Apple's Spotty Record of Giving Back To the Tech Industry
I imagine this is due to the influence Jobs had on Apple's culture. It's my understanding he wasn't big on giving money away.
I think in time we'll see Apple more prone to contributions.
Court Orders Turkish Twitter Ban Temporarily Lifted, Twitter Prepares Challenge
But if an election were coming up, I would vote for the guy that _didn't_ block Twitter.
Men And Women Think Women Are Bad At Basic Math
I often here people mention how they're bad at math, didn't do well at math in school, etc. It almost seems like a badge of honor. I hear it said with som pride. And you know what? Most of the time, when I hear it, it's a woman saying it. Men are often embarrassed to acknowledge that they're bad at math.
I don't think women are worse at it than men, at least by innate ability, but they don't seem to value it quite as much.
New VR Game Makes You a "Hollywood Hacker"
I'll be able to play a game where I can create a GUI interface with Visual Basic to track an IP address.
Nokia Announces Nokia X Android Smartphone
This seems like a pretty bad implementation of Android.
Maybe that's the point. A lot of people say that if Nokia went with Android, they'd be much better off than they are now. Maybe this half-assed attempt was ordered by Elop and his MS masters so that Nokia can say "See, we did try Android, and it didn't change anything. This is why we needed Microsoft"
Google's Project Tango Seeks To Map a 3D World
Everything Google is doing now is for their upcoming robotics division. This is how their robots will see and map the environment.
Man, I wish my Roomba had this ability, rather than just randomly moving and adjusting direction based on what it bumped into.
I'm really excited for the new robots industry :)
Zero Point: The First 360-Degree Movie Made For the Oculus Rift
I have an Oculus Rift, and I tried this 360 degree porn movie on it. It was pretty neat--the POV was from the guy's head, and you could look around at any of the three girls around you. It wasn't 3D (that would be _amazing_, to have 3D and 360 degrees), but it was still really cool.
Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?
FTL is great! You will lose on your first playthrough, though. In fact, you'll very likely lose on your first few playthroughs. But you'll get an awesome story out of it.
My first playthrough ended when I jumped to a star system where a star was emitting these major solar flares, which cause different areas of the ship to catch on fire. At the same time, there was a pirate ship there that seemed oblivious to the danger. They attacked, and I defended myself.
While the two ships duked it out, the solar flares kept going off, causing both ships to have rampant fires. Finally, the pirate ship contacted me, requesting to call off the battle. Ordinarily I would've ignored their request and finished them off as punishment for trying to rob me in the first place. But given the situation, I agreed.
Unfortunately for the pirate ship, right after our ceasefire their ship exploded from the combined damage of the solar flares and my own previous attacks. I knew I had to get out of there immediately, but there was a small problem: the bridge of my ship was on fire. You need someone manning the bridge, or you can't do FTL jumps. Most of my crew had died from trying to put out the fires, so I had just one crewmember left. He desperately tried to put out the flames on the bridge so he could man the bridge and FTL out of there, but it was not meant to be: he died from the flames.
With my crew gone, my ship was doomed to drift alone, until the fires and solar flares undoubtedly destroyed what was left.
Windows 8 Metro: The Good Kind of Market Segmentation?
I posted this story a while back. Still relevant:
I tried changing the wallpaper on my brother-in-law's Windows 8 laptop the other day. So I downloaded a picture, and opened it after it finished downloading. The picture loaded in the OS' default image viewer. I saw the picture appear, full-screened, and with no interface. I tried right-clicking the picture. That didn't give me a menu, but an interface did fade into appearance. I promptly saw an option to "Set as."
I clicked it, thinking: "Surely this will let me set the image as the wallpaper", but I was given just two options: set as lockscreen (IT'S A LAPTOP!), and set as 'app tile'
I immediately closed the window since the option I wanted wasn't there--no wait, actually I didn't close it. There was no UI option to close this fullscreen picture. I alt-tabbed back to the desktop. I found the picture again, right clicked it, and went to the "open with" option. There were like 5 image viewers that came with Windows to choose from. I chose the old "Windows Photo Viewer" and set it as the default so this madness won't happen again.
Game Developers' Quest To Cross the Uncanny Valley
They don't cause uncanny valley because--while they may look pretty realistic--they're actually not realistic enough yet to cause it. Your brain can still tell they're totally fake, even though it may simultaneously be thinking "Wow it looks so real!"
Game Developers' Quest To Cross the Uncanny Valley
CGI humans in movies--pre-rendered by giant server farms for as long as it takes--still fall into the uncanny valley.
It'll be a long, long time before graphics can be rendered in real time with no uncanny valley. Although, with that said, humans still look fake enough to me in games that there is no uncanny valley. So I don't think it's a problem yet.
I don't think graphics really matter anymore, though. They're far from perfect, but 3D graphics have been "good enough" for a while now. There was a time that 3D graphics meant that hands had to be mittens with no individual fingers, and faces were just drawn on textures. Not anymore.
Why Does Facebook Need To Read My Text Messages?
Also, you can do what I did, which was just create a shortcut to the mobile facebook website and place it on your homescreen. You get a nice looking icon that says "Facebook" under it, as if it were an actual app.
Yeah, the app was "better," but at least I don't have to worry about what it's leaching from my phone (and consequently, hurting battery life/usng data)
Detroit Wants Its Own High-Tech Visa
Sweet, I've always wanted Robocop to be real.
Google and Samsung Sign Global Patent Deal
It's all for Google's upcoming robotics division. The products they'll make will, at least to some extent, benefit from the manufacturing and technology patents that Samsung has.
Samsung may be going "Aha! Now all of Google's mobile phone patents are mine!" While Google is thinking "Yeah, have fun with those. Wait to you see what I'll be coming out with next."
Facebook Is a Plague That'll Burn Out In a Few Years, Says Study
You should. After I did, my first thought was "Holy hell, how often is the third of a movie series better than both the original and the sequel?"
Phil Zimmerman Launching Secure "Blackphone"
I saw "Zimmerman" and "black" in the headline and I instantly thought a dreadful "Oh not this again!"
Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.
Unfortunately, the disaster that is Windows 8 can in no way compare to Vista. Vista's shortcomings primarily came from a sloppy implementation of user-land, a bloated and sluggish system, and poor driver support. The UI was a fine improvement over XP, and most of the issues Vista had were fixed with updates over time.
With Windows 8, the desktop environment has fundamentally been changed. They created an OS designed around tablets, and then shipped it to desktops and laptops. They're betting the farm that if they introduce their tablet OS on the desktop, people will--in the long run--go with Windows tablets and Windows phones because it's what they'd be used to from their desktop/laptop. In short, MS has been convinced that their salvation lies in leveraging their desktop monopoly to make their tablets/phones more popular.
Of course, the underestimated how shitty and terrible trying to use a touch interface is an a desktop environment. The end result is that anyone with a clue is avoiding Windows 8 like the plague. They need to go back to classic Windows (Here's a suggestion, name Windows 9 "Windows XP 2" since everyone liked XP), and just acknowledge that the desktop environment will never go away, but it will also not be as ubiquitous as it once was.
New Oculus Rift Prototype Features Head Tracking, Reduced Motion Blur, HD AMOLED Display
My favorite use of the Rift, and what really showed me the gameplay applications the VR gives, is the game "Lunar Flight"
You're inside the cockpit of a lunar lander. What really makes it cool, is that you have to look around at your controls. If you want to turn the lander on, for example, you have to turn all the way to your right where the power button is to be able to activate it. If you want to access your map, you have to turn to the left where the monitor is. Looking around at your different monitors and tools makes it feel like a real simulator.
Proposed California Law Would Mandate Smartphone Kill Switch
It has come to this.
Newly Discovered Greenhouse Gas Is 7,000 Times More Powerful Than CO2
Methane is 20x more powerful at trapping heat than CO2, and also it recycles out of the atmosphere in just 12 years.
Maybe we should do something to reduce the billions of methane machines in the world (cows, pigs, etc). Not only would there not exist billions of these animals without human interference, many of these farm animals produce an abnormal amount of methane due to their crappy, corn-fed diet.
Humans gotta eat, but there are healthier options out there than corn fed farm animals (for both us, and the planet).
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