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Is the Wii U Already Dead?

Jonathan Re:Nintendo needs to rethink its place in the worl (403 comments)

I keep hearing this -- "Smartphones & tablets killed the console", but I just don't see how the very simple sorts of games without physical controls that you find on them in any way compete with even DS games let alone Wii/PS3/Xbox360 games. Maybe in the future when consoles are dead those games will move to tablets and phones, but not today.

about a year and a half ago

Making Sure Interviews Don't Turn Into Free Consulting

Jonathan Re:Is This for Real? (232 comments)

Of course it's real. Why, I remember a case where clearly the interviewer needed some insights into animal transportation. As if I am going to help them figure out how to keep their cabbage from being eaten by a goat while crossing a river for free!

about a year and a half ago

O'Reilly Discounts Every eBook By 50%

Jonathan Re:Virtual books are retarded. (108 comments)

That's funny because usually the argument goes the other way -- "Electronic books are fine for reference, but for relaxing with fiction a real book is better". Personally, I prefer electronic books for both, and was even into them in the 1990s on my Palm Pilot before it became mainstream...

about 2 years ago

VirtualBSD 9.0 Released

Jonathan Re:Interesting (65 comments)

USL vs. BSDi had absolutely nothing to do with Linux. That was a battle between USL (former Bell Labs people) and Berkeley over who owned UNIX. Linux wasn't based on any of that code (despite what SCO would later claim), so it wasn't involved. Yes, Linux wouldn't have existed if BSD was open and available at the time. Hell, it wouldn't have existed if Tannenbaum had been more open about MINIX. But that's like arguing that the USA wouldn't exist if (like Ben Franklin wanted), the British would have just allowed the colonies to have their own MPs.

more than 2 years ago

Is the Apple App Store a Casino?

Jonathan Re:...Android Market (542 comments)

You also pay $0 to Apple if you don't distribute your apps. You can download Xcode for free and install apps you write on your own phone for free. I've done that myself. You pay the $99 for the ability to distribute your app in the App Store. Yes, I know there are advantages to Android's openness, but for this particular example it isn't any different.

more than 2 years ago

Is the Apple App Store a Casino?

Jonathan Re:Welcome to real world (542 comments)

You do realize that people can find apps by searching, right? Yes, I wish there were better search tools as part of the app store, but other than popular games in the top 50, pretty much everything I purchased I discovered through searching -- I realized I wanted an app to do X, and then searched for some keywords to find it. There are plenty of very niche apps (dictionaries of ancient Greek and Latin, for example) in the app store. These may not be getting anyone rich, but I'm sure they break even and give the developers (probably hobbyists) some pocket money.

more than 2 years ago

Flowchart Guides Readers Through the 100 Best SF Books

Jonathan Alternate History too (222 comments)

It's pretty much the same reason Alternate History is considered part of SF, even ones that don't depend on time travel or something like that to cause the difference. Traditionally, AH was written by SF authors, so it's part of SF.

more than 2 years ago

Linus' First Linux Post, 20 Years Ago Today

Jonathan Re:oh yeah... (181 comments)

I was thinking of using Coherent at the time too, but I was an undergrad and even it was too expensive for me :-)

My favorite moment in early Linux history was asking if X11 was going to be ported, and getting a personal message from Linus saying "maybe, but don't count on it". I still ended up installing Linux in fall of 1991 despite the lack of X.

about 3 years ago

$500,000 Worth of Bitcoins Stolen

Jonathan Re:Brilliant... (622 comments)

If dozens of Japanese started coming up with alternative physical currencies that looked just like Yen, they certainly *would* confuse people. Similarly, if people start coming up with ByteCoin, BitBuck, CoinBit, etc, they certainly *would* cause confusion with BitCoin. The difference is while the Japanese government would take a dim view of the former and intervene, nobody can prevent the latter.

more than 3 years ago

Linus' Other Gift to the World

Jonathan More corporate (177 comments)

While I prefer git, it's worth remembering that just a couple of years ago, svn was the young rebel upstart (hence the name "subversion") -- most commercial shops were using cvs until recently. It's a hard sell to get IT departments to shift again ("why, just a few years ago you nerds made us switch to svn when cvs was working just fine. Now you want to shift again?")

more than 3 years ago

RIM Announces BlackBerry 7 OS

Jonathan Palm Deja Vu (129 comments)

I know -- it's so frighteningly like Palm -- even down to making a crippled version of whatever was hot at the time (a netbook for Palm; a tablet for RIM) that only work if tied to a phone of theirs.

more than 3 years ago

California Library's Plan: Get Rid of Books

Jonathan I know you're joking, but... (197 comments)

Circa 2000, you may have had a point. Big bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders were popping up all over, and generally had lots of comfortable seating. As a rather fast reader, I often spent a free afternoon or evening reading a book cover to cover in those stores back then. Guess too many people did just that. Now, you can hardly find a chair in most big box bookstores and they are closing up many locations anyway. I guess the free market can't support these big bookstores, which is too bad in a way.

more than 3 years ago

eJuror Will Lead To New List of Jury Duty Excuses

Jonathan BS -- I've served and I have a doctorate (191 comments)

The idea that educated people aren't selected for a jury just isn't true. I've served, and I have a doctorate in microbiology -- and there was another professor on the jury as well. Obviously both the defense and the prosecution want to eliminate people who would be biased against their side (and take turns doing this from the initial pool), but there is no reason why the educated can't be unbiased.

more than 3 years ago

The Hackintosh Guide

Jonathan Yes, if you don't count the experience (453 comments)

I created a Hackintosh and I think it taught me a lot about how OS X works "under the hood". If you don't see that as valuable, then no it isn't worth it.

more than 3 years ago

School Swaps Math Textbooks For iPads

Jonathan Re:There are cheaper alternatives (439 comments)

Published papers in open access journals. Why read the interpretation of a third-rate academic (the type who actually have the time to write textbooks because they don't have grants funding research that needs to be done) when you can you can read the real cutting-edge stuff th

about 4 years ago

Wikileaks To Publish Remaining Afghan Documents

Jonathan George Soros? A Neocon? (711 comments)

You can't claim that a group is both a neocon propaganda group *and* funded by George Soros. Soros gave millions of dollars to the Democratic party during the 2004 election and stated that removing Bush from office was his central focus in life.

more than 4 years ago

School District Drops 'D' Grades

Jonathan Only if grading on a curve do people have to fail (617 comments)

It is entirely possible and fair for a class to get all A's if they all meet the criterion (>90% on exams and so on). Yes, you might then argue that the tests were too easy, but if the tests covered the material you want the students to learn, what's the problem? Maybe the students were all very smart. Maybe the teacher is excellent.

more than 4 years ago

MacPaint Source Code Released to Museum

Jonathan Re:Too sad. (175 comments)

Pretty much *all* of the classic Mac software was written in Pascal -- it was Apple's premier development system. C didn't really catch on outside the UNIX world until the mid to late 1980s.

more than 4 years ago

MacPaint Source Code Released to Museum

Jonathan Knuth wanted the source! (175 comments)

For "The Art of Computer Programming", according to the article. What was he planning on doing? Converting it to his pseudo-assembly language MIX? As far as I know, Knuth has never used a high level language in his AoCP, although obviously he knows how to program in them (early versions of TeX were in Pascal, and now they are in C)

more than 4 years ago


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