393 posts • joined 30 Jun 2010
Bring the App Store to Windows 7!
As a developer, I want to target as many potential customers as possible. If the app store were available on Windows 7, and had been from the start, then we'd have seen a much greater uptake.
Meeting room display
In our offices we have a number of meeting rooms with either very large monitors or DLP projectors. They're currently powered by left-over Dell Windows XP boxen which were considered too cruddy even for secretaries to use. Their main uses are PowerPoint presentations, light web browsing, and Remote Desktop to a more powerful computer. A cheap Android dongle seems like the ideal way to replace these XP machines; but clearly this Dell/Wyse device isn't up to scratch.
(Yes, the meeting rooms are also equipped with videoconferencing kit, but I've never seen anyone actually make use of it.)
This seems to be straying a long way from Microsoft's core competencies. One day a future Microsoft CEO - possibly after an aggressive takeover or shareholder revolt - will look at all these curious parts of the business and spin them off.
Another +1 for squeezing in two references to that awe-inspiring movie, Idiocracy!
Re: The most successful projects I've worked on...
That's all very well for a small one-man project, but you can't build an iPhone's hardware and software from scratch with just one person.
NetFlix vs Music
Going off on a tangent, why are all-you-can-eat film services priced at ~£6 per month whereas the corresponding music services are £10 a month? Audio+video should be more expensive than audio-only, shouldn't it?
"We don't 'tax the rich to provide pensions' - we pay pensions through NI into a fund, where eventually it's paid back."
Haha, good one. Let me know if you ever find that mythical fund. NI is just another income tax, don't let the name fool you. It all goes into the same pot.
Voice memos is a stock app, it's been there for years.
I can't tell whether this is parody or just copied & pasted from the BBC News website.
Oz still doesn't get any money
One thing is clear though: it's the US government which loses out here, not the Australian one. Apple in Australia acts merely as an importer, and importers have thin margins (and thus low profits). It's no different than Kogan: they import at $550, sell at $600, deduct expenses, leaving very little profit. Corp tax is charged as a percentage of profit, and x% of a small profit is an even smaller tax bill.
The real profits are made by Apple in the USA. They buy $190 of components, hire FoxConn to package them in a shiny case, and sell them on for $550 a piece. That's a whopping profit and should incur a tax liability in California, but the US govt explicitly exempts them.
Re: Banks don't understand IT staff
If it's their third time trying this on in as many years, then they've presumably realised that they can indeed get away with it.
I'm only coming if "aManFromMars" comes too. I'm sure he (or she) is quite eloquent in real life.
"This is what happened next."
Christ, since when did El Reg turn into Upworthy-style click-bait?
If I were a central banker...
... I'd be worried now. Pay rises show up soonest in high-turnover job markets, of which IT contractors are the prime example. They really ought to be raising interest rates by now. It'll never happen though.
Good idea for low-value items
Sounds like a decent plan to me, at least for fairly low-value goods. You can order your pet food online and have it delivered to your parked car (either at work or at home). You don't have to be present to open the door, and the delivery driver doesn't have to wait around for you to turn up. Obviously you wouldn't order a new MacBook this way, nor any frozen or refrigerated items, but for sub-£100 dry goods it's a neat idea.
Better spec than many laptops
"It may only have a resolution of 1280 x 800"
- That's still 32 vertical pixels more than the usual rubbish x 768 laptops we see. And a solid state drive, all for only £299. Impressive.
Do you buy a new wardrobe when you have too many clothes?
Just get your users to clean up their data from time to time. Their own productivity will improve as they learn to chuck out useless info and only keep the important stuff; and you'll spend far less on storage costs.
This week the IT guys presented me with a (proposed) massive bill for new storage hardware, based on the fact that the current disks were 91% full. After a couple of hours of deleting redundant data, it was down to 35% full.
Just as we would throw away old clothes (or put them in a box in the attic), we should make more effort to throw away old data. If you keep buying new wardrobes for your end users, and not charging for them, then no wonder they just keep filling up.
