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Comment Re:What's the reason for reason? (Score 1) 76

Opus means 'Work' (see 'Magnum Opus', so nothing to do with water.
Walrus is a reference to 'I am the Walrus' by the Beatles.
Squid probably came about because someone thought that it was a funny play on words with quid, i.e. a pound.
Oyster is apparently inspired by the Oysters found in the Thames and the phrase 'The World is your Oyster'.
The others are, as the parent suggests, probably related to things of local significance.

Comment Anything to do with the new Blade Runner film? (Score 1) 203

With a new Blade Runner film, I wonder if the name change is partly to distance itself from that - the Nexus name is a homage to the android models in the film, after all. Or maybe it has just run its course, it becomes harder to have distinctive model names for consumers when you just name it after the screen size in inches.

Alternatively, it is probably part of some evil scheme for Google/Alphabet to spy on us and control our lives by adapting the information we encounter until we are just robotic slaves ready to do the corporation's evil bidding!!!!1!1!!! or something.

Comment Re:remember CJD? (Score 2, Interesting) 258

Don't know where you are, but in the UK (home of "Mad Cow Disease") we were told that it was the result of using cheap cattle feed that included ground-up sheep infected with Scrapie. This induced BSE in the cows, which resulted in CJD when people ate a significant amount of the infected beef. It may be that the pasteurisation of the cattle feed was changed and so the Scrapie was not killed off, but I would say that a bigger issue is feeding ground up animals to herbivorous livestock in the first place!

Comment Games can be educational, this probably won't be (Score 2) 198

As others have said, 'Game-based learning' can be a powerful tool for engaging people in learning and it allows the exploration of different scenarios, cause-and-effect, etc. However, the effective ones are designed to be more like entertaining simulations - that is, the educational aspects are considered first and foremost and the entertaining game elements built around that. Taking an existing game, tweaking it a bit and then claiming that it is now educational is extremely unlikely to work (though, if it makes money for the publisher then they will claim it has been a success).

Comment Re: it hasn't been the "legendary gaming company". (Score 1) 84

IOT = solution in search of a problem.

As someone who has investigated this stuff a fair bit, I agree that the connected appliances that are currently being pushed are uninteresting and, frequently, pointless. However, an INTRANET of Things is a whole different proposition, with sensors connected to a central processing device/server that uses the data to make complex decisions and then controls various other devices to effect the required changes. That, to me, starts to look really interesting as the security issues are reduced by being a much more contained system, the owner has total control over what events lead to what actions, etc.

My own particular research interest is in how (whether?) the IoT can aid learning and teaching in universities, so fairly niche, but one that certainly looks like it might have some promise.

Comment sounds like my PhD work from 10+ years ago (Score 3, Interesting) 27

I wrote a PhD on this technique as a way to support collaborative learning by allowing third-party annotation sharing:

In essence, the only way to do this without storing a copy of the original page (which has merit, but is challenging legally and in terms of disk space), is to store the annotations, pull in the page and then merge the annotations and send the output to the viewer. So it is basically acting as a proxy, but means that there are potential issues with orphaned annotations - the more dynamic nature of the web today would cause real problems in getting any kind of consistent output for two different people, or even for the same person at different times. I have to admit, I was looking at the educational side of things and so the security issues were less of a consideration, but things like the injection of malicious code, invisible amendments (e.g. censorship) to the underlying text, etc. were all pretty obvious.

Anyway, the technique itself was far from novel when I started working on my PhD, but given the continued citations to papers that I published back ( then it seems to still be an area of active research.

Submission + - Sneak Peek: Arduino Srl's Primo and Primo Core IoT Duo (

DeviceGuru writes: Arduino Srl will unveil a wireless-rich, IoT oriented Arduino Primo SBC and companion Primo Core module family at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif. on Friday. The new boards don’t run their sketches on the traditional Atmega32 MCU. Instead the boards substitute a more powerful MPU that’s located in an IoT-oriented Nordic Semiconductor nRF52 wireless system-on-chip. The Nordic chip implements BLE, NFC, and IR, while an Esspresif ESP8266 chip handles WiFi functions and connectivity. To make matters more interesting, there's also an STM32L0 MCU for supervisory tasks. The 40x40mm-diameter Primo Core module only includes the Nordic chip, and has more limited functionality. Arduino says both boards run standard Arduino sketches without modification, are programmed using the familiar Arduino IDE. The Primo SBC adds Arduino shields expansion to the mix.

Comment "Both are countries" (Score 2) 67

For years I had heard references to 'South Korea' and 'Japan', but no-one ever seemed entirely sure what they were, so they were always shrouded in a bit of mystery for me. So imagine my joy when a /. summary actually provides a definitive answer. They are countries! and it seems that they are (probably) part of a contiguous landmass that also includes North Korea! So much now makes sense!

Comment Re:Don't they have another app that does this alre (Score 1) 57

Yes, but you are pointing out products that are produced as competitors by different companies. This story is about a company with a strong product spending time and effort on another product that potentially competes with it (and thousands of other similar products, but never mind that!)

Comment Re:Uber is as safe as taxis (Score 1) 471

Where I spend most of my time (Sheffield and Manchester), Uber don't operate as taxis (black cabs), but as mini-cabs. This means that they must be prebooked and can't just pick people up off the street. I'm not a fan of Uber as I think, in the main, the mini-cabs around here are well operated and regulated and don't like the idea that money is being siphoned directly to a dodgy foreign company that is trying to displace established local firms, however the main difference I see is that the cars say Uber on the side rather than another company.

Comment Re:open source? (Score 1) 99

In the UK, the majority of utility meters are outside the property anyway - often in a box, locked with a standard key, on an outside wall. So it is already easy to get the information on the meters, see when they are in use etc. I suppose that the main difference here is the possibility to do it remotely from somewhere less conspicuous.

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