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Comment Seems like a bad implementation to me (Score 2) 98

I worked on early iris recognition software and we had already worked through this scenario way back then. If the scanner was worth it's salt, it would be doing what we did years ago...

1) Verify that the eye reacts to changing light conditions... Pupils should contract or dilate when required.
2) Verify that the eye isn't flat (i.e. a picture). Proper specularity orientation from changing light sources (we used infrared) to identify the curvature.
3) Glowing pupil under infrared, dark with different lighting.

I'm sure there were a number of other things we did, but it has been awhile. Bottom line is that we only used a representative frame from a video sequence for the iris coding; we used the sequence to verify that what we had was not a picture, a contact lens imprinted with an iris pattern, even a live person (not a corpse).

When I left that project, we were able to do iris recognition at a significant distance even if the subject was walking fast using high speed, high resolution video capture.


Torvalds Bemoans Size of RC7 For Linux Kernel 3.5 158

alphadogg writes "A host of small modifications and a large number of system-on-a-chip and PowerPC fixes inflated the size of release candidate No. 7 for Version 3.5 of the Linux kernel, according to curator Linus Torvalds' RC7 announcement, made on Saturday. Torvalds wasn't happy with the extensive changes, most of which he said he received Friday and Saturday, saying 'not cool, guys' in the announcement. However, the occasionally combustible kernel curator didn't appear to view this as a major setback. 'Now, admittedly, most of this is pretty small. The loadavg calculation fix patch is pretty big, but quite a lot of that is added comments,' he wrote, referring to the subroutine that measures system workload."

Comment Tom Swift Series (Score 1) 726

I wonder if the old "Tom Swift" series is still around? I cut my teeth on those. I managed to see one of them again a couple decade or so ago and realized that most of the "Science" in the book was pure nonsense. But it was an easy read for a young age and did capture my imagination to start me off towards the Sciences.

Comment Sounds like a repeat of WebOS (Score 1) 1027

If you replaced MS with Palm, you would have the same story. Every review of WebOS was glowing but the phones just didn't sell. This story plays out so many times, I just chalk it up to people are sheep and run with the leader.

That said, MS needs to get their act together with their stores. The one that opened recently here has staff that are unhelpful, not knowledgeable about their or others products, and come off as downright rude. Now that they've been open for a month I see it mostly empty while the Apple store in the same mall is always packed.

I came to do the MS challenge with my Pre 3 and asked if, after I picked from one of their challenges, they would pick from one of mine they ganged up and edged me out of the store.

Comment It can be great (Score 1) 480

I've had a long history of working from home and for the last 10 years, that's been my sole workplace. I co-founded a company on the West Coast but live on the East Coast.

The pros:
* Don't worry about weather and traffic.
* Can set your own routine that includes de-stress breaks. I made sure my office was comfortable and has a nice view out the window. I get a chance to watch the ground hogs, birds, and the occasional deer play in my backyard between my "in the zone" sessions. My day consists of getting up early, exercising (at home), giving the cat some attention and then working until lunch. I eat lunch at home with my wife, then it's back to work until a set time to end my day. Since I get up early, I can end early and spend quality time with the family.
* If there is a good distance between your boss and co-workers, it's easy to diffuse the occasional blowups. "Your absolutely right. I'll prevent this from happening again".

The cons:
* No matter what you do, kids and animals will not understand that you're working and need to concentrate. Fortunately my wife gets it.
* If the office is in a different time zone, expect interruptions during your own time. "I'm at a customer's site and I'm having a problem..."
* Social interaction. I had a brilliant co-worker that I could video chat whenever I wanted to bounce ideas off someone (and visa-verse). This worked great for 30 years until last year when he passed away. Now I make sure to schedule a couple of days a month to get together with friends that I worked with previously just to enjoy some technical interaction.

Side note:
I always have a lot of things on my todo list (100-200 at any time). I have my boss periodically go through my list and note the top ~10 issues that should get addressed first. When that list is almost exhausted, I have him go through the list again. This keeps both of us happy, focused, and productive.

Comment I don't understand (Score 3, Interesting) 163

I work for a company that OEMs a product with a published API. They make quarterly updates, but here's the rub...

The updates continually update their back-end in non-backwards compatible ways. We end up running multi-cpu days of regression tests to find what's broke and then spend oodles of man-days tracking down what happened and figuring out workarounds each time we try to update. We're still using the API libraries that are many versions before the latest because of this.

At one point I couldn't figure out how to do something with their API,so I requested example code. They sent part of the source a real product that they market that does what I needed. I soon discovered that they don't use their own published interface, completely bypassing the API classes entierly to get to functionality I can't.

I'd take open source over this pain any day.

Comment Posturing? (Score 1) 203

[sarcasm]This kind of posturing is nothing new and it's wonderful to see how people can still post responses so rationally.[/sarcasm]

The open source plan put in place by HP is quite refreshing. They have a reasonable time frame to replace all the proprietary pieces with open source ones to get it all out there. They have embraced the homebrew community and made them part of the open-source direction and I wish them well.

Personally, I'm excited about the proposition. WebOS still comes in top in customer satisfaction polls, imagine that.

Comment What I do. (Score 1) 467

I have had similar "invention" agreements from all my employers. Their language seems to infer that working for them is the incubation that will bring on new ideas, so even if you're off-the-clock, it is because you are working for them that you came up with the idea at all. However, in the agreements is a request for things that you have/are working on so they will be exempted. I usually include a several page list of things that I've thought about, generic enough to cover almost any field outside of my day to day work.

That said, if you come up with an idea not related to your tasks, they would be very hard pressed to make a case against you. If you come up with a better widget than the one you're doing their, they have a good case.

Comment Re:Hah. (Score 1) 226

I got around this by using my server and putting three option statements in net-snmp to spoof a "supported" hp printer and then redirecting printer communication to my non-hp printer instead. Took all of 5 minutes. I've got 5 WebOS devices in my house that are heavily used. Curse you HP!

Comment Deja Vu (Score 1) 226

Shades of the 80s! Canon Research created a great little c-like interpreted language called ici. It had all sorts of nifty lisp like features and had a nice API for native extensions. They expected to put it in all of their products (including printers) and even open-sourced it. Outside of a few external projects that I and others had, I don't think it went anywhere.


Experiment Shows Not Washing Jeans for 15 Months is Disgusting But Safe 258

dbune writes "Young people who argue with their parents over wearing the same pair of smelly jeans can now cite the work of a 20-year old University of Alberta student who wore the same jeans for 15 months straight. From the article: 'Josh Le wore the same pair of jeans to break in the raw denim, so it would wrap the contours of his body, leaving distinct wear lines. He had his textile professor test the jeans for bacteria before washing them for the first time. The results showed high counts of five different kinds of bacteria, but nothing in the range of being considered a health hazard."

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