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The Challenges and Threats of Automated Lip Reading

elgatozorbas Re:HAL 9000 (120 comments)

Why not? Apart from the idea that lip reading may complement speech recognition and make it more reliable. Also it may be more useful in a loud environment, which is frequently the case when machines are around, btw. Or in cases where speaking up loud to a computer is not appreciated, such as in office environments. And if all of this would not be enough, note the title of this website: news for nerds. You want a machine to lipread because it CAN (maybe).

about two weeks ago

Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

elgatozorbas Re:No. (448 comments)

Could sophisticated military tanks and anti-aircraft missiles given or sold to countries like Iraq be equipped with a way to disable them if they're compromised, without opening them up to hacking by an enemy?

A tank with a kill switch?

On topic: who would buy such a device that can be disabled by others? And even if it is made for the "domestic" market: why be at risk that someone else hacks into your own stuff and disables it? The solution to this problem wasn't technical, but political.

about three weeks ago

You Got Your Windows In My Linux

elgatozorbas Re: What's wrong with Windows Server? (613 comments)

Even if I were to never even look at a single line of the source, the fact that it's availble to others adds value for me. I can go download a patch someone else wrote that fixes a bug MS hasn't bothered to fix. [...]

I am also in favour of Open source myself and get your point. However, after the OpenSSL bug, my belief in this "someone else" has significantly lowered. If too many people rely on "someone else" fixing a problem in his/her spare time you are worse off than when people are paid to fix closed source software. If the problem is important ($$$) enough, it wil be fixed.

about three weeks ago

A Look At the Firepick Delta Circuit Board Assembler (Video)

elgatozorbas Only a part of production (43 comments)

While this looks like an interesting and cheap device to populate empty PCBs, it is only a small part of the total sulution. The PCB has to be made, solder paste added (maybe this device could be extended to do so), and most importantly: heated. Of all these steps, the pick-and-place may be the least enjoyable, but also the one that _could_ be done manualy, if needed. Still, if this device saves two days of manual labor, it already pays itself.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

elgatozorbas Re:To answer the question directly (113 comments)

With all due respect: why is this modded insightful instead of the funny it was probably aimed at? Especially because the device can be destroyed by means currently available, such as the volcalo mentioned above. And simpler means too.

about 2 months ago

Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

elgatozorbas Apparently not a keyboard lover (544 comments)

All of what you say is true, except for your assumption that "there actually ISN'T that much demand" (citation?) and your condescendence on the people in want of a keyboard. I used to be very happy with my Sony Ericsson Xperia mini pro which was actually smaller be it a but thicker than most phones of its day. It could be small exactly because it had a separate keyboard and none of the screen had to be sacrificed for a virtual keyboard. This "more expensive" phone was sold for €200 at a time when iPhones were in the +€500 region. If the Applefolks are prepared to shell out such amounts for some fancy looks, why wouldnt keyboard lovers do so for a real feature? There need not be hundreds of models, just one Samsung, one LG would do. But apparently not.

No discussion on one point, though: the slide keyboard made it more vulnerable and eventually it broke down on me, after intensive use. On the other hand: its 512 MB internal memory was also becoming a hurdle, so one year later I would have needed to replace it anyway.

about 2 months ago

Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code

elgatozorbas Programming CAN be judged (89 comments)

They can understand how a toilet is cleaned, how a sale is made, how a 1099 is filled out, how a fire drill works, how a sandwich is put together, how oil is changed, etc... but Coding might as well be a dark art.

Disclaimer: I am in hardware myself and may completely miss the point here. However, our software/firmware folks do agile programming involving dividing programming problems into pieces which are assigned to programmers, followed-up on large whiteboards and being daily discussed in "scrum meetings" etc. (I may be confusing some concepts here but that is of less importance). The point being that your statement, that programming is some sort of unique dark-art-which-cannot-be-measured-by-managers, appears untrue to me and, honestly, rather pedantic. What these guys are doing is quite measurable. Maybe not by a silly measure like "lines of code", but by the measure of number of problems being solved, having a complexity that apparently everyone of them agrees on.

Indeed, the CEO doesn't know the exact details of how this works, but neither does he personally count the number of cleaned toilets.

about 2 months ago

Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

elgatozorbas Not a large improvement (238 comments)

According to wikipedia , normal black paint reflects 2.5%, making it 97.5% efficient, according to this metric. Going to 99.99xx is an insignificant improvement compared to the cost of ordinary black paint and this new stuff. I doubt highly that the bottleneck is in the reflectivity of the coating.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

elgatozorbas Cool but better do something else. (176 comments)

This is the type of stuff I used to find cool and tinker with 10 years ago. Nowadays, I value my time (a bit) more and prefer to dedicate it to other, more useful projects. Why waste time trying to run an old version of an OS that has been improved over the years? Processing power and RAM are dirt cheap. Even the small systems, like the raspberry pi support modern distros. It was cool to struggle with a slackware installation 10 years ago and succeed. Given enough effort and time, it can also be done on recent hardware but what does it prove? I would prefer to start a more useful and challenging project.

about 3 months ago

Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

elgatozorbas Re:Can the writings be read? (431 comments)

That has nothing to do with sloppyness. If you know how to teach writing, publish a book and harvest a noble price. (Strictly speaking, that should be spelled Nobel, as that was his name).

Then why don't you write Nobel prize in the first place? Your comment, on how bad writing should not be contributed to sloppiness is the first time I ever encounter this "noble prize". Also, "Strictly speaking" is completely out of place here. "Strictly speaking" we should also refer to "Murphy's law" and "Newton's law" instead of "muphries law" and "netwon's law", which no-one ever does anyway.

about 5 months ago

Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

elgatozorbas Re:Can the writings be read? (431 comments)

Classic: "My dog has no nose. How does he smell? Aweful." That joke relies on "smell" working as a verb and a adjective

This may be a detail in your explanation, but you are wrong. That joke relies on "to smell" meaning both to observe odors and to spread them. Apart from that, I agree completely with you. There is no good reason to "wrongify" languages, except laziness. Okay, go ahead and stop using correct grammar, but don't attribute this to some higher bullshit principle. The only reason for all this crappy writing is that people are to lazy to put in any effort. As a correct grammar contributes some redundancy, it eases the reading. (non-native English myself).

about 5 months ago

Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

elgatozorbas I am so confused... (431 comments)

How about grammar-nazis? Should they now be referred to as grammar-stalinists?

about 5 months ago

Danish Expert Declares Vinland Map Genuine

elgatozorbas Re:J. Lawrence Whitten... (210 comments)

Thanks for pointing out mistakes in his explanation. This allows other readers to see his statement in another light. But why "mod him to oblivion"? He offers a remarkable story. Why should others not be able to judge for themselves (taking into account your own comment)?

more than 5 years ago

The Amazing World of Software Version Numbers

elgatozorbas Re:w/r/t Windows (321 comments)

Making the parent's remark even more to the point.

more than 5 years ago

Sperm Travels Faster Toward Attractive Females

elgatozorbas Re:and what makes a female rat attractive? (347 comments)

More to the point, how can the researchers assess which female rats are "babes" and which ones are fuglies.

Easy enough. The "pretty ones" are being fucked more than the ugly ones.

more than 5 years ago

Cell Phones That Learn the Sounds of Your Life

elgatozorbas Re:Another use for this technology (121 comments)

How would this be an easy way to get random numbers? Why not just sample an analog noise source? Admittedly, I wasn't even aware of this apparent need for random numbers and the difficulty of getting them.

more than 5 years ago

US Adults Fail Basic Science Literacy

elgatozorbas Re:Aside from that... that isn't scientific litera (1038 comments)

You are completely correct in that. There is indeed a difference between knowledge (data) and reasoning. However, chances are that if you haven't got a clue whatsoever about numbers and orders of magnitude, that you won't reason very much either.

Most of the time when I read something related to physics, I like to do a rough calculation in my head to see if what is stated seems logical to me. Like how high the ocean level will rise when so many tons of ice melts on Antarctica, what efficiency can be reached with some new kind of solar cell (and whether this is spectacular or not), how long it would take an airliner to fly around the world, etc.

more than 5 years ago

Anyone Besides Zune Owners With New Year's Crashes?

elgatozorbas I had a crash, Old School. (480 comments)

Strange enough, the hardware (pavement) turned my firmware into software, and it took a long time to recover.

more than 5 years ago

My top-level book organization is based on ...

elgatozorbas Re:Too many books, not enough shelves (423 comments)

... whenever I try to pull one out, I risk a heap dump.

Fortunately your book collection is in the bathroom.

more than 5 years ago



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