GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless
I haven't seen the project in TFA, but I HAVE seen an interaction design project where GoPro cameras were put on the heads of first-graders in a lunchroom.
I have to say, the experience of seeing a first-person view through the eyes of someone 5 years old was amazing and eye-opening. Certainly, I don't have direct access to the first-graders' thoughts, but I DO have a certain access to their experience through these recordings, which I wouldn't have but for this unique instrumentation.
Try it out before you knock it. I'd say that Glass could potentially do the same thing with the homeless, if people didn't look like such rich, entitled dorks wearing Glass. There are other lower-profile life-logging cameras which could do a good job of this (I've seen one in use. The owner said people never ask her about it). Nothing about the GoPro is so special to the task.
FYI, I work in User Experience and Interaction Design, don't own a GoPro, nor do I work for them or own stock in their firm.
Twitter Turns 8; May Drop Hashtags and @replies
I _wish_ this would work, but App.net tried so very hard, and put together a nice service - everything you could want, and it's made very little headway.
The real issue is this: Twitter has your friends. You can walk away from a service, but switching services means you're walking away from your friends, and most won't do that.
Twitter is sucking more and more, and will probably lose me at some point. But realistically, not yet.
Medicine Delivered By Flying Drones
They must have to carefully calibrate the size of the missile with the syringe on the tip!
The Era of Facebook Is an Anomaly
Srsly. Don't get all exercised about it. It'll pass.
I'm actually kinda surprised FB aren't blanketing the nation with CD-ROMs.
Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?
I think I might pay $15 an hour not to ever wear 'em.
Several people had Glass at a recent conference I attended. Every time I saw one (my first live-and-in-person sightings), I thought "Oh, yeah, of course: they really DO make you look like a dork."
Microsoft Quietly Fixes Windows XP Resource Hog Problem
Agree: my office XP laptop (with an i5) took 12 minutes to boot to where I could even crowbar Outlook open.
OTOH, my SSD-upgraded 2008 Mac Book Pro on Snow Leopard goes from cold metal to ready to work in 20 seconds.
Eye Tracking Coming To Video Games
Eye tracking in the usability world has been in the 4- and 5-figure range for a while. At least one cheap ($1200) option required that you wear heavyish headgear.
Tobii makes some of this usability eyetracking equipment, and it's my hope that this device will be adapted to work with the popular Morae usability recording software.
Eyetracking will be part of nearly everyone's usability toolkit, vs. an expensive luxury, if so.
It might hold possibilities for eyetracking studies on mobile software as well.
Ask Slashdot: What Are the Books Everyone Should Read?
Sorry, I think Catcher in the Rye is worth the read. Not life-changing, but yeah, read it - worthwhile.
++On The Road - awesome book - might supplement it with some third-party history of the beats.
Recommend Dune in the Science Fiction realm. Take the series as far as you wanna - but at least Dune.
Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug is essential for the web developer, and I think "Simple and Beautiful" by Giles Colburne a close second. Maybe top it with "The Design of Everyday Things" by Don Norman - you'll never look at a door handle the same way again.
Recommend for ANY coder Kernigan and Ritchie "The C Programming Language" - such a brief tome, and a comprehensive document on how to write in the language that rocked the world. Would be a good read for any tech writer, as well.
Whatever they say about Steven Ambrose (and they say a WHOLE lot...accusations of plagarism, f.e.), "Undaunted Courage" presents the Lewis and Clark expedition in Technicolor - if only they could teach with books of this quality.
If you're gonna read any Stephen King, gotta read The Stand, for the sweep of it.
60% of Americans Unaware of Looming Incandescent Bulb Phase Out
"LED bulbs are out of this world at Home Depot"
Those prices are for 4- and 6-packs. Read your own search result.
At between $10 and $12 for a Cree LED bulb at Home Depot, the price is right, and I'm VERY happy with equivalent light output, color temperature and performance with my Z-wave dimmers. No CFL or LED bulb so far has matched them.
I've had to return one Cree bulb so far because it shipped with the glass envelope loose. Been perfect otherwise (4 bulbs installed for trial, roughly 6 months in).
Full disclosure: I hold 100 shares of CREE. And this is my actual experience using the bulbs in my house.
Ask Slashdot: Working With Others, As a Schizophrenic Developer?
What with the usual tenor of Slashdot comments, wanted to say early: awesome that you're working, doing it, trying to live in the "normal" world, where the normals don't often understand. My heart and thoughts are with you.
Ask Slashdot: Simple Backups To a Neighbor?
I wasn't thinking of burglary as a problem in need of the backup, but instead, your data getting into the hands of a stranger. You're basically doubling your risk of that happening, assuming your link is secure, and your neighbor is solidly honest and has a secure PC.
Instead, you could drop your encrypted disk in a safety deposit box and have physical security, encrypted data-at-rest and no network exposure during the backup process, no need to wonder how secure your neighbor's network/PC is.
Here in Atlanta, we had a 500-year flood at the same time California was experiencing massive wildfires.
Mudslides, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, neighborhood-flattening gas leaks, the SWAT team trying to take out James DiMaggio/MOVE/David Koresh, or even the dipshit down the street burning leaves in a drought could take out both your houses.
The likelihood is small, but the consequences of failure are large. These are black swans. They don't usually happen...but they don't never happen either.
Y'know what's another huge risk, probably way more likely? Your backup failing. I remember being part of an IT project where an ancient SCA data drive went down on a database server. They had to get a replacement for the legacy hardware from the manufacturer's parts inventory, and spent 36 hours rebuilding the drive from backup tapes before figuring out that the database data itself had never been part of the server backup, because you'd have to disconnect the database to do that.
Ask Slashdot: Simple Backups To a Neighbor?
Aren't you and your neighbor both sitting in the crater of just about anything bigger than a firecracker? I don't think of "next door" as off-site backup. Especially when you're talking burglary as a possible risk - you and neighbor probably have about the same odds of being hit.
Drop an encrypted disk in a safe deposit box at the bank.
Sony Issues Detailed PS4 FAQ Ahead of Launch
Couldn't possibly buy one of these. My 3 and 5 year old get their TV from our carefully curated media server full of kids' TV. There's a month's worth of episodes of a number of their favorite shows (not just the 90-second clips the kids apps on the iPad want to show).
The PS3 is about the best frontend you can get for MythTV - navigates easier, more reliable, plays smoother, integrates into the home theater easier and builds the TV recordings into the rest of their entertainment.
Sony is doing all it can to get me to take my money and walk away.
4K Ultra HD Likely To Repeat the Failure of 3D Television
I've seen 4K on a not-yet-released 20-inch Panasonic tablet - it's jaw-dropping. You might not be making "full use", but...oh, my it's beautiful. This from a guy who doesn't care much for TV or video.
OK, you're asking "why a 20" tablet? WTF?" - one vertical market for this is radiologists, who definitely need all the resolution they can get, high dynamic range, and a big screen. Saw it at a medical convention.
Ask Slashdot: Mitigating DoS Attacks On Home Network?
Lucky you can't get WiMax: your situation sounds like the way Clear works nightly: ISDN speeds for the crime of watching Netflix. Oh, you're not "capped". Certainly not. No, never.
Is there a possibility your logs are just port scans (which suck, but aren't a DDoS), and your problem is that you're being traffic-managed by the ISP? That would "follow you instantly".
I didn't think the log entries were close enough together in time to constitute a DDoS.
A New Spate of Deaths In the Wireless Industry
A Frontline documentary last year noted that tower work is done by small contracting companies that allow the big carriers to duck all responsibility, while pushing the firms to build so fast that safety gets shortcutted. Worth watching.
Neuroscientist: First-Ever Human Head Transplant Is Now Possible
Oh wait...have one of those already. Check the oval office...
Google's House of Cards
I thought a bus full of icons and widgets collided with a touch UI...
(this from a daily Android phone and tablet user...)
New Device Sniffs Out Black Powder Explosives
We had a model rocket birthday party for my son (turned 5). We pre-built a number of bulk-pack rockets, had the guests decorate them, took them out for a launch.
We made sure to warn parents that if they were flying soon, they would want us to handle the engines and post-launch rockets, for fear of the glorified mall-cops that are "protecting" us at the airport.
Little did we know that black powder was hard to detect. Guess that's changed now.
One reason that the hobby is waning: regulations that make it nearly impossible to launch rockets in/near a major metro area.
When I was a kid, I could launch on the ball fields of any of several local elementary and junior high schools. Now there's a single local park in our city of 4 million people where I can launch rockets on public land without going to the pokey.
Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Flagged Channels For XBMC PVR?
Been over-the-air for years.
We get pristine 1080i network-supplied digital picture for free, no broadcast flag, a fair number of local channels, and Netflix, Amazon and Sony Playstation Store supply the rest over the internet.
Haven't really done much with Hulu, but it's another opportunity for you to stream fresh content.
I use MythTV and a HD Homerun tuner, running on Debian on a QNAP TS-119 (which draws something like 6 watts spun up). For TV frontends, I use the PS3, or a recent Mac Mini.Very reliable.
Took a fair amount of setup, but all works great. My just-turned-five kid has been working the remote himself for about 18 months, getting lots of great commercial-free kids programming from PBS.
Been forever since I've paid for cable TV.
DroidX does: have a self-destruct tab. Verizon: you voided your warranty
As I write, my very geeky wife is involved in one of those sisyphean discussions with a phone company CSR.
Until an hour ago, she was delighted that her new DroidX had arrived, and that she was lucky enough to be one of the fortunate few with the latest hot phone.
On the back, in the battery compartment, the DroidX has a little tag that says "Pull". It looks a great deal like the tabs that manufacturers put in electronic devices to protect a factory battery from discharging before purchase. So my wife pulls. When she follows the phone's instructions, the insulation panel with the serial number and other phone ID information comes out of the phone completely, tearing the pull-tab in the process.
So she calls Verizon. Verizon's take: Not only did she "cut the sticker" (she did no such thing, it tore a bit when she pulled it), not only is it "her fault" (for following the instructions printed on the phone), but now Verizon claims the phone's warranty has been voided, and her only option is to buy yet another brand new phone.
And get this: since she's "voided her warranty" by following the instructions printed on the tab, she's no longer allowed the 30-day evaluation period. She's stuck with paying $500 for the phone AND a two-year get-out fee if we want to run screaming from this unforgivable customer service experience. We think. It's complicated. There were a few other options, all of which are lousy outcomes for us, and involved us spending more money on this brand new phone. We haven't even turned it on yet.
Wife's in tears. Son's in tears because everyone else is upset. Can this be the out-of-box experience Motorola had planned for us?
My wife says: "I think we've come to a point where companies have gotten so big they don't have to care about the individual customer. When you're as big as the GNP of a small country, a $500 phone doesn't seem like a big deal. When the policy is written, they try to write it so no one can get around the policy, even when it would make sense. No one is given autonomy to go outside the policy, even when it would make sense. And nobody that has the authority to make a change is even aware that the situation occurs unless it reaches the media. As companies get larger and larger, this is just gonna get worse".
Why do phone companies try so hard to drive away subscribers with top-tier data plans who buy the top-of-the-line phone?
Won't thousands of other people make exactly the same mistake with the phone?
By the way: the tab? It's to pull the battery out of the phone. Don't ask me why they couldn't just put in a little fingernail notch.
Updated July 21 1PM EDT -
Motorola has also confirmed that following the instruction to pull the tab voids the phone's warranty.
We're not the only ones who pulled the tab as instructed.
Updated July 22 4:41 PM EDT -
I'm going to guess that this problem will mainly show up for folks who've had their DroidX phones shipped to them. These phones ship without an installed battery and no explanation for the tab. Folks who buy the phone at the store will typically have the salesperson install the battery, and the first time they'll encounter the tab is in the act of popping the battery out of the phone.
To clarify - we think the phone will work just fine. The part that's made us so mad is that the warranty is now gone. What happens if something does go wrong?
Updated July 24 12:35 AM EDT - Resolved? Maybe...
The Mrs. spoke to a different rep from Motorola yesterday who said "Huh? That doesn't sound right. Hang on while I check with support...No, Verizon is crazy, you didn't void your warranty...".
That sounds pretty good, but he had no way to put it in writing. He did ask the Mrs. to call back Verizon with the Moto case number to help straighten out their support desk, and suggested he'd look into getting Moto's story straight.
That's some relief - the Mrs. is using her DroidX at last, and is mollified, and the youngun is sleeping well tonight.
BUT - we have recent verbal assurance from Moto that the warranty is not void, and prior text assurance from Moto that it is void. That's not the happiest of resolutions. Would like to say we're done, but would rather hear policy from Moto and Verizon that clears this all up.