* Posts by R Cox

59 posts • joined 5 May 2008

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Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG

R Cox

get your point

I agree that both sides in this case are overreacting. I is common for SCOTUS ruling.

However, as a US broadband user I often am left with sketchy access. I don't know if my home network is flaky, or if the ISP is having problems, or if there is an issue elsewhere. I intermittently get "website not available' when I go to HULU. Who is responsible for this issue? If the ISP say they know nothing of it, do I have a recourse? If nextflix runs slower than amazon, is it the provider, the network, or my home? Who knows?

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NSA refuses to deny spying on members of Congress

R Cox

been there, done that

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tangled_Web

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Windows 8.1: Here at last, but is it good enough?

R Cox

Upsell

Does it seem lately that MS is simply designing OS to upsell computers, rather than create a useful product. Aero did really serve any purpose other than to sell expensive graphics. Customers though did not want to pay for expensive graphics so many computers were sold that could not fully run Aero.

Likewise Metro sole purpose seems to sell expensive touchscreens. If consumers were willing to pay $800 for an i3 device, this would be fine. But as this money will buy an i7 laptop, it hardly seems something that many would do. So, in the end, most people are going to buy a laptop that is not going to run Metro either.

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It was the Reg what won it: Online Hitchhiker's Guide thriving

R Cox

too literal

I tend to think taking writers vision of the future too literally is a dangerous thing. Like thinking one has to do everything exactly as it says in the christian bible. Douglas Adams has his book through internet in general, and wikipedia specifically. Both are standard "though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects...it is slightly cheaper." We have mobile devices that can access the encyclopedia anywhere. The advantage of this, of couse, is we have multiple corporations controlling it, so no one needs to be first against the wall when the revolution comes. They can all go at once.

I also see this Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Fahrenheit 451. In one, a complex machine was needed to moderate the peoples boredom and angst, in the other a wall full of screens shouted our all the trivia of the world. In fact, one tiny screen, carried with us all the time, does the job through an endless supply of cat videos.

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Fondling again: HP slates new tablet for April

R Cox

eprint?

I am not sure how eprint makes the HP tablet better. Apple has Airprint which works with many printer brands, not just HP. Android has an eprint App.

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My top tip for Microsoft: Stop charging for Windows Phone 8

R Cox

Isn't that cute...BUT IT'S WRONG!

MS does not have the Google business model, and I don't think it should. MS should not be mining the data of it's customers, selling the results to advertisers and competitors. So MS is going to have to gain revenue for products more directly from the end user.

Obviously, unlike Apple, it is not going to be able to have an exclusive App store. Something like that is cumbersome for enterprise. It is not going to be able to take a significant cut of hardware because MS does not sell computing hardware.

This I think is where the MS problem in mobile lies. Not in the licensing fee, but in the fact that MS has traditionally externalized the risk of building and stocking hardware to the OEM. We see this in the reluctance of these OEM to build mobile for MS. The mobile market is different from the PC market. If MS wants it's products on mobile, they are going to have to assume more of the risk.

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Lotus 1-2-3 turns 30: Mitch Kapor on the Google before Google

R Cox

Re: Not Mac

This is where internet hoaxes start, I was looking if the byline was Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.

The Apple ][ was not an expensive machine when it came out, especially considering what it could actually do. Yes, as today, you can say it was not buzzword compliant, or had the specs, but back them people who bought computers mostly knew what they were buying, and did not get bogged down in the specs or buzzwords. A machine pretty much was bought to accomplish a task.

That said, an IBM PC could set you back several thousand dollars. The Apple ][ was around $1,000 and up.

IBM was never who Apple had to compete with. When the Mac came out it was still a much cheaper machine than any IBM, the XT was well over $5,000. Apple was competing with Compaq, which released an inexpensive machine the prior year.

However, for the same reason people bought an Apple ][, many people opted for a Mac rather the similarly priced Compaq because the Mac had Excel. Excel offered features far beyond any other spreadsheet, like the ability to calculate across sheets, and the Mac had scripting abilities that allowed any repetitive task to be automated.

Not until kids began to build and sell computers from their homes did the computer fall to the now sub $1000 price point. IBM tried and failed to create a cheaper machine with the PC Jr. Apple stayed competitive with the Performa series, switching to an IDE interface. By the mid 90's laptops dominated the scene, and Apple again managed to build a competitive product. It is interesting to note that IBM exited the business.

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Ten technology FAILS

R Cox

Blu Ray

I wonder if Blu Ray is going to be a tech fail, reported in a few years as a product released when everyone was moving away from physical media. One reason DVD got a big boost was because we could play them on our computers, and as a bonus could use them for storage. Recently purchasing a few laptops, none of them with Blu Ray, I cannot say the same for this new format.

