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Comment: Risk (Score 1) 614

by HunterD (#43665013) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Won't Companies Upgrade Old Software?

One word: Risk. The present system, regardless of what that present system is, is something the users have figured out how to work with and around. When you upgrade, the impacts to various departments are uncertain as processes break and projects get delayed. It requires a fair amount of import in an upgrade to get over the bar of not knowing the consequences of pushing upgrades through the business.

Comment: Re:http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (Score 1) 48

by HunterD (#43531729) Attached to: Ubuntu Touch Beta Images Available For Testing

http://jobsearch.monster.com/search/Software-Engineer_5

1) Look at most other fields, jobs are still scarce, but not for software engineers
2) Look at the job postings and read the tech that is used, it's basically a list of open source projects
3) You want a specific example? Wordpress. http://www.indeed.com/q-Wordpress-jobs.html where they list (at the time of this writing) 7810 jobs. That's *one* open source package. How about mysql? http://www.indeed.com/q-MySQL-jobs.html 17549. Cassandra? http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=Cassandra&l= 1752. Apache? http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=apache&l= 10873. Rails (*shudder*) http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=rails&l= 12734. Python? http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=python&l= 19653

Every business needs IT, every business has a website, nearly every business depends on open source for it's operation. The evidence of this requires trivial research to find it as I show above.

Having the utter lack of creativity to determine ways to make money as a software engineer outside of just selling it boggles the mind. I might suggest if that's the only way you can think of to get value out of engineering skills, perhaps you should consider a marketing career instead.

Comment: Re:http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (Score 1) 48

by HunterD (#43531603) Attached to: Ubuntu Touch Beta Images Available For Testing

Software is a legitimate product that has value in and of itself. There's no reason why software should be free, anymore so than anything else. Since nothing else free, we need to stop giving away our labor.

Most software is bespoke. Almost no one writes "shrink wrapped" software. It's a tiny fraction of the real software work, and turning the rest of the industry upside down to maximize the interests of a few people who want to do the "all bits should be sold" business model absolutly crushes the majority of the economic activity. Less then 10% of the software written is software to be sold directly, the vast vast majority of it is internal systems to keep businessesrunning.

In practice, people who write software for the businesses they work for benefit by the racheting effect that open source provides. If we had to pay licenses for each ssh server, web server, ntp server et al, most high tech businesses would never get off the ground. Because we have the tools and the ability, rather then paying rent, what many of us have decided to do is compete against that commercially licensed software with competetitive, freely licensed software. By giving patches or some work away, you get to participate in a rapidly upgrading, high quality, free platform to do business on. So from my perspective, I get a ton of value out of the ecosystem, and I contribute back to it preciely because it's what makes small team, lean startups possible.

What you get from the present arrangement is a ton of jobs, the industry with the best social mobility (where else can a 26 year old have a reasonable shot at clearing 6 figures?) and rapid innovation. I think a big chunk of this can be laid at the feet of open code preventing businesses (for the most part, see: oracle) from business models based merely on rent keeping activities.

If your business can't compete with people giving code away, the right response is to get yourself a less fragile business model, not to bemoan that the rest of the industry is clearly acting in it's best own self interests

Comment: Re:Apple Stores (Score 1) 636

by HunterD (#36209530) Attached to: Apple Causes Religious Reaction In Brains of Fans

You have missed the distinction between a weak and a strong atheist. I agree that a strong atheist requires a leap of faith. The strong atheist makes the positive assertion that "No God Exists". I am a weak atheist. Read my previous statement very carefully. It's an assertion that I see no reason to conclude a god exists. It's the opposite construction of the assertion. I have a model of reality based on my observations and observations of others. That model doesn't contain a god, because there is no reason to. My model of the world adds new things where there is reasonable weight of evidence to suggest that something needs to be added. Not adding a deity is the same as not adding elves. There is no solid reason to add either of them, so I keep it simpler without appending needless explanations.

I would go further and state that there is effectively no reason to to even waste that much time considering adding it because of the complete derth of explanatory power the god hypothesis contains. It is incumbent upon people who want to add to the rational world view to supply sufficient evidence, testing and methods of disproving their hypothesis before it is incumbent upon me to bother considering their potentially whacky ideas. God, TimeCube and the now passed rapture are all similarly valueless to a rational worldview because they assert a set of truths without sufficient proof. Provide reasonable evidence and I'll reconsider. My suspicion is that no one has because said evidence does not exist, but I accept that this is an unproovable hypothesis.

Comment: Re:Apple Stores (Score 1) 636

by HunterD (#36209342) Attached to: Apple Causes Religious Reaction In Brains of Fans

Correct.

As a note, I've explicitly chosen weak atheism because it represents a rational world view, requiring evidence of something before incorporating it into my understanding of how things work. Strong atheism requires a leap of faith. Weak atheism does not.

As a different commenter noted, this is not the same as Agnostic which says either "I don't know" or "I can't know". I consider the concept of the existence of a deity to be deeply improbable, and the weight of evidence has thus far produced nothing notable to even suggest that a deity exists. Thus, for now, I must conclude that my model of reality does not need one.

Comment: Re:Apple Stores (Score 3, Insightful) 636

by HunterD (#36179614) Attached to: Apple Causes Religious Reaction In Brains of Fans

Damn, this is turning out to be exactly like dealing with christians as an atheist:

Them:
"Your lack of belief in a god is a religion"

Me:
"Defining a lack of a belief in something as a religion is broken"

When are people who are a part of the faithful herd (regardless of the faithful herd) going to accept that not being a member of your religion is not a leap of faith?
(Answer: never)

Comment: Re:Java app would have been nice, but... (Score 1) 115

by HunterD (#33144644) Attached to: Vonage Makes Free Facebook Phone Call App

It's simple. Writing apps for blackberry and symbian is expensive, and developing for them is non trivial.

Developing apps for android and the iphone is simple.

Just as an example, try to figure out how to set up a development environment and produce a simple application on all 4 platforms.

By the time you are finished on Android, you will make it to the store to buy the macbook for developing on iphone.

By the time you are done on iphone, you *may* probably will have j2ME installed, won't have a working virtual device, and will still be trying to figure out which CSR jars you need installed.

Maybe if Symbian or Blackberry were to create a simple to set up dev environment, there would be more developers.

Comment: Re:Interesting strategy. (Score 1) 716

by HunterD (#32431906) Attached to: Apple Blindsides More AppStore Developers

That's a problem with the law, not Google. The rights holder for the first Tetris game issued a DMCA take down notice. Google has no choice under the law to do anything other then take down the apps, or else it will be liable for infringement. The people with Tetris apps have no money. Google does. It would be idiotic for Google to open itself to an expensive lawsuit especially given that anyone impacted can indeed go fight this in court with the rights holder.

That the law here is broken is not Google's fault.

Comment: Re:My business model fails! (Score 1) 716

by HunterD (#32431720) Attached to: Apple Blindsides More AppStore Developers

Because most consumers are oblivious to the consequences of buying into proprietary standards until it negatively impacts them. My wife loved her apple products until she had to get a windows laptop for reasons that are unimportant to the thread. When she found that apple gave you no way to pull your music back off your ipod she realized what the consequences of playing in a walled garden were. (I've since fixed this for her, but still). The average consumer assumes that these products don't come with insidious forms of lock in, and only notice when it hurts them. Our problem is that, we can see and predict this future because we understand the ecosystem, but like Cassandra, no one will listen to our prophecies, presuming it's just some dumb nerd turf war.

Comment: Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (Score 1) 145

by HunterD (#32006710) Attached to: Google Backpedals On Turn-By-Turn GPS For iPhone

The point is that you can't actually predict what will violate the terms in the future, because apple changes the terms and shuts down whole lines of business overnight. Approval isn't the only problem. Losing your already build income stream because apple arbitrarily changes the rules and thus makes your app be in violation of rules that didn't exist at the time of development.

