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Comment Re:This is mostly outdated service (Score 1) 280

Well, the problem with that is that's actually the direction they're going - not "Office for Android" specifically, but for platform independence. We already have Office 365, which works fine under Firefox for Ubuntu. At a guess I'd say that, actually Office for Android will probably become available soon after a proper Office RT comes out (that is, a platform--formerly-known-as-Metro version, not the current "We just recompiled the desktop version for ARM" thing.) - the hard bit is creating a touch version.

And whether it'll be "Office for Android" or simply "Office 365 version 17 now using jQuery Mobile" is open to question. But I think it'll happen.

Comment Re:This is mostly outdated service (Score 0) 280

I am sure you old-timers who predate this usage probably still complain about this. Frankly, you would serve the planet better if, instead of your pendantry over this one use of this word

No doubt you will have great success in explaining to that group of nice young Somalian men who just boarded your cruise ship that you have no issue with their unauthorized copying and distribution of your ship's manifest. They will certainly recognize your wisdom and give you a free pair of knock-off Nikes as compensation for your wit.

Comment Re:This is mostly outdated service (Score 3, Insightful) 280

Visual Studio and other products have free versions now, so TechNet subscription is mostly outdated service.

Translation: "I have no clue what Technet does".

Visual studio? Try virtually every Microsoft product ever created, available for download and legal for running without further licensing so long as you use them for intentionally-vague "development" purposes.


Bad move all around, Microsoft. On the one hand, I don't really care, because I have the last 15 or so years worth of physically mailed MSDN discs, and if you cared about selling from your back-catalog, you'd still offer XP for retail. On the other hand - You want me giving the latest and greatest version of your toys a spin, because what amuses me to write my next internal app for today, my company will pick up a few hundred thousand in licenses to legally deploy it next year.

But hey, just keep pushing Win8 and the cloud, and pulling stunts like this, and then wonder why no one seems to write apps for your platforms anymore.

Comment Re:Start Button in 8.1 is useless. (Score 4, Insightful) 543

What exactly do you want the start menu back for?

Personally, I don't care so much about the formal start menu - I use either shortcut keys or just Win-R the program name for just about everything I don't have as an icon on my desktop. I suspect most people pining for the start menu really don't care about it specifically, but rather, the whole set of known OS behaviors that came with it:

What do I (we?) want? I want the window manager to behave as a window manager. I want small, configurable iconic shortcuts that open programs for me in a window. I want a base desktop that doesn't look like Times Square at night (complete with its many flashing neon ads). I specifically do not want every program to open itself in a more-or-less-modal fullscreen style on my 30" WQXGA display. I have a monitor that big for a reason, and believe it or not, that reason has nothing to do with spending all day prettifying Word documents intended for a booklet layout. I want the "store" to mean I go to Amazon or Newegg in a non-MSIE browser. I do not, ever, want any attempt whatsoever at "upselling" by Microsoft, or worse, the few money-grubing OEM partners of theirs they haven't managed to alienate yet.

In short, I want Windows 7. And if five years from now that means I have to run Linux to get it, I damned well will.

Comment Waitwhat? (Score 1) 543

but now Microsoft really needs to work on getting developers on board.

Come again? Unless they completely broke the OS from the cloud down, they already have somewhere around 80% of developers actively working in their environment.

Oh! Riiight - By "8.1", Microsoft doesn't mean "Win7-plus-1.1 and we fixed the useless bullshit we did in Windows-FisherPrice-edition", it means they gave their latest defective-by-design codebase a facelift so as to not completely alienate those of us who will use 7 until MS comes up with their next "real" OS.

Sorry, Ballmer, but if you want developers, give us something worth developing for. Because if you really want to force the PC-vs-tablet issue, Android and iOS already won. Your move, though...

Comment Re:Solution in extensions (Score 1) 778

Web developers should continue to create websites that don't require javascript, and we shouldn't be in such a hurry to move away from that.

I see your point, but absolutely could not disagree more.

Since literally the Dawn of the Web, I have ranted against people calling themselves web "developers" for performing a task that involved little more than multimedia-enhanced digital typesetting. In the past few years, however, HTML5 and Javascript have finally made the web browser a legitimate, fully-functional platform we can develop for (and even on). I can finally have pixel-level control for 2d, WebGL support, AudioContexts, native gamepad input support... And all in a not-too-painfully-slow "native" language (not fast, but passable), that works on any device running a modern web browser, without needing to write custom plugins for every major OS and device I want to target.

