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Comment Re:This is awesome (Score 1) 103

I pretty much agree with your statements, with the caveat that the kind of LOD the OP is talking about would be really, really cool. Hard to do though, you need to track the eye and switch detail basically before they eye can register the image. If you're running at 60fps that means you get about two frames to switch detail levels to an appropriate setting, and really you probably want to get it done in that first frame to make it less likely that the player will notice.

That takes more than just power, that takes some really clever software trickery to make that happen.

Comment It's basic encryption (Score 3, Informative) 114

If you don't trust WhatsApp to faithfully regenerate encryption keys, why the hell did you trust them to generate the initial keys in the first place? They could have just given Facebook a key then and let them listen in to your messages at any time. ANY messaging app, no matter how secure, can do this.

This is not a backdoor, it's an inherent vulnerability in all encryption systems. If you don't trust one end of the encryption, it doesn't matter if the keys are only generated once or if they're generated over and over, or if you're notified when they're regenerated or if they just regenerate them on the fly. At any point, an untrustworthy server can simply make a valid key for a third party, and your encryption is compromised.

This is a non-story. You know what 99% of people do in Signal when they get a notification that their encryption key has changed? They hit OK and re-send the message, just like WhatsApp does by default.

It's just like EULA's, nobody pays attention to those damn thigns. WhatsApp just skips the step of asking you to verify the encryption change unless you go into the settings and explicitly tell it to notify you. For most people, that's exactly the appropriate behavior.

Comment Re:NOT NEWS SLASHDOT! (Score 2) 133

No, scientists had reasonable evidence to suggest that might be a function of the appendix.

Until there is a large scale review study of all the studies on the subject, just like the study in the article, no reasonable scientist would say the subject was closed.

The SlashDot summary was terrible, though, so there is that.

Comment It's confirmation, and I approve (Score 5, Insightful) 133

If you thought you knew this before a study like this came out, then you're as bad as all the other gullible sheep out there, because there was not a large body of good evidence to point to to support that opinion.

The study in the Qartz article is a review study, looking at hundreds of other studies. It's an extremely important kind of study for solidifying our understanding of how things work, and frankly in my opinion they often don't get enough attention because people think they know these things already. You did not know these things already. You had a couple of articles that you'd seen before that suggested maybe the appendix isn't as useless as doctors used to think, but you didn't have a body of evidence that you could point to to prove that fact. Now you do. That's the importance of the study.

Of course, in typical fashion the SlashDot summary woefully misrepresents it as a study saying "Hey guys! I found this brand new thing that other people have already found! Check it out!", which of course that isn't what the study was doing at all.

Comment Re:Hyperbolic? NEVER! (Score 1) 240

As long as Intel is top dog in the CPU market, the Desktop CPU is indeed dead.

However, only an idiot would think that means the Desktop PC is dead.

This is the perfect opportunity for another party to sweep in and innovate the CPU market. Whether it will be a traditional x86 style CPU manufacturer like AMD, or an ARM or RISC style conentder, who knows. But the longer Intel stagnates, the larger the opportunity will grow.

Comment Re:Desktops aren't dead (Score 3, Interesting) 240

I'm not sure if AMD's got anything in the pipeline that can shake things up, but if they do, this is their chance (again).

Some of the official stuff released about Ryzen look pretty spectacular. It's still not clear whether it will be able to beat Intel in total performance, but it's looking damn close, which is really encouraging to me. Furthermore, they are actually introducing new technologies in the chip, rather than slightly polishing old ones.

I have my doubts that AMD will fully match Intel this cycle, let alone beat them, but it gives me hope for the future. It's pretty clear right now who is resting on their laurels and who is driving to be the future of CPUs.

Comment Re:Oh look, here comes the corporate white knight (Score 1) 295

That's probably because it's pretty clearly sarcasm.

I mean, saying "I like how yadda yadda yadda" and "yadda yadda yadda" is something the writer clearly doesn't like, that's pretty much textbook ironic sarcasm.

There are non-ironic forms of sarcasm, but they are pretty much impossible to convey in writing.

Comment Re:No Man's Sky (Score 1) 99

Steam accepted refunds for weeks after purchase for this particular game, simply because the backlash was so huge. The lack of the expected revenue loss was NOT because people couldn't refund it.

The truth of the matter is, while it didn't deserve the absurd fan generated hype by any means, it wasn't that bad. Not great, not bad, just meh. A small, though larger than normal, portion of the gaming population were extremely upset over this, but for most people it's not that different than any other game, and isn't enough to get a refund over..

Comment Re:Steam Page (Score 1) 76

This is pretty much the only legitimate complaint about the advertising of the game I've seen. Murray was pretty vague about a lot of things, and I think a lot of that had to do with people asking questions and the answer being technically true, but not really in the way they were expecting.

Multiplayer is a prime example. The game was always intended to have an aspect of multiplayer, so when people ask "does it have multiplayer?" you see Murray go "Well, yes, but..." and all people seem to hear is the "yes". Then when it doesn't ship with this very minor aspect of the game people are up in arms because "you said it would have multiplayer!". It was a similar response to if Call of Duty had shipped with just a campaign mode, and it was totally out of line with what Murray said would be in the game.

NMS even shipped with what I believe Murray wanted as the core element of the multiplayer, the ability to land on a planet someone else had discovered and see who had discovered it and when (and if they gave anything funny names). The ability to run into other players was always intended to be a very rare occurrence, but pretty cool when it happened. So not shipping that part of it should not be a big deal, but it was actually a huge deal. It seems to be people's number one complaint.

The key problem, I think, was being way too vague. It's not so much that he didn't want to say no, it's that these things were technically true at the time, but he had very different ideas about what that meant than his audience, and he was far too vague in attempting to portray it.

Comment Re:Steam Page (Score 1) 76

To start out with, I'm not going to say there is nothing wrong with NMS. IMO, there is a lot wrong with it, and while I got most of what I expected out of it, it turned out to not be as shiny as I hoped.

That said, the complaints you list are absolutely idiotic, and show a clear lack of ability and listen and comprehend when other people speak.

Can you interprate a box with an ESRB rating sticker covering the original ESRB rating which was higher in part due to the online multiplayer component that the studio even announced to the ratings agency and left in place even as the boxes were being printed before launch?

Obviously multiplayer was planned, and just as obviously it didn't make the cut. Shit happens. From the very first interviews multiplayer was advertised as a minor feature, not a major part of the game, so this is at best a minor quibble. If you bought NMS for the multiplayer then you're an idiot and deserve every second of "pain and suffering" you feel you experienced because of it.

Yeah you do that about a day before your game launches when you realise all you have said was bullshit. Also he didn't downplay it he just said the game is so big you won't see other players, and then in week one two players found their exact locations on a map at the same time.

Did you watch any interviews with Murray? Every time it was brought up the mantra was essentially "don't expect to ever run into another player". How is that not downplaying it? He got real specific when he realized it wasn't going to make it into the final game, and that somehow morons on the internet thought the game was actually a multiplayer game in the sense of Battlefield or Call of Duty.

- Procedural generation with the same underlying script. Yay the aliens look slightly different but do the same thing.

They never said they would do different things. I don't know where you got that impression, it's not in any of the trailers or interviews. I will say the fact that the variety is pretty superficial is a bit disappointing, but it's not different than advertised.

- Upgrade and modification systems that have zero effect on the gameplay.

Er, what? Have you played the game? Upgrades and mods have a huge effect on gameplay. Without mods on your ship you get toasted pretty much immediately in space combat, with the right mods combat is a breeze. With mods mining is faster and safer, you can work in extreme environments with low risk, you can hold more cargo before you need to sell, etc. Mods are pretty essential to the whole thing.

- A completely omitted factional warfare system which was shown off in every preview.

The factional system is exactly as advertised. I watched an interview where Murray did the faction stuff and it was exactly the way it is in the game. I do not understand how people were mislead on this. They specifically stated you would not be able to join a faction permanently. What you can do is assist one side or the other in a space battle, and that will affect your faction standing with both races involved in the battle. And that's exactly what happens. If you jump in a battle you get a little mission tracker, where you have to blow up X number of ships for your chosen side. It's pretty much exactly as advertised.

- Finding someone elses base as shown in the preview.

It never showed a player owned base. It showed a player discovered base. Every single little base you find has a little waypoint marker you can access, and it puts your name on it. If you ever happen upon a planet someone else discovered first their name will be all over it, including the bases. You can go into your journal and rename them if you like, but I never really saw the point to name something nobody else is likely to ever see. The game was specifically designed NOT to have player bases, because they wanted people to keep moving around the galaxy. The Foundation update is a major concession in this area.

- Intense air-to-air combat scenarios (which also showed multiplayer) which ended up being dumbed down to a point and click adventure.

No, they didn't show intense air-to-air combat with multiplayer. They showed Player vs AI combat that is almost exactly the same as advertised. The only valid complaints here are that they did show combat in planet atmospheres, where in the actual game the pirates immediately flee once you get into atmosphere, and the AI is pretty basic, making for combat that is not particularly challenging once you've got a few basic mods on your ship.

They did mention the possibility that the person you were fighting could be another player, but then went on to talk about how unlikely that would be. Again, this was intended as a minor feature but the community somehow convinced itself that this was a major part of the game. So when it didn't ship it was a huge disappointment.

And perhaps the biggest of them all: The thing at the centre of our galaxy that will blow our minds. And to be fair to him it did blow our minds. It blew our minds about how we could have been so duped by the hype only to have the developers shit in the faces of the people dedicated enough to endure the incredible grind of trying to reach the centre. It blew our minds when suddenly a realisation was absolutely clear that people paid money to go through 100 hours of unenjoyable rubbish for nothing.

This is the second valid point you've made so far, and the first one that I think is actually a big deal. Though to me it felt like pushing to the center of the galaxy was meant more as simply a direction to follow, they did hype up something cool and what was delivered was decidedly not cool.

No one gives a shit about multiplayer.

Funny how pretty much every complaint you list involves lack of multiplayer as part of the complaint, except for the one reasonable complaint about the center of the galaxy. Hmmm...

