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Comment Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (Score 1) 255

Depth Perception is the operative phrase here.

In humans, visual depth perception emerges from a combination of cues:

  1. monocular
  2. binocular
  3. motion

Traditional "2D" movies already have most of the monocular cues necessary for depth perception. Without them, you wouldn't be able to tell whether a car was driving towards or away from the camera. However, some monocular cues are missing. Within ~6 feet, "accommodation" can be used to tell you how near or far you are focusing, based on how your eye muscles are shaping your lens.

What most people consider "3D" is just stereopsis -- presenting a different image to each retina. This gets you much closer to "real" depth perception, and is enough of an improvement to be "worth it" for a lot of applications (CAD, Hollywood movies, etc). However, it is missing "convergence," which is how much your eyes have to point towards each other to see an object.

Read the Wikipedia article for the full list.

Comment Re:I see a lot of denial in this post (Score 1) 917

Steve says it's trifling because it is trifling! While certainly a design flaw, I would only consider it serious if:

    • it causes lots of damage.
    • it's hard to fix or work around.

When I think "serious" product failures, it's something dangerous (Sony batteries), or renders the product useless in a way that the user can't fix (Droid X eFUSE). Dropping 1% more calls is a minor impact, and even my 95 year old grandfather can put a phone in a case.

It's a problem, and I'm glad Apple is addressing it with free bumpers. That said, schadenfreude is the only way I can make sense of the all the media hoopla against Apple. Will Consumer Reports change their recommendation once they receive their free bumpers?

Comment Re:ladies and gentlemen: (Score 2, Informative) 557

Yes, because of course web/IM/email are the *ONLY THREE THINGS* done on any PC in an average home...

You win the unintentionally hilarious award for the day. The iPad actually supports or will support every single thing you mentioned!

  1. Printing support may come as a part of the iPhone OS 4.0 SDK. If not, Google's Cloud Print Service could fill the gap.
  2. The iPad is such a good 3D game platform that Nintendo declared Apple the enemy of the future.
  3. The iPad itself is a solid media player, but you can also hook it up to your TV with Component or VGA cables.
  4. Apple sells a Camera Connector Kit for the iPad. You can upload photos from an SD stick, and edit them in an App on your iPad.
  5. iPhone OS 4.0 supports background tasks and multi-tasking, to the extent that you would even want to do that on a 10" screen.

The only thing you can't do on an iPad is rip movies and music, but that's kinda what the iTunes store is for. I'm not saying that the way you do it on the iPad is for everyone, and you specifically are certainly better off with a PC. My mom, on the other hand, finds the iPad a much eaiser way to achieve every item you mentioned.

Comment Re:memorize a fake person (Score 1) 206

there is a fake me out there...

What are you so afraid of? (Completely sincere question--not trolling in the least.)

I understand using a fake persona if you're afraid of some company knowing information about you. However, with a fake name you're still going to see targeted advertising, and if you're doing anything illegal you're probably not obfuscating enough to hide your true identity.

I guess I just don't understand what privacy consequences you're actually avoiding.

Comment Re:See, this is what I've been saying on Slashdot (Score 1) 468

Mod parent up (or mod GP down). Half of that ZDNet article was retracted because the iPad DOES support bluetooth keyboards, and the other half is BS because USB isn't even Apple's standard.

Apple has actually gotten rid of most proprietary connectors in the past 10 years. The ones they still have are either highly device-specific (e.g. iPod connector), or on their way to becoming standards (e.g. mini display port).

Comment Re:Games too (Score 1) 595

The ONLY reason i can comprehend for that change to the EULA was to ban the native flash executables. Theres no other practical reason for it.

It's too early to say why Apple is prohibiting 3rd-party compilers. Today it looks like Apple is exerting a monopoly over software, but tomorrow we might learn that Apple was trying to prevent a monopoly in the hardware. Right now the entire iPhone ecosystem is locked into an ARM architecture.

By prohibiting 3rd party compilers, Apple can change chip architectures with only a simple update to XCode, and reasonably expect most apps to be recompiled for the new architecture. Conversely, Flash-compiled iPhone apps might have to wait a year for Adobe CS7 or whatever. Steve Jobs basically said this in his open letter:

We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform.

It took Adobe ten years to release a fully MacOS X native version of Photoshop. I can't blame Steve Jobs for not wanting his platform to be dependent on Adobe.

Comment Re:Government is Clueless about Business (Score 1) 192

Just curious, why does the Tea Party movement catch so much flak?

The Tea Party gets flak because they come off as a bunch of whiny hypocrites.

Where was the Tea Party during Bush's huge expansion of Federal spending and power? Why are they only speaking out now that a democrat is trying to pay for Bush's spending and tax cuts? I'm serious -- I would appreciate any perspective that could keep me from having such a low opinion of people.

Comment Language is Culture (Score 1) 981

'Being deaf is not about being disabled, or medically incomplete - it's about being part of a linguistic minority. We're proud, not of the medical aspect of deafness, but of the language we use and the community we live in.'

Deafness is a completely different issue from color-blindness (or even regular blindness) because LANGUAGE IS CULTURE. Almost every meaningful social experience you have is had in the context of language.

Think about losing every story, every song, every conversation you've had because your language has been rendered obsolete. On some level I'm sure everyone in deaf culture would like to be able to hear. But many of them won't trade hearing if it means their favorite songs, poems, and stories will not be passed on. There's a great movie about this called Sound and Fury

Comment Re:In 5 years (Score 1) 646

What's so forgiving about the magic white smoke getting out of a hard drive after a head crash?

Mechanical failures can be predicted by SMART, and even prevented (e.g. sudden motion sensors that park the heads).

If you DO have a head crash, data recovery services can take the platters out and recover any data not directly affected by the head crash. Some companies offer NAND data recovery, but the current state-of-the-art appears to be more complex, expensive, and uncertain than conventional hard drives.

Comment Re:In 5 years (Score 2, Insightful) 646

Yeah, if you really want to compare apples to apples, measure MTBF. Oh, and let's not forget the SSD's far superior ability to decay gracefully.

SSDs have a better MTBF, but I think you have the graceful decay backwards. Good SSDs do wear leveling and use SMART to tell you when your ten-thousandth write is approaching. But once they die, they're dead. Solid-state failures are a lot less predictable and more unforgiving than mechanical failures. (For reference, read up on the Poisson Process as it relates to solid-state failures.)

Comment Re:Non-American: questions (Score 4, Insightful) 2424

1) What is in it to stop the premiums going up as the money from subsidies comes in? In other words, will the basic laws of supply and demand in a free market not still apply? This bill does not seem to limit the dynamics of the free market.

Insurers have new regulations. First, 85% of revenue must go towards providing care, which caps administrative costs (and profit) at 15%. This isn't a huge difference from the current system; most insurers keep similar margins, and grow revenue through volume. It sounds crazy, but insurers actually depend on doctors and hospitals doing too many tests and procedures.

Second, health insurers are no longer protected from anti-monopoly laws. This should actually help, because currently most regions are locked into 1 or 2 insurance choices.

2) What will stop the insurance companies from making their own rules that slowly erode the value of coverage by limiting the treatments that they pay for?

The bill has pretty specific requirements for what plans can be eligible for assistance and/or tax credits. I.E. You can't start a health insurance company that just hands out band-aids. Additionally, there will be expanded eligibility for Medicare and insurance exchange programs; competing for customers will keep insurers from cutting too much.

3) How will someone who is poor be ensured the same treatments as someone who is wealthy?

That doesn't even happen in Canada--the wealthy can always turn to medical tourism if they want special treatment. The poor will still get inferior care, but inferior is better than non-existent or bankrupt.

Comment Re:And again my lament... (Score 1) 71

Wii-style controllers are for fun. Not for accuracy. Not for performance. Not for precision.

"Fun" and "control" aren't mutually-exclusive. Accuracy and precision are characteristics of a specific control sensor, not a mode of control. You hold thumbsticks in such high esteem, but the joysticks of yore required frequent recalibration, and had issues with max ranges and zero deadzones. As the technology matures (e.g. WiiPlus), so will the precision.

Motion controllers are not very good for binary input; that's what buttons are for, and that's why the Wii has gotten so much flak for "waggle" games. Conversely, thumbsticks are not very good for 6-axis position/velocity/acceleration control. Tiger Woods 2010 with WiiPlus has AMAZING accuracy, performance and precision (I play the Disc Golf, but I hear the regular golf is also great). Try doing that with your thumbstick.

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