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Comment Re:haven't (Score 1) 248

I've heard this dreck for well over a decade now. Right up there with "year of desktop Linux" which really has never happened. Linux was never a threat to Microsoft and windows on the desktop. Linux killed the Unix venders.

Linux is not a threat to apple. Hell apple now maintains some key components that Linux widely uses (ever check and sees who owns and maintains CUPS these days).

And Linux is not dominating the mobile market. While android may use Linux underneath, when people by a droid phone, they think google and android os.

What keeps people like me using macs and windows are two factors. Ironically the same two factors to why I switched to osx over 10 years ago.

1) Lack of major software packages. For better or worse the business world runs on office. Personally at home I can get away with using OpenOffice or iWork. But for work, I've tried and always end up having to use office for some reason.

2) lack of quality hardware - on the server side Linux has this, not so much on the desktop and laptop side. Even windows now have this problem. I buy MacBook pros because I have yet to have one that has lasted under 4 years. Think pads used to have this level of quality, which you also paid for, but over the past 18 months I know a lot of people we work with are complaining that they are on their second or third think pad in that time.

Maybe as we get more cloud based apps this will change. I'm finding office 360 and skydive increasingly handy as I can now edit office docs online with either an iPad or android tablet easily. But seriously, Linux is still not a threat to either company.

Comment Re:Good (Score 4, Interesting) 433

It's what is happening. I had a professor in college who predicted by 2015 - 2020 the internet as we knew it then would be over. It would be controlled by corporate and governmental interests and that would be achieved through fragmentation and the fact that the backbone of the internet is owned by just a hand full of companies worldwide. While we've not yet seen the fragmentation yet, we've heard grumblings. I think what Iran is trying to do is similar to how the Great Firewall of China proved the internet could be tamed far easier than most around here thought. If Iran is even marginally successful in creating a Jihadnet or whatever, look for other other countries to try and do the same.

Comment DRM is here to stay (Score 1) 433

As long as it remains relatively unobtrusive. That was its problem in the early day, DRM was overly restrictive and made things a PITA for most ordinary users to use it. Apple figured out a way to do it where DRM was there, but was relatively unobtrusive. The studios et. al. learned. So long as it's easy to use and stays out of the way of what most people want to do, i.e. view content online easily, it will remain. When most people go to Netflix, so long as the movie they click on starts to play, they don't care if it has DRM or not.

Comment The Good/Bad of Kickstarter (Score 5, Informative) 113

There was a good article a couple days ago in the WSJ about the backlash against kickstarter. And it's frankly crowd funding I think has reached it's peak and now for the most part there is too much signal to noise ratio. That being said, but it can be used for is someone with a proven track record, or a good solid plan to get the cash they need to create a product.

I've donated to two Kickstarter projects: Star Citizen & Pressgram.

Star Citizen because it's Chris Roberts who created Wing Commander and probably my favourite computer game of all time: Wing Commander Privateer. To me it's what I always wanted, Privateer the MMO (I know there was EVE, but EVE wasn't exactly space combat simulation like WC, X-Wing, or FreeSpace).

Pressgram I donated to because I run a couple sites based on Wordpress including one with several contributors. I can see as we are out at events the allure of being able to post photos easily to the site using an instagram style app, especially for the less technical contributors. That developer had a very well thought out UI/UX model and how he planned to spend the money for development of the app. So i saw the value and chipped in a few dollars.

If you are an established name or have a well thought out plan/product I think Kickstarter can work. But with the deluge of everyone with the "Fund my trendy video/movie/book/whatever" is starting to get annoying. Case in point is a local fashion designer I know wanted to do Kickstarter to raise the funds for production. Even after articles in a couple local magazines and news paper raised $3,000 or $10,000. It was not a well organized campaign and more of a beg-a-thon. And that's what I see with a lot of these projects that have flooded those sites.

Comment Re:Still need to install something (Score 1) 337

Take your own head out the sand and look around, most of the population, the 99.5% of people not on slashdot don't give a shit so long as the solution is unobtrusive. Back with iTunes were all DRMed, so long as they could copy to a couple iPods and burn to CD, people didn't care that there was DRM. It was there, but it didn't get in their way. When DRM was removed from most songs, guess what, none of my non-geek friends even noticed. To them there were no change.

Most people I know who aren't computer geeks really don't care. $8 a month to rent access to movies, TV shows, or Music? They shrug and say it's cheaper than buying it all off iTunes or on optical disc of your choice at the store.

