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Comment: Re:Back in the day (Score 1) 452

by tpv (#42241191) Attached to: Australian Police Warn That Apple Maps Could Get Someone Killed

when you navigate with a GPS, you turn right on particular coordinates, and the actual road you take can be pretty much anything

That's certainly the case, but it's not what's happening in this particular situation. iOS Maps has placed the "city" in the wrong spot. It's not that the GPS part of the app is causing problems (although I'm sure it does) it's that the map is intentionally guiding you to the wrong place.

If you were following a paper map that had the same mistake (i.e. had marked Mildura as being in the middle of the National Park) then you'd ended up in exactly the same life-threatening situation.

Comment: It's a mindset issue (probably of your doing) (Score 1) 451

by tpv (#42102611) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Troubling Trend For Open Source Company
Disclaimer: As others have said it's really hard to answer this well without more information, so this is best guess from the little you've given us

they think a free product should have free telephone support as well

The problem is that you've let them get the idea that this is a "free" (no-cost) product. In one of your comments you mention that the people calling up often aren't the people that installed it, so I asume that they don't think it's no-cost because they downloaded and installed it themselves. They have an idea in their heads that this product is "no-cost", and that is probably because you're branding/marketing it that way. And that's how they can go around and tarnish your reputation after the fact, saying "it's not really no-cost - it's a scam".

So, if your product provides value to your customer, why are you positioning it as a no-cost solution? I think you need to work on your branding. By all means continue to make it open source, and continue to provide your users with all sorts of software freedoms, but stop sending the message that those things mean "free".

It sounds like your produce should be viewed as commercial software (that is also proud to be open source), so say that. Have the splash screen (or about page, or whatever) say something along the lines of: This software package is a commercial product. Annual support and maintenance plans are available for purchase at {our website}. No support agreement has been purchased for this installation. Source code is provided to customers under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Comment: Re:cost? (Score 1) 70

by tpv (#41228825) Attached to: Business Tier For Australia's NBN Brings Big Possibilities For VoIP

So far the NBN has been pretty hideous cost wise as the increased speed for many is simply not worth the significant increase in cost

You mean like how internode's 25/5 NBN entry level plan (30Gb quota) is $5 cheaper than their equivalent Naked ADSL plan and their 300Gb quota plan is $15 cheaper than Naked ADSL.

And iiNet's 100Gb (Peak) + 100Gb (Off Peak) 25/5 plan is $5 cheaper than their 100Gb (any time) Naked ADSL plan, for more quota, and 500Gb+500Gb 25/5 NBN is cheaper than 400Gb Naked ADSL.

iPrimus's NBN plans aren't particularly competitive - their 25/2 plans are $10 more expensive than their equivalent naked ADSL plans (unless you "bundle" with an expensive VOIP phone service) and around $5 more expensive than the Internode & iiNet NBN plans, but their 12/1 plans are the same price as their Naked ADSL, so you can switch to NBN with no change in cost (but potentially slower speeds, depending on the length&quality of your current copper)

So what's this "hideous" cost you speak of?

NASA

+ - Infertility could impede human space colonization->

Submitted by intellitech
intellitech (1912116) writes "The prospect of long-term space travel has led scientists to consider, increasingly seriously, the following conundrum: if travelling to a new home might take thousands of years, would humans be able to successfully procreate along the way? The early indications from NASA are not encouraging. Space, it seems, is simply not a good place to have sex."
Link to Original Source
Image

Experiment Shows Not Washing Jeans for 15 Months is Disgusting But Safe 258

Posted by samzenpus
from the thank-you-science dept.
dbune writes "Young people who argue with their parents over wearing the same pair of smelly jeans can now cite the work of a 20-year old University of Alberta student who wore the same jeans for 15 months straight. From the article: 'Josh Le wore the same pair of jeans to break in the raw denim, so it would wrap the contours of his body, leaving distinct wear lines. He had his textile professor test the jeans for bacteria before washing them for the first time. The results showed high counts of five different kinds of bacteria, but nothing in the range of being considered a health hazard."
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Blizzard Won't Stop World of StarCraft Mod 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the uncrossing-wires dept.
On Wednesday we discussed news of an impressive-looking mod for StarCraft II that transformed the game into a WoW lookalike, which quickly drew a copyright infringement warning from Activision Blizzard. The company has now released an official statement green-lighting the mod for continued development. "'It was never our intention to stop development on the mod or discourage the community from expressing their creativity through the StarCraft II editor,' Blizzard said in a statement. 'As always, we actively encourage development of custom maps and mods for StarCraft II, as we've done with our strategy games in the past.' Blizzard went on the say that it's looking forward to seeing development of the mod continue, and that it has invited Winzen to the company's campus to meet the game's development team."

Comment: Re:Memory Management (Score 2) 45

by tpv (#34622914) Attached to: Jboss AS 5 Performance Tuning
While I agree with your argument about the difference between the programmer and the administrator, the original book review says:

Java programmers need to understand JVM tuning, and here it is given a whole chapter

which is a poor choice of words from the reviewer.

Programmers don't need to understand JVM tuning. Administrators do. A lot of the time 1 person will perform both roles, but they are still different roles.

Of course, I'm not sure how that poor choice of words on the reviewers behalf justifies Lunix Nutcase's rants.

Comment: Re:Memory Management (Score 2) 45

by tpv (#34622860) Attached to: Jboss AS 5 Performance Tuning
Right. But server administrators are not programmers.

Nothing (*) in the Java Language Environment (which is what the linked document covers) requires the programmer to do explicit memory management.
Optimally tuning your system requires additional knowledge beyond the language environment. That's true in every system.

CGI removed the need for developers to understand the implementation details of HTTP and TCP/IP, but if you want to tune your web-server, then you're going to need to understand those.
"Everything is a file" is all well and good for a C/Unix developer, but the system administrator needs to know the difference between the kernel parameters for TCP/IP and for Disk I/O.
SQL developers care about tables and indexes and queries and don't need to worry about physical storage or the number of execution engines, or the size of the procedure cache, but DBAs need to care about all those things.

If you somehow believed that because "Java technology completely removes the memory management load from the programmer", then no one was ever going to need to think about how much memory was used by a system built in Java, and somehow system administrators could run large Java applications without even thinking about how to tune them, then I don't know what I can say to help you.

Yes, for good or bad, Java removes memory management load from programmers - but it does not remove it from administrators, and I'm not aware of any documentation that claimed it would.

(*) Direct memory buffers (which were added long after that document was written), allow the programmer to do some memory management if so desired, but they are still not required

Comment: Re:OT: Isn't Atlassian Confluence a POS? (Score 1) 150

by tpv (#33789788) Attached to: Code Repository Atlassian Buys Competitor BitBucket
You should be able to see recent edits on the user's profile:
/users/viewuserprofile.action?username=jsmith

The fact that you didn't know about that is probably a validation of the complaints about the UI.

Disclaimer: I don't have any vested interests in Atlassian, but one of the founders is a friend-of-a-friend

Comment: Re:The graphics in FOSS games.. (Score 1) 103

by tpv (#33235208) Attached to: FOSS RTS Game <em>Glest</em> Gets Revival &mdash; Enter <em>Mega-Glest</em>
I agree.
His writing style is pretty ordinary, and he expresses his ideas badly, but I don't think that what he actually said was that bad.
It mostly boiled down to:
  • Hiring freelancers through DeviantArt is cheaper than going out to a "professional" artist and gets better results
  • Ask them to set their own price for the work you 're requesting
  • Pay a fixed price, rather than a % of sales.
  • Pay on completion of the work, not upfront.
  • Once the deal's done, and you've paid them the agreed price, it's none of their business how much you are/aren't making from the game.

I think the way he expressed himself leaves a lot to be desired, and it's might well be the case that he's out to screw people. But the actual process he recommends seems to be fairly standard for freelance artwork.

Comment: Re:Next step to prevent PC piracy (Score 1) 795

by tpv (#33184670) Attached to: DRM-Free Game Suffers 90% Piracy, Offers Amnesty
That's completely ridiculous.
Replay value impacts the appropriate price-point, but that doesn't make a game "suck".

There are plenty of movies that are worth renting on DVD for a few dollars, that are absolutely not worth watching a second time (because you know the ending). Do they automatically suck?

Every game has some limits to how many times you want to replay it. For some games that's high. For others it's lower. That doesn't mean every game sucks.
WoG provided you with 3 hours of entertainment. Is that worth $20? Perhaps not. Is it worth $3? I would assume so. (Surely you value entertainment at at least $1 per hour)

Oh, and the other part of your thesis is also false - WoG has an OCD goal, where you try and complete each level within a set of defined limits (like number of moves, % saved, etc). I very much doubt anyone has hit all the OCD goals in 3 hours of playing. If you aren't interested in doing that, then that's your choice, but there certainly is replay value for people who enjoyed the game.

Comment: Re:Yay, A site telling me how to preference my vot (Score 1) 158

by tpv (#33118788) Attached to: A How-To Website For Australian Voters
That's only in the ACT (which is the default option on btl.org.au, so you might not have intended it)
The ACT senate election is a bit peculiar (see http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2010/07/the-act-senate-contest.html), but I'm still surprised (and disappointed) at the Dem's decision there.

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