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Comment Re:Actual summary (Score 3) 171

Not quite true. The projector has to modulate its its beam so that each projector-pixel is beamed on *a tiny specific part* of the surface-pixel (i.e., the part that is angled towards the correct eye). That’s quite hard, because each projector-pixel needs to be beamed to a *different* part of the surface-pixel, and you can’t expect the projector and the surface to be aligned to micron/second-of-arc precision (the surface will also likely be warped on the large scale in addition to its high-frequency rippling, though I don’t remember seeing that mentioned in the patent). They describe how to use the eye-tracking module to determine the alignment, though I can’t remember them describing any physical way of doing the projector-side modulation.

Comment Re:Actual summary (Score 2) 171

Actually, it can work. The projecting surface is not necessarily rippled only horizontally, it can be rippled in both directions. Something like z = sin(x)sin(y), although I’m not sure if the two sins should be added, multiplied or something else; the patent includes pretty much every function that would work. This means they can project individual images up or down, not only left and right; it’s specifically mentioned in the patent.

So not only you can project stereoscopic images to someone in any head orientation (as long as they look towards the screen), but you can actually project *different* images to two observers that are separated only by height.

Comment Re:Then the immortals ascended to the heavans (Score 1) 554

Unless we're talking Starship Enterprise-style accommodations here, I would do everything in my power to stop trips like that from ever happening.

Really? Do you, by any chance, consider such a voyage worse than, say, living in squalor and famine and violence and disease, and then dying from something silly like diarrhea or horrible like gang rape?

If you don’t, how come you’re posting on Slashdot instead of doing everything in your power to stop that from happening? (News Flash: Everything I’ve described, and worse, is happening *right now* to hundreds of thousands of people.)

If you do, then... hmm. Not sure what to say. Can you perhaps explain why?

Comment Re:Quality, not quantity (Score 1) 554

Now these scientist propose lengthening our lifespan. To what ends? If your life sucks as it is (to whatever degree), why lengthen it?

If your life sucks too much to be worth living, why aren’t you killing yourself?

If your life nice enough to be worth living, why would you want it to end?

Comment Re:Frame of Reference Problem (Score 1) 454

Wrong. I need an explanation for why I don’t phase through the planet as time moves (normally) forward. And I have it: various laws of physics explain how the Earth pulls me towards its center (via gravity) and how various electromagnetic forces stop me upon hitting its surface. More importantly, *time* is a very important and fundamental element of all those laws.

Obviously (1) time travel is not explained by the physics laws I know; but (2) they don’t not *quite* say it’s impossible; also (3) one would expect that any new discoveries about time travel would not exactly change everything, so the known laws would still have to be *almost* satisfied.

Time travel as is usually represented in movies (and, in particular, our example) happens much faster than real life, so just saying “it’s all the same, just in reverse”, doesn’t work. For instance, during the 100-year leap, the Earth moved around 1E12 kilometers relative to the Cosmic Microwave Background (as close as we might get to a “universal” frame of reference). Lightspeed is 3E5 kilometers per second. The movies suggest that from the *inside* of the car, the trip takes clearly less than 10 seconds (very conservatively, IIRC it seemed instantaneous). You can say that “time” inside the car “stops”, but then the “everything is the same, just backwards in time” explanation is not quite enough.

(Simpler thought experiments for physics-minded people: an observer looks at the sky, takes a 100-years trip in the car, looks again at the sky, and notices that the *entire*universe* moved with, oh, on billion times light-speed from his point of view. You can get other fun examples, for instance go back N years, launch yourself with the car inside a .1lightspeed-spacecraft, then go forward N years [after you figure out what “going 80 miles an hour” means inside a spacecraft]; relative to the Earth you’ve just traveled about .1N light-years, in only the time needed to launch and accelerate the craft, which is constant. Ergo, you can travel at any speed you want.)

Comment Re:Rotate (Score 1) 1140

I’m on Ubuntu. I’ve no idea exactly what and how the system does when I rotate the screen, but it looks very good in both modes. (I’m not an expert, but I’m easily annoyed by ugly fonts, so I’d have noticed.) It definitely uses ClearType in both modes, and it definitely helps in both modes, and it definitely isn’t ugly in either mode.

(Although, funny thing: for bad fonts sometimes the portrait mode works *worse* than landscape: letters (at least the Latin alphabet) have lots of long vertical lines and fewer&shorter horizontal lines. So I do notice, occasionally, a font that is rasterized with visible colored fringes (e.g., around the vertical stem of an I); this doesn’t happen in portrait mode: the increased resolution is vertical, and it’s useful for curves in either orientation, but not for vertical stems.)

Comment Re:Monitor recommendation: HP ZR24w (Score 1) 1140

Seeing as I have no mod points, I’ll just have to second you. Mine’s a HP LP2475w, which I suspect has about the same kind of panel. It had a very nice stand by itself (allowing easy rotation), but I bought an Ergotron LX wall-mounted arm for it (I highly recommend it).

It was a little bit weird at first, but once my desk set up adapted to it I love it. The extra space on the desk is quite nice, I can move the screen far from the wall (and closer to the strategically-placed couch) for watching movies, I can move it to the side when I need desk space for tinkering with stuff or to show people things without having to look over my shoulder, and of course I can keep it in portrait mode for work. It’s in portrait mode most of the time, actually (pretty much the only reason for landscape mode is movies and occasionally showing photos; I don’t play games much, but that would be the other case).

