Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Ron Gilbert (Score 1, Insightful) 827

I'm curious as to how an App Store indicates the coming armageddon of a "locked down Mac". It will not be the only place to get Mac software (said right in the keynote). The majority of Mac buyers are the Mom, Pop and arty university student base, who really don't know of the existence of most Mac software. As a developer, a storefront for my software built right into the desktop of every new Mac sold is hardly going to be a bad thing - I get millions of eyeballs and potential one click customers for a 30% cut. If I don't like those terms, I can use the traditional distribution methods.

Now, if you're going into hypotheticals, they *might* in the future remove the traditional distribution, thus breaking all software that all their customers have ever bought for earlier versions of the Mac, and alienating every big developer out there that currently publish on the platform (Microsoft, Valve, AutoCAD, etc). But then, *gasp*, MS have an app store in Windows Phone 7 - they might do the same for Windows 8! And Google, they've pulled items from the Android store in the past - they might suddenly require that all developers submit to DNA testing! We can sit and come up with nonsensical predictions, that have limited grounding in reality and no grounding in basic business sense, forever. If Apple eventually "lock down the Mac", well, then I'll switch to Linux. Until then, hyperbole about what "might" happen, despite there being no evidence of it, is just stupid.

Comment Oh yes (Score 5, Insightful) 709

Oh yes, they believe that people will swallow them. I'm making a kind of personal anthropological study of the changes to the US right (which, to most of the Western world, is becoming the "far right", or possibly "So far right, it's in danger of wrap around"). These people truly seem believe that *any* kind of government is an evil threat to liberty (how these people can draw a salary as a government employee is an excellent example of living with cognitive dissonance - *my* government job is OK, *my* farm subsidy is an exception to the rule of free markets). There seems to be a growing group who would prefer that the sum total role of government would be to issue all newborns with a bible and a gun, then vanish for all eternity.

I caricature, of course. Not all republicans are this far gone. Unfortunately, It's getting hard to find any vocal examples who are not.

Comment Re:Misleading summary (Score 1) 436

Well, what you suggest is possible. My feeling that it's unlikely to happen are based on inertia of expectations. People have preconceived ideas of how a desktop computer should work, and these differ from mobile phones. Overcoming this sense of "It's not working right", especially with peoples libraries of existing software, will be almost impossible.

This doesn't mean that a new class of machine between an iPad and a Mac couldn't be created - an entry on your spectrum, if you like - where app approval is required. When you create a new class of device, you get to set the expectations. The closer you get to a extant "slot" in peoples minds though, the more the inertial drag of pre-existing conceptions will narrow the choices you can impose on people before they rebel. Incidentally, I suspect this is why everyone, including myself, still sees the iPhone as phenomenally free - it's a mobile phone, so I don't judge it against my Macs or other desktops - I judge it against my other phones. Perhaps, in time, peoples expectations will be changed so that the iOS app approval process seems terribly restrictive. This will be an interesting one to watch, from a sociological perspective.

Comment Misleading summary (Score 5, Interesting) 436

The article discusses how developers expect iOS and OS X to merge from an API perspective - cross pollination between the developments (mostly from iOS to OS X) will lead to a unified development environment. This is *not* the same as the DRM/App Store, which is just the distribution method chosen for the iPhone and iPad. There's nothing technical about this - it's a business choice to make this the sole channel, one that doesn't seem to make sense for desktop computing, and one that I doubt they'd pursue.

Whilst I expect an App Store on the Mac, I would be shocked if it were the only distribution method available. In truth, I suspect we'll see a situation similar to downloading apps via Safari now - the first run, you get a warning about possible unsafe code, you tell it you're fine with that, and then everything carries on as normal. The Mac still represents a vast chunk of their revenue - only marginally less than iPhone in terms of income, and probably more in terms of profit. They're not going to kill a fully functioning golden goose, though I do expect some experimentation with it.

This experimentation is long overdue. For most people, something much simpler than a full desktop would be ideal - my iPad passes my parental approval filter far more than their desktop computer, the complexity of which causes more trouble than benefit. Now, the iPad is *not* a suitable desktop replacement - using my parents as an example again, there's no really useful document processing, no ability to hook up their TomTom, no easy printing. However, I can certainly see some hybrid iMac/iPad (or Android setup, I don't care who makes it) being a *much* better proposition for them than buying another desktop of the current ilk - be it Windows, Mac or Linux.

Comment Interesting conflict of interests (Score 1) 212

As one of the purveyors of worthless "Viruses/Cybercrime cost the economy TRILLIONS!!!" sky is falling nonsense, here's an interesting conflict of interests for McAfee. From a users perspective, the damage caused here will somewhat similar to the costs of cleaning up after a virus has damaged machines. Will they reimburse customers the many, many millions they claim viruses could cost companies when they sell them McAfee solutions? Or will IT support costs suddenly come down to these sensible "reasonable expenses" when they have to foot the bill?

Comment Re:Antitrust (Score 0) 695

Gaining an advantage over your competitors is *not* grounds for anti-trust. Once again, I see "A monopoly on high quality" or "A monopoly on something I want" being thrown around as grounds for government intervention. Fortunately, the law isn't that idiotic - just random Internet commenters.

Apple has nowhere near a monopoly on chip design, mobile devices or computing. There are plenty of competitors to ARM in the low power chip market. The shareholders of these two companies are well within their rights to agree a takeover. Buying something so your competitors can't use it is a perfectly legitimate business action - if it wasn't, huge swathes of company takeover in existence would be "blocked on antitrust grounds".

Comment And they didn't see this coming? (Score 2, Funny) 497

Direct quote from Mike Chambers: "Because this is Flash, it is rather trivial to port games created with Flash that target the iPhone to target other operating systems, such as Android."

Which pretty much sums up the entire reason for 3.3.1. Did they seriously expect that, going in with this offering, they'd get no pushback from Apple? It's been abundantly clear from day one that the iPhone store is a closed platform, subject to the business ideals of Apple (i.e. make Apple more money). Any sane iPhone developer knew this going in, and really doesn't care (or they'd never have started).

I suspect the correct way to view the iPhone store is not "A horribly closed environment compared to e.g. Windows/the Web", but "A largely open market compared to the PS3/Wii etc". Closed platforms have existed for eons without the world ending, and they'll continue to exist in the future. The real novelty with the iPhone is it sits in the middle - neither open nor closed. People are freaking out trying to shoehorn it into one camp or the other, when it's just not possible.

Obligatory side picking: Apple. Just because I will be so very, very glad when I never have to see a Flash ridden site again. Also, because I'm enjoying the irony of the de-facto "Let's take an open environment like the web, and close it up" getting all angry over openness.

Comment Re:News at 11 (Score 1) 582

Too elaborate on my glib commenting, I suspect the largest reason the Wii has succeeded in the space is simply

    1 - Cost. It's cheap
    2 - Games that are easy to understand. Your Mom knows how to bowl. My computer illterate friends understand Mario Party. They're not the games you see elsewhere

The "casual" choice on the other two platforms are currently vapourware, but will certainly fail the (1) element of the above. The (2) element remains to be seen. I suspect that, this console cycle, the Wii has that mindshare sown up tight.


Submission + - Top Ten Strangest or Cruellest Science Experiments 1

aalobode writes: "The Times of London has a current story based on the review of a book by Alex Boase, Elephants on Acid and Other Bizarre Experiments. There they list the top science experiments — including the one from which the book gets its name — that were conducted by otherwise sane humans who tragically or otherwise ignored the effect of their research on the subjects themselves. Nowadays, most institutions have a review board for research on human subjects which would flag most proposals that could lead to harm for the subjects, but not so in the past. See for yourself at the url http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article2779808.ece?OTC-HPtoppuff&ATTR=elephants"
Christmas Cheer

Submission + - Cubicle Christmas 2006 -

John Horn Jr. writes: "8 cubicles, 7 guys, 8 hours... too much $$$. Check out our application development team's contribution to this year's company holiday decorating contest. Although we took 2nd place in the overall competition, it sure was fun!"

Slashdot Top Deals

This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.