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Microsoft Now Makes Money From Surface Line, Q1 Sales Reach Almost $1 Billion

ILongForDarkness restructuring costs (74 comments)

Such BS. A company one year gets to say: sorry we have no money for raises or profit for stockholders because we made an acquisition. Then a few years later they get to say "well we made a bunch of money but that dog we bought a few years ago is a real dog and has cost us 1B so far.

They sell it both sides: sell the acquisition idea to the board as costing X and then almost always end up tacking on a bunch of restructuring costs, "reduction in goodwill" etc. Very rarely do the come back saying "hey that thing we bought is now worth more than when we bought it and doesn't need any restructuring". I'd love it if companies weren't full of Ceasar's hoping to conquer the world ("I'm more important because I manage more resources") but had people willing to say the company is big enough and contains the business units that make sense for it rather than pissing away money buying stuff that they usually end up righting off to large extent later. Give the money you can't use back to the shareholders.

just now
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How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

ILongForDarkness Re:I don't know I've had similar problems (280 comments)

This is iOS x and I usually only have VLC running (I don't browse, send email etc with my iPad, it is just a screen for watching TV on the train). It might be doing something else stupid like loading a cache for the playback of a video and not cleaning it up when the video is done. But I have this happen right after a crash/reboot, or right after closing (not just minimizing) and relaunching the app. Is I said in my post to lots of potential reasons: bad hardware, bad OS, VLC sucks on iOS etc.

yesterday
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How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

ILongForDarkness I don't know I've had similar problems (280 comments)

It might be the app but it happens several times a day with my ~2 year old Mac mini when using VLC (pretty much all I use it for). Might very well be the app itself but since it was updated (think when iOS 8 came out it is weird. First off opens up shows that the media library is empty for about 1-2s then "realizes" I always have 5-100 TV show rips in it. Then I can't scroll/interact with the app for about another 5-10s. It seems to remember things I did just doesn't actually start interacting (not responding to the message pump?). Next up I try to increase the speed of playback (1.0X is for suckers ;)): that 50% of the time leads the app to freeze and need to be restarted.

I'm not sure if it is the version of VLC, its interaction with iOS or iOS fault but that is what I've seen. Also about once a month I get a straight up crash of the device: pow black screen and reboots.

The article: Sony's supply chain lessons? Doesn't mention what it means by that I'm assuming it is about the issues with PS3. So let me get this straight: Apple's 2006 switch to intel (which probably was in the works for 1+ years) is due to them learning lessons from Sony's 2007 problems? At least in my opinion Apple probably should have been on Intel or AMD for ages. They picked PowerPC and were on the wrong horse for a long time. PowerPC had some advantages but anyone with half a brain (especially one so good as to learn lessons from 2 years in the future) should have known whatever MS does is going to be the volume market with component costs the lowest and a lot of pressure to meet deadlines. The bonus is your deadlines would also be your competitors: so if Intel delays a CPU release well at least Windows PCs aren't going to come out faster than you are this holiday season: they have the same problem.

Developers like developing for Unix: wow, really? I'd say a lot do. But a lot do just because it is free (Linux, BSD etc) so they can get started as a student when dead broke with a 10yr old computer. Yeah open source helps and has several cool communities. But I can't think of a tool that I use on OSX that I can't find an alternative (and usually just as free) on windows. Given that Java is the number one programming language and .Net pretty popular too I'd say "developers like to develop for windows or really anywhere they can" would have been just as valid.

yesterday
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Microsoft Introduces Build Cadence Selection With Windows 10

ILongForDarkness Re:Very flattering... (112 comments)

Anon-coward so not likely to get a response directly but its been a while: does the version of Debian/Ubuntu you install determine what happens when you update? Ie you do an apt-get update do you only get "long term support" updates if that was what you initially installed or does it by default get the newest version of whatever you have installed? If so I guess it is equivalent. I assume internally this has been going on in MS for a while/probably for ever. Devs on the OS team probably have builds running on at least one of their boxes/VMs that are 1 week old: they have to to do their job. It is just a matter of how early on the gravy train customers are allowed in that has changed.

3 days ago
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Microsoft Introduces Build Cadence Selection With Windows 10

ILongForDarkness Re:oh boy (112 comments)

VS and app availability are the winners for me. Sure they are FOSS alternatives to almost everything. But how much time do I need to spend to find them versus going for the known (and easily pirated or paid for by the employer so who cares) brand name product? How many snarky "well if you don't like it get the source and make it do what you want" comments do you need to take before you use the product that was designed by people that gave half a damn and have a financial incentive to make it better? VS for example: I haven't seen an IDE even with its worts (large memory footprint, once daily crash) that can touch it. The best they come are, mah good enough I guess, half assed look and feel, half assed layout of the toolbox etc. The fact that probably the most well known free alternative is Eclipse and it is even more of a dog (probably due to Java: I welcome your complaints: coffee is meant to be next to the computer not in it you file having singleclass not having Linq dolts ;)) memory/performance wise.

