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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

Ronin Developer Re:Obj-C (310 comments)

I, too, would beg to differ. As someone who has used the language / IDE since Delphi 1.0, I have to think you are probably a Microsoft/VB fan.

I worked for several companies whose products were written in Delphi. One application was a leading records management system for law enforcement and comprised over 1 million lines of code. Another was a commodities trading application that used JNI to communicate with a large collection of Java files. Another managed slot machines at a very large casino and interfaced with the AS/400.

Today, at version Delphi XE7, the tool can still develop native Windows apps. But, it can also cross compile to produce native OSX, iOS and Android apps (via the NDK). The language has evolved as well. Granted, the verbose syntax of Pascal still exists. It should be said, however, that .Net and C# were created by Delphi's creator (Anders Heidelberg) after he defected away from Borland.

The tool ran into some hard times due to some shakeups at Borland. Borland became Inprise (yeah, stupid name). People screamed but the damage was done even though they chose to rename themselves again from Inprise back to Borland. Borland spun off it's application tools division to concentrate on application lifecycle management tools. The spin off became CodeGear and operated on a small budget. Eventually, Codegear was acquired by Embarcadero which has had it's share of issues. Today, Borland is a shell. Biggest issue with the sell to Embarcadero was the concentration of release a product that was buggy and at a high price. They locked people into a costy upgrade path. They learned and have fixed a lot of issues. But, the high cost forced many shops and developers away from the product. Microsoft became the standard.

XE7 is an amazing tool if you want to develop Windows, OSX, IOS and Android apps. Database support is fantastic (I have the Enterprise version). It has UML modelling and code generation capabilities. And, now it supports tethering between mobile apps and the desktop over WiFi and Bluetooth (including LE) among many other cool features.

Before you knock the tool and language, you should actually try to use it. The only downsides are still the price and the fact that you still need a Mac to compile for OSX and iOS. This is more a limitation of Apple requiring the apps to be signed and the XCode tools are needed for this purpose. And, it doesn't develop web apps. If you want to be in that market, you need to select another tool. They used to include the FreePascal compiler for its ARM support. They now have their own native ARM compiler.

They have a 30 day trial for download. They also have another product, called AppCode, that is very similar to Delphi/RadStudio. That product is offered on a monthly subscription basis vs outright purchase. Not sure of it's other limitations.

The 3rd Party ecosystem took a hit for a while with many of the vendors moving towards .Net during the shakeup at Borland and haven't returned. Some of those vendors also felt shafted by both Borland and Embarcadero when they decided to offer products in those 3rd parties spaces and cut them out of the deal. Recently, there has been a lot of new release of components (old and new) on sites such as Torry.net.

While I still code in other languages when necessary, I still prefer to code in Delphi for my personal work. Sadly, it's personal as few enterprise IT shops will consider it these days because of the shakeups.

3 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Ronin Developer CFLs are supposed to last longer? (595 comments)

NOT in my house and NOT with the expected life expectancy listed on the packing! Of course, due to power fluctuations (we still have a 100A feed vs 200A and overhead wires), we constantly have bulbs burning out. Yes, major portions of the house wiring have been redone.

If they had surge protection in the bulbs, they would probably last a lot longer and I would get my money's worth due to the cost vs power savings (7W equivalent to 75W incandescent). My kids leave lights on all day...so it makes a big difference over time.

We just put in a "sunlight" white LED bulb in the kitchen to replace a CFL. Holy crap is that bright yet energy efficient!

4 days ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Ronin Developer Re:I'm pleasantly surprised. (277 comments)

Of those that changed their tune, they commented about trying to operate the larger device with one hand. Apple moved some things around to make easier. And, it's lighter and thinner than it's 2012 predecessors - a benefit of time and manufacturing processes. Machined metal vs plastic makes a difference as well in terms of how rigid the device is and how that feels in one's hands. Again, the benefit of time to review existing products and improved manufacturing processes.

