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Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

xianzombie Re:Any idea what's the motivation to remove START? (516 comments)

You mean the types of geeks that dispute Gnome vs KDE vs XFCE vs any other number of configurable GUI interfaces for Linux throwing a fit about having the option to change a menu button on a Windows system via a 3rd party customizable interface to give a user options as to what they want?

about 7 months ago
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Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

xianzombie Re:Any idea what's the motivation to remove START? (516 comments)

If you're not already familiar with it, I highly recommend "Classic Shell". http://www.classicshell.net/

That will let you choose a few different traditional start menu types, allow Win7 style searching from the menu, add some features into the Windows Explorer, and disable the active corners and metro screen.

Once that's done, I personally like the OS as much or better than Win7.

Disclaimer:

My win7 box is a company laptop with 8gig ram, an 2.4ghz I5 processor, Dell something or other but stuck with MS Office, McAffee and some other crap I can't uninstall per company policy.

My Win8 laptop has 4gig ram, 2.5ghz, i3 processor Toshiba Satellite and configured the way *I* want it.

So, in my situation, working off two different machines, different software, different settings: Win8 seems faster and more responsive "to me". I'm sure some of this is a function of background tasks, etc, YMMV.

about 7 months ago
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Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

xianzombie Re:you want school shootings? (798 comments)

No mod points here, so the best I can give is an "Amen!"

Personally, I was the youngest kid in the class. Kinda short, kinda fat, a kinda a dork. I was a prime target. Nothing like watching the gym teacher laugh as you get a hockey stick under your rips lifting you up off the ground (think bear hug from behind -- kinda creepy in retrospect). The senior(s) and teachers didn't laugh as hard once I whacked one upside the head. Not too hard, but enough to get his attention.

Thankfully, a couple years later I met some like-minded folks. Combine the goth kids, the metal heads, the geeks, and the 'thankfully this was before columbine' kids in trench coats and combat boots who just didn't really give a fuck. Which amounted to about, oh...8 close people and a network of associated outcasts.

Not a lot, but when there's only a couple lone bullies, 8 people standing together is enough.

about 8 months ago
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Titanium-Headed Golf Clubs Create Brush Fire Hazard In California

xianzombie Golf, Now With Fire Hazards! (169 comments)

Play it as it lays! Water Trap, Sand Trap, Raging Inferno Trap. If you can reach it, play it!

about 9 months ago
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Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

xianzombie Re:Another type that is interesting... (717 comments)

My last company was exactly that. "Salary Minus". I forget the exact pay rate, but lets say it broke down to $1/hr. So I'd make $40 per week based on a 40hr work week. 60hrs that week meant I still got $40. 30hrs for the week meant I got $30. These hours were against actual projects/new work.

Additionally, I was on call 24/7. Every goddamn week. A service call during the day cut into my time on new work, so I had to "Work Harder" to make up the time I lost on the new job to offset the time spent on emergency maint.

On the upside, I did get paid a fixed $50 per service call for after hours maintenance (before taxes). $50 per call no matter how long it took. 15min fix? $50. 12hr fix? $50.

This was from 2004-2006. I started at $37,500/yr and I think when I left I was up to a whopping $39k or so.

Maybe I'm a masochist, as I switched companies and kept doing the same damn thing. The customers I had switched their contracts to my new company less than 6 months after I left the old.

Still salary, still the same on-call schedule, and I lost the after hours compensation I used to have.

But now I kinda work my own schedule, act as my own supervisor, manage my own projects, work less hours and make more money.

about 10 months ago
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NBC News Confuses the World About Cyber-Security

xianzombie Re:Small world (144 comments)

Of course there's meters outside the borders, that's how we charge Canada and Mexico. I'd venture to say there's maybe even a thousand of them to cover both borders

about 10 months ago
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GOCE Satellite Is Falling To Earth But Nobody Knows Where It Will Land

xianzombie Re:Reason to live (122 comments)

I hadn't thought of it that way....how quick can we plot its impact and organize a get together for our In-Laws?

about a year ago
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Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

xianzombie Re:Win8 as a UI vs. an OS (398 comments)

Brilliant! Now to update my Win8 box.

Meanwhile, to avoid further nerd-rage, I'm also switching this laptop over from Ubuntu to Mint...so yeah...doin' *nix stuff! (Though I never really got the hang of BSD, but last I tried that was several years ago)

about a year ago
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Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

xianzombie Re:Win8 as a UI vs. an OS (398 comments)

Why? Android MIUI vs HTC Sense vs Others; XFCE vs KDE vs Gnome, etc.

The default UI for Win8 basically sucks, but some tweaks make it a functional system again

about a year ago
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Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

xianzombie Re:I want to search just my pc (398 comments)

Cuz man...the Cloud....ain't ya heard! That's where all the important files are going.

