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Comment: Re:Jack of all trades (Score 1) 129

by PCM2 (#48330907) Attached to: Amazon's Echo: a $200, Multi-Function, Audio-Centric Device

Masters of only one (Let Kindle Slide). Online Shopping. I simply do not understand all of these devices that Amazon is trying to pimp.

I think you do. You just don't realize that these are tools for online shopping. Buy a Kindle, get all of your ebooks from Amazon because it doesn't support Epub, which is what all of the other online bookstores are using. Buy a Fire or a Kindle HD, get your apps and your movies and your music from Amazon because even though it's Android, it doesn't come with Google Play. Amazon sells a lot of real-world things, but if people are buying digital things now then Amazon wants to make sure it sells a lot of those, too.

Comment: Re:Algorithms Can Be Patented (Score 5, Insightful) 164

by PCM2 (#48296781) Attached to: Disney Patents a Piracy Free Search Engine

If you don't know how it works, it's only because you haven't bothered to look it up.

Not exactly. You only know how PageRank worked at the very beginning, when it was patented. That is far from "the" Google search algorithm these days. It remains one of the most important ones, and possibly one that's fundamental to how Google's whole search engine works, but they have many, many other algorithms that govern search results today. Most of these are not patented, mainly for the reasons mentioned earlier: If Google patented them, it would have to disclose how they work. Instead, they maintain them as trade secrets, like the formula for Coca-Cola.

In Disney's case, I think it's not really interested in competing with Google. It would much rather Google, Bing, etc look at its patent, say "OK, I can do that if it will get Disney off my back" and implement the patent for little-to-no royalty fees.

Comment: Re:And people who write software (Score 1) 152

by PCM2 (#48266123) Attached to: Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

The copyright for a movie character belongs to the production team that created that character, rather than an actor who simply portrayed them in one or more films. Actors own the right to their own image, but when they play a character they are portraying an image that the production company owns - presumably this is covered in their contracts. They can't simply walk down to the mall and hold out a hat dressed as Captain Jack, even if they played that role once.

Whatever you're describing, it has nothing to do with copyright.

Comment: Re:what a showboat (Score 2) 152

by PCM2 (#48266099) Attached to: Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

What is really sad if the inventor of Wolverine or any of the original characters were to draw and post them online to sell, perhaps in retirement for extra cash they'd be sued into bankruptcy.

Totally false. I'm not sure there's a single pro who won't take commissions. Many publish and sell sketchbooks full of drawings of characters owned by companies; nothing happens. If they were to try to sell actually comics stories featuring the companies' characters, that would probably get noticed very quickly, but just drawing characters has never been considered a big deal.

Comment: Rust (Score 2) 57

by PCM2 (#47664645) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Corporate Open Source Policy?

Your comment about "pushing it to a platform like Github where it typically sits and rusts" is telling. What do you think will really change if you just shift when you push your code to Github?

In a nutshell, "if you build it, they will come" is a nice fantasy, nothing more.

Even very high-profile open source projects often have very few contributors outside of the companies that first created them.

And I don't think the problem is that these projects don't get community developers on board soon enough. Why would a hobbyist or other unpaid developer risk devoting time and resources to a project that is mostly vaporware?

The problem is that it's very difficult to get unaffiliated developers to commit to working on something -- especially business software -- when there's no real incentive other than "someday this may end up being a product that your company might decide to evaluate to see if it might be possible to use instead of the commercial alternative that it has already sunk capital into and has been using for the last five years."

Comment: Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (Score 1) 322

by PCM2 (#47524277) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Sure. Here's a transcript of the earnings call. (You may need to register to read it.)

Nadella does say, early on in his prepared comments, that, "We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes."

Later during the Q&A session, however, he was asked about how this "one version for all devices" would change the number of Windows SKUs that are available, and he said this:

Yes. My statement Heather was more to do with just even the engineering approach. The reality is that we actually did not have one Windows; we had multiple Windows operating systems inside of Microsoft. We had one for phone, one for tablets and PCs, one for Xbox, one for even embedded. So we had many, many of these efforts. So now we have one team with the layered architecture that enables us to in fact one for developers bring that collective opportunity with one store, one commerce system, one discoverability mechanism. It also allows us to scale the UI across all screen sizes; it allows us to create this notion of universal Windows apps and being coherent there.

So that’s what more I was referencing and our SKU strategy will remain by segment, we will have multiple SKUs for enterprises, we will have for OEM, we will have for end-users. And so we will – be disclosing and talking about our SKUs as we get further along, but this my statement was more to do with how we are bringing teams together to approach Windows as one ecosystem very differently than we ourselves have done in the past.

Lots of hedging in there. You don't need a single, converged OS to give developers "one store, one commerce system, one discoverability system." Those are all ancillary functions. A "team with the layered architecture" doesn't sound like every version of Windows is going to share the same layers. And clearly nothing about Windows is going to be simplified from the customer's perspective; there will still be six or eight SKUs, with each offering different benefits.

Rather, I take Nadella's comments to mean he's streamlining the OS engineering group so that the people working on each Windows platform work in tandem with the others and they all have similar goals, milestones, etc (good).

I also take it to mean that Microsoft will offer developers who are building so-called Modern apps a common set of APIs that will be available on the various form factors, so they eventually should only have to write their apps once and they will run on every kind of device. That sounds OK, but it's only going to be true for Windows Store apps -- and to achieve that, you don't need every device to be running an identical OS.

In other words, no Holy Grail here, but Microsoft is streamlining and rationalizing its OS engineering efforts, which makes good sense at this juncture.

Comment: Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (Score 2) 322

by PCM2 (#47520513) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

They're not talking about the interface. They're talking about the underlying nuts-and-bolts stuff.

No, they're really more talking about the interface. The underlying nuts and bolts are already pretty much the same, in that Windows, Windows RT, and Windows Phone all share the same NT kernel. But above that there is plenty that's different from platform to platform. What Nadella wants to do is unify the development model and allow developers to create apps with UIs that react and readjust depending on the screen size of the device they're running on, much like how modern websites can support multiple screen sizes. All this talk about "one version of Windows" stems from a single, oversimplified comment Nadella made on the earnings call. When asked about it later, he completely backtracked and said there would not be any such thing.

Comment: Re:OK MS bashers. (Score 1) 322

by PCM2 (#47520497) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

I would hope this unification means that there will be suffice emulation built into windows that it will pick the kernel/libs/drivers required by the CPU arch, and userland apps can run in emulation (even if slowly) if they are compiled for the wrong proc. This would be a unified windows, that allows x86 and 64 bit apps run on ARM and vice versa (although the other direction is likely not as useful).

Unfortunately for you, the actual article says the exact opposite of the summary (so what else is new on /.?): Other than the kernel and the app development model, there will be no unified version of Windows. There will always be different flavors of Windows for different kinds of devices and even multiple SKUs of the same version of Windows for different markets (consumer, SMB, enterprise, etc.)

Comment: Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (Score 1) 1330

by PCM2 (#47356593) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

As for roads, most of them were made by private people and companies, long before government got involved.

I give him credit for not reminding you that he never even used the word "government." He said "society." You want rid of that, go live on some forgotten island in Indonesia and see how long you last. Until then, your attitude of "I've got mine, plus all the benefits society gives me as well, so fuck you, Jack" is not just selfish and stupid, it's completely morally bankrupt. You're a turd and you're really not worth anyone's breath.

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