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Comment Re:Data Driven? Last Minute Decision by Marissa? (Score 1) 172

Marissa appears to be a very data driven person, always looking for "proof" of display/design feature ideas and concepts, even for whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide.

In other words: "Welcome to the local maximum, Marissa. You might as well settle in and get comfortable, because you'll be here forever."

Comment Re:Don't blame the design staff (Score 2) 172

Dunno. Google News underwent a similar asinine redesign before Mayer left, geared towards making the site readable on a smartphone or small tablet screen while removing roughly half of the information.

The difference is that a signed-in Google user can turn the News redesign off and revert to the previous text-heavy format. It's actually a good incentive to sign in. It doesn't appear that Yahoo has the same insight.

Comment Re:Too little too late (Score 1) 496

Oh, I get it, it's like a game.

Windows key zork
You are standing in a large server room on the 69th floor of the FrobozzCo building, next to a rack.

>examine rack
The rack contains various servers, patch panels, and cable looms. On a shelf nearby is a Windows 8 laptop and a pipe wrench.

>check email
With what?

You'll have to open it first!

>open laptop, then check email
I don't know the word "email."

>you did a minute ago, dumbass
I don't know the word "dumbass."

>open laptop. press windows key. type 'email'
A list of programs whose names contain 'email' appears. However, the list is empty.

>open window
Perhaps you missed the memo. Given the tragic and (more important) costly events following the last round of layoffs, FrobozzCo management has decreed that the windows in the server room must remain locked at all times.

>get pipe wrench

>break window
What do you want to break the window with?

CRASH! A shower of heavy plate glass fragments cascades into the parking lot below. Somewhere in the distance, an alarm begins to sound.

>throw Windows 8 laptop out window
THUD! A near miss on your boss's new Porsche. Using passages unknown to you, a security team rushes to its defense.

* * * YOU ARE FIRED * * *

Your score is 0 out of 400 possible points. This gives you the rank of Welfare Recipient. Play again? Y/N

Comment Re:A step in the right direction! (Score 1) 496

The real irony is what Microsoft actually resembles most: a Communist central planning agency. They hand down five year plans that look good on paper and test well in "focus groups" but that end up causing general mayhem and malaise when force-fed to the workers.

It's as if Ballmer was visiting East Germany when the wall came down, and got a good deal on a bunch of old books they were throwing out.

Comment Re:Too little too late (Score 1) 496

That's true, too -- there is no reason for anyone to upgrade from 7 to 8. There was no good reason for Microsoft to produce Windows 8 to begin with. But most people who are still running versions prior to 7 can safely upgrade to 8 plus ClassicShell or one of the other Start menu replacements.

ClassicShell is nice for those of us who never liked the Start menu in 7. It has an amazing array of customization options.

Comment Re:Too little too late (Score 3, Insightful) 496

The 'minimum effort' way to access programs, control panel snap-ins, etc hasn't changed since Vista: press the start key on your keyboard, type the first, occasionally second (and possibly third, for lesser-used programs) characters of the name, then hit enter

I liked this feature better when it was called "MS-DOS."

Comment Re:Weird choice of measurements (Score 1) 85

I'm not qualified to explain the details, but it comes down to the fact that we had to pick an easily-reproducible definition of the second, and at the time, the ground-state Cs-133 hyperfine transition was the one that made sense.

Today there are more stable clock designs based on other quantum transitions but the caesium standard serves well enough for almost all purposes that it's not worth the trouble to change it.

There is no such thing as "perfect time," or perfect knowledge of just what time it is, but we have a very good wiorking approximation of it, one that has actually outpaced Moore's Law in terms of increasing stability over the past few decades. Time is still the ultimate basis for virtually all other physical measurements, so it pays to define and understand it as precisely as we can.

Comment Re:Weird choice of measurements (Score 1) 85

The ultimate reference is the SI second standard that's based on the difference in energy levels associated with a particular ground-state hyperfine transition in the caesium-133 atom, approximately 9.192 631 770 GHz.

A clock is 'accurate' to the extent that its long-term stability can be traced to the SI second. It is 'stable' if its stability over a given time interval (which must be specified for the term 'stability' to have any meaning) is consistent between intervals.

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