1747 posts • joined Sunday 19th December 2010 15:08 GMT
More freedom or more restrictive?
Owning a (Windows) smartphone myself I have to agree that sometimes it can be very pleasant to sit / hang on the couch and use the phone instead of my PC to check up on some minor stuff (news sites, few forums) as well as e-mail. On top of that I also get the local weather in one blink at the start screen.
As such I agree that it seems you can do more freely your daily stuff.
However, I also see another trend starting and that's where companies which exploit these OS environments no longer seem to care about the "icing on the cake" and leave that entirely to be filled in by others. A trend I'm not too sure I like. Basically they provide us less software options for the same price.
For example; in Windows 7 I have a lot of small games; patience, mine sweeper, spider solitaire, etc. As said before: icing on the cake. In Windows 8 otoh it seems as if most has been ditched; if you want some of that stuff back you'll just need to use the marketplace to fill in the blanks, which you only can access after you registered of course. Blanks get filled in by 3rd parties, /not/ Microsoft. So MS can basically reduce costs on this part.
My old phone (Samsung Jet) provided some basic stuff; calculator, unit converter, picture viewer. My new smartphone provides some of these programs too but a lot more minimal (even though its actually more expensive than my old phone). Most of the solutions I had to grab myself from their marketplace. Some was setup by MS but a lot was 3rd party software.
As such I also foresee a trend where companies would encourage us to like and use these more minimal environments because it means that they can save a lot on software development by simply dumping a lot of its parts and letting 3rd parties fill in the blanks. Better yet: in case of Microsoft they demand 3rd parties /pay/ in order to gain the right to fill in these blanks (whether you're making a free app or a paid one; you still need to cough up for a developer subscription).
Sure; these changes are rather small now. I mean; who misses out on a few games (Win8) and who cares about having to download stuff from a marketplace (Windows phone / Android) because it also gives you more choice and diversity ?
Well; its all small now but what if they continue to enforce such market places on us? "You buy windows 7 and you have desktop programs (text editor, calculator, paint program, etc..). You buy windows 9 and you get nothing of the sort; only /after/ you register with Microsoft do you obtain the right to get some free programs from their market place".
And of course; the price of the OS will have remained the same.
And to all the AC's who claim that people simply can't stand change... That's not it; if it were the case you'd hear a lot more whining about XP going EOL and people being forced to use Win7. The changes between those two are also quite heavy, and also involve functionality. The main difference though is that Win7 also increases where functionality is concerned. AND that it allows you 'move back' again (to a certain extend).
I don't think people who complain about Win8 complain due to the change alone. They complain because a whole level of functionality has been removed and nothing has been setup in return. The examples are numerous...
Sure; we still have some form of Aero on the desktop app. But what good is that if you're constantly taken away from said desktop app the moment when you merely want to start another program ?
Having to work with programs full screen without being able to see /anything/ else going on is not functional. Not in these days where a PC can perform a dozen tasks at the same time. And don't get me started on being able to run 2 Metro programs side by side but only if your monitor supports the right resolutions. I could run programs side by side on a 640 x 480 screen running Windows 98 (which in fact was simply a GUI running on top of DOS). So why can't you do that now?
Its not Metro. Metro is a very good environment which can be very functional, I use it on a daily basis on my Windows phone and I actually /enjoy/ working with it there.
The problem is enforcing the wrong solution at the wrong place. If they would have given us a choice; /or/ Metro /or/ the classic start menu then most people would have been happy.
What really ticked me off was to learn that the 'original' Avatar movie ("The last airbender") was even worse than this Caramon contraption.
Oh; the reason why I say 'original' is because the Anime series "Avatar" was out way before that silly Pocahontas movie existed. As such I think their movie should have had the right to be called Avatar as well.
But now after having seen it myself I'm actually glad that it doesn't share a resembling name. The series is /so/ much better than that movie, its almost an outrage :(
Those dance films and such may not be too enjoyable; they do serve a worthy purpose. Namely keeping the $SO happy. My gf really enjoys movies with a little song and dance, though I usually quite dislike them.
Most movies in this list otoh result in a mutual dislike. That's an important detail IMO; because there is something such as "boy" and "girl" movies. And quite frankly; I think the majority of El Reg readers are boys :)
IMO they did one thing right.
Honestly; a Professional version should be enough for professional & power users. When looking at Windows7 and the difference between Ultimate & Professional then I honestly have no desire what so ever to touch Ultimate. Not even if I could get it for the same price; its overkill for the stuff I need to do.
Professional otoh does provide me with everything I want which isn't available in the regular Home editions.
So in that respect I think they're doing the right thing to cut back and push Professional forward.
Having said that... otoh.. Sad times ahead. Don't get me wrong; I think MS deserves what I suspect they'll get when they try to push Metro down our desktop throats.
What I find sad is that it takes away the attention from everything they did manage to accomplish. And there are some impressive feats in there (all IMO of course).
I take my Windows Phone, I point the camera onto this screen and see my typed message in Dutch (my native language). Almost instantaneous! That is IMO very impressive.
I put the stuff on record, I record a French or German spoken sentence and it then reads it out aloud, but in Dutch.
THAT is what I honestly consider sad. They have quite some potential available already, but they're not using it. All they seem obsessed with (IMO the author worded it quite well) is tablets and mobility.
Re: Small / Medium businesses
IMVHO that would be Windows 7.
If you want to go Office...
Then get yourself Office 2010 instead and ignore this competition. If you're interested in Office 365 then pick up on Microsoft's free trial. Whatever you do: look into it at your /own/ pace and not because you're hurled into it. That would be my 2 cents of advice.
I'm a die-hard Office 2010 user myself (at least I consider myself as such) but I honestly think that the prize you could win here will eventually be much more rewarding for MS than you. Think about it for a moment..
What you basically get is a chance to use their software with 25 people ('licenses') for one year. So far, so good. But lets say you setup your family and some friends with an Office 365 account and enjoy a whole year of Office (IMO not unthinkable because well, I honestly think Office has come a long way so far).
But now the year is over and you have a lot of people liking and maybe depending on their Office environment. Then what ?
Then you're looking at being tied into a subscription which can easily go as far as $8 per user per month. Sounds cheap enough, but lets say you want to keep your family and friends happily using office this can quickly go up to having to spend $96,- per /month/ (I took 12 people into account here).
Is that still worth it ?
Now, don't take my rant in the wrong way. If you're curious and looking forward to trying this stuff out for a year then you should ignore my post entirely and go right ahead. But /do/ keep in mind what the possible consequences can be when your year of free usage has ended.
As such I would suggest picking up a free demo or a fuller Office 2010 suite.
Makes you really wonder...
Why Sun has rejected Google's partnership, especially if you take into consideration that Sun needed the money. I can't help think that Google tried to setup a deal which would left Sun with a lot of uncertainties and can't help wonder if Sun knew up front that they shouldn't put too much trust in Google.
The reason I wonder is because Sun has always been a very lenient company who wasn't afraid to go out of their ways to provide a better product (whether such decisions were for the better of worse isn't really relevant here).
They got to start /somewhere/
I'm getting a little tired of people criticizing companies like this. They made some effort in the right direction and immediately people start squeaking how "its not good enough".
Those people I'd like to advice to stop looking at the 'now' but /also/ pay some attention to the past. Sometimes things can't simply go as fast as you might like, because with big(ger) companies such as Microsoft there is a whole lot of extra's involved. Bureaucracy being one of those and legacy to follow quickly after.
IMO this is the same kind of bs we got when Sun started taking some very drastic steps to make Java fully open sourced. The first thing some people commented on? "Its not fully open sourced!", because what do you know... A small part of the JRE was indeed still closed. So because, say, 15 - 10% wasn't open sourced yet the whole project was basically "no good" according to those.
Welcome to the real world, where some companies decide to take one step at a time.
Item 5 is incorrect IMO
On two accounts. First; what if you need to charge several devices at the same time?