So get used to it, DRM is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Comment Re:What's coming (Score 1) 233

This. I enjoy flying R/C airplanes. Loved them ever since I was a kid as one of our neighbors was real big into it. I've already noticed that model rocketry is about dead, although I admit I've not really looked in the past couple years at a proper hobby shop. Between the whole "Drones" and "Terrorists" things I've wondered how long R/C planes as a hobby would last.

Comment There are AES libraries... (Score 2) 275

We use HTML5/JS in conjunction with Apache Cordova to create Mobile Apps for iOS & Android. For most applications we're hired to do, mainly form apps really, this combo works well, we can build & deploy quickly. But everything we put into localstorage is encrypted using an AES library. User chooses a password as the key and have to reenter the password to retrieve the information. There is an option to wipe the database and clear all storage if you can't remember the password. It's simple and it keeps the data secure enough for our purposes. We're not storing credit card or other data usually. Is it foolproof, probably not, but better than nothing.

Comment Re:Read article on TOR, get targeted (Score 5, Insightful) 451

After 9/11 there were things done that made sense such as equipping airliners with armored cockpit doors, not allowing knives or axes or chainsaws in carry on, but collectively we should have kept a stiff upper lip, rebuilt the damn towers 1 story higher and said "It's going to take more than that to change us". Instead we went whining and cowering to the corner and those seeking more power ceased the opportunity telling us "they'd make us safe". I've read that line in enough history books to know whenever those in power start making that claim, bad things happen. Really bad things.

If you want to live in a free and open society the consequence of such is that sometimes people do bad things. That is the price of such a society. I think in my parents and certainly my grand parents generation they understood this. I put a lot of people off when I say this: but 3000 people die when bad guys crash planes into buildings. Well maybe we should look at things like the cockpit doors and explore air marshal programs. But the Patriot Act? No thanks. If it means 3000 people have to die now and then compared to having to live in a surveillance state, then so be it. 3000 people have to die. It's the price of the very freedoms we claim we so desire. So when bad guys do bad things, lets as a society help those directly effected the best ways we can, but we're never going to be safe. It's a dangerous world. And we as a society in the US don't seem to want to wake up to that reality.

Now I look around and wonder if Hobbes wasn't right: people are stupid and need to be ruled over by Kings. Because that what it seems like people have been "wanting" these past 12 years...

Comment Re:Yeah, I'm sure (Score 2) 219

There are RoR developers left? Seriously? I've not heard much about RoR after the $500k I made circa 2009/2010 coming in and cleaning up the mess on a few projects. Ironically enough it often involved rewriting projects mostly in PHP, but others in C# or Java, and even sometimes even with Perl. Granted most of the problem was non-developers reading how RoR does all this stuff automagically for them, they don't have to think or know, and turning out a blog in 15 minutes some how makes them a "developer".

Truth be told, I still prefer Perl for a great many web-based tasks. Granted I spent the first 6 years of my career as a system admin who could code enough to make it work. I still use Perl today, especially for a lot of unsexy backend tasks. Hell I have scripts written circa 2001 that still work. Granted a lot have to do with log parsing, backups, *iux base load monitoring and other unsexy stuff, but they still work.

I remember starting a project circa 2007. I was the oldest of the developers, really I was the server/networking guru of the team, there in my late twenties, the others were "hotshots" under the age of 25. They spent a week debating which PHP framework they should use to build an API. I got pissed, went home that weekend, and wrote version 1 in Perl on a Sunday Afternoon, granted with lots of help from CPAN. Long story short, two weeks later we turned out a working API in Perl. In 2009 we added JSON support in a couple days and as far as I know that API is still in production, still being used to process 100,000 transactions an hour.

Comment Re:reclaim their original battery? (Score 1) 377

If I were a betting man I'd be placing my money behind the gas-electric hybrid technology like the Volt. GM has volume of production as the technology trickles down into more models and improves. I'm getting close to replacing my current car in the next year, maybe two. What has limited my options is the fact I live in a loft and can't install a charging station. But that is changing as our company is moving out of Downtown and into the county next year and I'm also moving into a house closer to the new offices later this year. On a daily basis I could drive the Volt and probably fill up once a month. I do own farms about 180 miles from where I live that we rent out. So if I would need to go down there on a weekend to check and see how things are going, I just stop at the nearest QT, fill up and go. Same with visiting my Dad who lives 50.6 miles from my loft's garage to his doorstep.

At this point what keeps me out of a Volt, or Hybrid of any kind really, is that I can't justify the price difference. The Chevy Cruse Eco is $20k less than the volt, similar sized car, and gets over 40MPG. That calculation has been the same for every Hybrid I've priced. I could go in tomorrow and write a check and walk out of the dealership with either. I could do the same for a Tesla or BMW or whatever under $100k.

So this round is likely to once again be a gas powered car. But my planning on the car 8 - 10 years after that will be a gas-electric hybrid similar to the volt. I figure by that time the technology will be proven and will have come down in price enough that it will be an affordable option or hell maybe even standard in a dozen models.

Comment Re:consoles do not measure "hardcore gamers" (Score 1) 315

I left PC gaming over 10 years ago when I switched to my first Mac. There wasn't a lot of titles and I was working mostly in Perl and later standard LAMP or LAPP stack stuff deployed on *iux servers.

A few years ago I wanted to get back into gaming and the GMA 950 in my MacBook at the time was fine for running XP for work stuff, but was never going to be for gaming.

So I ended up getting a 360 about the time Halo Reach came out. Part of it was the titles I wanted to play were on 360, not PC, the other part of it was I didn't feel like maintaining a PC anymore. I dealt with other peoples computer problems, often clients with our software running on windows, 50 - 60 hours a week in those days. Last thing I wanted to do was come home and fuss with my own machine. I wanted to turn on the TV, turn on the console, play for 15 minutes or at most a couple hours and that was about it. In fact the 360 has spent more hours streaming the likes of Netflix to a TV than video games.

Well this generation of consoles are coming and I'm torn. I have a MacBook Pro with decent enough graphics card. I downloaded Battlefield 3 for PC for $5 last weekend. Instantly it was try to find updated windows drivers for my MacBook Pro, problems with punkbuster that required spending half a sunday trying to download and reinstall the program to stop an error and I instantly remembered why I went to gaming on the 360. And even then life has changed with wife, kids too young to play on consoles, and different stage at work that means the time I get to play a week is now limited maybe a couple hours a week at most.

But I will say this much about the kids, they may be a little young yet for the consoles, but have mastered iPad games & Netflix.

Comment Re:In case you were wondering... (Score 1) 145

A few years ago I hated Wordpress. At that time the project I was on chose MovableType for the basis of its CMS/blogging platform. Well recently I was asked to put the backend into place for another company that was producing content. We looked at several options, but Wordpress was the one that as we checked off the list of required features had basically what we were looking for item for item. And frankly I've been rather impressed with Wordpress this go around. Many of the complaints I had from a few years ago have been addressed. After all, the content is what is driving sales and revenue for this project, not the technology platform.

Comment Should have called RT something else... (Score 5, Insightful) 251

What they did was confuse the hell out of people. At first Microsoft was touting a tablet that could run Windows Apps called the surface. What they meant was the Surface pro. Instead the device that got released first was the RT and it still had the name "windows". Most people looking at them, and I know of one business that bought a couple, did so thinking they could run existing windows programs. They got 'em home and learned they couldn't.

At least Apple makes it clear that while underneath the hood, both MacOS and iOS share many of the same parts, they are entirely different OS's designed for different purposes. Microsoft failed to do that with the Surface.

The next problem is that the Surface Pro is $1000. At that price what is the incentive to buy it? You can buy a convertible ultra book for just a few dollars more.

Comment Re:What is boils down to: (Score 1) 131

Last job we had AT&T. When I left and started my own company, Sprint was the only one with sensible deposit as I wasn't going to do a personal guarantee on advise of the attorney filing the incorporation paperwork. AT&T wanted $1,000 per line deposit and Verizon was $700 IIRC. Sprint was $150 per line (phone & mobile hotspot). I forgot about the deposit until my phone bill arrived this year and it had a negative balance. I had a year of good payment history and this year they credited those deposits. Furthermore my iPhone & Mobile hotpot was still $40 a month less than Verizon or AT&T's iPhone with tethering.

Is data speeds as fast, well the 3GS on AT&T I had was much faster than the 4S on Sprint's network. But the mobile hotspot is fast enough and comes in extremely handy it's saved the day a couple times before a presentation to clients.

And days like today where I'm meeting my fiancé for later for Spamalot at the Muny. So instead of being stuck in an office and slacking off on slashdot I'm slacking off on Slashdot from the Grand Basin in Forest Park St. Louis with a good parking spot.

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