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Comment Cheap Android Tablet (Score 2) 142

I've looked into something similar to use as a controller/receiver for a whole house audio system, and you may want to look at a cheap Android-based device, some of which can be had for less than $50. For that price you get a resistive touch screen at around 320x240, 8G storage, stereo output, 256M RAM, WiFi, USB and a Java-based OS with plenty of apps pre-built and a well established development community.

For a small 4" device, Google "benss android". I was able to find half a dozen listings for this under $50. (Haven't tried it, though.) Also, Big Lots in the US regularly sells 7" refurb tablets for $70.

- Stealth Dave

Comment Web development SHOULD be platform agnostic (Score 1) 831

Wow, TFA is a giant mound of flame-bait! I haven't fed a troll in quite some time, but seeing as he's going after my turf (web developer for 13 years, Mac user for 8), I think I'll bite. Four bullet points with flawed arguments about why Mac OS X is "bad" and one bullet point of nerd-baiting.

Horrific Package Management
This is perhaps the only valid argument of the bunch. Although I've personally used Fink with excellent results in the past, I don't think that it's being maintained as actively as it once was, but from what I can tell Macports is. I've never tried Homebrew, but I'm sure the author has sufficiently explored it's deficiencies to his own satisfaction. The author mentions his preference for Debian based tools, which is what Fink uses, so I'm not sure why he wasn't able to find some common ground there, but obviously he wasn't.

You don't deploy to BSD
Conversely, this is perhaps his weakest argument. It shouldn't matter if your development environment is BSD (Mac) and your target environment is Linux, or any other environment for that matter. In all my years as a web developer, I have NEVER had a local development environment that exactly matched my production environment. Even when I was using Linux on the desktop, it was not the same "flavor" as the servers, so I still didn't have mirrored environments. This is why you have multiple testing environments for your project, just as you have multiple browsers for testing. My local environment is a Macbook Pro. It used to be a Windows 7 machine, which used to be running Windows XP, to run a Java-based platform. We also have Development and QA environments that mirrored Production in order to test these types of compatibility issues. I'm also willing to bet that the Lenovo didn't come preinstalled with whatever variant of Linux you're using on your production server, or that the hardware specs on the server even remotely match either laptop.

Textmate sucks
So don't use it. Try Eclipse (my personal choice) or whatever brand of IDE or text editor you prefer. If all else fails, man up and install emacs.

The hardware is overpriced
I think the same thing about BMWs and Mercedes Benz. However, some people still prefer to drive them.

Some crap about 'LOST' that is completely irrelevant to the conversation
Okay, somewhere in your relationship with your Mac, you were hurt very badly. That's okay, not everyone is a Mac person. Not everyone is a Windows or Linux person either. But at some point you need to just "man up" and deal with the choice you've made or start over and just install Linux on your MacBook Pro.

- Stealth Dave

Comment The upside for Netflix (and us) (Score 3, Informative) 418

The summary did not mention what Netflix gets out of the deal: more on-demand content. From the article:

Although Warner's unilateral move against Redbox has led to a court battle, Netflix agreed to the 28-day window in exchange for improved financial terms and more content for its Internet streaming service. (my emphasis)

As someone who has Netflix Instant Queue available directly on my television (thanks, TiVo), I'm more than happy to wait another month for a latest release if it means I can decide on a Thursday evening that I'd rather watch "Big Movie A" instead of "Big Movie B" without having to wait 2 days (one day to mail back, one day to receive) to see it.

Comment How to lose clients and alienate patients. (Score 4, Informative) 324

This is why the movie Sicko! was so popular and why the idea of health care reform is becoming more and more popular, despite attempts to categorically dismiss it as a "socialist" idea. People have enough problems getting proper medical care without having to worry about whether your doctor is going to require you sign away your rights in order to get treatment.

On one occasion when going to see a specialist for the first time, I was presented with the usual stack of paperwork before I was allowed to see the doctor. Luckily, I have an annoying habit of reading a document before I sign it, as one of the documents was (as another reader has described) an agreement to waive my right to sue for malpractice, and to instead agree to arbitration of their choosing. I signed the other documents and told the receptionist that I would need to have my lawyer look over the waiver before I would sign it, and she responded "Oh, okay. Just bring it in whenever; it's optional, anyway." Optional? Then why was it buried in this stack of required paperwork?!? (Yes, that question is rhetorical.) Needless to say, I opted not to sign it, and I got to see the doctor anyway.

This is the last thing that the health care industry needs right now as it battles a PR campaign against movies like Sicko! and all the various "investigative reporters" for everyone from your local news to CNN. My wife and I even made our own short film about it. (Go ahead; mod me a Troll, I don't care.)

- Dave

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