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Real Name Tom   
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Signed On May 21, 2000, 15:34
Total Comments 1522 (Pro)
User ID 4838
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News Comments > Evening Mobilization
2. Re: Evening Mobilization Oct 8, 2014, 20:05 Tom
That Windows Phone article is hilarious. After 3 years of using Windows Phone phones, I've still never seen another person with one.  
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News Comments > Sunday Safety Dance
3. Re: Sunday Safety Dance Oct 5, 2014, 14:22 Tom
The real reason the Internet is broken, and the source of our woes, is trashy clickbait articles like this one. ZOMG!  
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches
14. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches Oct 4, 2014, 01:00 Tom
Lorcin wrote on Oct 3, 2014, 23:07:
Sorry if I missed the naunces of dogfighting back then but my tactic was:

1) Install all mining lasers
2) Shot target when it was a single pixel on the screen

That worked great when I was ten - and I have very happy memories of shooting single pixels with lasers powerful enough to destroy meteors for hours!!!
You should see the complaints from newbies in the ED forums about easy stuff like docking... I never played the original Elite so my comment was based on old timers' descriptions of how it compares to ED when it comes to difficulty of various things.
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches
10. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches Oct 3, 2014, 21:55 Tom
Before beta 2 I was a bit discouraged with the VR experience. After trying 2.0x, I feel a lot better about the future. Visual quality is greatly improved. Performance is greatly improved. Judder is all but eliminated. The galaxy map is usable - still not registering mouse input properly but at least it doesn't crash the game now. The game feels good enough in VR now that I don't expect to ever play it on a monitor again, unless I experience a hardware failure or something. And things are only going to get better.

I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying this will be a killer app for VR. The gameplay, while far more forgiving than the original Elite, is still too difficult and open-ended to get the kind of mainstream exposure one typically associates with a killer app. But it will certainly achieve a great deal of success.

You are wise to wait. I couldn't. For me it was just too long without a good space sim, too much love for the genre, and too little willpower to stay away.
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches
6. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches Oct 3, 2014, 20:29 Tom
NKD wrote on Oct 3, 2014, 20:07:
Is there anything to do in the game yet? Last I checked in on it there wasn't much to do.
Yes, there's plenty to do. But this game won't hand it to you on a silver plate. There's no compass needle always guiding you to the next selected quest in your journal. You have to decide for yourself. It's not for everyone.

Scott Manley has some nice videos about what there is to do, like his latest about exploration. Also see Isinona's videos.
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches
2. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches Oct 3, 2014, 19:59 Tom
Yeah, it's just you.  
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
1. Re: Evening Tech Bits Sep 29, 2014, 23:17 Tom
MIT Media Labs Ethan Zuckerman wrote an essay for The Atlantic in August in which he apologized for ruining the Web by coming up with the idea for the pop-up ad while with an early Internet company called Tripod. I wrote the code to launch the window and run an ad in it. Im sorry. Our intentions were good.
It's ok, Wladimir Palant fixed your mistake.
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News Comments > etc.
14. Re: etc. Sep 27, 2014, 23:20 Tom
Agreed, if you aren't man enough to buy separate rudder pedals, this isn't the product for you.

The real feel is great to have but the performance and reliability is even better IMO. Man, I need to try that aerial refueling sometime... in VR.
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News Comments > etc.
5. Re: etc. Sep 27, 2014, 16:10 Tom
You get what you pay for. A couple of years ago I faced a choice: keep buying cheap Saitek crap every few years, or invest in something that would perform well and keep on working for a long time. I picked up a Warthog in 2012 and it's been well worth it. Is it as perfect as this article paints it? No. But it's close enough. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.  
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News Comments > Wasteland 2 Earns $1.5M
49. Re: Wasteland 2 Earns $1.5M Sep 24, 2014, 18:29 Tom
Sho wrote on Sep 24, 2014, 18:13:
My 2 cents: Fallout 3 got the gameplay right, but Bethesda simply can't write dialog or create memorable characters to save their lives. New Vegas retained the gameplay and amped up the writing massively (which includes creates a gamespace with actually interesting social dynamics) and was a much better game for it overall. NV might just be my favorite Fallout, actually.
Yeah I think you're right on the money there. It's a shame too. Imagine how much better Oblivion and Skyrim could've been if they'd just had some decent writers.
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News Comments > Gauntlet Released
3. Re: Gauntlet Released Sep 23, 2014, 21:17 Tom
I know it's a classic, but I always thought the original sucked. Just not very fun and and not good value for the quarters you had to pump into it. It would be weird to play it without needing to pay...  
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News Comments > Morning Interviews
3. Re: Morning Interviews Sep 22, 2014, 18:29 Tom
The virtual meeting thing does seem pretty dumb. Who wants to be looking at a clumsy avatar version of the person they're talking to? Now, if they could convincingly reproduce mouth movement and facial expressions, that might be a different story, but that seems like a long way off. I'm not particularly interested in watching movies in VR either, although it could be nice in a reasonably calm, space-constrained environment like an airplane. I imagine early adopters would be rather conspicuous but I could see it becoming commonplace in the future.

