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Comment OMG, yes, this! Mod parent up, someone! (Score 1) 835

This is the first person in any discussion of Unity who's said what I too felt. I spent ages fiddling with and customising GNOME 2 to try to get it working as smoothly as I can do in 2min with [*whispers*] Windows. Unity has just blown this away. Minimal tweaking and it works just fine.

I really do not understand people who are flexible enough to move away from majority, default-choice commercial OSs to a minority FOSS OS such as Linux and then have a nervous breakdown because the desktop changes a bit!

Unity is a /lot/ more like GNOME 2 than GNOME 3 is. GNOME 2 is dead, same as KDE 3.x (and Trinity) are dead. Staying with them isn't an option.

And Unity does actually work pretty well. It replicates all the important functionality from GNOME 2, Mac OS X and, yes, even Windows. No, not everything I'd like is there, but everything I /need/ to get my work done is.

GNOME 3, from a fairly brief try, is far more disruptive - but it's pretty and there were some elements of it I liked. When it's an option on Ubuntu, I will give it a proper try.

Comment Nice one (Score 1) 4

Congrats! I did indeed change my password & post from it myself. Almost surreal to use a Spectrum on the Web...

Good to finally meet you, as well. If I'm back on the Isle of Man, I'll let you know. :)


Tiny ARM-Based Sensor System Makes Battery Replacement Obsolete 96

An anonymous reader writes "University of Michigan researchers have crammed an ARM Cortex microcontroller, a thin-film battery, and a solar cell into a package that is only 9 cubic millimeters in volume. The system is able to run perpetually by periodically recharging the on-board battery with a solar cell (neglecting physical wear-out of the system)."

Submission + - Verified: Chinese Government attacked Google ( 1

David Gerard writes: "ArsTechnica reports that Verisign iDefense researchers have identified the command servers used to attack Google and Adobe — and that they were operated by the Chinese Government. 'Citing sources in the defense contracting and intelligence consulting community, the iDefense report unambiguously declares that the Chinese government was, in fact, behind the effort. The report also says that the malicious code was deployed in PDF files that were crafted to exploit a vulnerability in Adobe's software.'"

Submission + - Programmers Need To Learn Statistics ( 2

David Gerard writes: "Zed Shaw writes an impassioned plea to programmers: Programmers Need To Learn Statistics Or I Will Kill Them All. "I go insane when I hear programmers talking about statistics like they know shit when it’s clearly obvious they do not. I’ve been studying it for years and years and still don’t think I know anything. This article is my call for all programmers to finally learn enough about statistics to at least know they don’t know shit. I have no idea why, but their confidence in their lacking knowledge is only surpassed by their lack of confidence in their personal appearance.""

Living In Tokyo's Capsule Hotels 269

afabbro writes "Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 once offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home. Now with Japan enduring its worst recession since World War II, it is becoming an affordable option for people with nowhere else to go. The Hotel 510’s capsules are only 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide. Guests must keep possessions, like shirts and shaving cream, in lockers outside of the capsules. Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas says, 'It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep. You get used to it.'”

Comment Bring back the brick-sized phones! (Score 1) 246

The big fat extended battery is one of the things I miss from my HTC Universal from before it got stolen.

640*480 VGA screen, touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard - albeit a lousy one - 3G, SDHC, IRDA, Wifi, Bluetooth, 2 cameras, one for video, one for photos - that phone had nearly everything. And with the 4.8Ah battery I had, not only did the camera still work and so on, but it ran for a whole long weekend of heavy use on a single charge. I could leave home for work Friday morning, go away for a weekend, and it'd still be going when I got back to the office on Monday morning to charge it. OK, so, it was fat with the big battery and no longer fitted in its case - but totally worth it.

The only snags were the disastrous keyboard - poor layout, but app keys for the various bundled programs in the main alpha block, so if you didn't quite hit the space bar, you left your current app in mid-sentence and entered the web browser or something - and the fact that it ran Windows Mobile. Which is utterly horrid.

My current Nokia E90 does more and has a better keyboard, but it has no touchscreen, can't charge over USB, lacks a standard headphone socket and if I use it hard its battery is dead in 5-6hr. If I use my wonderful media phone as an MP3 player or radio all day, and navigate using its GPS, before sunset it's dead - and I can't charge it without the special Nokia charger. Old ones don't work, they changed the connector size.

If I tether it to my notebook it works fine as a 3.5G modem - but its battery is dead in 2-3hr of use.

And no extended ones are available.

It's so stupid it's tragic.

Comment Re:Wolfenstein 3D? (Score 5, Interesting) 117

Not only Wolfenstein - which arguably was the origin of the engine of Doom - but other significant milestones are missing.

Firstly, Jez San's "Starglider", marketed by Rainbird. Possibly the first 3D game for home computers. ("Battlezone" ran on dedicated vector-graphics hardware.)

David Braben's "Lander" and later the full game "Zarch" for Acorn's Archimedes were AFAIK the first /solid/ rendered 3D graphics on home computers:

Of course, Braben's Elite was the first computer game to use any 3D at all - Starglider was /all/ in 3D.

These seem to me to be worthy of a mention, at least an opening paragraph. So, probably, is Maze War (1973!) - just limited box-drawing, but a display of 3D and a widely-used technique.

It doubtless inspired 3D Monster Maze from 1981 on the ZX81, a machine which didn't even have graphics as such:

3D Ant Attack from 1983, which also provided the engine for Zombie Zombie.

Comment Re:Bike it (Score 1) 865

It's not some royal proclamation that can never be violated.

If you get sweaty, shower. (If you don't get sweaty, you're not doing it right.) If it starts to rain or whatever after you leave, shower. If there is no shower in the office, find a nearby health club or something and shower there. Probably still cheaper than the costs of motor transport.

If the weather is really inclement or dangerous, *then* you use a vehicle. There's nothing that says that normally doing one prevents the other.

And if you feel ill, then you probably aren't going to work anyway.

These are red herrings.

Comment Bike it (Score 1) 865

I worked a 7pm - 7am shift for 9 months last year, too. I lived 10 miles from my work, which was in the centre of London, one of the largest cities with some of the most congested traffic in the world.

I got on my bike.

With a month or so of practice, I could equal the time spent on the train - about 45min each way. If you get reasonably skilled, a bicycle can make better time in urban traffic than a car. It burns a thousand plus calories a day, and not only gets you fit, it saves money, as well.

If you're particularly overweight or unfit, try a recumbent. They are massively more ergonomic as well as vastly more aerodynamic to ride.

A daily commute of 15-20 miles each way is perfectly doable and it will transform your life.

It's also a great way to wake up at the start of the day. Beats the hell out of caffeine.

Comment Wow! (Score 1) 4

Well, I'm impressed, anyway. I'm boggled, actually.

If you ever get to the stage of either selling these things, or publishing the specs so that someone else can, it sounds like something I'd love to play with... :)

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