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Comment: Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (Score 1) 257

by mcgrew (#48031855) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

I tried Lo but it wouldn't do full justification, so it was a no-go for me; I need to format printed books. Oo seems to work like any other Windows program, except it loses it's "last used files" list in the start menu whenever it's upgraded (they really need to fix that).

Comment: Re:Asimov system? (Score 2) 257

by mcgrew (#48030435) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

Overrated?? Asimov wrote over 500 books, both fiction and nonfiction. His stories were between the covers of all the science fiction magazines every month. And the trilogy you rate so poorly won a Hugo award (the most respected science fiction award there is, with the possible exception of the Nebula). He, Heinlein, and Clarke are are often considered to be the "Big Three" of science fiction authors.

Sheesh, judge the author of over 500 books on three. That's pathetic.

Oh, and in case you didn't figure it out, I've been a huge Asimov fan for fifty years (as well as Heinlein and Niven and most of the rest). I didn't care for Clarke, but I'd not call him unimpressive, I just didn't care for his style. If I cared for that style I'd probably love his work, but I don't.

Comment: Re:Which users? (Score 1) 257

by mcgrew (#48030233) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

Couldn't agree more. Not restoring the (useful) start menu for W8, even as an option, goes to show how much they really care about it's customers.

You're not their customer unless you're buying boxed sets of their OS and apps to install on your home brew machine. Acer, Dell, etc. are their customers. You didn't buy that OS from Microsoft, the OEM did. You bought it from him, and he's the one you should complain to.

Comment: Re:Which users? (Score 1) 257

by mcgrew (#48030149) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

I'm hoping W7 is it for me, but I'd said that XP was it; I've been mostly using Linux for a decade. Then about 3 years ago I bought this notebook and have been too lazy to install kubuntu (which I had on the older one that had been stolen). Despite its annoyances W7's still there.

Comment: Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (Score 1) 257

by mcgrew (#48029939) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

From the time I got Windows 7, and I could just press "start" type the first few characters of the program name and launch it

And then open the file you want to work on. Meanwhile, using the Start Menu, two clicks and your document is open inside the app.

Your method is extremely problematic with something like GIMP that has little or no keyboard use.

Don't like Start? Don't use it. But just because I don't have a use for something doesn't mean it should be abolished.

Comment: Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (Score 1) 257

by mcgrew (#48029875) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

On my small notebook I have the file manager, Thunderbird and Firefox pinned, but I mostly use Open Office Write. Most recently opened documents are two clicks away, while if Oo was pinned a click would open a blank document, and it's a couple more clicks from Oo's interface.

Comment: Re:OEMs cannot write software (Score 1) 403

Currently I am using the local calendar adapter for Google calendar, from F-droid. Works well. There is a similar CalDAV adapter too - doesn't it work nicely with owncloud? I was hoping to use it some day.

The issue I'be had with it is that it doesn't really do merging, it does 'server always wins'. This means that if you delete an event locally, on the next sync it will reappear. It's fine for new events created on the device and for events created elsewhere if you just want to view them on the device. I use owncloud on the server and iCal on my laptop and editing things on either of those is fine.

Anyway, that was my point. Google and the other big 4, really do good UI - much as I hate to expose my data for their inspection.

The reason I stopped using the search engine was that they made a UI that pissed me off enough to make me quit. I've not found Google UIs to be particularly well designed in general - I could file a few hundred UI bug reports on the general Android system, including a lot that are regressions.

Comment: Re:They've reinvented CB radio! (Score 1) 147

by mcgrew (#48026263) Attached to: LTE Upgrade Will Let Phones Connect To Nearby Devices Without Towers

Citizens' band is NOT ham radio. CB is limited by law to low power transmitters and anyone can use it. Ham radio can reach anywhere in the world. Also, you need to take a test to be granted a ham license. Never heard of Ohm's Law? No license for you! Back when I was a teenager you had to know Morse code to get a license, the one thing that kept one out of my hands (I never could memorize).

Comment: Re:IOT (Score 1) 117

by TheRaven64 (#48025969) Attached to: World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

One use case that's often touted for this kind of thing is having appliances that can work on spot pricing for electricity. Over the course of the day, you get spikes from solar and wind (and tidal and so on) production when electricity is cheap. You get periods when power plants need to reduce capacity for maintenance when it is expensive. There are massive power storage facilities that profit from this: there is one near where I used to live that pumps water up a hill into a reservoir when electricity is cheap and then lets it flow down again and generate power when it's expensive. Now imagine if your fridge or freezer could get this information in real time and could run the compressor a bit more when electricity is very cheap, then use the cooled coolant to keep your food cold when the price goes up.

Almost 50% of the electricity generated in the USA is wasted because the supply can't adapt to demand fast enough. There are some very big savings to be made by having demand adapt to supply.

Comment: Re:Fine. Legislate for externalities. (Score 1) 450

by thogard (#48025871) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

You may not have a choice. My last power bill had a connection charge that was higher than the energy consumption charge an I pay $.22 a kwh. That will be the trend in the future. In places where the grid is still locally owned, I see it being added to property taxes as the cost of batteries come down where people can go off grid.

We just put in 6 250W panels. They cost less then $190 each but installing the frame and the wiring cost more. The mPPT module happens to plug into our existing telco grade -48V DC power supply and it was only $800 but plugged into a nice $5k system. The batteries that will run one of our racks of gear for 8 hours cost $250 each for 8 of them. The silicon bits aren't a major part of the cost of going off grid now.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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