Clearly large businesses who are using the app store effectively as advertisement for their otherwise offline product are a different patter. Progressive Insurance doesn't depend on the income of their app to put food on the table. But setting yourself up so that your income depends on a set of rules that constantly change and make your application a violator of those rules post hoc seems reckless to me.

If you are fine with the risk that you can have income one day, and lose the entire income stream the next because apple has arbitrarily decided that your products are now not pretty enough for their environment (or whatever reason), more power to you. I just hope no one else depends on you having income.

Comment: Re:The reality is... (Score 1) 544

by HunterD (#31984946) Attached to: Review of HTC Desire As Alternative To iPhone

Are you seriously calling people who criticize the iPhone a crowd mindset? This against the vast array of apple fanbois who refuse to accept any criticism at all about their platform?

You want real criticism?

The inability to replace the default apps with apps that fit your needs better then apple's default apps. Have bad eyesight? You can't replace the keyboard with another one. Loath itunes and want a good music player? Can't, banned. Want to have an app run in the background to monitor something? Nope. (No, OS 4.0 doesn't solve that. It's not multitasking, it's a series of daemons running that you can hand off specific tasks to, not the ability to run you application in the background).

That any apple defender can accuse people who criticize the iPhone of groupthink needs to serious hold up a mirror. The apple faithful are referred to as a cult for a reason.

Comment: Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (Score 1) 145

by HunterD (#31969364) Attached to: Google Backpedals On Turn-By-Turn GPS For iPhone

You forget, Apple has:

A) Banned any advertising network other then it's own from doing any analytics of any kind. This drastically lowers the effectiveness (and thus the value) of any ads google can deliver. If google can't target an ad based on any information coming from the phone, they have lost all of their vast analytical value.

B) Google most certainly did not implement their turn by turn in Objective C. Since apple has banned implementing any app in any non apple language and then cross compiling, Google would have to reimplement the entire thing from scratch.

Considering the above, is it any surprise?

Comment: Re:Apple's been begging for treatment like this (Score 3, Interesting) 145

by HunterD (#31968548) Attached to: Google Backpedals On Turn-By-Turn GPS For iPhone

A) Google has been developing Android for years. They purchased the company who initially developed Android before the release of the first iPhone. Apple got it's panties in a knot when google finally released it.

B) Maps is definitely not developed in C, C++ and Objective C, so getting the code to run on an iphone would violate their approval policies.

C) No sane development shop should be developing on the iPhone platform anyway. When an arbitrary and capricious bureaucracy can kill your income stream at a whim and has been shown to do so on a regular and increasingly common basis, the level of risk there is unreasonable. Releasing an iPhone app is a solid reason for your company's stock to go /down/, as it shows that the management team is reckless with a company's resources.

D) It always galls me that iPhone users seem to have some sort of feeling of entitlement towards getting everything they want. Google doesn't do /free/ turn by turn for your OS and that makes them evil? Get over yourselves. You are not entitled to google making anything for free for you.

Google not making a free app that many companies sell for hundreds of dollars on an OS that explicitly bans them from reusing their code developed by a business that has been shown to be highly hostile to them may be the dumbest reason I've ever see floated for them having violated "don't be evil".

Comment: Re:Palm's patents (Score 1) 97

by HunterD (#31968406) Attached to: HTC Walks From Palm Bid, Will Lenovo Step Up?

As a former Vonage employee, watching HTC step away from a treasure trove of patents that can be used to defend itself against Apple frankly scares the crap out of me. I really like my HTC phone and I really like Android, and Apple seems bent on destroying it all through the court system instead of facing some real competition in the market.

I've been there when companies dogpile on to try and kill you with legal means. It very nearly took out Vonage, I really hope it doesn't kill Android as well.

A palm purchase for the patents seems to me to be a very sound legal shot across Apple's bow. It would be nice to get those former iPhone gone WebOS engineers working on Android....

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