Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Depends upon what you use it for. (Score 1) 452

by plebeian (#49275497) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?
If I was writing a lot, I would invest in another Kinesis Advantage keyboard. For writing text, I found it to far outperform any other available "Ergo" keyboard. If you are doing data entry or casual gaming I like the Microsoft Natural keyboard (I use this for my work computer). For my personal gaming machine, I have found that going cheep is the way to go. I use the logitech K120. It is reliable enough, just keep a spare or two on hand for when the keys die(they last me maybe 6-12 months). This way I am not crying when my $100+ gaming keyboard bites the dust.

Comment: It remains to be seen (Score 3, Insightful) 107

Can Microsoft provide more appropriate search results than Google? I still use the Google search engine solely because it can find what I need. In my personal experience searching for technical computer documentation; Bing displays Technet articles and advertising, where as google results include more third party content sources(applicable blogs...etc) in the first two pages of results. As long as this is the case, I will not convert no matter how friendly the "Digital Assistant" is.

Comment: Re:As a parent, which requires no testing or licen (Score 1) 700

by plebeian (#48979615) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
The decision to home school should take the entire environment into account along with the other educational options available. To rebut the flame bait in the original post I would purpose that what some people consider coddling is just good teaching practice (one on one instruction). I was home schooled up through grade 8(U.S). My little sister decided that she wanted to go to public school in 7th grade. Her experience in middle school made me glad that I waited. As a very artistic and fanciful child, she was basically tortured by both her peers and her teachers. She came home in tears one time because her 8th grade art teacher told her that she was wasting her time drawing!(She went on to graduate from Maryland Institute College of Art with a degree in painting). She would have been better off if she had skipped grade school and gone straight into High School. In High School she was encouraged to actually improve herself. Note: I would be the first to admit that being home schooled has an adverse impact on social skills development. But in the long run given the large class sizes, I am not sure that the social skills kids are learning in grade school are really that beneficial.

Comment: Re:Typical (Score 4, Insightful) 57

by plebeian (#48774579) Attached to: Microsoft Restricts Advanced Notification of Patch Tuesday Updates
Given the number of problematic updates lately, I would be willing to bet they are getting into trouble because they have publicly committed to releasing a patch before it has completed QC testing. My two cents say that this is an effort to reduce the pressure on the testing teams in an effort to improve overall patch quality.

Comment: The way I read this is that.... (Score 1) 575

by plebeian (#48041401) Attached to: Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics
He is stating that the concept of a right to privacy puts children at risk. So obviously there is no need for privacy in the united states. I bet he would like to do away with the 4th amendment altogether. I voted for Obama(who appointed this POS) because in my mind he represented the best option for protecting civil liberties. I must say I am seriously disappointed. Can we please get a "none of the above" option added to the ballot and if more people vote for "none of the above" we start the process all over again?

Comment: Encouraging bad behavior. (Score 2, Insightful) 142

My brother was just rear ended by someone who was talking on the phone. People do not need more distractions while driving. A HUD should be limited to presenting information that helps people drive. Talking on the phone even hands free is still a distraction, visual navigation systems are also an unnecessary distraction. Honestly people put the phone down and pay attention to the road, your life and the lives of others depends on it.

Comment: Use common sense measures. (Score 1) 125

by plebeian (#46871089) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Intelligently Moving From IT Into Management?
Start with the basics; document operational procedures, implement a change management system (can be as simple as an issue tracking spreadsheet) and hand them over to the new person for comment. Start handing over the responsibilities that impact your time the most (As you are going to be training a new person, demands upon your time are going to go up for at least the first 2 months). This process will dictate the level of access you give them (but use common sense). Micromanage until you get a good feel for their abilities and work ethic, but be upfront with them about this. If they cannot handle a little micromanagement or are unable to explain why their purposed change is better when they identify something you did wrong, you do not want them as an employee. Other common sense measures include; Do not ever let your sysadmin lock you out of a system, Setup regular supervision(do not rely on informal meetings or drop in sessions), Don't worry about certifications or unnecessary documentation, Pay attention to what matters(actual system performance and DR planning).

