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Comment: It's really simple... (Score 1) 505

by dell623 (#44120255) Attached to: Hands-On With Windows 8.1 Preview

In Windows 7, I press the start button on the keyboard, type printers, and get a link to devices and printers and a list of printers. In Windows 8 it brings me to the goddam metro view and doesn't give the same results. Similarly, in 7, I want disk management, I type it and it shows up in results. Windows 8 search doesn't work the same way, and it shows results in the horrible Metro UI that suddenly covers the whole screen. I can't think of any explanation for why the type and find anything search doesn't work the same way in Windows 8 and it's a pain to find the right place to change any setting.

Comment: Re:New Poke (Score 1) 786

by dell623 (#43644239) Attached to: Microsoft's "New Coke" Moment?

Been using Windows since 3.1, and never needed to look up how to turn the computer off. Just never thought it was something you would need to Google, I thought I was missing something blindingly obvious.

Windows 7 Start Menu shows a list of recent applications with little sub menus listing all the files I opened with that program. Brilliant and simple. Also it's dead simple to navigate with a keyboard. Don't know how I can do the same on the stupid Metro desktop.

Comment: Re:New Poke (Score 5, Interesting) 786

by dell623 (#43640967) Attached to: Microsoft's "New Coke" Moment?

Windows 8 sucks at every single level. Even the Metro interface, while the design is interesting and unique, ultimately isn't all that use friendly. Very few applications have actually done something useful with live tiles, and the whole pastel colour thing goes to hell when other apps choose to make multi colour logos instead of the style Microsoft uses. Install a few apps and the whole metro screen looks dreadful and unwieldy and unusable. It's like Android widgets, clever idea but I haven't seen anything beyond weather widgets that you would really want on your home screen. And it's now so quick and simple to get to much used apps or Google Now, and sharing is so easy in Android, widgets seem pretty superfluous except as shortcuts to apps.

That is on top of the other issues. The one reason I haven't switched to Macs until now is that the easy familiarity and efficiency with using Windows will take some time to learn on a Mac. Windows 8 kills that argument, a few minutes with it and I realize if I am learning something new I might as well move to Mac. And maybe if Windows 8 followed Vista we would be more open to it. The problem is Windows 7 is so amazingly good at staying out of the way and letting you get things done, it makes Win 8 even more jarring.

Windows 8 is also being pushed out on the same cheap laptops with low res screens and awful touchpads, where a gesture based interface is no fun to use. I got one for my mother, and I regret not just getting a chromebook. As soon as Google get proper offline editing of MSOffice files, chrome will become a better option for so many people.

Comment: This is really getting ridiculous (Score 1) 318

by dell623 (#43340541) Attached to: Google Glass and Surveillance Culture

If I am under surveillance, I would be delighted if it's a nerdy guy with prominent conspicuous glasses with a blinking red light following me around. Does the writer really imagine Google Glass is the biggest threat to privacy, not the drone flying over your head. Do people really not realize that if someone wanted to put them under surveillance with a tiny camera, there are far better places to hide it in your clothes (buttonholes for example), not blinking at you at eye level? Hell I can stick my phone in my pocket with the camera facing outwards and filming and very few would even notice in a public location.
Google aren't even the only ones working on wearable eye-devices. The technology for clandestine ubiquitous surveillance is already here and around you, and it's not going away. The privacy issues facing us are serious but It's facile to single out Google Glass as some kind of turning point. It's already too late.

Comment: Some people are really underestimating this device (Score 4, Interesting) 619

by dell623 (#43180045) Attached to: Samsung Unveils the Galaxy S4

The sales will depend more on marketing as usual, but..

1) That display is awesome, AMOLEDs are getting better and we're finally beyond retina density for AMOLED displays (the S3 had a pentile display which lowers the effective dpi a bit)

2) The 5" screen is not what decides the dimensions. This is actually narrower than the S3. It's a milimeter wider than my Nexus 4, which I could live with. When I bought the Nexus 4 I was wary of a 4.7" screen but it's surprisingly usable and I don't have large hands. I wouldn't want to go back to a smaller display for anything. Narrower bezels are a long needed advance, and Apple hasn't caught up yet - the Motorola Razr M for example squeezes a 4.3" screen in an iPhone 5 sized device.

3) It is slimmer and fits a far higher capacity battery than the S3. The effect on power consumption from the screen and new processor/GPU isn't known yet, but I bet this will do better than the HTC One.

4) Forget the lame launch, there are some genuinely cool features in there.

5) Not launching a 4.3 inch S4 Mini with top of the line specs is a huge and stupid omission from Samsung.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 4, Interesting) 403

by dell623 (#41769943) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Windows 8

Wait how the hell did this get voted +5? Microsoft astroturfing out on a grand scale?

The Ars Technica reviews points to problems using multiple monitors:

How the hell is the Windows store an advantage?? Programs like Chrome update just fine by themselves. The store is an excuse to close down the ecosystem and earn Microsoft more money, there is absolutely nothing about it that's good for users. I use Google for software discovery, I have never in my life wished there was an app store where I could find applications to try out jsut for the heck of it. You want an application to perform a specific task, you look up what's avaialble, try trial versions. Don't need no damn app store for that.

Microsoft Security Essentials is free and works just fine on Windows 7, Vista, and XP. Not a reason for upgrading.

The ability to use an account tied to Microsoft and their services for Windows? No thanks.

All changes that basically clamp down the ecosystem and tie you to Microsoft's services, now that anti-trust is off chasing Google.

Touch screens on desktops and laptops? Useless. Look up Gorilla arm. How many touch screen laptops and desktops did Apple, the pioneer of touch based devices, launch? None.

If I get a tablet someday I'll look at Windows RT/8, but not at the current price. No way in hell is it getting anywhere near my primary work machine.

Comment: Definitely seen this a lot (Score 1) 823

by dell623 (#41767859) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Rectifying Nerd Arrogance?

I think it's a misguided arrogance that comes from have a bit of knowledge about something that others are clueless about. The funniest thing is, arrogant computer science people don't get far due to their complete lack of social skills and empathy. They just can't create anything that would appeal to the average computer user.

How to avoid this? Stop hanging out in groups of comp sci people. A mutually reinforced sense of superiority seems to creep into those groups. In fact, avoid comp sci people altogether. Apart from the rare inspiring or brilliant individual, there is really little you will gain from hanging out with people who like and do the same things.

Try doing or learning something you know you won't be good at. Dancing? Public speaking? Sport? Do it for fun, do it to see what it's like to struggle at something you don't have a natural aptitude or talent for.

Meet some really smart and humble computer science people. I think everyone who thinks they are smart should experience this regularly, the feeling of talking to someone whose mind moves at a completely different pace to yours, so that you're struggling to keep up. Those people are rare, but I doubt you would be able to feel smug watching others struggle to use online banking for a quite a while after having your ego destroyed so comprehensively.

Comment: Re:A new day and no anti-trust suits on the horizo (Score 1) 183

by dell623 (#41752107) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Review: a Tale of Two Tablets

This is fallout from the previous settlement, Windows RT is not going to come with a browser choice screen in Europe and all non IE browsers will be crippled.

The current anti trust bogeyman seems to be Google which is ridiculous. How hard is it to switch your search engine vs switching your OS and all your data services? How hard is it for a player who makes a new search engine to convince people to try it out, compared to getting someone to try a different OS or office suite?

Google advertise their own services on Google search. That may be an issue, but I fail to see how it is more of an issue than others forcing you to buy and pay for unrelated services and software as a bundle deal like Windows RT + Microsoft Office. Windows RT doesn't tell you 'Hey Microsoft also has an office suite that you could try out, here's where you can get it'. You are forced to buy it.

Comment: Re:If only it were about the product, not marketin (Score 0) 183

by dell623 (#41751381) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Review: a Tale of Two Tablets

The surface Pro will show what?

Read the review on the Verge, which is one of the few that isn't completely fawning as these release day reviews tend to be. One point it brings up, which I mentioned before on slashdot is how ridiculous the 16:9 ratio is and how tall it makes the surface, which is quite impractical as a tablet in both landscape and portraits mode.

There is no jack of all trades device, not until someone magically builds weightless materials that bend and fold and transmutate. It's quite ridiculous to pretend there is. No tablet that's the right size and weight to hold can offer an experience anywhere close to even cheap laptops, even with an expensive dock. That's fine when you're buying a product knowing it's a compromise, like a Galaxy Note II, or an Asus Transformer. People who buy a Surface Pro and the more expensive proper keyboard dock for over a grand thinking it will replace a competent laptop for the same price are going to be severely disappointed. As a tablet it will be big heavy and have a ridiculous size and aspect ratio and mediocre battery life. As a laptop it will have a small overly wide screen, inferior performance, and less practicality.

When the price of one of these things becomes so high that you can get two devices for the same price, you really have to wonder what the point of spending over $1000 on a crippled device is. The price of a Surface pro+proper keyboard dock buys you a cheap and reliable Windows 7 laptop AND a $249 Chromebook AND an iPad Mini, and all three devices are good at what they do.

The price of a Surface RT with a crappy cloth keyboard gets you an iPad Mini and a Chromebook with change leftover.

Comment: A new day and no anti-trust suits on the horizon (Score 4, Insightful) 183

by dell623 (#41751215) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Review: a Tale of Two Tablets

Microsoft must be delighted, the good old days where you could get sued for trying to bundle a browser with your OS (at least in Europe) are long gone. Now, you not only include a free browser, you can include a paid office suite with the price part of the price of the device with no option to opt out. You can rig the OS to make sure that your own applications have access to exclusive APIs and functionality that third party developers will not be able to access ensuring that your apps will always be the best. All apps have to be installed and downloaded from your own app store, and you take a huge cut every single time, even for in app purchases in the future. You can ban third party developers from offering apps offering the same functionality as your own apps. Your own app store is the only one people can get apps from, they can't install or use other app stores. And you can get away with all this because Apple does it already and gets away with it just fine, and they have a monopoly and not you.

The wonderful new era of computing.

Comment: Of all sciences he picked chemistry? (Score 2) 866

by dell623 (#41683053) Attached to: Parent Questions Mandatory High School Chemistry

Yup, let us have kids grow up without knowing basic chemistry, excellent idea. I mean, what possible relevance could it have to their later lives.

Who wants adults to be able to grasp the fact that there is a brand name for drugs and a chemical name, and 500mg of paracetamol is the same thing whether you get the generic one for a few cents or the $10 strip for Panadol/Crocin/Tylenol or whatever other fancy brand name it's known by and widely advertised on your country.

Why would we need our kids to see through bullshit marketing speak like 'all natural', 'chemical free', that bottled spring/mineral water isn't healthier than purified water.

Why would we ever want them to realize how homeopathy makes no fucking sense?

Why would we want them to understand how a soft drink with 50g of sugar is about four tablespoons of sugar, that if they get a double sized drink they get double the sugar, that sugar free drink actually have almost zero calories - it is amazing how many people tell me that 'less than one calorie' is just advertising bullshit.

Why on earth does anyone need a clue about what 'radiation' is, and why the banana you just ate was radioactive and why we sometimes go to a hospital willingly to get zapped by radiation?

Why would anyone need to have a basic idea of thermodynamics, to realize how perpetual motion machines are impossible, why nuclear fission doesn't generate CO2 while all fossil fuels do?

A basic idea of what biodegradable means and why plastics are not biodegradable?

To have a clue about what 'BPA free' means before telling everyone why they need to buy a $50 BPA free water bottle?

Just what we need, a population completely ignorant about basic science, yet brought up to believe that they have a right to form their own opinion on everything and their opinion is as good as anyone else.

Seriously, has this guy ever met someone who didn't have the chance to go to school, to learn basic mathematics, or even to read? Your kids actually have the chance to go to school, unlike half the kids in the world, and you feel they are learning too much?

And it's a stupid false dichotomy that if you learn basic science you won't have time to learn other stuff. Kids have plenty of time and I don't know one adult who doesn't regret not having learned more when they were young. Take a break form the XBox, the TV, or the trashy comics. I am not saying kids shouldn't have fun, but I haven't met many people who've grown up feeling they sohuld have spent more time watching Scooby Doo instead of learning to play a musical instrument.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein