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Comment Re: *The* Quickest, Not *Its* Quickest (Score 1) 126

Outstanding. My only thought is I wish they still made the roadster. There's a guy who parks one from time to time in front of where I work, and it always catches my eye cause of how good it looks. Tiny, as most roadsters are, but real good lookin'.

Roadster 3.0 will be back after model Y, which is expected in 2018/9. I would think 2020.

I don't think it would be as good looking. The original Tesla Roadster had a body made by Lotus (basically from the same molds) based on the Elise. Unfortunately, for some reason that relationship soured and Lotus won't be doing that anymore.

Comment Re:Free of compromises? (Score 3, Informative) 71

Notice the guy having to use a CRT to play Duck Hunt.

Not exactly free of compromises.

That's because of the gun controller - the guncons of most consoles is really a photo transistor. The lens in the barrel narrows the field of view of that transistor. What it's looking for is a bright spot on the screen - when you click the trigger, the game notes the delay from the vertical retrace (blank) and when the photo transistor triggers. That delay gives you the X,Y coordinates of the shot and the game uses it to determine if you hit the object.

In some games, it's obvious - you pull the trigger, and the screen turns white briefly as the scan begins by drawing white and seeing when the transistor fires. Others are more sensitive and just rely on the fact that the transistor can see the part of the screen where the electron beam is, or they just turn the targets white to see the location. (In high speed footage, you can see the bright spot drawn by the electron beam in a CRT).

Of course, modern TVs don't have a rapidly moving bright dot so those guncons just don't work anymore. It's why the Wii has the "sensor bar" which is emitting two red dots that are used to spatially track the Wii remote, or the use of AR style tricks with the Wii U tablet controller.

Don't get me wrong, you can use the guncons but not in a single frame - you basically have to rapidly scan the screen with a bar after firing - you send a white bar on a black screen down and across to see when the photo transistor fires and use that to get your coordinates. The lower resolution you go, the faster you can scal - you can do two frames for a leftr/right or up/down dtermination, 4 frames for a corner, etc.

Comment Re:User friendly (Score 4, Insightful) 281

The other problem is resistance in the Linux community to complex tools - because the problems are complex to solve. Even if you apply the "do one thing and do it well", it ends up as a complex tool (see SystemD). And no, sysvinit scripts are not the solution (question - why does /sbin/init provide a perfectly usable daemon manager that no one uses? I mean, it will monitor daemons, if they die, it will restart them. If they die too quickly, it will pause restarting to let the admin have CPU time to fix the problem).

System initialization isn't easy - Apple has tried many different forms of system initialization daemons until settling on launchd (they started with sysvinit at first, then migrated to SystemStarter and a couple of others). And the BSDs have tried to port launchd over as well.

Then there are other use cases - networking for example. NetworkManager is a solution to a problem users have - they may connect to different networks with different network settings. Because without it, handling the simple case of a user going from home wifi to public wifi is much harder. At least to Linux's credit, when it detects public wifi, it can auto-start a VPN client, or even prevent unencrypted traffic in the narrow window between connecting to public wifi and before the VPN starts up. Or even something as minor as going from static IP to DHCP.

Then there's PulseAudio, a framework made necessary because users are complex. Such as being able to switch audio devices while the program has the audio device open. E.g., VoIP - user might be having it on the main audio device waiting for it to ring. The moment it does, users plug in a USB headset (new audio card), and have the call audio automatically routed to the headset without the controlling application (VoIP program) having to do a thing. Or a user switches from onboard audio to a Bluetooth headphone and being able to do it transparent to the player application.

Of course, there's a Linux that does all this transparently to the user - we call it Android. And all this stuff is complex because it has to be - there's no simple way to have a system do these tasks.

Comment Re:Nice but... (Score 2) 55

....the digital revolution is coming to and end. Moores Law has ended already and as a corollary the processing power of digital computers will be incremental. This is a big deal, because it throws future developments into doubt. Will we ever be able to handle the ever increasing processor needs of applications? A lot of people are depending on seemingly infinite processing power to get real AI. Is this ever going to be possible? It seems unlikely since we are seeing only processor improvements of 30% per generation at this point. Eventually those improvements are going to be even less as we hit the physical limitations of producing digital logic gates at ever smaller sizes. Too bad, but it was nice while it lasted!

Except that CPUs have not really needed minimum size transistors for a long time now. They're still needed - Moore's law really helps memory devices, but general random-logic devices like a CPU or GPU don't benefit as much, at least on the processing side.

In fact, the real bottleneck is wiring - there's so much wiring that it's actually what keeps the transistor density low. In fact, in the general logic area, tons of extra transistors are fabbed that aren't hooked up - these are for revisions to the metal layers only (the numerical revisions - e.g., A1, A2, A3, etc) so there's no need to redo masks for the diffusions and all that. There's just so much space between transistors available that you can fab lots of spares.

The vast majority of transistors in a traditional logic device are used for caches and onboard memory - where the wiring is regular and consistent and transistors can be made the absolute smallest and density the highest.

Comment Re:Games for multiple consoles but not PC (Score 2) 79

Are console exclusives written anymore without ownership or heavy incentivization from the console manufacturers?

There were third-party games released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 but not PC. One of these was Red Dead Redemption. There are also third-party games released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One but not PC. One of these is Mortal Kombat XL. This number increases if your home PC runs anything other than Windows. Did you also mean to count handheld games for PlayStation Vita or Nintendo 3DS?

I think OP meant' "console exclusives" as in "Sony" or "Microsoft", not games that lack a PC port.

And despite the PC being vastly larger, there are many sound reasons why devs may not want to support the PC - piracy being pretty much the biggest reason. The piracy rate being so much higher on PC (from virtually nil on console to over 90% on PC) means that the market has to be just that much larger to even consider making money on PC. Then there's all the support - graphics drivers especially often need tweaking for games. On a console, the manufacturer usually helps you out there (Sony and Microsoft generally are pretty good with it, Nintendo... not so much). But on PC you have to work with both NVidia and AMD (or risk your game doing strange things on the other card). Then there's all the strange display combinations - a console can be reasonably expected to work on a 16:9 screen (1080p most typically). PCs can be 16:9, 21:9, super duper widescreen with 3x 1080p horizontally, etc. And PC gamers expect you to support that with FOV adjustability And any textures that you may have reduced the size of because well, you won't see it at 1080p, you know PC people with quadruple 8K monitors will complain about fuzzy textures.

There's a good chance the PC port won't make much money - between piracy, support and extra dev time, etc. which is why most PC ports are cheap and crap - the business case makes it hard.

Comment Re:Oh please (Score 1) 72

Sure, it's just a game... but it's also a $60 expense, which I think it's reasonable to expect plays as advertised.
There's way too much nonsense in the current game industry where you pay retail prices for new game releases that are really still only "beta" quality.

Well, No Man's Sky has two issues. First, it's the opposite on pricing - you hear of AAA games priced at indie levels, but NMS is an indie game priced at AAA levels. (And it IS an indie game - the developer's other game was a mobile one). But that is specific to the way Sony marketed it.

The beta thing is huge, and it's because PC ports don't make much money, so everyone concentrates on console first. (Mostly from piracy - the PC market is bigger, but the piracy rate far exceeds the larger market proportion).

And consoles have a long lead time - if you want your game out in December, guess what? It's too late right now to make it - you'll be in for a 1Q 2017 release at the earliest. You need at least 3-4 months lead time between certification (easily a month, maybe more), pressing (just a long queue of other people wanting discs pressed so you schedule yours somewhere in there), packaging, shipping and distribution (you want to get it to the retailers warehouse at least a couple of weeks ahead of time so it can be received and shipped back out and arrive the day before, though if it's a larger shipment, you might want to give them more time).

So that's why there are day 1 patches - after cert, your devs will be idle until the game is released for a few months. They can work on DLC (much shorter cert time), bug fixes, etc.

Of course, this is on a console, so most of the fixes are developmental ones - game flow, etc. Once you release on PC, it's a wild west with multiple types of graphic cards (all of which have their own quirks), processors, etc.

Comment Re:In the meantime Canada ISPs are behind (Score 1) 148

This story was more about cellular carriers rather than ISPs: even in the US, ISPs are really pathetic in terms of IPv6 support. How are Canadian cellular carriers, like Rogers, in terms of IPv6 support?

Which isn't surprising, actually, because I believe LTE, besides eliminating pure voice support (LTE is data-only), LTE also has NO support for IPv4. That's right, LTE is forward-facing and IPv6 only. Of course, most people want to hit IPv4 sites, so there are mechanisms that get you over - like IPv5 to IPv4 translators. Since it's mobile, those translators are a really fancy form of carrier grade NAT as well, since few expect full end to end connectivity.

Comment Re:Stealth (Score 1) 117

An expensive plane with a "meat-sack" does not only have to be built strong, it has to be built to last. This results in larger development times and costs. One big advantage to an autonomous fighters that is rarely mentioned is that it does not have to last long. The aircraft can be designed to last 100 flights, not 10,000. This is because the planes would sit silent until needed. With piloted fighters, the pilots need regular training and practice using the same planes with which they will be fighting. With autonomous fighters the planes would almost never fly. Regular duties such as patrol could be taken over by simpler planes with lower maintenance costs where the full capabilities of a modern fighter are not required.

