3772 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
The Bitmap Brothers
I loved their art style across all of their games.... Xenon 2, Gods, The Chaos Engine, Speedball 2... I owned a PC, so I missed out on much of the audio richness of the Amiga / ST versions, though. I never played 'Z', (I must have been too busy with Doom and Carmageddon) but I see it's been remade by the community: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_(computer_game)#The_Zod_Engine_.28Remake.29
Along with Team 17, Codemasters and Sensible Software, it was a golden age of gaming.
When did polycarbonate become "cheap?"
Er, since always? Injection moulded plastic parts are far cheaper than CNC'd aluminium parts, if you are making enough units. Moulded polycarbonate may be slightly more expensive than moulded ABS, but not by much - and we're only talking about a part that weight a few dozen grams.
Extruded skylight roofng panels and compact discs are also made of polycarbonate.
Re: Oh deary, deary me
Look at the address bar on your browser, and you will see the last characters are 'p1/'
Kindly navigate to Page Two of Part 2 to find what you seek!
I don't use Adblock on The Reg, because a, I like The Reg and b, their adverts are not normally intrusive - they get the balance correct. A month or so back there was an annoying Microsoft advert here with audio, but I can only assume that this was a rare oversight. Were that kind of advert the norm here, then yes I would enable Adblock.
A good number of websites have become almost unusable in the last year or so, with constant in-window 'pop-ups' and elements that break the normal conventions (such as changing the behaviour of my mouse scroll to move between photos, for example). The Reg is not one of them.
There have been stories like this...
...since the early nineties, when schools were getting t'internet and using crude filters. IIRC, Beaver University had to change its name to Colorado University as a result.
Re: secure wireless connection
Financial data sent over a secure wireless network?
Newsflash: People do that every day, from making Amazon purchases to using a 'chip and pin;' card to get a pint and £20 cash-back in the local pub.
One of the wheels is not working properly:
Opportunity’s front right steering actuator has stopped working, so [NASA Mars Exploration Rover lead scientist Steve Squyres] identified that as the possible culprit behind the whole mystery.
Each wheel on the rover has its own actuator. Should an actuator jam or otherwise fail, the robot’s mobility can suffer. In the case of this wheel, it can no longer turn left or right. “So if you do a turn in place on bedrock,” continued Squyres, “as you turn that wheel across the rock, it’s gonna kinda ‘chatter.’” This jittery motion across the bedrock may have propelled the rock out of place, “tiddlywinking” the object from its location and flipping it a few feet away from the rover.
Re: Apple might actually get some money out of me...
>I would very much prefer such a device to have NO connectivity at all.
What, not even USB connectivity so that you can look at graphs of glucose over time?
Fear about 3rd parties having your data are reasonable. Fears about 3rd parties obtaining your data through dodgy security implementation are reasonable. A point-blank dismissal of individuals collecting their own data, to be shared with whmo they choose (and so perhaps saving a district nurse from travelling to the thrice weekly)... a bit daft.
Re: I'm not some kind of hippy or anything, and it's an interesting experiment....
If only the Proof of Work could be something that required human 'brain hours'.
Curiously, I was reading a similar roundup of BC-mining hardware, and it was noted that one supplier had started as a speculator and was now offering hardware, whilst another hardware supplier had since become a speculator.
It seems the two companies have converged upon the same hybrid business model... part gholdminer, part seller of shovels.
Re: EC2, Azure, etc
There are Crypto-currenciues (like Litecoin) based on a Proof of Work (such as Scrypt) that doesn't hand a huge advantage to specialist chips... however, it's said that Litecoin bodged the implementation, meaning that GPUs are still faster than CPUs.
Re: I'm not some kind of hippy or anything, and it's an interesting experiment....
> does the whole mining process not strike anyone else as being an utterly futile waste of electricity and processing power?
Yeah, I know how you feel.
However, the same can be said for the physical mining or gold, or diamonds... at least Bitcoin mining doesn't pollute groundwater or result in hundreds miners being killed each year.
One can almost imagine a swarm of self-replicating machines in orbit, feeding upon satellites for raw materials and turning sunlight into virtual gold... maybe its that sort of disastrous situation that which caused the universe of Star Trek to be a 'post money' society!
They rang me yesterday. In the past, I've pretended to play along with them for a while, before reporting the call to the National Fraud Hotline (just for their statistics really), but yesterday I just used some loud Anglo-Saxon.
It isn't the likes of us on this forum who will be taken in, but more the proverbial 'little old lady'.
Couldn't they have just tried...
... to turn him off and on again?
