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Comment Re: Deep recursion (Score 1) 73

On the UI front, at least I'll agree that some GNOME software has done that. MS fell into that big time with Windows 8, though they have walked back some of it. However I can't think of too many examples outside of those two where an existing software did big steps backwards.

On Slack v. IRC, it's not that *hard* what they added, but having the history available on reconnect, being able to paste text and images and such into chat rather than resorting to pastebins. Sure some things like emoji support may be a bit silly, but otherwise it's something that makes a lot of functionality a lot more accessible. We would be better off recognizing that IRC is *not* in fact perfect as is and think about actually competing instead of being in denial.

Comment Re:Read the article (Score 1) 90

I suppose my *hope* is that I influence fellow people to not get that hung up. I occasionally am in the position of hiring, and I give nearly no weight to whether or not they have used our chosen tools before versus understand the general idea. Now if someone acts overly intimidated with working with unfamiliar technology, or claims they do know the tooling when they clearly don't, that is something I consider a warning sign.

Comment Re:It is Inevitable (Score 0) 436

Warming nor cooling is good for us as it stands. We need to be careful and do our best to hold as it is.

That could conceivably involve purposely putting greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere in the face of cooling, but that's not what we are seeing. This would almost certainly be a very risky idea.

If it were possible through manipulating the albedo of the earth, that would probably be our best bet for a mechanism that could be tuned as needed to compensate to fight undesired cooling or warming as it happened, since it's not feasible to pull a greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere once we put it there.

Comment Re: Deep recursion (Score 1) 73

Once upon a time, 'powerful' computers were a precious resource that could not be dedicated to a single person, and so these impossibly dumb terminals were all people were allowed.

Then as things advanced, that model became obsolete, as devices much more powerful than the old powerful computers were so cheap, it just made sense to have everyone use dedicated computing devices, empowering the users and enabling a thriving home computer market of self-empowered users.

On the networking front, things started with BBSes and more relevant to most, walled garden environments like AOL and Prodigy. The scope of what they could provide was limited by network limitations, but to the extent communications and information flowed, it was controlled by your service provider with an iron fist. You *had* to pay AOL money if you wanted anyone to be able to find your data by keywords online, as an example.

Then as networking advanced, federated technologies like WWW and IRC prevailed, and suddenly the barriers of competition were reduced again and people could communicate and change who got their money and attention on a whim without repercussions. The late 90s were defined by standards and federated approaches displacing proprietary and isolated technologies. It represented a time where companies that had locked down their corners of the market had their customer base opened up to competition. Without this, Google, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so forth never would have been able to start, it would have just been all-AOL.

In this century, we've seen a select few corporate interests get back much of the control. Google has become the de facto gatekeeper to the web, software vendors now don't need to let users download or can require their software to checkin and implement a 'rental-only' model for software, and applications that were once federated or at least could be instantiated by many are dominated instead by locked-in solutions (e.g. Slack is so much better than IRC, but is controlled by a single corporate interest, though MatterMost is pretty good at least...). Every little voice recognition clip is uploaded to remote servers for processing despite the fact the edge devices are orders of magnitude more powerful than systems that were doing voice dictation 20 years ago. We have been trained to treat multiprocessor multi-gigahertz devices with gigabytes of ram as dumb terminals not appropriate for any remotely serious task.

No, the old ways aren't better from a UI perspective or an experience perspective, but make no mistake that the power dynamic change that has come with it has downsides, and that's not so much the fault of the technology, just the usual power dynamic of human nature reasserting itself after a brief period where things were taken by surprise.

Comment Re:Congratulations - you invented the WWW (Score 2) 73

If I had to bet, I'd bet on browser embedded in the client rather than a remote video. You can do almost anything you could need in a mobile device using a web browser with javascript.

A remote video solution would be utterly terrible (it's not even seemless on local high speed networks, over mobile networks it's atrocious no matter who the vendor is).

Comment Google already does it... (Score 1) 73

It's called 'Chrome' (as others have pointed out).

What Google *specifically* promised was run an application without installing under android. I presume we are talking about a read chunks of the application on demand rather than requiring the whole thing to download in advance, so the application would think the device just has *really* slow storage for accessing the application payload.

However it could be as simple as changing the UI to make the download be invisible to the user (which is how web apps work, they get downloaded and cached when possible on load rather than have a distinct 'install' phase) and the 'feature' only working with small apps where that's reasonably possible.

Comment Re:Congratulations - you invented the WWW (Score 2) 73

Eh, we know what he meant, a modern web browser with javascript effectively being a runtime environment to produce applications that act pretty much exactly like a desktop application if desired. It's of course erroneous to say 'apps you don't download', since the apps are downloaded and cached, it just doesn't make a production out of it. Which is of course going to be the case for WeChat or Google or *anything* for that matter (after all a processor cannot run code that it can't read).

I know that if you described something like this to the original www team at the time they'd wonder at how their original vision of 'gopher++' turned into *this*.

Comment Re:What... WHAT? (Score 3, Interesting) 401

A lot of people make the mistake of judging Chinese output by the quality of what is done there as paid for by western companies. In effect, many western companies are pretty much getting scammed by getting the worst of the worst in China, and the western company doesn't realize they are getting the bottom of the barrel because they also buy into the 'China just isn't that good' story.

Meanwhile native Chinese companies understand the lay of the land and can be quite competitive by leaving the bottom of the barrel to the foreign companies to deal with.

It's the biggest pitfall of offshoring to any nation that the leadership is not intimately familiar with. If the business leadership has stereotypes about a popular offshoring destinations, they can get pretty much scammed into thinking they have average work for the region when they really get the rejects that aren't employable by the good local companies.

Comment Re:Carly Fiorina 2.0 (Score 2) 401

To be fair to Romety, Palmisano was the one who set a crash course and 'roadmap 2015', got investors pumped and then promptly bailed probably knowing full well there was no realistic plan to deliver what he promised, but now it wouldn't be his fault. A lot of us were saying that Palmisano was nuts when he made that promise, then when he bailed we decided he was being personally very smart and was just setting up the next person to be the fall guy. Rometty stood by the pledge he made longer than she should have and the company was more and more damaged as a result, so she hasn't been the best leader either, but IBM's problems started long before she was in control. Palmisano was good at fooling the shareholders causing the price to go up, but that can only go on so long before a critical mass figures out the problem.

IBM hasn't really had a good CEO since Gerstner. Palmisano just rode the inertia, and knew when to leave to look good.

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