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Comment: Re:Just use WebM for the web (Score 4, Informative) 108

by John Betonschaar (#38325146) Attached to: Royalty-Free MPEG Video Proposals Announced

[quote]Support: here is a performance comparison of the latest iteration of the WebM encoder hardware, showing also previous versions and a h.264 encoder for comparison.

http://blog.webmproject.org/2011/11/time-of-dragonflies.html%5B/quote%5D

I hope you realize that the comparison you linked to compares ENCODER quality between two decoders (H264 and WebM) made by the same company? It says nothing about the abilities of WebM as a codec.

Try this one instead:
http://x264dev.multimedia.cx/archives/377

Comment: Re:WTF? ARM is the best architecture for smartphon (Score 1) 187

by John Betonschaar (#37397158) Attached to: Intel, Google Team To Optimize Android For Smartphones

Name 1 useful, headless, x86, binary-only linux application, that does not have a viable alternative that can be easily ported to ARM...

You say 'plenty of software' and 'large amounts of software that can now be easily ported', but I'm genuinely hard-pressed for even a single example that proves you right.

Comment: Re:This is a sad day for the tech world (Score 2) 1027

by John Betonschaar (#37202610) Attached to: Steve Jobs Resigns As Apple CEO

[quote]Come up with some studies showing people's reasons for buying an iPad and I'd pay attention. But just saying, "They sold more of them, that means that they love X 'feature'" isn't necessarily true.[/quote]

Fine, then go lookup customer satisfaction numbers and return rates for iPads/iPhones vs Android tablets/smartphones. Or are these figures also somehow not indicative of the fact that people buy Apple products because they happen to like them, in various ways?

Comment: Re:Apple (Score 1) 308

by John Betonschaar (#37189682) Attached to: Smartphones: the New Home of Crapware

So high iphone sales means the iphone is good, high android sales means android is bad...gotcha.

You are posting this as if there's some kind of paradox or contradiction in that... There isn't...

Just look around you and find out different people buy different stuff for different reasons. Many bad products and services are succesful, even though they are competing with good products and services. Price is often (but not always) the explanation.

In the case of Android, it's pretty obvious why Android is outselling iPhones, it's because there are literally hundreds of times more Android phones than iOS phones, and the vast majority of them is bought by people who either don't know about smartphone OS's, don't care about it, or simply don't want or cannot spend the money on an expensive high-end phone.

If you sincerely think 'Android outsells iPhones' implies 'Android is better than iOS', you are delusional. That would mean each and every crap Android phone you get for free in a BOGO deal is better than the iPhone, and that's why people get them. 90% of Android phones sold = utter crap, 10% = good phones. Just go ahead and look up some customer satisfaction rates and return statistics.

Comment: Re:Apple (Score 1) 308

by John Betonschaar (#37189608) Attached to: Smartphones: the New Home of Crapware

Because on iOS you have no choice in hardware...duh! If the iphone4 wasn't the most popular phone then iOS wouldn't be even on the smartphone radar in competition terms.

The original point was people buy more Android phones because they are better, but stating the fact that the iPhone 4 and the 3GS are the two top-selling smartphones on the market, your conclusion is that's because with iOS you only have 2 hardware options? So if Android is 'higher quality' (even though customer satisfaction numbers say otherwise, and sales of individual handsets don't seem to support that assumption), how come only 2 phones are outselling a few hundred different ones? Nice logic you have there, you are basically stating that -1 + -1 = 3, or something similar.

Also, since when does the typical Slashdot reader think 'sells more' implies 'is of higher quality'.

It's fascinating to see how flexible typical geek thinking is, when it comes to defending minority opinions.

Comment: Re:Apple (Score 1) 308

by John Betonschaar (#37189552) Attached to: Smartphones: the New Home of Crapware

So that's why people are leaving their Iphone 3GS's for new Android handsets. The fastest selling OS is Android, people are buying it because it's better.

Actually, in the US the fastest selling handset is the iPhone 4. The number 2 fastest selling handset is the iPhone 3GS. The former is 14 months old, the latter 26.

Nice try though...

Comment: Re:Fear Confirmed: non-replaceable battery (Score 1) 259

by John Betonschaar (#37160072) Attached to: PS Vita Specs Announced

Nice try, but the iPhone batteries don't actually noticeably degrade in 12-24 months, and even after 2 years battery life is still much better than the vast majority of other smartphones. If you really insist on keeping an iPhone for longer than 2 or 3 years, you can always replace the battery or have it replaced cheaply by the way, the warranty would have expired by then anyway.

My 2 year old 3GS still gets around 48 hours on a single charge if I don't use it a lot, and even with the heaviest of usage it never runs out of charge over the course of a single day. Many people I know with spakning new Android phones carry around a cable or charger all the time because they sometimes don't even make it to a 10-hour work day, with their 'replaceable batteries'.

Comment: Re:Who does this surprise? (Score 1) 136

by John Betonschaar (#36929400) Attached to: MPEG LA Says 12 Parties Have Essential WebM Patents

Objection. The correct sentence here is "who is surprised that MPEG-LA claims that WebM steps all over patents controlled by MPEG-LA".

Others have already predicted VP8 would run into patent issues.

Anyone who knows even the least bit about video codec technology can tell you that it's virtually impossible to design an advanced video codec that does not infringe on any video coding patents, which isn't surprising if you consider the technology involved is decidedly non-trivial, and took over 3 decades to develop. H264 is currently the most advanced standard for video coding, but it didn't materialize out of thin air either: it simply builds on the concepts you'll see in MPEG 1, 2, 4 and so forth.

The only codec I can imagine that does not violate any H624 patents would either be incredibly crappy, or downright revolutionary. I know for a fact that VP8 is not the latter.

Comment: Re:I concur (Score 1) 253

by John Betonschaar (#36868588) Attached to: 'The Code Has Already Been Written'

The perpetually want a set of requirements. And they get upset if a new requirement is added later. I see software as a way to explore a space. Model it. Determine what more modeling is needed. You are constantly trying to do something that usually is beyond what is computationally possible so you have to figure out what approximation is going to work

Which is exactly why you should leave the science part of the work to scientists, have them prototype a solution, work it out along the way and improving it, until it meets its scientific requirements. Then, at set points, you should leave it to the software engineers to productize the prototype based on the set of scientific requirements currently implemented, and keep those fixed as long as possible. If the target is moving, settle on a release schedule for the productized code that allows planned functional updates. This way the science work and the software engineering work can be done independently and both sides can be happen.

In reality, this often means you will end up with 2 implementations, which implies you need capable software engineers who know how to do regression testing and qualification of the software probably.
Where I work, we have physicists, mechanical engineers and construction engineers prototype solutions in Matlab, they love that tool, they can try out new ways of solving their problems quickly, prototype the hell out of them, graph and plot the results, etc. It's a great tool for scientists really. When it comes to productize the resulting solutions (simulation models, mainly) and integrate them in the (extremely expensive) hardware they will be used in, the software engineers (me, amongst others), get a functional specification, a test specification and a test report, all based on the QA'ed Matlab code, and we re-implement it in the target language best suited for the application (C++ or Python, mostly). This usually involves isolating the 'meat' of the algorithm and designing a maintainable, flexible software architecture around it, that allows deployment for other applications, adding scripting interfaces on top of the models, better regression testing, etc.

It may sound like a stupid idea to keep 2 implementation of the same idea around, but it's not, trying to productize a moving target and having two sides of the problem implemented in one piece of code will take more time, more risks, and more annoyances between the involved parties.

The way we solved it for my job works great for everyone, the only annoying thing here is middle management, who like to think they can do a better job at both the science and the software engineering work, and sometimes decide we 'have to have to productize the Matlab code', we 'have to have 1 implementation only', or 'we don't need to allocate a lot of time productizing because if the functionality is done, translating it to a usable software component is easy'. :-/

Comment: Re:Try again.. (Score 1) 276

by John Betonschaar (#36581578) Attached to: Google Boots Transdroid From Android Market

So what's the big difference between side-loading on Android and side-loading on a jailbroken iPhone, that you would want to 'not count jailbreaking the iPhone'?

Both involve messing with the device and software in ways that are outside the comfort zone of typical smartphone users, but neither are difficult or invasive enough to scare off people who don't mind doing it. I don't see the difference here, but I guess it's fair game to use a sliding scale for comparisons that involve Apple these days.

Comment: Re:Wonderful. (Score 1) 228

by John Betonschaar (#36385336) Attached to: Dutch To Introduce Net Neutrality By Law

Well, I have no idea how many murders you've got annually, but on a country of 16.7 million inhabitants, we had the following numbers of murders from 2010 to 2005: 170 / 178 / 161 / 143 / 149 / 201

And about half of these have been vendetta's, criminals killing other criminals. I think you can safely say we have a pretty safe country, crime-wise (don't leave your bike unattended for too long though ;-)

Comment: Re:MOD PARENT UP!!! (Score 4, Insightful) 295

by John Betonschaar (#36091844) Attached to: Android Honeycomb Will Not Be Open Sourced

"Google refuses to release embarrassing code to a world of incompetents who could potentially ruin Android's reputation by shoehorning Honeycomb into devices it was never meant to be shoehorned into". Sometimes openness just needs to take a backseat in order to protect reputation.

Seems like Google doesn't have any problem providing the Motorola's, Samsungs and LG's of the world with this 'embarrassing code' and let them sell half-baked, buggy devides running an OS that nobody can modify or improve with. Apparently 'protecting their reputation' means a lot more to them than user experience for their customers, or being 'open'.

I really don't care the least bit about what Google does with the Honeycomb sourcecode, probably they are right about holding it back because it was a rush job and not pretty to look at. That said, I think we can all safely put the hollow 'Android open, Android free!' nonsense behind us. Android is only open to the manufacturers and carriers, and Google has its priorities with them, not with you who was suckered into buying a tablet running beta software.

I'm still amazed that so many people keep up with this, if I pay $500 for a device that is not explicitly marketed as beta, as a curiosity for the adventurous, I expect it to work as advertised, including the software. If the software is so messy even Google doesn't want you to see it, ffing clean it up and make it better, before selling products based on it.

Comment: Re:Last Resort (Score 4, Insightful) 396

There's 90% of Windows malware wiped out. The user is, always has been and will always be the biggest source of infection. Even in the Windows world and especially today when a patched Win 7 and Office suite aren't vulnerable to drive by infections.

What does Windows have to do with anything, the statement was that there's "more OS X and Linux malware around then you might expect", which (at least to me) implies that this amount of malware is substantial enough to care about.

I love how Mac fanboys need to move the goal posts to justify their positions. But here you go anyway

Great, ram your point across by throwing stereotypes around, that's really going to help your argument /s

No doubt you have some wonderfully convenient excuse to ignore this.

No wonderfully convenient "excuse" is necessary here, because your 'list of OS X threats' is laughable and does nothing but disproving your own argument. In 10 years of OS X history, apparently only 43 pieces of malware have been identified, most of which are Trojans, which -in your own words- depend on the user as 'the biggest source of infection', and for which antivirus software completely unnecessary. If anything, that list proves that OS X is more or less immune to viruses and malware, and that a fully patched OS X install does not need antivirus, just common sense.

From your own signature:

Calling someone a "hater" only means you can not rationally rebut their argument.

And what does calling someone a 'Mac fanboy' make you?

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford

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