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* Posts by Buck Futter

323 posts • joined 21 Aug 2008

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Stand clear! Will HTC's One act as a defibrillator for Windows Phone?

Buck Futter

Re: "Premium smartphone buyer"

First of all, fifteen years ago there weren't any MacBooks around. Those would be Powerbooks, and a quick trip down memory lane will tell you that ALL computers were pricey back then. As for people willing to pay for luxury items, you could argue the same thing for Hermes bags: for less than 10% of the price you can get a bag with more functions and which is easier to carry, but still people will buy them....

I think the real gem in the article is that WinPho hast lost close to 10% in the last quarter. Listing all the missing features, I really have to say, i was considering having a look at a WinPho but now I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen. The lower end models don't do it for me, and the pricier ones, well, I can just get an iPhone and be done with it right?

Let's face it, Microsoft had a pretty good ida with the whole tiles thin, but they've squandered it so that now it really doesn't bring anything to the table anymore. if after three years of being on the market people still aren't buying it, clearly it's not enough of a differentiator.

What they should do it take it off of lifesupport. Either give me a phone that I can use, or stop making them. FFS use that cloud you're flogging to give me traffic updates coupled to my alarm so I can catch the bus on time, tell me about upcoming activities for this weekend, scour the social and dating networks to see if anyone might be interested. Do all that in the background, and yes, then I would certainly be interested. Till then, there is not enough for me to change my phone, and I don't trust MS to come up with a solution that'll work from start to finish.

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Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls

Buck Futter

Re: 2 billion US dollars?

We're still talking about a couple of millionaires pushing a ball over some arbitrary line as if it means something, right?

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Buck Futter

Surprise?

Pretty sure Nadella told the board that after his "probation period" was over, Ballmer and Gates would have to go. Who in their right mind would have taken the job with those two lurking over your shoulder. I'm not being derogatory about the two former CEOs, but I think we can all agree MS needed to change course drastically and the last thing you'd want in that situation is your two former bosses in a position of influence. I think this is the best move made by Gates and Ballmer in at least a decade.

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Amazon smacks back at Hachette in e-book pricing battle: We're doing it for the readers

Buck Futter

Re: We all moved to sharepoint.

A publishing house does more than just the editing and artwork. Have you any idea how many would-be authors send in their manuscripts? These need to be examined and, in most cases, politely declined (hence the rise of the self-published author, another one of Amazon's strategies). The ones that do make it through this process will need to be guided and nurtured. Then, eventually, the work will need to be edited and possibly rewritten, after which it is still a gamble to see how the public will respond. For every J. K. Rowling there are thousands of J. K. Nothings... Then there's the book promotion, the costs of operating and maintaining a printing press, royalties... I'm not saying tiems are hard for publishers, but there's a lot more going on in the background than you may realise.

But let's see this for what it is: Amazon wants to sell stuff. They don't care what it or for how much, they just want to sell stuff. The paperback may have proved to be a financial success, yes, but as Woolf and Joyce feared, it has lowered the quality of writing. The popularity of the paperback means that most of the money is made from selling volume, whereas it used to be that people would put down money for a good book. Pushing down the prices on ebooks will mean even lower prices for authors, meaning less time for research and working out ideas. To see where this might lead, duckduckgo "japanese romance ebooks": three dollars worth of useless mush written in less than two weeks.

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Microsoft hopes for FONDLESLAB FRENZY as Surface Pro 3 debuts

Buck Futter

What's wrong with these people

Why don't they come out with a dedicated OneNote device? 7" wit a stylus instant syncing, that's all I would buy a Surface for anyway.

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Amazon's not-actually-3D Fire: Bezos' cash register in YOUR pocket

Buck Futter

Image

I think the biggest drawback is the logo on the back. For many people a phone is a social signifier, ref. the Android vs. iOS fanbois.

I'm not sure that many people would want to identify themselves as "cheap shoppers" every time they put this thing to their ears. The brand itself is very strong, but I doubt it has the 'cool factor' . On the other hand, there are loads of people who will use an iPad for taking photos, so there's that.

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YouTube will nuke indie music videos in DAYS, says Google exec

Buck Futter

Re: High handed google again!

No offence, but if you "cherish and enjoy" your stuff, maybe you should spend a few bob trying to keep a "backup" of them...

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Buck Futter

Re: Don't Be Evil

Or how Android was somehow better because it was "open". Quite frankly I have yet to meet someone who has side-loaded anything on their phone, but then I hardly leave my mother's basement...

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'Cortana-gate' ruins Satya Nadella's Microsoft honeymoon

Buck Futter

Quite frankly

Apple is turning itself into a "lifestyle" shop. I think the industry as a whole is moving that way. On the one hand we will have massive datacentres owned by a couple of companies, and on the other hand we will have the myriad companies that will feed off/feed in.

Apple is hedging its bets, but it's mostly a fashion brand that happens to make some pretty great hardware. Microsoft OTOH is making great strides in cloud services (despite what their partners might prefer). However, in terms of fashion', Microsoft has never "got it" and will only "get it" if they "buy it", i.e. buy some small hip(pish) company to produce a one-hit wonder. That is clearly not part of a strategy though so in all likelihood their consumer efforts will never offer a good ROI.

I know, you're thinking about X-box, but that success story was only possible due to the mistakes Sony made. As with most other markets where Microsoft eventually succeeded their only advantage was that they could hold out longer than the rest. All they have to do is wait for the competition to self-implode.

That strategy is not going to work against companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung, which is why Microsoft hasn't had a winner this century (no, XP till SP2 was so utterly horrible it led directly to the delays that cursed Vista so that by the time 7 came around the tide was already turning and Microsoft could no longer react in a timely manner).

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Chuh. Heavy, dude: HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

Buck Futter

Rubbish

I have an Elitebook 8570. The battery is dead after an hour and a half, even idling the fans they never stop. It's heavy, and the powerbrick probably has a greater volume than a MacBook Air... Mind you, I have grown a freakishly strong right arm, but people tend not to believe me when I tell them how it's from lifting the damn thing. Also, I don't have a girlfriend so they might be right...

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Samsung will ... sigh ... appeal $119m Apple patent verdict

Buck Futter

Bunch of slimebuckets all the way

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Windows Phone: Just as well Microsoft bought an Android maker, RIGHT?

Buck Futter

No such luck

Microsoft will do what they always do, support a system/product against their wishes with such piss poor-support that, rather than inviting the customer to 'upgrade' to a Microsoft product, (s)he will simply pass onto something better.

Sure the new X range is cheap, but it would take a full commitment on the part of Microsoft to support and enhance it, otherwise the next wave of hardware from the other manufacturers will simply shoot past them.

Given the proven track record of WP updates/improvements over the past three years, and their inexperience running a phone company of the size of Nokia, I seriously doubt that they'll be able to keep the Android range alive.

In fact, internally, it'll prove that there's no money to be made pursuing this "strategy" and they'll focus on WP exclusively because eff you that's why

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The IT Crowd tops BAFTA nominations with four nods

Buck Futter

Disappointing

While I love the first three seasons, the less said about season four the better. This one final episode is better than season 4 sure, but it's still nowhere near the level of the first three seasons. Such a shame but then all good things must come to an end I suppose...

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Samsung Galaxy S5 in El Reg's claws: This time the 'S' is for 'sensible'

Buck Futter

Re: But it's waterproof

I had a Siemens once, about fifteen years ago. If I were to put it down a bit too hard --not even throwing it, just putting it on the table-- the SIM card would dislodge or something. You wouldn't know it unless, several hours later, looking at the bloody thing you'd see there's no reception.

I took that backcover off several times a day, every day. Kept a ten cent coin in my pocket just to open the hatch. Got a Nokia after that, no complaints.

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EE...K: Why can't I uninstall carrier's sticky 'Free Games' app?

Buck Futter

That's probably because the App for looking back, BackCheck, hasn't been released for Windows Phone yet, and in all likelihood never will ;-)

I wouldn't be too self-congratulatory though, as MS hasn't proven itself to be above similar shenanigans. Remember their patent for pushing ads on the Windows OS?

If WinPho ever becomes successful, you can count on similar 'deals' being pushed to you.

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NSA spies recorded an entire COUNTRY'S phone calls for a MONTH: Report

Buck Futter

Re: James 68 Kept sectret from the public, or from the target government ?

Doesn't that make them the STRONGEST link then? Apart from the Netherlands and Austria, it seems there are only weak links in this assembly. Certainly everything south from the Alps...

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Google wearables: A solution looking for a rich nerd

Buck Futter

Re: It's pretty obvious what problem they are offering a solution to

Except it probably wouldn't be a quick glance, it would be more like a gateway drug. You notice an incoming message, so you take a close look to see the subject, then maybe glance at the body, aw hell, maybe even type a quick reply, and out comes the phone. If you're in a situation where etiquette dictates that you should pay attention to those around you, maybe you should put your phone on "do not disturb". In all honesty, are those mails and tweets and whatnot really so important that they can't wait for a couple of hours. I suppose if you're a heart-surgeon....

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TV sales PLUMMET. But no one's prepared to say what we all know

Buck Futter

Re: Seriously how often *do* people replace their TV's?

Hear hear, you'd think that this was because somehow the first LCD telly's were a bit slow, but no, they're still doing it. Flipping through channels means you spend more time in 'limbo' than you do watching a channel.

Oh, and people don't watch telly anymore because most of it is shit, innit?

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Microsoft exec: I don't know HOW our market share sunk

Buck Futter

?

What's this "innovating" thing he's talking about? Clearly it's a verb of some kind, because it seems they're "quite hard at it", but I can't for the life of me relate it to a real actual thing. Perhaps he was thinking of "procrastinating", as in "we've been procrastinating really hard, putting 10 Billion into it, and I can't explain why our market share has shrunk".

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Crap turnover, sucky margins: TV is a 'terrible business' – Steve Jobs

Buck Futter

Re: Jobs was a genius

It would make watching, shall we say, more adult oriented-programmes a bit more of a social thing. I enjoy watching Bulgarian airbags as much as the next bloke, but I would hardly like to advertise that fact at ten o'clock in the morning.

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Satya Nadella's first act may be to launch Office for iPad

Buck Futter

Re: Poor bastard

And what makes you think he would even be able to do a "jobs" when he's been working there for the last twenty years. If he didn't figure out what sort of refreshments they would be serving he deserves it. Quite frankly, the most I expect from Nadella is a slight course correction, certainly nothing big.

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Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update

Buck Futter

It was always a gamble

They thought that by putting Metro on the pc, people would automatically flock to Windows Phone because it offers the same experience. Sort of a revere Trojan; whereas they used to try and foist Windows onto every conceivable product (phone/pda), now the reverse is true.

As some people have pointed out already, the interface was never meant for 20" and up screens. If they could modify the screen so that it would provide me with actually useful information about my system, contacts, email &c then that would be a step up, but as with Apple, they clearly don't care about professionals anymore.

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Thanks a lot, Facebook: Microsoft turns Office 365 into social network

Buck Futter

Forked if you do, forked if you don't... wonderful idea, let's halve the number of users by having two incompatible, barely supported pieces of software...

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Buck Futter

Re: Trending graphs

I'm hardly a fan of SharePoint, but surely a better comparison would be between OneDrive and Dropbox?

Apropos SharePoint, the latest CUs and SPs are just plain horrible. They've made an overly horrible product damn-near unusable, and they don't even seem to care at all. Consumers running away in droves is one thing, but pissing on your corporate clients is something altogether different.

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Buck Futter

Grammar nazi FTW

I'm sure you meant to say "complement"...

