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Comment Re:Pen + Paper or Notes (Score 1) 227

I use a livescribe pretty regularly: I have one in my pocket right now. While I agree the form factor of the pens is suboptimal, as are the cartridges, it does the job for me. I've only lost one so far to overzealous inspection at an airport as a spy device because it has audio recording capability. In theory that one might come back, but the office it is stored in is only open a few hours a day, a few days a week at the airport and the release documents have two names on them and... long story.

Anyway, while I appreciate the OP's interest in a fully digital format and read through hoping to find something super cool I hadn't run across yet, the drift in the conversation to pre-digital technologies mirrors my own adoption of the livescribe pen. The books you fill out don't crash and are immediately re-viewable and sunlight readable. The pens are robust and while the cartridges run out of ink far too quickly and without any real warning, it isn't a meaningful cost burden to keep a few spares around.

The form factor of the pen and small note book is time-proven and convenient if you're moving around. It is unobtrusive in meetings, works well in the field, and you can easily have a hand or two free without catastrophic gravitational consequences.

Having a digital copy of my notes is organizationally helpful, even if my writing is not sufficiently legible for useful distribution. The accurate time stamps let me do things like post-correlate a digital picture with the notes unambiguously or a GPS coordinate or any other time stamped media. Occasionally I use the audio recording capability to integrate time-stamped conversational notes when I don't have time to write them all down, just noting a word or two here and there as I can to provide a visual/temporal reference in the converted media.

I am most pleased with myself when I can make a quick sketch on paper and email it out in a few seconds. I have occasionally considered a pen-enhanced phablet as an increasing drift toward virtualization, but that would lose the archival paper copy, the tangible organization of the pages and books, and would be far more fragile and prone to being out of juice when I need it. The pen wakes up in about 3 seconds and even if I haven't charged it in a month, is ready to work - and if the battery is dead, I still take perfectly usable notes I can later digitize by writing over them if I really need to.

For me it solves a few requirements:

  • * Archival (fairly, the notebooks aren't acid free or anything),
    * Reliable (works even if the battery is dead, though the small cartridges undermine this a bit,)
    * Durable (my pen has been in some atypically demanding environments like direct sunlight in measured ambient temperatures of 57C and kept working fine even when digital camera and phone couldn't take pictures because they were too hot,)
    * Time stamped entries,
    * Digital distribution/record keeping is painless,
    * Handles sketches well,
    * Can correlate to other digital media via time stamp metadata fairly automatically,
    * Fully cloudless local operation so you don't have to trust a company full of people you've never met.


  • * I don't use the handwriting recognition tool. It is kind of cool, but not accurate enough with my crappy writing to be worth the cost,
    * I would prefer a more pen-like pen,
    * I wish the notebook software could recognize some simple glyphs so certain notes could be automatically extracted or highlighted (I'm thinking "to do" and "important" etc marks),
    * It'd be awesome if it took standard Fisher cartridges.

Submission + - Vibrating bike grips deliver 'handy' directions (cnet.com)

conner_bw writes: The idea is simple, put SmrtGrips on your handlebars, launch the accompanying app to set up the notifications you want and enter your destination in your favorite mapping app. Then, put your phone away and the grips will guide you to the selected address. The right one vibrates when you need to turn right, the left one when you need to go left. The vibrations build in intensity as you near your turn.

Comment Re:Solve this once and for all... (Score 1) 254

The original poster makes a valid point which I agree with. That is, other languages have gender built into them and cannot be removed or argued out. Hell, Japanese has hierarchy and ego built into the language (Watashi, bokou, olé). An english centric view of the technical world is limiting, arrogant, and obtuse.

In the context of this specific flamewar, it is appropriate. (American english speaker going overkill on Dutch speaker for reasons far beyond the scope of the incident)

However, your reply, "panties in a bunch" is problematic. Here you imply that the only person who would care about such a stupid problem are women, because they are women? Or cross dressers?

There is IMHO a difference.

Comment My sense (Score 1) 536

My sense is that the MEAN Stack (Mongo, Express, AngularJS, Node) is sort of winning. There's some packaging of it over at mean.io.

Personally, I'm really getting interested in Meteor (www.meteor.com). Watch the videos, and realize I saw a smart non-coder go from zero to *ridiculously* interactive site design in three months.

Comment Re:No winners economically (Score 1) 268

I have little sympathy for an industry that could have spent the last 40 years reducing their emissions.

Paying for extra emission reduction would put you at a competitive disadvantage against power plants who just did the bare minimum. Or, in a highly regulated environment, it might run you afoul of price controls.

Comment It's because Python 3 is broken. (Score 2) 432

No really.

I took a pass at Python 3 a while back. The amount of hoops I needed to jump through, to deal with compilation errors around Unicode handling, was terrifying. It was simply a poor user experience.

Python 2.7 just works. Sure, it's a nightmare past a certain scale point. But until you get into the dregs of OO it really is executable pseudocode.

Python 3 is some other language that lost that property.

The big problem is that we don't ship languages with telemetry that reports when they fail to work. So things that are completely obvious to outsiders never make it to inner circles. Not that I can really see any way for Python 3 to mend its errors.

Submission + - Last day to check MIT mail from Open Source Client

gessel writes: In 2007, MIT began evaluating their email, which was, until today, served by Cyrus IMAP. The committee made some significant errors in failing to understand the FOSS email ecosystem as evidenced by their functionality matrix on slide 18 and settled on Exchange as a replacement. Cyrus access is being terminated today without even enabling Exchange IMAP support, thus completely severing ties with the open source community that began at MIT in 1971.

Comment Re:Unfriendly Elitists (Score 1) 372

Yes, elitist, exactly. And, historicaly, not shy to voice it? It's kind of ironic that the man who wants to fix a participation problem that started in 2007, held the opinion that there is no such problem in 2006?

"The idea that a lot of people have of Wikipedia," he noted, "is that it's some emergent phenomenon - the wisdom of mobs, swarm intelligence, that sort of thing - thousands and thousands of individual users each adding a little bit of content and out of this emerges a coherent body of work." But, he (Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia) insisted, the truth was rather different: Wikipedia was actually written by "a community ... a dedicated group of a few hundred volunteers" where "I know all of them and they all know each other". Really, "it's much like any traditional organization."

Source: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/whowriteswikipedia

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.