Re: An interesting review
Podkayne of Mars too.
955 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007
I like my email program to just do email, with a contact list and calendar. I like my browser to browse, and my word processor to just write.
The same is true of virtually every computing task: a stand-alone app is invariably better and more reliable.
I also much prefer to have all of these on a local machine, not Google's server. Ultimately I don't trust them, either with my data or to not shut down serve at I use.
Also, let's face it, Google Docs really does suck.
One lesson learned years ago is that any toll that claims to be "three-in-one" will wind doing at least two things badly.
(Reposted from my Twitter feed)
I've known people who were old and living in the suburbs in their 20s. My wife on the other hand in six months has moved a thriving piano teaching practice to Zoom, mastered a ton of software that I don't fully understand, and this weekend finished learning Openshot and editing her year end recital. The little tiny kids played live to Zoom. The older ones recorded their own recital performances at home, then uploaded them to her. I am, no exaggeration, bloody well amazed by her.
Susan is 74. She moves effortlessly between her iMac, iPad, Windows 10 laoptop, and Android phone, aside from the usual; built in issues that friustrate us all.
Age is no indicator of comfort with technology.
The "Programmable Taskbar" will only apply to new accounts or first logins, and Microsoft plans to tailor the layouts "based on user and device signal" to cut down on "perceptions of bloatware".
Leaving aside the absurd suggestion that Microsoft will do anything to reduce bloatware, I really do not want them auto-magically sticking things on my taskbar. It's the one place in Windows where I'm in control, and they can stay out of it.
I'd appreciate knowing how the cops* got all this information. Subpoena? Did the company just hand it over? Veiled threats to amateur photographers?
And when have we ever heard of cops doing this much, this fast? Somehow other investigations take weeks, months, or years compared to this relatively small property crime.
Still, if you're attacking cops or their toys and allow any kind of identifying attributes to show then you're not too bright.
* yes, FBI=cops.
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou remains under house arrest while fighting a rather dubious US extradition order. Canada remains unwilling to do anything that might upset The Donald.
Last month a Canadian court ruled that Meng 's alleged actions would have also been criminal in Canada, even though Canada is not part of the US embargo of Iran.
Actually I appreciate the clear and detailed explanation of the reasons why Canonical is choosing to mandate Snap. I can see the logic.
However at the end of the day I'll stick with whatever Mint decides is best for me. Year in and year out I enjoy a stable, reliable, and consistent environment that "just works" and which thankfully shows very little change between versions. I appreciate that I can pick up a new (to me) laptop and have Mint installed and configured to suit my needs in less than fifteen minutes. And that thereafter I can ignore it, let updates install without worries, and trust that it won't suddenly break itself.
Our household includes my two Mint boxes, two Windows 10 laptops, and a shiny new iMac. I'll leave it you to guess which computers have the least issues.
I absolutely love Podcast Addict, even the endlessly convoluted menus.
More and more I look for alternatives to Google. Whereas the biggest problem used to be Google shutting down a Google app or feature that you need, now it's perfectly usable third-party apps that stand to disappear.
I for one look forward to Huawei developing an Android and Google free phone OS.
We once started a round of interviews by assuring candidates that we wouldn't ask them which vegetable they were. Which if course meant that they laughed and told us.
The really strange part was that three of them said "zucchini."
To this day I still ponder what on earth that was supposed to tell us.
One thing I did finally learn is that after a certain point your efficiency and attention to detail drop significantly. Anyone who thinks that there's a point to working fifty, sixty or seventy hour weeks is fooling themselves. That was summed up a long time ago when I was working trade-show set-up, and the Lead Hand stopped us at 1 am to say "It's late, and we're all really tired, and that means that we're all really stupid. Just slow down and think twice before doing anything."
Every five years I buy a refurbished Dell laptop, install Mint, and it just goes forever. Susan on the other hand loves gear - especially now that her piano teaching has moved on-line - and loves asking tech to do more than was intended - two laptops, two webcams (one purchased the day before Amazon ran out) a Rode mic, an upgrade to faster fibre, and a plethora of cables, including ethernet because WIFI didn't deliver.
I actually don't know where the iMac will fit in, but it is lovely hardware. My only involvement is oohing and ahing.
I feel obliged to note that Susan is 74 years old and has no idea how tech savvy she us.
And thanks to everyone for the EQ suggestions. A quick Google turned up nothing.
My wife, after years of battling Windows 10, bought an iMac this month. It is unquestionably a lovely machine, although we're baffled that there's no way to adjust bass and treble for sound output, making that lovely screen useless for watching BBC I-player.
That sort of thing is why I eventually abandoned my G4 Powerbook: when you buy a Mac it's all or nothing. If Apple 's design choices don't meet your needs or tastes, too bad.
Since then I've been very happy with Linux, which gives me complete control of every part of the computer environment.
Although, to be honest, the only change that I made to a fresh Mint install this week was to disable Caps Lock.
The Mac is beautiful, but unfortunately I can't work within its limitations.
Chinese companies are forced to build themselves up and create their own ecosystem,
They've already done that. Because Google has not been available other China based companies have stepped up and created a mobile phone based system that US companies can only dream of.
Everyone pays for everything using their phones, and WeChat and other companies are how pretty much everyone connects to the economy, and to each other.
The US really needs to get over the belief that a lack of Google equals a backwards country. If anything it ' the Americans who are playing catch-up.
Even if you ignore the global mega - issues with Google, the sad fact is that their products are often just not very good.
Maps, and Drive, and Docs, and Search may be ubiquitous, but none of them is particularly pleasant to use, with UI design that defies both logic and intuition, and Google 's habit of deprecating features at an inexplicable whim
The Play store is among the worst of Google products, and I genuinely dread trying to find an app to do some simple job. Between a rating system that seems to be copied from Yelp, and which is plagued with obvious spam and astroturf, and apps with so much advertising that they border on useless, I would love to see a properly curated app store with one or two really good apps iin a category nstead of dozens of utterly crap ones.
Our Huawei phones are excellent hardware, and have pretty decent software. I'll sign up for their app store in an instant.
The reason I install Linux on a computer is to avoid Windows.
(And judging by my wife's brand new Win10 laptop that remains the case. What a friggin mess! I'm still gobsmacked that there's no simple way to move her profile from the old machine to the new. Like the one built into an Apple!)
OK, Zoom just launched a major clusterfuck by mandating passwords with no warning and no reasonable warning. Two dozen students scrambling to figure out how to join the first ever online piano recital.
Although I appreciate the intent, this was really, really messed up.
My significant other has a thriving piano teaching business, with a predominantly Chinese client base no less.
When it became obvious (three weeks ago) that face to face lessons would soon be impossible she moved everything to her home piano room, bought the last two webcams in town, and moved on line.
It didn't take long to realize that Zoom put Skype to shame, and after a couple of weeks she's still finding genuinely very smart and useful features.
And, in what's sadly an unusual thing these days, everyone has found Zoom remarkably easy to set up and use.
It's fine to criticize Zoom 's security shortcomings, but the actual product is pretty darned impressive.
And hey, if you can see your userbase grow that much, that quickly, without a major crash and burn I'm impressed.
A globally dominant search and services giant, operating almost entirely behind a very opaque screen, answering to no one, battled by an army of highly-paid SEO gurus who rely largely on tea leaves and rumour to understand how Google works.
Meanwhile, it's my experience that Google search becomes less useful every day
I tired every DIY wax removal trick, and suffered multiple doctors who couldn't or wouldn't remove prodigious wax build - up. I finally found the solution.
Fly to China, go to any park, and you'll find guys who, for a couple RMB, will carefully and quickly scrape the wax out with little bamboo tool.
It's hardly rocket science and I fail to see why western doctors can't do the same.
To be fair, Yelp sometimes also loses positive reviews for no apparent reason.
None of the "user" generated review sites are very good. I have yet to see one that wasn't wallpapered with obvious spam positives.
Yelp's biggest problem though is an utterly horrible UI, second only to Facebook for clutter and irrelevant information.
In Androidland, capabilities such as USB mode, call recording, Bluetooth compatibility and even 'Do not disturb' (to name but a handful) get arbitrarily deprecated.
On my laptop and desktop I happily run Linux because it's stable, reliable, and because the application that I installed a year or two back still works fine.
I don't think I've ever gone a year without Google disabling some part of Android that I actually rely on.
”Chatbots and virtual assistants fell short of expectations for 73 per cent of organisations.”
By the time I actually give up and resort to trying to get help from a company I usually will try anything to avoid the irritating "Chat with us!" pop-ups. I don't think I've ever got a useful answer from them.
Canada is looking at something similar. The Internet has become such a horrid shitshow that it seems inevitable.
The likes of Google and Facebook have refused time and again to step up and manage what they publish. It was only a matter of time before public pressure forced governments to step in.
Besides, I still trust government marginally more than Facebook.
Damn that Snowden! He's just a commie traitor who should be prosecuted and shot!
Except now he's attacking our sworn, Huawei supporting, enemies the commie Chinese, so he's a hero!
Except he's doing that by telling them super-secret American spy stuff, so he's.... um ... A traitor-hero?
Ouch. My head hurts. Can I just ignore this and watch Apprentice reruns instead?
I have a Blackberry keyboard APK that has moved through multiple Android phones since my Q19 got crunched.
Even though every phone and manufacturer insists on "improving ' Android with annoying third-party features, at least I've had a consistent, reliable keyboard across devices.
Back around 2001 in Frankfort, Kentucky I had a very proud radio exec brag to me that they finally had a radio station with no studio, no offices, and no employees. Just a transmitter rack, a computer full of songs and pre-recorded ads and breaks, and a network connection to headquarters.
In many North American cities it has been a couple of decades since real live DJs selected or played real live music. All of that is handled by computers overseen by consultants.
By the way, this predates computers by another couple of decades, with giant machines playing music and voice clips using a belt full of pre-recorded tape cartridges.
This is why for the past year or so I've been moving everything possible out of the Googleverse. Though it's a pretty onerous project I ultimately feel a lot more secure knowing that tools I rely on won't just be shut down with no warning , and no practical avenue for appeal.
I can't imagine building a business that relies on Google.
Or how about being able to store contacts on the phone?
I don't know about the camera, but Nextcloud handles my contacts and calendar just fine.
Getting Android apps to (mostly) default to non- Goigle sources was a challenge*, but worth it in the end.
* "challenge" meaning "pain in the ass."
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