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Comment: Re:u wot m8 (Score 1) 574

by ctrlshift (#46756189) Attached to: Microsoft Confirms It Is Dropping Windows 8.1 Support

When does 8.1 Update 1 update to 2?

It doesn't, it goes to 8.1 Update 1 SP1. At least until 8.1 Update 1 SP1 Rollup 1 comes out. Then 8.1 Update 1 SP1 will no longer be supported, though you may have to continue using it until they release an appropriate fix for Windows Update in the form of 8.1 Update 1 SP1 Rollup 1 Subrevision 1

Comment: Re:Every year (Score 2) 453

by ctrlshift (#45594989) Attached to: The Desktop Is Dead, Long Live the Desktop!
Have you noticed how these dire predictions always seem to be made by people in sales or finance? From the perspective of an investor, these devices may have been dead for years now, i.e. there aren't gobs of money to be made by mass-producing them or pumping money into a company who is mass-producing them. The market is saturated, and everyone who is going to own one already does, so there's no opportunity for growth. It doesn't matter that every household/business has at least one of them that they depend on every day, from a financial perspective the PC is dead. This really shouldn't be the perspective that speaks the loudest though.

Comment: Re:Live hand of Darwin (Score 1) 272

Somebody mod the biologist here! That's it right there!

No sane environmentalist judges extinction to be unnatural in the platonic sense. Extinction IS a direct effect of natural selection. That doesn't mean we should just "get over it" or any other dismissive crap that usually appears in the same sentence with "you damn hippies" or "humans are nature too" or "the climate has been hotter than this in the past." We care about the Sumatran Rhino becoming extinct because we like the world better when it has the Sumatran Rhino in it, not because we have some hang-up about extinction itself.

I have no problem at all being selfish about this: the world is a nicer place for me to live with a healthy ozone layer, fresh air, old growth forests, thriving oceans, and Sumatran Rhinos. Don't try to tell me I'm a hypocrite because the environmental problems we're experiencing today are "natural." I'm not even going to tackle whether or not humans caused all these problems (hint: we did), I'm just going to say that it's perfectly ok to want species to live, even spend time and effort helping them to survive because they are valuable to us. No extra points for true altruism here.

Comment: Yaaaaaaaaawn... (Score 1) 403

by ctrlshift (#44142087) Attached to: You Will Get DirectX 11.2 Only With Windows 8.1
It's pretty hard to get excited about a DirectX release these days. We all saw the comparison screenshots between DX9 and DX10, and later DX10 and DX11. We saw the ever-so-slight improvements in texture mapping, reflections, shadows, etc. Hasn't the rise of the indie game taught Microsoft anything? It's the gameplay, stupid, not your incrementally more realistic rendering of hair. Not that I object to that kind of thing, but as a selling point for the train wreck that is Windows 8? Get real.

Comment: Re:Whats the alternative? (Score 2) 863

by ctrlshift (#43461489) Attached to: ZDNet Proclaims "Windows: It's Over"
Hopefully they'll soon realize that when people are happy with the functionality of their OS, they're really not all that interested in replacing it on someone else's arbitrary release cycle. The "Ok, it's been three years and we need some more money" routine is pretty ineffective with folks keeping their PCs for 4 or 8 or sometimes 12 years.

Microsoft continues to bank on the idea that because they make something newer and shinier, people will flock to it just for the sake of newness and they keep falling on their faces because the new thing doesn't do the job that people need it to do substantially better than the product it's replacing. This is doubly true with their Office suite; Office '97 is a perfectly usable product with at least 90% of the functionality of its successors, obsoleted only by OS compatibility problems (OS's by the very company that released it no less) and it's less-than-modern UI. WinXP CONTINUES to live on and be useful to people even after three subsequent OS releases, and I suspect it will continue even after MS "pulls the plug". It does a job and it does it well, and Microsoft needs to get it through their thick marketing and sales departments that THAT is why people buy a product.

I really think instead of churning out new shit that nobody asked for, Microsoft should take a good hard look at who their user base is and consider more of an LTS, or maybe a rolling release model. I don't think I have a single business client who wouldn't pay twice or thrice as much for an OS/Office Suite/etc. if it would last 10-20 years. As it is, they all seem resigned to the idea that their stuff needs to be replaced every 5 years at the most, and that is an complete myth.

ZDNet's inflammatory, attention-whoring headline has some truth to it...

Comment: Sorry could you repeat that? (Score 2) 158

by ctrlshift (#43223393) Attached to: FAA Grants Arlington Texas Police Department Permission To Fly UAVs
Excuse me Mr. Government Guy, Mr. Reporter? I think I missed the part where you assured us that these drones wouldn't be armed. Or in some way acknowledged everyone's tacit reservations about using drones in civilian areas. *checks TFA again* yep, definitely missed that. If you could just append here.......and.....here....

Comment: Looking for an objective answer? (Score 1) 320

by ctrlshift (#43033503) Attached to: Smartphone Screen Real Estate: How Big Is Big Enough?
To a very very subjective question? This seems like an odd thing to ask -- as though there is some perfect, golden size for a phone. How big are your hands? How long is your thumb? Do you use an earpiece all the time? What about a ThingSling? Are you principally wearing slacks or jeans? How big is the pocket on your coat that corresponds to your principle hand? How much weight is comfortable on that hand? Do you also own a tablet? Does your phone need to fit easily into a dash mount? How good are you with voice recognition? Do you text with the frequency of a gregarious teenager, or do you have a compulsion to show people YouTube videos at random moments? Or both?

I really hope the industry doesn't take all the data it gathers on its best-selling phones and decide "Yup, X inches is definitely the best, commence mass-production." We're all different.

Comment: Re:Main Street Businesses (Score 2) 297

by ctrlshift (#42910293) Attached to: Congress Takes Up Online Sales Tax

The people I worked for were just as greedy and treated their workers just as shitty as Walmart or any of the big box stores. There is nothing inherently noble or morally superior about being a small business on Main Street.

This is a terrible collision of logic and statistics that presents a view which is technically correct but misleading in almost every meaningful way when seen in the context of history. You're saying that because small businesses (referring to them as Mom and Pop stores is definitely over-romanticizing) are made of the same greedy people as big businesses and because they are businesses, they will treat their workers just as poorly. To reduce: A is always true and B is always true, therefore C is possible possible, therefore we should assume that C is always true.

It doesn't work like that. You only have to do a little research to see what hideous working conditions big businesses create. Walmart is a poster child for this, but take a look at Amazon's shipping facilities or Nike's assembly lines. The razor thin profit margin, the distance between the decision makers and the workers, the relentless need to please the shareholders: these are all terrifyingly dehumanizing elements of big business, and it shows. Small business has some of these pressures too, but at least your boss has to look you in the face when he's an asshole; that's a powerful motivator.

I'll bring my anecdotal evidence in last because it's probably the least significant, but yes, I've had a dozen or so jobs for both local businesses and national enterprises. I can say with absolute certainty: It's not even just a slight difference in management style, flexibility, pay, work environment, and good old-fashioned giving-a-shit: It's bloody night and day! When the owner of the company you work for sees you every day, collaborates with you in person, buys drinks, plays D&D, etc, I guarantee that you are treated better than any employee at WalMart.

Comment: Re:Crappy software (Score 1) 736

by ctrlshift (#42880237) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is It So Hard To Make An Accurate Progress Bar?

The actual complaint is about displaying accurate time remaining to complete the task, which really has nothing to do with the display of the progress bar.

Give THIS man some upward moderation. This is a very significant point; perhaps our frustration with progress bars comes from misinterpreting what they actually represent. Personally I've never found poor time estimates as infuriating as progress bars whose displays don't actually correspond to the amount of stuff completed. Especially those ones where the same bar fills up multiple times, thereby giving you NO indication at all of how complete the process actually is. At that point, the bar is really just a variation on the hourglass or spinning wheel.

Comment: Re:Is it normal ? (Score 1) 570

by ctrlshift (#42826977) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Buying a Laptop That Doesn't Have Windows 8

http://www.classicshell.net/

Windows 8 is fine, its pretty fast, and with one simple third party UI extension is actually usable.

Yup Classic Shell is the ticket. I've been using it for most of my clients now and nobody's missed Metro even a little bit. Now if we could just get an Office 2013 color scheme that doesn't make your eyes bleed...

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