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Comment Re:Students? (Score 1) 213

AI stagnated in academia because the average research budget grant simply didn't cover the cost of high performance computing at the time. In the late 1980's, MSDOS PC's were stuck with 4.77MHz/16MHz CPU's, 256 color VGA modes, and 64 kbyte memory segment block allocation sizes (aka tiny, small, medium, large and huge memory models for code generation). Academics were lucky to have a 80x87 floating-point coprocessor. Even the 32-bit or 64-bit workstations weren't that much faster due to the fact that many had external storage on the network. Even when there were fast workstations, they decided to slow everything down with interpreted languages like LISP, Prolog and Scheme. Some did compile into native executable code but required large code libraries. A lot of academics had to make do with PC's to do image processing. Unless they had an i860 coprocessor with a framegrabber board, they had to store images on disk, fetch each column or row of pixels one by one, do a FFT or inverse FFT, then write the data out, repeating the process for the other axis. Now the same work can be done using a HD webcam, a smartphone or an ink-jet printer.

Supercomputers were restricted to weather simulations and aerodynamics. Around 2005, it was possible for a desktop or laptop to do 3D volume visualization with some old school texture mapping tricks and high-level shaders. Now there are a dozen different methods of doing rendering and image processing each taking advantage of GPU capabilities; OpenGL, OpenCL, CUDA, DirectX, compute shaders, Matlab, Blender, GIMP, ImageMagick, WebGL, Java, Python (PyCuda, PyGL)

Comment Re:Solution (Score 2) 196

Even if they do not connect to the public Internet, any home user who has their own private internet for their appliances (smart TV, fridge, toaster, router, garage door and smartphone with bluetooth connectivity) still has the problem of someone trying to guess passwords through repeated attempted connections to each device via wireless connections. How many articles have there been on somebody creating a gadget that simply cycles through every single possible passcode combination?

Even with a personal wifi router, it seems crazy that every device including smartphones should only need to know the one wi-fi password, and that's likely to be backed up somewhere to a Samsung, Sony or Google server somewhere.

Comment Re:Same Problem (Score 1) 435

The Oculus Rift moves around as you tilt your head. But there are so many cables; USB, motion tracker, HDMI output. I found out that even a high-end gaming laptop won't be usable with this headset if it has Optimus technology on the GPU - this introduces a 15 millisecond time lag which is too much for VR/AR.

Some of the 360 video players will let you use a Bluetooth game controller to pan the view. Important because some 360 videos are actually back to front. I once watched a Storm/Tornado chaser video only to have the back of the car as the front view. It was only when I looked backwards that I saw the actual funnel cloud.

Comment Re:Glasses (Score 1) 435

360 video is here if you have an Oculus Rift or Samsung VR Gear. You can get to watch 360 degree videos and interactive applications; travel through the solar system, walk on Mars, Pluto, dive through the clouds of Jupiter/Saturn, swim at the bottom of the ocean, a virtual shark cage, go inside a human brain or cell, a virtual forensic lab, plus a few games like Dreadhalls, Smash, virtual fishing, and other things.

But the headsets are a bit heavy for long term use, and who wants to risk having a hot smartphone right next to their eyes for a long time. So they are great for parties, when everyone else can see what you are seeing.

You can get 3D TV's for less than £500, but have to order the stereoscopic glasses specially, either off Ebay or from the manufacturer directly.

Comment Re:how often are Mac Pro's upgraded? (Score 1) 293

That sounds like the demise of SGI - "people will always buy our expensive workstations because of the little shiny logo on the front". When they were coming out with the Indy workstations, start-up film production companies were building their own render-farms using clustered PC's. It didn't matter if one PC blew up or melted down, the others would pick up the load. Apple managed to edge in by buying up all the video editing software companies. Microsoft bought up Softimage, and SGI bought up Alias|Wavefront. Even then all their markets started moving to desktop PC's.

Comment Re:GPU Improvements (Score 1, Interesting) 293

Performance users would look at cloud computing for extra horsepower. Apple did a presentation where they had hooked up a Mac Pro to a cloud computing server to do video editing in real-time. The old standalone system had a progress bar that moved slowly across the window. The new cloud computing system just did it in real time.

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