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Comment: Re:If this works, then Microsoft is doomed. (Score 1) 99

by swillden (#47957451) Attached to: Android Apps Now Unofficially Able To Run On Any Major Desktop OS

yes....but did Java have all of the millions of apps that were indexed by a single entity, and more importantly made it easy for anybody to access and use?

Neither does Android. Oh, there are millions of apps, but most of them are completely uninteresting on a desktop or laptop and the rest won't run well. Oh, there will be apps, over time, but there's no huge number already available, developers are going to have to start more or less from scratch.

The index is new-ish, yes, but I still don't think it's going to provoke the sort of sea change the GGP supposes. If that were all it took, the Chrome store would already be doing it (there's also an index of apps).

No, what's really going to happen is that Microsoft is going to continue its slow, gradual slide into obscurity, unless it finds a way to create a new market for itself (which is likely, frankly, though no one knows what it'll be). Android apps on Windows may even play a role, but a small one. Phones and tablets are becoming the dominant computing platform for the masses, a platform they don't participate in meaningfully, and a combination of web apps, cross-platform toolkits (like Android, but also including Java, their own .NET, Qt and Chrome apps) and maturation of free/open source offerings are breaking their stranglehold on the rest.

Comment: Re:Was it really so bad? (Score 1) 239

by hey! (#47956707) Attached to: Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout

Imagine if a state like Mississippi or Oklahoma had to get a system made? They'd hire a guy named Jom Bob from church to do it. They'd piss away the entire budget before they even found Jim Bob. They'd run it on index cards and toilet paper in type writers with no correction ink.

Well to be fair the deep-red state Kentucky had a very successful rollout of Obamacare (rebranded as "Kynect"), including it's own health insurance exchange AND medicaid expansion -- the whole Obamacare enchilada.

Under Obamacare, the federal insurance exchange was never intended to serve the entire country. In fact ideally nobody would have to use it, because states were supposed to set up their own exchanges that would better reflect the needs of their citizens than a federal one would. If you are forced to use the federal exhange, it's because politicians who run your state made that choice for you.

Of course some states have had their own exchange rollout disasters -- including blue states like Maryland and Oregon. If you're experienced with this kind of project you'd expect that. But others have had very successful rollouts, including a handful of red states like Kentucky.

Comment: Re: Simplification, n. (Score 1) 143

by Anne Thwacks (#47955105) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity
I'd much rather pick one thing I like from a list of ten than make ten binary decisions about ingredients.

However, the ten choices we get will never include the ten I want, or the ten you want - they will be what get offered by the Gnome dev team this release, and once we have got used to them, a completely different ten.

Granted being able to choose (unlike in Unity) is good, and if the options exist, someone will want every possible combination. (2^10 is only 1024 combinations, and you gotta hope more than 1 million people will use your GUI).

Best bet is to have both an easy way to pick a "skin" from popular choices (with a high contrast default that works regardless of LCD, CRT, or whatever is next, no matter how ugly - not that ugly should be the design objective) and a more complex "fix the feature that bugs you" - clearly marked "advanced users only" and with a way to save your choices and export them to other machines (by email?).

The worst possible is to pretend your desktop is a 2011 smartphone. Hell, I want Gnome-fallback-shell on my Samsung Note 4. Dropdown menus worked on 320x240 (as well as anything could on a Crap Graphic Array).

I definitely want to have multiple desktops, resizeable windows, and hierarchical menus on my Android phone. Icons are all very well for ten choices, but a complete failure for 1024 choices.

Hierarchically structured words big enough to read no mattter how many there are, are way better than, tiny, meaningless pictures you can't recognise no matter how few.

Comment: Re:How about buying PGP? (Score 1) 24

by swillden (#47953343) Attached to: Dropbox and Google Want To Make Open Source Security Tools Easy To Use

It has a decent UI

Really? Why Johnny Can't Encrypt: A Usability Evaluation of PGP 5.0. Yeah, it was a while ago and some things have improved, but most of the issues remain and I doubt another focus group study would find significantly different results.

The problem is that designing a UI that makes it easy for people who don't know anything about cryptography or security to achieve useful cryptographic security is really, really hard. Almost as hard as educating everyone about cryptography and security enough that they can achieve useful cryptographic security with PGP.

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch

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