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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

Half-pint HAL Re:Unified Experience Across Devices (640 comments)

My mobile phone is more powerful than my first mini-tower, IBM compatible PC. The processor is more powerful and there's more onboard RAM than the hard-disk of said PC. That PC did well enough for all my coursework programming projects and all my write-ups including my honours project. If you want to play the latest games or edit HD video you need a full spec PC, anything else... not so much.

yesterday
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Tetris To Be Made Into a Live Action Film

Half-pint HAL Re:I give up. (136 comments)

First Battleship, now this.

Hey, what ever happened to that Asteroids movie that they were supposed to be making?

I think they may have hit the hyperspace button... never a good idea.

yesterday
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Tetris To Be Made Into a Live Action Film

Half-pint HAL I suspect... (136 comments)

I suspect that they've only bought the rights to the name, and that they did it because they thought it would be a good title for a spy film set in the final days of the Soviet Union, and that they figure that with the current craziness emanating from Russia the public will be interested in it.

If so, do not expect it to be filmed in Russia, but in one of the other former Soviet states in Eastern Europe. Probably not Ukraine, though.

yesterday
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

Half-pint HAL Re:Unified Experience Across Devices (640 comments)

I don't care for consistency in UI between my smart phone and my desktop. On my smartphone, I am stuck with a tiny screen, with not input method other than my fingers and a couple of buttons.

Are you? Higher end Android devices can be hooked up to a USB keyboard and an HDMI equipped screen. If Windows 10 switches into desktop mode when docked with a screen, keyboard and mouse (or the phone screen becomes a glorified touchpad) then it will be the computing device I've been waiting for for over a decade. (But it probably won't, because that would cut into their sales figures.)

yesterday
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Building Apps In Swift With Storyboards

Half-pint HAL Re:The complexity has to go somewhere (69 comments)

Indeed -- the complexity needs to go somewhere. The problem with all languages is that the complexity is in the learning and in the expressing, because they're all stuck in a paradigm rut built around a nonsensical definition of "human readable code". We need a computer to view our code. A plaintext editor is a computer program. A non-plaintext editor would make it more readable. Suddenly syntax highlighting would be part of the syntax, not something added on after the fact. The syntactic whitespace vs explicit block delimiters argument would be moot, as the editor would automatically manage on-screen spacing based on its understanding of the flow-control structure of the code. Formulas could be embedded within code in a single line of mathematical notation, which is much more readable than ten lines of x=...; y=...; z=... ad nauseam. I've spent half a day at a time on coding up expressions and transforms that are trivially obvious, just from having to step through everything. Would the formula converter be optimal speed-wise? No, but you could optimise later, and the debugger could use the mathematical notation for automatic unit testing of your optimised implementation. In the meantime, you get a functionally complete prototype of your software quicker.

The other thing a non-plaintext language could do is do away with the consecutive nature of procedure definitions etc (already abstracted away in many modern event-driven systems because of their sheer irrelevance. Why am I still scrolling back and forth between segments of my code? Why can't I click on a function call and see it inlined, like a virtual macro expansion?

2 days ago
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Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

Half-pint HAL Re:The review ecosystem is good and truly broken.. (249 comments)

Anyway, articles like this do make me upset with Yelp. But a lot of places do seem to have yelp sticker on their window, so perhaps it's just part of the cost of doing business these days. I applaud this italian joint for lashing out against it in an entertaining way, and I'll start searching for some of the lowest reviewed places too, since I mostly use Yelp to find the exceptional places anyways.

I suppose it had to be an Italian restaurant that recognised a shake-down when they saw one. A lot of people put their lives on the line to challenge mafia extortion, so a website with no guns is hardly a threat.

about two weeks ago
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Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

Half-pint HAL Re:Yelp is an example of free-market failure (249 comments)

And Yelp paying someone to remove all these reviews until the keyboard-warrior hipsters move onto some new easy cause is the free market adjustment to ensure the big guy continues winning.

