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Comment: Wifi Sense sounds cool (Score 1) 535

by rsborg (#47922605) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

Basically sounds like the OSX keychain, but using your name/credentials/etc to login to public wifi spots automatically - I wonder what kind of coverage they'll have?

Other than that, though - seems like they're de-mobilifying the desktop OS part. Such a waste of money, attention and marketshare - all because Steve wanted to be more like the other Steve.

Comment: Re:IP Stolen (Score 1) 67

by rsborg (#47913157) Attached to: A 16-Year-Old Builds a Device To Convert Breath Into Speech

I don't think morse code practical in this case, unless the "speaker" wants to communicate in short words and sentences. Verbal English can consume 2-3 letters at a time, whereas morse code can require up to 3-5 dots/dashes per letter. It's a very slow medium. For example, just saying "No" requires 4 dashes and 1 dot; "yes" requires 3 dashes and 5 dots.

What would you recommend? Morse is well understood and standardized in many contexts like HAM radio. Perhaps an adapter that can the breaths and turn them into phonemes that then get converted into text? A cloud NLP application tying into such a device (simple as querying Google with the output and seeing what it suggests) could result in some very useful (and maybe even tailored) responses.

Just wondering, though, how would backspaces be handled...

Comment: And this is why Open Source is goodness (Score 1) 129

by rsborg (#47906411) Attached to: Chrome For Mac Drops 32-bit Build

Plenty of time to switch to Firefox. Probably they'll keep offering 32-bit for a while yet, and when they stop a third-party project will come along that will, a la TenFourFox.

All hail open source - Chrome is not (completely) open source, Firefox is. Google doesn't want or care if you want 64bit (or don't want it).

Comment: TV used to be a social medium (Score 2) 108

by rsborg (#47894387) Attached to: Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

I posit that the rise of Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and the like allowed people to share and discuss about things they actually care about, rather than TV shows or even movies. Hell, I spend more time on /. than watching TV - and I'm increasingly feeling like most of my family is the same (not on /., but you get the picture).

For those who still watch TV, TiVo and Netflix have set the standards too high for many to really give a crap about last century's TV model anymore.

Comment: So could this mean EULAs are reined in? (Score 2) 275

by rsborg (#47876609) Attached to: California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

This law applies specifically to consumer goods. How many consumer goods require an NDA to purchase?

Many EULAs contain something that is NDA-like.

Some consumer products even forbid you from publishing performance metrics or the results of comparative performance testing.... if I recall correctly, VMware used to be known for this, specifically.

Maybe this law has *good* unintended consequences?

Comment: Re:Scan here for a free 'whatever' sucker. (Score 1) 730

by rsborg (#47869147) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

Wasn't the fingerprint scan cracked 45min after it was released last announcement? Is that ample evidence of foolproof authentication?

How feasible was the CCC method of cracking? Has it been reproduced? What was the time investment to perform the cracking - I remember them using a 2400 dpi scanner and latex milk.

Comment: Re:One day battery life in Apple Watch too? (Score 1) 730

by rsborg (#47869083) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

I would settle for 3 days

I think this is just the 80/20 split. Almost everybody goes home and sleeps almost every night. For the vast majority of cases, taking your watch off to charge it once every three days is no better than taking your watch off to charge it every night. And the tradeoff to get to three days is either a) a battery three times larger, b) a watch that is three times more power efficient, or c) lesser capability. A three day battery life isn't worth the sacrifices you'd have to make to get it.

I don't want to charge a watch every night!!

Why? What's so much better about taking your watch off every three nights instead of every night?

Actually, something that you don't do every day (at the same time) you won't build a habit around. I kept forgetting to charge my Pebble and so didn't use it much for the first few months (well, to be honest, not really until iOS7 and better notification support) - one of the big reasons is I didn't have the habit of charging the device every night. So I'd forget on day 4, then day 6 it would run out of battery and stay unused until the weekend when I'd be like - why TF did i buy this thing?

Now I charge every night. And I use it every day - it helps me not miss calls (phone is always muted b/c meetings) or important texts (did you know that some daycare centers charge like $1/min for being late? If wife can't pick up the kids on time, I better not miss the call/text/voicemail).

Comment: Re:Obligatory: Five Blades (Score 1) 204

by rsborg (#47859471) Attached to: Dell Demos 5K Display

You're confusing progress with "progress". There are many of us dying to get higher than 1920x1080 as the standard display types. I recently realised I have had 1200 vertical pixels on my computer display for 14 years now. It's quite sad.

You know you could just tilt your monitor (or use VESA mounts for the mountable ones). I've had my monitors in portrait side-by-side (two towers) at work for several years. Really great way to get very many pixels (roughly 4k, but 4.5:5 ratio - almost square). I only recommend getting good viewing angle screens, however - IPS preferred - as most monitors don't have good vertical angles (which become horizontal - terribly important).

Comment: Obligatory: Five Blades (Score 4, Funny) 204

by rsborg (#47836385) Attached to: Dell Demos 5K Display

"What part of this don't you understand? If two blades is good, and three blades is better, obviously five blades would make us the best fucking razor that ever existed. Comprende? We didn't claw our way to the top of the razor game by clinging to the two-blade industry standard. We got here by taking chances. Well, five blades is the biggest chance of all."

Comment: You think this makes things worse? (Score 4, Insightful) 75

by rsborg (#47830283) Attached to: White House Names Google's Megan Smith As CTO

improving technology and the use of data across agencies

That is the exact opposite of what we need right now.

The NSA and the security industrial complex don't need stinking laws and the approval of the public to aggregate and track you. They're already doing it. I doubt this role will help them (or hinder them). What integrated data could provide is more effective programs and less paperwork, and possibly more APIs.

Worrying about the CTO "improving things the wrong way" is the same as worrying about sharing your bank password with your spouse while storing your password file in cleartext on a malware infested desktop.

Comment: Re:Salient Argument provided (Score 1) 322

by rsborg (#47829017) Attached to: The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

and as first-strike weapons they would be very hard if not impossible to stop

No harder than ICBMs.

First-strike weaponry generally enables the crazy/unstable countries

Who aren't known for their adherence to treaty. We are extremely fortunate that development of nuclear weapons in the first place is hard enough that our current crop of crazy/unstable countries hasn't been able to develop them. I think it would be a terrible assumption to assume that anyone who does manage to do that, isn't going to try to develop delivery methods with continued disregard for international treaty as well.

The goal of removing nuclear weapons isn't the current lot of crazies that don't have power, but that crazies could get ahold of a currently "sane" country quite easily - including the USA. When power to destroy the world several thousands of times over exists, there will be those that want to use it - to everyone else's detriment.

While we shouldn't remove all the weaponry, removing most of it while keeping what's needed (maybe a bit more than needed) would be a good way to prevent

Then there's the issue of proliferation - the "Back to the Future" argument against stockpiling such atrocities-waiting-to-happen - by limiting nuclear stockpiles, you prevent "broken arrows" and the accompanying terrorist wet dreams.

Comment: Shared data plans are a trap (Score 1) 131

by rsborg (#47828585) Attached to: Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

I started a shared data pool plan for my family and my brother's usage was estimated at about 2GB per month. A couple weeks into the billing cycle I checked usage and my brother had used MORE data than the other FIVE of us combined, and was on track to use over 5GB!

I was a bit disappointed originally that I wouldn't get shared data when I switch my extended family over from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint (seriously, all 3 other networks!), but I soon realized this was a huge boon - because T-Mobile doesn't charge overage for data - only steps down when you reach the limit (i.e., data limit is for "fast data" - i.e., LTE or 4G, but the 2G is unlimited). So my post-grad cousin who has erratic data usage doesn't impact my bill or my speeds. My bills never change month to month - been that way for over a year now, and it's an awesome feeling (remember having to try to parse a cell-phone bill wondering why we paid $130 this month and $80 last month for the same line).

Oh, and I'm spending the same on phone bills - except now I have 5 lines where I used to have 3, and all with better data and reception than before.

Lesson: don't trust shared data - it's makes each line on your plan a liability for increased data costs on your entire plan, all possibly due to a rogue app.

Comment: Re: Stagnant electric car sales (Score 1) 157

by rsborg (#47828417) Attached to: Tesla's Next Auto-Dealer Battleground State: Georgia

If they can get the real range up to 150 or 200 miles it will be vastly easier to own a car like the Leaf as your only car.

This. I commute several days a week nearly 40mi each way. While that is technically within the capabilities of the Leaf, and I do have a charging station at work... the problem comes with the fact that a) if the range drops off from the reasonable estimate (i.e., I drive much faster than 55mph or the car loses range with age) or b) if I don't get a charging spot at my work parking lot, then I'm at risk of being stranded on the highway.

Right now I drive a 10 year old Prius, which does OK for mileage (50mpg average). A Leaf or a Volt seem like lateral upgrades, while a Tesla is exactly what I'm slavering over. I just can't ... justify the cost - my Prius while enviable 10 years ago - is still a souped up econobox type car, but it simply won't die. I fully expect it to last another 5-10 years. Hell, I haven't replaced my original brake pads,

Comment: Salient Argument provided (Score 5, Interesting) 322

by rsborg (#47820813) Attached to: The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

The argument is at heart "Don't develop these weapons because they will be good at killing people and I personally am not smart enough to come up with a civilan use that doesn't kill people".
It is the kind of idiocy that makes the military industrial complex laugh and call you names.

I think the big issue with these weapons is that they *will* become nuclear payload delivery systems, and as first-strike weapons they would be very hard if not impossible to stop (not that good defense industry $$ won't be spent trying). First-strike weaponry generally enables the crazy/unstable countries and their leaders to exert their will over the rest of the world, while not exactly providing much in terms of benefits to larger, more well nuclear established countries.

Banning this kind of testing isn't new - we did have a nuclear test ban for several decades [1]


At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.