* Posts by DS999

3435 posts • joined 9 Jun 2020

China spins up giant battery built with US-patented tech

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Re: Small decentralized, please

Redox flow batteries are designed for large utility scale applications, because most of the scale is via larger tanks for more electrolyte. They wouldn't be price competitive at a small scale like yours.

Lithium or lead acid is still the best price for your needs.

Delivery drone crashes into power lines, causes outage

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Yes not charging them "because there was no damage to the lines" is stupid. The incident still has a cost associated with it, and more importantly there should be incentives for Google et al to not cause incidents like this beyond the cost of replacing their drone.

If nothing else surely the government body responsible for allowing drones to be used for commercial purposes should issue fines when they hit something they aren't supposed to hit.

Big companies like Google and Amazon respond to economic incentives. They want drone delivery because it will save them money. They should bear the full cost of externalities like crashing into power lines or killing the neighbors dog when they drop your package on his head by mistake.

NASA, SpaceX weigh invoking Dragon to take Hubble higher

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Re: 32-year old hardware

I wonder what repairability rating iFixit would give it? Its modularity and lack of glued in parts is a big plus, but the difficulty and expense of getting there to service it has to be a huge strike against it.

Chipmakers cut output, investment – but government bucks never go out of style

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Re: Yup

TSMC itself is moving, for the first time, to open foreign facilities using it's bleeding edge processes

Not really. The widely touted US fab they are building in Arizona will produce N5 ("5nm") chips when it opens in 2024. That's TSMC's leading edge today, but any day now their Taiwan fabs begin mass production of N3 chips, and a year after that US fab opens Taiwan will begin mass production of N2 chips. So their US fab will already be out of date on the day it opens, and two generations behind in 12-18 months.

They will continue to reserve their bleeding edge for homegrown fabs exclusively.

Google kills off Stadia

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Re: The only Google services you should rely on

They make over 100% of their profit from advertising (i.e. they collectively lose money on everything else) so that's not surprising.

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Re: The only Google services you should rely on

I knew I would leave one out. Yes, Youtube is definitely not going anywhere. Docs is probably safe...but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

DS999 Silver badge

The only Google services you should rely on






And of course their most important product by far, Adsense. Everything else could be chopped at a moment's notice. Especially anything to do with messaging. They've canceled over a half dozen of them, so don't get too comfy with RCS...Google will probably replace it too and use Apple not supporting it as the excuse.

OK, Google: Why are you still pointing women at fake abortion clinics?

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Re: Google should not rely on automation for this

No I'm assuming the reputable organization would be someone like Planned Parenthood, or other advocate for a woman's right to choose.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Google should not rely on automation for this

Not likely. The kind of people who want to pressure women out of abortions would never offer abortions. They consider it a sin equal to murder.

But if such a thing existed, the trusted organization doing the vetting could still choose to drop them from the list, if their criteria was that an abortion provider could offer "counseling" that included making sure they are aware of their other options but not pressuring them in any way to choose those options.

DS999 Silver badge

Google should not rely on automation for this

Have a reputable organization provide them vetted lists of providers, so there is no SEO that can possibly game the system and allow searches to show scumbag "abortion counseling services" that are fronts for extremist religion organizations that use high pressure sales and brainwashing tactics to try to talk women out of abortion, and if that fails simply threaten them and their family.

Arm founder says the UK has no chance of tech sovereignty

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Re: Not just tech

Yes that, or oligarchs substituting cheap substandard components when they are made (while charging Russia for equipment made with all the top of the line parts) so they fail quickly in the field. They didn't learn the lesson from US weapons manufacturers, and just overcharge up front by so much they can afford to use all the top quality parts without cutting into profit margins to any noticeable extent.

They figured this stuff was mostly going to sit in storage or be used lightly for training, so those issues wouldn't be found out. Now that they are being used 24x7 in a hot war, that's coming back to bite them in a big way and equipment is failing as fast as they can deploy replacements to the front lines - that's a big reason Putin's forces have been unable to make any progress even in situations where they had a tactical advantage.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Not just tech

Russia has very little going for it. Its economy is way overdependent on oil, gas and a few other natural resources, but they lack the technology to fully exploit the resources in its large landmass by itself. The sanctions resulting in western oil & gas companies pulling out will crush that business by the end of the decade, as they will be unable to develop new wells fast enough to keep pace as existing wells run dry.

What's worse, Russia is suffering a huge brain drain as a lot of educated Russians left when the war and sanctions started, now hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) more are or will be leaving to avoid being conscripted to fight for Putin's lost cause.

The only thing Russia has going for it going forward is a huge land mass, and the ability to grow food on it. Putin wanted to get Russia's glory days back. He will succeed, they will be getting back to their glory days under Peter the Great when they had a heavily agrarian economy. Having a 18th century economy in the 21st century won't be anything to brag about though.

Apple exec sues over 'ageist' removal of $800k stock bonus

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If that 67 year old worked at IBM he would have been pushed out 15 years ago.

UN's ITU election may spell the end of our open internet

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Given how IPv4 is still going strong

Despite some minimal level of backwards compatibility with IPv6, how long would it take for some new IP standard that would have to go clean slate to support tying an identity to a connection to take over?

We'll all be dead before we have to worry about it. If China wants new IP they'll do it in their country whether or not it is an internationally recognized standard. They'd prefer the color of authority behind it, but there are many many bigger things to worry about in US/Russia/China relations.

Cloudflare's invisible CAPTCHA works by probing browsers with JavaScript

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So long as it runs on the device and only the token is returned to Cloudflare that's fine. If it is sending a bunch of information for them to determine whether you're a human or not this is no better than CAPTCHAs that turn humans into Google's slaves forcing them to work on their image recognition.

It looks like it might be OK, and PAT is an open source standard so could be adopted by others but I'd like to learn more about it because the devil is in the details. Here's what I found so far: https://blog.cloudflare.com/eliminating-captchas-on-iphones-and-macs-using-new-standard/

It adds more points of communication so it would slow things down, but at least this is something that is only done once and most sites won't care about it at all (i.e. only for stuff where they are currently using CAPTCHAs)

Those screws on the Apple Watch Ultra are a red herring

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Do any analog watches

With a depth rating of 100m have easy repairability? That's getting to be fairly high pressure, so a watch - whether it is filled with electronics or tiny fiddly gears - would need to be sealed up quite tight to insure the water stays out. Making something so small rated to that depth repairable is not going to be easy.

I mean, are there are a lot of people doing DIY repairs on their Rolex?

It is fine to criticize them for laptops that are difficult to repair etc. as there is no good reason for it, but worrying about a watch rated to gas mixture depths may be taking things too far.

Ever suspected bankers could just use WhatsApp comms? $1.8b says you're right

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Re: They admitted to it...

I'm not sure what the question is, but I'm betting someone will come along before long and tell us the answer is blockchain!

How one Ukrainian software maker planned for survival as invaders approached

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Maybe he was drafted

I wonder how the propagandists will feel about the war when they are in the thick of it?

Though if he was smart he'd be fleeing the country like anyone else with the means has done or is currently attempting to do. Surprised Putin hasn't shut the borders yet, but I guess he figures there is an unlimited supply of poor uneducated Russian men to serve as cannon fodder and letting the malcontents leave decreases his chance of being overthrown.

Is it time to retire C and C++ for Rust in new programs?

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Re: Rust committing suicide?

There is evidence that rust is a fast language to write code in

What evidence is that, exactly?

Given that almost all Rust programming will be brand new code, and most C/C++ programming will be modifying or extending existing C/C++ code, it stands to reason that the Rust code will be faster. It is always much faster to write new code without having to worry about the limitations and restrictions of existing code.

New languages are also more likely to be adopted by smarter programmers, because poor programmers are more likely to stick with what they know.

The only way to establish in a semi-controlled experiment that writing code in Rust is faster would be having programmers that have measured equal ability to write C/C++ code compete, some in Rust and some in C/C++.

India reportedly asks smartphone makers to add local satnav silicon

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Re: "reduce dependence on foreign systems while improving accuracy"

Hopefully it doesn't switch between constellations based on strength, but instead gathers information from them all and throws out any outlier results before averaging them.

Otherwise it is easy to spoof.

DS999 Silver badge

A 2023 date was always ridiculous

Unless/until this is built into the SoCs / RF chips from Qualcomm, Mediatek, Samsung etc. it isn't going to happen. Even if it already is built in, the phone has to connect it to an antenna (or be able to use an existing antenna...depends on the frequency India's system uses) so it isn't like this is some latent capability they can turn on with a simple software update.

Clearly that original date was set by some bureaucrat who has no clue about real world supply chains and production realities.

Teardown shows Apple iPhone 14 Pro is not pro-repair

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Hard to make something pro repair and anti theft

Since needing to replace something other than the display is unlikely in the 2-3 years I own an iPhone before trading it in, I'd rather have it worth less for thieves even if that makes it cost more to repair. Others will have different opinions about this.

The problem is that if parts are easily swappable between phones then stolen phones can be broken up for black market parts, but that makes Apple the only source of replacement parts.

There might be a way around this, if the owner of a phone could mark it as "scrap" with Apple somehow (i.e. by logging in with their Apple ID) then Apple could allow the use of those parts. That way thieves couldn't part out a phone, but the owner could choose to do so. That seems a reasonable middle ground.

Rust is eating into our systems, and it's a good thing

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Re: Rust is just the latest fad

Don't worry, Rust will be superceded as well. Something new will come along that addresses Rust's faults and that will be the new hotness.

I am guessing you are a bit younger than some of us, and haven't seen this play out again and again for as long as we have.

DS999 Silver badge

Rust is just the latest fad

First it was C++, then it was Java, now we have Rust.

It is just one more language added to the zoo. Rust does not do anything unique other languages do not, but it is being touted by its adherents with the same religious zeal that C++ and Java evangelists were touting them as the solution to all software ills.

Girls Who Code books 'banned' in some US classrooms

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Re: As a Conservative,

Probably not, districts like that are what the 'compactness' algorithm tries to avoid if at all possible - though you might end up with a few of those since you can probably can't make every district nice and square especially in states that have wonky borders like some of those out east.

New York (where your example is from) permits gerrymandering, though the courts restrict how bad it can be. Some states allow essentially unlimited gerrymandering, and there are districts that connect multiple big cities (skipping their suburbs) by having narrow corridors along interstates so they can put all the black people into one district and dilute their voting power.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: As a Conservative,

It is easy to do, write software (which may already exist) that divides districts along natural boundaries to the extent possible (county, city, precinct) and creates maximally compact districts (i.e. the smallest total size of all districts as measured along their outside edges) without looking at any demographic information like political registration, race, income, etc.

All it would need as inputs are precinct, city and county boundary maps, the census figures for population in each precinct, and the number of districts you want to create and any size restrictions (i.e. must be greater than x or less than y)

Politicians will complain if the lines change so they get put in another district, but that's all they could do, complain. It would be a completely impartial system with no possibility of political interference.

Writing the software would be the easy part. The hard/impossible part would be getting politicians to vote in favor of giving up their party advantage.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: You can laugh

The most recent polls show Trump as the choice of 52% of republicans for the 2024 presidential nomination. The next highest was 19%. So he is still a clear and present danger to the future of the world if people are dumb enough to re-elect him. Hopefully he's fled the country to avoid prosecution before the election.

