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Comment: Re:Simplification, n. (Score 2) 66

by Kjella (#47953393) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

While you do have a point, I'd counter that there's no way to do anything with a computer unless there's an interface for it. For example if you go to Burger King 90%+ order as-is from the menu. But there's all sorts of simple instructions like "no onions" you can tell a clerk that you can't tell a computer. If you go to Whopper Lab you can see all the options of buns, patties, dressings and toppings available in none, light, normal and extra quantities and so on that would totally overwhelm the average customer. If the interface didn't exist, the option wouldn't exist but any given option will be the default something like 99.9% of the time.

I like being able to manage my computer, I don't like having to micromanage my computer unless there's a specific reason to. I consider having obvious buttons to find more advanced controls to be discoverable, not that you need to throw every option in my face to say hey, you could change this behavior if you wanted to. If it's possible to set a sensible default and I haven't seen a reason to go looking for it then I don't need to know. Non-discoverable features I consider things like touching corners that don't have any hint they have actions, buttons with no obvious function/that don't look like buttons, shortcuts you can't find except looking them up, type to search with no hints and so on.

That said, I generally prefer an expanding/alternate dialog over a multi-step dialog. If I know I need to go into the advanced settings every time because I'm the 1% using that function I'd rather have the ability to pin it to expand/use the advanced dialog by default, meaning it should be a superset of the basic dialog not just the extras. Since we're already in an advanced dialog having a checkbox "Use advanced display by default" at a standard location wouldn't hurt. Go into the advanced dialog once, check that box and next time you go straight to where you want to be. It is usually far more user-dependent than situation-dependent, so I think that'd work well for most everybody.

Comment: Re:Must be an american thing ??? (Score 1) 60

by mcgrew (#47953295) Attached to: More unsurprisingly conservative ads on slashdot

The whole "needles in the eyeball" are just a stepping stone to something truly amazing.

Indeed. I was severely nearsighted all my life, after the cataract surgery I no longer need corrective lenses at all, not even reading glasses and I'm 62. My vision in that eye went from 20/400 to 20/16. Truly a miracle.

BTW, my retina surgeon said that my retinal detachment was a result of being so nearsighted; a nearsighted eyeball isn't perfectly round like a normally sighted person's eyes.

Comment: Archiving vs backups (Score 1) 94

by Kjella (#47953059) Attached to: Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

One of the big differences between archiving and backup is that in archiving I want to keep this exact version intact, if it changes on me it's an error while a backup takes a copy of whatever is now - maybe I wanted to edit that file. Unlike backups I think it's not about versioning, it's about maintaining one logical instance of the archive across different physical copies. Here's what I'm thinking, you create a system with three folders:

archived
to_archive
to_trash

The archive acts like a CD/DVD/BluRay and is read-only. So far, nothing but a really awkward way to create a WORM(-ish) drive, but the real point comes next in distribution and synchronization.

When you put a file in "to_archive" a job will pick it up and wrap it in AES (with AES-NI the cost of on-the-fly encryption/decryption is very slim) and create a torrent-like file for it and move it to archived. If you want to delete it from the archive, you drag the file to the "to_trash" folder or maybe you put some kind of lock/freeze/undo timer on that function. Files that are in "archived" are sync'ed to other computers - still encrypted - which means you can shop around for storage/bandwidth, maybe you got multiple locations yourself (home/cabin), maybe swap backup with friends or family or you can buy it on the open market and they'll all mingle and share data because it's based on basic torrents.

They can all do basic limits on size/bandwidth so you can have pricing plans and caps, you can have one-way "leeches" that download and archive it on tape that can physically deliver it to you. If you build it fairly smart you can also have local, offline backups and if you restore them it'll pick up that 95% is the same as last week and sync up the rest. Basically a "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Archive Locations." It will leak a little bit of metadata as to size and number of files, but not file or directory names and you can probably muddle that metadata up with padding and dummy files if you want.

Of course you can choose to have the AES key on several computers so you can access your media from any of them. And as a free bonus a device that has the AES key like say your cell phone can use this as an online library, it doesn't have to auto-sync everything. With many locations = many peers it won't matter if one is down and you aggregate up the bandwidth, just like in any other torrent swarm. Through the seed/peer numbers you can at any time watch the state of your backup in progress as you add files. If your computer goes to shit, tell it the archive key and it'll hook up and start syncing. Just like a torrent client you can set priorities on what to download first.

It's not for all your data, but I think a lot of common user data is that way. Those RAW photos or video or audio you took? Archive them, "single" everlasting master copy. It doesn't replace backup of say documents you're working on or source code you're developing but it complements it.

Comment: Re:I've never shorted a stock (Score 2) 88

by Kjella (#47951781) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

I want MIcrosoft to stop making awful Operating systems. We know they can do it, because XP was excellent, W7 almost as good. (...) I want Microsoft to change their "We know what's best for you dammit!" attitude, and ignore feedback. Both Vista and W8 had people begging them not to go there.

Maybe there's a hint there? Conservative, experimental, conservative, experimental... As long as people keep arguing if the old or new version of Windows is better, I don't think Microsoft worries. You are free to skip a version you know.

If you've read enough of Slashdot, you'll have noticed that every complaint about MSFT is attacked by "energetic fans" shouting that the complaint is invalid, that the person complaining is an idiot. How long is that supposed to work?

Do a s/MSFT/Linux/g and there's plenty OSS apologists too. Particularly because you got one team saying "Linux is so free and great, it's totally ready for the desktop and you should try it out" but when you have a problem the other team says "Yeah well you got it for free, so STFU and be grateful". I'm on Windows 7 now and I'm guessing sometime soon Microsoft needs to release another "classic" desktop for conservative enterprises so they can plan their migration before the 2020 EoL. Having Linux around as a plan B is nice but for gaming Windows rules supreme, regardless of whether Linux has a Steam client or not.

Comment: Re:Repair (Score 1) 52

by sjames (#47951461) Attached to: Inside Shenzen's Grey-Market iPhone Mall

I keep seeing things with several regular screws and one a funky type (security torx and such), If they want to make it tamper evident, put a dot of acrylic on the screw,

Then there's clips that will snap together to make a tight fit exactly once. And of course the stupid plastic rivets.

I have no idea what devices you are seeing.

Comment: 9-5 isn't always "burnt out" (Score 4, Insightful) 238

by ErichTheRed (#47949923) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

As the dad of two young kids, just finding time to work, spend a reasonable amount of time being there for them, doing the daily chores around the house and (maybe) sleeping is a miracle some days. Older people who work 9-5 and have families want to keep them. Especially if their spouse/partner also works, there's _never_ enough time to do anything. I used to be able to do whatever crazy crunch project (I'm in systems engineering, not development, but it's not that dissimilar.) Now, I'm finding that there really has to be a justification for spending the extra effort. It is a trade off - even if I wanted to, which I don't, I couldn't go work for a startup and pull back to back 90 hour weeks. Being a dad and doing it right is a massive time commitment. Whenever I hear about anyone who is having a kid soon, I frankly tell them that they need to go and do everything they wanted to do in the next few months...because sometimes it seems like there's zero free time. And when you do have downtime, you're so wiped out that you can't do anything other than crash.

That said, as one gets older and more experienced, they're less likely to make the mistakes that require the constant 90 hour weeks. And what you may see as burnout may just be people getting wise to the fact that it's not worth slaving over a job. You owe it to the company to work hard while you're there, I grant you that. But people who have lives outside of work really need that work/life split that everyone keeps trying to get rid of. My strategy for dealing with this is as follows -- I know I have to keep my skills at least somewhat fresh in case I'm unexpectedly unemployed. So I try to add myself to just about anything new at work (and usually succeed.) That covers a lot of the skill building. And yes, I do have to spend a fair amount of time reading and tinkering outside of work, but that's been severely curtailed. I think it'll get better once the kiddies can do more things for themselves, but for now it's a real challenge.

Comment: Re:A glorious victory for all (Score 1) 421

by Kjella (#47949905) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

I think Norway is fairly unique in that we actually voted to have a king (12-13th of November 1905) after the end of the union with Sweden. Also our king's power has been reduced to a democratic emergency brake where he can only delay a law being passed until there's been an election. If it is passed again, it becomes law regardless. Formally he's the sovereign though, the one signing all the laws, head of all military branches, the one formally leading the king's council with the prime minister as his first advisor. And his person has a total blanket immunity in Norwegian law, though it was settled that he could be sued in a property dispute.

What I find quite appealing at times is that he's not a politician, not looking for a reelection or to further his own career nor is he trying to represent just the 51% who voted him in. In the US I have the impression that if a Republican is in office all the Democrats hate him and if a Democrat is in office all the Republicans hate him. He represents the nation of Norway and not whatever political party happens to hold the reins at the moment. There are other nations that have a form of ceremonial leader like for example Germany with the Bundespräsident as opposed to the Bundeskanzler, but it's a retirement home for politicians. You have to campaign to win it. It's not forever, so there's self-interest to it.

Our king is pretty relaxed about his right to rule, or rather I feel he thinks it's more of privilege. No blue blood, no divine right to rule and I think he like pretty much all western monarchies knows he sits at the parliament's mercy. Like the US, we do have a constitution and a process to amend it and like I said he couldn't block it. If he was losing the people's support I think he'd resign gracefully though long before it came to that. And apart from at the coronation I don't think I've ever seen him with a crown and all that, it's more a ceremonial rite when you take the job.

You can of course say he's not needed, that the US is a nation independent from the President in office and I suppose that's true, but it's a very abstract and silent existence. For example during WW2 the radio broadcasts from the king in excile in London was gathering the nation. When people use archaic expressions like "for king and country" we're not talking about saving one man's divine ass anymore, but that the king serves the country and we follow him as our leader. It's not a perfect system but honestly speaking I feel it works well. It's good for tourism. Sure they live in a castle with a solid upkeep, but I know we'd keep it for historical reasons anyway. We'd no more tear it down than old churches.

Comment: Re:Repair (Score 1) 52

by sjames (#47949721) Attached to: Inside Shenzen's Grey-Market iPhone Mall

So you're claiming it is somehow cheaper to produce 10,000 desk fans with 3 phillips head screws and one security head crew epoyed in than it is to produce the same run of fans with 4 phillips screws?

You claim the parts are interchangable on the assembly line but somehow not on the repair bench?

Or are you claiming somehow that it's cheaper to have employees assemble random piles of parts in bespoke fashion than it is to have them putting the same parts in the same place every time?

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.

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