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Comment Re:Missing Plugin? (Score 1) 16 16

Yeah, but it was more fun to make a snarky anti-Flash comment and link to an xkcd video that insulted beer (heresy, I know).

I did watch some video on their site, and it was quite beautiful. It's very impressive what commercial equipment can do.

Oh, and tally another vote for changing their name, stat.

Comment Solution: Don't Trust Anyone (within reason) (Score 4, Insightful) 72 72

Client-side end-to-end encryption using perfect forward secrecy is the only thing we can "trust" now, sadly. Key escrow? Who gives a crap? Our government has destroyed all reasonable expectation of trust or privacy, and it's not like private corporations can't be compelled to cooperate. The problem is, it's not really feasible to vet source code for the vast majority of people, even for open source projects, since it's a highly specialized skill set. And how do we ensure that an update doesn't come along specifically to open up an exploit or a back door? Essentially, we're now in a position of trying to decide which projects we can trust with our privacy.

I used to snicker at people who thought like this, maybe throwing in a "tinfoil hat" joke here and there. Damn... it's not quite at the level of CIA implanted brain bugs, or thought-controlling water additives, but the government is getting damn creepy with it's mass surveillance.

Comment Re:This tells you everything... (Score 1) 265 265

I think they meant to say either Win95 or Win9x.

Incidentally, Windows 7 shows live taskbar previews of all windows equally well, not just specific windows. I presume this is because the default theme (Aero) is hardware accelerated. Perhaps it's only limited to specific windows if you disable hardware acceleration.

Comment Re:Winter? (Score 2) 210 210

There are enough people living in the southern part of the US for there to be enough of a market for autonomous vehicles, and that's especially true because I'd bet retired people will be a very large market. They're not going to wait until these cars can safely drive in Alaska before people in California, Arizona, and Florida start buying them.

Besides, the first generation of autonomous cars will look and behave like *any other car* when driven manually. In poor weather (anything beyond light snow or moderate precipitation), the autonomous systems will likely refuse to engage. That doesn't mean an autonomous car won't be useful the rest of the time.

I wonder why people are so convinced that rain and snow will be some insurmountable issue? There are plenty of scanning methods that can penetrate rain or snow fairly easily. A computer doesn't have to rely exclusively on vision, unlike humans.

Comment Re:The real question... (Score 1) 107 107

> lonely otaku dream of having a doting android-girl may be just around the corner.

Who would want an android-girl, considering that OS has big security problems and can be easily hacked or infected on-line? Everybody will want an iOS-girl, who gives them an Apple. (An apple a day keeps mankind away from the gates of Eden.)

I think iOS-girl would be a bit high-maintenance and expensive. She'd want the latest updates and newest hardware accessories, and likes to do things her own way.

On the other hand, I suspect Android-girl might have some serious abandonment issues, although at least she's fairly open about most things.

Windows 10-girl is actually pretty cute, and a lot nicer than she used to be, but only if you can put up with her family.

Comment This tells you everything... (Score 5, Insightful) 265 265

This tells you everything you need to know about UX designers:

It's something that gives Danny Oran, the ex-Microsoft interface designer who holds the patents for the Windows 95 Start menu and taskbar, mixed feelings.

"In some ways, it's a little disappointing the same stuff is in there," Oran says.

It's a simple, intuitive interface element that everyone who uses a PC can easily figure out how to use. Yeah, terrible tragedy, that. It's so old and crusty now, right? Who cares if people are, you know, actually getting shit done with their PC. We need some hip, new paradigm that people have to re-learn all over again.

Seriously, what the hell? Stop screwing up interfaces that are functional and familiar! I wonder if the designer of the automobile's steering wheel would have "mixed feelings" about that interface still being used in cars nearly a century later?

Comment Re:Obligatory (Score 1) 683 683

Agreed. I wouldn't change a thing. I spend my time worrying about my current project or my programming skills, not the layout of my keyboard. I internalized key positions decades ago, and I don't see any real benefit in trying to relearn what I've already got down pat.

There are a lot of slightly sub-optimal things in our lives that hang around due to simple inertia. The "pain in the ass" factor of learning a new keyboard layout probably outweighs potential efficiencies of completely or partially relearning how to touch-type. Most of us don't rely on maximum efficiency when typing, unless you happen to have a very specialized job in which you type a *lot*. A slightly more efficient layout probably won't make any substantial difference for most of us.

As a practical matter, choosing a non-standard keyboard layout is going to greatly inconvenience you in many ways. You'll have a dramatically limited selection of keyboards to choose from, and you're going to have problems every time you need to temporarily use someone else's standard qwerty keyboard.

Comment Re:Swift (Score 3, Insightful) 351 351

I'm presuming there are no second graders here. Don't overthink it... it was just an example. Calculus, differential equations, etc. Even basic algebra is quite difficult for some. For others, it's logical, intuitive, and even beautiful. Math instructors would obviously tend to be of the latter group, and as such, might have trouble empathizing with students who "just don't get it".

Similarly, I've seen a lot of programmers who are convinced that *anyone* could easily learn to program, because *they* happen to find it easy.

I'm just not convinced that's the case. Not everyone finds the same things intuitive.

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler