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  • Posted by pustal , on 15/08/2015 , @ 08:28am

     

    I’m not a journalist, I never studied journalism, I never worked as a professional journalist but I’ve always been a defendant of isent journalism and tried to be as much as possible in my articles. Recently, aside all the political adulteration we are used to, I’ve been having some trouble in my country with technology “specialized” journalism (that was once regarded as trustworthy), that as became specialized alright, but in clickbaits, fearmongering, tendentious articles/titles/links and ignoramus descriptions. This went as far to the point of receiving private threats after publishing a public yet constructive critique to one particular article.

    I won’t get into details, as I think it’ll lead me nowhere as is, but I’d like to use the opportunity given to me here to plead some though on the matter. This is not a unique situation, we’ve seen recently even of this media some other cases, that went as far getting censorship on social media, specially in websites such as Reddit (including an alleged ban to a member asking a question to Assange on such matter).

    I’d like then to analyze the issue and its impact without going in any particular situation:

    The problem: not that we are not used to adulterated or tendentious news but, unlike traditional media, online media is built supporting direct feedback. Some people will absorb any type of crap they are told, but many will want to discuss it. TV and newspapers are discussed in the street, with friends of family and even with strangers. Online media is discussed in comment sections, boards, social media, etc. If we allow any subset of these to be censored, then a lot more people - the ones who rely on these discussion to form their opinion (and this type of validation is perfectly normal) - will take crap as truth. There is of course a resulting distrust and awareness of those who are censored, that I, on the long run, believe won’t be without consequence, but meanwhile we go as far as having stuff on Wikipedia that isn’t true, for instance (and yes, I’ve seen stuff on Wikipedia that I know for a fact it isn’t true, yet specialized media delivers as such and generalist media will be based on them.).

    On the particular case of technology, many people still regard it as some magic dust kind of sorcery. Many use technology, even enthusiastically, without understanding how it works, what it does exactly, what are the fully and exact extent of both the benefits, safeguards and dangers. There is need to be a sober, calm and down to earth discussion on stuff like online safety, privacy, digital rights, etc… Fearmongering is as bad as disregard here, and presenting oneself as a tech expert and knowing squat is even worse.

    Bottom line: always read stuff critically, double check and crosscheck sources and comments even (look for homogeneousness in controversial topics).

  • Posted by hellsing9 , on 12/03/2015 , @ 02:03pm

     

    If you like RPG games, then Lost Dimension maybe is the game you are looking for.
    Atlus confirmed they will release in digital and physical format, only in EU and the US.

    Lost Dimension (ロストディメンション?) is a 2014 video game developed by Lancarse for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. It is a role-playing video game with visual novel-like elements, where the choices of the player determine the fate of the game’s story, as well as its characters. The game’s protagonist is 18 year-old Sho Kasugai, a member of S.E.A.L.E.D., an organisation tasked with stopping a mysterious man named “The End”, who wants to destroy the world.


    http://www.cs.furyu.jp/lostdimension/

  • Posted by hellsing9 , on 04/03/2015 , @ 06:32pm

     

    Sony had their doubts about Morpheus VR (Virtual reality) maybe because Oculus Rift is already there with devkits to purchase, though not fully stablished in todays market. (yet)
    Morpheus was a revelation in last year GDC, still they had doubts if just leave it as a prototype or advance in that project.

    As you may notice all VR related, specially 90′s or even earlier VR’s where massive machines and they did that work. Inmerse the user into that world with a helmet/visor heavier than Anna Nicole Smith jugss.
    So in a sense all VR related specially in how advanced technology so far is kinda risk to make a huge investment in such uncharted area.

    Sony shared some specs that are way different from the prototype from GDC.
    Let’s check them out:

    • 1) This new version features an OLED display.
    • 2) This display runs at a resolution of 1920 by RGB by 1080.
    • This pixels have green, red and blue sub-pixels which alllows for a low-persistence display.
    • 3) 120 Hz of refresh rate = Smooth videos.
    • 4) 5.7 inch screen with “almost” 100 degree field of view and 9 tracking LEDS.

    They can render games at 120 FPS ideal for VR according to Yoshida-san.

    Lucky for those who own a PS4, that the console was designed to support those 120 FPS.
    Morpheus also has a software that allows games that run at 60 FPS to change it to 120 FPS.

