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Comment: Re:Nothing to see here, move along... (Score 1) 135

I did feel the earthquake on the south side of San Jose, but it didn't get me out of bed. Felt like the house was shaking for a bit, but nothing got knocked over. (And yes, we have plenty of things in the house that could get knocked over quite easily.)

Comment: Re: Two sides to every issue (Score 4, Interesting) 401

by Octorian (#47396019) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

With many of these odd job descriptions you speak of, I suspect many of them are cases where said company has already identified the specific individual they want to get an H-1B visa for. So this is essentially a copy of their unique resume. They just need to publicly post the job to fulfill a legal requirement before they can get them the visa.

Comment: Re:Newsblur (Score 1) 132

by Octorian (#47388147) Attached to: Google Reader: One Year Later

I've been quite happy with NewsBlur as well. The only area it falls short for me, is that it doesn't update its feeds anywhere near as quickly as Google Reader did. Some are worse than others, too.

So for the usual stuff, its mostly fine. But whenever a blog announces some livestream event, the post doesn't appear until an hour after its over.

Comment: Re:Maybe for parking (Score 4, Interesting) 144

by Octorian (#46188881) Attached to: A New Use For Drones: Traffic Scouting

I would love something like this for parking, especially if it could be semi-automated. Push a button, drone flies up and does a survey of the parking lot. It then finds a space and "squats" it for you while you drive there on the ground.

I even thought of this idea like 10 years ago, when trying to come up with random ideas for fictitious gov't technology programs while bored at work. I think the name we coined was "OPLSS" (pronounced "Hopeless"), for "Objective Parking Lot Survey System".

But, just like many superpowers we'd all love to have, this sort of thing is *only* useful if you're the only one who has it. If everyone had this capability, it would cause far more problems than it would solve.

Comment: Re:Not all that surprising (Score 1) 282

by Octorian (#45983149) Attached to: Intel Dev: GTK's Biggest Problem, and What Qt Does Better

Along this line, I've often felt that if Qt existed under a "more free" license from the start, Java may not have taken over as the "language du jour" (with .NET riding on its coat tails).

Qt basically gives C++ a big part of Java's "real" advantage, which is a large common cross-platform framework that includes everything you actually need to write real applications.

Comment: Not all that surprising (Score 4, Interesting) 282

by Octorian (#45975927) Attached to: Intel Dev: GTK's Biggest Problem, and What Qt Does Better

Gtk+/GNOME (in popular form) basically exists because of a flamewar, so is it any surprise that the community is still like that?

It always struck me as a bunch of stuck up C developers who outright refused to use C++, on principle alone. So instead, they implemented everything C++ does on top of C, using macros and coding conventions. They later managed to spin their crusade as "actually" being about the licensing issues with Qt at the time. While those licensing arguments may have been valid, to me they always felt like little more than a cover for a C vs C++ fight. However, it made their side of the story a lot easier to sell.

Comment: Re:Sure, why not (Score 1) 430

by Octorian (#45868853) Attached to: Cairo 2D Graphics May Become Part of ISO C++

Except the VB generation was always a separate group from your more traditionally educated software engineers. Java, on the other hand, has wholesale infected CompSci education.

(While I will admit that I've done a fair amount of Java and .NET development in the real world, I'm also forever grateful that I went to college *before* it took over there.)

Comment: Re:Blackberry 10 (Score 1) 162

by Octorian (#45830617) Attached to: The Biggest Tech Mishap of 2013?

The problems with this platform all stem from marketing and distribution channel issues, which I hope they can find a way to fix. The product itself is quite solid, and continually improving. Its just that its still having to fight against a product image of what the company was selling 3 years ago, and they're not meeting that challenge as directly as they need to be.

Comment: Re:16:10 (Score 4, Insightful) 333

by Octorian (#45766645) Attached to: Rise of the Super-High-Res Notebook Display

I kept using my old HP notebook (with a 1920x1200 display) for years after I should have replaced it, precisely because all the PC laptop manufacturers seem to have colluded to deny me the option of ever buying a display with that resolution again. This year, when they finally started coming around, they seemed to think that high res was *far* more important in a dinky 13-inch screen, and dragged their feet on 15-inch offerings as long as possible. While they may now finally exist, they're quite hard to find and in limited selection.

So I basically just waited until the Haswell 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro came out, caved, and bought that. 16:10 screen and all.
(And its great, except when developers of many of the more cross-platform software projects look at this "retina" thing as something they don't really need to care about, resulting in apps the OS upscale in ways that look horrible. Just a note: "retina" support is basically resolution-independent scaling of some portions of the UI, because the full native res of the screen is actually "too" high without it.)

Comment: Simple high-level changelog (Score 1) 162

by Octorian (#45657855) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: To Publish Change Logs Or Not?

I like to give my users a fairly high level changelog when putting out an update to something I've been working on. Usually its to call attention to new features or important bug fixes. However, I don't go into too much detail, lest I overwhelm or confuse them. Of course I'm also working on something used by average people, not IT admins.

Also, many of the changes tend to be things never directly visible to the user. These things include bugs fixed in core parts of the app the user is only vaguely aware of or updates to data formats and network protocols. Even if changes are visible to the user, sometimes they're simply too minor to call attention to them.

Mostly, I like to give my users a reason to want to upgrade, and to know that I've actually done something in the latest update.

Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it. -- William Buckley