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Comment Limits of storage / human perception (Score 4, Interesting) 109

I was just thinking to myself how awesome it would be to have a 1 petabyte micro SD card, but then realized, "What could I possibly use that much storage for?" Yes, I know, the supposed "640k is enough for anyone" fallacy. Well, there really is a limit to what a normal human being needs to store. Why aren't MP3 files today 100 times larger than they were 15 years ago? Because the normal human's audio perception cannot tell the difference between a 5 MB MP3 and a 500 MB MP3. So the space required to store 1,000 songs is pretty much the same as 10 years ago, for most people.

In the last few years, we've reached the limits of human perception when it comes to image resolution. The display on my phone and my ultrabook are both so high resolution that I cannot see individual pixels without a magnifying glass. How high of a resolution does a photograph need to be to print it out 8x10 with pixels so small that they cannot be seen? We've already surpassed that resolution a long time ago.

Why don't computer monitors and image formats use 64 bit colors instead of 32 bit color that we've had for 15 years? Because the normal human cannot distinguish shades of color beyond 32 bit RGB.

When everything is in 4k video, why would we need higher resolution (unless people are regularly projecting things on screens as wide as their house)?

The amount of storage we need has already plateaued when it comes to certain kinds of media, and it will soon plateau in the others (video, etc) as well. At that point it's just a matter of quantity. What good would it do me to be able to store 1 million songs, or 1 million pictures on my phone? I certainly cannot produce that many myself, and I cannot even consume them either.

For normal consumers, there will be a limit to the amount of storage we need and thus will pay for. When that occurs, research will slow down as the profit to be gained from selling petabyte of storage vs an exabyte will no longer justify the research. We are quickly reaching the point where speed and longevity are more important than capacity, so I expect, within 5 years, the emphasis will switch from mainly quantity to quality.

Comment Re:Top voted post of that thread, interesting poin (Score 1) 410

Can you summarize the point? I read all you pasted and am still confused what the point is.

Slashdot: News for redditors by redditors. I've only stumbled across reddit a couple times, and so I also have no idea what the significance of any of that is, or why I should care.

Comment Re:As Sen Dirksen said... (Score 1) 200

Nokia was already on the way out. They failed to adapt to the new phone market as defined by the iPhone. Perhaps if they had immediately switched to the Android OS and stuck to hardware only they could have kept pace and stayed relevant. Most people (myself included) have never even seen a Nokia phone without a physical keyboard. That shows the era in which they peaked and stagnated. Microsoft would have had to have saved Nokia, as opposed to just letting the Nokia status quo alone and Nokia magically being successful.

Comment Compiler optimizer bugs (Score 4, Interesting) 285

Some of the bugs I've beat my head against the wall over the most are compiler bugs. It's easy to have the mindset that the compiler is infallible, and so programmers don't usually debug in a way that tests whether fundamentals like operators are really working right. This was particularly bad developing for Windows CE back around 2000 when you had to build for 3 different processors (Arm, MIPS and SH3). I ran into a number of optimizer bugs usually related to binary operators. The usual solution was precompiler directives to disable the optimizer around a specific block of code.

Comment Limited Usefulness (Score 2) 26

Unfortunately, these types of devices will always be of limited usefulness for most pre-existing spinal cord patients. Why? - because after only a few months, most muscles have had permanent wasting, and joints have begun to contract, often permanent as well. Bones have undergone significant disuse osteopenia. Unless the patient has Christopher Reeve type resources, then the day to day intensive PT to mobilize limbs does not occur.

Even in young healthy patients, even having a cast on for 2 months results in permanent muscle loss.

Br J Sports Med. 2006 Jun; 40(6): 552–553.
doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2005.020743
PMCID: PMC2465116
Calf muscle wasting after tibial shaft fracture
M Khalid, A Brannigan, and T Burke

Comment Re:Already been done in China for a while (Score 1) 239

That is not a DC air conditioner. Note that it comes with a 2kw inverter. It's just a regular 220V AC air conditioner. Also, that whole package is sketchy. The stated BTUs don't match throughout the page (title and description says one thing, specs say another). It comes with 4 solar panels, but there are absolutely no specs on them - not even the wattage. Anyway, that package is solar panels, batteries, huge inverter and a regular air conditioner. The efficiency would have to be very low.

Comment One Facebook... (Score 4, Insightful) 172

One Facebook to rule them all. At least Google gave it a try. I guess the end Facebook's dominance will have to be a long, slow process of attrition like with MySpace. It has a critical mass of users that cannot be overcome with money or other Web presence, as proven by Google. It may also take the young generation growing through it - most people under 20 do not have much interest in Facebook at all. They have accounts of course, but very few are very active.

Submission + - Dmail: Chrome Extension For Gmail , Destroy sent Emails anytime ->

Amarjeet Singh writes: Dmail is an chrome extension developed by people who also developed Delicious the social bookmarking app/extension . This little chrome extension allows you to set an self destruct timer on your emails . You can send emails from Gmail as usual , there will be a button just above the send button which if turned on can set an self destruct timer of an hour , a day or a week .
Link to Original Source

Submission + - How Amazon Echo Could Become The Next-Gen Selfie Stick

An anonymous reader writes: Interesting story on TechCrunch joining the dots on Amazon's interest in computer vision and its connected speaker-plus-virtual assistant in-home device, the Amazon Echo. The author speculates that if Amazon adds a camera to the Echo the device could be used for augmented reality-powered virtual try-ons of products such as clothes, streaming the results to the user's phone or TV.

From the article: "The product development process for Microsoft’s Kinect sensor took around four to five years from conception to shipping a consumer product. The computer vision field has clearly gained from a lot of research since then, and Woodford reckons Amazon could ship an Echo sensor in an even shorter timeframe — say, in the next two years — provided the business was entirely behind the idea and doing everything it could to get such a product to market."

Submission + - Modernizing the Copyright Office-> 1

An anonymous reader writes: Joshua Simmons has written a new article discussing the growing consensus that it is time to modernize the Copyright Office. It reviews the developments that led to the last major revision of the Copyright Act; discusses Congress's focus since 1976 on narrower copyright bills, rather than a wholesale revision of U.S. copyright law, and the developments that have led to the review hearings; and considers the growing focus on Copyright Office modernization.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Plan To Run Anti-Google Smear Campaign Revealed in MPAA Emails

vivaoporto writes: Techdirt reports a plan to run anti-Google smear campaign via Today Show and WSJ discovered in MPAA Emails.

Despite the resistance of the Hollywood studios to comply with the subpoenas obtained by Google concerning their relationship with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (whose investigation of the company appeared to actually be run by the MPAA and the studios themselves) one of the few emails that Google have been able to get access to so far was revealed this Thursday in a filling. It's an email between the MPAA and two of Jim Hood's top lawyers in the Mississippi AG's office, discussing the big plan to "hurt" Google.

The lawyers from Hood's office flat out admit that they're expecting the MPAA and the major studios to have its media arms run a coordinated propaganda campaign of bogus anti-Google stories:

Media: We want to make sure that the media is at the NAAG meeting. We propose working with MPAA (Vans), Comcast, and NewsCorp (Bill Guidera) to see about working with a PR firm to create an attack on Google (and others who are resisting AG efforts to address online piracy). This PR firm can be funded through a nonprofit dedicated to IP issues. The "live buys" should be available for the media to see, followed by a segment the next day on the Today Show (David green can help with this). After the Today Show segment, you want to have a large investor of Google (George can help us determine that) come forward and say that Google needs to change its behavior/demand reform. Next, you want NewsCorp to develop and place an editorial in the WSJ emphasizing that Google's stock will lose value in the face of a sustained attack by AGs and noting some of the possible causes of action we have developed.

As Google notes in its legal filing about this email, the "plan" states that if this effort fails, then the next step will be to file the subpoena (technically a CID or "civil investigatory demand") on Google, written by the MPAA but signed by Hood.

As Google points out, this makes it pretty clear that the MPAA, studios and Hood were working hand in hand in all of this and that the subpoena had no legitimate purpose behind it, but rather was the final step in a coordinated media campaign to pressure Google to change the way its search engine works.

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold