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Comment !bigdeal (Score 1) 78

There are already laptops with translucent screens that let ambient light substitute for the backlight, so you can e.g. turn off the backlight entirely when you're outside. As the owner of a Japanese Toshiba Dynabook SS RX2, I can confirm that it works as described -- I'm beginning to wonder if they actually enforce "truth in advertising" over here or something -- and is actually easier on my eyes than using the backlight indoors.

Comment Re:Watch it live (on Linux too) (Score 3, Insightful) 94

If it redirects you to the "no player found" page (as it did for me), try:

mplayer -playlist 'http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1369080&segment=149773'

(The original link is http://www.nasa.gov/55644main_NASATV_Windows.asx , but MPlayer doesn't seem to be able to handle multiple levels of playlists.)

As one who (perhaps from Kubrick's 2001) had a sense of EVA actions being slow, deliberate things, it's neat to see that the work's going practically as smoothly as if it was being done in a lab.

Comment Re:So very stupid (Score 1) 192

You think it's smart do to private things in public? I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree. (Or you're going to have to work on your English.)

Actually, I was disagreeing with your entire premise that privacy must be explicitly claimed rather than implicitly given, and in particular that Google's ability to implement Street View implies the propriety of doing so. But if you insist on misinterpreting my intent through an over-literal reading, far be it from me to stop you.

(Alternatively, I suppose it's possible IHBT, in which case I'll submit that IHL.)

Comment Re:So very stupid (Score 2, Insightful) 192

Well the last time I visited the US I was appalled at how many bars there were on the windows of houses, that didn't seem very friendly. You almost never see that here in Canada, even in the big cities like Toronto.

Where did you see them, out of curiosity? I honestly can't recall seeing such while I lived in the US (though I never visited the really big cities like New York or Chicago).

Comment Re:So very stupid (Score 1) 192

Google isn't looking at anything you can't see from a legally-sized vehicle on a public road. If you have something private that can be seen from that vantage, you're not very smart.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree there; that's the part I find sad, if perhaps inevitable. I would like to have seen more "gentlemanly restraint", so to speak, as opposed to "we can do this so we will".

Comment Re:So very stupid (Score 1) 192

Must every statement on Slashdot be misinterpreted to the maximum amount permitted by ridiculous thought?

I don't know, but you seem to be doing a fine job of it.

I think the divide between me and the OP is like the difference between advisory and mandatory file locks. I see privacy as, at least in part, an issue of politeness: certain things (like the insides of people's homes, regardless of whether people happen to be naked there) are commonly understood to be private, and violating that privacy by e.g. taking pictures and posting them is frowned upon, even if technically possible/legal. Arguments like that made by the OP, on the other hand, seem to take the stand that anything not explicitly disallowed (e.g. by closing windows) goes, and woe unto him that neglects proper precautions.

As one who grew up under the advisory system, admittedly before the growth of the Internet that made the latter one such an issue, I find the mandatory system displeasing, hence my comment: from my position, the idea that one must shut one's curtains to be afforded privacy is a sad one. At the same time, I recognize the likelihood that the Internet will encourage it among younger generations (see Facebook, Twitter, etc.), hence my second paragraph.

Comment Re:So very stupid (Score 1) 192

Close your fucking curtains!

That's a really sad statement on the state of society. Whatever happened to quiet, friendly communities where you can throw your windows open to let in the fresh air and chat with passersby?

Oh well, I suppose that once the next few crops of children grow up with no privacy, nobody who'd miss it will be around anymore.

Comment Re:Improved looks? (Score 1) 327

I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I myself hate OOo's interface, and I still can't quite nail it down. A lot of it was the fugly default menu/button scheme, though export OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome fixed that. Part of it is undoubtedly the fact that OOo can't seem to get text antialiasing consistently right, and actually went backwards with 3.0 -- the line weights are all off, even on files that looked decent in 2.4. Part of it is the fact that it takes a measurable fraction of a second (sometimes more than a second) to just open a damn menu when I click on it -- I haven't seen any other app in years that's so sluggish. Part of it is that distracting two-tone background on row and column headers they added to 3.0. But overall, there's just something about it that makes me involuntarily go "eww" whenever an OOo window pops up.

I suspect a lot of these sorts of problems stem from OOo's apparent insistence on using its own homebuilt code for practically everything. Having written multiplatform code myself, I know that it can be difficult to try and connect the same code to completely different frameworks, and I know the temptation to code around the OS to make everything work the same way everywhere. But really, are most users going to care (or even know) about slight visual differences between platforms? Or are they going to be more interested in a program that's easy to use and (especially) easy to look at? I'd lean toward the latter.

Comment Looks fairly reasonable (Score 4, Insightful) 208

I hate to go against the /. groupthink, but after listening to the MP3 of the hearing and reading the opinion myself, I have to agree with the appeals court's decision. Admittedly I can't speak to the advisory mandamus issue (I'll leave that to another poster), but a common-sense reading of rule 83.3 would suggest that the court's authority to allow broadcast is indeed limited; otherwise I would expect 83.3(c) to have been written something like "A party may petition the court to permit..." or just "It is permitted to...". Given that, and since Tenenbaum's side didn't argue any higher authority (except the right to a public trial, and as the judges stated, that's not being infringed any more than in any other trial), I have to agree that the decision is fair and reasonable.

Now, I certainly don't think this is a desirable outcome. But the purpose of the courts is to enforce the rules, and if they can't enforce their own rules, that doesn't give them much moral authority to enforce others, does it? What really ought to happen--as Judge Lipez says in his (her?) concurring opinion at the end of the PDF--is for the rule to be reexamined in light of Internet technology so this sort of problem doesn't reoccur.

Comment Re:10% of 1% (Score 1) 294

What does that have to do with anything? Click reply. Wait for the reply page to load. Article is in a different tab and already read...

I'm sorry, I thought you were talking about loading the comments page. I've never noticed any delay in loading the reply page.

But anyway - to summarize, you're saying that I don't need the services I think I need, because you don't, and therefore nobody should. Does that about cover it?

I think you've got it flipped around -- I'm arguing that I don't need or want those services even if others like them, and therefore they shouldn't be forced on me. (I probably shouldn't have carried over the "functioning brains" bit, but it was convenient.)

Tangentally - flickering? Actually not sure what you're referring to here, I haven't seen anything like that.

In a number of cases (not all, so maybe it has something to do with the library used or the particular page layout), I see floating widgets flicker for an instant whenever they move. The current D2 is at least smart enough to pin the widget to the top once you've scrolled far enough down, I'll grant -- so maybe it wouldn't be that much of an issue if I used D2 more extensively -- but the flickering as I start to scroll is just really distracting.

Comment Re:A Quick Lesson in Thai politics. (Score 1) 329

Uh, if the people's votes were counted and the people loved the king the people would do as he asked and repeal the law.

I never said anything about the Thai people in my post. If you're under the impression that the people are themselves the government, allow me to point out that Thailand is not a direct democracy.

Comment Re:10% of 1% (Score 2, Interesting) 294

Those of you with functioning brains prefer larger downloads

No, those of us with functioning brains realize the download size doesn't matter -- it's the response speed. Since the majority of the download is auxiliary content (graphics, Javascript, what have you), a few kilobytes of text one way or the other won't make any noticeable difference

and waiting for full page loads before replying

Some of us like to, you know, Read The Fine Article first.

and after moderating?

Honestly, the delay had never registered with me. Maybe my ADHD quotient is too low?

Ah, right, and having to refresh the page every time you change your threshold?

I haven't changed my threshold in... good grief, I can't even remember. Years, anyway.

I've actually tried the new-style discussion interface several times since it was introduced, and frankly I just can't bring myself to like it. Partly because I hate floating widgets (they flicker too much), partly because I can't (i.e. haven't felt like taking the time to) figure out how comments are ordered, and partly, well, just because; maybe it's the Office 2007 ribbon effect of being annoyed by an arbitrarily changed interface.

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