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Comment Re:Not what I want from Amazon (Score 1) 140

I dug my venerable Kindle out and dusted it off, after working with a variety of tablets over the last few months. I'd forgotten how much smaller & lighter it is, with battery life in months, not days. It's hard to see how to preserve those good traits of a e-reader while also loading it down with features to make it a desktop/laptop/netbook replacement, which seems to be where the tablet market has to go (or has already gone?).

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Info on upcoming handhelds?

FullBandwidth writes: Seems like some intrepid slashdotters are always getting scoops on the soon-to-be-released handhelds (phones, tablets). What's the best way to get technical information and release dates? Apparently in the US, the vendors have to submit a certain amount of documentation that then gets published on the website, but I'm not sure if many of us have time to pore over that site. Are there reliable sites or RSS feeds dedicated to what's the bleeding edge of mobile computing?

Submission + - Space Telescope to track objects in GEO orbit (

FullBandwidth writes: A while back we reported on the DARPA Space Surveillance Telescope, though loyal slashdotters were divided on exactly what astronomers would be looking for. DARPA now makes it clear that the telescope will "enable wide-field views of objects in geostationary orbit" in support of the Air Force mission of "tracking satellites and other objects in Earth orbit and reporting that information to U.S. Strategic Command."

Submission + - Glory lost to Taurus XL Failure (

FullBandwidth writes: "The protective nose cone of an Orbital Sciences Corp. Taurus XL rocket carrying NASA's Glory environmental research satellite apparently failed to separate after launch Friday, preventing the spacecraft from achieving orbit in a $424 million failure. It was the second nose cone failure in a row for a Taurus XL rocket following the 2009 loss of another environmental satellite."

Comment Give credit where it isn't due? (Score 4, Interesting) 54

I had to laugh when I saw Microsoft described as "doing well" in terms of accessibility for the blind. It's simply not true; their attempts at accessibility are token at best and largely ignored by the blind community. I know lots of blind people and I don't know a single one who uses a Windows desktop or mobile product without a third-party application such as JAWS for Windows, ZoomText or Nuance. Oh and while we're on the subject: Adobe's accessibility "features" are non-functional - not only are they totally inadequate standing alone, they also prevent those 3rd party applications from doing their jobs. PDFs and Flash are pretty much inaccessible to blind users. I am holding out hope for Pico on Android ... though I have yet to get it working on anything but the emulator that comes with the SDK.

Comment Re:Super (Score 1) 754

No, I am simply suggesting that your visibility is better when going forward than backwards. When you pull up to a parking space (forwards) you can see whether it's clear to back in, and whether that situation is likely to change in the amount of time it takes to back in (i.e. pedestrians that you can see walking towards your space). Not saying it's foolproof, nothing is. Just saying that when you back out of a parking space you have very limited visibility side-to-side, compared to pulling out forwards. I guess it's less about the straight-backwards view - that is provided by the backlight ("rear window") if your vehicle has one (mine doesn't) or mirrors, or camera - it doesn't seem to me this is the limiting factor, once you have a straight, clear shot at backing into the spot. Or maybe I'm overthinking/overexplaining this?

Comment Re:Super (Score 1) 754

Yeah I'm going to have to side with "encroachment" this time. You can dramatically increase your safety in a parking lot simply by either backing into a space or pulling through two adjacent spaces when available. That way when you exit, you're going forward and have maximum visibility. When you approach the space to enter it (either backwards or pulling through) you again have much better visibility and can assess the presence of obstacles such as children and the elderly. Seems like better driving practices could cut that 292/18K number down with no bogus technology injection.

Comment It's about time (Score 1) 420

Letting people voluntarily make their web sites accessible certainly hasn't worked - for example, Flash content is the bane of visually impaired users but I don't see much of a movement to provide alternatives. I wonder if this means that popular OSs will have to provide real, working accessibility features and not bad jokes like Microsoft Narrator?

Submission + - Altavista search engine loses its identity

FullBandwidth writes: The venerable search engine Altavista, for some years part of Yahoo but appearing as a separate site, seems to have been suddenly melded into Yahoo. Typing a query in the search box on returns results that look identical to the Yahoo search results, excepting the Altavista logo in place of the Yahoo logo. Trying any query from the "advanced" Altavista search ( simply forwards you to the main Yahoo search screen, without even copying over your query terms. For those of us who steadfastly refuse to go mainstream (i.e. Google), this is indeed a sad day.

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