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200 comments

i have an erection (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230364)

im so excited and i just cant hide it

Re:i have an erection (-1, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230424)

im so excited and i just cant hide it

Well, I'm about to lose control and I think I like it.

Re:i have an erection (0, Troll)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230526)

im so excited and i just cant hide it

Well, I'm about to lose control and I think I like it.

So, you don't want me to stop you now?

Re:i have an erection (-1, Offtopic)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230466)

Thus symbolising the numeral one for "first" and "post" at the same time.

Well done chap.

Re:i have an erection (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230548)

im so excited and i just cant hide it

No need to hide it. Your erection is only visible under an electron microscope.

Re:i have an erection (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34231074)

Nah. You're supposed to say, "Dude, my girlfriend's vulva erection is larger than your shaft!"

Too Cool (1)

intervex (1932834) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230378)

I can think of a lot of great uses for this technology.... I hope these hardware hackers keep it up

Re:Too Cool (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230460)

Is the hardware really that much? Considering what current CPUs can do, with or without GPGPU, I wonder if the same effect couldn't be done with a couple of cheap webcams.

Re:Too Cool (2, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230506)

And an IR emitter. And the software to make them work together.

The Kinect provides more than just a couple webcams.

Re:Too Cool (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230988)

Looks like Kinect is basically a Wii but "backwards." On the Wii, the Wiimote is an IR receiver and the wiibar is the IR LEDs emitter. Like some have pointed out, what's interesting is the body recognition algorithm.

Re:Too Cool (4, Insightful)

intervex (1932834) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230602)

I think the magic of the hardware is in the infra-red grid scattering as seen in the night-shot video in the link and (I believe, but correct me if I'm wrong) hardware level processing of that returned data from the camera... I'm sure similar setups could be engineered, but the problem is environmental control... In order to make something distributable, you'd have to find a supplier of the same light scattering system as the software author, the same webcam(s) and the placement of everything would need to be precise... The kinect is an all in one solution to that, available nearly anywhere, cost effective, and very predictable... My girlfriend is going in to Occupational Therapy and recently did a study on assistive technologies, the constant theme for all those devices was insane price points. If you follow the link in the article and watch the video of yankeyan and his object recognition technology mash up using kinect as the hardware interface, it opens a world of possibilities for open-source and very affordable assistive technologies using the kinect. Just like the NY Times article about the iPad helping those with disabilities, I think the kinect could be another low cost assistive technology platform in it's infancy.

Re:Too Cool (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230544)

I was under the impression that all of the "work" that the Kinect does is done in the software not so much the hardware and that the hardware itself is an over-glorified web-cam.

I really hope I'm mistaken, because the Kinect has a ton of potential

Re:Too Cool (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230580)

The hardware is quite a bit more than a glorified webcam. Check out this article for more information:
http://www.wired.co.uk/wired-magazine/archive/2010/11/features/the-game-changer?page=all&p=2

Re:Too Cool (2, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231016)

The hardware also includes some of the work, but not all - it does some of the pre-processing of the images in order to reduce the load on the 360, which needs all the processor time for running games.

thx for helping us, Love M$ (2, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230398)

this is cool and what's going to happen is M$ is going to take the code and use it to add new features to Kinect in future releases. just like apple does with iphone jailbreak code and JB'd features

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230444)

Like WGA?

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231054)

The WGA was the single biggest reason I jumped ship for Linux - it was too big a pain in the ass to keep doing cracks. The only losses were my webcam,and my 24/7 availability of Civ4 and the original Call of Duty.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34231390)

You're a cheap fucker, aren't you.

Go ahead and try and justify pirating your copy of Windows. You know you want to.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230468)

what's going to happen is M$ is going to take the code and use it to add new features to Kinect in future releases

No they won't. Microsoft is notoriously unable to reuse free (as in libre) software that can't be repackaged into a binary that they can sell for $$$ without releasing the source code for. It's just impossible for them because of their very nature as a closed-source software vendor. Any GPL code out there will not be touched by Microsoft with a 10 foot pole.

Also, if Microsoft wants to create high-tech apps for the Kinect, they have all the available R&D resources to do it on their own. There are a lot of very very smart people working for Microsoft, and if a bunch of unpaid hackers can turn the Kinect into something useful in a matter of hours, so can the Microsoft PhDs and code monkeys.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (2, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230516)

only if you use the same code

once iOS 4.2 comes out it's going to have brightness control outside the settings app, similar to SBS Settings. Doubt apple will release the code since they made a lot of changes. all you have to do is take the code, change enough of it to make it look like your own and release it

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (3, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230564)

Or, you know, just write it yourself. You think a brightness control is so hard to write that you absolutely have to steal it?

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230700)

Well many "programmers" and companies have patented far simpler things because they are so unskilled they though it was hard.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (2, Insightful)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230886)

Companies don't patent things because they're hard, they patent things so that they can control their use.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230900)

Generally, Apple reimplements other people's work. It's not a matter of ability, it's a matter of creativity. Very little of what Apple does is legitimately innovative. It's usually taking the next step after somebody else has done the hard work of creating a market.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230578)

and if a bunch of unpaid hackers can turn the Kinect into something useful in a matter of hours, so can the Microsoft PhDs and code monkeys.

It's not if the code monkeys can turn it into anything usefull, it is if the Marketing department can.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230592)

Also, if Microsoft wants to create high-tech apps for the Kinect, they have all the available R&D resources to do it on their own. There are a lot of very very smart people working for Microsoft, and if a bunch of unpaid hackers can turn the Kinect into something useful in a matter of hours, so can the Microsoft PhDs and code monkeys.

Then how come they have never been able to write a better OS than, say, Linux?

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230708)

Then how come they have never been able to write a better OS than, say, Linux?

Look, I use Linux and I like it as much as the next guy, and I hate to break it to you, but Windows hasn't sucked since XP came out. It's actually a very decent and stable platform nowadays, and has been for a very long time.

The other thing is, most people think it's just natural that they can run Windows 7 on an 64-bit machine and run any old software made for XP-x86 or Vista, perhaps even Win 95 (I haven't tried) without problem. The level of backward-compatibility almost every release of Windows since 3.11 has managed to achieve is nothing short of amazing. Just ask a Mac guy who had to ditch his software collection every time Apple released a new MacOS... People don't give Microsoft enough credit for *that* marvel of engineering, because believe it or not, it works so well that people take it for granted. Me, it never ceases to amaze me...

This said, I prefer to run Linux for other reasons (chiefly that I can tinker, tweak it better than Windows and code for it without paying through the nose), but if I have work to do and Windows is the platform of choice, I use it because it works. I suggest you drop the Linux fanboi attitude if you want to be taken seriously when you talk about Microsoft.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1, Interesting)

zmooc (33175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230978)

I'm still waiting for proper virtual desktops, focus follows mouse, a single interface for installing and upgrading apps and not having to copy my entire profile from the network when I log on to name a few.

Also, credit for binary backwards compatibility is not often given because it is simply not a problem in the open world. I don't care if the office version I bought 10 years ago still works; I simply install the latest version with two clicks. Not that I ever have to since I already get the latest versions of everything I need automatically for well over 10 years. Besides, most of that binary backwards compatibility is thanks to Intel, not Microsoft. It's not like it's that hard to keep supporting 1000 year old APIs.

Decent and stable don't necessarily make it better than, say, Linux. They just make things more decent and stable, which was about time. The only thing that would really make things _better_, is choice. Simply because "better" means something else to most people. And choice is something Windows still does not offer in large amounts.

Nevertheless, even though it still sucks, Windows has come a long way since 1995 but I still only use it when there's financial compensation;-)

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (3, Informative)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231128)

I'm still waiting for ...focus follows mouse...

A second of googling turned up this:

"Believe it or not, Windows does support focus-follows-mouse, though there is no GUI configuration exposing it. Instead you must edit a registry key and then log out and back in for the change to become effective. You can use regedit to edit the key. On Windows NT, set the following registry key to have a value of 1: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse\Active Windows Tracking On NT it has some bugs: some apps auto-raise on focus, and alt-tab doesn't move the mouse. On Windows 2000, XP, or 2003, you need to change a binary-valued registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\UserPreferencesMask This is a little-endian bitmask. For focus-follows-mouse, add the flag 0x1. For example, my XP SP2 laptop originally had a value of 9E 3E 05 80, which is 0x80053E9E. To activate focus-follows-mouse I changed to 0x80053E9F, or 9F 3E 05 80 in regedit. According to http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/18/ [winguides.com] you can also achieve raise-on-focus by adding the flag 0x40. I haven't tested that as I don't like raise-on-focus."

As for virtual desktops, I'm using a decent open-source third-party add-on called Z-Systems Vista/XP Virtual Desktop Manager...

yes that file editing thing (3, Insightful)

tizan (925212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231540)

That is why linux is not going to get into mainstream desktop as every thing you want to change you have to
edit some mysterious files...oh wait ..

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231526)

Look, I use Linux and I like it as much as the next guy, and I hate to break it to you, but Windows hasn't sucked since XP came out. It's actually a very decent and stable platform nowadays, and has been for a very long time.

I'd even say it hasn't sucked since 2000 came out - 2000 was really very stable and usable.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230760)

You are aware that most contributions to Linux are actually from paid employees, right?

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230944)

They are, but it's different. There is no head Linux guy that tells people what they're going to work on if they want to draw a pay check. It's whatever the particular outfit needs fixed. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm guessing that the people that are paid to work on Linux in general without being there to fix specific problems that a company needs fixed is the minority.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231384)

Linus is close enough to that "head Linux guy". He doesn't tell people what to do, but he decides what gets in the kernel and what doesn't.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230920)

Incompetent management. Had they gone back to the drawing board with Win 98 and focused on stability, reliability and speed they'd be quite a bit further down the road than they are now. But since they chose to build their features on an unstable base they've had to fight with the perceptions of poor quality and stability for years. Rather than just bite the bullet, admit that it's the case and fix it. Resulting in them doing things in Vista and 7 which should've been done in ME and XP.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (2, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231048)

9x was beyond saving. That's way they abandoned it with XP - threw out all the horribly unstable 9x ideas and instead converted what used to be windows NT/2k in order to replace it.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230528)

this is cool and what's going to happen is M$ is going to take the code and use it to add new features to Kinect in future releases. just like apple does with iphone jailbreak code and JB'd features

What makes you think that MS is going to do this in this case? Apple might add in these features to prevent people from jailbreaking phones; it won't stop people from using the Kinect on other platforms even if MS added in features. Also Apple makes a decent profit on every iPhone sold. MS might make a small profit on every Kinect but their larger strategy was dependent on the licensing revenue that exclusive Xbox games would provide.

Re:thx for helping us, Love M$ (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230840)

apple's iOS is usually jailbroken before release, Apple doesn't care. they take the ideas and code that jailbreakers come up with and add them to their products. like the upcoming iOS 4.2 and changing the brightness without going to settings. it's a rip off from SBS Settings on jailbroken iphones

And then theres also this telescreen thing (5, Interesting)

lemur3 (997863) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230440)

The amusing and quite cleverly done telescreen kinect as an advertising tool jokes I read here on slashdot were quite fun to see!

But.....I was very bemused to see this today, reported elsewhere:

"Microsoft's Dennis Durkin voiced an interesting idea at an investment summit last week -- the idea that the company's Kinect camera might pass data to advertisers about the way you look, play and speak. "We can cater what content gets presented to you based on who you are," he told investors, suggesting that the Kinect offered business opportunities that weren't possible "in a controller-based world."

  And over time that will help us be more targeted about what content choices we present, what advertising we present, how we get better feedback. And data about how many people are in a room when an advertisement is shown, how many people are in a room when a game is being played, how are those people engaged with the game? How are they engaged with a sporting event? Are they standing up? Are they excited? Are they wearing Seahawks jerseys?

http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/15/microsoft-exec-caught-in-privacy-snafu-says-kinect-might-tailor/ [engadget.com]

yay?

I know how we can make this announcement look bad (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230478)

I know how we can make this announcement look bad

"Microsoft's Dennis Durkin voiced an interesting idea at an investment summit last week -- the idea that the company's Kinect camera might pass data to advertisers about the way you look, play and speak. "We can cater what content gets presented to you based on who you are," he told investors,

Microsoft adds support for racial profiling!

Re:I know how we can make this announcement look b (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230534)

HAHA, oh lawdy! [imgur.com]

Re:I know how we can make this announcement look b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34231034)

Microsoft doesn't need your help to make it look bad.

Re:And then theres also this telescreen thing (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230722)

Why just data about the people.. it's got cameras, it can look at the whole room. What sort of cereal do they like? What paintings/posters of celebs/movies are on the walls, what magazine is on the coffee table, what brand is the condom wrapper the guy just pulled out as he's about to get it on with the girl on that sofa? And a few minutes after the condom was spotted the device might well conclude, he could use some "performance"-"enhancing" drugs!

Re:And then theres also this telescreen thing (1)

sherriw (794536) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231006)

Am I the only one who thinks this is BAD? It better be opt in... because I really don't want an MS eyeball in my living room sending data back to whoever. Kinect data better stay in my local machine unless I give them permission...

Re:And then theres also this telescreen thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34231328)

Oh no! I guess that means that I shouldn't use my Kinect anymore with my Xbox 360... is anyone coming out with any exciting stuff I can do with my Kinect, say on my Linux box, that doesn't require a closed-source driv-- oh wait, never mind.

Re:And then theres also this telescreen thing (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231418)

"We can cater what content gets presented to you based on who you are," he told investors, suggesting that the Kinect offered business opportunities that weren't possible "in a controller-based world."

Microsoft would be skinned alive if they did that. It's disconcerting enough when a Kinect / PSEye game takes a picture of you. Now imagine it sends that picture off to a remote server for analysis with or without the person's consent. For all MS know, people are standing there naked, or having sex, or their 2 year old kid is running around with no clothes, or people otherwise candidly enjoying the privacy of their own homes.

If ever the tech appeared Microsoft would be rightly hauled over the coals. Lawsuits would follow, the EU would get involved, and basically it would turn into a hellish nightmare of litigation.

So no its not likely to ever happen. Chalk it up to an extremely ill chosen example of what it could do, not what it will do. Even so, the capability to monitor or record is implied by all these devices. I wouldn't be surprised if Sony and MS have some way of enabling at least audio recording for dealing with complaints of griefing, harassment etc.

Hey Microsoft! (0)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230476)

This is what is called innovation. This is people doing different things with your Kinect device than you had ever dreamed of yourselves. Sorry you didn't think of it all yourselves.

Re:Hey Microsoft! (1)

lemur3 (997863) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230540)

After seeing things like this: http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2010/11/14/hacked-kinect-is-now-a-3d-video-capture-tool/ [adafruit.com]

I start to wonder if microsoft did/does have greater plans for this product later on in the future.... but now theyve had someone beat them to the punch.

My mind isnt well suited to imagining the types of uses this might be good for but after seeing the kinds of things people are doing with it already I have a hard time imagining microsoft didnt have some similar ideas.. and thought profiting off of them might be good.

Not really been hacked, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230498)

but made available on other platforms (Linux, MacOSX, Windows).

  A real hack would be to upgrade its firmware so it can prepare and serve you some coffee when you show it that your an coffee cup is empty...

Re:Not really been hacked, (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230546)

Actually, yeah, it was hacked. It was supposed to be protected from use like this, but someone figured out the protocol/handshake needed to start it up. They hacked it.

Re:Not really been hacked, (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230574)

Depends on the meaning of 'hack'. This does apply to the general meaning. I actually think this is better than any firmware changes. Legally, all people have done is reverse-engineered a software driver. MS may threaten all they want with all sorts of nonsense like the DMCA, but these hackers are covered legally. Any modifications might have gotten into some more grey areas.

Microsoft didn't get it (0)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230538)

Microsoft really missed the boat here. Instead of producing an amazing new piece of hardware and selling it like crazy, they produced the hardware, locked it to a platform, and then threatened to sue anyone who used it without a pre-existing agreement with them.

This could have really gone crazy if they'd just released a little driver and maybe an SDK and let PC developers go crazy with it. They could even have charged more for the 'PC version' of it, just like they did with the XBox 360 controller, even though the only different was the CD that came with it.

Not that they can't do that now, but they missed the hype period... And that's really helpful when pushing a product.

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (3, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230554)

They are a business. Their goal is to make money, not release cool things for hackers. What makes you think they don't have ideas for the kinect technology?

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (5, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230646)

Exactly. I'm starting to dislike this narrative that has developed here, namely that MS doesn't know what it has and that they're going out of their way to stop people from hacking it.

1. I'm sure the researchers at MS know exactly what they have and that a lot of what you're seeing now has been in their labs for ages. Its just that MS isn't in the 3D video space and aren't trying to sell 3D video software for movie production or whatever.

2. From what I've read from the guy who built the first drivers, there isn't any crypto or other tricks to stop PCs from communicating with the Kinect. Its just a plain jane USB device.

3. At the end of the day the interesting parts of the Kinect are its software. If you wanted a stereo camera or something that could do 3D depth, there are items like this in the 3D space that do a hell of a lot more than VGA resolution.

4. MS is monetizing this technology again in Win8. Gestures are built into the OS, etc. Its not like Kinect doesn't have a future on the PC platform as a commercial device.

Oh well, back to your regularly scheduled "ZOMG MS IS EVIL!!" 2 minutes hate.

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (1)

spisska (796395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231138)

Exactly. I'm starting to dislike this narrative that has developed here, namely that MS doesn't know what it has and that they're going out of their way to stop people from hacking it.

But that certainly does appear to be the case, even though the Kinnect is sold with a healthy margin -- I recall seeing a hardware breakdown that suggested a build cost of around $55 to $60.

1. [...] Its just that MS isn't in the 3D video space and aren't trying to sell 3D video software for movie production or whatever.

A bit odd, considering Apple has been so successful at it. Microsoft's MO has always been to copy others' successes, particularly Apple's. Maybe they've just failed at this more spectacularly than they've failed at their other attempts to copy. (Hows that 'Plays For Sure' thing working out?)

Which is to say that despite years of effort and tens of billions in R&D, they're no more than marginal players in most of the 'spaces' they try to enter. It's all OSs, office suites, and business backends, and the clock is ticking in each of these areas.

I'll give you game consoles, although it will take several more generations of Xbox before the billions in development are paid off. Anyone other than MS, however, would have considered the Xbox project a failure years ago.

2. From what I've read from the guy who built the first drivers, there isn't any crypto or other tricks to stop PCs from communicating with the Kinect. Its just a plain jane USB device.

They're not interested in you buying their hardware without their software any more than you buying a white-box PC without a Windows license. I'm not sure their tactics from the '90s will work again.

