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Comment: Type system helps find bugs early (Score 1) 53

Our add features to a language that help the programmer prove that certain defects are not present. Bounds checked arrays are a big one compared to plain C, but others exist. Rust, for example, has separate types for "pointer that can never be null" and "pointer allowed to be null", and it is a compile-time error to pass the latter to a function expecting the former outside of a construction that means essentially "if null then do X else do Y".

Or research methods of containing the damage that a defect can do. Android, with its overly broad permissions, has tended to fall at this.

Comment: Games are underspecified (Score 2) 53

Why does anyone install an app on Android that didn't come from F-Droid?

I can think of two reasons. One is that someone might be using a hand me down Android device from the first year that AT&T sold Android phones, and these devices support only Google Play Store, not Unknown sources. But though I have a cousin whom this affects, I imagine few others are still on a Galaxy S 1 Captivate. A more common reason to use non-free Android apps is that free software has shown itself to be poor at producing compelling original video games. Free software works when there's a clear spec, which is true of libraries and productivity apps. But apart from maybe roguelikes, games are less specified up front unless it's a clone of an existing game, such as Aisleriot, Frozen Bubble, or StepMania. A non-free game's developer can afford to put more time into creating both the spec and the implementation.

Comment: Re:Correct yet misleading (Score 1) 154

It's not just traditional "W-2" employment relationships. If someone is self-employed, clients and suppliers may do background checks on the company's key people. And if one of those suppliers is a monopolist or one of those clients is a monopsonist in the relevant market, too bad.

Comment: To communicate with those who do use a phone. (Score 1) 230

Why would I use a phone when the internet exists?

To be able to call people who don't use the same VoIP client you use. And to be able to receive SMS messages from providers such as Facebook and Yahoo that require each subscriber to have a globally unique phone number that can receive SMS.

Travelling? Why would I use a phone when internet dongles exist?

To be able to carry your Internet access terminal without carrying a big heavy laptop. And to be able to communicate without having to find a place to sit down with that laptop. And to save money because some cellular carriers have historically charged less for service on a phone than for service on a computer.

Fuck people and their nasally voices. Good ol' standard text. You'll never annoy me.

When you need to contact someone who uses a land line, do you go through the deaf relay?

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.