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Comment Re: Probably should have focused more (Score 2) 319

But the two things - Eich's departure and aping Chrome - are likely related and it's probably no coincidence that their market share fell away at the same time.

When the entire executive of a business is focussed on internal politics, the business quickly becomes rudderless. When the outcome is the loss of an inspirational leader, the period of naval gazing is even more damaging. Combine that with serious annoying a proportion of your previously loyal customer base and your doom is sealed.

Politics and business rarely mix very well.

Comment Re: Probably should have focused more (Score 2) 319

I personally know several people who switched from Firefox as their main browser as a result of the 'sacking'. It's interesting that a long- term inflection occurred at that point in the Firefox adoption curve. I'm sure that'a not the only factor in Mozilla's decline, but it surely can't have helped.

Unsurprisingly, when I posted that observation on a few sites, I was downvoted into oblivion. It's hard to hear properly when your fingers are in your ears!

Comment Re: Ribbon...?!?!?! (Score 4, Informative) 224

People still complain about this? Seriously, you get used to it, and its not nearly as horrible as slashtards keeping going on about. You going to make fun of systemd next? How about throwing around an M$ insult?

I can understand the principles of the ribbon, but the implementation in MS Office is dreadful. The icons shown on the ribbon include dozens of things that no normal user ever uses, while things that are used every couple of minutes are hidden away in pop-up modal dialogue boxes. Most of the cell formatting functionality in Excel can't be accessed through the ribbon, for example, even though almost all users need to prettify or format their spreadsheets. Other crazy omissions include one-click icons to email the document, to export to pdf or to save the file to a new folder.

The other problem with the ribbon is discoverability. I use Excel most days, but I regularly need to use google to help me find functionality that I use infrequently. The ribbon would be much more effective if it had a built-in search facility.

Comment Re: Multicore for spreadsheets..? (Score 4, Insightful) 224

It's easy to sneer at big spreadsheets but, if you used them yourself, you'd realise that sometimes they really are the best tool for the job. If you were to try building flexible financial forecasts across a group of companies with fast-changing assumptions and a wide range of scenarios, you'd understand what I mean.

But there are other legitimate reasons for big spreadsheets. We have complex financial models that are coded in C# for production use but which also exist in spreadsheets for the purposes of documentation and independent model validation. Some models would take an age to refresh on a single core machine, which would seriously undermine our ability to test the production systems. How else would you suggest that we test the end to end results coming out of C#?

Comment Re:You couldn't make enough (Score 1) 406

Strangely, I know no-one with an Apple watch but I know many people with Garmin watches and I'm personally eagerly awaiting the launch of the new Garmin Fenix 5. Of course, my friends are not representative of the world's population. My experience doesn't mean that no-one buys Apple watches or that Garmin is about to take over the world, but it does suggest that there is a strong market for non-Apple devices in certain niches and the claim that there is no Smartwatch segment, just an Apple Watch segment, is silly.

Garmin users won't switch to Apple any time soon: they want a specialist device that targets their lifestyle in the same way that no serious cyclist would ever use an iPhone as a bike computer. Sometimes the compromises associated with a general-purpose device are just too great.

Comment Re:eating less (Score 1, Interesting) 256

You're missing the point. This is about explaining why the same amount of food (or energy) intake affects people differently. Research into metabolic syndrome has shown that there is no simple relation: eat less -> lose weight -> get healthy. Once you know what influences weight gain or loss, given a certain amount of food intake you can adjust for other parameters.

Absolute nonsense. From the Sunday Morning Herald summary (I don't have a Nature subscription):

They found that the gut microbiomes of the mice who lost weight were altered, and that these changes remained in place for many months and contributed to rapid and excessive weight gain if the mice were given high-fat diets again.

So the mice gained weight when they were fed a crap diet. And, quelle surprise, when human porkers give up their short-lived attempts to stick to a Mediterranean diet and shove their noses back in the McDonald's trough, they pile back on the pounds.

Neither article says that the mice had a calorie-controlled diet. It seem far more likely that the gut microbiome changes have an impact on appetite.

Comment Re:Interesting, Dave Chappelle. (Score 1) 552

In the UK, several Labour politicians have been embarrassed by phone footage of speeches given to groups of far left activists. For example, the shadow chancellor was recently revealed as celebrating the Great Recession in 2008 as something that he had been waiting years for in his fight to overthrow capitalism. And phone footage of Momentum meetings has shown activists scheming to have moderate politicians deselected (essentially removed from office for those not familiar with UK politics). There has definitely been a backlash in the polls against these revelations.

None of which is true.

It's all true.

The Momentum footage appeared on a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary. I've viewed it myself. Similar evidence was shown on a BBC1 Panorama report. Again, I've viewed it myself. The footage of the shadow chancellor was highlighted by the Daily Telegraph and it's also on YouTube. Once more, I've viewed it myself.

Your denial of reality demonstrates why video evidence is so important if the public is to know the truth.

Comment Re:Interesting, Dave Chappelle. (Score 1) 552

to make racially insensitive remarks or to heap insults on some random basket of deplorables with no threat of being exposed during his next election campaign.

You comment as if such things would adversely affect a politician's election campaign. That doesn't seem to always be the case.

I'm not in the US, but my understanding from afar is that Hillary's 'deplorables' gaffe was accompanied by a measurable swing toward Trump. Then Trump's own gaffes come to prominence...

In the UK, several Labour politicians have been embarrassed by phone footage of speeches given to groups of far left activists. For example, the shadow chancellor was recently revealed as celebrating the Great Recession in 2008 as something that he had been waiting years for in his fight to overthrow capitalism. And phone footage of Momentum meetings has shown activists scheming to have moderate politicians deselected (essentially removed from office for those not familiar with UK politics). There has definitely been a backlash in the polls against these revelations.

So, yes, election campaigns can definitely be affected by mobile phone footage.

Comment Re:Interesting, Dave Chappelle. (Score 4, Interesting) 552

One great benefit of the smartphone era is that we can easily find out when two-faced, dissembling politicians attempt to say things in private lectures that conflict with their publicly stated policy positions.

So let's imagine a typical fundraising dinner in Dave Chappelle's dystopian future. A keynote speech will be given by a prominent politician, and a comedian will lighten the mood with a short gig between dessert and the auction. The comedian insists that his intellectual property is protected by Yondr, so the politician is free to promise unpublicised tax-breaks for his loyal supporters, to make racially insensitive remarks or to heap insults on some random basket of deplorables with no threat of being exposed during his next election campaign.

I can imagine a world where no self-respecting politician will give a speech without the comfort of an accompanying comedian who conveniently insists on 'protection'. This is not good for democracy.

Comment Re: Star Office (Score 3, Informative) 103

Has libreoffice fixed the slow load times?

Just tested: 1 second for LibreOffice Writer cold (ie first time opened since turning on laptop). Hardware: Macbook Retine Pro 13"; Software: Ubuntu Gnome with LibreOffice 5.1.4.2 installed directly from repositories. Subsequent starts of LibreOffice are effectively instantaneous.

Based on experience with my rather more powerful work laptop, that's considerably faster than MS Office.

Comment Re:Remember, it's because people aren't marrying (Score 1, Troll) 531

...harmless urges...

At the risk of sounding like a far-out social conservative crossed with a radical feminist, do you have any evidence to support your assertion that viewing porn satisfies a 'harmless urge'?

It is widely claimed that the subjects of pornography are typically vulnerable girls, and that the profits pass largely into the hands of powerful middle-men. It is also widely claimed that porn stars often struggle to maintain a happy family life off-screen, and that their economic prospects are bleak once their breasts begin to sag or they suffer scarring from a caesarian section. Some people claim that porn stars are discouraged from using condoms and are particularly likely to suffer unwanted pregnancies or life-threatening sexually transmitted disease.

I don't know if these claims are true, although they certainly sound plausible. If they are true, viewing pornography is no more a harmless urge than the 'harmless' urge once felt by cotton farmers to maximise their profits through the purchase of slaves.

Unfortunately, simply asserting that something is 'harmless' doesn't actually make it so. It is entirely plausible that your appetite for the consumption of porn leads to human misery and disease at the other end of an https connectiion.

Comment Viewers hate political correctness (Score 4, Insightful) 251

I never watch Top Gear. It's not my kind of thing. But I always had a sneaking admiration for the ability of Jeremy Clarkson, the wildly popular former host, to retain his job whilst thumbing his nose at everything the politically correct thought-police hold dear. When they finally find an excuse to sack Clarkson, the cheering and whooping from Broadcasting House could be heard all over the British Isles.

I always imagined that a politically correct replacement show would tank badly with its core demographic of non-metropolitan blokes. Viewers hate being told what to think, and I'm delighted to see they've rebelled in huge numbers.

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