Google's Nexus 4, 7, 10 Strategy: Openness At All Costs
I don't know about anyone else, but I think that the size of the Nexus 4 is too big at 4.7". I was hoping for a 4" to 4.3" screen, but Google have really pushed for that extra big handset.
I had heard a rumour that there were going to be several manufacturers involved in the Nexus 4 - Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony - but apparently it's just LG. A shame, as I think that if Google had managed to score a contract with them to produce a variety of Nexus 4 devices, all controlled by Google, they would have produced the ultimate Android phone.
Well, at least there's Cyanogenmod, with it's incoming OTA update feature.
Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Work In IT Freelancing?
Personally, I would recommend that you get a full time job first. After a few years, when you've had time to build up commercial experience and a good couple of names on your CV (resume), you can hop into the freelancing circle.
Freelancers tend to command more money (certainly in the UK a contractor's daily rate will be more than double that of a permanent employee). There are often A LOT of people chasing these jobs, especially these days, and without proven commercial skills and those client names to back up your experience, you could well be ignored.
Start with a full time job first, get the experience and then start offering yourselves as freelance.
For Android Users, 2012 Is Still the Year of Gingerbread
Perhaps a better way would have been for Google not to release the Android source code, but instead to implement it in such a way that it supported a plugin and extension architecture, like Firefox, Chrome and Eclipse.
That way, the OEMs would have been able to tailor the phones to their liking, but wouldn't have been able to tinker directly with the primary Android code. It would mean that updates could easily be pushed to the phones and OEMs would have to do very little work. A preview Jelly Bean could have made available to devs, to ensure their extensions, etc. still worked and then it could have been pushed down to the public.
But then again, it is likely that, should it have used this approach, Android would not have captured the market share it now commands, since fewer OEMs would have picked it up, not wanting to work with closed source.
Ask Slashdot: I Want To Read More. Should I Get an eBook Reader Or a Tablet?
A Kindle will allow you to read books using e-ink, which will be easier on your eyes. The Nexus 7 will provide you with PDF and ePub support, as well as more purchasing options.
Even together, they will both be cheaper than an iPad.
First Pictures of Apple's New Mini Connector
I'm going with the following -
1. No adapter in the box (after all, Apple didn't tell you to buy that accessory)*
2. Adapters will cost $30 each ($10 to make, plus Apple's mark-up, plus tax)**
* - after 9 months of moaning from people who say Apple have screwed them over, Apple will provide all iPhone 5 purchasers with a $5 off voucher, when ordering the adapter direct from their own website.
** - a commenter on the Daily Mail website is claiming that the adapters will only cost $5 each. No chance, sorry. How will Apple make any money off those???
How Will Amazon, Barnes & Noble Survive the iPad Mini?
"Who cares about a possible iPad Mini that isn't drinking the Kool-Aid already? Just another iOS device, they already come with a range of displays, connectivity, etc. If you have already bought into the iOS ecosystem you might want one, otherwise not so much"
And this is where a lot of people (no offence) fail to understand how Apple really operates. Apple will make it their job to ensure that you must have one, that you cannot live without one, that you are a social outcast without one.
They want people to say "Oh, look! A smaller iPad! I didn't want one before, but now that it's smaller, fits in my handbag, and is cute, I want one!"
What will they use it for? Nothing that they can't already do on a computer or a standard iPad, that's for sure. But the fact that it's yet another Apple Fashion Accessory, they will buy buy buy buy buy! Because if you don't have one, you're weird.
I don't have an iPhone or an iPod. I have an HTC Desire and a Sandisk Sansa (with Rockbox). What do people say to me?
"Why do you use that? Why don't you get an iPhone/iPod? Everyone else has one."
And when the iPad Mini comes out, it will be like no 7" tablet existed before it, and that Apple has reinvented the market again. Everything else will be a copy (like those copycat Asians at Samsung). We all know it to be true - this is what the general public will believe.
 - I don't believe there actually is a tablet market. Just an iPad market. No one wants tablets, just something that makes them look cool and hip. Like everyone else.
No Bomb Powerful Enough To Destroy an On-Rushing Asteroid, Sorry Bruce Willis
It's just a fucking movie.
Google+ Account Suspended? You Won't Find Out Why
Google has a real name policy on Google+. However, Dan Tynan's profile wasn't using his real name. He was on G+ as Dan Tynan, whereas if you go to Wikipedia, you can see that his real name is Daniel Tynan.
(in all seriousness, I wouldn't be surprised if it was something as pedantic as this!)
Facebook Abstainers Could Be Labeled Suspicious
I've had a Facebook account for years. I've even made one for each of the little voices in my head, too :)
Ask Slashdot - Careers In Computer Science That Keep You Physically Active?
- If you can, walk to work instead of driving, etc. Walking at a brisk pace over a fair distance is a good way to keep in shape.
- If you get a bus / subway / tube, then consider getting off a few stops early and walking the rest of the way.
As others have said, do some exercise before going to work, or even when coming back. You can knock out 120 sit ups or push ups in quite a timely manner by doing them in sets. Do 15, then rest. 15, then rest. 15, then rest.
Avoid the lifts / elevators, and take the stairs.
Go for a walk at lunch time. 45 minutes, and then grab a sandwich on the way back. A brisk pace is probably important here.
Some places of work have gyms. Make full use of them when you can.
The reason I don't suggest running or biking is that some would rather not arrive at work a need to shower. If that doesn't bother you, then biking would be a good thing (could also save money, too!). You could also go for a run at lunch times, twice a week or so, and grab a sandwich or a bring a packed lunch to eat afterwards.
SQL Vs. NoSQL: Which Is Better?
I've been coding professionally for 11 years, have been hobby coding for about 20.
Recently, I've been exposed to Agile, Scrum, XP, TTD, User Stories, Sprints, Pair Programming, and now NoSQL. All these things, I have to say, are contributing massively to my strong considerations to hang up my mouse and keyboard.
My first experience of Agile was working for an investment bank where they decided that, no matter if the code was buggy or was only partly complete, we would push it out to the clients. No problem, our next sprint would fix the bugs. Another project I worked on saw me having to attend hours and hours of meetings, filling out small cards to stick to white boards, listening to people who have no relevance to my project talking about what they were doing, and constantly giving estimates to project managers so that they could make further adjustments to later sprints. When I finally sat down to code that day, it was about 3 lines. I wasn't allowed to work on anything else, because that hadn't been assigned to this sprint. Fun.
I recently had a telephone interview with a man who spoke to me for 40 minutes straight about agile and did not ask me one single technical question. Nothing on Java, Spring, Hibernate, XML, SQL, or anything else listed on my CV. He even wanted to know whether I used physical note paper or software for details the tasks and user stories. When he asked me two days later if I would like to come in for an interview, I declined. I want to code, not work for a bureaucracy.
I'm not even sure what Agile is, to be honest. I think it's just some fancy term used by managers to make it sound as if they're being efficient and know what's happening.
One has to wonder exactly what was wrong with the previous approaches. We all still had working software 6 years ago, from what I remember ...
BT Sues Google Over Android
"Why doesn't British Telecom file suit in their own country? Serious patent holders would, at least in my guess, have a home turf advantage."
Probably because it would eventually be referred to a court in the EU, and the judge would simply tell BT to fuck off.
Ask Slashdot: Protecting Tech Gear From Smash-and-Grab Theft?
Most thieves are opportunists, and unless they've been watching you and really, really, REALLY want what you've got, then simply locking the car securely is your best bet.
The other night, I was walking home (about 11:30pm, through East London), and there was a guy walking toward me. He was testing the door handles of each car he passed, until finally one opened. He took the stuff out that he found, throwing some of it away and pocketing whatever else it was he got.
I stood staring at him as he did this, quite incredulous that he would do this right in front of me, and he just looked at me and said, "Well, should've locked their car, shouldn't they?" and walked off, carrying on.
I didn't do anything because this was a very tall bloke, and was probably carrying a knife. I didn't call the police either, since, this being East London, he was no doubt part of a gang and knowing my luck I'd walk into him the following week.
So, lock your car and don't keep anything of value on show. Thieves won't smash EVERY car they come to - only the ones they know they can get stuff out of.
Amazon Is Recruiting Authors For Its eBook Library
My publishers don't give me stats that distinguish what ebook readers are purchasing my books, so I really don't know what percentage the kindle accounts for.
Based on what I've gleaned so far from my own effort, I'd say that Amazon outsells the other ebook retailers by a considerable amount.
In one month, I might sell 1,000 ebooks on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. In the same month, I will sell about 100 copies through the iBookstore, Smashwords, Kobo and Barnes and Noble combined.
Amazon is a juggernaut that is unlikely to be stopped any time soon. I have to wonder how this will leave publishing in the next ten years. If hardback and paperback sales are slipping as much as people say, and book stores closing at the same rate, then people will end up reading more and more ebooks.
Which means they'll probably buy a Kindle. Which means they'll then probably not want to pay $9 for a book. Which means they'll turn to the free and $2 / $3 books.
Which might mean that you'll start to see traditional publishers outputting less, because they simply can't afford to compete at such a cost level.
But that's just my prediction of the next 10 years. It's probably very wrong.
DoJ Investigates eBook Price Fixing
I've spoken to a few publishers about this sort of thing, and they've told me the following:
You are not and never have been paying for the cost of the book, but the words and the story contained within.
They've never explained why a hardback costs twice as much, though.
They need to charge as much as they do for the cost of a book because they have a number of overheads and they need to get back the advance they paid the author. There is a lot of risk involved in publishing a book, due to the subjective nature of storytelling.
Why pay advances at all? Isn't that basically just a form of credit? Apparently, a lot of books don't earn out their advance. This makes no sense to me, whatsoever. Why not just pay higher royalties quarterly, when you know what the book has actually made. This reduces your risk and allows you to invest the accrued money for a period before handing over the author's share.
If you self publish a book (that they didn't want to publish) then you are both impatient and doing the work of the Devil.
Sure, not every book needs to be published, but given that I've spent around $50 on crap books this year, I don't really think they should get their knickers in a twist over someone selling a book for $3. I'd rather pay $3 on a crap book, than $12. Also, what are they REALLY scared of?
The publishing industry is a really strange beast, that I'm sure which anyone has at one time worked within or tried to get published in probably knows. It's a bit of a circle jerk, with a lot of cliques and infighting. It's also somewhat fascist in places.
Filmmakers Reviving Sci-fi By Going Old School
Although, at the same time I'm a little nervous that this may end up looking a bit too much like Red Dwarf, Space 1999.... or Team Amercia :|
US Senator Proposes Bill To Eliminate Overtime For IT Workers
8 hours work for 8 hours pay.
Don't work for free, people. After all, you're just an employee to them, not a BFF.
I recently saw a guy who had worked at my current place of work get given the shove after nearly 20 years. Escorted him out of the building and everything. He sat in the pub blubbing like a baby and asking how they could be so cruel after everything he'd given them.
I've vowed never to work a minute past what I'm contracted to do, and if I have to I simply come in late the next day.
Ubisoft Blames Piracy For Non-Release of PC Game
What I'd like to see, and something that games companies never seem to provide, is how the sales on each platform stack up against one another.
People say that PC games sell well on Steam (such as Skyrim), but I'd love to see the total sales to date, and how those sales stack up on the PC, the Xbox and the PS3.
After that, maybe we'll get better clarity on why companies seem to be walking away from the PC more and more these days.
Note - I used to game on PC about 10 years ago, but bought into a PS1 to play FF7. I now game exclusively on consoles, since... well, I just find the breadth of games on offer is higher (I imagine that comment will get some people's hackles up, but you simply don't get games like God of War 3, Uncharted, Vanquish or Dark Souls on Windows...)
Google Working To Launch Music Store Soon
A small trend I've noticed is that Google seems to struggle in the areas of music and TV a lot more than say... Apple. Why is that? Is it because they attempt to approach the licensing and royalties in a completely different way? Or is it that Apple, keen to sell hardware, are willing to take such a small slice of money per song / movie / TV show that the studios and labels are taking near 100% of the receipts?
Google TV seems to have gone nowhere. I can't see why, since it works very nicely on paper. Apple on the other hand seem to have zero problems in getting all the latest TV shows onto iTunes.
Have I missed something really obvious? Or are Google too inexperienced in this area to build a good case for using their services?
Google Preps Devs For One-Size-Fits-All Android
... now, if Google could only find a way to be able to push out Android OS updates onto ALL handsets, regardless of manufacturers, we'd be cooking with gas.
Android's greatest asset is that it's open*. Sadly, it's also it's greatest enemy. When Google creates a new version of Android, let's say Jelly Bean, everyone should be to upgrade to it, regardless of whether HTC, Samsung, LG, etc. made the phone.
Unfortunately, the manufacturers like to tweak stuff, almost to the point where things like Facebook are tied into the sodding ROM.
If Google can find a way around this and still allow the partners to pop out the phones, then you'll soon find that the only barrier to the upgrades will be your phone simply being too old (not enough RAM, for example).
My HTC Desire will never get an OS higher than 2.2, which is a shame as the OTA update feature sounds pretty cool.
I've no idea how they could do this, but I expect those with more knowledge of how OSes work would be able to answer.
(PS - please don't say that people can just root and install a custom ROM, as the average man on the street has no idea how to do this, and it is he things like this need to consider)
* no, don't start on what Stallman thinks - it's the closest you'll get to a phone that will has a global reach without closing it up entirely. A truly open system would be so fragmented that one would become completely unrecognisable from the other.