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Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 2) 160 160

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See blog.algoram.com for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: Re:It's the non-engineers. (Score 2) 112 112

> This comment makes no sense at all. Programming and management are completely different skills.

Organization of resources, managing tasks, learning when to automate and when to tear it apart for a rebuild, checking for failures, sanitizing inputs, documenting work and cooperating with other developers are all useful skills at both hands-on and management levels. There's considerable overlap.

If you can't manage pointers and complex sets of data safely, you're unlikely to be able to manage projects and manpopwer and deadlines any better.

Comment: Re:What were they testing? (Score 1) 180 180

It was a poorly designed test with respect to driving. From TFA:

To ascertain the effects of extraneous information in a driverâ(TM)s line of sight, professor Spence and his team of students created two tests to measure the outcome. The first involved volunteers completing a number of computer-based tests in which they were required to say how many of a number of randomly organized spots were shown on a screen as quickly and accurately as they could.

Added to this, in some tests a black-outlined square arbitrarily appeared and the subjects were told to report whenever they saw this too. This secondary stimulus was shown at the same time as the spots, but did not appear in all of the trials.

Basically, if you apply this to driving, you're comparing driving by constantly watching the road and never glancing at your instruments and mirrors, to having information displayed on a HUD. Well duh you're going to be more attentive to things that happen on the road if you never take your eyes off the road. But you're going to be a massive danger to everyone else because you'll be going the wrong speed, and you'll be making lane changes oblivious to anyone else who might be in the way.

If they wanted to test the efficacy of a HUD, they should've run a third test case where participants were given the same task, but also required to monitor information being displayed below the computer screen showing the spots. (At a minimum. Information also probably should be displayed on either side as well to simulate monitoring your mirrors.) The question isn't is a HUD distracting from a single task. It's is a HUD less distracting than having to glance away from the road to see your instruments and mirrors.

After having driven a car with blind spot detection (a car in your blind spot causes an orange light on that side's mirror to light up), I'd say the simplified notification is much easier to perceive and comprehend. Before, I had to take my eyes off the road to glance at the mirror frequently, figure out exactly what it was I saw, put it together with what I saw before, and cogitate that the car that was there before is not there anymore, and therefore it is now probably in my blind spot. Now I can actually pay more attention to what's going on in the road ahead of me, and little lights in my peripheral vision automatically tell me when there's a car beside me that I can't see in my mirrors. I still check by turning my head before lane changes, but it's reduced the workload of driving enough that I feel my driving has improved.

Comment: What is not excellent... (Score 1) 62 62

... is on one hand the AV companies are flagging PUA, while on the other hand offering toolbars and search changes of their own at every opportunity. Effectively they are doing what they can to force their own search on users and then flagging anything that might change it, a very shady position if you ask me.

Comment: Re:Nude == Rude? (Score 2) 170 170

Hint: you can't, because it doesn't. More likely the contrary (as in: seeing a naked body every now & then lets kids grow up to be healthy adults). As has been shown at least a few times in serious studies

The best way for anyone to see how this is true is to see what goes on at a Nudist park, village, beach, etc. and my direct study (this summer) of the situation confirms your answer. Nudity != sex in spades. Also, people talk about body acceptance. If a nudist camp experience can't give you that with bodies all over the spectrum, then you really do need help.

I joined Cedar Waters Village http://nhnude.com/ this year, after a lifetime of avoiding places like that (except for that one visit to Moonstone Beach (PPTJLC)), and I can only say that I regret not doing something like this sooner in my life. The ability to just walk out of your cabin after waking up - bypassing your clothes hanging in the closet completely - and traipse off to the beach not giving a single flying fuck is refreshing.

--
BMO - Piping Plovers Taste Just Like Chicken

Comment: Re: You think Greeks want MORE electronic money? (Score 1) 355 355

Eh. Don't oversell the old gold standard. For starters, a gold standard was typically a steady and persistent malaise of deflation, as economic output increased more steadily than the money supply.

Yeah, anyone advocating returning to the gold standard needs to read some economic history to really see what things were like when we were on the gold standard. 1800-1933 saw 33 recessions/depressions - every 4 years on average - with declines in business activity or GDP of 10%, 20%, and even 30% common.

Since going off the gold standard, we've had 13 recessions in 82 years, or every 6.3 years on average. And aside from the recessions following the Great Depression and WWII, none of them has seen GDP shrink by more than 5%.

Zero inflation/deflation in a currency happens when the amount of currency floating around exactly matches economic productivity. With a fiat currency, a legit government tries its best to expand the money supply to maintain that balance. With a gold standard, whether you get inflation or deflation depends entirely on the ratio of economic productivity to how much new gold is mined. And don't even get me started on how disastrous it is to set a finite limit on the amount of currency you can mine, like Bitcoin does.

Being on the gold standard doesn't mean you have solid monetary policy based on a physical good. It means your "policy" is effectively determined by how much gold people are finding and mining at any given time - its based on luck and good/bad fortune. Yes it prevents abuse by the government printing too much currency. But it avoids that potential abuse by completely removing the economy's rudder, leaving you adrift and completely at the mercy of how lucky gold miners are that year.

The true fundamental currency is productivity. Whether you use dollars, euros, gold, or bitcoin, avoiding inflation/deflation means increasing the supply of physical/virtual currency to exactly match increases in productivity.

Comment: Re:What were they thinking? (Score 2) 177 177

Half the world is intent on making rules for everything, just because "there ought to be a law" against anything remotely risky or unpleasant. And the other half lashes out by ignoring those rules an doing what the hell they want.

1) If you treat people like children, they will start behaving like them.
2) If you make tons of unreasonable rules, people will start breaking them in protest, and start breaking the reasonable ones as well, especially if it's hard to tell the two apart ("You can't bring your gun on the plane because of terrists, but you also can't bring your bottle of water for the same reason"). Unjust, unreasonable or petty laws endanger all of the law.

Now, having a rule against using selfie sticks in a roller coaster is reasonable, but people choose to ignore that law, or tell others to, because of a whole range of other laws that are silly. And because of the way those laws are enforced (instead of treating them as a means to an end, they are treated as a goal in themselves).

Comment: Re:What were they thinking? (Score 5, Insightful) 177 177

There's good reason to be skeptical of rules. Too often, rules are not honest. The usual tactic is to not give any explanation. When that won't fly, safety is the #1 excuse for a rule. But so often, it turns out that someone profits from a rule, and that is the real reason for it. Even when there are genuine safety concerns, there is often also a profit motive. That seems highly likely with this particular Disney rule. Why couldn't people use electronic devices or carry nail clippers on planes? Why did so many cities try red light cameras? Why can't people bring their own food and drink to the movie theaters? Why can't we play movies on our computers' DVD drives?

Yeah. Don't blindly trust The Rules.

Comment: Re:Bogus milestone (Score 2) 247 247

And believe me, on a long trip that difference is critical. He's done several trips (and I've been on one with him) where a 200 mile range just wouldn't have cut it.

I've been saying for years now that unless there's an order of magnitude breakthrough in battery charging technology, using an electric car on a long trip is going to remain stupid. It's telling that the solution closest to working thus far (that doesn't involve stopping for 30+ minutes every 2.5 hours) is swapping the battery pack (all 1200 pounds of it on the Tesla S).

That's a large part of the reason I don't think electric cars will catch on. Not that they couldn't. They could catch on right now if we can break free of environmentalists' pipe dream of all cars being electric. If you can convince people to use an electric car for their daily driving, and rent a gas/diesel car for their few times a year long trips, then EVs become completely viable today. Those long trips probably only represent about 10% of your annual drives, so we could potentially reduce our gasoline consumption by 90% right now.

But environmentalists' penchant for insisting that anything short of a 100% green solution is unacceptable is going to be their undoing. Just like with hybrids when they were first introduced - environmentalists initially hated hybrids because they generate all their energy from burning gasoline. They tried to block approval for hybrids as a way to meet California's LEV and ZEV standards, in hopes of forcing automakers to develop EVs.

Comment: This isn't new (Score 1) 189 189

I'm not sure if Force Touch enough to convince an Android user like myself to switch, but there are definitely some interesting possibilities for app developers.

Why would it make you want to switch? Android apps have been doing it since at least 2011. Android's touch API communicates sufficient information to implement this if you wish.

But this being Apple, they will give it a fancy name, everyone will think they invented it, and they will pretend like they invented it. Just like Siri, which came out after I'd been doing searches, sending texts, and starting apps by voice on Android for at least a year.

Comment: Re:Convince to switch? (Score 1) 189 189

There are some features that could tempt someone to switch. Apple's fingerprint scanner wasn't the first, but it was the first one that was (almost) seamlessly integrated into the phone's usage pattern. Plenty of Android users told me they'd love to have that on their phones. But the thing is: they didn't have to switch, they only had to wait a while; today there are a few Android phones with non-sucky fingerprint scanners, and as far as I know the OS now supports it as well. If Apple turns force touch from a gimmick into something actually useful, then it won't be long before other manufacturers follow suit.

If anything, us Apple users are at a disadvantage here, Apple focus only on certain things and are slow to develop others. One thing I'd love is a water resistant iPhone, but as yet there are only some rumours that Apple is actuall working on this.

"Ninety percent of baseball is half mental." -- Yogi Berra

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