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Comment Re:Mobile Web (Score 5, Interesting) 73

The irony is that the way Tim Berners-Lee designed the web, the web server was to send you a minimally-structured set of information to display, and it would be up to the client to format it in the best way for the local display. This meant things like font sizes, page flow, in-line photos, etc. should adhere to settings on the browser.

The designers and page layout artists were horrified at this, and did everything in their power to subvert this model and return control of how the site would appear back with themselves. That's why flash websites were so popular in the early 2000s - it gave them complete control of how the site would appear, giving the user none. Gradually they've figured out ways to take away control from the user using regular html, which is why you now have websites where you can't zoom, can't resize fonts, everything is locked to three columns (menu, text, ads) which you can't move, resize, or rearrange, etc.

The way Tim Berners-Lee envisioned the web, there would be no need for a desktop site or a mobile site. You just create one site, and it's up to the visitor's browser to format it in a way which makes it most usable on the display device. The need for different desktop and mobile sites only arises if you design your site so that it will only operate at a certain resolution or screen size.

Comment Re:Just what I wanted.. (Score 2) 98

5 Mbps is what Netflix uses for its highest-quality 1080p streams. For a movie file analogy, 5 Mbps is equivalent to 2.25 GB for a 1 hour movie. The compression is there if you really look for it, but most people won't notice it. (Current video compression algorithms have a hard time with sharp high-contrast changes since those are relatively rare in natural video images, but are common in computer-generated images. So that's an area of video compression which could be improved in future algorithms.)

The input lag is there, but its detrimental impact is mostly the result of how the joysticks on the PS4 (and Xbox) controller works. The sticks only have a position resolution of -127 to +127. This isn't precise enough to aim on a 1920x1080 screen. So the kludge is to have the sticks control velocity instead of position (aim point). You tilt the joystick, and it changes the speed at which the aim point moves. This hack for controlling aim position is devastated by input lag. You let go of the stick when the aim point is just right, and the aim point keeps moving for 100ms.

The Steam controller fixes this. It uses a trackpad for the right (aiming) joystick. It has much higher resolution and works analogously to a trackball. You're no longer controlling the velocity at which the aim point moves, you're controlling its position directly like with a mouse. After enough practice, you learn how much to flick it to move the aim point exactly where you want. Just like you learn exactly how much you need to move the mouse to move the aim point to a certain location. Input lag becomes irrelevant except during the learning process.

Comment Mozilla Firefox (Score 1) 38

Mozilla has their own password manager as part of their sync service.

And if you don't trust them, you can even sync using your own home server (I think I remember that you need WebDAV for that.)

And that one works *also* on Linux.

And in addition to a password manager, you should enable 2 factors on anything critical: Your banks, e-mail address that you use for password recovery, OAuth and OpenID providers that you use to log elsewehere (like Google or Facebook), etc.

Comment Solutions (Score 1) 335

This seems perfectly sensible to somebody making a media player, but for smartphones it means you have to come up with something else to do with your UI tones and notifications and whatnot (because you can't mix them into the mp3 stream without decoding and re-encoding, defeating the purpose of mp3 passthrough).

Or, the sound server/mixer in the phone could switch from MP3/AAC passthrough to mix-and-reecode whenever there are multiple streams, and switch back to passthrough once the music is the only remaining sound.

(As far as I know, pulse audio should be able to do it. It's already able to do with sample (only resampling and mixing audio if multiple channels, otherwise switching back to the music's sample rate if supported by the hardware), and is already used in several lesser known smartphone OS: as far back as the openmoko, and more recently in Palm/HP's webOS, and currently in Sailfish OS and Ubuntu Phone.
I suspect that Windows' sound mixing service should in theory be able to do it too...)

SBC was the first implemented because it's computationally trivial and royalty-free.

Speaking of which, FLAC and OPUS are royalty-free nowadays, and OPUS is even a IETF standard. Bluetooth should consider introducing them to Bluetooth...

I'm not sure it would have been practical to encode mp3 in real-time on a featurephone in 2004.

Trivially possible, but it would have required a MP3 *codec* core, instead of a purely MP3 decoding hardware core as done back then, which would have risen the cost of the SoC and thus of the feature phone. So nobody did it to stay competitive.

Anyway, the limiting factor of BT audio quality is the codec, not the radio. AptX is ~384Kbps for 16-bit stereo, and BT4.0 has a raw capacity on the order of 25Mpbs.

Correct me, if I'm wrong, but 25Mpbs figure is basically using AMP - Alternative MAC/PHY. Or in other words, using Bluetooth over a 802.11 transport (i.e.: over a Wifi transport).
That means the headset needs to have a more energy consuming "+HS" variant of bluetooth 3.0 that also features this "over Wifi" part.
(The same way that the low energy of Bluetooth 4.0 LE is bluetooth over WiBee)

This could mean shorter battery life on the wireless headsets.

Comment Batteries are expensive (Score 2) 154

It's not abnormal
The battery, not the motor, is the most expensive part in an electric car.

There are electric car makers who sell you only an empty car, and rent you the battery.
e.g.: Renault's Zoé
These cars are rather cheap.
(And in case of the Zoé, Renault have stated that:
- they DON'T do remote kills, even if they technically own the battery
- in fact they don't do any DRM on the battery
- you could in theory stop paying the battery, bring it back, and refit the car with something else (yup, they are open to the idea of 3rd party battery market that is eventually going to appear as e-cars get more popular) )
(Disclaimer: there are Zoé in pool of cars at the local car-sharing company that I often drive).

To over-simplify to the point of carricature :

In a gaz-powered car:
- The motor is a horribly complex high-precision mechanical piece with thousands of precise components, gearbox and transmission system, etc...
- The tank is basically a huge jerrycan, with a simple cap at one end to top up, and a glorified faucet at the other end to bring fuel into the car.
(Yup I'm over simplifying but you got the picture).

In an electical car:
- The motor is basically just a huge coil almost directly connected to the wheel (well, not quite. There's a fixed ratio gearbox), and that's about it. It just spins faster or slower depending on needs, no complex transmission in play.
- The energy storage is an awfully complex beast: complex (and explosive) chemistry in the battery that requires either custom parts or in Tesla's case a complex grid of thousands of simple common off-the-shelf 18650 elements, with a very complex battery manager to charge and top up the energy storage while keeping the longevity of the battery, and a high power circuit to convert the battery output into what high AC current is precisely needed at the time by the motor.

So yeah, take the energy storage out of the equation, and the rest of the electric car is cheap.

Or in a different perspective: adding 10% more energy to the storage is a complex task, that is going to cost a lot if you pay the battery upfront (like in Teslas)
It's not like extending the range 10% in a gaz powered car (where it's basically about increasing the the "glorified jerrycan" about ~10%)
It's more like extending the power or efficiency of a gaz powered car (where it would need an entirely new and better mottor, which is also going to cost a lot).

Comment Input on a Windows tablet? (Score 4, Informative) 98

"With a Windows laptop or tablet, you aren't tethered to a big-screen TV. You could theoretically take these PlayStation games anywhere"

The article says it requires a DualShock 4 controller. I don't see how that will work with all Windows tablets, especially seeing as ARM-based Windows tablets (like the Surface 1 and 2 non-Pro) allow only XInput controllers (that is, Xbox 360 controllers and one Logitech model).

Comment Re:Price Point (Score 1) 75

Now, looking at the Famicom PCB, it should be possible to make a clip-in or pass-through board that attaches to the video chip and produces the HDMI output, all while fitting in the original case. That would be a nice upgrade that people would buy and wouldn't cost too much.

That's called the Hi-Def NES board by Kevtris.

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