And speaking of plugins, "native" web development now makes the entire concept obsolete. Flash? Java? PDF (or a million other media format) viewers? See ya, and good riddance!


The promise of the internet was accessibility, the ability to freely share information, and to connect everything together.

If you want Gopher, by all means use Gopher (hell, I still use IRC, which works perfectly well for plain-text communication). The "web", however, has become far, far more than merely static HTML2 pages served over HTTP.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 4, Insightful) 402

Average salary of systems administrator in India - ~$4,000 US
Average salary of a systems administrator in Washington DC - ~$75,000 US


Availability of your systems administrator when the shit hits the fan:
Outsourced to India - ~The third Thursday after Monsoon season ends.
In-house in DC - ~Already waiting in your office with an apology and an action plan.

Which one do you want to explain to the board you hired to save $71k/year, while the company hemorrhages 10x that per day in downtime because of your savings?

Now in fairness, I've worked with Indian H1Bs, and they pretty much have the same skills profiles as Americans - Half can just about get the job done when nothing exciting comes up, a quarter suck, and a quarter rock. But despite that, outsourcing still simply doesn't work for one simple reason - Management views it as waving the magic green wand and making a pesky project someone else's problem; when in reality, outsourced work requires more careful management than traditional in-house development.

Any PHB who thinks coding something to spec means a job well done, has never actually looked at the craptastic quality of most real-world specs.

Comment Re: Scare tactics (Score 1) 407

So it's not all Europe, just "most Europe" whatever that means.

WP also says this:

It has been introduced to varying degrees in many countries and territories outside the U.S., including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, the UK, and Vietnam

Ireland, Spain and the UK, I'd be very surprised if there aren't other countries on that list.

FWIW, I find the sentence you quote raises more questions than answers. It's saying there's been a decline in tooth decay because of flouride toothpaste, but it makes no effort to explain whether the decline is the same as if water had been flouridated in that same area. It's subtly slimy, transmitting an inferance ("Flouridation isn't necessary because other countries don't use it and they've reduced their rates") that isn't backed by the arguement it uses.

Nasty.

Comment Re:And this is the reason I've decided to leave. (Score 1) 122

Well, many of us did try various distros and in the end switched to Ubuntu because it was really the only one that "Just worked".

Now it's possible that's changed and Slackware or Fedora or Debian "just work" but I'm not getting that feel from what I'm reading of any of these distros. I'm still hearing the same moans about stuff that isn't quite integrated. The tragedy with Ubuntu is that it's slipped and is heading towards the lack of quality we saw with distros five years ago.

In any case, the point is that Ubuntu works the way we want. So our first choice is always going to be something that works the way Ubuntu did until it started to get annoying.

BTW my other problem with the OR (original reply) was that it assumed that we want to punish Canonical for daring fail us, and that's why we wanted to switch, to send some kind of message.

But I don't want to. Actually I hate the idea of treating Canonical in that way, I'm reluctant to switch to Mint, and if there was a GCUbuntu (like Kubuntu or Xubuntu, but with the new Gnome Classic system) I'd probably jump on that instead - leaving aside the ease issues of switching to such a branch.

Why? First, because Canonical did such a great job in the beginning anyway. For a time, we genuinely had a platform that was close to being as usable as the most usable platform (Mac OS X) while having the flexibility, power, and support of the most popular platform (Windows). And Canonical has been a victim here not of hubris but of a lack of it. It wanted to do better.

I like the fact it wanted to, and I like the fact they tried. I think Unity brings great ideas to the table, the problem is it doesn't, ultimately, work. It's not a good system. The Mir/Wayland fiasco is another example, not just of Ubuntu but of the community as a whole, that sees problems with X11 and wants to do better, but again I just don't see how it's better - impossible to measure in the real world benchmarks do not a better display platform make.

I think there's a call for GCUbuntu, and I hope it's heard. And if I do switch to Mint I'll be doing so reluctantly, hoping that Canonical can get things right over time.

Comment Re:Why is this such a big deal? (Score 1) 122

Neither Mir nor Wayland are X servers, though they do provide an add-on X server as a shim to allow "legacy" apps to run. And before anyone complains "What's the difference", it's the same as the difference between Windows 7, and Ubuntu (which provides Wine as a shim to allow "legacy" apps to run...)

Comment Re:This is why I'm fat (Score 1) 15

Working through this with my son currently. I allow him what he wants to put on his plate, but I encourage him to go small and come back later if he wants more. The only thing I'm a stickler about is vegetable and fruit content. But starch? I don't care if he doesn't eat any of it, honestly.

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