Now, for a complaint of my own that you didn't mention (perhaps you tried to in your "procedural generation" comment, but did so poorly?), is that despite the vast amounts of procedural generated content, there aren't really that many things to do. The primary purpose of the game is a chill exploration of vistas as you hop across the galaxy, but it often feels like once you land on a planet you've pretty much seen all you need to see. Walk around for a bit, take some screenshots, maybe check and see which of three types of ruins are on this planet, and then it's off to the next planet. While you CAN do all kinds of things, like going trekking across the planet size planets, or trying to find all the little bases and outposts, or participating in faction combat, there isn't really much of a point to doing any of that. It doesn't feel like you progress anything when you do anything but drive toward the center of the galaxy or follow Atlas, which is disappointing.

It was advertised as being able to take distinct roles, like a combat pilot, an explorer, or a trader. Technically you can do these things, and even focus on them exclusively, but the reality of the game is that you're an explorer who is taking a break to do some combat or some trading. The exploration aspect is such a huge part of the game, it trivializes the trading and combat aspects. I was hoping for a more balanced approach, and that left me a bit disappointed.

Comment Re:This is why FOSS / CC is better than PD (Score 1) 99

I'm pretty sure they can charge for their packaging and marketing of the stories, i.e. yes, they can charge for it.

What they can't do is create and sell their product, then look up instances of people also publishing those stories and charge them licensing fees.

That is what Getty did here, they just happened to do it to the original author, so she was absolutely certain they had no right to charge her. Her mistake was in thinking she still had any right to sue them for misrepresenting a copyright claim on her works. If she had CC'd them, she could still do that, but she released them to the public domain, so she had no basis to counter-sue.

Comment Re:Damned if they do damned if they don't (Score 1) 117

Why would you make that assumption? People complain about policing on the iOS store, but it's still the most popular smartphone app store out there. The policing is clearly worth it. Why would you assume the policing would not be worth it on the Mac store? It seems to me they need something like that.

I have zero experience with the Mac store, so I'm basically just talking out my ass here, but it sounds like they chose to go the cheaper and easier route for the Mac store and just set strict requirements to develop an app for the app store, and then only check the apps when they are added to the store.

So if app makers are clever they can technically be within the rules, yet still be misleading to customers and scam them into buying the wrong product, and Apple doesn't care.

I honestly don't know if the iOS store does better, but judging by the tone of the article and a lot of comments here, it sounds like they do a lot better.

Comment Re:Very math. Such good. (Score 1) 117

Probably because CAN and AUS are the two other "dollars" Americans are most familiar with. The Brits use pounds, the rest of Europe mostly uses euros, Mexico has the peso and China the yuan, so really Canada and Australia are pretty near the top of the list of countries that call their base currency 'dollars'.

Do you think he should have used the Bahamian dollar instead? Or perhaps the Namibian dollar?

Honestly, if you're only going to pick two (why two? I dunno), Australia and Canada are pretty solid choices.

Comment Re:OK... (Score 1) 109

Blockchains don't do anything you can't do already. However, the blockchain makes it easy to get very high granualrity of data with no extra cost, whereas with traditional tracking methods there is a not-insignificant cost to obtaining all that detailed information.

The idea is simple and really quite brilliant. To create a blockchain of physical products, all you need is a barcode scanner/printer set up to generate new blocks for the block chain and a basic database that fits the number of items you sell, and you're basically done. The information needs to be uploaded, obviously, and your system needs to be robust enough to correctly handle everything that's going in, but the tedious data entry is gone.

So the farm produces some broccoli, and each shipment gets a block with a hash tag. When that shipment goes to the distributor, the distributor scans the existing block, and uses that to generate a new block for each shipment of broccoli they pack up. There is no need to hit the database to do this, btw. As long as you have the original hash available, you can generate a new block based on that hash with ease. When that shipment arrives at the store, the store generates a new block for each box they receive, and then a new block for each package they put on the shelf. Now, when they need to recall a product, they can see what box the package came out of, and all packages associated with that box. They can see what shipment that box came from, and all boxes associated with that shipment. They can see what distribution center that shipment came from, and all assicated shipments from that center. They can see what farm it came from, and all associated products from that farm, and depending on how detailed the farmer got, they may even be able to see the field and row the broccoli came from.

And all you need to do this is a database, and the ability to generate new hash tags from old hash tags. That's it.

To associate all the data they get from a blockchain automatically into a database without using blockchains, they'd have to essentially re-create the chain by hand at each step. I.e. farmer ships broccoli to distribution center. A person at the distribution center records shipment date, farm, product, ect, and probably gives it some kind of serial number specific to that shipment. Distribution center packages everything up, but they have to be diligent about what shipment gets associated with what packages, etc. It's a normal thing, but it requires effort. This continues all down the line.

The total effort to get this kind of information at every stage is so great that, in fact, most companies only track back to the distribution center level, and may not keep track of things like what specific box a product came out of. So if someone gets sick, they can tell you what company sold it, and ditch everything from that company for a given time period, but they don't have more information than that, so they wind up wasting a whole lot of product that is perfectly fine, because they simply don't know if it's fine or not.

With block chains, it's easy to track that info.

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