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Comment: System updates over dialup are painful/impossible (Score 2) 104

by swillden (#47933023) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

Though even an out-of-date Linux distro is going to be safer against malware than Windows, keep in mind that it's almost impossible to keep one of the major distros updated with security patches via dialup. I tried that with my father in law's computer for a couple of years, setting up a cron job to dial up automatically late at night, every night, and chip away at the downloads. It fell further and further behind.

Other than the fact that I don't know if any of them even support dialup, a Chromebook seems ideal for this application. Updates are smaller and less frequent, and ChromeOS is strongly hardened as compared to a standard distro, so it's less worrisome if they miss some. Chrome Remote Desktop would enable you to take control of the machine when needed (that actually works on any platform) and while it's painful at dialup speeds I have used it successfully.

Comment: Re:How long is rent going to go up before?dun dun (Score 3, Insightful) 36

by AuMatar (#47932765) Attached to: Airbnb To Start Collecting Hotel Tax On Rentals In San Francisco

Because face time is important. Interacting with coworkers is important. Being able to go over a design at a whiteboard together rather than reading the same powerpoint slide separately is important. THe best ideas I've had in my career have been created as a result of talking to my coworkers over lunch/coffee break/tangent from another discussion. Telecommuting is a loss to productivity even if they are perfect about actually working (which having done it for a year- its not an easy thing to do, there's a lot of temptations). Its not only easily worth 15-30k, its worth 2-3 times that to have then onsite. That's ignoring the fact that a large number of people won't be on point when working from home- many without even meaning to cheat the system.

Comment: Re:Keyboard (Score 1) 167

by AuMatar (#47932567) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

I doubt you paid much attention to this. I do, I've been developing keyboards for 5 years now. Some of those at Swype, some at a second startup (I left Swype a few months after the buyout and have had neither residuals nor stock in the company or its new owner since May 2012), and now well its still on keyboards but I'm under NDA preventing me from stating where. Do all Android users use continuous path input? Of course not. Not even a majority. But a very solid percentage do, and a majority of those wouldn't use a device without it for a phone sized device (answers differ on large tablets where swyping isn't as efficient). So no, I don't think I oversold the importance of the technology- its a blocking issue for millions of people moving to iOS. Would they have moved had it been available when they were making their OS choice? Some large percentage of them would have. Will they now? Who knows- now they're locked in by various apps and expected behavior. We'll see.

Comment: Re:define (Score 1) 290

by swillden (#47931151) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

What a content-free quote. You can easily find a dozen quotes from Google -- including in their privacy policy, which is legally binding -- which show they don't share any individual user data at all. If you can find a way to prove they're lying, you can get both the SEC and the FTC to take legal action against them.

Comment: Re:More importantly (Score 2) 281

by swillden (#47931049) Attached to: Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

Also, Brakes and Tires are functionally identical between a BMW and a Tesla, and, on the Model S

Sort of. The tires, yes. The brakes are functionally identical, but should wear much more slowly on the Model S thanks to regenerative braking. How much less depends on driving style, obviously.

Comment: Re:no wonder apple dropped 16GB machines (Score 1) 167

by CastrTroy (#47931039) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

then you also have to handle the case where the data is corrupted

. No matter where you are storing the data, there's always a chance of the data being corrupted. And as far as users removing the storage card, computers have had that problem since as long as there have been personal computers. I'm sure most people could deal with it. People understand that they shouldn't just pull the card out randomly. If they lose their data by being stupid, then that's their own fault. They shouldn't cripple the entire user base because some users may do stupid things.

Comment: Re:Fear of changing code.... (Score 1) 205

by swillden (#47930845) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

I have also seen/heard of circumstances where "doing the minimum to keep the thing working" is allowed but actually improving the code is not because improving the code counts as "new work" and comes from a different budget than maintenance. Seems stupid but that's how some shops operate.

"The minimum to keep the thing working" nearly always implies improving the code. All developers need to realize this and stop this silly false dichotomy between "maintenance" and "refactoring".

IMO, developers know there isn't a difference but management does not.

Does management review the diffs?

Comment: Re:no wonder apple dropped 16GB machines (Score 1) 167

by CastrTroy (#47930447) Attached to: iOS 8 Review
But it shouldn't cost $100 for the difference between the two anyway. It's a $650 phone. It should have 64 GB by default, or have 32 GB and have the option of an SD Card. You only say that 16 GB is fine because it's $100 for the next level up. That's almost the same price as a 128 GB micro SD Card (currently 109.99). There's no reason why they should be charging you $100 for 16 GB upgrade in the first place.

Comment: Re:Just one question... (Score 2) 167

by AuMatar (#47930379) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

iOS terms of service prevent you from writing a service or daemon except under very specific circumstances. If you do, they'll reject your app from the store. So you have to do a lot of things that should run in the background only when you're in the foreground. Yes, its idiotic- in order to try and avoid a few badly written apps from draining battery power unnecessarily running in the background they've instead prevented entire categories of useful behavior.

Comment: Re:Not answered in review (Score 1) 167

by CastrTroy (#47929999) Attached to: iOS 8 Review
I guess if you have the 64 GB or 128 GB version of the device this may be a problem, but most people won't install so much stuff that they need folders inside folders for launching their apps. Every level of folders you add requires another tap to bring up the folder. And there's more taps if you end up going to the wrong folder. I really like the Android/Windows model of just listing everything in alphabetical order and giving you a way to add a quick launch of the stuff you really need to access all the time.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 2) 731

by swillden (#47929687) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

There are obvious differences between Christianity and Islam that make Christianity able to coexist with a modern secular state while Islam is showing all over the world that it can't.

This is only because Christianity has changed. Christianity as it was during the era of the crusades, and for hundreds of years after them, not only could not coexist with a secular government, it couldn't even coexist with an ostensibly Christian government which espoused a slightly different form of Christianity.

Note that I'm not bashing Christianity here... I am a Christian. But let's not whitewash the history of Christianity.

can you imagine the Pope leading a frenzied crowd in the St. Peters square in chants of "death to infidels"

Well, historically, the Pope doesn't lead chants. Instead he just issues orders to root out and forcibly "convert" infidels via torture, to save their souls. Of course, popes haven't done that for centuries because it has become unacceptable to Christians.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.