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Comment: Re:Image quality (Score 2) 141

by JanneM (#48786765) Attached to: 3D Cameras Are About To Go Mainstream

Think passive near-field 3D-sensors, not holiday snapshots. User position, gestures, navigation, that sort of thing. Kinect-like functions everywhere. Fire phone, but with actual uses.

You could do a lot of subtle UI improvements if you can localize the users in space around the device for instance; you could figure out who is speaking and if they're turned toward the device. No more "Yo, googly Siri-man, what's mein wiener kapiche?"-keywords, as the device can figure out if you're addressing it or not.

Comment: Re:It's official ... (Score 2) 68

by ZorinLynx (#48775073) Attached to: Asus Wireless Routers Can Be Exploited By Anyone Inside the Network

This has been the case for years. For ages and ages I've seen home routers with crappy firmware that results in bad connectivity. NAT table entries timing out too soon, inability to handle VPN traffic, crashes, lock-ups, performance slowdowns, the works.

This is why for years I've been running a full blown Linux machine as a router. Plenty of performance and memory, never any issues. It makes me wonder why more router manufacturers don't use Linux or BSD derivatives for their firmware instead of writing garbage in-house.

Comment: Re:VERY INACCURATE (Score 3, Interesting) 155

by JanneM (#48752155) Attached to: The Fire Phone Debacle and What It Means For Amazon's Future

It is just the nature of a combined software / hardware solution that hardware teams tend to win. They have tangible manufacturing, costs and physical limitations that managers understand. While software has very different kinds of limitations -- often human limitations -- that managers don't understand.

Basically so, yes. Although - and I say this as a software person - there's good reason for that to be the case. Hardware incurs per-unit costs, so any design change that makes it cheaper to build will be paid back million-fold. If that increases the cost/time of developing the software you have to show that increase is higher than all the money you save in manufacturing. Unless the hardware changes are truly extreme, that is unlikely to be the case with a volume consumer product. Software has no unit margin cost, so the same logic doesn't apply in reverse.

The Rashomon reference was not an idle one, by the way. No matter how honest and well-intentioned, you're unlikely to have an unbiased or particularly correct view of what happened if you were involved directly in something. It's great to hear the point of view - but that's what it is, a point of view. Other teams and people at other levels certainly have others, and it'd be foolhardy to try to understand what happened based on ony one or two of them.

Comment: Re:Microsoft benefits from this (Score 2) 463

by ZorinLynx (#48733759) Attached to: Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

Are you telling me that PC vendors these days ship systems without a way to recover them from bare metal? That's... insane. Utterly stark raving mad.

Even Macs, which don't ship with install media, can do a bare metal restore downloading the operating system from the Internet. This is common sense shit!

Comment: Re:EU grant (Score 3, Interesting) 61

by JanneM (#48728257) Attached to: The Next Big Step For Wikidata: Forming a Hub For Researchers

They have four partner universities and several other research institutions, most or all of who already have one or more full-time staff dedicated to help projects with their grant application process.

Yes, EU grant applications are big and cumbersone - though the payoff is commensurate - but the process is not going to be the main hurdle. With all the available expertise at their disposal, if they can't navigate the application process then they're unlikely to successfully steer a major project over several years either.

Comment: Re:See nothing (Score 2) 104

What I tried to say was more or less that without regular exposure to the night skies, fewer and fewer people will be interested in ever looking. Just seeing the skies clear skies once or twice will give you a "wow!" experience. But it's only once that pretty surface is old and familiar to you that you start asking deeper questions about what you're seeing.

I think the same thing is happening in other fields. Naturalists, or green biologists, may be losing mind share to lab biology and to other fields - in part of course because there's more money in white biology, but also, I suspect, because fewer people are familiar with and interested in local biotopes, and don't realize there's a lot of interesting things going on.

tl:dr: you tend to never become interested in things you have no personal experience with or connection to. And as humans become more and more urban, then fields such as astronomy will gradually lose mindshare. Regrettable but probably unavoidable.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson