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Comment Re:After care may be needed (Score 2) 521

I'm sure you can technically "live" on $17k/yr but let's be real, this isn't won-the-lotto, now-you-can-relax money. After the pilot is over these people are gonna get kicked in the junk.

And, yeah everyone will love the program because it creates an artificial income disparity between people "in" and people "out" of the program. A true basic income test has to be truly universal, otherwise it'll just end up like the FEMA credit cards after Katrina or soldiers on leave -- a bunch of shady businesses will crop up with great ways for these people to blow all that extra money, and if there is one thing that people are generally good at doing across all income brackets it's spending someone else's money.

Comment Re:New GarageBand ToS (Score 2) 65

Can you provide any evidence for what you claim? GarageBand actually has a long history of having a very user-friendly approach to copyright. Some bad actors have made claims against certain GarageBand loops in the past, but they have all been trolls. With the exception of distributing single loops individually, content created with Garageband comes with a worldwide royalty free license and Apple doesn't claim to own or have any rights to user-produced content.

Comment Re:How are light gun games developed now? (Score 3, Informative) 184

They just use some other means of referencing position such as IR LEDs + camera (like a wiimote or in reverse), image capture/analysis, gun position sensing, or some combination of these things. Most use IR LEDs. Some older technologies such as the NES Power Glove used ultrasonic positioning.

A lot of the 2000's era arcade gun games such as Time Crisis 4 used DLP projectors from the get-go and were using these types of gun controllers from the start; so they are relatively easy to convert to LCD.

Classic CRT based light gun games -- while I'm sure it's possible to build some sort of device that emulates the original gun in hardware, it is probably a much easier job to simply run them in an emulator.

One saving grace to this article is that while it's true that the CRT business might be winding down, the tubes themselves do usually last far longer than the electronics and will be around for a very long time still. I have had to replace some components on my Wells Gardner CRT that I used in my scratch-built cabinet because it had gotten very dim, but after a new neck board and some new capacitors it's back to looking like new.

Comment Completely false assumption (Score 1) 153

This article and summary are coming to conclusions that are completely false. This stupid little port is just a USB variant, and the only reason Apple has even acknowledged it is that only certain connectors can be used on the ends of "MFI" certified products such as cables and accessories. They in no way intend to put this connector on the iphone, but it is in wide enough use that they dont want to exclude someone already making a product that uses one from paying them that sweet MFI license fee.

The MFI program itself is and has always been the reason to hold back from a USB-C phone; it makes huge revenue for them. With lightning they have leverage to force the MFI licensing. If it becomes valuable as a brand/mark on its own and consumers look for it when choosing accessories then maybe they can safely switch to USB-C.

The problem is that the grey market is so accessible that genuine licensed products have trouble competing even if they make a superior product and follow all the rules. The whole thing is locked into a catch-22 where consumers appear to want the change but are also the obstruction to making it, at least from a business perspective.

I can tell you though that based on the quality spread I've seen with USB3, HDMI, DisplayPort junk that's out there now I would be very delighted to see some kind of consumer-oriented quality standards program emerge. I won't buy 10GbE cables that arent properly tested and certified and these new consumer standards are all equally demanding.

Comment Re:Performance? (Score 1) 85

Your information is highly dated and perhaps your sources are also a bit biased. At any rate, 100x performance hit is stupid wrong.

Static translation was achieving 50-70% native performance rates (measured against clock cycles) with FX!32 on Windows NT for Alpha in the mid 90's. The problem of course has been very well studied since then particularly with the advent of virtualization and the x64 instruction set and the need to enhance the performance of x86 code running on even Intel's own platforms. Furthermore for any particularly glaring issues that are the fault of the hardware -- well it is much more easily tuned today than it once was. A bespoke opcode or extra register to assist in a specific task is no longer a monumental engineering undertaking today -- it is a matter mostly of dev/test/validate.

The approach taken with x64 to support x86 native execution is quite different than attacking the problem with emulation. Is there a performance hit? Certainly, but a hit of 10-20% simply doesnt make up for the fact that you might be able to have an 8 core ARM for the same price and power budget as a 2 core x86 mobile cpu. The applications that lose in this scenario are the ones the rely on raw single thread performance. Certainly some games are in this camp, but many games which make efficient use of threads are not.

