* Posts by JohnFen

289 posts • joined 20 Feb 2015

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You may not be a software company, but that isn't an excuse to lame-out at computering

JohnFen
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Marketing wank

"Most companies saying "actually we're a software company" are anything but."

I would correct this by saying that all companies saying that aren't.

The problem here is that this is the sort of thing that is uttered by marketing and PR departments, and nobody should be listening to those people, let alone taking anything they say seriously.

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Flying on its own, Thunderbird seeks input on new look

JohnFen
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Re: calendar ?

"Why does everyone want a calendar in their mail client ?"

I find this mysterious myself -- I've never found calendar integration with email to be a useful thing. But plenty of people seem to like it, so it fits someone's use case.

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JohnFen
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Re: How about making Thunderbird not suck, instead?

" It's hard not to think of it as abandonware when there's been no notable improvements in *years*."

I hear you. I have my own list of things I'd wish would get improved with it (although the UI isn't on that list).

But, for all of its warts, I'm very, very hard-pressed to find an email client which is actually better. Even if it really were abandoned, I'd still use it, if only because of a serious lack of good alternatives.

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JohnFen
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Re: GUI Design?

"That's actually how Kmail works"

Have they finally gotten around to making KMail actually work?

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JohnFen
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Re: Stagnant is good, dead is better

"As for a visual refresh: as long as the budget is modest and well spent, why not?"

Because it's likely to following the current "modern" UI trend. By which I mean ugly and hard to use.

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JohnFen
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Re: To be honest

"from scratch in HTML5 with a modern GMail UI"

That would make me bail on TBird pretty quickly for two reasons.

First, HTML-based interfaces, at their best, are never as good as native ones -- so I dearly hope that TBird doesn't go that route in the first place. Better they leave the current interface unchanged than do that.

Second, The GMail interface, specifically, is awful.

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JohnFen
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Re: I really don't care what the paint job looks like as long as it works.

"People have more success using attractive interfaces."

Perhaps, but "attractive" is a very subjective thing. How do you nail that down? As a ferinstance, most of the "modern" UIs that have been produced over the past several years have been fairly ugly.

Give me clear and functional over "pretty" any day of the week.

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JohnFen
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Re: HTML mode doesn't have a tree view (for folders)

"so HTML can be rendered"

Just so long as I can continue to disable HTML rendering for emails. I don't allow it now, and I will never allow it in the future.

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HTML5 may as well stand for Hey, Track Me Longtime 5. Ads can use it to fingerprint netizens

JohnFen
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"But what if you HAVE to because the show you need"

I seriously can't imagine any show that I need to watch, regardless of the wishes of my spouse (and what, she doesn't have her own computer?). But that aside, if there's a site which is truly invaluable, I suppose that I'd be forced to capitulate.

Since it hasn't happened to me yet, I'm not sure what my approach would be, but at a minimum, I'd probably use a special browser installation just for that site, running in a VM.

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JohnFen
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Re: Yep

It doesn't have to in order to present a security risk. Meltdown can be performed with Javascript, after all (at least it could, until the spat of browser patches were issued to mitigate).

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JohnFen
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"One problem with ad blockers is several websites (HGTV / Scripps Broadcasting in particular) will not function properly"

That's no problem. I just don't go to sites that are so insistent on throwing me under the bus.

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JohnFen
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Re: Yep

I know HTML5 extremely well, thank you.

There are certain things that HTML5 improves, but for every one of those it makes other things worse. For my tastes, it's a pretty large step backwards on the whole. I would strongly prefer the "stasis" of 2003-2010 over what we have now.

You may disagree -- that's fair -- but don't for a moment think that the reason I disagree with you is because I don't know what I'm talking about.

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JohnFen
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Yep

Pretty much everything about HTML5 makes me not want to use an HTML5 compliant browser.

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Who's using 2FA? Sweet FA. Less than 10% of Gmail users enable two-factor authentication

JohnFen
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Perhaps the confusion comes from Google's habit of pestering you to provide a phone number to them for 2FA purposes.

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JohnFen
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Sure. I don't use it. But, in fairness, the only time I use a Google service at all is at my workplace, because (much to everyone's great dismay) they switched to using Google for things like email.

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JohnFen
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Re: Google or Hackers?

"I only have Gmail, because Android phone"

Huh? Having an android phone does not mean you have to have gmail.

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JohnFen
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Re: Well, of course

"If you've called some who has an Android mobile and your name in their contacts list, Google has your mobile number"

This is true more often than it should be, but it isn't true as a blanket statement. Some people actually do use Android without involving Google's apps or services at all.

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JohnFen
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Re: Of course they don't use it

"the might of EU and US government would crucify them in public if they were not following them"

The EU, maybe, but certainly not the US.

Regardless, who said anything about not following them? I was talking more about how they're written. Seriously, take a good look at most privacy policies, particularly those from large corporations such as Google. After working through the legalese, they all basically allow the companies to do what they like with the data unless a law specifically prohibits them from doing it.

Google is no exception here.

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JohnFen
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Re: Of course they don't use it

"Have even bothered to read their privacy policy?"

"Privacy policies" are only as trustworthy as the people who are issuing them. If someone doesn't trust Google to begin with, nothing in their privacy policy has meaning.

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JohnFen
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Well, of course

There's no way in hell I'm voluntarily giving Google my phone number. If they want it that bad, they can do what they already do with the other data they want: get it through surveillance.

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Hehe, still writing code for a living? It's 2018. You could be earning x3 as a bug bounty hunter

JohnFen
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The US median (not average) is indeed $80k. It's not as ridiculous as you insinuate, because the cost of living varies wildly in different parts of the nation. In some parts, you can live like a king on $80k, and you'll be in the top 5% of earners. In others, $80k means you're poor and likely living in a rundown shack.

I'm guessing that you happen to be located in an area with a relatively high cost of living, where $80k isn't a ton of money.

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Frenchman comes eye to eye with horror toilet python

JohnFen
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Coat

Judging by the headline

"A sensitive place" indeed! Getting bitten in the eye would be awful.

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Causes of software development woes

JohnFen
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Re: And that's why...

"The way I see it is my employer buys from me 40 hours a week"

That was the way I saw it at the front end of my career. Now, the way I see it is that my employer is paying me more for my expertise, experience, and insight than for the number of hours that I work.

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JohnFen
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What a strange stance to take, to consider the people you are working to properly serve and support -- the users (a/k/a the customer, a/k/a the people paying your wage) -- your enemy.

I wonder how common that attitude is, and if it's connected to the general decline of software quality over the last decade or so.

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JohnFen
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Re: Can you do us a sort of dashboard thingy with graphs and pie charts and stuff?

"and it goes in your personnel file"

I stopped caring about what goes in my "personnel file" decades ago, since the contents of that file don't mean anything outside of the company that holds the file. The only "permanent record" that impacts me is the one that affects my general employability, not the one that affects my standing at a particular company.

I only care about doing the best work that I can. And you know what? That goes in your "personnel file" too.

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JohnFen
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Re: And that's why...

"When you get older, your priorities change. Would you rather work longer effectively repeating your work for the sake of an extra few quid, or would you rather it was done properly and agreed so you could go home at a respectable time and put your child to bed?"

This is true -- and that's why when you reach that point in your career, it becomes very important to not put up with the sorts of employers who are strict "my way or the highway" types. Fortunately, you probably also have enough experience that you can find a better employer elsewhere.

In my younger days, I was just happy to be working in my chosen field and would put up with quite a lot of BS for the opportunity. Now that decades have passed, I'm much pickier about who I'm working for, and have no problems quitting if the match isn't good.

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Remember those holy tech wars we used to have? Heh, good times

JohnFen
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Re: Floyd reference

" and (to crank upt an argument), the last known good Floyd album)"

That's subject to an argument? I thought it was self-evident. Although I put it a little differently. It was the last Pink Floyd album. After that, a different band called "Pink Floyd" was formed, producing a different sort of music altogether. The two are not really comparable.

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JohnFen
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What happened?

What happened was that "the good guys" lost, and the major corporations won. Now, at least amongst many of the people who remember the old days on the internet when freedom (and the battles that accompany it) was still a thing are now trying to figure out what to do, or if nothing can be done, how to replace what has been lost at least in some corner, somewhere.

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Hold on to your aaSes: Yup, Windows 10 'as a service' is incoming

JohnFen
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Re: More shovelware

"The OS is supposed to be there to work for you"

Haven't you heard? Everything's a service now, which means it's no longer supposed to be there to work for you. It's supposed to be there to mine your data or money or both.

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JohnFen
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"I wish Linux would make some strides into becoming a better platform for gaming"

Linux is a perfectly good platform for gaming. The only thing that stops most game developers from targeting it is that it has such a small market share.

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JohnFen
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Re: "compelling new features"

Hell, I'm hard pressed to think of anything that wasn't actively made worse wince Win7, outside of a couple of tiny changes that should have been made years ago.

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JohnFen
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"For work I use linux."

Lucky you!

At home, I don't have a single Windows installation. At work (where I develop for Windows, Linux, and various mainframe OSes), though, I have to use Windows. Using and developing for Windows always feels like a step backwards.

