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Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

windwalkr Re:Why is he worried (583 comments)

Life is life. Maximize the odds of maximal survival.

Whose survival? I think a lot of people would prefer their car to protect them first and foremost, rather than the idiot who stumbled drunk onto the motorway.

about 3 months ago

Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

windwalkr Re:Some issues not mentioned in the summary (287 comments)

For added amusement: a rock inside a crumpled-up piece of newspaper. They might actually fair better than a human on that test.

about 3 months ago

iOS 8 Review

windwalkr Re:Keyboard (216 comments)

Fairly average (for a male) hand span, and slim fingers/thumbs. The iPhone keyboard simply isn't built for precise key hits. There are lots of smarts to allow you to type reasonably well regardless, but this assumes that you're typing normal English sentences (and statistically common phrases) and the more you vary from that pattern, the more likely it is to take your typing and produce something garbled or (worse) exactly negate your meaning. I eventually found that retyping any actual mistakes was less frustrating than retyping something that was entered correctly but that the iPhone "corrected" to something else.

Your comment about supporting dozens of languages is way off; the keyboard only supports a single language at a time, and you need to explicitly swap languages (which also swaps the dictionary / auto-correct mechanism.)

about 4 months ago

iOS 8 Review

windwalkr Re:Keyboard (216 comments)

For me, it's crappy because the autocorrect commonly changes what I intend into something that I don't intend. After several years, I gave up and turned off autocorrect, which is a partial solution- but the keyboard was really built with autocorrect in mind, and is below mediocre with autocorrect disabled.

I can't comment on the Android keyboards.

about 4 months ago

Anand Lal Shimpi Retires From AnandTech

windwalkr Re:accurate, thorough reporting? (152 comments)

For example you can read the "android user on an iPhone 5S" article, and he lists all those important limitations of iOS that would definitely turn any Android user away, but says they are "temporary" and inexplicably concludes that iOS is not a worse experience.

"Temporary" because we already know that these are resolved in iOS 8 which is currently in beta. So, yes, you could rightly claim that iOS lacks these features currently- but that would make for an article with a used-by date of a few weeks or months. Like it or loathe it, it's clear that Apple is happy to steal and put their own spin on the major "distinguishing features" from Android-land.

"A worse experience" and "would definitely turn any Android user away" are rather personal judgements. iOS does some things a lot better, and clearly does some things a lot worse. Just because the author's value judgement differs from your own doesn't make him a shill.

Similarly, supposedly they would test all important smartphone releases, however they review each iphone multiple times (seriously, check it out), then some popular Androids and that's it.

This is quite true, and does speak to some bias- at least as far as what the author has a personal interest in, not necessarily a bias in the facts of the article. To be fair, quite a few of these articles were about the chip architecture, which was a rather big deviation from the run-of-the-mill hardware at the time. It was interesting from a technical perspective, regardless of where you sit on the OS fence.

about 5 months ago

Is the App Store Broken?

windwalkr Re:People expecting their marketing for free (258 comments)

Huh? There are tons of apps with a free version and a paid version and/or paid upgrade. That's a demo / trial.

Not exactly. Apple doesn't allow actual demos, they're pretty explicit about this. "Lite" apps are the workaround and they tend to offer reduced functionality but are free- this can serve as a demo if it's easy to divide your app into "the intro stuff" and "the longer term stuff", for example by giving away the first few levels of a game- but cannot serve as a demo if your app doesn't have this distinction.

For example, I'm pretty sure that Apple will not permit a 30-day free trial, nor do they permit you to have functionality which is "disabled in this demo version." You can get around this to some extent with in-app purchases, but that's not quite the same as a demo.

At best, it's a very different way of monetising your software, and a way that some developers may not like. At worst, GP is right and it could compromise your ability to effectively market your app.

about 6 months ago

Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

windwalkr Re: I can't buy one (377 comments)

"Series hybrids .. are designed to be run mostly by the battery, but have a petrol or diesel generator to recharge the battery when going on a long drive."

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...

about 7 months ago

How Tim Cook Is Filling Steve Jobs's Shoes

windwalkr Re:Less hands-on (209 comments)

As a long-time user, I didn't like my first impression of iOS 7 beta, got used to it after about a day, and would not now go back. I actively recommend that people I know upgrade, unless they have an older device (never install a new iOS on a 3+ year old device; it never ends well.)

So, you haven't met me "in real life", but there are plenty of people who like iOS 7.

If we went on "met in real life" figures, then I'd have to say that nearly everybody uses an iPhone and very few use Android. Because that's what I saw on my recent holiday. Obviously not a fair comment, but maybe it goes to show that people with a similar viewpoint often end up in the same place.

about 7 months ago

.NET Native Compilation Preview Released

windwalkr Re:Is JITC finally going to die? (217 comments)

You make some good points, however:

The reason is that it can perform global optimizations, in-lining aggressively.

So can all semi-modern C++ compilers. This is a compiler technology, not a language concern.

Modern generational garbage collectors are also faster than malloc/free, and do not suffer fragmentation.

Perhaps true, but this ignores the fact that C++ can effectively bypass heap allocation completely for programmer-defined hot spots. Sure, this pushes the optimisation work on to the programmer rather than the compiler, but it still means a significant performance win. Java can't do this to anything like the same degree.

about 10 months ago

Cairo 2D Graphics May Become Part of ISO C++

windwalkr Re:You see "implementation-defined" a lot in C spe (430 comments)

I think he's referring to signed integer overflow conditions, which don't behave as most people would probably expect and aren't trivial to handle correctly.

1 year,26 days

Intel's 128MB L4 Cache May Be Coming To Broadwell and Other Future CPUs

windwalkr Re:So in the real world? (110 comments)

Yes and no. Applications can't typically "put things into the cache", but algorithms can (and often are, when it comes to image processing) tuned to suit a particular cache size. Processing the image in an appropriate order, breaking the image into cache-sized chunks, and so on can all be effective strategies which pay off big-time in terms of performance.

about a year ago

Samsung Creates Phone With Curved Display

windwalkr Re:Apple? (219 comments)

Apple does this with all their old hardware. They either declare your hardware obsolete

I'm fine with this. Hardware keeps improving. Software changes to take advantage of this. Sooner or later, I'll want to upgrade.

or make the OS perform so badly on it that you declare it obsolete on your own.

There really needs to be consumer protection against this kind of thing. Apple has made a habit of pushing upgrades to devices that really can't handle it. Explaining to people why they shouldn't tap "Yes" when the phone repeatedly wants to upgrade, because it will permanently break their device, is not a battle that you can win. Not until it's too late, anyway.

From what I've heard (and it seems to match my experience, though it's difficult to be sure with a hidden filesystem) the latest update will even background-download itself onto your device without asking, using your bandwidth and device storage- which you can't get back, even if you don't wish to upgrade.

about a year ago

Hands On With Motorola's Moto X

windwalkr Re:This got me, too. (120 comments)

To be fair, Apple devices (at least, first and second gen iPads) have similar screen burn-in problems. Run the device with the same app too frequently and you will start to see minor but permanent panel degradation.

about a year and a half ago

Blizzard's Unannounced 'Titan' MMO Rebooted, Development Team Reduced

windwalkr Re:If I learned anything from Asheron's Call 2 (193 comments)

Major problems can be found after the ramping-up stage that you mention. The team decides that they can fix the problem, but only by changing some fundamental assumption upon which the whole game is based. This causes a lot of rework and can blow budgeting and scheduling out of the water. Worse, gp is fairly correct about a practical life cycle for a game engine- so if you bump the schedule like this a few times, you may need to start making "upgrades" to your underlying tech before you've even released the product. That can be a vicious cycle (see DNF.)

"Data storage / retrieval, mechanics" are often the smallest part of a game. What's really expensive is often the art assets, sound, levels, and polish. And a change to any of these can mean updating everything else to suit (oh, we're going with an egyptian theme now?)

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Where Are the E-Ink Dashboards?

windwalkr Re:Energy sucking plasma? (242 comments)

We've "burned" an image into several iPad2 LCD screen quite effectively. It's not horribly noticeable while the tablet is in use, but display a uniform dark/black image and it's clear that there is permanent damage. We've since started using a screensaver for that application to prevent the issue from worsening, but the damage was permanent.

It may not be the same mechanism, but the end-user result is the same.

about 2 years ago

LG Seeks Sales Ban of Samsung Galaxy Tablet In Korea

windwalkr Re:Judgment of Solomon needed. (91 comments)

I'm sure an actual judge can come up with a much better and more inclusive way than I could come up in the minute or so it took me to write that comment.

Better, more inclusive- probably. Perfect- no. And if you're going to come up with a single statement that defines business pracitces for all time, you'd better be sure that it is perfect and without any loopholes.

A good starting point would be to kill off software and business method patents

That would surely just lead to a world where software companies can't compete with hardware companies, since one side has protection and the other does not. (hypothetical: Hardware-heavy companies including Apple and Samsung would have patents which could be used software-heavy companies such as Microsoft or Google. But if Microsoft wanted to enter the tablet market, they would have nothing to protect them from the hardware patents.)

Which basically means "you can't make something that looks exactly like my product", which is totally sensible, as there is no good reason why Samsung should be allowed to sell a phone that looks exactly like the iPhone (which is way more than just "rectangle with rounded corners").

Absolutely, but where do you drawn the line? A lot of the complaints about Apple here stem from the fact that Apple deliberately use a minimalist design, which can be hard to avoid without adding user-unfriendly gimmicks to the product for the pure reason of dodging patents. Should something similar to the FRAND concept exist here, identifying "essential" patents and preventing abuse?

more than 2 years ago

Steam For Linux Is Now an Open Beta

windwalkr Re:Good for Linux. (353 comments)

Not a smaller cut. No cut whatsoever.

more than 2 years ago

Windows Phone 8 Having Trouble Attracting Developers

windwalkr Re:i dont see the problem (268 comments)

I don't get it either. 100k Apps seems adequate to me -- especially for a new platform.

A small number of quality apps is enough to suit most users, most of the time. The difference is the lack of all those niche apps which are only needed by a few people, only some of the time. Need a security-camera app to check on your business when the alarm goes off at 3am, for whatever el-cheapo camera brand you thought was a good idea at the time? This is where a more mature app library can be noticeable.

It's the whole 1990s Windows vs Mac thing over again, but this time in reverse. If you're in love with the minority platform, the lack of apps probably won't make you change. But for someone who cares less about the platform, it's hard to give up access to those niche apps for questionable benefit.

more than 2 years ago

Steve Jobs' Yacht Revealed

windwalkr Re:iMacs? (438 comments)

Brighter than the sun. I wish you could turn them down without ruining the contrast.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Acknowledges iPhone 5 Camera Flaw

windwalkr Re:Stupid human! (472 comments)

Works fine for me and mine. I'm not saying that your experience is invalid, but it certainly isn't true for everybody.

The worst iOS update in my experience was 4.0, which turned my iPhone3G from a slightly outdated phone into an unusably sluggish phone with no real way to go back to the old performance. The OS itself was fine (and was a great improvement when used on the iPad, iPhone4, etc.) but it should never have been released as iPhone3G compatible.

more than 2 years ago


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