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* Posts by Jim Murphy

5 posts • joined 5 Apr 2007

Microsoft's Windows 7 price gamble - and why it's flawed

Jim Murphy

Maybe not flawed...Vista ring a bell?

While I think that Steve Balmer is a complete moron, I wouldn't say M$'s new discount pricing is flawed, at least for western (developed) markets. More on that in a minute. Why? Because under Balmer's watch M$ screwed everyone, customers and partners alike, with the Vista abomination and it will take a long time before that fiasco is forgotten. Don't forget, discounting cures a lot of ills. What else could they do, especially in this global recession?

I think the second reason they're having to lower prices is that Windows 7 is only evolutionary and not revolutionary. It does have some nice new features to make mundane chores a bit easier but M$ apparently concentrated on speed and efficiency, not new eye candy nor dazzling new apps. which would surely help sales. The only down side I've noticed so far is Internet Explorer 8. What a POS!!! It just locks up completely periodically. And the ironic thing is that it is a disaster on MSN hosted websites where it is supposed to be the bees knees. Go figure.

Other than Internet Exploder 8 being crappy I think they've learned a little bit since Vista. I've been using Windows 7 for quite a while now, first the beta and now the release candidate. It's even faster than my WinXP installation and runs cooler with less CPU and GPU cycles on the same computer. I don't dual boot, I just swap out hard drive trays to switch between them so the installations are completely independent. And yes, I do monitor temps and CPU/GPU loading to keep my trusty aging laptop running smoothly. Is Windows 7 compelling enough to finally uproot all the diehard WinXP users? Only time will tell.

Let's talk about pricing for emerging or developing nations. I'm an American expat living in Thailand and it is considered a developing nation. Piracy of Windows, movie DVD's, and even pharmceuticals is common because of flawed pricing policies by especially U.S. corporations. The upper end salary for the average Thai is less than $300 U.S. dollars/week but more commonly it is closer to $200. Even if you could buy low end Windows 7 without trade-in for the discounted price of $79.99, much less $119.99, it wouldn't help much. It is just way beyond what these people are willing or able to pay. Of course, Thailand is just one of many emerging nations requiring ultra low prices to gain market share. Is it really worth it?

Ah, the trials and tribulations of global commerce. One suggestion is to get rid of Ballmer. What an idiot!!!!

Jimbo in Thailand

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What's next for Microsoft's Flight Sim partners?

Jim Murphy
Flame

You're All Missing The Fricking Point...

Quckly now, who is responsible for Microsoft's current monetary ills? If you said the current downturn in the global economy I might say maybe to a small extent. If you said that complete effing idiot Steve Ballmer, that's a start; but consider those even worse effing morons that wrote Vista. Vista has been a complete and monumental failure. It "enjoys" a whopping 10% adoption rate after two years. Because of this, Microsuck has had to extend the service life of XP at least twice since Vista's introduction. That's one reason they are rushing at light speed to debug and release Windows 7. I believe that Vista's failure, more than any other reason, is the cause for Microsuck panicking right now and killing off Aces, and other units. What does this really tell us?

In a nutshell it tells us that Microsoft is beyond effing stupid. Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and the rest of the top Volish morons stopped listening to their customers years ago and that's why they've lost so much money recently. Killing the Flight Simulator franchise is even more unbelievably stupid. Here is a solid product that they've made a lot of money from during the last 27 years that still, even with consoles competing, has quite a few income producing years left had the effing dumbasses continued it.

Flight Simulator has vast support not only from loyal users but also thanks to the many 3rd party developers that have continously provided top quality add-ons for each new version. This open system is one huge reason for the outstanding success of Flight Simulator and has kept the product fresh between fairly long release intervals.

Now then, the problem is that Flight Simulator is an extremely complex platform. It is not a game, but a simulation. It requires a team with extensive aviation, weather, physics, modeling, art, and database expertise, among other talents. If you think that in a year, or two, Microsuck can hire a new team to quickly pick up where Aces left off you are sadly mistaken. It would take years for a new team to develop a new version of Flight Simulator. By then, the gap will already be filled by others so, effectively, Flight Simulator is dead. It will survive for a while thanks to the talented 3rd party developers, but all it will take is a new platform, such as Windows 7 or later, that can't run it and...game over...pun intended.

Other than George Bush, I believe that Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and those incredibly inept Vista developers are the best cases I know of for retroactive birth control. The damage they've done is not reversible.

Will someone please come out with a better operating system for the great unwashed masses soon so we no longer have to deal with these effing pricks anymore!

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Fisker shows Karma Sunset in Detroit

Jim Murphy
Stop

No DRender, You’ve missed the point!!!!

This is a luxury abomination touted on their website as a “green” vehicle, which it clearly is not. Any automobile, especially an aerodynamically styled sedan like this one, that requires a total of 403bhp electric power and a 265bph petrol engine isn’t “green”. I don’t care if it can exceed 200mph or reach a paultry 125mph as in this case, IT AIN’T “GREEN”! I don’t even think you read the complete article as your comments certainly don’t reflect it, but let’s take a look at them anyway.

“You can’t remove the electric parts… It IS an electric vehicle.” - I only mentioned removing one of the two electric motors as it is clearly not contributing much power due to a possible mismatch of the battery pack, or some other quirk. However, this appears to be such a poor design that I agree with Andrew Norton and think it would be an improvement to leave out the electric power altogether as based on the listed specifications this company obviously is not showing expertise in this area, at least in my opinion.

