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Comment Re:This is a comment subject (Score 1) 17

Argh, Slashdot should really have better notifications, I always miss replies to my posts. But going to the point...

OK, you asked for some (manufactured) controversy, so here are some starters for a debate.

I actually didn't ask for controversy, I was just wondering if the controversy is the thing that often spurs conversations, or what was the reason for the lack of conversation, because I find these news very interesting and also very good. The AC's comment below (https://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=9516543&cid=52691593) offers an interesting view on this, in my opinion.

Comment Re:This is a comment subject (Score 1) 17

I was wondering the exactly same thing - why there are so few comments. But perhaps this is just great news without causing too much controversy and there's not much to add?

Though I was expecting at least on some speculation on what else could be achieved with something similar. Also, for me it is very curious that two-way neural function has been restored. Perhaps the neurons are secreting some neural growth factors or through some other mechanism causing also other neurons to restore their function. There is a constant flow of stimulus from the skin etc., but for some reason this does not seem to help in the neural pathway restoring. Or is it that the stimulus coming from both directions (brain and legs, for example) is the key to success? If so, perhaps results like this could be achieved also with some two-way neuron stimulation.

Comment Re:Obesity is a recent problem (Score 1) 381

I recently read an article about this. Some of the things are compared to the stone age, but many of these are quite recent changes as well. First, we have excessive amounts of food available - that is an obvious thing: if you have to ration your food, you will eat less. Portion sizes have been getting bigger. According to the article, when increasing the portion size by 50%, people will eat 30% more and still think they ate the same amount as with a smaller portion. Our appetite is food-specific. Earlier, that helped to maintain a rich diet, but with the abundance of food choices in buffets etc., we can easily have reach to tens of different kinds of foods on a meal, so we eat too much. Also, the food nowadays contains more energy and in a form where it will be digested more easily and rapidly. For example, sugar is a fairly recent addition to our diet and even in the youth of my grandmother, it used to be more of a luxury product. We are getting large amounts of energy in our drinks, whereas earlier water was almost the only drink there was. And of course, we are doing much less physical work, so the consumption just is not there. It would be a wonder if this all actually *didn't'* lead to obesity.

Comment Re:What "living hell"??? (Score 1) 120

I agree that "living hell" is a far fetch. However, it is more than mildly annoying especially when viewing the desktop version on a mobile device. The banner takes a significant portion of screen real estate and sometimes also the dismiss button is difficult to hit. I think the savvy users already know cookies are used for tracking all over the internet and the less savvy ones probably will just ignore this. Essentially, after the first few times you see this, it is just additional noise on the web sites.

Comment Lighting level affecting voice control? (Score 1) 402

The disclaimer on the page http://www.samsung.com/ph/smar... says:

Voice Control performance may vary depending on language, local dialect, pronunciation, voice and ambient noise and lighting levels.

Is this a mistake? How can lighting level affect voice control performance? Or does the TV also use lip reading and also send video capture to third parties all times?

Comment Annoying update process (Score 3, Insightful) 320

The reason why I'm stalling sometimes with the updates is that the whole process is interfering with my computer usage. There are annoying popups requiring attention at about 30 s - 1 min intervals, activating a random time after computer boot and trying to install 3rd party software, so I need to be in a mood for installing those updates. Not even to mention that every software has its own update software with its quirks. And Windows also now notifies you to disable "unnecessary" start up software, which often includes these update checkers. These should all come from a single source and be handled much more like they are handled in Linux distributions or mobile app stores.

Comment Re:How can they afford it? (Score 1) 528

No, the schools that are free are compatible to community colleges in the USA so in that realm of classes you can take what they offer. Even then it is not free, Germany charges you around $2000 a year for the "free" colleges.

I'm not sure if you're referring to the ones in Germany or Europe in general. But at least in Finland, you only have a fee of some €80 / year, and I don't really think the community colleges compare to that. All of the courses are included. Although the new government is likely to add a fee for non-EU students in the coming years - it would likely be somewhere in the ballpark of €500 / year. The fee includes also health care in the YTHS (or FSHS in English; basic health services are free of charge; dental check-ups are free of charge and filling a cavity, for example, is typically some €20).

How can the state afford this and public health care? We have higher tax rates. How can we afford the taxes? We don't pay crazy amounts for private schools and private health care.

Comment Re:49 (Score 1) 76

Therefore I think each drive has to be chosen individually because with only 80 total positions the chances of any given drive playing consecutive semitone-spaced correct pitches would be small. So it would seem they've gone through a bunch of drives selecting the ones that have a track position that's nearest to each desired pitch to make up 49 semitone-spaced notes.

Actually no, since the frequency is not a property fo the drive and it actually doesn't have anything to do with the number of positions either. The frequency depends on the rate at which the drive head is moved. Most of the controllers used to have a software-controlled setting called "Step Rate Time" (or SRT for short) for controlling this frequency. But there are some drive-related characteristics that defines for example how quickly the motor can step and also what kind of resonant frequencies the drive generates. That mostly defines the usable frequency range for each drive.

Comment Re:Metro UI (Score 1) 223

You can replace that single color with a background image. With a properly selected image, it actually looks very nice. And of course applications can implement their tiles in colors they want (and there are also ways to replace a majority of the default icons with custom icons).

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