Re: Nostalgia crisis
Dune 2 is available for free on the Google Play Store - it plays very well on an Android tablet. Well worth revisiting.
6619 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Dune 2 is available for free on the Google Play Store - it plays very well on an Android tablet. Well worth revisiting.
You are a twit.
>I'm quitting the beer except for events and holidays, so gaming becomes all the more important.
And fair play to you too, AC. You don't need beer to be a good and interesting person. A change is as good as a rest, as they say.
>One small problem: you have to turn your head to "look sideways" but you have to keep looking at the same spot (your monitor)
You are quite right, DropBear, I had that thought too. Then I remembered that these PC gamers often have two or three monitors side-by-side, or a very wide monitor with a 'cinema' aspect ratio (extra monitors are fairly inexpensive compared to enthusiast-level GPUs and fancy flight-sim controllers). Also, the IR trackers don't track eyeballs, so there is some margin. Plus, the movement of the gamer's head doesn't have to be translated in a linear fashion to the virtual avatar's head movement.
Like I said, I haven't tried IR head-tracking, but if I became a gaming enthusiast the low cost of entry means I might give it a go.
EDIT: I now see Gordon 10 has confirmed that the head tracking doesn't have to be linear. Hmmm, I wonder if people have tried using it for productivity software and having a very wide virtual desktop... :)
>VR will get amazing once real time motion capture
Hmmm, just wondering what the current latency of the MS Kinect's skeletal tracking mode is. Certainly it can do all you mention, with the possible exception of the very low latency required for VR.
> Side-note: Speaking of squinting ... what kind of ocular havoc will this cause with long-term use? I'm pretty certain that's a serious question ...
The military might have some data on that, because the Rift works on the same principle as Night Vision Goggles - that is, the image is presented to you as being around 1.3 metres from your eyes - which is where their focus falls without any muscles being used.
Contrast this with reading a book, or watching a television a few metres away - both activities require the eye to be actively focused with muscles.
Indeed, most of the reviews are very positive about the hardware, and the concerns voiced are those largely common to most MKI products. Most reviews also say to wait and see, because:
- You can't buy one yet anyway, and won't until the pre-orders have been fulfilled in a couple of months
- No available game yet makes a killer case for VR
- The Rift's handheld motion controllers won't be available til later in the year
- Competing products will be around by the end of the year or sooner (HTC, Sony, Samsung)
- It can only get cheaper
-It's going to be summer time soon, so you should be playing outside!
(okay, the last point is mine)
It was in a review of Elite dangerous that I first heard of IR Head Tracking for gaming.
Basically you play on a monitor as per usual, but using some IR lights on your head, and a modified web-cam, you can 'look' around your cockpit. If you're already wearing a gaming headset (or headphones) for audio, then it won't add any significant bulk to your head, and the cost of entry is low, especially if you roll your own:
I haven't tried such a system myself, but one of these days I might just build a gaming PC, play Elite and surrender my social life!
"In short: don't be an idiot and spend $600 on a first-gen [anything]" - a cheaper, sleeker more reliable version will be along in eighteen months.
Unless, of course, you have the so much money that you can afford to spend a bit here and there on novelties. In which case, fair to play you - I'd have spare cash too if I didn't spend it on beer (Augmented Reality?)
...I do want virtual spaceships, alien worlds and explosions!
Well great. Any study of control systems would tell you that the simple on/off isn't the most efficient, or even best at maintaining a constant temperature. The only plus to such a system is that it is simple, and simple to understand.
Sorry, I thought that this was an IT site.
>Labour or lack of DIY skill is why useless, insecure "wireless" burglar alarms and cameras are sold instead of cheaper and secure wired ones.
I'm more inclined to blame house builders - it would cost next to faff-all to run some CAT5 cable - or just general purpose conduits - between rooms in a house before the plasterboard is put up, yet I have yet to see it in a new build.
I've seen the interiors of several houses that were built after domestic broadband became the norm, yet none have such built-in cabling or conduits.
