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Ask Slashdot: Development Requirements Change But Deadlines Do Not?

dave_leigh Not a bad approach. (221 comments)

At a company I worked for, the project request document template resembled a contract. Included on it was a statement acknowledging in advance that any change to the stated requirements would result in a mandatory delay AND cost increase. This quashed any kvetching about delays (because now they're not really late), and encouraged people to do two things: 1. Only insert changes that were actually absolutely necessary, 2. Save "nice to have" features for subsequent iterations.

about a year ago
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Volvo's Electric Roads Concept Points To Battery-Free EV Future

dave_leigh It's called a railroad. (216 comments)

There's nothing new under the sun.

about a year and a half ago
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U.S. District Judge: Forced Decryption of Hard Drives Violates Fifth Amendment

dave_leigh What were they THINKING? (417 comments)

Even the discovery of fingerprints on a smoking gun at a crime scene does not eliminate someone's right to remain silent; so I have no idea what that "different judge" was thinking. He certainly wasn't thinking of due process.

about a year and a half ago
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A Serious Proposal To Fix Windows 8

dave_leigh Re:Or simply install Linux (578 comments)

Dude... 20 years of "experience" on servers == no desktop experience.

My day job is building Windows apps. But on MY computers (a laptop and a netbook) I prefer to run Ubuntu. On the laptop I use Cairo-Dock. It feels a LOT like a Mac. The Netbook has a much smaller screen, so for that I use Unity. Either one of them is better than Windows on the respective device.

Lest somebody actually believe you...
Here's what Cairo-Dock is like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDCNHuARp2Y
And here's a vid of an Australian mum trying Ubuntu for the first time. She's using the default Unity desktop, and she finds it "logical": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgGbZfR6Vec

Now, Xubuntu, which you tried, would make sense if you were running it on some pretty old hardware with the knowledge that it is pretty stripped-down, Even then, it's just a standard application menu and a traditional windowed environment, not terribly different from Windows XP. It stretches credulity that you found this difficult to use: http://xubuntu.org/screenshots/

Now, I'm not calling you a troll, and I'm not questioning your intelligence, but maybe computers just aren't your thing. Might I suggest a good book?

about a year and a half ago
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Robot 'Fly' Mimics Full Range of Insect Flight

dave_leigh Fallout from the Fly Wars (41 comments)

The best part about projects like this are the fallout technologies. Imagine that they solve the on-board battery problem... a battery with the requisite light weight, power, and long life may not be possible, but TRYING to make one may actually give us a decent cell phone or laptop battery.

about a year and a half ago
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Robot 'Fly' Mimics Full Range of Insect Flight

dave_leigh Re:Lies, Inc. (41 comments)

Why waste time with getting warrants for wiretaps when they can just let loose a few fly drones in the suspect's window?

Which is why I think I'll start immediate work on electrified window screens that can scramble robot flies' circuitry. Then I'll sell them to the CIA for protection against their own tech.

Every problem is an opportunity. Stay thirsty, my friend.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I De-Dupe a System With 4.2 Million Files?

dave_leigh Patiently. (440 comments)

Compare names and sizes, then CRC. Let the thing run.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple v. Samsung Jurors Speak, Skipped Prior Art For "Bogging Us Down"

dave_leigh Re:phew (506 comments)

This says a lot more about your biases than PJ's.

more than 2 years ago
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Resurrect Your Old Code With a DIY Punch Card Reader

dave_leigh Wrong tech for the job. (100 comments)

This thing is glacial, whereas the original card readers read these things as fast as you could push them through. While physical contacts wear out, the best solution is simply some optical LEDs and photoreceptors, and a timer.

about 2 years ago
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Is the Kindle DX Worth the Money?

dave_leigh Re:Why not a laptop? (263 comments)

Those are good answers to the question "why not a laptop?" but it still doesn't answer whether the Kindle is worth the money. It isn't.

For around a hundred bucks I got a Palm T|X. It's better than the Kindle for most purposes, and I have an extra $400 for books. Benefits of the Palm....
- it easily fits in a pocket.
- it can be read in pitch-black darkness (the Kindle can't), and the battery easily lasts long enough to read an entire book. Longer if I turn off the wi-fi and Bluetooth when I'm not using it.
- it easily fits in a pocket.
- supports multiple formats, including plain text, doc, eReader, pdf...
- it easily fits in a pocket.
- it also allows me to take notes, use a calculator, track my appointments, read email, search Google, play games, and listen to music. I can carry SDRAM cards.
- it easily fits in a pocket.

A Kindle is big, clunky, and underpowered by comparison. The Palm has a smaller screen, as you can expect (did I mention it fits easily in a pocket?). The iPhone is likewise better than the Kindle for the same reason. We're not comparing these devices to books, so your statements here are puzzling. You can search on a laptop, or PDA as well. You're going to carry a phone anyway... why not make it an iPhone or Palm Pre that gives you the connectivity, convenience and the capability you want without having to lug an expensive and frankly redundant bit of limited electronics like the Kindle?

As for the eBooks, they can be gotten in all the same places. I personally make my own books in eReader's PDB format from public domain works on Project Gutenberg. Some authors are releasing their works under Creative Commons licenses. They cost me nothing and I can give them away (never mind the lending). And there is that $400 I saved... it amounts to 40 books in the Amazon store or more than that elsewhere.

more than 5 years ago
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Effective Optical Disc Repair?

dave_leigh Re:Disc Doctor isn't all bad (554 comments)

Ditto. The trick to using Disk Doctor is using LOTS of DISTILLED water as a lubricant (no tap water!), and being exceptionally careful to maintain a constant speed when turning the handle. Conceptually the device is the same as the toothpaste technique above, but it does a job of polishing the tracks evenly superior to anything you can do by hand.

When done, the disk will look like you've just destroyed it, but it should be readable. IMMEDIATELY rip all the tracks and burn yourself a replacement disk. Better yet, rip all the tracks and put them on an MP3 player. CDs are passe for playing, but they're economical for distributing music unencumbered by DRM.

more than 6 years ago

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