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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

alteran Re:Real men (430 comments)

Agreed.

The reason documentation sucks in Linux is because programmers are writing it. It's not because of the myth that programmers can't write, it's because writing is not really their passion-- creating the programs is. I mean, give me a choice between fixing/improving my code and documenting it, and the choice is pretty damn obvious.

One thing I learned in my tech writing days-- programming ALWAYS outpaces code. ALWAYS. A business can keep that in check (or not, which is frequently and increasingly the case), but in FOSS the programmers are just going to run away with their passions (and rightfully so) while the documentation lags. Someone might try to write some documentation for software they love after the fact, but the FOSS release cycle is such that the documentation will be outdated before it's completed. Very unsatisfying.

Bad documentation is the price we pay for FOSS. Generally, I think FOSS is worth it.

If I had money lying around, I'd try to setup a clearinghouse for web boards dedicated to answering questions as they come up, and create the best damn search interface I could. In short, a better system of what we kinda of have now.

about three weeks ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

alteran Re:Fuck Obamacare (723 comments)

Pre-tax deductions have not changed. I don't know what wacko changes have changed your taxes, but it ain't ACA.

about 5 months ago
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Samsung And Docomo Reportedly Working on Tizen Phone

alteran Re:What is the point (88 comments)

There's not a lot in it for the consumer. Surprise!

For Samsung, however, moving away from Android likely gets them out of an expensive and pointless proxy war with Apple. That's a big deal for Samsung.

Apple's Android vendetta has been about Holy Vengeance Upon Google from the beginning, not really about Samsung. If Samsung could gain a platform that they won't be sued over for including basic functions, Samsung could get back to the business of making smartphones, rather than being a professional defendant.

Making smartphones is actually something Samsung does phenomenally well. Also, Tizen is targeted at other gadgets (read: tablets and smart TVs), other areas of Samsung strength.

The downside for Samsung is that Tizen does not yet have an app-building community like iOS or Android, and it would take years to build one. This looks like Samsung testing waters to me.

about a year and a half ago
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Lenovo Building Manufacturing Plant in North Carolina

alteran Re:Real Time Protocol (120 comments)

Also, the "stone's throw" is like about an hour at highway speeds. Some throw. ;-)

about 2 years ago
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Google Accused of Interfering With South Korean FTC Investigation

alteran Re:Android is Open... (186 comments)

Although the source code is open, part of the value proposition is to access the Android store. Google, by tying together search and access to the android store, is doing "bundling". Since they are probably a monopoly, this bundling of services may be illegal as is reduces competition (in search and in store services).

There's nothing that forces the device to use Android Market. Cell companies can and do provide alternatives, sometimes making them the dominant app store or eliminating the Android Market entirely.

more than 2 years ago
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Feature Phones Make Java ME, Not Android, the #2 Mobile Internet OS

alteran Re:Just another... (286 comments)

Where does it say this is about web site views?

And the answer is "Where it says it's about measured browser usage data in the first line of the summary".

Or if you actually read the article (yeah. right - you couldn't even read the first line of the summary), click on any of the links in the table and select by browser.

(Sigh).

Does it really have to be this way?

Despite your mean-spirited assertion, clicking the link DOES NOT provide any information about whether this is market share by: total browser views, unique browser, etc. It just asserts the nebulous term "market share" without any real explanation of what that meant or how it's calculated. When you click on the table link as you suggest, it just shows a breakdown by month. Click on the browser type, and it just shows the first table again, except only for whatever browser you chose. It doesn't answer my question at all.

Kind of like you.

Obviously, the Slashdot summary doesn't seem backed up by the document linked. You'd think you'd have noticed this since you read so diligently, but maybe flaming is more important to you.

The only thing dumber than a stupid RTFA flame is a RTFA flame where the flamer didn't really read the article or bother to understand the post. Grow up.

more than 2 years ago
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Feature Phones Make Java ME, Not Android, the #2 Mobile Internet OS

alteran Re:Android tablets too (286 comments)

If they're talking about traffic VOLUME, how can you possibly compare internet access by Android when all those iPads are being lumped in here with the mobile phones?

Why wouldn't Archos, Acer Iconia, ASUS Eee Pad, Motorola Xoom, B&N Nook Color, Amazon Kindle Fire, and other tablets running Android be lumped in with Android traffic volume?

They would be. Do you think the numbers of Android tabs versus iOS tabs are so close as to be a wash?

more than 2 years ago
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Feature Phones Make Java ME, Not Android, the #2 Mobile Internet OS

alteran Re:Just another... (286 comments)

This is not about installations, this is about web site views.

Where does it say this is about web site views?

more than 2 years ago
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Feature Phones Make Java ME, Not Android, the #2 Mobile Internet OS

alteran Re:Just another... (286 comments)

Six months now.

With these statistics, it's just damn clear that the average Android user isn't using their phones for anything but "dumb phone with nice screen+keyboard" activities.

I'm not sure how you get that conclusion based on this. This metric appears to be saying nothing about how much devices are being used to do specific stuff, but we just don't know.

The metric here is, "Mobile/Tablet Top Operating System Share Trend", which is a pretty nebulous title. Share of what? Market share? How was it determined -- sales? Web access traffic at specific websites? IP traffic through certain ISPs? Which ones?

If they're talking about traffic VOLUME, how can you possibly compare internet access by Android when all those iPads are being lumped in here with the mobile phones? Surely iPad internet use-- streaming, for example, absolutely crushes internet use on smartphones.

I find it disappointing that NetMarketShare doesn't explain what it is they are measuring. If we knew what they were REALLY measuring, these numbers would provide some insight. But without knowing what these numbers are actually based on, it's just an excuse for everybody to just repeat what they always say anyway about iOS / Android / whatever.

more than 2 years ago
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Carrier IQ Software May Be in iOS, Too

alteran Re:Why would Apple need something like this... (234 comments)

This is flamebait but the parent isn't? Give me a break.

The above post made a legitimate point-- Apple is ALONE among the handset manufacturers in putting this crapware on their phone. We know this for many reasons, not least because Apple explicitly says they don't allow carriers to mitigate the Apple experience. It's possible some of the other manufacturers have done this, but since the carriers have the ability to do this themselves on the other platforms, it makes a lot of sense that they put this on when they put all their other junk on.

On the flip side, CIQ appears less nefarious on iOS and is certainly easier to disable. I can't believe I've got to root and mod my Samsung Vibrant to get this crapware off it.

more than 2 years ago
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Mystery of Vanishing iTunes Credit Shows No Sign of Fading

alteran Re:Great (195 comments)

I don't get why you're complaining. It's clear that the users were holding their iTunes accounts wrong.

more than 2 years ago
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Analysis of Google's Motorola Acquisition

alteran Re:It is jut fun to see that (311 comments)

>Apple and Microsoft pundits worry about this deal more than Google analytics. I'm not
>saying that Google did it with ease in heart, but more or less they outplayed Billy and Jobs.

Billy is semi-retired. Google outplayed The Steves.

about 3 years ago
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Analysis of Google's Motorola Acquisition

alteran Re:The danger of having too much cash (311 comments)

> For a tiny fraction of what they spent to buy MM they could have designed a new
> mobile OS from the ground up and gotten some great press.

And what would have stopped AppleSoft from suing this NEW phone OS into oblivion using the same BS patents? Anyone? Buehler?

You can't engineer around patents that cover obvious functions. Apple has made it, uhm, patently clear they were going to destroy Android with BS patent litigation. Now that Google has tons of mobile patents-- some of the earliest and most basic in the business-- destroying Android via litigation just went from foregone conclusion to longshot.

