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Comment: Re: LibreOffice (Score 2) 190

by Lonewolf666 (#47746725) Attached to: Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

There are sometimes small changes in table layout too.

One case where I can confirm a small incompatibility with certainty are the backgrounds in table calls. Word offers some patterns there that are missing when loading the document in LibreOffice, for instance dotted backgrounds. This is not a conversion issue, it is simply a feature that LibreOffice does not have.

Things like that are the reason why using Word and LibreOffice in parallel tends to have some friction. So when switching to Linux, best switch everything if you can and mandate ODF as new document format.

Comment: Re:NT is best (Score 1) 190

by Lonewolf666 (#47746663) Attached to: Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

Err! Win NT6.0 was Microsoft Windows Vista and we know how everyone loved that. Even with NT6.1 (Microsoft Windows 7) you still could get constant reboots and BSODs (first hand experience). Still NT6.2 (MS Win 8) and NT3 (MS Win 8.1) may me stable to you but that GUI IMHO looks like something designed by a 5 year old.

Agreed about the GUI in Windows 8 (and it is desktop-user unfriendly too) but Windows 2000 and above were stable enough for me, good hardware and drivers given. I have, however, seen a few cases where hardware problems or flaky drivers caused BSODs.

You write that you switched to Linux over seven years ago. That would be in the XP timeframe. Did you use the same hardware as for XP, or something different?

Comment: Re:This is going to backfire horribly (Score 1) 64

by Lonewolf666 (#47705731) Attached to: AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series Solid State Drives With OCZ

1. Agreed, that sounds stupid.

2. AMD has a somewhat tarnished reputation for the performance of their FX CPU line. So far, NOT over lack of reliability. I hope they won't acquire that now...

[digression]From Nvidia, the only really bad thing I remember is that their mobile Geforce 8xxx had a reputation for dieing early. The 8600 GT in particular.
They are known for not caring about Open Source, and that is why I would currently prefer an AMD GPU (even if the GeForce 750 Ti looks really nice in terms of performance/watt).
But I'm probably in the minority there, and Nvidia's binary drivers have a good reputation and fairly long support time frames, longer than binary AMD drivers anyway.

For a real mess, consider this: (status of Intel Poulsbo on Linux ;-)

Comment: Re:Marginally better (Score 1) 64

by Lonewolf666 (#47705561) Attached to: AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series Solid State Drives With OCZ

Somewhat inexpensive, but not quite so cheap that losing a SSD to a premature defect wouldn't sting a bit. In my neck of the woods, a 256GB SSD still costs around 150 Euros.

Unlike GP, I might take a chance on a product with less than 5 years of warranty if the vendor has a track record for good quality. OCZ does not, and I doubt if the acquisition by Toshiba has instantly fixed things. Or if Toshiba branded SSDs have not suffered from the bad influence ;-)

So Toshiba would have to offer a good warranty, where others may get a free pass.

Comment: Re:Follow the money (Score 1) 160

by Lonewolf666 (#47683549) Attached to: The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

I would suggest that the current malaise at NASA extends through the Shuttle program. Operating a first generation prototype for over a quarter of a century? Hell, just flying the same five vehicles for a quarter of a century (not even replacing those that crashed) is hardly a sign of a place that will thrill an innovative young engineer. It's more like a railway museum than a space agency.

Flying the same expensive equipment for 30 years and more is not unusual if it lasts that long. For instance, look up the timeframes for which military aircraft stay operational. Many from the 1970s are still around.

I agree with GP though that failing to build a replacement in time does not make NASA look good.

Comment: Shortage propaganda versus wages (Score 1) 268

If you don't think there is a shortage of software developers in the US, why are developers in the US paid so much more than ones in Europe?

Also, there is no hard threshold to define an "actual" shortage when you're talking about such a large job market.

Curiously, European employers (in Germany in particular) are complaining about a "shortage" too and have lobbied with some success for easier immigration of qualified workers. It looks quite similar to the discussion and critique about H-1B workers in the USA, see also

Personally, I think a "shortage" can best be detected from the development of wages, relative to other fields where the necessary education is similarly difficult and time consuming. For instance, does the average engineer earn significantly more than the average M.D., lawyer or business manager?

For Germany, AFAIK the answer is "no" and the complaints about a "shortage" are mostly propaganda. I'm not as familiar with the US labor market but the anecdotical evidence I pick up here and there tends to say "no" as well.

Comment: Re:Did they include the NIMBY tax? (Score 1) 409

I think operators of all types of power plants should have to pay for the costs they cause to society and which are so far externalized. Even if the payment is only partial, it can make the problematic technology less competitive and help others gain market share.

