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Comment Re:This is mostly outdated service (Score 1) 280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:Could it work as a runtime on other phones? (Score 1) 127

You already can install and use Firefox OS apps anywhere "real" Firefox is availalbe (ie. the crippleware version in IOS is excepted). That's actually a pretty compelling point in favour: Write your app, and have it run anywhere Firefox can run. And I bet that depending on the requirements of your app you can convert it to a regular hosted web app as well, and have it accessible to the Apple faithful and other browser users too.

Comment Re:since the NSA spys on everything (Score 1) 67

you can bet the cloud quickly being abandoned by almost everybody

Except that CERN probably isn't too worried about the NSA spying on their exciting particle detector analysis. Maybe if there was something extremely proprietary in there, they might care, but I suspect even most (American) companies won't give it a moment's thought. I hate to resort to the cliche "If you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't be afraid", but as far as scientific research is concerned this is largely true. I work for a government agency and all of our computers issue disclaimers that we basically have no privacy; I also assume that any US citizen can file an FOIA request, etc. So I act accordingly, and don't use our computers for anything I would particularly mind being publicly broadcast - and I don't particularly bother to hide what I'm working on from my competitors either. Not once has this caused me any worry. CERN has been around for ages and the people there are deeply committed to academic research, so I suspect they're not very worried either.

Of course it sucks to have to adopt this attitude towards everyday life - but that's a very different concern.

Comment Re:CPU vs GPU (Score 1) 67

Use of CPUs from cloud-based providers is not as efficient for computations as using multiple GPUs linked together on a custom built setup.

This assumes that GPUs are actually suitable for the task at hand. I work in a very different branch of the computational sciences, but I can testify that GPUs are near-useless for most of what we do. If a "systems analyst" gave us advice like yours, I'd be furious.

Comment Re: Weekly/Monthly Salary (Score 1) 1103

> nothing is free, handling cash is not free, writing checks is not free, setting up DD for employees not likely to stick around more than a year is not free.

Correct, these are called "costs of doing business" and should be treated as such by the employer, not clawed back from the employee. Auctioning off the employees to the card companies adds insult to injury.

Fuck those employers/slave-traders.

Comment Re:Mud in the water (Score 1) 442

Yes, the Israelis routinely spy on their sugar daddy. That attitude is but one of the many reasons that Israel is one of the worlds least popular countries, almost break even with North Korea. I don't think you should use them as an example of why that's OK. Incidentally the USA is less popular than the EU.

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.


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:Would you ride in one? (Score 4, Insightful) 205

Yes, the initial costs were high, but most of the costs you cite are reaction costs. How much did a week of grounding all airlines cost? How much does additional TSA infrastructure cost? How mush of that $1.4 trillion lost stock valuation was real vs just numbers in a computer, and how much of that was due to panic reaction?

As the grandparent pointed out, if we'd reacted with the attitude "shit happens, deal with it" (as was, for example, the attitude in Britain after the first few days of the Blitz), that final cost would have been far smaller; still 3000 lives, but probably less than $0.01 trillion dollars.

As OP alluded to, bee stings don't kill people, the anaphylactic shock reaction does.

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