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Comment: Camera angle issue (Score 2) 65

by danielsfca2 (#37971068) Attached to: Bell Labs Builds Cheap Telepresence 'Robots'

Is the robot "face" screen going to be showing the live video of the person's face? If so, since presumably you don't have a Steadicam operator staying directly in front of each human being represented by robots at all times, this is going to look weird. It will be hard to even keep your face in frame as you naturally move around, swivel your chair, etc. Even if your face can somehow be properly framed, the front of your robot face (which itself swivels) will keep showing the sides of your face as you turn to look at various people.

This can be avoided at the great expense of losing the live video of the person--you can just put a static picture of the person's face on the bot, but this seems a big step back from a regular videoconference--you can't see the person's facial expressions.

Not to mention, this enhances a SINGLE nonverbal body language feature (direction of head pointing) while utterly destroying all other nonverbal information you get from a plain old videoconference, including overall posture, hand gestures, etc. The robot can't fold its arms, make a gesture, tilt its head side to side, etc.

I think this idea is quite a stretch.

Comment: Re:Wozniak's Apple Is Completely Dead (Score 1) 845

by danielsfca2 (#34962356) Attached to: The Case of Apple's Mystery Screw

I disagreed that the "average household" was already equipped to disassemble iPhones until this snag. The "eyeglasses repair" argument doesn't hold water either because it takes other tools to work on iPhones as well, and most people just buy them in kits at very little expense when they order their replacement parts.

He seems to operate in a world where the "average" person cares at all about taking their gadgets apart.

Comment: Re:Wozniak's Apple Is Completely Dead (Score 1) 845

by danielsfca2 (#34961504) Attached to: The Case of Apple's Mystery Screw

> just because something's little means you can't take it apart? What a bunch of bullshit.

And yet, the OP that I replied to claimed that having a screw that isn't a typical shape means you can't take it apart. Even though anyone can buy a proper screwdriver for it for under $5 online.

From what I can tell, OP thinks he is ENTITLED to Apple using only screws for which he already owns the screwdrivers. If Apple does not comply, they're big meanies who are betraying Steve Wozniak.

For the record, MY point wasn't that you can't take it apart, my point was that he shouldn't be comparing modern tech to the Apple I and Apple II computers that Wozniak built. Just because you can take something apart doesn't mean that anyone but a brilliant engineer can perform any useful "creative mods" on it the way people did in 1978. This is what I meant by tinker-friendly. Tinker-friendly devices are pretty rare these days because there's no significant market for that. Of course, "many" people (maybe 0.05% of the population at large) are qualified to replace batteries and other parts, and I predict that these people are capable of shutting up and buying a damn screwdriver. It would be far from the first time they've bought a specialized tool for working on a tiny electronics device. Most Apple hardware geeks already have spudgers, various small screwdrivers, etc. Usually these things come for free in little kits. Someone else pointed out that Nintendo is no different in using a 3-sided screw.

As a side note, Phillips screws are shitty thanks to their intentionally-designed propensity to "cam out." Go look up the difference between PoziDriv and Phillips. Personally, I'd rather buy a $5 screwdriver than deal with the crappiness that is a stripped Phillips head.

Comment: Re:Wozniak's Apple Is Completely Dead (Score 4, Insightful) 845

by danielsfca2 (#34953728) Attached to: The Case of Apple's Mystery Screw

the average household does not have a pentalobular screwdriver... the days of Apple encouraging the user and hobbyist to open up their products and tinker and learn are over. Wozniak's Apple is dead. This is no conspiracy. This is simply fact; the final screw in the hobbyist's ass is yet more unneeded evidence indicating this.

The average household? Seriously? The average household has never stocked ANY tiny screwdrivers, be they Phillips like the old screws, Torx, or this "new" one. The average household has a #2 Phillips, an old fashioned slotted screwdriver for stupid things like switchplates that still use them, and a hammer. Probably a few leftover allen wrenches from Ikea. Anything more exotic than that pretty much requires a trip to Radio Shack, or a $5 order from some website. Therefore, almost nothing has changed. In fact, I got a nice little screwdriver for FREE with the kit the times I changed batteries and screens and things. The average household doesn't disassemble electronics, not least because they would rather not void their warranty.

Quit being so dramatic. "Wozniak's Apple," as you put it, existed in a world where computers cost a lot of money, were only purchased by skilled electronics experts or those planning to become experts, and needed to be modified to do pretty much anything. That world has been gone for more than 20 years. Today, computers (and tiny computers called "smartphones") are a mature technology, of which the target market is 99.9% made up of NON-experts, who don't take things apart and don't want to. The fact that it's been this long and you still expect there to be some kind of huge "enthusiast" contingent who are soldering things onto the boards of their Apple IIs, just ends up sounding naive.

The market has gone towards simple, integrated, and (especially in portable devices like laptops and cell phones)--SMALL. You can't have those things and still be "tinker-friendly." Will a few people still take these devices apart to tinker and to perform some repairs (like the battery) more cheaply? You bet. I do it too.

I think if Apple were trying to screw those people, they would seal the iPhone completely so that you had to break plastic to open it, and, coat the board in epoxy like they do with some consoles.

Comment: Re:Better as add-on? (Score 0) 130

by danielsfca2 (#34445726) Attached to: Wikipedia Pages Now On Amazon — With Product Links

> I doubt Wikipedia makes any money off of this

Why on earth should "Wikipedia" (I assume you meant the Wikimedia Foundation) make any money off anything? That whole organization exists to enrich themselves (I'm referring to everyone who draws a salary from WMF) from the work of the actual contributors(normal people who write the content), none of whom are paid for their trouble.

Comment: Re: Copyright? (Score 1) 154

by danielsfca2 (#32717418) Attached to: Porting <em>Lemmings</em> In 36 Hours

You're right, and it was a hilarious technicality of poor wording, since obviously the intent of the license wasn't to grant them a license to knock off the concept but rather to write software FOR the platform.

However, have there been successful "look and feel" suits? I was under the impression that no one had won any similar cases. I chose a poor one as an example, didn't I.

Comment: Re: Copyright? (Score 1) 154

by danielsfca2 (#32714254) Attached to: Porting <em>Lemmings</em> In 36 Hours

Show me a "new idea" in software and I'll show you some no-account who claims he "thought of it first" but didn't have the motivation or skills, either to implement it right, or to successfully bring it to market.

Sure there are occasional examples of some freeware widget being copied and made into part of the OS, but more often than that, they just buy the relevant IP from the guy who created it. However if you think Apple is the only company to ever reimplement a "good idea" independently, without the blessing of some "inventor of the idea," then you're delusional and just have an axe to grind with Apple on some holy-war grounds.

Let me guess, you think Apple "stole" the desktop metaphor, mouse, etc. from Xerox PARC... but Microsoft was just using an obvious evolutionary idea when they suddenly developed Windows after examining the Mac prototypes they were given.

Apple (and Jobs) are no saints. But they've been on both sides of those battles, and are no worse than any other tech firm when it comes to originality. There are just not that many whole-cloth brand new ideas in our industry! The best things are refinements of other things. Think about it--Apple didn't invent MP3 players, and Microsoft didn't invent CP/M. In both cases, the concept of something crappy was taken, improved upon, and released as something less crappy (iPod, and MS-DOS).

Comment: Re:As a mac user (Score 1) 398

by danielsfca2 (#32713978) Attached to: Chase Bank May Drop Support of Chrome, Opera

Schwab Bank refunds all ATM fees. Liquor stores, McDonald's, other banks. It comes back automagically at the end of the month. I still can't figure out what mechanism they use to figure out what part of the withdrawal is the fee, but it works great. In effect, I have access to like a zillion free ATMs, whereas even customers of the biggest banks only have that bank's ATM fleet. I can use them *all* for free, plus the random non-bank ATMs.

For deposits, you mail checks in.

I also keep a B of A account which, when opened online under a certain promotion, has no recurring fee or direct deposit requirements. I use this B of A account whenever I need to deposit cash, or get a check into the bank more quickly. Then I can use the Schwab online tool to ACH the money into my Schwab account.

Comment: Re: Copyright? (Score 3, Insightful) 154

by danielsfca2 (#32713720) Attached to: Porting <em>Lemmings</em> In 36 Hours

I doubt Apple look too closely for prior art and are more interested in counting the filthy

Oh, so today we're mad at Apple for dastardly approving apps that they should have rejected on the grounds of software look-and-feel... because that totally holds up in court, not to mention it's totally Apple's job to ensure that every app has no resemblance to any other software ever published. Got it!

I'm glad you posted, because I think I missed that memo and was still cursing those Apple jerks for rejecting too many apps, because "All Apps Deserve To Be Approved" and "Apple Is Oppressing People With Their Walled Garden."

Comment: Re:But... But... My soul! My free will! (Score 1) 586

by danielsfca2 (#31697394) Attached to: Magnetism Can Sway Man's Moral Compass

Hahaha. Welcome to religion. You're thinking ethics, not morality. Some ethical schools of thought ask if harm was caused in order to judge whether an act was ethical.

Morality is a term for an artificial set of arbitrary rules, some of which, under some cultures, align with harm (example: punching a bystander in the face = immoral and causes harm), but many of which are 100% arbitrary. Example: harassing gay people = moral to Westboro Baptist Church, but causes harm. Example: masturbating = immoral to many nuts (including some Christians and other religions), but obviously harmless.

Counting in octal is just like counting in decimal--if you don't use your thumbs. -- Tom Lehrer

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