3 days ago
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Microsoft Introduces Build Cadence Selection With Windows 10

ILongForDarkness Re:So much feedback and yet Microsoft ignores it a (112 comments)

Well at least in theory they are in a faster release cadence/no more big release mode: so "too far along" is now 6 months rather than 6 years: a big improvement.

3 days ago
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Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

ILongForDarkness Re:How many really make $140k ? (196 comments)

I had the same experience in Canada. Lived in Vancouver was making 10% more but renting a 10x10 bedroom in a shared house was about $100 less than I'm paying for my mortgage in a suburb of Toronto. West coast living is just crazy expensive. The lady I was living with was sharing a mattress on the floor of the basement with her 10 year old son. Probably not legal and how much longer could she do that before it would get really creepy for the both of them? I asked her why she didn't move out east were she'd make a decent living: "oh but the weather is so nice". It is like you are on vacation and you live like it (ie spend every dime you have and are constantly checking to see if you still have any money left before buying that coffee). At the time ~5 years back a one bedroom condo was going for over $1M. Even at 100k a year you'll have a hard time living like a toy factory worker in Ontario.

4 days ago
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Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

ILongForDarkness Re:How many really make $140k ? (196 comments)

You have to compare cost of living at the location of work. Sure you can commute but if part of getting that 140k is a 1.5hr commute each way then it really is more like 90k with overtime pay. So if I'm working downtown Manhattan and an 3 bedroom apartment goes for $4000 a month that is $48000 a year. Same thing in the middle of no where is maybe $12000 a year that is a $36000 after tax salary difference you need. Then comes food prices (usually higher) etc. There are exceptions but generally IT provides a nice comfortable lifestyle: you probably can have a corvette if you really want it but you'll have to sacrifice somewhere else, dido the extra nice house/appartment/alimony payments. We aren't rich because we can't have all 4 at the same time without worrying about it but we can get a comfortable mix of what we want and generally doing have to worry about how we are going to pay for that new gadget or night out at the pub.

4 days ago
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More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10

ILongForDarkness Re:Ridiculous (209 comments)

That is my biggest complaint about windows phone: take a desktop animation then make it take 4X longer that is windows phone. Otherwise it is pretty nice though (if only they could convince more people to develop for it). I fully agree with you these days if someone is staring at a screen and clicks something they know what they expect to happen 90% of the time so you might as well just give it to them as quickly as possible.

Perhaps make the UI adaptive: have the wiz bang animations and after an hour ask the user: "hey do you like these or do you want us to just open the damn app already?"

4 days ago
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More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10

ILongForDarkness Re:form over function? (209 comments)

Not saying there isn't work to do but I think betas/previews are debug builds with a lot of optimizations turned off. There is a minimum bar on all features I think before people start saying you don't look cool/add features etc. It is a constant battle as a developer pushing for a balance between new shinny and performance/maintenance.

4 days ago
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Federal Government Removes 7 Americans From No-Fly List

ILongForDarkness Re:"Until now"? (124 comments)

That is the problem I think. The onus shouldn't be on the person on the list to find out they are on the list and then pay for a defence. Do you get notified you can't fly when you try to purchase your tickets? Somehow I doubt it. So by the time you realize you have a problem you are already out the price of your tickets and your plans are shot. A lot of people don't "need" to fly they choose to go somewhere for vacation, volunteer for an overseas business trip etc. That is the problem: the barrier to getting your rights restored might be more than they are worth to you. A quick solution might be to force the government to provide notice to everyone on the list and public defenders for anyone requesting removal. "National security" claims are such BS. If they really know enough about you to deny your rights without the benefit of trial then they should be willing to arrest you/start court proceedings. "I have a hunch about that guy" isn't sufficient to start taking away civil liberties.

about two weeks ago
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Why Military Personnel Make the Best IT Pros

ILongForDarkness similar environment (299 comments)

In the military you fix shit while in the shit and can't sleep till your done. Same with any good IT person.

about three weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Bitcoin Is 'Better Than Currency'

ILongForDarkness Re:Of course, (130 comments)

Well to be fair being early and out of business is still worse than being "early" and a multibillion dollar company.

about three weeks ago
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Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

ILongForDarkness Re:better name (349 comments)

corporations = people, money = freedom of speech, MS has lots of money so if they say Vista is a number than most people agree.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

ILongForDarkness Re:Move on, nothing to see here! (644 comments)

I agree. They seemed to handle the "dockable" tablet market pretty well. I think this is the way the market is going. Laptops somewhat killed the desktops, tablets are killing the laptop because people don't want to lug an extra couple pounds, want 10 hr battery life etc. Soon the average user will realize: hey all I want is a mouse, a bigger screen and a keyboard at home not the whole box: win 10 seems like it will handle that pretty well.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

ILongForDarkness Re:Change Jobs (275 comments)

Good points. I'd also add: management/companies can fail developers many ways.

1) Too cost sensitive so forcing developers to work with out dated tools/restrictive computers. I worked in healthcare and you needed middle manager approval for a monitor larger than 19" (not your boss but your bosses boss). So you got a single 19" screen and windows XP (because IT didn't want to bother trying to support anything but the standard that all the secretaries already knew how to use).

2) Similar to 1) but a lack of bravery. In this case there is money around your boss is just too shy to step up and say: "hey our development staff could use a couple new people, or a week off to do training, or a new CI server". Another one is culture: not fighting for a culture that is supportive of creative people/professionals. Requiring a 9-5 day in suits and ties from developers when the team would rather work 10:30-6:30 in shorts. Your free to require that and developers are free to go somewhere that doesn't make them dress up like they are front desk clerks dealing with customers face to face all day. They manage by keeping their department of senior managements TODO list.

3) Giving detailed technical specs when they no longer have the technical knowledge to understand the tools that are currently being used. Manage towards maintainable business outcomes not lines of code on a screen.

Part of the problem is as others have pointed out already too: most engineering isn't innovative. How much of everyone's day is adding/making more a new page to list a customers address and order information? But is more than that too it is inertia a lot of which we do to ourselves. Things were done a certain way because the projects senior dev at the time code reviewed it into that standard. Now you have 1M+ lines of code all structured a particular way. Guess which way you'll be expected to code your new module? Guess how far a request to change that still and refactor the existing code base this month rather than pound out a few more features will go? You can get lucky and have management that understands and is good enough to say: we aren't going to do it that way anymore but it becomes the culture. You can go to a newer project, perhaps even in the same company, where the culture is still forming and either it is the way you like our perhaps you can help steer it that way: but guess what? You've just become that senior developer that people 10 years from know will likely be wishing it wasn't done that way. Change is the way developers like it: standardization is the way process management and product lines like it.

about a month ago
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On Independence for Scotland:

ILongForDarkness Re:Shetland and Orkney (192 comments)

Not sure what your third point is. I was saying "just move" isn't as easy as it sounds: ask Palestinians. It is the way it is but it doesn't make it easy that because a plurality of your province decided to separate you are going to go to great cost and move away from extended family so you can live under the government you want too. Democracies can have their problems just like anything made by people. For hundreds of years "we the people" didn't include anyone not a white male. Even the fear of a vocal minority can prevent things that the majority want because the vocal minority might stear funding needed to buy, er, "convince" voters your platform is the right one. I'd argue that is the case for large parts of the US for gun control, gay rights and healthcare reform: an issue become so hot button for a large minority that rather than making policies the majority want legislators just avoid even bringing the issue to a vote.

Additionally, the majority can infringe on the minorities property rights as I'd argue progressive taxation, tax exceptions for particular groups (like married couples, or people with children, people earning their incomes from capital, etc): the majority decides that the minority are better able to pay or they are more entitled to help because of situations they are in (often by choice). Better than a single dictator/ethnic group making all the decisions but still far from perfect.

about a month ago
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On Independence for Scotland:

ILongForDarkness Re:Shetland and Orkney (192 comments)

The problem is if you own property, you are your kids are part way through an education etc. Depending on how good of terms they leave on you might need a travel visa to go back and forth (say the FLQ started up again we we had some "troubles"). If you have a criminal record often presto you can't travel internationally and often if you are on the wrong side of a revolution you are a criminal.

about a month ago
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On Independence for Scotland:

ILongForDarkness Re:Shetland and Orkney (192 comments)

Same difference I think. It didn't make sense for Newfoundland to stay independent so they confederated. If Quebec separated they'd likely chose either to stay part of Canada, join Quebec, from an Atlantic trade club etc. They'd find someone to trade with. I'm guessing a lot of the coastal provinces do a lot of their trade with Quebec so maybe they'd still pal around. Problem is always the people that don't want to separate. If 100% of Quebecers wanted to separate I'd be all for it. No more mandatory/priority treatment to a bastard dialect of French, separate legal systems, they'd get to take their share of the national debt, Maple Leaf fans maybe would stop bitching all the time etc.

about a month ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

ILongForDarkness Re:my solution is the gym (819 comments)

Because just because I'm 20% bigger than you doesn't mean I'm 3X richer than you.

about a month and a half ago

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