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Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

twistedsymphony Re: Clearly (391 comments)

I don't know where you came up with that figure. The device is designed to run FLAC files. CDs converted to FLAC format take up about 3 CDs worth of music per GB. Given a digital albums cost at around $10... that's only $3840 worth of music.

about three weeks ago

The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System

twistedsymphony Re:Not so sure about this... (252 comments)

I wouldn't call ethanol "a mediocre fuel". Lots of people who are into performance tuning cars are going out of their way to run E85 because it's better than normal fuel by most measures. I'd love to run it just for the performance benefits but sadly there isn't a station in my state that sells the stuff.

about a month ago

Economist: US Congress Should Hack Digital Millennium Copyright Act

twistedsymphony Re:Already lost the "complete freedom" argument... (129 comments)

your example of car modifications is bad because:
1. Many MANY people already heavily modify their cars and historically this has not been problematic to the safety of other drivers or pedestrians.
2. There are already safegards for this in place such as annual safety and emissions inspectsion. Granted not every state requires this, but I see nothing wrong with a law that states "your car must meet these safety parameter to be driven on public roads". which could include (an in many states already does include) a sanity check on the engine control module.

about 2 months ago

Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data

twistedsymphony Re:Computer vision... (145 comments)

To be fair though, a lot of times human drivers can't identify the difference between crumpled paper, or a plastic bag, or some other innocuous road debris... and a rock.

about 3 months ago

Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

twistedsymphony Re:Who to believe? (393 comments)

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Elon never planned to build the hyperloop. from the start it was nothing more than: "Here's an idea I have. I don't have time to build it or refine it but you're free to you use it however you like".

about 4 months ago

The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

twistedsymphony Re:In Google's Defense... (194 comments)

It's also important to note that this test took place 2 years ago, a lot of development and improvements can happen in 2 years.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

twistedsymphony Party Games (382 comments)

I have a full-sized Dance Dance Revolution machine, always a hit at parties. If you don't have the space then Rock Band is a good party game too, basically karaoke + plastic instruments for the introverts. Other video games I like at parties are You Don't Know Jack and Typing of the Dead (for Sega Dreamcast as it supports 2 players) and Wii Sports. For Board games Apples to Apples and Cards Against humanity are popular party games but I find that The Resistance is a lot more fun once A2A and CAH have been played to death.

about 5 months ago

Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

twistedsymphony Re:In a nutshelll (304 comments)

CGP Grey is all about presenting factual well-researched information about a topic, going so far as to speculate which jobs might be replaced by bots is in and of itself a substantial step beyond what he typically presents in his videos. I think proposing his own solutions to a problem that hasn't happened yet would turn an interesting presentation of information into something with an agenda.

I find it interesting that people see the video as fear-mongering since it's presented very neutral as to the good or bad that will come of the bot based revolution, it's left as an exercise for the user because... who is he to plan our future, he's merely the messenger.

about 5 months ago

Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

twistedsymphony Re:Tesla (394 comments)

That's not really an intentional "feature" in Automatics... it just happens to be a design quirk created by Torque Converters... Since there is no physical 100% disconnect between the engine and transmission (like there is in a stick-shift with the clutch depressed) the car generates enough torque at idle that, unless you're physically braking the car, the torque "seepage" through the converter will result in your car creeping forward.

about 10 months ago

Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

twistedsymphony Re:Efficiency. (937 comments)

There are places you can drive without insurance now... for instance Auto Insurance is not required in the state of New Hampshire. Of course most Banks will require you to have insurance if you want to take out a loan or a leases a car... still not required by law.

1 year,21 days

EV Owner Arrested Over 5 Cents Worth of Electricity From School's Outlet

twistedsymphony Re:Theft is theft, but... (1010 comments)

citation: a reference to a published or unpublished source
Citation: a compact car made by Chevrolet

about a year ago

Car Hackers Mess With Speedometers, Odometers, Alarms and Locks

twistedsymphony Re:No, bad (159 comments)

This isn't "news", people have been hacking around with that stuff since there have been computers controlling the engines in cars (which has been around since the 70s). The only thing that makes this news is that hackers recently had a bright idea to make a Bluetooth dongle for remote control.

Since the start of the OBDII Standard (which was a requirement starting for 1996 model years) There have been companies that have sold devices that let you plug into the computer and modify it's parameters, disabling emissions warnings and changing fuel and timing maps, or "recalibrating" the gauge readouts, among other things. This isn't some niche thing either... this has become the foundation of the whole aftermarket tuning industry. A single model car will have several companies offering competing products.

Honestly, adding additional security is a bad thing, as it is now there are enough roadblocks preventing you from having control over the software that's in your car (to actually make those changes to the computer you essentially have to reverse engineer the communication and modification protocols, hence why a single programming devices only works on specific model cars)... For all intents and purposes your new car is jailbroken, adding additional security would lock it down and take that control out of the hands of consumers.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Can Valve's Steam Machines Compete Against the Xbox One and PS4?

twistedsymphony Re:I think they plan to compete on the premium end (348 comments)

There are some distinct differences between Value's situation and the examples you provided.

1. All three of those successful consoles from outsider were price competitive within the existing market. If you look at the literal pile of failure consoles throughout history they were all substantially more expensive, and so far what we know about the Steam machine says it will be substantially more expensive.

2. All three of those successful consoles from outsiders were presented as a singular hardware model by a single manufacturer there was no significant hardware differences from one model NES to the next or one Xbox to the next, Valve is planning on developing more of a spec and opening hardware development and marketing up to multiple hardware manufactures... a strategy used by several consoles in the past (most notably the 3DO) to great failure.

3. All three of those successful consoles from outsiders launched with a strong list of exclusive titles that you couldn't get on any other platform. Valve finds themselves in the situation where anything developed for the Steam Machine will also be available on PC, without the machine, this inherently makes their hardware less valuable as there's literally NOTHING it can play that couldn't also be played on a PC or elsewhere.

In general the three factors that historically have contributed to a successful console (by a new entrant into the market or otherwise) has been price competitiveness, and desirable exclusive games, as well as a desirable feature set (such as the PS2's DVD player or the Wii's waggle controls, or the 360/PS3's ability to play games in HD). So far the Steam Machine seems to be missing the mark on most points.

Then again, the iPod looked like a turd on paper when it was released and that thing sold like gang-busters so who knows, stranger things have happened.

about a year ago

Valve Announces Family Sharing On Steam, Can Include Friends

twistedsymphony Re:No co-op (263 comments)

I'm fairly certain he's referring to "local multiplayer" in which 2-4 people play on the same hardware. Personally I see this as a major benefit of console gaming that has kept me from gaming on PCs for decades.

about a year ago

After a User Dies, Apple Warns Against Counterfeit Chargers

twistedsymphony Re:Smart move (457 comments)

Didn't apple recently change their proprietary connector design around the release of the iPhone 5? and doesn't that new design remove support for raw audio/video through their proprietary port?

The old iPhone connector was excusable for the reasons you've stated... the new one has no excuse to not conform to the new standard aside from Apple wanting to further bleed their customers of money.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Confirms Xbox One's Phone Home Requirement, Game Resale Rules

twistedsymphony Re:That doesn't fix anything (581 comments)

The problem isn't with used sales, the problem is that they're changing from a product model to a license model that requires authentication. Just because the publisher are given control over how the license works doesn't solve the problem of when the authentication servers eventually shut down giving you a nice collection of coasters.

As someone who still owns and occasionally plays many of the games bought new in the late 80s early 90s this bothers me... I have no interest in buying games with an expiration date.

about a year and a half ago

Retro Gaming With Raspberry Pi

twistedsymphony Wrong Joystick! (106 comments)

Sorry but as an Arcade Nerd I have to point out that an 8-way joystick as used in the article is the wrong joystick to use. Most classic arcade games from the 80s used 4 or 2 way joysticks... If you want an authentic Pac Man or Donkey Kong experience you need a 4-way joystick, not an 8 way. Heck even the example game in the article (Joust) used a 2-way in the original arcade cabinet... It wasn't until the late 80s/ early 90s that most games started to use 8-way sticks... Games like Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, or Ninja Turtles.

One would assume that if you care enough about the gameplay experience to build a custom joystick then you should also care that you're using the right type of joystick. There are companies that make sticks that are switchable between 4 and 8 way, those are great if you want to play both 80s and 90s era games, but if you're only interested in one era or another, pick the stick that's most appropriate for that.

about a year and a half ago

Windows Blue Is Officially Windows 8.1, Free For Existing Users

twistedsymphony Re:Wow... (491 comments)

Might want to fix that image... before anyone realizes you use IE instead of.... anything else.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Apologizes For Cavalier 'Always-Online' DRM Tweets

twistedsymphony Re:Archer? (236 comments)

I'm a game collector myself, I've bought 3 Xbox 360 consoles and over 150 games on that platform this generation. I will also buy exactly ZERO if the always on DRM is implemented.

For me the biggest problem is the the fact that the games have a finite time after which they will not work. The servers will not be available forever and if I'm spending money on game I want to know that I'll still be able to play them 10 years, 20 years or even further in the future. I have games that I bought in the late 80s and early 90s that I still play, it stands to reason that if I buy games next generation I will want to play them again in the distant future, but that's not going to happen if "Always on" becomes a reality. Given a long enough time frame my having an internet connection is more guaranteed than MS supporting their server for the remainder of my lifespan.

This doesn't even take into consideration people like my friends who serve in the military, and play games in their down time despite not having access to broadband while deployed, or those friends who lost their jobs due to the economy and had to cancel their internet and TV service but kept their gaming consoles as a meager source of entertainment in an otherwise shitty period in their life.

Microsoft earned the lions share of my gaming budget the last two generations and if I were to receive similar gaming experiences in the next generation I have no problem continuing to spend money that way, but if they required an internet connection I will not be giving them any money what-so-ever. I have no interest in purchasing games with an expiration date.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best 3-D Design Software?

twistedsymphony Solidworks (218 comments)

Since your goal is 3D printing or CNC machinging I would say you definitly want a "Solid Modeler" type package. I prefer SolidWorks personally, In my experience it's the defacto among small to medium sized manufacturing shops that keep up with the times, Pro-Engineer is popular too. AutoCAD seems pretty popular among shops that are a little behind the times.

Larger companies (Auto and Aerospace manufacturers) tend to use packages such as Catia, but that's way overkill (and way out of budget) for 3D printing and the like, it's more suited to massive assemblies with thousands or millions of components. Solidworks isn't without it's faults but I find the interface fairly intuitive once you learn the basics and it's perfect for small-scale stuff. I've used it many times to design small components and assemblies for car and computer projects among other things. Most professional software solid-modeling packages can export to whatever format you'll need for your 3D printer, CNC software, or whatever it is that your manufacturer requires.

You want a solid-modeler like Solidworks/Pro-E/Catia/etc because they're all designed with dimensional accuracy in mind. Surface modelers are generally used for 3D graphics production and have a higher concentration on making things look good than being dimensionally accurate. It's like the difference between MS Word and Adobe Photoshop... if you want to write a book, Word is probably the better software, but if you're designing a poster, Photoshop is probably the better choice... both create "documents" but they have very different uses... similarly if you need a 3D design software for manufacturing or real world production you want Solidworks, but if you wanted to make a 3D move or game Maya would be a better choice.

about 2 years ago



An Argument for Migrating from AS400 to SQL Server

twistedsymphony twistedsymphony writes  |  more than 6 years ago

twistedsymphony writes "I work for a medium-sized aerospace manufacturer, we've got about 1500 employees across 3 divisions in the US. We've been in business for nearly half a century and our database system is nearly as old. At some point our old mainframe data was simply dumped into an AS400 without rethinking how the data should be stored, and we're still using that archaic structure today. I've been trying to get my company to improve it's thinking using actual relational structures for their data and possibly migrating to a more modern database platform. I've finally been given the opportunity to write a proposal for such a move. Now I have the problem of summing up the benefits of over two decades worth of advances in technology and methodology to a group of IT tyrants who treat new developments like they're still working on a mainframe. I know some of what I'd like to say but how can I present this argument simply, and tactfully?"

WiiTracker hits 1000

twistedsymphony twistedsymphony writes  |  more than 7 years ago

twistedsymphony writes "Nintendo-Scene's WiiTracker now has a pool over 1,000 unique serial numbers that is uses to track Wii hardware data. Not only is there a massive pool of data to pull from but that data has helped over 80,000 people who have used the search page to determine what is inside their Wii console.

For those of you who don't know what the WiiTracker is: the WiiTracker is a database that contains Wii serial numbers and information about the specific hardware that specific Wii contains. Through the tracker you can enter a serial number of any Wii console and the system will give you an estimate of what hardware is inside based on similar serial numbers and manufacturing trends. This allows you to know what is inside your Wii without even opening it. In addition to the estimate, the data provides an excellent base for the creation of charts and graphs to map out hardware trends in Wii production."

DVD Player Application for Wii Released

twistedsymphony twistedsymphony writes  |  more than 7 years ago

twistedsymphony writes "Nintendo-Scene has a report up of a Homebrew DVD player application released for the Nintendo Wii. The Application requires the use of a modchip with Dual Layer Disc support. It's basically a stripped down version of GameCube Linux with a DVD player application so you'll also need a Gamecube controller to control the DVD playback.

While this might not be the DVD playback feature everyone was waiting for Nintendo to deliver it certainly proves that it's technically possible to do with the Wii."

Link to Original Source

twistedsymphony twistedsymphony writes  |  about 8 years ago

twistedsymphony writes "Thoughthead discusses the various ways the Software rating system has failed, why various state and local governments are going after the industry the way they are and offers some suggestions as to how they might fix their various problems.
The last major stumbling block the Video Game industry has to conquer is not only the most important towards getting the government off their back but also the biggest difference between the movie industry and the video game industry is enforcement. A rating system is useless unless it is actually adhered to, without that it's just noise.

twistedsymphony twistedsymphony writes  |  about 8 years ago

twistedsymphony writes "
With the holidays over many gamers who are now proud owners of an Xbox 360 might be looking for for some good games to start building their collection. Many long time 360 owners might also be looking for some fresh titles to pickup or maybe some cheaper older titles that they might have missed the first time around. From the Xbox 360's launch to now I've compiled a list of 10 Games every Xbox 360 owner should play. This is the creme of the crop in terms of the Xbox 360's offerings after it's first year in the wild and if you own an Xbox 360 you owe it to yourself to at least rent these titles.

twistedsymphony twistedsymphony writes  |  more than 8 years ago

twistedsymphony writes "A friend of mine over in Australia took the PS3 grill joke to a whole new level, he got his hands on a Japanese PS3 and turned it into a working grill. In addition to pictures of him cooking up some tasty sausages and steaks they use the opportunity to make a through disassembly tutorial.
When the final case design of the Playstation 3 was released, it was widely critsised as looking exactly like a George Foreman Grill. A few months later, Photoshopped pictures started emerging on the internet of the Playstation 3 with a grill built into it we decided this would be a great project and challenge to actually build the Real PS3 Grill.


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