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Why Bad 3D, Not 3D Glasses, Gives You Headaches

fullfactorial Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (255 comments)

Depth Perception is the operative phrase here.

In humans, visual depth perception emerges from a combination of cues:

  1. monocular
  2. binocular
  3. motion

Traditional "2D" movies already have most of the monocular cues necessary for depth perception. Without them, you wouldn't be able to tell whether a car was driving towards or away from the camera. However, some monocular cues are missing. Within ~6 feet, "accommodation" can be used to tell you how near or far you are focusing, based on how your eye muscles are shaping your lens.

What most people consider "3D" is just stereopsis -- presenting a different image to each retina. This gets you much closer to "real" depth perception, and is enough of an improvement to be "worth it" for a lot of applications (CAD, Hollywood movies, etc). However, it is missing "convergence," which is how much your eyes have to point towards each other to see an object.

Read the Wikipedia article for the full list.

more than 4 years ago

Apple Offers Free Cases To Solve iPhone 4 Antenna Problems

fullfactorial Re:I see a lot of denial in this post (917 comments)

Steve says it's trifling because it is trifling! While certainly a design flaw, I would only consider it serious if:

    • it causes lots of damage.
    • it's hard to fix or work around.

When I think "serious" product failures, it's something dangerous (Sony batteries), or renders the product useless in a way that the user can't fix (Droid X eFUSE). Dropping 1% more calls is a minor impact, and even my 95 year old grandfather can put a phone in a case.

It's a problem, and I'm glad Apple is addressing it with free bumpers. That said, schadenfreude is the only way I can make sense of the all the media hoopla against Apple. Will Consumer Reports change their recommendation once they receive their free bumpers?

more than 4 years ago

Apple Surpasses Microsoft In Market Capitalization

fullfactorial Re:ladies and gentlemen: (557 comments)

I'll give you the printing--the iPad may not see printer support for awhile. On the other hand, if your top priority for the iPad is printing, then I think you're doing it wrong.

more than 4 years ago

Apple Surpasses Microsoft In Market Capitalization

fullfactorial Re:ladies and gentlemen: (557 comments)

Yes, because of course web/IM/email are the *ONLY THREE THINGS* done on any PC in an average home...

You win the unintentionally hilarious award for the day. The iPad actually supports or will support every single thing you mentioned!

  1. Printing support may come as a part of the iPhone OS 4.0 SDK. If not, Google's Cloud Print Service could fill the gap.
  2. The iPad is such a good 3D game platform that Nintendo declared Apple the enemy of the future.
  3. The iPad itself is a solid media player, but you can also hook it up to your TV with Component or VGA cables.
  4. Apple sells a Camera Connector Kit for the iPad. You can upload photos from an SD stick, and edit them in an App on your iPad.
  5. iPhone OS 4.0 supports background tasks and multi-tasking, to the extent that you would even want to do that on a 10" screen.

The only thing you can't do on an iPad is rip movies and music, but that's kinda what the iTunes store is for. I'm not saying that the way you do it on the iPad is for everyone, and you specifically are certainly better off with a PC. My mom, on the other hand, finds the iPad a much eaiser way to achieve every item you mentioned.

more than 4 years ago

Privacy Machiavellis

fullfactorial Re:memorize a fake person (206 comments)

there is a fake me out there...

What are you so afraid of? (Completely sincere question--not trolling in the least.)

I understand using a fake persona if you're afraid of some company knowing information about you. However, with a fake name you're still going to see targeted advertising, and if you're doing anything illegal you're probably not obfuscating enough to hide your true identity.

I guess I just don't understand what privacy consequences you're actually avoiding.

more than 4 years ago

Is HTML5 Ready To Take Over From Flash?

fullfactorial Re:See, this is what I've been saying on Slashdot (468 comments)

Mod parent up (or mod GP down). Half of that ZDNet article was retracted because the iPad DOES support bluetooth keyboards, and the other half is BS because USB isn't even Apple's standard.

Apple has actually gotten rid of most proprietary connectors in the past 10 years. The ones they still have are either highly device-specific (e.g. iPod connector), or on their way to becoming standards (e.g. mini display port).

more than 4 years ago

Is Apple's Attack On Flash Really About Video?

fullfactorial Re:Games too (595 comments)

The ONLY reason i can comprehend for that change to the EULA was to ban the native flash executables. Theres no other practical reason for it.

It's too early to say why Apple is prohibiting 3rd-party compilers. Today it looks like Apple is exerting a monopoly over software, but tomorrow we might learn that Apple was trying to prevent a monopoly in the hardware. Right now the entire iPhone ecosystem is locked into an ARM architecture.

By prohibiting 3rd party compilers, Apple can change chip architectures with only a simple update to XCode, and reasonably expect most apps to be recompiled for the new architecture. Conversely, Flash-compiled iPhone apps might have to wait a year for Adobe CS7 or whatever. Steve Jobs basically said this in his open letter:

We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform.

It took Adobe ten years to release a fully MacOS X native version of Photoshop. I can't blame Steve Jobs for not wanting his platform to be dependent on Adobe.

more than 4 years ago

Companies Skeptical of Commercial Space Market

fullfactorial Re:Government is Clueless about Business (192 comments)

Just curious, why does the Tea Party movement catch so much flak?

The Tea Party gets flak because they come off as a bunch of whiny hypocrites.

Where was the Tea Party during Bush's huge expansion of Federal spending and power? Why are they only speaking out now that a democrat is trying to pay for Bush's spending and tax cuts? I'm serious -- I would appreciate any perspective that could keep me from having such a low opinion of people.

more than 4 years ago

Could Colorblindness Cure Be Morally Wrong?

fullfactorial Language is Culture (981 comments)

'Being deaf is not about being disabled, or medically incomplete - it's about being part of a linguistic minority. We're proud, not of the medical aspect of deafness, but of the language we use and the community we live in.'

Deafness is a completely different issue from color-blindness (or even regular blindness) because LANGUAGE IS CULTURE. Almost every meaningful social experience you have is had in the context of language.

Think about losing every story, every song, every conversation you've had because your language has been rendered obsolete. On some level I'm sure everyone in deaf culture would like to be able to hear. But many of them won't trade hearing if it means their favorite songs, poems, and stories will not be passed on. There's a great movie about this called Sound and Fury

more than 4 years ago

Netflix Streaming Arrives For the Wii

fullfactorial Re:Netflix streaming (171 comments)

Good luck with that. Netflix is beholden to the content owners for that, and they are VERY particular with the who-what-when-where-how of content distribution.

I expect to see Hulu streaming to the Wii before I see a week-old TV show on Netflix.

more than 3 years ago

SSD Price Drops Signaling End of Spinning Media?

fullfactorial Re:In 5 years (646 comments)

I was under the impression that SSD's remain readable forever even after they become unwritable.

I have heard the same regarding SLC, but I'm not sure if it applies to the cheaper MLC drives discussed in TFA. Any experts care to weigh in?

more than 4 years ago

SSD Price Drops Signaling End of Spinning Media?

fullfactorial Re:In 5 years (646 comments)

What's so forgiving about the magic white smoke getting out of a hard drive after a head crash?

Mechanical failures can be predicted by SMART, and even prevented (e.g. sudden motion sensors that park the heads).

If you DO have a head crash, data recovery services can take the platters out and recover any data not directly affected by the head crash. Some companies offer NAND data recovery, but the current state-of-the-art appears to be more complex, expensive, and uncertain than conventional hard drives.

more than 4 years ago

SSD Price Drops Signaling End of Spinning Media?

fullfactorial Re:In 5 years (646 comments)

Yeah, if you really want to compare apples to apples, measure MTBF. Oh, and let's not forget the SSD's far superior ability to decay gracefully.

SSDs have a better MTBF, but I think you have the graceful decay backwards. Good SSDs do wear leveling and use SMART to tell you when your ten-thousandth write is approaching. But once they die, they're dead. Solid-state failures are a lot less predictable and more unforgiving than mechanical failures. (For reference, read up on the Poisson Process as it relates to solid-state failures.)

more than 4 years ago

House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

fullfactorial Re:Non-American: questions (2424 comments)

1) What is in it to stop the premiums going up as the money from subsidies comes in? In other words, will the basic laws of supply and demand in a free market not still apply? This bill does not seem to limit the dynamics of the free market.

Insurers have new regulations. First, 85% of revenue must go towards providing care, which caps administrative costs (and profit) at 15%. This isn't a huge difference from the current system; most insurers keep similar margins, and grow revenue through volume. It sounds crazy, but insurers actually depend on doctors and hospitals doing too many tests and procedures.

Second, health insurers are no longer protected from anti-monopoly laws. This should actually help, because currently most regions are locked into 1 or 2 insurance choices.

2) What will stop the insurance companies from making their own rules that slowly erode the value of coverage by limiting the treatments that they pay for?

The bill has pretty specific requirements for what plans can be eligible for assistance and/or tax credits. I.E. You can't start a health insurance company that just hands out band-aids. Additionally, there will be expanded eligibility for Medicare and insurance exchange programs; competing for customers will keep insurers from cutting too much.

3) How will someone who is poor be ensured the same treatments as someone who is wealthy?

That doesn't even happen in Canada--the wealthy can always turn to medical tourism if they want special treatment. The poor will still get inferior care, but inferior is better than non-existent or bankrupt.

more than 4 years ago

Lag Analysis For the PlayStation Move

fullfactorial Re:And again my lament... (71 comments)

Wii-style controllers are for fun. Not for accuracy. Not for performance. Not for precision.

"Fun" and "control" aren't mutually-exclusive. Accuracy and precision are characteristics of a specific control sensor, not a mode of control. You hold thumbsticks in such high esteem, but the joysticks of yore required frequent recalibration, and had issues with max ranges and zero deadzones. As the technology matures (e.g. WiiPlus), so will the precision.

Motion controllers are not very good for binary input; that's what buttons are for, and that's why the Wii has gotten so much flak for "waggle" games. Conversely, thumbsticks are not very good for 6-axis position/velocity/acceleration control. Tiger Woods 2010 with WiiPlus has AMAZING accuracy, performance and precision (I play the Disc Golf, but I hear the regular golf is also great). Try doing that with your thumbstick.

more than 4 years ago

BioShock 2's First DLC Already On Disc

fullfactorial Price Elasticity is a GOOD thing! (466 comments)

This is a classic example of Price Elasticity, and it's actually GOOD for gamers. Managing the demand curve is how game companies stay in business.

Price Elasticity is simple: different people are willing to pay more/less for the same thing. Gamers are already familiar with this; it's why prices drop over time. At launch a new game sells to people who think it's worth $60. Over time, the price drops so they can sell the game to people who don't think it's worth $60 -- first to the $40 folks, then the $30 folks, and finally the $20 folks. DLC is just another way to recoup the investment of making a game (and hopefully turn a profit). You create additional content, and sell it to the people who are willing to pay for it.

Complaining about content on the disc is just idiotic--who cares where it is? Would it be better if Bioshock 2 padded the 24kb with an extra 20mb? The only valid complaint (and the only complaint developers and publishers will listen to), is that the base game was unsatisfying or felt incomplete without the DLC. And I haven't heard a single person say that.

more than 4 years ago

$1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration

fullfactorial Re:"The" cause (690 comments)

"The" cause is that humans make mistakes.

The "flawed human" defense works great for lawyers and TV dramas, but I am always surprised and disappointed when I hear it from engineering types. The problem with that argument is that you can't do anything to fix it!

I suggest you read up on Human Factors Engineering. Take a systems approach and you will find that humans are a component like any other, with measurable tolerances and response ranges. One of the best human factors success stories is aviation safety. Most FAA incident reports still include "pilot error," but also instrument design, automation design, training, schedule-induced fatigue, and other things you can actually change to reduce the likelihood of that incident happening again.

more than 4 years ago

Where Microsoft's Profits Come From

fullfactorial Re:Interesting graph! (295 comments)

What I find most interesting is the way all changes are perfectly synchronized with the exception of entertainment related stuff. This is clear indication of the power of vendor lock-in and tying unrelated products together.

No. It's a clear indication that TFA used a Stacked Line Chart. If you were to move Office and Server to the bottom of the stack, you would see that they both account for relatively small sales bumps (~1 billion), with the real movement coming from the release of Windows Vista (Mar '07 bump) and Windows 7 (Dec '09 bump).

Normally you avoid data distortions like this by putting the least-variable data at the bottom of a stacked chart. I think "Chart of the Day" needs a better-trained Excel monkey.

more than 4 years ago

Shuttleworth Suggests 1-Way Valve For User Experience Testing

fullfactorial Re:We DO need another desktop OS. (757 comments)

Windows has not intuitiveness.

The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned.
- Unknown

more than 5 years ago

Dead Salmon's "Brain Activity" Cautions fMRI Researchers

fullfactorial Re:Classical case of Arrogantitis Scientificus? (287 comments)

Has anyone even checked if a dead brain can still have flows of energy through its brain? I mean light patterns still reach the retinas, and can still trigger signals, depending on the state of the neurons there.

IANAN (neuroscientist), but I do know that fMRI measures the flow of blood, not energy. I don't know exactly what happens as the brain dies, but it's possible that they just discovered that dying fish brains still have blood flow.

This could also be why these results have not been published. I agree that fMRI methodology is generally sloppy, but scanning a dead salmon is not the best way to prove it. A more convincing argument would be made by replicating prior research and finding ambiguities in those results.

more than 5 years ago


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