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Comment: Re:I must be missing something. (Score 1) 240

by nine-times (#49268727) Attached to: Windows 10 Enables Switching Between Desktop and Tablet Modes

Regardless of what you think of the "flat" look (and like I said, I hate it), there is absolutely no way it is an improvement from a functionality and UI point-of-view.

I think it's an improvement aesthetically-- almost like, "How could it not be?" You went from ugly, busy, childish graphics to a blank. A plain color. It grates on me less.

But I would agree, that Windows 8 is a step back in terms of user interaction, in various ways big and small.

Elements on the screen, and especially different windows simply run together in a mess of undifferentiated rectangles.

I'm not sure I agree there. I suppose you could use a drop shadow to help provide depth in order to differentiate the windows, but I don't think making them flat make them more confusing.

The pajama boy hipsters have taken over the asylum

And this, I don't get. This is the second time I've heard someone claim that Windows 8 is the result of "hipsters", which leads me to conclude that you probably don't know what hipsters were.

Comment: Re:I must be missing something. (Score 1) 240

by nine-times (#49266745) Attached to: Windows 10 Enables Switching Between Desktop and Tablet Modes

And the whole thing is just fucking ugly. More and more people spend an enormous amount of time in front of a computer, not just for social/entertainment purposes but for work as well. Aesthetics matter and Windows 8/10 fail horribly.

Believe it or not, some people like the modern/metro/flat look. Personally, I think it's better than a lot of what came before. After all, look at the Windows XP interface. That blue/green/silver monstrosity is far worse than anything that came after, but the design of Vista was also pretty unappealing. Windows 7 is fine, but all of the windows have this weird thick border of fake frosted glass, including a cheesy fake reflection.

Until Windows 8, I always just went back to the "classic" look of Windows 2000. At least it was plain and unobjectionable. Windows 8 seems fine to me, aesthetically at least. As far as user interaction, it's worse than Windows 7, but aesthetically I think it's an improvement.

Comment: Re:two branches (Score 1) 667

by nine-times (#49266681) Attached to: Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English'

Congratulations. "Science" has "proved" that there are no standards for language and all those teachers that marked up your papers with red pens were just being mean.

Your sentiment matches mine more or less, but I also think there's something that needs to be thrown into the debate: whether we should try to use grammatical/spelling/usage rules prescriptively is not really a question of science or history. You can say that attempts to prevent the evolution of language often fails, at least to some degree. You can point out that our current rules of "proper English" are not an absolute and unchanging set of rules that have "always been that way." However, none of that addresses the question of whether we should try to stick to a particular set of rules.

That's one of the things that people who are really into "descriptivism" as a theory often miss. Languages are dynamic, yes. There are various dialects with different rules, of course. Nobody is arguing about that. The question of whether we want to teach people to use the Oxford comma... well, that's something we get to decide, and not exactly a question for scientific study. To clarify: In trying to decide, we could devise a scientific study to attempt to find out which kind of comma usage is more confusing to more people, but we could still debate many other related issues.

Ultimately, if you write something like, "I should of gone to the store yesterday," it makes you look, at best, uneducated. Of course, we all have typos and little brain farts. And yes, if people keep saying "should of" and "could of", it may eventually be considered valid within some dialect. In fact, it's perfectly reasonable for an author to use that choice in dialog to convey the casualness with which someone is speaking, or the educational level of the speaker. However, until we have a whole separate dialect in which that's considered proper, it's supposed to be "should have" or "should've".

And that's another key issue here: these rules are contextual, but they are rules. You can have a dialect where the grammar is different, but then there are still rules, just a different set of rules. Slang usage can be different from "proper" usage, but even slang has a meaning and a set of rules that are understood and accepted.

I don't know that anyone is arguing that there should be a "one, true, proper English". However, in whichever context you're speaking English, there are rules for how you speak, and you should probably follow them. Knowing those rules might include knowing when to use slang, even when to break the "rules" in order to create an effect and clarify your meaning. But there are still rules.

Comment: Re:Nitrogen asphyxiation? (Score 2) 1081

by nine-times (#49260969) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

It's important to understand why the debate is coming from on this issue. On the one hand, most people will agree that if you're going to perform executions, they should be "humane". Not everyone agrees on what that means. Performing painless executions have never been difficult, but whenever it's seriously suggested, people object that they don't want it to be completely painless. There are people who insist that the execution needs to be a form of punishment, and so it needs to always stay a bit scary and painful.

And you might think that's crazy, but there are enough people who think that way that it's politically infeasible to go against it. If a politician pushes to make executions completely painless, he'll be branded as "soft on crime".

Comment: Re:Wireless charging hit mainstream ~ 1-2 years ag (Score 3, Informative) 184

by nine-times (#49256429) Attached to: Why Apple Won't Adopt a Wireless Charging Standard

Yes, I hate all of Apple's proprietary standards. Like how they used AAC for their iTunes store, or mini-DisplayPort for the video connectors. And then they used Thunderbolt. Oh, and now they're using USB Type-C ports.

If you're confused as to why I grouped USB Type-C ports in there, it's because I was being sarcastic. Contrary to popular belief, none of those things that I listed are Apple proprietary technology. AAC does not stand for "Apple Audio Codec", and it's a standard put out by the same people who put out the MP3 standard, but actually has had fewer patent issues. Mini-DisplayPort was created by Apple, but the turned it into an open standard that is completely free to use, with no patent issues. Thunderbolt is a standard that Intel created, though supposedly Apple helped develop it. It's being used on lots of non-Apple hardware.

I guess the MagSafe port is proprietary. It's also really good, and they were smart to develop it. iPhones and iPads have the Lightning port, which was apparently used because they found the specs for the current USB micro connectors to be insufficient. There have been some rumors that Apple helped develop the USB Type-C ports because they wanted a replacement for USB's current micro connectors that would be usable in their products. Their wireless communications are all WiFi and Bluetooth. A lot of their software is based on open-sourced software.

Yes, obviously not all of their software is open source, and they aren't producing commodity hardware. However, it doesn't really make sense to imply that they refuse to follow standards and instead create more expensive non-compatible alternatives.

Comment: Project management and helpdesk (Score 1) 144

by nine-times (#49242969) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Issue Tracker For Non-Engineers?

Depending on exactly what the needs are, I'd recommend looking at both project management software and software aimed at helpdesk sorts of things. Google for those, and you'll find an endless list. On the project management side, you'll find things like Trello, Asana, and Basecamp. For helpdesk-related things, you might look at things like Desk.com, Zendesk, or Autotask.

On both of those fronts, there are tons and tons of competing services. There's not really a "best" solution as much as "the one that gives me the features I want at a good price." There are also some open source options if you want to host your own.

Comment: Re:Minor quibble (Score 1) 57

by nine-times (#49241285) Attached to: Newly Discovered Sea Creature Was Once the Largest Animal On Earth

Ah, thank you. That makes more sense.

New question, then: Why is this a big deal? I paid more attention to what I was reading now, and it says that this animal was 1.6 meters long, so it wasn't very big at all. Why is it a big deal that it was the largest animal at the time?

Is it something like, this is the last time that an arthropod was the largest animal on earth? And why is that particularly interesting? For the sake of clarity, I'll explain that I'm not arguing that it's not interesting. It just seems to me that there must have been many different creatures which were the largest on Earth at the time they lived, and since my reading comprehension apparently sucks today, I'm honestly asking, why is it particularly noteworthy about this creature?

Comment: Minor quibble (Score 1) 57

by nine-times (#49240739) Attached to: Newly Discovered Sea Creature Was Once the Largest Animal On Earth
This is a minor quibble, but the article says:

Almost half a billion years ago, the largest animal on Earth was a 2-meter-long, helmet-headed sea creature that fed on some of the ocean’s tiniest prey. The newly described species is one of the largest arthropods yet discovered

Now, if it's the largest animal ever on Earth, doesn't that mean it also has to be *the* largest arthropod, and not just one of the largest? Or are there some arthropods that are larger, and also not animals?

Comment: Re:I'm a Member of That 1% (Score 1) 192

by nine-times (#49240637) Attached to: Steam On Linux Now Has Over a Thousand Games Available

Yes, well some of the steam boxes appear to be upgradeable. If you don't like them, you can build your own, install SteamOS, and get all the same features.

Plus, if you buy a game for this console, you can also play the game on your Mac, your Windows machine, or any other platform the developer chooses to support. And if you upgrade to the latest version of the console a couple of years later, you it'll be backwards compatible and support your old games. This should be a huge improvement for consumers.

Comment: Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 315

by nine-times (#49236979) Attached to: Clinton's Private Email System Gets a Security "F" Rating

That might possibly be true, if we make certain assumptions. One of the big assumptions that I would not be willing to make is that the security policies are otherwise equal. Some of the IT at government agencies may not be "very good" by some measures, but I would assume that the State Department has pretty good security.

If not, WTF?

Comment: Re:I'm a Member of That 1% (Score 2) 192

by nine-times (#49234521) Attached to: Steam On Linux Now Has Over a Thousand Games Available

Valve likely wants to release SteamOS hardware and is pushing for ports/originals that target that platform.

Yeah, they announced a bunch of pieces of hardware in the past week or two, and it looks like they're pushing out Steam Boxes in the fall. This means you'll be able to buy a game console that's basically commodity hardware, running Linux and Steam.

It would only make sense that Steam will try to expand their library of Linux-supported games before the launch.

Comment: Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 315

by nine-times (#49228637) Attached to: Clinton's Private Email System Gets a Security "F" Rating

This is essentially what bothers me about the story. Not knowing all the details, I'm concerned about whether the server was properly secured, and if not, what data may have been vulnerable, given her position. But ultimately, that's not what really bothers me about this. What bothers me is the question, "Why did she want to do this at all?"

It doesn't really make any sense for a private individual to run their own email server out of their own home, unless they're trying to hide something. Even if the reason was vanity, if she didn't want to go with a government email service because she liked the idea of having her own personalize domain, it's easier, cheaper, more reliable, and more secure to go with an existing provider than to run your own server out of your own home. But even that would be a bit irresponsible, since it would be completely possible to have the State Department configure something so she can have her email from her vanity domain forwarded to a secure server.

So why? Who is she hiding her email from? The only reasonable answer is, "other people within the government," but which other people? Is she trying to prevent unlawful access by the NSA? Given the reported security problems, I'd wonder if the NSA couldn't hack their server if they wanted to.

The only reasonable answer that I can think of is, she's hiding her emails from legitimate inquiries from law enforcement or other governmental investigations.

How can you work when the system's so crowded?

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