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Comment: Re:Developers, developers, developers! (Score 1, Insightful) 165

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47571785) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

Sorry, but I just don't see any of those things you cited as any sort of game-changer. They are just incremental, evolutionary developments, not radical ideas that will move or create entire markets and lifestyles the way the original iPhone or iPad did.

The entirely new MacPro... is a moderately powerful PC in an awkward form factor.

The Macbook retina... is a computer with a high-resolution display but only a small physical area.

The iPhone 5S including a shift to an entirely new CPU architecture... is a smart phone that can run some apps.

An new iOS operating system... is a disaster that looks like it was designed for use in kindergarten.

An entire web / mobile based office suite... is so significant that I hadn't even registered that it was available yet until you mentioned it, probably because the whole idea of running an office suite on a touch-based mobile device is daft.

So sorry again, but I stand by my previous comments. These things might be decent technology, at least in some cases, but they just aren't anything special, and it was the anything-specials of the Jobs era that made Apple what it is today. If your hardware is no longer a radical advance over what everyone else offered, you need something special in the software instead, but the App Store has... awkward ports of puzzle games with crazy expensive in-app purchases. Oh, and iFart apps.

Comment: Re:Obvious solution. (Score 0) 165

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47570569) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

That's an amusing but perhaps slightly ironic comment. One of the few places left in mobile app development where someone new could really win big would be releasing a killer business app. If you could do it on the BB platform as well then they would probably throw their substantial resources behind you, because it would be in their interests to rejuvenate their platform on the back of your success.

Comment: Developers, developers, developers! (Score 4, Insightful) 165

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47570525) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

Yeah, hate that $13 billion *developers* have made so far.

That's rather like judging the profitability of web development by how much money Facebook make. The total market value is vast, but extremely concentrated on the success stories and with massive variability.

This was entirely predictable as soon as Apple allowed user expectations to settle on buying any app, no matter how useful or entertaining, for almost no money. I'm actually a little surprised that it's taken so long for the exodus to really get going, but I guess as long as Apple's own fortunes were improving and thus the market for iOS apps was getting larger, a lot of developers held out hope that they hadn't really picked the wrong strategy.

Now that Apple's own iOS strategy is looking tired -- I can't remember any exciting new product since Jobs stood down, and iOS 7 seems to be competing with Windows Vista and Windows 8 for the "most unimpressed user base in recent computing history" award -- I suspect all but the bravest app developers or those who already won in the gold rush are checking where the exit is. And thus the vicious circle will strengthen, unless Apple can pull some sort of remarkable rabbit out of the hat to re-energise their once fanatically loyal customer base pretty soon.

Comment: Re:The Alliance of Artists should lose this suit (Score 1) 287

Thanks. I hadn't noticed that the Lords was sitting for a little longer than the Commons before the summer recess.

I'm glad to see some progress here, though it's depressing that the parliamentary debate has still been framed almost exclusively in economic terms with little advocacy for those who just want to enjoy works of art (you know, "the people"). The speech by Baroness Neville-Rolfe introducing the debate was one of the more reasonable I've seen, at least acknowledging that copyright does have to be a balancing act if it's going to command any respect and does have to keep up with changing technology. Clearly most of her peers don't see this as anything other than a change in the law that might cost a business money and should therefore be rejected in their mind, with not a single word from some of them acknowledging that the status quo might not be appropriate or in the best interests of the people of this country. At least the final person to speak, the Earl of Erroll, managed to get some common sense onto the record on behalf of the other 99%.

Some of the speakers also seemed to think this is the end of the debate, when to many of us it is at most a baby step toward making IP laws fit for purpose in the 21st century. Writing as someone who makes a living creating knowledge works that are protected by copyright and runs multiple businesses using various commercial models, I don't recognise much of what they claim the "industry" wants, nor do I expect any of my businesses will lose a single penny of revenue as a result of any of the proposed changes.

