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Aereo Files For Bankruptcy

Shirley Marquez Aereo was always doomed... (137 comments)

If the Supreme Court had ruled in Aereo's favor, the broadcasters would have just bought a new law. All the court did is save them some time and money.

4 days ago
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Microsoft Aims To Offer Windows 10 Upgrades For All Windows Phone 8 Lumias

Shirley Marquez Re:Who cares (77 comments)

They fixed some but not all of the problems in the updates. Some more can be fixed with third party add-ons: there are multiple Start Menu apps for Windows 8, and Modern Mix lets you run Metro apps in a normal window rather than having them take over the entire screen. Even with that some awkward things remain, notably the odd split of capabilities between the PC Settings app for Metro and the Control Panel app for the desktop. (On Windows 8 and 8.1 there are things you can do in PC Settings that you can't do in Control Panel, and vice versa, so you have to know how to use both to do the full range of administrative tasks.)

Windows 10, if things stay as they are in the Technical Preview, does everything right and should make users of older versions of Windows happy. The default user interface of the Technical Preview is nearly identical to the Windows 7 UI if you run it on a system with a keyboard and mouse; the Start menu is back and Metro apps run in windows. It only switches to the Metro interface if you run it on a device with no keyboard or mouse, like a tablet. Hybrid devices like the Microsoft Surface will automatically switch to the other interface when you attach or remove the keyboard.

There will be a few bits of the new. The Start menu on Windows 10 has some Live Tiles along with the usual menus. Microsoft is working on expanding the capability of the PC Settings app to be more fully capable and include all the important things you can do in Control Panel, so that bit of UI schizophrenia will go away.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Aims To Offer Windows 10 Upgrades For All Windows Phone 8 Lumias

Shirley Marquez Re:for free? (77 comments)

Windows is currently free of charge on phones, small tablets, and low-cost laptops. Unless Microsoft reverses course on that, the Windows Phone upgrades will be free.

This isn't all that big a commitment. The number of Windows Phone 8 models is modest: perhaps a dozen Lumia models plus a couple of phones from other companies. So it's not much worse than Apple's commitment to iOS updates for older phones and tablets. It's not like, say, committing to updating every Android Jelly Bean and KitKat phone to Lollipop; that would require a lot more development effort.

Windows 10 on laptops uses no more resources than Windows 8.1. (Microsoft actually intends to decrease the resource usage below Windows 8 levels by the final release, but it is impossible to judge whether they will succeed by looking at the preview releases.) That will probably also be true on phones. So any phone that currently runs Windows Phone 8 should run Windows 10 as well as it runs 8. Low end phones will still be low end phones, but they won't be any worse than they are now.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

Shirley Marquez Re:stupid germans (418 comments)

Trains do get shut down by weather.

On December 26, 2010 there was a major blizzard in New York City and other nearby areas on the east coast. Amtrak, commuter rail service, and intercity bus service all shut down, and highways were nearly impassable. Basically it was impossible to enter or leave the city for about a day while the show was being cleared. A bit under two years later, on October 30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy again caused shutdowns of most transit options. That storm even affected the subway because of flooding.

about two weeks ago
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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

Shirley Marquez Nobody is proposing the solution we really need (554 comments)

As it does in other developed countries, the gas tax should be carrying the burden of building and maintaining all roads. (As it is, it covers much of the costs of building US highways and interstates, but it doesn't pay for other roads nor for the costs of operating roads (snow removal, routine maintenance, law enforcement, etc). To do that we need a much larger increase. My proposal is a 25 cent increase in the gas tax for EACH of the next ten years. At that point we can do another analysis to figure out how much more it has to go up, because it probably still will not have caught up with road costs. This has to be done nationally rather than state by state because otherwise the states will engage in a race to the bottom, trying to lure people who live near the borders with cheaper gas, with the end result being that the tax level will be far too low to pay the costs.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

Shirley Marquez Re:Bastards ... (327 comments)

Yes, but not for the reason you are thinking. Some years ago, the Mozilla Foundation decided to restrict the use of their trademarks. The code itself remained open source, but derivative browsers were no longer allowed to use the names Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. Debian rebranded their browser as Iceweasel. Another rebranding project sponsored by the Free Software Foundation was originally GNU IceWeasel, and was later changed to GNU IceCat to avoid confusion with the Debian project.

References:
Debian rebranding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...
GNU rebranding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G...

about two weeks ago
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Worrying Aspects of Linux Gaming

Shirley Marquez Re:Please, Please, Please (265 comments)

The XBox and iOS get developers (despite the risks of the companies taking away the ability to sell your game) because the markets are too big to ignore. The Windows Store is not, and so developers are widely ignoring it. If you are doing games for Windows (other than phones or Windows RT) you don't have to sell through the Microsoft Store; you can offer your games through other channels and people can still install them.

about two weeks ago
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Groupon Backs Down On Gnome

Shirley Marquez Yes, they were in common space (114 comments)

What did Groupon's Gnome and the GNOME desktop environment have in common? They are both a POS.

(I don't actually dislike GNOME though it's not my favorite desktop environment. But I couldn't resist the joke.)

about two weeks ago
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Groupon Backs Down On Gnome

Shirley Marquez Re:I donated (114 comments)

The relevance of "closeness" in trademark law is highly variable; how courts will decide is often in doubt. At the extreme case, you have brands that are so well known that ANY use of the name will be seen as infringement - try to make Coca-Cola anything and see how quickly the lawyers converge on you. It wouldn't matter how unrelated your product was: a Coca-Cola computer or car would be shut down just about as quickly as a beverage.

about two weeks ago
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Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Shirley Marquez Re:Not a chance (631 comments)

The chips can fail but they have a much lower failure rate than the magnetic stripes do. The real fallback in both cases is entering the card number manually.

about three weeks ago
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The Plane Crash That Gave Us GPS

Shirley Marquez Re:Thank you, Presidents Reagan and Clinton. (236 comments)

The air traffic controllers union strike was mostly about improvements in working conditions, not wages. ATC is a famously difficult job that burns people out in a few years.

It's true that the union made a bad decision when they accepted a no-strike contract. But they assumed that the government would negotiate with them in good faith. The Reagan administration did not; they made an offer and said "take it or leave it", and Reagan's offer did not include any of the changes in work conditions that the union was asking for.

I refuse to call a certain airport in Washington DC by its current name for that reason. Naming an airport for Reagan is an abomination, an insult to workers.

about three weeks ago
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Intel To Expand Core M Broadwell Line With Faster Dual-Core Processors

Shirley Marquez Re:Intel's new Tock-Tick release cycle ... (52 comments)

New process technology always has low yields at the beginning. But making chips smaller eventually leads to lower manufacturing costs.

Intel has been pushing out some faster chips at the high end. But they aren't going to sell a lot of those Extreme processors, and I agree that the vast majority of users already have a desktop system that is Fast Enough. (Exceptions include gamers who want bragging rights, video editors, and scientists.) The real action is in low power CPUs for ultraportable laptops, tablets, and phones, and that is where Intel is focusing the initial work with 14mm.

about three weeks ago
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The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

Shirley Marquez Re:purple squirrels are nonsense (574 comments)

I suspect the apology is about two things. First, changing it from a cow to a squirrel. Second, quoting it at all; see the sequel verse.

Burgess was frustrated by the fact that he was mostly remembered for that one rather silly poem rather than for all the other things he wrote, though his books about the Goops still have some readership. He was also responsible for inventing the word "blurb".

about three weeks ago
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Free Broadband For NYC Public Housing?

Shirley Marquez Re:and? (250 comments)

Internet access is the only way you can apply for many jobs. For people living in major cities, internet access is at least as necessary as a telephone, and we have acknowledged the need for universal phone access for many years.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

Shirley Marquez Re:I'll take that bait (613 comments)

It's even worse when you have some people in the Southern Hemisphere. It's summer there when it's winter here and vice versa, so the clock changes happen both on different dates and in opposite directions.

about three weeks ago
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How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

Shirley Marquez Re:How big a fuss is it, really? (415 comments)

Try it when you travel. Another thing to carry and plug in, sometimes where there is no convenient place to put it.

about a month ago
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How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

Shirley Marquez Re:How big a fuss is it, really? (415 comments)

Might not have been fungus. A lot of cheap watch backs have significant amounts of copper; if the copper transfers to your skin and oxidizes it will look green.

about a month ago
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Power and Free Broadband To the People

Shirley Marquez Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (262 comments)

Sorting out Comcast financials is complicated by the fact that they are also a broadcaster (NBC) and a movie studio (Universal). The post that says that their margins on the cable business are 25% could be correct, but I'd like to see the data.

about a month ago
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Power and Free Broadband To the People

Shirley Marquez Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (262 comments)

One problem that you run into in a place like NYC: space in the underground tunnels is limited. You can't just allow anybody to pull cables down there willy-nilly.

about a month ago
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OEM Windows 7 License Sales End This Friday

Shirley Marquez Re:So what? (242 comments)

8.1 fixed some of the worst UI problems in the original Windows 8. For example, you can shut down without having to find the Charms, and there is a search button on the Start screen to make it more obvious that you can do that. (You were always able to just start typing.) But people still dislike the jarring transition from the desktop to the Start screen, which is why addons like Start8 and Classic Shell are popular.

The Start screen is also a pain to navigate without a touchscreen, and doubly so if you like to put the taskbar on the right side - that combination breaks the ability to scroll right on the Start screen by putting the mouse at the right edge of the screen so you are forced to use the scrollbar instead. Putting the taskbar on the left is marginally better, but if you overshoot your target you have to use the scrollbar to get back. Really careless design; Microsoft simply didn't think about the fact that an available UI option breaks another part of the UI.

Windows 10 pretty much brings back the Windows 7 interface if you run it on a system with a keyboard and mouse. You can use the Start screen if you prefer it, but a revamped Start menu (with some live tiles in addition to the usual menu) is now the default. Windows 10 also runs Metro apps in windows on a desktop system rather than having them take over the entire screen.

about a month ago

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