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Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 Ready For Pre-Order Today

EdZ Re:Disable ClickToFlash before ordering (100 comments)

Tick the blank checkbox, then press the orange line (which the checkbox enabled as an 'complete order' button). The site is borked, but I successfully got an order confirmation, so if you didn't then your order likely has not completed.

about 7 months ago
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Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 Ready For Pre-Order Today

EdZ Re:I think this is dangerous (100 comments)

You even have to active tick a very explicit "I am a developer. I know this is a development kit. I am not an end consumer" checkbox before the checkout will work. I doubt that many people not familiar with VR development are going to order one by mistake.

about 7 months ago
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Security Industry Incapable of Finding Firmware Attackers

EdZ Re:Least interest (94 comments)

What you CAN do is exploit an otherwise secure OS so that you CAN do those things in spite of OS-level security methods.

I miss the days of needing a move a jumper in order to flash the system ROM. I've seen plenty of gaudy 'overlocking' boards with push-buttons on the motherboard itself for various esoteric functions. A toggle-switch for BIOS-write-enable would be a relatively cheap addition, and manufacturers can market the board with some extra security buzzwords.

about 7 months ago
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First Survey of Commercially Viable Asteroids Estimates Only 10 Are Worth Mining

EdZ Re:Need for materials (265 comments)

I dare say that creating a rocket and fuel to launch tones of stuff far enough into space to reach an asteroid is going to be pretty rough on the local environment.

Don't forget that after a handful of mission to metal-rich asteroids and water-rich asteroids, you have all the materials needed to assemble further missions in orbit. Much cheaper than lofting all that stuff out of Earth's gravity well.

about 10 months ago
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Chinese Icebreaker Is Stuck In Ice After Antarctic Research Vessel Rescue

EdZ Re:Unforeseen (361 comments)

Some UK reports suggest that the 'scientists' and 'tourists' on this ship were ecofreaks seeking publicity to show that some previous explorer's route had become eco-wickedly ice-free. So... they got stuck in 'unforseen' thick ice. And so did their rescuers. And then they were evacuated thanks to an awful lot of gas-guzzling machinery - and still (today) can't leave the area. In the UK, we really do enjoy a good joke like this.

I'd advise you to stop reading the Daily Mail.

about 10 months ago
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A Big Step Forward In Air Display and Interface Tech

EdZ What step forward? (65 comments)

Laminar flow fog displays have been around for literally decades. Every other year, a company will out their 'WOW Revolutionary!' desktop fog display with mid-air 'touch' sensing, then disappear after nobody buys it. I've yet to see anyone actually buy one of the things from the many start-ups that have produced them. This one in particular appears to have nothing to separate it from the string of flops before it.
Additionally, they are not in any way 3D. They aren't volumetric, there's no holography going on, you can;t stack them for interferometric displays, you can't even polarise their output. You could use a high framerate projector and shutter-glasses, but you're still stuck with all the limits of single-viewpoint stereography.
The problems to be solved to bring one of these to market aren't technical. Those were solved years ago. The problem to be solved is finding somebody who actually wants one.

about 9 months ago
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Reuters: RSA Weakened Encryption For $10M From NSA

EdZ Re:SSL Security (464 comments)

so I'd be surprised if any browsers or servers used it as the random number source

It was recently discovered that the implementation of Dual_EC-DBRG in OpenSSL is flawed. Hard-crashes flawed. In a totally unusable state flawed. This was only just recently discovered because nobody actually used it.

about 10 months ago
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Intel SSD Roadmap Points To 2TB Drives Arriving In 2014

EdZ Pushing out the Cache drive (183 comments)

Looks like the first announced 2242 M.2 drive larger than 128GB, but it's still only 180GB. It'd be really nice to be able to put a 256GB drive where a cache drive normally sits, run the OS and programs from there, and keep a spinning rust (spinning glass, now perpendicular recording is standard) drive in the 2.5" space for media storage. Though by the time 256GB 2242 drives come onto the market, 256GB will probably feel overly restrictive anyway.

about a year ago
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Bitcoin Thefts Surge, DDoS Hackers Take Millions

EdZ Re:Idiots (305 comments)

Encrypt [...] your wallet.dat

And for goodness sake write down your password somewhere. Or you end up with a wallet full of a handful of bitcoins you acquired ages ago but now can't do anything with.

about a year ago
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Duke Univ. Device Converts Stray Wireless Energy Into Electricity For Charging

EdZ Re:Free (216 comments)

Remember, in a cold building with electric heating, every device is 100% efficient.

about a year ago
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Intel Open-Sources Broadwell GPU Driver & Indicates Major Silicon Changes

EdZ Re:It seems like they are competitive now (103 comments)

When your flagship GPU is about level with a mid-range mobile part from a year and a half ago...

about a year ago
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Mind Control In Virtual Reality, Circa 2013

EdZ Re:I question the value (35 comments)

I'd rather skip the whole balancing and walking subsystem for my avatar motion, and instead just to move my avatar like a new limb. Don't think "move forward" as a conscious action, simply move your avatar forward; in the same way that you don't think "right hand, move upwards", you just move your hand up.
The benefit of decoupling avatar movement from physical motion is the ability to do both simultaneously for the most adept, but more generally to avoid issues where you need to 'turn off' signals to the body in order to intercept them for avatar motion (that's one hell of a failsafe you'd need to build in), and even with a safe failure you could end up with inadvertent injury from flailing limbs.
But how would you precisely move your arms and legs in the virtual environment? Well, why have arms and legs in the virtual environment in the first place. If you're not not trying to ape body movements, there little need to ape body layout.

about a year ago
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France Moves To Protect Independent Booksellers From Amazon

EdZ Re:I see plenty of people reading (264 comments)

Can I expect to be able to access my collection of e-books in 40 years?

Unless you're foolish enough to lock yourself into DRM, I don't see why not. Nearly 30 years on (well, 28) and Amiga software can be run in emulators from discs that have been format-shifted. And Amiga-specific files can and have easily been converted to new formats. Except for regular old text, because that still works fine. Or HTML, because that still works fine. Or BMP, because that still worms fine.
If a format works and does it's job, it'll stick around after many hardware and software changes. Calibre already makes it trivial to move between epub and mobipocket (and go to and from RTF, PDF, etc) so I don't see you suddenly being unable to read your library even in 40 years.

about a year ago
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France Moves To Protect Independent Booksellers From Amazon

EdZ Re:Typical (264 comments)

Remember that Amazon is a reseller in almost all cases. Direct sales of ebooks by publishers, and even authors, can easily bypass Amazon entirely.

about a year ago
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Is Google Building a Floating Data Center In San Francisco Bay?

EdZ Re:There'a another in Portland, Maine (115 comments)

Google are outgrowing intercontinental fibre-optic cables. Too expensive, and insufficient bandwidth! Instead, they're implementing an extension of RFC1149, with the avian carriers replaced with bulk cargo shipping. A station wagon full of tapes has nothing on this!

about a year ago
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File-Sharing Site Was Actually an Anti-Piracy Honeypot

EdZ Re:Whaaa? (225 comments)

Here's a secret: anyone with a tuner card and the ability to feed the captured transport stream (IIRC encapsulated MPEG2 for you ATSC guys in the US) into x264 can do the exactly same as these 'scene groups'. Probably a better job too, if you use CRF rather than constant-bitrate or target filesize.

about a year ago
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Building an Opt-In Society

EdZ Deregulation (182 comments)

'The best part is this,' Srinivasan said. 'The people who think this is weird, the people who sneer at the frontier, who hate technology, won't follow you there.'

But people who will be quite happy to exploit your deregulated society will be right there with you!

Complain all you want about 'big banks' unethical behavior (really, keep complaining, write to your local MP/senator/whathaveyou, make sure the issue doesn't get dropped) but government regulation of banking means that if you put your money in a bank, you can be sure (at least up to £85,000 per Bank in the UK) that you will always have access to that money. Without regulation, then you have situations like with Paypal where the holder of you money can just up and decide "Nope, you can't have it anymore. It's ours for at least the next 9 months. Oh, you want an explanation? Too bad!".
Or how about enforcing standards, like power supply? You want a situation where not only does every device have it's own plug, but your house may not even supply the same voltage or frequency as the neighbourhood a mile away? 'No government at all' works fantastically when all your actors are rational and honest. That is also true to Communism. Finding this mythical group of rational and honest actors (and keeping out even a single bad egg) is the hard part.

1 year,4 days
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3D Printing a 'Terminator' Arm ... Or a Whole Body

EdZ See it somewhere else first (29 comments)

the Smithsonian Channel original documentary, "The Incredible Bionic Man."

Not original at all. If you want to see the what's likely the entire program before it airs on Smithsonian, it's almost certainly a dubbed over and slightly recut version of the Channel 4 documentary How to Build a Bionic Man. Same presenter, same robot, aired back in February. UK viewers (or those with a UK proxy) can watch it on 4od, those outside the UK can likely fine a torrent with ease.

1 year,12 days
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New Real Life Laser-Rifle Cuts Through Metal Like a Blowtorch

EdZ Re: of course it isn't mobile (143 comments)

With the scattering from the air blast, I propose "laser boomstick".

1 year,25 days
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Nissan's Autonomous Car Now Road Legal In Japan

EdZ Re: Curiously? (205 comments)

What you are thinking of is Swarm Robotics. And you misrepresent the field quite insultingly: it was far from a case of plonking down some simple robots and noting "wow, they do all sorts of things we didn't expect!". The entire point was to confirm that the emergent behaviour that had previous been simulated with virtual swarm agents, and prior to that theorised as the cause of insect behaviour, was possible to replicate, and to codify if the physical medium of interaction added any notable additional factors to the swarm behaviour (it does mainly due to computational imitations of the simulation, and computational robotics is now a big and mostly biomimetic field, e.g. using mobile driven whiskers for impact sensing).

What does this have to do with autonomous vehicles? For a start, while autonomous cars are in the minority they will be interacting almost entirely with human drivers. This is the WORST CASE scenario for autonomous vehicles. Once you have a large proportion of vehicles being autonomous, you can begin to have communication between vehicles, and produce behaviour like convoying that is impossible for human-operated or human/autonomous mixes to perform. There are plenty of simulations of large numbers of autonomous vehicles around, mostly to see how to optimise behaviour to produce superior traffic flow; for example removing junction signalling and allowing autonomous vehicles to freely and continuously merge and cross each other is far more efficient than turn-by-turn streamed releases. Papers and reports on this sort of modelling abound. Here's one that turned up after about 5 seconds of googling, with a few hundred thousand of its cohorts available.

1 year,25 days

Submissions

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Apple & publishers to be investigated by the E

EdZ EdZ writes  |  more than 2 years ago

EdZ (755139) writes "The feud between Amazon and Apple over e-book sales agreements is probably familiar to most slashdotters; now, the EU is investigating if the minimum price limitations imposed are anticompetitive."
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