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Comment Annoying update process (Score 3, Insightful) 320

The reason why I'm stalling sometimes with the updates is that the whole process is interfering with my computer usage. There are annoying popups requiring attention at about 30 s - 1 min intervals, activating a random time after computer boot and trying to install 3rd party software, so I need to be in a mood for installing those updates. Not even to mention that every software has its own update software with its quirks. And Windows also now notifies you to disable "unnecessary" start up software, which often includes these update checkers. These should all come from a single source and be handled much more like they are handled in Linux distributions or mobile app stores.

Comment Re:How can they afford it? (Score 1) 528

No, the schools that are free are compatible to community colleges in the USA so in that realm of classes you can take what they offer. Even then it is not free, Germany charges you around $2000 a year for the "free" colleges.

I'm not sure if you're referring to the ones in Germany or Europe in general. But at least in Finland, you only have a fee of some €80 / year, and I don't really think the community colleges compare to that. All of the courses are included. Although the new government is likely to add a fee for non-EU students in the coming years - it would likely be somewhere in the ballpark of €500 / year. The fee includes also health care in the YTHS (or FSHS in English; basic health services are free of charge; dental check-ups are free of charge and filling a cavity, for example, is typically some €20).

How can the state afford this and public health care? We have higher tax rates. How can we afford the taxes? We don't pay crazy amounts for private schools and private health care.

Comment Re:49 (Score 1) 76

Therefore I think each drive has to be chosen individually because with only 80 total positions the chances of any given drive playing consecutive semitone-spaced correct pitches would be small. So it would seem they've gone through a bunch of drives selecting the ones that have a track position that's nearest to each desired pitch to make up 49 semitone-spaced notes.

Actually no, since the frequency is not a property fo the drive and it actually doesn't have anything to do with the number of positions either. The frequency depends on the rate at which the drive head is moved. Most of the controllers used to have a software-controlled setting called "Step Rate Time" (or SRT for short) for controlling this frequency. But there are some drive-related characteristics that defines for example how quickly the motor can step and also what kind of resonant frequencies the drive generates. That mostly defines the usable frequency range for each drive.

Comment Re:Metro UI (Score 1) 223

You can replace that single color with a background image. With a properly selected image, it actually looks very nice. And of course applications can implement their tiles in colors they want (and there are also ways to replace a majority of the default icons with custom icons).

Comment Re:"correct settings" for your *oven*?!? (Score 1) 105

Seems there's Bake, Broil, or Convection

Actually in Europe, the ovens have more than just a couple of functions. It's quite typical to have lower, upper and combined heat, convection and grill plus some combinations of or alternating between those. Also some models have an integrated thermometer for meat etc. Not that setting them up would still require an Internet connection. But having the correct function, temperature and timer set ready perhaps reduces the risk of human error. But I'd actually rather see an oven that monitors the color of the food and informs me when the food has the correct hue.

Comment Re:Interface choices (Score 1) 117

Think of it like being in MDI mode all the time, in every application.

1. MDI doesn't make sense with every application. It works for programs where you have multiple content items and some common tools for them (like an image processing program) or if the application needs for some other reason to have multiple windows open. MDI stands for "Multiple Document Interface", so it's not a coincidence that it works well for such usage, since it was designed for it.

2. Even MDI applications can be closed by the closing the main window, which you don't have in the OS X applications.

Because that's how the MacOS GUI has worked since time immemorial.

Just because it has been that way for a long time doesn't mean that it actually is the optimal solution. It just makes it an old solution.

But hey, there are lots of apps which behave the way you seem to want them to behave, they pop up a window with some menu options when you close the last document.

There's a difference: The user closes the last window, the application closes vs. the user closes the last window, the application opens a new window. That is just counterintuitive.

Comment Re:Interface choices (Score 1) 117

well the mac app-menu-at-top-of-screen is just stupid if there's multiple apps in view at a time...

Why? You cannot physically perform actions on more than one app at a single time. The menu is active for the one you are presently using as indicated by where you have clicked the mouse pointer. It's not the only way to do things (or even necessarily the best) but it's perfectly sensible and logical and consistent.

What I hate about the menu location is that on a big screen I have to drag my mouse all the way to the upper left corner, even if the window I'm dealing with is in the lower right corner. Combine that with the lack of decent keyboard navigation for the menus, they are pretty much useless for anything else than looking up the keyboard shortcuts.

Comment Re:ORLY! (Score 1) 51

The parent is not a joke and should not be modded as funny. The MTV in Finland is short for "mainostelevisio", literally "advertisement television", and is Finland's oldest commercial TV channel. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Music Television, and it actually IS a respected TV channel and news agency.

Comment On the other side of the pond... (Score 1) 228

Coming from Europe to live in Canada for a year, I never realized how much difference there is in the ovens (and appliances in general). There is a lot to improve in the typical North American oven. First of all, the heating elements in the European style ovens are behind the enamel. The European models (if not fan-driven) may take a bit longer to heat up, but they won't have the problem of sudden heat transfer changes, since they don't really have that much infrared radiation. The oven is easier to clean, too, because of that, and the risk of the baking sheet catching fire is almost non-existent, whereas in an American-style oven, that happened during my first weeks here. Another thing is that the European ovens have a heating element also in the upper area of the oven. This means that the oven trays can be as big as the interior of the oven, without worrying burning the food and that you can more control, since the elements can be controlled separately (most also have the grilling element, which is similar to the ones in America). The European ovens also have a seamless interior (I still don't know where the excess cleaning foam goes in the American ones, probably part of it ends up in the food later). One last thing is the heat insulation. It barely exists here, as soon as the oven is switched on, the apartment gets hot like a poorly warmed sauna - and not only do you waste the electricity there, you double the pay if you want to switch on the A/C to remove that. Still the glass in the door is tiny and sometimes even painted with a similar pattern as a microwave door (why??!), so you always have to open the door to see if the food is ready. Don't even get me started on the cooking platters. They, while fast, are red-hot in typical use, so imagine spilling oil on those. Instant fire. No wonder they are called burners here. And of course, the knobs to switch off are *behind*, now good luck reaching there through the flames. And since they need to be detachable for cleaning all of the stuff that leaked and through some miracle didn't burn, they are pretty unstable, too. Great combination with the tendency to catch stuff on fire. Oh well. I guess also the ovens here are sold by the horse power, not by the usability. But yeah, let's integrate an optical sensor (and maybe a frigging laser) and fix everything else in software. It sounds much fancier than "safe", "energy efficient" or "usable".

Comment Re:The world... (Score 1) 236

Fields are a physical quantity, but not a tangible quantity. For a field to be digital, it could only have two states - on/off. Since most fields can vary or modulate, there must be some other state than on or off.

Actually, digital does not mean having just two states - that is a requirement by a binary state. Digital just means that the states are discrete.

To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland. -- Jack Paar