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Comment Count me as one of the few 3D fans. (Score 1) 365

Count me in as one of 3D TV's few fans.

We bought our current TV a few years back (2012 or 2013 IIRC). We weren't specifically aiming to get a 3D (or even Smart) TV, however we lucked into a Cyber Monday deal that had a Sony KDL-46EX720 TV with a Sony 3D BluRay player for $750 (CDN) -- only one of three being offered in all of Western Canada. We scooped it up -- and for the most part it has been an excellent TV.

A year or so later we were able to pickup two pairs of 3D glasses while in the US (where they were half the price we could buy them in Canada for). I dove into as much 3D content as I could. Sony had at the time a great Internet "channel" in its Internet Video section which features all 3D videos, most of which were of UNESCO World Heritage sites. They were short, but those were great to watch. I'd watch 3D YouTube as well from time to time, and of course I own a bunch of 3D BluRay movies.

Unfortunately, first they shut down their 3D online channel, and then they decided not to update the set when YouTube changed its API (as I had predicted when we bought the TV, the "Smart" features wouldn't last all that long. As I said, I wasn't looking for a Smart TV. We don't use the Smart features at all anymore in favour of using our PS4 or Apple TV instead). There was never any regular 3D TV content available here in Western Canada (i.e.: no 3D broadcasts on cable or antenna), so the choice was between short Internet clips, or full blown movies.

I unfortunately missed the PS3 era; 3D doesn't work over PS Now, and there have been only a handful of 3D TV enabled games on the PS4. That was one area where 3D TV would have really shined; I regret never having had the opportunity to play ICO and Shadow of the Colossus in 3D.

My wife never got into the 3D viewing, so I'm the only one in the house who ever uses it. About the only time I get to use it is when I'm home alone, or after everyone else has gone to bed. Still, I did get Star Wars VII on 3D BluRay when it was released back in November, and have been enjoying watching it again in glorious 3D. I'll probably still buy our movies in 3D BluRay packs while I can (the 3D packs generally also come with the 2D BluRay, a 2D DVD, and a digital download copy, so they can be a really good deal), and will probably have to keep our current TV somewhere in the house for as long as it continues to function to watch them. Ultimately what did 3D TV in was the lack of content (particularly TV shows in the 30 mins - 1 hr range), the cost of the glasses (the TVs should have come with two pairs each, and not sold them as $100 each add-ons!), and general apathy towards wearing the glasses. Oh well -- it was fun while it lasted.

Yaz

Comment Re:240hz (Score 1) 365

Except if I understand correctly the shutters are driven by the television itself. My version uses an external device to drive the shutters. The point is that there is little that needs to be done to make a 3d capable extened system with televisions that are still on sale.

I think the big problem would be properly synchronizing the shutter control to the screen. 240Hz is roughly only about 4ms per frame. Modern digital TVs impart a small delay between when a frame and received and when it shows up on screen. The box you propose would have to emit the signal to keep the glasses synchronized in time, however there is no guarantee that the glasses would then be in sync with the TV. You'd need either some sort of configuration system whereby the user could control the synchronization delay (which would be somewhat of a pain for end-users to setup), or you'd have to do something truly ingenious like somehow encode the sync signal into the frames themselves (current active shutter TVs generally use an IR out to sync the glasses to the screen).

I'm not saying it would be impossible, but there would be technical challenges that don't really exist when you're doing frame sync int he same physical unit that is handling the display as active 3D TVs currently function.

Yaz

Comment Re:Cairo vs. Copland (Score 1) 132

Was Apple any worse with its "Pink" and "Copland" projects?

I think the difference here was that Apple wasn't announcing their plans from a monopoly position in order to keep people away form the competition. Indeed, when Pink became Taligent, one of the idea of the AIM Alliance was to use a microkernel architecture that would permit various OS "flavours" to run on top of it, including Mac OS "Pink", OS/2, and Windows NT, all running on PowerPC CHRP.

My feeling was always that the problem with Apple surrounding Copland and Pink was more incompetence rather than malice, whereas Microsoft knew they were promising things they would never be able to deliver purely as a way to keep people from leaving the Windows ecosystem. Of course, it helped them quite a bit that their biggest PS OC competitor in the 90's, IBM, had a policy not to announce any product releases until 60 or 90 days before shipping (as I understand things, this was a legacy of the IBM antitrust case in the 70's). Microsoft took advantage, announcing things years in advance that they would never ship while a major competitor would basically not give anyone any information on what they were planning until it was pretty much in beta.

Maybe I'm jaded by experience, but Project Scorpio feels much the same. Sony has made no announcement about a PlayStation 5, the PS 4 and PS4 Pro are now known quantities, so now MS promises "the most powerful console ever built" before even showing anyone a prototype. Sony at least had a PS4 Pro at the PS4 Pro announcement (sure, the rumour mill expected the announcement for months, but Sony didn't officially announce anything until they were nearly ready to ship, so it wasn't a vapour announcement). This pattern feels all too familiar.

Yaz

Comment Re:Welcome to the Osborne Effect (Score 1) 132

For those not up on computer history, Osborne was a computer maker that announced a great new model coming in a year... so sales started tanking while people waited... which meant there was no model in a year (or maybe there was, my memory is fuzzy on that detail).

Microsoft had a pattern of doing this throughout the 90's, and it generally worked out well for them. As soon as other PC operating systems (and OS/2 in particular) started chipping away at the badly aging Windows 3.1x line, Microsoft started promising the moon with Windows 95/PC DOS 7 -- more than two years before it shipped. They didn't deliver on most of their promises, and the end result was worse than the competition, but by that point it didn't matter -- people believed the hype and decided to skip the competition out of fear that the competition was going to be eclipsed in a years time. They did the same with Windows NT. Remember "Cairo"? Microsoft started talking about it in 1991, and continued through 1996 before dropping the release completely. WinFS probably takes the cake -- a complete redesign of how a PC OS stores information, it was first promised in 1991, and was continually touted until 2006, usually in around whenever a competing OS was being released.

Over-promising way in advance and under-delivering was MS's modus operandi through much of the 1990's and early 2000's. A lot of people fell for it, and a lot of people continue to fall for it (I follow some PlayStation forums now and then, and have seen more than one person claim they're waiting until Scorpio ships because it's going to blow everything that ever came before it out of the water...sound familiar?).

Yaz

Comment Re:Con? (Score 2) 403

They cheated if they broke the rules. Without knowing in details what the rules were, we can't say whether they cheated.

However we do know that a judge who knew in detail what the rules were required them to return the money. This being a civil case, we don't know if what they did was criminally illegal.

Comment Con? (Score 1) 403

Con:
Persuade (someone) to do or believe something by lying to them.
A confidence trick ... is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their confidence, used in the classical sense of trust.

I don't see where he lied, so I think the word is misapplied. The second definition comes a little bit closer, but casinos are very much aware that gamblers are adversaries, not allies.

Comment Making America great again (Score 4, Insightful) 129

What do people mean when they say "make America great again"? My understanding is that they want a USA which is making new innovative industries, employing lots of people in the USA with high paying jobs, and making profit in the process (the more the better.) Elon Musk is the poster child for doing all of those things - yet many people crying "Make America great again" are trying to tear him down. The kindest explanation is that they are so blinded by ideology that they can't think straight.

Comment Re: Is more education, better education . . . ? (Score 2, Insightful) 495

You are simply mis-reading what is stated in that document. The US citizen parent had to be resident in the US for ten years (prior to the birth). How can I be so certain? I am in a similar category, but was born outside the US to a US mother and a father who had not been ten years resident in the US. I had, since birth, US citizenship until I renounced a few years ago.

Comment Re:Roundup backpack=bad ? (Score 5, Interesting) 130

The problem is that neonicotinoids are about as close to an ideal insecticide as we could hope to have. They're effective on a broad spectrum of insects, they don't harm plants, and they're really quite safe around mammals. For example, dinotefuran has an oral and dermal LD50 in rats of > 2000mg/kg, is not known to be carcinogenic, and is not known to be a neurotoxin. It's also essentially non-toxic to birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates (important because of chemical run-off.) I'm not saying I'd sprinkle it on my breakfast cereal, but I wouldn't get sick from it.

They just happen to be 50 times as lethal to bees as to any other insect. So even the lowest doses used to control economically damaging pests are still going to kill huge numbers of bees, because the tainted nectar and pollen that comes back with the bees feeds the colonies.

I really like the stuff for INDOOR control of greenhouse pests. Outdoors, I won't use it.

Comment One bit doesn't make sense (Score 2) 101

"This would give SpaceX three landing pads and the ability to bring back all three Falcon Heavy boosters to land while also retaining the option to land one or two on drone ships in the Atlantic Ocean."

I can imagine scenarios where you'd want to land zero, one or three boosters on drone ships. I can't imagine any scenario where it makes sense to land two boosters on drone ships. One way would be to have the center booster and one side booster landing at sea - but if one side booster can return to landing site, so can the other (and landing on land is both cheaper and safer if you can do it.) The other way is to land both side boosters at sea but return the center booster to land - but the center booster is always going to be much harder to return to land, as it burns longer and so is higher velocity and further down range when it has finished boosting.

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