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Comment: Why not? (Score 1) 417

by jasomill (#41688221) Attached to: Is Microsoft's Price Model For the Surface Justifiable?
Justifiable? Sure—they're trying to sell a profitable product. Hard to imagine "price fairly compensates seller" as a major factor driving most consumer purchasing decisions, alas. What seems off to me is the fact that they're now saying the Office applications bundled with the Surface RT "are not for use in commercial, nonprofit, or revenue generating activities," at least not without purchasing — wait for it — an additional "commercial-use" Office license. In other words, the two featured benefits of the Surface RT over the iPad are (1) a keyboard/cover that costs $120 extra, and (2) a bundled version of Office that can't be used to do "work".

Comment: Re:What a marketing tool (Score 1) 444

by jasomill (#40960479) Attached to: You Can't Bypass the UI Formerly Known As Metro On Windows 8
Except that Apple hasn't locked anything down in their desktop OS other than access to Apple's own online services, nor given any indication that they want to turn the Mac into a "content-consumption-only" device, nor suggested that the existing Mac UI should either be displaced or embrace "touch". To repeat: the only code on the Mac that requires "filtration, censorship, and taxation by the App Store gatekeepers" is applications that use Apple's iCloud servers for synchronization and storage, and applications that use Apple's push notification servers. Otherwise, you're free to sell your application outside the App Store, and therefore not submit to its rules. You're also free to sell the same applications on the App Store and elsewhere, and Apple has even made special provisions to ensure smooth interoperability between App Store and non-App Store versions of the same application. Microsoft's rules are very different: you can only sell Metro-style applications inside the Store, and you can only sell desktop applications outside the Store.

Comment: Re:Corporate bypass is easy (Score 1) 444

by jasomill (#40960401) Attached to: You Can't Bypass the UI Formerly Known As Metro On Windows 8
As "obvious" as this may initially seem, it's also wrong. I can't even reach my desktop display without getting out of my chair, it's uncomfortable to use at a distance where I can. Not to mention the discomfort of actually using a set-up like this for any extended period of time, even on a laptop. And current laptop designs, or anything resembling current laptop designs, wouldn't work well for anything but the lightest (literally and figuratively) touch input chores for a number of fairly obvious additional reasons. But PC OEMs love "options" as much as they love low-value, low-cost "me-too" features, so why not?

Comment: Re:Here's a thought (Score 2) 211

by jasomill (#40954257) Attached to: Microsoft Picks Another Web Standards Fight

Firewire was great if you were using it for high end equipment that needed high speed data transfers. It was great for things like digital video cameras and external hard drives. It fairly expensive though, and much less flexible than USB.

How so? The USB host/device distinction means that it's difficult to use for computer-to-computer connectionssuch as IP networking and "target disk" modes. Due to USB's current limitations, bus-powered I/O devices that work fine over FireWire often require either external power supplies or ridiculous "splitter cables" to connect to two USB ports simultaneously to draw sufficient power. FireWire also supports more flexible cabling arrangements, with UTP and optical cabling options that support runs up to 100m long without hubs or repeaters.

For the record, "fairly expensive" was $1 or so per device.

Comment: Re:As an Apple hater, I disagree. (Score 3, Insightful) 343

by jasomill (#40797481) Attached to: Apple In Trouble With Developers

Should I have to bundle together an editor, source control, and an interpreter in order for those programs to use the same files inside the sandbox? Should I do this for every language I want to develop in using that editor? ... Would Apple close that hole, or reject me from the app store for that reason?

No, no, and no. Sandboxed applications have free access, forever, to files and folders you explicitly select, where "forever" can even include subsequent versions of the same app. Many vendors are running away from sandboxing "to improve user experience" in ways that directly conflict with the whole notion of sandboxing: accessing the user's SSH private keys without confirmation, using Apple Events and/or the Accessibility API to control arbitrary third-party applications, and so on. Apple's goal seems to be to maximize the number of applications that can be reasonably sandboxed without undermining the whole idea of sandboxing, using the App Store and iCloud as "carrots", because they're trying to address a problem Microsoft never did: most developers don't give a damn about the mitigation of security vulnerabilities in their applications. It's a hard problem, and discussions like Marco's will ultimately contribute to a better solution, but "give up sandbox requirements" isn't an endgame I'd like to see.

Comment: Re:Still? (Score 1) 145

by jasomill (#40667831) Attached to: Apple Releases iOS 6 Beta 3 For Developers
While I agree that iOS should extend support for "opt-in" background downloading, for a mobile device, in practice I still prefer the iOS status quo to the desktop alternative of "arbitrary programs running in the background draining battery and bandwidth". A consolidated, system-level "background download manager", while unlikely to address the torrent case, seems like a nice compromise.

Comment: Re:fp (Score 5, Interesting) 594

by jasomill (#40586933) Attached to: Objective-C Overtakes C++, But C Is Number One

The final C++ program wound up having 50% more lines of code for the exact same functionality, and that was the point where I gave up on it. It was a pretty bad first impression.

I'm guessing this was because the authors were exhibiting uselessly "object-oriented" toy programs to illustrate language features. You'd probably have had a different first impression if you'd started with Cocoa and Objective-C. While it hadn't been updated in years and consequently seems to have disappeared down the memory hole, one of Apple's old Cocoa tutorials was something to the effect of "Build a Text Editor in 15 Minutes", where they showed how you could build a TextEdit-like rich text editor with Cocoa in a couple pages of code.

In fact, it's pretty easy figure out how to do this starting from the Xcode "document-based application" template, as there's not much more to it than replacing the label control in the document window with a Text View and implementing a couple methods in the document class to get and set its contents.

Comment: I'm not convinced age has anything to do with it. (Score 1) 515

by jasomill (#40572539) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old Dogs vs. New Technology?
I won't generalize about IT departments, but many admins I've worked with certainly seem to be. For instance, I've frequently found Windows installations where Domain Admins is granted merely to allow a user to bounce a particular service, or to a service that needs write access to a few particular registry keys, because "that's the vendor-supported solution." Whether this vendor "support" extends to compensation for the cost of downtime caused by said overprivileged users accidentally installing untested "recommended" updates and rebooting a production server in the course of bouncing said service, or when a bug in the service causes it to recursively delete an unintentionally large portion of said registry, is left as an exercise.

More generally, I've found that admins seem overenthusiastic about learning about new features that vendors claim "increase security" or "reduce TCO", but are comparatively uninterested in creatively using existing features to the same ends, even when the former amounts to a monstrously complicated (i.e., because it must supportably generalize to thousands of diverse installations, not because vendors are stupid) configuration interface for the latter.

As for age, I'd say that, if anything, the problem is worse with younger admins who seem more inclined to take vendor claims at face value and assume that anything they might possibly need to know is a Google search or, at worst, a support request, away, otherwise the product is, as you say, "defective." Older admins seem to at least accept that any given component is but a part of a unique environment, and that they, not vendors, are responsible for ensuring the various parts interoperate correctly, even in an ostensibly "homogeneous" environment like a "Windows shop."

Comment: Re:No More "Pirate" (Score 1) 298

by jasomill (#40509109) Attached to: Don't Forget: "Six Strikes" Starts This Weekend

I know you know, but still: Pirates are people that get what they want on the high seas, normally using violence or threats of violence.

Sure, but

PI'RATE, v.i. To rob on the high seas.
PI'RATE, v.t. To take by theft or without right or permission, as books or writings.

according to Webster's dictionary...

Let us not play into RIAA/MPAA/FACT/...'s hands by using their propaganda language.

...by which I mean the dictionary Noah Webster published in 1828.

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