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Comment: Lived in Italy for 3 years... my perspective (Score 1) 87

by Lt.Hawkins (#48667785) Attached to: TripAdvisor Fined In Italy For Fake Reviews

There was a perception (voiced to me by at least one Vineyard owner and one hotel owner) that their competitors were writing bad reviews in an effort to hurt each others businesses. Even in 2010/2011, the vineyard guy was hoping Tripadvisor would be outlawed.

We laughed and drank our wine, but this article doesn't surprise me in the least.

Comment: Re:But that's not all Snowden did... (Score 3, Insightful) 348

by Lt.Hawkins (#47103303) Attached to: Why Snowden Did Right

Apparently in your worldview, news organizations are unbiased and don't have any ulterior motives like "ratings" and "click conversions" and "sell books" and "scoop the other news organization" and their own political agenda. ABC News, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and Fox News are all equivalent and will all publish the same items with the same unbiased coverage.

Manning and Snowden did a massive data dump to organizations who will publish anything to get eyeballs. Slow news day? Lets pull out another one of these millions of documents, because outrage at the NSA sells and wins awards.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 668

by Lt.Hawkins (#45045399) Attached to: Are Shuttered Gov't Sites Actually Saving Money?

I've never been against ACA. I have always supported the idea.

However, calling House efforts to block it unconstitutional is not true at all. Budgets MUST come from the House, according to the Constitution. Yes, the Senate can amend, but that's not the point right now - the point is the constitutionality of the House putting forward bills that don't fund something they agree with. The House was given the "power of the purse" a long time ago, which allows them to choose what to fund and what not to fund. This is all part of the series of checks and balances, and has been executed before - once to effectively end the Vietnam War. The reason the House was chosen is because it theoretically is more representative of the will of the American people - it has a higher resolution (more representatives) and a faster refresh rate (2 year terms); therefore, the intent was to give fiduciary power to the part of Congress that is closest to the people. (Yes, gerrymandering is an issue in practice, but that's the result of trying to game the system.)

Here's a great article that discusses this: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/01/hand-off-my-purse-why-money-bills-originate-in-the-house

So, for better or worse, it is decidedly NOT unconstitutional for the House to push for an appropriations budget that doesn't fund ACA. This is how it works as laid out in the blueprint of the countries government. Calling foul when you don't get everything you want isn't the way to go about it.

Holding the entire government hostage is the responsibility of BOTH parts of Congress, and both parties. Personally, I think that everyone sitting in office should be voted out as soon as possible. I don't care if the balance of power doesn't shift... I want future Congresses to see that playing ultra-partisan games won't be tolerated and has consequences. Big Boy rules there.

Comment: Clickwheel when blind (Score 1) 233

by Lt.Hawkins (#40982451) Attached to: Touch Interfaces In Cars Difficult To Use

Absolutely, the clickwheel was superior to touchscreens in some situations. One thing that pissed me off about the iPhone (when I had one) that kept me going back to my 1st Gen iPod Nano was that the touchscreen was, for me, useless on a plane. If I was dozing on a plane, I couldn't skip forward or go back with my eyes shut. I had open my eyes and turn on a bright screen, which was annoying both for me, and for others during a long-haul, overnight trip. Adjusting volume was easier too, though that is possible using the hardware volume buttons.

For a dedicated music player, the click/touchwheel was hard to beat.

I've had an idea for touchscreen "blind music control", but I think it'd have to be implemented on the OS level, if the hardware even supports it. Specifically, keep the LCD off, but the touch sensor on to recognize gestures. Gestures that are not rotations of each other, e.g. _| and |_ should help the device differentiate between commands, regardless of orientation.

Comment: Re:Can I run Android on my PC or PowerPC mac? (Score 2) 255

by Lt.Hawkins (#40545255) Attached to: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Review

Yes. If you get the Android SDK, it comes with a VM - you can run pretty much any version. (its kind of slow, as its running a java VM on a virtual ARM processor on your x86. (Though apparently the latest version is an x86 version - haven't confirmed that yet)

Warning you now though - you're running a touch OS with a mouse. Think about the reaction to Metro that people are giving.

My point is, if you don't like running it in the VM, be aware that its a much better experience on actual hardware.

+ - RIM give up the consumer route to market->

Submitted by
rolandw writes "The UK's Grauniad newspaper is reporting that RIM are essentially going back to basics focusing "its consumer efforts on targeted offerings that tap the company's strengths". This is because, as RIM CEO Thorsten Heins says, "We can't do everything ourselves but we can do what we're good at". We can all hear Apple and Google breath huge sighs of relief that they are no longer under threat from north of the border."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Also, (Score 5, Informative) 516

by Lt.Hawkins (#39465601) Attached to: NHTSA Suggestion Would Cripple In-Car GPS Displays

So totally off topic, but prompted by your last sentence: I'm currently renting a car, a Toyota Yaris, I think. They moved the WHOLE DASH to the CENTER.

This: http://www.carid.com/dash-kit-gallery/images/dash-kits/Toyota_Yaris_2006-UP_2427BE_A04.jpg

Oh my god, It is the worst ever. I feel like I'm a danger on the road every time I try to check my speed. Who in their right minds thought this was a good idea?

I have a very small mind and must live with it. -- E. Dijkstra