Comparison with "real" servers
If you shell out for a real server, you're going to have considerably higher power costs. A NAS, particularly one powered by a Marvell CPU, will consume much less power than a full-blown server. A Dell PowerEdge server uses 250W, whereas this WD My Cloud EX4 uses around 30W. In a single year the Dell will cost you £320 in 'leccy, compared with just £40 for the WD device.
As for the commenter above who suggested Windows Server 2012 would be suitable, may I gently point out that it isn't cheap either. I can't make head or tail of Microsoft's pricing system, but it looks like the software alone would blow your budget out of the water. Sure, there are Linux versions available, but if you're billing clients by the hour and you value your free time, you might prefer something that works out of the box.
Any business where you hand your card over to somebody is vulnerable. When your friendly waiter takes your card and inserts it in the chip-and-pin terminal, you're unlikely to spot him surreptitiously scanning it through a dodgy mag-stripe reader hidden underneath. That's all it takes.
The real question is where did the crims manage to use the information gleaned from the stripe? Pretty much everywhere requires chip-and-pin these days.
Re: Music in decline?
You misunderstand. The green block at the bottom of the Apple chart, labelled "music gross revenues", has clearly shrunk in recent quarters. Reading off the graph, music sales appear to have fallen by over 50% in the most recent quarter compared with their peak in Q3 2012.
Music in decline?
It certainly looks that way. Spotify and other subscription streaming services are having a major impact on iTunes-style download-and-keep sales.
Video just doesn't add much value to a tele-conference. Seeing other people's faces is actually quite distracting.
Screen-sharing does add value. For that it's better to be at your desk and at your computer, rather than in a dedicated conference room.
Voice quality is another issue - people in video-conferencing rooms forget that they still need to speak into the microphone, and the sound ends up worse.
2014 will be the year of video-conferencing, just like it will be the year of Linux on the desktop.
Chances are your server code is written in an interpreted language anyway. Java, .NET, PHP, Ruby - as long as there's an engine your apps should just work.
Obviously with the box and claims of higher speeds, it's just a local cloud cache. Nothing fancy about the hardware; so presumably there's some clever software deciding what to cache. Nevertheless, there's no such thing as unlimited storage - they'll have to impose limits eventually.
Goes without saying, but it's quite ridiculous that a service which does nothing but replicate SMS messaging (est. 1992) should require any patents.
Social media should do this too!
The likes of Twitter and Facebook need to implement this ASAP. Imagine hacking into somebody's social media account only to be faced with meaningless drivel....
"We saw a similar cycle last year over iOS read/write permissions"
I can't find any more information on this. What's the app privacy situation on iOS?
Re: Of course costs multiply
Nope, not at all. If you're a crisp company and the cost of one of your inputs (potatoes) rises, why should the cost of your other inputs (sunflower oil, marketing) also rise? If anything, the CEO tells everyone we've had a tough year and there'll be no salary increase for marketing this year because the rising cost of potatoes wiped out our profits.
"this sum multiplies by the time it's passed down onto consumers"
In a competitive market, it shouldn't multiply at all.
They're all on mobile
More and more people are accessing Facebook via their mobile app, not via the desktop, so their accesses wouldn't show up in Google's logs.
Perhaps next time the article could provide some clues as to what DrawQuest actually was?
Re: DID THEY FIX THE ALL-CAPS MENUS, YET?
Why the six downvotes? There really is a very simple fix for the all-caps menus, it took me all of three seconds to Google it.
Re: DID THEY FIX THE ALL-CAPS MENUS, YET?
There's an easy fix if you can be bothered to search online for it.
What's their USP ?
Fifteen years ago, Expansys offered products not available elsewhere, at reasonable prices. Today they just sell the same stuff as Amazon and hundreds of others, without anything to distinguish them.
At the moment, all the adverts are for Spotify Premium.
Re: Most Valuable Single Asset.
Yes, it's the same principle as in New York. A Parisian medallion costs € 200,000 - € 250,000 so obviously the drivers need high fares to recoup the cost. The government could lower the cost of medallions (and hence lower fares) by issuing more medallions, but it chooses not to, because it would anger existing cab drivers.
A medallion is not a natural asset. It only exists thanks to government rules. In Britain we have a similar situation with planning permission: it's a piece of paper issued by the government which is only valuable because the government restricts their numbers. If the government issued more of these pieces of paper, their cost would go down and we'd have cheaper housing; but they choose not to, because it would anger existing home owners.
Not just online
"if an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is"
That's a lesson that applies just as much in the real world.
Even 1600 x 900 would be acceptable; but not 1366 x 768, not at this price.
Re: Is this really new?
Fair point. I just wish they wouldn't claim to have invented the wheel.
Is this really new?
"This architecture introduces an active 'fire break' between the public mobile networks and sensitive enterprise content because there is simply no means for the mobile device to access raw secure data,"
How exactly is this different to Remote Desktop, VNC, X Windows, etc?
For many users it doesn't even occur to them to ask IT if it's ok to install or use a particular piece of software. If they can BYOD they assume they can BYOS too.
Apple grabs 9 in 10 used sales
Apple's fiercest competitor is itself: people don't always buy the latest and shiniest new iPhone 5S because they can pick up a two year old iPhone 4S second hand for much less. First sales matter most to Apple, but even the second-hand sales are useful because those second customers will go out and buy iTunes / App Store content. Also, as long as they're buying used iPhones, they remain in the Apple ecosystem and are more likely to buy other Apple gadgets.
On Windows, most of these "apps" are consumed as mere websites.
This morning my Android device prompted me to update the HungryHouse.co.uk app. It requested an additional permission: get the list of currently running tasks. I cannot fathom why a takeaway ordering website wants to know what tasks I'm running in the background. I'll stick to ordering my food via the website, thank you very much.
Browsers: the original sandbox.
Good Lord, didn't that piece of crudware die about ten years ago? Have they re-invented themselves by sticking the latest buzz-word "cloud" on the name? On second thoughts I don't want to know.
Baby steps, not great leaps
In my (admittedly limited) experience, large IT projects work best when they start off as small systems, already in use, and receive incremental improvements. "Big bang" projects are far more prone to failure.
Re: On the contrary.
Goodwill? Can they pay their scientists with goodwill? Can they pay their suppliers with goodwill? Can the pensioners who rely on their IBM share dividends heat their homes with goodwill?
For a similar reaction, try asking a professional photographer or graphic designer to do some work for free. Tell them it'll make a great portfolio piece, or it'll look good on their CV, or some such nonsense. Or how about you just give away years of your work in exchange for "goodwill"?
The accounts guys love clear fixed prices; they hate the budgetary unknown of pay-as-you-go contracts. Imagine going to your boss and saying "I need about $2m for a new software rollout, but it might actually cost $7m if we like it and use it a lot, or it might just be $0.5m." It's the same principal behind mobile phone contracts with more free minutes than anybody could use: people don't want to be shocked by high bills, and would actually prefer to pay a bit more to avoid them.
The linked article "What's wrong with computer scientists" nails it.
> Computer scientists are far more likely than other graduates to study at post-92 universities (64.4% of computer scientists study at post-92, whereas only 13% study in the Russell Group).
New universities attract students with lower A-level grades. Many employers skip the university section of the CV, because it's so hard to compare: is a 2:2 from Durham worth less than a 2:1 from Bucks New University? Instead they look directly at the A-level grades which are likely to be familiar ("I did Maths at A-level yonks ago, so I know what's involved").
Since more CS students go to former polytechs, we can infer that they have lower A-level grades. That would partly account for their lack of success in the job market.
What about foreign anonymous pay-as-you-go SIMs roaming on Pakistani networks? No way to control those.
The point is that they are (finally) listening to their customers. One of the major issues with VS 2012 was general responsiveness; 2013 is a damn sight faster (I've been using it since it came out). I for one am glad they're paying attention to their customers. Now if we could just get the API teams to listen to us too....
- Updated Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
- Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
- Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
- Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
- Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders