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Midweek links

  • “Why Linkedin will make you hate Microsoft.” Wait. What? You don’t already hate Microsoft? But seriously, if they really do what this NYT article says they’re planning, we’re talking whole new levels.
  • Wow. Beer can, mama bear, and don’t-forget-the-dog save a woman during a long ordeal. But note what she really wishes she hadn’t left at home.
  • Have you ever sensed that Snopes.com, the great All-Powerful Fact-Checker of the Intertubz, sometimes needs fact-checking itself — particularly on political issues? Turns our you’re quite right. Look who’s providing those political “facts”. Makes me sad. Snopes has been a valuable resource and this is slowly destroying their credibility. (H/T OdS)
  • Oh, the poo, poo widdle antigun politician. And of course he merely joins the ranks of fellow hypocrites. (That second article is actually about the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the Clintons turning the White House into “a brothel.” Quite gross, really. It mentions Hillary’s fondness for firearms only in passing.)
  • And speaking of non-hypocrites: history’s top-10 snipers. (H/T DA)
  • And Nicki gives it good and hard to an antigun ignoramus.
  • Registering women for the draft? Sigh. I suppose it was only a matter of time. But if we must have the sort of bogus “equality” that puts women into combat, could we at least do away with the kind of bogus inequality that makes any young people, let alone all of them, slaves eligible for government disposal?
  • Wendy McElroy’s new book on ending rape-culture hysteria is finally out in print. Was only an ebook until now.
  • I know these rainbow #shootback posters (Gadsden style!) are old news now in Internet time since Shel put them into comments last week. But they are sooooo beautiful. And so much wiser and more honest than the O-admin’s craven claim that censoring 911 transcripts from the latest murder-for-Mohammed was done “for the victims”.

24 Comments

  1. Pat
    Pat June 22, 2016 5:02 am

    Microsoft has always considered itself the No. 1 choice for business, and positioned Word/Office to be the No. 1 go-to for that service. (The fact that it never understood the gooey interface, or how to present Word to best take advantage of it, is irrelevant here.)

    As Apple came on strong with videos, movies, and CAD (not to mention connection to the internet), MS got so busy trying to play catch-up – pushing Windows and Outlook especially, and destroying the competition of WordStar, WordPerfect, and the like – that it had to put holistic business development on the back burner and just concentrate on numbers of users and keeping pace. But I feel certain that MS considers LinkedIn as a means to get back toward their original direction. As most businesses do use MS, even with Linux challenging, it wants to keep that edge. It was Gates’s dream to rule business (with DOS, no less!), and I doubt if MS has dropped that “mission,” it’s just trying to maneuver into what it considers a better position.

    Microsoft’s nosiness into information and privacy issues via the cloud, Skype, and LinkedIn will certainly help it control business and professional data.

  2. Pat
    Pat June 22, 2016 5:23 am

    Make that a “GUI interface”, though “gooey” certainly fits Win 10.

  3. Stryder
    Stryder June 22, 2016 6:10 am

    So tell me, does anyone believe the gov when they say we won’t ever reinstate the draft but let’s ALL keep on registering, “just because”?

  4. R.L. Wurdack
    R.L. Wurdack June 22, 2016 6:39 am

    I’ve always put Snopes and Wikipedia in the ‘caveat emptor’ category – or worse. Polls are another category of manipulative data. I was recently on a committee to evaluate the “peer review” process for publications in the sciences. The results were so horrible that they were never published.

  5. Joel
    Joel June 22, 2016 9:33 am

    Did the feds ever actually say there’d never be another draft? Not to defend them but I don’t remember that. Obviously they still enforce registration because they know someday they’ll need a lot of cannon fodder fast.

  6. Claire
    Claire June 22, 2016 10:20 am

    jed — Thanks for the Snopes followup. Interesting spitting match. I give points to Snopes for now. However I get the weekly Snopes update and my own observation is that Snopes is fine everywhere except in its political fact-checking, which is definitely at least mildly biased.

