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Comment: Easy ... use watch+gestures for authentication (Score 1) 124 124

Would be fun to observe people waving their hands in complex patterns detected by a built-in watch motion sensor to unlock things. The watch could even play a little tune to help synchronize arm movement to a beat. It would be easy to steel people's password though, if you got a good sense of rhythm and dance. Ok, this was meant as a bit of a joke. But the fun thing is we would probably get used to it, just like we got used to people talking to themselves on the street.

On a somewhat more serious note, authentication should in theory not be too hard. People could have e.g. electronic watches, which could be authenticated by some secure means - e.g. a fingerprint scanner on the back side plus enter a code in some way. Or it could be coupled with a mobile phone so that you use your cell phone to authenticate with the watch. The wristbands could have some type of wiring and/or sensors which informs the watch it is still on the wrist (plus pulse sensors to detect owner is alive and defend against the good old movie plot chop-off-the-arm attack), so no need to re-authenticate as long as the watch is not physically removed. The watch or some other gadget could be used to authenticate with other things.

The main problem I would see is some decent secure open standards for authenticating with "things". There will probably be a bunch of walled gardens which force you to choose between various closed ecosystems.

Comment: Be polite and respectful (Score 1) 479 479

You deal with the service reps just like any other service. This is not the time to show off and demonstrate your ultimate knowledge. You can say anything about how you checked your router or whatever, in a nice way. The worst way to get someone's help is stating or implying they are imbeciles. Better to treat them with respect.

Keep in mind, those reps are following some scripts, and have certain rules and guidelines they need to follow - even the tech savvy ones. You are not just dealing with a rep, you are essentially dealing with an entire company. If their procedures are bad, blame the company and not the rep - and your way to protest is to switch provider.

Plus, IT nerds may not always be so superior and better-knowing that we some times would like to think. I have had my share of ISP problems for a wireless technology, and every single time "have you booted your antenna" is part of the conversation. Eventually I stopped bothering and started replying that "no, and that was never the solution when I had problems in the past, so there must be a problem with the ISP side of the network". Until a couple months back when that was exactly what magically fixed the problem.

Make sure to get something written in a support request by email or some ticketing system, so you have a log which you can point to later when the process drags on, so you can show when you first reported the problem, what solutions have already been tested, and how the problem persists - updating the ticket yourself if none of the reps does it. This makes it easier to have later conversations, up to the point where you demand money back. This then becomes your proof, rather than just vaguely referring to various phone calls - and is what eventually may get you through the various layers of people and processes designed to prevent you from talking to someone who is actually in charge of things.

Comment: Re:WWDC Means... (Score 1) 415 415

In the global connected world, in order to survive information overload one needs some layers of filtering to protect the brain from all the noise. I probably did not know it because I never cared - maybe not even a conscious choice, the OS just chose to ignore it for me without ever notifying higher executive functions. The only reason I will remember it going forward, is due to this thread which from my end relates to how it is a bad acronym and how it is not really something worth remembering.

Well, your post was rather insulting which you are very much aware of having been so clever about how you are calling me retarded, so I should probably write something nasty back here, but hey - someone needs to be the one to stop it, so I will be the bigger man. Congratulations on your acronym remembering abilities.

Comment: Re:WWDC Means... (Score 2) 415 415

I did not know, and it is interesting how the brain works hard to fill in the blanks - and after reading only the title, there is really no context at all except there is some kind of 2015 event, so the brain does not have much to work with. The first association was "World War something something". The next one was something related to wrestling or martial arts. Then there is World Wildlife something. All options are immediately discarded because this is Slashdot. Then you start skimming the article and realize it is an Apple event, and you wonder why on earth is there not an A somewhere in the acronym - or why could they not have added an "Apple" in the article headline.

Comment: Re:No theory can be fully empirically verified (Score 1) 364 364

I believe we are not in disagreement :-) I am no fan (quite the opposite) of pseudo-science consisting of layers upon layers of assumptions and theories that have not been empirically tested, where simplicity and beauty of theories becomes a sort of "proof". And I think the scientific method is far better than the alternative, and seems to have a lot going for it - it has brought us technological progress and improvements to human life.

I do however find that many scientists tend to get on a high horse regarding what are established facts, when the scientific method basically dictates you cannot really prove anything. At the same time human psychology is not good at making rational conclusions - our intuition is too quick to establish causality. The idea of how science is objective, and the way it is performed by people, is not necessarily the same. Add into the mix the politics, corruption, hidden agendas etc. of portions of the scientific community, including e.g. generating false data which is known to happen on a (too) large scale (at least in some disciplines), then suddenly science does not look so great anymore.

The concept of the scientific method is great. Just like more or less anything involving people, we have not yet figured out the best way to go about it, so we settle with something which is known to be flawed.

Comment: Hire more managers + grow up (Score 1) 146 146

If managers are going to do the work developers dislike, each team will need more managers. Also, hire senior managers to do the work that the managers dislike.

Some primadonna developers need to learn what it is to be a grown up in a grown up persons job. It is not the end of the world if once in a while you need to e.g. fill in a timesheet, create a presentation for a meeting, get your hands dirty setting up some infrastructure, or work on a feature you personally find unimportant. The rest of us also don't get to only do fun stuff we want.

Comment: No theory can be fully empirically verified (Score 1) 364 364

Even generally accepted theories have not really been fully verified. Has the gravitational constant and the speed of light been measured everywhere in the universe by scientitsts? No. Have we measured that it actually remains constant along the full timeline of the universe? No. For all we know, gravitational force might reverse direction tomorrow, due to some unknown mechanism we are not aware of - because we have had no opportunity to observe it (yet).

