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Comment Re:Ah yes, 2 months of Indian hell for me (Score 2) 92

To me this was yet another proof that Google became too big for what it is, and on an individual level dealing with Google is harder and less pleasant than dealing with a cable company.

I don't think 'too big' is a good description for the fundamental problem. The real problem is that Google's business model has always relied on razor thin margins, and so it only makes a profit if it automates all of it's business processes. This works well for the vast majority of use cases, but when you get an edge case, such as yours their systems just aren't set up to to deal with it.

Rather than increase the complexity of their business processes they have made an explicit decision to just not care about those edge cases, even if it means that people caught by those edge cases are unable to use Google products. With automated processes they can still serve 95% of the people who want to use Google services, at a much reduced cost than if they tried to serve 100% of customers.

I don't think there is a simple solution to this. Google are too dominant in several areas to be replaced by competitors easily. And I can't see a feasible way to make them not have a financial desire to just ignore "edge case" customers. But yes, Google are at least a little bit evil in making the internet much harder to use for people who they can't easily make money from.

Comment The problem is obvious (Score 3, Interesting) 230

The guy who was in charge of the Xbox team for these 'woes' was a guy named Don Mattrick.

During the run up to the horrible E3 where most of these poor decisions were revealed, he had been negotiating and then accepted a job running Zynga.

To put it mildly, he had completely checked out and didn't appear to care about what happened to the Xbox at that E3, as he knew he was going to be out the door a few weeks later.

This is one of the larger straight mistakes that Ballmer (as opposed to reasonable but poor decisions) made during his role as CEO of Microsoft - leaving a guy who just didn't give a shit in charge of a major project.

Comment Stop trying to guess what I'm trying to do (Score 1) 276

It would be very useful to be able to control what the search engine thinks I'm actually searching for. Taken from: http://unqualified-reservation...

A more intriguing question is whether the Graffiti approach can be applied to full-text search. Many modern search engines, notably the hideous, awfully-named Bing, are actually multiple applications under the hood - just like WA. If Bing figures out that you are searching for a product, it will show you one UI. If it figures out that you are searching for a celebrity, it will show you another UI. It may also switch algorithms, data sets, etc, etc. I'm sure Google has all kinds of analogous, if more subtle, meta-algorithms.

While generic full-text search, unlike generic data visualization, remains a viable application and a very useful one, specialized search might (or might not - this is not my area of expertise) be an even more useful one. If the user has an affordance by which to tell the algorithm the purpose or category of her search, the whole problem of guessing which application to direct the query to disappears and is solved perfectly. A whole class of category errors ceases to exist.

My guess is that if there is any "next thing" in search interfaces, it will come not from smarter UIs, but from dumber ones in which the user does more work - the Graffiti effect. If a small quantity of user effort can produce a substantial improvement in user experience (which is a big if), the user will accept the bargain. Hey, it made Jeff Hawkins rich.

Comment Re:Proposals and running code (Score 3, Insightful) 161

But at first glace it doesn't look that bad.

I can see the appeal of rubberstamping what already exists.

That's the real problem with the proposed protocol; it solves today's problems for todays computers. It doesn't attempt to look ahead and solve problems that should be solved over the next ten years.

Seeing as it's going to take a few years and a huge amount of effort before HTTP 2 is widely adopted, we're going to need to start working on a replacement for it's even finished its rollout.

Poul-Hennings has written his thoughts on the problems that actually should be solved in the next version of HTTP:

The fact that the IETF has decided to ignore those problems so that HTTP 2 can be pushed out the door is what makes the situation be such a joke. Almost the only entities that will benefit from having HTTP 2 in the next 5 years are companies that have a web presence on the same scale as Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. that will save a small amount of money through reduced bandwidth costs.

For everyone else, rolling out HTTP 2 will be a massive initial and ongoing technical burden, with almost no benefit.

Comment Gruber at DaringFireball nails it (Score 3, Informative) 558

Gruber at DaringFireball nails it:

What Apple gets and what no one else in the industry does is that using your mobile device for payments will only work if it’s far easier and better than using a credit card. With CurrentC, you’ll have to unlock your phone, launch their app, point your camera at a QR code, and wait. With Apple Pay, you just take out your phone and put your thumb on the Touch ID sensor.

Tim Cook was exactly right on stage last month when he introduced Apple Pay: it’s the only mobile payment solution designed around improving the customer experience. CurrentC is designed around the collection of customer data and the ability to offer coupons and other junk. Here is what a printed receipt from CVS looks like ( It looks like a joke, but that’s for real. And that’s the sort of experience they want to bring to mobile payments. ...

And the reason they don’t want to allow Apple Pay is because Apple Pay doesn’t give them any personal information about the customer. It’s not about security — Apple Pay is far more secure than any credit/debit card system in the U.S. It’s not about money — Apple’s tiny slice of the transaction comes from the banks, not the merchants. It’s about data.

Apple's great strategic advantages over Google, is that they put their customers (i.e. the people who buy Apple's goods and services) needs over their partners needs to be able to data mine those users.

Comment Re:It's still unmaintainable crap (Score 2) 254

> It suffers from SQL that lacks proper commit controls.


> Implementations I've used leak connections like a seive, forcing restarts of the database servers on a regular basis.

While that must have been frustrating for you - that's not a common complaint, so was probably specific to either your DB or configuration.

> PHP's biggest problem is lack of modularization and encouragement of inline script hacking.

You mean you suck at writing decent code, without being forced to do things 'properly' ?

Comment Re:Why use the Zend engine at all? (Score 1) 254

> Many of the problems with PHP are from the crappy language implementation.

Yes, because switching to a subtly different language implementation is not going to cause any problems running code that was written for the standard PHP implementation.

> It's Quercus []. It's certainly worth a look as a Zend alternative.

That was release 7 years ago. No one appears to really use it.

Do you really think that if it was such a great improvement over the Zend engine that people wouldn't be using it?

Comment Not your computer (Score 1) 177

The author who says that this is 'most alarming' is missing one key thing; sometimes people use computers that belong to someone else.

Any company that needs it's employees to be able to use the internet, but also want to be able to detect any employee that is sending documents via the internet to outside of the company would love to use this, as well as have every permission to install this on their own computers. They could then have the employees computers trust the SSL proxy, and it could easily detect any documents being transmitted.

Poul-Henning Kamp covers this at the end of his talk at from 14:40 .

Comment Re:Don't look now (Score 1) 519

Interesting post, but this is wrong:

Australia dithering leaving NATO to avoid complete economic meltdown when they suddenly can't sell their mining produce to it any more

Australia realised during World War 2, that they were completely dependent on the US to be able to prevent invasion and occupation of Australia from Japanese forces. Since then they a strategy of doing everything that the US wants, to retain the strong military alliance between them.

Although it would hurt massively in the short term, I can't see _anything_ that would break that alliance. It would basically be a declaration that Australia would be prepared to become allied with and accepting military occupation by China.

And it would just be the short term - if there was a military conflict with China that shut down trade, having several hundred million people suddenly unemployed in China would cause a faster change in government there than not being able to buy the latest iPhone or more plastic crap would in the US and Australia.

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