The Nest maybe overkill, but modern thermo-control systems definitely do save money. I'm thinking of the ones where you tell it at what time in the morning you want your house to be at X degrees, and it then achieves it in the mots economical way.
"HooliXYZ is Hooli’s experimental division. The dream kitchen. The moonshot factory. The laboratory of possibility. The midwife of magic. The womb of wonders.
"This group is led by beloved and universally distinguished Sole Head Dreamer Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti, who was co-founder, principal innovator and chief visionary of Pied Piper. He is just three credits shy of an undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Oklahoma. He owns a boat."
To clarify, I meant iPhone-type fingerprint scanners can be fooled with readily accessible materials and techniques. I didn't mean all fingerprint scanners, and I didn't make that clear, sorry.
Spoof scanner, starting with photograph:
Spoofing scanner starting with an actual fingerprint:
Gain access to an iPhone with a $5 wrench:
>There seem to be two entirely different points being made, neither of which appear particularly useful.
'Seem' appears to be the operative word - I found it quite a hard article to parse, with quotes interspersed by the Reg's comments, and I couldn't find a link to a source, or even a mention of the event or whatever at which these HP guys were speaking.
However, I personally didn't get the impression that they were advocating 'off duty' work ID badges. There was mention of replacing cards "with something we wear anyway" - suggesting something like a watch that generates RSA codes, or a bracelet with a RFID tag. Possibly. I for one would like a link to the source material to see if the HP quotes make more sense in a different context.
Orbital Mind: "Ah, you're closest. Could you inform the ambassador that he's talking to his brooch?"
- Iain M Banks, Look to Windward, in which someone at a party has left their clip-on terminal at home.
>"But seriously, current generation fingerprint scanners can be fooled with a photograph"
>>Most of them can't because they don't actually look at fingerprints at all, but rather the pattern of blood vessels underneath.
@Cuddles - you are quite right, I am sure that 'proper' fingerprint scanners can't be easily fooled. My comment was based on the iPhone-level of fingerprint scanner which demonstrably can be fooled with the method I referred to - probably because a trade-off was made against its security in order to make it small. Because we were talking about the possibility of a fingerprint scanner on a badge, I thought that the small scanners made for phones was a fairer comparison than scanners made for door panels etc.
I also expected below-the-skin scanners to make their way into phones in due course (the mouse/mousetrap game).
Hospitals are a good place to look at when thinking about ID. Like the military, uniforms are used to denote the role of the employee.
Also, hospitals are areas where vetted employees and members of public the mix. And hospitals have restricted areas (drug stores etc) and systems.
We also see special examples of traditional 'wearable technology': nurses wear fob watches, in order to make it easier for them to wash their wrists.
>Fingerprints are allegedly easily fooled by a picture.
My fingerprints can tell the difference between a real face and a photograph very easily, thanks! Do you suffer from vibration white finger? ;)
But seriously, current generation fingerprint scanners can be fooled with a photograph, but you do need a laser printer, acetate sheet, PCB photo-resist and a few hours. Plus a good clear photograph. However, the mouse/mousetrap game is such that next gen scanners will incorporate further hurdles - thermometers, perhaps.
Me too - it was just wasn't reinforced very often. On the other hand, some people did love filling in Abnormal Occurrence Notifications. To be fair, we did have turnstile gates to get access to site in the first place.
Other workplaces used badges to unlock doors, but people would often hold the door open for others - good manners again!
And then there were the workplaces with badge-entry doors, but if you yanked the door hard enough it would open for anyone. The Royal Mail postman knew this trick, which meant he didn't have to wait for a few minutes to be let in!
Whaaat? Where did they say that?!
All they are talking about is a badge or ID card that can authenticate it's proper holder, so that it is of limited use to anyone who finds or steals it. ID badges are common place in workplaces. Since ID badges are generally the same size as a credit card, any technology that works in an ID badge could potentially be ported to a consumer item like a credit card if there is a demand for it.
A credit card that requires input from its owner to be used? That would answer some fears consumers have about lost or stolen credit cards. Many people are already using the same concept - they can buy things using an object they carry (a mobile phone, via NFC or PayPal or whatever) but to do so requires their fingerprint or passcode to be entered first.
