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Comment: Re:Jeez, just come clean (Score 0) 146

by sphealey (#48289279) Attached to: A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

Yeah, that's the scenario that affected every design choice on the Space Shuttle and led to the building of the Vandenburg shuttle pad. Many problems with it, including the one where it invites a strike by the grab-ee on the landing site leading directly to a Dr. Strangelove situation.

sPh

Comment: Re:Jeez, just come clean (Score 1) 146

by sphealey (#48288825) Attached to: A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

I'm not sure why Ars Technica took their well-written article about the Soviet decision to build the Buran off-line, but IIRC that was essentially the logic the Soviets were following at the time. All their calculations told them the Space Shuttle was a loser, but the Americans were building one so surely they must know something we don't.... 20 billion rubles down the drain.

sPh

Comment: Re:Bauhaus (Score 2) 370

by sphealey (#48183215) Attached to: Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

As noted, Jane Jacob's famous _Death and Life of Great American Cities_ addressed the affect of Bauhaus and other modernist schools of architecture and urban planning on everyday human beings. William Whyte's _City_ touches on many of the same issues. Wolfe's _From Bauhaus to Our House_ was written for more of a general audience and shows clear signs of the Wolfe-ian obnoxiousness to follow but is nonetheless a biting critique of those design schools.

But there's a large amount of Bauhaus (and/or Chicago School) criticism out there; you may need to look a bit harder.

sPh

Comment: Re: I don't follow (Score 1) 370

by sphealey (#48181431) Attached to: Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

I'm referring more to the general perception that sans serif fonts are "cleaner" and therefore easier to comprehend and read. If you track down the FAA study (ironically published from a manuscript typed on a typewriter IIRC) this is not the case. That matches my personal perception - sans serifs are fine for titling but serif fonts are almost always easier to comprehend - but goes against the conventional wisdom. As evidenced by the "cleaner" trope.

sPh

Comment: Bauhaus (Score 4, Insightful) 370

by sphealey (#48180653) Attached to: Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

Highly accomplished designers tend to fall in love with and become obsessed by Bauhaus style in its various cyclical incarnations. The remaining 99.999% of the human race finds Bauhaus objects and systems very pretty to look and impossible to use for more than a few days, as documented by Jane Jacobs, William White, Tom Wolf, and many others. The designers believe the rest of the critics are blind and the human race is just using their wonderful Bauhaus stuff wrong.

sPh

Comment: Re: I don't follow (Score 3, Interesting) 370

by sphealey (#48180633) Attached to: Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

- - - - - It's general knowledge in typography that Helvetica is the most legible typeface. - - - - -

That is very much convention wisdom, yes. There are surprisingly few scientifically designed studies on typeface legibility, but the ones I have been able to find (particularly the FAA-sponsored study in the early days of CRTs in the cockpit) have indicated that serif - NOT sans serif - fonts are easier to read, even at low resolution.

sPh

Movies

Warner Brothers Announces 10 New DC Comics Movies 187

Posted by samzenpus
from the crisis-on-infinite-theaters dept.
wired_parrot writes After being criticized for being slow to respond to Marvel's string of blockbuster superhero movies, Warner Brothers finally announced their plan for DC comic universe movie franchise. Yesterday at their annual shareholder meeting, WB announced 10 DC comics movies. The studio has unveiled an ambitious schedule that features two Justice League films, plus standalone titles for Wonder Woman, Flash, Shazam (Captain Marvel), Green Lantern, Cyborg and even Aquaman. Also announced were plans for 3 Lego movies and a three-part Harry Potter spinoff.

Comment: Re:Overstated or misrepresented? (Score 1) 403

by sphealey (#48091597) Attached to: Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

Curious as to why the fuel economy readouts on a modern car would be inaccurate. The computer has fuel flow readings down to about .001 ml and precise wheel rotation readings 6/sec from the ABS system. Unless the owner puts tires of a non-standard diameter on the car what would cause the inaccuracy?

sPh

Comment: Re:Well DUH! (Score 1) 403

by sphealey (#48091533) Attached to: Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

There's also the European preference for small high-revvers combined with the disdain for automatic transmissions. Yes, up through about 1990 a well-driven manual could provide better fuel economy. Today's computer-controlled automatics are more efficient than human shifters, and that's before any fancy radar-driven predictive shifting is brought into play.

sPh

Note that I am saying nothing about personal driving enjoyment preferences or ability to play boy racer, just fuel economy

Comment: Re:metric you insensitive clod! (Score 1) 403

by sphealey (#48091483) Attached to: Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

Up until just a few years ago, the ultimate measure of fuel economy in the UK was:

miles/liter/stone/cubic meter

So I wouldn't gripe about US ANSI units too much ;-)

sPh

Haven't been to the UK since road signs were officially changed to km, but I understand most UKians still think of distances in miles.

Comment: Re:Listen to Sales - as hard as it may be (Score 2) 159

by sphealey (#48015293) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

I guess you only buy bug-free software, then.

I think what sphealey was saying is that, if a vendor say "you don't want to see our 'dirty laundry'" or something like that, then that vendor is an immediate no-go.

It isn't about bug-free software, it is about making sure you avoid vendors that may try to deliberately hide/ignore bugs.

Spot-on AC.

Comment: Re:They are just lazy (Score 1) 159

by sphealey (#48014845) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

I had a software vendor once that had an odd bug in its telephone system: when a support person would put you on hold it would occasionally transfer you into conference with the technician's queue. You know what really, really angers a customer? Being told for the third time by second-level support that he is closing your case as "can't reproduce/no other customers reported/not a bug" and then being put into an impromptu conference call with two other customers waiting to speak to the 2nd level developer about the very same bug - each for more than the 1st time. Makes the user conference a bit uncomfortable for the support group as well.

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

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