Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 1) 356

Ya unless Apple makes really shitty connectors on their products, I'm failing to see how this isn't a case of user error (or someone making shit up). I can't think of the last time I've seen a 3.5mm TRS plug fail. I make a lot of use of them between my personal devices for listening to music and connecting computers to capture/presentation setups at work. I really honestly can't remember when I last experienced one fail on me. I'm not saying it never happens, but it is rare enough that it isn't even a problem I consider. They are quite reliable, in no small part because they are dead fucking simple.

Comment It's fanboy rationalization (Score 1) 356

You see it all the time with fanboys of a given brand. When that brand does something stupid or something they don't like, they have to rationalize it away how it isn't just not bad, but is actually a GOOD thing. That way, they can continue to be a fan and needn't reevaluate their position, which is important since being a fan of a brand often means having your ego tied up in the success of that brand.

You see it a lot with Apple fans since Apple is known for changing things on a whim with no warning or input.

Doesn't even have to be changes either, fans will do it when something is just disappointing. I saw a funny one with one of our former students who was a total Apple fanboy. The iPad 2 was coming out and he'd really hyped himself up for it. I told him that some of the things he was hyped for (like a high DPI display) weren't going to happen, tech just wasn't there yet. So it launched and was underwhelming to him at least. It was just a bit of an update to the old one. Now I don't see an issue with that, makes sense to refresh your products with the latest tech, even if the refresh is just minor. Just means that they are more for new customers than people upgrading. However he was very let down.

But then, over the course of about 5-10 minutes, he managed to find all kinds of rather stretched reasons as to why it was better and he had to have one, and then placed an order. It went from "I am disappointed," to "I must have this ASAP," in the course of just a few minutes. Nothing changed, no new information, he just rationalized the decision he'd already held: That he wanted a new toy from the brand he was a fan of.

Comment Also, you have options (Score 1) 356

It isn't like all phones are doing this. In fact, usually if some companies start doing something stupid and not giving people what they want, someone else will make and advertise products with those features.

For example I'm not a fan of the "no removable battery, no SD card" trend. Lots of phones have gone that way in the name of thin... however LG apparently figures there's a market for people who want those features and the LG G5 has them. So guess what phone I've ordered?

It really isn't that difficult a problem, unless you are a fanboy who is overly dedicated to a given product. If you don't mind a feature going away, ok no problem, buy the new unit and be happy. If you do mind, go and buy another product that has what you want.

However what I can't respect and get annoyed with are fanboys who will cry about something like this, and then go and buy the product anyways, acting like this had no choice in the matter and they "had" to upgrade. They are the problem.

Comment No, it was FUD (Score 1) 356

Basically what happened is one "security researcher" who wasn't that good at the "research" part of his job upgraded a system to Vista and had audio issues. He then wrote a blog piece about how Vista sucked and theorized that it was DRM causing issues. This got echo-chambered over the Internet tons and because "Vista's DRM won't let you have good audio."

It amused me since, when I read it, I had Cakewalk Sonar loaded in the background and was working with pro audio at the time, in Vista, no issues at all.

What had really happened is his system had a old, low end, integrated soundcard. The manufacturer provided poor quality Vista drivers that didn't work well in full duplex (recording and playing back) mode. So if you were using the mic and output, sound quality was degraded. This was a function of the sound chip and its drivers, not Vista. It was, and is, fully capable of doing 24-bit 192kHz or greater multi-channel audio in and out, as are subsequent versions of Windows.

The DRM that showed up in Vista related to audio is "protected audio path" and is only relevant to shit like Blu-ray playback. The media industry won't give out licenses to AACS and BD-J unless the whole setup it DRM'd including the drivers. So Vista added this capability (and subsequent Windows versions keep it). A program can say "I am playing DRM'd content, you need to protect this" and the driver will then make sure that screenshots/recording can't happen, that it only plays on HDCP enabled outputs and shit like that. However normally all that is turned off and it affects nothing if you don't use it. While it is silly, it was either implement it, or Windows would never be able to (legally) play Blu-rays.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 5, Insightful) 356

Indeed, I've never had a modern 3,5mm headphone port wear out. I've had a lot of micro-USB ports wear out. : And it's only logical that would be the case, the electrodes on the headphone port are far more robust than those on a micro-USB port.

I know that the standard response to "3,5mm port removal is the feature that nobody requested" is "it'll be painless and we'll be able to use the extra space to more useful internal hardware without having to make the phone bigger". But just ignoring the "painless" thing... how much more "capability" can you add in such a little space? That's enough for what, maybe 5% more battery time?

Maybe I'm wierd, but I couldn't give a rat's arse how thick a phone is... I just want it to be robost and not a big headache.

Comment It can be fine... (Score 2, Informative) 356

...but they need to create a standard for the replacement jack first. And no, Bluetooth is not it.

I don't think the 3.5mm jack is actually a panacea. It's limited to a single stereo output, and numerous incompatible hacks have been grafted on to allow it be used for microphone input and for phone or music controls.

But you can't just get rid of it without an adequate replacement at the ready, with cheap adapters available that you can easily just slot onto the end of a 3.5mm jack.

Comment Re:Whenever I want really... (Score 1) 214

I know, it DOES sound absurd, and in practice, it is. Now, it's "only" around 800 individual products actually delivered fresh each year, but because I'm having to touch and test older games as a part of that process, I'm in effect coding for thousands of shipped products per year, just to make it as sane as possible to continue each product line.

And yes, that means each day, I'm jumping between 15 minute mini-projects, reviewing and raising issues on design documents, throwing together project directories and rapidly configuring them, throwing those project into automated testing suites of tools (which I'm also cross-developing), testing the various inputs/outputs of other teams to make sure nothing will prevent delivery to spec.

I'm making active progress on around a dozen separate projects each day, contacting clients as needed to hammer out shared documents, then reacting to rare but important issues as they are raised.

Ryan Fenton

Comment Whenever I want really... (Score 2) 214

I code for thousands of mostly-unique commercial software products a year, using 8 languages (mostly C#), for many dozens of major customers, and lots of smaller ones.

Because of this, I have a huge chain of demands I keep track of, and methods of automation in order to collectively manage a constant flow of data requirements, and of course tracking issues both shared and common between these scenarios.

When I'm coding, I've got to code in a way that communicates these details to myself, consistent between all the languages I might have to touch for coding, scripting, database, reporting, and specialized languages a client may suddenly require.

Because of that, my code has to be a loose framework, a late-binding train station of logic, where demands may switch at any moment, and limitations imposed from other teams may similarly pop up.

My code is littered with multi-paragraph discussions of a technology I once had to interact with (customers often switch back), large sections of functions commented out rather than deleted, and other 'bad' practices just to give me landmarks and a 'flavor' of what a customer is occasionally interested in, amidst a never-ending avalanche of context switching between products and customers.

I've redesigned these several systems from the ground floor once (they used to only handle a small fraction of the work, using an antiquated language), and am working with a team to do a better design... but it's been very difficult for a team of perfectionists to understand how to react to an unlimited flow of changing requirements. Fortunately, the code itself has been quite usable, and they're using the same languages, but no system can really handle these demands truly consistently - I'd call it NP ridiculous. It's basically the "mythical man month" writ live, where I've got to do my work, and train a team whose work process may never really be able to do what I can do - definitely healthier long term, but can't help but result in some amazing process failures.

I actually would have made most of these design changes myself, but at the time, I was forbidden by management from making those choices, since I was doing my work directly at the production level - so it's actually a bit of a relief to see someone at least allowed to make some of the better choices.

In short (and yes, for this scenario, this is short), because I'm doing alone, for years, what a team of almost any size would struggle to approximate, as many of us seem to be doing, I've got no choice but to code how I need to in order to have a system that I can sanely maintain in an insane set of requirements. There's not really a choice in the matter, if your put in a position where "oh, we suddenly need this" exists as a live production task in a growing industry.

Ryan Fenton

Comment The "so what?" heard around the world! (Score 3, Informative) 334

Milktoast centrist put in vice president status. Courage required: 0

WIkipedia entry

At least the guy is well educated and experienced.

Not a dramatic choice - but a solid guy all the same. Would be justly called pretty conservative most places outside the US.

I'd have much preferred an Al Franken or Elizabeth Warren emotionally - but see the virtue in a low-key centrist technocrat.

Perhaps he's exciting by virtue of being boring in this environment. Get the guy training with some comedians before the debate, and a few good lines with low expectations could have OK results.

In other news: No news is news, in this news cycle. Which isn't news, with 24 hour news.

Ryan Fenton

Comment Re:Anything incriminating? (Score 1) 439

it was the *DEMOCRATS* who refused to sit some delegates simply because they were the wrong sex

Yeah, the Democrats have a policy concerning equal numbers of each gender which the Vermont delegation initially violated. Not seeing an example of sexism here, but an attempt to avoid it.

"Racist" is thrown out by the left so often it no longer has any meaning.

I'm pretty sure it does, it's just a sizable number of the right, particularly the alt-right, both understands that "being racist" is considered bad, but that they have no problems with a society that deals black people the short end of the stick, that they have an irrational fear of brown people, and even - in some quarters, most Republicans don't fit into this category, but many on the alt-right do - that they're worried about the influence of Jews.

Comment Re:Anything incriminating? (Score 5, Funny) 439

Dunno, I went through them, and the only emails I saw that looked kinda shady were between her and an apparent long time friend with a pseudonym of "" where she appeared to be orchestrating some attempt to hijack the Republican nomination by having her friend win the nomination. Apparently "Yugedeal" would spout a lot of the kinda racist, sexist, what-liberals-think-Republicans-like crap before the nomination, insulting most of the party's big wigs (leaving them in disarray) while attracting support from the grassroots, and then reveal it was all a hoax the day before the election.

Not sure what came of the plan. The last email in the thread was just a "Good luck today Don!" sent June 16, 2015. I assume from the silence since that nothing came of it.

Slashdot Top Deals

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)