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Comment: The larger screen is part of the problem (Score 1) 391

the nomenclature is pretty much meaningless

I beg to differ. Microsoft defined an "ultra-low-cost personal computer" (ULCPC) in its description of which devices were eligible for extended availability of Windows XP and for Windows 7 Starter. This definition, which covered screen size, resolution, RAM, and hard disk storage, ended up becoming the de facto definition of netbook hardware. Ultrabook, on the other hand, is a brand based on a spec set by Intel.

usually with slightly large screens

And there's the rub. Netbooks such as my Dell Inspiron mini 1012 came with 10.1" screens, but Ultrabook laptops are closer to 12". That can add up when you're trying to use a laptop while riding a full bus, and you'll end up needing to carry it in a larger, more obvious (to thieves) bag. That and Ultrabook laptops are far more expensive than your typical Atom netbook was, without an extended warranty to match.

Comment: Re:Five root monopolies (Score 1) 180

There is no monopoly in land: there are many buyers and sellers.

If you're trying to set up a service that requires burying your conduit under the land of "many buyers and sellers", that's hard because at least one of these "many buyers and sellers" is bound to be a "nail" and block your project unless you use the power of the state (eminent domain) to allow your entry onto their property.

Solution: develop other kinds of software.

Are you implying, say, giving up video game development entirely?

Comment: Virtual gamepad problems (Score 1) 391

People realised that swipe keyboards are actually faster

Only when you're looking at the screen. I tried the free version of Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure on a Nexus 7 tablet, and I kept missing jumps because my thumbs drifted from the on-screen buttons until I turned on my Bluetooth keyboard.

they need to they get a tablet, Bluetooth keyboard or ultra portable laptop

What ultra portable laptop? Weren't they discontinued at the end of 2012?

Comment: Five root monopolies (Score 1) 180

I can think of five root monopolies originating in statute: land, radio frequency spectrum, copyright, patent, and violence. Here are examples of how they may come into play:
  • If your business depends on the Internet, it must purchase Internet access from the local last mile monopoly. These monopolies arise from government-enforced exclusive rights to land (needing to cross private property of non-subscribers to reach a subscriber) and radio frequency spectrum. If the local ISP doesn't like you, how should you stay in business?
  • If your business develops applications to run on computing devices owned by your customers, especially set-top devices or handheld devices with input buttons, it may have to rely on each platform's monopoly supplier of development tools and application distribution services. This monopoly arises from the copyright in the device's firmware, which is used as a hook for anticircumvention laws. Patents come into play in a similar way when your product has to interoperate with devices that use patented data formats. If the device maker doesn't like you, how should you stay in business?
  • If your business sells products and services to governments, it may have only one buyer: the government of the sovereign state on whose soil the business is headquartered. Defense contractors are in this position.

How should one go about making these monopolies less palatable to legislators?

Comment: Re:User control of apps post-install (Score 1) 140

This level of control is available if you have root on your Android device. If not, well, just try setting iptables rules without superuser rights on Linux

The difference is that unlike the owner of a newly purchased Android device, the owner of a newly purchased GNU/Linux device has root.

Good salesmen and good repairmen will never go hungry. -- R.E. Schenk