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  • Should Brian Moriarty play some Machinarium?

    http://www.polygon.com/2015/3/6/8162949/loom-sequel-telltale-double-fine-wadjet-eye

    Okay I'd rather have Samorost 3 than Loom 2, for obvious reasons to anyone who has played both. I mean, if you already set expectations by doing a sequel, the cynical me says financial concerns may've been put ahead of the experience.

    A much better approach is to forget about the "2,3,4," sequel deal and use a sub-title (like Assasin's Creed did recently). This emphasizes that this is part of the same world but not necessarily something that should be directly compared.

    I wish Ubisoft wasn't so stuck on the mechanics that weren't that good in the first place in the AC series. I got frustrated with the first AC within a hour - all the nice sceneries wasted on rather mind-numbing gameplay. Imagine if they had put a proper game there, something like Myst: URU but in AC setting and bit faster progression with action optional depending on what you do.

    I could definitely see adventure game like Indy 3/4 in that AC style visual environment - you could choose whether to do puzzles/conversation/action to progress in freeform way, with no flashy gui's or tutorials popping up - if you want to fight go find some teacher inside the game world (but make that optional). (and have locations of varying style instead of time travel gimmicks).

     

  • microsoft hololens designer Mike Ey killed

    There could be an add-on system sold to existing cars that sticks a bunch of cameras at eg. top edge or corner of window (like hidden cameras but looking out instead of in or both in & out). Then use them to create a virtual 2d "radar" map that pops up when something noteworthy is going on so you have couple seconds to decide what to do if anything (it could suggest some action if it was determined there was going to be a collision). The mandatory autonomous braking systems of cars following you would ensure that if you did do a sudden braking then all the cars following would also.

     

  • What the win 10 titlebar means for your phone

    Certainly seems a bit experimental to have user feedback drive design - it's the old problem of context, grouping, sorting & ranking. To efficiently find the best ideas from a bunch of feedback (in any language or poorly spelled too?) is non-trivial task to automate. The easy choice is to just go with the highest voted feedback but there might be a single vote feedback that solves both the high vote issue and a bunch of others.

    By the time some item ends up with highest amount of votes, it might well be that there's a bunch of better ideas out and worst case the competition is reading through the low vote feedback and end up gaining the edge while you're busy implementing the high vote item that addresses some old issue - old by the time the competition shows of their solution that addresses that and a few more in a smarter way.

    Of course if you have a lot of votes in support of some issue, people with better ideas may prefer to post them as separate feedback because of various reasons, such as if you perceive your idea to be that much better than the one with highest votes, you might feel it deserves something more than just a footnote in the comments. (This is a particular feature of stackoverflow I like : the question/problem creates a "grouping" and the answers offer solutions/ideas that * while the question keeps the area/context well defined)

    *(atleast initially on equal ground - I'd rather remove the public stats and names from SO to remove the problem where high stat person can be perceived as some form of authority - I suspect most don't really care who wrote the answer in SO but simply having a high voted answer by some high stat guru could be enough to stop people from looking further answers if there's already plenty of them - perhaps there should be 2 columns - sort col1 by highest voted and col2 by latest date first)

  • The new 2019

    This shows the issue with Yoga without a support/kickstand, if you didn't catch it from the explanation above. (when the display is thin & light & large, you really need both rigidity and friction support to make it a proper two handed drawing surface)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-93B1lF5U4s

    @ 8m 20s

  • The new 2019

    The video linked shows some sort of tablet sitting flat on the table. Well I've been in school enough to know how horrible that is. You don't want to be staring down at the table. Or holding some tablet up in the air while trying to do serious work on it. A 180 degree hinge + kickstand design (I don't think any OEM has such out yet) allows to have adjustable degree and extreme rigidity even at the < 1 KG form factor for both drawing+touch configuration (display turned 90-180 degrees + stand in use) and writing (laptop configuration - display 0-90 degrees with no need for stand for lap use).

    The problem with the traditional ultrabooks that have limited degree of adjustment for the display is that a) you can't get it to a rigid configuration for pen use b) if you are in a cramped space like plane or bus, I've yet to see flat displays with low enough color shift to be unnoticeable from high angle of attack (laptop very near to chest, you can't have the display facing straight enough and colors start to shift even in the best flat displays I've seen).

