Re: Independence day? More like Shrove Tuesday
Thought it was 'smallened', as in, "the bigness of the universe makes us feel smallened"
19 posts • joined 10 May 2017
It was Jenkins that first noticed them, impossible though they were, there on the surface of the sun - a cluster of geometric shapes beyond description, angular, faceted, rust coloured .. structures, they could be nothing else. For even as monumental towers of white hot plasma shifted, planet sized beside them, shunting energies sufficient to fry entire worlds down around them, there stubbornly they remained. That anything so solid should appear in that hell-scape held the lot of us spell bound for three days. No one wanted to leave, though on the second sleepless day, Davis's sister phoned to inquire if everything was quite all right. He put her off with a promise to send her the "most remarkable photograph anyone had ever seen". He would have done so the next day but that was when all reason was abandoned.
It had been standard practice to project the stellar image at times i upon a great round white table, 8 feet across, the better to observe fine detail with un-aided eye. At this point we had exhausted our limited supply of actual food and would have had to send someone into town that day anyway for provisions, and so were subsisting on liberal doses of black coffee. Though it was not customary, we had taken to parking our mugs on the projection table while staring transfixed at the structures there on the sun. That three of us should have been mesmerised by this scene should have beena clue perhaps. Finally Davis declared "enough" and, without further ado threw the switch to turn on the room lights. The span of a breath later, Jenkins made a stifled choking gasp, bolted up knocking over a mug in the process and ran out. Then i saw it, there in my own cup, on the surface of the black liquid, in miniature, that same geometry. And on the table, in the flat light of the projection, a third dimension slowly rising in the spilt coffee, impossible angles, a structure, and as one stared into it, yes of course,a passage of some kind..
Animated menus now? More AI trying to second guess wtf I want? Seriously? For the love of sanity, can we please, please please just have solid basic menus that just stay out of the way and do the damn job? People can get used to that! I'm perfectly capable of indicating what I want, without the help of an AI, if you'd just build a user interface that doesn't shift about like some delirium induced hallucination! Since when do UIs have to be a fashion show of 'look how clever we are' nonsense? We wouldn't need 'search' as much if you didn't keep moving stuff around in the first place!
Most irksome are needlessly animated elements, that require timers, that for some reason don't always work. So in an effort to be flashy, basic functionality is sacrificed.
Also maddening is when, if you can even find a control to turn said nonsense off, it doesn't actually turn the crap off, it just offers the possibility of turning the animation time down to zero. And of course, all these re-inventors have unit tested that possibility, right? Suuuuure ...
Or disappearing scroll bars that flit in and out of existence with mouse-over events. Or borderless blobs of text that function as buttons. Flat, bordeless, with washed out colors. And yet, touch a File menu and wham, it's full modal metro time! Yeah, not a fan of any M$ ui for a while now.
Yeah XP out of the box looked like a kid's toy, but they left the controls in place so you could customize that. Lately though, they've tended to rip off the controls and leave you stuck with whatever the kids in Redmond think looks cool this sprint.
M$ never seemed to learn the lesson that Apple learned at xeorox; users could give a fig about your [..] programs, users want to focus on their own data. I.e., icons for the documents, not for the 'applications'. No one ever sat down at the computer with the express intent of playing with Word or Excel itself. You interact with those programs because they happen to be the tools on your system for revising your reports and spreadsheets.
It's almost comical to see them return again and again to the program-centric interfaces. Of course they're a bit obsessed with programs, that's what they do, they build programs - but it also illustrates that they've never bothered to really understand their *users*
Anything that lets a White Hat remote in with beneficial intentions can and ultimately will allow Black Hats in. This idea of remote admin is thus fundamentally insecure.
The only way to reasonably achieve actual security is to require physical presence at the device, preferably with special physical equipment. Even if that special equipment is nothing more than a header jumper, because that puts modification beyond reach of remote operators.
Yes, that might inconvenience the local IT crew, to have to actually visit the machines they admin, but just look at the situation we're facing now. Does anyone think the mess Intel created is *convenient*
Maybe that's where AI could help. A working system is in fact a kind of specification. When that system is 25 years of patches, the code itself can be unmaintainable goo, but running it demonstrates required behaviour (one hopes). Sometimes you look at 100,000 lines of code, and feel it in your bones that it could be rewritten in 20,000 but the task is just too daunting to undertake. And it's *menial*.
So there's a domain (legacy bloatware) that's fairly unambiguous, with mountains of menial detail. Sounds like a job for a commuter! Ok, crushing 100K lines of crufty C++ to 20K lines of well organized C++ might be a bit hopeful, but hell, even if it could just look at such a system and produce a specification, that would be brilliant. (Of course, even that's not necessary because we all diligently maintain our specs, right? )
Yes!Since about 2005 there has been a continual erosion in the end-user configurability of desktops, and a mad proliferation of "look at me interfaces. Of course, they have to rip off the knobs, to force everyone to look at their so called "pretty" and "modern cruft. I maintain there's nothing wrong with a system that just does its job and otherwise stays out of the way
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