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Comment It distracts me, at least (Score 1) 543

Anecdote != scientific survey, I admit. Nor is entering windows 8 start screen distracting scientific. But I know I get more distracted with Windows 8's Start screen or Android's launcher than with Windows 7's Start menu or Xfce 4 Panel's application menu. My aunt's PC shipped with Windows 8, and until I got Classic Shell installed, I kept losing my train of thought when it came time to launch an application in the same way that I had been losing my train of thought in Android. Full screen is not always superior, or we'd still be using DOS task switchers.

Comment The response for a given browser is cached (Score 1) 778

Say an IE user behind a caching proxy visits a page. The proxy passes the User-agent to the web server, and the web server returns a temporary redirect to the page with IE instructions. Then the proxy caches the fact that the redirect was to the IE page, and the next user comes in with Chrome or Firefox and gets the cached IE page. All the web server can do at that point is throw "Not using Internet Explorer? See instructions for other web browsers" at the top of the IE instructions and hope that the user is smart enough to know what browser he's using, as opposed to "I'm using the Internet".

Comment BitLocker (Score 1) 248

At the time when Palladium was in the Longhorn pipeline the whole goal was that features wouldn't effectively boot without being part of the locked down operating system.

And what came out of the Longhorn pipeline in this case was BitLocker in Windows Vista Ultimate. As I understand it, it's a form of drive encryption that relies on the TPM.

Comment Different screen sizes discourage hardcoded width (Score 1) 778

That falls right into the paradigm of "my web page must be the only thing you look at", which is enforced by creating a page that does not scale to the user-specified window size but requires full-screen windows to work right.

The availability of 4", 7", and 10" tablets whose full screens themselves have different widths breaks that paradigm in favor of "responsive design", which uses CSS media queries to switch among several layouts.

Comment Script tag (Score 1) 778

Can you give me a way to figure out which framework a particular site is using?

Most of the time, the URLs in the src= attributes of the first few <script> elements will give it away.

Does jQuery cost something?

It costs load time, and it costs transmission costs if (on the server side) you have a lot of visitors or (on the client side) your Internet connection is billed by the bit. Hosting jQuery from a CDN is a way for websites to pool these costs.

Comment Pre-4Q 2012 iPT won't get gamepads (Score 1) 343

Mobile will be the platform to be on once all iPod touch devices made before October 2012 are replaced with new ones. Not all game genres work well on a touch screen alone, especially games that involve making a character hop across platforms on a scrolling map rather than pointing and clicking on things. Apple has recognized this and will include game controller support in iOS 7, but iOS 7 won't run on the fourth-generation iPod touch, and the fifth-generation iPod touch didn't ship until the fourth quarter of last year.

Comment One console or four gaming PCs? (Score 1) 343

For one thing, a PC doesn't ship with a gamepad, and a mouse isn't ideal for every game genre. For another, PCs tend to be connected to far smaller monitors than consoles. Though you've been able to plug in four gamepads since 1999 when USB became popular, it's hard to fit four players' bodies around the 17" monitor in a typical laptop, and most gamers who own a PC don't think to run VGA, DVI, or HDMI out to the big HDTV in the living room. This encourages developers to design games under the assumption that four players means four gaming PCs and four copies of the game. Not all households with more than one gamer can afford this.

Comment Knowing exactly what make and model of GPU (Score 2) 343

Consoles have the advantage of knowing exactly what make and model of GPU you're dealing with. For example, if you know what texture compression formats will be supported, you don't have to recompress textures at runtime or include textures compressed in all formats on the disc. Nor do you have to include three different implementations of every shader, one optimized for NVIDIA's strengths, one optimized for AMD's strengths, and one fallback for Intel. (Remember when AMD destroyed NV at Bitcoin mining?)

Comment Publishers, publishers, publishers (Score 2) 343

How so? I thought it was publishers, publishers, publishers. Microsoft confirmed that it allows only publishers of disc games to offer download games. Developers of download games have to go through an established disc game publisher in order to get their products onto Xbox Live Marketplace, and Microsoft Studios doesn't have a lot of slots open.

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