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MWC: The good, the bad ... and the Galaxy S5

Buck Futter

Very good

In that I completely agree that all this monitoring stuff is going to be just as big a gimmick as 3D was/is for tellies. As always, the industry is looking for an idea to pinch, unfortunately companies such as Samsung have never had an original idea and are therefore utterly dependent on Apple/Google to come up with something.

The same thing goes for those so called-smart watches. When all they do is tell me my phone is trying to tell me something, what exactly is the point? The problem is that the physical dimensions are too small to allow for anything useful: you can't fit a proper display there, speakers are a problem, battery life will be horrible, never mind about having a device emitting all kinds of signals and radiation on your wrist every day...

If anyone can make it work it will be like the iPod Shuffle all over again. No display (or very rudimentary) but with a novel way of communicating. Maybe the watch will tap on your wrist to inform you of something.

For those of you who haven't yet seen it I recommend watching "Her". It's the only film which realistically portrays what a next-gen interface could look (sound) like.

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WhatsApp no threat to BBM: Blackberry bod says pretender's buyout will HELP ailing firm

Buck Futter

Oh alright then

I'll install it and see what all the fuss is about...

[edit] they could have made it to look more like a native app... the problem is, none of my friends are on BBM right now, so I'll see if inviting a few of them might help.

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Ghostwriter: Assange™ is NARCISSISTIC and UNTRUTHFUL

Buck Futter

Re: "....the biography sold just 644 copies in the first three days....."

Anything more than a tweet is just too hard...

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Enterprising French chap cranks up €100k 'flying car'

Buck Futter

... moi kiwi!

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Microsoft takes InfoPath behind the shed, says successor will be better

Buck Futter

Re: If you didn't like InfoPath and/or Sharepoint you are ...

I'd be curious about what they are going to replace it with. Seeing how very little difference there is between the 2010 and 2013 versions (if there are any), it seems obvious now that something wasn't going according to plan.

Maybe they will integrate a Form Manager into SharePoint 2013 ala the Design Manager for uploading new Designs. Certainly an online Form Builder using a jscript library would allow for the sort of dynamic forms that were impossible to build with InfoPath.

It has always been annoying when at a client who doesn't have the full fat Office and then trying to adjust a Form, so here's hoping the new incarnation will be an improvement.

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Buck Futter

Not the same

You're thinking of InfoPath Filler, not InfoPath Designer. The first is used as a desktop app, the second will allow you to create forms that you can then either upload into SP or have others fill out using Filler.

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Buck Futter

Re: Wrong tool for the wrong job...

Clearly you have never worked in a SharePoint environment, so let me explain.

There are several levels of user-interaction. In its most basic form, the user (or a manger, if you will) can create lists and workflows using the browser. For each list, SharePoint generates a form.

Naturally there are limits to what you can do here, so if you want to add a little more pizazz, use SharePoint Designer (horrible) and InfoPath (meh). This will allow you to manage your workflows, and you can create rich forms to go along with it.

The third level is, as you say, Visual Studio. In addition you could always opt to buy a third party-solution as they are usually cheaper than hiring a developer, and most business scenarios are not all that different from each other, provided that they operate in the same field...

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Office 365 Microsoft's fastest growing business, ever - Microsoft

Buck Futter

Fish in barrels

Thank god the days are over where Microsoft could push its 'products' onto others. What Office 365 is all about is, we take your customers, you won't sell any more hardware or software or licenses. I bet the partners are just lining up around the block over this one.

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HP EliteBook 840G1: Sometimes it's an Ultrabook, sometimes it's not

Buck Futter

HDD in an Ultrabook?

FFS why do they even bother. The 12.5" one is even worse, for 843 quid offering only 1366x768 an an HDD as well. Oh, and 4 Gb of memory.

Now that Dell is down the drain, here's hoping HP will follow them to a well-deserved cold grave...