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JohnFen
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Re: an operating system and, as such, is not supposed to innovate.

"So you're still running CPM yeah?"

I am, on three of my machines.

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JohnFen
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Re: Who didn't see this coming?

" should kind of hint that a sizable percentage of users don't care about "the latest features""

I care very much about them, in the sense that I wish they would stop coming so fast. I really miss the days when they only came around every couple of years, and I could realistically choose whether and when I was ready to get them.

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Good lord, Kodak's stock is up 120 per cent. How? New film? Oh. It launched a crypto-coin

JohnFen
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Re: Forget the Coin

"This is quite an exciting development in digital rights management"

What makes it an exciting development? How is it better than the existing methods of doing the same thing with regard to photos? I know little about blockchains aside from implementation details, so to me this all looks like nothing more than marketing hype. How is it not?

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JohnFen
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Re: and inevitably

Fine, but the question remains: how is using a blockchain to do this better than the other methods of doing the same thing?

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Devs see red after not seeing Big Red on Stack Overflow database poll

JohnFen
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I realize that you may not consider American to be a valid language, but it is true nonetheless that the '#' symbol is commonly called a "pound sign" here in the US (because it is commonly used in many industries to mean the unit of weight).

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JohnFen
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Re: This will go off-topic, sorry...

I'm fed up with people who can't be bothered to get fed up.

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JohnFen
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"The Oracle fan boys"

Wait, there are Oracle fanboys (outside of Oracle employees)? Weird. I've known a lot of people who have to work with Oracle's stuff, but I've never seen hide nor tail of a fanboy.

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JohnFen
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"You didn't read in the article where MySQL was #1, did you?"

That just means #1 amongst Stack Overflow's audience. I seriously doubt that the people answering a SO poll are actually statistically representative of the entire space.

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JohnFen
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Re: Fuck Oracle

My heart agrees. I hate Oracle as much as the next guy (particularly when I have to develop for their DBMS). However, it's simply objectively true that Oracle crap is pretty widely used, and omitting them from the survey -- as good as it may feel -- reduces the value of the survey.

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Cortana. Whatever happened to world domination?

JohnFen
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I know what it is

" Now nobody knows what it is."

I dunno, it's pretty obvious what it is: an attempt to put a humanizing face on an incredibly invasive spy infrastructure.

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US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

JohnFen
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Nobody is opposed to the US protecting itself, and nobody is saying that the US doesn't have the right to. But this particular action, like so much of what the DHS does, is not really about protecting the US. Or, if it is, then it's simply idiotic, since it does nothing to protect anything.

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JohnFen
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Re: What's the hit rate?

"Except the border cops ARE part of Customs"

True, they are part of the same overarching organization but they have very different methods, goals, and levels of competency.

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How are the shares, Bry? Intel chief cops to CPU fix slowdowns

JohnFen
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Re: It's not wall clock time that's being timed

Even then, it wouldn't matter. It's not an absolute amount of time that's being measured, it's the amount of time relative to other operations. Changing the clock speed won't change the relative timings.

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FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

JohnFen
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"If it comes to pass, people will adapt, which means not keeping anything private on the device"

They will adapt, but they're more likely to adapt by installing crypto the wasn't supplied by the manufacturer of the phone. Strong crypto is readily available everywhere, for every platform. You can't put that genie back in the bottle.

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JohnFen
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Re: Face Palm

"that don't understand the most simple concept of encryption?"

Why do you think they don't understand? I think they understand perfectly. They're just hoping that the average American doesn't understand so they can move ahead with getting their back door installed.

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Memo man Damore is back – with lawyers: Now Google sued for 'punishing' white men

JohnFen
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Re: I am confused

"This is some serious bullshit you have to contend with. "

Personally, considering how divisive and hostile things have become, this strikes me as an excellent policy (and it's becoming increasingly common). It avoids a lot of pointless strife in the workplace -- which is supposed to be a place where you work, after all.

"Never would I work at a place where I was forbidden to discuss current affairs or history with my friends and colleagues."

Neither would I -- at all of the places, I could talk about anything I like with my friends and colleagues. Just not on company time or using company resources.

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JohnFen
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Re: I am confused

"Do you mind identifying the field we're talking about, and which country you're from?"

Software engineering (security-related) companies in the US (west coast). These were major well-known companies (only one of them was Fortune 500, though). None of them were Google, Microsoft, etc.

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JohnFen
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Re: I am confused

"More women do not venture towards tech"

I'm not really so sure about this. The last three places that I've worked have been pretty close to 50/50 in terms of the gender of the engineers, although none of them put any special effort into recruiting women. What they did have were policies that restrained some of the worst aspects of how men behave when women are around.

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