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Comment: Now they have to fix them (Score 1) 54

by R3d M3rcury (#49102529) Attached to: Apple Will Let Users Test iOS Beta Versions For the First Time

Knowing the bugs is nice. Fixing them would be better.

I have reported all sorts of issues with OS X. The bugs usually sit there in bug reporter for a year and, when Apple releases a new version of the OS, they get marked as closed because Apple isn't going to fix them.

So what'll happen is that they'll just have more reported bugs. They won't have the people to fix the problems and they're not going to hold up shipping in order to fix them. So it's basically a PR move.

Comment: Re:better idea (Score 2) 148

by R3d M3rcury (#49056217) Attached to: Report: Samsung Replacing Its Apps With Microsoft's For Galaxy S6

Disagree. For most people, it's about the "Out of Box Experience."

I go buy a phone with a camera in it, I expect to take it out of the box and start taking pictures. I don't expect to have to go find a camera app and do the research before taking my first photo.

That said, I should be able to remove said camera app and replace it with one that I think is better.

Comment: Old Joke (Score 3, Funny) 480

by R3d M3rcury (#49035623) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

So this woman goes in to church and prays to God.

"God, you know our situation. My husband is in the hospital. I can't find a job. Our kids are hungry. Our house is in foreclosure. We have no money to pay the bills. Please, God, if you would let me win the lottery, all of our problems would be solved."

Lottery comes and goes and the woman doesn't win. So she goes back to church and prays again.

"God, our situation has gotten worse. My husband is home from the hospital but is sick. All of the kids are now sick as well as hungry. The bank says they're going to kick us out of the house. The power and gas have been shut off. Please, God, let me win the lottery so that we can be happy and we will only take what we need to get back on our feet and then donate the rest to the church!"

Lottery comes and goes and the woman doesn't win. So she goes back to church and prays some more.

"God, we're in desperate straits. The police have kicked us out of our home. They bank has taken all of our posessions to pay off the debt. My husband and children are living in the park, but the police have threatened to kick us out of there. Please, God, don't forsake us! Help us by letting me win the lottery!"

Suddenly, she hears a booming voice say:

"Meet me halfway! Buy a ticket!"

Thanks. I'll be here all week.

Comment: Re:Leave the child out of it! (Score 2) 327

by R3d M3rcury (#49035571) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Panic Button a Very Young Child Can Use

You are essentially asking for something that would allow you to make your kid the caretaker of your wife.

I'm seeing lots of people saying this, but I don't see it.

I would think this would be a good thing for the child to know and have something to do if this happens. I'd imagine a two year-old watching Mommy convulsing on the floor and having no idea what to do would be far more traumatizing than knowing that she should immediately go press the big purple button and then wait by the phone for Daddy to call her (which he will do as soon as he's called 911).

By the way, most of the issues with "parentification" are when the child is the sole caregiver. Obviously, she isn't--her father is also involved. Also, Mommy isn't an invalid--she's probably still making lunches and doing other things. So this is more for the possible case where Mommy collapses.

As for the concern about your child feeling responsible, that's mostly going to be based on how it's presented to the child. Personally, I wouldn't rely on the child being the only alarm. That much, I do agree with. Not so much that a child is somehow unable to give the alarm but that the child may be absorbed in something else and miss things as well.

I'd also add a wrist-mounted accelerometer or something like that which would send the same signal as the big purple button if his wife were to start flailing her arms around.

Comment: Re:The button isn't the problem (Score 1) 327

by R3d M3rcury (#49035481) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Panic Button a Very Young Child Can Use

Since he didn't specify the existence of a primary method of notification [...]

Which is why it's always a good idea to read the summary:

I've set up cameras so I can monitor the house [...]

Camera is primary system of notification. If he notices the wife flailing about, he can call appropriate people. If he doesn't notice because he's otherwise occupied, the child is a back-up.

Reading: It's FUNdamental.

As someone else said, before we got all this high-fallutin' technology, the solution would be to make an arrange with the nice lady next door so that if Mom is being unresponsive, the kid can go over there and get help.

Comment: Re:Arduino Panic Button (Score 1) 327

by R3d M3rcury (#49035457) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Panic Button a Very Young Child Can Use

What kind of long term trauma is that going to cause?

None.

Which sort of makes the rest of your point moot.

First, reread the summary:

I've set up cameras so I can monitor the house [...]

Thus, he is monitoring the house and his wife. This button is the equivalent of a "Daddy!" yell. So if the child sees that Mom is convulsing, she can hit the "Daddy!" button and Daddy will look in to see what's going on, just in case he was away from his computer or was looking at something else (eg, code).

Frankly, this is a reality in their household and it's best that the child knows what to do. Giving kids responsibility isn't a bad thing. Depending on a two year old to be responsible isn't necessary the smartest move, I would agree. But that's what the cameras are for.

Actually, I'd also go for the arm-band with an accelerometer or something. So if she's having a seizure, it can signal him to look at the camera as well. Don't know how many false positives it can generate--is the wife Italian?

Comment: Re:Marvel's Cinematic Universe (Score 1) 98

by R3d M3rcury (#49027361) Attached to: Spider-Man Finally Joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Well, Thor blinking his eyes and people disappearing doesn't seem to happen--even in his own movies.

As for the recent films...

Where were Thor and Cap during Iron Man 3? Well, Thor was in Asgard. Cap, we'll say was at SHIELD HQ.

So why didn't Cap get off his ass and help Tony? Well, for one, Tony was dead according to most people. So Cap wouldn't necessarily be involved until the President was kidnapped. But it's not like they had much information to go on. Heck, it was quite possible that the President was dead after Air Force 1 blew up. I'm sure everything was pretty confused.

Where were Iron Man and Cap during Thor 2? The United States.

Keep in mind that the action in Thor 2 took place in London. Let's assume, for a moment, that Iron Man was in New York. Well, nobody called him, so he wouldn't even think of showing up until he saw the bad guys on the TV. Now he's in New York, he puts on his armor and takes off. If you time the movie, the last bit takes about 20 minutes. Assuming none of the action takes place simultaneously, that means Iron Man has to fly about 10,500 MPH to show up in time for everything to be over. We don't really know the top speed of Iron Man, but I don't think he could manage New York to London in 10 minutes in order to make any kind of difference.

Where were Thor and Iron Man during Cap 2? Well, Thor was in London and Iron Man was in Malibu and we have the same time problem as in Thor 2.

Keep in mind that the Avengers went their own ways after New York. Tony doesn't play well with others--yeah, he's really gonna call Cap and Thor for help. It's just not in his nature. Cap isn't going to call Tony for help because he can't trust him--remember "Trust No One?" Remember that Stark provided the repulsors for the new helicarriers? Tony could be in on it. And I'm not sure that any of them know that Thor is back on Earth.

Where was Spiderman during the Chitauri Invasion? He was fighting Chitauri over on the west side of New York. But since he wasn't wired into the Avengers radio network, he didn't know they were there.

Comment: Re:Old news already? (Score 1) 23

by R3d M3rcury (#49026211) Attached to: West To East Coast: SpaceX Ready For Extreme Multitasking

This actually has me somewhat curious regarding reusability. While I appreciate what SpaceX is doing--and I think it's a good idea--I wonder about things like launch windows and the like. Suppose I'm launching some asteroid probe and it needs to leave on Thursday for appropriate gravitational boosts. But my launch gets cancelled because it would be too windy to retrieve the first stage.

I'd imagine that SpaceX has "launch now" pricing where you end up paying for the first stage so that it will launch regardless. I wonder if you get a refund if the weather turns out to be nice and they can retrieve the first stage...

Comment: I don't think that means what you think it means (Score 5, Informative) 83

by R3d M3rcury (#49023175) Attached to: The Uncanny Valley of Voice Recognition

As I understand it, the "Uncanny Valley" refers to things are that very close to human behavior--close enough that the mind shifts from this being an imperfect representation of a human to being an imperfect human.

Personally, I'm not sure there would really be an issue with "uncanny valley" in regards to speech recognition. It's good if it recognizes what you're saying. It's bad if it doesn't. There isn't really a middle ground where it's off in a way you can't really identify, which is where "uncanny valley" comes from.

What he seems to be talking about is the "personification" of "digital assistants" like Siri and Alexa (Amazon Echo) which will eventually create an "uncanny valley." But I'm not sure that it's really that big of an issue. Just because I call something by name doesn't mean I expect it to behave in a human fashion. I don't get frustrated with my dog when I say, "Fido, change the oil in my car" and the dog just lies there and licks his balls, so I don't expect I'll ever get that frustrated because Siri can't tell me what time the sun will set next Tuesday--or, if I do, my frustration will be aimed at the people at Apple who believe that sunrise and sunset is part of the weather.

Siri and Alexa have a long way to go before someone would mistake them for humans.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 125

by R3d M3rcury (#49022915) Attached to: Netflix Now Available In Cuba

I went to Jamaica in 2001, and all those poor, poor Jamaicans running the tourist nick nack stalls had cell phones.

But did they have refrigerators?

Back in the 80s and 90s, there was sort of a stigma to having a cell phone in America--namely only rich/important people had cell phones because wired phones in the home were relatively inexpensive. We spent a ton of money wiring America back in the 1930s and 1940s because that was the only way to do it back then. So people had telephones in their houses because the government essentially subsidized the expense of a phone.

Compared with the expense of running wires all over the place, cell towers are a heck of a lot cheaper. Build a tower over here, serve 1000 people. No need to run 1000 wires. Which is why they became popular in countries which didn't have the infrastructure to begin with.

Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?

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