Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - 6 month subscription of Pandora One at 46% off. ×

Comment Re:A Mac (Score 1) 197

FWIW my vision is only marginally bad (I'm far-sighted, and getting worse with age), and I have corrective glasses, and even my very modest disability is helped by such an easy zoom. I use it constantly. It's such a natural and integral part of using my Mac that I forget about it when I contemplate switching from a Mac to something else...until I use something else.

Comment A Mac (Score 1) 197

Get a Mac. No matter what's on-screen, you can hold the control key and scroll (or swipe up/down on a trackpad) to zoom the whole screen. Move the mouse cursor to the edge to pan. It's intuitive, it doesn't take any screen space, it's variable zoom, and it doesn't limit magnification to a portion of the screen.

I have a nearly blind friend who ranted for years that nothing adequately replaced her Windows XP magnifier, and that a good screen reader would cost a fortune. I kept telling her to go to a Mac store and try out the magnifier and screen reader. She finally did so, bought a Mac Mini, and I haven't heard a complaint since about screen magnifiers or screen readers, and I no longer get frantic calls for support when she can't see well enough to figure out how to fix something she broke, and I'm not sure if the latter is because she's no longer breaking things or because she can see well enough to figure things out for herself.

Comment I don't give a crap...until it hits DVD (Score 3, Interesting) 438

I will not check out CBS's "online platform".

I will not jump through hoops to see programming. I will not sign up for multiple entertainment services and take on yet more monthly bills. I will not tolerate piss-poor streaming quality. I most especially will not tolerate incessant advertising, even if the service is free. *Especially* if it is free.

We have reached the point where the number of entertainment choices, the un-originality of them, the hoops and interruptions and surveillance they come with, has reduced their value to next to nothing. What we need is fewer sources, not more. We need aggregators, like cable TV services with on-demand access, at fair prices, with actual competition and no sports channel taxes.

Netflix is the best we have, but they are moving in the wrong direction, increasing prices so they can offer their own programming. They don't have an ESPN tax, but they do have a Orange-is-the-new-black tax. And their selection isn't awesome and isn't timely or even stable.

I won't see the new Trek until it has been out on DVD long enough to drop in price, a lot, because I hate even the ads they sometimes put on DVD, so I won't pay more than $17 for a season of television programming.

Or maybe Netflix will pick it up and I'll get to see it before they drop it...and re-add it...and drop it... and...

Screw it. All this wonderful technology the 21st century has brought us has pretty much been squandered by shitty business models and fucking shareholder value.

Comment tools, not rules (Score 1) 497

I see a lot of rigidity around buzzwords and established practice, because programmers these days are given tools, and to appear smart to other programmers, they treat these tools as rules. As if knowing some rules is more important that solving problems and getting the job done. It's apparently easier to show how smart you are by regurgitating rules and criticizing people who don't follow them rigidly than it is to actually accomplish things.

Comment can't code, afraid of disapproval (Score 4, Insightful) 497

It seems that many in the field these days are afraid to code something themselves for fear that someone will find fault. So, they do things "the established" way, which is generally frameworks or anything that can be called "reusable", even if this generation's "reusable" is always less reusable than last, because it keeps getting needlessly more complex to the point that nobody *can* reuse it.

Used to be programmers had a fault we called "not invented here", in that they'd insist on re-writing things that already existed, because it was easier to understand their own code than to use someone else's. These days it's reversed. For fear of criticism, they *must* use someone else's code rather than write their own. I call it "afraid to invent it here."

Comment Real news: MSM is reporting on it (Score 5, Insightful) 370

The real news is that the mainstream media (NYT) is reporting on it. Also, that money is influential is obvious, but the degree to which it is influential is finally being measured. With numbers backing up observation, and MSM exposure, something may have to be done about it.

Online tech forums are fond of saying the MSM is a puppet of government. Here we have an instance where it isn't.

That's news for nerds.

Comment Re:Pseudonyms have a cost to social networks (Score 1) 232

The problem is that we've no proof that FB's real name policy does do that

It's not the policy that does that. It's people friending their real-life friends, family and coworkers that makes them civil. They don't want to be seen as keyboard warriors, bullies and social misfits when real-life people are watching. Facebook wants you to friend people you know in real life, and not form yet another anonymous forum for arguing and trolling.

Comment Re:Pseudonyms have a cost to social networks (Score 1) 232

What a load of entitled, selfish bullshit.

Facebook doesn't exist to serve you. Get over yourself.

Oops, hit the wrong button. Meant to add this...

Facebook isn't the government and isn't the law. And they aren't obligated to provide you with anything. Until the government starts requiring Facebook accounts, you have no rights to anything they provide.

Comment Facebook is a poor choice for that (Score 1) 232

Facebook is a poor choice for communicating around a common interest, or for getting support from a group. There are no facebook communities that compare to the better web forums, and it has nothing to do with anonymity. The interface itself is just not conducive to group discussions. Everything is short-term, hit-or-miss reach, and even large groups have small participation. Facebook isn't useful for carrying on a meaningful dialog.

Comment Pseudonyms have a cost to social networks (Score 1) 232

People act differently when they are not accountable for what they say. You know that from reading every online forum ever. My facebook feed to positively civil compared to every anonymous forum.

Ideally you'd be able to use your real-world name, whether it's your legal name or not, but how can facebook tell the difference between a name you made up for facebook and one you use professionally or personally? Just how hard do you expect them to work to accommodate every keyboard warrior?

If you pick a realistic name and act like a real person, facebook will not be able to tell it's not your real name, and they have no interest in disallowing you. But you will have few friends, because you will not have a ready-made real-life network, so you will probably seek the company of other people who are using fake names, gathering around common interests. But some of them will use obviously made-up names, and they will fight because they aren't accountable, and someone will rat you all out.

This isn't facebook's fault, or their problem to solve. They don't want you turning their service into a duplicate of every other keyboard warrior antisocial forum on the internet. It's not in their best interest to be used as a tool for keyboard warriors and social misfits. Keyboard warriors and social misfits ruin the experience for "normal" people, and facebook is earning money serving "normal" people.

The lesson: If you've chosen a realistic name and want to be treated like a real person, then act like it, and watch who you keep company with. Don't piss off keyboard warriors and facebook won't know, doesn't need to know, and doesn't care that it's not your legal name.

Blogger or other well-known pseudonym? Create a facebook page rather than a personal profile. Be a facebook "like" or "follow" rather than a "friend".

Geeks want to discard any system that is not perfect for everyone, including edge cases and trouble makers. It's not realistic. If Facebook's rules don't work for you, then don't use it. They don't exist to provide a forum for you. They exist to make money, and they do so by providing social networking for real-life people, for people who want that.

Disclaimer: my slashdot name is not my real name, and I can't use it on facebook. I'm also a social misfit and generally pretty unsuccessful at social networking. That's not facebook's fault or problem.

"Love your country but never trust its government." -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania