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Comment: Re:pardon my french, but "duh" (Score 1) 140 140

...instead of his relatives putting a little effort into hand written letters and face time?

Handwritten letters don't do squat if the older person can't read them anymore, or can't use their right hand to write anymore because of nerve damage.

At least, computers can be upgraded and molded to some degree (even that too is not enough).

Comment: Fun, But Useless (Score 3, Funny) 40 40

This is a fun device that can show you what can be done with 3D printed plastic. That said, it's useless. It would be really cool if I could apply 1 pound of force to the crank, turn it a Million times, and have it apply a Million pounds of rotational force at the other end. But it's made of plastic, so it won't do that. Indeed, the fast-rotating parts would wear out before the slow-rotating part made a single turn. So it's not even good as a kind of clock.

All that said, it's a good conversation piece, and probably worth the price for that.

Comment: Re:Just in time (Score 1) 155 155

Sigh...Home gets 5 years, Pro gets 10. It has been this way since Vista and since its written into the contracts they sign with corps and governments? Isn't gonna change.

The ONLY change between 10 and Vista/7/8 is they are getting rid of SPs for a combo of rolling fixes and updated .ISOs, THAT IS ALL. And even THAT ends up being because of contractual obligations since their support agreements (many of which go on well past 2020 for the big corps) says "For 5 years after release or two years after the release of the latest service pack whichever comes latest" (or there abouts, they have changed the EOL page to a "warm and fuzzy" Win 8 style which is full of warm feeling mess) so by getting rid of the SPs they don't have to worry about the SPs throwing a snooze alarm on the EOL dates.

So its really not that hard, Home gets 5, Pro gets 10, and if they follow every single release since Vista (which there is no reason to think they won't) for 6 months to a year before and during a new release you'll be able to get it cheap if you want to upgrade your old hardware.

Comment: Re:Because it worked so well for PGP... (Score 1) 365 365

Also, WTF does "If it's an executable digital file, any foreign interests can get a hold of it" mean? Is ISIS unable to use non-executable files?

It means some asshole who doesn't understand computers is talking. ...

Yeah, this triggered a WTF flag in my head, too. Most of the web servers I've worked with do just the opposite of this: If a web file is non-executable, anyone can download a copy of it. But if it's made executable, attempting to download it causes the server to run it and send you its output. So executable files are the ones that can't be downloaded by anyone.

I wonder how they have their servers configured. Maybe they've figured a way to reverse the meaning of the "x" bits, so that only non-executable files are run, while executables are sent as-is to the client. Ya think?

(Actually, I do have some directories with a .htaccess file that declare nothing there to be executable. I sometimes used that to provide an easy way for clients to download the source code rather than execute it and get its output, as happens in the main directories. But somehow, I don't think this is what that idiot was talking about. I suspect he's clueless about web servers and their capabilities, and was just making stuff up that he thought might mean something to someone. ;-)

Comment: Re:pardon my french, but "duh" (Score 4, Insightful) 140 140

Well that may be so. But as you get older you get less patient with people wasting your time.

Let's say you're 90 years old. You're using a webmail system which does everything you need it to do. Then some manager has a brainwave and suddenly all the functions are somewhere else. How much of the 3.99 years the actuarial tables say you've got left do you want to spend dealing with that?

It's not just 90 year-olds. Take a poll of working-age users and find out how many like the MS Office Ribbon; how many people are cool with the regular UI reshuffling that takes place in Windows just to prove you're paying your upgrade fee for software that's "new"?

Comment: Re:Therac 25 (Score 2) 140 140

I was working as a developer when the news of the Therac 25 problems broke, so I remember it well. You actually have it backwards; it wasn't bad UI design at all.

The thing is mere functional testing of the user interface would not have revealed the flaw in the system. What happened is that people who used the system very day, day in and day out, became so fast at entering the machine settings the rate of UI events exceeded the ability of the custom monitor software written for the machine to respond correctly to them.

If the UI was bad from a design standpoint the fundamental system engineering flaws of the system might never have been revealed.

Comment: VC shouldn't run companies. (Score 2) 357 357

Knowing how to suck up to people who are throwing other people's money around hoping something sticks is a very different skill set from running a business. Ellen Pao was never qualified to run a taco stand, much less a high-traffic web site.

The best thing Reddit could do is can her incompetent ass TODAY, and hire someone qualified to lead them to profitability.


Comment: Re:Will we get up-to-date images? (Score 1) 155 155

You don't have to wait for MSFT, just use WSUS Offline. I've used it for many years, in fact I still have the WSUS Offline .ISOs for Win2K and WinXP and it works like a charm, lets you use DVDs or USB sticks, will even include .NET and Office if you like. Oh and you're welcome ;-)

Comment: Re:Why reddit and not forums/usnet? (Score 3, Informative) 357 357

Why not Forums?

VBulletin/phpBB style discussion boards are great, and there's usually one for basically-whatever you're into - cars, computers, pets, food, crafts, wedding planning. It's not uncommon for a given user to be a part of at least one such community. The problem is that it's a bit more difficult to 'channel surf' that way. If a user participates in a discussion thread in Alpha Forum, they'd have to log in separately to Bravo Forum to participate there. This limits the scope of topics that can be viewed at a given clip. Similarly, different forums have different rules or customs. Some are particularly strict about citing sources for claims, others are super strict in the profanity, others use a 'reputation' point system while others simply use 'thanks' or nothing at all; Reddit is at least a smidge more consistent site-wide with its rules.

Why not Usenet?
I'm still a fan, personally. comp.misc has some interesting discussions, and is frequently some fascinating reading. There are a few groups related to video games and Doctor Who that have interesting discussions, the latter particularly after new episodes air. The fact that a user identify is basically universal is helpful to keep the playing field level. Usenet has its own list of problems though. First and foremost, usenet is something that itself needs to be sought after to a certain extent at this point; few ISPs offer access to it, and neither Windows nor OSX ship with a client. This is further complicated by the fact that a "binary client" and a "text client" are frequently different pieces of software, usually cost money on top of existing internet subscriptions, few real-life friends tend to be able to share the experience, and the search results for the term in Google are usually affiliated with warez, so getting people into it is its own challenge to begin with. Moreover, usenet is much more susceptible to spam, it's not possible to share in-line images or youtube clips (like it or not, responding with memes and animated GIFs is a common practice these days), and it's not possible to 'upvote' posts as to indicate the quality of a particular contribution. Put it all together, and Usenet is a wonderful niche that Reddit simply does better for the majority of internet users.

Comment: Re:This is shortsighted (Score 2) 31 31

... and plenty of the crawling robots also ended up falling over.

But why no love for the videos of robots failing and falling? There are plenty of videos of legged robots not falling, and they are positively terrifying for the humans vs. robots crowd:

Comment: Re:Sucks (Score 3, Insightful) 311 311

The problem in the U.S. is not people who don't have skills. People have skills. The problem is that skills aren't valued. If you have skills, you will get paid shit. If you manipulate money, you will get paid a lot. This is why there's been such a geek brain drain into the financial industry. The U.S. does not value working for a living. We value gambling for a living.

"Poor man... he was like an employee to me." -- The police commisioner on "Sledge Hammer" laments the death of his bodyguard