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Comment Re:Bias? (Score 1) 161

A proper test would look at the beginner's experiences with different entry methods, and also experts -- folks using these things regularly for months or years. There's every chance of a "Coke vs. Pepsi" situation here, where some are simply easier to use out of the box, but others work better as the user gains proficiency. I'd add in other alternate virtual keyboards, too, like Swype.

Comment Re:The Irony (Score 1) 629

That is a fundamental disagreement you have then with those who founded our country and wrote the Constitution. This document carefully enumerates these fundamental human rights and constrains government from taking them away.

If those rights are "unalienable", then government can't take them away. But as we've seen, government can take them away. Hence, they aren't unalienable. It doesn't matter what certain founders of the Constitution believe, empirical evidence contradicts the assertion.

(....If you want those "inalienable" rights, then you need to work for them...)

How exactly do you propose to do that?

By exercising your rights.

What if what you think your rights are, conflict with those of what your neighbor thinks they ought to be? Since we live in a democratic society, are the ideas of your neighbors automatically correct ones, as far as what rights are concerned, if they are the majority? Does might make right? If not, why?

The Constitution handles those relatively well. Why should I reinvent the wheel here?

Comment Re:I'd like to see Apple make a move, but... (Score 1) 510

It's more than that. Apple doesn't market to people who want to buy the cheapest possible computer at Wal-mart either. Both their products and marketing are squarely aimed at people who are willing to spend a bit more to get something that works a bit better. If you're an individual to whom price is the primary criterion, you're not really a potential Apple customer. If you're a business that's big enough to have an IT department to set everything up, maintain everything, and train the users, you're probably not going to care much about Apple's value adds and you're going to go for the cheap commodity computers. If you're a small business without an IT department, you're likely more interested in what Apple brings to the table.

Your point is interesting - the major market might be shifting more towards people who need systems that are easier to set up, use and maintain. Microsoft seems to be putting more effort into that market segment, but Apple has a head start on targeting those people.

Comment Obama must first guarantee no abuse (Score 2, Insightful) 400

Police resources are abused by police for their own purposes on a regular basis. An abusive spouse who is also a police officer would have unfettered access to information on the whereabouts of their victims. This scenario alone should be enough to can this proposal, but it probably won't be.

Comment Re:Blocked at work, and trying to get 'win-backs' (Score 1) 310

Google has to be aware that every good feature it has, FB will immediately replicate.

So, Facebook will immediately replicate the ability for external sites to both aggregate updates and supply them using open protocols that Buzz has now?

Buzz's approach is an anti-walled-garden approach that goes directly against Facebook's entire approach to business. To replicate Buzz's attractive features, Facebook would have to fundamentally change its entire approach. Which would be a win for Google of a different type.

Comment Re:Now's the Time (Score 1) 310

You should definitely ask Facebook for your money back.

Or, better, if you aren't happy, stop giving them your eyeballs, which is the product they sell to their customers, who are their advertisers.

Just because a service is free of monetary charge doesn't mean you aren't giving the provider of the service something that is of value to them in order to use it.

The whole "its free, so you can't expect anything" argument is fundamentally flawed; things that are free of charge aren't free of cost (particularly, the opportunity cost of choosing to use it instead of doing something else), and a for-profit business that offers something "free" still is expecting to receive something of value to the business in exchange. If its not providing a value that justifies the opportunity cost, the business isn't going to keep getting the thing of value that it wants out of the deal. A business that takes users of a "free" service for granted while relying on them for the resource it is selling to its paying customers is in for a rude awakening when someone provides a superior competing service and steals the "free" users away.

Comment Re:Are you guys mad? (Score 1) 569

I only rarely look back at notes I've taken, and then, usually only for specific details: due dates, a URL or book title the instructor mentioned, and so forth. Nevertheless, I take notes in most of my classes -- because the effort to maintain focus on what the instructor is saying, think about how to express it, and write it out, is a significant aid to memory. I find that lectures in which I thought I was paying close attention, but did not take notes, I do not remember as well as the ones for which I took notes -- despite my not reviewing the notes.

I use pen and paper, but mostly because I don't own a laptop anyway. As far as that goes, I'd think, whatever works for you.

Comment What about the kid on the bicycle? (Score 0, Offtopic) 367

So the stupid driver who was texting on their mobile phone or eating a burger is fine, great. What about the ten year old old they've just thumped into with their SUV? Does it help them at all?

Hopefully a foam bumper will help minimise the damage to the kid who has just been torn off their bike by a stupid auto driver, though my suspicion is that the laws of physics will say getting hit by a ton of metal moving at 28mph is still going to damage somebody really badly. I'd be interested to hear about the benefits the foam offers to people being hit by the car, as well as the person inside and already wearing a seat belt, with crumple zones and air bags.

Agreed with the other post which includes the quote about spikes in the middle of steering wheels being more likely to encourage careful driving than technological improvements which mean you can be a total idiot and smash into anyone or anything and walk away, because you're all right Jack and you don't care who you hit.

Comment Re:Can you take legal action? (Score 1) 353

This, however, isn't a non-monopoly - you only have two real players in the desktop OS market (yes, I know linux is out there, and it's so cute *pat pat*).

Let's say you're right and the OS market is a monopoly (or oligopoly). What about all the other software out there which is constructed in a similar fashion? While this particular bug is an OS flaw, aren't many others in software created by non-monopolies?

Comment Re:There is a lot of money at stake. (Score 1) 405

Nobody can (with anything like the present level of technology) make an "unhackable" calculator.

However, anyone willing to make a calculator with all functions hardwired into a custom ASIC, instead of a general purpose programmable device + firmware, could make a calculator resistant to all but fairly serious hardware hacking(it'd almost certainly be easier and cheaper to just chop all the logic out, and attach your own microcontroller to the keypad and screen.

I doubt anybody would want to do that, unless the SAT guys were really twisting arms, since it would mean a less useful product that cost more; but somebody like TI has calculators with years of firmware refinements(so they presumably have something without showstopping bugs that they could hardcode into this hypothetical hardware) and huge volume(so they could spin the ASIC at reasonable per-unit cost).

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