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Comment Re:A more appropriate quote seems to be... (Score 2, Interesting) 775

When it comes to the mobile phone arena and its numerous operating systems, the lack of cross-platform ability becomes even more of a problem. Microsoft has never been into making their tools cross-platform because their real interest is in promoting their own platform. As long as they continue down that route, I think the user base of their development tools will continue to dwindle.

Ah, I see - like the lack of cross-platform tools/ability is causing the Cocoa Touch/iOS platform to dwindle?

This is rubbish. If Microsoft had had a good mobile strategy 5 years ago, instead of flogging (with a stylus) the dead horse that is Win CE/WiMo, they would own this market now. Instead Apple & RIM (both emphatically not cross-platform or open) have thrashed them by producing good products that people want to buy. Astonishingly, this is what it takes to succeed in business today.

Comment Re:FUD. (Score 1) 120

Surely a faster / better built fiber network would have a queue of customers beating down their door?

Not without running the service at a loss. Telstra offers 'fast enough' service for most users over fully-written-down infrastructure and should totally spank a commercial greenfields national FTTP network on price. The government can't run the NBN non-commercially (at a loss), otherwise the expenditure has to come on-budget.

Comment Re:CmdrTaco drags big brass ones along the ground (Score 1) 750

Whats her secret?

Um... reading glasses? I guess the point is that the iPad, with its larger display, is even more suitable for this scenario.

...hating to have to quit whatever they are doing to respond to a message or lose whatever they are doing when someone calls them.

Hmm.. if an iPhone app doesn't remember what you were doing when it quits, then it's poorly written. I personally haven't come across any (although I haven't used a large number of apps). There are valid reasons for wanting multi-tasking, but in my opinion, having apps invisibly doing nothing in the background because you don't like the idea of them having to relaunch, isn't one.

Your business rant appears to be an argument against businesses ever upgrading anything. While I've certainly come across a lot of businesses that think that way, good ones tend to ask relevant questions like: "What's the return on investment for this project", "What are the risks of continuing our current approach", "How can technology better support our business processes" etc. For some, the answer may well be that an iPad solution is the best option for them.

Comment Re:CmdrTaco drags big brass ones along the ground (Score 1) 750

I call bullshit on the 'grandparents won't like it' argument. My Grandma has an iPhone instead of a computer. She uses it for email, internet (3G - she doesn't have a fixed internet connection), photos and SMS. She's had laptops and adsl on several previous occasions, and consistently ended up giving them away because she never used them.

And having to quit whatever they are doing to use a second program...

I see this argument a lot from people who have clearly never used an iPhone. Substitute 'alt-tab' wherever you use the word 'quit' and you'll get a better picture of how this works in practice. Given the likely high percentage of computer users who run all their apps maximised on a single monitor, I'm struggling to understand why people see this as such a deal-breaker.

$100 or so dollars per unit

The iPhone Developer Enterprise Program may help out with those crippling costs. I doubt iPads would see any significant adoption in clerical work environments, but areas like warehousing, stock management, transport, mobile sales - everywhere that mobility and ease of use are important - may see some activity. Despite Apple's almost total disinterest in the sector.

Comment Re:Science or Religion? (Score 1) 1136

This is part of what GP is probably referring to:

FWIW I don't think it's fair to characterise the NASA guys as 'faking' the data - they just stuffed up. It doesn't reflect particularly well on them that they attempted to quietly & retrospectively correct it though. Note that it also only affected US temperature readings.

NB: I'm sure Steve McIntyre doesn't count as a 'reputable' source as he's a heathen denialist who clearly doesn't understand climate science (despite being the one to find & report the anomoly). There would be other references, I'm just too lazy to look.

Comment Re:Why everything an outlet? (Score 1) 327

Because he's used to Winforms, which (by default) generates a private instance variable in your form subclass for every control you've dropped onto the designer. IMO it's an ugly carryover from the 'put all your code in the UI' VB6 days - I much prefer the arms length interaction between controller & view in Cocoa, notwithstanding it requires more manual connections.

Battlestar Galactica's Last Days 799

bowman9991 writes "If your country was invaded and occupied by a foreign power, would you blow yourself up to fight back? If someone pointed a gun at your head and threatened to pull the trigger if you refused to sign a document you knew would lead to a hundred deaths (and you signed!), would that make you ultimately responsible? Does superior technology give you the moral right to impose your will on a technologically inferior culture? You wouldn't expect a mainstream television show to tackle such philosophically loaded questions, certainly not a show based on cheesy science fiction from the '70s, but if you've watched Battlestar Galactica since it was re-imagined in 2003, there has been no escape. The final fourth season is nearly over, and when the final episode airs, television will never be the same again. SFFMedia illustrates how Battlestar Galactica exposes the moral dilemmas, outrages, and questionable believes of the present as effectively (but more entertainingly) than any documentary or news program. It's not hard to see parallels in the CIA and US military's use of interrogation techniques in Bush's War on Terror, the effects of labeling one race as 'the enemy,' the crackdown on free speech, or the use of suicide bombers in Iraq."

Comment Re:If you have abstraction, switching is a LOT eas (Score 1) 622

Clean, well-separated code should be able to be ported to a new database platform at least three times before it starts to approach the break-even point that would have made building your own general purpose database abstraction layer worthwhile. This is the sort of false economy that you commonly find rearing its head with developers who are attempting to solve problems that don't exist yet.

If avoiding vendor lock-in is such an important requirement, it would generally be cheaper to buy a database abstraction framework (or, thinking outside the box here, sticking to standard SQL) rather than attempting to roll your own. However, in practice I think vendor lock-in on the database platform is less of a concern than vendor/technology lock-in on your web application framework, so to my mind it's questionable that you're getting a great deal of value by going down this path.

United States

Submission + - CSPAN to adopt Creative Common Styled License

Trillian_1138 writes: "CSPAN, a network in the United States dedicated to airing governmental proceedings, has adopted a Creative Commons style license for all its content. This follows the network claiming Speaker of the House Pelosi's use of C-Span videos on her site violated their copyright . Specifically, "C-SPAN is introducing a liberalized copyright policy for current, future, and past coverage of any official events sponsored by Congress and any federal agency — about half of all programming offered on the C-SPAN television networks — which will allow non-commercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, with attribution." The press release should be on the C-SPAN website here but, as of this submission, the link is not functional. The question remains whether videos of governmental proceedings should be public domain by default or whether the attribution requirement is reasonable in the face of easy video copying and distribution."

Submission + - 20 must-have Firefox extensions

mrbluze writes: "Computerworld has an article: mand=viewArticleBasic&taxonomyName=development&art icleId=9011975&taxonomyId=11&intsrc=kc_feat which reviews 20 useful Firefox extensions. I must admit this was a very fruitful read and identified some extensions that don't usually come up when you browse the 'popular' list on the website.

Do fellow slashdotters have other extensions they cannot live without?"
Linux Business

Submission + - Dell to Linux users: Not so fast

PetManimal writes: "After all the hubbub over Dell's note about manufacturing Linux-friendly Dells and choosing distros, the company is now telling users not to expect factory-installed Linux laptops and desktops anytime soon:

The company said today that the note was just about certifying the hardware for being ready to work with Novell SUSE Linux, not an announcement that the computers would be loaded and sold with the operating system in the near future.
According to the article, Dell says that lining up certification, support and training will 'take a lot of work.'"

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