Mandatory insurance for the risk of nuclear accidents is a step in the right direction, if the insurance sum is realistic. For instance, Germany has mandatory insurance for nuclear power plants but only at a paltry 2.5 billion euros coverage per plant. Needs to be much higher.

For coal and gas-fired plants, I agree that there should be a mechanism for penalizing CO2 and mercury emissions. The EU has introduced such an instrument for CO2, the There seems to be no such thing in the USA yet.
See also where the USA, Canada and Russia are the least cooperative states .

At the same time, the USA are starting to do something about mercury emissions while the EU doesn't yet:
Not based on taxing the emissions but on emission limits. Emissions below the limits stay free. Still, it is something.

Gas when extracted by fracking probably needs its own regulation concerning fracking chemicals. And so on...

Which would leave renewables in a better position because they don't have most of the usual risks and harmful emissions. Most complains I hear are about birds crashing into wind turbines and turbines looking ugly (matter of taste, YMMD).

Comment: Re:Did they include the NIMBY tax? (Score 1) 409

The French nuclear industry does not have the very best reputation for diligence and safety. I would not be too surprised if they have a major accident some day. That is the flip side of having no NIMBYs.

To put the whole risk into financial perspective, I suggest mandatory insurance on a level that is sufficient to cover a Fukujima-class accident. Estimated costs of that one are around $100 billion:

With that insurance requirement in place, by all means let the market decide if nuclear is still worthwhile ;-)

Comment: Re:Nobody kills Java (Score 2) 371

by Lonewolf666 (#47631089) Attached to: Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

You don't have to guess which community Oracle cares about. But if you're not sure, ask yourself which community can Oracle extort support contracts out of, or can be upsold on other products.

Follow the money. How much is the JCP paying Oracle to give a rat's ass about their concerns? Innovation is a cost center to someone protecting a market share, and competing against others who are protecting a market share.

At the moment, lawyers seem to be a bigger cost center in protecting Java market share. See Oracle vs. Google, still ongoing.

Comment: Re:Only 17 months to go... (Score 1) 138

by Lonewolf666 (#47628493) Attached to: Microsoft To Drop Support For Older Versions of Internet Explorer

I recently had a similar problem with Microsoft Test Manager. With IE11 the content of the administration web page was not visible. I could not find the reason in the security settings (and accessing the web page from the same system suggests that it should be a "trusted zone"). Firefox 31 did the job though.

So I suspect this was another case of IE11 being broken for a Microsoft service.

Comment: Re:Small-scale, real-time. (Score 1) 502

Further, solar DOES NOT WORK IN A BLACK OUT because it feeds back into the grid. We were told refrigerator sized batteries were available at substantial cost which could be used in a power outtage. Most people do not realize that solar power does not equate to always available power without significant additional cost and inconvenience.

That is due to the current design of inverters that will switch off/refuse to start without a stable grid. Lets call those type A. They make up the majority of installations today.

I believe this could be fixed with inverters that can be switched to isolated operation mode as needed, but there seems to be no market so far.

Currently solar systems for isolated operation mode exist, but they are typically designed to feed a battery (for instance, 48V) from which an inverter for isolated operation mode generates the 220V (or 120V in the USA). Lets call these Type B. Type B and the related batteries are typically used in houses that are too isolated to be connected to the grid. The whole system is more expensive than type A and therefore not so popular. Usually, it is also NOT designed to feed into a grid..

A type A/B that can do both would be nice. Out of curiosity, I've been searching the internet for a vendor that supplies these systems. No luck so far. But then again, a type A system plus a generator to bridge a few days of blackout may actually be cheaper...

Comment: Re:XP losing Market share is not bad news. (Score 1) 336

by Lonewolf666 (#47592941) Attached to: Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

Speculation of course, but I think they were told to push the Metro UI by upper management. The obvious culprit would be Ballmer, but he is already gone.

So you may end up being right about the UI team being fired when someone is needed to take the blame. But I doubt they deserve it.

Comment: Re:Who has the market share? (Score 2) 336

by Lonewolf666 (#47592709) Attached to: Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

Poor adoption rate is their big problem

How is that their big problem? They don't need high adoption. Moreover they control the supply of Windows 7 licenses they can resolve the adoption problem very easily. Today Windows 8.1 sells with downgrade rights to and Windows 7 Professional and Windows Vista Business. Tomorrow they eliminate that. If adoption was their problem the solution is trivial.

That might be too much incentive for people to finally switch to Mac or Linux. Early netbooks have shown that the power of Windows to keep users is finite:
Linux gained significant market share in the segment, until Microsoft created the ultra-cheap (or was it even free?) Starter Edition of XP.

But what actually seems to happen is that Windows 9 will bring the start menu back in some form. Problem solved for Microsoft where the desktop is considered.

(null cookie; hope that's ok)