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Comment Re:so he bounced a check.... (Score 1) 158

This could be a success actually. Not for RI, but for the gaming community. I have to wonder how much $ and effort went into handling the flack from deciding to require take Ubisoft's approach to DRM (online and yes if they can help it), without having feet to stand on first. I wonder how many smaller capital firms and individual loaners are also listening to the band play on. $75 Million is not a small ship. Thinking about dusting and polishing the old shovel for this dig.

Comment Re:I Guarantee (Score 1) 417

Ultraviolet lights in a similar physical configuration to a cop's headlights hidden behind woods glass or a similar optical light block would still likely trigger a blue light sensor in a camera and "encourage" autonomous vehicles to pull over without affecting human drivers. Depending on the quality of the filter, it might be undetectable by a human eye. Flashing typical black lights would be pretty useless given the amount of violet light you still get. Just a thought.

Comment Re:First Anecdote! (Score 1) 633

There's an open court case against Honda's hybrids not reaching the advertised fuel economies that I've been getting letters about recently. I find the civic hybrid I've got typically gets around 43 MPG in the last year, with up to 49 on highways. This is down 3 MPG from the last place I lived, and does not count cold weather. If driving in snow, or cold enough that the engine shutoff feature and regenerative breaking don't work as intended, the mileage drops to around 35 MPG. The only times I haven't hit the advertised mileage are when traffic consists of people who break-check heavily, or when the roads are very slick. If you can't predict when you can coast versus when you need to break, you lose out on the high efficiency features of the vehicles. I'm also noticing that 3 years in, the battery is starting to show signs of wear. It discharges considerably faster than it used to, regardless of temperature.

Comment The disappearing art of GUI design (Score 1) 980

I agree with this. I also use classic mode on Win 95/Win 7 and switched away from Ubuntu with their latest shift to windows 7 hell.

The one thing I find modern GUIs seem to be forgetting is that half the purpose of the GUI is to let a user interact with a tool. The other half is to provide a path for that user to become a poweruser.

The presence of keyboard shortcuts in the menus in old office programs is a perfect example of this. The ability to gradually add functionality you want in relevant toolbars is another. The ribbon's lack of flexibility and the obsession over introducing limited search capability as a primary means of accessing files is counter to this. There's no feedback.

The programmer designing these UIs will never be able to predict the intended use of all particular users, and by denying a user the ability to change the underlying functionality, they imply their way is not only the best way, and the right way, but declare that it is the only way to use the software. This is where the problem arises.

Comment Re:Speaking for myself here (Score 1) 1040

Agreed... there is a major purpose to a UI that is being neglected here. It is a tool for training new power users as much as it is an interface. Every key and mouse click necessary to navigate after the first one counts against it. In Office 2003 for example, I could configure an ideal collection of toolbars which could be opened from my main set in a single click each. They would then REMAIN OPEN while I navigated the rest of the document as I edited. Menus would indicate keyboard shortcuts next to the items in question, and additional tools were provided on an as needed basis and could be integrated into ANY toolbar. Modern Office has replaced these "extra" features with a cluttered bar that changes every time something else is clicked, can't be modified easily, and then not into a configuration that the user can choose. Only by pressing the alt key does any semblance of available keyboard shortcuts show up, and the ability to fully utilize a multi-monitor system is severely impaired (try editing a powerpoint with a reference slide from another document open).

My latest gripe is the obsession with clustering. I don't want my windows clustered by application. I frequently find I have several documents open, each associated with a web page and a pdf. I may want to cluster each document with a firefox window and a pdf window, but grouping by application is the worst way to cluster the documents I have open when I'm doing that.

Modern UI developments have a lot of ego. Users have a very wide range of preferences and the latest 'improvements' in UI have stripped the options that support that range of choice. And the reduction in fidelity comes at the increased memory and cpu cost of a reasonable modern video game. If it's going to take more resources to run my operating system than a game of Portal, I better enjoy working on it at least half as much.

