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Comment More info + spoof Photoshops (Score 2) 105

ChinaSmack has much more detailed coverage on this story, including translated Chinese netizen reactions and ton of photoshops. There are only a few ways that the Chinese can criticize the "ZF" (Chinese Government), these sorts of harmless mockery is one of them.

Comment Massive political excuse for a crack down on... (Score 1) 452

Much like Lulzsec's PBS hack, this will hurt their cause more than it helps...

My concern is that the actions of these hackers will incite a response from governments around the world that will limit internet freedom for the rest of us...

With the breach in Lockheed, Google, and (maybe) a senator also happening this week. And with accusations this last week that the Chinese are out to get American secrets, high-profile hacks on major international companies, and the Pentagon declaring hacking an 'act of war', these series of events compressed into a short period of time will only create impetus for governments to crack down and create new laws that will restrict the internet.

Comment PS4= Off-the-shelf components (Score 2) 353

Yeah, all this is saying is that Sony won't be building expensive proprietary technology like Cell or Blu-ray, and esoteric technology like XDR Ram, into the PS4.

They probably are going to use off-the-shelf components like MS. Intel, IBM, ATI, Nvidia, all make components that are impressive. There is no need to develop everything from scratch in-house like the PS3. In fact, the MS tactic of using off-the-shelf components (which they have used even on the first Xbox) is clearly the way to go. Outside of a few first-party titles (Killzone, Uncharted,God of War) that look wonderful, most third-party cross-platform titles haven't bothered to tailor their development for the Cell. And as far as the disk format, there really isn't any impetus to go beyond the 50GBs that Blu-ray affords on the PS4.

The real reality is that game development costs are astronomical for AAA titles. Developing for a single platform really isn't viable, especially if they are using an esoteric architecture like the Cell. Its unreasonable to expect developers to give one platform special attention over the other, and in the same respect its unreasonable for a platform maker to build technology that will go unused into their machine as well.

Looking at the NGP, Sony seems to have adopted a plain-jane quad-core ARM cortex-A9 and a quad-core PowerVR chipset. Hardware that will be common place in the next year, Qualcomm's Snapdragon APQ8064 is similar in design, Sony clearly intends on having the Playstation Suite on Android phones converge with the NGP. Sony clearly intends on having the PS4 go a similar route.

It wouldn't be surprising if PS4 uses a ARM CortexA15 (which goes upto 16 cores) and an Nvidia chipset like "Project Denver"; Nvidia ARM/GPU hybrid. So that all development efforts PC/NGP/Android/iOS/360/Nintendo Project Cafe/PS3/PS4 can be brought under one roof. Obviously, the concept of the hardware platform itself is changing for console makers. Cross-platform tools such as Epic's Unreal Engine are becoming mini-platforms unto themselves.

Comment Re:Cultural effect? (Score 3, Insightful) 404

Sorry, but this is plain racist.

We've had industrial accidents in West as well, as systems that have been hacked into. BP is the most recent example, and Union Carbine's Bhopal disaster is another (which killed 3,700 people and inured close to half a million). Cover ups, slow-response, not very unique to one country or company.

None of it is "cultural thing". In fact, Sony isn't very Japanese these days, its run by a British-born American, and Western executives pull a lot of sway, especially in the music division, movie studios and Playstation division where a lot of its is centered in the US. Their phone division is split with Ericsson, their music division with Germany's BMG.

Comment Wrong way of looking at it (Score 1) 472

First, its called a monopoly. And already government scrutiny is strict when large record labels merge, much less when a company like a Google goes out to buy them.

Second, labels are ultimately as good as their artists. Even if hypothetically Google were able to overcome the international regulatory scrutiny to create a music monopoly, it doesn't guarantee that future artists will necessarily sign with the Google label. The reality of course is that in a competitive market new labels will arise, which the next great artist could sign with if the terms are better, the real question becomes how will Google's monetary compensation compare with artist's realistic expectations.

What the music industry needs isn't a corporate behemoth to rule music and parasitically take a cut between the artist and the consumer, it needs a better business model, a more efficient way to commoditize digital media that gives creators fair compensation for their work relative to the realties of the ubiquity of piracy.

Comment Re:I don't buy it (Score 5, Informative) 176

There have been a lot of technology advancements that dramatically increase the amount of light each photosite can collect. The biggest is BSI (back side illuminated) sensors which can double the amount of light that gets captured per photosite. We are also moving to high-dynamic range, high-speed, and pixel-binning CMOS technology that can combine signal data from multiple photosites into one.

In general you will get better quality from a larger sensor, all things being equal, but technology has moved considerably forward. 1~2 micron photosites (that are common in cellphones) can easily handle 8MPs. But don't expect it to take the same quality as a dSLR (or even the larger sensored point and shoots).

Comment COMPETITORS DO HAVE PROBLEMS. LOTS... (Score 5, Informative) 930

Here's a list (SUA) sudden unintended acceleration complaints to the NHTSA

Atop that, most of SUA complaints to the NHTSA are a sham.

Its not about a design flaw, some people are on their cell phone, distracted, and in some cases plain DRUNK. One Toyota SUA had a driver with a blood alcohol level of .103 (link above). Its easier to blame the car rather then admit you were drinking or were texting on the cellphone.

In other cases it turned out to be a complete hoax (in the case of the California Prius incident):

Comment Re:Get over yourself. (Score 4, Insightful) 274

GIve me a break, people that spew this BS haven't actually used Linux on the PS3.

It was NOT a "major" feature, I was on the YDL forums (the most active PS3 Linux community online) and it was a ghost town.

Quite frankly, PS3 on the Linux was useless, it had 256MB or RAM, less then 200MBs were usable, you could hack it to access GPU memory but it was overall pretty much useless. PPU builds of applications were hard to find, you were stuck without Flash (crappy Gnash work around), and old version of Firefox (no HTML5), and any cheap netbook would run circles around it.

The worst part is after 3 years of Linux on the PS3 nobody made any substantial Cell applications. There was barely any community support. Nobody cared.

All these whiners complaining about he loss of Linux of the PS3; where the hell were you when it was available?


Submission + - ARM: The Democratization of the CPU (

doctor_no writes: ARM is the democratization of the CPU outside the Wintel paradigm. ARM has become the CPU of choice for mobile devices, and as demarcation between mobile and immobile gets further eroded by devices like the iPad and Chrome OS, the ARM architecture has become the most viable x86 killer that has ever existed.

Comment Rumors of OLED's death are greatly exaggerated (Score 4, Informative) 99

This is being blown out of proportion.

The XEL-1 was discontinued in Japan because new TV sets sold this year will require a "V-chip" parental control, and a $2,000 11" TV doesn't justify a redesign to add that feature. The XEL-1 is still going to be sold in the US and Europe.

Also, Sony is still going ahead with their 22B yen ($210M) investment in OLED

Moreover, at the 2010 CES Sony just finished showing off a 24.5" OLED set that does 3D.

As Mark Twain said, can be applied to OLED, "rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated"


Heavy Rain Previews Show Promise 84

As the February release date for Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain nears, several publications have gotten a chance for some hands-on time with the game and seem to be intrigued by what they saw. Quoting the Opposable Thumbs blog: "The game grabs you during the quiet moments where nothing 'happens.' When you look at a picture your child drew. When you're questioning someone about a crime. When you're trying to figure out how to react to a violent situation. The preview we were sent put me in different situations as I played a small handful of characters, and each one provided a few tiny moments that were surprising in terms of storytelling or subtlety." Eurogamer's previewer had a similar reaction: "To my great delight as well — Heavy Rain isn't a mature game because it has unhappy families and moody lighting, it's a mature game because it anticipates an adult response from the player and is prepared to receive it."

Facebook Mafiosi Go To the Mattresses vs. Zynga 102

sympleko writes "Zynga has the lion's share of traffic in Facebook applications, and Mafia Wars is one of their most popular social games. Collapsing under the weight of over 26 million users, Zynga has been scrambling to thwart hard-core gamers who reverse-engineer URLs or script the game to optimize their enjoyment. Many of the workarounds have annoyed users who were accustomed to various game features, and even worse, the hastily-deployed changes have resulted in many players losing access to the game, in-game prizes, or statistics. Fed up with a software company seemingly bent on discouraging people from enjoying their product, a number of tagged players have organized a boycott of all Zynga games. The first 24-hour boycott on Sunday 12/13 resulted in an 11% decline in Daily Active Users, and an emergency thread on Zynga's forums (from which most of the flames were deleted). The current boycott, extending Wednesday through Sunday is being supported by a 428K strong Facebook group. At issue is the social contract between software companies and their devoted user base, as well as the nefarious tactics Zynga has used to raise cash."

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 180

Pretty impressive, 'cromulent' does show up...

* Fine, acceptable or normal; excellent, realistic or authentic
* "Lisa the Iconoclast" is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 18, 1996. In the episode, Springfield's bicentennial approaches, and Lisa writes an essay on town founder Jebediah Springfield. ...

As does "embiggen":

* Make bigger

Not to mention "Dingleberry":

*Vaccinium erythrocarpum, the Southern Mountain Cranberry; Any residual irregularity following processing; A small piece of feces clumped to anus

But if you put in "Microsoft" there is no definition: it just says " * microsoft is also a word in: Deutsch"

Comment The electron microscope I used to use ran on OS/2 (Score 4, Insightful) 125

The electron microscope I used to use ran on OS/2 Warp. Acquired images had to be transferred off the computer using Zip drives. Its still in service. I have a fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) machines that runs on OS9 exclusively.

The thing is, being that some scientific equipment can easily be six-figures, the computers that are connected to those machines are dedicated to it and run one piece of software exclusively. Many scientist aren't in-depth computer people, most labs with won't allow those computers to have any other software that isn't necessary to be installed, or be used to surf the net, or be upgraded if its working. Any downtime associated with such an expensive machine can be costly, and the software that runs it is usually finicky and filled with bugs (being that the userbase is miniscule).

The fact that its on XP isn't much of an issue, in fact, it seems a lot more progressive then other equipment out there. I know equipment that will on run on Windows 95/98/Me, and let me tell you it's a NIGHTMARE!

Comment Re:UMD transfer the what what? (Score 1) 261

The problem isn't just the physical media itself, once you open the door for a legitimate ripping they also open the door for illegitimate ripping. In the PSN network once ownership is established you can re-download the game an unlimited number of times and on 5 different devices. The PSP itself is an insecure system.

Also, UMDs don't come with CD-keys (or I guess UMD-keys in this case). There is no way to authenticate one disk from another; which means you can go around buying and returning used UMDs to rip to your system, you could swap disks around with friends and everyone could claim ownership, or even rental UMDs that you could rip to your system and promptly return. This is a poor way for Sony to gather the support of developers/publishers to the system.

What Sony should have done is the 3 Free game download promotion they did in Europe but is conspicuously absent in the rest of the world. All you had to do with authenticate you had a UMD, it didn't even have to be yours, and you wold receive a code to download three games. They could be games you already owned, or they could be completely brand new games. One of the games you could choose from is Gran Turismo PSP, brand-new and cost $40.

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