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Comment: Re:More changes I don't want ... (Score 1) 172

by kaladorn (#48210551) Attached to: Google Announces Inbox, a New Take On Email Organization

The main tragedy, if I ever have to come off Gmail, is exactly how much grouping (in the form of hundreds of labels, many nested). It's how I classify and find my way around gigs and gigs of email.

I can recover my email itself from Gmail via POP. WTF can I recover or port the whole classification and grouping - the labels!

If there was a way to get that out in a way that would import to something else, I'd darn well consider it.

Comment: Re: Perfectly-timed? (Score 1) 251

by kaladorn (#48195023) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

This is the scale of what I want (although I'd take the screen and mount it into a hardwood table). The price tag is.... insanity. That's about $9-11K Canadian. I can get a 60" LED smart TV with a 4K screen for under $2K.

So, yes, this is what I want, along with some of the neat software for it and some of the hardware that interfaces with the screen. And I'd like it in the $2500 or less range which should be achievable with economies of large production scale.

Comment: It is a common thing right now in other cities (Score 5, Insightful) 397

by kaladorn (#48194799) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
The Ottawa Public Library is having a significant budgetary shortfall due to a reduction in late fees.

The sad thing is that these entities have integrated punitive fines into their standard funding expectations and financial plans.

I think that sort of thinking needs to be scorned. It is a poor way to manage an institution. You don't want your model to be 'well, we will depend on and be incentivized to encourage people to break the rules we claim we want them to follow'. It's a rather ethically laughable situation.

Comment: Re:Compelling, but a mix still better... (Score 1) 396

by kaladorn (#48193111) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew
Yes, orbital habs over Earth (or maybe around the moon) are our best bets. We can likely control sunlight and gravity and have enough air and water in them to support a good population (if we can get the construction tech).

We might be able to terraform Mars, might be able to adapt bodies to the low partial pressures in the atmo. What we can't do is fix the low gravity and its effects on our immune system, reproductive system, etc. Low G is one of the 'hard' things to live with and one of the things we have no ability to change.

If we build a sufficiently good station, we can get 0.8+ gees by rotation. That ought to be enough. There are issues to the orbital colonies (materials, construction science, where to get air, water, etc, orbital safety, and so on) but they are the best low-environmental impact living spaces if we can make them truly not requiring Earth to ship resources on a continuing basis to support them.

We can even build multiple stations. Probably a good idea if our first few Babylon projects go poorly. (And the fourth one might just disappear)

Comment: Re:Will Microsoft ever learn? (Score 1) 209

by kaladorn (#48192957) Attached to: More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10

I'd say I prefer my windows to just *be gone* when I minimize them. I know they end up in the system tray. I don't need an animation to tell me that my UI/Desktop Manager is doing its job.

You can provide status information visually WITHOUT animation.

Just to say: Some years back, I had a boss who, using a dual monitor station for software development, frequently hit the Windows 2000 Window Limit (64 I think).

I currently have 22 windows open. Of them, about 8 are tabbed browser windows so you can figure I likely have about 60-80 tabs open concurrently. My editors and PDF viewers also run multiple documents concurrently. I'm not even on heavy workload right now or there would likely be another 10-15 windows open. I sometimes do notice slowdowns but I suspect I may be pushing the available memory from time to time, but animations may also play a role.

In the background or actively running on my machine, I have 2 Tomcat instances, and HFS instance, iTunes, SQL Server instance, a My SQL Instance, Apache Instance, Netbeans, Eclipse, KeePass 2, Adobe Chrome, IE, SVN client and server, Steam, Calibre, and the list goes on. There are likely a number of background servers I'm actually forgetting.

I begrudge my cycles to animations I don't need and that actually I find visually distracting and which don't aide me in figuring things out but I find distract me and confuse the issue.

Not everyone just has a handful of apps open. Not everyone benefits from animations. A lot of $ are used getting them to work and making them pretty when that money could be spent on truly functional software features.

Comment: Re:Fucking hell (Score 1) 209

by kaladorn (#48192925) Attached to: More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10
The highlight of the top bar that caused the windows to expand to fill the screen was actually nausea inducing.

FFS people.....

Eye candy might help some of you a bit, it'll hurt some of us others a bit.

Simple utility and well thought out design for usability makes a quite usable UI. Windows 2000 had a workable UI. So did XP if you put it in classic mode. So does 7. 8+... assssssssss.....

Xubuntu I quite like. Ubuntu before Unity isn't bad. I've seen Zorin lately and it looks okay.

A decent operator can learn a consistent UI in a bit of time and work around its ideosyncratic behaviours to accomplish a lot.

The main offense in UI/desktop design is inconsistency and too much contextual stuff that can choose to hide key things when IT thinks you don't want to do them. Inconsistency ruins any amount of training.

I find Apple's UI unintuitive. I can navigate Droids and Crackberries fine, but iPhones give me pain. I can navigate Slackware, RH, RHEL, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, and likely even BSD or Yggdrasil (that goes back!) no problem. Even NonStop UNIX or Sun UNIX. But OS X.... makes my teeth gnash. Windows 8 Metro a bit too (others I could manage fine).

I can't quite put my finger on it, but every assumption I make in those problematic environments that would be the logic of all the other named systems in one way or another, doesn't seem to work as expected.

I do appreciate that the people who find OS X and iPhones straightforward may struggle with Droids and other OSes for the reciprocal reason.

