Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Oh, I totally agree... (Score 1) 791

by wootcat (#45120815) Attached to: Nokia Design Guru Urges Apple To End Cable Chaos

  • A physically sturdy connector, with a reference design of a socket that will stand at least 1,000 insertions and ideally 10,000 in normal use.

Not enough. MicroUSB is rated (someone else said) for 10,000 insertions. Insertion count means nothing if it's rated that way based on "perfect" connections. I am highly suspect that MicroUSB can hold up to anywhere close to 10,000 under normal, "human" usage.

  • A connector that either has an orientation so obvious that no one could possibly plug it in the wrong way, or one that works in either orientation.

I think you need to go farther with this one. The connector must be able to be connected in either extremely low-light or no-light conditions and not have the possibility of being bent or broken in those conditions.

Comment: Re:Hey, remember when Steve used to screw us over? (Score 2) 146

Maybe, maybe not. I've read several accounts from former Apple engineers who state Jobs pushed them to do far more than they ever thought they could. Many times, they would present work to Jobs they thought was "good enough" only to have it thrown back at them.

Comment: Re:Did they account for Doppler? (Score 1) 139

by wootcat (#44254643) Attached to: First Exoplanet To Be Seen In Color Is Blue
No, I did not RTFA, but the first thought I had was; if the planet is between us and its star, we'd be "seeing" the side of the planet facing away from the star. Wouldn't it be dark? It's not like it's a binary system with another star lighting the opposite side. Since it's a gas giant, I guess there would be enough light filtering through the upper atmosphere edges to cast off some light, but overall, it seems like such a small area to glean colors from.

Comment: Re:Glad to see some real pushback (Score 1) 323

What we need is a law that allows anyone (individuals, corporations, government agencies) to inform the public of such eavesdropping, with protection and no ramifications by whatever agency is requiring them to do so. Then the NSA or whomever can't make these secret "let-us-in-and-don't-tell-anyone-or-we'll-throw-you-into-a-deep-dark-hole" demands.

Comment: Re:As much as it pains me to say this... (Score 1) 262

by wootcat (#43473371) Attached to: Who should have the most input into software redesigns?

I can totally believe that. As in all fields, there are bad UX professionals. There can also be bad data. If testing is done with limited participants or resources, the results can lead to bad conclusions.

While user feedback is not the best method to determine features and design (there are situations where users ask for features or changes that aren't really needed or can be provided in better ways), it can be valuable in determining areas to focus on. Good UX professionals would have definitely taken user feedback into account.

In the end, UX never has the last say, anyway. Business and stakeholders many times can and do push software off the user-friendly path and the end result is not as good as it could have been. This is my theory as to why Windows 8 turned out the way it did, even though many here want to blame UX.

Comment: Re:As much as it pains me to say this... (Score 1) 262

by wootcat (#43472291) Attached to: Who should have the most input into software redesigns?

UAT is not Usability or UX. As you said, UAT is nothing more than users following a script, testing all parts and paths in an application to make sure nothing is broken. UAT is performed after the application has been coded and is nearing deployment.

UX is ideally involved throughout the development process. Observing users, identifying requirements, understanding the workflow, testing concepts and designs before coding even begins are crucial steps to creating easy-to-use software. Working closely with the developers is also critical, including them in the process to help them understand why certain UI and workflow decisions were made.

Comment: Re:Another winner from the 6502 family (Score 1) 162

by wootcat (#40486729) Attached to: Atari Turns 40 Today
I almost could have written your post, except my first computer was an Atari 800. I took a while to choose between it and the TRS-80, mostly because those were the two computers I found set up at the local mall. Star Raiders was awesome on the 800, and I couldn't count the number of hours I spent typing in programs and saving them to the tape drive. I still remember one game which felt like it took a couple hours to type in -- I saved it out 5 times onto 5 different tapes and I still wasn't able to ever load it up to play. One of the first games I bought was called, Captivity(?), which was a 3D maze game. The cassette it came on played guitar music while the game took 9 minutes to load. After that, I switched to the C64, and then went through several iterations of Atari ST's. And yes, had the Jaguar too, which was loads of fun.

Comment: Re:Fundamentalists (Score 1) 566

by wootcat (#39263469) Attached to: Growth of Pseudoscience Harming Australian Universities
Good points. I know next-to-nothing about acupuncture, but I do know it requires a lot of study. It's not just poking needles in random places on people. So a "degree in acupuncture" I could see and agree with. A "SCIENCE degree in acupuncture" I'm not so sure. It depends on what the implications are behind the "science" label. I think there is a science to acupuncture, it's just not something that we can define using Western understanding which hasn't been through the rigors we place on Western medicine.

Comment: Re:Accupunture (Score 1) 566

by wootcat (#39263379) Attached to: Growth of Pseudoscience Harming Australian Universities
I know very little about acupuncture, but it seems to me it would be possible to perform "placebo" tests. I thought acupuncture was based on areas on the body corresponding to other parts of the body and they didn't always seem to corelate (I'm just making stuff up here, but for instance, the left shin corelates to the liver). Seeing as most people don't know or understand these corelations, it seems like a placebo test could apply acupuncture to unrelated areas. You could then measure results and see whether you get an acceptable or unacceptable placebo rate as compared to those who had the acupuncture administered correctly.

Comment: Re:Fundamentalists (Score 1) 566

by wootcat (#39252971) Attached to: Growth of Pseudoscience Harming Australian Universities
The reverse is also true. My son does not respond to traditional pain relief remedies; aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen. None of them work on him. A while back he started getting these intense abdominal pains. For two weeks he was essentially bed-ridden. We tried everything we could think of. He saw several doctors and had multiple scans and tests run. Nothing told us what was wrong or alleviated the pain. We then tried an acupuncturist. Before the session was over, his pain was completely removed. Now you could say it was coincidence, and maybe it was. A few months later, the pain reoccurred and within a couple days we took him back to the acupuncturist and again, his pain went away instantly. I believe if there are scientific paths to treat illness, you should take them. In general, I doubt many homeopathic claims, but if something works for you and it's not endangering or it can avoid negative side effects of traditional methods, how can you deny that?

Make it right before you make it faster.