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Comment: Re:Of course it depends... (Score 1) 163

by Skater (#47317889) Attached to: I suffer from jet lag ...

I recently flew from the east coast of the US to Austria, a time change of 6 hours. I didn't sleep well on the plane over, got perhaps an hour on the first flight, followed by another half hour or 45 minutes on the second flight (woke up just in time to get food). Then my luggage didn't make it in, so I was awake until midnight Vienna time waiting for it - so I think aside from those naps I was awake about 36 hours straight. That was pretty rough - I've never pulled an all-nighter - but the next few days I did fine, actually. I also had an extra day in the schedule to let myself recover.

Coming back, I couldn't sleep on the plane so it was a really long day, but I woke up at 3:30 a.m. or so the next few days despite trying to keep my regular schedule and going to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. Then, my luggage arrived at 3 a.m., three days later. (Yes, British Airways delayed my luggage in both directions; fortunately the longer problematic delay was on the way home where I had other clothes and toiletries I could use.)

The hassle was definitely worth getting to visit Vienna. I didn't get to see everything, unfortunately, so I'll have to go back later.

Comment: Re:No. Simply No. (Score 1) 522

I've not heard anyone describe functionality added to MS Office since Office 2000. Excel has it's uses, but what have they done to it since, except forced people to learn new places for buttons?

Exactly! And they didn't really even do that - they just converted the drop down menus into the "ribbon". They didn't rethink the logic. For example, it still throws me - after using Word for at least 15 years - that page numbering is on the "Insert" menu/tab. I can see "inserting" page numbers the first time I add them to a document, but most of the time I need that control, it's because I'm editing page numbers that are already there, so "insert" is not the menu I think of when I want to do that. It should be a "page layout" option - it's something that's usually fixed on every page, in a defined layout, regardless of what else is on the page, like headers, footers, margins, etc.

In short, Microsoft didn't take the time to rethink how people use Office and see if they could perhaps improve efficiency, with a cost of a learning curve while people learned the new way. Instead, they just converted the menus to buttons and sold it as a huge upgrade, at the cost of the learning curve for the ribbon with no net gain in the end.

Comment: Re:Grammar (Score 1) 329

by Skater (#47000653) Attached to: Your Old CD Collection Is Dying

Ever seen an older Airstream? Think that's dust?

The shells aren't, but often the frames are, or are close to it - they're just steel. (Airstream owner here, although ours is a relatively young one, built in '95. I do have quite a few friends with vintage units from the 60s and before, though. Some of them had to do shell-off restorations, starting with the frame, to get them usable again.)

Comment: Re:America is *finally* implementing chip-and-pin (Score 1) 210

by Skater (#46881291) Attached to: Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security
I'm going to Vienna, Austria (from the US) in a few weeks for work. My work-supplied credit card doesn't have the chip, so I asked about getting one with it. The area that handles the cards in my office said, "You're the first to ask about them," and called the credit card issuer. The CC company came back and said, "No, we don't issue them." Oddly enough, I have a personal CC in my wallet with the chip, issued by that same company. That card will be going with me to Europe.

Comment: Re:Mass transit (Score 1) 398

by Skater (#46817439) Attached to: Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

i'm all for mass transit and use it almost every day, but i'm in NYC a lot of cities in the US aren't dense enough to support the costs of the system

I'm not sure mass transit is self-supporting anywhere in the world. But people see the build cost + maintenance costs and flip out, ignoring that roads also have a build cost + maintenance cost + police cost + etc.

Comment: Re:Less apple more ISO standard interface please (Score 1) 194

by Skater (#46762539) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

They failed to mention it only supports apple products.

Are you sure? Android phones now use something called "MTP", which most devices don't seem to support (neither of our car stereos do, one is a factory Honda, the other is a Pioneer; similarly, my Macbook Pro *still* can't connect to my S3, a year and a half after I bought the phone). Did you try a standard USB drive? I bet it'll work.