3. At the end of the day the interesting parts of the Kinect are its software. If you wanted a stereo camera or something that could do 3D depth, there are items like this in the 3D space that do a hell of a lot more than VGA resolution.

Sure, but not in an off-the-shelf package that costs $200.

4. MS is monetizing this technology again in Win8. Gestures are built into the OS, etc. Its not like Kinect doesn't have a future on the PC platform as a commercial device.

Hee hee. I'll never get tired of Microsoft shills harping on the supposedly great stuff we'll see in the next edition of whatever. I don't know of any company ever that has so consistently over-promised and under-delivered -- and that behavior goes back to MS-DOS 1.0.

Remember how Longhorn was going to, like, totally change everything? Remember how WinFS was going to be revolutionary? Heck, remember how in the early '90s we were all going to be controlling our computers with voice commands?

It's coming in the next version of Windows, and it'll be, like, the most totally mind-blowing thing you've ever seen! Really soon now! Promise!

You should be happy with how many people hate Microsoft. Nobody will hate them when they are no longer relevant, and I don't reckon that's more than about five to ten years away.

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231258)

"Remember how Longhorn was going to, like, totally change everything? Remember how WinFS was going to be revolutionary? Heck, remember how in the early '90s we were all going to be controlling our computers with voice commands?"

I think it's amazing how you completely failed to mention that iPod-killer, the Microsoft Zune...

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (1)

spisska (796395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231442)

I tried to allude to the Zune with the 'Plays for Sure' comment -- I think it's important not just to point out MS' failures, but also what happens to people who get in bed with Microsoft.

And the potential list of world-changing developments that completely failed to change anything would just be too long.

E.g. The ribbon, tablets, WinCE, WebTV, MSN, Windows ME, Vista, the list goes on and on and on.

Anybody remember their Smart Watch [msn.com] ?

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231314)

A few years ago, work did an AD conversion companywide. They hired a MS guy to go to each site, work with IT on scripts, etc to tie each machine in.

I remember talking to him about iPod vs Zune and iPhone vs Zune Phone. He assured me that the next version of each was going to practically put Apple out of business. I tried not to snicker too loudly.

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230748)

Because they would have made MORE money.

This is the problem, they are running with blinders on.

Sell product X to Y users that have our Product Y... or sell product X to EVERYONE on the planet.

Selling to everyone is ALWAYS more profitable than locking it down. Only mentally retarded Low IQ Business degree holders and IP lawyers think the first is the most profitable.

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (1)

spisska (796395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231224)

Selling to everyone is ALWAYS more profitable than locking it down. Only mentally retarded Low IQ Business degree holders and IP lawyers think the first is the most profitable.

Accountant: We're losing money on every unit we sell.

PHB: That's okay, we'll make up for it in volume.

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230628)

they produced the hardware, locked it to a platform, and then threatened to sue anyone who used it without a pre-existing agreement with them.

Who, specifically, did they threaten to sue?

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230652)

This could have really gone crazy if they'd just released a little driver and maybe an SDK and let PC developers go crazy with it. They could even have charged more for the 'PC version' of it, just like they did with the XBox 360 controller, even though the only different was the CD that came with it.

MS could have done that but they have a vested interest in tying the Kinect to the Xbox like exclusive titles. Keeping the Kinect on Xbox only would guarantee that a large number of games would only be for the Xbox. For example, the game Dance Central can now be ported to PS3, Wii, PC, OS X, etc. If the Kinect was tied to Xbox, anyone wanting to play would have to own or buy an Xbox. They would have to buy the Xbox only title. Remember MS makes a little profit on each Kinect. They would make a lot more on game licensing. Now someone wanting to play the game can play on platform of their own choice and MS would not get any licensing revenue.

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230810)

Cos like voice recognition, it has little use on the desktop. Still, it's USB isn't, so it will make its way to the PC eventually?

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230910)

Keeping this hardware locked into their gaming platform for even a few months before others come out with clones is going to make them tons more cash. You don't seem to understand the console gaming market model.

Re:Microsoft didn't get it (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231506)

If I recall correctly, Microsoft has mentioned in the past about releasing Kinect for the PC.
Still, by its very nature, Kinect is designed to be used in a Living room, in front of a Large TV for best results. Now, I know that most of us don't have 42" monitors and a 6x6m space in our offices, so perhaps that's the real reason why Microsoft is focusing on the causal gaming market. They've put a lot of research into this, so I wouldn't be surprised if we see the technology applied elsewhere eventually.

Immersive Sports Games (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230604)

I am sure it will be coming out, but the coolest thing to do would be to make immersible sports games where your body controls the motions of the player and you get a workout in return.

Baseball would probably be the easiest to start with.

And? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230626)

So we have depth data, and webcam imagery of the same place. Where to go now? That's the problem - the field of image processing isn't actually that well developed that we can do things really useful with it. Sure, the hand-waving paint demonstration is cool but you could do that with a webcam ten years ago if you had the right algorithms. The Kinect only adds the depth-map through some (admittedly clever) physics but that just adds a third dimension that needs to be analysed, filtered, recognised and interpreted.

Yes, we can spot if someone has one hand or two in the air but we always could. We can follow a particular point of interest with some vague accuracy (watch where the bloke's hands go in that green-line-painting demo and what the software draws - they are often out by the whole width of a hand, and lag behind his actual movements) but we always could. We can colourise the images and make them look cool (black for near, pink for a bit away, green for a long way away) but again, that's always been available just with slightly different technology.

The problem we have is that hardware access and access to raw camera data is INCREDIBLY easy compared to actually doing anything useful with them. The green-line-drawing problem is no different to the 200-line VB app I saw in the 1990's that could do handwriting recognition from a shaky pen/mouse stroke - it works, mostly, if you don't need complete accuracy but it's still easily confused and why would you need to do that in the first place? The hard part is now actually interpreting that data and that relies on computer visualisation which is regarded in the same breath as "voice recognition" (which I have *never* got to work well enough for me and I don't have a particularly strong / incomprehensible accent). Yes, you can do a demo that you think looks useful but actually, apart from the odd toy project, there's not much substance underneath it all.

Yeah, you probably can write a quick Wii-Sports-a-like that's fun to play but you probably always could. And the difference is several dozen thousand lines of code to vaguely recognise a particular, fixed, object with limited parameters using what is essentially a webcam image with a little more data (involving processing several 640x480 and one 320x240 image in fractions of a second to obtain a particular data point), or just reading some single-axis acceleration data from a chip that spits it out (e.g. Wiimote) in a format you can use directly and provides roughly the same, if not better, accuracy when it comes to interpreting the correct movement.

The Kinect isn't anything special or revolutionary - sure, it's a nice toy and the depth-function is the best part, but that just adds a whole other dimension (actually a whole other 2D set of data because it obviously can do true 3D) to analyse and try to interpret - you coulda got that with a rapidly scanning laser or even just analysing two stereoscopic images properly. Certain filters and image-processing techniques can form edges, boundaries, object-approximations etc. from the resulting data but they always could and overall you still have to solve the vital problem - what to do with the existing data that you can't already do somehow? Follow hands for cool interactive-whiteboard-like presentations? I saw a multi-touch table at the Museum of London yesterday that did exactly that from a projected image and a single returned 2D webcam image. Follow some object to play pseudo-games? We've been doing that for decades but admittedly required things like reflective spots - Hollywood makes ENORMOUS such of such things, so they might be interested but chances are that this particular toy is way under-performing compared to something their technical guys could knock up in a real studio.

It's a good thing for independent toy-like games but look at the target market - someone who owns a Kinect and a PC (and presumably a 360, but not necessarily), knows it can be plugged into PC, has a knowledge of such independent projects and decides to spend the time to see how they work. It's the same target market as, for example, people who have used their Wiimote to play on their PC. There are small businesses trying to push Wiimotes into business by hacked-together projects and even then, I've never met anyone else who would be bothered or excited by the possibility and/or would actually spend the time to set it up to play it (and I own both and have never bothered to do more than a basic Bluetooth connectivity test).

We've done all we can - access the hardware - we've got all the data we can (with the exception of audio but that's an entirely separate project), we can't push image processing hundreds of years into the future and we might get a couple of niche, homebrew games that'll let you use the Kinect to "move left, move right, jump". Please, stop making such a fuss. The most interesting part of this story would be a wiki on the technical details of the protocol. That says it all.

Re:And? (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230726)

I wanna see a bench of 4 drivers playing supertuxkart with cardboard cut-out steering wheels.

Re:And? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230878)

This is actually something you could conceivably do with the eye-toy. You'd need to print a specific pattern on each wheel but once that's done it's pretty easy to search for circles and see which ones match the reference.

Re:And? (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230732)

we can't push image processing hundreds of years into the future

exaggerate much? really, you think it'll take hundreds of years to solve the vision problem?

Re:And? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230888)

47 times a day.

And I think computer vision is something too simplistic at the moment - it's image filters, edge detection and tweaking of tolerances. Useful for counting sperm to the nearest half-million, but not something that'll approach human-levels of interpretation of the image until, well, the computer is convincingly human. If the Turing Test were to comprise of questions about "what's in this image", it'll be solved in the same time that the plain-line-of-text Turing Test will fool most people into thinking it's actually human.

Re:And? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230952)

we can't push image processing hundreds of years into the future

exaggerate much? really, you think it'll take hundreds of years to solve the vision problem?

We will always be able to move the endpoints.

Can your new camera interpret a scene like an artist or a professional photographer so as to give correct advise? Not just bring the camera lens into focus but now provide framing, make up, clothing, and posing advise?

Oh you did that in 2030, well, I've decided its freaking useless unless you can select a specific artist or pro photographer, perhaps Salvador Dali or Ansel Adams.

Oh, you did that in 2040, well, I've decided its freaking useless unless it has virtual community mode. "Camera, I command thee to take a picture worthy of 4chan".

Oh, you did that in 2050, well, I've decided its freaking useless unless it intelligently creates and trolls the virtual community for you based on its view of the scene in front of its lens, next to the "upload to facebook" button I want a "troll 4chan" button on my camera.

etc

Re:And? (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230884)

From the UI perspective it is like a big multi touch screen that works in 3d. It probably has a few "gestures" built in, a bit like iOS. A good source of first gen games would be converting some of them iPhone games over to it. As long as you can have something similar to the "finger off screen" event then i'm sure most of them would be fairly easy to port.

Re:And? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230970)

You need that third dimension to do intersting stuff. Thr touch table actually used the third dimension. It was a very crude 1 bit Z-representation (finger is/isn't touching the screen) but without that you're a lot more limited. A finger painting application is very limited if you can't take the brush of the paper. Adding a camera adds more than a z position. It adds an image of the player as well. It is a camera after all. You can do fun stuff with that.

Re:And? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231040)

Actually the table I was talking about was much more simplistic and seemed to just detect a "tap" motion by a quick change in size of the hand (camera was mounted above). Thus a quickly-shrinking hand blob was seen as a "click". It has problems with some small children's hands who hadn't got the hang of holding their palm flat under the image at that moment (so the camera sees an entirely-too-brief sideways images of a hand become a flat hand and doesn't know to interpret it as a "click").

Putting your hand two feet above the table so it cast a shadow on the bit you wanted (projector was mounted right next to camera) and dipping it quickly produced the same "click" response as actually tapping the table that the image was projected on (which was a bit of white MDF).

htpc (1)

falldeaf (968657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230656)

I can't wait until a stable, generic driver comes out for it that sees gestures! I'll use it to control my tv in place of the wii-mote. :)

Re:htpc (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230770)

You control your TV with a wiiMote?

do you shake it up and down to change channels?

wave side to side to raise volume?

I think the IR remote that came with the tv is far better than looking like a fool waving your arms around.

Re:htpc (1)

falldeaf (968657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230902)

Haha, not quite. I don't use the accelerometer sensor. The buttons on it change the channel and volume, etc. And when I'm in browser mode the IR camera functionality on allows me to use it like a mouse/pointer device. Also, when I'm using the snes emulator I can connect the classic controller to it and play the games like they were meant to be played! Take that shitty IR remote! Although, full disclosure, since I've moved from mythtv to boxee after comcast allowed me to buy internet without cable tv, I'm using my android phone instead.

Re:htpc (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231010)

Take that shitty IR remote!

I was never able to solve the problem of "turn the TV on and off" "adjust the surround sound amplifier" etc so I'm stuck with the programmable shitty IR remotes on my mythtv boxes... Is there any wiimote solution to that general class of problem? (beyond the obvious, epoxy the wiimote to the back of a IR control, etc)

Re:htpc (1)

falldeaf (968657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231186)

Yah what you need is one of these guys: http://www.google.com/search?q=pc+ir+blaster [google.com] The Wii-mote is basically just working like a fancy keyboard for me. An IR blaster will get your computer talking to all your IR only components.

Re:htpc (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231386)

OK interesting that could work.
There are some obvious race conditions. To switch back from wii input to mythtv input on the TV I'd need to select the mythtv input on the mythtv... well I suppose if anything is seen from the wiimote, I could send an IR blast to switch the TV's input. Except adjusting volume on the amplifier. Plenty of if then to program in...

Re:htpc (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231260)

Those solutions are found with buying non crappy hardware designed by monkeys banging on keyboards.

TV with RS232 control or Discreet IR on and off commands. and a Surround sound AMP that has rs232 control.

Even my DVD player has RS232.

Problem is, device makers like to hide the fact their IR control or RS232 control is junk or useless. Sony products are a crap shoot, LG were good up until the last release, now they are crap. Panasonic and Kenwood still have real control, but you never know when they decide that designing a good product is a bad idea and switch to making things crappy.

Merantz 4003 dvd player is awesome, but discontinued, the new ones are crap or overpriced. Sony BLuray used to have discreet ir on and off, the latest model did away with the discreet on and off.

Look for integrator friendly devices. this means fishing in high end integrator forums.

"Kinect for Windows" (1)

gmurray (927668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230688)

I'd like to point out the fact that they called the product "Kinect for Xbox 360" means its highly likely they are planning on releasing a "Kinect for Windows" at some point. Along with support for the kinect being used as a multitouch input driver for Windows (7/8). But its nice we are getting a head start.

No. (3, Insightful)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230694)

Um, how about the fact that Microsoft came out with the Kinect in the first place? Isn't that pretty innovative? We wouldn't have a headline that reads "Exciting Kinect Stuff Already Coming Out" if not for a previous headline that read "Microsoft Releases Exciting New Input Device That They Spent R&D Money On For The Last Couple Years".

Sorry, but just because MS didn't fully develop and support everything someone in a dorm room can think of at the launch of their brand new hardware product doesn't mean they lack vision or innovation or whatever. Anything they release has to be supported in SDKs, APIs, be tested, etc., and that costs money and time. It's great that people are hacking it and coming up with new things to do with it, and I don't know why they tried to lock it down, but it's not locked down anymore, so who gives a crap?

Re:No. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230994)

One word: EyeToy.

No innovation. This is just MS taking existing technology and hyping it up beyond belief again, and the technology isn't even that impressive to begin with. It's laggy, imprecise and horrible for any real application, just like the EyeToy, the Wiimote, and Sony's wand-thing.

"Oh, you just hate new technology, if it were up to people like you we'd still be back in the stone age." NO. I'm 100% for new technology, but only if it was GOOD technology. Pushing garbage on us and calling it roses is just stupid. Fix your technology to be useful first, THEN hype it up and release it. It's taken new television technology forever to get to a point where it's acceptable to view without horrible blurring/motion tearing and horrible colors, and we've basically wasted our time and money on older ones.

Get it RIGHT first, THEN release.

Targeted Ads (4, Interesting)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230776)

For many who loath the idea of targeted ads I would assume many, if not most of those people are single. As a married old fart I can attest that A little intelligent ad targeting is nice. I for one get tired of feminine product advertisements because the wife uses my computer occasionally for shopping. Please, feel free to use the Kinect to determine if I am in fact: Male, Fat or Skinny, cheerful or pissed off. Because:

A: If I am male, I don't need tampon ads
B: If I am fat, don't advertise Big Macs, advertise weight loss because last I checked, fatties know where BK and McDs are. And no it's not your genetics, it's because you are irresponsible with your health. A predisposition just means you have to work harder. Thermodynamics proves this; your lack of responsibility, low self esteem, and discipline does not change the laws of physics.
C: If I am in a good mood try selling me a Beach Boy's collection. If I am pissed off Rammstien might be a better choice.

Re:Targeted Ads (0, Troll)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231018)

"A: If I am male, I don't need tampon ads

B: If I am fat, don't advertise Big Macs, advertise weight loss because last I checked, fatties know where BK and McDs are. And no it's not your genetics, it's because you are irresponsible with your health. A predisposition just means you have to work harder. Thermodynamics proves this; your lack of responsibility, low self esteem, and discipline does not change the laws of physics.

C: If I am in a good mood try selling me a Beach Boy's collection. If I am pissed off Rammstien might be a better choice."

How about:

D: No more fuckin' Ads.

You *do* know about AdBlock Plus [adblockplus.org] for the browser, right?

Also...tell the bitch to get on her own computer. Hell, she might *accidentally* delete some of your better pr0n links.

:)

Re:Targeted Ads (2, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231124)

You're crosswatching too much. Crosswatching is not some psuedo-christian thing, its the TV watching equivalent of cross dressing.

They already target advertising extremely aggressively. We have DVRs so I only see flashes of commercials, but it seems my wifes soap operas don't advertise many video games and I don't see many feminine products advertised on the embarrassingly named syfy channel.

There are entire genres of TV shows I don't see ads for, don't know that exist (at least from my TV viewing), such as dancing with famous people, or musical high school children.

If you like... those kind of shows... hey, thats OK, but you can't demand they change their whole product lineup just for one guy on slashdot.

OpenCV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230926)

A lot of this stuff is using OpenCV, which is an awesome computer vision library.

ho"mo (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34231120)

some intelligent the project as a Of the above up my toys. I'm hear you. Also, if bleak 7uture. In here, please do anybody's guess suffering *BSD said one FreeBSD

I wonder (3, Interesting)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231206)

How long it will be till TVs come with Kinects built in, and can't be turned off. It would be an advertiser's wetdream, and then the DHS could use it to monitor those who might be a "threat to national Security" (everyone).

_ _

Re:I wonder (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231426)

Thats too much of an upgrade to keep calling it a Television. How about... a "telescreen" ? There is some prior art, err, literature...

Radiohead, House of Cards video (1)

backganon (1940190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231466)

Some of the images remind me of that Radiohead video ("House of Cards") which was shot entirely without optic cameras, just sensors.
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