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UK Retailer Mistakenly Sends PS Vitas, Threatens Legal Action To Get Them Back

Jerry Atrick Used to work like this... (617 comments)

The law used to be that you couldn't refuse to return mistaken deliveries BUT you didn't need to actively do it. It was sufficient to say 'come collect it', give a reasonable deadline and wait. If they missed the deadline and you didn't play hide&seek you got to keep it.

I doubt distance selling regs has changed that.

1 year,8 days
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Is Choice a Problem For Android?

Jerry Atrick Re: App draw vs everything on the home (361 comments)

I have met a Android users that launch everything from the app draw and some that don't know what the draw is and rely on what their supplier put on the home screen. But it doesn't seem to confuse most.

More important: if you want the iOS approach it's just an app install away, with a dozen or more suitable replacement launchers on the Play store. I won't choose fighting my way through a home screen with hundreds of launch icons any time soon! Notable that iOS style launchers are so much more popular than Winphone ripoffs ;)

about a year ago
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Work Halted On Neal Stephenson's Kickstarted Swordfighting Video Game

Jerry Atrick Re:Not a shock (124 comments)

Based on the astonishing (bad) motion tracking in that video I'm surprised they didn't just use a Wii.

about a year ago
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Work Halted On Neal Stephenson's Kickstarted Swordfighting Video Game

Jerry Atrick Re:Not a shock (124 comments)

It's not so much the cost of the hardware. There's almost no use for it outside it's niche so there's zero chance any publisher or larger developer will be interested in using it. Up front they should have known they were on their own developing the product, complaining that no one else wants to support it shows total cluelessness.

For the sort of swordplay I like, with medieval weapons, $100 wouldn't come near providing any sort of realism. Restricting it to lighter weapons and sports like fencing removes any chance of wider interest from the gaming public.

about a year ago
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Should the Next 'Doctor Who' Be a Woman?

Jerry Atrick Re:Why not (772 comments)

You can only push so far when your core audience is supposed to be children.

Doctor Who has always tried to appeal to the adults watching with their children but been careful to make sure kids too young simply won't understand those parts. The endless parade of nubile young women may have gone a little too far occasionally but definitely kept the dads onside!

But make no mistake, slashdot readers are not the primary intended audience and your wants will always be overridden by the needs of making a family show. A female doctor could happen, an openly lesbian, religious or transexual doctor (among many other possibilities) will not. However much I might want to see Eddie Izzard as the Doctor :)

about a year ago
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Microsoft Cuts Surface Pro Price By $100

Jerry Atrick Re:Not enough (341 comments)

"If you need a tablet for actual work" your first priority is likely looking for a better job.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Cuts Surface Pro Price By $100

Jerry Atrick Re: It competes against ultrabooks (341 comments)

Oh yes, that wildly successful ultrabook market.

Not just failing to compete in a market, they picked a tiny niche market to fail in. Then they trimmed 2-3" off the screen size compared to a real ultrabook - which at 13" Intel had already been identified from customer feedback as too small!

If you're going fail, might as well fail big and comprehensively. And lie about who and what they're really competing with. It's the Ballmer way.

about a year ago
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Using Java In Low Latency Environments

Jerry Atrick Re:Troll much, slashdot? (371 comments)

Processor stacks are a near perfect candidate for caching. It's likely to exist in L1 cache for the bulk of run time, with close to no cache refills ever happening (typically you write before reading stack values). x86 CPUs are claimed to be optimised for L1 cache stack operands to be as fast as registers, essentially the stack then becomes a large set of extra registers, albeit funnelled through physical ones.

In architectures with large register files a lot of code may never actually touch RAM at all, with only the link pointers pushed to stack for many calls and living in a dedicated stack in some cases.

Stack frames only look like an ugly hack, they have great performance characteristics once you have good enough caching.

about a year ago
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Using Java In Low Latency Environments

Jerry Atrick Re:Uh , since around 1998? (371 comments)

Significantly more important: C++ can release stack frame allocations for free and causes zero memory fragmentation.

about a year ago
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Using Java In Low Latency Environments

Jerry Atrick U just read about programming instead of doing it? (371 comments)

A run time interpreted language that in real life JVM implementations is a run time profiled, optimised and compiled language. That can create better optimised code than any compile time optimiser could because it's optimising against the actual workload instead of guessing what it might be and compromising against many possibilities.

Java is a shitty language with many nasty aspects, you managed to pick the one thing it can get very right. Not much of a programmer then.

about a year ago
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Canonical Seeks $32 Million To Make Ubuntu Smartphone

Jerry Atrick Re:WANT (267 comments)

How is the platform Microsoft stole most of the rejected and unloved ideas in Win8 and WP from any kind of nirvana? A company with a canned 'get over it' response to complaints?

Canonical isn't quite the last company I'd want designed a phone but there's not much in it.

about a year ago
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The Book That Is Making All Movies the Same

Jerry Atrick infecting game developers as well (384 comments)

Most depressing is the way game designers use the same language, concepts and guides when created AAA games. They don't even think there's a problem being so obvious about it, willing to discuss how well they've following their chosen established story structure.

If you've ever wondered why all blockbuster games seem so damn familiar I bet they have a copy of the same guide. Except they spend less on competent screen writers and more on slapping lipstick on the same old pig.

about a year ago
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Compared to my 1st computer's memory ...

Jerry Atrick 8k more than my last mainframe (587 comments)

I remember walking into the university computer lab sometime around 1980, to the news half the mainframe's RAM had gone up in flames overnight. Literally caught fire. Seemed to carry on pretty much as normal running 100+ terminals with just 512k!

about a year ago
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A Scientist's Quest For Perfect Broccoli

Jerry Atrick Re:broccoli sucks. (118 comments)

If the broccoli's any good you can eat the florets raw. Boiling it is always wrong, if you have to cook it light steaming is less destructive and stir frying even better since the core is still mostly raw.

about a year and a half ago
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A Scientist's Quest For Perfect Broccoli

Jerry Atrick Re:Broccoli, Supertasters, PTC, and the TAS2R38 ge (118 comments)

Being able to taste bitterness is just the starting point, you can learn to like it. Few people really enjoy their first real beer (as in one with hop bitterness, not the faux lagers youngsters prefer) but quickly learn to like it. Same thing happens with vegetables, though obviously plenty of folk never gain mature tastes.

Personally I'm worried about this mention of 'sweet', does the world really need another dumbed down food with it's distinctive flavours stripped back to what lazy, immature tastes can cope with? That's how we got flavourless tomatoes, lettuce with no hint of bitterness or other actual flavour, apples that taste like water and sweet sprouts. I like my food pleasantly challenging, not turned into tasteless mush.

about a year and a half ago
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Android Master Key Vulnerability Checker Now Live

Jerry Atrick Re:The real problem still remains (76 comments)

The signing isn't meant to stop that, it's meant to stop updates to installed apps being replaced by malware. Re-signing won't let you update an installed app, you have to trick the user into uninstalling first. Which usefully can't be done for system apps by non-rooted users. Can't directly be done by any user.

Ultimately all signing does is verify that your still dealing with the packager of the existing installed copy. The chain of trust still depends on trusting the first install, with this bug you're now reliant on checking each update hasn't been tampered with as well as checking the signature is the same. Good thing its so easy to spot tampering.

about a year and a half ago
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Android Master Key Vulnerability Checker Now Live

Jerry Atrick Re:Is there an App to check for bogus APKs? (76 comments)

If they have any sense the built in scanning will detect the malformed APK before allowing it anywhere near the installer service... it is trivially easy to detect.

about a year and a half ago
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Android Master Key Vulnerability Checker Now Live

Jerry Atrick Re:Is there an App to check for bogus APKs? (76 comments)

It should be easy to catch the package installed/updated broadcast and intercept exploits immediately after they install but before they can execute. About 20lines of Java should do it.

The other interesting aspect of this exploit is you could automatically strip the malware payload and recover the safe, original apk, or a close enough facsimile of it.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Reacts To Feedback But Did They Get Windows 8.1 Right?

Jerry Atrick Re:Start Button in 8.1 is useless. (543 comments)

It looks like I could scatter 364 launch icons on my primary desktop, all accessible with no scrolling at all. Would need a Start Screen 4 physical screens wide. I don't because even if Windows stopped rearranging them every few weeks, it's a hard to search jumble, whether made of supersized 'tiles' or old style icons.

I could pin 30 or so quickstart icons to my taskbar. But again that's too many for easy recognition and leaves too little space for the 10+ running programs sharing that space.

Instead I have a couple of hundred things in my Start Menu, all sorted into a hierarchy of functional groups, currently 6 levels deep, so I don't even have to remember what I installed to rapidly find things by what they do. And all with less mouse motion than just scrolling to the 2nd page of tiles takes... possibly less motion than just pointing at the scroll bar takes!

Maybe the Start Menu needs more organisational ability that fans of the Start Screen jumble possess, it would explain some of the counterproductive idiocy they keep spouting. I like my PC to work for me, not make me work like Win8 does.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Reacts To Feedback But Did They Get Windows 8.1 Right?

Jerry Atrick Re:Start Button in 8.1 is useless. (543 comments)

No, that's not all the 8.1 start button does, it tries to interfere with the smooth working of Classic Start Menu. You can't disable it and while Classic will overlay it's own button by default it doesn't quite cover it by default. Cue hilarious 'I missed the button by a pixel and ended up in Metro' adventures.

To be fair though, I predicted Microsoft would use the returning Start button to block 3rd party Start Menus. I didn't predict they'd do it so badly it would be worked around almost instantly.

about a year and a half ago

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