Thursday, June 02, 2016

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Humans, Season One:
This show takes place in a near-future where robotics have progressed far enough that the "synths" look exactly like real humans and are ubiquitous like Roombas. It has shades of both Ex Machina and Black Mirror and raises plenty of questions about sentience and robotic ethics. The plot is nicely paced and ends with sufficient closure while leaving enough space for the next season.

Final Grade: A

The Nice Guys (R):
If you liked Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, you'll enjoy this new detective / mismatched buddy movie from the same director. Set in the 1970s, the movie remains breezy and engrossing without ever getting more serious than it should be. The action starts to run together towards the end, but it was perfect for an Alamo date night.

Final Grade: B+

Windows 10:
Windows 10 is better than Vista and 8, but worse than XP and 7. It's got a rock solid core that does what it's supposed to do most of the time, hampered by an overwhelming number of annoyances. It essentially solves many problems from previous versions while introducing new problems in the traditional Microsoft way. For example, my print spooler no longer shuts down mysteriously every second day, but now my laptop resets projector settings every time I hook it up to the TV and has decided that it should lock itself whenever I step away for more than 2 minutes on battery power. It also reboots on its own time (in spite of what I configure), turns on and off at weird times throughout the night, and is loaded with useless instructions and workflows intended for tablets that have no relevance in a desktop world. I don't mind if you design an OS for both tablets and desktops, but telling me to "swipe up" on the very first lock screen during my very first startup is just poor UX.

There have been plenty of articles on the unsettling amount of telemetry built into the system (pretty much everything you do is reported back in some way to Microsoft, from searches to keystrokes), and Microsoft's increasingly stalker-like attempts to force you to upgrade that sometimes feel like monopolized malware. In the case of my dad's desktop, the upgrade bricked his hard drive by overwriting the boot sector with a new Windows partition.

The bottom line is that it sucks, but you'll probably have to get it anyways if you do anything that requires Windows.

Final Grade: C-

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