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Kim Dotcom Says Legal Fight Has Left Him Broke

seoras Re:Here's a plan (98 comments)

If he'd changed his name to Kim Turkey he might have gotten a Presidential Pardon today.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/every-thanksgiving-the-president-pardons-a-turkey-or-two-whats-the-point/2014/11/20/1b6a69da-63ab-11e4-836c-83bc4f26eb67_story.html

yesterday
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Apple Swaps "Get" Button For "Free" To Avoid Confusion Over In-App Purchases

seoras Bigger picture (103 comments)

This is just another symptom of all that's going badly wrong for software engineers as a profession.

In all other "professional" disciplines (law, medicine, financial, engineering etc) your worth increases with age - except software engineering.
In software engineering you are viewed as "expensive and outdated" once you reach middle age.
You wouldn't get a graduate lawyer to handle your divorce, a graduate med to operate on you, or a graduate to return your business accounts.
Yet graduates are just fine, cheap and dandy for writing that great App idea you have which is going to make you rich and pay for their subways for a couple of weeks.
I'll be pointing this out to my kids if they try to follow me into the profession I thought was a good bet.

The consumers view of software is that it's "valueless", free and their birth right to obtain it without cost.
Which is why they get pissed if they are asked for even a tiny amount of cash to use it.
I get regular hate emails from people who download my Apps, which give them enough to try out the product before they purchase, telling me how much I suck.
My standard response to them is "beggars and buskers make more and give you less. You'd think nothing of tossing 99c in the hat of a stranger on the street yet you can take the time to email me telling me that my months of labor aren't worth the same?"
One person even replied with "I'm sorry for my attitude".

So now it's gotten to the political level and Apple has side stepped the issue with a single word change.
What a cop out.

Those who say Apple gear is expensive fail to realise that the company is including in the cost the huge investment in their software development.
You buy your Mac/Pad/Phone and each year, for about 4 or 5 years, you get free annual software updates and bug fixes.
Microsoft never did that, they charged you and worse...
Giving it away for free, Google, is worse as it just strengthens this consumer perception that software is valueless.
What the consumer doesn't realise is that with Google they are the product which is being sold to pay for their development.

So the cost of software is hidden by the big guys, either in the shelf price of the hardware or the services sold through it.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in re-inventing the wheel and we would never have gotten here without free software.
Kudos to those upon who's shoulders we stand.

As an App developer you have 3 choices.
1) Paid Upfront App - too much risk consumers think, it might be crap. Resulting in low install numbers
2) In-App purchase - great except for the winning free loaders who spoil it for everyone else.
3) Advertising - Unless you can get serious volume of installs and session length it's not going to pay.
There is a 4th one, which is services, but not all Apps can sell services.

On a final note I've seen my daily App installs plummet since the introduction of "GET".
I don't blame Apple, I blame the perception of those consumers who think they have the right to someone else's work for free.

about a week ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

seoras Sensationalist bullshit (327 comments)

Apple didn't disable TRIM. They just tightened up security around Kernel modifications.
I did 3 things to my desktop in October.
1.Updated it to OSX10.10
2.Bought and installed my first SSD.
3.Installed a 3rd party TRIM driver and in doing so switched off OSX10.10's kernel security so it would be unhindered.
Then I read today "Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X".
Talk about BS...

Slashdot.org should be renamed "linuxandroidgeek.religion"
It's pathetic, it's bad enough with main stream media having political bias without technology media getting all one sided.

about two weeks ago
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Preferred smartphone screen size?

seoras Larger = Healthier (258 comments)

I'll be 46 in a couple of weeks and if I feel my age anywhere it's in my eye sight.
I can't read labels anymore without reading glasses.
Loved my iPhone 5S, there was just no reason to upgrade this year - except maybe 2.
The 1st reason was I develop iPhone Apps, so I really need to get a 6 Plus to test on, especially with it's iPad-esq UI.
The 2nd reason is that I can not read text on the 4" screen without squinting.
I can read anything on the 6+ screen comfortably.
The iPhone 5S feels like a little toy now I've had the 6+ for a few weeks, I couldn't go back to it.

There's a final bonus.
I don't carry the 6+ around everywhere with me, it's just too cumbersome for pockets.
Which I think is healthier, it's making me less attached to the device.

about a month ago
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Europol Predicts First Online Murder By End of This Year

seoras More fear mongering. (155 comments)

F.U.D http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

Anyone else getting a bit fed up with all this fear BS?
I'm I alone in feeling like our governments are treating us like a herd of sheep using fear to herd us and control us?

Only earlier today we had a post about giving up freedoms so we can be better protected.
http://news.slashdot.org/story/14/10/07/0235241/brits-must-trade-digital-freedoms-for-safety-says-crime-agency-boss

Now another article where we are again being told that a free internet is a physical threat to us and we can be murdered online. ...."found that governments are not equipped to fight the growing threat of "online murder", ..".
The solution - give up our freedom online.

How long until a post like this is blacked out as "unsafe".
Who is it really unsafe for?

about 1 month ago
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Brits Must Trade Digital Freedoms For Safety, Says Crime Agency Boss

seoras "The Joke" - Milan Kundera (264 comments)

Milan Kundera's book "The Joke" is fascinating insight into what happened in a Soviet block country (Czech) when someone wrote a joke to a friend on a postcard which the authorities saw and used.
We used to look at the East and feel good in ourselves that we weren't being watched and that we had freedoms they didn't. Not any more....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Joke_(novel)

about 1 month ago
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Brits Must Trade Digital Freedoms For Safety, Says Crime Agency Boss

seoras Full. Of. Shit. (264 comments)

The best thing to come out of the recent referendum on Scottish Independance has been to re-awaken the British public to politics and government.
It's not enough, there needs to be a more jarring and long lasting wake up call to what politicians are doing for corporates and the establishment under the guise of "public interests".
Mass surveillance isn't protecting us, didn't protect us in the past and certainly won't in the future.
Imagine McCarthyism with full access to your historical digital life to twist into whatever form needed to hound you out of your home, job, school, neighbourhood or even country?
Wake up!

about 2 months ago
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Building Apps In Swift With Storyboards

seoras More worrying implication of devaluation (69 comments)

When I started writing iOS Apps it was at the same time as Interface Builder was released.
As a beginner being able to visualise what was going on made the learning curve a walk up a hill instead of mountaineering.
Even though I've been doing it a while now I still use Storyboards but 50% of the time I find myself removing a view and codifying it.
As a design tool it is wonderful for prototyping.

There was a lot of resistance from the established iOS developers to IB when it first appeared.
I remember being scolded on stockoverflow for using IB and told that I should learn the hard way like they had done.
With Swift I see some parallels, I don't want to have to learn a new language even though it might be simpler and compiles faster code (allegedly).
It raise my hackles because of the time and knowledge I have invested in the status quo to date (ObjC).
In addition to the prospect of Apple ceasing support for ObjC in future Xcode releases forcing me to re-write my Apps in Swift.
I'm sure Swift will make the learning curve easier as IB did for me when I started.

There's a much bigger problem with all this which goes beyond Apple, Xcode & Swift.
As App development and programming becomes simpler and more dumbed down it has the effect of increasing the number of people who are capable of producing a non-complex App.
That drives down the value of an App developer.
It's hard enough making anything from App's without lowering the value in them further.

about 2 months ago
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State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

seoras That tasty forbidden fruit. (335 comments)

More good news for Elon. Telling folks what they can't buy, and making it hard for them to get, just makes it all the more exotic and tempting.

No one enjoys the pressure and pain of car showroom shopping. It's just not consumer friendly.
Yet consumers don't have the right or ability to indicate their distaste.

Besides the electric card appeals to the renegades, the rebels at heart who would be more likely to buy those cars anyway.
So the more corporate backed legislatives try to ban them the more sales they are going to get.

If they really wanted to hurt Tesla they'd just ignore them and not give them air time.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

seoras Re:Don't do apps. (316 comments)

Rare doesn't mean jobs out there, rare can also mean specialised and, depending on where you live, hard to find alternative work when your current job disappears.
I know this from experience, an experience a lot of (soon to be ex) Cisco engineers are going to go through shortly...
Right now App's is where the programming action is. Don't be put off by the volume of Apps being created.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

seoras Support, Knowledge base & Plenty of free Code. (316 comments)

The problem with introducing a new language, no matter how good it is, is that a beginner will find limited online resources.
Stackoverflow.com has been a godsend for me getting into iOS App development.
So too has cocoacontrols.com for finding something I want, which I know someone else will have already written and made free.

Swift on the other hand hasn't been out long enough for there to be enough answers on the knowledge base websites to cover all issues that will arise in the learning curve.
Nor will there be an avalanche of re-writes of the free, object-c, code utilities that are available.
AFNetworking springs to mind, a fabulous effort that has saved so many so much time, bugs and frustration.
You can use a bridge between it and Swift but that's just added complexity and time.

about 2 months ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

seoras Why is this on Slashdot? (494 comments)

It's been bad enough with the BBC acting like Pravda (Irvine Welsh's own words in his recent "Time" article) without having to come to Slashdot and find propaganda here too.
"there will be no local banks, access to EU markets and the freedom of movement will be curtailed,"
Utter and total nonsense.
Scottish citizens are EU citizens regardless of how they vote.
EU will not give up access to the North Atlantic (Iceland & Norway are NOT in the EU).
If Scotland goes then it effectively removes the EU fishing fleet from the richest fishing grounds it has.
"Cutting their nose off to spite their face", would be the best way of describing the fear mongering, yes I used that phrase because it's all we ever get about Independence.
No local banks? Eh? So they will all up sticks just like Westminster has been spinning. Unlikely.

