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Comment: This wasn't already on? (Score 2) 35

by edremy (#48651513) Attached to: Chromebook Gets "OK Google" and Intel's Easy Migration App
My nine year old figured out how to get the "Ok Google" voice recognition working on our Chromebook months ago. He barely bothers typing searches anymore- instead I get to hear his entire search history. I don't think he got far enough into the settings to hit the combo mentioned in the page

Comment: Re: So much so that Microsoft is trying to get in (Score 1) 193

by edremy (#48509135) Attached to: Chromebooks Overtake iPads In US Education Market
Viruses are going to be tough to get distributed though. Something bad happens to a Chromebook? Hit the factory refresh button and it wipes everything on the machine. Since everything is stored with Google just log back in and all your documents are there. Pretty much the worst you have to do is redo your screen background, or flip a few advanced setting toggles if you're bothered.

It's one of the prime reasons I bought one for the family. Kids mess around with weird web sites? I don't have to worry about the machine. (My kid's mental health is another issue....) My kids break it? Oh well. It was $200, and if I get a new one they'll barely notice.

Comment: Not surprised (Score 4, Interesting) 193

by edremy (#48506435) Attached to: Chromebooks Overtake iPads In US Education Market
This seems a no-brainer for me in a couple of ways. Chromebooks aren't any more fragile than normal laptops in my experience- yes, they are cheap but dropping a $1200 Macbook Air, a $500 iPad and a $200 Chromebook on a tile floor are all likely to do permanent damage. My two (very rough) kids haven't managed to kill my Acer 720 yet. Given the low price and the "All files are in the cloud, devices are totally interchangable" it's easy to deal with them, plus they have a working keybaord and a trackpad.

On the flip side, I'm really seeing a move towards Google Apps for my middle schooler. Virtually all his projects are done as part of a group, and they work from online documents. He doesn't need the high end features of Word or Excel: he needs a way to have multiple people work on something over two weeks. It's easy for the teacher as well- just send them the link and you're done, no papers to lose.

Comment: Re:How hard is it to recognize a stoplight? (Score 1) 287

by edremy (#48209599) Attached to: Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?
No, you compare to an average of the driving populace, not the best or worst. Why? Because that's what the insurance companies are going to do. When it becomes obvious that SDCs are better drivers than humans, you're going to start seeing a serious push to let the bots take over.

I don't think it's going to take anywhere near as long as people think. There's a *huge* market for this. My grandmother in law is 93. She basically can't drive, but wants to stay in her house. My wife's in the hospital right now and I have two kids that need to be different places at the same time. One of my old teachers is blind, etc, etc SDC taxi pools can act like super-flexible mass transit for areas that don't have any

Comment: Re:Ditch the smartboard (Score 4, Insightful) 96

by edremy (#47956947) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Alternate Software For Use On Smartboards?
Don't diss the Surface Pro. Yes, it is *absolutely* a better solution. No, you can't replace it with an iPad- the iPad is like fingerpainting compared to the fine detail you get on a Surface. And why would you want to buy an additional Wacom tablet when the Surface uses a Wacom digitzer in the first place? You can write directly on the Surface rather than trying to master the blind writing skill you need with an external tablet. And if there's a tablet+pen interface better than OneNote on a Mac or Linux let me know, because I've yet to see it.

We've been buying more and more of them lately simply because they work so bloody well for this sort of task.

/Waiting for the "Troll" downmods I get everytime I mention that they are far nicer than most people realize.

Comment: Our Associate VP of IT (Score 2) 392

by edremy (#47920243) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?
has a Ph.D. in 17th century English literature. Admittedly we do work at a college, but you might be surprised at what humanists are doing these days: he got into the computer side of things while building databases of who was sending who letters around then. Digital Humanities is a growing field, and one that has some interesting CS applications- you've got things like Mallet chewing through vast swathes of literature looking for correlations, you have folks building high end digital maps to look into questions of how sight lines affected historical battles, etc.

Comment: Re:Learn Coldfusion (Score 2) 387

by edremy (#47862931) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative
Heh- a large chunk of our timesheet system where I work as well as departmental budgets is all done within a custom portal written in.... ColdFusion. We're slowly moving away from bits of it (The helpdesk ticketing/inventory control parts are gone now) but I can't see it dying completely within the next decade.

Comment: What technology? (Score 1) 231

by edremy (#47824271) Attached to: Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?
If you're talking computers, my neighbor got a hard copy terminal when I was about 8- it was hooked up by phone line to the mainframe at work and printed on green bar paper. Hacking wasn't much of an option. "Technology" to my generation probably would have been a 4-barrel carb or a tube guitar amp.

Comment: Re:At the risk of blaming the victim... (Score 1) 311

by edremy (#47820331) Attached to: Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak

If it's out there someone is going to steal it.

Simple, no? Blame the victim all you want, but that line of thinking pretty quickly devolves into unplugging from the Internet and trying to pay your bills with physical cash.

Only if you miss the point.

.... No -- the real world has jerks in it. It's sad. And it's terrible that good people have to be restricted in their actions because of it, but that's what living in the real world is like. So, you can do online finance, but you take reasonable precautions... like using strong passwords and not posting your financial data on the internet for anyone to see. If you are likely to be a hacking target -- like a rich person with lots of financial stuff, or a famous actress with nudey photos of yourself -- you may want to go up a few more levels in terms of precaution.

Except that these people didn't post their information on the internet for everyone to see. They uploaded the photos (possibly without their knowledge, since they might not really understand iCloud) to what they thought was a secure account. From Apple's own page on iCloud: "With iCloud, you can share exactly what you want, with exactly whom you want." It was only Apple's piss-poor understanding of security that allowed the accounts to be brute forced.

Should they have used better passwords, or better reset questions? Sure, but I bet that 75% of Etrade account passwords could be brute forced using the same script if Etrade allowed it. Hell, I only updated mine a year or so ago since it was 10 digits long and I figured that wasn't enough anymore

I'm actually really annoyed at the focus on the "Don't upload nude selfies" bit. The foci in this story should be 1) Don't trust cloud vendors. 1a) Especially Apple 2) Push for better multi-factor authentication systems on *everything*- cloud photo accounts, checking accounts, ATMs, etc.

Comment: Re:At the risk of blaming the victim... (Score 4, Insightful) 311

by edremy (#47818381) Attached to: Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak
If you don't want people stealing your money don't store money online. Don't use credit/debit cards, an online brokerage account, web access to your checking account, etc. If it's out there someone is going to steal it.

Simple, no? Blame the victim all you want, but that line of thinking pretty quickly devolves into unplugging from the Internet and trying to pay your bills with physical cash.

Comment: Re:Most open communities get turned into cesspools (Score 1) 239

by edremy (#47731053) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'
Except, of course, I did mention specifically why it was very good for those things- high resolution digitizer, full computer with access to huge library of programs, OneNote, etc. But I said something positive about MS, and thus I'm a troll. It's not the first time it's happened to me, while I watch content-free Linux propaganda in the same thread get +5 informative. (And now of course I get an AC trying to defend the bias...)

Back in the days when Slashdot was actually somewhat relevant, the bias was well known and the source of much amusement at other sites. Now it's just sad.

It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely used higher level language for systems programming. -- J. Sammet