389 posts • joined Monday 25th June 2007 17:12 GMT
I agree with this
while I am a small sample I agree with the findings...
I'm on my second Mac Book that primarily runs Windows (I need OSX for testing and some dev but spend half my time in Windows) and it's significantly less troublesome than other machines around the house and office (Vaio, Lenovo and Samsung laptops and Asus desktops).
When I got my original Mac I assumed Boot Camp was going to be a half-arsed kludge but I have happily been proven very wrong and Win7, and now Win8 are quite at home on the, admittedly more expensive, hardware.
Re: The welsh lobby
"A lot of people simply don't realise that in some parts of ... not only is the first language ... but a good proportion of people ... have difficulties speaking English." ... I can think of many places in England where the same is true today (including anyone under the age of 17!)
Re: Cal me thick, but...
Isn't London riddled with underground sewers and access tunnels anyway (after all, you don't want common people cluttering up the streets) ... surely a bit of planning (okay, a lot of planning) would let a lot of this stuff move underground.
Where I am in the US at the moment they moved all the cables (power and telecoms) underground thanks to weather related outages (and luckily it coincided with some much needed roadworks), and in some cases even the (admittedly smaller) junction boxes ended up flush with street level but when they need to work on them the guts get raised up to street level
the smell of fear
as the operators come to realize that they are just dumb pipes they frantically try to become relevant again, but they're too busy fighting amongst themselves and trying to design solutions by committee at the same time so it's hardly a surprise when the very focussed Apple and Google are able to get an end run around them on their own turf
If they want to be anything other that plumbing they need to get their house in order and make life easier for developers and stop trying to confuse customers with a never ending cavalcade of line items on a bill ... as a user I'd avoid operator billing like the plague simple because it makes the changes of something getting screwed up with my bill even higher!
how about they bring Skype up to par?
I love Skype as a video chat client, though it's ever expanding and bloating UI seems to forget it's just that... a chat utility... not a full screen app that I want opening a dozen windows, reading me the news and fetching my slippers
And much as I hated Messenger (I used Digsby by preference until that got EOL'd) the Skype IM user experience makes me want to go back to sending letters (and don't get me started on the whole Facebook integration nightmare and the inability to have selective statuses for different networks or groups of people)... and now they want to integrate it with Lync so I can never appear offline to my coworkers lest I miss an IM or call from my family?!
I hope they're spending the stay of execution getting a new version ready that starts to address some of these warts because while they were the de facto winner for a while there are now alternatives like Viber and Tango, Facetime, GTalk/Hangouts that make switching more of an option
when with $ parity == feature parity
I actually don't mind paying $20 more for Office for Mac (well, I wouldn't, but I'm planning on getting O365 Family Edition or whatever it's called anyway so it's moot) but I'd like to see feature parity, not a half arsed attempt at keeping up with the previous version. Word, Excel etc aren't bad but Outlook is a world of pain
I found the experience so painful that I run Outlook in a WM under Fusion rather than use either mail.app or Outlook for Mac!
PayPal's involvement doesn't impress me. I'm more likely to go for something based on the Yubico platform (and I see Google recently announced they're working with Yubi on a similar two-factor auth scheme to do away with passwords)
I use a Yubi key for personal stuff, and for work have a Gemalto token - the sooner site/domain specific passwords are done with the better, though I would want any two factor auth scheme to provide the ability for me to maintain different personas - "work", "private", "public" etc
sadly I saw the way the place was heading and got out while the going is good. England is a nice place to visit... but 2 weeks is about all I can take before the frustration kicks in again at what it's become
Skype doesn't get IM
while I welcome the consolidation of clients so I've got less running in my systray Skype has got a long way to go on the IM front (I love the video chat) to make it anything other than a horrible waste of screen real estate.
leaving aside such arrogant behavior as not starting minimized and not having a "hide to systray" option and all the comments on the skype forum pointed out above the biggest sin is lumping all the contacts into one bucket ... now I can't easily filter by "online" or show different statuses to Skype or Messenger (or Facebook), and on the subject of Facebook while it's handy sometimes I'd dearly love to be able to work out how to turn that integration off again!
