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Comment: Re:Transparency in Government is good! (Score 1) 334

But to be fair the system is rigged so that only people with an "R" or a "D" can possibly win most elections. The goal, then, should be to vote for the least harmful candidate who actually has a chance of winning. There are a lot of reasons why there is a two-party system in the U.S., and a significant one is because of the winner-take-all, first-over-the-line voting system. The collusion of the Big Two Parties and the relative ignorance of the average voter are also significant, but the voting system is probably the strongest reason.

Comment: Re:Transparency in Government is good! (Score 4, Insightful) 334

This is fine if voting were a philosophical decision. But it isn't. Not really. It's a game theory decision. You are voting to maximize the benefits to the city/state/nation based on the choices offered. Voting for the perfect third party candidate, when there is no chance that person can win, is not maximizing the benefits of the outcome. Voting for the "least evil" of the candidates who actually stand a chance of winning (and in a general election, the number of candidates is almost always two) will produce the most benefit.

Those people who voted for Nader in 2000 were in effect voting for Bush. Those who voted for Perot in 1992 were in effect voting for Clinton. It has nothing to do with Nader or Perot as candidates, but the mechanics of a winner-take-all, first-over-the-line voting system. Voting for a third party candidate is, for all intents and purposes, voting for the candidate of the Two Party duopoly who is _least_ like the third-party candidate.

Every politician, every PAC, every campaign does everything in its power to game the system, not because they are corrupt or evil, although many are, but because that's how you win. Similarly, voters should spend a little more time considering the actual effects of their votes in addition to the intended effects of their vote. I would join in the call for a better, more mathematically sound, voting system, but that ain't gonna happen.

Comment: Re:Transparency in Government is good! (Score 5, Insightful) 334

The wags would say that if voting could change anything, the politicians would make it illegal.

Actually, I don't really buy that. But, voting only changes something when the electorate is educated and voters take their voting duty seriously. This doesn't happen in the U.S. for a majority of voters. We only need to see who gets elected and their track records to know this.

For every person who is making an informed decision based on their beliefs, and their understanding of the candidates and their positions (and I would guess that the /. audience has more than its share of these), there are several low-information voters who are deciding solely on whose commercial hits all the right notes.

Normally, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but there is way too much evidence, given the kinds of polls you see about the level of general knowledge of the average American, to believe that most Americans are making educated decisions on whom to vote for. There are other issues, such as our voting system pretty much forcing a two-party system to arise, but just watching the nonsense that comes out of the mouths of many of our elected officials says a lot. In a better world, a lot of these people would have been laughed off of the ballots.

Comment: Re:I must be missing something. (Score 1) 240

by ConceptJunkie (#49268543) Attached to: Windows 10 Enables Switching Between Desktop and Tablet Modes

If you need to install third-party software to make the basic OS usable or presentable, then the OS makers have failed miserably.

You're preaching to the choir. Users have been screaming this since the earliest test releases of Windows 8.

Windows 8 was all about servicing Microsoft by trying to funnel all of the users into their app store ecology. That was the sole purpose of every change to the UI and the existence of Metro on the desktop in the first place. It was never about anything else. The only reason that don't abandon it entirely is because that would require admitting that it was all a farce in the first place.

Comment: Re:I must be missing something. (Score 1) 240

by ConceptJunkie (#49268517) Attached to: Windows 10 Enables Switching Between Desktop and Tablet Modes

Yeah, I think the Windows 8 UI is a steaming pile of fail, but I never understood the hate the ribbon gets. Sure, it's different, and has its advantages and disadvantages, but I never had any issues with it. Of course, I avoid Office as much as possible, but I have no issues with the ribbon.

Comment: Re:I must be missing something. (Score 1) 240

by ConceptJunkie (#49268409) Attached to: Windows 10 Enables Switching Between Desktop and Tablet Modes

I agree with your comments until we get to Windows 8. I think Windows 8 is another step in uglification of Windows. No problem, I originally thought, because there's always classic mode. In my option, although the Windows 7 default UI was the least objectionable, I think every version of Windows since Windows 2000 has had an uglier default UI than Windows 2000. But it's no big deal when you can go back to the "classic" look.

But apparently Windows 8 is so advanced, so sophisticated, it can't do that, so I'm stuck with the hideous flatness (memories of Windows 2) where all the windows on the desktop look like a giant mess because there little or nothing to differentiate between them, and there's nothing I can do about it. Regardless of what you think of the "flat" look (and like I said, I hate it), there is absolutely no way it is an improvement from a functionality and UI point-of-view. Elements on the screen, and especially different windows simply run together in a mess of undifferentiated rectangles. The pajama boy hipsters have taken over the asylum and we all have to suffer from their ridiculous sense of taste.

I really wouldn't mind this nonsense if there were some way to just make it work like it used to. There is almost nothing in Windows 8 that I like over Windows 7*, and there wasn't much in Windows 7 I liked over XP.

*The only thing I can think of is the pauseable file copy dialogs (which Linux has had for at least a decade), but of course, they now have focus issues and I will often find myself dragging and dropping something multiple times because the file copy dialog is hidden underneath everything else, showing an error message that I never see until I alt-tab to it. Fortunately, robocopy is still a thing, because nothing beats it.

Comment: Re:The quality of a lot of that feedback is suspec (Score 1) 236

I noticed 90% of them are not in anyway helpful to the developers - statements like "It deosunt prnit" (with no further information as to what didn't print and on what hardware) or "why are you so dtoopid!" --- "useful information" to that effect.

Well, after Windows 8, it's just payback.

After all, this is the OS gave us:

"Its flat. Flat luks cool."
"Start Button iz lame. Start screen is mor usefl."
"Mrtro is the fut0rz. EVerything is fill screen!!1"

Comment: Re:I loved his books but... (Score 1) 299

by ConceptJunkie (#49245995) Attached to: Sir Terry Pratchett Succumbs To "the Embuggerance," Aged 66

I felt the same way about "Raising Steam". It felt like a story outline with a bunch of filler. There was a little good humor, but a tiny, tiny percentage compared to any previous books. I finished it (as an audio book) out of a sense of duty, rather than because I enjoyed it, especially because I knew this had to be his last book. Unfortunately, I found most of it really boring.

I thought "Snuff" was fine, just different, although I didn't care for the goblins. They were just too one-dimensional, unlike every other race Terry Pratchett chose to flesh out in his remarkably detailed world.

Nevertheless, I will continue to read and re-read the Discworld books and his other books for the rest of my life. He's been my favorite author for many years.

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain