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Welcome to Walter Moore Canada's Blog. These comments are strictly opinion. You can disagree!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ain't Microsoft Dead Yet? They are missing the Kinect boat!

I used to be a huge fan of Microsoft in the late 90's(OK, I hated them the least) but since small form factor devices(mostly smart phones) have come on the scene Microsoft has fallen off a cliff. The only thing I have been hoping for is that they get off their butt and integrate the Kinect with the OS and eventually the Kinect with many other devices. At this point in time it is the only thing that looks promising to me. Microsoft keeps trying new things without focussing on what is clearly an untapped winner. They have included Kinect with the XBoxOne but haven't taken things any further.  I have seen demonstrations of early hacks of the Kinect that showed so much potential. Google is trying to incorporate all the great concepts in Kinect into their devices now.
It seems every one BUT Microsoft is starting to use the Kinect in ways beyond gaming. Microsoft needs Bill in there to ask them WTF they are doing. Start selling products that sell and worry less about last years products. Trying to recapture a market that doesn't exist any more is useless.
Time for Microsoft to realize the desktop is dead, long live the entertainment workstation... The NEW desktop... Coming soon to your house ;)

IndexDB... There is potential here.

Originally posted 2014-12-22

I have recently been looking into IndexDB which is available on most newer browsers. IndexDB is the only database that both Firefox and IE support for local/client database storage . Chrome supports both IndexDB and WebSQL. Firefox has sworn never to support WebSQL and WebSQL has been depreciated in standards groups.

At first I can tell you I thought IndexDB sucked. I am from old school and know SQL and relational databases. IndexDB doesn't have any of the relational structures that I am used too and it is missing all types of functions. Personally I thought it was a key/value/value design on steroids but not a database. I could not understand what the big deal was about and was quite upset that both IE and Firefox would choose this crap as their one and only local/client-side database.

IndexDB uses "new" terms for things(sort of)... Tables are Stores, Fields are Properties. However, Properties are Fields on steroids. This is where I saw the huge advantage. You can store arrays in a property. Even better, you can search arrays.

So what? 
Look at how current relational databases handle fields that need arrays(multiple entries)... They create "related" tables. Here is a perfect example... Contacts. Often we create separate tables to track multiple occurrences of something(like phone numbers, addresses,etc). We then need the whole relationship deal happening. Not in IndexDB... We can store the phone numbers as a multidimensional array... All in the same store!!!! Who needs relations and their complexity? The very few exceptions are outweighed by the benefits under most situations. The ability to group all the related stuff together as an "object" is huge in my opinion.

Of course you know there had to be a down side... For some reason IE does not support storing arrays at this time? Go figure. It is part of the standard so I expect IE will support it soon. The other issues... very different from SQL design/code requires learning, the lack of built in functions that come with SQL, reports-unless object centric... When IE starts to support the ability to store arrays IndexDB is a clear winner... The speed benefits others talk about could be available if we didn't have to handle relationships. Until then be patient. You can use custom libraries like Dojo to simplify the process and add functionality missing in IndexDB but I try and avoid using these libraries personally. I find I only want to use 2 functions out of the 400 they provide so they create bloatware which hurts us all.

I am sure I will find other advantages/disadvantages in the future(like security) but that is a future update ;)

At this point start getting into it but I think it has a ways to go for most mainstream applications.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2011 Avening and Glencairn Cleanups.... NOT!

I haven't been to Avening or Glencairn parks much this year and hadn't done any cleaning so I decided last week to check out he status of the 2 parks. Below is the results, what a contrast.

This park is always a dream to clean. It is maintained by the community and they have people that care. I haven't  cleaned this park since last year and was impressed with how little garbage there was. After going through the entire maintained area I only ended up with a very small amount of garbage. It was hard to even find a cigarette butt ;) This community should be proud of their park, it is very nice.
This as all the garbage I found in the entire park. Next to nothing ;)

This is Avening park. One of the cleanest parks around.

And now for the other side...
This park is not maintained at all or at least not regularly. Like Avening I haven't cleaned this park since last year(cleaned both parks on same day). What a mess. If you read previous years entries on this park you will remember I already removed over 10 tires from the woods and water. Guess what.... there are now 6 more tires in the water and garbage throughout the park. I was so frustrated I just took pictures and left. I spent so much time to keep that park clean and it was destroyed by only a few people. Here are some pictures of the crap that is everywhere... Keep in mind this just shows the big stuff, there are a lot of cigarette butts and beer bottle tops as well...
Might be able to excuse this junk. It was at least in the fire pit.
 Tire #1
 Tire #3 & 4
 Actually quite a solid table. would be great for putting heavy plants on in a greenhouse.
 Part of a tent just thrown in the woods.
 Very large plastic tarp stuffed away.
 Somebody decided to create their own firepit.
 This is what virtually the whole property looks like now... garbage everywhere ;(
 Lots of hidden garbage around every corner.
 Even the small beach is a mess.
 If I had a truck I would have taken this table. Looks in great shape.
 Some kid is looking for their chair right now ;(
 Just more crap in the woods.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The biggest stock market screw over

So you thought Bernie with his $50 Billion dollar scam was taking advatange of poor investors? Have a look at just one of the things brokers can do to investors LEGALLY!

How many of you know what "shorting" is and how is it allowed? Read below and you will get upset over how this works and even madder that it is even allowed.

"Shorting" a stock is selling a stock that you don't own anticipating the stock will go down so you can buy it cheaper later... but how can you sell a stock you don't own... That is illegal isn't it???? Well technically you can't sell stocks you do not own, that is called naked short selling and that is illegal. So how do the brokers do it? THEY LOAN THE STOCK THEIR CUSTOMERS BOUGHT!!!! For a fee of course.

So here is how it works... The brokers charge you fees to buy a stock for you and they hold the actual stock certificates. The broker then "loans" those stock(for a fee of course) to someone else who wants to short the stock. The broker is making money off BOTH customers and the broker has no risk!
 So now you gotta ask... What the F*(&*&**^!!!!! .... Your broker is actually using the stock you bought against you. Allowing others to "borrow" your stock to short in effect drives the price of the stock DOWN! That is totally against your best interests. 

Are you a littl upset now? You should be. What can you do? If you purchase indiviual stock you can request the actual certificates which ensures the broker can't loan your shares. This unfortunately creates headaches for you to manage your stock certificates. When it comes to mutual funds you can't get the individual stock certificates so you have no control.

If this ticks you off start asking questions of your brokers. The reason I got on this rant is one of my mutal funds is applying to be able to do this for the entire fund of stocks. If you are wondering which company.... AGF is about to do it on all their funds.

Supporters of shorting will tell you it stops irrational exhuberance of stock going through the roof. However, they don't mention that shorting causes stocks to drop much faster because it is almost a self fullfilling prophecy. Shorting can easily take a company with a little difficulty and wipe it out. Look at what was going on with AIG nd CITI during the crash. There was huge volumes of shorts almost causing both these companies to collapse. 


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kinect Games - EA Sports Active 2

Other than a heart rate monitor this game is junk as far as being Kinect enabled. You need a controller at several points which defeats the benfits of Kinect.

I did not find the program itself to have as many features as Your Shape and if possible I would have returned this game because of it's cost($100) and my disappointment in the quality.

Of the 9 games I have tried this was the one I felt I really over paid. I do not feel it has been worth the money.

However, if you need to integrate a heart rate monitor into your exercises this is still better than the WII and Move versions. The reporting on heart rates was interesting ;)

Kinect Games - Your Shape

If you don't care about the hearrt rate monitor this exercise game is much better than EA Sports Active 2 game. You can see it was built for the Kinect and really helps you perform exercises properly.

It will show you exactly which parts of your body are positioned right for an exercise(they show in green) and which are not(shown in red). From the start a controller is not needed. It also provides several exercise games, TiBo and Zen exercises. There is a lot to this exercise game.

If you want to get into shape this is a good game to get. It is much better than EA Sports game except it doesn't come with a heart rate monitor.

This was the frst game I purchased and it still is very good. Expect to sweat and feel good that you are performing exercises properly.

Kinect Games - Kinect Adventures

This game came with my Kinect controller. It is simple yet a lot of fun, especially for multiple people. None of the included games require any special skills.

When I show people the Kinect quite often I use this game first because it is easy and fun. Anyone can understand the games yet they are challenging for experienced players.

I like all the games but I prefer the white water rafting as it provides a high level of interaction. Although it can be frustrating when playing with 2 people for serious gamers(One person goes left, the other goes right ;) It is just so much fun.

However, if this game did not come with the Kinect I am not sure I would buy it. I prefer the games that specialize in one thing because they are much more detailed and the quality is usually better.