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I had to test accessibility software compatibility with the application I work on, and man, it was an eye opener. I decided to try to do some basic tasks using it, and the closest analogy I could come up with was trying to do productivity work through a phone menu.

I had to listen very carefully for the things I was interested in, and then slowly navigate my way through the UI tree. If my mind wandered I became totally lost.

Its like the opposite of walking your parents through something over the phone...

I have a Roku, and I bought it for the exact reason that they don't (at least from what I can tell) have their own streaming service. I wanted a device where the makers have a direct stake in making the best experience for all streaming services possible, and there are no second class citizens.

I didn't want a device coming from a company participating in multi-sided markets. It just ends up with an internal conflict of interest and it's always not clear to the customer what side is the win.

Roku was spun off from a Netflix project:


While I agree (and own a Roku myself) I'm concerned that the end game here is all the content owners removing their stuff from Roku and forcing us to buy a dozen HDMI sticks.

The should use the competitor's pages as an opportunity to upsell prime-compatible devices. Show a "Prime Video" logo crossed out that you can click on that takes you to a page telling you why Prime is so much better than whatever you're trying to buy.

(I don't know if that gets into legal hot waters or not, but couldn't be worse than actually not selling competing devices.)

If someone wants to buy an Apple TV, chances are they're just going to go to apple.com to do it, and Amazon has lost the chance to turn that customer over.

Or, you know, just implement Chromecast support in their apps. There's SDKs to do so, and netflix, hulu and others have already done so.

Their lack of support for other devices is almost certainly intentional. (I'm surprised at the amount of sway the hardware teams appear to have over the Prime Video app team. Someone very high up is preventing this from happening for strategic reasons.)

Are there data sources for traffic? Google maps is my go-to commuting app because it gives me alternatives to get around traffic congestion. Is there any sort of aggregation or service alternative to Google maps (and Waze)?

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh441725 and possibly the same thing: https://developer.here.com/rest-apis/documentation/traffic/t...

It depends on the user scenario. My family has a Roku and it's great - our kids don't have smartphones, and we can also choose a video to play by looking at the TV screen.

Also note that the Roku has an Android app that allows you to completely avoid any on-TV UI, if you so choose.

True, Chromecast only works in a world where it's assumed that everybody has a smartphone (and a decent in-home WiFi setup...) I hadn't thought about children no having smartphones or tablets, of if grandma comes over and doesn't know how to use a smartphone so she can't watch Netflix.

Can you cast to Roku through Netflix/YouTube/etc? It's not the on-TV UI that I don't like as much as it is that I like browsing through Netflix on my phone much more. I know with the Xbox One (and the 360) you can cast Netflix and YouTube to it just the same as you would to a Chromecast, so it wouldn't surprise me if other devices implement the same functionality.

The Roku can be casted to, although I haven't played all to much with this functionality. I've done it through the youtube app on my phone. Haven't tried it with Netflix though, but I suspect it would work.

It depends on the kind of housing and street layout. If you're in suburbia, walking to your street vs walking to your front door is a difference of 20 feet.

Also note that for many neighborhoods in the US, picking up the mail is a PITA - there's a collective mail box somewhere in the neighborhood that you need to walk to, usually a several minute walk. Door-to-door mail delivery only exists for houses that are several decades old.

If I could get a business to gather my postal mail & packages and park outside my door I would be very happy.

The US is actually not very representative of what the whole world looks like out there. In most modern cities you have apartment buildings with several floors and they have separate mailboxes - either common ones or individual ones right at your door.

Amazon is a global company and they would need to address the local differences everywhere.

That sounds like a nice system. In the US we don't have scanners you pick up at the entrance - it's more like you do the part the cashiers used to do. You pull up to a scanner, scan everything in your cart, bag everything, then put it back in your cart and pay at the machine.

A scale underneath the bagging area keeps tabs on everything you can to make sure you're not cheating the system. (Still, I've heard stories of people checking out all produce as watermelons.)

That does sound less pleasant. Now that I'm thinking about that, I've encountered a system like that once. I think that was one of the first supermarkets trialing self-checkout. The system disappeared soon after and got replaced by what I've described.

It is quite easy to cheat the current system, though the random sampling helps some. I think someone somewhere made a decision that it is worth it to improve customer satisfaction and deal with some losses, but I have no idea.

How does that system handle produce? That's one of the big reasons why automated checkout works like it does in the US (using checkout stations and scales).

Most (all?) supermarkets require you to weigh produce yourself, even when making use of regular checkout. There are several scales with a bunch of buttons in the produce section, you put your produce of preference on there and press the button to identify it. Then you get a sticker with a barcode/price based on the produce type and weight.

Giant and other grocery stores have handheld scanners, but it's not the greatest user interface. There is definitely room for disruption there.

You'll need to also provide a voip service that will obnoxiously ping you for "entertainment".

You could have the same title as a lessons-learned post about the post-mortem into discovering why the time server for an org was 20 years fast, diving into the machine to discover to their horror that some intern modified the time service to think about years, seasons, and months in a very human perspective.


Longer term the team should track down where those PDFs are coming from.

"Source --> PDF --> docx --> HTML --> json" is just nuts.

>Coming into the sprint, we understood that one of the major constraints is that the handbook is created and maintained using Microsoft Word.

It's likely that the original source for the PDF/paper copies was lost. This necessitated the process of using OCR to get it into Word.

Obviously maintaining such a large and important piece of documentation in Word is wrong, but that's apparently how it's being done.

I think word is actually one of the better tools to do this.

This reads like someone who doesn't have an understanding of the enormous power that word has hiding under it's shell.

Recent versions of Word can also import PDFs, which is useful in a pinch. I think it would have been a good fit for replacing OCR here.

Note that some PDFs contain actual text and markup, and can be imported natively. But others (eg. ones that came from a scanner) are nothing but an image of each page. Such images require some kind of OCR to turn into text, which I doubt Word's built in import will do.

What are the options? It should be something that any clerk can handle and that doesn't become obsolete.

"It should be something that any clerk can handle and that doesn't become obsolete."

This is an important statement. in that it is a reasonable goal, but nearly impossible.

Even using word, once one gets past a simple document, and starts having TOC, index, etc. and is "four five-inch binders" full of pages, then not just ANY CLERK will be able to maintain the document.

How elitist have we become that the top comment says staff will become confused by the term "sprint" or using Microsoft word, the most ubiquitous document writing software in existence. Would I use it? No. Would I suggest it here? Yes. I mean we are talking about PRINTING a 500 page document and carrying it around so we can't reach for the stars here, but I will grant them 2nd grade english and 5th grade typing proficiency.

Sure, maybe not _any_ clerk, but there are certainly more people that have deep knowledge of Word than LaTeX, mediawiki, etc

Okay, invoking Word vs LaTex automatically makes your argument a straw man. I would have compared word to e.g. Adobe InDesign.

It has been my experience that while almost everybody can create a passable document in Word, something technical/government-ish with 500 pages and all of the publishing accouterments that come with a document of size, purpose, and complexity, you're getting into specialist territory, and almost all of the DTP specialists I know start by importing Word files in to InDesign.


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