It’s ridiculously convenient for browsing the web, reading books and comics, any kind of document editing including drawing (the only time I felt I needed landscape mode in the Gimp was when editing a very very wide panorama), programming (I can’t stand debugging in Eclipse on a landscape screen anymore), and even silly things like looking at a music play-list. (My window manager has a rule to keep Amarok’s window always fullscreen for exactly this reason.)

The only slight annoyance is that the window list on the panel (in Gnome at least) can feel cramped if you use more than a dozen windows at a time. I rarely do, but then again I got so used to the Compiz tricks for window management (one of my mouse’s buttons triggers the Expose-like feature) than I rarely use it, actually—most of the time the primary window I need is full-screen, not just maximized, so it gets the entire glorious screen estate. (And I’m a bit of a freak about that; my Firefox browser got tweaked and addonned that I all menus (everything but the displayed page) take only about 100 vertical pixels, leaving the other 1820 just for me :D)

And yes, I do remember that at the beginning I felt the screen looked very narrow; it actually looked much more “narrow” in vertical mode than it looked “short” in horizontal mode. I think it’s just a matter of what your brain expects: I remember having a very similar “weird” feeling when I switched from 4:3 screens to widescreen, that it was much more short&wide than it actually was. The feeling disappeared then as now, and I feel very constrained when I can’t turn the screen (e.g., on other computers or laptops). I actually started to turn laptops on their side, like a book, for things like reading (or browsing, if I have a separate mouse), which can get you some weird looks from people, especially from their owners :)

Basically the only constant difficulty was to find a wallpaper that works well in both modes. (Though I’m using a shortcut to change the screen orientation in software, and I’m sure the wallpaper could be changed at the same time if I really wanted it to; I bought an USB accelerometer, intending to tape it to the back of the screen to make it switch the desktop automatically, but I never got around to programming it.) I used a 1920x1920 crop of a Hubble photo for a while, but now I’ve had some abstract thing that I think is the default one in Ubuntu for a few months and never noticed it.

Comment Re:All HTTP traffic should be encrypted (Score 1) 288

They’ll get used to the yellow bar. Which might make the red one more obvious.

I specified red only for suspicious pages, which shouldn’t be quite that common. Though perhaps the current “scare-screen” would work even better.

Anyway, my point was that we need a method for knowledgeable users to differentiate between “safe” HTTPS (certified by a trusted authority) and “no-worse-than-HTTP” HTTPS (self-signed).

Lusers don’t need that, but don’t need a big scary warning either for self-signed pages: as long as they’re not told it’s “safe”, they’ll treat it just like HTTP.

Comment Re:All HTTP traffic should be encrypted (Score 1) 288

I might just agree with this purpose, but... why then isn’t the big red “THIS MAY NOT BE SAFE” warning shown on all HTTP pages? No matter what, they are not in any way safer than HTTPS page with a self-signed certificate.

I actually think the best solution would be to have a yellow “this may not be safe, be careful” band at the top of all pages except perfectly-validated HTTPS, including HTTP. Let it turn to green on secure connections, and red when something more suspicious than a simple HTTP connection is used. This will force people to learn that most of the Internet is unsafe—now they don’t even think about it most of the time.

Comment Re:All HTTP traffic should be encrypted (Score 2, Interesting) 288

From the user’s point of view, the suggestion wasn’t to add a new level of security. The suggestion was that a SSL connection with a self-signed certificate should be presented to the user _exactly_ the same as a normal HTTP connection. Which makes sense, as the user still doesn’t have any sort of guarantee about who they’re connected to.

Again: for the user, there’s secure (which means properly certified SSL, and a lock, and whatever other visual indicators), or insecure (anything else; no lock, no other visual indication).

The advantages of this are two-fold:
* the data is encrypted; you still can intercept it, but you need to work much harder; with HTTP you can just passively listen with Wireshark
* the browser can detect when the self-signed certificate changes, and only _then_ make a fuss. Someone who starts to intercept your traffic (that is, they didn’t do it from the beginning) will be severely inconvenienced when intercepting sites you’ve already visited before they started intercepting

It’s doesn’t make everything perfectly safe, but it certainly increases safety.

Comment Re:We are... (Score 1) 167

I guess you’re mostly right (I don’t disagree with anything you said, at least).

But what I actually meant was that I never saw anyone actually, really justifying the claim with any kind of number, even estimates—despite the fact that there are some possible interpretations and defensible estimates for why there are other “more complex” things.

I can of course imagine what it might mean, but that’s quite a different thing. It’s certainly not enough to be given—and accepted!—as argument (even a rhetorical one) in a discussion on any subject.

Comment Re:We are... (Score 1) 167

I’m really curious to learn exactly what that means.

How exactly is one human brain more complex than an entire human? Or more complex than a dolphin brain? Or more complex than a coral reef, or an aspen grove (or even any large tree)? Or the storm system of Jupiter (or weather in general)? Or the solar atmosphere? Or the Internet? Or the entire galaxy, which coincidently contains lots of brains?

Comment Re:What about resource usage? (Score 1) 164

Got it from

It seems to be working OK, but I only installed it yesterday, so I’ve no long-term observations.

My G1 is a dev version bought from a Google employee (some of them got one for free last year).

Actually, CM Updater seems developed still, but something went wrong with automatic updates a while ago. I updated to 5.0.1 manually (searched for it in the Market app) and then it found the .15.1 ROM.

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