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Comment: Re:Gates Foundation (Score 1) 286

by DevStar (#33415960) Attached to: Bill Gates Enrolls His Kids In Khan Academy
It's a little hard to manage,but MS has some incredible educational deals. We recently got for the local high school a collection of Win7, Visual Studio, Expression designer tools (like a scaled down version of Adobe CS5), SQL Server,Exchange,and Tech Support. This for 3-years -- including full updates of all the software, for $1k. Nobody feels like they were cheated in this deal. And frankly, everyone was really quite pleased.

Comment: Potential... (Score 5, Interesting) 278

by DevStar (#31837524) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils 'Pink' Phones As Kin One and Two
When I first saw the phones I thought "loser". I was comparing it to the iPhone, Nexus One, WP7, etc...

But then it became more apparent that it's competing against the EnV and the Rage. What Verizon calls MultiMedia phones. It will likely be on the lower priced data plan (or maybe they'll make one between teh $10 and $30/month package). Given a choice between an EnV or a Kin, the Kin is an easy choice. If MS were to clean up the multimedia phone space at Verizon, I think you'll suddenly begin to see a new market emerge. Although it's a surprisingly tough market, because I think a lot of it hinges on the data center and carrier integration.
Watch how this plays out. I think it possibly flops, but could be iPhone like huge, but to a totally different market.

Comment: Re:They want devs to choose (Score 1) 711

by DevStar (#31813442) Attached to: Steve Jobs Weighs In On iPhone Programming Language Mandate
Actually, if that's the problem, then Apple is even more stupid, because their license agreement doesn't address that. Their license agreement allows me to write my iPhone game in C++ for the XBox and then port it to the iPhone. Porting is allowed by their license.

What's not allowed is that I can't use an in-house level editor for my designer to generate maps that then use codeten to native Objective-C code. All of which was built in-house, and all of which was meant to only target the iPhone. But since the level code was not originally written in ObjectiveC (or C, C++, etc...) this is not allowed. We need to tell our level designers to write in Objective C from now on.

This is just stupid. iPhone games just don't make us enough money to put up with Steve Jobs. I'm more than happy to focus on Android and WP7, along with other business. Even in Microsoft's darkest day did I feel so dirty using a platform. I'm glad I moved to Droid when I did. Otherwise I'd be moving now.

Comment: Re:The Best Kind of News (Score 1) 249

by DevStar (#31636614) Attached to: We're Staying In China, Says Microsoft
Actually, I disagree. I think that pulling out of China does far more harm to citizens of China than staying there. The same goes for Nike. I think our "enlightened" world view of what is good for other countries is naive and short-sighted.
And yes, I am serious. And I'm personally sick of the claim that MS abused its monopoly. MS's position IMO was still the right one. A web browser is an OS feature. I think the forced decoupling of the OS from the web browser has actually slowed innovation. With that said MS's behavior in court was horrible, but frankly I think the trial should have never happened.

Comment: Re:The Best Kind of News (Score 1) 249

by DevStar (#31627636) Attached to: We're Staying In China, Says Microsoft
I think the point is that MS is no less honorable than Google.

At the end of the day Google hasn't improved the lives or prospects of Chinese citizens (hence I think it destroys the "good deed even if for morally ambiguous reasons" argument). They've done a PR move with no real upside to anyone but Google. I see no honor in that.

Comment: Re:Conflicted! (Score 1) 249

by DevStar (#31627300) Attached to: We're Staying In China, Says Microsoft
That's not a great analogy either. A better one would be "Admiring Google for no longer censoring is like admiring the person who started beating their child because they said their child was a problem child and this would actually help them. After beating their child more than anyone else beats their child they later realized that their child could actually fight back a little and then they said that they'd no longer beat their child because it was bad -- forgetting the reason they said they'd originally spank their child. And then they condemn other people who are still spanking their children, because clearly the original reason for spanking children is no longer valid after they've stopped." Or something like that.

Comment: Re:The Irony (Score 1) 629

by DevStar (#31268764) Attached to: Beliefs Conform To Cultural Identities
I think that's an orthogonal question, although not an uninteresting one. Although its fundamentally the same thing that Republicans say about elite universities, which is why they tend to discount theories that come out of Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, etc as being liberal. I do think the study is more interesting than people give it credit for though. I do think there is this belief in (liberal?) society that with increased education a lot of ideological "problems" disappear. I think this study does push us further down the track that education may not be all that helpful. And coupled with what we spoke of above -- self selection for getting education, our current system may simply exacerbate the perceived gap.

Comment: Re:PROOF! (Score 1) 284

by DevStar (#30393954) Attached to: Microsoft Finally Open Sources Windows 7 Tool
It's too bad users here on Slashdot don't simply take the time to read MS code. Windows kernel code is available for researchers. You can see the code for the CLR largely in Rotor. And the .NET Fx source code has been released as well. It's not hard to see what they're code looks like. And for the most part the code is very reasonable looking. MS doesn't have the problem with code quality they get accused of. There real problem historically has been lack of vision. If you give them a target they can generally hit it -- see how they've done on things like security, IE (until IE6), Win7, Bing, etc... What they don't do is see what's over the hill, ala the iPhone. This is why I think WinMo7 will be a very solid OS as they have competitors to target, but I'm not sure they know what's after that.

Comment: Re:Thank Your, Mr. Schmidt. (Score 1) 671

by DevStar (#30366838) Attached to: Google CEO Says Privacy Worries Are For Wrongdoers
First of all, what Schmidt says isn't wrong. If you don't want anyone to know what you're doing, it may be because you value your privacy, but it may also be because it's wrong, and you know it's wrong

The problem is that is not what Schmidt said. But regardless who is he to judge the morality of my searches/email? He should have said, "if you don't want anyone to know what you're doing, then don't use Google as we can not guarantee privacy. Period." He can make a statement that captures their lack of willingness to anonymize data without casting moral judgment on the desire of users to do so.
But for some reason Google has decided that their lack of willingness to anonymize data effectively puts your searches/data in the public sphere. And he is attempting to justify it by saying that this is OK, because only "evil" people would care that their data is public.
The other point to note is that Google gives you no option to anonymize your searches. It's actually relatively straightforward to give users the ability to opt-in for this. The technology to do so is there, but they essentially require you to use a 3rd party service to do this. Of course anonymizing email is harder, but they could encrypt the emails and require the client decrypt it (this way all their servers have is a blob with a public key). Admittedly, no one else does this either for email. But it is disappointing that Google has taken arguably the most "evil" route (moral judgment and justification) for a company that is supposed to do none of it (evil).

Comment: I actually like commercials... (Score 2, Interesting) 297

by DevStar (#29953342) Attached to: DVRs Help Some TV Shows Improve Ratings
Much to my wife's chagrin, I actually enjoy watching commercials. Not all or even most commercials, but I like to do 30s skip to see which commercials look interesting, then I'll rewind and watch them.

When I'm online I'm just not that interested in going to a website to watch movie trailers, but if one happens to be on while I'm 30s skipping, I'm a lot more inclind to watch. My web-mode is very reading centric with lots of clicking. My TV mode is very much a passive observer.

Comment: Re:The Worlds Lost Decade (Score 1) 603

by DevStar (#29942924) Attached to: Microsoft's Lost Decade
Your grasp of history seems wrong on several counts. Not sure if its intentional or simple ignorance. In any case... In reality they should have gone through the JCP, which was and is the Java standards body.

"In reality" the JCP didn't exist at the time. In any case McNealy would have been a jerk, like he was the whole process. While I'm sure he would have helped out IBM or DEC, he would do anything in his power to hurt MS.

Many companies besides Sun were definining extensions to the Java language and VM using that process just fine, which results in the Java you see today.

At the time many companies were not doing this. That didn't happen until post-1998. And yes, the result is the Java you see today -- clearly the process does not work.

They had a decent OS that a lot of users really loved. Then - nothing happened. All we know is that a company with a popular platform and a lot of very smart developers was taken out of the game, so we can't say what might have been from them.

You do realize that they apparently went to work on Pink. Admittedly Pink doesn't look so hot,but I seriously doubt they paid $500m and put them on a project so the project could suck. I think it was a bad move to buy Danger, but I really don't think that anyting in the world would be different today had they not purchased Danger. If anything most of the top talent from Danger had already left before the acquisition by MS (as many had gone to Android)..

