I've been playing a bit of Minecraft this weekend and noticed much worse raytracing performance than previously. After a bit of investigation it looks like a regression was introduced with 1.16.220 which has substantially reduced performance, dropping from around 90+fps to 30ish, this is on an RTX 3080 with DLSS turned on at 3440x1440.
After a bit of troubleshooting it looks like its related to v-sync, changing:
Seems to fix the issue and brings performance back to a more reasonable level. If you do want to re-enable v-sync you can force it with the nVidia control panel without the issue being re-introduced.
One of the main reasons for getting a GeForce RTX 3080 last year was for Minecraft, so I can play with raytraced/RTX lighting enabled. I was expecting to take a substantial hit in draw distance - with RTX disabled I'd always play with at least a 64 chunk draw distance.
Disappointingly the maximum view distance in Minecraft with raytracing enabled is only 24 chunks, at least as far as setting it in the user interface. I know its a massive resource hog, but I was confident my 3080 could handle more at 4k 60fps (with DLSS enabled). And it can, I've managed to get a pretty stable 60fps with a 36 chunk view distance.
To do this you'll need to modify options.txt which can be located in %localappdata%\Packages\Microsoft.MinecraftUWP_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\games\com.mojang\minecraftpe and change raytracing_viewdistance to your desired viewdistance, for example raytracing_viewdistance:36
Going any higher on my 3080 would result in random chunks sometimes failing to render at all. Be warned.
I was playing a bit of Dreams on PS4 yesterday, as I frequently do to keep an eye out for any interesting creations that the Dreams community make, and one caught my eye, the Flat Earth Science Museum by KingZorlok. It being a wonderful little exhibit of a flat Earth with various statements placed around the edge of the room, upon entering we're welcomed with a sign stating "welcome to the flat earth science museum. Here you can see the earth through the lens of logic".
Engineers and architects don't factor the supposed curvature of the earth into their projects
That's true for a lot of buildings as they're far too small to be effected by curvature. However larger structures absolutely need to take this into account, any suspension bridge will have the tops of their towers further apart than the base - they need to be to so gravity remains pulling them down straight. For example the two supporting towers that make up the Humber Bridge are 1440 metres apart at the base, but 36mm further away at their tops.
Another great visual example would be Lake Pontchartrain Causeway which is 23 miles long.
The law of buoyancy perfectly explained the physics of falling objects long before Isaac Newton bestowed his theory of gravity upon the world
No it doesn't. If buoyancy "perfectly" explains why things fall, why do things fall down? Not up into the less dense air? There's obviously some sort of force keeping things on the ground, but why would they fall into the more dense air at the surface and not less dense air above the object? This is opposite to our observations.
Ships disappearing bottom up can be explained by the law of perspective. Modern camera's are able to zoom ships back into view after they have "disappeared"
You can never zoom in enough to bring back the bottom of any ship once its crossing the horizon. Just like no amount of zoom is going to let me see France from here, or Mount Everest from anywhere. No amount of zoom is going to bring back the lower half of this ship:
If gravity is strong enough to keep cars on the ground, then its impossible for gravity to be simultaneously be weak enough to allow small insects to fly
Insects have wings. Cars that have wings are called planes, and they can fly too.
It is said that earths rotation takes twenty four hours. In which case, days and nights should have an identical duration of twelve hours each
Because Earth's axis of rotation is angled at 23.44° relative to our orbital plane. Causing the northern and southern hemispheres additional daylight when they're pointed towards the Sun. The average value through the year is still 12 hours.
Logic demands that gravity should either pull the moon towards the earth or cause people to orbit around the earth
Gravity is pulling the Moon towards the Earth - however luckily the Moon also has enough velocity perpendicular to the Earth that its constantly falling around it. If people were sped up to 28,000 km/h (the orbital velocity required for a low Earth orbit, they would orbit the Earth, but you might wanna get them above the atmosphere first or they'll probably get a tad warm.
"Satellite" reception has shown to be poor in areas with few cell towers. Additionally, the invention of satellites should have made cell towers obsolete
This is false, plus satellites were invented before cell towers. Satellite communication is extremely power-intensive relative to local cell towers because they're hundreds if not thousands of times further away. To effectively communicate with satellites even in a near Earth orbit (most communications satellites are much higher) you'd be looking at around 100 watt draw even with a fairly narrow beam. Most mobiles have transmitters around 0.6 to 3 watts and they're omni-directional
It has never been demonstrated that objects cause smaller objects to orbit around it
It has been observed though. Source: the Solar System.
Vertically fired cannonballs often fall back into the barrel, ignoring earths supposed rotation
Because they were already rotating along with the Earth when fired. Feel free to do a similar experiment with throwing a ball up while in a moving train.
Sunlight shines through clouds from wide angles. This proves that the sun is much closer than we thought
Sunlight shining through clouds create parallel lines, the reason they look like they're diverting is due to perspective.
Exactly the same reason that railway lines appear to converge, yet they're parallel, feel free to go and measure them, actually don't.
Olber's paradox states that if there were billions of stars which are suns the night sky would be completely filled with light
Olber's paradox refers to an infinite universe, filled with infinite stars. The universe is not infinite.
If the earth was a sphere, airplane pilots would have to constantly dip their nose downwards as to not fly off into outer space
They actually do, they keep the planed trimmed to keep their altitude constant... Plus airplanes can't fly off into outer space because the air would be too thin to provide enough lift or to feed the engines.
If the sun was as big and powerful as the globe model claims, it would be impossible to have different climates in different parts of the world
Why's that? Take a torch, shine it on the centre of a ball at 90° and then at the same distance move it towards one the sides. The light will become more spread out across the surface and less intense.
Throughout recorded history the same constellations have remained fixed in their same patterns without moving out of position whatsoever
This is false, even for relatively imprecise amateur equipment it is possible to measure star movement over a human lifetime. A well-known star atlas produces updated versions every 50 years to keep it up to date.
If earth rotated a thousand miles per hour that would cause a tremendous rush of wind in one direction, making kite flying impossible
Rotation isn't measured in miles per hour, but rotations per minute, or degrees per minute. The Earth rotates at 15 degrees per hour, that's twice as slow as the hour hand on a clock. It's not exactly whipping around. Plus the atmosphere rotates around with the Earth. See the throwing a ball upwards on a moving train experiment.
The globe model claims that the sun is 400 times larger than the moon and 400 times further away, making them "falsely" appear to be the same size.
If only I had the time I'd create a proper science museum in Dreams.
One of the key advantages to the Windows Store which many people overlook is the ability to showcase existing desktop software. The Windows Store doesn't only deal with metro/RT/modern applications. It can show all the existing stuff, if their publishers use it.
Here's Age of Empires Online listed. It also quite clearly is listed as desktop app. Hopefully to avoid any confusion.
The experience is much the same as for a WinRT application. Except of course you get pushed over to the applications website to install it, or to buy it. A seemless experience might have been better, like Steam. One can only imagine how long-winded and un-friendly some publishers websites are. Maybe next time.
The press seem to be on a roll with anti-Xbox Live stories as of late. A few weeks ago it was the kid caught cheating with a modified profile, and as a result had his gamerscore reset and his zone changed to "cheater". His mum complained and demanded his achievements back and the "cheater" removed from his gamer tile, after Microsoft refused she went to the press. In the end we found out the kid had cheated, despite his mum protesting his innocence. The kid cheated, end of story.
Well this week we've got something a bit different now the Daily Mail are featuring a story about an 11 year old boy spending £1000 on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Right off the bat I would like to quote the Xbox Live Terms and Conditions:
The Service is not intended for use by children under 13, except together with a parent or other adult supervision
With that out of the way...
A desperate mother has condemned Microsoft after her 11-year-old son racked up a £1,000 debt on her debit card - through his Xbox. Brendan Jordan racked up a bill of £1,082.52 on his Xbox without realising all the purchases were being charged to his mum Dawn Matthews' card.
She entered her debit card details into the family Xbox to pay for Brendan's subscription to his favourite game. However, Brendan repeatedly clicked on additions and extensions - racking up a £1082.52 debt to her account over six months.
Oh so in other words, you let your kid spend the money. And now you want it back? Tough you got the stuff you paid for, as it clearly states "there are no refunds for this item". NO REFUNDS.
Microsoft make it perfectly clear what's going on, they'll show two or three screens when you're buying Microsoft Points, making it clear this will debit your account, it mentions the amount and the fact it'll take it from a credit card. Your 11 year old kid is taking you for a ride if you think he didn't know what was going on.
It is ridiculous to allow someone of his age to make payments without any checks being done.
You're quite right and the fact of the matter is Microsoft do check.
When you would have set up your son's account it would have asked for an age. Under 18 and he'd get a child account. With all the parental controls anybody would need, and by default would prevent any purchases from the Xbox Live Marketplace.
So either they lied about his age when setting up his account, or the mother enabled purchases on her son's account.
In addition to that it took six months before his mother realised he was spending all this money. Surely she would have noticed the dozens if not hundreds of MICROSOFT *XBOX LIVE transactions on her statement? Or you know check their e-mail where receipts would be sent? Apparently not.
Stop trying to blame others for your own bad parenting.
Over the last couple of weeks I decided to do a few quick changes to the Gamercast website to make it a little bit more swish for Internet Explorer 9, which was released in beta form yesterday. With support for border-radius and box-shadow from CSS3 it was really a no brainer to make use of them (if only it supported multi-column too).
Unlike Chrome and Firefox, Internet Explorer 9 doesn't need to use proprietary extensions to make use of these features. Which is why they're not showing up in those browsers properly, standards aren't standards when you're adding -moz and -webkit before everything.
Simple but effective.
More importantly however was implementing support for Internet Explorer 9's ability to pin websites to the Start Menu or Taskbar. Gamercast has always had a fairly high-resolution icon, so that wasn't much of a problem. You can drag any website you want to the Taskbar, but out of the box it'll behave like a standard shortcut, bar the "branding" differences that will happen to IE9, as per the screenshot above you can see the back and forward icons have taken colour from the icon, as well as having the website's icon displayed to the left fo them. This is specific to websites being launched from the Start Menu or Taskbar, and doesn't happen to websites browsed to more conventionally.
Adding support for jumplists was however pretty easy, and I'm sure with a bit more time I can do something a lot more fancy with this.
As you can see from the screenshot, the pinned website looks like a native application running on Windows 7, with a bunch of options provided in the jumplist providing quick access to subscription options, Twitter, or jumping straight into some content be they videos on YouTube, or just seeing what the latest news is.
For a basic jumplist all you need to do is place the following in the webpage's header: