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Comment They Can Charge If... (Score 1) 1

They can charge you for tethering if you're on an unlimited data plan, which makes sense. If you have unlimited and use only your phone, your data won't be but so high. But if you have unlimited with a tethered laptop, then you could be using many times the amount of data.

They are moving people off unlimited data plans when renewals come around, but I changed my plan before Sandy hit - I've been without power for 10 or 9 days after Isabel and Irene, so I know what a pain it is to have to use a phone for Internet for that long. I changed so I could use my tablet (which is like a laptop with the docking station). While my area was actually spared from Sandy, if it wasn't, I could have used a decent sized screen to access the Internet through tethering.

My package (for three of us) actually went down in price when I changed things around and I have free tethering and a data plan that includes more than the three of us are likely to use in a month.

Comment Re:Slow news day? (Score 1) 100

I remember with Amarok 2.0 not being able to find the UI for 1.x - was it added later? Even recently, when I tried it on MacPorts, there was a different UI, and I did check through all the preferences. Is it possible the ability to use both UIs wasn't on all platforms?

I'm on an iMac, I love it. It's not perfect, but after 10 years or so on Linux, there was no f---ing way I was going back to Windows, but I needed to be able to do professional video editing and there was nothing suitable on Linux for that. (Last I looked, none of the FOSS video editors were quite up to professional specs yet.) But on the other hand, I know what you're talking about. It's the Doctrine of Insufficient Adulation: If you're not 100% committed to OS X, then many fan boys will get quite nasty. I'm sorry that happened to your project. While I use Skype, I don't use it much and it sounds like the plugin market was kind of like the App Store or the App Market on Android -- that ratings and nasty comments can really do a program in. I take it you made it clear in your description it wasn't intended for those markets - I know even with that, people will get snotty because they think they can force a developer to do what they want.

As for Facebook, it's possible users don't always express themselves well. But, on the other hand, what part of, "We HATE Timeline!" is hard to understand? There's no need to force it on people who don't want it. For that matter, it's been a continual issue that people don't like the forced updates. FB could easily just publish an API, offer a few skins, and allow others to make and share skins. That would easily eliminate many of the complaints about FB - but they're never going to allow that because it's all about control, and this is an example of what I'm talking about. It's a company run by developers, so they don't care what users want, they, in their infinite wisdom, feel they know and will make users do what's best, instead of giving them choices.

Comment Re:Slow news day? (Score 1) 100

I'll just take the points in order, easier that way.

1) I wasn't even thinking of smaller projects, but that's a good point. And that's when it's necessary, if the people are persistent, to make it clear what the purpose of the project is and what their desire is and why they don't coincide (and that's a good time to point out, THEN, that it's a volunteer workforce and how much would be required to make the requested changes). If they're difficult, that's when it's time to stop ignoring them. This can also, in some cases, be a chance to make a few dollars by making the changes -- but usually the complainers aren't willing to pony up the cash for what they need.

2) Yes, people bitch - but there are a few points here. First, is your goal to get the projet out there for users? If it's Open/Libre Office, then it is. If you're just writing the program for yourself (which could be one or more developers) and releasing it, thinking, "I find it useful, so others might, too," then that's a case where you may want bug reports and feedback from developers, but not want to create a user community, since that's not at all the purpose of the project.

Second, if the goal is to get users to use it, as with KDE in general, and, in this case, Amarok in particular, then someone on the development team *must* keep in touch with the feelings of users. In this case, I've seen many people bitching over the new GUI in 2.0 and, from what I saw, the new GUI wasn't tested for user feedback. That's a prime example of what I'm talking about. It's a project with a goal of gaining users, but the crew totally ignored the needs of the users. It is common sense that a major GUI change will create a major reaction with users, so it's important to release what you can ahead of time to see how people feel about it compared to the old GUI. I have watched discussions over Amarok, and have seen very few positive comments when it hit 2.0. While it's true haters are more likely to speak up than those who are satisfied, that was still a missed opportunity from the Amarok developers to figure out what end users wanted.