Second; although I agree that it is important to keep your luggage to a minimum I think its even /more/ important to keep your battery powered devices healthy. Your charger is more than a simple power adapter. For example; charging your phone using an adapter is likely to provide better results than if you charge it using an USB port because unlike an USB power a charger doesn't provide a mere endless stream; it checks the status of the battery and usually changes the charging characteristics based on that.
As such; I think you're much better of sticking with (several) charger(s) so that you can be sure that the charging is performed in the most optimal way.
Sun beat them to the punch
This isn't something just out of the box.
During the Sun era we had Java ME ('Mobile Edition') which allowed you to utilize Java on a smaller ('embedded') environment. To put it differently: you could write programs which would be targeted specifically for phones. It was fun (IMO) but also challenging since the environment offered but a part of what you could do with a full Java environment ('Java SE'). This has always been point of discussion.
However, what a lot of people don't seem to know is that Sun has also worked on a so called JavaPhone API (link). This would allow you direct (but controlled) access to specific options in the telephone environment itself (control over the telephone part, access to the messaging part, etc, etc).
To my knowledge it never went beyond version 1.0 but the layout was there. And it was also around that time (iirc that is) that rumor about a Java phone started. However, although the rumors never stopped it seems to me that Sun already realized that this wasn't a feasible project.
While the programming language maybe good that doesn't imply that it will be suitable to build a whole phone around it. And I think that's what Sun also realized. Even in the days where Java was much better known than it seems to be in these days.
So don't be too quick to brush this story away as fiction, but quite frankly I don't see it happening anymore. People don't go out to buy phone's merely because its 'Java'.
Re: Stop with the Apps!
And what guarantee's do we have / get that the paid counterpart doesn't do exactly the same thing?
Or it didn't happen, as the saying goes.
Sorry for 2 posts quickly after another; but if the fellow geeks want to actually see the picture themselves they should check out this article (link) on the Daily Mail website.
C'mon El Reg, why didn't you post this important piece of evidence as well? ;-)
Isn't this configurable ?
I know you can usually turn the option off which stores location information in your pictures. However, I noticed that my Winphone has a second option: it can automatically remove said location info again as soon as you put a picture online (social media, skydrive, etc.).
As such this leaves me wondering if the other platforms don't have an option such as this ?
That's the first time...
I see El Reg use a, hmm, "attention seeking picture" in both the overview as the article itself.
Yet now I also know why they usually don't do this, could anyone explain the article to me again, I kinda lost my attention up there? ;-)
You do realize that the Windows Phones only consist of 1/6th (2 out of 12 million) of all the phones they sold in the past quarter?
Sure, they could have expected higher sale ratings, but then again; the OS is still quite new. And it seems to me that Nokia isn't betting on a single horse here given that the majority of phones sold weren't Window Phones.
Yet it seems that everyone is ignoring that part.
Actually you're wrong, though I can see where you're coming from because at one time I said the exact same thing ;-)
The multitask bit isn't to be found in the task switcher; but in the settings section. To be precise the: "background tasks" option in the apps section.
But to make it more obvious: My Omnia collects mail for 4 accounts every hour. I keep an application which live tile shows the actual temperature, this also gets automatically updated. Another app. keeps track of the stock market; during the times the market is open (local time) it updates every xx minutes (customizable).
And so forth... Do you really believe all of that were possible without multitasking? ;-)
The main issue which I see is that its fully build on top of an Open Source OS. While this has its obvious advantages (and I don't mean "free as in beer") it also comes with disadvantages. For example; 20 people working on a project could use 20 different coding styles thus making it harder to grok the exact inner working of the software component.
But the most risk is the liability aspect itself I think. The well known "What if". What if something does go wrong and the government and military deem Boeing responsible? It doesn't matter here if we're talking Android, iOS, Symbian or even WP7... Obviously RIM has somehow managed to protect themselves from such claims (or evade them?). But can a new player on the market do the same?
Facebook is limiting...
I don't have any personal accounts on social media because I simply don't trust them. However I do maintain two business accounts on both Twitter and Facebook. And quite frankly developments like these don't surprise me at all.
IMO Facebook is only in it for the money without much else. For example; my Facebook account is only good to (try to) attract followers as well as pay up for their advertising service. I can't, for example, follow people or other companies myself. Or comment on certain events and such.
Twitter? Now that's a whole different story. My company account is just like a regular account, I can maintain a profile, follow other people or companies and even actively comment thus also drawing some attention back to myself again.
With that in mind it comes as no surprise to me that Facebook is losing its edge.
The article leaves me with one question...
Did someone recently discover and watched V or something ?
Now, while his theory seems plausible to me (if DNA has landed here then in theory a big meteor strike could have left our planet also) he assumes that the dna strands actually survived in space as well as found a planet which met all the right characteristics to develop.
However, during that incident we were already well on our way in the evolution process. These "earth-founded lizard aliens" would have to start all over from scratch. Thus even the idea that these strands may - at this time - have evolved into a space traveling society seems a bit far fetched to me.
Nokia 'put people first'...
Which ironically enough is also the supporting slogan which MS is using heavily with their Window Phones.
Quite frankly I think this will blow over. Sure; its a nasty bug and one which shouldn't even have been there. But if you play your cards right, which I think Nokia is doing here, then you can even turn a possible major setback into a marketing strategy.
I don't like the design of the Lumia myself (prefer Samsung) but this is a recommendable action!
Kinect isn't the important bit here...
A visual programming language which is fully aimed at, you guessed it, multimedia aspects. However, its still a full fledged programming environment, just "not the way you're used to". See also:
Being a Max developer myself I question the relevance of the Kinect part. After all; it seems the Max program is doing all the work, and with that in mind I think he could have swapped the Kinect for any kind of camera. As long as it can captures motion then this motion can relatively easy be 'translated' into midi.
Luckily BBS software still exists...
And with that I'm not referring to visiting a BBS to download software and such, I'm of course referring to the whole 'echomail' (comparable to UseNet) and 'netmail' (e-mail) structures.
A mere mail client such as timEd (or the better known GoldEd) is enough to actually read & write messages, then you need a mailer & tosser (I used 'Portal of Power' and 'FMail' in the days) which can package up ('toss') and send (the mailer part) all your stuff across a regular phone line. Of course a modem would come in handy too.
Sure; its not real time, but its the one thing a government won't be able to block on a whim. Well, they could but usually they won't; people are granted phone access. And should worse come to worst; in "our" days we could fit a /whole/ lot of mail material (echomail & netmail alike) onto a single 1.44" floppy. Now try to imagine what you can achieve with a common memory stick ?
Worst case: you smuggle the whole thing across a border or, if international calls are possible, setup a so called "FidoNet <-> Internet relay". That will make sure that 'netmail' gets converted to regular e-mail and echomail... well, you do the math :-)
So while things might look totally hopeless for some youngsters there are actually still plenty of options left for electronic communication. Even mass-communication if you want to.
The main downside, obviously, is the latency. This won't be real time, but if you setup a good infrastructure then who cares if an e-mail takes more than a week to get answered?
(that was the time it took for my very first netmail ("e-mail") to be answered which I send using FidoNet to a friend of mine)
No flame, but reactions like yours are IMO proof as to why Linux will never make it.
If it were so simple when why wasn't this set into /etc/apt/sources.list right from the getgo (right after installing the OS) ?
I'm pretty sure they had a very good reason to use "squeeze" instead of something else.
Re: Bah, humbug!
You could consider getting a version of Windows 7 Professional instead of the 'freely' shipped Home Premium. Its not /that/ expensive and it provides support for a full fledged Windows XP professional.
In short: when using 7 Professional you can pick up "XP Mode" from Microsoft. This is basically a version of their "Windows Virtual PC" software which ships with an ISO image containing the install media for XP professional.
As such it basically allows you to run a full fledged XP 'within' Windows 7. Heck; it even goes as far as allowing you to run individual programs which then run on the virtual XP (which gets started in the background) while being available on your desktop like any other regular program (the main thing noticeable is the XP look). Some people I know even use this so that they can continue to use Outlook Express, because they despise the new "Live mail".
Maybe this could be an alternative?
