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Preferred smartphone screen size?

Savage-Rabbit Re:Phones getting too big .. (161 comments)

The obvious solution is to just get 2 devices. Get a 7 or 10 inch tablet for doing document editing, playing games, reading books, and get a 4 inch (or even smaller) phone for quick glances at email, actual phone calls, etc.

There are very few situations I can think of that I could bring a 6 inch phone with me, but that I could not bring a 7 inch (or even 10 inch) tablet and a 4 inch phone. However, there are many situations in my life where I really don't want to have to bring a 6 inch phone, yet still want to have a phone on me. For the price of a 6 inch phone that still doesn't quite cut it as far as tasks like document editing goes, you can get a 4 inch phone which does everything you need in a phone, and a 10 inch tablet that will wipe the floor in productivity related tasks with any smaller device.

That's what I did, I got a 10 inch tablet but dragging the damn thing around with me all the time got tiring. So I got a bag for it only to discover that my 13 inch MacBook fit into the same bag and was only marginally heavier so why bother with a 10 inch tablet? And besides having a 4-5 inch phone, a 10 inch tablet and a laptop is expensive. A 10 inch tablet won't fit into any pocket while the iPad Mini, for example is on the verge of being to large for stuffing into all but the largest pockets and it can't make phone calls. Some of the smaller Samsung tablets can double as phones but I don't like them. I'm going to get an iPhone 6+ phablet that will fit into my pocket and leave the laptop at home when I don't need it. A 6 inch phone is too big and uncomfortable to fit into a trouser pocket but it is still small enough that it will fit into a sweatshirt or coat pocket.

yesterday
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Preferred smartphone screen size?

Savage-Rabbit Re:Phones getting too big .. (161 comments)

for my girly little hands apparently.

I liked the size of the iPhone 5/5s. It was an ideal size (for me). This iPhone 6 feels a little big. Can't even imagine what the 6 Plus would feel like :\

Depends on what you want from a phone, if you only want a phone and e-mail/SMS terminal with emergency browsing capability and a nav app with a tiny map display then something the size of an iPhone 5/5s is fine. If, however, you want to do more like read e-books, edit documents, play games, etc... then a device the size of the iPhone 6 is at the lower end of the usable but a bit beyond the upper end of how big a phone should be. So the choice you have is a device that's the right size for a phone but a crappy size for a tablet or do you want a device that is a usable tablet but too big for a phone. The perfect mobile device has, what? something equivalent to a 15 inch or bigger display but is still physically no larger than a match box and those are irreconcilable demands until we are able to project holographic displays like they do in scifi movies. The Google glass is another take on this but I would prefer the holo displays. I suppose you could also go for the Borg solution and splice the device output through a wireless link directly into the optical nerve but I'm not that obsessed with the mobile lifestyle so I draw the line at surgery. Eventually this issue will be solved and probably with a technology none of us can currently conceive of at this moment.

2 days ago
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Preferred smartphone screen size?

Savage-Rabbit Missing option... (161 comments)

Actually I prefer my phones to have a screen diagonal of 4.95" but I could only choose diagonals <= 4.9 " or diagonals >=5.0" so I chose 5.0"-5.4" so I could post and complain about this outrageous dearth of choices.

2 days ago
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Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data

Savage-Rabbit Re:Cloud (145 comments)

That's selective quoting taken to the extreme. The GP was talking about the applications he'd be interested in. Do you know what he's interested in? I don't. But I do have a friend who escapes the Scottish winter every year to go searching for undiscovered orchid specieses in a Vietnamese rainforest. Now call me a pessimist, but I doubt he's going to get a 3G signal out there. What if he wants to check if a flower is a known species? He can do that within his area (the orchids) but he can't be expected to have an encyclopedic knowledge of all extant plant-life. Wouldn't it be nice if his mobile phone could flag up a potentially unknown species that he stumbles across, giving him to opportunity to take a sample back for analysis?

Yeah, that's pretty much what I had in mind. Take a photo of an orchid, compare it to a library of descriptors and get a near human accurate classification without routing the image through a super computer on the cloud. My use case was more like: With all networking on your device switched off, snap a photo of a plane and the app tells you that's a Virgin Airlines Boeing 737. Or: search a library of images for snaps that show one or more South African Air Force P-51Ds (including partial shots showing only, say, the rear half of the aircraft). Today we can probably do the "find me all photos that include a car" type searches on your garden variety PC with reasonable accuracy by using background processing but something like "find all photos that include a Fiat Type 135 "Dino" is future music, at least on consumer level hardware.

2 days ago
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Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data

Savage-Rabbit Computer vision... (145 comments)

... and despite recent claims to the contrary, we are no further along with computer vision than we were with physics when Isaac Newton sat under his apple tree.

That's true, I looked into object recognition for image classification by content. Face recognition is proceeding fairly nicely but doing stuff like just programmatically classifying/tagging images by whether they contain a car, airplane, house, tree, dog, mountain .... without even trying to do things like identifying the type of airplane/dog/car is pretty much undoable in any reasonable amount of time with human level accuracy needed on garden variety PCs and tablets which is the application I'd be interested in. The fastest and most accurate image classifier/tagger is still a human. Am still looking forward to they day that changes but I'm not sure that will be within my lifetime.

2 days ago
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Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

Savage-Rabbit Re:Nah, this is just stage 1 (324 comments)

When you start with "Reagan said..." you've already simplified beyond recognition.

Most anecdotes Reagan had of "this guy I know who could no longer help his children because of ____ " -- they were all completely made up. He got that bedtime story voice and a boatload of Bull -- and THAT sounds like a guy making sense and being authentic to a lot of fools. Reagan made a lot more sense before he sold out his Liberal rhetoric and started betraying actors for Hoover.

Does badmouthing a saint count as blasphemy? Ah! What the heck..... BLASPHEMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3 days ago
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Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

Savage-Rabbit Re:Real reason (324 comments)

Then they ought to restore Erzebet Bathory's castle and promote it as a tourist destination for lesbian Goths -- or is that too narrow a demographic?

More like the wrong demographic, for one thing there is no indication Erzebet Bathory was gay and secondly she preferred corn fed country girls for her grizzly beauty rituals so agricultural communities would be a more likely place to look for victims than towns and cities which is where you are most likely to run into lesbian Goths.

3 days ago
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Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

Savage-Rabbit Re:Nah, this is just stage 1 (324 comments)

Orban's regime borders on fascism, I wouldn't call it a democracy. His policies are a lot closer to those of Putin rather than classical fascism, though.

The term is neo-fascism...

3 days ago
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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

Savage-Rabbit Re:Yay :D (312 comments)

To get this, Apple doesn't need to know what the person typed.

Correct... for browser GUI design Apple doesn't need to know what they were looking for.

It would be the search engine provider who needs to know what the user typed, and based on what
they clicked --- if they found what they were looking for, and which result they found most relevant.

But the search engine provider doesn't need access to other information like what brand of mouse they were using, or which particular search box the user utilized.

Right!! And Google would never record your searches in a non ananomized history which you have to explicitly turn off in your google account.

5 days ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

Savage-Rabbit Re:Enfield .303? Wow!! I know these rifles. (331 comments)

To imagine the same weapon used so heavily in the tropics, mud and monsoon being noted for its reliability in Arctic conditions is amazing. But this is a very simple basic weapon. Even India is phasing them out, apparently.

Not really, all those late 19th century bolt action rifles were extremely reliable, that's why the bolt action is still the most popular rifle action in use today which says something about the soundness of Nikolaus von Dreyse's original design that first saw the light of day back in 1824. This type of gun has been used in the high Andes in S-America, jungles in Africa/America/Asia and deserts around the world. The German Mausers and Russian Mosin Nagants operated just as reliably in those places as the Lee Enfield and long as you had proper gun oil that didn't sieze the gun up in extreme cold they did well in the extreme Arctic too. Bolt action Enfields and Russian Mosin Nagants are still in widespread use by the Taleban in Afghanistan and Pakistan and througout the Middle East. I've seen these old guns in the hands of Hamas guerillas in the Gaza strip (At least one was a WWI Turkish Mauser by the look of it) and by rebels fighters in Arabia. People may think that's comical but in the hands of a decent marksman some of these old war horses will still out shoot a Government trooper armed with a brand spanking new M4 Carbine, G-36 or AK-47.

about a week ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

Savage-Rabbit Re: May I suggest (331 comments)

That is because you were using a cheap-ass thermoplastic/synthetic stock instead of a quality fiberglass/synthetic stock.

There are many bolt guns with similar functionality and better performance than the Lee-Enfield.

For example, the Remington 700P weighs the same as an Enfield, but has modern accuracy (0.5 MOA out of the box isn't uncommon), durability (not as effected by temperature swings), and is available with modern cartridges like 308 Win and 300 Win Mag.

Or there are rifles like the Ruger Gunsite Scout, while not combat proven, is cold weather hunting proven, offering a very lightweight package at aroun 7 lbs, 308 Win, better accuracy than the Enfield, a temperature resistant laminate stock, and back up irons.

Not trying to be condascending here, I'm just curious. How well do fiber glass stocks do at -40 C? I notice the only rifle you listed as cold weather proven still has a wood laminate stock. Personally I'm generally pretty liberal and open to new ideas but when it comes to guns I pretty much won't touch anything that doesn't have a wooden stock. It's partly because I detest plastic and partly because experience has taught me that plastics tend to get brittle at extremely low temperatures but I've never really taken a close look at fiberglass in that context.

about a week ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

Savage-Rabbit Re:I don't follow (369 comments)

So what's so "tomorrow" about change from Lucida to Helvetica, which impedes legibility, requires more screen space, and makes the GUI appear fuzzy? Is that the definition of "tomorrow" now?

More to the point how does changing from Lucida to Helvetica impede legibility, require more screen space, and make the GUI appear fuzzy? I can't say that I have noticed any of these world ending problems in decades of using the Helvetica font.

about a week ago
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OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

Savage-Rabbit Re:Desktop is dying we need a good Workstation OS (303 comments)

The issue I have with Windows 8, and OS X.10 is the fact that they are trying to make the OS into the next tablet/mobile OS.

No, they aren't. At least, not Apple.

They are making your Mac work with your iDevice more seamlessly. There's a pretty big distinction there.

Anyone claiming this is akin to Windows 7 -> Windows 8 isn't paying attention. For one, Apple has never (and still doesn't) ship a touchscreen Mac, so it would be quite ridiculous to put a touch-centric UI on OS X. OS X is still clearly ruled by the mouse / trackpad and keyboard, and will be for the foreseeable future for one very good reason - OS X is where the content for iOS is made, and iOS is where the content made on OS X is consumed.

That is the business model for Apple, and very close to what Google is doing too if you haven't noticed. They haven't exactly been whipping people to get Android onto laptops - that's what ChromeOS is for.

I agree, having used iPads with a bluetooth keyboard and regular Windows Laptops with a touch screen as well as regular laptops I have to say I prefer the old fashioned keyboard+touchpad combination when using any laptop irrespective of whether it runs Windows, Linux or OS X because I can keep my hands on the keyboard most of the time and move the cursor with my thumb or index finger. I find that browsing, for example, goes significantly faster on OS X than it goes on iOS even with a BT keyboard because the arrow keys don't work on iOS and I have to constantly move my hand from the keyboard to do stuff like pick an item from a drop-down list or scroll down a page because the arrow keys don't work for this stuff in iOS. Touch screen devices have their uses, they are great for reading, gaming, watching movies, etc. but touch screens are no substitute for a touchpad, at least not yet.

about a week ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

Savage-Rabbit Re:Cue slippery slope arguments now... (366 comments)

What about killing off girl embryos...

You can already observe the effects of that one in India and China where female infanticide and selective abortion is practiced for all kinds of reasons such as the need to pay excessive dowries, inheritance traditions and religious beliefs. The problem of ending up with too many single men is usually solved by kidnapping women in other parts of the country or in neighboring countries where people are less obsessed with stupid traditions that lead them to have nothing but male offspring and force-marrying the unfortunate women to their precious sons. In some regions of India like Bengal and Assam, for example, where the gender imbalance is fairly small the kidnapping problem is so severe that girls and young women cannot go anywhere unescorted for fear of being kidnapped by bridal procurement possies from neighboring regions where they have a large surplus of sons.

about two weeks ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

Savage-Rabbit Re:Scarier still.... (366 comments)

...what happens when they can detect which genes make you more likely to be a Republican.

The current gridlock in congress and the divide between conservatives and liberals will degenerate into a thermonuclear civil war?

about two weeks ago
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How English Beat German As the Language of Science

Savage-Rabbit German science... (323 comments)

One can dump on the Germans as much as one wants but both during WWI and WWII they matched and in some fields outdid the allies in technology and scientific research despite these boycotts, despite the isolation and despite the stultifying effect that the Nazi regime had on parts of the German tech sector which says something about the caliber of German science, scientists and engineers. As late as the 1950s the chief designer of North American Aviation went to night school in order to learn German so that he might study German aerodynamics research more in more detail. This resulted in the complete redesign of the aircraft that was to be come the world beating North American F-86.

about two weeks ago
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Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

Savage-Rabbit Re:If they are automating tech support, then good. (236 comments)

If those are tech support jobs, then they might as well automate them. The best I can tell those workers they hire over there have essentially no skills in the products they are supporting. They basically just read what the computer screen tells them to say or ask. As a customer, I'd honestly rather be talking to a machine as it would give me the same answers but might actually be at little easier to understand.

Great, now all the tech support "guys" are going to sound like Professor Hawking.

Relax, you only have to start worrying when the tech support "guys" start sounding like HAL 9000.

about two weeks ago
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Co-Founder of PayPal Peter Thiel: Society Is Hostile To Science and Technology

Savage-Rabbit Re:Society Is Hostile To Science and Tchnology (238 comments)

Yes, hostile to tchnology like spell checkers....

Spell checkers? Dang, it's not every day one gets Nazi'd by a Hogwarts graduate...

about two weeks ago
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Genes Don't Just Predict Intelligence, But Also How Well You Do In School

Savage-Rabbit Re:The high heritability of educational achievemen (154 comments)

...Did they factor in the socio-economic background of the parents, as in children of rich-folk get better education than children of poor-parents, and therefore do better, and are expected to do better, in exams.

Yes they did.

Did you bother to read the article, or did you expect someone to read it for you?

Read the article? You must be new here...

about three weeks ago
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Brits Must Trade Digital Freedoms For Safety, Says Crime Agency Boss

Savage-Rabbit Re:Leader quotation bingo (264 comments)

If enough people use encrypted communication, it will only be a matter of time before the use of encryption is made a crime.

Obligatory:
http://xkcd.com/504/

about three weeks ago

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