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Microsoft Gearing Up To Release a Smartwatch of Its Own

MaWeiTao Re:The Windows Phone failed. (165 comments)

It seems you're living in the UK. Windows Phone has had more success there than in the US. American consumers are fairly close-minded; they, by and large, follow the herd and refuse to consider alternatives. Android is gaining traction, but I still come across people who chose that platform only grudgingly; they prefer the iPhone but aren't willing to pay the premium to get one. They're painfully ignorant of other platforms, as evidenced by all the fanfare over ApplePay and the way people talk like Apple has invented NFC payments.

The problems for Windows Phone are exacerbated by atrocious retail and carrier support. Microsoft talks extensively about partnerships but carriers do little to promote the platform and most retailers don't care their phones at all. The only place you'll find them are carrier stories and there employees, either due to ignorance or pressure from management, actively steer consumers way from Windows Phone.

yesterday
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Navy Tests Unpowered Exoskeleton

MaWeiTao Looks familiar... (79 comments)

Conceptually, it seems similar to the kinds of rigs the movie industry uses to support cameras. I'm a bit surprised they haven't done this sooner considering I don't see anything here that's particularly exotic.

about a week ago
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The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola

MaWeiTao Re:Ebola threat (478 comments)

Just because socialized healthcare doesn't exist at a national level doesn't mean it doesn't exist at all. At the state level there are tons of programs for the poor that pretty much guarantee that all healthcare is free.

about two weeks ago
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Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

MaWeiTao Re: Monitoring software (236 comments)

It looks to me like that was the best possible outcome. Too many people have an all-or-nothing mentality which, in this case, would have resulted in the work all being outsourced. In other cases the company just goes out of business, period.

about two weeks ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

MaWeiTao Re:YOU'RE AN IDIOT (554 comments)

I noticed performance improvements upgrading from Vista to Windows 8. I can't say the same about OSX or iOS.

about three weeks ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

MaWeiTao Re:Hardware isn't Progressing (554 comments)

Not to be pedantic, but I'm almost positive plastic pistons are not used in F1. They wouldn't be able to withstand neither the heat nor the forces. They do incorporate special designs to allow the engines to operate high RPMs. The valves, for example, don't have springs, they're pneumatic. With springs they'd be subject to valve flutter.

The days of 18k RPM are over. Maximum is about 15k RPM but the cars shift at 10k to 11k.

about three weeks ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

MaWeiTao Re:tell my 2008 Mac . latest for $35 (554 comments)

You must have gotten your Mac right on the cusp where they went fully 64-bit. Or maybe it's a Mac Pro? I got my iMac at about the same time and I'm stuck 2 versions behind now.

about three weeks ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

MaWeiTao Re:Buy a Mac (554 comments)

My iMac is stuck at 10.7 despite being a 64-bit Intel machine. Some random component inside that machine, related to the BIOS if I remember correctly, is not 64-bit and so I'm locked out of future updates. It sucks, but then OSX and specifically browser performance has degraded with every update. I have a PC that's about the same age, maybe a bit older, running Windows 8.1 flawlessly.

about three weeks ago
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California Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrants For Drone Surveillance

MaWeiTao Re:Oh yes, we were (115 comments)

It's not really surprising at all considering that this reality is demonstrated in Europe and Asia on a daily basis. Once you accept that the government is responsible for the overarching welfare of society it's natural that they would adopt an authoritarian stance and intervene in corporate and economic affairs, all for the greater good.

That both ends of the political spectrum end up adopting similar approaches is probably inevitable. It may violate the original ideology, but bureaucracy makes it inevitable that both sides adopt the same strategy. It's how they market themselves that varies, but what they want is to secure their power base. That their decisions may or may not benefit the people is a side effect.

about three weeks ago
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Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

MaWeiTao Re:Third option (421 comments)

Too late... I saw it mentioned on one of the popular morning shows today.

about a month ago
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Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

MaWeiTao Re:The big question is 'why' ? (330 comments)

I'm not sure what rock you've been living under if you believe Minecraft is last week's news. I might have thought so too until I started noticing that kids are more into Minecraft than at any point in the past. I think the cultural impact of that game has thus far been underestimated.

Outside of Farmville, Candy Crush and that class of social games I've never seen a game cross gender lines like Minecraft. I can't recall every seeing a game with such widespread, universal appeal, period. Super Mario Bros doesn't even come close. Walk through any store with a Minecraft book or toy in hand and you'll have a half-dozen kids comment on it. Every boy I've met under 14 plays the game and seems to do so on a regular basis.

It's possible Minecraft is peaking, but I personally think this is uncharted territory for any game. It's on the level of a Facebook in it's ubiquity. Someone will eventually unseat both, but it won't be easy. In the meantime there's so much that can be added to Minecraft to sustain that popularity, and significant updates still come on a regular basis.

Not that Microsoft couldn't kill the game by sticking everything behind pay walls but hopefully they'll be smarter than that.

about a month ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

MaWeiTao Re:Freak outbreak of common sense (421 comments)

I suppose in your universe cars would come without tires so that they can't force you to go with Pirelli over Michelin.

People want convenience. They don't want the pain in the ass of having to choose and then install their own OS, or worse, paying someone else to do so. I can't imagine a PC would be any cheaper without Windows, and if so, how much cheaper would it be? $20? $50? But the alternative is paying $80+ for a copy of Windows, which most consumers would inevitably buy. Many would then be forced to spend another $50-$100 to pay someone to install it.

For those who really don't want Windows, there are already countless avenues for purchasing a Windows-free machine.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

MaWeiTao Make the smartwatch a dumbphone. (471 comments)

It's a bit ironic that nearly all smartphones are growing, including Apple's, but everyone is jumping on this smartwatch bandwagon which features a display too small to be truly useful.

With smartwatches why even bother with a mobile phone at all? Allow it to work with a desktop, laptop or tablet for more complex functionality. When untethered give it dumbphone functionality so that the watch can at least make calls and send texts, even if they have to be dictated. I think that's well within the realm of what's feasible with current technology and then you're giving the watch some level of true value.

The fitness tracking functionality is nice, but as data shows, adherence is abysmal for Fitbits and the rest. That functionality isn't going to make non-active individuals suddenly active, and fitness freaks don't necessarily need the info. If anything, these devices typically just create more work.

about a month ago
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Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

MaWeiTao Plastic Metal (220 comments)

I don't get the obsessive appeal of phones with metal shells. Every iPhone I've ever seen that's led a life case-free really shows it's age, with all kinds of scuffs and obvious wear. The wear on plastic phones is far less apparent because the scratches don't show nearly as much.

I suppose excessive wear plus for the device maker as a motivator to get consumers to upgrade on a regular basis. It certainly helps that your average stupid consumer equates cold metal with luxury.

about 2 months ago
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Japan To Launch a Military Space Force In 2019

MaWeiTao Re:Strategic coverage (150 comments)

Regardless, visit Japan and you'd never know their economy had been stagnant for over two decades. I'd take that kind of stagnation to American "growth" any day. They may be running a huge deficit, but at least the money seems to be used more productively than it ever is in the US. I'd love to see the kinds of massive infrastructure projects they undertake introduced over here. Stimulus spending in America consists of pointless and useless beautification on some stretch of road, not a new bridge link to cut travel times by half and foster local development.

I've suspected that their economy has stagnated because Japanese companies have expanded as far as they possibly can. The only way to rekindle growth is to engage in the kind of ingenuity and risk taking which Japanese may not be capable of. I certainly don't think this is something the government can fix. It's either that or US-style cost-cutting and layoffs. Although, while that would give the illusion of growth in the short term it would also gut their core competencies.

about 3 months ago
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Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

MaWeiTao Re:News source (165 comments)

I agree with you on everything exception your mention of Democracy Now. They definitely cover some legitimate stories and they haven't been commercialized, but they're clearly pushing a particular worldview and appealing to a certain demographic in very much the same way as Foxnews. Just because you happen to agree with that particular perspective doesn't mean that they aren't biased.

about 3 months ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

MaWeiTao Re:What's the point (353 comments)

You've posted twice about the supposed wonders of the NHS, but the reality doesn't seem to corroborate your claims. There are numerous reports about the massive financial crisis the NHS is facing. Evidently the problems are the worst they've been in a decade, resulting in significant layoffs and that 44% of hospitals will end the year in deficit. The fact that the things were bad only a decade ago seems to imply that the system has always had a problem with sustainability.

Sustainability seems to be a significant problem with socialized healthcare systems the world over. That's where the problems arise. Americans are hit with the cost of healthcare up front, Europeans pay for it indirectly via high taxes and other compromises. You'll likely be hit with a huge bill in the US, but at least if a doctor spots something of concern you'll be scheduled for tests the very next day. If they find a problem you can be in surgery the following week. In Europe you end up on waiting lists and hope things don't get worse before you get treatment. Unless you're wealthy, then you can pay for prompt care, which ironically causes the same economic divide people complain about in the US.

There are other more subtle problems I've personally observed in Europe in Asia. Doctors are overburdened and relatively underpaid. So I've found that they tend to gloss over issues and don't really spend enough time evaluating a patient's condition. These and many other problems are the sorts of things you only really start noticing when you've lived in a country for any length of time. I've noticed that immigrants to the US always complain about the cost of healthcare. Until they start noticing those subtle differences, the extra effort American doctors put into patient care, prompt treatment and a general sense that everything is handled more thoroughly.

At the end of the day, healthcare is a massively complex and expensive beast. I've yet to see an implementation that comes close to solving most critical issues.

about 3 months ago
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How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

MaWeiTao Re:Political/Moral (305 comments)

The problem with Occupy Wall Street was that instead of being about real and legitimate problems it turned into a bunch of self-centered brats bitching about things like college loans. Idiots stormed a Bank of America branch at one point demanding something like college loans being forgiven. If they have an issue with the cost of eduction they should have gone to the source, protest the universities themselves for their wasteful spending and exorbitant tuition. Instead, Americans have this irrational loyalty to the college they attended and are far too comfortable with the idea of credit. Just think, the very thing they were demanding, easy credit, was one of the bigger sources of economic trouble.

about 4 months ago
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GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

MaWeiTao Re:No one will ever buy a GM product again (307 comments)

I'm pretty sure this engineer is actually a middle manager. This falls under his area of responsibility because it's not upper management's responsibility to worry about such granular details. That said, a big problem with corporate America is that middle management is not measured by actual performance and productivity. So this guy solved the problem in a way that probably looked good to the higher ups because he wasn't causing disruption. Honestly, he likely didn't care either way; all he wanted was a secure paycheck and to be out the door at 5pm sharp.

about 4 months ago
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U.S. Drone Attack Strategy Against Al-Qaeda May Be Wrong

MaWeiTao Absurd comparison. (433 comments)

This is a ridiculous comparison to make. Corporate executives don't have to worry about a missile being lobbed into their BMW on their morning commute. Middle managers also don't have to worry about being caught up in the collateral damage.

There are legitimate arguments to be made against drone strikes, but I struggle to see how it isn't effective. Al-Qaeda clearly been forced to change the way it operates. That big open air meeting they held in Yemen, in broad daylight was their attempt to pretend that they're not intimidated. The fact that a drone strike followed the release of that video shows the reality of the situation they face. If nothing else, it brings the same level of fear to these terrorists that they inflict on their own fellow citizens.

about 5 months ago

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