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Comment: Re:Where can I find the except clause? (Score 1) 455

by nine-times (#48041049) Attached to: Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

Well it says that you have the right to secure your persons, houses, papers, and effects. It doesn't say anything about cell phones. If the founding fathers had wanted you to have privacy on your cell phone, I'm sure they would have put something in there about that.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 2) 135

by nine-times (#48036371) Attached to: Tetris To Be Made Into a Live Action Film

Well I think what's most likely happening is, they're taking some random crappy scifi movie and shoe-horning some Tetris concept into it. Why? Because some jackasses will watch it just to see "the Tetris movie". It's the "Snakes on a Plane" brand of marketing. If you can't market your movie as being a good movie, market it as being a funny ironic bizarre movie.

Comment: Re:we are DOOOMED!!! (Score 1) 637

by nine-times (#48031589) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

A few people responded to me as though I thought I'd leveled from amazing criticism of Microsoft. I'm just pointing out that you can't make anything out of Microsoft's version numbers. But that's kind of true in general, regarding version numbers. They don't necessarily mean anything. Some developers actually use them to mean something, while others seem to increase them at completely arbitrary intervals.

Comment: Re:we are DOOOMED!!! (Score 5, Insightful) 637

by nine-times (#48029119) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

Nah, it's fine. Every other release is garbage, not every odd number. How would you possibly try to figure out Microsoft's numbering, anyway? Their version numbers go from 3 to 95, jumps to 98, 2000, then goes to the lettering, ME and XP (are those roman numerals?). Then in goes to Vista. Now, lets be fair. 95 and 98 are the years, so let's just count. So 95 is version 4, 98 is version 5, 2000 is version 6, ME is version 8, XP is version 9, and Vista is version 10. So next comes 11, right? Nope, version 7.

Ok, but some of those were professional builds, right? So let's just start from NT v4 and count major NT releases. 2000 is version 5, XP is version 6, Vista is version 7, and... wait.

Wait, wait, I know, let's look at Microsoft's internal versioning numbers. NTv4 is version 4, 2000 is version 5, XP is version 5.1, Vista is version 6. Ok this is making sense, because next version after vista (v6) should be 7, right? Nope, Windows 7's internal version number is v6.1. Windows 8 is version 6.2. WTF?

Comment: Re:How important is that at this point? (Score 1) 192

by nine-times (#48027863) Attached to: Adobe Photoshop Is Coming To Linux, Through Chromebooks

While I agree that it's not fair to say "GIMP SUX" because it's a great program, I also don't feel that it's fair to say, "the only reason professional graphic designers aren't using it is because they don't learn the fundamentals of design and don't want to relearn."

I'm not sure what the current state of the GIMP is, but for a long time, it didn't even have proper CMYK support, which is tremendously important for doing professional print media. Also, I can tell you from a lot of testing a few years ago, Adobe's algorithms for optimizing graphics are (or at least were at the time) unmatched by any open source tools. For example, if you wanted to have a relatively large JPEG with a hard file-size restriction, Photoshop did a better job of compressing the image so that the JPEG compression looked ok. Or in the case of GIFs, it would do a better job of making the image look good with a limited number of colors. I've also seen some issues (admittedly a couple of years ago) where Photoshop provided better text rendering, specifically with regards to kerning.

And you can say that those are fringe cases that don't matter for most people most of the time, and those people can use GIMP. Fair enough. But those are just two examples where Photoshop actually might perform better in cases where professionals need that performance.

The UI is also pretty well designed, and the UI is an important aspect that shouldn't be dismissed. People who prefer a good UI aren't necessarily just failing to "learn the fundamentals" and are unwilling to learn. A better UI might enable you to work faster, with less frustration and confusion.

Now I really want to get into the middle of this argument, and I think we should just drop the whole thing. But if you're angry that people aren't using the GIMP, it may be better to ask why they aren't using it, rather than just assuming that they're stupid and lazy.

Comment: Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (Score 1) 265

by nine-times (#48027615) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

Well sort of, but the problem is that the searching is now unintuitive enough that you didn't know how easy it is. Press the Windows key and start typing.

So it's not hard, and doesn't require a lot of clicks, but yes, it's a bad UI. After years of training people to use the mouse, they made it so easy access is only available through the keyboard. If you use the mouse in Windows 8, as you point out, you have to find a hidden button that only exists when you hover over it. When you do find it and press it, it moves you to an entirely different context with different UI conventions. My theory is that Microsoft may have done too much testing, without any sensible designer to actually look at the interaction and notice that it was dumb. Either that, or they were so focused on pushing people to use the Surface that they didn't care that the whole UI was a confusing mess.

Comment: Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (Score 4, Informative) 265

by nine-times (#48027029) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

I remember when they were talking about this research at the time. If I remember correctly, they found that most people rarely hunted through the start menu "Programs" menu. They pinned applications to their task bar, or they put shortcuts on their desktop. If they used the start menu, they usually either used the search function or the list of applications that were pinned to the start menu.