Err, HP didn't mention garments.
FYI, the term 'wearable' in technology is generally taken to mean items that are worn similarly to jewellery (badges around the neck like necklaces or pinned to a shirt like a brooch, items worn around the wrist like a watch), or items such as spectacles or earphones. Whilst the term 'wearable' can encompass items of clothing, that is not its primary meaning in this context (and practically, electronics and washing machines are not natural allies)
> It could also be the firm is looking for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
Seriously? Irrespective of HP's 'solution', authentication of employees - or indeed of consumers accessing services - could be improved. The headache people have with passwords is an obvious place to start looking at this problem.
Obviously though, a name badge (designed to be visible to all) isn't the ideal place for an ersatz RSA dongle.
The biggest security issue around ID Badges though is cultural - I've worked on sites where we were told again and again to challenge anyone whose badge wasn't visible. Of course, few people did, because to do so would be bad manners...
>If there was only some sort of file, you could download, or heck even go out and buy and just with a click or two, it would be there on your pc.
Of the various ways of adding software to systems (app stores, apt-get, software managers, and whatever it is that OSX does), the traditional Windows' method is my least favourite.
>And completely lacking in technical accuracy, of course. Magical compression - really?
Yeah... but but if the writers of Silicon Valley knew what the Next Big Thing was going to be, they wouldn't be writing a TV show about it - they would be seeking funding! The 'Magical Compression' is just a McGuffin, a stand-in for a hot property made by a start-up that the big players want to get their hands on.
It is a satire about a culture and people, not a documentary about technology. So the writers' only choices for their McGuffin were:
1 Something that no one knows the value of (this would confuse the audience).
2 Something that already exists (this would confuse the audience)
3. Something that is impossible but clearly useful ( the audience knows it's impossible but choose to go along with it's utility)
>The answer's obvious..... ...... BOFH, the movie.
So the pitch to the studio execs might be:
"The IT Crowd meets Reservoir Dogs and Zombie Land"
We need to Matt Berry and Ben Wheatley involved.
And cringing scenes where B-list rock stars have to fake enthusiasm for the developer conference they've been paid to perform at!
Oh, the Silicon Valley TV series has nailed that, and many other facets of developer culture!
>Many have tried... ...all have failed.
Actually, Mike Judge's Silicon Valley is really rather good, and unlike your 'hacker'-based examples it revolves around app developers and coders.
The well-received show Mr. Robot is about a hacker, and makes a fair bit of effort to be more realistic (of course there is artistic licence, and the story is filtered through a straight-up unreliable narrator.)
Still, if Apple is looking to what Netflix did with 'House of Cards' (an adaptation of a proven premise, lead actor Kevin Spacey always a draw), then myself I would have chosen a different topic. Still, it will be easier towait and see how it fares on Rotten Tomatoes than it is to prejudge it!
I think it might be difference in approach... generally, women benefit more from encouragement than men, so a women's forum that was judgemental would soon be empty. It does mean that a forum where, at least initially, 'all opinions are equally valid' can appear daft to people who consider themselves objective and problem-solving, but it does encourage more people to participate. It does mean that more views are heard, and really you can't judge the merits or otherwise of an idea until you have heard it. This mottos is required, because it very common for people with good ideas to doubt themselves. As Bertrand Russell said: "Morons are cocksure, the intelligent are full of doubt".
Yes, men can benefit from encouragement too, but in so much of our society (I don't care whether 'tis nature or nurture here) men compete with each other, or value the sentiment "I'm shown myself this can work, so bugger the lot the of 'em I'm gonna do it anyway!". Sometimes this attitude is seen in successful women, too. Sometimes when a woman has experienced sexism early in her career it shows them that some people are just idiots and not to take any notice of them, and to instead to trust their own judgement. It is this trusting of one's own judgement that is often necessary to trail blaze. A lot of scientific advance has been made by rejecting - or at least questioning - the orthodoxy.
This competitive streak can also produce good results.
Okay, I'm massively over-generalising here, but that is inevitable. As a male on the edge of the Aspy spectrum, I value objectivity. And the lumping of individual females together as women (either by men, or indeed by women) has always seemed an odd approach, when its easier to know individual people.
Hard to call. I'd never heard of Gadgette before today. I quick look and it seems on a par with Gizmondo or Engadget or whatever. Even saw a gadget that I'd not seen elsewhere that I might find useful.
It was disappointing to see the some 'Trending topics' ads at the bottom (y'know, the ones "You wouldn't believe...' and '10 celebrities who came back from the dead sea thinner' etc.) However, that is far more to do with the state of online journalism (AdBlocker et al killing revenue, content confused with advertising) than it is to do with feminist issues specifically.
If the creation of a tech site for women is an admission that women might use some tech differently, then naturally tech vendors might send her different kit to review. The trouble is, there are some assholes on the internet (and they make a lot of noise), and if I as a man were to make an observation like "Women are more likely to carry a bag to work and the pub, therefore they might feel differently about the size of smartphone they use since a jeans pocket isn't always a limiting factor" my observation might be dismissed as sexist. Probably by a lunatic fringe, though. I'm pretty sure that nutters (and psychos, self-promoters, opportunists etc) can be of either sex.
You misspelt 'masochistic' as 'mischievous'. Has your auto-correct got its undergarments in a twist?
Eeek! Please everyone, make sure that Someone Else doesn't see this 'news' story:
>HOW do you insert and wipe a USB stick without it running evil HID mode software?
Use a dedicated Linux/RecoveryOS box (a Raspberry Pi perhaps?) to format the USB stick. The Linux box itself is to be run from a fresh or read-only image every time it is booted.
Of course this doesn't help you if the USB stick pulls some more sophisticated shenanigans, such as presenting a different bank of storage after a pre-set period of time.
>Let it not be said that all I do spew snarky quips and bring people down... behold the steering-assisted hand-held router.
Haha! Thanks for that DropBear! Genuinely, I had not seen that before! It just goes to show that the difference between me an a MIT student is that I brain-fart an idea onto the Register, and an MIT student actually builds something potentially useful!
>...where the applications are pretty much limited to watching surround panoramas
Some are professionally produced. And in any case, the same hardware can be used to watch traditional video content on a virtual big screen. I seem to recall the Sony Walkman also started life providing in-flight entertainment to a rich and well-connected person (the then CEO of Sony).
>That would be nice - as it is, they cost an arm, two legs, half a dozen kidneys and some change.
Some do, some don't. The higher end models are pricey due in part to the GPU requirements - but GPUs will always be sold anyway; Sony's planning a PlayStation 4.5 for driving 4K televisions and the same grunt could power a VR headset. And hey, Nintendo made a killing with its Wii console that wasn't trying to compete with the graphical prowess of its rivals.
Not sure why you cite the £500+ flagship models of Apple and Samsung... every midrange phone today is a match for last year's flagship. All you've shown is that there are a fair few people out there who will spend £500+ on a gadget when a far cheaper gadget will do much the same job.
>Have you actually seen what one of those "360" multi-cameras aimed at enthusiats (not even pros) costs? Clue: almost a grand. Yup, aunt Jane will surely start shooting her holiday pics and videos with one of those one any day now...
I wasn't just talking about a 360 rig, but the sort of post-processing that lets people watch a sports match from any angle ( very fancy post-processing). The very technology that Intel acquired last week. The sports viewing market is huge, and will happily punt on a few new technologies.
I don't really want to watch Aunt Jane's videos, but Aunt Martha in Australia might want to virtually relive a family reunion. Really though, the £1000 price range was what half decent camcorders were a few years back, and they only seemed to be used for family parties and the like.
>Is that why only every single game studio who obviously promised VR support in their Kickstarter a few years ago is now wishing they haven't, going on about how even though the engine they use allegedly supports VR but actually making the game interface work half-decently in VR is much harder than they expected?
