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Comment Re:Mobile Web (Score 1) 73

It wasn't just designers. Ad companies like Google were big culprits in subverting this vision. If your content is delivered in a structured form, then it's trivial for the receiver to just not display the bits that are adverts. On the other hand, if you get a big glob of executable code that produces some output then it's a lot harder to identify which bits are real content and which are cruft.

Comment Re:Jobs is dead (Score 1) 333

No one objects to the MacBook having a USB-C port. People object to it not having any other ports, which means that you need a dongle for basically anything. Even having two USB-C ports (one for power, one for other stuff) would have been a big improvement. The other annoyance is that no one - not even Apple - yet sells a monitor that connects with a single USB-C cable, provides power to the laptop and exposes USB, GigE and maybe eSATA ports.

Comment Re:Correction (Score 1) 164

It doesn't matter. I'm not sure why this is news, because Facebook has sold a service for quite a few years based on this. They know which constituency each of their users live in (even if you don't provide a real address, the IP that you connect from most frequently and the location of your phone if you install their app give them a good idea). They have a good hit rate for identifying the undecided voters and, importantly, what issues they consider important. They will sell parties the ability to run ads targeted at people in a particular constituency based on the issues that they find important. If you pay more, they will even sell you the names, addresses, and key issues for these voters so that you can send people around to canvas, briefed with exactly the right talking points.

It doesn't matter that Facebook has a few outliers like yourself, they still have enough information to have a disproportionate amount of influence on the political process.

Comment Re:Not strictly Excel's fault (Score 1) 229

"I can change the column when/if I need to"

Actually, I have major problems trying to convert text to a number format once it's in the spreadsheet program. (I use LibreOffice, but I assume Excel functionality is the same.) If I take a column that's text-formatted, and click Format > Cell > Number, then all of the numeric stuff gets a single quote prefixed, sabotaging the attempt to treat it as a number. Your proposal would generate a massive user outcry for that and other reasons.

Comment Re:It was user error, not a spreadsheet problem .. (Score 5, Insightful) 229

It could rather be a conversion error. For example, if you have the original in a CSV file (possibly output from one program) where strings have no lead colon, and then load into Excel or LibreOffice, it will (by default) turn everything it can into a numeric format. One needs to be aware of that and ask that the column be converted to text -- which is easy to overlook if you have a column that's mostly non-ambiguous, but somewhere far below is a single date-like name.

I've gotten hit by this many times with CSVs coming out of our school's learning management system, with long numeric student IDs that get turned into scientific notation in the spreadsheet application. In some sense that's easier to catch, because it will hit a whole column of data at once; but even so it's distressing how often I need to backtrack to resolve that.

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