Re: Upgrade now before you have to get Windows 8!
That is exactly the thing I'm telling my customers. Consider an upgrade to Windows 7 within the next year because you may regret it if you don't. One of them has already taken the advice (not because of me, but because he had an upgrade planned for some time now) and moved to 7 and Office 2010 and so far he's happy.
Take an example to 13 years of XP!
I mean; like them or not if you will, but you got to admit that by supporting an operating system for nearly 13 years Microsoft has performed no easy feat. Sure; one reason for all this is because XP has become one of the most popular Window versions so far (though I think 7 is getting there as well).
But even so; to me this is solid proof that there are lots and lots of people who don't like or want to see their desktop, browser, or whole OS in general change on a whim. And I think its this reason why many people will still continue to use Windows over other alternatives.
Computer enthusiasts should keep in mind that not everyone enjoys toying or playing with their computer itself (or its OS). Many simply want to turn it on and do the things they want or need to do; NOW. They dislike being greeted with: "There is a new version of program X, please wait while I perform the update!", only to end up having to wait 5 minutes while all they wanted to do was to do something then and there.
Its this reason alone why I think that the current available Linux distribution's don't have what it takes to be used on the desktop. Sure; when it comes to desktop /functionality/ then there is no doubt what so ever that Linux can cope, don't get me wrong here. The problem is: how long is it going to last?
A real life example: someone who wanted to try something radically different and I installed Debian Linux with KDE and some gizmo's for him. So far, so good. He continued to use it and manually performed some program updates every once in a while. Which at one time rendered his desktop useless, but I don't think you can hold that against Linux because in comparison; Windows has had its shares of issues too.
The real problem came when the next version got out and support for this one ended. At one time I got a call from him; he wanted to install another MP3 player (having heard much good stories about vlc) only to discover that he couldn't install anything anymore because the repository had stopped working.
Luckily for him I knew about "archive.debian.org", though I have hinted that he really should consider upgrading his Debian version. But that is something he doesn't like to hear after having used Linux for only 1 year. As such, don't expect him to become a believer anytime soon, even though he's totally happy with the KDE desktop as is.
I think that as soon as Linux somehow manages to break this cycle and provides longer support then it might indeed be a worthy alternative. Note; and with longer support I don't mean simply continue to supply updates while the process of upgrading from one supported version to the other (Ubuntu LTS for example) starts to become totally impossible without a clean re-install.
But until then.. I think Microsoft is doing a recommendable job by not only coming up with new ideas and setups when it comes to Windows. They also stand by those versions, for a very, VERY long time.
Too bad that a majority of people take it all for granted without realizing the work and effort that goes into this.
No, no no... All wrong.
What you do is sue the hell out of your local police squad because the malware has pointed you to them. While this probably won't fix your PC it might get you rich (though I wouldn't bet on it).
What made Aliens great...
The suspension and the make-belief.
Only a few months ago I think my gf and me were watching Aliens (DVD) on the TV and it was frightening as ever. And then it struck me... "we're watching a frickin' counter with some (shooting) sound effects". Yet it was TENSE.
That is so cool about these movies. Its like they mentioned in the making off's (I had the full DVD box with all 4 movies) when it came to Alien. Many people thought that the Alien (in its mature form) grew in size and praised the movie over that. But it didn't; the same model was used every time.
Make belief.. That is IMO cool.
Don't care about the blu ray disks though; why would I want blu ray when I have the DVD's? Esp. for movies which were shot in a time where the resolution itself was limited from the start?
Sorry, but when a company makes something solely available for its customers then its not something I'd describe as free. Its not a free service IMO, its an /extra/ service.
Apart from the other comments also don't forget taxes. I don't know how it works in other countries, but over here (Holland) the sheer cost of taxes alone is murderous.
If you have some staff on the payroll and you want to give them a bonus of E 500,- then prepare to whip out E 1000,- in total because our government also wants a (big) piece of that pie.
I can only wonder...
What kind of nitwitted patents this are going to be...
"Charging your keyboard enabled smartphone with green energy (windmill power in particular)"
"Talking on the phone while eating a 'broodje kroket'"
Or maybe: "Using a smartphone with greasy fingers" (because of the 'kroket').
All fun aside.. I have to wonder; how on earth is a US company going to find out about & use specific ideas from a rather small Dutch firm? I'm getting a little "patent tired" to be honest. If you don't want your ideas to be used, why not keep them more secret in the first place?
However, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. NXP is a company which was founded by Phillips. And guess what; today one of Phillips main sources of income is fully build on patents. As such this shouldn't come as a surprise.
I think this may work, and may even beneficial for some people.
But I think such projects could easily collapse the very moment where one of the (bigger) players has worked out an excellent design (at least in their opinion) which then won't make it into the official specs itself.
So you have set something up which you know will work for you, yet it doesn't get implemented. What do you do ?
My guess is that you then leave the whole project again and continue setting up your environment in the way you intended it in the first place.
Sharing knowledge and experience is often a very good idea, but when it comes to this then I get a weird feeling when people are trying to 'regulate' some stuff.
Could be just me though...
I agree about the Windows Phone. Somewhat surprised me even, but its quite versatile and really allows you to get stuff /done/. The threads in messaging (SMS) are very clever IMO, e-mail (and combining accounts) works like a charm and well; the browser really does it for me, its very nice to be able and tap a column of text only to have it zoom in so that it fully fills the screen (thus is easier to read).
However, I think RIM does score one point here, especially for business usage.
I /really/ enjoy my phone (and I'm not just saying that mind you; if I want to I can still return & switch it in the upcoming week, but this baby isn't going anywhere (apart from where I'm going ;-)). As an end user its very straight forward and still extensive. As a (junior) developer I also consider it to be very accessible; well documented, SDK can be downloaded free of charge and heck; you can even use C# Express to hack the critter a bit (using the 'Microsoft.Smartdevice.Connectivity' reference; this allows you to access the emulator or phone after which you can do fun stuff with it. For example launching applications based on their GUID).
But as a sysadmin however I have to say that I somehow expected a little more. I really would have liked a little more control over the device, like I have with my Windows 7 box. You know; group policies, user policies, etc. Hardly important or anything to me, but for example; I liked disabling the "Windows Anytime Upgrade" on my Win7 box because it was a good example & practice for me, and I really don't have any desire to go from Professional to Ultimate anyway. So now when I start the program (as common user) I get a message to "contact systems administration" :-)
As such I was expecting a little more like that to be available on the Windows Phone too. For example; suppose I have 2 - 3 co workers, and give 'm all a Windows phone. Then it would be really convenient if I could simply setup a profile for those devices which would then make sure that they'd be setup with the right settings for e-mail or access to the common calendar (either Hotmail or Exchange server). That sort of stuff.
So even though I'm not familiar with Blackberry and RIM I do think that they do score a point here over the Windows phone when it comes to systems administration.
And although I'm quite convinced that all of these tidbits will come eventually I can't help wonder if MS shouldn't have had /something/ setup already.
Re: I'd give anything to go back to Honeycomb
Maybe a dumb question (from a non-Android user) but why don't you?
Is the upgrade process one way or something? Reason I ask; I also know of environments which first make a backup ('snapshot') of the phone before upgrading, thus allowing you to revert all the changes should something go horribly wrong.
Its the /one/ reason why I started using Bing whenever I was searching for technical based info. Before I go on: I am NOT claiming that Bing is perfect here, but it has been my experience that in some cases its better (and less annoying) than Google.
Whenever I search for something apparently arcane I end up on websites who either claim to hold the answer to my question (by showing a supposedly forum post containing my /exact/ question (how odd..) and allowing me to read the answers AFTER paying them... xxx amount of cash (yeah right!)). Or even worse, also happening more and more these days: I end up on a /different/ search engine which basically searches some other (but usually the same) websites.
With Bing otoh... Note: for the stuff I searched for, which was most commonly Windows related stuff. However, I still ended up with the crap down on page 2 or 3 or something. I also noticed that some companies behind the crappy pages ("we have the answer, just pay us") also were advertising on Google.
