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Comments

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Will Microsoft Sell Off Its Entertainment Division?

Gideon Wells Re:MS's gaming strategy has been weird for years (404 comments)

What is advantageous to Microsoft with games is not the same as to gamers.

By pushing a console style market Microsoft is getting a chunk of every game for that console. Look into the problems Fez has with updates. Just to update your game you need to pay Microsoft. Windows 8 potentially falls into this vein. If they can get people to treat computers like iOS then they'll have a chance at a slice of every game sold through the windows market.

But that is the plan B. The more people who game on a PC, the less console gamers (in theory), and thus the less direct control they have over you. To the point that Sony, maybe Microsoft too, are looking to find ways of preventing you from playing used games on your consoles. They don't care about the processing power of PCs over consoles. Their concerns are that you buy games for their console.

about 2 years ago
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Apple CEO Likens Surface To Car That Flies, Floats

Gideon Wells Re:Someone upload a video of him saying this.. (377 comments)

Speaking of which, doesn't Apple already produce a device similar to a mouse, but is designed to use touch style navigation with similar ease to a tablet on laptops/desktops?

about 2 years ago
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Pennsylvania Fracking Law Opens Up Drilling On College Campuses

Gideon Wells Re:How big are the campuses anyways? (208 comments)

I don't quite see why people are too worried at the moment. College campuses, at least on the local level, are tax exempt. So I'm betting colleges tried classifying all their land as "campus" decades back and are now kicking themselves for doing so. Drilling ideally takes an acre of land. So most campuses won't need to worry about a drill placed in their central commons or in their student housing flower gardens.

Now, you can get that acre down to something smaller. An acre is preferred as it means you can hold your water (Drilling takes a lot of water. One local permit allowed use of 900,000 gallons a day.) on site. So if they were pressed for need a company could hold the water offsite, truck it in as needed, and... why? So much of the state is available. Why go through that effort yet?

What a lot of the media and politicians aren't telling you about "Drill here!" is it just will never work like they say. All the drillers abandoned my county with a note saying "It was nice. See you again in a few years, maybe?". Not because of years of protests. Because so many people got into the drilling business that it crashed the market. Natural Gas is so cheap that the companies are slowly pulling out. There are signed, legally locked in, contracts and deals that aren't being used. Drillers don't need to go through the headache of trying to drill in campus-campus as opposed to college owned land.

more than 2 years ago
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Roundup Tolerant GM Maize Linked To Tumor Development

Gideon Wells Re:Get it right (356 comments)

I think you might be wrong. Took me a few readings as the wording was a tad wonky. I believe there were four test groups:

* Round up and GM corn at three levels.
* Just round up and normal corn at three levels.
* Normal water and GM corn at three levels.
* Control - Tap and normal corn.

The article claims only the control group was healthy.

more than 2 years ago
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Designers Criticize Apple's User Interface For OS X and iOS

Gideon Wells Re:"a number of user interface designers" (484 comments)

This anti-skeuo fad is basically an artistic/aesthtic movement. Like or hate it, I don't think they were looking at Win 8 from a functionality standpoint. It is the visual design equivalent of a group of people going around saying "You know, full service gas stations barely exist any more. We should go on a crusade against people using the term 'fill 'er up'."

Or more geek/nerd realted "Why the heck is a 3.25 floppy the symbol for saving still? We should invent some entirely new symbol or just use the word 'save'. Why are folders looking like folders on computers? That's lazy thinking. In fact, we should consider calling them something other than folders too...".

more than 2 years ago
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Apple iPad 2 As Fast As the Cray-2 Supercomputer

Gideon Wells Re:Pretty stupid gag (231 comments)

The only saving grace of the sketch were the people who pulled out their iPhone 4s for comparison and began talking about how much faster, how much lighter, cooler, the thing was. Faster, well, new uncluttered phone, but still.

more than 2 years ago
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Magic: the Gathering Is Turing Complete

Gideon Wells Such vitriol for M:TG in these early comments (135 comments)

Like we /.ers are to talk about nerds or geekiness. Half of us would install a toaster in our cars just so we could have a toaster to install linux on while stuck in traffic. Yeesh.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop?

Gideon Wells The Linux Problem as I see it (1154 comments)

For it to take off you need the masses to accept it. Windows has that through usability, brand recognition, and being everywhere. You are familiar with it. Apple, in its comeback, did it by becoming the chic OS. In other words, Windows is the four door coup and wood paneled van. Mac is polished corvette. Linux, however, prides itself on being usable anywhere and workable on everyone. In other words, that thing built on weekend in the garage.

Now it might work great, and does work great. There is one key problem to it. There is a guy I know who is really gung ho linux and open source. Was bashing M$ left and right in how inferior their product was. He needed a keyboard and mouse because in his rush he forget his behind. I offered him what I had on hand as a spare, a wireless keyboard and mouse with a fob. I had used it just fine on Macs and various windows machines from XP to Win 8 preview. He froze for a moment with dread/fear in his eyes.

"You don't have a wired keyboard and mouse?"
"Somewhere maybe, this won't work? You don't even want to try?"
"It will eventually, but it's Linux. Unless I have the driver's on hand it might take longer to check and double check, find, and finally get that working than to do what I need to do."

That's the problem. The people you need to get to use a Linux Desktop for it to take off are the people who are an anathema to what Linux stands for. Linux by design is meant to be fragmented, tinkered with, altered, improved. You need to hook people who barely want to be bothered taking a car to get an oil change, let alone changing oil period.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Surface Release Date Confirmed

Gideon Wells Re:No, I disagree (respectfully) (175 comments)

D**m it. You're right. Long day, and my brain was a bit addled.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Surface Release Date Confirmed

Gideon Wells Re:No, I disagree (respectfully) (175 comments)

Logically, nothing. Practicality, sometimes it is the small thing. When looking for my latest vehicle I was dead set on a hatchback for that extra storage if needed. I have a desktop, laptop, and tablet. Each has their place. You accept this already. I am excited over Surface (at least Surface RT) despite owning a iPad already.

Why migrate away from the "iPad" standard?

1) The freaking stylus. I get Jobs hated styluses because he never got over the period you were forced to use them. I get everyone wants to copy his "genius". Still, there are times when I want to write on my digital tablet like it is actually a tablet. Using my finger on an iPad feels like I'm writing out notes with a highlighter. Using a third party stylus feels like a crayon. Microsoft is recognizing some of us want to use pens. Maybe I'm wrong, but this is something that I haven't seen in Android or iOS yet.

2) Why I say Surface RT and not just Surface. Same operating system as my computer at home. I can use the same software. Sure, it may not be wise to install Steam and/or Photoshop to this thing. At least I know I can readily chance between them with similar environments with programs I use across each.

Why not an ultrabook?
1) I don't own one. My laptop was my main computer before I admitted I needed something with more power for my photo/video editing jobs. I see laptops as portable home offices. Ultrabooks are too small for my taste as a laptop. To me, Ultrabooks are like the GMS Caballero. Some look cool, but in the end if I want a vehicle with a bed I'd be looking at a truck. Not a car.

2) There are times when having an ultrabook might be useful. The Surface RT is a tablet that can become an impromptu ultrabook much easier than any ultrabook I've seen so far can become an impromptu tablet. I like that little keyboard cover. If needed, it is there. If not? Hey, just fold it out of the way. It has just enough form factor to feel like real keys instead of pecking at glass.

tl;dr:

So to get back to a car analogy. I see the ultrabook as trying to be a GMC Caballero. The iPad and most tablets as simply being cars or compact cars with trunks. I see the Surface RT as a hatchback car. Sometimes you need that versatility.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Won't Say If Skype Is Secure Or Not. Time To Change?

Gideon Wells Re:Seriously? (237 comments)

Speaking of the law as well, let's assume that they actively doing intercepts for law enforcement. They might just be bungling being overly careful.

They say they are secure: Someone finds a way to hack and listen in to a VOIP call. Risk being sued for misrepresenting the security of their system.

They say there are flaws, or even there could be flaws, maybe even acknowledging one day they might be forced to allow the equivalent of a wire tap: Attacked relentlessly even if they don't know if any flaws actually exist, but are being honest.

If you are simultaneously lawsuit/PR wary this is a "Do you still beat your wife?" question.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Gets the Importance of Packaging; Why Doesn't Google?