[Apologies to Graham Linehan]
Re: @Dave 126 - Small Game Hunter
>Shame that the same can't be said about politicians.
You've caught me in a fairly uncharitable mood re politicians... I think it was today's news that the policing bill for last year's badger cull comes to over £1000 per creature... and this reminded me that the House of Commons spent over 100 hours debating the fox-hunting ban, but less than 5 hours debating 2003's invasion of Iraq.
My instinctive reaction is to [ . . . ] the lot of them, but it wouldn't do any good.
Re: Small Game Hunter
Viruses, unlike rhinos or pandas, can be kept on the very edge of extinction nearly indefinitely- I believe that there are still laboratories that retain the smallpox virus, for example.
Re: Excellent news
>its great for controlling population growth
What Natalie said. Birth rate tends to drop with infant mortality rates. Birth rate also drops when levels of female education increase.
Anyway, in parts of Africa a number of people are protected against the worst effects of malaria, but it comes at the cost of Sickle Cell Anaemia if both parents carry a dominant allele.
>Litecoin in particular has caused a shortage of many of AMDs GPUs not just Hawaii
Ironic really, since Litecoin was supposed to be based on the Scrypt POF, which deliberately imposes RAM demands so as not to hand an advantage to GPUs over CPUs. Alas, they didn't implement Scypt properly, so GPUs still give a c10 x advantage over CPUs.
>Right now Nvidia seems to dominate the market for compute languages with its proprietary CUDA, which isn't going to work on an AMD product
True at the moment, but ever since Apple announced the new (AMD-powered) Mac Pro, some software developers have been shifting their wares to work with OpenCL. Speaking naively, the consumer benefits since in time they will no longer be tied to one GPU vendor - nVidia gear can do OpenCL too, the clue is in the name.
Re: No real advantage over a standard RepRap
>Now, something to *really* shake the market would be a scanner that scans an object into the computer and it spits out the design for the printer to print.
1. MS Kinect or similar. Resolution isn't tuned towards human-face scale objects.
2. Turntable, inexpensive line laser (sold as alternative to a spirit level) and some-open source software - suitable for smaller objects
3. Intel's RealSense 3D scanner/tracker that they're pushing out to laptop OEMs.
4. Cameras calibrated for lens distortions, multiple shots processed by some pricey software - manual finessing required.
5. A ruby-tipped Renishaw contact probe (as seen 5 minutes into the iPhone 5 promotional video, and the £20million house of the company's MD was used in the latest episode of Sherlock) - very expensive, suitable for reflective parts that might confuse lasers, possibly not suitable for flexible materials like skin, requires a X,Y,Z transport to be mounted on.
6. A laser scanner. Leica et al can sort you out.
Re: So easy to make....
Haha! On the idea of £35 3D printers using £1000 /kg consumables, a la conventional inkjets... the filament could be marked with a barcode along its entire length... if the printer doesn't recognise the filament as 'official' it will refuse to work!
[must stop giving them ideas]
Re: Wake Me Up
>Or just port the existing 3d meshes from the videogame
I actually found myself trying to do that once... some architects had supplied a 3D walk-through of a newbuild museum as a Unity executable... we needed the geometry of the building to submit a proposal for a site-specific artwork. A quick assessment suggested that it would be quicker to rebuild the structure from a series of 2D AutoCAD plans than it would be to extract geometry from the Unity file.
If Games Workshop were smart, they might consider 'augmented reality' board gaming... 3D cameras and projectors focused on the real miniatures etc...
Re: So easy to make....
> For £50? Yep, it's worth remembering that my old school's first Laser Printer cost them £5000... these days yours for £50.
The RepRap Omerod kit contains 4 x stepper motors (£10 ea on BangGood), 1 x 500W atx PSU (say £50), 1 x custom Arduino + driver board £110, PLA filament @ £20... so that's £200 before you include 2 x aluminium extrusions, threaded rods, belts, plus a handful of laser cut and 3D printed parts, nuts, screws, sensors, dodgy microSD card... RS have them, for £500.
[bloody open source wotsits... had to change my laptop's date to November 2013 before the Arduino drivers would install on Win7 64 due to an update on Saturday... upon return from pub no progress has been made... what kind of name is github anyway? Sounds like my local ConClub to me...]
Re: So easy to make....
> If you assemble it yourself then it would be your fault that its doesn't work!
Tell me about it! I'm just about to down tools and go to the pub, after a weekend of assembling a RepRap Ormerod (the one they've just started selling through RS). I've completed the mechanical construction, and have begun to converse with it's Arduino-based controller... just enough enough to know that I need to chase down what is probably either my wiring fault, or a dodgy thermistor.
My background is in CAD and Product Design (i.e I'm not quite the 'average Joe'), but whilst I'm intending to have fun with it (and I will be able to use for small production run items, prototypes and jigs), I'm struggling to think of 'killer application' for end-use parts. A £500 machine and days of assembly to create a missing curtain-rail mounting bracket to save £1.99 and a trip to the ironmongers...
Still, I've enjoyed constructing this RepRap - it's like a LEGO Technic set when I was boy (but with IKEA-like issues with fettling parts and unpolished documentation)!
Anyway, did I mention the pub?
Re: Wake Me Up
You mean a Von Neumann's 'universal constructor'?
>So his blessing on a product is more of a geek award than a blessing that the product is nice to use.
Sometimes maybe, but perhaps not in this case. This is the same Woz who said that the American consumer isn't getting the best product possible, because of Apple, Saumsung et al won't share their features with each other. He has a point.
As for Xiaomi, they try to sell hardware at close to cost in order to bring people into their services - so more like Amazon than Apple. In addition, they make their version of Android, MIUI, available to other handsets, a version that has some thoughtful features in it.
Re: Can't afford it
Your bin has lots of memory? Oh well. I don't know about you, but I'd rather my bin forgets why I put in it!
Re: Ditched the floppy without supplying a practical replacement
At that time, external IoMega ZIP drives were in the £90 territory. I never could work why Sony missed a trick by not trying a 'Data MiniDisk' portable player/recorder earlier in the format's lifespan. 100MB doesn't seem like much today, but compared to 1.44MB it was lovely.
>Perhaps its different when you are spending someone else's cash?
No, it's his money; he's the MD of his own video production / motion graphics company. He has done the sums, and is buying one. Since his business has grown steadily since he started it, I'm inclined to believe he knows what he is doing.
>I hope he realises the new Mac Pro maxes out at 64GB of RAM which will put a severe crimp on doing anything memory-intensive.
Not really. He currently uses the older Mac Pros and a 32 GB Hackintosh, and hasn't come close to running into RAM limits. His workflow is mainly video - compositing, editing, colour grading etc - but also ray-trace rendering of 3D models and compositing the results into the above. RAM is just not the current bottle neck, and again, he knows what he is doing.
It is not the machine for me - I'm a PC based CAD jockey. My level of CAD work just doesn't require the extreme storage IO that video work does, and intensive tasks like rendering can be distributed across any CPUs/GPUs across the network.
>I think the shift that you're missing is that once you decouple the 'expansion chassis' from the computer you can use a number of different his machines to drive your fixed peripherals.
Indeed. Since some of those expansion cards cost upwards of £2000, being able to use the same card in a thunderbolt chassis in the studio with a Mac Pro, as well as with a Macbook when shooting video on site is very useful.
Should a host machine go belly-up, a new machine can be swapped in more easily.
Re: Not falling for the hype
My friend is buying one soon, and he isn't bothered for a moment by the inability to add harddisk space. This might be because his workflow (video production, 3D rendered motion graphics etc) is exactly what this machine is designed for. Its a tool that will save him time, allowing him to earn more money.
He'll shunt current projects to the internal SSD from a cabinet of external redundant storage via ethernet or Thunderbolt, and back out again as required.
Re: MAC Pro - CPU is Upgradable
>A shipping date has been set for the new Mac Pro, which is the only fruity computer which allows any sort of upgrading.
Why the so demonstrably incorrect assertion?
The 27" iMac allows the RAM to be upgraded.
Crosswords and Intelligence Agencies.
There is that lovely story of a leading WW2-era newspaper crossword compiler being a master at a boarding school. The school was based near an American base in England. The security agencies were concerned because words associated with the secret planning of D-Day were appearing as answers in the crosswords this school master set. The agencies had to consider if this was coincidence, conspiracy, or if boys at the school picked up on words being used by the nearby US servicemen and repeated them in the school, thus subconsciously influencing the crossword compiler.
>The premise is genius as marketing you don't recognize as such is extremely valuable.
If that is true, the chances are that the adverts are on the forums that comment on this puzzle, rather than amongst the breadcrumbs of the puzzle itself. Why? Because (I assume) far more people are following the progress of this treasure hunt than are actually participating in it.
There is still the cost/benefit analysis to be done by the marketing team... for the cost of setting up this puzzle (okay, probably far less than creating and airing a TV advert) they want in return either lots of eyeballs, or to market to a specific (self-selecting group). You only want to advertise to a select group if they are a, much more likely than your average punter to buy your product, b, if they are very rich (higher margins), c, you have a way of getting your message under the viewer's radar (as you suggest), or a combination of the above.