True, but it really lays Yelp's tactics bare for all to see -- the 1-star reviews have to be removed because the system publishes them instantly, while the 5-star reviews are all held pending approval. Time for a lawsuit, methinks.

about two weeks ago
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NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

Half-pint HAL Re:how do you prove service? (185 comments)

Get FacedBook does not have return receipt functionality, unlike almost all email clients. barring a reply such as "you suck skunks," you can't prove service.

Seen 10:47.

about two weeks ago
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A Beginner's Guide To Programming With Swift

Half-pint HAL Re:Prerequisites (72 comments)

and most indy devs won't throw out a grand for a machine with no guaranteed payback.

Good. With 1.3 million apps in the Apple App Store, there's enough already. Cutting out people who by their choice of PC show themselves to be less aware of good design is no bad thing.

That, mate, is what we call "bigotry". There are many factors influencing choice of development machine. For the dev with a family, that includes paying for the kids' clothes.

about two weeks ago
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A Beginner's Guide To Programming With Swift

Half-pint HAL Re:Prerequisites (72 comments)

I don't buy that logic. Some people who go to conferences will be posers who are still playing at being devs, but will never release a product.

about two weeks ago
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Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

Half-pint HAL Re:Fair and darker skin (85 comments)

Horde nuts (like a squirrel) then throw a few spears at deer and geese. I don't see the problem.

about two weeks ago
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Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

Half-pint HAL Re:Not True, I Saw It Online: (85 comments)

There's no measurable genetic differences. There's only one race: the human race, and that's all that ever was and ever will be.

Nope, there's no race... because it's not a competition.

about two weeks ago
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Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

Half-pint HAL Re:French are from (85 comments)

Aliens.

Great film. Well written, and very cleverly avoided the trap many monster-stalker sequels fall into whereby they attempt to be monster-stalker again when the monster's already been seen. The switch to "monster horde" was well judged and well executed.

about two weeks ago
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Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

Half-pint HAL Re:Didn't we already know this? (85 comments)

You can imagine 10 different sects popping up with different versions of the dietary rules. The ones that happened to align with health and reduced death would have an evolutionary advantage, and ultimately become dominant.

That's possible, but it involves a very weird assumption: that human intelligence only evolved about 2000 years ago, and before that we were utterly moronic.

Dangerous foods become painfully obvious painfully quickly. Nowadays we may have a sophisticated understanding of why they are dangerous, but "Montezuma is unhappy you ate the day old prawn" is still a theory based on the observation of the guy doubling over and vomiting his guts up.

Some of the weirder laws are clearly born out of coincidence, the same as any other superstition. But that doesn't mean that the ban on pork isn't down to seeing what pig-borne diseases can do to humans.

about two weeks ago
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A Beginner's Guide To Programming With Swift

Half-pint HAL Re:Prerequisites (72 comments)

Well here's a question for you then... do most indy devs go to indy dev conferences? I've never been to one....

about two weeks ago
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A Beginner's Guide To Programming With Swift

Half-pint HAL Re:Prerequisites (72 comments)

"You need a Mac that can run OS X Mavericks"

A key takeaway:No wonder Android has more Apps(sic) than iOS after starting from behind.

Because your dev machine for this new language can't be more then 6 years old? Yeah, sure.

No, because your dev machine for this new language has to run a particular operating system, and most indy devs won't throw out a grand for a machine with no guaranteed payback.

about two weeks ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Half-pint HAL Re:MOOC is designed like a physical classroom (182 comments)

Nope. Homework is unsupervised work, and the reason for it in traditional education is that teacher time is a limited resource. When your "teacher" is an algorithm, you have no excuse not to have all work supervised. Except laziness... on the part of the course writer.

about three weeks ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Half-pint HAL Re:That hundreds of thousands of wins (182 comments)

Does it have a major effect in the material nature of our existence? No? Then it's not revolutionary.

about three weeks ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Half-pint HAL Re:MOOC is designed like a physical classroom (182 comments)

We want courses designed for casual learning and that means flexible hours, fewer homework assignments.

That's why a online class will never educate anyone.

You're assuming he's being lazy, rather than analysing his point. The main promise of internet learning was supposed to be accessibility in terms of where you want and when you want. The timetable in MOOCs is often just too rigid, and if you've got something big on at work, you might just need to be able to tune out for two weeks.

about three 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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