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Comment Re:BitCoins are simply a hobby, not a currency (Score 1) 642

> Inflation also encourages lending and investing.
- no it does not. Not in people who understand economics and accounting for real. Inflation discourages any desire to deal in that currency. Why would I want to move my wealth into a depreciating currency?

That's the point! Inflation discourages keeping your wealth in the form of cash, and encourages converting it to something else: lending it to a bank, buying stocks, real estate, or consumer goods, etc. Economic growth depends on people being willing to exchange their cash.

Comment Re:Here's a really brilliant theory... (Score 1) 451

The Xoom fails in epic fashion on price - it has similar hardware specs as my $300 G Tablet for twice the price. I would never buy it because I'd feel like a huge sucker.

Maybe, but the Xoom is still comparable to the iPad in specs and price, so how do you explain the fact that people buy those?

Comment Re:.NET - where deployment is just a word (Score 3, Funny) 257

I can write a .NET program on native windows and when I launch the EXE on a machine with no .NET it will simply fail with an error number. It doesn't ask you if you want to put .NET on or even explain to you that you need it to run the program, it just fails.

So... the same thing that happens whenever you launch any other program with its required libraries missing? Try copying a native VC++ program to a system that doesn't have the VC++ runtime installed. It won't spoon-feed you information about what the VC++ runtime is, why you need it, where to get it, and how to install it; it'll just give you a cryptic error.

If you want to do deployment properly, you need an installer. With Visual Studio it's dead simple to make a setup program that'll check for prerequisites like .NET and install them automatically.

Comment Re:Agreed (Score 1) 643

2 year olds can learn how to use Windows, too. Hell, 2 year olds learned how to use the TRS-80 back when that was relevant. Kids will figure out how to use anything you set in front of them.

I was quite a bit older than that when I started using Windows, but it still didn't take "years of training" to get used to it. It didn't even take weeks.

In any case, "is this easy enough for a 2 year old to use?" is a pretty dumb question to ask when choosing tools for an adult. By that logic, your wife would also have to wear Velcro shoes and drink from a sippy cup.

Comment Let's think about that... (Score 4, Insightful) 519

It may not deprive the source from selling another copy, but not paying for your copy is stealing.

For the sake of argument, let's accept that definition and see where it leads us.

Well, why is stealing a bad thing in the first place? Is it because you get something for free? Surely not, because we all get things for free all the time. I can turn on the radio and listen to free music, then change stations when a commercial comes on. I can look at public murals that were funded by taxpayers who died before I was born. I can enjoy the benefits of those and countless other things without giving a dime to the people who created them.

I get upset when something is stolen from me, but is that because the thief has gotten something for free? No. If someone could "steal" a copy of my car, leaving the original car unharmed in my driveway, that wouldn't bother me at all. In fact, if the technology to do that existed, I believe it'd be a great leap forward for mankind.

We can also compare stealing to vandalism. If someone destroys my car, he doesn't gain anything for free, he only deprives me of the use of that property. Is destroying my car therefore not as bad as stealing it? It sure doesn't feel that way. In fact, stealing it seems marginally better, since it preserves overall utility (and there's a chance I'll get the car back).

So, I have to conclude that what makes stealing wrong is that the rightful owner is deprived of the stolen property. The benefit gained by the thief is only relevant to the extent that it comes at the owner's expense.

Now, what have we done by declaring that getting a free copy of something is "stealing"? We've created two categories of stealing: the old-fashioned kind where the owner is deprived of the stolen property, and the shiny new kind where he isn't. The first kind is wrong, since it maintains the quality that made stealing wrong in the first place. The second kind, however, is not - it's a benign, almost metaphorical type of "stealing", kind of like stealing second base. All we've accomplished with this new definition is to devalue the word.

Comment Re:Agreed (Score 1) 643

Any Windows laptop will be as easy to use and as fast. Many netbooks have a battery life of 8-10 hours, such as the Eee 1000HE, which you can get for under $300 - half the price of the 32 GB iPad 2 that has one-fifth as much storage.

Glad to help!

Comment Re:Microsoft was an early adopter... (Score 1) 643

Nothing was really designed to be operated by your pudgy fingers, it just screamed impractical every time he had to effectively do single finger typing with his stylus.

Of course, typing on the iPad is no less impractical. iOS's UI shines in non-typing interactions, but the virtual keyboard is even less usable in the tablet form factor than on a phone. A touchscreen is inherently crap for typing unless you have a specialized mode of interaction like Swype.

If tablets make sense at all, then at least Apple is doing tablets right.

Or they're doing marketing right, which has always been the core strength of the modern Apple.

Comment Re:well, he might be right (Score 1) 643

The reason why Tablets failed before was that they simply didn't make sense. The OS was terrible (Windows lolwat?), the hardware was big and bulky, the battery life was scary, and the touch screens weren't responsive. Contrast everything I just said with a iPad 2011.

They still don't make sense. The battery life and touch screen have been improved, the OS is arguable, but the hardware is no less bulky. A tablet really isn't any more portable than a laptop. If you want to bring it anywhere, you need to carry it in the same sort of bag you'd use for a laptop.

More importantly, tablets still don't fill a role other than "electronic toy". Unless you're using it to simulate a board game or a clipboard, literally everything a tablet does can be done instead with a smartphone and/or a laptop, equally well or better, for the same price or less.

The reason tablets failed before was that they weren't being marketed by Apple. But even Apple can't keep this going indefinitely.

Ultimately however I think touch screen devices of some form-factor will survive.

Absolutely... and that form factor will be "fits into a pocket". Unless there's a serious change in pants design, those devices won't be tablets.

Security

Submission + - The anonymous-HBGary story: How it happened (arstechnica.com)

metalcup writes: Ars technica has a wonderful article on how Barr tried to track anonymous, his apparent hubris, and how anonymous 'bitch-slapped' him at the end.
Nate Anderson (the author) doesn't go into the technical details of how the servers for HBGary Federal were compromised, but he pieces together a nice chain of events and conversations between Gary and his programmer (who keeps saying Gary is being stupid), and the rest of the company from the emails and other stuff that anonymous posted on piratebay.

  Thought it might interest the crowd here..

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