Not only does a regular piloted fighter have to be built to last, it has to be built to survive as well as keep the bag of meat alive even when fired upon. (Or at least give him options on where to land).

Without a pilot, a whole pile of things go out the window - canopies and their induced drag disappear (replaced with tiny windows through the skin for cameras), you can dump a whole pile of heavy and now obsolete life-support gear (oxygen generators, air conditioning/climate control, ejection seats, flight instruments/displays/etc). This makes the jet a lot lighter, and lighter jets can maneuver a lot faster and withstand stresses better.

It is widely believed that the current 5th gen fighters (F-35, etc) are the last that will be piloted because pilotless ones will become practical. And yes, it's got some pilots worried (see the trouble the Air Force has recruiting drone pilots).

Comment Conspicuous Silence (Score 3, Insightful) 93

The service, according to Comcast, allows you to download a 5GB HD movie in 40 seconds, [ ...marketing blather... ]

Uh-huh. I notice they're being conspicuously silent on upload speeds. "Gee, how nice I can download a movie in a couple minutes, but how long will I have to wait to upload the video of my daughter's ${WINTER_HOLIDAY} pageant?"

Meanwhile, Google Fiber is 1Gb/sec symmetric.

Comment Re: Why isn't this configurable? (Score 3, Informative) 140

I just wrote a comment to you and closed the window. Ctrl-shift-t restored the window, but did not restore the comment. It can be argued that Chrome ought to store the exact state of the window including all javascript junk, but it currently does not.

And that's the root of the problem. Chrome does not save the state of the form.

IE and Firefox preserve the state of forms - IE just basic form data, but Firefox seems to preserve the entire state, and Chrome... does neither.

In fact, I think Firefox does this extremely well - preserving the state has gotten better and better lately. This might be Firefox's one big redeeming quality of late.

Comment Re:Subsidy == No Sales (Score 1) 42

This will be their biggest challenge - overcoming prejudice against Chinese products and companies. They will be labelled as cheap Chinese made crap (somehow putting "designed in California" on the box changes that) and accused of being a government front for backdoors and economy-weakening subsidies.

Well, for Xiaomi, it's a bit deserved, since their MIUI, copied, err, "borrowed" heavily from iOS. It was a pretty thorough reskinning too.

They do make nice phones, but they cheapen them with the copying of looks instead of striking out on their own.

An then the whole cloud thing - Xiaomi is heavily invested in cloud - it's why they give away MIUI for other phones so they can "adapt to user's behaviors".

The anti-Chinese bias is not undeserved - they could very well make very nice phones with their own unique UI that doesn't copy or borrow much from anything else. The Chinese are more than capable of things like that, but instead of trying to make themselves different, they wish to just copy.

Part of this could be the low regard to intellectual property - if they don't value software licensing (i.e., lots of pirated software), then what value is there in a Chinese person who does software?

Comment 35 Years of Rank Incompetence, And Counting... (Score 4, Interesting) 215

Microsoft says it introduced the changes to prevent an issue that was resulting in duplication of encoding the stream (poor performance).

I see. Because squirting 720p or 1080p video as uncompressed YUYV over a USB2 link never results in performance problems...

Comment The big question - SUPPORT! (Score 5, Insightful) 124

The Rpi isn't the cheapest board out there. There are many cheaper ones, many offering faster processors, more cores, built-in WiFi, etc.

Bang per buck, you can do better than Rpi. Even the Zero.

But what the Rpi does have over everyone else? Community and long-term support. The other cheaper boards often only release an ancient kernel and that's it - nothing more. Yes they can run Android, but the only one they release code for is Android 4. And if the driver is buggy, you're SOL - no one's fixing it.

But the Rpi community is what makes the Rpi the better board - there's lot of support, lots of people are keeping a maintained kernel for it, and drivers are actively being developed and debugged.

How's this board compare? What are they doing to ensure long-term viability of their hardware? Or are they going to build them all, then go onto the next generation, forgetting about what's out there already?

Comment Re:As a former journalist, this isn't a big deal (Score 5, Informative) 133

They messed up publishing that Hulk Hogan video.

No they didn't. They saw Hogan as a lame target - one who does not have a resources to sue them. They have a lot of money on lawyers, so they thought they were immune - just publish away and the well-paid lawyers will keep any lawsuit squashed.

The miscalculation was that someone who they burned earlier had a lot of money and was looking for a case with merit (because bringing forward his own case would've had negative consequences) and thus was willing to fund Hogan to bring the case forward.

(This is not unusual - many entities often provide legal aid in cases they deem important - if you think Thiel acted wrong, what do you think of the ACLD, EFF, EPIC, etc., doing the same thing?)

The big problem was thinking journalists were above the law and as a news organization, they were well above the judicial system and reproach and had complete freedom.

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