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Comment: So am I. Specifically, violated how? (Score 2) 413

What first amendment rights were violated? I'm absolutely serious about this; please point to any violation of first amendment rights anywhere in here.

While you do so, remember that the first amendment restricts the actions of the *government* - that is, it prohibits the making of laws that do certain things - and has absolutely nothing to do with the private sector. Here, let me quote it for you (emphasis mine):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So, which law did SWAirlines cause Congress to pass that violated these people's first amendment rights? Go on, point it out please.

Or were you just mouthing off about stuff you don't understand, trying to get people riled up about an issue that doesn't even exist? Because that... well, let's just say it speaks volumes about your intelligence (and that of the person who modded you up). Volumes that I doubt you would ever read, since apparently you can't be bothered to read (or at least, understand) one of the most important *sentences* ever committed to text in the history of this nation...

Comment: Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (Score 3, Informative) 77

by cbhacking (#47525439) Attached to: GOG.com Announces Linux Support

No offense, but that's a kind of dumb assumption. They explicitly state that they make the games compatible with modern systems. With a large portion of their catalog being 16-bit, and 64-bit OSes not able to load 16-bit apps, they *need* to be wrapping the games in emulators or the like.

Yes, the original game files - or very close, minimally-patched versions - are in there. However, the vast majority of their customer base wouldn't be able to do anything with those game files. Even if they were, it wouldn't be the simple and user-friendly experience that it is today.

Now, as a Linux user trying to run Windows software, you're pretty much writing off "simple and user-friendly" from the get-go (I've been gaming in Wine since 2006; it's better than it was but it's got a long way to go and the goalposts keep moving). Given that, maybe it would have been nice for the small portion of users who care if they'd provided a "here's the files and instructions you need for setting this up in ScummVM on the platform of your choice" option... but that's not their target market, and frankly it might actually be harmful to their goals (never underestimate the cost of support calls from idiots who think they know what they're doing).

Hence, while many of their games have been *able* to run on Linux since GOG released them, the really core portion of the service - the dead-simple installers and updates - didn't. That is what they're now changing.

Comment: Re:If you can get a devkit, that is (Score 1) 353

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47523667) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

I don't disagree in general, but please remember the original context here was whether going it alone as a start-up might be a liability if Big Players declined to let you into those programmes, i.e., we are talking about precisely the situation where the platform maintainer might not have that implicit interest in your success.

The key difference IMHO is that I don't need Microsoft to care about me. I can write Windows-based software and sell it to Windows-using customers with no help from Microsoft except selling us Windows and any related tools in the first place, and all three parties win on the deal. If I want to sell an iPhone app, my entire revenue stream is entirely dependent on Apple, and Apple are not known in these parts for the care with which they examine new apps or the caution or neutrality they exhibit when banning something they decide they don't like.

Comment: Might that still benefit the US another way? (Score 1) 217

No... The H1-B program is a way of making people more successful in their home country not to bring that knowledge and talent into the U.S. on a permanent basis.

As an outsider with no bias here, it occurs to me that the above is probably in the long-term interests of the US as well. India is a big place, with lots of people, many of whom today are struggling with things we take for granted in the West. Helping to improve things like education standards and technological advancement potentially develops a vast export market for US products and services in the future and/or a mutually advantageous trading partner.

People often look at international aid schemes as charity, and support them on that basis, but the truth is that there is often a level of "enlightened self-interest" behind government support for those schemes, because things like global security and having stable economies in your trading partners are in everyone's interest. Much the same arguments could be made, as I understand it, for the US H1-B programme.

Comment: Re:OK MS bashers. (Score 1) 310

by cbhacking (#47520593) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Yes, please! Hell, just dumping the lockdown (or rather, making it optional) should boost sales a good bit; there's a fair bit of recompiled code already available (jailbroken) RT. Something with RT's battery life and hardware support, but able to run "real" Windows software, is a desirable machine for many people... and as you say, there's also many who would like to put Linux on it, and get an ultra-portable Linux machine that can also run Windows stuff at need.

There's already a semi-functional x86 emulation (dynamic recompilation, more accurately) layer for RT. Considering it's the work of one hobbyist in his spare time over a few months, without access to MS source, I'm sure MS could do a lot better themselves if they wanted to. With that said, I can see the argument for not doing so after all. .NET binaries run as-is, anything MS owns can be ported, and perf impact of recompilation onto a less-powerful architecture, especially for something as complex as x86, is pretty heavy. (The current tool will happily run 2D games... from the late 90s.)

Comment: Re:OK MS bashers. (Score 1) 310

by cbhacking (#47520567) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

What the [redacted] do you mean "go back to" promoting .NET? Honestly curious. I mean, you obviously know [redacted]-all about it (among other things, while it compiles to bytecode in the typical use cases, it's executed as native code thanks to a JIT compiler that takes it the rest of the way for whatever platform it's on) but I'm not sure how you've missed the fact that it's the primary platform for Windows Phone apps (WP7 only supported Silverlight or XNA - both of which are .NET - for third-party apps; WP8 allows native code but most apps are still mostly or entirely .NET), Windows Store apps (JS and native are both available, but .NET is very heavily used), client apps (it's rarely used in big apps, but widely used for small utilities), server apps (hell, the Server Core SKU doesn't have a GUI, just PowerShell... which is a .NET-based command line interface), and games (all Xbox360 indie games - there are many thousands of them - are XNA which is .NET).

They added native code options for Phone and WinRT because people wanted them for performance-sensitive stuff, but the vast majority of the software for those platforms is architecture-independent. Windows RT will run the same .NET binaries that Windows 8 will.

Comment: Re:Microsoft Linux (Score 1) 310

by cbhacking (#47520547) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Microsoft actually sold a highly-successful cross-platform Unix system for many years, back in the pre-NT days. You didn't think they ran the company on DOS, did you? They used Xenix machines extensively into the 90s, until NT was in a position to take over.

For that matter, back then NT had a POSIX subsystem and could run most Unix software with little more than a recompile. In case you're curious, by "back then" I mean "until Windows 8.1"; the POSIX subsystem is still available in Win7 and Win8. It's not a great Unix, but it's better integrated into Windows than a VM or CoLinux, or even Cygwin, and it does the job... or did. When MS discontinued it, they also cut support for the most-used software repo, and staying up to date currently means manually updating or moving to a different package manager.

Comment: Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (Score 1) 310

by cbhacking (#47520529) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Win8 (especially 8.1) already does this, to a small degree. Buttons and menu items are bigger on touchscreen systems, and I think the default state of boot-to-desktop-vs.-Start-screen is already input-hardware-determined. It certainly doesn't require any new APIs, much less new drivers!

With that said, yes, Win9/Threshold/whatever will be a more dramatic example. It's not new, though.

Comment: Re: Just let me do brain surgery! (Score 3, Insightful) 353

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47519129) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

Programmers are just cogs in a machine nowadays.

Code monkeys are, and that's the way that managers who hire code monkeys like it.

There are plenty of programmers out there creating interesting and useful new software, and plenty of customers/clients willing to pay serious money for the value that software offers them without all the unnecessary bureaucratic overheads and middle management crap.

If you are a good programmer and professional in your general conduct, you owe it to yourself not to be a code monkey for anyone, IMHO. You have to be really, really unlucky with the time and place when your current gig(s) run out not to have better options in 2014.

Comment: Re:If you can get a devkit, that is (Score 2) 353

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47519099) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

If you're developing on a platform as developer-hostile as that and you're locked into it so your business can't port to other platforms if necessary, I would submit that you have bigger strategic problems and long-term risks than merely being a small company. An arrangement like that is an axe hanging over the head of almost any size of company and you have absolutely no control over when it might fall.

(No, I don't develop iOS apps or write console games, despite occasionally getting enquiries in those fields, and this is why.)

Comment: Re:How thrilling... (Score 2) 53

by Dixie_Flatline (#47516133) Attached to: Amazon Fire Phone Reviews: Solid But Overly Ambitious

I think the specs race is basically over. Apple's specs allow them to make a fast phone in a small body with relatively good battery life. Android phones are generally made with the same 'generic' parts, and have comparable battery life by virtue of having a bigger case to cram a battery in. But all told, the phones are pretty close together, no matter what tricks each company is playing. (And I would argue that battery life is becoming a more dominant spec request as time goes on. I'd much rather have a longer lasting battery than a bigger screen, for instance.)

At this point, it comes down to being able to differentiate on things other than specs. The Android space is crowded. At the flagship level, everything is pretty close to everything else. Samsung is being reined in a bit on its Android modifications, so what we're looking at now is a bit of a race to the bottom on price.

So the specs for the Fire may be 'tepid', but they're probably not actually bad in any relevant way. The phone will hold up for at least a couple years. Amazon's only chance for their phone is to provide a compelling ecosystem, and they don't actually need to be the leader of the pack on specs to do that.

I don't disagree that this phone isn't actually that compelling, but it's not the specs that are sinking it. It could have top-of-the-market parts in there and you'd still shrug at it because the OS and Amazon integration just aren't good enough. The device just has too few merits to warrant much attention, in my opinion.

Comment: Re:Stephen Elop... (Score 1) 275

Nokia was struggling quite badly before Elop. I'm not dismissing your claim that Microsoft devoured it, or that Elop was a major part of that, but if you take off your rose-tinted glasses of Nokia past (which was excellent, undeniably) and look at the Nokia of just a few years ago, that company was in major trouble.

Now, they *could* have made a run at being the next Samsung, and gone with Android. Or they *could* have put real resources into Maemo/Meego/whatever-they-were-calling-it-then, brought out a really modern successor to the N900, and tried to compete solo. Or they *could* have canned everything else and pushed Symbian as far as it would go.

But they had to do something. They were hurting, badly, and showing no sign of an actual path out.

Comment: Re:"free market" (Score 1) 289

by cbhacking (#47504211) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

It's a $300 phone. That's "cheap" only by comparison to the high-end models; it's actually more accurately called mid-range. You can get vastly cheaper (less than half the price) smartphones that have better software/firmware. Their specs will be worse, but - and this is the whole point of the article - nobody will notice the shitty software and firmware before they buy, whereas a bad spec list makes a phone look bad (and cheap) even if the actual experience of using it is pretty good (most people don't come close to really using the full power of their phones).

Comment: You have to show the score so people know it. (Score 1) 289

by cbhacking (#47504177) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

No. The solution isn't that somebody needs to rate phones. It's that the rating needs to be obvious and visible. If I go into a store and look at a line of phones, they'll all tell me their screen size and their CPU speed and usually what OS version they have, plus usually one distinguishing feature, but that's about it.

Compare that with, say, buying a game or other piece of software. There will be review scores (and actual reviews, if I go looking, but the scores are prominently displayed), there will be awards given, there will be indications of the actual *quality* of the item. Not flawless ones, of course, but a hell of a lot better than getting nothing but a short list that tells me this is a RTS game, supports up to 8-way multi-player, runs on Windows XP or newer, requires 20GB of storage, and features a campaign with multiple endings depending on the decisions you make in game (or similar "cool but you have no idea how well that works" feature).

Of course, nobody *wants* to display a bad score on something they're trying to sell you... but they'd happily display a good one. The idea is to make such review scores sufficiently widespread and usable (which requires decent accuracy) that people will actually A) pay attention to them, and B) notice when they are missing.

Comment: Re:...The hell? (Score 1) 289

by cbhacking (#47504039) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

I actually found it interesting, exactly *because* of the comparison to things like the Lumia 520 (the only really-low-end smartphone I have any experience with - I've done a lot of security review on them - in the last five years). The 520 is an unabashedly low-end phone. Rear camera only, no flash, 5MPx (for Nokia, this is low-end indeed). 480x800 used to be pretty good for a 3.5" screen, but these days it's pretty meh. 1GHz CPU, even though it's dual-core, is about as low as it's possible to find in a brand new smartphone, at least in the USA. No 4G, no NFC, etc... but the radios it does have had good firmware. The software runs well within the confines of that hardware, and doesn't have any bugs that I found which its higher-end brethren fixed.

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