The coolest non-gaming applications of VR I've seen so far are in architectural visualization and virtual tourism/recon. Giving people the opportunity to experience your idea/concept in VR is potentially far more compelling and enlightening than just showing pictures or video. You can let people wander around a place or examine an object that doesn't exist yet. Or if it does exist - like a rental property or home/office for sale - even better.

On the virtual tourism front, I've already spent hours exploring all kinds of places with Google Street View on the DK2. Even though it's not officially supported yet, what people have managed to hack together is really amazing. It's by far the best way to experience Street View. You actually feel like you're there. You can naturally look around in any direction and there's a real sense of depth and scale. That bus in the next lane over? Feels like it's right next to you. That tall building nearby? You have to look way up to see the top. I've toured both indoor and outdoor spaces with Street View and both work extremely well. Going back to looking at it on a monitor later on was a real let-down.
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News Comments > New Oculus VR Unit; Carmack's VR Talk
14. Re: New Oculus VR Unit; Carmack's VR Talk Sep 21, 2014, 19:39 Tom
DrSquick wrote on Sep 21, 2014, 18:56:
Silly question, but can computers handle that? You would need to be able to do 1440p at 120FPS to have 3d 1440p at 60Hz per eye, right?
The short answer is yes, computers can handle that.

The long answer is, it's complicated. Basically the scene has to be rendered twice, once for each eye, but this doesn't have the same cost as doubling the frame rate. There is certain overhead associated with each frame that doesn't have to be duplicated for each eye. Then there's resolution. The Oculus SDK documentation says that for the 1280x800 screen of the Oculus Rift DK1, the scene needed to be rendered at 2000x1056 (about 2x as many pixels) in order to get the center of the view to not be too blurry, because of the way the FOV and lens distortion works. This amount is a tweakable quality setting and will help you get to the frame rate you want, if necessary, although it's obviously not good to have to resort to this. It's up to developers how to set this and whether to expose it as a setting the user can control.

Right now, on the DK2 with its 1080p screen, a single GTX 780 is enough to easily get a solid 75 fps in most things that were designed for VR. For things that were not designed specifically for VR, it varies - some require vast decreases in quality settings and still run choppy (DCS, Elite: Dangerous), while others can run at full frame rate with high or max quality settings (LFS, Bioshock Infinite). I expect that the new stuff from NVIDIA will go a long way towards handling the demands of VR on a 1440p screen, particularly the SLI work. Proper SLI support with each card working on the rendering of one eye should be great.

By the way, I was getting 60 fps at 1440p on a 2D monitor with a 570. Sometimes I could even get nice antialiasing. A 770 should easily be able to get 60 fps at 1440p on a 2D monitor. Will it be enough for VR at 1440p? Probably, but maybe at lower quality settings than you might like. Keep in mind the Samsung Gear lets you use a Galaxy Note 4 with its 1440p display as a VR display, and they have games running on that. Your 770 is way more powerful than the GPU in even the best brand new phone, don't you think?

If you're the type that absolutely must crank every quality setting to the max, you're going to need a very beefy computer to do that with a 1440p VR headset. But if you're ok with some medium settings, you may be surprised at what is possible on mid to upper mid range hardware. And forget about low end crap like Intel graphics, of course.