This old chicken-and-egg scenario has been played countless times in IT. Why bother writing software for a platform with no users? Why bother buying a platform with no software? It always resolves itself one way or another.
>Yup, I'm sure those supporting folks are working together in such a sublime harmony pushing all in a single direction, not at all the way ants "collaborate" by pushing the same thing from all sides simultaneously...
Even their rival efforts serve to raise public awareness of VR.
>Because I'm so not seeing it...
You're trying very hard not to see it. But have an upvote for taking the time to expand upon your views. I do not agree with you sir, but will defend to virtual death etc etc
Only some types of game benefit from anything more than an i5 CPU - it's the GPU that makes the difference. I don't know how much that might change with Vulkan, DirectX 12 and AMD's APUs.
So yeah, Intel CPUs get more power efficient but don't get much faster - though they do boast less useless integrated graphics.
- in that my laptop is around 5 years old and still works fine for me (CAD, Photoshop etc). It is because the Intel chip in my PC is fast enough already that I haven't bought an Intel chip since.
Curiously enough, my laptop has roughly the same RAM and internal storage as an iPad Pro. I'm not championing Apple now, but just noting that an ARM-based system is now being sold that could fulfil all my needs if specific productivity software was available.
(I have no idea about how fast an iPad's Imagination GPU is compared to my aging nVidia 9600M GS with 32 CUDA cores, but I get the impression that the iPad can shunt polygons around cheerfully enough for many CAD purposes)
Okay, a Magic Workshop.
The easy shorthand would be 'Tony Stark's workshop from the Iron Man movies'. More immediate, my 'magic workshop' might consist of a Kinect sensor and a projector. The idea is to better integrate the designing (paper, CAD) and the physical making (mixture of hand and machine techniques) for greater efficiency, whilst aiding safety.
- physical measurements I make are instantly available in CAD, or used to define driving dimensions I've already defined.
- a projector can help me mark out cuts
- cuts off power tools if my fleshy bits get too close
- a self-correcting 3D printer. Parts are printed within a 3D scanner, so the printer can correct for alignment in real time.
- jigsaws with steering assistance
- mixing catalysts can be done with audio cues, so no measurement vessel is required.
I'm just brainstorming, purely to provide examples of interacting with computers without a mouse and keyboard.
An example of a 'smart desk' might be HP's Sprout desktop, which incorporates a 3D scanner, camera and projector, for rapid back and forth between physical media (pens and paints) and virtual (Photoshop, CAD etc).
>Mass market VR gear? That's as likely now as it was 20 years ago, in other words: not going to happen.
It's not just VR - the related technologies (Intel's RealSense, Google's Project Mango, MS's Kinect, plus Qualcom and numerous video-stitching cleverness) have applications in machine automation (most disruptively, potentially, self-driving cars), and in changing how many of us interact with computers*.
On the VR front, things are very different to 20 years ago when the only consumer headset I remember was from Forte Technologies. Here's why:
- low cost of entry for consumers to dip a toe in the virtual waters (just pop your 5" smartphone into a $5 lens contraption)
- more sophisticated, dedicated headsets inexpensive since they share components (screen, gyros, accelerometers) with smartphones
- video content cheaper to make, due to cheaper multiple digital cameras and fancy post-processing.
-straightforward support from game-creation engines
- support from widely recognised consumer brands, such as Sony, Samsung, Steam, Intel, Qualcomm
I'm not saying that mass market VR is a sure thing, but the landscape is very different to the mid 90s.
* I'm not a coder, and I'm not talking about flying through a file system a la Neuromancer or Jurassic Park. I'm a product designer and I want a magic workshop.
And check it out:
Solder that doesn't require heat at the point of application. The molten is contained within micro-spheres that contain no nucleation points - so the solder remains liquid at room temperature. Upon application, the spheres are broken and the liquid solder solidifies.
There ain't half been some clever bastards!
Oi, don't knock the chemists! : )
But seriously, don't. They are always making the lives of people who make stuff easier. Not just in the 3D printing space, but in manufacture and construction. They go largely unsung, too.
It is just lovely to use two-part car body filler - it doesn't sag, can be carved before it sets, and can be sanded to an incredibly smooth finish with 15 minuses of application. It is just so handy.
It saves so many headaches to have a tube of moisture-cured polyurethane adhesive/sealant/filler. It can be applied in the wet, is waterproof, over-printable, remains permanently elastic, and can be given a good finish.
Yesterday I was looking at the wares of a company who make masterbatches (mixed materials) for injection moulding. Chemists are forever fine-tuning every variable for the benefit of their customers. A geeky example - plastic dyes that don't stick to the screws and niches of IM molds, so that switching production between different coloured parts is quicker, easier and more economical.
Yes, I've seen this feature in specific apps before (notably Google Books).
No, it is not realistic to expect people not to use their phones to access the internet.
>@Dave, sorry to disappoint you, but f.lux IS available for Android.
Ah, so it is. That's new. Last I went looking for it (I'm an Android user) it wasn't available. The retrieval date for the Wikipedia article suggests the same:
The developer announced that an Android version is in development.  [ "F.A.Q.". f.lux. Retrieved January 15, 2016 ]
My point stands that the Android was the last mainstream OS that f.Lux came to (after OSX, Linux, Windows and jailbroken iOS), though of course searching the Google Play Store for f.Lux has resulted in similar products for some time.
>Yes, back in the day they used to make special cameras for this sort of photography
They are called Tilt Shift lenses, are used in architectural photography.
>I thought the built in SIM card idea had surfaced and died a couple of years ago.
Nah, the soft SIM has been present and correct in some iPads since Apple introduced them in 2014. There is still a physical SIM slot, so you can put in a locally-purchased SIM if that suits you. Obviously the negotiations with telcos were different for data iPads than voice iPhones.
I have a Z3 Compact (4.6"), and it is significantly wider than the 4" iPhone 5.
I have average-sized hands for a British male, and my thumb can easily reach 80% or so of the Sony's screen, and 100% with a slight stretch. If the dials on my use-case were twiddled so that I spent more time speaking on the phone, I might have chosen a 4" phone (if a 4" Android with fast internals existed) because it is just that little bit more secure in the hand (the hand is closer to it's relaxed, slightly curled position).
A 4" phone is like playing cards, designed to be easy to hold in a hand. A 5"+ phone is like a postcard, better for displaying a picture. All design and engineering is compromise.
>It looks like Apple may be starting to reduce prices in the face of the Chinese starting to think about Europe and the US.
Also Apple's plans regarding China and India. Don't overlook how much cheaper the new iPhone 5 SE is compared to all of Apple's previous new up-to-date (internally) iPhones.
> but I was a bit surprised to see this new phone in an ancient (in tech terms) case.
This iPhone 5 SE is in an old industrial design to differentiate it from the pricier 6S and 6S Plus models, with which it shares most of its critical components (SoC, camera).
The iPhone SE is cheaper at launch than even the plastic iPhone 5C. This is the first time Apple has offered a fully up-to-date iPhone at such a low (by their standards) price.
I like Sony's Xperia phone designs, and don't think they should change for change's sake, though I can't help but note that if my Z3 Compact had an aluminium bezel like the iPhone 5S/SE it wouldn't currently have a broken screen (The Z3 Compact is a great phone, but the official Sony case is rubbish, and only protects the phone on three sides... and guess which side fell against a sharp edge)
>They have had a pretty good run and there main job now is not to lose customers. They are definitely in maintenance mode.
I largely agree, though I will note that 'the next big thing' is an 'unknown unknown'.
In support of your statement, the iPhone SE is the cheapest ever new iPhone, cheaper than the plastic iPhone 5 C was at launch. For the the first time, a new iPhone with the latest internals and camera (more or less) is less than £400. This is the price range that I bought my last Android phone (Xperia Z3 Compact) just over a year ago, and until recently was full of Chinese phones with the same specs as pricey Korean flagships (though these have begun to drop to the £200 ish range, if you can find one).
Apple's nomenclature is becoming a little unwieldy, it's true.