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Comment Re:Recently been searching for a new job (Score 1) 473

Dell want to guarantee that the machines they sell bundled with Ubuntu are functional out of the box. They have to make sure that the wireless chipset doesn't need funky drivers, that whatever audio drivers get configured correctly, etc. Which is a reasonable thing to aim for, but it does mean that they have to test systems with Ubuntu, and some of their systems will inevitably have some incompatibility (although it's been a while since I've had that issue). Couple that with their tendency to swap out hardware with cheaper equivalents and you've got quite a difficult situation.

Comment Re:For a day? (Score 2, Insightful) 460

I knew someone was going to point a case like this out, which is why I said it doesn't always work; yes, this happens. Occasionally there are decisions made by developers which seem stupid to users, perhaps are stupid (in this case it does look to me like the developers made a mistake in ignoring the bug). These cases are, in general, annoying problems faced by a minority of users.

But that doesn't mean that the general ethos is "oh, the user is stupid, the developer knows best". That is largely down to individual developers and - in the case of big projects like Firefox - project managers, who are often developers themselves.

In addition, I think it's a little unfair to apply this only to FOSS projects. If there's a (non-security) issue in Flash, for example, sending an e-mail to Adobe is unlikely to make them fix it. In practice I imagine that commercial consumer software is just as bad, if not worse (given that there is often no public bug-reporting system at all).

Comment Re:For a day? (Score 1) 460

With non-commercial Free Software the developer is making the decisions and requests by users are either ignored or even actively blocked.

While I would agree that it's quite easy for this to happen with smaller projects (where you have one or two developers writing code to fit their own needs and just happen to release it too), all FOSS projects worth their salt have a bug tracker designed explicitly for this purpose. If a user can submit a detailed bug report (which is being made easier all the time) then the problem can be effectively communicated to whichever developer wishes to tackle it. Okay, it doesn't always work, but it's not as though the developers are sitting in their ivory towers completely ignoring the people who use their software.

Comment Re:Luddites (Score 1) 171

Yes, that is what I said. I think you might agree that a psychological condition is a type of phenomenon. If you were to read my whole post carefully you would realise that your 'correction' is unnecessary; at no point do I suggest that EHS is anything other than psychological.

Comment Re:Luddites (Score 4, Insightful) 171

Name-calling isn't going to help anyone. The fact of the matter is, to some people hyperelectrosensitivity or whatever the buzzword is nowadays is a very real phenomenon. It has been shown pretty conclusively that the electromagnetic radiation itself does not cause the issues (in one study researchers used an inert box with blinking lights on it to produce the same effect), but that does not mean that the condition is unimportant, or not to be taken seriously. That would be like telling a schizophrenic "none of that stuff is real, shut up".

Rather than laughing at these people, we should consider their problem a mental disorder and treat it accordingly. This does, of course, mean that you consider the condition the problem, not the EM sources.

Comment Re:Who are the denailists? (Score 1) 572

The linked article seems to equate the number of scientists who saw colleagues fake data with the number of scientists who actually faked data, which is clearly a false assumption; if one scientist in a facility fakes data, then more than one other scientist is likely to know about it. If one does not read the article carefully, one might think that one in seven scientists fakes results, which is not a conclusion supported by the data.

Comment Re:And that's bad how? (Score 1) 1747

And of course, everybody everywhere has the time and the intellect to assess all the evidence of every scientific theory they want to form an opinion about and then form a judgement based on that evidence.

Very often when it comes to science the issues are so complex and the evidence so voluminous that one has no choice but to defer to experts: people whose lives have been dedicated to understanding and making such a judgement. They are likely to be more qualified and make a better judgement given the available evidence than me.

Comment Re:Especially bland form of English, a bad thing? (Score 2, Interesting) 243

Besides constructed languages, this is the case for practically every language there is. There are always irregularities; this is down to the inherently human nature of linguistic evolution. If you learn English without a single irregularity, what you have learned is not really English, but some other English-derived language which English speakers will be unlikely to understand at all - at which point, you may as well force everyone to learn Esperanto.

I also rather doubt that getting rid of odd past tense forms would really make learning English a great deal easier.

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