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Comment I wish Excel had custom data types (Score 1) 319

And not just data formatting.

It would be nice to be able to define a data type and some rules and limits of progression.

I could see the value in defining an arbitrary data type that was comprised of a fixed set ("Apples", "Pears", "Oranges", "Bananas") with no progression (ie, no set member has precedence or rank) or perhaps some with progression or rank (fetus, infant, toddler, child, adolescent, adult, senior). Cells formatted as belonging to a data type would only accept those values as valid entries, and sorting would apply the set's rules of simple progression if there were any.

It might help for other numeric-based data types, such as IP addresses, where it would be helpful to define rules of progression around some kind of delimiter. If they could only add one new data type, I wish it was IP addresses.

There's probably complex ways of doing this with macro/scripting, but, they end up being complex and one of the main reasons so many people use Excel because it makes it trivial to manage lists. Trivial tasks that get made complex end up being done sloppy.

Comment Re:modus operandi doesnt seem to make any sense. (Score 2) 61

Or maybe russian hackers understand that US Media outlets actively collaborate and conspire with political campaigns during election seasons to control and direct dissent within the party and defuse potential scandalous or controversial events in an effort to ensure a positive return on their future investment.

I'd say that's just too conspiratorial. The Russians probably realize that the Times' editorial bias favors Clinton. The Russians aren't trying to aid Trump or necessarily defeat Clinton. What they probably want is to minimize Clinton's ability to command some kind of "mandate" sized victory and maintain the fractured domestic political structure.

A non-landslide victory by Clinton will be met with at least as much if not more obstructionism by Republicans and a level of continued division in the public. Distract and divide benefits the Russians because it keeps whoever runs the US from having the political capital to make bold steps.

Comment Re:When everything you do (Score 1) 534

the fact that mbox is a terrible format for storing email with concurrent read/write access

And that's the weakness of an uncoordinated do one thing model. You're stuck with the common denominator of the uncoordinated legacy component of the system.

If you want to database the email, you break everything but MTAs. You need delivery agents and access daemons and clients that work with the database format.

Comment So LTE is the sweet spot for profits? (Score 1) 50

Fast enough that it's highly usable for more than mobile "data light", so it has inherent value to data consumers, allowing both the carriers to charge for it and for consumers to consume it fast enough that they will pay high fees for large consumption tiers, fat overages when they exhaust their allocation or both.

If 5G pans out anything like the hype, carriers will have to change their pricing strategies. As most Slashdot posters note, you'd burn through current allocations ridiculously fast.

But as much as people like data, there's also a limit as to how much they will consume. I wonder if AT&T is worried that the pricing changes likely necessary with 5G speeds will cross some line on a chart that causes data to be less profitable. A lot of people will end up staying within their plan or find lower end plans usable.

Comment Re: Stupid politicians (Score 2) 442

I'd love to know how this was enforced or failed to be enforced.

I can see something like:

"Clause 69: The Telecommunications Widget Freedom Tax may not be identified or listed as a line item on any telecommunications bill."

Telecom Bill: Government Freedom Tax For Widgets...$1.97

Regulator: You can't list that on the bill.

Telco: We don't list the tax by its actual name, just a tax of a similar sounding name. Oh, and First Amendment protects our speech to our customers.

Comment Branding and image are not the problem (Score 4, Insightful) 224

Rebranding and image polishing are undertaken only when a company knows that things aren't going too well for them. Many Firefox users would probably agree with that, at least the technical users know it all too clearly.

However, the problems are not caused by the brand being unsavoury or the image tarnished. The brand and image are fine. Where problems have appeared it is because Mozilla developers have been forcing unwanted change on their users, forcing them continually to find remedial fixes to preserve friendly and productive old functionality. Browsers are not kettles, people don't want a completely different look each year.

The fact that Mozilla is now undertaking brand and image refurbishment clearly indicates the nature of the problem. The immense and unbridled ego of Firefox developers has put them in complete denial that Mozilla's problems are caused by them and them alone, and that has left their management with only one alternative, to play with branding and image.

It will achieve nothing of substance.

Comment Re:50 Shades of USB? (Score 1) 55

It's too bad the USB consortium can't get their marketing speak right.

As I understand it, what we think of USB 3 is really USB 3.1 gen 1. Gen 2 adds 10 Gbits/sec as the maximum speed.

It's too bad they're marketing speed is so brain damaged, the widespread USB 3 has managed to produce useful high speeds with negligible CPU overhead.

Getting 10 Gbits/sec out that port is pretty decent, and I wish there was better vendor support for devices traditionally connected via SAS for use of 3.1 gen 2 ports.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman