Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Worked@IBM in 1980's, left, because sucked. (Score 1) 301

Yeah, I worked the noon to 9 shift at IBM Boca for a while. About half the time, the afternoon rain storm would blow in a bit early and I'd get drenched walking from the car to the building, which they kept at 72 degrees all year round. The next couple of hours usually consisted in trying to avoid slipping into hypothermia and dying in the building.

Last time I left was in 2005 in Colorado. At the time, they would just throw a bunch of people in a room. They were nice enough to throw up some half-cube walls so we could face the wall and get some semblance of a distraction-free environment. They still think they can pay well below market rates just because they're IBM, even when they're hiring you on as a third party contractor and even though their FTE benefits program is only marginally better than the third party contracting houses are offering these days.

Comment Re:I Have a Vive (Score 1) 141

I'm actually not entirely sure about the controls on the plane. I'll have to check my sim to see if they have a Twin Otter. I often sit near the pilot in a twin otter, so I know the gauge layout reasonably well. I have a simple joystick/throttle setup, so that doesn't really map well to the controls of any plane I've ever seen. I suppose you could say in the flight sim I mostly fly VFR and don't look at the gauges that much.

Comment Re:I Have a Vive (Score 2) 141

Ah well, as to that, Eagle Flight and Google Earth VR blur the edges of your field of view while you're moving, which seems to help immensely with it. I get the most queasy with the flight sim when I'm looking at a point in the distance about 50 degrees or more to my left and right while flying. Once I figured this out, I just stopped doing that and as a result was able to fly a plane without a problem.

I tried Elite Dangerous VR briefly, but found it to be entirely disorienting. A large part of that was not knowing the controls or mapping them properly to my joystick, I think. I'm not sure if it would help if I played the game some time without it -- the gaming system is set up in a shared area of the house, so I can't just set up camp and play for hours on it. I'll be building another system for myself when I have the funds to do so.

Interestingly, with a steering wheel and pedal system, I can play a racing game reasonably well, but find that going above 80 mph on the track makes me rather uncomfortable. I believe that the game is actually entirely TOO realistic in VR. Likewise, I can tell you, specifically, that Mount Wingsuit is not a realistic wingsuit simulation, and I'm not sure any VR-based wingsuit game would be. The developer seems to have put very little consideration into the wisdom of learning to fly a wingsuit by throwing one on and then jumping off a cliff. I've only ever flown one out of a plane, but I can do that reasonably well and don't approve of training yourself to fly into the side of a cliff over and over again until you figure out the controls. Moreover, with their controls you have to look almost straight up in order to see the horizon. This gets uncomfortable very quickly. While I do have to look up-ish to see the horizon while flying my wingsuit as well, the angle on my neck is not quite as severe and gravity is pulling me from different directions then when I'm standing with the VR headset on. And I only ever do it for at most 90 seconds or so in the sky, whereas I might want to play that game for half an hour or so. When the new wingsuit tunnel opens in Stockholm later this year, I'll have to visit and see what it's like to fly the wingsuit for 4-5 minutes at a time. I imagine it will take a good bit more effort.

Comment Re:Translation (Score 1) 61

Youtube came into being because it was less annoying than scraping megabytes of video off netnews or specialty FTP sites. Now that they're effectively the only game in town, they're increasing the annoyance factor in using it. This opens a window for a less annoying service to come along. You can bet that if anything comes along that starts showing hints of popularity, Google will again relax the Youtube standards.

Comment I Have a Vive (Score 1) 141

I have a Vive and really like it -- being able to stand up and walk around in an area seems to largely prevent the motion sickness I'd heard about. I have a flight simulator that I have to sit down to play, and can make myself queasy with that in a matter of seconds, and I usually don't have a problem with motion sickness at all.

The most fun thing to do with it, though, is to have guests over and introduce them to VR. The most played games in my library are The Lab's archery demo, fruit ninja VR and the space pirate trainer. Some of the other titles I've tried are well executed, but a lot of the VR games on steam right now are just crap.

Comment Re:Cost (Score 2) 266

I say that too, but recently flew from Denver to Phoenix and back for less than it cost to park my car at the airport for the three days I was gone. The round trip ticket was neighborhood of $70. I was quite surprised at how comfortable the flight was, there was ample room for the couple of items I'd carried on and I cleared the TSA checkpoints with a minimum of fondling. I enjoy that drive, too, and have done it a couple of times, but I can't drive it for anywhere close to the cost of an airline ticket along that route, even with parking and the cost of a rental car at the far side factored in.

Comment Re:Constraining the concept of time (Score 2) 167

Well, the passage of time was universally observed by the same set of side effects; time passes and the sun rises and sets, the stars come out, the moon progresses along its course and the seasons change, which it was probably very useful to predict. What these things have in common is that they are questions of geometry, moreover questions of geometry that involve things happening in spheres. The planet rotates 360 degrees (approximately, depending on where you're standing) every 86400 seconds, and as it progresses along its path the stars and other planets behave mostly predictably. These values are consistent no matter where on the surface of the planet you stand and have been observed by our ancestors as long as we've been around. We learned to navigate by them, and to predict the seasons. Those who did these things had much better odds of survival than those who didn't, to the point that by the time humanity was starting to develop civilizations, we were already designed to do those things. If we ever take to the stars in an appreciable way, we'll have to discard the planetary artifacts in the measurement of time, but we already have the tools to do so.

So really, it's not all that much of a coincidence. Every so often someone comes along and suggests that we should replace our system of measuring time with something more... elegant. But those people tend not to examine the reasons that gave rise to the way we measure it now, and such attempts inevitably come up short and ultimately fail.

Comment Re:It's all a simulation (Score 4, Insightful) 167

Yes! And time is so problematic because the simulation is being run on a massively parallel system. While each processor is able to handle the physics and timing of a small area reasonably well, keeping time synchronized for the entire universe would slow the entire thing down far too much. Moreover, since the project was designed as a simple demonstration of how to convert hydrogen to plutonium over time, making an effort to do so was deemed unnecessary. We also had a problem with some particles being uninitialized upon creation and going off at a very high velocity, so the top speed in this particular universe simulation was capped to prevent anything too untoward from happening.

The simulation has been running reasonably well for the amount of effort put into it, although there are still some issues of localized processors crashing when mass values in specific locations go too high, and some number of processors have been having to synchronize their timing signals across boundaries for reasons we do not currently understand. There is also the minor issue that eventually the plutonium degrades back to hydrogen, along with everything else, but we had no intention of ever allowing the simulation to run that long anyway.

Comment Re:Yes, They Are God Damned Bullshit (Score 1) 498

In a company full of IT professionals, it'd probably be at least as secure if not more so. I seem to recall that it's been shown that there's no security benefit to forcing people to regularly change their passwords if those passwords have not been compromised. If security is that much of an issue, two-factor authentication really isn't that hard. They had at least a couple of systems that would reject passwords for being "too long" or reject specific characters from passwords, which just added that much more insult to the injury, for those of us in the company who actually knew a bit about security.

Comment Yes, They Are God Damned Bullshit (Score 3, Interesting) 498

I worked for a company recently where I had well over a dozen separate systems, each with their own password requirements. There was no keeping track of your passwords and in some cases your user IDs on their systems. The end result was that a lot of people just kept their passwords in text files somewhere, and often just requested password resets every time they logged into that system they only logged into a couple of times a year. About half the systems I had to interact with were not connected to the internet, making it impossible to use a password manager for them.

Just to add insult to injury, those fuckers started adding third party web sites for services like project planning and some employee incentives. And those third party web sites also had their unique password requirements. I eventually arrived at the conclusion that most of their employees were so busy maintaining their passwords that no other work was getting done inside the company.

Slashdot Top Deals

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.