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Comment Re:Our Experience (Score 1) 269

It's clear over the next few years that Microsoft is aiming to design a single UI across all of it's platforms from Phone, to Desktops, to tablets, to TV.

Yes it is! That is why I find the many people saying, "I like Windows 8, I am just ignoring the new UI" crazy. Folks the legacy compatibility layer will not always be there! If you do not like/use the new UI (three of the four listed platforms only have the new UI), you do not like or really use Windows 8.

Comment Re:Oh yeah?? (Score 1) 1052

But but, Steve Jesus Jobs said "3.5 inch was the MOST PERFECT EVAAAR phone size"... and all you fanbois were falling over each other bashing Samsung and Android for large screen size. whatever happened to that????

First, Steve is no longer here to save us from ourselves.

Second, what is most interesting to me is how little it changed (still the same width).

Third, given the resulting aspect ratio this tweak seems to have been done for the benefit of media playback.

Fourth, all the apps still work and the black bars (which I am not thrilled about, I was hoping for a multitasking interface that was always up except when playing 16:9 content) are just like the ones I see on my HDTV.

The result is that I am much more comfortable with the resulting "new screen size" than I expected. However I still think it will be slightly less usable, just look at these arcs.

Comment Re:Windows 3.1 (Score 1) 857

Yeah, the thing is the shells that have taken this form (since Windows 3.11) over the years usually were administer by someone else and presented you with the few options you were supposed to use.

At Ease

Novell Application Launcher


AOL Kids


Microsoft is probably planning to distribute Metro apps exclusively through their online store. So they are adopting the user interface used when controlling what the user may run. They do this for the money, let's not pretend there is any other reason.

I really hope apple keeps this option!

Comment Re:It is like TPS cover sheets. (Score 1) 290

I imagine that the kids who consistently received F's felt very differently about it.

They did!

The teacher of my senior physics class opened the year by explaining that for the entire first half of the class and the bulk of the second all one needed to know was these three equations. I wrote them down and committed them to memory. The class was a breeze. For me!

The teacher did a few unusual things for my high school. First, he graded on a curve. Second, he handed back tests in rank order. Mine was always the first or second test back; in addition I turned in all my homework. By the end of the semester I was "setting the curve" by a wide margin and everyone knew it. One day after class there was an intervention.

This intervention boiled down to one question. "What are you going to do?" I simply responded with, "Let me talk to the teacher."

So I went to our popular instructor and asked, "Do I really need to take the final?" His surprising response, "That is a good question, let's figure it out." Up came the Grade Book and the what if scenario. If someone else got a perfect score, I would have to receive three percent on the final to keep my A. He then informed me I had to take the test. So back I went to the group of concerned students.

It was not an easy conversation, however we settled on some middle ground. I would not do any preparation for the final. Of course I knew all I needed was the same three equations I had mastered months earlier; however an agreement where you come out the winner is a good one, or so I thought. Somehow I failed to foresee the dilemma ahead of me.

I opened up my test, answered the first three questions, and paused. Should I stop now? Answer a few more, just in case? Take the whole test? I then realized that if I stopped, I would have nothing to do for the next two hours. I decided to take the rest of the test, strictly because it was the most entertaining option available to me. Soon I would sit in judgement.

The first day of the second term our educator saunters to the center of the room, places the stack of finals on his stool and breaks into a long rant. To sum it up, he had expected better of the entire class. Except one! He then grabs the top test and calls my name. It wasn't pretty.

Yells rang out, "You said you wouldn't study!" Everyone around me turned towards me with murderous looks on their faces. Three students from the other side of the room stood and started in my direction. The teacher's wrath was like a judge trying to keep his court in order; however I was far from safe.

Hours later, as I left English, some of the people I had helped the most dumped a metal trash can and it contents over my head. In retrospect they were socially well connected and had probably told others that they would handle it, greatly reducing the level of reprisal. In the end I would learn a lesson that had nothing to do with physics.

If one person shines too brightly, the team tends to fall apart.

Comment Re:Another closed proprietary environment? (Score 3, Interesting) 329

Generally I speak out for the free market, however it has some historically discovered limits. For instance, financial products have to be traded on an open/transparent market, this means they can (and unfortunately should) be regulated (congress can see what is going on and therefore is able to do something about it, usually pass a law). Otherwise people buy AAA rated "investments" promising double (or more) the going rate and then they lose their money.

What happened the last time Microsoft coupled their browser to their OS (and then they let you run a different one along side it)? Interoperability across the entire Internet was broken. Thousands of people developing websites big and small had to do (about) double the work. My approach was to find something all major browsers rendered acceptably, others parsed the User-Agent header and served different pages for different browsers. The serving of different files lead to problems, like this. Now we are finally recovering from these problems and we find we have come full circle (Microsoft is going to do it again). This gets to an unpopular position I hold (bye-bye karma), interoperability in established software markets (web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, and etc.) needs to be mandated and regulated.

Disclaimer I work for a standards body. However, I work there because of my beliefs (I was a volunteer for years before I was hired), not the other way around.

Comment Spotted at SEA (Score 3, Interesting) 190

I took four flights over the last week. Monday I left SEA and I did not notice anything new. Friday I flew out of SEA again and the security guard took my boarding pass, scanned it, my name came up on the readout, he then did the usual comparisons against my ID and let me through. I gestured at the scanner and said, "That is not a trick I have seen before," there was glint in his eye and a small smile but no audible reply.

If you are still traveling on other peoples return flights (when the buy a round trip), it is time to stop!

Comment Re:Plan B. (Score 1) 619

A friend told me a similar story, it went like this...

My family lives in a small town that only owns seven police cars. One evening my dad noticed a strange car in our neighbors driveway and lights moving around inside. So he called the police...

P: 911 what is your emergency.
D: My neighbor's house is being robbed.
P: All units are currently responding to other calls.
D: Understood, I will take care of it.
P: What do you mean?
D: I have a shotgun, I will go take care of it.
P: Sir, do not do that, we will be right there. What is the address?

Police cars start showing up, fifteen minutes later they number seven.

Comment Re:Grow Up (Score 1) 582

When I went to college the residency halls had separate Internet access that they were not allowed to filter. This left the university free to protect the libraries and the labs while letting people do whatever they liked in the privacy of their own rooms. It worked surprisingly well!

An option to present to the administration.

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