* Posts by Trevor_Pott

5190 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Damage control (noun): When Microsoft's CEO kickstarts diversity plan after women pay gaffe

Trevor_Pott
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Re: From my post in the original article

I'm pretty well known for being critical of Microsoft around these parts. Especially Microsoft's management. But I honestly do not think Nadella is a bad guy. Having met him, he seemed to be pretty good people, with a genuine passion for technology...if possessing the typical lack of social skills that is common amongst engineers.

I am on record as saying that Microsoft as a company is out of chances and that they should not be given the benefit of the doubt any longer. That said, I do honestly believe that Nadella made an honest mistake, that he doesn't view women as "inferior", and that he simply expressed himself poorly.

It may be the unpopular view - and frankly, what else is new around here? - but in this instance, I cannot leap to the conclusion that Nadella = bad person.

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Trolls have DARK TETRAD of personality defects, say trickcyclists

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What bothers me is the concept that we should be bound by - let alone strive for - popularity. The truth exists regardless of our preference for - or even acceptance of - it. Reality flat out doesn't give a fuck what we do, what we like or what we desire.

I personally believe in a quest for truth. What is "popular" and what makes other people happy is just...not relevant. Not to me, anyways. A lot of people view that as being a troll.

I refuse to speak - or even entertain - the "comforting lie". In any religion, that makes me a heathen. On the internet, it seems that for many the term of general disparagement used for this concept is "troll".

That's why the question about nomenclature.

On a side note: I do find it interesting that the statistics about likes/hates caught your eye. I don't think I've ever done the math about what my "ratio" is, let alone how it changes over time. It's interesting to me that you have, and that you've had discussions about it here before.

Personally, I'm down with being unpopular, or with having whatever ratio of votes flows my way. What bothers me isn't what other people think of me.

Brand tribalists and Anti-brand tribalists are what get my Irish up. The idea that a person associates their self worth with what other people think - or don't - of some third party company. To the point that they'll lie to defend (or attack) said company.

For reasons I haven't been able to articulate, that bothers me. More than it should. Truth matters. Objectivity. Not faith, not religion, and not a marketing message.

What's the difference between having unquestioning faith in a faceless deity who lives in the sky and unquestioning faith in a faceless corporation that sells you a cloud? Ah well, I guess I'm just a cynical old git from the era when trust was earned and technologists actually did proof of concept testing instead of believing any crap marketing shoveled their way...

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Trevor_Pott
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@Chemist pokerface.jpg

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Trevor_Pott
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"There's the kind of people who are actively trying to get down-votes and negative responses as some sort of weird validation of their existence. I suppose you could argue that's low self-esteem, but I think in a lot of cases it is because they feel that they've successfully pushed people's buttons and got their sadistic pleasure out of pissing them off. It's not a notion I can really understand. I also get the imporession it makes some of them feel that they're showing their superior intelect, and the sheeple's failure to agree with them is yet more proof of their stupidity."

I don't know. I've been trying to get to 2500 global downvotes on El Reg for like 8 months. It's harder than you'd think. Currently, it's a race to see what milestone is fit first: 15K upvotes, or 2.5K downvotes. In total, your posts have been upvoted 14547 times and downvoted 2430 times.

But for me, "trolling" has little to do with sadism. Curiosity, yes. Understanding people. Seeing what makes them tick. Finding that sensitive nerve that says "investigate here".

There are trolls that troll in order to hurt. And there are trolls that troll because they're bored. There are even trolls that troll as a defense mechanism because their sense of self-esteem is so low that they need to lash out preemptively. I think I've been in one of those positions in at least one thread in my life, but I can't say that any of them really sum up my motivations, and I've been described by more than one person as "a professional troll".

Quite frankly, it's a label I'm okay with. Mostly because I view trolling as "shit disturbing". Motivations differ, but the results are always "saying the things you're not supposed to say" usually after "asking questions you're not supposed to ask".

But I think that the questions you're not supposed to ask produce the best answers. They are the questions that need to be asked. Thus, in truth, I think every good investigative journalist is - at heart - something of a troll. Not because we enjoy the pain or angst of others, but because we do throw shit against the wall to get a reaction...and the reactions we get give us clues on where to dig deeper.

Thus, I think you're very right: definitions and nomenclature matter. Like "hacker", the term "troll" has become diluted. Who is one? What are the qualifications? And what then do we call people who engage in troll-like behaviors, but without the motivations described in the research in the article?

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Trevor_Pott
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I don't know about Machiavellianism. I also question narcissism. Most trolls don't seem particularly Machiavellian. I'd even go so far as to say there's a strong contingent of highly collectivist trolls out there. As for narcissism...seems to me a lot of the trolly folks are not so much "obsessed with self" as "possessed of a desperately bad self image".

Maybe they are talking about the creme-de-la-creme of trolls. Seems to me that most of those I've run across over the years wouldn't really fit at least two out of the five categories all that well...while others would fit all five to a tee.

Maybe there is a category of sub troll? Goblins, perhaps?

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Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First

Trevor_Pott
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Re: rant-like journalism

Traits don't have to be beneficial to stick around. Even detrimental traits will stick around, so long as they are not so detrimental they are selected against with extreme prejudice.

In addition, selective pressures were completely different at one point. ADHD is a detriment to humans in almost all ways except one: hyperfocus. There is a case to be made that hyperfocus could have allowed the first development of tools, even though it would be a massive detriment to a hunter.

An ADHD individual could gleefully spend almost all day, every day hyperfocused on a task with a clear reward circuit. Knapping arrowheads, for example. When you think about it, this is an activity with a clearly defined - and relatively short to achieve - goal. The more effort you put in, the more reward (completion) you get out. It's very similar to "grinding" in MMOs, which is something that we have a lot of evidence triggers hyperfocus in ADHD people.

It would also lead to these ADHD people becoming experts in their chosen feild of work, achieving a mastery few others could, and advancing the techniques slowly with each generation.

But put those same people on a hunting party and they'll be a liability. The requirement to control yourself in concealment for long periods of time before striking - or while dodging an angry predator - would be too much for most ADHD individuals.

So the evolution of ADHD, it's utility to the individual (and to society) is complicated. And it makes your statement ("you speak of ADD as if it were a genetic defect that has no evolutionary advantage. If that were true, it would have been cleansed from the gene pool long ago") seem like an attempt to paint a very black-and-white view of this complicated subject.

In today's society there is little advantage to ADHD. In all honesty, there probably hasn't been since the introduction of agriculture. It was then that social evolution mattered more than anything, and we began having to cope with multiple things occurring at the same time, more and more often.

Now, right up until about the 1950s it was reasonable for the minority of us that still had ADHD to find jobs that allowed for a short reward circuit one-thing-at-a-time approach to a profession. This is where ADHD people have always thrived: where they can engage in hyperfocus.

But as we began to build more and more devices of convenience even "single tasks" became a chain of smaller tasks, each requiring a mental shift into a slightly different mindset to accomplish, and with an ever more deferred reward.

Today's world is one of ever decreasing obvious rewards. We are part of a larger machine and knowing whether or not we've done something right is hard. We don't get that feedback immediately. And we need to know so many things about so many things that it is becoming difficult even for normal people to concentrate.

But ADHD people aren't normal. We - like many others on the Autism spectrum - are more extreme in their ability to cope with stimulus. We either hold 1000 threads in our mind and sift through the madness for a single sound, or thought, or smell...or we focus in on the narrowest of concepts and collapse our very consciousness down like a laser to see that something gets done, and done right.

ADHD people can't hold the modern world in our mind. There are too many threads, even for us. Too many sights, and sounds and smells...and we physically can't filter it. It overwhelms us; that part of our abilities is useless today.

And hyperfocus? The skill that traditionally would have been valuable? it's hard to find something - anything, really today - that allows us to use it consistently. Normal people have the advantage.

So..is ADHD "genetic defect that has no evolutionary advantage"? The answer is...yes and no. In all truth, what we consider to be "normal" cognition today is likely the mutation. ADHD is probably much closer to how non-human animals think. But ADHD has become a disadvantage as our society has evolved. It had a place. It may again, one day. For right now, today...it is likely to be selected against for generations to come.

That's evolution for you. Complicated. Messy. Anything but black and white. Past utility - or possible utility - is not evidence of continued or future utility. That's the key thing to bear in mind.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Many of us are forced to ... HOLY SHIT!

Well, if we're being serious, in all the things I've tried to write, it is "writing dialogue" which I find the hardest. It makes me sad, as - ultimately - the thing I want to do with my life is write a sci fi trilogy I've been working on for some time. Sadly, that's hard if you suck at dialogue.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: rant-like journalism

"Some would say that ADD and ADHD are also examples of natural selection, but I fail to see what the selection process is that chooses what seems to be a deliterious mental state as 'better'... "

ADHD is not new. Molecular DNA estimates on the few genes we know are involved (and we probably haven't found more than 25% of those involved yet) suggest it's been there for a very long time.

There's a theory amongst a certain class of ADHD researcher that basically states that ADHD is more like the "natural" state of man when we first evolved, and far closer to how non-human animals think. The rationale being that individuals with ADHD, having a much lower decision threshold, are run on instinct a majority of the time.

The ability to move beyond this - to exert willpower and make decisions more consistently throughout the course of the day - is part of what makes humans so novel. In other words: the ability to force ourselves to reason, to concentrate and to suppress our instincts and make decisions based on logic rather than desire is what separates us most animals. Or, at least, the ability to do so consistently throughout the day without requiring to sleep in order to regain the ability.

"Or are we just better at observing and naming (and possibly over-treating?) a trait that has been around forever?"

Both of these are true. We're way better at diagnosing now, but many - especially those who haven't updated their knowledge since the 1980s - overtreat. See above, where we have a commenter who cannot separate the drugs used from the condition...and believes (at least partially) the condition is something that doesn't really exist, or can be "willed away".

It is a real condition with a real physiological basis, and individuals with ADHD demonstrate demonstrably different mental responses to various stimuli and thought processes. We can see this on an MRI. We've even begun to unravel the genetic basis for it.

"When I was a young'n, there was no such thing as ADD or ADHD. So, (obviously) there was no treatment for these non-existing conditions."

Ignorance doesn't shape reality; reality exists regardless of your perception of it. The condition existed, you simply didn't know about it. That lack of knowledge didn't make it any less real...just untreated. Ultimately, that meant that those individuals experienced a lower quality of life than they would have had they been able to obtain treatment. Sad, but now we can start to change that for future generations.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ Trevor

"If you chose it, then it's not rape."

Actually, that's not true. The new standard is "enthusiastic participation", not mere acceptance, specifically because of situations where choosing to be violated is the least horrible of a bunch of very horrible offerings. Look to the new laws in California, specifically regarding coitus on campuses.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: what's the point

Well, I, for one, am using it as my primary OS specifically so that Microsoft can get real world information back from my usage. Many of us are choosing to do this for just that reason. It is our chance to have a voice - however small - in how this all turns out.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: rant-like journalism

"People with ADD have a much greater ability to identify and avoid pitfalls and come up with creative solutions to problems."

Some of us do. Not all.

"You speak of ADD as if it were a genetic defect that has no evolutionary advantage. If that were true, it would have been cleansed from the gene pool long ago."

You do not understand how evolution works.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software

"Just the idea of trying to support and maintain a small product with two completely different, incompatible UIs brings me out in a cold sweat, let alone something the size of Office."

So Ubitmenu are significantly superior to Microsoft in skill? http://www.ubit.ch/ I don't understand how that could be.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ Trevor

"If you had the choice of losing your job or being raped what would you choose?"

Honestly? I'd chose the rape, though only by the narrowest of margins and only if the job loss was "career loss" class as exemplified by the "a job without computers" portion of the comment. I don't remotely expect that everyone will feel the same, and I think the specific circumstances matter a hell of a lot in making that call.

To be honest, I feel that just by asking that question is such a blatantly black-and-white fashion you are trivializing both rape and career loss without giving any real consideration to the effects of either.

Both are traumatic events that are horrible, but I will heal from the rape. Lose my job and I might never be able to return to a position where you make a similar income, have the same opportunities for advancement, etc. I might lose your house, I might lose everything.

"Rape and losing your job are in two very different categories that cannot be compared to each other."

Oh no? Why not? Rape comes in two parts: violence - or the threat thereof - enacted against the individual is the first part, and the easiest to overcome.

The second part - the damning and damaging part - is a lifelong feeling of a loss of control. You feel like you don't have value. That you don't have worth. You feel that maybe you deserved it, that something about is fundamentally wrong. Some days are better than others, granted...but it never leaves you. It haunts you. It underpins your personality and serves as a subconscious, silent reminder that - underneath it all - you're just an object, a toy, a disposable thing.

There is nothing trivial about rape; not because of the violence of the event - and remember many rapes aren't violent in any way - but because of the legacy it leaves, imprinted on the mind of the victim...often for a lifetime.

Losing one's job comes in two parts. The initial loss of income and it's immediate fallout, and the long term effects, should this result in a major quantitative negative change in quality of life.

Loosing one's job - especially in cases where an individual cannot return to the level of income or possibility of career advancement they had previously - can lead to feelings of loss of control, powerlessness and hopelessness. The fewer your options for new employment, the more you feel like a worthless "thing". A toy, to be discarded. There can be massively negative social implications; humiliation, ostracisation, even the disintegration of that individual's family.

The loss of a job - especially one that is of such a dramatic change that one is "working without computers" - can be hugely traumatic. Going from $100,000+ a year to digging ditches has absolutely proven to make people suicidal, amongst other things.

Being perfectly honest, I fear the concept of that level of job loss - especially against my will and over something so trivial as expressing a preference for a given UI! - even more than I do rape. At least people understand rape. There are trauma centers and counseling and an entire constellation of support mechanisms to help people cope with the psychological trauma that comes form that.

But the long term psychological trauma of having one's life turned upside down due to career-ending-class job loss? As a society, we won't even touch it. We will cheerfully let people kill themselves off rather than face up to the fact that this is problem.

When I think about the sort of job loss discussed here - massive career change to the point of "not working with computers - I picture the issues of reintegration of soldiers, or the problems faced by an aging population who lose their jobs but can't get a new one. I've seen instances of that being every bit as horrible - and as frightening to me - as rape.

But there are pitifully few social institutions to help those who have lost their job. There is a massive amount of social animosity towards them - "get a job, ya bum!" - and fuck all in terms of sympathy if they've gotten a job, (or two, or three or four) but so far below what they were making previously that they sink into a massively long term clinical depression...or commit suicide.

We mock, disparage, disrespect and discourage those who lose their jobs, especially if the individuals "falls so low" as to go from a well paying job to "one without computers involved."

I can see in both cases a loss of power. I can see in both cases feeling like an object, a "disposable person". I can see in both cases feeling as though I had no value, and never could have value in the eyes of others.

But only in one case do I see that society would be ready and willing to try and help me fight my way back to feeling human again.

Before you fly off the handle of political correctness, I strongly encourage you to spend some time with people who have honestly tried to rebuild their lives after losing a good paying job, but failed. Those who have put years into it, who have worked the minimum wage jobs, lost their houses, or been told time and time again they're "too old".

Please try to take the time to understand that rape isn't alone in being a life-changing negative event. Trivializing job loss - especially career loss - is every bit as asinine as trivializing rape.

There are those who feel that in this thread I have trivialized rape. I honestly don't believe I have. I believe, instead, that the people who decry my comparison are trivializing the long term emotional damage that forced career loss can - and does - have on many people in our society.

I also believe that such comparisons must be made, if we are ever to force ourselves - and our society as a whole - to confront the problem and find solutions that preserve the dignity of those affected. Hate me if you want to; that is what - to me - this thread has been about.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software

Man, I miss those little plastic "cheet sheets" we used to stick on the keyboard above the function keys that had all the commands for Word Perfect 5.1. Took a few days, but you got 99.9% of the commands you'd actually use memorized cold. Then, when you had to hunt for one, it was right there, on your keyboard.

I can't remember, did those come with word perfect, or were they made by a third party?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: rant-like journalism

The thing is, ADHD isn't something that you "might have, but we can't prove". We absolutely can prove whether or not you have it. Putting someone on Dexedrine for a week will make a proper doctor 95% certain. If - for whatever reason - they were less than certain, 1/2 hr in an MRI would tell you beyond any reasonable doubt.

We've come a long way since the 1980s.

I submit, sir, that you may be laboring under prejudices about ADHD that are not valid in proper clinical practice. Your prejudice may be understandable - as it is a natural human impulse to link abuse of the drugs used in the treatment of a disease with the disease itself - but I honestly believe that sort of prejudice is as much a part of the problem as the past tendency towards overdiagnosis.

Neither mental illness nor pharmacology should not be taboo. Instead, education and open discussion should be the norm, so that we can all better understand the conditions, the treatments, the ramifications...and the abuses.

I'm sorry we're at odds on that belief, but I hope, in time, society catches up to the point that such debates are no longer necessary.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software

"The rape analogy would get many people fired, most commentards on hand moderation and is plain ridiculous. The asshole remark surely would..."

I'm sorry you feel that way, and I genuinely apologize if I've offended. That said, I do feel that in this case the comparison is, in fact, valid.

This isn't like an employer setting a rule and the employee having to obey. It's so much bigger than that. The employer doesn't even have a choice here. It absolutely is an individual (well, a company) in an unapproachably powerful position simply forcing their will on others.

Now, in and of itself, there's no way that's like rape. There are a number of avenues available to the individual in any rational society to address this. Starting with "asking the developer to provide choice", through to "getting lots of others to raise their voices in unison" and so forth.

But that gets very different when we talk about "submit or find a different career". If those are the only two choices allowed then I very much so believe that has parallels with any number of traumatic events you could name.

To be clear: I am very specifically comparing the idea that an individual should have no choice but to choose between dramatic career change and accepting a UI they don't like as putting that individual in a massively negative place where they would feel helpless, hopeless, without power or recourse and for the stupidest and most unbelievably fucked up of trivial reasons. So fucked up that - to me at least - is absolutely is as crazy as saying depriving someone of their power via rape is okay "because they wore the wrong thing".

Any rational society would allow for an entire universe of possible alternative actions and outcomes. "A third party is going to impose a change you don't like. If you don't like it, quit and/or change careers" is completely disproportionate. Somewhere in there should be the ability to ask why this change is occurring. To seek alternatives to this change.

Nobody should have the right to tell you should be made to change careers because you don't like a UI.

I accept the possibility that this just means my outlook on life is horribly skewed and that I, in fact, am the bad person. Hell, I'd be barking mad not to believe that could be the case.

...but I see in both cases an overwhelming and unstoppable force saying that something massively negative should occur to an individual for the most trivial and outright insane of reasons. If you believe that makes me a bad person, I accept that. Maybe I am.

In the meantime, however, I will continue to believe that the guy who suggests changing careers is the appropriate response to an enforced UI change is the bad person.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software

"people are quite able to ask Microsoft to give them the choice, and Microsoft are quite able to go "no, that will cost us too much to develop and make the software more complicated"."

And that's between the end user (or the business owner) and Microsoft. There's no call to tell someone "if you don't like what's there, go get a job that doesn't use computers." That's not okay at all.

"Besides, even if there was an implemented choice on whether to use the ribbon or not, the vast majority of users wouldn't get to make it - it'd be the IT hell desk deciding on their behalf, just like they do with a huge number of settings on corporate desktops."

And that's where it becomes between the business and the employee. I agree that some - but by no means all - businesses would remove choice from the end user. In most instances, I find that defaults are applied as part of policy, but with a level of customizability being allowed. (The level varying between organizations).

"It's not about choice - there's very good reasons for offering choice, and there's very good reasons for denying them - it's about people getting upset that things have changed."

Wrong. It's about choice. The choice I have as a business owner, for example. There are plenty of industry-specific applications for which no alternative exists that must run on Windows. Now the Ribbon Bar is part of the most fundamental parts of windows - such as Windows Explorer - and can't be avoided. Why shouldn't I be able to ask Microsoft to retain the option for traditional menus? Why shouldn't I encourage others who would like the same choice to also ask Microsoft for that choice?

Microsoft can say no - in which case my opinion of Microsoft as a supplier will diminish - but what business is it of yours (or anyone else's) that I ask Microsoft for that choice? What business is it of yours if I feel that Microsoft are less worthy as a supplier for not offering the choice, even as a paid option?

"If you don't like how things change in a job - be that equipment provided, management style or even staff room perks, sometimes it becomes necessary to move on, be that to a new company or career. It happens to people daily, with a lot less negative effects than being raped for "wearing the wrong clothes"."

But this isn't just about a decision made by management. Management never had a choice to make. That choice was removed from them; and from everyone. And the discussion wasn't left at "if you don't like change in a company, leave that company". Very specifically the suggestion was made to even go so far as to change careers to the point that one worked in a career without computers at all.

At this point, in 2014, that is recommending that someone make a change in career with massive qualitative - and income - implications.

I absolutely do not get how a potentially massive quality of life change is a rational or acceptable expected response to a desire for choice in a software UI?

We're not talking about a minor change like "how the tables are laid out in the break room". This is closer to the world's overwhelmingly dominant semi truck manufacturer changing all the displays on their semi trucks to Klingon, and embedding them in the roof instead of on the dash. In response to drivers wanting the option of buying semi trucks with the displays in English and on the dash you say "if a driver doesn't like the change he should quit, potentially seeking employment where driving isn't involved."

It is a preposterously disproportionate response.

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Re: rant-like journalism

You'll note I did advise looking into Dexedrine. Ritalin is far worse than the alternatives.

That said, Caffeine absolutely does have similar - albeit far less powerful - effects to both Ritalin an Dexedrine on individuals with ADHD. As a matter of fact, you are generally advised against combining them - especially during the initial dose-adjustment phase - for exactly that reason. It's hard to know what the right dose is for you if you are pounding back the caffeine as well.

Also: "having a low attention span" does not necessarily mean you have ADHD, though it is often a good indicator. ADHD is a very real - and serious - condition that has demonstrable physiological effects. You can place a person under an MRI and see differences in how their brain responds under certain conditions than a normal person.

ADHD is typically over-diagnosed in children. That said, it is often under-diagnosed in adults. Many doctors - to say nothing of lay practitioners - still labour under the belief that you can be "cured" of ADHD simply by wishing it away, or as a condition of "growing into adulthood. This is false.

As I stated in my comment above:everyone can - and does - suffer from decision fatigue. (Though "willpower fatigue" is a lot rarer.) ADHD people can vary from individuals with decision fatigue resistance and willpower close to that of a normal person - and thus an attention span close to that of a normal person - to those who are overwhelmed by choices before they even leave the front door for work.

If someone is honestly easily distractable then it absolutely is worth their while to investigate whether or not they have adult ADHD. From there, they can look at different treatment modalities.

The quickest way to tell if you have ADHD is honestly to take a mild dose of Dexidrine for a week. If you have ADHD, you'll know. It will change your life.

However, once you have been identified as having adult ADHD there is nothing that says you are restricted to pharmacological treatment modalities, and I would strongly encourage people to look at the alternatives.

Meditative techniques worked (mostly) for me. They get me to the point that I can deal with my ADHD using just caffiene, and I don't have to rely on Dexedrine except on my worst days. There is also neurofeedback. This is basically a means of gamifying the same sorts of neural patterns you learn through meditation. Neither of these work on everyone with ADHD.

Make no mistake: meditative or neurofeedback techniques for resolving ADHD will not cure it. They do not allow you to just "will yourself better". What they do is provide you a coping mechanism that allows you to become more functional than you would otherwise be, and they offer a tradeoff point between the capabilities provided by stimulants like Dexedrine and Ritalin and the fog of not treating ADHD at all.

In addition to the above:

Ritalin and Dexedrine are amphetamines. They absolutely will have massively deleterious side effects on individuals without ADHD. They should only ever be taken with the consent - and ongoing support and monitoring - of a qualified physician. They absolutely will affect individuals with ADHD completely differently than they will affect individuals without ADHD. (Just as Caffeine will, incidentally, but the effect of Caffeine is so much lower that it's hard to judge in many people.)

It is for this reason that these drugs are prescription, and why monitoring and support by a qualified physician is so important. They will - or should, if they are any good at their job - look for the signs that verify that individual indeed has ADHD (and thus can benefit from the drug in question) and will absolutely not allow a non-ADHD individual to continue use.

All of that said, don't dismiss ADHD as some myth. It's not...and identifying and treating it will make for a huge positive quality of life improvement in anyone unfortunate enough to have it. If I seem passionate about it, well...it's because I am.

I've known about my ADHD my whole life, but my wife was only diagnosed (and began treatment) about a year ago. It absolutely changed her life. Getting her ADHD under control allowed her the ability to start doing tasks she otherwise found overwhelming, and this massively changed her self confidence and self image. It ultimately led to notable change in the lows and the frequency what had been episodes of clinical depression.

So yeah...why not talk about these sorts of things? Why the social taboo around mental illness? It is the fact that we choose to laugh uncomfortably about these things and mock those who discuss them that makes them so much harder to deal with.

If there's evidence that attention span may be a problem, I say take the time and effort out to see if it might be indicative of something more serious. If so, it could be that some fairly small changes could lead to a happier, more productive you.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software

"Anybody who has "massive and traumatic change" forced on them by the presence of the ribbon is not somebody I'd want to share an office with. How would they react when we run out of digestives in the staff room?"

Where did I say that the presence of the ribbon was "massive and traumatic change"? I very specifically</I. called out an anonymous coward's comment that said people who didn't want to deal with the ribbon should change jobs - or careers - even to the point of ones without computers involved.

"PS - loving the strawman you've erected - changing career isn't the alternative to offering a choice of UI. "

That is <i>exactly</i> the choice that that suggested be made by the anonymous coward to whom I was responding, you pompous, arrogant gasbag.

"Changing career is an option for those who are unable / unwilling to continue to use certain software."

So is "asking the developer to offer a choice of UIs." In fact, "asking the developer to offer a choice of UIs" is <i>far more rational than "changing careers". It's even an option that doesn't negatively affect others. Holy pants, batman, what a fucking concept.

"There are many other less extreme options available too, such as moving to another department, recommending against using the new version which contains the hated feature, or even developing a solution to patch the offensive software so that it becomes usable again."

All of which are still dramatically more extreme than "asking the developer to offer a choice of UIs". The developer could even charge for the functionality.

Yet in your world, asking the developer for choice is anathema. Those who do so are deserving of denigration and disrespect, but telling them to go work in a job without computers is a perfectly rational thing to do?

What the metric fnord is wrong with you?

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Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software

"I, too, get downvoted or flamed if I admit that I like some of the tricks that Access and One Note can do. But not as badly as the time I criticised St Snowden."

You folks do realise that the world isn't black and white, right? Liking something the Microsoft has to offer doesn't mean you like everything Microsoft does, or says, or sells. Similarly, liking something non-Microsoft - or even hating something Microsoft - doesn't mean a dislike for all things Microsoft.

What's even more shocking, is that you can like something Microsoft offers, but still believe that they should offer a choice of options to others.

I, for example, like most Microsoft technologies. I think Windows is a great operating system...and Windows 10, even in the technical preview stage, is easily the best yet.

I love Windows Server 2012 R2, but I'm less of a fan of Windows Server 10. I also love CentOS 6...but think that systemd - and thus CentOS 7 - can go straight to hell.

I think that how Microsoft treats customers, partners and end users is appalling, but I cannot deny the strength and capability of technologies like SQL server, Exchange or Microsoft Dynamics.

I think you'll find that it isn't a like or dislike something that sets the internet hate machine upon you. It is either A) stating that your anecdotal experience has been X and thus nobody else should have a problem or B) taking an extremist point of view that says other people shouldn't be allowed choice.

Which keeps coming back to the concept of "invalidating the preferences of others" as being that which attracts the internet hate machine. Believe whatever you want, in your own church. Just don't start demanding that the rights of others be curtailed because of your religion.

A group of people saying "Microsoft, please give us a choice of UIs" is a group of people asking that Microsoft respect the preferences of others, while at the same time respecting their preferences. It's is about living together in harmony.

A group of people saying "Microsoft, only have the UI I like and never allow choice for those others who have different preferences" is about a notable lack of respect for others. It is about forcing one's belief system on others; it is about arrogance and a sense of haughty superiority.

I've seen plenty of discussions on these forums about the positive aspects of Microsoft technologies, features and services where people in no way get viciously downvoted for talking openly about liking them. I thus submit that demonstrating respect for the preferences of others (or a lack thereof) is in most cases going to be the deciding factor in the number of downvotes you attract.

There absolutely are some real Microsoft haters here who loathe all Microsoft technologies and services...but they are emphatically in the minority. We all have to live with these technologies...and most of us respect them. Respecting the individuals, departments or even entire corporations who make asinine decisions that demonstrate huge disrespect for preferences - or requirements - of others can be and often is separate from respect for the technology produced by those people/departments/companies.

And for the record, OneNote is awesome. I really like the Android version; it's pretty much the only thing that makes the pen on my Note 2 worth a damn.

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Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software

Telling someone that should not have the right to ask a developer to include a choice of UIs, but should instead quit their job and change careers in order to change UIs is absolutely, 100% as arrogant and horrible as justifying rape by saying that the clothing someone worse justified the action.

Both cases are attempting to say that the desire of an individual to exercise a fairly minor amount of choice - asking a developer to offer a choice of UIs or choosing to wear $clothing_style - somehow justifies forcing massive and traumatic change on a person.

"Go find a job that doesn't use computers" is the equivalent of telling someone "give up your current upper middle class job and go get a job that is minimum wage" because....they want to ask the developer of an application to provide a choice of UIs?!?

Yeah, you know what? That's pretty goddamned fucked up. That is fucked right the hell up. That is easily as fucked up as saying anything justifies rape.

And the inevitable argument "well you wouldn't have to change careers if you'd just learn to like the new UI " is exactly as fucked up as saying to someone "well, you wouldn't have been raped if you'd just worn different clothes."

The loss of a job - let alone the requirement to change careers to something so dramatic as "does not use computers" if fucking traumatic. It absolutely can impart the very same feelings of loss of control, worthlessness and so forth as rape.

Now, admittedly, rape tends to have a higher instance of PTSD after the event, but the effects for people who have be forced from a job - especially in situations where they cannot hope to return to a job as lucrative as the one they were forced from - absolutely have been known to have massively long term effects on individuals, including PTSD. In many places - Japan, for example - job related stresses, mostly related to difficulties in retention, competitiveness and downwards wage pressures - have led to an epidemic of suicides.

So yeah, casually suggesting that people just go our an change careersbecause they shouldn't have the right to ask a developer to offer a choice of user interface options is just as fucked up as making fun of rape. That individual is completely trivializing the very real world - and very traumatic to a great many people - impacts of career loss.

Comparing that to rape is not trivializing rape at all, but hopefully will serve to help you understand the very real importance and seriousness of the implications in what that individual has suggested.

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Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software

"There are many many jobs out there that don't involve using Microsoft software, or even computers."

In essence, you are saying that individuals who find a given user interface onerous, unintuitive and detrimental to productivity should change careers instead of telling the developer "give us the choice of your old UI or the new one".

That level of arrogance is, in my mind, equal to:

:"Your honour, if you'd seen what she was wearing, you's know that she was asking for it".

...and I have for you the same level of contempt as I would the asshole who would use such an argument. You're a bad person.

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Re: rant-like journalism

That's why I recommended Dextroamphetamine. Honestly, as someone with some hardcore adult ADD - my wife has ADHD as well, as do several of our friends and family - it's worth considering. The two biggest symptoms of adult ADD/ADHD are "decreased willpower" and "decreased ability to focus."

Everyone has something called "decision exhaustion", where we find it harder to make decisions as the day goes on. Little decisions eat into our ability. Do we have toast, or a bagel? The blue pants, or the red?

But ADHD individuals have a dramatically increased susceptibility to decision fatigue, and this gets coupled with "willpower fatigue" to leave us unable to force ourself to focus. And we must - it is an exercise of will for us to focus - because our brains are structurally different from normal people.

Stimulants - Ritalin, Dexedrine, Caffeine, etc - basically chemically provide us with a boost to our willpower and decision-making capabilities. It varies based ont eh chemical and individual, but it's why it works for us. (I could go into a lot more scientific depth, bu you do have Google right there.)

If you have trouble reading through a three-page article then the chances are really good that you have adult ADHD. And it isn't an attempt at insult to suggest that trying standard therapies could lead to increased quality of life. From one person who struggles with ADHD: don't knock it until you've tried it. If you do have the same neural structural issues that the make ADHD people what we are, then you might be shocked at just how big a difference it can honestly make.

P.S. also Google "hyperfocus". It's a skill - and a curse - unique to people with true ADD/ADHD. It is worth some time and research into it's capabilities...and it's downsides.

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Re: About-face

I never had a problem with being tracked in the technical preview. I had - and have - problems with the inability to turn this stuff off, or even to know what is tracking me and why. And for all the reasons that were explained in the article...and in the subsequent posts to the very thread you linked.

I do, however, find it curious you left out the conversation that starts here, however, as it is closely related and relevant as a progression of the dialogue.

I strongly encourage anyone interested to read both threads in their totality. Good points were raised by a number of people.

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Re: rant-like journalism

Have you considered Dextroamphetamine? It tends to help with gnat-like attention spans.

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Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft

Trevor_Pott
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No mention of licensing. I have a fear regarding what that will look like...

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Apple's new 'iPad Air 2' sliced open, revealing (possible) A8X core

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Minor bump

Welp, today I learned something about other people's issues with the platform. Learning == good.

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Re: Minor bump

Honest curiosity: were you running up against the 1GB limit on your existing iPad? So far, I've been able to do everything I can think of on my Mini Retina. My Galaxy Note 2, OTOH, runs up against it's RAM limits every few months. (Probably have more background services on the Note 2).

Curious if that's just Apple's different design, or if my experience is uncommon.

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ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Yeah But

"You mean Microsoft Actually Gives a Rats Arse?"

I rather doubt it, but they Must Be Seen To Be Doing Something. Which is just as important, honestly, as the current issue is as much perception as product.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: 1 million less 1...

"I tried it for a week, and have gone back to Win 7 - too half baked for me, with poorly implemented and totally not thought out functionality, and zero response to feedback, there was no way I'd waste any more time on it at this point at least."

Really? I've found a few issues - most notably notifications - but overall it's a solid OS. If they get the UI issues sorted, it would be a worthy successor to Windows 7.

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Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function

Trevor_Pott
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Re: continuing the trend

Downvoted for Microsucks. Even I wouldn't use that one, dude.

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Jony Ive: Flattered by rivals' designs? Nah, its 'theft'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Those in glass houses, Sir Jony...getting all bent out of shape

I have a Mac Mini Retina, not an iPhone! Get it right, man! I'm sticking with my Note 2 until something compelling shows up to to convince me it's worth the hassle to switch.

Egads, kids these days, never reading...

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Re: Those in glass houses, Sir Jony...

@SuccessCase I absolutely do take offense to a broad generalization whose very clear aim was to paint techies as "generally non creative" and to indicate that those with creative skills were rare. That's a bunch of bullshit and you know it.

The number of techies lacking creative capacity is miniscule. In my experience the non-creative techies could be easily outweighed by the number of arrogant twunts that inhabit the average forum. I seem to be able to find techies with creative capacity all around the world. Pretty much wherever I look, as a matter of fact. A very minor amount of training and they're able to do exercise that creative talent professionally.

Quite the opposite is something I find true. People who trained to be "creative" first seem really bloody hard to train to be techies. Not impossible - I've trained a few myself over the years - but a lot harder than helping a techie unleash their creative capability.

What saddens me is when the only creative capacity that some individuals have is rabid fanboyism tied to misplaced brand tribalism. Those people are just wastes of carbon.

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Re: "Flat" design

@Doug S

$deity I hope skeumorphism stays a dead fashion. What an 80s-class trainwreck that was. "Creativity" my chrome-plated ASCII!

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To Russia With Love: Snowden's pole-dancer girlfriend is living with him in Moscow

Trevor_Pott
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Happy for them both. Nice to see good things still happen in this world.

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US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson: US is losing science race

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Craving Attention

Neil deGrasse Tyson > you

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'A motivated, funded, skilled hacker will always get in' – Schneier

Trevor_Pott
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Re: off topic, & i apologise in advance

No.

You're not access TOR services by IP. You're accessing them through TOR. Think of TOR more like a VPN, but made out of a different protocol. Your IP connects you to the TOR network. But thins occurring inside TOR don't occur with your ISP-provided external IP.

TOR is essentially a distributed message bus. You don't really do peer-to-peer anything, and even if you did, you wouldn't be talking "your external IP to their external IP". It would be more like "your temporary TOR GUID to their semi-permenant TOR GUID". Where the GUID of the service is periodically changed and re-announced to TOR's service directory (like a DNS server).

Remember, your access to TOR is always gated by your first-hop node into the service.

So you could track a TOR GUID, but converting a TOR GUID into an IPv4 or IPv6 globally reachable IP address? You have ot wait for them to fuck up and reveal it. (Or you control all access points to TOR and you do traffic pattern matching, but that's another story....)

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Re: Everybody wants a free lunch

And with what resources do you propose we "take security seriously?"

Good security is expensive. In someone's time or in money to buy good products. Usually both. That's a business decision; techies don't get to make those.

Throw in the "security versus usability" arguments, and add a dash of the current data sovereignty mess and you have a huge question around "who's stuff do you buy, and can you really trust them?"

Even for those of us who know what's what, it always comes back to money. Nobody's willing to spend on it. Not even IT companies. All they want is for you to buy cloud solutions. American cloud solutions.

So the choices we face seem to be "caught in the bottom of a dark pit surrounded by strange noises without the money to buy a ladder" or "in a wide open feild covered in gasoline with yankee politicians playing with matches at the edge of the feild."

Well, shit.

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Look ma, no hands! The machines are speaking our language

Trevor_Pott
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Ah, Dragon. Some times, you get an idea. Dictate into the recorder on your smartphone, then feed the wav file into Dragon.

*poof* An article appears. Love it.

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Sh** just got real: Amazon to open actual shop in New York City

Trevor_Pott
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See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumers_Distributing for an example of the pre-internet version of this exact model.

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I want to TRANSPLANT your storage BRAINS: WD desktop NAS refresh

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Beyond RAID

The issue isn't speed loss. the issue is "likelihood of experiencing an Unrecoverable Read Error (URE) during rebuild, thus causing a second disk to drop." Also Google "rebuild stress".

There are two schools of thought on this:

1) "Disk manufacturer failure statistics are so low that URE issues during rebuild are just a boogyman".

Pro: The statement is partially correct. Manufacturer stats do basically say disks don't die.

Con: Manufacturers lie. Whether the disk can be "reconditioned" or not is completely irrelevant. What matters is "did it drop out from the RAID". Here, statistics on UREs during rebuild are much higher.

2) "Disks in RAID arrays tend to be bought at the same time, from the same place. Since bad disks tend to occur in runs, if one disk fails, there's a good chance it's neighbor will fail soon thereafter!"

Pro: The beginning of the statement is true. Disks in any given array are probably from the same run of drives, and a "bad" run will have more disks than the mean fail.

Con: Your chances of this being an issue in a 4-disk array are statistically irrelevant. "Same run" deaths tend to be something you encounter when talking about 24-36 disks in a given array, and it is one of the reasons we've tended to limit arrays to 16 disks. Statistically speaking, your chances of getting a defective pair in an 8 disk array - even from a bad run - is vanishingly small. RAID 6 (tolerating 2 disk failures) seems to scale well up to 36 disks.

Of course, all of this was dun in the era of 2TB drives being "the new shiznizzle". The estimates then were that 4TB would be the end of RAID 5 (and that matches my experience, TBH), with 8TB being the end of RAID 6. (And guess what comes out this month...)

RAID is not totally dead, but it's on life support. It's object storage or nothing from here on out. Even triple parity is just delaying the inevitable. Server SANs do object storage for VMs. For everything file, look to companies like Caringo.

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An EMC-HP Borg cube will totally ANNIHILATE its storage worlds

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Going to Pott

"Was your mother frightened by an EMC salesman while you were in the womb?"

Nope. I couldn't give a bee's bollocks about EMC. Not my job to care. It is, however, my job to investigate. To ask questions others don't want asked and to root and the answers people don't want told.

Interesting nerve I touched...

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Since when has EMC given fucks about the politics of the situation? The EMC federation is a terrifying morass of backstabbing and fifedom-guarding. VMware has been repeatedly described as being a political "thermonuclear wasteland" and EMC isn't heaps better.

I believe you underestimate the egos of the people involved. They honestly think they can just "win" because they're that much "better" than everyone else. All evidence to the contrary. The EMC federation is not where sanity or rationality rest for long.

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Storage startups: Hey VCs, it's not just the size, it's the frequency

Trevor_Pott
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The storage wars are over. Server SANs won. Everything else is just jockeying for position. Arrays will begin their gradual decline. It'll take 25 years for them to fully evaporate down to their concentrated remainder, but they'll follow mainframes as a zombie tech.

In the meantime and between time, it's all about who can provide the best server SAN. After that comes rolling in other features to help migrate people to server SANs. (Datacore, anyone?) Then maybe arrays to deal with niches or as a temporary point solution.

*shrug*

Software defined network is the new battleground, and with it, the first real skirmishes that will mark the beginning of the software defined infrastructure wars.

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Windows 10's 'built-in keylogger'? Ha ha, says Microsoft – no, it just monitors your typing

Trevor_Pott
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Re: That means Trevor Pott was right

Aye, if I could get a macbook with a real keyboard, I'd be a devout Apple Fanboi. Sadly, I need both delete and backspace. I'm too old to rewire that one.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: That means Trevor Pott was right

Eh? I use Windows 7 on my laptop. I use CentOS on my servers. I do have a laptop with Mint, but that's my security unit.

Honestly, the instant that Wayland is fully baked, I'm leaving Windows behind. FreeRDP server was incorporated into Weston and it provides a fully modern RDP experience for remote work. That's all that was ever really missing from Linux in order for it to be my primary environment. I prefer working via VDI for a large number of reasons.

As an endpoint OS, I prefer a heavily modified Windows 7 environment to pretty much everything else I've used. Though Windows 10 has some very serious potential to be every bit as usable.

The problem is Microsoft itself. I just don't trust them. They've screwed me over and over and I am absolutely, 100% convinced they'll do it again. They are emphatically not honorable, which means that no matter how good their technology is it simply does not matter.

Microsoft could have the best technology in the world - in some niches they do, in others they emphatically don't - but that's just not enough. I can't do business with, trust my business to and ultimately trust my privacy to a company I can't trust.

That's before we even get into the rank madness that is Microsoft's VDI and SPLA licensing, the #1 reason behind my philosophical (and monetary) support of various open source projects.

Linux doesn't have to be the best at all things to be usable. Microsoft sure as hell isn't the best at a great many things and it's used in all sorts of bizarre places. What Linux has to be is trustworthy. I am not talking here about "bug free". No software from any vendor will ever be that.

I am talking here about the ability to run the software without fear of jackbooted sociopaths and their hellspawn laywers showing up to annihilate your business because you did something that seems perfectly rational to ordinary people but violates some obscure clause of a licensing agreement.

Spending half a year's revenue on licensing only to find out that the specific implementation you wanted isn't covered in that particular scenario can end a business. Usually because the alternative licensing either simply isn't possible or costs 20x the company's yearly revenue.

Trust is the knowledge that if I don't like something - from a UI element to an API change - there is the option to simply not participate. Linux can be - and is - forked when someone does something asinine. Windows users just have to close their eyes and think of England.

For all your snarky sniping and your dedicated vitriolic fanboy bullshit, Mr Anonymous Shill, you never do address these issues. And at the end of the day, I'm just tired of fighting the battle. Against Microsoft, against you, against the legion of paid "evangelists" that make truly obscene money to "control the message".

I'm tired. Tired of Microsoft. Tired of their licensing bullshit. Tired of having to worry about being in compliance with some stipulation about how I can use software that I paid for.

Make your jokes, spread your lies and be damned. I'm absolutely going to put my time and my money into Linux for the simple reason that it has become the path of least resistance. It takes less effort. It takes less learning. It takes less fighting and it just costs less, in time and in money.

Technology isn't enough. I buy computers because I actually want to use them. Not because I want to spend my time managing them, or dealing with the legal logistics of licensing them. For a computer you can actually use, it sure looks to me like one of the only choices left is some variety of Linux.

Cheers.

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Re: That means Trevor Pott was right

I read the EULA start to finish. I encourage everyone to do so. It is, in point of fact, the best written, easiest to understand, most "plain English" EULA I've ever read. It is an example of how to do an EULA right.

It doesn't have all the detail about exactly what methods they will use to spy on you, but it's pretty explicit that they will, and they'll be cavalier about it.

My issues were "what was causing the data leak" and "why can't I turn the taps off".* Because knowing how it all works is my job. And by knowing how it works in the preview we know what to look for in the release version.

As it turns out, the stuff I couldn't find and kill in the OS itself was Windows Store apps phoning home, even when not open. And they sent a lot of data. Uninstall them, and I only saw the traffic I'd expect to see from a surveillance an instrumented OS.

Most importantly, I reported all my findings to Microsoft via their "Microsoft Feedback" tool. Which, just by the by, you need to convert your Windows into a cloud-attached Microsoft Login setup to do. And that means that you can't say no to Skydrive. And...

Anyways, short version: I have problems with choices made in how Microsoft has designed the privacy and security elements of the OS that have nothing at all to do with Microsoft instrumenting a technical preview. Most of my issues are with stuff I fully expect to be in the shipping OS.

What I want is an operating system that is "privacy first, security first". What Microsoft wants is an operating system that is "cloud first, mobile first". We are probably never going to see eye to eye on this; our interests are diametrically opposed.

But, it is my actual job to download, install and play with the technical preview, the beta, and every other version that happens along. I'm a technology journalist. It's what I get paid to do.

If folks are shocked and shaken that I do so, then actually talk about the issues I uncover...well, then I don't understand why they read technology magazines - or the forums on those technology magazines - at all. It seems to me that they are actually going out of their way to expose themselves to the sort of information, opinions and facts that they explicitly want to avoid. (Or want to avoid until the final version is out.)

If anyone wants to pillory me for doing my job of investigating new technology, go right ahead. Honestly, after a few years, you really do get used to it.

*There is also an issue of what the defaults are, and the fact that turning things off doesn't actually turn them off in the preview, as well as that controls don't seem to exist in the UI for half the data collection points. But, to be honest, I'm willing to overlook those in a technical preview, though I do comment on their existence and I have reported this all to Microsoft.

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Microsoft: Yeah, about that 50% post-Christmas customer price hike...

Trevor_Pott
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Fuck you, Microsoft

May your reign last hours, and your death years.

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