My parting word on this is this.
Regardless of the arguments for or against the "NO" campaign has been a campaign of negativity, fear and doom.
If you know anything about marketing you'll know that consumers don't listen to negatives only positives
and I quote "Pravda"'s Bio on the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond in backing this up.

"It seemed Labour was on course to win the 2011 Scottish election, but Mr Salmond - never to be underestimated - launched into the contest with a positive campaign.
When he came up against Labour's negative, attacking style, Scots voters decided there was no contest - and the SNP was returned with a jaw-dropping landslide win."

Sound familiar?
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-28835771

about 2 months ago
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MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

seoras Re:Military turn on (90 comments)

Delivery service won't work, someone will throw themselves under the dog and then get a slick lawyer.
Amazon's safer in the sky and knows it. ...and it's funded by DARPA, I stopped reading when I got to the video.
So it is military backed.

about 2 months ago
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MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

seoras Military turn on (90 comments)

I can just see the military getting hot and excited about a battle field robot that can run as fast as a cheetah, jump over obstacles, with either a bomb strapped to it's back or a gun of sorts.
Who's funding these guys?
It's great technology but I don't think I'm being too cynical in struggling to imagine any practical applications outside of defence.
Robot greyhound races?

about 2 months ago
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Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"?

seoras Dong's Formula (113 comments)

1. Make a game which is simple to understand but impossibly difficult.
2. Make it free with an iAd banner for revenue.
3. Withdraw the game as soon as the feeding frenzy begins and the media pick up on it.
4. Repeat.

Consumers love nothing more than a freebie in limited supply.
Dong's limited editions.

There's a new iPhone coming out and I'd like to upgrade.
My fingers are crossed that he pulls it so I can sell my current iPhone, with this latest game installed, for twice the price of the new iPhone 6 ;)

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

seoras Devaluation of my profession over time (548 comments)

Software Engineering is the only profession where your perceived value decreases with age.
If I'd chosen, Medicine (Human,Veterinary), Law, Accountancy, Business, etc the older I'd got the more valuable I'd be.
If I'd chosen any other type of engineering the same would apply.
Who's bridge would you want to cross - the civil engineering grads or the guy who's been doing it 20+ years?
There's a real problem with the non-technical populations perception of the value in software because it's beyond their comprehension.
Why would I hire a middle aged guy to write my App when I can pay a student party money to write me one?
Sure, why not get a law student to handle your divorce or your property purchase too?
Then add on top of that the universal nature of software.
You wouldn't get a guy in China or India, at $1 an hour, to advise or complete your tax returns would you?
However you'd happy pay him that to setup a bespoke website with web apps.

about 3 months ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

seoras Dumb paranoia (299 comments)

If the state wants to cut off your mobile phone access they don't need to brick your phone they just ask your carrier to turn off your services.
First its raging against the "Walled Garden" App store, now it's "we don't need no anti-theft kill switch".
Well maybe you don't, my techno friend, but you're in the minority.
The majority of smart phone users do want a device that they
a) can safely install non-trojan software from a verified & reviewed source
b) not be mugged for carrying an expensive toy

about 3 months ago
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Adam Carolla Settles With Podcasting Patent Troll

seoras Re: Lodsys has been very quiet of late (63 comments)

> Unless by innovative you mean dumbing down the user interface even more to appeal to the least common denominator. If so, then there's craploads of innovation.

Oh you mean like Tim Berners-Lee did when he simplified human interaction with shared data on the fledgling internet which had, until then, been useable only by CS academics and a few industrial techs?

Give me craps loads more my friend...

about 3 months ago
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Adam Carolla Settles With Podcasting Patent Troll

seoras Lodsys has been very quiet of late (63 comments)

Lodsys, of "in-app purchases" infamy, have been very quiet of late.
Is the tide finally turning in the favour of innovation and common sense?

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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High School kid builds his own Iron Man costume. "...Google helped a lot"

seoras seoras writes  |  about a year and a half ago

seoras (147590) writes "A teenager has told the BBC that his self-built Iron Man suit has led to offers from the US to create more.
Archie Whitehead, 17, told the BBC's Richard Williams that he spent 300 hours building the fibreglass suit for a school project.
However, he said he is now considering turning the one-off into a career in costume design."

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