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Comment Re:There's a new buzzword, complete with acronym (Score 1) 189

Yeah, but the use has shifted. It used to stand for everything around a user and a product: from how you learn about it, how you buy it, how it is packaged, how you install it, how you use it, how you upgrade it, how you get support for it and how you get rid of it.

These days, people use it to mean "user interface design": Just one part of the whole.

Comment Not necessarily a total reduction in parasites (Score 1) 240

What usually happens when one species is diminished is that another species takes its place.
So, we may not get fewer parasites, only fewer species of parasites.

Overall, when the Earth gets warmer, species from places that were warmer are likely to become more common in places that used to be colder, but now are not. That's not just parasites, but all types of insects, plants, animals and diseases.

Comment Re:Still a bag of unusable shit (Score 4, Interesting) 176

I run Mate which is a clone of the more sensible GNOME 2. Mate is based on the GTK+ user interface toolkit.

Unfortunately, development of the GTK+ toolkit was also taken over by the same idiots that "develop" GNOME 3.
They have done things such as breaking the API on minor version number revisions, and added requirements to those of GNOME 3.
They changed the tried and true behaviour of scrollbars and sliders to not paging when you click in the trough and which stops if you move the knob too slowly.
They removed the way that submenus stay open longer if you move the mouse pointer towards it.
Text has smooth - but delayed - scrolling that can't be sped up to instantaneous.
I thought about writing a theme engine that patched the behaviour (which I did in the GTK+ 1.2 days) but they "deprecated" theme engines, so now I would have to fork the entire toolkit if I want to fix it.

Earth

Climate Change Could Wipe Out a Third of Parasite Species, Study Finds (nytimes.com) 240

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times (Warning: source may be paywalled, alternative source): Recently, scientists carried out the first large-scale study of what climate change may do to the world's much-loathed parasites. The team came to a startling conclusion: as many as one in three parasite species may face extinction in the next century. As global warming raises the planet's temperature, the researchers found, many species will lose territory in which to survive. Some of their hosts will be lost, too. Researchers have begun carefully studying the roles that parasites play. They make up the majority of the biomass in some ecosystems, outweighing predators sharing their environments by a factor of 20 to 1. For decades, scientists who studied food webs drew lines between species -- between wildebeest and the grass they grazed on, for example, and between the wildebeest and the lions that ate them. In a major oversight, they didn't factor in the extent to which parasites feed on hosts. As it turns out, as much as 80 percent of the lines in a given food web are links to parasites. They are big players in the food supply.

Some researchers had already investigated the fate of a few parasite species, but Colin J. Carlson, lead author of the study and a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, and his colleagues wanted to get a global view of the impact of climate change. Some kinds won't lose much in a warming world, the study found. For instance, thorny-headed worms are likely to be protected because their hosts, fish and birds, are common and widespread. But other types, such as fleas and tapeworms, may not be able to tolerate much change in temperature; many others infect only hosts that are facing extinction, as well. In all, roughly 30 percent of parasitic species could disappear, Mr. Carlson concluded. The impact of climate change will be as great or greater for these species as for any others studied so far.
The study has been published in Science Advances.

Comment Re:Curious (Score 2) 435

The mandatory legal warranty in the EU covers only "pre-existing defects".
If a component is rated from the beginning to expire less than then the full warranty period does not cover that component.

So it may be possible for Apple to legal-wrangle themselves out of the full two-year period, but I think that reasonably, the only thing they could do it for would be battery life ... or the OLED screen of the iPhone X.

Comment Firefox should be Firefox (Score 1) 315

At least the search in address bar is configurable. Personally I prefer Chrome's approach but I think that Firefox should make the old separate search bar be the default.

If Firefox wants to position itself as an alternative to Chrome, it should try to be an alternative to Chrome and that means that it would have to be different, it has to be its own thing.
Otherwise Chrome Users will just see it as a copy - an inferior copy - to Chrome and they will go back to the "real thing".

Google chose to unify the search and address bar so as to make word or misspelled URL lead to a Google search. But that is not always what the user intended.
If Mozilla wants to provide a search as a backup, they should put a pre-filled search form in the "Server not found" message page so that a search could be done from there with a single click.

Comment Re:Nothing has really changed... (Score 5, Informative) 284

Apple Desktop Bus was actually kinda cool.

Developed by Woz himself. First model that had it was the Apple IIGS.
A serial daisy-chained protocol, designed to be hot-swapped and to make it possible to bit-bang the bus with an inexpensive microcontroller.
Unfortunately the hardware designers then messed up, so it was not considered safe to hot-swap it.

Compare that to USB, which requires a complex software stack in the device firmware .. and if you want to "daisy-chain" devices you would have to implement a separate hub - which means that few devices even have one.
And don't even go into how overly generic and all-encompassing the USB HID protocol for keyboards and mice is, which means that operating systems don't support everything in a complete or consistent manner.

Comment Re:Not just the touch bar (Score 4, Interesting) 284

The MBP 2016 keyboard with "butterfly" scissor switches also have wider keys with smaller gaps between them - and smaller gaps also make many typists press two keys at once more often by mistake.

Key spacing, key gaps, curvature, travel to actuation -- all those measurements that classic keyboards have, they were not grabbed out of thin air. They were developed after many studies of actual typists back in the typewriter era.

EU

Germany Tests Facial-Recognition Surveillance On 300 Citizens (dw.com) 86

An anonymous reader quotes DW: Earlier this year, with no shortage of publicity, Berlin police found volunteers to participate in a test of a prototype facial-recognition system at Sudkreuz station. The system seeks to match images of people on CCTV cameras with pictures of the volunteers in a test database. Volunteers also wear transponders providing information about their whereabouts. Comparing the two sets of data will give a good indication of whether the technology is of any use.
Another DW article reports the six-month test is attracting criticism: Germany's interior minister is pleased with the initial results, but critics are wary of increased surveillance... The 300 testers who volunteered for the project carry a transponder that apparently only transmits data on ambient temperature, battery status and signal strength, according to the project staff member in the Sudkreuz station control room who explained the technology to [German Interior Minister Thomas] de Maiziere. But [activist Paul] Gerstenkorn contends the angle and acceleration of the testers are recorded as well... For German Data Protection Commissioner Andrea Vosshoff, the fact that active and not passive technology is being used is going too far. Unlike a passive chip, the transponder constantly transmits information that anyone can collect with the help of freeware available on the internet.

Vosshoff says the police have not "sufficiently" informed the testers, and called for the project to be temporarily halted...The interior minister has vehemently defended the project, saying the technology is not being used to catch petty criminals such as shoplifters, but terrorists and serious offenders. Four weeks into the test phase, De Maiziere has praised its "surprising accuracy" - specifically referring to people recognized by the software whose pictures are already stored in police databases. According to Germany's federal police force, pictures of all other passers-by captured by the surveillance cameras are "immediately deleted." After the six-month trial phase in Berlin, a decision will be made on whether automatic facial recognition will be implemented nationwide in Germany's train stations and other public spaces.

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