Saturday, September 16

Geek

Daily News Stuff 16 September 2023

Developers Reacting Badly Edition


Top Story

  • After hiring a CEO from Electronic Arts, five time winner of the Most Hated Company in America, former beloved underdog Unity looks set to take the title itself: Developers react to new Unity pricing model. (The Verge)

    To say they are not happy is an understatement.


  • Are they even allowed to do that? (Ars Technica)

    Unity previously sent its customer base into an uproar with unwelcome license changes, and at the time they took steps to reassure users:

    • They added a clause to the effect that if a new license was detrimental to your company, you could continue working under the license in effect at the time the version of the software you are using was released.

    • They added a GitHub repo to publicly track any license changes so that you could see what changed and when, and which licenses were available to you.

    So...

    First they removed the GitHub repo so nobody could see what was going on.

    Then they removed the clause allowing you to remain on older licenses.

    Then they retroactively changed the license to add royalties to existing customers on perpetual royalty-free licenses.

    Who are, to nobody's surprise except apparently John Riccitiello, the aforementioned CEO from the Worst Company in the Universe, now preparing a class-action lawsuit.


  • Godot smiles.  (Godot Engine)

    Competing game engine Godot is released under the MIT License, which says, essentially, do whatever so long as you include the text of the license.

    How do they make money?  They have a donate button on their home page.

    Who is going to bother to donate?  Thousands of game developers just learned the difference between free-as-in-speech and free-as-in-the-first-dose.

Tech News

  • The tyranny of the marginal user.  (Nothing Human)

    If you put all your energy into attracting new users, your existing users will leave.

    Of course, if like Unity you put all your energy into alienating your existing users without attracting new ones, the same will happen, just faster.


  • No sacred masterpieces.  (Basta)

    Or, I built Excel in a web browser and my company ripped it out after a week.


  • Airtable is laying off 27% of its staff, after laying off 20% last December.  (Forbes)

    Airtable got its start - literally - by building Excel in a web browser.

    More recently it pivoted to codeless software, which is rather like wingless seagulls.

    Now it's pivoting to providing codeless software for large corporations, which are much slower to notice that the seagull they just purchased is unable to fly.

    Look for a pivot to government services within three years.


  • Looking for a small, silent computer with a decent array of ports?  The HUNSN (who?) BM34 is one.  (Liliputing)

    A quad-core 6W Intel N100 CPU powers the device - not fast but also not terrible, and it has 8 USB ports, two HDMI, two Ethernet (gigabit only), DisplayPort, two audio jacks, and built-in WiFi.

    It has room for one DDR4 SO-DIMM up to 16GB, two M.2 SSDs (one NVMe, one only SATA), and a 2.5" SSD or hard drive.  If you go with just SSDs it has no moving parts and will be completely silent.


  • Your computer didn't get slow.  Your operating system did.  (The Register)

    Running a twenty year old operating system on fifteen year old hardware is a revelation.


Disclaimer: Do not do what Unity do.

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