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Comment Re:The poor economics of flying cars (Score 1) 134

I agree with your conclusion - I don't think we're going to see personal flying transport anytime soon - but I think you're exaggerating the case against.

The energy requirements to get something the weight of a human aloft are considerable

It actually isn't that much energy to get a human being up 100 ft (humans are light, and transportation is already very energy expensive) nor does it necessarily take a ton of energy to keep them there. Physics has no problem with (just as an example off the top of my head, not actually practical) a mass transit system made out of escalators and gliders. There's no absolute reasons such a system would take a ton of energy, be all that expensive, or even require bonkers infrastructure; it's just nobody has a plan to do it that would practically work.

So yeah, I think it's silly to imagine huge fleets of conventional VTOL aircraft - but I don't think there's good reason to write all this off as permanently impossible or something, it just needs more creativity than this plan has.

Comment On VR.. (Score 1) 82

The last point, VR, is also the one place where the grandparent post is probably right. I expect a good percentage of PSVR games to get PC ports, if only because they'll need to hit as much of the small VR market as they can.

PSVR is also likely to be terrible, perhaps bad enough that it may sabotage the whole VR market. Even with a monstrous computer that far outperforms anything the PS4 is going to do, VR presents real challenges to developers. Console developers are going to have to juice visuals for 2d trailers, and end up with a barf-fest in 3d.

Comment Numbers don't agree with you. (Score 2) 82

The sources I can see all say you're wrong. Estimates have the PC gaming market as being worth ~$32 billion, consoles altogether at about $25 billion, and mobile similar at about $25 billion.

You're point still holds to some extent - the majority of PC gaming money is Free-to-Play MMOs and stuff that isn't a great match to PS4 ports, but your idea of the overall market doesn't appear to match with reality.

Comment How are these articles picked? (Score 4, Informative) 176

If you told me I had to read an entire random article off Softpedia's news page, I'd be disappointed and sad. But if I had to, there's at least 3 more interesting articles than this one (I just checked) right now. If you told me "it has to be one that will generate some cheap fanboy rage", I guess this one would be closer to the top and maybe I might check it out.

But once I did I'd see it was complete nonsense garbage and start shopping for a new one. It's unreadable - I have no idea what they're even claiming in half their sentences - but at very least it's clear their conclusion is way out of step with the data they're reasoning from.

I still read Slashdot out of some weird old habit, but the interesting finds are getting few and far between. It has become an anti-aggregator, finding the least interesting, poorest-written articles on sites that I wouldn't bother going to.

Comment You have to understand the viral ecosystem here.. (Score 1) 148

People don't all independently come up with a plan of making up terrible password rules - it's just a difficult to extinguish meme propagated by clueless deal makers.

Many systems I've worked on have terrible password rules. Symbols and numbers, and requirements to change them all the time (thus guaranteeing they'll be written down)... but it was never really our decision. We had to follow the security document, and the security document had to have those rules, because we'd agreed to follow those rules in order to work with a certain client or vendor. Ever wonder why some system won't let you change your password more than once a day? It's dumb, right? It's just one of those things that makes it into someone's weird viral rules.

That client or vendor probably didn't want those rules either, but their security document said they could only use vendors and clients that agreed to those rules, and their security document said that because it was part of a deal with one of their clients.

And it's not just this. There's tons of companies out there trying to get in on this viral security racket. We'll work for you for free! And for extra security we'll do audits of all your vendors and/or clients... and then blackmail them all into buying our software, so that they can be assured they'll pass the security audit they now need to work with you (quite possibly something they need to survive). And maybe some of them, we'll offer a "free" deal with, as long as they set policies that will allow us to blackmail all their vendors. Some of them don't even bother to hide it, they just send you the audit notice, namecheck the client you'll lose, and a price.

Comment Google obviously could have made Android.. (Score 3, Insightful) 182

..without Java, easily, and I'm sure now they wish they had. They've learned their lesson, and everyone should learn the same lesson from this case: "avoid Oracle, avoid Java".

Oracle is a snake that will bite you as soon as it feels hungry or threatened in any way. Java is no longer a free standard with tools that'll bootstrap your project and help you inter-operate, now it's a Trojan horse that could spill open and burn your business, or at very least can be yanked out from under you at any time (if you aren't willing to pay up or hire good lawyers).

Comment When do we move from diminishing returns... (Score 1) 154

..to negligible returns on resolution increases? I mean, I remember arguing against people who said 1080p was overkill... and I think 4K looks pretty cool up close on a big screen with the right source.

But 8k (and presumably, beyond) must surely be pressing hard on the limits of human eyesight.

Comment The Vive is super amazing... (Score 4, Insightful) 20

...and lots of this content is really spectacular. Don't listen to the people who say it's low-quality or barfy or there isn't any good stuff yet. There is tons of stuff that's amazing.

But do not buy a Vive online; you're asking for heartache. Wait until you can buy it from a store with a good return policy. They have terrible quality control, lots of DOA hardware, and their after-sale support is horrifically bad. If you do have problems with your Vive, do everything you can to get a refund; you don't want to be stuck in repair/RMA hell, where you get to pay for shipping and they keep your parts for months (and won't communicate anything beyond stonewalling and lies).

Comment Re:My number one feature in an Android phone... (Score 1) 97

Sorry - yes - I totally agree, I would like zero crap. As it stands, I was coming off worse bloat so the G3 seemed really clean, but it does have some crap definitely.

Anyway, I understand manufacturers want to differentiate themselves via their exclusive software, but I think a growing percentage of Android users just want none of it and hopefully start pushing for it. I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see brands start emphasizing their phones being "clean" in terms of software.

Comment A weird, inconvenient way to give someone $40. (Score 5, Insightful) 78

For lots of people, this $40 worth of shares is going to be the only stock they own. It's another account to maintain, it's potentially tax implications they don't otherwise have to deal with. For lots of people, it'll be a weird hassle they have to register with their employer. It's also going to be significantly more expensive for the company than just giving out money or discounts. And it doesn't tie you in any meaningful way to the company - if T-Mobile goes up 50%, you're still only up $20. It's not like you have some new meaningful connection to the company's success.

The rational action, on receiving this single stock, would be to sell it immediately, before the "free transaction period" expires and before you forget about it or lose your login or whatever; $40 is a lot better than a weird asterisk in your financial position.

So, in the end, they're giving people $40 in a way that might function like a weird small buyback (as a good chunk of these shares will be orphaned nowhere) - but they're going to spend more than $40/person doing it, and most people are going to get less than $40 of value out of it. But it does make for a novel press release I guess.

Comment Re: Mobile chips are the future of VR.. (Score 1) 38

I don't, and have no intention of playing VR games for hours on end. They work better in short increments, and I don't have a ton of time to get super deep in a long game. Yes, a lot of stuff - maybe even most of the stuff that comes out - will only be good for 15 minutes. I'm OK with that. Hopefully they make lots of fun 15 minute games and what not. But yeah, if you need "game time value per money", VR is definitely not the right place to get it, at least not yet. I'm sure some people will be super disappointed by their VR, because it won't improve the experience of playing CoD for 9 hours, but that doesn't mean VR isn't cool.

And why the nerd party hate? Do all of you cool, non-nerd dudes (who are totally not interested in VR and totally don't want it) take time off from banging cheerleaders to argue about VR on Slashdot?

Comment Re: Mobile chips are the future of VR.. (Score 1) 38

I know there's been some experimentation with this, and it might end up being an important thing for any setup (even without the performance stuff, it could be that cheesing some "focus effects" using eye position would make things more realistic).

But I don't think we'll see it as a core feature (or a solution to general performance problems) within the next generation or two.

Comment Re:Mobile chips are the future of VR.. (Score 1) 38

I didn't say it'll catch on - how would I know? People buy tons of stupid crap, and sometimes good ideas get buried. Maybe everyone will think like you do - "oh, I couldn't possibly be seen with something odd looking on my head" or "what if my living room is suddenly full of knives" and "I won't buy a holodeck until it accurately recreates smells"? So yeah, VR could completely flop, I agree on that.

But that's not what we were talking about. You said it will always suck. I said it's already cool. And it is.

Comment Re:Mobile chips are the future of VR.. (Score 1) 38

It's already pretty cool, actually, even if you're so scared of "moving around your living room blind" that you're just sitting down and watching stuff.

I mean... uh... have you tried it? If you haven't, you might not understand that pranking people in VR isn't a negative, it's super fun. Poking people while they're playing (especially if they are covered in spiders) makes the whole thing more immersive and social.

I don't know how VR will play out, but it's already pretty entertaining - and there's no reason it won't get to be more entertaining over time as hardware and especially software gets better.

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Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced. - John Keats