I know it's a pain to maintain two GUIs, but they probably should have given serious consideration to doing that - or to reverting.

Third, yes, I know what hearing all the bitching is like. I used to teach special needs kids, which means nothing is enough for parents and everything is too much from the administration's point of view (where they want to maximize resources) and I write and, as I mentioned, retired from a software company. People love to bitch and some will be helpful when they realize they're listened to and some won't. But the bottom line is if you want people using the project, there's no choice. You have to listen to the "pulse of the public." This can be done through polling or a number of other ways, but if you're trying to market, in any way, then not listening to users is like target shooting with a blindfold.

3) It sounds like your plugin is either for use within an organization or that it has a price on it - in which case one major measure of user satisfaction is if they keep buying it.

4) Overall, and many developers hate it when I bring this up, developers are great engineers, but they're not human engineers. I love developers and the way they think and what it's like being in a room with them, but being the interface between users and a developer team is a special skill, and it's one very few developers have. The problems that I've seen (and this is one of them) is that developers know they're intelligent and think they can do it all, and often do see the user as less intelligent. This leads to them thinking if something is wrong, it *must* be the user.

I spent years working in residential treatment and teaching (before I started my business) and had to learn to deal with all different types of personalities and people with all different kinds of mental strengths in different areas. After leaving there and working with developers, I found that this is something most don't get. They think there's a right and wrong in things like a GUI and since they used logic, they're right. And often the problem is there are many, MANY layers of logic they don't understand, such as learning styles and working styles that mean many people who don't think like a developer - and developers think in several unique styles and just don't understand that most people don't and cannot think in that way.

This leads to different needs and different viewpoints and many times a developer can't understand that users need things done differently than the developers want to do things. This is one reason why Facebook, a company run by developers, while being used by many people, ranks as low, in customer satisfaction as public utilities and monopolies and other companies that people hate. The only reason they have the market is there's no real alternative.

Comment Re:Slow news day? (Score 1) 100

Actually, that misses the point.

I ran my own software company, based on my software, until about 5 years ago, when I retired at 45 so I could enjoy life. (And it was my company doing well enough that allowed me to retire that many years early.) During the time I was running it, I used FOSS in my systems and I even released FOSS programs for others to use.

Like many people who work with FOSS, I'd love to see it out there and in use in every market and see FOSS software leaving a lot of closed source programs in the dust. And I see that desire in many FOSS developers. They often say that FOSS software is "just better." Then they might, if asked, go into long explanations on the differences between open and closed source software and why FOSS is better.

But the sad truth is that developers, when left to their own means, without someone saying, "Do this and that," do what developers like and think is cool, and then they often try to push the result on users, saying, it's better than what was there. Well, maybe to a developer it is better, but often to an end user it is not. And this comes down to developers who think from their point of view and are unable to see a user's point of view and insist the developer view is right and better. And they think users should change and see the light.

But that isn't going to happen. This is an area where users grab what the need and use what does the job. They don't care what developers say is good or bad. To them, good means it does the job, bad means it either doesn't, or it's a pain to use. So they say, "This program is bad," and that pisses off developers who insist it's good.

And we end up with more and more FOSS that doesn't fit user needs and users get in the habit of thinking, "Oh, that's some of that open source stuff, and the open source programs I've tried in the past suck."

From the user point of view, they DO suck.

And developers are too busy saying, "We're right!" to listen to that.

Which is why most FOSS is technically beautiful, but sucks.

Yes, someone can commission a developer, but there's the flip side: If you're a developer, and people bitch about your software, and bitch a lot, then maybe it's time to listen *IF* you want people to use it.

Or you can ignore what users say and continue to slide into obscurity and wonder why your program hasn't become a standard for people, like Firefox or VLC or Audacity and why the mindshare is small compared to everything else.

Comment Re:Slow news day? (Score 5, Insightful) 100

Amarok has been crap since 2.0. It was a great example of a FOSS project producing good software. Then, just when there was a program that everyone loved, they broke everything users liked and said, "Well, if you don't like it, that's tough, this is better and if you don't see it, you're a fool." Posts on boards where this was discussed were self-righteous from the developer end and users were angered by that.

I checked out many feature requests and saw the same kind of developer arrogance: We're not doing that because it's not a good feature. (Or because we can't without doing tons of work or because we don't want to or other self-important reasons.)

And that's when Amarok became an example of the worst of FOSS. Developers fell back on the old saw of, "We're not getting paid, this is volunteer work, and you're lucky we've done any of this for you." Yes, that's true, in part, but the other side to the story is that it's clear developers WANT people to use it. If they didn't, there would not have been a story submitted to Slashdot about this.

So if you want users to use and love your program, listen to them. If you want to do what you want, then do it - but don't wonder why users don't like it or why there's fewer downloads of later versions people don't like.

I used Amarok on Linux, hated it once it got to 2.0, but couldn't find one that was as good as the earlier version (and didn't find out about Clementine until much later). Eventually I switched to OS X, and found other Linux music players ported, but Amarok is still not ported - it relies on MacPorts, which is notorious for being unstable and problematical when updated. Developing an OS X port would be easier than developing a Windows port, yet after years it hasn't been done.

All this has proved that Amarok developers just want to do their own thing and don't give a damn about what users want - yet they still want users to download and use it.

And until they catch on to this, Amarok, in any version, will still suck and will never reach the usefulness it had in version 1.3 and 1.4.

Comment Won't Even Bother (Score 1) 1

I gave up on Amarok after 2.0. The new interface was just awful. It was one of my favorite programs and so incredibly easy to use, but 2.0 destroyed what had been good (and really didn't need to).

Then I switched to OS X from Linux and found I had to depend on something as unreliable as MacPorts if I wanted Amarok, which crashed repeatedly on me.

While waiting for some kind of stability or a real OS X release, I found Clementine. After I tested that, and telling my friends, many of them gave up Amarok (on multiple operating systems) for Clementine.

It also seemed, from watching multiple threads on feature request, that the Amarok team was so busy doing what they wanted that they really didn't care much for user requests or needs.

Comment Re:.... and it's not the only leech (Score 5, Interesting) 112

You've described it pretty well. One of their earliest cases was in Richmond, VA and I sat in to videotape a lot of the depositions. (That's how long it's been going on -- VHS and SVHS were still in use when they started suing everyone. That was around 2000-2001.)

They admitted in depositions they were in on the meetings when the standards were drawn up and had no reason for not objecting to designs that were supposedly theirs.

I have to admit, the Rambus lawyers were polite and easy to work with. The lawyers for the other company (a German firm) were mostly from one New York office and were just plain rude and nasty.

I remember one deposition in particular where there was a top memory expert giving testimony and they asked him about flip-flops and if they were memory. They (the Rambus lawyers) were trying to get him to say a flip-flop was a one bit memory and he kept saying, "Under certain conditions." The lawyer was stumped and started getting worse and worse (the only time I saw a Rambus lawyer start to get nasty) because he not only couldn't get him to give the answer they wanted, but the lawyer had no understanding of what any Electronics 101 student would know. I had a hard time not laughing and shaking the camera during the time that topic was being covered. It was pretty clear to me that lawyer had not fully prepared and didn't know at all what the topic was with flip-flops. I would have loved to have stayed in that one all day, since I figured it would only get more technical and confuse the lawyer even more, but someone took my place so I could finish some editing.

Comment Re:Cue Apple fans saying "That could NEVER happen" (Score 1) 584

I'm not familiar with you or your posts, elrous0, but this comment is enough for you to never gain any credibility with me on this topic (and likely other ones as well), since it tells us that you are thinking in absolutes and you see anyone who disagrees or speaks up for Apple in any way as a fan boy.

Guess what? It's not all black and white. You may say you know that, but your comments show otherwise.

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