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Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 166

As someone who has worked as a developer for a few small games on both platforms (this was back in the Android 2.0 - 3.0 days), I can say that hands-down iOS was MUCH quicker to develop a "finished" product that works well on all devices. The OS version matters only a tiny bit. What matters a lot more is manufacturer, screen size, resolution, aspect ratio, etc. Some specific Android devices had issues initializing OpenGL ES (causing it to work great on 9 phone models but crash on the 10th), different models supported different OpenGL extensions, and so on. Even creating a nice background image for a 2D game on Android was way more of a pain than it should've been. Refer to the ridiculous aspect ratio of the early Motorola Droids, which was wider than any other cell phone at the time, and ended up with blank space on either edge of your background (or stretched it into something ugly) if you didn't add special logic or assets just to deal with Motorola because they wanted to be "special". That wasn't the only problem caused by having too many manufacturers wanting to make their phone seem "better" by being different, just one of many.

Comment Re:ASIO (Score 1) 296

That is a very poor analogy. It's nothing like driving between two cities. Designing and writing software is more like designing/building a vehicle you want to sell to others. Choosing a language and libraries is like choosing factory machines and tools needed to manufacture the vehicle, deciding which parts you're going to buy elsewhere versus make in-house, and so on. These decisions can have major impacts on how quickly you can get the car to market, how hard it is to add certain features to the vehicle, how reliable it is, how fast it can go, how safe it is in a crash, etc. All of this can impact whether your company stays in business or goes under. Depending on the target market, you may need to build a sports car, an economy car, a tank, a boat, a plane, a helicopter. You may choose to buy a pre-made part elsewhere that works great in internal tests but breaks down under certain conditions in the real world. Sometimes decisions like this seem obvious, but not always. In many cases there is no "perfect" choice, and in some cases you may end up regretting any choice you make (the grass appearing greener on the other side because you can't see the bugs eating the roots on that side until you've paid the cost to move over to that side ;-).

Comment Re:Passed Time (Score 2) 135

It's unlikely to happen because what you said is mostly BS. A smart phone contains all kinds of sensitive information like logs of where you've been and of private conversations between you and several other people (which may or may not be related to a case the police are investigating). Your DNA can't possibly contain information like that. Today it might be able to tell the police you have blonde hair and blue eyes, but so can your driver's license. Sure it might eventually be able to let the police generate a picture of what you look like based on your DNA, but once again so can your driver's license. It might even be able to tell the police whether you have a small penis (or something along those lines), but I'm pretty sure they won't be able to use information like that against you in court. ;-)

It really is no different than collecting fingerprints at a crime scene, semen from a rape victim, etc.

Comment Re:I'm sold on LED bulbs... (Score 2) 602

I didn't find my favorite brand at Costco, but I second this. I also recommend people try a few different kinds in different light fixtures in their house before deciding. I have a few bulbs that are a real pain in the ass to change (e.g. so high over my staircase or outside that I need a pole to change it), and those were the first to be switched (in the hopes that I never have to change them again).

The initial cost can be high, but if you only buy 1 or 2 a month, the cost is spread out, and your electricity bills should go down gradually over time. As a gradually switch over, I also find myself needing to buy less and less light bulbs over time. The CFL's I was buying were burning out way too fast (faster than incandescent it seemed). I don't know when the first LED's I bought will fail, but so far every last one I bought is still doing fine. A few brands/types I tried give off weak lighting, so I stuck them in fixtures that have 3 bulbs to lessen the impact.

Comment Re:Telescopes and camping or night-tours (Score 2) 234

On the astronomy side, I second the camping with a telescope idea. I've had friends tell me about groups of astronomy enthusiasts who schedule nights to meet up in places to star-gaze and/or camp out. Most of them bring their own telescopes and like to chat and show off the various features and techniques, show you things they've found with their telescopes, help you with yours, and so on. Check one out and see if it's a kid-friendly environment for a fun camping overnight (I have no idea if it would be or not, and it may depend on the group). If your kids take an interest in it, you'll have even more reason to pursue it further.

Comment Re:Backport\Upstream? Seems unlikely (Score 4, Interesting) 304

If they end up stripping it down to a minimal library with the core functionality, cleaning up the public interface (e.g. exported functions), and making it easy to create your own OS-specific wrapper around it, then they are actually doing something that should have been done in the first place. If they do it right, it will become much more popular (and most likely more light-weight and secure) than the current OpenSSL project.

Comment Re:Consumers pay (Score 1) 328

I think Netflix's business model is more like WalMart's early model. Even if they can get away with it, they avoid raising prices because they want to stay on top by consistently offering the lowest price (usually by keeping very low profit margins). When they were finally pressured to increase prices, they chose to split the streaming and DVD rentals into two separate services (allowing you to lower your monthly cost if you only wanted to keep one). IMO they also fought against the price increase for as long as they could, and while many customers got pissed off and threatened to leave (and many did), there still wasn't a competitor that came close to it unless you count pirating the shows.

Very low margins makes them vulnerable to lobbying/litigation/price-fixing attacks from other companies like Comcast/AT&T, which is what we're seeing right now. This bandwidth throttling scheme is analogous to a price-fixing scheme, and Comcast/AT&T are using lobbyists and lawyers to keep it from being declared an anti-competitive practice. They really don't care about the little bit of extra money they're extorting from Netflix right now. They know Netflix has margins low enough that this will hurt, and they know Netflix's customers are ultra-sensitive to price increases. Either way Netflix will be hurt, which is their primary goal. Both offer more expensive competing services to Netflix, and together both offer the only way for most Americans to access Netflix. It's a clear conflict of interest. They will do the same to Hulu and any other serious competition that pops up.

Comment Lightning surge (Score 1) 143

And when lightning strikes one of these babies, you get a nice surge of 1.21 Jigawatts.

Being more serious, I think this is a really good idea, but I would think big storms would be the biggest problems for these things. Of course, FTA:

"The largest barrier to implementation right now is the need for a product that is reliable in all weather conditions for long periods of time,"

Comment Hey, I have the perfect solution! (Score 1) 704

Hey, I have the perfect solution! After each deposit, the bitcoin exchanges should print the critical bitcoin info out on paper (encrypted first with a private key) then destroy the electronic copy. Then, in case they get robbed by a physical thief who is also a hacker, they should destroy all copies of the private key. See? It's perfect.

Comment Maybe it's because only 300 people know about it? (Score 3, Insightful) 255

Maybe it's because only 300 people know about it? Yes, that was a joke, but seriously Google Maps has millions of users, and Google knows how many people click on it. If the vast majority don't (even if it's due to not having a clue), I could see why Google might drop it.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes