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Comment: Re:*Badly (Score 1) 223

by dj245 (#49580623) Attached to: Windows 10 Can Run Reworked Android and iOS Apps

Personally, I have a Windows tablet and I love it. The only real problem is the small number of apps. If they could make iOS and Android apps run on it, then all the better.

Why do you think a small number of apps is a problem? I have a Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows 8, and it can run any Windows software ever written that it meets the minimum requirements for. I have never once thought "boy I wish I had an app that did X". In fact, I wish some of the apps that I do have (Skype, for one) were not apps at all but normal Windows programs.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 223

by dj245 (#49580595) Attached to: Windows 10 Can Run Reworked Android and iOS Apps

they're probably talking about wanting to run Android/iOS apps on Windows 10 phones.

Are you sure about that? I have only seen Windows phones, and not owned one but as an owner of a Windows 8 tablet, the desktop OS looks a lot like a portable device and vice versa. In fact, it seems they have been planning convergence for some time. Windows 10 might be the OS where the differences between mobile and desktop are only in the relevent aspects of the UI.

Comment: Re:Tablets and technology march on (Score 1) 123

by dj245 (#49578863) Attached to: Crowdfunded Android Console Ouya Reportedly Seeking Buyout

Ouya has loads of competition now from ARM "sticks" and media adapters like the Fire, Roku or Cu Box. And each year brings more capable hardware while Ouja stays the same. The new raspberry pi 2 or Amazon Fire are arguably superior in all ways. Certainly both those alternatives make excellent XBMC/Kodi boxes.

And competition has also come from tablets in terms of casual gaming. Tablets benefit from huge economies of scale and large online market ecosystems. Ouja was always going to be a niche market appealing to techies and gamers.

I have a Fire TV (the fat one, not the stick) with Kodi on it, and it is not that "excellent". If you don't exit Kodi properly (by just pushing the "home" button on the remote, for example), then Amazon videos won't play. Various other minor, but irritating bugs make me wonder if I should have just gotten a cheap Chinese android stick or android box instead. I got a Maige TV HD3 recently, which is OUTSTANDING albeit not perfectly legal, so I will probably be dumping Kodi and all my home server content in the near future anyway. Curating my own content just takes up too much of my time, at a time when the amount of free time I have is shrinking.

Comment: Re:Verizon runs a number of scams... (Score 1) 170

by dj245 (#49575829) Attached to: Verizon Tells Customer He Needs 75Mbps For Smoother Netflix Video

But what really frosted me was the "Oh the advertised rates are for NEW customers only!" line. Come on Verizon, I've been your customer for 6 years, never a late bill payment, no changes in my service, not even a technician visit to my home to fix something. You are going to give the guy up the street you don't know is really going to pay you a better deal then me? You people are NUTS..

The only reason that works is because of limited competition. Which, sadly, is the system that almost everyone in the USA lives under.

Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 1, Insightful) 109

Interesting how in some places in the world, we call it bribery and corruption. In other places, it's just "how stuff gets done."

It's still graft either way. Think of all the problems caused by money buying influence in government. Now imagine how terrible it would be if businesses did it to each other too. The US government might be bought and paid for, but at least we have quite low levels of business-to-business bribery and corruption. My company can bid on projects and stand a very good chance of being evaluated on the quality of our bid and our reputation. That isn't true in a lot of places.

I can't imagine how ridiculous things must be in China, where bribery is rampant and government and business are hard to distinguish from each other.

Comment: Re:But why? (Score 3, Insightful) 634

by dj245 (#49570255) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

Ok, fine, I will bite.

Now let's say the university alters their courses to be more attractive to women. But the jobs that engineers will not change. You may want to change them, but if they want them to actually achieve something useful, they really can't change. It's like asking painters to be more like actors, so actors can also enter the field of painters; this will not create more painters, since the skill of painting, remains the skill of painting.

"more societally meaningful" ?! And I don't get it either. My job does not get more societally meaningful; if I don't do my job (Software Engineer, Industrial Automation), you don't get any power to your home, don't drive a car, don't get air condition in the mall and many more things. Sure I am only a small cog in that bigger scheme of things, but without engineers modern society would not exist.

I would like more women in engineering; many of the colleagues I like to work with are women. And talking with them, the content of their work is not what is holding them back. In some cases it may be social or cultural and in other cases just "math is hard".

On that note, I demand more male nurses!

When a man doesn't want to be a nurse, that's OK because most men would prefer not be nurses.

When a woman doesn't want to be an engineer, that's because the male dominated field is holding them back, and remedies must be made!

Comment: Re:Propaganda Works (Score 2) 685

by dj245 (#49538317) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

Something I will be curious to see over the next few decades is how propaganda is affected by advertising saturation. Something that has been worrying marketers is that young consumers (ones more accustomed to multitasking and who grew up with heavy advertizing) filter out a larger amount of marketing than other groups. Even as their knowledge and skills improve (ah, the dark uses of all those psych majors), advertising is becoming more difficult and consumers more jaded and less uniform. Since propaganda can be seen as a specialized form of marketing, I wonder how that type of manipulation is going to adjust. It used to be that one coherent message would affect most of the population the same way, but increasingly the same techniques and narratives will have differing effects on different populations. So what we tend to see more and more of is propaganda generating smaller more fanatical groups along with others forming backlash against tem.. it kinda works if you examine only the successful parts of the application, but is no longer all that useful for changing general public perception, just creating partisans.

