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Comment: Re:Android IS a huge financial success. . . (Score 1) 342

by IamTheRealMike (#49790685) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

If you're the sort of person who believes any and all business is merely a way to make profit and nobody who creates a company ever actually cares about the task they perform, then sure. Reality is more complex than that.

Re: China. iOS is in the minority in China. Even at the time of the iPhone 6 launch iOS market share was only 20%, but iOS market share always spikes around the time of a new iPhone launch, then falls back down in the other quarters. And China is a special case - Google isn't willing to play ball with the communist government so the services that make Android most useful are all blocked there. Apple cooperates so they can sell iOS as is, getting a built-in advantage. Despite this, Android still dominates.

Comment: Re:Android IS a huge financial success. . . (Score 1) 342

by IamTheRealMike (#49790039) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

From their perspective it'd be much worse than higher search rev shares. If Android did not exist, Google Maps would have been wiped out overnight on mobile when Apple decided to go it alone (against the wishes of their own userbase, no less). Android was never about making direct profit, it was always about ensuring Google was able to deliver their services directly to users. They were quite open about this from the start. And judged by this standard it has been an incredible, epic success.

iOS is on the way down anyway. Outside of English speaking countries and Japan it's in the minority everywhere. In some countries, especially European countries like Germany and Spain, the iPhone has been crushed.

Comment: Re:Russian rocket motors (Score 1) 62

by Bruce Perens (#49787045) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

Russia would like for us to continue gifting them with cash for 40-year-old missle motors, it's our own government that doesn't want them any longer. For good reason. That did not cause SpaceX to enter the competitive process, they want the U.S. military as a customer. But it probably did make it go faster.

Also, ULA is flying 1960 technology, stuff that Mercury astronauts used, and only recently came up with concept drawings for something new due to competitive pressure from SpaceX. So, I am sure that folks within the Air Force wished for a better vendor but had no choice.

Comment: Re:What a guy (Score 3, Interesting) 387

by IamTheRealMike (#49786323) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

These career govt employees feed info to the pres, make recommendations, and fight for their interests. Even if a new pres wants to turn on a dime, Washington DC is a large ship that turns slowly.

Bingo. The old UK comedy "Yes Prime Minister" was a rather cutting illustration of this phenomenon at work.

What happens to someone when they become the prez? Enormous numbers of apparently experienced people begin telling you all kinds of secret things. They stress the importance of secrecy. They tell you about this plot or that plot. They say it's vital they get new powers and they not-so-subtly imply that if you don't help them Women And Children will DIE! And although it's left unstated you know perfectly well that if you don't give them what they want, you will see leaks in the press from anonymous officials that paint you as a prevaricator, as weak, as unconcerned for the lives of Patriotic Heroes And Their Women And Children.

The problem any US President has, and I daresay many other countries presidents, is that they are immediately submerged into a fantasy world woven from the agendas of the people around them mixed with their own pre-existing views, and those people are themselves also in a slightly less extreme form of a personal fantasy world and so on all the way down. A toxic brew of patriotism, belief in American exceptionalism, militarism and most of all pervasive classification means that it's impossible for a prez to penetrate the fog of misinformation that surrounds them. They can be manipulated into believing nearly anything because it would take an incredibly strong willed personality to say directly to the senior bureaucrats feeding them classified intelligence, "I think you are bullshitting me and I am going to personally audit your shit and prosecute you if you're lying to me".

Obama is very much NOT a strong willed personality. He sees himself primarily as a reasonable man who finds compromise between different factions. This makes him easily manipulated: all it takes is for people who agree to present him two apparently opposed positions - one extreme and one very extreme - and Obama will reliably pick something that is quite extreme. And the officials around him know that.

In hindsight it should have been obvious. Obama has no real track record of achievement in politics. He supported no particularly controversial positions, or showed any particularly clear thinking. Compared to Bush he seemed like a genius of course but Bush was a fucking man child, so that wasn't hard.

For that reason, Rand Paul fans might be disappointed if he won. I don't expect he would be able to accomplish as much change as people would like.

Almost certainly not. But it looks like Rand Paul is made of stronger stuff than Obama. Paul consistently argues for positions that piss off most of his party. He seems able to come to conclusions about things himself regardless of what other people believe. He seems to have fairly strong principles. He doesn't come across as the sort of wishy-washy people person that Obama is. If there's any US politician that actually might tell the people in his secret briefings "stop bullshitting me or I fire you", it's probably Rand Paul.

Comment: Re:None. Go meta. (Score 3, Insightful) 332

by IamTheRealMike (#49786191) Attached to: How Much C++ Should You Know For an Entry-Level C++ Job?

That sort of logic holds true when moving between languages that are very similar. The transition between Python and Ruby or Java and C# spring to mind.

However if I need a C++ programmer and need one pronto, I'm not gonna hire a guy who has only JavaScript on his CV no matter what. Learning C++ is not merely learning a different way to create an array or slightly different syntax. To be effective in C++ you need to know how to do manual memory management and do it reliably, which takes not only domain knowledge but more importantly: practice and experience. You need to understand what inlining is. You very likely need to understand multi-threading and do it reliably, which takes practice and experience a pure JS guy is unlikely to have. You need to be comfortable with native toolchains and build systems: when the rtld craps its pants and prints a screenful of mangled symbols you need to be able to understand that you have an ABI mismatch, what that means and how to deal with it. Unfortunately that is mostly a matter of practice and experience. You might need to understand direct manipulation of binary data. There's just a ton of stuff beyond the minor details of the language.

Could the pure JS guy learn all this stuff? Of course! Will they do it quickly? No.

Comment: Context (Score 3, Informative) 62

by Bruce Perens (#49782349) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

This ends a situation in which two companies that would otherwise have been competitive bidders decided that it would cost them less to be a monopoly, and created their own cartel. Since they were a sole provider, they persuaded the government to pay them a Billion dollars a year simply so that they would retain the capability to manufacture rockets to government requirements.

Yes, there will be at least that Billion in savings and SpaceX so far seems more than competitive with the prices United Launch Alliance was charging. There will be other bidders eventually, as well.

Comment: Re:Stupidly in charge of user interfaces too (Score 1) 147

by IamTheRealMike (#49776347) Attached to: Apple Design Guru Jony Ive Named Chief Design Officer

Yeah, I agree with the growing sentiment that whilst Ive is a talented hardware designer, he is also seriously overhyped (by Apple, not himself).

Case in point: how long did it take for Apple to make a larger iPhone? A long time. I read a story about Ive in a magazine. It described the process of them deciding to make a bigger screened iPhone. The design team milled dummies of a bazillion different sizes and carried them around to try and figure out the perfect larger size. They spent ages on it. They tried literally every size. Eventually they produced something ..... just like their competitors. You know what? Apple ignored the trend for years. Then they procrastinated because their holy design team can't do anything fast. They could just have looked at what was selling well - it's not always a good idea but it's not always a bad idea either. But they made a mountain out of it.

Why do Apple's products have almost no customisability? Why did it take YEARS for them to even support setting a wallpaper image in iOS? Well, probably because:

Ive’s decision to offer choice was a challenge to Apple’s recurring theme of design inevitability. In one of our conversations, Ive was scathing about a rival’s product, after asking me not to name it: “Their value proposition was ‘Make it whatever you want. You can choose whatever color you want.’ And I believe that’s abdicating your responsibility as a designer.”

He was probably talking about a Motorola phone. But I guess that's why everything Apple makes is white. You wouldn't want to "abdicate your responsibility" by letting people choose colours! Well, unless it's a watch, of course.

If you read the whole New Yorker article you'll get an overwhelming sense that the design team there live in a bubble where they feel it's OK to spend months on a trivial detail and then produce something almost exactly the same as what their competitors did in a week. Apple has been consistently behind the Android market for years now when it comes to features and even new design ideas, and reading the article will reveal why.

Comment: Re:Well there's the problem... (Score 1) 201

by IamTheRealMike (#49776207) Attached to: Court Orders UberPop Use To Be Banned In All of Italy

Nope. The taxi drivers would compete for too few passengers by trying to undercut each other, skimming on costs thus reducing the safety for passengers etc.

Except that taxi prices are controlled, either by the state (yellow cabs) or by Uber. Taxi drivers don't dynamically adjust prices on an hourly basis by themselves.

Comment: Re:Well there's the problem... (Score 1) 201

by IamTheRealMike (#49776167) Attached to: Court Orders UberPop Use To Be Banned In All of Italy

Your desire to have the mythical unicorn of the free market still doesn't change the reality that those laws exist, they exist for a reason, and it's not up to Uber to decide what the law is.

Markets are hardly mythical. They're rather common.

Anyway you're arguing with things he never said. Obviously the laws exist. Obviously Uber cannot decide what the laws are. The only part you're disagreeing with him on is "they exist for a reason", but that's the crux of the issue - some people believe that reason is bogus. Limiting the numbers of cabs specifically to fight congestion is so indirect it practically screams corruption. You solve congestion with congestion charges, that apply to all vehicles equally.

Uber wants to run a illegal cabs, contrary to the law. The problem isn't the existence of the law. it's that Uber are a bunch of whiny self-entitled douchbags whose business model relies on running illegal cabs and playing the victim card.

Given that your post criticises Uber for "throwing a tantrum" your own writing comes across as extremely shrill. The problem is the existence of the law. You seem to think that all laws must be righteous and good and no organised group of people who give themselves a name and a logo should ever object to a law or try to get it changed (and good luck getting taxi laws changed agains the incumbents without a large large consumer group to back you up). That's an increasingly non-viable position in our world: governments create laws at prodigious rates and the effort needed to get them overturned is too large for individuals to take on.

Comment: Re:When you're using words like "reeducation" (Score 2) 441

LOL

Okay, you raging sexist. Let's take it down a notch for a second here ......... [short time later] ....... It still blows my mind that every time this comes up, almost nobody talks about the elephant in the room: Women are smarter and value their time better than men in general.

Plank in your eye before speck in your brothers, etc.

Comment: Re:no power (Score 1) 441

Yeah yeah yeah. It's so tough being a programmer.

Reality check: many, many other jobs are doing worse. You may think that programming is going down hill as a career* but would mothers rather that their daughters study Eng Lit and then become a Starbucks barista when making it as a journalist doesn't quite work out for them?

*though I don't see that, heck on the front page is a story about how much money is flooding into the industry from VC's right now

Comment: Re:How is this tech related? (Score 1) 154

by IamTheRealMike (#49770221) Attached to: EU Drops Plans For Safer Pesticides After Pressure From US

Um, yes.

How exactly do you intend to prove that something is safe? There have been cases in the past where chemicals were thought to be safe, and then found that they cause a higher risk of common disease but only after many decades (smoking is one obvious example of that).

How do you even discover that without large scale usage by humans? How would anything ever get approved? What if the drugs are believed to save lives, but it can't be proved that they're always side effect free? What then?

IMO, this shouldn't be up to governments. They should act as a source of trusted advice, at best. The idea that the FDA might have killed more people than it's saved (by delaying the use of medicines that were later found to be safe and effective) is an interesting one, though I can't remember if it's ever actually been proven or is just some libertarian meme.

Comment: Re:Spin everywhere... (Score 1) 154

by IamTheRealMike (#49768971) Attached to: EU Drops Plans For Safer Pesticides After Pressure From US

How anyone, who is not a subject matter expert, can make a decision in this is just beyond me

You can't easily do so, but you can easily recognise the spin for what it is. As you say, the Guardian wants us to believe that the chemical industry is some cigar-smoking shades-wearing embodiment of corporate evil here, which is unlikely. It seems to be more like a dispute over the costs and benefits of enacting a ban before harm is conclusively established. So ..... just ignore it! My opinions on TTIP have been entirely unmoved by this story as it seems to be a dispute that would have happened anyway, regardless of whether TTIP existed.

"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but the result's the same." - Mike Dennison

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