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Comment: This would be great (Score 1) 720

by Danga (#48226223) Attached to: Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

Having more automation not just for fast food but all restaurants for taking orders and for things like requesting another drink would be awesome. I don't eat fast food that much but when I do they screw up my order a lot, this would hopefully cut down on errors at least at the order submission level. More efficiency is great and not just to cut down on the amount of staff needed.

Comment: Re:TV will get smart, next tech war in living room (Score 1) 314

by Danga (#38676984) Attached to: The Coming Tech Battle Over 'Smart TVs'

It's just a computer with a tv card attached to an HDTV.

No, it's a super-sized iPad. You won't watch channels any more, you'll watch apps. Some apps will be for regular TV channels (eg. NBC, ESPN), some will be for specific shows, some will be for shows you can't get on regular TV (vintage, foreign, etc.), some will be for internet video services like YouTube, some will access your PC's media libraries, and some will have nothing to do with video content (games, email, web, etc.). It will all be controlled by voice (eg. Siri) with iPad, iPod, or iPhone remotes. There will, of course, be an Android version, but it will be all over the place in terms of quality and app completeness, as different set manufacturers try to differentiate from each other.

This is exactly what is happening on the xBox 360 today, they even call them 'apps' after the most recent update. There is an app for NetFlix, ESPN3, Hulu Plus, UFC, and a variety of other news type video sources and movie sources (there is an HBO app coming soon too). This is exactly what I want as long as it stays reasonably priced because instead of paying the crazy costs of cable/satellite TV and only watching a small set of the channels that are paid for this new system is more a la carte. The only problem I see in the future is a bandwidth problem because if the majority of people switched to getting their TV entertainment over the internet it is going to be a huge strain without major upgrades. The bandwidth issue is the only thing I can see holding back this revolution in entertainment that has been growing over the last few years.

Personally I love that more and more content is becoming available online (legally). I dumped my cable TV about 3 years ago and have not looked back in remorse yet, I get nearly everything I want on my xBox 360 and most of it is even commercial free. They have even been increasing the sports content which is what I missed the most after dropping cable TV and this year I got to watch every BCS bowl game live at no extra cost using the ESPN3 app, it is great.

Comment: Re:Can't wait for the voice controlled TV's (Score 0) 314

by Danga (#38676788) Attached to: The Coming Tech Battle Over 'Smart TVs'

The Kinect still requiers a good amount of lighting to see me waving on the couch, and with my 2 year old running around making noise, it's difficult for the TV to pickup my voice. The Kinect was designed for the perfect livingroom with couples who have no little kids to deal with.

I agree it does require a good amount of light if you are using the Kinect in a fashion needing a camera but that makes no difference for controlling "TV" entertainment such as on Netflix and Hulu Plus and the other apps. I have a far from perfect living room and for such usage it works GREAT, all I have to do is say "xbox, next episode" or whatever command and you can even do searching now by voice so your comment is incorrect if you are running the latest updates. You also can't blame the Kinect for having a problem if your kid is running around yelling and making noises, sounds like a parenting issue to me.

Comment: Re:It's a big deal (Score 1) 518

by Danga (#38431208) Attached to: North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il Dead at 70

Haha the old "Fox News is EVIL" rant. Please go on right now and bring up a story that encourages active hatred of fellow Americans, I dare you. If they are "highly destructive" then this should be an easy task. Do not mistake political disagreements as hatred though. It is funny how people like you think one of the ONLY right leaning news sources is "biased" while nearly all other news sources are left leaning. Yes, that makes you a hypocrite, learn to respect free speech even if it hurts your poor little feelings or disagrees with you.

Comment: Re:Summary can't add (Score 1) 234

by Danga (#38154742) Attached to: OSHA App Costs Gov't $200k

So the drive for privatisation and contract out all government task, as driven and controlled by lobbyists is working well for the US. One wonders how much it would have cost if done internally by full time employees with lobbyist interaction.

So is this government waste or typical corrupt private corporation manipulation of government spending ie the privatisation campaign dollar at work. So who drove the project, who employed that individual, were they a 'political' appointee.

This is most certainly government waste, I can't blame the private companies for taking a chance to get way overpaid. I would say this is either one of two things, the first being the person in charge of awarding the contract(s) to a company they got along with the best and also had a cost closest to what was budgeted. I have heard so many first hand stories of those in the government making sure to spend all money in a budget for fear of the budget being cut, there is no benefit to cutting costs apparently. My second guess is the contract was awarded to companies run/own/invested in by buddies of whoever was in charge of the contract without worrying if they were qualified, similar to how the White House got Solyndra their loan even with warnings that the company was doomed.

If on the off chance the person in charge of awarding the contract was not doing either of those things then this is a prime example of management making decisions on things they have NO CLUE about. I can guarantee if I were to mention to some of my developer friends that I could get a contact for such basic work for such extreme fees that they would bust out laughing at how much the contract awarder was overpaying. Seriously, this is the results you can get with non-technical management making technical management decisions, they have no idea what it takes to complete such a project and figure since magic wizards developers are involved they are getting a good deal even though they are getting hugely ripped off.

Even though the project is pretty pointless I think a better alternative would have been to offer the gig kind of like an internship to a college student or team of students. The project is so simple that I don't see why even only one student would have a problem completing an app for each platform and offer either a small stipend or even let the developer keep one of each of the 3 platforms phones for free to do with as they wish. I am usually not an advocate for working semi-free but when I was nearing graduating college I would have jumped at the chance to get some great real world experience for a widely known organization like OSHA and get to expand my mobile device development skills as well as pick up some cool electronics in the deal. I mean seriously this would only take working a few nights for a few weeks and some weekends as well, there is an API to get GPS information so that is dead easy to grab, it is trivial to use a GPS coordinate to query for temperature in that region, and then you would just have to add in a small collection of information/warning messages. Sounds like a perfect project for a younger developer looking for experience.

Comment: Re:I swear I've seen this before—Cranberry D (Score 1) 261

by Danga (#37029984) Attached to: Start-Up Claims Immortality For Data With 'Stone-Like' Disc

The discs you mentioned are from the same source, Cranberry was just a company (that does not seem to exist any longer) that handled the marketing of the MDiscs. The technology has been around a while, I used one of the drives and played around with the media a few years ago at my former employers office and at that time I think the discs went by the names Cranberry DiamondDisc as well as the manufacturers name M-ARC disc.

Comment: Re:sure... (Score 1) 261

by Danga (#37029918) Attached to: Start-Up Claims Immortality For Data With 'Stone-Like' Disc

I have worked with these discs and one of their drives and was very skeptical at first but after learning more about it I realized it is really pretty ground breaking and useful for archiving data. I of course joked around with the same joke you said regarding the actual life of the discs but compared to current writable optical media M-Discs are definitely a huge step up.

You see a regular writable discs main long term storage problem is the dye used to store the data degrades MUCH quicker than any other part of the disc and it WILL degrade most likely in a few years although some dyes are better made and last longer. But once the dye is gone all that remains is the reflector layer and all the previously available data is gone.

M-Discs don't use dye and instead use a rock-like layer that the drive laser punches holes through and the rock-like layer degrades MUCH slower than anything else making up the discs which probably could last hundreds of years if taken care of and if there are not other failures such as adhesive or polycarbonite degradation problems. Of course at some point the data will need to be transferred to another medium but since the discs are readable by standard DVD drives there will be readers available for them for a LONG time since optical drive manufacturers always maintain backwards compatibility with older optical media standards.

Another benefit of optical drives is the "reader" is not tied to the storage medium like most other modern data storage technologies. If the reading mechanics go out in a hard drive or flash media drive then in order to read the data again the device will need to be taken apart and repaired or have the platters/flash media chip transfered to a working setup which is both difficult to do and usually expensive unless you know the right people. With optical media if the optical drive has problems reading a disc that is in good condition and not damaged/corrupted then you just hook a different drive up to the computer, take the optical disc out of the non-functioning drive and put it in the new drive and you can start reading right away and get back to work.

IMO right now optical media archiving using discs that really do not degrade (okay degrade in 10s/100s or years instead of just years) is the best way to go for long term data storage especially because there is a great track record of making sure new optical drives support reading old optical media formats. Think about this, I could take one of the first CD albums ever manufactured, Billy Joel's 52nd street sold in Japan in 1982, and walk into a store that sells computers and easily find a computer that can read the CD. What other media that is ~30 years old could you do the same with?

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