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Comment: Re:As seen on Usenet: comp.misc (Score 1) 168

by ChicoLance (#46199885) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Distributed Online Storage For Families?

I miss Usenet. Yes, the many of the groups got overrun with spam, and I'm not talking the binaries, but I really like the decentralized nature of it. But really, with a good reader, of your own choosing, you could just rip through discussions or participate. How it looked to you was your own doing. Some of the web forums these days are just painfull if you're trying to skim lots of messages. I really like slrn. Oh well.

Comment: Re:Clip (Score 1) 1862

by emarkp (#42597403) Attached to: 3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws

Example, the taxi cab "licensing" system in many cities (where the politicians are bought off by the bigger cartels to implement a system that benefits them at the expense of competition). The average man on the street doesn't understand the subtleties but does understand he's being ripped off, and that's "gouging".

Which once again is political. Taxi medallions are pretty much the perfect example of government screwing up economics.

Comment: Re:Clip (Score 3, Informative) 1862

by emarkp (#42595551) Attached to: 3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws

Uh, yes it is. Gouging is a political word, not an economic one. Current price reflects future value. If something suddenly is more valuable to people, prices will (and should) rise. The higher prices are both signal and capital to produce more. Higher prices also prevent totally exhausting supply, which allows scarce inventory to be more widely distributed until more inventory can be made.

Comment: Re:A Mature Local Machine Product vs Immature Clou (Score 1) 346

by emarkp (#42407751) Attached to: Google Docs Vs. Microsoft Word: an Even Matchup?

From the site I linked:

Nonetheless, thanks to Microsoft's practice of “strategic incompatibility” and utter contempt for the investment made by their customers, these rudimentary macros have required specific modifications for every single new version of Excel in the decade since they were originally released, and things have gotten worse, not better, since Microsoft introduced the new Visual Basic programming language for Excel (itself a cesspool of release-to-release incompatibility), due to what appears to be a deliberate Microsoft strategy to destabilise the original macro language in order to force customers onto the new one (at a cost to Microsoft corporate clients I estimate on the order of a hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars).

(Emphasis mine)

Comment: Re:A Mature Local Machine Product vs Immature Clou (Score 1) 346

by emarkp (#42407739) Attached to: Google Docs Vs. Microsoft Word: an Even Matchup?

From the site I linked to, right above the "multiple document" bug you referenced, with the animated flame gif:

Why So Many Versions?

The Hacker's Diet spreadsheets were originally developed in 1990 with Excel 2.1 on Microsoft Windows 3.1. Some of the components in the package use Excel macros which are, for the most part, relatively simple and straightforward compared to those found in a typical corporate Excel application. Nonetheless, thanks to Microsoft's practice of “strategic incompatibility” and utter contempt for the investment made by their customers, these rudimentary macros have required specific modifications for every single new version of Excel in the decade since they were originally released, and things have gotten worse, not better, since Microsoft introduced the new Visual Basic programming language for Excel (itself a cesspool of release-to-release incompatibility), due to what appears to be a deliberate Microsoft strategy to destabilise the original macro language in order to force customers onto the new one (at a cost to Microsoft corporate clients I estimate on the order of a hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars).

The upshot of this is that while in a reasonable world spreadsheets and macros would be capital, created once and then used thereafter with no additional attention, in the world of Microsoft, software developed for their platforms is a “wasting asset” more like a stock option with an strike date about 18 months from the time it was developed. By then Billy Boy or one of his Kode Kiddies will have changed their mind about something (or simply introduced a gratuitous incompatibility, whether for strategic reasons, due to sloppiness or incompetence, or just for the Hell of it) which pulls the carpet out from under the application and its users when they “upgrade” to a more recent Microsoft release (which is increasingly involuntary as more and more new computers are sold pre-loaded with the latest releases of Microsoft operating systems and applications, offering the customer no option but to pay the “Microsoft Tax” bundled in the cost of the system).

Comment: Re:A Mature Local Machine Product vs Immature Clou (Score 4, Insightful) 346

by emarkp (#42404319) Attached to: Google Docs Vs. Microsoft Word: an Even Matchup?

Because if you update to the next version of Word or Excel, half of your macros break. The simplest-yet-complete rant on this I've seen is here: http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/comptoolsExcel.html

And by design, Word & Excel will ratchet themselves forward in versions (especially if you're working with clients). So why invest significant time in an infrastructure that is designed to break?

Comment: Let's stop watching the tea leaves of the models.. (Score 2, Interesting) 313

by emarkp (#42373589) Attached to: Coral Reefs In Grave Danger, Say Climate Simulations

And look at what's actually happening:

... a large scale, natural experiment in Papua New Guinea. There are several places at the eastern end of that country where carbon dioxide is continuously bubbling up through healthy looking coral reef, with fish swimming around and all that that implies.

Remember when scientists would discard theories when their predictions were wrong? Good times....

Comment: Eclipse - the IDE not the movie (Score 4, Interesting) 124

by ChicoLance (#41825093) Attached to: EFF Wants Ubuntu To Disable Online Search By Default

Yes, this inclusion into the Dash has gone a bit to far.

I upgraded a machine over the weekend to 12.10, and after a couple of installs of my various packages I like, I went to Unity Dash to search for "Eclipse" to see if I'd already installed the Java IDE or not.

Instead of simply saying "no", it instead gave me returns for all sorts of Twilight movies and books. Amazon probably has it on my wish list already.

I'll search Amazon when I want to search Amazon. When Dash is now the way to launch programs on my box instead of menus, I want it to launch programs.

    --Lance

Comment: Re:Well you know... (Score 1) 499

by emarkp (#41387199) Attached to: How Big Pharma Hooked America On Legal Heroin

In these examples, he's using it as a subgroup of pot smokers. That is, the image we have of the "loser stoner" who spends all his day baked. The hippie dope-smoker head-in-the-clouds stereotype disconnected from reality. It's hardly a screed against "marijuana users."

The full exchange in the first example is about the people making a mess of the Wisconsin capitol, where I think people did in fact have bongs IIRC:

GROTHMAN: No, of course not. But the people who are staying overnight are largely making a mess of our capitol. That's what you're addressing. Why are we keeping people out of the building? Because we do not want to have so many people there overnight defacing our beautiful capitol. If you would interview all the people who are creating a ruckus, the vast majority who are here today are not police officers or nurses. They're either college students or hangers on -- or unemployed people just looking for somewhere to hang on.

RUSH: Right. The Democrats and the media want you to think it's just a bunch of average, hardworking out of working, valiant teachers, firefighters and so forth, and it's a bunch of slobs. Maggot-infested, dope-smoking, damn it, hell, longhaired, the whole nine yards. You got longhaired, maggot-infested, dope-smoking FM rock 'n' roller types, exactly who they are. Bong pipes, you name it. Now, I'm gonna tell you something: What Governor Walker and other governors around the country are offering public sector unions is beyond generous. It's outlandish, it's irresponsible. Wisconsin bureaucrats ought to be kissing this governor's feet for what he's offering them during these economic times.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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