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Comment Re:Only SOME Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 331

They can also have issues with lower-quality drives - they offer dramatically lower contrast than dyes do, so the signal-to-noise ratio is much lower, to the point that many/most drives created before CD-RWs hit the market were unable to read them at all.

Personally, I've had lots of -Rs fail, don't think I've ever had issues with an -RW written in a standard single-session format. I seem to recall that the crystal actually needs to be heated to a few hundred degrees to change state - easy enough to do for a fraction of a second with a tightly focused laser beam, but not at ambient temperatures.

Comment Re:social experiments (Score 1) 282

Of course procreation is rational - you're simply assuming that your mind is relevant, and not recognizing that it (and your body) are simply tools created over hundreds of millions of years by genes optimizing their ability to reproduce. Any individual which doesn't procreate is irrelevant to the species, and those who are particularly good at it become the ancestors of most of humanity in a few dozen short millenia.

Comment Only SOME Optical Media Is Durable (Score 2) 331

Ironically enough, write-once optical discs are lousy for archiving - the organic dyes need to be kept at a stable temperature away from moisture and sunlight in order to have a fair chance of remaining stable. And even then you're probably lucky to get 5-10 years without some data loss. And definitely don't use standard permanent/laundry markers on them - the acids in the ink rapidly break down the dyes, and your data with it.

Instead use rewritable media - your data is then stored in a phase-changing crystal and requires considerable energy input to change state. So long as you avoid damaging the disc itself, your data should be safe for a much longer time.

Comment Re: Archival grade (Score 1, Interesting) 331

I assume you don't realize that "begs the question" actually originated as a mistranslation of a latin phrase better translated as "assuming the premise" - as such, the original usage is clearly flawed, and the modern usage actually better reflects the literal meaning of the words. In fighting against it, you're actually fighting to preserve a 400 year old language-butchering error.

Comment Re:The anti-science sure is odd. (Score 0) 665

>It is part of the scientific process to be skeptical.

Yes, and as is generally the case in science, anyone with hard data contradicting the accepted understanding is welcomed, at the fringes if not necessarily right away at the core. But unless you have solid data and/or the knowledge and experience to formulate and test an alternative, questioning the overwhelming consensus of those who have actually studied the issue you're not being skeptical, you're just denying information you don't want to be true.

Comment Re: Linux. (Score 1) 400

The entire point of "muscle memory" is that you don't think about it at all - I think "close window", and the cursor moves to the top-right corner of the screen and clicks the box without any further attention from me. For more sophisticated stuff muscle memory becomes more more of an analogy, but it remains "click on this icon that does X at aproximately Y location" and needs minimal thought - just rearrange things and you have to spend time playing "where's Waldo" with the icon you need. Change the icon graphic as well, as is so often the case between analogue tasks on different OSes and it becomes an even more attention-consuming endeavour. Change the basic process as well, which is not entirely unheard of and you may need to relearn large portions of your skilset (for example Open Office, WordPerfect, and MS Word all use fundamentally different underlying concepts of document organization, which is very often reflected in the UI workflow)

As for laziness - the entire history of civilization is one of laziness, even multiplication was a shorthand technique developed to simplify tediously repetitive addition. Adding superfluous difficulties, even superficial ones, is both annoying and dramatically reduces productivity. Yes, it may often come down to remembering new locations for similar-looking icons, but even that is a non-trivial expenditure of attention, especially if you're not good at memorizing new things.

Comment Re: Linux. (Score 3) 400

>My only lack of understanding in this matter is why so many people aren't capable of understanding more than one Operating system.

I think it's less laziness than the efficiency of familiarity, combined with the fact that "alternative OSes" historically presented a far more different UI than has become the case with many today. Consider driving a car that had replaced the steering wheels and pedals with joysticks or something - a functionally trivial change in a modern fly-by-wire car, but your ability to maneuver the vehicle effectively is going to be considerably compromised by your unfamiliarity. Yes, 80% of the time that may not matter, but that last 20% is going to be constantly cropping up with irritating reminders of your incompetence until you have a few thousand hours of familiarity under your belt. And long after that you've achieved basic competence, the differences are liable to generate pro-active interference with each other, assuming you still drive normal vehiecls as well

While an unfamiliar operating system is generally less personally dangerous, the difficulties are still quite frustrating. Even something as ubiquitous as the file load/save dialog often presents a considerably different interface between operating systems, with many non-obvious differences in how you configure and leverage bookmarks and other non-trivial navigation aids, on top of the differences in file system organization conventions. Or heck, take the MacOS file manager with it's drop-down folder heirarchy menu from the title bar - beautiful idea, I sometimes find myself missing it on other platforms, but completely non-intuitive, and until you learn of it it's pretty much impossible to navigate up a folder heirarchy.

