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Comment Re:Starshot is incredibly premature (Score 1) 205

Yes, you are 100% correct, and there is no reason to even debate it. This whole "Breakthrough Starshot" baloney is a waste of time. Even typing the words "Breakthrough Starshot" uses energy and time that I could have used more productively nearly any other way possible.

Comment Re:Travelling at 20% of the speed of light (Score 0) 205

If they're going to make up ridiculous schemes why do they stop there? I think they should instead propose vaporizing every atom on the planet Earth simultaneously in a single large blast that is able to propel a large spacecraft full of ultra sophisticated machinery powered by continuous motion systems all the way there at 0.99999c. It will only take a few years to get there and it can use all of the devices on board to simultaneously sample tons of data in the microsecond it has to view the planet as it flies by. And all of humanities hopes and dreams can be put into a box at the helm of the ship so that none of that is lost when we all blow up.

These guys are clearly amateurs and making dumb shit up.

Comment Re:Travelling at 20% of the speed of light (Score 0) 205

I personally have no interest or patience in something that has zero payoff in my lifetime, my children's lifetime, or my grandchildren's lifetime. I'd rather pay a million dollars for a pencil eraser I can use today than a million dollars for a wealth of information that will not be available until 400+ years after I am dead.

Comment OK so now I've read about it and ... (Score 4, Interesting) 151

Wayland is attractive to its developers because it explicitly implements a much reduced feature set compared to X11. Quite a few of the X11 features are historic and not of interest to very many modern users, but then again there are some features that are useful and Wayland doesn't offer a replacement for them.

X11 includes a rendering API for 2d graphics, and through extensions, for a variety of compositing and other more "modern" operations. Wayland provides no rendering API at all. Wayland is just a graphics compositing server with input support. It's a small fraction of what X is. It gives you a buffer to write your pixels into and you have to bring a rendering implementation to the party yourself.

This means that applications have even less coherency than they had with X11; X programs have a fundamental set of behaviors that are all the same due to using a single rendering framework. The degree to which this will matter in practice, given how poorly X programs adhere to any kind of common UI paradigm anyway, remains to be seen.

Apparently there's this thing called Mir that Ubuntu is developing that is a competitor to Wayland for the X replacement (where neither is actually a replacement, offering significantly less functionality in both cases). I guess that Ubuntu rejected Wayland and decided to roll their own. I would bet a fair sum that Fedora is pushing Wayland in this way to try to prevent Ubuntu from gathering its own momentum with Mir. I doubt they're pushing it for any reason that benefits end users. It's purely political as a means to prevent a competitor's favored X replacement from gaining support.

I have been an X user for about 26 years now and I have zero problems with it and would rather not see a replacement take over, especially one that is likely to be a step sideways/backwards from an end user perspective ala systemd. But given that Wayland by itself is not nearly as useful as X by itself, I expect that operating systems will use Wayland, at least for a while, as a layer underneath the X server. X will remain, it will just allow Wayland to own its frame buffer instead of owning it itself. And in the end, the functionality I require from X will remain because the X server will remain.

Comment Twister 1996 (Score 4, Interesting) 260

The first time I saw this bait-and-switch technique was with Twister in 1996. Advertising showed a scene filmed from a first person point of view across a big empty field with a tornado in the distance. Stuff was flying everywhere and far in the distance a large piece of construction equipment is pulled apart and then a huge tire comes flying at the camera. I thought that scene looked really cool, this was fairly early in the days of wow-factor CG special effects. After watching the movie in the theatre I realized that the scene was not in it.

It always irked me and I always thought it was a bit of bait-and-switch, and I'm glad that someone is trying to hold the studios accountable.

By the way I can't believe that back in 1996 my time was so invaluable to me that I would spend it going to a movie theatre to watch a movie like Twister. In the years since I've been incredibly much more selective. I never watch any of the brain dead CG fest superhero movies, or really any movie whose sole attraction is how much pointless eye candy they can put on the screen in each scene.

Comment Re:What kind of lenses? (Score 1) 15

Fresnel lens effects cause a variety of artifacts, most notably the appearance of reflective concentric rings in any scene with high contrast, and sometimes a reduced appearance of rings in scenes even with moderate contrast. Additionally, I can see the rings in scenes of flat color or coherent texture, as a subtle difference in pixel density in each successive ring. There is also a reduced contrast when compared to the DK2 lenses. Finally, the Vive lenses have a very small "sweet spot" in my experience; you can't look obliquely outside of a narrow focal range in the middle of the lenses without one or the other (or both) eyes blurring considerably.

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