* Posts by Octopoid

59 posts • joined 23 Nov 2009


What the BLOCK? Microsoft to gobble Minecraft-maker 'for $2bn'

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Attention, addicts: LEGO meth lab pays homage to Breaking Bad


In the interest of fairness

I think I should just point out that LEGO aren't "getting away with" anything - this is made by a third party, not LEGO..

(Of course it's all 100% compatible and some of it may well be modified original LEGO bricks. Not sure about the legality of all that, but plenty of companies seem to be doing it!)

Sony PS3 extends lead over Microsoft's Xbox 360 by a cool million


Re: downloads

"That doesn't make any economical sense to me at all."

Really? Looks like Economics 101 to me - Brick and mortar shops are subject to market forces, hence they are forced to be competitive. Sony and Microsoft are not, hence if you want to use the only download service available, you will pay their prices.

Remember, the companies running these download stores are the same ones who set the RRPs in the first place - why wouldn't they charge their own recommended retail price?

Scan co-jacking nets crooks '€40k in IT gear'


Domain Name

I'm trying to think of what possible mispelling of "scan" you could use and people not notice it was different - the closest I can think of is "scam"...

Ubisoft insists DRM 'a success'


Less than what?

So firstly, by saying there are *less* pirates, they are admitting that people do still manage to bypass their fancy pants "always online" DRM and pirate it anyway.

In which case, are they saying that people who were going to pirate it anyway, don't because of the DRM that isn't going to affect them? Do they mean less copies are pirated as a percentage overall, or as a number of pirate downloads?

It strikes me it was probably just less popular, not that a DRM method which was stripped off inside 3 hours and not included in the pirated version actually forced less people to download a pirated copy somehow. Or are they suggesting that each pirate cracked the game themselves, and less of them were capable of doing so?!?

We can be thankful of one thing tho. Ubisoft haven't quite got to Capcoms new anti-piracy measure yet:


I genuinely never thought I'd see the day. :(

Lost 1967 spacecraft found crashed on the Moon



Well, I'd say that 3 doesn't have to be outside the universe necessarily. It simply has to comprise a force or beast which for whatever reason does not have to conform to the same physical laws everything else does.

For example, here we have an Islamic site proclaiming that 3 is basically Allah, using this exact same entropy paradox:


I think if 3 was to prove to be the reason, chances are it would not be something which could be represented within what we know as the physical dimensions. 3 is really the wildcard - it can't be rationalised in the same way as 1, 2 or 4.

If we are to assume that 3 is God, in whatever form, I don't think that presumes that he would be an outside force - could well be inside, in a closed system, he's just got op, and hence does not have to conform to 1 or 2.

.. Now that you've mentioned it though, the notion of a God could actually vaguely fit in with the first 2 laws, if he was just considered to be an outside force, and as few regard a God as a physical manifestation, I suppose he sort of would be. What does "within" really mean, when you remove the concept of 3 dimensional space?

(Purely for the record, I don't personally believe in the existance of 3... :P)


Re: Meta-clangers

If the universe is not of an inifinite age, then the energy was created at some point, hence the first law of thermodynamics is incorrect.

If the energy was not created, then it has always been present, and hence total entropy shave have already occured, and the 2nd law of thermodynamics is incorrect.

It is possible that the big bang created the energy, which is what you loosely suggest; if that is the case, the 1st law of thermodynamics needs revising, as the big bang contains the mechanism to create energy, which should be absolutely impossible. The only other option is that the big bang itself is supernatural, which in itself raises all kinds of interesting questions.

Or, as I suggested, the energy has always been there, and the universe is not a closed system, hence is not destined to suffer from eventual total entropy. Heat death would only occur if the universe was a closed system, and we really don't KNOW that this is the case.

But, who really knows? A significant amount of this stuff is basically guess work.



I might have misunderstood you, but I didn't think 3 really required anything to be assumed, as 3 was basically that physics applied to the natural universe, and that the energy had been created by a SUPER natural force, meaning that 1 and 2 could be true, 4 false, and 3 still true.

Certainly I think it's possible that 1, 2 and 4 are all true, and that 3 is false - I don't think the thermodynamics being correct, yet the universe not being a closed system really implies that there is a supernatural creation force. As I say, I may well have just misunderstood you though.

Tenants: lol - thanks. I don't think I've ever actually written it down. I did wonder at the time if that was right. I suppose as long as they don't get evicted we'll probably be OK ;)

Thumb Up


I couldn't agree more, the supernatural theory is the last one I'd expect.

One explaination could well be that the Big Bang can do things that nothing else can, but however you cut it, that would mean that energy CAN be created, and would mean the 1st law is incorrect, even if it is only in a single exception. As you say, this is far from impossible, but I think the notion that the universe as it is defined now is definately the totallity of existance is based on more guess work than the first law. From everything else I see in physics, I somehow doubt totallity is finite, but that's a lot of guess work too, obviously!

I still think that the multiverse theory is the most substantial. While you could change the defintion of the universe to incorporate the new external bits / other universes as well, I'm referring to the universe as it is defined now.

And of course, if there is a multiverse, it's entirely possible that <insert space phenomenon here> is spewing energy into our universe from another, meaning our universe would not be a closed system, and entropy heat death MIGHT not be it's eventual fate.

To the couple of others here:

To survive to experince total entropy of the universe really is "long-term"! That's not what I meant by long term, and your argument seems dangerously similar to this:

"I'm not going to live to be 1,000,000, so why worry if I live to see 40?"

We still need to get off the planet and found a colony in the relatively VERY near future. Essentially, I agree! - I'm not at all worried about our fate in *10 trillion* years time! :P

However, our fate in the next 10,000 is looking very shaky until we can spread the risk of our extinction around a bit.



Well, that raises an interesting quandry there. (My intent is not to patronise with the next bit, bear with me)

1st law of thermodynamics - energy cannot be created or destroyed.

2nd law of thermodynamics - energy within a closed system will eventually all even out via entropy.

If we assume the 1st law is true, then all of the universes energy must have *always* been here. If it has *always* been here, and the 2nd law is true, then entropy would have already occured.

It's a fair assumption that both laws are true - the have both been under considerable scientific scrutiny for a couple of hundred years, with no sign of any way of side-stepping them. And, of course, it's fair to say that total entropy has not occured.

So one of the following is true:

1) The 1st law of thermodynamics is false. (very unlikely)

2) The 2nd law of thermodynamics is false. (very unlikely)

3) The energy within the universe was created by a supernatural force. :|

This is often used as evidence of a God, and is the main reason why Stephen Hawking believes in some sort of creator. I think most scientists just find the whole thing rather embarassing -2 of the most core tenants of physics coming together to basically prove the existance of meta-clangers.

I think there's a potentially viable 4 however:

4) The universe is not a closed system.

Our actual knowledge of the universe is primitive at best (many of the things we quote as absolute fact have only really been observed from on this one tiny little rock), and I think to sugest that we KNOW 100% that this is not the case is a stretch.

All that said, any one of them *could* be the case. The 2 laws are very much "good science" though, easily demonstrable and repeatable, and "a magic space monster dunnit" doesn't quite do it for me. "The universe is a closed system" is not necassarily "good science" - it's based on a hearty amount of assumption, hence I'm going to put most of my eggs in that particular basket, as it were.

And long-term? From the amount of "overdue" major life-ending events the earth is casually trying to ignore, I think we can give ourselves a hearty pat on the back if we make it another 10,000 years, let alone the *160 million* years the dinosaurs were lurking about for.


Are you serious?

The surface area of the moon is just under 38 million square kilometers. This probe takes up, what, 10 square meters, tops? That's the equivalent of a grain of dust in your house. It's nothing.

And let's not forget, until mankind sets up a colony on another planet or moon, our chances of long term survival are exactly 0. The space program is the most important research we do. Why not save this kind of hand-wringing for heavy industry? One probe on the moon nearly 50 years old is hardly an enviromental concern.

Microsoft pledges Kinect games explosion



But holding it in one hand is awkward, and holding it in boths limits what you can do with your arms.

What you really need is two smaller controllers, one for each ha...


Ubisoft to turn games into movies, TV shows


The 80's are way ahead of you..


Suit settled, PS3 hacker donates $10,000 to EFF


I'm REALLY not trying to back up Sony here...

And 1 PC is 1 PC too many, but those numbers are ridiculous!

$1,000,000,000,000 / $25 = 40,000,000,000.

You really think *40 billion PCs* were affected to the point of having to be recovered for money by the fsking Sony root kit?

Now admittedly you mention secondary or tertiary costs, but even if we assume these unnamed costs run some $2,500 per instance, you still think 400,000,000 PCs? And that's assuming 400 million people (6-7 times the entire population of the UK) would somehow spend $2,500 removing a piece of software from their PCs. And this is going for the lowest possible trillion - you said trillion*s*, which is even more silly.

Sorry, just no - you're overestimated by many 100s of thousands of times. It MIGHT have cost a few million, at most, worldwide.

Still, it is officially "bang out of order" - not trying to defend it. Sony should have clearly paid dearly for such an arrogant action, and as far as I hear, did, to some degree at least. Let's not get too carried away with these figures though, eh?



Missed this bit:

"they are responsible for making it mainstream"

In fairness as well, rootkit style infections have been around since the late eighties. It's called a rootkit because it granted root access to early Unix-like systems. Windows NT received it's first rootkit in 1999, 6 years before Sony released their nefarious version. SecuROM uses rootkit techniques to hide bits of itself to this day, and if you're played a modern game the chances of it being on your system are pretty high.

I'm all for bashing Sony for being evil monopolistic bastards. Let's try and keep it true at least though - It somewhat waters down the argument otherwise.

Sony readies official PS Move support for PCs


I for one

am looking forward to the release of this just as much as the release of the Kinnect SDK. People seem to think Move and Kinect are competing control methods, and while they are obviously competing in the marketplace, they're actually pretty much mutually exclusive. One tracks your body, one puts an object very accurately into your hand - both very useful, and there's virtually no overlap of functionality whatsoever.

I'm going to try and use both to create an application to map both the Move buttons and pointer and the Kinnect gestures and voice detetction to a virtual controller - then, amongst other stuff, I can use the Move Sharp Shooter for guns and movement, and Kinect gestures for actions - raise your left arm for Pipboy in Fallout, throw Plasmids in Bioshock! :D

The only thing that worries me is the lack of detail on what the SDK is for - anyone know how it's going to work? Will you be writing code on the PC, then building and sending it to the PS3 to run, or is the PS3 just used to host the Move stuff, and your code runs on the PC?

I think, and hope it's the latter. And I'm hoping they release proper drivers for Move on the PC alone. I'm not going to hold my breath on that.

Judge guts suit against Sony for killing Linux in PS3


In fairness...

I think Sony were wrong to remove OtherOS, although I can see why they did it. But:

- You can buy radio broadcast equipment, but are not allowed to broadcast on a wide range of frequencies with it.

- You can buy a range of mains powered devices, but unless you happen to be CORGI registered, are not allowed to change the plug.

- You can buy a plug, but unless you happen to be CORGI registered, are not allowed to fit it to anything.

- You can buy a camera, but are not allowed to even accidentally capture a wide variety of people and things, even in the background.

- You can buy a TV, but are not allowed to use it to recieve broadcasts without a licence, and recieve no guranteee that even with a licence broadcasts will continue.

I'll readily admit that none of these are particularly good analogues of the OtherOS fiasco, just a few basic examples off the top of my head, but the assertion that you can freely use or modify anything you own as long as you commit no direct victim crime is very wrong. The assertion that equipment you purchase MUST retain all its original functionality is also unfortunately wrong - SHOULD, yes.

Once again though, I agree Sony should not have removed OtherOS. Don't lose hope though - there is little to stop them restoring it, other than the fact that Sony would rather attempt to pass a Krupp Bagger 288 then backtrack on a decision.




I wouldn't buy anything through GFWL, as it is clearly rubbish. However, many Steam games USE it. GTA IV through steam also uses GFWL, but it's not used for any of the updates, it's simply used as a basic DRM method - you register your key against your GFWL account.

I would never use it as a actual games purchasing platform, but I'd take it as a DRM method over Securom any day of the week.

It's also even less of an issue if you already have an Xbox 360 - you can use the same account to sign on to GFWL, and hence collect achievements and the like.

Nvidia four-core chip to power quad-res Apple iPad



I don't really get the problem with this - the average paper back book is 8"x5", which is exactly 16:10.

As far as the web goes, I tend to find high resolutions cause more problems than the ratio itself. I'm using a 2560x1440 screen currently, and there is a rather embarrasing amount of space at the edges of most websites, and page zoom is.. tempremental.

Personally, I couldn't read a whole book an a backlight tablet anyway. I tried, I got a headache, I gave up. I'm tempted to get a Kindle, but it seems like quite a lot for a device just purely to read books. I already carry enough gadgets most places, without another.

I guess I'll just stick to stained trees for now.

Sony expands legal offensive to more PS3 hackers


"If the thing is in my house, I own it. Every atom of it."

Try bridging your electricity meter. In fact, these days you're not even allowed to open up one of your plugs, unless you happen to be CORGI registered. Most of the creaky old laws about who can watch things you record from your live broadcast television are still in place. There are hundreds of items in your home that are illegal or prohibited to adjust or use in certain ways.

Still Sony have clearly gone insane trying to sue people for viewing or commenting on Youtube. I hope they lose this case very badly, and no-one else trys anything like it again.

However, I'm not sure the "I should be able to do anything with the PS3, hassle free" argument really does hold up. Microsoft will ban you very quickly for hacking their device, and if you do play hombrew games on the Wii you spend as much time looking for the latest patch fix as you do playing the games. Almost every update ever released for the Wii has been almost entirely comprised of anti hacking patches. Other than these ridiculous court cases, significant resources being devoted to anti-jailbreaking is pretty much par for the course.

It's just generally a bad time to be into homebrew on consoles, which is a shame. I've personally just ended up going back to playing with Windows / OSX / *nix stuff. It's just easier than constantly doing the battle of the patches, or waiting for the "console banned" message to show up.

But, yeah - here's hoping any case brought against people who just watched a video fails badly, and fast.

Court orders seizure of PS3 hacker's computers


Engage brain, comment

You know WHY the PS3 has so many sequels? Because the original games were brilliant. Maybe in your world, you release a game, then forget all about it, but to my mind, that only happens when the game was shit. Really, I think that that is a fair old chunk of clutching at straws. SEQUELS DON'T COUNT LOLOLOL.

And also - try to know anything. Most of those games debuted on the PS3 in HD, not to mention that the 2 games referenced in the original post - MGS4 and GT5 - are both sequels!

So anyway, flaming aside - do tell what must have games you enjoy that are not available on the PS3 and (for some bizarre reason) have NO sequels? Half life..oh. Gears of..ah. Halo...hmm. Civiliz...damn. In 2011 I think you'll find that tricky.


what other "must have" PS3 exclusives are there?

How about Uncharted 1, Uncharted 2, Motorstorm 1, Motorstorm 2, Resistance 1, Resistance 2, Little Big Planet 1, Little Big Planet 2, Heavy Rain, Killzone 2, God Of War 3, Infamous 1, Mod Nation Racers, and Wipeout HD. That's just the games I think any gamer should have at least played.

And that's just the games that are out. Confirmed and coming soon there is Uncharted 3, Resistance 3, Killzone 3, and Infamous 2. I'm sure there's a load more too, that's just off the top of my head.

That's not to say the Wii/360/PC doesn't have their share of great exclusives, and equally not to say that the PS3 doesn't have it's share of absolute clangers (I'm looking at you Lair and Haze). But actually, for me at least, the PS3 has way more excellent games. Virtually all of my favourites for the last few years are PS3 exclusive.

And you yourself mentioned 2 of the most defining games of their particular genres (assuming GT5s genre is driving simulation) Metal Gear Solid 4 and GT5.

The old standard of "PS3 has no games" has long been far from the truth, that's for sure.

Beastly Android will batter Apple's iOS beauty


And not just that

It makes me laugh when I see articles such as this, carefully pouring over percentage market shares to 2 decimal places.

The simple fact is, 90% or more of mobile phone sales are made due to the price, the network, the tariff, or the handset. Most people aren't even aware that phones have different OS's - try it. Pick a normal person, and ask them what OS their phone is running. At best, you might get "Samsung" or "Vodaphone". (Admittedly, quite a few people do know that the iPhone is "somehow different" these days, but you're very unlikely to get Android or Windows Mobile as an answer)

All statistics are a bit faily, but these particular ones are almost completely random.



Yes, or the equavalant of.

You can buy a new unlocked iPhone from anywhere you like, and update it to the most recent OS for free.

There are many points for and against many mobile phone platforms, but this isn't one of them.

Xbox 360 outsells PS3 2:1


Hillarious stuff

Some of this has already been covered by the AC below, but anyway:

"Yes, that's why the game football isn't real, because footballers can't possible use their legs to kick a ball whilst stood up."

I never said that standing up wasn't real. That doesn't make any sense. If you actually read my post, I acknowledge at the end that kicking a ball is something the Kinect can do. Fine, no problem.

"It can handle mock snowboard/skiing leg movements"

I think you'll find that most of that relates more heavily to your waist, but fine - you can lean to steer, just like the Wii balance board.

"Try Dance Central, it does precisely this"

No it doesn't. They tried, but it wasn't up to it, so the on screen characters just play preset animations, and it loosely scores you on how close you are. There's a big big difference.

"Head movements can be used for simple things such as nodding your head to say yes in an RPG game"

Yeah, you could. I have to say pressing A has never really been too problematic for me, and how often do you really get asked yes/no questions in RPGs? It's normally "pick an answer from this list".

"voice recognition voice is an option too"

This really doesn't have much to do with Kinect, does it? This bit doing the work is software, and apart from that all it has is a built in microphone array, which Move absolutely does have. Even if it didn't, and Kinect didn't both consoles obviously have headsets available.

"there's no reason other driving games, such as those with Kinect support demoed but not out yet, can't use the afformentioned feet movement for this"

This one is genius. Are you serious? So, how's that going to work? Are you suggesting that you stand (remember you HAVE to stand) on the balls of your feet and then rock your right foot forward for the accelerator and the right foot for the brake? Even if the Kinect was accurate to detect this, which it probably isn't, that sounds horribly bad for your legs. The other option is, what? To lift your leg up to operate the pedal? You can't press it down, unless you've mastered a method of lifting both legs while standing. Let's hope you don't need to do any rally where you need both pedals at once eh? I won't bother going into it, but the whole "pretend steering wheel" concept just doesn't work either, for a good half a dozen reasons.

"Bowling, Sprinting, Hurdles, Javelin, Boxing, Darts, Football, Discus, Long Jump, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Tennis, Archery, Paintball, Figure skating, Skiing, Hang gliding"

A collection of sports mini games you say? Groundbreaking stuff.

"Kinect is the only input device that can handle some of these sports- i.e. figure skating."

Is that REALLY because the Kinect is the only device that can "handle" figure skating, or is it actually the much more likely reason that no-one wants a figure skating game?

Oh, and whether you believe me or not - I have all 3 current gen consoles, and Move and Kinect. Move married with 3D is a fantastic experience - like the VR dream of old. Kinect feels like an advanced EyeToy experience. It's much better, but at the end of the day you're just waving your arms about to perform basic tasks and trigger preset animations. Even the menu browsing concept is basically exactly the same as the old EyeToy one.

Don't get me wrong though - both Move and Kinect will be all but forgotten this time next year. They're both limited and gimmicky to differing degrees. Move however, does one thing pretty well - putting an object in your hand in 3D space. Kinect tries to do loads of things, and ends up doing a pretty poor job of most of them.

"I guess you're just crying that someone insulted your poor little PS3?"

Now that's funny - coming from an AC who's actually 75% XBOX boner by volume.


Money to burn

Whereas frugal people spend £130 on a £35 webcam, naturally.

At any rate the 360 and PS3 have been about the same price for a long time, especially if you want fancy high tech features like rechargeable controllers or Wi-Fi.

In terms of value for money, that has always been a one horse race, even for the 6 - 9 months the PS3 was more expensive.

I'm guessing your mum would only let you have one.


@ AC

As far as I can tell, the 360 and PS3 are too close to call, but frankly, who cares? They both sell well enough to be very well supported, and thats all that matters for either one.

"I guess those are the types of things you have to tell yourself when you picked the dud of the pack" - Methinks the lady doth protest too much?

Your comments about Kinect make no sense. However, even if we look at what you're trying to say.

"feet, legs, arms, hands, head"- tracking your legs and feet may be very important to you. Maybe MS will release a game of the Hokey Cokey, but in the meantime, tracking your legs on a system where you have to stand to use it is next to useless. "Stand on one leg to reload?" It makes no sense. Head tracking is generally equally useless - so every time I look at my ammo, I swing down towards the ground? Or do I have to try and remeber to use my eyes for some tasks, and my head for others. It really is trying to fix a problem that just doesn't exist. Then there's the important one - tracking your arms. This is all good and well, but the only really useful game mechanic involved here is putting something accurately into your hand, allowing you to manipulate objects in the 3d world, that sort of thing. Move is more accurate at this, not to mention the most important aspect of all - buttons. With Kinect, how exactly do you pick an object up? It's not accurate enough to detect your fingers, so you're left shouting "XBOX: PICKUP" or stamping your feet or something.

The "full body dancing games" don't actually map your full body onto a character - it's not up to it. Also, you may want to look into this - games that do this are also available for the Wii and the PS3.

Driving games - fine, as long as you don't want any fancy little details, like an accelerator, or brakes, or pretty much any controls other than steering.

It in no way has a "wide range of sports games" - it doesn't yet have a wide range of any games.

I can't even be bothered with the rest of your post. It's like you've been frozen in a glacier since 2006, and in that time have suffered a certain degree of frostbite to the brain. Is your assertion really that the PS3 is "dead in the water" because it's recent optional peripheral doesn't allow you to take penalty shootouts?

Apple patents glasses-free, multi-viewer 3D



So now we're reading excessively accurate positioning data about any number of viewers bodies, heads, eyes and pupils, along with data about the projector position and screen position, sending this over the internet, letting the server convert all of this into an insane amount of motor instructions,sending it back down the internet where it finally moves several million tiny lenses by incredibly precise amounts.

And you reckon thats going to work 60 times a second, with no foreseeable issues? Under current technology, you would be doing just fantastic if you got the overall latency down to 1 second, let along the millisecond response times needed.

And that's not even the biggest problem - the biggest problem is the projector. Under current technology it's just not possible. Don't be swayed by talk about sub pixel fields. That doesn't even begin to help with this type of problem. Individually targeting pixels in this way requires motorised lenses 100x smaller than anything in existence, and not just one - over 2 million, closely packed. And not even one lens - a focal system PER PIXEL is also required. And then there's simple stuff, like the data bus itself. 2 million pixels, each requiring a pitch and yaw, and a focal setting, to an incredibly high level of accuracy, probably at least 32 bit per channel. A quick calculation shows you'd need at least 11 gigabytes (88 gigabit) per second just to pass the control signals back, not even including the image itself.

Even if any of this did become possible many many years down the line, it's just a non starter. There's so many other ways of generating 3D images which don't require mainframes, laser arrays, millions of tiny focal systems, highly specialised screens, and magic.



That would only work if the projector was the exact same size as the screen, mounted entirely dead on (meaning no-one could sit in between), and magic.

If the projector isn't set up in this way, then you can't just move the entire pixel subfield, each pixel would need to be individually targeted. Draw the raytyrace if you don't believe me - current pixel subfield technology does not help in the slightest.

I've also realised since, the effect this would provide would be utterly horrible unless you sat at the exact "right" distance away from the screen - the projector cannot adjust the convergance for the viewers, as the convergance required is dictated by the projector to screen distance.

You might be able to bounce a point off a curved surface onto an accurate target, but attempting to bounce a beam is going to result in the worlds most expensive glitter ball.


Plead to quarrel

"cast a ray back to each hemishphere"

Just to expand on that slightly, you mean calculate 2,073,600 rays per eye, per viewer, 60 times a second, and manipulate 2,073,600 sub-millimeter lenses in a tight grid, accurately to thousandths of a millimeter, based on data tracked from measuring 2 centimeter squared targets in 3D space, 10 feet away from the screen, and about 3 centimeters apart. That's a lot LOT more complicated than you suggest.

I'm not sure which world a "high end processing setup", more powerful than a gaming rig PC, just to display the image, makes sense. Here's my 2 TFLOPS PS3 for running the game, and I'll just connect that to my 10 TFLOPS projector. What? Even if this thing could be created, it would cost a literal fortune, and at best produce an image about the same a current polarised efforts. It's just a crazy idea - it could be made to work, in a lab at least, but it's just so much more convoluted than other methods there's just no point.


Well no,

I wasn't under the impression they had built or tested it. I know patents can be applied for without any proof of concept, but I don't think they should be able to.

I don't envisage the main problem with this as being the processing power required, as thats just a few million basic math operations - still a heft load especially if those calculations need to be done per pair of eyes, as the article insinuates. And yes, it can work - the basic physics is sound.

I think the main problem will be the angling of the pixels themselves. It's not as simple as moving the entire pixel field slighty, each pixel needs to be moved by a differing amount, and possibly even sent to several different sub fields, again per pixel. In a non-lab environment, the projecter will need to be aware of it's location in relation to the screen in incredible detail, in order to callibrate itself accurately enough to pull off the exact angles required. It would ony take the screen moving or flexing by sum-millimeter amounts to cause a complete loss of the 3D effect in that area.

I would also question whether the beam of light each pixel comprises would be anywhere near precise enough to even survive the journey without dissipating to the point of terrible cross talk, or loss of the effect all together. The angles required to bounce a beam of light precisely to 2 targets mere centimeters apart over 10 feet are minute, and this is twice as problematic as current "glasses free" 3DTVs, as the light has to make 2 journeys. The beam of light would have to cover a tiny fraction of the surface of the pixel to be reflect accurately enough, most likely easily less than 1%. This would have to be more similar to an array of a million lasers than a current projector.

