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Comment: I own a modu phone and a netbook, and I love them. (Score 1) 75

by ggruschow (#32235830) Attached to: Asus Planning Netbook With Slot-In Mobile Phone

The modu is especially nifty. It's roughly the size of an iPod nano (and it has 2gb for music). That said, I can't recommend them except as easy things to carry in case you get into a pinch. I only carry them when I don't intend to need them. Asus is right, there's lots of room for improvement. Shoving the modu into the netbook shouldn't be the priority though. The current modu doesn't even do 3G. The top 3 priorities should be:

  • Controls - the base modu phone has 7 keys vs the 12 on a basic push button phone. They didn't even do a good job with the 7. They should've compromised their design a bit and at least put 12 on or switched to something like a trackball or touchscreen/strip/pad.
  • Consistency - Unify their interfaces, and provide consistent metaphors and controls
  • Convenience - Most of the people I can think of that would buy this combo just expect basic features. It should be easier to make a call or read a web page with this system than others. People get *small and simple.*

The 7 keys suck even worse than I'd thought because I hadn't considered all the touch-tone menu systems. Their response is surely that I should put a jacket on it that has more buttons, but that's stupid because:

  • Even though its transformable, everything it transforms into sucks more than a basic Nokia candybar.
  • They have a real feature that people want: it's small and light. Adding jackets breaks that.
  • Putting the 7 buttons there tells me you wanted it to be usable on its own. The device is technically usable, but practically almost unusable.

The netbook's controls are busted too, but not as bad.. and I don't need a manufacturers help to fix that.

Modu: I'd happily volunteer my time, coding skills, and even rudimentary amateur electronics to help. I want less phone. You can't compete with the big boys on the low-end, so fill a niche they miss: small, light, simple. Think of a woman with a tiny little clutch. Make the phone work for her, and you'll discover the other thing in that clutch: an inordinate amount of disposable money.

P.S. Make the headset jack match the standard: 3.5mm & compatible with ones with mics and controls for an iphone. Micro-usb headsets will only cost you sales.

Comment: Re:Age and quality. (Score 1) 443

by ggruschow (#30409956) Attached to: Slashdot Turns 100,000

I think /. users benefited from the rise of digg, 4chan, reddit, etc. The quality on /. had been going way downhill before they became popular. Those sites drew away most of the idiots, and /. learned what it's good at. After /. stopped trying to compete head-to-head in the more-news-faster-and-crazier game, they appear to have reached an impressive equilibrium.

Admittedly, I rarely read /. anymore. It seems to have grown more focused, which is good for the site.. but I'm not as interested in the topics it's focused on. OTOH, I absolutely never read digg or the main reddit anymore -- even though they theoretically cover my interests better.

Bring back JonKatz. Actually, hell.. I miss USENET.

Comment: Re:Paranoid (Score 1) 950

by ggruschow (#29432629) Attached to: Heart Monitors In Middle School Gym Class?

I wouldn't be surprised at all. That's precisely what I was doing in class at 12 years old. We monitored our heart-rates by hand in fitness class for years specifically to optimize our own workout. We were taught about aerobic vs anaerobic exercise, maximum heart rates, how muscle grows, etc. I think we probably recorded them too - I know we recorded some info, although it was with pencil and paper.

If your concern with this is privacy, starting running around a track. Don't stop until you realize your folly.

I don't see why this'd be much more of a privacy concern than recording perfectly normal things like lap times, vertical jump height, or grip strength.. things that are routinely recorded to assess the students' progress and that could be used at least as well to adjust insurance premiums.

Also, I don't see why one needs the machines and straps and junk. So long as it's for the student's benefit, might as show them how to measure it them self by feeling their pulse, counting, and looking at a wall clock. I'm sure even my 4 year old could do it if I showed him how.

Programming

+ - What happened to pair programming?->

Submitted by ggruschow
ggruschow (78300) writes "A few years ago, when Extreme Programming hit the scene, a lot of programming shops were picking and choosing practices they liked and trying them out. What were the results?

Of all the practices, it seems like test-first (at least test-driven development) likely got the best foothold although it's probably most often diluted down to just having a bunch of unit tests (which is still an improvement, although a lot of people let tests atrophy and die when they get desparate). I'm curious how pair programming went. A lot of groups I met were doing pair programming, or intended to soon, but most considered it an experiment. Since then, I've observed fewer and fewer groups doing it. So I'm curious:
  • Do my observations match yours?
  • How did the pair programming trials you know of go? (Was personal comfort an issue?)
  • How is pair programming holding up? Has it become less common?
  • How about other XP practices, or XP in general? (I've only seen a couple of groups ever that actually did all the XP practices — Why?).
"

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