Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Valve / Steam... (Score 1) 371

If things were a few cents more in Canada I don't think anyone would complain. But most products are SIGNIFICANTLY more, often double. the difference in labelling costs simply doesn't work as an excuse for that.
Unfortunately the auto corporations have a nice racket going with cars, it's illegal for me to go overseas and purchase a car and bring it home (unless it's over 15 years old) Even cars from the USA have to be on a specific list to be allowed in, and it's the manufacturers themselves that decide what cars are on that list, and what modifications you need to do to them (and who is allowed to do the modifications) to be allowed in to the country. They claim it's due to different safety standards, but the standards are so close that it's obvious those standards are only there to be a trade barrier and not to improve safety in any way.

Comment Re:Not Flash, but Silverlight (Score 1) 393

How about apple users? cell phone users? tablet users? are all of those groups also completely irrelevant?

Silverlight runs on full windows installations only. Microsoft themselves have given up on it and have encouraged companies to move away from it, meanwhile companies are still implementing new websites that work only on silverlight!

I find it abhorent that any website cares what hardware or software I'm using their site on. make it standards compatible, and let ANY browser use it. period. end of story. I don't want a special page for mobile devices, I don't want plugins that only work on a couple of versions of one particular company's web browser. I want standard webpages that work on every browser out there. And the best part is, it's not that hard to do. most sites use plugins that serve no purpose whatsoever on their site. you don't need flash, or silverlight to render a menu of options! we've had standard methods for embeded video for years, and standard methods of downloading those files, or streaming them, for far longer. So many sites spend extra money and effort to make their pages harder to use and compatible with fewer devices.

Bad web design hurts your business more than it helps. Locking out even one person when there's no need to do so hurts your reputation. sure you can be happy that many others are using your site, but wouldn't you be even happier if even more people did?

Comment Re:Build Your own software (Score 1) 371

You'll notice the company can get the cheapest labour in one country, the cheapest of one part in another, and the cheapest of another part in yet another country, and pay the cheapest taxes in a fourth country. The corporation doesn't have to uproot and move to that country to do that.
How am I supposed to do the same (buy my medications in Canada, my computer hardware in Hong Kong, my software in the USA, pay my tax in... well wherever that would be... etc)? now some of these things I can have shipped, but some things I can't legally import, even though I can legally buy them here, and the companies can legally import them (for example cars and trucks, or medications)

The problem is the imbalance of "free trade" where corporations can shop around, but humans can't.

Comment Re:Build Your own software (Score 4, Insightful) 371

I think the problem is that the manufacturer's use globalization to pick and choose the cheapest components, and the cheapest labour form anywhere they can, and then turn around and deny their customer's the same thing by region locking things, writing contracts prohibiting their dealers from selling to people out of country, and all sorts of other BS that they themselves don't have to deal with.

If "Free Trade" applied to customers as equally as corporations I don't think anyone would have an issue with a company pricing things however they wanted, wherever they wanted. It's the fact that I often am not allowed to pick the cheapest location that bothers me.

Comment Re:Valve / Steam... (Score 4, Informative) 371

You talk about that one scandal as if it's unique, there are MANY examples of us paying more for Canadian made products than the Americans do. There was a news article a year or two ago about a specific model of car that was priced more than $10,000 higher at the Canadian dealership across the street from the factory than it was in Hawaii, and best of all, the excuse given was that the transportation costs in Canada were higher!
Thing is, the Canadian government has "investigated" this sort of thing many times, including yet another report that came out just last week. Do you think anything will ever change?
Canadians pay more because... well, because we pay more, that's why!

On some things we can buy online and get the same price as the rest of the world, but if you just can't do that (some products don't work well that way, and the government makes it illegal to do so with other ones, not to mention the companies that flat out refuse to sell to customers outside the US) then you're just screwed.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 467

It would hold true for any poorly programmed upgrade utility, of any form. Other possible causes of issues are upgrade utilities built in to existing firmware that have various limits on what the new firmware can look like, so for example if version 1.2 thinks the next version must be of exactly size Y, the manufacturer may make 1.3 fit that parameter, but also update the upgrade utility to allow new firmwares of size Z instead. And then when the next firmware upgrade is made to 1.4 the firmware is using that extra space. in that situation an upgrade from 1.2 directly to 1.4 would fail. (I've also seen this done with changing encryption keys, or new compression methods being implemented, in all cases an intermediate firmware is used to upgrade the upgrader before the following firmware makes use of the new features)

Of course the real culprit in any of these cases is extremely poor programming. About the first thing taught in any programming course is to never make assumptions about the initial state of any system, or about the input being handed to you. So your upgrade utility should always check first to make sure things are going to fit it's per-conceived notions, and have a contingency plan to work around it (either refuse the update, or fix the issue before continuing)

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 467

Thing is, most people don't want to loose all settings when they upgrade, so most of these upgrades leave some form of settings file intact (or it's stored somewhere other than the area you are flashing) and then does whatever magic is needed to convert the stored settings to the format expected by the new version. So the problem isn't so much in the firmware/software versions, as it is in an updater that doesn't properly translate stored settings between version, AND fails to check version numbers before updating, AND has no fallback to wipe corrupted data
If you've only tested your conversion software to work from 1.5->1.6, you should check that it's actually running on 1.5 first before updating, if you can't/won't do that, then you should check all the values, and if things don't look like they're going to work, set them to default values.

Comment Re:Apple needs to move on to a new form factor (Score 1) 587

Except that I find the "polish" of apple products to be SEVERELY lacking. the user interface of the initial ipod was horrible by comparison to the other devices of the day, and they continue to have similar problems.
As for your other points, As someone doing technical work at people's houses every day, I use all manner of devices, I HATE the apple keyboard with a passion. it's about the most difficult keyboard to use. no dedicated number row, no indication looking at the keys as to if you are using caps or small case, as for the actual speed of input, I hate apple for convincing manufacturers they could do away with hardware keyboards, that's one trend that badly needs reversing! and if you have to use an onscreen keyboard, they could at least implement something like swype. Luckily most Android phones have the dedicated number row, the keys change from upper to lower case depending on the shift status, and most of the new ones support swype for input (some are even nice enough to have slide out keyboards)

And although completely unrelated to this topic, I use an airline website over a travel agent because it is MUCH simpler, much more reliable, always cheaper, and always "just works"

Comment Re:A Judge did? (Score 1) 109

It's not the patent office's fault if people think patents mean something is legit. And I would say that invalidating all those patents would put exactly zero dent in those fraud schemes.
Fixing human stupidity is far outside the scope of the patent office.

Prior art is a problem, broad and vague patents are an even bigger problem. Honestly, I believe "patents" are the problem, but I know that this view is not widely held (despite much research to support it)

Comment Re:Proper multitasking (Score 1) 587

So you want to remove the ability to swipe between screens within an app (an often used feature) so as to be able to do so to multi-task (a seldom used feature on most phones)
Additionally, when you have a bunch of things open, swiping is a pain, because you never know what order they are in anyway, a list is much easier.

I'll take the Android way any day.

Comment Re:Not Flash, but Silverlight (Score 3, Interesting) 393

I can't believe how many sites use silverlight. Even Microsoft backed away from Silverlight ages ago, but some sites are even just now starting to implement Silverlight. As a Linux user this is EXTREMELY frustrating, and as a user of mobile devices it isn't any better. Silverlight has never worked properly on linux, and nobody has ever made a plugin for it for Android, there was a Linux Firefox plugin ages ago called "moonlight" that seemed to work on about 10% of Silverlight sites, but that stopped development ages ago too, and isnt' compatible with any of the latest browsers.

Slashdot Top Deals

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.