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Comment: Re:Oh god the stupid... (Score 3, Insightful) 489

by codemachine (#49442001) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

Removing regulations would do nothing to remove the immense cost to compete with the regional monopolies. In fact, in a completely unregulated economy that was unconcerned with anti-trust and monopolizing markets, I'm pretty sure that more of these mega ISPs would merge with one another. So instead of having four or five big ISPs nation wide, you'd have one or two.

The same convergence already happened in the phone industry, before they broke up Bell. Then Bell started to reassemble itself. In this particular space, the free market has been proven to move towards consolidation, for the benefit of big corporations and the detriment of their customers. Creating new competition seems to require government intervention.

So I guess you're pointing out that libertarians *think* they have a solution, but ignoring the fact that their solution has zero chance of working in the real world.

Comment: John Oliver on Nuclear Weapons (Score 3, Insightful) 228

by codemachine (#49339219) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament


As usual, John Oliver has a great rant on the subject.

Right now, the US has more nuclear weapons than they can safely take care of. Manning the silos is now a demoralizing job, because those people basically do nothing and yet the job is tremendously tedious. So it ends up being done by people who really shouldn't be in such an important position, and do not take enough care in their job, especially given the dangers if something were to go wrong.

The US is the only country to drop a nuke on a civilian population. Everyone knows about when they dropped a couple on Japan, but few people remember when they accidentally dropped one on North Carolina. It did not explode, but it was one of a number of close calls that have happened over the years.

As it is being managed now, the nuclear deterrent is more of a danger to the US than to anyone else, though it is also a danger to planet as a whole. I don't think a complete disarmament makes any sense in the short term, but a move towards scaling back to safe and sustainable levels would make sense. However, those that benefit from such massive and useless military spending are not about to let it happen without a fight.

Comment: Re:"Reasonable" my ass (Score 1) 700

by codemachine (#48242789) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

The fake chips most certainly do represent themselves as FTDI chips, by using their FTDI's USB vendor ID.

It is quite possible for them to use the same hardware interface with a different vendor ID, but then they couldn't use FTDI's driver for free.

In fact, the whole reason FTDI makes the ID a writeable setting is so that other companies can use (genuine) FTDI chips in their products, but use their own vendor ID. Usually they'll use FTDI's driver too, but when it is plugged in, Windows will identify the device as "Company XYZ's Device" instead of something generic like "USB to Serial Converter".

Comment: Re:On the other hand... (Score 1) 700

by codemachine (#48216763) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

End users don't buy anything that is FTDI branded.

They buy USB devices that happen to have FTDI chips in them (or counterfeit FTDI chips, in some cases).

This ultimately hits device manufacturers and electronics distributors. The shady ones deserve to be hit, whereas others who have been duped are now going to be more careful. The good thing is that they now have a foolproof test to tell if their components are genuine.

Comment: Re:I'm convinced there is no elegant PDF library (Score 2) 132

by codemachine (#47625593) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

It could be that iText is just what he needs though. iTextSharp is the C# port of the original iText Java library. At times, it is easier to find code examples for iText than iTextSharp. Since the iTextSharp folks did their best to use C# conventions, the Java call names aren't always the same as the C# ones.

+ - Watching All Three Transformers Films Simultaneously->

Submitted by bonch
bonch (38532) writes "Red Letter Media, home of the Plinkett Star Wars prequel reviews, sat down to watch the first three Transformers films at the same time. The films synced up several times (particularly the first two), from character introductions to action beats. However, the sheer chaos of the the third acts was like 'a noisy bar' that was impossible to process."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Xamarin solves some of this (Score 3, Informative) 209

by codemachine (#46121611) Attached to: The Schizophrenic State of Software In 2014

Client side can be made a bit less painful with Xamarin. You can use one language (C#) for all platforms, and share a fair bit of code between platforms.

Of course you still need separate code to give a native UI on each platform, and different packaging to get the application out there.

Gone are the days of being able to target Windows to get over 90% of the client side market. There is real fragmentation, and innovation is happening quickly. There are many benefits to this, but stability in client side frameworks is not one of them.

Comment: Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in polls (Score 5, Insightful) 358

by bonch (#44441335) Attached to: NSA Director Defends Surveillance To Unsympathetic Black Hat Crowd

The NSA scandal has been so earth-shattering with regards to raising awareness of government surveillance that concerns over civil liberties now outweigh concerns over protecting the country. The shift is across party lines as well. It's no wonder politicians of either party have been decrying a rising trend of libertarianism. Whether or not it's accurate to classify today's anti-government fears as such, the fact that the U.S. has become the kind of country to seek asylum from is staggeringly insane. The "trust us" defense isn't good enough.

Comment: Re:The move to HD hurt them (Score 1) 212

by bonch (#44440053) Attached to: Wii Outselling Wii U, Only 160,000 Units Shipped Last Quarter

If you mean that their disinterest in HD in 2006 didn't hurt them, I agree with regard to the first few years of the Wii's life, but its lack of power eventually caught up with them when cross-platform developers left the Wii. Today, the Wii U isn't selling because it doesn't have much first-party software available to showcase the system. Miyamoto acknowledged that this is the result of underestimating the scale of labor required for HD development and subsequently having to delay their software releases (another area where it's behind is in providing competitive online services). The rest of the industry went through this transition this seven years ago, and Nintendo was able to ignore it at the time because of the money they were making.

Comment: The move to HD hurt them (Score 4, Insightful) 212

by bonch (#44436631) Attached to: Wii Outselling Wii U, Only 160,000 Units Shipped Last Quarter

Nintendo dragged its feet in the move to HD and is paying the price. They underestimated the time and money expense, and now their first-party releases are behind. On top of that, there's barely been any marketing for the Wii U, which has a name that implies it's an accessory for the Wii rather than a new console. The console's tablet controller doesn't offer anything that people's existing smartphones and iPads can't do better. It was likely released in reaction to the iPad (Nintendo stated in 2010 that Apple is their biggest threat). With the lack of hardware power and user base, there's nothing with which to court third-party developers, who are focused instead on the more powerful consoles coming out later this year.

Nintendo's stronghold remains handheld gaming. However, even that is under threat from smartphones. On top of what Android already supports, iOS 7 will ship with native physical controller APIs, and Apple is working with hardware manufacturers to release official attachments and wireless controllers. While the 3DS certainly won't disappear, it will be interesting to watch how well it fares among adult gamers when physical controllers become commonplace in the iPhone accessory aisle.

"A car is just a big purse on wheels." -- Johanna Reynolds