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Comment: Specialist boutiques! (Score 1) 547

by arikol (#42025409) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Make a DVD-Rental Store More Relevant?

The only kind of DVD rental that can possibly survive is a specialist store that carries something that is not readily available on the internet. Nowadays that would mean older films, artsy films, all sorts of older tv series... basically everything except newish blockbusters and porn..

Catering to film geeks is harder and requires building up a reputation.
Adding wifi or coffee or whatever into his business is probably not that great an idea as it is likely to draw focus from the core business. Unless he wants to found a coffeeshop with a few DVDs and wifi in competition with Starbucks, because that's the competition he would then face and have to compare himself against.

Comment: Peer review design (Score 1) 123

by arikol (#41535625) Attached to: Misconduct, Not Error, Is the Main Cause of Scientific Retractions

One part of the problem is that peer review is set up in a way to catch mistakes, not really to vet for misconduct. I have no idea what would be required to properly vet for misconduct, but I'm guessing that it should be a good idea to statistically analyse any numbers presented, that should catch the most blatant cheaters.

Comment: Have a friend with a paralyzed arm (Score 4, Informative) 221

by arikol (#41422973) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Gaming With Only One Hand?

A good friend of mine has the same problem, one arm paralyzed. He has a good quality gaming mouse with a suitable amount of programmable buttons, a Razer Naga.
He's also thought about a footswitch (or multiple) but hasn't tried that yet. He plays FPS with alarming accuracy and skill, having bound buttons for moving forward, strafing, and doing all major tasks. He cannot go backwards (on his current setup) but that really doesn't seem to affect his gameplay much.
He previously had a Logitech gaming mouse, and bought the Razer more because it looks good than anything else (well, one or two extra buttons and nice ergonomics for his hand). He was a leftie, and lost use of his left arm, so is gaming with his weaker hand now. It's possible with any good programmable mouse!

Good luck on continuing gaming, and rest assured that it can be done insanely well!

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 287

by arikol (#41199423) Attached to: Is Innovation the Most Abused Word In Business?

innovate |nvet|
verb [ no obj. ]
make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products: the company's failure to diversify and innovate competitively.
  [ with obj. ] introduce (something new, especially a product).

The established wisdom at the time was that the shape of windows didn't matter. Research proved that knowledge to be false. The solution was to make the windows in a new manner, innovate.
Innovation has nothing to do with an artistic Eureka moment, and everything to do with doing something in a new manner, or to do something that hasn't been done before. Most often innovation involves slight changes and very logical and simple changes IF you know the rationale behind the changes.

So, rounded window corners was an innovation. A rounded rectangle slab was a new form for phones a few years ago (smartphones using other OS were of a very different shape and form factor at the time). So that can be viewed as an innovation (the whole question whether that part of the innovation should be patentable is an entirely different can of worms...)

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 4, Informative) 287

by arikol (#41177049) Attached to: Is Innovation the Most Abused Word In Business?

This was modded funny, but it's actually a quite clever comment.

If GrpA had included some context it would be informative

Thing is, in aviation, the first passenger jet, the DH Comet started exploding in flight and no one knew why. Turns out that square corners in windows and doors is a bad idea when it comes to pressured vessels made from aluminium.

The failure modes of aluminium weren't perfectly understood at the time, and after huge amounts of testing (actually quite impressive amounts of testing using quite clever methods) they found that repeated pressurisation/depressurisation cycles led to the formation of microcracks at the corner's of windows and doors. This wasn't thought to be a big issue, because the best known metals (steel, iron) had quite gradual and benign failure modes.

Well, it turned out that aluminium fails quite spectacularly when it has any kind of stress damage.

The whole fuselage of the aircraft would basically rip apart in an explosive manner, and this was in a static testing tank so the 800km/h speed wasn't even factored in.

The solution?
Rounded rectangles for windows (or oval shaped windows)
The cockpit windows have sharp corners, but also have special reinforcement to decrease/distribute the stress.

So, rounded rectangles can actually be a major innovation :D

Comment: Re:Shit Editors (Score 2) 311

by arikol (#41164055) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is the Rise of Skeuomorphic User Interfaces a Problem?

Sure, that can be good too.

But someone who has a lot of experience working with a specific model of doodad (let's say an audio compressor) can look at a skeumorphic version on-screen and INSTANTLY see what is going on because the knobs and buttons do more than just setting the values, the knobs also DISPLAY the settings, values, and general state of the system.

I hate having to try to rotate a knob using a mouse and prefer interaction methods that are designed for the tool I'm using (trackpad, mouse, hardware interface) but sometimes skeumorphism actually has a point.

Othertimes, such as in Apple's Calendar, not so much...
Showing a fake desk calendar with selection buttons embedded in the leather, then some sideways scroll buttons, and those sideways scroll buttons trigger a pageturn animation (in/out, not sideways)...

The problem isn't necessarily the skeumorphism, but rather the mishmash of concepts which results in a confused mess.

Comment: My two cents as an expat (Score 2) 999

by arikol (#40997855) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Place To Relocate?

I moved countries a few years ago, and even moving within one's own culture area can be hard work. There will be many little legal things and things to do with the system you move to that you need to learn.

As to the question "what is the best country to move to", the answer is based on your expectations of the future, or your goals.

I am a family man and moved with young children. I believe I will stay here in Sweden for the foreseeable future. There are a few reasons for this, many of which have to do not only with my own chances for the future but also for my children:

Good, cheap healthcare
Good efficient social care (not perfect, but pretty good)
Excellent quality schools at all levels
Schools have no tuition fees (paid for with tax money. This applies to universities as well)
Good human rights situation
Good safety (low crime, low accident rates, high survivability) ...and a few more reasons

As you may see many of these reasons include contingency planning. If I should become unable to work I won't lose a chance of a decent life, and the rest of my family continues to have good future prospects. The US scares me mostly because of health care costs and job loss issues, otherwise the US can be seen as a land of opportunity. But lose your health and job in the US and it's not just your problem but also your kids' problem. That's not something I really want to aim for (unless I were to get the kind of wages/income that makes those issues moot).
Scandinavia is excellent for this, but much of Europe is also quite good. The public healthcare systems in most of Europe range between decent and excellent, and the public school systems do likewise. The UK has quite expensive tuition for most higher level schools, and most countries have some private schools that may cost a bit.

So I don't see it as only being about the visible costs of housing and food vs the size of the paycheck as I see many other issues that easily outweigh that. In Sweden I can survive on a very small paycheck, live comfortably on a small paycheck, and live extremely nicely on anything larger all the while knowing that if something gets messed up there is a safety net for myself and my family. I would trade away half my paycheck for this (in the form of taxes and/or a lower total paycheck)

Comment: Re:Could someone please explain to me (Score 5, Informative) 204

by arikol (#40662273) Attached to: Order Limit On Raspberry Pi Lifted

Small, very cheap (proper computers are at least ten times as expensive), and can be run from a small pack of AA batteries.

If I need something that fits any of those criteria and doesn't require massive general computing power then the Pi is perfect.

Robotics, small distributed experiments, mucking around with programming, seeing what can be done, fitting a computer (almost) into an Altoids tin, low power.... I would say that at $35 this is pretty awesome. Heck, as it has the capability to decode HD video and has a USB port, WiFi, and a SD slot then it works fine as a main video computer, just connected to an old LCD. Great for the kids' room.

Oh yeah, and it's silent. Because of the low power it doesn't require fans.

So, small, cheap, silent, energy efficient..

Consider the issue explained

Comment: Re:That explains why everyone hates iPhones (Score 2) 405

by arikol (#40581525) Attached to: Apple Exits "Green Hardware" Certification Program

I have also dropped an iPhone 4. From around 4 feet onto asphalt. Landed flat on its face and got a point loading shock. The screen was quite effectively destroyed.

Changing the screen was an involved operation, but not all that complex, as such. Just needed some time and effort. The screen wasn't too expensive (ordered from China) at around U$100 delivered, and getting the glued battery out only required being careful. No biggie. I then proceeded to fix more phones for others.

It's not an operation that everyone would like to perform, but is surprisingly easy when you get started, and WELL worth it!

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354

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