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Comment Re:Don't Believe It (Score 1) 302

I have nothing against Apple, in fact I love the Macbook Pro...

Right, but the MacBook Pro and the iPad ultimately appeal to very different kinds of people. The MacBook Pro has a uniquely broad appeal these days, because it combines a pretty decent UNIX (with all the familiar tools that we know and love) with a beautiful and easy-to-use UI. The former appeals to those that peruse Slashdot; the latter, to Apple's stereotyped traditional customer (though, these days, plenty of UNIX geeks appreciate a pretty UI too).

The iPad is very different. Despite its UNIX underpinnings, Apple is not interested in exposing them this time round. In the eyes of us geeks, this seems outrageous - how dare they restrict what we can do with the hardware!? But these simplifications make the product more appealing to - I would wager - >95% of the people out there, so, if only to appease its shareholders, Apple is pretty much duty-bound to deliver the most appealing product it can. If that means disposing of the concept of disks and drives and replacing it with ubiquitous in-the-cloud storage that syncs magically between related devices, most people will thank them for it.

Ultimately, it comes down to how you want to use a tablet. Apple's view seems to be that tablets are good at some things (web browsing, book- and magazine-reading, watching videos, etc.), passable at some things (they've made a laudable effort at porting their productivity suite to the iPad and the iPhone, but it probably needs a little more work to be truly brilliant on a tablet) and terrible at others. For the things a tablet is not suitable for (e.g. development), you use a more traditional laptop or desktop. The Android approach seems to be rather less radical - the stance on Flash is a good example (what use is Flash on a device without a permanent keyboard and, more crucially, a mouse?). That said, the Android stance is infinitely more radical than Microsoft's - Windows 8 is promising to provide an innovative and attractive touch interface (good), but will still run all the existing Windows apps (oh fuck), thus removing any incentive developers might have to create tailored apps for it.

Sent from my iPad

Comment In production environments... (Score 1) 705

...we schedule our Linux boxen to reboot weekly. Without fail.

I work in an investment bank. There, they don't have time for this uptime-dick-size-contest shit. The longer a box is up, the greater the likelihood that some hardware failure is going to fuck it up and it won't boot again. A reboot is a great way to tease weird issues out into the open so that they don't screw you over at the critical moment. Of course we have redundant servers, but that's not the point.

Ultimately, the 3 year uptime on that web server you brag about is a disaster waiting to happen. I can give a pretty much cast iron guarantee that when it does go down, whether by choice or unexpectedly, it won't come back up again smoothly. And then you're fucked.

Comment Re:Ten million? (Score 1) 221

What, you mean, MONTH/DAY/YEAR bothers you? It's just a convention.

Yes, and a fucking stupid one, which causes no end of pain. What does 3/12/2009 mean in a bit of text? To most of the world, it means 3rd December 2009. But, for some bizarre reason, it means 12th March 2009 in America. The result? It is impossible to determine whether a given date is in sane or bizarre format for values of dd < 13. The only meaningful date format now is the Asian format (yyyy-mm-dd), which is the ISO standard.

Some will argue that this is because you say "March 12th", but I'm sure you also say "ten past nine", and you don't write that 10:9. Why? Oh yes, because that would be stupid.


Comment Re:Ten million? (Score 1) 221

Or was interpreted differently. 1,000,000,000-as-billion is pretty much standard here now, at least in this limey's experience. Ordinarily I would lament such a happening, but the world is better served by a consistent definition of "billion".

Now if only you guys could sort your stupid date format out, we'd be set...

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