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Comment: Re:A smart phone is rarely convenient (Score 1) 248

by aix tom (#49054069) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

And I think the main gain of automation is not "something fancy" but a "combination of sensible features"

For example, we had mechanical thermostats and switches to control the air conditioning in our offices, and mechanical thermostats to control the heating. They were replaced with small 2-inch touch screens to control both.

The "control itself" is worse. Instead of turning the thermostat and flipping a switch in under a second you have a screen with some "lag" so adjusting anything. But after you set up your "wished for" temperature you don't really have to use the control any more.

The thing starts heating / cooling up to "wish themperature" when the office ours start, and goes to "night mode" where it doesn't cool or heat as far after noon if nobody has triggered the motion sensor in the office for over an hour. it also goes into "night mode" when the alarm system is engaged. Engaging the alarm system also switches off all lights in the building.

A friend did some "home automation" back in the 1980s in his flat with switches and relays to control the lights and electric shutters . The main feature was a panel to switch all ten lights in the flat on and of beside the main entrance, including a "all lights off" button. and a "Close/Open all shutters" button. That was a sensible feature, but it was very involved since he had to pull wires from all switches and all actuators to a central switching cabinet. The same sensible automation these days could be done simpler and cheaper with a bus system. But STILL without any "smart-devices" in the internet-sense involved.

Comment: Re:How about replacing it with the ORIGINAL Test (Score 1) 129

by aix tom (#49018623) Attached to: Replacing the Turing Test

In my opinion the "what questions are asked" by the interrogator is only a small part of the test setup. I think the main point is "what is the question that is asked of the interrogator"

In that area the question "do you thing your opponent is a computer or a human" is influenced hugely by the interrogators knowledge and perception of what a computer should be able to do and what it should not be able to do. So asking the interrogator "find out if your opponent is a man or woman" might be a good way to have a more "defined" outcome of the test.

Because the moment in which a computer becomes better at impersonating a human of Type A than another human of Type B (man and woman would be one obvious choice, perhaps some other Types could be used also ) is able to do is not influenced so much by "what the interrogator thinks a computer is able to do or not."

Comment: How about replacing it with the ORIGINAL Test (Score 2) 129

by aix tom (#49011837) Attached to: Replacing the Turing Test

The original Turing Test, as published in "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" as "Imitation Game" was not about whether a machine could successfully pretend to be a human.

He proposed a test, where a computer and men both pretended to be women, and the test would be passed if the computer would be more successful in lying about being a woman than the men were.

Comment: A better Firefox alternative (for me) was PaleMoon (Score 1) 158

by aix tom (#48916625) Attached to: Opera Founder Is Back, WIth a Feature-Heavy, Chromium-Based Browser

It feels "less quirky" than Seamonkey, and some of the Extensions that I have used for years ( Like Tree Style Tab) work with PaleMoon while they don't in Seamonkey.

And with the "Firefox 3 Theme for Firefox 4+ Reloaded" I finally feel at home again on the Internet.

Comment: Re:Tabs on side?? How about tabs on BOTTOM. (Score 2) 117

by aix tom (#48848359) Attached to: With Community Help, Chrome Could Support Side Tabs Extension

I just defected to Pale Moon two month ago.

Absolutely brilliant. Firefox as it used to be. Configurable like it was in the good old days, with that Australis interface ripped out. (And even returned to a sane version numbering scheme lately).

TreeStyle Tab works for vertical tabs (in contrast to SeaMonkey, where it doesnt), and with "Firefox 3 Theme for Firefox 4++ Reloaded" it works, looks and behaves exactly as the Firefox did in its best days. I finally feel "at home" again on the Internet without being irked by unexpected UI surprises all the time.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 3, Informative) 110

by aix tom (#48835723) Attached to: To Avoid Detection, Terrorists Made Messages Seem Like Spam

Of course, never in History, not even in WW1 and 2 has any spy agency tried do collect ALL information that was there. Like every letter sent, every phone call made, every conversation made in public, etc... like spy organisations these days seem to try.

Former East Germany came closest in the last century I guess. Then again, they probably had 20% of the population working at least part-time as undercover agents to spy on the rest.

Comment: Re:Honestly go eff yourself Paul. (Score 1) 552

by aix tom (#48677329) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

So this is basically another fine example, where
- The possible American employee loses the chance to get a job.
- The possible foreign employee loses the chance to get fair pay.
- The foreign country loses it's investment in education.
- The US loses it's investment in education
- The US loses through higher cost for social security.

The only group that makes big bucks with the screwed up situation are the lawyers again.

Comment: Re:Is it just me ... (Score 1) 390

by aix tom (#48481147) Attached to: First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

Don't forget: The original clones were made by the Kamino, on their planet, using their facilities and knowledge as the galaxies cloning specialists to create a "secret army"

The usual canon explanation I always heard in various books etc.. was that supplying new clones simply became too expensive and cumbersome, especially with the Kamino not WANTING to supply new clones to the empire and probably sabotaging the process at every possibility. Add to that the fact that "secrecy" is no longer an issue, that you can set recruiting stations on every planet you like, and there is not much sense to continue using clones.

Comment: Re: Here's the solution (Score 1) 577

by aix tom (#48050075) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

The software that "stores everything in the registry" is not garbage per se. It's just software that was written by developers that listened to Microsoft between, say, 1995 and 2010. Because they were told "nonono, *.ini files are bad, store everything in this great registry thing we invented".

From my personal gut-feeling that "drive to use the registry for almost everything" peaked around 2005-2006, before the trend was reversed. At least judging from the work related "enterprise stuff" where I still (have to) have some contact to Windows machines.

Comment: Re:Let me guess... (Score 1) 421

by aix tom (#47989243) Attached to: Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

If the fabric of my pants is stronger than my phone, then something is wrong, either with the phone or my pants.

Don't forget: its probably pants made of a fabric that was specifically chosen so that miners could choose rock samples in their trousers vs. some gimmick made of aluminium, a metal that basically bends when you just look at it in a funny way.

Comment: Re:Nand flash Dropped only 13% in 2 years? (Score 2) 264

by aix tom (#47953675) Attached to: Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

I only found a courve of the "2008 to end of 2010" prices. Which interestingly rose to double the value in the middle, just to be back on the 2008 level in 2010.

But one interesting fact seems to be, that spot price for 16GB NAND Flash seems only 19 cents below 32GB NAND Flash (2.79 vs 2.98 ):

(with 4 and 8GB being *more* expensive, probably because they are not produced in high volumes any more)

Comment: Re: "CipherShed" (Score 5, Insightful) 270

by aix tom (#47948521) Attached to: TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

It worked pretty OK for centuries. You could buy a "Plow from John Smith over in Blurn Hollows", or you could buy a "Plow from George Smith over in Redneck Fields", and nobody would be confused that they were called the same.

These days, if you buy a "FuxMatic3000XP from XentTeck" one day, you have to make sure if you want to buy one a year later that neither the FuxMatic3000XP nor the XentTeck Trademark have been sold in the meantime and are completely different things and/or products, or if the company itself did a product switcheroo in the meantime.

Any program which runs right is obsolete.