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Comments

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Is the App Store Broken?

Half-pint HAL What I never understood... (190 comments)

For decades, computer games manufacturers have put out limited demos to encourage people to buy the full thing. Some even experimented with DRM to give time-limited access to the full thing. The App Store and iOS give 99.9% security (most iOS users don't jailbreak) so why haven't Apple given the developers a toolkit for time-limited demos? Why are free and paid-for versions listed as separate apps? As an iPad user, I want a proper try-before-you-buy that lets me see exactly what I'm going to get, and if I had that, I'd certainly spend more money. (I could even say the same about Steam, actually...)

13 minutes ago
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Is the App Store Broken?

Half-pint HAL Re:It's not a marketplace.. (190 comments)

The app store model doesn't reward the best - there's a lot of luck involved in getting into the charts, and being in the charts is self-sustaining.

18 minutes ago
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Is the App Store Broken?

Half-pint HAL Re:It's not a marketplace.. (190 comments)

The problem is a bit more subtle than that.

The app "gold rush" encourages people to out in untold millions of man-hours of development time to get a piece of the multi-billion action. What it doesn't say is that a huge chunk of that goes to some random guy who just got lucky (think Flappy Bird) and someone who just took a very common game idea and stuck cutesy graphics on it (Angry Birds). It also doesn't take into account that if you come up with a good idea for a game, you're likely to get cloned almost immediately, and quite possibly by Zynga, who will use their marketing muscle to push you out.

A lot of app developers end up never even making back their Developer Programme membership fees.

But Apple doesn't care, because their customers have a limited amount of spending money, and they're probably spending it all as it is. Given that Apple's cut is a fixed percentage, there's no financial motive for Apple to change the model. And developers are instant profit for Apple, even if they never sell a single app.

23 minutes ago
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Reglue: Opening Up the World To Deserving Kids With Linux Computers

Half-pint HAL Re:Opposite land (84 comments)

My sister used to run out into the garden to pick fresh broccoli to eat when she was a child. As an adult, she has been seen walking down the street munching on a head of raw broccoli.

yesterday
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Reglue: Opening Up the World To Deserving Kids With Linux Computers

Half-pint HAL Re:I'll attempt it. (84 comments)

Let's get TV out of the way - it's passive, dumbed-down, lowest common denominator entertainment.

Twilight, Da Vinci Code, Fifty Shades of Grey...? The medium is NOT the message. Reading is not automatically less trashy than watching TV, or vice versa.

yesterday
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Reglue: Opening Up the World To Deserving Kids With Linux Computers

Half-pint HAL Re:what about the undeserving kids? (84 comments)

Smart kids learn despite their teachers. The underachieving kids are the ones who need direct and instruction.

yesterday
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seL4 Verified Microkernel Now Open Source

Half-pint HAL Re:Shared Source (76 comments)

A trap? Not really. From the developer's point of view, they'll still be able to get access to any changes to code on their terms, even if it is "tivoised". They can incorporate them into their code base without worrying too much about which hardware devices will or won't work - Somebody Else's Problem. They're interested in the code, not in "right to do whatever you want with your devices."

yesterday
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seL4 Verified Microkernel Now Open Source

Half-pint HAL What exactly is the point? (76 comments)

Surely a formally-proven OS doesn't want a traditional open-source license, because if you let people tinker, what you will end up with is forking... into unproven versions. And suddenly, the world's first formally-proven microkernel is just a plain old microkernel again.

OK, so maybe tinkering is alright as a personal hobby, but it risks the ecosystem.

yesterday
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

Half-pint HAL Re:NO, all candy bar (539 comments)

The big manufacturers are all too busy competing with Apple to actually notice there might be a market for something else..

Quite. I never understood why Google didn't try to get a jump on Apple by speccing up an OS version for phones with D-pads for gamers at first launch. Look at the mess and fragmentation that we ended up with in third-party accessory controllers for the first few generations, and there are still some compatibility kinks to trip you up...

2 days ago
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Day One With the Brand New Oculus Rift DK2: the Good, the Ugly and the Games

Half-pint HAL Re:What about... (48 comments)

How long is anyone realistically going to be using a VR headset for daily?

3 days ago
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Day One With the Brand New Oculus Rift DK2: the Good, the Ugly and the Games

Half-pint HAL Re:What about... (48 comments)

I thought OLED's biggest problem was UV stimulating chemical decomposition. If so, surely the laws of physics say an OLED display in a black box with two small eyeholes is going to last much longer than a mobile phone display that is often used in direct sunlight...?

4 days ago
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Day One With the Brand New Oculus Rift DK2: the Good, the Ugly and the Games

Half-pint HAL Re:Attention Editors (48 comments)

It's a direct quote - you don't copyedit errors out of direct quotes.

5 days ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Half-pint HAL Re:Breaking news (614 comments)

"Except" nothing. We always knew there were spies. the point is that having a particular political or social view does not make you automatically a spy, or an enemy of the state.

about a week ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Half-pint HAL Re:Breaking news (614 comments)

Capitalism is about ownership of the means of production. Property rights exist even in feudal societies - even if everything can be confiscated by your divine ruler, until it is, it's yours.

about two weeks ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Half-pint HAL Re:Breaking news (614 comments)

capitalism != democracy. The two often appear together (see "bourgeois-democratic revolution") but either can exist in the absence of the other. This may seem a trivial point, particularly when you were just trying to make a joke, but it's a serious issue that most people don't thing enough about - they bundle a large number of ideological and practical philosophies together and claim they're one thing.

The classic example would be religion and morality. The unthinking religious person sees morality as being an inseparable component of his religion, with the consequence that anyone not of his religion must be immoral, or at the very least amoral. This leads to interreligion conflicts, and atheist vs religious conflicts, and everyone ends up worse off.

about two weeks ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Half-pint HAL Re:Marx' definition is anachronistic and irrelevan (614 comments)

Socialism is governance for the good of society. Communism is governance for the good of the commune. These are established definitions. You can decide to let people who abuse the terms redefine them to their own ends, but in doing so, you grant them the power they seek. There are many in the world today who claim their atrocities are right, and done in the name of their god - and this includes right-wing Christians and Jews, not only radical Muslims. Should we allow them to do this, or should we point out that that they are breaking the fundamental tenets of Abrahamic law? If we attack all Muslims for the actions of fundamentalist crackpots, we alienate moderate Muslims. If we attack anyone who believes in the concept of a welfare state as being supports of Stalinist gulags, we alienate them.

about two weeks ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Half-pint HAL Re:Forget E vs W Germany. (614 comments)

What about the fact that many of the world's worst corporate fraudsters go unpunished...?

about two weeks ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Half-pint HAL Re:Classic game theory ? (614 comments)

Ludditism and Communist thought often co-occur, but the majority of serious Communists saw automation as a way to free the proletariat. The goal was to use automation to spread the wealth and reduce working hours, rather than using it as a way to reduce employment and further concentrate wealth in the hands of the few.
Adam Smith is generally credited with being the founder of capitalism, with his book The Wealth of Nations. However, the book reads more easily as a communist tract, as he proposes the collectivisation of labour -- workers' coops, essentially -- and industrialisation as a means to increase efficiency and therefore individual wealth. Smith's argument that a conscientious pinmaker could make enough pins and save enough money to automate failed to consider the effects of automation elsewhere, which meant that the unautomated pinmaker was likely to be forced out of business by falling prices.
He glossed right over the rise of the industrialist capitalist - the man who had enough money to set up a factory, therefore making enough money to set up another, and so on ad infinitum. It continues to this day that those who start with money can squeeze the new players out.
Remember also that the industrialists had people working twelve-hour shifts, seven days a week. They invented he night shift for their own profit, not for the quality of the product, nor in order to provide employment. In the industrial revolution, workers were less valuable than manure.
So it's not surprising that many people associated automation with slavery, but it's a shame. As I said, communist thought says automation should serve the commune (NB: not "the state") and free everyone to have more leisure time.
But leisure time is dangerous in a totalitarian regime, so the nominally-communist dictator will play up the "machinery is capitalism" myth in order to aid him in maintaining control.

about two weeks ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Half-pint HAL Re:Please explain (614 comments)

Of course. A corporation is a legal "person" in the US, and they're persons with much greater expenses than (for example) a disabled single mother, so of course they need more welfare. Only a commie would suggest otherwise!

about two weeks ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Half-pint HAL Re:Breaking news (614 comments)

Communism causes Stasi.

So does capitalism cause House Committee on Un-American Activities?

And what's the difference between the two anyway?

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Half-pint HAL Half-pint HAL writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Half-pint HAL (718102) writes "From Linutop.com:
Linutop is a Linux-based diskless computer. It offers a completely silent, low-power operation in an extremely small package. Its main purpose is to surf the Internet.
With Abiword, Firefox, GAIM, Totem media player and Evince PDF Reader, they expect to be able to sell the units to libraries and net cafes, and to developers of custom displays/interactive demos. No pricing information is on the website, but The Register reports a price of "280 ($368/£190)"."
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Half-pint HAL Half-pint HAL writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Half-pint HAL (718102) writes "The Register reports that a mobile software company has been granted a patent on customised dynamic content on mobile phones. From the article:
UK patent GB2408658 talks a great deal about notifying client devices using a special signal, such as an SMS, which then triggers the client to fetch information from a server using an HTTP connection — in exactly the same way as an MMS message. But the novel component of this invention is that when the client application contacts the server (having received the specially formatted SMS) the server puts together a package containing only the latest and most pertinent content for that particular user. This just-in-time generated package is then downloaded by the client.
Patent GB2408658 seems somewhat confused. How it works: user recieves notification of new content; user follows link to retrieve content; page is generated on-the-fly accounting for any changes (eg in sports scores) subsequent to the original notification. So is this little more than a patent on a link to a dynamic webpage? Where's the difference between this and — for example — an online wedding list?"

Journals

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