Gideon Wells Scale (639 comments)

Apple promotes its tech as high class, well, higher than most tech. Google is more down to Earth in how it presents. Sort of. The difference is serving the same wine in a wine bottle, a box, or a reused bottle of coke.

more than 2 years ago
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RIM CEO On What Went Wrong

Gideon Wells Re:Apple happened (299 comments)

As an "IT Goon" I'd be more than glad to see RIM gone. I would be more than willing to open everything up to competent employees. The problem is the lowest common denominator. Maybe, maybe, you just want Angry Birds. Maybe you get the free version, maybe you pay for the extra levels.

I do what my bosses tell me to do. One employee decided to attempt to jailbreak his company phone using a company computer and left all sorts of keygens and whatnot on the computer and I am now ordered to make our network tighter than Fort Knox. I am not looking forward to the move to a "white list" system of web browsing. Public access account on a public computer, so we don't know who specifically did it. Not to mention other issues. Seriously people, who the hell pirates "Armageddon"? Why does anyone feel the need to pirate Angry Birds full version of all things too. It is what, $2.99 at most? If I get one more complaint about how IE is "broken" because the user has half the screen blocked by tool bars... I thought stories like that last sentence were jokes back in school.

The less IT issues I have to resolve the more time I can spend doing other things. Good days, studying up and improving my skills. Bad days, Minecraft.

more than 2 years ago
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Valve Will Let Gamers Pick Games To Appear On Steam

Gideon Wells Two birds, one stone (129 comments)

1) Kickstarter effect, developers can see what the fans are craving and can use it to get funding.

2) "Hey, don't blame us. You picked it!"

more than 2 years ago
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Apple-Motorola Judge Questions Need For Software Patents

Gideon Wells He volunteered... (372 comments)

On one hand, I agree with him. On the other, we have a judge who volunteered apparently just to make a stand in this case. How long before "receptive" judges start volunteering to argue for the other side...

more than 2 years ago
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FBI To Shut Down DNSChanger Servers Monday -- But Should It Cut Off 300k PCs?

Gideon Wells Re:About time... (140 comments)

Well, isn't there a way to trick/force all these computers who are affected to go to a website stating: "Yo, you've be hacked and infected. We have taken down the websites, but you are still infected. Do this to get fixed."

more than 2 years ago
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Used Software Can Be Sold, Says EU Court of Justice

Gideon Wells Re:Just in time... (385 comments)

You'd likely have to buy a full Win 8 though. Otherwise Microsoft has nothing stopping them from saying "Well, this is an addition to Win 7. You no longer own Win 7, so this addition license is no longer valid. You can just buy a new Win 7 license for this to work with."

more than 2 years ago
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Chatbot Eugene Wins Biggest Turing Test Ever

Gideon Wells Re:Spell check (235 comments)

Before, never. Now? I'm tempted to make it my life, and by life I mean until I fall a sleep tonight, goal of working it into every sentence.

more than 2 years ago
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Cyanide-Producing GM Grass Linked To Texas Cattle Deaths

Gideon Wells Re:Looks like crap from CBS (305 comments)

This was something I was wondering.

Even though I don't doubt this happened, the whole summary and concept sounds too much like a cheap scare tactic. The mechanisms for cyanide production had to come from somewhere. The cyanide production had to either be natural to the plant strain originally or involved with whatever was added. What you say is similarly true for yeast. Fermentation of alcohol has to occur in anaerobic environments as otherwise yeast produce other compounds. Still more research needs to be done.

If what was added, kill use of this strain while examining it as one would a medical treatment/substance that passed FDA inspection, but started killing people.

If else natural, could be a coincidence that this was GM. Perform studied/experiments against un-GM versions of same plant strain to see if this is the capabilities of the "normal plant" in similar environmental factors, or a mutation in part of the plant's genome that should not have been influenced by the GM modifications.

Else a combination of the two, study to see how to prevent this from happening again. If unprovable either way, release a version that removes the capability to produce cyanide unless it is a necessary requirement for the plant to survive.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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More flammable water possibly linked to fracking

Gideon Wells Gideon Wells writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Gideon Wells (1412675) writes ""Many water supplies in northern Pennsylvania have long contained methane, because of the area's poorly constructed water wells and unusual geological features. But the contamination in Ms. Vargson's well is among the first cases that state regulators have attributed to natural-gas drilling."

Not sure what to say really. On one hand I feel sorry that a person's water has turned flammable for any reason. On the other hand I'm just glad this wasn't the Granville, PA a county over. My county is already in heavy debates over shale drilling and how close some of those potential wells are to local reservoirs."

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