Trump can't even manage a RAMP. Have you seen how he walks down a ramp, it is comical to watch! If you are worried about a feeble president, he's more feeble than Biden who goes on bike rides regularly. I doubt Trump ever even learned how to ride a bike, and can't even be bothered to walk on a golf course - he drives his cart on the greens!

DS999 Silver badge

Re: God botherers strike again!

They spew the same bullshit as Fox News. Anti vax, anti mask, pro book bans if it hurts the feelings of any white man (or child who has been told/indoctrinated by his parents to claim his feels were hurt)

If it quacks like a duck, its a duck.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: As a Conservative,

Without a way to vote for minority candidate C, without worrying that by not voting for candidate A that candidate B you find loathsome will win, third parties are pointless.

I have in the past supported third parties even though I knew they couldn't win, I figured it was sort of a 'protest' vote when I didn't think it mattered much who won. I can't do that today, because if election deniers win then elections themselves will become a thing of the past. And the way things look we might have election deniers on the ballot for years to come until they are either stamped out, or they have won and the US becomes an autocracy.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: As a Conservative,

I recall seeing that - as well as Palin's inevitable criticism of it. Wasn't that instituted via a ballot initiative the people were able to place there via petition? Like how California's propositions work?

It would be nice if all states have that, but AFAIK only 8 do. That allows the people to do an end run around the legislature when it isn't serving their needs. Probably Alaska's legislators will not only seek to overturn the ranked choice voting, but to remove the ability of the people to put things on the ballot as a result.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: As a Conservative,

The problem is the republican party, the one conservative party in the US (because we have a broken system that only allows for two viable parties) has been co-opted by the evangelicals. How else do you explain the republican shift into extremist positions like total bans on abortions without any exceptions? They may be a minority of the republican party, but they are a majority of republicans who vote in primaries so they (along with Trump) effectively own the party.

There are things that could be done to fix our system to reduce the chances of extremist candidates (on either side, because the republicans aren't the only ones moving away from the center) winning, such as ranked choice voting, banning gerrymandering, and open primaries. Unfortunately the party in power in a given state has little incentive to enact any changes that might limit their own power.

Not to mention that thanks to Trump's election lies, the chance of republican legislators voting for any change to elections like ranked choice or open primaries is zero, because those with something to lose will claim the proposal "makes elections easier for democrats to steal".

DS999 Silver badge

You can laugh

But if this band of crazies gets control of our government, no one will be laughing. If Trump's coup eventually succeeds and they make elections in the US irrelevant, having a joke of a president like Trump who was restrained by the rest of the government from doing anything too insane will be the good old days you long for.

Had Trump given the order to launch nukes for some frivolous reason the generals would have refused. If voting is eliminated and the minority can rule however they wish, leadership would get crazier and crazier over time as a small and smaller minority rules over the rest until all the sane generals are fired, and then the world at large is in trouble.

DS999 Silver badge

The Trumpers want the US to become a theocracy

It happens in Islamic Theocracies, not in modern secular states.

Some of their politicians are openly calling for the US to become a Christian nationalist nation. They aren't even trying to hide it anymore. That's exactly what the Islamic hard liners did - the ones who eventually took countries like Afghanistan from being a secular state to being a theocracy.

There is little doubt that if the Marjorie Taylor Greens were running the US, we would have the Evangelical equivalent of Sharia Law. No access to contraception, let alone abortion. At least not for white women.

Non whites would be second class citizens, and deported if they committed any crime even if their family had been US citizens for 100 years. Gay/Trans people would be rounded up and placed in "re-education camps", and those who couldn't/wouldn't pretend to be straight would essentially be caged up there for life.

It would be seen as the duty of white women to have children, so white women who chose to be (or were through no fault of their own) childless would openly be discriminated against and called a race traitor. A white women having the baby of a black man would be imprisoned.

You probably think I'm making all this up, but this is all in the writings that these people follow. This is the goal of people like Steve Bannon and Steven Miller.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: The last sentence of the article has it.

And threats of violence are fine, so long as it is a threat of violence against the left. If the left threatens violence, send in the cops and don't ask questions when people end up dead and body cam footage is missing.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: The last sentence of the article has it.

We don't teach about South America too much because this is the United States of America. It is far more important that people know the accurate history of the nation they live in, than the history of other countries - most of which (probably all of which in South America) do not have continuity of government to those dark times unlike the United States.

It is idiots like you who want to erase the past and pretend slaveowners and slaves had the same relationship people have with their boss at work today who a clear and present danger to the US. That and the fact you no doubt believe Trump's election lies and would be happy as a clam if he his coup had succeeded and Trump became president-for-life, and the dynasty was handed to his half wit son when he finally died from eating too many Big Macs.

Then we really would be on the same footing as those South American countries, continuity of government wise.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: The last sentence of the article has it.

I wouldn't be shocked in the slightest if some deep red county in a red state decides to erect a state to commemorate Ashli Babbitt (the insurrectionist who was shot by capitol police on Jan 6th, who Trump calls a "hero")

Someone should suggest to Trump he place a statue of her at Mar-A-Lago's main entrance. He will think it is a great idea but it would serve to remind those who support him even though they don't believe in him exactly the kind of loathsome subhuman they are standing behind.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: The last sentence of the article has it.

Doing well?

What alternate reality are you living in? Gab and Trump social have a few million users each. Facebook and Twitter are not trying to shut them down. In fact they are probably happy the deplorables have a place of their own so they don't have to deal with trying to police the ones who openly call for violence.

I'm going to guess that Fox News is probably reporting that Trump social is wildly successful and has Facebook and Twitter on the ropes, and you are their target demo of someone dumb enough to actually believe that.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: God botherers strike again!

True anti-vax sentiments (outside of a few fringe religious sects) used to be primarily on the left, but it was a few percent of the overall population (mostly in California where nuttiness breeds) not a mass movement. The right wing recently became anti vax en masse, because their overlords on Fox News starting "asking questions" about vaccines.

Nevermind that Fox News had an actual vaccine mandate that required everyone, including their on air "talent", to be fully vaccinated. They never mentioned that, because 1) their outrage over vaccines and mandates was 100% fake and 2) you don't bite the hand that feeds you (or in this case the hand that writes you multi-million dollar checks)

California to phase out gas furnaces, water heaters by 2030

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Re: Wishful thinking

If you can't handle sleeping in 60F, I take it you've never gone camping except in mid summer.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Wishful thinking

You're criticizing me because I think I might be willing to save money buying a cheaper heat pump in exchange for being at 60F every few years when it is teens below zero outside?

Sorry I didn't know it hurt your sense of national superiority to China to not have every American keep their thermostat at 75F to prove their manliness to you!

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Ridiculous

I'm pretty sure they are requiring heat pumps, and not electric resistance heat. I agree it would be stupid if they banned gas heat and allowed electric resistance heat.

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Wishful thinking

If you replaced that electric furnace with a heat pump you'd save a lot of energy. There are new ones that operate well below 0F/-20C (and even at the lowest temperatures it supports while it is less efficient it is still more efficient than the resistance heating you have now)

I've got an old gas furnace and AC in my house I've been thinking about replacing and I've been looking at heat pumps. We have lows below zero (F) maybe a half dozen nights in an average winter where I live. I figure if we get a real cold snap with a few days in a low in the minus teens and high a few degrees below zero and my heat pump couldn't quite keep up I'd be fine with that. Maybe my house is only 60F for a few days, I'd be fine with that versus paying more for one of the models able to handle down to -40C...I don't live in northern Minnesota!

Scientists overjoyed after DART smashes into asteroid Dimorphos, contact lost

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Yeah I'm sure no one checked that. They should have asked you first, because you are clearly a bigger expert than NASA!

City isn't keen on 5,000 erratic, traffic-jam-causing GM robo-cars on its streets

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Isn't it their own damn fault

For allowing ANYONE to operate driverless cars on their roads? They do have the ability to say "no, you can only have ones with a safety driver", right?

NASA battens down another Artemis launch window as hurricane approaches

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Re: Fingers crossed!

leaving it outside in tropical-force winds is begging for trouble

Yep, I've heard people say "no way something that big tips over" but I don't think that's what they are worried about. They are worried about wind driven debris impacting it and causing damage that would require wheeling it back to the assembly building anyway.

US to relax restrictions for tech companies in Iran

DS999 Silver badge

They disappear, and the west probably never hears about it. The problem with Starlink is that by broadcasting on known frequencies it would be trivial for a few drones to fly over a city and triangulate use of Starlink terminals.

This is nice if you want to win positive press like Musk, but it isn't practical on the ground against a highly capable government (Iran's drones are so advanced they are who Putin recently turned to for buying more to replace his depleted supply)

While this works in Ukraine and is no doubt helping immensely there, it is not feasible for providing connectivity inside the borders of countries like Iran, China, Russia, etc. Using it would be like putting up the US flag on your front door - you are leading the secret police right to you.

Darth Vader voice actor James Earl Jones allows AI to take over the role

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Re: I predict lots of new laws to protect media cartels IP from this "Legal minefield".

will they (well his surviving family) still get royalty cheques

That presumably depends on the contract. Maybe he got a lump sum payment for it that becomes part of his estate, maybe there are some residuals when it is used.

What I think will happen is that voice work will become a thing of the past before long except for stars with already recognizable voices. Rather than hiring a nobody "voice actor" for a part in an animated film (or a CGI character in a non animated film) they'll hire a computer that will be capable of becoming many voices. Only a few parts will go to actual human voice actors, the people with already recognizable voices.

Inevitably there will be lawsuits, because aside from those few highly recognizable voices most people's voices are similar to other people's voices. The people losing out from voice actor parts will sue if a movie uses a computer voice they think sounds like theirs. Or their heirs will sue - "this computer voice sounds like our dead mother we are hoping to sponge off of for the rest of our lives!"

So court battles will undoubtedly ensue, and maybe new laws will eventually be needed. Someday we won't even need actors. Once CGI is good enough to leap across the uncanny valley and reproduce humans (rather than raccoons, gollums and aliens) without needing actors wearing weird suits covered by dots, that is when the real legal minefield starts. They might even start suing on particular characteristics - if you create a computer actor with a vein in his forehead throbbing, will Clint Eastwood's family sue, etc.?

PC component scavenging queue jumper pulled into line with a screensaver

DS999 Silver badge

So was his sin

Taking the best parts over the weekend instead of leaving them for higher status people, leaving the workshop in a mess, or bragging about his now high spec PC?

Because if I was a junior employee stuck with a low spec machine I would have done the first part, but would have endeavored to leave the workshop in exactly the same condition as I found it.

And I wouldn't have let alone know about the improvements to my PC. My goal would have been that no one finds out anything was done at all, and everyone else would figure they just miscounted a bit on the parts that would be available to distribute on Monday.

Florida asks Supreme Court if it's OK to ban content moderation it doesn't like

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Re: Free Speech

Are you seriously arguing The Daily Stormer is not a Nazi site, but I'm only labeling it as such because I disagree with them? They proudly and unashamedly declare themselves to be Nazis, so your argument is a complete fail.

Mozilla drags Microsoft, Google, Apple for obliterating any form of browser choice

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Re: Shot their own paws

I agree a lot of Firefox's wounds were self inflicted. They shouldn't have tried to go simple minded with the interface like Chrome did. I think they panicked when Chrome started growing fast (which was mostly because of how Google paid to have it bundled with so much you had to go out of your way to avoid installing it) and thought it was because people liked the interface.

People dislike change, and changing Firefox's UI provided the excuse people needed to try other browsers. They thought the problem was winning people who had switched back, when the problem was really keeping the people they had happy.


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