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Comment Re:Simplicity can only go so far (Score 1) 433

I don't think this is going to work very well for the majority of us who rely on that particular key. If this rumor is true, it is one of the few legitimately infuriating things Apple will have done with their products.

The place to do this paritcularly benighted thing is in the macbook and "air" line for college kids majoring in basket weaving and their later life selves: marketing bots. For the technical world, the esc key is still very, very important. You shouldn't drop it on your "pro" line, for "profesionals" who actually work for a living. The best part about OS X is that it's still basically BSD and you can ignore the UI and badly implemented software, this undermines that.


Comment The end of computing (Score 2) 433

It seems in the mad rush to monetize everything and everyone developers and designers have been forced to foreswear anything resembling common sense.

As we have seen over the decades, Microsoft slowly but surely hid basic functionality from the user through every iteration of its operating system. I have a W95 machine where I can get to things faster than I can on my W7 machine, and substantially faster than on my dad's W10 machine.

For its part Apple has liked to see itself at the vanguard of elegant computing, specifically the design of a computer. As we are all aware, nothing is let out the door of Apple which hasn't been dissected to the nth degree.

While its operating system works, its flaws and quirks are just as numerous and like Microsoft, with each iteration they further disassociate the person from the OS, thinking they are making things easier. As the decision to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone showed, nothing is simpler when you remove basic functionality.

Now comes their latest foray into the schizzle: no ESC key or power button. Nothing physical at least. Only some vague, wispy area to touch which one hopes will do what they want but will, as time and experience has shown, fail at every given opportunity.

As the last two stalwarts slug it out for eyeballs, Linux plods along, years behind in functionality but always with the same mantra, "This year will be the year of Linux on the desktop!", as if saying the same thing over and over will make it true. Sorry, you are not Dorothy and you do not have a pair of red shoes.

We arrive now at the beginning of the end for computing. Where once people could do what they wanted with what they purchased, where getting something done was held above what shade of font to place against a white background, now we must overcome the need to show how clever we are through our brilliance of design which lacks anything resembling ease of use.

Within the next decade we will see how our vain attempts to design the most perfect machine will thwart the progress we so ruefully wish for. As is always the case, the more complicated a machine the more easily its performance can be degraded through simple acts. As the most recent attacks on high profile web sites have shown, thanks to the very technologies we claim will make our lives easier, we are now progressing to an age where we have made it much easier for those who wish to subvert or destroy that which is built.

All because developers and designers are more interested in eye candy than functionality, reliability and simplicity.

Comment Re: Hmm... (Score 1) 229

With automated interstate driving, you could send a truck from NYC to LA in about 1 day.

I have no idea how you think a truck can go across the country in 1 day. Sure, some guys recently did the Cannonball Run in just over a day, but that was at high speed and with plenty of tricks to not be stopped by police.

Google maps shows the time as 41 hours, and that assumes no traffic and traveling the posted speed limit. From my recent perspective of having driven large amounts of miles while on vacation (4,100 this month and 3,600 in May), I can guarantee you need to add a few hours to whatever Google says, especially since these trucks will still be limited to the posted speed limit.

Comment Re:That's exactly how it SHOULD work! (Score 1) 229

You are correct, however the concern is what happens when large parts of the workforce become essentially unemployable. Increased productivity and free trade are good things, but they do create winners and losers. We need to be more mindful of the losers and help them adjust to the changes.

Comment Re:Hardware is so much better? (Score 1) 77

I wish my experience were similar, because I'm also the kind of person who doesn't buy cheap tat and does do his research. I only buy from reputable sources. I typically buy mid-range products at minimum, and often towards the higher end. And I have still encountered dramatically more failures generally but also dramatically more deliberate crippling of products in recent years.

I do agree that there is some element of modern technology simply being more complex and/or working on smaller scales and so inherently having less margin for error. Whether I really need a more vulnerable 4TB hard drive instead of a more robust 1TB drive if I only have a few hundred GB of data to store anyway is a different question, of course, but bigger numbers presumably shift more boxes so that's what everyone supplies.

There is probably also an element of dumb luck in my personal anecdotes. I had an amazing lack of failures for many years, with not so much as a hard drive giving out on me during its working lifetime across many different machines. Statistically, I was well into the long tail for that period, and what I've seen more recently may in part just be reverting to the mean.

But that doesn't excuse things like printers that decide your ink/toner has run out after a fixed number of pages when you can see there's plenty of supply left, or tablets that get security patches for barely a year or two before some OS update designed for newer hardware leaves them barely able to run any more, or cars where diagnosing a warning light on the dash means an expensive visit to a dealer but adding a simple report of the underlying fault code to the already pathetically bad onboard UI would mean owners could fix the problem and the clear the error in five minutes themselves without paying. These kinds of trends are rampant in their respective industries, even among big name brands and high-end products, and they are nothing but customer-hostile cash grabs.

Comment Re:Agreed and Disagreed (Score 1) 651

Medicine is not perfect. Thalidomide did in fact harm people. But unlike quackery, the scientific basis behind medicine caused people to stop using thalidomide on pregnant women. With quackery, they still dilute magic potions 100 years after the concept was debunked. Obviously if I can't convince you that vaccines work, we can't really progress along the line of how they are best implemented. If we're past that point, why even bring it up?

Comment Re:In Soviet Russia (Score 0) 372

1. Very few of the emails are DKIM signed. Check for yourself.
2. Even where DKIM is signed, it relies on the following assumtions.
A: The attacker has not compromised the Google private key
B: The attacker has not compromised DKIM or any of the technologies it relies on
C: The attacker had not compromised the sending account at the time of sending.

The requirement of assumption C is applicable regardless of who the attacker is. Assumptions A and B fail when considering a highly motivated state actor. It should go without saying that everyone here knows that major powers actively work on things like A & B, and C is their bread and butter.

Do I think that a power like, say, Russia, has compromised DKIM itself, or any of the technologies it relies on? Probably not, but I certainly wouldn't put it past them. Do I think that said entity has compromised the Google private key? Probably not, but again, I certainly wouldn't put it past them. I absolutely would not put C past them - but it depends on the importance attached to the topic at hand.

To reiterate: the majority of the leak will be real. But there is an active, demonstrable history this cycle, of the attackers salting the leaks with fakes, using the real content to try to legitimize the fakes, so try not to be naive about all this.

Comment Re:I hear Hillary participated in this study (Score 1) 179

The only check we have on corruption in the executive branch is impeachment, and I am afraid that Hillary will be just as unimpeachable as Obama.

Show one reason President Obama should be impeached. Before you answer, just remember, whatever you are going to say George Bush probably did the exact same thing and you didn't say word one about impeaching him.

And speaking of lies, how about the ones George Bush told about not knowing of an impending attack despite having daily warnings for 8 months? Or the lies about the need to invade and occupy Iraq which cost us nearly 5,000 dead soldiers, and over $3 trillion of our tax dollars poured down the drain, and which has led directly to the rise of Daeash?

Talk about impeachable!

Comment Re:In Soviet Russia (Score 5, Insightful) 372

Right. So let's take a look at how this "excerpt the gotcha" plays into that.

Slashdot writes about Zuckerberg:

a later exchange between Sandberg and Podesta showed that Mark Zuckerberg was looking to get in on the action a bit, and perhaps curry favor with Podesta and the Clinton camp in shaping public policy.

Except that the email from Shelly about Zuckerberg very clearly begins:

Mark is meeting with people to learn more about next steps for his philanthropy and social action and it’s hard to imagine someone better placed or more experienced than you to help him. He’s begun to think about whether/how he might want to shape advocacy efforts to support his philanthropic priorities and is particularly interested in meeting people who could help him understand how to move the needle on the specific public policy issues he cares most about

Likewise on the other email from Cheryl. They mention the "She came over and was magical with my kids" re. Clinton. They don't bother mentioning the reason for Hillary's visit, which can be seen in what she's replying to:

To: Sheryl Sandberg
Subject: At a loss for words

Can't imagine your pain, but know that you are surrounded by people who love you. Mary and I are praying for you, the kids and, in our Catholic way also for Dave.

... and the part before the excerpt:

Thank you – means a lot to me that you reached out.

And I like that you are praying for Dave. I have to believe in heaven now.

This wasn't some buddy-buddy campaign visit, this was a "person I know's husband just died" visit. Likewise, the implication that they're supposed to give here is that they know her because of Facebook. No bothering to mention that the reason that they actually know her is because she was Larry Summers' Chief of Staff during the Clinton administration.

Almost anything can be made to look sinister when you take it completely out of context. Which is the whole purpose of these emails.

Furthermore, do you honestly think you couldn't do the exact same thing by picking through the Trump campaign's internal messaging? Do you have any clue how many people of note a major campaign interacts with, how many people work for them, etc? We know given Trumps record on server security that hacking him would have been a breeze, but miraculously nobody bothered. Why do you think that is?

Lastly: take everything you read with a grain of salt. I know everyone's reaction to statements that emails could have been altered (and scattered amongst real ones) is going to be "You just don't want to discuss them!" No, the reason you should take things with a grain of salt is that the other anti-Clinton hacks this year have done exactly that. Leaks posted by the hackers in different places involved cases where they had involved changing the same file to say different things (such as a donation list where they added a donation from Soros to a Russian democracy activist, but had different values for the donation in different versions of their release), cases where files were dated to after the hack occurred, and cases where file metadata showed the changes they'd been making. Salting real data with fake is something that they've been doing this year, so it'd be naive to think that they're just going to stop doing it now. Come on, even the most die-hard Clinton hater is going to be hard pressed to actually believe that the Clinton Foundation has a directory sitting around literally called "Pay for Play".

Yes, the majority will be real. But don't be naive when viewing them and assume that you can just take everything at face value.

Comment Re: Why even have elections? (Score 2, Insightful) 372


Because we hate Wall Street, let's instead put a billionaire real estate scammer whose entire adult life has been spent trying to kiss up to investors and banks to get loans for his businesses, and who refuses to reveal what banks he's in debt to in power.

Because we oppose the Libyan conflict, let's put in power someone who wants to bomb the children of terrorists, insists that waterboarding isn't harsh enough, wants more nations to have nuclear weapons, wants to build a new generation of nuclear weapons, and spent his first security briefing repeatedly asking why we're bothering to have nuclear weapons if we're not going to use them.

Because we oppose free trade, let's put in power someone who spent his entire career - up until he decided to rebrand himself as a populist for this election - championing free trade, built his empire on dumped steel and undocumented workers, and - until it was shut down as a scam - championed the benefits of outsourcing on his Trump University page.

I'm not even sure where you're getting that Clinton has been big "drill baby drill" champion, but Trump has literally called for "drill baby drill" in speeches, including lifting all federal restrictions on offshore drilling and elimination of the EPA.

So if you want to cut off your nose to spite your face, go right ahead, but please understand why many people will not be joining at you.

And if your argument is "I'm not supporting either of them" - if you don't vote for one, you're supporting the other. Not to the degree of voting directly for the other, but you're still supporting them. Because that's the way the US electoral system works.

Comment Re:So says every SJW attacking Peter Thiel (Score 1) 372

You realize why, right? Those people think it's wrong to give Trump money.

I think Peter Thiel is an asshole, and I'm happy to give any company shit that employs him or takes money from him or helps him in any way. That's my right. Your right is to think the same about Zukerberg. Don't use Facebook. Don't give him or any company he has an interest in any money directly or indirectly. That's completely fine by me.

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