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Comment Re:You're the idiot who keeps using that software. (Score 1) 320

If you're ever pissed off about how oil and power companies are ruining the environment, you can get rid of your car and get a bicycle.

You will have trouble getting to work, picking up the kids, buying groceries and getting around, but BY GEORGE you stuck to your principles and the oil and power companies ... didn't notice at all.

Look, I know you weren't necessarily striving for accuracy and were just trying to make a point, but as someone who commutes to work (and the gym, the grocery store, and almost everywhere) by bicycle, you're wrong about most of those things. It's actually easier for me to bike than drive to work because otherwise I'd have to worry about the parking nightmare that is most downtowns, and if you don't think you can do groceries you might want to look up "rear rack" (and rear panniers). Don't ever plan on having kids but it's certainly possible to transport them, as well (I see lots of dads and the occasional mom doing so here). You might be right about the oil companies to some extent, but it's certainly been noted that younger generations are less interested in car ownership than older ones were at that age, so somebody's noticing.

Comment "Came up" with pi? (Score 1) 133

Jones came up with the Greek letter and symbol for the figure in 1706...

Umm, the Greek letter is the "symbol." The summary (or actually the Times article that the summary, as usual, plagiarizes, though this time they at least made an awkward attempt at attribution) makes it sound like the Greeks had this letter "pi" but no "symbol" to actually use to write it, which is as absurd as claiming, for example, that Gosset (aka Student) came up with the English letter and symbol "tee"/t to represent the result of his test of statistical significance.

In other news, this article can be much more succinctly summarized as follows: Greeks did not use the letter "pi" to represent this value; William Jones, obviously much later, was apparently the first to do so, and this usage was later popularized by Euler. The selection of this particular letter is likely due to it being the first letter in the Greek morpheme "peri-", 'around' (a bit more general than the article suggests as it seems to be overly simplified compared to other sources on the subject).

Comment Re:lol amazon prime (Score 1) 244

So if the problem is that prime-eligible items have their prices jacked up by the cost of shipping, thus negating the value of the service, the solution is to ignore the problem? Do you work for Amazon?

(Not the original poster, but...) I don't think that Prime eligibility, even when the item costs the same as a non-Prime item plus shipping (usually a fixed amount per category, not per item), is necessarily "negating the value of the service." Unlike a random shipping method a third party might choose, Prime shipping is usually two days and gives you the option to upgrade to next-day for a per-item fee. If you don't care how fast it ships, Amazon has also been doing a promotion lately where they let you choose super-slow shipping in return for a $1 digital video/music/book credit or occasionally a Prime Pantry credit that basically covers shipping, so you can build up enough of those to save on other products/services you might use. (I basically get an MP3 album or Kindle book for free every few months.)

This is saying nothing of Prime's other benefits. While there is video streaming (the topic of this article), I think many people find the free options kinda "meh." Amazon Prime Music, however, is quite nice--not as vast as Spotify (which has the same music available at all tiers; you can pay more to get more on Amazon), but convenient if you have an Echo (or access to a web browser or the Amazon Music app) and just want to stream something it has. There are Kindle things as well, but I don't think anything quite compares to the music streaming in terms of usefulness for me--besides, of course, shipping. (Now *I* probably sound like I work for Amazon. I don't, and let it be known that free RedCard shipping for items on is often cheaper than Amazon these days and often just as fast if it's from a nearby warehouse.)

Comment Re:Facebook? (Score 1) 149

I don't know specifically about those apps. But many apps do it as a natural result of them being little more than web-apps running in web-view.

Yeah, I think Facebook tried that with their early iOS app (or at least they said it was "HTML5"), but I believe a few years ago they rewrote it to be "native." Not sure if they've gone back or what (or just hybridized), but both it and especially Messenger keep changing more than you'd expect for a typical app.

Comment Facebook? (Score 1) 149

The description of "hot code push" sounds like something Facebook and Messenger are doing on iOS. They both change the location of buttons (and occasionally some functionality)--like moving the Messages icon in the Facebook app to the top left and replacing it with a useless Marketplace icon--without needing to submit a new app, among other continual and usually annoying changes in Messenger itself. (Or at least the change isn't obviously correlated with a new app version; they don't write real changelogs, instead using a generic "we continually update this app" nonsense, and the app continues to function like it did before...until one day when it doesn't.)

I'm sure there are potentially malicious uses of hot code push rather than just annoying ones like certain apps seem to be doing, but if it makes them stop doing it too, I'll be happy enough.

Comment macOS browsers (Score 1) 205

In the last 24 months, Mozilla's Firefox -- the other major browser alternative to Chrome for macOS users...

Umm, Safari, anyone? I guess that's probably true if we ignore Safari, but that would be like ignoring IE on Windows. (This makes a bit more sense in the context of TFA, from which the editor and/or submitter carelessly plagiarized this paragraph, as the article as a whole is talking about Safari's recent 13% decline on macOS...but you think someone might have read this before posting.)

Comment Re:not useless, but not revolutionary. (Score 1) 139

it's just a move towards back to windows 2000 gui rules.

you know, like input text boxes looking like input text boxes and buttons being distinctly buttons.

Really? I read the article and looked for additional information elsewhere (because the article is lacking) and it looks like it's taking the "Metro" ideas even farther, with lack of window borders and and no discrete title bars. Some vast spaces of solid color have disappeared, but only because they're apparently encouraging the use of photos (e.g., as the main "background" image in an app) instead. This doesn't look better to me.

Comment Re:Surveillance culture (Score 1) 155

Are you this paranoid about your smartphone, too? You say it's different, but an iPhone has pretty good mics ("Hey, Siri" can also hear me from across the room) and I'm sure there are comparable Androids. Sure, it won't listen unless you meet the conditions and enable the feature, but neither will Alexa--as far as we know about both if we trust the manufacturer as yo do for the phone. You can always unplug (or turn off with a "smart plug" so you don't have to physically do it, assuming you trust those) the Alexa device when you're not using it, but 99% of what I say when I'm at home is "turn off the lights" or to play Pandora, so it doesn't really bother me.

Comment Re:Manual? How old-school (Score 2) 78

>> Night Shift can be toggled on and off using the new Night Shift switch located in the Today section of the Notification Center.

Rather than have to manually turn it on/off, it seems like the much better approach would be to use a light sensor, or at least link it to the clock so it knows when its day/night. I agree that it should be manually overrideable though.

Look, I know it's not cool to read the article, but...from TFA: "In [the preferences pane], users can schedule Night Shift to come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise or set a custom Night Shift schedule." The manual toggle is just one way you can activate it.

Comment Re:Why stop there? (Score 2) 134

Let the user pick a personalized name like they would for any child or pet.

Since it's only listening for specific "wake words" and this processing must be done on the device itself, I imagine it's easier for them to code a few specific wake words into the firmware (and perhaps not even possible to do much more; I'm not sure we know much about its hardware)--everything else you speak afterwards (and, so they say, only this speech) is sent to AWS or whatnot where there's a lot more processing power, which I imagine that allowing the user to configure an arbitrary word would also take.

Comment Re:Specific to English? (Score 1) 128

I wonder how it performs on tonal languages like Cantonese.

I don't see any reason it shouldn't work. It encodes pitch (you really can't avoid that if you're encoding speech, which will include "voiced" sounds that have a fundamental frequency), and some casual reading about how it encodes suggest that it captures more specific information in the lower frequencies than in the higher ones, which also matches how our (logarithmic) perception of frequency works. That being said, the English sample I heard doesn't sound fantastic: think of a phone conversation in which /f/ is difficult to distinguish from /s/, which I suspect has to do with the high frequencies being either cut off or difficult to distinguish in terms of amplitude (/f/ is a bit weaker in general, and I think most of its noise is concentrated above the frequencies that aren't heard over the phone--don't quote me on this). So, I suspect the listener will have to do some work regardless of language, but there is nothing English-specific here.

Comment Re:About letting us choose everything? (Score 1) 156

Why can't windows search subfolders while looking for drivers?

As of Windows 7 (maybe Vista--I wouldn't know), it can. There is a checkbox labeled "Include subfolders" right under the text field where you specify the path to search. If they are Dell drivers as you mention, you might want to make sure they're not just EXEs, which you'll need to extract so Windows can find the INF files it scours for matches.

Comment Re:I'm sure there's a reason... (Score 1) 192

That's funny since most printed text is printed at like 72dpi and nobody complains that printed text is pixelated or "unclear." The human eye isn't that good. What you are loving isn't resolution related -- it's the better backlight giving you better blacks than what you had on old 1080 monitors.

Uh, no, you're thinking of PPI on displays. Even cheap printers can usually handle at least 300x300 DPI. Most laser printers I've seen default to 600x600, and even ones marketed for home use are often capable of at least 1200 in at least one dimension. Many inkjets also are able to increase their DPI for "high quality" or photo printing.

Let's take an average computer monitor, however--say a 22" monitor with 1680x1050 resolution. This gives about 90 PPI (or DPI as it's more often called here, even though some would argue that is not the correct term for displays). Early computer displays were often about 72 PPI, which is where your figure comes from (though Microsoft used 96 DPI for reasons beyond the scope of my explanation). Now, Apple's "Retina" and other high-DPI displays are on the market for both desktops and mobile devices, with PPI often in the 200s or 300s--closer to print.

The difference people perceive is most certainly related to pixel density and not to better backlighting. While a better backlight might help with increasing contrast, if you compare high-DPI vs. "regular" displays side-by-side, I think you'll find the difference clear--as if this even needs to be explained given that your description of printed text is egregiously incorrect. (For added fun, turn off font smoothing and compare--half the reason people think text looks decent at all on a 90-ish DPI monitor is font smoothing, usually in the form of subpixel rendering on LCDs.)

Comment Re:Oh God... (Score 1) 173

I recently was asked to set up an "out-of-office autoreply" on a friend's Outlook 2007 installation. Couldn't even find WHERE to do that on the Ribbon (although I did use it way back when it was new, too). Had to google for instructions...

Well, Outlook 2007 didn't have the ribbon interface in the main UI, so no wonder you couldn't find it there. ;)

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