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Comment College roommates (Score 1) 85

How did you manage to get all your buddies in the same room together?

By paying thousands of dollars per year for college.

And is there something preventing Facebook users from doing it?

Those who kept their Facebook accounts after graduation are not certain to have both the time and the money to go back for a master's.

Comment Re:Economics and interfaces (Score 1) 414

If such arbitrary restrictions become a competitive disadvantage then they will go away.

On the other hand, for certain parts of the market, arbitrary restrictions have proven themselves a competitive advantage. Take the NES for example. Its lockout chip helped it get onto the shelves of retailers that were tired of low sales due to consumers' lack of confidence in the play balance quality of a randomly chosen Atari 2600 game.

Think how smartphones have largely absorbed the market for point-and-shoot cameras. No point in carrying two devices if one can do the job adequately.

Unless you don't want yet another $600 per year phone bill. A lot of people in Slashdot's home country carry a dumbphone plus a second device because most carriers are unwilling to offer low-minute voice-only plans on a smartphone.

Just because it makes sense for a mouse/keyboard setup doesn't mean it is the most logical way to multitask with touch.

But how is having a simple calculator application fill the screen, covering up the document you were working on, the most logical way?

Comment Then make gestures with the keyboard (Score 2) 414

The applications still expect to be interacted with using touch and gestures.

A properly written application would support the Bluetooth keyboard that users can already pair to a phone or tablet. It would also support accessing all features from single-touch, which a mouse can easily simulate, even if only for accessibility to people with only one good finger. A properly written operating system would accommodate applications whose developers haven't yet added keyboard support by feeding gestures to the UI layer. The Page Down key, for example, might generate a slide from the bottom to the top of the current scroll view.

Comment So which side are 7 inch tablets on? (Score 1) 414

The large screen of even a tablet makes for something you can't carry in your pocket or purse

A Nexus 7 fits comfortably in my bag.

the more complex UIs that work well for desktops and laptops don't translate well to the ~5" display of a phone.

Do you find a 7-8" tablet like the Nexus 7 or iPad mini closer to a 10" laptop or to a 4-5" phone in this sense?

Comment iPod nano (6th generation) (Score 1) 414

currently - there are several players out there bringing "smart watches" on the market - they will probably fail to garner much interest until apple reveals one under an intoxicating media frenzied event!

I thought Apple already had its own watch, the iPod nano (6th generation). Or maybe that's just a "feature watch" in the sense that Java ME and BREW phones are now called "feature phones".

Comment Phone as trackpad (Score 1) 414

It's the form factor. They will never converge because it's two very different usage patterns.

A computer needs a monitor, keyboard, and pointing device. The iMac and HP all-in-one computers put the CPU inside the monitor and use an external keyboard and an external mouse or trackpad. A smartphone with a "computer" mode would switch to the "computer" GUI when plugged into an external monitor and paired to a Bluetooth keyboard, in effect putting the CPU inside the trackpad.

Comment Single window model for tablets is also stupid (Score 1) 414

Phones have enough screen room for 1 application, while desktops have screen room for multiple windows. Going to a single window model for desktops is STUPID.

I think it's stupid on tablets as well. My Nexus 7's screen is as big as two 4" phones, yet I can't turn it landscape and run two phone applications side-by-side. Even Windows RT lets the user "snap" a Windows Store app to a phone-width stripe at the side of the screen.

Comment It's the arbitrary lockdown (Score 1) 414

The whole argument about "PCs are for creations and tablets are for consumption" is a fallacy based mostly on the engineering compromises stemming from limitations of today's hardware. Many of those limitations will go away over time.

I don't see how. Nowadays, a tablet with a dual- or quad-core processor meets or exceeds the computing throughput of the Pentium 4 PCs that professional developers used to code on. Yet Apple continues to add arbitrary restrictions to the environments that ship on its tablets. An iPad docked to a large monitor and keyboard can't host its own development environment because that would interfere with Apple's revenue stream for Xcode ("free" with purchase of $649 dongle) and the iOS developer program ($99 per year). The "all maximized all the time" window management policy enforced by iOS and Android means that an iPad or Nexus 10 can't even run a floating calculator application when the Mac could do that with 128K of RAM back in 1984.

Comment Archos 43 (Score 1) 93

Last time I searched for that, I ended up buying an Archos 43 Internet Tablet. It's stuck on Android 2.2, and like Internet Explorer on Windows XP, Android Browser on Android 2.x gives a certificate error when one attempts to view an SSL site on shared hosting. It has a resistive single-touch screen, which is fine for some apps (I borrow a stylus from my Nintendo DS Lite) but doesn't work for, say, games that use an on-screen gamepad. Nor does it ship with Google Play Store; one has to pirate com.android.vending.apk to install it. Do these Cowon products have Android 4, multitouch, and Google Play Store?

Comment Re: On the verge of using a type twice as wide (Score 1) 577

An inner loop written in C (or in another time-efficient subset of C++) is fine as long as your platform's curator allows it. A few platforms that I can think of either require all apps to be in managed code (e.g. Windows Phone 7, some Java ME phones) or have a huge entry barrier to native development that a small shop can't surmount (e.g. Xbox 360, other Java ME phones).

Comment Rebootless switching (Score 2) 93

I have two questions, and I will ask one per post, as is customary for Slashdot interviews. The first: Android runs on a kernel that's Linux with a few modifications. Ubuntu also runs on Linux. Is there a possibility of rebootless switching between Android and Ubuntu by running Ubuntu in a chroot? Canonical seems to think so.

Comment Chrome purges tabs (Score 1) 106

But Android does indeed support offline use.

The OS does. The applications aren't quite as likely to. For example, Chrome for Android doesn't appear to register itself as a handler for HTML file open intents, which means that (unlike Firefox for Android) it doesn't appear in the "Open With" dialog box. And unlike Firefox for desktop Linux and Chromium for desktop Linux, Chrome for Android likes to purge pages associated with tabs that aren't in view, triggering a reload when I switch back to that tab. If I open a tab while online, go offline, and switch back to the tab, too bad. (For avoidance of doubt, I'm comparing desktop Linux with 1 GB of RAM to Android with 1 GB of RAM.) And does a barcode scanner or a music identification program (such as Shazam) let the user scan a barcode or record a snippet while offline and save it for identification later? And what do ad-supported applications (which are quite common on Android) do when they can't contact the ad server?

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