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Comment Re:Well, if they sold it... (Score 1) 69

I really got the feeling that Hololens was just being used to create excitement around Windows 10, rather than being a serious product in itself. In their demos they just show you a composite video image rather than what is seen optically through the device, which is a highly misleading thing to do. The actual field of view is apparently terrible.

Comment Re: I call BS (Score 1) 167

If the vote was about not taking any kind of economic risk whatsoever, then yes, Brexiter's have been stupid. However, the issues went far beyond economics. You mention the "Iron boot heel of EU tyranny", and while you may feel that comically exaggerating people's concerns may make then look stupid, sovereignty has long been an issue. It was the issue of sovereignty that largely factored into Labour's policy of leaving the EEC (Precursor to the EU) in the early 80s. They were concerned that the EU might impose corporatist policies on the UK amongst other things. Jacques Delors managed to convince them that the EU would only impose socialist policies on the UK and they were soundly fooled by this and dropped their EEC objections. Some prominent Labour MP's like Tony Benn never believed him and never dropped their objections.

I personally have objections to the EU over it's neo-liberal policies (they approved CETA for one!), it's destructive austerity-pushing and anti-democratic activities. Many people in the UK feel we should never have had a referendum, although that is mainly because they lost. Referendums are an important part of any democracy and are in fact an act of true democracy, rather than the representative democracy we are usually lumbered with. The EU has a history of bullying countries into refraining from holding referendums, ignoring the results (e.g. the EU constitution becomes the Lisbon Treaty) and even harassing countries into holding them again when the "wrong" result occurs (Ireland and the Lisbon Treaty).

The other issue with the EU is that it is not content to simply remain a loose coalition of countries engaging in economic cooperation. There is an inexorable march towards something much more like a superstate, and the UK is far from the only member to have concerns about it. This process has only accelerated under Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. For example, there are moves toward having an EU army and countries like Sweden have strong objections to this. In 1975 the people of the UK voted to approve membership of the ECC, a fairly loose nine member organisation. They did not vote for a 28 member EU with far tighter integration. Whether you like the EU or not, this clearly demonstrates that it is an organisation than can change quite dramatically over time, and it's not always for the better. Many people are unhappy with that level of change and the associated unpredictability. Furthermore, you cannot rely on national democratic forces to bring a halt to superstate ambitions. The EU has demonstrated time and time again that it is willing to ignore, subvert and do end runs around national objections to its future plans. We've seen this most clearly over the EU Constitution and Lisbon treaties.

Before the referendum, I talked at length with other socialist friends about the EU, and they agreed there were serious issues over democracy, neo-liberalism, austerity etc . Yet as soon as the result came out, they became completely polarized. Suddenly the EU never did anything wrong, everyone was racist (because of course, that is the only possible reason anyone would want to leave the EU) and they even seemed to want Britain to fail as a result, presumably to teach Brexiters some kind of lesson. Both sides have acted reprehensibly since the referendum with childish attempts at marginalizing each other, name calling etc. We've had older people calling the younger generation "snowflakes" and the younger generation even calling for the disenfranchisement of the elderly because they are old and won't have to live with their decision (presumably this would also have to apply to young people who are terminally ill or have chronic life-threatening conditions).

People need to take a step back, calm down and accept that there were both good and bad sides to the EU and move on. There will certainly be economic challenges ahead, but outside of the EU we will be able to make international deals more quickly, so there certainly is a chance of success. Regardless of the way people voted, they should be hoping that we make a success of it.

Comment Re:Almost seems destiny (Score 1) 406

It has the largest population...

As AI and automation improve, a large population is going to be a burden, not an asset. China is largely rich because they have become the world's manufacturing hub and this is largely because of low labour costs. Increasing automation will negate that advantage and manufacturing will start moving closer to the market. Their never-ending rise may come to an abrupt halt and even start reversing.

Comment Hololens also uses fake demos (Score 1) 114

Magic Leap's mixed reality technology has long since been overtaken by other products already on the market such as Microsoft's HoloLens

HoloLens has almost exclusively used fake demos from the very beginning. People who have actually used HoloLens report poor field of view and semi-transparent graphics, yet the demos all show perfect wide-angle non-transparent graphics that have clearly just been composited over the video signal. Magic leap tried a similar trick for their first demo (with the steam punk ray guns) but all the subsequent videos did appear to be shot directly through their device. Of course, we never actually saw the device, so it could have just been their unwieldy and unwearable prototype. The only new information here seems to be that Magic Leap are struggling with miniaturising their scanned fibre display, but that is quite a serious issue.

Comment Re:Time to create a distinction? (Score 1) 80

There are already AI programs that can create using Deep Learning Though. For example, they are some that can create paintings in the style of famous artists. It's true that there are more pattern recognition programs than creation programs, but they are there.

Comment Re:Perhaps (Score 1) 2837

They also need to understand that people were crying out for something different, but instead they stubbornly served up Hilary. I just hope the US doesn't go the way of the UK with half the population foaming at the mouth, stamping their feet and accusing the other half of being racist morons.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 2837

Leaving an economic union that we were always highly sceptical of was inevitably going to be on the cards at some point. The idea that leaving the EU is a far right and therefore dumb decision is very reductive and ignores history. People seem to forget that Labour was opposed to the EU (then the EEC) in the early 80s and left-wingers like Tony Benn never gave up their opposition. There is a whole left-wing argument against the EU that was never really heard during the Brexit debates, but nonetheless, many socialists did vote out. That the left would support the EU seems almost perverse given the EU's neo-liberalism, austerity-pushing and anti-democratic practices.

Comment Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 1) 414

It's interesting to see how other countries view this kind of job threat. The opposition to H1B's makes perfect sense from the US worker's perspective, but here in the UK, particularly at the moment, it would be damned as motivated by racism and xenophobia. The narrative would be that Americans are being lazy and that those foreign workers are hard-working and deserve the jobs just as much as you do. We don't spend any time criticizing US workers in this way, but if we applied current UK "logic" to the US, that would largely be the point of view, not just of the left, but of much of the media. I don't see it that way. People will try to protect their jobs no matter what the threat. Ultimately the companies are the problem, but the battle ends up hurting everyone else while they rake in the cash.

Comment Re:They are Hiding Device Limitations (Score 2) 130

They do talk about light blocking technology in their patents but they haven't demonstrated it. Surely if they had that working, they would demo it. The best we can hope for is that there has been some mad rush to finish it and it will be ready at the 11th hour.

Comment They are Hiding Device Limitations (Score 5, Interesting) 130

The initial video demo for Magic Leap looked very impressive, but it was just a concept video and was quite misleading. The problem is that the video shows various virtual objects that are darker than the background, e.g. The dark red robot against the cream wall at 49 seconds in.

Unlike the composited lies of the initial video, all their subsequent videos are shot through their device and it is abundantly clear that they are using an additive light technology (much like you would get from bouncing an image off a piece of glass at 45 degrees). The first thing you notice is that all of the videos shot through the device are in rather dark rooms, some very dark indeed. If you look at this shopping demo you will see that the eyes of the weird yellow lamp creature are meant to be black, but the grey background shows through them. This is a limitation of additive light.

Now people who have used the device say they were blown away and I'm quite sure that if I saw their Star Wars demo in a conveniently darked room, I would also be amazed. The problem is that people who have experienced the device in darkened rooms might come away with the impression that it can show dark objects, or rather, realistically lit objects, in a normal well-lit environment. In an outdoor environment, or even a well-lit room, the objects could look very washed-out, or at the very least, very bright, glowy and unnatural. If you just want to shoot glowing space aliens or read some glowy text, that isn't an issue. However, if people are expecting to see realistic naturally lit objects that actually look like they belong in your current environment, I think they may be sorely disappointed. The additive light limitations could also be a big problem for shopping applications. After all, it's a bit difficult to see how that dark green couch is going to look in your lounge if the wall behind it just shows through. Google's project tango has the advantage there since it can just composite naturally lit objects over the video feed.

I'm not saying their device couldn't be really useful, or even pretty amazing in certain situations and environments, but I think the limitations will cause issues and may put a lot of people off buying one. I could also be wrong, and for some reason they have been refusing to show their amazing light-blocking technology in their demo videos, but that seems unlikely.

P.S. Although they have been more honest in their videos recently, I should point out that their website still shows concept images that misleadingly give the impression that they are able to show objects darker than the background. I should also point out that Magic Leap have been far more honest than Microsoft who seem to exclusively composite their videos to hide their crappy field of view and similar additive light limitations.

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