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Comment: eInk (Score 3, Informative) 415

I would recommend eInk. Less eye-strain. Less battery drain (weeks between charges). And seems to work great in strong sunlight or other adverse conditions.

Tablets are multi-media devices. They do it all. eInk based e-readers are just for books and they do it exceptionally.

PS - The text on this page is insanely small and CTRL+ won't fix it. What the hell /.?

Comment: Easier said than done (Score 2) 238

Anyone who has been paying attention to the "safety systems" similar to this on commercial aircraft should know that development of systems such as this always have unintended consequences. Even if they work flawlessly the flawless function could still potentially be dangerous.

Just as one example: sometimes "crashing" is the least-bad alternative available to a driver. Given the choice between hitting a person standing in the road or a row of water-filled barriers many drivers would correctly choose the barrier over the human. But this safety system will likely subvert that and take the choice away from the driver.

Comment: No Battery Life or Price? (Score 5, Insightful) 712

by Manip (#40368193) Attached to: Microsoft Announces 'Surface' Tablet
Without realistic battery life estimates and a price this might have well be Vaporware. If Microsoft had a decent track record for producing mobile devices we might be able to let it slide, but the truth is Microsoft's previous attempts at the mobile space have had horrible battery life (e.g. less than two hours).

My fear is that the Surface will be a wonderful tablet but will wind up with such a short battery life that nobody buys it for that very reason alone.

Comment: Wiped out or shifting? (Score 4, Insightful) 349

by Manip (#40164537) Attached to: IT Desktop Support To Be Wiped Out Thanks To Cloud Computing
You always see this kind of language when disruptive change occurs (e.g. production lines Vs. hand built, car Vs. carriage, electricity Vs. coal, etc) but all that really happens is the jobs shift from one area to another, and that people need to adapt or die.

Desktop Support MIGHT decline, but we will see growth in service level jobs at third parties. Instead of having in-house IT staff teach people how to use e-mail, you'll have someone across the country or globe do the same job.

I guess one might argue that you can shift the jobs abroad, but as we've seen in the last few years such out-sourcing is not cost effective in the long term (or at least with skilled jobs it isn't).

Comment: It doesn't work... (Score 2) 269

by Manip (#39456445) Attached to: US Mobile Carriers Won't Brick Stolen Phones
First off I think carriers should do this; but that being as it may I will say that this doesn't really work in either the UK or Australia - phone theft has not disappeared or become less common as a result.

It is easy to understand why when you consider how trivial it is to unlock phones and then sell them on to international customers, particularly in Europe where a blocked phone in the UK might still be worth upwards of 300 euro on eBay Germany or France.

Another interesting question is - what, if anything, has Apple done? They could very easily block phones interacting with its iTunes stores if the phone was reported stolen in any part of the world but they haven't. Why is that?

Comment: Pointless waste of time (Score 3, Insightful) 291

by Manip (#39384297) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Give IT Presentations That Aren't Boring?
The real question you should be asking is why you're holding this event to begin with if everyone attending has no interest in the material? It just sounds like a thirty minute waste of everyone's time or just a way to make you feel like you're contributing more or something.

While there are certainly things you can do to make it more interesting (relate it to their day to day, average e-mails sent per employee, average pages accessed in a day, etc) you really can't do the impossible without making the entire presentation about something else entirely.

My only suggestion would be to not "read from the slides." Material should either be coming out of your mouth OR on the slides, never both. It is fine to describe a graph on the screen or a diagram, it is horrible to read out a paragraph of text.

Comment: Correction (Score 5, Insightful) 691

by Manip (#39363569) Attached to: UK Plan Would Use CCTV To Stop Uninsured Drivers From Refueling
The UK already uses CCTV cameras on a massive scale to catch uninsured cars. Our motorways have cameras over every lane which track the numberplate and this information can both be used to calculate average speed over a section of road (to enforce speed limits) and also to check for insured, banned drivers, or stolen vehicles.

This is less a new idea as the /. summary implies and more just an expansion of an existing project.

Comment: Good call! But exceptions? (Score 2, Insightful) 134

by Manip (#38902373) Attached to: Estonian Tech University Bans Notebooks and Smartphones
In general I agree it is the right decision but they should consider making exceptions for students with special needs. Some students literally cannot write normally for medical reasons and they should be allowed to either type or be provided a recording of the lecture to type up notes later.

In general I think most people who bring a laptop to a lecture will be distracted by it, in particular if there is WiFi available. Unfortunately in the world of instant Facebook updates and e-mail alerts, it is very hard to remain focused even with the best intentions and frankly most students don't have the best intentions.

Comment: Did pay off the right people? (Score 5, Interesting) 149

by Manip (#38763856) Attached to: Former Dell Execs Involved In Massive Insider Trading Probe
Insider trading is hugely common in the corporate world to the point that there is an entire industry surrounding it (Wall Street). Any prosecutions for "insider trading" are totally political. They either upset someone in power, upset a competitor with powerful friends, or didn't do something they were asked to do.

See Quest's CEO as an example. He refused to allow the NSA to spy on Quest's customers and suddenly he is in jail for "insider trading." Opps.

Comment: Re:Community resistance (Score 1) 589

by Manip (#38729386) Attached to: Tackling Open Source's Gender Issues
Surprisingly well written comment with links posted within 60 seconds of the article being up...

In general I have no issue with "encourage women" type schemes. In fact any effort to encourage people into OSS is fine by me. I do take issue with how whenever women are under-represented in any field or activity, it is always the fault of everyone else. I'm sure there are troubled elements in any community, and OSS is no different, but honestly perhaps women are just rare because women are rare in technology/engineering disciplines in general?

I'd like to see a comparison between OSS contributors (by gender) and women in CS programs. I bet there is a relationship...

Comment: SSNs? (Score 5, Insightful) 279

by Manip (#38192490) Attached to: New Jersey DMV Employees Caught Selling Identities
Why can normal day to day employees even view plain text social security numbers? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to hide that information like banks do with credit card numbers?

Also, I find it ironic that these two relatively low level criminals will get the book thrown at them, but when the DMV legally sells that information to marketing companies everyone is happy. I guess they don't sell SSNs but still, thin line.

Comment: Competing interests (Score 2) 122

by Manip (#38148236) Attached to: US Government Probes Huawei and ZTE
The US might be doing this for honest reasons but then again they might be doing this because US based communications manufacturers are unhappy with companies like ZTE undercutting them using the free and Open Source Android OS.

I bet US based companies can find tons of patents that Chinese companies are infringing. But then again many of these patents are overly broad and are largely being used in an anti-competitive way.

Plus the whole accusation of spying, unless shown to be true, I read as akin to "buying from China isn't patriotic." If the US had evidence of ZTE spying on them you sure as hell would be reading about it right now.

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

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