  7. Claire
    Claire June 22, 2016 10:23 am

    R.L. Wurdack — Along with everybody else, I’ve been hearing increasingly about fraudulent, biased, bought-and-paid-for, or just inept peer review. Seems a major scandal that’s getting only minor coverage because it’s happening off in that obscure world of science. How fascinatingly depressing to have been part of such a committee.

  8. Claire
    Claire June 22, 2016 10:28 am

    Pat — Good analysis of MS and business. Going to be interesting if they start poking Linkedin into Word, though — a place where people don’t want intrusions.

    Word Perfect. Haven’t thought about that in years. Wonderful old program.

  9. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty June 22, 2016 12:05 pm

    Ah yes, Claire… Word Perfect. One of the few computer programs I got on a disk, and paid good money for it willingly.

    It will not work on the Linux OS, of course, so is lost to me unless I want to set up a box with windows just for word processing. If I ever decide to get another refurbished box and it has windows on it, I may do that. I tried to have this box a dual boot, but it wasn’t done right and screwed up both the linus OS and the windows part. Trying to work above my pay grade seldom pans out. LOL A friend wiped the disk clean, reinstalled the linux… and I’ve been doing ok since. I don’t much care for the libre office writer or pdf reader… but such is life.

  10. jed
    jed June 22, 2016 2:07 pm

    @ML: You could try getting WordPerfect to run under Wine. I’ve had mixed results with Wine, which is par for the course, I think. If it doesn’t “just work”, the possible configuration tweaks can be daunting, though. And it matters which version you have.

    WordPerfect in Wine

  11. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty June 22, 2016 3:37 pm

    Thanks, Jed. I’m not enough of a nerd to even attempt any of that. I got “wine” for something a year or so ago, but could never make it work at all. Libre office writer will have to do. 🙂

  12. R.L. Wurdack
    R.L. Wurdack June 22, 2016 5:05 pm

    If more folks support Libre/Linux we can torpedo the Microweenie a$$holes.

    I just hate looking at the sticker on my Lenovo that says, “Some features are onlyavailable [sic] while running M … Windows. See our website for further details.”

  13. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty June 23, 2016 6:35 am

    Indeed, R.L. I’ve said for years that if the linux, Red Hat, and other open source developers would actively build things people want to buy, and then sell them competitively, we’d have all kinds of good stuff to use without any need for MS… But I’ve talked to some of these developers and have been told that they write these things for geeks, really, and don’t have any interest in writing user friendly (comparatively) stuff for us ordinary folk. What a lost opportunity for all of us.

  14. jed
    jed June 23, 2016 7:17 am

    While there is a lot of “writing for geeks” going on in the world of Linux developement, I don’t think that these days it’s any less user-friendly than Windows. Certainly, there’s nothing, that I’m aware, resembling Microsoft’s massive push to get people to install Windows 10. ‘Friendly’ is of course subjective, but I find the Linux user experience to be more friendly than Windows. However, I’m sure I’m an outlier. But I can point to things like the Mint/MATE effort as an example of geeks being responsive to users who dislike the ‘oh let’s make it work like a tablet’ mentality of the initial Win8 release, and Canonical’s movements to mimic Microsoft. (Disclaimer – I’ve never tried the Unity interface: the screenshots by themselves were enough to dissuade me from it. And I also understand the movement to produce a touch-screen capable interface – but not the idea that it should work on a traditional desktop machine.)

    Linux has wide adoption in the corporate world for server machines. On the desktop, it’s a different story, for a lot of reasons, but I don’t think lack of user friendliness is a big one. It has a lot more to do with corporate mentality and inertia. And a lot to do with business software simply being not available for Linux. Other barriers exist in migration costs, which contribute to the inertia effect. And then there’s the perception, partly justified, I think, of a lack of stability.

