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Comment: Windows 8 problems weren't the UI (Score 5, Insightful) 1009

by secondsun (#45941429) Attached to: Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

Windows failed to learn a lot of the lessons that iOS and Android could have taught it. It failed to learn the lessons it should have from GNOME 3. It failed to bring the Internet to the desktop in a way which hadn't been tried in Windows since Windows 98.

Windows 8 finally brought us a managed application repository with automatic updates, monetization features, etc but only for modern UI. The Desktop apps were still their own special snowflakes stuck in "Don't accidentally a toolbar" install and update hell.

Windows 8 has tight integration with cloud services, but those are limited to only services and features hand picked by Microsoft and (last I checked) has no openness for third parties to integrate in the same way. GNOME 3 on the other hand, has lots of integration with various social and cloud services. Sign into Google for instance and your Google Docs are available in your Docs folder, your contacts show up in your Contacts app, your Google handouts get routed therough Empathy etc. Windows 8 does this for Facebook and Sky Drive but, again, only in the Modern UI.

Windows 8 Modern apps are firewalled from Windows 8 Desktop apps. Do you have Skype? You have two Skype apps. Do you have a chat client? You have two apps again. The same app on Android can run on everything from a wrist watch to a Television supporting tons of different input paradigms ALMOST natively (the developer has to do some basic UI legwork of course).

As a consequence of the previous point, lots of services (push notifications, application lifecycle management, etc) are available ONLY in Modern and not on the Desktop. Desktop apps still need to manage their own networking state and messaging. Many of the native applications were rebuilt as Modern full screen apps and their desktop equavalents were removed. The most galling is the Photo Viewer. If you open a picture in Explorer in the Desktop, all your windows go away and the image takes up the full screen.

In conclusion, Windows 8 problems don't stop at the Start Screen and framing the Start Screen as the biggest and only problem fundamentally misses what Microsoft did very, very wrong. Microsoft did not TRY to bring modern cloud technologies to the desktop. They ported their tablet OS to the desktop and stopped there.

Android

Android Source Code Gone For Good? 362

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-for-your-eyes dept.
First time accepted submitter vyrus128 writes "Many people were upset at the revelation, reported here in May, that the Honeycomb version of Android would not be open sourced. But Google promised that the next version, Ice Cream Sandwich, would have full source available. Now that ICS is out, though, the source is nowhere in sight. In the thread, Android's Jean-Baptiste Queru offers the following, as to the question of whether source will ever be made available: 'At the moment I don't have anything to say on that subject.'"

Comment: Lock Android down? (Score 2) 145

by secondsun (#37147608) Attached to: HTC Unlocks Its Own Phones

Other than Honeycomb and GoogleTV being not open sourced (which Google admits is a one off which will be fixed in Ice Cream Sandwich), what other evidence of them locking Android down is there? It really felt like a throw away line.

Meanwhile, HTC makes rather awesome phones and this makes it much easier to suggest phones to other developers.

Comment: $0.02 (Score 1) 898

by secondsun (#35633530) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Choose a Windows Laptop?

I would suggest a Thinkpad T series or X series as her primary machine. The 420, 520, 220 series are quite modern but still rolling out. For a little less money you can get the yesteryear model which offer more choices of features. Dell Latitudes are also solid machines in my experience and I have heard good things about HP's Elite book line but lack first hand experience. As a rule of thumb if you see it in a big box store stay away; the build quality is often compromised for cost, and the Windows install is often full of crapware.

To the /. crowd who can't understand why someone would not like Windows on Mac hardware, Windows 7 on Macs as of November is a hit or miss affair (two finger mouse press sends both a right AND left click, audio is always turned down, and one other issue which eludes me). The touch pad is the best I have ever used, but it doesn't replace a touch point and three buttons. Home, del, insert, page up, page down are sorely missed. Chicklet keyboards don't feel right to me, and finally, Macs tend to have a lower screen resolution for their size than what you can find on Windows laptops.

Comment: Spring DM is dead and OSGi is overkill (Score 2, Insightful) 63

by secondsun (#34344436) Attached to: Spring Dynamic Modules In Action

I happen to be someone who actually likes Spring. A few months ago, I was asked to do a proof of concept project; it was basically a event organizing system with a plug-in architecture.

A little google fu later and I found out Eclipse used OSGi for its plug in systems, Netbeans was going to support OSGi for their plugins, and Spring had an OSGi container solution called Spring DM AND Manning had this book in MEAP. I downloaded the earliest copy, ran through the "Hello World!"s and was on my way.

Then I actually had to implement OSGi. Packages wouldn't load, they would load in the wrong order, jars weren't OSGi aware, etc etc etc. After two weeks of long nights of frustration I gave up. The next morning I wrote a classloader and was up and running in about 2 hours.

To add insult to injury, SpringSource gave Spring DM to the Eclipse foundation and washed their hands of future development.

TL;DR; If you want to use OSGi + Spring DM: Don't, Spring gave DM to Eclipse and OSGi is a shitstorm waiting to rain itself out. Write your own classloader and in two hours and 200 lines of Java you will have 80% of OSGi and 99% of what you care about.

Space

Richest Planetary System Discovered With 7 Planets 245

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hope-they-have-roddenberries dept.
eldavojohn writes "The European Southern Observatory has announced that with the aid of their 190 HARPS measurements they have found the solar system with the most planets yet. Furthermore they claim 'This remarkable discovery also highlights the fact that we are now entering a new era in exoplanet research: the study of complex planetary systems and not just of individual planets. Studies of planetary motions in the new system reveal complex gravitational interactions between the planets and give us insights into the long-term evolution of the system.' The star is HD 10180, located 127 light-years away in the southern constellation of Hydrus, that boasts at least five planets (with two more expected) that have the equivalent of our own Titius–Bode law (their orbits follow a regular pattern). Their survey of stars also helped reinforce the correlation 'between the mass of a planetary system and the mass and chemical content of its host star. All very massive planetary systems are found around massive and metal-rich stars, while the four lowest-mass systems are found around lower-mass and metal-poor stars.' While we won't be making a 127 light-year journey anytime soon, the list of candidates for systems of interest grows longer."
The Courts

SCO v. Novell Goes To the Jury 67

Posted by timothy
from the perhaps-it's-the-oj-jury dept.
Excelcia writes "Closing arguments in the six and a bit year old slander of title case between SCO and Novell occurred today and the case is finally in the hands of the jury. It's been an interesting case, with SCO alternately claiming that the copyrights to UNIX did get transferred to them, and that the copyrights should have been transferred to them. 'Judge Ted Stewart said, after the jury left to begin to deliberate, that in all his years on the bench, he's never seen such fine lawyering as in this case.' We're not going to find out the results until at least Tuesday, however, as one juror is taking a long weekend. Great lawyering notwithstanding, we can all hope next week that the Energizer bunny of all spurious lawsuits will finally go away."
AMD

Making Sense of CPU and GPU Model Numbers? 555

Posted by kdawson
from the drowning-in-a-sea-of-specs dept.
b4dc0d3r writes "How do you make sense of the various model numbers or naming schemes for CPUs, graphics cards, and the related chipsets? All I want is something that will run Oblivion and output full 1080 video to a TV. Last time I built my own computer I just went to Pricewatch, made a few easy choices, and everything came to my door. Do I really have to research the differences among Core i5, Core 2 Duo, Pentium 4, Pentium D, Sempron, Athlon, Phenom ...? And that's just the processor. Is there a reference somewhere? In short, how do you buy a computer these days?"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Modern Warfare 2 Surpasses $1 Billion Mark; Dedicated Servers What? 258

Posted by Soulskill
from the our-bark-is-worse-than-our-boycott dept.
The Opposable Thumbs blog is running an interesting article contrasting everything Activision did "wrong" in creating and marketing Modern Warfare 2 with the game's unqualified success. Despite price hikes, somewhat shady review practices, exploit frustrations, and the dedicated server fiasco, the game has raked in over a billion dollars in sales. "There was only one way to review Modern Warfare 2: on the Xbox 360, in Santa Barbara, under the watchful eye of Activision. Accepting the paid trip, along with room and board, was the only way you were going to get a review before launch. Joystiq noted that this broke their ethics policy, but they went anyway. Who can say no to a review destined to bring in traffic? Shacknews refused to call their coverage a 'review' because of the ethical issues inherent in the situation, but that stance was unique. The vast majority of news outlets didn't disclose how the review was conducted, or added a disclaimer after the nature of the review was made public. This proved to Activision that if you're big enough, you can dictate the exact terms of any review, and no ethics policy will make news outlets turn you down."
Star Wars Prequels

BioWare Targeting Spring 2011 For Star Wars: The Old Republic Launch 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the may-the-force-eventually-be-with-you dept.
MTV's Multiplayer blog reports on comments from BioWare employee Sean Dahlberg, which indicate that they are aiming to release the game in spring 2011. He said, "While we have not announced a specific date, we can confirm that we are targeting a spring 2011 release for Star Wars: The Old Republic. We've got a lot of exciting updates and reveals planned throughout 2010, including the first-ever hands-on testing for the game. ... We can't wait to share more about the game with you as we progress through the year, so make sure you stay tuned to the official website for details." Recent posts to the game's developer blog provide details on the Imperial Agent and the Jedi Knight. They also released a video which gives insight into their design process for the Dark Side.
The Almighty Buck

Forrester Says Tech Downturn Is "Unofficially Over" 130

Posted by kdawson
from the unofficial-whoopee dept.
alphadogg writes "The US IT market will grow by 6.6% as high-tech spending rebounds in 2010, according to Forrester Research's latest estimates. The research firm based its projections on data reported for 2009, though its fourth quarter numbers are incomplete. Forrester says hints of a recovery surfaced in the third quarter, and now the company expects the global IT market to grow by 8.1% in 2010. Forrester's US and Global IT Market Outlook: Q4 2009 reads: 'The tech downturn of 2008 and 2009 is unofficially over, while the Q3 2009 data for the US and the global market showed continued declines in tech purchases (as we expected). We predict that the Q4 2009 data will show a small increase in buying activity, or at worst, just a small decline.'"
Classic Games (Games)

M.U.L.E. Is Back 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-for-the-red-wings dept.
jmp_nyc writes "The developers at Turborilla have remade the 1983 classic game M.U.L.E. The game is free, and has slightly updated graphics, but more or less the same gameplay as the original version. As with the original game, up to four players can play against each other (or fewer than four with AI players taking the other spots). Unlike the original version, the four players can play against each other online. For those of you not familiar with M.U.L.E., it was one of the earliest economic simulation games, revolving around the colonization of the fictitious planet Irata (Atari spelled backwards). I have fond memories of spending what seemed like days at a time playing the game, as it's quite addictive, with the gameplay seeming simpler than it turns out to be. I'm sure I'm not the only Slashdotter who had a nasty M.U.L.E. addiction back in the day and would like a dose of nostalgia every now and then."

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