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* Posts by Mark Jonson

41 posts • joined 5 Apr 2009

Android's scariest nightmare: resurgently sexy Microsoft

Mark Jonson

As if Apple never does that...

Microsoft used to do that, but they can't anymore. They don't have the clout to do it. Nobody cares if they get locked out of Microsoft press events. On the other hand, Leo Laporte used his MacBook's camera to stream video of an Apple press event a few years ago and he's been on the blacklist ever since. Of course, he's certainly not the only journalist/blogger/reporter/tech enthusiast to get blacklisted by Apple.

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Has Google wasted $12bn on a dud patent poker-chip?

Mark Jonson
Thumb Up

Bingo!

The real reason for this purchase, aside from the supposed patent rights that are begin acquired, is a result of Moto being in fiscal crises for years. Their fledgling mobile business isn't earning any profit. But they knew they had a treasure trove of patents that could be used to infuse some cash into the company. Moto was probably getting ready to sue the pants off of other Android OEMs, over patents similar in nature to those upon which Microsoft and Apple are claiming violations. If Motorola ended up being successful in getting injunctions or large payouts from even some of the OEMs, the entire Android OEM ecosystem would turn into a dog-eat-dog world, with patent-holding OEMs cannibalizing those who could not defend themselves.

Google couldn't have that if they are to sustain and grow their 40+% market share, so they had to do something. By buying MMI, they are taking control of the patents, and thus preventing Android OEMs from being sued over them, while concurrently ensuring that Android will be protected from litigation regarding anything in Motorola's patent drawer.

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Android up, Symbian down

Mark Jonson
Coat

So...

Where's Windows Phone in all this?

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Skyhook routes around Google to MapQuest

Mark Jonson

Meet Google, the old Microsoft

"Last year, Skyhook sued Google, claiming that Mountain View strong-armed its Android partners into dropping Skyhook in favor of Google location services. According to the suit, Andy Rubin – who oversees Google's Android project – told Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha that if the handset manufacturer didn't drop Skyhook, Google would remove official Android support from the devices. This would mean that Motorola could not use the Android Market and other proprietary Google services or use the Android name."

Hmm... sounds a lot like what Microsoft used to do to computer makers back in the 90s, forcing them to only ship PCs with Windows. But we all know better, Google does no evil. *rolls eyes*

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iTunes privacy hole shares library content with world+dog

Mark Jonson
Jobs Halo

Doesn't matter...

'cause Apple is exempt from... what are those things called? Oh yeah, laws.

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How Nokia and Microsoft will carve up mobile services

Mark Jonson
Welcome

Oh...

Intel got what has been coming to them for 20 years. Since the 80's, Intel has been taking unfair advantage of their market dominance to run competitors like AMD into near-bankruptcy, while they charged hardware makers inflated prices for their chips, a cost which was then mostly passed on to the consumer.

Now, they have been deliberately underpowering their Atom processor in order to inflate the price of Core i-series based chips. The industry finally has an opportunity to turn to ARM-based chips. It's nothing more than a delayed reaction that PC makers would have likely done 15 years ago had Microsoft offered consumer versions of Windows for anything other than x86 (Windows NT doesn't count). Coming from somebody who has been pro-Microsoft for many years, I'll even admit the Wintel duopoly is over, just like the Windows monopoly itself. The castle is crumbling and the victors will be Google, Apple, and anybody else who is jumping ship now. The sad thing is that with their growth, Google and Apple are becoming just like the Microsoft of the late 90's. Hopefully that dominance may end up getting stemmed by the DOJ before it's too late.

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Sony expands legal offensive to more PS3 hackers

Mark Jonson
Alien

Maybe Sony is on to something here...

Perhaps they have those mind-erasers from Men In Black. The suits from Sony will just put on their sun glasses and mass-erase the memory of everybody they subpoenaed. Sadly, here in the US the courts would probably let them do it.

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Superphones: A security nightmare waiting to happen

Mark Jonson
Coat

You call them superphones...

I call them dumb-smartphones. A smartphone is a phone running Blackberry OS or Windows Mobile. All these devices influenced by the iPhone are the same thing: a smartphone OS with the good power user features hidden, locked-out, or outright missing. And instead they have lots of DRM and protections to keep you from installing any good software (without jailbreaking/rooting). Since they are not as smart as traditional smartphones, they are dumb-smartphones.

The iPhone was the biggest regression in technology since the ringback tone was invented. If these so-called "superphones" are better, why have they been missing features for years that old smartphone OSes have had, in some cases, for a decade? I'm talking about tethering (for free, not the carrier-controlled tethering Apple put in the iPhone), cut/copy/paste (that took 2 years to show up), and multitasking (took 3 years). The consumer traded a lot of power away to carriers and OS makers in order to have a device with a capacitive touch-screen and an accelerometer. The worst part is that they've turned a powerful productivity tool into a glorified Game-Boy, and nobody seems to care.

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Steve Jobs takes 'medical leave of absence' from Apple

Mark Jonson

That's because...

Woz was the one who favored open and unrestricted computing. Jobs wanted to control the whole experience, make it exactly how he thought it should work and hide anything that might resemble user control. Woz is long since gone, so look who ended up getting their way...

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Researcher cracks Wi-Fi passwords with Amazon cloud

Mark Jonson

Does anybody not see the problem?

It's a chicken and egg problem. If you need to access a "cloud" service, like Amazon's, you need an Internet connection. And if you're trying to crack WPA encryption using said service, how are you to get online to do that? And if you already have a connection to the Internet then what is the point of cracking the WPA encryption? Perhaps in rare cases, someone trying to access an enterprise network could maliciously do this using a secondary connection to the Internet, but that's what RADIUS and WPA2-Enterprise with AES are for.

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Ford cars get draconian parental controls

Mark Jonson

I'm just waiting for...

Ford to get sued when the inability to speed (albeit, briefly) above the limit causes a collision. I bet that feature doesn't even make it into the 2013 models.

What most parents (and apparently one car maker) forget(s), is that often it isn't your child behind the wheel that causes accidents, but some other drunk/high/elderly driver that has no clue what is going on around them, and that the ability to speed can save lives when other people put you in a dangerous driving situation.

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World+Dog says 'no thanks' to 3D TV

Mark Jonson

TV plateau?

@Sean Kennedy: We've been at a TV plateau for 40 years, from the time color TV was introduced in the 1950s/1960s until digital television and HDTV came into the picture (pun-intended) around the early-to-mid 2000s. The difference is that TV makers have had a taste of what computer and electronics makers have had for years: a never-ending cycle of new technology to make consumers' purchases obsolete from the moment they leave the store. And now with HDTVs saturating the market there's no more reason for people to buy new TVs except for the traditional reasons: a TV stops working or the consumer wants a bigger TV, or new TV for a bedroom, kitchen, basement, etc. This is just a ploy to make consumers think they need something they don't. 3D technology is still just about as primitive as it was 10 years ago, and aside from the fact that they're changing TV from something you can have on while you're doing something else into an "experience" where you have to sit down, put on $100 goggles, and stare at the screen for the entire length of the program. I don't watch TV like that, and aside from rare occasions when my friends and I get together to watch a movie at home I don't know anybody who does. 3D is a waste of bandwidth. Instead of developing standards and protocols that can move enough data to provide 3DTV at 720p or 1080i we should be working toward moving everyone up (both content providers/producers and consumers) from 720p and 1080i to 1080p and beyond. HDTV is worthwhile, because it has greatly enhanced television viewing from its low-resolution, interlaced past. 3DTV does nothing to move the technology forward since it will simply sidetrack our progress in making better resolution video (beyond 1080p) mainstream.

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97% of INTERNET NOW FULL UP, warn IPv4 shepherd boys

Mark Jonson

Class E Space

I once heard that they had considered opening up the Class E block for public addressing (presumably to be distributed in /24 blocks, but that would just be my best educated guess). However, at the time it was said that a lot of routers (that is, commercial routers; who knows about consumer routers) would not properly route anything in the Class E space and for some odd reason a firmware upgrade just won't suffice to fix that.

I suspect that if they had begun preparing for the public allocation of the Class E space in the mid 90's when IPv6 was envisioned we could be allocating blocks of Class E today instead of worrying about running out of address space with no widely-deployed solution. Instead, we're sitting on approximately 248,720,625 (give-or-take some for network and broadcast) addresses that were never implemented "for future use," despite the fact that it is now the _future_ and we could really _use_ them.

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Ford secrets thief caught red handed with stolen blueprints

Mark Jonson
Joke

Perhaps Hussein is still on it because...

he is still alive, hiding in the attic of a house built by an American contractor who violated sanctions and illegally built houses in Iraq.

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Amazon customer purchases protected by US Constitution

Mark Jonson

I wonder...

...how many days until this gets overturned?

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Steve Jobs carried 'ninja throwing stars' in hand luggage

Mark Jonson
Thumb Up

Retaliation

Perhaps Steve should stop shipping Apple products to Japan. Either they'll relent from having the next piece of iJunk withheld from their possession and ship him his death stars, or he'll be doing the whole country a big favor and nobody from the Japanese government will question Steve Jobs' luggage contents again.

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Firefox joins Microsoft in uncool kids class

Mark Jonson
Thumb Down

Brainwashed

People are brainwashed into thinking Chrome is better because it might have a faster rendering engine or JS performance, but there's a price to pay for that performance in privacy. I think Chrome in itself is a great browser, but I can never use it as long as Google is using it as a tracking tool. I've considered moving to Chromium, but I'll have to do more reading to make sure Google's spyware isn't present in the Chromium codebase as well. Until then I'll stick to Firefox, or even IE or Opera if I have to. Anything but that spyware web browser.

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Microsoft offers iPhone devs Windows Phone 7 cash

Mark Jonson
FAIL

This article is incorrect.

Microsoft later clarified that the slide from that presentation that said "30 million devices" was not 30 million devices shipped by the end of 2011, but it was that there would be 30 million Windows Phones in consumers' hands by the end of 2011. That means all the existing Windows Mobile devices as well.

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Turkey bans Google Books, Google Docs, Google Translate...

Mark Jonson
Thumb Up

Banning Turkey From Cafeteria

WIN!

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Google does an Orb

Mark Jonson
Gates Halo

Windows Mobile, the iPhone before the iPhone

Bassey, how true that is. I've been using Orb with Windows Mobile since it was first released in 2005. I've also been using NetFront to browse the web on a touch-screen PPC with Windows Mobile before the iPhone came out, SlingPlayer on my phone and PPC before the iPhone came out, and I've been able to read my email on my phone and PPC before the iPhone came out. Of course, like you say when Apple or Google copies from somebody else, it's like it has been done for the first time.

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EFF fights Facebook bid to outlaw one-stop social apps

Mark Jonson
FAIL

Something tells me...

Seems like suing world+dog won't get Facebook very far in the big picture. I think their assumed success has gone to their head. They are nothing compared to the likes of Microsoft, Apple, and Google; yet Zuckerberg acts like he owns the Internet and all the information people share using it. Something tells me that the Facebook bubble is going to pop soon and all that they've built is going to come crashing down once people begin migrating off of Facebook to a new site, just as many did when they left Friendster for MySpace, then MySpace for Facebook some years ago.

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Cops raid Gizmodo editor in pursuit of iPhone 4G 'felony'

Mark Jonson
WTF?

If it was any other device...

by any other maker, there would be no investigation into a possible "felony." But we all know that all goes out the window when it involves Apple. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple paid off the cops and had hauled his equipment away for an "investigation" at Cupertino. Perhaps if Chen had Macs instead of whatever Windows boxen he was running Steve Jobs could've just remoted in and snooped through his files without leaving a trace or attracting media attention.

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Jobsian drones shackle gamer with 'lifetime' iPad ban

Mark Jonson
Thumb Down

Good thing Apple doesn't operate a grocery store...

cause you'd go starving once you reached your lifetime limit of food.

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Java bug exposes users to serious code-execution risk

Mark Jonson
WTF?

The real story here is...

when did the merged Sun/Oracle rebrand Java (and all of Sun's other products) under the Oracle name?!?! Why wouldn't they keep the Sun name and brand the database product as Sun Oracle database? That makes a lot more sense to me. Anybody in the IT industry knows what a PITA Oracle's products can be. Despite recent developments, Sun is still a more-trusted brand name.

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Apple QuickTime update blocks media player bugs

Mark Jonson
Thumb Down

Patch cycles are annoying, here's a real solution

There are so many different products with different patch cycles that it makes no difference. On an average consumer PC you may have Adobe (Reader), Apple (Quicktime, iTunes), Google (Chrome, Earth, Talk), Microsoft (Office, Windows, and likely more), Mozilla (Firefox, Thunderbird), and countless other products like Skype. Patch cycles make no difference since all these different software makers are still on their own schedules. Instead of using a patch cycle, all these products should plug into Windows Update/Microsoft Update and patch their products through that one interface which can be scheduled and if desired, controlled with an enterprise distribution server like WSUS.

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AT&T lets 3G Sling TV onto iPhone

Mark Jonson
FAIL

What a joke...

I can't believe this is news. The so-called "optimized" and "bandwidth-conservative" version of SlingPlayer will just artificially throttle the bandwidth down to some nearly-unusable level to satisfy AT&T. The ironic thing is that those of us in the US who weren't stupid enough to buy an iPhone have been able to stream from a Slingbox using Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices at full bandwidth over 3G for years. And that includes those of us, like myself, using AT&T's 3G network.

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How Google became Microsoft: A decade of hits, misses and gaffes

Mark Jonson
FAIL

Clarity Fail

"This after Redmond had laughed off the iPhone as something ill-suited for serious use and refused to bring touch to Windows Mobile."

Windows Mobile and its predecessor so-to-speak, Windows CE, has had touch capabilities since version 1.0 came out on November 16, 1996; over 10 years before the iPhone ever saw the light of day. If you meant multi-touch support, then you should say so. Because that technology didn't exist in any device back then. I know it's popular for journalists to take easy jabs at Microsoft, but at least get your facts right when you do.

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A decade to forget - how Microsoft lost its mojo

Mark Jonson
Gates Halo

Not late to the game...

But Microsoft was actually ahead of its time. It had pioneered (through Windows CE) the Auto PC (Ford's Sync being a spiritual successor to this), the first "PC Companion" through the handheld PC, which would later, thanks to Palm, be rivaled by and reformed into the Palm-size PC/Pocket PC that we still continue to see integrated into the "Windows Phone" today. New name, same product. This is just a small sample of many products Microsoft introduced too early when the market wasn't ready. The problem was that most of this innovation occurred during the mid-to-late 90's when even tech and business consumers didn't see the benefit of mobile computing, while mobile networks weren't ready to support cheap, high-bandwidth data with good coverage. (Arguably they still can't, *cough*AT&T*cough* in the US). Regardless of the reason, the truth is that after consumers rejected Microsoft's attempts to enter the mobile market early-on, Microsoft lost interest in continued R&D and assumed the PC would continue to drive the tech industry through the decade and beyond since that was the only area seeing strong growth at the time. That false assumption lost them nearly a decade of market dominance in other now-prospering industries and markets. Microsoft could have yielded iPhone-like control over handsets today, had they not become complacent with the smartphone being a high-end, high-priced PDA with phone capabilities, only for those who didn't want/need a Blackberry (which was a niche product in its infancy at the time).

Where Microsoft was late to the game was in realizing something that has driven Apple philosophy since the 80's: given enough time to penetrate the market, consumers will adopt new technologies. Microsoft has forever lived in in the 90's, where more than half the population (of the US, anyway) didn't have a mobile phone, possibly owned one computer (a desktop at home, or they didn't own one and used their computer at work), had dial-up Internet since content was small and cable/DSL was expensive, only available in cities, and not considered necessary; and most didn't have any other electronic mobile devices, except possibly a portable CD player. Today, that couldn't be farther from the truth, as mobile penetration reaches 80% of the US population, and almost everyone under the age of 35 has an audio player (usually an iPod/iPhone) and at least 2 computers (at least one being a laptop), the consumer (market) could arguably rival businesses in technology use and consumption. Of course, I'm not talking about industrial apps and whatnot, but people today spend thousands of dollars more on technology per year than a decade ago (regardless of what you consider to be the start of a decade... ;) )

With all that said, my point is that Microsoft should have stuck with a strategy to enter these new markets if they wanted to be more successful today. Giving up is what led to their current state of failure in these areas. As long as they would have recognized growing consumer adoption of technology over the past 10 years, and responded accordingly they would have been able to maintain and grow their presence in this market. People never forget the past and while corporate culture has changed since 1999 (mostly since the Secure Computing Initiative, and moreso after the Vista debacle) it may take another 10 years for the market and for consumers to see Microsoft in a different light than the money-hungry monopolistic empire that the DOJ portrayed in 1999. Microsoft's only hope now is to win back consumers through honest, hard work. They need a line of good products in their online services (Live) division, mobile division (Windows Mobile), and entertainment division (Xbox). While they spent the past 20 years sacrificing the growth of all three of those divisions in the names of Windows and Office, it's time to realize that strategy is only viable for so long until you sap them dry. And now that the mobile division has been successfully sapped dry with the aid of Apple, and the online division because of Google; they're starting to realize the same fate is in line for the Xbox because of the PS3 has finally come into its own with a $299 model that can compete with the Xbox on price and game selection (while widespread RRoD and E74 errors provide more motivation to avoid the Xbox). I have a friend who just got an RRoD. He's out of warranty and Microsoft wants $99 to fix it. Instead, he's actually considering scrapping the Xbox 360, his still-active Live subscription, and his whole game collection to move to the PS3. That's how bad it is for Microsoft's entertainment division. Microsoft, this is your chance. Start pouring some R&D money into the Xbox, Windows Mobile, and online services (Bing is a good start) and the next decade might not be that bad for you. Otherwise, you might just have to throw in the towel come 2019. And that's a sad fate for a company that was almost single-handedly responsible for putting the personal computer on every desk and in every home.

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FCC eyes 'over' 150MHz of TV airwaves for broadband

Mark Jonson
Stop

It's not quite that simple, because we also need to eventually stop using SD resolution for TV

Depending on whether those subchannels are broadcast in 480i, 720p, or 1080i, the number of subchannels available varies. Basically, you can put 6 480i channels in one 6 MHz channel, the bandwidth assigned to one DTV license. In that same space you can fit 1 720p + 4 480i, 1 1080i + 3 480i, or 2 720p (the only way to get 2 "HD" subchannels in 6 MHz with ATSC).

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Pentagon world-sim tool making good progress, say profs

Mark Jonson
FAIL

So...

So after they've spent all this time and money creating this, who wants to tell them about Second Life?

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Windows 95 to Windows 7: How Microsoft lost its vision

Mark Jonson

Where's the other half?

I thought this article would be more retrospective, but it seems like you only wrote the first half of it. You need to fill in the chronological gap between 1995 and 2007.

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Microsoft-tested browser prosecution snares tech giants

Mark Jonson
FAIL

What a joke

<sarcasm>

These kind of patent cases involving anything that overreaching and already in widespread use should be thrown out as soon as they're filed. If Microsoft loses this I'm going to learn how to and patent a process to synthesize water from hydrogen and oxygen, then sue anyone who uses it without paying me a royalty. I'm going to be rich!

</sarcasm>

I just hope Eolas doesn't sue me for putting that embedded sarcasm in this web page.

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Google strips Pirate Bay homepage from search results

Mark Jonson
WTF?

How sad...

DMCA makes me ashamed to admit I live in the US. And as far as using the address bar, you'd be surprised how many people I see typing URLs directly into search engines, just to click on the results page link to that website. It scares me to think these people might actually attempt to drive a car, let alone simply use a computer.

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Facebook claims mail API less intrusive than Gmail

Mark Jonson
WTF?

Why are they...

even talking about using POP? Who uses POP anymore? Just support IMAP or Exchange push. Please!

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Mozilla plans to tie Firefox 3.7 pigtails in pretty Ribbon

Mark Jonson
FAIL

No it didn't

"Microsoft debuted its controversial Ribbon interface that it prefers to dub 'Fluent' in Office 2003."

The ribbon debuted in Office 2007. I will never forget it, because all those who insist on punishing themselves and refuse to transition to the simple task-based interface provided by the ribbon all continue to use Office 2003.

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Cat awarded online high school diploma

Mark Jonson

O RLY?

I CAN HAZ DIPLOMA?

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Microsoft nails retail store logo and locations

Mark Jonson

So where's the list?!?

I could care less about California. Where is the list of the other stores?

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Apple wins right to continue Hackintosh beating

Mark Jonson
Happy

Because Apple is Evil

I would give anything to see Apple lose. I'm sure the open-source community is behind Psystar too since Apple simply took a quasi-open-source OS, whatever derivative of BSD OS X is based upon and changed it, then ran around calling it their own....basically the same thing Jobs accused Microsoft of doing to Apple in the 80's with Windows. Jobs is a hypocrite. Apple and their can-do-no-wrong reputation needs to be challenged. Thank God somebody's doing it.

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Microsoft conjures imaginary 'Apple Tax'

Mark Jonson
Stop

Don't tell me...

you're going to try to defend a $2,800 computer with one year old specs. There IS an Apple tax!

Friend of mine just told me one of his iDrone buddies was going to go out and buy a Time Machine--err, Time Portal-- Time Capsule-- Overpriced Hard Drive in a Box....whatever the stupid thing is called. For $200, he was going to get a 500GB external HD. I can get a 1TB HD (even a Western Digital) for ~$100 just about anywhere from newegg.com to the local Best Buy. So tell me now, how is there not an Apple tax?

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Microsoft's Live Search to morph into Bing?

Mark Jonson

At least...

...it sounds better than Kumo.

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Texas senator wants to ban Vista purchases

Mark Jonson
Thumb Down

Figures Bush's state would do something like that...

Microsoft should tell the the legislature if they pass that bill Microsoft will pick up and move all of their Texas operations out of state and take all those (much needed, in this economy) jobs with them.

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