Feeds

* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4556 posts • joined 31 May 2010

SEC review clears Apple of dodgy tax dealings

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: These shareholder payments and management bonuses

So let's say I have a household of 6 (because I'm rich and can afford to reproduce somewhat.) I pull in roughly a half-mil a year. After taxes and some hand-waving, I'm left with about $200k. I plow that into a couple of houses and some cars; over the course of about ten years I acquire all the material wealth I really could want, before I start getting into the "just plain silly" jets and yachts kinds of purchases.

I'm no longer paying a mortgage. I don't really have much in the way of expenses. Even factoring in all my increased insurance costs and so forth I'm still looking at around $75K per year in outlay to support my family in a luxurious manner in secure neighbourhoods where I don't have to worry about getting robbed/killed/etc.

Now, admittedly, these are calculations I've done along the lines of Canadian cost of living, but I figure that after 15 years at $500K gross per year, paying my taxes properly I would be set for life. 10 years would buy me all the material goods I could want, set up 4 sprog for post-secondary education and so forth. Another 5 years would sock so much away into my retirement account that I no longer have to worry about that, ever.

As I see it, I could then work part-time for the rest of my life and bring in the $75K that I need to make the ends meet. I could spend the rest of my time writing the books that I want to write.

In fact, I am basically killing myself to try to get to exactly this place right now, because I really, really want to write those books.

But I just don't see "trickle down." More income doesn't equal more expenditure. In fact, it probably equals less. Instead of having to buy cheap consumer tat that breaks every year or two, I'd be able to afford proper quality stuff that lasts for generations. (And why would I buy anything else?)

At the end of the day, no matter how much money you make, you can only actually spend so much of it. You only eat so much, drive so many cars, live in so many houses, need so many sets of dishes...

Rich people aren't going to invest that money into high-risk ventures like a new business. Not unless they have so much that they are not only set for life, they've got some "rolling around in it" money too. Even then, they're far more likely to squirrel it away somewhere safe - or a significant portion thereof - "just in case."

I've thought long and hard about this. I've talked to a number of very rich people about the topic. While there is some divergence in opinion, the balance of people who have actually achieved wealth - or who are on the path to it - seems to be the same: hoard your money until you're sure you're set for life. Only then start risking the excess.

Not exactly a recipe for "trickle down economics." Unless you count "trickle down to the next generation, who will also hoard it."

3
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Eh?

Which is fine, if you want to say "we want to repatriate this money with next to no taxes for the purposes of paying off the shareholders." That's called honesty. I've no problem with that; either the government - and the electorate - view that as acceptable fiscal policy or they don't. That's a decision for society to make, not a corporation.

Saying "allowing us to repatriate this money with next to no taxes will help spur innovation" is complete horseshit, and frankly I'm in favour of having people who are in such disproportionate positions of power lying so boldly to the public being thrown in jail. If we have to invent new laws for that to happen, I'm entirely down with that too.

"Trickle down economics" is a provable fallacy. It does not work. It has not worked. It will not work.

If you want to bring the money in to pay shareholders, have the goddamned testicular fortitude to say so. Don't lie.

To be brutally honest, Tim, I hold those who defend outright liars - or the "right" to lie about something like this as some sort of innate right of businesses and their owners - as people of even lower moral and ethical calibre than the douche canoes trying to pull one over on their nation.

Either what you - and those you champion - are about is decent, honest and honourable, or it isn't. If business is a moral end (or a means to a moral end) then stand up and defend the actions and decisions with no prevarication. If you cannot look upon your works, ye mighty, without anticipating despair from those your rule...

...then you'd better hope the pitchforks and torches don't maul your ass on the way out.

1
0

NSA: Yes we 'experimented' with US mobile tracking. But we didn't inhale

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Is this a first?

I've no problem with the concept of targeted intercept. It's a fundamental tool of modern policing and important for defending our nation against threats both external and domestic.

But you get a fucking warrant from an actual judge and you declassify any and all requests that do not pose an ongoing threat to national security 24 hours after arrests are made. You revisit any still-classified items every 6 months and you declassify everything that can be declassified.

Targeted intercept is fine. Dragnets absolutely are not. Secret dragnets authorized by secret laws and secret courts hushed up by secret national security letters are something that should be triggering a goddamned revolution.

1
0

Block, censor, ban: India the biggest loser in online freedom stakes

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: I'd love to know

Your lack of noticing us has been noted.

2
0

US spy court says internet firms can't report surveillance requests

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: err ,,,, [auburnman]

In civilized countries which have found a balance between the individual and the group this isn't determined by your pocketbook. Nor is it a financial burden to go after those who have libelled you. Only in cretinous backwaters like the USA where "free speech" is applied with maximalist strokes, unless, of course, said speech is directed at government officials. (Which is ironic, because calling out government officials is why "free speech" is in their constitution in the first place.)

So no, you cannot simply say someone is guilty unless they are proven to be so. Not here in Canada. If you do so then you will in all likelihood be yourself guilty of libel, and the person whom you have wronged will not end up out-of-pocket to pursue this.

How the barbarians choose to handle their mewling masses is rather irrelevant. Their take concepts like "freedom of speech" or "presumption of innocence" are as utterly corrupt as the Chinese, merely different in the implementation of that corruption. (Though decreasingly so.)

The UK is not far behind.

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: err ,,,, [auburnman]

Laws don't say "innocent unless/until proven guilty." High-minded documents do. Laws talk about the presumption of innocence which is a way of avoiding the whole debate entirely.

Your argument, however, is still horribly flawed. Being found guilty in a court of law is being "proven guilty." Full stop.

You are innocent unless proven guilty. That guilt is proven in a court of law. No newspaper may say you are guilty unless you are proven to be so. Until that point they must say things like "alleged murderer", "the accused" and "suspect".

If you prefer to live in a society where you are innocent until you are proven guilty then please make sure that society is a fuck of a long ways away from me. It sounds thoroughly terrifying.

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: err ,,,,

Canada, eh?

Oh, we have our problems; corrupt politicians and stupid laws among them...but we have a judiciary that sides with the people and actually gives fucks about the charter of rights and freedoms.

We have decided that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, but the needs of the one outweigh the desires of the many." Things we regularly bitch about - wait times being long for health care, as one example - are not nearly so bad as we make them out to be. In the case of health care, wait times are long because access it needs based; medical triage by professionals is the standard by which need is determined, not money. When things like queue-jumping for the well-connected occur it's a bloody scandal here, and the judiciary very definitely gets involved.

If Canada has a fault it is that we roll over for the Americans too easily. Our current masters - the Tories - are far too quick to shelve "made in Canada" legislation and solutions to issues like intellectual property in the hopes of getting a pat on the head from the Americans.

Like any country, we have things we are not proud of. Our RCMP (the Canadian equivalent of the FBI) have been involved in some human rights scandals that boil down to "treating women badly and treating aboriginal peoples worse."

What makes us different from the US of the UK is that these are big fucking deals here. We actually use terms like "human rights scandal" to describe these events and we will see senior RCMP officers and public officials in front of a judge on these topics. Months go by and we still talk about these issues. We don't get distracted on topics that matter like this and we still have real journalists that actually keep digging.

We have flaws. We have problems...but we actually care enough to correct them. The latest season of television isn't enough to keep us from holding our elected officials to task. We don't just have two political parties, each mostly identical to the other. We have many and change happens here rapidly and overwhelmingly.

So Canada, eh? There's definitely some problems...but it mostly works. That's a lot more than I can say of the cretins to the south of us.

12
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: err ,,,,

Did John Adams ever imagine that imprisonment would become an industry, with nearly 1% of the total population behind bars at a cost of over sixty billion dollars per year?

It is better that a hundred guilty men should go free than that a single innocent man should be jailed unjustly. If you are worried about mass murders sort your fucking gun laws out, mate. While you're at it, maybe you could try a dozen or so fewer Wars On Things. You'll find that makes for a less pissed off, edgy population.

But what do I know, eh? I'm from a country that mostly works.

14
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: err ,,,,

The UDHR is not the only document with that error. Literally hundreds of key documents in the past hundred years have that same error...but we don't have to follow along whit it.

Innocent unless proven guilty is a far more important concept than innocent until proven guilty. Change the language, change the thinking.

Which would you rather be?

Me, I'm innocent unless proven guilty. I've done nothing wrong, so there is no "until". Unless your "until" involves falsifying evidence. Unless that happens I eschew until for unless.

Until later!

10
3
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: err ,,,,

*SIGH*

Innocent UNLESS proven guilty.

Innocent until proven guilty implies that you are, in fact, guilty...it just hasn't been proven yet.

Innocent until proven guilty is no different than guilty unless proven innocent.

I realize that you've had people feed you "innocent until proven guilty" your whole life, but that's a glorious example of newspeak changing the language to match the desires of those in power. And you're going along with it.

22
2

So sad about the NSA web-spying bombshells - but think of the MONEY!

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: About damn time

I'd gladly paid more for locally made IT hardware, software and services. I'm tired of pissing away my nation's money to the USA. Canada can - and should - do more than supply them with raw materials that they then transform into finished goods and sell back to us. Canada should be crafting final goods out of our raw materials and selling that on to others.

That includes keeping our smart and educated people in-country for them to build, design and manufacture IT hardware software and services. Why the hell is the Canadian taxpayer subsiding the education of people who defect to the states?

Globalization lines the pockets of the richest of the rich. When has it ever helped the common man? We get laws to make it so that small businesses have to sell at the lowest possible prices, but we still pay import fees as SMBs or individuals that are absolutely crippling. The USA blithely ignores every law and regulation from every trade organization it's a part of, yet puts enormous pressure on our country - blackmailing us in many instances - to change our intellectual property laws from a "mad in Canada compromise" that was reasonable and good for Canadians to a US maximalist position.

I think it's time for a little protectionism. If I had my way, Canada would stop selling good to the states, start selling good to China and the EU and - ultimately - pull out of NAFTA and sever economic ties whit the US altogether. I would be willing to see a substantial reduction in my generation's quality of life to make that happen, because I believe - honest and true - that it would make the quality of life of our descendants significantly higher than it would be under an American regime.

The US has nothing to offer us that we can't do better ourselves, should we care to. It's time we started to do so.

2
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

About damn time.

9
0

NSA's Project Marina stores EVERYONE'S metadata for A YEAR

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

The NSA "protect the nation and its interests from threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction". What they weren't in Iraq? Where do the lies to the American people stop?

Also, as a filthy foreigner...fuck you, NSA. Assholes.

4
0

ATOM SMASHER ON A CHIP technology demonstrated

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

So, wait...we are on the cusp of having portable devices that can accelerate particles to relativistic velocities? Am I the only one thinking

A) Particle-beam weapon (assuming you lase a channel in the atmosphere first)

B) This, if they don't lase a channel...

1
0

Google: Thanks for the billions in revenue, UK. Here are your taxes, that's ... £11m

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

@neamtoad

Is your sarcasm detector broken or something? I was agreeing with him.

Calling him a prole is a way to reference his/my/our increasingly proletariat role in society. We are not members of the inner party nor even members of the outer party. Our job is to "shut up, prole" and like it.

Seriously, you would think that of all readerships I shouldn't have to explain that here. *sigh*

My faith in the readers is really collapsing of late.

16
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Shut up, prole. Here's a Dinosaur In Space to distract you.

9
4

NSA: Yes, some of our spooks DID snoop on overseas lovers

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

We as individuals are responsible for our government.

The route to hell begins at 127.0.0.1.

Really, I didn't think that evolution was particular difficult, nor beyond a reg reader's dot connection capabilities. Clearly I was mistaken.

4
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

The route to hell starts at 127.0.0.1

8
0

Samsung's new image sensor promises better snaps in smaller devices

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

I'm a note 2 user. 8 to 27 times the size of the lens system would go practically unnoticed. ;)

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

I'm okay with increased Z height. What is with the obsession on minimal-height phones? Give me some girth to that thing, dang it! Unless the phone is flexible, I want it to feel like it's sturdy; some extra millimetres will help in that regard.

2
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

You'd get a lot more megapixels if you just made a bigger sensor. Really, you can double or even triple it without impacting my usage of the device at all. And I get a better camera. Wot?

1
0

Look out, world! HP's found a use for Autonomy - rescuing Win XP bods

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: I prefer my ads...

Actually, I found the article rather useful. I know little about Autonomy, but I am facing an issue of having to migrate some Windows XP machines. If HP is claiming this is a solution, I want to investigate!

Does it "discover" applications and move them to a new OS? Or just "data"? What kind of data? Is it "drop box for enterprises" trying to upjump itself as a migration solution? Or is is actually going to help me migrate from one OS to another? What about user settings?

Ideally, I want to be able to run an application in my Windows XP box that will vacuum up everything about that box and then plop it down onto a Windows 7 with zero effort on my part. APps, data, settings...the user shouldn't notice a difference except A) there's UAC on Windows 7, B) they removed the up arrow in explorer (the bastards!) and C) they'll continue getting Windows Updates.

If the "migration solution" doesn't do the above then it isn't a "migration solution." It's Dropbox, but probably more crap.

Time to see how much truth there is in HP's claims...

0
0

Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 3: HOT CURVES – the 'gold grill' of smartphone bling

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Superior?

Why? Oh so many people spend their time typing words into a box then posting those words on the internet with no greater intent than "feeling superior." How is getting a product that actually does something valuable any different from the aforementioned self-aggrandising textual masturbation?

6
11

Microsoft comes through on Oracle cloud partnership

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Good to see competition in the American cloud. I wonder if the licensing deals will trickle down to services providers so that those standing up Azure Service Provider can help non-Americans achieve the same benefits?

0
1

How many apps does it take to back up your data?

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: The problem here is

Then it becomes a question of risk tolerance; yours and theirs...and how good your contract is for when it inevitably explodes. Where does the finger of blame point is ultimately the question.

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Product placement much...

No idea; you'd have to ask sales. I suspect a pretty penny was exchanged, but then, there's nothing for free, eh?

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Reconstruct, don't just restore

Down that road lies Puppet. "Infrastructure as code."

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Usually, yes.

2
0

Apple ups revenue estimates in wake of nine million–phone weekend

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: @toadwarrior (Bronze badge)

Tizen or bust.

0
0

Office 365 goes to work on an Android

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Desperation? What Linux next?

Bingo.

If you want to define and dominate a new market in IT you can't be afraid of cannibalizing your existing markets. If you play that sort of ass-covering game, you're done. Some dude in a garage in a non-software-patented country will take you apart.

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Funny, I have almost a dozen Android devices that give me over 12 hours, and a Windows 7 device that gives me 16.

Now, I'll admit the 16-hour device is not what I would traditionally call "portable" - it is a Lenovo X230 with the extended battery *AND* the underslung attachment battery - but it's a decent compromise when I was shopping for a netbook replacement. (Especially as I can choose to leave behind the underslung battery if I only need 8 hours and that cuts the weight in half.)

The Android devices do the thing, are perfectly secure, powerful, fast and basically do everything I could ever ask of them...except have a decent office package. (Unless I'm using Office 365 through Dolphin, which I usually do.)

Windows 8 isn't a consideration. It's complete, utter shit. Windows 9 might be decent, but I seriously doubt it. Microsoft's corporate attitude in general - but especially that of the endpoint divisions - are so utterly user hostile that I think it's safe to bet that the next several years' worth of endpoints are going to be worse, not better.

Desperation and repeated failure breeds fanatics. Fanatics aren't capable of rational thought. They collapse into an echo chamber where anyone who doesn't think like them is not merely wrong, they are evil. Their voices and opinions mustn't be heard.

This is where the Microsoft endpoint divisions find themselves.

They have dug themselves a deep hole and sealed themselves in. Outside thought, opinion, reason...it is viewed by them as hostile and treated as such. Increasingly, the few remaining fanboys are falling into the same category. I would liken them to an early-2000s Apple Mac mythology, but that would frankly be unfair to the Cupertinians; Microsoft and the banner-wrapping fandom that remain clucking after their endpoint products are way farther gone than the Macolytes of the past.

Microsoft doesn't do portable. When Microsoft can reach 12 hours of sustained usage that doesn't require outright lying about usage patterns or power metrics the rest of the world will be at 24. Microsoft has no desire or care to solve these problems. They don't feel it's relevant.

X hours - defined as roughly however long the existing technology lasts - is "good enough for anyone." In fact "what on the table today" is "good enough for anyone" which is part of the problem; so indoctrinated into this message are the very people making this technology that they have become unable to see where improvements are possible, let alone needed!

Microsoft have done many great things. Some parts of Microsoft will continue to do great things into the future...but the endpoint guys are a complete write off.

Changing the guard with Ballmer II: The Elop Boogaloo isn't going to change anything. Elop's eyes are as calloused as the rest.

Maybe - maybe - if they choose Satya Nadella as the new CEO they stand a hope in hell on the endpoint. That's a great big bloody maybe and it doesn't seem like powers that be are even capable of that level of rationality. Sad, really.

0
2
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Yes, I am a troll; where have you every seen me say otherwise? I also happen to be right.

Th market decided that things with "hot swappable batteries" were not "portable." I have an ASUS R1F myself; have various tablets today and I'm perfectly aware of the form factor (in all incarnations, from small screen to largeish and clunky) and the level of portability. Not only that, I have traditionally been a true champion of the Lifebook P1510d and P1610d notebooks, even back when tablet's weren't yet much of a thing.

They don't fucking sell.

The P1510d, P1610d and some less successful successors were the closest that Microsoft got to "portable" before the Surface, and they suck sweaty balls compared to an iPad. "I can put it in a backpack and carry it around" is not portable. "I can pick it up with one hand and read it for a few hours like I could a paperback book" is portable. Even here, the iPad is bordering on too clumsy and too heavy. (The Nexus 7 is dead on rights for that.)

You are constantly having to stretch "usable battery life" by cutting out "things you can use it for" in order to support your arguments. You are talking about devices 4-5x as heavy as a true tablet (which is the modern standard for portability) whilst talking about devices easily 4x (at least!) a tablet's cost.

Every post you are in here rah-rahing Microsoft. It doesn't matter how completely off the mark you are or how badly Microsoft have done in teh area you are cheering, you rah-rah them like your paycheque depends on it.

Face it, friend, Microsoft does not have the answer to all things. In fact, they done fucked up real good on a great many. Tablets are their corporate specialty; they "don't get it" with as an elemental force of nature!

If you want to say I'm bad at journalism, hey, I can take that. I haven't been at this for more than a few years. I, at least, am able to cheer Microsoft when they deserve it (Server and Tools, baby!) and tell them to eat a great big wiggling sack of fuck right the hell off when they have screwed the pooch. (Microsoft's endpoint efforts.)

I don't have a loyalty to any company, product or service (well, except Ninite.) I will cheerfully rip into a company for screwing up as well as praise them for getting it right.

Here is a great example: tablets.

Good:

Microsoft have cottoned on to the right idea: a single, converged device that can "do everything".

Microsoft made halfway decent hardware: the Surface RT

Microsoft finally broke with "old windows" and created a new version: Windows RT

Bad:

Microsoft completely screwed the launch and absolutely shattered end user, consumer and even investor trust.

Microsoft poisoned their OEM relationships so badly it will take them a decade to recover.

Microsoft didn't listen to their end users after screwing them over and doubled down on douchbaggery with 8.1 leading to a further loss of confidence.

Microsoft restricted Windows Rt in a whole bunch of really stupid ways that made it a complete pariah even after they fixed some of the bigger issues. (Outlook as one example.)

Microsoft refused to allow desktop access on their proper tablet OS (Windows RT) thus cutting people off from real productivity app access unless they used Office and only office.

In short, Microsoft had a FANTASTIC idea. But Microsoft tried to leverage Windows 8, Windows RT and the Surface line to further lock-in and drive people towards Metro - which many loathe - in an effort to acclimate people to phones. The net result being a bunch of terrible, irritating design choices and restrictions that resulted in a truly shit series of products and services and a worse corporate attitude.

What people want is the portability of an iPad. Many of us want to use those portable devices to do work. Microsoft could have owned that market like a boss. They screwed it up.

If MIcrosoft want to have a hope in hell of making it in the endpoint business in the next 5 years they need to own that failure. They need to say "mea culpa," admiting both internally and externally that they did not do well on this and then come back and Window 7 the fuck out of their current Tablet Vista.

They could do it. They choose not to.

If you want to wrap yourself in their banner after that, you go right ahead. But don't for a second try to pass off Microsoft's tat as in any way competing with Android or iOS. It isn't. It competes with Blackberry. And if they're really, really lucky, they'll hold onto third place.

But the way they've been going lately, I wouldn't count on it.

2
1
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

"Hot swap battery" is not a solution. Look, I realize that you are probably Microsoft marketing, but can you please get your head out of the 2003-era messaging? It's just embarrassing. Microsoft has pivoted several times since then.

"Hot swap battery" was replaced with "you don't really need that much battery life" about two years ago. Also: the market decided this already and said the idea of hot-swap batteries was completely ridiculous, in case you missed the memo.

12 hours. On the batteries that come with the device. Actual usage. Not the made up "here's a Haswell that can get 12 hours, honest! (But if you breathe on it that drops to 6.)"

Microsofting the message with "we can do 12 hours if we completely throw away the "portability" portion of the tablet exercise and instead go to some megalith with multiple hot-swappable internal batteries" is shameful. Gods man, half of what my company does is tech marketing; you are bringing their entire profession into disrepute. Please stop; you shame the all aspects of the IT industry with your desperate grasping.

1
1
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

The Ativ500t is Windows 8. Fuck off. Windows 8 isn't a serious consideration for anything here. Besides, an Atom has terrible battery life.

12 hours minimum or go the fuck home..

2
4
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

...except that Android doesn't support click-and-drag to highlight. Doesn't support right-click anything. Doesn't change between tasks easily...the mouse is a third-class input device on an Android device. The Android device says push/click-and-hold-and-wait-and-smeel-the-flowers-and-isn't-it-nice-we're-pissing-away-your-whole-afternoon-with-our-shitty-UI-that-isn't-productivity-based-in-the-slightest?

Yeah. cute. Because I haven't been bashing my head against that for years with the Transformer. Un-hunh...

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

A tablet PC running office. Does it "play for sure?" Do you need it to be "always on?" How's Microsoft at actually listening to it's userbase and fixing bugs, changing the UI where required or climbing down from previously idiotic and pointless restrictions? Does it have an app for that? How's the feeling amongst the developer community and the userbase? Most critically of all:

...when can I actually get away from this wall socket? 12 hours of battery - minimum - or just go the fuck home.

0
1
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Why does there have to be "one device to rukle them all"?

"Why does everyone want a palm pilot a PMP an MP3 player and a phone all in one device? We're a long way off from that yet. It's better to just carry around multiple devices that are each the best at what they do."

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Agree wholeheartedly. The Surfaces are the best tablet idea so far. If only Microsoft hadn't alienated the entire developer community and most of their end users by refusing outright to listen to them about anything, locking away the desktop from tablet-mode users and pissing on the "fully connected" UI.

Microsoft had good tech. What they screwed up was the community engagement and pretty much every single detail of implementation. I wish Apple had made the surface. They'd have botched the first version, but the "8.1" version would have been amazeballs.

Instead, we got "always on" that "plays for sure" and a whole great big pile of "nope".

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Odd article.

I have an ASUS transformer as well, and the thing is damned near useless for anything excepting very minor document editing. Highlighting text, cutting and pasting are multi-second each affairs. If you do that (on average) 100 times per document - not remotely "out there" when writing something for others to consumer - this "multi-second each" thing starts to become a real drain on productivity. Especially since with a proper keyboard and mouse I can do all those activities as sub-second items.

Inability to open multiple documents is a big one, but lack of consistent keyboard shortcut support - and virtually non-existant highlighting or right-click support - are the big ones. Going from a browser to a document to copy links and back again (to do research) isn't exactly smooth. Everything about tablet UIs is designed for this "one thing a time" monofocus. It's slow, and ponderous and based on the idea that your time has no value, so you don't mind take a few extra seconds to do everything.

If I have an Asus Transformer and a shitty, beat-up, wrteched old netbook from 5 years ago, I'll choose the netbook. The Transformer is more portable, but the netbook won't leave me wanting to strangle someone by the time I'm done writing an article.

I still carry the Transformer most places. Because it's portability is far better. Yet every time I have to sit down and RDP into something because it needs fixing, or bash out an article, complex e-mail or what-have-you, I picture the slow-roasting of various Microsoft executives who botched the Surface launch.

Their widget could have been - should have been - the solution to all these ills. Why, why, why did they have to screw it up?

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Apples and oranges

Bluetooth or USB. Suddenly a keyboard and mouse appear. That wasn't hard. Now, software, support it. Oh, it won't? Chicken and egg.

1
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Office suites on Android (or iOS)?

A 7" tablet is a perfect size for portability. If I could have a Surface-style keyboard cover that had a little detachable mouse (maybe fold-up-int-a-PCMCIA-slot style affair?) I would be on that like white on rice. Bigger screen is better, but try wandering a convention with a 15" notebook! Even my 13" was bulky and awkward.

There are so many places where I go during my regular day that a tablet goes and a notebook just doesn't. Increasingly, I can't rely on there being a "proper computer" available when I get where I'm going! People use notebooks almost exclusively now. They take them with them when they go. If I want a PC for doing the thing I need to do then that often means I have to bring it with me.

Depending on how much I am doing, sure, I'd use a larger converged device. But in most cases I can work on a 7" widget since what I need it to get something typed up, rearranged, hyperlinked and fired off. (Or somethimes I need to edit a powerpoint, make substantial changes to a spreadsheet, etc.)

A 7" at 1280x720 is smallish, but not so small I can't read it from a sitting position on the table. Still, why not have devices that supported touch AND keyboard + mouse, both as FIRST CLASS input devices and available in a wide range of sizes and resolutions?

Was it do mad to dream that one day we could watch video, listen to music, browse the internet, organise our calendars, do e-mail and answer phone calls all on one device?

Why is it so mad to add "actually using the thing to create content" to that list?

2
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Related topic...

I don't know; I'll ask around. There are a lot of bluetooth keyboards out there and that could get expensive, fast. What are people's favourite devices?

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Many manufacturers make netbook-like products, though you have to pay a lot more. The Lenovo X-230 tha I am working on right now met all the requirements to finally be the first thing acceptable enough to replace my netbook. (Though it was bloody expensive.) The wife replaced hers with a similar model that had fewer bells and whistles in the $550 range.

That said, the playbook is better than most for productivity, but still not good enough to make up for lack of apps, amongst other issues. If only it had had e-mail from the start, it might well have had a real chance. Playbooks aren't bad devices, but they Microsofted the launch something fierce.

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Chicken and egg. Most people don't use a key/mouse combo to extend the cabability of their tablet from "consume" to "produce" because the support sucks.

Back in the 90s we had a CD player, a Palm Pilot, a Cell Phone and a PMP for video. Most people wanted "one device that could do all of these things." People said things that sounded very much like you do now to discourage the rest of us from ever dreaming that we could get a single device that did all these things well.

Then Apple and Google came out and just fucking did it. They created an entirely new market and crushed their opponents like bugs.

Today there are all sorts of people saying "I wish I didn't have to bring a tablet along for portability and a notebook for productivity." I wish that I could simply use one device for all things!

Microsoft actually heard these people (holy shit!) but ultimately botched the roll out (no surprise there.) Like always, they saw a demand in the market but succumbed to terrible internal politics and decision-making that prevented them from turning a fantastic idea into a market-destroying superproduct.

People want to do more with fewer devices. We always have.

And there's always some dude in the background going "no, it's better to have multiple devices, each good at the one thing they do right!"

I'll give that a great big double-middle-fingered "nope" and keep on towards converged devices that "just work". One device. I only want to carry one device.

0
0
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Documents to go is still a very touch-based input application. If you are willing to put up with an awful lot of frustration you can make it do something. My measure of it's effectiveness, however, is "how long does it take me to make the same document on the tablet that I can make on a netbook, where the document I am making is a simple blog for The Register, including several hyperlinks, a moderate amount of copying and pasting and some moving of blocks of text to get the right order of events?"

If the answer is "it takes more than 5% longer on the tablet" then I don't consider it to have a viable office package. It may have very nice document viewers. I may even have the ability to do minor markups in those viewers. But that's not an office suite. It's a PDF viewer with a commenting system that can handle office formats.

0
1
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Eh?

Touch-based apps like Kingsoft Office which have virtually zero support for mice (such as click-and-drag to highlight or any form or right-click support whatsoever) are worse than useless for productivity.

The ability consume content is worthless. The ability to make very minor changes then fire it back is almost as worthless. An office suite should be focused on productivity. "Push and hold, then fight with the stupid drag balls, then click the touch button, then drag, drag, drag, drag, darg, then spend a mintue fiddling with the damned thing to get the cursor where you want it, then push and hold, then push the button to paste" is not a productive work flow.

Until the office packages are optimized for content creation not content consumption I'll have no more regard for them than I do a PDF viewer.

1
1
Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

It's more than just right click. Click-and-drag highlighting is another key element missing.

The fact remains that simple functions which take fractions of a second to complete in a true mouse environment take multiple seconds to complete in a touch environment. Copy and paste is a great example. Touch is just not a "productivity"-based input model.

4
1

New ransomware strain forces hapless users into becoming Bitcoin miners

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Re: Crime and Punishment

You can't legislate away stupid.

2
0

Five reasons why you'll take your storage to the cloud

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Obviously, you are right. Your analysis is exacting, covers all scenarios for all sizes of company and definitively proves that Amazon S3 is the pre-eminent source of all storage goodness on earth. Thank you for correcting me, I guess my maths are totally wrong and, in fact, reality conforms to your assertions.

That's great to know. Glad you cleared that up.

1
0

Microsoft puts something hard and sensitive in your pocket

Trevor_Pott
Gold badge

Interestingly enough the number of individuals capable of entering any of the major high IQ societies seems roughly cognate with the number of individuals who use Cyanogenmod. >:D

0
0