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Comment Re:Absolutely baffling (Score 2) 246

It's a bit of a cascading network effect. Some people at work use the advanced features of MS Office or interchange documents with other businesses that use MS Office and the people they hire are more likely to have used MS Office, thus the workplace standardizes on MS Office. Since people use MS Office at work, it's easier to get MS Office at home because everything is in the same place and they can apply any free practice/training they got at work.

You might think it would be a trivial effort to switch or use both because you understand the abstract concepts... but most people aren't there. The big blue e is the Internet, the Internet is the big blue e. I'm occasionally there about other things I don't care much about, I know how this product works and it gets the job done so... even though I know it might not be the only or best tool for the job. Mental effort isn't an infinite resource, sometimes you just don't care enough to bother.

Comment Re: systemic error (Score 3, Insightful) 140

You are talking about two different things, a disturbance in the environment can be tested by trying in another environment. If the flaw is inherent to the technique that's a different problem, but then at least you have two studies coming to the same result. That's a much stronger result than one experiment, which could be flawed in a million ways you can't even imagine. Even if it's wrong, knowing that the experiments must share a common flaw narrows down the search immensely.

Comment Re:"more arrests as AlphaBay users are tracked dow (Score 3, Informative) 146

I am trying to write the sarcasm ending tag (meant to be within the parenthesis in that previous comment) but it gets always deleted?! Someone here should review the HTML parsing part!

/. doesn't allow direct HTML in comments, been that way 20 years. If you want to do quasi-HTML, learn to write HTML entities. Like </sarcasm> has to be written like &lt;/sarcasm&gt; Oh and the & itself is written &amp; in case you're wondering. Lots of entities won't work though, only a small white-list. Particularly I miss the Greek letters for formulas, though most western characters are there like üöæøåñçß. Forget the rest of Unicode though, not happening...

Comment Re:Rolling Release (Score 1) 162

Back when I used Ubuntu, I dreaded every upgrade because I knew something would konk out and force me to either reinstall or hammer the configuration until it worked. It's been ages, though, so maybe things are better now?

Doesn't that describe like every upgrade, ever? Even with the best of intentions things can break and then you have all those pushing the new shiny who wants to break things. The question is how often do you want/need it compared to the benefit of getting new hardware support, new software features and fixes quicker. Every day, taking it in stride (until it breaks in the most inconvenient way at the most inconvenient time), every six months, every two years... you can skip an LTS and do it once every four years, the choice is yours.

The only real downside I saw was that even with backports and PPAs occasionally sorting it out you sometimes had cascading dependencies where you wanted to upgrade just one software package and it set off a chain reaction. I mean the software already exists in a newer distro, if there was a simple way to say "Take application X from distro version N+1/2/3, put it in an AppImage/Flatpak/Snap/chroot container and let me run that isolated from the rest of the system" that would be great. Ideally integrated into apt-get so that branch would get updates along with the rest. If you upgrade your distro and "catch up" later, you can uninstall the container and install it the ordinary way. That way you'd have a vast library of "free" backports.

Note: I might be unaware what actually exists now, there's some years since I last ran Linux.

Comment Re:Anonymity (Score 4, Insightful) 126


By the by, most terrorists are already known to law enforcement by the time they do whatever it is they're going to do. How many times have we heard "the FBI had previously investigated the suspect" or "British counter-terror officials had been monitoring the attacker for several years?" Anonymity isn't really the issue, and even if it were, I'm not going to live my life afraid of terrorists.

Comment Re:Why we don't use Linux (Score 1) 162

Personal preference has nothing to do with it. We're running a business, not a kindergarten. We need professional tools.

So availability of applications have what do to with support window? Maybe you shouldn't be running anything, since you can't seem to make a coherent argument.

Comment Re:Raises Many Questions (Score 2) 305

I'm trying to stay concise, but I'll spell it out for you.

NYC has a TON of underground infrastructure that goes down as deep as 600-800 ft (depending on where you are and how you measure). For a train traveling 700MPH, you are going to need to pick a depth and more or less stick to it over a distance as small as Manhattan (maybe 3 miles wide at most?). The higher you go, the more trouble you will have finding a clear straight run. You can't get too close to the infrastructure above, or the rock will not support the weight and you'll have to make expensive reinforcements. For instance, when putting the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) connection in at Grand Central ("East Side Access" if you want to Google it), they opted to dig 140 feet down so that they would not have to reinforce the foundations of the station above. The F train is about 100 feet down so it can pass under the other subways. I can tell you from experience that the escalator ride is no fun down to the F train, and I would avoid it if I could. Sometimes the escalator would be out of service and you got to use them as stairs. Fun. There is an infamous subway entrance at Washington Heights 180ft deep that is accessible only by elevator (well, also stairs). The elevators are troublesome and one of them has - I shit you not - a human operator who just sits there and presses the automatic buttons. The other (identical) elevators are fully automatic, they just still hire this one guy. Sorry, tangent.

Finally, there is the water infrastructure. It is the deepest as far as I know, down something like 600ft. Maybe there is some way to "thread the needle" and get the hyperloop tunnel between the water infrastructure and the subway infrastructure. That'd be great, but it's still really far down. If he can dig all the way from Washington to NYC it will seem like a relatively minor thing, but lets not pretend it's trivial. It took them 4 decades to dig the water tunnel.

Comment Re:great and all, but about this building in... (Score 1) 53

Adobe, Adobe, Adobe (and a little Apple) :)

The move to play stuff natively comes from the role that Flash once played and our collective horrified reaction. We did the "let the OS handle it" and we got Quicktime. We did the "let the browser load plugins" and we got Flash and the horrifying Acrobat plugins, and some more Quicktime.

Compared to that hot mess, the vulnerabilities allowed by the javascript PDF rendering code have been fairly mild.

Comment Re:In other exciting news... (Score 0) 53

Wine just announced it fixed the last compatiblity issues and Notepad is now a Platinum-certified app.

Well that's up to the WINE project... if the problem is patents, all you can do is wait. Besides there's nothing wrong with a high bit rate MP3, except that it's maybe a MB or two bigger than an equivalent AAC. If it lacked quality it would be different.

Comment Re:Never going to happen (Score 1) 305

Yes, probably he did ask Trump. And Trump probably did say yes. Because that's the kind of thing Trump does.

Well, if Musk is anything like a friend of mine then "That sounds like a good idea, why don't you draft up a proposal?" counts as approval. Then again he'll also take any casual remark on something that might happen at some unspecified point in the future as a done deal coming any day now and any girl that looks his way or says two kind words is flirting with him.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.