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Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors

Bogtha Re:So much for his career (161 comments)

How is he throwing them under the bus? This isn't something they contest. They have already told the court they did this, because they were contractually obliged to do so by the record labels. All he's doing is supporting their version of events.

about two weeks ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

Bogtha Re:Ignored Niches (269 comments)

Apple does not want you to own and store your own music/media.

Take off your Apple blinders and think about this rationally. What you are saying doesn't resemble reality in the slightest. Apple have been the world's largest music retailer for years. They have been selling DRM-free music for years. They make billions of dollars a year doing this. They are clearly very, very happy to sell you music and they make a hell of a lot of money doing what you claim they don't want to do.

about two weeks ago
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Google Releases Android Studio 1.0, the First Stable Version of Its IDE

Bogtha Re:Looks pretty impressive... (115 comments)

The proof will be in the pudding -- I wonder how usable it will be as a day to day tool for app developers and coding houses, especially with multiple people doing check-ins and such.

It's already in wide-scale use. Most Android developers I know have been using it for a while; it surpassed Eclipse a long time ago. It was unstable, sure, but Eclipse was a pain in the arse. Android Studio was purpose-built for Android development, and it really shows.

That's not to say it's perfect - it's slow in a lot of places, and the emulator is excruciatingly slow. But it's been quite a bit better than most of the alternatives for a while now.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Bogtha Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

what's the problem with the loss of the voting franchise?

Aside from the fact that it's fundamentally incompatible with democracy, wasn't a huge part of the American revolution the idea that there should be no taxation without representation? Those felons are taxpayers, aren't they?

about two weeks ago
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Why Apple, Google, and FB Have Their Own Programming Languages

Bogtha Re:Good reasons for Swift and Go (161 comments)

even in cases where the extra length clarifies what's going on, you can do the same thing in other languages, i.e. every language supports use of meaningful names.

But Objective-C is very unusual in that it interleaves method parameters with the method name. The best alternative to that is using named parameters, and hardly anybody uses those all the time, so developers end up having to memorise the arguments and their order for every method if they want to be able to read code quickly.

Can you seriously argue that concatenating a string in Objective C is elegant?

No, but it is consistent, and that's very important to readability and maintainability too. If you knew nothing about NSString, but you were familiar with the rest of Objective-C, then you could easily guess how to concatenate strings.

The only substantial way of improving on string concatenation in Objective-C would be to introduce custom operators, and that brings its own set of issues. The other alternatives sacrifice consistency.

about two weeks ago
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Why Apple, Google, and FB Have Their Own Programming Languages

Bogtha Re:Good reasons for Swift and Go (161 comments)

You don't have to be a fanboy to like Objective-C. It's a great language for its age and use cases. Yes, it's verbose, but a lot of that verbosity actually aids readability and maintainability.

about two weeks ago
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Why Apple, Google, and FB Have Their Own Programming Languages

Bogtha Re:Algorithms (161 comments)

A computer scientist can implement any algorithm in any language.

Just because it's possible, it doesn't mean it's effective. Developers could write applications with Brainfuck or Whitespace, but they'd take far longer, have a lot more bugs, and be incredibly unhappy.

There's a lot of variation between programming languages, and it makes a big difference in how productive programmers are. Better programming languages are valuable.

Why are these companies using their own languages?

Because they saw an opportunity to provide better tools for their developers. Take a look at the bridges between Objective-C and other languages. They are pretty clumsy. Apple designed Swift with Objective-C interoperability in mind, and this means using the system libraries is easier with Swift than other languages.

Work a few years at XYZ company working on their proprietary algorithms in their ABC programming language?

Good luck getting another job.

All of the decent developers I know can make those kinds of leaps without a problem. There are always transferrable skills and there are always non-transferrable skills. Using one language doesn't lock developers into that language in the future, and using a common language doesn't avoid lock in. If iOS developers used Java, they'd still struggle with Android development at first because the majority of the knowledge you need relates to the platform, not the language. And likewise, just because iOS developers work with Objective-C, it doesn't mean they can't make the leap to Android.

about two weeks ago
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Starbucks Testing Mobile Order and Pay In Portland On iOS

Bogtha Re:Wi-fi? (40 comments)

They could have probably achieved the same thing by just having people use their wifi service?

The whole point of this is that you place your order before you arrive at the store. The user wouldn't normally be in range of the Wi-Fi network.

about two weeks ago
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Starbucks Testing Mobile Order and Pay In Portland On iOS

Bogtha Re:Tracking Beacon? (40 comments)

Oh stop being so overdramatic. If you don't want an application to know your location, then tap "No" when you are asked for your permission. Or simply don't install the application. Applications can't access your location without your explicit consent. Nothing nefarious is happening here.

about two weeks ago
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Starbucks Testing Mobile Order and Pay In Portland On iOS

Bogtha Re:Tracking Beacon? (40 comments)

Are you willing to let Starbucks decide how much they can peek at your location data without even knowing if/when it's happening?

iOS doesn't let you do that. It differentiates between looking up the user's location when the application is in the foreground (i.e. what this application needs to find your nearest store when preordering), and tracking the user's location when it's running in the background. The user has to explicitly grant permission to the application to do each of these things.

I'm actually working on a similar application for one of their competitors right now. Yes, we ask for the user's location. Yes, it's to find the nearest store. No we can't track you. And to be frank, it's ridiculous to think that we would care enough to do this. The people who commission these applications want to sell you coffee, not stalk you.

would you resist the temptation and never once peek at other times?

