384 posts • joined 15 Dec 2008
Boss of venerable sect with millions of devoted followers meets boss of venerable sect with... yeah, you get the idea
Congrats, Satya Nadella. In just five years, you've turned Microsoft from Neutral Evil to, er, merely True Neutral
Re: "Fall Creators Update"
The main people interested in having genetic testing to trace ancestry are those living in nations mostly formed by immigrants: USA, Canada, Australia etc. Thus the pool of information available to testing companies about gene distributions in many countries doesn't reflect "native" populations of those countries.
I'm failing more and more CAPTCHAs, so I'm anticipating that Google will send out a Blade Runner to terminate me any day now. I'm preparing my final monologue now :
"I've seen things you wouldn't believe: users who confused wallpapers and screensavers,
managers defragging their SSDs, ... All these moments will be lost, like time machine backups. Time to die."
Re: "Fall Creators Update"
I generally like Office365 Groups, but Teams seems to have been created as a set of disconnected features stuck on top of Groups. Teams also seems to completely bypass all Office and Windows settings for language and formatting, so if you're not a vanilla US English user then it's a friggin' mess.
They do like to advertise their Agile approach, but it seems that there are multiple feature teams agilely running in different directions - result: product is drawn-and-quartered.
Re: Software Testers
Agreed. There are issues which the Insiders flagged in volume from early releases which nonetheless ignored.
Most US software companies do a terrible job of testing non-US English language installs - developers and testers assume that US settings for keyboard, dates etc will apply for all English locales, when in fact it tends to be unique amongst the 15 or so in place)
Microsoft has historically been "least worst" in this respect, but has really gone backwards in respect of these settings for example, years of Windows 10 updates resetting English US for all users in UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, .... Office 365 barely pretends to respect non-US settings. It's not yet Google-bad or Facebook-bad, but it's headed in that direction. These companies do not encourage testers outside the US, so feedback is not heard.
A properly managed test team CAN make up for deficiencies in these areas, but if management has a mindset that doesn't allow it to cover "unknown unknowns" then it's started ceding the market to other players.
Consider a simple English <-> Spanish example that vexed students in an adult language class in Spain that I attended. There are often no gender neutral ways to make simple declarations about gendered subjects in a non-awkward fashion
I have three children/sons -> Tengo tres hijos
I have three daughters -> Tengo tres hijas
Performing a reverse translation in Google Translate
Tengo tres hijos -> I have three children
- the only alternate translation offered is "three kids" and not "three sons", potentially losing some detail
I have three children but no sons -> Tengo tres hijos pero no hijos
- which is rather confusing as it's the same as "I have three sons, but no sons", so you'd have to say something like
I have three children - only daughters -> Tengo tres hijos, solo hijas
And don't get me started on gendered professions
This is hardly news. Anyone who's used any machine translation system over to translate from highly-gendered languages over the last 12 years will have seen this in the first 30 seconds.
It's easy to find many old articles for both technical and lay audiences covering this issue e.g. https://www.fastcompany.com/3010223/google-translates-gender-problem-and-bing-translates-and-systrans
Re: it is not the customer's job to adapt
The greater number of customers has come AFTER the ribbon was introduced.
The thing you have to remember in tech, is that with growing populations and larger deployments, you're at the shallow end of the curve.
For pretty much every tech feature that most Reg readers are familiar, the main customer audience is for those familiar with the succeeding feature. There are plentiful designers, support agencies and trainers for those new implementations. It's the older set who have to adapt or die.
(speaking as someone who has used Office apps for nearly 30 years, and still has adaptive muscle memory)
Re: "Fall Creators Update"
Most healthcare admin staff seem to prefer to work off their tried and true system of getting patients to write everything down about themselves on paper a hundred times, then faxing it around to referred specialists whose reception staff will ask you to write it all down again anyway.
Re: "Fall Creators Update"
Issues have been raised with Sonos in years past that guests on your network can force updates that create incompatibilities with other users and firmware. There is no admin role that gates local updates.
Sonos software will also pester you with update reminders when you're trying to use your device until you finally give in.
Re: Next up
That has also been looked at for many years. You could have finger set or chord modes appropriate to cases where tablets are being held. It's not far from having fingerprint sensors on the rear of cameras as a login mechanism - I actually find the current Samsung galaxy rear mounted sensor to be quite easy to use.
That's re-branded as Turnbull's 2020 Hindsight plan.
I'm pretty sure I signed up for NBN updates years ago but have never heard anything from them, so tried to sign up again. However after filling out all the fields, all I get is "We are not able to complete this action. Please try again later. Sorry for any inconvenience.".
"Later" being 2021 presumably.
"'The reason is that pedestrians know their fellow humans may run them over. "
An increasing number of pedestrians (and cyclists) are oblivious to this. Some are too engaged in their screens, and others dare drivers to mind-read their intent when they suddenly turn and walk out onto the road without giving any clues. Few stop at the kerb and look in each direction before walking out.
There's definitely an air of "my indifference/indignation outweighs the laws of physics".
Even with this massive tax advantage, Apple has not invested in support for its products in Europe, either at the design or post-sales level.
I tried to get iTunes support in France, only to be switched through to Ireland, and then finally to an "ïnternational" guy in Apple HQ who admitted that he frankly knew very little about any of how Apple's products worked outside the US.
Re: "We're the Hakowi" - F Troop
I tracked a local business around the corner from me back to a current Yellow Pages listing. However there has not been anything there for a decade, unless the rotting premises of a long abandoned fish and chips shop qualifies as worthy of Yellow Pages relevance.
I should note that for the first two years after Ikea opened its flagship store in Tempe, Google Maps showed a vacant lot. But then again, most American companies can't put two and two together without an Allen key.
For years, Bing maps has totally relocated dozens of Sydney landmarks around the city as it indiscriminately treated X street in the CBD as X street in another suburb, Notifying them of the scale of these errors (via feedback, twitter etc) has been a thankless exercise.
Bing also has a gift for identifying the main location of some institutions at minor branch locations. It placed the University of NSW in Manly for several years, and now places it at the location of its small College of Fine Arts, several km from its main campus. At least it's now on the correct side of the Harbour.
Anyway, all you need to do is open Bing maps in a neighbourhood you know well, to find dozens of businesses that you heretofore thought were located elsewhere: beach holiday resorts in suburban streets. It's hilarious.
Much of the data appears to come from the Australian Yellow Pages, which - from following links - seems to be years out of date. Obviously a poor partner for Bing's local offerings.
Re: Hiring laws
Generally people can make quick assessments based on surname of someone's foreign-ness.
This is something that has come up time and time again in France, which collects no statistics about race. Tests have been run against mailed-in applications to employers who claim not to discriminate on race because they're unaware of it - however applications from non-traditional French surnames are massively rejected
"" the purpose of a business is PROFIT. Therefore, you hire the person who will MAKE THE MOST MONEY FOR THE COMPANY. ""
In theory. My experience of working in a big west coast software company is that a lot of managers would rather the company lost business of large market segments than they would have to address issues completely foreign to their way of thinking.
I've seen it time and time again. Smart people, but blinkered in so many ways.
Re: re:just it is easier to get a job with them if your skin is white
One big problem with starting out with a homogeneous workforce is that they often simply don't know what skills and knowledge they are missing out on by hiring only for competencies THAT THEY ARE AWARE OF.
American software companies are generally lousy at hiring people who know how to address customer issues outside of the US. They cannot even conceive how living in a different hemisphere, set of timezones, school system etc might be possible or require changes in the way that they design and support their products,
Case in Point, Facebook has not addressed a single internationalization bug that I have reported to them in the last five years. It's like asking their employees to breath something other than American Oxygen. They can't even imagine what it would take to solve such issues, and they don't hire people who might know how.
Re: xml to midi
Essentially long-established art. Most music notation programs (which themselves allow round-tripping of custom file formats with MusicXML) have export to MIDI options.
It is worth underlining the fact that MIDI provides performance/playback instructions and so opening a MIDI file in a notation program can show you a lot of jangly garbage unless you pre-process with a lot of heuristics regarding rhythm etc.
Re: OSX is just too far behind Windows
"MacOS (and Windows) were both designed for mouse & keyboard input." So you're going to rule out all forms of natural input forever?
For those of us who use computers for diagrams, music and other non-text-based endeavours, having touch/stylus + speech etc interfaces are essential additional tools.
"What idiot thought you'd have a touch interface on a server?" Lemme see, someone managing media with a push-button interface or otherwise "naturalistic" interface.
Can we please get more commentary from people not stuck in a 1970s mindset?