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Comment: We rolled out a few web applications ... (Score 2) 276

by aix tom (#49664989) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications?

... at work recently. Bunch of crap the whole of them.

One basically only works reliably in Firefox, one only in IE, one only in Chrome. And then of course there is the problem that one other needs an option in Chrome set to "on", the other needs that same option set to "off" to work.

So at the moment it seems any more complex "web" application I look at basically needs it's on sandboxed browser to not interfere with all your other web applications, and the whole internet itself. And at that point, HTML is a pretty bad abstraction layer for GUIs compared to some of the desktop GUI frameworks.

The only technical plus side is that you "don't have to install anything on the client", but since we have Remote desktop server with "dumb" terminals anyway that is a moot point for us, we don't need to install anything on the client anyway.

Comment: Re:NOT "network timekeeping", just timekeeping (Score 1) 166

by aix tom (#49304569) Attached to: Internet of Things Endangered By Inaccurate Network Time, Says NIST

Well, if the "network" is and should not be involved, then why do they ramble on about the "internet of things" in the article. That's what I don't get.

The short form of the article basically is "The IoT won't grow as fast as we would like, unless we do a massive upgrade on a lot of stuff so what we can do things over the network that make absolutely no sense to do over the network anyway".

It's like demanding that the postal service gets upgraded until it is efficient enough so you can sent a letter to your wife lying in bed beside you faster that you can tell her something in person.

Comment: Re:Only if you trnaslate in your head (Score 1) 274

by aix tom (#49285907) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

Of course that word exist.

"Hexenkunst" can either be translated as "witches art" or "very difficult job", so it essential is similar in meaning to "Hexenwerk" (witchcraft), with a slightly "higher level". Basically the "art" (kunst) of witchery instead of the "craft" (werk) of witchery.

Comment: Re:Truck drivers live on a constant shifting clock (Score 1) 135

by aix tom (#49149969) Attached to: Adjusting To a Martian Day More Difficult Than Expected

Exactly this. I also did a lot of "crazy shifts" in construction and engineering. Shifting to 25, 26 or even 30 hour cycles for a few months was perfectly doable. In fact, most of the time it turned into a "just sleep a little longer each morning" bliss.

On the other hand the thing that REALLY almost broke me was a crazy situation where for two month we had to supervise a construction project for 24 hours a day, with only two people available, and the customer being very strict about the 11-hours-on-site maximum. So it turned into a 11 hours on / 11 hours off job with a 22 hour cycle, where we had to get up two hours EARLIER every day. That's not something I would like to ever do again.

Comment: Re:A smart phone is rarely convenient (Score 1) 248

by aix tom (#49054069) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

And I think the main gain of automation is not "something fancy" but a "combination of sensible features"

For example, we had mechanical thermostats and switches to control the air conditioning in our offices, and mechanical thermostats to control the heating. They were replaced with small 2-inch touch screens to control both.

The "control itself" is worse. Instead of turning the thermostat and flipping a switch in under a second you have a screen with some "lag" so adjusting anything. But after you set up your "wished for" temperature you don't really have to use the control any more.

The thing starts heating / cooling up to "wish themperature" when the office ours start, and goes to "night mode" where it doesn't cool or heat as far after noon if nobody has triggered the motion sensor in the office for over an hour. it also goes into "night mode" when the alarm system is engaged. Engaging the alarm system also switches off all lights in the building.

A friend did some "home automation" back in the 1980s in his flat with switches and relays to control the lights and electric shutters . The main feature was a panel to switch all ten lights in the flat on and of beside the main entrance, including a "all lights off" button. and a "Close/Open all shutters" button. That was a sensible feature, but it was very involved since he had to pull wires from all switches and all actuators to a central switching cabinet. The same sensible automation these days could be done simpler and cheaper with a bus system. But STILL without any "smart-devices" in the internet-sense involved.

Comment: Re:How about replacing it with the ORIGINAL Test (Score 1) 129

by aix tom (#49018623) Attached to: Replacing the Turing Test

In my opinion the "what questions are asked" by the interrogator is only a small part of the test setup. I think the main point is "what is the question that is asked of the interrogator"

In that area the question "do you thing your opponent is a computer or a human" is influenced hugely by the interrogators knowledge and perception of what a computer should be able to do and what it should not be able to do. So asking the interrogator "find out if your opponent is a man or woman" might be a good way to have a more "defined" outcome of the test.

Because the moment in which a computer becomes better at impersonating a human of Type A than another human of Type B (man and woman would be one obvious choice, perhaps some other Types could be used also ) is able to do is not influenced so much by "what the interrogator thinks a computer is able to do or not."

Comment: How about replacing it with the ORIGINAL Test (Score 2) 129

by aix tom (#49011837) Attached to: Replacing the Turing Test

The original Turing Test, as published in "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" as "Imitation Game" was not about whether a machine could successfully pretend to be a human.

He proposed a test, where a computer and men both pretended to be women, and the test would be passed if the computer would be more successful in lying about being a woman than the men were.


Comment: A better Firefox alternative (for me) was PaleMoon (Score 1) 158

by aix tom (#48916625) Attached to: Opera Founder Is Back, WIth a Feature-Heavy, Chromium-Based Browser


It feels "less quirky" than Seamonkey, and some of the Extensions that I have used for years ( Like Tree Style Tab) work with PaleMoon while they don't in Seamonkey.

And with the "Firefox 3 Theme for Firefox 4+ Reloaded" I finally feel at home again on the Internet.

Comment: Re:Tabs on side?? How about tabs on BOTTOM. (Score 2) 117

by aix tom (#48848359) Attached to: With Community Help, Chrome Could Support Side Tabs Extension

I just defected to Pale Moon two month ago.

Absolutely brilliant. Firefox as it used to be. Configurable like it was in the good old days, with that Australis interface ripped out. (And even returned to a sane version numbering scheme lately).

TreeStyle Tab works for vertical tabs (in contrast to SeaMonkey, where it doesnt), and with "Firefox 3 Theme for Firefox 4++ Reloaded" it works, looks and behaves exactly as the Firefox did in its best days. I finally feel "at home" again on the Internet without being irked by unexpected UI surprises all the time.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 3, Informative) 110

by aix tom (#48835723) Attached to: To Avoid Detection, Terrorists Made Messages Seem Like Spam

Of course, never in History, not even in WW1 and 2 has any spy agency tried do collect ALL information that was there. Like every letter sent, every phone call made, every conversation made in public, etc... like spy organisations these days seem to try.

Former East Germany came closest in the last century I guess. Then again, they probably had 20% of the population working at least part-time as undercover agents to spy on the rest.

Comment: Re:Honestly go eff yourself Paul. (Score 1) 552

by aix tom (#48677329) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

So this is basically another fine example, where
- The possible American employee loses the chance to get a job.
- The possible foreign employee loses the chance to get fair pay.
- The foreign country loses it's investment in education.
- The US loses it's investment in education
- The US loses through higher cost for social security.

The only group that makes big bucks with the screwed up situation are the lawyers again.

Comment: Re:Is it just me ... (Score 1) 390

by aix tom (#48481147) Attached to: First Star War Episode 7 Trailer Released

Don't forget: The original clones were made by the Kamino, on their planet, using their facilities and knowledge as the galaxies cloning specialists to create a "secret army"

The usual canon explanation I always heard in various books etc.. was that supplying new clones simply became too expensive and cumbersome, especially with the Kamino not WANTING to supply new clones to the empire and probably sabotaging the process at every possibility. Add to that the fact that "secrecy" is no longer an issue, that you can set recruiting stations on every planet you like, and there is not much sense to continue using clones.

Comment: Re: Here's the solution (Score 1) 577

by aix tom (#48050075) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

The software that "stores everything in the registry" is not garbage per se. It's just software that was written by developers that listened to Microsoft between, say, 1995 and 2010. Because they were told "nonono, *.ini files are bad, store everything in this great registry thing we invented".

From my personal gut-feeling that "drive to use the registry for almost everything" peaked around 2005-2006, before the trend was reversed. At least judging from the work related "enterprise stuff" where I still (have to) have some contact to Windows machines.

Comment: Re:Let me guess... (Score 1) 421

by aix tom (#47989243) Attached to: Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

If the fabric of my pants is stronger than my phone, then something is wrong, either with the phone or my pants.

Don't forget: its probably pants made of a fabric that was specifically chosen so that miners could choose rock samples in their trousers vs. some gimmick made of aluminium, a metal that basically bends when you just look at it in a funny way.

interlard - vt., to intersperse; diversify -- Webster's New World Dictionary Of The American Language