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Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1) 797

Agreed. It is the convenience that makes guns so popular for when someone decides to go postal. They are readily available, and some might even say seductive. Something about a firearm also appeals to us, suggests all sorts of power at our fingertips.

Bombs have the appeal of the big destructive bang, but as you point out there is less certainty, and often more work involved than simply taking your dad's keys to his rifle locker. Poison seems to also be ruled out by the fact that it is too sneaky, doesn't make enough of a violent statement.

Comment: Re:It doesn't matter (Score 4, Interesting) 470

I am not entirely in agreement with you, as the apps that were launched from the Apple menu from 1984 up until System 7 were actually special apps that were allowed to run on top of the main app, back before the Apple could multitask. This is a holdover from the pre-hard drive days, when applications were not actually installed but lived on their own 3.5" disks. With System 7, Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9, you could manually add apps to the Apple menu but that was not a default. Some installers would do it for you, some not.

But yeah, Apple made it easier to create aliases, and was actually pretty good about following the original on HFS no matter where you moved or renamed it. They had a lot of better usability, but from 1990 to 1998 their OS development had stagnated, letting Microsoft catch up and even surpass them until Mac OS X managed to mature enough to make Classic Mac OS obsolete.

The Start menu emulation that you are referring to came from a popular third party system extension (remember those?) but was not part of Classic Mac OS. I cannot speak for NextStep, as I never used that. I was a Mac user when Apple was doomed, not a Next user.

Installing applications in one folder is the philosophy that won out, as we see in Mac OS X since it went on sale. There is even a further division that you have the root Applications folder, but also each user has an Applications folder —that no one really uses, but since it would hurt the few that do use it to remove it Apple has left it as it is.

But your closing point, I agree. Microsoft in (especially in the Ballmer era) was never really driven by the developers, but by the sales force. They did have lots of great developers (and still do), but programmers and engineers do not thrive in a Glengarry Glen Ross environment.

Comment: Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (Score 1) 271

Ah, memories of my own pre-internet youth, where parents distrust any interactions their kids engage in that they don't fully understand. Back then it was this newfangled thing called Dungeons and Dragons, and it didn't take long for them to put out scary movies starring Tom Hanks to make our mothers think it was wrong.

And here's the thing you don't grasp: your son *is* interacting. He is using games as a medium to socialise. And those teens with their noses buried in their phones are socialising as well, but in their secret medium that you don't understand.

And that is the whole point: we have a burning desire to socialise, and at a certain age we want to socialise without Mum and Dad always peering over our shoulder and judging us. And if you try too hard, then you only give them some "outlaw chic", so that it becomes even more cool.

But if you are posting this on Slashdot, then you must have had some geek exposure to begin with. So are you merely blind to your own past and how your own parents thought you were being antisocial, or are you merely trolling the rest of us geeks?

Comment: Re:Good riddance to the pros (Score 1) 617

by Saint Fnordius (#44862909) Attached to: How Amateurs Destroyed the Professional Music Business

I think the issue here can be boiled down to the gatekeepers convincing the lottery winners that it's the other acts that are at fault. The rise of cheaper tools that work just as well as the expensive studios has lowered the bar to entry, and people no longer trust the studios as curators, preferring acts from their own circles.

This is also playing out in things like live venues, with smaller venues and clubs experiencing a revival of sorts. And like you inadvertently reveal, it's the punk mentality of making your own that is catching on again, and pissing off the pampered stars and their retinues.

Comment: Re:Who watches the watchers (Score 1) 223

by Saint Fnordius (#44606585) Attached to: Should Cops Wear Google Glass?

Copcams are part of the Google Glass experience, but what I think is overlooked is the HUD of Google Glass, with things like a Layar-style pin on the suspect being chased, or nav directions to a called-in emergency, info pulls from the db and so on. I can even imagine the software getting even better, and warning a cop off of saying anything that might jeopardise an investigation, automatically recording when jostled, things like that.

Charlie Stross wrote a good near-future story which dealt with this sort of ubiquitous glasses wearing in Halting State and Rule 34. I recommend both books.

Comment: Re:OSX is better anyway (Score 1) 786

by Saint Fnordius (#43651267) Attached to: Microsoft's "New Coke" Moment?

I think the main reason why Apple is not interested in competing in the business world is that the business world buyers are not those that actually use the device. Apple's strength has been its focus on the people actually using their devices, and they stumble hardest with things that need to be device-independent, such as with iCloud.

This is what drove Apple's success with the iPod, then the iPhone and the iPad: instead of chasing feature lists, they concentrated on how the device would actually be used. This is especially true of the iPhone, as Apple was selling them to the customers, whereas Nokia, Motorola and the established manufacturers were still selling to the telecoms.

I do see a lot more Macs and Mac OS X in the office, but that is because developers have been able to choose their own devices recently. Those that stick to non-Apple hardware prefer Ubuntu as their desktop OS, but I must add as a caveat that I work in web development, where Posix compatibility is important for backend development, and the Mac has multiple ways to run Windows with VM's and through Boot Camp.

Comment: Re:TFA (Score 1) 138

by Saint Fnordius (#43389531) Attached to: Facebook Launches "Home" For Android

I would just like to add to your analysis that by controlling your phone, they can use it to figure out even those details that you did not properly enter in your Facebook profile. If your phone is not moving from 8pm to 8am at a certain address, they can calculate that your home address is now the place you were, and "helpfully" update your info. Or tell the world that you are on a business trip and not at home. Or even figure out by where your phone is during the day where you work, and reveal to the world that you work for SleazeBucket without you approving it. And of course they could just keep these little insights hidden even from you, and just sell that info to advertisers, privacy be damned.

Note that they already are on record by stating that they cannot do this on the iOS devices because Apple will not let them have the needed level of access.

Comment: Re:The world today... (Score 1) 432

by Saint Fnordius (#42038631) Attached to: You Can't Say That On the Internet

Ah, but the ratings for violence are different between, say, Germany and the USA. Something considered PG in the United States might get a FSK16 (similar to R) rating in Germany due to violence. On the other hand, a movie that was shown in Germany with a FSK12 (analogue to PG or PG13) would get an R in the States due to mild nudity. That was my point.

Comment: Re:You think this is new? (Score 2) 432

by Saint Fnordius (#42027671) Attached to: You Can't Say That On the Internet

I have a problem with claiming that the Colonists were Christians, mostly because of the whole Pilgrims mythology that ignores the more profit-oriented attitudes in Virginia and the other plantation colonies. Most of those coming to the Americas were more interested in making a pile of cash, not in the vaunted religious freedoms. I would have to go do some research again, but IIRC this elevation of the New England colonists over the Virginians came with the US Civil War, bringing with it the reinvention of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The current power of the prudes is more based upon an aphorism that Ben Franklin once put in Poor Richard's Almanac: the squeaky wheel gets the grease. They might not be more than a vocal minority, but boy, are they vocal! No wonder they have gotten their way for so long.

Enough ranting for today. :)

Comment: Re:The world today... (Score 1) 432

by Saint Fnordius (#42027541) Attached to: You Can't Say That On the Internet

Actually, this is more the standard in the USA, where violence is tolerated more than nudity. In most European countries, the standard seems to be reversed: American television shows are considered extremely violent and not suitable for children, but you can see billboard advertisements for soap featuring mild nudity (anything except genitals, really). Other parts of the world like Saudi Arabia forbid even showing females in print, which caused a kerfluffle when Ikea photoshopped all women out of the Saudi version of their catalog.

The biggest problem, really, is that obscenity filters are oriented only towards Americans, since the USA has the noisiest "church ladies" and Tipper Gore wannabes (man, I am dating myself here!). The rest of the world is either not big enough a market to filter for, or tolerant anyways so there is no need for more restrictions. So the techies just do enough filtering to cover their asses and can't be bothered to actually maintain said filters, since that isn't really a moneymaker.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.