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Comment Leaked? (Score 5, Interesting) 427

So where did Der Spiegel get these documents? On Friday, Edward Snowden accused the US government of intentionally leaking documents to The Independent that were potentially damaging, in an effort to discredit the responsible reporting being done by The Guardian and the Washington Post. He said he had never worked with nor even spoken to anyone at The Independent. Is the same thing happening here?

Comment Re:A step in the right direction! (Score 2) 496

Not always, no. There are famous quotes by people from Henry Ford to Gene Roddenberry that all come down to "people don't know what they want". And it's true, if MS asked what people wanted, 90% would say XP, solely because they're used to it.

This is actually something I think about often. Steve Jobs' "genius" was that he always told people what they wanted, then gave it to them.

Microsoft, on the other hand, always CLAIMS to make changes because "that's what people want." They do endless research to see what buttons people click after they click this or that button, and then they make those buttons bigger so they're easier to click. They arrange the Office Ribbon based on what they see people doing. Everything, EVERYTHING is based on research, both through direct surveys and blind feedback from their software running in the wild... ...and yet, when they make the changes, most people seem to respond negatively. But Microsoft won't revise its changes -- or allow a smart, Steve Jobs-like human to make the decisions -- because they have all this research, so they "know" what people want. "You say you hate this? Well you're wrong, you don't hate it, and I can prove it."

TL;DR Microsoft actually seems hamstrung by its own design methodology. It designs by committee, vote, and statistical study, rather than by inspiration -- and its slavish adherence to those methods means it has a hard time recovering from its own mistakes.

Comment Re:Misleading headline (Score 1, Insightful) 496

Actually, the Start Button does include one benefit: you can right click it to get the system administrator's menu, which has a bunch of useful stuff on it. The same menu was available in Windows 8, but you had to know it was there because there was no icon to let you know about it, and there was no way to activate it on a touchscreen.

Comment Re:Still missing an option.. (Score 2) 496

I know it's not exactly what you want, but you can still specify a default app for files, same as you always could.

Actually, it's not quite the same as you always could. Unless you explicitly right-click a file and choose "Open with...", double-clicking an unregistered file type gets you a new, Metro-ized "Choose a program" menu that doesn't fit with the rest of the desktop look and feel and it requires more clicks to get the job done.

Comment Re:Too little too late (Score 1) 496

At least 8.1 lets you use your desktop wallpaper for the start screen background, so the transition isn't as jarring.

I bought this argument until I started using it. Then I realized that I always run with my main windows maximized or tiled so that I never actually even see the desktop most of the time. So the transition is every bit as jarring, because now when I hit the Windows key I see something that looks like my desktop but none of my stuff is on it.

Comment Re:Whatever you do... (Score 1) 109

But seriously..don't come here...I like it the way it is and don't want everyone messing it up with their bad attitudes.

Oh, the irony.

How about this one: All these people who have been fleeing San Francisco because of the ridiculously high rents are just doing to Oakland what they've been bitching about "rich yuppies" doing to San Francisco for years. Meanwhile, Oakland is a city with a long history, was a pivotal hub of the civil rights movement, has traditionally been home to generations of families (mostly black), and now all of the people who have called the East Bay their home for decades are being pushed out because all of these young, affluent white twentysomethings are moving there and pushing the locals out. Many of them just moved here a few years ago and have no real connection to Oakland or the Bay Area in general (other than writing articles and blog posts about how AMAZING the Oakland arts scene is) and their so-called cultural renaissance is really just classic market-driven gentrification, displacing the culture that was already there in favor of something totally manufactured and transient. The New Oaklanders will all move away eventually, leaving nothing behind but a bunch of rusty steel sculptures and higher rents. But call me cynical.

Comment Re:This will never be commercially successful (Score 5, Interesting) 64

This is a niche product that will never ramp to significant volume. You heard it here first.

Its "niche," though, is people who are using feature phones and are thinking about buying their first smartphone. For these people, the main draw of a smartphone is being able to access the web. Firefox OS delivers that at a price point of $80, or even less with carrier subsidies. It won't ramp to a significant volume in rich countries, but there is a much larger "significant volume" of customers in places like China, India, Brazil, Latin America, etc. So you never know.

Comment Re:why did they buy webOS then? (Score 2) 64

why waste the money on webOS?

Pretty good question. My understanding is they bought it for their Smart TVs.

This is actually a pretty good idea. I have one of their Smart TVs, and the UI is ugly, inconsistent, and a little buggy. LG might be a decent hardware company, but they lack Apple's knack for building decent UIs. It makes sense to me for them to pay for an OS where somebody has already done a lot of the thinking about how things ought to work.

As for why they can't use it for smartphones, too, I think the reasons are twofold: 1.) Although it was based on "the web," WebOS had more proprietary/nonstandard stuff in it than Firefox OS does, which makes it harder for it to gain momentum. That's not so much of a problem in the Smart TV world, where pretty much nothing has any momentum yet. 2.) The perception is that WebOS has already failed as a smartphone OS. For LG to put another smartphone product out now based on the same "failed OS" would be a pretty big gamble.

Comment Re:Sorry (Score 1) 200

Sorry but morales aside. Why not harvest organs like this that can't be harvested from volunteers (without them dying). Go China.

There are Falun Gong members who hand out leaflets about this issue in Chinatown in San Francisco just about every day.

According to them, the Chinese doesn't just harvest organs from dead prisoners. They also harvest them from live prisoners, supposedly. As in, they are alive when the surgery takes place. After that, they are dead prisoners. Execution by organ harvesting.

I don't know how true all of that is, but then again, nobody does. There have been a few investigations by outside officials, some of whom have made some very damning statements. But other people refute those statements, and mostly China keeps information about executions and alleged organ harvesting very secret.

The brochure I have on my desk quotes Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Florida, as saying: "Falun Gong adherents have been systematically arrested, tortured, sent to forced labor camps for 're-education,' placed in mental institutions for brainwashing, and subjected to organ harvesting."

Again, I have done no actual investigation into any of this myself, I mention it only to suggest that it ain't so cut and dried as "they take the organs out of dead prisoners."

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