Generally, if I have to fight the UI or Desktop to get things done, it isn't doing its job.

Comment: Re:Oh yeah. :) (Score 3, Insightful) 369

by kaladorn (#48184543) Attached to: Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday
My most recent Blu-Ray player has gone to the annoying habit of making its buttons hard to distinguish. You either have to run your finger along it to find the braille or else you have to jab around until you finally find one (thus lighting them up) and hope the one you hit was the one you wanted.

What in the heck ever happened to having clearly identifiable buttons in favour of these mostly concealed soft-button things?

Warning: I am about to use some bad language. Stop now if that offends you. ....

Ah yes, I know what it was. Pardon my french: ****ing INTERFACE DESIGNERS.

I actually had a Skype proponent (who seemed to be speaking for the design team) argued for aesthetics over function when I pointed out that on my laptop, the contact list font (not changeable on the version I have and accessibility settings don't change font size) was on the order of 2 mm. When one of the other users pointed out he headed an Academic department that was finding recent releases unusable on many modern monitors with 40+ aged staff, he got the same scornful 'it's all about design and aesthetics'.

Well here's a notion for the UI designers: F*** AESTHETICS WITH A CHAINSAW.

Aesthetics are okay if usability is high and complete. If not, and they are the reason why not, they are not just failure but brain-addled failure.

If your user base is saying 'hey, we'd like your software to have readable font sizes for modern monitors' and those who seem to be fanbois or speaking for the product say 'our aesthetic is more important', then they will find their customers say 'have fun in the bankruptcy court, Fail Co.'

I stopped paying Skype monthly fees because of this crap. It used to be something I recommended and bought add on apps for. Now its on my 'hope to find a replacement' list.

I heard later someone indicating some of Skype may have come from a prior code base (an AIM product?) and that the original code which may have included UI code was an arcane mess and that the new engineers probably had no idea (or no budget) to fix the screwed up and unusable UI. I could understand that. It was the defense of the poor usability as intentional design that burnt my britches. I'd fire anyone that thought that on my development team.

Ultimately, MS has made a habit of retraining users every time they switch OS by shuffling around where you can find common administrative operations (at least common for power users). This has been a PITA for IT people and others since Win 3.1. Yes, once in a while part of the re-org made some logical sense of regrouping functions or or hierarchically arranging them. Mostly, none that I could observe.

Don't bother to retrain me unless there's a darn good reason. It's about one of the most off-putting part of software updates (including those on Android). The Ribbon Bar on latter day MS windows is an example. More efficient for the 10% hardcore users yes, a retraining time wasting PITA for the other 90%, HELL YES.

Try to get it right the first time. Try hard. If you make a mistake, make changes careful, limited, an gradual for UI items. Explain the logic of the new UI functional bits. And don't make any unnecessary changes or force senseless and time wasting retraining on your users.

Then again, I suppose UI designers are artists not engineers and always want to explore new things or see a way it can be done better. George Lucas had that when he made the newer versions of Eps 1-3 without the models, with awkward scenes formerly cut, and with Greedo shooting first. He thought we wanted to see the movies HE wanted to make. We actually wanted to see the movies WE HAD SEEN when we were younger which he ****ed up. (Not as bad as what came after with Ep 1 and product placement insanity....)

Comment: Re: a quick search (Score 1) 331

by kaladorn (#48184325) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade
<p>Bears and whatnot haven't evolved much since 1914, and they haven't been issued bear shaped body armor or fully automatic laser claws.</p></quote>

Now that you mention it, we should be looking into trained bears with just this sort of gear in the event that we get Russian company up North.

I mean, Bears with Laser Claws! That's better than Sharks with Frikkin Laser Beams!

(Your post was spot on BTW)

Comment: Re:May I suggest (Score 1) 331

by kaladorn (#48184253) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade
I totally disagree.

There are *few* valid uses of silencers in police work I will concede.

Say your ERT is engaged in a dynamic entry to deal with a hostage situation. It might be critical to take out a lookout quietly.

Or say you are trying to get into a drug manufacturing compound that has armed guards with a night raid before they can blow the warehouse (or any similar sort of entry where you need surprise). Silencers can add to your odds of being able to execute. Note that you wouldn't necessarily have to be deploying lethal munitions.

Comment: Re:May I suggest (Score 1) 331

by kaladorn (#48184235) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade
Third smallest percentage of GDP in NATO (only Slovenia and Slovak Republic less) so no, I'd not even say they get a lot of money unless you mean large in the sense 'if I had it sitting in my pickup, I'd be very happy' large. By that definition, one M1A1 would make you very happy.


Page 6.
2013 data.

Dollars matter. Especially with a government intent on a balanced budget by 2015 - 2017 and surpluses.

Comment: Re:May I suggest (Score 1) 331

by kaladorn (#48184203) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade
Better is a relative thing.

A squad with Garands would output more volume of fire than a squad with Enfields. That matters depending on what you are using your fire for. The British had a mania for accuracy which led to some accurate (but less effective) tools like the Bren (30 round mag for a squad support weapon... really? and too accurate to get enough dispersion on area fire). The Brits even fought repeating rifles at first because they believed in marksmanship even in a world where repeaters were appearing and the MG was already demonstrating what faster rates of fire would permit tactically.

Both the M1 and Mk III were great battle rifles. The .30-06 is also a wee bit heftier than the .303 in terms of delivered kinetic energy.

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid