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Comment: Re: Doesn't need much to make it right (Score 1) 233

by DrXym (#47763217) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?
I find live tiles quite useful. They tell me if I have unused email, the weather, the time, the currency exchange rate, breaking news etc.

Besides, the springboard UI is for tablets where the expectation is someone runs one app at a time. If they switch away from an app it's to run another app. It is not comparable to a desktop where someone may have 20 windows open and therefore their mental processes and context are built around that. I have no major objection to the start screen in Windows for tablets but this isn't what the thread is about - it's for the desktop behaviour.

Comment: Re:We should publish US military horrors as well (Score 1) 296

by jedidiah (#47761331) Attached to: Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Well for one thing you are conflating two very different groups of activities commited by two very different groups of people. You are conflating the actions of soldiers with the abuses committed by spies.

As far as "destroying all the surrounding stuff", that's just basic warfare. Whatever propaganda you've been feeding yourself has got you convinced that there's such a thing as "surgical military action".

Combat is not surgery. Never was.

This is something that I addressed in my original post and something that you chose to ignore and remove.

Comment: Re:Incredibly wise advice (Score 1) 93

by jedidiah (#47761289) Attached to: The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

> So, live your entire life as though you're going to get fired tomorrow. Sounds like real fun.

If you work in IT, the whole "disaster recovery" thing should not be new to you. It doesn't just apply to technology. If problems are readily forseeable then certainly you should try to plan for them and be as prepared for them as possible.

You don't necessarily have to go overboard. With many things, the most effective measures are the initial ones that are just past total apathy.

Being slightly more prepared than the next rat is a very useful thing.

Plus, if you are a slightly more prepared rat then the thought of being fired tomorrow won't weigh on you quite so heavily.

Comment: Re:Doesn't need much to make it right (Score 1) 233

by DrXym (#47760373) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?
Not really. Just something like the old start menu but with some of the functionality and styling of metro. It doesn't have to be exactly analogous to the start menu because the start menu is not something which was immutable to begin with. But it should be familiar to someone who is used to the start menu and it could add useful stuff from metro such as live tiles.

Anyway I think it's remarkable how fucked up Microsoft managed to make it. I remember before Windows 8 came out being positive that they wouldn't walk all over mouse / keyboard users and yet that's what they did. Win 8.1 took off most of the rough edges and in general is an excellent desktop. It's just that disconnect between the desktop and the launcher still hasn't been solved.

Comment: Re:Doesn't need much to make it right (Score 1) 233

by DrXym (#47760309) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?
Before starting let's be clear that the start menu has never been an immutable thing. Every release of Windows has changed it, often in very substantial ways. Go back to the days of Win95 / 98 and the thing is appalling.

Regarding your question, most recent versions of the start menu offered you multiple ways to access your apps. You could pin menus to start. You also saw a list of apps you used a lot. You could navigate all apps if you wanted. You could also start typing straight into the bar if you knew the name of the app. You also had links to control panel, to services, to devices, and run... command and power / log off options. And other stuff in a little semi transparent box which didn't stop you losing context of where you were.

Windows 8 offers much of that functionality but chose to smear it over multiple screens activated by swipes, hot corners, and other nonsense - is control panel in Start Menu? Haha no, it's that gesture on the right buried under settings and you won't even see it unless you are in the desktop at the time. How do I shut down? Haha we've hidden it! And so on. Windows 8.1 took some of the rough edges off (e.g. more discoverable shutdown) but its all over the place.

The only sop to the Old Way is Windows+X brings up a power menu, but it's basically its a hack that shouldn't exist if they just put something where the start menu used to be.

Comment: Re:Doesn't need much to make it right (Score 1) 233

by DrXym (#47760055) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?
That's why I said metro apps should live on the desktop. Once you have a mini metro / start thing and the apps run alongside the "classic" apps, there is little reason to open the start screen ever again. Maybe it's a user setting somewhere that takes a sensible default - devices with touchscreens or multi screen displays enable the start menu, mouse and keyboard devices default to desktop and mini metro.

I don't think the apps are inferior or redundant to the desktop counterparts. The closest Microsoft got to an "app" in the past were gadgets and few people bothered with them and arguably all the apps in Windows 8 are better anyway. Even where there is a counterpart, e.g. Internet Explorer, the desktop version hasn't gone away. The metro one is obviously easier to use in tablet mode however.

The biggest bug bear is apps are treated differently in the UI and how they're activated. Windows 8.1 at least sticks them in the task bar and fixed alt+tab so they're peers of each other. It also put close buttons on top of the apps. Now it needs to house them in windows with resizing capabilities. At that point people can take them or leave them. Perhaps they could even allow apps to be docked in some sensible way or pinned to the background.

Anyway it should have never come to this. Microsoft clearly made a beeline for tablet land. It's understandable that they did but they seriously botched the execution and failed to anticipate the backlash. Let's hope they make good.

Comment: How to make a telephone solicitor mad (Score 4, Insightful) 226

by goombah99 (#47758759) Attached to: TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

Last century, I worked for a magazine sales company that did telephone soliciting. We loved it when people slammed down the phone because it meant no wasted time. The worst was when someone wanted to chat. One time a kid answered the phone and I asked for the dad. She said, "He's out in the garage under the car" and ran off to fetch him. It was a dillemma what to do next. Hang up? wait?. Another time the person on the other end kept repeating only the word yes during my sales pitch and then 5 minutes in switched to "can you please speak chinese". Even when I said "goodbye".

These days, I tell them I'm really glad they called and I need to move to the phone by the computer so I can purchase what they are selling. Then I set the phone down and go about what I was doing.

Comment: Doesn't need much to make it right (Score 4, Insightful) 233

by DrXym (#47756477) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?
Just a mini metro which launches from the start button and serves a similar role as the old start menus. i.e. something which doesn't cause the user to have a brain fart when their entire screen is hidden and replaced with a massive launcher. Let the user customize it and have access to all apps and control panel etc. That and remove the distinction between metro apps and classic apps on the desktop. Let them both live there. Outside of these issues Windows 8.1 is pretty stable and fast really.

Comment: Re:Urgh (Score 1) 436

> You're talking about totalitarianism under the false guise of socialism.

What's what you tend to get when you grant the government ever increasing powers. If not outright genocide you will end up with more and more meddling and the expansion of government power.

That's what beaurocracies do. They seek to expand themselves.

Also, they don't seek to be efficient. So they will seek the most costly path possible. They are not run by altruists but by the same greedy crass types that fuel capitalsm. They're out to increase their personal power, wealth and influence.

You have the same problem with corporations but they aren't supposed to be monopolies. You should have the possibility of playing one off the other in order to get what's good for you and the public in general.

Of course "net neutrality" is ultimately a (natural) monopoly problem much like AT&T before it.

Comment: Re:What's so American (Score 0) 436

Communism in practice devalues labor. This is especially true if you aren't in one of their selected groups. Then your labor gets really devalued.

Just about everyone here would be a victim of Maxist-Communist labor devaluation. You think it's bad being a geek now. You don't even want to know what it was like when the Soviet Union was still around.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.