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Comment Re:In fairness (Score 1) 421

Police were involved. A man was arrested.

FTA: "Scotland Yard has confirmed that a 21-year-old man was arrested by police in the Manchester area on 28 July on suspicion of harassment offences."

Whether it's a fabricated appeal to emotion is irrelevant; It's unacceptable. It's also really easy to avoid: don't threaten to rape people.

Comment Re:lead concentration = poverty (Score 5, Insightful) 627

Nobody in a right state of mind is going to rob or kill a random someone just because they're bored.

However, lead poisoning causes brain damage, which can lead to psychosis. And the study shows correlation between violent crime rates and lead concentration.

If it were just a matter of being bored, I would fear for the world. That would imply that we're all rapists and murderers, and that unless we're significantly distracted by our 'stuff' we're prone to rape and murder out of sheer boredom. That's not really the case though. For the most part, people don't rape and murder eachother, except under pretty significant mental distress or disorder.

A study like this is useful because it might bring up other ways of investigating criminal trends. Could there be something environmental that causes mental health issues in a population? Drug/alcohol abuse? Lack of health care opportunities? Birth defects caused by some environmental source? Toxins from some environmental source?

Dismissing it as "people just have more x-boxes so they probably don't get bored and kill people" is pretty pointless. Does poverty factor into it? Maybe. But can we tell if poverty instigates the crime, or if the mental degradation caused by something like lead poisoning (or drug/alcohol abuse, or mental deficiency from birth) both instigates the crime and makes the person have a more difficult time caring for themselves leading to a life of poverty?

That's not even to say that bringing people out of poverty doesn't help the situation. It has a mental effect (reducing stress by making available necessities). But why weren't those people in Central Park just happy to play chess? It's not just that they had nothing better to do, it's more likely that they had a problem that went ignored.

Comment Re:About more than just Sony (Score 1) 344

There are a number of companies, often smaller, innovative, independent game companies that release games that don't have the frightened DLC measures. Sure, they aren't the multi million dollar AAA titles, but they are still awesome games nonetheless. However, with a system like this in place, even those companies wont have an option to release on a platform like PS3 without those measures in place.

The question is, is there some right that these big whales like EA have to continue to make profit through their giant content mills? Even Sony? In my experience, the memorable games that I have played recently have been titles from small studios. Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, FTL, The Walking Dead, Hotline Miami, Legend of Grimrock, etc. These are all innovative, or at least genres that haven't been recently explored. On the other hand EA releases yet another FPS, another racing game, another FPS, another sports game, and then another FPS.

Sure indie games are 99 misses per 1 hit. But the thing is, so is EA or else there wouldn't be this struggle. But a company like EA doesn't get ahead by doing new and interesting things, they get ahead by raising the bar in development costs by iterating on existing IP. So sure, the indie games look like trash in comparison, but look at the front page of EA's PS3 catalog: (Army of Two sequel, Crysis sequel, Deadspace Sequel, Battlefield 3 release, Need for Speed sequel, Medal of Honor Sequel, Fifa Soccer annual release, Battlefield 3 release, NHL annual release, Madden annual release, Battlefield 3 release, FIFA release.

People are getting bored, and the big companies are maybe flailing around. But it's the big companies that are making the boring titles, and but they're making them so pretty that the interesting titles look bush league.

Comment The scaling they show looks worse than bilinear (Score 1) 221

The prime benefit of using vector graphics as opposed to raster graphics is that you can scale them better.

When you vectorize pixel graphics (see the link at the bottom of the article, it's a great paper) the vectorizer has a lot of heuristics to determine what constitutes a contiguous region. This is generally because of the smaller palette that's being targeted, and the stylized forms that the artists used to deal with a lot of information in a small (maybe 32x32 pixel) package. You can make a lot more safe assumptions when you are converting pixel art to vectors.

When you vectorize a rasterized photo you don't have the same leeway. You can see this in the reference image, the iris of the eye looks flat and angular, the brim of the hat looks like a string of beads. This is because the heuristics that it uses have to be quite conservative about how they interpret regions, what might look, based on color analysis, like a contiguous region, might to a human eye be identified as two distinct region based on overall shading queues. As a human looking at the picture, we know the brim of the hat is a contiguous region, but the algorithm isn't able to infer that, and still display it in a way that makes it true to the original source image at the unscaled resolution.

The bilinear filtering that's done on the raster image, however, just makes the shot fuzzier. However, that fuzziness works in the viewers favor, because the eye still looks quite round, and the brim still looks quite straight and contiguous. The fuzziness means there's an impression that there's a full set of eyelashes, while with the vectorized image, it looks like there is a single solid clump of lashes. There's still an amount of aliasing that belies the raster image's original resolution, however that aliasing is very regular and easy to process. The vector image looks very well defined in some places where it's a lie (for example, the iris looks well defined, but it's well defined as an angular shape) while on the other hand it looks aliased where even the raster image scaled bilinearly looks better defined (such as the brim of the hat)

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