* Posts by Nicole D.

24 posts • joined 8 Nov 2013

Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

Nicole D.
IT Angle

Firefix (54)

I'd rather not be bothered switching between browsers, and have been using FF all but exclusively for years. I'd be happy to continue for years more. But they've also been pushing me away in recent years, with an increasingly stripped down UI, forced features, and missing or obscured features. I dread and postpone each update and take backups of my portable installation before I finally do it. What will be broken this time? What option will I need to research so I can turn it off? What unwanted new feature will I need to disable, or learn to live with if it can't be disabled, or find an addon to disable it. This is Firefox. Why is it my browser of choice again?

Fanbois designing Windows 10 – where's it going to end?

Nicole D.

Yet the influence of Johnny Ive....

"The problem isn't a failure to ask normal people. It's a problem of a fear of design and abdicating design to normal people. Sinofsky didn't prove Microsoft needed to listen more, he simply proved he was a good politician and a bad designer and he lived in a political environment where the man who promised to save Windows (by welding it onto a tablet design) would survive. At Microsoft pure designer in the mould of Johnny Ive would have remained unpromoted and unloved."

True enough. Yet the minimalist influence of Johnny Ive is where we can trace a decision (or even an "insider" preference) to de-task the Taskbar back to.

I don't know what portion of the customizations I've done to Windows over the last decade or more were so I could bypass Apple's influence on the UI, but I know that most of them were about un-hiding things previously visible, turning off things (like effects) that provide no benefit, or simplifying OS navigation and application use by creating more direct routes to functionality hidden safely away from my prying, end-user eyes.

Apple's influence on UI design as been for shit. Google's may well prove worse (as it follows the same "let's hide stuff from the dummies and shove what suits our purposes down their throats" approach without even the pretense of an aesthetic rationale.) I approach each new version of Windows wondering not "Where do I want to go today," but how will I de-Mac-ify this thing to get it to run like a serious work environment should.

'Revenge p0rn' kingpin Kevin Bollaert faces 20 years in jail

Nicole D.
Flame

FreemonSandlewould

@ FreemonSandlewould

Fuck off asshole. If you think this has anything to do with "treating women like goddesses on a pedestal," I can only hope that the next time you're on your knees with a mouthful of dick and your calloused crowbar in your fist that someone surreptitiously snaps your pic, posts it online, sends copies to your family, friends, and employers, and posts it here at El Reg.

Too 4K-ing expensive? Five full HD laptops for work and play

Nicole D.

This is why buying a laptop is so difficult.

<< Off-center Trackpad = Instant Failure

I hate those off-center trackpads. They taunt me nonstop with their unevenness, making me feel the urge to lean slightly to the left. I'd much rather have no number pad (I never use it anyway), and center the keyboard and trackpad together. That's one thing I'm glad Apple have done, in keeping the trackpad centered on their Macbooks. >>

It is pretty impossible to get a non-Apple 15.6" or larger laptop without a number pad, which means you will get an off-center trackpad.

If you are very lucky, you will get actual mouse buttons with the the trackpad, instead of the one-piece designs that integrate the pad and the buttons into a single plate, a design from hell that makes accurate clicking a crap shoot.

I'm looking for a 17.3" HD laptop with NO number pad, a centered trackpad, 12 function keys that do not require pressing the Fn key in order to get the conventional functions, with a context menu key between the right Alt and Ctrl keys, and the left-side Ctrl key to the left of the Fn key (which rules out many Lenovos), that will run Windows 7 and for another year and be ready for Windows 10 when it drops.

Seems simple. But I find myself ready and willing to part with my money but unable to find anything I want to spend it on.

Whoever is designing these things should rot in hell.

Nicole D.
FAIL

This is why buying a laptop is so difficult.

<< Off-center Trackpad = Instant Failure

I hate those off-center trackpads. They taunt me nonstop with their unevenness, making me feel the urge to lean slightly to the left. I'd much rather have no number pad (I never use it anyway), and center the keyboard and trackpad together. That's one thing I'm glad Apple have done, in keeping the trackpad centered on their Macbooks. >>

It is pretty impossible to get a 15.6" or larger laptop without a number pad, which means you will get an off-center trackpad.

If you are very lucky, you will get actual mouse buttons with the the trackpad, instead of the one-piece designs that integrate the pad and the buttons into a single plate, a design from hell that makes accurate clicking a crap shoot.

I'm looking for a 17.3" HD laptop with NO number pad, a centered trackpad, 12 function keys that do not require pressing the Fn key in order to get the conventional functions, with a context menu key between the right Alt and Ctrl keys, and the left-side Ctrl key to the left of the Fn key (which rules out many Lenovos).

