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Comment: Subtitle Sunglasses (Score 1) 64

by Simonetta (#48630349) Attached to: Ars Reviews Skype Translator

This speech translator is trés cool.

For a while I've been bugging techies with my conception of 'subtitle sunglasses'. These would be 'ordinary' glasses that would have microphones and nano-technology CPUs inside the frame. The microphones would hear the speech of the person that you are looking at (who is speaking a foreign language), translate that speech into English, and display the text of the translation onto the bottom of the user's frame. Like subtitles in a foreign movie for those of you who have ever seen a subtitled foreign movie. Many Germans haven't. The power to operate these 'subtitle sunglasses' would come from the generators creating electricity from the movement's of the user's head.

I challenge teckies to approximate how long in the future it will be before this kind of product is available for purchase in the $500 range.

One unusually aspect of Moore's Law is that we can project when a product like this will be actually available. We take the cost of making any science fiction concept using today's technology and use future-value calculations of accounting to project a future price time-frame given that the price of the technology will fall by half every 18 months.

Another trick is to use this example as a crude intelligence IQ test. Claim that the Japanese have actually developed 'subtitle sunglasses' but they only translate English into Japanese. Claim that you have been able to obtain a secret advanced prototype of such glasses. Give an ordinary pair of reading glasses to a person and claim that these are actual real 'subtitle sunglasses' that have tiny speakers that create synthetic spoken sound inside the ears. Invite them to try them on. When they put on the glasses, start speaking in Japanese (learn a few phrases well beforehand). The time that it takes them to realize that you are completely bulllshitting them is an indication of how intelligent they are. Hope that they don't get violent.

Comment: Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 172

by fgodfrey (#48622649) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

I didn't say never look at them, I said never remove the extra photos from your Lightroom catalog, find the files on disk, delete them, and hope you didn't accidentally delete IMG_8192.JPG instead of IMG_8191.JPG. And yes, it *is* easier to just store them than to do that. If hard drive sizes stop increasing, or the photo cataloging software gets better, that may change. In the mean time, the disk space is cheaper and easier than the time to deal with it.

Comment: Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 172

by fgodfrey (#48621195) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

It really depends on why you're taking the pictures. If you are just trying to have the memory, then yeah, you don't need 15 pictures in sports mode. But if you're trying to do something artistic then that's how you do it. And while you *can* sift through and delete all the ones that aren't the best, it's a lot easier to *not* have to do that and just store 'em. How much is your time worth vs. $250 for an 8 TB hard drive that can store, probably, all the pictures we'll take in the next 15 years.

Comment: Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 172

by fgodfrey (#48619123) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

Yeah, but a better camera will be more than that. My wife and I took over 7000 pictures on our honeymoon (which lasted about a month) with a Canon camera. That's about 7MB/picture (seems to go up to about 12 for JPEG). If we'd taken them in RAW (which, arguably, we should have since some of the shots would be nice to reedit or do lens correction on) it would've been around 25 to 30MB/image with our camera. If you use sports mode (taking 10 or 15 shots every time you push the button), I could easily see hitting 100GB/month. All depends on whether this guy's wife is as obsessive about her "recreation" as my wife and I are....

Comment: Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 172

by fgodfrey (#48619037) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

I design audio for theater. I have a 3TB archive of my designs and it grows about 300GB per year (musicals, where I do recording, take about 100GB per show). My wife likes taking pictures and she generates a few gigabytes per month of pictures. Many people keep movies. My parents have an archive of their favorite (broadcast) TV shows that they recorded with EyeTV. You're right that it's extremely likely that nobody will care about most of this stuff when we die. But we're still alive. What's so hard to understand about that?

Yeah, I could spend hours paring down my audio collection. I could delete the musical recordings, eliminate duplicates, and throw away shows I'm likely to never revisit. My wife could delete most of her pictures (ones that were out of focus, test shots, ones that she doesn't like for some reason). My parents could buy DVDs (which are simply a less convenient form of storage). But why would any of us do this? I occasionally get asked to remix songs and I reuse sound effects from shows sometimes. My wife goes back and looks at shots or may change her mind about what she wants to keep.

When you can fit 8TB on something the size of a medium book, why wouldn't you keep stuff you might use again?

Comment: My toenail holds my music collection (Score 1) 433

by Simonetta (#48596101) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

I have a 64G SD card that holds 8000 songs that are about 4 minutes each at 250KBPS MP3. This SD card is the size of my toenail. It costs about $15. The same amount of recorded sound on vinyl records would take up about 140 cubic feet of space.
Did I forget to mention that I can plug my 8000 song music collection into your computer and a few hours later, my music collection is my any your music collection and it costs you $15, should you decide to store said collection on a medium the size of a toenail. An 800 album vinyl music collection would cost about $12000.

There are idiots out there who would argue that the nearly in-perceivable audio difference between a 250KBPS MP3 music collection and a vinyl collection is worth $12000. They are trustafarians with young perfect ears who don't have to worry about paying rent, food, and childcare on a $40000 salary.

Unless you actually are one of them, you should never take anything that these people say seriously.

Comment: To hell with taxis... (Score 2, Interesting) 295

by Simonetta (#48595955) Attached to: French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

I had to pay $60 for an eight mile (12 km) taxi ride from the Portland Oregon airport to downtown because the idiot public transit system there stopped running from the airport at 11:25pm. All the flights from the East coast and Midwest USA leave in the late early evening and arrive between 11:30pm and 1:00am. The local public transport system (TriMet) spends millions of dollars each year telling people how wonderful they are, but they can't even get one single bus an hour on this most important route of the city: the airport to the downtown.

To hell with taxis, and especially to hell with Tri-Met!

Anything that improves the basic transport needs of any 21st-century city is welcome!

Comment: Re:Go back in time 5 years (Score 2) 581

by fgodfrey (#48421817) Attached to: Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

THIS (* see below) dizzying pile of config files with nondescript names. And that doesn't even include the set of names that are magically generated either implicitly and from other files. For reference, /etc/init.d has less than half this many files. Furthermore, to know what actually is going to boot, I cd into a directory and type "ls". Can anyone tell me which of these is actually going to execute when my machine boots?

To answer a non-rehetorical question: Can any of the systemd lovers (or haters, I'm not picky) tell me how the heck I move /var to a different filesystem without editing every single file in that directory below? Just putting the mount point in /etc/fstab doesn't work because stuff that depends on /var executes before /var gets mounted. I added a unit file to mount /var and gave it a "before" dependency on dbus (which is the first thing that seems to break), but it starts dbus while it's doing the fsck on /var anyway.

(*) The list was going to go here. But it's so long Slashdot won't let me post it. There are 255 unit files in /usr/lib/systemd/system. They have fun names like "systemd-tmpfiles-setup-dev.service".

Comment: Re:Same issue... just relayed all outgoing mail (Score 1) 405

by fgodfrey (#48381001) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

Yeah, I was surprised as well. It's normal to relay in the US as well. I switched to Comcast earlier this year from CenturyLink. With CenturyLink, I was relaying through their SMTP server. Comcast doesn't allow that (at least on Business Class accounts).

Comment: Re:Same issue... just relayed all outgoing mail (Score 3, Informative) 405

by fgodfrey (#48380795) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

You can't use that on a Comcast Business account (or at least my Comcast Business account couldn't). After 4 phone calls, they finally confirmed that their mail server won't send mail for anyone else's domain. Ie, if you own, Comcast's server won't relay mail for only for

Now.... My information is about 7 months old so maybe they changed this without telling anyone? If your information is newer I should probably revisit my mail configuration.

Meantime, I just tried from my domain (email server sends directly from a Comcast Business IP) and had no problems sending to Yahoo Mail so they aren't blocking *ALL* Comcast Business IP's. I also have (hopefully) correct reverse DNS on my email server and SPF records in my DNS.

Comment: Re:Lucky for Stripe (Score 1) 353

by fgodfrey (#48310711) Attached to: Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

(Now if Stripe is applying their rules differently for different people, that *is* a problem. If, for instance, they'd happily process payments for a gun store/manufacturer owned by a Democrat but not a Libertarian or a Republican, *that* I'd have a problem with even though I tend to be a Democrat).

Comment: Re:Lucky for Stripe (Score 1) 353

by fgodfrey (#48310693) Attached to: Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

There is actually a huge difference in the argument you are making. There's a difference between choosing *who* you do business with (or employ) and *what kind* of business you are willing to be in. If you're a gun store and you refuse to sell someone a gun because they're gay, that should be illegal (whether it actually *is* illegal is still being debated). If you're, say, a department store and you don't wish to be in the business of selling guns, you should have a right not to be. I think this case is pretty clear cut that the payment processor has a right not to be in the business of processing payments for guns.

Loose bits sink chips.