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Comment: Re:Eh, not quite (Score 1) 121

by Tablizer (#47811005) Attached to: Apple Reveals the Most Common Reasons That It Rejects Apps

To be frank, I think I would fail that auto-type feature also. Shortcuts shouldn't interfere with long-cuts. People do things out of habit and you shouldn't add shortcuts to disrupt those habits. If they enter the full email URL, then the auto-appended part should be parsed off internally, or better yet: automatically disappear once "@" is keyed.

K.I.S.S. often overrides saving keystrokes when dealing with wide or unknown audience.

Comment: Re:Kodak had the right idea decades ago (Score 1) 139

by Tablizer (#47810837) Attached to: New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster

Agreed. It would be easier on many levels to promote and support the browser use of a progressive-resolution image-file format rather than overhaul markup standards and load & store multiple image versions on servers.

Let's hope sanity and logic prevail, and this tag idea is dumped.

And I hope patent issues don't derail it also.

Further, we don't have to have an entirely new tag. Just add something like a LOWRES or LOWRESSRC attribute to the existing IMG tag. Old browsers would still use the regular image and ignore the new attribute. This is better backward compatibility than an entirely new tag. An entirely new tag would outright not function in older browsers. (The HTML standard says to ignore any attributes a browser does not recognize rather than skip the entire tag.)

Comment: Re:GUI technology has regressed since the 90s (Score 1) 139

by Tablizer (#47810719) Attached to: New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster

Job security, shhhhhhhh

In all seriousness, while it may create job security, many developers would rather spend their time making 20 useful products using write-once-run-everywhere rather than 5 useful products with multiple versions handcrafted for different devices.

It's kind of boring re-inventing the same app for different devices even if it does pay.

Comment: First press reports not very good. (Score 2) 407

by Animats (#47809751) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

The problem here is that the press reports are just rehashes of what the cops are putting out. Somebody should find this guy and interview him. He may be in hiding for reasons of his own.

His book is self-published on Amazon. It's been out since 2011, and you can read a sample there. This guy is not the next Steven King. A typical sentence: "As Zea approaches her partner she cannot restrain herself from hyperventilating as she peers at the black embossed letters on the translucent glass sign above the entrance to the central atrium".

Today, the Los Angeles Times quotes cops as saying "Everybody knew about the book in 2012", and that this is more about a four-page letter he recently sent to officials in Dorchester County, containing "complaints of alleged harassment and an alleged possible crime". There may be more clarity over the next few days, now that the story is getting attention.

Comment: Re:Same thing from ultra-orthodox Jews. (Score 1) 517

by Animats (#47804259) Attached to: Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

Leaving any orthodox religion is hard, after so many years of hard-line indoctrination.

In Israel, it's very hard to leave. There are extensive Government benefits for ultra-orthodox, including subsidized housing, pay for religious study, and unlimited draft deferments. This is on top of the heavy social pressure, the lack of marketable skills, and the language barrier (the ultra-orthodox in Israel speak Yiddish, not Hebrew.)

Comment: Re:Weight (Score 1) 209

by Animats (#47804185) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

"Wind is a particular hazard, because drones weigh so little compared with regular planes."

Small drones don't have much inertia. They can be easily flipped by a small local wind gust. This is a big problem for drones that operate close to buildings, where there are eddies and turbulence as air hits the building. Pass the corner of a building and the wind situation may be completely different.

Very smart and aggressive stability control systems are able to overcome this. See this drone from PSI Tactical, which weighs about 0.5Kg and is supposed to be able to operate in winds up to 30MPH.

Comment: Yes, we know that. (Score 4, Informative) 218

by Animats (#47802079) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

Battery storage for bulk power has been talked up for years. Mostly by the wind industry. With solar power, you get peak power and peak air conditioning load around the same time. Wind varies about 4:1 over 24 hours, even when averaged across big areas (California or the eastern seaboard). So the wind guys desperately need to store power generated at 4AM, when it's nearly worthless, so they can resell at 2PM. When the wind farm companies start installing batteries at their own expense, this will be a real technology.

With the US glut of natural gas, this isn't needed right now. Natural gas peaking plants aren't all that expensive to build, and make money even if they only run for maybe 6 hours a day. That covers most peak needs.

There are other ways to store energy. Some of the dams of the California Water Project have reversible turbines, which can run either as pumps or generators. They pump water uphill at night, when power is cheap, and let it down during the afternoon to generate power. Since the dams and pumps are needed for water handling anyway, this adds little cost.

Comment: Why? Nobody uses NFC payments (Score 1) 185

by Animats (#47798687) Attached to: Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

A few years ago, those Google NFC payment terminals were all over Silicon Valley. Nobody used them. Newer credit card terminals show no sign of supporting them, although some apparently have the hardware inside for it.

Another problem is that if the technology just requires the phone's presence, not interaction on the phone, it's insecure. "Near field communication" is only supposed to be up to 20cm, but a 2013 paper at Black Hat demonstrated connectivity at 100cm, which is good enough for crime. If it does require interaction on the phone, the user has to activate the phone, navigate to some app, and deal with the app. This is slower than swiping a credit card.

It's easier to do than card-reader skimmers.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."