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Richard Anthony Hein Richard.Hein Stay on Target
  • Oculus joined Facebook ... wut

    , Bas wrote


    ...but you don't need virtual reality for any of that. This has already been done using simple webcams that are in everything.



    I don't understand why everybody would assume they would make a purchase like this in order to keep doing what they were already doing. If Nokia had never expanded into the electricity business, they'd still be making rubber boots.

    Yeah, but people don't have web cams on their faces for potentially hours at a time, that has a direct relationship to the application being used (i.e. immersed in a VR environment, with the screen right in your face, there is no chance that a persons eyes are looking at something unknown, like a random web page if you just have a web cam sitting on a desk).  You could be looking out the window and not the screen and the web cam data is useless.  But in a VR context, that data is invaluable.  Also, web cams aren't sending data back to Facebook, and even though this thought about how such tracking may be used is only a possibility, if I came up with it, I'll bet someone at Facebook sure did.  It seems obvious to me. 

    As for your second point, you are right, they may want to do something completely different and not connect this to social networking or communication ... except that's exactly what they said they were going to do.

  • Oculus joined Facebook ... wut

    , magicalclick wrote

    Seriously guys, the level of FB hate is screaming troll behaviors. Just because FB bought it, it is now crap? This is low, very low.

    Do you have any idea how Oculus came about?  They were funded by a Kickstarter and one of the most successful ones at that, and espoused certain values, which this purchase just spits on.  Facebook is all about collecting and mining information about its users to sell that information to the highest bidder, and now they own one company that promised to make VR real for everyone, and we supported them in that mission.  Now the mission will be to make the Facebook social network grow in VR. 

    VR has huge potential, and I can't understate it.  When it gets to the point that you can record in 3D, anywhere, anytime, and share and play back 3D in VR, and post that stuff to Facebook, they will have a massive amount of data to use to manipulate/market things to people.  For example, it's early and they only have head tracking, but eye tracking is inevitable.  With eye tracking you can do things like depth of field adjustments (i.e. the angle of the eyes shows the depth you are looking, so one could focus/blur the target area).  Such data collected could show just what and how long you looked at something.  Even head tracking can do that, with less precise results.  Then, add pupil dilation data.  What's the value of that?  Well, you can control the amount of light in response to pupil dilation which would be useful for VR.  But now you have things like stimulation detection, and can tell when a person is aroused, stressed out and so on, and get a high probability result to determine if someone is lying.  Then add neurolinguistic programming to the mix that uses feedback from your eyes to determine what is working and what is not and you can make advertising that establishes long term suggestions overtime.  Yeah, I am not joking.  Marketing already uses whatever data they have to perform neurolinguistic programming on consumers.

    So yeah, I don't like it, and it's not "low, very low" to be pissed off at Oculus for selling out, it was "low, very low" of them.

    Let's say that Facebook has no intention of using this technology for marketing ... then how are they going to make money?  Mark is just interested in VR?  How do they justify it to the investors?  Do you really believe they won't use WhatsApp for marketing?  They don't need ads in the product to collect data about who's talking to who and for how long and who else they contact around a certain time frame, and they don't need to give you ads to mine your conversations.  They don't need direct ads in games to get valuable data about people, either.  I am sure there are tons of possibilities here that Facebook would employ, that I haven't thought of.

  • Oculus joined Facebook ... wut

    Imagine for instance, if Facebook just "anonymously" collected eye tracking data.  What it would do for product placement, determining user interest, and essentially, reading their minds to find out what they want?  I haven't been interested in Google Glass for precisely this kind of reason.  Companies that only make money on marketing and advertising, I simply don't trust to wrap something around my brain and intercept my senses all day.

  • Oculus joined Facebook ... wut

    Wow, I don't know how to feel about this except for the fact that it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/oculus-joins-facebook/

    I think the network effect gives Facebook too much power, and maybe that's why I'm concerned.  If they get into the hardware that I want to use, then they have that much more power over me.  It's just ugghh.  Imagine Facebook taking in information about everything you do with Oculus to "improve Facebook products and services".  Oh, yeah, sure ... it's all private and safe in their NSA loving hands. 

  • Windows Azure -> Microsoft Azure

    Seems like a waste of time and money to me.  What's the big deal?  Suddenly everyone is going to understand that Azure can host Linux VMs?

  • Humans Can Discriminate More than 1 Trillion Olfactory Stimuli

    According to this http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6177/1370, humans can distinguish between over 1 trillion different smells ... so in the category of crazy ideas, how can we use smell to improve programming, and bring new meaning to "code smell"?  :)  Are humans able to distinguish, meaningfully, combinations of smells?  Could you understand what some code does, on any level, by smell?  :)

    EDIT:  Obviously I am asking tongue-in-cheek, but it's interesting because scent "far outperforms the other senses in the number of physically different stimuli it can discriminate"; so what can we do with it?

    EDIT2:  But if we were really that good at discriminating smells, how come I am unsure if this cream is sour or not?

  • convert from VB6?

    And here's the link to the MSDN landing page for the VBUC:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/ff793478.aspx 

  • convert from VB6?

    , cheong wrote

    @JoshRoss:Indeed. Last time I have a medium sized project converted (I was using VS2003 to convert it to .NET 1.1) it produced 70+ errors and 200+ warnings, not to mention the needed code cleanup like using Interop to access registry writing APIs.

    If time is not a problem I'd recommend you to port the code yourself.

    70 errors and 200 warnings do not take long to fix.  They are usually all around the same kind of problems, half are fixable by a good regex search and replace.  The others are usually fixed by just using dynamic (or VB.NET late binding).   Which is an important thing to note.  VBUC (Visual Basic Upgrade Companion) doesn't produce C# code using dynamics for you.  So it's best to choose the option to NOT try to upgrade COM Interop code with helpers or you'll spend a bunch of time fixing stuff when you just need to leave it alone, and go through the "NOT UPGRADED" warnings in the code, and you will be able to easily just switch the types from object to dynamic and not have to do too much.  If you want you can then change those from dynamic to whatever if you add a RCW reference to the COM library.

    I can say that some things like wizard UIs didn't convert really, really well.  I had to go through exactly how things were being loaded up and fix some issues there.  However, in the end it was all a lot simpler than a total rewrite.

  • convert from VB6?

    Artinsoft, Visual Basic Upgrade Companion. Free for up to 10,000 LOC, with the code, "MSDN". Used it very recently. Not 100%, but pretty good. It is also your only option.

  • Quantum Entanglement + 3D printing + more.

    @magicalclick: My understanding is that you would have to entangle particles using an experimental apparatus local to the source of particles, by for example, splitting a photon, or by using a intermediary, such as a laser, between two particles.  Then you'd have to transmit at least one of those entangled particles to your destination.  Either way, you couldn't transmit anything faster than light. 

    Once the experiment has been set up, say, after years of travelling at near-light-speed, then they would be remote and the entangled quantum might do what you suggest.  But a huge practical problem emerges:  You would have to entangle every atom and particle in someone's body, or brain somehow, transmit the remote half of the experiment someplace without disturbing anything, and then once set up remotely, protect it from outside interference. 

    Over time, the local and remote experiment would become naturally and temporarily entangled to local particles, from the environment, including any source of electromagnetic energy, such that it would become "randomized" in some sense.  That is to say, entanglement between two or more particles is not a permanent bond, and is very fragile.  I don't want to say anything is impossible, but it sounds very, very hard. ;)