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Comment: Re:Missing option (Score 1) 214

by jitterman (#48167937) Attached to: When will the first successful manned Mars mission happen?
Your pessimism is disappointing. There are plenty of people who want this to happen, and who want to help achieve it (read / watch / listen to the news; search for videos with well known astrophysicists and other scientists). Have some hope and faith, and open your eyes to more than the naysayers - the world isn't nearly as dark and doomed as it seems you feel it is. Human beings have not lost their desire to learn and discover. We will get there - it's just an incredibly difficult thing to accomplish, that's all.

Comment: Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (Score 1) 269

by jitterman (#48027979) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time
So, you've been using computers since at least 1999. Congrats. Considering your decades... errr... years of desktop use, I hate to have to tell you this, but there are plenty of good reasons to pin apps to the task bar. Not every app is best served this way, but plenty are. Perhaps with some more time and experience you'll learn that, instead of attempting to speak for the rest of us.

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 1) 352

by jitterman (#47888925) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows
Whoa, simma! :)

Let me address this in a narrow band. It's a good user experience when we limit our discussion to the user experience on the phone itself, removing programming considerations from a developer POV, and from an "I bought an app for my PC but it doesn't run on my phone" POV. I don't think people currently expect their phones to be like their desk/laptop OS environments. You have a valid point that MS are being misleading with the naming convention, but again, user expectation probably doesn't lead to much in the way of true confusion here.

I've never owned a Mac (iPhones yes, Mac no), so I can't say with 100% certainty, but I'm pretty sure the experience on one is vastly different from the other. Android, true, has some cross-formfactor success, but from phone to desktop (Android to Linux) we're looking at a new app again, so I wouldn't think people, tech-savvy or not, will be confused too much.

I hope you don't take this as argumentative - I simply like using my Windows Phone 8 / 8.1 phone, more than I liked my iPhones, more than I enjoyed using my wife's Android phone. I did state, MS' marketing strategy is crap, no doubt. I have shunned Windows 8 for the desktop so far, though I've had co-workers tell me it's fine, they just chuck the "Metro" side of things (in which case... it's Win 7 again with a few enhancements).

MS is doing so little on the consumer side right these days, let's highlight what they get right (competition drives innovation, right?) and encourage people to at least consider it as a viable option for their choice of mobile phone.

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 1) 352

by jitterman (#47885255) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows
I've had one for two years now (okay, two - a 920 and now a 1520). I was initially skeptical, but I love the platform. It's actually impressively good. It certainly took MS a while to catch up, but they truly have. The sad thing is that since there's no cachet in the name, and since they're not the best at marketing, few people (percentage-wise) will truly realize that Windows 8.1 on a handset is a platform that isn't just use-*able*, it's a platform you will honestly *want* to use.

Comment: Re:Dear Lord, what has happened to Slashdot?! (Score 2) 41

by jitterman (#47800069) Attached to: Saturn's F Ring Is Now Three Times As Wide As During the Voyager Flybys
Entirely disagree:

While I've never expected particularly high standards for Slashdot and the discussion here,

Entirely agree:

I think that this is a new low.

When I became a member ten years or so ago, and was a lurker for a few years before that, the jokes were always there, but mixed into an often in-depth discussion of math, science, programming, etc. I don't read or post as often as I used to (I was never a major contributor, and the few 5s I've ever gotten were for funny comments rather than for anything important) myself. Perhaps older users are simply moving on (only two of the comments are 6-digit UIDs, the others are either 7s or ACs), or maybe no one's had their coffee yet. Also, today is a holiday in the US (come on, rest of the world, talk about Saturn!!). There are still good discussions, but yes, this particular set of early postings is disappointing.

Comment: Re:Embrace or Expire? (Score 0) 337

by jitterman (#47647323) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Drowning?
Someone should promote the AC comment (I'm currently without mod points) - it's actually insightful. MS is making money, and putting out both good AND bad products, just like any other firm does. While it's true that they had their day of highly visible dominance (i.e. most private computer consumers were techies), and they are now easily second / third place in that area, they still lead by far in the business software world, and there's truly no sign that this will abate any time soon.

Branching out into hardware, starting with X-Box and Zune, was an attempt to diversify, and while it hasn't been a home run, it's been a good testing ground for ideas. Some have panned out, some have not. To say that these factors point to MS' overall marketplace dominance being entirely in danger of failing is to overstate things a bit.

Comment: Cox Limit (Score 1) 349

by jitterman (#47369787) Attached to: Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap
Tangentially related - I have Cox service (and - disclaimer - even worked for them for 9 months until I found my dream job), and since I don't have cable but DO have three kids, we chew through 250 Gb of data via Netflix and YouTube in no time. I get an e-mail asking me to be mindful, but never anything nasty, no threats, no throttling (I've checked), and no overage charges. I'm not saying that some or all of these things will never happen, but so far so good. Of all the providers, Cox has honestly been the one I've seen complained about the least (I wish I could find the graph of Netflix speeds over time, before and after Netflix agreed to pay extra fees to some of the other providers - Cox's speeds were higher than everyone's both before AND after those agreements were put into place). It would be nice if all the fees we as consumers pay (mentioned in a comment somewhere above) were actually used to improve the infrastructure as intended, but at least one company seems to be somewhat lenient and understanding when it comes to its customers given today's limitations.

Comment: I've always thought it was about the content. (Score 1) 72

by jitterman (#46173405) Attached to: Amputee Has Prosthetic Hand Wired To Nerves
I don't really care about the layout, what keeps me here after more than a decade is what I read about, and the discussions held here. Look is important if I can't use the site, but this is usable. Some will like it, some will hate it, some will say "meh" to it. As long as I can find stories and conversations that interest me though, I'm good. Just my personal .02

Comment: Not so bad (Score 1) 72

by jitterman (#46173381) Attached to: Amputee Has Prosthetic Hand Wired To Nerves
I remember the last time the layout was changed, and there was the usual round of "oh I hate this." Other than hoping they decide to show member numbers (those of us in the first 999,999 want our cred), I like the new layout, and think it will grow on people over time, just like the current one did.

Still, great comment :)

Comment: Re:Most visitors... (Score 1) 231

by jitterman (#46050001) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?
My city (I live in a state capital) just demolished one of our older main branches to build one easily 3 times larger. The library is used a lot (you could not usually find an empty space in the lot on Saturdays, had to park a block from the building) by high school students from the north side of town (tend to be poorer, probably don't have as much access to technology, etc.), so I would say from anecdotal evidence that libraries still do have a large role to play in education, if nothing else.

My own kids love checking out books to read from their school library, and they both tend to get fiction and non-fiction alike, despite having the entire WWW (not to mention game consoles and handhelds) at their disposal. Again, this is just what I have witnessed personally, but libraries do seem to still be valued by many in the population despite all the alternatives.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"