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Comment Re:Vision for VR (Score 1) 23

You want full-vision, HD-or-above, miniature displays that are self-powered, wireless, and involve no glasses or anything else on you? And probably are selectively transparent?

Welcome to "bio-implants", using tech only available 50 years from now. When you can convince granny to do that to check her email, give us a shout.

Comment Re:Swearing (Score 1) 238

The brain's interpretation of swear-words is different precisely because of the way they are used and the emotive response to them.

There's a reason that extreme instances of Tourette's are traditionally characterised by *inappropriate* words. The Tourette's sufferer (not all of the, or even most of them) acquires the verbal ticks because swearwords are handled and received differently (providing the upbringing is normal, and they understand the language - they don't magically know the German swearwords, etc.).

Swearwords, PRECISELY BECAUSE people categorise themselves into "those who use them" and "those who don't" are different, in the same way that positive and negative word-use are different. You either spend your life not using them, or you realise they have special characteristics that make them inappropriate with bosses, children, etc. Bang. Instant language neon lights.

You swear to express, and illicit, emotive responses outside of the norm.

Comment Re:Swearing (Score 1) 238

Experiments prove that swearing when in pain reduces the pain.

Google Stephen Fry and Brian Blessed video for a pop-science demonstration of such.

And in such instances, "fake" swear words do not have the same effect, even if you know what they stand for...

Comment Re:Swearing (Score 1) 238

1) It's not every occasion, that's exactly the point. You bring it out to distinguish it from every other occasion.
2) You're EXACTLY the kind of person I'm talking about.

P.S. Stupid is an extremely constructive word - by making you go "Oh, woah, okay, obviously I did something stupid, I won't do that again" rather than "Oh, this is working out well and I have only a minor tweak to make!"

And sometimes things are not bad assumptions, thought through or lacking maturity - they are people who know better just being stupid. They think it through, choose the stupid option for their own advancement, knowing full well what they should do instead. It's "rare" in comparison to a genuine mistake, but it happens. And that's when you bring out the expletives.

Comment Swearing (Score 4, Interesting) 238

People who don't swear scare the fucking life out of me.


There's a difference between swearing AT someone or IN FRONT OF someone. You never swear AT a child. You can swear in front of one. (And if the parents have half a brain, they are told not to repeat it but I guarantee the primmest of young girls know all the swearwords by their teenage year if they want to use them.)

Swearing is an expression of emotion, for the most part. There are people who put it in just because it feels big (you can spot those people even into adulthood), but mostly it expresses the scale of emotion behind what they are saying.

Something is stupid.
Something is FUCKING stupid.

They are entirely different things.

But people who deliberately DO NOT swear or - worse - do not tolerate swearing in their presence at all, they scare me. There's something repressive about that. I work in big posh schools and I guarantee you that even the most pretentious and correcting headmaster will swear at times, and the staffroom is full of expletives.

Swearing is the emoticon of language. It provides emphasis, scale and scope to something that could otherwise be misinterpreted. And it's better to insert a swear word than actually raise your voice, I would posit.

As such, people who swear are giving you not only their demand/request/reasoning but expressing how important it is to them too. That's honesty, alright.

Comment Re:Why is that useful? (Score 1) 183

Dual boot requires rebooting.

Nobody in commerce or enterprise is doing that with any kind of regularity, on clients or servers.

Virtualised hardware, however, let's them run everything without changing the machine. It also lets Linux be the underlying OS while Windows is just a VM.

That gives them an incentive for "one OS" top-to-bottom (e.g. Server licensing for HyperV) that can run Windows and Linux commands (even the hypervisor itself) without having to install a rival OS.

Comment Re:Lini batteries (Score 3, Interesting) 67

A battery capable of running a laptop for 10 hours is - if the energy is applied as heat, or even just sheer unrestricted electrical discharge - the same as powering 600 laptops for a minute. Or 3600 laptops for a second. Imagine the energy you need to do that - to just turn on 3600 laptops simultaneously, even for a second.

The amount of energy stored is enormous. In oil-based products it's orders of magnitude more again. Which is why a tiny little candle thing in a survival pack can cook your food, or a paraffin heater can heat a house.

The more energy you store, the greater the risk, but it does depend on how it's released. There's a reason you can't stop a house fire without hours of dampening it down - wood has a ton of energy but doesn't tend to release it that quickly, but can still be alight the next morning once it gets going.

In terms of battery, the worst problem is a short-circuit, either in the battery or the circuit itself. I can remember short-circuiting AA NiCd batteries as a kid, with my electronics kits. You could literally melt the plastic casing off the battery and make them too hot to touch in just a few seconds, with sparks and all sorts of case deformation as you did so. And that's an AA battery, with maybe 450mAh. Nowadays, rechargeable AA's can ten times that.

And then you consider the energy in a Li-Po that's as big as a laptop battery? When that goes wrong, you're in big trouble.

The short-circuit resistance does change things. Shorting a cheap alkaline likely won't do much at all, but even they come with warnings not to do that. But you're assuming that things are already going wrong for a battery in normal usage to short. At that point, you just assume zero-resistance and watch as your laptop catches fire and explodes.

No matter the technology, if it's capable of delivering that much electrical power, and you short it or break it, it's going to do pretty much the same thing.

My dad tells a story of when he and his work colleagues shorted a forklift battery bank. It was in an abandoned warehouse and the forklift was scrap, basically. They dropped a thick steel spanner over the batteries (a handful of normal lead-acid car batteries, basically) from a distance. The spanner glowed red, then bent, then glowed white, at which point the entire forklift exploded into smithereens and they were scraping battery acid off a warehouse ceiling (50ft up!) for weeks.

The energy is there, if you need to do those jobs for that length of time. If you release it all at once, even for a car battery, you have a literal explosive device on your hands. That isn't going to change just because you change lead-acid for hydrogen fuel cells or petrol for LPG or NiCd for LiPo.

Comment Re:Why is that useful? (Score 5, Insightful) 183




They're hoping that "linux" comes to mean just a particular set of utilities, no matter the OS.

In this day and age, virtualise. And it doesn't matter what OS you host virtual machines on, so long as they run.

Which is a death-knell to Windows, because the choice between "server core" and a barebones Linux install with a hypervisor? What's to choose except price and licensing?

Developers should be able to code on - literally - anything they want to. It helps in testing, if nothing else, if they are checking in code that is Windows-only and everyone complains that it breaks builds.

But they should all have all the target platforms as VMs, too. Then it's a matter of personal preference.

To be honest, I don't get why so many coders actually use MacBooks. It seems completely the wrong decision to me, if given free choice.

But the days of which OS is actually running on the hardware mattering are long gone. The choice of what you use as desktop is personal preference. The choice of what to use for backend services doesn't matter so long as you have people managing it.

Windows, at this point, is just a fancy GUI, not unlike which choice of DE you use on Linux. I think Microsoft are trying to claw that back a little and make you think that you can get rid of the Linux desktops and interfaces by using Windows.

Comment Re:Programmers are not waiting for your ideas (Score 1) 220

Every game project that I've ever worked on.

Some bright spark with ten million ideas and now idea how to code them, or even describe them algorithmically.

And programmers desperately working to get to the point that they can implement the better ideas that they had and have been able to test and describe for years beforehand.

Ideas are ten-a-penny. People who can code them are not, and they will have had all those ideas too, and know why the others aren't viable.

If you don't understand big-O notation, simple algorithms, and at least one programming language, nobody is going to care about your idea unless, quite literally, they have nothing else to do.

Reminds me of the scene with the bully in the Big Bang Theory (who wants to make glasses that turn things 3D)

"Hey, engineers! I think we should make a flying car! You get onto doing that, just make sure you give me credit okay!"

Comment Phones. (Score 2) 78

I still don't get why these phones are so damn big.

I've owned the S4 Mini and S5 Mini and they are more than big enough, but it bugs me that - despite being otherwise close in spec - they never have USB-host enabled (which is basically a software option!) and other little niggles.

But I can't buy a phone that doesn't have expandable non-cloud storage. I use cloud storage TOO but that's not what I want when I get on a plane and want to watch movies, play games, and read books.

I also wouldn't touch one without a headphone socket. That's just stupid and somehow the fad infected the industry.

I also wouldn't touch one without a battery I can change either. But it does bug me when they put the SIM / SD under the battery, that's just a pain in the arse.

As such, despite being able to afford any of these these, I've stuck on the Mini models from several years ago because there's something stupid in all the other models they sell. Other manufacturer's don't get a look-in for similar reasons.

I would PAY THE EARTH for a Samsung Android phone, no Samsung fucking apps on it, no "compulsory" apps at all, TWO headphone sockets, TWO microSD slots, TWO SIM slots, TWO removeable batteries, with an IR blaster (Mini's have it still), and all the usuals even if it was the size of one of these big phones. But they say that it's space that's at a premium, it's not. The Mini's are smaller and differ only in software, and minor details that I would never miss basically.

Make me a "full-size" that has all the above, and I'd paid more than full-size prices. But you know what the problem is? You give me that and I'll keep it forever until it's literally dead (physically or technologically). But if you churn out limited shite, I have to make a choice when to ditch it even if it's for something that has things I don't really want.

Boy, do I want the "modular phone" idea to take out. Gimme a base phone with 20 module ports on it for anything from Bluetooth, GPS, IR, headphones or whatever and I'd spend twice as much on modules as the actual phone itself.

Comment PC (Score 1) 156

The difference is, PC multiplayer games often have servers that you can get running later on.

It's only the MMO's that tend to go offline.

I can still setup a SvenCoop server using the HL engine, or play many games where the service has gone offline. Direct TCP/IP connectivity for an awful lot of them.

It's not that it doesn't happen. But with consoles, it happens EVERY generation for almost all the games. Games are abandoned when sequels or new platforms come out and there's nothing you can do.

Hell, I can still load up AOE2 and host a server, even without having to buy the HD-version-remake on Steam (which just makes it easier so I don't have to faff with DirectPlay or whatever it was called.

The only online game I know in my Steam account (1000 games) doesn't work at all is Age of Booty - based on GameSpy But I'm sure if I cared enough there's a patch, hack, or VPN-like thing that would make it work somehow.

Companies go bust and auth servers go with them, sure, but a lot of PC games support LAN or direct TCP which means you can play them over anything that carry such packets across the world. There are products and software that exist entirely for that purpose.

Comment Sigh. (Score 5, Insightful) 119

Fingerprints are not used for authentication, right? So it's not a problem, is it?

Even the kids in my school get this - you do have to explain the first time but then it's obvious to them.

Where do you write down your password? Almost nowhere (some of our kids have password in their planners and things like that, but they have no access anyway).

Where do you leave your fingerprint? Everywhere you go, on everything you touch, including the device you're logging into, and every device you've ever logged into.

Though we don't get high-level attacks, I feel that users need to only have this explained once to question the James Bond etc. concept of using fingerprints for doors, high security facilities, etc.

The fact that cameras are at the point that you can photograph someone's fingerprint? That's been true for a little while. That means that Trump / May / whatever leader's fingerprints have basically been public-domain for the world's spies for many years. Hence you should be SERIOUSLY questioning use of fingerprints as anything more than convenience or casual use.

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