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+ - Patent Trolls On The Run But Not Vanquished Yet

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "Strong legislation that will weaken the ability of the trolls to shake down innovators is likely to pass Congress, but more should be done, writes InfoWorld's Bill Snyder. 'The Innovation Act isn't an ideal fix for the program patent system. But provisions in the proposed law, like one that will make trolls pay legal costs if their claims are rejected, will remove a good deal of the risk that smaller companies face when they decide to resist a spurious lawsuit,' Snyder writes. That said, 'You'd have to be wildly optimistic to think that software patents will be abolished. Although the EFF's proposals call for the idea to be studied, [EFF attorney Daniel] Nazer doesn't expect it to happen; he instead advocates several reforms not contained in the Innovation Act.'"

Comment: Re:Good method for improving (Score 1) 347

by Just Some Guy (#49142843) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

If you don't have it, you'll make bad decisions. For example, answer the question, "should I use framework A, or should I write some code myself?" If you can't estimate how long it will take to use the framework and compare it to how long it will take to write the code yourself, then it is impossible to make a realistic decision.

That's a bad example because that's almost never my criteria. I could write my own framework almost as quickly as I could suss out the quirks of someone else's, and that's usually a teensy part of the overall project lifetime anyway. Instead, I judge on things like "do I want to spend the rest of my time here maintaining this thing?" and "who's going to own security updates?" and "will it be easier to hire people with experience on this one or on the one I haven't written yet?". Sometimes there's no good framework A to use, or maybe framework A exists and is popular but is unfit for this specific purpose, so we write something in-house. Either way, notice that "time to get started" is a trivial or nonexistent part of the equation.

+ - The Programmers That Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A look inside the #NoEstimates movement, which wants to rid the software world of time estimates for projects. Programmers argue that estimates are wrong too often and a waste of time. Other stakeholders believe they need those estimates to plan and to keep programmers accountable. Is there a middle ground?

Software project estimates are too often wrong, and the more time we throw at making them, the more we steal from the real work of building software. Also: Managers have a habit of treating developers’ back-of-the-envelope estimates as contractual deadlines, then freaking out when they’re missed. And wait, there’s more: Developers, terrified by that prospect, put more and more energy into obsessive trips down estimation rabbit-holes. Estimation becomes a form of “yak-shaving”—a ritual enacted to put off actual work.


Link to Original Source

+ - FCC Passes Strict Net Neutrality Regulations On 3-2 Vote

Submitted by Just Some Guy
Just Some Guy (3352) writes "After years of argument and record-breaking citizen participation, the FCC voted along party lines to enact regulations (hypothetically) limiting carriers' ability to slow down their competitors' traffic. While a full analysis of the regulations isn't available yet, initial signs are very promising.

Said carriers have already deployed their press releases."

Comment: Re:Minority (Score 1) 502

by Just Some Guy (#49138767) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

Save me a seat at the table. I think these screenshots look like a nice update. This is timely to me because I was stuck in a meeting this week and looking at the presenter's projected Windows 7 desktop, and thinking of how ugly and unhelpful the current icon set is. Have you ever actually looked at the Outlook icon? It's a big "O" and a faint envelope in orange on a yellow background. Unless you've used it enough to associate that with Outlook, you wouldn't make the connection. The Mac Outlook icon is a lot simpler, nicer, and more visually obvious. The rest of his toolbar icons were the same: shapeless, indistinct, and unappealing. I like these new ones a lot more.

To the "change for change's sake!" Luddites: this isn't that. The Windows 8 Metro desktop abomination is that. This is a company updating its visual components to meet the expectations of the day. Everyone does this. Food labels change. Magazine layouts change. Car styling changes. Furniture colors change. Clothes change. Why do you think Windows icons should look the same for eternity? And spare me the "it's confusing!" whining - a file folder is still instantly recognizable as a file folder. Its look has evolved, but it's still the same basic shape and color.

Mark today on a calendar: I defended Windows's visual appearance. I never thought that would happen.

Comment: Keystone Beer already exists (Score 1) 431

by Just Some Guy (#49123003) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

As long as we're throwing out irrelevant information, there's also a Keystone Beer, the Keystone Cops, and Pennsylvania. Neither these nor the existence of a Keystone Pipeline on a different route changes the fact that someone wants to build a pipeline where there isn't one today. I think it's intellectually honest to minimize this as "they're just extending something that's already there!", when in reality the proposal is to build a brand new pipeline 1,179 miles long along a new path.

That's an "extension" in the same way that I-70 is an "extension" to I-80 because you can take either one from Denver to Chicago, except that those routes are about 150 miles short than the XL would be. You should be ashamed for trying to make it seem otherwise.

Comment: Re:Mountain View (Score 1) 176

by Just Some Guy (#49120763) Attached to: H-1B Visas Proving Lucrative For Engineers, Dev Leads

2500? That's still over twice the national average.

So are salaries. And while rent costs more, everything you can order off Amazon costs exactly the same. That big TV doesn't care whether you're in SJC or ATL.

I SAW the rents at 7000/month.

I've seen cars that cost $2 million, but no one I know is paying that.

Comment: Re:How Bing learns (Score 1) 96

by Just Some Guy (#49098143) Attached to: How Machine Learning Ate Microsoft

Ah, but DDG has !bangs, so you can... duck?... for "!g foo" to get the Google results instead. I spent a few days acclimating to DDG and now use it for almost everything, falling back to Google for the 1% of the time when I don't get the results I expect. Also works for a few hundred other things, including the old green mare herself: "!/. foo" searches Slashdot.

Comment: Re:So turn the mic off.. (Score 1) 153

by Just Some Guy (#49088765) Attached to: Samsung Smart TVs Don't Encrypt the Voice Data They Collect

but i'm wondering what the big value is of encrypting data that would probably just contain someone saying "channel 77" or whatever the voice commands like that are.

This is backward. What is the big value of not encrypting it, given that the data payloads are small enough not to require massive CPU resources to do so?

Encryption everywhere is the sane default and should only be removed when there's a clear reason to do so. You don't ever have to justify why to add encryption to something; you're expected to justify removing it.

Comment: Re:Some misconceptions (Score 4, Informative) 318

by Just Some Guy (#49082711) Attached to: Java Vs. Node.js: Epic Battle For Dev Mindshare

Disclaimer: I'm not remotely a Node.js fanboy. I've used it and and chances are good that you've interacted with some of my code today, but it's definitely not my preference.

I said that "Node.js is concurrent" because 1) the summary claims it's fast, and 2) Node.js fans who don't fully understand it seem to think it's magically fast. No, it's not particularly fast: it's just able to handle a lot of requests at once. Those are orthogonal.

Comment: Re:Some misconceptions (Score 4, Informative) 318

by Just Some Guy (#49082531) Attached to: Java Vs. Node.js: Epic Battle For Dev Mindshare

Node.js is mostly event driven, but it's concurrent in the sense that it can be servicing many thousands of simultaneous requests by doing the parts that aren't currently blocked. It's not quite single threaded, though, as the blocking parts are handled in their own threads.

Comment: Some misconceptions (Score 4, Insightful) 318

by Just Some Guy (#49082305) Attached to: Java Vs. Node.js: Epic Battle For Dev Mindshare

1) Languages aren't compiled or interpreted: implementations are. Java has had a decent optimizing compiler for a long time, but JVM 1.0 wasn't exactly a speed daemon. JavaScript was a dog for a long time, but modern engines like V8 compile it to native machine code.

2) Node.js isn't fast. It's concurrent. You can handle many thousands of simultaneous requests, as long as none of them are working particularly hard.

3) Exactly what collision course are we talking about? I can't imagine many situations I'd consider Node.js for that I ever would have though about Java for in the first place. If anything, I see Node.js as more of a competitor to Python for building scalable backend services.

Comment: Re:Not really happy (Score 1) 171

by Just Some Guy (#49082151) Attached to: HTTP/2 Finalized

Also, HTTP/1 already allows a browser to send multiple requests without waiting for the response of the previous request.

But it doesn't have a decent mechanism for sending responses before they're requested. With HTTP/2, your server can say "here's the page HTML, and here's a stream for the favicon linked in the HTML headers, and here's another stream for the JavaScript". The quickest request is the one you don't have to make.

No problem is insoluble in all conceivable circumstances.