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Comment: Re:MS's gaming strategy has been weird for years (Score 1) 404

by Gideon Wells (#42649841) Attached to: Will Microsoft Sell Off Its Entertainment Division?

What is advantageous to Microsoft with games is not the same as to gamers.

By pushing a console style market Microsoft is getting a chunk of every game for that console. Look into the problems Fez has with updates. Just to update your game you need to pay Microsoft. Windows 8 potentially falls into this vein. If they can get people to treat computers like iOS then they'll have a chance at a slice of every game sold through the windows market.

But that is the plan B. The more people who game on a PC, the less console gamers (in theory), and thus the less direct control they have over you. To the point that Sony, maybe Microsoft too, are looking to find ways of preventing you from playing used games on your consoles. They don't care about the processing power of PCs over consoles. Their concerns are that you buy games for their console.

Comment: Re:How big are the campuses anyways? (Score 1) 208

by Gideon Wells (#41648499) Attached to: Pennsylvania Fracking Law Opens Up Drilling On College Campuses

I don't quite see why people are too worried at the moment. College campuses, at least on the local level, are tax exempt. So I'm betting colleges tried classifying all their land as "campus" decades back and are now kicking themselves for doing so. Drilling ideally takes an acre of land. So most campuses won't need to worry about a drill placed in their central commons or in their student housing flower gardens.

Now, you can get that acre down to something smaller. An acre is preferred as it means you can hold your water (Drilling takes a lot of water. One local permit allowed use of 900,000 gallons a day.) on site. So if they were pressed for need a company could hold the water offsite, truck it in as needed, and... why? So much of the state is available. Why go through that effort yet?

What a lot of the media and politicians aren't telling you about "Drill here!" is it just will never work like they say. All the drillers abandoned my county with a note saying "It was nice. See you again in a few years, maybe?". Not because of years of protests. Because so many people got into the drilling business that it crashed the market. Natural Gas is so cheap that the companies are slowly pulling out. There are signed, legally locked in, contracts and deals that aren't being used. Drillers don't need to go through the headache of trying to drill in campus-campus as opposed to college owned land.

Comment: Re:Get it right (Score 3, Insightful) 356

by Gideon Wells (#41388225) Attached to: Roundup Tolerant GM Maize Linked To Tumor Development

I think you might be wrong. Took me a few readings as the wording was a tad wonky. I believe there were four test groups:

* Round up and GM corn at three levels.
* Just round up and normal corn at three levels.
* Normal water and GM corn at three levels.
* Control - Tap and normal corn.

The article claims only the control group was healthy.

Comment: Re:"a number of user interface designers" (Score 3, Interesting) 484

by Gideon Wells (#41386817) Attached to: Designers Criticize Apple's User Interface For OS X and iOS

This anti-skeuo fad is basically an artistic/aesthtic movement. Like or hate it, I don't think they were looking at Win 8 from a functionality standpoint. It is the visual design equivalent of a group of people going around saying "You know, full service gas stations barely exist any more. We should go on a crusade against people using the term 'fill 'er up'."

Or more geek/nerd realted "Why the heck is a 3.25 floppy the symbol for saving still? We should invent some entirely new symbol or just use the word 'save'. Why are folders looking like folders on computers? That's lazy thinking. In fact, we should consider calling them something other than folders too...".

Comment: The Linux Problem as I see it (Score 2) 1154

by Gideon Wells (#41263963) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop?

For it to take off you need the masses to accept it. Windows has that through usability, brand recognition, and being everywhere. You are familiar with it. Apple, in its comeback, did it by becoming the chic OS. In other words, Windows is the four door coup and wood paneled van. Mac is polished corvette. Linux, however, prides itself on being usable anywhere and workable on everyone. In other words, that thing built on weekend in the garage.

Now it might work great, and does work great. There is one key problem to it. There is a guy I know who is really gung ho linux and open source. Was bashing M$ left and right in how inferior their product was. He needed a keyboard and mouse because in his rush he forget his behind. I offered him what I had on hand as a spare, a wireless keyboard and mouse with a fob. I had used it just fine on Macs and various windows machines from XP to Win 8 preview. He froze for a moment with dread/fear in his eyes.

"You don't have a wired keyboard and mouse?"
"Somewhere maybe, this won't work? You don't even want to try?"
"It will eventually, but it's Linux. Unless I have the driver's on hand it might take longer to check and double check, find, and finally get that working than to do what I need to do."

That's the problem. The people you need to get to use a Linux Desktop for it to take off are the people who are an anathema to what Linux stands for. Linux by design is meant to be fragmented, tinkered with, altered, improved. You need to hook people who barely want to be bothered taking a car to get an oil change, let alone changing oil period.

Comment: Re:No, I disagree (respectfully) (Score 4, Interesting) 175

by Gideon Wells (#40820429) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Release Date Confirmed

Logically, nothing. Practicality, sometimes it is the small thing. When looking for my latest vehicle I was dead set on a hatchback for that extra storage if needed. I have a desktop, laptop, and tablet. Each has their place. You accept this already. I am excited over Surface (at least Surface RT) despite owning a iPad already.

Why migrate away from the "iPad" standard?

1) The freaking stylus. I get Jobs hated styluses because he never got over the period you were forced to use them. I get everyone wants to copy his "genius". Still, there are times when I want to write on my digital tablet like it is actually a tablet. Using my finger on an iPad feels like I'm writing out notes with a highlighter. Using a third party stylus feels like a crayon. Microsoft is recognizing some of us want to use pens. Maybe I'm wrong, but this is something that I haven't seen in Android or iOS yet.

2) Why I say Surface RT and not just Surface. Same operating system as my computer at home. I can use the same software. Sure, it may not be wise to install Steam and/or Photoshop to this thing. At least I know I can readily chance between them with similar environments with programs I use across each.

Why not an ultrabook?
1) I don't own one. My laptop was my main computer before I admitted I needed something with more power for my photo/video editing jobs. I see laptops as portable home offices. Ultrabooks are too small for my taste as a laptop. To me, Ultrabooks are like the GMS Caballero. Some look cool, but in the end if I want a vehicle with a bed I'd be looking at a truck. Not a car.

2) There are times when having an ultrabook might be useful. The Surface RT is a tablet that can become an impromptu ultrabook much easier than any ultrabook I've seen so far can become an impromptu tablet. I like that little keyboard cover. If needed, it is there. If not? Hey, just fold it out of the way. It has just enough form factor to feel like real keys instead of pecking at glass.

tl;dr:

So to get back to a car analogy. I see the ultrabook as trying to be a GMC Caballero. The iPad and most tablets as simply being cars or compact cars with trunks. I see the Surface RT as a hatchback car. Sometimes you need that versatility.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 2) 237

by Gideon Wells (#40747161) Attached to: Microsoft Won't Say If Skype Is Secure Or Not. Time To Change?

Speaking of the law as well, let's assume that they actively doing intercepts for law enforcement. They might just be bungling being overly careful.

They say they are secure: Someone finds a way to hack and listen in to a VOIP call. Risk being sued for misrepresenting the security of their system.

They say there are flaws, or even there could be flaws, maybe even acknowledging one day they might be forced to allow the equivalent of a wire tap: Attacked relentlessly even if they don't know if any flaws actually exist, but are being honest.

If you are simultaneously lawsuit/PR wary this is a "Do you still beat your wife?" question.

Comment: Re:Apple happened (Score 1) 299

by Gideon Wells (#40615021) Attached to: RIM CEO On What Went Wrong

As an "IT Goon" I'd be more than glad to see RIM gone. I would be more than willing to open everything up to competent employees. The problem is the lowest common denominator. Maybe, maybe, you just want Angry Birds. Maybe you get the free version, maybe you pay for the extra levels.

I do what my bosses tell me to do. One employee decided to attempt to jailbreak his company phone using a company computer and left all sorts of keygens and whatnot on the computer and I am now ordered to make our network tighter than Fort Knox. I am not looking forward to the move to a "white list" system of web browsing. Public access account on a public computer, so we don't know who specifically did it. Not to mention other issues. Seriously people, who the hell pirates "Armageddon"? Why does anyone feel the need to pirate Angry Birds full version of all things too. It is what, $2.99 at most? If I get one more complaint about how IE is "broken" because the user has half the screen blocked by tool bars... I thought stories like that last sentence were jokes back in school.

The less IT issues I have to resolve the more time I can spend doing other things. Good days, studying up and improving my skills. Bad days, Minecraft.

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke

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