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Comment: Re:kill -1 (Score 1) 67

by swillden (#47959031) Attached to: Fork of Systemd Leads To Lightweight Uselessd

If it still doesn't adequately support the "kill -1" functionality of initd (which kills and resets all processes init manages, especially the getty processes on the terminals), I still don't want it.

What do you do that makes you need kill -1 regularly? I think I've only used it a handful of times in 30 years, and not at all in the last decade or so.

Comment: Re:all in all (Score 1) 88

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47958953) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach
Though, if memory serves, US presidents have an amazing record of not getting shot over foreign policy issues and instead being taken down by domestic opponents or just plain nutjobs.

It's honestly a bit surprising: I'm not sure if we just watch the foreigners better, or if they know that basically any failover president is going to adhere to very similar policies(only more so, because they'll have greater support for Doing Something) and so it really isn't worth the trouble, expense, or risk...

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 88

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47958925) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

Guy walks on White House lawn, agents take him down. Nobody was hurt, never was the president or his family in danger. The Secret Service did his job. End of story. The rest is just the usual sensational media hysteria.

But, but, what if the guy on the lawn had secretly been a super ninja assassin? Or an android from the future with a 50 kiloton nuclear failsafe embedded in its torso? Why aren't you busy hyperventilating about all the hypothetical threats that are somehow unimportant on one side of a fence but are Super Terrifying if they make it to the other side?

America's Lawn was in existential danger here, and the secret service did nothing!

(In all seriousness, if you have some sort of cool exotic agent and/or heavy weapon that would let you frag the president from the front lawn the fence around the lawn isn't going to stop it. Wind will blow right through, and it's just a fence, not some sort of 18 foot blast wall. If you don't, isn't playing the 'jump the fence and hope that nobody manages to shoot you as you cross a giant strip of grass' plan about the worst possible one? It's not as though politicians don't come out of their lairs to kiss babies, eat at America's Small Town Restaurants, and assorted other things that make it much easier to get close...)

Comment: Re:If this works, then Microsoft is doomed. (Score 1) 100

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) 291

by hey! (#47956707) Attached to: Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of 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:They want it but don't understand it. (Score 1) 338

by nine-times (#47956147) Attached to: Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

Then he says we're going to do that by hiring an undergrad design major part time from a local college once we finish our mechanical and board designs. He will polish it up and make it great.

In fairness, that implies that you currently don't have anyone with design experience looking at your product designs. Maybe getting some input from a designer, even a student, could be helpful? Admittedly, a student might make things worse by trying to push silly ideas.

Especially in the context of this (which I agree with):

This is especially true for engineers (of which I am one) who tend think to since it's not technically hard to do, it must mean that designers don't bring much to the table. "I can bevel that edge", "That rounded corner isn't hard to do", etc etc. We also tend to think that function is most important and that form is an afterthought... even though we don't actually say that.

The sort of design that Apple does is not just about beveling the edge. Because first, you need someone capable of understanding whether the beveled edge will make it more or less attractive than a nice, clean, straight edge. Will it look dumb? Will it feel cheap? But then also, because you need someone who can look at the whole package and evaluate what effect that beveled edge will have on the usability of the device. Not just bare function, i.e. it successfully performs [function X], but usability, i.e. it performs [function X] in a way that's intuitive, easy, understandable, and pleasant. It's not easy to balance form, function, and usability.

Comment: Re:Apple REULEZ! (Score 1) 338

by nine-times (#47956105) Attached to: Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

To some degree, I think it's an implied response to the latent, often heard criticism that people who use Apple are a bunch of idiots who don't know anything about computers. Especially in the context of responding to someone calling Apple fans "sheep", which implies that they're stupid followers and that their opinions are thoughtless and uninformed.

I've found that if you say anything positive about Apple in a public forum like Slashdot, there's a decent chance you'll get a response that implies that you don't understand computers very well. As a result, I'll admit that I sometimes feel the need to throw out something that explains that, yes, I'm very familiar with other systems and can provide praise and criticism of all of them.

Comment: Re:Some criticism (Score 1) 151

by nine-times (#47956061) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Like I said, I'm speaking generally, and from my own anecdotal evidence. In my career, including consulting with a variety of companies with their own IT people, I've known maybe one or two that seem to be trying to hide things to create "job security". They were generally incompetent, and were fired before too long, in spite of their "job security". I'll note that I operate within a fairly competitive market.

Least resistance to what? THAT is the question.

That is a good question. The answer is basically "many things". My point is, they may be lazy and worried about losing their jobs, but it often manifests as a reluctance to take on new projects or make big changes, and general neglect for maintenance and upgrades. But you have 'resistance' in various forms. You might be looking at a crappy old 12 year-old server that's bound to fail soon, and you think, on the one hand, I don't want to catch hell when this thing dies. On the other hand, I don't want to argue with management, who will claim that the upgrade isn't really necessary because things are currently working, and they'll say that the price of a new server is unjustified. Plus, it'll take a lot of work for me to perform the upgrade, and if anything goes wrong I'll be blamed. Some of the blame will be justified due to the fact that I'm not actually familiar with the new hardware and software that we'll be using if I upgrade. And does the new version of our business-critical app include all the features that we need? How much training will be required for the staff to adjust to the new system?

So you put all of that together, and sometimes the IT guy picks the path that seems less scary. That's more or less what I mean by "the path of least resistance".

Comment: Re:Some criticism (Score 1) 151

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) 151

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.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.