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Comment Thirty Years of Windows. (Score 1) 248

The MS-DOS and Windows PC entered the market as an affordable office workhorse, with strong software support from every major vendor.

The OEM Windows system install became the gold standard for retail sales and support. The modular design of the PC meant that hardware advanced quickly --- and with Plug and Play configuration becoming the norm --- quite painlessly.

Windows evolved into a capable operating system designed for users who share almost none of the geek's paranoia or obsessions with the internals of the system.

Comment Slashdot retires its stained-glass Windows icon... (Score 4, Interesting) 181

... in a tacit admission that it is time to stop feeding the trolls.

Like that would ever happen.

I would argue that telemetry is the only way to get objective, meaningful, data about how well an operating system succeeds or fails in meeting the needs of hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of non-technical end-users.

Comment Shared resources. (Score 1) 622

Yes there is. Your pipe has a max speed. The theoretical maximum amount of data you could use by saturating your pipe 24x7 should be considered unlimited. Nothing less.

Your "pipe" is mostly likely shared with others.

Unless, of course, you are willing to pay for business/instiutional grade service.

Comment 26% of Steam users are running Win 10 64 Bit (Score 1) 110

You know, until recently I never considered using Linux as a general purpose desktop OS and I didn't like Steam. That was until Microsoft released the malware and adware ridden Windows 10 and tried to cram it down everyone's throat.

---- while only 0.95% of Steam users run any flavor of the Linux OS.

Three years and 1600 Linux games hasn't budged the needle in a way that you could see even with a magnifying glass. Steam Hardware and Software Survey: October 2015

Comment Steam Hardware Survey For October (Score 1) 110

Before breaking out the champagne, it might be wise to look at the numbers:

OS Version

Windows 95%

Windows 7 64 Bit 26%
Windows 10 64 bit 26%
Windows 8.1 64 Bit 17%

OSX 3%

Mac OS 10.10.5 64 Bit 1%
Mac OS 10.11.0 64 Bit 1%

Linux 1% [0.95%]

Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS 64 Bit 0.23%
Ubuntu 15.04 64 Bit 0.17%
Linux Mint Rafaela 64 Bit 0.11%

What you see is a very small and very fragmented Linux market. Steam Hardware & Software Survey: October 2015

Comment "Holier than thou." (Score 1) 93

The western world has enjoyed adding a bit of color and play to simple text messaging by mixing words and pictures for centuries. Rebus

The geek of course has his emoticons with their roots in the IRC chat and telegraphy. How to Type Emoticons ASCII art is as old as the typewriter.

The geek's distaste for emoji is irrational. The use of pictographs to supplement and enrich terse messages sent over low bandwidth connections makes perfect sense, as does building a strong visual as well as verbal vocabulary.

Comment The human touch. (Score 1) 47

we want to communicate with government officials by offering anecdotes and stories of how we help their constituents

Then take the time to get to know these people. If they hold a town meeting, be there. If they have an office in your district, don't be a stranger. Invite them to meet with those you have helped. Let them tell the story.

Comment Suicidal. (Score 1) 324

Survival 101.

Pissing off the border guard.

How the story ends if you "Ask Slashdot."

2) Hand everything over. Warn the bad guys that if they try to use your USB stick, it'll fry their computer.
3) When they fry their computer, ask if they have learned their lesson about taking you on your word.
4) Be cooperative. You already won the battle of wits, be a gracious winner.

How the story ends in the cinematic world.

[Anonymous basement interrogation room]

Wake up! I need you to be focused!
You either give me what I need or this switch will stay on until they turn the power off for lack of payment on the bill.

Which do you think cuts closer to the truth?

Comment Mickey on You Tube (Score 1) 207

When steamboat willies goes into PD, anyone can upload it to youtube. Anyone can make movies about a dancing mouse on a steamboat, and even use the same music that it's paired with it etc. But that mouse still can't *be* Mickey Mouse; nor so similar as to be confused with Mickey Mouse.

Disney posted Steamboat Willie to You Tube in 2009.

If the geek were honest about the thing, what he has in Steamboat Willie is simply a tech demo of synchronized sound. The only other reason to watch it is to see Mickey, Minnie and Pete in their earliest, but still recognizable, form. Now fixed and trademarked.

Comment Re:Isn't the current mouse protection rule ... (Score 1) 207

This is why the Disney thing becomes key, because any new work featuring Mickey Mouse is -- technically -- a derivative work of Steamboat Willlie.

What you get with the expiration of the copyright on Steamboat Willie is the right to produce derivatives of Steamboat Willie. Eight minutes of silent era sight gags with a synchronized sound track and a thin narrative thread, with a steamboat as your principal stage set and prop.

What you don't get are to the rights to the trademarked character designs or the rights to produce derivatives based on the hundreds (?) of films, comic strips, children's story books, radio and television productions and video games that would come later.

Comment The gadget accomplishes nothing. (Score 1) 169

How does cheap technology like this mesh with Bill Gates's dream of putting a computer in every home, and projects like OLPC?

The geek can't let go of the media lab fantasy of a grade school classroom without teachers. I have yet to see any persuasive evidence that introducing tech at this level is of any value whatever.

Comment Bare bones never sells worth spit. (Score 3, Interesting) 77

I am asking Dell to ship laptops. with no OS encumbrances. No MS tax.

The geek has been whining about this since the nineties and the answer is always the same. The mass market shopper in his tens of millions buys nothing but the plug-and-play product.

The "known good" balanced and tested configuration of hardware and software that will meet his expectations of price and performance without hassle --- and can be returned for refund or exchange under warranty if it doesn't.

Walmart, with its enormous purchasing power, wasted about ten years trying to find a credible Linux system that could be sold and serviced for significantly less than the budget HP or Dell desktop. Nothing ever came of it.

The real meaning of the M$ tax is that the product that sells in very small numbers will always be always harder to find and cost you more.

Comment If it ain't broke, don't fix it. (Score 1) 193

To the geek who can't resist the suggestion that the right solution in this situation is to migrate Mom & Dad to Linux, the Chromebook or Apple:

a reminder that Windows 95 launched 20 years ago.

Long enough for even the least tech-savvy of users to become comfortable with a broad range of skills, programs and services that are not easily transferable to other platforms.

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid