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Comment Voice apps are stupid (Score 1) 173

Voice to text is handy in a bunch of situations now. Mostly when I want to send someone a message when I'm walking or typing. It's sort of neat for appointments, and I use it all the time for setting a timer. ..on my phone.

Screens and keyboards, or touch devices, are remarkably effective at conveying large amounts of information almost instantly. Voice is not an efficient medium. Do you know why people hate voicemail? Because it's slow and ineffective.

Voice apps will be the next 3DTV, which should have been clear to everyone wasn't going anywhere. If you have to put on goggles, it might as well be a VR headset..

In the meantime, I can order from Amazon from my tablet in a few seconds, deal with issues and confirmations, while I'm watching Netflix on my 65" regular 2D TV.

Comment Re:What's the money for? (Score 1) 139

But they sound like something that costs less than a million dollars per year. Is the rest all spent on embezzlement services?

First, haha NO, servicing hundreds of thousands or millions of customers a day does not cost less than a million a year, try probably ~$50 million if you're doing it right.

Second, they're currently employing most of the former AI and Robotics labs folks from Carnegie Mellon and a few other large high profile labs in an effort to get autonomous cars going to the point where they can remove their biggest expenditure (their drivers).

Comment Other blockchains are more interesting (Score 1) 296

e.g. Ethereum.

The shady exchanges are the problem with all of the cryptocurrencies. The biggest asset would be a very easy way to facilitate a micropayment via bitcoin; the current exchange mechanisms make this hard or impossible for average folks.

Ultimately a blockchain (and the resulting currency) will need to be backed by a nation state to have validity. Political notions aside, that's when things will get interesting. If Bitcoin ever gained any traction it will be put down by force.

Other blockchains provide easier ability to develop applications and thus provide real utility, and the concept of putting a value on distributed hash calculation to actually do interesting things is a neat one.

One thing has been validated by Bitcoin, however - the concept works.

Comment Re:An "app"? How about DVD's (Score 0) 84

I have a 3 DVD out at a time plan, so I have no idea what you are talking about here.

But the 1/3 of the movies being out seems plausable. I can't say it's that much, at least in my queue, but there's some gaping holes that have developed due to lost discs (like in multi-disc TV show sets) and they don't get replenished. What's worse is I know Netflix sells a lot of their inventory through discount retailers under a white-label and the fact is that's even dwindled down to a slow trickle.

DVD is a dying format, unfortunately, and Netflix knows it.

Comment Compellng reason absent (Score 1) 84

AR ala Hololens will fail while you need to put on clunky anything. There's a compelling reason to do so if you're playing a game, or using a work application, but for everyday use there is no compelling reason for this technology over the utility offered by your phone. Add the batman factor concerns and yet another thing needing a battery charge and you're into a product nobody wants and will fail.

VR has a compelling reason. The games are badass. But you're not going to wear it around. AR ala Hololens is basically a VR visor you see through.

This technology will get compelling if you combine it with a contact lens and wireless power, but we're into science fiction at the moment as far as that is concerned. Theoretically possible but a long way from being realized let alone mass produced.

My $0.02, but I've seen the pattern before.

Comment Re: No. (Score 1) 449

My only fear: letting people get controlled by the advertisers and the government, each of whom are power hungry and relentless.

That's the real problem. Today, a computer user with any sophistication spends a great deal of time fighting their device and operating system to make it be the owner's servant rather than a spy and advertising delivery device. Rather than coding apps for my phone, I spent a lot of time this week finding hacks to fake location services for an intrusive app I wanted to use. (Just fake GPS doesn't do it anymore when apps use Google Play services and check your location via networks. The answer, BTW, turned out to be an Xposed module.)

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