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Comment: Re:Any idea what's the motivation to remove START? (Score 1) 516

by Bacon Bits (#47149437) Attached to: Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

It's not for reasons known only to them. It's for a very good reason.

Learning a new interface to do the same tasks you already know how to do is really irritating. Even when the new interface is better, it's irritating as hell, and it takes a long time to get used to. Apple has had a huge amount of success making iPhones, iPads, and iPods all with the exact same interface. The exact same OS. There's even talk that Apple will abandon OS X on the Mac in favor of iOS.

"But," you say, "Apple products for most people are home consumer products. Business and office applications still run on Windows." Ah, true, but the hype is that the cloud is where it's at, and web applications will replace all thick applications just like they've replaced client/server applications. If iOS is the number one platform (it isn't now, but it was looking like it would be when Win8 was being developed) and everybody grows up knowing iOS and there are all these iOS apps and everything else is web-based... what's drawing people to Windows? What happens when iOS Safari has a larger market share than Windows Internet Explorer? And what if Google makes Android work on the PC?! Now you've got two major competitors and you're not even competing with them in the largest portion of the market (i.e., mobile).

"Oh, no!" Microsoft screams. "We need to unify Windows on the PC, smartphones, and tablets! What do you mean we don't have any tablets!? We need a Windows tablet! We need an App Store! We need a touch interface at all costs!"

So, that's what they did. They made a new OS built to run on tablets and smartphones, since those are the fastest growing market segments and those with the most mind share. They cut the Start Menu, which doesn't work that well on a phone or tablet at all, and created the tile menu in Win8. Unfortunately, they missed that you can't increase market share by abandoning your old market in favor of a new market. And just because a common interface is beneficial doesn't mean any common interface is sufficient to the task. You'll notice, for example, that iOS is 7 years old and currently on version 7... and still not on the desktop.

Comment: Re:Wait a sec (Score 5, Insightful) 772

by Bacon Bits (#47107617) Attached to: Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

No, you misunderstand.

Everything you think is true is something you believe. If someone says, "1+1=2," you say, "Yes, that is true." What you really mean is, "Yes, I believe that to be true." Certainly, things are true or false absent of any belief, but when we're asking about whether or not an individual thinks something is true or false, we're exactly talking about belief. We're not talking about accuracy of scientific or mathematic laws, theories, or models. We're talking about the nature of knowledge, perception, and human understanding.

Think of it this way. For thousands of years humans believed that when they saw a sunrise that the sun had revolved around the earth on a crystal sphere. That's what their knowledge of the universe told them was true, so that is what they believed, and that's what their knowledge told them they saw. That was as true to them as the truth you belive in when your knowledge tells you that the earth is held in orbit by gravity and rotates to bring the sun back into view. The fact that your knowledge might be more accurate or might have more evidence behind it is irrelevant. Your belief that it is true, or belief that it is false, or fundamental misunderstanding of what is truly going on doesn't change what's really going on. Nevertheless, knowing who agrees with your beliefs and therefore agree with what the common knowledge tells us about the universe can be valuable.

You can do the same thing with any scientific model. Consider big bang vs steady state theory. Did you know that, to this day, scientific papers are published in journals relating to the steady state model of the universe? Consider the model of the atom. We've gone from the plum pudding model, to the ring model, to the Bohr model, which is still the most commonly taught model, I believe. None of them really represnt the atom that well, of course, but people still imagine the Bohr model when you say "atom" to them. That's not what an atom actually is or looks like, but that is what people believe.

Comment: Re: Let's get this out of the way... (Score 2) 200

by Bacon Bits (#47101223) Attached to: Wikipedia Medical Articles Found To Have High Error Rate

Oh, I'm not disputing that. I'm just saying what my experience has been. Every time I've encountered the "osteopathy is bunk" rhetoric, it's invariably from someone outside the US where, I assume, you can't get a medical license as a DO.

Modern osteopathic physicians in the US practice evidence-based medicine and are trained essentially identically to any other medical doctor in the US. DOs and MDs have essentially converged. There are some minor philosophical differences, but that's it. Outside the US, though, I don't think they were ever accepted as practicing physicians.

Comment: Re: Let's get this out of the way... (Score 2) 200

by Bacon Bits (#47100181) Attached to: Wikipedia Medical Articles Found To Have High Error Rate

Part of the issue here is that osteopathy outside the US has much lower credibility. I'm not sure if there's regulations in the US about who can call themselves an osteopath or apply osteopathic treatment, or if osteopathy has a stronger tie to traditional medicine in the US, or exactly what the reason is for the difference.

Comment: Re:Wait... (Score 1) 255

by Bacon Bits (#47099425) Attached to: Chelsea Clinton At NCWIT: More PE, Less Zuckerberg

Because she works at NYU as an assistant vice provost recruiting students. One of her jobs is to go out and find academic talent and bring it to NYU. So her job is to determine what skills are most valuable in an academic sense, which is exactly what NCWIT is talking about with concerns about women in technology.

Comment: Re:Putting people in an autonomous car (Score 1) 301

I agree.

Regardless of the fact that a computer is piloting the vehicle, there still needs to be an operator/navigator to determine the destination and make other decisions for the vehicle. I like the example given of an elevator. Most elevators today are required to have emergency stops and emergency phones. Operators need to know what to do when there is an emergency inside the vehicle. They need to show they've learned the basic regulations and requirements of operating the vehicle, such as what laws apply, where and when you are and are not allowed to operate the vehicle, basic vehicle safety, what class of vehicle you're allowed to operate, etc. They also need to know how to navigate the vehicle, but without standard interfaces that is fairly complicated. Even if you throw out the bit about siting behind the wheel and pedals, there's still an amount of knowledge you need to have to be able to operate the vehicle in a safe and secure manner. You need a license to own a gun, fish, or camp in a state park because a) shit costs money to maintain, and b) you have to prove you're not too stupid to pass a license test or fill out a license form.

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