Comment: Re:Does it really cost $100k? (Score 1) 461

by Skater (#46462329) Attached to: The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

They have those already - at least the sonar one. It pings for up to 30 days once it hits the water. The issue is that you have to be relatively close to the plane to hear the pinging. Even with Air France 447 when the ACARS data told us where the plane was as it was crashing, it still took almost two years and several searches to find the hull of the plane. In this case, it appears everyone spent the last several days looking in the wrong place, because the military either didn't report or no one listened to their report of spotting the plane in a very different, unexpected location over an hour after it disappeared off the civilian radar. I hope someone in charge wrote down that lesson.

As for the cost of the devices: How much is this search costing the countries involved? It's probably enough to pay for installation on quite a few airliners at this point...

Comment: Re:Shazbot! (Score 1) 352

by Skater (#46412217) Attached to: Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

What I find amazing is there is a large segment of the population who will get up in arms over this kind of collection, dig out their pitchforks and storm the castle, but will willingly post GEO tagged photos online to document their "privacy" protest activities. These same people will run Google maps, Wayze or other applications on their smartphone to navigate their way to the protest, then do the same to find someplace to eat, while cranking up the coupon application to find a deal on the sandwich they are hungry for. These folks don't think twice about their privacy in any other context.

You don't see the difference? Google Maps, Waze, etc. provide a useful service to the user in return for that information. Repo camera databases don't.

Comment: Re:COST (Score 2) 473

by Skater (#46214419) Attached to: Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

Yep. Also, I recently got life insurance, and one of the questions they asked me was, "Have you been aboard an aircraft other than as a passenger on a commercial airliner?" I wonder how much a "yes" answer would've cost me each month. I'd love to do it, but we're talking about $6000-$8000 just for the license, daytime, single engine only. How much more for any of the other certifications? I drive past an airfield every day on my way home from work and look longingly...then remember how much it costs.

Sport pilot would be cheaper, of course. But as you pointed out there are quite a few expenses aside from just the license.

And, it's not like you can, say, fly yourself to vacation to save money. A friend of mine has his license and his own plane (owned one before he even could drive, in fact), and still flies commercial whenever he needs to actually go somewhere.

Comment: Re: Why? (Score 1) 2219

by Skater (#46198501) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

That's the point of a protest though; to get the attention of people who might otherwise not notice that there is a problem. They are effectively picketing slashdot; inconveniencing the normal readers like you and I, to put pressure on the management to take their protest more seriously, and offer something more than just platitudes and empty promises.

It's not working...this is the first I've noticed ANYTHING, and I usually check /. a couple times a day. I have tags turned off, because they're useless, and I'm logged in. I may have looked at beta once or twice a while back.

I just looked at it and didn't care for it, though. What's with the useless, unrelated pictures - a compass for the article about GPS dead reckoning in cars? A picture of LEGO on an article about coding? Useless. I don't get the top "block" of three stories or whatever... what happened to the summaries of those? The menu bar is of little use to me - I don't browse by topic, and I doubt many others do, either. And the narrow comments isn't good, either - as deep as this thread is, my comment would be about one character wide in beta...all kinds of fun for reading! There is a trend amongst web designers to make everything very narrow, ignoring that the interruption while your eyes move to the next line makes the text harder to read and comprehend.

Comment: Washington Post paper (Score 1) 361

by Skater (#46161363) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Online News Is Worth Paying For?
We get the Sunday Washington Post, which includes a free subscription to their website that can be shared with a second person. The coupons we get more than pay for the cost of the subscription, and I get the Sunday comics to read...on Saturday. My wife also checks the ads for sales on stuff we'll need soon. The newspaper itself goes right in the recycling bin, unfortunately. (Side note: this tells me there's a market for a service of just delivering coupons like the papers do, but it would make more money than the newspaper by ignoring the news!)

Prof: So the American government went to IBM to come up with a data encryption standard and they came up with ... Student: EBCDIC!"