Having the ability to publish is NOTHING like being forced to, regularly. They have they freedom to do anything, and so like a guy laid off with a bunch of videogames - nothing happens, they just play and the world is not made better as a result.

So let me get this straight. The fact that MS is the most prolific computer science research institution in the world, and publishes at conferences and journals for all to read is a bad thing. They should not have that freedom, but rather should be forced to work on Outlook? And I guess MIT and Caltech are bad for letting researchers study basic science, and not figuring out how to make Burger King fries taste like McDonald fries? That's one of the oddest complaints I've heard of MS. They give their researchers too much freedom, so much so that they're ridiculously productive, but we still hate them because they don't write code for Word?

The HD-DVD war was totally lost from day 1 with Blu-Ray having Disney and Fox and Sony totally on it's side.

Your history of this is all screwed up. From Wikipedia: "Studio alliances shifted over time. Before October 2005 and the release of either format, each had the exclusive support of three of the Big Six. HD DVD had Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros Pictures, while Blu-ray Disc started out with Columbia Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.". Readers should go to Wikipedia to read the history. You'll learn a few things: (1) HD-DVD was in the running until WB went to Blu-Ray exclusive and (2) it was hardly MS that was keeping HD-DVD in the game. In fact if the studios got their act together and all picked one format, it wouldn't matter who MS or Sony supported. But again, to a MS hater you have to believe that MS killed JFK, regardless of the evidence. Lastly, Blu-Ray sucks. I still know several people who are p.o.'ed for having effectively been scammed by Blu-Ray's early version devices that don't play any modern disks. BD Plus is why Fox stuck with it. But the reason WB sent there is, it's where the installed player base was. You can't sell movies in a format no-one has players for

True for Fox. They liked the DRM of BD+. For WB, they've never stated their motivation. Given that Blu-Ray did have a larger installed base, this is possible. Although most of the installed base was tied to a game console.

Comment: Re:The Worlds Lost Decade (Score 0) 603

by DevStar (#29939157) Attached to: Microsoft's Lost Decade
How far back has the software industry been set back by Microsoft? How much further along would server side be if Microsoft had truly worked with the Java community instead of going it's own way with .Net?

They tried that. It's called getting sued by Sun for trying to actually exploit features on your operating system. If you look at how much MS has been able to do with .NET vs the drip-like speed that Java moves, I'm glad MS didn't stick with Sun and Java. C# is probably the most impressive mainstream language in existence. How much better would cellphones be if Microsoft had not bought, and slowly strangled, Danger?

Danger... really? They bought them like 2 years ago. What exactly do you think Danger had planned to do in this past two years that would have revolutionized the cellphone industry? How much further along would so many areas be if Microsoft had not bought up so many experts and stuffed them in an R&D group with almost no real world output, instead of having them work on practical technologies that made it to market?

Can you give me one example of this? Most of the people doing R&D are researchers. Microsoft researchers have free reign to publish whatever they like, and they do. Product developers almost never go to MS R&D -- at least no experts that I can think of. Would the HD video market have been as fragmented as it was without Microsoft pushing HD-DVD long past the point it was obviously dead just so they would get licensing revenue from the menu system?

Your history on this is screwed up. If you recall HD-DVD was doing quite well until WB announced right before CES (or maybe during) that they were going to support Blu-Ray. If WB tips their hat to HD-DVD rather than Blu-Ray then Blu-Ray is in its last throes. And again, to blame Microsoft is absurd considering you also had folks like Toshiba, Intel, and HP supported HD-DVD.

The funny thing is that part of the reason the studios went with Blu-Ray is because it has much tighter DRM. Yet most people here would complain about MS's DRM positions.

If you're going to knock MS, at least pick things that really would have made a difference.

Comment: Re:About iTunes -- from the article (Score 3, Informative) 570

by DevStar (#29830051) Attached to: Some Users Say Win7 Wants To Remove iTunes, Google Toolbar
It's not that suspicious. It asked me to uninstall SQL Server 2008 and MagicDisc. I uninstalled Magic Disk, but SQL Server I decided to roll the dice on, because it is a pain getting it set back up the way I like it on my dev box. A month or so later, no problems (I'm on MSDN).

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