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Comment Don't use Excel for CSV files! (Score 1) 319

It's not like Excel alters the underlying data, all you have to do is correctly change the column type.

Oh! but it does - once you save it.

If you open a CSV with Excel by default, it will simply read in the values and format it how it sees fit.
Then if you save it, even as a csv, it will give you a warning saying something like "some of the features are not compatible with this format type"
If you proceed, your file is now changed. I have seen scientific notation changed like this. Many columns and rows, you may miss a malformatting and save it as csv. Boom, your data is now toast.

It is why I always look at my CSV files with a text editor first, and only open copies in Excel.
And if you use a real editor like vi, even opening files with millions of rows isn't an issue.

Comment Re:Mobile Web (Score 1) 79

please have text readable at approximately the same apparent size and links that have reasonable bounding boxes across all devices?

No, because the browser on your device does not adhere to any known standards (unless by accident), and the standards do not agree on how big "12 points" is on a mobile screen.

Comment Re:What Envirmental Wacko caused it? (Score 1) 309

Actually, they were following instructions. There were a few articles shortly after the incident that said that LANL had updated their procedures documentation, and somehow the LANL documentation specified 'organic' instead of 'inorganic':

From http://www.santafenewmexican.c...

A typographical error in a revision to a LANL policy manual for repackaging waste led to a wholesale shift from clay litter to the wheat-based variety.

The revision, approved by LANL, took effect Aug. 1, 2012, mere days after the governor's celebratory visit to Los Alamos, and explicitly directed waste packagers at the lab to "ENSURE an organic absorbent (kitty litter) is added to the waste" when packaging drums of nitrate salt.

"Does it seem strange that the procedure was revised to specifically require organic kitty litter to process nitrate salt drums?" Freeman, Nuclear Waste Partnership's chief nuclear engineer at WIPP, asked a colleague in a May 28 email.

Freeman went on to echo some of the possible reasons for the change bandied about in earlier emails, such as the off-putting dust or perfumed scents characteristic of clay litter. But his colleague, Mark Pearcy, a member of the team that reviews waste to ensure it is acceptable to be stored at WIPP, offered a surprising explanation.

"General consensus is that the 'organic' designation was a typo that wasn't caught," he wrote, implying that the directions should have called for inorganic litter.

Officials at LANL declined to comment about whether a typographical error led to the switch to organic kitty litter.

Comment Re:There's a simpler answer to this (Score 1) 183

Carriers would find a way around this. e.g. "you have to own the phone before you are eligible for security updates" T-Mobile does the "pay $20 a month" for a new phone, so you wouldn't really own it until your contract was up. That's why I think that "other" brands will start making real inroads into the market - BLU, Huwei, Xiaomi, etc. I have a BLU, and love it. Dual sim, unlocked, octacore, 2GB ram, gorilla glass, for $150. Why would I buy some $600 phone? As long as the manufacturers control the updates, I might as well get a good phone that I can afford to either root or replace in a couple of years.

Comment What a long painfully joyful trip it's been... (Score 2) 302

I ditched Windows back in 1998 and installed RedHat 5.1. It was awesome! Then I upgraded. Wow, what a nightmare. Dependency hell. I struggled with it for a few years, but hung in there because I just loved it and had no interest in going back to Windows. Macs make my brain hurt.

Then along came Mandrake which took away some of the pain. That was great as well, really liked KDE. Upgrades were still painful, but much better.

Then I started hearing a lot about Ubuntu so I made the leap to Kubuntu 6.06. I went through about 8 in-place upgrades over time (minorly painful) until I finally things got unstable enough that I did a fresh install. Things were much better... but I kept having issues with KDE wigging out on me and pegging my cpu.

