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Comments

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Samsung's Position On Tizen May Hurt Developer Recruitment

Misagon The smartest smartwatch is dumb (73 comments)

I think that Samsung and Google are doing it all wrong.
They are still making smartwatches be "companion devices" to smartphones, yet you still have to write custom code to run on the device.

I think that the best type of smartwatch would be one that would act as a dumb terminal to the phone. Let it act as a second screen to the phone with a few button/touch actions plus a few sensors that feed data in the other direction. That would satisfy the most common use cases where a smartwatch would be useful. The others could be hard-coded not as apps but as system features.
This would be best for the developer, as you would only have to develop one app - not two.
This would be best for the user, as the program code on the "watch" could be simple you would need only a microcontroller that runs at tens of megahertz, and you get long battery life approaching what you are used to get in a watch.
But of course, such a device would be too cheap to make and Samsung would not be able to sell it at a premium...

7 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Misagon Re:Kinesis Advantage Keyboard (513 comments)

I would say that the Kinesis is in a class above any Microsoft keyboard in terms of ergonomics.

Not only are the hands slanted, but there is more separation between the hands.
It has low-force mechanical Cherry MX Brown key switches that are relatively smooth, where as the Microsoft keyboard's keys bind horribly on off-centre key presses. (Cherry MX key switches are all the rage among PC gamers right now... ;) )
The lack of numeric keypad is actually ergonomically better in that it allows you to keep your mouse closer to your centre.
The keyboard layout can be fully remapped (without drivers, stored in the keyboard) and it can record macros.

Drawbacks is that 1) you must touch-type properly using all fingers and that 2) the keyboard is quite high because of its curved key wells.
#1 isn't really a drawback in the long term though, as learning proper touch typing will make you a better typist overall. It is easier to learn touch-typing on a Kinesis than on a flat keyboard.

7 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Misagon Re:IBM 3720 terminal (513 comments)

I know people who collect vintage computing equipment that would kill you if they had seen you do that. (figuratively, of course)

7 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Misagon Re:Model M Keyboard FTW (513 comments)

Nah. The plastic nubs holding the barrel plate to the steel backplane tend to break one by one, and then the barrel plate cracks at the hinges. (it was moulded flat)
Enthusiasts often "bolt mod" their Model M keyboards with missing nubs: cut off the remaining nubs, drill up through the barrel plate and install proper nuts and bolts of steel instead. (not necessarily all in that order)

7 hours ago
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Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

Misagon Re:pen-tablets in late 1980s (266 comments)

Indeed. I remember laptops made for Microsoft's "Window for Pen Computing" which was a special version of Windows 3.11 ... and this was back in 1992.
There were different types of swivelling screens like on laptops made today for Windows 8.1. Lenovo Yoga and Dell XPS are not novel in the slightest.

2 days ago
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The Security of Popular Programming Languages

Misagon Re:APL (188 comments)

Large systems are still being done in APL.

The Swedish medical journal system TakeCare is one example. It handles practically all journals in the greater Stockholm area. It has sure had its slew of security problems, although I don't think that those could be attributed so much to the language as to sloppy sysadmins.

But hey... a few years ago I thought that nobody would use Erlang for anything significant, until it became a popular language for web services.

3 days ago
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How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

Misagon Re:Why not a "$0" only option (240 comments)

... and that option could be broken out into
- Those who download only free apps
- Those who don't see any need for downloading any apps at all

about two weeks ago
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Google Chrome 34 Is Out: Responsive Images, Supervised Users

Misagon Re:Nah...TL:DR (115 comments)

The only option would be "some other wavelet-based image format".

JPEG-2000 is completely different to ordinary JPEG. It is crippled in that the encoding is quite complex, has a tonne of different ways it can be encoded and is therefore difficult to do at speed. The software decoders that are not dead-slow are proprietary.
You wouldn't really win anything with using JPEG-2000.

about two weeks ago
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Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

Misagon Re:The Slide-to-Unlock Claim, for reference (408 comments)

I bet I could lift her computer. :)

Back in the '90s, I carried my computer and 14" CRT monitor to and from LAN parties many times.

What do you mean "not handheld"? I carried them in my hands on the subway.

about two weeks ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

Misagon Skimming is nothing new (224 comments)

I was surprised when I was a kid back 25 years ago, that my dad could skim through text very fast.
He worked as a journalist, and as such he was used to skimming through a lot of text to find the good bits that he could use as leads and sources for his articles.

The difference to the Internet today, is just that more people are exposed to larger amounts of many different types of text, just like "text-workers" like my dad was back then.

about two weeks ago
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Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?

Misagon Completely at the patients' discretion (157 comments)

I think the general rule should be that the patient should decide about his/her own health.
I have met and heard about people that have had various conditions that have opted out on diagnosis, because they want to opt out on a certain treatment. People who have had cancer multiple times and would rather die from cancer the next time than suffer through radiation therapy and chemo, or people who have had an implanted automatic defibrillator that has provided a very painful experience.

If any kind of medical test is done, be it genetic or otherwise, then the test results should automatically only be available to the doctor who had requested the test. Permission to /portions of/ the test results should be available to other doctors only if the patient gives explicit permission.

about two weeks ago
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What Apple's iWatch Can Learn From Pebble

Misagon Re:Stay out of the watch biz... (97 comments)

I see the smartwatch + handsfree headset as something that could be easier to use for many tasks than whipping up a smartphone, especially if the phone is larger than an iPhone.

Many tasks on a smartphone requires two hands if you are going to hold it safely or use multi-touch. A smartwatch requires no hand to receive a text/message, and one hand to touch/press a button.

You could leave your smartphone in the pocket or in your bag until you need a big screen or do a lot of input.

about three weeks ago
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How interested are you in Virtual Reality tech?

Misagon Re:VR again? (202 comments)

Off-topic about Doom's head bob: look up a video on John Carmack walking, and you will be enlightened. ;)

about three weeks ago
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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way

Misagon Re:Rentals are too expensive (323 comments)

Streaming services are dependent on the distributors supplying them with movies. First thing to know about the movie industry and streaming is that the movie industry is conservative. Second that it is very possessive about its property.
This means that the movie distributors pretty much set the terms for the streaming companies and not in a way that is in tune with the times.
They dictate the time windows that movies will be available and often also the price at which it will be available to the consumer. Movie distributors often set these the same as for rentals of physical DVDs or VHS cassettes before that.
They also mandate the use of one of a few approved DRM schemes and other restrictions, and they are not so eager to allow downloads - and they could see large buffers as being that.

Next, you should know that online streaming is not cheap for the service. The servers and the networks cost real money.
That together with the remuneration to the movie distributors means that the profit margin can actually be quite small.

It has been a couple of years since I worked in the online movie streaming business, but I would be surprised if these things changed very much.

about three weeks ago
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UK To Create Alan Turing Institute

Misagon Re:about time (62 comments)

This new institute for spying tech is not the first research institute named after Alan Turing.

The Turing Institute was a laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Glasgow, founded in 1983 and closed down in 1994.

about a month ago
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Enlightenment E19 To Have Full Wayland Support

Misagon Re:Faster and smoother than X? (140 comments)

It is designed to have much less round-trip communication between program and server which was a performance problem that plagues X.

In other cases it does not necessarily make programs more responsive, but it is designed to avoid tearing and visible redraw.

about a month ago
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Interview: Ask Richard Stallman What You Will

Misagon Blackphone? (480 comments)

You (RMS) have said on numerous occasions that you don't use a cell phone because of privacy issues - that it can be used as a tracking device and underhandedly, for spying on its user.

What do you think of the "security-oriented" Blackphone? Secure enough for RMS?

about 2 months ago
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Interview: Ask Richard Stallman What You Will

Misagon The Tree-hugging Hippie License version 1.0 (480 comments)

If I were to publish my own software using a license that was like the GPL v3 except for a clause that said "This software may not be used by the military, the police or by any paramilitary or intelligence organisation, including the NSA", would that be a bad thing? If so, how and why?

(The subject line is just a joke. I'm a vegetarian and climate activist in real life and have been called "tree-hugging hippie" on more than one occasion.)

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?

Misagon There are other options that are cheaper (421 comments)

Instead of paying $1500 for Google Glass, why not make your own!
You'll need an old pair of sunglasses, a piece of cardboard, sticky tape and a felt-tip pen.

Remove the glasses from the glass frame, write "Punch Here!" on the cardboard and tape it to the upper part of the frame above the eyes. Ta da!

about 2 months ago
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Old cellphones, in my household ...

Misagon I don't use cell phones (171 comments)

I don't have any old cell phones, because I don't use cell phones, and I don't want to use cell phones.

I am appalled at how cell phones have made people into zombies.
They walk the streets very slowly with eyes focused on their tiny screens, stopping in street corners, in narrow entryways, in pathways in the supermarket and sometimes suddenly in front of me. They are a nuisance.
I once saved one of these zombie-women from being run-over by a train when she while texting walked out into a railroad crossing just ahead of the falling booms ignoring the klaxons and the flashing light.
She could have died if I had not stepped in, but she just ignored that she had been in real mortal danger and continued texting.

Then there is the radiation. Science has still not concluded enough for me that cell phone radiation in the normal doses you get from a cell phone would not do me harm. On the contrary, there are more and more paper being published on the subject proving yet and yet again that cell phone radiation is harmful to brain cells of lab animals, although with much smaller heads than we have. Nerve cells get stressed and die. There are even a hypothesis that the radiation itself could cause addiction to it, although there is quite a bit of tissue in the human brain that would absorb that radiation before it would reach the centre of the brain where it would have an effect .. or is there?

No, I choose not to become a zombie. Thank you.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Fans of original RoboCop movie recreate movie scene by scene

Misagon Misagon writes  |  about 2 months ago

Misagon (1135) writes "Our RoboCop Remake is a fan-made scene-by-scene comedy re-creation of the original RoboCop from 1987.

"As big fans of the original RoboCop, and as filmmakers and film fans admittedly rolling our eyes at the Hollywood remake machine, we've elected to do this remake thing our own way."

The fan-film is available for free online viewing at OurRoboCopRemake.com. It contains (fake) nudity, blood and gore making it definitely NSFW"

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