Comment: Re:Why spend another $700 for a car stereo (Score 1) 194

by plebeian (#46763981) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry
1. A bright enough display on the phone eats a lot of juice. If you are going to have your phone display on all the time so that you can change music or have a nav display you really need to have it plugged into external power. 2. If you are going to have to plug it in why not run everything over the physical plug. It removes problems introduced by Bluetooth (RF interference, degraded sound quality, extra power drain..etc). 3. It allows people to update their displays as new technology becomes available. Updating an App to support the new 8" 4K oled tablet that comes out in a year or two is a hell of a lot easier than replacing a bunch of built in entertainment clusters. 4. If you were a car manufacturer you could sell a premium entertainment system that is basically a $100 amp with a $200 tablet on the front end(all you have to do is develop the app). Considering they wanted $2100 for a bluetooth entertainment/nav system when I bought my last car you could charge $1000+ and make a killing. 5. By developing an app in house you could incorporate music controls and performance/error monitoring in a single system(this could be seen as a drawback by manufacturers that are tied into a dealership network as dealerships make a lot of money because of the lack of adequate error reporting being built into vehicles today). Need I go on..

Comment: Why spend another $700 for a car stereo (Score 4, Interesting) 194

by plebeian (#46762525) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry
What I really want is someone to design a micro USB car dock and app so that I can plug my android phone in and have it replace the Stereo and GPS, charge, and allow me to display performance data (a la Torque) at the same time. All I really need mounted in the dash is an AMP and speakers. P.S. make it compatible with tablets as well..

Comment: Re:Implied warranty. (Score 1) 650

by plebeian (#46685457) Attached to: Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?
I meant to draw a parallel between the states implied warranty for manufactured goods and software development. From a end user perspective I don't see why software should be treated differently than hardware. The whole line of reasoning that it cannot be enforced because a third party sold the product (and may have set expectations incorrectly is bunk). If someone sold me a car by telling me that it worked under water and I drove it off the end of the pier, I would not have a case against the manufacturer, I would have to sue the person who told me the car would run underwater (or maybe better yet be accountable for my own actions in not reading the information provided by the manufacturer).

Comment: Implied warranty. (Score 1) 650

by plebeian (#46682281) Attached to: Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?
In the state of Maine we have an implied warranty law that states that if an item fails to function as advertised due to a manufacturers defect within 4 years the consumer can initiate legal action against the manufacturer. As 4 years is about an average lifespan for a computer I feel four years is fair. I for one feel that Microsoft has gone far above and beyond the call of duty maintaining XP for as long as it has. Personally I wish MS would ditch the one OS to rule them all mentality and develop multiple operating systems with multiple UI's and turn them over faster. Given their resources they could foster a atmosphere of friendly competition within the company to see which Operating systems sold the best. I would be willing to bet companies would snap up a pre-packaged locked down desktop OS that came with a simple to use application distribution system (build a secure APT like system for windows). Anyone who has used System Center to lock down desktops would agree that it should not be this complex, if you built a desktop OS to be centrally managed from the get go it could be so much easier.

Comment: Re:Is this a joke? (Score 1) 68

by plebeian (#46552233) Attached to: Mute Witness: Forensic Sketches From Nothing But DNA
I disagree, This article is a joke. Let me introduce one variable. Weight.. Add a hundred or drop 50 lbs and people have a hard time recognizing someone they went to high school with. The idea that a person could reliably identify someone with only genetic information is a joke. That is not to say that if you add other factors into the search you could not possibly use genetic facial reconstruction to aid in identifying people, Just that it is not a magic bullet. I would be willing to bet if you did a random sample of as few as 50 people you would find that the reconstruction they produced for this article is a abnormality.

"Success covers a multitude of blunders." -- George Bernard Shaw