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Comment Re:Win3.x Win8.x (Score 1) 52

I'm finding it fairly amusing that Windows 3.x actually looks quite fresh and, ugly pre-anti-aliasing font aside, fairly modern. Which is odd because at the time, as a user of AmigaOS 2.04 at home, I thought it looked clumsy and ugly (and everyone else started to agree about the look of Windows 3.x when Windows 95 came out.)

There's a lot of flatness to the Windows 3.x UI, which is something that's in vogue again.

Comment Great (Score 4, Interesting) 40

Gigabit LTE means that you'll be able to use up your entire high speed data quota in less than a minute, unless the carriers finally update their data pricing models.

How is it that we've ended up with $10 for 10Gb or less of data now for about ten years? In the meantime, we've gone from inefficient EDGE to unbelievably efficient LTE, with HSPA+ available now for, what, the last five years on most GSM family networks?

Yet the data prices haven't budged. The carriers have more bandwidth than ever, more efficient ways of using it than ever, but they still think they're running ancient EDGE or cdma2000 networks.

On a positive note, this is more bandwidth than most people's cable modems. I wonder if the cable industry will catch up.

Comment Re:Solution? (Score 4, Interesting) 131

Cultural and social cues too. British people, for example, frequently accuse people from a certain large Northern European country of having no sense of humor. Why? Well, because when they/we (I'm an ex-Brit) make sarcastic comments in front of them, said Northern Europeans take it seriously.

Now I have to assume sarcasm is fairly universal. I'd be surprised if aliens from the Planet Thargh IV are not familiar with the basic concept of "saying the opposite of what you mean because it's absurd, and finding humor in its absurdity". So the chances of said country not actually actually being familiar with the concept is pretty unbelievable.

More likely is that the transmission - the social cues, the way English speaking people exaggerate the first few words of a sarcastic sentence ("Oh a sarcasm detected. Well that's a useful invention!") to indicate that we're being sarcastic and not serious - is different.

There's another location where sarcasm just never seems to work (and, alas, I'm dumb enough not to realize it half the time): The Internet. Or rather, written text, where sarcasm is interpreted as stupidity more often than not. We've even developed cues to try to ensure it's not misinterpretted, from "/s" to fake HTML tags. Again, this suggests everything is about the cues.

Computers probably can detect sarcasm if taught the cues. It ought to be easy: look for cues, determine meaning of sentence, if cues present and interpretation in local context is absurd, call laugh().

Or raiseEyebrow(). Whatever seems appropriate for the lowest form of wit...

Comment Re:So What (Score 1) 85

I've always used a serif font for reading, san serif, even Helvetica, just isn't the greatest for large amounts of text except in cases - and recentish Kindles aren't one of them - where the resolution is so attrocious that seriffed fonts just aren't practical.

I'm kinda surprised it was as big a deal as it was, I'd have thought most people weren't using Helvetica.

Comment Re:WTF is Wayland (Score 4, Interesting) 146

Wayland is a fairly controversial replacement for X11, written by the people currently maintaining the X.org X11 stack.

As the summary implies, Wayland been criticized for lacking significant features of X11 such as network transparency. Defenders have argued that network transparency is a minority application and that they don't like the way it's implemented in X11 anyway,

Those of us who use network transparency are rather bothered by being told that something that works fine for us (and it does, I regularly have to configure LibreOffice systems running on AWS instances, and have never bumped into any of the supposed problems Wayland advocates insist I have) are things we don't really need or want. We're not happy about losing functionality simply so that someone can go from 59fps to 59.5fps when playing Call of Duty.

Previous proposals have varied from proposals for an optional intermediary protocol sitting between Wayland and the client (apparently by people who have no idea what the transparency part of "Network transparency") and even the ability to stream the contents of Windows using H.264.

This proposal sounds, at least at first glance, to be better than those hacks. Hopefully it means they're finally taking the issue seriously.

Comment Re:Insanity (Score 1) 596

No. By the time I'm relying on the white line to see my lane, I'm already driving at half-speed.

And the lines are absolutely invaluable to people with certain visual issues, like poor ability to see color contrast (like along the edge of the road) or less than stellar night vision. Having the line means people with imperfect depth perception or imperfect space relations don't have to GUESS where they should be on the road. It prevents them from becoming a hazard to others when they can't decide where their space begins and ends.

(Cue the elitists who'll say such people shouldn't drive in the first place.)

Someone mentions driving on snowy roads where you can't see the lines anyway as evidence that they're not needed. This sorta neglects to notice that on such roads, unless there's an obvious obstacle, people tend to drive right down the middle, as if it's a one-lane road. I've seen this produce collisions (even at very low speeds) at blind corners.

Another issue that comes to mind is legal liability. If a vehicle takes its half outta the middle, hey, there's no lines saying they can't. So now who's at fault when you have a head-on or drive off the road because two drivers disagree (and YOU might be the wrong one here) on what constitutes their fair "half" of the road? "I thought that WAS half the road" will become the go-to legal escape.

Comment Re:As long as you keep population constant? (Score 2) 281

Obviously if 1.7 million people all try to get electricity from this solar plant, all the light will be sucked out of the sun and the sun will become a black hole killing all life on earth.

Orrrrrrrrr! The other .6 million people will get power from gas or coal or nuclear or whatever, Instead of using coal to produce 700MW of power and 1064000 tons of carbon, the end result will be using coal to produce 200MW of power and 304000 tons of carbon, a reduction of 760000.

Comment Re:As long as you keep population constant? (Score 3, Insightful) 281

What does it matter if population changes?

The only things that would invalidate the numbers are if the same number of people started using more or less electricity, or competing electricity production methods started producing less carbon.

If these things did not change and Morocco's population doubled this year, the plant would still provide 1.1 million people power and cut carbon emissions by 760,000 tons/yr compared to whatever production method was being compared here.

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