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Comment It's a slow and incremental process (Score 1) 67

I'd love to see the original driving reports of these self driving vehicles. Maybe they are publicly available and I just haven't looked hard enough. I want to see how well these SDCs perform in pouring rainstorms; like a cloudburst where you aren't sure if having your wipers on the fastest setting is doing anything or not, or thick to no visibility fog, or a substantial snowstorm. Or how about plowing through a significant snow bank on the road. Or poorly marked detours in a GPS deadzone - they just have static maps and dead reckoning to navigate.

Until they can perform such tasks as that with ease and have a multi-year track record for doing so, SDCs are a luxury item for the city commuter. Granted that will help the larger percentage of drivers, but it will not make those things ubiquitous by any means.

Comment Where's the beef (Score 1) 111

This is the only meaty part of the article, and it's pretty damn slim and stringy.

"The patent is set to finish on Dec. 5 of this year. It currently belongs to William Longe, who owns watch brand Leonard that first filed the patent ...
The world's largest watchmaker Swatch unveiled its riposte to Apple's smartwatch last month, announcing a plan to put cheap programmable chips in watches that will let wearers from China to Chicago make payments with a swipe of the wrist."

Comment concentrated... (Score 1) 421

I looked through the FAQs and watched the 15 min video, nothing is being said if it is possible to get 2 or more bags of this stuff and dissolve it in the same amount of water that is normally used for one packet; I believe he said it's about 5 ounces of liquid. Or maybe taking 5 ounces of vodka and dissolving the vodka powder in that. What about swallowing the stuff in powder form? How does the re-absorption of liquid affect your insides or does the various concentrations of alcohol as it goes through absorption do things to the inside of the body we don't understand yet?

Both stupid things to do I agree and it's more practical/effective using the liquid alcohol, but when has pre-adult portion of our society ever been smart when it comes to drugs? I'm not saying ban it, or stop it or anything, in fact, I think it's a novel product and could be more beneficial than we ever realize. I am just curious about forced concentration or dry consumption.

Comment Server 2012 R2 vs Windows 10 preview (Score 5, Insightful) 236

What I find interesting is that Microsoft's server version of the OS is pretty damn good. With the server, MS knows exactly who their target market is and develops tools that are amazingly good (Visual Studio is much the same). In that OS, the Modern UI elements they blend in with the tools (like Server Monitor or Resource Monitor) actually make sense and give the admin of the machine an good overview of the health of the machine. I don't see their crazy attempts to blend in touchscreen elements with traditional programs to try and force UI paradigms. Furthermore, you can even decide to install the "core" version of the same said OS. That version has no GUI. It's command line only. Granted it's Powershell, but if you've drank the MS kool-aid and learned PS, it's not a terrible way to admin a machine.

In the consumer market, they really don't know for what platform they should develop the OS for. In the past, they have blindly laid down the UI paradigm of Touchscreens and forgot that Windows machines are also used for content creation, not just consumption. In the process, pissing of the majority of their consumer base that don't use touchscreens. It wouldn't be perceived so damn bad if MS made a decent tablet without it costing $2k and without the multiple hardware iterations to get there. I remember watching the reveal of the Surface and thought if they actually come through on hardware, they could actually have something useful that professionals would seek out. But no, they screwed that up too.

I think it's business as normal in MS and this press release is there only to feed the news cycle and for blogs to get all a twitter about. Internally, MS will manage to screw it up yet again by not regarding any of the feedback as worthy to alter their internal course of action.

Comment ! news for nerds (Score 1, Insightful) 333

Hahaha! Funny article is funny. A large percentage of the readership of this site have no problem just sitting still and thinking. For quite a few of them, it's their job. Norms, or people not in STEM, think differently and choose not to actively use their brains.

Who woulda thunk? The few non-STEM people that read the article will think it's sort of weird. The majority of people that it's about won't even see it. Nerds innately know this crap anyway, but are too busy going about their business to care.

Comment Accidents? (Score 1) 174

No matter how many failsafes they put into the engineering and algorithms, there will be accidents. Darn fewer of them since the majority are cause by human error, but they will still happen. I want to know what will happen when the self driving car is in an accident. How will it detect it? How will it determine what works and doesn't work? Will it automatically notify the necessary services (fire, police, ambulance)?

Comment Re:Dead? (Score 1) 110

That's my thoughts as well.

Surely the engineers (software and other kinds) and the content creators will still need powerful general purpose computers to enable them to do their work effectively. These really can't ever go away, at least for the foreseeable future (~50 yrs). Oh it might change somewhat, but for the most part there isn't any reason to change from a general purpose computer. So there will always be some market for those types of computers. Not to mention the scientific community needs (and other big data computing). These type of computers may turn into a somewhat limited market, but the need will always be there.

Speaking from experience, since I make my living from computers, having a general purpose computer at home allows me to do interesting hobbies (not just gaming) as well as the occasional work-from-home support type issue. Speaking from an education point of view, general purpose computers are their own best teacher as you get instant feedback to what works or not. If all that is in the house is tablets or smart consumer oriented devices, those are not meant for learning the nuts and bolts of how things computer things work. I fear for future generations of kids if that is the case.

A consumer use device is another story entirely, and what I think the big players are positioning themselves for now. Will tablets and smartphones become so ubiquitous that nearly all households will have 1 or more of these types of devices? That is more likely in the near short term (~10 yrs). Who knows what the next big thing will be in terms of a new paradigm of consumer usage? It might be this VR thing people are all excited about these days. Taken to the logical next step, there will be more and more specialized computer like devices that offer accepted forms of usage. Those types of devices will be likely be low power, ripe for market exploitation as the article eludes to.

Comment Loss of control (Score 1) 180

It all boils down to the perception how much control of the situation I have lost.

In a public matchup situation, this sense trips rather quickly. When playing with friends almost never at all, and during solo game play it's my own fault, but I still get tweaked. Having been in the same room with friends, their reactions are different. *big shock* 1) One of them, he is grinning the whole time, for everything. He is the ubiquitous poster child for the "Serotonin! Fuck YEAH!" club. Hell of a lot of fun to be around. 2) Another friend, in anything multiplayer, he is Ghandi. Be the change you want to be type attitude, very helpful when others get tweaked about doing not so well or water off a duck type calm. Yet during single player, you'd think he is another person. Damn near that nerd rage from that viral video, screaming at the monitor, hyperventilating, has been known to break keyboards. 3) Another friend, has zen like concentration, and other than his fingers and his eyes moving, you'd swear he was a statue. Hell of a good player though.

So yeah, we all have different reactions to these type of situations. I'd hazard a guess it's related to how competitive we are, but that's not the whole picture either.

Comment Re:Because Hollywood. (Score 2) 544

Related to this topic, although I have no desire to question your experience or how you are doing your job, is the question "have you noticed movie audiences get smarter over the years in regards to the movie watching experience, specifically in regards to sound?"

The easiest visual example of movie audiences getting smarter is wanting better and better special effects. For those times humans are the VFX, the uncanny valley is a known problem - that still today VFX houses have problems overcoming.

With sound, like most technical people, I appreciate accuracy. One of my favorite movies for sound design/editing is "Speed" yet I know from watching various extras on that film there are quite a few liberties taken by the sound designer to give the audience participant a more visceral impact/feeling during some of the more intense action sequences. Disregarding Foley effects, since by their very nature are audio cues that are supposed to trick the mind.

I don't watch TV today, so I don't know, but does the squealing tires on pavement still happen quite a bit? I would expect Dukes of Hazard to have it since it was an old show, but surely audiences have advanced over the years? The Wilhelm scream, as you know, has become sort of an tongue-in-cheek joke when it is heard in a movie today. Again, I would hope that is a good example of audiences becoming smarter over the years. And for my biggest pet peeve, the sheathing/unsheathing sound of swords with leather scabbards. Watching the extras on LoTR, this was used because that is what most audiences expect, even if it is incorrect. That sound is still used almost without fail. The argument possibly being that these movies are fantasy and basis in reality has little use.

The core question stands, have TV/Movie audiences gotten smarter over the years such that some additional accuracy is warranted and appreciated? Or is the predominant audience still watching the Kardashians and don't care at all?

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