    The issue with detachable displays is that 1) the display needs to be extremely light for the device to still work as proper laptop without stand 2) if you consider drawing with pen a possible primary professional use - then you want to configure the laptop into a rigid configuration that's similar to Surface Pro 3. - book stand style. In this configuration you might want to use both touch and pen - eg. left hand touch and right hand pen - with them doing different functions. If the display is detachable, it would need to have a kickstand. From design pov the issue with that is that just having the stand behind the display defines a lot of how the device will look in retail setting. As long as traditional laptops without stands are around in majority, it's going to look odd.

    My new idea is that if you have a Yoga like 180 degree hinge design, you can configure that to "drawing/painting-stand" configuration by turning the display 90+ degrees then optionally pulling some sort of stand from the base of the computer (not from the display), if you need extreme rigidity for using touch + drawing simultaneously without holding the device. The keyboard side should have some sort of high friction material subtly in few places to keep the device from moving.

    What would be even better? Well in the back in the hinge area, there could be a slot for adding an actual dead tree book stand. And then have slots on the display front and keyboard side for adding a support column when using the laptop as a real book stand. #1 reason I stopped reading dead tree books is that I don't have a rigid high friction book stand. Of course, now you'd also need extreme high friction support at the bottom of the laptop. This could be had by turning around the drawing-mode support/stand - on one side it would be smooth and other side rubbery.

     

  • Pixie Dust: Graphical Levitation System

    All I could think of was the safety aspect of walking in a room using such tech. You could create some floating 3d display probably reasonably safely if no one goes stand in where the waves go (they could of course detect you and stop before you go too near). So at best I see a room where you could be surrounded these and having them turn off quickly could theoretically allow building some sort of 3d material based vr image. Though if there's some glitch - some of that stuff could collide in flight and bounce to your face so I'd still want some protection. At these low freq it's also likely to be hard to avoid the movement of the objects so being near it, the vr-objects would look quite low res, limited by how much room there needs to be around each floating thing.

    Practical VR? Well if people could be put to half-sleep eyes open and then use some vr glasses to throw some images to the dream, the brain could, if it works as I'd imagine, fool you to really believe it was real + incorporate the stuff on the glasses into the half-dream world. eg. Like waking up, but not waking up and then waking up .. but not yet waking up. I've once had dream exactly like that.

     

    Few times I've also had a dream state where I could keep my eyes consciously slightly open and still have some level of dream like state going - see something blurry that wasn't there. Once it really was like that Simpsons e1 train visualization scene - high detail and being able to retain the consciously imagined thing visible with eyes closed. That's as close to half-awake-VR I've been. 

    My most enjoyable dream was where I was able to compose new music in realtime for multiple instruments simultanously (perhaps inspired by that Trek episode where Data listen to many musical scores at once - there was also a TV doc where someone was said to succesfully do same for couple scores at a time - ie it sounded like cacophony for us but he was able to discern the songs out of it). That dream went on for surprisingly long time given that I had felt like I had plenty of half-conscious control over the score (if I'd had full consciousness then it wouldn't have went on for so long as at that point the brain would be asking is this for real and end it right there - so probably for the fake-dream-VR to work, parts of the brain need to be kept in control to avoid them trying to stop them dream related activity that lets you think it's real and allow for doing stuff you wouldn't think possible while awake).

    Quick search found this "Recently, researchers discovered a brain area that acts as a kind of on-off switch for the brain. When they electrically stimulated this region, called the claustrum, the patient became unconscious instantly."

     

     

  • No MSDN renew with media option

    I don't think you need any software to make bootable windows installs, atleast on reasonably modern computers. Format, activate partition (diskpart/diskmgmt) and do what you need to get the root files/boot folder etc on the activated partition.

    There may still be some requirement (depending on the booting computer) that certain files are not "too far" in the bootable volume. So to be sure I've copied the largest folder last.

