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Comment Re:Common technology in large HVAC systems (Score 1) 228

Large buildings already have control systems that do this, and Honeywell manufactures many of them.

The "Nest" device may well be mostly hype. (What is "far-field motion detection", anyway?) There's only so much you can do with input from one location and nothing but on/off control over heating and cooling.

Compare the EcoBee, which does the same job, and probably better. EcoBee can handle remote sensors for outdoor air temperature. It measures humidity, which "Next" doesn't claim to do. It can be set up to control fans and dampers. (One of the biggest wins in HVAC management is figuring out how much air to take from outside and how much to recirculate.)

Nest is a status symbol, not a HVAC management system. It looks cool. It creates the illusion that it's doing something "green". It probably helps a little.

Look at the EcoBee, and without reading any instructions or manual, attempt to change the temperature lower or higher. Do those "menu" type buttons do that job? Or is it a touch screen? Those are not immediately obvious, and most of the population would say the same thing.

Nest is an attempt at making the interface in such a way that the usage is obvious to most of the population without looking it up in a manual. Right now, that costs extra, but maybe not for long.

Comment Speech Recognition implications (Score 1) 221

This could be a boon for speech recognition systems, especially for use in areas with lots of environmental noise, or even just a little.

Maybe even the effort in clearing out the environmental noise will lead to the ability to clean out the "noise" (accents, minor physical fluctuations) from a person's speech- perhaps to such a point that the complexity of the software speech recognition problem is reduced.

The Internet

South Korea Joins the "Three Strikes" Ranks 278

Glyn Moody writes "For years, the content industries having been trying to get laws passed that would stop people sharing files. For years they failed. Then they came up with the 'three strikes and you're out' idea — and it is starting to be put into law around the world. First we had France, followed by countries like Italy, Ireland — and now South Korea: 'On March 3, 2009, the National Assembly's Committee on Culture, Sports, Tourism, Broadcasting & Communications (CCSTB&C) passed a bill to revise the Copyright Law. The bill includes the so called, "three strikes out" or "graduated response" provision.' Why has the 'three strikes' idea caught on where others have failed? And what is the best way to stop it spreading further?"

The Zen of SOA 219

Alex Roussekov writes "The book "Zen of SOA" by Tom Termini introduces an original view to the challenging world of SOA. He refers to the Zen philosophy as a "therapeutic device" helping SOA practitioners to get rid of prejudices and opinions in order to apply a clear mind-set based on real-life experiences and the application of technology knowledge. Each chapter of the book is prefaced by Zen Truism that the author suggests to "revisit, reflect on it longer, and see if you are able to establish a truth from the narrative, as well as from your own experiences." In fact, the book is about a SOA Blueprint outlining a methodology for building a successful SOA strategy. The target audience is C-level Executives, IT Managers and Enterprise Architects undertaking or intending to undertake adoption of SOA throughout their organizations. I strongly recommend the book to all SOA practitioners involved in implementation of SOA." Read below for the rest of Alexander's review.
The Almighty Buck

Video Game Actors Say They Don't Get Their Due 573

Dekortage writes "The New York Times reports today about Michael Hollick, the actor who provided the voice of Niko Bellic in Grand Theft Auto IV. Although the game has made more than $600 million in sales for Rockstar Games, Hollick earns nothing beyond the original $100K he was paid. If this was television, film, or radio, Hollick and the other GTA actors could have made millions by now. Hollick says, 'I don't blame Rockstar. I blame our union for not having the agreements in place to protect the creative people who drive the sales of these games. Yes, the technology is important, but it's the human performances within them that people really connect to, and I hope actors will get more respect for the work they do within those technologies.' Is it time for video game actors to be treated as well as those in other mediums?"

The Case for Lunar Property Rights 387

longacre writes "Who owns the moon? In a thought provoking piece, Instapundit blogger/law professor Glenn Reynolds gives us a brief history of earthlings' discourse on lunar property rights, a topic which has stagnated since the 1979 Moon Treaty. Is it possible to claim good title on land that is not under the dominion of a nation? He goes on to plead his case for the creation of lunar real estate legislation. From the article: 'Property rights attract private capital and, with government space programs stagnating, a lunar land rush may be just what we need to get things going again.'"

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