Having traveled to North Korea and seen what propaganda looks like, you are wrong. Good propaganda is something that people want to believe, or could easily believe, even if it isn't true. Good propaganda has no opposing viewpoint that is credible. Good propaganda speaks to the choir, where the choir intentionally designed to be the largest possible audience. And anyone who isn't in the choir is a bad person.

Consider as just one example the propaganda that in North Korea, everyone must choose from 28 official state haircuts. It's something that the average American could easily be convinced to believe. Perhaps you read the story and believed it too. It sounds plausible enough for most westerners to believe.

Unfortunately, it was complete bunk. But just about everyone I talked to bought it. And they thought I was the odd one for believing otherwise.

Comment: Re:Cripple Linux? (Score 2) 174

by dj245 (#49530149) Attached to: Intel 'Compute Stick' PC-Over-HDMI Dongle Launched, Tested

Makes me wonder about the economics of producing these things. Apparently something related to the OS choices makes it worth Intel's while to develop separate models and the infrastructure to build each one, rather than just building the higher spec model and slapping either OS onto it.

It's things like this that hearken back to the glory days of the Evil Empire, and why people find it difficult to trust MS now.

Well, I can't speak for the Ubuntu one, but I have a Yoga 2 10" tablet with Windows 8 with nearly identical specs, only the Z3745 processor instead of this stick's Z3735. The difference in CPU is not significant.

2GB of RAM is not enough for web pages with endless scrolling, such as Tumblr, or bloated pages such as Chrome sucks up the RAM, and when there is none left, things aren't pretty. I use "The Great Suspender" addon which saves unused tabs to disk and frees up memory, but even that isn't enough. We are past the point where 2GB of RAM is enough for even simple web browsing. Maybe Ubuntu manages the limited memory better, but based on how much Chrome is using, the OS choice may be irrelevent and these devices really need 4GB of RAM.

Comment: Re:The BBC doesn't have much latitude here. (Score 2, Insightful) 662

by dj245 (#49345427) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

The BBC is a public broadcaster, funded and owned by mandatory license fees in the UK.Clarkson was on contract to the BBC. Once the organization confirmed that unprovoked verbal and physical abuse had occurred, they had to take action or leave the corporation open to an indefensible lawsuit from the victim. They can't exactly say, "Yeah, get stuffed. We have extensive policies promoting equality and prohibiting harassment and violence in the workplace, but we're ignoring them because the presenter is popular and profitable."

No doubt Clarkson and pals will make a profitable jump to Netflix or Sky to make a similar motoring comedy show. Meanwhile, the BBC has a chance to reinvent Top Gear with younger presenters and a reinvigorated format (there are only so many new Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Aston Martins that can be driven around a track in a cloud of smoke every week and only so many routes for contrived road trips through war zones in ancient sports cars).

If I wanted to see everyday cars that real people drive, I would go to a car dealership. Top Gear is the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous of cars. I will never buy a Lambo but that doesn't mean that watching them isn't fun.

Comment: Re:it could have been an accident (Score 1) 737

by dj245 (#49345319) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

No. You are trying to explain a mechanical failure of a door right at the moment when the aircraft suddenly starts descending into mountains all the while during which the copilot also does nothing to try to correct this unscheduled descent and also ignores air traffic control. Seriously if it has wings and floats on the water and looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. Your version requires many, many things to go wrong at once. The simple answer is, of course, only one thing went wrong - the co-pilot locked the door and set the plane to descend. Occam's razor, and all that.

Adding fuel to this theory is that the co-pilot was detatched and monosyllabic when receiving the briefing about landing in Dusseldorf - he had already made up his mind that he wasn't going to reach Dusseldorf. If the pilot wasn't going to go to the bathroom he probably was planning on killing the pilot anyway.

Give yourself the quick "MYSTERY SOLVED" pat on the back if you want, we're about 48 hours into an investigation which will probably last months. I'll wait for the final report.

Comment: Re:I call bullshit (Score 1) 166

by dj245 (#49304581) Attached to: Internet of Things Endangered By Inaccurate Network Time, Says NIST

Anyone who is designing such systems around "accurate time" hasn't got a freaking clue how to build such systems.

For example, when dealing with spacing on self-driving vehicles, you rely on radar or laser tracking to maintain the separation between vehicles, not some wildly inaccurate network message about the velocity and position sent by other vehicles.

Why not both? I deal with industrial controls somewhat frequently, and it is a common approach to take multiple inputs, align them into comparable units, then weight them according to their importance and add them together. Typically this is done in such a way that if the usual governing input fails, the remaining inputs, combined with the control logic, will guide the system into a safe state.

Hacking's just another word for nothing left to kludge.