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Comment: Re:Another way to look at it... (Score 1) 148

by composer777 (#45750579) Attached to: IDC: 40 Percent of Developers Are 'Hobbyists'

I should clarify, I don't think Free Software as a movement is a dangerous idea. What I am saying is that there are huge numbers of people out there that truly expect from 100's of man hours of work to simply get done in less than a week for peanuts. Free Software was never about the idea that people shouldn't get paid for their work, and those who think it is were missing Stallman's point.

As someone who has been paid for the last ten years to write open source software (mainly through research grants), what people should understand is that a large (the majority?) of open source projects are funded at least partially by government and large commercial interests so that they can cooperatively meet shared goals. Another source of resources for open source projects is well-paid developers who have enough free time to work for free on projects they enjoy. The training and skills they bring to their hobby is paid for by good jobs. Without a thriving, well-paid community of developers, the huge amount of free software out there simply wouldn't exist. This is a huge factor that drives open source development, and we should keep this in mind when we hear stories about the mythical coders in their mom's basement who are writing tons of free software. I'm not dismissing the many great projects that have simply been created to scratch an itch or do good in the world, just raising the serious point that developers need to get paid, and we can end up screwing ourselves if we paint a picture that gives people the expectation that we work for free.

Comment: Another way to look at it... (Score 1) 148

by composer777 (#45747943) Attached to: IDC: 40 Percent of Developers Are 'Hobbyists'

We should also look at who produces most of the code. If we simply slap the label of developer on anyone who writes code, we may come away with the idea that because 40% of DEVELOPERS are hobbyists, that 40% of actual DEVELOPMENT/implementation is done by hobbyists. It would be like saying 80% of authors, defined as someone who spends 10 or more hours a month writing text (could be emails, could be text messages, etc.), are hobbyists.

Considering just how skewed productivity is among programmers, it wouldn't surprise me if this 40% collectively gets much less done than the pro's. That's not saying we shouldn't encourage people to make coding a hobby, but I think it's dangerous to present the idea to the world that code is a freely available resource that can easily be obtained for an extremely low cost or for free. I have to fight this quite a bit as a professional, because the expectations of some customers and employers is just incredibly out of line. Many of them will expect a project that requires 50K+ lines of code (and as a result, potentially hundreds of man hours of work)to take a couple of weeks and cost maybe $500 (to see what I mean look at sites like rentacoder).

Comment: Re:Too much bullshit from Canonical (Score 4, Insightful) 267

by composer777 (#44353195) Attached to: Canonical Seeks $32 Million To Make Ubuntu Smartphone

It works great if the risk taker is poor or middle class and cash strapped, and I think that's what it is (or should be) intended for. Otherwise, I agree, it's ridiculous for a billionaire to use this method for funding, but that's why he's a billionaire (along with all the other billionaires). It's because he knows how to work the system and has few scruples.

Comment: Re:Did we really need a study for this? (Score 1) 271

by composer777 (#42195061) Attached to: Brain Disease Found In NFL Players

Wrong, you haven't been reading closely enough. Boxing is actually safer than playing lineman, which is a total surprise. They are finding the worst injury in players that don't normally have a lot of concussions, but instead who play positions where they are constantly running into someone else at slower speeds, like lineman. When you play line, you have about 2 feet between you and the other guy, so you aren't building enough momentum to knock them out or to even realize that it's causing injury, but you are hitting them every play. It's a huge number of very small blows that is causing the most damage. No one knew this. Again, this is happening in players that have never been knocked out or shown any signs of trauma. It's a complete (literal) game changer because it means that ANY amount of repeated trauma, no matter how slight, has a cumulative effect that won't show up until much later.

Comment: Re:Actually it does work that way... (Score 1) 217

by composer777 (#42097069) Attached to: Finding a Crowdsourced Cure For Brain Cancer

You provide no evidence that you can find a cure far faster than you would ordinarily. In fact, a reasonable person might come to the conclusion that a bunch of distracted cancer researchers might get LESS work done when you force them to spend a considerable amount of time interacting with the public at large. Also, there is a huge bottleneck with respect to access to medical equipment, so what you are likely to end up with is a ton of uneducated guesses (the opposite of an educated guess/hypothesis), requiring a lot of time to sift through, and still have the issue of not having enough resources to test them. This is far from being the magic bullet that you confidently suggest it is.

Comment: Re:Math (Score 5, Informative) 576

by composer777 (#41924313) Attached to: All of Nate Silver's State-Level Polling Predictions Proved True

I've always found the best way to find great news sources is to hold them accountable and stop using them when they screw up the big stories. For example, when the media was shocked by the 2008 crash, I wasn't. I had predicted it 5 years earlier (not necessarily when, but the fact that it would happen). How? I took a look at the small handful of pundits and bloggers that accurately predicted the demise of the tech bubble and looked at what they said would be the next bubble. If people actually started paying attention to the sources that get it right, vs the ones with the largest reach, places like FOX wouldn't exist. What I have found over the past decade is that far left independent news sources get it right far more often than mainstream (or far right) new sources.

The election is another great example. Some people weren't surprised, and those are the ones that we should look to next time, unless we enjoy being a bunch of dumbfounded idiots all the time.

Comment: Ok..... (Score 1) 530

by composer777 (#41902693) Attached to: Apple Considering Switch Away From Intel For Macs

Have the people cheering about ARM considered a career in sales and marketing? The arguments in favor of ARM dominating Intel on the desktop seem about as shallow and vacuous as the CISC vs RISC "debate" that occurred during the 90's, exactly what I'd expect from enthusiasts who have no understanding of how computers work. Yes, ARM does some great things in it's space, but claiming they will wipe Intel off the map is the kind of hyperbole I expect from uninformed stock market analysts, or for that matter a tech magazine looking to generate a few extra page hits (including slashdot), not serious engineering types.

Comment: Re:O rly? (Score 1) 109

In that situation the government is participating in the fraud, by granting the patent in the first place, which means it's ok. :) I say this tongue in cheek, and also, this problem might end with the patent office/court, but begins with wealthy "inventors" who have sought to bribe legislators into creating the system of "intellectual"*
"property"** that we have today.

* last time I checked rounded corners don't require much intellect
** using property as a metaphor for ideas is intellectually dishonest

Comment: Re:to continue the trend? (Score 4, Insightful) 441

by composer777 (#41753843) Attached to: Windows 7 Not Getting A Second Service Pack

From what I understand, the driver model for 7 and 8 are the same, and if anything 8 seems to run faster on older hardware (probably due to removing aero, among other things). This isn't like the upgrade from XP to Vista, where a ton of stuff broke. I still won't use it, because I think creating two separate UI's for the Desktop was a horrible design choice and I need to get work done. They could have been elegant, and created a generic font/icon/UI scaling engine that would allow the OS to work on displays of any arbitrary resolution, but I suppose they thought ratcheting the Xbox 360's UI on top of Windows was the quick and dirty way to get it done. I actually just bought an upgrade to Ultimate Edition for my laptop, if that says anything about what I think of Windows 8.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 230

by composer777 (#41699621) Attached to: ARM-Based Chromebooks Ready To Battle Windows 8, Tablets

You are confusing the end product (build) with the source code. Linux is still linux whether or not it is running on a refrigerator, router, or a workstation. The same goes for versions of Windows that are built for different hardware. Yes, they are different builds, but run on the same source kernel.

Comment: Or else?? (Score 5, Insightful) 343

by composer777 (#41535001) Attached to: Microsoft Co-founder Dings Windows 8 As 'Puzzling, Confusing'

I find it pretty sad that even Allen is finding problems with it. I can't say I understand the necessity of making a workstation OS easy-to-use on a phone. They should have been focusing on making it work better on, you know, workstations. For example, I have 3960x1600 pixels of resolution on my current workstation, and windows is a complete dog in terms of window management. How exactly does Windows 8 address this? It doesn't, but gee, it works great on a cellphone/tablet, which maybe I'd care about if I actually ran Visual Studio on a fucking cell phone. As it stands, this UI is an inconsistent piece of garbage, whose sole purpose seems to be to force me to waste my time learning how to use their mobile UI, in the hopes that maybe I'll be more likely to buy one of their tablets.

Asynchronous inputs are at the root of our race problems. -- D. Winker and F. Prosser

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