Links for 2013-01-18

  • CES: Worse Products Through Software

    ‘The companies out there that know how to make decent software have been steadily eating their way into and through markets previously dominated by the hardware guys. Apple with music players, TiVo with video recording, even Microsoft with its decade-old Xbox Live service, which continues to embarrass the far weaker offerings from Sony and Nintendo. (And, yes, iOS is embarrassing all three console makers.)’ See also Mat Honan’s article at : ‘Smart TVs are just too complicated. They have terrible user interfaces that differ wildly from device to device. It’s not always clear what content is even available — for example, after more than two years on the market, you still can’t watch Hulu Plus on your Google TV. […] They give us too many options for apps most people will never use, and they do so at the expense of making it simple to find the shows and movies we want to watch, no matter where they are, be it online or on the air. As NPD puts it in the conclusion to its report, “OEMs and retailers need to focus less on new innovation in this space and more on simplification of the user experience and messaging if they want to drive additional, and new, behaviors on the TV.” Which is a more polite way of saying, clean up your horrible interface, Samsung.’ (via Craig)

    (tags: via:craig design ui tv hardware television sony ces software)

  • Fast Packed String Matching for Short Patterns [paper, PDF]

    ‘Searching for all occurrences of a pattern in a text is a fundamental problem in computer science with applications in many other fields, like NLP, information retrieval and computational biology. In the last two decades a general trend has appeared trying to exploit the power of the word RAM model to speed-up the performances of classical string matching algorithms. […] In this paper we use specialized word-size packed string matching instructions, based on the Intel streaming SIMD extensions (SSE) technology, to design very fast string matching algorithms in the case of short patterns.’ Reminds me of , but taking advantage of SIMD extensions, which should make things nice and speedy, at the cost of tying it to specific hardware platforms. (via Tony Finch)

    (tags: rabin-karp algorithms strings string-matching papers via:fanf)

  • Irish EU Council Presidency proposes destruction of right to privacy | EDRI

    ‘For example, based on the current situation in Ireland, the idea is that all companies can do whatever they want with personal data, without fear of sanction. Sanctions, such as fines, “should be optional or at least conditional upon a prior warning or reprimand”. In other words, do what you want, the worst that can happen is that you will receive a warning.’ Shame! Daragh O’Brien’s comment: ‘utter idiocy’. ( at )

    (tags: privacy ireland eu fail data-protection data-privacy politics)

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