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Comment: Re:Liars figure and figures lie (Score 1) 135

by Vitriol+Angst (#48929563) Attached to: The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

Apple pays out 67%. That's on Gross.

If they were to perhaps, talk about the expense of promotion, servers, and the fact that all the toys for Whack-A-Mole ended up in lawsuits, they could use Hollywood accounting. It would still be 67%, but of the net -- which means cab fair instead of money to buy the Limo.

Comment: Working with state agencies in the '90s (Score 1) 189

by aussersterne (#48877153) Attached to: User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

I saw a lot of EISA systems. It was a reasonable performer and physically robust (not as sensitive as PCI cards to positioning in slots, etc.). I'd say that EISA hardware was generally of very good quality, but high-end enough that most consumers wouldn't run into it despite being a commodity standard, sort of like PCI-X.

The systems I had experience with were running Linux, even then. :-)

Comment: Re:Sounds like concentrated bullshit.... (Score 1) 52

by Vitriol+Angst (#48814715) Attached to: Cyber Attacks Demonstrated On Autonomous Ground Vehicles

Yeah but can we all just agree that connecting some of these systems to the internet or a wireless network is a bad idea?

I want a person who sees one screen with internet access, makes a decision, and presses a physical button on the controls for the nuclear power plant.

So auto driving cars are great -- can be secured, but let's not be cavalier about "other things are computer controlled" -- there's going to be iPhone software that tweaks the car and that means 100X more access by script kiddies to mayhem.

Comment: Seconded. (Score 1) 93

by aussersterne (#48800329) Attached to: The Next Decade In Storage

For a very long time, tape drives and media gave tape drives and media a bad name.

Consumer QIC — about 1% of tapes actually held any data, total snake oil that took 10 days to "store" 10 megs (immediately unreadable in all cases)
4mm — Tapes good for one pass thru drive; drive good for about 10 tape passes
8mm —Tapes good for maybe 10 passes thru drive; drive good for about 100 tape passes before it starts eating tapes

For all three of the above: Don't bother trying to read a tape on any drive other than the one that wrote it; you won't find data there.

Real QIC —Somewhat more reliable but vulnerable to dust, magnetic fields; drive mechanisms not robust, finicky about door closings

Basically, the only tapes that have ever been any damned good are 1/2 inch or wider and single-reel for storage. Problem is that none of these have ever been particularly affordable at contemporary capacities and they still aren't. Any non-enterprise business should just buy multiple hard drives for their rotating backups and replace the lot of them once a year.

Comment: Re:AGW (Score 1) 496

by Vitriol+Angst (#48799629) Attached to: Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs

Nobody said "the science is done" -- they said; "the alarm has been sounded."

A fire alarm goes off in your house -- do you wait for the research to be conclusive or do you look for smoke, get a fire extinguisher, call 911, leave the building or do something useful to deal with it? The research into; "what do we do, the alarms are going off?" Is underway.

Comment: Re:Makes sense. (Score 1) 629

by Vitriol+Angst (#48795705) Attached to: Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

Know, you are talking about an exploit that could be affecting 60% of Android phones vs. "a potential" of affecting iOS but no proof and you point out "but if there was a problem you'd have no options".

Sounds like someone in a campaign defending a corrupt and incompetent politician with the potential that the other candidate could start Armageddon based on them not doing anything to prevent Armageddon.

Comment: Re:stolen ballots? (Score 2) 480

by Vitriol+Angst (#48795611) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

There are orders of magnitude better security on Bitcoins then there are on our electronic voting systems. They were designed in the first place by two hackers Rove got out of prison. They had three "Access databases" one for query, one that was used to submit the vote, and a third with no particular reason given. Any reason other than fraud to have three databases in a simple voting system and any REASON why a touch screen device is so expensive and flakes out so often? If Banks had these problems they'd lose billions at ATMS; they don't, so the only reason is fraud or incompetence.

I'd say that government agencies or very advanced hackers working for the mob took out some bitcoin companies with my first suspect being governments as it challenges the bankers they work for.

I already know I vote on a totally hackable system and it's just honest enough to be plausible. Pay no attention to Max Cleland's vote flipping in the last few minutes of the election.

Comment: Re:FBI also does counter intelligence (Score 4, Insightful) 52

by Vitriol+Angst (#48795551) Attached to: FBI Access To NSA Surveillance Data Expands In Recent Years

Yeah, I notice how many foreign agents and bankers the FBI gets.

I'd like for once the FBI not to arrest someone from Green Peace, a protestor with Occupy Wall Street, a group of homeless men who had an FBI handler who put them up to it.

Eric Holder could take the Fed Chairman and the heads of Goldman Sachs and prosecute them for all sorts of crimes -- anyone paying attention will know about the abuse that one company has made. Why is this not happening?

There is nothing "legit" going on -- merely agencies preserving the status quo and a government owned by the people who they have to borrow from to get into office.

Comment: Re:Scope creep ... (Score 1) 52

by Vitriol+Angst (#48795485) Attached to: FBI Access To NSA Surveillance Data Expands In Recent Years

It's worse than "papers please" -- there are a lot of laws making it illegal to cover your face or disguise your appearance. Facial recognition software is not good enough yet to really track everyone -- but they've laid the groundwork.

Total Information Awareness means that all things are known about all people. Being that there are so many laws, I'm very sure we are all guilty of something. Prosecution therefore, is selective and can be used to target anyone getting in the way of people with power and three letter agencies.

Comment: Experts are busy. (Score 2) 84

by aussersterne (#48794381) Attached to: KDE Frameworks 5.3 and Plasma 2.1 – First Impressions

And they ALREADY have expertise.

A computing expert already has decades of highly detailed experience and familiarity with a bunch of paradigms, uses, and conventions.

Experts are the LAST people that want to read manuals for basic things they already have extensive experience with, like desktop environments. Again, they're busy. Being experts.

So, reading the manual on new tech that needs to be implemented in a complex system—great. Reading the manual on a desktop environment? Seriously? That's the last thing an expert wants to be bothered with. "I've used ten different desktop environments over thirty years. Can't you pick one set of conventions I'm already familiar with and use it, so that I can apply my expertise to the actual problems I'm trying to solve? Why reinvent the wheel in such a simple, basic system?"

DEs should leverage existing knowledge and use habits to enable experts to get their real work done quickly. For an expert, using the desktop is NOT the problem at hand requiring a solution. It's not what they're being paid for and not what they care about. Experts love to learn new things—in their area of expertise.

So sure, desktop environment developers probably love to poke around in KDE's front end, code, and docs. But anyone else? People that are not DE specialists are not so excited about the new learning project that is "my desktop," I assure you. The desktop is the last thing they want to be consciously focusing on over the course of the day.

Comment: In the very first image... (Score 4, Interesting) 84

by aussersterne (#48790819) Attached to: KDE Frameworks 5.3 and Plasma 2.1 – First Impressions

The tree widgets on the left are mismatched: some solid lines, some spaces with alphanumeric characters; the alpha characters are black, yet the lines are gray visual noise that creates visual processing and cognitive load for no reason, adding nothing.

The parenthetical text at the top has a title whose margin (left whitespace to other widgets) is significantly different from the text below it; there are spaces between the parentheses and the text, which no text or print style guide in the world endorses because it separates the parenthetical indicators from the parenthetical text, when they should be tightly bound for clarity.

The window title preserves the absurd convention of using both the binary name and a descriptive title together, and separates them with a typographical element (an em-dash) which is inappropriate in a label or design element because it is asynchronous—it indicates a delay in interpretation and pronunciation (as the em-dash just a few words ago in this paragraph does) and thus suggests long-form reading, which is not the intent for at-a-glance window titles (unless you don't want them to be very usable).

The title of the list widget, "Information Modules" is superfluous and redundant; the user starting an "About" dialogue expects to see "information" from the start, and they do not need to know about implementation ("modules").

The resize handle contrasts significantly with the window background, drawing undue attention to this particular area of the window above others (why is it "louder" than the window title, for example? Window controls should be secondary to window content and all at the same visual "volume" for usability).

In short—they still don't get it; they are signaling, in conventional ways that most users process subconsciously, thought habits and forms of attention that are not contributing to efficiency and use, but rather detracting/distracting from it. This is the same old KDE with poor, unprofessional design that leads to cognitive clutter. It's not that KDE has "too much going on" but rather that KDE has "too much going on that isn't actually functional and adds nothing to users ability to get things done).

Yuck.

Comment: Nope, their work isn't shit. (Score 1) 153

by aussersterne (#48785525) Attached to: Fewer Grants For Young Researchers Causing Brain Drain In Academia

But they can earn 3x as much by going into the non-academic private sector and doing their research for profit-driven corps that will patent and secret the hell out of it, rather than using it for the good of all. Because the general public doesn't want to own the essential everyday technologies of the future; they'd rather it be kept inside high corporate walls and be forced to pay through the nose for it to wealthy billionaires.

And because bright young researchers actually have to eat, and actually want a life, they grudingly go where the money is, knowing full well they're contributing to deep social problems to come. Myself included.

But why would I settle for a string of one-year postdoc contracts that pay like entry-level jobs and require superhuman hours and commitment when I can go earn six figures at a proper nine-to-five, with revenue sharing, great benefits, and job security? Yes, the company owns everything I do. But I get to pay my bills and build a personal future. Of course, society's future is much dimmer as the result of so many people making the same choice that I have, and so much good work ending up in private hands rather than public ones.

But them's the beans. If you want to own the future, public, you've got to be willing to pay for it.

Comment: I think this is pretty much it. (Score 3, Insightful) 598

by aussersterne (#48738963) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

In terms of revenue, Apple is following the money. iOS has made Apple the wealthy powerhouse that it is today, not OS X. They don't want to lose the installed base or be perceived as just a phone company; OS X gets them mindshare and stickiness in certain quarters that matter (i.e. education and youth) for future iOS revenue.

But they don't actually want to invest much in it; it's increasingly the sort of necessary evil that is overhead, so it makes sense for them to shift to an iOS-led company. In the phone space, where the consumer upgrade cycle is tied to carrier contracts and upgrade cycles, it's important to have "new and shiny" every single year; consumers standing in AT&T shops are fickle people that are easily swayed by displays and sales drones that may or may not know anything about anything.

So the marketing rationale at Apple is (1) follow the revenue, which is mobile and iOS, (2) do what is necessary to stay dominant there, which means annual release cycles at least, and (3) reduce the cost of needed other business wings as much as possible so as to focus on core revenue competencies without creating risk, which means making OS X follow iOS.

It makes perfect business sense in the short and medium terms. In the long term, it's hard to see what effect it will have. It's entirely possible that they could wind down the OS X business entirely and remain dominant and very profitable as a result of their other product lines. It's also possible that poor OS X experiences and the loss of the "high end" could create a perception problem that affects one of their key value propositions, that of being "high end," and that will ultimately also influence their mobile sales down the road in negative ways as a result.

I'm a Linux switcher (just over five years ago now) that was tremendously frustrated with desktop Linux (and still dubious about its prospects) after using Linux from 1993-2009, but that has also in the last couple of months considered switching back. I switched to OS X largely for the quality of the high-end applications and for the more tightly integrated user experience. Now the applications business is struggling (the FCP problem, the Aperture events, the joke that is the iOS-synchronized iWork suite) and third-party applications have declined in quality (see: MS Office on OS X these days) as other developers have ceded the central applications ground to Apple. Meanwhile, the user experience on iOS remains sound but on OS X it has become rather less so as a result of the iOS-centricity of the company.

What to do? I've considered a switch back to Linux, but the Linux distros I've tried out in virtual machines have been underwhelming to me; the Linux desktop continues, so far as I can tell, to be in a worse state for my purposes than it was in 2008. I have no interest in Windows (I have Win7 and Win8 installations in VMs for specific applications, and even in a VM window they make me cringe; just complete usability nightmares).

It's a frustrating time for desktop users in general, I think; the consumer computing world has shifted to mobile/embedded devices and taken most of the labor, attention, and R&D with it. The desktop, needed by those of us that do productive computing work, has been left to languish on all fronts. It's completely rational in many ways at the macroeconomic level, but at the microeconomic level of individual workers and economic sectors, it's been a disaster.

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