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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Feel About Recording Your Entire Life?

Anderson Council Re:My rule has always been "record nothing" (379 comments)

This is also a fair point. To each their own to be sure. I admitted up front I'm a bit paranoid about recording things anyway.

I'll make the same argument though regarding the extended (and older generations) of the family --- those memories are being filtered by someone else. My uncle (deceased) is a larger than life figure in my mind due to the way my father would recall his antics. In my case, I love this image of the worldly playboy for whom anything he touched turned to gold, musician, artist and philanthropist. I suspect his actual life was more mundane, but boy don't let truth get in the way of telling a good story :).

Personal bias though... I'm really into the meta-memories; I can totally respect the desire to know the real person as well. Just not my thing.

--
~AC

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Feel About Recording Your Entire Life?

Anderson Council My rule has always been "record nothing" (379 comments)

So maybe take it for what it's worth. I'm a bit of a tin-foil hat wearing type.

I understand exactly what you're thinking about here, but I'm a huge fan of not second-guessing the universe too much. I have such wonderful memories of my own youth...all seen through the rose coloured lens that is time, and frankly I suspect my memories are better than the real thing was. Better the only record I can muster is my own rose-tinted view of things. Every once in a while I remember the excessive dumb-assery that accompanied the great memories and shudder. I don't need a record of that.

Thus why I don't like recording anything to begin with. If it's worth remembering, you'll remember. If not, who cares. Nothing we do today will change the fact that in five billion years this planet will be a burnt cinder hurtling through cold space...yeah, that VHS recording of my first child's birth is really something to cherish. Actually, it's pretty freaking gross and pollutes the otherwise overwhelming emotion I can remember from that day. It's like I was there.

On the upside, I leave little evidence for others to use against me later ;). One person's way to remember the good times is another person's ammunition to strike at you with when you're down.

--
~AC

about a year and a half ago
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Android Rules Smartphones, But Which Version?

Anderson Council Re:Android version fragmentation is google's fault (298 comments)

It's a bit more complicated though. It's not just the carrier, but the phone vendor as well. There are potentially multiple layers of crap you have to navigate from the "free Android" Google makes available to your handset, assuming you aren't running a Nexus device.

I kind of understand it too (not that I like it). What motivation does the phone vendor even have to work on updating for older handsets they no longer sell? Almost none. You might see an update after a handset is discontinued, but you certainly won't be seeing them much a year or more out. Then add the carrier crap on top of it and it can become a mess. That being said, I don't mind so much as although I own a better phone for daily use, I did buy a super-cheap Android 2.3-based device just recently as a cell phone for when I travel in the US and I'm thrilled to have it. A higher-end, maintained, current device would have been prohibitive for that kind of use. So 6 of one, half dozen of the other I guess.

No question it would be nicer if Google controlled the OS distribution like Apple does; however, if they did that originally I doubt it would have been as embraced by the handset makers. The Nexus devices seem to be getting some traction though so perhaps we'll see a new trend. That would be nice :).

--
~AC

about 2 years ago
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Apple Patent Points To iMac Touch Running OS X and iOS

Anderson Council Interesting to see where this is going... (239 comments)

Avoiding the meaningless baiting and religious zealotry that brings nothing to this conversation...

I'm a long-time linux user (since pre-1.0 Slackware), but have presentation needs that I personally prefer some software support for. Thus I use a presentation package --- PowerPoint typically. For a long time I would run linux on my laptop and dual-boot windows when I needed to do presentations. The nature of my work and personal preference requires the use of a Unix-based OS to get anything meaningful done.

I first migrated to the Mac when I noticed times had changed and they had built something I had always thought they should do every since they bought the NeXT properties --- tart it up to look sufficiently as they want it to, but leave the Unix underpinnings for the developer/power user crowd (NeXT was great for that --- all the Humanities people I knew that used it had no idea there was a terminal on the machine and loved it...the fact there was a terminal meant I loved it too =). With office available on the Mac, giddy-up - I get the machine I want without dual-booting. Great!

I've always had a worry in the back of my head that my happiness with Macs would be transient --- that as the platform regained traction they would start screwing with it in ways that are unfriendly to the unix crowd. So far, so good, but ever since the iPad I have been concerned they would push toward that being their OS rather than the full-blown OSX we have currently. I do understand the points people make about how developers need a development environment so the desktop OS won't be going anywhere, but that clearly isn't necessarily the case: no reason they can't build a suitable development environment for the more restricted OS, or simply leave it to developers to cross-compile. Bottom line is my utopian "main-stream unix-based OS that is friendly to the non-power user" may well be at risk.

So fine - it's their company, they'll do what they want and probably make oodles of money doing it. But it will ultimately push me back onto linux full-time, and I'll probably just suck it up and learn to live with PDF presentations or OpenOffice as I have no interest in going back to a dual-boot solution...I'm getting too old I guess :).

It will sadden me a little though as in spite of some of the vendor lock-in that Apple tries to encourage, I have been happy using their products and have built up a bit of an ecosystem I enjoy using. I realize I (we?) are not really the market they are concerned with dominating, but it's a shame they jettison the "win-win" product I feel they had in keeping both the unwashed masses and the developer/power user happy with what is available.

Maybe good for Linux longer-term though. We are light years from where we were a decade ago in terms of user-friendliness of the system. Maybe this can be a tipping point and we'll end up with a "win-win" free OS which would be very liberating for everyone involved =).

--
~AC

more than 4 years ago
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Embedding Video In a Site For iPhone/iPod?

Anderson Council Re:MPEG4 (68 comments)

Try MPEG Streamclip: http://www.squared5.com/

It's free (but not open source); I've been using it for years and am quite happy with it. It has a slew of preset "iPod" export options which are excellent starting points for transcoding stuff to dump into iTunes (and thus a iPod/iPhone) --- you'll also have to refer to Apple's documentation (which I'd have to search for the link...you can google too I'm sure =) if necessary as iPods have limits to things like the bitrate they'll play back, and don't support B-Frames, etc.

If you run afoul of legal h.264 which exceeds the spec for the iPod hardware it won't sync to the iPod so there is a limit to the bit rate/quality you can practically achieve for iPod/iPhone consumption (if memory serves...never quote me, I could be high), but the software obviously lets you set all the options you'd like.

As a bonus, and for all I know Apple has improved their h.264 codec since I ran into this problem, the one MPEG Streamclip can use was *much* faster than Apple's.

--
~AC

more than 5 years ago
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Promising Blood Test for Alzheimer's

Anderson Council And that's the real rub... (91 comments)

It seems increasingly common for us to be developing tests for things we cannot treat anyway. I wouldn't argue that we shouldn't develop such tests, however the significance of the test's development is debatable at best. I would agree that I don't want to know whether or not I have risks for something I couldn't do anything about anyway. That sounds like a way to increase people's stress levels worring about something that may or may not occur (or even will occur with certainty, but at an unknown time in the future). Some will argue it's better to know, however I'm almost certain the only outcome of having test results like this available is insurance companies having a reason to say you have a pre-existing condition and screw you for coverage and/or rates. If you never knew you were at higher risk, you'd still end up with the disease (or not) but won't have been bent over in the meantime. I know which way I'd go (mind you I'm the sort of person who never wants to be lying under a bus regretting I've been eating tofu for dinner for years when I'd rather have had steak). -- ~AC

more than 6 years ago

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