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Comment Re: class action suit (Score 1) 121

Most likely, Microsoft will wind up having to pay a settlement class consisting of just about anyone who owned Windows 7 and can show their system now runs Win 10 thanks to the online upgrade.

What I want to know is, how do I get Microsoft to compensate me for the time and effort of successfully preventing the upgrade, and my increased risk due to the fact that I've had to disable security updates to do so?

Comment Re:Too bad we can't own software anymore. (Score 3, Interesting) 121

Bullshit. The Uniform Commercial Code and the doctrine of first sale says I own the (copy of the) software. The only thing that says I don't is a fictional, unenforceable, worthless alleged-document that isn't a valid contract because (a) it's a contract of adhesion presented after the sale is complete and (b) offers me no consideration since I already have the right to do everything it's offering me by virtue of having already bought the software.

Comment Re:GB is doing it, China is doing it (Score 1) 82

Over the last 35 years... This demonstrates the strength of authoritarianism... But things are rapidly changing, and beginning to show the downside of authoritarianism.

Funny, I thought the downside of authoritarianism was shown during the period immediately proceeding the 35-year one you mentioned. Did the Chinese (or any other government, for that matter) learn nothing from the Cultural Revolution?

Comment Re:And flat look [Re:Infinite web pages] (Score 1) 332

Maybe the post I was replying to was. Flat isn't necessarily a problem, but having no borders at all could be. This goes double for the computer-illiterate: without the borders and shading mimicking physical controls, buttons are becoming increasingly abstract and thus ever more difficult to recognize as being clickable, especially for people who didn't learn the analogy back in the "beveled-edge pseudo-3D" day.

My only point was that (contrary to the previous poster's implication that 1989 was some kind of primitive age), UIs from back then were actually pretty usable because they were designed by UX engineers instead of graphic artists. Sure, they were ugly, but at least you could tell what was a button and what wasn't.

Comment Re:Agile is good for some teams & projects, ho (Score 1) 332

Sure, there are occasionally the huge changes that some customer decided they couldn't live without, but those types of changes hurt agile shops too.

But usually not as much, because with shorter development cycles the customer has the opportunity to realize they need the changes earlier.

Comment Re:And flat look [Re:Infinite web pages] (Score 1) 332

Similar annoyance points for the "flat" look. You cannot even tell a button is a button, and entry box boundaries are washed out. Shade the fsckers, people! It's not 1989.

Well that's the problem, isn't it? In 1989, UIs were designed so that it was easy to tell which controls were what.

Comment Re: Change the law (Score 1) 1425

Unlike the Republican South from where people are leaving in droves for Blue states.

FYI, that's not true. (I'll be charitable and not accuse you of lying or jump on the "fake news" meme bandwagon... but I could have.)

Several Southern states, including both Carolinas and Georgia (plus pseudo-Southern Texas and Florida) are all growing faster than California.

On the bright side, pretty much all that growth is occurring in the "blue" urban parts of those states.

Comment Re: Standing. (Score 1) 99

Theoretically, that should be the arm of the federal government in charge of copyrights. Or possibly the DoJ.

Or any member of the public. After all, a plain reading of the phrase "in the public domain" means exactly that: that it is "owned" by every member of the public, collectively, so why shouldn't every "owner" have standing?

Comment The First Rule... (Score 3, Interesting) 254

...of Usenet is of course, "you do not talk about Usenet." I'm breaking that. Sorry.

More importantly in this case, Second Rule of Usenet is "Usenet can't be subverted by its owner because, as a decentralized service, it doesn't have one." And that's why it needs to be supported instead of centralized shit like Reddit!

Comment Re:Doesn't this describe almost every job? (Score 1) 280

Agree completely. The fundamental problem is that software tends to have so much more combinatorial compexity than just about everything else (except maybe medicine or law), and even strategies used to reduce the complexity (modularization and encapsulation) that work in fields like engineering are, in software, often broken or ineffective due to poor design. (Imagine if the person designing the plumbing system in a skyscraper couldn't rely on the walls and floors staying in the same place. He'd have to invent servo-actuated movable plumbing or something, and it would be many orders of magnitude more complicated and less reliable than actual plumbing. It would be chaos! But that's how we do it in software...)

Comment Re:Civil engineers suck (Score 3, Insightful) 280

I am both a civil engineer and software "engineer." I have also visited Maryland. I can confirm that (a) civil engineers suck (despite the fact that civil engineering is often much less complex than software engineering), (b) Maryland's freeway design is weird (lots of super-tight parclos with really short merges), and (c) calling programmers "engineers" is a complete farce because compared to actual engineering, all coding is "cowboy coding." I don't care if you're "agile" or "waterfall" or how good your code review or QA is; the process is not rigorous enough to count as engineering.

Ironically, some of the worst cowboy coders I've worked with have been Professional Engineers...

Comment Big Brother (Score 1) 280

I was working for a company that made pharmacy management software and helped implement support for Prescription Monitoring Program reporting. There is a gigantic amount of personal information that gets sent to the government any time someone gets prescribed a controlled substance (including personal information even of the person merely picking up the prescription, if not the patient).

Comment Re:What about the rest? (Score 2) 215

Often 'a conviction' is much more important for optics than 'a correct conviction', due to other perverse systems and influences in play.

I know what you meant, but you got the terminology a little off. For the police, only an arrest is important. For the prosecutor, a conviction is important. A correct conviction is important for nobody (except the victims of the system, of course).

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