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Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest"

OpenGLFan Developers, Developers, Developers! (125 comments)

The biggest problem with Windows 8.1 tablets is the total lack of decent apps. Not "applications", which they have plenty of, but "apps" that make content consumption easier.

I've got a Surface Pro 2. It's a pretty good ultrabook, even if the keyboard is a bit flimsy for that application, but it's a complete failure as a tablet. For casual browsing on the couch, it's miserable. There are no decent apps, and the desktop versions of most applications don't appreciate being occasionally resized for a keyboard. Even the professionally-backed apps, like the Kindle App, is miserably bad.

Developers make apps for Apple because there's an established user base, even if there's a barrier to entry (Apple Developer Program.) Hobbyists make reasonably good one-off apps for Android to scratch their individual itch because there's almost no barrier to entry. Windows apps aren't made, because there's no user base, and the barrier to entry for Windows Metro App development is still unreasonably high.

Microsoft needs to revive it's "Developers, Developers, Developers" chant.

about 2 months ago
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The Difference Between Film and Digital Photography (Video)

OpenGLFan A sixty-second commercial? (182 comments)

A sixty-second commerical? Nope.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?

OpenGLFan Re:The 1% are insulated (1799 comments)

So start your own business. I did.

I can't, nor can many of Slashdot's audience. Why? Because of a law IBM bought in 1986 prohibiting programmers and software engineers from working as self-employed individuals. (Citation: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/19/us/19tax.html ). So, once again we see regulations bought by corporations to steer things in their favor. Which is kind of the whole point of the protest.

more than 2 years ago
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Chinese Censors Crack Down on Time Travel

OpenGLFan Re:scifi (154 comments)

If you outlaw scifi then only criminals will have scifi,
meaning only criminals will go on to study physics.

Thereby sucking them out of the university's Finance schools. Brilliant!

more than 3 years ago
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Sites Guilty of Hijacking History

OpenGLFan Plugins for history/cookie poisoning? (58 comments)

Back in the dark ages (1997 or so), there was a school of thought that advocated cookie poisoning, not just removal. Anybody know of any firefox plugins that actively randomize your history or cookies? Throwing wrenches into databases is the next best thing to naming your kid Little Bobby Tables.

more than 3 years ago
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Blizzard Seeking Console Devs For 'Diablo-Related Concept'

OpenGLFan Re:Well... (58 comments)

The Baldur's Gate franchise was turned into a hack & slash when ported to console, but Diablo games are already hack & slash games. What will Blizzard do? Develop a meta hack & slash?

Fill a market niche. I loved those games. They weren't anything like the PC Baldur's Gate series, but they were full-screen (no split-screen) couch co-op fun for me and my roommates in college. There's nothing like that anymore; all the current generation games are splitscreen co-op or network co-op only.

If I could play Diablo with fullscreen co-op, I'd buy it on launch day.

more than 3 years ago
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Saudi Arabia Bans Facebook

OpenGLFan Re:temporary measure (227 comments)

> You need to put "elected" in sneer quotes. The candidates for these positions are always determined in advance by backroom deals...

Are they called "political parties"? It's just like home!

more than 3 years ago
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Google Wave Creator Quits, Joins Facebook

OpenGLFan Re:new boss, same as the old boss (191 comments)

Eventually trickle-up lack of privacy will catch up with these companies and they will suffer. And those who hang with Facebook (and Google) will have severe hangover. It's Moby Dick all over again, with Eric Schmidt (the "creep") - the new captain Ahab.

Privacy is not, and has never been, a killer app. We still don't regularly encrypt email; we send it plaintext and leave it on google servers. NSA's pressure on Zimmerman didn't kill PGP email, apathy did.

People don't want privacy. People want Farmville.

more than 3 years ago
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Turning Your Home Wiring Into a Giant Antenna

OpenGLFan Sure, if you want to summon Gozer. (135 comments)

What a great idea. The whole building as a huge super-conductive antenna designed and built expressly for the purpose of pulling in and concentrating spiritual turbulence. Your girlfriend, Pete, lives in the corner penthouse of Spook Central.

Mark my words! Do this, and many Shuvs and Zuuls will know what it is to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

about 4 years ago
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The Case Against Net Neutrality

OpenGLFan Re:Transparency not Neutrality... (702 comments)

What is needed is network transparency, not necessarily network neutrality. EG, under some definitions of network neutrality, various useful traffic shaping (such as placing heavy users in a different QOS tier when compared with light users, implementing per-user fairness, or doing Remote Active Queue Management to mitigate the effect of overbuffered access devices), would not be allowed.

I agree with you, and so does everyone else. You have just defined net neutrality. Net neutrality never, ever, ever considered stopping traffic shaping for heavy bandwidth usage or QoS. That was just a straw man set up by neutrality opponents to knock down. It's not your fault, since they scream it at every opportunity.

Net neutrality's ONLY definition is the prohibition of traffic shaping based on source or destination IPs. QoS has been a part of network design for decades. Torrent filtering is another argument entirely. It's not just the naive who have been misled: you've obviously done your homework and thought about the effects. The people arguing against net neutrality (aka: people who want to sell you an Internet Package with Yahoo and Google, or the Advanced package with Blogger and Hulu) are crafty and have no compunction about lying.

Have no fear, kind sir: you are a supporter of Net Neutrality, and have correctly identified, in its entirety, the misleading crap lumped in with it by its detractors.

more than 4 years ago
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Fossil Fuel Subsidies Dwarf Support For Renewables

OpenGLFan Are you including the cost of Iraq? (172 comments)

If you include the cost of our presence in Iraq, the oil subsidy dwarfs imagination.

(And if you don't think our presence in Iraq is about oil, then I have a bridge to sell you that was highly subsidized by the city of London.)

more than 4 years ago
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Droid X Self-Destructs If You Try To Mod

OpenGLFan Re:How is this legal? (757 comments)

Does a company have the right to destroy a purchased product - after the sale - if the consumer doesn't use it in a prescribed manner?

Yes, if the company is big enough. Hell, Sony included rootkits on music CDs.

more than 4 years ago
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What Nokia Must Do To Stay Relevant In Mobile

OpenGLFan Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (289 comments)

I own an N900 and have a love/hate relationship with it. Nokia missed a few important things:

1: It's hard to develop for the N900 without a Linux box. It's possible now, and the new Qt 1.0 SDK release makes it a lot easier, but until about a month ago it wasn't trivial. Do I have to do the "developers, developers" dance here?

2: Maps. Google maps was the original killer app for android phones. Ovi maps...isn't. Especially not an non-updated Ovi Maps 1.0, which is what my N900 was saddled with for far too long. The new updates take the N900's maps from "unusable" to "bad". We were promised Ovi Maps 3, which is at least tolerable, but apparently somebody in the Symbian team was sleeping with somebody really highly placed, because only Symbian phones got the good map software.

3 Symbian. Developers hate it, users dislike it. It should have been killed, and its developers should've moved to Maemo. You knew Apple would support the iPhone's OS, and you knew Google had a hit with Android, but Nokia hedged its bets with Symbian and spooked a lot of devs.

more than 4 years ago
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US Sues Oracle Over Alleged Overcharging

OpenGLFan Re:Wait a minute (164 comments)

I'd love to see a similar law passed for consumer transactions.

I can't see why this isn't the law for medical care. If a procedure costs $50 to do, and you charge $75 for insurance company X or $400 for an uninsured person, then you should go to jail.

more than 4 years ago
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 Appears As UFO In Australia

OpenGLFan Some perspective: (143 comments)

Some perspective: I used to live in Huntsville, AL, and I currently live in Austin, TX.

Shelby's just trying to protect the funding of of the Marshall SFC NASA group in Huntsville, AL. In their defense, the HSV group kicks a lot of ass, and is a welcome outpost of science and engineering in Alabama.

KBHutchinson is just an ignorant asshole.

more than 4 years ago
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Congressmen Send Letters, Hope For Net Neutrality Fades

OpenGLFan Re:The way I see it (427 comments)

The way I see it, net neutrality needs to be mandated for ISPs using state or federal funds to "modernize" America,

Then you see it wrongly. Government has a duty to impose regulations upon groups, corporations, or associations that pose hardships to people. This includes enforcement of laws barring abuse of a monopoly (Standard Oil, AT&T) -- of which an ISP oligopoly definitely applies. This is especially true in this case of a natural monopoly, where obtaining land use rights to dig underground to place wires or fiber is an impossible barrier to entry for new competition.

However, even if you wanted to play by the stupid "if the govt. didn't pay for it, it can't regulate it" rules, all of the ISPs would still have to submit to regulation because of the extremely lucrative handout the US Government gave to several large telecom companies in order to encourage them to build out more connections to rural areas and increase speeds in densely populated cities. Which the telecom companies pocketed. (PS: I'd really appreciate a good citation for this; every time I try to find a good description of this, it gets harder and harder to find on google.)

more than 4 years ago
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House Calls For Hearing On Stock Market "Glitch"

OpenGLFan Re:What glitch? (180 comments)

To echo that top link:
"After today investors will have little if any faith left in the US stocks, assuming they had any to begin with."

That describes me. I've got some respectable money in my 401k, but I'm early in my career (early 30s). I don't believe Social Security will still be around when I retire, and with these idiots on Wall Street, I don't think any of my 401k will be either. I predict a lot of people shifting their 401k investments towards bond funds shortly.

more than 4 years ago
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Review of HTC Desire As Alternative To iPhone

OpenGLFan As a n900 user... (544 comments)

Plus, it's easy to develop for (with Qt) and has IR, FM transmitter, and all sorts of neat toys.

Its fatal flaw is that it is Nokia's bastard child, unloved and unsupported. Ask your local n900 owner about Nokia's maps. Have a tissue ready; he will cry unashamedly. The head of Symbian development at Nokia must be GREAT in the sack, because every single good thing for Nokia's phones (Ovi Maps 3, better Exchange support, etc.) comes to the Symbian phones.

I love my phone. I can VNC into work, I can tether to my laptop, I get good battery life and can write any app I want (though not as easily as with Android, I admit.) But I'm seriously considering ditching it for the Next Big Thing in Android. The hardware is a gold mine, but the maps are terrible.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft's Risky Tablet Announcement

OpenGLFan Re:Who cares? (338 comments)

I just got an n900 -- and while they got some things wrong, they got the touchscreen exactly right:
High-resolution LCD and resistive touchscreen. It's still easy to operate with the fingertips (though it needs a bit more pressure than my Android G1 screen did), but when you need precision, there's a stylus tucked in so tightly that it's almost invisible unless you know it's there. Pull it out and scribble away with it, and then when you're done, it hides again, and the display is still perfect for fingers.

I originally thought it was a gimmick -- now I want it included in your dream tablet.

more than 4 years ago
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Sir Patrick Stewart

OpenGLFan Vacuous Star Trek? Not Stewart. (324 comments)

I know this will sound like hopeless fanboyism, but Stewart was no slouch in ST:TNG, and he didn't just phone it in. I can't think of many other actors who could have pulled off "There Are Four Lights", or the episode where he lived an entire life in another planet and learned to play the flute (can't remember the name.) After a few seasons, the writers realized just how good "that Shakespeare guy" was, and they wrote some demanding episodes for Stewart.

Watch the first season, just watching Picard: it's a textbook example of how a talented actor can take a largely untried cast and some occasionally shaky writing and forge a solid character.

more than 4 years ago

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