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Comment: Re:Give it up. (Score 1) 200

by PybusJ (#45321135) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which Encrypted Cloud Storage Provider?

It's even possible to do this without the staged copy: encfs takes a --reverse option, which instead of producing an unencrypted view of an encrypted filestructure as a fuse filesystem, produces a fuse mount which shows an encrypted view of a plaintext source tree. This mountpoint can then be copied using any normal backup/sync tools. It's a rather neat feature.

Comment: Re: Probably not faster than auto complete (Score 2) 214

by PybusJ (#44605671) Attached to: How One Programmer Is Coding Faster By Voice Than Keyboard

Maybe I'm too old, but programmers editors have been supporting completion using ctags and its ilk since Microsoft were dabling in DOS. Intellisense didn't appear until the late 90s. Sure MS's focus on tools for developers helped to cement their OS monopoly at that time, but there was plenty of completion support, and a lot of research in context sensitive completion long before.

Comment: Re:My theory (Score 4, Insightful) 1010

by PybusJ (#43420963) Attached to: Windows 8 Killing PC Sales

The tablet space is an attractive market for now, but that fad will pass in 2 years when the general public realizes that touch UIs suck.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that touch UIs in general suck. They do suck on desktop/laptop machines where you're reaching up from the keyboard to touch the screen. They also suck for applications which involve significant typing, so are not good for programming, or writing that company report, or your next novel, or where you make significant use of other input devices with precision control, such as in photo editing, 3D modelling etc.

But that still leaves a LOT of the stuff that people spend a lot of time doing. They're really good for browsing and reading (or watching video, or pretty much any content consumption). They're fine for applications which require only small amounts of input, so all that tweeting, updating facebook, Skype etc. I now find that I'm spending more of my screen time at home in front of a tablet or large screen phone than I am at laptop or desktop computer. Partly, that's because I don't currently have time/energy for any out of work programming projects. The only things I really do sat at a computer is email where a keyboard is more efficient, banking/sorting finances (which with the right software would be fine on a touch screen tablet I just currently have it set up on desktop) and photo editing.

It's not just home use either. Every single work colleague I know who spends time involved in management committee meetings either has or wants a tablet. It's not just to look cool; flicking through minutes and meeting documents on a tablet is easier and more efficient than using a laptop, and it does save on the volume of printed paper.

The win8 interface is horrible and confusing on a computer. The 70 yr old woman who's in the process of buying my house came round a few days ago apologizing for not responding to emails; her computer had broken and she'd been all round town looking for a shop which would sell her a new laptop with win7. Failing to find one she was waiting to get her old machine fixed instead. Seeing behaviour like that, I am not at all surprised that new PC sales are hurting. Win8 is becoming as toxic a brand for MS as Vista.

Comment: Re:Hygene problems? You mean production problems (Score 2) 214

by PybusJ (#42909383) Attached to: Can You Potty Train a Cow?

If poor hygiene causes disease then farmers care about. Disease means higher veterinary bills, and poorer quality animals worth less at the end. Obviously, if fixing the hygiene problem costs more than the gain in efficiency is worth then the high intensity farmers will let the cattle stand around in shit.

It seems to me that if you want the cows to shit themselves, all you'd need to do is show them a video of what awaits them at the end of their life.

Comment: Re:Yeah yeah, this is old news.. (Score 1) 618

by PybusJ (#42857335) Attached to: When 1 GB Is Really 0.9313 Gigabytes

Well for one reason, the hard drive manufacturers have the ISO standards on their side.

There are well defined (though, unfortunately, rather ugly) prefixes for 2^10, 2^20, 2^30, 2^40: kibi, mebi, gibi, tebi. If people want to use base 2 quantities, then use the right unit and there isn't any confusion. Apple does the right thing in reporting sizes in base-10 units; GNOME also does the right thing and uses base-10 units, so I don't think you can say that Linux is in the same situation as windows here.

If lower level, or more admin-focused tools want to use base-2 notation then that's fine, just mark things Ki, Mi, Gi rather than kb, Mb, Gb. Many linux command line tools (such as ls -lh) are out of step here, but it's hard to change the output format for fears of backwards compatibility and people who parse the output in scripts.

Comment: Re:Harvesting knowledge in case of society collaps (Score 1) 69

by PybusJ (#41991849) Attached to: Google Engineers Open Source Book Scanner Design

I'm not sure you're making a valid comparison. If I choose any particular piece of Egyptian recorded information then there's a good chance that it is destroyed. The fact that some material survived several millennia is both impressive and interesting, but very much material survives from the 60s even if some has been lost.

I mean how many records of the ancient Egyptian space race survive to this day? I rest my case.

Comment: Re:Most stupid idea ever (Score 1) 345

Yep, I'm sure that's right AC. Practically everyone rate themselves as above average drivers; personally, I'm more comfortable with the insurance companies statistics than your anonymous assertions.

Perhaps in the future you'll need to adjust your personal driving style while getting form A to B on the public roads, and save your enjoyment of more aggressive driving styles for leisure time on private race tracks.

Comment: Re:break the law. (Score 1) 345

There is no eventually about it. In the UK we already have a database of all vehicle license plates which is linked to data on which cars have insurance cover provided by the insurance industry. A few years ago it was made a legal requirement to make a declaration to the vehicle licensing authority if your car is "off the road", i.e. not being used on a public highway and therefore not requiring insurance.

There is already a list of the registered car owners without insurance (and also without having paid the road tax) who have not declared their car legally off the road. The database is already linked to license plate recognition systems so if a car which is declared off the road drives past it will be flagged and they can be prosecuted.

This state of affairs is largely supported by the population as there has been a significant increase in uninsured drivers who are involved in accidents (as insurance costs rose and recession bit people stopped renewing their cover). The cost of this ends up being born by the innocent drivers insurer, pushing up premiums for everyone else.

Comment: Re:Forced Upgrades? (Score 1) 665

by PybusJ (#40893307) Attached to: Why We Love Firefox, and Why We Hate It

In the world of browser makers, six months is a long time ago. If your browser hasn't received a security update since March then it's not a supported browser. As the wikipedia page you link to documents, 3.6 is not currently a Mozilla supported browser, Firefox 14 and 10esr are. 3.6 was retired when Mozilla decided upon their enterprise support releases earlier in the year; these are supported for about 9 months rather than 6 weeks.

Comment: Re:Chrome? (Score 4, Insightful) 282

by PybusJ (#39877349) Attached to: Mozilla Ponders Major Firefox UI Refresh

As a Firefox user, I see literally dozens of google Ads suggesting I install Chrome, or upgrade to a faster browsing experience, or other similar messages, every day. Google put popups to that effect on their search homepage. I'll hazard a guess that this bears some responsibility for market share decline. Some is no doubt due to perceptions that FF is slow/a memory hog in comparison to Chrome.

Neither of these factors will be affected by changing UI to copy your competitor. Firefox needs to carve out their own niche, and the seemingly deliberate activities to remove all discernible difference, and hence possible competitive advantage they have over their more highly resourced competitor, seems stupidly short sited.

Comment: Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (Score 1) 192

by PybusJ (#39877085) Attached to: IBM Offers Retirement With Job Guarantee Through 2013

There is no place in the USA with genuine at-will employment. If you fire someone, there's a chance you're going to get sued.

But then, there's very little that you can do at all (which might piss off someone else) which doesn't carry some risk of being sued, even if the suit is without merit.

Comment: Re:Good, two birds with one stone... (Score 1) 411

by PybusJ (#39793011) Attached to: Firefox 12 Released — Introduces Silent, Chrome-like Updater

I should add that I'm not suggesting Mozilla shouldn't automatically update their users by default. Getting updates is the only way to keep secure and those who don't know how to find the option setting to turn this off are definitely in need of security by default. I just think with this system comes responsibility and Mozilla don't care enough about supporting the features & experiences their current users have got used to.

Comment: Re:Good, two birds with one stone... (Score 1) 411

by PybusJ (#39793001) Attached to: Firefox 12 Released — Introduces Silent, Chrome-like Updater

That's the good. The bad is extensions silently failing; interface being suddenly reorganised without any explanation.

The Mozilla view seems to be that Web Apps can already act in this capricious fashion, so desktop applications should too. This just seems to be taking what is bad and unempowering about web applications and bringing it to the desktop.

The latest interface idea is to reorganise the address bar to remove the site icon, get rid of the blue https signifier and replace it with a greyed out padlock (once more it's a coincidence how similar this ends up being to Chrome). I understand the reasoning for removing the site icon, but developers seem to think it's OK to jump from telling users that they should ignore any lock in that position, and look for the blue text, to a new UI which is the exact opposite. And they wish to push these changes silently to users; I can only assume they don't work with actual end users in the real world.

Every UI change has a cost to users in adapting to it, and a cost to those who support end users (businesses using the browser or supporting end users of browser based software), this needs to be balanced against the value of the new UI. At the very least the experience for users moving from the old to the new system needs to be considered. Users are much less excited by new stuff than developers, and they're much more put out be needless change. One of the effects of Mozilla's open development process is being able to see this disregard across their bugzilla/maillists/wikis.

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