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Comment Re:yes, it is for many many people (Score 1) 355

I agree with you and probably I should have rephrased my statement differently. But what I meant by getting work done was not the fact that Windows makes it easier, or Linux more difficult. I've meant the whole experience. One example:

This reminds me of the time when people used to complain that printing on Linux was difficult, or that there were not enough drivers for external hardware. The common answer from Linux fanboys (including myself) was "blame the manufacturers for not supporting this printer or this (pick your mp3 player, video camera, kid's toy, or any non-working component)". Now comes the tricky part of life: most people don't care about who to blame. They just want to put some dollars on a table and get something that just works. They don't want to do anything. Sure: Linux supports many peripherals out of the box better than Windows. But many people have come to accept popping-in a driver's CD to get the thing working, while they have not come to accept that I cannot set my printer to print in full duplex afterwards.

So I didn't mean that Windows is better, or Linux worse. I've meant that sometimes you just can't replace Windows, because of what it delivers as an ecosystem. Some people need that and you cannot replace this. My examples above tried to illustrate this.

As for your example, Android is easy, sure. But have you tried printing something from Android? My father for instance, kept a laptop around just to be able to listen to his favorite online radio. Of course it is the website's fault that they require some windows-only plugin. But my father doesn't give a shit, he just wants to listen to this station, and there are no substitutes. There are many articles about replacing a PC with Android and almost all the ones I've read consider the experience subpar (one was in Arstechnica, you can Google it)

You can only educate users up to some extent. Beyond that, you can blame the users for not trying hard enough, or yourself for missing a business case. Your choice.

I hope you realize that I agree with you. But the key point is to realize that many non-techies do not, and they are not necessarily wrong either.

Comment yes, it is for many many people (Score 4, Insightful) 355

Interesting points, and I fully agree with you when it comes to tech people like us.

But if you think that your comments are scalable, then you probably have not dealt with non technical people, who are just trying to get work done(tm)
For instance:
- girlfriend works in some marketing/accounting/business unit and needs to finish some documentation at home during the weekend because of a late request
- grandma wants to see her grandchildren photos, which are embedded in that powerpoint. Background music is important.
- Non-Tech father needs to rework some documents done in the universal tool of all Lords, namely Excel, which office people bastardize via macros and whatever to serve a schizophrenic life of being spreadsheet, text editor, database, time planner, bug tracker, and version control tool all at once.
- Friend want to install password manager, tax program, adobe lightroom/Picasa, iTunes, pick non-web-based program, etc. and doesn't feel like learning anything about wine unless he/she is going to drink it.

So if you truly believe what you wrote, then you are either too young, or you work in a small technical company, or are a freelancer, or are one of those people expecting the world to change and learn to think and behave like us.

My heart is with you. I even use Linux (Xubuntu) as my daily driver at home, and I used to think like you trying to change the world. But as you have said yourself, times have changed and I have learned the reality. And even I need to dual boot to Windows every once in a while.

Comment Can we learn from it? (Score 1) 115

This is the main reason why US customers keep paying so much for their contracts and is so difficult to change carriers. The only carrier supporting the European (and actually most worldwide carrier models) is T-mobile. If you live in an area with a decent T-Mobile coverage, I'd suggest people to switch to them and vote with their SIM cards. Maybe other carriers would follow up.

Comment Something not technical (Score 1) 238

if the boy is so incredibly technically oriented, he probably lacks in his social areas and artistic sides. Rather than pushing him more into his math-freak corner, which he would probably reach without much help, I would give him something that would help him play with other kids, rather than a computer. Something like a football, a skateboard, a guitar or mini-keyboard (music and math have a lot in common), or a kids bike.

I am by no means implying that this is the case with your nephew, but I find it amazing how often people miss the balance in life, and end up pushing kids into a niche corner.

Comment Women's reaction to protential a price drop (Score 5, Insightful) 119

Women always want diamonds because they are "beautiful". If their price drops to the floor, I wonder whether they will still like them on their wedding rings. Truth is, most women don't care about what they wear, as long as they have the feeling that you bought them something special. And if their friends envy them, then it's even better.

Comment Strange numbers and interpretation (Score 1) 145

I have lived in Shenyang for about two years.

I don't get this whole metric anymore, and the numbers seems to be either wrong or being manipulated, as well as their interpretation.
The numbers and conclusions are not consistent with the past history. My Android App is currently showing 310 for Beijing, and 267 for Shenyang. On November 10 this year there was an article on BBC News claiming that the 1400 measured in Shenyang were the worst one ever. But to be honest, the Halloween last year in Shenyang was even worse than this Nov 10. It is hard to give a number because above 1000 most measurement devices just refuse to report. But I currently live in Shenyang and you develop your own sense of estimating the pollution by looking for known buildings in the sky, by smelling, and by listening by to your lungs. Shenyang didn't shut down last year, where you couldn't even see past 50 meters (about 55 yards) due to the smog.

The government won't let you do measurements or post them in the wild. A colleague of mine made some measurements in the office using a state of the art device bought in Germany for PPM values. After recording bad numbers, he tried to convince management to upgrade the air filtering system in the building, they didn't accept these values, because they had to be done using a government-approved system. Same issue when we wanted to measure led content in the water at our residence compound: we were not allowed to do it in our lab, we had to do it through an approved third party company.

Now to be honest, I do understand the government. It would be very easy to spread terror and false information across the masses; and no offense, but many Chinese are not good in interpreting and digesting information. So the government is careful with that, and it is not an entirely bad thing. That said, you are never sure if you can trust official figures.

But that said, I still don't understand why now all of a sudden China and its air pollution is in the news. The air is crap, but it has always been crap. I don't think that this year is worse than last year (although it is still very very bad).

The thing is that most Chinese don't give a fuck. I work with Chinese engineer colleagues, and none of them has an air purifier at home, not even if they have small babies. So I see a combination of many things here: extremely bad air, a suspicious attempt to make the situation look worse than before, inaccurate or fake numbers, and a mass population that is either ignorant or just don't care.
My two cents.

Comment Lines of code? (Score 1) 618

I don't work for VW, but I have worked many years developing software for major automotive OEMs. It's funny how often I read here in Slashdot that this detection was probably coded in one line, or in a few lines, etc. Slashdoters need to realize that most automotive powertrain software nowadays is developed using model-based software, such as Simulink. The mechanical engineers developing powertrain software have literally no clue about source code, operating system, real time systems, interprocess communication, bus latency, code generation. And they do not really need to know either.

So the proper statement should be something along the lines "this detection was probably a single switch block or a single if block in your model."

Comment no offense, but indeed in the 90s (Score 1) 100

Although your post is informative and accurate, I think you are slightly missing the whole picture of what the parent poster was trying to convey. As far as cellphone technology is concerned, the US is indeed in the 90's. Not just due to locking, but in many other different aspects as well.

call price model:
- the US is about the only country in the world where the recipient pays for incoming calls when not roaming. I leave it as an exercise to the read to think why this is plain ridiculous.
- the prices are plain crazy. In Europe you pay max 30-50 Euros per month for unlimited plan, with 1GB or data. Less if you don't need unlimited. I payed about 15 Euro/month for moderate calling and 1GB/month, with the option to purchase on-the-fly 1GB extra for additional 3 Euros if you run out.
- in the US, if you exceed your limit, you get a heavy bill. In Europe, your data speed simply decreases down to GPRS.

- the US has many many dead areas. I know, it is a big country. But the fact remains.

Carriage involvement:
- incredibly intrusive branding, crapware, etc
- carriers are involved in certifying which phones are supported in their networks, the software update process, etc. which is none of their f*ing business.
- they use non-compatible networks.
- Their customer service is such crap that I don't know where to start.

All in all, this puts the US model of cellular communication really in the 90s. The unlock issue is just the cream on the top.

Comment Re:Profit (Score 1) 96

Since most people don't have a clue about audio and just follow marketing trends, you are probably right on spot. Now most of us here in Slashdot should know that noise cancelling headphones only knock out low frequency noise, like the engines. Conversations don't get cancelled at all. All the contrary, quite often you can hear them better when wearing such headphones, because the sound of the engines don't stay in-between.

For a better cancellation use noise isolating (passive) the in-ear earphones with foam tips, like the ones from Shure, westone, etymotic research, etc. They'll cut out a lot more than noise cancelling headphones, and they sound a lot better.

Comment Re:Dead reckoning technology is very old (Score 1) 151

You are correct. Particularly dead reckoning based on stars has been used for centuries for navigating across oceans. I was referring mainly to computer-based dead reckoning, which involves quantifying the error of your estimation based on a mathematical model, and how modern dead reckoning works.

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