> my Grandfather's stories of having to carve math equations out on logs with a knife so he could do his homework because post WWII paper and pencils were in very short supply...
Did you believe him?
My grandfather used to walk 10 miles each way to get to school. With no shoes. In the snow. Uphill. Both ways.
[ObCulturalExplanation: above is the standard American clichéd hyperbolic of the clichéd "kids-these-days" rant delivered by ancestral males to teenagers. Maybe in the CCCP, they really did carve homework into logs and bring them into class the next day. I certainly don't know.]
Actually I did. I visited the village he grew up in... I was shocked to see clean water. Russia may be industrialized, but the wealth doesn't filter down as evenly as here. Also, remember that was 1940s when most of the country lay in ruins.
> completely new UI, and WAY more novel use of Ajax than outlook
As to novelty: XMLHttpRequest was invented by Microsoft for Outlook Web Access. "Ajax" was invented by Jesse James Garret as a new name for XMLHttpRequest.
I remember the first time I saw someone use OWA on IE, thinking: HTF does that work? Then I remembered he was using IE and chalked it up to proprietary browser extensions, which was correct. Proprietary but useful enough that the other browsers eventually had to duplicate the feature, with different syntax.
That duplication is what made Google Maps (and later, Gmail) possible.
So, yes. Microsoft gets credit for this one. Not for the generosity of their hearts, but for doing it and making it work and dragging the rest of the world along behind them. That had been the tradition with browser tech since the beginning, with positive and negative effects. This was a positive one.
Definitely not a Microsoft apologist here. And XHR could have been better. But no one else cooked it up, so, they get some credit.
I read the whole thing. It was interesting, but not linear, and definitely not dense. But it's The Atlantic, not a daily paper.
It was more of a leisurely interesting-but-not-actionable, flavor-of-the-story, Sunday-paper-with-a-bagel read. I wouldn't even call it long-form journalism. It's just bits of history and human interest tied to a current issue with a sprinkling of character and anecdote. Gratifying, not edifying.
That sort of thing has a place, but generally not what I'm looking for on a Wednesday morning.
Did you know that Central Valley almond crop irrigation consumes water equal to 1/2 of a Los Angeles?
> Fiat means, in a short and sweet manner, the government can force you to use it.
Fiat, both from the original Latin, and in practice, means "it shall be".
In the case of money, it means that the token has no intrinsic value, and is not directly convertible into a backing resource with value. Its only value is that given to it by decree of the issuer. There is no component of government compulsion in the definition.
In practice, some fiat monies are the only accepted legal tender currencies for some purposes (e.g. taxes) but it is not a requirement.
A successful fiat currency implies that there is acceptance among users in its fiat value, and some of the most historically effective ways to get people to go along with your assertions boil down to making ultimatums backed up with sharp sticks.
On one level, this is No Big Deal -- it's comparable to the default bookmarks that other browsers include for CNN, NYTimes, etc. Though it never occurred to me before to wonder if those bookmarks were paid placement. How naive.
These tiles are even less persistent than default bookmarks. They get replaced as a side effect of user activity, instead of requiring manual removal. They're also visually inoffensive in their current sampled form.
I'm cool with revenue diversification and growth. I'll take it on faith that options-to-Google are not as ready and assured as we often assume them to be. I'm less convinced that Mozilla needs hundreds of million dollars to operate in the first place, but on the assumption that our interests in the expenditure of that money are vaguely aligned, I won't begrudge them their fundraising success.
The part that really bothers me is the tone of delivery. "User enhancing"?? I don't feel enhanced in the least, and I deeply worry about there being someone with any influence at Mozilla who can use that phrase (in this context) without being run out of town on a pike.
The entire messaging is terrible, and terrible in a way that suggests a huge cultural dissonance between the Mozilla we knew and the Mozilla that is presenting itself. The question is, which is more correct? And that's a Problem.
Who is in charge over there these days? Did they really give some dude from the ad business free reign over organizational messaging?
This feels like Mozilla's John Browett moment. Their next steps will say a lot.