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Comment The chart is exceptionally misleading (Score 1) 770

First Slashdot response in maybe five years here. Wow, that chart is misleading. My girlfriend bought a 3G from an Apple store. Support died in her SECOND year. It's not "years since initial release" that counts; it's "years since last unit sold retail", which is *enormously* more telling. Apple sucks at this, while all of the Android devices I know have gotten 2+ years support from last retail date.

Comment Re:QuikClot (Score 5, Informative) 92

QuikClot works a bit differently; it's chitosan, or basically, it's ground up shellfish shells. The issue there was that using QuikClot on massive wounds occasionally causes blood clots travelling through the body; soldiers with gunshot wounds treated with it stopped bleeding, but died of internal clots hitting their brain or hearts. The one brand of QuikClot still sold apparently didn't have the same problem, or at least, not to a large degree. I carry one in my first aid kit.

Comment Re:File size of jQuery (Score 1) 85

So, ah, welcome to the modern world of browser caches. It's absolutely worth 70k, *once*, because you shouldn't need to load it more times than that. It gives you easy cross-browser compatibility and a huge amount of features. Amazon manages to use it, as does Twitter, Dell, Best Buy, ESPN, and a few others. If those companies are okay with the one-time-lag, I can suspect it's okay for the vast majority of users you're going to hit.

Comment http://www.mycricket.com/ (Score 1) 122

Cricket Wireless is similar, established, and without the pyramid deal. Their service is splotchy at best outside of urban areas. But $40 for unlimited wireless via USB, or $35 for unlimited long distance and text. My understanding is they buy obsolete towers from other companies, and work on older networks with older phones. Still, $35 unlimited everything beats the hell out of the fully nationwide providers, if you tend not to travel across rural areas.

Comment Marketability vs Theory (Score 1) 537

Learn how to code in several different styles, and learning any other language becomes pretty darn easy. I'd say one from each of the following categories:
  1. C++, Java, C#
  2. Perl, Python, Bash
  3. C
  4. Lisp, ML

In descending order of marketability for a developer. If you've got one from each category, no new language is going to challenge you all that much.

Comment Game Developer or Designer? (Score 1) 324

A game designer writes the plot, or storyboard, or just draws how things should work. A game developer takes the design and art from the art department and uses code to make everything happen. Do you want to design games or develop games? Do you want to work on small things, like iPhone games? Large things, like console RPGs? If you want to design games, start designing games of all types. Build up a cache of ideas. Go from there. If you want to develop games, you can download the XBox game studio for a low monthly fee. Same with the iPhone one. The PS3 is reputedly a pain in the @ss to develop for, and I'd ignore it. I'd focus on C++ first, and perhaps (later) pick up C# (XBox XNA) or Objective-C (iPhone Cocoa). If you wanted to use a scripting language to build upon a game engine someone else has already built, Lua is popular, but that assumes you have that game engine to run the darn scripts. If you already have any degree, you'd probably be much better served by either just taking the very minimum of classes necessary, or self-teaching this one. Hands-on experience just *doing* this will be more useful than formal education.

Comment Re:Confusing Comparison: RTS vs RPG (Score 1) 737

Battle.net was fine when I used it two years ago. The OP seems to have forgotten that StarCraft came out in 1998, well before internet access was a given. Now that the entire audience for this game has internet access, it doesn't seem a detriment to require Battle.net instead of the (occasionally painful) setup process of a TCP/IP or IPX connection of days gone by...

Comment Re:TCP? (Score 1) 536

FTP runs TCP. TCP guarantees that the parts of the file that make it are bit-for-bit correct, but it doesn't guarantee the whole file will get there. FTP doesn't handle this, either. Nor does the Windows copy function, I think. Files can get "halfway" there, and stop.

Comment I work in this field. It's a *big* field. (Score 1) 294

Just looking on the billing side alone, the two-volume set of hardback books describing just the 837 EDI transaction (payor's outbound patient claim) is 2000+ pages of text. There are many, many different transactions, making tens of thousands of pages of documentation just on file formats. Save a very, very few projects ever successfully built, it's hard to find a business with more required process. The human body is complex, and I think we often underestimate the scope of the healthcare system; it's much more than just getting a yearly flu shot at the family practice doc's. Someone spoke about Obama saying that FedEx can track a box anywhere; why can't we track medical records? Well, we *can* track medical records anywhere; we just can't always read them. Can FedEx track UPS packages? USPS? UK Postal Mail? It's a bunch of different systems, and the analogy was so broken, it kind of illustrates he doesn't yet understand the types of problems the industry has to overcome. Much like the ongoing disaster of rebuilding the air traffic control system, peoples lives depend on these systems for proper care and treatment. Give us awhile. We'll get there, but we write code, not magic; it's going to take awhile.

Comment Re:God Bless Him (Score 1) 600

Someone needs to tell Mr. Bradbury about Open Courseware at MIT, Wikipedia, and perhaps Google News, or the Economist, New York Times, and every other newspaper online. Take a look at the Kindle, even. In the near future, libraries are going to transform into locations for public access to the internet, or they're going to die.

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