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Is It Time To End Our Love Affair With the QWERTY Keyboard?

Mr. Shiny And New Re:For soft keyboards? Why not? (557 comments)

I don't know about iPhone, but on Android it's trivial to install a new input method and there are lots available, many which don't resemble keyboards at all.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Find a Job In China For Non-native Speaker?

Mr. Shiny And New Re:Construction or landscaping (402 comments)

for the wage offered

You're right, of course, and also wrong. The farmer isn't necessarily being greedy, but is rather also constrained by the economics of selling his crop. So yeah, if his crop rots in the field, it's lost. But if the market price for tomatoes is $1 each but he has to pay locals $1.25 each to pick them, when the illegal immigrants used to be paid $0.50 each, you can see how the farmer might not have a choice.

The real solution involves some measure of making consumers pay higher prices for products so that those who made it can be paid higher wages. But when the economy is fundamentally built on "illegal" labour and below-minimum-wage wages, everybody has to step up to pay the higher wages for those workers if we want them to be paid more.

more than 2 years ago

Accent Monitoring: Innovation Or Rights Violation?

Mr. Shiny And New Re:It's a reasonable requirement (448 comments)

My 3 year old daughter goes to daycare where her current teachers are both non-native speakers (one from China, one from a slavic country) and the both have an accent. It is not harming her speech at all, she learns new words just fine. Sometimes she learns them improperly but they get corrected in short order. The key is that children hear language from many different sources and incorporate all of it, not just the one or two teachers with an accent. So I think this whole accent thing is quite overblown.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Living Without Internet At-Home Access?

Mr. Shiny And New Re:Been there, done that, so true. (462 comments)

What kind of post-apocalyptic city do you live in that doesn't have radio stations with music, or record stores (albeit, they don't sell records anymore)? Maybe things are different in Canada, but none of the things you are saying are true about the cities I am familiar with.

1. Stores now can make money from internet presence and this helps keep the bricks-and-mortar location profitable.
2. Blockbuster... well, I'll give you that one. Netflix has done them in. Also illegal downloads. Also new releases cost WAY less than they used to (esp when you factor in inflation). So I'd say buying movies is a cost-effective alternative to renting.
3. Broadcast TV is very location-dependant. Cable TV has always been superior. As for better shows, I think nostalgia has confused you. Yes, SOME shows were better then than SOME now, but on average, there's a better selection now with some much better productions.
4. Radio: still alive in many cities.
5. Record stores: There are too many to count in my city.
6. Computer parts: My friends and I never buy online. Better to go into the store and negotiate a discount with the people there. These stores are always full of customers. They are everywhere and expanding and opening new locations. So I don't think the internet has hurt them.

Maybe you're just living in the wrong city? :)

about 3 years ago

My Crowdsourced Follow-Up About Crowdsourcing

Mr. Shiny And New Re:Hmm.. (59 comments)

Not only fulfills the requirements, but almost in exactly the same way as proposed by the author and his crowd.

more than 3 years ago

Woman Wins Libel Suit By Suing Wrong Website

Mr. Shiny And New Re:What should do (323 comments)

I think the suit being thrown out before it gets to court is contingent on the defendant responding to the suit. No defendant means no motions to dismiss.

more than 3 years ago

'Month of PHP Security' Finds 60 Bugs

Mr. Shiny And New Re:One of the biggest problems is configurability (120 comments)

PHP's strength: ubiquity. PHP is installed everywhere, so if you are intending for your application to be deployed on diverse machines with low-cost hosting it is a good bet. I like to code in Java but for my home website it's all PHP because that comes free with my hosting provider, whereas better environments are more complicated to set up or more expensive.

more than 4 years ago

AT&T Glitch Connects Users To Wrong Accounts

Mr. Shiny And New Re:But... what? (138 comments)

Some of the things you mention as requiring lots of connections could be handled by proxies or replacements inside the NAT. For example, DNS and HTTP can be inside the NAT. This would reduce the number of connections that need to actually cross the NAT boundary from the phone itself.

more than 4 years ago

Mozilla Rolls Out Firefox 3.6 RC, Nears Final

Mr. Shiny And New Re:well super (145 comments)

Well, presumably some code-signing can alleviate those concerns, but if not, downloading-after would be fine. At least it would be _possible_ to update it somehow, instead of the asinine way it works now.

more than 4 years ago

Mozilla Rolls Out Firefox 3.6 RC, Nears Final

Mr. Shiny And New Re:well super (145 comments)

I fully agree that the corporate use-case is different. However Firefox is notoriously annoying to corp admins because they want to customize the install and manage it using a software distribution system. Microsoft provides an IE customization and management kit that allows this, but Mozilla does not have anything similar for Firefox. If they had that it would be the natural place to put in such a feature.

I can understand, though I disagree with, the logic that says regular users shouldn't install updates and we won't even try to elevate. But there is no way to even be notified of updates at all. There isn't even an easy way to get to the update website to visually check. You're just left in the dark. If my parents ever buy a new computer, I would want them to run as a regular user, however with this limitation I don't know if I can recommend it.

more than 4 years ago

Mozilla Rolls Out Firefox 3.6 RC, Nears Final

Mr. Shiny And New Re:well super (145 comments)

I can install it as a normal user. Here's how:

1. Log into Windows as a normal user.
2. Double click installer.
3. Windows prompts you to elevate automatically. Enter password for elevation.
4. Install. Close down FF if it runs after install because it is running as admin.

Then, as a normal user, start Firefox. You are logged in as your normal user and running the browser you just installed. But mysteriously FF's update feature is completely turned off. It doesn't even WARN you that there is an update pending, never mind downloading it, or downloading it and asking to elevate privs so that you can install it or ask an admin. The feature is so fully disabled that you can't even ask it to check for updates. This means that I have to rely on hearing about updates through some third-party channel, such as /., then remember to start Firefox as an admin to manually make it check for updates. This is so fundamentally broken that it's clear not a single FF developer uses a normal user account on Vista or 7.

more than 4 years ago

Canada Supreme Court Broadens Internet "Luring" Offense

Mr. Shiny And New Re:It probably won't protect more children (596 comments)

I read the ruling. There is an actual offence which was committed. It is against the law (a law passed by parliament) to communicate with a child under 14 (at the time this offence took place the law said 14) for the purposes of facilitating a secondary crime such as abduction or a sex crime or a child porn crime.

The accused admits to have had sexual conversations with the child who had represented herself as 13 (she was 12). The accused admits that he stated a desire to have oral sex with the girl. He denies any desire to actually meet the girl or to actually have sex with her or to actually abduct her or to actually get dirty pictures of her or whatever.

The trial court ruled that since he didn't want to meet her he wasn't facilitating a crime.

The supreme court ruled that "facilitating" means, among other things, "making easier" or "making possible" or "making more possible" the acts in question. So there is a question about whether or not he "facilitated" under the terms of the law.

Thus the accused will receive a new trial.

So there WAS a law and it sounds like he did break it. This is not a new law. This is a clarification of the wording of the old law. The sticky point seems to be that facilitating merely involves gaining the trust of a child, so any talk which gains the trust of a child could be facilitating. However it would require a strong burden of evidence to prove that such talk was for facilitating the crime.

more than 4 years ago

Canada Supreme Court Broadens Internet "Luring" Offense

Mr. Shiny And New Re:Bring out your mind readers. (596 comments)

That story sounds fishy. I thought most places had age-of-consent laws that make more sense than that. In Canada the age of consent laws allow, for example, a 16 yo and 14yo to have sex even though the age of consent is 16. And a 16yo could have sex with a 40yo and it's not a crime (well, excluding other categories, such as if the adult is in a position of authority over the child).

more than 4 years ago

Behind the 4GB Memory Limit In 32-Bit Windows

Mr. Shiny And New Re:I didn't ... (756 comments)

They didn't remove it because the 32-bit driver situation is not improved, and with Vista the official way to access 4GB of RAM on a desktop is to use the 64-bit OS. Seems fairly obvious.

more than 4 years ago

Behind the 4GB Memory Limit In 32-Bit Windows

Mr. Shiny And New Re:I didn't ... (756 comments)

The Intel Xeon processors introduced a mode called PAE that increases pointer size to 36 bits. This allows the OS kernel to access more than 4GB of ram. Individual processes typically can not access this RAM directly but the OS and CPU handle this using hardware and virtual memory.

The Slashdot post is typically alarmist in claiming that there is an MS conspiracy afoot when in fact it's that PAE causes problems for countless drivers that are used on consumer computers but aren't used on servers. Servers have a much smaller range of hardware and the hardware and drivers are tested for PAE. Your desktop was not tested for PAE. So Microsoft disables the feature because you probably don't need it and it probably won't work anyway. If you know what you are doing you can get a Server OS and make it work.

Now, you say, "Gee, it's 2009! Who's Microsoft to say I don't need 4GB of RAM?" Well, XP is 8 years old and that is when this limitation was introduced. And your consumer version of Vista or 7 will work fine with 4GB if you get the 64-bit version. So everyone can calm down and pick the right OS for the job instead of whining about the sky falling.

more than 4 years ago

Behind Menuet, an OS Written Entirely In Assembly

Mr. Shiny And New Re:Stupid license. No thanks. (419 comments)

Remember, most of the time bloat-free == freature-free. Sure, your mobile phone will be really really fast but you won't be able to add any software to it since nobody else uses this OS.

Just look at the difficulty systems like FreeBSD/NetBSD/OpenBSD have with apps like KDE or Gnome: changes to these apps frequently work fine on Linux and break on *BSD. Now imagine some tiny OS trying to maintain ports of everything. This OS has its own API and everything. Every single app will need to be rewritten.

And in the end their claims for performance will only take them so far: Linux and Windows and MacOSX have had lots of performance tuning by very smart people, and Minuet will have some real challenges in the general case. Sure, Linux could be faster, but overall, when you're getting real work done, you'll usually get it done faster with mature tools.

more than 4 years ago

YouTube Phasing Out Support For IE6

Mr. Shiny And New Re:Market share (481 comments)

Automatic updates weren't enabled on XP until one of the service packs. So millions of PCs will never know about the new browsers.

about 5 years ago

Of Catty Rants and Copyrights

Mr. Shiny And New Re:IANAL (339 comments)

Fair Dealing != Fair Use. Fair Dealing is far more constrained. Note: format shifting is typically believed legal under fair use but would need to be explicitly specified as allowable under Fair Dealing. Note how time shifting is given its own line item.

more than 4 years ago

BYU Prof. Says University Classrooms Will Be "Irrelevant" By 2020

Mr. Shiny And New Re:Sure it will. (469 comments)

exactly. And the med students can dissect cadavers at home too.

more than 5 years ago



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