So, I didn't hear any particular fan-dom responses because of Apple vs Android. I heard that Apple's take on it was a little more refined. One would expect that over the course of two years. Samsung will do the same on their next iteration.

Being said, I am a big guy (6' 1") with large hands. The 6+ still feels awkward to me. If I opt for one of the newer models, I would, likely, go with the straight 6 over the 6+. But, I am not due for an upgrade for another year. I can wait.

Of the best new features I would like to see? Improved battery life.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

Ronin Developer Re:Conference Attendance and Funding (182 comments)

Good points. During the hiring process, it's fair to ask about training and conferences policies. And, if there is one you care about attending (one or regularly), you should negotiate it prior to accepting the hiring agreement.

Generally, if the training or conference is more for your benefit than the company's, they will resist sending you on their dime. If they are expecting you to attend, then they are responsible for all costs. If, as you suggest, the benefits of attending through PR or exposure is of value to them, then you can usually negotiate a compromise even when it doesn't directly benefit the company.

I managed to pull off having a developer's conference that I enjoyed attending added to my hiring agreement. They sent me for five years (regardless of location (continental US) until they restructured and forced us all to accept to new agreements or seek employment elsewhere when they incorporated. My conference benefit was terminated. Needless to say, I became willing to entertain offers for new employment as I saw it as a cheesy move.

about a week ago
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Researchers Propose a Revocable Identity-Based Encryption Scheme

Ronin Developer Re:Revoke is pointless (76 comments)

It's an older code, sir...but, it checks out. Shall I hold them?

No...I will DEEEAAAALLL with them myself.

about a week ago
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Researchers Propose a Revocable Identity-Based Encryption Scheme

Ronin Developer Anybody ACTUALLY read the article? (76 comments)

Or, are they responding the premise that this simply can't be secure?

I haven't fully digested it, but it sounds interesting at the very least for me to at least try to understand it. It does not appear to be a crackpot article as one might assume. And, it sounds like it's being posted for true peer review as most security papers should,

about a week ago
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'Reactive' Development Turns 2.0

Ronin Developer Let's rewrite history (101 comments)

and give it a new name. That seems to be the pattern these days, isn't it. The techniques and concepts described in this "Manifesto" are really nothing more than the tenet of systems design since the dawn of the computer age. Yet, he touts it like its some sort of new idea. Same goes for programming languages, frameworks and paradigms - most are rehashes of what came before.

I have been a proponent of using message queues to build asynchronous and distributed system that make building such "responsive" system. We developed a location based system that leveraged ApacheMQ with JMS to facilitate the processing of millions of messages while keeping the response time predictable. That was seven (7) years ago.

Bandwidth and computing resources are finite. We can move processing off to the cloud or to other dedicated processors. But, ultimately, you will have a bottleneck of one or more of the two, bandwidth and computing resources (cores, processors, nodes, whatever). To make a response, large scale system, you need to understand the limitations and, more specifically, queuing theory so that you can build a system that meets the goals of the "manifesto".

If one is looking at programming "responsive" systems in terms of languages (which is not the intent, I think, of the manifesto), you can easily go back to the 1980's and 1990's. There were probably other such environments before then. However, around 1992/3, there was a language for the Macintosh called Prograph (and, Progragh CPX). It was a visual language that was based on "cases" with inputs and outputs. Outputs became available when all the inputs were satisfied - it was very asynchronous. Yes, you still had procedural elements. But, it was designed for parallel processing. Another, so called, "responsive" system is the spreadsheet where cells change based on the values in other cells in a very asynchronous fashion.

I won't state that some of today's "modern" languages don't solve specific problem of earlier languages or have something to offer. But, much of what that is claimed to be modern constructs have been around for years - maybe not as eloquently expressed, but were there nevertheless. This is where a CS degree comes in hand and why people pursue CS at colleges. Wish some people would get that through their heads. The other day, there was a story about how older IT professionals seem to have lost their fire while the "younger" generation is full of it and it's learning something new that makes them better than the old guard. No, older professionals simply say "ho-hum" to the "new" views as it's just a rehash of what they already know. When something revolutionary comes along, the wake up long enough to figure it out and whether it's something that's worth considering vs what HR thinks is the hopping buzzword of the day.

 

about two weeks ago
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Farmers Carry Multidrug-Resistant Staph For Weeks Into Local Communities

Ronin Developer Sounds like a good reason (122 comments)

to quarantine them for weeks, like the early astronauts, before letting them come into town for supplies.

Yup, and we are worried about ebola when a bigger danger is lurking right in our very noses.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Ronin Developer Re:Well.... (425 comments)

"Visa and Mastercard might have signed on, but that's not important. Retailer support is the critical factor. "

Having Visa and Mastercard sign on is a VERY BIG deal in obtaining retailer support. In order to use their services, you have to use approved terminals which they often provide or dictate the requirements of said terminals. If they providing or requiring Apple Pay capable terminals, the technology will penetrate the retail market quickly. Retailers will have little recourse if people demand mobile payments. With larger stores chains in the mix, the tech will be ubiquitous fairly quickly. I expect we will see vendors like Square adopt this tech pretty quickly so they can stay relevant. The Square device, for example, was free (or was it $10) for those that signed up with their service for those that wanted to accept cards.

Whether Google Wallet or PayPal can get in the mix, we'll see. Choice would be nice. However, I think we will see Apple Pay be the dominant tech in this industry. What is unclear is if the special chip Apple developed is a requirement or a nice-to-have and other vendors are free to implement in software or their own custom chip.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Ronin Developer Re:Well.... (425 comments)

The entire argument is simply stupid. Just don't think that because you're a droid fan that it makes you immune to "enthralled fanatic syndrome". Look at how everyone want the next Nexus or Galaxy or S5 or Alpha or whatever. It goes both ways.

For me, the day that Apple devices don't get the job done for me, I will look at an Android device. But, my last experience was with an Incredible. It was anything but. That could be simply because HTC nor Verizon fixed issues that resulted in it rebooting or crashing at really inopportune times. But, it turned me away from the platform. As a developer, I prefer iOS (in the form of the iPad) as that's where the money is. When Android devices become mainstay in my client's enterprises, I will reexamine my development and business model at that time. So far, Android tablets don't meet their needs - primarily because they are too configurable and the innards accessible. Open is not always a good thing.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Ronin Developer Re:Well.... (425 comments)

Just like the Gold iPhone and the new Gold Samsung S5(?)...when the other has it, it's stupid. But, damn, everybody wants it just the same don't they?

You aren't going to reason with a Fanboi or FANdroid - they both are set in their ways.

If people want to critize your Android phone for having a camera lens and are trolls, does it make sense to act the same way? Take the high road.

These are merely phones...nothing more. You pick what you like. If you want a camera that looks like the main weapon on a Dalek, that's your prerogative. Maybe, you can make it work and dispose of those who don't like your choice.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Ronin Developer Well.... (425 comments)

Yes, the "bulge" is clearly photoshopped out. I can only suspect the reason is that they want to show that the rest of the phone...the 95+% of the surface area is the stated thickness. During the keynote, the "bulge" was discussed. They could have shown the whole side view and position arrows or other marks to indicate the thickness. But, frankly, that would have been ugly, wouldn't it? Certainly, not Apple's way.

Now, iPhone / Apple fans aren't going to care that Apple marketers took this liberty with the images - they are going to buy it regardless.

Only those who want to find fault with Apple, for whatever reason, give a rat's ass that Apple might engage as something so underhanded as to photoshop out the "bulge" to clarify their marketing point.

What IS more interesting is how much attention Android fans are giving to something which they claim no interest in owning.

Now, I will digress.

Nobody (except true Fanbois) on the Apple side argues that Android phones might have had some features that found their way into Samsung and other Android phones first (i.e NFC, Google Wallet, etc). But, it took a company, like Apple, with the marketing clout and financial resources to get buy-in for actually using those features (such as NFC through Apple Pay). Apple only introduces features into their products for which they believe there to be a market or to remain relevant in a market. And, if a market doesn't yet exist, they know how to create it and they make it appear easy to use - as only Apple can.

The addition of NFC, for example, was probably done because they could now make it useful (vs "bumping" phones to transfer video..big whoop) by tackling mobile payments. Apple Pay addresses the process by never sharing credit card data, having unique, one-time, transaction number, and the ability to use a fingerprint to authenticate in a fraction of second. Well, those are the claims, anyway. They managed to get the major banks and store brands to jump on the bandwagon. And, in doing so, it appears Apple may have succeeded where Google and Samsung could not even with their more "technologically" advanced hardware and software solutions. Usability is the key to public acceptance - not technology. And, they seized upon the opportunity posed by "hackers" breaking in and stealing credit card data from major outlets to gain appeal for their solution.

Now, what remains to be seen is whether Apple allows others to play in the Apple Pay sandbox or not. If they don't, they might successfully corner the phone market for the average person with Apple Pay and an iPhone 6C provided the POS vendors elect not to integrate other mobile payment schemes into their terminals.

about two weeks ago
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Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

Ronin Developer Sorry..didn't have the link before.. (323 comments)

Apple has now launched a tool to help disgruntled customers easily remove the album from their iTunes library.

To remove the album, users need to:

  • Go to http://itunes.com/soi-remove
  • Click Remove Album to confirm you'd like to remove the album from your account
  • Sign in with the Apple ID and password you use to buy from the iTunes Store

Apple warned that, once the album has been removed from a user's account, it will no longer be available for them to redownload as a previous purchase. If they later decide they want the album, they will need to get it again.

The album is free to everyone until 13 October 2014, and will be available for purchase after that date.

about two weeks ago
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Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

Ronin Developer Re: I disagree (183 comments)

(Not to mention that, on Apple platforms, you'd have to use Apple's language; forks have no bearing on that.)

Incorrect. Your code has to compile using their APIs. There are multiple tools out there for writing iOS and OSX code (Embarcadero RADStudio, Titanium, FreePascal, MonoTouch, etc.) . All code must be signed before it can be accepted into the AppStore. And, the code undergoes basic checks to such things as unauthorized API calls, missing images, etc. The signing requirement still has to be done using XCode. The alternative tools are able to call it to facilitate the signing process.

Swift and Objective-C through XCode are the PREFERRED tools that Apple supports. Outside of this realm, you are pretty much on your own with support being supplied by the alternative tool vendors.

about two weeks ago
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Artificial Spleen Removes Ebola, HIV Viruses and Toxins From Blood Using Magnets

Ronin Developer Re: As a layman... (106 comments)

Probably NOT a hoax. Just a dip paraphrasing the real article, rushing to post it, and having no clue what they are talking about.

Here is the correct version of the article from a more reputable source.

http://www.nature.com/news/artificial-spleen-cleans-up-blood-1.15917

about two weeks ago
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Artificial Spleen Removes Ebola, HIV Viruses and Toxins From Blood Using Magnets

Ronin Developer Re:Woohoo!! (106 comments)

I found a book in an old Annapolis bookstore about magnetic healing. It was such quackery...gave it to my wife just before she graduated from PT school.

Book was something like 100 years old at the time. Now, I have to go find it (hopefully, she still has it). It can sit right along my books on post civil war bugle calls and another on Warship design (BB-26 South Carolina..circa 1910).

about two weeks ago
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Artificial Spleen Removes Ebola, HIV Viruses and Toxins From Blood Using Magnets

Ronin Developer Re:Poor source (106 comments)

Thanks for sharing this. It is a much better summary than what was posted here on /.

Mod original poster to INTERESTING, please.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

Ronin Developer Re:Modding Points (610 comments)

No. Just an observation. Your comments emphasize my point, though.

If you don't like Apple's products, why do you care that others do?

If people like Apple products and wish to spend their money on the brand or simply enter into that ecosystem for whatever reason, that's their prerogative. Right? Just like buying a BMW or Jaguar over a Hyundai, Ford or Kia. It's a personal choice (and, budget).

FAndroids seem hell bent on forcing their will on those who prefer other options and love to belittle anyone who doesn't buy into their way of thinking. I don't see that from Apple users as much. You don't find many of them posting on Android related articles. One could get this level of discourse elsewhere from troll posts on other media sites (such as CNN) .

Personally, I buy what works best for me and fits my budget. Having had both Android and Blackberry phones lock up on me in the middle of business calls, I prefer to go with something that works (well, until I run out of battery, anyway). Given the fact that I can make money developing for iOS more readily than Android, it's a no-brainer for me. If I need to develop for Android, I COULD easily switch as I have the skills. Instead, I find it easier to use cross-platform tools to get there and develop native for iOS. So far, I have seen little business need to develop for Android. That may change as will I when the time is right. Others who see it differently are more than welcome to develop for that platform. Their choice.

Now, go crawl back under the bridge, Troll.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

Ronin Developer Modding Points (610 comments)

Why is that every Pro-Apple post is modded down while almost every Anti-Apple/pro-Android/Samsung post is modded up?

No bias here I see.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC to Apple Pay Only

Ronin Developer Ronin Developer writes  |  about two weeks ago

Ronin Developer (67677) writes "From the article:
"At last week's Apple event, the company announced Apple Pay — a new mobile payments service that utilises NFC technology in conjunction with its Touch ID fingerprint scanner for secure payments that can be made from the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch.

Apple also announced a number of retailers that would accept Apple Pay for mobile payments at launch.

However, Cult of Mac reports that NFC will be locked to the Apple Pay platform, meaning the technology will not be available for other uses.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the lock down of the technology, saying developers would be restricted from utilising its NFC chip functionality for at least a year. Apple declined to comment on whether NFC capability would remain off limits beyond that period."

So, it would appear, for at least a year, that Apple doesn't want competing mobile payment options to be available on the newly released iPhone 6 and 6+. While it's understandable that they want to promote their payment scheme and achieve a critical mass for Apple Pay, it's a strategy that may very well backfire as other other mobile payment vendors gain strength on competing platforms. Subway already has penned a deal with Softcard to accept their mobile payment exclusively. Will other retailers take a similar tact and lock out Apple users who can't use their newly minted iPhone 6's for mobile payments everywhere because of this decision?"

Link to Original Source
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Say Goodbye to that Unwanted U2 Album

Ronin Developer Ronin Developer writes  |  about two weeks ago

Ronin Developer (67677) writes "Apple has listened to the complaints of those who object to having received a pushed copy of U2's latest album as part of their recent campaign. While nobody has been charged for the download, some objected to having it show up in their purchases and, in some cases, pushed down to their devices.

While it is possible to remove the album from your iTunes library, it takes more steps than most would like to take. Apple has responded and released a tool to make it possible to remove the album from your iTunes library in a single step."

Link to Original Source
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Key Logging on iOS Devices

Ronin Developer Ronin Developer writes  |  about a year ago

Ronin Developer (67677) writes "iKeyMonitor popped up on freecode.com today. It provides key logging capabilities to users of jailbroken iOS devices.

This is a perfect reason NOT to jailbreak your phone and why the Apple walled garden provides a measure of security.

Now, question for you Android folks — Can you install a key logger on an Android device? Any special requirements to do so? If the answers are, respectively, "yes" and "no", it seems to provide a clear indication why Apple still dominates the Enterprise tablet market.

Thoughts?"

Link to Original Source
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Break-Even at the National Ignition Facility Achieved!!!!

Ronin Developer Ronin Developer writes  |  about a year ago

Ronin Developer (67677) writes "It is being reported that the NIF has achieved break-even with the fusion reactor — getting as much energy out (if not a little more) than they put in.

While a long way off from commercial fusion power generation, this is a significant milestone."

Link to Original Source

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