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Comments

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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

gfxguy Re:For some it was just a plain black screen (303 comments)

Yeah... but Woolworth's is still in business? That's what's newsworthy... every Woolworths store I've ever known has been shutdown for ages.

I work for television production, and luckily those creative types keep Macs persistent in our computer inventory, but most desktops are still Windows; we still use Maya on Windows, and even those lucky enough to get MacBooks get Windows installed (one of our VPs called his MacBook the best Windows computer he ever had).

It's not happening enough to matter. I'm glad I can choose what to work on... yes, I dual boot and select Linux most of the time, but I do have to use Windows for some things, still, and yes, even at home we have Windows boxes (and out of four people, I'm the only one who dual boots).

4 days ago
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Patents That Kill

gfxguy Re:Alternatives? (240 comments)

My patent is supposed to benefit society... but it's supposed to benefit me, too. Why shouldn't I be able to "rest on my laurels" for a few years to reap what my work has sewn? Maybe they should be shorter, but inventors should be able to capitalize on their inventions. It doesn't matter to me that "society" doesn't benefit from my holding a patent if they are benefiting from the product I made with it, and they'll get their grubby hands on it soon enough. Why should I have to immediately start competing with people using what I created?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

gfxguy Re:Yes! (430 comments)

Even as an experienced Linux user (slackware from the early 90's), I don't care to spend all my time playing system administrator, I want to get my work done. If I have to spend a lot of time configuring my network card, or sound card, or graphics card, then I might as well use Windows or a Mac. I know a lot of people don't like Ubuntu, but I install it, do a few tweaks, and I can work without problems for at least a year... more if I don't feel the desire to upgrade to the latest version. If I have a problem, the Ubuntu forums are very end user friendly by comparison to other forums.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

gfxguy Re:Lists of bug fixes don't count as documentation (430 comments)

No argument there. I'm not a fan of turning on your users and saying "figure it out," but at the same time, if users don't like what they're getting for free they can always pay for something. Ultimately, if the developers are writing for an audience instead of themselves, then it's up to them to provide proper documentation if they want wide acceptance.

Unfortunately, a lot of FOSS projects started out as internal things (or proprietary) that weren't mean to end up as FOSS, but someone finally said "hey, this is neat [or old], let's release it to the community." So are you really going to get on their cases for being "nice" enough to release their stuff without bitching and moaning that, in addition to releasing it, they need to spend vast amounts of time documenting it?

I suggest the vast majority of these free tools and applications started out as something the developer wanted for themselves, and only after it was substantially written (or finished), released to the public... at that point the developer is using it because they know how to use it, and they don't really care if you choose to use it or not.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

gfxguy Re:Software Documentation is bad everywhere (430 comments)

True - but I did say "if they were written well and following some decent formatting conventions." Similar to *doc style documenting... but it would require stories to be written a different way. I was never fond of the "as a user" type stories, anyway, and every feature being shoe-horned into that style of formatting. Still, even if it's not agile, the requirements documents should provide the bulk of end user documentation for software use; I still say that task documentation could be used for code library documentation.

about three weeks ago
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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

gfxguy Re:People hear "Windows 8" and run away (336 comments)

That's fine... as I said earlier, I'm no Windows fanboy; I wrote my first responses at home using Linux, and now at work using Linux. I am certainly not suggesting everyone should run out and upgrade to windows 8.1, I'm saying that, with a couple of tweaks, it's not that bad... and when I upgraded my desktop, given that XP had finally been retired, I decided to get the Windows OS that would have the longest lifetime. I see no valid reasons for people to stick with 7 if they upgrade... install classic shell, and you get a Windows 7 like experience, with better under-the-hood hardware support (and smoother operation, IMO), and the longest potential for support of any Windows OS if you need Windows at all.

As for UI differences using classic shell, I can't think of what "look" is lacking, but I use some systems at work with 7, my wife and kids use 7 (I'm the only dual booter in the house), and - after tweaking - I just don't see a big enough difference to justify the hate bandwagon everybody is on. If all MS did was have the machine boot (or login, in a multi user situation) to the desktop instead of the "tiles," it seems like there'd be very few complaints.

about three weeks ago
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

gfxguy Re:Very disappointing. (93 comments)

Well then you should be asking Apple, as it was their proposed settlement that was accepted. Maybe your numbers are wrong.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

gfxguy Re:Yes! (430 comments)

Where've you been looking? The Ubuntu forums are generally not bad at all, and in my experience have been very user friendly. I've been using Linux for quite some time; I'm a developer, but don't think everybody should have to be a system administrator in order to use Linux as their desktop. I don't know everything... I write graphics applications. If my network or sound card isn't working, I have just as much of a problem as most newbies.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

gfxguy Re:Software Documentation is bad everywhere (430 comments)

I would think there should be automated ways to generate documentation based on the specifications and requirements.

For example, if you're using an "agile" approach, and have your list of stories that need to be addressed, and the developers then create a list of tasks in order to address those stories, the tasks should have enough information to describe what they're doing.... not necessarily implementation details, but if they're writing a function for example, it should document what gets passed in and out and side effects.

The stories would be end user documentation, the tasks developer documentation. That is, if they were written well and following some decent formatting conventions... but that's the problem right there, it's painful even getting users to properly describe the problems they are trying to solve, let alone developers providing *doc type descriptions in their tasks.

about three weeks ago
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

gfxguy The real culprits are the publishers. (93 comments)

I've been reading a description of the case, and what Apple did actually seems fair... Amazon was "dumping" in an effort to eliminate competition. Publishers setting prices is no different than video game console manufacturers setting prices, IMO.

The real crime is charging over $10.00 for an e-book at all. I know all the shills for publishers will say the bulk of the cost is in formatting the books, but to charge just as much... and sometimes MORE, than the printed book is absolutely ridiculous... no paper, no typesetting, no big machinery using copious amounts of electricity, no packaging, no delivery people, no trucks, no gas (no pollution!). On top of that, when you're done reading your e-book you can't give it away or sell it like you can a printed book.

I do not care what the shills are saying the bulk of the costs are now; when I was in college, the publishers justified the outrageous price of text books by talking about printing costs, limited runs, shipping small quantities... now that those costs are eliminated, some e-textbooks cost more? They were lying then, or they're lying now... either way I have no sympathy.

How would I handle this situation? I don't know - perhaps not allowing dumping, for one. I don't understand why the publishers were whining about it anyway - they were getting their money from Amazon, it was Amazon taking the loss, but I do believe that dumping is anti-competitive, and I believe in the free market - but I do believe in regulations that help keep it free. Price fixing, collusion, and dumping do not help keep the free market free.

about three weeks ago
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

gfxguy Re:Very disappointing. (93 comments)

So the fine was punitive, not compensatory. I have no problem with that.

about three weeks ago
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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

gfxguy Re:People hear "Windows 8" and run away (336 comments)

I didn't HAVE to tweak Windows 8, either.... I chose to. I could always have booted up to the tile screen and clicked on desktop, and used the tile screen instead of the start menu.

about three weeks ago
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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

gfxguy Re:People hear "Windows 8" and run away (336 comments)

You nailed the problem, and you're asking why?

I am, because after a single install for classic shell, you get a Windows that functions almost identically to a Windows 7 box, but with better hardware support and smoother under-the-hood experience that seems to work better than XP. So people are whining about having to install a classic shell and tweak a configuration setting to go directly to the desktop instead of the studid tiles screen... and I find it laughable, because whether it's Windows, Linux, or MacOS, I normally spend the first few hours tweaking it to my liking. And I'll repeat what I wrote above (yes, I know, you mentioned IOS and Android, not Linux), that Linux users who complain about having to tweak things are being both moronic and ironic.

I understand some things are different... going to the corners to get a menu, for example, but when you're using the desktop the same way you'd use it in XP or 7, running things from the start menu, double-clicking icons, etc., those other menus are really seldom needed anyway... so people are complaining about something that they would hardly ever use? Getting to the system configuration, for example? If you're system is working, you shouldn't need to visit it every day.... most people will log in, double-click on a few programs to get them running, and use it just like they used 7 or XP before... only Windows 8/8.1, in my experience, runs a lot more smoothly than XP and 7, in my experience.

Granted, the vast majority of the time I'm on my computer I'm using Linux, but I do have to use Windows from time to time, and I just don't get the whining... a lot of people hate MS (not a big fan myself), some of them get all mental when they find molehill to turn into a mountain.

about three weeks ago
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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

gfxguy Re:People hear "Windows 8" and run away (336 comments)

Exactly... 8/8.1 seem a lot smoother once you get past those damnable tiles. That's all I'm saying. Other than that, some things are moved around a bit, so it's different... not necessarily better or worse, but the OS itself seems to run very smoothly by comparison to 7 and XP. Linux is different, too - and even different distributions give you a totally different experience, but I still use it over Windows on a daily basis, and it's no different that, after you install it, you tweak, tweak, tweak to get it the way you want. Linux users that are complaining about having to tweak Windows are being moronic (and ironic).

about three weeks ago
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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

gfxguy Re:People hear "Windows 8" and run away (336 comments)

I realize that, but how is that different than a lot of recent operating systems (and it's always been install, tweak, tweak, tweak with Linux)?

about three weeks ago
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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

gfxguy Re:New Improved XP 2.0 (336 comments)

Because it makes no sense to support that many desktop versions for the OS when 8 and 8.1 aren't "worse" than XP after installing a few easy to download fixes (like classic shell). All "XP 2.0" would be is 8.1 with classic shell installed.

about three weeks ago
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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

gfxguy Re:People hear "Windows 8" and run away (336 comments)

I bought a laptop soon after 8 came out. Of course, I hated the tiles... and installed classic shell and told it to boot to the desktop. After that, I don't understand what all the complaining is about. When I finally, after over 10 years, rebuilt my desktop a couple of months ago, and XP was retired (I had XP Pro), I got 8.1 Pro... installed classic shell, and don't understand what all the complaining is about.

