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Comment The World Goes On, WE Might End (Score 1) 585

As George Carlin said, don't worry about "saving the world." The world will shake us off like so many bad bugs. We're working to save our own sorry asses.

To me a better poll asks, "How long before a nuclear or biochemical device detonates causing loss of life?" THAT'S the beginning of the end for us.

Comment Typical Robot Research (Score 1) 159

So much robotics research is to make machines do what people already do. How self-centered. Most of the time this is not useful to solve real problems. But it does get funded, because those with the pursestrings can understand what humans do, but not the best solution for a robot to do a specific task.

In this case, a simple serial port between the machines would have them communicating and finding common ground much more efficiently than all the mics, speakers, and other mechanics needed to emulate speech.

Comment Re:Apple is a marketing company (Score 1) 249

Hope you're not equating marketing to user experience.

Good point - it's broader than that. My meaning is to put the technology secondary to the go-to-market strategy, which includes making products people like to use, the ability to control large segments of a particular, bounded market space, and then to extract premium pricing because you offer products that people will pay extra for. The VC name for this is "market power."

Inevitably this results in arguments with engineers, who simply cannot see the merit in the relative prettiness and intuitiveness of a UI, all those damn user experience studies, and why you need an advertising campaign when people will beat a path to your door. Just make a good CLI and be done with it.

The most successful companies win these arguments, because the market and customers pay the way, not the engineers. As far as I can tell Jobs never lost such an argument.

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Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth