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Android On Intel x86 Tablet Performance Explored: Things Are Improving

Teckla Re:Why should I care? (97 comments)

The part of that page that confused me is right above what you quoted: "Notably, using native code on Android generally does not result in a noticable performance improvement."

Yeah, I agree that the page is confusing. It seems to contradict itself. My guess is they consider games a special case, or something.

A friend of mine does iPhone and Android development and his comment is that NDK is basically a requirement for any non-trivial games on Android.

4 days ago
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Android On Intel x86 Tablet Performance Explored: Things Are Improving

Teckla Re:Why should I care? (97 comments)

I thought the Android NDK wasn't intended for performance [android.com] as much as for sharing the model [wikipedia.org] (application logic and data access) code with versions of the application made for other platforms.

A quote from the URL you linked to:

Typical good candidates for the NDK are CPU-intensive workloads such as game engines, signal processing, physics simulation, and so on.

So, according to that page, the NDK is largely made available for performance.

5 days ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Teckla Re:Maybe a Mini (354 comments)

The mini wouldn't be a bad way to go... it's not that expensive and I can still use my 27" monitor.

The Mac mini looks interesting to me as well, to replace an older iMac.

However, I do think 4 GB of RAM is insufficient for all but the most basic usage (web browser plus one other application running). Apple really needs to upgrade their entry level RAM to 6 GB or 8 GB.

Ditto with the storage on their iOS devices. 16 GB doesn't cut it anymore. 32 GB of storage should be the entry level these days.

5 days ago
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Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

Teckla Re:Git is an example of Linus Torvalds at his wors (387 comments)

And yet we use it, because it's that effective If you can make a better git than git, I'm sure we'll all eventually move to it.

What makes you think people would reliably move to a better git than git?

The history of computing is littered with the carcasses of applications that were better than the competition, but never achieved much success for whatever reason (e.g., perhaps the competition got the first mover advantage, and that was enough to guarantee its dominance).

5 days ago
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Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

Teckla Re:HALO (368 comments)

No it would not have to be reverse engineered again as even though they now own it, it is still available and under the gpl v2. So that would be impossible for Microsoft to shutdown as it would be forked the next day and you can't retroactively re-licence someone else’s copy of gpl'ed software, remember GPL is viral and thats a good thing.

How does GPL being viral help? If it was BSD licensed, even after a Microsoft purchase, they couldn't un-BSD the BSD version, so it would still be available...

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

Teckla Re:Null Terminated Strings (729 comments)

I believe none of you actually programmed in C. A string terminated by \0 can be represented by a single pointer and an have any length. You can also easily let the string keep growing (until the allocated memory is finished.) That is the epitome of KISS.

And a written language with just two letters in the alphabet is simple too, right? So, let's do that!

There's KISS and then there's KISS. C strings aren't the right kind of KISS.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

Teckla Re:various card games (382 comments)

When you don't have friends, cards are really just a stack of colored paper. That's the problem I've always had with Dungeons and Dragons and multi-player games like that. When I was a kid I used to buy D&D books and modules and be fascinated with the lore and how much fun it all sounded. But when the realization hits you that you don't have anyone to play it with, it all becomes pretty useless.

I ran into a similar issue. (1) Very small circle of friends. (2) None of them interested in playing role playing games like D&D. (3) People get married, buy houses, start pumping out kids, and aligning schedules becomes near impossible.

You're not alone in being alone. I recommend something like an MMORPG where you can meet people and develop online friendships. My favorite has always been EverQuest.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Teckla Re:Simple (548 comments)

A Roth 401(k) [wikipedia.org] is to a traditional 401(k) as a Roth IRA is to a traditional IRA.

...

Roth 401(k): Post-tax contributions; money grows tax free; withdrawals are not taxed; employers are legally allowed to do the same things as with a traditional 401(k); same contribution limits as a traditional 401(k) [technically the contribution limit applies to the sum of all 401(k) contributions, traditional and Roth alike].

Excellent information; thanks! I had no idea such a thing existed. I wonder how many employers offer Roth 401(k) plans. I don't think mine does; then again, 10 minutes ago, I didn't know that Roth 401(k) plans even existed. Thanks for educating me. I should have looked it up before assuming it didn't exist; I'm sorry about that.

tl;dr Roth retirement accounts let you pay a 0% tax rate on all capital gains as long as you pay tax on "principal contributed" instead of "principal withdrawn" (because you're paying tax on the principal either way), unlike traditional retirement accounts, which make you pay tax on all gains. Why would the average person go traditional?

Indeed. This merits more investigation. Thanks!

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Teckla Re:Simple (548 comments)

I don't know what a "Roth 401(k)" is -- I've never heard of that before. My understanding is as follows:

Traditional IRA: Pre-tax contributions; money grows tax free; withdrawals are taxed; fairly limited yearly maximum contributions.

Roth IRA: Post-tax contributions; money grows tax free; withdrawals are not taxed; fairly limited yearly maximum contributions.

401(k): Pre-tax contributions; money grows tax free; withdrawals are taxed; sometimes employers contribute extra as a benefit; much higher maximum yearly contributions.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Teckla Re:Simple (548 comments)

The size of the contributions you can make to Roth IRAs are very limited, making them useless as your sole retirement investment vehicle.

401(k)s let you put in much bigger contributions, and grow tax free. Only withdrawals are taxed.

about 2 months ago
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Google Brings Chrome OS User Management To Chrome

Teckla Re:Graphical terminal (68 comments)

I wish your comment wasn't posted anonymously, it deserves to be modded +5, Insightful.

about 2 months ago
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Google Brings Chrome OS User Management To Chrome

Teckla Re:Graphical terminal (68 comments)

In the room next door I have a DEC VT240 from around 1990 which is capable of displaying text and vector graphics using the ReGIS instruction set. I'm so happy to see that, 24 years later, Google is reviving the graphical dumb terminal.

Except that web browsers are not dumb terminals. Web browsers can do local processing. In fact, many Chrome apps run entirely offline.

Your post isn't insightful, it's just plain an invalid and flawed analogy.

about 2 months ago
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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

Teckla Re:XP losing Market share is not bad news. (336 comments)

I'm typing this on a nine-year-old Dell Latitude D410 running Windows XP. I've got a current version of Firefox, current versions of all of the plugins I use on a regular basis

Your fully patched browser and plugins still make heavy use of operating system DLLs, and those DLLs are no longer getting security updates. This puts you at risk.

Continuing to use old hardware is fine, as long as the OS is updated and secure. I have a similarly old machine that I put Linux on.

I'm afraid your highly modded comment might make non-technical people think using XP to browse the web is still OK. It's not. Even with a fully updated and patched browser.

about 3 months ago
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Nintendo Posts Yet Another Loss, Despite Mario Kart 8

Teckla Re:I owned a WiiU for 1 month..... (203 comments)

1. Grab Tablet.

I have a Wii-U. I consider the tablet bulky and inconvenient, without offering enough advantage in exchange for the inconvenience. It often needs to be plugged in, making it even more inconvenient.

about 3 months ago
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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Teckla Re:What's there to compare? (402 comments)

Notepad++ is windows-only.

You can, if you want, run it under WINE.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

Teckla Re:Hindsight's twenty-twenty (161 comments)

The closed iOS ecosystem is about the worst thing Apple ever did to their customers

Whoa now, that just ain't true. Not at all.

Techies tend to forget how ridiculously hard it is for non-techies to administer their computers. Apple's iOS frees its customers from complexity, it frees them from stress and worry about viruses and Trojans, it frees them from the repercussions of being successfully hacked.

Sure, for your typical geek-o-matic here, OMG-I-don't-have-root-and-I-can't-allow-that! But for regular people, Apple's walled garden is a blessing.

about 3 months ago
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Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest"

Teckla Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (125 comments)

I'm typing this on an Asus Vivobook S200E ultraportable (i3-3217U, 4GB, 11.6", aluminum chassis, USB 3.0, $430 new + $80 more for a nice SATA-III SSD to upgrade with; basically what I call a "better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air")

I only took a quick glance, but it looks like the MacBook Air is half the weight, has a better CPU, better graphics, more USB 3.0 ports, much better battery life, lots of useful built-in apps, etc.

Exactly how did you compute that your Asus Vivobook S200E "ultraportable" is a "better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air"?

about 3 months ago
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New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

Teckla Re:Manager (204 comments)

But seriously, hopefully Microsoft will benefit from him and become a bit more popular amongst nerds.

Why do you hope for that? Microsoft pretends to reinvent itself regularly, but one thing remains constant through the decades: Their goal has unswervingly been lock-in from top to bottom, while trying to nickel and dime you the whole way.

For nerds, this means locking you into their programming languages (e.g., VB or C#), or if not that, at least lock you into their APIs (so that you're as good as locked in, even if you're using C or C++). It means abandonment of entire domains that no longer suit them (look up how woefully out-of-date and ignored the C part of their C/C++ compiler is).

It means locking you into their platforms, whether that be the operating system (Windows) or the browser (Internet Explorer).

It means high prices (have you seen the prices on Windows Server and/or Microsoft Azure lately?), which is not-at-all nerd-friendly. It means guaranteed stagnation in those domains where they achieve dominance. It means product churn for the sake of profits. It means ignoring customers and forcing bad implementations on them (*cough*Metro*cough*) and then taking forever to admit it was a mistake and fix it (when is Windows 9 due out? Next year sometime?).

Just because some new-boss-same-as-the-old-boss is singing some unicorns-and-rainbows song doesn't mean the core of Microsoft is going to change. They're still after the same things they've always been after: Lock-in so severe that the pain of escape ensures most people remain slaves, and profits, profits, profits.

about 3 months ago
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2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

Teckla Re:Yes, let's tax the poor (619 comments)

12 cents won't affect me one bit. It certainly won't change my driving habits. The poor on the other hand.. well, let's just say if you're living on a fixed income and/or are already below the poverty line a nice big regressive tax might sting a little...

Well, let's think about that for a minute. Let's guess that on average filling up your tank from near empty to near full is around 13 gallons. An extra 12 cents per gallon will come to around $1.50.

If people fill up weekly, that'll be about $6/month. I don't think that'll impact the poor so very much...

Also, wealthy people tend to drive bigger vehicles, such as SUVs, and tend to commute longer distances from expensive suburbs. This will certainly cost wealthier people more money (but still probably not enough to matter).

This proposed 12 cents per gallon tax increase is peanuts, but be prepared for republicans in congress to scream and holler and shout about how it'll destroy America, cause more homosexuality, etc.

about 4 months ago
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It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)

Teckla Guaranteed Death (218 comments)

Guaranteed death in a car accident -- what's not to love?

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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The Truth about Violence

Teckla Teckla writes  |  about 2 years ago

Teckla (630646) writes "Just as it is prudent to wear your seat belt while driving, it makes sense to know how best to respond to violence. In fact, it is overwhelmingly likely that some of you will become the targets of violence in the future. The purpose of this essay is to help you prepare for it."
Link to Original Source
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The Riddle of the Gun

Teckla Teckla writes  |  about 2 years ago

Teckla (630646) writes "Fantasists and zealots can be found on both sides of the debate over guns in America. On the one hand, many gun-rights advocates reject even the most sensible restrictions on the sale of weapons to the public. On the other, proponents of stricter gun laws often seem unable to understand why a good person would ever want ready access to a loaded firearm. Between these two extremes we must find grounds for a rational discussion about the problem of gun violence."
Link to Original Source
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Teckla Teckla writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Teckla (630646) writes "With Democrats soon having the majority in the House and the Senate, the issue of minimum wage is sure to follow. I've seen very little in the way of convincing arguments that minimum wage is a good thing or bad thing. Democrats typically argue that everyone deserves a minimum living wage, and that the economic impact on companies is negligible. Republicans often argue that imposing an artificial minimum wage hurts the economy. I haven't seen either of these viewpoints supported with any kind of serious economic analysis. My question for Slashdot is simple: Is minimum wage a good thing or a bad thing, and why?"

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