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Comment Re:Isn't MS becoming irrelevant? (Score 1) 433

The reason Microsoft is still the favored desktop OS is probably linux taking forever to get its shit together and create a user-focused OS like Ubuntu, giving Microsoft all the time it needed to create Windows 7. I remember well the many attempts I made with earlier linuxes, only to be disappointed each and every time because shit just didn't work. Ubuntu is a breeze these days, sure, but that's too little, too late. Linux has always, and still does to a large extent, lacked discoverability of features and solutions. I can still hardly imagine configuring a linux machine without access to internet forums answering very specific questions.

Comment Display lenses... (Score 1) 220

Current phones - yes, the term 'phone' is and will be used to refer to portable computers - are as big as they are because of the screen and required battery. If we could manufacture a display lens that connects to a graphics device through a hair-thin optic fiber, energy consumption goes way down, and the display devices can be mass-produced. I think calibration for individual eyes is possible, as well as backlighting these lenses for when it's dark. Just imagine the possibilities of even a low-resolution B/W overlay of the world as you now see it. Phone sized will not shrink because of this, mind you, since you don't want to lose or break yours too easily.

The other matter is the input device. However, as many of you are capable of outputting hundreds of characters per minute blindfold, I don't think that's going to be a problem in terms of bandwidth, although we would have to let go of the point-and-click interface by hand-gesturing. Perhaps a simple combination of gyroscope and focus sinks?

In terms of functionality, that really doesn't matter. We'll figure that out as we go along. Screen, mouse and keyboard have been around for ages now and we are able to do most things without a problem. When was the last time new revolutionary hardware was invented and caught on?

I see no immediate future for intrusive medical implants for display and input, as opposed to the lenses, which you can simply take out at any time. However, as more and more people are getting their eyes lasered to be done with lenses, I can imaging some people not objecting to getting the best and brightest displays this way. Then again, even today many people don't want to take the risk of something going wrong, when there is a perfectly safe alternative available.

Comment Re:Hang on (Score 1) 454

You may be right, but it like shopping for new car, the salesman suggesting this brand new model of unknown manufacturer like it's the best car available, and the rear view mirror falling off before you leave the parking lot for a test drive. The car may run for a couple of blocks, but it does not bode well. Would you buy this car?

Comment Can't have digital security (Score 4, Interesting) 454

If it's digital, exact copies are possible.
If it's digital, because of the convenience, analogue security measures will be taken less seriously.
If it's digital, uninformed politicians will think it cool, and believe in it like some do in 70 virgins.
If it's digital, the process is fast and can be automated, and the threat is increased a million-fold (out of arse, of course) by sheer statistics. We need slow electronics
If it's digital, tampering is undetectable.

Either way, this digitally secure ID thing can only lead to government saying: "Look! We've tried, and you also know that the only way to do this properly is to put you all in a database and track your every move."

Can we perhaps agree on forsaking digital security just because it's cheaper and faster in cases where we don't need it anyway (i.e. when people aren't up to no good)?

Comment Re:Murdoch is no fool (Score 3, Insightful) 881

Maybe not, and people will simply realize: "Hey, 98% of the news doesn't concern me, might as well skip the extra 2% as well and go back to listening to the radio."

Having had access to loads of free movies... I mean mus... d'oh... news for years, people are not going to pay all of a sudden. I may cost only 2 cents to print a newspaper, but people will pay the extra dollar to have it, even though it has all the drawbacks of the old media.

Comment Deflation (Score 1) 1251

I guess the most newsworthy part of this story is that apparently - I'm non-US - the US education system has been deflating for some time now, and in this economic situation, the results are finally beginning to show. This girl is definitely not alone, I expect. So, where do you go from here?

Being an Expert Schadenfreude Connaisseur, I do feel somewhat relieved seeing this development, as I intend to continue my career in the US, after I finish my Master here in the Netherlands.

Comment Segway vs Motorcycle (Score 1) 487

I think another part of Segway hatred is the fact that by standing on it, you place yourself higher than pedestrians, the other sidewalk straight-up traffic participants. This may be a small psychological gesture telling them: You are beneath me. The motorcycle does not have this problem, also because it's not allowed on the sidewalk. A solution could be to treat the Segway as a bicycle.

Comment Bring back the valuable carrier, back to analogue (Score 1) 554

Admittedly, I arrived just at the dawn of the CD, but even I can very well imagine gladly paying $XX more for and LP than for a CD, especially since I know and feel that the contents of the CD are the same as of the free digital copy, and that all CD's are exact copies of each other. Their is no added value of the carrier, and I think the music industry decided to forget this. Not only does the LP allow you to literally feel the music in the grooves, but since the carrier is analogue it will be perceived as unique and personal, even though the difference may not be noticeable at first. It's same sort of difference between a book and a pdf file. Same contents, VERY different feel. We still gladly pay quite a lot for a book, but would we pay even a fraction of that for a pdf file of said book? And after time, would you gladly exchange your book for a fresh copy, or keep 'your' copy, even though some pages may be smudged, corners folded? Also, the possibility to ship beautiful and detailed large print artwork with LP's is something that can easily add a couple of bucks to the product's perceived value. Regarding quality of playback, I think DJ turntables show that is not an issue, really.

Comment Several things going on here. (Score 4, Insightful) 167

First, from a European point of view, the "I'll sue your ass for not telling me the sky is blue" way of handling responsibility has caused any identity (government, business, neighbor, colleague, celebrity) that cannot hide in anonymity to be overly cautious. Any acceptable risk of danger is offset by the enormous danger of due compensation if something does go wrong. Secondly, the government is, due to their required independence, by definition an onlooker with regard to the communities they have to watch/control. Could we easily tell from carefully watching a box of thousands of bouncing rubber balls which ones are behaving differently from the others when it all looks like a blur? Surely, each individual ball would notice discrepancies upon encountering such an outlier, but this cannot be expected from an outsider. Thirdly, and this combines the first two, the best the onlooker can do to exclude any false negatives in its selection procedure, is to make sure any voluntary irregular behavior is absent, so that the irregular ones are more easily distinguished. For that same reason any, maybe in itself harmless, strange behavior at airports is dealt with as if it were the real thing to discourage such behavior in the future. The assumption is, of course, that the odd balls are unable to act as normal as the regular ones.

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There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923