Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:BLECK! (Score 3, Interesting) 647

I've done this thought experiment before, the "how many apps do I need at once" one, and thought the same.

The problem I have with it, is that it doesn't hold up in real life. When I work with a desktop, or a countertop, or a workbench top, or any sort of work surface, I don't allocate a single rectangular area, and then set up my cooking utensils, or books, or tools, or whatever to occupy those perfect proportions that you describe. I shuffle stuff around, I pile stuff on other stuff, I unearth things when I need them again. If I was really obsessive, maybe I could work my tool bench in the garage the way you describe, but reality is, I wouldn't.

I think one of the reasons the desktop metaphor has been so lasting, is that it *is* a metaphor for a real world experience. It may be suboptimal and innefficient compared to what I could accomplish if I'd just organize everything just so. But it is a method of work management that I gravitate to again and again. I seem to be able to work that way instinctively. And because it is so approachable, as disorganized as it might seem, it actually works well for a computer interface because I've optimized in a million subtle ways how to work that way.

Comment Re:Thus the proof that Apple is not about status (Score 1) 471

Our experiences differ I guess. I *am* an Apple user. Currently, no less than 11 Apple products are doing interesting things for my family. To the exclusion of any other for the most part (Apple doesn't make a high end SLR camera yet, do they?). I buy Apple equipment because as you say "it just works." And I've encouraged many others to do the same. The original question was not "why do people buy Apple stuff?" As you can see, we're on the same page there, in fact I may own more real estate of it than you. :)

But being the local go-to-guy in church and school communities about All Things Apple, I can very definitely attest that consumers would have loved it if the 4S looked slightly different than the 4. Same for the 3G and the 3GS. Human nature is human nature. The question was "why do people want to have it look different every time?"

Comment Re:why do we care about shape? (Score 3, Insightful) 471

Two Words: Social Status

In an increasingly narcissitic society, we look to the gadgets we wield to say something about our social status. The consumer wet dream is that the brand is distinct (I own an Apple, I own a Razr, etc), but that each new version is distinguishable from the previous version so that I can flaunt that "I have the 4S while you only have the 4."

Comment I Miss the Sci Fi Classics (Score 1) 210

I love scifi. But I don't read as much of it as I used to. I love the ABC (Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke) of SciFi. And some of the other notable greats. But I find it harder and harder to find good scifi now days. The truly thought provoking kind. And the kind that gives me some small hope. So much of it is smut/graphic/romp or so apocalyptic, that I find myself missing the stuff I grew up with. Vinge was refreshing. And I've tried, but I just don't really find Stephenson's stuff that compelling.

Comment Re:Dart? (Score 3, Insightful) 575

Interesting term. I can clear up the guesswork on why the type system is the way it is a little bit. Lars Back and Gilad Bracha, two of the primaries for Dart, came out of the Self group. Self was an interesting Sun funded experiment where they took the "pure objects all the time, all the way down" ideas behind Smalltalk and took them to a new level by throwing out the classes as well. One of the things pursued was a dynamic method dispatching system, that while dynamically typed (this is different than untyped), could get as much mileage as possible out of run time navel gazing to dynamically optimize the execution. There are some good papers describing how cool some of the stuff they did was/is. This group already liked the idea/value of dynamic languages, and have since been involved in various projects all built around this idea: take a dynamic typed system and make it go fast. Strongtalk was what followed. And then Sun bought them back and their work became the HotSpot VM. And Lars built an embedded Smalltalk along the same ideas in the meantime. While doing prison time with Java, Gilad began Newspeak (a module happy variant of Self/Smalltalk/etc). And Lars helped with the V8 JS engine that everyone knows well about. Along with all of this, all the way back to Strongtalk, they've always held that while a runtime system should be entirely dynamic (e.g. no hints required from a static type system), they see great value in being able to express types from a documentation/communication pov within the code. So the type systems, that any of these languages have had (which all share these similar values) have always been for expressiveness only. Personally I don't agree with this, but it's an interesting position that I've always tried to appreciate.

Comment Confused and Curious (Score 0) 220

I'm fine with the big bang theory and all that. I don't have a belief system that needs observed data to fit a pattern. OTOH, I'm struggling with the leaps here. Some scientists found some high quality hydrogen clouds. Their purity is a bit of an anomaly. But I don't see how this proves or disproves the Big Bang theory really. If I found a pocket of really pristine gold ore out around the Mount Ararat area could I use that to prove the biblical account in Exodus (which seems to have involved a lot of gold)?

I find the leaps that many of the "we're just science" community make now days not that far off of what the religious community is fond of grabbing at. Observe the data, document it, study it. But quit jumping at it to prove one model or the other please. Or at least state that in context. E.g "We observed some really anomalous gas purities. This is cool. We want to study it some more. It fits with some of the postulates of the Big Bang Model. It also fits with the fact that it's a big universe and we're not, and strange stuff happens in it."

The older I get the more prescient the observations about Science as a Religion in the Foundation series by Asimov seem to be coming to pass.

Comment Newsflash! (Score 1) 129

Ahem... there's not a lot of money to be made in IDE tools now days.

I know, I work for a tool vendor. Oh sure, if you're just one person and you make a nice little widget that you can sell for a couple of bucks, it'll give you a short term chunk of change. But really good tool development takes a lot of work for a lot of time. The market's willingness to remunerate that kind of effort with the kind of bucks it takes to support a group of really focused people has been on the wane for a long time.

Comment Re:I stopped reading the responses after... (Score 1) 920

You misunderstand me. It's not a selfish/greedy worry about those groups of people not having money to pay for it.. I love helping people out. I do it regularly. I keep trying to find more ways to do it. It's a subset of that though. It's my frustrated worry about those groups of people who *could* have had enough money to pay for it, but don't because there's no accountability in our society any more.

Comment Re:I stopped reading the responses after... (Score 1) 920

Even worse, what happens when you show up at the emergency room: "I've broken my body again. Fix it please. I don't even know why I'm saying please, you're legally obligated to do it anyway. It's my right to be provided health care. Can I pay for it? No. I spent the money on the skull stuff."

I will happily support drug legalization, allowing people to choose their own destiny responsibly or not so, when I too have the liberty to let you be accountable for your own decisions.

Slashdot Top Deals

You have a tendency to feel you are superior to most computers.