JP Jones’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Feb 26th, 2016 @ 9:47am

    Re:

    VR's motion sickness issues are highly dependent on the person as well as the program you're using. For relatively stationary or slow-moving experiences, especially if inside a vehicle or capsule of some sort, it's pretty easy to avoid any motion sickness at all.

    Your brain is pretty adaptable, and can usually adjust to different sensory input. I had issues going over an hour or so with the Oculus DK2 when I first got it, now I don't have any issues unless I'm in a particularly rough game. In fact, the number one issue that causes motion sickness for me isn't movement but FPS lag or judder.

    As long as the framerate doesn't dip most people will be fine after getting used to it, and if you're really motion sickness prone, well, there's probably a lot of really fun things you can't do. That sucks, but it doesn't mean that's the fault of the system.

  • Feb 26th, 2016 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I misunderstood the question; I thought he was asking if VR had depth perception.

    Obviously if you can't perceive depth in real life you won't be able to in VR, just like it won't make the blind see or the deaf hear. I'm not exactly sure why anyone would expect VR to give someone senses they didn't already have.

    That being said, it shouldn't significantly degrade the effect, since it's what the person is already used to.

  • Feb 25th, 2016 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: As someone susceptable to motion sickness already...

    Actually it's both, sort of. The Gear VR doesn't technically have "head tracking" in the same sense as the final Rift does. There's two distinct sensors.

    The gyro determines your head's rotation. So if you look up, left, right, etc., it's the gyro that is detecting it and adjusting your view.

    Head tracking, however, uses IR cameras to determine where your head is in 3D space. With only the gyro, for instance, the system will tell if you look up or down, but not if you move your head forward or backward, like leaning in your chair. This actually isn't that bad for VR, but isn't great for detailed environments, and can be jarring.

    The IR cameras give the system a way to tell where your head is, so you can lean forward and objects will move closer to you, duck and look below virtual objects, etc. They aren't present on the Gear VR because they require a special camera on a desk or mount, and the phone version is designed to be portable. The final Rift (and competitors) will have external sensors used for head tracking and controller tracking for hand sensors.

  • Feb 25th, 2016 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    People get used to motion sickness issues, plus there are plenty of methods to overcome them. Pilots have been using simulators for years as training tools and handle it just fine. There are plenty of tricks they've already used to avoid motion sickness, including blacking out the screen when you move your head rapidly to avoid blur.

    In fact, unless you're either extremely sensitive or doing something in VR that's very different from what your body expects, like a roller coaster (not that bad) or a forced camera view (much worse) most people will probably adjust to motion sickness in modern VR in a matter of minutes. VR is probably easier to handle than, say, deep sea boating, and thousands of people do that without issues.

    The human body is pretty adaptable. Don't underestimate it.

  • Feb 25th, 2016 @ 9:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "It's just 3D without the 3D glasses. They'll have head tracking, but no depth perception."

    Um, no. VR has nearly perfect depth perception. That's the primary reason a powerful computer is needed; VR works by independently rendering separate images for each eye, with images based on the 3D rendering of the scene, which gives the exact same impression you get from seeing actual physical objects.

    3D glasses work on a similar principle, but because they require a distant screen, they need to trick your eyes into seeing two different images transposed on the same screen. That's why they're slightly different colors and look fuzzy if you view them without the glasses; they have two simultaneous images rendered together, with the glasses filtering one image for each eye, to create the 3D effect. This is much less convincing, however, since the filter inevitably dilutes the color contrast and because the 3D effect is dependent on your position from the screen, which is why sitting on the edge of 3D movies tends to look weird.

    VR has none of these issues, and can make adjustments for your head in 3D space via IR cameras. The effect is on a completely different level from 3D movies. If you thing VR is just another 3D movie but worn on your head you're in for a jarring surprise when you see the real thing.

  • Feb 25th, 2016 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Meh. This is a revolution?

    "Not having tried any VR headset, I'm pretty much as underwhelmed as you."

    Having never been sky diving, I pretty much think it's boring. 0/10

    Having never seen the movie, I'm pretty much underwhelmed. 0/10

    Translation:
    Having never had an intelligent thought, I'm pretty much an idiot.

  • Feb 25th, 2016 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Meh. This is a revolution?

    As someone who actually has tried VR (I own an Oculus DK2) I can assure you that you have no idea what you're talking about. The modern VR experience has limitations, sure. It's not like going outside, but if you wanted that experience, well, you can do that.

    But if you want to fly through the universe, explore the ISS, visit the bottom of the ocean, and see computerized worlds come to life, well, VR is probably the closest most will ever get. That's not including completely unique creations, like Sightline, which causes the world to change depending on your point of view. Take that, object permanence!

    VR is great, and allows you to see and interact with games in an entirely new way. It's not another Wii, and if you haven't experienced the difference a 360 degree view creates it's hard to understand the immersion in purely technical terms.

    Sure, you may not thing it's that impressive after you try it, but before then I'd withhold judgment.

  • Feb 1st, 2016 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: Not feeling it

    Yay, someone else understands why data caps are basically scams. Sometimes I feel like I'm explaining the world is round to a bunch of people who have been convinced it's flat, and no amount of "look, LOOK at the ship coming up on the horizon!" yelling makes any difference.

    I think it comes down to taking advantage of the fact that people for some reason think of the internet like electricity, in which your usage of it is directly related to the output of the utility (I won't get into why this doesn't actually apply to electricity companies either, since output tends to be set regardless of customer use, but this is the way most people seem to understand it).

    A better analogy is (somewhat ironically) cable TV. Cable charges you by the channels...in other words, how much access you can have. They don't charge you by viewing time, because regardless of how much shitty TV you watch, the back end resource is not being consumed. To be fair, cable companies don't really deal with bandwidth in the same way, but the concept of having to expand infrastructure to deal with capacity rather than throughput is very similar.

    Basically ISPs are getting away with charging you for your channels and how many hours you watch TV, even though the latter metric is basically irrelevant to their infrastructure. If you're an ISP, this is pretty cool, but if you're a consumer with even a basic understanding of the mechanisms involved, it's completely ridiculous.

  • Feb 1st, 2016 @ 2:22am

    Re: Re: anonymous

    Another angle to consider (and it's hard to do objectively, which is why we must consider it objectively) is that child porn is technically evidence of a crime.

    For example, what if viewing a photograph of a murderer standing over a dead body were a crime? Not actually committing the murder, but just viewing or possessing it? What do you think the chances of someone reporting that image to the authorities becomes?

    Pretty much zero. Child porn is awful, but it's not the image that caused the abuse, it's the offender in the image. That's the crime we should be focused on. If we encouraged people to report images rather than delete or hide them, how many more actual child abusers would we catch? I mean, come on, you have an actual image of the perpetrator (maybe not the face, but there's still identifying features), the victim, and their environment, along with any digital metadata we can extract.

    In my opinion the FBI should have, at the very least, an "amnesty box" for child porn that people can submit stuff they find to (along with where they found it), and there should be programs to help people who find themselves sexually attracted to children before they become child abusers, just as we have programs for other psychiatric disorders. It's counter-productive to disincentivize criminal reporting and seeking help; that only makes it harder to find child abusers and encourages the creation of new ones.

  • Feb 1st, 2016 @ 1:45am

    Re: Information is Power

    "You can't legislate morality, but morality laws are really good at removing any opposition to those in power."

    Keep in mind that Pakistan, although secular in comparison to many other Islamic states, is based heavily on religious rule. Before people get too jumpy about me calling out Pakistan for being religiously oriented, I would point out that Islam is the official state religion of Pakistan and the country has the strictest blasphemy laws of any Muslim-majority country.

    In what is essentially a theocracy in all but name you absolutely can legislate morality.

  • Feb 1st, 2016 @ 1:15am

    Re: Not feeling it

    I'm not sure your "absolute net neutrality" scenario reflects what net neutrality actually is. At no point are all service providers required to offer the same speeds. If I want to by a 5 Mbps service, or a 25 Mbps service, net neutrality has no effect on that.

    And, even if we somehow made all carriers only offer the same speed (why?), it still wouldn't reflect the actual speeds you get online. There are many factors that influence speed online, from network congestion to physical distance from the servers to bad weather to the speed of the server you're connecting to, depending on your location and internet type. It would be virtually impossible for ISPs to guarantee a single speed for "all sites."

    I actually have the opposite issue with caps. I have no issues with tiered bandwidth. This makes technical sense; a faster transfer rate uses up more bandwidth, decreasing (relatively speaking, and depending on usage) the overall bandwidth available for other customers. In fact, bandwidth is the single biggest limiting factor to ISPs and expanding bandwidth (and corresponding data transfer rates) is the biggest expense that ISPs incur outside of infrastructure fees, taxes, and electricity.

    Data caps, on the other hand, make no sense to me. An ISP is not limited in the total amount of data it can transfer in a month, only in how much data it can transfer at any point in time. In other words, the size of the pipe and how fast the water is flowing matters...the water source itself is unlimited. This may seem like a subtle difference but it has huge implications for the way internet pricing works.

    The "theory" behind data caps is that someone with a finite amount of 'water' will naturally ration it more than someone with unlimited 'water'. If you feel you have to ration your data usage, you are less likely to use more of your 'pipe', or bandwidth. A finite amount of data is easier for most people to understand than bandwidth, and thus data caps were born.

    They had other advantages for ISPs. First of all, data caps are completely arbitrary, and don't exist as a real limitation for ISPs. This meant they could promise all kinds of ridiculous bandwidth options with the confidence they could just throttle the people "using" the most data (no actual resource is used), and since the people transferring the most data are likely the same ones using the majority of the bandwidth, they could promise high and then never have to worry about being required to fulfill that promise. And since the data caps were imaginary anyway they could easily offer a tiered service that didn't require any new infrastructure. It's a pretty sweet deal for the ISPs.

    None of that really has to do with net neutrality, but to me the fact that they are offering "unlimited data" (data is always unlimited for an ISP since they aren't the endpoint of a transfer) for certain high bandwidth services only serves to highlight how full of crap they've been about data caps. After all, streaming video is one of the higher data use functions...while compressed, you still download the entire video during the course of viewing. So if we can give unlimited data for watching movies, what is stopping you from giving it in general?

