* Posts by Dave 126

10499 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

You there, boffins and tech giants, take this $50m and figure out better chips

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: A pretty good way to choke real innovation

I explicitly acknowledged the role of an individual's drive and curiosity in innovation. However, not all projects can be tackled by one person, or even two people such as the Wright bros. They could build a heavier than air flying machine, but to build a machine that can reach orbit requires teams and indeed whole workforces.

The chronometer was invented by Hamilton to win a prize from the British Admiralty. GPS was created by the US gov for similar reasons.

Sometimes people actually do find the things they are paid to find. And often they don't, but find things that turn out to be useful in unexpected ways. Sonetimes the project bears no apparent fruit but it trains people who go on to contribute importantly later in their career.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: A pretty good way to choke real innovation

Innovation has had many mothers, from the capitalists that built up the USA's manufacturing base at the beginning of the 20th century, to the US Gov's centralised command economy during WW2 and the Cold War which trained an unprecedented number of physicists and engineers. Real innovation can come from a man in a shed, or a team of mathematicians and telephone engineers in a shed.

The point is, the technology we use today has been funded by both by government grants and capitalists investments, at all stages and at all scales.

Space mining startup prepping to launch 'demo' refinery... this April

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: How does this work?

The cost is high at the moment, but there are raw materials and energy. Once you have done the very hard engineering* to create and deploy one self replicating factory mine, you will eventually get many self replicating factory mines for no additional expenditure.

*Very hard engineering, but doesn't violate any laws of physics so is fair game. Biology shows that self replicating complex adaptive systems can and do exist and it's just that not yet clever enough to create them ourselves.

Grey goo and paper clips.

Well that escalated quickly: India demos homebrew mobile OS

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Interesting at least

> Guess the question is which poses the greater overall risk?

Ie, would an Indian citizen expect their own interests to align more closely with their democratically elected officials and institutions, or with a profit-driven entity from another continent?

(This OS is in the context of India's wider plans to have citizens interact with government services with digital devices, and for India to move closer to self reliance regarding its digital infrastructure.)

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: WhatsApp

> At least the government could mandate the use of BharOS for official phones.

That is exactly what their intention is at this stage. One of the chief differentiators of BharOS is that the only apps available to the user are those curated and hosted by the organisation that supplies the phones to its employees.

And as you hint at, that alone would be huge given the size of the Indian civil service. However, the Indian government has a clearly communicated roadmap called Digital India, which consists "of three core components: the development of secure and stable digital infrastructure, delivering government services digitally, and universal digital literacy."

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Let's see images or code

> Lots of sources if you just search.

Actually, there aren't lots of sources, there is just one source - an Indian Institute of Technology Madras press conference, from which was created a IIT Madras press release, upon which in turn the two articles you you linked to were based. Even then, AOSP isn't mentioned by name in the parts of the conference that were in English - the articles have read between the lines. Articles are not sources.

Thank you, for supplying the articles though, they were helpful in clarifying BharOS.

But yeah, it's an AOSP. AOSP with private app stores that mean only apps certified by your organisation can be installed by the end user. There no Google Play Services, which will upset some existing Android apps. Many other Android apps won't run because of permissions. 'Porting' an Android app to BharOS just means its original developer modifies it so that it meets the privacy criteria of the organisation that wants to deploy it to its users, and also having the app be happy to work with whatever is replacing the sort of APIs that Google Play Services usually provides.

* * *

What I learnt today, after I saw an unfamiliar word in the press release, "a 100 crore mobile phone users", and I had to look it up on Wikipedia:

"A crore denotes ten million and is equal to 100 lakh in the Indian numbering system."

Cool.

8K? That’s cute. This display has 600 million pixels

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: 1200 person people mover

> Me and 299 other cars/SUVs come together each morning to create a tiled people mover

That would be a fair comparison if those 300 vehicles were centrally controlled, as opposed to each responding locally to each other.

