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Comment Re:MMO development may be (Score 1) 103

I've always thought that the way certain MMO games use cluster technology to support a massive single-instance world was pretty innovative. Second Life, for instance, uses a system where each 256m x 256m region of the world is mapped to a single server CPU core. (That's for "full" regions; the lighter-duty "homestead" regions get mapped four to a core.) EVE Online does something similar with its individual star systems, but more dynamically based on traffic in those systems. Certain heavily-trafficked systems, such as Jita and other trade hubs, get dedicated servers; other systems are shared among cluster nodes and "migrated" from node to node for load-balancing. There's even a means in place for alliances planning a major space battle to "reserve" dedicated nodes for the systems where the battle will be fought in advance. And now, they've even tied a second game into that same game world, DUST 514.

Comment Re:How long before... (Score 1) 255

If it really uses no code copied from Apple in the implementation, and the author just relied on Apple's own public documentation about their APIs, Apple wouldn't have a leg to stand on. The precedent for this was just established in Oracle v. Google, and the judge's ruling went into sufficient detail to let it be cited as precedent in any similar case.

Comment Re:"Bad news" (Score 1) 178

Why "bad news"? This is an excellent opportunity to get a second one...and give the original to someone who would appreciate it as a Christmas gift. Which is what I plan on doing...and it means ModMyPi will be getting more business, too, as I get another case for the new one.

Comment Re:DISCLAIMER: I WORK FOR MS ON THE "METRO" SCREEN (Score 4, Insightful) 671

So you couldn't have just improved the search without tying it to "Metro"?

See, this is what you at M$ don't get. You don't "improve search" by introducing a big, new, confusing UI paradigm, you "improve search" by improving search! Similarly, I think those "speed improvements" in 8 vs. 7 could have been done without shoving "Metro" down everyone's throats.

Count me among the people who are going to squeeze every last bit of life out of Win7 we can, just as we squeezed more life out of XP until 7 came out and we could forget Vista ever existed.

Comment Re:Yeah, yeah, and "XP had a Fisher-Price UI" (Score 1) 671

Yeah, well, in XP, you could turn off the Fisher-Price UI and make XP look more like Win2K. I routinely did this. And you could turn off Aero Glass on Vista and 7, even though I leave it on on my Win7 boxes.

Apparently, M$ thought that "Metro" was too critical to turn off. They're going to regret that.

Comment Jeff Duntemann (Score 1) 1130

And I say this not just because he's a personal friend, either. :-)

Jeff is more widely known for writing computer books, including books on Turbo Pascal and x86 assembly language, Degunking Windows, and Jeff Duntemann's Drive-By Wi-Fi Guide, and for editing one of the better programming magazines of the 90's, PC Techniques (later Visual Developer Magazine), but his SF work is worth anyone's time. The Cunning Blood , his first published novel, is classical hard SF jam-packed with information and ideas, including a prison planet without electricity, kept that way by nanotechnological devices that eat active electrical conductors. (The inhabitants of the planet have developed many non-electrical technologies into a fairly advanced society.) It also posits life after death...with the effects thereof mainly visible at the femtometer scale. (You'll have to read it to understand what that means, and the significance that point has.)

Another group of his works involves the survivors of a lost starship that have built a new home on an Earthlike world...which has thousands of strange machines left on it by an unknown race, consisting of two pillars and a bowl of dust. Tap on the pillars 256 times, in any combination, and an object will appear in the dust. Simple patterns produce simple objects, like saws, knives, and rope; more complex patterns are likely only to produce indescribable metal "thingies," but certain patterns produce powerful objects indeed. The resulting world has something of a "steampunk" flavor in parts, with an additional strong resemblance to frontier America. For one of the books in this universe, he's teamed up with another local author to revive the old Ace Doubles-style book, with two novella-length works bound "back to back" in one volume.

He's currently working on a quite different novel, Ten Gentle Opportunities, that combines fantasy, SF, and humor in some surprising ways. Among other things, it features--I am not making this up--zombies doing the Macarena.

Read more from Jeff on his Web site and blog.

Comment Re:BB10 can already run Android apps...and maybe m (Score 1) 283

I can't speak to the Fire, but I know that Denninger compared the battery life of a Playbook and a Galaxy 2 7.0 tablet:

Side by side, both starting with a 100% charge, the Playbook while idle lasts a workweek with light use before the red light starts flashing at me, telling me I have to plug it in.

The Galaxy tab lost 30% of its charge in 10 hours overnight sitting in a sleeve while asleep with nothing running in the background -- no apps, no push email, nothing.

Now take both on a trip and tell me this doesn't matter. If you whip it out to use it at a customer site and it's dead it sure as hell does matter. And this is exactly the sort of massive advantage that I was talking about when it comes to QNX .vs. Android (and IOS.) [...]

It would be interesting to run this same comparison of the Playbook's battery life versus the Kindle Fire, or perhaps the Nexus 7. But I'm not sure a comparison between the Fire and the Playbook is all that valid, because they're designed and intended for two different purposes (the Fire for E-reading and media consumption, the Playbook for "business" use).

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