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Comment: Confuzzling! (Score 1) 112

by mcrbids (#48604599) Attached to: Apple and Samsung Already Working On A9 Processor

So, the cheapest TV stick imaginable has a Cortex A9 processor, so reading about the A9 processor in development by Apple is something that doesn't inspire much in the way of excitement up front for me. But it looks like Apple's A5 is more / less the Cortex A9 with some tweaks, so now we literally have two similar products with the same name that are generations apart.

I know of their technical strength in the low-power scene, and the MIPS/Watt race, ARM still leads by a mile, but ARM could also really stand to have some standards for naming the variants in a semi-consistent way so that the merely technically proficient have a chance of keeping up. And, (dare I say it?) this is what trademarks are for and why they exist.

Comment: Re:Sympton of a bigger problem (Score 5, Interesting) 587

by mcrbids (#48603559) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Buses do nothing when they're stuck in the same traffic everyone else is.

I would take exception to this!

1) Time spent on a bus is time not spent concentrating on traffic. Relax, read a book, maybe do some work.

2) Every person on a bus is a car not on the road, and that results in sharply lighter traffic.

I honestly have no idea why buses aren't free. Putting a bit of economics behind the problem can make a dramatic difference, even eliminating traffic jams completely.

Comment: Meh. (Score 3, Insightful) 862

by Guppy06 (#48597951) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

It's not the World Trade Center, and it's not Bali. It's a single cafe and a maximum possible body count than your typical school shooting in the US (which can hardly hold the news media's attention for more than a week any more).

This news wouldn't have made it out of Australia (if even NSW) if it weren't for the Islamic bogeyman angle.

Comment: Re:Ignored Niches (Score 2) 265

by Bogtha (#48588459) Attached to: Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

Apple does not want you to own and store your own music/media.

Take off your Apple blinders and think about this rationally. What you are saying doesn't resemble reality in the slightest. Apple have been the world's largest music retailer for years. They have been selling DRM-free music for years. They make billions of dollars a year doing this. They are clearly very, very happy to sell you music and they make a hell of a lot of money doing what you claim they don't want to do.

Comment: Re:Looks pretty impressive... (Score 3, Informative) 114

by Bogtha (#48551409) Attached to: Google Releases Android Studio 1.0, the First Stable Version of Its IDE

The proof will be in the pudding -- I wonder how usable it will be as a day to day tool for app developers and coding houses, especially with multiple people doing check-ins and such.

It's already in wide-scale use. Most Android developers I know have been using it for a while; it surpassed Eclipse a long time ago. It was unstable, sure, but Eclipse was a pain in the arse. Android Studio was purpose-built for Android development, and it really shows.

That's not to say it's perfect - it's slow in a lot of places, and the emulator is excruciatingly slow. But it's been quite a bit better than most of the alternatives for a while now.

Comment: Re:America, land of the free... (Score 4, Insightful) 717

by Bogtha (#48542897) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

what's the problem with the loss of the voting franchise?

Aside from the fact that it's fundamentally incompatible with democracy, wasn't a huge part of the American revolution the idea that there should be no taxation without representation? Those felons are taxpayers, aren't they?

Comment: Re:Good reasons for Swift and Go (Score 1) 161

by Bogtha (#48538373) Attached to: Why Apple, Google, and FB Have Their Own Programming Languages

even in cases where the extra length clarifies what's going on, you can do the same thing in other languages, i.e. every language supports use of meaningful names.

But Objective-C is very unusual in that it interleaves method parameters with the method name. The best alternative to that is using named parameters, and hardly anybody uses those all the time, so developers end up having to memorise the arguments and their order for every method if they want to be able to read code quickly.

Can you seriously argue that concatenating a string in Objective C is elegant?

No, but it is consistent, and that's very important to readability and maintainability too. If you knew nothing about NSString, but you were familiar with the rest of Objective-C, then you could easily guess how to concatenate strings.

The only substantial way of improving on string concatenation in Objective-C would be to introduce custom operators, and that brings its own set of issues. The other alternatives sacrifice consistency.

Comment: Re:Algorithms (Score 1) 161

by Bogtha (#48538243) Attached to: Why Apple, Google, and FB Have Their Own Programming Languages

A computer scientist can implement any algorithm in any language.

Just because it's possible, it doesn't mean it's effective. Developers could write applications with Brainfuck or Whitespace, but they'd take far longer, have a lot more bugs, and be incredibly unhappy.

There's a lot of variation between programming languages, and it makes a big difference in how productive programmers are. Better programming languages are valuable.

Why are these companies using their own languages?

Because they saw an opportunity to provide better tools for their developers. Take a look at the bridges between Objective-C and other languages. They are pretty clumsy. Apple designed Swift with Objective-C interoperability in mind, and this means using the system libraries is easier with Swift than other languages.

Work a few years at XYZ company working on their proprietary algorithms in their ABC programming language?

Good luck getting another job.

All of the decent developers I know can make those kinds of leaps without a problem. There are always transferrable skills and there are always non-transferrable skills. Using one language doesn't lock developers into that language in the future, and using a common language doesn't avoid lock in. If iOS developers used Java, they'd still struggle with Android development at first because the majority of the knowledge you need relates to the platform, not the language. And likewise, just because iOS developers work with Objective-C, it doesn't mean they can't make the leap to Android.

Comment: Re:Tracking Beacon? (Score 1) 40

by Bogtha (#48538021) Attached to: Starbucks Testing Mobile Order and Pay In Portland On iOS

Oh stop being so overdramatic. If you don't want an application to know your location, then tap "No" when you are asked for your permission. Or simply don't install the application. Applications can't access your location without your explicit consent. Nothing nefarious is happening here.

Comment: Re:Tracking Beacon? (Score 1) 40

by Bogtha (#48528841) Attached to: Starbucks Testing Mobile Order and Pay In Portland On iOS

Are you willing to let Starbucks decide how much they can peek at your location data without even knowing if/when it's happening?

iOS doesn't let you do that. It differentiates between looking up the user's location when the application is in the foreground (i.e. what this application needs to find your nearest store when preordering), and tracking the user's location when it's running in the background. The user has to explicitly grant permission to the application to do each of these things.

I'm actually working on a similar application for one of their competitors right now. Yes, we ask for the user's location. Yes, it's to find the nearest store. No we can't track you. And to be frank, it's ridiculous to think that we would care enough to do this. The people who commission these applications want to sell you coffee, not stalk you.

would you resist the temptation and never once peek at other times?

Except it's not a case of "peeking". You've actually got to build a considerable amount of infrastructure to track people. Even if they ask for and obtain the user's permission to track them in the background, that doesn't magically create servers to record this data and user interfaces to look people up. Do you expect the marketing manager to convince her bosses to drop another 100K on building this functionality because she's nosy? There has to be a business case for it to be built.

To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland. -- Jack Paar