    Latency the big mistery is finally revealed:
    18 milliseconds, less than half of the first Morpheus hardware (prototype).


  • Posted by pustal , on 20/02/2015 , @ 03:58pm

     

    
     Image source

    I remember the time when the quality and name of a hardware company would be publicly set by to its products duration and reliability. With time, the industry adapted to Moore’s law and took advantage of public enthusiasm and adoption in the quotidian and redefined the rules.

    Top companies offer hardware power and innovation (even if small or recycled) above all and, although reliability is still assured to a reasonable extent, duration is usually set aside. Worse than that even, some companies even plan short deprecations of products, such as Apple and their iDevices which will only be updatable until Apple believes it’s time for users to invest in a newer model, even though their old one has still perfectly decent hardware power for a modern smartphone.

    Consoles though are an exception to most mass retail personal technology. They are supposedly design to be used in a medium range life-span  (say 8 to 10 years), even though general purpose personal computers may gain advantage at some point. For those of limited budget and that seek to be able to play most recent games in detriment of an enhanced visual experience in long-term its quite a good option.

    Consoles also provide a huge opportunity to AAA game developers for their life span and mostly because they present themselves like a platform that unlike the PC have a secure, closed and without alternative channel of distribution, being that retail or digital online (even at a cost of a big slice to the manufacturer).

    Now this assurance gave manufacturers a great deal of paranoia, understandable to some point. And that is why we have stuff like the draconian Sony TOS for Playstation devices that try to put the users in a position of losing their ownership rights to their machines, all in fear of potential threats to their sovereignty. Others, like Microsoft even see the possibility of open usage of the console even a bigger threat than the risk of unauthorised game distribution alone.

    This sovereignty isn’t unique to the console world. Back to the world of smartphones, another example would be Samsung, which include in their high end devices a system lock, the Knox counter, triggered by any non-Samsung ROM flash and which will prevent any flash back to stock firmware impossible even if updating a previous stock version to a more recent one. A more subtle measure than Sony’s or Microsoft’s but cleverly aimed to dissuade tempering with the system, and that I’d argue with a more strong psychological result.

    Most of the biggest hardware providers have now this kind of approach of trying to assert some kind of dominance of the consumer in some way or another. An approach that consumer market tolerates. Most people are unaware and don’t really care much and others, even if resentful, end up tolerating all the same, due to lack of choice. Most of us here aren’t mostly pleased with Sony, but we’re still using and probably buying Playstation devices.

    I say this atitude won’t favor them in the long run. People are becoming more political and idealist at a considerably fast rate in an historical perspective, partially due to growing technology means and partially due to the global context, and, at a much slower rate, yet steady, are becoming more informed (even with strong misinformation from counter-cultural movements). I believe there will be a point when the standard consumer will not tolerate manufactor oppression, and will opt and demand hardware liberated to a reasonable degree at the very least.

    Sony believed this once. The fact that Playstation 3 could run another operating system, installed and managed by the user is proof of that. After all, a brand that acts in consumer favor in a way that creates a healthy relationship with it generates a much more stable costumer loyalty. But it didn’t last… It didn’t last because of fear, fear of circumvention of copyright protection and failure, failure of understanding or caring to see what motivates what industry coined as piracy. Failure to see that not everyone who can get their software illigetimaly for free will necessarely get it for free, that most of people who can effortlessly pay will pay and mostly those who can’t pay and are unhappy or feel abused by the prices set by them and the lack of competition and that given a chance or a fair price would actually wish to pay. And I say failure to see or caring to see because this particular industry still mostly aims at a younger target that most certainly has difficulty to pay a small fortune for a videogame (I often wonder if videogames were cheaper wouldn’t they  sell more copies and have a similar revenue).

    Again, I feel we are heading to a turning point, but at a very slow pace. But I feel we can catalyse it. If people were informed about the “control freakness” of these companies and the ways they operate, they will most certainly care in general. And if most people start to care, the industry will mostly be forced to change their ways again. We need to spread it and ignite the debate. That’s what I believe most recent ciber-attacks are aimed for, but I say that is not the way, we need to use proper, legitimate channels not to suffer demonisation and disregard for our arguments. We need to spread knowledge by simply informing people around us and letting them do the same. We need to take advantage of the social technology we now have access to. We need to capture the good attention of the media, that will condemn any ciber-terrorist act but will take the public opinion as their own without a second thought. Only then we can have a balanced debate.




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