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User Journal

Journal: Is the Touch UI irredeemable? 4

Journal by squiggleslash

Thoughts related to the Windows 10 "Desktop is a desktop, no "Start" screen" thing:

From 1984 to 1990, there was a serious debate as to which was better, the command line or the WIMP (Window/Icon/Mouse/Pointer) UI. Why? Well, because Mac OS's Systems 1-4 were user friendly in the sense people knew how to use them, but user unfriendly in the sense that they got in the way, were kludgy, awkward to use, and offered zero advantages - beyond a lack of training for users - over the command line. At best you could say some applications needed a mouse, but some, such as word processors, were actually harder to use in the prehistoric era of WIMP user interfaces than the keyboard based versions.

What changed? Microsoft Windows. From Windows 1.0 onwards, Microsoft offered a vision, initially a very, very, ugly vision, as to how a computer could be more, not less useful with a WIMP UI. The critical feature was multitasking. Windows offered a better way to multitask than command line based systems, because each Window, representing an application or document, could co-exist in the same "world", the desktop.

Windows wasn't anything like the best implementation, but it was the only implementation of the concept available on standard PCs.

When Microsoft pretty much forced manufacturers to provide Windows and a mouse with all MS DOS based computers, users had a straight choice of using one UI or the other, and they overwhelmingly chose Windows. By comparison, when GEM was bundled with many PCs in the late nineties, GEM was a nice to have that was ignored by most users (anecdotally, outside of stores, I never saw an Amstrad PC1512 running GEM in the wild, despite it becoming with it and being a major advertised feature.) GEM, a Mac OS UI clone, did not offer multitasking.

So: timeline:

1. Mac OS released around 1984. Causes schism between WIMP and command line users
2. Windows 1.0 released 1985ish. Most users recognize it's a very powerful system, but are put off by user interface and memory requirements.
3. DOS vs WIMP rages for next five years largely because Windows is crippled by other factors.
4. Finally PCs are forced to be powerful enough to run Windows in 1990, and Windows UI improved enough to be "good enough" compared to Mac OS. Everyone jumps to Windows. End of DOS vs WIMP debate.

Touch UIs? Where is the touch UI that is more powerful, as opposed to being easier to use, than the WIMP UI? It took Microsoft (and Commodore too) less than a year to come up with something that was actually an improvement on the command line having seen WIMP. It's been nearly a decade now, who has come up with a touch UI that is more versatile than a WIMP desktop?

User Journal

Journal: Classifications 1

Journal by squiggleslash

Apropos of nothing, just some thoughts in the shower this morning: I see people getting very upset when they hear Doom being described as "3D". "It's 2.5D!" they scream, pointing out that the maps are two dimensional albeit augmented with a height map.

The thing is while I kinda see their point, it essentially puts Doom in the same category as, say, Isometric games, while Quake is in the same category as numerous 1980s Flight Simulators. And then there's "First Person" vs "Third Person" where, again, the latter is so overly broad that it puts, uhm, a lot of isometric games in the same category as modern 3D games that are clearly "nearly" FPS but with a view of the protagonist.

Me, I'm kind of wondering if any of it is ever going to be anything but misleading anyway. 3D Monster Maze (for the ZX81), Hired Guns, the various flight simulators, Quake, Doom, Wolfenstein... all with slightly different takes on technologies that were ultimately trying to converge on the idea that you could see something broadly real, rather than an abstraction. The classifying makes it harder, not easier, to see the leaps forward each type of game engine made.

User Journal

Journal: Wikipedia is fucked 1

Journal by squiggleslash

GamerGate targeted the most active editors on the Gamergate Controversy article for abuse for several months. They also abused the article itself, inserting blatant violations of WP:BLP (the policy that stops the Wikimedia Foundation from being sued for libel every five minutes) During this time the trolls, in parallel, continually leveled complaints at the relevant Wikipedia admin authorities.

Finally, the combination of forum shopping and driving well meaning editors into the ground has paid off: the vast majority of editors in question are to be banned not just from editing the GamerGate Controversy article but from even discussing gender related issues on Wikipedia. Some token throwaway accounts on the GG side are being banned too.

What good faith editor in their right mind will want to touch any article covering an issue affected by well organized trolls after this?

Oh, and don't expect Jimbo to step in. He's actually been telling editors being harassed to step away from the article for several months now.

The backdoor password to the constitution is "terrorism". The backdoor password to Wikipedia is "Civility".

User Journal

Journal: Nuts vs Nuttiers 1

Journal by squiggleslash

It's kind of annoying that when there's an active hate campaign against a group of people you're largely sympathetic to, it becomes harder to call out abuse and extremism by individuals within that group lest you play into the agenda of the hate campaign.

Another way of saying the same thing: GamerGate and similar mobs make it hard to have rational discussions about anything.

(If you're after specifics, no, I won't give any directly, the nearest I'd mention is that I thought Pax Dickinson was treated abysmally back when he was essentially fired for alleged over-enthusiastic dudebroism.)


Journal: The Kevlar Kandidate Starts Kampaigning 22

Journal by damn_registrars
Looks who is back in Iowa, but the Kevlar Kandidate. Of course, his priority is Wisconsin, so he isn't officially running for POTUS (wink, wink) - he's just giving the best presidential speeches he can just in case there is a presidential election after his current term as governor is up.

Pop quiz - can you name a democrat who is not from Iowa who has spent more time in Iowa in 2015 than Scott Walker? Yeah, neither can anyone else.

I'm particularly looking forward to him selling himself as an outsider in light of the plain fact that

he has been in office for more than 75 percent of his adult life

Although since nobody seems to be bothered by the fact that his budgets have led to the opposite of their promises in almost every single case, they probably won't be bothered by this either.

User Journal

Journal: Well, crap... 8

Journal by mcgrew

Patty emailed me and solved the "why isn't anybody buying the Amazon ebook" question -- according to her, it's nearly impossible. She says they won't take a credit or debit card, you have to either have an Amazon gift card or that Amazon Prime crap.

So I don't know what to do. I'd just pull it and put it on the site for free like the other two books, but that would hardly be fair to the two people who jumped through Amazon's hoops.

Suggestions are very welcome.

User Journal

Journal: Conservative Dogs Won't Let Benghazi Bone Go! 9

Journal by smitty_one_each

It was a lack of trust in the congressional investigation of Benghazi that prompted the formation of the Citizens' Commission on Benghazi in 2013. The founding members of the CCB were U.S Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, U.S. Navy four-star Adm. James Lyons, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney (all retired) and Accuracy in Media Editor Roger Aronoff.
Vallely told WND that he believes Gowdy "has received much pressure not to get to the truth, and we are now coming to the conclusion that there is no longer any intention in Washington, by the leadership of both the Democratic and Republican Parties, to get to the truth."

It's blatantly obvious that after so many investigations, the facts of Benghazi are as settled as Global Warming. Will no one rid us of this turbulent brass?
Where have you gone, Jeremiah Cornelius, a website turns its lonely eyes to you.

User Journal

Journal: Shot, chaser 2

Journal by smitty_one_each

Please, sir, enlighten us
. . .


And don't pretend that you actually want to do that within the confines of the law. You've already demonstrated clearly the contrary.

a) Arrogant demand that I offer an answer.
b) Removal of the truth from the set of possible responses.
c) False claim about anything I've previously demonstrated.

Folks: THAT is how you troll. It's early in the year to talk about the Harry G. Frankfurt Award, but this one's sure to be a contender.

User Journal

Journal: When is judgement not judgement?

Journal by smitty_one_each
When it's some bogus, postmodern word soup!

Your attempt at 'semantic engineering' is almost as feeble as d_r's. You would be claiming that every measurement and observation is 'judgement' or subjective. That is not so. People in the fog of cultural habit and religious mysticism proclaim 'judgements', usually bad ones. Those without such hindrances evaluate the situation and determine an objective cost/benefit ratio. Those are the people you find in leadership positions, and they use things like culture and religion to motivate you to do whatever they say while under the illusion of 'freedom'.

Pardon me while I take a drag on this joint, |===============| and evaluate our new wisdom.

transitive verb
1 : to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises
2 : to sit in judgment on : try
3 : to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation
4 : govern, rule â"used of a Hebrew tribal leader
5 : to form an estimate or evaluation of; especially : to form a negative opinion about
6: to hold as an opinion : guess, think <I judge she knew what she was doing>

Yeah, fustakrakich's argument makes about as much sense as cancelling the Vagina Monologues for. . .discriminating against women without vaginas. . .

First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal: More Guns Get You What, Now? 31

Journal by damn_registrars
The FBI's Uniform Crime Report (UCR) has been released through 2012. While crime is generally down, it is interesting to notice the geographic distribution of property and violent crimes (Image 2/20). The highest rate of violent crime - 423.7 per 100,000 inhabitants - is in the south (Texas to Florida up to Maryland). The highest rate of property crime - 3,226.8 per 100,000 - is in that same region.

2 pints = 1 Cavort