So I installed XFCE on top of Kubuntu. XFCE spoke to me - I realized all the UI flash didn't matter to me. I would flip back to KDE, but the problem kept happening and I was happy with XFCE. Eventually I heard about Mint around 2011, and had to try Mint XFCE - I have been there since. I have decided to not do rolling installs anymore, but I am configured pretty well to do full installs. I just installed over my Mint 17 XFCE release and was up and running on Mint XFCE 18 in about an hour. (my / partition is 55 GB and only uses about 12, and I have a separate partition for home). This was the smoothest linux system update I have ever had - even no issues with the Nvidia proprietary drivers!

Installs aside, my Linux system does everything I want it to do. Seeing all the various applications on it grow and blossom, and really cool things like bootable distros to embedded linux to mini systems to android. It has really been great to see it all flourish.

At work I use Windows 10, and I get by. But it brings me no joy. At home I run Linux, and it brings me joy. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to it.

Comment Desktop user here (Score 1) 302

Been using Linux as my OS of choice on home computers for a while now. The desktop experience has come a long way to achieving what I would consider "expectation parity" with a few exceptions.

The biggest thing I hope to see change is Apple start publishing iTunes for Linux. That's not because I use it, but because many people who otherwise have no reasonable need to use Windows would be able to switch to Linux.

In a similar vein, I hope to see WINE get to the point that pretty much any random Windows based application just works so that migrating people is SUPER easy.

Lastly, and I'm sure this will ruffle some feathers, I hope Canonical gets convergence working properly across form factors so that for someone that wishes, they could turn their phone into their single computing device and not give up having access to a standard desktop in the process. If ever Linux were going to "win the desktop", this might be the best bet.

Comment It's the efficiency mindset... (Score 1) 508

I'd argue that very few people's productivity is measured in how efficient their file operations are. It's sort of like believing you're going to be vastly more efficient as a programmer if you memorize a bunch of keyboard shortcuts or type 60wpm instead of 30. Unlike the movies [hackertyper.com], programming isn't about how fast you type.

I think it's more about learning how to work efficiently, and keeping an "efficient" mindset in whatever you do. Example: I use pine for my email, I have since around 2000. I use fetchmail to pull in a few accounts locally. If I want to check my email, it's faster for me to ssh to my home machine and check it rather than scan across several emails on my phone (I do use K9 to pull them into one app though). Now, if I want to view and attach pictures to emails, or look at attachments, then a GUI is better. But most of the time I am just reading the text and ssh/pine is much more efficient.

Another example: at work someone on my team was trying to generate a 2 million row csv file for testing. She was trying to do it in Excel, and it was very cumbersome and slow. Using an example row, i created a script that was able to generate a million rows in about 5 minutes. Then I used a couple of other tools (sed/cat/vi) to copy the million row file, modify it, and cat them back together. She had her 2 million row csv file in about 15 minutes. She was amazed. Since then I have worked on several other large files like this because people think they have to use Excel to view csv files. And vi kicks notepads ass in editing.

These are just two examples of doing something efficiently. Yes, it was comfortable for me to use these things, but there was no other good solution for this particular problem because people were locked into what they knew. Back on topic, I can certainly use other desktops, but I moved to XFCE many years ago when KDE kept eating my CPU for some unknown reason... and I have simply grown to prefer it. MintXFCE is my sweet spot now, and I don't have any plans to switch.

Comment Re:What's the tax supposed to provide, exactly? (Score 1) 442

I don't know what they're planning, but subsidizing to ensure the availability of taxis is likely enough.

In many areas (I don't know about Massachusetts), taxis aren't legally allowed to refuse fares, while there's no such restriction on Uber and similar companies. So when your flight doesn't get in 'til 2am and you live in a slightly sketchier neighborhood, but none of the Uber drivers are willing to take you there, the taxis need to still be available.

(I've even had trouble w/ getting the SuperShuttle to take me home from the airport -- they're perfectly willing to pick me up at 6am to go to BWI ... but for some reason, reluctant to take me home from National at 1am)

Of course, there are likely still problems in many areas with taxi drivers passing by people of color who are trying to flag them down ... but we need to make sure that taxis who do that get reported.

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley