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Comment There's more to desktops than Gaming... (Score 1) 350

Sure, PC gaming tends to drive the high end market, but there are people that can use as much memory as you can get.

I just finished a new PC build. When I was looking at DDR4 memory, I decided to spend the extra 180 to go from 32G to 64G. Here's the thing. 32G of DDR4 2133 memory was 180 bucks. Memory is not nearly as expensive as PC manufacturers make it.

I know gamers are really obsessed with memory speeds and will pay a very large premium for higher clock speeds on everything. But, some of us do development and other PC tasks and need all the memory for VMs and so on, and we don't overclock because we choose stability over trying to get the last extra FPS out of a game.

Comment Re:Doesn't surprise me (Score 1) 378

Um, I'm not sure what laptops/desktops you are using, but all my laptops (from various makers as well as custom desktops) work just fine with hardware sleep modes. I've had my Dell sleep and wake up more than a thousand time with no problems. Sure, I do have to shut down and restart for updates, but I'd have multiple sleep and wake up cycles in a day, no problem. It can be done.

Comment I'm surprised... (Score 1) 155

I guess Android has the needed hooks to make this happen. That's good. I think that Microsoft would allow Cortana to be replaced as a default on Windows 10 Mobile, if anybody would care enough for it to happen (I doubt it).

Windows 10? Probably not, but again, if people really wanted it, they'd probably do it, but again, I doubt there'd be a call for it. You can use Google Now via Chrome, and Google has shown little interest in native apps for any platform versus Chrome add ins, and think that's probably all any Google Now user would really want anyway.

Of course, Apple has no interest or motivation to bring Siri outside of the iOS/OS X ecosystem.

Oddly, I wouldn't be surprised if Cortana ends up being the most flexible service in terms of third party support and applications, because in a real sense, it has to be.

Comment Not too bad, we will see what sticks... (Score 4, Interesting) 132

To be honest, I'd couldn't have seen even half of the stuff that they shipped every being there when Visual Studio 2013 came out. An Android emulator? Okay. Upcoming Objective-C support? Hum.

It's a big bet that there is enough demand for better cross-platform code sharing for people to start using the Xamarin environment, and it's even a bigger bet that mobile developers will want to bring iOS and Android applications onto Windows.

There is some method to the madness. The Windows Runtime (the engine underneath Universal Apps) and the Core CLR have some compelling technologies that may have appeal outside the Windows ecosystem.

The Windows Runtime is interesting. It is almost completely oriented around asynchronous APIs. Any operation that will (or can) take more than about 50-100 milliseconds will need to have an asynchronous form. Now, the trick is that async/await in C#, promises in JavaScript and Futures in C++ makes consuming that API tolerable (in C#, it's really not hard at all). It is oriented completely around try to make sure that applications can't block and become unresponsive. In short, if you make it harder to do the wrong thing, it will happen less often.

But, the first form was oriented only towards Modern (metro) applications, and we all know how that turned out. The Universal Apps is doubling down on the underlying runtime and support and seeing if they can get better adoption. Hard to say, but it'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

The other interesting front is Android; there's a bunch of libraries that provide alternatives to core Google APIs. I'm fine with that; alternatives are always good. And the Android subsystem in Windows 10, that's interesting.

Anyway, it may bring some hard-core Visual Studio shops into the mobile space, because you can still say "it's all VS". Lastly, it was a price drop. Ultimate doesn't exist anymore, and it's replacement is half the price. Even Premium was more expensive. I half expect more price drops and incentives to drive more people into the ecosystem.

Comment Holding things back... (Score 2) 166

The main problem with the environment is that between Epic Systems and VistA (the VA system), MUMPS holds back some real innovation. Sure, you'll hear tons of success stories about the VA or from EPIC, but the fact is that this vendor lock has huge costs. A major hospital chain I worked with spent a billion+ on a EPIC implementation. Did it improve interoperability with other hospital systems? Nope. Even two EPIC implementations will have a very hard time sharing records.

And that's the whole point of a EMR, to have a consistent version of a patient's history throughout their life. And these systems can't support that model in our current system. If every doctor had to use one system (like in some national health care systems), it'd be better, but that's not what we have. Sadly, the other attempt to standardize healthcare systems and interoperability (HL7) is an equally convoluted mess.

What is needed (but we won't get because of the players) is a standards driven process that is focused on building up a workable ecosystem for exchanging information.

It'd be hard to create a standard that would allow for healthcare professionals to: provide proof that they are a provider and to provide electronic evidence that they have a patient (via a secure exchange) to create a unique identifier for that patient/provider, but it is doable. Solve that, then move on to exchanging of information between providers and allowing providers to mark information as not shareable to the patient or other providers. All of this could be done, and it would provide a real basis for a proper EMR system.

Comment It's all about the environment... (Score 1) 126

Seriously, I'm still waiting from a company that realizes having private offices plus collaborative spaces (you know, a old school office) is the best way to go.

You need quiet to concentrate on a tricky problem. You have it. You need to get together as a team and work on something, you have it too. You have rooms with actual doors, you train people to use a proper conversational (not cell phone loud) tone and boom, productivity. Not chaos that mimics the appearance of creative work, but actual work.

Seriously, hire a developer for six figures and give him a few hundred bucks in desk space that doesn't even have four cube walls? That makes all the sense in the world, right. Argh.

Submission Interview: Ask Linus Torvalds a Question

samzenpus writes: Linus Torvalds, the man behind the development of the Linux kernel, needs no introduction to Slashdot readers. Recently, we talked about his opinion on C++, and he talked about the future of Linux when he's gone. It's been a while since we sat down with Linus to ask him questions, so he's agreed to do it again and answer any you may have. Ask as many questions as you'd like, but please keep them to one per post.

Submission Tech company finds stolen government log-ins all over Web ->

schwit1 writes: A CIA-backed technology company has found logins and passwords for 47 government agencies strewn across the Web — available for hackers, spies and thieves.

Recorded Future, a social media data mining firm backed by the CIA's venture capital arm, says in a report that login credentials for nearly every federal agency have been posted on open Internet sites for those who know where to look.

According to the company, at least 12 agencies don't require authentication beyond passwords to access their networks, so those agencies are vulnerable to espionage and cyberattacks.

Link to Original Source

Comment Hope it pans out... (Score 4, Insightful) 82

Seriously, severe migraine sufferers and those who suffer from cluster headaches need all the tools we can give them. As noted, if you really read about cluster headaches, it is truly shocking. It is noted sufferers are at a high risk for suicide; after I read what they go through, I was surprised that it is not even higher.

I suffered from migraines, but on the mild to moderate scale. I was lucky, I found a preventative regimen that works very, very well for me. For those with more severe cases, I do hope this is a successful treatment option.

Comment Re:Java vs. C# amuses me (Score 1) 414

Well, there's some differences that do make C# seem easier and less clunky. They are similar, but not identical, and their differences do matter.

Properties. Yes, Java has getters and setters, but those are methods. C# makes the distinction between a property and method. To be fair, this doesn't really come up until you deal with reflection and more advanced cases, but it is a useful distinction to make.

Generics. Java has type erasure, which has it's issues (you can't do T newThing = default(T) in Java). If look at the lambdas, there's a lot of stuff they have to do around typing to handle primitives versus objects, etc. C# just has a Func and Action types. For APIs that use higher-order functions, this makes things a bit clearer (I want a function that takes a string and returns a bool, for example). Compare this to things like mapToInt in the streams API, and C# is just more consistent and natural in this area.

LINQ. True, Java 8 streams add a lot of this, but they don't expression tree support, which makes things like LINQ to Entities and LINQ to XML, etc. possible. Granted, LINQ has it's own issues (LINQ to Entities code can fire runtime exceptions that LINQ to Objects won't), but this power is really useful. And it requires language and compiler support to transform a lambda to a expression tree versus a closure.

Async/Await. Now, this is newer, but this is a huge difference between C# and Java. Non-blocking code is great, but it can quickly turn into a nest of callback functions. Sure, promises help, but that's a chain of objects. Async/Await provides a much easier to use model that provides many of the benefits of asynchronous programming, but keeping a more synchronous like code base. Scala, JavaScript are all adopting this model because it works well.

In practice, it can be very useful. I was working on ASP .Net MVC 4 project. I bumped it up to five and some improvements. I then just used the asynchronous APIs in MVC, etc. It was a fairly simple change, but boom, less CPU usage and more overhead for concurrent connections. A noticeable gain for little price.

Finally, the libraries do diverge beyond the core. Entity Framework and Hibernate are different. WPF couldn't be more different than Swing, etc, really. Java doesn't have a standard library like Windows Workflow Foundation. And there are Java libraries that C# doesn't really have, of course.

While I agree that Java can get too bad of a reputation, it does show it's age. Also, the JSR process has grind to almost a complete standstill. When C++ gets lambdas before Java, it shows just how slow the process has become.

I think C# embraces newer features much more readily, and that's why some really advocate for it.

Comment As long as you consider one... (Score 5, Insightful) 443

Moving past a text editor is a big help. Sure, it's good to understand the command line and all that, but having a tool that understands code and allows you to manipulate it is really useful. Refactoring support matters. A lot, actually. Safe delete, rename, extract method/parameter/etc. are all basic tools that can make a code base better. Code completion (intellsense, etc) support matters too. What does this thing do. Does it do what I think it should? Why or why not. Add in things like smart templates, etc. and even the most code aware text editors just look like nothing more than keyword colorers.

Personally, I can't recommend Visual Studio/Resharper or the IntelliJ product line enough. Worth every single penny and then some. JetBrains has a laser like focus on just getting things done. High DPI support was a problem for their IDEs, so instead of waiting on Java 8/2D to catch up, they forked it just to get it work, and they admitted it was not a great solution, but a workaround.

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion