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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.

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

Well, I actually understand this reasonably well. I'm a programmer, and I've done some 3d development - I've also spent some time with Cardboard, and I've had an Oculus DK2 since they launched.

There's definitely special concerns around VR, and I'm sure a custom designed mobile architecture will be able to get some juice out of tight system integration... but you also just need to fill a bunch of polygons at very consistent, very high FPS. Huge dedicated boards in PCs are a lot better at this than tiny low power mobile chips.

This new chip apparently rivals a GTX 940M. That's a bloody long way from anyone's minimum specs for VR. That's not to say that there isn't some experiences that would work great on one of these. I've seen some fun things on Cardboard, and there's definitely advantages to being less tethered (though right now, tracking is also a real problem for these sorts of setups). But many VR experiences just need more horsepower than these things are going to have for a couple generations.

Comment Argle bargle Republicans harrumph! (Score 1) 348

Yes, those Republicans and their constant drive to change things and break with tradition. Oh wait that's exactly the opposite of a typical Republican perspective. If you Americans have to crap on every discussion with this boring local politics, at least get your stupid stereotypes the right way (pun!).

Anyway, I have never purposefully hit backspace intending to page back (I use gestures or click the back button). I have accidentally lost stuff by hitting backspace (especially in "pseudo-textbox" type fancy input controls where the focus is not always clear). I'm sure there's people who won't like it, but I think it's a good change for most users.

Comment "Einstein was working on this just before he died" (Score 2) 189

...is pretty much a guaranteed signal of a terrible idea. Obviously if you were actually carrying on some work from Einstein that would be super cool, but this phrase gets used for every perpetual motion machine and grand unified crackpot theory; it's a weird dog whistle for conspiracy theorists, dreamers and idiots.

Heck, I thought by this point that was kind of an established joke - like saying your new board game "takes minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master".

Comment Re:The real reason? (Score 1) 381

and artificial sweeteners may be better food for the growth of bacteria that favors an obese phenotype.

It seems very unlikely that artificial sweeteners are actually an important food source for some kind of bacteria. I mean, even someone who goes nuts on artificial sweeteners is unlikely to ever eat a whole gram of them in a day (a random diet soda might only have 20mg of sucralose or acesulfame potassium or aspartame). And why would it happen that "artificial sweeteners", which look very different chemically, happen to support the same sort of bacterial growth? (Sugar alcohols make some more sense here - since they're consumed in greater quantities and look much more alike).

Surely, if there is some effect from low-dose artificial sweeteners (by which I mean aspartame/sucralose/etc..) as a class, it has to be mediated by our body's detection of them (ie. the sensation of sweet taste or something) changing something, rather than how they might directly affect bacterial growth.

Comment Agree - and I don't know how they get out of this. (Score 3, Insightful) 605

Indeed. But also entirely predictable - look at how things have turned out for recent, more typical GOP candidates. McCain and Romney were exactly the sorts of candidates we might expect the GOP to field, and they ended up not only losing, but being demonized by their own party. If you were the a reasonable, conservative leaning guy with some relevant experience - the next McCain or Romney - why would you step up right now? 2/3rds of your own party hates you because you won't accept all of their conservative purity vows - and you're still too far right to have any hope in a general.

So of course they aren't getting good candidates.

Comment Re:So in 20 years (Score 3, Insightful) 103

There are plenty of skills that were very common 50 years ago and are gone now. How many people here under 30 are competent horse-riders, or know how to pickle fish? All of my father's family (well, the men at least) are competent at hunting, trapping, skinning animals, logging, and basic carpentry. People still hunt, but many fewer would be able to really feed their family that way (as my father fed us).

Lots of skills still exist, but are much less common then they were even 20 years ago. Fewer drivers would be able to change their oil, rotate their tires, or perform other basic maintenance.

Things are moving fast in the world now. There will be skills that are lost with every generation - heck, there's some skills that came and went within a generation (eg. identifying and replacing failed vacuum tubes, VCR repair, making a config.sys that could run Wolf3d) - and skills that are new to each generation. When that cycle stops is when we'll have to start worrying about whether our civilization is advancing.

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