    But I think (and I’m not the only one) that a big problem is there’s too much choice. So, you want to switch to Linux on the desktop, enterprise-wide? OK, which distribution do you go with? Which desktop environment? It’s easier to just use Windows. Combine that with the inertia problem, and it’s easy to see why Linux does not have much adoption on the desktop.

    I haven’t yet made much use of LibreOffice, but if you want to see something really horrid, try the latest Microsoft Office. And yet that’s where existing Office users are going.

  15. Brad R
    Brad R June 23, 2016 7:22 am

    MamaLiberty, you might want to give AbiWord a try on Linux. It’s a straight word processor, without all the additional OpenOffice/LibreOffice stuff. Unfortunately it’s intended to resemble an older version of Microsoft Word, rather than WordPerfect. There are some other office suites available for Linux, but I’d have to dig for their names.

    (It’s of historical interest now, but long ago — 10+ years — there was a version of WordPerfect released for Linux. I doubt it could be successfully installed today.)

    And if you want something easier and more reliable than Wine to run your old Windows software, try the commercial CrossOver product from CodeWeavers. http://www.codeweavers.com But check their application database first, to see if your Windows app is supported by their system.

  16. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty June 23, 2016 11:49 am

    Thanks, Brad and Jed. I’ve run nothing but linux for more than 10 years. The big problem has always been to figure out how to make the software do what it promises to do. 🙂 I have never found the “help” or tutorials of much use, and I don’t do “command line” at all, so I’ve been limited.

    The very best word processor I ever had was on the Atari 64 that I started with. The limitation of the whole OS being on the floppy disk was a bummer, but the word processor was very good and so easy to use. It did a lot of things I’ve not seen in a WP since, and would love to have. Libra seems to be able to do a lot of things I’d never use, without much of what I would like. I’ll be interested to see if I can find a better WP.

    It seems that everything is now moving to video, graphics, and “apps,” away from the desktop and PC. I edit and administer a number of blogs and fora, and I simply can’t imagine doing that from a hand held telephone. 🙂 But I’m getting close to my “use by date,” so it will probably be ok.

  17. Pat
    Pat June 23, 2016 1:29 pm

    “The big problem has always been to figure out how to make the software do what it promises to do.”

    I feel for you, MamaL. I’m not impressed with Libre/OpenOffice Help either. I just use Linux on line, otherwise I use Win7 off line. The best WP (and incorporating some DTP) I ever had was on an Amiga years ago, and they furnished documentation. In the late 80s they were already equal or better than Win XP.

    WordPerfect (new and expensive!) is still trying to reach Windows users, and it has a built-in PDF creator. Don’t know how well it works and don’t know how it would function with an older Win model. _Corel Office_ (at $50) http://www.wordperfect.com/us/product/corel-office-software/#tab3 says it will open most MS files, and it has a PDF creator also.

  18. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty June 24, 2016 7:59 am

    Unfortunately, Brad, I see no way to download or purchase any of those word processors. Cleverly hidden in plain sight, no doubt, but I can’t see it.

  19. Brad R
    Brad R June 24, 2016 12:53 pm

    Sorry, MamaLiberty. You have to click on the name of the product; that takes you to a product info page on alternativeto .net. Then from that page, you click on the “Official Website” link; that takes you to the creator/distributor of the program. For example, the link for WPS office is http://www.wps.com/ (not an endorsement, just the first one on the list that isn’t Libre/OpenOffice).

    AbiWord isn’t on that list, because it’s simply a word processor and not a full office suite. I don’t know what Linux distro you’re using, but chances are you can download AbiWord from your distro’s package repository. (For fun, check out the AbiWord alternatives at alternativeto.)

    A few years ago I saw a product review for a “writer’s editor” — a no frills text editor that omitted all the formatting stuff (except bold, italic, and underline, I think) and focused on giving the maximum screen area for simple text, with simple operation. I think it was for the Mac, alas. I was tinkering with Kwrite (as I recall) to try to get a similar user experience, but never really got anywhere.

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