Except it's not a case of "peeking". You've actually got to build a considerable amount of infrastructure to track people. Even if they ask for and obtain the user's permission to track them in the background, that doesn't magically create servers to record this data and user interfaces to look people up. Do you expect the marketing manager to convince her bosses to drop another 100K on building this functionality because she's nosy? There has to be a business case for it to be built.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Objective C Vs. Swift For a New iOS Developer?

Bogtha Re:Learn both! (211 comments)

You can't realistically do iOS development without knowing Objective-C; its just no feasible since all Apples frameworks are written in it, all the open source libraries use it, and all of the stackflow answers are for it.

This isn't the case. It doesn't matter whether a framework is written in Objective-C or Swift, you can use it from either language regardless. You can write an application from start to finish in Swift without needing to know anything about Objective-C. Sure, if you do know it, then it may be easier, but not so much easier that it will outweigh trying to learn two languages at once.

you should get some formal computer science instruction if you ever expect to land a job. You have to have something on your rÃf©sumÃf©.

No, when people hire iOS developers, the first question they ask is if you have any applications in the App Store, then they want to know where you've worked, then they want to see your code, and if you haven't got anything else, then a degree is the last resort you have. Spending your time building applications and putting them on the App Store is far more effective for getting a job than spending that time getting formal education in computer science. Even when you come across the rare organisation that demands a degree, they usually don't care about what subject it was in.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Objective C Vs. Swift For a New iOS Developer?

Bogtha Re:You should learn both of them (211 comments)

As far as I can tell, Swift is just a new front-end to the Objective-C object system.

No, that's not true. Swift interoperates with Objective-C, but it's not any kind of front-end to it, it works perfectly fine by itself.

most of the libraries and frameworks you will be working with are Objective-C

Most of the libraries and frameworks you will be working with are system components where you don't see the source code. Whether they are implemented in Objective-C or Swift is an implementation detail you don't need to care about.

about three weeks ago
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Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

Bogtha Re:Jack Tramiel (189 comments)

That doesn't sound like this situation at all.

Apple loaned GT more than half a billion dollars to build the plant. When GT failed to deliver, Apple stopped giving them money. When GT ran into financial difficulties, Apple offered to give them more money and defer repayments to keep them afloat.

What did you expect Apple to do? Just keep on giving them more money indefinitely without getting anything in return?

about three weeks ago
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US Gov't Issues Alert About iOS "Masque Attack" Threat

Bogtha Re:I don't get it... (98 comments)

They have to be smart enough to jailbreak, point to an alternative app store, and install a corrupted app.

No, this is unnecessary. The malicious applications are signed as an enterprise application, so no jailbreaking is necessary. They are distributed using Apple's standard OTA distribution mechanism designed for enterprise applications and beta testing, so no alternative App Store is necessary.

What happens is that the user goes to a malicious/compromised website, this redirects them to the application, and iOS prompts the user with something like:

malicious-website.com would like to install "Gmail"

Cancel | Install

If I remember correctly, there's an additional prompt if it's the first time you've installed an application from that particular developer.

You still have to be dumb to install an application when you are unexpectedly prompted to, but it's a lot simpler to do than you realise.

about a month ago
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The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

Bogtha Re:India... (438 comments)

No, of course not, because that's not what "I" means.

about a month and a half ago
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The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

Bogtha Re:India... (438 comments)

I had to interview over 5k of them just to come up with 150 that were anywhere near hiring

You interviewed five thousand people? Are you sure you have that number right? Assuming you interviewed five people a day every single working day, it would take you four years to interview that many people. That's assuming no time off, no sickness, a steady supply of candidates, etc. I know a fair number of people in HR across a few organisations, and they don't manage to interview anywhere near that many people on a regular basis.

about a month and a half ago
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Some Virgin Galactic Customers Demand Money Back

Bogtha Re:Better check that math again (165 comments)

You're comparing two numbers from different sources. The "more than 30" source is "news reports suggest". The "less than 3%" source is Virgin Galactic. It's not that Virgin Galactic can't add up, it's that they have more accurate numbers than suggestions from news reports.

about a month and a half ago
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Kubuntu 15.04 Will Be Based On KDE5

Bogtha Re:Ugh. (45 comments)

So if someone is out of date with the terminology I can't explain it to them because that makes me a patronizing asshole? OK, noted.

I said nothing of the sort. By all means, explain it. That's a good thing. Just don't liken them to technological halfwits while you are doing it. That's unwarranted.

about a month and a half ago
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Kubuntu 15.04 Will Be Based On KDE5

Bogtha Re:Ugh. (45 comments)

I've got no problem with encouraging the correct terminology, it's the fact that it implies somebody who is a bit out of date with the project's branding is a technological halfwit who doesn't understand the difference between an organisation and a software package. It's KDE themselves that mixed the two up.

about 2 months ago
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Kubuntu 15.04 Will Be Based On KDE5

Bogtha Re:Ugh. (45 comments)

It hardly seems right to liken people referring to the desktop as "KDE" as if they were people saying that they "boot their Microsoft". KDE stands for the K Desktop Environment, and it has referred to the software itself for the majority of it's existence.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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BBC creates 'Perl on Rails'

Bogtha Bogtha writes  |  about 7 years ago

Bogtha (906264) writes "Long-time users of Perl for their public websites, and having successfully used Ruby on Rails for internal websites, the BBC have fused the two by creating a 'Perl on Rails' that has the advantages of rapid development that Rails brings, while performing well enough to be used for the Beeb's high-traffic public websites. This is already powering one of their websites, and is set to be used in the controversial iPlayer project as well."

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