“The Petrol engine is decoupled from the drive train completely - it just charges the battery (Or in those rare situations where you need to go faster than 95 - Provide a boost)” - Ummmm…you’re completely wrong here. According to the article the petrol engine drives the generator which provides electricity to the electric motors giving an “effective range of 300 miles” and providing a top speed of 125mph, although I would assume it also charges the batteries in this mode. However, even if you were correct, which you aren’t, then under which universe did you come from that you think it is a good design that requires a 265bhp petrol engine to charge the battery or to “…Provide a boost”. Let’s get real here. A 265bhp engine installed in any automobile, short of maybe a Hummer, will jerk a knot in your ass with plenty of acceleration, yet here they need it to “charge the battery”?

“And seriously, unless you drive a lot on the Autobahns in Germany, want to take it to a track, or just drive like a tw@t, you've no need to go above 95 except in very rare overtaking circumstances.” - Then why are you even looking at this thing in the first place? Go buy a Toyota Prius and save a ton of money. Oh, sorry Andrew, yes the Prius is lacking, but it is certainly many times more “green” than this contraption.

“In reality you could remove the petrol generator and replace it with a diesel one - much more efficient… …You could even completely remove the fossil fuel engine and replace with more batteries, or a hydrogen fuel cell, or ultracapacitors or whatever new technology comes along for the generation / storage of electricity in vehicles.” - Yeah, you could also just look at another vehicle that has proven “green” technologies. At least you’re beginning to get the point that this thing really is crap, at least in my opinion as an engineer. I have to add that it has already been proven that hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles are just smoke and mirrors since it requires so much energy to extract the hydrogen.

“This is an extremely important step in the move away from fossil fuels. When Fisker start manufacturing more affordable vehicles based upon the quantum drive train I'll be all over them…” - I just about wet my pants when I read that statement! I hope you do buy one of Fisker’s products, as you certainly seem like a good match! However, I’ll agree with you that continued development of electric or hybrid powered vehicles is a move in the right direction, but this instance certainly seems questionable.

DRenar, I’m really not trying to bust your balls but I just want you to look at the numbers to see the truth. Even though this is a very nice looking car, the listed specifications suggest something is amiss and certainly not in line with “green” technology. I would like to know exactly how many miles per gallon this vehicle consumes under its petrol engine since they don't mention that.

Unfortunately, there seems to be an emerging trend that somehow very high powered or high performance electric cars are "green". Green technology, to me, means providing for high efficiency and zero or low fossil fuel comsumption while providing acceptable performance. It is not about just swapping powerplant types, especially if the results are still high energy and/or low efficiency. Keep in mind that the majority of the owners of these vehicles will be using the existing electrical grid to recharge those massive battery packs daily and/or they will be driving under petrol engine power. Either way, fossil fuels are still being depleted at a rapid rate. So where is the "green" in this scenario? Cheers! Jim

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Jim Murphy
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Can it get any worse?

A nicely styled turd, but a turd it truly is. Performance and efficiency is beyond horrendous considering claimed horsepower specs. How is it that two 150kw electric motors with claimed total 403bhp can only propel this slug up to 95 mph? Think about that for a second. More than 400bhp yields less than 100mph top speed! How is that even possible with today's technology?

Situation is even more disgusting considering its smaller 265bph petrol engine provides a higher 125mph top speed while "driving the generator". While this is also a horrible performance per power ratio, this means the battery pack is so mismatched that it can't supply the required current to feed the two electric motors anywhere near their rated horsepower. Result is that one of the electric motor's output is barely being utilized. I'd be willing to bet that the weight savings from removing one electric motor would yield similar or maybe even better performance.

Bottom line is that either the posted numbers are wrong or this “jewel” has a Rube Goldberg nonsensically designed drive train. But lets give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they electronically limited both the battery pack only and petrol engine only top speeds and were just concentrating on 0-60mph performance. This is an even worse design objective meaning that you’re always carrying around all that extra weight, complexity, and resulting inefficiency for a single narrow-minded performance target. It just doesn't get any worse than this. Green is the new design objective but this POS is clearly brown...and stinky!

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Thai King video wag pulls YouTube clip

Jim Murphy

Re: Thai King video wag pulls YouTube clip'

It's good that the offending video clip was finally pulled. As an American living in Thailand I can tell you that all Thais love their king dearly and are extremely offended by any disrespect to him or his likeness. This issue is so important to Thai culture that Thai law (lèse majesté) forbids disrespecting the king, or any of the royal family.

It seems the only people that commit these acts are foreigners that haven't got a clue. King Bhumibol Adulyadej is currently the longest reigning monarch in the world, having just celebrated his 60th anniversary on the throne. To say that he is revered by the Thais is like saying Bill Gates is wealthy; quite the understatement.

In Thai culture the head is the most sacred part of the body as it is the highest. Since the feet are obviously the lowest it follows that they are the least sacred. To display someone's feet above the head of the king is the ultimate insult to the king and to all of the Thai people.

Also, right or wrong, Thai culture is a patriarchy. The fact that the feet depicted were those of a female adds severity to the insult, in the eyes of the Thais. This is not a minor infraction. If the person posting this video happened to be caught in Thailand, he or she would face at least 15 to 20 years in prison. Of course, that is assuming that the offender survives the term since not only the prison guards, but also the other Thai inmates might not roll out the red carpet treatment on this one.

What is really sad is that corporate America, and unfortunately most Americans, have their heads up their asses when it comes to basic knowledge of other countries and respective cultures. It's obvious to everyone in the world, except most Americans who don't travel abroad, that under the Bush administration the U.S. doesn't play well with others. I guess it's natural for corporate America to follow suit like a bull in a China shop.

For the Google/YouTube spokesman to make the feeble comparison that posting unflattering videos of a complete idiot like George Bush somehow makes it OK to ridicule another culture's beloved leader without taking the time to research the seriousness of the cultural taboo, is extremely alarming. Hopefully this might be a small setback in Google's plan for world domination.

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