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Comment endianness and types (Score 1) 244

We still live in a world of CPUs that are either little endian or big endian: affects binary compatibility and performance (from having to swizzle).

We still live with the primitive C/C++ type system with code like this in just about any SDK:

#ifndef _BOOL
typedef unsigned char bool;
#if !defined(true) && !defined(false)
        enum {false,true};
#endif // true and false

#endif // _BOOL

Comment don't judge a book by its cover (Score 1) 296

Saying Java sucks or Java is slow is like saying Lord of the Rings is a lousy story because it had lousy bookcover illustration.

From the years of reading Slashdot and more than a decade on the web reading about how people bash Java, it is pretty clear how many people can't tell the difference between a platform and an API. It is worrying how much of these people make up the world's pool of software professionals.

While it is true that Sun dropped the ball on Java marketing and the Swing API, it is also true that Microsoft wielded its evil muscle trying to kill it (how many can claim to have survived such attacks?) in the 90's (anyone remember the 9-year lawsuit that Sun eventually won?) and Java as a platform and ecosystem stalled because of that. As a 20-year software veteran who used to write in C/C++ and assembly, I'm happily making a good living writing real-time graphics apps with Java that runs on Mac, Windows and Linux. Those who bash Java just don't know what they are missing and I'm happy to keep it that way: less competition for me.

Lastly, Adobe Flexbuilder, the IDE that this iReversi game was written in, is based on Eclipse. And Eclipse is written in Java using the SWT API. Eclipse is also one of the world's most complex piece of software that runs on Mac, Windows and Linux. Adobe's marketing should eat its own smelly socks.

Comment research, visualisation market, WebGL (Score 1) 515

Let's not forget that OpenGL is still the choice of many university research projects and in the scientific visualisation markets. These projects tend to have a much longer shelf life than things like games. Also, Google's efforts in adding 3D to the web, WebGL, is an OpenGL binding to javascript.

Amazon Wants Patent For Inserting Ads Into Books 219

theodp writes "Three Amazon inventors set out to correct what they felt was a real problem: that 'out-of-print or rare books ... typically do not include advertisements ... the content is fixed and, therefore, has not been adapted to modern marketing.' Their solution is spelled out in newly-disclosed Amazon patent applications for On-Demand Generating E-Book Content with Advertising and Incorporating Advertising in On-Demand Generated Content. From the patent apps, here's what the future of reading may look like: 'For instance, if a restaurant is described on page 12, [then the advertising page], either on page 11 or page 13, may include advertisements about restaurants, wine, food, etc., which are related to restaurants and dining.' So, what would a delightfully-tacky-yet-unrefined Hooters ad do for your Hemingway experience?"

Obama Calls For Nuke-Free World 705

jamie points out news that President Obama has put out a call for a world free of nuclear weapons at a speech in Prague today. He acknowledged that it was a long-term goal, perhaps not something that can be accomplished in his lifetime, but promised to encourage the US Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban treaty. According to the BBC, he also stated his desire to "negotiate a new treaty to end the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons," and to hold a global summit within the next year to work out agreements for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. Obama said, "As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it." His speech came less than a day after North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket.

Young People Prefer "Sizzle Sounds" of MP3 Format 743

Hugh Pickens writes "Jonathan Berger, a professor of music at Stanford, tests his incoming students each year by having them listen to a variety of recordings which use different formats from MP3 to ones of much higher quality, and he reports that each year the preference for music in MP3 format rises. Berger says that young people seemed to prefer 'sizzle sounds' that MP3s bring to music because it is a sound they are familiar with. 'The music examples included both orchestral, jazz and rock music. When I first did this I was expecting to hear preferences for uncompressed audio and expecting to see MP3 (at 128, 160 and 192 bit rates) well below other methods (including a proprietary wavelet-based approach and AAC),' writes Berger. 'To my surprise, in the rock examples the MP3 at 128 was preferred. I repeated the experiment over 6 years and found the preference for MP3 — particularly in music with high energy (cymbal crashes, brass hits, etc) rising over time.' Dale Dougherty writes that the context of the music changes our perception of the sound, particularly when it's so obviously and immediately shared by others. 'All that sizzle is a cultural artifact and a tie that binds us. It's mostly invisible to us but it is something future generations looking back might find curious because these preferences won't be obvious to them.'"

Comment Re:Band 2.0 (Score 1) 155

To those who think everything on the web should be free, I say this to you: How would you like if I (and millions of other netizens) expect you to do your day job for free because your boss decided to give away your flagship product for free. --- This fundamental lack of appreciation of economics by the general public is one of the reasons why the U.S. is fast losing its competitive edge to the rest of the world. But if you insist, be my guest, because I don't contribute to your economy and really enjoy being the free rider.

SDK Shoot Out, Android Vs. IPhone 413

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister delves into the Android and iPhone SDKs to help sort out which will be the best bet for developers now that technical details of the first Android smartphone have been announced. Whereas the iPhone requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.5.4 or later, ADC membership, and familiarity with proprietary Mac OS X dev tools, the standard IDE for Android is Eclipse. And because most tasks can be performed with command-line tools, you can expert third parties to develop Android SDK plug-ins for other IDEs. Objective-C, used almost nowhere outside Apple, is required for iPhone UI development, while app-level Android programming is done in Java. 'By just about any measure, Google's Android is more open and developer-friendly than the iPhone,' McAllister writes, noting Apple's gag order restrictions on documentation, proprietary software requirements to view training videos, and right to reject your finished app from the sole distribution channel for iPhone. This openness is, of course, essential to Android's prospects. 'Based on raw market share alone, the iPhone seems likely to remain the smartphone developer's platform of choice — especially when ISVs can translate that market share into application sales,' McAllister writes. 'Sound familiar? In this race, Apple is taking a page from Microsoft's book, while Google looks suspiciously like Linux.'"

Comment real essential apps? (Score 1) 963

Is there an app that is truly essential to the everyday net user and/or developer that is written in Flash? A video player (as big as youtube might be) is but an applet that serves only video. Sure, there're some really good UI and games written in Flash, but they are non-essential. That is, I can live without them. And ads: I really can do without them too.

Video Games Can Make Us More Creative 56

FiReaNGeL commends to us a study by Penn State researchers looking at the effect of video game play on creativity. "[Subjects] were asked to play a popular video game, Dance Dance Revolution, at various levels of complexity. The students took a standard creativity test after playing. The researchers also took readings of the players' skin conductance and asked players if they were feeling either positive or negative after the game ... [T]he study appears to indicate that after playing the game, happy or sad people are most creative, while angry or relaxed people are not. The findings suggest that either high or low arousal is key to creativity. In other words, medium amounts of arousal are not conducive to creativity."

Neuroscience, Psychology Eroding Idea of Free Will 867

pragueexpat writes "Do we have free will? Possibly not, according to an article in the new issue of the Economist. Entitled 'Free to choose?', the piece examines new discoveries in the fields of neuroscience and psychology that may be forcing us to re-examine the concept of free will. The specifically cite a man with paedophilic tendencies who was cured when his brain tumor was removed. 'Who then was the child abuser?', they ask. The predictable conclusion of this train of thought, of course, leads us to efforts by Britain: 'At the moment, the criminal law--in the West, at least--is based on the idea that the criminal exercised a choice: no choice, no criminal. The British government, though, is seeking to change the law in order to lock up people with personality disorders that are thought to make them likely to commit crimes, before any crime is committed.'"

NASA Study Shows Antarctic Ice Sheet Shrinking 407

deman1985 writes "A recently released NASA study has shown that the Antarctic ice shelf is shrinking at an alarming rate of 36 cubic miles per year. The study, run from April 2002 to August 2005, indicates that the melting accounted for 1.2 millimeters of global sea level rise for the period. From the article: 'That is about how much water the United States consumes in three months and represents a change of about 0.4 millimeter (0.01575 inch) per year to global sea level rise, the study concluded. The study claims the majority of the melting to have occurred in the West Antarctic ice sheet."

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (4) How many times do we have to tell you, "No prior art!"