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Comment The worst is missing ... (Score 2) 459

The article on Ars Technica missed the worst thing about the new ThinkPad keyboard: what happened with the Caps Lock function.
To enable Caps Lock, you press the Left Shift key twice.

That's right, one press less than what is required for invoking Sticky Keys under Windows - which everyone hates because it gets invoked when you don't want it. Expect a shitstorm from angry Thinkpad users who will buy laptops with this keyboard.

Comment Re:Best keyboard (Score 1) 459

In my opinion, Microsoft's keyboards have awful key feel.
I used to use Key Tronic keyboards. From '97 to 2010 I have used ... *drumroll* ... two in succession for my home PC. They lasted that long, and without getting spongy. The last one had very shiny keys but there was nothing wrong with the key feel.

In 2010 I started getting into mechanical keyboards, and have been using mechanical keyboards exclusively ever since.

Comment Re:Ergonomic 'Split' Keyboards! :D (Score 1) 459

Have you considered getting a Windows 8 tablet with a separate keyboard? I have seen a guy use a Surface Pro with a Happy Hacking Keyboard instead of a laptop.

There are lots of small foldable bluetooth keyboards out there, for use with tablets and cell phones. I think that a manufacturer could make one that is properly split in the middle.
Last October, I submitted this design to a small competition held by Ducky (maker of good mechanical keyboards) and got on a shared fourth place.

Comment Re:"Innovation" needs to correspond to reality (Score 1) 459

The big problem with Microsoft's "Natural" line is that the angles are fixed. They fit some model person, but they are not ideal for everyone.

The solution is to get a keyboard that is truly split into two separate parts where the split angle, tent angle, inclination and distance between hands can be freely adjusted. Unfortunately, they are quite a bit more expensive.
Examples include Goldtouch, the Kinesis Maxim (rebranded Fujitsu-Siemens), Kinesis Freestyle and the Matias Ergo Pro (due in August).

Comment Re:Don't stop innovating keyboards yet, please (Score 1) 459

The problem is that with backlit keycaps the opaque coating around the translucent letters tends to wear through quite easily, turning letters into glowing blobs.

There are backlit keyboards with more durable keys for backlit keyboards (dye-sublimated or double-shot moulded) but those keycaps are much more expensive. We are talking the cost of a couple a complete MS 4000 for just the keycaps.

There have been lots of clones of the MS "Natural" from Logitech and others throughout the years that don't have backlighting.
Even better are the keyboards that are truly split in two separate parts without a keypad on the right side and with many more options for adjustment. These are Goldtouch, Kinesis Freestyle and the quiet mechanical Matias Ergo Pro (due to be out in August).

Comment Make it fun to Do sports (Score 1) 253

I think that what would be the greatest innovations in sports would be ways to get people to do exercise.

Exercise at a gym is a often a solitary and therefore boring experience, while exercise together in a group for a common goal or against other people at about the same level can be a great motivator.

When I was growing up, my sports teacher effectively snuffed out any interest I had doing sports. He did not provide education, only prodding, grading and humiliation of those who did not perform as well as his favourites.
I hear about other people having similar stories. This is something that could change, and the science required for this is only in how people work - not technology.

Comment Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (Score 1) 43

The resolution matters in relation to the size of the screen and the viewer's distance from it. If your screen is 32" then 720p is often more than enough, but if you have a 50" screen then you notice the difference more easily.

I agree that it depends on the kind of content you are watching. I know people who use a projector for watching movies at home but a 32" TV for watching TV programmers.

Comment Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (Score 1) 43

If you just upscale like you said, then you win nothing. The image will actually even look blockier on a higher-resolution screen because of there being less distance between pixels.

The trick is in blending (interpolating) between pixels, but do so in a smart manner.
The simple method is to do linear interpolation, I.e. just let the new pixels have the average of the pixels around them. Lots of TVs do this, but the method is a bit too simple: it will sometimes make things too blurry instead. The problem is to make sharp edges in the image stay sharp and blend elsewhere.
The next step up is to interpolate using curves: plot a curve between pixel values. This will nudge the blended value towards one or the other neighbour depending on the values of other neighbouring pixels around them.

There are lots of even smarter algorithms for upscaling, but the smarter they are the more hardware they require at a smaller gain from the previous algorithm, so at some point it does not become cost-effective for the TV manufacturer to go one step further.
This product is apparently for those who want to pay more for a better algorithm.

United States

US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items" 894

McGruber writes "Flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui performed on a variety of flutes, each made by himself over years for specific types of ancient and modern performance. Razgui has performed with many U.S. ensembles and is a regular guest with the diverse and enterprising Boston Camerata. Last week, Razgui flew from Morocco to Boston, with stops in Madrid and New York. In New York, he says, a US Customs official opened his luggage and found the 13 flutelike instruments — 11 nays and two kawalas. Razgui says he had made all of the instruments using hard-to-find reeds. 'They said this is an agriculture item,' said Razgui, who was not present when his bag was opened. 'I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life.' When his baggage arrived in Boston, the instruments were gone. He was instead given a number to call. 'They told me they were destroyed,' he says. 'Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. This is horrible. I don't know what to do. I've never written letters to people.'"

Comment Broken by design (Score 3, Informative) 179

It is not the way X works is particularly secure to begin with. Once an app has a connection to the X server, it has full control over the world of window, pixmaps and events on the server including of course all other apps.

Not that I have any faith in Wayland or Mir being any better, its developers coming from the X world in the first place, I am sure that they will make their new shiny systems vulnerable in the same ways.

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