What makes it worse is often the differences seem to be added purely for the sake of being different - take the window min/max/close buttons on MacOSX and Ubuntu, which for some reason they decided to put on the left instead of the right which everyone has been made familiar with over the last couple decades. When switching OSes you now need to retrain your "muscle memory" on how to close windows, and if you use multiple OSes on a regular basis you probably end up momentarily confused on both. And to what end? Even if there's some grand philosophical reason to the change (and I've never heard one), the end result is that they made OS migration that much more difficult for the sake of a tiny functionality change.

Comment Re:So glad I don't work with her (Score 1) 290

>I wonder if this is true.

I agree it seems unlikely at first glance, but I think that may simply be because I too am an avid reader. I certainly have met my fair share of people whose lips move when they read, and many more who don't understand why I so strongly prefer to read silently than out loud. Vocalizing is *slow*, even internally, but perhaps if you don't regularly spend several hours a day reading then you never learn to transcend it.

Comment Re:Use Only as Directed (Score 1) 290

>Of course, we're doing it wrong.

Quite. You should be replacing all of those emails with with voice messages. Then you can easily scan through them by ear in high-speed real time, without distracting your eyes from doing whatever it is you were supposed to be doing before that woman with the horribly shrill voice started droning on and on about the minor update she thinks should be made to the module interface discussed last Tuesday when Frank was on vacation in Tahiti with his new wife and....

I apologize in advance if management was listening in and just got a great new idea on how to improve workflow.

Comment Re:So glad I don't work with her (Score 1) 290

Indeed - even if the text is a word-for-word transcription of the recording. Though, I understand that many people, possibly even a majority, read by mentally vocalizing the words at a pace not much faster than speaking them out loud, so they can't actually read substantially faster than they could listen. Even they though would benefit from the ease of referring back to pervious statements in print.

As for video documentation... it can be a wonderful thing for clearly documenting physical processes (car repair, threading a sewing machine, etc.), and as an augmentation to more structured documentation, but I can't even imagine trying to use it as a primary documentation source for programming. I mean, if done really well (and hopefully well-indexed) it may indeed be a superior introduction to a module, and maybe even to wrap your head around more complicated details, but once I've got the overview, I need to be able to reference the details, *especially* the rarely-used details, quickly and concisely enough that I don't lose track of all the threads of what I was doing that needed those details.

Dear lord... even a transcript of a really well done video documentation would be painfully distracting to sift through... how have your entire development staff not already left for less tortuous pastures?

Comment Re:So glad I don't work with her (Score 3, Interesting) 290

Or, heaven forbid, use voice mail/answering machines that have been around for decades. I routinely ignore my phone when I'm busy, and everyone who knows me knows that they can immediately call a second time if it's important to talk to me right now. As for everyone else - if they can't be bothered to wait through my (very brief) answering message to leave a message, then it's a safe bet that whatever they had to say wasn't actually important enough for me to waste time listening to. As an added bonus, most people don't like talking to machines, and will impart the relevant information in a fraction of the time it would take to extract it from them in a conversation.

Still, for some things it would be nice to be able to conveniently bypass the phone call entirely and jump straight to voice mail - there are times the intimacy and subtlety of voice are preferable, but that doesn't mean I want to interrupt your flow, nor waste a bunch of time on irrelevant conversational pleasantries.

Best case I think would be auto-dictation with voice attachment, so that you could send a voicemail, with all the convenience of recording such, and have it automatically (and accurately) converted to text so that it can be read in a fraction of the time, with the original recording available to listen to as well, if *you* judge that the subtlety or intimacy are important.

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