Still, even Randall Munroe choose to overlook this recently:

https://m.xkcd.com/2684/

(The pedestrians are shown a safe distance from one another, the cars are not. This however is moot given the other panels on the cartoon!)

There's good reason car analogies are mistrusted by many of us here.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Holy Bezels, Batman

> Those bezels are massive, and highly distracting.

I doubt the bezels would be as distracting in real life as the low res photograph has lead you to suspect. Comparing it to a few 1080 monitors on a desk is likely misleading.

The folk who put this together made this design decision based on their real experience of using its previous version to visualise data.

Time to buy a phone as shops use discounts to clear out inventories

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: My Samsung

> You wait till you drop it/the charge socket breaks. Samsungs are not very repairable.

However, I've found my Samsungs, when clad in a Spigen Tough Armour case and a glass screen protector, have shrugged off any number of drops onto concrete or into rivers. Wireless charging covers me should I ever wear out or gunk up the USB socket.

I believe many other phones in other cases will be similarly durable, but I I haven't personally tested them.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: A maze of twisty little phones ... all alike

> I can't justify the expense of a top-end model so if there's any recommendations for a phone I should look at, let me know

I bought my Galaxy S10 E reconditioned for £200, my previous phone being a £500 brand new (though bought a year after initial release) Galaxy S8.

The S22 E has an SD card reader, 3.5mm headphone socket, OLED screen, wireless charging, good waterproofing, NFC... basically all the 'extra' features that, taken as a bundle, I wouldn't do without. (Waterproofing has already payed for itself many times over several phones, the wireless charging is insurance should the USB socket ever wear out. The colour accuracy and night-time comfort of OLED screens is such I would loathe returning to LCD, even if it was of higher res.)

Best of all, the S22 E has the fingerprint sensor mounted on the power button instead of under the screen - which means the phone is fully compatible with glass screen protectors.

It is not quite as comfortable to hold as the S8 because it has wider bezels around its flat screen, but the wider bezels allow 3rd party cases (Spigen Though Armour, on both phones) to do a better job of protecting the edges of the screen. The S22E has a lower screen resolution than the S8, but then I always had the S8's resolution dialled back to 1080 anyway in order save battery life - and you couldn't tell the difference without holding the screen an inch from your nose anyway.

Oh, and both phones let you remap the extra extra Bixby button to what you want if you buy the Bxactions app. In my case, hold for Play/Pause and double press for Flashlight.

Punch-drunk Apple Watch called 15 cops to a boxing workout when it heard 'shots'

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The bill

> I assume that the bill for this whole fiasco has been dispatched to Apple?

Why? It was most likely human officers who heard the audio from the gym and made the decision to send what they saw as an appropriate response, given the information before them.

Accidental calls and prank calls to emergency services have occurred for as long as there have been telephones. So have misunderstandings. People and systems adapt.

The general doctrine of making it easy to call emergency services was arrived by our societies, not by any single company. It's even mandatory for all mobile phones to let you call emergency services without unlocking the phone. Has this decision led to accidental calls? Undoubtedly. Has it also allowed genuine calls that led to lives bring saved? Also undoubtedly.

What is the exact balance? Difficult to answer without a philosopher, an economist and a statistician walking into a bar.

Fat EVs may cause 'more death on our roads' – watchdog

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: This is an "Applies to USA only" article

Also, the planning of many American towns is based on people driving, to the extent that it is difficult to not drive.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Old people want "safe" cars

And taller cars.

Old people who have mobility problems / recovering from a hip replacement also like taller vehicles, since the higher seats are are easier to get in and out of. SUVs fit this bill, as do people-carriers, and small van-like cars such as the Citroen Berlingo.

Higher seats are also popular with parents of young children, since they don't have to stoop as low when securing their child to the seats. This has led to the new vehicle category of tall hatchback.

Psychologically, I imagine one feels safer if seated higher up, too.

This has an impact on the cross section, and this wind resistance, of the vehicle. Which is only a major concern if the vehicle is driven on faster roads.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: American cars are too heavy - solution blame electric cars

"Twelve yards long, two lanes wide,

65 tons of American Pride!

Canyonero! Canyonero!

[The Federal Highway commission has ruled the

Canyonero unsafe for highway or city driving.

Canyonero!]"

- Krusty the Clown's advertisment for a Canyonaro SUV, The Simpsons.

What goes up must come down: Logitech sales tumble amid PC slump

Dave 126 Silver badge

If Wolfclaw wants to launch his own line of gaming peripherals, he's already got an ideal brand name for it!

Haiku beta 4: BeOS rebuild / almost ready for release / A thing of beauty

Dave 126 Silver badge

> but you are the root user when running.

Will this present an insurmountable problem down the line, should Haiku become widely adopted? Or are there ways of mitigating the security issues?

Mercedes-Benz thinks Nvidia's Omniverse can help with manufacturing

Dave 126 Silver badge

> British consultancy Challenge Advisory has warned that inaccurately representing objects using digital twin technologies represents a significant risk for businesses.

That's why assessing the accuracy of the simulation is an inherent part of digital twinning process You simulate. You test. You note any discrepancies between the digital twin and the real world, and improve the model. Rinse and repeat. Eventually you have enough confidence to go with it (remember, there's no alternative that can give 100% confidence... other than building a real factory, which rather defeats the object)

Digital Twinning is by its nature an iterative process. I'm sure that Challenge Advisory know this, and their 'warning' is aimed at pointy haired bosses, not engineers.

Engineers already know that simulation in CAD is to *reduce* the number of physical protypes required, not eliminate them. Grown up CAD software allows the discrepancies twixt the simulation and the real experiments to be recorded. Digital Twinning is just taking this concept, proven in the design of cars, and applying it to car factories.

AMD follows Intel's lead with alphanumeric soup of new Ryzens

Dave 126 Silver badge

It wasn't me who downvoted you, but maybe whoever did was clumsily trying to say:

"Nobel gasses are snobby and don't like forming molecules with peasant elements, whereas Nobel was a man who created explosives that only went Bang! when they were told to and not just whenever they felt like it. (The people who used explosives considered this feature a big improvement to the User Experience, and the product became a huge commercial success. If there ever were users who opined "you're just paying the Nobel idiot-tax, I can get a much bigger bang for my buck, Dynamite's for noobs!" we will never know. )"

At least I think that's what your downvoter was trying to say. His chosen medium of communication, upvote downvote, is of very narrow bandwidth.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Non-technical people who are fussy about which CPU they have? Okay I'm joking, but only a bit! :)

Non-technical people, very reasonably, might express their wish as "I want a new laptop cos my current one is getting slow, and it'd be nice to have the battery last most of the day, and my mate's laptop seems a bit lighter than mine"

Apple get it, and usually describe their new processors on stage as being "30% faster at X than last year's model". (They then put the details of gigawotsits and cores in the press pack for the technical folk, knowing full well most technical folk will ignore the presentation and wait for for 3rd party benchmarks anyway.)

I guess my point is, even if AMD's naming scheme was sane, there would still be too many competing values - price, base speed, burst speed, single thread speed, core count, special features, efficiency - for a buyer, technical or otherwise, to keep in their head. They're better off writing down a list of CPUs that meet their requirements - on a spreadsheet, on a piece of paper, on papyrus or a wax tablet if they have to - and weigh their budget against a laptop's other aspects such screen quality, lightness, etc.

And of course, whatever laptop the customer eventually buys, there'll be a better, faster one available for less money a week later!

Dave 126 Silver badge

> You can no longer easily figure out how the latest notebook chips compare to previous generations

Google the chip name and click on the resulting notebookcheck.net link. Easy enough.

The prospective buyer would do better to compile a list of likely CPUs than to try and remember them by name anyhows. And having made a list, they might as well make it a spreadsheet. Price, performance in most applicable benchmarks, power consumption, which laptops feature which chip... the human brain isn't the best storage medium for this sort of data, not when you've got a sodding computer in front of you.

The CES tat bazaar: Bike desks, AI-powered bird feeders, and the smelloverse

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Half an hour doing dishes is enough to make the small of my back burn

> Yeah right-o, at the current cost of around 5 or 10 grand for such a renovation.

That's the cost if you raise the sink. Alternatively, you could just dig a 6" deep hole in the kitchen floor.

Next-gen Qi2 wireless charging spec seeded by Apple

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Efficiency is in the eye of the echo chamber, apparently ...

> Why the deafening silence on the subject?

Because charging a mobile phone uses sod-all energy compared to boiling water or watching television or driving somewhere.

You know that. So why are you straw-manning other people?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: I would buy one

My phone, with USB C, is already waterproof enough - it shrugs off accidental drops in puddles or its owner falling into a canal.

Also, there is no inherent reason why a port would allow water to ingress further into the phone than it would otherwise. A port is just some bits of metal embedded in some polymer.

That said, though I don't currently use wireless charging, I wouldn't buy a phone without it. Why? Because if I ever did damage the USB port, wireless charging would allow me to keep using an otherwise functional phone. Redundancy. You can buy some USB C / Lightening / 3.5mm blanking caps from your shopping website of choice.

Elon Musk's cost-cutting campaign at Twitter extended to not paying rent, claims landlord

Dave 126 Silver badge

"You didn't think I became a billionaire by writing cheques did you Homer?"

- Bill Gates to Homer Simpson, after Homer accepts an offer to be bought out and then, to his surprise, Gates' henchmen proceed to trash Homer's home office.

Riding in Sidecar: How to get a Psion online in 2023

Dave 126 Silver badge

https://m.xkcd.com/2699/

"Feature Comparison"

Randall compares the features of vatlrious social network protocols against the Cybiko, a wireless PDA designed for teenagers and sold in 2000. Cybiko, I thought, what was that again?

So I naturally googled said gadget, and read a guide on how to make the thing useful today. Spoiler alert: it involves bypassing the gizmo's proprietary data port by soldering wires onto the circuit board. I reminded of this guide by this article about the Psion.

( In the year 2000 I was still using Zip Disks, minidisks and a Nokia 3310... Sony digital cameras used floppy disks and camcorders used tape. The Cybiko passed me by, but I was aware of Palm Pilots and their modular descendants, Handspring Visors and Sony Clies)

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: As an aside...

> Your phone doesn't contain an Arm processor. It contains a cluster of clusters of Arm cores, all talking over different interlinks of different speeds

If you make anything complex enough it begins to resemble biology

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Psion Series 3A

Maybe another tinkerer will develop a way of using the Psion as a keyboard for a smartphone!

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Very interesting

The plot of a 1990s Iain Banks (no M) novel involved a family secret being held on a 1980s non-standard floppy disk format. It was something like a Hong Kong knock-off of an Amstrad PCW that the protagonists father had bought on a work trip.

I won't say which novel.

NASA may tap SpaceX to rescue ISS 'nauts in Soyuz leak

Dave 126 Silver badge

Just wondering what the worst-case effect on a crew member would be if they came back to earth in a Dragon capsule without the tailored SpaceX suit. Possibly:

-Pressure sores

-Risk of deep vein thrombosis and strokes if the astronaut's circulation is restricted

- Reduction of protection from fire

- Reduction of astronaut temperature regulation

But those are just my guesses, and I'd like to know more. If a cloud of space debris on a collision course with the ISS was detected tomorrow and all the 'nauts has to evacuate the ISS, would they risk a Dragon reentry without the suits?

Crypto craziness craps out – and about time too

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Blockchain next..

> Can we take a moment to ask why an incredibly inefficient, slow to update and questionably secure distributed database might ever be chosen over known, mature and trusted solutions?

Current solutions are only trusted because it would take more money for a bad actor to corrupt them than they could hope to gain from doing so.

A centralised database can be secure, but only for the person holding the keys. Most of the time that's fine. I rely upon the other party to value my trust - and my further custom - so our interests are aligned. That dynamic isn't always at play. So we have systems institutions, courts, regulators, to dissuade bad actors from taking my money and running. But those systems can be evaded and corrupted too.

Evaded: crypto schemes that by design fell outside of the established financial markets and their codes, rules, compensatory schemes.

Corrupted: lobbying to starve regulators of resources, making your own people regulators, being 'too big to fail' and getting bailed out by the state, all the stuff that the East India Company did and Wall Street epitomised.

The Blockchain is an interesting light by which to look at the concept of trust.

I suspect it's a question that isn't going away in a hurry, in areas of institutions, journalism, elections...

By 2026, total AR/VR goggle sales will trail a single quarter of current tablet shipments

Dave 126 Silver badge

> high quality games presented on a flat screen and controlled with high precision input devices

Or low precision input devices, in the case of the commercially successful Nintendo Wii.

The Nintendo Wii did a few things differently from the PlayStation and Xboxes of the time, and did well for it.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: No it isn't

> "Augmented reality has long been the domain of standalone headsets geared towards commercial use... "

>That's utter rubbish. The Quest 2 has 85% of the market

The Quest 2 is a VR device, the paragraph you refuted was about AR.

VR, all light entering your eyes is from a computer display.

AR, you see the world around you as you normally would, but with computer generated imagery superimposed on top. AR is much harder to accomplish technically, but it has found applications in industry.

Dave 126 Silver badge

You've missed the point @iron, but thank you for pointing out that 2005-era tablets didn't have the same shortcomings as the VR goggles of 2022 do.

2005-era tablets had their own shortcomings, which, when improved in the subsequent years, changed the balance of utility versus faff to a point where many more people bought and used them.

The current shortcomings of VR you list aren't necessarily inherent to the concept. I don't feel sick looking at the real world, suggesting there is a level of visial fidelity / refresh / focus that doesn't make me sick... It's not immediately obvious to me that technology can't advance closer to this ideal, perhaps past a threshold that is comfortable for most people.

VR can stop you interacting with people around you, true. But so do books, quiet rooms, earphones, sunglasses, hooded sweatshirts, and long walks... It can be a feature, not a bug.

But then AR might actually aid interactions with people, as a whiteboard or a boardgame does.

As for Zuck? I didn't mention Meta or Occulus, (nor would I buy their products, of course) because I was talking about the future in general when other VR / AR systems will be available. If I was a betting man, I'd put money on Apple's MKII or III AR product succeeding over Meta's. Apple have the chips, the vertical integration, a better reputation for privacy, a better reputation for knowing which consumers have spare cash, etc etc. (Their MK I device is widely rumoured to be very expensive and aimed studios developing AR content - not a mass market product. )

[Upon re-reading my previous comment I see I led with VR and ended with AR, which may have confused. My apologies. ]

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: No it isn't

> That's utter rubbish

The article said Augmented Reality was geared to commercial use. You refuted it by talking about Virtual Reality. Perhaps you misread?

Head-mounted AR (as opposed to say Pokémon Go on a tablet) has not yet been successful amongst consumers, largely because overlaying CGI over what a user sees of reality is very hard to do from an optical engineering perspective - so devices currently have poor image quality and are expensive compared to VR. Lots of money is being spent to close this gap, however.

AR is, however, already used in industrial and military settings.

Dave 126 Silver badge

> VR can not and will not be mainstream in its current form

Indeed. The same could have said, just as truly, about tablet computers in 2005. People could kinda see how a Win XP TE device might occasionally be useful for some tasks but also saw that they weighed a lot and had limited battery. So people largely didn't bother. They didn't take off. But with just some evolutions of CPU efficiency, battery and screen technologies, the form factor has done well. The pros outweighed the faff.

Notably, the market at that time, though small, did exist for tablets. Digital artists were paying to have a company called Modbook retrofit Wacom touchscreens to their Macbooks. WinXP TE tablets were used for surveying or for controlling machines.

Perhaps the pros of AR will come to outweigh the faff for many consumer. In the time, there are niche users for whom this is already true.

Why would a keyboard pack a GPU and run Unreal Engine? To show animations beneath the clear keys, natch

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Cat hair and crumbs

> What kills off using it for individual legends is that the spring and central moulding are smack in the middle of the key

Yep. If I had an unlimited R and D budget to throw at this I'd look at using optical waveguides moulded into the keycaps to display sharp clear images from a source mounted below. This approach would not affect the mass of the keys.

How big an RnD budget is it worth? I feel there is some productivity benefit to be gained from helping people learn hotkeys, for example.

Dave 126 Silver badge

> They say you can monetize the effects, but then they say you can share them.

They video used the word 'swap' not 'share', suggesting that if you have a paid-for skin and then link it to your friend's Steam account then you yourself can no longer use it.

Study finds AI assistants help developers produce code that's more likely to be buggy

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: AI generated code is pointless.

> All well and good until that fateful day when he gets distracted ever so slightly and misses that "one word in a line of text that otherwise it had generated perfectly" because it didn't generate an error

Surely thats just as valid a concern for code where every character has been tapped out on a keyboard?

See you in the pub for a riot. See you in the pub for a pont. Both are errors, one T9-like inserting a valid but incorrect word, the other fat fingers transposing o for i. Both are easy to spot and correct if you have the intended sentence in your head anyway.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: AI generated code is pointless.

Of course I appreciate that just because one developer can use Copilot responsibly ( i.e as an aid to typing, not as an aid to thinking) doesn't mean that it can't lead other developers astray.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: AI generated code is pointless.

I heard Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python, extolling the virtues of Copilot to Lex Fridman the other day:

"Copilot... I use it everyday and usually it's slightly wrong but it still saves me a load of typing, cos all I have to do is, like, change one word in a line of text that otherwise it had generated perfectly"

Qualcomm talks up RISC-V, roasts 'legacy architecture' amid war with Arm

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Fine with me

> Microsoft's reluctance to ship products for ARM must surely be a commercial choice, not a technical one.

Microsoft and Qualcomm had a secret exclusivity deal for a while. Windows on ARM was only sold on Qualcomm devices.

In praise of MIDI, tech's hidden gift to humanity

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: works mostly...

I believe that latency was higher on x86 architectures than it was on the Motorola CPUs that were used in Atari ST and Macs at the time, so musicians used these machines. Recording studios (along with DTP shops) were where Apple hung onto life through the 90s.

Because those users develooed a need for a fast interconnect for audio capture (or high Res scanners,) Apple worked with Sony to create FireWire. The first iPod used FireWire because USB wasn't fast enough at the time. The iPhone comes with Wireless Midi baked in - it's child's play to use an iPhone's screen and g sensors as Midi controllers.

Android had terrible latency for years, now it's tolerable. iPhones had a low latency of around 12 milliseconds from gen 1 onwards.

Amazon, Games Workshop announce Warhammer 40k film deal

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The Emperor is a rotting corpse!

> IP like Bored of the Rings, Rings of Power, Altered Carbon etc were butchered in the name of wokeness,

Yet more evidence that people using the word 'wokeness' would do well to define what they actually mean by it. Otherwise it just becomes a tribal badge. As in "Woke is whatever I don't like and I don't have to tell you why".

The Altered Carbon books I haven't read for years, but one thing I do remember is a powerful female antognist who is as casually dangerous to our hero as the Pharaoh's wife was to Joseph. The whole premise is that rich people can inhabit any physical body they can afford, male, female, whatever. It doesn't matter if you're richer than god and nearly immortal, and poorer humans are your playthings, as disposable as tissue paper. The TV series conveyed this well, and violently and graphically to boot.

