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Comment: missing the point? (Score 4, Insightful) 60

Traditionally, typeface designers have considered legibility and aesthetics in their work (in addition to typesetting limitations). Apparently those factors are optional now as well.

OK, these are interesting intellectual exercises. But don't try to sell them as examples of typeface design, because that's a creative discipline that goes beyond mathematical questions of "can it be done?"

Comment: Re:LibreOffice (Score 1) 279

by SQLGuru (#46782403) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

This is my biggest gripe with open source. You *SHOULD* be concerned whether the format changes or not. All of these different versions of similar products fracture the landscape which hampers the adoption. Just like there are too many Linux distros for Linux to ever win, too many Office products will keep adoption numbers lower than they could be.

Comment: Re:What now? 1 billion! (Score 1) 279

by SQLGuru (#46782369) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

While I don't condone it, people in the Finance/Accounting departments have made complete applications in Excel. Then, they throw it over the wall to I/T and say "turn this into a web app for us -- it should take, what, two or three days?"

But again, I've seen plenty of complex spreadsheets that use way more functionality than I as a developer would ever use.

Comment: Re:The sad part here... (Score 1) 267

by tverbeek (#46774521) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

Yeah, I saw the low UID, which is why I wondered how you could be online and yet so unaware of what so many people were doing on the Web in 2000. Sure, it was mostly dial-up or bad DSL, but it was hardly just "hardcore geeks". They were e-mailing and chatting and looking at (still-image) porn and shopping and selling garbage on eBay, and talking about what a bust Y2K had been. There was that whole "dot-com bubble" that everyone was talking about (but not calling it a "bubble" yet because it was still the latest Big Thing). The following September, I distinctly recall everyone at my office flocking to news web sites trying to learn what was happening in New York on a Tuesday morning. So I have to figure that you were too preoccupied doing stuff with the geekier parts of the internet to notice that yes: the Web was already kind of a a big thing in 2000.

Comment: Re:Holy shit (Score 1) 457

by SQLGuru (#46773225) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

I expect to be a millionaire at some point in my life....but 1) I expect it to be because I've saved over the years and 2) by the time I have $1M or more, it won't be the same as having $1M today. I don't necessarily expect it to be my salary or that I've sold "the next big thing" to Facebook.

Comment: Re:The sad part here... (Score 1) 267

by tverbeek (#46772255) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

Was the web on its own interesting enough in 2000 to make this a killer device?

Yes, it was. Were you still wading on CompuServ and Usenet or something at the time? :)

Also, what OS does it run, can it do anything but surf the web?

EPOC could do lots more than surf the web; it had apps for all the obvious personal-assistant functions (calendar, notes, to-do, contacts) and had a decent ecosystem of third-party apps. It powered the Psion PDAs (clamshells with decent thumb keyboards and stylus input), and was head-and-shoulders bettter than PalmOS or WinCE (its contemporaries) in terms of stability and ability to run on low-power hardware. I nursed one of the later Psions along for years after they were discontinued, until the iPhone came along and there was finally another pocket computer worth switching too. The devices' main weakness (other than nonexistent marketing) was the state of mobile connectivity in their day: slow-n-crappy cellular data, hard-to-find local wireless, and dial-up.

Comment: Re:Why is Raymond's claim theoretically sound? (Score 1) 580

by SQLGuru (#46766855) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

And a million monkeys will eventually type out the complete works of Shakespeare

Open source is no more (or less) perfect that closed source at a fundamental level. Bugs are introduced in both. The difference is that once found, open source has more eyes looking to try to fix it.

The Almighty Buck

Can You Buy a License To Speed In California? 325

Posted by Soulskill
from the downside-is-that-you-have-to-be-in-california dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "Alex Mayyasi reports that in the parking lots of Silicon Valley's venture capital firms, expensive cars gleam in the California sun and a closer look reveals that the cars share a mysterious detail: they nearly all have a custom license plate frame that reads, 'Member. 11-99 Foundation.' Are the Bay Area's wealthy all part of some sort of illuminati group that identifies each other by license plate instead of secret handshakes? The answer is the state highway patrol — the men and women that most people interact with only when getting ticketed for speeding. A number of the frames read 'CHP 11-99 Foundation,' which is the full name of a charitable organization that supports California Highway Patrol officers and their families in times of crisis. Donors receive one license plate as part of a $2,500 'Classic' level donation, or two as part of a bronze, silver, or gold level donation of $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000. Rumor has it, according to Mayyasi, that the license plate frames come with a lucrative return on investment. As one member of a Mercedes-Benz owners community wrote online back in 2002: 'I have the ultimate speeding ticket solution. I paid $1800 for a lifetime membership into the 11-99 foundation. My only goal was to get the infamous 'get out of jail' free license plate frame.'

The 11-99 Foundation has sold license plate frames for most of its 32 year existence, and drivers have been aware of the potential benefits since at least the late 1990s. But attention to the issue in 2006-2008 led the foundation to stop giving out the frames. An article in the LA Times asked 'Can Drivers Buy CHP Leniency?' and began by describing a young man zipping around traffic — including a police cruiser — and telling the Times that he believed his 11-99 frames kept him from receiving a ticket. But the decision was almost irrelevant to another thriving market: the production and sale of fake 11-99 license plate frames. But wait — the CHP 11-99 Foundation also gives out membership cards to big donors. 'Unless you have the I.D. in hand when (not if) I stop you,' says one cop, 'no love will be shown.'"

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