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Comment: Re:Some criticism (Score 1) 86

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:I've never shorted a stock (Score 1) 89

by TheRaven64 (#47953737) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group
XP also tweaked the VM subsystem in a way that was quite noticeable if you had more than about 256MB of RAM (better performance), but the main feature it added was remote desktop (although only in the Pro version). I was quite tempted to upgrade from 2K for the remote desktop stuff.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 86

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.

Comment: Re:can we have ONE non-dumbed down GUI please? (Score 1) 86

by nine-times (#47953459) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

A little offtopic, but since you bring it up: All hate aside, I've come around to think that the Windows 8 GUI, ignoring the Metro/Modern stuff) is very nice. It succeeds in hiding a lot of the complexity and nonsense while still allowing power users to be efficient. It's very clean, and makes good use of the interface conventions that everyone has gotten accustomed to over the past few decades. If they'd kept the start menu and ditched all the Metro stuff, I think Windows 8 would have been a big hit.

And I think there's a possible lesson there for KDE and Gnome and any other UI designer out there: Instead of constantly trying to reinvent the wheel, sometimes it's better to just refine the UI you already have, removing inconsistencies and redesigning anything that's confusing, problematic, or ugly.

Comment: Re:Capitalism is enamored with Fascism (Score 1) 154

by khallow (#47953243) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US
Funny how a lot of the people who are enamored of the Chinese model, aren't capitalists. The real attraction is for stoking authoritarian fantasies of all flavors. Want a high speed rail or massive infrastructure/social safety net projects? China made it happen. That's your authoritarian socialist viewpoint.

Want favorable or unique business advantages or just doing away with the arbitrary rules imposed by the thoughtless masses? Just think what profit you could make with the power available to the Chinese government! There's your authoritarian capitalist viewpoint. Want people to be good and the society perfect? Let's make them be good and the society perfect via the Chinese model! There's most of your utopian viewpoints.

I imagine many of these large investment firms have direct or indirect access to zero percent federal reserve loans (going on six years with no end in sight) and they would be foolish not to speculate on Alibaba with house money.

Well, the Fed has admitted that it purchases a lot more than just federal treasuries and bonds. There must be some obstacles in place though else we'd have a lot more inflation. The economy isn't acting like there's easy, unlimited credit else we'd see more and large asset bubbles than we currently see.

I think one of those obstacles is reserve, namely how much concrete assets one needs on hand to cover leveraged investments.

As to the "Business Plot", it's worth remembering that those guys alleged to have been plotters got shafted a lot by the Roosevelt administration who let us note did stuff that should have been outright illegal like stealing privately owned gold in the US and attempting to pack the US Supreme Court. It was not unreasonable at the time to expect the US democracy to be near its end. In that case, why not fight the emerging dictatorship on its own terms?

Let us note that this sort of business-backed revolt worked in both Iran and Chile and similarly failed in Cuba and recently, Venezuela. I can't think of an example, win or lose that didn't turn out badly for the country in question. Maybe we should instead work on not letting things get to the point where businesses are desperate enough to back a rebellion or coup?

Comment: Re:What for? (Score 1) 182

by TheRaven64 (#47953219) Attached to: Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't
I'm not a huge fan. The goal of D was to produce a better C++, but if you're designing a new language then C++ really isn't where I'd choose to start. It's not as bad as Ruby (I can't imagine the kind of person who would look at Smalltalk and say 'what this language really needs is Perl-like syntax'. Actually, I can't imagine the kind of person who'd say that about any language. Including Perl). Rust is probably the modern language that I like the most.

Comment: Re:Some criticism (Score 2) 86

by nine-times (#47953187) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

This is the sort of criticism that software developers really need to get, and it seems good that maybe KDE is listening. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if a lot of people respond to this by saying the criticisms are stupid, that "if you know what you're doing" then you'll understand what's really going on, etc.

Comment: Re:Free Willy! (Score 1) 428

by itsdapead (#47952645) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

I'm just saying, that's a lot of words defending a system of theocratic monarchy over a system of secular democracy.

TLDNR: A Constitutional monarchy is a democracy, and the elected government and major political parties are effectively secular (OK, there's N. Ireland, but the sectarian nature of politics there reflects community divisions going back for centuries).

Maybe I'm biased but I'm for secular democracy.

So am I - but the UK comes closer in practice than many true "secular democracies" and our state religion verges on institutional agnosticism.

Comment: Re:Middle class will moderate China -- debunked id (Score 2) 154

by shutdown -p now (#47952579) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

That was the Nixon/Kissinger theory of the 1960s/70s. It was used to cut China all sort of political and economic slack. It was proven wrong by the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Was it, though? China circa 1960s/70s was a totalitarian dictatorship where Tiananmen square was an impossibility simply because any dissent would be crushed long before it would get to mass protest stage, and the yearly number of victims was far greater, too. Compared to China after Tiananmen, the latter is far more liberal. It's even more liberal today.

If you want a better China then the US should treat China as China treats the US. Have reciprocal economic and trade policies, punitive measures for egregious behavior, ... No more cutting them slack hoping they will moderate over time, no more treating them like they are an impoverished developing nation,

I did not suggest doing such a thing. The best thing you can do is just trade (and yes, this doesn't preclude e.g. tariffs to even out the price of labor differences, environmental concerns etc).

Comment: Re:CRTC needs to be reined in (Score 1) 304

by vux984 (#47952545) Attached to: Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

Killing a non-competitive industry

What's non-competitive about it? You think other tax jurisdictions aren't playing the same game?

But in the long-term, a more competitive and stronger industry will emerge.

Or it will nestle somewhere else where it can squeeze the local government for some concessions. I'd rather the jobs be in Canada than elsewhere. The candian content regulations provide some unique leverage over the industry. The tax breaks are the carrot... and the canadian content regulations (that they qualify under if its produced significantly within canada) is the stick.

Just as the US and Canada should never have rescued the auto-makers when they imploded

I agree they handled it pretty poorly, but letting it collapse would have been stupid too. The country would not be better if all those jobs, and supply chains, and the service industries supported by that industry had all collapsed like a string of dominoes. Sure the market would have corrected itself and sorted itself out after a 'great depression', but millions of people still have to eat in the meantime. That's a huge drain on the economy, and an incubator for crime and even real civil unrest. Far better to prop up the industry up with bridge financing then to put them all on various welfare programs.

They handled it poorly though. Those who were responsible for manufacturing the crisis should have been reduced to poverty.

Comment: Re:Don't buy/invest in mainland China (if you can) (Score 1) 154

by shutdown -p now (#47952065) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

As Chinese economy grows, so does its middle class. As its middle class grows, it demands more democratic reforms and more government responsibility - ultimately, a way to better China, for both its people and its neighbors.

So if you want a better China, you should do the exact opposite of what you're doing.

Comment: Re:Trustworthy Computing was a sham (Score 1) 89

by lgw (#47952045) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

The engineers working on Windows 8 knew the Metro UI was crap for the PC. The usability studies all showed that the Metro UI was crap for the PC. It was senior management that forced the issue over the protests of those involved.

The reason I have hope for MS yet is the result from all that. The entire management chain responsible for that, right through the CEO, all of them gone. Gates, Ballmer, Larson-Green, and middle managers below her well fired or moved away from PC computing. Someone, somewhere, decided enough was enough.

Will the new guy be better? Who knows. But we've had decision after decision that left consumers saying "WTF?" being rolled back, starting with firing that X-Box VP whp insulted the customer base and reversing his decisions on used games and always-on DRM and hopefully through the restoration of the start menu. Of course, if Windows 9 ends up sucking, MS is as dead as a very dead thing.

Comment: Re:Treacherous Computing (Score 4, Insightful) 89

by lgw (#47952015) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

Had TC been an open standard, it could have been a great thing. Think: locking down one VM such that no virus can taint it, which you can then use to scan the rest of the system with assurance that the results are valid.

But instead it was a joke. I was doing standards work while the TC "standard" was being hammered out, and while they were in the same Hotel as real ISO standards work, you had to be there from a member company and sign an NDA to even listen to the discussions. We didn't take them seriously (the normal ISO/INCITS rules are that anyone who shows up can participate, you only need to be from a paying company to vote, and that minutes are always public).

Comment: Re:No, It Won't (Score 1) 311

by lgw (#47951957) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Forest coverage of America has grown quite a bit over the past 50 years because so much farmland - most of it, in fact - has been abandoned as unneeded to feed us, or to saturate the export market. By far the majority of arable land is no longer cultivated, out of lack of need, unless you count tree farms.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.