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Comment Re:*bullet burn* That was a close one. (Score 2) 78

Because I'm insane, I actually own both of them and have spent a fair amount of time using each. (Was an original kickstarter backer so they sent me a CV1, then I also bought a Vive)

I like the actual headset part from Oculus better, and they currently have more games that are actually fleshed out games instead of tech demos.
Built in headphones are also way less of a pain than providing your own as well.

However, the Vive room-scale & hand controllers makes it a better overall experience. Standing, walking around, and using your hands just makes it vastly more immersive. It will be interesting to see if any of this changes after the Oculus touch controllers are released, but I am skeptical that they will be able to do room-scale tracking that's as accurate as the vive just by adding another camera. Even though I don't think they will, I'm hopeful they do, however, because I really do like the greater level of polish the Oculus device has.

Amusingly enough, I ordered a Vive after it was released and got it about 2 weeks ago. A friend of mine who preordered a Rift very early (possibly first day?) still hasn't gotten his.

Comment Re:Not funneled into (Score 1) 284

Except the Euro isn't going to improve. Just look at its demographics. Most of the population is nearing retirement, and there isn't an equivalently-sized generation behind it to generate investment nor a generation behind that one to generate growth. The periphery is considerably more screwed, because not only is the Euro too strong for them to generate positive GDP growth on exports, but even if the Euro were artificially devalued ("over our dead bodies," the Germans would say), the periphery's labor market is too old and thus too expensive to employ to compete on straight exports either.

And when that bulge moves into retirement, they stop earning taxable income, and Europe can't afford the bailouts anymore. Not with a hilariously large population base of retirees to pay pensions and medical benefits for, with the tax burden placed on considerably smaller populations. No, Europe as it is right now, is as good as it's gonna be.

Comment Re: Three guesses... (Score 1) 126

The "kicker" is that Yandex is already the market leader for searches in Russia, but they have hilariously dismal smartphone market penetration due to Google Search being the default engine bundled with Android. Rather than simply forking Android to change the defaults and providing their own equivalent applications, and then paying Russian OEMs to use their distro instead of Google's so as to shut Google out of the Russian market almost-entirely, Yandex wants to piggyback off of Google's hard work.

So yes, this is essentially Yandex wanting Google to subsidize them.

Submission + - "Happy Birthday" Public Domain after all? (techdirt.com)

jazzdude00021 writes: No song has had as contentious of copyright history as "Happy Birthday." The song is nearly ubiquitous at birthday parties in the USA, and even has several translations with the same tune. Due to copyrights held by Warner Music, public performances have historically commanded royalty fees. However, a new lawsuit has been brought to prove that "Happy Birthday" is, and always has been in the public domain.The discovery phase for this lawsuit ended on July, 11 2014, yet this past week new evidence surfaced from Warner Music that may substantiate the claim that the lyrics were in the public domain long before the copyright laws changed in 1927. From the source:

And, here's the real kicker: they discovered this bit of evidence after two questionable things happened. (1) Warner/Chappell Music (who claims to hold the copyright for the publishing, if it exists) suddenly "found" a bunch of relevant documents that it was supposed to hand over in discovery last year, but didn't until just a few weeks ago, and (2) a rather important bit of information in one of those new documents was somewhat bizarrely "blurred out." This led the plaintiffs go searching for the original, and discover that it undermines Warner Music's arguments, to the point of showing that the company was almost certainly misleading the court. Furthermore, it definitively shows that the work was and is in the public domain.


Comment Re:Lessons from Fukushima (Score 1) 678

So that just excludes building in Temecula, central Los Angeles, and the San Francisco bay.

Honestly the best place to build desal plants would probably be San Diego, because the region sits atop a massive single chunk of bedrock (the southern California batholith), and California doesn't get the kind of offshore vertical displacement quakes that cause tsunamis anyway.

Comment Re:thank God they didn't have computers.... (Score 1) 629

I had something similar happen in high school as well - same era of computing technology, but my "crime" was using the Back Orifice client on a terminal in CAD class and discovering that a good chunk of the school's network had been infected with it. Attempting to convince the district's administrator that a problem existed at all got me a "we have antivirus, we're fine" response (their solution for everything was the same as yours - reformat and reinstall), and when I pressed the issue with the school's administration I was given a more detailed answer of "fixing it isn't in the budget."

So I forced the issue, by using the client to display popup messages on several terminals in my Internet Publishing class, with the teacher in full view of what was going on. Got pulled aside and "reported" to the administration, and he made all kinds of noise about "port scans are a felony" which I couldn't help but laugh at, considering he ultimately had to use the BO client himself to remove the infection. The school administration wanted to expel me and sweep the problem under the rug, but they basically had to settle for assigning me one session of Saturday School after discovering that I had never signed the liability waiver the district required of every student prior to using their computers (I was handed one, I stuck it in my backpack and promptly forgot about it), and neither my CAD teacher nor my Internet Publishing teacher bothered to enforce collecting the damn things.

The start of the second semester that year was telling, because the school had its campus police lock every computer lab and basically force every student, for each class period, to sign a liability waiver and return it before they'd let anyone in.

Story doesn't end there though - fast forward a year and change, over the summer the school spent a huge amount of money having one of the computer graphics classes upgraded, with something on the order of 20-some iMacs and 4 G3's. Barely a semester later, somebody broke into the lab, ripped most of the memory out of each machine, and reconfigured the virtual memory settings so that the theft wouldn't be noticed immediately. And it wasn't. Take a wild guess who their first suspect was.

Getting pulled out of class by two uniformed police officers was fun, though nothing came of that, or their investigation, as far as I know. The school didn't get reimbursed by their insurance company either, because the computers had anti-theft locks installed but none of them were actually armed.

Comment Re:Ok, I am naive, but... (Score 1) 320

The simple answer is that they're not paying for their education.

Incidentally, this lines up quite neatly with why it seems like the big cheating scandals tend to hit the four-year mainline universities versus, say, community colleges and trade schools. Rich kids with more money than sense don't go to those.

Comment I got my DK2 A couple weeks ago (Score 1) 67

I ordered within the first 24 hours and got my DK2 a couple weeks ago.
I also have a DK1

My initial impressions

- Screen certainly much improved. I like how vibrant the OLED makes things.
- Screen door effect much reduced, but certainly not eliminated.
- The low persistence display seems to help considerably with the previous blurring on head movement problem.
- Much easier to position on your head such that everything is crisp and clear.
- Having head position tracked in addition to orientation feels much more natural.
- Having your head position suddenly not tracked because you went out of the FOV of the tracking camera is very jarring.
- The FOV of the display seems slightly reduced from the DK1, reducing peripheral vision.
- No more breakout box & power supply being optional does not mean the setup is any less complicated. Now there's a camera to worry about along with a new sync cable connecting the camera and the headset.
- Chromatic effects, especially near the peripheries.

Overall, a very solid improvement over the DK1.

I actually talk about it (and the google cardboard I have) a bit on a podcast I contribute to.
Aliens Land here

Comment Re:National Museum of Mathematics (Score 2) 96

I went there with my son who was 3 at the time as well as my wife. It was fun and they had some neat things. Some of the exhibits were clearer than others. The light-floor, for example, was great for kids to entertain themselves on, but actually figuring out what was going on could be tricky, even if you read the description. (This is because it cycled through a number of algorithms.)

Comment Re:Call me tron (Score 1) 46

I wrote a thing that does that (virtualizes monitors) but the resolution (at least with the original rift) makes it unusable. I'm hoping DK2 improves things enough that it at least isn't a horrible option, but 960x1080 per eye is probably still too low. Smearing was also a big problem for monitor virtualization, but DK2 should have mostly fixed that.

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