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Comment abstractions/symbolic refs better for complexity (Score 1) 268

the transformations you want don't exist.

True for whatever your company competes on, but not for everything else (the so called "hygiene" factors, that don't need to be great, just basically work. e.g. Apple doesn't compete on their internal payroll software).

Your point on complexity is spot on. The abstractions and symbolic references that make programming so difficult handle complexity far better than the blocks and connectors of FBP and visual programming.

OTOH the two roles of component-maker and assembler is realized in the massive standard libraries and open source libraries of all mainstream languages.

Comment Platform needs a killer app (Score 1) 400

This is a sensible business move for Microsoft - like Google's massive server farms, it's a capital investment that is a barriers for newcomers to breach. For MS/Google, it's a reasonably small percentage of xbox/LIVE revenue; but for a newcomer with small sales, it's prohibitively expensive.

But this only works if the server farm actually helps users... For google, the instant google-suggest is a pretty impressive and convenient feature - good enough for the barrier to be reasonably effective (though not absolutely compelling, IMHO). For Microsoft, the benefit is yet to be seen. Streaming video games would be helped but it, but that has had only modest success. That would help massive multiplayer games - but that's not MS's present market.

In other words: huge server farms for a game console is a great technology platform... all it needs is its "killer app".

Comment It's finally becoming true... (Score 1) 782

In soviet russia, home entertainment system watches YOU!

    > 1080p camera... 60 FPS. Field of view increased by 60%....
    > motion tracking... detect skin pigmentation changes related to heart rate

Seriously, imagine being able to measure consumers' emotional reaction to advertisements... if you were worried about information being gathered about you, with google adwords targeting you by search, or facebook data-mining your social network, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Comment my experience (Score 1) 561

1. white noise - download a program onto your PC, or there's some websites. To be really effective, wear headphones.

2. keep a fan running (it also produces white noise).

3. earplugs (the foam kind that you roll up).

4. don't think they "should" be quieter and more considerate - this dramatically increases your sense of annoyance. Don't do the "right" thing and carefully "be quiet" yourself. Instead, be relaxed about making ordinary noise yourself. It will make others noise seem less annoying.

Comment MS is too smart for this (Score 1) 592

They know the benefits of piracy, that's why they allow windows and office to work even when not validated. Same reason adobe doesn't crack down on photoshop piracy.

But the reason this is especially dangerous for them at the moment is that mobile devices are fast approaching console quality, and so gamers will switch to it (the PowerVR series6 rogue is apparently on par with xbox360's xeno GPU, around 210GPixel/s - if it ever actually arrives). There's also Ouya and steam's console. Additionally, casual games have increasing importance (which suits mobile better). Finally, it does seem that graphics have overshot what the market demand - this is what has enabled the current console generation to last so long, and why gaming PCs are increasingly niche (and thus not targeted by studios).

So, even though these next-gen consoles are much more powerful than next-gen mobile devices, if consumers don't want it, it doesn't matter.

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