Friday, June 26, 2009

Anybody wanna hear how stupid Intel is?

So I was sitting and wondering to myself why a 4 watt processor (intel atom) needs a large (ok, medium by normal standards, but you would think something with a 4 watt draw could run on a cell phone battery) LI-Ion battery to get the spiffy 8+ hour runtime that the best netbooks keep bragging about. There is one very simple reason. Intel stubbornly refuses to let anybody else make a GPU pairing with their processor (even though Nvidia is doing this, Intel has been attempting to stop them in court for months). Why is this relevant you ask? because Intels 945 chipset, the one that is univerally packaged with the Atom, has a power envelope of 22 watts, over 5 times the draw of the CPU. With all that extra power, Intel's integrated graphics are still the absolute worse graphics solution ever made. Generally they can be outperformed by ABSOLUTELY ANY DROP IN EXPANSION CARD DESIGNED FOR PCI-E. Stupidity.


From engadgets forums:

"Kamil @ Jun 26th 2009 1:57AM

1) under $1500
2) GAMEing....

Mac fans feel threatened by these terms..."

The mac fans are coming! the mac fans are coming! run!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Track record

While I was writing the augmented reality tidbit below I thought to myself: "how likely am I to be right about this?" (that augmented reality, including personal projectors and personal display units (probably heads up) will be commonplace in the future.

Well, two thoughts come to mind. One is an afternoon where Lucas and I (both fairly early palm pilot adopters) sat with our friend Jeremy in our highschool demonstrating the utility of a hand held device with video playback, document browsing, email, calander, and other PIM applications, and a good screen. I remember (and I'm sure they both remember as well (back me up in the comments guys) saying (though I was possibly a more avid apple hater then than now) that inevitably this would be a technology that apple (with there then shiny new expensive and bulky white ipods)would get into, and probably make trendy. 5 years later. Enter the iphone. (of course after such devices where readily available for 5 YEARS apple ended up not making a single real innovation, they made it shiny and the PUBLICIZED [and therefore took all credit] it, but did nothing new.... very annoying...)

Second example:
That could be all I say. But for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about. The picture is of the NEC mobile pro. Basically a netop that existed over 10 years ago. I bought one the summer of my junior year of highschool (for 79$ I must add) and ranted for a month about how everybody would want a small computer with a long battery life to carry around with them for all those little computer tasks we are so used too. If you somehow missed it, the netop market is the fastest growing sector of computer hardware for the last year.

So yes, I'm bragging. But my point is that I think augmented reality will be big, and I seem to have a decent track record.

more augmented reality

Even people who have no interest in video games should look at this:,altered-vision-researchers-making-augmented-reality-more-than-science-fiction.aspx

I'm confident everybody who reads my blog will use some form of augmented reality within the next ten years.

That and vuzix, (previously icuiti) the company i have been ranting about for years has just released the first information about their own augmented reality hardware (which is of course, awesome)

Together those two products give you a true 3d (stereoscopic) heads up display with 6 degree head motion tracking and highres augmented reality oriented video. spiffy.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Cyborg Update

Ok, just a quick one. Peregrine is actually releasing the glove I highlighted a year ago.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Valve begins tradition of boring sequels

Keep this in mind. Valve is without a doubt my favourite game company of all time.My freshman year of high school could be accurately described as this: Go to school, get together with Lucas, do homework, play half life, sleep, rinse, repeat. They just make good games. They made a great distribution system. They do something innovative every time. Actually.... No, they don't.

That's the sad thing. Starting with opposing forces and condition zero, through episode 2, and without doubt including what I have seen of the new Left 4 Dead. Valve has started a tradition of making really boring sequels. Obviously, I'm not speaking here of half life 2 (or for those of you who like it, team fortress 2.) However, there is nothing new in episode 1 and 2, people like the story, or they say that Alex is new and improved, but come on, it's the price of a new game! I expect new weapons, an improvement to the movement system, Something NEW.

Let me make my case with what I've seen of L4D2. From the videos released thus far. It may as well be called Left 4 Dead Racial edition. Other than adding a very lot of pigment to the characters skin however, it looks like they have added 3 melee weapons (which don't really do anything new at all....) a slight graphical facelift and flaming shotgun shells (which look like they defeat the purpose of a shotgun, at least in that video they have no stopping power and leave zombies free to run up and light you on fire.) That's it. The rest is level design (which valve has previously let the community augment for free.) I'm simply not paying for new maps. Not happening. Here is what I want to see in L4D2:

1.) Sprint
2.) Flares which attract zombies (especially witches) and give a large light radius.
3.) Level specific special zombies (like a hanging zombie, a hard to see (read, cloaking, or dark) zombie, an impersonating zombie, and a tiny (head-crab-esq) zombie.)
4.) NEW weapons, not remixes, not crowbars with axe and frypan skins. Where is the flame-thrower (gasoline + super soaker + lighter = zombie toaster). The one shot rocket launcher. The tesla coil. a high powered pistol. a crossbow. a chain?
5.) Drivable vehicles.
6.) The ability to shake off zombies (I know, I know, it's all in the name of team-play, but being stuck on the ground INDEFINITELY until people come and help you is implausible and LAME)
7.) Levels that require you to split into 2 groups of 2.

This list of features would take a team of decent amateurs (read, mod creators) less than a month of part time work to put together.

I'll give Valve one thing from the Video, I'm glad to see daytime levels.

EDIT: So I'm not the only one angry.
Apparently upwards of 5000 Valve fans took the time to verbalize there annoyance. They have the right idea, the additions we are seeing in L4D2 deserve to fall into the "content" update or "expansion pack" category. They simply aren't new-game-worthy.

EDIT2: If you're annoyed, join the L4D2 boycott group on steam (link in the article above).