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Comment An interest dichotomy (Score 3, Insightful) 121

You can like it, or hate it, but you can simply not ignore Apple.

This highly depends on your perspective. For instance, I have no apple stuff, nor do any of their products excite me in a way that would suggest that'll change soon. So in that context, I can simply ignore apple.

However, from a business perspective, they're the 800 lb gorilla. What's interesting, however, is how easy it is for some of their target audience to ignore them.

Comment I wish Excel had custom data types (Score 1) 319

And not just data formatting.

It would be nice to be able to define a data type and some rules and limits of progression.

I could see the value in defining an arbitrary data type that was comprised of a fixed set ("Apples", "Pears", "Oranges", "Bananas") with no progression (ie, no set member has precedence or rank) or perhaps some with progression or rank (fetus, infant, toddler, child, adolescent, adult, senior). Cells formatted as belonging to a data type would only accept those values as valid entries, and sorting would apply the set's rules of simple progression if there were any.

It might help for other numeric-based data types, such as IP addresses, where it would be helpful to define rules of progression around some kind of delimiter. If they could only add one new data type, I wish it was IP addresses.

There's probably complex ways of doing this with macro/scripting, but, they end up being complex and one of the main reasons so many people use Excel because it makes it trivial to manage lists. Trivial tasks that get made complex end up being done sloppy.

Comment Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 319

The problem is that spreadsheets and databases solve different problems, yet they are related enough that folks confuse the two. Not unlike what you did. Spreadsheets represent the full MVC concept, whereas databases are usually just the M(odel), with some (C)ontroller capabilities.

From there, the problem becomes somewhat more obvious; Because applications like Excel provide more complete functionality ( or try to at any rate ), that's naturally what anyone who needs to model data wants to use. Aside from programmers, who has time to construct a full data modeling environment using the right tools?

There's an opportunity here for MS to "fill the gap" here; provide the function-rich environment of Excel and tie it to a database backend simply. Or perhaps, considering the mess that is Access, that opportunity exists for someone other than MS.

Comment Re:Bad Idea #1 (Score 1) 671

Call it whatever you want. Apprentice/Master --- but there needs to be a way to differentiate - and thereby focus the work efforts. Master developers/designers need to be building a cohesive set of tools and a design that the Apprentice uses to get the job done.

An apprentice programmer should never be allowed to lead the design or implementation of a project - I don't care how many years they have with the company. Years of service does not equal quality of skill set. I've seen too many projects destroyed because the wrong people were in key positions in the team - and should not have been. The idea that every programmer is an interchangeable widget is a lie. If you are peddling that 'happy joy and rainbow land' view of the world - then you are part of the problem that I am talking about.

The truth is in the deliverables. Most of those deliverables are nowhere close to being right.

Comment Re:modus operandi doesnt seem to make any sense. (Score 2) 61

Or maybe russian hackers understand that US Media outlets actively collaborate and conspire with political campaigns during election seasons to control and direct dissent within the party and defuse potential scandalous or controversial events in an effort to ensure a positive return on their future investment.

I'd say that's just too conspiratorial. The Russians probably realize that the Times' editorial bias favors Clinton. The Russians aren't trying to aid Trump or necessarily defeat Clinton. What they probably want is to minimize Clinton's ability to command some kind of "mandate" sized victory and maintain the fractured domestic political structure.

A non-landslide victory by Clinton will be met with at least as much if not more obstructionism by Republicans and a level of continued division in the public. Distract and divide benefits the Russians because it keeps whoever runs the US from having the political capital to make bold steps.

Comment Re:When everything you do (Score 1) 534

the fact that mbox is a terrible format for storing email with concurrent read/write access

And that's the weakness of an uncoordinated do one thing model. You're stuck with the common denominator of the uncoordinated legacy component of the system.

If you want to database the email, you break everything but MTAs. You need delivery agents and access daemons and clients that work with the database format.

Comment Re:You want Cox to win ... (Score 2) 95

You don't want ISPs, web site operators, etc to be liable for user actions. That opens up a nasty box of unintended consequences.

On the one hand, I agree. While they desperately want to remain in a different class so they can inject ads and extract money, ultimately I believe internet service will be treated as a common carrier. On the other, while it is near impossible a part of me loves the unrealistic thought of having Comcast and AT&T executives be named in lawsuits as vicarious contributors for every crime that crosses their network. If they are liable for what crosses it, every crime from child porn and murders planned online on one extreme, to minors getting access to porn, or even for people discussing petty crimes like "I'm running late, I'll need to drive a little fast and hope I don't get caught." If they want to have ownership of what crosses their networks then with that comes responsibility and liability.

Plus you don't want the Cox subscribers to have to give the record companies $25M. You didn't think the money would somehow come out of corporate funds, executive bonus' and such?

It's a situation I pray the lawyers are charging exorbitant rates for: May both Cox and RIAA end up bankrupt, and the lawyers buy themselves large private islands in the south pacific for an early retirement.

Comment So LTE is the sweet spot for profits? (Score 1) 50

Fast enough that it's highly usable for more than mobile "data light", so it has inherent value to data consumers, allowing both the carriers to charge for it and for consumers to consume it fast enough that they will pay high fees for large consumption tiers, fat overages when they exhaust their allocation or both.

If 5G pans out anything like the hype, carriers will have to change their pricing strategies. As most Slashdot posters note, you'd burn through current allocations ridiculously fast.

But as much as people like data, there's also a limit as to how much they will consume. I wonder if AT&T is worried that the pricing changes likely necessary with 5G speeds will cross some line on a chart that causes data to be less profitable. A lot of people will end up staying within their plan or find lower end plans usable.

Comment Re: Stupid politicians (Score 2) 442

I'd love to know how this was enforced or failed to be enforced.

I can see something like:

"Clause 69: The Telecommunications Widget Freedom Tax may not be identified or listed as a line item on any telecommunications bill."

Telecom Bill: Government Freedom Tax For Widgets...$1.97

Regulator: You can't list that on the bill.

Telco: We don't list the tax by its actual name, just a tax of a similar sounding name. Oh, and First Amendment protects our speech to our customers.

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