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Comment Screen size (Score 3) 359

I don't know about anyone else, but I think that the size of the Nexus 4 is too big at 4.7". I was hoping for a 4" to 4.3" screen, but Google have really pushed for that extra big handset.

I had heard a rumour that there were going to be several manufacturers involved in the Nexus 4 - Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony - but apparently it's just LG. A shame, as I think that if Google had managed to score a contract with them to produce a variety of Nexus 4 devices, all controlled by Google, they would have produced the ultimate Android phone.

Well, at least there's Cyanogenmod, with it's incoming OTA update feature.

Comment Full time job first (Score 4, Insightful) 140

Personally, I would recommend that you get a full time job first. After a few years, when you've had time to build up commercial experience and a good couple of names on your CV (resume), you can hop into the freelancing circle.

Freelancers tend to command more money (certainly in the UK a contractor's daily rate will be more than double that of a permanent employee). There are often A LOT of people chasing these jobs, especially these days, and without proven commercial skills and those client names to back up your experience, you could well be ignored.

Start with a full time job first, get the experience and then start offering yourselves as freelance.

Comment Plugins and extensions (Score 1) 257

Perhaps a better way would have been for Google not to release the Android source code, but instead to implement it in such a way that it supported a plugin and extension architecture, like Firefox, Chrome and Eclipse.

That way, the OEMs would have been able to tailor the phones to their liking, but wouldn't have been able to tinker directly with the primary Android code. It would mean that updates could easily be pushed to the phones and OEMs would have to do very little work. A preview Jelly Bean could have made available to devs, to ensure their extensions, etc. still worked and then it could have been pushed down to the public.

But then again, it is likely that, should it have used this approach, Android would not have captured the market share it now commands, since fewer OEMs would have picked it up, not wanting to work with closed source.

Comment Place your bets of the price of adapters! (Score 4, Interesting) 303

I'm going with the following -

1. No adapter in the box (after all, Apple didn't tell you to buy that accessory)*
2. Adapters will cost $30 each ($10 to make, plus Apple's mark-up, plus tax)**

* - after 9 months of moaning from people who say Apple have screwed them over, Apple will provide all iPhone 5 purchasers with a $5 off voucher, when ordering the adapter direct from their own website.
** - a commenter on the Daily Mail website is claiming that the adapters will only cost $5 each. No chance, sorry. How will Apple make any money off those???

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 4, Interesting) 354

"Who cares about a possible iPad Mini that isn't drinking the Kool-Aid already? Just another iOS device, they already come with a range of displays, connectivity, etc. If you have already bought into the iOS ecosystem you might want one, otherwise not so much"

And this is where a lot of people (no offence) fail to understand how Apple really operates. Apple will make it their job to ensure that you must have one, that you cannot live without one, that you are a social outcast without one.

They want people to say "Oh, look! A smaller iPad! I didn't want one before, but now that it's smaller, fits in my handbag, and is cute, I want one!"

What will they use it for? Nothing that they can't already do on a computer or a standard iPad, that's for sure. But the fact that it's yet another Apple Fashion Accessory[1], they will buy buy buy buy buy! Because if you don't have one, you're weird.

I don't have an iPhone or an iPod. I have an HTC Desire and a Sandisk Sansa (with Rockbox). What do people say to me?

"Why do you use that? Why don't you get an iPhone/iPod? Everyone else has one."

And when the iPad Mini comes out, it will be like no 7" tablet existed before it, and that Apple has reinvented the market again. Everything else will be a copy (like those copycat Asians at Samsung). We all know it to be true - this is what the general public will believe.

[1] - I don't believe there actually is a tablet market. Just an iPad market. No one wants tablets, just something that makes them look cool and hip. Like everyone else.

Comment Look for the opportunities (Score 1) 220

  • If you can, walk to work instead of driving, etc. Walking at a brisk pace over a fair distance is a good way to keep in shape.
  • If you get a bus / subway / tube, then consider getting off a few stops early and walking the rest of the way.
  • As others have said, do some exercise before going to work, or even when coming back. You can knock out 120 sit ups or push ups in quite a timely manner by doing them in sets. Do 15, then rest. 15, then rest. 15, then rest.
  • Avoid the lifts / elevators, and take the stairs.
  • Go for a walk at lunch time. 45 minutes, and then grab a sandwich on the way back. A brisk pace is probably important here.
  • Some places of work have gyms. Make full use of them when you can.

The reason I don't suggest running or biking is that some would rather not arrive at work a need to shower. If that doesn't bother you, then biking would be a good thing (could also save money, too!). You could also go for a run at lunch times, twice a week or so, and grab a sandwich or a bring a packed lunch to eat afterwards.

Comment You know ... (Score 2) 306

I've been coding professionally for 11 years, have been hobby coding for about 20.

Recently, I've been exposed to Agile, Scrum, XP, TTD, User Stories, Sprints, Pair Programming, and now NoSQL. All these things, I have to say, are contributing massively to my strong considerations to hang up my mouse and keyboard.

My first experience of Agile was working for an investment bank where they decided that, no matter if the code was buggy or was only partly complete, we would push it out to the clients. No problem, our next sprint would fix the bugs. Another project I worked on saw me having to attend hours and hours of meetings, filling out small cards to stick to white boards, listening to people who have no relevance to my project talking about what they were doing, and constantly giving estimates to project managers so that they could make further adjustments to later sprints. When I finally sat down to code that day, it was about 3 lines. I wasn't allowed to work on anything else, because that hadn't been assigned to this sprint. Fun.

I recently had a telephone interview with a man who spoke to me for 40 minutes straight about agile and did not ask me one single technical question. Nothing on Java, Spring, Hibernate, XML, SQL, or anything else listed on my CV. He even wanted to know whether I used physical note paper or software for details the tasks and user stories. When he asked me two days later if I would like to come in for an interview, I declined. I want to code, not work for a bureaucracy.

I remember when coding was fun and we didn't have to adopt all these so-called methods. I have no idea what NoSQL is, all I remember is someone at my last contract deciding we were going to use it and then teaching everyone how to query using JSON or Javascript or whatever. It took us a few weeks to get our heads around the idea, and I have to wonder what the benefit of writing Java-JSON-Mongo DB interfaces were over SQL. He did not do this because the project needed it, but because he had heard about the system and wanted to shoe horn it into the project. Seriously, that was the only reason.

I'm not even sure what Agile is, to be honest. I think it's just some fancy term used by managers to make it sound as if they're being efficient and know what's happening.

One has to wonder exactly what was wrong with the previous approaches. We all still had working software 6 years ago, from what I remember ...

Comment Remember... (Score 4, Interesting) 514

Most thieves are opportunists, and unless they've been watching you and really, really, REALLY want what you've got, then simply locking the car securely is your best bet.

The other night, I was walking home (about 11:30pm, through East London), and there was a guy walking toward me. He was testing the door handles of each car he passed, until finally one opened. He took the stuff out that he found, throwing some of it away and pocketing whatever else it was he got.

I stood staring at him as he did this, quite incredulous that he would do this right in front of me, and he just looked at me and said, "Well, should've locked their car, shouldn't they?" and walked off, carrying on.

I didn't do anything because this was a very tall bloke, and was probably carrying a knife. I didn't call the police either, since, this being East London, he was no doubt part of a gang and knowing my luck I'd walk into him the following week.

So, lock your car and don't keep anything of value on show. Thieves won't smash EVERY car they come to - only the ones they know they can get stuff out of.

Comment Re:Worth experImenting with (Score 5, Informative) 130

My publishers don't give me stats that distinguish what ebook readers are purchasing my books, so I really don't know what percentage the kindle accounts for.

Based on what I've gleaned so far from my own effort, I'd say that Amazon outsells the other ebook retailers by a considerable amount.

In one month, I might sell 1,000 ebooks on and In the same month, I will sell about 100 copies through the iBookstore, Smashwords, Kobo and Barnes and Noble combined.

Amazon is a juggernaut that is unlikely to be stopped any time soon. I have to wonder how this will leave publishing in the next ten years. If hardback and paperback sales are slipping as much as people say, and book stores closing at the same rate, then people will end up reading more and more ebooks.

Which means they'll probably buy a Kindle. Which means they'll then probably not want to pay $9 for a book. Which means they'll turn to the free and $2 / $3 books.

Which might mean that you'll start to see traditional publishers outputting less, because they simply can't afford to compete at such a cost level.

But that's just my prediction of the next 10 years. It's probably very wrong.

Comment What the publishers say... (Score 5, Interesting) 165

I've spoken to a few publishers about this sort of thing, and they've told me the following:

You are not and never have been paying for the cost of the book, but the words and the story contained within.

They've never explained why a hardback costs twice as much, though.

They need to charge as much as they do for the cost of a book because they have a number of overheads and they need to get back the advance they paid the author. There is a lot of risk involved in publishing a book, due to the subjective nature of storytelling.

Why pay advances at all? Isn't that basically just a form of credit? Apparently, a lot of books don't earn out their advance. This makes no sense to me, whatsoever. Why not just pay higher royalties quarterly, when you know what the book has actually made. This reduces your risk and allows you to invest the accrued money for a period before handing over the author's share.

If you self publish a book (that they didn't want to publish) then you are both impatient and doing the work of the Devil.

Sure, not every book needs to be published, but given that I've spent around $50 on crap books this year, I don't really think they should get their knickers in a twist over someone selling a book for $3. I'd rather pay $3 on a crap book, than $12. Also, what are they REALLY scared of?

The publishing industry is a really strange beast, that I'm sure which anyone has at one time worked within or tried to get published in probably knows. It's a bit of a circle jerk, with a lot of cliques and infighting. It's also somewhat fascist in places.

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