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Dell 2015 XPS 13: Smallest 13" Notebook With Broadwell-U, QHD+ Display Reviewed

Shirley Marquez Re:OK, based upon notebook shopping thus far (115 comments)

MSI and Gigabyte both make notebooks in the 4 pound class with 1080p displays and serious NVidia GPUs. (One of the new models has a GTX 965M.) But their battery life is terrible if the GPU actually turns on; they use NVidia Optimus so the GPU is only on when you need it. They throw off a LOT of heat when the GPU is running and the fans roar. And that still makes them over a pound heavier than the Dell, with lower resolution displays and poorer build quality. But if you need graphics on the go, systems like that do exist.

yesterday
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Dell 2015 XPS 13: Smallest 13" Notebook With Broadwell-U, QHD+ Display Reviewed

Shirley Marquez Re:OK, based upon notebook shopping thus far (115 comments)

The current recommended amount of RAM for building current versions of Android is 16GB. That's just one example.

yesterday
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FSF-Endorsed Libreboot X200 Laptop Comes With Intel's AMT Removed

Shirley Marquez Re:even when it is powered off. (168 comments)

Old school systems that had a physical Big Red Switch (including the original IBM PC, XT, and AT) really were completely off when they were off. But pretty much every computer these days has a soft switch, and depends on some part of the circuitry getting a bit of power to monitor the switch so it can turn the rest of the system on.

yesterday
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Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

Shirley Marquez Re:Wiped my Grub though. (207 comments)

No, GRUB doesn't ask if you want to retain the Windows bootloader. But on most distributions it AUTOMATICALLY adds a boot entry to boot Windows that chains to the Windows bootloader from GRUB, unless you chose to overwrite the entire hard disk and wipe the Windows installation.

2 days ago
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

Shirley Marquez Re: jessh (396 comments)

Long Island starts right next to Manhattan. Two of the boroughs of NYC, Brooklyn and Queens, are on Long Island. The far end of Long Island is about 120 miles from Manhattan. The Hamptons are 80-100 miles from Manhattan, depending on whether you measure to the closest one (Hampton Bays) or the farthest one (East Hampton).

Just about all of Suffolk County (the more eastern of the two Long Island counties that aren't part of NYC) got at least a foot and a half of snow. NYC missed being in the blizzard by less than 50 miles, which is within the margin of error of present-day weather prediction.

2 days ago
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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

Shirley Marquez Re:Three-month-old Continuum screenshot (376 comments)

On a desktop or laptop system the appearance DID change. In the previous build, the Start screen (if you used it) looked like the Windows 8 start screen. In the new build you can expand the Start menu to full screen, but it still has the app list along the left side along with tiles to the right, so it's like the Start menu but larger. The app list also looks different; it now has the Windows 8-style Metro/Modern look. I haven't yet tried the new build on a tablet or convertible, so I don't know what you will get there.

Another notable change: you can no longer search for apps by typing at the Start menu or by clicking a Search icon from the Start menu. Instead, you have to click the Search icon that is next to the Start icon and use Cortana to search for your app.

3 days ago
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Google Explains Why WebView Vulnerability Will Go Unpatched On Android 4.3

Shirley Marquez Re:The solution is obvious (579 comments)

Cyanogenmod has KitKat and Lollipop builds for that phone.

3 days ago
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Google Explains Why WebView Vulnerability Will Go Unpatched On Android 4.3

Shirley Marquez Re:The solution is obvious (579 comments)

Updating those older versions of Android would be pointless. If you have a device that never got an update to KitKat, it's not going to get a patch either because its manufacturer clearly doesn't care about keeping it up to date.

Switching to a different browser solves the vulnerability during web surfing. It doesn't help with apps that use WebView as a component. so those apps will have to be used with caution.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Shirley Marquez Re:Modula-3 FTW! (488 comments)

130MB would be the JDK. The JRE is a lot smaller.

4 days ago
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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Shirley Marquez Re:Bullshit (211 comments)

We have known how to produce incandescent bulbs that will last 100 years for a long time. You just don't want them because they are horribly inefficient sources of light. You could even do it with off the shelf equipment. Take a rough service light bulb and run it from the output of a 12V filament transformer. It will last for many many years. It will also produce very little light.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

Shirley Marquez Re:Simple solution (429 comments)

This is partly a coastal thing. Mouses only seems to be used on the west coast of the US, especially near Silicon Valley, and even there it is not universal. Everywhere else the plural is mice.

There are some other hacker plurals that are only sometimes used. One might speak of how the computing environment used to be a collection of VAXen in the dinosaur pen, but it is now a collection of Linux boxen in the cloud. (Boxen is only used for computers, you would not get a delivery of shipping boxen from FedEx.) Hackers who are feeling especially silly might talk about buying hice in Monopoly.

My vote for the weirdest plural is die/dice. Dice are those things you roll to produce random numbers; if you have only one it's a die. But if you are talking about the pieces of silicon that are transistors or integrated circuits the plural of die is die, not dice. So you would order 1000 4GB flash die to make multi-chip packages, not 1000 dice.

5 days ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Shirley Marquez Re: betteridge's law of headlines (489 comments)

Who said anything about technophobia? I'm all for using new web features when they make sites work better. But designers also have to remember that some users, especially mobile users, will be using browsers with limited performance and bandwidth.

Just as in the old days, there are sites that use all the shiny just to try to impress people rather than adding real value, and just end up with a slow mess with poor usability.

about a week ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Shirley Marquez Re:betteridge's law of headlines (489 comments)

It's a bit tedious but you can get rid of tiles in the Start menu. Just unpin them, one by one.

Microsoft is still selling the RT-based Surface 2. Doesn't mean that anybody is buying. It would be a nice piece of gear if they would replace the ARM processor with a Bay Trail (or successor) Atom and put full Windows on it; that would position it as a premium alternative (better build quality, 1080p display, keyboard option) to the cheap Windows tablets that are flooding the market. I doubt they would ever offer a version with a higher end processor because that would blur the line between it and the Surface Pro, though the smaller size and lower resolution display would also be differences.

about a week ago
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Amazon Plans To Release 12 Movies a Year In Theaters and On Prime

Shirley Marquez Re:Wow! Cool! (92 comments)

They are making some good TV shows. Though I suppose it's more accurate to say that they are hiring good people to make good TV shows for them.

They started in 2013 with two series for adults, Alpha House and Betas. (Amazon has also made some shows for children that I have not watched.) They were merely OK. (Alpha House did well enough to get renewed for a second season. Betas, which I liked more than Alpha House, sadly did not.) But the two new ones in 2014, Transparent and Mozart In The Jungle, were both amazing. Transparent won two Golden Globe awards. Mozart In The Jungle was released in late December so the timing was wrong for award consideration, but it might have also been in the running had the release date been more friendly.

about two weeks ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Shirley Marquez Re:Windows 10 is Windows 7.10 (489 comments)

No. What they are saying is that they are forcing the tablet/smartphone interface on tablets and phones. And even then they won't be forcing it, just making it the default. We will know more after the announcement, but I believe the default UI will be traditional on desktop and laptop systems, Metro on tablets, and Continuum (the new adaptive UI for systems that only SOMETIMES have a keyboard and mouse) on hybrid/convertible systems. In technical terms it will probably be Continuum in all cases, but you will always be in one spot on traditional systems and on pure tablets so you won't notice.

about two weeks ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Shirley Marquez Re:betteridge's law of headlines (489 comments)

You must be using a different version of the Windows 10 Technical Preview than I am. I see it as the Windows 7 UI with some minor accommodations to 8, so long as you are running it on a system with a keyboard and mouse.

about two weeks ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Shirley Marquez Re: betteridge's law of headlines (489 comments)

There are hidden costs and yes web developers HATE XP. Most people do not know what an internet browser even is. So they will use IE 8 and this is what most slashdotters do not understand.

Web developers don't actually hate XP. They hate IE 6 and IE 8. Developers are just fine with people who use current versions of Chrome or Firefox on XP. (Chrome support of XP will end in April; no end of Firefox support of XP has been announced.) But as you point out, too many people running XP also use those horribly obsolete browsers.

about two weeks ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Shirley Marquez Re: betteridge's law of headlines (489 comments)

Wrong, web browsers these days are much faster than the web browsers of the old days.

Unfortunately, web sites these days are much slower than the web sites of the old days. They need those faster browsers to get acceptable performance.

about two weeks ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Shirley Marquez Re:betteridge's law of headlines (489 comments)

For those apps to exist, they first have to get Windows phones and tablets into the hands of users. Developers aren't going to make the effort if nobody is using the platform. That's one of the reasons for the push for inexpensive Windows tablets.

Unless you use the Metro apps, the Windows 10 technical preview already does look mostly like Windows 7. (One obvious change: the addition of tiles to the Start menu; they coexist with the traditional menu. And there are cosmetic differences in the login screen and the screen you get when you type Control-Alt-Delete. But I don't think any of those changes will be deal breakers for fans of Windows 7 or even Windows XP.) On a desktop or laptop system with no touchscreen there is no compelling reason to use the Metro apps; they are less convenient than conventional applications if you are using a keyboard and mouse. The only notable exception is PC Settings because it's the only way to create a new user; unlike Windows 7 but like Windows 8, the User Accounts piece of Control Panel lacks that capability. But Metro apps are more tablet-friendly than standard desktop applications, so Microsoft is surely hoping that the adoption of Windows tablets will lead to the creation of more Metro apps, which will in turn help drive adoption of Windows phones.

The only certain thing: Windows RT is dead. Now that inexpensive tablets that run full Windows are available, there is no reason to live with the compromises of RT. If Microsoft chooses to make a Surface 3 or a Surface Mini it should run full Windows. They may stay out of that segment altogether to avoid channel conflict with other companies making Windows tablets, and just continue the premium Surface Pro line.

about two weeks ago

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