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Comment: Re:On the other hand... (Score 1) 661

by codemachine (#48216763) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

End users don't buy anything that is FTDI branded.

They buy USB devices that happen to have FTDI chips in them (or counterfeit FTDI chips, in some cases).

This ultimately hits device manufacturers and electronics distributors. The shady ones deserve to be hit, whereas others who have been duped are now going to be more careful. The good thing is that they now have a foolproof test to tell if their components are genuine.

Comment: Re:I'm convinced there is no elegant PDF library (Score 2) 132

by codemachine (#47625593) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

It could be that iText is just what he needs though. iTextSharp is the C# port of the original iText Java library. At times, it is easier to find code examples for iText than iTextSharp. Since the iTextSharp folks did their best to use C# conventions, the Java call names aren't always the same as the C# ones.

Comment: Xamarin solves some of this (Score 3, Informative) 209

by codemachine (#46121611) Attached to: The Schizophrenic State of Software In 2014

Client side can be made a bit less painful with Xamarin. You can use one language (C#) for all platforms, and share a fair bit of code between platforms.

Of course you still need separate code to give a native UI on each platform, and different packaging to get the application out there.

Gone are the days of being able to target Windows to get over 90% of the client side market. There is real fragmentation, and innovation is happening quickly. There are many benefits to this, but stability in client side frameworks is not one of them.

Comment: OS fragmentation vs many different OS (Score 4, Insightful) 289

by codemachine (#44246325) Attached to: Android Co-Founder: Fragmentation "an Overblown Issue"

Sure, Android fragmentation is a real issue. However, before Android, just about every phone manufacturer had its own operating system, and it was difficult to do development for.

It isn't like if Android didn't exist, everything would just run iOS. If Android didn't exist, we'd likely have a situation where every vendor has their own entirely different platform. That'd be real fragmentation in the phone industry.

Right now, Android is much like Windows. You don't know exactly what version a user will have, and what hardware and configuration they'll have, but at least there is a set of common APIs you can rely on. Thanks to majority market share, you can develop an Android app and get a massive chunk of the market, even if that app needs some code to deal with specific versions of Android.

Comment: Re:"getting used to it"??? (Score 1) 675

From the article:

[Larson-Green] previously led a redesign of the Microsoft Office interface that, in 2007, replaced text-based menus with a more visual “ribbon interface,” an initially controversial change that is now widely accepted as an example of good design.

The awfulness of Windows 8 makes more sense, knowing it was designed by the same people that consider the ribbon an example of "good design". So many features are not easily discoverable in both cases. Though funny enough, Office for Windows RT basically has a menu on top which then brings you to the ribbon, rather than having the ribbon always be there (probably because it was an inefficient use of screen real estate, especially since Windows RT defaults to landscape, and has a virtual keyboard on the bottom, leaving very little vertical space).

I'm really curious what part of their user experience feedback determined that their menus should be all in CAPS on their new applications. I have to wonder why Visual Studio and Office are shouting at me. It seems every one of Microsoft's recent UI innovations has made their products uglier and more cumbersome. It almost makes you wonder how the same programmers managed to get so much right in Windows 7.

Comment: Re:Marketing (Score 1) 460

by codemachine (#41305531) Attached to: Why Are Operating System Version Names So Absurd?

That makes sense. OS X 10.2 was a very substantial update, and arguably the first version of OS X that was truly ready to use.

I believe one of the reasons they picked 10.2 over 10.5 is that they wanted to keep the OS X branding around as long as possible. This has delayed them from having to figure out if 10.9 will be the last release of OS X, or if it is okay to call a release 10.10.

OS XI just doesn't have the same ring to it.

And when it comes to version numbers, I think Mandriva (then MandrakeSoft) missed out on a great name for Mandrake 10.

It could have been MS Linux OS X.

Comment: Re:Mountain Dew... (Score 3, Informative) 584

by codemachine (#41183193) Attached to: What's your usual coffee-making method?

Not true any longer. Mountain Dew now does have caffeine in Canada, though they still have the non-caffeinated version available too.

It used to be that they could only put caffeine in a cola (any dark drink like Barqs, Dr. Perrer, Pepsi/Coke, etc), and not in any other soft drink. However, I think the rules ended up being relaxed because of all of the energy drinks and such.

Comment: Re:Oh Canada! (Score 1) 999

by codemachine (#40987831) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Place To Relocate?

Ontario is hurting right now, but most of Western Canada is not. There is a shortage of workers in the West, and in some locations a shortage of suitable housing too. So for an unemployed person in Ontario to move to Alberta or Saskatchewan for a job, this can be a problem, especially if they own their home in Ontario. The house in Ontario will be difficult to sell, and finding a place to buy out West could be equally difficult.

Vancouver real estate has insane pricing, so a reduction there may not be a bad thing. Housing will have to come down eventually, especially if interest rates go up. This could lead to some issues, especially for any overextended home owners and the banks, just like what happened in the US.

I'm not sure if that'll be enough to derail the booming economy in the West or not (depends on prices of resources more than anything), but it'll certainly hurt any areas that are already in a downturn.


Comment: Re:DIscussed the business case with media partners (Score 1) 189

by codemachine (#40644193) Attached to: Bas Lansdorp Answers Your Questions About Going to Mars

If the company ran out of funding, would the world's governments just let these folks die, or would NASA and/or a combination of countries end up taking over the supply missions?

Perhaps their business model is relying on the fact that once they get people there, it is very hard to make the decision to stop sending them the necessities for life.

"Don't discount flying pigs before you have good air defense." -- jvh@clinet.FI