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* Posts by AndyDent

26 posts • joined 22 Feb 2011

PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users

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Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all

AndyDent
Mushroom

More Uncertainty in Development Platforms? Thanks MS!

I'm a multi-platform developer. I was already pretty steamed at MS for effectively killing off WPF as it was a powerful product I could use to deliver UI's matching OS/X and use a common C++ core.

I put off getting into Windows Mobile 7/8 (bye bye to my CE skills) and picking a new direction for MS development because of all the floundering in the last couple of years.

Now we're trying to decide if it is worth targeting WP8 alongside Android and iOS and the last thing I need is more uncertainty about the technology. My immediate reaction is to again push WP8 down the priority list.

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EU probe into Apple's taxes: It's NOT to do with double-Dutch-Irish anything sandwiches

AndyDent

Re: There'll never be a good solution for tax shenanigans.

"Corporations would be failing in their fiduciary duties towards their shareholders (i.e. you and me) if they voluntarily decided to give away more tax than is absolutely required by law. "

However, if Apple are keeping their profits overseas as a result of these shenanigans, the shareholders don't benefit because the money isn't brought home to be distributed as a dividend.

I read one interesting comment that the Beats purchase deal was effectively a money "laundering" scheme to spend a big junk of that untouchable money in order to have local royalty income without paying the hefty tax to bring the cash home first.

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Boffin fights fire with EXPLOSIVES instead of water

AndyDent
Flame

Ridiculous lack of consideration of physics & real fires

As many comments have already pointed out, the timber is already at ignition temperature.

Wood is a great insulator which also means it's hard to remove stored heat from wood.

Our worst fires happen when there have been days of hot weather 100F to 120F - there is already a scary fuel-air mix of vaporised eucalyptus oil over the trees. The really nasty wildfire days also combine those kind of temperatures and dry fuel with hot, dry winds of 20 to 60km/h which blow flamefronts terrifyingly fast. This is how people die when their trucks run out of water or the self-soaking safety mechanisms fail.

Once a hardwood tree has been burning for a while, it can take days to put it out.

I grew up in the South-West of Western Australia, have fought several fires and also worked for years with a senior volunteer firefighter with many war stories.

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Wanna attend Apple's June developers' shindig? Ask yourself, 'Do I feel lucky?'

AndyDent

Sellout much faster

No, it was 2012 when they sold in under two hours.

In 2013 they sold in under two MINUTES

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/04/apples-wwdc-2013-tickets-sold-out-in-a-record-two-minutes/

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Microsoft's JavaScript challenger nears 1.0, wins Visual Studio love

AndyDent
Thumb Up

Re: So...

Webstorm is the dedicated Web editor version of Intellij (which can add Typescript via plugins).

http://blog.jetbrains.com/webstorm/2013/11/enjoy-typescript-in-webstorm/

"One of the new features in WebStorm 7 that cannot go unmentioned is access to TypeScript community stubs. They provide TypeScript definitions for a wide range of JavaScript libraries and help code completion

...

WebStorm provides powerful refactorings for TypeScript code

"

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Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?

AndyDent

Add a bit of shine and open it up to devs

Take a lesson from Apple.

Release a new Wii with minor graphics improvements so it can do HDMI and open it up to developers. Get rid of all the gating that is in the way of indie devs and make it easy to port games across, starting with sponsoring a cocos2d-x kit so all the iPad games written to that can be easily ported.

I'm pretty sure theres also a Unity version already available for the Wii for 3D games but if not, make sure it's ported over already.

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Australia's Silicon Beach is a wipeout

AndyDent
Unhappy

Lack of Aussie protectionism

From my local reading (I'm in Western Australia which often feels like yet another country) and occasional discussions, I'm pretty sure that we do NOT have a protectionist policy. One of the frustrations often voiced by people trying to sell local major IT products to government is that there's a distinct preference for US products over local, regardless of quality.

In the field of contracts to supply services, most are structured in such a way that only the multinational consultancies are able to tender.

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MVNO misery will be pain for Oz mobile users as well

AndyDent

Bizarrely and lazily inaccurate

You took the time to write all those words and not bother looking up a few plans on the provider sites?

I am not doing your job for you beyond pointing out Telstra have been charging $10 for a 1GB data allowance as an add-on to a mobile plan for at least the last couple of years.

The following page shows a price for less coupled plans of $15 for 1GB

http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/plans-rates/data-packs-australia/

http://www.vodafone.com.au/personal/mobile-internet/on-your-phone/plans

$10 for 1GB

https://www.optus.com.au/shop/mobilephone/mobileinternetpacks

$15 for 1GB

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Couchbase relaxes NoSQL derrière into mobile seats

AndyDent
FAIL

Conveniently forgetting LevelDB on iOS since 2011

Couch seem to be conveniently skipping over the fact that LevelDB has been available on iOS since 2011. It's a robust sorted key-value store which scales nicely and quite happily stores JSON data as values.

I've been giving it an intensive workout as part of the book I've been writing for Packt - "Getting Started with LevelDB", which uses OS/X and iOS examples. I started getting into LevelDB two years ago as a replacement for an ISAM backend. It offers the same dramatic performance but with more flexibility of content.

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Apple’s iOS 64-bit iUpgrade: Don't expect a 2x performance leap

AndyDent

64bit misunderstandings and priapisms

"you need twice as much memory to store the same amount of information."

NO NO NO

You need twice as much memory to store the same amount of integers if they are a type which becomes 64bit.

You don't find images or text or most data structures doubling in size.

Also, the big deal about having 64bit pointers is NOT about the physical RAM you can address but about the size of your virtual address space. That makes it a lot easier to write code processing images larger than 3GB, for example. Even having a 64bit OS increases the size of address space for 32bit applications. I'm not sure how OS/X does it but on Windows a 32bit app under 64bit Windows has a full 4GB address space instead of its normal 2GB (or 3GB with special OS setting) on 32bit Windows.

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They WANT to EAT YOUR COMPUTER - welcome your ANT overlords

AndyDent
Thumb Up

Re: Solution???

"cross between a Jack Russell and a Tiger Tank..." Based on that description alone, I want one.

Can they live on anything other than these ants or do I have to import a colony too?

(Australian joke alert - we have a distinct wariness of importing species after a little thing called the Cane Toad was brought in to combat an annoying beetle).

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Which petite model likes a fondle and GETTING WET? Sony's Xperia ZR

AndyDent
Thumb Up

Re: Why aren't all phone water ressistant?

Having just walked around Kuala Lumpur for a monsoonal week, I would have appreciated my iPhone being water resistant. I was nervous just about having it in my pocket of my increasingly damp shorts.

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Being a skinny is much more unhealthy than being fat – new study

AndyDent
Mushroom

Re: I wouldn't have guessed

BMI is only valid for sedentary people, ie: people with no muscle mass beyond that acquired in an office lifestyle with no external exercise. Unfortunately in the UK it's been given way too much prominence in welfare and medicine.

The underweight stuff is also bollocks for people of different ethnic backgrounds.

My brother used to cycle about 250miles/week. He told me of walking into a doctor's office and have the doctor, without looking at him, start the conversation with "well, we'll have to do something about your weight", looked up at my skinny, short brother, looked down at report, drew a line through it....

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Steve Jobs gets posthumous Grammy AND a bronze statue

AndyDent
Flame

Graphisoft are genuine

I worked to develop a building information system for a company using ArchiCAD, in the early nineties. At that time, the story of how much encouragement they had received was well known amongst ArchiCAD users. When they started, they were literally working out CAD software on paper and having it compiled outside the country.

I suspect you have to have worked closely with people from former communist countries, as I have, to understand how much this kind of support meant to them. I have no doubts that their sentiments are genuine.

If the statue had been erected in the USA, I'd be cheering on your sentiment but your cynicism is misplaced.

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Angry Birds maker now aims at Asian IPO

AndyDent
Coat

Hong Kong - home of Angry Birds Merch mania

That seems very appropriate, certainly there's enough Angry Birds merch being flogged in the streets of Hong Kong, as I saw recently.

I'm sure that it is all as legitimate as the Angry Birds gameplay is deep and the Rovio guys will be right at home.

Mine's the one with the Gucci label on backwards and the red bird soft toy in the top pocket.

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Apple requires Mac App Store candidates to be sandboxed

AndyDent
Happy

Getting out of the sandbox is the trick

Apple aren't relying on devs to implement sandbox protection. The changes needed are for apps to continue to work once the sandbox is in place.

In particular, for apps that need to do things like opening files - there is one protected way to put up a file selection dialog for a sandboxed app and if your app doesn't use that it will not work.

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Hands on with the Windows 8 fondleslab

AndyDent
Thumb Up

Fitaly FTW

Fond memories of Fitaly on my many Palm models. A truly excellent piece of research translated into software and I loved the way it was available across most apps.

From my research into gestural interfaces, stylus-based interfaces are still very popular in Asian countries where the local language requires more precision than can be achieved with a finger. Having the choice would be fabulous on my iPhone and iPad for precision work even now.

Having said that, for a lot of sketching work, remarkably good UI refinements in smart alignment can go a long way to compensate - Nick Nallick did a great job with the usability of Intaglio Sketchpad. I wouldn't have believed a vector drawing app could be usable just on an iPhone until I tried it.

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Neurogaming set to be launched by Disney

AndyDent
Mushroom

Forget waterboarding

Wonder how long it will be before the military version comes out. "It's not torture, Senator, it's a virtual environment."

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The real reason most source is closed? Open is hard

AndyDent
Thumb Up

Abandoning (freed) code is easy, nurturing aint

Yes it is easy to throw some code up on one of the big sites and abandon it. It's like putting your old furniture out on the verge for a special rubbish collection - some people will fossick through it and get things they can recycle.

Putting code out to build and nurture a community is harder in open source than it is within many organisations because open source communities typically demand a messy open management style.

I've disagreed with a lot of this author's articles but this one makes a lot of sense.

BTW I've developed a lot of code in many oranisations in nearly 30 years of programming, including contributing to mid-size open source projects and releasing much of my own work as such. Even products which people were willing to pay for can fail to attract contributors and regular use.

There's also the "invisible success" phenomenon where you release something, people pick it up and use it but never become "community members". That happened to me with my XML layer expatpp - I didn't know Steam used it until I saw my name in a book and Dr Dobbs article! (Hey Valve, if you're listening, a free account would be something I could finally impress my teenage son with!).

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Microsoft warns on support scams

AndyDent
Unhappy

Keeping them on the phone doesn't work

I was working at my mothers' farm one day when one of these regular callers rang and as I was working on something fairly undemanding, decided to spin them out and see what they did.

Their spiel is scarily convincing for anyone non-technical - they wallk people through a number of commands including showing actual error events in the event viewer that don't take much spin to sound scary.

I stopped it short of clicking on the web page link that was their GotoMyPC, and was doing that in a more secure environment than a PC browser.

Wasting their time for over an hour and telling them I just wanted to see their URL so I could report them didn't do anything to prevent the sods from continuing to call her.

Mentioning the word criminal fraud does make them hang up very quickly though ;-)

This is in the South-west of Western Australia and I suspect they are targeting a lot of the older residents in that area.

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The New C++: Lay down your guns, knives, and clubs

AndyDent
Go

new projects in C++, yup!

I just reviewed the options for coding a cross-platform GUI desktop app for OS/X and Windows with nine different programmers and the most common recommendation was C++ for core logic with native UI in Objective-C/Cocoa and C#/WPF.

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Is Microsoft's Javascript chief killing his .NET creation?

AndyDent
FAIL

VMS?

I always thought some of the inspiration had to come from Dave Cutler and the VMS common language environment, fond memories from the 80's...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenVMS#Common_Language_Environment

"OpenVMS itself is implemented in a variety of different languages (primarily BLISS, VAX Macro and C) (per comp.os.vms newsgroup postings from members of HP OpenVMS Engineering), and the common language environment and calling standard supports freely mixing these languages, and Ada, PL/I, Fortran, BASIC, and others. "

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RAF Eurofighters make devastating attack – on Parliament

AndyDent
Coat

Aussie F18s?

If Australia is presumably adding decent avionics to the F18s we're buying, why can't the Queen just ask nicely for the package? Would make a nice wedding or coronation present for the boy who has everything including military training.

Mine's the one with the cracked-handle from the Charles and Di mug stuck in one corner of the pocket.

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Sensis plans digital come back

AndyDent
FAIL

Fixing a crap experience would help

They still seem to be in denial about the possibility that their massive fall in popularity was driven by a very poor online search experience. Yellowpages.com.au was the search of last resort.

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Say it with pictures

AndyDent
Thumb Up

Go Go Graphviz

I'm a long-standing Graphviz fan. I'm also enjoying using Instaviz on iPad which is a pretty good finger interface to create Graphviz diagrams.

Glad to hear diagramming software getting a good going over.

Is Visio stable nowadays? My past experiences using it to create complex diagrams have been very underwhelming.

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