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Comment Re:Camera, memory, apps (Score 1) 177

No, you missed the point. When you change the size, you get new modes of use. Like sitting flat on a table with people sitting around it playing a game together. Of course, what they envision people using it for, what application writers envision, and what people actually find desirable are all likely to be different. The model of it just being a larger tablet is likely to be very wrong.

Comment Camera, memory, apps (Score 4, Interesting) 177

Several things that they need:

The front camera needs to have a built-in swivel, so that it can aim if the user is at an angle from the device.

Try 4GB instead of 2GB RAM. That's probably just bad info, as other Samsung products already have more memory.

Apps! They need lots of special apps to take advantage of this. They should partner with gaming companies to have app versions of Monopoly and other well-known board games where the tablet is the board, and players sit around it. It may even use bluetooth to let players have secret information on only their handsets.

Comment Re:I do it wrong (Score 1) 240

Yes, of course the teacher couldn't be wrong. In fact, in this case he couldn't be, because he was just repeating whatever the textbook said. The textbook could be wrong, but I'm sure it was approved by many committees with rigorous overview. That's probably why there weren't any references to evolution in the textbook. :)

Good point, though, that just because the textbook we used said to use the right index finger for '6', that doesn't mean it's the accepted standard that everyone agrees with.

Comment Echo design (Score 1) 198

I think the comparison to Echo is obvious based on the design alone. That was my first thought when I saw a picture. But when I read the specs, it looks more related to the Nest products than Echo.

That said, I do hope they move to compete with Echo. I really like the idea of it, but Amazon tends to keep things too closely tied to their services for my taste. I would prefer to have something a bit more open (play local media, for example).

Comment Re:I do it wrong (Score 1) 240

Yes, really. I had been using computers since 6th grade (for a unit in Gifted & Talented, they bussed us across town to the one school that had Apple IIs for a BASIC programming unit--best thing that happened to me in all of elementary school [6th grade was the last year of elementary school in that district]). I, like many others, developed my own two-fingered approach.

I knew I wanted to touch type, but I hadn't managed to teach myself. I had been looking forward to being able to take typing in high school (9th grade was still junior high, so that meant 10th for me). Perhaps it was my attitude of embracing the class that made it work for me. In any case, I was probably at 80wpm at the end of the class. Over the next two years, I did a fair amount of typing for pay, in addition to my computer tinkering, so the skills really solidified.

I think typing should be a required subject in school for everyone one. The only question is how early kids will be physically ready (hands large enough). I suppose by the time they implement it, voice input will finally take off and make it irrelevant by the time the kids graduate.

Comment I do it wrong (Score 2) 240

I took a typing class in 10th grade (the first opportunity I had back in the 80s). It was the most practically useful class I had in high school. The class was very clear in teaching that you use your right index finger for 6 and 7, while your left does 4 and 5. Going down the keyboard, the left index finger also does T, G, and B, while the right does Y, H, and N. The only one I do wrong is 6.

Now looking at my keyboard, 6 is almost centered between F and J, the home positions for the index fingers, but it's ever so slightly closer to F, so perhaps they were teaching the class wrong?

Comment Outperform - less stable (Score 3, Interesting) 74

They say the new DNA outperforms the standard DNA in evolving to meet the researcher's criteria. That means it changes more easily. In other words, it's less stable.

In most situations, what we want is stability. Nature needs some ability to mutate and evolve, but considering that the wrong mutations result in cancer and death, too high of a mutation rate leads to failure. I suspect this is particularly true in long-lived larger organisms.

Comment Easy to implement (Score 1) 102

Adding a backdoor that is secure is very easy to implement. The government just needs to publish a public key. You then encrypt your private key using that public key and include it with whatever you encrypted. This would be much like the lock box on a house that holds the front-door key that only real estate agents showing the house are supposed to be able to access. And there's no reason it would be limited to just one. Opening a connection to a server in Turkey? Better include lock boxes for both your own government and the Turkish authorities.

The only big hole is the security of the government's private key (or more likely, keys).

The tricky part is that this government lock box has to be added to the common protocols. And how many different protocols would have to be updated? TLS, ssh, PGP, etc. What are the odds of introducing flaws that allow for new attack vectors when introducing the back door? For example, could you trick a victim's computer into thinking it needed to include the lock box for some jurisdiction that you control?

Now while the technical side of this could be made to work, as a public policy, it's a horrible idea. Let's not just say it can't be done and forget about it. We need to fight this as bad policy.

Comment Not in New England (Score 3, Informative) 203

I serve on the Planning Board in my small New England town. We've looked at some of these same measures, but many of them are eliminated because they make it more difficult for snow plowing. Anything involving raised crosswalks or bump-outs gets push-back from the DPW. Paint gets mostly sanded off every winter.

Separated bike lanes ("cycletracks" is the buzzword here) are great. The problem is our roads are too narrow and old, so even if we have the money to put them in, there simply isn't enough space without using eminent domain to take land for widening. That doesn't go over very well.

It's great that they can do these things in San Diego. It's unfortunate that we can't do all the same things here. Every location needs to find solutions to improve safety that work in that location.

Comment Extra space (Score 1) 557

Lots of good advice in other posts, so I won't reiterate everything.

The one thing I wish our house had was more space. We could use another linen closet. We could use a pantry for the kitchen--especially now that we do a lot of real cooking. Having higher ceilings would be a huge benefit. I would *really* like to have an extra half-car space on the side of the garage for the lawn mower and bikes.

I'm very glad there was a weird closet in the basement of our house which is now our wiring closet. I'm sure others have talked about that, though.

Comment Nitpicks (Score 1) 557

We had a central vacuum when I was a kid, and we hated it. The best use for a central vacuum system is to rip out the vacuum and use all the tubes as conduit for wiring. I guess that's really very much a matter of opinion. In any case, be sure you test one out before insisting on putting one in. I would much rather spend my money on a good Dyson (though I understand some people not wanting to lug around that much weight or relocate the bulk of the noise).

You also missed it on the power in the garage. You want 50A, not 30A. You can download the recommended installation guide from Tesla for a NEMA 14-50; use that and you should be good for anything. It's always better to overspec and then not need it than to underspec and have to go fix it.

Another item to put in the garage is in-wall wires for the garage door sensors. If you're putting in a garage door opener, it requires wires from infrared sensors to the motor so that it stops closing if something is in the way. It's simple enough to put those wires in the wall if you do it first.

Speaking of garage doors, you can get some really great openers. My in-laws got some professional Lift-Master openers that are absolutely silent. That's nothing like what you get when you buy your own at Lowes Depot. (They even have some that attach directly to the torsion rod if you have that kind of door, so there's nothing overhead.)

Comment Re:This is why we need O/S Level control (Score 2) 144

What's really needed is to have OS-level control of permissions that the apps can't see. If an app is denied access to your contacts, it can see a dummy contact list. If an app is denied Internet access, it thinks the device is simply out of range at the moment. If an app is denied location services, it's told that there's no signal (or optionally given a fixed location that you specify).

Otherwise apps will refuse to function based on the lack of access that they don't really need.

The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.