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Comment: The Netflix Test (Score 2) 523

by richardtallent (#47857269) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Congresscritters and the bureaucrats who make the decisions are completely incapable of understanding transmission rates and why 4 vs. 10 matters in the real world.

Instead, we should just tell them that any definition of "broadband" should at *least* pass the smell test of meeting the recommendations for Netflix's service, which is 5Mbps for HD and 25Mbps for Ultra HD.

A Netflix stream of course isn't a standard unit of measure, but it's at least an analogy they might understand.

Comment: Jacobsen Egg Chair (Score 1) 154

by richardtallent (#47683457) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?

This is one of the most comfy chairs I own, reproductions are affordable, and they are gorgeous. The recline is comfortable while still allowing non-desk work (the Eames is *too* reclined for my taste), the arms are wide enough to curl up in, and the back is high enough to support your head. Many reproductions allow adjusting the recline tension.

You'll need to supply your own power and a stand for the laptop.

Comment: A few thoughts (Score 1) 199

by richardtallent (#47675697) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

1. Integrate the documentation with the application. Treat it like code rather than as a separate document.

2. When new features are proposed, plan them by FIRST forking and changing the documentation, THEN implement the change based on the change in the story. This not only guarantees good documentation, it ensures the developers are all on the same page about what the changes should/shouldn't do.

3. Focus documentation on the common tasks, software limitations, and side-effects. Far too much documentation wastes reams of paper telling people "to create a new widget, click the New button." If the "New button" is hard to find, difficult to click, or does something other than creating a new widget, that is a failure of the UI, not the documentation.

Comment: RUN. (Score 1) 209

In my experience, the word "Enterprise" usually means a shitty piece of uselessly generic and hopelessly complex software combined with an expensive consultant team who spend 5% of their time configuring/using the software as intended and 95% of their time hacking around its limitations by glomming on little "tumor" systems to shoehorn it into your business.

But I admit I'm a little jaded.

Comment: Choose another language (Score 4, Interesting) 254

by richardtallent (#47285695) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way to Learn C# For Game Programming?

I love C#. I program in it every day. It's plenty fast, and it's a great language.

However, there are two reasons I would suggest looking to another language.

First, the hottest market for gaming right now is mobile. While it's possible to compile C# for iPhone or Android using Xamarin (along with Windows and OS X), it's not exactly a native experience.

Second, C# (like O-C, C++, etc.) is a general programming language -- it's not in any way specific to the domain of game programming. So, while it's *possible* to design complex games in any modern language, you're probably going to spend *way* too much time dealing with silly stuff like tracking graphics resources and animation loops and simulated physics. You'll have a higher chance of success if you use a language and platform that is more game-specific out of the box.

I would suggest looking into Swift -- it'll give you access to the lucrative iOS market, it's C-like, and it has features that are game-specific. Sure, it's a new language it doesn't compile to Android, but by all accounts it looks like a great language with first-class support for gaming, so you can focus less on infrastructure code and more on the game.

Another option would be HTML5. Depending what sort of game you're looking to build, Javascript and HTML5 may be just the ticket, and there are a number of libraries that can abstract away browser differences and assist with the plumbing needed to make a game run.

Comment: Price isn't the issue (Score 1) 311

by richardtallent (#42423031) Attached to: Bloomberg: Steve Jobs Behind NYC Crime Wave

An Samsung Galaxy S3 is almost $600 unlocked as well.

Instead, Apple should SQUASH the black market by making it easy for customers to report a device stolen. Once reported stolen, Apple should brick the phone remotely and contact the service provider to have the IMEI blacklisted.

AT&T and TMobile just started blocking blacklisted IMEIs last month. As other carriers follow suit and companies like Apple make it easier for the average consumer to make the report, thieves will eventually learn that the devices are worthless.

Comment: Ask your lawyer, not Slashdot (Score 1) 341

If you don't have a lawyer, get one.

People actually do go to school to learn how to wrangle with international corporations, torts, contracts, etc., and the vast, vast majority of the good ones don't program on the side, or if they did, would give legal advice on an Internet forum.

Comment: What about Leap and similar tech? (Score 4, Interesting) 47

by richardtallent (#41677917) Attached to: Magic Finger Turns Any Surface Into a Touch Interface

This makes as little sense in the modern age as those "virtual reality" helmets we're all supposed to be using by now.

Companies like Leap are making much more advanced technology that requires nothing attached to your hand and uses motion sensors to track your hand movements with incredible precision. Comparatively, this guy's mouse-finger contraption looks as silly as Doc's brain-wave reader in BttF.

(I don't represent Leap, I just remember hearing about their tech awhile back.)

Comment: This tech isn't new by ANY means! (Score 4, Insightful) 194

by richardtallent (#40025181) Attached to: Broadcast Industry Wades In On Dish Network's Hopper

ReplayTV had a DVR many years ago with this exact feature, and they got their asses sued off by Hollywood for it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReplayTV). The suit was never decided. It even had a feature that did the reverse, playing *only* the commercials (aka "Superbowl Mode").

But even *that* was based on earlier technology patented back in 1993 (http://www.google.com/patents/US5333091) and used in VHS machines dating about 10 years ago, maybe longer.

As a DISH subscriber, I'm happy they are finally implementing this, but they ARE going to have a fight on their hands.

Now, if only someone can invent technology to get rid of those awful graphic overlays advertising other shows/movies. And the ridiculous "OMG IT'S TOTALLY RAINING OR SOMEONE GOT ELECTED DOGCATCHER" crawls from the local news.

Comment: Canon S100 (Score 4, Informative) 569

by richardtallent (#38169520) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Camera For Getting Into Photography?

It's a newer camera, great mix of features (including 1080P video and GPS geo-tagging). As a professional photographer, I'm a Canon fan-boy. (Nikon is good too.)

DP Review is a great geek-compatible site for camera reviews, here's their take:

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canons100/

Comment: Doesn't matter (Score 1) 296

by richardtallent (#38109634) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Inexpensive Anti-Theft Vehicle Tracking System?

A tracking device will only help aid in recovery *after* theft, it won't prevent the theft in the first place.

Since you already likely have to carry some sort of insurance, it's cheaper to just ensure you have coverage for theft, ensure that the front wheel is locked, and keep the make / model / VIN / photo / insurance info handy in case you ever have to make a police report.

I'm speaking from experience, my scooter was stolen a few years ago -- Vespa LX-150. The insurance company cut a check, I bought a new one.

Comment: Less tax for them, more tax for everyone else (Score 1) 392

by richardtallent (#37673618) Attached to: Amazon Pushes For National Internet Sales Tax

So, the juicy tax break goes to the big corporation who will bring in a few thousand jobs and treat the politicians to steak dinners. As for the thousands of small businesses who employ many times more Tennesseans than Amazon ever will, they are screwed when it comes to trying to compete with the retail giant.

This is the sort of corporate giveaway that should outright be unconstitutional.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard

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