Re: I'll get downvoted but whatever
that's the point - it wasn't the launch of the segregate science society, it was a self -deprecating speech at a dinner.
8 posts • joined 20 Nov 2012
The trouble is to make Prof Hunt look bad you have just had to selectively quote AND add extra words which he didn't say. There is a perfectly good reading of his words that is purely self-deprecating - that he is bad at talking to women so that he makes them cry - remember it is "my "problem with girls Apparently this was spoken at a dinner, not the main conference - so I would guess it was an attempt at humour, and the love bit certainly supports that - it was not intended for broadcast and as far as I know Prof Hunt is not leading a campaign to segregate labs or stop women going into science. I think a lot of people have just been quite cruel to a 71 year old Noble prize winner, who is a pretty soft target, and who wasn't aware that he was going to be put on the world stage.
I sort of do this for a living and I see four potential areas of benefit, but probably not hugely valuable for most people at the moment
1) Power and resource saving - turning on and off lights, heating etc. in response to your rules and sensor detection.
2) Home monitoring and activity detection for the elderly and ill - especially people who are forgetful or have brain injury to safely manage potentially dangerous devices or medications and remind people to do things
3) User interface simplification - Many devices have timers etc. but embedded systems often have terrible user interfaces (partly becasue thats an added cost) and they are all different - at least with a larger form factor or more familiar UI I might be able to work out how to program the air conditioner etc.
4) Remote monitoring of system health. Not massively useful but it could be helpful to allow the central heating boiler to tell maintenance people how it is performing, and avoid call out costs etc.
If you are really concerned about strong privacy then probably none of these are compelling, as a cheapskate I would be concerned with cost, and yes, security is an issue although probably solvable, but there needs to be much more thinking about how to make systems like this secure by default, and simple to set up with security.
As someone who does research and is vaguely interested in the findings there are two sides to this. In FB's defence it seems pretty unlikely that anyone would actually really be hurt by this. There is much worse stuff on the News, even in El Reg. I think it weakens people's argument against this if they say its just like prisoner/warder experiments or mind control etc. It also seems artificial to say that "proper" research that goes into journals etc. has to go through ethical review and full informed consent but "commercial" research - people ringing you up to ask how you feel about catfood, web surveys etc. don't. I'm not sure how you change this but from my experience ethics committees are supposed to reflect community standards but often seem to search for problems which are only theoretical - e.g. in a study we did to ask older users to use tabletsor smartphones we narrowly avoided having to provide counselling for users who may have got distressed. Advertisers also try to associate their products with positive things - "Soap gets you clean" is only seen in Billy the fish.
On the anti-FB side, journalists ask lots of offensive questions and shops etc. effectively do a/B tests all the time by offering discounts to some people not others.
On the anti-FB side they are staffed by the most annoying people in the world (TM), they didn't ask me if I wanted to be involved and you can actually get permission for deception in research from most ethics ctte's as long as you justify it and I think you probably could with a fairly small redesign and possibly the offer of support to people who may have been distressed, although again distress seems unlikely.
However, I would be prepared to serve on an ethical review board for large Internet companies wanting to do this sort of work, as long as the meetings were held somewhere convenient to unspoiled beaches with rather nice restaurants and first-class travel available.
Sorry, no - the correct getting started instruction set for a new "easy to use" interface reads "Turn power on using large obvious button, Use device".
Apple touchscreens do this, Android devices mostly do this, Apple Macs don't really until you learn a little, Windows 95- 7 machines guide you through this, but you have to make reasonable guesses
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