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Comment Re:Worked@IBM in 1980's, left, because sucked. (Score 1) 298

Yeah, I worked the noon to 9 shift at IBM Boca for a while. About half the time, the afternoon rain storm would blow in a bit early and I'd get drenched walking from the car to the building, which they kept at 72 degrees all year round. The next couple of hours usually consisted in trying to avoid slipping into hypothermia and dying in the building.

Last time I left was in 2005 in Colorado. At the time, they would just throw a bunch of people in a room. They were nice enough to throw up some half-cube walls so we could face the wall and get some semblance of a distraction-free environment. They still think they can pay well below market rates just because they're IBM, even when they're hiring you on as a third party contractor and even though their FTE benefits program is only marginally better than the third party contracting houses are offering these days.

Comment You mean I get to see my own data? (Score 1) 50

> Google Maps Lets You Record Your Parking Location, Time Left At the Meter

Mountain View, CA. Although ignored by the general populace, it's a public secret that Google knows everything about your life, including where you parked your car. In a surprising move, Google has decided to let users view their own data. "In general, we have a policy that all your data belong to us", stated Eric Schmid, Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Inc. and after remaining silent at the microphone, finishing his sentence with "and you don't get to see it". He smirks and then explains: "however, in this case it's such a useful feature. I just don't know where I leave any of my cars. They aren't that expensive but our data scientists told me that my cars already occupy 33.85% of all parking spaces in the Greater Los Angeles Area." He adds: "So after using that feature for a couple of years, I suddenly thought, perhaps this is useful to other people. I figured it pretty much offsets all the evil that we've been doing for the last couple of years."

Members of the press start shouting questions and Mr. Schmidt points to one of them. "Andy Ihnathko of the Chicago Sun Times -- mr. Schmidt, when will this project be abandoned?"

Google's chairman narrows his eyes and replies: "How would you like my robot to color your sideburns red with the blood from your assh---" at which point the Alphabet head of PR hastily switches off Mr. Schmidt's microphone and declares the press conference finished.

Comment Re: And perpetual motion machines are coming too (Score 1) 124

Also a legal problem. What do you tax? An SMTP transaction? If i send you an message over Facebook does it count? Twitter? Whatsapp? An SMS?

What happens if I slightly modify the protocol? Is that still a taxable Email? Run SMTP over NetBIOS? Add some extension? Use another port? Where is the line?

It is impossible to precisely define the thing you intend to tax here.

Comment Re:I Have a Vive (Score 1) 141

I'm actually not entirely sure about the controls on the plane. I'll have to check my sim to see if they have a Twin Otter. I often sit near the pilot in a twin otter, so I know the gauge layout reasonably well. I have a simple joystick/throttle setup, so that doesn't really map well to the controls of any plane I've ever seen. I suppose you could say in the flight sim I mostly fly VFR and don't look at the gauges that much.

Comment Re:I Have a Vive (Score 2) 141

Ah well, as to that, Eagle Flight and Google Earth VR blur the edges of your field of view while you're moving, which seems to help immensely with it. I get the most queasy with the flight sim when I'm looking at a point in the distance about 50 degrees or more to my left and right while flying. Once I figured this out, I just stopped doing that and as a result was able to fly a plane without a problem.

I tried Elite Dangerous VR briefly, but found it to be entirely disorienting. A large part of that was not knowing the controls or mapping them properly to my joystick, I think. I'm not sure if it would help if I played the game some time without it -- the gaming system is set up in a shared area of the house, so I can't just set up camp and play for hours on it. I'll be building another system for myself when I have the funds to do so.

Interestingly, with a steering wheel and pedal system, I can play a racing game reasonably well, but find that going above 80 mph on the track makes me rather uncomfortable. I believe that the game is actually entirely TOO realistic in VR. Likewise, I can tell you, specifically, that Mount Wingsuit is not a realistic wingsuit simulation, and I'm not sure any VR-based wingsuit game would be. The developer seems to have put very little consideration into the wisdom of learning to fly a wingsuit by throwing one on and then jumping off a cliff. I've only ever flown one out of a plane, but I can do that reasonably well and don't approve of training yourself to fly into the side of a cliff over and over again until you figure out the controls. Moreover, with their controls you have to look almost straight up in order to see the horizon. This gets uncomfortable very quickly. While I do have to look up-ish to see the horizon while flying my wingsuit as well, the angle on my neck is not quite as severe and gravity is pulling me from different directions then when I'm standing with the VR headset on. And I only ever do it for at most 90 seconds or so in the sky, whereas I might want to play that game for half an hour or so. When the new wingsuit tunnel opens in Stockholm later this year, I'll have to visit and see what it's like to fly the wingsuit for 4-5 minutes at a time. I imagine it will take a good bit more effort.

Comment Re:Translation (Score 1) 61

Youtube came into being because it was less annoying than scraping megabytes of video off netnews or specialty FTP sites. Now that they're effectively the only game in town, they're increasing the annoyance factor in using it. This opens a window for a less annoying service to come along. You can bet that if anything comes along that starts showing hints of popularity, Google will again relax the Youtube standards.

Comment I Have a Vive (Score 1) 141

I have a Vive and really like it -- being able to stand up and walk around in an area seems to largely prevent the motion sickness I'd heard about. I have a flight simulator that I have to sit down to play, and can make myself queasy with that in a matter of seconds, and I usually don't have a problem with motion sickness at all.

The most fun thing to do with it, though, is to have guests over and introduce them to VR. The most played games in my library are The Lab's archery demo, fruit ninja VR and the space pirate trainer. Some of the other titles I've tried are well executed, but a lot of the VR games on steam right now are just crap.

Comment Re:Cost (Score 2) 266

I say that too, but recently flew from Denver to Phoenix and back for less than it cost to park my car at the airport for the three days I was gone. The round trip ticket was neighborhood of $70. I was quite surprised at how comfortable the flight was, there was ample room for the couple of items I'd carried on and I cleared the TSA checkpoints with a minimum of fondling. I enjoy that drive, too, and have done it a couple of times, but I can't drive it for anywhere close to the cost of an airline ticket along that route, even with parking and the cost of a rental car at the far side factored in.

Comment Re:Constraining the concept of time (Score 2) 167

Well, the passage of time was universally observed by the same set of side effects; time passes and the sun rises and sets, the stars come out, the moon progresses along its course and the seasons change, which it was probably very useful to predict. What these things have in common is that they are questions of geometry, moreover questions of geometry that involve things happening in spheres. The planet rotates 360 degrees (approximately, depending on where you're standing) every 86400 seconds, and as it progresses along its path the stars and other planets behave mostly predictably. These values are consistent no matter where on the surface of the planet you stand and have been observed by our ancestors as long as we've been around. We learned to navigate by them, and to predict the seasons. Those who did these things had much better odds of survival than those who didn't, to the point that by the time humanity was starting to develop civilizations, we were already designed to do those things. If we ever take to the stars in an appreciable way, we'll have to discard the planetary artifacts in the measurement of time, but we already have the tools to do so.

So really, it's not all that much of a coincidence. Every so often someone comes along and suggests that we should replace our system of measuring time with something more... elegant. But those people tend not to examine the reasons that gave rise to the way we measure it now, and such attempts inevitably come up short and ultimately fail.

Comment Re:It's all a simulation (Score 4, Insightful) 167

Yes! And time is so problematic because the simulation is being run on a massively parallel system. While each processor is able to handle the physics and timing of a small area reasonably well, keeping time synchronized for the entire universe would slow the entire thing down far too much. Moreover, since the project was designed as a simple demonstration of how to convert hydrogen to plutonium over time, making an effort to do so was deemed unnecessary. We also had a problem with some particles being uninitialized upon creation and going off at a very high velocity, so the top speed in this particular universe simulation was capped to prevent anything too untoward from happening.

The simulation has been running reasonably well for the amount of effort put into it, although there are still some issues of localized processors crashing when mass values in specific locations go too high, and some number of processors have been having to synchronize their timing signals across boundaries for reasons we do not currently understand. There is also the minor issue that eventually the plutonium degrades back to hydrogen, along with everything else, but we had no intention of ever allowing the simulation to run that long anyway.

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