Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Kindle Oasis 2017 Tips, Part 2: Screenshots

As with most devices these days, you can take screenshots on the Kindle Oasis.  It's not something I actually expected to be possible until I discovered someone else posting about it.  With every Android or iPhone device, I always have to find and remember the special button combination.

Depending on the device, the button combinations aren't reliable for 100% of the time, due to various reasons.  Sometimes the button combination is difficult to press because of the awkward position of the buttons to each other.  Sometimes the combination is just unusual and super easy to forget.

Kindle Oasis 2017 is none of that.  It's super easy.  You simply touch the upper right and lower left of the screen at the same time.  The screen will quickly flicker.  No other immediate indication occurs.

The screenshots are saved to the main folder on the Kindle Oasis as png with the date and time as the file name, such as "screenshot_2019_02_06-0700.png".  When you plug your USB into Kindle Oasis and a computer, you'll see the png files interlaced between similarly named .txt that describe the png file.  I'm not the value of these extra txt files.

The png files can be copied/moved from the Kindle Oasis to the computer with normal Windows File Manager interaction.  My previous tip was possible due to this functionality.



Kindle Oasis 2017 Tips
Making the Home Screen More Homey
Screenshots

Monday, February 04, 2019

Kindle Oasis 2017 Tips, Part 1: Making the Home Screen More Homey

I own an original Kindle.  It is an awkward, yet suprizingly powerful beast.  It didn't take much to form it into a tool of self-expression.  I've not used that device in a long time.  This isn't because I grew tired of it.  Rather, it got put into storage somewhere and I only have a vague idea of where it's at.  In the time its been in storage, it has become an archaic device.  The interface and shape was always very clumsy, even by 2008 standards.

So, I jumped on the Kindle Oasis bandwagon, finally.

The design of the Kindle Oasis 2017 (or is that Kindle Oasis 2, or II or 7", or 9th Generation)...   ...you know, I'm going interrupt myself right here to mention that the Kindle Oasis edition from 2017 has an Amazon page name that reads like a bad Craigslist ad.  The official name for the specific edition I purchased is supposedly just "Kindle Oasis".  The Amazon page is titled "Kindle Oasis E-reader – Champagne Gold, 7" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Waterproof, Built-In Audible, 32 GB, Wi-Fi - with Special Offers".

However, the problem with that is you cannot differentiate my Kindle Oasis from the first "Kindle Oasis" of the 8th Generation, which is also just called "Kindle Oasis".  Also, if the generation is such an important factor, why isn't that included in the name?  Very confusion in a very unnecessary way.

Anyway, back to the design of the 7", 9th Generation Kindle Oasis 2017 2/II (whatever it's called).  The design is mostly streamlined.  It is odd in one way.  It has two thicknesses, which makes it easier to hold in your right hand, but makes it a bit awkward for some accessories, such as cases.

OK, enough of the unintentional review.  On to the tip.

Changing your home screen

The original Kindle didn't have ads.  It didn't try to sell me anything directly.  It was easy to buy stuff, but it wasn't in your face.  The Kindle Oasis is constantly trying to sell you books.  The lock screen is an ad.  The home screen has several ads of various subtleties.

Well, there's a way to change your home screen so that it is not ad focused.  Instead, your library is the center, and the ads are mostly out of the way.

It is important to note that Kindle Oasis menus have changed a bit.  Some other online guides for this have never been updated.  This is why I've made this guide.  My guide is current up to January 2019.

My original home:


Touch the vertical ellipsis button (the three vertical dots icon) in the upper right corner of the screen to bring up your More Options menu:


Select Settings.  This brings up the Settings page:


Select Device Options.  This brings up the Device Options page:


Select Advanced Options.  This brings up the Advanced Options page:


Select Home & Library.  This brings up the Home & Library page:


Select Home Screen View to turn off the setting:


Select home button in upper left.  This will bring you to your newly minted home page.  The new home page just displays your library...with a small ad at the bottom.  I'll cover more about that little ad in a future article.


Note to self, "apparently, Amazon really really wants me to read that Shadows of the Stone Benders series."

Kindle Oasis 2017 Tips
Making the Home Screen More Homey
Screenshots

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Machine Learning is artificial, but it's not necessarily intelligent

Machine Learning is "artificial", but it's not really intelligent from a certain point of view. There appears to be a trend going on in the industry right now that uses the terms "Machine Learning" and "Artificial Intelligence" interchangeably (or at least sees Machine Learning is a type of AI).

Intelligence is the often measured as the ability to see connections between different things.  Machine Learning doesn't see connections.  It just uses CPU time for brute-force analysis to find connections based on many iterative cycles of failures and successes in stages.  Early failures are often permanently disregarded, and early successes given too much value, even if they follow deadend paths . Machine Learning typically is not able to see that future success could actually come from pathways where it experienced early failure, unless there is human intervention of some sort.

This video should scare all of us, and not because of the wolves


Amazon learned a similar lesson on its own regarding Machine Learning, as detailed in the following venturebeat.com article. The article describes how Amazon had to scrap their Machine Learning program for hiring people. The program's purpose was to remove gender bias in hiring of new employees. However, their program developed gender bias on its own, despite the development team's best efforts to remove bias. Article: Amazon scrapped a secret AI recruitment tool that showed bias against women [archive.org].

This article on Volt DB (6 Reasons Why Your Machine Learning Project Will Fail to Get Into Production [archive.org]) goes into common problems with Machine Learning projects. It boils down to data quality. The problem is, data from the real world will always be of poor quality.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Mako power board - 34mph in less than 3secs. #SWW18




via Instagram http://ift.tt/2BhYJ1K

Mako power board or jetboard was highlighted at SOLIDWORKS World 2018.  With a top speed of 34MPH that can be acheived in 3 seconds, this looks like a great way to get around beyond the obvious recreational joys it offers.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Article 1 section 2 paragraph 3 of the U.S. Constitution and why you aren't being represented!

Constitution of the United States
Here's what a source says about our House of Representatives, "In the original constitutional debates there were pro-federalist delegates proposing that a House member could represent up to 50,000 constituents, while more anti-federalist framers sought one House member up to 20,000 citizens.  The debate, therefore, was over the people wanting smaller Congressional Districts and not larger. In September 1787, they settled on the language, "The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000," thus limiting a Congressional District minimum size to 30,000 citizens. No Congressional District maximum size was included because the framers believed both the members of Congress and their constituents would inherently want Congressional Districts as small as the constitution would permit."1

Another source states, "The Constitution says that the total number of representatives shall not be greater than one for every 30,000 citizens. During the ratification debates over the Constitution, opponents argued that such a ratio was inadequate to properly represent the country. But even using the original ratio in the Constitution, the House of Representatives would have consisted of about 9,400 members after the 2000 census. Faced with the ever increasing size of the House, Congress voted in 1929 to limit the number of representatives to 435."2

Needless to say, our current Congress has not been keeping the size of Congressional Districts in-line with the intent of our Constitution's framers.  Today, Congressional Districts have 710,767 citizens. This is way over the original expectations of roughly 50,000.

Can you imagine a House of Representatives with 9400 members?  How would business get done?  Well, maybe that's the point.  There would be so many representatives, that votes would have to be made based on what the person feels is right for their 30,000 voters, rather than how much money they can collect from lobbyist for their next campaign. 9400 Representatives would make it a lot harder for lobbyist to sway the will of our elected officials.  It would make pork barrel projects almost nonexistent because districts would be too small to gather enough support for the most silly of funding requests.  It's a lot harder to buy off 9400 people than it is 435.  Particularly if each of those 9400 people have to go back to talk directly to just 30,000 people several times a year.  Representatives' support would really have to come from the local grassroots level.  They might even vote per their constituents desires!  Imagine that!

The one problem with a number of Representatives being so large is that bill introduction may become a bit unmanageable. If we keep to the current system of making huge bills with tons and tons of legal code, things would be unmanageable.  However, that doesn't necessarily need to be a roadblock. Maybe we shouldn't keep the current system of bill introduction!  Maybe our Representatives should really just submit succinct laws that apply to very specific things.  We would still need a huge bill from time to time to address social and other national issues, and the national budget, but we would pretty much end riders that plague the current system.  We can even use 21st Century technology to make such bills easier to process.  (Anyone hear of this Wonder called The Internet?)

More meaningful and useful laws might actually get passed because they wouldn't be tied up so frequently in political maneuverings.  Political Parties couldn't hold our government hostage with standoffs, because their members would be so easily replaced.  We would actually be able to hold our Representatives accountable!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Old School: Pager Code


There are/were several types of pager codes in the 1990's before cellphones become common with inexpensive data/text plans.

Calculator Method
The simplest (and prolly earliest) pager code was the Calculator Method.  This method replaced letters with numbers that resemble those letters when held upside down (similar to how you'd create words using upside down numbers on a calculator).  These were typed backwards so that the effect was easy to read.  Examples:

  • HELLO would read 07734.  4 kinda looks like an H, 3 is clearly an upside down E, 7 is clearly an upside down L and 0 is O in either direction.
  • GUESS WHO would read 04177*553176.  6 kinda looks like a G, 17 looks like an upside down U, 5 looks like an S, * is a space, 177 looks like an upside down W.
Beeper Codes
Another common pager code system consisted of a string of numbers that were typically 3 letters long used to represent specific words and phrases. Though I doubt there is consensus regarding a name for the collection of these pager codes, these seem most closely associated with the term "Beeper Codes".  Beeper codes were really a collection of many individual codes that were derived from several cipher methods.  Many codes used letter count, but other methods were also employed.

  • I LOVE YOU was commonly typed as 143.  This required foreknowledge of the code, as any combination of words can share common letter counts.  143 could've easily meant I CAN'T FLY if you didn't know the established meaning. 
  • I LOVE YOU was also 831 from the phrase, "8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning."  Again, foreknowledge is necessary to decipher the code.  
There were a lot of these individual Beeper Codes.

Number look alikes
The most versatile pager code was a slightly more formal substitution method.  Letters were represented by a look alike number or string of numbers. This is similar to the Calculator Method, but can be read rightside up and used to spell any word without a lot of forethought (or turning your phone upside). Different varieties existed, but the most common was this:


Pager Code

LetterNumber Look Alike
A8
B8
C6
D0
E3
F4
G6
H4
I1
J7
K15
L7
M177
N17
O0
P9
Q0
R12
S5
T7
U11
V11
W111
X25
Y4
Z2
Spacebar- or *


With this method, complex messages could be sent without a lot of effort. Even after texting and cellphones become more common, this was still a good system to encipher messages from casual interloping.

  • HELLO becomes 43770
  • WISH YOU WERE HERE becomes 111154 4011 1113123 43123 (a special symbol for spacebar wasn't necessary once texting was available)
  • FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS AGO becomes 401112 560123 8170 5311317 438125 860
Pager codes were still used by some people even after texting become available because most early texting-capable cellphones didn't have an alphabet keyboard.  Typing words was still tedious using the texting system.  It was prolly around the time when type-ahead appeared that use of pager codes finally become uncommon.  Once smartphones become common, there was really no need for pager codes anymore at all, except for fun.  I still find myself using some of the old 3 digit beeper codes if I don't feel like typing out a common phrase.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Yahoo's Blunder with unnecessary changes to their services is well explained on slashdot.org

Yahoo's blunder with unnecessary changes to their services such as Yahoo! Groups is well explained on slashdot.org by anonymous poster.

If you have no userbase, the Agile concept of ship (garbage) early and ship (garbage) often even before you really have an MVP actually makes some sense. If you have a 6-month runway of capital before you go belly-up and start over (oh, I'm sorry, "pivot"), there's no point in wasting another month to get it right.
But if you already have a userbase, the developer-centric attitude of leaving what, to users, is core functionality in the backlog while you release half-assed stuff that merely shows off how good you are with AJAX, or how quickly your UX people can change the design from one week to the next, doesn't work. It's bad for your customer base, it alienates them, and it eventually drives them to your competitors.
More of this person's comment can be found here. If you are interested in exploring the topics brought up by this person, click on the links I added to their quote above.  That will take you to Wikipedia articles that will explain each of the terms.  

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Article from Northwest University sites big breakthru for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Big Multiple Sclerosis Breakthrough - Phase 1 trial safely resets patients’ immune systems, reduces attack on myelin protein


From the article:
A phase 1 clinical trial for the first treatment to reset the immune system of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients showed the therapy was safe and dramatically reduced patients’ immune systems’ reactivity to myelin by 50 to 75 percent, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.