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+ - "Augmented Reality" Sandbox using MS Kinect->

Submitted by codguy
codguy (629138) writes "From the Wish I Had This When I Was a Kid Dept., some UC Davis scientists have built an incredible, "augmented reality" sand box that shows a shaded relief/topo map and other special effects like flowing water superimposed in realtime over the actual sandbox! An MS Kinect monitors the sand box with a computer projector providing the visual overlay. Incredibly cool--would keep me occupied for hours! See http://idav.ucdavis.edu/~okrey...."
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Comment: Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (Score 1) 266

by codguy (#41692801) Attached to: OpenOffice Is Now, Officially, Apache OpenOffice
This is so true--I really want to use open source software, but it simply doesn't cut it for some things. This is painfully obvious with some packages more than others, for example, LO Calc is just ridiculously clunky and slow compared to MS Excel. I use Excel almost every day of my working life to look at data sets, usually as scatter plots. Even with several thousand data points to plot up, when you click Ok, Excel basically displays your plot immediately. In turn, LO Calc can take many seconds up to minutes to display a plot, and this is with even small sets of just a couple hundred data points. Every time there was a new major or even minor release, I'd go back to OO or LO hoping that they would have this under control, but no dice. I had to stop holding my breath for this a while ago.
Android

+ - Google Play App history cannot be deleted->

Submitted by codguy
codguy (629138) writes "Your history of downloaded apps at the Google Play store is untouchable--you can't delete apps from your library/history list even if you are sure you will never want to install them again. While the idea of having an app library/history list is good (like for setting up a new device), the lack of basic functionality to remove unwanted apps/cruft also makes it somewhat useless, and also a privacy concern. Supposing you are a serial app tester, your app library/history list will grow and grow and grow with no way to trim it back. So when you actually need to load up a new device, you have to sort through hundreds to potentially thousands of apps, which makes this essentially useless. Others have mentioned privacy concerns--say you installed that silly fart app, or you were exploring apps that you would rather others like your spouse or children not know about. Sorry, no way to delete them from your history. While your app library/history list is not publicly available (please don't tell the big FB about that lest they try to "fix" it), nonetheless, it seems absolutely absurd that Google has not included basic functionality to manage it. This issue was reported back in mid April 2012, and there are some 1200 irate comments about it. Google has done nothing about it, nor have they announced that this policy will be changed. I call it "policy" because it is certainly not a technical limitation. Take a look at the issue report at http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=28964."
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Comment: Alternative pat-down (Score 1) 560

by codguy (#33142818) Attached to: Denials Aside, Feds Storing Body Scan Images
I've been doing quite a bit of traveling lately, and every time when confronted with one of these machines, I've chosen the alternative pat-down (it's your right, you can request this). Why? I simply don't trust them for the radiation exposure despite the claims that they are safe. I have NEVER seen them allow an infant through these systems--they just wave the mother/father around the device with the infant in their arms (and with no alternative pat-down for the parent...). If the TSA will not allow infants through the system, obviously they don't think the exposure levels are completely safe. So anyway, sure, the alternative pat-down is super-invasive, but at least you avoid accumulated exposure. I only travel 5-6 time/year max., but for folks that might travel several times per month, I can imagine the accumulated exposure over many years will not be completely benign. A side effect of requesting an alternative pat-down is that it seems to throw the system into convulsions. They start radio'ing around about needing somebody to deal with the "refuser", and waiting for someone to arrive can be either fast/immediate or slow (like 5+ minutes). For being a "refuser", besides the pat-down, you seem to obligatorily get swabbed/analyzed for explosive residue. All in all, if just one person every few minutes were to request such an alternative pat-down, it would overwhelm the system. The problem with this is that they then just start waving people through to avoid clogging the pipes. So these people get a metal detector only--not a pat-down nor the full-body scan. If they just let people through like this, well, what is the whole purpose of this anyways???

Comment: Re:Right on Adobe! (Score 1) 731

by codguy (#32197432) Attached to: Adobe Calls Out Apple With Ads In NY Times, WSJ
Apple could certainly take the high road, and actually allow Flash, but not in the default configuration. Thus, end users would have to get it from the App Store knowingly. If it turned out to really be as bad as Apple claims, end users would be quickly saying, "hey, why the heck has my machine slowed to a crawl, and the battery life dropped to two hours?" Apple could put a prominent FAQ on it's website or make it the first scripted answer from support--"If you are experiencing sluggishness and reduced battery life, and have installed Flash via the App Store, please remove it, and check if your problem is solved before complaining more." Word on the street would be "Hey, don't install Flash because it cripples your iDevice." This would clearly shift the burden to Adobe--or they pick up the ball and run with it (i.e. engineer Flash from being a cpu/battery hog and security risk), or they loose brainshare/marketshare because they cannot do so (as Apple claims). Apple's actions are far from the high road even though they present them as that...

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