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Comment: Hardly a game - NASA should open source it (Score 1) 47

by SoopahMan (#37727050) Attached to: NASA Game Lets You Build Complex Space Networks

A lot of info in the "game," lots of text, very little gameplay. Felt too Super Paper Mario. It would be nice to see NASA open source this so it could play more like Civ 1, trickling out the education as you focus on the gameplay, rather than blasting you with endless text and doing a very poor job of clarifying why you need a Space Network and how much of it to get a given Research item. The win condition is pretty weak as well... you just research one more thing.

Comment: Article is lying - MS isn't locking users out (Score 1) 386

by SoopahMan (#37544488) Attached to: Australian Users Petitioning Against Windows 8 Secure Boot

This is from the article itself:

"Windows 8 certification does not require that the user be able to disable UEFI secure boot, and we've already been informed by hardware vendors that some hardware will not have this option."

From which they conclude:

"The end user is no longer in control of their PC."

So they admit that some hardware vendors are considering not offering the user the option to turn this off, then overextend that to conclude all users have lost control of their PC if they buy one with Windows 8 on it, which Microsoft is "misusing to gain tighter control over the market."

To be clear: Microsoft does not require that the user not be given the option to disable Secure Boot. The decision is up to the hardware vendor. These hardware vendors sell the same motherboards to a lot of places, some running Windows some running Linux. They have little incentive to remove a Secure Boot option.

Talk about making a big issue out of nothing. Find something else to get angry about people, like US law viewing corporations as people.

Comment: x86 and ARM in same box would interest me (Score 1) 332

by SoopahMan (#37504048) Attached to: Is ARM Ever Coming To the Desktop?

An ARM-only desktop seems silly, but I'd be interested in an ARM/x86 system that can use both with a single OS. With Windows 8 supporting both it would be cool to run mobile and desktop apps natively on the same machine. It would likely ease the transition away from x86, ultimately. But the blurred line would really give consumers a lot of options. It might also be interesting to see such a device running Ubuntu and supporting Android apps.

Comment: Re:So, no current needed? (Score 1) 360

by SoopahMan (#37264728) Attached to: Alloy Could Produce Hydrogen Fuel Using Sunlight

I'd rather see that parking lot underground and the space used for useful things or trees. The ugliest part of most establishments is the paved, oil slicked, "is that gum or McDonald's?" parking lot. I'm told Madrid actually has a law on the books preventing ground-level lots. It's a more attractive city for it.

Comment: Network providers trying to make side revenue (Score 1) 182

This is just a problem of networks trying to make some extra cash. OTAs weren't designed to have optional features. You can't "ask" the user if they want parts or not. You update or don't, in a linear fashion. If something is optional then it should be a free download in the Market instead, but I'm sure the deal Sprint signed says they get paid for putting these apps directly on the Home screen, not as an opt-in. Basically Sprint is asking Google to add marketing features to Android.

Comment: Re:Sprint? (Score 1) 208

by SoopahMan (#35450564) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Data-Only Phone, Voice Over WiFi?

Yeah I'd say just use Sprint - the 4G is easy to tether whatever to, and you get everything you asked for.

If you really want to be difficult about it and demand there's no cell minutes for calling phones, you're forced to add Skype Out or Google Voice, one charges by the minute and the other is signaling they will next year, so it's pretty arbitrary.

Comment: Re:Weird (Score 1) 160

by SoopahMan (#35162924) Attached to: Activision Axes <em>Guitar Hero</em>

That was prior to Harmonix selling Guitar Hero to Activision. Guitar Hero 3 was Activision's first title - it brought a lot more big name bands to the game than Harmonix had mustered, and a slightly worse interface. Each subsequent title somehow managed to make the interface more and more infuriating to deal with, while Harmonix kept making Rock Band easier and easier to deal with.

Comment: Lenovo Power Manager - 500mb of RAM (Score 1) 609

by SoopahMan (#35135308) Attached to: An Open Letter To PC Makers: Ditch Bloatware, Now!

I own a Thinkpad, and I recall reading this blog entry:

http://www.lenovoblogs.com/insidethebox/2007/01/thinkpad-power-manager/

In which a software developer at IBM/Lenovo moans about how the software he works on is treated as "junk in the preload." You kinda feel bad for the guy, and he makes a convincing argument that there are proprietary features in LiIon batteries that really could tell you more if you had the software to go with it.

So I go and re-enable the Lenovo Power Manager at startup... and my RAM usage increases by FIVE HUNDRED MEGS! A half gig for a battery readout! Unbelievable! I wanted so badly to throttle the guy that wrote that blog post for not mentioning that critical failure of his crap software that IS junk and DESERVES the removal he whines about.

(For the skeptical, I measured the memory of the app in a few different ways because it just seemed impossible... I got between 501mb and 513mb every which way.)

Point being, there is some small legitimate purpose to this kind of software - but there needs to be some sort of pressure on them to be efficient and either useful or not present. I blame PC review websites. Their reviews are so far off and focused on barely-relevant details that I wonder how many of them are paid for by the manufacturer.

A strong review site that's free to read would make an impact, and a tool that cleans things out that you can trust (perhaps on said review site) would help too - you could offer manufacturers the opportunity to be removed from the "cleanup" list if they get within certain metrics.

Comment: AT&T Customers Billed By Greedy Lawyers (Score 1) 265

by SoopahMan (#35081352) Attached to: AT&amp;T Sued For Systematic iPhone Overbilling

There. Fixed that title for you.

This is a misinformed lawsuit that will likely go before a tech-unsavvy judge and jury and potentially win. And how will AT&T pay for it? With customer money - that's where businesses get their money, remember?

Another pointless lawsuit in America that makes everything more expensive to make a few lawyers richer.

Comment: Pr0n (Score 1) 112

by SoopahMan (#34375906) Attached to: Microsoft Patents Shape-Shifting Display

This isn't labeled porn yet? They'd obviously jump on it before anyone else.

Technology like this has the most immediate useful impact on Windows Tablet devices that are just the touchscreen and essentially no other UI. You could make a raised keyboard with the screen, which would really be best of both worlds.

The next step is a revolution in UI design. An alpha layer representing the texture of every UI feature could be part of every image displayed, and you could have an infinite number of interfaces that are customized to a particular task, but you would get the ergonomic benefits of a normal keyboard. For example, you could handle multiple languages more effectively by adding entire new keys to the on-screen keyboard instead of doubling-up and making it difficult to type common characters as is done today in many languages. Games could present a set of "keys" that are just the movement and action keys, clearly labeled as such, instead of WASD.

And of course, porn would run rampant, as always.

Since it's just a patent, presumably this technology won't exist for ages. My bets have always been on Apple putting this in a future iPad before anyone else gets to it - not a big fan of Apple, but their ownership of the entire technology stack and the premium price they can levy for their devices puts them in the best position to introduce something like this with the fewest hurdles.

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