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Comment: Re:Developers, developers, developers! (Score 1) 225

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47577301) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

What was new about it was combining those features. I'm not sure what to say other than there weren't any new concepts, vs. what else was out there. They were just put together really well.

I'd argue that the form factor was novel -- no BlackBerry model of that generation had a full-size screen, for example -- but sure, I agree with your general point. That point is probably even more applicable to iPads, too. However, because, as you seem to agree, Apple did a really good job putting the whole package together, they generated hype and customers, and that in turn generated a market for the apps that would follow and ultimately the whole ecosystem we now know.

From the point of view of whether iOS is an attractive platform for developing apps today, I think some of Apple's long-standard strategy -- the emphasis on low-price apps, the 30% developer tax, the ability to kill an entire project at will -- are now starting to have the opposite effect. iOS is no longer the dominant mobile OS, and the momentum is all firmly in Android's direction for the foreseeable future too. The 30% tax and the exclusive distribution channel are big downsides for any developer, no matter how successful they are. It used to be that the sheer popularity of Apple gear, and the demographics who would buy it and then passionately advocate for it, could overcome those downsides. That's not so much the case any more, it seems.

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 82

by vux984 (#47577293) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

The RL identities of most bullies are already known to those being bullied, yet the bullying persists.

I dunno, RL bullying tends to stay just within the law and/or incidents are very difficult to prove boiling down to he-said she-said. I ran into bullying at school at few times over the years -- and ran into first hand how hard it was to effectively combat -- they're criminals and thugs but evidence is nearly impossible, and even if the police or school want to help its really hard to get evidence or pursue a case.

When its gets anonymous and online two things happen -- the stuff is taken to whole other levels -- death threats, etc. Stuff that without anonymity would either not be made so brazenly and publicly, or could be effectively followed up on by the police since there is now real evidence of a crime.

Lol, I wish the guys who'd bullied me had posted their death threats etc on the school bulletin board, signed their names to it, all in full view of surveillance cameras. Shit would have come down on them for that.

Right now, for better or for worse, you can really go to town on someone online.

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 82

by vux984 (#47577089) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

To paraphrase a quote on a different subject: "If you outlaw online anonymity, only outlaws will be anonymous online."

Actually the quote only really works with guns.

With guns, "only outlaws have guns" is a "problem" because guns confer confer considerable power over others to the outlaws.

With anything else, the response "So what?"

For example, if you outlaw wearing red, only outlaws will wear red. So what. It makes it easy for the police to round them up and toss them in jail. Good riddance to stupid outlaws.

And it follows that if you outlaw online anonymity, only outlaws will be anonymous -- again... so what? They are self identifying as outlaws, so its easy to just ban their pseuodoaccounts as soon as they pop up; and law-abiding society can all form ranks to just ignore them/mod them down/report them for being anonymous; etc.

These scenarios are not like guns; guns uniquely empower criminals in a way that isn't generally applicable.

*** AGAIN I'm playing devil's advocate here. I'm not even slightly in favor of outlawing anonymity (or the color red) -- just pointing out the flaw in the paraphrased argument. ***

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 2) 82

by vux984 (#47576705) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

I am NOT at all even slightly for eliminating online anon; but playing the devil's advocate:

So you think making it possible for bullies to determine the RL identities of their victims is going the REDUCE online abuse?

No, but determining the RL identities of the bullies likely would reduce bullying, as they could be held socially and legally accountable for what they are doing.

Comment: Re:And no one will go to jail (Score 4, Insightful) 117

The way I see it, if they don't go for prosecution, they've more or less given these agencies carte blanche to violate the law, lie about it, and have no consequences.

Welcome to the American legal system, where selective prosecution is standard operating procedure. The only reason to have a legal system which does not require prosecution for known crimes is to permit treating some people differently than others. It leads to the proliferation of bad laws.

Comment: Re:where's the money?! (Score 1) 181

by TheRaven64 (#47576183) Attached to: Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM
Communications of the ACM has changed a lot over the last few years. They're trying to make it a lot more relevant and also raise the impact. This means that the Practitioners section is now managed by the team behind ACM Queue and contains stuff that people doing exciting things in industry are doing and the rest has a higher standard of peer review. The Research Highlights section often points to papers that I want to read. Most of the top-tier conferences and journals for computer science are ACM-sponsored.

Comment: Re:I'm confused (Score 1) 137

by vux984 (#47576021) Attached to: Unesco Probing Star Wars Filming In Ireland

If money can buy permission to destroy an environment, then the environment isn't really that important in the first place.

That doesn't follow, you just shop "environmental impact statement companies" until you find one willing to take your money in exchange for permission.

That says nothing about the importance of anything, merely that one can usually find someone who is corrupt.

Comment: Been a while (Score 1) 183

by sootman (#47576009) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

Once it got to the point that you could buy a decent (read: non-gaming) machine for about the same as the parts would cost, I quit building. The last one I built was an AMD K6-2/450 for close to $1,000 and the first one I bought was a refurbished 1 GHz PIII HP Pavilion for I think $850, to which I added an ATI TV-Wonder video capture card and a 32 MB video card with DVI to drive a used 18.1" IBM flat panel that I picked up for a song. (I think $800 at the time.) It came with Windows ME and I "upgraded" to 98 SE the day I got it (boot time dropped from about 90 seconds to about 45); later I put on Windows 2000 and that thing ran like a swiss watch for years.

Comment: Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (Score 1) 86

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47575705) Attached to: Countries Don't Own Their Internet Domains, ICANN Says

Many countries have concepts in law such as convictions becoming spent after a period of time, usually a few years depending on the seriousness of the offence. The conviction is still a matter of public record, but you no longer have to actively disclose it in some situations where initially you would, and in particular, it may be removed from various routine criminal records checks that are relevant to things like applying for jobs.

It is well documented that such measures promote rehabilitation and reduce reoffending rates, and that denying a former criminal who has paid their dues a fresh start will inevitably lead to further and often worse criminal activity.

As a society we choose to "turn a blind eye" or "grant forgiveness" in these circumstances, partly as a matter of humanity but also partly out of self-interest. You are arguing for an Internet that never forgets the slightest transgression and holds it against someone forever. To me, that can only ever work in a world where we have evolved beyond paranoia and everyone acknowledges openly that everyone else makes mistakes, which sadly I doubt we're going to see in our lifetimes. In the meantime, this seems like a textbook case of "just because we can do something that doesn't mean we should", and the law seems to be siding with "no, we shouldn't".

Comment: Re:Hmmm... (Score 1) 161

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47575625) Attached to: Quiet Cooling With a Copper Foam Heatsink
Fabrication costs eat you alive if you try to approximate a fractal too closely; but that is essentially where the later generations of solid metal heatsinks were heading before heatpipes hit the scene.

In the cheapest and simplest incarnation is just a beefy heat spreader plate on the bottom to ensure that each fin gets a reasonable connection to the heat source. In fancier versions, the spreader also extends vertically to help transfer heat to the more distant parts of the fins.

Recent AMD retail heatsinks use a clever design (cheap, because it's an aluminum extrusion with just a couple of cuts for the retention clip; but a combination of fins for surface area and bulkier conductive struts to feed the fins): image. The central slug is about the same size as the CPU heat spreader, and is solid throughout except for the slits for the retention clip. The longest fins are the ones directly attached to it. The four thicker struts on each corner support shorter fins(longer close to the base, shortest at the edges where there will be the least heat available for dissipation).

Heatpipes are superior enough to just about any solid material(with the possible exception of diamonds and carbon nanotubes; but those aren't really options) that most of the more expensive coolers have moved to 'heatpipes as close to the CPU as possible, loads of sheet metal fins with the heatpipes running through them' design; but you can definitely see the tradeoffs between surface area and conductive cross section in today's cheaper extrusion designs and the last generation or two of pre-heatpipe enthusiast gear.

May the bluebird of happiness twiddle your bits.