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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:About time... (Score 1) 150

by _xeno_ (#49148031) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome

It feels like this is worst in the Java (enterprise) community, but that could be my imagination. Sometimes I think those programmers need their 3rd party instantiation taken away from them....

I once had someone rip out a stream copy I'd written (int r; byte[] buf=new byte[1024]; while((r=in.read(buf)) >= 0) { out.write(buf,0,r); }) and replace it with a third-party library, because "we shouldn't reinvent the wheel."

Granted, I sort of agree, it's ridiculous that such a common thing isn't part of the standard Java library, but it isn't, and we didn't really need to add another 1MB of library dependencies just to do that...

Comment: Re:The biggest challenge? (Score 0) 186

by _xeno_ (#49115747) Attached to: Google Teams Up With 3 Wireless Carriers To Combat Apple Pay

Paying by smartphone is a solution in search of a problem.

You'd think that (hell, I'd have agreed), but people already pay by smart phone even without Google Wallet or Apple Pay. The obvious example is people paying by the Starbucks app, although there they get free drinks for paying that way so whatever. (However they could also pay by card, the app is just another method of getting free drinks.)

Another example is that you can apparently pay by smartphone in the cafeteria at the company I work at. I have no idea why you'd want to do this, but it's another "scan the barcode" thing, and people do it.

I have no idea why, but apparently some people find pulling out their phone and using that to be easier than using a card. Even when it takes longer because I'm not talking about NFC systems here, I'm talking about scanning a barcode on a phone.

Comment: Re:heh heh (Score 1) 99

by _xeno_ (#49103203) Attached to: Apple Launches Repair Program For Longstanding 2011 MacBook Pro GPU Problems

Yeah, when my work MacBook was upgraded to Mavericks, they just flat-out reimaged the entire thing because they knew that the upgrade wouldn't work. For the forced Yosemite upgrade (really wish I could have skipped this one) they offered an actual upgrade, but it didn't matter, because I had to reimage anyway after Yosemite refused to boot for reasons I still don't understand.

Granted some of that may be due to the IT department's software, but I'll take missing features (it's not like the Samsung laptop was unusable with the Microsoft drivers) over flat-out won't boot like you get with the past two OS X upgrades.

Of course, that's just my work MacBook, and it's working (for the most part) now. Apparently other Yosemite upgraders lost wifi and DNS. I suppose I could have lost wifi too for all I know since I just leave it plugged in to the network.

Comment: Re:heh heh (Score 1) 99

by _xeno_ (#49102405) Attached to: Apple Launches Repair Program For Longstanding 2011 MacBook Pro GPU Problems

Gladly. They linked me to the correct drivers for my laptop after the Windows 8.1 upgrade had trashed them. As I recall there were a bunch of drivers I needed to reinstall since Windows 8.1 had decided to revert to Microsoft stock drivers, and they told me to where to get them. (Which was necessary since by default Samsung uses a driver download program which at the time didn't know what to do with Windows 8.1 and therefore refused to download anything. So in essence they were solving a problem they themselves created.)

Basically I didn't even ask Samsung for help but got it anyway. Try doing that with Apple.

Comment: Re:heh heh (Score 1) 99

OMG!! Apple doesn't have a Twitter presence! .... Get a grip will you?!?

What, do you think the first thing I did for tech support was to whine about a problem on Twitter? I was trying to figure out a problem I had with Windows/my Samsung laptop and complained about it on Twitter, and because Microsoft/Samsung actually want their customers to be happy they reached out through it and helped me solve my problem.

With Apple, you search the web for your issue, find a ton of enthusiast sites where people are having the very same issue, and discover that there's no solution from Apple yet but they're sure there will be oh so soon now. (Originally posted: 2009.)

Apple does not deny the existence of problems with their products because they do not flip you a bird when you ask them for support

No, they just don't offer support. At all. So it's less that they flip you the bird and more that they just entirely ignore you. Except at the Apple Stores, I guess. Or did you mean I was supposed to shell out for Apple Care if I wanted their software to actually goddamned work?! (Another example: in OS X Yosemite, Apple flat-out broke DNS. Solution: copy over the DNS resolver from the previous version.)

Comment: Re:heh heh (Score 4, Informative) 99

If you want another example, I've complained about problems with Windows and my Samsung laptop on Twitter before. In both cases Microsoft and Samsung contacted me through Twitter and managed to solve my issues.

Issues with Apple products, on the other hand?

Forget it, they don't exist. They have no Twitter presence, their online tech support consists entirely of "find an Apple Store." Their online support is completely useless because their "knowledge base" doesn't include many incredibly common issues, even when you can find forums with threads that go back years and many, many pages of people with the same issue.

Apple's stance is "it just works" and if for any reason it doesn't work, fuck you, it just works, clearly you're holding it wrong. If something goes wrong in Windows you can probably fix it. It may not be easy, it may take some time, it may involve registry tweaking, but it can be fixed. If something goes wrong with Apple, well, you'd better go buy a new shiny because it won't be fixable! (If anyone wants specific examples, iCloud loves to randomly flake out and refuse to sync anything, and I've literally never seen AirDrop work.)

Comment: Re:Bots (Score 1) 467

by _xeno_ (#48988993) Attached to: Twitter CEO: "We Suck" At Dealing With Trolls, Vows To Kick Them Out

Spammers and malware pushers have been using Twitter's "t.co" links for ages to link to sites, malware and so on, yet Twitter simply doesn't care.

Which is hilarious, since as I understand it, the entire reason t.co exists is precisely to deal with "bad links" like links to malware.

Right now, any link you post to Twitter goes through t.co, even if your original link was shorter. You can't not use t.co if you use Twitter. The stated reason for that was to allow Twitter to police "bad" links.

On the plus side, you can pretty much guarantee any email with a "t.co" link is spam and score it accordingly (or just reject them outright since the FP rate is so low), but it would be nice if they did something about that too.

Considering that t.co isn't "really" a URL shortening service and that the only way to create them is to link to something via Twitter, you might as well. It's not like there's ever a valid reason to use a URL shortening service in email anyway.

Comment: Re:Why the fuck is there a video (Score 1) 271

by _xeno_ (#48983993) Attached to: Female-Run Companies Often do Better Than Male-Run Ones (Video)

NoScript, I think. If you check the page source, you'll notice that Slashdot apparently isn't aware that you can load commonly used static JavaScript and CSS as separate files that browsers can cache to reduce page load times and that the video is embedded as a small piece of JavaScript.

Comment: Re:Ditch iPhone (Score 1, Insightful) 223

by _xeno_ (#48982231) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Gaining Control of My Mobile Browser?

All iOS browsers use WebKit. That's completely orthogonal to the original question: are there iOS browsers that block ads and pop-ups? The answer is yes, there are.

That's nice and all, but it doesn't solve his performance problems. In fact, since WebKit in non-Apple apps doesn't get to use JIT, it will just make his performance issues worse.

The problem is that WebKit on iOS takes absurd amounts of memory, to the point where launching it is almost guaranteed to out-of-memory kill every other background app running on the phone.

His other issue almost certainly has to do with Apple's well known wonky wi-fi support, where wi-fi connections will just randomly stop working despite the signal strength indicator merrily showing full strength. Going into and out of airplane mode will sometimes restart wi-fi in a working state, but frequently your only option is to reboot the entire phone. I know my mom has to constantly reboot her phone in order to get iMessage to work. (Also the only way I've gotten AirDrop to work: reboot both devices, and it'll work for a couple of minutes, maybe.)

The solution to the submitter's issues is "don't use iOS." That's the correct answer, no matter how much you may wish it weren't.

Comment: Re:Don't even bother asking (Score 0, Troll) 223

by _xeno_ (#48982087) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Gaining Control of My Mobile Browser?

Except you can't do that, because the only browsers available on iOS are reskinned Mobile Safari. The performance problems he's having are caused by Mobile Safari. They're doubled by the fact that only Apple-Blessed Mobile Safari gets to do JIT JavaScript compilation, so any "alternative" browser not only will just be Mobile Safari in another skin, it will also be a slow Mobile Safari!

The correct answer is "if you don't like Mobile Safari, don't use iOS." Whether than means Android or Windows Phone is up to you, but if you want to use a non-Safari browser, you don't use iOS. It's that simple.

Comment: Re:free-to-pay model (Score 3, Insightful) 101

by _xeno_ (#48962761) Attached to: Sony Sells Off Sony Online Entertainment

The thing is, we (OK, so not all of us, but the population at large) did that to ourselves. People just don't want to pay for games any more. Instead they'll go for the "free" game and play that instead of the paid game.

What was the last truly successful MMO that required a subscription? We all know the answer: World of Warcraft. Nothing has come close to it since then. People just don't want to pay for their games. So to remain alive, the competitors go free to play. But they still need to pay for servers and developers and recoup their costs. So what do they do? They go free-to-play, but then to ensure that there's a reason for people to give them money, they go pay-to-win.

And people pay! That's the issue, people pay them. I think it turns out that the majority of players playing these games don't pay any money. Instead, some fraction of players (the whales) spend thousands of dollars to win. And it's these whales that the companies care about, not the gamers that just want a fun game to play.

It'd be nice to just blame the "whales" but - ultimately, it's not their fault. Because they're willing to crack open their wallet and pay for their entertainment. The problem is the huge number of gamers that aren't willing to shell out even $5 for a mobile game and instead go after the "free" games. Video game development still costs money, so publishers have to find some way to get money - so they go with pay to win.

Because that's where the money is. The market has spoken, and the market is us. Gamasutra was right, gamers really are dead.

+ - Thirteen Wikipedia editors sanctioned in mammoth GamerGate arbitration case->

Submitted by The ed17
The ed17 (2834807) writes "The English Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee has closed the colossal GamerGate arbitration case. One editor has been site-banned, while another twelve are subject to remedies ranging from admonishments to broad topic bans and suspended sitebans. Arbitrator Roger Davies told the Signpost that the case was complicated by its size and complexity, including 27 named parties and 41 editors presenting roughly 34,000 words worth of on-wiki evidence—a total that does not include email correspondence."
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