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Comment Re:No surprise - same erorrs in finance & ops (Score 1) 326

In the year 2016, a disturbing amount of human activity is run through Excel instead of proper databases.

A similar study from 2009 tested for errors in various operational spreadsheets and concluded, "Our results confirm the general belief among those who have studied spreadsheets that errors are commonplace." The Financial Times commented on the prevalence of spreadsheet errors in business, saying it's probably a function of training and organizational culture.

I've heard from a few salespeople in the software industry that their biggest competitor in the SMB space isn't $BigCRMCorp, but Excel spreadsheets that have acreted over the years.

This absolutely doesn't surprise me. The concept of thinking about where one's data lives is nearly extinct outside of technical circles, and even Access is seen as "too complicated" by a lot of people. The utility of third normal form is obvious to us, but lots of people are perfectly served with pivot tables. How many people receive formal training in any form of database anymore? Even lots of web designers who use MySQL on the back end of their CMS software don't do a whole lot in PHPMyAdmin unless they have to.

Excel is very simple, ubiquitous, and has a low ceiling of functionality. It's the lowest common denominator, and unfortunately, it's "good enough" for lots of people.


Facebook Knows Your Political Preferences ( 183

Facebook knows a lot more about its users than they think. For instance, the New York Times reports, the company is categorizing its users as liberal, conservative, or moderate. These details are valuable for advertisers and campaign managers, especially ahead of the election season. From a BusinessInsider report: For some, Facebook is able to come to conclusions about your political leanings easily, if you mention a political party on your page. For those that are less open about politics on social media, Facebook makes assumptions based on pages you like. As The New York Times explained, if you like Ben and Jerry's Facebook page and most of the other people that like that page identify as liberal, Facebook might assume you too are liberal.

Comment Re:25 years, still garbage for the mainstream (Score 1) 306

ImageMagick definitely has its place; it is invaluable as a backend to Piwigo, Coppermine, (presumably) Pixlr, and plenty of others. No hate against it at all. However, the benefit to using it on a CLI, by your own admission, is based upon its capacity to perform batch actions like resizing. Would you do one-off image processing using a CLI rather than using GIMP or Photoshop? What about things that aren't easily automated, like color correction? There are some things that still require human input, and the process/export/evaluate/repeat concept doesn't save anyone any time.

By contrast: GUI tool that will do virtually all of the same batch processing as ImageMagick, giving users a simple to use GUI that does not take nearly as long to use or operate.

Comment Re:25 years, still garbage for the mainstream (Score 1) 306

When will Windows get rid of the registry?

Windows has 'the registry'...which for all its hate and faults is, from an objective standpoint, about as difficult to work with as .conf files.

And what is it about this GUI obsession with you millennials?

The GUI changes the paradigm from 'fill in the blank' to 'multiple choice'. I can find what I want to do and figure it out pretty simply, between programs, even ones I haven't used before. The CLI is great when you know all the switches, but I personally can never remember if it's chmod 644 -R /dev/null, or chmod -R 644 /dev/null. CLIs don't scale down well - something like 'creating a mailbox in Exchange' requires a massively long command that takes far longer to type than to click through the GUI wizard, so while making 100 mailboxes is faster in a CLI because it can be scripted or copy/pasted, making 1 mailbox without copy/pasting will always be quicker in a GUI...and there are endless examples of this sort of thing.

A good terminal (like bash) lets you do stuff faster and easier than any GUI. editing then? Or audio editing? Did you type this comment in Lynx, or Chrome/Firefox/Whatever? PC games? Again, it's only "faster and easier" if you already know the commands. If you don't know the commands, add in all the time it takes to discover the commands, read the man page to figure out what order the arguments go in, and then input it while substituting your own data properly. Also, how do commands deal with spaces and special characters? The command line absolutely has its place, but eschewing the GUI wholesale is just as ignorant as eschewing the CLI in its proper context.

It's also damn easier to give the advice to "open terminal, copy past these lines" than it is to have to create multiple screen shots of how to do the same thing in a GUI and then hope and pray that the end user is using the same language and version of OS as you do.

Yes. And in those cases where that is properly done, it most definitely is preferable. However, anything other than a perfect set of copy/paste lines gets very complicated, very quickly. I tried five times to get Rocket.Chat installed in a Linux VM, before I gave up and asked my friend to help. He did, and the server is up now, but when the copy/paste directions are incorrect, change between versions, make assumptions that aren't there, or are otherwise ineffective, now any advantage to a CLI over a GUI is completely gone.

Comment Re:Professional level audio experience (Score 5, Insightful) 306

Ardour is great, and so is Reaper. The existence of a solid DAW on Linux isn't the issue at this point.

First, one of the major issues is inertia - Logic Pro, Ableton, ProTools, Cubase, Sonar, and FL Studio are all respected names in the field, with lots of users, forums, and ecosystems around them. Audio engineering is very susceptible to a herd mentality, because anyone who uses something different will be told to join the herd, rather than getting actual support.

Next, audio engineering is much more hardware dependent than most CS/IT disciplines. For us, 'input' basically consists of keyboards and NICs, which are interchangeable. Pro audio involves audio interfaces from Tascam, Presonus, M-Audio, and FocusRite, with MIDI controllers ranging from Korg/Yamaha keyboards to guitar pedals and drum pads. We'll circle back to the interface problems in a moment, but the MIDI controllers are largely USB now, meaning there are abstraction layers that may require specialized drivers, mapping software, and plug-ins.

Back to the audio interface question, amongst the major things we have here is that Jack/Alsa are fine for desktops with Realtek chipsets, but when you're dealing with thousand dollar interfaces that can record sixteen channels of audio in real-time with 1ms latency, Jack and Alsa just don't cut it. OSX has CoreAudio and Windows has ASIO, both of which are industry standards that work with those interfaces. Linux would need something similar to it, but even if such a thing were to come into existence, support by the hardware OEMs is certainly not coming into place overnight. Meanwhile, those OEMs need to sell gear, which means that CoreAudio and ASIO handle over 99% of the market, and no one seems to be chomping at the bit to write yet another audio system for Linux to even provide a viable target. Reaper and Ardour could well start on that, but now you have DAW devs stuck writing middleware that already exists on Windows and OSX.

I look forward to it happening, but it's a pipe dream right now. Hardware OEMs are targeting ASIO and CoreAudio, plug-in writers are targeting Ableton, Protools, and VST hosts, industry standard DAWs are targeting Windows and OSX, and a soup-to-nuts Linux ecosystem would require cooperation from everyone at the same time for a market segment that's super picky at best.

Comment Re:How are they doing this? (Score 1) 57

Your questions is why this is a very sticky situation...

They 'detect' the streams in that streaming providers need to meet some sort of requirements to qualify. According to statements made, they're purely technical. Basically, if you can provide them a few IP addresses and the ability to respond to T-Mobile saying '480p please', you're in, I'm unaware of an instance where T-Mobile has discriminated against any provider that has met these purely technical requirements, nor am I aware of anyone coming forward to say that there was a hookers-and-blow requirement, including Google, which is notable because Youtube was last to the party of the majors.

Users are perfectly allowed to disable BingeOn, and CSRs are trained to help users disable it. Anyone running a streaming service can qualify. T-Mobile isn't 'prioritizing' internet traffic from one provider over another from a bandwidth standpoint, but they *are*, at some level, doing so from a billing standpoint, since my self-hosted MediaGoblin server uses more of my data plan than Netflix does (I have an unlimited data plan so I don't care, but the point remains).

So, we have a really sticky situation: Users who are okay with 480p streams can be okay with 480p streams and not have it count against their data plan. Companies who want to offer 480p streams can call up T-Mobile and be added without being prohibited from doing so. Is it *really* net neutrality, or is it the neutral zone?

Comment Re:Subsidy == No Sales (Score 2) 42

iPhones are manufactured in China, and so are plenty of Samsung's components. Xiaomi could well battle HTC and Huewei for a solid third place slot, and that slot really is up for grabs right now. "Chinese" tends to mean "flimsy", "poorly constructed", and/or "knockoff product" in context, but Xiaomi has had a few well-constructed handsets that indicate a potential for doing alright in the market. Honestly, what the bigger concern is for them is whether they'll be able to play the carrier game and not get screwed over by Verizon and AT&T in the quest for shelf space along with the premium handsets.

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