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Comment: Re:Popularity effects & user perception (Score 1) 572

by Alain Williams (#47712943) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

As a smaller organisation a better strategy for you would be to install free s/ware on machines where it can do the job as well, eg: firefox instead of IE; thunderbird for outlook (depending on what you do for calendaring); LibreOffice instead of MS Office; ... Most (say 80%) user's requirements are simple and free stuff will work well for them. When a user's PC dies, you look to see what they are using - if it is all free s/ware you replace their box with one running a free OS; if not then you give them one running MS Windows or OS x

Comment: Re:Not so good if you are blind (Score 1) 91

More to the point the web site needs to comply with disability legislation. In the UK blind/partially-sighted people must, by law, be able to use the web site. This is one of the advantages of CSS - you can keep the site clean so that it works well with a screen reader. In theory a web site (owner) can be prosecuted for disciminating against people who have sight problems, in practice this does not happen very often.

So: all the bot would need to do is to claim to be blind and so avoid the game playing CAPTCHA.

Comment: Popularity effects & user perception (Score 5, Insightful) 572

by Alain Williams (#47699589) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

Reading TFA I suspect that the sorts of problems are:

  • * Interoperability with third parties. Eg document exchange. In a world where most others use MS software then there will be issues, moving to ODF will help, but not eliminate all issues -- incompatabilities between the way that MS and Open/Libre Office interpret the spec will remain. People will still use other formats where Open equivalents may not exist - eg CAD
  • * Munich have gone out on their own, few are following their lead. They thus have to pay the first implementor's penalty. Those who follow will find things easier and cheaper.
  • * Hardware devices (eg mobile phones). Although many of these might have Linux as the base, the vendor will make sure that it works with MS products and not worry about Linux equivalents
  • * Users are using something that is new and will blame problems on it. This time they have a name ''Linux'' - this becomes perceived as the root of all evil.
  • * Similar problems would have happened with a roll out of a new MS system and these problems would just be accepted as teething problems of a new system. But because Munich is doing something different by having software running on Linux systems this will be seen as the cause of it and thus blamed, with a belief that return to MS will fix all the problems. It will fix some but cause others, but until then Linux systems will get all the blame.

The best way to fix Munich's problems is for others to grab the LiMux distribution and use it. This will:

* Reduce compatability problems. A tipping point will eventually be reached, look how MS IE was king and then it went to less than 80% and suddenly slid as web sites had to take web standards seriously.

* Hardware vendors will have to test against more than just MS Windows and its ecosystems

* Others will contribute software and patches, the cost to Munich will drop.

* Munich IT department will not be seen as maverick since others are also doing it. Eventually they will, hopefully, be lauded as pioneers and visionaries.

Comment: Do not 'phone - write (Score 1) 401

by Alain Williams (#47462247) Attached to: Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Send a letter to their registered head office stating that you do not want their service from xxx date. Then cancel the payment with your bank. Job done.

Your new provider can do whatever work is needed to take the line over. Send them a copy of the letter that you send to your old provider.

Comment: No one is excluded by other people (Score 4, Interesting) 608

by Alain Williams (#47414661) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Things are wrong if a group of people are excluded from something by others for no particular reason or a frivolous one such as: sex, religion, skin colour, ... However: we are not equal in achievement, I will never be a swimming great -- the young lads at the pool power past me, but I could prob write a better C program or shell script than they could. However if they were willing to put many years work they might manage that as well.

Life is not fair, different people have different abilities & achievements. What is important is that society provides equality of opportunity; it is up to the individual to exercise that opportunity based on the time that they are willing to put in and their innate abilities.

Comment: Re:HTML5 & JS should just crawl away and die (Score 4, Funny) 104

by Alain Williams (#47385931) Attached to: Do We Really Need Another JavaScript Framework?

It means that there is yet another web site that I arrive at at see an empty page or maybe a few items scattered apparently at random. I surf with javascript switched off by default. Most sites should work without javascript, OK some fancy features might be missing but I should generally see the page. Those that do not: I might look to see what javascript to enable, but all too often they are trying to pull in javascript from 1/2 dozen sites - so I guess a couple and then give up and go elsewhere.

Javascript should be used to make a page look nicer, not to make it work at all. Insisting on javascript is like insisting on flash.

I accept that a few special pages really do need special effects that need javascript, but not many of them.

Comment: I was going to ask ... (Score 1) 115

by Alain Williams (#47380515) Attached to: Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

what sort of encryption(s) were the cops unable to break - assuming that they were able to tell by looking at the files; failing that what were the ones that they succeeded in breaking? That might be useful as it would guide me in choosing which algorithms to use for encrypting my stuff.

Then is occurred to me that if the cops revealed it I must assume misinformation. They surely would not make their life difficult by telling me how to defeat them -- or would they answer the question honestly ? So: I could ever trust their answer -- is there any point in even asking them the question ?

Comment: Re:Longevity (Score 1) 196

by Alain Williams (#47360317) Attached to: The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...

Agreed, I worded it badly. How about: ''How long had the last energy saving bulb that you replaced been working ?'' Even then it is sloppy since some bulbs will be used a lot (eg in the kitchen) whereas others very little (in the garage or spare bedroom). But it is not intended to be a scientific survey.

"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was." -- Walt West