    Net neutrality means to me that I can get up to my 25 Mbps regardless of what website I visit; so if I go to CNN.com I have the same potential max speed as when I visit techdirt.com. But it makes sense that I would spend more for a bigger/faster pipe, so if I want 50 Mbps I need to pay more than the guy with a 5 Mbps speed that's using a comparatively tiny portion of the overall network at any given time. But creating arbitrary data caps and then choosing people to bypass your made-up limitations is ridiculous.

  • Oct 12th, 2015 @ 12:19pm

    Re:

    Or C) Neither.

    You know what kills people? People kill people. All the time. And have for centuries and centuries before guns or video games, and in extremely high numbers.

    Heck, if you look at the historical record, and want to use faulty "correlation = causation" logic, if anything guns and video games have steadily been reducing worldwide violence.

  • Oct 12th, 2015 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: But that violent video games aren't good is true regardless who says it.

    High statistics does not mean they're caused by My Little Pony or the Bible. Correlation (if there even is a correlation) does not equal causation.

  • Oct 11th, 2015 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Those Same Movies And Games Are Available In Other Countries ...

    High violent crime rate compared to whom, exactly? According to Wikipedia we're 110 out of 218, yet by every count we have by far the most guns and highest rate of gun ownership by nearly double the closest other country.

    The number of guns in the US has steadily risen, yet violent crime rates have steadily decreased. I won't say that it's caused by more guns, because then I would foolishly implying that correlation implies causation. Sort of like you did.

  • Aug 14th, 2015 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or, the most likely result is that everyone would look around, notice that there isn't actually a fire, and tell the idiot to shut the hell up and watch the movie.

    Seriously, people double check even after hearing actual gunshots to see what's going on, do you honestly believe anyone is going to jump up and run out of a theater in blind panic just because one person claimed there was a fire that no one can see or hear?

    The biggest myth in the "fire in a crowded theater" piece isn't the law, it's that apparently people think everyone else instantly reacts to baseless exclamations of danger in sufficient levels to cause injury to others. Yeah, right.

  • Jul 31st, 2015 @ 1:08pm

    Re:

    The group that released the videos, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has never, as far as I can find, had a member charged with or implicated in violence against abortion providers. There was one murder associated with a different anti-abortion group (Operation Rescue) where the murderer got information from that group and the group's leader was indicted with a conspiracy to damage an abortion clinic. And by "associated" I mean "shared a legal defense team" and general political stance. That's sort of like saying Aasif Mandvi is associated with ISIL because both are Muslim and believe in Allah.

    I wonder if people would be having the same reaction if someone snuck a camera into a slaughterhouse. For example, previously the Supreme Court has ruled that you can't prohibit videos of animal cruelty except in very specific circumstances, and not to hide evidence of that cruelty. What if someone released information about government abuse of human rights?

    Be careful what you wish for. Even if you are for abortion that doesn't mean you should ignore any evidence of wrongdoing. I personally am a huge fan of Elon Musk, but if someone released a video of him kicking puppies for sport, I wouldn't disregard it just because I think he's awesome.

    I'm not saying the videos are accurate or even representative of Planned Parenthood...I think more investigation needs to happen first. But I do believe there needs to be investigation.

  • Jul 17th, 2015 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How about evidence from computers that are wide open

    Yet is still better than Linux.

  • Jul 16th, 2015 @ 11:41am

    Re:

    This strongly applies to our understanding of economics as well. Any time an economic theory begins with the assumption that humans will act purely in a rational, self-interested manner you may safely assume the any experimental results from said theory will result in near-random events.

    After all, according to some leading economists, economic bubbles don't exist. This is why people don't take justice or economics seriously...when you come from a fundamentally flawed assumption how can your conclusions be accurate?

  • Jul 15th, 2015 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Re: Consider this

    Definitely sarcasm. Kill switches in our own gear would never be accepted by the military for exactly that reason. Hell, our gear breaks down all the time without built-in failure mechanisms.

    You want to know how you deal with the enemy using your gear against you? First, take care of your shit, and don't leave it unguarded, so they can't get much of it in the first place. Second, if they do get it, kill them.

    Lots of people believe that the U.S. military is the strongest in the world because of our technology, but while it helps, that's not really the primary reason we win wars. Our military is strongest because of two things; training and number of troops. The best gear in the world with someone who isn't trained properly and doesn't have the resource support structure will be overcome by someone with moderate gear that has better training and/or more people.

    I know the military is unpopular with a lot of people on this site...no problem, you can have your own opinion. But the U.S. military is not respected around the world purely because of our toys; there is real training and skill behind our forces.

    It's really too bad we keep getting used for stupid crap that we shouldn't be doing. We're very effective at winning wars and moderately effective at pointless policing actions. The fact that our mission is political BS isn't really the fault of the military.

  • Jul 15th, 2015 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: The debate they're avoiding

    That has already been proposed by the chief of police of Houston, Texas. Seriously.

    And if that isn't evidence it's an awful idea, I don't know what is!

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