* Posts by elgarak1

130 posts • joined 11 Oct 2017

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Bloke thrown in the cooler for eight years after 3D-printing gun to dodge weapon ban

elgarak1

There appear to be quite a few details missing from the reporting. Let's just say there a lots of lucky coincidences and weird details present that should raise questions for competent reporters.

I'm not saying the police and prosecution have done something illegal, but they are quite lucky to have this case involving 3D printing.

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

elgarak1

Re: Nothing like having your work day extended a few more hours

The problem with that factoid is that one could think 90% of the users only need or want 10% of the features. I don't believe that is true. Most users would benefit, and could learn and routinely use, more than 10% of the features.

The reason they only use 10% of the features of MS Office is that a lot of its features are buggy and crappily implemented.

But Microsoft has no incentive to fix that. They still get the money by being "the Standard" (undeservedly), and users have arranged themselves to work around the crappiness. It's sad how much productivity and progress is wasted that way.

elgarak1

RoboCop

Whenever MS wants to sell me on an Office 365 subscription, it reminds me of that scene in "RoboCop": "I had a guaranteed military sale with ED 209 - renovation program, spare parts for twenty-five years... Who cares if it worked or not?"

But, hey, when Word pumps my 100 page/50k word document full of lead, I'm sure it's just a glitch.

elgarak1

Re: I must be way out there

It was forked from OpenOffice.org before THAT forked into OpenOffice (Apache) and LibreOffice. It's commercial and includes improvements from both nowadays.

It has some usage improvements closer to other Mac apps. My own criticism of the word processor part I already mentioned for LibreOffice (the crappy style handling workflows and the internal handling of fonts) remain, though.

Really, on a scale from 1 to 10, the style handling of Word is at -8, LibreOffice/NeoOffice writer is at -10. Nisus Writer is a very solid +9, Mellel +6, the latter just because it has a steeper learning curve. From a functionality viewpoint, Mellel's and LibreOffice's style handling are the most powerful, but Mellel is much much more easy and reliable. Libre's styles could even be much more powerful than Mellel. I wouldn't know, because it's such a pain to use.

elgarak1

Steve Jobs was right. They have no taste. In a big way.

Everything on this "Twins" page is tasteless. And I mean everything. The text, the videos, the laughable features, how the links are embedded, the whole concept of saying one of the own products is shit, here'a the nearly identical product that's gold ... Everything.

elgarak1

Listen up, Microsoft: I get that you notice, and fear, that users are abandoning Office. But squeezing will not keep them in! You cannot push people into a service, much less a subscription service. You can only lure. What you are doing is not luring me, though. Word, the only product I care about, is shit compared to others out there, and your advertised tools are laughable. If you want to lure me back, give me something I want or need! You can't, because you do not (want not) understand what I need or want. You continue to willfully ignore my needs. So no Office for me. No subscription, no money, and no data for you (other cloud services take my data only if I do not pay. If I pay, they do not take my data).

That's ANY Office. 365 and 2019. The only reason some people chose 2019 over 365 is because they need to exchange files in Office formats only occasionally. Once the entities forcing this will realize that they are better served not with Office file formats, you will loose.

LibreOffice 6.2 is here: Running up a Tab at the NotebookBar? You can turn it all off if you want

elgarak1

As someone who has written two physics theses with LaTeX (including numerous tables and lists), and countless science papers with Word, you are wrong.

Give me LaTeX any time. It's not the best way to get things done ... but it's miles above Word or Libre.

If it weren't for maths, i wouldn't use either nowadays, though. I would go with Scrivener or Mellel for any lengthy science or technical writing that does not use much math. Say, like 'soft' sciences like history.

elgarak1

Re: epub

"However, once you understand how Writer paragraph and page styles work,[..]"

That is its major shortcoming. Its handling of styles is way too complicated and has an unnecessarily steep learning curve, and one of the reasons why I do not use it except for converting/accessing (*cough*Word*cough*) files that do not open well in other programs. Word has similar problems re. styles. It's probably not surprising that LibreOffice has them – they're inherited from trying to be similar to Word – but it seems that LibreOffice's devs don't realize they have a problem there, and do not improve it. Sadly.

Compared to Nisus Writer – which uses an extremely simple and elegant way to handle styles transparently and easily, with an extremely flat learning curve – , I wonder what those developers of LibreOffice are thinking.

On the Mac, Libre's other big shortcomings is that it internally handles fonts and referencing to fonts completely different from all other apps. Almost every document I try comes up with the font in italics, and often uses the wrong font. Which means I have to go in and fix the styles, which with the above problems of styles is a pain to work.

LibreOffice patches malicious code-execution bug, Apache OpenOffice – wait for it, wait for it – doesn't

elgarak1

Re: Tried Libre about 3 weeks ago....

Sadly, a lot of people expect that document submission and discussion needs to be done with .doc/.docx. Now, you and I probably know that this is foolish as the file format is ill-suited for exchange (for instance, but not limited to, having serious machine and work history dependent content that has nothing to do what is intended to be exchanged), and frequently can result in corruption.

If this happens, and you admit not using Word, guess who gets the blame. (Never mind that one can produce a .doc/.docx file without using Word, and THAT file is nearly foolproof to be not corrupted. But once this file has been going through a Word install, all bets are off.)

Florida man's deadliest catch forces police to evacuate Taco Bell

elgarak1

Re: Here fishy fishy

Note: He was not after fishes.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

elgarak1

Consider yourself to be lucky that you're not in Germany... Here, the default keys are "J" for "Ja" and "N" for "Nein"...

I'm sure a lot will remember the error message that came up in DOS when floppy disks were removed at the wrong time. The options were "[Abort] [Retry] [Ignore]", which according to all my testing would advance to the exact same end state.

An upset tummy and a sphincter-loosening blackout: Lunar spaceflight is all glamour

elgarak1

Re: Lunch from both ends?

That's not true.

What IS true, though, that at one time NASA DID play with the idea to feed the astronauts a diet that would not necessitate a bowel movement for the whole trip of 14 days. They went so far as to do experiments (I do not know if any astronauts were involved). The unlucky record holder held out for about 10 days, and, ahem, re-ignition of the digestive tract was not very nice for the test person or the ones to take care of him.

Needless to say, or maybe it is, the test were deemed unsuccessful, and were NOT used on any space flight, much less on one of the moon flights.

You DO know how they handled a number 2 on Apollo, yes? Number 1 was simple – stick it in a tube, pee in a plastic bag, hook the bag up to a valve with connection to the outside, open the valve, observe constellation Urinus, close valve.

Number 2 was a bit trickier. It involved large plastic bags with a funnel opening. It had self-glue adhesive attached. They would glue the bag with these strips to their behind. When they were finished, they dropped some tablet in the whole thing (to prevent fermentation), use the adhesive to close the bag, put the bag in another bag that could be closed easily and securely (just for safety), knead the whole concoction so that the chemicals of the tablet would be nicely distributed, and stored the whole shebang for the whole rest of the trip. Also recall that there was no privacy whatsoever from your fellow crewmates. They had whole pre-packaged kits for that, with the two plastic bags, the tablets, and some wet towels.

Those guys are heroes, goddamnit!

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

elgarak1

I agree with the assessment that it is (probably) not (islamic) terrorists, simply because there's very little terror – no one was running for their lives.

There are a tone of other scenarios: extreme environmentalists protesting against air travel. Globalization activists protesting global travel and shipping. Stock market manipulation. Someone with a grudge against Gatwick Airport specifically. A kid having fun with their pre-opened gift at the wrong time and the wrong place (would have been more easily found and shut down, but it is not yet excluded.) A test run for something more sinister. A nutter having fun who vanishes early on because they noticed how stupid they were, and mass hysteria driving the rest. or or or...

Speculation is fun! Let's write a novel!

elgarak1

There have been over fifty confirmed sightings on the first day. I guess that counts as a targeted attack. It stopped because, a) the operator(s) achieved what they aimed for, or b) the response became massive enough to scare them away.

I'm still a bit surprised that the re-opened without having anything to say about the perps. Maybe (very possibly) they know more than they say why they think it's safe to re-open.

elgarak1

I think people over-estimate how easy it is to shoot down the drones. Let's say there's a drone, and a guy (police, soldier, security) with a shotgun who sees it. The guy aims the shotgun, but the operator of the drone notices (either because they chose a good vantage point, or have good cameras, or spotters who help them, or whatever), so they zips the drone away out of sight, say, to the nearest trees, and lands. Sure enough, searchers are directed to where the drone vanished to, but I guess there's enough time for the operator to collect the drone and scamper away – it's a large area, difficult to search, with a vast array of hiding spots.

If the operators are really clever and it is a targeted attack specifically to shut down the airport, they get a gang of people with specific purposes (spotters for observing countermeasures, pick-ups for the drone, etc.)

And no, I'm not a terrorist, and never planned to do anything remotely similar to that. Just a simple scenario that pops up within seconds. I should write a thriller about that (if anyone does, I have a post to claim my rights ;) ).

elgarak1

German airports have been on heightened alert for a few days. One of the suspects (a known islamic extremist, FWIW) had been triggering a security alert in France (at Charles de Gaulle Airport) just before he came over to Stuttgart. Flats and homes have been searched in connection with that, though no one was arrested or implicated in a cunning plan.

Maybe (but that's highly speculative) there's a connection? Trying to shut down multiple airports across Europe? Unsubs scared away by security action here in Germany (and France) and tried it on the isles as long as it is easily possible to cross over?

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

elgarak1

I'm wondering about that too. If they are competent, they are sure that a risk of a drone strike is negligible.

That is easily explainable by the police and authorities not telling everything they know. Which they often do for good reasons. Like that they know of someone who did it who fled the scene, and they're now looking for them somewhere else. But that's speculation until they tell us more.

elgarak1

I just read that the drones go up every time the airport tries to re-open.

Again, there's only one way to clear this particular incident: Find the operators who launch the drones. Or scare them away by putting up lots of people all around the airport with guns to shoot down enough of the drones – but you need to be sure the operators are gone, or who they were, to make sure they're not coming back, so you're back to having to find them. There's nothing else.

And that takes time.

elgarak1

What if you do not have anything to shoot at?

The drone flies around long enough to be spotted. By the time the guys with the guns arrive it's gone.

What now? Of course police and security will search, but it's bound to be a large area to search. Meanwhile, you cannot risk flying planes while there's a drone nutter around. Likewise, you cannot jam all the time. You're bound to jam something you'll need to organize the plane-flying. Jamming and shutting down goes hand-in-hand.

It's a rather effective way to shut down an airport or other facility for a bit. And I don't see much that can be done against it at all facilities. (It's similar in a way that you cannot prevent a car to be driven into a large group of people. You can only make certain groups of people less likely targets.)

Likewise, licensing and restrictions for drone operators won't do shit. Evil-minded people do not give a fuck about that – see 9/11 – or the terrorists driving trucks into people.

elgarak1

1) If the drone is remote controlled (the most likely option), they try to find whoever controls it, for questioning, shutting down the drone, arrest, and indictment. From what I observe, 99% of drone problems (mostly from ignorant nutters) can be resolved this way.

2) Whatever else is going on, they want to get hands on the intact drone whenever possible. Again, to find out who made it and launched it, in particular for autonomous drones.

3) From these two points, it follows that one needs to protect the people and infrastructure in the area while this is going on. For an airport, that means shutting down.

In short, that's the realistic and rational way this problem can be handled right now in the real world.

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

elgarak1

OK, so there's reliable reports of drones. Airport is shut down for safety, police and expert are called in. the begin to investigate, try to find the operator, and remove the threat.

Operator of drone notice something is up, and leaves before there's a chance to get caught.

If you were the person at the top, how long would you wait to re-open the airport? For your POV, there were drones, and there still could be someone out there. The operator is not found yet. If it's really an attack, the drone operator could just lie low until flights resume, and relaunch.

You would want to be sure that the situation is resolved. That takes time.

And yes, it shows how easy it is to interrupt infrastructure.

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

elgarak1

I don't think they have changed anything in September. If they had, there should be more discontinuity in the numbers.

Something happened on the user side that prevented them to be counted to "Windows". It prevented them to be counted to one of the other named OSs. The users counted went from "Windows" to "unknown". The easiest explanation is that those users changed their telemetry settings – stopped browsers and the OS from reporting the correct data.

We don't see it on other statistic services because they have a different metric. Netmarketshare, for instance, was always criticized for counting only corporate users using a specific set of web applications (biasing towards Windows). Those users are unlikely to wiggle their privacy settings.

Now, one can wonder why this is happening, and happening now. There's an easy suspect.

elgarak1

Re: Edge exists on iOS? Really?

The age restriction is from the Apple store. Every browser in there is rated "17+" since you can access the naughty bits of teh Interwebz with them, and even Apple cannot restrict THAT usage for a mere browser. (It's enforced by the age setting in the used Apple account. Yes, you can lower the age setting if you give a device to your kid, or if you share your account with your family. No, I do not know how well this is working, how secure it is, or how easy kids could hack that, since I am an adult by my lonesome and never needed to meddle with that.) Further, the age restriction set in the App Store is, AFAIK, only for downloading and buying, not using (there may be something age restrictive for using, too, but, well, see above.)

elgarak1

Wow. Have you looked at the desktop OS market share recently? Since September, Windows market share is dropping pronouncedly, and something unknown is coming up. I don't think people are running away in droves ... but it seems they're fed up with spying and data-mining and turning their privacy protection up to 11.

Windows 10 or Cisco Advanced Malware Protection: Pick one

elgarak1

It's not that Microsoft has not used system calls they left undocumented before for themselves.

Oh. Wait....

Two fool for school: Headmaster, vice principal busted for mining crypto-coins in dorms, classrooms

elgarak1

I was working at a university when it was discovered that more than half of the university's hard drive space was open to filesharing services and filled with media files. What do you expect when you build a high speed pipeline to the nearest hub and give students and underpaid science staff unfettered access to it? Just for the sciences, my ass!

Oracle 'net-watcher agrees, China Telecom is a repeat offender for misdirecting traffic

elgarak1

Isn't that the point of the Internet?

Isn't it the point of the internet/http that each packet can go any number of ways? So that if one route fails, there are multiple other routes to take? ;)

Kidding aside:

1) If all traffic always fails to take better routes, it could be an error/glitch/bug.

2) If all traffic gets routed in certain patterns, there may be malicious intent.

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

elgarak1

Re: Broken, yes... and not fixable.

Altair Basic/Basica/GW-Basic, developed by Bill Gates and Paul Allen themselves. Not much beyond that. They did make Word for Macintosh (developed originally for the Unix clone Xenix, then to DOS, and then on the Mac as first GUI version) ... but with heavy input from Apple and Steve Jobs, with things they really really did not want to do (like proportional fonts), but Apple forced them to.

Did you know that their first OS was a Unix clone called Xenix? Oh how different the world could be...

Roughly 30 years after its birth at UK's Acorn Computers, RISC OS 5 is going open source

elgarak1

No one seemed to have mentioned the elephant: Nothing mentioned in this thread matters if there are no applications people would want to use, and developers who would want to write those applications.

Alexa heard what you did last summer – and she knows what that was, too: AI recognizes activities from sound

elgarak1

Re: Failure of Understanding

You still do not understand: They propose to fool users to turn the Echo into an always-on-mic WILLINGLY by providing a service that requires it to be.

And they do not see the problem with it.