It's also sad that they seem ignorant (wilfully or otherwise) of the fact that these new rules will be almost meaningless for many types of work as long as technical protection measures are allowed to override them. What is the point of creating an exception to something otherwise prohibited by law if you're just going to let it be trivially prohibited in some other way anyway? They even acknowledge this themselves in another context, when talking about contract override. And then they amusingly suggest that the current situation "risks the law falling into disrepute". I'm pretty sure the law on copyright has been in disrepute for several decades by now.


Comment: Re:The Alliance of Artists should lose this suit (Score 1) 287

In the UK there is still no private copying exemption from the Digital Economy Act and other related copyright law, despite recommendations to do so.

There was supposed to be some progress on implementing this very recently, but it seems to have faded out for reasons I haven't yet been able to identify. I couldn't find any relevant Parliamentary debates over the past few weeks and the House of Commons has now risen for the summer and won't be back until September, so maybe they just ran out of time to schedule it. However, I'm not sure whether the House needs to be sitting for the remaining work to be completed or whether the primary legislation has already been set up and it's just ministerial decisions now.

Comment: Re:It's actually worse than that (Score 1) 49

Even the enumerated powers are too centralized for me. As has been proven ever since Shay's rebellion, subsidiarity and solidarity with close neighbors, will not be tolerated. The good part of the old pre-Westphalia kingdoms was that assassination was always a solution.

Comment: Re:It's actually worse than that (Score 1) 49

True enough. I've never smoked, but I am overweight, and realize it is a form of suicide- if a very tasty and slow one. But I'd point out that if we had more localized solutions for food (eliminating the need to ship and store food except for famine protection) we'd eliminate much of that.

Comment: Re:It's actually worse than that (Score 1) 49

I was talking more about the Declaration of Independence with its enumeration of "self evident" rights in a specific order, and using those to interpret the Constitution. Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights is a more specific application of this; but is a federalist, central government solution to a basic problem that I believe would be FAR better handled locally.

Comment: Sorry to lose feature phones (Score 2) 149

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47550835) Attached to: Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

I'm actually quite sad to read this. I have little interest in so-called smart phones. I have computers and tablets for running serious software and for web browsing. I don't use a lot of cloud services like those hosted by Google and Facebook, and I have little need for the kind of software that exists only as a smartphone app.

So, for many years, I have just bought a cheap and cheerful Nokia feature phone. They invariably have good battery life compared to any smartphone. They are much smaller in my pocket. They run reliably for their entire useful lifetime, without breaking or shifting everything around arbitrarily during some dramatic firmware update. They don't come with the same level of creepware that smartphones from all the major brands now do. I can buy one for next to nothing at any phone shop, without signing up to pay half my salary on a phone plan with a multi-year lock-in to the same network. And they still let me do what I actually need a phone for: pushing a couple of buttons and then talking with someone, or maybe sending the occasional text message.

I realise that smart phones rule the universe these days and I'm some sort of technological Neanderthal (aside from all the other bleeding edge tablets, computers and software I work with everyday, obviously) but I for one will miss Nokia feature phones. I guess I'll go back to hoping for a resurgent BlackBerry that at least has a business focus and therefore something resembling security and not assuming I want a Facebook icon on my home screen that can't be deleted.

Comment: Re:A pump action BB Gun (Score 1) 23

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#47547303) Attached to: it boggles the mind

If you get the real thing, get rock salt load. Stings like the dickens- has a usually non lethal but the stopping power of a .45 unless the guy's on meth or angel dust and then you ain't going to stop him without a submachine gun anyway. There's a reason why ranchers trust a rock salt load to get rid of the occasional wolf. Plus- it won't penetrate walls.

BTW, with any pump action shotgun (even a BB one) their only warning should be "Ker Chunk". Everybody knows that sound, and they know what comes next is pain.

Comment: Re:It's actually worse than that (Score 1) 49

That's a bit backwards, however. If the Right to Life isn't how we interpret the Constitution (sure doesn't seem to be how the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution) then all we have is specific versions of the Right to Life handed out to groups as we see fit, and the Constitution, not respect for human life, is the foundation of law.

Health care is a natural right because life is a natural right, not because the 14th Amendment should be used to grant it to [women, blacks, Jews, Catholics, the unborn, etc]

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp