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Comment Nothing is free! (Score 1) 523

As an app producer, I see it breaking down like this:

-If you don't pay for an app, you have to assume that the producer will find other revenue streams, like "in app ads", or selling your "usage patterns".
-If you do pay for an app, you can usually assume that they don't violate your privacy...
-Or its a free, "sponsored production", like an app for your bank, or telco; not exactly free, as your already paying for it...
But in any instance, always check what "permissions" the app requires. i.e. Internet, location and/or contacts access, but dose not seem to need it...

Generally, I don't mind paying, say, up to the price of a burger, or a beer, for a basic app, and up to the price of a movie for something "cool", but usually stay away from free app, unless its from a respectable company. Personally, I value my privacy...

At the end of the day, if I put my time into producing something like an app, I will want to be reimbursed; after-all, why do you go to work?

Comment The appropriate use of metrics (Score 1) 203

If a company needs metrics to evaluate their employs, then the company is barely functioning, on a communication, collaboration and management levels; interpersonal knowledge and cohesive employees always produce better results than a company that is myopically focused on the numbers.

Metrics should only be used to make projections about reimplementation of a project, i.e. highest level if estimation, but having said that, if the person responsible for that estimation, cannot make it off the top of their heads(relies on metrics alone), then the company has bigger problems...

Where a metric makes developers competitive, to the point where they are working against each other, rather than together, the metric is actually damaging the project; how many of us have worked on a project like that?

Any good metric requires each objective to be weighted based on size and difficulty, factored by the experience of the resource with the domain and code-base, a lot of hard work, but if the initial estimations are inaccurate or deliberately favour certain resources, it collapse like the house of cards that it is...

My advice take metrics with a grain of salt, especially on the macro level; its rare for the keystone developer to be the best performing in the eyes of the metric...

Comment The de-revolution of the GUI (Score 1) 1040

All GUI should, need to evolve, but some the recent attempts seem more like a de-evolution to me...

Netbooks, touch-screens and noob-users are an important part of the 'new' ecosystem, but these new approaches are only suitable for a small portion of the user base, and limits the core power-uses, and have no place in major distros.

The dream of having Linux on netbooks everywhere shouldn't be at the expense of the power-user.

If you want a unix based system that's easy to use and ticks the other boxes, get a Android or a iPxx device if you must. Linux doesn't need to go there; evolution is more importance than revolution...

I hate to say it but win8 and the metro interface is the right way to do it, easy on top, with the power interface below, both ends of the user spectrum catered for... But personally I think I'll disable metro, if I can...

Comment Reinventing the wheel? (Score 1) 35

Nice work, but this is hardly the first of its kind...

A friend of a friend invented this concept while working at the CSIRO(those guys that invented the good wi-fi), in Australia.
He was even on a local show called "The New Inventers" where he showed it off, about 4 years ago, for the record.

This JPL model is definitely bigger, and badder, but NASA/JPL could have saved millions of dollars if they had a good look around every once in a while, or didn't fall asleep in front of the TV...

Credit where credit is dew. http://www.eoc.csiro.au/vsis/lidhome.htm

Comment Re:For the record... (Score 1) 572

Bill Gates was a trust fund baby. His dad was a wealthy business lawyer, and Bill used those contacts to get in with IBM. Didn't you ever wonder how a fresh faced nerd boy made it with the big leagues?

Almost right...
His mom worked at IBM; you've got to imagine that that must have opened a few doors, but at the end of the day, you've sill got to deliver... ...small chuckle...

Don't forget, William is also well-educated, ambitious and a formidable programmer.
He obviously had/has a taste for money, but I bet his family's previous wealth has been eclipsed by what he has achieved since.

Every big company was once a small one, with a few good ideas; it was all of us that made him/them rich!

As for the general discussion; Should we really be outraged about human nature, especially in this day and age? Coffee... Smell... Wake-Up... ...all that.

Comment Their own worst enemy (Score 2) 318

I find it hard to be sorry for the music companies; They produce "by the numbers" music, and rip off next to all genuine artists, by calming that the cost of production through distribution is 99.9% of earnings... Akin the the movie industry claiming that a recent Harry Potter film didn't make profit...
But I don't support piracy either, artists need to eat, and diverse to profit from their work too...

It's not just digital downloads that have changed the music industry, i.e. distribution; an album can be recorded "at home", if ya know what your doing. So if the cost of production and distribution are not prohibitive factors, so how dose the industry justify the "mark-up"?

Radio you say. Yes the network to promote the music is "buttoned up tight", and the relationships go way back, so penetration is still an issue, though it shouldn't be...


Materialism vs. Virtual downloads: When I was a kid, there where these things called cassettes, you could even copy music on to them, but it was never as good as getting the whole package, album art, song lyrics, etc. Paying for a digital download still don't feel as "good value" as having the product sitting on my shelf.
If you buy an album these days, your lucky if you get more than a single sheet of paper, badly printed, and I cant remember the last time I saw lyrics...

So I pose the question; Has the reduction of the physical product made it easer to see value in the digital download, or has it blurred the line between a copy and the real product?

I see digital download(low profit) as eating in to physical record sales(higher profit), rather than offsetting the piracy numbers, so why dose the industry fixate on a non-markets rather than retaining(premium) paying customers?

PS. I've read statements recently that movie studios are becoming "more concerned about loosing distribution than the issue of piracy", very strong words...
Games

Submission + - New Features in next Xbox Update (xbox.com)

RandomStr writes: Just heard from a Microsoft support representative that the next xbox dashboard update will include options to remove credit card details and also a feature to disable the automatic renewal.

Since these features have always been a bit controversial, I thought that the community at large would like to discuss this surprising move by Microsoft.

Dig in!

Comment Like the Joker "needs" Batman... (Score 1) 1613

Steve was a man that was unafraid of big ideas, could see outside of the box in a way that few are able, and was capable of changing the world, and he did...
He was instrumental in redefining the stigma related to technology, and raised the bar for his competitors and contemporaries.

While he polarised the 'community', and ruffled more than a few feathers, he dragged many industries, sometimes "kicking and screaming", into a new future; we are all better off for his contribution.
The seeds that he planted will grow for years to come; the legacy of Steve Jobs will live on.

I will remember Steve as the man that made technology ubiquitous and am sorry that he was not given that chance to watch his creations flourish.

Like the Joker "needs" Batman; the I.T. world needed Steve Jobs, we are all diminished without his presence...

Comment What if the iPad was banned... or iTunes! (Score 1) 342

With Apple trying to ban any product that is seen as a threat, via their patents, now the opposition are teaming up; what if Apple's tactics turn against them?

If the "tablet patent' Apple is using to try and ban the Samsung devices is overturned, and it should be (the prior art discussions here are evidence enough), the door will be open to the original IP holders, in this case most of the companies are represented in this "opposition".
I'm wonder when IBM will play its trump card and join the ranks? Or Microsoft even...

What if the iPad was banned for the same reasons Apple are trying to ban the Samsung devices?
Or that Apple's uncompetitive practices initiated a structural separation of the company?
Or that the monopolise they have built in the music, games and video industries via iTunes where opened to the competition?
And lets not mention the lobbying...

Apple has been playing a dangerous game for a long time, it's only a matter of time before the "competition" will have had enough.

We'll just have to wait and see where this one leads. ;)

Comment The NEW business model (Score 2) 110

It's a sign of the times, the percentage of the population capable of coming up with a new idea is shrinking, and the model employee(technical) is now too specialised to see the big picture dew to technical requirements, etc... Not to mention the fact that most things have already been done.

Innovation is now something that is attained through acquisition of other companies. Recognise.

For a small company to "make a splash", hold on to their "idea" and be the one to profit, a patent is the only option.
At the end of the day, most starts-ups want to be bought-out, so a patent is essentially the dominant currency of today.

The age of "Inverse outsourcing of innovation", is upon us.

Comment Julian is no fool. (Score 1) 196

One of the primary objectives of wikileaks, is to present this information in a way that is not illegal, and to protect the identity of the people involved. It's one of the reasons it has been so successful, as opposed to Anomalous... Those kids are headed for trouble, and I certainly do not condone their actions...

There are no hidden agendas, it(wikileaks) is for us, the people of the world, we diverse to live in a world that is not governed by the greedy and morally unsound...

As for this current slip-up, I think I'm safe to say that, it is NOT the intent of wikileaks to undermine it's authority and legality, and in no way should this action compromise the continuing objectives of the movement.

Just don't forget that there are many people with vested interested; those that oppose the idea generally have something to hide, and more often than not, they have the power to manipulate and influence, in this instance, I see reality distortion and a bit of sabotage thrown into the mix for good measure...

Just another day in the mud for wikileaks!

Comment Re:Did someone forget the Newton? (Score 1) 279

I remember playing with one of these as a kid(dad an IBMer), was awesome, but after dad told me how much it was worth, I didn't feel comfortable walking around with it... It was too big for a kid to use while standing, and I didn't want to be the one answering the question of "what happens if it is dropped"!

It was limited compared to today's expectation, in most ways at least, but it was real, and it was on-par with laptops at the time, specs-wise. I even put Civilization and SimCity on it!

Tablets these days are consumer devices, even though they cost as more than a cheap laptop and a half as capable. Just goes to show what a fat advertising budget can do...

Funny how Steve talks about his "competitor", Bill, but fails to mention their "competitor", IBM. Reality distortion 1990's style!

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