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Now we're cookin' on gas: Google crafts sugar-alert contact lens for diabetics

Buck Futter

They did say

That they were going to partner with other companies on this, so maybe someone else will develop this into a working solution without having to give out your (very) personal information. While I do not doubt that this is going to be where Glass is heading for anyway, for all of the millions of diabetics out there, this might be a godsend. The problem with measuring your glucose levels is that you have no real way of knowing where the levels are heading; they're a one-dimensional point in time. Having your levels checked (reliably) every second would allow for curving, thereby informing the patient if he/she is going up or down.

All negativism aside, I applaud Google for doing research on something that might improve the lives for millions of people in a very tangible way.

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Latest Chrome adds Chrome OS flavor to Windows 8 'Metro' mode

Buck Futter

Re: missed a trick...

Google is the new Microsoft...

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

Buck Futter

Well...

With Myerson at the helm, we can be pretty sure that nothing is going to change. Look at how Windows Phone hasn't changed, at all, over the last couple of years. Things that might have made it easier to use were discarded for the sake of 'purity'. With him in charge, it'll be all-Metro, all the time.

Frankly, if Metro has one failing, it's that they didn't push it far enough. There are easier ways to work with a computer than the standard mouse+kb-combo, but as always with MS, they have no grasp of taste or direction, so they'll just bung something out there and hope it sticks, like an ordure monkey...

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No more syncing feeling with file portability service Younity

Buck Futter

So far...

Registering is pretty easy. It is now scanning my work laptop in the background, so here's hoping I won't need to lug my downloaded stuff with me on a USB key...

OK, well, all the dirs I have selected to share are now available on my phone, without having to have a local cache. How exactly this is an improvement over the likes of Dropbox remains to be seen

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Microsoft's next CEO: Who it WON'T be – Ford turn-around chief Mulally

Buck Futter

Re: Who Else Won't It Be?

Mind you, there are cannibals from as yet undiscovered tribes in Sumatra that would make better CEOs than Ballmer...

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Dell confirms Chromebook for Blighty

Buck Futter

Netbook 9

I fondly remember my Dell Netbook 9. 1 kg, small, speedy enough thanks to its SSD... four years later and both the specs and the prices haven't changed. What exactly is the benefit of the Chromebook s'posed to be? If they could have upped the quality of it a bit, say, aluminium case, non-crappy keyboard and touchpad, I would certainly have bought a new one. As for this GoogleShopfrontBook... no thanks...

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Microsoft yanks Surface 2 DIM SCREEN of DEATH fix in update snafu

Buck Futter

And....

People are wondering why Microsoft isn't selling any tablets. Would you trust this company to put out a decent product? After thirty years of utter abusive shite I will never ever buy a Microsoft product with my own money. This just goes to show that the best thing to do is simply ignore whatever it is they're trying to peddle. They're done, and about twenty years too late...

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Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

Buck Futter

Re: AMD FirePro

Yes, I'm sure that was foremost on Apple's mind. Imagine the customer backlash if the graphics drivers do not fully support Linux!

To all the people whining about the new Mac Pro, I would think very few of you would actually buy a Mac in the first place, and secondly, you're probably not a target market.

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Why Microsoft absolutely DOESN'T need its own Steve Jobs

Buck Futter

Re: A fine line between Vision and Arrogance

Well that's just it. Windows 'stole' the shortcuts, which is why Ctrl-W will still close documents (on the Mac it's Cmd-W for docs, Cmd-Q for apps).

Having the command key to either side of the spacebar means that every key on the keyboard is within easy reach. Just try pressing Alt-Y, or Alt-W.

It is (close to) moronic that copying and pasting involves the following sequence:

Ctrl-C

Alt-Tab

Ctrl-V

Unless you're an acrobat, I have to rearrange the position of my hand THREE times. On a Mac, it would be:

Cmd-C

Cmd-Tab

Cmd-V

I can do all of those while keeping my thumb on the control key. And don't even get me started on the most useless key of all, the 'Context-Menu' key which does exactly....what? Thank God my IBM Model M doesn't have these newfangled aberrations....

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Buck Futter

SJ did have one thing right

When he said Microsoft have no taste. I still can't believe they expect people to buy their products when they have a proven track record of producing nothing but utter shit. And that has been going on for nearly thirty years.

The problem with Win 8 is that it is trying to bend the laws of the universe, and you just can't do that Jim. Stuffing a full PC into a machine the size of a thin paperback with enough oomph to run Office and Photoshop and any number of programs while having a battery that lasts for more than ten hours AND costs less than an iPad.... Even if they would have been able to make it, there would be no room for profit.

They were either tool lazy, or too incompetent. As SJ said, good design is about saying no. Three different runtimes for phones, tablets, and Xbox? No. Forcing a non-proven UI that no one wants onto your mainstream OS? No. Offering a low-cost(-ish) tablet whose USP is an office suite that isn't even ready for use on a touchscreen devices? No.

If they had covered those points (plus several other ones) then they would have stood a chance, but they don't care, they have never cared about quality because they never had to. Every time when they had to compete with a company that did put in some effort they either had to spend billions (Xbox), or lose (Kin, PlaysforSure, Zune, Windows Mobile, I could go on...).

Microsoft isn't going to go away, but they will never be able to enter the consumer market unless financed by their business unit. Here's hoping their new CEO will see that and start cutting off those parts that bring nothing but embarrassment.

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WTF is the Internet of Things and how insurers will use it against you

Buck Futter

what's more

It has been proven time and again that when people can get away with no longer thinking for themselves, they will forget about it. If I know I would never need to remember if I left the stove on, I will probably never check it again. Of course there will be problems whenever you are someplace where the stove doesn't automatically check itself, but the biggest problem is people will get even lazier.

Also, I find it interesting that you use the fishtank as an example, as with all the sensors that will soon be surrounding us, will it be us owning the fishtank, or living inside one?

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Lumia 2520: Our Vulture gets his claws on Nokia's first Windows RT slab

Buck Futter

For once, they speaketh the truth

I give credit to Nokia for naming this thing aptly:

2520 will be the year Windows RT will become popular.

Good thing they are biding their time...

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SUPERSIZE ME: Nokia unveils Surface rival and 2 plumped-up phablets

Buck Futter

All you need to know

"a nice idea, since switching from typing to swiping is inconvenient."

That right there is the best example of why Win 8 is such a horrible idea.

Also, the reason people use their tablets in the morning and evening might be because, oh I don't know, they actually have a job to do. Just because they're not online doesn't mean their tablets aren't being used. I use mine quite a lot for reading or games, and I have no need to be online for that.

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11m Chinese engulfed by 'Airpocalypse' at 4000% of safe pollution levels

Buck Futter

Re: Another sign that we are officially in the future

There's a really good book that deals with this topic, it's called "Stung!". Basically, all marine eco-systems have been overfished to the point of extinction, jellyfish move in and expand, game over...

In twenty years time there won't be any fish left, so get used to it. What I find particularly interesting is that books advocating healthy living are STILL telling us we should eat more fish. Even though the oceans have been practically swept clean, and the fish that do get pulled in are chock-a-block with chemicals and medication.

Funny thing is, the Omega-3 in fish oil isn't even particularly good for us, a much better alternative is walnuts or Chia seed.

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Google's Project Glass headman answers most pressing question: 'Why?'

Buck Futter

Sigh...

>> "A few thousand years ago," he said, "basically you were out of luck" if you didn't know someone who could answer your question.

What is surprising to me is that so many really stupid people seem to be working at Google. I'm reminded of what Roy told Moss about being good at science, but completely rubbish at everything else.

It would seem these people have no idea what the societal effects of these kinds of devices will be, or they just don't care.

A few thousand years ago, if someone couldn't answer your question, you would have to go look for it. In fact. this was the state of the world just a few decades ago. They were called libraries.

It's this simplified view of the world that scares me, because I know a lot of people who work for Google or similar companies, and they all talk like that.

Thank god for the ecological apocalypse happening in a few years, at least we won't have to worry about shite like this...

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