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Comment Oh, for pity's sake... (Score 2) 403

I don't know how many times it has to be said, people neither want nor need a tablet that can double as a desktop. That is not what tablets are for. That is why all the tablets that came before were niche products at best, landfill at worst.

Apple grasped it was not a desktop replacement, but a specialized appliance. You can't use a tablet like a PC, nor should you. It's a different feature set, a different interface, different everything. I thought perhaps MS had got the message but apparently this is not the case, esp. with the keyboard-case thingy they've got. They're still trying to shoehorn two disparate user experiences together into one, and this neither can nor should be done.

Frankly, as long as Ballmer is in charge, I fear MS is going to keep going down this primrose path, and before it gets better it's going to get a lot worse.

Comment Gorilla Arms (Score 1) 377

Actually, Mr Cook makes a valid point about vertical touchscreen interfaces. Back in the 80's when they first came out, you got a lot of them in, e.g., kiosks and whathaveyou. And while they work for short periods (e.g., look something up real quick), for any extended period of time over a few minutes the arms get very tired, very fast. They're not meant to be held out like that for any long time, so you wind up with arms sore and fatigued, and feel like, yes, gorilla arms when you're through.

Usually an ideal angle for touchscreens is at an angle, preferably one which has a sweet spot for viewing, and some sort of support for the touching arm.

(Fun fact: the 'gorilla arms' problem is considred one of the main examples of what happens when you don't take real-world user experience into account. It's why companies that do extensive end user testing put out products that work better, and companies that just follow along with the trappings fall by the wayside.)

Comment So, am I the only one who liked it? (Score 4, Interesting) 168

I am primarily a mac user, and this was the way I was able to play certain games that didn't get ported over, like Arkham Asylum and such. And they looked a heck of a lot ebtter than if I'd just run them in a VM or something like that. I had occasional bandwidth issues, but that was generally down to my ISP in any case. Frankly, I thought they were the bee's knees, and I'm sorry to see they seem to be going the way of the dodo. It's still a good idea, to my mind. Maybe just needs a little tweaking to make it a viable proposition.

Comment So, am I the only one... (Score 1) 255

...getting a huge "Road Warrior" vibe offa this whole thing?

"To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time. When the world was powered by the dark syrup. And the forest sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now, swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without syrup, they were nothing. Man began to feed on man, because who wants dry pancakes? The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a barrel of sap. And in this maelstrom of decay, came the warrior we called Mad Makenzie..."

Comment Athiest (Score 5, Interesting) 91

I first read his Stainless Steel Rat books in a small town in the bible belt, whre my stepfather was a minister. His were the first books I ever encountered that openly made the case for athiesm. It was so different form everything else I'd run into-of course I had head of it, but to come right out and openly advocate it in the books (and a bit after the story proper, IIRC) was definitely a bit of a first. Tonight, I'm heading out to a sushi joint with the other members of my Skeptic/Freethinkers' singles group, and I'll raise a toast to Slippery Jim. For me, he was step one on a long, long journey, and I am grateful.

Comment Re:I lost my computing virginity to a TRS-80 (Score 1) 231

With me, it was a summer gifted class. I had a choice of acting or computer programming. I'd never played with computers all that much, and wanted to grow up to be an actress, but for some reason I cannot for the life of me went with the computer course. A room full of Model IIIs, learning about PRINT and INPUT and all that fancy stuff. Well, I was hooked. I've been a programmer ever since. TRS-80's were still a damn pain, though. Sooooo slow.

Submission + - Google announces fiber plans, pricing (

Kiyyik writes: "Google just announced the details behind their inaugural fiber optic service in Kansas City. They're doing a set of packages including $120/month for tv plus internet, $75/month for internet alone, and regular 'conventional' internet for a one time $300 fee. Rollouts are starting in the central areas and will work their way out on a demand basis: at least ten percent of a neighborhood must sign up for the service before Google will come in and start hanging fiber."

Comment Re:The most human side of scifi... (Score 5, Interesting) 315

Amen to that... more than his hard SF work, his stories of sheer damn everyday magic -- and I'm talking Dandelion Wine here, and Death is a Lonely Business, and so many others, captivated the hell out of me. He was the high water mark of what speculative fiction can accomplish, and taught me what SF is really about. When a reader told me my writing was alike a cross between Bradbury and Lovecraft, it was the best thing ever. Tonight... well, tonight I have a jug of dandelion wine sitting in my fridge--liquid summer, my first attempt but no less sweet. Tonight I'll raise a glass to him, and remember the long ago summers and the magic they held and the man who taught me to see them. Thank you, sir. Thank you.

Submission + - Google starts running fiber in Kansas City, Kansas (

Kiyyik writes: "After weeks of wrangling over shared space on utility poles, Google and the KC Board of Public Utilities have gotten their act together and Google is starting to wire Kansas City Kansas today. They will be paying attachment fees and hanging the fiber optic liens in the space on the poles reserved for telecommunications. The Kansas City MO side is still on track to begin a few months behind the Kansas side."

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