* Posts by Epobirs

163 posts • joined 14 Dec 2011

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Cortana threatens to blow away ESC key

Epobirs

I've got this bridge for sale

If you believe they'll eliminate the ESC key, I've got some investment opportunities to offer...

This is going to be just another dedicated extended keyboard item that goes unused by a major portion of owners, due to force of habit as much as anything else. I've have had four laptops to date with dedicated media playback control keys and I'm lucky if I remember their presence 1 out of ten times that I want to manipulate the playback.

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HP haters: Get ready to rage against THE MACHINE 'next year'

Epobirs

Re: How will that work....

It won't. Part of the project is the development of an OS designed from the ground up for a completely NVM environment. They claim they will have a Linux based simulator for this available long before the hardware ships, so that developers can wrap their heads around the changes and get some application work underway before The Machine is a shipping product. We'll see.

Meanwhile, there are so many new technologies being incorporated into this it seems impossible that anything like the intended product will ever come to pass. But that isn't necessarily failure. Many of these technologies, taken on their own, would be huge money makers. Most obvious is the memristor memory. Even lacking an NVM oriented OS, a memristor product with performance and density competitive with DD4 could get away with being a bit more costly due to the value of its non-volatile nature. The advantage to mobile devices alone would be a very profitable market.

How serious HP is about all of this stuff happening in one box is hard to see. They may be delusional or it may be purely PR. But at least they're trying to bring something new to the world. Even if it kills the company the work will be there for somebody else to pick up the pieces.

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One USB plug to rule them all? That's sensible, but no...

Epobirs

In real life...

This just isn't going to come up much in real life. Systems and peripherals equipped with Thunderbolt will continue to be significantly more expensive than run of the mill USB-C systems and peripherals. The 3.1 performance is a substantial upgrade that more than suffice for most people who aren't dealing in really massive loads, like high-end video editing. Hopefully Thunderbolt will have more of a presence than FireWire managed but I suspect this will come about with Thunderbolt being absorbed within USB and announce again down the road as USB 4.0. Once again, only the power users will have to think about it and eventually the stuff that really gets widely used is simple enough for most.

It might be good if there were a standardized GUI tool that looked at the machine (a branded PC can have the info with meaningful images preloaded) and showed the user what ports there were and what each supported, as well as what each was doing at the moment, if anything.

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Fanbois designing Windows 10 – where's it going to end?

Epobirs

Re: Insider here

Or... something is strange about your setup, because I have no such problem in my household network involving multiple NAS boxes and and PCs, nor have I seen it in two other locations testing Windows 10. Are you experiencing this in a domain managed network or a simple LAN?

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Epobirs

Much ado about nothing

This only applies to multiple desktops, a feature which will be used by a small fraction of the overall installed base. Seeing as the Insider group represents a generally more sophisticated set of users who care about features much of the general public finds obscure, that sample was actually a fairly valid way to decide on the matter. You cannot even put the question to the great majority of computer users, as the answer will simply be "Wha?"

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Intel adopts 40Gb per SECOND USB-C plug for Thunderbolt 3.0

Epobirs

Re: Square peg round hole

It's a bit late for that as USB 3.1 is already a done deal. But it could be the basis for USB 4.0, keeping the plugs and cable consumers are just starting to adopt.

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Candy-cane optimism tastes sweet in Disney’s Tomorrowland

Epobirs

I've seen the same mistake repeated by over a dozen writers in the past week. Tomorrowland is not a ride. It is a themed section of the park and includes many rides and non-ride attractions. Some of the most memorable parts of Tomorrowland decades ago didn't involve movement but rather were hints of the future. More like the World's Fair. In fact, many exhibits first appeared at the World's Fair and became permanent installations at the Disney park, like the Bell Labs stuff. It may seem silly today but back in 1975 playing Tic-Tac-Toe against a computer on a video display was very impressive. It was the first direct interaction with a computer for millions of people.

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Streaming tears of laughter as Jay-Z (Tidal) waves goodbye to $56m

Epobirs

I realize I'm older than the target demographic for the service, but when I saw the lineup on that stage I told another person nearby, "I'd pay a one-time fee to never hear most of them ever again."

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Sony nabs cloud gamers OnLive, administers swift headshot

Epobirs

I just don't see the value of Playstation Now. For a year of the service you could buy a used PS3 and a good pile of games. It will always work whether your connection is fast or slow or even out of commission.

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Al Franken to FBI: We need MORE revenge smut arrests

Epobirs

There is already well established law in most US states and other nations regarding when you can record someone without their knowledge or consent. Nudity or sex need not be a factor. Recall the history when Linda Tripp recorded her phone conversations with Monica Lewinsky about her experiences with the then President Clinton.

The reason new law is being proposed here at all is because these cases are all involving recordings made with the full knowledge and consent (and being of sufficient age to legally give consent) of both parties at the time. The age of consent means you should possess the maturity to appreciate the potential repercussions of your actions. Which means this is a not a straightforward legislative proposal. If done badly it could supply a rationale for people to change their minds about a variety of things and make the other party criminally liable for something that was not a crime at the time. The slope is already there. No need to pour oil on it.

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Epobirs

Re: Recently re-elected.

No. This is a guy whose first election hinged on a box of ballots mysteriously 'forgotten' in a car's trunk until the numbers were really close.

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Epobirs

It's really simple. Never pose for a picture or video you wouldn't want seen by the entire world. Everybody show have this drummed into them by the time they hit puberty. It's just a modern part of the birds and bees lecture.

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Robot Overlords: Tween babysitting fodder with no in-jokes for the adults

Epobirs

My first thought when I saw this on a torrent site was, "Ben Kingsley is really bad with money or has very strange taste."

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Elon Musk plans to plonk urban Hyperloop subsonic tube on California

Epobirs

Re: Secure transport system?

Not to mention to the problem of riding in anything that operates in a Collision Domain.

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Revival of fortune: Mad Catz Mojo Android gaming micro console

Epobirs

Re: UK users getting screwed on price?

GameStop lists it for $125 but doesn't appear to actually stock it anymore. none for online purchases and the inventory checker indicates none in stores within 100 miles. As that includes most of Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange counties in Southern California I'm inclined to think they've largely passed from US retail.

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Epobirs

Android Gamepad support list

Not sure how frequently this is updated but it may come in handy for any considering such a device.

http://androidgamepadgames.com/

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Basic minimum income is a BRILLIANT idea. Small problem: it doesn't work as planned

Epobirs

Remarkably naive. The people selling food stamps for cash are generally junkies who will forgo eating for their fix. Of course they don't get full value.

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'Linus Torvalds is UNFIT for the WORKPLACE!' And you've given the world what, exactly?

Epobirs

They just don't get it. The job is benevolent dictator, with the emphasis on dictator. If you cannot deal with an environment that deals solely in ability to deliver, go somewhere else. There are numerous company jobs downstream of where the kernel work happens that can afford to worry about each others' feelings.

If you want things to progress without the core code base being under the thumb of a single corporation, it has to be this way. Leaders lead.

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Proxima and Ultima: AI, hard sci-fi and multiverse – ALL GOOD. Romans – not so much

Epobirs

The Romans were already explorers. That is why there was a Roman Empire. They'd go out exploring, like what they saw, declare it theirs, and send in some Legions to explain it with extreme prejudice to those already living there.

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Docker part 4: Microsoft CAN'T ignore it. Aux armes, citoyens!

Epobirs

Re: Rendered obsolete by miniature mongrel poodles

Well, isn't that where Microsoft is going with its app store being opened up to all sorts of apps, not just WinRT? Docker could be a very convenient function for them to integrate.

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Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'

Epobirs

She should make another Senate or House run before aspiring so high. Zero experience in elective office is a huge negative. The last person to even come close was Ross Perot with vast resources and far more buzz generating (for good or ill) policies ideas. Given, he was also a third party but it's hard to imagine either of the two major parties giving a shot to someone, again, who has never held office or even a major appointed position.

Is it just here in CA or is there a severe lack of decent political talent everywhere?

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T-Mobile US goes gaga for Wi-Fi calling, AT&T to launch in 2015

Epobirs

Re: Why?

It isn't unusual at all. Cellular service in my home's vicinity is very spotty but the WiFi off my cable modem service is quite good. Unlimited voice is useless if you cannot connect. And data is never unlimited if you read the small print. Using WiFi when available saves the data allocation for when you need it.

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Epobirs

Re: Unbelievable..

My T-Mobile Galaxy SII has always had it. It's been a lifesaver because the signal in my neighborhood is generally lousy but the cable modem service is quite good since they rolled out the DOCSIS 3 support.

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The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

Epobirs

Affecting everybody? I don't think so. It hasn't been a problem on any of my machine nor has any of several dozen clients reported any such problems. Obviously, there is something conditional at work here.

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Facebook goes TITSUP across WORLD! Who will look at your cousin's baby NOW?

Epobirs

I hadn't noticed.

Facebook went away and I didn't notice. Does this mean I have a life or lack one?

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Chap builds rotary dial mobile phone

Epobirs

But does it come in a shoe?

Maxwell Smart had one of these on his right foot back in the 1960s.

In 1991, I was working as a messenger. Whenever I made a dropoff I needed to call in to the dispatcher in hopes there would be another job nearby. This one job took me to the HQ of the Los Angeles Unified School District, near downtown LA. The place felt very anachronistic. All of the furniture was ancient and each desk had a rotary phone. When I went to call in to the dispatcher I found I couldn't immediately remember how to use the kind of phone I'd grown up with. I had to stare at it for about 30 seconds before it finally came to me.

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Crucial MX100 256GB SSD: Cut-throat competition in flash land

Epobirs

Installed several of these

I've installed several of these for clients recently. They've been very happy with the combination of price and performance. Unfortunately, I justify the cost upgrading one of my own laptops yet. They feel so painfully slow now but I just don't use them often enough to allocate the funds.

The strange thing is that all of my clients wanting new PCs of course want them to have SSDs for boot and app drives but pretty ever brand I've checked either doesn't offer it or only offers SSD as an option on high end expensive systems that my client have no interest in buying. They aren't gamers. They want their tax and accounting software to load fast.

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Yet another reason to skip commercials: Microsoft ad TURNS ON your Xbox One

Epobirs

Re: These corporations won't be happy...

Neither. A TCP baby. See 'The President's Analyst' from 1967. Way ahead of the curve.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062153/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_1

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Epobirs

When did you last misplace your vocal cords?

The value of voice commands is you're unlikely to lose the remote or deal with multiple remotes. For most people, their voice is always available and doesn't need new batteries at inconvenient moments.

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Epobirs

Something for the next firmware update

IIRC, the Kinect mic can pick up stuff that is outside normal human range. I'd suggest they need a 'magic' tone, to be inserted at the beginning of an ad like this, that tells the Kinect to not process possible voice commands for, say, 30 seconds. Then that tone could be used for new forms of abuse, such as ads that don't let you switch away to a game.

Build a more foolproof device and they'll soon produce better fools.

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Good news for gamers who don't leave the house: SanDisk debuts 24/7 Extreme PRO SSD

Epobirs

Re: @ AC OP

The SATA-III interface is the bottleneck. The real action in SSD advancement is in more direct connections to the PCI-e bus. Anything that sits on SATA cannot compete on sequential throughput when that has already been maximized.

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What data recovery software would you suggest?

Epobirs

If you mean data recovery as opposed to a backup system, I've gotten a lot of use from R-Studio.

http://www.r-studio.com/

I use it with a USB 3.0 / eSATA docking station for 2.5" and 3.5" drives. Very worthwhile investment if you do this sort of thing regularly.

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IBM PCjr STRIPPED BARE: We tear down the machine Big Blue would rather you forgot

Epobirs

Re: still have one of these

Ah, you beat me to it. Interesting bit of trivia: The Tandy 1000 was originally developed as an Atari system by Tandon, to be marketed as the Atari 1600. It was dropped by Atari not long before Warner Comm. sold it off to the Tramiels.

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Help a hack: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit?

Epobirs

Re: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit ? @ AC

Since one of the objectives is to help the community members acquire job skills, it was likely decided that they needed to be up on the most widely used software in businesses, as opposed to something very similar.

Some users can easily go between MS Office and OpenOffice but most get confused. I was recently involved in a migration where the fleet of aging XP systems were replaced with Dell refurbs running Win7. Most of the old machines had the pre-DRM Office 2000 but that doesn't work on 64-bit Win7. A few had Office 2003 and PC Mover handled migrating that, though you have to make sure the Outlook users have Word as their editor because Outlook 2003 doesn't get along with IE 10/11 for editing.

Anyway, until there was a budget for MS Office of some more recent generation, the new machines all got LibreOffice in hopes it would cover most needs. It turned out to be a huge pain as they had a bunch of frequently used documents that LibreOffice doesn't render correctly. These users are mostly nurses and have very little interest in learning any new software. Free is nice, except when it doesn't work correctly and is confusing to those used to other products.

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Barnes & Noble's Nook freed from Windows, WinPhone apps pledge

Epobirs

MS Reader was a pioneering effort but it was released years ahead of suitable hardware. By the time some good device were appearing Microsoft had lost interest and failed to form the right partnerships to push the LIT format.

If Microsoft really wanted to have a serious influence on ebooks, they should make EPUB a native format for Word. Atlantis Word Processor does this and is worth the $35 for that reason if you have the need but Atlantis has some serious deficiencies of which the lack of tables is the most crippling for many kinds of projects.

If Barnes & Noble had been smarter about the problems on the development side, they would have pumped some money into Sigil, which is a great tool for formatting EPUB files but needs a lot of man hours put into it to make it a really professional tool.

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Your 'funny' cat pics are weighing down the web, so here's a better JPEG encoder from Mozilla

Epobirs

Whatever became of...?

any of the other numerous wavelet and other compression schemes that were demoed endlessly, usually via browser plug-in, in the 90s but never adopted by any major browser as a standard? The tech to do far better compression has been around for a very long time and considering we're now in 2014 there must be some of it unencumbered by patents.

I can remember some of the plug-in demos on Pentium II machine running Win98 were a bit slow to decode but the images were remarkably small compared to the JPEG version. Any current platform should be able to easily eliminate that slowness.

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Globe grabbin,’ sphere slammin’, orb-tossin’, pill poppin’... Speedball

Epobirs

Oh the memories. I worked at the company who distributed this game in the US, Cinemaware, though I'm not able to remember the brand name the company had for the import line. Speedball was the star attraction of the lot.

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FLIGHTMARE! Inflight cell calling debuts, dealing heavy blow to quality of life

Epobirs

This is really missing a picture of the Trigger Happy TV guy with his torso sized mobile phone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27aVPqpnL7Y

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Nintendo is FLATLY UNHINGED: New 2DS is a handful of game

Epobirs

Have you never seen the difference?

The 3DS is substantially more powerful than the DS, and has much better resolution, even without the 3D feature. To stay competitive Nintendo has to focus on the newer platform rather than the one seeing very little new software.

Put simply, much of the best selling 3DS games would be very hard to do well on the NDS without giving up a lot of visual quality and looking bad compared to the cheapest smartphones.

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Private UK torrent site closes, citing 'hostile climate'

Epobirs

Damn, that was a great site. I saw so much stuff I might never have known existed otherwise.

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12 simple rules: How Ted Codd transformed the humble database

Epobirs

"Some of the biggest and most profitable names on the computing scene – Oracle, IBM and Microsoft – are currently working on relational database management systems."

Odd wording there. It makes it sounds as if those companies, which are long time players in the RDB industry, are just now preparing their first products.

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Starwing: Nintendo, Argonaut's Brit boffinry and the Super FX chip

Epobirs

Re: Skywings 3D?

I believe you are correct. Both games ran on the base hardware with nothing special in the cartridge.

Pilotwings started out as a hardware demo and IIRC there was source code in the early Japanese developr kits. We used to get imported Japanese gaming and home computer mags at the company I worked at in the late 80s and we spent a fair amount of time translating the article where Nintendo was making their first official showing of their next generation hardware to the press. What would become Pilotwings was the main demo for the Mode 7 features. This was in 1989, quite a while before the Super Famicom shipped in Japan.

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Epobirs

Way Out was a real-time 3D maze on the Atari 800 way back in 1982. Even before then there were some wireframe games on the home computers inspired by Battlezone in the arcades. The original version of Stellar 7 on the Apple ][, IIRC.

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Epobirs

Re: the MegaCD, FAIL all the way through

There were some gems in there, that is true. Sega screwed up in not getting more games developed that took good advantage of the hardware. So many were just cartridge games with some FMV bits strapped on or just awful FMV exercises entirely. The people behind Battlecorps also did Soul Star, another showpiece for the hardware features.

The worst thing about the failure of the Sega CD was that it gave Nintendo a scare and caused them to cancel their very promising SNES-CD. This had much better specs and was intended to launch at $200 in the US at a time when the Sega-CD listed for $300. In addition to the much deeper palette of the SNES being far better for FMV, the CD add-on was going to have a FX Chip built in. This meant any developer could make use of the chip without having to worry about the expense or have a game with very low ROM usage to make up the cost. With CD it didn't matter how big your game was, the cost was the same. (Unless, of course, it needed more than one disc but that was usually limited to awful FMV games.)

There were two games ready to go at launch for the SNES-CD. Konami's Xexex was a Gradius-type shooter with polygonal objects. That one was never released in any form. And Square's Secret of Mana was an action RPG with FMV sequences. The FMV was removed so that the game could be released on cartridge and there are places in the game where it is really obvious something expository is missing.

If the SNES-CD had been launched as planned, it could have altered history quite a bit. 3D would have become a major game feature years earlier, and the N64 would probably have been CD based and more competitive, both in terms of software costs and developers already accustomed to working with polygons.

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Former Microsoft Windows chief: I was right to kill the Start button

Epobirs

Re: Learning by shipping or just ignoring

The problem is they shipped two beta version that were installed by millions of people, got tons of negative response and a lot of suggestions on what needed to change. And ignored all of it.

How much negative response did their need to be to tell them they had a problem on their hands? There was certainly enough to clue Sinofsky in he was never going to lead the company after this debacle.

That is just how it is. Expecting most people to learn more is banging your head against a very hard wall. And basing your estimate of how the transition to a new design will go based on a much higher level of user expertise than found in reality is a huge mistake.

I was able to adjust quickly to Win8 because I was already a fairly expert user on Windows. But I encounter very few users with comparable understanding of the UI outside of IT folks. A vast portion of the user base knows only exactly as much as they need to get by and nothing more, despite how much better their experience could be if a bit of effort were expended in learning.

The really irksome thing is the arrogance. A lot of the major complaints could have been alleviated with just a few bits of configurability and some minor additions. A tutorial for instance. All the user gets is a screen hinting at the hot corners during the first-time login. This is grossly inadequate. How insignificant of a cost would it have been to hire an outside firm to create an interactive tutorial to ship with the final release. During the betas there were over a dozen simple tutorials and cheat sheets in the app store. Just picking the best of those and adding it to the default install would have made a difference.

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Move over Radeon, GeForce – Intel has a new graphics brand: Iris

Epobirs

Re: Promises, promises

Why would they bother? Desktop users with graphic performance as a primary concern have plenty to choose from in video cards with Nvidia and AMD parts.

Intel is much more interested in design wins where power and physical volume are driving factors. The return on investment is far better for enabling better graphics performance with decent battery life in a notebook than for doing anything other than cutting video on the desktop. And as long as the corporate sector is satisfied with Intel's latest, which is still an improvement over the Ivy Bridge GPUs, they will continue to own more desktops than AMD and Nvidia combined by a huge margin. If a cubicle drone can get Skyrim to play decently on his Intel-only box, bonus!

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Can't beat the Nexus 7? Join it: Nook tablet gets Google Play store

Epobirs

Got it while the getting was good.

Recently B&N had a nice promotion. Buy a Nook HD (HD+ 32GB in my case) and get a free Nook Simple Touch Reader for free. This was especially nice as I had some B&N gift card accumulated. The Simple Touch is a nice upgrade over the original Nook I already had, except the touch function comes and goes with no warning, so I'll have to take it in for a reset or replacement. Thems the breaks.

I'm afraid, though, that B&N just won't last much longer. By throwing open the platform to outside software sellers they've given the strategy that was supposed to allow them to sell the tablet for less than a competing unit of comparable features than didn't lock you in to a single supply channel. B&N has been teetering for a while and this might be a preliminary move to folding up shop entirely.

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Epobirs

Re: How strange

That might be the case if it were true but it isn't. MS and B&N are partners in a joint venture. Microsoft doesn't have any position in B&N itself.

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Epobirs

Re: Why won't someone sell me..

There is no difficulty in removing the DRM from EPUB files purchased from Google Play store. This lets you put them on any device you like. Or you can simply purchase the item and find a torrent for the book in question. Nobody can really complain so long you paid. For that matter, you can buy Kindle books that have no EPUB version, remove the DRM, then convert them to EPUB using Calibre.

since it's just data files and not code, it's easy to move it to any device you prefer once you find the right tools. I prefer e-ink for reading, too.

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37,000-machine study finds most reliable Windows PC is a Mac

Epobirs

So many problems

Who buys a Macbook to use as a full-time Windows machine? Certainly not anyone I've ever met.

All of the BootCamp and Parallels users I've known consider OS X their primary OS and go into Windows only as needed for specific tasks. Which means they have less third party software installed and a much lower exposure to malware. In some cases the Windows install only talks to the outside world to download updates and leads a very sheltered existence compared to a more typical Windows box. Just the fact that the total hours of run time on their Windows install is relatively low means they're pretty much guaranteed to record fewer crashes unless there are some disastrously bad drivers coming out of Apple.

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