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Comment Re:Lucky you're not in Australia (Score 1) 600

Great post. You failed to mention one interesting thing about driving in Ontario though. If you get caught doing 50km/h over the speed limit (31mph) this is considered "stunt driving" and not only do you instantly have your license suspended and your car impounded, but there is a mandatory fine of between $2000 and $10,000!

The strange thing about driving in Ontario is that everybody is doing 15+ over the limit, but people don't get pulled over until they are 30+, and NOBODY in their right mind does anything like 50+ over. So in practice everybody is driving 20-30 over the limit. In the US people are driving between the speed limit and 5mph over.

Comment Re:Horse Shit (Score 5, Insightful) 410

Valve quit crying because they got bored with SteamOS. A major problem with Valve's "flat" model of no bosses and no structure is that they only work on something if they find it interesting. Once they get bored, it languishes. Half Life 3 is a great example. There was clearly more story to tell, they left it unfinished, and there is clearly market demand for a sequel to the point it would be virtually assured to make money. So why hasn't it happened? Because they aren't interested in it right now. It's not a business or creative decision, it is that people are playing with other shit.

Valve is now fascinated with VR and eSports so that is where most of their energy is going. They are the shiny new toys they like, until they change their mind and chase something else. So SteamOS is in the same general boat as Steam itself in that they work on it a bit and maintain it, but there isn't a lot going on because there are few people interested in it.

Also I think they thought that SteamOS and Steam Machines would be like Steam itself: minimal effort on their part and people would just flock to them and use them in droves. Instead the market has responded with a resounding "meh". They'd need to put in a lot more effort to have a chance of making it happen and they don't want to do that.

Comment There is no, it is doomsaying (Score 3, Insightful) 410

Maybe it'll end up being true, but so far there is zero evidence. The only thing so far they've done that would in any way limit Steam is that their universal applications (what used to be called Metro) are Windows Store only. So you can't sell those on Steam. Ok, except nobody but MS makes those because nobody gives a shit. The "universal" part doesn't matter, MS's phones and tablets are in their final dying moments so there's no need to make something that runs both on real Windows and Windows RT/Phone.

At this point Win32/64 programs run better and have less limitations, and also have the advantage of running on all versions of Windows not just 10, so that is what people keep making. MS themselves are releasing their games using their new UWP format, of course, but nobody else seems to give a shit.

So it is a meaningless limitation for now. Programs using an API nobody uses won't work with Steam. Who cares? Other than that, nothing has changed or been limited. Steam runs great on Windows 10.

Will something change in the future? We'll have to wait and see. There's no evidence now though, because it hasn't happened. This is a doomsday prediction, and like most doomsday predictions it is based on what the predictor feels to be true, not actual evidence.

Comment Ummm... no (Score 2) 410

For one, they haven't done anything yet. This is Tim Sweeny doomsaying. Now maybe his predictions will be accurate but they are false right now. Presently, Steam works excellent in Windows 10. You download it, install it, and it just works as it does on any other platform. They have done nothing to stop it from working.

You can't scream about "abuse" when nothing has happened. That is like claiming someone robbed you when they didn't actually take anything from you or even say anything to you they just "look sketchy, like they might rob you."

Second, all the monopoly stuff has gone out the windows with Apple around now. You can't argue MS is a monopoly in the desktop arena with Apple selling tons of their products. Macbooks are trendy as hell and all kinds of people buy them. Having a major, viable, competitor defacto makes someone not a monopoly. Same deal in servers to an even larger extent as Linux is huge in the server market. And in phones? Shit MS is hardly a player.

They aren't in a monopoly position anymore, so anti-monopoly arguments don't work.

Comment Charging is a big issue (Score 2) 533

Bluetooth can work fine if you don't use something a lot, but headphones are the kind of thing you may wish to use for extended periods. I've never seen a BT device that isn't massive that has any staying power. Like I have a Plantronics Voyager Legend. This is a new, high end, and fairly large ear piece. It curves over your ear and has a unit that sits behind with electronics and a sizable battery in it. For all that, it is lucky to get maybe 6 hours of talk time fully charged (which will only get worse as the battery ages). Less if you use the high quality audio mode.

That's not great, and that is for a bigass part. You take something small, like the Earin phones one of our students has, and it is a bit over an hour if you are lucky. On the other hand my little Shure earbuds will work as long as the device feeding them will. Despite the cord, they are actually no larger to carry than the Plantronics earpeice as well. Oh, and they work with my computer, my phone, my receiver, and so on with no fiddling, just plug and go.

I don't hate BT audio devices, but earbuds have good reasons to exist.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 1) 533

Ya unless Apple makes really shitty connectors on their products, I'm failing to see how this isn't a case of user error (or someone making shit up). I can't think of the last time I've seen a 3.5mm TRS plug fail. I make a lot of use of them between my personal devices for listening to music and connecting computers to capture/presentation setups at work. I really honestly can't remember when I last experienced one fail on me. I'm not saying it never happens, but it is rare enough that it isn't even a problem I consider. They are quite reliable, in no small part because they are dead fucking simple.

Comment It's fanboy rationalization (Score 2) 533

You see it all the time with fanboys of a given brand. When that brand does something stupid or something they don't like, they have to rationalize it away how it isn't just not bad, but is actually a GOOD thing. That way, they can continue to be a fan and needn't reevaluate their position, which is important since being a fan of a brand often means having your ego tied up in the success of that brand.

You see it a lot with Apple fans since Apple is known for changing things on a whim with no warning or input.

Doesn't even have to be changes either, fans will do it when something is just disappointing. I saw a funny one with one of our former students who was a total Apple fanboy. The iPad 2 was coming out and he'd really hyped himself up for it. I told him that some of the things he was hyped for (like a high DPI display) weren't going to happen, tech just wasn't there yet. So it launched and was underwhelming to him at least. It was just a bit of an update to the old one. Now I don't see an issue with that, makes sense to refresh your products with the latest tech, even if the refresh is just minor. Just means that they are more for new customers than people upgrading. However he was very let down.

But then, over the course of about 5-10 minutes, he managed to find all kinds of rather stretched reasons as to why it was better and he had to have one, and then placed an order. It went from "I am disappointed," to "I must have this ASAP," in the course of just a few minutes. Nothing changed, no new information, he just rationalized the decision he'd already held: That he wanted a new toy from the brand he was a fan of.

Comment Also, you have options (Score 1) 533

It isn't like all phones are doing this. In fact, usually if some companies start doing something stupid and not giving people what they want, someone else will make and advertise products with those features.

For example I'm not a fan of the "no removable battery, no SD card" trend. Lots of phones have gone that way in the name of thin... however LG apparently figures there's a market for people who want those features and the LG G5 has them. So guess what phone I've ordered?

It really isn't that difficult a problem, unless you are a fanboy who is overly dedicated to a given product. If you don't mind a feature going away, ok no problem, buy the new unit and be happy. If you do mind, go and buy another product that has what you want.

However what I can't respect and get annoyed with are fanboys who will cry about something like this, and then go and buy the product anyways, acting like this had no choice in the matter and they "had" to upgrade. They are the problem.

Comment No, it was FUD (Score 2) 533

Basically what happened is one "security researcher" who wasn't that good at the "research" part of his job upgraded a system to Vista and had audio issues. He then wrote a blog piece about how Vista sucked and theorized that it was DRM causing issues. This got echo-chambered over the Internet tons and because "Vista's DRM won't let you have good audio."

It amused me since, when I read it, I had Cakewalk Sonar loaded in the background and was working with pro audio at the time, in Vista, no issues at all.

What had really happened is his system had a old, low end, integrated soundcard. The manufacturer provided poor quality Vista drivers that didn't work well in full duplex (recording and playing back) mode. So if you were using the mic and output, sound quality was degraded. This was a function of the sound chip and its drivers, not Vista. It was, and is, fully capable of doing 24-bit 192kHz or greater multi-channel audio in and out, as are subsequent versions of Windows.

The DRM that showed up in Vista related to audio is "protected audio path" and is only relevant to shit like Blu-ray playback. The media industry won't give out licenses to AACS and BD-J unless the whole setup it DRM'd including the drivers. So Vista added this capability (and subsequent Windows versions keep it). A program can say "I am playing DRM'd content, you need to protect this" and the driver will then make sure that screenshots/recording can't happen, that it only plays on HDCP enabled outputs and shit like that. However normally all that is turned off and it affects nothing if you don't use it. While it is silly, it was either implement it, or Windows would never be able to (legally) play Blu-rays.

Comment Re:Public Admission of Stupidity (Score 2) 219

Years ago I was driving home at night after a movie. I had just hit the outskirts of town where the streetlights and such had ended when all of a sudden something ran out from the side of the road and stopped right in front of me. I hit the brakes and stopped within a foot of a young woman who had crouched down with her hands over her eyes.

When she looked up she started screaming at me: "Why didn't you hit me!? Why didn't you hit me!?" I looked at her -- she was crying, and her face was black and blue.

I spoke calmly to her and managed to convince her to let me take her to the hospital (probably a risky move in hindsight). "I'm drunk and stoned" she said; she wouldn't let me take her to the cops. Claimed her boyfriends sister beat the hell out of her, but I suspect it was the boyfriend.

In any case, I won't bore you with the rest of the details. Bottom line from that experience is that I don't skimp on tires when I buy them (you use them for stopping too), or brakes. Having a "third" eye in a car looking out for you and for other people can't be bad.

Comment Re:Compromise (Score 1) 366

I think this is a very good suggestion -- a compromise as you suggest. And I think that the arguments against it insomuch as it may help identify (log) someone who "needs" to post anonymously are missing the point. Everything you do here is logged, and having the additional datapoint of an e-mail address is not going to make you any more anonymous. You're not anonymous on Slashdot or anywhere for that matter. You're just annoying. This suggestion seems like the right one to improve the signal to noise ratio here.

Comment Careful with 1080 though (Score 1) 729

Because consoles don't usually render at it. Most games on current consoles render at 1600x900 or 1280x720, usually at 30fps and are then scaled to whatever screen you have. So setting a target of 1080p60 for a PC to be like a console is not accurate for most games. They have a few that are like that, but not many.

Comment Well for hipster tech writers (Score 1) 729

It isn't necessarily zero sum, since what they will own is a Mac laptop. While you can play some basic games on that, you'd need a second system to do any real gaming.

The logical argument of "Well just get a PC and use it for games and writing," is lost on them. I mean how could you NOT have a trendy Mac laptop? It is just unthinkable!

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