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Comment T-Mobile, despite issues (Score 4, Insightful) 199

Unfortunately, we only have 4 real options in the US. Everyone else is just piggybacking on one of them.

I like to be able to use whatever phone I want, gotten from anywhere, without needing to buy it through my carrier, and which I can keep updated without needing to crack it.
That means I refuse to use a carrier with a sufficiently proprietary network technology that enables them to be assholes about devices. This excludes Verizon and Sprint right off the bat.

So my only real options are AT&T or T-Mobile. Since T-Mobile has gone out of their way to be the least-jerk'ish mobile carrier in the US, while AT&T generally hasn't, I've basically stuck with T-Mobile. Sure, their coverage may not always be the best, but it does keep improving. And if I ever actually want to travel, I don't need to worry about having to shut off my phone to not be totally gouged on the bill.

Comment This is why I'll never use Verizon or Sprint (Score 1) 120

Stuff like this makes me glad I only use unlocked phones I buy from a source other than the carrier. (Often the phone manufacturer, or a mostly-direct reseller.) Unfortunately, that means the only major carriers in the US I can now ever use are AT&T and T-Mobile. But then again, its nice to be able to use any device I want on a carrier that doesn't have the technical means (due to an uncommon network technology) to be a jackass about devices.

Comment Re:Can't be (Score 1) 253

When I was growing up, I'd hear big engineering companies loudly say this while simultaneously having constant layoffs of all the STEM people they did employ. (Okay, it was mostly aerospace, but still.)

Now I hear big tech companies also saying this, while seemingly focusing on a handful of universities they actually pay attention to for recruiting efforts. (Didn't go to Stanford? You might as well not have a STEM degree.)

Then again, I can say that there is an extreme shortage of Americans with *graduate* level STEM degrees. Just go into any grad-school area of any major STEM department at any university. Just try and find the Americans there. Good luck if you even get past one hand in counting them.
(Undergraduate, on the other hand, has plenty of Americans.)

Comment Re:Seems a bit pointless. (Score 1) 232

At the time, I also remember being somewhat irritated that, while IBM did pre-install it as a dual-boot option on many of their consumer PCs, they did not make it the default. As such, they missed a huge opportunity to simply expose people to OS/2.

Its important to never underestimate the power of being the default option. So many people will just use whatever you put in front of them, rarely exploring what other choices they have.

Comment Re:Seems a bit pointless. (Score 1) 232

Having used OS/2 through the 2.1 and 3.0 days (back before Windows had its act together), I remember being excited for the release of OS/2 4.0. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't have a computer with good enough specs to actually run it. Once I finally did, its time had passed and it didn't seem to have a point anymore.

For me, OS/2 always felt like an alternative to DOS/Windows, but never an alternative to Linux. Once Windows became "good enough" and I started to also use Linux for other things, OS/2 just started to feel like a bit of a third wheel. (especially since its Windows compatibility, while excellent for Win 3.1, never quite adapted to the Win9X world soon enough.)

Comment Re:Competition is good (Score 1) 232

Thinner fonts that look like crap on regular, non-HiDPI monitors?

I know we're getting off topic here, but I absolutely hate how GUI/text rendering looks on MacOS on a non-high-DPI display these days. Its just all weird and fuzzy. (Of course the UI does look great on a high-DPI display, but most of the "big external monitors" I regularly use aren't high-DPI.) When faced with a "normal DPI" display, I greatly prefer the look of Windows or Linux (provided you know how to tweak font rendering).

Comment Re:I Have a Vive (Score 1) 141

Elite: Dangerous, with a proper HOTAS setup, is an excellent example of how a flight sim game in VR should work. Because of the nature of the game, they were able to virtually position all the HUD elements quite ideally for VR play. (However, once in a while, you still may need to attempt to touch-type on a keyboard for searching for star systems... Not frequently, though.)

More realistic flight sims are severely harmed by the limited resolution, and lack of comfortable close-focus, because its hard to visually resolve the cockpit controls. But if you don't need to do that, then VR works great.

Seriously, right now about 90% of my Oculus time is spent in Elite, and I really do not want to ever play that game in non-VR again.

Comment Re: AKA: Google Destroys local business (Score 1) 76

For an office in downtown SF, I definitely agree with your point. Encouraging employees to go outside the office for lunch is a good thing.

But Google's Mountain View office is several miles away from downtown Mountain View. Its too far to walk (in a reasonable amount of time), and I really don't think you want any notable percentage of Google's workforce driving between their campus and the downtown area at lunch time. Parking would be a nightmare on both ends, and the roads would clog up enough that walking might end up faster.

Comment Re: AKA: Google Destroys local business (Score 1) 76

Many of these large campuses are in places where it really isn't very convenient to go outside for lunch. Usually because they're a bit outside the main downtown areas, and nothing good is within walking distance. (Parking is usually enough of a hassle that no one wants to leave by car just to get lunch.) This is definitely the case for the Facebook campus, and may also be the case for the main Google campus.

That being said, I've also had the opportunity to work directly in Downtown Mountain View. There were plenty of local restaurants we liked to frequent, and it worked out quite well. Of course as we grew, they did start up with the whole office catering thing, but without the scale of a big campus we tired of it really quickly. So we'd basically find any excuse to still eat outside the office.

Comment Re:Edge is a disgrace (Score 1) 205

Firefox on Linux seems to get progressively more sluggish the longer its been running, and occasionally has unusably sluggish performance on some recently redesigned forum sites. Yet somehow, I never see any performance problems with Firefox on Windows.

I don't pay attention to RAM consumption too often, but maybe that's just because I've got a few too many gobs of it these days.

Comment Re:Vendors no longer require IE (Score 3, Insightful) 205

In years past to use some web based software supplied by vendor you HAD to use IE or it wouldn't work.

Since Google chose to split their code base off from WebKit, my fear is we'll start seeing this with Chrome if it becomes too ubiquitous.

I'm pretty sure its already happening. Chrome is basically becoming the new MSIE. I see plenty of "internal" stuff that doesn't work well in Firefox, and there's a common attitude of looking at you funny for not using Chrome when you complain. I also see plenty of "check out our newly refreshed site design!" that's an unusably broken or sluggish POS if you're not using Chrome.

Comment Re:Not obvious (Score 1) 151

There are a few games that are *awesome* in VR. The obvious ones are cockpit games - flight sims and the like.

I'd agree that cockpit games do exceptionally well in VR. Likely in no small part because your "real position in the real world" most closely matches your position in the virtual world. I.e. Sitting in a chair with your hands on a joystick/throttle. Also, once you get used to the advantages realistic of head tracking in such games, you'll actually find it difficult to go back to non-VR for such games.

However, until VR resolution (and close focus ability) dramatically improves, there will be an enormous bias towards spaceship-cockpit games that can place their visible controls and displays in optimal virtual locations. The best example of this I can think of is "Elite: Dangerous". Realistic airplane cockpits are difficult because you can't easily visually resolve all the tiny controls due to resolution limits.

Comment Re:But Crackberry (Score 1) 91

Back in the days of the BlackBerry Curve, they basically did something close enough to that. Unfortunately, once BlackBerry 10 came around, they totally forgot the importance of having a cheap-low-end even if its not profitable. You basically need those junk devices to build your platform's userbase to the level that people care about it enough to support your better devices.

Microsoft understood this back when they were more seriously pushing the various Windows Phone incarnations. Unfortunately, they failed to provide a compelling platform for anyone who wanted something more than "the cheap thing the phone store was offering for scraps." This kept things going for a while, and did result in a larger (if still unimpressive) userbase than BlackBerry 10 managed, but wasn't enough long-term.

Comment Re:They're screwed (Score 1) 119

Um... side projects aren't "jobs to qualify experience" when talking to HR.

For the right kind of company, they can certainly help. Especially if its a small company and/or startup that looks at you as an individual, not just as a name in a stack of resumes. But for the normal way you go through "the process" earlier in your career? I wish someone would have noticed.

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