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+ - New Zealand ISP's anti-geoblocking service makes waves-> 1

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "New Zealanders and Australians are often blocked from using cheap streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu and instead at the mercy of local content monopolies for popular shows such as Game of Thrones. However a New Zealand ISP Slingshot has caused a stir by making a previously opt-in service called 'Global Mode' a default for its customers. The new service means that people in NZ don't need to bother with VPNs or setting up proxies if they want to sign up to Netflix — they can just visit the site. The service has also caused a stir in Australia where the high price for digital goods, such as movies from the iTunes store, is a constant source of irritation for consumers"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Allow Sideloading (Score 1) 210

by alphabetsoup (#44619757) Attached to: Write Windows Phone Apps, No Code Required

The best way MS can increase the number of apps available on their platform is to allow Sideloading. Right now the biggest problem for a hobbyist developer is not the lack of dev tools (VS is one of the best dev platforms), but the fact that I cannot run an app I make on my phone without paying MS an annual fee.

Allow hobbyists to write and run apps on their phones, and they might create something which they feel can be sold on the app store, at which point you can start charging them for a dev license. But not many hobbyists will pay upfront to tinker with their phones which they already own.

Basically, make it easy for people to run apps on Windows phone, and you will automatically increase the number of available apps.

Comment: Out with the walled garden (Score 2) 442

by alphabetsoup (#44329847) Attached to: Microsoft's Surface RT Was Doomed From Day One

I am actually glad the Surface RT failed. I also wish the Windows Phone to fail, even though I own a Lumia and find it much better than similarly priced Android phones. I hate that I cannot write or run my own programs on a machine I own without paying MS 100 USD per year. That's beyond stupid.

MS has probably the best dev tools in the industry; they even give it away for free. But if you want to actually run the program you wrote using these tools, you have to pay. What's the logic in that ?!

I actually like the hardware, both RT and the Lumia. I just hate the walled garden crap. Let us write code for our own machines and you will definitely make a lot more sells.

Besides, anybody who is okay with a walled garden already owns an iPad.

Comment: Re:The End-Game (Score 1) 398

by alphabetsoup (#43284337) Attached to: Re: Bitcoin, I most strongly agree with the following:

Fundamentally, a currency is backed by the resources of a country. The US Dollar is backed by the US GDP, the CNY by Chinese GDP, and so on. If US GDP increases, your USDs go up in value. Bitcoin however is backed by nothing. It has no intrinsic value per se, unlike currencies or stocks. It is valuable only because others think it is valuable. If tomorrow everybody thinks 1 Bitcoin is worth 100 USD, they are worth 100 USD. If everybody thinks they are worthless, they are worthless. It is the ultimate derivative, whose worth is derived from people’s perception of its value. Bitcoin is entirely unlike any currency or stock or bond known so far. The closest I can think of is precious metals.

However it is also unlike precious metals. Precious metals have a strong consumption demand. Gold for example has several industrial uses in addition to its demand in jewellery. Bitcoins have no intrinsic demand. Just limiting the supply of Bitcoins does nothing, as they have no intrinsic value. It is meaningless to talk about deflation or inflation of Bitcoins because nothing is produced in terms of Bitcoins.

Basically, Bitcoin is the ultimate fiat currency, whose value exists only because other people find it valuable. That makes Bitcoin an asset bubble. Forget stock market bubble, forget real estate bubble, at least those assets produced something of value. Bitcoin has no utility. It is the ultimate bubble since the Dutch tulip bubble. And one thing common to all bubbles is that they burst.

Comment: Doesn't work (Score 5, Insightful) 1065

by alphabetsoup (#38975389) Attached to: The Zuckerberg Tax

Assume this year there is a stock market bubble, and I pay a huge tax this year. Next year there is a stock market crash, and I lose all my previous years gain. So what happens ? Government refunds me my tax ? What about interest on that tax ? Government pays it too ?

Next problem, how do I pay this tax ? If my money is tied up in investments, how do I generate the cash to pay my tax ? Should we start paying our taxes using equity shares ?

Comment: Re:haskell for the masses? sure, but only... (Score 1) 338

by alphabetsoup (#37602758) Attached to: OCaml For the Masses

Modern imperative languages are constantly adding elements from functional languages. For example, take C++ templates - template metaprogramming is a pure functional style of programming. C++ 1x has added lambdas. Also things like STL algorithms such as accumulate and for_each or boost::bind - are essentially functional programming. C++ 1x was to have concepts which was removed but will hopefully return in the next standard. C# has added async and await. So your "masses" cannot avoid functional programming - they will be forced to learn it - since all imperative languages are going in that direction.

The advent of multicore programming will force this issue. Functional programs are much easier to execute in parallel. C++ has Microsoft PPL or Intel Threads libraries which are essentially functional algorithms. parallel_for with a lambda is one of the most useful parallel programming techniques. The equivalent imperative program will be far more verbose and cumbersome.

I actually believe C++ with the addition of Concepts and pure functions will make a very useful functional language. Yes it will be much more verbose than Haskell. Everything is. But then we will be able to use imperative style where required and functional style everywhere else. The functional parts can be easily parallelized. They can throw exceptions with impunity. Of course, there are some issues as to what constitutes "pure objects" and how to work around C++'s lack of a garbage collector. However people are already working on it. I believe Andrei Alexandrescu was working on something similar for D, which may be adopted to C++.

Comment: Re:Microsoft UI has officially entered the realm o (Score 1) 951

by alphabetsoup (#37247688) Attached to: Microsoft 'Ribbonizes' Windows 8 File Manager

Both his criticisms make no sense. Regarding his first (remaining 50% of the bar is taken up by buttons that nobody will ever use) - the space is already there. Do you want to use the space to put some useful commands, or do you leave it blank ? Obviously my choice would be to add some useful command. Empty space serves nothing.

The second criticism is even more nonsense. MS is not taking away the context menu or the hotkey - in fact if you read the blog, they are adding more shortcuts. They are only combining the command bar and menu bar into one and making it more prominent. Whats the harm in that ? It even has more vertical space!


What If Tim Berners-Lee Had Patented the Web? 154

Posted by timothy
from the welcome-to-compuserve-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Last week Slashdot had the story that the web had turned 20 years old. Of course, patents also last 20 years, which has resulted in some asking what would have happened if Tim Berners-Lee had patented the web? Thankfully, he didn't (and wouldn't). But we'd be living in a very different (and probably less interesting) world if he had."

'Anonymous' Plans Sony Boycott On April 16 260

Posted by Roblimo
from the suing-your-customers-never-ends-well dept.
Here's an excerpt from PCMag: "Say you're a hacker trying to cripple a major electronics company for suing its own users: how do you launch a cyberattack without harming the people you're trying to protect? In the case of hactivist group 'Anonymous,' which has spent the week targeting Sony to retaliate against Sony's ongoing lawsuits against PlayStation 3 modifiers, you take it offline. Anonymous is staging a 24-hour, in-store boycott at Sony stores around the world on Saturday, April 16. So far over 1,000 people have RSVP'd through Facebook."

+ - NVIDIA entering mainstream CPU race with ARM->

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "For many years NVIDIA has been rumored to enter the highly competitive general processor markets and while the speculation of x86 never actually panned out, at CES yesterday NVIDIA did something nearly as dramatic. Shortly before the Microsoft announcement of a Windows operating system running on the ARM architecture, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang went on stage and discussed Project Denver, the NVIDIA initiative to create high performance ARM processors suitable for desktop and server use at standard wattage and TDPs. This indicates a fundamental shift in computing technology where companies like NVIDIA can compete with Intel without the often-litigated x86 licenses."
Link to Original Source

Next Generation of Windows To Run On ARM Chip 307

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Sharon Chan reports in the Seattle Times that at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft showed the next generation of Windows running natively on an ARM chip design, commonly used in the mobile computing world, indicating a schism with Intel, the chip maker Microsoft has worked with closely with throughout the history of Windows and the PC. The Microsoft demonstration showed Word, PowerPoint and high definition video running on a prototype ARM chipset made by Texas Instruments, Nvidia. 'It's part of our plans for the next generation of Windows,' says Steve Sinofsky, president of Windows division. 'That's all under the hood.' According to a report in the WSJ, the long-running alliance between Microsoft and Intel is coming to a day of reckoning as sales of tablets, smartphones and televisions using rival technologies take off, pushing the two technology giants to go their separate ways. The rise of smartphones and more recently, tablets, has strained the relationship as Intel's chips haven't been able to match the low power consumption of chips based on designs licensed from ARM. Intel has also thumbed its nose at Microsoft by collaborating with Microsoft archrival Google on the Chrome OS, Google's operating system that will compete with Windows in the netbook computer market. 'I think it's a deep fracture,' says venture capitalist Jean-Louis Gassee regarding relations between Microsoft and Intel."

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.