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Comment Re:Existing non-electronic variant (Score 4, Informative) 145

As a former FedEx handler, I can confirm your suspicions - many of the handlers would intentionally smack the shock stickers.

People need to just pack better. Your package WILL be thrown if small, and likely hit the wall of a shipping can. Your package WILL be dropped if large, probably pushed off the side of a conveyor belt. Working there completely changed how I pack stuff, for the better.

Comment Shure SE-215 earbuds (Score 1) 448

They're $99 on Amazon, and pretty great. I had some SE-110s before, but on those the cable doesn't go over your ear, so it's pretty prone to being tugged on, and eventually one side failed. The 215s don't have that problem, sound great, and come with a variety of rubber or foam earplug things.

Open Source

Submission Is GPL Licensing in Decline?->

GMGruman writes: "Simon Phipps writes, "As Apache licenses proliferate, two warring camps have formed over whether the GPL is or isn't falling out of favor in favor of the Apache License." But as he explores the issues on both sides, he shows how the binary thinking on the issue is misplaced, and that the truth is more nuanced, with Apache License gaining in commercially focused efforts but GPL appearing to increase in software-freedom-oriented efforts. In other words, it depends on the style of open source."
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Comment Re:No One Hates DRM More Than Me ... (Score 1) 299

Sure, but how many of those 22,000 downloads would have been actual purchases had the people not been able to download? And I mean purchases of *new* books, not used. I suspect less than 1/4.

I buy books, often (train commute), and probably 75% of those are used books. What's the difference, *to the author*, between me buying a used book vs. downloading an ebook? Absolutely nothing. The author is not losing money at all - they'd never have earned it in the first place. I like Jim Butcher, I've read (and purchased) quite a few of his books, but this is the same kind of bogus math that the RIAA uses.


Submission Is drag and drop programming the future?-> 1

An anonymous reader writes: A developer from a large company recently led me to believe that his team doesn't write a lot of code by hand anymore. They drag and drop functional blocks in Simulink and, when they are done, the code is automatically generated. In fact, Simulink is tied into Code Composer so that the program is loaded on the target processor. You can then do "hardware-in-the-loop". The target processor does its thing and Simulink imitates the rest of the system. In theory it looks like you could create, model and verify a complete embedded system without having to write even a single line of code. Matlab has a webinar called "Model-Based Design in Practice: A Survey of Outcomes for Engineers and Business Leaders" which can be found at: http://www.mathworks.com/company/events/webinars/index.html?language=en&by=application

Is this the future? Does this mean that we will need fewer developers? Does this mean that developers need to develop a new skill set?

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Comment Sten, by Chris Bunch and Allan Cole (Score 1) 1244

The whole "Sten" series is excellent. I'm surprised it doesn't get more notice, there's a lot of really great stuff in there.

I also have a few others (some of which I've posted elsewhere):

"On My Way to Paradise" by Dave Wolverton
"Armor" by John Steakley
"Synners" by Pat Cadigan (basically anything by her, but this is my fave)
Anything by Stephen Brust, especially "Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille" and his "Vlad Taltos" series
Zelazny has been mentioned a lot, and of course "Amber" is great, but I quite liked "Jack of Shadows" and "Doorways in the Sand"
Lots by Walter Jon Williams such as "Angel Station", "Hardwired", "Aristoi", and "Implied Spaces"
YA books by William Sleator, especially "House of Stairs" and "Singularity" and "The Interstellar Pig"

I'm sure there's more but I can't think of them right now.

Comment Re:Varley, Steakly, Zelazny, and Brust (Score 1) 1244

Damn, I was trying to get through reading this entire page of comments just to see if anyone else had mentioned "Armor" because it's the first thing I thought of that fits this category - fantastic book, one of my all-time favorites.

I'm also glad you mention Brust, everything that man writes is gold.

And you also mentioned Titan, Demon, Wizard - excellent stuff that I've been meaning to obtain and re-read for years. And I certainly love Amber :)

I do want to mention one of my own though: "On My Way to Paradise" by Dave Wolverton.

Comment Re:And the other reason is... (Score 5, Interesting) 397

I'm not a user of Windows Phone, but I did just port an Android app I've written to WP7, and in doing so, I learned quite a bit about it... From my point of view (been an Android developer before the first phones were released), it seems like WP8 will be very nice, but WP7 is still lacking in a lot of ways. A few things I noticed:
    - there's not a whole lot of useful multitasking you can do right now, so complex apps that use background services are right out.
    - you can't disable the on-screen keyboard from activating when a text box is focused, so if you have a box that the user can select text from or position the cursor in, you always get the OSK covering half of your UI
    - the screen layout designer is difficult to work with, and doesn't seem like it has many features for supporting different resolutions, MS sure does love their absolute-positioning grid layouts
    - there doesn't seem to be a debug log viewer available in the development tools... or maybe the OS has no logging at all?

I suspect an end user won't really notice a lot of my complaints, but they're there, and the whole experience was a bit disappointing to me, despite my preference for C# over Java.

"Confound these ancestors.... They've stolen our best ideas!" - Ben Jonson