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Discussions

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  • GB game patches.

    @Sven Groot: As if someone went and redid all the textures. From what I read they maybe did a bit of batch-style photoshopping at most or scaled them up such that the algos in the game would not crush the detail so much. (theory: I think that some of these 3d engines/drivers have similar effect as a lossy compressor would - there's various levels of filtering involved that may have variying degree of visible result depending on texture source and internal resolutions - this would explain the results I talked about where games were hacked to render at eg. 4x res and then the output was scaled down back to 1080 res with notable differences - such internal "resolutions" are also at play when doing stuff to audio, that's why synths may internally use higher sample rates etc)

    Bottom line: bunch of after-the fact algorithmic post processing on both textures and effects, can infact notably change how good the game looks (I tweaked skyrim shaders for 2 weeks using ENB and it looks like different game, kind of like a video/photo of a CRT running 320x200 game shown on LCD can look better than same game in directly playing on the LCD). The tricky bit here is that people who are this level of perfectionists and artist-type have low chance/desire of getting through any level of interviews (even if they sought a job, artists rarely do as 9 to 5 just isn't for them or me) as by definition if you are perfectionist you tend to value your opinions way above those of non-perfectionists. I think one needs some of that to be a great artist. I do change my opinions very quick if facts support doing so - but in subjective matters like art where it can take years of work to break through to public consciousness you just need to keep improving your own style. Producers are a bit different here as they also look at what the public might be interested in, avoiding the too esoteric / forward looking stuff etc. That's why I think artists need producers and technical people also to get something great & consumable done. Very few highly successful total one man shows out there.

    In somewhat similar note, I read about a company Microsoft etc use that hires autistic people to do QA as they are apparently way better in it. Of course they probably only pay 50% of the salary as they couldn't get a job elsewhere, while charging MS who knows what for that 10x improvement (or so the company claims).

     

     

     

  • GB game patches.

    It's just if you have 1 TB drive then you think using 5% isn't that bad.

    The more tricky/interesting question is whether the increase in size brings perceptible quality increase. eg. I think some 80s stuff made with whatever low bit sampler and tiny memory, recorded on analog tape, sounds better to me than most what I've heard in last 10 years. One theory here is that people doing the 80s pop worked the stuff they had more, where now producers perhaps take some higher quality samples but don't do as much further working and time. Here's how I would imagine bean counter turned musician would think : every track sells for about the same and public may not pay much more so just pump out a lot of content to capture market share vs spending more time on one thing hoping it will be big hit. (actually that's how some music producers thought even way back - one producer under many names and labels and artists and artists having multiple brands/names.. atleast in electronic music)

     

    Particularly interesting in 3D graphics are some games where there's plenty of screenshots taken at higher resolutions than the game originally supports and it seems the textures etc have increased in quality despite no changes being made to the textures! My theory is that either the game engine or the driver optimizations have in some cases big impact on the final quality that might've been necessary for good benchmark results at the time the game was released, but years later with more gpu power, with higher resolution rendering (scaled back to original res) is like "taking the shades off" in terms of whatever is going on affecting the image quality, reveals that the textures in the game weren't that bad after all. eg. Some Mass Effect screenshots I've seen were like if there was 2x more detail in the textures that you couldn't access.

  • WP IE running in ​background??​?

    Anyone know if WP IE sends crash reports automatically? sometimes when I open some mobile site (youtube mobile) and then use it a bit, it just suddenly closes entirely. Would be nice if it atleast said that there was a problem and do I want to send crash report and what level of memory dump etc as I don't want to send reports if there's chance something I don't want to send would be send and whether the reporting is sent encrypted etc.

  • I predict the new Macbook 12" will sell a lot ... if

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7063425

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7048209

    (suggests that 4-6 computers so far having same issue)

    I already returned one computer for this issue and they replaced it, only to have it happen on my new one too. I think this is going to be a huge ongoing problem for Apple with this computer...

    So looks like Apple may have f'd things up. I noticed space bar issue within 15 minutes in every Macbook 12 in the shop and Apple didn't notice it before shipping? (the issue I noticed is different than what is reported above - I noticed that it takes less force to press down than other keys - I'll go back to the store to see if I can repro this other issue)

    Another big problem I have is, even if I wanted to buy this, the shops don't stock the high end model, you have to factory order it which can take 2-4 weeks. I explained to the shop how this doesn't make any sense and they should always stock atleast two of any product they sell because a) If you don't have it then I won't buy it b) if I buy it and it's DOA, I need immediate replacement.

    The store also said that replacing defective keys is much more involved than in other models.

     

  • Smartphone with a ​tobacco/cig​arette smoke detector?

    @cheong: I noticed earlier that the 1020 specs mentioned barometer. Not sure if this w10 api will make it available or not...

    https://github.com/Microsoft/Windows-universal-samples/tree/master/barometer

  • Smartphone with a ​tobacco/cig​arette smoke detector?