Seems simple. But I find myself ready and willing to part with my money but unable to find anything I want to spend it on.

Whoever is designing these things should rot in hell.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Spawn of Galaxy Alpha and a Note 3 unveiled

Nicole D.

Re: And the great thing is

Which retailer? Is that in the US?

The last PC replacement cycle is about to start turning

Nicole D.

Oh, please.

Taylor Swift dumps Spotify: It’s not me, it’s you

Nicole D.

Before it gets better

This type of confusion probably means things will get a lot worse before they get any better.

Yes, that's the real story here. You can find almost any music by any artist on YouTube, and rip the audio to mp3 as easily as ripping a cd (does anybody remember cds?). Sound quality? Usually more than acceptable, to give a fan a feeling of "yeah I have that song" and add it to their playlist.

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

Nicole D.
Paris Hilton

Sway is like totally fetch.

Nadella's Karmagate howler was response to MICROSOFT BOARD DIRECTOR – report

Nicole D.

Re: last man for a while

"Not sure he'll be the last, but reasonably sure he'll be the last for a while, anyway. Unless, they make it into an annual barbecue."

If they're smart they will ask another prominent man to headline next year, when more eyes than usual will be on the event, then get him, like Satya, on the record on the same set of issues.

Google's Eric Schmidt's shock confession: Steve Jobs is.... MY HERO

Nicole D.
Big Brother

To play Steve Jobs, get Wes Bentley, the guy who played evil Gamemaker Seneca Crane in the first Hunger Games flick. That performance was a Steve Jobs impersonation all the way.

eBay slammed for daft post-hack password swap advice

Nicole D.
FAIL

...can't cut and paste

"....won't allow you to cut'n'paste into the password field, so stopping you using a password manager, in the interests of 'security'"

Right. This is a stunningly stupid situation.

Te change password form does not allow you to cut and paste, and to make the change, you have to type it twice, without being able to see what you're typing. So they're urging you to use a password that's complex and long, while at the same time inducing you to use one that's as simple and sort as possible.

At some point it's no longer worth using the service.

When I went to change my eBay (US) password, I found you can not cut and paste discovdered

Canada says Google broke law by snooping health info to serve ads

Nicole D.

Re: Wanna really contaminate the med ad dbs...

yeah that'll show 'em.

Connecting Gmail to Google+ is SENSELESS, says Digg founder

Nicole D.

...force people with Gmail to have a google+ profile...

"if google force people with Gmail to have a google+ profile then that is another thing, but so far they are not, you can even delete the profile when you set up a Google account"

This seems inevitable

Interesting how a corporation that would champion the avoidance of evil in its mission statement would come to embody it, as though they were giving us advance warning of their intentions.

"Don't Be Evil" is to Google what "To Serve Man" is to the extraterrestrials in that classic Twilight Zone.

Proposed California law demands anti-theft 'kill switch' in all smartphones

Nicole D.

Can you think of any other consumer good Re: @ Alan Denman

Can you think of any other consumer good that is light weight, palm sized, and that may well -- in all likelihood -- holds the keys to your identity and economic life?

Remind me, if my phone is lost or stolen, why am I not supposed to want to be able to call my carrier and have them brick the thing? I call my credit card company to void lost cards. In terms of functional desirability, how does this differ? Because it would be a guvmint mandate? Right. It's almost 2014, your 20th century talking points are past their expiration date.

The ability to brick a phone that is not within arm's distance would be a feature and selling point, which pretty much does away with any objections based on profits that isn't rooted in (as the article says) more thefts = more sales. Nice. Almost Googlerian in its cold logic.

As for "their" ability to do this, this isn't my area of expertise, but it seems to me if they're able to download to your phone at their leisure, without your knowledge or direct consent at the time, it should be easy enough for them to locate and zap your phone of all value once you give them your mother's maiden name.

Is Google prepping an ARMY of WALKING ROBOTS?

Nicole D.

Re: Unsettling...

When Google looks into the future, way out beyond what today appears the horizon, they see the United States as a competitor on many fronts. Partnering with the US sooner than later, while Google remains technically answerable to US rules, laws, and regulations, best positions Google to eventually exercise decisive leverage over an American government that will need Google more than Google will need or feel itself still answerable to it. If it isn't already, Google will be the first corporate sovereignty. What today we recognize as the US will provide police and janitorial services to Google.

Are you feeling lucky, punk?

Microsoft, HURTING after NSA backdooring, vows to now harden its pipe

Nicole D.

Re: New years resolution

"In short, you have the same issue that Google and Microsoft have. Your traffic goes everywhere, you'll have to either wrap it up end to end, or accept it can be had."

Indeed. That's where meaningful analysis of modern privacy must start.

It's not like we're going to go back in time to a way of life before surveillance on this scale was both possible and practical. No one WANTS to.

So then what?

The line that "if you got nothing to hide you got nothing to fear" is wrong on all kinds of levels in all kinds of ways. But the rejection of that as a matter of principle doesn't mean it isn't one of the terms we will live under. And it's a deal we make with ourselves.

When Eric Schmidt sings the no hide/no fear song, it's not because he likes things that way and sees nothing wrong with it, it's because he knows it to be true. He's not making an ethical statement but stating a technological fact. And how many are in a better position to know? I'd rather he be candid than coy.

When Google and Microsoft and Yahoo and Facebook play the righteous victims, they deflect attention from themselves in hopes of hiding the fact that what the NSA has been doing in secret, they've been doing in broad daylight. With our enthusiastic cooperation and consent to the terms of service.

It would be easier and less inconvenient to renounce your citizenship, move to a different continent, and adopt a new identify, than to give up Google and never again have your bitstreams intersect.

OK, so what are you going do about it?

Nicole D.

Re: New years resolution

Speaking of New years resolutions...

Watch Time Magazine name Edward Snowdon Man of the Year.

Schmidt: Social networks will FREE THE PEOPLE of China

Nicole D.

Re: Arse

"These are thing China has done well in the past and could easily again."

And can do even more efficiently in a socially networked environment.

Schmidt's problem is that he believes his own dog food.

Why Microsoft absolutely DOESN'T need its own Steve Jobs

Nicole D.

Re: A fine line between Vision and Arrogance

"How the fuck am I supposed to know that?"

Oh please. How are you supposed to know that Ctrl-v will paste? The c in Ctrl-c makes some mnemonic sense. But (and this is not a complaint) why is Ctrl-z undo? And why -- oh god, please, WHY? -- with Ctrl-z being one of the easiest single-hand key combos, did Ctrl-y, one of the most difficult, ever become redo, possibly the second most important command in all of computing? And why do some popular softwares still insist on Ctrl-y without also implementing Ctrl-Shift-z?

Weird key combs are not the problem.

Almost forgot... that's Command if you're on a Mac.

Winamp is still a thing? NOPE: It'll be silenced forever in December

Nicole D.

Re: And a lovely player it was

"...but after they tried to sideload crap with the installers..."

That was my experience too. I went years without updating it because of the stuff it (AOL) insisted on installing. A few years ago I found that was no longer the case, or that it was easily bypassable (I forget which) and went to far as to buy Winamp Pro so I could rip to mp3, or was it FLAC... one or both of those, or something else that I wanted, was only available with Pro. I use it all the time, every day, it's my audio player and library manager of choice. So this is sad news.

But not surprising. It's been chaos over at Nullsoft for a long time. An email exchange I had recently with one of its programmers about a dodgy feature implementation and a suggested enhancement left me with the impression that there was really no direction to how the thing was being developed. Ad hoc and free form.

Just downloaded the latest version. It should suffice for for some time. Have no idea what I'd move to next.

Feedly gets Greedly: Users suddenly HAVE TO create a Google+ account

Nicole D.
Thumb Up

It's only fair and right that I append to my post that Feedly reversed it's decision within just a few hours, and returned access to the status quo ante. The put of a blog post about it that actually sounded sincere when they talked about the lessons learned. Good for them.

Nicole D.

A uniquely contemptible entity.

This only advances the long-looming requirement that one will need a Google+ account in order to use any Google service, including those you've been using for years with a vanilla Google account. Their recent move to the One Account system was another giant leap for Google-unkind.

And so just as we find ourselves today effectively locked out of our RSS feeds on Feedly, tomorrow we'll find ourselves locked out of our Gmail accounts.

The fact that I only went to Feedly after Reader closed down doesn't in some way make this a meaningless gripe: I willingly and knowingly chose to let Google manage and know about my online reading habits, which added to their already voluminous knowledge of me. In this case I am being extorted by Feedly, as a proxy for Google, to upgrade to still free but more intrusive Google service. Sorry Feedly, you sucked anyway.

The inconvenience of extricating myself from Google will be enormous, and it will ultimately be impossible to do even if I never again directly use one of their services. But even going through the motions on that useless effort will be better than continuing submitting to this uniquely contemptible entity.

I wait, no doubt in vain, for Google's demise.

'F-CK YOU GOOGLE+' ukelele missy scoops BIG WAD of $$ - for Google

Nicole D.
FAIL

How long do you think it will be before you need to be on Google Plus in order to continue using Gmail?

This one's been coming for a while now.

Fuck you Google. Seriously. Fuck. You.

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