Comment Hopeless battle (Score 1) 310

In-car systems such as this are a hopeless battle. There is absurd vendor lock-in because there are a whole of 2-3 companies who have built a technology base big enough to be able to offer a system that can be custom assembled for a particular year and model of car. This will then be deployed in about 100,000 cars at best and will never ever be updated or serviced after about 6 months unless there is a vehicle safety issue.

I'm not sure what the exact solution is, but in one way or another there needs to be a mandatory open standard to allow a 3rd party device to show information on vehicle displays, receive input from vehicle control interfaces (steering wheel buttons, touchscreens, etc) and interact with other auxillary systems. We have things like CarPlay and Android Auto, but despite manufactures pledging broad support, very few cars are actually being sold with such capability.

Submission + - How Wikipedia manages mental illness and suicide threats among its volunteers (

mirandakatz writes: Wikipedia has some 68,000 active editors, and as with any given population, some of those people experience mental illnesses or disorders. The online encyclopedia is adamant that "Wikipedia is not therapy!", a statement that some find alienating, and despite that disclaimer, the site has had to come up with ways to respond when a volunteer is in crisis. In this longform narrative, we hear the stories of volunteers who've undergone crises either directly or tangentially related to Wikipedia, and we learn how the website handles—or attempts to handle—those situations.

Comment NOBODY WILL EVEN READ THIS (Score 4, Informative) 99

I read the letter. Here's a Cliff's Notes for all you guys who don't read because why evenbother:

Some anonymous devs who are so addicted to github that they probably maintain their grocery list there wrote a letter with a bunch of feature requests. These users re mainly bitching about the fact that users of their own projects don't seem to be able to read or follow instructions. Naturally these people are smart enough and forward thinking enough that they have proposed a perfect solution which requires GitHub to do a shitload of work for free despite the fact that the problems will remain because the users still won't read. A surprising number of other developers clearly can't read or think either and as such signed off on this silliness. Naturally, these well meaning individuals posted all of this to yet another github repo despite the fact that there are many better places and formats to use.

Journalists have picked up the story and have jumped so some pretty wild conclusions, proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that they really can't read either.

Comment Re: It's not the Earth's fault (Score 1) 291

This is actually how we do it now, except the chalk line is measured by looking at the angular positions of various celestial bodies. This measurement determines the length of a sidereal year. We have been able to make it fairly accurately for the last 50 years or so, and extremely accurately for the last ~60, enough to know that our planet's rotation has slightly slowed during that time. But what we don't know is exactly how long a sidereal year was, say 100 million years ago. Perhaps the earth used to spin around 366 times during its trip around the sun instead of the current 365.25? It's mass and orbital period also change enough on a geologic timescale to affect this. These are problems we know about, but are difficult to solve because we just don't have the data.

Comment Re: It's not the Earth's fault (Score 1) 291

This is not necessarily true. It largely depends on how the rotation of the Earth might change over the next hundreds of thousands of years. We have only been running with leap seconds for a bit over 30 years. And we have only had the ability to measure the orbital period accurately enough to worry about seconds for about 100-150 years. Just because we have always "lept forward" in the current system, we can also leap backward. There is simply not enough collected data to know how far "off" our definition of the second is with respect to the history of the earth nor how much "jitter" we are likely to experience with an unadjusted clock. It's entirely possible that the error would never accumulate enough to be a big societal issue. If we are able to determine the average length of a year over a large time span more accurately, it's quite probable that the easiest fix might actually be simply to redefine the second.

Submission + - Congressional Black Caucus Begs Apple for its 'Trade Secret' Racial Data

theodp writes: In Silicon Valley this week with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus to turn up the heat on the tech industry to hire more African Americans, Rep. Barbara Lee called on Apple and other holdouts among the nation's tech companies to release federal data on the diversity of their work forces. "If they believe in inclusion," said Lee, "they have to release the data so the public knows that they are being transparent and that they are committed to doing the right thing." Apple has refused to make public the EEO-1 data that it routinely supplies to the U.S. Dept. of Labor on the demographics of their workers. In the absence of the race and gender data, which Apple and others historically argued were 'trade secrets' that were not subject to release Freedom of Information requests, tech companies were free to make unchecked claims about their Black employee ranks (Google's 2007 Congressional testimony) until recent disclosures revealed otherwise, and the National Science Foundation was even convinced to redirect NSF grant money specifically earmarked for getting African American boys into the computer science pipeline to a PR campaign for high school girls of all colors and economic backgrounds.

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