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Comment: Server 2012 R2 vs Windows 10 preview (Score 5, Insightful) 236

by FlynnMP3 (#49261373) Attached to: Microsoft Has Received 1 Million Pieces of Feedback For Windows 10

What I find interesting is that Microsoft's server version of the OS is pretty damn good. With the server, MS knows exactly who their target market is and develops tools that are amazingly good (Visual Studio is much the same). In that OS, the Modern UI elements they blend in with the tools (like Server Monitor or Resource Monitor) actually make sense and give the admin of the machine an good overview of the health of the machine. I don't see their crazy attempts to blend in touchscreen elements with traditional programs to try and force UI paradigms. Furthermore, you can even decide to install the "core" version of the same said OS. That version has no GUI. It's command line only. Granted it's Powershell, but if you've drank the MS kool-aid and learned PS, it's not a terrible way to admin a machine.

In the consumer market, they really don't know for what platform they should develop the OS for. In the past, they have blindly laid down the UI paradigm of Touchscreens and forgot that Windows machines are also used for content creation, not just consumption. In the process, pissing of the majority of their consumer base that don't use touchscreens. It wouldn't be perceived so damn bad if MS made a decent tablet without it costing $2k and without the multiple hardware iterations to get there. I remember watching the reveal of the Surface and thought if they actually come through on hardware, they could actually have something useful that professionals would seek out. But no, they screwed that up too.

I think it's business as normal in MS and this press release is there only to feed the news cycle and for blogs to get all a twitter about. Internally, MS will manage to screw it up yet again by not regarding any of the feedback as worthy to alter their internal course of action.

Comment: ! news for nerds (Score 1, Insightful) 333

Hahaha! Funny article is funny. A large percentage of the readership of this site have no problem just sitting still and thinking. For quite a few of them, it's their job. Norms, or people not in STEM, think differently and choose not to actively use their brains.

Who woulda thunk? The few non-STEM people that read the article will think it's sort of weird. The majority of people that it's about won't even see it. Nerds innately know this crap anyway, but are too busy going about their business to care.

Comment: Accidents? (Score 1) 174

by FlynnMP3 (#46863641) Attached to: Google Using Self-Driving Car Data To Make Cars Smarter

No matter how many failsafes they put into the engineering and algorithms, there will be accidents. Darn fewer of them since the majority are cause by human error, but they will still happen. I want to know what will happen when the self driving car is in an accident. How will it detect it? How will it determine what works and doesn't work? Will it automatically notify the necessary services (fire, police, ambulance)?

Comment: Re:Dead? (Score 1) 110

by FlynnMP3 (#46772985) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

That's my thoughts as well.

Surely the engineers (software and other kinds) and the content creators will still need powerful general purpose computers to enable them to do their work effectively. These really can't ever go away, at least for the foreseeable future (~50 yrs). Oh it might change somewhat, but for the most part there isn't any reason to change from a general purpose computer. So there will always be some market for those types of computers. Not to mention the scientific community needs (and other big data computing). These type of computers may turn into a somewhat limited market, but the need will always be there.

Speaking from experience, since I make my living from computers, having a general purpose computer at home allows me to do interesting hobbies (not just gaming) as well as the occasional work-from-home support type issue. Speaking from an education point of view, general purpose computers are their own best teacher as you get instant feedback to what works or not. If all that is in the house is tablets or smart consumer oriented devices, those are not meant for learning the nuts and bolts of how things computer things work. I fear for future generations of kids if that is the case.

A consumer use device is another story entirely, and what I think the big players are positioning themselves for now. Will tablets and smartphones become so ubiquitous that nearly all households will have 1 or more of these types of devices? That is more likely in the near short term (~10 yrs). Who knows what the next big thing will be in terms of a new paradigm of consumer usage? It might be this VR thing people are all excited about these days. Taken to the logical next step, there will be more and more specialized computer like devices that offer accepted forms of usage. Those types of devices will be likely be low power, ripe for market exploitation as the article eludes to.

Comment: Loss of control (Score 1) 180

It all boils down to the perception how much control of the situation I have lost.

In a public matchup situation, this sense trips rather quickly. When playing with friends almost never at all, and during solo game play it's my own fault, but I still get tweaked. Having been in the same room with friends, their reactions are different. *big shock* 1) One of them, he is grinning the whole time, for everything. He is the ubiquitous poster child for the "Serotonin! Fuck YEAH!" club. Hell of a lot of fun to be around. 2) Another friend, in anything multiplayer, he is Ghandi. Be the change you want to be type attitude, very helpful when others get tweaked about doing not so well or water off a duck type calm. Yet during single player, you'd think he is another person. Damn near that nerd rage from that viral video, screaming at the monitor, hyperventilating, has been known to break keyboards. 3) Another friend, has zen like concentration, and other than his fingers and his eyes moving, you'd swear he was a statue. Hell of a good player though.

So yeah, we all have different reactions to these type of situations. I'd hazard a guess it's related to how competitive we are, but that's not the whole picture either.

Comment: Re:Because Hollywood. (Score 2) 544

by FlynnMP3 (#46652051) Attached to: 60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

Related to this topic, although I have no desire to question your experience or how you are doing your job, is the question "have you noticed movie audiences get smarter over the years in regards to the movie watching experience, specifically in regards to sound?"

The easiest visual example of movie audiences getting smarter is wanting better and better special effects. For those times humans are the VFX, the uncanny valley is a known problem - that still today VFX houses have problems overcoming.

With sound, like most technical people, I appreciate accuracy. One of my favorite movies for sound design/editing is "Speed" yet I know from watching various extras on that film there are quite a few liberties taken by the sound designer to give the audience participant a more visceral impact/feeling during some of the more intense action sequences. Disregarding Foley effects, since by their very nature are audio cues that are supposed to trick the mind.

I don't watch TV today, so I don't know, but does the squealing tires on pavement still happen quite a bit? I would expect Dukes of Hazard to have it since it was an old show, but surely audiences have advanced over the years? The Wilhelm scream, as you know, has become sort of an tongue-in-cheek joke when it is heard in a movie today. Again, I would hope that is a good example of audiences becoming smarter over the years. And for my biggest pet peeve, the sheathing/unsheathing sound of swords with leather scabbards. Watching the extras on LoTR, this was used because that is what most audiences expect, even if it is incorrect. That sound is still used almost without fail. The argument possibly being that these movies are fantasy and basis in reality has little use.

The core question stands, have TV/Movie audiences gotten smarter over the years such that some additional accuracy is warranted and appreciated? Or is the predominant audience still watching the Kardashians and don't care at all?

Comment: Beta /. comments (Score -1, Offtopic) 249

by FlynnMP3 (#46194077) Attached to: Bitcoin Plunges After Mt. Gox Exchange Halts Trades

I tried using it for a while trying to get used to it. I really did. For reasons emphatically stated by the /. community, the amount of whitespace is distracting to the point of being detrimental to reading/skimming the comments (as well as the comment system is broken). Again, as the greater /. community has said, comments are the main driving force why people visit the site. I read the comments and almost always ignore the story submitted. It's a running joke when I talk to IRL nerd friends to never cite the summary of a /. article. In a sense, the summary is click bait. Sure it could be better, but somehow that is part of the stupid nerd charm the site has.

When /. went to D2, I started poking around for other nerd sites that engendered intelligent comments. I found it in ArsTechnica. They have a different way of running the website, with real editors and it shows. For the most part, the articles are well worth reading. As are the comments. In some respects, the comments are actually better than /. because a wider net of different viewpoints are allowed to be seen/discussed. About a year ago they implored their loyal readership to turn off javascript/ad blockers to allow the continuation of the site remaining free. I considered the options and decided that I valued the service Arstechnica was providing, so much so that I purchased a year subscription.

That is something I've never done with Slashdot. This is the part of the reason Dice wants to get rid of me as a consumer of the content - because I enjoy it for free. In all my 15+ years of frequenting the site (almost daily), I've only once clicked on an add. In terms of supporting the site, I am the worst type of consumer. Dice wants me to leave and be replaced with people who will click on web adverts. From a MBA perspective, it makes perfect sense. I don't agree with it at all - for reasons stated much more succinctly in other comments.

Will I take part in the Slashdot boycott? I sure will. Because I have a vested interest in retaining the wonderful resource of comments that enrich my geek knowledge on a weekly basis. What will happen if it does go to the new Beta design without a massive redesign keeping in mind it's intelligent readers/commenters? It will die on the vine. Just like some other website redesigns. Digg.com being the latest example that affected me.

When Groklaw was shut down, I respected the reasons why. I seriously miss the content of that site. Partly because of PJ's internal integrity, but also because of the people who commented on the stories. To this day, I haven't found anything that even comes close to the level of professionalism and truly meaty content Groklaw had. While the feelings aren't quite as strong for /. as a site, something very valuable will be lost when it goes away. I personally think that's why the community has reacted so strongly against the Beta.

Where will the commenters and the greater community go? To someplace else on the Internet. It is inevitable. The Internet has this built in property to route around flaws and disturbances, so to do online communities. When the Phoenix lands on it's new perch, I will be there, occasionally adding my voice and enjoying the greater wisdom of the community.

Comment: Sad state of affairs (Score 1) 408

by FlynnMP3 (#45696737) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Would You Secure Your Parents' PC?

Depends on the level of hands off administration you want to do.

1) For geeks and mostly computer savvy folks an install of competent Anti-Virus, Firewall, and Anti-Malware Suite and about an hour of teaching them about safe computer usage practices will suffice. The percentage of people this applies to is still quite small.

2) For the non savvy user, the options are somewhat limited. The above will NOT work. It will only make you and them frustrated in the long run.
a) If you have the money and option, go with an iOS device - computer or tablet. This won't completely remove your IT duties for them, but it will drastically lessen them after they get over the initial learning curve.
b) In some cases, installing a distro of Linux will work. This is mainly for users who only want to do email and browser things and are not looking to do anything fancy such videos and social sites. It's not that the various flavors of Linux can't do that stuff, it just requires special attention to get it to work. But usually after it is setup it doesn't need to be messed with.
c) For the most typical case, ie the user who wants to use their existing computer, about the only option left is to quarantine them from the computer configuration. Couple ways to do this: either Virtual machine that restores the startup state on each restart, or a tool like Deep Freeze that effectively whitelists executables on the existing computer and blacklists any configuration/installation changes. For my ailing father, this was the only option, his mind was not up to doing anything else. He just wanted to look at pictures in the computer and a little bit of Internet stuff.

In all cases, a remote administration tool will help out when they have further questions. Team Viewer happens to be my particular poison in this area.

Comment: Why the vitrol and hate? (Score 2) 45

by FlynnMP3 (#45076353) Attached to: Tour Houston's Texas-Sized Hackerspace (Video 2 of 2)

I simply don't understand where the hate is coming from. Here is a space where a group of like minded people can get together and share creative ideas and/or create their own stuff without having to own expensive equipment. Is it the old adage that people fear what they don't understand? Good on this place for doing the Sunday breakfast thing. A good non-threatening way to introduce the community to what you are all about.

Comment: Re:Betteridge's law (Score 1) 418

by FlynnMP3 (#44818335) Attached to: Is It Time to Replace Your First HDTV? (Video)

I see where you're coming from, but chances are if you can get a "wonderful deal" on a 'smart' tv with all that spy gear built in, you can also get a dumb display of competing size and resolution for much, much less.

Hell, I don't even need speakers in mine, just some sort of audio-out so I can hook the display to my surround sound system.

This is a good salient point and should be followed when available. Problem is, manufacturers realize this and make their models that are dumb displays stupid in other regards. Such as no optical audio out, or no HDMI connections that support ARC or CEC. Or other features that are only available in the higher models, like Samsung Cinema Screen. That ultra slim bezel is very sexy and the TV practically doubles as a modern piece of minimalistic sculpture.

Personally, I avoided the entire game display manufacturers play with us and went with a projector. It was significantly more work on my part, but I got exactly what I wanted - a superior display without all the extras that I don't want, won't use, and refuse to own (such as built as a built in mic and camera).

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