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Comment: Maybe (Score 2) 161

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47584603) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

It seems really, really tough to get anyone finance-minded in the *business* of making software to understand that it's worthwhile to do exploratory development of tools and techniques to be much more productive later on.

Perhaps, but any such exploration and the resulting tools have to beat the baseline of a decent text editor, a decent version control system, a decent scripting language, and starting to write code within a minute of deciding the project is ready to begin.

For a long-running project with many developers and other contributors performing repetitive or error-prone tasks, maybe it will be worth investigating, selecting and adopting some external tools to automate some of that work, at some stage in the project when you know where the pain points are. But if your development team aren't newbies, they will be perfectly capable of building their code manually at first, they will surely already know their universal Big Three tools very well, and importantly, they will just code up any basic automation on the fly as the project grows and the needs become apparent.

IME, that turns out to be a surprisingly tough standard to beat. I've seen many, many projects get bogged down in their own infrastructure because they felt they should use some type of tool and forced themselves to do it, not because they necessarily needed that tool or found it useful in practice. Of course good tools can be useful, and of course sometimes it is better to bring in help from outside the project rather than being too NIH about everything, but it's important to stay focussed on the goal and not to forget that tools are only means to an end.

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 2) 112

by bill_mcgonigle (#47584421) Attached to: Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

or a car that is stopped completely (doesn't see it at all)

Ouch. This is rare, but I've seen it.

I'd be afraid if I was on a 50-mile stretch without having to think about speed my mind would wander, and I wouldn't notice this stopped car.

I'm the guy who never uses cruise control unless it's flat and empty for as far as the eye can see, though, so maybe I'm atypical.

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 274

by Space cowboy (#47583661) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

I think you're proving my point about the black-and-white nature of how people regard free speech in the USA. See, I'm very much in favour of free speech, it's been a fundamental right of UK society now for longer than the USA has existed in its current form, and pretty much any UK citizen would be equally for it.

Where we differ is in nuance. The UK approach is a shades-of-gray one, where the right to speak whatever you want, no matter how hurtful to others, is actually counter-balanced by how much what you say hurts the target of your invective; and this in turn is counter-balanced by the importance of what it is that you're saying to society as a whole. There's a whole spectrum of things to consider when making a judgement, which is why the UK position is that if a free-speech issue comes up, it ought to be decided by a judge rather than a black/white hard-and-fast rule.

Now does this matter, in day-to-day life ? No. People say and do pretty much the same thing on both sides of the pond; but when a big issue comes up and a judgement has to be rendered, the courts take a more reasoned view than "Is this free speech ? Yes ? Ok then, feel free to ".

I'll ignore the idiotic purposeful misreading of the Fire thing...

Comment: Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (Score 1) 110

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47580713) Attached to: Countries Don't Own Their Internet Domains, ICANN Says

I think it's important to remember that the court ruling that started all this did not say that anyone should be able to require information to be removed just because they didn't like it. The outcome relates to information that is "inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive". Also, it was explicitly stated that such determinations would need to be made on a case-by-case basis, balancing the individual's private life against the public interest.

In other words, what the ruling actually said, as distinct from the hype around it in the media or the frequent misrepresentations in on-line debates since then, isn't a million miles from the kinds of issues you raised there.

Comment: Re:Here's an idea! (Score 1) 184

by Anne Thwacks (#47580349) Attached to: Nintendo Posts Yet Another Loss, Despite Mario Kart 8
Not all people are alike. We have a Wii and a WiiFit board. I play Tiger Woods Golf 2010 and WiiFit+ exercises pretty regularly.

The young kids play WiiFit SKi Jump and some Mario stuff at weekends, and rest of the family play Quantum of Solace at Christmas.

We bought a bunch of other stuff and its mostly not playable. Anyway Android games keep kids occupied, and everyone else watches Youtube.

WTF is with yet another Mario title?

Some needs tog et some originality. Where is "World Ndombolo Challenge"? that is what I want to know! I am still waiting!

Comment: Re:Change management fail (Score 1) 160

by Loki_1929 (#47579977) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

Sounds like your IT has been outsourced to India, who as a culture, literally does not know how to say "no".

It takes two to fail to communicate. You should not be asking questions that require a direct "yes or no" answer. In many cultures, that is considered rude.

So they lie because their culture tells them to and it's my fault for not identifying that they're lying and taking careful steps to help them not lie?

Sorry, but that's absurd. If one's culture does not allow one to perform one's job correctly, one needs to either find a new culture or find a new job.

Comment: Re:Developers, developers, developers! (Score 1) 241

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47578981) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

Interesting observation about the other phone. I wasn't aware that anyone else had actually made it fully to market prior to Apple on that score.

As for the iOS vs. Android situation, I'm not sure we disagree as much as you suggest, but I do think perhaps we are talking slightly at cross-purposes. For example, I agree with just about everything you said about which apps are and aren't successful on the iOS platform today. As I think I mentioned right back in my first post to this thread, I don't see the wildly successful iOS app developers leaving the platform any time soon. However, I suspect those represent only a very small minority of the overall iOS developer population.

My point there is that simply in terms of the popularity of the platform -- hardware sales, in short -- Apple seems to be losing momentum, while Android devices are gaining market share. I'm not necessarily suggesting that this will result in native Android apps becoming a better market for developers. I don't think I've suggested anything at all like that anywhere in this discussion, and if I did appear to imply that then it was entirely accidental. I'm just suggesting that those iOS developers who haven't either hit the big time in the initial gold rush or carved out a niche where they can stand out and charge sensible money seem to be starting to give up and look elsewhere, wherever that might be.

Personally, I do have my (and my businesses') bet firmly on web apps being the way forward for a lot of general informational/basic interactive apps for the near future. These work portably across all the main mobile devices and of course desktops as well, they have no lock-in or tax, and most importantly, they don't come with the preconception that something good that cost a small fortune to develop should still be sold for peanuts, which means you can viably invest enough time and money to offer something well polished and comprehensive/innovative/otherwise interesting. We could have built similar things as native apps on each mobile platform, but we saw little if any advantage to doing so.

The fact that Google seem to be betting the same way, and applying their considerable resources to further that end, and slowly capturing market share from Apple (whether as a consequence or coincidentally for other reasons doesn't really matter) just makes the prospect of developing such projects as iOS apps that much less appealing in the long run.

As a final point, while there certainly are premium apps out there, typical B2C apps on the App Store are not among them. Sure, prices might be up from 5 cents to 6 cents this year, but based on the stats that have been floating around in various on-line discussions this week, it appears that I already pull in more revenue per month from a side project web app that isn't complete yet and has had almost no advertising than the average (mean) app on the App Store. We appear to have reached the point where anyone who doesn't win big fairly quickly can't actually sustain a viable business writing iOS apps, and any way you look at it, that surely can't be promising for the future of the platform.

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 274

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47578899) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

And meanwhile, as you worry about a hypothetical threat from your government, real people with real lives are really having them destroyed by people who put themselves above the law through the mechanism of anonymity. The big bullies are a concern, but so are the small ones, and it's far from clear which is overall the more dangerous threat to quality of life in the western world today.

I'm happy for you that you're comfortable with a black and white view where there are absolute rights that are the only important things and where any unintended harmful side effects can be explained away somehow, but in my world there are shades of grey and no such easy resolutions to these issues.

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...