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Comment Re:Google versus Apple (Score 1) 360

Apple has a huge headstart with Siri because it's already out now in beta form, and so Apple has access to real-world usage data. By the time Majel comes out, Siri will be even more advanced and will have been shaped by its users. It will be interesting to see how Google competes.

I think you're forgetting about the work Google has been doing for years now with Google Voice transcription, voice search, and the text to speech and back again translation products they have.

If anyone can take on Apple in natural language processing, I think it's Google.

Comment So....what? (Score 4, Insightful) 1167

How is this different than the plight of software engineers, hardware engineers, or designers that work outside of the IT industry? How is it different than the legions of R&D folks that are listed as exempt employees?

I'm not saying it should happen. Far from it. But the real battle is that technical professions all over have been moved to exempt status and their employees continue to be forced to work exceedingly long days for 8 hours of pay. It's not the IT guidelines that need reform, it's the ones for all technical professions.

Comment Patent (Score 2) 289

The patent for the device is covered in US patent 7735773. It does indeed appear to be a variant of a Voith Schneider Propeller. The claim for autorotation is interesting, and possibly quite valid, as is the claim about flying close to buildings or vertical surfaces, based on the proposed flow mechanics of the 'turbines' (quotes on purpose). My biggest issue is with the "additional power units" to support high speed cruise, which are not shown, and not well described.

Basically, I'll believe it when I see it fly. Until then, it's a Voith Schneider quadcopter demonstration mule. I'm waiting for a person to be transported.

Comment Simplify (Score 1) 763

Really. I used to carry around a caribenier full of keys. Literally, 2 dozen. Then I:
got out of college (-12 keys, I ran a bunch of student orgs)
got my own car (-2 keys for my parents' cars)
bought a house (-3 apartment keys, -2 for my parents' house)
got married (-2 girlfriend's keys)

I still carry a few on my one keyring:
My car
Wife's car
Bike lock

They all stack nicely into my left front pocket with my change. The right front holds the phone. Left rear is my wallet. The pockets are always the same, as is their contents. It's a system that's worked well. As soon as I stand up, I can instantly tell if something is missing, and it's saved my bacon once or twice. Also, by keeping all my keys on one ring, I can't leave the house or the office or my bike or my car without having the ring with me. It's insurance.


Man Sues Neighbor Claiming Wi-Fi Made Him Sick 574

OrangeMonkey11 writes "A Santa Fe man who claims to suffer from 'electromagnetic sensitivities' has sued his neighbor after she refused to stop using wireless devices. 59-year-old Arthur Firstenberg claims his sensitivity can be set off by cellphones, routers and other electronic devices. From the article: 'Firstenberg, 59, wanted Raphaela Monribot to limit her use of the devices. "I asked her to work with me," he said. "Basically, she refused." So he sued Monribot in state district court, seeking $530,000 in damages and an injunction to force her to turn off the electronics. "Being the target of this lawsuit has affected me very adversely," Monribot said Friday in response to e-mailed questions. "I feel as if my life and liberty are under attack for no valid reason, and it has forced me to have to defend my very basic human rights."'"

Comment Re:15 years or so ago (Score 1) 1127

Same kind of deal, but I was rewriting embedded code for a data collection system. In Iowa. In February. In the middle of a field. At night, so I didn't disturb the daytime readings. It took 3 days to catch the error in-situ and correct it (off by 1 in some obscure data mangling function as I recall), and I quit the next week when they told me I was going to go out and do it again.

Red Hat Software

Submission + - ESR Gives up on Fedora

tmc4inphilly writes: Eric S. Raymond's frustration with Fedora reach a breaking point that resulted a letter that he sent to a number of Linux-related publications and mailing lists. "After thirteen years as a loyal Red Hat and Fedora user, I reached my limit today, when an attempt to upgrade one package pitched me into a four-hour marathon of dependency chasing, at the end of which an attempt to get around a trivial file conflict rendered my system unusable."

Submission + - NASA signs memorandum of understanding with Virgin

caffiend666 writes: "Tuesday, NASA signed a memorandum of understanding with Virgin Galactic. Although not a partnership, it is interesting to see NASA work with even more private spaceflight companies. The cryptic agreement includes that 'The memorandum is only a framework to explore potential collaborations. It does not include training of NASA astronauts, an agreement to buy seats on a Virgin Galactic flight, or provision of technical advice by NASA to Virgin Galactic.'"

Submission + - AT&T and BellSouth to Merge...Here comes Ma Be

kangdangalang writes: News is amuck about a merger between AT&T and BellSouth AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and BellSouth Corporation (NYSE:BLS) announced today an agreement to merge the two companies, a combination that will create a more effective and efficient provider in the wireless, broadband, video, voice and data markets. The merger will streamline the ownership and operations of Cingular Wireless, which is jointly owned by AT&T and BellSouth. The new company will be more innovative, nimble and efficient, providing benefits to customers by combining the Cingular, BellSouth and AT&T networks into a single fully integrated wireless and wireline Internet Protocol network offering a full range of advanced solutions. Seems like AT&T is trying to reacquire all the baby bells to get back to being the communications supergiant of decades past, do you think this will be allowed by the FCC or will this get shot down because of fear of AT&T becoming a monopoly once again?

Submission + - Senator to FCC: no broadcast flag for you!

Flag waver writes: Senator John Sununu (R-NH) will introduce legislation that will prevent the FCC from creating technology mandates for the consumer electronics industry. As a result, the FCC would be hamstrung in its efforts to revive the broadcast flag. '"The FCC seems to be under the belief that it should occasionally impose technology mandates," Sununu said in a statement. "These misguided requirements distort the marketplace by forcing industry to adopt agency-blessed solutions rather than allow innovative and competitive approaches to develop."' Sen. Sununu previously tried without success to remove the broadcast flag provisions from the massive telecommunications bill that died before reaching the Senate floor during the last Congress.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Debian PPC quarrels force users to move elsewhere 8

I am keeping up with the Debian PPC mailing list for some months now and apart from bug reports there is only one main theme: some nasty infighting between key Debian PPC developers. Today, January 11, Mathew Binkley send the following message to the mailing list:

Greetings. I am the senior system administrator at Vanderbilt University's supercomputing center. We operate a 1500 processor cluster for researchers at Vanderbilt.

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