* Posts by Shoddy Bob

9 posts • joined 3 Sep 2009

Microsoft: Surface is DEAD. Long live the Surface 2!

Shoddy Bob

Nice

These would be beautiful little machines if you could get Ubuntu onto them. It's a shame that after two decades, Microsoft have finally got their security sorted out so you can't boot into something else.

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Galaxy S III dumps universal search, tries to dodge Apple's sueballs

Shoddy Bob
FAIL

Palm

The Palm Pilot had unified search across all apps way back in the early 2000's. I remember writing an app that exposed data through their search API's.

Also seem to remember that it was mobile, touchscreen and had installable apps - all remarkably similar to Apple's supposed innovation.

The law is an ass and software patents are a joke.

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Natwest, RBS: When will bank glitch be fixed? Probably not today

Shoddy Bob

I've got a good idea, why don't we get a crack team in from India to fix it ? Every Indian SI company I speak to claims to have a team that can build or fix anything - even things they've never seen before or have any skills in.

Why are we worried ?

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Google pits C++ against Java, Scala, and Go

Shoddy Bob
Megaphone

Functional languages

Surprise, surprise a functional language comes out best, even a half-hearted one that is crippled by running on the JVM.

Maybe they should have tried a decent functional language like Haskell or ML that would have been a fraction of the code of Scala and yet compiled to speeds close to C++. It could have even auto-parallelized some tasks to run across multiple CPU cores.

Look up 'The Great Computer Language Shootout' for a much bigger comparison of languages across various useless benchmarks.

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Oracle and Java: Mobile dev FAIL dooms Ellison's future

Shoddy Bob

Still use Java

I still use Java and have done for nearly 15 years. In that time I've led the development of some very large scale projects including one that securely supports 20,000 concurrent users. I am aware of, and regularly use, the developments since then like Spring and annotations but I would argue that Java was never good for web applications and it hasn't improved any in that time. Sure some frameworks have come along making life a little easier but the core language hasn't really advanced.

Look around, at the popularity or RoR, Python and increasingly functional languages like Scala, Clojure, Haskell etc. The reason is that they are all more productive and better suited for web development than Java is. Sun/Oracle could have added features along the way to address this, i.e. Java could have been more like Scala by now. Look at C# and LINQ for an example of how Java could have evolved.

The core problem is that Java is not extensible, so you can't build higher abstractions or DSL's with it - everything is low level which hurts productivity. Instead you are forced to use XML which is clunky, unsafe and verbose to try and capture abstractions. To make it extensible you need higher order functions or macros. HOF's can't efficiently be supported on the JVM without closures and tail call optimisation which Sun promised us in JDK7 but Oracle has delayed indefinately.

This old study found that even C is more productive than Java: http://www.flownet.com/gat/papers/lisp-java.pdf and I would tend to agree.

Java has been left to rot and now its a festering heap of unproductive expensive bloatware, IMHO. I'll be using Haskell where I can get away with it. OO was a nice paradigm for fat client GUI apps but its not the only game in town and it doesn't scale for concurrent apps.

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Shoddy Bob

Java already is the new Cobol

Remember when Java was first launched, it was a cool OO language with a nice set of core libraries and GUI controls and a VM that allowed it to run on any platform ? It was perfect for 'applets' which is what it was designed for.

Instead we now use it for server-side web applications where we don't need a VM and portability - it would actually be better to compile to native code and get better performance. We don't use any of the GUI controls and best of all, the imperative, shared-state OO design is exactly the wrong model for highly concurrent web apps. This would be tolerable, if Java was a productive development language but the lack of any meta-programming facilities and higher-order constructs makes it probably the least productive language in use today and it's barely moved on in 15 years. I would argue that actually Cobol is probably more productive for enterprise apps.

Well acquired Oracle, grabbed yourself a bargain there !

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Apple bans competing ads from the iPhone

Shoddy Bob

More restrictive practices

Apple are so quick to take advantage of their near monopoly for profiteering - this being another illustration.

Why don't their competitors stoop to their level and put them out of business ? Imagine if Microsoft took their attitude and banned iTunes from Windows on stability grounds (certainly my experience). Or imagine if google preventing Safari from accessing Google Maps or the iPhone YouTube app from downloading video content. You'd be left with a pretty useless device.

Apple relies on fair play from every other player but abuses it themselves.

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Boffins: Give up on CO2 cuts, only geoengineering can work

Shoddy Bob

Nuclear apocalypse anyone ?

The best approach to stave off global warming and to protect the 'planet' would be to engage in a global nuclear war. This would reduce the human population to sustainable levels and cause global cooling for many decades afterwards because of all the debris thrown into the atmosphere much like the proposed geoengineering.

It would also create zones uninhabitable to humans which would allow biodiversity to recover as has happened around Chernobyl. It also has the bonus benefit of ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

It is also very likely to happen as food, water and energy supplies become scarcer with global warming and oil depletion - might as well get it over with sooner rather than later and then move on.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

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Hands on with the Nokia N900

Shoddy Bob

Unfair browser comparison

As a geek on a budget, I've just picked up the predecessor (N810) for a bargain price (much less than an Ipod Touch).

It's heavy and a bit slow but actually these devices have far better potential than iPhones because of the open platform and the better browser. Most compex sites have to do an iPhone specific version because the limited browser can't cope with Flash or too much Ajax. These devices have a 'proper' Mozilla browser with enough screen real estate to display virtually all sites as they would appear on a desktop.

Think of this as a proper computer that has been squashed into something looking like a mobile phone rather than mobile phone with a few interactive add-ons.

The keyboard on the N810 is poor because of the flat keys and the flat angle with the screen and I'm sure the N900 is no different. I fully expect that the iPhone on screen keyboard is better. There is an onscreen keyboard on the Nokia too but it's too small. There is also handwriting recognition but it's not the best around.

Personally I think Nokia should ditch the keyboard and make the device thinner and lighter and concentrate on a better on screen keyboard and better handwriting recognition.

The best thing is that anybody can write and distribute software for these devices - you don't need an overpriced Mac or Apple's approval to distribute your code !

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