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Political Science Prof Asks: Is Algebra Necessary?

fean Re:yes (1010 comments)

If I have $50, and I have to buy lunch every work day for two weeks, how much can I spend on average?
X = $50 / (2 weeks * 5 days)
X = $50 / 10
X = $5

This is a hard question for people who don't know algebra. Those who DO know algebra do most of the math in their head because it's so ingrained.

The fact that you don't realize you're using algebra every day should be taken as how vital it is to teach it.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Making JavaScript Tolerable For a Dyed-in-the-Wool C/C++/Java Guy?

fean It's a good time to look, but I wouldn't jump in (575 comments)

Take a look at Sencha / ExtJS... It's aimed squarely at enterprise-level developers/engineers, not the script-kiddies that rant and rave about the cool shit they can do because they've overwritten a 'built-in' type. It should work with Google Closure, as well...

IDEs are in terrible shape. There's WebStorm and Aptana... neither of which hold a candle to what you're used to, but it's better than notepad/textmate. I'm an linux/eclipse guy, but can't get used to the ways that Aptana breaks shit, so I tend to jump back and forth between WebStorm and SublimeText (it looks nice, but it's not 'all there').

There are some good books out there, JS: The Good Parts, Eloquent Javascript (free)... and I'm starting on Test-Driven Javascript Development, though I can't say if it's any good yet...

I'd recommend doing a little bit on the side, get your feet wet, but don't commit yet. Thinks have changed a lot in the last year or two, and nearly everyone and their dog is becoming an HTML5/JS Dev. You're behind the curve already, and will have a hard time getting ahead, so I'd wait until the editors and browser compatibility is better before diving in.... don't ignore it, and if you can find someone who will pay you to torture yourself, do it... but don't be too anxious.

more than 2 years ago
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Adobe Releases Flash 11 and AIR 3

fean Re:bias? (174 comments)

I'd like to direct you at the Flex SDK, which is FOSS:
http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/flexsdk/Flex+SDK

As far as Flex goes, The most complicated UI element that you don't have source for is the Sprite element, which is analogous to a Canvas in HTML/JS...

Now, linux on Flash has been buggy, it's true... but it has been improving over the years, at least it isn't getting worse.

(on re-read, it appears that you were talking about 'security controls', which I'm not sure I understand... what security controls do browsers provide, that Flash doesn't benefit from (and constrained by)? In fact, Flash had additional XSD protection LONG before HTML/JS ever did.. though crossdomain.xml is horrible, it's at least possible to setup in 15 mins, unlike HTML/JS Same-Origin crap.)

more than 2 years ago
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Adobe Releases Flash 11 and AIR 3

fean Re:bias? (174 comments)

Have you looked into the differences in the event dispatching models between IE and Firefox? How about the different ways to deal with URLS, or the different reactions to mixed SSL content across browsers.

You've obviously not developed a cross-browser application in HTML/Javascript... it requires the use of libraries to abstract away all of these differences, such as YUI, jQuery, prototype, dojo, or closure (plus MANY more). This creates multiple subsets of developers and methodology in the HTML/JS community, making it time-consuming to acclimate new developers as they join new teams. This makes it difficult to recruit developers in a scalable manner, unlike most other development platforms (including, but not limited to, Flash).

Don't get me wrong, I like HTML/JS, but it is significantly easier to develop *large* applications in Flash/Actionscript than HTML/JS. Smaller apps, single-page-scripts are better in HTML/JS, but unless you're using a sledgehammer like Google Closure or GWT, large Web App Development is still confined to Flash/AS.

more than 2 years ago
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Adobe Releases Flash 11 and AIR 3

fean Re:Proxy support? (174 comments)

As a developer who uses a proxy to debug Flash/Flex applications all day, every day, I can assure you that Flash 10.x does, in fact, support using the browser's proxy settings.

If not, this tool wouldn't work:
http://www.charlesproxy.com/

I'm assuming that there is something subtle about your proxy use that is causing the issue... because if millions of people weren't able to play farmville or watch youtube in their corporate cubicle, Google and Zynga and Facebook and nearly everyone else would be crying foul.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Changes App Ranks, Rejects Pay Per Install

fean Re:"Freemium"? (94 comments)

While I agree that Freemium isn't new, I don't think that it meets your definition for 'crippleware'. For instance, Dropbox, Pandora and Rhapsody both offer free services that are enough for a majority of users. Dropbox has a 5-9% rate (depending on who is giving the numbers) of paying customers... the rest are using the free product. The free product isn't crippled, or have 'anti-features'... The only thing you pay for is additional space. Rhapsody offers free stations, and a limited ability to listen to specific songs. Pandora gives free stations, and a limited ability to skip over songs you don't like. Hell, even Redhat offers it's OS as 'Freemium'... you get 'premier support' if you pay for it ;-)

Demo != freemium
Shareware != freemium

Economics evolves as well, trying to keep up with technology. Things change, regardless of how much grumpy old men complain about it.

more than 3 years ago
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Bug Forces Android Devices Off Princeton Campus Network

fean Re:WTF? (309 comments)

To be technically correct, they haven't 'closed' the honeycomb source, they just haven't opened it yet.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Is the Universal Gesture Navigation Set?

fean Re:FUD much? (177 comments)

Overreact much? What 'competitor's product' are you talking about? No app is specified in the question.

The OP didn't say he couldn't figure it out, or even that it was hard. Just that apps haven't standardized. The only reason Android doesn't get called out is that A) so few people have Xooms, and B) Android apps don't rely on gestures, as they have hardware buttons for 'standard' things like back, menu and search.

The OP isn't asking for anything absurd, and it sounds like Apple has it covered, even if the devs don't all follow it. I'm positive that most Android devs won't look to Apple's docs to determine what gestures do what, so it'd be nice to have some sort of UX-specialized site that attempts to standardize it.

more than 3 years ago
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Flash On Android Fails To Impress

fean Re:The Whole Web! (436 comments)

You also can't control how much JS is run on the page, or Quicktime, or Canvas.... so you have Zero control over how much CPU anything in your browser will use.

more than 3 years ago
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Why Mac OS X Is Unsuitable For Web Development

fean Re:Oh (831 comments)

Personally, I think that Thinkpads are the ultimate dev machines because they give you easy access to all major browsers on all major platforms (that is > 5% market share for our target demographic, which excludes any specific mac/browser combination), has awesome editors, great support for all 'alternative' technologies except for git.

But I also agree that this is a troll flamebait that demonstrates just how little thought can go into an article that appears on /. Just because I have a preference for one platform doesn't mean that other platforms are 'unsuitable'. I know a few developers who love their Macs and wouldn't change... most of those are converts from design/marketing, but that doesn't make them any less a developer, and their preferences any less valid.

more than 3 years ago
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Steve Jobs Questioned In iTunes Monopoly Suit

fean Re:ridiculous (370 comments)

It does have a monopoly on software that is 'allowed' to transfer music files onto the iPod.

Others have tried to write software that communicates with the iPod, however Apple quickly changes their schemes and then threatens legal action for reverse engineering.

Having a monopoly on software that you wrote for your hardware is, again, NOT ILLEGAL. However, abusing this status IS ILLEGAL.

more than 3 years ago
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Steve Jobs Questioned In iTunes Monopoly Suit

fean Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (370 comments)

Not about DRM, about directly transferring music to the iPod, rather than having to go through iTunes.

Nice try, though! (not that I disagree with Real + Broken DRM)

more than 3 years ago
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Steve Jobs Questioned In iTunes Monopoly Suit

fean Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (370 comments)

How many commercial applications can copy songs to an iPod?

-none-

Because Apple prevents competition with legal threats. They can't block Linux/Open Source, but they do prevent commercial competition, which is what is illegal. This suit is about the iTunes application, not the music store.

more than 3 years ago
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Steve Jobs Questioned In iTunes Monopoly Suit

fean Re:ridiculous (370 comments)

OK, because everyone seems to forget this, every time the 'monopoly' work is brought up.

It is not illegal to have a monopoly. It is illegal to abuse a monopoly.

They are not being sued because everyone uses them, they're being sued because they used their monopoly status to limit competition.

more than 3 years ago
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Adobe Releases Flash To HTML 5 Converter

fean Re:I'm amazed (168 comments)

You've always been able to export flash to svg, png, even movies... Problem is that no browsers support the actual SVG spec.

more than 3 years ago
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Adobe Releases Flash To HTML 5 Converter

fean Re:Meh (168 comments)

It can't be type-safe, and it can't support real classes. You can't have two javascript 'classes' named the same thing without a collision. You can't have private variables, you can't have getter/setter functions.

ECMA chose to abandon ECMA4 because the majority of javascript developers were too... remedial... to understand such advanced concepts as 'classes'. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of VERY talented developers doing amazing things in Javascript, but their life would be made much easier if they had moved to ECMA4.

more than 3 years ago
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Adobe Releases Flash To HTML 5 Converter

fean Re:Meh (168 comments)

HTML5 doesn't scare them because it has feature parity with Flash 4.

Their plugin will keep innovating and optimizing, and HTML will pick up the pieces that iOS users miss the most. Their plugin has a very LONG future ahead of it. In the time it's taken between HTML4 (1997) and HTML5(2014), Flash will have released 11 or 12 versions. (that's ALL of them)

more than 3 years ago
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Adobe Releases Flash To HTML 5 Converter

fean Re:Finally, but (168 comments)

They're moving more compositing over to the GPU, with the addition of StageVideo and soon, MoleHill 3D API.

They had every reason and incentive to improve the compositing, etc, however some unnamed OperatingSystemXs would not let them have access to the GPU pipeline. Now that they have, Adobe has made a very strong movement towards using it as much as possible. And towards being as open about the new and upcoming tech as a corporation is likely to be.

more than 3 years ago
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Adobe Releases Flash To HTML 5 Converter

fean Re:Finally, but (168 comments)

You're suggesting that Adobe hasn't 'improved things', when in fact, they've been releasing new versions faster than ever before. 10.2 was just recently released, with support for 'StageVideo', allowing HD movies to be rendered via the graphics pipeline, giving native performance because it uses your hardware.

They improved their cursor support, hooking into the OS to provide 'native' cursors, rather than just drawing them in Flash.

IE rendering speed was increased by 33% due to new hooks into their 'native' graphics pipeline, they improved their OSX integration, however they didn't release performance numbers.

Their sub-pixel rendering has been updated, removing optimizations for CRTs, giving crisper, cleaner lines on IPS displays.

10.3 beta was just announced, which will provide echo cancellation for audio input, improved analytics for video-based sites, integration into browser privacy settings (no more super-cookie), and a 'local' settings panel for all Plugin settings.

Also on their labs site is their 'incubator', which provides a full and true 3D rendering API, though the release date for this has not been announced.

So, while you can speculate on what their incentives might be, you certainly cannot fault Adobe for not updating and improving their plugin.

more than 3 years ago

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