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Comment Probably laziness at work (Score 1) 129 129

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. The firmware developers probably never finished the "5" case in the "level" switch, and were still fine to ship the laptop with Windows. They were not obligated to do anything else to bring this to the market in any practical way.

I've seen developers write the minimum amount of code that will "make it just work", and ignore what will make it "actually right". This is not only Linux's issue. Even Windows had to do crazy things, like Win 95 had to use Win 3.1 memory manager if Sim City was running (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/APIWar.html). That is software, not hardware, but the core concept is the same. Somebody does a crappy product that works with a certain OS, and all the others have to mimic that in order to get that product working.

Comment What would possibly happen (Score 2) 611 611

What would possibly happen is that they will charge you $250 (+20 for various fees), and then still find a way to incorporate ads in the future. Remember how cable subscription you already pay for includes ads in the programming? In fact it already started, even large news outlets are including "adveterials" (sponsored stories), which are even worse than ads (it takes a second to realize they are not in fact real editorial content).

Comment Re:Silly argument (Score 2) 529 529

Exactly. They are different skills, and in fact most of the people laid off are foreigners (i.e.: Nokia).

Even though I am not a huge Microsoft fan, I do have a friend there, who was actually laid off with this wave. He was a US citizen, but he will not be replaced with an H1B worker, since the entire project was cancelled.In fact this seems to be his only regret, because not only they gave him a good severance package, he is skillful, and I believe he'll have no difficulty finding another job (even at Microsoft is he wanted to).

Comment Misconceptions (Score 1) 903 903

Contrary to common belief, Insurance is *not* healthcare. It's a way of distributing risk. For example, your car insurance will not cover oil changes, or regular maintenance. H*ck, even extended warranties will not cover those. This is because the cost structure is very well known (so and so much every 6 months).

Thus -- ignoring what these churches ask -- the only reason for including contraception would be reducing future risk. I.e.: the cost of these pills are well known, and the insurance would normally prefer not to cover them, as they do not cover aspirin, or baby diapers. However by including cheap contraception pill they mitigate a more costly future risk (a "cheap" delivery will cost 10K+ these days, and God forbid if there is anything wrong probably in the 100ks). So for insurance it makes sense to include these pills (still no aspirin).

However the church -- or whatever organization that does not want to provide these, just needs to have a separate pool of insurants, so that the cost of delivering a baby is only distributed among them. (I'm assuming they would also like to have more babies in general, but this might not necessarily be true for all religions).

Comment Re:the real problem.. (Score 1) 827 827

I'm sorry, but doing this will kill the universities, they already have problems keeping talent inside.

There are already too few academic jobs, and maybe one percent of the phd's will find a tenure track position without a postdoc. Now actually it has became more like two post docs, and several years of non-tenured temporary teaching assignments. This turns off many people from academia, and pushed them into the industry jobs.

The professors employed also have too much workload, and need to juggle between teaching classes, doing their own research, advising graduate students, and finally finding money to do all these through grants. The average attention professors can give to students is diminishing fast (this actually means there are just too many students, and too little professors).

And your third point shows what is wrong with the approach to universities. They are not vocational schools for finding a job. A university "is supposed" to provide higher education, giving you tools to learn and improve yourself. (Unfortunately this is what's called "masters" now). Not everybody needs a college education, however if the high schools cannot even produce graduates with sufficient math and grammar skills, then employers will ask for a higher form of education, which puts even more pressure on universities.

Btw, all these were about computer science departments. If you're talking about a field which has a lower "prospective salary" -- like education, everything will be even worse.

Comment It depends on what you have and what you need (Score 5, Insightful) 304 304

The short answer is: it depends. The longer answer is slightly more complex. It depends on the problem you have, the knowledge of your programmers, and the server environment you'll deploy.

If most of the developers in your house are web developers, and have extensive knowledge on JavaScript, then node seems to be a more organic solution. However as others pointed, JavaScript has been abused to code everything from databases to ray tracers, but you should keep real world performance in mind. For most tasks node (backed by Google's V8 engine) will be 2x to 10x slower than an optimized C/C++ program in the real world. You're basically trading developer performance for runtime performance.

Additionally using a dynamic language, especially modern JavaScript requires discipline. If you do not have a proper packaging or testing systems you'll run into problems. Fortunately node community already prefers doing things the modern way, so this should not be a concern for most (sane) people.

On the other hand, one should never discount the performance benefits of C++. For our latest project we converted one of the smaller, but very CPU intensive services from PHP into C++. This offered an order of magnitude performance increase (going from a minute to a few seconds). So use your common sense, and all available tools on hand depending on situation.

As for Java, and C#, you'll have a performance similar to C++ (same to 2x slow), as long as you have sufficient amount of RAM (a recent paper I read cited 6x RAM requirement for a GC to function properly). The only concern is that for C#, you'll most likely want to stick to Microsoft ecosystem (Visual Studio is a great development environment, but you'll have to deploy to Asure, whereas you have more choices with Java, including Amazon and Google Linux clouds).

The bottom line is: look at the task at hand, and the people you have to choose the tools. And do not be afraid to experiment -- especially early on in the project.

Comment Re:Oh, by the way... (Score 0) 128 128

Yes, that's one of the reasons I'm still keeping my Windows Media Center. My shows are mine, and I can keep/delete/watch them in any way I want. I can share them across PCs, or use MCEBuddy to gut commercials, and put them on XBMC (lately Plex).

I'll be sad when they finally pull the plug (MS tried to do so during Win 8 development, but kept it for one more release).

Comment Re:Nook HD+ make more sense? (Score 1) 81 81

I had tried both devices (nook hd, and kindle hd) in succession, and even with an extra $50 off promotion from staples, I returned the nook hd the next day.

While it is a much greater hardware, they botched up on software setup. It could not keep connection to my brand new 300Mbit wifi router, and I had no intention to go back to 50mbit (or whatever the older one was). On the other hand kindle was connecting fine, even at 5GHz band. Without connectivity neither of these devices are useful.

And while searching for a solution to my problem, I ran into many other complaints from nook hd users. Apparently they pushed updates without checking, and the latest update - at that time - was causing data corruption on sd card. the solution they suggested (since downgrade was not an available option thanks to lockin), was taking off the sd card.

And while the resolution was much much higher, it was obvious that the cpu/gpu was not able to keep up. Both devices were sluggish, but nook much more so.

And finally there was no front facing camera. I could care less about a back camera on a tablet, but if I'm getting a nice screen and a wireless device, I expect to call my folks on it. No camera = no go.

So after one and a half day of struggle, I returned the nook, and kept the kindle. (I had a very tight budget, and could not purchase nexus at that time).

Comment Harry Potter was better on this (Score 1) 373 373

Ironically, J K Rowling was very strict on keeping dead people dead in Harry Potter. Being a series aimed for children, it's much more serious than adult literature, which liberally resurrect dead ones with cheap reasons.

(OK, there is an exception, but not going into spoilers, he was not really dead in the first place).

Comment Do not panic (Score 5, Insightful) 201 201

I believe they have no beef against CentOS, actually I've seen at least one Red Hat employee encouraging the use of CentOS, since Red Had is the "de facto upgrade path" (not the exact words, but something along this way). So you freely enlarge the customer base, which will go to Red Hat when they need higher level commercial support. And for the free ones, even Microsoft has recognized they cannot sell to students, and are giving away the software anyways.

However Oracle is another deal. They just slap Oracle logo on Red Hat, do not acknowledge the source, and sell is as "unbreakable Linux". This would make a regular person ashamed of himself. They benefit a lot from open source but not giving back much in return. Do not start me with what they're doing to Solaris, Java, and OpenOffice...

So I'm with Red Hat on this one, at least until they do something directly bad to CentOS.

Comment Re:Better Idea (Score 1) 583 583

This would actually be BAD for open-source. Many of the projects which are protected by GPL2 and similar licenses, with no additional cost to usually "not so rich" programmers, would need a payment in order to be protected.

That would either stop students from posting their source code, or create small caesars which has the money (e.g.: your school, or FSF) to copyright them, and require assignment of ownership.

Comment Re:good (Score 1) 762 762

Well, they can be, and they actually are (in real life). We know that there is at least one military shuttle orbiting earth for several months, nobody in the public knows what's its mission is.

The initial SG1 spaceships where X101, which are retrofitted F-series fighters with alien tech. It's very similar (I'm not saying it actually is an alien hybrid space ship, but the concept is plausible).

Comment Re:Depends on the game and your perspective (Score 1) 443 443

One thing I can add is their prices, especially during holiday promotions.

They really go low with so many titles, it's bad for the consumers. I think I have over 50+ games I purchased, but never had a chance to download - let alone play.

It's especially better for out of print titles, where publishers won't make physically available any longer. Instead of paying a stranger astronomical numbers for a used game, I can have it on Steam for an acceptable price. Unless of course I can get in on GOG - which has an additional bonus of being DRM-free.

Anyways Steam is one of the better DRMs, one being done "right", where benefits outweight inconveniences.

Five is a sufficiently close approximation to infinity. -- Robert Firth "One, two, five." -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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