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Comment Worlds apart (Score 4, Interesting) 76

I've programmed professionally in both the USA as an American in the 90's, and in Brazil for about 6 years until I started doing remote contracting for US companies. I contributed modestly to open source in both countries.

In Brazil it was pretty eye opening to see how the programming market is pretty much 90% paid by the government in one form or another. Truly private companies are few, even fewer are smaller startups. In the USA I didn't even know anyone employed by the government as a programmer - I guess because I didn't live in Virginia or Maryland (Pentagon and NSA). And in Brazil for white collar work, its jobs for life as its mostly impossible to get fired - there's very little turn over.

I mention this because while I worked with Brazilian programmers that were often great - I suspect because in Brazil you mostly need a degree for a job so the bar is higher - but its about as far from USA style libertarian culture as you can get. One quick example: There is a 60% VAT on imported computers and anything electronic, in effect about double the USA retail price on Chinese imports. There would be a revolution in most world countries if that was tried there.

Brazil has greatness in many ways - its where I live happily. But there is nothing libertarian about it currently or trending that way. I say that as someone who often votes and supports USA libertarian candidates.

Comment Re:Why Analogue? Stranded investment. (Score 1) 440

You do realize when you say, "I suspect" , you might have been spun with marketing voodoo? Without double blind tests I still call BS.

I also claim BS on your digital vs analogue tape argument, there are double blind tests that show a difference. As I said I don't use tape because its a PITA. This one isn't double blind but its easy enough to tell the difference in this example:

Comment Re:Why Analogue? Stranded investment. (Score 1) 440

To my ears recording to tape sounds way better, even if ironically it ends in a WAV file. I can tell instantly. However, the maintenance isn't worth it to me, tape is a PITA.

I also claim BS on anyone claiming recording above 44KHZ/16 bit, ie WAV, is somehow better. There is no double blind test confirming that, its all marketing voodoo. I have listened to and witnessed countless blind shootouts and the result is the same, people who work in the industry can' t tell the difference.

Comment Re:Why Analogue? Stranded investment. (Score 1) 440

Oops, posted anonymously.

In front of the gear side by side, anybody could pass a double blind test. On a pancake modern mix, maybe not.

I own 2 digital synths and 6 analogue synths, The digital synths imho are good at sampling instruments like pianos. A recorded real piano vs a digital piano is close. Digital synths like the Virus are all over modern music.

However, in person a grand piano sounds vastly different than a digital piano. My Moog Voyager won't sound anything like my Virus in my home studio, for one thing its rocking the walls even at low volume. On a modern "loudness war" mix though, it often has more than 24 tracks and is using a limiter to pancake the sound so its low-fi anyways. I get fatigued quick and might not even hear the synth parts enough to tell, The new Black Sabbath album is a good example of a pancake mix - everything is the same level throughout the songs - loud!

I play more than record and since I'm the one listening to it everyday, I vastly prefer analogue sound. Like a lot of guitarists I also prefer analogue effects. ymmv.

Comment Re:American Justice (Score 4, Interesting) 255

I emigrated from the USA to Brazil and come from an opposite angle. The USA has the ACLU, EFF, and a few politicians on both sides of the isle who care about liberty and its growing. Political blogs are uncensored. Corrupt politicians often go to jail, like 4 of the last 6 governors of Illinois for example. State ballot initiatives in many cases side step politicians. Judges are often elected, and there is a mostly consistent due process.

Brazil and elsewhere, despite its greatness, not so much. Everyday on TV there are corrupt politicians but none ever go to jail. There are censorship boundaries and no liberty pressure groups or politicians really. IMHO it really is a case where every else is worse in terms of justice and liberty.

Comment There is no bright side of North Korea (Score 2) 322

Actually his dead grandfather is the eternal president still, they keep the country together by cult worship of him, "cleanest race" and blood purity propaganda, and the worst death camps on earth for the last 50 years such as Camp 14, where children are born as slaves for life under "three generations of punishment" .

Its unfortunate that these Nuclear and Chemical weapons headlines obscure the human rights violations. Currently there is a UN commission investigating NK for crimes against humanity. After reading "Escape from Camp 14" I was completely appalled that these death camps exist even today, and according to satellite images are expanding.

Comment Re:Applications Don't Matter Anymore (Score 1) 1091

I haven't replied to "why not linux" topic in so long, because it really doesn't matter anymore. Linux is everywhere and people don't even know it.

Ten years ago, applications might have mattered. They still do.

However, OpenOffice (or whatever it is called today) is IMHO superior to Microsoft Office. That's fine for your opinion. Unfortunately, your opinion is solidly in the minority and you need to do more than just scream "IMHO THIS IS SUPERIOR" to get people to switch. WHY is it superior? WHAT makes it a better, more user-friendly program? WHAT can it do that MS Office can't?

Office imho is likely to become mostly obsolete, much like the desktop. I don't even bother with libre office and just use google docs. The desktop and Office will probably always be around for the minority who can't live without it. Anyways doc creation is headed for the cloud as a free feature for most people.

Gimp and Inkscape are great drawing programs. Great. I can run GIMP on Windows just fine. I can also use Paint.Net. Or any of a number of other programs. Including, if I care to shell out $50, Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Casual games tend to be cross-platform while hard-core games don't universally work on Windows anyway - this is what a game platform is for.

Actually, Windows is the platform to target for hardcore games, they don't target OSX.

Drawing programs are a dime a dozen, and Gimp is an also ran.

The printer "just works" without any need for the user to fuss with drivers. Until it doesn't, and then you're up shit creek without a paddle, likely to find some Linuxite telling you "STFU Noob, ur printerz not supprted, go buy a diffrent printer nstead."

