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Comment: That is easy. (Score 2) 230 230

Win 7 GUI (with Win2K Pro GUI as classic mode) with WinFS** from Longhorn Alpha and WIMBoot from Win 8.

**-What is sad is that the WinFS demo was in 2003 and here we are in 2015 and we have YET to see anybody give us what they showed in that demo! Where is the file system that can just scan vids and pics and assign metadata like "girl in blue dress" or "white truck" and let me find any file by using human expressions without requiring the user to fill in the blanks?

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 1) 112 112

Unfortunately, by your definition I don't believe that there *are* any civilized nations. It's not that I disagree with you, exactly. But I believe that your idealized definition of civilized doesn't map to any country in the world either at the present time or at any previous time.

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 1) 112 112

Plenty of excuses, but sorry, if we're using English "kill the messenger" essentially means to act in such a way as to discourage others with the same (or sufficiently similar) message.

You may use the excuses to claim that the intent was other than "killing the messenger", but not to argue that that isn't what they did. To argue that that isn't what they did you would (probably) need to show that their action did not serve to discourage others with similar communications.

OTOH, perhaps in Spanish the phrase would be taken literally, as it once was in English. But in modern English "kill" has many figurative uses, such as "kill the spotlight" (though I think that's now more commonly "strike the spot", which also doesn't involve hitting the light).

Comment: Re:I'm all for recreational drone use but... (Score 1) 70 70

Realistically, yes, I'd call the cops quickly if someone was buzzing the crowd unsafely with a quadcopter. And cops are not totally incompetent - it's usually not that hard to spot an R/C operator (presuming the operator is flying within line-of-sight.)

But if the opportunity presented itself, I'd probably throw a jacket or other object at the stupid thing, and if by some random chance it actually came down, I'd probably stomp the shit out of it. I have no tolerance or respect for people threatening my safety with their stupidity.

Comment: Re:Low-tech for a reason (Score 3) 129 129

No, I don't have to learn any of the skills, at all, and I don't want to. I don't want to spend days or hours or even minutes learning the finer points of pit BBQ, and that's the entire point of buying this robot. I don't have to learn when to turn up the heat or turn it down, I don't have to know how much wood to put in or when. I don't have to check on the condition of the product. I simply give my charge card to Williams-Sonoma, haul the BBQbot home and plug it in, add meat and wood, and get delicious brisket out the other end. Every. Single. Time. I wasted zero of my time learning how to barbeque brisket - I just enjoy the results of other people's learnings. If the robot fails, I drag it back to Williams-Sonoma and ask them to service it. It would be no different than any other tool that I own that I don't fix myself.

I don't understand your preoccupation with fear of breakdowns of systems. I know that some days, despite scheduled maintenance, my truck will breakdown in some way I can't fix and that I'll have to have to deal with a problem. Fear of the inevitable breakdown doesn't mean I sell my truck today and walk to work. It means that I understand the truck can break, and that some days I'll have to call for a tow. Similarly if the BBQbot fails in my restaurant, I tell the servers to 86 the brisket, and we sell grilled chicken until the replacement robot arrives.

As a business owner, why would I buy a BBQbot instead of hiring a pit master? Because the robot costs me $20,000, and it stays in the kitchen 24x7x365. A pit master has weekends, takes vacations, calls in sick (or doesn't call in at all), and costs me $60,000 every year. I'd be far more worried about hiring a temperamental person that could quit and cripple the menu on a busy night. And if I discovered I was that utterly dependent on the robot, I'd simply buy two of them.

Every business risks breakdowns of all kinds of complex systems every day: plumbing, fires, melted freezers, employees quitting, roof collapses, electrical problems, labor problems, yet most manage to stay in business even through disasters. Why? Because they know how to adapt to problems, and because taking the risks yields far more reward than doing nothing; instead of sitting there paralyzed by the fear that something might go wrong.

Comment: Re:Low-tech for a reason (Score 4, Insightful) 129 129

Through lifelong dedication, a craftsman can align a car with a string, or smoke BBQ in a trash can, or whatever it is he or she does. But their activity doesn't scale beyond what they can personally produce. And if they end up smoking 100 pounds of meat per day to run their restaurant, that's it. There's little time left in the day to innovate. Craftsmen don't scale well, unless they industrialize their processes, (and then you risk ending up with a product with all the qualities of Budweiser.).

The rest of us are dedicated to other things: jobs, families, other hobbies. Does our inexperience mean we can't enjoy products of similar quality as the craftsmen produce? What's wrong with distilling the essence of their wisdom into a PID controller and an Atmel chip? If my BBQ-bot fails, I'm certainly not going to fix it with string - but that's not the point. The point is I could occasionally enjoy a high quality smoked brisket, thanks to a machine that knows more than I do about the process.

Comment: Re:I hate bloatware as much as the next person... (Score 1) 77 77

Why not? Suing them seems totally appropriate unless they are making adequate pre-purchase disclosure, and ensuring that the prospective purchaser is aware of the characteristics of the thing they are purchasing.

Disagree? Re-read Adam Smith.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.

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