When vista came out, I pulled down ubuntu. When 7 came out, ubuntu followed suit and I pulled down Mint instead. I've setup an old version of XP to make sure I'm ready for if and when Mint decides to jump into the black hole.

Comment Re:ISP:s at fault (Score 1) 231

I have to agree with the parent post, but to back up the statement, here's the list of modems comcast supports:

Note that only 4 of the 70 on there have IPv6 support.

I have one of them (SB6120), and the IPv6 functionality is disabled remotely by comcast.

MDD IP Mode Override (MIMO) IPv4 Only
Modem's IP Mode IPv4 Only

Anybody else want to post what their ISP supports?

Submission + - Hackers get Install Other OS back on the PS3 (

eonlabs writes: A little over a year ago, Sony played a nasty April Fools prank on its customers by stripping out the "Install Other OS" feature from it's PS3 gaming systems. Hackers have recently found a new way to put it back in. I have to wonder, since they've bypassed everything else, how long before someone creates a replacement for PSN. The current network's been down since the anniversary of patch 3.21.

Comment Re:Boycott Sony! (Score 1) 255

It actually does pay to let everyone in the door when you first open it. You will lose some people right off the bat. Get a broad starting audience to narrow down from. Once you can measure who your target audience is, then prune to it. Fits the "it only does everything" marketing AND the delay between initial release and the sharper cuts. Half the trick of making money is knowing when not to spend it.

Comment Re:Boycott Sony! (Score 1) 255

I think this decision is along the lines of thought someone mentioned above. Sony generally figures out who their majority users are and tries to screw over as many people who are not in that group as possible. This especially includes those who are not actually purchasing their hardware if possible (proprietary memory/DRM/etc...), but if they can prune down to their target audience without casualty, it makes it easier to market to that target. They made a clear mistake here, but you can see the logic they followed.

This is a gaming machine and they want gamers to use it. If you're a gamer and not a developer who might be interested in the otheros feature of the device, you are in the vast majority of the population using the system, and therefore not a threat. If you're a pure research group and you want to make these machines into a super computer, just don't upgrade. They've covered their bases on that front because you're not likely going to see the airforce decide they want to use their supercomputer for gaming. In fact, they would probably prefer to discourage their users from doing just that. This leaves the group I mentioned before. Anyone who is a gamer who would like to play with the hardware as well. This group can be split into two. Those who want to actively break into the system (a very small minority), and those who hold it as their right to play with the hardware (and it is their right since it was an advertised feature), which includes those who want to use the hardware for research projects on the side.

The mistake sony made was this. They slammed the door in the face of the community that prides itself on being able to work its way around the word proprietary. In an effort to "protect their IP" they have unleashed the streisand effect and pushed a lot of people who were in the developer's group directly into the "we have a right to hack this hardware group" and opened the flood gates to all their friends as well.

Where do I stand on this? I have my backwards compatible 80gb model. It works fine. I have played it about 3 times since April 1st last year and I have not paid a cent to Sony in that time. Before that, I probably clocked a good hundred hours on the console... on one game... in about 3 months... and was buying DLC within 15 minutes of release if I thought it looked interesting.

I'll vote with my wallet. Sony's rationalization of theft to prevent theft is deplorable.

Submission + - Torrent Users Fight Back (

eonlabs writes: Torrent users being blamed for illegally downloading Farcry are fighting back. In a 96 page lawsuit, the lawyers at Dunlap, Grubb, and Weaver are being accused of 'extortion, fraudulent omissions, mail fraud, wire fraud, computer fraud and abuse, racketeering, fraud upon the court, abuse of process, fraud on the Copyright Office, copyright misuse, unjust enrichment, and consumer protection violations.'

Comment Re:This just proves (Score 1) 706

Most of us don't mark that as presence or absence intelligence. It's sexual discrimination at its finest, and yes, it's over-abundant and heavily ignored in the tech industry. Most of my friends right now are women, and the crap they deal with that they talk to me about is disgusting. I can only imagine the bits they're brushing past. My field needs a huge kick in the ass in this department.

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