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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 Courts

Obama DOJ Sides With RIAA 785

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Obama Administration's Department of Justice, with former RIAA lawyers occupying the 2nd and 3rd highest positions in the department, has shown its colors, intervening on behalf of the RIAA in the case against a Boston University graduate student, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, accused of file sharing when he was 17 years old. Its oversized, 39-page brief (PDF) relies upon a United States Supreme Court decision from 1919 which upheld a statutory damages award, in a case involving overpriced railway tickets, equal to 116 times the actual damages sustained, and a 2007 Circuit Court decision which held that the 1919 decision — rather than the Supreme Court's more recent decisions involving punitive damages — was applicable to an award against a Karaoke CD distributor for 44 times the actual damages. Of course none of the cited cases dealt with the ratios sought by the RIAA: 2,100 to 425,000 times the actual damages for an MP3 file. Interestingly, the Government brief asked the Judge not to rule on the issue at this time, but to wait until after a trial. Also interestingly, although the brief sought to rebut, one by one, each argument that had been made by the defendant in his brief, it totally ignored all of the authorities and arguments that had been made by the Free Software Foundation in its brief. Commentators had been fearing that the Obama/Biden administration would be tools of the RIAA; does this filing confirm those fears?"
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.

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