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Xiaomi's Next OS Looks Strikingly Similar To iOS

spike_gran If you have the factories, you win (181 comments)

The difficult part of pushing a design to market is building the thing. Once you have a factory, cloning a design and shipping a product is quite easy.

In fact, much of the industrial learning and knowledge comes from managing manufacturing processes.

This was always going to be the end game in the China manufacturing experiment. The USA closes its factories and exports the manufacturing process, but, holds on to "design" and "branding". China clones design and branding. The USA, unable to recreate the factories, becomes vassal to China.

It has happened at different rates for different industries: Giant ate Schwinn. Lenovo is eating IBM. Repeat 1000 times for 1000 corporations.

The only surprise here is that people are surprised.

In my corner of the industry (Aerospace) many government contracts require USA-made parts. Each year more and more subsystems become difficult to obtain from USA sources: Ethernet cards, bulkhead connectors, keyboards, etc.

about a month and a half ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

spike_gran Kind of like supermarket loyalty schemes (353 comments)

One can draw an analogy between this and supermarket club cards, where you *can* buy groceries without one, but, it is 25% more expensive.

In this future, you can buy insurance without pervasive monitoring, but, it'll cost you extra.

about 3 months ago
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GNU Make 4.0 Released

spike_gran Re:I'm ready to replace Make (179 comments)

In the mailing lists, the maintainer of Make implied that the Guile integration was put there essentially as a hedge. People would ask for extensions to Make that he didn't want to commit to, so now the Guile is there so that people can extend make their own way.

I would imaging that the Guile stuff would be valuable to do complicated pattern substitutions than Make can easily handle. It is trivial in GNU Make to convert a variable containing a list of *.c files to a list of *.o files, etc. But something more complicated of that nature is where a Guile extension would come in.

about a year ago
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New Unix Implementation Turns 30

spike_gran Re:Raise a glass to you, RMS (290 comments)

He may not have accomplished everything he set out to do, but, he certainly accomplished a great deal.

And while RMS and GNU alone didn't succeed at creating a free software OS and development stack, they got the ball rolling, and it exists now.

1 year,4 days
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Where Have All the Gadgets Gone?

spike_gran Good Enough (278 comments)

In the TFA, he speculates that these multipurpose devices are now "good enough" to suit most needs, and I think that is true, But it is true that the quality of our audio and video experience seems to have gotten worse of the last couple of years.

When it look at the pictures, or listen to the audio generated by the phones and tablets, or watch the video. It works, but, it just isn't very good.

What's happening is that the middle layer of high-end consumer products are just vanishing: everything is either multipurpose devices or pro devices.

For me, anyway, I still use digital camera and I still use dedicated audio that I used to play CDs and records. I'm a grumpy old man, I guess, but, it sounds better.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Phases Out XNA and DirectX?

spike_gran Re:Good news for Linux (256 comments)

I use Linux, but a spend more time in Windows and its not just because of games. If Linux natively ran something as good as Visual Studio + C# + MSDN, I'd be running Linux far more often. I don't have the time or the patience to exhaustively sift through API references any longer.

Absolutely. I spend a lot of time coding using the whole C + EMACS + Autotools + 100 random barely documented libraries that have been cobbled together to form the GNOME GNU Linux API. I care about software freedom. But Visual Studio and C# and MSDN is just so clean and complete and well documented. It really improves productivity. One day coding on Visual Studio == 3 days coding in C on EMACS.

about a year and a half ago
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For 1 kWh of electricity, I pay ...

spike_gran Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (216 comments)

Los Angeles is somewhat unusual for California in that its electricity generation is owned by the city, instead of being a privatized monolopy.

It is a 3 Tier system, where, during the summer, the 1st tier (350 kWh per month) is the cheapest and the 3rd is the most expensive. Oddly, during the winter, all three tiers cost the same. Go figure.

Anyway, looks like a kWh costs about 0.14USD on Tier 1. I don't have air conditioning, so it would be pretty hard to exceed 350 kWh. 350 kWh works out to an average power consumption of 500W constantly all month long. I use about half that.

about 2 years ago
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Is SaaS Killing Native Linux App Development?

spike_gran Re:App to edit photos and make illustrations (330 comments)

That's a fair point. I guess I do think of a photo editor as part of the dev environment, but, that is really stretching the definition of "dev environment" too far.

But the point I was trying to make, I guess, is that the native apps I use are used in my role as a developer. Rarely do I use native apps in the role of end user.

more than 2 years ago
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Is SaaS Killing Native Linux App Development?

spike_gran Does anyone use Linux native apps? (330 comments)

Despite being in free software for a bajillion years and using it as my desktop, I can't say that I've used any native Linux apps for anything really. For the past few years, it has just been a way to get a webbrowser running and to get online, and as a place to cache content. I also use Emacs and the dev environment to make my own (web) apps, and Apache to serve them.

The only native apps I use are games that need native audio/video control.

more than 2 years ago
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How the Social Tech Bubble Is Different

spike_gran Re:No easy answers (388 comments)

I read on the intarwebz that you need 0.1 acres to feed a person. So if I'm going to give up my software job and become a subsistence farmer here in LA, I just need to buy a couple of houses so I can farm.

So all I need is $500k in startup capital and I'm good to go.

more than 3 years ago
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How the Social Tech Bubble Is Different

spike_gran No easy answers (388 comments)

I think the real question from TFA is if we all do pointless crap like market analysis, marketing, branding, and search engine optimization like the guy in the article, are we going to someday have a future where these skills can no longer be converted into food and shelter through the magic of the market.

For a while now, I've been wondering what the purpose of the USA economy is.

There are the basics, of course. I work so that I can have food, water, clothing, shelter, free time, fun. But it is through the magic of the world economy that I get those things by writing software specifications and unit tests. The economy somehow figures out how many lines of code I need to write to buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk.

I suppose I don't worry too much about the fact that most of the work we do is of dubious importantance, so long as it is still convertible into food and shelter. But there is a tipping point somewhere. If everyone in the USA worked making click-through ads, we'd reach a point where no amount of work could be converted to food and shelter.

more than 3 years ago
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CS Prof Decries America's 'Internal Brain Drain'

spike_gran Have to bring USA wages down, world wages up (791 comments)

The truth is that this is all about the hard capitalist reality. But if it is important for the USA to retain at least some technical capability, we need find a way to bring wages down in the near term. To do that we need to find a way to reduce systemic costs for workers so that they can accept lower wages. For example

  • Make college free
  • Socialized medicine
  • Free transit
  • Lower rent

(Note the conundrum, soft forms of socialism like in China and Germany is the best way to compete in a capitalist world.)

But, with lower wages for the workers, you'll have to shift the tax burden to corporations and individuals that profit from lower wages for workers, which, of course, is impossible in the USA. So, there's nothing that can be done. American workers will continue to migrate to those jobs that pay well.

more than 3 years ago
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Testing IT Professionals On Job Interviews?

spike_gran Simple tests weed out liars (1057 comments)

Whenever I interview anyone that has "C" on their resume, I do a quick test to weed out the liars. I as them to write on a whiteboard with a dry-erase marker a program that prints out to the screen the numbers from 1 to 10. I've found that almost no one can do it.

IT professionals resumes are full of languages and skills that have been forgotton or never properly learned.

about 6 years ago

Submissions

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spike_gran spike_gran writes  |  more than 7 years ago

spike_gran writes "The e-mail client Eudora is to be open-sourced by Qualcomm. They are releasing their final commercial version now, and are targeting a release of their open source version for the first half of 2007. The announcement is in the Eudora FAQ. This is good news for those that appreciate an e-mail client that has strong features for the management of mailing lists."

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