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Comment Re:can somebody explain (Score 1) 83

(including microsoft, which in fact really liked asm.js, it used it in its office 356 products)

Slight point of clarification, the product Microsoft used it in is Office Online (formerly Office Web Apps), which is their web-based implementation of Office products. They're not as full featured or as supported as their desktop counterparts but they are free.

What they are not, however, is part of Office 365 (or at least not the versions available to the public). Office 365 is Microsoft's term for their subscription-based Office suite. When you're an Office 365 subscriber you have access to the latest desktop versions of Office and you get all the features in the mobile app versions as well.

This confuses people all the time since people think that Office 365 is Office Online but that's not the case.

Comment Figuring out the right apps (Score 2) 359

Whenever a new piece of technology comes out, there's always a transition period involved in figuring out what works on it. When the web came out companies tried to make "virtual shopping experiences", complete with 3D models of stores with products on shelves, for online shopping. They flopped. The Amazon model of just having a webpage per product worked. Early iPad apps were lame because the developers just made their iPhone apps bigger to fill the screen size instead of using the screen effectively. And early Apple Watch apps trying to just squeeze their iPhone apps down to a smaller screen are doomed to fail too (looking at you, Twitter).

So consequently figuring out what makes sense on a Watch screen is going to be the real hurdle to overcome. All kinds of information could be handy on a small screen. A lot of people decry the Watch by saying "why not just save your money and pull out your phone?" but I think one day we'll be saying "why pull out your phone when you could just look down at your watch?"

My company's app has a lot of info for our employees and customers. But there was some info our CFO wanted to know on a fairly regular basis and he didn't want to log into some web site to see it. Or some app. He would instead pester someone to run a SQL query for him. So I added a Watch complication to our app. It puts these numbers on the screen for him. He can use Time Travel with the digital crown to go back throughout the day. He can drill down to the actual app and refresh on demand to his hearts content (Complications are only refreshed on a particular budget). He loves it. And the people who used to have to be pestered for it love me for putting it on his watch screen.

That's the sort of thing the Watch is good for. Quick pieces of info on demand or refreshing in the background. Instances where it would be easier to glance at your wrist than pull out your phone, unlock it, open an app, etc. Instances where you don't want to walk around with your phone in your hand where it can be bumped out and dropped or stolen. I use the Wallet app on the phone and the 7-11 app to scan my 7-Rewards card barcode and everyone just thinks it's the coolest thing ever even though I feel like a dork doing it. And then it feels incredibly primitive to dig out my wallet to pay when I could just use the watch with Apple Pay except 7-11 doesn't take it.

I think some day when the right apps are out for it it'll be as vital as our phones.

Comment Ahead of its time (Score 1) 359

Apple is good at releasing things a little ahead of their time. You may think that sounds like a "just too awesome" humblebrag but hear me out.

When Apple announced the iPhone people thought they were crazy. The cell phone market was saturated. Apple at the time was a second string computer company with a successful MP3 player. People figured they were in no way going to be able to compete. And a lot of the initial success of the phone was attributed to marketing and the cult-like status of Apple devotees.

As we all know the iPhone goes on to be the single most successful consumer electronics product in history.

However when you go back and look back at iPhone 1.0, it's actually a pretty tepid product compared to what we have today. It didn't have 3G, it couldn't run apps other than what it came with, it needed an adapter to use most headphones, I'm not sure if it even had GPS. When asked about the lack of 3G, Jobs said "well you're probably always near Wi-Fi", when asked about the lack of apps Jobs said "just write web apps", even calling it a "sweet solution". The iPhone 3G, a year later, fixed all these issues. The original iPhone sold about a million units in its first year, the iPhone 3G sold about 14M units.

So why come out with the iPhone at all? First mover advantage. Yes everyone had a cell phone but almost nobody had a smart phone. Apple figured people would start switching to smart phones and they wanted to be out there early. The phone didn't have 3G because they hadn't figured it out yet. The phone didn't have apps because they weren't ready with an SDK yet. But they figured - correctly - that it was more important to be out there and address issues in the 2.0 revision.

The Apple Watch has issues and thanks to Samsung's ability to copy based off of rumors now, didn't even have first mover advantage (I can't wait to see how Samsung rushes a car to market). But I think it'll take off similar to the iPhone in the second year and in the meantime the developers get to take the first year to get their feet wet.

Comment Slashdot Asks is the wrong place for this (Score 1) 359

Besides the on-again, off-again Apple hate on Slashdot, there's the fact that most geeks don't want a watch at all. Like, not even a "geeky" watch, which is why Android Wear devices don't sell. It's why even when Samsung beat Apple to market on the watch, with a cheaper device, they still got their asses handed to them on sales. Apple won't reveal numbers of course but it's rumored they've sold 10-12 million Apple Watches, 2M on the first weekend alone

There's also the very odd fit between gadget prices and watch prices. Since the watch fell out of favor with geeks over the years and mostly became known as a fashion accessory (another thing the Slashdot crowd probably doesn't care about), people complained about the $350 starting price. In the watch community, however, $350 won't even buy you a very good watch. I mean yeah you can get a digital watch at Walmart for $10 but something that actually looks good? The sky is literally the limit. It's like sunglasses - you can get them for $5 at a gas station, or even free at promotional events, but there's entire chains of stores like Sunglass Hut that sell sunglasses that go for hundreds of dollars. Once you discover the world of Horology blogs (study of watches/timekeeping) like Hodinkee, the rabbit hole goes very deep. There's blogs just analyzing the watches shown in movies and TV shows. There's blogs that just focus on the watches shown in the James Bond movies.

And lest we forget the "no wireless. less space than a nomad. lame" story when the iPod was released. Go far enough back and you'll find stories decrying smart phones. Or tablets. Or any number of things we've decided are vital now.

That all said, it's not that opinions here aren't valid, but comments on stories like this are bound to be filled with quips that are going to look embarrassingly luddite in a few years. It's like looking back on when Steam was announced and everyone here said they would never play HL2 until it didn't require Steam. There's still people on here who avoid Steam but it's like finding someone who still thinks we didn't land on the moon.

Comment Re:Another interpretation (Score 1) 214

Yeah no offense to avandesande but I doubt he knows many normal people if he thinks that tablets are/were a fad. My parents basically live on their iPads. My dad calls it "the machine" which is funny since it's technically correct although I always associate machines with moving parts.

It's true that tablet sales are in a bit of a slump right now but mostly that's due to how they can go longer without needing replacements, a lot of the real improvements you could make go better in phones, and they generally do a lot of the things they need to so for a lot of people they're good enough now. This is different than the Netbook which, honestly, was a fad. Netbook sales fell off a cliff, tablet sales are just not exploding like they were anymore.

Comment Translation: (Score 4, Insightful) 105

"A giant company gave me an incredible service to use for free for many years. Now they have the audacity to require me to start paying for it instead of continuing to offer it to me for free in perpetuity. In response I will proudly brag about the completely unrelated point of how I continue to possess the physical items which I was in no way being told to get rid of before anyway."

I agree it's unfortunate that the free radio stations are gone (although Beats 1 continues to be free) but getting all high and mighty about how you still have albums on disc and DRM-free formats (which I do as well, for what it's worth) is unrelated and annoying to trot out.

Comment Re:Doesn't matter anyway (Score 2) 139

You can't patent game mechanics

Not exactly, no (i.e., you can't patent "guy with gun runs around and shoots things" for FPS games) but a board game itself, complete with its rules, can be patented. See the history of Monopoly and how several different board game patents were bought up by Parker Bros. back in the day to be able to release the game.

This, interestingly, actually works to the advantage of would-be game cloners because patents expire relatively quickly compared to copyrights. Consider Late for the Sky, a board game company whose output consists almost entirely of Monopoly clones, right down to the -opoly suffix (i.e., Aggieopoly, Miamiopoly, etc.) Rather than try and bat them down with some sort of bullshit reason, Parker Bros. instead just decided to get in on the game too, thus Star Wars Monopoly, Hello Kitty Monopoly, NASCAR Monopoly, etc.

Strictly speaking, though, none of this is really relevant because the article doesn't mention patents or copyright at all and really it's just the shit stirring summary that's trying to make Gygax into some thieving asshole after the fact.

Comment Re:10K ought to be enough for anybody (Score 1) 174

But then the phone companies went to extra steps to be able to block SMS, so they could charge fees for not blocking it, backwards as it sounds. And as if that wasn't enough, they went one step further, and started counting SMSes and where they terminated, so they could charge extra for both the amount and the source/destination.

Doesn't sound backwards at all if your intent is to make money off of people. I get that it would be nice to not have to pay for it but that's not how capitalism works. And the fact that people paid for it says it wasn't a bad idea to do it. Compare that to, say, if Facebook started charging for using Facebook - everyone would stop using it and go elsewhere.

Comment Wow (Score 4, Insightful) 540

This is maybe the shittiest article I've seen posted to Slashdot in a long time, and that's saying something.

First, why does the blame fall to Tim Cook of all people instead of the developers of the game?

Second, Apple has already set up a Family Sharing system to prevent just this sort of thing. Never mind the fact that your have to give your kid your password to the account tied to a credit card for this to happen in the first place.

http://www.apple.com/icloud/fa...

To say nothing of the fact that in the article itself they said Apple refunded him the money. But yeah, they're assholes because he doesn't know not to give your kid access to your credit card.

Finally throw in a dash of globalization scare tactics and remind developers that they *only* get 70% of the IAP revenue, which they know about already, and you've got the Slashdot Shithead Trifecta.

Comment Re:This is nothing new (Score 3, Informative) 207

It's Oswald the Rabbit, not Oscar.

Also, kinda interesting story, Oswald was the antagonist of the game Epic Mickey. On the Idle Thumbs podcast, Sean Vanaman told the story about how he and some others were handed the Epic Mickey project because no one at Disney Interactive Studios knew what to do with Mickey. They came up with the idea to have Oswald be in the game but Disney didn't own it, NBC Universal did. They pitched it to Bob Iger who liked the idea so much that he put the wheels in motion to trade Al Michaels from Disney-owned ESPN to NBC (something Michaels had wanted to do) in exchange for Oswald and a few other things.

Vanaman tells the story that he had no idea any of this was going on until he read in the sports section "AL MICHAELS TRADED FOR CARTOON RABBIT"

Comment Re:Any real tangible merits to using Windows Serve (Score 1) 288

For a long time it was the only option to run .NET applications on (i.e., an ASP.NET site, .NET web services, .NET Windows services, etc.) so vendor lock-in plays a big part. That's potentially different now that .NET is open source and Microsoft is friendlier to FOSS stuff but for the time being most businesses will just suck it up with the devil they know.

Comment Re:OK, I'll bite (Score 1) 195

Yeah to me the biggest thing was the memory management. I've done some C/C++ stuff but most of my stuff was C# up until then. That wasn't the issue, the issue was that these devices didn't have much RAM, especially Android's Dalvik VM thing on the multiplatform project I was working on. That was a big shift backwards but I managed. I was almost disappointed when Apple figured out ARC since now some of that newfound skill was going away.

Comment Re:OK, I'll bite (Score 1) 195

You know why we're still using semicolons? Because they're still useful

I should have been more clear before - Swift doesn't need semicolons at the end of every line. But if you want to use semicolons to have multiple statements per line you can. And you can also put semicolons at the end of every line still if you really want to, they're just being ignored by the compiler is all. I occasionally go through and check and sure enough I still sometimes use them at the end of the line.

But you're right and they are still useful, which is why Swift lets you use them if you really want to. You just won't want to after a while. I was at WWDC when they announced Swift and in the first sessions where they showed the basics of the language and I thought removing semicolons was a bad idea. Now that I've used it for a while I agree with them.

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