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Comment Re:What kind of dumbass company... (Score 1) 114

Really? Where on earth do you live? I'm not sure anyone in this country still offers two-year contracts. Most people are either on pre-pay or one month rolling contracts. 18 months is about the longest, and they're rarely much cheaper than the one-month version, so there's little incentive to sign up for them (especially given that you're likely to get a better deal in six months, so being locked in for 18 months doesn't make sense even if it is cheaper at the start).

Comment Re:lesson learned (Score 1) 128

I learned to always wait for the .1 some time ago. 10.4 had a really nasty bug where, if you used File Vault (home directories were encrypted disk images), everything went fine. You could continue using the system and there were no problems. Until after the first reboot (which is something that typically happens less than once a month). At which point, the OS would be unable to mount your home directory and would give you a new, empty, one. The encrypted disk image containing your home directory was completely unusable. It later transpired that 10.3 could still mount it, so if you had an old bootable image around you could restore the data, but it caused a lot of pain. Apparently no one on Apple's QA team was using File Vault...

Comment Re:Not just MS Office (Score 1) 128

and the user has no way to "jailbreak" their Mac to allow them anyway. (That's not entirely true, there is still a method to disable this new iOS-style lockdown, but it involves booting off El Capitan install media. Which Apple doesn't distribute.)

Bullshit. Boot into recovery mode (from the recovery partition that the installer creates by default) and disable System Integrity Protection, and it's gone.

Comment Re:Genuine Quality (Score 1) 128

I'm not sure about that. I have Keynote and PowerPoint installed (and OpenOffice and LibreOffice). For lectures, I still prefer Beamer (including syntax highlighted code snippets in anything else is painful), but Keynote has nothing like the SmartArt feature of PowerPoint, which makes drawing figures a lot easier. It also doesn't have as useful guides and makes it harder to produce useful templates. These days, I generally use PowerPoint for short presentations (though for some things I find the results of Sozi much more effective than anything else for a lot of things. It's still very new and unpolished though).

Comment Re:Repeat Business, every 2-3 years? (Score 1) 118

Old Apple customers aren't a drain on Apple's financials, even in between the times they're buying new shiny Apple products, but that's Apple.

The difference between Apple and Motorola is that Apple owns the app store that they ship on their devices, Motorola ships the Google one. If someone publishes an app that needs the latest OS, then Apple has an incentive to ensure that it runs on the widest possible set of devices so that they can take their 30% cut of the sale price. If Motorola ensures that the app can run on all of their devices, then all that they're doing is adding to Google's profits.

This is why Amazon and Samsung include their own app stores. Eventually Android manufacturers will realise that they're in a low-margin business where all of the profits go to Google.

Comment Re:That was then, this is now (Score 2) 118

Right. In the UK, the sale of goods act (which was strengthened last week and extended to cover downloads and a few other things) permits you to return a product as not suitable for the purpose for which sold. That means that not doing anything promised in the ads is grounds for a full refund. Just mentioning the relevant law on a call to their support line was enough for Apple to courier a new battery out to me (which arrived at 9am the next morning) for a 3.5-year-old (our of warranty) MacBook Pro, because it was only holding 20% of its rated maximum charge and the discharge counter was significantly below the 300 charge cycles that their support pages claimed.

If someone buys a phone based on the promise of long-term support, but doesn't receive it, then they are entitled to a full refund from the seller, who is then entitled to a full refund from the manufacturer (and less likely to keep selling phones from a manufacturer if they get too many returns). I'd slightly disagree with this claim though:

Which is why consumer protection legislation exists; so corporations have more responsibility than profit mongering.

Corporations are expected to continue profit mongering, the goal of consumer protection legislation is to align incentives so that failing to take responsibility hurts the profits more than taking responsibility. Having to issue individual refunds to every Moto E customer would cost a lot more than back-porting security fixes and pushing out updates. Especially when you include the accompanying news articles.

Comment Re:What kind of dumbass company... (Score 4, Interesting) 114

Mobile phone vendors make their money selling new phones. You want a new Android, get a new phone.

Sure, but the new phone I get will be from a vendor that I can trust to support it for its lifetime. I may upgrade my phone after 2-3 years, but I'll probably hand the old one off to someone else or use it as a spare. If the phone becomes useless after 1 year, then I'll factor that in when I calculate the value of the phone - if I can amortise the cost over 4 years rather than 2, then the cost of the phone is not as good.

Your contract will be up in 2 years

What kind of idiot signs a 2-year phone contract in 2015?

Comment Re:Software Engineering as unskilled labor (Score 1) 141

BASIC gets a bad rep primarily based on older versions of BASIC. Older BASIC didn't have any support for structured programming. Every line had a line number (just as every instruction has an address, because that's the abstraction that people designing it were comfortable with). There was no stack, no scoping. Flow control worked solely by GOTO {line number} statements (and you could do truly evil things with it, because the line number could be computed).

By the time QuickBASIC (and QBASIC, the cut-down version that MS gave away for free, which lacked the compiler) came alone, BASIC had support for subroutines, call and return (by subroutine name), and scoped variables, and typically didn't use line numbers. It wasn't a bad teaching language, as it did contain all of the basic concepts needed for structured programming.

Comment Re:Burying the Lede (Score 1) 256

I've no idea, even the internets aren't sure. My east coast friend says the term goes back to the 80s if not earlier. White Castle made these little nasty addictive burgers that were cooked on a grill without flipping, just put the onions and meat on the grill, top with the bun to seal in the damp grease, and slide them along until they are done. The world's saddest assembly line. They sold "sliders" 5 for a dollar or something like that.

Comment Re:Translation ... (Score 1) 141

If I want to hide my projects from the public I'm not going to put them on someone else's server.

GitHub also covers this case. They allow you to host your own instances of their code and provide VM appliances that do this. Of course, if you're a small company then you have to balance the risk of hosting with GitHub vs the cost (and risk) of hiring someone who knows about security to manage your internal infrastructure. Generally, the latter only makes sense if you have enough of an internal demand to be able to offset the costs among multiple projects.

Of course, there's not a huge amount of difference in terms of trust between running proprietary code (or open source code that you haven't done even a cursory security audit of) with access to your internal codebase vs hosting it on someone else's servers. In both cases, you need to trust that the company isn't actively malicious and that they're competent at writing secure code. In the latter case, you have to trust that their infrastructure isn't less secure than yours.

Comment Re:GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 3) 293

Covering the reference implementation means that no one will even seriously evaluate it. Of the major browsers:
  • Internet explorer (and the new one is called) is proprietary, no GPLv3 code linking allowed.
  • The WebKit underpinnings of Safari are LGPLv2 (not GPLv3 compatible), so even if Apple (which has a corporate policy not to permit GPLv3 code in the door) wanted to adopt it, they can't.
  • Chrome has the same issue with regard to LGPLv2 in WebKit.
  • Firefox is triple licensed, and I think one of the licenses may be GPLv3 compatible, but probably not.

If you can't ship a beta of the browser that supports it, then how do you do things like compare things like page loading time, bandwidth usage, and so on? Doing an open source release under a license that says 'you can't use this code, and if you want to implement this spec then you'd better make sure that you didn't look at our code' strikes me as taking the piss.

Comment Re:Trillions to whoever figures it out. (Score 1) 443

You couldn't be wronger. Things will be so different when you are staring at your mugger, saying "John Lastname, please think this over again. It's been nearly a year since your last violent crime. Do you really want to go back to jail? You have been out for only a week! Lets talk it over calmly, maybe I can help you figure out a way to make ends meet without harming anyone else."

Comment Re:O Rly? (Score 1, Troll) 107

an embarrassing counter-example to American and western democracy's political claims against communism

I really can't argue anything else in your post, but I can't help but wonder how Cuba was supposed to be an embarrassment vis a vis political systems. Sure, it's easy to make the point that "America can't dislodge this thorn in their side that sits less than 200km from their own shore" but I'm hard pressed to come up with any positive connotations to "our dictatorship is better than your democracy."

Comment Re:Trillions to whoever figures it out. (Score 1) 443

It has a lot of potential! I think "difficult" patrons would act differently if their poor behavior were visible to others. A server could know at a glance that this table won't tip and will send things back repeatedly. Bad enough patrons could be denied service entirely, or required to pay and tip in advance.

Two is not equal to three, even for large values of two.