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Comment That would sorta defeat the purpose (Score 1) 88

what's on offer here is Microsoft's cloud backup service & Skype, which were free with certain standalone copies of Office. Offsite backups of your Spreadsheets is a big deal for some users, especially small businesses. And if you're non-technical the monthly fees are made up for in less downtime and not paying the local tech to periodically recover lost data.

Comment There's plenty of good reasons (Score 1) 342

you're just not deep enough in the guts of the app to know what they are. UI re-writes are seldom if ever for the hell of it. There's a few good ones:

1. Switching to a modern and more maintainable toolkit. e.g. going from Dojo to Angular or God help us all a table layout + custom CSS to Angular. Like it or not at some point you are going to have to add features to stay relevant unless you're IBM. Oh wait, they're revenue's the the toilet. Or maybe you want a web site that scales from iPhone to phablet to Tablet to 4k desktop? Guess what it's time for a new tool kit.

2. You'd like some new users, but our crusty mid 90s UI is turning them off. Yeah, time for a re-write.

Comment You're forgetting about new users (Score 1) 342

who want a modern UI. You see this all over the web with pages flattening to fit with the iPhone look.

You're also forgetting about new tools. Writing a webpage with Angular is 10x simpler than Dojo. But if you're going to rebuild anyway you might as well modernize the UI.

If I'm writing software I want new users, not just the old ones. Unless those old ones are paying me enough to retire on an island, which they never do. Nobody likes paying for software if it's not a game.

Comment I haven't had an iPhone since the 4 (Score 1) 215

that I didn't replace in 2 years when the hardware got flaky/crashy. The 5 overheats. A lot. I'm an Android guy because for $250 bucks I can buy a nice phone. But my kid's stuck on Apple because of iMessage (which is less a messaging app and more a sort of mini social network). Anyway, ain't nobody recycling the iPhone 5.

Comment This effects local TV stations (Score 2, Insightful) 69

and like it or not millions of people get their news from those and choose how they vote based on that news. You should be utterly, balls to the walls terrified of this. Billionaires are going to sweep in and buy out the last vestiges of independent news. They're then going to subtlety manipulate people.

Here's a prefect example: The stories about North Korea's "Super Mighty" strike. The phrase Super Mighty in English sounds childish. It's meant to diminish the perceived threat from North Korea. The word "strike" is to make sure you know they're still a danger. In other words: You're being told it's just like Iraq. A weak enemy that'll roll over when we move in.

That's the kind of propaganda that'll be everywhere, not just on the major Cable networks. And that will suck, hard. Because dumb poor people will see it and vote you (and your draft age kids) into a war.

Comment With few exceptions (Score 1) 122

These are very well understood fields. It's trivial to right text books for them. Don't waste time trying to fix a broken system. You'll get mired down in lawsuits. Nothing will get done. Nothing will change. We tolerated the corrupt textbook market because most students didn't pay for them. They got grants to do that. We cut all that funding and now they have to pay (My Kid's books are around $1000 a year for a bloody undergrad). Now we're on the hook. Kill the old system. Letting textbook companies skim was fine when it was just one more form of American Socialism to spread wealth around. That time is done. Kill the textbook companies. Kill them with fire.

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