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Comment Re:Twitter (Score 3, Insightful) 105

I donno, they seem to have gotten the news-media hooked on it, they will repeat whatever any C-lister or above says on shows like Entertainment Tonight, and if it catches enough attention there then it ends up making the actual news.

From a publicity point of view it's golden, doesn't cost anything and can increase exposure.

Why people care is what I don't quite get, but I've never really entirely understood why some things become popular anyway.

Comment Re:Cost of Living Tradeoffs (Score 1) 163

By now?

In the 1980s my father had a GRID laptop assigned to him. He'd work from home on the System 370 or would use it when on-call and something would come up, dialing-in to the S370 via modem.

I have a serial terminal sitting on my desk at work plugged into a network switch's serial port. I can administer the entire WAN through that terminal if I have to, no actual computer involved. I could take that terminal and hook it directly to a modem with a null-modem cable and dial-out to connect to other computers, which is basically late-sixties to early-seventies technology.

Since the dawn of the modem it's been possible to work from somewhere else if the software to do the work is capable of being used remotely. It's only the early GUI era when this broke as GUI applications required too much bandwidth to work over modem speeds. VPN and broadband Internet in the mid to late nineties essentially solved that, tech workers that don't physically touch the equipment could literally live anywhere.

Comment Re:I don't (Score 1) 507

Usually it costs less because there are fewer inputs and no ATSC tuner.

I just use a video projector. I have an Epson unit that's about four years old now, does 1080p. I've got an high-definition ATSC tuner (as opposed to one of those converter-box things) connected to the projector along with a computer, the Blu-ray player, the S-VHS deck, and a Laserdisc player.

The Epson was the first new one that I bought. I've had three different projectors over the past fifteen years or so, going from 800x600 to 1024x768, to 1920x1080 now. 100" electric roll-down screen which I have roll-down in front of the thin bookshelf that holds the DVDs and Blu-Rays. Got a six-way surround sound system in the room, three across the front, three across the back. Good big speakers so I don't miss the subwoofer. Works very well.

Comment As I've said before... (Score 5, Insightful) 379

...fuck Wikipedia. It's entire model can literally be summed-up as, "King of the Hill." Whoever camps at their computer to edit pages is the editor, regardless of any acumen or credentials with the subject matter, and without regard to any actual rules that govern article structure or citation.

If Wikipedia wants to fix this, they need to disallow users from camping on pet articles. They need to disallow reverts based on style that have nothing to do with substance and have no real benefit, and they need to ban users that continue to engage in these practices. Until that's done the entire process will be at the whim of the cave trolls that patrol the site because they have nothing better to do.

Comment Re:Because they do it at all (Score 1) 280

This is slowly changing.

When these precedents were set, women were much more dependent on men for general quality-of-life and for income than women are now. The two divorces that I am most familiar with did not feature women making-bank. In one the woman lost child suport and lost custody when she couldn't maintain employment and ended up with family, and kept cracking-up cars that the ex-husband had purchased so that she could take the kids to things. If I remember right, the child welfare people even got involved and discovered that the house she was living in was in a terrible state. She now technically owes child-support to him but basically can't pay it.

In the other case with no children, their careers were reasonably close to parity. She bought-out his share of the house (was paid-off already) at a bit of a discount because of the little difference there was in lieu of dealing with alimony or other long-term commitment or support.

Comment Famous last words... (Score 5, Insightful) 231

I'm really surprised that, "It's just a prank bro!" hasn't been documented on-video as famous last words.

I guess I look at pranks on strangers as something that has to be limited enough that the person pranked will themselves laugh about it. It's one thing to prank your friends that you have an understanding with, but it's an entirely different matter to do something that affects otherwise-uninvolved third parties.

This is a case of, "play stupid games, win stupid prizes."

Comment Re:Because they do it at all (Score 3, Insightful) 280

I expect that things like divorce happen in progressive societies because we allow the individual to leave a marriage, and we allow either individual to make the choice.

Societies that either do not let marriages end, or else restrict who can initiate such a divorce, or even societies where such a divorce is possible but where one party may end up without any of the resources gained during the marriage. All of these conditions either prevent divorce, formally restrict divorce, or otherwise make ending a marriage impossible or impractical.

Comment Re:Gmail, Yahoo is pretty safe (Score 3, Interesting) 121

If you look at the nature of product recalls, they're generally recalled for one of three reasons:

Product is inherently flawed or otherwise unsafe and cannot be corrected. This covers things like manufacturing the chassis of a product with flawed materials, or using the wrong material, or a design whose intended use is inherently unsafe. Two examples I can think of off of the top of my head are Lawn Darts, whose very concept makes them unsafe, and the Perfect Flame grille, whose housing was magnesium and prone to igniting in a metal-fire.

Product has minor flaws or only a risk of safety-issue, but correcting those flaws will cost too much to achieve. Inexpensive home goods may fall into this category, and sometimes when food products are recalled en-masse it's like this- only a few actual package of a food item may be dangerous, but it would cost far more to test all of the food for the danger than it is to just throw it away.

Users misuse a product and it's not possible to correct user-error. At first this doesn't sound like a product problem, but casual-use products are not supposed to require advanced training to use. There's a threshold for the number of incidents relative to the userbase to be considered, and if too many users are all having similar problems then that's indicative that something in the product itself needs to be changed, as changing human behavior on a large scale is not easy.

Unfortunately software has been allowed to violate #3 and arguably the others for a very long time, as the push for newer/faster/prettier has trumped all other considerations. It's about time that we acknowledge that we haven't really made much improvement in UI in the last decade and that at-best we're reimplementing the wheel, and that we need to forcus on the underpinnings.

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