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Comment: Re:Offended (Score 1) 78

by optimism (#40619675) Attached to: Gloves Translate Sign Language Into Auditory Speech

And the fact that you'd need to wear some kind of exoskeleton that mounts the sensor far forward of your body, so it can see what your hands and arms and face are doing.

Mobility is the point here. If you can sit at a computer, you can just type instead.

Of course you can just type on a smartphone too, without wearing a freaky bulky obtrusive glove. But others have already mentioned that.

Comment: Re:And thousands of interpreters stomachs sank (Score 1) 78

by optimism (#40619449) Attached to: Gloves Translate Sign Language Into Auditory Speech

Wrong translation direction, this going from signs to speech so a deaf person doesn't have to carry a txt2speech or a notepad and pen or learn to speak

If you read TFA, it was designed for people "with hearing and speech disabilities".

Learning to speak is a big hurdle for many deaf people, but it is an insurmountable hurdle for those who are mute, even if they can hear.

Anyway. If you're going to wear a computerized glove that can speak for you, it seems that a chorded keyboard would be a much better choice. Faster, more accurate, and more expressive than an ASL translator.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 215

by optimism (#40454749) Attached to: Google Vs. Microsoft: a Tale of Two Interviews

I pointed out that they had the name of a park just up the road to me wrong on Google Earth. It's still wrong today

Not surprising.

I was talking about change requests to the software, which Google controls.

The data, like place names, comes from a mix of private and public GIS databases, which Google does not control. Of course it doesn't make sense for them to make changes, because a) they can't verify the changes, and b) the changes would be wiped out the next time they get new data from their sources.

If you want to fix the park name, you have to find and fix the source. Start with your town/city surveyor's office. There's a fair chance that the park was renamed and the change was never passed on to higher sources. Or you can look at the bottom-center of the GE display, which tells you where Google got the data, and submit the change to that source. But Google is the wrong one to ask.

Or you could file a feature request with Google to add a "report wrong place name" feature, which would automatically pass your report to the appropriate data provider. Big feature though. Wouldn't see it for a long time, if ever.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 2) 215

by optimism (#40448395) Attached to: Google Vs. Microsoft: a Tale of Two Interviews

I've never been able to talk to anyone at Google about a problem or have them acknowledge it, much less work with me to fix it.

Depends on the product. I know that Google Earth, at least, takes bug reports and feature requests via a public issue tracker on code.google.com. I've filed two feature requests. They acknowledged one of them.

Comment: Intelligence test (Score 4, Insightful) 936

by optimism (#40442773) Attached to: Fundamentalist Schools Using "Nessie" To Disprove Evolution

Hopefully some kid in one of those wing-nut schools (which are absolutely not representative of American education) will raise their hand and ask:

"Um...how can we find a static shipwreck on the floor of the vast North Atlantic, 12,000 ft underwater, but we can't find a huge moving sea monster in a lake with less than 2 cu mi volume, less than 450 ft average depth?"

And hopefully their teacher actually thinks about the question.

Lake Tahoe, which has 20 times the volume of Loch Ness, marketed a "Tessie" monster for a while. They had cute plush toys, stickers, buttons, a little museum, and all that. But it was just a joke, like Nessie.

The best lessons to teach kids with this, are in gullibility, and tourism marketing.

Comment: Re:20 dollar sonies (Score 1) 448

by optimism (#40311659) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Headphones, Earbuds, Earphones?

Part of the method used to protest bad corporate behaviour is to boycott them. The other part is to spread the word.

If you take issue with a corporation's behavior in general, then by all means, boycott them.

If the problems are with specific products, then just don't buy those products.

Many years ago, Sony did make some good electron-gun TVs. They also made a decent ruggedized boombox. You could say they made a good walkman, but Aiwa was much better. Computers? Sony made some of the leading ultraportables in the late 90s and early 00s, though arguably the Fujitsu Lifebooks were even better.

Currently the only Sony products that I own are a couple sets of their earbuds. Current model is MDR-EX71, $40 on amazon, within the OP's price range. Great sound, decent bass, flexible cord, detachable extension cord, 3 sizes of silicone buds for different ears.

The ext cord on my first set went bad, but the earbuds are still good.

The only downside, though this applies to all sealed/silicone earbuds, is that you can't hear much of the environment around you, if that matters. So they're a bad choice for, eg, biking, or jogging in a city. But they're a great choice for, eg, blocking out the engine noise on a flight.

Comment: Pure PR; stock is in the ICU (Score 5, Funny) 55

by optimism (#40258541) Attached to: Facebook Launches App Center With Over 600 Apps

From TFA:

The service, called App Center, debuts with 600 applications, including Zynga Inc. (ZNGA)’s “Draw Something” game

Huh? How is someone going to play "Draw Something" effectively on a laptop or desktop with no touch screen? Have you ever tried to draw with a mouse or trackpad? Haha.

If you want to play on a smartphone or tablet, of course, you'd just download the native app from the app store/marketplace.

This looks like a pure PR play, one of many that will prop up the Fakebook stock until the early investors have exited to their satisfaction, and FB employees with options have been sufficiently comforted that the stock will not drop below their strike prices before the end of the year.

I love this sport. It's like watching a huge train wreck in slow motion, except that no one will be directly killed by it.

Comment: Re:haunt him? no (Score 1) 264

by optimism (#40204265) Attached to: DirecTV CEO Scoffs At Competition From Apple TV

...in the general sense, I agree with your thesis but, in practice, you're 100% wrong. When the CEO of a company announces to the world something that highlights how utterly clueless and/or off-course they are, that should serve as a sign to investors that they need to get their money out of the company as fast as possible

Emphasis mine.

You seem to assume that all investors think like you and know exactly what you know, despite the fact that you're posting on slashdot, which implies you are "smarter money" than the average shmoe.

So yes, you might see some "utterly clueless" announcement (in your informed opinion) and short the stock. Of course, assuming you were following the news, not busy with other matters, and actually saw the announcement.

But the vast majority of shareholders and fund managers are not aware of the market. They only hear the CEO's public message that "all is well", if that, and stay the course. Stocks are a long-term investment after all, that's what the wolves have taught the sheep. ;)

In the meantime, in the upper echelons, friends of the company can get a very different private message from the CEO, which tells them to bail during the PR delay, before the dumb money figures it out.

NOTE: I am not in any way saying that is the case here. I do not know or follow this market at all. Frankly it seems to me that satellite TV and internet TV are radically different markets for radically different audiences/geographies. I'm just explaining one of the reasons that the "free" public news from a CEO's announcement might not agree with what the smart money hears and understands, but still be "smart".

Comment: haunt him? no (Score 4, Insightful) 264

by optimism (#40201943) Attached to: DirecTV CEO Scoffs At Competition From Apple TV

So, will White's statement — 'It's hard to see (it) obsoleting our technology' — come back to haunt him?

Short answer: No.

The CEO of DirecTV obviously has better intel about the TV/video distribution market, than any slashdotter posting here.

Is AppleTV a threat to them? I don't know, and it really doesn't matter. For the sake of argument, let's pretend that AppleTV is a huge threat, and that DirecTV is doomed, and one man, even the CEO, cannot effect the sweeping market changes to reverse this course.

White's motivation, as with any CEO of a publicly-traded company in the Wall St system, is to maximize his income. He does that by keeping the stock price as high as possible, for as long as possible, even in the face of a known inevitable demise. Then when profitability is clearly compromised, he can collect large compensation for sticking with a "troubled company". Or just jump immediately to the next company. Rinse, repeat, retire.

This is the way the current system works. The CEO is not an "idiot" for not publicly recognizing threats that he/she absolutely knows about. Quite the contrary. His behavior is "smart". It's the overall rules of the system that are "dumb".

Comment: Re:Why upgrade? (Score 1) 363

by optimism (#40175797) Attached to: Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available To Download

IE9 is a really awesome browser, and I think it's win 7 only. Same for office 2010, I'm not sure it's xp compatible.

Exactly what do you think is "awesome" about IE9 or Office 2010 on Win7, that is not provided by the earlier versions on XP, or by Firefox and OpenOffice?

Thanks in advance for providing some actual details.

Comment: Re:Why upgrade? (Score 1) 363

by optimism (#40174821) Attached to: Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available To Download

Most useful to most users is the real live 64 bit support (can use > 3.5GB of RAM), support for DirectX 10, excellent driver support out of the box, and a few other bits and pieces (I'm no expert on win 7...)

Thanks, those are real details.

I'm not a PC gamer, so I don't have any need for more than 3.5GB (actually 3.25GB on our biggest system) RAM, nor DirectX 10. The most extreme stuff I do is video transcoding. Second, realtime video and image editing. Third, video playback with various codecs, ranging from mjpeg to avc/h264. But I leave the games for our consoles.

Re: drivers, I do use lots of odd pieces of hardware like serial microcontroller programmers, DMX controllers, dataloggers, Arduinos, 3D 6dof controllers, Bluetooth audio bridges, GPS devices, scanners, etc. Never had a problem with any XP drivers. However I'm fairly sure that some of these devices do not support more recent Windows versions.

Also, don't forget that direct network access (ie: something a firewall would block) isn't the only vector for malware. I'm sure you know how to protect your machines, but many people assume a firewall or an antivirus program is the end-all solution to allow them free and promiscuous web browsing... With most end of life OSes the lack up security patches isn't a big concern, but that's because they went EOL before malware on the internet "went big" and there's nobody attacking them.

Thanks. Yeah, I hope I'm aware. I've been using Windows since v3.0 and Mac since System 6 (not to mention OS/2 and other client OS's). I did pick up a USB-key virus on one machine a few years back, before MS finally patched XPSP3 to really allow you to turn off autoplay without the registry hack. But that experience just convinced me that new OS versions, which keep doing more "auto" stuff, will only have more attack vectors than the old ones...

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

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