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Comment Count me as one of the few 3D fans. (Score 1) 380

Count me in as one of 3D TV's few fans.

We bought our current TV a few years back (2012 or 2013 IIRC). We weren't specifically aiming to get a 3D (or even Smart) TV, however we lucked into a Cyber Monday deal that had a Sony KDL-46EX720 TV with a Sony 3D BluRay player for $750 (CDN) -- only one of three being offered in all of Western Canada. We scooped it up -- and for the most part it has been an excellent TV.

A year or so later we were able to pickup two pairs of 3D glasses while in the US (where they were half the price we could buy them in Canada for). I dove into as much 3D content as I could. Sony had at the time a great Internet "channel" in its Internet Video section which features all 3D videos, most of which were of UNESCO World Heritage sites. They were short, but those were great to watch. I'd watch 3D YouTube as well from time to time, and of course I own a bunch of 3D BluRay movies.

Unfortunately, first they shut down their 3D online channel, and then they decided not to update the set when YouTube changed its API (as I had predicted when we bought the TV, the "Smart" features wouldn't last all that long. As I said, I wasn't looking for a Smart TV. We don't use the Smart features at all anymore in favour of using our PS4 or Apple TV instead). There was never any regular 3D TV content available here in Western Canada (i.e.: no 3D broadcasts on cable or antenna), so the choice was between short Internet clips, or full blown movies.

I unfortunately missed the PS3 era; 3D doesn't work over PS Now, and there have been only a handful of 3D TV enabled games on the PS4. That was one area where 3D TV would have really shined; I regret never having had the opportunity to play ICO and Shadow of the Colossus in 3D.

My wife never got into the 3D viewing, so I'm the only one in the house who ever uses it. About the only time I get to use it is when I'm home alone, or after everyone else has gone to bed. Still, I did get Star Wars VII on 3D BluRay when it was released back in November, and have been enjoying watching it again in glorious 3D. I'll probably still buy our movies in 3D BluRay packs while I can (the 3D packs generally also come with the 2D BluRay, a 2D DVD, and a digital download copy, so they can be a really good deal), and will probably have to keep our current TV somewhere in the house for as long as it continues to function to watch them. Ultimately what did 3D TV in was the lack of content (particularly TV shows in the 30 mins - 1 hr range), the cost of the glasses (the TVs should have come with two pairs each, and not sold them as $100 each add-ons!), and general apathy towards wearing the glasses. Oh well -- it was fun while it lasted.


Comment Re:240hz (Score 1) 380

Except if I understand correctly the shutters are driven by the television itself. My version uses an external device to drive the shutters. The point is that there is little that needs to be done to make a 3d capable extened system with televisions that are still on sale.

I think the big problem would be properly synchronizing the shutter control to the screen. 240Hz is roughly only about 4ms per frame. Modern digital TVs impart a small delay between when a frame and received and when it shows up on screen. The box you propose would have to emit the signal to keep the glasses synchronized in time, however there is no guarantee that the glasses would then be in sync with the TV. You'd need either some sort of configuration system whereby the user could control the synchronization delay (which would be somewhat of a pain for end-users to setup), or you'd have to do something truly ingenious like somehow encode the sync signal into the frames themselves (current active shutter TVs generally use an IR out to sync the glasses to the screen).

I'm not saying it would be impossible, but there would be technical challenges that don't really exist when you're doing frame sync int he same physical unit that is handling the display as active 3D TVs currently function.


Comment Re:Cairo vs. Copland (Score 1) 132

Was Apple any worse with its "Pink" and "Copland" projects?

I think the difference here was that Apple wasn't announcing their plans from a monopoly position in order to keep people away form the competition. Indeed, when Pink became Taligent, one of the idea of the AIM Alliance was to use a microkernel architecture that would permit various OS "flavours" to run on top of it, including Mac OS "Pink", OS/2, and Windows NT, all running on PowerPC CHRP.

My feeling was always that the problem with Apple surrounding Copland and Pink was more incompetence rather than malice, whereas Microsoft knew they were promising things they would never be able to deliver purely as a way to keep people from leaving the Windows ecosystem. Of course, it helped them quite a bit that their biggest PS OC competitor in the 90's, IBM, had a policy not to announce any product releases until 60 or 90 days before shipping (as I understand things, this was a legacy of the IBM antitrust case in the 70's). Microsoft took advantage, announcing things years in advance that they would never ship while a major competitor would basically not give anyone any information on what they were planning until it was pretty much in beta.

