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Comment: Re:HALO (Score 1) 368

by Teckla (#47899149) Attached to: Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

No it would not have to be reverse engineered again as even though they now own it, it is still available and under the gpl v2. So that would be impossible for Microsoft to shutdown as it would be forked the next day and you can't retroactively re-licence someone else’s copy of gpl'ed software, remember GPL is viral and thats a good thing.

How does GPL being viral help? If it was BSD licensed, even after a Microsoft purchase, they couldn't un-BSD the BSD version, so it would still be available...

Comment: Re:Null Terminated Strings (Score 1) 729

I believe none of you actually programmed in C. A string terminated by \0 can be represented by a single pointer and an have any length. You can also easily let the string keep growing (until the allocated memory is finished.) That is the epitome of KISS.

And a written language with just two letters in the alphabet is simple too, right? So, let's do that!

There's KISS and then there's KISS. C strings aren't the right kind of KISS.

Comment: Re:various card games (Score 1) 382

by Teckla (#47790769) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

When you don't have friends, cards are really just a stack of colored paper. That's the problem I've always had with Dungeons and Dragons and multi-player games like that. When I was a kid I used to buy D&D books and modules and be fascinated with the lore and how much fun it all sounded. But when the realization hits you that you don't have anyone to play it with, it all becomes pretty useless.

I ran into a similar issue. (1) Very small circle of friends. (2) None of them interested in playing role playing games like D&D. (3) People get married, buy houses, start pumping out kids, and aligning schedules becomes near impossible.

You're not alone in being alone. I recommend something like an MMORPG where you can meet people and develop online friendships. My favorite has always been EverQuest.

Comment: Re:Simple (Score 1) 548

A Roth 401(k) [] is to a traditional 401(k) as a Roth IRA is to a traditional IRA.


Roth 401(k): Post-tax contributions; money grows tax free; withdrawals are not taxed; employers are legally allowed to do the same things as with a traditional 401(k); same contribution limits as a traditional 401(k) [technically the contribution limit applies to the sum of all 401(k) contributions, traditional and Roth alike].

Excellent information; thanks! I had no idea such a thing existed. I wonder how many employers offer Roth 401(k) plans. I don't think mine does; then again, 10 minutes ago, I didn't know that Roth 401(k) plans even existed. Thanks for educating me. I should have looked it up before assuming it didn't exist; I'm sorry about that.

tl;dr Roth retirement accounts let you pay a 0% tax rate on all capital gains as long as you pay tax on "principal contributed" instead of "principal withdrawn" (because you're paying tax on the principal either way), unlike traditional retirement accounts, which make you pay tax on all gains. Why would the average person go traditional?

Indeed. This merits more investigation. Thanks!

Comment: Re:Simple (Score 1) 548

I don't know what a "Roth 401(k)" is -- I've never heard of that before. My understanding is as follows:

Traditional IRA: Pre-tax contributions; money grows tax free; withdrawals are taxed; fairly limited yearly maximum contributions.

Roth IRA: Post-tax contributions; money grows tax free; withdrawals are not taxed; fairly limited yearly maximum contributions.

401(k): Pre-tax contributions; money grows tax free; withdrawals are taxed; sometimes employers contribute extra as a benefit; much higher maximum yearly contributions.

Comment: Re:Graphical terminal (Score 1) 68

by Teckla (#47689055) Attached to: Google Brings Chrome OS User Management To Chrome

In the room next door I have a DEC VT240 from around 1990 which is capable of displaying text and vector graphics using the ReGIS instruction set. I'm so happy to see that, 24 years later, Google is reviving the graphical dumb terminal.

Except that web browsers are not dumb terminals. Web browsers can do local processing. In fact, many Chrome apps run entirely offline.

Your post isn't insightful, it's just plain an invalid and flawed analogy.

Comment: Re:XP losing Market share is not bad news. (Score 5, Insightful) 336

by Teckla (#47592929) Attached to: Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

I'm typing this on a nine-year-old Dell Latitude D410 running Windows XP. I've got a current version of Firefox, current versions of all of the plugins I use on a regular basis

Your fully patched browser and plugins still make heavy use of operating system DLLs, and those DLLs are no longer getting security updates. This puts you at risk.

Continuing to use old hardware is fine, as long as the OS is updated and secure. I have a similarly old machine that I put Linux on.

I'm afraid your highly modded comment might make non-technical people think using XP to browse the web is still OK. It's not. Even with a fully updated and patched browser.

Comment: Re:Hindsight's twenty-twenty (Score 1) 161

by Teckla (#47486495) Attached to: Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

The closed iOS ecosystem is about the worst thing Apple ever did to their customers

Whoa now, that just ain't true. Not at all.

Techies tend to forget how ridiculously hard it is for non-techies to administer their computers. Apple's iOS frees its customers from complexity, it frees them from stress and worry about viruses and Trojans, it frees them from the repercussions of being successfully hacked.

Sure, for your typical geek-o-matic here, OMG-I-don't-have-root-and-I-can't-allow-that! But for regular people, Apple's walled garden is a blessing.

Comment: Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (Score 1) 125

I'm typing this on an Asus Vivobook S200E ultraportable (i3-3217U, 4GB, 11.6", aluminum chassis, USB 3.0, $430 new + $80 more for a nice SATA-III SSD to upgrade with; basically what I call a "better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air")

I only took a quick glance, but it looks like the MacBook Air is half the weight, has a better CPU, better graphics, more USB 3.0 ports, much better battery life, lots of useful built-in apps, etc.

Exactly how did you compute that your Asus Vivobook S200E "ultraportable" is a "better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air"?

Comment: Re:Manager (Score 3, Insightful) 204

by Teckla (#47437475) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

But seriously, hopefully Microsoft will benefit from him and become a bit more popular amongst nerds.

Why do you hope for that? Microsoft pretends to reinvent itself regularly, but one thing remains constant through the decades: Their goal has unswervingly been lock-in from top to bottom, while trying to nickel and dime you the whole way.

For nerds, this means locking you into their programming languages (e.g., VB or C#), or if not that, at least lock you into their APIs (so that you're as good as locked in, even if you're using C or C++). It means abandonment of entire domains that no longer suit them (look up how woefully out-of-date and ignored the C part of their C/C++ compiler is).

It means locking you into their platforms, whether that be the operating system (Windows) or the browser (Internet Explorer).

It means high prices (have you seen the prices on Windows Server and/or Microsoft Azure lately?), which is not-at-all nerd-friendly. It means guaranteed stagnation in those domains where they achieve dominance. It means product churn for the sake of profits. It means ignoring customers and forcing bad implementations on them (*cough*Metro*cough*) and then taking forever to admit it was a mistake and fix it (when is Windows 9 due out? Next year sometime?).

Just because some new-boss-same-as-the-old-boss is singing some unicorns-and-rainbows song doesn't mean the core of Microsoft is going to change. They're still after the same things they've always been after: Lock-in so severe that the pain of escape ensures most people remain slaves, and profits, profits, profits.

Comment: Re:Yes, let's tax the poor (Score 1) 619

by Teckla (#47276095) Attached to: 2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

12 cents won't affect me one bit. It certainly won't change my driving habits. The poor on the other hand.. well, let's just say if you're living on a fixed income and/or are already below the poverty line a nice big regressive tax might sting a little...

Well, let's think about that for a minute. Let's guess that on average filling up your tank from near empty to near full is around 13 gallons. An extra 12 cents per gallon will come to around $1.50.

If people fill up weekly, that'll be about $6/month. I don't think that'll impact the poor so very much...

Also, wealthy people tend to drive bigger vehicles, such as SUVs, and tend to commute longer distances from expensive suburbs. This will certainly cost wealthier people more money (but still probably not enough to matter).

This proposed 12 cents per gallon tax increase is peanuts, but be prepared for republicans in congress to scream and holler and shout about how it'll destroy America, cause more homosexuality, etc.

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.