That may have been true 10 years ago, and yes I was daily user then and still am. However, I seriously haven't had anything else but plug and play printing via usb for at least 5 years. I've only used hp printers, and have had drivers pre-installed every time. HP seems to have done well here.

The good tax programs are all web-based now. Sure, until you get into filing anything more than the 1040EZ.

This has been in the cloud for 10 years and is more so every day. Much like the desktop, how many need more is a small minority.

Sharepoint - seriously? - does anyone use that pile of crap? You're not going to get people to switch to your alternative - wait, what was your alternative anyways? - just by calling their current solution a "pile of crap."

Sharepoint is in the cloud, works fine on Linux and firefox - I use it daily.

Most importantly, videos and music plays without a fuss. Some of the time, other times not. Which is a lot like OSX and Windows come to think of it. Best experience I've had with video is running Windows with VLC 2.0.1 installed.

I have yet to find a file in 10 years that mplayer cannot play. Seriously. That must be one of the most flexible players on any system anywhere.

NFS networking actually works all the time, unlike tempermental CIFS. Right until you try to interact with OSX or Windows boxes.

OSX is based on Unix, Samba has never let me down.

There are no virus worries. Because so few people on the planet use Linux as their desktop that no sane virus writer would even bother. Get yourself any appreciable market share and watch that change in a nanosecond.

And Linux is so much simpler to use than Windows. Bullshit.

I've seen the argument made before and it doesn't make sense to me. I suggest having root separation and such a wide variety of distros make narrow targets. I have seen server worms from Java, but that's not a Linux only problem.

Comment Re:Why so prominent? (Score 1) 314

"The Bank of Brazil has branches and offices all over Brazil, which is a very large country. The mass migration happened in 2006, before the migration really began in Munich. "

As an American expatriate, living in Brazil, who has a bank account at the Bank of Brazil, and until recently worked for the Brazilian government doing everything from linux embedded to java, lets not get carried away. The ATM's all run OS/2 from what I've seen. Their online site uses java security which ironically often breaks both opera and firefox access for linux users - if you call their support they will tell you they don't support linux.

And imho don't trust any numbers you see from the Brazilian government - any mandates are ignored at will. Their is lots of open source in the government, but its used in pragmatic way, not because its required.

Comment Re:What languages? (Score 3, Interesting) 1359

As an American programmer who has successfully emigrated to Brazil, I have two pieces of advice:

1) Marry a local in your destination choice. Your spouse will teach you the local language. That will solve most paperwork issues.

2) If you decide on a country with a weaker curreny, start your own company focused on international clients. You will be competitively priced in your clients country, and the foreign currency will convert favorably. Be prepared to wait a while until you have clients. You might be able to find local work until then.

Neither of those two is easy or right for everybody, but moving to another country isn't for everyone either.

As for Brazil, imho the government tries as hard as they can to ignore you, and complaining to the government is part of the culture so you can do it as much as you like.

Comment Re:Sean's speech at ESC about making a 3G devic (Score 2, Insightful) 219

Uh, with the limited developer resources openmoko has always had, spending a year on a cancelled project is clearly poor management. Releasing the Freerunner with broken hardware is also poor management. I'd feel better about openmoko's chances as a company if they fired the management instead of all the developers. That never happens though - which is often why companies fail.

Comment Re:Of course we will... (Score 1) 219

Makes me wonder how many good ideas are ruined by poor implementation. I'm betting this is a very large number. The problem is that people throw out the baby with the bathwater and so they might conclude that open-source phones are inherently a bad idea, instead of concluding that this group failed to design/produce them correctly.

Leonardo da Vinci sketched a car, and Karl benz according to the US patent office did more than any person to make it a reality, yet neither got the credit. Openmoko I think will be like that - computers are getting smaller, netbooks are the rage, projects like openPandora are pushing opensource hardware to its current limits, ie, the timing is right.

Its only a matter of time before decent management and funding will make an opensource phone happen. Maybe Android is it, but its just too much java imho to get the outside developer attention needed to make an embedded platform grow.

What I think is obvious to most of the people involved with openmoko is that they have had bad management, which will kill any project. They were always understaffed, and they spent a year on a canceled project. The fact that they pretend that their developers leaving is not a problem reminds me of several other experiences first hand - and none of those companies are here today.

Comment Abandon ship date, abandon ship (Score 3, Insightful) 219

Openmoko is now earily similair to a zombie company - keeps blowing sunshine while its developers quits or gets fired in droves, they stop building products, the only ones left are in marketing, and they linger on without doing much. The facts are:

1) The 10,000 phones are mostly of the 900mhz variety, which has a "buzz" issue that makes the phone unusable. You need to go to a "buzz fix" party to do a non-trivial hardware mod. The "A7" version that fixes these issues is in perpetual delay, with no release date in site.

2) The only two paid kernel developers have left this last month or have announced they are leaving, some key hardware guys have left in the last two months. Some key UI people have left over the last 6-8 months.

3) They've abandoned the next model, the GT03, and they have publicly stated no 3G without a guaranteed sales of 50,000 units.

I like the idea of Free software on mostly open hardware - only they can't for whatever reason get the hardware part right. I think the software is not the problem, its the hardware. The Freerunner has been described as a Porsche body with a lawnmower engine, and looking at openPandora, I scratch my head and wonder why its like that.

IMHO its like any project that is going down the tubes - far too few developers on a project changing scope too often.

Hardware's not easy - I damn near went insane from the politics of embedded linux projects myself - but I can't imagine working with a constantly changing hardware scope while everyone is leaving. I'd be pleasantly surprised if openmoko makes a comeback at this point - the first problem is I wonder how they could attract talent in the future, even if they could afford it.

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