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Ask Slashdot: When Is the User Experience Too Good?

SlothDead Yes. No. Depends. (397 comments)

It seems that you confuse the terms "good user experience", "best solution" and "efficient to use". A good user experience is if the user likes what happens, which isn't the case if he launched the nukes accidentally. The "best solution" depends on the situation, e.g. in something like facebook, the user experience isn't a direct goal, since the "best solution" for the "delete account" function is to hide it deep down somewhere unexpected. "Efficient" seems to be what you like and what your colleague objected to in case of the "launch nukes" button that you can trigger via eye tracking by looking at it (insanely efficient!).

The question is way too vague to get a single answer. Here are some:

- Yes, doing something that is usually bad thus isn't something you want to do most of the time should not be so simple that you can trigger it accidentally or faster than you can anticipate the consequences (no simple "launch nukes" button, put a lid on it)
- No, if it's for qualified users who got some mandatory training the app should be as efficient as typing sudo rm -rf /
- Depends, if you have a broader userbase hide the dangerous stuff but add an option to enable it so after it's enabled advanced users will have an efficient way to use it.

about a year and a half ago

Two Porn Companies Take ICANN and .xxx Registrar To Court

SlothDead Why not .sex? (272 comments)

Why is it ".xxx" and not ".sex"?

more than 3 years ago

Desura Game Distribution Service Releases On Linux

SlothDead Ubuntu Software Center? (77 comments)

I just bought Braid in Ubuntu's Software Center (Appstore). How is this better?

more than 3 years ago

Oxford Professor Taken To Task For Linking Internet Use To Autism

SlothDead sigh (247 comments)

Things like this give me cancer...

more than 3 years ago

Theologian Attempts Censorship After Losing Public Debate

SlothDead Re:How could a creationist win a debate exactly? (943 comments)

Sure, but that's not relevant when it comes to who wins a debate:

Suppose you and me had a debate about the size of the sun and I say "It's very large and far away" and you say "It's the size of a ping pong ball and just follows you around". Sure, you might be right and later, Science might change to prefer your theory, but at the point of the debate, I'll win, because I seem to be right based on what we know right now.

more than 3 years ago

Opera Proposes Switching Browser Scrolling For 'Pages'

SlothDead Finally! (320 comments)

I always hated scrolling and how pressing the page down button makes you read a few lines again, since it doesn't scroll a full page.

Who came up with the idea of scrolling anyways? That's just as silly as putting content in little boxes that you can move around on the screen, so they overlap, partially hiding each other, thus copying the mess of the real world. Or having a button in a program that basically says "Don't delete my work when I close this program!" that you have to click at the end of each session (Or every time you close the program you will be asked "Do you want to delete everything you just worked on and revert to how it was before you opened this program?").

I'm very happy that there are people working on reducing the stupidity.

more than 3 years ago

UN Bigwig: The Web Should Have Been Patented and Licensed

SlothDead What, like BTX? (411 comments)

What he describes just sounds like the German predecessor to the WWW, the BTX network: http://www.daniel-rehbein.de/btx-bundespost.html
The BTX network was centralized (main server owned by the German postal service), you had to pay per page view, you couldn't run your own web server, you weren't allowed to use anything else than the standard modem...

When the WWW came around it quickly replaced BTX, simply because it was free as in freedom.

more than 3 years ago

The Games Programmers Play

SlothDead Programming in Games? (163 comments)

Well, there's only three games I actually like:
- Braid (Modify the flow of time to solve puzzles: In this video, a lever opens a distant door for a short time, so the solution is to create two parallel timelines, one where you run to the lever and pull it and one where you run to the door and go through: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUMYvD4d-_0&feature=related)
- Portal (Modify space using portals to solve puzzles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TluRVBhmf8w)
- Minecraft ("Immortal Robinson Crusoe" simulation, do whatever you want: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=minecraft&aq=f)

Since Braid and Portal are games that you only play once and Minecraft is getting boring to me, I don't actually play anything right now: For me, a game has to present me with something new, but it seems that you only find such a game every couple of years.

I don't really see the point in "programmer" games: If I do real programming, the reward is something that actually does something and is useful to me and maybe other people. If I solve a programming challenge in a game, the reward is a "you win" message on the screen, which just makes it feel like I wasted my time.

Having said that, I must confess that I actually DID build a little 8 bit calculating thing in Minecraft, just to check out what you can do with the logic bits (in Minecraft you can dig out a special ore that you can use to make wires and NOR gates), but in retrospect I must say that it wasn't really a fulfilling thing to do.

So if I want to solve programming problems, I don't do it in a game.

more than 3 years ago

One Third of UK Kids Under 10 Own a Mobile Phone

SlothDead So what? (184 comments)

If I remember correctly, more than one in three kids used to have a Game Boy at my school. What's the difference?

more than 3 years ago

Pirate Party Wins Seat In Berlin

SlothDead Re:No surprises here..., (241 comments)

Let me clarify what I meant: Sweden has a much better insight into US American culture. The reason for this might be that because Sweden is such a small country, it isn't profitable to dub all the American TV shows: instead swedes have to read subtitles or just learn enough English to watch TV (which most of them do).

Germany is the exact opposite, with German being the most spoken language in Europe and Germany being the richest country (and other German speaking countries being quite rich as well), it becomes viable to dub ALL foreign television in German (watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0X3nJ_TSy4 if you dare). So the average German does not know about terms like "software piracy", the pun in the name is lost to the majority of voters (German phrase is "robbery copy").

more than 3 years ago

Pirate Party Wins Seat In Berlin

SlothDead Re:No surprises here... (241 comments)

Uhm, no? The name "Pirate Party" works much better in Sweden, which has Pirates in their history and a population that knows enough English to know the term "software piracy".
In Germany, pirates are usually associated with Somalia and the German equivalent for "pirated software" translates as "robbery copy". There was a lot of debate about weather or not it's a good idea to even call it "Pirate Party", in the end it was decided that a consistent name across all countries has more value than having names that better match the local culture.

tl;dr In Germany, "Pirate" is a meaningless, valueless (or bad) word when used in politics.

more than 3 years ago

Krugman On Bitcoin and the Gold Standard

SlothDead Re:Terrible summary, decent blog post (601 comments)

I don't get your point at all. Printing money is destructive and Bitcoins don't have any value in and of itself. So what's the difference?

>while providing no beneficial goods or services
You DO provide a service, you validate transactions and expand the block chain. This service is very important, if nobody did it, Bitcoin transactions wouldn't go through.

See, it works like this: In order for Bitcoin to function transactions have to be validated. The amount of work is proportional to the amount of transactions that happened since the last validation block. Since no one would validate other people's transactions for free, people who put in the work to validate get 50 Bitcoins as payments. If validating was easy, everyone would do it and everyone would get a lot of Bitcoins. To prevent that, you have to add this "destructive" element of artificially making validating harder. Only by adjusting how much GPU cycles need to be wasted on average before you create a valid validation block can we make sure, that we only get one new validation block and 50 new Bitcoins every 10 minutes (on average).

Granted, printing Bitcoins might be MORE destructive than printing money and it would be nice if no calculations were "wasted", but since no one has found a better way to create a decentralized digital currency we have go with Bitcoins for now.

more than 3 years ago

Samsung Cites 2001: A Space Odyssey In Apple Patent Case

SlothDead Re:StarTrek TNG (432 comments)

This is something I like about paper: It's so cheap that you can have multiple sheets on your desk at the same time.
I would actually like it if I had a pile of tablets, each only running one app (for example one for the PDF I'm reading, one for the writing program, one for e-mail, one as a digital picture frame...).
Just don't forget a little "pull in all apps in the vicinity" app, that I can launch to easily move everything to one tablet when I want to leave the house and not carry a stack of tablet. (Is "one click pull surronding data" patented yet?)

more than 3 years ago

A Decade of Haiku OS

SlothDead Tablet Version Please? (203 comments)

So it arrives just in time for the post PC era?

Don't get me wrong, I tried Alpha 2 a while ago and I think that if they finish it and if it got support from the developer community it would be the best desktop OS ever: The UI is excellent and it is very developer friendly.

What I don't like about it is that it is basically just BeOS: A normal PC OS. And are you really sure that PCs will be the Computer of choice for anyone besides office workers and Slashdot readers?

more than 3 years ago

Why PCs Trump iPads For User Innovation

SlothDead Re:I read the article (523 comments)

If you want you can write Ruby apps directly on the phone (See Ruboto), having access to the full Android API. This is forbidden on iOS, since they don't like interpreted code.

more than 3 years ago

$80 Android Phone Sells Like Hotcakes In Kenya

SlothDead Re:Google account required? (205 comments)

Oh, I'm not saying that I recommend this! I just meant that if you are in the unusual situation that you can't have / don't want a Google account but still want to use Android it is possible to do that, albeit dowdily.
It's safe to say that in most cases it only makes sense to buy an Android device if you also will use it with a Google account. I even advise everyone to NOT buy any Android devices that lack the standard Google apps (Mail, Talk and most importantly Market), since the experience will be much worse.

Sorry if that wasn't clear from my first post.

more than 3 years ago

$80 Android Phone Sells Like Hotcakes In Kenya

SlothDead Re:Google account required? (205 comments)

At least in theory it should be possible to install a different contact apps (without market access you would have to hunt down an APK for this on the web). The nice thing about Android is that every program can be replaced since all apps are abstracted: Lets say you install an emergency button widget and in the configuration you can select one phone number that should be called when the button gets pressed: That app would request a contacts selection dialog, normally that would come straight from Google's contact, but if you installed a second contact app it would show you a dialog where you could select "Always use OtherContactsApp".

As for the market, you can install different markets, but those have way less apps.

TLDR: In theory you could get all the functionality without having a Google account, but the experience will still be a bit worse than with a Google account.

more than 3 years ago

The Mathematics of Lawn Mowing

SlothDead Re:Traveling Mower (514 comments)

No, since you want to park the mower in the same spot at the end.

(Unless you build two sheds in different locations to optimize your mowing path...)

more than 3 years ago

Google's Self Driving Car Crashes

SlothDead "End to robotic cars"? (244 comments)

Cars bumping into each other doesn't seem that dramatic to me. I thought that the only thing that could bring the end to robotic cars would be if one of them ran over a child?

Also, have they figured out the insurance question yet? Which automaker would want to sell those, if they have to pay in case of an accident?

more than 3 years ago

Android Market Upgraded, Buy eBooks and Rent Movies

SlothDead Not for Germans! (157 comments)

Thanks to the GEMA (German RIAA) we won't get this in Germany.

It's bad enough that we have to rent proxies to use Hulu, Netflix, Pandorra etc. but now we have to use proxies on our PHONES to reach the content we want to pay for? I'm really trying hard to pay, but I'm not sure how long I can resist the much simpler way: just pirate it. :(

Is there even a way to fake being an USA citizen on Android? How much work would that be? X(

more than 3 years ago



Ask Slashdot: How to set up a nettop retro console?

SlothDead SlothDead writes  |  more than 2 years ago

SlothDead (1251206) writes "I have a nettop laying around and I would like to use it as a retro gaming console on a TV. Unfortunately, all "gaming" OSes I could find are too PC like, requiring a keyboard and/or a mouse.
Is there a way to set up the nettop in such a way that it only needs some USB game pads plugged in to get going? An acceptable solution would be that I can just bring the nettop and gamepads to a friends house, connect it to the TV and start playing some old NES games. Bonus points if it shows a simple list of all games on startup, you select a game with the game pad and it starts it with the appropriate emulator.

In short:
- Nettop
- NES/SNES etc games
- USB Gamepads
- No mouse/keyboard"

Cheap gamepad substitute anyone?

SlothDead SlothDead writes  |  more than 5 years ago

SlothDead (1251206) writes "I decided to play some retro console games with friends, but since I currently don't have any console gaming gear I'm looking for a cheap alternative. Connecting a laptop to a TV is trivial, but what to use for gamepads? Buying one gamepad per player is not an option.
My thought was that surely somebody must have written a simple bluetooth java app that turns your cell into a gamepad, even if it just translates the buttons to keyboard strokes (which would be enough) but apparently such a software is nowhere to be found.

Do you know any cheap substitute for gamepads that supports multiple players?"


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