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Comment Re:I always thought Auction house is what make Dia (Score 2) 219

Even if a legendary dropped, the chance of it being of any use to me was extremely small, so I wasn't holding my breath. I just realized after I quit playing, that I had never seen one drop, ever.


Before the first loot patch I NEVER saw anything drop for the class I was playing. No problem eh? Switch to another class to get loot drops for your preferred class. Right. More grinding. Despite this I still played it through to the end without buying anything on the AH and without grinding classes I didn't want to play.

After the first loot patch I picked it up again for a day. Since then I've only played a couple of hours.

Now Blizzard is going to start patching the game to make it what it should have been at release. Too late, I've moved on to other games. D3 just wasn't much fun after I finished it once. The maps don't change and even with the first loot change, drops for the class I'm playing are laughably rare. And now my preferred class is so far ahead of all the others I don't want to grind them up to equivalence. You get that yet Blizzard? I don't want to grind for fun. It's not fun. (Which is one of the reasons I canceled my WoW subscription BTW.)

Dynamically generated maps and better loot drops would have made the game more enjoyable and kept me playing longer. Did I get my money's worth? Maybe. It was fun the first time through and I was looking forward to playing with friends but my friends don't like grinding the same maps/mobs either. So we don't play it.

Comment No Technical Person Likes Writing Documentation (Score 1) 472

No technical person likes to spend time writing documentation. In my career this is a universal truth. I document my code and I write external process documents as well. I hate it, but I do it. Why? Because six months down the road when I've moved on and focused on something else a requirement changes in the old code. I have to go back and make changes quickly and be confident that my changes don't screw up anything else. I partially rely on the documentation I wrote to explain what the inputs are, what the output should be and why I did it that way. The other half of that equation is unit testing. If I document and I have a test to verify my code, changes on down the road are much easier to do with confidence.

I find people who say that code should document itself are full of it. I write programs because I need to manipulate inputs in a non-obvious way. I document it because it is non-obvious and I don't want to have to waste time figuring out why I did something a certain way 6 months ago.

You know what really pisses me off? People who believe code should be self documenting and therefore *REMOVE* all comments. I worked with one guy who actually setup scripts to remove comments from all source in the repository. He thought all of his code was self documenting too. He was wrong. Sorry, but I'm not a super genius who can immediately understand all the obfuscated functions and variables someone else thinks is obvious. Deciphering un or poorly documented code is a huge time sink.

Comment Re:phew (Score 1) 506

Juries are inherently unreliable. They introduce huge uncertainties into how rulings will go, they make findings based on whatever they want to, rather than on the facts and the law. They have all sorts of hidden prejudices, they may or may not have expertise in an area (or even worse, may *think* they have expertise).

And thank God they do. Sometimes laws are made that are unjust, or case law is twisted such that precedent turns a just law to unjust. The reason for trial by jury is not just to decide if laws are broken, but also to decide if the laws themselves are valid. This is something many judges do not like and you yourself indicate you are against it.

Jury nullification is one of the last hopes for justice. Can it go wrong? Sure. But the alternative you hold up would mean unjust laws could never be overturned.

Just because the governing body creates a law does not mean it is just. Thank God trial by jury deeply embedded as an amendment to our constitution.

Comment Re:it's nokia that should sue samsung (Score 0) 1184

Look, regarding Apple "innavation", most of the "look and feel" and even the features were copied from StarTrek by Apple. The PADD devices seen on The Next Generation, DS9, and Voyager all did things that are major selling points for the iPad and iPhones.

Are you seriously saying that if you put a Star Trek PADD next to an iPad of any generation that anyone might mistake one for the other? Because that's what this case was about. Apple isn't suing someone because they made a smart phone with a touch screen. They're suing because Samsung made a smart phone with a touchscreen that is pretty much a carbon copy of the iPhone. So much so that it is hard for people to tell them apart at a glance.

Would you have me believe that I could mistake a Nexus One for an iPhone at a glance? If we completely leave out the question of patents, you can make a similar product but by law you can't copy it so closely that people can mistake it for something it isn't. Apparently the jury thought Apple was right and your silly comparison to a Star Trek PADD is just that, silly.

Apple didn't sue Google for Android and the Nexus One phone. No one would mistake it for an iPhone. They sued Samsung because Samsung copied everything so closely that if they were children you'd mistake them for twins.

Comment The hard way (Score 1) 504

You can do it, but you've chosen the hard way to do it. Like you I also have a non-science degree and I've been successful in IT. Without the science degree you will absolutely have to be better and work harder. As already mentioned you will also need someone who will take that first risk on you.

I strongly suggest you start working on a BS in comp sci, even if it's part time. That will help you get your foot in the door.

As to others ranting about "soft" degrees messing up IT, this past week it was my "hard" degreeed teammate who destroyed our sudo files on 12 production servers not once but twice in two days. It was my other "hard" degreeed teammate who had changed the root password on the same servers but didn't follow process to update the password in our vault so we couldn't login to fix the sudo problem. A hard degree will make it easier to get a job, but some of the best admins I've worked with don't have hard degrees and some of the worst do.

Comment Re:Value-Added Teacher Analysis (Score 1) 511

It would be much cheaper and more effective to find better ways of evaluating teachers,

It is impossible to have only rock-star teachers. Most will be middle of the road, as in every industry anywhere. If you went through every industry and fired everyone who was not a rock-star performer the vast majority of the public would be out of a job. Sorry to rain on your parade but you have to accept that the vast majority of everyone working out there is merely adequate. And that includes teachers. This rule also applies to doctors. Isn't that comforting?

You also don't seem to understand that the biggest determining factor in a child's success in school is actually not the teacher. It's the parents. Don't take my word for it, google the subject and research it for yourself.

Throwing technology into schools does not change anything. Reading, writing and math still work the same way they have always worked. Now you throw tech into the classroom and the teacher has to take valuable instruction time to make sure each child's computer is setup correctly and they they all know how to use it. What happens if one of those laptop's doesn't work? More instruction time is lost.

You want to really change education? How about year-round school? How about paying teachers more? If you pay more you'll attract more teachers. Yes most of them will still just be adequate, but you might also lure more rock-star teachers into the education if they don't have to give up more than half their earning power to do it. If that were to happen, things would only improve slightly, if at all. In the end if the parents don't value education, neither will the kids.

Comment Re:I.... don't really see a problem (Score 1) 521

Big Brother knowing where I've been, assorted points on a map... well, how does that really harm me? Now if I'm out doin' crimes, then obviously I'm bothered, but otherwise.... I just don't see a reason that I would care.

You're out late at night, just driving all by yourself enjoying a nice night. The next day the police come knocking at your door. You were in the area of a murder, driving away from the scene. You have no alibi, no witness. You say you have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. The problem is that you have no way to prove you have nothing to hide. You think it's simple, but if you are the wrong ethnicity or say the wrong things they will make your life miserable at the least and at the worst they will convict you of something you didn't do. Don't believe for a second it won't happen with this new "tool."

Now lets talk about this from a government waste point of view. How much money is going to be spent on the hardware, software and personnel to support this system? These systems are going to be very expensive to purchase and maintain and it's not a fixed cost. The data is going to be kept indefinitely which means the data set is going to grow and the maintenance costs associated with it will balloon. Is the benefit going to justify the cost?

Is the system even necessary? Law enforcement will argue that it is. Could it help solve crime? Absolutely. Will it be abused? Absolutely. Just look at our history. A hundred years ago the limited power government agencies had was abused. And you're willing to keep giving them more power? By the time they do something you really don't want them to do, it will be too late. You'll have given up so much already that you won't be able to stop them. Some would argue that we're already at that point.

Why does the government need to know where all of the citizens have been? Why does it need to keep that data indefinitely? You absolutely should care. Not because of what they say they are going to do today, but because of what they will do tomorrow if we say it's okay to do it today.

Comment Re:Anyone know... (Score 5, Insightful) 520

I do remember thinking that Apple simply had a glorified iPod touch. Then I tried one. Is the device "magical?" No. But it is a game changer, in more ways than people realize yet. I believe Apple has very big plans for this device, and the size of the case is just the tip of the iceberg.

Apple isn't hiding what they are doing. They are being very deliberate and open. In the iPad2 product release Jobs stated that they believe tech and art are not mutually exclusive. Their competitors are still all tech oriented. Even Google and Android is tech oriented. Most of the Apple haters here are still tech oriented and think that the art side just needs some flashy doo-dads and window transparency to come out on top. So it's not surprising to see so many people think that Android will blow the iPad out of the water.

Android tablets will come, but until companies realize that the consumer market really wants computing devices which don't feel like computing devices, they will simply be in a race to the bottom and Apple has already made it clear they aren't interesting in winning the race to the bottom. That said, their competitors need to keep in mind that as Apple's economies of scale get larger they will be pushing the bottom farther down.

It will be very interesting to see how the market responds. Windows on any clone isn't the target anymore. Now it's tight integration between excellent industrial design and user interface. I can't think of any company oriented to even start seriously competing and if Apple continues raising the bar every year like this then they will continue to lead the market space until someone can push the bar higher or until Apple brings a piece of crap to market.

Comment Re:They already were? (Score 1) 722

Now Apple is squeezing developers again on their mobile devices, but this time it doesnt seem to matter so much.

Yeah. Squeezing developers. You can download their development tools for free. Should you decide your app is good enough to publish, it costs you $99/year. And by the way, that's $99 for all applications you dream up and release in that year. Try finding a more traditional software publishing model which would let you, in your basement, dream up something, program it, and send it straight to consumers for less than $99. And almost every iOS device out there is a potential customer with access to the store to buy your app. How many millions of potential customers does that give you?

Let me guess, in keeping in line with those who think Apple is evil:

  • You have to have a mac to write code.
  • How dare apple charge a percentage of the selling price!

Yeah. It's impossible to buy a Mac for less than $1000 to develop on. And how dare Apple charge a fee on the selling price of your app for providing you with: storefront, bandwidth, payment processing.

Apple's only sin? Producing what people want to buy. Not necessarily what geeks, nerds and techno-dweebs want, but certainly what a large base of the consumer population wants.

Comment All you whiners... (Score 2) 845

Most people don't want to open their devices for any reason. This new screw doesn't affect anyone.

People who really want to open their gizmos still can. Just get the tool or improvise. The pentalobe screw didn't even slow me down. Hell, I didn't even google it first. Christ, you all are a bunch of whiners. You think Apple should sell every phone with a personal attendant to crack the case open for you whenever you want? Turn in your geek cards all of you.

You want to know the real story here? How iFixit managed to raise such a stink that yesterday when I finally went to google the screw type, the first 9 pages of results were all sites relating back to iFixit's article. And isn't it interesting that iFixit is also SELLING a pentalobe screwdriver? They just got a butt load of free publicity for their tool-kit thanks to all the salivating Apple haters out there.

99% of the public doesn't care. They won't ever open any device they buy. Those of us who do want to open our devices can't be stopped. Ever. If the device is in my hands you can't stop me from doing anything I want with it. If you're afraid that Apple is trying to keep you out of your device even though you've never before tried to get in, go ahead and buy iFixit's toolkit just to feel warm and safe inside.

Kudo's to iFixit. I hope they sell a ton of their kits. I still don't feel the need to have one.

Comment Re:Apple and the others... (Score 0, Troll) 378

Really? How amazingly successful were all those cell phones which only had touch screens and no keypad/keyboard before the iphone?

I'll grant you that they don't usually come out with entirely new categories of devices. But what they do which no one else does, is radically change them in ways no one else is willing to risk.

iPod: Reduce the buttons, polish the interface. Integrate seamlessly with iTunes. Made a user experience that was superior to anything else out there. Push for reasonable prices on content. Fought for and eventually won DRM free content with the publishers.

iPhone: Whole screen touch screen interface with just one physical button. A user experience that is superior to anything else out there. With the iTunes App Store they made it easy to get applications which users can be relatively sure will function well and not blow up their phones.

iPad: Completely redesigned the tablet computer interface. Something no other company was willing to do. Huge color screen and great battery life. It also hooks into iTunes and makes it easy for people to use.

I'm getting tired of all the trolls on here who continuously say that Apple sucks. I've got news for you all: the reality distortion field that Steve Jobs projects is JUST A MYTH! If Apple didn't produce insanely great products which people want to buy they would be out of business. In fact, had Jobs not come back Apple computer would have died years ago because they were simply trying to do what every other PC company was doing.

Too many self-proclaimed tech-heads forget that the vast majority of people out there don't care if a device has every feature including the kitchen sink. What most people care about is if the device just works. They don't want to think about it. They don't want to program for it. They don't want to fix it. They just want it to work every time they pick it up. There's no other company that does this better than Apple. Simple marketing tricks may boost sales in the short term, but you have to have a solid product to maintain it in the long term. Remember "Plays-for-sure?" I'm pretty sure my iPod and iPhone have both outlived that.

The Apple anti-fan-boys will easily dismiss this and I'm not saying Apple is perfect. Apple may not be first to market, but they are more than willing to push the market in directions no other major player is willing to go. As long as they maintain their fanatical devotion to design and ease of use, they will become the dominate player in the industry. And it's going to happen faster than anyone thinks.

Don't like their stuff? Don't buy it. But the market seems to like Apple products pretty well, and it's not because they're simply following what everyone else is doing. Fads change much faster than that.

Comment Re:drinking the kool-aid much? (Score 1) 277

Exhibit A is this whole conversation. Apple has been able to spin the fact that its products are inferior (they don't play flash) into some kind of asset. FYI iPhone users really do want to watch video on their devices, just like they do on a regular computer. That the iPhone can't is a design flaw and a weakness of the phone. It's explicitly forcing users to conform to technology.

Why is it so many refuse to believe that people could want something without flash? Why is that so far outside your world view? You know youtube gets me video on my iPhone just fine. I have no problems syncing video from iTunes. You're absolutely right. Me and millions of people want to watch video on our iPhones. And we do it all the time without flash. The design flaw is that Adobe can't make flash not suck.

This is the free market at work. No one made anyone buy iPhones. People bought them of their own free will. Even though we knew from the start what it could and couldn't do. Why? Because they don't suck. Did you see that JD Powers survey where iPhone satisfaction was so high that the average for all smartphones was higher than the next company? Form and function matter a lot. Any company that can nail the two will own the market. Apple hit it out of the park with the iPod, then the iPhone and here comes the iPad.

Call it kool-aid, fan-boyism, reality distortion, whatever. The truth is people are buying these things just about as fast as Apple can make them and they seem to be pretty damn happy with them. It's up to the competition to stop sucking.

I don't care if there's a company that's going to release the "iPad killer" that has a spec sheet a mile longer than the iPad. If it sucks to use, I won't buy it. The market is voting and it's not voting with you.

I find the whole argument that Apple is forcing people to adapt to them ridiculous. Wake up and smell the reality. The tech industry has been forcing people to adapt to crap for decades. All Apple has really done is shown the world just how much nicer technology can be to interact with.

Comment You know, Xcode is free... (Score 4, Insightful) 980

What's stopping Adobe from porting Flash to iPhone, iPad, iPod?

Oh wait, they would have to make it not suck.

Flash is cool. I too have played some great flash games. But when my system goes from idle to 100% and all I did was open a web page with a flash based add, something is wrong. Why does something that takes up no more than a tenth of the web page cause my system to go to 100% cpu?

Everyone thinks Apple is the big bad wolf here. The reality is, Adobe has every opportunity to port flash and make it an outstanding piece of software. Instead they want to settle for good enough. Good enough is what has given us software that works, but requires ever increasing amounts of processor power, memory and disk space just to run at an acceptable level.

Processor, memory and more importantly battery life, are not unlimited in a mobile device. Apple is the gatekeeper so yes it does appear that they are the bad guys, but the reality is that Adobe has had every opportunity to make Flash better. Make it use less CPU, less memory and make it world class software. Instead, they've chosen to whine and complain about it.

Did Opera whine and complain about Apple's rules and how it was going to hurt them? Or did they innovate?

Adobe has every opportunity to make Flash function so well that Apple would have no problem letting it exist on the iProducts. Apple has provided the tools to write code for the iPlatforms. Adobe has access to those tools just like everyone else. The only thing stopping Adobe is Adobe. Apple has no further responsibility to make some other companies product work.

Comment Re:niches (Score 2, Interesting) 553

Plus you bought this functionality for the price of lacking half the functionality and freedom of any other smartphone on the market.

Well considering I paid about $500 for two other smart phones, gray market ones from Japan in fact, and still bought an iPhone before the price was subsidized means one of two things:

  1. I'm stupid, which I'm sure many people will agree with.
  2. The iPhone, despite not having all the features of the other smart phones I owned, did everything I wanted it to do phenomenally better. So much better that paying the unsubsidized cost was not a deterrent.

Freedom is not merely the possibility to do things. It is the ability to do what I want and do it well.

Comment Re:niches (Score 2, Insightful) 553

You seem to forget history. The iPhone was not initially sold in a subsidized version and it still sold and sold a ton before Apple came out with a subsidized pricing plan. What did it offer over other phones that made millions of people go out and buy it for full price? It's widely accepted that feature wise the iPhone has lagged over the competition, and still it's been wildly popular.

If you have great form but lousy function your product will fail. If you have lousy form but fantastic function you may be successful, but only because people have to have your function. If you pair fantastic form with fantastic function, you will own the market.

You can argue against that all you want but Apple's fast rise to prominence in the smart phone market tells the story.

Apple's been playing a long-term game here. The ipod and iphone have been gateway gadgets to bring people to the realization that not all tech has to suck and merely be tolerated because it does something useful. I wish other manufacturers would learn that lesson.

The iPad is a harder sell because it's not a phone and bigger than a simple ipod, but I think it will sell. And I think it will sell a ton when people see what kind of apps are available. Apple is shifting the computing paradigm away from the desktop metaphor, and they're doing it fast.

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