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Comment: Re:Appropriate Supreme Court Quote (Score 1) 314

by MoneyT (#45908869) Attached to: Court Rules Against Online Anonymity

And what kind of carpet-cleaning business maintains a "database" of their customers?

Most businesses in the US maintain a database of their customers. At it's simplest form, it's the ledger, which tracks payments in (and what they were for) and payments out (and what they were for). Beyond that, most service businesses are going to maintain records of what their employees were doing on any given day, including where they went and for how long and what the job was.

Comment: Re:Command line is more error-prone (Score 1) 606

by MoneyT (#45791269) Attached to: How Ya Gonna Get 'Em Down On the UNIX Farm?

Here's a better one for you that bit me in the ass:

crontab has two options next to each other on the (qwerty) keyboard. "-e" opens the current crontab file for editing. Care to guess what "-r" does? In the infinite wisdom of the developers, it removes the current crontab file. No confirmation, no backup, just delete. They have added a new option "-i" which asks for confirmation before deleting the file, of course that doesn't actually solve the mis-type problem.

Comment: Re:Unimpressed. (Score 1) 135

by MoneyT (#44907179) Attached to: iOS 7 Lock Screen Bug Leaves Certain Apps Vulnerable For Access

There is an option to set the font to bold, which does dramatically improve the thin fonts (though some of the larger text, like the lock screen clock looks odd), it's under the accessibility settings. There's also an increase contrast option (which is distinct from the invert colors option) though I haven't found where that takes effect.

Comment: Re:Unimpressed. (Score 1) 135

by MoneyT (#44904995) Attached to: iOS 7 Lock Screen Bug Leaves Certain Apps Vulnerable For Access

There are a number of UX issues with iOS 7 that I'm frankly quite surprised made it through testing or that anyone thought these were good ideas. Ignoring the theme itself (lower definition icons means less context, especially with hi res screens, that context would have been very usable it's the whole reason we do things like image previews for icons in modern OSes rather than generic jpg icons).

1) The "partial shift" no longer has a distinct visible mode on the keyboard. iOS has 4 modes for the shift button. 1: The button is off, everything is lowercase, 2: The button is on, the next letter or symbol is uppercase / shift symbol (? vs /), 3: The button is locked on, all letters are uppercase, but symbols are not shifted, 4: The button is partially on, the next letter is uppercase, but symbols will not be shifted. Mode 4 is the mode the button goes into at the beginning of a line or after a period. It was also previously distinguished by a blue highlight around the shift arrow rather than the arrow being filled in. Now there is no visual distinction between modes 4 and 2.

2) Minimalist button icons. For buttons that aren't text, the icons are very minimalist and without previous knowledge give little to no clue about what they do. For example the "share" button is now a simple box with an up arrow. The bookmarks icon in safari is a weird divided rectangle that if you squint just right you could argue looks like an open book.

3) The ".com" button is now hidden behind the "." key for web address entry making is non-discoverable except by accident.

4) Folders only display a 3x3 grid, even on iPads and do not remember your last position (nor does there appear to be an option for that).

5) When you first open the OS, it tells you that spotlight has moved and to now simply swipe down from any home screen. That's good, it's great that the search functionality is available anywhere. What it doesn't tell you is that you don't swipe down from the top (which gives you notification center. You instead swipe from another place on the screen.

6) The keyboard seems slower and less responsive. This may be just my iPad for some reason, but it appears that the keyboard sometimes hesitates on displaying and coming ready when displayed.

7) Videos have a "make full screen" button, but no longer have a "leave full screen" button that doesn't stop the video from playing. The "Done" button remains, but this stops the video. The only way to leave full screen without stopping the video is to pinch the screen.

None of these are show stoppers by any stretch of the imagination, but they are the sorts of "little things" that apple (and steve jobs in particular) are noted for fussing over. For making sure that those little experiences add up to be a better experience than the sum of their parts.

Comment: Re:A cynic's view (Score 5, Informative) 637

by MoneyT (#44560851) Attached to: Medical Costs Bankrupt Patients; It's the Computer's Fault

Part of the reason for the resistance is lost institutional knowledge. These are old systems, probably poorly commented and poorly documented. They've been modified and patched a thousand times over to handle corner cases, odd hardware based bugs, new interfaces, new regulations and new laws, as well as mashing with new insurance companies, new plans, old plans, outdated data and new data and 50 states worth of independent regulations. How much money and how much time do you suppose it would take to rewrite that entire 30 year history, including refactoring all of the data such that is accessible back to the beginning, in a modern language, with modern technologies and can guarantee that it is 99.99% exactly the same functionality for all possible input combinations?

For reference, the state of North Carolina recently overhauled their Medicaid billing system. They are months and billions of dollars behind in payments from this change over, and the project was already over due and over budget.

Comment: Re:Bitfrost (Score 1) 387

by MoneyT (#43339137) Attached to: Alan Kay Says iPad Betrays Xerox PARC Vision

The proper solution is to model what damage a trojan can do, figure out what privileges it would need to do that damage, and make sure that a program lacks those privileges without the user's knowledge.

The problem here is it lacks transparency for the user. Here's the problem you need to solve:

The user wants to get X done on their computer. Every time you prompt the user to validate or confirm something that isn't doing X, you are taking time away from the user. And every time you take time away from the user, you annoy them. And every time you annoy them, you make it less likely that they will pay attention to the prompt that you provide the next time, and the time after that. Eventually you get to the point where the user just hits "OK" on whatever prompt you provide them just so that they can get on with doing their work.

This issue is made worse by the fact that consumer level computer security is different from corporate / server level security. A user owns all their files, and they want their applications to use their files. That a malicious application can't get root privileges and install a rogue ftp server is beside the point because the user doesn't care about that, they care about the files that any app running with the user's permissions can (by design and by necessity) access.

Sure android tried to solve this with their "confirm permissions on download" but seriously, have you ever read through the list of permissions some apps ask for? What user is going to even understand half of those? Even worse are the fact that the descriptions are nearly useless, you get crap like "this permission gives the app the ability to read your location, but it could also be used to track you, your kids and your little dog too". They're useless descriptions that essentially tell the user nothing about WHY the application wants those permissions, which is the important information.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

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