But again, I don't know what you actually mean by 'woke', so can't specifically refute it.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Fighting Fantasy books were all stand-alone, if I recall, with no common setting or characters.

I recall wrong: Wikipedia now tells me:

Most early Fighting Fantasy titles were set in locations later revealed to be on the same continent called Allansia. Later a whole world named Titan was developed, with subsequent gamebooks set on three main continents—Allansia, Khul and the Old World.[5] Other titles are set in unrelated fantasy, horror, modern day, and sci-fi environments.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Tax Avoidance

> They've turned the cameras on to themselves and going to produce documentaries

Haha, for sure! The possibility of such a project easily turning meta (with a small m) wasn't lost on me.

Springtime! for Bezos and Amazon!

Winter! For etc

Or, having turned the cameras on themselves to create reality TV, they then add some AR malarky to make Mixed Reality TV. Let's see if they can digitally recreate Gene Wilder from the Producers and Bob Hoskins from Who Framed Roger Rabbit and insert them into the filmed footage.

Roger Rabbit is rendered photorealistically and Mr Hoskins is rendered as a 'Toon.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Tax Avoidance

Just musing... It's appropriate that Amazon produce 40K, an authoritarian universe. So maybe the best producers of a Banks Culture movie series series will distributed, an ad-hoc anarchistic collection of skilled amateurs, creating good work for the love of it, assisted by machine learning and proto Minds.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Tax Avoidance

> Look at the recent Amazon releases - they are universally carp. There is no value in what they do, but somehow they spend a ton of money on it. That doesn't sound right.

Aw, bless you. Look, it's usually a matter of luck that a production works artistically or is a market success, even with the best will in the world and with the studio bosses kept at a safe distance.

However, your conspiratorial view of world could be fun.... I'm imagining a retelling of Mel Brook's The Producers, done in the style of Mike Judge's Silicon Valley, in which the eponymous show runners, in order to pocket the financiers’ money, devise show so offensive that it is guaranteed to be a flop.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Tax Avoidance

> Tax Avoidance. If they produce cringe, low quality but expensive movies

Correlation is not Causation. Or, don't jump to assume conspiracy when cock ups are more likely.

However, I do agree that Amazon's recent Lord of the Rings series has made me wary of Amazon's approach to TV and beloved source material. I was disappointed when the Frank Kelly-helmed Consider Phlebas project was cancelled, since Kelly's other work shares sensibilities and concerns with Iain Banks's non-genre fiction, and his visual style was superb too. The project was cancelled by the late Banks's estate. Maybe they saw something in Amazon's studios that put them off the idea, and I should feel relieved that the Culture was not brought to the screen by Amazon. Maybe the trustees of Banks's estate just looked at Amazon's treatment of warehouse staff and couldn't square it with their late friend’s values.

Dave 126 Silver badge

> leaving the path open for a future trip to the Old World [ plain Warhammer, traditional orcs and elves and halflings etc], too.

That's unlikely at this time - it would get confused by the general public with that World of Warcraft movie from a couple of years back, if not with Amazon's own Lord of the Rings TV series.

That sort of commercially aware reasoning is why Guillermo del Toro chose not to to make an adaption of Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness - because a film with a similar setting (ancient alien ruins on Antarctica hiding eldritch horrors) had recently been made. Sadly, that movie was a hack job called Aliens Vs Predator.

Carmack quits Meta, brands it inefficient and unprepared for competition

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The joys of big orgs...

> I'm not sure Facebook was the right company to buy Oculus. Carmack took the money anyway, though.

It wasn't Carmack's decision. Carmack was only the Chief Technology Officer at Occulus, he wasn't its founder, and he didn't run the company. The founder was Palmer Luckey.

EDIT: Carmack joined Occulus early on, and his presentations and tech demos probably got more public attention than Luckey, so I can see why you might have the impression he was the founder / CEO.