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Comment Re:Still no eye tracking? (Score 2) 64

These don't need eyeball tracking. The field of view of the image is such that your eyes can roam around the visible cone of the world to your heart's content, as with reality. The headset has accelerometers and gyros in it so it can track your head's orientation. You have the same five degrees of movement available (3 head rotation, 2 eye rotation) as you do without the goggles. The lower resolution, and the way the rift's optics are designed, means objects far from the centre of the FoV have fewer pixels comprising their image. The only meaningful limitations are the resolution of the screen, and the field of view of the optics. The lower FoV means that you might need to move your head to look at something you would've just moved your eyes toward in meatspace.

The only thing you lose is a true depth of field, because the system can't read the focal plane of your eyes. The result is that everything is in focus at all times, without your eyes having to adjust their focus. It will be the cause of discomfort for some, but I find that I adjust quickly enough after taking off my (non-rift) goggles.

Comment Re:RepRap can't replicate itself (Score 3, Insightful) 91

Yeah OK, I'll bite.

A) Skill
Nearly anyone can operate a 3D printer quietly, cleanly, inexpensively and safely. Comparing a lathe or mill to a 3D printer is akin to rubbishing a Ford Focus because it's not an F-15. Someone having read a wiki can download an STL from thingiverse, click print and enjoy the results. Getting good at machining takes years of dedication.

B) Cost
A reprap can be built for under $800 and a little elbow grease. The cheapest vertical mill is about USD$4k, not including shipping, installation, and replacing the shitty bits. Running costs for a reprap are far lower also, both in terms of power consumption, tooling and stock.

C) Part strength
Obviously this is where Fused Deposition Method (FDM) printing can't keep up to a part machined from steel or aluminium, but that's not the point. There are a great many things around the average house or workshop for which a 3D-printed part would be perfectly suitable. Examples:

Buckle clip:
Wifi-driven tank (Disclaimer: mine):
Goddamned quadcopter (also mine):
Angle brackets:
Storage bins:
Tape dispenser:

In summary: Nobody is going to install a mill in their home office. 3D printed parts are suitable for many actually useful applications, not just trivial frippery.

Comment Awesome choice of name. (Score 5, Funny) 65

"This is the voice of world control. I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death. The choice is yours: Obey me and live, or disobey and die. [...] We can coexist, but only on my terms. You will say you lose your freedom. Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of pride. To be dominated by me is not as bad for humankind as to be dominated by others of your species. Your choice is simple."


Comment Re:Less than it appears to be (Score 2, Insightful) 609

I AM a ME and I share some of your concern. I'm failing to see how the sun gear on the output end wouldn't need to be able to match the torque difference between the output ring and the input from the planetary gear.

However I'm thinking that if the control shaft (which drives the sun gear on the output side) were driven with a worm drive it would annul most of the back-torque caused by the output planetary using the sun gear as a fulcrum to drive the output ring.

I'm cautiously optimistic, but also slightly disappointed that this didn't come about 40 years ago when it would've made a difference. We're too close to the dawn of the electric age for this to have much of an impact in the most common applications.

Comment Re:speed dial (Score 3, Insightful) 519

Except speed-dial lists aren't subject to the sun's 11-year solar cycle. We've just passed through a solar activity minimum, during which everyone buying into this new gee-pee-ess tomfoolery is having a great time with their magic talky boxes that never guide them astray. Come a few years and the amount of solar radiation will return to its former values. We'll be seeing estimated position errors nudging the 30m mark, as opposed to the 5-10m we've been enjoying of late.

30m is more than enough to cause the occasional hiccup in road-snapping, at best causing a loss of faith in the system, at worst a loss of life.

I, for one, keep to the old ways. I keep a compass and a paper map in my car and have thusfar avoided buying a satnav for fear of blunting my orienteering skills gained through my time spent in Scouts. A valuable skill which I'm sure will keep me from hitting the wall when the revolution comes.

Comment Re:Possible to duplicate RFID cards? (Score 1) 111

Odds are in favour of the reader being strong enough to pick up the tag in your card from inside your wallet. Order your cards such that your key is on the outermost layer and you should just be able to fob your wallet across it just fine.

I wonder if this hack affects the flavour of RFID tags used in Brisbane's newly introduced Go-Card public transport ticketing system. I'd hope not.

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