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Comment Re:Problem for parents (Score 1) 152

I ran a Mac-like Linux distribution on her Linux PC, but it was not 'the real thing'.

I doubt you found something that's actually Mac-like. For example, did drag-and-drop work reliably between any arbitrary pair of applications? Did all of the applications support scripting remote? Did it have a system-wide search that did full-text indexing of all document types (including PDFs, office documents, and so on)?

Most such things are really crappy copies because they only duplicate the superficial irrelevant crap. I don't care if it looks like OS X - Apple's made a bunch of poor design decisions there in favour of good demos at the expense of long-term usability and it would be easy to improve matters. I do care that the core functionality works. Unfortunately, GNUstep has nowhere near enough contributors to be able to do a good job.

Comment Re:Low end? (Score 1) 152

16GB isn't shockingly small for a laptop, but it is a bit embarrassing for a high-end laptop. The top of the line MBP is £4000. Dell has been selling laptops with 32GB of RAM for about 4 years and more RAM is one of the big reasons I was considering replacing my current three-year-old MBP. A marginally faster CPU, a faster GPU, a bigger SSD and some gimmicks are all far less useful to me than being able to run a couple of 4-8GB VMs all of the time.

Comment Re:Bye, MagSafe (Score 1) 152

I tripped over the charging lead to my ThinkPad (R31) while it was on the top of a chest of drawers doing a big compile job. The machine flew across the machine and landed on its corner, with the edge of the case popping off. The compile paused for a few seconds and then continued and I was able to pop the case together, but I was very glad that it was my cheap laptop! I've kicked the charging cable for my MBP a few times (I often leave it by or on the sofa, plugged into the wall) and had the cable pop out, especially in my last house where the socket was in front of the sofa and so the cable had to run across the floor. I'm a bit nervous about having a connector where kicking the power cord can damage the device.

The main thing about the new MBPs though is 16GB in a £4000 laptop in 2016? WTF? I can get a 2TB SSD, but not 32GB of RAM? Seriously?

Comment Re:I hope Apple knows (Score 1) 152

My father got a Surface fairly early on and has been happy with it. He wanted a lightweight device with a long battery life that ran Word, PowerPoints, Outlook, and a web browser. The Surface was precisely that and that also appealed to a lot of other corporate types. Now Office works on Android and iOS, it's not clear that the Surface will continue, but in a lot of places it's seen as the tablet for real work.

Comment Re:FINALLY (Score 4, Informative) 101

Depends on the technology. The failure mode for a lot of aircraft is that they simply glide to the ground. Even helicopters / autogyros do something similar - there's still a lot of momentum in the rotors and you sycamore down to the ground. It's not like the antigravity suddenly fails and you're back to having weight again.

When I was learning to fly, engine failure was one of the things that I had to practice a lot. Engine failure immediately after takeoff is potentially dangerous, because you don't have an engine and you don't have enough speed or altitude to go very far. You typically have to land in a field (or, if you don't want to damage your aircraft in a training exercise, you throttle the engine back and feather the prop, then line up your emergency landing and turn the engine back to maximum late in the approach so that you stay in the air).

Comment Re:Innovative! (Score 1) 45

Not stopping with TV, how cool would it be if Amazon made recommendations to be based on my past purchases?

Indeed. It looks as if you bought an 8GB USB flash drive. Have you considered this other brand of 8GB USB flash drive? What about this 16GB USB flash drive? I've been using Amazon since the late '90s and they have yet to recommend anything that I actually want to buy. You'd have thought 'you bought books 1 and 2 in this series, would you like to buy book 3?' wouldn't be too hard, but apparently it is.

Comment Re:Aren't they too power-hungry? (Score 1) 68

It's Intel. When most people say IoT, they mean 'embedded thing that can run a network stack, low power, probably powered by batteries'. When Intel says IoT, they mean something subtly different: 'computer, plugged into the mains, probably running Windows'. The overlap between the two is that they're both talking about insecure systems connected to the Internet.

Comment Re:Least worst (Score 1) 1003

Voting for a third party candidate who might get 2% of the vote is a waste of time. It just is.

No it isn't. The difference between winning and losing is often not much more than 2% in these races. If a candidate next time around looks at your candidate and says 'if I adopt those policies, I can pick up another 2% of the vote,' then you're likely to have a lot more impact than voting for whatever they claimed previously.

Comment Re: Hmm (Score 1) 1003

While mostly true, for a medical doctor she still willingly hinted at buying into standard anti-vaccination stupidity (whether sincere or not, that's a problem).

That's not at all what she said. She pointed out that there's a lot of regulatory capture at the FDA and that, while the anti-vax hysteria was nonsense, the approval process for drugs needs a lot of reform. This then somehow was spun as 'she's an anti-vaxxer'.

Comment Re:Simplicity can only go so far (Score 1) 520

Apple has always supported control-click for right click. It's over a decade since all Apple-supplied pointing devices have included a right-click interface (two-finger click on laptops for the last 6 years). It's built into most of the standard Cocoa view classes to produce a context menu and anything that involves text editing has a default one wired up, so all applications support it without needing any extra code.

The Apple HIGs tell you not to rely on right click being possible, which turns out to be a really good thing if you need to use a touchscreen.

Comment Re:How is everyone supposed to use Emacs? (Score 1) 520

Somehow, you post has made me really want one of these: a 15cm square escape key, with 'Escape!' written in large letters across it, that I can hammer with a fist sounds like an excellent idea. You just need another one that has control-Z (or command-Z) next to it...

Comment Re:No you don't (Score 1) 245

All of those are bad examples, because the latter form factor is better in every way except its ability to fit hardware inside. If you could make a laptop that contained the same hardware as a desktop, for the same price, then it would obviously be better. A decade ago, laptop sales outpaced desktop sales and so the economies of scale started to tilt things in favour of the laptop. As desktops become increasingly niche, the prices will keep going up and a lot of desktops now are just laptops without the built-in screen, keyboard, or battery.

If you take a desktop and scaled everything down so that you had the same amount of storage, CPU and GPU power, and RAM in a laptop form factor, for the same price, then obviously the laptop is better for most people (people who need PCIe slots being the exceptions).

If you took a laptop and scaled everything down so that you had the same amount of storage, CPU and GPU power, and RAM in a phone form factor, then you'll have a very powerful phone, but it won't replace a laptop. There are a lot of things where you can open up the laptop and start working immediately, but the phone will need connecting to an external monitor and keyboard before it's equally useful. Even putting a picoprojector in the phone won't entirely solve that, as you often don't have a useable projection space.

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