Re: Its simple
>Its a recruitment drive but not by the alphabet soup government agencies, or by a commecial contractor [...] Its for the latest Evil overlord project.
Let's assume that's true. Can anyone comment on the how the traditional Three Letter Agencies might fare at deciphering this puzzle, if they haven't already? Genuine question.
Hopefully, yeah. My take was always that MS knew that plenty of people were happy with Win7, so felt they could be a little bit experimental with Win8- if the masses didn't like it, they could roll out Win9, just as they did with Win7 after Vista.
With Intel pushing out a Kinect-like 3D sensor reference design to laptop OEMs, ( 'RealSense': http://www.pcworld.com/article/2084810/hands-on-intels-realsense-is-both-productive-and-fun.html Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and NEC ), Win9 would be a chance for MS to introduce free-space gestures to Windows.
Re: Dear Google
>I like MY documents on MY hard drive thank you very much.
I assume that you either encrypt your hard drive, or don't have any sensitive data about 3rd parties stored on it. We still get news stories about USB sticks left on trains, or laptops stolen from parked cars. Several years ago my mate was issued a works laptop running a custom Linux distro, purely for logging onto his organisation's VPN; they did not want their data on a hard drive in the wild.
Re: I have a chromebook
>I can see a lot of these being sold to older people as it does browsing, email etc which for many of them is everything they want.
I think Big_Ted has hit the nail on the head.
>(the determined recipient could, of course, just use a separate video camera to capture messages permanently).
It's not uncommon for people to have a works phone and a personal phone - the latter could be used to photograph the screen of the former. Heck, just use the camera on a tablet or laptop.
Re: highly dubious
Prototyping of the concept would be done in the USA, but the fine-tuning of the production processes is done in China - where the production lines are. Anyway, it's a moot point, cos it isn't an Apple device.
Re: How about on UK train lines?!
It's like the game Eddie Mair plays on P.M on Radio 4 every Friday- he rings Jonathan Dimbleby as he travels by train to wherever Any Questions is held that week, and sees whether the call drops out.
Re: Glasses free 3D
1- The Nintendo 3DS
2- the bloke who attached an electrode to each temple, thus causing his eyes to blink alternately at 30 fps (sadly, this technique was a hoax)
One assumes that glasses-free 3D television would require the the viewer to sit in a specific spot. If the mechanism is tunable, it could potentially track the users head using a Kinect-like device.
>Now what would be really cool would be a DMX controller!
There are quite a few DMX devices that support MIDI triggering, and all the iDevices have Wireless MIDI baked in... so you should be able to hack / patch something together. There are also a few open-source applications that map iDevice sensor output (accelerometer etc) to MIDI.
Re: Dolby Vision
Similar yeah, but taken up a few notches. The Brightside press release makes several mentions of local dimming of the backlighting LEDs. The newer Dolby Vision system includes additional data about how bright to make some pixels, and far brighter LEDs to expand the dynamic range. Their prototype was a cinema projector focused onto a 21" screen.
I'm more excited about Dolby's recently announced Dolby Vision than I am about higher resolution. Like some of their audio protyocols, it covers the entire process, from camera to screen. Basically, screens that support it will be able to display a huge dynamic range - from deep shadows to very bright highlights - but the protocol also describes the extra data stream.
Re: Great, bitrotten cars
Bluetooth... further encodes / decodes what is already received / stored in a compressed format. Unless those two codec formats are the same, you're going to suffer a further loss in quality.
Many people take time in their car as an opportunity to charge their phone, so using audio over microUSB won't require the user to plug in any more cables than they were going to anyway.
Re: "music radio [...] bland and uninspiring"?
6 Music is superb, but the excellent programming only highlights that the sound quality is not what it could be.
Re: How much!
A few hundred £s a year for this service... compare to the tens of thousands £ extra this car costs over a 'good enough' alternative. Know your market.
In the Cotswolds, I enjoy better 3G data coverage than I do DAB. YMMV.
Re: Caching will only get you so far
>why not just go for a in car system which offers internet and allows people to access what they like?
That is what Volvo have just done - their car acts as a WiFi hotspot.
However, will what *you* want to listen to be available through a reliable and sensible interface, suitable for using whilst driving?
The only reason you might want to limit the functionality is if you are trying to wrangle a better deal from the mobile service operators: having the car's 3G tied to a music-only service means that it won't cannibalise data tariff sales to the consumer's mobile phone. Therefore, the operators might offer a Europe-roaming car-music-only tariff at a much cheaper rate (on the grounds that it is better to take some money than no money)
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