It will be a big challenge for developers to make their software efficient and scalable but it's not all that different from the challenge they've always faced on the PC. One of the defining characteristics of the platform. Although with VR, the penalty for a drop in framerate is far more severe right now than on a 2D monitor - you get terribly uncomfortable stuttering when turning your head if the framerate falls below the refresh rate of the display (75Hz for the DK2). This problem should be lessened for those developers that implement asynchronous timewarp properly. (NVIDIA says they're trying to help with this as well with what they call "asynchronous warp").
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News Comments > Sunday Safety Dance
3. Re: Sunday Safety Dance Sep 21, 2014, 18:10 Tom
Yeah well, it wouldn't hurt for them to be a little more proactive too. "We sell hammers." Great excuse...  
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Launch Pricing and Preorder Bonus
57. Re: Elite: Dangerous Launch Pricing and Preorder Bonus Sep 13, 2014, 11:22 Tom
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 13, 2014, 10:45:
Sounds like spaces version of taking one to the knee.
Not really. Not being able to afford the insurance is completely avoidable with just the slightest bit of sense. That so many people get caught in this situation in Elite: Dangerous is a sad reflection of our society.
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Launch Pricing and Preorder Bonus
46. Re: Elite: Dangerous Launch Pricing and Preorder Bonus Sep 12, 2014, 19:34 Tom
DangerDog wrote on Sep 12, 2014, 18:54:
Microsoft can buy them up, because they like to buy up everybody.

ForgedReality wrote on Sep 12, 2014, 16:57:
Now if they could only make some ships that didn't look like fucking cheese wedges...
No one has as many friends as the man with many cheeses.

Wildone wrote on Sep 12, 2014, 18:24:
No but the joystick was developed as the best method for controlling a vehicle in the air and space in this case as they are modeled like jet fighters in a lot of ways. You can't circle strafe anyone in this so its a bit of a waste using a M&K
When it comes to games, the effectiveness of a particular type of input device is directly proportionate to how the developer has designed and implemented support for said device. Real-world factors are secondary.
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News Comments > Saturday Interviews
10. Re: Saturday Interviews Sep 7, 2014, 14:17 Tom
Um yeah, vsync does cap framerates. Let's start with the basics. Vsync stands for vertical synchronization, which means synchronizing the updating of the framebuffer of a graphics card with the vertical blanking interval of a CRT. A CRT contains an electron gun which is sweeping over the display to refresh the phosphors that maintain the image on the screen. During the vertical blanking interval, the framebuffer can safely be updated without causing tearing. Tearing happens when you see part of an old frame along with part of a new frame because the framebuffer got updated while the monitor was in the middle of refreshing the visible contents of the screen.

Technology has moved on since the days of CRTs but vsync still means syncing framebuffer updates with the refresh rate of the display device. If you're performing such synchronization, you aren't updating the framebuffer more frequently than that. Hence the refresh rate serves as a limiting factor (cap) on the rate at which frames are rendered and presented to the user.

Of course, there are plenty of ways for a programmer to be an idiot and screw this up, but really - what sense is there in asking the GPU to render more frames than the display will pass along to the user? It's just wasteful and stupid.

You are correct in that a frame limiter is different from vsync. A frame limiter simply caps the framerate with no attempt at synchronizing to the rate of something else such as the display's refresh process. This is why you get tearing if you use a frame limiter set to your monitor's refresh rate and don't use vsync. There is no synchronization.
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News Comments > Saturday Interviews
8. Re: Saturday Interviews Sep 7, 2014, 11:22 Tom
The overheating thing shouldn't really be surprising to anyone who has gamed on a non-entry-level smartphone before. These things can get seriously toasty. And you can kiss your battery goodbye.

The good news is that as mobile processors continue to get more powerful, they should get more useful at lower levels of utilization. We can see this effect with desktop GPUs. If I lower the temperature target on my 780s to 70C, I can get nice cool and quiet performance even when inept game developers have irresponsibly programmed their games to waste all available resources no matter what. It's sad that they manage to do this even when the framerate is capped by vsync.
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News Comments > Evening Legal Briefs
4. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Sep 5, 2014, 23:18 Tom
Yeah, and putting it all into housing costs. No thanks.  
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News Comments > Sunday Tech Bits
6. Re: Sunday Tech Bits Aug 31, 2014, 15:56 Tom
So long and thanks for all the analysis, Anand. The hardware world won't be the same without you.

Don't get any ideas, Blue.
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1522 Comments. 77 pages. Viewing page 19.
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