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Comment This happened to me in Costa Rica! (Score 1) 553

I wrote "IT Consultant" on the immigration form when entering Costa Rica. To my surprise, the officer started asking what kind of failure a distinct clcking noise coming from the hard drive is. I was impressed that they seemed to have upped the ante on immigration checks!

Turns out that his kid's computer was doing the clicking, and he was desperate for some information on what to do. Nice guy!

Pura Vida.

Comment Re:This is stupid (Score 1) 161

Well, according to the RDS standard, there are different RDS channels and priorities. There's even one for 'catastrophes'.

And, while I agree that drivers should put more attention on what's happening around them, as the article states, the really good sound insulation of modern cars does reduce the effectiveness of ambulance's sirens. So IMHO, this RDS 'hack' could really help a bit.

Comment The Demo looks very underwhelming (Score 3, Informative) 43

The Demo looks like it's behind state-of the art tech quite a bit. Their hand-tracking was abysmal (the years-old LeapMotion seems way more precise and quick), the latency was noticeable even under the presumably perfect conditions, HoloLens does the 3D tracking better it seems, and any Android phone can do better graphics with a cheap VR viewer.

It might be impressive that this unit is all self-contained, but this really doesn't seem state-of-the-art at all!

Comment Why did the XMPP/Jabber open protocol fail? (Score 1) 60

A couple of years ago, I was very hopeful that open chat protocols would win - we had Google Talk, WhatsApp, etc. using XMPP (the Jabber protocol) behind the scenes. Some allowed federation (server-to-server connections, allowing inter-network messanges), some didn't. Google was opening libJingle for open source voice (and video?) chats. The demise of closed chat networks seemed imminent.

But somehow, everything went backwards, and now we have dozens of competing IM networks, all with their own incompatible apps and protocols, competing for users, yet again.
Anyone have an idea how that happened?

Comment cheap Arduino clones + meArm + mini servos (Score 1) 78

I used a cheap chinese Arduino clone, and had a (meArm laser-cut from acrylic. Combined it with some very cheap mini-servos from Aliexpress, and I had a very basic robot-arm.
AliExpress is awesome for these electronics things - worldwide free shipping, and the prices are really ridiculously cheap sometimes.
You can then code up some basic code in the Arduino that lets you remote control the servos from a PC with the programming language of your choice (I use perl).
After that, you can e.g. add a 5$ webcam to your computer, to combine your robot arm with basic computer vision, or add some seonsors to the arm, and so on.

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"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson