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Comment Re:Shudder. (Score 1) 188

That's all fine and dandy until the day comes at MSFT stops maintaining the WSL subsystem and/or lets subtle incompatibilities creep in.

Bring it up with Microsoft? What do Windows app developers do when Wine doesn't run their application correctly?

How does it compare to offering a build linked against the Cygwin library?

Zero extra work and no need for a separate box or VM, and a Windows licence, to test the build.

Comment Re:Batteries (Score 1) 458

I have a true question - exactly WHERE do you recharge while on a road trip?

Unless Canada has a very large network of fast dedicated charge stations compatible with your car model, or you travel only to places where there is always such a station within range, how do you manage to move through the country without fear to run out of batteries? I've never found a place that explains how to do this in detail.

Comment Re:Shudder. (Score 4, Insightful) 188

Sounds horrible to me. Why bother?

Not sure what MS' motivation is, but it's good news for a lot of scientific software developers. Small teams or single researchers rarely have enough time to even keep the main development going, never mind keeping up with multiple OS targets. With this everybody can simply focus on Linux, and tell Windows users to just run it under the Linux layer and stop asking about a native port.

Comment Re:Flat, unintuitive UI? No thanks! (Score 1) 78

That may be because you have only seen UX used for products aimed at a widespread general public, which benefit greatly from feature reduction - as they must support very different workflows, with people who use the product with little training.

UX is the science that got us input forms (it was called ergonomics back then), standard widgets, WYSIWYG and direct manipulation. It has also created the new layout in MS Office (which is successful in its goal to make visible a larger set of the available features), so it's not true that it only supports feature reduction. I work in a company that a very complex software suit, and UX approaches are greatly enhancing the user workflows from its previous, engineer-designed interface, without removing a single feature.

Comment Re:Flat, unintuitive UI? No thanks! (Score 1) 78

Unfortunately, I bet the UIs ARE thought up by experts. This seems to me like a classic disconnect between pie in the sky designers and everyday users.

Experts UI designers are those who test the interface with everyday users.

Therefore, when an interface has been designed by an expert in UI design (NOT visual design, but real interaction design), there is no such disconnect.

Comment Re:So basically (Score 1) 119

This is why when strangers photograph me, I flip them the bird, not a peace sign. Then they don't get my fingerprint, since it is not facing them.

Most parts of your skin has distinctive, unique patterns. You can get a unique print from your elbow, wrist, knuckles, knees... And you tend to leave such marks around too, if less commonly than fingers.

Comment Re:Sigh. (Score 1) 119

Finger prints are fine for identification, not verification. They're your username, not your password. If you do use them like that they are not dangerous.

But of course nobody does; US, Japan and other countries all use fingerprints to verify the password identity for instance. And as a result they catch multiple people here in Japan every year that entered the country with fake fingerprints. And since they just catch people that happen to get arrested for some other reason, it probably means there's hundreds entering the country using other peoples' ID and fingerprints each year.

Comment Re:Two questions before I call BS. (Score 1) 502

We have many trillions of dollars sunk into infrastructure that depends on the local environment being what it was when the infrastructure was designed and built. If the environment changes significantly in its average or peak temperature levels, or its humidity, or its solar radiation, or any of a range of other environmental factors, then the infrastructure may see reduced functionality, increased wear, or outright failure. As climate changes start to make themselves known in earnest we will have to start chasing them to patch up all of this infrastructure which imposes a tremendous cost on us. Instead of maintaining our existing bridges, road systems and hospitals we will need to come up with a hasty plan to relocate the Netherlands, build sea walls around Manhattan, allocate new areas and develop them to house everyone who needs to leave their old homes on the Equator, etc.

While the Antarctic may eventually become habitable, relocating e.g. a hundred million displaced Chinese there is going to be tremendously expensive and a huge drag on the global economy that we might have avoided with relative ease by simply stopping coal subsidies and letting market forces phase in solar for us.

Comment Re:First rule of journalism. (Score 2) 240

The only real option, baring some fundamental breakthrough [...] is massively more and simpler cores

The problem with that approach is that most problems are not infinitely paralleliseable, and some important problems fundamentally do not parallelise at all. You rapidly hit diminishing returns for more cores, and that's before you consider that you need to go beyond a shared-memory architecture beyond a dozen cores or so.

The newest generation of supercomputers already have big problems finding jobs that actually use all the hardware, and for the next generation people have more or less thrown their hands in the air already and say that except for a few very specialized workloads, the machines will be shared systems, not used for single jobs at a time.

Comment Re:That's weird (Score 1) 370

considering nobody has made any decent AI yet.

It doesn't matter. AI works best when there's a human in the loop, piloting the controls anyway.

What matters to a company is that 1 person + bots can now make the job that previously required hundreds of white collar workers, for much less salary. What happens to the other workers should not be a concern of the company managers, according to the modern religious creed - apparently some magical market hand takes care to solve that problem automatically.

Comment Re:Failure of imagination (Score 1) 370

Were those people able to get hired elsewhere? The answer in general was almost certainly yes.

Oh, oh, I know this one! "New jobs being created in the past don't guarantee that new jobs will be created in the future". This is the standard groupthink answer for waiving any responsibility after advice given about the future, right?

Comment Re:What I love (Score 1) 78

Yeah, nothing to object to your accurate summary of how things go on at "the sun of all knowledge".

The thing that keeps me going in and participating (besides the desire to restore some unjustly removed content, and the obvious addictive nature as a social game AND a massive multiplayer game) is a long term vision, which is shared by few people.

Think that 20 or 40 years from now, the current vandals and trolls that own any particular article will be gone (there will likely be new ones, but there's hope that they will camp at some ''other'' article); and, since every edit gets logged and distributed under a classic share-alike license, a future editor really interested in that specific topic will be able to trace back the full history of changes and old versions, probably assisted by some AI machine learning tool that will detect the edit wars and fact-check which side seems more likely to be right.

Assuming that deletionists or some other totalitarian state don't get to lock and burn the whole thing down, the project is the first wide-scale, distributed attempt to create a universal compilation of general knowledge since the times of the first encyclopedia; and this one is self documenting every turn of the way. Even its many failures will allow future researchers to study how not to set up a collaborative project and how early neticens behaved when the internet was young.

I agree with you that being a part of it doesn't necessarily feel nice, though.

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