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Comment Then There's the Hong Kong Octopus Card (Score 1) 400

It's a tap card originally for public transport, but now widely used in stores, parking lots, post offices, fast food outlets, etc. throughout Hong Kong. It's very popular, and just about everyone in Hong Kong uses it every day.

It's anonymous in the sense that no ID's required to buy one.

But the cards are all numbered, of course, and if the Authorities know the number blind stamped on your Octopus card, then they can -- in theory at least -- match it with the payment record kept by Octopus. (Although Octopus is run as an independent, private venture, the HK Government effectively controls it with about a 60 percent indirect shareholding.) And with a maximum loaded value of HK$1000 (US$125) it's not really a high-value payment option.

Comment The Supremes Answered This One in 1971 (Score 1) 698

The Supreme Court was pretty clear in the leading case of Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971), officially summarized thusly:

"Appellant was convicted of violating that part of Cal. Penal Code 415 which prohibits 'maliciously and willfully disturb[ing] the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person . . . by . . . offensive conduct,' for wearing a jacket bearing the words 'Fuck the Draft' in a corridor of the Los Angeles Courthouse . . . .Held: Absent a more particularized and compelling reason for its actions, the State may not, consistently with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, make the simple public display of this single four-letter expletive a criminal offense."

Comment Re:Right on Adobe! (Score 1) 731

You have a false "Obj-C vs Flash" dichotomy. This has nothing at all to do about Flash. I've never wrote a single line of code in it, and hopefully never will. But Jobs also prevent me from using the good stuff such as, say, O'Caml or Scala, and that is a travesty.

Hence why I wrote "Flash (or similar)". Because it's not just about preventing Flash, but about preventing any non ObjC/Cocoa Touch platform. It's perfectly understandable that you'd want to be free to use those languages. It's perfectly understandable that Apple wouldn't want the results of that programming to be sold through their App Store. Apple rightly wins the conflict, because it's their store.


Submission + - Is speech recognition finally good enough?

jcatcw writes: Speech recognition software is fast, but it still may not be accurate enough. Clerical jobs usually ask for 40 wpm, but speech recognition software can keep up with someone speaking at 160 wpm. In Lamont Wood's demo it did very well at too/two/to and which/witch, but will it still render "I really admire your analysis" as "I really admire urinalysis"? At 95% accuracy, people aren't jumping on the bandwagon. Wood's typing speed is about 60 wpm with 93% accuracy, so he found that using speech recognition was about twice as fast as typing. Those who type at hunt-and-peck speeds will experience results that are even more dramatic. There's really only one product on the US market: Dragon NaturallySpeaking from Nuance Communications. The free versions from Microsoft aren't up to the task and IBM sold ViaVoice to Nuance, where it's treated as an entry-level product.

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