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Comment Both work well - here are the pros and cons. (Score 1) 141

My friends and I own both systems, honestly as first generation systems they work damn well.

The Vive was launched with motion tracked controllers from the start, and I feel a lot of the enthusiasts went towards that product. The /Vive Reddit group is particularly vocal about the product and reminds me of console wars played out decades ago.

The Oculus Rift is similar in many ways to an Apple product in terms of higher level of refinement and ease of use. Facebook/Oculus are funding developers to develop quality content on the Rift - quality beyond what you'd expect from a VR market at the current size (examples are RoboRecall, SuperHot VR, Dead and Buried to name a few)

Here are some major categories discussed from my experience that I hope will help you.

Motion tracking performance

As of now both system's VR motion tracking performance are very similar. The Vive's tracking system is an elegant solution relying on scanning lasers that are detected on the HMD and motion tracked controllers. Oculus' camera image tracking system with the latest version of the Oculus runtimes (version 1.12) works very well. My anecdotal experience is that the robustness and performance of Vive vs Rift tracking systems are very similar.

The Oculus Rift motion camera tracking system uses coded LEDs emmitted on the HMD and motion tracked controller. Default is two camera forward facing configuration whcih is optimal for a forward-facing VR experience (cockpit simulations, forward facing shooters etc). The two cameras can be placed at opposite ends of the play area to give 360 degree tracking. For optimal 360 degree configuration, two forward facing and a third rear camera is the recommended configuration. The Oculus camera derive power and send data via USB connection to a computer.

The Vive's motion tracking system consists of two lighthouses on the elevated opposite corners of the room to function. This system require power from a wall plug and optional sync cable to be connected if the Lighhouses are not in visual line of sight.

Both the Vive and Rift have similar drawbacks, if emitter and sensor is blocked (line of sight occlusion), tracking accuracy is reduced.


The Oculus Rift HMD and tracked motion controllers are significantly lighter (around 85 grams for the HMD alone), and more arguably more ergonomic than the Vive. The Oculus HMD have in-built headphones (optional In Ear Monitors). Audio is very important in VR. The Vive is soon to release an integrated audio strap to address this issue (optional purchase, unsure if this will be included in an updated HTC Vive system).

If you want to be on the bleeding edge, wireless HMD to PC solutions are coming for the Vive and Rift as optional accessories in 2017. The Vive will also likely get additional motion-tracked peripherals (e.g. gun props etc).

Resolution is the same between the Rift and Vive. The Rift's optical lens is sharper towards the edge of FoV. Both systems show visible internal reflections in the lens (god rays).


The Vive runs software from Valve's Steam store and HTC's Viveport stores. The Vive can also run software outside of either of these stores (titles from independent developers, self-developed Unity and Unreal projects). An unofficial hack will allow Vive to also run some titles from the Oculus Home store (while unofficial, users have reported good experiences).

The Oculus Rift runs software from the Oculus Home store and Valve's Steam store. My own experience is that the same title on either stores (for example Elite Dangerous), tends to run more optimially in the Oculus Home environment for the Rift. The Oculus Rift can also run software outside of either stores (titles from independent developers, self-developed Unity and Unreal projects).

Final thoughts

Right now VR in the consumer market reminds me a lot of the first consumer GPUs that came out in 1995-1999. Initially the industry required exclusive support from third-parties, but as OpenGL and Direct 3D support matured the industry became interoperable across all the major GPU vendors and the technology leapfrogged ahead until now 20 years later. We're seeing the same pattern of development in VR, Khronos' OpenXR standard will help provide a common application API so that future VR software titles interoperate across more VR systems.

I believe we will see a similar trajectory with VR/AR as we've seen with consumer GPU technology. In 10 years there is a good chance that this will be extremely commonplace.

Comment Re:The value of "proper" games (Score 2) 77

> In a nutshell, NONE of the games that currently reign in the VR market could survive or even be considered worth a dime without VR, essentially proving that all they are is VR. And that's simply not enough.

Elite Dangerous. I started playing this a week ago and it's simply a sublime experience. In VR it is SO immersive which adds on top of a great starship simulation game.

My main gaming PC is offline, so I'm playing Elite Dangerous on a standard monitor. While it is still fun, the visuals and sounds rendered in VR is superb.

Comment Stand Tall Bronies (Score 1, Insightful) 417

Hi Everyone,

I feel there is a lot of misunderstanding about Bronies so I want to help shine some light into this.

I'm a proud Brony. I'm a guy in my 30's, work full-time in the field of engineering, have a broad range of hobbies and yes I'm a bit of a geek. When I first hear about 'Friendship is Magic' in late 2011 I had exactly the same thoughts as everyone else, but I checked it out on YouTube and found it to be a surprisingly high-quality show. I thought initially I was the only person in my town that liked it, but there are thousands of Bronies just in my state in Australia.

But what makes this show special is how social it is. From the art, music, regular meet ups it's a great way to make friends with other fun people. From my involvement over the past 18-months I'm proud to say that this community has supported many worthwhile community projects (such as projects in Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania). Now that the Brony Thank You Fund is an official charity is another great development from this great fanbase.

The Brony Thank You Fund put out an ad on the same network as the actual show a while ago. Worth checking out.

Brony Thank You Ad

I highly recommend people take a look at John de Lancie and Michael Brockhoff's documentary about Bronies. I guarantee it'll be entertaining.

Yes we go against certain gender stereotypes in society. But what are stereotypes really? If I really genuinely like something, especially something that is as positive as MLP, then I say 'rm -rf Gender-Stereotyping-For-No-Good-Reason' to that!

We don't bar women into Engineering or Computer Science, so in 2013, what is really so wrong with adults liking a cartoon show that emphasises friendship, fun and positivity towards everyone?

To all of the Bronies reading this (and there are millions of us), Bro-Hoof!

Submission + - Bronies Documentary Released (

Totally_Tux writes: John de Lancie (or 'Q' in Star Trek:TNG), recently helped produce the 'Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony'. It started out as a KickStarter project, and after a very successful fundraiser and a lot of hard-work, the movie is now a full-length feature documentary. It is a respectful, insightful and entertaining full-length feature film on the Brony community. A trailer can be found here, and the film is available from Scrnland as a paid DRM-free download.

As far as interesting sub-cultures go, Bronies or adult fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic would take the cake (pun intended). If you've never heard of Bronies, they are not just fans of the show, but extremely talented artists, musicians, and responsible for a number of charities groups doing good works all around the world.

Bro-hoof and make the world 20% cooler and kinder!


Submission + - Mega Defends its Security Practices (

Dangerous_Minds writes: Recently, Slashdot posted about how cloud storage company Mega was "riddled" with security holes. Freezenet points out that Mega has issued a response to some of these criticisms including one which criticized its use of SSL. Mega responded saying that if you could break SSL, you could break things much more interesting than Mega.

Submission + - Intel to exit motherboard business after Haswell (

massivepanic writes: After 20 years, we’ve learned that Intel plans to exit the motherboard business. This announcement won’t impact Haswell — Intel motherboards will be available in normal volumes and quantities for the fourth generation Core i7 products. After that, Chipzilla will rely on boards from third parties like Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI. If you like Intel’s own motherboards, there’s no reason to avoid buying one for Haswell; Intel has confirmed that the next-generation boards will carry the same warranty and support for BIOS updates as previous hardware. On the manufacturing side, however, this announcement could shake up the entire motherboard business.

Submission + - NASA's News Conference on Astrobiology Discovery (

Totally_Tux writes: This looks like a significant event, has something been found? From the press release:

"NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

The news conference will be held at the NASA Headquarters auditorium at 300 E St. SW, in Washington. It will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's website at "

Submission + - NASA News Conference on Astrobiology Discovery (

tpheiska writes: NASA Sets News Conference on Astrobiology Discovery; Science Journal Has Embargoed Details Until 2 p.m. EST On Dec. 2

NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life .

The news conference will be held at the NASA Headquarters auditorium at 300 E St. SW, in Washington. It will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's website at

Comment Re:There's a reason they call it extreme (Score 2, Informative) 233

Because stirring up silt can completely block your vision and can be very disorientating (and may lead to a snowball effect with regards to line entanglement and panic). If you're unable to find your way of the cave by other means (guideline, blind navigation), then you'll die as you'll run out of time and consume all of your gas.

Fundamentally, we're not designed to survive for very long in such an environment. You only have a finite amount of gas to get your butt back to the surface.

Comment Re:There's a reason they call it extreme (Score 1) 233

For these extreme dives you'd think they'd also work their way down with spare air tanks so they never had to worry about going all the way back up to the top, just back to the last air tank drop.

They already do. Part of the pre-dive plan is to work out how much gas (plus reserve) is required for the dive. If needed additional tanks can be staged further into the cave. Stage tanks are used to provide gas to allow for exit out of a cave.

I also wonder if they couldn't engineer some kind of capsule that could be inflated in a larger chamber to serve as a base on longer dives, possibly with an air line from the surface, sort of a base camp.

Yep look at commercial divers doing saturation diving

For cave divers doing long decompression stops, an underwater habitat can be used. This provides some relief from cold water and allow the diver to eat and drink (keep up their energy and metabolism).

The habitats can be constructed out of a very large metal or sturdy plastic tub, secured to the cave ceiling. The diver removes equipment and once in the habitat can decompress out of the water at the same ambient pressure as the water depth.

Note that you would only think about doing this if you are spending several hours of decompression in hostile water environment.

For long linear cave penetration base camp can be set up on dry land (out of the water) in between cave sumps.

The Almighty Buck

Man Selling His Life On eBay 343

A number of readers have sent in the story of the guy in Perth, Australia who is selling his life on eBay. 100 days before the auction opened, he put up a site detailing all that was on offer: house, car, jet ski, friends, job, and so forth. (No wife.) The auction has five days to run and the bidding is up over $300K, supposedly from qualified bidders. The seller says: "Upon completion and settlement I will walk out of my home for the last time in just the clothes I am wearing, and carrying only my wallet and passport."

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