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Comment I use the two sites for different purposes (Score 4, Insightful) 38

I use facebook for non-business, non-work, non-professional reasons. I use Linked in for business, work and professional reasons.

I do not normally mix the two. The first being I don't want my boss or coworkers (with a couple of exceptions) knowing how I spend my weekends. Its none of their business.

Facebook is apparently trying to bring that separation between my private and work life. I won't participate in that. There are two many chances of something stupid being cross-posted between personal and professional sections of Facebook. Not going there.

Comment Re:Amazon (Score 1) 186

Let me clarify: The local Echo unit is listening all the time. It only wakes up, records and uploads for processing is if you say the magic wake word. Other than that you could do what ever you want and the Echo is just going to sit there dumb as a stump. The cloud side of the operation only knows when it is tasked with something from a local Echo unit.

Don't believe me? Put a bandwidth monitor on your Echo and then test it. Let it sit there with a conversation in the room and then wake it up and ask it to do things: count down timer, sports, scores, the weather, prices for products, wikipedia pages. You'll see the bandwidth usage spike when it is talking to the mother ship.

Comment Re:More importantly, (Score 1) 186

The problem is most speech scientists that develop the speech models are under contract between a relatively small number of companies and universities. These are the people that actually understand how the sounds that come out of our mouths get turned into text. They all have PhDs in the field and are paid competitively. The available pool of these people: 1. wanting to work on a voice model in their free time and 2. not being under a noncompete is very very small.

I expect that an open source voice model will eventually be developed, years from now. By then the commercial versions will have gotten that much further ahead of the open source version.

Comment Re:Technology is a tool (Score 1) 537

Instead look at the difference in tools the world has since the 1950s to now.
Communications is instantaneous around the world. In the 1950's if you were lucky you could make a long distance phone call. Anything else was by post (days or months).

Travel is cheap, plentiful and you can go almost anywhere in the world within 24 hour. In the 50's cars were just becoming a household tool. Overseas travel was long and expensive (and by ship).

Computational power and data storage has exploded. Smart phones are a personal supercomputer in your pocket that you can use for huge number of tasks. In the 50's it was paper, pencil and a slide rule. Calculators were barely an option, hard drives were experimental (at best). Any body know the dewey decimal system?

There are many other fundamental changes that have occurred in the last 80 years. And they have led to a multitude of downstream changes in how we live our lives, our society, corporations and the world operates. World-wide supply chain management, cell phone reporting of anything (cats, police, family reunions), ability to get anything delivered to your door within 48 hours (and sometimes same day), ride-sharing, mp3 players, digital cameras, cell phones, the list goes on and on and on.

Many of these changes took a while to grab hold, and suddenly several of them have grabbed hold all at once and it is affecting how the world works (both for good and for ill). People who cannot adapt are being swept away (them whipper-snappers and those fangled new things, its just a fad) while the people who were born with the new technology are exploiting it to its limit.

No technology is not "good" or "evil" it all depends on how you use it. At the same time people should be cognizant of the fact that any new technology can and will be disruptive to part of the old guard. Be it automation putting workers out of work (automatic looms and textiles), the postal service shipping more boxes and fewer letters, Eastman-Kodak going out of business due to digital cameras, self-driving cars putting pressure on taxi drivers (this is just starting now), the rum triangle between England, Africa and the colonies putting English workers out of work because of cheaper US goods, or US workers being put out of work because of cheaper workers in China, India, and the Pacific Rim.

Comment Wars depend where you are in the cycle of history. (Score 3, Interesting) 537


The world has a history pattern of how wars work. Follow along for a minute before saying I am off the wall. Its all in pattern analysis. I am paraphrasing from the book "The Fourth Turning" by Strauss and Howe.

The world works on a 80 year cycle (I'm skipping the generational stuff and going right to the wars.). The wars reflect what part of the cycle you are in.
First turning wars occur after the last big war and settle any left over issues from the last big war. Example: Queen Anne's War, War of 1812, Korean War. No major changes to the world dynamic. People are happy to settle things down for a while. These are often proxy wars between the winners of the last major conflict.

Second turning wars go no where fast, drag out for a while and are a quagmire. Example: English Civil war, King George's war, Spanish-American War, Vietnam, Afghanistan (Russian intervention). These wars tend to be guerilla wars, don't get a lot done and no one is quite sure why they are being fought. These are potrayed as police actions or proxy wars (or both).

Third Turning Wars are preparatory wars for the fourth turning. These wars are based on new conflicts that did not exist when the last big war occurred. Examples: French and Indian Wars, Mexican War, World War I, Operation Desert Storm. These wars are fought but don't fundamentally change the underpinnings of the world structure. They do point to how the next major war will unfold. These are often interventions or peace keeping expeditions.

Fourth Turning Wars are decisive and to the end. Example: War of the Roses, Armada of Triumph, King Philips War, Bacon's Rebellion, King Williams War, Glorious Revolution, American Revolution, American Civil War, World War II. During the fourth turning wars are brutal and to the end. Have any new powerful weapons you were afraid to use before? Now is the time to use them.

It is all in pattern analysis. There have been major conflicts, wars and political realignments going on throughout the last 15 years (starting in 2001). The number of governments that have fallen or realigned during that time is breath taking. Europe, the Middle East and Africa are all coming apart at the seams. China and Russia are working very hard to keep their countries battened down hard. The US has its own troubles, notably a big push towards fascism (government take over of corporations and oppression of minorities fits the bill).

Everything is pointing toward large countries being willing to see how far they can push the envelope on any problem they encounter, which leads to larger wars. I expect there to be an expansion of the middle eastern conflict into Europe, Africa and Asia before it calms down again. Case in point: If Russia runs out its currency reserves next year (and it is on track to), it won't have the money to do anything and the Russian state will have to lash out or pull back and lick its wounds. Right now the posture that Russia has is not toward licking its wounds. If Russia lashes out and starts something major things will get serious quickly in Asia and Europe. And Russia will drive it until it runs out of money or collapses either way is not good for Asia, Europe and the World.

Will it unwind this way? I don't know. But I do see something on the horizon that ain't pretty.

Comment This is why psychiatrists are not allowed to comme (Score 5, Informative) 629

This is why psychiatrists/psychologists are not allowed to comment on the health of people who are not directly under their care. If you don't know what is going, you can't make a reasonable assessment of the subject's health. Doctors who have not reviewed the patient's medical file and made an examination of the subject should shut up because they do not have all of the information needed to make an accurate assessment.

Comment Thew cyberwar has been going for 10 years now (Score 1) 138

The first weapons were brute force affairs. DDOS attacks. Whether they were cooperative (4chan had one for while) or the hijack versions that are part of scamware/viruses. There was also the pinpoint attacks of the Iranian Centerfuges. Plus attacks have been ongoing against anyone who handles a credit card. Plus keyloggers, usb stick hijacking, ad site malware, drive by malware, and half a dozen other attacks I can't think of at this moment.

This new breed of attack are much more selective and directed. Instead of carpet bombing everyone with a DDOS attack, a single computer (or phone) can be attacked through a website link.

All of these weapons are available to the highest bidder, or for rent if you've on the cheap. I think the thing Obama doesn't quite grasp is that these weapons are not like nukes, expensive to develop, deploy, maintain, almost unthinkable to use and everyone knows who did it. These weapons are the exact opposite- cheap to develop, even cheaper to deploy, and if done correctly very hard to trace back to the origin. So you can deploy these weapons with little risk of retaliation or being caught. Who wouldn't want to use them?

One of these days someone is going to develop a weapon that does the following: Stay alive, spread and enlarge, stay quiet, stay updated, and inoculate the host computer from competing virus programs. Once triggered it will complete its mission and then self destruct to prevent being traced back to the source. Self destruct = military hard drive deletion. The simultaneous hard drive deletes will be wide spread so everyone will know what something happened, but it will be hard to trace back to the source.

Comment More things to carry and get lost (Score 1) 56

I own the first generation and second generation FLIR IR camera for the iphone. They are pop on modules that give extra functionality to the phone (in FLIR's case an IR camera).
The first gen units were a pain to have around if they weren't mounted to the unit. And when they were mounted to the unit they doubled its thickness and added 3/4" in length so if was a pain to keep in a pocket. I would use the camera and then throw it back in my bag because it made the phone to big.

The second gen units are the size of a box of matches. They snap in quick, get the job done and store well. To repeat: it is very small and not bulky when being stored.

The modules in the article remind me of the first generation units. Imagine carrying around a piece of equipment 3"x5"x1/2" which you have to be relatively gentle with it. Your bag will be full of accessories that you *might* need.

I went to a smart phone because it consolidated the function of several pieces of equipment (phone, ipod, camera, GPS, gameboy, note taking, web browsing, etc). This company wants to physically bulk up the phone and the accessories I have to carry. Nice idea, to much clutter to carry around.

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