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Comment Maybe (Score 5, Insightful) 416

Part of the reason Windows was successful was that it supported a lot of hardware, with only one API. Android needs to insure that it's not difficult to write a single application that will run on every decently modern ( 2 year old) android phone, or else it would give up what is probably its biggest advantage.

Comment Re:Unfortunately... (Score 1) 839

Even if Earth threw all of its resources at sending people on one way trips to Mars, we wouldn't even be able to keep up with our current population growth rates. Currently we're experiencing ~1% growth, so in order to decrease the population of the Earth only by sending people to Mars we'd have to be sending almost 200,000 people a day, which seems extremely impractical.

It would have to be several orders of magnitude cheaper to get people to Mars than it is with our current technologies to have a chance at reducing earth's population in this manner. In fact, I haven't seen any sort of proposal for a cheap way into orbit that is believably scalable to that magnitude of people. Maybe something like a few space elevators would allow 1,000 people a day to head off for Mars, which would allow for a large city (or several small ones) to be built very quickly, but humanity isn't even close to being able to pull off an exodus like you suggest.

  I think that practically, the best way to decrease the population on Earth is to do what China's doing with population controls, though it would really be better if people would just self regulate, rather than having the government get involved with that.


Are Games Getting Easier? 854

An anonymous reader writes "I can't help feeling that this generation of games for both consoles and PCs are getting increasingly dumbed down and easier to complete. There's no challenge in today's games, most of which can be completed on the day of purchase. Triple A titles such as Halo, Modern Warfare 2 are the worst of the lot. The whole reason for this article is Medal of Honor, this can be completed within hours of purchase. Where's the fun in that?"

Comment Re:(0.999...)st Post! (Score 1) 1260

Any finite number of 3s making up 0.33333333.....30 is an aproximation of 1/3. In the real numbers (or the complex numbers, or the rational numbers), 0.3333333... (as in an infinite number of 3s after the decimal point) is precisely 1/3. If you consider the sequence .3, .33, .333, .3333. The limit of that sequence is what happens when you reach infinity. That limit happens to be 1/3. The same is true for 1/9.
In other words, you simply can't put a real number between 0.333333333333333... and 1/3. For the real numbers, if |a - b| < epsilon, for any positive epsilon, then a = b.


Best Browser For Using Complex Web Applications? 347

yanyan writes "I'm fairly new to the field of web application development. Currently I'm working on a big online ticketing system for passage and freight for a local shipping company. It's a one-man show and the system is written in Ruby and uses Rails. Aside from the requisite functionality of creating bookings the system must also print reports and tickets, and this is where I've discovered (the hard way) that most, if not all, browsers fall short. I've had to switch from Firefox 3.6.3 to Opera 10.53 because of a major printing bug in Firefox, but the latest stable Opera is also giving me its own share of problems. To complicate things, an earlier version of Opera (10.10) doesn't appear to have 10.53's printing problems, but I'm wary. What browsers and specific versions do you end up deploying for use with big, complex web apps that include printing? Also consider CSS accuracy and consistency."

For Automated Testing, Better Alternatives To DOS Batch Files? 426

An anonymous reader writes "I am working on a project that would allow our customers to test out sending different PCL commands to LAN printers. My initial thought was that a DOS batch file will allow users to select some simple options, send the tests to printers, and even generate a small web page which, when launched from the batch file, will provide email feedback on the tool. This all worked. To spice it up I added some ANSI color commands to the menus, though the implementation of that may prove tricky without resorting to .COM files or forcing the load of the ansi.sys via the command.com shortcut. And this implementation goes against my initial idea that I want the entire thing to be contained in a standalone batch file. My questions are: Is there a better option for this? Are DOS Batch files too 1990s to be taken seriously in 2010? The application needs to (1) be simple (2) be easy to update (3) be able to send PCL commands to LAN-attached printers and (4) allow email feedback. I don't know what other programming language would allow this and be as simple. I tend to think that I have found the best tool for the job but if you have another idea let me know. Call me crazy but I love DOS."

Comment Re:We need standards, good ones too. For Linux, to (Score 1) 558

Your point about the binary is precisely why having the source code is preferable to a compiled application.

If every app had it's source code distributed with it's binary, being locked in to old platforms would rarely happen.

With the source code, and some following of basic standards that have been around forever (like POSIX) it's not terribly difficult to get pretty much any app to work on pretty much any platform


Cisco's New Router — Trouble For Hollywood 335

Shakrai writes "Time Magazine has published an article about the impact of Cisco's new CRS-3 router on the business practices of the MAFIAA. This new router was previously mentioned here on Slashdot and is expected to alleviate internet bottlenecks that currently impede steaming video-on-demand services. Some of the highlights from the article: 'The ability to download albums and films in a matter of seconds is a harbinger of deep trouble for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which would prefer to turn the clock back, way back. ... The hard fact is that the latest developments at Cisco, Google and elsewhere may do more than kill the DVD and CD and further upset entertainment-business models that have changed little since the Mesozoic Era. With superfast streaming and downloading, indie filmmakers will soon be able to effectively distribute feature films online and promote them using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. ... Meanwhile, both the MPAA and the RIAA continue to fight emerging technologies like peer-to-peer file sharing with costly court battles rather than figuring out how to appeal to the next generation of movie enthusiasts and still make a buck."

Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC 346

justice4all writes to share that some of the recent complaints to the European Commission about Google have apparently been coming from Microsoft. "A lawyer for Microsoft confirmed that the software giant told the US Department of Justice and the European Commission how Google’s business practices may be harming publishers, advertisers and competition in search and online advertising. [...] 'Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google. These and other network effects make it hard for competing search engines to catch up. Microsoft’s well-received Bing search engine is addressing this challenge by offering innovations in areas that are less dependent on volume. But Bing needs to gain volume too, in order to increase the relevance of search results for less common search terms.'"

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