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Gloves Translate Sign Language Into Auditory Speech

optimism Re:Offended (78 comments)

And the fact that you'd need to wear some kind of exoskeleton that mounts the sensor far forward of your body, so it can see what your hands and arms and face are doing.

Mobility is the point here. If you can sit at a computer, you can just type instead.

Of course you can just type on a smartphone too, without wearing a freaky bulky obtrusive glove. But others have already mentioned that.

more than 2 years ago

Gloves Translate Sign Language Into Auditory Speech

optimism Re:And thousands of interpreters stomachs sank (78 comments)

Wrong translation direction, this going from signs to speech so a deaf person doesn't have to carry a txt2speech or a notepad and pen or learn to speak

If you read TFA, it was designed for people "with hearing and speech disabilities".

Learning to speak is a big hurdle for many deaf people, but it is an insurmountable hurdle for those who are mute, even if they can hear.

Anyway. If you're going to wear a computerized glove that can speak for you, it seems that a chorded keyboard would be a much better choice. Faster, more accurate, and more expressive than an ASL translator.

more than 2 years ago

$1.2 Million Ultimate Games Collection

optimism Re:what, no atari 2600? (149 comments)

How was this not modded up?

The Atari 2600 games, and the cabinet arcade games of 1978-1983, were the foundation. There is no such thing as an "ultimate games collection" without them.

more than 2 years ago

Google Vs. Microsoft: a Tale of Two Interviews

optimism Re:Interesting (215 comments)

I pointed out that they had the name of a park just up the road to me wrong on Google Earth. It's still wrong today

Not surprising.

I was talking about change requests to the software, which Google controls.

The data, like place names, comes from a mix of private and public GIS databases, which Google does not control. Of course it doesn't make sense for them to make changes, because a) they can't verify the changes, and b) the changes would be wiped out the next time they get new data from their sources.

If you want to fix the park name, you have to find and fix the source. Start with your town/city surveyor's office. There's a fair chance that the park was renamed and the change was never passed on to higher sources. Or you can look at the bottom-center of the GE display, which tells you where Google got the data, and submit the change to that source. But Google is the wrong one to ask.

Or you could file a feature request with Google to add a "report wrong place name" feature, which would automatically pass your report to the appropriate data provider. Big feature though. Wouldn't see it for a long time, if ever.

more than 2 years ago

Google Vs. Microsoft: a Tale of Two Interviews

optimism Re:Interesting (215 comments)

I've never been able to talk to anyone at Google about a problem or have them acknowledge it, much less work with me to fix it.

Depends on the product. I know that Google Earth, at least, takes bug reports and feature requests via a public issue tracker on I've filed two feature requests. They acknowledged one of them.

more than 2 years ago

Fundamentalist Schools Using "Nessie" To Disprove Evolution

optimism Intelligence test (936 comments)

Hopefully some kid in one of those wing-nut schools (which are absolutely not representative of American education) will raise their hand and ask:

" can we find a static shipwreck on the floor of the vast North Atlantic, 12,000 ft underwater, but we can't find a huge moving sea monster in a lake with less than 2 cu mi volume, less than 450 ft average depth?"

And hopefully their teacher actually thinks about the question.

Lake Tahoe, which has 20 times the volume of Loch Ness, marketed a "Tessie" monster for a while. They had cute plush toys, stickers, buttons, a little museum, and all that. But it was just a joke, like Nessie.

The best lessons to teach kids with this, are in gullibility, and tourism marketing.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Headphones, Earbuds, Earphones?

optimism Re:20 dollar sonies (448 comments)

Part of the method used to protest bad corporate behaviour is to boycott them. The other part is to spread the word.

If you take issue with a corporation's behavior in general, then by all means, boycott them.

If the problems are with specific products, then just don't buy those products.

Many years ago, Sony did make some good electron-gun TVs. They also made a decent ruggedized boombox. You could say they made a good walkman, but Aiwa was much better. Computers? Sony made some of the leading ultraportables in the late 90s and early 00s, though arguably the Fujitsu Lifebooks were even better.

Currently the only Sony products that I own are a couple sets of their earbuds. Current model is MDR-EX71, $40 on amazon, within the OP's price range. Great sound, decent bass, flexible cord, detachable extension cord, 3 sizes of silicone buds for different ears.

The ext cord on my first set went bad, but the earbuds are still good.

The only downside, though this applies to all sealed/silicone earbuds, is that you can't hear much of the environment around you, if that matters. So they're a bad choice for, eg, biking, or jogging in a city. But they're a great choice for, eg, blocking out the engine noise on a flight.

more than 2 years ago

Facebook Launches App Center With Over 600 Apps

optimism Pure PR; stock is in the ICU (55 comments)

From TFA:

The service, called App Center, debuts with 600 applications, including Zynga Inc. (ZNGA)’s “Draw Something” game

Huh? How is someone going to play "Draw Something" effectively on a laptop or desktop with no touch screen? Have you ever tried to draw with a mouse or trackpad? Haha.

If you want to play on a smartphone or tablet, of course, you'd just download the native app from the app store/marketplace.

This looks like a pure PR play, one of many that will prop up the Fakebook stock until the early investors have exited to their satisfaction, and FB employees with options have been sufficiently comforted that the stock will not drop below their strike prices before the end of the year.

I love this sport. It's like watching a huge train wreck in slow motion, except that no one will be directly killed by it.

more than 2 years ago

After a Year In Orbit, US Air Force's X37-B Will Conclude Its Secret Mission

optimism Re:Given that this is slashdot... (243 comments)

People who quote the 225-year-old US constitution as gospel, are equally stupid as people who quote the bible or torah or koran as the literal truth of humanity.

Whenever this happens, Thomas Jefferson is rolling over in his grave.

Adapt or die.

more than 2 years ago

DirecTV CEO Scoffs At Competition From Apple TV

optimism Re:haunt him? no (264 comments) the general sense, I agree with your thesis but, in practice, you're 100% wrong. When the CEO of a company announces to the world something that highlights how utterly clueless and/or off-course they are, that should serve as a sign to investors that they need to get their money out of the company as fast as possible

Emphasis mine.

You seem to assume that all investors think like you and know exactly what you know, despite the fact that you're posting on slashdot, which implies you are "smarter money" than the average shmoe.

So yes, you might see some "utterly clueless" announcement (in your informed opinion) and short the stock. Of course, assuming you were following the news, not busy with other matters, and actually saw the announcement.

But the vast majority of shareholders and fund managers are not aware of the market. They only hear the CEO's public message that "all is well", if that, and stay the course. Stocks are a long-term investment after all, that's what the wolves have taught the sheep. ;)

In the meantime, in the upper echelons, friends of the company can get a very different private message from the CEO, which tells them to bail during the PR delay, before the dumb money figures it out.

NOTE: I am not in any way saying that is the case here. I do not know or follow this market at all. Frankly it seems to me that satellite TV and internet TV are radically different markets for radically different audiences/geographies. I'm just explaining one of the reasons that the "free" public news from a CEO's announcement might not agree with what the smart money hears and understands, but still be "smart".

more than 2 years ago

DirecTV CEO Scoffs At Competition From Apple TV

optimism haunt him? no (264 comments)

So, will White's statement — 'It's hard to see (it) obsoleting our technology' — come back to haunt him?

Short answer: No.

The CEO of DirecTV obviously has better intel about the TV/video distribution market, than any slashdotter posting here.

Is AppleTV a threat to them? I don't know, and it really doesn't matter. For the sake of argument, let's pretend that AppleTV is a huge threat, and that DirecTV is doomed, and one man, even the CEO, cannot effect the sweeping market changes to reverse this course.

White's motivation, as with any CEO of a publicly-traded company in the Wall St system, is to maximize his income. He does that by keeping the stock price as high as possible, for as long as possible, even in the face of a known inevitable demise. Then when profitability is clearly compromised, he can collect large compensation for sticking with a "troubled company". Or just jump immediately to the next company. Rinse, repeat, retire.

This is the way the current system works. The CEO is not an "idiot" for not publicly recognizing threats that he/she absolutely knows about. Quite the contrary. His behavior is "smart". It's the overall rules of the system that are "dumb".

more than 2 years ago

What Should We Do About Wikipedia's Porn Problem?

optimism Re:links? (544 comments)

So...which, if any, of those references will take you to a graphic image?

It seems to me, the editors have done a pretty good job of minimizing exposure.

more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available To Download

optimism Re:Why upgrade? (363 comments)

IE9 is a really awesome browser, and I think it's win 7 only. Same for office 2010, I'm not sure it's xp compatible.

Exactly what do you think is "awesome" about IE9 or Office 2010 on Win7, that is not provided by the earlier versions on XP, or by Firefox and OpenOffice?

Thanks in advance for providing some actual details.

more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available To Download

optimism Re:Why upgrade? (363 comments)

Most useful to most users is the real live 64 bit support (can use > 3.5GB of RAM), support for DirectX 10, excellent driver support out of the box, and a few other bits and pieces (I'm no expert on win 7...)

Thanks, those are real details.

I'm not a PC gamer, so I don't have any need for more than 3.5GB (actually 3.25GB on our biggest system) RAM, nor DirectX 10. The most extreme stuff I do is video transcoding. Second, realtime video and image editing. Third, video playback with various codecs, ranging from mjpeg to avc/h264. But I leave the games for our consoles.

Re: drivers, I do use lots of odd pieces of hardware like serial microcontroller programmers, DMX controllers, dataloggers, Arduinos, 3D 6dof controllers, Bluetooth audio bridges, GPS devices, scanners, etc. Never had a problem with any XP drivers. However I'm fairly sure that some of these devices do not support more recent Windows versions.

Also, don't forget that direct network access (ie: something a firewall would block) isn't the only vector for malware. I'm sure you know how to protect your machines, but many people assume a firewall or an antivirus program is the end-all solution to allow them free and promiscuous web browsing... With most end of life OSes the lack up security patches isn't a big concern, but that's because they went EOL before malware on the internet "went big" and there's nobody attacking them.

Thanks. Yeah, I hope I'm aware. I've been using Windows since v3.0 and Mac since System 6 (not to mention OS/2 and other client OS's). I did pick up a USB-key virus on one machine a few years back, before MS finally patched XPSP3 to really allow you to turn off autoplay without the registry hack. But that experience just convinced me that new OS versions, which keep doing more "auto" stuff, will only have more attack vectors than the old ones...

more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available To Download

optimism Re:Why upgrade? (363 comments)

Are you installing XP 64 bit? It looks like you are not. Some people have a need to put 4GB or more of RAM in the computer to work with the huge images files, video files, and other huge files.

Correct, I run 32-bit, because 64-bit gives no benefit for my applications.

I do work with lots of video and large image files. Rarely more than 30 megapixels/image though. 30 megapixels * 3 bytes = 90 megabytes in the buffer, a rather small number compared to a modern bloated web browser running a few dozen tabs, flash, java, acrobat, and silverlight. A 2GB machine is more than enough for this.

Really, I was just looking for any features or enhancements that might steer me towards Win7 or Win8. The impression I'm getting from replies here is that there are no worthwhile features/enhancement, just for support for new hardware that I don't need.

My biggest CPU usage is video transcoding. For that, it's going to take a long stretch of cycles regardless of the processor, so I don't have a problem throwing a machine at the problem for 30 minutes instead of 15 minutes. It's not like I'm waiting on that machine to do something else.

more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available To Download

optimism Re:Why upgrade? (363 comments)

Memory support,and about 1000 other modern abilities

Memory XP machines do max out at 2.0GB to 3.25GB depending on the mobo. But this isn't a problem. The OS and many services easily run in a couple hundred MB, without virtual memory. My biggest memory consumer is a web browser, which may exceed 1GB with lots of tabs and plug-ins, but that usually only happens on my main work machines. So 2GB is far more than enough for most of the machines.

What are the "1000 other modern abilities" that you seem to think are provided by Windows beyond NT/2000/XP?

Since many people actually run new software, XP is won't work for them.

Strange and funny. I have heard many people complain about their old software not working on the recent windows versions, but I've heard absolutely no one complaining about software not running on XP. Do you have any example? Even just a single, oddball, unusual example?

OTOH, you can't even manage your XP machines correctly, so I'm not sue upgrading is a wise thing for you to do.

Can you explain what, exactly, you think that I am not doing to manage my fleet of machines correctly? Imaging and periodic updating/reimaging are standard practices in any major IT organization I've encountered. As are replacing hard drives at regular intervals. What do you think I'm doing wrong? Thanks!

more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available To Download

optimism Re:Why upgrade? (363 comments)

You are right that there's nothing compelling you to switch, just as there's nothing forcing you to drive a car with ABS, seat belts, fuel injection, etc.

That metaphor is thoroughly broken. The safety and efficiency benefits of ABS, seat belts, and fuel injection are provably worthwhile. Also, these have been standard features on most cars for the last 15-45 years. There is absolutely no comparison.

The question was, what features would inspire me to upgrade from XPSP3 to 8?

I'll add: what would inspire me to take the massive hit to performance and resource consumption? Again, note, one of my still-running machines is a P3 800Mhz 128MB laptop, which performs very snappily with XP. It serves video and plays MPEG2 DVDs.

The killer feature for Windows 8 is the tablet interface, but for that to matter, you'd need to buy a tablet.

Fwiw, two of our seven laptops are Thinkpad X-series tablet PCs. Yeah I know, the definition of a "tablet" has changed in the last few years, but these "tablets" have pressure-sensitive wacom stylus digitizers, and one of them also has a resistive touch-screen layer. Both running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005. So...what does Windows 8 add, feature-wise, above this OS? That was really my original question.

more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available To Download

optimism Re:Why upgrade? (363 comments)

Win7 has a slew of features that you may or may not like

Such as? This was exactly my question.

It's really impossible to answer your question precisely

Why? It is a piece of deterministic software, not a religious conundrum.

you probably don't have any reasons to switch (until support ends entirely, that is)

Also assuming that any support is relevant. I do keep all our Windows machines updated at least once a year, but frankly, I'm not sure how important that is since most of them run behind a firewall. The FUD does not seem to apply in this case.

more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available To Download

optimism Why upgrade? (363 comments)

This is a dead serious question, so please do not downmod because it doesn't agree with some corporate agenda. ;)

I currently run Windows XPSP3 on 7 laptops, and 1 desktop, at home. Behind a NAT firewall. I've never had a virus or other security problem. I re-image and update approximately every 2 years because, yes, Windows does slow down and break with age, and I also want a backup of the latest apps. But otherwise XP works great, with minimal interference,on machines with as little as 800Mhz P3, 128MB RAM.

I think that most folks here realize that Vista was an intentional boondoggle to make Windows 7 look better. But in total seriousness....why would I move from XP to 7 or 8?


more than 2 years ago


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