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Comment: Re:Give me battery or give me death (Score 1) 109 109

My current laptop, a Dell Precision M3800 has it all: light weight, powerful, reasonable (if not fantastic) battery life, 4K screen, and native support for Linux, out of the box but it's hard to figure out what something the same size would be like at 1/4 the weight.

But I'm agreeing with other comments: I'd rather have this exact weight laptop with 3 days of battery life.

A few years back, I bought the phone with the very best battery life and I don't regret it one minute. Now on its third year, the phone still easily powers through a day with 50% or so battery life, and never leaves me high and dry when flying commercially which is when battery life is most important.

My next phone will be the phone with the best battery life Now that I finally have a powerful laptop that isn't also dreadfully heavy, battery life will once again be #1 for my next purchase.

Comment: Re:Faster UI changes (Score 1) 176 176

Man what a day to not have mod points! Hopefully mods will see your post and mod it to +5. Seems like most of these mistakes are made on purpose these days for some value of "because it's so cool." I see this happening all the time these days, particularly on web-based applications, even here on slashdot. Discoverability of UI functionality is at an all-time low and the removal of obvious functionality is happening all the time (the read more link, dice? Come on guys). We're just expected to already know what everything does even if its changing all the time. Read the fine manual... oh wait there is no documentation. I've seen plenty of horrid user interfaces made by engineers and people like me who think obscure command-line flags are intuitive, but now it seems like even the UI experts (no wait they aren't UI experts, they are user "experience" experts) are doing it. I wonder what will happen when all the current generation of UX experts hit their cognitive decline years later in life. I suspect that if the present trend continues, computers will be all but unusable for many people who can no longer keep up. Progress you know.

Comment: The fickle finger of fate..... (Score 4, Insightful) 86 86

Boys and girls there is a lesson in this story. Each of us has a karma bucket. When that karma bucket is depleted the "fickle finger of fate" may reach and touch us causing untold calamity. Hacking Team's karma bucket has a giant hole in the bottom and can never be refilled. All of their tricks and source code have been laid bare, and are now in full view of the Internet.

If someone has a link the to torrent, please post it.

Comment: Re:What does the 'X' in 'UX' mean? (Score 1) 256 256

Where are my mod points when I need them! This is exactly right. I've thought the same thing ever since the hipster term, "UX" was introduced in the last couple of years. It's not even a matter of introducing new functionality. It's change for the sake of change. It's like developers get together at the local coffee shop and brainstorm new strange ways of doing common tasks and then they foist them on the world without any usability research, or watching how people actually use their computers. Because everyone should be as cool as they are. I can think of no other explanation for changes that firefox made, for example. I don't think the present class of "user experience" thinking is going to stand the test of time. Had UX people been in charge of cars or airplanes, we'd still be messing with with function goes on what pedal, or what controls should be linked together on the yoke. Would be a nightmare. Rudder isn't that important so lets put it on a blue knob behind the pilot's head. We don't use it, so we doubt anyone does either.

Maybe the UX teams at places like Mozilla don't know that real people use Firefox as a tool to get their work done, and constantly messing with it interferes with our ability to do what we need to do. It's not that change can never be done, but that change has to be done in the context of understanding what the end users' purposes are. MS certainly understood that for years with Windows, only to forget it when introducing Windows 8.

Comment: "Boston-Based" Megabots? Not anymore AFAIK (Score 1) 107 107

I know Gui Cavalcanti and the merry band at MegaBots, and while I never asked directly about the specifics of their their business plan, it seemed like their relocation from Somerville, MA [Artisan's Asylum makerspace] to the SF area earlier this year was permanent "for the foreseeable future"

Comment: Also continuous lipstick application. (Score 2) 256 256

I've worked for two companies where "agile" methodology applied company-wide meant point releases every one or two weeks and minor UI changes with every point release to "get better with each version." This floated mgmt's boat and kept the UX/UI people busy and excited, but it was a nightmare for customer support and (evidently, by extension) for customers who could never quite feel as though they'd "learned" to use the software.

Every time they logged in they struggled to figure out how to repeat the workflows they'd struggled to get ahold of the previous time. Of course, the widgets, labels, views, etc. tended to change between logins. Kind of like a maze with moving walls.

I argued for UI changes to be batched for major versions, but this supposedly wasn't "agile."

Comment: multitask anyone? (Score 1) 107 107

Why cant the sensors have their own memory, and record data, regardless of what the state of the main computer is.

Each sensor should have its own cpu/OS/storage/backup battery. Main computer can just access each sensors data via http, over internal ethernet (backup wifi), and repackage up to send to earth, while the sensors can keep recording at the same time.

Comment: BAD DESIGN NASA (Score 1) 107 107

Why not make the craft in such a way so that when it points in dish to earth, its camera can still point to pluto, heres a tip, how about install TWO cameras with 180deg fov, and then you will never miss your target.

Heres a clue, how about a motorized lens that can rotate the camera or lens or whatever.

Heres another clue, design an ultimate design thats fit for any planet/flyby, a generic all purpose best of all situations craft, with plugin addons for specific sensors.

Stop redesigning from scratch each craft for 700 million. NASA you need to learn from the PC industry, modular design. Reduce costs, send more probes, or always send up pairs, like the rovers.

Second, why are they still sending images in JPEG '94, they should use JPEG2000, to reduce the data by another 300% or send 3x more images.

JPEG'94 is junk.

Comment: Re:Links to the actual study? (Score 1) 293 293

You jest, but the real truth has shown what really decided the HD format wars - money. And lots of it. The better part of a billion dollars paid out by Sony to the studio.

You shouldn't forget that Toshiba was paying (or trying to pay) studios to switch to HD DVD. The Warner defection effectively ended the format war because Toshiba thought it had a deal where they would pay $100 million to Warner and $120 to Fox and they would both switch to HD-DVD exclusively. That deal would probably have fatally wounded Blu-Ray. However, you should know that after a slow start (plague by higher prices and hardware and software defects), by late 2007, Blu-Ray disks were outselling HD-DVD disks 2 to 1 overall. So it was Toshiba who needed to pull off a major victory and that's why they were offering money to both Fox and Warner to go exclusively HD-DVD.

To understand why things shook out as they did you have to understand that Warner probably didn't care which format won as long as one of them did. They were losing money because DVD sales were dropping but most customers were waiting to see which HD format would win. Warner, as the studio with the largest library of titles, figured it was losing the most money from the format war. I think when they evaluated the choices, they could see that going to HD-DVD wasn't going to end the format war, it was going to prolong it. That why they specified that Toshiba had to convince another major studio to defect. Warner wanted an immediate decisive victory. So, when the Fox deal fell through, Warner made their decision. So while they certainly took the money from Sony, they it wasn't the money from Sony that made them choose. And it's reasonably to believe them because 400 million is not that much compared to their estimated yearly profits (billions instead of millions) from their back library sales once the format war was over.

So, your narrative isn't entirely correct, the deal ended the format war decisively because Blu Ray was already winning, this back-room deal ended it in the direction it was already heading. That's not say that Sony wasn't desperate to win, but both sides were throwing money around and Sony was already winning.

Comment: Re:Yay, 'murica! (Score 1) 400 400

It's not about any other country. The goal of the regulation is to prevent Americans from having access to 3D printed guns and to intimidate any American who would design one of these guns.

The best answer is for people outside the US to create these designs and post them online.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1266 1266

Slovenia was not the center of a province called "Rome" for hundreds of years. Northern Mexico was not part of a province called "America" for hundreds of years. The appropriate analogy would be if the US later collapsed, and the southewestern border states were overrun by Mexicans (and then later other peoples), and then much later said people insisted on being called Americans, even though they had interbred with their conquerors.

Note that the people in Greek Macedonia are no more "direct descendants" of the ancient Macedonians than the people of modern Macedonia. Probably less, due to the huge refugee influx that was settled there.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1266 1266

As described here:

Due to the fragmentary attestation of this language or dialect, various interpretations are possible.[8] Suggested phylogenetic classifications of Macedonian include:[9]

An Indo-European language that is a close cousin to Greek and also related to Thracian and Phrygian languages, suggested by A. Meillet (1913) and I. I. Russu (1938),[10] or part of a Sprachbund encompassing Thracian, Illyrian and Greek (Kretschmer 1896, E. Schwyzer 1959).
An Illyrian dialect mixed with Greek, suggested by K. O. Müller (1825) and by G. Bonfante (1987).
A Greek dialect, part of the North-Western (Locrian, Aetolian, Phocidian, Epirote) variants of Doric Greek, suggested amongst others by N.G.L. Hammond (1989) Olivier Masson (1996), Michael Meier-Brügger (2003) and Johannes Engels (2010).[11][12][13][14]
A northern Greek dialect, related to Aeolic Greek and Thessalian, suggested among others by A.Fick (1874) and O.Hoffmann (1906).[11][15]
A Greek dialect with a non-Indo-European substratal influence, suggested by M. Sakellariou (1983).
A sibling language of Greek within Indo-European, Macedonian and Greek forming two subbranches of a Greco-Macedonian subgroup within Indo-European (sometimes called "Hellenic"),[8] suggested by Joseph (2001), Georgiev (1966),[16] Hamp & Adams (2013),[17]

There's no question that ancient Macedonian was related to Greek (most likely to a northern dialect such as Aetolian) - the question is how and to what degree vs. that of the Illyrians and Thracians. As mentioned, by the 3rd century BC it had become nearly fully absorbed, but not without first contributing words and grammar of its own. An example of the Greek view toward the Macedonians was that Macedonians were initially banned from competing in the Olympic Games (which was only for Greek Men); the first Macedonian to be allowed to compete was Alexander 1, who was made to first prove that he was of sufficient Greek ancestry (note: if that incident ever even happened - there's some suggestion that Alexander's competition in the Olympics may have been a later addition to try to prove their Greek credentials). But even if we take the story at face value, the fact that they demanded proof that he was sufficiently Greek (something not asked of any other competitors) should be a more than sufficient indicator of their views of Macedonians at the time.

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