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Comment: Re:If you can get a devkit, that is (Score 1) 367

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47523667) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

I don't disagree in general, but please remember the original context here was whether going it alone as a start-up might be a liability if Big Players declined to let you into those programmes, i.e., we are talking about precisely the situation where the platform maintainer might not have that implicit interest in your success.

The key difference IMHO is that I don't need Microsoft to care about me. I can write Windows-based software and sell it to Windows-using customers with no help from Microsoft except selling us Windows and any related tools in the first place, and all three parties win on the deal. If I want to sell an iPhone app, my entire revenue stream is entirely dependent on Apple, and Apple are not known in these parts for the care with which they examine new apps or the caution or neutrality they exhibit when banning something they decide they don't like.

Comment: Might that still benefit the US another way? (Score 1) 222

No... The H1-B program is a way of making people more successful in their home country not to bring that knowledge and talent into the U.S. on a permanent basis.

As an outsider with no bias here, it occurs to me that the above is probably in the long-term interests of the US as well. India is a big place, with lots of people, many of whom today are struggling with things we take for granted in the West. Helping to improve things like education standards and technological advancement potentially develops a vast export market for US products and services in the future and/or a mutually advantageous trading partner.

People often look at international aid schemes as charity, and support them on that basis, but the truth is that there is often a level of "enlightened self-interest" behind government support for those schemes, because things like global security and having stable economies in your trading partners are in everyone's interest. Much the same arguments could be made, as I understand it, for the US H1-B programme.

Comment: Re: Just let me do brain surgery! (Score 3, Insightful) 367

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47519129) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

Programmers are just cogs in a machine nowadays.

Code monkeys are, and that's the way that managers who hire code monkeys like it.

There are plenty of programmers out there creating interesting and useful new software, and plenty of customers/clients willing to pay serious money for the value that software offers them without all the unnecessary bureaucratic overheads and middle management crap.

If you are a good programmer and professional in your general conduct, you owe it to yourself not to be a code monkey for anyone, IMHO. You have to be really, really unlucky with the time and place when your current gig(s) run out not to have better options in 2014.

Comment: Re:If you can get a devkit, that is (Score 2) 367

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47519099) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

If you're developing on a platform as developer-hostile as that and you're locked into it so your business can't port to other platforms if necessary, I would submit that you have bigger strategic problems and long-term risks than merely being a small company. An arrangement like that is an axe hanging over the head of almost any size of company and you have absolutely no control over when it might fall.

(No, I don't develop iOS apps or write console games, despite occasionally getting enquiries in those fields, and this is why.)

Comment: Re:I won't upgrade. (Score 1) 681

HP don't seem to have ditched Windows 8 in the UK, at least not for consumer machines you buy in stores. (Source: Multiple friends and family have recently been in the market for laptops and we looked at several HP models via multiple suppliers. I can't comment on what their on-line or business sales are doing right now though.)

Comment: Re:I won't upgrade. (Score 3, Interesting) 681

I do think they care about hardware OEM's shipping old versions of their OS.

That seems to be one area where Microsoft have actually been successful so far. I know a handful of friends and family who have bought new desktop/laptop PCs since Windows 8 was released. The ones actually running Windows 8 are those who didn't have a reasonable alternative, because what they bought came with version 8 preinstalled by the manufacturer and for one reason or another upgrading to Windows 7 wasn't a practical option. Several of them have been extremely vocal about their views on Windows 8, which are typically not things you would repeat in polite company, but buying a good laptop that even has the option of Windows 7 preinstalled instead of 8 now seems very difficult, at least here in the UK.

Comment: Tired? (Score 2) 131

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47344417) Attached to: Facial Recognition Might Be Coming To Your Car

There is already technology available in some high-end models that will monitor the driver and take steps to warn them if they appear to be losing concentration. That technology is surely going to save lives sooner or later, given the amount of road accidents caused by tiredness or falling asleep at the wheel.

I'm as concerned about creepy surveillance and illusory security as much as the next geek, but image recognition technology does have positive applications as well.

Comment: Re:It flies like a drone, it watches like a drone. (Score 2) 268

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47340591) Attached to: That Toy Is Now a Drone

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you -- in fact, I suspect from your choice of phrase that we would very much agree on the basic principles of how laws should work -- I'm just saying the law should apply equally to everyone. If certain areas are acceptable for this kind of hobby, they should be acceptable for other similar "drone" flights. Equally, if for whatever reason certain areas are not acceptable in law for general "drone" flights or if the default in law is that these devices aren't considered acceptable but they are then allowed under specific conditions, the same rules should apply for hobby aircraft with similar characteristics.

Comment: Re:Why not? A crime is a crime (Score 1) 135

They're saying after you've been accused x times, you go to jail. I think they missed a few steps.

And for that reason alone, there is absolutely no chance this is going anywhere.

No British government is actually going to pass a law saying you can be sent to jail without having your day in court less than a year before a general election. They get enough flak for pushing in that direction with terrorism-related laws that are only used against a tiny number of people in practice, because of the principle and the risk of later abuse, and that's a subject where a significant fraction of the population will give them a free pass for one reason or another.

Even if some British governments might try anyway, the current administration is a coalition, with a junior partner desperate to prove they are still politically relevant in the face of potentially being wiped out for a generation at the next election. A juicy civil liberties debate would play right into their hands.

And even if they did somehow manage to pass such a law, the chances that it would stand up to the inevitable human rights lawsuit the first time anyone actually tried to use it are slim to none.

This is almost certainly just a relatively unknown MP trying to make a name for himself in the run up to the aforementioned general election. In this case, he's pandering to potential donors from Big Media, possibly because there are finally some changes coming into force that make copyright laws (marginally) less anachronistic in the UK and Big Media inevitably don't like them (despite having managed to water them down to being almost meaningless anyway).

Comment: Re:Well, this won't backfire! (Score 1) 268

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47316339) Attached to: Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

Wikipedia won't go anywhere just because some celebrities have opinions.

It doesn't have to, nor should it. But to create a potentially chilling effect on future contributions to Wikipedia, all you really need is for one life-destroying lawsuit against one contributor to succeed. That would remove any doubt that contributors are still responsible for what they say and can't hide behind the Internet, and in particular that Wikipedia has to cooperate in identifying contributors who break the law.

Frankly, being subject to legal action if you illegal defame someone is what should happen, because being on the Internet is not an excuse to be a dick. Still, several legal systems in the West can and sometimes do impose severe penalties for defamation, and rather like the threats of suing people for made-up copyright infringement in the US, there is unwelcome scope for abuse here even if there is also an underlying grain of truth and the intent of the law being abused is not in itself unreasonable.

Comment: Re:Paywalls (Score 1) 254

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47304039) Attached to: The Bursting Social Media Advertising Bubble

I've long believed that the ad-supported model killed both micro-payments and distributed development.

I don't know about "killed", but I'd certainly agree with "arrived first and captured the market".

IMHO the most honest and transparent way to support worthwhile (but possibly worth-serious-money) content on-line would probably be some sort of universal micropayments system. Unfortunately, we don't have one yet, so the main commercially viable alternatives right now are free access (inevitably requiring funding some other way, such as advertising or affiliate fees) or charging significant amounts for access (paywalls).

"Ask not what A Group of Employees can do for you. But ask what can All Employees do for A Group of Employees." -- Mike Dennison