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Comment Re:This this not evolution (Score 5, Insightful) 253

What health care was there 200 generations ago?

Pretty good healthcare in some parts of the world. Arabia and parts of the Byzantine Era, for instance, were a high culture more than a thousand years ago with complete health care coverage and other public services. Including stuff you'd have considered high-tech right up to magical in other parts of the world. Water clocks, aquaeducts, mechanical devices, sophisticated smithery and metal working, a school system, superiour math, accounting and efficiency measurement techniques, etc. As for the public healthcare, there are written acounts of people being thrown out of hospitals because they were still enjoying the pampering even though they were well again.

Which, on a sidenote, goes to show how things go down the drain once religious fanatics take over.

Comment The Ouya could be disruptive. Big time. (Score 4, Insightful) 121

I give Ouya a solid chance to disrupt console gaming and living-room computing on a totally new level.
The two simple facts that it is a) dirt cheap and b) anybody who has one can develop for it, carries some hefty oomph that is probably already making some Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo execs getting nervous as we speak. I say it is no coincidence that Nintendo has anounced their Wii U Devkit will be free of charge for anybody who wants one.

If this baby gains critical mass, which I hope and expect it will, it could very well become the best selling piece of electronics hardware in history. Bulk produce the Ouya beyond a few million pieces and you have a console with solid general purpose computing capabilities that most of earths population can afford. If that isn't killer potential, I don't know what is.

My 2 cents.

Comment I don't think it will take the lead. Here's why: (Score 1) 170

It looks weird. Like a 2000ish color Palm with a PhoneKB attached. This device probably won't take the lead because it doesn't have enough of those flashy elaborated calculator buttons.
Seriously, the HP50G or simular devices simply looks cooler and has a more sturdy 'professional-looking' engineering-feel finish. That's my theory anyway.

But, as for smaller non-graphing calculators in general though, I have to say that Casio beats TI and the others hands down. I just bought the Casio FX86 DE Plus (it's the most powerfull permitted in exams at my College) and like it's predecessor the naturaly display (textbook style entry) along with the term-buffer, 7 variables and value table generation (the last step before grafing) are just plain awesome. Wouldn't want to go without it.

My 2 cents.

Comment It's often explained wrong. (Score 1) 116

IMHO, git is a shining example of bad design. You need too much info on how it works on the inside, to be able to use it. It is simply way too complicated. I regret the fact that it seems to be the most popular VCS for open-source projects. I'd prefer something simpler like bzr.

Git is very often explained wrong. Especially for those brain-damaged by the use of CVS or SVN. (I myself was/am too). And yes, 'brain-damaged' is a quite fitting term in this case. Think switching from Basic to OOP Java. That's the magnitude we're talking about here.

A matter of fact is that Git is extremely easy to understand, as every concept it covers is exactly everything you need to know about versioning in order to understand versioning correctly. The main problem I think is that with distributed Git, everything one knows about Subversion as a commit actually is covered by 'git push' which, as it involves merging two single repositories, allways includes a merge. Imperative merges are rarely done in regular use of centralized subversion, which is why Git may seem cumbersome initially. However, it never gets more complicated that understanding that concept of 'git push', your regular special-case superset of a merge. In fact, this is one of the great advantages of the Git workflow. Since basically everything team related always has a merge involved, merges begin to lose their scare and become a part of every-day regular versioning usage. Which is exactly how it should be.

Once one has gotten over the initial speed bump in learning, especially the one involved in moving from Subversion to Git, the insights are bedazzling. If you've used Git correctly in a Subversion replacement scenario, going back to SVN appears like going from Linux to DOS and you finally understand what Linus Torwalds was ragging about in that famous Google TechTalk on Git. And that's just for the regular versioning stuff you know from SVN, and not even including things like 'git rebase' or other luxuries.

I find a great introduction into the right way of grasping Git for the 'impaired by SVN usage' is this commercial video lecture by the PragProg people (10min Preview for free).

Their book on Git seems to be in the same ballpark quality wise.

After moving from SVN to Git - which took a few weeks time to get the hang of - I have to say that I now would second almost everything Linus Torwalds has to rag on about Subversion. Whenever I'm at my job where we use SVN, it feels like I've stepped back a decade or two. The crappyness of subversion and the elegance of git are simply unfathomable if you haven't used both extensively in versioning your projects. I personally find that even if you use Git as a drop in replacement for Subversion, mimicking the workflows including a centralised repos only used for pushing towards and pulling from, it still is light-years ahead of Subversion in every (un)imaginable way. Even the small things like configuring your ignores compare like Linux and DOS commandline between Git and Subversion respectively.

My KO criteria for Git 2-3 years ago used to be the lack of usable GUIs for Git and the abundance of mature SVN GUIs. However, today I'd stick with Git, even if all GitGUIs would vanish overnight.

My conclusion:
I strongly suggest you bite the bullet and wrap your head around what that what appears first as some arcane concept of Git and get to use it regularly. You'll very quickly find that Git has it right and Subversion has it wrong in countless ways you weren't even aware of. That's my experience anyway. ... The downside of that will be, of course, that you will lose your blissfull ignorance of the crappyness of subversion and will suffer whenever required to use it, be it at your job or elsewhere. :-)

My 2 cents.

Comment Looks like a legit patent. (Score 4, Insightful) 211

Seems as though the patent is legit. Although it's not nice of them to sue without talking to the From1 builders first. ... Or did they attempt to do that and got rejected? If so, it's their given right to start legal action.
Could Form1 licence the patent is the next question I'd ask.

Comment "Techie" != Software Engineer (Score 1) 441

"Techie" != Software Engineer and with 40 you shouldn't be calling yourself software engineer anymore. Software Architect and Consultant maybe. ... It's partly marketing but there's also more to it:

With 40 one should be well their way to becoming at least half way familiar with management procedures. Not because it's cool, but it's the only thing that causes more wisdom and experience to make sense to anyone who would want to make use of it. I may be way smarter and more experienced than most of the people I work with, but if I can not leverage that experience by providing some sort of usefull leadership, I'm of lesser use that the 20 year old coder who sits in the corner doing stuff, simply because I'm more experienced, ask more money and put up with less shit. ... I bicker more than my comrades, but I should be in a position where this is an *advantage* to my boss.

As far as the general observation of software developer shelf-life, I'd basically second what is said in the GP.

Bottom line:
Always have a fallback and be prepared to proactively work on your career, also in terms of leadership and softskills and be prepared to move in to a position where you don't get paid for the work you do but for the responsibilities you take. Then software engineer shelf-life isn't a problem, it's simply a stepping stone on the usual career ladder.

My 2 cents.

Comment Pick the one with the best website. ... No joke. (Score 1) 361

Seriously, AFAICT, there are many FOSS VM solutions out there by now. And from what I've heard, none of them are extremely difficult to set up or run. They just follow different obvious or more hidden concepts and strategies, and thus may be suited better for certain setups. But as I say, a good FOSS project will have a good website, either by dedicated people who respect their webdesigners (allways a good sign of a professional non-elitist crew) or build by a dedicated company that puts money into the project.

Enter FOSS VM into Google, broadly scan the websites and take the one that 'looks' best and take it from there. If you run into requirements or usage scenarios that don't fit the one you then know you want to cover, switch.

Good luck.

Comment Gnome: I never got the hype or the recent rage (Score 4, Interesting) 378

I've never understood the Gnome hype to begin with.

I did like the fact that FOSS has two large desktop kits competing each other - that is a neat luxury - but the hype about Gnome I couldn't understand. The only thing Gnome really had going for it, compared to KDE or generic custom WM setups like a WindowMaker environment, in my opinion, was that you could, back then in 2001, with a litte work, get your desktop look totally different and awesome compared to anything else on the planet. But that was a large part to the relatively hassle-free GTK theming, and not on behalf of Gnome. And the people who did that usually did it using Enlightenment as their main environment as the way better choice anyway. And even without E, in my opinion WM or some default Fluxbox setup allways looks better than a bland and somewhat half-assed Gnome UI.

For the better part of the last decade Nautilus was flaky software in beta stage compared to KDEs Konqueror. Konqueror would kick Nautiluses ass up and down the street in terms of features and usability. It was the best FM on the entire plantet, and probably still is ... although I haven't been keeping up with all the details, changes and redos in the FOSS Desktop world since about 2006 so I couldn't really say. FOSS developers have a tendency to break things just to redo entire core-pieces of code or come up with new projects. ... What was that FM thing for KDE a few years back? Dolphin or something? ... Dunno, didn't care. I just remember thinking: "Oh, great, some guy fucking up Konqueror and thinking he can do better than about a decade of FM projekt work. Great." ...
Anyway, I am now using Gnome (2.something) on debian stable because it is the default and it's still way better than windows, but it does bug me with shit I'd expect not to have to put up with in 2012. The Filemanager (still nautilus? couldn't tell) wets its pants when accessing a dir across samba with the svn extension blocking the FM for minutes. Firefox has rendering errors in the tabs, and while the desktop pager works as expected, as far as I can tell it looks very much the same as it did eleven years ago in 2001. And even then E and WM had pagers at least as good, and you could run and customize them with a few lines of easy configging.

With KDE its a simular thing, althoug I'd say they did (and do) way better with the integrated desktop thing. KDE allways had Windows-style performance hog qualities, but they *did* offer the full Desktop experience. I'd bet that to this very day a well configured KDE is the best GUI on the planet, on a machine that can handle the workload. And yes, I know the Mac, I'm typing this on an MB Air with Snow Leopard. However, it wasn't that the KDE team hadn't also been smoking their share of crack while coding. Some dimwhit back in the 90ies had the brilliant Idea to copy the entire Windows KB shortcuts and make them KDE default, thus fucking with the entire userbase of opinion leaders that actually cared about them: The core FOSS unix crowd. As far as I know it has been that way since then. Granted, rare things are as easy to config as KB shortcuts in KDE, but come on! That's, in my book, at least as bad a markting move as Gnome is doing now with v3. Allthough I have to say that ever since Gnome v3 came about posts about gnome on slashdot have at least trippled. ... Maybe not so bad marketing after all. Gnome is refreshing its mindshare with its moves, that's for sure.

Whatever way you put it, the real anoyances with Linux on the desktop are still the same they were 15 years ago when I started using it, and they have nothing to do with wether the Gnome (or any other desktop or WM) crew has decided to make a paradigm shift or not.

I've seen the screens of Gnome 3, I've installed the newest Ubuntu with Unity on a netbook for my daughter (yes, yes, odd and dumbed down, but it's not the end of the world there are some neat ideas in Unity and the Terminal works as expected. Imagine: I've used Unity and live!) and while there is quite a few things I'd fix before fiddling with new UI concepts, if Gnome thinks they'd rather redo their boring old stacked window UI, power to them.

If I in the future should set up a private Linux workstation I'll probably give E17 a shot. After all, it's been about a decade of work on it, that has to be worth something. Aside from that WM and Fluxbox are still very neat WMs and awesome WM looks very interesting aswell.

Its FOSS people, it's not that there aren't enough choices.

My 2 cents.

Comment Wrong. (Score 4, Informative) 300

ASUS and their peers copied the idea about 10 years after the first netbook and started a new boom of cheap latop-like mobile computers.

Netbooks were started by ASUS and their peers as an 'appliance' laptop- They were Linux based and only cost a few hundred bucks. Microsoft didn't try to get into it until it was posing as a threat to Windows!

Let me fix that for you:

Netbooks were started by PSION as an 'appliance' laptop- They were EPOC based and only cost a few hundred bucks AND had 40 hrs of battery uptime. Microsoft did get into it with the last Edition WindowsCE, because PSION thought it would be a great Idea to get in bed with MS. PSION standing in the mobile market folded shortly thereafter, just as Nokia is folding now.

A shame actually, the original Netbook [wikipedia.org] was a very good machine with some features we can only dream about even today, 13 years later (like a really awesome keyboard despite the really small size)

EPOC went on to become the awesome Symbian Mobile OS which Nokia dropped after getting in bed with MS. ... What a coincidence.

Comment I'm inclined to side with Bob on this one. (Score 1) 379

To be honest I'd take a ancient DOS 4.0 System written in QBasic over Google Docs any time.

First of all: Moving to Google Drive for critical docs is a stupid idea. We (me and my freelancer crew) have team stuff on Google Docs, but those are for the very most part non-critical things. The rest are docs in Git Versioning with a central virtual server to push and pull. If Google Docs shuts us down, we won't miss a step. And if our vhost ISP folds, it takes me (or anybody else on the core team) to completely set up a new one and clone to that in less than an hour. That's how it should be.

I suggest you talk to Bob about doing a redo of the system *together*, preferably on x86 Linux, some kind of distriubted versioning (Bazaar has an x-plattform idiot-safe GUI as part of the core project) and maybe with a web-frontend. There are tons of easy setup/maintain FOSS systems that offer solutions for stuff like this. Help him sort the docs and show him some neat new stuff in the FOSS world and see to it that you *both* decide which system to slowly migrate to.

Coming on board as a kid and pissing into the captains soup is a bad idea, even if you know for sure that you know much better soup. Make it clear to Bob that you are here to help, and I'm sure he'll gladly listen to your suggestions, once you've delivered on your promises.

Comment Yepp. I get that. (Score 1) 530

Todays portable lightweight low-power CPUs are yesterdays Workstation CPUs with 4 times the power. Apple has been trading off processing power for energy efficiency, design and small enclosures for quite some time now. It's one of the main reasons for their success. F.E.: I'm typing this on a 5 year old x86 mac mini, for which I have yet to find a competing non-apple product that matches it.

Yer Olde Desktop Setups are quickly going the way of the dodo. Fanless thin clients are as powerfull as a full-blown decked-out workstation in 2004, internal storage on HDDs is just plain silly once you've used an SSD device and you get highpower 4+1 multicore cpus in 199$ tablets with a batterytime of 8+ hours these days.
It sure wont be long before apple pushed out iMacs as thin as a slim screen, with 8+ cores for processing power. It could very well be that their ARM variant is the way to go for them.

However, Intel isn't exactly lagging behind in the low-energy CPU game either, and you can allready get viable Atom desktops. It might very well be that come the time Intel is up for the task of lowering their energy requirements for their CPUs and Apple stays with Intel.

There is interesting things to come, and I wouldn't be surprised if Apple would lead the innovation here once again.

Comment They want him, not the company. (Score 1) 358

Facebook doesn't care as much for the company as it does for the guy.
Facebook usually buys for talent (the smaller joints anyway), which is the smart thing to do in the top tier web business.

Personally, I'd sell and join FB. They've still got bizar amounts of cash in the bank after their maximum-gain IPO and are into all kinds of crazy stuff like building PHP JIT Compilers and shit. Sort of like Google a few years ago. Sounds like tons of fun to me. And he can still leave and start a new company if he gets bored in a few years. He'll have gained tons of connections and experience. It's win-win all around.

My 2 cents.

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