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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

PJ6 Re:Budget (246 comments)

Simply put the US population (or at least the portion that politicians pay attention to) seem unwilling to fund being first.

The US population has no meaningful control or oversight over trillions in military funding.

You can bet your ass that the US is first in quantum computing.

about a week ago
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The Man Who Made Tetris

PJ6 from the "far and away" link (37 comments)

For those who cannot afford to purchase a video game console but still want to play games, a computer or a mobile device is usually sufficient.

Wow.

about a week ago
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Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

PJ6 "10x" means avoiding pathological architectures (215 comments)

and modes of organization. Just like tact, it's not so much what you do, as what you don't.

You don't need to be a "rock star" to wield this idea effectively.

about two weeks ago
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Big Talk About Small Samples

PJ6 Re:Wikipedia (245 comments)

Holy self-reference, Batman!

about two weeks ago
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A Worm's Mind In a Lego Body

PJ6 download bugbrain (200 comments)

No need for a Lego body when you can download Bugbrain, the single best teaching software (AI or otherwise) I have ever encountered. It's worth digging up a 32 bit machine to run it if you have the time. I tried contacting the creator once, it really should be converted to Flash so everyone can play it, but I got no response.

I completed the game (I'm no expert, but the software is so good it also means I know a little), and I came away unconvinced that neurons are completely understood yet. I think there's more at work than just sigmoidal backpropagation.

about two weeks ago
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Preview Jaunt's Made-for-VR 360 Degree, 3D Short Films

PJ6 It's not true 3D and it doesn't need to be. (26 comments)

This is not an ad. Early VR projects are interesting, and this post (even though it could be used for publicity) belongs here.

Yes, you can technically make 360 degree 3D. You can even make it work even when the viewer tilts their head, if you have a ball of cameras and the right software to correctly adjust the view for each eye in real time according to head position. Jaunt's camera is not a ball. It's a disk. Yes, it could still be accurate 3D as long as you don't tilt your head. They say it's 3D, but it's not very high quality or convincing. In fact I wasn't able to tell if it was really 3D or just seeing the same view through both my eyes.

That being said, they do not need to have it in 3D at all. VR is already *very* convincing without 3D and the effect of parallax disappears at 20 feet or so. I didn't feel it was required at all for the demo videos they showed me.

I built my own 2x4K VR camera, specifically designed for accurate 3D, and demoed alongside Jaunt in Boston. It's got 90x170 degrees FOV, which is more than enough to cover the DK2 horizontal FOV, and almost enough to cover its 100 degree vertical FOV. For one of my demo videos, I put peanut butter under the camera and recorded my dog licking it. Everyone responded the same, putting their arms up in front of them to wave him away. There were some squeals of delight. That's the point of 3D VR, in my opinion - accuracy and proximity, to make you really feel like something is there in front of you. Otherwise you might as well just go 360 and not sweat parallax accuracy, like Jaunt did.

I was getting ready to sell my cameras, make movies, and work with other people improving the rig design, but honestly I thought there'd be more talent and interest to work with. Boston really isn't anywhere close to being a Silicon Valley of the East. And I say that being an MIT graduate myself.

about two weeks ago
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Worrying Aspects of Linux Gaming

PJ6 Consoles, FTL (265 comments)

PC gaming is generally such an afterthought already (can you say, 'bare bones port?'), I don't know why anyone would expect anything at all for Linux.

about two weeks ago
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Pitivi Video Editor Surpasses 50% Crowdfunding Goal, Releases Version 0.94

PJ6 just use FFmpeg (67 comments)

GUIs are overrated.

about two weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

PJ6 I thought this was already settled in principle (429 comments)

I'm still probably on Mount Stupid on this subject, but when I first discovered zero divisor algebra it changed the way I thought about zero, and numbers. Feynman said that the fundamental of physical law is conservation, but I feel it's deeper than that. Conservation assumes consistency, which is a plain way of not-quite saying 'formal system' - any one of which that is possible, by definition, can be described completely with mathematics... so suddenly it looked to me that Zero and Nothing were not synonymous at all, that maybe our idea of Nothing was nonsensical at a very fundamental level. I expected the idea to be obvious - if it had any merit at all - to those who wade through that stuff for a living.

Unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity since then to talk with someone learned enough in physics to disabuse me of the notion.

about three weeks ago
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Blizzard Announces Overwatch, a First-Person Shooter

PJ6 polish without talent (183 comments)

Maybe I'll eat my words if the game play is an improvement over TF, but this reeks of design-by-committee. I thought Dialbo III might have just suffered from putting the WoW team on it, but now it really does look like Blizzard has jumped the shark.

about three weeks ago
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Most Planets In the Universe Are Homeless

PJ6 not a particularly good article (219 comments)

But here’s the funny thing: when we work out the numbers of our best theoretical calculations, the ones produced by getting kicked out of young solar systems represent far less than half of the rogue planets that we expect.

So the author tries to explain a huge number of expected rogue planets, but fails to describe how we've arrived at the number in the first place. "Work out the numbers"? Yes? Could you please share? Why didn't you start with that in the first paragraph?

Also what's with all the exclamation marks? Is this article pitched at grade-schoolers? Fine but if so, what is it doing here?

about a month ago
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16-Teraflops, £97m Cray To Replace IBM At UK Meteorological Office

PJ6 Who is Soulskill? (125 comments)

It's not just a simple mistake that anyone could have made. If you know anything about computers at all, the error in the title, when you read it, is about as subtle as someone smacking you across the face.

If Soulskill doesn't know the difference between TFLOP and PFLOP, what is he doing posting articles here?

about a month ago
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Google Developing a Pill To Detect Cancer

PJ6 Re:Ten years from now: (58 comments)

"I'm not sure I have cancer, but based on the ads I've been seeing lately..."

This idea would make for a good near-future science fiction short story, riffing off what's already happened to pregnant teens.

about a month ago

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