Was it worth 12.5 billion to save a whole ecosystem? Now that's a reasonable debate. With so many enemies teaming up against Google to beat them by any means necessary, I say yes. Google needed weapons in the patent war. Badly. Now they've got them.

about 3 years ago
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Google Responds To Net Neutrality Reviews

alteran Re:competitive? (265 comments)

Amen. Even this Google fanboy is having a hard time seeing this as anything but evil.

about 4 years ago
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Senate Approves the ______Act Of____

alteran Congressional Procedure (571 comments)

This is pretty pathetic.

I do know that by Constitutional mandate, the Senate cannot create legislation, they can only amend it. However, the Constitution places no limit on how thoroughly they can amend it.

Frequently, the Senate will just strike the entire contents of a bill, fill it with something entirely different, which the gets sent to the House. This is something the House is understands and accepts, and frequently encourages, particularly in times when the Senate is the big hurdle to clear.

Obviously, they should at least name the friggin' bill.

I heard that right before the Senate recessed, the Senate passed the bill to get money to the states. Could this be it?

about 4 years ago
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Senate Approves the ______Act Of____

alteran Re:Partisan politics is immature bigotry. (571 comments)

Hey, it's just coincidence that the Tea Party happens to be 89% Republican (or voters that voted Republican) in the last 5 elections.

And who weren't against ridiculous spending and waste 3 years ago.

about 4 years ago
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Google Researcher Issues How-To On Attacking XP

alteran Re:I Don't Think Zero-Day Means What You Think (348 comments)

Dictionary.com defines zero-day as an unpatched bug. When I went to OneLook, half the sites that had definitions listed zero-day as unknown-to-provider bugs, half as unpatched.

Seems there's some ambiguity in the term.

more than 4 years ago
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Will Adobe Sue Apple Over Flash?

alteran Re:I'm conflicted (980 comments)

He's not an idiot - he's just been looking around.

If I go to the Walmart across the street from where I work in their cellphone accessory section I can pick up any number of iPhone cases/chargers/docks from about 15+ different manufacturers, yet they have nothing specific for Blackberry, or Symbian phones (which are supposed to be the most popular smart phone platform world-wide).

While your there take a look at their stereos - notice something odd? There's an iPhone dock where the tape deck used to be. When you feel you can't enter the boombox market without an iphone dock attached - I think your approaching ubiquity if not monopoly like status.

In fact if some random person on the street told me that they had a smart phone - it would be a safe bet it was made by Apple.

Excellent point. Somebody mod parent up, please.

I don't think Apple/iPhone qualifies for monopoly status, but you can see how their mindshare is squeezing competitors out. Competitors aren't allowed to hook up to those built-in docks and other connections are unavailable, or second-class. The supposedly teeny-tiny Apple share of the smartphone market is going to ultimately break Flash as most sites will want to support iPhone and won't want to have to develop the site twice. (I actually like this because Flash is the Typhoid Mary of plugins, but I'm not thrilled with the cause)

Apple doesn't technically have a monopoly, but wow do their anti-competitive practices have the same effect.

more than 4 years ago
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Will Adobe Sue Apple Over Flash?

alteran Re:I'm conflicted (980 comments)

Satan was an investment banker, not a lawyer. Lawyers have their limits.

more than 4 years ago
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Will Adobe Sue Apple Over Flash?

alteran Re:I'm conflicted (980 comments)

I appreciate the attempt at ad hominem, but it's not merely "pragmatic" to accept that we have a precarious economy that would not take well the loss of a significant number of jobs. Do I think the insurance companies should eventually go the way of the dodo? Yes. Do I think health care reform was needed now? Yes. Do I think that if we implemented single payer and made the insurance companies go away in one fell swoop, it'd deal an enormous blow to a large part of our economy? Yes.

So how do you recommend we reconcile those, or would you answer differently to any of those questions?

Enjoy the silence. I don't think you're going to get an answer here, for obvious reasons.

more than 4 years ago

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