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Comment Re:Useful (Score 1) 132

Every time this speed comparison between Linux and Windows is done, it is done on newly installed systems. My experience is that after six months of running by a regular (read non technical) user, the windows system will be bogged down by all kinds of crap that make it unbearably slow.

So, "don't install crap" is now a technical skill? Wow.

My wife his hardly technical, and I haven't had to touch her laptop since I installed the OS on it. And her laptop moves along just fine. Faster than mine, in fact, but I can blame that on the oddly matched hardware I've got.

I tell you what -- setup a linux install for your "non-technical users", give them the root password, and leave them alone for six months. Assuming they don't find a new techie who will let them actually play games on their machine, I'll be they'll wind up every bit as bogged down as as similarly-configured and abandoned windows installation.

Or, you could realize that installing programs is an admin function, that a properly installed program doesn't force a user to run as administrator, and fix the problem on the front end. Hell, you could even post a sticker that says "DO NOT INSTALL ANYTHING" if you want.

Oh, and show me a netbook with a comfortable keyboard, and you'll have a no-brainer. I can't find anyone who can stand the damn things.

Comment Re:Damned if they do Damned if they don't (Score 1) 1011

Also, I think you have a very glorified idea of peer review.[...]

Not all journals have the same high standards. That's why a paper published in a lesser journal is usually given lesser weight. If a paper makes big claims and is submitted to a prestigious journal, it's expected to be scrutinized very carefully. In fact, some journals from national academies go so far as to require sponsorship from a scientist with high stature before the paper is accepted. It is assumed that the scientist has read the paper, and will be extremely embarrassed to have his name associated with the paper if it turns out to be wrong.

Comment Re:Any good audio engineer will tell you- (Score 1) 849

A friend of mine could tell the difference if the speakers were moved by more than an inch in his listening room. His wife moved one by accident and he heard the difference. Face it, some people have very keen hearing and they practice to keep it keen. Today very few care, so I expect total crap from the music biz. With mass merchandising king, quality recordings will go the way of the dodo. While I can't tell the difference usually in the car between mp3/cd, the stereo is a different story. Hopefully I'll be dead or deaf before CD dies completely. Call me crazy, but I want the 1000 dollar bottle of wine.

Comment Re:Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (Score 1) 330

All the links to Google and their vast database of search.
For example, if you are out and about and want food you can easily use your Android handset to Google for the nearest Subway or KFC or McDonald's and have Google Navigation give you turn by turn directions to take you there. Or if you are trying to find someones house, you can grab an address from your phones address book (or from a SMS message or email that someone has sent you) and have Google Navigation give you directions.

As others have said, having a GPS that can download data in real time also means you can get up-to-the-minute reports on traffic and construction and accidents and other delays or hazards. This means that the route it gives you is the fastest/best/shortest/whatever route at the time you are driving it (not the fastest route given ideal road conditions)

And with it being Google, customization will no doubt be a feature.

Now all I need is for Google to buy (or create) some Australian map data and offer Google Navigation for free on an Android set in the land down under.

Comment PLASMA CANNONS. Come ON! (Score 1) 464

Seriously, how many times to I have to ask this. The Razer needs a total of SIX plasma cannons; two mounted on the tips of its wings and 4 along the hull. This prototype they've sent us will do for now, but what are lazers supposed to do againt giant frickin mechs? and don't get me started on projectile weaponry. With an aerial combat vehicle like this we get one shot at a stealth strike, and a one shot one kill weapon is the best we can hope for.

I ain't taking this on any test runs until you deliver me some real firepower.

(kudos to anyone who gets the reference)

Comment Reinventing NNTP pre-loading (Score 1) 125

This is why I like reading usenet and mail in an offline reader - just press the space bar or an arrow key and the next page/article *instantly* appears on the screen.

There are existing web page pre-fetch/pre-cache systems that work similarly to the system the article describes - if only they were combined with simple keyboard navigation....

Comment Re:Existing support for scaling the UI (Score 1) 114

I've been using my left hand for the pointing device ever since I got this problem, and I recommend that layout to everyone. This was the first thing the Health and Safety guy at work suggested and it makes a major difference to comfort. Unfortunately it makes pointer aiming worse; even after 6 months I'm not as a accurate with my left hand as my right.
Even on the left side, I can't use a mouse properly - I can't form my hands into the normal shape to hold a mouse, with wrist pointing down, middle fingers stretched and thumb/pinky bent inward. I can use special vertical mice or trackballs, but if forced to use a normal mouse I have to rest my hand on top in a loose fist to push it around.

Comment Existing support for scaling the UI (Score 5, Interesting) 114

I have athralgia which prevents me from using a mouse. I rely heavily on keyboard shortcuts but use a trackball as a pointing device. I often find GUI buttons are too small and easily overshot - and the worst offenders often have dialogs without any support for keyboard shortcuts. InfraActive comes to mind - they even removed keyboard shortcuts between versions 7 and 8. Button scaling in many apps breaks the layout, or doesn't even work. While this is a interesting and useful development, I don't see anything changing soon on the disability usability front. There is existing support in common OSs for making global UI changes, but most apps ignore/override these settings or just break horribly because the UI developer didn't design the interface to adapt to these sort of changes.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen