Podcast - This Is Only a Test

Episode 163 – Vader Helmet – 3/28/2013

This week, Will and Norm discuss the Oculus Rift some more, get clarification on the TF2 control modes, talk about T-Mobile’s bold new strategy, and talk about 3D printed “guns”.

Comments (20)

20 thoughts on “Episode 163 – Vader Helmet – 3/28/2013

  1. Build 2013 is gonna be all about Blue. Windows 8, Server, (maybe/probably) WP8, and all their services. There won’t be anything more than “and in the future…” sort of comments when it comes to software versions beyond Blue. If they’re still on a three year release cycle for numbered versions of Windows, we won’t hear about W9 until next year.

  2. Building lower receivers at home actually isn’t anything new, and as far as it goes, 3D Printing one is probably the most complicated and difficult way to do it. Several manufacturers across the country sell “80% Lowers” which are 80% complete and just require the top of the mag well and trigger assembly area milled out; which can be completed on damn near any drill press. And since making your own firearm is entirely legal (in some states, consult your local laws) it’s become a pretty popular way of obtaining a lower. Regardless of the politics it’s certainly an interesting DIY project.

  3. I’m sort of glad they seem to be dropping the “Fake Outtakes” concept with how short they’ve been as of late. Just splice in stuff within the show. I’ve listened to every single episode of the podcast and just think it’s weird they act like they end the show and then do it again.

    Either way, entertaining show.

  4. GRAW had options for both first and third person. So it’s pretty normal for no one to remember which it is.

    I also disagree with the deadzone aiming. It’s needless. Just make the body turn with the mouse, and if you need to track something, you track it like you really would. Adding the deadzone makes things a little weird. I’d rather just move the damn gun around with my mouse and keep the head separate.

    Also, the oculus rift is an ADVANTAGE. Being able to look around is fucking huge. I play a lot of ArmA, and knowing what is going on around you is incredibly important. In anything with vehicles, it’s an even bigger advantage than infantry stuff. In ArmA, you can look around with the mouse freely without moving your gun, but you lose control over your character. With head tracking, you can look around freely and once you get used to controlling a body and head separately, it’s a really big advantage. It may not be in something like Call of Duty, or TF2, but I don’t think it’s a disadvantage either. You don’t have ranges great enough for pixel count to matter that much, and the FOV shouldn’t be that different either.

    I’m sort of glad they seem to be dropping the “Fake Outtakes” concept with how short they’ve been as of late. Just splice in stuff within the show. I’ve listened to every single episode of the podcast and just think it’s weird they act like they end the show and then do it again.

    Either way, entertaining show.

    I disagree. I want longer podcasts, and more silly conversations!

  5. If I recall the solution for CRTs scan line was to use a device to synchronize the camera in such a way as to make it invisible, like videos where a helicopter’s blades don’t appear to be moving.

  6. Will was right, astigmatism only applies to the curvature of the cornea or lens causing a point source of light to not form a point image on the retina in one eye, rather it will form two distinct focii instead. What Norm was referring to could be antimetropia: when one eye is farsighted and one eye is nearsighted, or anisometropia which occurs when two eyes have different powers. Optometry student nerd-out complete.

  7. The term “blue” dates to vaudeville. The man who ran the biggest showhad strict content rules. Performers who broke the rules got notes delivered to them in blue envelopes.

    From the Wikipedia entry for vaudeville.

    This “polite entertainment” also extended to Keith’s company members. He went to extreme measures to maintain this level of modesty. Keith even went as far as posting warnings backstage such as this: “Don’t say ‘slob’ or ‘son of a gun’ or ‘hully gee’ on the stage unless you want to be canceled peremptorily…if you are guilty of uttering anything sacrilegious or even suggestive you will be immediately closed and will never again be allowed in a theater where Mr. Keith is in authority.” Along these same lines of discipline, Keith’s theater managers would occasionally send out blue envelopes with orders to omit certain suggestive lines of songs and possible substitutions for those words. If actors chose to ignore these orders or quit, they would get “a black mark” on their name and would never again be allowed to work on the Keith Circuit. Thus, actors learned to follow the instructions given them by B.F. Keith for fear of losing their careers forever.

  8. VR headsets are why we need proper motion trackable controllers next generation. I feel Sony fucked up by going with the touchpad one as the default PS4 controller instead of the Dualshock-Move hybrid controller they patented. If they had, you would be able to have your hands represented in 3D space and have actual 1:1 aiming in shooters as if you were holding a gun, while still being able to turn your character’s body by using the right thumbstick. And when you add in the Oculus Rift, you would then be able to tweak the camera view with the head tracking without affecting where the controller is aiming or which way the body is facing.

    Since Sony unveiled their hardware first and didn’t go with the hybrid controller, MS probably isn’t going to feel like they need to have dual-wielded full-functionality controllers that Kinect2 could track, just for the sake of having parity with the competition. Then again, if Sony hadn’t just been trying to replicate the Wiimote’s capabilities without infringing on patents when first developing the Move the first time, this problem could have been solved in the current generation before the Oculus Rift was even announced. Now I feel like it’s already too late to get this kind of functionality available for the next generation at an across-the-board level. It will be like hard drives were this generation on the 360: developers will not be able to count on all systems allowing you to separate the camera from the crosshairs without implementing a shitty “deadzone” with edge scrolling.

    The cool thing about games knowing your interpupillary distance and the actual position of where your eyes would be in 3D space is more realistic eye contact in games. When Alyx was able to look you in the eye and track as you moved around in Half-Life 2 for the first time was really cool back then. The other day I was playing Far Cry 3 and there was a cutscene where a character tries to deliver a convincing, heartfelt line while looking you in both eyes, cutting from one to the other, as a person would do in real life. But it ended up coming off kinda goofy, like he was trying to look at something right behind me, since I was playing on a 2D monitor and in reality I only had one colossal eye in the center of my virtual face. The whole thing fell flat because of it.

  9. Does anyone else hear a dismissive tone for anything outside of what is considered “the right thing” creeping in to the podcast? Two examples that come to mind are something that was said in an older episode along the lines of “nobody uses Outlook” and “anyone who gets a subsidized phone is dumb” on the episode above. Those are not literal quotes and may be (but weren’t intended to be) out of context, but to me it sounds like there is no allowance or consideration for the use of technology in any other circumstance other than what is being discussed at the moment.

    I’m not saying that Outlook is great (it isn’t) or that subsidized phone contracts aren’t a bad deal (they are). I think that dismissing out of hand people and their experience in a less than ideal relationship with technology is a disservice to the discourse of how we interact with these things. Why consumers are stuck with a shitty user experience or the limited choices imposed for business instead of technological reasons is a whole line of discussion on it’s own. If that is not where the conversation on the podcast goes or its not what the hosts want to talk about, that’s fine. It’s not my pod cast 🙂

    Waving off the whole topic though is Cory Doctrow style utopianism; “If anyone isn’t helped by this thing X that I like, it’s their own fault”.

    I really like the podcasts, and the site. I hope this post is taken in the spirit of constructive criticism and not trolling. I look forward to feedback.

  10. You know that you can set the Microsoft Photo Viewer as default and never have to see the Metro one ever again right?

    I agree with and it’s not only Tested, a lot of tech journalists seem to be turning into old grumpy men. If your job is to write about tech you are very lucky.

  11. the way the Default Programs screen works in WIndows 8 you can assign an app to take all of its possible defaults file associations with a single click. In just a few seconds you can make sure that Win8 never surprises you by launching a pesky metro app pretty much ever again.

  12. Thanks for taking the time to respond Will. You’re totally right that what I hear is colored by my own bias and opinions. I enjoy listening to the Tested podcasts and reading the content because I’m interested the contributors’ opinions. I was trying to articulate that saying the reason there are some less than great interactions with technology because ‘people are stupid’ shuts down further consideration of an interesting topic. To your point, you have a subsidized phone but in the episode above, you guys discuss that it only survives because people are swayed by marketing psychology. I don’t think it’s because of hypocrisy or insincerity or grumpy, snobby or anything negative like that. I *imagine* it’s just a by-product of riffing.

    My main point was that being dismissive could be passing up an opportunity to explore the things that inform our experiences with technology and (for lack of a better term) maker culture.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

  13. I think we see that from a lot of SF based content- Hipster influences? 😉

    Just like when they say something is crap because it happens to be bad in SF, tons of people around the US have no problems with AT&T for example.

    edit I just read your answer to , I think your original post still has merit, they key word in it was “dismissive”.

    I like Tested too, but like all other reviewers you learn to know them and know what to take and what to leave. The Tested cast (I include Gary here) often gets really excited about something then totally trashes it after a few weeks/months, I’ve learned to wait a bit on some of the recommendations because they are so enthusiastic about new technology. For people like us, who purchase our tech with limited budget, it is wise to wait for the dust to settle.

    Hope I don’t sound too negative, I love the site and like the enthusiasm the cast has for technology, I am just more careful about making hasty purchases.

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