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Comment: Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (Score 1) 13

by joh (#47548395) Attached to: Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

It might work for enterprise users (I'm sure that's a /really/ big market!!) but lack of decent apps, or even popularly used apps is the nail in the coffin for me as far as their mobile Windows OS is concerned. The phone hardware was good, the OS completely lacked.

Such a shame.

Why does the OS lack when there's just a lack of apps? Seriously? The OS is fine.

It's just that a THIRD platform (after Android and iOS) has very little hope of getting a foot into the door. MS obviously hopes that it can change that in the long run by fusing Windows and WP as a platform. I think the gap is too large to make this work, but it's really neither the hardware nor the OS that is the actual problem here. Still, MS has more than once proven that it has the patience to turn things around (they all but missed the Internet once and a few years later IE was moving towards a monopoly) and they surely hope they can pull something like this off again.

I'm not very optimistic here, but the OS wars aren't over yet.

Comment: Re:Laziness (Score 1) 73

The problem is worse on Android than on many other platforms because there are very few native shared libraries exposed to developer and there is no sensible mechanism for updating them all. If there's a vulnerability in a library that a load of developers use, then you need 100% of those developers to update the library and ship new versions of their apps to be secure. For most other systems, core libraries are part of a system update and so can be fixed centrally.

Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 1) 73

I doubt Apple has such a patent. Both of these were features of Symbian at least since EKA2 (over 10 years ago) and, I think, earlier. Apple may have a patent on some particular way of exposing this functionality to the UI, but that's about the most that they could have without it being shot down in court in 10 seconds (prior art that's in the form of a phone OS that millions of people owned is hard to refute).

Comment: Re:umm duh? (Score 1) 174

by TheRaven64 (#47548225) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy
Everything you ask for exists. The reason that Google, Microsoft, and Dropbox don't use them is that their entire business model depends on differentiation. If you could connect to their services with any third-party client that also worked with a server that you set up yourself and with their competitors' services, then their hold on the market becomes very tenuous. You're searching for technical solutions to business problems.

Comment: Type system helps find bugs early (Score 1) 73

Our add features to a language that help the programmer prove that certain defects are not present. Bounds checked arrays are a big one compared to plain C, but others exist. Rust, for example, has separate types for "pointer that can never be null" and "pointer allowed to be null", and it is a compile-time error to pass the latter to a function expecting the former outside of a construction that means essentially "if null then do X else do Y".

Or research methods of containing the damage that a defect can do. Android, with its overly broad permissions, has tended to fall at this.

Comment: Games are underspecified (Score 2) 73

Why does anyone install an app on Android that didn't come from F-Droid?

I can think of two reasons. One is that someone might be using a hand me down Android device from the first year that AT&T sold Android phones, and these devices support only Google Play Store, not Unknown sources. But though I have a cousin whom this affects, I imagine few others are still on a Galaxy S 1 Captivate. A more common reason to use non-free Android apps is that free software has shown itself to be poor at producing compelling original video games. Free software works when there's a clear spec, which is true of libraries and productivity apps. But apart from maybe roguelikes, games are less specified up front unless it's a clone of an existing game, such as Aisleriot, Frozen Bubble, or StepMania. A non-free game's developer can afford to put more time into creating both the spec and the implementation.

"You know, we've won awards for this crap." -- David Letterman