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Comment: Re:Some criticism (Score 1) 86

by nine-times (#47953883) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Perhaps it is rooted in system admin's job security fears?

I see this kind of idea floated in various situations, and it always seems bizarre to me. As someone who has worked in quite a few IT roles in quite a few different companies, I don't think I've ever run into a sysadmin who was making things more difficult for the sake of job security.

I've seen sysadmins do counter-productive things out of pride and stubbornness, unwilling to entertain a new way of doing things. I've seen them continue to use ineffective solutions out of fear, believing that the alternatives are too difficult to learn, too difficult to implement and support. Speaking generally and anecdotally from my own experience, sysadmins will enthusiastically welcome anything that means less work for themselves.

And "If everyone used Linux, there would no doubt be less demand for cleaning up PCs"...? No. People make that mistake all the time. "The IT department is pushing back on our goal of moving all of our servers to the cloud. It must be because they know it will mean there won't be any more IT work to do maintaining the servers, and they'll be out of a job!" Or "The IT department doesn't want to migrate to an all-Mac environment. It must be because Macs 'just work' without any problems, and they'd then be out of a job!" Sorry, no. Unfortunately, there's nothing that will get we IT people out of our jobs.

Speaking for the sysadmins, we'd almost welcome the soul-crushing unemployment if it actually meant things would work properly. But no, really you're just changing the nature of the work we need to do. Instead of maintaining our own servers, we then have to figure out which cloud service will work for the business needs, work out an implementation, and then manage and troubleshoot the cloud service on an ongoing basis. Moving to Macs or Linux machines, it just means we now need to figure out how to replace all of the Windows-only business-critical applications that your business is running, and then come up with a scheme to protect and manage all of those Mac/Linux workstations. Believe it or not, a Windows DC with Group Policies is a pretty effective way of managing a lot of desktops/laptops.

So either way it's work, and it'll require someone with expertise. And no matter what, it's not going to quite work properly. We're usually just looking for the path of least resistance.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 86

by nine-times (#47953505) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Going way off-topic, I don't know if I'd say that people like it, but I also don't know that I'd say that it's just because it comes on computers when you buy them. I think it's more that, over the course of the ownership of the system, you'll probably have fewer problems.

And that happens for a variety of reasons. One of the big ones is that it's more widely supported by hardware and software vendors. I think that is a major point. If you could get Microsoft Office and Adobe CS on Linux, I think you'd see a significant increase in adoption just from that. Yes, I know there are alternatives, but when people decide they want a particular application or a specific peripheral, they aren't going to like finding out that they can't use it because they have "the wrong kind of computer".

But getting slightly closer to the topic at hand, I think part of it is also just that they more or less know what to expect. Until the Windows 8 debacle, they knew which buttons to press and what would happen when they pressed them, more or less. People usually don't want to figure out how to operate their computer. They just want to know which buttons to press in order to get the result they want, and any change that moves or renames those buttons is unwelcome. If you must move or rename things, you'll get a better response from most people if the new way of doing things is so intuitive and obvious that they don't need to actually learn anything.

Comment: Re:can we have ONE non-dumbed down GUI please? (Score 1) 86

by nine-times (#47953459) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

A little offtopic, but since you bring it up: All hate aside, I've come around to think that the Windows 8 GUI, ignoring the Metro/Modern stuff) is very nice. It succeeds in hiding a lot of the complexity and nonsense while still allowing power users to be efficient. It's very clean, and makes good use of the interface conventions that everyone has gotten accustomed to over the past few decades. If they'd kept the start menu and ditched all the Metro stuff, I think Windows 8 would have been a big hit.

And I think there's a possible lesson there for KDE and Gnome and any other UI designer out there: Instead of constantly trying to reinvent the wheel, sometimes it's better to just refine the UI you already have, removing inconsistencies and redesigning anything that's confusing, problematic, or ugly.

Comment: Re:Some criticism (Score 2) 86

by nine-times (#47953187) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

This is the sort of criticism that software developers really need to get, and it seems good that maybe KDE is listening. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if a lot of people respond to this by saying the criticisms are stupid, that "if you know what you're doing" then you'll understand what's really going on, etc.

Comment: Re:But the movie selection still sucks (Score 4, Funny) 171

by nine-times (#47946001) Attached to: Native Netflix Support Is Coming To Linux

Yeah, Netflix should get their act together and stop showing shit movies like "The Elephant Man" and "There Will Be Blood". Comedies like "Grosse Pointe Blank" and "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"? Who would ever want to watch those? Netflix is absolutely useless unless they can show truly great movies like "Transformers 4: Age of Extinction".

Comment: If piracy is the focus... (Score 1) 325

If piracy is the focus, then they're looking in the wrong place. Piracy is not a problem, it's a symptom. It'd be like if someone was slurring their speech because they were having a stroke, and you decided to solve the problem by sending them to a speech therapist.

Now, I don't think that you can't have rich, interactive experiences with music that are worthwhile. They may be 'glorified liner notes', but some of us have fond memories of liner notes. I thought the Bob Dylan app from a while back was actually really cool.

Comment: Re:We need to rethink things (Score 1) 129

You seem to miss the fact that the companies could do that now, but don't want to.

No, actually, I comment at the end that we could do this now, but that companies don't want to.

You're basically proposing to strip freedom from service companies, and have some sort of government regulator determine where their storage Must Be, and what API they're restricted to only using.

No, I'm proposing that there be industry standards. There wasn't a government regulator necessary to determine that email providers must use SMTP to transfer email. It's just the standard, and it doesn't make sense for individual companies to go against the standard because it would cut themselves off from interoperability with everyone else.

And, by-the-way, Google doesn't have a walled garden, they have an open API and other companies can already integrate and let their users keep backend data in a variety of google services such as google drive.

Umm... bullshit? Ok, provide me with instructions on how to have Google Docs and Gmail store all my email and files on Dropbox in a way that's supported by Google. They may have some APIs for some things, but they aren't working with Apple and Microsoft to create a vendor agnostic platform for web storage. And why are you all defensive and butthurt over Google?

Comment: We need to rethink things (Score -1) 129

I've been trying to make the point for a while now that I think we really need to rethink the design of the Internet.

Not on the level that you might be thinking. You might be thinking about how the infrastructure is laid out, or revisions to TCP or IP standards, new languages to supplant CSS or javascript, or some other technical issue. Though those might be problems, that isn't what I'm referring to. I'm referring to the vertical integration of web services that make our information extremely fragmented and impossible to track.

Just to give an anecdotal example, right now, I have at least 4 different Internet data storage accounts. Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, and my web host's storage. That's because, if I want to share documents with someone using OfficeOnline, I need a OneDrive account. If I want to share documents with someone using Google Docs, I need a Google Drive account. If I want to use the features on my Mac and iPhone, I need an iCloud account. And then each of these services has its own authentication service, i.e. I have to create and manage separate accounts with separate passwords for each. The account names and passwords might have different requirements. The dual-factor authentication on each, if it's available, might work differently. And this is just talking about a small subset of the services that I use online.

If you asked me to list all of the websites that I've used over the years, and provide a list of what information I've had to provide to each one, I wouldn't know where to begin. A lot of these sites require security questions, which is generally a terrible idea. Each site requires that I pay for services by providing my credit card information. Lots of services online and in real life require a host of personal information to authenticate your real-life identity, but every time you provide your social security number as proof of identity (for example), you're increasing the number of people who potentially have access to that social security number, and therefore the number of people who could make unauthorized use of that number.

Without getting too deep into the solution I'd propose (hint: public-key encryption), I think we need to consolidate both the authentication and the data storage of all of these different services. Whether you use Google Docs or Microsoft Office Live or some other web-based document editor, you should be able to store and manage the documents in a consistent place, accessed through a standard API.

So why am I bringing this up here? Well, it related to the Internet of Things, also, in that all of that information should be able to be encrypted so that only you can access it, and then stored in a location of your choosing. It shouldn't matter which device or who manufactured it-- if it's your device, you should be able to control where the data is sent, store it with your own encryption key, and no one should be able to access it without your authorization.

Of course, none of this will happen, because it requires that we create a set of standards that everyone abides by. Meanwhile, Google wants to have their standards that serve their purposes and keep users in their walled gardens, Apple wants their own standards to keep users in their walled gardens, and Facebook wants their own standards for the same reasons. That's why we have all these different Messaging applications, and none of them can inter-operate, even when they're doing something as simple as passing text back and forth.

Comment: Re:Eugen Fischer (Score 1) 219

by nine-times (#47939219) Attached to: Schizophrenia Is Not a Single Disease

We've covered this. You're a crazy German who has somehow assumed that, because you once said something in Greek and your Greek friend didn't criticize you, the German pronunciation of any word in any dialect of any language is proper, and the only people in the world who disagree are English speakers who are somehow all dumber than you.

Once we uncovered that much information, it stopped being worth my time to compose real responses. The fact that you don't believe linguists are capable of studying languages is just the last nail in the coffin. I've read your responses up until now, but I won't read any more. It's a waste of time. I'm guessing you're probably a 12 year-old or a mental case anyway.

Comment: Re:Complete mischaracterizaion of original report (Score 1) 182

by nine-times (#47938949) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

Well as I understood it, the argument that Snowden's leaks had helped terrorists centered around the idea that, prior to the leaks, terrorists wouldn't have known that they were being monitored, or at least wouldn't have known the manner in which they were being monitored. Now that they knew that they were being monitored, and they had additional information about how they were being monitored, they would be able to change their behavior to avoid detection.

So if we can say that these terrorist organizations have not changed their behavior, it goes a long way towards debunking that theory.

Comment: Re:It it never had much effect on terrorists (Score 1) 182

by nine-times (#47938921) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

Yeah, I actually really like the quote, "well prior to Edward Snowden, online jihadists were already aware that law enforcement and intelligence agencies were attempting to monitor them."

Really? Terrorists were aware that law enforcement were attempting to track and monitor them? Next thing you know, we'll find out that the mob is aware of law enforcement attempting to locate evidence and identify potential witnesses. What a shocker.

Comment: Re:Duh Snowden was a stalking horse. (Score 2) 182

by nine-times (#47938899) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

Yeah, I don't want to put words in anyone else's mouth, but I feel like there's been some cognitive dissonance in response to the Snowden leaks.

I've had conversations with people who, on the one hand, claim that what Snowden revealed couldn't possibly be helpful or meaningful, because he leaked things that "everyone already knew anyway". Meanwhile, on the other hand, they also claim that Snowden is a horrible traitor for releasing vital national secrets that threaten our safety. I feel like you can't have it both ways.

As I see it, he took what was a conspiracy theory that few people in the USA took seriously, and turned it into fact. It would be like leaking documents that JFK was, in fact, assassinated by the CIA, and then people responded by saying, "So what? I've been hearing that rumor for years! Still, we should kill the person who leaked it because he's compromising CIA operations."

Comment: Re:Chromebook (Score 4, Informative) 333

I think you're going to run into a general problem here, in that modern computers are generally not built to work off of such slow Internet connections. They're constantly getting big updates and patches.

Some people have pointed you in the direction of Chromebooks, which to my knowledge doesn't have a POP3 client available because Google assumes you'll have web access. There may be other reasons why it won't work.

I think your first instinct might be best. Install Linux. Figure out exactly what applications they need, and install only those apps. You can probably hack something together to run a script when they receive an email from you, but I think you'll be better off just having them run a script manually (tell them 'click on this button') that will collect diagnostic information and email it to you, if you want to do that.

Pick a relatively stable distro (Debian?), strip it down to the bare necessities and use a lightweight desktop environment. Set it to only download security patches. For any updates more than that, bring a disk when you visit.

I'm afraid none of this will keep them from responding to Nigerian scammers. Maybe set up their email to only accept messages from whitelisted addresses? Or maybe your parents just can't have the Internet.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.