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Comment Re:Relevance? (Score 1) 460

We didn't replace long established iconography for things like shuffle and repeat settings with textual representations. Why? Because text takes longer for the brain to process!

Presumably, this is only true if the icons are instantly recognizable and/or easily interpretable. If your users have to spend time thinking about what the icon actually means, you're probably better off using a word instead. Unless, of course, you're trying to train them so you can lock them into your particular UI dialect, as mentioned in earlier posts.

Another reason UI designers like to use icons is that icons are generally spoken language-agnostic. You don't have to translate your UI for different locales if you use icons rather than text. Of course, if your icons have tooltips you'll be translating them anyway, but it's always nice to minimize your translation work.

Also, let's not pretend that every interactive UI element can or should be iconified. Take a paint application; you can easily iconify common tools like the Pen or Paint Brush, but the properties of those tools (i.e. threshold, pressure, opacity, etc.) are too far from tangible real-world objects to iconify easily. Attempts to do so will probably end with frustrated users who now have to learn your special icon dialect.

Finally, the oft-quoted statistic that the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text seems to be somewhat suspect when you start digging into it.

Comment Re:To What Medium (Score 1) 62

Yep, I had a batch of DVD-R in the early 2000s that didn't even last 4 years in normal storage. Kept in cases in a cupboard with no great humidity or temperature variation, the dye still degraded incredibly fast, and more than 50% of the data was unreadable when I checked them.

I can't remember the name of the brand off the top of my head (I just remember the discs were bright orange on top), but I'm pretty sure they used Ritek dye which was notoriously awful at the time.

After that, I switched to Taiyo Yuden discs from Japan, bought from reputable sources. Much more expensive, certainly, but much more reliable and durable too. Taiyo Yuden claim they'll last 100 years if they're not mishandled. I wouldn't touch any other brand now.

Comment Re:And who is at the bottom? (Score 1) 432

You know what? I occasionally listen to the few low digit Slashdotters who bother to hang around. Sometimes they have something to offer, either through experience or through some strange osmotically gathered wisdom.

However, concerning this comment:

What. The. Actual. Fuck. Is nobody allowed to do what they do BECAUSE THEY SIMPLY ENJOY IT? Must everybody be forever beholden to the GOLDEN FUCKING DOLLAR? What kind of sad fucking world do you even live in? Must EVERYTHING be paid and even SUFFERED for?

"Do what you love and the money will follow" vs "do what this small protectionist market wants and fuck you" and you seem to actively choose the latter? You would actually PREFER to have people working as cab drivers because they have NO OTHER SKILLS than having experienced, happy and motivated "amateurs" who know their territory, know their clientele and, most importantly, understand their market?

If your country isn't bankrupt, it's a stroke of luck, because you and your ilk are completely and utterly redundant. Enjoy your bizarre take on protectionism while it lasts. I truly hope for your sake that your retirement isn't far off because I think you might have already lost your marbles.

Comment Hilarious CNN interview with ST "journalist" (Score 1) 125

Check out this boingboing article about a CNN video interview with the author of the ST story. Watch the linked video; it's stunning. The guy essentially admits the whole thing is a fabrication with zero evidence, and all they do is "report the position of the British Government".


Comment Re:Can't they just get it right? (Score 2) 88

My anecdotal experience:

I've experienced audio issues relating to graphics cards with poor EMI shielding on the soundcard causing it to pick up noise from some gfx card circuit or component. This usually manifests itself as a high-pitched whine audible in headphones or speakers that varies with gfx card load/framerate - this is not the same as coil whine that is audible inside the actual PC case.

If your soundcard is properly designed and manufactured, this shouldn't be an issue.

Also, PCI-E timing issues like on older Creative (yeah, I know) PCI-E cards that used a PCI to PCI-E bridge chip caused things like crackles, horrible latency issues and all sorts of fun symptoms all the way up to BSODs. This can obviously be alleviated by using a decent soundcard with good drivers from a reputable company.

I also doubt these issues are confined to just nVidia or just AMD. The quality of your motherboard and even your PSU can play a part in this too and it's either a lot of research or expensive trial-and-error.

Comment Re:Just like knifes, Morphine, Bitcoin... (Score 1) 98

It's not a stronger painkiller. It's exactly the same. Emphasis mine:

The choice of heroin and morphine over other opioids by former drug addicts may also be because heroin (also known as morphine diacetate, diamorphine, or diacetyl morphine) is an ester of morphine and a morphine prodrug, essentially meaning they are identical drugs in vivo. Heroin is converted to morphine before binding to the opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, where morphine causes the subjective effects, which is what the addicted individuals are seeking.[23]


Comment Re:DirectX is obsolete (Score 1) 135

I've played a bunch of the mobile FPS games and none of them are worth a damn, and the mobile gaming "market" might be huge in terms of population but it's also fragmented to hell, absolutely filled with garbage, and only a tiny number of games make any kind of decent return while the rest instantly become indistinguishable from background noise in the appstore cosmos.

Don't even get me started on the "freemium" thing.

Comment Re:DirectX is obsolete (Score 1) 135

The problem I have with modern windows is not what is under the hood-- it's what they are doing with the userspace. The UI is horrible! It's like Microsoft is taking every "popular" thing, and gluing it to the UI like a tawdry bauble. "let's stick twitter integration icons EVERYWHERE! Facebook too! You know what, let's display thumbnails of our news service's top story every time you click the start button!" and all that shit.

Yep, it's just like the crapware that HP/Dell/etc. used to (and to some extent still do) preinstall on their consumer-grade PCs and laptops, only this time it's actually baked into the damn OS.

Comment Re:Not really missing vinyl (Score 1) 433

I'm in my mid 30s and haven't exactly taken care of my hearing, but I can still hear the irritating high frequency whine from nearby CRTs.

Fortunately, CRTs are few and far between these days. I do have an old Commodore monitor attached to one of my C64s and I can hear that thing whine from several rooms away :P

Comment Re:I put it down to this (Score 1) 145

Simple: a lot of Brits have an authoritarian streak that applies to everyone but themselves. They want the State getting into everyone else's business, but not their own. It's a weird combination of self-righteousness and paranoia.

If you think this might influence how they vote in elections, you'd be dead right.

Comment Re:Fuck Tiles! (Score 1) 346


Exactly this is what's wrong with Windows 8.1. I really don't care about Modern UI, I can live with it or there are alternatives, but the weird selection of changed/removed features is what really bugs me about Windows 8.1.

Also, it seems you don't have to registry hack to switch between Public and Private networks, but the interface to do so is hardly intuitive.

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder