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Comment: Re:This is an old tactic (Score 1) 223

by alannon (#49581131) Attached to: Windows 10 Can Run Reworked Android and iOS Apps

How does a tool that allows you to re-work your existing iOS or Android source projects into Win10 projects compare to a tool that allows you to convert a document from 1-2-3 or WP into Excel/Word? Or rather, how could it possibly lock a software developer into the Windows platform? This is more like a life-support tactic to allow developers to publish to mobile Windows with minimal effort, with the hope that the platform catches enough traction that developers would start developing native Windows 10 mobile apps. This is identical to what Blackberry did with BB10 to allow developers to publish Android apps that supported it (which I've done at my work). That certainly did absolutely nothing to lock me into the BB10 platform (though it did not make me want to develop for the platform any more than I did).

Comment: Re:Yes, can we do this to Microsoft? (Score 1) 223

by alannon (#49581073) Attached to: Windows 10 Can Run Reworked Android and iOS Apps

Why would they want to do this? MS providing a "reworking"/"publishing" tool that lets you easily port iOS and Android apps to Win10 means that more developers are targeting non-MS platforms as their primary platforms. This sounds more like MS is signalling, "We haven't been very successful with this, so we're going to follow your lead for now." There's been a pretty radical culture change in the DevTools/Frameworks/Runtimes teams at Microsoft, signalled by the fact that all of their core runtimes and web frameworks are 100% open source (APL2), published on GitHub ( and are directly accepting and responding to issue reports and pull requests on these projects. Their new DNX runtime (in preview right now) targets Windows, Linux and MacOS (through Wine, which they are contributing to) and (almost) all of their example code for the new ASPNET5 frameworks is developable and deployable on all three platforms.
3 years ago I would never imagine myself ever recommending any MS development tools to anybody, but here I am now
Btw, Visual Studio 2015 Pro is now 100% free for small organizations or open source projects (branded as Community edition).

Comment: Re:Submarines are the undisputed... (Score 1) 439

by alannon (#49068793) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?
I think you might misunderstand how sonar scales in range and intensity. Think of water as being much less like perfectly-transparent air, and more like a light, but continuous fog. After a certain distance, increasing the intensity of sonar will only give you a marginal increase in range, since a certain portion of your signal will end up scattered back at your hydrophones. No matter how 'noisy' they are, there's really absolutely nothing a surface ship can do to ensure they can detect a deep and silent running submarine that really doesn't want to be detected. It's also much easier to design a submarine to mask its active sonar (reflective) signal. Typically, detecting a submarine is more about having better 'eyes' than it does having brighter 'lights'.

Comment: Re:Denial of the root cause (Score 1) 343

To add some data to the current replies to this comment, I suggest you look at the graph here: Between the growth peak in the early 60s of over 2%, we've reduced it to %1. The latest annual letter from the Gates Foundation provides some good background about what's ACTUALLY been improving in the world: http://annualletter.gatesfound...

Comment: Re:Isolation, Reflection and Cross-talk (Score 2) 35

by alannon (#46488729) Attached to: Nanoscale Terahertz Optical Switch Breaks Miniaturization Barrier
The problem is: current CPU designs are frequently limited by wire propagation delays. Optical circuits do have somewhat faster propagation than copper (1c vs 0.75c), but increasing the size of components necessarily increases the distance between them. 1 thz = 1 * 10^-12 light seconds, which is 0.3mm, I believe.

Comment: Re:Try reading past the third paragraph (Score 5, Informative) 366

This entire thing really only makes sense if you take a look at it in terms of court costs. He was being prosecuted on 517 counts, which makes him, in my mind, much more than just a casual media pirate (as suggested by the summary). If the evidence was pretty much equally clear on each of the 517 movies, it probably saved a lot of court time and money to pin all of the substantial penalties on a single count and then suspend the rest of them. The downside for the court is that a huge amount of publicity it generated because of the "$650,000 for one movie" angle, whereas this might have caused less outrage if it had been a $1250 fine per movie, even if the total had been the same. If somebody else has another explanation as to why they would choose this bizarrely lopsided penalty, I'd like to hear it. Okay, scratch all of that. I read the related article, and it says that only a single producer seeked damages. What an asshole, destroying someone's life for the sake of a 25 year old shitty horror movie.

Comment: Re:HP Printer Driver Developers Take Note (Score 1) 143

by alannon (#43737627) Attached to: Interactive Raycaster For the Commodore 64 Under 256 Bytes
PPD files are platform-independent which always smelled sweet to me when I was using a mac or linux. Other printers I've had to throw in the trash because the driver didn't make the jump from XP to Win7. I maintain a VMWare VM with XP just to print on a not-so-old commercial-quality thermal CD printer.

Comment: Re: i predict a 10x surge in replacent parts (Score 3, Informative) 242

by alannon (#43518937) Attached to: USB SuperSpeed Power Spec To Leap From 10W To 100W
Take a look at the conductive "pins" (strips) on the inside of a USB connector (cable side). See how they're not all the same length? When you're pulling out the plug, the shorter pins (that don't carry power, only data) lose contact first, triggering the hub end to cut off the power pins before the power pins break contact. The reverse happens when you plug it in. No power from the hub until the data pins connect. Thus, no arcing. Any connector designed to be hot-swappable has this type of design.

Comment: Re:50 something (Score 4, Insightful) 222

Democracy and rights are not necessarily hand in hand. The only right a democratic society needs to have is to have fair voting for laws and/or a government. Democratic societies knowingly can and often DO vote away their own rights, all the time. Democratic does not mean free or just.

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.