There is no reason to believe that physical laws have to only be related to things that can be directly observed. A theory which involves higher dimensions may very well be the right one. The litmus test is whether it explains all the causes and effects that we are actually able to observe - and then one can turn to studies on what class of alternative theories may exist that would yield the same observable results.

Comment: Re:This works 100% (Score 1) 260 260

I agree, and as I basically wrote in another post, I am not making my comment because I have a problem with this myself. I have been at my BMI for years since I made it a priority, largely by doing what you write.

My point is, "anyone" is not necessarily able to do this. Yes, you could say they should be - because I can and from what you are writing I am guessing you can - but then we are projecting our own experience onto others, who have a different physiology and different experiences. E.g. someone who knows perfectly well they are going to regret eating that big piece of chocolate, but cannot stop themselves because they had a tough day and need a break.

If simply "just listen to satiety cues" was the answer, then how come there are so many people with obesity issues. You have the right solution, but it is not the right solution if it does not solve the problem. It needs to be wrapped in some dieting framework that most people are actually able to go through with.

Comment: Re:This works 100% (Score 1) 260 260

I am not saying it is not possible. I actually know for a fact it is possible, as I am one of those people who have the self control to do it. I went through a half year diet on an Atkins variation eating two eggs for breakfast, half a chicken for lunch, and a piece of meat with a little broccoli and mushroom for dinner - every - single - day. And nothing else, except water. Plus I have later kept my weight by being somewhat conscious of weekly food intake.

Having done that, I have also had countless conversations with people telling me they could never control their diet that way, and how they do not have the willpower to cut back. There is no need for hard statistics to back up my claim, it is common knowledge. Just look at how many people are failing at going through with their diets, and how many of those who succeed have a relapse back to their previous weight. Plus listen to how most people talk about dieting. Plus why are people turning to all sorts of miracle cures, instead of your simple (and correct) solution.

Plus it is not only about willpower, as I seem to remember that there have been various writing in newspapers over recent years about how there are physiological differences contributing to how we cope with hunger and food intake. So what comes easy for some of us, is probably quite hard for others.

So I am with you on calory intake (vs physical activity but calory intake is just that much more efficient) being the (basically only short of surgery) way to reduce weight. I'm just saying that this observation or advice does not help all those people who are unable to follow through on this as a dieting regime. They need some other system or framework, rather than "just eat less".

Comment: The above argument to ban powerpoint is ... (Score 1) 327 327

... oversimplified and omits the complexities of the issue.

The problem is not powerpoint. The problem is most people not being able to condense and simplify information, or structure it in a way which tells a coherent story in small chunks, using the presentation as a minimalistic tool. They have no clue how a meeting should be run or the role of a presentation in a meeting, plus they are afraid of forgetting any information or talking without a script, so you end up with these massive overloaded slide packs with presenters basically reading most of the slides. Which goes on for a while until someone more senior in the meeting gets fed up, takes control and hijacks the meeting.

Another place where people fail is being too attached to their presentation, in the sense of "I made this thing so I must go through it from start to finish". If the meeting takes another direction, e.g. because the person you are meeting suddenly changed their priorities, (much of) the material may no longer be relevant. Or starting to run out of time, and still trying to go through everything instead of skipping to the key slides.

Powerpoint is a decent tool. If anything should be banned, it is probably the monopoly it has been allowed to achieve. Having the whole business world essentially running their meetings on one piece of software from one single vendor, is not good. Powerpoint as a tool could be improved, and businesses should be able to run without paying the MS tax because business partners keep insisting on sending or receiving .ppt(x) formats.

Comment: Re:Played for a few hours and got bored (Score 1) 86 86

Whether the game is challenging depends on what you consider a challenge. Even though money becomes less of a problem, I found that designing effective road and public transportation infrastructure is indeed quite challenging. Not just making it work, but making it work well.

I wouldn't get too caught up in how the game deals with certain numbers of citizens, rather think of it as a micro-simulation which is scaled down compared to the real thing. E.g. 10,000 Cities-people equals 100,000 RL-people or some other multiplier.

I had great fun with the game for several hours, what made me stop playing was after a while it started to feel more like work than playing a game. But glad I bought the game and tried it out,

Comment: Then make some SW to replace pen and paper (Score 1) 387 387

I would have liked to invite Lia De Cicco Remu to take a few high school math tests, no pen and paper allowed. The test should be answered as a Word document, using the equation editor for all math including lengthy interim calculations. I'll toss in a couple linear equation sets with three unknowns, some polynomial divisions and differentiating some reasonably complex functions, so there will be plenty of math to type in even though the problems themselves would not be too hard. The test would of course be time limited.

I have looked for all sorts of possible replacements for pen and paper for math and physics for high school students. There is no electronic tool which gives you the freedom and creative flexibility of pen and paper. I love using chalk, prefer it over whiteboards, and only rarely use powerpoints when teaching - which also helps me slow down to the same speed as the students are operating. The technologies that are supposed to be a replacement for the complete solving of a problem (not just a tiny piece such as drawing a graph or solving an equation) including any initial scribbling and eventually documenting the solution, such as tablet apps with free-hand drawing, smart boards, or software such as GeoGebra, have cumbersome interfaces that get in the way and interrupt the creative flow, or have other major limitations. With a pen and paper you have complete control.

You want students to focus on the subject matter and the stuff they are supposed to be learning, not mastery of some SW interface. The math and physics you learn will stay with you forever. The SW you use in school will not.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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