Sure, 95% of the time I'm using Linux anyway, but I installed 8.1, the software I use to do work when I have to write stuff for Windows, and I don't understand what all the complaining is about.

My experience... again, after installing classic shell, is much like 7, only smoother and a few different ways to access certain things (like control panel) that you rarely use anyway... and it's not worse, it's just different.

So the only complaint really is that you need to install something like classic shell, but since I need to spend time customizing out of the box linux distributions, too, I fail to see the problem.

I'm serious... I really want someone to explain to me why they think Windows 8/8.1 is so bad (once you get rid of the tiles/apps paradigm by using classic shell and going straight to desktop). I'm not a Windows fanboy, I'm writing this on Linux, and mainly use Linux out of choice... but it seems to me people are just jumping on the hate bandwagon for anything new. I get that desktop and tablet experiences are different, and companies (not just MS) should stop trying to force feed us a single UI paradigm for all platforms... it doesn't work, but like the last few versions of Ubuntu, if you don't like it, you can tweak it to where it works for you.

Please refrain from feigning pity for "Joe User" that can't figure these things out for themselves... that's not who any of us here are, and most of us have little sympathy for Joe User otherwise.

about three weeks ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

gfxguy Re:Customer service? (928 comments)

I fly once or twice a year, I'd prefer to be seated first, get comfortable, and not have to worry about everyone else (and not fight for overhead space). In business or first class, people can easily get by you if they are in your row and you were first. I don't think I'm in the miniroty there, as most first class and airline club members seem to enjoy being first. First class and business seats are also more comfortable than anything in the boarding area, and you often start getting service immediately.

about a month ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

gfxguy Re:Customer service? (928 comments)

It's not just U.S. airlines... I flew Varig to Brazil, a great airline by most standards. While in Sao Paulo awaiting our flight to Miami, we were informed the plane had mechanical difficulties, and we wouldn't be able to fly until the morning. They ushered us out to the public transportation lanes and issued taxi after taxi a voucher to drive us to a 4 star hotel that they contacted and requested they hold the evening buffet open for the passengers, as it was quite late by that time (after 11:00pm). In the morning, two beautiful tour busses (nice and clean and new), complete with air conditioning and full bathrooms, picked up the passengers at the hotel and brought us back for our flight.

Needless to say, every single person on the flight missed their connection in Miami. Keep in mind this is the SAME airline, just in Miami instead of Sao Paulo, Brazil: The plane got in fairly late (I don't recall exactly what time... but late evening at the earliest). No one was there to meet the plane and make arrangements for connecting flights. No one was at the desk. We had to call the airline in order for them to get someone to come and deal with us. They arranged our flight for like 6:00am the following morning, and told us we could go to a particular hotel (decent, not great hotel), and we needed to catch the hotel's shuttle in the public transportation area. So there we were, like 150 people waiting the the curb... with all of our luggage, and the bus pulls up, the driver opens the door and says "I'm sorry, I can't take all y'all," and drives off without taking anybody. So we go back to the Varig desk to complain (yes, the shuttle bus should have taken people, but it would have taken 10 trips to get everyone on their luggage anyway). They called the hotel, but would not pay for taxis or arrange any other transportation. I ended up just taking a taxi at my own expense anyway. We get to the hotel and it's jam packed... the check in line was out the door. Many people didn't even get a room until 4am, enough time to take a shower and go back to the airport. In Brazil we walked into the hotel and were just handed the keys to a room, the airline had taken care of everything; everybody had a room in, I'd guess, no more than 20 minutes.

The conclusion is the airlines don't have the onus in the U.S. that they have elsewhere to treat passengers better. Why the amazing treatment in Brazil? Are there laws about it? I don't know. We made Varig aware of our dissatisfaction and haven't used them since, but what else are you going to do? You're usually limited to flights available, there isn't always a lot of choice.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Radio frequencies help burn salt water

gfxguy gfxguy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gfxguy (98788) writes "From the article at Yahoo News:

Rustum Roy, a Penn State University chemist, has held demonstrations at his State College lab to confirm his own observations. The radio frequencies act to weaken the bonds between the elements that make up salt water, releasing the hydrogen, Roy said. Once ignited, the hydrogen will burn as long as it is exposed to the frequencies, he said.
Isn't the oxygen also released? And wouldn't it burn, too? Sounds a bit too cool to be true, but it would be nice to think we don't have to wait for fusion to become viable."

Link to Original Source
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gfxguy gfxguy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

gfxguy (98788) writes "I recently took advantage of a program Tivo was offering where they replace an older Tivo with problems with a newer unit for $10.00. They didn't even want the series 1 back, they just sent a refurbished series 2. Now I'm wondering if the old Tivo (defective due to a bad modem, but I have an external one I was using) can be revived with MythTV. Anybody out there try this? Is there a problem with proprietary hardware, or are there other limitations? I'd imagine those old boxes are becoming quite common (and cheap off of Ebay). With a good MythTV setup from scratch costing about three times as much as a Tivo, it seems like it'd be a useful hack."

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