Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:User friendly (Score 1) 256

Now wait for when it doesn't just work. Windows' device detection and driver installation has its own pitfalls.

And frankly, it's been about ten years since I had a sound device not picked up by Linux. I'm sure there are hardware combinations that still produce this problem, but then again, having just upgraded workstations that are about seven or eight years old, I can tell you that a new version of Windows' reliable "window of availability" for drivers is in fact a lot narrower than Linux's. I'll wager I could install a copy of Mint or CentOS today, plug in my old 15 year old Umax scanner and it would work, but I can tell you right now that there hasn't been an edition of Windows released in the last decade that could run it.

Comment Re:User friendly (Score 4, Insightful) 256

Wake me up when even Windows follows that paradigm. In fact, Microsoft is, at least in the enterprise, moving explicitly away from the GUI, and pushing Powershell for many tasks. But really, it's always been that way. GUI configuration tools in Windows have always presented only a portion of the configuration options, and many settings have had to be adjusted via the Registry. Even with GPOs, many settings can only be accessed via the Registry.

Like any system, whether it be Windows, OSX or Linux, everything works great out of the box... until it doesn't, and at that point the user is forced to go to some pretty daunting places. I've had enough fun trying to install drivers in Windows, or trying to solve problems on everything from screwed up profiles to getting the damned thing to time sync properly to know that Windows "ease of use" is more a marketing slogan than reality.

Comment Re:User friendly (Score 1) 256

And with Metro onward, Microsoft also has introduced an XML configuration structure as well. Maybe for Joe and Jane Average running Windows 10 Home, as long as they're not interested in anything beyond the sparest kind of modifications that the increasingly simplified and unconfigurable Settings system makes available, Windows remains a simpler system, but for those administering AD domains and the like, it can be an incredibly complex environment. Our recent fun with configuring default applications on domain members, which amounts to configuring a custom XML file to roll out default app changes, shows that things are getting more complicated for any kind of complex administration.

And that's counting on something not going wrong. The printer subsystem in Windows, in my view, has become much more error prone and much less stable than in earlier versions of Windows. Getting rid of old drivers, or in some cases event trying to get rid of phantom printers often involves shutting the Spooler service down, and manually deleting printer entries both from the spooler directory and from the registry, and even then, we've had old phantom connections just spontaneously reappear, even where a member workstation has been moved to an entirely different GPO.

Windows reached a kind of peak of stability and usability with Windows XP and Server 2003. Things weren't perfect, but in general both workstations and servers tended to function in predictable ways that, at worst, you could at least configure around. But even with Server 2008 there were already signs, like IIS configuration nightmares, that stability was no longer a prime objective. Beyond the most basic usage scenarios, Windows can be a nightmare, particularly when things go wrong.

Comment Re:Google's management quality is degrading rapidl (Score 1) 153

Well, whatever advantages of the new Android version, I'm still getting app updates for the Google apps like Drive on my Nexus 7 (2012). Mind you, the Chrome updates over the last year or so have made the tablet largely useless for browsing, though I still use it as an ereader and can watch Netflix on it.

Comment Re:Stop chasing the shiny (Score 1) 160

That's why I go with the unlocked Nexus devices. These are the reference Android installs, and the only thing they come with is the stock Google apps like Chrome, Calendar and the mail app. While Samsung may make pretty attractive hardware, I have little interest in the crapware and the odd changes they make to the UI and default apps.

Comment Re: Confused (Score 3, Insightful) 126

We live in the age of buzzwords and catchphrases which can be quickly used to categorize people without actually having to give thought to what they're saying. Words like "neocon", "fascist", "SJW", and "neo-liberal" all have very little meaning, but assist the simple mind, though sadly it is often to assist them in creating a faulty model of the world around them.

Comment Re:What is it that you say? (Score 4, Interesting) 437

The problem is that you're both right. The taxis are providing the service, the taxi companies are not. Taxi companies have long since adopted similar business models to Uber and Lyft: the drivers either bring (and maintain) their own car or rent it from the taxi company. The only service that the companies provide is a dispatcher, for which they take a hefty cut.

Consumers want to have a single dispatcher service that works anywhere and puts them in touch with a lot of taxi drivers. Uber provides something like this. The taxi companies don't want to, because this kind of thing naturally benefits from economies of scale: it's only slightly more expensive to provide a dispatcher service for the entire USA than for NYC.

If you really want to address the problem with a legislative fix then make every licensed taxi reachable via a single computerised dispatcher service and provide a well documented API for interacting with it. Provide (and fund out of the taxes on taxi fares and licenses) enough infrastructure that anyone can write an app that will hail any taxi in your jurisdiction and pay for it. If Uber wants to operate in your city, then they're free to do so by simply integrating their front end with your municipal back end.

Comment Re: Will Internet Voting Endanger The Secret Ballo (Score 1) 213

Laymen cannot build a modern car or airplane or understand how it works, which means they cannot trust this system...

That's irrelevant. The interests of the people who build the cars are aligned with those of the people who use them, and if that proves not to be the case then there are liability laws that ensure that you can be compensated if your car is not built to spec. In contrast, the interests of small subsets of the population are typically not directly aligned with the rest when choosing a government.

In the UK, our elections run by putting a cross on a piece of paper, which then goes into a box. The boxes are taken to a central location for each constituency and are then counted. If I don't trust the system, then I can watch the box from the time that I cast my vote until it gets to the polling station and can then watch the votes being taken from the box and put into piles and counted. The same is true for almost any member of the electorate. In contrast, with an electronic voting system the number of people who are able to verify it is tiny: I have a PhD in Computer Science and work in computer security and I wouldn't be confident that I could spot hidden manipulation of an electronic election and I doubt that there are more than 100 people in the world who could - if that. Do you trust those 100 people to decide who wins the next election? Remember what Stalin said: it doesn't matter who casts the votes, only who counts them.

Comment Re:$23 (Score 1) 181

No, that those lines are covered by copyright owned by Oracle was admitted by Google. They claimed that their use was covered by Fair Use (which does not invalidate copyright, it is an affirmative defence against copyright infringement), which is what Oracle is now challenging because Fair Use is situation dependent.

Slashdot Top Deals

There is very little future in being right when your boss is wrong.