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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 12 declined, 1 accepted (13 total, 7.69% accepted)

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Submission + - Windows Phone Outselling iPhone!

occasional_dabbler writes: Kantar Worldpanel reports generally improved sales of Windows Phone worldwide in Q3 2013 with double-digit sales in Britain France, and Italy and claiming over 10% in the European 'big five' (Germany and Spain being the other two).

In Italy, the iPhone sales slowdown before the 5s launch let Microsoft gain over 3% more of total sales than Apple, if only in terms of units and not price. Sales in the USA have almost doubled (2.7% to 4.6%) in China however they dropped by a similar ratio (4.5% down to 2.5%)

With Nokia already re-established in Russia and other emerging markets, is it time to start taking Redmond's offering seriously?

Submission + - Technical Gadgets for a Blind child (

occasional_dabbler writes: A young couple I know have a two year old child, a boy, who is blind. When they discovered his condition, I rather naïvely thought that there would already be "an app for that" so to say; lots of well developed gadgets and programs that would improve life for the child.

Well, there are some ideas around, but it seems very little of immediate, practical use, especially for a toddler.

What experience have Slashdotters of working with (or even, as) blind children or tech specifically for them?

Submission + - Microsoft Buy Nokia

occasional_dabbler writes: ARS is reporting that Microsoft has bought Nokia's smartphone (and dumbphone) business. Elop is to stand down as Nokia CEO and head a new Devices division in Redmond

Submission + - Microsoft TouchDevelop Now Runs in a Browser 2

occasional_dabbler writes: The TouchDevelop programming environment, which has been available on Windows Phone for some time, lets you create apps in a simple and easy way. It has just been released as a web app (preview)

Your scripts can remain on your own device or account, or you can publish them for others to download, run and modify. You can even write full apps for publishing in the Windows store.

The list of supported browsers makes interesting reading: Obviously IE10 is there so you can code on your shiny new Surface, but iOS, Android and Chrome browsers? Write code on your iPad or Chromebook but for Microsoft products!

Not all APIs are yet implemented in the web app, it is only a preview at the moment, but it's free to use and has examples and tutorials that make it easy to get started with


Submission + - What's the Best Way to Protect My Software?

occasional_dabbler writes: I am a hobby coder. In my day job I've been able to convince clients to pay for some small applications related to my main work as an engineer. All written in Python with wx GUIs. Everything else I've done has been OSS so copy protection was irrelevant

For several years I've been working on a project, firstly in Excel, now in a mix of Python and Fortran, that will be the first thing that I can sell as a stand-alone product. It is very niche; I might sell anything between zero and five copies, but the nearest comparable products sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

My question is this: What is the best way to protect such a product? Key it to a specific machine? Run it on a server via ssh -X and charge for a login? Rewrite as a web app (Can I use Numpy/Scipy?) or should I use a commercial licensing product like FlexLM?

As an added complication — it could conceivably be used for military purposes and be subject to ITAR or the EU equivalent. I think I would have to show some kind of effort to prevent it being used by unfriendly countries.

What have other Slashdotters done in similar situations?

Submission + - Surface Sold Out ( 1

occasional_dabbler writes: Microsoft's Surface RT tablets went on pre-sale recently. The cheapest version on the US store ($499) is already sold out and is on back order

The pricier versions are still available for the early delivery and all of them are still available in UK.


Submission + - Why is Window Phone getting such a beating? (

occasional_dabbler writes: Reviews by 'commentators' such as the link predict certain doom for both Nokia and Microsoft on the basis of the OS being a failure, yet whenever the Lumia handsets are reviewed in the mainstream press they are often highly praised. Windows phone is an immature OS, certainly, but it does pretty much everything you need in a smartphone, is getting better with each update and it is beautiful. I have a Lumia 800 and now I'm used to how it and the WP OS works I find it a painful process to go back to an Android or iPhone for some obscure app not yet supported on WP.
WP gave me the same feeling I got when I bought my first iBook, fired up OSX 10.1 and realised I had just been shifted up a decade.
So why so serious? What do slashdotters who have really tried WP think of it?

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