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Comment But I have a routine . . . (Score 1) 385

Everyone gets used to doing things a certain way, and gets irritated when things are improved.

An example among data-entry types is being able to use keyboard shortcuts vs having to use a mouse, It slows them down to have to use a mouse.

Another is the Microsoft Ribbon, where people had the old menu system totally memorized, and suddenly couldn't find anything because it had been "improved" and "re-arranged for you convenience". Instead of making it an option that you could toggle, it was a mandatory upgrade.

This is totally irritating, especially when the new version has improvements that are geared to the enterprise, or software profit margins. I have talked to too many people who would routinely tell me this. This is a minor point of contention.

I still have an old computer that works just fine thank you, and run an old word-processor without a lot of this extra fluff. Heck, George R. Martin uses an old dos word processor because it is more convenient for him.

In this context, I am reminded of the old video about choices in spaghetti sauce. turns out, that in the world of spaghetti sauce, there is no one perfect spaghetti sauce, despite decades of advertising to the contrary. The truth is that there are many perfect spaghetti sauces (chunky, vegetable, extra spicy, etc) and you get more sales by catering to the individual tastes of people. Which is why we now have multiple varieties of sauces, etc on the shelves these days.

You can watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Large companies like MIcrosoft are still in pursuit of "the perfect software" or "the perfect user interface" when they should give users options and choices when it comes to user interfaces and performance behavior. There is no one best interface, etc. just like there is not one best spaghetti sauce. While there should be an update for security reasons, etc. what does that have to do with the sort of an interface a person likes?

Similarly, there can be genuine product improvements when you do things a certain way, but also it is merely the pursuit of the cool and novel vs actual improvement. I upgrade systems because I need a certain functionality, and sometimes it is a royal pain when I cannot

I am a constant crank about software as a service. Especially if I can do what I need and keep a system running well for many many years, so that it is cheaper than paying a yearly fee.

Comment People have workflows. (Score 4, Informative) 385

They invest the time and the learning to master a workflow. They expect a payoff from this investment in their ability to use these workflows to achieve other ends. When you mess with a workflow, you negate that investment. They have to spend time learning and mastering a workflow all over again before they can apply it toward their actual goals.

Nobody uses software "to be using software" or "for a good experience." They use it to get things done. If they have to spend two weeks mastering a new workflow then your improvements had better deliver a multiple of that value in return, or they're going to come back with "that's cool, but it would trip me up for all of my muscle and click memory to be invalidated."

People aren't averse to improvements. They're averse to evolutionary improvements that cost more to the user in practice (time invested and mistakes avoided) than they deliver on the other end. "Small tweaks" often fall into this category. Some dev moves a button to a more "logical" placement and for the next two weeks, the users lose five or ten seconds every single time they need to use it because their absent minded clicking—absent-minded because they're focusing on what they're really trying to accomplish, not on 'using the software'—keeps ending up in the wrong place vs. what they're accustomed to.

Dev says "BUT IT'S BETTER." User experience is actually that of being irritated and not getting things done as efficiently as usual, so their response is "IN PRACTICE, IN THE CURRENT CONTEXT OF MY LIFE, NO IT'S NOT."

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

Comment The problem with your explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 307

The problem with your explanation is that it's fact-based, and stands on good science. This is the post-truth era. Thus, the counter to your argument will be:

  • Evidence for a human cause of erosion is thin and controversial, and is being pushed by loony liberals.
  • We need those oil and shipping jobs, and jobs building and maintaining levees, not more regulation that stifles them!
  • Cause and effect is not a real thing, except for one cause, God is behind everything.
  • This is part of God's plan for us. The end time is coming, and when the Rapture arrives it will not matter that Louisiana's coast has eroded. Cease your pursuit of unholy science and pray to save your soul!

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 338

so far hasn't done anything irreversible.

I think the first victims have been farmers who can't bring in their crops. Just the people who voted for him in California's central valley and wherever else we depend on guest workers. I don't see citizens lining up to pick those crops. The small family farmers, what's left of them, will feel this worse, the large corporate ones have the lawyers necessary to help them break the rules and truck people in from South of the border.

The second group of victims will be the ones who need health care that doesn't come from a big company. It's a lot more difficult to start a small business when there is no affordable way to get health care. And that is the case for my own small business - I'd be in bad shape if my wife left the University. I think that's the real goal - to keep people from leaving employment in larger companies and going off on their own.

Comment Re:So... (Score 4, Interesting) 338

Donald Trump, unfortunately, satisfies a common desire among the populance to right things by means that won't actually right them. It's a desire to rid Washington of inaction by cleaning it out of the current folks who don't seem to get anything done: and then you find that the things they were working on are harder than you understood. It's the feeling that you can get things going right by having a manager who lights a fire under the responsible people: just the way that bank managers pressured employees to increase revenue or be fired until those employees started opening accounts fraudulently for customers who hadn't asked for them.

What I am having a hard time with is how our country gets back out of this. I fear Humpty has had such a great fall that there is no peaceful recovery.

Comment Re:Free still means freedom to some of us (Score 1) 237

I worded my original post very carefully so that I wasn't saying what the word "free" does or does not mean, or should mean, or what other people should think, or anything like that. I'm not sure people are looking at my actual wording - I think they are reading something extra into what I said that isn't there.

Comment Re:Free still means freedom to some of us (Score 1) 237

I found this headline confusing, because when I started out here on Slashdot many of us used "free" to mean "available under a license that preserves your freedom to view source code, modify, and redistribute for any purpose" rather than merely "gratis."

Well, no. Free still means both gratis and libre. When the word appears at the beginning of a sentence like that, it's difficult to tell which meaning is intended, because the opportunity to capitalize it for emphasis vanishes. You don't get to define the word for the world, and it would be stupid if we were to use the word so differently from everyone else. That would isolate us and make us even less relatable.

"Free Software" means what you want free to mean, but only among nerds. "Free" can mean a lot of things. One of them is libre, and you will find very few takers for changing that, because it would be dumb.

Well, I didn't argue that the word has only one correct definition, and I certainly agree that many of us including myself aren't very relatable, and those of us who use/used "free" to mean "libre" are certainly less so.

Everything I said is a statement of fact: some, but not all of us, back in the day used to use "free software" to mean something specific, and I got confused when I saw this headline because I briefly thought that's what it meant. Times sure have changed here if I'm the only one that's true for, and that gives me a bit of nostalgia for Slashdot back in the day, warts and unrelatable nerds and all.

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