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Comment: paywall / links to summary (Score 2) 101

by kris_lang (#42143963) Attached to: Spaun: a Large-Scale Functional Brain Model

Could you possibly post a link to a version that is not hidden behind a paywall? Perhaps a pre-print on your own research site; perhaps an HTML web page summary of your work?
.

http://nengo.ca/
.

It looks like they use Python scripting in their NENGO simulator: http://www.frontiersin.org/neuroinformatics/10.3389/neuro.11/007.2009/abstract

Comment: Re:Troubling (Score 1) 404

by kris_lang (#33233096) Attached to: ISP Owner Who Fought FBI Spying Freed From Gag Order

Why not start an automated scanning system and always, always, ALWAYS scan and upload all incoming mail to it where it is automagically scanned and OCR'ed (gocr) and saved again and faxed/efaxed/emailed to you. Make it a part of your business plan, and thus doing it will be requisite for your business remaining ISO-9000 compliant. Of course, it means making all of your correspondence public, allowing poetry such as at the end of this message to be widely known and embarassingly disseminated. But then you won't have knowingly and willfully mis-complied with the request of the letter, if your business process also makes it public knowledge that you are the recipient of an NSL letter.

``It is a matter of policy that all incoming mail is scanned and published.'' See if that holds water.


{begin embarassing poem}

What makes your heart beat pitter-patter? Is it something in someone else's soul or is it in their matter? Is your heart full of love and round, or have it been squashed flatter? Is it in your body or mind; where is the love you will find?

{end embarassing poem}

k314q159z028675309

Comment: Re:Loaner Car and bad Interface Design (Score 1) 930

by kris_lang (#32939164) Attached to: Toyota Sudden Acceleration Is Driver Error

Thanks for pointing that extra "neutral" notch out to me.

I didn't even notice that, and considering that Saylor was just driving that
car for the first time that day, he probably didn't notice it either.

This is a huge problem with migrating machine-human-interface design away
from commonly accepted standards without taking into regard the problems
that may occur.

I definitely agree that the +/o/- for the drive control on the tiptronic
and the 'N' slot should be vastly different planes which are not easy
to confuse, and which STAND OUT like these capital letters. Five peoples'
lives were lost because of this stupidity of design.

 

Comment: Loaner Car and bad Interface Design (Score 4, Informative) 930

by kris_lang (#32903072) Attached to: Toyota Sudden Acceleration Is Driver Error

The 2009 Lexus ES 350 that California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor was driving was a "loaner" vehicle given to him temporarily while his car was being repaired.

It has a "starter button" instead of an ignition key, and requires that the bnutton be depressed for 3 or more seconds if the car is in gear, or it may not function to turn the car off at all over certain velocities.

The shifter has a strange configuration which allows it to "emulate" a manual transmission while it is really an automatic transmission. The "N" position is also used to shift up a gear.
You can almost make it out in this photo at http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/112_1004_2010_buick_lacrosse_2010_lexus_es_350_comparison/photo_22.html .

Article about why the starter button and transmission human interface may have been factors in the officer not being able to get the car out of gear:


http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/starter-button-a-factor-in-runaway-lexus-es350/

Article about the crash :
http://www.sandiego6.com/mostpopular/story/Santee-CHP-officer-Saylor-killed-Lexus-accelerator/AzYjOhtvFE2mIuxTtxrK4Q.cspx

Comment: Re:A Public Service Announcement to AllToyota Driv (Score 1) 749

by kris_lang (#31095130) Attached to: Woz Cites "Scary" Prius Acceleration Software Problem

Taylor,

The officer in San Diego was driving a loaner Lexus while his vehicle was being repaired. This loaner Lexus had a push-button "ignition" system, requiring just a push of a button to start the car, and a push of the button to stop the engine, unless the car is in gear and moving greater than velocity $x$, in which case it requires keeping the "starter" button on the dash {b}depressed continuously for three seconds{/b} to turn the system off. It also has an interlock requiring some weird combination so that putting the car into neutral at high velocities is not easily done. That's the information I've gleaned from the Union-Tribune's articles on it. I've driven that stretch of road to go to Santee to eat pizza and shop at lowes, and you often see people speeding recklessly down the steep grade.

Combination of new car with bad human-interface and a panic situation, even for a trained high-performing trooper lead to a deadly result.

KL

Comment: 800 numbers and LL Bean (Score 5, Interesting) 27

by kris_lang (#27708167) Attached to: AT&T Sends Mixed Message On Behavioral Advertising

In the past, L.L. Bean and American Express all experimented with greeting customers by name when they called. They did this by linking the ANI information received on their incoming 1-800-telephonenumber line with a computerized database. People were creeped out to have a person greet them by their name before they'd even said "Hello", and both American Express and L.L. Bean stopped doing this. Affinity marketing campaigns also did this and the FTC regulated this away, partially.

link to ftc pdf, see page 42 and other.

What ATT is trying to hide about what they've already done is steps beyond this.

kris

Comment: UCB Fearing Lab (Score 1) 141

by kris_lang (#27602823) Attached to: Gecko-Inspired Dry Adhesive Set For Space

Ron Fearing's lab at UC Berkeley also does work on biomimetic materials such as synthetic gecko pads:

his biomimetics lab

has a link to their self-cleaning gecko adhesive material on the front page.

Self-Cleaning Gecko Adhesive (Sep. 2008)

First synthetic gecko adhesive which cleans itself during use, as the natural gecko does. After contamination by microspheres, the microfiber array loses all adhesion strength. After repeated contacts with clean glass, the microspheres are shed, and the fibers recover 30% of their original adhesion. The fibers have a non-adhesive default state, which encourages particle removal during contact.
Contact Self-Cleaning of Synthetic Gecko Adhesive, Langmuir 2008

Comment: Fearing Lab at UCB (Score 1) 141

by kris_lang (#27563457) Attached to: Gecko-Inspired Dry Adhesive Set For Space

Ron Fearing's lab at UC Berkeley also does work on biomimetic materials such as synthetic gecko pads:

biomimetics lab

has a link to their self-cleaning gecko adhesive material on the front page.

Sorry about the prior post.

Self-Cleaning Gecko Adhesive (Sep. 2008)

First synthetic gecko adhesive which cleans itself during use, as the natural gecko does. After contamination by microspheres, the microfiber array loses all adhesion strength. After repeated contacts with clean glass, the microspheres are shed, and the fibers recover 30% of their original adhesion. The fibers have a non-adhesive default state, which encourages particle removal during contact.
Contact Self-Cleaning of Synthetic Gecko Adhesive, Langmuir 2008

Comment: Re:Yay Gecko Tape! (Score 1) 141

by kris_lang (#27526145) Attached to: Gecko-Inspired Dry Adhesive Set For Space

Self-Cleaning Gecko Adhesive (Sep. 2008)

First synthetic gecko adhesive which cleans itself during use, as the natural gecko does. After contamination by microspheres, the microfiber array loses all adhesion strength. After repeated contacts with clean glass, the microspheres are shed, and the fibers recover 30% of their original adhesion. The fibers have a non-adhesive default state, which encourages particle removal during contact.
Contact Self-Cleaning of Synthetic Gecko Adhesive, Langmuir 2008

Comment: Re:Quark (Score 1) 433

by kris_lang (#27510713) Attached to: Nine Words From Science Which Originated In Science Fiction

Ah, serves me right for not RTFA and just reading the /. summary which states fiction rather than science fiction. Mea culpa.

"Oxford University Press has a blog post listing nine words used in science and technology which were actually dreamed up by fiction writers. Included on the list are terms like robotics, genetic engineering, deep space, and zero-g. What other terms are sure to follow in the future?"

Comment: Dec 2009 limit on the raised FDIC insurance limit (Score 5, Interesting) 857

by kris_lang (#25257623) Attached to: $700 Billion Bailout Signed Into Law

Yep

I read it too.

If you're in banking, you must have noticed the fact that the increased cap of FDIC insurance from $100k to $250k will only apply until December of 2009, after which it reverts back to the limit of $100k per named account holder per financial institution.

How many people might get suckered into longer term CD's (Certificates of Deposits, not the ISO-9660 type) that might go over the boundary of the TEMPORARILY raised FDIC insurance caps and end up either inadequately covered or stuck with early-withdrawal fees?

Either way, NONE of the articles I have read make any statement about the fact that the so-called increase in the FDIC insurance from $100-thousand to $250-thousand is only going to last the length of calendar year 2009. That's a sham and a disgrace.

Kris

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