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Comment: Re:Why we use office (Score 2) 178

by sirlark (#49420969) Attached to: UK Forces Microsoft To Adopt Open Document Standards
I'm aware of the difference between Calc and gnumeric, but I was trying to answer the question of "what is considered a basic task?" which isn't exactly dependent on a specific piece of software. I have more experience with gnumeric, as I pointed out. And yes, once you hit large spreadsheets, you should use a database, but often I have to deal with large datasets that are stored in databases and *exported* as .csv files for analysis, or with .csv files dumped directly from sensors or other devices. Whilst I'm writing the programs that either produce or consume these, it's often easier to view them in a spreadsheet, rather than a text file layout, because the visual distinction of column is preserved. I admit, that this is probably not a common use case though, and hence not a "basic task", but databases aren't great at data analysis, which is why this stuff often gets loaded into a spreadsheet, this is where statistics applications come in. Good luck getting Bossman McMBA to use something like that. So I'd say this is probably somewhere between "basic" and "advanced". I would like to throw one more thing into the hat though, and that is the MS Word is appalling at handling large documents (40 pages plus, depending on the machine). LO/OO writer is much better in this regard, and I do regard this as a "basic task"; There are many business documents (quarterly reports, impact assessments, white papers, blah) and even personal documents (academic dissertations, and student projects, home authorship of books) that can get this large.

Comment: Re: To see what happens... (Score 4, Funny) 113

by Samantha Wright (#49391225) Attached to: NASA-ESA Project Will Shoot an Asteroid To See What Happens
There's no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you've had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaints, and it's far too late to start making a fuss about it now.

What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven's sake, mankind, it's only four light years away, you know! I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own regard. Energise the demolition beams! God, I don't know⦠apathetic bloody planet, I've no sympathy at allâ¦

Comment: Re:Why we use office (Score 2) 178

by sirlark (#49390103) Attached to: UK Forces Microsoft To Adopt Open Document Standards

Okay, God forbid, I'm actually going to try and treat this fairly. Firstly, recent incarnations of MS Word work using semantic styling, but don't force you to use it. This is much the same as in OO/LO. In general MS tools load files a LOT faster, and are more visually appealing (granted, eye of the beholder and all that), however they don't handle large files. Try opening a 400Mb .csv file in Excel vs in Gnumeric. As far as user friendly interfaces are concerned, I'd say they are both about equally klunky. The ribbon is a menu, really, just looks a little different. Some people prefer it, some people don't.

Now, the "basic tasks" concept. Basic tasks for word processing to me include: writing a letter, writing business document (contract, memo, invoice, quote, waybill, meeting minutes), creating/using templates for those standard documents, designing home flyers (lost dogs, bake sales etc) . These generally require the following 'features' from the software: text manipulation, text formatting, image insertion and basic manipulation (resizing, placement, possibly cropping), tables, tab stops, template editing, headers, footers, page numbering, and text->image conversions (e.g. for banner headings). Both OO/LO and MS Word do all these about equally well imho.

Advanced features: Mail Merge, Mathematical equation editing, Track changes/revision control, cross referencing (index, citations, bibliography, table of contents, list of images etc)

As far as the spreadsheets go, excel and gnumeric are very similar in features as far as I've used them. Never used OO/LO Calc, so I can't say. I suppose charts might be a distinguishing factor, but again, I rarely use charts generated from spreadsheets.

Presentation software (Powerpoint, Impress) seems to be where things really start to differentiate. More transitions, and more bling, in general, is available to PowerPoint users, and compatibility is HORRIBLE even between between powerpoint versions, let alone PP and OO/LO.

In summary: as far basic word processing goes, I don't see a marked difference apart from aesthetics. For Maths, they're both pretty horrible. Track changes they're both about the same (revision control in word processing sucks generally), and I'm not sure about mail merge

Comment: Re: what if NASA gets the wrong 4 meter-or-so boul (Score 1) 97

I think there's already a 2030 mission in the works to send the boulder back with flowers, chocolates, and an apology letter inscribed on a golden disc that reveals a YouTube compilation of Carl Sagan quotes if placed in a laserdisc player. (The instructions on the sleeve for constructing such a device simply say "This product has been discontinued" in a mixture of pulsar coordinates and atomic oscillations.)
Software

uTorrent Quietly Installs Cryptocurrency Miner 275

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-cpu-is-our-cpu dept.
New submitter Eloking sends news that uTorrent, a popular BitTorrent client, is silently installing cryptocurrency mining software for many users. [uTorrent] brings in revenue through in-app advertising and also presents users with “offers” to try out third-party software when installed or updated. These offers are usually not placed on users’ machines without consent, but this week many users began complaining about a “rogue” offer being silently installed. The complaints mention the Epic Scale tool, a piece of software that generates revenue through cryptocurrency mining. To do so, it uses the host computer’s CPU cycles. ... The sudden increase in complaints over the past two days suggests that something went wrong with the install and update process. Several users specifically say that they were vigilant, but instead of a popup asking for permission the Epic Scale offer was added silently.

Comment: Re: Who cares what RMS wants? (Score 4, Insightful) 551

by sirlark (#49015629) Attached to: RMS Objects To Support For LLVM's Debugger In GNU Emacs's Gud.el
Also, I should point out that the LLVM/clang situation is a bit more complex. If I recall, LLVM came about because the gnu toolchain deliberately obfuscates it's output and interoperability interfaces with other tools even within the toolchain. This strategy was chosen because the outputs of the individual software tool in the toolchain were not, and could not be protected by the GPL (any version). It would have been possible for a proprietary product to be developed that didn't link to gcc (or another part of the toolchain) to take the useful output of gcc (e.g. a parsed abstract syntax tree) and use it to any number of cool things. The product could still be distributed with gcc (and the required accompanying notices) but the rest of the code would be locked up, because it doesn't link to gcc, only depends on it at runtime. This violates the spirit of the GPL which is not only to make software free, but to keep it free.

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