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Comment This is only a problem ... (Score 1) 139

... because we - the FOSS experts - are sitting on our hands and asses.

It takes a dedicated small crew of developers just a few weeks to develop a full-stack replacement of the E-Mail protocol and service, daemons and end user clients included. Fully encrypted, signed and 100% anonymised by default, with a distributed meta DNS to handle routing.

Likewise replacing the web can't be that hard either. Sure there is rendering, but remove 2 decades worth of document markup and build a working alternative, removing all the downfalls using the very same meta-dns described above and the web is history.

I actually think we will tackle this problem if it get's bad enough.
Replace DNS, E-Mail and the Web with modern encrypted distributed services and the web will start going the way of the dodo.

Comment No surprise here. This is not really news. (Score 3, Informative) 481

This isn't really news. OS X is a good working unix, it is built and controlled by the same people who build the hardware. It's basically fully integrated into the hardware. It has always had a very clear separation of user and system space and Macs aren't plagued by bloat and shovelware.

You get a mac unpack it, start it and it works. That hasn't changed in decades and holds true to this very day. Not so with a PC. Just watching my colleague hassling with Windows 10 and Office365 at my shop has me stand in amazement over the eternal shittyness of the MS provided solutions that apparently holds to this very day as it did in the Windows ME days. Even today you can't get a basic Groupware from them up and running without a total messy frustration ensuing.

I remember thinking about the brand-new first ever iMac and noticing that you could get one, start it, and didn't even need to adjust the CRT monitor or resolution. A godsend for ordinary users and maintenance personnel. That type of integration and result oriented setup was lightyears ahead of any ugly clunky Windows box. And it still is.

That they are cheaper in maintenance is blatantly obvious IMHO.

A windows PC that doesn't suck is still a rare thing. Probably these surface books from MS themselves are what comes closest to a MacBook.

I've said it in the 90ies and it holds true to this very day: In terms of basic system integrity Windows combines all the disadvantages of Linux with all the disadvantages of a Mac. The only reason ever to get Windows was and still is to run programms on it that wouldn't run anywhere else. And those are pirated software, Games or some obscure CAD program for engineers that don't know anything other than Windows.

That's why Google is moving into their Groupware and productivity space and Chromebooks, as the poor mans mac, are taking over.
Not that I like the prospect of Big Google watching everything, but anything that removes MSes abysmal model from the body public is a good deed. It's not that MS would be any better. Only with Google at least it works and you don't have to pay for it.

My 2 cents.

Comment Ok. And once again I'll bite ... (Score 1) 886

If I lose my job to robots or - way more likely - optimised standardised software and can't have any share in the production gain, then I just grab myself a Kalashnikov and take what I need.

Glad we could clear this up so quickly.
Be seeing you soon.

Comment Oh give me a break ... (Score 1) 275

... Elon Musks Massive Mars Flight Presentation and now this.
Just because we have better and more realistic computer animation today doesn't make these 'ambitions' any less "new agegy".

It would make more sense to first finish Auroville or found a Quasi National Entity as an independant organisation for improving things here on earth.

I'm pretty sure that we need a Skyhook/Space Elevator before we can seriously start settling in space, be it on mars or on some massive space station. No way are we going to get matierials for projects like these into space consistently with regular rockets. Not in these payload sizes. I just don't see it happening.

Comment Our job is to make ourselves superfluos. (Score 1) 813

Our job is to make ourselves superfluos. Get over it.

We are programmers. Which means we tell a computer what to do and then it does it without any person required, including us.
By very definition we are the last in the line to replace humans.
What is heading towards us will make current issues seem like a piece of cake. There will be a massively rough transition into an all-out post-scarcity economy with probably a lot of ugly things happening inbetween. US HB1 visa issues aren't even close to what you should expect down the road.

A personal answer to this problem is twofold:
1.) Specialize,perhaps even to the extreme, and be ready to work/travel globally. There will always be someone who needs robotic programming in Python 3 for milling tools somewhere on the planet.

2.) Observe the development of society carefully and prepare for *massive* changes. That might even include prepping for some 1930s Great Depression type 'action'. Adjust your behaviour and your expectations according to what we all are observing in societies currently. The sub-Weimar-Republic tone in the US election and the Weimar Republic tendencies in Germany alone should be an indicator where we are headed - a total disintegration of core aspects of our current post-WW2 society. A litte perspective on that: My current GF lives in a big city in russia. I traveled there this year. It's basically a one-on-one all-out implementation of Neal Stephensons Snow Crash or William Gibsons Bridge Triology over there. With a dangerously deluded autocrat at the top. A real-life explosive Bladerunner / Strange Days mix.

Bottom line:
Meanwhile I'm enjoying a cushy job as a Consultant and Webdev at a neat agency in Germany. But I'm prepared for it to end immediately at any time.
I myself am actually prepared to move to another continent on comparatively short notice should shit hit the fan here in Europe.
You should be prepared to do the same thing where you are.

My 2 Eurocents.

Comment No surprise here. (Score 1) 310

I have a Tomtom.

The UI/UX is from the stone age. I'm actually glad it doesn't require punch-cards or something.
Turn-by-turn audio is broken and unsuable. The particular model I have (got it as a present) was shipped in an early beta state and has a solid 3 stars on amazon, which basically means it's officially a piece of sh*t.

The only three things these devices have going for them are full screen lane-assist with countryside detail included - a thing I *do* miss with Google Navigate - relatively solid cases and useful attachment systems for the windscreen. The one from Tomtom is actually quite well done. Could be better, but quite OK non-the-less.

My Moto G2 OTOH runs Android Marshmallow and has a a navigation system with Google Maps + Navigate, I can just tell it where I want to go without taking my hands of the wheel and it's navigation is among the very best in first world countries. The display and the variations it offers is top notch aswell. The turn-by-turn audio doesn't lag a bit and announces just at the right time.

Oh, and I can use it with my bike, while walking - I actually use it more often on the bike and when walking - and for public transport, with the navigation variants selectable with one touch. ... And that it has a phone and a camera and all that built in we know already.

Bottom line:
GPS Navis are a niche market or throw-away devices for roughshod use in fringe cases and no where near compareable to modern smartphones with armies of experts toiling away at UX, AI features and performance. I think it's safe to say that they are on their way out. And yes, that includes BMWs clunky and awkward built-in middle-console click-wheel gadget for entering destinations they tried to sell as some luxury-car UX innovation a few years back (no joke).

Submission + - TanDEM-X Space mission a huge success, most precise heightmap of earth completed

Qbertino writes: For six years the German TanDEM-X (German link) spacemission of the German Aero- & Spaceflight Administration (DLR), consiting of two satellites circling the earth in close proximity to one another, scanned and built the most precise height map of earth yet. As heise.de reports (link to German article with pictures) that mission has now concluded successfully delivering results way beyond expectations.

The satellites involved will continue their flight with other related projects, but the height data is completely collected. The new earth height map as a resolution of one meter and will offer a number of scientific fields valuable information and assistance. Big picture here.

Comment The ban is about emissions and new cars, not ICEs. (Score 3, Insightful) 296

Folks, chill. The ban is about emissions not ICEs. If you have an emission neutral ICE, you're good. Also they don't want to ban them entirely, they just want to ban new ones after 2030. Your ICE car from 2029 (if those still exist) is still allowed on the streets after 2030.

I see a good chance for this law to be mostly cosmetic if it passes Bundesrat, Bundestag and perhaps European Parlament.
If the experts are any bit of right, most new cars will be electric by then anyway.

Comment Quite a spectacular PR disaster for Samsung ... (Score 2) 266

I'm not really interested in Samsung phones - I've always thought them thoroughly lacking in some important areas (design, UI) - but I have to say this whole batteries-on-fire thing is some spectacular PR disaster for the only true competitor to Apples iPhone line.
Kinda makes me feel sorry for this company. AFAIHH the entire nation of South Korea is suffering with them.

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