*blech*

about a year ago
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Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

xianzombie Re:DO NOT WANT (398 comments)

Somewhat sadly, after a HD failure, we loaded up Ubuntu on the wife's laptop. While it did everything she needed, she really just didn't like it, and things like Skype just didn't play nice. (Which was sad, as I was working out of town for about a month and wanted to see her and the kid).

That said, once it gave up the ghost, we picked her up a replacement laptop with Win8. She wouldn't let me tweak it, but somehow she can handle the default Win8 with Metro better than Linux with KDE, Gnome, or XFCE. *shrug*

about a year ago
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Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

xianzombie Re:Win8 as a UI vs. an OS (398 comments)

Well, in true Slashdot fashion, I didn't read the article or full summary thereby missing:

"The upgrade is optional (and free) for existing Windows 8 users, though if one looks at the changes, it's hard to imagine why those already on it wouldn't upgrade."

about a year ago
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Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

xianzombie Win8 as a UI vs. an OS (398 comments)

Before everyone starts bashing on Win8 (even though it does, to some extent, deserve it), I feel obligated to state:

The OS:
1. Performs better than Win7 (for me)
2. Has been perhaps the most stable iteration of windows (for me).

The UI:

Is horrible in terms of the default layout. Adding back in a 'normal' start menu (via Classic Shell, etc) and turning off the charm bars are key to making it a usable GUI, IMO.

With the above 'tweaks' the biggest thing I miss comparing 7 to 8 is the loss of being able to search files directly from the search bar. Perhaps that' some option/tweak I missed somewhere along the lines.

Will I try 8.1? If I can do it for free, yes. Will I give them money for it? NO!

about a year ago
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Nest Protect: Trojan Horse For 'The Internet of Things'?

xianzombie Smoke Detector and Activity Sensor? (177 comments)

Can it detect if I'm cooking so it doesn't trip the alarm? Cuz when I cook, somethings likely to burn.

about a year ago
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Internet of Things Demands New Social Contract To Protect Privacy

xianzombie Re:Anonymous & Unpopular (95 comments)

Amen to that one. There's a big difference in protecting assets vs this (virtual) panopticon.

My day job mostly involves installing and maintaining security and surveillance equipment. Usually for government agencies. But what my job entails isn't much different than protecting your home or business with ADT, etc. Just on a large scale and a bigger budget...(and outdated regulations).

Ie. It's a government facility. There is CCTV in use. There are security systems in use. Entering the installations is giving consent to being monitored, searched, etc. Using their phone system is giving consent to having your calls recorded.

The same as if your employer has CCTV and the ability to search your possessions on their premises. For the government installations, this is all pretty much a given (and aptly advertised). This, to me seems fine. Much the same way I'm fine with stores having CCTV in and around their buildings.

The problem areas are with agencies like the NSA that have basically been granted to ability to look at and listen to whatever they want, whenever they want.

about a year ago
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Employers Switching From Payroll Checks To Prepaid Cards With Fees

xianzombie Re:Perfect is the enemy of good. (1103 comments)

Bear with me, cuz I'm not familiar with BACS or CHAPS (or anything other than the US banking system). Having just 'skimmed' the articles, I can make a completely inaccurate attempt at breaking down my paycheck, banking.

1. I get paid via Direct Deposit on the 15th and last business day of each month. I think this is a bit like BACS, in that my employer does ???? a few days before my payday, and on the 15th (or often, the business day before) money magically arrives in my bank account (technically, a credit union)

2. My accounts: I have a Checking acct and a Savings acct. Direct Deposited pay goes to the checking account. I rarely write cheques/checks anymore, but the Mastercard debit card is linked to this account. Payments with the card are more "CHAPS-like" Some of my physical checks will cash on an Automatic Clearing House rather than waiting in limbo. Checks to my kid's daycare however tend to take about 7+ days to clear. I could pay them with the credit/debit card and have it withdrawn immediately, but they [the daycare] charge an extra $5 per transaction to do so to offset their 'per transaction fee' they have to pay for processing.

The Savings Acct. defaults to being protection if I overdraft from my checking. Other than that, it offers a pathetic interest rate as an incentive to save $$$ and bank with them.

In the US, some small companies and/or low wage jobs have physical checks given to the employee that they must cash. Problem is, most banks/credit unions won't cash checks unless you're already a member of their bank. Hence the pawn shops, payday loan, and check cashing locations save the day by offering check cashing services for x% of your hard earned paycheck.

I've also seen (Walmart?) offer "Free" check cashing, so long as you spent some percentage of said check at their store the same day.

about a year and a half ago

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