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Comment Re:People probably realized.. (Score 1) 192

I can see a lot of uses for a smartwatch:
  • The Apple watch can unlock my computer when I'm next to it and lock it again when I move away.
  • Apple Pay on the watch looks like it might actually be more convenient than getting the card out of my wallet - on a phone it doesn't.
  • A two-factor auth device that I carry around with me on my wrist sounds useful.
  • Calendar appointment reminders without having to get something out of my pocket.
  • More convenient map / direction display to glance at while cycling.
    • There are probably a lot more. The problem is that current smartwatches are like early-90s Nokia smartphones. All of the basic ingredients are there, but the technology isn't up to the vision. A decent smartwatch would be about 5mm thick, have a battery that lasts a few days, charge via induction from a thing I can leave on my bedside table, have always-available network connection without a smartphone, and be waterproof and rugged enough to survive frequent knocks. Give it another 5-10 years and we might get there...

Comment Re:of course the do! (Score 1) 38

I wouldn't be surprised if there's also a much more direct feedback loop for Netflix-produced content (though HBO is probably similar). Think about how a normal TV show is created:
  1. Someone has an idea. They persuade a studio to fund a pilot.
  2. The studio takes a loss on the pilot and shops it around to TV channels.
  3. The TV channels evaluate it and decide the demographics that will watch it and if a large enough segment of a profitable (i.e. high income, low impulse control) of the population might like it, they commission the series.
  4. The studio produces the series.
  5. The channel sells ads.
  6. If the ad purchasers think that the ads are worthwhile (via a complex indirect feedback mechanism involving tracking sales against projections) then they'll be happy and the studio will renew the show (unless a new show that could possibly make more money in the same slot comes along).

Now compare that to Netflix.

  1. Someone has an idea. They persuade a studio to fund a pilot.
  2. Netflix decides that people might like it and funds the full series.
  3. As soon as the show is available, Netflix records how many people watch it, how many didn't finish an episode, and what the review score distribution is from the subset of people that bother to write reviews.
  4. If it's popular, Netflix funds another season.

Which of these is more likely to produce shows that lots of people want to watch?

Comment Re:Scripts on web pages, take ages to finish page. (Score 2) 274

don't run an ad blocker and I see the behavior OP complained about every day .

Yes, that was my point. It's the ads, you see. In case it's not clear, the problem you're having? It's the ads. They're what's causing that problem. The ads. In case it wasn't clear.

Comment Re:Accessibility options (Score 3, Informative) 274

But the people who became web designers were formerly page layout designers. They revolted. They were used to printed paper, where they controlled everything the reader saw - fonts, font sizes, text wrap around photos, columns, etc. Their ego couldn't stand ceding some of that control to the reader, so they fought tooth and nail to bring that control back to themselves.

In the early days this wasn't true. Good print designers know how to choose fonts and whitespace that will scale properly and keep a nice layout as you scale font size up and down. It was the managers and PMs, insisting that the web page look exactly like they wanted, on every monitor, like it was a magazine page. "The name of the company can't be smaller than 2 inches, the branding spec says so!" "On what size monitor?" "Don't bother me with your geeky trivialities!".

The "designers" willing to put up with that shit gradually drove out the old heads who knew what actually looked good. Now fashion has replaced 3 centuries of science about legibility.

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 1) 459

The fact that the participation of women varies hugely between cultures (for example, in India, Korea, Israel, Iran, and Lithuania, Romania, it's a lot higher) implies strongly that external factors are far more of a reason why we have so few women than anything biological.

Only in the most shallow analysis.

In many countries, a software development job with a multinational corp is the best job you can hope for unless your parents are politically connected. Better pay and batter status than doctor or lawyer. Here in the US, that's not true, and so women talented enough to pursue the best job around do something else like doctor or lawyer (or vet, which is a better job than doctor these days after malpractice insurance).

Based on my unscientific survey of quite a few interns from India, the vast majority of them entered the field of software development "because my parents chose it for me", male or female. You get that in the US occasionally for doctors or lawyers, of course.


Internet is Becoming Unreadable Because of a Trend Towards Lighter, Thinner Fonts ( 274

An anonymous reader writes: The internet is becoming unreadable because of a trend towards lighter and thinner fonts, making it difficult for the elderly or visually-impaired to see words clearly, a web expert has found. Where text used to be bold and dark, which contrasted well with predominantly white backgrounds, now many websites are switching to light greys or blues for their type. Award winning blogger Kevin Marks, founder of Microformats and former vice president of web services at BT, decided to look into the trend after becoming concerned that his eyesight was failing because he was increasingly struggling to read on screen text. He found a 'widespread movement' to reduce the contrast between the words and the background, with tech giants Apple, Google and Twitter all altering their typography. True black on white text has a contrast ratio of 21:1 -- the maximum which can be achieved. Most technology companies agree that it is good practice for type to be a minimum of 7:1 so that the visually-impaired can still see text. But Mr Marks, found that even Apple's own typography guidelines, which recommended 7:1 are written in a contrast ratio of 5.5:1.

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 4, Insightful) 459

So if there were outside factors that biologically predisposed men and women towards different career paths or interests would you accept that those might result in something other than an even distribution of employment in certain vocations?

This doesn't make sense. The differences are either innate (biological) or the result of external factors. If they're the result of external factors (i.e. not biological) then they're likely to be amenable to change. The fact that the participation of women varies hugely between cultures (for example, in India, Korea, Israel, Iran, and Lithuania, Romania, it's a lot higher) implies strongly that external factors are far more of a reason why we have so few women than anything biological.

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 4, Insightful) 459

Outside factors are not an issue.

If every role model of a programmer you see until you're a teenager is male.

If computer programmer Barbie involves the girl doing some design, but the actual coding being done by boys.

If every children's TV show that includes both women and computers has the woman saying computers are hard and the man solving the problems.

If all of the clever boys at your school are encouraged into extracurricular activities involving computers, but the girls aren't.

I'm sure it would have no impact at all on you.

If you don't think that this is real, then sit down for a couple of hours this evening and watch two hours of children's TV. Count the number of male vs female lead roles. Count the number of times anyone builds anything and whether it's done by a male or female character.


Elon Musk's Mars Colony Would Have a Horde of Mining Robots ( 204

An anonymous reader shares an Engadget report: If it wasn't already clear that Elon Musk has considered virtually every aspect of what it would take to colonize Mars, it is now. As part of his Reddit AMA session, the SpaceX founder has revealed that his vision of a permanent colony would entail a huge number of "miner/tunneling droids." The robots would build large volumes of underground pressurized space for industrial activity, leaving geodesic domes (made of carbon fiber and glass) for everyday living. As a resident, you might never see the 'ugly' side of settling the Red Planet. Musk also explained how his colony would get to the point where it can reliably refuel spacecraft all by itself. Dragon capsules would serve as scouts, helping find the "best way" to extract water for fuel reactions. An unmanned Heart of Gold spaceship would then deliver the basics for a propellant plant, while the first crewed mission would finish that plant. After that, SpaceX would double the number of flights between each ideal Earth-Mars rendezvous (every 26 months) until the colony can reliably produce fuel by itself. Oh, and don't worry about today's Falcon 9 rockets being consigned to the history books. Although the main booster for interplanetary travel will "have an easier time of things," Musk believes that the final iteration of Falcon 9 (Block 5) could be used "almost indefinitely" if properly maintained. Production on Block 5 should fly in the next 6 to 8 months.

Comment Re:Statutory Damages (Score 1) 218

Any remedy that involves me getting into a lawsuit with a megacorp isn't going to work.

...and hence we are back to my original point that we need to level the playing field in the legal system between huge corporations and individuals because in order for any penalty to be applied there has to be a court involved to determine whether the corporation did perjure themselves.

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