Maybe, in time, this could be made to work outside of a lab, as with pretty much anything. I would be suprsied if a much simpler and more effective method hadn't been discovered by then.


Apple patents.

What can I say? I don't want to sound negative, but "this almost certainly won't work properly".

Tracking multiple faces, and angling projecters to bounce light off micro-sized-hemisphere coated screens into differing eyes? (Thats a hell of a trick shot, especially when you have to make several million of them 60 times a second) Fiendishly complex but uncomplicated?

I guess this is one of the ones Apple are patenting just in case it becomes even slightly possible in the next x years, like the patent they put in for a motorised refractive lens per pixel on a HD display.

To be honest though, I can't imagine this ever really working outside a lab - it just all sounds too sketchy.

New NASA model: Doubled CO2 means just 1.64°C warming


Model V Model

Even if modelling did not equate science, how do you think they arrived at the current CO2 based MODEL?

There was a subtle clue at the end there.

Popular sites caught sniffing user browser history


It will work..

The "History" bit clears which links display as purple, hence fixing the problem. It's really not all that serious though. You can't even tell if you've visited a specific domain, it has to be an exact link match - for example you could only tell if someone had visited Facebook if they had gone to the mian homepage first - if you followed a link in to your profile, you're safe. It really is fairly limited. Still all privacy holes are bad, and should be fixed.

It is a slightly awkward problem, in that custom CSS means it's not a matter of "blue or purple" it's ":link or :visited", and those psuedoselectors are not exposed to the DOM. This is compunded by the problem that an individual link might have extra styles applied. Personally I would be quite happy with them simply removing currentStyle access to hyperlinks, or even harcoding any check to the default blue. How many legitimate reasons are there really for checking what colour a link currently is? All of the ones I can think of are more easily and cleanly expressed with CSS anyway.

Brave new Boris-bikers banjaxed by broken boxes


Stop the presses!

Shock horror - areas that experience high amounts of snow are better equipped to deal with high amounts of snow. Who'd have thought it?

Brits say 'no, no, no' to 3D TV


Demo quality

Just a warning for anyone put off by a demo - I was underwhelmed by several 3D TV demos, same sort of puppety type of effect as mentioed here.

It was only on the third demo I got it suddenly seemed a lot LOT better.

I've since realised why. The poeple demoing these things don't have the first idea, and hence the first 2 demos were actually just 2D content with the 2D -> 3D mode (which obviously doesn't really work)

Stick some actual 3D content on there, and the difference is night and day. Just worth bearing in mind.


Common misconceptions

Well, assuming you're talking about 3D *TV*, as the article is, and not the cinema, the piracy angle is a common misconception.

3D source media is no more difficult to copy than any other source media - most 3D video formats are simply fat 2D formats usually by either doubling the frame rate or doubling the resolution. However, you can happily send a 3D signal on bog standard 1080p, by either halving the frame rate to 30Hz, or halving the horizontal or vertical resolution. You can store 3D video or images on pretty much any current format - you could store 3D on VHS tapes if you wanted to.

As far as the glasses go, yeah, they're not ideal - you don't have to be in exactly the right place with them, as they ensure the right image gets into the right eye. I would suspect that 3D TV without glasses is a long way away yet - they can make it work for small screens, such as the screen tech that Nintendo have bought, but that technology does not scale up. The ideal screen size for that type of 3D display is similar to the width in between your eyes.

It's also worth mentioning, but because the TV is a standard TV, and the technology is within the glasses themselves, it means that down the line I can potentially upgrade my experience (removing ghosting, etc.) by replacing a £60 pair of glasses, rather than the £2,500 screen.

To be fair, if you would only be using it to view films, and are not also interested in 3D gaming, yeah - you're not missing out on much really. I'd say 80% of the time my TV spends in 3D mode is probably running PS3 games right now.

The thing I find most amusing is that people I know have come round, with the opinion that 3DTV is probably a gimmick, then complained that not enough of the films or games made stuff jump out in your face! Deep down I think some of us want to see gimmicky things, but in actual fact the effect is used quite subtely and with a certain amount of restraint. Motorstorm 3D is fantastic, it really looks like your TV is a 3D box, with the land stretching away inside it, rather than just a single wobbly layer all up in your face, like the 3D of old.

Gimmick or not, 3D capability in TVs is here to stay, and it's probably only a matter of time before it becomes a standard feature. I too think that 2% by the end of the year is a fantastic adoption rate - that's 1.2 million people, and it's only been vaguely affordable for a few short months, really.

Google sued for scanning emails of non-Gmail users


Well, no..

No, they're not. Because they're always for the same product, and not based on the contents of the email.

There is a big difference between comparing attachments against a virus definition database, and opening them all up, scanning directly through the content, building up a list of subjects the person in question receives email about, and storing them in a database, forever. For added kicks, why not sell the data to any interested party?

This is why I personally avoid all of Googles "free" services like the plague.

Clive Sinclair unveils 'X-1' battery pedalo bubble-bike



Your initials stand for "no problem".

Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Launch Games


The funny thing...

That everyone forgets about Minority Report, is that the tracking system was bassed on glowing lights on the ends of hs fingers, making the whole thing far more similar to Move than Kinect.


When even Hollywood thinks your futuristic tech idea won't work properly, you know you've barked up the wrong tree.

Nasty IE 0day exploit hosted on Amnesty International site


While I agree

While I agree that MS, Mozilla, et al. should try to patch up this 0day stuff a bit (well a lot) quicker, I don't agree with your reasoning here.

Of course the Nobel Peace Prize lot or Amnesty International do not have any kind of malicious intent, but they are clearly at fault for putting together yet another swiss cheese website. At a guess, they simply failed to sanatise their inputs or outputs properly, to the effect that SQL commands could be injected through the querystring, and then the site would happily render script tags back out. Of course, it may have been that the sites were more secure, and this was a "proper" hack, but if world goverments can't get it right, it wouldn't surprise me if a club and a charity couldn't either.

Patching 0day holes in browsers without break loads of legitamite stuff is often hard, a fact often overlooked by whinging pundits. Writing a website properly is not, hence I'd blame the site operators more here.

Hacker unshackles Kinect from Xbox


What's the point?

Wholeheartedly agree. What's the point? Anyone buying this to use as a webcam at £130 would be clearly sectionable, and there's no software available to use the fancy IR sensors anyway. At most this is going to be something a few people do who most likely own the Kinect anyway, and just fancy trying it out on the PC.

For that matter, why do games companies still use Securom? Time and time again it's been proven that any game "protected" by it is hacked within minutes of release, usually in exactly the same way as the last. I suppose it prevents some casual copying, but who really copies disks these days? The only people who are doing it just burn a precracked image anyway.

I prefer the "product safety groups" bit - it's almost like they're trying to insunuate that "hacking" this device is somehow physically dangerous, as if it's going to explode in your face, or digitise you onto the gaming grid or something. Fucking Sark.


Not so sure.

Well now - a steam train and a diesel electric don't really share a lot of components or build techniques, for example. Beacuse they both set out to achieve the same goal, they are both trains. From that standpoint at least, this is "a type of EyeToy" - it aims to allow you to control games with your whole body. Telling consumers otherwise is misleading, as when they get it home and try it, they'll realise they're bobbing about in much the same way they were with their old EyeToy - it just works better.

From a technical standpoint, it does work totally differently, seemingly not really even using the webcam component for most stuff, instead relying on the IR bits. I'd have to say I don't expect MS are selling this at anywhere near a loss. The mic is no different to the PS mic, and although decent, is not an expensive component. The motorised angling is also not going to be expensive to set up, when the product is designed from the ground up at least. The webcam itself is almost of no value at all these days. The IR would have certainly cost R&D a fair bit to get calibrated and working correctly, but the components? IR emmitters and recievers cost virtually nothing, hence why they are used in remote controls so widely.

I think the cost is partly to cover MS's R&D for this, because like it or not, others will make similar kit using their designs - it's just a matter of time really. I suspect the other part of the price tag is to try and protect against the probability of customers buying one, then never buying any games for whatever reason, much like what happened with the EyeToy. Of course the reason why no-one bought any EyeToy games was because few were ever developed, and the main reason developers quoted for this, was that you can't set up working control schemes for most games which will work inside a living room. Kinect does not really change this.

I dunno, MS might manage to do a bit more with this, but they will have to push - developers are unlikely to flock forward to develop for Kinect of their own free will, as its a massive risk until proven, something which the launch has in no way done. I can't really forgive the launch titles for Kinect - simply because Microsoft own their very own games studio! If that's the best they can manage, or they're not willing to donate more resources for such a "pivotal" launch, then why am I supposed to have any confidence?


Not quite not quite...

Sadly, there likely won't ever be an FPS for Kinect. It's just not accurate enough to detect your fingers, hence no trigger. Of course, it does have voice detect, so you could always shout "BANG" or "PEW-PEW-PEW". (If anyone ever does this I may never stop laughing.)

Then there's the aiming. Hold your arms in front of you, as if you were holding an assualt rifle. Now move your front hand left and right WITHOUT moving or re-angling your rear hand. Doesn't make any sense does it? How does the software cope with this, bearing in mind that when pretending to hold a gun, your hands are NEVER in the correct alignment. Much as MS would never admit it, the aiming just wouldn't work properly.

Then there's the other controls. How do you walk, run and strafe? Actually doing so requires far too much space, not to mention the fact the the "world" (i.e. the TV) would then move in the opposite direction. Running on the spot would just be stupid, and doesn't really solve strafing. Remeber, all of the games annouced for Kinect so far are on rails, with good reason.

Lets take another example of "big lad's" games - racing games. I've seen someone else breathlessley imagining the possibilities of Forza with Kinect. I'd be inclined to disagree.

1. You have to stand up, an instant fail for any racing game.

2. There are no sensible controls for the pedals, and no controls for any other actions at all.

3. Most steering wheel and pedal kits fail because they cannot be mounted securely to a surface, making the game VERY hard to control. This obviously suffers from this.

4. The "wheel" is totally weightless, leading to a complete loss of any tactile feedback.

5. You have to spend valuable (for pro racing) brain cycles remembering to keep your hands at a fairly fixed radius, and at an exact 9-3 position.

6. Because of the limitations of the controller, you have a maximum (comfortable) steering lock of 90 degrees, resulting in twitchy, oversensitive controls.. That's right, you need more elbows.

7. It makes you look like a total clunge.

7 was just for fun. But quite seriously, this could easily be the single worst racing control scheme ever, and I don't see the FPS one stacking up any better. And it really does make you look a TOTAL clunge.

For all of MS's waxing lyrical about this being the most revolutionary controller EVA, I really can't see it. It looks fun, for a little while, but I'll be VERY surprised if Kinect ever gets any real adoption, or support. In 12 months time it'll likely be all but forgotten. If MS were a bit more confident of it's sucess, of course, they would charge more like it's market value (about £40, I reckon) and re-coup the money through the high volumne of software sales they will make, right? I mean, it's not like they started to think that no-one would buy any other games for it, and they better grab all the cash up front, right?

Whatever you think about the "Kinect = EyeToy" argument, you can't really argue with the fact that they are setting out to do the same thing. Both intend to let you control a game with your whole body. Sony eventually realised that without buttons you loose direct, instant control, you loose tactile response, and most importantly, you loose the ability to navigate menus sensibly. You talk about gestures, but how long do you really think you'd control your computer by waving your whole arms about like a lunatic? Almost every succesful invention and innovation ever created takes a task, and allows you to do it whilst exerting less physical effort.

This is nothing like the PS3 - it's not at all powerful, or revolutionary, or even new really, (does bolting a couple of over the counter components onto an existing product count as new these days?) but has been put to a reasonably clever use fulfilling a single small niche. In fact the only bit of your comment I do agree with is that it's probably better for doing other things than playing games.

P.S. - I hope I'm wrong, because I care not for silly manafacturer loyalties. If this is good, I'll buy one, no questions. I just can't see how they will overcome such vast and obvious limitations in any kind of sensible fashion.

The 99p mobile phone: What's the catch?


I've had a cheaper phone

From play.com - it was £9 and came with £10 of O2 credit. I can't remember the make and model, unfortunately.

But yeah, 99p for a phone? I expect to be paid to carry something like this away. :P

Microsoft's IE 8 'most widely used browser', rules ASA


Well, then the ASA would have to get involved...

Win 7 + IE 8 is widely recognised as the single most difficult OS / Browser combo to hack. And the browser which has had the highest number of unpatched vunerabilites for the last 4 years running? Firefox. Look it up, I can't be bothered to find a link. If anything the ASA should be looking at Firefoxes "Faster, More secure & Customisable" tagline, as it is demonstrably not the best at any one of those things.

Sony PlayStation Move

Thumb Up

2D->2D vs 3D->2D vs 3D->3D

I'm lucky enough to have picked up a Samsung 55" LED 3D TV at the weekend, and I took the opportunity to grab a pair of Move controllers at the same time.

I just tried the move controllers out first, and they really are as good as has been indicated here. The pointing at the screen works brilliantly, and the augmented reality stuff is eerily accurate. Say what you like about Start the Party (and do, it really is shit) but there's something about seeing 3D objects put into your hands that accurately. I especially liked the giant foam hand, which wobbles when you shake it about.

I then tried Tumble. It's a Move only game from the PSN, and revolves around making towers of blocks. You use a (or one for each hand if you like) controller to pick up the blocks using the trigger. The 3D controller works great here, with you able to quickly get used to reaching towards the back of the level and grabbing the exact block you wanted quickly and easily.

That was all great, but until then I hadn't actually got the 3D TV functioning properly. Once I had that, I realised that Tumble was also one of the 3D enabled games available. I hadn't even really considered what using a 3D controller and a 3D display would be like, but I can promise you it makes all those expensive boxes worthwhile. Within no time at all, you forget you're even using it, and using your hands in the 3D space starts to become natural. Reaching back to pick up a block is now as easy as reaching onto a table and picking up a block. You can bring it up right near to your face to look at it in close detail, and of course the 3D display looks great here. I won't pretend that looking at virtual blocks right up in your face is in itself fun, but the whole experience seemed to me to be a glimpse of things to come.

I think Sony have done a great job here - on a side note, there are enough buttons on the navigation and move controller combined to map every button on the Dualshock - that means big budget first party games (such as Killzone 3) can just include move support with simple control mapping (largely, and assuming some sort of Move API for the clever glowy bits). This is where the EyeToy fell down, and I think Kinect may still fall down in time - they require developers to modify games heavily, or write specific ones. I know Kinect has some first party launch titles and the like, but I'll be surprised if the support doesn't wane before too long.

The other thing I found interesting was going back to the Wii having used this for a bit. It's a little bit like going back to old consoles - you have nothing but fond memories, but when you actually go back and try them again, you wonder how you ever put up with it.

If you're on the hedge about it, just wait - there's nothing unmissable on it yet, although there are fun games available. Within a month or two there's going to be some big titles coming out, then we'll see how well it's going to survive. It all looks really good for now though.

Google says desktop PC is three years from 'irrelevance'


Contradiction much?

"If a roman scout didn't return I think you would find out why, by maybe sending more, or the sending the legion. No commander is stupid enough to think. "hmmmm scout dead, must be really safe in that direction"

Don't give up the day job...

Microsoft made a phone, and I hate it already


er.. what?

"Once you start using your phone as a general purpose computational device, you battery life will suck, because it's not designed to fulfil that goal"

Of course, if you were designing a phone to be a general purpose computational device, you could pick a battery that was designed to fulfil that goal...

"Until then, get used to carrying multiple devices if you need the extra computing power."

Nah, that's alright. I think I'll just carry on using my Xperia X1 for the extra computing power. The battery lasts well over 24 hours, even when you're using it for General Purpose Computing.



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