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Comment: Missing the Important Changes (Score 3, Informative) 785

by zwekiel (#26426165) Attached to: In-Depth With the Windows 7 Public Beta
After reading the article, it seems like Windows 7 has changed some things which really did not need changing, not fixed some of the more irritating problems from Vista, like UAC, and has little to offer in the way of performance benefits. According to the article, it's about a 10% increase in performance, which is really negligible at this point.

What Microsoft needs to do is reconsider every part of their operating system to see its actual value in the operating system. Keep the things that don't need changing, and don't just change them to have shiny new stuff to demo. The task bar was fine as it is. Get back to the basics and focus on the core of the operating system. Reduce its weight, reduce the fluff. I like the approach Apple is taking with Snow Leopard. Too often do operating system vendors think what users really want are shiny new dongles and gadgets. I, for one, want a usable, stable, and fast Operating System.

This is not just a Microsoft flame, either. I also think this Compiz Fusion business on Linux is quite silly. Adding cheap flashy effects, which offer very little in usability, but add expensive speed requirements should not be the aim of any operating system creator. /rant>

Comment: Backwards Compatibility (Score 2, Interesting) 215

by zwekiel (#26423627) Attached to: The Evolution of Python 3
I think that whenever a group releases a new version of their language, they should strive to make it (mostly) backwards compatible. Not only does Python 3.0 change the way things work in relation to specific function, but it also removes specific language conventions and creates new ones in their places. This means that very large projects have a lot of work to do to bring their project over to the new specification.

The question is: is this work worth the upgrade to python 3.0? I'd say on the whole, the changes do not contribute enough to the usability of the language to make it ultimately a worthwhile transition to make. I haven't seen really any compelling features in Python 3.0 that would provide enough incentive for me to spend hours of grunt work making all my code workable in Python 3.0.

</my two cents>

Comment: Not Very Accurate (Score 3, Insightful) 385

by zwekiel (#26420659) Attached to: Tech Companies That Won't Survive 2009
How can you expect a list based on reader predictions to be accurate? Moreover, how can you expect the list to be taken seriously when the "Insiders" contradict the majority of the reader predictions?

While people can be quite intelligent, allowing the mob to make investment picks based on rumours they read on Blogspot is simply ridiculous. If many analysts couldn't see the collapse of Bear Sterns coming before the last week, I doubt that these readers have the technical skills to predict the collapse of these companies a year in advance.

Comment: Time to rethink patent laws (Score 4, Insightful) 282

by zwekiel (#26413073) Attached to: 20+ Companies Sued Over OS Permissions Patent

When patents were first granted, it was on the justification that they engendered innovation and research by providing a fair incentive for companies to develop new technology. At this point, any argument relying on this justification has become completely broken.

Patents have begun to do the exact opposite of what they were meant to do. Rather than encourage development of new technologies, patents have become a way to choke the application of novel technologies in industry. So-called "patent holding companies" have become little more than extortion gangs, demanding their share of the money to which they have no right at all. Governments across the globe have extended copyright and patents, not for the protection of the people and industry, but at the behest of lobbyists.

Patents, as they exist in their current form, are not fair to anyone, except the patent owner. Governments must adopt a fairer stance in order to reverse this alarming trend. Lower the duration of patents, and adopt a system of mandatory royalties, which forces patent owners to license their patents for a fair royalty, determined by a third party.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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