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Comment: Features? (Score 3, Insightful) 416

by onion2k (#34268230) Attached to: Woz Says Android Will Dominate

Woz is arguing that it's the featureset that will lead Android to victory. I don't agree. Features don't sell the phones. So long as it covers all the most common bases the extra stuff is just nice to have, it's not a key decision point. Any smartphone could become dominant at the moment so long as it has a good interface, looks ok, gives the user access to the software they want and, crucially, is marketed well enough. Even if iOS lags behind on features Apple won't be lagging behind on marketing. It's what they're good at, and ultimately it's what will keep them on top.

Comment: Re:Well, duh (Score 4, Informative) 521

by onion2k (#34146306) Attached to: Americans Less Healthy, But Outlive Brits

It's called ale, and it's supposed to be served warm (room temperature, as opposed to chilled). It actually tastes of something. It has substance. That's why we like it. In fact, this reminds me of a joke.

Why is American beer like sex in a canoe?
Because it's fucking close to water.

It's funny because it's true. ;)

Comment: 2 billion... (Score 4, Interesting) 270

by onion2k (#33844026) Attached to: US Monitoring Database Reaches Limit, Quits Tracking Felons and Parolees

Assuming that's a normal "US" billion, and assuming it's a journal of historical data going back a few years, I don't think it's unreasonable to think there could be information in there on a couple of hundred thousand people each of whom has been track for an average of at least 6 months. So, approximately and with some guesses, that's around 55 records per prisoner per day. 1 update every 30 minutes? That sounds about right, maybe a little on the low side if anything.

What is surprising is that they were running some sort of database process that maxxed out at 2 billion records, and that it just stopped once it hit that limit rather than failing over to a backup process. But then, this is a government IT contract, so maybe it's not too surprising.

Comment: Happens on every website. (Score 3, Insightful) 338

by onion2k (#33585620) Attached to: Google Engineer Spied On Teen Users

Someone always has access to the data, and they're going to look at it at some point. The expectation that no one will be nosey when they're bored one day is just naivety (or stupidity). In this case the motivation is a bit creepier but on other websites people will be looking through "private" data when they're bored - be it Facebook messages, Twitter DMs, GMail emails, or Slashdot private journals.

If you want it to remain secure and unread by other people, don't put it where other people might access it.

Comment: Re:*shrug* (Score 1) 109

by onion2k (#33561824) Attached to: Why Twitter's T.co Is a Game Changer

Honestly, Twitter traffic is fairly useless for anyone as the visitors tend to be one-time flybys who spend less than a few seconds on your endsite and just end up lowering your time on site and raising your bounce metrics. If you want engagement you better be using some other network to get your funnel working the way you want.

Going by my own experience I'd say that isn't unique to Twitter traffic at all. Most social network traffic tends to be interested in a single content element rather than exploring the site. It up to you as the site owner to grab their attention well enough to change what the user does. That's down to designing the site in a way that interests users within a couple of seconds, pushing relevant items, and so on. Ignoring the traffic because it's not already doing what you want seems a bit silly - the users are coming to your site, which is half the battle, so why not try to engage with them?

Comment: If you want to get paid.. (Score 4, Insightful) 175

by onion2k (#33100324) Attached to: First GNOME Census Results

If you want to get paid for what you do then charge for it. I don't mean money necessarily. There are lots of ways of getting paid. But charge something.

In this case the reciprocal amount of work people are demanding from Canonical is a form of payment. If you want to claim it's not "fair" that one company is doing more for a project than another you've got to set up the system to stop them, otherwise you have no grounds for your complaint. You can't set up a stall with a big sign saying "Free, please take what you want, no need to give anything back in return" and then moan when someone takes you up on your offer.

Comment: He's both right and wrong. (Score 0, Troll) 878

by onion2k (#33006494) Attached to: Google Engineer Decries Complexity of Java, C++

For an engineer working on the sort of massively complex computing problems that face the likes of Google he is entirely correct that the likes of Java and C++ are over-engineered and unnecessary for what he faces. That's spot on (I imagine, I'm not a Google engineer).

But most of today's computing problems aren't like that. The software industry has exploded in the past couple of decades, with close to every single business now demanding bespoke development in the form of websites, desktop apps, etc.

Those tasks are carried out by "code monkey" level people. People who need the over-engineering of a modern language because they're not really capable of writing code anywhere near the processor layer. They're puzzle solvers - people who glue together cookie-cutter libraries with the minimum of thinking. The people who use the languages Pike is decrying aren't the ones who're writing the frameworks and libraries that make it all so complicated, they're the ones who have to use libraries because they can't write code to do what the library does for them. It's hand-holding. It's necessary. Maybe not in the offices of Google, but definitely in the offices of "Joe Random Web Design Inc".

Comment: At least they tell you.. (Score 2, Interesting) 248

by onion2k (#32650760) Attached to: Apple Wants To Share Your Location With Others

What the update means is that they've relaxed the application vetting so apps that use the geolocation API aren't scrutinised as much as they used to be. Apple are telling users that apps can, and will, collect and store your location data, and that they're not going to stop them even if there's no reason for the app to be doing it. The app will still ask you if you want to share your location as it always has done.

Who tells you that might be happening if you have an Android phone? Or if you install a browser that enables the geolocation services of HTML 5 on your PC (eg http://html5demos.com/geo )? No one. They don't have to. They can't really, because there isn't a "gatekeeper" controlling it all.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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