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Comment Re:Not with a console they won't. (Score 1) 48

I'm trying to think of what games people play competitively on consoles, and none come to mind.

Smash Brothers has a serious scene, there's even a documentary.
Marvel vs Capcom has some intense following.
Streetfighter has had a scene for a while, maybe the oldest, check out this video. To pull of that defense, he had to hit many button presses in a row with millisecond precision.

Frankly, if Microsoft consistently commits millions of dollars in prize money over several years, a competitive scene will grow up around it. I don't think many people will want to watch it, for reasons you mention, but if Microsoft throws a good party, they'll be able to fill a stadium full of gawkers.

Comment its about time someone did it. (Score 4, Interesting) 147

Does anyone remember the company that started the whole 'printing is a razorblade business' model? Lexmark.

At the time businesses were laser copy shops or IBM wheelwriter typewriter houses. Epson, HP, and Canon were the dominant forces in ink jet printing in the 90's but IBM's fledgling Lexmark brand has just gone independent in their own buyout, and figured they could turn inkjet printing into a razorblade business where the hardware was commodity but the cartridges were the real money to be had. CPD, the consumer printing division, was tasked with making something IBM historically had never done: consumer inkjets. Cartriges were never cheap, but lexmark took this to a whole other level. by early to mid 2000 you could get a Lexmark laser printer for around 50 dollars that came without cartriges. Those were around 50 a piece as well, and the reigning opinion at the New Circle campus was customers would go for it in hordes...except they didnt, for two reasons.

1. Quality: BPD, the Business Printing Division at lexmark, ran like a well oiled machine because it had to. business customers that relied on IBM printing now had to rely on Lexmark, and processes and methods for manufacturing an entire line of laser and ribbon technologies was sacrosanct. CPD on the other hand was horribly mismanaged, and driven in direct competition with BPD. corners were cut in order to meet an inexorable demand for new releases each year and lower costs. Hardware in the Z series finally became so awful, and so failure prone, the lines name was changed out entirely and CPD was eventually folded into BPD during a large round of firings and layoffs.
2. Internet.: The internet was fast obsoleting printers and while Lexmark had all-in-one laserjets, these were still marketed almost solely to businesses. CPD had plans for a high-speed scanner based on an array of digital cameras, but it came too late. Lexmark building 10, 58, 98, and much of their remaining manufacturing areas were being demolished or leased out.

Comment Re:steve ballmer's legacy gets one last sucker pun (Score 1) 163

Depending on how you look at it, Elop did a great job.
1) The comapny was already dead
2) He managed to get a lot of money for the company

He did a horrible job. HTC made Windows phones too, but they were smart enough to also make Androids. Same thing with Samsung. Only Nokia was braindead enough to only make Windows Phones. Big mistake.

Comment Re:Obviously Yahoo minimizes it... (Score 1) 61

Ad networks are a ghastly open sewer of shoddily vetted and frequently dangerous crap; usually served agonizingly slowly and heavy on Flash and scripts and crap.

When I have ad blocking on, the battery in my computer lasts five times longer than when I have it turned off. It's kind of insane.

Comment Re:Oh, Christ, here we go... (Score 1) 153

Anyone who tries to accomplish something worthwhile in this world will be insulted and have people try to tear them down.
Anyone who stands out will be mocked.
Anyone who posts on the internet will eventually get a death threat.

It's the way of life. You can't do anything without someone hating you for it.

Comment Re:Wrong. (Score 1) 153

There's a quote about Ada that I always think about:

It's quite apparent that the evolution of the C family of languages (C, C++, Java, C#) is converging on a language very like Ada, except unfortunately as a kludgepile rather than a clean design.

Then there is this quote from the same page:

? I wrote in Ada for two years. My experience was that its extremely consistent data-typing rules and high readability gave me the highest productivity and lowest bug rate of any environment I've used before or since.....I would say that in Ada more than any language I've ever personally used (or seen) it is possible to truly express and recognize DESIGN.

Of course, the Ariane 5 shows that no language can save you from bad programming. Ultimately it is the people using the language that matters, not the language itself.

Comment Re:What a deal! (Score 1) 349

Anyway, as long as the water problems continue, anyone who says you have a budget surplus is a big fat liar and is stealing the money.

The water problems come from the same source as the budgetary problems. Both farmers and city dwellers have been doing a good job reducing their water usage (by letting their lawns die or by using more efficient irrigation techniques). But every time there's a surplus of water, someone says, "Hey, let's use that water for my project over here!" That's poor management, though. You need to save up for the dry years.

Comment Re:VistA is a nightmare (Score 1) 184

That is beautiful. I haven't seen code like that for a long time.

Of course, if you look at the individual page of code for a while, you'll decipher it easily enough. Whether it's manageable or not depends on whether the overall structure is reasonable or not.

Comment other market factors to adjust for (Score 4, Interesting) 163

Microsofts prior, and arguably present business model of violently entering a market thats been dominated for 3-4 years with an identical product is something of a relic from Steve Ballmer. Its only ever been effective during the browser wars, when microsoft made IE an inextricable part of their OS and every subsequent update or patch forced the default browser to IE conveniently. In the hardware world things like the Zune and the phone were recognizable flops in every market segment but remained a going concern, with significant marketing and advertising to boot. Even the tablet, surface, experiences this as it takes multi million dollar losses every year and enjoys no real marketshare. Why?

Two things: Perpetual corporate licensing and XBox revenues. These are, arguably, microsofts only source of immediate revenue anymore. the OS is given away with every PC, and things like Azure and the upcoming Windows Watch will have to be priced lower than their competitors. What microsoft has is the real power to sustain a dead-on-arrival product, seemingly indefinitely, off these two revenue streams. Microsofts dated logic is that it doesnt have to make a better product for customers, it just has to outlast competitor offerings until price and marketing somehow win over customers. once the product fails, it simply rolls it under the carpet and chases the next white dragon, dated 3-4 years, and offers a similar product in a desparate attempt to remain relevant in a particular market.

"Once they go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department." -- Werner von Braun