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Comment: While you're at it, get rid of timezones. (Score 1) 613

by nashv (#48290327) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

I have never seen a good logical reason as to why the whole world can't be on a single time zone. I mean, airlines and airplanes already operate on UTC (Universal Time Co-ordinated, which is just GMT but without the DST adjustments)

Will it really be that jarring if sunrise occurs at 6.PM wherever you are? It will get rid of this entire timezone mess altogether.

Comment: Re:The Nobel Prize Committee blew it (Score 1) 276

by nashv (#48104829) Attached to: No Nobel For Nick Holonyak Jr, Father of the LED

The Nobel prize is not given for scientific achievement or for being the first to do anything. It is given for accomplishments that influence the world and society in a substantial way (in the opinion of the Nobel committee).

The message being sent here is that LEDs were cool, but there was no significant impact of LEDs on the world until the blue LED came along, allowed production of white light and thereby the use of LEDs in lighting - substantially increasing the per capita energy efficiency in the entire world .

You may dispute whether blue LEDs really made a difference - but the 'original work, first to do it' is not (and never was) a reason for the Nobel prize awards.

Comment: Re:Why still 32bit builds? (Score 1) 554

by nashv (#48051657) Attached to: Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

So, because this is a Microsoft product, having a choice of 2 bit-depths is a problem? /sarcasm.

And no, unlike Linux , where 64-bit builds need to be prepared for 64-bit OSes because of differences in the way some libraries work and directory structure, 32-bit Windows architechtures run fine on 64-bit Windows.

If you, as a developer, don't want to support "two architechtures" , just make a 32-bit build and be done with it. Everyone can use it.

Comment: Too much choice? (Score 0) 90

by nashv (#47916415) Attached to: MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

As a scientific programmer, I beginning to see a 'too much choice' scenario. There is now Rust, Dart, Julia, Swift, Go in the 'immature' languages scene, and Python, Ruby, Java, C# etc. in the mature language scene.

None of the new languages though are being developed with a a definite specific goal or enhancement. They are hardly ever 'feature-complete', in the sense that they are multi-purpose, cross-platform, with good standardized development tools on all platforms.
Almost feels like they are being developed 'cause we can.'

It leads to a lot of divided effort writing libraries and packages for so many languages. I for one am happy the Apple won't open-source Swift.

It would be better to simply enhance something like Python with JIT and integration into the browser etc. Attempts are being made, I know, but they aren't progressing early fast enough to be useful.

Comment: Re:Addenum: FF is nothing like Chrome (Score 1) 129

by nashv (#47907045) Attached to: Chrome For Mac Drops 32-bit Build

Agreed. But the Chrome philosophy is different and more suited to Google's needs as a web company : they give you minimal UI , and the GUI you use to do the actual work is the UI of the webapp.

They turned the the browser into something like the Windows Taskbar - not very customizable, just a basic way to load the useful stuff. ChromeOS is the ultimate realization of this.

Comment: Re:It's not Google's fault. It's Mozilla's. (Score 1) 129

by nashv (#47907029) Attached to: Chrome For Mac Drops 32-bit Build

They're also up against a massive advertising campaign, with every Google property having a huge pop-up like ad telling users to use Chrome. Chrome users don't see this, but Google is doing everything they can except adding the words "or else".

Oh we see what Google is doing with Chrome. Actually, you are right on the money when you say the reason Firefox lost because of mobile. But that isn't all - I want to use Firefox , but Chrome gives an unparalleled feature set - the sync, the integration, the modern extension architechture, the apps, Dart, etc. etc., along with speed. Firefox simply did not ship fast enough the innovative, and when they did, they were always following Chrome.

Also, single-threaded-ness is killing Firefox. Even when the page renders nearly as fast as Chrome, every UI action like opening a new tab is slower in Firefox. At this point, Mozilla would do better to just fork Chromium and strip it of its Googlization.

Comment: Re:And well they should. (Score 5, Insightful) 79

by nashv (#47799979) Attached to: China Gives Microsoft 20 Days To Respond To Competition Probe

You seem to believe that the reason people use Microsoft Office is because they are unaware of the more sensible choice. People use Microsoft Office because people resist change, and collections of people in bureaucracies resist change even more.

Proprietary nature of information storage is considered a plus in bureaucratic circles - because many institutions have more money in their budgets than IQ or technical expertise in their staff. Proprietary means that when it breaks , somebody can be held responsible. It means that when someone doesn't understand something, they can fall back on their pre-existing knowledge of how to use a telephone and call support - thereby also absolving themselves on paper. The reason for work not done can be provided to superiors as "There is a problem with the software. Technical support is looking into it." The alternative would be to actually delve into the thing and try to fix it yourself - but that would involve learning something - which is not their job.

Neither does it help that when it comes to open formats, the best answer you can expect is "You found a bug? Submit a patch".

Open source software typically lacks a central authority that bureaucrats can complain to , sue if necessary, when things go wrong. The risk of licensing that you talk of is not even a factor - because the incentive to minimize one's own effort is higher than actually getting the task at hand done.

This is always going to be a major problem unless mitigated by a Red-Hat like model of doing business. Still, the geek community fails hard at understanding why the typical institutions still use licensed and proprietary software. They are trying to approach the problem from the logical point of view, while what is at play here is human psychology, behaviour, and administrative politics.

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. - Henry Spencer, University of Toronto Unix hack