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Comment It's about that time (Score 1) 62

A company gets to a point where they're so successful, they just have to jump the shark and ruin their success.

Becoming hostile* towards your most loyal customers seems like a pretty good way to do that.

* Advertising is inherently hostile; if a user asks for a recommendation, that is not advertising.

Comment Re:Unlikely (Score 1) 232

The site was destroyed in some construction project. Before 1995.

There will be no new samples from this site ever. The site does not exist any more. That is why the field is called "salvage" archaeology. Whatever you get (including records) is all there will ever be.

Well, maybe. The freeway berm hadn't been completely uncovered before the main part of the freeway needed to go in.

More to the point: Have you ever been to San Diego? We have huge canyons, valleys, and hills all over the place even just within the official city (proper) limits. I guarantee with more ground penetrating radar or other scanning techniques there are other samples waiting to be found.

Comment Re:Missing option: None (Score 1) 171

Voice input has its place.

"Navigate to the UPS store on Princess."

"When does the LCBO close tonight?"

"New appointment for tomorrow 3pm, code review."

"Reply ok, see you then."

Each of these is significantly faster than inputting the request with a touchscreen, and much safer while driving. In the winter, voice control means no taking off gloves or even taking your phone out of your pocket.

It's just another tool, and on some devices, it actually works surprisingly well.

Comment For fuck sakes (Score 4, Informative) 223

It's bad enough having to wade through all of the uneducated mouthbreathers and their "HEALTH GOODNESS WELLNESS NOW!!11" anti-science garbage sites.

Do we really need to see more garbage science on /.?

If you want to know the risks of aspartame (spoiler alert: there are none unless you've been diagnosed with phenylketonuria), consult legitimate scientific bodies, like the NHS or Health Canada.

Comment Re:User's need to take responsibility too. (Score 1) 224

The best thing we can do is to resist the pressure to upgrade our gadgets. No we don't need to upgrade every year and no we don't need the new shiny gadget that will be put in the dump in a few months. The fix starts with us.

I hate to say it, but I think we've already lost this battle.

I run a Galaxy Note 3, and have done so since about its release date back in Sept 2013. For me, it's flawless - 4 monster CPUs, a great OLED screen, thermometer, barometer, hygrometer, great camera (with 4k video), LTE/MiMo, running CM13 (Android 6.0.1). I have no reason or desire to upgrade. None. I'll still be using this phone for 3 or 4 more years unless I break or lose it.

Here's the trick: I'm on my third replacement battery.

This behavior costs the incumbent manufacturers money, and they have put a stop to it by gluing batteries into devices. They all do it now. It's disgusting. And we allow it. And don't be surprised if they start chipping and authenticating the batteries in the future.

This is the battleground, and very few people seem to understand it. Gluing batteries into phones encourages users to replace them at least every two years (as they typically start just long enough to last a day, and after two years, can't do that anymore). Replacement is mandatory, for many users, after 3. Forget about 5, 6, or 10 years.

The practice should be illegal as it is a huge waste of resources, recycling or not.

Comment Re: How to copy? (Score 1) 169

Easiest answer here is for the US gov't to mandate minimal acceptable response times for chip banking transactions. There's precisely no reason why it should take longer than a second or two to authenticate any consumer debit. If it takes longer than that, the bank's systems are broken and should be fixed before they're allowed back on the network.

Everywhere else in the world, chip transactions (including a roundtrip to the bank) happen very quickly.

Comment Re:heat treat (Score 1) 78

Sure working outdoors will make you lose some salt through sweat, but unless you're crossing a desert on hard rations that's doing you more good than harm.

More than that. If you're working all day in the hot sun and only drinking water, you're at real danger of heat cramps, followed by heat exhaustion and something worse.

You don't need *much* salt, but if you're sweating all day you need SOME. Gatorade or another electrolyte solution is carried on ambulance rigs in hotter areas for just this purpose.

Comment Re:They could have done better with the data (Score 4, Insightful) 344

We found that driving performance of both younger and older adults was influenced by cell phone conversations. Compared with single-task (i.e., driving-only) conditions, when drivers used cell phones their reactions were 18% slower, their following distance was 12% greater, and they took 17% longer to recover the speed that was lost following braking. There was also a twofold increase in the number of rear-end collisions when drivers were conversing on a cell phone.

Hardly an increase of 10,000% as the OP suggests.

Driving while talking on a speakerphone/headset is worse than driving without talking to someone. Also, driving while tired is worse than driving while not tired, and oblivious drivers are worse than non-oblivious drivers. As usual, the devil is in the details.

Comment Re:They could have done better with the data (Score 0) 344

Once a phone call is initiated it poses little or no risk as it continues. If I start a phone call while I'm at a stop light and continue with it I'm really not posing any additional danger to anyone. By comparison taking your eyes off the road to read and write a text message is inherently dangerous any time you are attempting to drive while doing so.

Ironically, the initial justification for cell phone bans (before the era of smartphones) was the exact opposite. Cell phones with physical buttons were easy to dial with, could be done by touch many times, and scrolling a linear list of contacts was easy. The "concern" was that an emotional call (or any call at all) would be distracting in a way that listening to the radio wasn't. This is why other "fiddling with things" tech, even available then, wasn't included in the ban here in CA. (I'm talking about things like dedicated GPS receivers, and classic iPods.)

Text messaging alone didn't seem to really take off until the early-mid 2000s in the US outside of certain circles.

Nowadays, of course, it's almost completely the opposite. Phone calls are rarer, and your mobile device is multifunction and used for all sorts of things by the broad populace on a regular basis.

I have to generally agree with the grandparent/first post though. If EVERYONE is doing it regardless, the draconian law should be changed so something more meaningful and fairer to enforce. I'd say more people are breaking the cell phone law than are breaking speed limits -- and that's something. In CA you're not allowed to have your cell in hand even stopped at a traffic light which (as annoying as it is to have to honk at someone that the light's changed) not as much harm as that ticket would seem to imply.

My suggestion: "special circumstances" for injury accidents and reckless driving / moving violation crimes with hands off the wheel and a renewed emphasis on "Don't do distracted driving" vs "Don't look at your cell phone". Let's be realistic, and we'll have much more compliance.

Comment Re:Define phone use (Score 1) 344

They include talking hands free and using the GPS as phone use.

I figured as much. So, essentially, the study is irrelevant and worthless. GPS use increases safety behind the wheel, where texting decreases safety. So what's the net?

I suspect this oversight wasn't made by accident.

Software

New Approach To Virtual Reality Shocks You Into Believing Walls Are Real (vice.com) 59

A team of researchers from Germany's Hasso-Plattner Institute is trying to find an effective way to trick the mind into thinking a virtual object or wall is real. They have developed a new device that "sends little electric shocks to sensors on your arms that stimulate your muscles whenever you press against a wall or try to lift a heavy object in virtual reality," reports Motherboard. From the report: The team's main goal was to create this illusion as cheaply as possible. Their contraption, seen in the video above, consists of little more than an electric muscle stimulator stuffed in a backpack, the sensors, and a Samsung GearVR device accompanied by motion trackers. In other words, if you've been turned off by the clunky headsets of the contemporary VR experience, this probably won't do much to win you over.

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