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Comment: Re:My experience (Score 1) 256

by swillden (#49626095) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

however I immediately wanted to rage quit and go back as I lost the aitplane mode switch when I hold down the power button

Airplane mode is still there, it's jut not on the power button. Swipe down from the top twice, or else once with two fingers, and there are a whole bunch of quick toggle options, including airplane mode, wifi, bluetooth, auto-rotate, GPS, flash light and cast screen (to Chromecast). It's unfortunate to have to learn a new pattern to access it, but it really makes sense to have it in the same place as all those other toggles, and it wouldn't make sense to put them all on the power button.

Comment: Re:Is this Google's fault? Yes. (Score 1) 256

by swillden (#49626025) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

In other words, it's a lose for everyone involved, due to the way the Android/OEM/Carrier relationship is structured, and there's no product continuity upsell like you have with the various iPhone models.

This is only true as long as consumers don't prioritize upgrades at point of purchase. If we could get OEMs to begin making binding upgrade and update support commitments, and get consumers looking at and comparing devices on that basis, then OEMs would be motivated to provide updates.

Comment: Re:Is this Google's fault? (Score 4, Informative) 256

by swillden (#49625835) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

This difference is a matter of when information is published, not anything to do with technology.

The reason you got iOS 8 the day after it was released is because Apple didn't announce the release until it was ready to push to your iPad. Google must release Android updates to the OEMs many months before they can get it delivered to devices. The only way Google could provide the same instant update experience is to finish and release it to OEMs then embargo the release information for months until the OEMs were ready to go. There's no way that embargo would hold. Way too many people and way too many companies.

Google could arrange for the instant-update experience with Nexus devices easily enough, but only at the expense of pissing off all the OEMs.

The lag between announcement and availability is an unavoidable result of Android being an ecosystem, rather than a product.

(I'm an Android engineer, but I'm not speaking for Google. The above is my own perception, not an official statement.)

Comment: Re:Looks like the prophet's gunmen (Score 1) 1050

by swillden (#49625677) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

Yours is a common theory, but the experiment of the last 40 years in carry legalization in the US has not borne it out. In pretty much every state that decides to liberalize carry policies the opposition claims the outcome you theorize... but reality has produced nothing but declining violence levels, with some evidence that liberalized carry results in greater, faster declines than in similar states that don't do it.

Further, study after study has found that concealed carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding and least violent sector of society, with far lower levels of arrests and convictions of any sort than the average citizen. FWIW (and its worth is debatable) concealed carry permit holders are more law abiding than policemen, who are also armed. That doesn't even consider the fact that police officers routinely get away with crimes that would provoke arrest and prosecution if done by civilians.

This isn't to say that the US doesn't have a violence problem. It's getting better, but we have a long way to go. Lawful civilian carry really isn't the problem, though, and since taking all the guns away is a legal, political and practical impossibility, I think it's actually a piece of the solution.

Comment: Re:New competition (Score 1) 223

by swillden (#49619591) Attached to: Singapore's Prime Minister Shares His C++ Sudoku Solver Code

*Altho many Canadians argue the Queen isn't their Head of State, her representative in Canada is (the Governor-General). The fact no Court's ruled on this definitively shows how important the title "Head of State" is in a Parliamentary system. Most legal scholars seem to think that the Queen is Head of State, but there is a minority that disagrees and their Constitution is not helpful on this question. But mostly nobody cares.

Given that she owns the entire country it's kind of a moot point. If they piss her off she'll just kick them out.

Heh. I suspect that if she tried the outcome would not be that they would leave.

Comment: Re:From his Facebook post on his Sudoku solver (Score 1) 223

by swillden (#49619579) Attached to: Singapore's Prime Minister Shares His C++ Sudoku Solver Code

That's common knowledge.

Bit Twiddling Hacks

Not, too common, apparently, since this particular hack isn't in that list. It wasn't too hard to work out what it does (find the largest power of 2 that divides x or, equivalently, find the value of the lowest bit that is set) but it didn't make the Hacks list, and I don't think that's because it's too obvious.

Comment: Re:Chrome - the web browser that's added as bloatw (Score 1) 235

by swillden (#49612363) Attached to: Chrome Passes 25% Market Share, IE and Firefox Slip

The claim is that it's added to a "lot" of products, and that that explains its growth and its presence on millions of machines

That is not the claim at all. The words that OP used were "hardly surprising" and "gains an advantage". Do you deny that paying people to use Chrome (which is what this is in essence) doesn't give Google an advantage? Perhaps they just like to pay companies to bundle products for no return.

Capcha: sincere .. lol

Nice selective quoting. The original claim was that it "gains an advantage in market share" due to being added "as bloatware to a lot of products". The claim was specifically that growth in market share was due to being bundled.

And what evidence do you have that Google is paying anyone to include Chrome?

Comment: Re:Looks like the prophet's gunmen (Score 2) 1050

by swillden (#49612267) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

Given the uses for a gun exactly what use would you have for one that would merit bringing it to work with you?

Same as why you'd want one anywhere else that you're not hunting, target shooting, etc. -- defense of yourself or others in the unlikely but possible case that it's necessary. People are occasionally murdered at work, same as anywhere else.

If you are so afraid that you need to carry a gun to work with you, then you may want to consider moving to a safer area.

What does fear have to do with it? I'm not particularly afraid of fire, but I have a fire extinguisher and smoke alarms. I'm not afraid of driving my car, but I have insurance. I'm not afraid of minor injuries, but I keep a first aid kit in the car. I don't expect to lose my job, but I have savings. I don't expect to be sued, but I have legal insurance. Like a hundred and one other ways in which the prudent person is prepared, having the means of self-defense is a good idea.

In my 30 years of owning guns, I've drawn a weapon on a human being precisely zero times. I've used a gun to shoot at or injure a human exactly zero times.

Same here, if you ignore some experiences in the military (where I also never shot at or injured a human, but I did have to draw).

Given my lifestyle, I fully expect that I'll carry my gun for 50 years and never once need it. I certainly haven't in the nearly 10 years since I started carrying it daily. Further, I sincerely hope that I'll never need it, just as I hope not to need my life insurance for a very long time. But in the event something really bad happens, I've done what I can to prepare.

Comment: Re:More like to his own parents (Score 1) 169

Heh. That shows what I get for relying on my memory rather than looking it up again.

I'm particularly embarrassed that I followed a previous poster's lead in mispelling Gary Kildall's name.

Though, as the article you linked explains, Kildall did have a chance to make this deal and blew it, leaving it to Gates to pick up. Had Kildall been a better businessman Microsoft would never have become what it did, regardless of Gates' mom's connections.

Comment: Re:Vacuum robots (Score 1) 46

On the topic of vacuum robots...

Has anyone seen any vacuum robot that integrates with central vacuum? I'd love to have the robot's base station connected with my central vac so when the robot returns to charge the central vac empties the robot and maybe even cleans its filters a little. The combination would be true launch-and-forget ongoing carpet cleaning.

Comment: Re:Chrome - the web browser that's added as bloatw (Score 1, Insightful) 235

by swillden (#49606081) Attached to: Chrome Passes 25% Market Share, IE and Firefox Slip

I've seen it included with CCleaner and Avast. It's a plague.

You're referring to CCleaner and Avast, I assume? The AV industry is certainly a plague on the world.

Anyway, thanks for the specifics. I found some information that says CCleaner's installer asks if you'd also like to install Chrome -- it isn't bundled; it prompts for an additional download, AFAICT. I don't see anything about Chrome related to Avast other than that Avast has a Chrome extension.

Even assuming those are true, are the any other packages bundling Chrome? Is it just AV vendors? The claim is that it's added to a "lot" of products, and that that explains its growth and its presence on millions of machines. I don't think CCleaner and Avast are enough to move the needle significantly, even if they both always installed Chrome.

Comment: Re:More like to his own parents (Score 1) 169

Maybe. But IBM approached Kindall first. I strongly suspect that if he'd said "Sure! I'll license it to you for $5 per machine", IBM would have done the deal with him. There really weren't any "back room" negotiations required; it was a pretty straightforward deal.

It is perhaps possible that Mary Gates learned that IBM would be interested in a licensing deal, but I'm skeptical that John Opel would even have known that much about the project. IBM was an enormous company and the PC project was a small effort that nearly all of the company thought was irrelevant. It occurs to me that perhaps Mary Gates talked to Opel and found out that he didn't know much about it, and realized that the project didn't have much internal support, and from that deduced that the execs in charge were fighting internal opposition and might see a licensing deal as a way to get to market faster and cheaper before they could get shut down.

But all of that is purely speculation. What is clear is that (a) IBM did approach Kindall first and he ignored them, and (b) an OS licensing deal was good for the PC project. I see nothing to indicate that IBM wouldn't have accepted such an offer from Kindall.

Comment: Re:More like to his own parents (Score 2) 169

You were obviously not there at the time. Bill Gates got rich because IBM signed the daftest contract in computer history from their point of view. Yes: IBM - the company known for hiring the very best in legal expertise signed away their arms and legs

Why? - I would like to know that!

I don't think it's so strange. IBM didn't expect the PC to be a success. It was a niche project pushed by a few execs over the objections of more -- who saw it as undercutting IBM's real business, to whatever degree it was successful -- and ignored by most of the company as irrelevant. Other parts of the company were actively trying to kill the project. The group developing the PC needed an operating system and needed it quickly. They couldn't take the time to build one, assuming they could find the budget, and likewise couldn't pay a lot of cash up front. Licensing an existing OS for a low per-unit cost was an obvious win.

And, of course, by the time it became clear that the PC was a success, it was too late to change OSes, and by then Gates would've been a fool to sell. Besides, the cost to IBM was low and the machines were selling well. As long as IBM was the only company selling PCs, there really was no significant downside to IBM, and IBM was confident in its legal teams' ability to shut down clones... until Compaq performed a successful clean-room reverse engineering of the PC BIOS.

It ultimately boils down to lack of foresight, that the PC would be so important, and that IBM couldn't prevent clones. Without understanding those, IBM had no reason to insist on ownership of the OS.