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Comment: Re:COST (Score 4, Insightful) 539

It's about cost really. It's cheaper to manufacture phones without a physical keyboard. Less parts = higher margin for the phone vendor. It's the same reason they are wanting gesture control in cars. Less buttons = cheaper product. Welcome to the future where usability is secondary to how much money can be made and the vendors can convince users that's really what they want in the first place.

The cost calculation extends beyond manufacturing. I imagine the switch to virtual input devices also allow more reliability as there are fewer moving/separate parts. In addition, the touch/gesture interface can be re-programmed, updated and "enhanced" (said in quotes as I personally find that most enhancements are not) more readily than fixed physical interfaces.

Comment: On the other hand... (Score 1) 52

by fahrbot-bot (#47523561) Attached to: Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging

...when they finally arrived at the exit, they also found a virtual character trapped under an heavy cabinet, begging them for help. Some participants chose not to help the character and took the exit, while others stopped to help although the fire became more and more serious and moving away the cabinet required considerable time.

...which suggests an enhanced sensitivity to the threatening situation and potential danger, players ignored the character screams and went for the exit. In those players who helped the character, there was an engagement of the medial prefrontal and temporo-parietal cortices,

Perhaps this just shows the difference between types of people that compete vs. cooperate or selfish vs. selfless. Personally, I hope that if I'm ever in a situation like that for real, I'm the latter type of person.

Comment: Re:Just Testing Code (Score 3, Insightful) 69

by fahrbot-bot (#47516471) Attached to: Robot With Broken Leg Learns To Walk Again In Under 2 Minutes

Well... It's leaning in the same sense that I did when I accidentally hit my thumb with a hammer and my grandfather said that I should try and not do that again - and that he had learned that solution himself in his younger days. Grandfathers are often helpful like that.

Comment: Better Off Ted: The Voice of God (Score 2) 205

by fahrbot-bot (#47502455) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

It uses a built-in microphone to amplify a parent's voice through speakers in the back seats.

Made me think of the "Better Off Ted" episode, "Bioshuffle" (Season 1, Episode 9):

  • Ted: So, what is it?
  • Phil: We call it "The Voice of God."
  • Ted: No, we don't.
  • Phil: No, we don't.
  • Linda: Field testing shows that the subject, or "victim," as I like to call people "helped" by Veridian Technology, can be hundreds of feet away and will hear the message as though it's being whispered only to them.
  • Phil: It's highly persuasive. Advertising companies are very excited because it will allow them to burrow even deeper into the human brain.
  • Phil: At full power, the sound wave is so intense it can cause vomiting.
  • Ted: A machine that causes vomiting. Well, that could have all kinds of applications for the military... and fashion modeling.

Comment: Re:Well, it could be worse,. . . (Score 1) 102

by fahrbot-bot (#47495537) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

I mean, at least they didn't ink a deal with the guys in charge of the Fifth Element. We would all be required to carry a MULTI-PASS!

That's "Mul-Ti-Pass" and, yes, they know it's a Multipass.

[ One of my favorite movies BTW. Anyone know if it's a significantly better experience on Bluray than on DVD (or even Superbit DVD)? ]

Comment: I'll volunteer... (Score 1) 161

by fahrbot-bot (#47494827) Attached to: Linux Needs Resource Management For Complex Workloads

... but no one has ever followed through on making open systems look and behave like an IBM mainframe, ...

But I'll need a punch-card station and reader, build out my server room with a glass service window, hire a disinterested, snarky guy to retrieve printouts ... Or have IBM mainframes changed since my college days back in the late '80s?

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 4, Insightful) 529

He can't. Jeff Sessions is a Republican in the Senate. Harry Reid is single handedly deciding on what gets to the Senate floor for a vote and what does not. Until Reid chooses to do something about it, nothing can be done in the Senate. Sessions is attempting to shame everyone who is preventing something from being done.

With Reid as Senate Majority leader there will be no free market. A free market might allow people to not be dependent on government hand outs and he can't allow that to happen.

Similar arguments (about this and other things) can be made about Speaker of the House John Boehner and the House Republicans. Obstinate, obstructive, short-sighted, selfish, petty people can be found many places in Congress.