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Comment: Re:Seiko Kinetic (Score 1) 415

by Entropius (#48272479) Attached to: How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

It's hilarious that smartphones, operating in data mode, can give me nearly transparent audio in a voip connection to the other side of the planet... and yet in "phone" mode, people in the same city can't hear each other.

"Hold on, let me call you back on my Skype app" is something that should never be uttered over a voice call.

Comment: Re:Another failure of ZAW!!! (Score 1) 347

by Entropius (#48207711) Attached to: The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

How could anyone competent ever call scripting obsolete?

It is no more or less than a tool to tell the computer wtf you want it to do in precise terms. If you don't have that you're reduced to hoping someone already thought of the things you're trying to do and implemented the correct clicky bit for you to click on. If not, you're SOL.

Comment: Re:And... (Score 2) 347

by Entropius (#48207635) Attached to: The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

The Registry.

Oh, god, the Registry.

Those of you know more than me can maybe advise: why the hell does this thing even exist? Why not stick with ordinary text files containing things like

# set the preferred meaning of life
meaningoflife = 42

like sane OS's? Yes, okay, sometimes they're hard to find, but if you want to mimic the "registry" idea, make it standard practice to name them "foobar.ini" and symlink them into a central location.

Comment: Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (Score 2) 269

by Entropius (#48027097) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

Why not give users the option to use both?

The dumb thing is pinning a run command to the task bar: this requires both mouse input and keyboard input to do anything. It's far more sensible to use a keyboard shortcut for "run"; I can type alt-f2 (linux) or meta-R (windows) and then a program name and get it without reaching for the mouse.

Comment: A few things... (Score 5, Interesting) 545

by Entropius (#47923417) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

What's your litmus test on Windows 9?

I want an OS that:

1) Doesn't attempt to hide the workings of my computer from me -- in particular, don't hide the way that paths and directories really work. (As a bonus: remove the spaces from system directories, dammit, because I get real tired of escaping them when I access my NTFS partition from a real OS.)

2) When something goes wrong tell me what the fuck it was. "The internet connection has limited connectivity" doesn't tell me a damn thing. "DHCP timeout" tells me something. Include both messages, by all means, for the benefit of Grandma -- but Grandma likely can't fix her internet connection on her own anyway.

3) Don't be patronizing. Copying .mp3's to a phone shouldn't give a "Your phone might not be able to play this file, copy anyway?" message, and there are a thousand things like that in Windows.

4) Get rid of file locking, or at least allow an override. I can decide whether a file is sufficiently "in use" that I shouldn't delete it.

5) Don't attempt to push other MS products (cloud services, "stores", and the like) on me, and don't keep spewing Windows Media Player etc. icons around after I delete them once.


Comment: Re:Ion strengthened? (Score 1) 207

by Entropius (#47905415) Attached to: Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

Is that $3 to replace a scratched screen, including all the AR coatings? At that price they might as well include three spare glass plates with every phone in case you scratch one.

As far as the rounded glass: I had a Nexus 3 with a curved screen and it was a good idea -- wish they still did that more.

Comment: Re:Responsible Agency Enforcing Law (Score 1) 222

by Entropius (#47845921) Attached to: FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters

We put multi-ton vehicles on the roads whizzing around a few feet from sidewalks, and out in the middle of people trying to ride bicycles. Sometimes people get hurt by them but by and large the utility of cars outweighs the risks.

Drones are likely to be far safer than cars on roads. Imagine the utility of replacing all those news helicopters with news drones to report on, say, the protests and riots in Ferguson?

Comment: Re:Free speech but not trade (Score 1) 312

by Entropius (#47809843) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Well, it depends. If you're in a place with limited government (like most places in the West), that's not really a freedom. In the US, you don't have the right to vote in a law that says that redheads can't own property, no matter how much you'd like to: the scope of things up for a vote isn't unlimited.

Comment: Re:Uncompetitive? (Score 1) 312

by Entropius (#47808741) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

I live in a large US city (the District of Columbia) with both a conventional regulated taxi service and Uber/Lyft.

Let me look at your points one at a time:

--Insurance: The auto insurance market is developing insurance policies for these sorts of drivers. In any case, I imagine that the average Uber driver is a better driver than I am (it's her job, and just a means of transport for me); when I accept a ride from a driver, I know she might wreck and hurt me. If she does, her personal liability insurance (which she's required by law to carry, like any driver) will cover some of the cost, and my medical insurance will cover the rest.

--Technical inspections: Uber drivers' cars have to be no more than two years old. Technical inspections are required for *all* cars here.

--Reliable costs: Reliable costs mean unreliable service. Once there was an unexpected snowstorm and my mother needed a ride to the airport. There were no city taxicabs anywhere, but we could get her a ride on Uber, albeit for double the cost. Price signals let buyers and sellers communicate supply and demand, and are a good thing.

--Proper filing of taxes: Uber drivers have to report revenue earned from their work to the American tax authorities, just like the fellow selling fruit out of a truck by the side of the road. Nobody wants to shut down fruit stands because they might cheat on their taxes.

--Drivers can indeed form a labor union if they want -- they can get together and collectively bargain with Uber through a representative. They haven't yet, but they could if they wanted.

--Many employees in the US don't get health insurance, Social Security payments, or pensions. As independent contractors, the drivers are responsible for taking care of themselves; many have second jobs that do have these perks, and all of them know that there's no health insurance going in. It's no different than someone who owns a small business: if they want health insurance they can buy it separately, and if they want a pension or social insurance they can save money.

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill