specifies the minimums to be standard compliant but hardware can have different maximums and algorithms can change based upon those maximums.

Yes there is now a bit more up front cost to using a the Core profile of openGL, but the flexibility and performance gains are honestly worth it.

Comment Re:What ISN'T NP-Hard? (Score 1) 212

Correcting myself, NP-Hard isn't just the numerical version of NP-Complete. But rather the set of problems which are at least as hard as NP. NP-Hard includes the numerical versions. Sigh.

The numerical version of many NP-Complete decision problems are often NP-Hard.

Comment Re:What ISN'T NP-Hard? (Score 1) 212

I'd love to know what you consider the most basic algorithms. There are entire classes of problems which are polynomial and are not "basic". I also think you don't understand what it even means to be NP-Hard (which is just the numerical version of being NP-Complete.) Also to show that something is NP-Hard is equivalent to showing something is NP-Complete, which means you show there is a Polynomial time reduction to another problem in the appropriate class. Seriously, how did this get modded insightful.

Honestly, I don't think you even begin to understand complexity spaces or how they work.

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