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Comment Is Swift better than Objective-C for anything? (Score 1) 339

I've been writing Mac and iOS apps with Objective-C for a long time. One of my favorite things about Objective-C is the ability to use C and C++ APIs easily from within my app. Why is Swift even needed at all? What about it is actually better than Objective-C from the standpoint of someone who is already highly proficient in Objective-C and C++?

Comment Re:Realistic (Score 1) 94

PDAs like the Newton and Palm were great. They had two very obvious barriers that held them back. The first one was they weren't merged with a smart phone. I was a Newton developer and had conversations with people inside and outside of Apple about the need to merge the Newton with a smartphone. The second was lack of internet connectivity. I worked on some projects that involved using a cellular modem with the Newton. At the time it was very slow and very expensive. Just running our (brief) demo cost about $5 worth of data. In the case of the Newton specifically, I think there were looming security problems that would have been a nightmare if it had moved forward and had internet connectivity widely merged with it. The programming model made it easy to access any data on the device and even the internals of other applications. My main point, though, is that it was pretty obvious the kinds of super cool things you could do with PDAs if they had ubiquitous network access and integration with a phone. It isn't clear what technical limitations are in Smart Watches that prevent them from being significantly more useful. Perhaps the Apple Watch will be more useful if Siri becomes more useful and AirPods ever ship? I don't know. Its not that the watch isn't good, it is just that we haven't figured out what compelling use cases exist yet.

Comment Re:Not permanent (Score 1) 186

I read recently that trees and woody plants evolved a long long time before bacteria evolved that could digest the wood. If the coal and oil deposits were created in an environment without that bacteria, then when we run out of oil, we will have very little oil left and more won't be made even if you waited millions of years. Imagine if a future intelligent species (likely not mammalian species either) examines the fossil record of its time and learns that we lived hundreds of millions of years ago in a time of free oxygen, followed by the vast majority of oil suddenly being missing in the fossil record, followed by a period of only anaerobic life, and then a whole second story of evolution. Those creatures will freak the fuck out if they find evidence that we had a culture in the fossil record. They might even find evidence of human technology that is more advanced than theirs. I wonder if they would wonder why we didn't industrialize with nuclear power? They almost certainly will find evidence of nuclear technologies. They will wonder why we killed ourselves.

Comment Re: good for them (Score 3, Insightful) 186

While I agree that is true and while I agree that life actually put it into the resevoirs you are talking about, *our species* evolved after the coal and oil resevoirs were created. I would mention that life was common on earth prior to the introduction of free oxygen in the atmosphere. The "natural state" does not involve O2 in the atmosphere.

Comment You can probably afford hardware (Score 3, Insightful) 78

You should buy a something like a SBC (Pi or Arduino) and get a breadboard and some motion control chips and a a stepper motor. All of that together will cost about $60. (Breadboard maybe $10, chips maybe another $10, stepper motor maybe another $10, Raspberry Pi maybe $30). You could at least learn the basics of working with the chips and working with a motor.

Comment Re:Too little, too late (Score 5, Insightful) 262

The fact that they ship an improved version every year or so is NOT the issue here. Seriously if the new version is not a big enough improvement over the one you have, you don't need to buy it. You can keep your phone for 2 years, or 3 years, or however long you want. That is hardly "pushing it through the throats of customers". You have to have a major victim mentality to think that. I do agree though that shipping non-equivalent versions of the processor is a big deal. That's not okay.

Comment Gatekeeper (Score 4, Interesting) 66

If a user doesn't know how and can't figure out or google how to bypass Gatekeeper, they shouldn't be bypassing Gatekeeper. I'm a Mac developer and I work on a commercial application that uses a privileged helper tool which the app loads using SMJobBless and that tool is managed by launchd and executed as root. We are an identified developer and we sign our app as such. We don't distribute via the App Store and we are about to ship a new version that adds a kernel extension that I wrote. In recent versions of MacOS X, kernel extensions must be signed and they have to at least by signed by an identified developer who has applied for a kernel extension signing certificate. One of the scenarios that I pay attention to as far as security goes is that our daemon (aka "privileged helper tool") executes other processes and also controls the loading and unloading of our kernel extension. Most of those processes, and our kernel extension, are located in our application bundle. I wanted to avoid making dumb assumptions like that our application is running from a particular path, so the app communicates to the daemon via XPC and tells the daemon where the app bundle is located. The daemon doesn't just trust the app. It verifies that the app is code signed and that it is our app and that it hasn't been modified before it starts executing things or loading kernel extensions from inside the app bundle. I can easily imagine a scenario where an app could call our daemon and tell it some other location and cause us to execute malware if we didn't do this. Since I'm not a security expert, I constantly worry that someone will find a way to do this and I just hope we never become an attack vector. I do not want my product on Slashdot because of a security problem.

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