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Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 1174

The British plug is pretty indestructible. If you get in to a fight with one, it'll win. There's not much that misuse could do to it! I do recall seeing a slightly broken one once. It was an old bakelite one and the plastic had chipped slightly on the top half of the casing. Still didn't expose any wires and still went into a socket no problem. Actually, are plugs on American appliances user replaceable?

Comment Re:Gee, just 14 years (Score 3, Informative) 487

The 68k/PPC binaries were referred to as Fat Binaries. As a marketing term, Universal was only ever applied to PPC/x86.

When you say that MacOS doesn't use universal binaries any more, that's not strictly true. It doesn't ship with many that use both PPC and x86, because as you say OS 10.6 won't run on PPC Macs. But it still fully supports them and many software vendors are still producing them. These days, the same tech is used to store a 32 bit and a 64 bit version of the same x86 executable.

Comment Re:Digital divide FTW! (Score 1) 368

We have LAN parties at university regularly, and have a net connection. However, last one we had, the LAN got IP-banned from battlenet. As far as we know, it's just because too many people were connecting from one IP.

Hopefully they can solve that kind of problem before removing LAN play!

Comment Re:What's a C student at Monroe College? (Score 1) 1251

I always find the high percentages gained at American universities quite a contrast to ours (the UK).

When marking undergrad work, I mostly award in the 50%-65% range. A 65 is a good piece of work, answering the question well with evidence of individual research. For the really good ones (maybe 5% of the papers max) I go up to 75%.

I once tried to award an 85% but the moderators decreased it.

Taking the average of all your marks in your degree, 70% is sufficient for First Class Honours.

Comment Re:Are there any downsides to choice in this case? (Score 1) 948

Wow! Someone gets it!

Statically linking libraries means I know that the vast majority of Mac apps will work without me needing to install anything else. (If an app needs support files, it is official best practice to bundle the files inside the app and have it install them on first run.)

I have no such guarantee on Linux.

Comment Re:How about those hidden linux taxes? (Score 1) 993

I maintain that the thinking in terms of application is not a bad thing. In the Linux community, it often seems to be really hard to justify not using on particular program in a category... "but they do the same thing and your favourite isn't in our repository, so use this instead". Woe betide you if you prefer an app on another platform. Taking the obvious Photoshop/GIMP example, and many (although not all) Linux advocates can't see that GIMP is not an acceptable substitute.

It's a symptom of a bigger issue, where the feature list of an app is valued above how those features are implemented (i.e. the usability). Whatever you think about the Delicious Generation trend on the Mac, the developer community here spends enough time thinking of usability. But getting usability right often means removing options and configurability, and limiting the feature set. This all goes against a lot of the Linux philosophy.

Essentially, if you discourage people thinking of a particular program, and suggest they specify desired functionality instead, it removes the ability for one program to be better than another. Since usability is not quantifiable like feature set is, it means that the user experience tends towards zero, as app developers move towards the only metric left for their app to be judged on: "Does it do feature X?".

Comment Re:Don't want Google to steal your ideas? (Score 1) 227

Ideas aren't worth very much. You get loads of postings on programmer's forums saying "I have this great idea, and if someone codes it for me we can share the revenue 50/50". They miss the point that having an idea is the easy part, and the design, implementation and coding of it is worth much much more. I can't remember who said it, but I read a quote once about an idea being worth a couple of pints down the pub. That sounds about right. If Google wanted to reimburse these ideas generously, they could give out a cheque for $100. I don't think any more can be expected.

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