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Comment: Why is this on Slashdot? (Score 0) 489

by seoras (#47930983) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

It's been bad enough with the BBC acting like Pravda (Irvine Welsh's own words in his recent "Time" article) without having to come to Slashdot and find propaganda here too.
"there will be no local banks, access to EU markets and the freedom of movement will be curtailed,"
Utter and total nonsense.
Scottish citizens are EU citizens regardless of how they vote.
EU will not give up access to the North Atlantic (Iceland & Norway are NOT in the EU).
If Scotland goes then it effectively removes the EU fishing fleet from the richest fishing grounds it has.
"Cutting their nose off to spite their face", would be the best way of describing the fear mongering, yes I used that phrase because it's all we ever get about Independence.
No local banks? Eh? So they will all up sticks just like Westminster has been spinning. Unlikely.

My parting word on this is this.
Regardless of the arguments for or against the "NO" campaign has been a campaign of negativity, fear and doom.
If you know anything about marketing you'll know that consumers don't listen to negatives only positives
and I quote "Pravda"'s Bio on the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond in backing this up.

"It seemed Labour was on course to win the 2011 Scottish election, but Mr Salmond - never to be underestimated - launched into the contest with a positive campaign.
When he came up against Labour's negative, attacking style, Scots voters decided there was no contest - and the SNP was returned with a jaw-dropping landslide win."

Sound familiar?

Comment: Military turn on (Score 1) 90

by seoras (#47915455) Attached to: MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

I can just see the military getting hot and excited about a battle field robot that can run as fast as a cheetah, jump over obstacles, with either a bomb strapped to it's back or a gun of sorts.
Who's funding these guys?
It's great technology but I don't think I'm being too cynical in struggling to imagine any practical applications outside of defence.
Robot greyhound races?

Comment: Dong's Formula (Score 1) 113

by seoras (#47752907) Attached to: Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"?

1. Make a game which is simple to understand but impossibly difficult.
2. Make it free with an iAd banner for revenue.
3. Withdraw the game as soon as the feeding frenzy begins and the media pick up on it.
4. Repeat.

Consumers love nothing more than a freebie in limited supply.
Dong's limited editions.

There's a new iPhone coming out and I'd like to upgrade.
My fingers are crossed that he pulls it so I can sell my current iPhone, with this latest game installed, for twice the price of the new iPhone 6 ;)

Comment: Devaluation of my profession over time (Score 1) 548

by seoras (#47723631) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Software Engineering is the only profession where your perceived value decreases with age.
If I'd chosen, Medicine (Human,Veterinary), Law, Accountancy, Business, etc the older I'd got the more valuable I'd be.
If I'd chosen any other type of engineering the same would apply.
Who's bridge would you want to cross - the civil engineering grads or the guy who's been doing it 20+ years?
There's a real problem with the non-technical populations perception of the value in software because it's beyond their comprehension.
Why would I hire a middle aged guy to write my App when I can pay a student party money to write me one?
Sure, why not get a law student to handle your divorce or your property purchase too?
Then add on top of that the universal nature of software.
You wouldn't get a guy in China or India, at $1 an hour, to advise or complete your tax returns would you?
However you'd happy pay him that to setup a bespoke website with web apps.

Comment: Dumb paranoia (Score 2) 299

If the state wants to cut off your mobile phone access they don't need to brick your phone they just ask your carrier to turn off your services.
First its raging against the "Walled Garden" App store, now it's "we don't need no anti-theft kill switch".
Well maybe you don't, my techno friend, but you're in the minority.
The majority of smart phone users do want a device that they
a) can safely install non-trojan software from a verified & reviewed source
b) not be mugged for carrying an expensive toy

Comment: Re: Lodsys has been very quiet of late (Score 1) 63

by seoras (#47715277) Attached to: Adam Carolla Settles With Podcasting Patent Troll

> Unless by innovative you mean dumbing down the user interface even more to appeal to the least common denominator. If so, then there's craploads of innovation.

Oh you mean like Tim Berners-Lee did when he simplified human interaction with shared data on the fledgling internet which had, until then, been useable only by CS academics and a few industrial techs?

Give me craps loads more my friend...

Comment: Germans have been using ride sharing for years now (Score 1) 341

by seoras (#47675985) Attached to: Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

I don't get it.
What's legally different with Uber to the ride sharing websites so popular in Germany for at least a decade now?
7 years ago I was dating a German who was from Dresden, she regularly went back home to Berlin & Dresden for visits.
She never used public transport to go visit her parents, only a ride sharing website as it was much cheaper than the train/bus.
We even had a driver drop me off at the airport, after picking up another paying passenger, on their way to Dresden.
One thing I can say about Germans is that they are frugal with money and I'm Scottish which is saying something! ;)

Comment: Lessons from the Fashion Industry (Score 1) 249

by seoras (#47675681) Attached to: Apple's App Store Needs a Radical Revamp; How Would You Go About It?

From a course on business strategy I remember looking at the business model of the European fashion retailer Zara.

One thing that sticks in my mind was that their customers kept coming back to their stores to see "what was new".
Zara are very good at keeping their offering fresh.
They do so through excellent use of technology that gives them insights on what is/isn't selling, combined with JIT etc.

The current App Store lacks only 1 thing and that is freshness.
Ever day I check my App's rankings for particular keywords and I see very little movement.
I imagine its the same for the customers on the App store.

For some search terms there are 1000's of Apps.
Rather than allowing a stagnant top 10 club there should be daily rotation based on user submitted ratings and revenue earned.
With Apple doing more to make users rate apps.
If there's anything that says the user likes an App it's them voting with their wallet.

It pains me to suggest revenue ranking but following Googles example of putting money first in search results is the norm now.
Google's update 18 months ago screwed a lot of businesses who ranked on keyword search for their services.
Immediately after dropping services websites from the search results they bombarded them with AdWord sign up emails, I know I was one of them.
It was shake down pure and simple.

This idea of creating internal Apple reviewers is just plain stupid.
It's asking for corruption by assigning great power to individuals who will also have personal tastes, philosophies and expectations.
It needs to be cold and objective which humans are not.

Comment: Another layer has solidified (Score 2) 145

by seoras (#47661717) Attached to: The Quiet Before the Next IT Revolution

I think would be a better way of looking at what this article is on about.
Back in the late 80's early 90's when I graduated and started my career in the Networking Industry the OSI 7 layer model ( was often referred to. You don't hear it mentioned much these days.
If you applied IT history and economics to it you'll find that each of those layers saw a period of fantastic growth & innovation (a few short years) before becoming IT commodities and having little value left to reap but at the same time becoming stable and allowing growth & innovation in the next layer above.
Cisco, the once darling of Wall Street, benefited from the growth & innovation in layers 3 to 5.
All 7 layers are now stable and "complete", there's no growth value left in them, Cisco as the example struggles when it once printed money.
I'd like to see someone attempt to define layers 8 ->12 with an attempt at extrapolating into the future with layers 13 and above.
On a related topic I've been reading a lot of articles around the hardships of making money as an independent App developer.
It occurs to me, taking this layered view of the economies of IT, that perhaps software itself has seen it's best days behind it.
That in fact to find value as a lone developer, or even as a company, software is just a commodity now which should be free with the money coming from the services you sell on top of, or a few layers above.
How long until machines program themselves after a short interview with their human "client" as to their requirements (layer 13)?

Comment: Shambles that once was Skype (Score 1) 267

by seoras (#47620855) Attached to: Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

I live in NZ and call my parent's landline in the UK with Skype (only because they're too deaf to hear their iPad ringing with FaceTime!).
Last weekend I called and got my mother. 10 seconds into the call it drops.
I get logged out of Skype with a pop up telling me it won't let me back in until I've manually downloaded the latest software, installed and rebooted my Mac.
Totally shit customer service and experience which has the all the stink & hallmarks of that abusive IT "has been" monopoly that sits in it's Seattle Kremlin.
Why the reboot? It's a fecking MAC!
Why let me place the call to family only to then rudely kick me off and enforce a software upgrade, why not warn me before hand?
The sooner MS is gone the better for humanity and technology.

Those who can, do; those who can't, write. Those who can't write work for the Bell Labs Record.