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* Posts by a_yank_lurker

3054 posts • joined 16 Nov 2013

They say software will eat the world. Here are some software bugs that took a stab at it

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Quality of design

My observation as code wrangler is the more time spent on design, thinking, and talking to users up front is well spent. Once you have a sound idea of where to begin the actual coding is often fairly straightforward. But what is often done is dump a vague 'design' document on top the programming team and isolate the team from the actual users. So you have team that does not understand the problem guessing what mismanagement wants without any input from users. A recipe for complete disaster.

IBM is trying to throttle my age-discrimination lawsuit – axed ace cloud salesman

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Nope

I've Been Moved is run by PHBs who fail to realize you need a mix of people with varying levels of experience. The idea is the more experienced mentor often informally the young'ens. When the greyhairs do leave, the young'ens are now well trained and can take over without missing a beat.

In my career, I have worked in a number of different industries in a number of different capacities. What I have noticed is no matter the position it takes a couple years or so for a new person to become fully competent at the position. Mostly because they do not know in which closet something is hidden or fully understand why something was done. This takes time to grasp. Experience will help come to speed a little more quickly as you probably have a better grasp of what is going than some PFY in their first job.

Equifax how-it-was-mega-hacked damning dossier lands, in all of its infuriating glory

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@sanmigueelbeer - While the incompetent failures on the bench are probably too stupid to grasp that a massive screw up this big is partially caused by mid and senior mismanagement not making IT security a priority. Compound this with mistakes by the grunts and you can have a perfect storm brewing. While a wrongful dismissal should be slam-dunk I am not so confident that the shyster in robes cares about justice and is capable of understanding how this really occurred.

Microsoft to rule the biz chat roost – survey

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Invalid numbers

By bundling Skype with Orifice Slurp automatically gains enterprise users. Given most enterprises are Slurp shops this gives a massive installed user base at the enterprise level. Any other competitor has to overcome the (illegal?) bundling, internal inertia, and PHBs believing all of Slurp's lies. A tall order even for someone with deep pockets.

Oracle takes its gripes about Pentagon's JEDI contract to federal court

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Conflicted

One of Leisure Suit Larry's complaints is vendor lock-in. No matter how much you try to avoid lock-in you will have some degree of lock-in. Whether is proprietary products with proprietary file formats, a query languages with non-standard syntax and extensions (looking at you Larry, you lying scumbag), familiarity with the UI, or something else you end up with a degree lock-in with any product. Whether DOD selects AWS, Azure, or someone else they will have some degree of lock-in even with Larry's Minions.

The main advantage with a sole source cloud contract is to have one point of contact instead of many possibly incompatible systems in use. One way to drive up the costs of a system is to have parts from many vendors with no one have the responsibility to make it all work. You saw with the Obamacare rollout, no one vendor had the authority to force the subvendors in line, so you ended up a morass of non-functioning, incompetently designed and written systems that did not work together. Note of the chief offenders was Larry's Minions.

US Homeland Security installs AI cameras at the White House, Google tries to make translation less sexist

a_yank_lurker
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Translation and Artificial Idiocy

The basic flaw with a translation algorithm is languages are highly idiomatic and context sensitive. It is difficult enough for a skilled human translator to make a readable, accurate, idiomatically correct translation. So to think artificial idiocy can do anything but a haphazard, mediocre translation is fool's errand.

Awkward... Revealed Facebook emails show plans for data slurping, selling access to addicts' info, crafty PR spinning

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@ASAC - I suspect there was more of a 'nod, nod, wink, wink' to this whole affair. The documents were conveniently with a C-suite who could claim he needed to review them while on the road in a foreign country. Said foreign country issued a warrant to get those documents as they wanted them to. Said person coughs up the documents rather willingly. The only issue is how did said foreign country know the documents were in the country unless someone made sure they knew.

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Riddle me this?

The hype behind targeted advertising ignores context. It also ignores that individuals that are seemingly identical are not in fact identical. Plus if the ad is based on a search or previous purchase you need to know the context of the purchase. Was the dog toy a gift to friend who has a dog or do I own a dog? In my case it would be a gift. Or was the purchase or search done for someone else? Again context is key. In my case, cat food advertising is waste as my cats are very fussy eaters and will only eat certain brands and flavors. Again context is key, what is the underlying reason for the purchase decisions.

The goal of advertising is brand and product awareness. So when one is looking for that type of product one is aware of the brand when they see it. Thus at given moment most advertising buys are 'wasted' because they will not lead to an immediate sale even 'targeted' advertising.

a_yank_lurker
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End Run

This has the feel of an end run around the feral courts and their venality. If you have a couple of functioning braincells you have long suspect Suckerberg and merchants of sleaze had ethics that would make a mafioso puke in disgust. Thanks to the end run we know the suspicion is actually fact.

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

a_yank_lurker
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Re: WebAssembly & Blazer

Looking at HTML5test.com, most of the major browsers are reasonably compliant, with Imbecile Explorer being the a serious laggard. Edge is competitive with Firefox and better than Safari and worse than Chrome. So for generic website, you can probably ignore the deficiencies of Edge as you are likely to use Safari as your baseline for feature support since Imbecile Explorer is being slowly exterminated by Slurp.

The problems with Edge had nothing to do with standards support, it is quite reasonable but with how badly it was rushed out. This gave it a noticeable alphaish feel to users which was a major turn off. It never recovered. Its guilt by association with the t*rd Imbecile Explorer also meant that it had to be a grand slam from day one or it will in trouble.

a_yank_lurker
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Re: And who got fired for taking all the wrong decisions?

"Windows 11 will be based on 7 UI?" Slurp might really surprise us now that their flagship browser will be Slurpped up Chromium; they might announce Bloat11 will be based on Linux. Now that would be a complete surrender.

As odd as that sounds there might a solid business reason behind it. As long as one can run W32 software on it users will not care what the underlying code is. Systems admins will care as they will need to learn how to administer a registry-less system. Developers fundamentally will not care as long as they get code to run on it. If it is based on a common distro family, they could compile their code for either the distro base or W32. And Slurp will spend a lot less money on the OS if they base W11 off Debian for example but they will still supply "Windows" for the masses and the PHBs.

I doubt my conjecture will occur but consider what really is the practical definition of Bloat for a user. It is an OS the runs Bloat programs seemingly natively. What is done under the hood is not important to them.

Identity stolen because of the Marriott breach? Come and claim your new passport

a_yank_lurker
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Burden of Proof

What level of proof does one need to shake money out of these slimes. The fact they lost critical customer data should be enough for them to make the customers whole. I smell a nasty lawsuit brewing. Also, does the GPDR have any sway on this breach (asking out of genuine ignorance)?

Incoming! Microsoft unleashes more fixes for Windows 10 October 2018 Update

a_yank_lurker
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IaaS - Incompetence as a Service

FCC slammed for 'arbitrary and reckless' plan to change how text messages are regulated

a_yank_lurker
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After a few years

I suspect this dimbulbery will end up being tied up in the feral courts for many years no matter what the original stupidity is. Too much is at stake and the Native Criminal Class (aka Congress) is more interested in playing tit-for-tat games than doing what they are supposed do to fix the problem.

GOPwned: Republicans fall victim to email hack

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The Russians are Coming!!!

I wonder if the various incompetents in the US media will realize Ivan is an equal opportunity hacker; they will hack anybody they think is useful. Just that the donkeys are slightly more incompetent than the elephants means the donkeys get hit first.

Google internal revolt grows as search-engine Spartacuses prepare strike over China

a_yank_lurker
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Re: No matter what happens

One problem for Google and web services in general is there is a finite limit to the number of users you can have (world population caps that). At some point growth will level out. Another constraint is every user will only spend a few hours at most a day on the web; thus out of 24 hrs/person realistically you might have 3 hrs/day/person doing something on the web (number for illustration only).

OneDrive Skype integration goes live aaand... OneDrive falls over in Europe

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Lan technology FTW

Cloudy solutions really only make sense for a limited range of cases. For most including individuals a local drive with an intelligent backup plan is the best option. Cloud usage would be for convenience; e.g. sharing files and backing up critical files for most. Cloudy vendor goes TITSUP and you are toast if you do not have a local copy of your files and programs.

See this, Google? Microsoft happy to take a half-billion in sweet, sweet US military money to 'increase lethality'

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Location

Actually both areas are riddle with snowflakes though one of Boeing's major plants in is the Seattle area. I think one key difference is Slurp has a long term relationship with governments dating back decades that Chocolate Factory lacks.

Healthcare billing biz AccuDoc 'fesses up to breach that blabbed 2.65m people's data

a_yank_lurker
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Re: SQL Injection

Too often the breach is caused by not fixing a know problem such as SQL injection or by not patching the code because it is too inconvenient. So a breach is inevitable when a black hat stumbles across them and given some the problems just about barely breathing script kiddie could hack some of these outfits.

What now, Larry? AWS boss insists Amazon will have dumped Oracle database by end of 2019

a_yank_lurker
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Re: In Ten Years Oracle Will Be Wanged...

I do not know if AWS will on balance cost any IT jobs overall but they could put a serious hurt on outfits like Slurp and Leisure Larry and his Minions. Too many IT companies are not used to being in mature businesses like retail and Amazon is basically a retailer. Retail is a more brutal business as the margins are thinner, cost control is much more critical, and customer loyalty is vastly more important. IT by comparison is a stroll in the park by comparison. One key difference is in retail you need many smallish sales to repeat customers everyday to stay in business and generally you customers have multiple options readily available. And you customers are somewhat price sensitive.

It's a patch bonanza as Microsoft showers its OS platforms with update love

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Let's be fair to MS (thought experiment)

"Issues ensure that you remain paranoid enough to stay on contract." - What if one says enough and goes out to find a stabler OS? That would point to a marketing failure.

US told to quit sharing data with human rights-violating surveillance regime. Which one, you ask? That'd be the UK

a_yank_lurker
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Interesting

I noticed part of the complaint was the ability to side step the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution. What the real concern is not specifically the UK but that allowing another country to snoop can be a way to avoid the US Bill of Rights by the Feral DO(In)J and state level counterparts. Look what they found and they were so nice to tell us about it (wink, wink, nod, nod) with no US warrant involved. The end run is a foreign country could 'investigate' someone as the nudging of a dirty prosecutor come up with something that could be used as the basis of charges or search warrants. All this when the dirtbag had real evidence to pursue someone and would not normally get a warrant from the court of any type.

IBM's Ginni Rometty snipes, er, someone for being irresponsible with data, haven't a clue who

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@FozzyBear - Stirring governments to act is never a good idea. When they are stirred they will act and often it will be sledge hammer never a scalpel. I have little sympathy for many in the tech sector as they are forcing governmental action by their complete lack of ethics. It seems like Suckerberg, et. al. do not understand ethics is much broader than what is technically legal. An ethical person realizes often the law does cover an area but one should behave with clear, personal idea of right and wrong at all times. There will be gray areas that are rather murky at times but an ethical person will try find a good solution not a convenient one.

Office 365 Exchange enjoys a less than manic Monday. Users? Not so much

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Re: When....?

The answer is when a major client sues for breach of contract with some eye-watering damages that is a certainty to win. An alternate scenario is when a couple of major clients like the EU governments ditch Bloat and associated cruft very loudly and noisily. If it is a government, they start mandating that all office type documents be ODF formats only. Until then, nothing will happen.

Microsoft suffers the Tuesday shakes as Exchange Online continues to be wobbly for UK users

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Cloudy Failure

Slurp appears to a slow motion failure on many fronts. An OS that is a nightmare, cloudy services that seem to spend about much time down as up, and no clue about user needs. Unless you are wedded to Slurp way not divorce them and find a better suitor.

Pasta-covered cat leads to kid night operator taking apart the mainframe

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Sorry.

Mine's in the window.

