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Comment Re:Word: being bought by google actually sucks. (Score 1) 151

"You really, really, shouldn't have written a long post trying to explain Embrace, Extend, Extinguish without trying to understand the post you were replying to."

So please tell me what I didn't understood. I'll translate my understanding on my own words.

"Well, this issue about Picasa is Google trying its version of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish, which ended up being Embrace, Un-extend, Extinguish... or was it just plain incompetence?"

Then my answer: It certainly was not a failed attempt at Embrace, Extend, Extinguish because Google surely knew the situation was not a case for it. No comment about why they bought it.

Comment Re:Word: being bought by google actually sucks. (Score 5, Insightful) 151

"They've adapted the old Microsoft method (adapted, of course, to make it not evil):

Embrace, Un-extend, Extinguish "

No, that hasn't been the case because there has been no need for it.

Look: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish is not chosen by chance and it only works on said order.

You first need to start with something already popular and with an obvious leader.

Then you first embrace the technology of your competitor so users can move from your competitor to you, and you do it in a funneled way: easy to move from your competitor to you, difficult to impossible to do it the other way.

After that you Extend your competitor's technology so users *do* migrate from him to you because of the added (or percieved) benefit. If the Extend step is working, after a no-return point you extend in non-compatible ways, on one hand just to follow your strategy from the Embrace step, and to take advantage of the network effect to put your competitor pinning for the fjords on the other.

Once your competition is not a risk any more, you enter the Extinguish step were you go where you really wanted from the beginning.

For the most perfected example of Microsoft's application of this model see what they did to Novell, starting in the days of Windows 3.11 for Workgroups with its end on Windows 2000 Server.

But Google is not doing this (not here, at least): Google was not even trying to funnel users away from other photo albums, much less from Picasa. They just bought it and, since Picasa was a Google's competitor no more, there was no need for the Extend step, therefore there were no Extend step.

Comment Re:it's not what you say it's how you say it (Score 1) 146

"That is true and obviously it'll never be foolproof but in some cases a flat response when one might expect something different is the give away."

That wasn't my point. My point is not on what sarcasm is but what it is used for. At its highest level is meant for *some* of the audience not to get it or, at least, not to get it immediately because sarcasm requires mockery out of somebody or, in its light form to mock out of what somebody said (instead of the somebody himself).

For an AI wanting to get sarcasm *on others* is an easy task (in theory), provided it is among an audience, since it only needs to watch for one of two reactions (some times in quick succession):
1) Somebody says something (with or without cues)
2) Part of the audience grins
3) Few moments later the part that didn't grin goes "Oh, wait!"

The problem comes when the sarcasm is directed to the AI itself. The most it could do is apply the old poker saying: if it can't find the sucker...

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 2) 173

"This sounds like why there are also so many bugs in software. I find that the more I learn about software development, the more difficult everything becomes."

Related, but not exactly that.

Our mind tends to look for goals and then focus on the goals as is a great way to have things done (reaching food, escaping from a predator, mating...).

When this tendency is applied to software you have developers focusing in the happy path for the requested feature (the goal) thinking they'll come back to the petty details once they have something working. Now, pair it with a manager working exactly in the same mood (focusing on the requested feature to be in the wild, and then the next, and the next after that) and you'll understand why the corner cases, documentation, etc. get never done.

In fact, this human tendency is so strong that not even the developers, which are the more "rational" part in the equation have been able to reach the obvious conclusion to all their pains: leave the happy path till the end and you'll never have a manager pushing your mock-up without proper error checking, logging, documentation and what not into production again.

Comment Re:Improved UI or just changed UI? (Score 1) 187

"Do any genuinely objective metrics exists for office suite user interfaces?"

It shouldn't have to be too difficult. Just give a test document to a bunch of users and ask them to type it. Average time to type, typeset, etc. goes up or down? How about average deviations?

Want to go beyond that? add some instrumentation: how much non-typing time takes for people to put a text in bold? how much time between mouse-button clicks? how many clicks per hour? how many chars typed per hour?

Want to go even beyond? Use eye-tracking to see where the eyes stay their time. It is in the text? in the menus?

"But they don't say how that's measured. "

Ah! that's a different issue: one thing is how difficult is to gain objective metrics from an UI, another one if these people have in fact taken objective metrics.

Comment Re:Anything NK does is suspicious (Score 1) 286

"Because it worked so well back in 1940 with Japan.

Aggressive military dictatorships aren't always deterred by anything less than war. "

That has certainly been the case about USA.

"Can you think of a measure less than war that would have deterred Japan from its path of conquest in Asia and war against America? Surrender doesn't count."

Can you think that whatever happened 8000 Km west to San Francisco was not the fricking business of USA to start with?

What if other countries decided to mess in the other side of the world like USA did? What if USSR just declared war to USA because of what they were doing in South America just like USA did (under Pearl Harbor excuse) with Japan in Far East?

Please note that I'm not saying a word about the ethics of all these issues but just stating the fact that USA was a expanding colonial country under its influence sphere (Caribe, South America and Pacific) just like any one else, the only difference being that History is written down by those that win and it was USA the one that won.

"North Korea was at war with South Korea, the UN powers"

See? "UN powers"... what a nice euphemism for what obviously was a pulse between USSR and USA... again, tens of thousands kilometers away from USA frontiers.

"You're trying to paint a 60 year old war with a 10 year old brush"

Maybe because whatever are the current moving reasons for NK top cabals are, well... current?

"North Korea wants nuclear weapons for the power"

But of course yes! as if USA (or any other nuclear nation) wants them for the nice fireworks they could make on July the 4th, or something.

"By the way, did you take any notice of what happened to the "friends" of the USSR that went off script? East Germany? Hungary? Czechoslovakia? Afghanistan?"

Are you against my point or helping me to make it stronger? What happened to that other USSR ally, the one with ICBMs? China, I mean. Or Pakistan, for that matter? The point still holds: nations with ICBMs are dealt with in quite a different way than those without and maybe NK leaders have payed attention to that.

" I don't recall the US invading a friendly nation like that."

Maybe you need some more phosphorus in your diet, then, for the cases of Iraq or Panama are not so far away.

Comment Re:Excess (Score 1) 290

"Spain buys and sells from/to France and Portugal to stabilize its own grid.
No "country" in Europe is selling or buying power to "stabilize" its "grid. That is an utter misconception. Power trading is basically done for monetary reasons only."

You say that as if they were two unrelated things. Hint: they aren't.

Comment Re:Environmental concerns (Score 1) 290

"Why the hell are people investing in solar? The economics make absolutely no sense whatsoever."

For the one that lacks the knowledge, maybe.

Does Morocco have land to spare? By spades.
Does Morocco have sun to use? By spades.
Does Morocco have Uranium to use? Not at all.

Well, in fact Morocco *does* have plenty or Uranium reserves but being Sun renewable it makes all strategic sense to rely on solar and sell Uranium to other countries or even sit on top of it waiting for oil to be on shortage (but if too long, it risks the mythical 50 years of fusion to pass by and lose their oportunity).

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