    If traveling it's not uncommon to get some sort of food/water related poisoning (atleast on first trip or two). I understand immune systems of frequent travelers can somewhat adapt to that but I'd rather have a handheld laboratory just to be sure (Kitchen nightmares anyone?) and "train" the immune system in more controlled ways...

    Also people traveling may end up working sleeping in places where the room needs to be user ventilated but not all people are as sensitive to air pollutants and some such may not smell (that case of cheap ebay sata cables that don't really smell but irritate eyes etc while sealed in a plastic bag - plastic bags aren't impenetrable) yet could pose issues in poorly ventilated areas.

    So such air sampling smartphone could alert you if there is need to ventilate the area etc.

    I've also read dogs can be trained to smell people with internal disease that doctors could not detect (atleast not easily), so it's possible that many of diseases have some sort of "trace smell" that's only barely detectible. There could be some sort of belt that you wear that collects whatever internal odors seep through the skin and then some sort of usb device that you can run the belt through that analyzes what was caught. (similar concept to some adhesive tape grabbing bunch of dust and other stuff which could be then inspected) - actually the method used in one of the  linked tobacco smoke detectors sounded a bit like this.

  • Smartphone with a ​tobacco/cig​arette smoke detector?

    @evildictaitor: Interesting but need some actual product available with performance reviewed before saying "done". If you've already seen such test results then link those please.

    Interesting thing about this is that the tobacco smoke smell sticks to clothes quite quickly. I can smell that with no smoke present. So what I am smelling then and does the detector go off based on what.

    edit: I found that the first product had link to http://ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/03/09/ntr.ntt007.abstract

    Based on the approach I would wonder about the longevity of it - unless it recalibrates or cleans itself automatically (though you'd think as the smoke sticks around to even hard surfaces, eventually it needs some sort of replacement or cleaning).

  • I predict the new Macbook 12" will sell a lot ... if

    I'm still a bit bummed about the lack of 3G+LTE in it. Surface 3 (not pro) has that option but the processor is half the speed of the Core M Broadwells (probably noticeable debugging C#) and I haven't yet checked if the new type cover for the non-pro is any better.

    I suppose one just has to take multiple gadgets (like external battery back and some sort of dock). The scenario I'm thinking of is if you go travel, you could leave some of that stuff in a hotel room or whatever and take the extra weight only if you know you might need it - with heavier laptop you'll take it with you always.

     

     

  • I predict the new Macbook 12" will sell a lot ... if

    @elmer: Well the coolness is really a function of how much there is going on and at what freq&voltage. Earlier I specified that I should be able to have an OS that has nothing going on unless I start it. So if Apple/MS take that to heart, the battery consumption and thus power use and heat should be zero.

    I'm currently using a 10 year old Pentium M laptop with a customized power policy (just through the power options/advanced menu, nothing special). I set the % values based on monitoring cpu clocks to such that the old laptop runs without turning the fan on and stays at about 35-40 C. So if "cool" is defined at say 30 C, I think it's feasible. (That laptop is running software that keep the network and cpu active constantly - the power policy caps the Mhz at ~500 - the cpu load stays at about 30% - so it's not quite literally "constantly" as that would be 100% use)

     

  • Smartphone with a ​tobacco/cig​arette smoke detector?

    I'm surprised no one has come up with this idea.

    A lot of people have the problem where they move to a house and everything is cool and then some neighbours move in that smoke all day (or atleast when you open the window, I wonder if they hear the sound and think another smoker is coming out they could talk to etc).

    The smokers have the huge benefit that they breath the smoke through a filter. The smoke coming through a window is unfiltered. So this is clearly a major health issue (actually the bigger health issue is that you can't leave the window open so various plasticizer etc based synthetic materials decompose or degas and cause toxic air issues).

    Now obviously, such specific and very sensitive smoke filter has not been done before (all the existing cig smoke sensors I found are either slow to detect or detect UV from the lighter instead of smoke) because this kind of detection would require lab-grade computer analysis for air quality.

    But if required sensor was in a smartphone or some cheap accessory that sent the raw data to smartphone for analysis, then you could build a specific smoke detector for I'm guessing less than $100 if mass produced.

     

    How would such detector be built?

    Well first you would need some sort of means to circulate air through it without a fan. This is clearly possible as there are "fanless fans" (eg. dyson bladeless fan without moving parts).

    Then you need to probably shine a broad spectrum light through the air and use a spectrum analyzer and some processing to recognize the specifics of the smoke. (this tech exists already used in varius ways to detect things, even from long distance)

    Last but not least, wireless alarm would be triggered by the smoke to inform the smokers that they should buy not only "tobacco filters" but similar technology as used in factory pipes - I think they're called smoke scrubbers. I'll leave it to the smokers to figure out how to effectively install them. Or they could just move to testing the electric cigs that atleast are only as bad for 3rd hand exposure as 1st hand exposure (as they don't use filters and don't have those 2000+ substances of tobacco smoke).