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Comment: Re:Australia can get it right (Score 1) 19

by Richard_at_work (#48044813) Attached to: UK Government Tax Disc Renewal Website Buckles Under Pressure

The sole reason the website broke is because there was a massive upsurge in people accessing it, well beyond the normal rate for tax renewals as people were for some reason waiting for it.

I've done my previous 8 vehicle tax renewals online via the DVLA website just fine (yes, this isn't the first time you could buy your vehicle tax online, they've had it for years, all they are doing now is not sending you a physical tax disc) and the website has been fine - in this case I wouldn't lay all the blame on the service provider as they were working to previous usage levels that have been long established.

As for health care services, well I've never had to fill out a form relating to health care in the UK, I just receive the care that I need. Oh, and I can book appointments, order prescription renewals and even choose a specific doctor to have an operation with online. Have done for years :)

In summary, the system isn't as broken as the story makes out.

+ - Intel Eats Its Own Dogfood, Saves $9M Using Internet Of Things In Factory->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "A good way to sell someone a new technology? Prove to them that you believe in it enough to use it yourself. IBM has been trying to get customers to buy into the concept of the "Internet of Things," in which tiny distributed networked sensors would improve manufacturing processes. To prove its point, Big Blue implemented such a system in one of its Malaysian factories, and claimed $9 million in savings."
Link to Original Source

+ - Scientific explanation of why men wasted together->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Men seem to like getting drunk together more than women do and now a group of boffins think they know why

Smiles are contagious in a group of men sitting around drinking alcohol, according to a study announced Tuesday in the journal Clinical Psychological Science. This suggests that booze serves as a social lubricant for men, making them more sensitive to social behaviors, like smiling, and freeing them to connect with one another in a way that a soda can’t

Lest that strike you as laughably obvious, consider this: the effect does not hold if there are any women in the group, according to the study authors

A site note of the research points to the fact that genuine smiles are perfectly contagious among sober women, just not sober men

The authors don’t posit a guess as to why the presence of a woman keeps drunk men from catching smiles from one another, except to say that booze seems to disrupt "processes that would normally prevent them from responding to another person’s smile""

Link to Original Source

+ - In smartphone market all are copycats!->

Submitted by rapidsofttechnologie
rapidsofttechnologie (3644351) writes "Mobile app developers keep copying each other. It’s a common practice in mobile app development industry. One app developer copies features & functions of other app developers. They create clone apps just to cash the fame of other apps hitting the top lists. And in many cases, developers are creating clone of a clone of a clone."
Link to Original Source

+ - US Army develops new sand table technology

Submitted by stephendavion
stephendavion (2872091) writes "The US military has displayed a potential new sand table technology at the recently concluded Modern Day Marine exhibition held aboard the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, US. Developed by the Army Research Laboratory, the augmented reality sand (ARES) table features a laptop connected to a projector and a Microsoft Kinect, a combined microphone and camera device used with video game systems. The table combines readily available and relatively inexpensive commercial off-the-shelf technology, and improves on the notecards and string seen in legacy sand tables by projecting images of units and landscapes down onto a tabletop box of sand. Projecting units and vehicles as 3x5 notecards and roads or streams as pieces of string, the traditional sand tables are rudimentary three-dimensional maps used for military planning and war games on a small scale."

Comment: The Hawthorne Effect (Score 1) 26

by Taco Cowboy (#48031669) Attached to: How Tech Is Transforming Teaching In a South African Township

While there's no doubt that technology does play a part in the success of that school, MHO is that it is wrong to attribute all the success on technology alone

The fact is that school got so much attention from so many people, so much so that the inventor of the 3D printed limb, Richard van As was present at that school

Or, in other words, it was Hawthorne Effect ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... ) that has contributed to the dramatic improvement on the performances of the students of that school

Comment: Re:I measure taste like a food critic (Score 1) 103

by Taco Cowboy (#48031455) Attached to: Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

So are these foreign thai places actually "bland" or is "real" thai food simply overly spiced?

While I do not know how you would define that "overly" in the "overly spiced" description of yours, real Thai food (and yes, I have been to Thailand many times on business trips) are certainly much more tasty than what you get from those "Thai Restaurants" on your main street in Europe or America

I have great doubt that the robot could do a decent job identifying a real tasty Thai food from a bad one

Sure, the bot can judge the level of spiciness / sourness / sweetness by measuring the level of glucose / acid / capsaicinoids, but that still doesn't mean it can ascertain how tasty the food is

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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