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Comment: Re:Frankly the software stinks (Score 1) 228

by rmkeene (#42589221) Attached to: Health Care Providers Failing To Adopt e-Records, Says RAND
I worked directly (as architect and programmer too) on one of the largest e-Record efforts in the USA. It was a travesty of waste, incompetence in management, disjoint 'silo' groups programming this or that part. Then I left the project. I got hired back 1.5 years later to the same project, and NOTHING had happened. Management on the project had such intense navel-gazing. They would have big meetings to congratulate each other on their wonderful leading-edge project. Money flowed like water and nothing happened. A year after that I had lunch with the engineers there. Still nothing had gotten done. These medical e-Record projects are about all about using govt. money, and not a bit about getting anything done. None of the leadership (both technical and managerial) had any clue how to get software written that might actually get used. Lots of theory, no application. You gotta love those Medical Informatics Phds. The basic problem is that the medical record problem is so huge, and the need for automation so great, that money get's thrown at the problem. But like most govt. projects, there is no actual responsibility or market feedback.

Comment: Impossible to introduce a new procedural language (Score 2) 193

by rmkeene (#40923161) Attached to: Will Online Learning Disrupt Programming Language Adoption?
No. Programming languages need two things to become mainstream. First they need a very extensive library of support such as windowing, network, and about 50 other topics. Second they need a compelling reason to use the language itself. The compelling reason could be that the language is so nifty or elegant that it is worth the effort. In procedural languages it is hard to imagine anything better than what we have. In non-procedural languages there may be some new ideas yet to be thought of. Another compelling reason for a new language is marketing suits. Some company has a very cool new product and in order to lock you in they invent a new language to program it. Laaaaaaaaame. Only Microsoft would be stupid enough to try that again (C# was a case in point where they still had the muscle to pull it off.) Google could do it for a special search language but are not that silly.
Books

Puzzle In xkcd Book Finally Cracked 90

Posted by kdawson
from the be-there-or-be-somewhere-else dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After a little over five months of pondering, xkcd fans have cracked a puzzle hidden inside Randall Munroe's recent book xkcd: volume 0. Here is the start of the thread on the xkcd forums; and here is the post revealing the final message (a latitude and longitude plus a date and time)."
Piracy

App Store Piracy Losses Estimated At $459 Million 202

Posted by Soulskill
from the arrr-me-hearties dept.
An anonymous reader passes along this quote from a report at 24/7 Wall St.: "There have been over 3 billion downloads since the inception of the App Store. Assuming the proportion of those that are paid apps falls in the middle of the Bernstein estimate, 17% or 510 million of these were paid applications. Based on our review of current information, paid applications have a piracy rate of around 75%. That supports the figure that for every paid download, there have been 3 pirated downloads. That puts the number of pirate downloads at 1.53 billion. If the average price of a paid application is $3, that is $4.59 billion dollars in losses split between Apple and the application developers. That is, of course, assuming that all of those pirates would have made purchases had the application not been available to them for free. This is almost certainly not the case. A fair estimate of the proportion of people who would have used the App Store if they did not use pirated applications is about 10%. This estimate yields about $459 million in lost revenue for Apple and application developers." A response posted at Mashable takes issue with some of the figures, particularly the 75% piracy rate. While such rates have been seen with game apps, it's unclear whether non-game apps suffer the same fate.

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