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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

404 Clue Not Found Re:Best Wishes ! (322 comments)

I'd love to see a single UI that works across 4" phones and 7" tablets with gorilla glass, and 13" laptops and 10" convertibles with membrane keyboards, and 24" desktops with 101-keyboards, and 60" XBox Ones with controllers but I'm not holding my breath.

You probably shouldn't feed your Xbox so much.

about a week ago
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Was Watch Dogs For PC Handicapped On Purpose?

404 Clue Not Found Gameplay (215 comments)

It's an Ubisoft game. Ubisoft Game: The Review tells you all you need to know:

By now weâ(TM)ve all heard of Ubisoft Game, and if you havenâ(TM)t, then youâ(TM)ve been living under a rock. Ubisoft Game is the latest in a long line of titles from Ubisoft, and with a bigger budget than ever before and no less than 75 of Ubisoftâ(TM)s 193 global studios working on it, thereâ(TM)s no doubt that this yearâ(TM)s Ubisoft Game is going to be the big one.

[snip]

Ubisoft Game is the story of Main Character, a gruff or sassy white man who is really good at parkour, killing, and killing while doing parkour. One of the most iconic features of Main Character is the way he dresses â" Main Characterâ(TM)s sense of style and flair really comes across in his tailored outfit, which makes him look distinctive and features a number of clear symbols that can be easily used in marketing and merchandising.

The game takes place in a big open world, with lots of people and maybe even animals living in it. That sounds like it should be a paradise, but itâ(TM)s not â" a Bad Thing has happened and Main Character is right in the thick of it. Or maybe heâ(TM)s the only one who can stop it? The story in Ubisoft Game is a bit uncompelling, but thatâ(TM)s okay, because thereâ(TM)s just so much to see and do.

about a month and a half ago
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ISS-Above Tells You When the International Space Station is Overhead (Video)

404 Clue Not Found Re:Being nice doesn't make it an ad (59 comments)

That's pretty much Tim's thought process [snip...]

That's giving him an awful lot of credit.

about 2 months ago
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Canada Poised To Buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 JSFs

404 Clue Not Found Re:Russia (417 comments)

Top Gun is a pretty good analogy for the defense industry, though. Even today we get to pay for their fuel and play with their balls.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

404 Clue Not Found Dasher? (552 comments)

The program Dasher is made to be used by immobilized but conscious patients. It's basically like autocomplete on your cell phone, but instead of typing each letter, you look at it. See their videos, like this YouTube one or the rest on their website, for a demo.

It can be used with an eye tracker, following her eye focus instead of eyelids. You might be able to adapt to a brain sensor headset.

about 2 months ago
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Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

404 Clue Not Found Re:Didn't deserve to die... (450 comments)

I disagree. Why didn't he deserve to die? Why would you want a society where people stole from pharmacies and only received light sentences?

If we jailed fewer people and executed more of them, and streamlined the death row process, we wouldn't need so many overflowing jails. It'd cut way down on recidivism too.

Obviously he didn't value human lives much. Why should we value his?

about 2 months ago
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Should Tesla Make Batteries Instead of Electric Cars?

404 Clue Not Found Re:They've been pushing this angle for a while (362 comments)

Are those things really innovations? They seem more like expensive gimmicks prone to maintenance headaches.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love a Tesla, but not for any of those "innovations".

I wish they'd sell a regular, plain-Jane electric car with standard parts. I don't need a $1000 glass cockpit that'll seem like an antique in 5 years, or electric pull-in handles that'll be impossible to find OEM parts for, or even a fancy nav system that my smartphone can just fine with. And gullwing doors? That's like the Rolex of doors, isn't it -- all form and no function? Unless I get bonus points for every cyclist I decapitate with them, where's the benefit?

I get that the Roadster was designed for the obscenely rich and the Model S was designed for the only-super rich. Hope the next model is more generic and able to compete with the Accord and Civic.

about 2 months ago
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EA Ending Online Support For Dozens of Games

404 Clue Not Found Re: damn EA.. i hate you (329 comments)

I think a GogNet would be neat too, but there is precedent. When the web first started gaining popularity, there was Kali.net, which let you play IPX games over TCP/IP. It's still around today and even supports games like NWN.

People also use Hamachi, a VPN, to emulate LANs to play with their friends.

Kali had a lobby system but Hamachi does not. In any case, using modern VPNs in conjunction with a gaming lobby for matchmaking and chat would be an awesome project for GOG or perhaps Steam.

about 3 months ago
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The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

404 Clue Not Found Re:I'll wait and see (117 comments)

Well, that's why I asked about the sideloading. I wasn't aware that Google was allowing Play services on generic/unbranded devices like that. Good to know, and I'll probably be getting one. Thanks!

about 4 months ago
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The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

404 Clue Not Found Re:I'll wait and see (117 comments)

Can that thing access the Play store or do you have to sideload all the apps?

about 4 months ago
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DARPA Embraces Nature With Establishment of Biological Technologies Office

404 Clue Not Found A late April Fool's? (40 comments)

This was posted yesterday.

about 4 months ago
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Ultima Online Devs Building Player-Run MMORPG

404 Clue Not Found Oh, look, another MMO... (75 comments)

I'm glad the UO folks are getting another shot at this. You might even call it a second life.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Easiest To Use Multi-User Map Editing?

404 Clue Not Found Flickr makes it really easy (52 comments)

Flickr does pretty much all of this. You can use a Yahoo account, a Facebook account, or a Google account to sign in.

Then make a Flickr group (it can be private or unlisted). Everybody can contribute photos to the shared group and geotag them. Then everyone else can see them on a map. You can also search for tags by keyword.

Done.

about 5 months ago
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Google Charging OEMs Licensing Fees For Play Store

404 Clue Not Found Re:Google already has a noose on manufacturers (225 comments)

Which is why I included Nexus devices in my statement. You have even quoted that, you could as well have read it.

Yes, I know. Let's move on from that to the central discussion here:

This is stupid. You like Google's services - and the reason why Google makes so much effort in those services is that they expect profit. Which is because Android devices can be sold to many different kinds of people. Which is BECAUSE of the "fragmentation". Some people want 3 inch screen, some want 6 inch screen. Some want IPS, some want OLED. All buy Android devices, all contribute to potential profit of Google, leading to Google doing a good job for their services.

Basically you want a cheeseburger and don't want to pay for it. Fragmentation is the payment for Google's services.

Yes and no. Fragmentation probably makes Google more money because of wider adoption, true. But the other model -- closedness -- also made Apple a lot of money, and they still pour a lot of effort into their services.

Don't know what you're getting at with the cheeseburgers. I am more than willing to pay for a closed Google ecosystem. I would pay even more for it, in terms of both money and freedom, than what I currently pay for Android.

And yes, I am asking to deprive others of their freedoms, in the same manner that I wish all electronics chargers were standardized with a "good enough" system like MicroUSB. That may prevent better chargers from gaining a foothold, and it might make companies less money, but it adds to ease of use. I feel the same way about mobile phone ecosystems: KISS, and enough is enough, and too much choice is meaningless for the consumer even if it benefits OEMs and Google.

Justifying what? The statement is not a justification, but a statement of a reason why people needing micro-SD slots might find their phone of choice in the fragmented Android world, but not necessarily in the non-fragmented Android world that you propose. Not sure you know what a tautology means, so I'll let that go until you learn that.

I think we're running around in circles without actually disagreeing with each other. You're saying (I think; correct me if wrong): Openness drives the marketplace and provides consumer choice. It also makes Google a lot of money. I'm saying yes it does, but at a cost to simplicity and usability, and I would prefer less choice and a more refined user experience. I don't disagree with you that openness is good for the market and good for Google, I'm saying it's bad for end-users (at least the ones like me, who value ease of use in a phone over freedom).

about 6 months ago
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Google Charging OEMs Licensing Fees For Play Store

404 Clue Not Found Re:Google already has a noose on manufacturers (225 comments)

No it doesn't make sense. If you want closed Google experience - you already have Nexus devices. Motorola devices are plain-old-Google too nowadays. Don't install the dialler replacements, messaging replacements, launcher replacements and you are good.

Still subject to the slower, carrier/OEM controlled updates relative to the Nexus line and iDevices.

Does the existence of Samsung devices, with altered Google experience, which you don't have to buy - affect your enjoyment of the pure Google experience in Nexus / Motorola devices? No if you are sane.

Absolutely. Android fragmentation makes it harder to buy made-to-fit third-party accessories (clock radios, waterproof cases, armbands). There are loads of "generic" accessories out there that approximate the size and connect via some mix of Bluetooth (whose versions differ drastically between phones) and stereo out.

The fragmentation also affects software developers, making it a lot more expensive for them to develop and test against 30,000 devices and 1,000 screen resolutions instead of the 4-5 iDevices. As a result, some developers don't even bother with Android releases and state fragmentation as the reason behind it. So yeah, the mere existence of all those models definitely affects me no matter what kind of Android I choose.

But the open-ness has enabled other people, who do not want a pure Google experience, to also enjoy almost-Android. Which increases application sales. Which improves experience on pure Google devices ecosystem as well. For example I want micro-SD card support which Google refuses to provide so I shop elsewhere. Every person has different needs - openness provides for all to be happy.

Don't really see how you're justifying this except by reiterating it as a tautology.

Your wanting one thing doesn't make other people wanting other things any less important.

It's just my opinion, man, not a dictation of universal morality. I WISH Google would do this because I would prefer, yes. It's up to them to weigh customers like me vs customers who like openness.

about 6 months ago
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Google Charging OEMs Licensing Fees For Play Store

404 Clue Not Found Re:Google already has a noose on manufacturers (225 comments)

Wait, what? WHAT? [citation needed] because most of those things would stll have happened. Many of them have actually happened on iPhone.

I think the devices themselves are citations. Compare the Nexus line (except the Verizon Galaxy Nexus), straight from Google, with the vast mess of third-party Android phones out there. 95% of the other Android phones will be several major versions behind, be filled with manufacturer crap, and will likely never see the latest versions of Android.

As for iPhone, as far as I know it doesn't suffer from those same issues because Apple doesn't allow the carriers to mess with them like that, but I have to admit I don't have that much firsthand experience with them. If this is wrong, please let me know and explain how they are similar in this situation.

And it's wrong, for two reasons. One, AOSP. Two, there have been non-crapped phones all along, and unlike in iPhoneLand we had customer choice. But there has been no iPhone ever which has embraced customer choice. They spend all their effort preventing you from doing things with your device.

Not sure how AOSP fits in to this argument. It is because of AOSP that carriers and OEMs are able to take a Google phone and turn it into their own wannabe POS.

The non-crapped phones are the ones direct from Google (or perhaps lately, the Google "Edition" ones) -- the same ones that Google retained control of and did not let third parties touch (beyond manufacturing them).

And about iPhone: Yes, you had customer choice, and that's great for you, the carriers, the OEMs, and anybody else who wanted 10,000 variations on the same basic design. I (and maybe anyone else who is lazy like me) just wanted a Googlephone that works well, not an open-source Android phone stuffed with crap that I have to endlessly tinker with.

Again: I don't care about the iPhone. I hate Apple. I only mentioned it to illustrate a difference in design philosophy, one that I hope Google will adopt.

The more relevant comparison is between a Googlephone (like the Nexus ones) and a generic Android phone. They may be built on top of the same AOSP framework, but the Googlephone's closedness is what makes them better for the aforementioned reasons (usability, clealinness, updates, etc.). To be clear: Android is not the draw. Google is the draw.

And, again, this is just me expressing my personal preference for a closed and neat ecosystem versus an open yet messy one. It is not a universal design requirement, just a preference, and one that I'm happy Google is increasingly embracing.

I just want a Google phone designed in the style of an iPhone, meaning first-party and vertically integrated. Not an actual iPhone, because I want to be a part of the Google ecosystem and not the Apple one.

And knowing Google, I doubt it will be a completely binary thing. Even as they close off certain parts of Android, the Nexus bootloaders are still open, AOSP is still open, etc. They don't need to completely wrest control away from the open-source community, but I hope they do reign in the carrier/OEM abuse of their previous openness in order to preserve the Googly bits.

Hope that makes some sense...

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Give One Get One Redux: OLPC XO-1 now on Amazon

404 Clue Not Found 404 Clue Not Found writes  |  more than 5 years ago

404 Clue Not Found (763556) writes "The One Laptop Per Child project's XO-1 laptop is once again available to the general public via its Give One Get One promotion, where $400 will buy two laptops, one for the purchaser and one for "a child in the emerging world". Having learned from their delivery and fulfillment headaches the first time around, this time they partnered with Amazon.com to handle shipping. But a year after its initial release, the market has become saturated with Eee-wannabe netbooks from every major manufacturer. Can the XO-1's charitable appeal, unique chassis and dual-mode screen compete with the superior performance and standard operating systems of its newer peers?"

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