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Comment Re:You can get mesh blinds for the windows... (Score 1) 268

And no more frivolous, decadent candy, either. You shall eat only turnip! The efficient food for the worker!

While some might feel more comfortable in a basement-like environment, if it's a high school computer lab, it will be used by students of all subjects. There's no worse way to make something appealing to a 14 year old with the attention span of a gnat than to lock them in a dungeon to do their schoolwork. Have you never studied education theory?

Comment Re:EULAs (Score 1) 384

I'm just saying, I don't think an entirely unrelated retailer is actually legally obliged, or inclined, to accept my four year old game console back, no matter who signs a note for me. One might be able to return directly to Sony, but I just doubt a shop that could have changed management or even franchisee in all this time is going to care.

Comment Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (Score 2) 354

I have an EEE Pad Transformer, so I get the best of both the netbook and tablet worlds ;) That said, I paid twice as much for the privilege... But Dell must surely be in trouble, I mean, they would obviously benefit from as much market coverage as possible, even in smaller market spaces. Tablets are a growing market, and Dell are doing themselves and their shareholders a grave disservice by calling it quits. I loved the Streak 5, their phone/tablet abomination, and I'm disappointed (though unsurprised) they discontinued those. If Dell are pulling out of more and more markets, it says to me they're losing money.

My advice: Either make Alienware products worth the price tag, or bring the price tag down to match, because currently they're no match for Asus' Republic of Gamers label. Second, put out a Tegra 3 tablet, Asus are the only opposition there, and if Dell hits the right spot in the market, they can have a success on their hands. Third, shit or get off the pot when it comes to Linux. Either they should maintain their own Ubuntu distribution, so they can have a full vertical slice and compete with Apple, or they should just give up on Linux. Currently, they basically install it without even checking to see they've got all the necessary drivers (or IF there are appropriate drivers at all) before they ship, there's no QA.

Comment Configurability (Score 5, Insightful) 228

You know what's best for everyone? Configurability. When the developers can't decide how something should work, when they have two what seem like equally good or equally bad ideas, why should they force one particular decision on the user? Why not just put an option on a big scary controll panel somewhere made just for that? Of course, for usabilitiy's sake, there'd be the normal slick and easy to read control panel, but Gnome used to have GConf (does Gnome 3 have it? I don't know). You could use GConf to configure ANY aspect of the interface, anything at all. It was a very powerful tool if you knew what you were doing with it. So set the defaults to the lowest common denominator, to the grandma standard, but at least leave the powertools where we can reach them! Put up a warning that it may break the interface, sour the milk or bring the rapture to scare off the grandma users, and only those who really know what they're doing need concern themselves with it.

Comment My case (Score 1) 240

I'm a living example of both the rewards of getting kids into tech early, and the dangers of using the computer a a baby sitter. I learned to read and do basic maths at the age of 3, from Reader Rabbit, Math Rabbit, Treasure Math Storm, and others; this had me years ahead of my peers when I started school. I developed a strong taste for it, though, to the exclusion of sports. Computer games were just more fun and interesting to me than ball games. Whether or not technology stopped me from being the greatest runner in the world, I don't know, but I do know that even as a toddler, I'm told, I didn't run around a lot. I preferred to sit alone and build with blocks, or do puzzles and stuff. I've always, as long as I can remember, been a scrawny, pasty nerd.

Comment Re:Why so much disbelief in aliens among scientist (Score 2, Insightful) 128

How would we see a Dyson Sphere if it's capturing all the output from their star? It would be just another patch of blackness against the inky black of space. Our small slice of space we can view at any given time is very tiny, frequently changing, and we can't actually see most of these exoplanets, just their effect causing their stars to wobble. We'd have no hope of seeing satellites around a planet, or space shuttles, or even a space ship the size of one of the Alliance citadel style things in Firefly, with current technology, unless they were within the inner solar system, or buzzed a probe in the outer system. We might see something very large if it deliberately silhouetted itself against Jupiter, for us.

Comment Re:smoking causes yellow fingers (Score 2) 247

Of course a link exists. Autistic children get a lot of very direct feedback, and lots of reinforcement while they're playing a game, and games generally have much clearer goals than anything else they'll do. Generally speaking, a game never leaves you wondering if you've done well or not, you get points, you finish levels, you finish games.

I think the correlation between internet use and autism diagnoses though is more an effect of everyone's new favourite physician, Doctor Google. Not to mention, blaming autism is the new fad diagnosis. When I was a kid, it was asthma, then not so long ago, it was ADD, or ADHD, now the fad diagnosis is autism; this, too, shall pass, in time.

Comment Re:What are the range of failures? (Score 1, Interesting) 357

In my experience working in a phone shop, peopoe just tolerated more from their beloved Apple-emblazoned brick than they would of Android devices. I had people returning perfectly good (and to my eye perfectly healthy and fast) Android phones for being a bit slow. They'd also claim the reception was bad on the Galaxy S and that "a friend with an iPhone gets better reception". Right, Galaxy S tested best on the network for network speed and reception, waste of another courier bag sending that one away. People sent their Galaxies away for a minor chip in the screen, but I regularly see people running their fingers over shattered glass panes on their iPhones, little chunks falling to the floor with every touch.

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