The sales of entertainment on physical media seems to be pretty flat. It has been four years and Blu Ray sales make up may 20-30% of sales in the US, and given the higher average price for Blu Ray, that means significantly lower volume.

Some say it is early still in the format, but I don't see the restrictive Blu Ray model flourishing in this time when most people are growing up in a much less restrictive entertainment environment.

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Google fine-tuning iOS mapping app for Apple submission

R Cox

This is so funny

When Apple was paying Google a ton of cash, Google could not be bothered to update the Map App to the equal of the Android App, rather preferring to push the point the Apple products were inferior to the Android product due to the lack basic features like turn by turn directions. Now that Apple has called their bluff, Google is all of the sudden desperate to give the App away.

I guess the user data is what it is all about.

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Microsoft Surface Touch keyboards self-destruct – and more

R Cox

failure rate 360

My concern would be even as late at 2009, there are stil many reports of xBox 360 failing at a high rate. While a video game console can fail with little short of long term effect, just send it in for warranty repair, a failure of a tablet can be a significant issue, especially if it is not a toy. So there is no reason to expect the surface is going to be any different. There is no evidence that MS can make a reliable piece of hardware.

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Apple's skinny new iMac line: Farewell, optical drives

R Cox

Who uses DVD?

Honestly I have not installed anything from a DVD for a long time. For instance, I just installed MS Office, it was purchased and installed directly from MS. Every piece of software is available for download, often at a reduced price. Even software that is not for download is often now shipped on USB. For instance Autodesk is on USB.

There is no reason why lack of a DVD drive means anything other than the inability to play DVDs. Even this does not infer Apple homogeny. One is just as likely to get free videos from Amazon or Netflix, or even rent or buy them from Amazon or even Blockbuster. There is competition, and not much of it is in physical media.

Anyway, if one is going to include a physical media player in a high end machine it is going to be a blu ray player. I, for one, even though will pay for Apple equipment, would not pay the markup for a Bluray player that I will likely never use.

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iOS 6 maps can't find Sydney Apple Store

R Cox

idealized google maps

I think we are comparing an idealized version of google maps to a real version of Apple Maps.

It was not that long ago that google sent me on a long detour down a single lan mountain road, on one side of me was a mountain, on the other side a increasingly tiny winding river. This wasn't so bad but there was a perfectly good interstate available.

The locations of businesses are increasingly good in Google, but far from perfect. I have run into trouble using their location services.

The traffic service on Google is useless. If I want real information, I go to out local traffic service with is much more accurate. It could be that Apple traffic might be better as long as there is one iPhone in the traffic.

The reality is for iPhone users google provided no value. Apple was paying huge sums of money to google, and we were getting very little in return. If Google want to woo iPhone users with superior products, they can put a third party App out there and let users choose to pay for it. I know I would not as there are $5 apps out there that are better. I think google is banking and generating great opposition to the Apple Maps on the hope that Apple will be forced to go back to google.

I don't think Apple will do this. I think if Apple and Google could play, Google would have given iPhone turn by turn maps, especially for the money Apple was giving to Google. As it is, Apple maps can only get better, and Google is apparently not going to give anything to anyone who does not use Android.

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'Sacrifice another goat!: iCloud is Apple's biggest failure before Google

R Cox

Google provides a free service in which the data lives on Google servers and can be mined and destroyed at the will of google. We have seen cases where people have losed access to their data for really stupid and arbitrary reasons. If data is not critical, Google is a good choice.

Apple, with iToos and successors, provides a paid service in which contacts, calendars, mail, personal information, and files are synchronized among computers. In my experience over the past 10 years or so I have not lost data. Sometimes there has been issues, but I have had up to three computers in sync. In addition, I have been able to manage family computers remotely using Mobileme.

These are two different products, and unfortunately with the introduction of iOS, the toolchain became broken and Mobileme no longer worked as well as it did. So a good product is gone.

I see nothing that great about iCloud, except it is not google, so I have some level of confidence that my data is not be mined and advertisements are not going to be targeted based on email. iCloud no long synchs mail between Mac and iOS devices, which sucks. it no longer helps me manage passwords, which can cost $50 per device. OTOH, the App store now lets me share purchases across all macs.

I am not saying iCloud is good, it seems to suck. Mobileme really helped me manage data much more transparently than Google dropbox or anyone else. I also have a personal webdav server which I could use but it is not as transparent as Mobileme. Now that Mobileme is gone I might make it work.

What would make me a google fan is if they updated the Google Docs. This could be the new killer app for google. However, they are missing some quite fundamental features on the application. For examples, graphing has few advanced options, and the presentation cannot change slide size.

