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Comment: Driverless may also mean ownerless (Score 1) 435

by PensivePeter (#47479413) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars
If a car doesn't need a driver, then the expensive piece of capital investment that a car represents is simply shuttling passengers around. Such cars will or could be put to work without the owner - it's not just a matter of "send it back home after my commute to pick up the spouse to go shopping", it could also be "pick up x number of people on y number of routes on the way back to my house to maximize use of the vehicle.....err, which is what Google and Uber are presumably heading towards, no? We'll pay you to use your driverless many people would fall for that (and everything it implies).
But at what point do the scales tip and simply doesn't make any economic sense to own a vehicle (except for the pious and pompous Silicon Valley showoffs who want everyone to know about their Tesla)

Comment: Re:Sad, sad times... (Score 1) 333

Well, our education systems encourage snappy responses and speed tests not deep thinking. Watch a movie made in the last decade and the average transition time between cuts is around 3-5 seconds, compared with 15-20 a couple of decades back. Managers of public spaces HATE silence - and prefer to fill it with vacuous muzak than let people sit or walk in silence. We are everywhere surrounded by the sound bite, the elevator pitch, the latest catch phrase or advertising jingle. Is it any surprise that younger people are uncomfortable with silence and rest when we've prepared the ground so well for exactly the opposite?

Comment: Only one piece of technology that makes the grade (Score 1) 143

by PensivePeter (#47378995) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Replacing Paper With Tablets For Design Meetings?
Surface. Yep, Microsoft's Surface, particularly the new Pro 3 running OneNote allows real time note taking with a very good quality stylus, instant on (click the pen and a new page opens ready to work, even if you're tablet is locked - a stroke of genius), you can pull in and cross reference Word docs, PPTs, web pages, etc. and the whole is synced real time back end to other devices. Need to take a photo of notes on a whiteboard, use the OfficeLens app on your phone and it gets sent to OneNote, optimized (reflections, stuff of the board, etc. eliminated) and does an OCR of what's there if the handwriting is half decent. I use this every day - I manage or participate in half a dozen different types of meetings every day. Fan boy? Of this product, yup. OneNote on a tablet was always good but MSFT treated it like a poor cousin - they finally understand the potential and have provided a kick ass product for EXACTLY this niche. There is no other product close to Surface for responding to this kind of usage scenario. And if just f^&*ing works. Really.

Comment: "Download" != useful metric (Score 1) 285

by PensivePeter (#46788663) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?
I have downloaded various versions of OpenOffice and LibreOffice over the past years, probably accounting for 20+ downloads on various devices. None has been really used as the package falls short of my expectations each time. Same for many "free" downloads of other software, such as UML modelling, server, dB and CRM software. I have ended up buying the professional package nearly every time. Money on the table says I've made a commitment (ok, yes, or that I should be committed to the funny farm for even considering purchasing software) - downloading a stream of bits for free means very little. Can they track activations? Active use? I suspect the figures for active, committed, use are far, far, lower. How many documents do you see floating around, created in OpenOffice (rather than exported to .odf which, btw, MS Office does very cleanly). And there is the question of the ODF standard: which of the multiple OpenOffice and LibreOffice builds actually generates ISO-compliant ODF? They all seem to generate slight forks or use as-yet-not-ISO-compliant versions that don't play well together.

Comment: Re:bollocks (Score 1) 292

No doubt that you (or any one of us) can point to things we already know about - and there is indeed no shortage and, you can argue, are a moral imperative to solve, rather than counting angels on pinheads. To that extent, I agree with you. But Kuhn's point is that some things are unsolvable (if not unimaginable) without a methodology: the "scientific method" of hypothesis, test, assertion, rinse, repeat, is relatively recent and itself led to major revolutions in thinking. Causality in an epoch where religion and divine intervention reigns? Inconceivable. Curved space and time? Inconceivable within the framework of Newtonian mechanics. There are many things inconceivable within our current reference, that is all that I'm saying

Comment: Time to re-read Thomas Kuhn (Score 1) 292

In his "Structure of Scientific Revolutions", Thomas Kuhn argues that our abilities are limited by the current "template" of thinking - before you have the language of formal logic, for example, you can't argue that something seems "logical" or deducible from the facts available. Science progresses so far within a particular paradigm and then leaps forward with another - Newtonian mechanics, relativity, string theory. Maybe we are due for a new "episodic spasm" into a new paradigm?

Comment: It's not a storage device (Score 1) 471

by PensivePeter (#41895447) Attached to: Software Uses Almost 1/2 the Storage On 32GB Surface Tablet
Why would you store anything except the last couple of movies, recent photographs, videos and documents? It is designed for efficiently managing and working with current but transitory content. If you want storage, connect it to a homegroup (2 clicks), acquire a storage device or home server.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.