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Comment: Re:Eye candy (Score 1) 205

by mark-t (#48937603) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

Linux on the desktop is a failure because of its own lack of innovation and imagination.

Really? Because other than the availability of applications for it, can you name even one thing that Linux itself actually lacks? I'm betting that you can't. Can you further explain how the lack of applications being developed for Linux is anything other than a reflection of the fact that not many people use it in the first place, which itself is a direct consequence of the fact that the applications that people want aren't found on it? Of course, it's a vicious cycle... but that's not the operating system's fault. Before Visicalc came out, for instance, there was almost no practical reason whatsoever for any non hobbyist or professional computer programmer or computer scientist to ever own one of these new-fangled home computers. Visicalc's success was not because of any technical merits of the computing platform it was developed for, it was because it was software that did what people actually wanted, and so people went and bought it.

Comment: Re:Eye candy (Score 1) 205

by mark-t (#48937571) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

I would challenge you to find a study which backs the alternative. The human tendency to prefer choices that positively benefit oneself is almost axiomatic, and I would suspect you would actually need to give ample evidence that this is actually *not* the case. Practically every commercial game ever made, killer productivity appliications like spreadsheets and paint software, and even operating systems like Windows itself... the single greatest driving force behind them is nothing more or less than simple greed.

Of course, it's also greed that makes most of us get up every morning and go to work.... since we have to keep a roof over our heads. My point being that this is such a primal and instinctive characteristic of human nature that to thing that merely being a disruptive technology could overcome it is extremely naive. As was already said above, on technical merits alone, Linux easily meets the criteria of being such a disruptive technology, but because not enough people use it, there isn't an abundance of commercial application development for it, which in turn leaves the OS as feeling less useful to people who necessarily need or expect such applications to be available on their computer.

Comment: Re:Eye candy (Score 1) 205

by mark-t (#48932997) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

Linux desktop distributions in any usable form most certainly were late to the game.

No [application development] is driven by making something disruptive and useful,

I'm going to assume that you genuinely believe that and are not deliberately trolling... your assumption, however, is mistaken. The number one motivating factor in application development, by far, is the human instinct of selfishness and greed. I would challenge you to find any study which shows that this is *not* the case. While certainly there is no lack of applications developed with more altruistic motivations, mainstream application development is almost invariably motivated by some sort of commercial incentive... which does not necessarily mean that the software itself will cost any money, but that in some way the development of the application will provide an increase in revenue.

Comment: Re:Eye candy (Score 1) 205

by mark-t (#48929439) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

Linux on the desktop is just not good enough...

Except that by the aforementioned definition, what makes something "good enough" is an availability of applications in the first place.

The technical merits of an operating system are not sufficient to drive mainstream application creation.... what ultimately drives it is nothing more or less than human greed, and the desire to get a piece of the action.

Linux was not late to the game at all... it actually predates Windows 95.

Comment: Re:Phones are not suitable for reading (Score 1) 286

by mark-t (#48924183) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

Eink update displays are too slow... I tend to flip pages back and forth a lot, and with lcd, there is no perceptible delay as I drag my finger across the page and the next or previous page is revealed, while all epaper displays that I've tried have a psychologically disruptive delay associated with every page flip as the screen visible updates. It would probably be fine if I were just reading a book from cover to cover, but because of the nature of the type of content that I generally read, and how I tend to read it, that sort of experience is unacceptable.

Also, no color. Another big downfall. Much of the stuff that I read has often full color illustrations or is accompanied by slides from a related university lecture or something similar.

But if anybody ever comes out with a tablet that uses a non-emissive display with an effectively instantaneous update time and full color, believe me, I'll be all over that like Tide on dirty laundry.

Comment: Phones are not suitable for reading (Score 1) 286

by mark-t (#48924059) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One
The screen is just too tiny... even the so-called phablets are too small for that purpose.

There's nothing that I use my iPad for that almost any other tablet would not do the job equally well, but no phone has a display that is big enough to comfortably view an entire letter-sized page at once. I tend to read a lot of technical books and articles, and panning around the page to look at various points is disruptive to the experience of understanding the content if there are any illustrations on the page that you need to be able to see while reading the accompanying text to have a clearer understanding of what is being discussed.

Comment: Re:Eye candy (Score 1) 205

by mark-t (#48921357) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

A good operating system is one that runs the applications a user needs to get their work done

So what ultimately makes an OS a good one is when end-user application developers write applications for it?

Consider that the lack of applications for Linux is merely the result of design decisions made by software developers who simply feel that Linux's meager overall usage on the desktop does not make it worth their time to make any extra effort to support. So in reality, by your measurement, what actually makes an OS good is when enough people use it that it creates a measurable greed incentive to drive such application development.

Comment: Re:viva9988 (Score 1) 462

It would make more sense to me if Ubisoft distributed a list of deactivated keys. Any genuinely legitimate business who has fielded and honored requests for replacement keys could then turn and sue Ubisoft for any moneies they were out as a result.

Strikes me as a whole lot more streamlined than trying to form a class action suit involving a completely unknown number of legitimate end users that might have been dinged by this.

Security

Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid? 467

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-would-you-put-on-your-grandma's-computer dept.
CryoKeen writes: I got a new laptop recently after trading in my old laptop for store credit. While I was waiting to check out, the sales guy just handed me some random antivirus software (Trend Micro) that was included with the purchase. I don't think he or I realized at the time that the CD/DVD he gave me would not work because my new laptop does not have a CD/DVD player.

Anyway, it got me wondering whether I should use it or not. Would I be better off downloading something like Avast or Malwarebytes? Is there one piece of antivirus software that's significantly better than the others? Are any of the paid options worthwhile, or should I just stick to the free versions? What security software would you recommend in addition to anti-virus?

Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 815

by mark-t (#48880699) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Tire noise is not nearly as loud as you think it is

Outside of first gear on an ICE, the noise of tires on the road will dominate the noise that any properly functioning modern vehicle is making. The tire noise is still very plainly audible on a car that is simply coasting with no engine running at all (which could be argued to be comparable to the noise level of a pure electric vehicle) at even surprisingly slow speeds... basically anything over about 15km/h or so.

That said, tire noise rises logarithmically with speed, and at slow enough speeds, it can admittedly be difficult to hear. However, as the speed of the vehicle is reduced, the driver also gains much more time to react to anything that might be unexpected, and at speeds where the tire-on-road noise is genuinely not easily perceptible, the stopping distance can be well less than 10 feet (virtually zero in many cases) unless the road is icy (which incidentally tends to be noisier on tires than asphalt at a given speed anyways, and so is more likely to be heard anyways).

Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 815

by mark-t (#48879187) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret
Is the bell required, by law, to be constantly ringing while the bicycle is in motion? No? Then my point stands... the bicycle is, on its own, relatively silent, and just as capable of inflicting injury that can be just as serious as that caused by an automobile that is moving in silence (because at anything over a few mph, the vehicle tires on the road will be be plainly audible anyways).

System going down at 5 this afternoon to install scheduler bug.

Working...