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Apple's Mountain Lion to offer automatic security updates

R Cox

already does?

Not sure what is happening here, but OS X can already automatically checks for updates on a periodic basis as chosen by the user. This presumable includes security updates to the OS, as I see no reason to exclude those.

<p>

My understanding is the new OS X will install these during sleep time, so even if one is not actively using the computer, these updates will still be installed. The benefit, obviously, is that the security has already been updated when the user comes back to work on the computer. This is, in fact, an innovative feature as my other computer says it has security updates a couple times a week, and I must wait 10 minutes for the updates to install and reboot the machine before i can use it.

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Apple's Retina Macs: A little too elite?

R Cox

desktop mac

I am unsure why you would do high end editing on a laptop when you could could get a desktop mac, for basically the same price, and upgrade hard disks and memory to relatively astronomical levels. Base Mac Pro is 6gb and a terabyte. One apparently have three free bays and one free ram slot.

That said, I used to make hour long movies recorded on mini DV, imported firewire, on one of the early Macbook Pros. It had 2gb of memory and 256 GB HD, in a word less capable overall than my Macbook Air. I was not doing incredibly processor intensive stuff, but the HD could hold the move and export to DVD was quick. If I had room for a desktop, I would certainly buy one as opposed to the current models of Macbooks, which are increasingly become high end consumer devices. That is, the compromises are increasingly being made to satisfy casual users rather than professional users.

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I need to multitask, but Windows 8's Metro won't let me

R Cox

So we have had multitasking since 1986

In MS DOS, you has terminate and stay resident. This allowed you multitask an large number of apps. The Apple Mac was actually more powerful at the time with control panel devices. These allowed amazingly useful utilities like talking moose to pop up randomly and remind you of important things, like pizza time and the love that the computer felt for the user.

I am glad we are making such progress. And remember, just because Apple does it(launchpad) does not mean it is a good idea. That is why so many of the new Apple stuff is optional.

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Vote now for the worst movie NEVER made

R Cox

The Aluminators

This just seems to the making of a bad movie. It has the elements of a movie that was clearly intended to be serious, with well known and paid actors, but in the end is just horrible. But not in a good way like Hudson Hawk or Barbarella. In a bad way like almost any post 90's movie where Travolta has a leading role.

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So, what IS the worst film ever made?

R Cox

Re: Worst Film ever

i think any MST3K movie is out fo the running. Such movies are often made to be silly, or simply taken out of context. Some of the movies are sweet.

To me a bad movie is one that was intended to be a serious contender, but ended up being bad. This is also why sequels are not really in the running. These movies are explicitly made to capitalize on a franchise. Such movies are by their nature bad. Take Die Hard sequels. The first was very defensible, the rest are about the money.

Speaking of bruce willis, I would have to admit Hudson Hawk was bad, but it wasn't really meant to be good. There are any number of other movies with Willis, The Last Boy Scout, Surrogates, that are genuinely bad.

I might say Battlefield Earth but I never saw it. So I will nominate Titanic, which, unfortunately, I did see.

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Tim Cook's post-PC iPad domination dream crushed by reality

R Cox

"The developing world"

I have relatives in the developing world. Back in the 90's I was surprised how many of them had cell phones as their only phone. When they explained it to me, i understood that the phone infrastructure was not great, land lines were expensive. In the end cell phones were a good value, and some people even had booster stations for their homes.

When thinking to the lack of constant electricity, lack of hard wired communications, I can see the kids that are growing up now might choose a tablet instead of a PC. It might be that PCs, due to inertia of business interests and need of schools, continue to grow, but that does not mean that it is a long term trend.

For example, most people I know in the developed world have a laptop, not a desktop. The exception are those that buy an all in one Yet no one thought that relatively expensive laptops would outsell desktops, yet in 2008 that reality came to pass. Likewise, it will take time for software to be rejigged for tablets, but the 10 hours of power, always on internet, and versatility will certainly continue to drain sales from the PC.

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Windows XP and iPod: A tale of two birthdays

R Cox

Quality

To support a statement already made, MS Windows XP at release was not great. I used MS Windows 2000 until SP3. While some had issue with MS Windows 2000, I thought it was the most reasonable OS MS had made since the first rush release of MS Windows. I updated a couple years to MS Windows 7. I skipped Vista not so much because it was bad, but because I saw no reason to spend money. The upgrade to 7 was much more cost effective than the upgrade to Vista. I am impressed on the quality of 7, and it runs at lighting speed on my macbook.

As far as the iPod is concerned, the ITMS was not a concern for me, I simply wanted to upgrade from my Creative Nomad. Though it was a good player, like most consumer it was badly built. A little plastic switch had broken and rendered the whole unit nearly unusable. The original iPod was huge in comparison so I was not interested, but when the iPod mini came out I bought one. It was a good size. Another advantage was that on the Nomad it took about an hour to load music on a card that was maybe 100 megabytes. On the mini it took less time to lead the full gigabytes of music using firewire.

A reason I continue to buy iPods, and apple stuff in general, is the quality. The original iPod mini still works although the battery no longer holds a charge. For consumer products they are rock solid.

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Byte-dock MacBook Pro port replicator

R Cox

Docking

Apple did not really abandon the dock, but moved from a dedicated dock to variations on the dock built into the display.

As far as heat issues, I used my old powerbook in clamshell mode sitting on a wire grid, and all was mostly ok. It got hot but the room it was in was never well cooled. I think that this vertical presentation would minimize excessive heating quite well, assuming a good air flow.'

I don't know if this would help the average user. Wireless internet, wireless sound, most people do not use firewire or thunderbolt. That is two plugs, power and USB, assuming one has a powered USB hub, which one should have anyway to protect the computer from overheating.

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Memo to kid coders: Enterprise software exists

R Cox

it is about choice

Back in the 80's it seemed we had a choice between enterprise of small business. I chose to small business. Later I saw what was available in enterprise. While we might idealize it, realistic people see the fallout of the of CRM and the expense of MS licenses and the never ending customization of enterprise software as a money pit that has brought more than one firm over the edge of receivership.

Which is to say that there has always been layers of software. What is being written now, connecting widgets to databases, is just another step in bring the tools to the masses. Small firms could never afford solutions from IBM or santa cruz operations. These were 5 times as expensive as the acceptable solutions provided by MS at the time. It is about the cheapness of clock cycles in 1990 and memory in 2000 and bandwidth in 2010.

While scalability and consistency and other basics still exist and are important to people who think in terms of enterprise, that one must pay someone like BEA or SAP to customize their solution is no more certain than requiring that men in blue suits provide your hardware.

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Apple's new Final Cut Pro X 'not actually for pros'

R Cox
Facepalm

Aperture

I was kind of distressed when I saw APerture included a facebook and flickr button. I think there is value in applications targeted to different needs. iPhoto for the snapshop crowd, Aperture for the value minded pro, and PhotoShop for the professional that can afford it in terms of time and money. If Apple focuses primarily on the consumer market, products like Aperture and Final Cut are going to be diluted into products that are not useful to the professional.

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Making a storage mountain out of a molecule

R Cox

element versus isotope

"created a depleted uranium molecule, one with its radio-active element removed"

An element refers to an atoms with equal number of protons. For example, Uranium atoms all have 92 protons. The 92 protons are, in fact, what makes Uranium Uranium and not, for example, Lead. SO if we remove all the radio-active element, we would end up with no Uranium at all. Some might say well we are only taking about the radio-active element, the Uranium that has 235 protons and neutrons, but that is imprecise as well. Why the majority of Uranium decays a factor of 1000 slower than the U-235, it is still radio active. In fact all elements heavier than lead tend to eventually decay to lead.

What we are talking about here is isotopes. Isotopes have the same number of protons, but different number of neutrons, that is they are the same elements with slight different properties. Depleted uranium has the the majority of the hightly radioactive isotope removed leaving the less radioactive isotopes, not elements.

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'Upgraded' Apple iMacs lock out hard drive replacement

R Cox

Hard disks get hot.

To be fair, the iMac has about the most complicated hard disk replace of any macintosh I have seen since the 12" powerbook. The iMac is definitely designed to be a disposable unit. As far as connecting cooling tot he hard disk, that may be an idea whose time has come. The hard dive is one of the few components that seems to be a primary producer of heat, and Apple does not appear to use the most effecient models. I have had many hard disks fail due to over heating.

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No, iPhone location tracking isn't harmless and here's why

R Cox

secret?

"the geographic locations of cell towers is usually kept secret by the carriers who own them"

I would like some substantiation of this assertion, at least for the US. As far as I know such things are public record as towers have to be authorized and built. It seems to me that a cell tower would be a pretty tricky thing to keep secret. In any case I have had reason to look up towers to work out certain issues. One tool is

http://www.antennasearch.com/

According to an NPR story I heard this evening, this file has been an open secret and has been used by law enforcement among other agents. It is a file that, if there is not a good reason for it's existence, should not exist. OTOH, I am not sure how legitimate it would be in court if it has a lot of extraneous data. It certainly is almost the equal to the Google debacle, except that google was stealing who knows how much personal data for no other reason than it was easy.

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Apple bans iPhone 3G patch omission talk from forum

R Cox

not good

I generally am supportive of Apple support cycle. The three year support of updates for Macs allows a 4-5 year lifetime without the burden of supporting legacy hardware that causes so much headache and degrade the user experience.

OTOH, not including 3GS in this update is really not defensible. It is the previous generation device, and I am sure that some are still under Applecare warranty through the end of the year. I would imagine there might be some lawsuits over this.

OTOOH, though, Android has OS updates that do not support phones that are currently on the market, so this may be the new normal.

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Apple to 'boot boxed software from retail boutiques'

R Cox

Good

I was surprised to see Aperture for sale at the Apple store the other day. Who wants to pay $200 when it is $80 at the App store. I think we can be honest and say that anything that will fit on 1 DVD does not have to solve in physical form. it is a waste resources. OTOH this is clearly one of many efforts by Apple cut out third party retailers. I hope they extend this to the Applecare products. it is quite stupid to have to order a box for something that has no substantial physical content.

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Flash versus HTML 5

R Cox

History...repeats itself

"In this context, developing for the mobile web, as opposed to building apps for proprietary platforms, will be the way forward. But there will still be trade-offs."

I recall back when we were many commercial firms began writing HTML for there was great debate over whether we should use HTML or the extensions provided by Flash and MS. With pre-css HTML, which was just a markup language that provided context for blocks, there was no guarantee to how the blocks would render. This was unacceptable for many people. Therefore we ended up with a significant portion of the web that built for a single proprietary platform , MS Office, or running on second proprietary platform, Macromedia Flash. The way forward for a long time was not to develop for the web in general.

The decision not to use HTML was sometimes very well justified, but other times is was not so much. Some people thought they needed to design for 640X480 screen size. Some people want to make sure the branding was always in the exact same spot. The best justification for flash was to insure viewers of the web page had to see the advertising.

Adobe Flash and things like it are going to be used on the mobile web specific because they are proprietary. They will allows a level of control, differentiation, and confort in the same way that IE did back in the day. Flash is widely used for delivering video content, and is well suited to do so. It is unclear that other tech can do the same, but I suspect it does. IMHO the primary reason Flash is so critical to the mobile web is that it provides the mechanism to deliver advertisement. Since Apple delivers it's own ads, Flash is irrelevant. When Flash in no longer the primary way to deliver ads, Adobe is much less relevant. Therefore like MS was with IE, Adobe is in a life and death struggle to keep Flash relevant long enough to adjust.

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Verizon backpedals on unlimited iPhone data

R Cox

ATT still unlimited

Not to be an iPhan, but ATT still offers unlimited data to those who had a plan with them prior to the change. My iPhone 4 has the unlimited data plan. As long as I don't choose to save a 15 dollars by opting for the 200MB plan(really is enough for me, but I like being legacy), they do not seem eager to kick me off of unlimited data. OTOH, tethering will cost me $45, but only for 2GB, hardly worth the effort.

We will see what this 'limited offer' from Verizon is. My experience is Verizon is an excellent network but at a very high cost. My suspicion is that when the iPhone 5 comes up, and data is delivered at expected speed, there will be strict limits placed on usage. I would be suprised if they grandfathered their customers as ATT does.

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Apple tightens screws on hardware hackers

R Cox

Put it in context

I am annoyed that they are moving away from Torx. Not that many people have or carry a Torx set. That means the common person is not going to casually open and damage the computer. Those who have invested in a Torx set probably also has the background to deal with the innards of the machine.

I think is also useful to consider Apple sales and repair policy over the long term. In the 90's when most computers were implementing a one week or fortnight return policy, Apple continued to accept returns for thirty days, though now it 14 days. They have always fixed anything on any of my under warranty computers. The fact that they don't want an average person to open the computer, fry the motherboard, and then try to return the damaged merchandise is not a huge issue with me. If these new screws, which will not prevent me from repairing my kit, are what it takes to keep the liberal return and warranty policy it may not be such a bad trade.

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Microsoft eases Windows Phone 7 restrictions (a bit)

R Cox

12 handets, two carriers

"Windows Phone 7 is only available on 12 handsets running on two carriers - AT&T and T-Mobile"

How is this a hinderance. Apple sold 1/4 of a million iPhones in one weekend, one model, one carrier. By the time they added a second model and went worldwide, they were approaching twice that number every week.

We must also remember that MS, unlike Apple, is not spring chicken when it comes to the Smartphone. MS announced it's first product in 2001. One can ask what has this 10 years of being in the biz gotten MS. Other oldtimers have respectable market share, RIM 15%+, Symbian around 40%, but MS remains in perpetual single digits.

It is premature to say that the MS smartphone is a lost cause. OTOH MS is not announcing a sale of a million phones over the first month. That is only a half million per outlet and 80K units per phone. That is with the MS Phone as the main promotion on the front page of the ATT website. I cannot imagine how one can argue success.

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US iPad to get BBC pay app - with 'handcrafted British feel'

R Cox

'We're quite bullish about what we can charge'

This is what keeps me from paying for BBC content. They are quite bullish about raking in the bucks from americans. Shows like Lovejoy and Alll Creatures Great and Small run three times per episode what equivalent US shows would cost. The only US show that continues to demand the same payment as BBC shows is the Star Trek franchises. I am not one to complain about price, but when the market says $1-2 an episode, and you ar the $3-4, there is something amiss in pricing.

<p>

Hulu Plus is $10 a month, as well is Netflix. One can buy many shows, for instance MI-5, for $2 an episode, but these are long delayed(here we are on season 8), which is a far cry from the $30-40 a season BBC once demanded. I hope we will see a price closer to $10 a month rather than one set in an orgy of bullishness.

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Apple threatens Java with death on the Mac

R Cox

education

There are a fair number of education apps that run on Java. One reason the ipad is not perfect for education is that it will not run java, so one needs a pc or mac. One reason mac is good for education is that Java is installed and runs well, so it is easy to use these java apps.

If Apple no longer runs java, then it will be useless machine for education. More PCs will appear in education channels, fewer users will be exposed to Apple products, and iPad and iPhone will be less of a dominant force.

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Microsoft should starve on radical penguin diet

R Cox

Developers, Developers

MS might also want to figure out a way to include Cygwin while not violating the GPL. They might want to include other development tool chains that would allow developers to work on OSS projects in the WIndows environment, now something that is often easier to accomplish on Apple kit.

MS made life difficult when it went with C# instead of working with the Java platform. While this may have been justified from a technical perspective, it also meant that MS was fighting a tide of interoperability to maintain a monopoly. It needs to fix that so that businesses can choose MS products as part of the solution, rather than having to exclude them

Finally, developers should not be treated as a profit center. If developers are essential, then make them feel that way. MS development tools must be nearly free. At a minimum that means that MS Windows Pro must include a Visual Studio License. If MS wants developer to link to MS databases, a license should be included for that as well. If these tools were as free as Eclipse, students would learn them and want to develop. MS can still shaft developers with MSDN subscriptions.

Look at it this way. To develop for linux costs only a computer, which can probably be a hand me down. To develop for iPhone costs less than $1000 plus $100. For MS there is the machine, plus $1,200-10,000 to access MS development information. While MS believe that it provides value to support at a 50% price premium on development on it's platform, times they are a changing.

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BlackBerry tablet to trump iPad with Flash, videoconferencing

R Cox

Email and Google

Just curious, is BB 6 going to have full support for IMAP. Last time I checked not even Gmail support the blackberry. While a blackberry tablet may stop the loss of sales for businesses that have blackberry infrastructure and exchange, I think many people iike me want full imap access to their many email accounts, and the average consumer wants access to gmail.

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Google: 'We did not follow Apple into phone market'

R Cox

Play the number game, Google still loses

In 2005 Apple and Motorola released a POS phone, but ir was a phone. Presumable work started on this phone prior to 2005. Apple did the reasonable thing, just like Google did the reasonable thing in acquiring Android, as neither had mobile phone experience, though Apple did have much more consumer mobile device experience, not to mention consumer hardware experience, as they actually designed consumer devices. Google loses this race as it bought Android after Apple started working with Motorola.

The Motorola phone served it purpose and helped Apple gain knowledge to produce the iPhone. Google loses this race as Android phones were released after the iPhone.

Of course it is all moot because Google said it will not make Android hardware, so any Android phone that has been branded by Google must be a figment of our imagination. I must give Google credit. Unlike MS who always wait until the competing product is out and freely available to copy, Google is much more proactive.

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Microsoft's past - the future to Android's iPhone victory

R Cox

Not about open or closed

I think we have to be careful comparing PCs to embedded devices like phones. MS products were beneficial not because they were open, but because they allowed IBM PC software to run on cheap hardware. This gave them value. Even so, when the PC market started taking off, many firms ran MS unlicensed until the crackdown of the late 90's, indicating that many considered the value non-monetary. Furthermore, as PC prices dropped, MS did not aggressively price software, which lead to the situation we are in now. So it was not developers, but the inexpensive hardware and often unlicensed software. This is not possible with Apple.

But this really means nothing for google. I don't think phones are going to be like the IBM PC. It is not an immature market ruled by a few firms. There is no s100 board that hobbiests can use to build their own devices. In terms of business, most are happy with blackberry in a way that many were not happy with IBM. Those that are not have alternatives. While that Apple Store may be annoying, the cost of entry to develop on Apple, under $1500, is not going to any more or less than Google. If Google gains major market share it is because the wireless firms are allowed to limit what users can do on the phone, the status quo, not because of openness or developers.

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Apple picks death not compliance for open source iPhone game

R Cox

Perpetuating the viral myth

This article, and several of the comments, are clearly intended to perpetuate the myth that the GPL is a viral license that will destroy any legitimate business. In this case a developer used GPL code and distributed it in a manner that the developer knew or should have known would violate the GPL. Everyone and their dog knows about the 5 device limit.

When Apple learned about this they cut the distribution method, thus guaranteeing that no other developer would use GPL code for the iPhone by guaranteeing that there would be no legitimate way to distribute any binary. Case closed. There is no reason for FSF to be disappointed. If the purpose of the GPL is to guarantee that code will remain open, then that is exactly what happens.

The problem is that some people are not happy unless the entire world works the way they want. These people either want everything covered under the GPL or civilization to end. They are bigots. They are the ones that give ammunition to the likes of MS to characterize the GPL as a viral license that will destroy businesses. I suspect this example will be used everywhere as a reason to avoid the GPL. Look at Apple, everyone will say. They did the right thing by pulling a product that violated the GPL, and now everyone is criticizing them. Those GPL folks can't be trusted.

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80% of devs chafe at Apple's App Store cash split

R Cox

Why charge at all?

I object that I have to pay for Apps. I think Apple should provide free bandwidth and support to keep the store running perfectly, and the developers should offer their product for free, possibly with ads if they want revenue. Obviously such a bold move would be of benefit to Apple and the developers. Apple would be able to defend the draconian censorship of Apps by saying it provides the site as a public services, and developers could gain a reputation for good Apps, as well as ad revenue.

I think this was the idea of the original Adroid Marketplace. Now the greedy developers want to charge money, which Google set a maximum on, and google takes it's 30% cut.

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Apple in shock talks with Reg reader

R Cox

Also iTunes on Mac

ITunes on Mac is nothing to write home about. It is a decent music player, but it is one of the few products Apple has made that is user hostile. It really has to be as it's function is not to help the user, but control the content.

As a video player, iTunes is crap. Why does it need to play the movie within the iTunes frame? Why can't it open a new window? Even if I open a new window, it still plays in the main iTunes Windows. And it is slow. I recall when I tried to watch movies on my top of line Powerbook G4 it would not even play without skipping. iTunes is the most bloated piece of crap, a pox on the Apple name. Decoding the DRM video requires 60% of my Macbook CPU. Playing a similar movie on VLC only requires 30%.

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Jobsian drones shackle gamer with 'lifetime' iPad ban

R Cox

If we believe this guy

The sales lit clearly says two per customer, and the iPad is hardly the only product that has limits. In the states, Prada and other luxury bags have limits. This allows us mere foolish mortals who wish to waste our money on such things the ability to purchase at list price. Most major entertainment events also has limits for the same reason. The idea is not just to clamp down on the grey market, but to limit the ability of guys like this creep to purchase all the stock, then resell at a profit. They may say they are only charging enough to cover costs, but who regulates the costs?

In the case of the poster who asked about the family of five, I hardly think that a limit on 'two per customer' would keep them from buying an iPad for each member. Bring one of the older kids and purchase six iPads, then sell one to help defray costs. OTOH, if I had been one of the fools waiting in line all night for an iPad and I did not get one because one person wanted 5 iPads, or even a family of 5 bought 10 iPads, I might think that was a little unfair.

A philanthropist ships COD and charges only the original purchase price. A business person tacks on 'just enough to cover his or her costs'.

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Adobe to sue Apple 'within weeks,' says report

R Cox

What mobile phone has full Flash?

IMHO, this lawsuit indicates the lack of relevance of Flash i the mobile marketplace. It seems to be clear that Adobe believes that there is a good chance that Flash is going to lose it's place as one of a few de facto web standards, and the only way to save it is to force Apple to support it on the iPhone. After all, we have yet to see Flash on the Blackberry even though it has been rumored for a couple years and allegedly in real development for a year. Likewise MS Kin, the phone that would save the MS phone platform, does not come with flash. Android 2.1 has flash, as well as Palm. But neither are these are yet taking the market by storm. So I guess instead of getting a real mobile strategy, they will sue Apple into doing it for them.

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Google goes cycling

R Cox

Appears no bike routes

Good effort. In my test the route chosen for the bike was more suitable than the default car route. Good effort.

However, the bike routes seem to not be present. I would have hoped they would have put in the routes prior to the release. For instance in my test route, most of the trip can be done on dedicated hike/bike routes rather than the road. None of these were present.

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Adobe to Jobs: 'What the Flash do you know?'

R Cox

Put in an off switch.

Flash is only "achieved its wide use today' because it does not have an off button, combined with the system of secretive cookies. In essence Flash provides the lack of transparency that so many third parties crave in a way that HTML does not. If Safari had a Flash Blocker installed by default, then I would absolutely love to have Flash on the iPhone. My preferred browser, Camino, has such functionality. I don't see why every browser should not. Installing such basic functions after market is as silly as having to install a plugin to stop animated gifs.

And to echo what others are saying, yes, when my browser crashes or gets into a place where I have to force a quit, Flash is pretty much always to blame.

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Who ate all the iPies?

R Cox

FLASH

Flash is about 15 years old, but only in the past five has it been a absolutely useful tool to the average user. The fact is that Flash resource intensive. Without horsepower and bandwidth it degrades the user experience. Everyone is complaining about how slow ATT in the US is. Just imagine what would happen if every flash entity on every web page were added to the mix. ATT would likely crash. Even over WiFi the iPhone would be unusable for web browsing. This does not even consider the security implications from accepting Flash from unknown sites.

Safari does not have default ability to turn Flash off, nor does it have the ability to only accept flash from certain sites. Flash does not have this ability either. Without it flash on mobile devices is not something I want.

A solution is to have have an app that will run Flash objects outside of the browser. This will work for content the user chooses to view, but of course this would not ordinarily include ads. Another solution is what MS is doing for Silverlight, which is decoding content on the server side and streaming it to the iPhone.

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Apple's Tablet won't save Big Dumb Media

R Cox

won't buy stuff twice

I don't have a kindle because I don't need to subscribe to a newpaper that I already pay for through ads. Nor do I need a kindle version of a magazine that I already get in physical form. Nor do I want to hear how $9.99 for an e-book is an unsustainable low price when the hardback is sold for $12.99. For years we were told how expensive it was to print and distribute a book, now we are told that such costs are not even $3.

Apple is not going save print anymore than it saved music. What it can do is provide another way to monetize content.

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Microsoft's mobile marketplace opens for submissions

R Cox

do not see the difference

These rules appear to primarily protect the MS store and carriers from competition, just like Apple. There may some clarity on the initial details, but the disclaimer "Microsoft reserves the right to update these policies as needed to protect the Windows® Marketplace for Mobile service or the users of the service " would tend to indicate that it is possible for them to restrict applications on an ad hoc basis by changing the rules. Just like Apple, the process does not seem to include a public hearing. If MS receives complaints, MS has no part in the solution, so, presumably, MS will mandate a solution that the ISV can either accept or leave.

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Engineers are troublesome 'expert loners', says prof

R Cox

complicated

First, engineers are professionals, not drones, not computers. Managing and teaching students who are to be engineers requires special care. We are expecting these people to create things than never existed before, and make then safe, and create a manufacturing process to make them cheap. This is not a simple command. Most people do not think of the details, and believe that engineers are being truculent when observing that this process could well eventually kill the employees. What does a manager care about eventually killing employees?

Second, to say again, engineers are not machines. There is not one form or teamwork. Engineers by definition create things, so it is reasonable the first thing they would create is a process to allow the project to succeed. While some people need to explicitly brainstorm, detail, and celebrate they fact that have created a process that any brain-dead person could have created in a week, engineers just do it as part of their job and move on.

Third, not everything that looks like procrastination is procrastination. Very often engineers read, and discuss and create prototypes without ever asking anyone to acknowledge or celebrate this work. Once an idea has developed some legs, the engineer will present the idea. To the outside world this look like magic, but those of us in the know realize the work that goes into it. This applies to school where a students may do homework all at once. Not everyone thinks on paper. Many people can sketch up solutions in their head, and then scribble the solutions on paper to the credit.

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Verizon eyes future iPhones

R Cox

Why Verizon

I do not see Apple and Verizon meeting in the middle on this. Verizon does what it does very well, and is successful. Verizon seems to be holding it's own against the iPhone, which, despite what we say, is not the Jusus Phone. There are many phones out there that do as good as a job, and Verizon sells a lot of them. What I do see happening, and what ATT should be worried about, is the eventual $149 iPhone sold by Boost and Cricket or even T-Mobile. I know users of these services that were up marketed to ATT by the iPhone. If they can go back to these other firms, I believe they would. I use the 3G networks of these other carriers, and they are suitably fast.

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