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Comment: Re:Keyboard (Score 1) 165

by c (#47932393) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

I think you're overselling it somewhat. I've tried the swype systems, and I always devolve to just tapping. Same with my friends that have access to it. Out of 4 of us, all of us hate swype based systems. That's not data, obviously, it's just an anecdote.

I think the GP is overselling it a bit too, but I've been using the standard Android keyboard for a bit now, which includes swype-like typing, and I'd have a tough time switching back to just tapping. It's substantially faster and generally as accurate as tapping and quite a bit better than any miniature hardware keyboard I've tried. I don't know that if it wasn't built if I'd have bothered downloading Swype or Swiftkey, but it's nice to have the option.

In some ways, it reminds me of the difference between Newton HWR and Palm Graffiti; you had to learn some new patterns to use Graffiti, but when you got used to it, it was light years ahead of the performance of the natural handwriting recognition of the Newton.

Comment: What is really happening here? (Score 1) 720

by Bruce Perens (#47930483) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
We are in a War on Faith, because Faith justifies anything and ISIS takes it to extremes. But in the end they are just a bigger version of Christian-dominated school boards that mess with the teaching of Evolution, or Mormon sponsors of anti-gay-marriage measures, or my Hebrew school teacher, an adult who slapped me as a 12-year-old for some unremembered offense against his faith.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 720

by Bruce Perens (#47930331) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Hm. The covenant of Noah is about two paragraphs before this part (King James Version) which is used for various justifications of slavery and discrimination against all sorts of people because they are said to bear the Curse of Ham. If folks wanted to use the Bible to justify anything ISIS says is justified by God's words in the Koran, they could easily do so.

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Comment: Re:Simple set of pipelined utilties! (Score 1) 290

by hey! (#47930309) Attached to: Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

I don't think people understand the Unix philosophy. They think it's about limiting yourself to pipelines, but it's not. It's about writing simple robust programs that interact through a common, relatively high level interface, such as a pipeline. But that interface doesn't have to be a pipeline. It could be HTTP Requests and Responses.

The idea of increasing concurrency in a web application through small, asynchronous event handlers has a distinctly Unix flavor. After all the event handlers tend to run top to bottom and typically produce an output stream from an input stream (although it may simply modify one or the other or do something orthogonal to either like logging). The use of a standardized, high level interface allows you to keep the modules weakly coupled, and that's the real point of the Unix philosophy.

Comment: Re:Parallax. (Score 1) 395

by Jeremy Erwin (#47924017) Attached to: Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Yep. I recently acquired a inexpensive macro zoom lens. At 1:2-- yes, yes, it's not true macro-- I have to hold the camera very close-- a few centimetres-- to whatever I'm trying to focus on. At the faster f-stops, the depth of field is wafer thin-- a good photographer with a fast macro can make that lens "bulge" disappear. Most macro technique involves stopping down the aperture (and consequently needing to use some sort of flash) and focus stacking to get as much depth of field as possible-- neglecting to do so for artistic reasons is quite doable.

Comment: Re:So, a design failure then. (Score 1) 158

by hey! (#47921919) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics

It depends on your design goals.

In Asimov's story universe, the Three Laws are so deeply embedded in robotics technology they can't be circumvented by subsequent designers -- not without throwing out all subsequent robotics technology developments and starting over again from scratch. That's one heck of a tall order. Complaining about a corner case in which the system doesn't work as you'd like after they achieved that seems like nitpicking.

We do know that *more* sophisticated robots can designed make more subtle ethical systems -- which is another sign of a robust fundamental design. The simplistic ethics is what subsequent designers get when they get "for free" when they use an off-the-shelf positronic brain to control a welding robot or bread-slicing machine.

Think of the basic positronic brain design as a design framework. One of the hallmarks of a robust framework is that easy things are easy and hard things are possible. By simply using the positronic framework the designers of the bread slicing machine don't have to figure out all the ways the machine might slice a person's fingers off. The framework takes care of that for them.

Comment: Re:The protruding lens was a mistake (Score 2) 395

by hey! (#47921441) Attached to: Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

I don't think you've really grasped Apple's design sensibility. Job one for the designers is to deliver a product that consumers want but can't get anywhere else.

The "camera bulge" may be a huge blunder, or it may be just a tempest in a teapot. The real test will be the user's reactions when they hold the device in their hand, or see it in another user's hand. If the reaction is "I want it", the designers have done their job. If it's "Holy cow, look at that camera bulge," then it's a screw-up.

The thinness thing hasn't been about practicality for a long, long time; certainly not since smartphones got thinner than 12mm or so. They always been practical things the could have given us other than thinness, but what they want you to do is pick up the phone and say, "Look how thin the made this!" The marketing value of that is that it signals that you've got the latest and greatest device. There's a limit of course, and maybe we're at it now. Otherwise we'll be carrying devices in ten years that look like big razor blades.

At some point in your life you'll probably have seen so many latest and greatest things that having the latest and greatest isn't important to you any longer. That's when know you've aged out of the demographic designers care about.

Comment: Re: Translation... (Score 1) 194

by bill_mcgonigle (#47918467) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Fascism - aren't you paying attention? Since when is SpaceX selling weaponry - their brand of non-violent commercialism is harmful to the health of the State.

If I were Musk, I'd put up my own space station, if this goes to Boeing. I bet one with rotatational gravity and a zero-G hub is now feasible and commercially desireable. The hub can be arbitrarily long as long as the habitat area is decent for humans, lots of work can get done at the best cost and the zero-G area can be expanded modularly.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.

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