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Comment: Win 8.1 Start Screen is fine (Score 1) 681

I know it might sound weird, but I like where things are at in Windows 8.1. Boots into desktop after login, transition to start screen is much less jaring when using the same background, configure the immediate left of the start screen with all your most used apps. It's very similar to the osx launchpad.

If they remove it in win9, I may just configure it back the way it was in 8.1.

Comment: Newer tech yes, Smaller reactors no (Score 3, Informative) 218

by Dragonshed (#43531101) Attached to: Fukushima Nuclear Plant Cleanup May Take More Than 40 Years

Moving away from the first & second generation light water reactor designs is definitely something we should be doing, but simply going to smaller plants is a dubious plan.

From TFA:

> Dr. Jaczko cited a well-known characteristic of nuclear reactor fuel to continue to generate copious amounts of heat after a chain reaction is shut down. That “decay heat” is what led to the Fukushima meltdowns. The solution, he said, was probably smaller reactors in which the heat could not push the temperature to the fuel’s melting point.

Actually innovating, bringing something like the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor to reality, is more along the lines of what we should be doing.

Also, it was the tsunami that actually caused the meltdowns. Fukushima had appropriate backups for cooling the reactor, and were well under way when the reactors were shut down after the quake, they just didn't design for the eventually of a tsunami to come and categorically knock them all out.

$0.02

Comment: Re:And this matters? (Score 1) 306

by Dragonshed (#37649046) Attached to: Windows 8 To Reduce Memory Footprint

It matters because Windows 8 is intended to target low end ARM hardware as well as high end Intel/AMD. At //build/ Microsoft kindof made a big deal about the wide range of hardware they want to run on, and when someone buys a low end slate for $300 instead of getting an ipad, Microsoft wants that experience to be as good as it can be.

Totally agree with the file system gripes, though.

Comment: Re:Skype on iPod 4. (Score 1) 208

by Dragonshed (#35448548) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Data-Only Phone, Voice Over WiFi?

He wants normal people with normal phones to be able to call a normal phone number... and have it go to his phone, which has no service plan, but has data connectivity through wifi in his house.

Which you can do with Skype. A subscription offers you very reasonable rates for making call and an online number (which he mentions) where normal people can call you and if you're offline either get voicemail or forwarded to another normal number.

There are still quality concerns, as I mention here: http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2031828&cid=35448288

Comment: Re:Skype on iPod 4. (Score 1) 208

by Dragonshed (#35448288) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Data-Only Phone, Voice Over WiFi?

I've had some success doing the same. The iPod touch 4 is a good device, but the service of Skype over wifi for making and receiving calls isn't as good as plain old cellular voice. When it's good, it's better than celluar, when it's bad, it introduces jarring audio artifacts or plain drops calls (really bad).

Comment: Re:Microsoft pollution at its best (Score 2, Informative) 251

by Dragonshed (#30180950) Attached to: New Microsoft Silverlight Features Have Windows Bias

Perhaps you should click on the "Learn what these numbers mean" link. Here, I'll do it for you:

The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don't represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalized and presented on a scale from 0-100. Each point on the graph is divided by the highest point, or 100. When we don't have enough data, 0 is shown. The numbers next to the search terms above the graph are summaries, or totals.

The number of searches in google has no objective relation to the number of deployments, for either flash or silverlight.

Farnsworth: "Bunk! Bunk, I say! Bring me a bag of Bigfoot's droppings, or shut up!"

Comment: Speaking of Bias.. (Score 5, Interesting) 251

by Dragonshed (#30180342) Attached to: New Microsoft Silverlight Features Have Windows Bias

From TFA:

Unfortunately, some of these features are not what they first appear. The HTML control in Silverlight 4 is not a new embedded browser from Microsoft, but uses components from Internet Explorer on Windows, or Safari on the Mac, which means that the same content might render differently. The HTML control only works out-of-browser, and simply displays a blank space if browser-hosted.

The difference in rendering between IE on Windows and Safari on Macosx is a reality, whether silverlight is involved or not. The purpose of the HTML Control is to allow scenarios dependent on the HTML Bridge, the part of silverlight that blurs the lines and allows communication between the html dom + javascript and C# code, to run correctly when the app is hosted out of the browser. It's essentially a crutch to allow developers that want to use siverlight a way to leverage existing investments in web application development.

More seriously, COM automation is a Windows-only feature, introducing differentiation between the Mac and Windows implementations. Since cross-platform Mac and Windows is a key Silverlight feature, it is curious that Microsoft has now decided to make it platform-specific in such an important respect. Microsoft Office and parts of the Windows API have a COM interface, so access to COM makes Silverlight a much more capable client.

This is a fairly obscure feature, and I'm fairly surprised that it was included at all, but doubt it'll be of use to the vast majority of current and future silverlight developers out there. Like the html control, it's a crutch, to allow developers that want to use silverlight a way to leverage existing investments. The mantra I've heard out of the silverlight team is to focus on unblocking customer scenarios (scenarios they cannot unblock themselves) without compromising the overall feature goals (like keeping the runtime download small).

Nevertheless, Silverlight has crossed a threshold. It is now a runtime that has extended functionality only on Windows. That will not help Microsoft win developers from Adobe AIR, which has the same features on both Mac and Windows.

I don't think it'll matter. Any developer that is seriously considering using silverlight over Adobe AIR, but is then persuaded not to because Silverlight's Trusted Out-Of-Browser scenario has COM support on Windows and not on Mac is "Doing It Wrong". It's an edge case feature that doesn't affect Silverlight's over all "Cross-Platforminess".

Flame On.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang

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