Maybe I'm jaded by experience, but Project Scorpio feels much the same. Sony has made no announcement about a PlayStation 5, the PS 4 and PS4 Pro are now known quantities, so now MS promises "the most powerful console ever built" before even showing anyone a prototype. Sony at least had a PS4 Pro at the PS4 Pro announcement (sure, the rumour mill expected the announcement for months, but Sony didn't officially announce anything until they were nearly ready to ship, so it wasn't a vapour announcement). This pattern feels all too familiar.


Comment Re:Welcome to the Osborne Effect (Score 1) 132

For those not up on computer history, Osborne was a computer maker that announced a great new model coming in a year... so sales started tanking while people waited... which meant there was no model in a year (or maybe there was, my memory is fuzzy on that detail).

Microsoft had a pattern of doing this throughout the 90's, and it generally worked out well for them. As soon as other PC operating systems (and OS/2 in particular) started chipping away at the badly aging Windows 3.1x line, Microsoft started promising the moon with Windows 95/PC DOS 7 -- more than two years before it shipped. They didn't deliver on most of their promises, and the end result was worse than the competition, but by that point it didn't matter -- people believed the hype and decided to skip the competition out of fear that the competition was going to be eclipsed in a years time. They did the same with Windows NT. Remember "Cairo"? Microsoft started talking about it in 1991, and continued through 1996 before dropping the release completely. WinFS probably takes the cake -- a complete redesign of how a PC OS stores information, it was first promised in 1991, and was continually touted until 2006, usually in around whenever a competing OS was being released.

Over-promising way in advance and under-delivering was MS's modus operandi through much of the 1990's and early 2000's. A lot of people fell for it, and a lot of people continue to fall for it (I follow some PlayStation forums now and then, and have seen more than one person claim they're waiting until Scorpio ships because it's going to blow everything that ever came before it out of the water...sound familiar?).


Comment Re:Uhm...and? (Score 1) 97

... more and more PC owners are learning they don't need to ditch their 3 year old computer and can instead opt to upgrade it. SSD, more RAM, and a new graphics card and their old machine is better than new. But they do buy those extras and upgrades... can we count those as device buys?

No, because how does Microsoft make any money off someone who upgrades their graphics card and storage, but who doesn't buy a new Windows license? Or did Microsoft start manufacturing graphics cards and SSD's when I wasn't looking?


Comment Re:FBI Jurisdiction (Score 5, Informative) 104

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but isn't the FBI restricted to US jurisdiction? I grew up with the understanding that they were basically a domestic police force on the national level.

I'm assuming I am mistaken, please feel free to give me further understanding on how the FBI can be in India.

From the article:

according to Indian and American investigators, who said that the raid in Thane was carried out entirely by the local police, without assistance from American officials.

The FBI can still typically do investigation in other countries: collect intel, interview people, etc. They can then provide information tot he local authorities to handle the actual police work.


Comment Re:Then LG prada (Score 3, Insightful) 35

They were going to release something that likely would have been consigned to the annals of history as a failed idea and eventually been forced to go the touch screen route like everyone else.

First off, this prototype is a giant touchscreen -- the click wheel in the video is entirely virtual, and not physical.

Secondly, there is no evidence that Apple ever had any intentions of releasing this device. I know it's hard to believe, but some companies out there do actual R&D work where they build and design a whole lot of experimental products that are not intended for release.

This was presumably the work of one such R&D team that put together a prototype based on the idea of making a virtual iPod, which was evaluated, found seriously wanting, and then scrapped, which is why it's taken this long for one to even be made public.


Comment Re:Two NICs yet? (Score 1) 92

Simply not the same as a PCIe asic. I dont care how much theoretical bandwidth there is on USB3, or that they did away with polled mode. It is not the same if nothing else but because it has to go through two different driver stacks for data to enter and leave the media. The idea here is security consciousness, not simple function. Smaller attack surface is better.

No, but Thunderbolt 3 is PCIe (either x2 or x4, depending on the configuration/power mode), with a full 40GB/s of bandwidth. So what you do is you get a Thunderbolt PCIe Expansion Box (something like this), and put standard PCIe NIC cards into it -- whichever ones you prefer.

(What would be awesome is if someone came out with a multi-ethernet Thunderbolt 3 breakout box. The best I've found is dual 10Gbit Ethernet to Thunderbolt, but something like 8 x 1Gbit to Thunderbolt 3, with a TB3 chaining port would be pretty awesome for a box like this. Intel -- are you listening?)


Comment Re:Typical enviro extremism (Score 4, Insightful) 143

The intention of articles such as this is clearly to make people feel bad about... well, their existence, really.

No, it isn't. And there is something seriously wrong with the psyche of anyone who reads a scientific article and that is what they pull out of it.

The article reported on a scientific paper, and that is all. Stop trying to "read between the lines" on everything to pick out intentions that are not there. You only wind up reinforcing your own prejudices.


Comment Re:Typical enviro extremism (Score 5, Insightful) 143

You clearly didn't read the summary. It skipped over the fig leaf and jumped almost directly into all of the ways that you and your roads are killing the planet.

No, I went one better and went and found the actual paper the article is based on.

The summary didn't make any judgement of you or anyone else either. It listed a variety of problems caused by roads -- and that's it. If you feel personally slighted by the list, that's your problem.

Again -- nobody said anything about tearing up roads, or that we shouldn't use them. Roads cause some problems, and help with others. Adults can discuss the cons of something without it implicitly becoming about trying to ban or tear that item out of existence. Indeed, instead of going insane and assuming they are being judged by a scientific paper, rational adults would instead have a discussion on how we might be able to mitigate the problems, while continuing to enjoy the benefits.

Instead, we seem to have too many babies around here who read a list acknowledging problems with roads and assume "They hate roads! I use roads! Therefore they hate me/civilization/everything I stand for!", when no such things were stated or implied.

Now if you're interested in putting on your adult pants and discussing like an rational human being, a more interesting discussion would be on the relative benefits of mitigation strategies, such as wildlife overpasses/underpasses. Parks Canada is considered one of the major world experts on practical wildlife crossing research, and has some interesting materials online discussing the problems and solutions.

See how that works? Someone identifies a problem. Someone else identifies possible solutions. The solutions are evaluated. Nobody goes berserk and simply tears everything apart, nobody calls anyone names, nobody assumes anyone is a bad person. Like an adult. Try it for yourself.


Comment Re:Typical enviro extremism (Score 5, Insightful) 143

I was going to mod you down, but I thought I'd take the time to publicly berate you instead.

The article in question is a scientific, scholarly article, written by actual environmental researchers. It appears[0] to have done what you would expect of a scientific article -- it has identified a possible problem (environmental fragmentation due to roads), and had done some measurements surrounding the issue. And that's it. The article isn't judging you. It's not judging society. Indeed, right in the very first sentence of the abstract it says:

Roads have done much to help humanity spread across the planet and maintain global movement and trade.

About the only conclusion the authors draw is that more should be done to protect the existing large tracts of land without roads (totalling about 7% of earth surface). And that's it. They don't call you a bad person for using roads. They aren't trying to guilt people into ripping up existing roads. All they are saying is "roads are great; we need roads; they cause some problems; and we have a measurement to frame the problem". Nothing more. There is no complaining going on. This is science, not ethics, so get a grip already. The one with a huge bias here isn't ./ or the articles authors, it's you.


[0] -- I unfortunately haven't been able to access the full article. While I do have access to a number of scientific article databases, this article was just published today, and doesn't appear to be indexed in any of them just yet.

Comment Re:One man's loss is another man's gain (Score 1) 263

The article isn't clear but it implies that most of the divestment comes from removing fossil fuel companies from stock portfolios.

If so then the companies aren't buying those stocks back, somebody else is buying them. It doesn't effect the company one bit, other than maybe drive the price down minutely while it's a sellers market. All that really does is minutely help the buyers who are now taking on the risk and the reward of owning that stock.

Either I'm confused about what they're doing or they are.

You forget that the divested funds are then being invested into clean energy technology companies. I have little doubt that such companies can make really good use of additional funding, and that improvements and breakthroughs are already being made because of it.

You'd be correct if the funds in question were only divesting, but they're not. They divesting and re-investing the money into another, more desirable (and potentially very lucrative) area, and that's the part you seem to have missed.


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