This lead them to think that the Windows 8 UI would be fine, since you could still search, and you could still pin applications to the Start screen. It seems they figured, if most people aren't using the other features of the Start menu, we can provide a solution that only includes the two features people do use, and everyone will be happy for the simplified solution. Apparently they are now admitting that their approach was flawed or insufficient.

Comment: Re:Gladwell (Score 1) 187

by nine-times (#48026877) Attached to: New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

I don't think he comes up with any of his ideas. He's a journalist. He takes an idea that he's heard somewhere, researches it a bunch, and puts together a book. His understanding of the concept isn't necessarily perfect, his conclusions can be a bit hasty, and his examples are often weak. Still, they're kind of fun, well written, thought provoking books.

Comment: Re:Gladwell (Score 1) 187

by nine-times (#48026577) Attached to: New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

Take someone who is, for whatever reason, fully grown but only four feet tall. This person can practice and practice at basketball, and maybe become very good at it, but is not going to be the center on an NBA team. 10,000 hours of practice won't make him tall enough to be competitive.

No, but then there is Muggsy Bogues. So maybe you just have to settle for point guard.

Beyond that, I think it misses the point. I doubt that Gladwell is really trying to argue that there's no such thing as physical limitations or innate ability. It may be the "politically correct" thing to say that anyone can be anything, but it's also the "politically-incorrect correct" thing to say that we just have the abilities that we have, and the people who aren't immediately good at something should know their place. And too often, that "politically incorrect correct" thing is being used in a larger argument as an excuse for crushing people's hopes or an excuse for keeping someone in an unfortunate position.

The fact is, I could probably never be, and could never have been, the world's greatest violinist. However, if I had been practicing with good teachers for the past 20 years, I bet I could play pretty well.

Comment: Re:Gladwell (Score 1) 187

by nine-times (#48026503) Attached to: New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

So you played some musical instrument for a while in the 7th grade and didn't get good at it. And then some teacher said you'd never get good. Therefore, you could never be good at anything musical...?

First, what makes you think that teacher was right? Sounds like a shitty thing to do, to tell a 7th grader that they can never be good at something, and they should just quit. What if it was math? "Hey kid, you're just not a math genius. Better quit studying."

And did you practices for the 10,000 hours that Gladwell is talking about? I bet if you had, you'd be at least kind-of decent. I don't doubt that some people have more innate talent and ability, but if you spend enough time practicing (maybe with a better teacher), then I bet you could carry a tune and maybe have some fun playing. Or maybe you were just playing the wrong instument. Maybe another one would have been easier for you to pick up.

And I'm not just saying that because I disagree, but because I think it's sad. I imagine somewhere in you, there's a little 7th-grade you who wants to play some music, but has given up because he thinks there's something innately wrong with him. You could still take up an instrument, get some lessons, and have some fun with it.

Comment: Re:Gladwell (Score 4, Insightful) 187

by nine-times (#48023093) Attached to: New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

I don't agree. I think Gladwell is the master of thought-provoking oversimplified perhaps-sort-of obvious but counter-cultural idea. For example, in this case, although we have the saying, "practice makes perfect", our culture is disposed to believe that some people are simply better than others, and if you're not gifted, you just shouldn't try. Gladwell sets off on an argument that, no, if you spend enough time practicing you can be great. He oversimplifies the whole thing, but probably (I haven't read this book, actually) puts some admission that practice isn't *everything* and people do also have innate gifts. If you really researched it, you'd probably find that he has an interesting point that isn't complete enough to be "the truth".

At least, this is the pattern I've noticed in his other books. And... I don't really mind it. It would be unwise to just read Gladwell's books and take everything he's saying on faith, but I'm not sure that's what he expects you to do. I think he might just be shooting for "thought-provoking", and in that, he's successful.

Comment: Re: "You don't like our Internet . . . ?" (Score 1) 125

Yes, you're right. Let's just throw up our hands and accept things as they are. Hell, let's help it along. Why not change the laws specifically so that we don't have elections anymore, but we just allow people to bid on legislation at auction. Highest bidder wins. And then let's make the official rule that you don't even need to win the bid, you just need to bribe the auctioneer. Because fuck it, the having auctions sounds too close to being a just system, and might actually raise money for the government.

Oh, I know I'm not answering your questions. I'm responding to your position instead. The "why bother trying?" stance is really hard to refute, because any answer to your question, you could come up with some potential unintended consequence that might possibly result in something bad happening. Even if I could propose a completely iron-clad system of rules that regulated the political system, you could say, "Oh, but people will just break those rules and cheat anyway, because the potential benefits are too high." And you'd be right, so let's just all sit back and watch the world go to hell, because you can't fix anything, right?

Comment: Re: "You don't like our Internet . . . ?" (Score 5, Insightful) 125

We did build our own-- or at least, we did pay these companies hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds to build it for us. I suppose we could build another one, and if we did, there's no reason to think that corrupt government officials won't just take it from us and hand it over to rich people.

I don't think we need to build our own internet. I think we need to build our own government, and outlaw bribery. Our current one has been taken from us, and has no interest in serving the common good.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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