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The $100 3D-Printed Artificial Limb

PSVMOrnot Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (86 comments)

The beautiful thing about this is that while such certification and testing may be required of manufacturers and distributors of such products, there is nothing that can be done to stop you from building one yourself or with a few friends.

There are others who have also traveled this path, and a number of open source designs available for anyone to have a go at: Robohand @ Thingiverse, Prosthetics @ Thingiverse

about 8 months ago

Geeks For Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries

PSVMOrnot Re:hrm (730 comments)

She serves as an important 'symbolic' head of state.

Yes, and we are all her "subjects", and pay for the upkeep of her properties and for state events in her honour. Most unsatisfactory.


It's a simple deal: She gets to keep her vast country-ruling powers, on condition she never uses them.

Don't forget all the free money from taxpayers, even though she is the richest woman in the country. Not sure about her but her son is a tax dodger too.

Whenever I hear the 'free money from taxpayers' argument, I feel compelled to point to the following: The true cost of the Royal family explained. Regardless of whether the stuff the article at the end of that link says about how much money they bring in for the UK is true or not, I'd still be quite happy paying the 65p per year to have a monarchy.

about 10 months ago

Geeks For Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries

PSVMOrnot Re:hrm (730 comments)

Brit here.

To answer this, let us first consider what the American President does: on the one hand there is a bunch of PR work and flag waving, on the other a bunch of keeping up with what's going on in the country,authorizing things and politicing.

In essence, the Queen handles most of the PR and flag waving, while the Prime Minister (a simplification in this case) handles most of the keeping up on things, authorizing and politicing.

Of course, the PM also does a bunch of flag waving and PR. The Queen also spends hours every day keeping up on what's going on in the country (and has done so for the past 60 years or so) so that she can discuss this with the PM in their weekly meetings. While the Queen may not have much recognized power anymore, a discrete comment of 'do you really think that is such a good idea?' from her will carry considerable weight.

Naturally, this is an over-simplification which glosses over things, and applies mostly to the UK rather than the other countries of which she is Queen.

about 10 months ago

DNA Sequence Withheld From New Botulism Paper

PSVMOrnot Re:It's Cost Benefit Time (182 comments)

any legitimate researchers can just email or phone the guy.

How does that work? "Hi, I'm John Smith and I'm legitimate researcher. Can you send me the DNA sequence please?" - something like that?

More along the lines of "Hi Dr Barash, I'm Dr. Smith. We met at that conference in Florida on terrifyingly deadly diseases last year... No, my colleague Dr Jones was the one who fell in the pool. Anyway, I saw your article on Clostridium botulinum in J. Infect Dis. and have a few ideas; would you be willing to meet and discuss a possible collaboration?".

about a year ago

DNA Sequence Withheld From New Botulism Paper

PSVMOrnot Re:Depends On The Likelihood Of An "Antidote" (182 comments)

You realize this is about the paper. There is nothing to stop his colleagues - who he happens to know have a suitable lab and skills - from calling up and asking for the info. This just lets him choose who gets this dangerous piece of knowledge

about a year ago

DNA Sequence Withheld From New Botulism Paper

PSVMOrnot It's Cost Benefit Time (182 comments)

It's a national security threat. There are antitoxins to regular botulism.

This guy is right, by keeping the DNA Sequence out of the paper it prevent ye-random-crazy from having a go at synthesizing some. On the other hand, it doesn't stop research into cures, because any legitimate researchers can just email or phone the guy.

For those of you who haven't been in academia; part of your job is knowing who the leading guys in your field are. This new stuff is nasty, so it makes sense to secure it behind a 'have I heard of this guy' and 'what has he done lately' check, if only to make sure you don't have an accidental outbreak.

about a year ago

I'd prefer my money be made of ...

PSVMOrnot Re:I don't care (532 comments)

Back in ye olden days currency was backed by gold, or other goods. In this modern age of fiat currency currency is backed by the economy of the society which issued it. That is to say, the value of the GBP is that with about six of them (£6) you can get a relatively unskilled minimum wage worker to do an hour's worth of work for you. With £10-20 of them you can get the same hour or so's work from a range of increasingly skilled professionals.

If you are interested in this, then you might want to read Making Money by Terry Pratchett

about a year ago

Google Outage: Internet Traffic Plunges 40%

PSVMOrnot Re:How many people don't know a 2nd search engine? (352 comments)

Out of interest, do you have a way of automatically failing over to a self hosted version of the scripts if google is for some reason unavailable?

1 year,28 days

Google Outage: Internet Traffic Plunges 40%

PSVMOrnot Re:How many people don't know a 2nd search engine? (352 comments)

The trouble is that Google that what you see as Google's services is only the tip of the iceberg. To most people Google is search, Gmail, Youtube, etc. What they don't see is the GoogleAPI javascript stuff they host which is used by hundreds of sites all over the net. Try surfing with noscript for a while and see what effect it would have on you.

1 year,28 days

HP To Package Leap Motion Sensor Into — Not Just With — Some Devices

PSVMOrnot Re:Tactile feedback (54 comments)

Seems like it would be better than a keyboard for, say, learning sign language.

Yes! That! The right technology in the right place, rather than just because it's shiny.

about a year ago

HP To Package Leap Motion Sensor Into — Not Just With — Some Devices

PSVMOrnot Re:Tactile feedback (54 comments)

For basic typing, which is only one specific case, swype comes close to being suitable. However, swype is still limited. It guesses what you are typing based on a weighted dictionary of common words. While it may be fairly accurate it is still only a guess. Add to that it will not be able to handle uncommon words or symbols as well.

