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Comment Re:More reprsentative stats please (Score 1) 390

"My companies websites (Insurance) have an IE share of about 40%."

I concur. W3Schools is completely unrepresentative of a normal web demographic and I never know why people take their reports seriously. I worked for 5 years at a multi-national online travel agent operating in 48 countries. I posted some stats on our browser usage about 18 months ago as part of a similar rant about some loons called StatCounter claiming that Chrome was now the majority browser in the UK. There is no way in hell that IE has declined over 40% since then:

(BTW the differences between China and India on weekends is quite striking though)

Comment Re:Features != Capabilities (Score 1) 129

"You are confusing features with capabilities. The problem with features is mostly about complexity and interface."

No, you're confusing good UI design with bad UI design. That's a different thing to what I'm talking about because in your example features can be rendered easy or hard to use by the way they are designed into the interface. Put it another way, you can have great features poorly executed, or poor features well executed - and in both cases the outcome is fail. Features are neutral until executed (AKA designed).

Instead, what I'm talking about is the knee-jerk reaction of product managers (as opposed to designers) who immediately start listing "better features" in order to compete with a rival. They don't realise that what they need to do instead is list customer needs, then come up with features from there. That's much harder to do of course. Who cares if I have 1080p video if I don't need to record any video?


Comment Features != UX (Score 5, Insightful) 129

"detect speed, altitude, temperature, light and position. It has built-in GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and a microphone. ..."

OK. It'll fail.

When will product managers understand that trying to compete by stuffing features into products does not a better product make? Has the tech design industry learnt *nothing* from the likes of Apple?

When Google's "inferior" product completely crushes them, I bet these idiots will be crying to their mystified managers that they didn't "market" it hard enough.


Comment Bring back the good old days (Score 0) 124

There are times when transhumanists cause me to wax seriously nostalgic, for that magical bygone era, when society's answer to potentially extinction-inducing abominations, was to build a large, blazing pile of logs, and place the freak of nature in question, exactly at the center of it.

In most cases of course, when Muslims indulge in this type of behaviour, I consider it as barbaric and uncivilised as anyone else, but for some reason I'm willing to make an exception where transhumanism is concerned. There's just something about human/machine integration, and the erosion of privacy and control of our basic biological functions as a result, that causes me to want to reach for a torch and pitchfork.

Comment Re:Dupe? (Score 1) 232

Yeah, because its realistic for people to be their own code auditors for a whole OS, and for each install and update. It is entirely realistic if you know what you are doing. My default FreeBSD install fits into 65 Mb of RAM. As I have observed before on this site many times; narrow mindedness and aggression have a marked tendency to go together. The more ignorant a person is, the more adamant they usually are about expressing it. Not all of us live according to argumentum ad novitatem.

Comment Most of this will be about internal politics (Score 4, Interesting) 519

Far east Asian foreign policy is even more about playing off internal factions than it is in the West. I bet this is just a case of the Chinese making nasty noises in the hope that a) somebody will be placated, and b) Japan will know this and just play along until things die down.

The chances of nukes and bang bangs over this are very, very low. See also North Korea.

Comment Re:So, time to scrap TSA/airport security checks (Score 5, Interesting) 208

It is true that they may now start to resort to tactics that were not imaginable just a few years ago, ...

The sooner you realise that your attitude to a minuscule terrorist threat is actually the problem here, the better.

I would suggest you are suffering from a form of mental illness similar to that of obsessive compulsives who refuse to touch door handles for fear of picking up "germs". You cannot see the obvious facts for what they are: there is no significant threat from terrorism, and there never was one. The fact that you are willing to drive around in cars, or ride on the subway when a) there is a far higher risk of you dying from non-terrorist causes doing that (and pretty preventable causes too, given TSA-like funding) and b) terrorists could just as easily attack those as well, is plainly deluded when the price you pay in return for "safety" on a plane is so utterly disproportionate.

The sheer Owellian nature of what is going on in the minds of Americans like you is amazing. Land of the free? Don't make me laugh.

Comment Let it die (Score 1, Interesting) 332

My last few remaining microns of sympathy for Linux, evaporated not long ago when I read Lennart Poettering encouraging everyone around him, to throw POSIX under the bus. I'm aware that Linux developers have viewed the system's relationship with older UNIX, in roughly the same manner as a venereal disease since probably 2000; in a sense, it surprised me that it took that long for someone to actually come out and say it openly.

Linux has completely gone to shit; and not in the "yes it causes me to rage, but I'm still putting up with it," sense, but the "I now feel so much contempt and disgust for it that I've washed my hands, and can no longer be remotely bothered," sense.

Linux's developers these days, are a bunch of ivory tower elitists, who in reality have no idea what they are doing, but who have the attitude that everyone else using the system can just shut up and take what they are given, and if the rest of us don't like it, then that is just too damn bad. Lennart Poettering, again, is the main offender when it comes to this sort of thinking, but it has also always characterised the GNOME developers as well.

GNOME should have been recognised as a mess, and rewritten from scratch, before Canonical got hold of it. The problem there is that you have people who are using Microsoft Windows as their template, and so they think that making everything opaque and hard welded together, is somehow the "professional," way to do things. Graphical user interfaces don't *need* to be a bloated pile of shit; it's just that Windows is, and Linux people now are determined to copy Windows.

I've been learning about FORTH, recently; and about the idea of (in languages which are designed for it, at least) writing one function per file, and having said function consist of no more than 500 bytes each. FORTH was the product of an era in which programmers actually knew what they were doing; unlike today, when computer science graduates emerge from university with their heads densely packed full of bovine fecal matter, such as the idea that programs should be as long and complex as possible, rather than short and simple.

But there's no point. There's no point arguing with any of you. You'll just mod me down, and tell me that Ubuntu is great, and GNOME is superb, and Poettering is a genius. So go ahead. Have fun.

Comment A reasonable critique of Gates's philanthropy (Score 4, Insightful) 445

This is worth a read:


Gates's and others' philanthropy prolongs poverty by sowing as it does the seed of more inequality (in Gates's case, through the formation of health policies in the third world that make it easier for Western drug companies to open up markets for treatments there). They give away the fruit, but never the trees.

As Oscar Wilde observed of the philanthropists of his era: ‘They seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see in poverty, but their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it.’ Then and now, as Wilde said, ‘the proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible.’

This is really the question that needs to be addressed: why is poverty still possible - and why can it even get worse - after 200 years of Gates's capitalism? Surely by now if capitalism was the answer, we'd not be where we are today.

Comment Re:And a pony. (Score 1) 161

You'll get back great useful answers back like: "It should be "better", cost a dollar, have all possible features we could ever possibly use, but we only really use 5% of them, but it has to be so easy to use nobody needs training, and a pony".

Generic and conflicting requirements that are frankly useless.

As a developer, would you like to deal with this reality? If not, let a designer do it because what you regard as "useless" is part of the raw material of improvement for them - they are paid to make sense of "make it better".

I would wager there are not enough hours in the day to research and interpret user needs AND write code. Designers are there for a reason (and if they're not researching, observing and interpreting, then they are shit). Whenever developers ask me to get them more involved with the people who will use their software, I always warn them to be careful what they wish for. But they usually only turn up to the first couple of research sessions :-(

Comment Re:Mobile app observation. (Score 1) 161

Hi - I'm a designer. What you describe is a property of computer interaction called "feedback." In principle (and design principles are important), you should always try to provide feedback to any input, regardless of whether that input is "useful" to the user or not. It means the machine is paying attention. That you have observed an unexpected input is a nice discovery. If you want, you too can build an entire career on doing this - because that's what I've done, and now I'm generally too busy and wealthy to read /. any more. But this story caught my eye.

Comment Re:Wikileaks = Terrorist Organization (Score 1) 194

Citation needed.

Please don't use the citation needed troll. Yes, the person you're responding to is a fairly typical brainwashed American, but that response implies that you are someone who doesn't believe anything, unless it comes to them second-hand.

You wouldn't want us to think that, would you?

Comment Re:Julian Assange = Useful Idiot (Score 2) 194

Assange was chosen because of his sociopathic personality.

Agreed. Assange is a melodramatic narcissist. As much as he might be railing about the fact that the film will portray him negatively, I can assure everyone here that he probably also masturbates on a regular basis, to the thought that anyone associated with the government has made a film about him at all.

Assange is an archetypical grey hat. I used to know a few of them on IRC in the mid to late 1990s. They are sociopathic vermin, and completely without any vague semblance of honour; but because of the dependence we now have on computers, they think they are God.

If you are wondering whether or not to view either Assange or Snowden as legitimate, then I can tell you one very important detail. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, becomes prominent, viral, or in any way noticed on the Internet by accident. It never happens. "Organic," or grassroots Internet publicity is a lie. The only reason why anyone like Assange or Snowden becomes well known, is because it is arranged by the psychopaths. They want you to believe that anyone can become known, but I can assure you that the opposite is true. If you want publicity, you can't afford to seriously offend anyone, because you want the big people and the psychopaths to spend money on getting fake YouTube views for you, and all of the other dirty tactics they use.

You have to be a complete sellout morally, and you also have to be someone who they will find useful in some way. If you have both of those characteristics, then yes, they will make you famous; but they will also own you, and they will destroy you if you do anything that they do not like.

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