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Why Can't Intel Kill x86?

bevoblake Re:ARM can't even run 2 windows at once (605 comments)

Just refuting the claim that ARM and its related operating systems are a single window system. And if it's a watery thing to say - I quite like water, it's been integral to my survival up to this point.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Can't Intel Kill x86?

bevoblake Re:Enabling multiple windows (605 comments)

I would think that porting non-web apps to Chrome OS would be a substantial amount of work - basically just as difficult as converting them to web apps. Google has added a tool which will allow you to remote to a desktop computer from a Chromebook and run desktop apps in that manner (using chrome extensions I think). Enabling developer mode and getting Xfce running isn't terribly difficult, but I'd be tempted to wait a few months and keep tabs on the Xfce distributions. They feel like Alpha technology to me right now, and I think that at least Beta quality would make the experience much better (and should be forthcoming as many Linux distribution developers are hacking on the samsung box right now - Fedora, Bodhi, openSUSE, Chrubuntu, Arch, and others). Regardless, I'm surprised at how nice the browsing experience is on the Chromebook and am looking forward to upcoming releases from the above linux distros.

Steps needed to get Xfce up would include flipping to dev mode on the Chromebook (easy), purchasing an appropriately sized SD card (also easy, just buy high performance as this will be a performance bottleneck), and then depending on the OS you attempt to install to the SD card, you may have steps as easy as putting an image onto the SD card (fairly easy) or manually copying numerous files from various different Chromebook directories and linux distributions onto the SD card (involved but well documented). This last step will be significantly easier if you already have a linux box to use - most of the documentation and tools are linux centric. The linux install probably voids the warranty, but I haven't actually checked.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Can't Intel Kill x86?

bevoblake Re:ARM can't even run 2 windows at once (605 comments)

I'm running multiple windows on ARM simultaneously on my ARM samsung chromebook this very moment, and it's very fast and very crisp. It feels like using chrome on a fresh windows install. I've also tried opensuse on this machine, and while its buggy, the processor runs XFCE very quickly. While ARM may not currently be the performance king, ARM is already viable on the desktop for users without high performance computing needs.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Future of Standing/Walking Workstations?

bevoblake Re:Treadmill desk (204 comments)

I'd have to dig out the paper, but I'm 95% sure that his initial quote was 600 dollars. Regardless, it's near that even if it isn't spot on. He's a fairly inexpensive carpenter though, so your mileage may vary. There are probably some commercial offerings in this range (although many are way more), but the benefits of the custom-design and getting solid wood made that a better alternative for me. He did say that depending on the complexity and quality of the wood, prices could change dramatically. For example, when I showed him a furniture piece made with antiqued wood of some sort, he said that it would cost significantly more just from raw materials.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Future of Standing/Walking Workstations?

bevoblake Re:Treadmill desk (204 comments)

My work over the past 6 months has varied between programming (small component of my work), extensive spreadsheet monkeying, writing quick reference training documentation, end user training, project management, and an embarrassing amount of emailing. I haven't noticed a drop in typing speed, and for any work that needs more dexterity, I just slow down the treadmill. If you get the treadmill moving slowly enough, there shouldn't be much degradation of your working capabilities at all. Also, somewhere else in these comments, someone recommended a trackball instead of a mouse, which actually makes a ton of sense to me after my experience.

As for eyesight/reading, I'm a tough person to speak on that as my eyesight is pretty good. I have not noticed an issue there; my eyes don't seem to have an issue locking onto words at a strolling pace. I think I might actually have to hit a full jog before noticing any difference on that front.

As I mentioned in my original post, mousing at faster walking paces was the most challenging thing for me.

Also, I would think that working at a standing desk for a few days would actually be a good trial run. It will allow you to get used to spending more time in an upright posture, which is a significant adjustment. I think it's helpful to start out only doing that for an hour or two a day and then increasing it as you like it. You can get a taste of it by putting a box on a counter top with a laptop on it and working for a couple of hours. If that feels like an improvement, then keep doing more. If it drives you nuts, then you've saved yourself some time and money. Lastly, I also tighten up some as I stand/walk, which makes me stretch every now and then. I didn't do this at a seated desk but probably should have.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Future of Standing/Walking Workstations?

bevoblake Re:Treadmill desk (204 comments)

I put together a treadmill desk about six months ago. Typing/mousing and walking is definitely a consideration. I had to reduce my mouse sensitivity slightly, and I also have to keep my walking speed at or below 2 mph in order to have any chance of typing accurately. I find I'm quite accurate at 1 mph. I reserve 2 mph for times when I'm mostly reading.

I also was unpleasantly surprised by the prices of the commercial offerings for these desks. I'm currently using a DIY cardboard desk and have a carpenter building a custom-made wooden desk, which will still be cheaper than the commercial offerings.

Regardless, I got into this because of 1. Ergonomics - sitting kills my back and 2. Health - this allows me to put in a decent amount of exercise with little to no joint impact while I work.

Plus, I'm slightly less stressed if I'm walking as I work.

Downsides: Until I get into the "zone" as I work, walking and managing a computer is annoying. Decent treadmills take up a ton of room. It's noisy enough that I have to stop it every time I get a phone call.

All in all, I'm glad I did it. And it provided me with a great excuse to wall mount a 60" HDTV as my computer monitor. :-D

more than 2 years ago
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Verizon To Allow Skype Calling On Its Network

bevoblake Re:Latency (98 comments)

As a quick followup, here are some quotes on 3G call quality from the iphone blog:

I’ve been using Skype over 3G ever since it came out (first with VoIPover3G, now with 3G Unrestrictor) and I have to say that quality sucks. I get dropped calls, sound dropping in and out, weird noises during the call, etc."

We have the largest and fastest 3G network in the world here in Australia (44mbps downlink in the cities, 21mbps everywhere else – 99% of the population have 3G), and being a fairly small population – congestion isn’t an issue. VOIP over 3G works, but it totally sux. Like really, unless you can’t afford to make a phone call (unlikely if you have an iPhone) then it’s not worth the mucking about.

Cellular data connections are very bursty with high amounts of latency. Fine for browsing the web, or streaming media where the player has a buffer, but pretty awful for having a real-time duplex conversation. Which is why I really am ok with just using Skype over wifi.

A few people post quotes to the effect "quality is so-so but it's good enough for me," but most responses seem pretty negative towards the call quality.

more than 4 years ago
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Verizon To Allow Skype Calling On Its Network

bevoblake Latency (98 comments)

My 3G cell connection has nasty latency (200ish pings generally) and made for a poor skype experience when tethered to my computer. Delays in voice calls are pretty obnoxious when accustomed to cell and landline connections - I don't see this as a viable competitor to cell minute usage even if Verizon allowed skype over 3G to US landlines.

Has anyone else had any contrary experience?

more than 4 years ago
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Does Microsoft Finally Have a Phone Worth Buying?

bevoblake Re:Will have to wait and see (427 comments)

The Palm WebOS multi-tasking UI is pretty rock-solid. I was reconciling numbers between an email and a text memo earlier with both windows open side by side "deck of cards" view. The phone has plenty of quirks - including some OS-level memory issues, but everybody should start copying their multi-tasking UI. It's very easy to switch between apps and close extra open apps.

more than 4 years ago
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Does Microsoft Finally Have a Phone Worth Buying?

bevoblake Re:Will have to wait and see (427 comments)

WebOS from Palm has a very strong multi-tasking UI. I think Maemo from Nokia will as well. I use and love the Palm Pre, and I'm very interested in Maemo - it looks like it will be a fantastic new smartphone platform for Nokia.

more than 4 years ago
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Does Microsoft Finally Have a Phone Worth Buying?

bevoblake Re:I'm not holding my breath (427 comments)

I've heard other people echo your point. My experience on the Moto Q (the original) was that the phone was absolutely worthless. I don't know if it was WinMo 5, Motorola, or the combination of the two, but it was by a long shot the worst cell phone experience I've ever had. I've spoken with other Q users who had similar experiences. This might not be the fault of MS, but Apple, controlling their hardware and the interaction between the hardware and OS may have generated a better product than MS because of that control. I'm currently using a Palm Pre, which has some issues, but drastically fewer than what I experienced on the Q. If one company has total responsibility for the customer experience, they probably have more ability and initiative to improve the user experience through the entire product pipeline. Nokia, Palm, Apple, and possibly Google (Nexus One) have this advantage.

more than 4 years ago
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Android 2.0 — Competition Against the iPhone and the Rest

bevoblake Re:The fastest way to fail (347 comments)

T-Mobile just started offering discounts for bringing your own devices. It's pretty compelling from a price perspective, but I'm still not sure if they get decent coverage where I live.

about 5 years ago
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Mozilla Releases SeaMonkey 2.0

bevoblake Re:flash ? (185 comments)

There are some fantastic add-ons that do this, but I agree, it would be great to have this in the core functionality of Firefox.

about 5 years ago
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Ubuntu 9.10 Officially Released

bevoblake Re:Do we really need... (744 comments)

As an off-again-on-again linux user since the early days of Redhat and Caldera, I would have historically agreed with the need for a relatively long-use release. However, I think Ubuntu has become very easy to use for the installation of new programs. Apt-get is a huge win. This helps eliminate the difficulty of setting up a new environment when you reinstall the OS. For the few applications that aren't available via apt-get, I'm willing to spend some extra time (although installing the latest version of ruby/gems/somewhat rarely used gems/rails on my last ubuntu install was a bit brutal).

That said, I probably will stick with the next long-term release for an extended time period for many of the reasons you mention compounded by my general laziness.

about 5 years ago
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California Student Arrested For Console Hacking

bevoblake Re:Scary (1016 comments)

I think the actions of building an atomic bomb or a biological weapon should be illegal for the public good. It's too late to prosecute someone for "blowing something up" with a highly-destructive device. As for possessing explosive material - what about ammonium nitrate? It's a high explosive with legitimate uses as a fertilizer. The "act of fiddling" with it is what makes it dangerous, not the inherently useful materials to begin with.

I understand your argument and where you're trying to go with it, but there are many shades of grey here that aren't handled. I'd tend to argue that the cops may be doing something correct by arresting someone who is modding consoles solely for the purpose of copyright violation (which I'd be shocked if he wasn't), but I'd say the main error here is that the potential penalty is too draconian. Furthermore, if they apply DMCA to more legitimate practices, such as modifying the PS3 to run home-made programs that you couldn't otherwise run, the cops should take it on the nose. I haven't heard of that happening; although as crappy as the DMCA is, I won't be surprised to hear it.

more than 5 years ago
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"Tweenbots" Test NYC Pedestrian-Robot Relations

bevoblake Re:Would it work elsewhere? (197 comments)

Sorry, apparently I'm completely incompetent at using a browser; here's what I actually meant to say (and this time not anonymously).

I only speak a tiny bit of French, though this seems to be greatly appreciated. I could imagine being treated rudely if I didn't know any of the language (and rightfully so).

I couldn't disagree with this statement more. I spent my school years learning Spanish. I believe I should be treated well even if I go to China or France, places where I have little-to-no language ability. That said, the French people I met in Paris and Nice when I visited seemed quite nice to me. All this is predicated on the traveler treating the locals respectfully

more than 5 years ago
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Free Skype Client Lands On the iPhone

bevoblake Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (150 comments)

t-mobile's phones are generally as locked down as any other vendor

I find this statement to be mis-leading. While locked-down out-of-the-box, t-mobile has far and away the best policy when it comes to unlocking the phone. If you're a customer for over 90 days, in good standing, they'll unlock the phone. At AT&T, you can only get that if you have a nice store rep. At Sprint and Verizon, dream on.

more than 5 years ago
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What Features Should Be Included With iPhone 3.0?

bevoblake Re:windows mobile (606 comments)

Has Windows Mobile improved dramatically? WinMo 5 is the worst operating system I've ever used:

  • Phone locked up
  • Needed to go into memory to close open apps on a regular basis - the UI for this was quite poor
  • Doesn't update the signal strength properly
  • Frequently sends calls to voicemail when clicking the answer key
  • Must remove the battery to properly restart the phone
  • The interface with my bluetooth randomly decides to disconnect/reconnect

I could go on listing issues all day, but it suffices to say, the OS is terrible. I'm willing to believe that M$ can improve this product, but they have so far to go from my original Moto Q. Also, any copy paste support yet? I don't get why Apple and MS didn't have those working out of the gates.

more than 5 years ago
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Young People Prefer "Sizzle Sounds" of MP3 Format

bevoblake Re:Like the phonograph.... The what? (743 comments)

Several points:

  • In a car, road, wind, and other external noises will eliminate any ability to hear the difference between most lossy and lossless formats.
  • Many recordings and/or masterings of recordings are not of sufficient quality for anyone to be able to tell the difference between FLAC, MP3, etc.
  • High quality recorded and mastered music with a high quality stereo is the only time a consumer would typically be able to discern any difference.
  • Professional and semi-professional musicians and recording engineers spend enough time listening to almost indecipherable sound nuances through top notch equipment that they probably do notice and care what formats they listen to in a professional environment.

more than 5 years ago
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Review: Halo Wars

bevoblake Re:HAHAHA yeah right (177 comments)

Well thought out position, but I'd have to give them a more even ranking on most merits.

HL2 Highlights:

  • Modified Gravity Gun during the end-game
  • Entry into Ravenhome - I'm a sucker for pseudo-horror
  • Alyx Vance - better companion than Cortana

Halo Highlights (from 1 and 2, unfortunately don't have a 360):

  • Introduction of the Flood in the first game (good foreshadowing)
  • Arbiter invisibility - this created some fantastic stealth opportunities
  • Covenant sword
  • Creative level design - the outdoor environments were very cool

I would tend to give Halo the edge due to multiplayer being so fantastic, but I haven't given the HL2 partner games a fair shake - CS or TF2.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Coffee shrinks breasts

bevoblake bevoblake writes  |  more than 6 years ago

bevoblake (1106117) writes "Scientists from Lund University have found that coffee shrinks breasts. Apparently 50% of women have a gene that makes them vulnerable to this calamity. Although most slashdotters will never have any hands on experience with any of this, is it time that coffee is banned outright?

(Almost forgot — coffee also reduces risk of breast cancer)

The article states that:

The team found that about half of women have a gene that links breast size to coffee intake, The Local reported. Healthy, premenopausal women with the gene who drink three or more cups of coffee a day have smaller breasts. Those women also have a lower risk of breast cancer. It's not the caffeine that does it. For carriers of the gene, coffee counteracts effects of hormones that can be carcinogenic.

"

Link to Original Source
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Amazon offers text message shopping

bevoblake bevoblake writes  |  more than 6 years ago

bevoblake (1106117) writes "Striking fear into the hearts of brick and mortar stores everywhere: Amazon is now offering a text-message shopping system. According to Wired, "Amazon TextBuyIt, which launched late Tuesday, lets people text the name of a product, its description or its UPC or ISBN to 262966 (that's "Amazon" on the keypad) from anywhere their cell phones work — including from inside physical stores. If Amazon stocks matching items, the service returns two results at a time. Shoppers can immediately buy one of the first two the selections by texting back the number '1' or '2,' or they can ask for more by texting the letter 'M.'"

Does this mean I can stop trying to load Amazon's searches from my tiny cell phone browser when I comparison shop?"

Link to Original Source

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