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Comment Re:Terrible (Score 1) 99

As one of those two people, it's pretty annoying, as it's the most useful feature of these devices. I switched to google's device for the shopping list specifically because it used Keep, which is much faster to startup than the Amazon Alexa app, which is where they put their shopping list. Now google is basically doing the same thing, eliminating the one advantage it had.

Comment Never use autofill (Score 4, Interesting) 126

This is the sort of thing why I've never let any sort of browser thing do autofill. I have a password manager on my phone and when I need to, I look it up and *type* it in. A minor nuisance, but for frequently used passwords, I then don't need it as I actually remember them. The others are by definition infrequently used.

Though I have to admit, it's the most used feature of my phone. It also means I don't have to worry about synchronizing across many different browsers and computers, or the lack of security having all that in multiple places.

Comment Re:Mom & Pop internet providers? (Score 4, Interesting) 115

As a sysadmin, speaking very unofficially, from a small regional provider, and who used to single-handedly run a small local isp (which is still a withering hosting service), fees and caps had ought to be clear up front, and network capacity reporting is not a big deal. It's something you'd better be monitoring anyhow.

Comment Re:Maybe voice activation is overrated? (Score 1) 210

There are a few cases where it's really handy - the application I use most is the shopping list: while making stuff in the kitchen and noting I'm running low on something, I just sing out "add this to the shopping list" and it's done. Extremely convenient. I've also started using a dot as my alarm clock as it's easier to speak the time than to juggle the up/down buttons or even "alexa stop" than to groggily find the right button on the clock. I also use it where I don't have an alarm clock, e.g. reading, where I set an alarm to remind me it's time to go to bed (books are the biggest hazard to a full night's sleep!)

The voice interface is nearly trivial to use - I've written several apps, interfacing to my weather station and solar panels for example, and it's very convenient to "ask my weather station current temperature" or "how much rain we got today". That sort of thing is not going to be common though as you have to have a local server to get to the data.

The downside is things like my friends have too much fun putting weird things on my shopping list. The first thing I did was disable the ability to order things for just that sort of reason.

Comment A Black Art (Score 1) 274

I recently dipped into the 3D printing world with a $300 printer, and while it's a low end printer, from what I've read, the issues are common: getting a print to stick and work is the blackest of arts. It's a complex, finicky process to go from design (which most software is complex and non-intuitive; so far, I've found tinkercad to be the best, albeit limited), to slicing (generating the printing commands - Simplify3D seems to be a lot better than the free options) to actually getting the printer to work (the object has to stay stuck to the bed until it's done, and the printer feed must not gum up). And it's slow. For something reasonably sized (e.g. a 100mm open cube), it can take half a day to print. It's a lot of fun when it works, but the value is primarily with people doing lots of real prototyping of small objects.

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