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Comment Re:Slap in the face. (Score 1) 211

I don't think so. I think it's an entirely different thing.

MS hires a lot of great developers. But the fact that they (presumably) finished college and looked for a job shows they are walking down an entirely different path than Bill Gates ever did. There is a big difference in skills/mindsets between someone who starts a company doing X and being someone who does X full-time.

Comment Re:MS hate (Score 1) 358

Silverlight *doesn't* suck.

It's actually pretty awesome. The biggest complaints I've heard about Silverlight is that doesn't run on everything (but neither does Flash) and it doesn't have a big enough install base (but that's the same with HTML5).

Flash isn't so awesome, in a lot of ways. But it gets the job done. And it was around when there wasn't much else to pick from. It is popular. It was also buggy and insecure, but it become the dominate force. Flash isn't 'open' and it doesn't run everywhere (just like Silverlight).

When Silverlight was introduced and in it's early years, there was no HTML 5. Microsoft didn't create HTML5. Remove HTML5 from the equation and you are left with Flash Vs. Silverlight Vs. Java Applets. I'd pick Silverlight, even if it goes less places than Java Applets.

But HTML5 is gaining support. A lot of big names are on board. It's generally recognized as the 'future'. But the future isn't here. HTML5 isn't even finalized, support on the PC is pretty good assuming you've got the latest and greatest browser. But if you don't (how many people still run IE6?) or if you have a portable device odds are you don't have HTML5 support. And, HTML5 brings back a lot of problems that Silverlight, Flash, and Java attempted to solve. If a browser doesn't implement HTML5 correctly, you can see different behavior in different browsers. Even it is considered a 'bug', it's a possibility. A lot of browsers don't have FULL HTML5 support, which is, again, a problem. Things like 'I want to play this video' is a difficult task in HTML5. Different formats are supported by different browsers.

Also, maybe I'm biased, but I like the benefits a compiler gives me. I also feel like JavaScript sure makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot.

Still, don't think MS didn't want Silverlight to become the next big thing. Also, I'm quite sure any Silverlight application you've written will continue to work for the foreseeable future. I really believe that if you've created some compelling content worth seeing, users will click on the 'Install Silverlight' button. It's pretty effortless. Certainly less effort than getting your user to upgrade to a new web browser.

I understand the frustration Silverlight developers might feel, knowing that the web is going in the direction of HTML5. But that is beyond MS's control. It's probably the exact same feeling Flash developers are going through. But I can't fault MS for adopting HTML5 for a new website they are making. I don't see how that is 'stabbing' someone in the back. I've written some things in Silverlight and I never paid a single penny to do it. I think it's pretty ridiculous the level of entitlement some people have.

"Hey - here is this cool thing we spent years developing. You can use it. It's free. Also, here is some software that also took years to develop that you can use to create things for that first thing we were talking about. It's also free. And here are all sorts of examples and documentation we put together. It's yours - free! You can use it, or not, it's up to you."

Five years later....

"OMG! What a bunch of jerks. First they BEGGED ME to write apps in Silverlight. Now, some new technology is in the spotlight and my existing code works exactly like it always has but BOY AM I ANGRY! Microsoft Sucks!"

Comment Re:Why is this still news? (Score 1) 182

I'm not trying to argue so much as I'm legitimately asking....it's possible that, being an American, I'm surrounded by American software and don't realize what else is out there. But, virtually all of the major software I'm familiar with comes from American companies.

The only exception that jumps to mind is Japan. For years (and, depending on who you talk to, even now) they've dominated the video game market. But, from what I understand Japan has similar laws that allow software patents.

Also, for the record, I'm not saying that I support software patents in their current form. There is plenty of ridiculous crap out there.

Comment Re:In High School, we beat the shit out of them. (Score 2) 317

I don't know where you went to high school or where you work; but I've found this to, largely, be incorrect. Most of the 'geeks' I knew in high school are software developers or system admins or something similar. Even some of the really, really smart geeks I knew, the one who worked at Google and then Plantir (while I'm sure he's rich by normal standards) isn't 'running' things.

I'd bet money there are more CEOs in the US who were former jocks/popular kids than former geeks. I might be wrong, I don't have any real data on this, but my gut and personal experience support it. There are a few notable exceptions, specifically tech companies that were started by one geek that grew.

Comment Re:Why is this still news? (Score 0) 182

I've been told (perhaps incorrectly) that the countries that are willing to forgo laws that protect intellectual property are the ones that benefit most from allowing it's citizens to copy/steal/imitate others.

Are there any countries that don't allow software patents that have a history of regularly introducing ground-breaking/game-changing software (at the global scale)?

Comment Re:TrueCrypt (Score 1) 482

Is it really worth the hassle of using DropBox for something you access once a year? I thought the big selling point of DropBox was that it seamlessly synced files on all of your devices with each other in (near) real-time.

But if you've got a small, encrypted file you access once a year; what's the benefit of having it on all of your devices and updated and synced all the time? What makes DropBox better than emailing an encrypted file to your Gmail account? Heck, Gmail gives you more storage than DropBox does the last time I checked and I can't imagine Google being more likely to lose your data.

Just curious. For the record, I have the exact same setup as you (TrueCrypt with important tax files on my DropBox) but I never really thought about WHY that makes sense. Just that I could do it.

Comment Re:To ask the question: (Score 2) 169

I'm not really sure if it's fair to assume other people would have your experience.

I'm sure there is some rich, successful business man who has many millions of dollars who started his first lawn care business when he was 8. That doesn't mean the key to future generation's financial success is to make them all cut grass all day. There are plenty of entrepreneurial types who do what you've done, in other areas than computer software. And there are lots of people who study computer science and never make anything worth having.

There are plenty of people who never had to work a single day in their life because of their ability to play football or basketball. That doesn't mean we should emphasis sports in elementary school. There is only so much we can teach in schools if we add something we have to lose something. If we have 'x' hours in the day which material will be the most beneficial for the most students. Maybe CS should be included. Maybe it shouldn't be.

Comment Re:To ask the question: (Score 3, Insightful) 169

I hear this argument a lot. X isn't just about X, it's about all this other stuff that it sorta kinda addresses too.

I think the question really needs to become, 'Does X teach other important stuff *better* than all of these other things we could cover?' I'm sure there are Shop teachers that would argue building a bird house or fixing a car teaches problem solving.

You can learn a lot playing Monopoly or Checkers or Chess or Dungeons and Dragons or watching TV or studying math or programming or working in a factory. I'm not sure that programming really does a better job of teaching 'problem solving' than many other things. Procedural programming, particularly at an introductory level, doesn't seem like it would do a good job. Algorithmic programming, sure, but to get to that point you need to cover the basics and then, most of the time, I think you could have the same educational experience focusing on the problem and math to solve it.

Comment Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (Score 1) 580

Yeah - if there is one thing Linux users are known for, it's being at and even pushing the very cutting edge of rich user experience!

I mean, when I think of an OS with the most robust, visually stunning, user experience, that works across the board, without any compatibility problems....LINUX just jumps to the top of the list.

Now, if I just replace 'visually stunning' with 'text only' and robust with 'neck-beard'; now Linux seems to fit the bill. Linux is great. But let's be realistic here.

Comment Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (Score 1) 580

People joke, but I really think the user experience would be better if MS bundled more things.

Of course, one of the big Linux pros I keep hearing is how your distro includes X and Y and Z. But when MS included X and Y and Z it was illegal because they were a monopoly.

If I'm an end-user who knows nothing about computers; I'd rather buy a computer and have websites work. I don't even want to hear the word Silverlight or .Net. I just want it to work. Bundling it would make that happen.

Comment Re:Maybe we should take them at their word (Score 1) 580

As a developer - sure. It wouldn't be that hard to pick up an entirely new language/technology stack. They really aren't that different. I'm also pretty sure most Silverlight devs could pretty seamlessly transition to .Net devs.

As a company/product - it gets harder. Imagine if you (and/or your company) spent the last two years developing *The Next Big Thing* and you did it all in Silverlight. You might be concerned that, if MS stops continuing with Silverlight support and development, your two years and countless $$$ will be wasted.

Comment Re:New plan (Score 1) 120

Yes - but I'm saying with all of the information you've collected by pretending to be a fake employer and the copy of the transcript you had them give you; you could re-request the transcripts and whatever else you need.

Believe it or not, I actually had to do this yesterday.

I went to the old school's website and clicked the 'Request transcript link'. I needed to provide either my old student ID number or my SSN (if I were running this scam, I'd know the SSN to enter). I also needed my name and date of birth. Again, both of which are collected by employers. I needed to include the dates attended, but it said 'Estimated dates of attendance' so there is some room for error, and again, I'd have the copy of their transcript to ensure I put down the right information.

In the past, with a different school, I had to also print, sign, fax a form back to the school before they'd release the transcripts. In my experience *nobody* ever actually checks signatures anymore. Still, while my experience of faking signatures only goes back to signing my Mom's name in elementary school; I'd at least be able to see what the victim's signature looks like (because, I'll have it on the forms I asked them to fill out). I'd be tempted to scan it, crop the signature, paste it onto the required form, print it and fax it. I think that would work. Truthfully I think scribbling a line of crap would work too.

The Mater's program I'm doing required an application/application fee of $60, three letters of recommendation, and a copy of all post-high school transcripts. I haven't had to show up, ever; or provide any information an employer with a copy of my transcripts couldn't provide. Yeah, I'd have to fill out papers and pay the application fees and fill out the FAFSA forms and even enroll in classes; but it really seems very doable to me.

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