Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Just a few big wins (Score 1) 471

by Baldrake (#47874057) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

I'll already be very happy with a device that at a glance, tells me what time it is and when my next appointment is. I would strongly consider buying one just for this alone. In meetings, it comes over far ruder to grab your phone and start tapping away than to quietly glance at a watch.

The fitness tracking features will replace the device I currently use. Big win.

If I can control my podcast and audio book playback without getting my phone out of my pocket, then it will be a win when walking or biking.

I do enough travel that wrist-based navigation while walking through an unfamiliar city is attractive.

And basic home automation like adjusting my wemo lights or thermostat are a big win if it means I don't actually have to have my phone with me while shlepping around in the house.

A lot of people seem excited by notifications. I will likely turn most notifications off. I'm bombarded by enough distractions through the day already.

Comment: Considering Windows 8 (Score 1) 418

by Baldrake (#43084375) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Best To Set Up a Parent's PC?

Personally, I thoroughly dislike Windows 8. Enough that I'm now a Mac user. But I'm seriously considering moving my mother over to it.

I would set up a start screen that shows just the most basic icons: mail, web browser, photo viewer, Word, and that's just about it. I could pin her favourite web sites to the start screen as well.

She really has no need to ever see a desktop. She never runs an application in any mode other than full screen - she has no idea how windows work despite my many, many attempts to teach her. And if you stick to the metro part of Windows 8, the risk of viruses are pretty low. (Although to my knowledge she's never had a virus.)

I'm actually thinking Windows 8 might be a good fit, for exactly the reasons that I hate it for my own use.

Comment: Stress (Score 4, Insightful) 230

by Baldrake (#42892085) Attached to: New Medal Designed To Honor Cyber Soldiers

The Christian Science Monitor had an interesting piece a while back on the stress of remotely participating in combat:

At the end of the day, these pilots get in their cars and drive home to their families, mow the lawn and make dinner, or take their children to soccer practice.

The result is an "existential conflict" in some UAV pilots, says Col. Hernando Ortega, surgeon for the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency. It is "a guilt feeling, perhaps – or a 'Did I make the right decision?' " he explains." 'Was this a friendly fire incident? Was it a good outcome? Was it a bad outcome? Could I have done it better?'"

It's obviously not comparable to driving a LAV in convoy wondering when the next IED is going to detonate. But it appears to be a much tougher job than many of us would think.

Comment: We're going to buy a bunch of these (Score 1) 268

by Baldrake (#42676579) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Pro Arrives Feb. 9

We've been looking to convert one of our in-house applications to a touch UI. This allows us to continue using Visual Studio and C#. We don't care about desktop or Metro. Our app will run full-screen, so users won't see anything that's under the hood.

Sure, we could rewrite the whole damn thing for iOS or Android, but why?

Comment: Waldorf (Score 1) 690

by Baldrake (#42478587) Attached to: Why Girls Do Better At School

This is all making me feel pretty good that my son is attending a Waldorf school. They have huge emphasis on creativity, learning by doing, and loads of physical activity. They run counter to the modern focus of ever-earlier literacy and testing, so that kids have time to blow off steam outside, build things, and tell stories.

Judging by the gender balance in my kid's school, a lot of other parents of boys are thinking the same way.

Comment: Not likely, I'm afraid (Score 2) 242

by Baldrake (#41348757) Attached to: Are Commercial Games Finally Going To Make It To Linux?

Some game developers might support Linux if it comes essentially for free - e.g., because they're developing using Unity, or the game just runs under Wine. But even then, with current adoption numbers of Linux for desktop, the cost of testing, packaging, retailing and supporting is going to be more than revenues for most publishers. Sure, Indie developers are loving Linux, but their costs and expectation of profit are far lower than the big studios.

It's worth looking at what's going on with the Mac. Around a quarter of university students are using Macs these days, yet the Steam store for mac is a pathetic shadow of the store for Windows.

I wouldn't throw away your Windows partition just yet.

Comment: Re:Pathetic, very pathetic (Score 2) 396

by Baldrake (#41238129) Attached to: First Impressions of Windows 8 Powered Nokia Lumia 920 and 820

Photos auto-sync via Skydrive.

If you actually want to use Windows Live.

Ok, you got me there. If you don't want to use Microsoft's services, you indeed don't get access to Microsoft's services.

Email is all cloud-based.

For tiny little miniscule values of all...

Many of us keep photos on our home servers (my /media/Photos tree has 310GB of files) . Many of us keep emails either on the home server, or accessed from POP/IMAP servers using an email client.

If you want to have a subset of the 310GB of photos on your phone, you dump that subset in your Skydrive or Dropbox or put it up on Facebook or Flickr. Re mail - Windows Phone does support pop and imap as well as EAS. If none of those work for you, I'm afraid I'm going to call you an edge case.

Comment: Re:Interesting, very interesting +1 (Score 4, Informative) 396

by Baldrake (#41235645) Attached to: First Impressions of Windows 8 Powered Nokia Lumia 920 and 820

Unfortunately, this is simply false. There is a Windows Phone Mac Connector program that allows syncing to the Mac. As a Mac user, I can attest it works great. This of course leaves Linux users in the cold, but it is not a Windows-only solution.

More to the point, there is less and less requirement to sync to a PC at all. Photos auto-sync via Skydrive. Email is all cloud-based. Podcasts are directly synched without requiring a PC to download them. Music comes directly from your Xbox Music Pass. Apps are directly downloaded. Files can be shared via dropbox or Skydrive.

There are obviously still cases where you would like to sync directly with a computer, but they are becoming really infrequent.

Comment: Get used the idea, I'm afraid (Score 5, Interesting) 301

by Baldrake (#41206125) Attached to: California To License Self-Driving Cars

It's clearly just a matter of time until automomous cars are head and shoulders safer than those driven by people. Once this happens, adoption will be driven by the insurance companies. It will become prohibitively expensive to drive your own car.

I actually look forward to this, and wonder how it will change the interior design of cars. Will we turn the front seat around and go for a more social living room style arrangement? Will we dispense with the view from the front windshield in favour of an immersive large-screen TV? Beds for those long drives? Will we have refrigerators and microwaves so we can get breakfast on the morning commute? The possibilities are awesome.

Comment: Re:Sounds impressive, but how many are paid.. (Score 1) 397

by Baldrake (#40821121) Attached to: Mac OS X Mountain Lion Gets Three Million Downloads In 4 Days

Don't forget the step of finding your proof of purchase, scanning it and uploading it.

I agree, it's not hard in the sense that solving global warming is hard, but given that I bought it through work and have to track down whatever purchasing drone can provide proof of purchase, and then have to find a scanner, and then have to find (again) the link to that web page (where I already filled in the whole form before getting to the point where I discovered I needed the scan of the proof of purchase), it's looking awfully tempting just to hit the "buy" button and pay the 20 bucks.

Your time-vs-bucks tradeoff may be different from mine.

You know that feeling when you're leaning back on a stool and it starts to tip over? Well, that's how I feel all the time. -- Steven Wright

Working...