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Comment: Re:Cross between a music album and a video game (Score 1) 204

by pla (#47946005) Attached to: U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'
It appears that U2 and Apple are proposing an interactive album format that combines the music of a record album with the interactivity of a video game.

Jokes aside, they did stress the "interactive" part of this as a key feature.

I can't speak for all Slashdotters, but personally, I listen to music primarily at times that I can't interact with it (beyond the mostly-passive* act of "listening to it") - In the car, at work, while mowing the lawn, etc. When I actually have the spare time and attention to interact with something, I will usually chose to interact with other humans, or actual video games, or playing with the cats, etc. I may still have music on, but I don't "interact" with it.

I would therefore have to consider this a complete non-starter. At least Neil Young's boondoggle actually did have some technical merit (while completely ignoring the reality that 99.9% of people will take "good enough" over "perfect" if it saves them a single penny). This? The "solution in need of a problem" trope gets somewhat overused, but it definitely applied here in full force.

* Yes, I do get that some music requires actively listening to it to fully appreciate it. U2 ain't that.

Comment: Bring it, "Draftsmen"! (Score 1) 89

by pla (#47937325) Attached to: Alice Is Killing Trolls But Patent Lawyers Will Strike Back
because as you and I have seen over the years, every time there's a court ruling it just means that you have to word the patent claims differently.

Good! Let 'em try to twist it into something still allowed but borderline, like business method patents - That knife cuts both ways, and for enduring a few more years of patent abuse, perhaps we can finally get those banned as well.

Comment: Re:A non-UNIX OS in a UNIX world? (Score 1) 535

by squiggleslash (#47935767) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

I wish Microsoft wasn't the only one.

Part of the reason geeks love *ix is because right now the alternative is Windows, and *ix matured rather better than the odd combination of technologies (an API and application model with its roots in Windows 1.0 coupled with a nice-ish kernel with inspiration from the unholy combination of VMS and the 1980s microkernel movement) that's called Windows today.

Throughout my life I've used a variety of different platforms, though the ability to choose something different dried up in the mid-nineties as one by one the alternatives either went bankrupt or became obsolete. Some - at the time I was using them, not now - felt more comfortable, flexible, and ultimately more usable, than *ix. AmigaOS 2.04+ (especially augmented with the GCC tools) would be an example (again, NOT NOW, THEN.) Others, like VMS, were ugly, and horrendous to use or program, but they were still valuable in terms of providing wonderful ideas that, alas, we've ignored since - VMS itself had generic job queues, indexed files right in the file system, a shell that didn't blindly execute files with the same name a command you'd typed, security passed upon roles and permissions, networking built into the file system (think if you could type "cat header.html scp://otherhost/home/squiggleslash/main.html footer.html > blah.html" - that's roughly what I'm talking about), all unfortunately crippled by some clumsy design decisions and a reliance on proprietary hardware.

*ix is great, but for those who've experienced more than Unix and Windows, it's... well, it's kind of like we settled. You know that couple who knew each other at high school, and then after a 20 year absence got married at 40? And they seem OK, but you realize both are bored, and both married because they felt like they were running out of options?

That's us and *ix.

Comment: Re:car sellers are bad even at selling (Score 2) 383

by Beardo the Bearded (#47933475) Attached to: Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

One of my buddies is buying a Leaf.

The problem is this: once you test drive an electric car, you're done with shitty ICE forever. Nothing has better torque, better acceleration... and that's what the gold ol' 'murkin cahs are sold as, muscle.

Put them up against something electric, and these so-called "Muscle cars" are just saggy old curlbros trying to get big arms to draw attention away from their massive beer bellies.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 319

by squiggleslash (#47925799) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

Wait, iPhones autoplay music? As in, not only did Apple push the unwanted album to phones, but they then set up the iPhone to play it at full blast whenever you were nearby, forcing you to listen to it?

If that's the case, then that has been left out of the widespread news coverage of the story, which has just concentrated on the "Being uploaded to phones that were set up to automatically download new purchases", which most of us consider a minor inconvenience, if that.

Comment: Re:Lucky them (Score 1) 156

by squiggleslash (#47925323) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

The results I get seem to be mostly people trying to come up with clever blog titles, not actually cases where someone innocently said "Well, I googled what you asked for, and Bing gave me over a gajillion results."

Indeed, I suspect there are multiple levels here. If someone tells me to "Go google something", I may use Bing in my quest to research whatever it is I've been asked to look up. OTOH, if I say "Well, I googled it, and found...", it'll generally be the case that I'm saying I actually used Google.

Comment: Re:If there was only one viable choice ... (Score 1) 156

by squiggleslash (#47925305) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

Pro-tip, which I learned recently: Google has actually a hidden (well, obscure, it's there but there's no reason you'd think it does what it does) option that means "Just give me the results using the algorithms you used back when Google was useful." Search Tools -> (All Results) : Verbatim.

No, you can't make it a default. They track that you're probably male, probably interested in tech, and that you'd be a good person to present ads for spiked leather underpants to, but they don't track that you actually want useful search engine results. Sigh.

Comment: Yes, and "just say no". (Score 3, Informative) 230

by pla (#47925255) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?
I suspect we've all encountered managers that don't grasp the difference between "managing" and "intimidation". But after your first job out of college, you will discover that you have better things to do with your life than burn the candle at both ends for a crappy job.

More importantly, the "death-march" style of project management doesn't produce good results. What you describe can't become the norm, simply because any company that uses it will find itself internally paralyzed, completely unable to adapt to a changing market. When individual projects stretch on for longer than the company's strategic plan, the threat of firings doesn't really mean much because none of you will still work there in five years.

Find a new job today and save your sanity.

Comment: Re:Well, if you're going to push... (Score 1) 156

by squiggleslash (#47925247) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

I'm in my forties, and I don't recall anyone ever using the term "Xerox". I've heard it used as an example of someone using a trademark generically, but not actually seen that occur in practice.

Same, BTW, goes for Kleenex. Everyone I know, since the dawn of time, has said "tissue".

Coke and Tylenol, yeah. But not Xerox or Kleenex.

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?

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