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Comment: Re:Nothing Useful (Score 1) 531

by Brulath (#47925421) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

Windows 8 had a bunch of back-end upgrades that would be incorporated into Windows 9 and that you would be missing by running Windows 7. They probably won't be night and day, but native USB 3.0 support, DirectX12+ (I think Win7 doesn't get it?), file history, and powershell 4, amongst other things, might be useful.

The shell changes are interesting. The only Metro apps I use are Reader, because it scrolls much more smoothly than Adobe/foxit ever did for me, and Weather, because it's less typing than looking up a website. Having them not take the whole screen will be nice.

Comment: Re:Welcome to Australia, Ferengi. (Score 2) 139

by Brulath (#47788275) Attached to: Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

Most of the complaints about pricing in Australia are around digital products, where there are apparently no protections outside the ability to return it if it doesn't work. That can't justify the 50-100% price increase on digital goods. You're correct that the increased price of things like e.g. Apple products is most likely due to them having to provide actual service without you paying extra, but that isn't what a lot of us are complaining about. A few years ago it was cheaper to take a flight to America and buy Adobe software then fly back than it was to buy it in Australia, despite gaining zero additional protections for it outside of a return if it doesn't work (which is fairly unlikely, depending on your definition of "doesn't work").

Comment: Re:Welcome to Australia, Ferengi. (Score 5, Informative) 139

by Brulath (#47782665) Attached to: Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

It's pretty straight forward, if it breaks within the expected tolerances and lifetime that the average consumer would expect, and is critical to the operation of the device, they must repair, replace, or refund it. If it's a major fault that would've prevented its purchase in the first place, they must refund. If it costs over either $10,000 or $40,000 (I don't recall which off-hand, as it's rarely relevant) then it falls under different warranties, but anything under those is protected.

It basically says "buyer beware" is bullshit and sellers are responsible for providing quality products, not misleading people into buying crappy ones. Though you can still provide crappy products that work just well enough to not be considered broken - they're usable, at least.

Comment: Re:ha! Inuit diet. Hazda diet. (Score 5, Insightful) 281

by Brulath (#47754839) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet

The foods our ancestors consumed don't really exist anymore. No, really, that broccoli you're eating didn't exist back in their times, and the ancestor of the broccoli plant that they ate bears little resemblance to the vegetable today. They didn't eat fatty cuts of meat, they ate super-lean meat when they could catch it. They didn't eat onion and garlic fried in olive (or coconut) oil. If they found carrots, they weren't anywhere near as large, sweet, or nutrient-rich as the ones you buy in a supermarket. Here's an archaeologist talking about it.

So given that we can't eat the diet our ancestors consumed, why discount an enormous range of foods that we have created because some others we have created (through very selective breeding) evoke some "natural" ideal? It's not difficult to argue that eating excessive quantities of deep-fried starchy food is bad for you, but that's not cause to throw out grainy breads as well. You can try arguing that coconut oil is good for you, but there isn't enough research on the subject available to conclusively decide one way or the other yet - or we would've decided already.

The argument that you can eat "what we evolved to eat" is an appeal to nature, essentially. It's not possible to eat what we ate 150,000 years ago without putting a lot of effort into finding some really crappy meals. Paleo is a fad diet which may not be harmful, but its rules are as arbitrary as any others.

Comment: It's pretty hard to roll back automated updates (Score 5, Informative) 304

I hadn't realised it was an update which caused the error, so when I finally resorted to system restore it just auto-updated immediately and broke again. At which point a second System Restore decided it would fail to modify a file and thus refused to work. Four hours later, I had to format to get Windows back.

One thing I learned: Disable fast boot, if it's enabled, on your Windows machine (powercfg -h off will disable hibernation entirely). Apparently a Ubuntu boot dvd cannot mount an NTFS partition with write enabled if a hiberfile.sys is present (apparently windows leaves its mounts active and stored in said file, so modifying the file system would cause problems). You can mount it as read-only and get your data, but if you run into a problem that could be fixed by modifying or deleting files then you're out of luck if fast boot is enabled and the action required cannot be performed from the windows boot environment (you can't disable fast boot from it, the required services aren't loaded).

Your startup time will be a little slower, but you might just save that time if something ever goes wrong with your Windows install and system restore fails.

Comment: Re:About bloody time (Score 1) 97

by Brulath (#47628607) Attached to: Valve Discloses Source 2 Engine In Recent <em>DOTA 2</em> Update

All it has is reasonably decent physics and facial animation. (the former being very hacky at best. you can destroy the game so easily by doing even simple things, like giving something 0 weight, cool impossible division bro)

Branching on the scenario of an object having zero mass in a physics simulation would be a waste, surely? The probability of someone wanting to create something in a physics simulation for a game with a mass of zero is pretty low. Workaround with similar impact is to give it a mass of 1 and call it a day. That's not a problem a player would ever encounter nor most developers, seems like a pretty weak example.

Even the modding wasn't that good. Most of them were poor quality and the only really good ones either never came out, came out after all the hype died down, or got abandoned in a buggy state. Damn shame. So many good mods got left to rot from this supposed "godsend" to modders. (hey, at least it isn't UDK2, holy shit that UI, how could they have lived with such an obtuse and inflexible UI?!) I think Black Mesa is about the only really thing that kept the dream alive.

Mods have came out and hit it big, like Gary's Mod, and others have failed. That's not an indictment of the engine, but of the teams doing the modding that couldn't meet their ambitions. Sure, the engine definitely doesn't make it easy for them compared to e.g. Unity3D, but it's a decade old now; I don't think judging the engine based on what random people are doing with it today, whilst using the past tense, is fair. Valve have made some awesome games with it, so it can be done.

Comment: Re:Bubbles (Score 1) 130

by Brulath (#47611313) Attached to: Inside the Facebook Algorithm Most Users Don't Even Know Exists

Which, if you're eating with someone else, tends to prevent any kind of conversation. Conversation at dinner is good; it causes you to eat more slowly and it makes you a bit more aware that you're eating, as opposed to being engrossed in the television and mowing through dinner. Both of those help limit food intake, and conversation helps promote a bit of family interaction that might otherwise be lacking.

That and you don't have to think about the latest Paris Hilton replacement because you hear about it every night.

Comment: Re:Try to make me forget. (Score 3, Insightful) 135

by Brulath (#47591735) Attached to: How Google Handles 'Right To Be Forgotten' Requests

The Streisand Effect is quite overrated; I have serious doubts that even one percent of cases would actually invoke it, and suspect the fraction is even smaller than that. Same goes for 4chan and, actually, the news media in general; they find a couple of things and blow those up into huge scandals using creative storytelling, and let the rest slip past.

The Streisand Effect and 4chan are risks, but they're so unpredictable that it's probably not worth considering them as much of a factor in your decision to try and hide information.

Comment: Re:Who would still want to work there? (Score 3, Informative) 66

by Brulath (#47519399) Attached to: Microsoft FY2014 Q4 Earnings: Revenues Up, Profits Down Slightly
They have this compatibility pack which proclaims it gives the ability to open newer format files in older versions of office; not sure as to its success level: Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint File Formats.

Comment: Re:Warrants are supposed to be narrow (Score 3, Insightful) 150

by Brulath (#47499937) Attached to: New York Judge OKs Warrant To Search Entire Gmail Account

The New York court, in contrast, granted on June 11 a warrant that permitted law enforcement to obtain emails and other information from a Gmail account, including the address book and draft mails, and to permit a search of the emails for certain specific categories of evidence.

They only have permission to search for certain specific categories of evidence, despite having the entire archive, so they wouldn't be able to find them guilty of some minor illegal activity unless it was part of the specific categories the judge authorised.

Have you ever tried to find something in your email account that you know is there but couldn't locate it using any search terms that came to mind, only to find it later along with something completely unrelated? How hard do you think it would be to describe to a Google employee the type of information you want them to search for in (likely) thousands of emails and get a perfect success rate (assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that that's the only satisfactory outcome)?

Responding to the opinion by the District of Columbia court that gave the government the option of getting the email host to search the emails, Judge Gorenstein wrote that Google employees would not be able to arrive at the significance of particular emails without having been trained in the substance of the investigation.

"While an agent steeped in the investigation could recognize the significance of particular language in emails, an employee of the email host would be incapable of doing so," he wrote.

It seems to be the same thing, to me. So we have limitations to the type of evidence that may be acquired, and the ability to find that evidence using people with intimate knowledge of the case (as opposed to a corporation's employee).

I don't get the fuss, it's not like you have some right to hide suspected (they got a warrant) illegal activities just because they're recorded in an email archive stored somewhere other than your computer's hard drive. The only problem I have with it could be described as a slippery slope fallacy; that is, maybe the rules will become more relaxed over time as more judges build on this case. But that's somewhat pointless speculation at this point; this judge seems to be quite sane.

Comment: Re:Seems excessive... (Score 1) 86

by Brulath (#47406383) Attached to: Netflix Is Looking To Pay Someone To Watch Netflix All Day

It might be fun for them to show off their ability at playing the game after the fact, but that doesn't change the reality of testing not living up to the dream job standard when you're actually doing the work part. It's not the worst job available, but it's not "dream job" material in the overwhelming majority of cases (though it might be a stepping stone to a dream job, sometimes).

Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it. -- William Buckley