I know I don't pay for Google's services (or do I? What exactly is Google (trying to) extract from my setup?) but a lot of this stuff is plain out annoying. I somehow would have expected some kind of filters or such, esp. when taking into account that Google by itself was once a search engine where you could actually find relative material pretty easily, even if the stuff you were looking for was kind of arcane.
So yes, I think this is deserved. They became big with providing an excellent service (honestly, they really did!) yet when they started to learn how to make money from it the services went quickly down the drain where quality was concerned. And the people who made it all possible? Well, you figure that one out for yourself..
What /is/ it with the US and nudity ?
So I was watching a Gran Turismo 5 (PS3 racing game) related video where a US company sent of their 'best' reporter with (iirc) $500,- to get a car and drive the Nurburgring (Nordschleiffe). Pretty fun IMO, but one thing caught my attention.. During a stop at a tank station the reporters attention was quickly diverted by the magazine stand: "Whoah, they have Playboys and other mags with topless women in plain sight?!".
This was some time ago and kinda made me go "huh?!", because I hardly would consider that special. Heck; Germany even has their "Bild Zeitung" ("Bild newspaper") which almost every time has a "Page 1 girl" (don't take my word for it; go to bild.de and see for yourself).
I can only conclude that the US is obsessed with nudity, yet in very negative ways. Only a few days ago did I learn about a teacher who was facing 40 (!) years in jail because the /company/ computer she worked on picked up pr0n displaying malware which started spouting off crap during a presentation. "Risk of injury to minors", WTF? And the reason I go "WTF" is because if the malware would have shown people getting horribly mutilated (sawing off heads or even more gross) then it wouldn't have been any problem what so ever. I'm convinced of that.
Makes perfect sense; getting (your) brains shot out is perfectly normal and merely part of life it seems, deal with it kiddo! But a naked woman or man? HEAVEN forbid!
Oh man, South Park managed to capture this SO darn well ("Good times with weapons", Season 8 iirc); the boys pick up weapons illegally ("our parents died, we can't get consent, wheeeeee!") and Butters ("Professor Chaos") ends up with a throwing star in his eye. And the events cause a MAJOR uproar in the whole town. "THE WORST thing which has EVER happened to South Park!!". Rightfully so eh ?
What's that? Because kids mutilated themselves? Naah! No, even WORSE!
Because Cartman, in the kids make believe game, thought he'd "invisibly" move across a stage where an auction was being held, all filmed and shown on air real time. And as we all know; if you're invisible then your clothes are the things which keep you visible....
At the time I saw this at first I laughed my ass off, only to learn learn at a later time that this was actually FOR REAL.
As such: WTF?!
Time to get better marketing personel
I mean really; if there's one thing the average big IT companies has learned its that you should never "take it out" on fans, because fans are not only potential customers. Better yet; they may even interest other people (outside your "marketing scope") to check up on your products.
Microsoft? Was weary when it came to Mono but in the end (at least up until now) leaves the project be, even though they're "messing" with an MS flagship called .NET. Ballmer? Even though he is a fruitcake he wasn't too arrogant to sign a kids macbook (iirc). Probably running NT, but who knows. Either way; Ballmer didn't start "omg the competition!". And there are plenty of other examples to be found out there, don't get me started on how lenient Sun has always been towards its fanbase.
This is an epic fail. The big bad HTC company against the underdog; enthusiastic fans who were only trying to spread the word of the Lord, errr, phone :-) Guess what /that/ will do to your credibility ?
They should have left this alone. Better yet; during the official presentation should have /congratulated/ these guys for beating them to the punch. You can turn that into a marketing advantage for yourself easily: "Everyone wants this phone, its so bad that people even risk breaking our rules to get their hands on it. See how great it is?".
THAT is how you do it. Take your "loss" and turn it into a win. You get (positive) attention, you get sympathy and you may attract more people's interest.
This only gets you disdain, which can easily work against you. Breaking a reputation is much quicker than building one, never forget that!
I'm more interested in the other issue
"Luckily for Ms. Amero, some members of the computer-security industry decided to take up her case, and found that the school-issued PC was a Windows 98 SE machine with IE 5 and an expired antivirus subscription, and she had picked up porn-producing malware from visiting a website discussing hairstyles.
The judge ordered a retrial and Ms. Amero escaped with a $100 fine. She still lost her teaching license, however."
So basically that teacher was using a /company/ ('school') computer which was obviously suffering from a serious lack of maintenance, thus causing the infection with a virus leading up to pr0n showing on the computer during the presentation. And yet /she/ is losing her license over all this? What kind of nonsense is that?
I have to agree that visiting hairstyle websites using a company computer probably isn't the best of ideas (the ever going discussion of work vs private use) but even then; you can hardly blame her for damages done by the virus, especially since it turned out that the virus scanner had never been updated by the (hopefully present?) IT staff.
"Risk of injury to a minor" because they saw a bunch of naked men and women? And that's worth 40 years of jail time?
Well, first of all I welcome our new Microsoft distributing overlords to our small country of mills and cheese :-)
Seriously though; both Germany and the Netherlands honor European law. And as far as I know the way patents are dealt with is also setup on an European level. As such I have to wonder what the big advantage is (I'm pretty sure their lawyers have it all worked out, I'm just puzzled by it).
Re: Colour Vampires
Well, while I tend to agree (haven't tried the beta myself, but can't imagine using my C# VS 2010 Express without colors) but it is also a fact that many developers don't like change per definition.
Funny that you should mention NetBeans (one of my favorites) because that is another fine example of that. When version 6 came out the main toolbar got a makeover which also managed to cause a little uproar due to the 'dull' way the new icons looked. Many people disliked it and as such also complained.
Now we're on NB 7, the icons look the same and it seems to me as if people have gotten used to them. As such; some changes may grow on you with time (though I don't see this happening with the color removal to be honest).
Its the competition, not Microsoft..
I think that the competition is more responsible for this change in market share. Lets start with Firefox; many people like myself dropped it because having to deal with upgrades on such short notices eventually gets too annoying. You start your browser but you "can't" visit a website because your attention has been drawn away by an update. Worse; often some of your plugins will stop working after the upgrade due to version conflicts. And that's not even getting into the issue of Firefox which more and more seems to look like Chrome.
Speaking of which; there is also a slowly growing concern when it comes to Google and the data they're collecting. It wouldn't surprise me if this issue also resulted in some people moving away from Chrome.
And considering that Windows is still heavily used it isn't that strange that people who are unhappy with their current browser also end up trying out MSIE every once in a while. However, while this may sound like good news for MS I'd say give it a month or two. Expanding your market share is one thing, but maintaining that newly acquired position is something else...
These people probably "had nothing to hide"; an argument which you see used very often when it comes to privacy concerns such as certain software or websites which try to collect and use certain data.
IMO this is another fine example that its not an issue of having something to hide or not; the real problem is how the collected information is going to be used. These people should have thought about this sooner /before/ posting specific personal information to a website for all to see.
However; it wouldn't surprise me if some of them simply didn't realize that the information they posted was accessible by everyone. A site like Facebook didn't have all those warnings concerning privacy from the very beginning you know...
People don't think things through anymore :(
Which is my main gripe. Over here in Holland some idiot (personal opinion of course) though it to be fun to construct a sea-bomb (the WW2 thingie) from foam and dump it into a pond. Needless to say; it attracted quite the attention; from police, explosive experts and the lot.
Call me old fashioned if you will but those aren't jokes anymore. People who are planning a joke should try to think about the consequences. What maybe fun for you might be a nightmare for others.
And well; to me the jokes are getting lamer, more shallow and plain out dumb by the year. You don't have to overdo it in order to fool people in a fun way you know.
"OMG, Halleys comet is going to land RIGHT HERE" just doesn't do it these days...
In other news...
RIM now considers filing a lawsuit against El Reg due to spreading classified information which might scare off potential customers which they so desperately need these days. As such rumor has it that RIM and El Reg are reaching a settlement for several thousands of dollars.
Source of being obviously the same source as the article itself ;-)
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