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Comment Re:Maybe voice activation is overrated? (Score 1) 210

There are a few cases where it's really handy - the application I use most is the shopping list: while making stuff in the kitchen and noting I'm running low on something, I just sing out "add this to the shopping list" and it's done. Extremely convenient. I've also started using a dot as my alarm clock as it's easier to speak the time than to juggle the up/down buttons or even "alexa stop" than to groggily find the right button on the clock. I also use it where I don't have an alarm clock, e.g. reading, where I set an alarm to remind me it's time to go to bed (books are the biggest hazard to a full night's sleep!)

The voice interface is nearly trivial to use - I've written several apps, interfacing to my weather station and solar panels for example, and it's very convenient to "ask my weather station current temperature" or "how much rain we got today". That sort of thing is not going to be common though as you have to have a local server to get to the data.

The downside is things like my friends have too much fun putting weird things on my shopping list. The first thing I did was disable the ability to order things for just that sort of reason.

Comment A Black Art (Score 1) 274

I recently dipped into the 3D printing world with a $300 printer, and while it's a low end printer, from what I've read, the issues are common: getting a print to stick and work is the blackest of arts. It's a complex, finicky process to go from design (which most software is complex and non-intuitive; so far, I've found tinkercad to be the best, albeit limited), to slicing (generating the printing commands - Simplify3D seems to be a lot better than the free options) to actually getting the printer to work (the object has to stay stuck to the bed until it's done, and the printer feed must not gum up). And it's slow. For something reasonably sized (e.g. a 100mm open cube), it can take half a day to print. It's a lot of fun when it works, but the value is primarily with people doing lots of real prototyping of small objects.

Comment BS (Score 1) 67

I specifically avoid using the News Feed on Facebook because it keeps missing posts from friends. Instead I have a "Following" list with everyone I want on it. It still occasionally misses posts, but it's a lot better than the News Feed. Don't tell me what I want to see, I can skim over the stuff I don't care about - the scroll wheel works very well thankyouverymuch.

Comment Re:Unless you had it's wireless disabled.... (Score 2) 149

In fact, that's exactly what I've done:

* it avoids the ads
* It avoids any chance of Amazon taking away books
* I only buy books that are either non-DRMd or can be made so

The Kindle, however, is the best and most stable ereader I've found, which is why I went back to it. But everything gets onto it only over usb under my control.

Comment As others say, common sense... (Score 1) 622

I've had my GPS lead me on "scenic routes" a few times, and realized it fairly soon, even in an area I was unfamiliar with (a dirt road is not likely an optimal route). Usually I followed it to see where it would go, at least for a while, but if it didn't get back on track before I got bored with it, either backtracked or cut over to where I knew it would get there.

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If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst