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Comment Back in the day (Score 4, Insightful) 449

I have this conversation periodically, except it is usually addressed to music, art, tv, sports, or any of a number of topics. It's like those guys who see a high school girl now and say "Man, they did not look like that back in my day".. yes, they did. It's just that when you saw them then, you didn't see a cute blond, you saw the B***h from social studies.

There are many exciting things going on now. I am looking at how quickly and massively raspberry pi's have been moving into area where their creators never thought they would be used. I see arduinos and the maker movement and think "Wow". Just a look at adafruit or any of a hundred other sites and the amount of very affordable tech is staggering. We could stop all tech development now and it would be centuries before we explore all the possibilities of what is sitting on the desk in front of us.

I met someone at a coffee shop awhile back and there was a bunch of teenagers acting like teenagers. My friend is now in their mid-30's. I am in my 50's. I had first met them when they were a teenager at a coffee shop. My friend commented that they were not like that back then and I pointed out that I was their current age when we first met and yes.. my friend was just as dumb and teenagery back then.

Excitement is never external. You can look at any family pic taken at Disneyland and see the scowling goth kid who is totally not having fun. OK. You have given up windows as the programming platform and gone to Linux and Android.. So? You did not start programming on Windows. You started on other platforms and moved with the times.

But, that is not what you are complaining about..

What catches my attention is that *none* of your computing complaints are really computing complaints. They are consumer complaints. You should not be doing this comparison back to their early 80's equivalents.. televisions with 3 channels. Radio. Vinyl records. Newspapers. Magazines. Computing is more than fine right now. It completely rocks. Consumer products are far greater than what they were.

Comment Re:Talk is cheap. (Score 1) 307

The trend is even more pronounced than that.

It is not just small and portable. Home systems seem to be moving more towards a more cinematic experience. Extremely large screens that can show IP streaming as well as other content (gaming, etc). One screen, many uses. They are even building the aggregator apps into the televisions these days rather than as separate devices.

Desktops are essentially becoming work machines. More industrial in terms of how they work. The consumer functions are moving off onto other devices.

Comment Re:Does Alibaba matter to those in the west? (Score 1) 41

The sale is rolling by timezone. As I type this in, the sale will be starting in about 9 hours 15 minutes from where I live.

So, that was all China.

Aliexpress is getting bigger in the US. It is the same factory sources as many US companies, so the build quality is very similar and the prices are often significantly less. They also reflect the chinese tech market and that can be several years ahead of the US domestic sales market.

Comment Re:Not your father's NASA anymore (Score 2) 24

The point of NASA is to not become essentially a merchant marine for space. It put all of its budget into operations of space craft for decades and that has taken a toll on its science and research portions. There is nothing particularly noteworthy about it having a monopoly on space operations and that negatively impacts other options. NASA is a great R&D operation and does wonderful science. Why would it also be tasked with running operations when that is a function that has moved well into industry at this point?

There is nothing to indicate that it functions as a rubberstamp for private space operations. Actually, the only government agency that has any stamp functions is the FAA. NASA is *not* a regulatory agency, it is an R&D agency for the purpose of science and research and that function looks to be both necessary and germane to the long term space strategy of the US.

Comment Re:Probably actually illegal (Score 1) 250

Not really...

They won an original settlement of $120 million (about $5.50 per copy of DOS sold) less $13.6 million awarded to Microsoft for their countersuit. That was never paid. Microsoft appealed the decision and hung it up in court. Eventually, they settled for Microsoft investing $39.9 million into Stac (ie, they ended up part owner of the company they screwed over) and $43 million for Stac to try to move into a different area. Stac tried other products, but failed. In 2002, they sold their remaining assets and refunded the money to their stockholders (including Microsoft).

Comment Re:Probably actually illegal (Score 5, Insightful) 250

Probably, but I am reminded of the Microsoft/Stacker lawsuit. Stacker was a company that did on-the-fly disk compression for DOS systems. Microsoft met up with them and went through a lot of due diligence and saw a lot of Stacker's software code as part of a discussion about Microsoft licensing Stacker for the next version of DOS. They did not reach an agreement. Microsoft then incorporated a product in the next version that looked a lot like Stacker. Stacker sued and eventually won, but was already driven out of business by the time everything cleared court.

So, I ask you.. does it really matter if something is illegal if no one goes to jail and it is cheaper to pay a fine than deal with competition?

Comment Target market (Score 3, Insightful) 102

The interesting thing here is that people are complaining about how the Raspberry Pi operates when used by people who were not its primary customer when it was designed.

When it launched, it was launched, it was done as a teaching system and it has been aimed more at replacing the arduino than PC's, where this is very cost competitive given its vastly greater capabilities.

That is does not have all the functionality of a desktop is not surprising. That is not what it was designed for. But, the low cost is really causing people to think about the system and deploy it in very surprising ways. (We are using them at my place of business in our NOC for all our monitoring systems where more powerful systems are just overkill.)

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