In other words: programming on one of those is a pain. Accurately entering lots of numbers is a pain. Playing Doom would be a pain.

To sum it up: swype may be good for inputting basic text on capacitive touchscreen devices - and this may be enough for 90% of people - but it doesn't hold a candle to a keyboard in many other areas.

All that said, that was still only one case: text input/keyboarding. Don't forget all the others.

about a year ago

HP To Package Leap Motion Sensor Into — Not Just With — Some Devices

PSVMOrnot Tactile feedback (54 comments)

People keep coming up with these nice shiny user interface devices, but they always seem to forget how important tactile feedback is.

Sure I can type on a touchscreen keyboard, but it takes twice as long, because I have to actually look at the screen and check that a) it has noticed I am typing, and b) it has correctly recognised what I had intended to type. With a proper physical keyboard I can pick up such information purely by proprioception, audio and tactile feedback.

The same sort of issue applies with any sort of hand waving interface: there is a much greater potential for the computer getting it wrong, and it takes longer to recognise & fix it when it occurs.

Untill these things can be made as reliable as a physical push button I think people should be a lot more careful where and what they use them for.

about a year ago

The Search Engine More Dangerous Than Google

PSVMOrnot Re:astounding that defaults are not tougher (210 comments)

1 2 3 4 is no less secure than 4 t & q, mathematically speaking.

Only in the naive combinations case, when we discard the priors.

In other words, the probablility of 1234 being the password is not just 1/num_possible_combinations, but also the probability of 1234 being the default chapter AND the default password not having been changed.

about a year and a half ago

Gartner Says 3D Printers Will Cost Less Than $2,000 By 2016

PSVMOrnot Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (170 comments)

Sorry 3D printer makers, but these will always be for a very niche market, never mainstream.

I imagine much the same was said back when Wozniak was working on the Apple I and Apple II computers

Sure, while it's still a fernickerty process requiring some skill it'll be niche. When it's developed to be quicker, reliable and more accessible then I think we'll see them becoming more mainstream.

about a year and a half ago

Oculus-Alike: Build Your Own Virtual Reality Headset

PSVMOrnot Oblig. XKCD (23 comments)

The obligatory XKCD link

The contents of which, incidentally, will be one of the first things I do in the event of getting an Occulus rift

about a year and a half ago

Google Removing Ad-Blockers From Play

PSVMOrnot Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (337 comments)

(From a Linux geek still happy with a "dumbphone", but considering Android)

Can you use Android without serving yourself up to Google?

It is difficult, but possible. Just.

Is it true that you have to have a Google account to start up your phone?

No, but without a google account you cannot use their app store, and without an account of some sort somewhere you cannot use the calendar. I personally have setup a Zarafa server with Z-push to mimic an Exchange with active-sync. Using that allows me to use the calendar and sync my email, contacts and calendar without using google at all.

Can you (easily) install apps by just downloading them to your computer and then transferring to the phone?

That depends. If they are apps from someone who has realised that Google Play is not required, and just distributes the APKs then sure, easy as pie. If they are apps that are distributed solely via Google Play then, no, not easily.

You can however install them on another android device and use something like APK Extractor to copy them to install on your phone. I keep one of my old android phones for this purpose

Do you have to give up your credit card info and name/address to sign up for the Google app store? (In light of the recent story that app developers get all your info, I don't know if I want every 2-bit app to get that info. The info itself could be worth more than the 99 cents for the application.)

No. I haven't had to at least. I would warn you though that if Google have this information from another source (i.e. Google wallet or whatever they call it) I wouldn't put it past them to 'helpfully' fill it in for you

Also, do free apps also get your personal information?

Not to my knowledge. Only the paid app get your info afaik.

Any hints or links re: using Android without the all-seeing eye?

Builtin app replacement recommendations?

The first thing I tend to do with an android device is root it, and install a custom ROM. Typically Cyanogenmod, but sometimes others. I would recommend you have a good look to see which devices have the best developer community before you buy.

Second, if you don't have an exchange server available, set one up yourself on a machine you tend to leave on in your home network. That will provide most of the functionality you'd be missing by not having a google account tied to your phone. (If you are feeling adventurous you could set up a VPN and have secure access to this anywhere.

Apps wise, go grab one of the OpenStreetMap apps, which will have you covered for maps and route planning. Grab something like EStrong File manager so you can access network shares. And finally, grab something like ConnectBot, so you can ssh into your machines.

I think that pretty much covers my setup

about a year and a half ago

State Rep. Says Biking Is Not Earth Friendly Because Breathing Produces CO2

PSVMOrnot Re:Cars produce more (976 comments)

In other news: Congressman tried biking in college, but didn't exhale.

about a year and a half ago

Play Wii, Become a Better Surgeon

PSVMOrnot Re:This is a pilot study - but not the only one (55 comments)

I suspect the game time contributed significantly to the positive results, but as the TED talk explains, we still are trying to understand which game aspects are the good and which are the bad.

That is pretty much the point I was making; the paper shows quite nicely that their intervention does help, but they haven't enough data to say why it helps with any great certainty. If they know why then they can focus on that part and possibly make it even more effective, or incorporate that facet into other methods.

btw... how does one get involved in a study to play video games? and can I get paid for it?

Yes, you can get paid for it, and look to your nearest university's psychology department. They tend to advertise current studies in posters around the campus and university job agencies (i.e. those aimed at getting students some part time work).

They won't always be playing computer games; from what I have seen there tends to be a range of topics, including things such as "watch this and press a button when", "eat this chocolate then do this" and a fair bit of "fill in this survey". Some of them include "and then let me MRI scan your brain" for flavour.

about a year and a half ago


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