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Bryce Thomas
Worked at James Cook University
Attends James Cook University
Lives in Seattle, USA
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Bryce Thomas

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A long overdue article based on my experience developing liber80211.
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Ha neat - sounds like what I did w/ the rtl driver.

+Dominic Spill and I have been working on making a hardware shim (starting with the beaglebone black and ending with a cheaper custom bit of hardware probably) that talks a much simplified protocol to android/win/mac and abstracts the wifi.

I'll check out your library once I get back from shmoo.
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Two cool (and unrelated) articles just out of Google on new applications of image recognition:

http://googleresearch.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/lens-blur-in-new-google-camera-app.html: ex post facto lens blur on Android.

http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/street-view-and-recaptcha-technology.html: Street View image recognition can now break a lot of captchas.
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A closed-form solution for solving an image layout problem of one "double-row" image and two rows of variable count images, without changing the native aspect ratios.

The authors note it's substantially faster than using a constraint solving method like Cassowary (http://goo.gl/93g2gB), which just happens to be the generic layout framework iOS Auto Layout uses.  Off the top of my head I'm not sure what Cassowary's computational complexity is.  

Note the authors assume that images have already been assigned to rows, so it's not a complete solution on its own.  There's a dynamic programming solution to text justification at http://goo.gl/lz3ylx though, which generalizes to tokens of known length (e.g. images), not just text.

Also related - it looks like there's Internet API's that will do object detection on images to automate cropping, if you want to take that approach rather than retaining whole image content and aspect ratios (http://goo.gl/9bKmxR).
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As it turns out, the 80 character standard code width can be traced back to the IBM punch card which had 80 columns.  The IBM punch card having 80 columns can in turn be traced back to the late 1880's when the card's size was chosen to fit into existing currency carriers so the census data records could be carried in them.
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Yep.  Depending on the monitor I find it works fairly well with either two or three frames.  Probablyeasier to read than longer lines too, though I haven't verified this in practice.
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The author posits that 24-bit/192kHz audio reproduction offer no auditory benefits to humans over 16-bit/44.1kHz, consumes more space and is liable to inducing distortion in the human audible frequency range. A number of interesting topics including the nature of human hearing and signal sampling are discussed in some detail.
Also see Xiph.Org's new video, Digital Show & Tell, for detailed demonstrations of digital sampling in action on real equipment! Articles last month revealed that musician Neil Young and Apple's Steve Jobs discussed offering digital music downloads of 'uncompromised studio quality'.
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An interesting paper on the computational intractability of deriving macroscopic properties of objects from their microstates.  There's an accompanying article at https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/7ef5eea6fd7a
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I really like this concept.  You submit a URL you'd like user tested, and someone randomly chosen off the Internet does a first visit usability test.  The linked video is the result for JCUNav.  Mostly positive (which is flattering), though some negative feedback probably tends to be what drives something to be improved.  

Note it doesn't have to be your own URL you submit --  bonus Internet points for whoever submits the biggest doozy.  
A 5 minute video of a real user testing jcunav.com/.
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yeh, for sure, good for a freebie
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I have a mild obsession with efficient short range transport, and this is probably one of the best options I've seen so far.  The weight needs some work, but it beats other options in a lot of key areas.  Consider the following:

Walking/Running
Pros: cheap, minimal equipment.
Cons: slow, you end up disgusting at your destination if running and/or hot.  EDIT: Wear and tear on joints (running) (see +Nigel Bajema 's comment).

Cycling
Pros: reasonably priced, relatively fast.
Cons: Bicycles are bulky, they need to be locked up/secured at either end of the journey, they're a PITA to take on public transport (in TSV it's not even an option), again you end up disgusting at your destination if it's hot and/or you're putting in effort.  Paraphernalia includes helmet, chain, key. 

Skateboarding (traditional board)
Pros: reasonably priced.
Cons: still quite slow unless you've got particularly good roads, you need to learn how to do it, disgusting at destination again.

Heelys
See http://www.heelys.com.au/.  They're shoes with a wheel in the sole.
Pros: lightweight, if you already wear shoes not much of an extra burden.  Physically portable.
Cons: pretty much unusable on all but the smoothest of surfaces.  Hot/disgusting at destination again.

Powerbocking
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerbocking.  Like kangaroo legs.
Pros: I've heard these can actually be quite fast.
Cons: time to physically attach/detach, decent ones aren't cheap, have to learn how to do it, everyone will look at you extra funny.

Segway
Pros: reasonable speed.
Cons: Big and bulky, expensive, again people look at you extra weird.  Laws and regulations plus helmet paraphernalia.

Scooter (non motorised)
Pros: reasonably priced.
Cons: even the best scooter's aren't much faster than a skateboard.  

Car
Pros: lots of space to put junk.  Fast.  It locks.  Aircon/you won't end up disgusting (except in my car).
Cons: expensive, PITA with repairs, takes up a whole load of space on the road.

So what do I like about the Onewheel?  
Pros: It's small enough (though still too heavy) to carry around conveniently on e.g. public transport/into an office so you don't need a lock and chain.  This makes it feasible for first and last mile trips.  It's electric, which means you've got less chance of being disgusting at your destination from physical exertion.  It's intuitive, so easier to learn than e.g. skateboarding.  A lot of places probably won't regulate it yet meaning no helmet paraphernalia.  Basically it's got even less setup and teardown cost than a car (no doors to open/close), you won't end up disgusting, it's fairly portable and you can get decent speed.
What needs improvement?
Cons: it's relatively expensive (but nowhere near the cost of running a car).  The weight needs work.  Slightly longer range could be beneficial.  
I actually think it would be really cool to have these at urban transport sharing stations rather than bicycles.  They could charge at said stations and as already mentioned have better portability characteristics than a bicycle.  
Onewheel: the self-balancing electric skateboard that gives you the feeling of flying
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sheila whitaker's profile photo
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Work
Occupation
PhD Student, Software Engineer
Employment
  • James Cook University
    Tutor, 2011 - 2013
    Elementary Python and Java.
  • SafetyCulture
    Software Engineer, 2013 - 2014
    iOS and App Engine (Python) application development.
  • BIGmate Monitoring Solutions
    Undergraduate Systems Development Officer, 2006 - 2009
    Systems programming with C# / Microsoft Stack.
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Currently
Seattle, USA
Previously
Townsville, Australia - Mackay, Australia
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PhD student and software developer
Education
  • James Cook University
    PhD Information Technology, 2011 - present
    Researching the theoretical efficacy of wireless peer-to-peer content delivery networks.
  • James Cook University
    Honours Information Technology, 2010 - 2010
    Researching Internet-scale peer-to-peer content delivery networks at the edge in an attempt to mitigate the impact of the speed of light on latency.
  • Central Queensland University
    Bachelor Information Technology, 2006 - 2009
    Specializing in software development and networks.
  • Mackay North State High School
    2001 - 2005
    Programming, mathematics and a little English and biology on the side.
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First, it's worth pointing out the good parts of my experience with Kmart Tyre & Auto: - Scheduling a time was fast and easy - The work that *was* performed was performed in a timely manner - The staff are pleasant enough The bad: The first time I booked my vehicle in was for a basic service and inspection as well as to have a headlight bulb replaced. This all went smoothly enough - the service was performed and they identified other problems with the vehicle and gave me a quote on having them fixed. The only issue with my first booking was that they forgot to replace the headlight, which they did on the spot after I mentioned it, so no big deal, albeit an oversight that did cost me some time. The second time I booked my vehicle in was to have several of the problems Kmart Tyre and Auto identified in the first booking addressed, as well as some small other things I explicitly requested. Among the repairs were a request to have the alternator replaced, some plastic under the steering column reattached and the windscreen washers repaired. These are the issues I encountered: - The alternator was replaced, but when I got into the vehicle the battery light was on the dash and I had to go back in and ask that it be remedied/sat around while this was done. This is something I would have expected a mechanic to pick up on. - I was charged for the reattachment of the plastic under the steering wheel, but the work wasn't actually done - at all. I only realised this after getting home. Again, another clear oversight. - Also after getting home, I realised that while the windscreen washer bottle and pump were replaced, the washer's didn't actually work - a third clear oversight. - During the initial inspection, the alternator was identified as the problematic component in the vehicle's electrical system and so Kmart Tyre & Auto suggested I have it replaced. I had been told that the battery was fine. It wasn't until *after* the alternator had been replaced that I was told that the battery in fact also required replacing. I'm going to assume this was simply another oversight and not an intentionally false diagnosis designed to get me to pay for a new alternator (substantially more expensive than a new battery). Given these issues, I contacted Kmart Tyre & Auto and requested that my vehicle be picked up, correctly repaired and then returned to my address. I was told that pickup and drop-off wasn't possible to be arranged and that I would have to bring the vehicle back in. As Kmart Tyre & Auto offered no concessions here I contacted the customer service department requesting the same with the alternative of legal action. Several hours later I received a phone call from Kmart Tyre & Auto to arrange a time for the vehicle to be picked up and dropped off again. The vehicle was picked up, repaired and dropped back off at my address. It would seem (at least thus far) that the work was performed correctly this time around. Given there were some good points to my experience as highlighted above, I've given this review 2 stars instead of 1. The missing attention to detail however has been somewhat unfortunate, as has been having to propose legal action in order to get issues remedied.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
1 review
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