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The iPad vs. Microsoft's "Jupiter" Devices

spectecjr Re:Expectations (293 comments)

The iPad has a lot going for it, especially that you can get one for about 1/3 the price of that thing (if you convert the 1998 dollars, see eldavojon's post) and that you have wireless networking (a major plus).

The thing is, you can't do the math that way. Tech gets cheaper as it gets older, and new tech gets more powerful but remains roughly the same price, whereas inflation just goes up. If you look on Amazon, someone is selling it for $375, used.

Never mind any number of other UMPC devices...

more than 4 years ago
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English DJ Claims Wi-Fi Allergy

spectecjr Re:Crazy people (515 comments)

It's not that crazy. I was on a bus heading to Heathrow airport back around 1999 or so. The speakers on the bus were vibrating in time with the sweeps of the radar.

My head was also throbbing in time with the sweeps of the radar.

Of course, that's a MUCH more powerful signal.

more than 5 years ago
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Scientists Create RNA From Primordial Soup

spectecjr Or... (369 comments)

Or, like another scientist did recently, you can just take all of the component bits and pieces, freeze it in ice, and leave it for 15 years.

At the end of it, you will have RNA and a bunch of amino acids.

This is why I read New Scientist magazine religiously.

more than 5 years ago
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Emulation Explosion On the PS3 Via Linux

spectecjr Re:No (425 comments)

Hmmm... weird. I assume you're talking about this:
http://www.gamespot.com/features/6202552/index.html ... which is very odd, because in the screenshots, I can indeed see the fence on the 360 one. I can't see it on the PS3 though.

more than 5 years ago
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Emulation Explosion On the PS3 Via Linux

spectecjr Re:No (425 comments)

Raw Power

Sorry, but I prefer my power cooked, thanks.

As in, I prefer it to actually be usable. And not to have to use half of it to make up for a lousy GPU.

On the PS3, the Cell (SPUs) are mostly used for:

  • Audio decoding, output & mixing
  • Vertex culling to reduce the load on the woefully underpowered and bandwidth limited GPU
  • Shader patching, again to reduce load on the woefully underpowered and bandwidth limited GPU

Sure, it occasionally does other things, but all of the above are things that the 360 has dedicated hardware to do. Your Cell processor? It's not doing what you think it should be.

more than 5 years ago
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"Microsaccades" Help To Refresh Your Field of View

spectecjr Re:Actually... (96 comments)

I think the main reason that it's not obvious is that the structure of the retina is quite a bit more complex than you make it out to be. First of all, there is essentially an exponential fall-off of receptor density as we move away from the fovea. Secondly, there are several horizontal channels in the lamina of the retina that aggregate receptor inputs in an center-surround manner (eg. on-center, off surround, off center, on surround)- and these horizontal channels are of differing lengths.

So it's not such an easy question of which, if any, are the privileged pieces of the circuit, or which, if spatial areas of the retina are privileged, since there are multiple spatial scales in the former, and spatial frequency gradients in the latter.

There are also some complications about time averaging. The retina has both on and off channels - on channels have fast temporal response to increased light, then their activity decays back to 'base', while off channels have the opposite transient response. So you have asymmetric temporal responses between the channels (which is one of the reasons you have center-surround processing). You also have the detail that most neurons in the retina don't spike, they communicate using membrane potentials rather than action potentials (spikes) - and the temporal resolution of many of these channels is still not fully understood.

I think the reason that your insight isn't obvious, is because it's very difficult to translate that insight into a form that's understood by those expert in the anatomy and physiology so they can tell you whether your assumptions are consistent with the data.

Actually, if the center-surround system has the on & off channels spike, then during a microsaccade, any crossing of the boundary should cause a fast-spike. If the motion is known, then the difference in time between the activation of the "on" channel and the activation of the "off" channel (as the edge crosses the boundary) should give a finer-resolution location of the edge.

Membrane potentials make sense in terms of color processing; we already know that color is a lower-bandwidth channel. It's also fuzzy and separate from edge recognition (I know this from... er... some experiments I did on myself involving... oh heck, pretty damn pure MDMA). So if the edge recognition triggers hit, they respond strongly to the extant color data (which is diffuse), and assume the gross color of the area pretty strongly. It seems that even in the fovea, color fills in pretty wildly - which is consistent with a membrane potential action. Also, that kind of slow response should be related to exposure control.

[My specific test case here: Reflected light of varying colors on a blank white surface. The edge-recognition triggers were misfiring, giving something that looked akin to a rolling segmented LCD text display. The color of the phantom text assumed the very light, diffuse and even color across the white surface as a strong, vivid primary color. I'm pretty certain that colors data is not spatially tightly encoded; edges are used to trigger the association of the two.

Other things I noticed during that experience were eigenfaces - apparently when the facial recognition system breaks down and you look at someone, all you get is eigenfaces - or at least the low & high frequency recognition systems go out of sync leading to something that looks a lot like them.

Another thing I noticed was that feature detection is rather interesting. Gross-feature detection is separate from texture-determination. It's kind of like the way GPU's paint a scene; you have the Z-buffer which provides depth, and then you have gross features (triangles in the case of a GPU), and then the actual texture of the surfaces themselves. When the texture system misfires, you get interesting effects, including something that looked like lots of little white bubbles mapped onto the surface, to something that looked like a rolling set of five-pointed stars and linear ridges rolling across the surface.

Anyway... that's a total aside. Anyone involved in that kind of research should at least try a little of that stuff... it's relatively safe, and to an even mildly trained eye will provide a lot of insight in how the processing systems work]

more than 5 years ago
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"Microsaccades" Help To Refresh Your Field of View

spectecjr Re:Actually... (96 comments)

Michele Rucci's lab figured out a while back that microsaccades improve our perception of high spatial frequency stimuli..

Thanks for the link :)

The thing that gets me is, surely this is obvious? The receptors on the retina are arranged in a poisson distribution (random, no receptors closer to each other than a certain limit). As long as the microsaccades are roughly 1/2 the poisson distance in any direction, this should at least lead to a doubling of the resolution of the signal achieved, averaged over time. If the brain keeps track of the distances moved, you get even higher resolutions (although my guess is that for bandwidth reasons, the microsaccades are 1/2 the poisson distance or less; that way there's really no bookkeeping necessary).

more than 5 years ago
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"Microsaccades" Help To Refresh Your Field of View

spectecjr Increases effective resolution too... (96 comments)

What I find amazing is that no-one seems to have figured out that it also increases effectives resolution too. And is probably involved in focusing.

more than 5 years ago
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Ubuntu Wipes Windows 7 In Benchmarks

spectecjr Re:Heh. (781 comments)

Grammar nazis asside, this is not real serious benchmarking. It doesn't even take into account WHAT Windows 7 installs and WHAT Ubuntu installs

What's more, is that Windows Betas are always Checked builds. They have a huge chunk of debugging code still in there, and they don't optimize across function boundaries so they can get solid stack traces when things fall over.

In other words, it's not optimized, and is not a fair test. Compare it vs. the release version, and it'll be equivalent to Ubuntu.

Way to go guys.

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Update Slips In a Firefox Extension

spectecjr Re:but... (803 comments)

Because the only thing you need for an iPhone to work right is iTunes, and therefore iTunes needs to come with all of the supporting infrastructure to make the iPhone work smoothly, seamlessly, and automagically.

It's because of that the world's most pleasant-to-use cell phone is the way it is. Love it or hate it, at least now you should be able to understand it.

I don't own an iPhone... so all it is is bloat. And it occasionally spams my CPU.

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Update Slips In a Firefox Extension

spectecjr Re:but... (803 comments)

Because Bonjour is a dependency for the correct functioning of an iTunes feature? ... the same could be said for the correct functioning of a Microsoft .NET feature here.

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Update Slips In a Firefox Extension

spectecjr Re:but... (803 comments)

Except in Apple's case, it's somewhat worse... after all, why the fuck would they install MobileMe or Bonjour on my system when I install iTunes?

Why the FUCK do they think I want their networking system along with their player?

Bonjour

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Weak. At least the .NET extension is within the realms of making sense.

more than 5 years ago
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More Indications Windows 7 Is Coming In 2009

spectecjr Re:Surprise to Anyone? (369 comments)

And if I was asking for ONLY using UTC time for the BIOS, then that MSDN article would be pertinent. I'm simply asking for the option, in case a person dual-boots with Linux or Solaris and Windows. Thanks, though.

The thing is, the BIOS doesn't use timezones. If you want that fixed, talk to the BIOS manufacturers.

more than 5 years ago
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More Indications Windows 7 Is Coming In 2009

spectecjr Re:Surprise to Anyone? (369 comments)

On the down side, how hard is it for Microsoft to add some code to accommodate people who have their hardware clock set to UTC? I mean just put a damn check box there!

Raymond Chen's Old New Thing Article on why this is the case

One reason: What's more, some BIOSes have alarm clocks built in, where you can program them to have the computer turn itself on at a particular time. Do you want to have to convert all those times to UTC each time you want to set a wake-up call?

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Says H-1B Workers Among Those Losing Jobs

spectecjr Re:Know what disgusts me ? (612 comments)

Foreign workers have up until their arrival in no way contributed to America, it's economy or culture. There is nothing wrong with tribalism (to use your words). We as a culture and a people form a unique entity that is certainly correct in seeking to prosper.

As my children have rights by being my children that exceed the rights of other children, so Americans also have rights that exceed those of Non-Americans when in this country.

Similarly, by the same argument, I as an ex-H1B holder, a current green-card holder, and a future citizen have more of a right to be in this country and participate in its culture than you do.

Why?

It's quite simple. I had to put in a lot of sweat, blood and tears to stay here. You just did it by default.

more than 5 years ago
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Is Microsoft Improving Its Image?

spectecjr Re:Uninstall what you don't want from Windows too (746 comments)

Why did they even have to bother with the website when they had to go and redo a lot of the work to do background updates anyway?

Because back in the day - was it 1998? I can't remember - it was a website you could download updates from. There wasn't the need for automatic rollout of security updates back then. The automatic rollout stuff hit later - 2000 IIRC.

more than 5 years ago
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Is Microsoft Improving Its Image?

spectecjr Re:Uninstall what you don't want from Windows too (746 comments)

Why is it needed to get updates?

Even MS had to recognize that updates through ActiveX in a website have disadvantages and had to code an actual application (the systray update applet) to do things that they couldn't shoehorn IE into. But of course they had to stop one step short of making it fully functional, because if it was, the windows update site would look stupid, and one of the places it's not possible to remove IE from would no longer exist.

Apparently you've not seen Vista yet, but that's ok.

In Vista, the Windows Update site does nothing, other than tell you to open the Windows Update app.

As for why they had to code an actual application? It's so it can run in the background. Otherwise you'd need to open your browser every day to check for updates.

more than 5 years ago
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MS Silverlight To Stream Obama Inauguration Events

spectecjr Re:Kids these days... (589 comments)

uh, looking at your comment history you and "coryking" the spamming douche bag have very similar posts and responses

Now that's funny. Have you stopped having your apopleptic fit yet?

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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iLike site stolen wholesale by Beijing company

spectecjr spectecjr writes  |  more than 7 years ago

spectecjr writes "iLike (a social networking site for sharing music preferences) is one of a number of social sites that have sprung into being since Web 2.0 became all the rage. However, in possibly a web first, a company in Beijing has entirely duplicated their site (translated version) down to stealing their flash code, and stealing their site design. Is this the first ever time that an entire site and business has been stolen wholesale by another company?"

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