'Cuddly' German chat app slacking on hashing given a good whacking under GDPR: €20k fine

a_yank_lurker
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@Korev - I think the fine is reasonable as Knuddels apparently copped a mea culpa and fixed the problem (the real intent here). The idea of having a massive fine available is for the Zuckerbergs of the world who did not make dumb mistake but don't care about protecting user data. For the dumb mistakes that are fixed, a mild fine for being stupid. For the Zuckerbergs, bankrupt the bastards.

Groundhog Day comes early as Intel Display Drivers give Windows 10 the silent treatment

a_yank_lurker
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Re: MS : From bad to worse to pathetic

This will only happen when one of the nasties hammers an major company. This would need to be a nasty that would not be caught by alpha/beta testers aka home users. This is a scenario that will almost certainly happen as alpha testers will not be testing most enterprise features. When it does watch for a nasty, noisy lawsuit that will be widely covered.

Laptop search unravels scheme to fake death for insurance cash

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Mail fraud?

In the US, it is illegal to use the mail or phone in the commission of a crime. Mail fraud is automatically a feral level crime as it involves abusing the USPO. I believe wire fraud is also feral level. Basically these laws are really intended to nail crime syndicates on feral level charges but the ferals will use them on anybody. The mail and wire fraud occurred because the mail/wire were used to send the false information to the home office and send the money to the 'widow'. What crimes were committed in Moldava are not clear but the Ferals have something to nail them with.

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@jmch - You would need to change the metadata of the photo to have consistent info with that fights the story. Not necessarily hard to do but something one needs to be alert to and make sure all the photos in the group are consistent, more of a pain than many realize. All it would take is a semi-bright spark to realize the metadata is inconsistent to start playing 20 questions with them. Looking at my photos, the camera model, timestamp, camera settings, and location (latitude & longitude) are recorded. Location may not be available depending on the settings used with the camera.

Black Friday? Yes, tech vendors might be feeling a bit glum looking at numbers for the UK

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Yet to be convinced black Friday makes sense...

As I write this, it is Thanksgiving in the US. A holiday the vast majority have off with pay and those that are working often either get a extra money and possibly reduced hours. Many will also have Friday off as a holiday (4 day weekend automatically) or will take a vacation day tomorrow. So many will be off tomorrow also. So tomorrow (Friday) is a good day for sales as most will have the day off and can shop.

In the US the traditional start to the Christmas season is the Friday after Thanksgiving. For sometime retailers have been kicking off the holiday season with special sales on Friday. It is called 'Black Friday' according to lore because many retailers need the holiday sales to have a profitable year (hence 'in the black'). It is traditional in the US for Christmas decorations to go up after Thanksgiving.

Trying to import holiday practices such as Black Friday ignores the US context where it does make sense (sort of at least) over here. It would be like having the US observe Boxing Day because it is done in Europe when the US tradition so far ignores it completely.

Reverse Ferret! Forget what we told you – the iPad isn't really for work

a_yank_lurker
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Clueless Again

Too many very dimbulbs try to say the desktop and laptop are dead because some activities can be offloaded on to other devices. Thus, in their non-functioning brains, all activities can be offloaded on to these devices. This ignores that many of these activities have difficult to meet except requirements that are met by a desktop or laptop. Also, many of the 'pundits' see the sales decline as evidence of the death of PCs when this this more likely caused by the nature or a mature market and the fact that aging kit is still viable for most activities.

Oracle sued by app sales rep: I made tens of millions for Larry, then fired for being neither young nor male – claim

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More than liking she was in the upper part of the group given her experience for total sales and being on plan. I would have expected a couple of the younger, party animal men to be on the bottom (deserving to be fired) not a couple of middle aged women. (I am a male btw). Something smell rotten.

a_yank_lurker
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@AC I think you are not thinking low enough for the minions of Larry.

LastPass? More like lost pass. Or where the fsck has it gone pass. Five-hour outage drives netizens bonkers

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Keepass

Having a local file that is not in the cloud is going to more secure and more reliable. True it is only available on devices it is installed on but do not have to worry about a cloudy connection of dubious security as it is on the hard drive.

Joe Public wants NHS to spend its cash on cancer, mental health, not digital services

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Re: Wrong!

The public, those imbeciles the elites despise, show they have a better grip on reality than the elites as usual. Shiny new toys wont do any patients any good if there is anyone available to use them. New IT initiatives will fail so they are not addressing a fundamental problem in health care; it is incredibly personnel intensive with much of the personnel being highly trained and expensive on the payroll.

A little phishing knowledge may be a dangerous thing

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Study?

Most are aware of phishing and while virtually all will at sometime or another open a phish even if unintentionally I think this "study" is basically garbage. There are few simple rules to go by: if the email context makes no sense; trash it immediately, if the context makes some sense (an email from Amazon e.g.) but it is unexpected; open the website from your browser to verify the information not the link; if you have been to the country (I get a bunch from India); immediately trash.

Or the summary rule, if the email context is at all dubious it is guaranteed to be illegitimate. That is a simple rule that even the most technically dense but otherwise intelligent can live with.

RIP Bill Godbout: Cali wildfire claims the life of master maverick of microcomputers

a_yank_lurker
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Re: RIP

"The chromebook on which I'm writing this was hardly unimaginable then but I never wondered how long it would take; I was happy to, among other things, submit the first word processed dissertation in my dept." - Not just Chromebooks but any desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet. The importance of Bill Godbout is hard to pin down as he was more in the background to the better known pioneers. But without him we would not have these devices at all.

Alas only 1 up vote.

RIP - Bill may you be tinkering in the hereafter.

Microsoft menaced with GDPR mega-fines in Europe for 'large scale and covert' gathering of people's info via Office

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"Head on a pike"

For CPHBs at Slurps having the heads on a pike would not be a fitting punishment, something much more medieval should be used as there is no punishment to'cruel or unusual' for their crimes against humanity. Seriously, the Dutch should turn pursue the maximum fines under the GPDR against Slurp as punishment.

Super Micro chief bean counter: Bloomberg's 'unwarranted hardware hacking article' has slowed our server sales

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Re: I give SuperMicro the benefit of the doubt.

For a successful suit one has to prove Bloomberg knew the story was false at the time they published it. If the reporters have good notes, etc. the suit will go nowhere fast as Bloomberg would show it had information (erroneous to be sure) that said this was happening. The fact that many who have some real knowledge of manufacturing and inspection find the story dubious does not matter.

The more likely story is this was a plant by someone who wanted to short SupreMicro and needed a plausible story in reputable rag to trigger a stock price decline. If orchestrated correctly, it has a chance of working if a rag swallows the line and runs the story. The rag is an unwilling dupe and actually as much victim as SuperMicro.

Oi, Elon: You Musk sort out your Autopilot! Tesla loyalists tell of code crashes, near-misses

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Re: Whisper it…

@Defiler - Electric cars have a long and checkered history dating back to the 1890's/1900's Brass Era cars. They have failed several times in the market for basically the same reasons of inadequate range and lengthy recharging times. The range problem is partially fixable, bigger battery but at the cost of greater weight. So there is a trade off between range and overall vehicle weight. The recharging time is limited by the battery chemistry and cannot be safely pushed or you will have some very serious problems; problems that vary according to the battery used. Also, a problem for EVs is there only certain battery chemistries that are suitable for an EV (voltage/current discharge curves versus power demands).

Other issues include the lifetime of the battery pack and its replacement cost. Currently batteries need to be replaced fairly often (I have seen reports about every 60K miles/100K km). This is an expensive proposition as the battery packs are not cheap. Again a problem that has been around since the Brass Era.

So the question isn't the current frenzy but whether it will last unlike past efforts. The really becomes a question of whether most people will find an EV an adequate first or second car. If not, the frenzy will die as sales collapse.

Microsoft lobs Windows 10, Server Oct 2018 update at world (minus file-nuking 'feature') after actually doing some testing

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@Jack of Shadows - There are many industries were bulletproof code is the minimum requirement; programming errors could cause a cascade of other errors that could lead to at best nasty financial problems or at worst someone dieing. I work in the medical industry so I am attuned to the fact that mishandling data could lead to a wrong decision that could potentially kill the patient; generally a rare event but one to be avoided. But other industries face the same requirements of avoiding software errors that could cause deaths because the user relied on bad information generated by the software.

So like you I have very little patience with the farce of Bloat10 and Slurp's refusal to get head out of..

a_yank_lurker
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@gerritv - Slurp is solely responsible for proper testing of their products. When they obviously fail to do so they deserve to be hammered mercilessly until they get their act together. In reality, the harsh statements on El Reg are doing Slurp a service if they bother to listen. The natives are restless and do not need more reasons to bolt; they need reassurance that staying with Slurp is the correct course.

The monopolist John D. Rockefeller noted to maintain a near monopoly you have to give the customers good reasons to stay. Part of that is prices but also providing quality products. Low priced, quality products keep customers happy. Treat them with disdain either by raising prices or giving poor quality and you create an opportunity for a competent competitor to permanently take customers away from you. Rockefeller had legal problems with the ferals because of his market dominance not with customers.

Just a little heads up: Google is still trying to convince everyone that web apps don't suck

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Yawn

I am not impressed with web apps overall. For some situations they are fine but for most a locally installed binary is correct solution. A local binary allows the user to work on files without needing an always on connection; a secure one is not always available. Also a binary is more efficient as it is at worst running directly on the interpreter or virtual machine not inside a browser and then an interpreter.

Adding to the problems JackassScript is not a well designed language which makes complex software more difficult to write. There are many other languages available that are much better designed and are much better suited to writing complex software.

Michael Howard: Embrace of open source is destroying 'artificial definitions' of legacy vendors

a_yank_lurker
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What is the real reason to buy..

With software there is often little reason to buy/subscribe to any specific product now. Many have older versions that are more than satisfactory for their needs that still work; software itself really does not wear out. Most new 'features' are worth getting for the vast majority of users. So what a software vendor really can sell is paid support. Make the base product FOSS so tinkers can play with it and get a decent feel for it and sell support to those who are using in serious production. The money in software is not in specific product but in keeping production up for businesses. Business need their systems to stable, reliable, up, and available or they do not make money or worse lose money.

Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

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Foreshadowing?

Could these problems be a canary in the mine for W10 itself? As Slurp loses interest in a product it seems the quality nose dives. The less Slurp cares the worse the dive.

That amazing Microsoft software quality, part 97: Windows Phone update kills Outlook, Calendar

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Re: It’s a game...

"Microsoft has been treating Windows as Bethesda treats an Elder Scrolls game- release it now, and we’ll fix it later." - This does not work for any long term success for anyone. Burn customers enough and they will vote with their wallets. What Slurp has forgotten is customers do have options, not necessarily great options now, but real options.

Another issue for Slurp is the family IT department might get fed up with constantly fighting updates that bork systems. They might say enough and convert their families and friends to other OSes/devices for their personal sanity. Technical problems with many Linux distros are often much easier to solve and tend to stay solved.

GDPR USA? 'A year ago, hell no ... More people are open to it now' – House Rep says EU-like law may be mulled

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Chinese Option

One item that will not be in any law is the Chinese option for the C-suites - execution. I am dubious that a GPDR like law will have all that much effect on the real miscreants as it is only talking fines. Wyden's idea of prison terms might have an effect on the few C-suites that can spell ethics let alone have any. The others will some sterner persuasion - the Chinese option. But I doubt it would pass muster with the Nine Seniles as would prison terms also not pass muster with them. So we are left with fines that again might not pass muster with the Nine Seniles.

GCSE computer science should be exam only, says Ofqual

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Re: Oh, please...

In the real world in any STEM field you will various reference sources to solve a problem but that does not prove you understand the reference material. The idea behind testing students is to assess their understanding of the material not how would solve the problem on the job. So any testing strategy will be artificial in the sense that a competent professional will ask for help from others when needed. But to assess an individual competence requires no outside sources; otherwise you are testing a group's competence.

Mything the point: The AI renaissance is simply expensive hardware and PR thrown at an old idea

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Bravo

The only intelligence in AI is human intelligence to write a very complex algorithm. However there is an adage about curve fitting: "With enough variables you fit an elephant". So I wonder if 'AI' systems are fitting so many variables that with enough 'training' they can be made to say anything you want.

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