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User Journal

Journal: Is the Touch UI irredeemable? 4

Journal by squiggleslash

Thoughts related to the Windows 10 "Desktop is a desktop, no "Start" screen" thing:

From 1984 to 1990, there was a serious debate as to which was better, the command line or the WIMP (Window/Icon/Mouse/Pointer) UI. Why? Well, because Mac OS's Systems 1-4 were user friendly in the sense people knew how to use them, but user unfriendly in the sense that they got in the way, were kludgy, awkward to use, and offered zero advantages - beyond a lack of training for users - over the command line. At best you could say some applications needed a mouse, but some, such as word processors, were actually harder to use in the prehistoric era of WIMP user interfaces than the keyboard based versions.

What changed? Microsoft Windows. From Windows 1.0 onwards, Microsoft offered a vision, initially a very, very, ugly vision, as to how a computer could be more, not less useful with a WIMP UI. The critical feature was multitasking. Windows offered a better way to multitask than command line based systems, because each Window, representing an application or document, could co-exist in the same "world", the desktop.

Windows wasn't anything like the best implementation, but it was the only implementation of the concept available on standard PCs.

When Microsoft pretty much forced manufacturers to provide Windows and a mouse with all MS DOS based computers, users had a straight choice of using one UI or the other, and they overwhelmingly chose Windows. By comparison, when GEM was bundled with many PCs in the late nineties, GEM was a nice to have that was ignored by most users (anecdotally, outside of stores, I never saw an Amstrad PC1512 running GEM in the wild, despite it becoming with it and being a major advertised feature.) GEM, a Mac OS UI clone, did not offer multitasking.

So: timeline:

1. Mac OS released around 1984. Causes schism between WIMP and command line users
2. Windows 1.0 released 1985ish. Most users recognize it's a very powerful system, but are put off by user interface and memory requirements.
3. DOS vs WIMP rages for next five years largely because Windows is crippled by other factors.
4. Finally PCs are forced to be powerful enough to run Windows in 1990, and Windows UI improved enough to be "good enough" compared to Mac OS. Everyone jumps to Windows. End of DOS vs WIMP debate.

Touch UIs? Where is the touch UI that is more powerful, as opposed to being easier to use, than the WIMP UI? It took Microsoft (and Commodore too) less than a year to come up with something that was actually an improvement on the command line having seen WIMP. It's been nearly a decade now, who has come up with a touch UI that is more versatile than a WIMP desktop?

User Journal

Journal: Classifications 1

Journal by squiggleslash

Apropos of nothing, just some thoughts in the shower this morning: I see people getting very upset when they hear Doom being described as "3D". "It's 2.5D!" they scream, pointing out that the maps are two dimensional albeit augmented with a height map.

The thing is while I kinda see their point, it essentially puts Doom in the same category as, say, Isometric games, while Quake is in the same category as numerous 1980s Flight Simulators. And then there's "First Person" vs "Third Person" where, again, the latter is so overly broad that it puts, uhm, a lot of isometric games in the same category as modern 3D games that are clearly "nearly" FPS but with a view of the protagonist.

Me, I'm kind of wondering if any of it is ever going to be anything but misleading anyway. 3D Monster Maze (for the ZX81), Hired Guns, the various flight simulators, Quake, Doom, Wolfenstein... all with slightly different takes on technologies that were ultimately trying to converge on the idea that you could see something broadly real, rather than an abstraction. The classifying makes it harder, not easier, to see the leaps forward each type of game engine made.

User Journal

Journal: Wikipedia is fucked 1

Journal by squiggleslash

GamerGate targeted the most active editors on the Gamergate Controversy article for abuse for several months. They also abused the article itself, inserting blatant violations of WP:BLP (the policy that stops the Wikimedia Foundation from being sued for libel every five minutes) During this time the trolls, in parallel, continually leveled complaints at the relevant Wikipedia admin authorities.

Finally, the combination of forum shopping and driving well meaning editors into the ground has paid off: the vast majority of editors in question are to be banned not just from editing the GamerGate Controversy article but from even discussing gender related issues on Wikipedia. Some token throwaway accounts on the GG side are being banned too.

What good faith editor in their right mind will want to touch any article covering an issue affected by well organized trolls after this?

Oh, and don't expect Jimbo to step in. He's actually been telling editors being harassed to step away from the article for several months now.

The backdoor password to the constitution is "terrorism". The backdoor password to Wikipedia is "Civility".

User Journal

Journal: Nuts vs Nuttiers 1

Journal by squiggleslash

It's kind of annoying that when there's an active hate campaign against a group of people you're largely sympathetic to, it becomes harder to call out abuse and extremism by individuals within that group lest you play into the agenda of the hate campaign.

Another way of saying the same thing: GamerGate and similar mobs make it hard to have rational discussions about anything.

(If you're after specifics, no, I won't give any directly, the nearest I'd mention is that I thought Pax Dickinson was treated abysmally back when he was essentially fired for alleged over-enthusiastic dudebroism.)

Republicans

Journal: The Kevlar Kandidate Starts Kampaigning 22

Journal by damn_registrars
Looks who is back in Iowa, but the Kevlar Kandidate. Of course, his priority is Wisconsin, so he isn't officially running for POTUS (wink, wink) - he's just giving the best presidential speeches he can just in case there is a presidential election after his current term as governor is up.

Pop quiz - can you name a democrat who is not from Iowa who has spent more time in Iowa in 2015 than Scott Walker? Yeah, neither can anyone else.

I'm particularly looking forward to him selling himself as an outsider in light of the plain fact that

he has been in office for more than 75 percent of his adult life

Although since nobody seems to be bothered by the fact that his budgets have led to the opposite of their promises in almost every single case, they probably won't be bothered by this either.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal: More Guns Get You What, Now? 31

Journal by damn_registrars
The FBI's Uniform Crime Report (UCR) has been released through 2012. While crime is generally down, it is interesting to notice the geographic distribution of property and violent crimes (Image 2/20). The highest rate of violent crime - 423.7 per 100,000 inhabitants - is in the south (Texas to Florida up to Maryland). The highest rate of property crime - 3,226.8 per 100,000 - is in that same region.
User Journal

Journal: Have slashdot admins checked out for the last time? 11

Journal by damn_registrars
When i was looking at my email today (yes, damn.registrars@gmail.com is real) I took a moment to check for slashdot-related mail in there. I noticed that there was an email that I sent to admin@slashdot.org back in November when the message system was borked. Almost two months to the day and ... nothing.

While Taco was incompetent and irrelevant, he at least responded to email.
Republicans

Journal: Today's Slashdot Experiment 42

Journal by damn_registrars
I noticed that my friend the fake conservative has shown up again recently to grace slashdot. I recall that some of the conservative regulars here have before claimed to not profile comments based on their authors but rather to judge them based on their content. So to see if my friend would follow their previous claims, I wrote a reply to one of his comments in a different style. We'll see if he - or any actual slashdot conservatives - bite.
User Journal

Journal: College Football Rants and Open Letters...

Journal by RailGunner
To Nick Saban:
You can tell your team all you want that they "don't need a trophy to know they're the best" -- your team isn't the best. You got beat by a better team 42-35.

To the SEC Fans:
Your "the SEC is invincible" narrative, primary fed to you by the talking heads on ESPN (which owns the SEC Network), has been shattered. Your top teams all LOST. The so-called mini-NFL, the SEC West, was 2-5 in Bowl Season.

Ohio State beat Alabama, Wisconsin beat Auburn, TCU beat Ole Miss, Georgia Tech whipped Mississippi State, and NOTRE DAME beat LSU. That's right, LSU lost to Notre freaking Dame. You know, SEC, when your signature bowl win is against Louisville, you need to drink a nice, tall glass of warm STFU.

To Mark May of ESPN: Mark, I saw you on TV still not admitting that Ohio State deserved to be in the National Title tournament even after they handed Alabama their asses. Still think the 2014 National Champions didn't belong there?

And who was that asswipe on Fox Sports who stupidly claimed that if Ohio State played Alabama next week that OSU would lose? Butthurt much? Who's to say Alabama would even beat Wisconsin or Sparty next week much less the 2014 National Champions?

Besides, Alabama had their shot at Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl.

Ohio State 42, Alabama 35

To the fans of TCU, who thought they should have been in over Ohio State or Florida State: Dude, seriously? Win that piece of shit overrated conference you call the Big 12, then maybe we'll talk. Besides, the team that had a better argument (not a good argument, just a better one than yours) was your conference Champions, which leads me to...

To the Fans Baylor of who thought they should have been in over Ohio State or Florida State: You lost to Sparty at the Cotton Bowl, a stadium that's about 90 minutes from your home field. Any team that plays in a shitty conference that loses essentially at home TO MICHIGAN STATE has no business trying to claim that they deserve to be in the National Championship Tournament. Yeah, you were a 1 loss team who won a conference that was marginally better than the MAC this year. Big f'n deal. Seriously Baylor, the Toledo Rockets would give you all you wanted in a Bowl Game. The Big 12 completely sucked this year, and went 2-4 in bowl games thanks to TCU drumming an overrated SEC team and Oklahoma State beating Washington, a Pac-12 patsy team. Big Whoop.

Finally...

To the Big 10 Haters:
2014 National Champion Ohio State 42, Oregon 20
Ohio State 42, Alabama 35
Michigan State 42, Baylor 41
Wisconsin 34, Auburn 31
Piracy

Journal: Airtight flawless accusation? Not really. 15

Journal by damn_registrars
Accusing someone of something - be it criminal, trivial, or somewhere in between - when there is no way for them to prove that they have not done that something, does not mean you are automatically right. If I accuse someone of being a time-traveling alien responsible for the assassination of Lincoln that doesn't mean they are just because they can't disprove the allegations of being a time-traveling alien.

Although the moon is smaller than the earth, it is farther away.

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