Apache OpenOffice, the Schrodinger's app: No one knows if it's dead or alive, no one really wants to look inside

elgarak1

Oh, and before someone asks: NeoOffice has put some spit and polish on the UI to make it look more like a Mac app, but its behind-the-scenes behavior, philosophy and quirks are the same as LibreOffice:Mac. It looks nicer, but my impression was and still is that it's not worth the $30 compared to LibreOffice, if you can accept a bit of non-Mac optics.

elgarak1

"OpenOffice.app cannot be opened because it comes from an unidentified developer."

That's what my Mac says, or something to that effect. Yes, one can still open it. It's a simple thing to go into the security preferences and enter an admin password. That's not the point. The point is: There are many reasons why a developer [or enterprise releasing a software product] is not identified with Apple. For many small companies and freelance developers, it's a simple matter of economics – it costs money to be an identified developer.

But Apache? Why cannot APACHE be bothered to be one? I'm sure Apache IS an identified developer, but they cannot be bothered to add this to what could be a flagship product, or at least an open source PR prestige project? It sure looks they do not care about it. Why should we?

ETA: It looks horrible. It has basic display errors in the UI. I cannot imagine anyone actually using that thing. It looks and feels abandoned before the Alpha stage. LibreOffice:Mac is buggy and quirky in its UI, but it feels like a cared for and finished product (though it still needs a lot of polish).

Haven't updated your Adobe PDF software lately? Here's 85 new reasons to do it now

elgarak1

Re: For @#&% Sake,

Nope. The format is actually quite nice. I handle them daily, and have no problems whatsoever.

What IS painful is the most common software combo to handle them – Windows, Office, and Adobe's Acrobat Reader. The irony is that Adobe's free software is one of the worst, given that it was Adobe that developed the format.

elgarak1

Adobe PDF Software?

Ummm.... Don't have it...

I'm on a Mac, which means everything on my machine can handle PDF without the need to install anything, from Adobe or elsewhere (it has been declared one of the essential file formats by Apple ages ago).

Yeah, sure, Apple's software (in particular Preview, which pretty much acts as Mac's Adobe Reader equivalent) has its own share of problems. I'm still a smug bastard about this in particular. I have a LOT less trouble (practically zero) with PDFs than with, say, .doc/.docx. ;)

Microsoft accidentally let encrypted Windows 10 out into the world

elgarak1

Would you trust Microsoft if they were doing any other kind of technology for production?

Pluto is more alive than Mars, huff physicists who are still not over dwarf planet's demotion

elgarak1

Re: Confused

That's no excuse for having an ambiguous and sloppy definition just so one has a small list of planets for kids to learn.

How would you extend that definition on exo-planets? Say, in a solar system so young that none of its planets has yet cleared its orbit?

I'm fine with calling Pluto, Charon, Ceres, Juno, Pallas etc. planets. You can then further divide 'planets' into 'major' (our standard eight) and 'minor' (everything else).

Microsoft sharpens its claws to cut Outlook UI excess, snip Ribbon

elgarak1

"In the new Outlook interface the toolbar will be cut back to a single row of commands, which users will be encouraged to tailor to their own needs."

Translate: Must be configured by user to work.

Corollary: We devs don't care how it's supposed to be used – we don't use that shit.

Microsoft gives Windows 10 a name, throws folks a bone

elgarak1

Re: >> I do not need DropBox Plus, nor OneDrive.

It's the other way round: *I* am forced to use Word. I would not, if Microsoft could be bothered to properly support a properly documented file format. Then no one would need to use a single program – everyone could use whatever the hell they wanted. But MS actively sabotages that by not properly supporting such a format, and not fully documenting their own (despite the fact that they managed to get a ISO 9001 certificate on said file format).

Over on the graphics design side it works a helluva lot better. There are properly documented file formats supported by multiple applications that people can choose from, and the workers with those applications know that and where issues can arise and know how to avoid them, and how to deal with them if they are there, on both sides of an exchange.

elgarak1

Re: >> I do not need DropBox Plus, nor OneDrive.

Here's the problem: *Word is unavoidable.*

If you work as a freelancer in certain type of text-related business (novel writer, translator, editor, proof-reader etc.) you are expected to send and receive Word files.

The receiving end is no problem. If I get a Word file, I'll open it with something. It's usually good enough... there are minor issues, but I can live with them, work with them, or correct them.

The problem are the people on the other side who cannot live with, work with, or correct the minor issues. So I need Word, and only Word, and only as a desktop app, and only to check how the files I _send_ will show up at the other people's end.

There's the stand-alone Word for €135 one time (effectively every three years or so.) The next most expensive word processor for the Mac is Nisus Writer Pro for €80 (about as powerful, but _much_ nicer to use... except for the file sharing issues...) Still, MS does not bother to give you a legalese on the licensing there. They don't even tell you if it's "licensed for commercial use", as they do on the Office 365 subscription. And yes, if you need it for paying work, that _is_ an issue.

elgarak1

Re: "LibreOffice only does a majority of what home users need"

That's the point: I am a one-user business. I would only need Word (as a desktop app) to check for compatibility. I do not need or want any of the file sharing or cloud crap. I want my files to be save, and not data mined by the app.

MS sells Word as a stand-alone app, albeit hidden within its online store (you'll have to specifically search for it.) It's €135 as a one-time-payment. That's easily the most expensive general usage word processing app I can get for the Mac, and I still do not know if it data mines or not (Microsoft's web store is notoriously short of information there, and directs you to a Personal Office 365 as alternative which officially data mines. And the stand-alone version _still_ needs a MS account, and I cannot see why I would need to do that.)

Otherwise, I would need an Office 365 Business Plan, which is €106 _per year_. Better yet, an Office 365 Deutschland (yes, that's right. Data kept _in_ Germany, under German law. Removes some components of Office, though. Interesting what Microsoft has to provide...) Last I checked, €135 per year... But they changed the web page, and do not sell or tell prices anymore, as far as I can see. You have to call and talk to a distributor. It still includes crap I really do not want or need.

In short, Microsoft is the crappiest software supplier for my type of business.

elgarak1

I do not need DropBox Plus, nor OneDrive.

Currently, the only thing I would need is Word as a desktop app, and for that it's really way too much cash (besides, the terms and conditions MS has on the Personal, Home, and Student editions of Office are downright horrible.)

Luckily, I'm using a Mac, and there are alternatives like Nisus Writer (€20 for basic, €80 for pro, no subscription) or Mellel (€50, also a one time). On Windows, you are effectively stuck with LO, which really is not an improvement except in price.

It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update

elgarak1

Re: Please use standard Windows UI

This sound reasonable – until one realizes how many other cross-platform-opensource apps manage to use the standard OS file dialog.

elgarak1

Re: Forget the geeky stuff, sort out the user experience.

It's not so much that it's complicated. It's that there so many things it does slightly different than everything else. Each of these things are, by themselves, merely mild irritations. But in the mass...

Things like that it shows layer boundaries by default (no other graphics program I use does. Affinity Photo shows them context sensitive when needed.), and cannot remember that I turned it off (it remembers all other kinds of shit from last session. Why not this one?). Things like selection fields do not just show the options when I click on the little down arrow – I have to click AND HOLD, contrary to everywhere else on the system. Then there's the file explorer it has for "File Open" it has in it that behaves totally different (not even bad. Just different enough that I loose orientation. I click on the top folder on the sidebar, and it does not show me the contents of said top folder. It goes to a sub folder three layers deep where I was last time.) [These last two are probably connected to the fact that they do not properly port, just cross-compile.]

And so on.

elgarak1

Re: +1 about the GUI ...

"It can be configured" unfortunately very often translates to "must be configured, as the presets are abysmally bad". A lot of Linux distributions, Linux UIs, and Linux originating apps suffer from it. GIMP is a prime example. (Interestingly enough, the styles in Word are another good example. It's not just on Linux...)

Now, if a user sets out to configure, one realizes that configuring GUIs and GUI elements is actually quite hard work to make it good. Which is why a lot of users flock to somewhere where this hard work has been done by professionals. Which often means having to pay cash.

elgarak1

Re: Forget the geeky stuff, sort out the user experience.

Spot on.

I never got the hang of it to use it regularly. I want to love it, because I have a soft spot for open source and free software, but GIMP never felt nice enough to actually use.

Get drinking! Abstinence just as bad for you as getting bladdered

elgarak1

Oh goody, they recommend the type of alc I CANNOT drink. I'm a allergic. Wine and champagne contains too much histamine for me to consume safely. Beers are hit and miss, depending on the used yeast – typically, I either like it and am allergic, or I frickin' HATE the stuff, but don't get a reaction.

The only alcohol I like to consume is vodka or scotch...

And frankly, the behavioral changes induced by alcohol consumption are rather unpleasant.

2TB or not 2TB: Microsoft fiddles with OneDrive as competition offers twice the storage

elgarak1

Re: So. Kicked in the crotch twice, eigh?

At least with the olden .doc (Word 97-2003) format, you can use any old Word installation, and increasingly alternative like LibreOffice, as the file format is unlikely to undergo significant changes.

And to go back to the "1TB vs. 2TB" problem: I barely scratch the 5GB [sic] of the free Apple iCloud service with the stuff I need to put on the cloud.

elgarak1

Re: So. Kicked in the crotch twice, eigh?

And, actually, I'm kicked thrice, because I'm a Mac-user, which means I'm not getting the full Office complement of Windows (there's no Publisher or Access – not that I wanted them – and they're even more buggy).

And since I'm in Germany, I would need the GERMAN Business Office Plan – even more expensive (€11 per month for installable apps), even less functions, but keeps the data-mining demon at bay – besides, I'm practically required to get it since I have to handle and keep safe not only MY data, but also of MY customers.

Again, this is pure empty money. It does not help me in any way, shape or form to fulfill my job. There are better ways.

Only because Microsoft kicks from above.

elgarak1

Re: So. Kicked in the crotch twice, eigh?

All correct, and this is what I do. Compared to the services and apps I use, Microsoft's Office is overpriced and, frankly, too bad in usage to be acceptable.

The problem is that it is often UNAVOIDABLE. If you are a publishing author, you're required to submit and communicate the details of your manuscript with a Word-file, which means you have to keep at least Word (as the alternatives are not bug-identical, hence you cannot rely on them to accurately predict what will happen if you sent your file over!).

If you are in a business (as a publishing author), you're expected to be available on Skype. And so forth.

I. do. not. want. to. use. Microsoft. products. They're crappy to use, expensive, and data-mine as much as free services like google – despite having to pay. If you pay for the business google plans, they reduce data-mining. Microsoft does, too – on the business plans (or so they say. Don't really trust their assertions...). On the family plans, you still pay, and get data-mined (so they say, and I believe them)! I'm better off, financially, using the free plans from others than using Microsoft's private plans. I get data-mined both ways, but I don't have to pay on top.

But I must. Which means I have to get a Microsoft business plan. For stuff I actually don't want or need. For stuff for which MUCH better alternatives are out there. Because the powers-that-be have been brow-beaten to accept that Microsoft is THE STANDARD.

Sigh.

Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves

elgarak1

Re: Has The Register been hacked by the Express ?

"We can even have a stab at what they were used for. Sodding big mausoleums. "

That's a good point I haven't realized before: We know why the pyramids were built for because they luckily left documentation in a way that survived thousands of years (reliefs and paintings in/on stone). With, say, Stonhenge, we do not have such a documentation, for a variety of reason. Hence, it's a mystery. That doesn't mean much. Just that we do not have documentation, just speculation.

The same goes for so-called "out of place" artifacts: They're out of place because the tools that put them in this place have not survived the millennia. They rotted away. There's some frickin' big deduction being made from that, except not the that's typically made: Those people were intelligent and could make tools, and use those tools to do amazing things. Because we see the results of their thinking and their tools.

There was a fallacy being made for a long time: The lack of tools was equated with a lack of intelligence. That's wrong. It just means the tools aren't there. Maybe because they were made in such a way that they did not survive.

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