    Some years ago I tried to have 8 GB SD card as a cheapo "ssd" in my 486. I did get it working but it took a while to figure out that it was actually working as it takes so long time to get the prompt - apparently by having a DOS & BIOS from ~1992 or something, there's some rather slow process involved that may be related to the size of the boot drive or amount of folders/files or whatever. Kind of like those text editors that have their file open time determined by the size of the file opened instead of how many pages are visible on the screen. - reminds me of that Vmware snapshot deal where time to resume snapshot depends on size of the vm's memory. As if the vm was actually needing to access all that immediately after it was resumed ... Oh well I'll see if one of those 3 GB/s NVMe SSD's is of any help here when they're better available.-

     

     

     

  • My MultiMedia player is the default - where do I get the file path

    There's atleast 3 options. (if you already set your player as default but aren't getting the file then check with process monitor if the file is being passed (may need windbg or some com spy app if using dde or com). There's many ways to pass the file: command line param, dde, com but I only use approach #1 below for my stuff)

    1. Easiest and cleanest with no risk (for personal use): right click context menu option that's for all files. example:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
     
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\JujuEdit\command]
    @="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Jujusoft\\JujuEdit\\jujuedit.exe\" \"%1\""

    (don't do this on other peoples system without asking though, people don't like things that put their stuff to explorer context menus without asking)

    2. for all file extension desired, create a handler that's similar to #1 -I don't have example (this is bit similar to right clicking a file and using "open with .. choose default program" - except you're doing it on the users behalf, so to be nice you'd have to have a setup where you ask what extensions people want to use your app with)

    3. create native handler that checks if the file is a video and then does stuff. risky since these tend to always have bugs that show up in other peoples systems. I personally avoid apps that use this approach or remove their handlers. To avoid issues it's best to test all apps in VM, if they install explorer integration dll then I might use app virtualization if there's not way to avoid their shell integration.

     (this is what the jujuedit installer attempts to do if explorer context menu integration is selected, it worked for XP but in vista or 7 it broke Device Manager! So that's why I created the registry option #1 above. Old WinRar 4.x versions also had bug related to this kind of handler. These also tend to interact with nvidia/amd context menu stuff their drivers install and sometimes in buggy ways, so when doing this kind of dll, test it with popular drivers and apps that also integrate with explorer - sometimes the bugs are quite obscure and if you have only few users they might not be able to figure out what's going on unless they can track it down that the issue started when app x was installed)

     

     

     

  • Most epic method you've seen?

    @cheong: As long as you're consumer then yeah do whatever makes for a nice user experience. But BCL is full of stuff that is using exceptions. I don't think there's any scenario where a library should throw exception in a potential hot code path. And how does a library implementor know they are or aren't in a hot path of some library end user? There's certainly some cases where you can be quite sure of that but defaulting to exceptions in anything someone could be calling could mean that when they find that you're doing so, they'll have to go looking for another library or hack the library some way to add a path that doesn't throw in the hot path.

    btw. I found more "epic stuff" recently:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2004/07/20/188696.aspx

    This was linked in some discussion about error handling.

    I then I started thinking a bit about some sort of ideal os/runtime/language with nice error and status propagation and scheduling that ensures that latency from input to output is always the worst case - so the system would eventually "arrive" at some unknown IO latency. The nice thing about this is that as long as the worst case latency was acceptable, user would not notice any degradation or inconsistent timing and this scheduling system would probably be compatible with existing apps. Every app would then have a button from which you could view the latency between various input and outputs - if the app processed something slowly even just once, the entire app would be processing things slowly - essentially a sort of soft-exception that user may notice and file a bug about - then the dev would proceed to fix the app or the user would go and find an app that can maintain a latency that's acceptable for their usage.

  • P Andriod reached the end of the road?

    Those Samsung droids still have the nicest displays IMHO (I've read some complains about them but it might've been about few years old models with lower DPI's).

    The issue I have with recent Androids, forgetting about all the technical stuff, is how crowded the UI looks in atleast the shop models - very much like OEM PC laptops. I actually use my old 2.3 Android and it's very clean and placement of functions seems more intuitive. (I use it because I haven't found phone holders for my backpack that hold the 4+ inch models)