Google Reader: One Year Later
About a quarter of my income comes from trading stock and art. For this I often need to be in front of the line to get good deals. RSS feeds make this possible. This is also why I went through the effort to hack together some screen scrapers. RSS feeds are used by many as a professional tool. Day traders, eBay users, journalists...all sorts of people who need some sort of scoop in order to make money.
Google Reader: One Year Later
I never really trust companies with my daily needs. The dependency is stressful and unpractical, so I try to avoid it whenever possible.
For feeds I use Tiny Tiny RSS these days, hosted on a VPS with some other daily stuff (mail, calendar, notes). The application is a lot slicker than the website would suggest. I highly recommend it.
Since RSS seems to take a back seat in modern web development (FOLLOW US ON TWITTER!), I also do some screen scraping in PHP to create my own feeds for sites that don't (properly) support it.
Game Developers' Quest To Cross the Uncanny Valley
From the article:
Ira isn’t an actual human being—he’s just a computer model—but you’d be forgiven for not being able to tell the difference.
Well...I wouldn't forgive me. You can tell by:
- The crazy amount of unnatural (colored) lighting used to hide low detail and/or too-uniform shading. Show me the same head model in a field on a cloudy day at 2pm in March
- The limited polygon count; look at the edges of his ear (which is a bit weird looking in itself btw)
Much more impressed by these, but they are pre-rendered:
Instead of unnatural lighting they have a lot of added skin detail (wrinkles, dirt) to hide too-uniform shading. There's a lot of detail / noise / subtle imperfections in real life you don't normally think about, but when it's not there you instantly notice it on a subconscious level.
Ask Slashdot: Can Commercial Hardware Routers Be Trusted?
NSA: Plz backdoor because terrorists. K thx bai.
Company: No! We can't lull our customers into a false sense of security. It's unethical and the stockholders will destroy us if they find out.
NSA: But, but...$10 million contract?
Company: ...I'll call you back monday.
UK Town To Get Driverless 'Pods' Mixing With Pedestrians
Dutch guy here.
Snow & Ice:
I'll admit it can be dangerous when it's been snowing. It really requires a culture of cycling, where governments try to keep roads (incl bikepaths) clear of snow at all times & traffic participants are considerate to other road users.
Deutsche Telekom Moves Email Traffic In-Country In Wake of PRISM
Yes, well, at least this way it'll only be their own government eavesdropping the private conversations of German citizens. Isn't that a big relief?
A Serious Proposal To Fix Windows 8
As someone who used to repair computers for a living, I have one thing to say to Microsoft:
UPDATE THE PACKAGE MANAGER
It's the elephant in the room that's been slowly crippling the Windows user-experience since Windows XP. I couldn't believe it when I noticed they still didn't implement this in Windows 8 in some sort of way.
When users are bombarded with individual update-notifiers from 20 different vendors every day, users:
- become numb to them and start to ignore them
- don't notice the included adware and bunled software that's pushed to them. (Gee, I wonder why Google Chrome's taking so much of the browser marketshare...)
This behavior is a big part of what's causing Average Joe's laptop to turn into an unusable turd, filled with adware and virusses. He concludes his computer is old and broken, Windows must be shit and takes out a loan for a Macbook. Goodbye customer.
Microsoft needs to centralize this process the same way Android did. Updating 3rd party software, changes in privacy and adware offers should all go through a unified interface from the package manager. Installing software through an official app store should become default with an easy opt-out, so Windows stays an open platform but at the same time the Average Joe is protected from taking too many risks.
WeVideo Helps You Edit Your Videos Online (Video)
The CEO claims problems with bandwidth have been overcome. I disagree.
Most broadband connections today still have severely limited upload speeds. Sure, they may be slightly faster. But since 1080p video has become a commodity, the amount of data per frame (bitrate) for amateur video has increased quite dramatically, compared to a few years ago when 480p was still common. So any increase in upload speed is negated by higher video resolutions.
I think this will only work when symmetrical fiber connections become normal.
Is Bitcoin Mining a Real-World Environmental Problem?
Now, I'm not saying Bitcoin won't become an energy problem in the future, but I think we might want to look at high-frequency trading first.
The dozens of enormous data centers that are used for this probably consume a LOT more energy than Bitcoin mining does at the moment.
Indies the Biggest Stars At Game Developers Conference
- IF YOU'RE NOT INDIE...
- Indie Man
...so this has been going on for some years.
Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?
The issue for me is that mp3's only sound good if you listen to them "as is".
I do DJ work every now and then. If you use DSP's, as I do, like equalizers, compressors and all sorts of stereo/surround effects, the resolution in lossy audio is SO limited that artifacts become clearly audible to most people.
Even home systems suffer from this, albeit to a lesser extent. Systems that are calibrated for the room with a certain equalizer setting, 5.1 receivers that upscale stereo to virtual surround. They all mess with the audio source in a big way...and when that source is lossy, sometimes you can clearly tell.
Uncompressed audio simply has more resolution to play with. And that's why most of my music collection is now FLAC. Compare it to photoshopping a PNG vs. a JPG.
Scientists Transplant Functional Eyes On the Tails of Tadpoles
"This research was funded by the Dr. Alphonse Mephesto Foundation"
Curiosity Rover On Standby As NASA Addresses Computer Glitch
"NOOOO! I should've selected Safe mode WITH Networking!"
Russian Meteor Likely an Apollo Asteroid Chunk
"the largest being 1866 Sisyphus — a 10 kilometer-wide monster that was discovered in..."
WAIT! I KNOW THIS ONE! Is it 1866?
oh. okay :(
LG Introduces Monitor With 21:9 Aspect Ratio
I've been using Gridmove for a couple of years for that purpose.
It allows you to snap windows to customizable zones (which can even overlap partially) across as many monitors as you want. You can snap windows in place using hotkeys or dragging. It uses it's own little script language, so it takes maybe two days of frustration to get the hang of it. But once you've got your dream preset, you'll never want anything else.
Rootbeer GPU Compiler Lets Almost Any Java Code Run On the GPU
But x264 is coded in C and Assembly, not Java.
Tobacco Virus Could Boost Li Batteries
It seems the virus can be made to attach itself to the electrodes in a lithium cell perpendicularly, increasing the surface area of the electrode and greatly improving the battery's capacity to store energy.
Once again, it's time to... get perpendicular!
What's Wrong With the American University System
Japan has many 2ndary schools, but any Japanese person will tell you that only 3 count; Tokyo, Todai, and a third whose name escapes me.
Todai is short for Tokyo daigaku: Tokyo university. So it's the same as Tokyo. Also, Kyodai (Kyoto university) comes second.
What RSS Feeds Do You Use?
Finance & Economy
- Greggman - American gamedev'er who lived in Japan
- Jort Kelder - Dutch dandy. Ex-editor-in-chief of Quote, a magazine about entrepeneurs and the life of the nouveau rich. Co-host of the dutch Dragons Den.
- Scalzi's Whatever - Sciencefiction author.
- The Sartorialist - Fashion photographer. If you'd like to dress like a man with some class, instead of a fake tan metrosexual...look here for inspiration.
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