Skype as an IM client is messy and annoying. I find since I tried switching that I've been using gtalk and hangouts more so hopefully as well as a new windows phone app they've got new desktop clients coming soon that will suck less
Re: well thats a surprise
I love how the assumption is that a downvote for disagreeing with "your" PoV automatically makes the voter a shill.
I've been a Media Center user in various forms since 2005 - http://www.pcmediacenter.com.au/forum/user/163936-offbeatmammal/ - and while they all have their strengths and weaknesses over the years MCE has been one of the least troublesome solutions I've put together for friends.
Sadly going forward MS don't seem to have the same commitment they used to have so it certainly gives one of the alternatives to step up but it needs to "win" on it's own merits, not just because you hate Microsoft and can't look past that.
this can't be blamed on Microsoft? what's happening? Were the Mayans right... did the world end while I nursed my festive hangover?!
less pranks, more apps
How about, instead of silly antics, these people sit down and make Linux a viable desktop alternative for my Mum, my partner or my 12yo?
They want to hit "power" and be up and running... not recompile the wifi drivers to get the damn thing to talk to the router that every other device in the house just connects to.
And then when it's powered up they want to play the games, read their email, open docs with the same fidelity that their OSX and Windows (any version) friends and relatives are using.
Over the years I've lost track of the number of times I've tried to switch, but before long the complaints mount up and back we go to the mainstream.
I have a day job. I have hobbies and dogs to walk. I don't want to have to explain that because Ubuntu is better than Windows you can't play Wizards101 any more
I know I'm going to get downvoted into a hole for this but just because Richard Stallman gets his jollies off the EULA doesn't make it good... being usable, and supported does
the thing that bugs me about this - be it Aure, AWS or AppEngine - is that to engineer for failure means you need more overhead running (ideally distributed in multiple locations) and while it's still cheaper (usually) with the cloud it's really hard to predict with the pricing models that all of these guys have in place.
I've worked on a couple of projects recently where the customer didn't really know what their traffic and usage was going to look like (both new ventures) so in both cases we budgeted for success (ie took their estimates, modelled the compute load and then doubled everything)... one of them is paying about 30% of what we budgeted (some of that due to offloading a lot of dynamic content to static pre-published pages and looking at how we could cache better - they're actually above their revenue/user estimates), the other is about 10% overbudget because the usage pattern doesn't fit nicely into the particular platforms billing model (but now we've modelled and observed for a couple of months we're tweaking the architecture to bring costs down).
In both cases though the random restarts or disappearances of instances has been problematic and required a lot of up-front investment in the architecture and design that was hard to explain.
Hopefully as cloud computing matures the "design for failure" mantra will become easier to develop around with frameworks and toolkits becoming more readily available and understood but until then... a bit of up-front effort pays dividends in the long run...
Love WIn8. Not so sure about Metro
so I've been using WIn8 preview releases for as long as they've been public and I'm looking forward to playing with it properly on an ARM tablet to see how well the touch-only experience is (though I really want a stylus)
but on my current laptop (even with it's touch screen) I avoid the lego layout as much as I can and stick to the properly mouse and keyboard driven desktop world where I love the tweaks and fine tuning that's gone on. It's more stable, faster, things like the copy dialogue are more useful and the experience is so much better ...I don't really miss the start button but I don't like the jarring transition to Minecraft every time I want to open a new program (so my desktop is now littered with icons!)
Win8 won't be a flop, and I'm sure MS will continue to iterate. I wonder if early adopters will be burnt in the same way that that WP7 users have been with dead-end hardware and limited app support (though WP8 at least comes with a new set of "trust us" promises)
in 6 months time all this fuss will be over, it'll be business as usual and we'll be hating on the changes Win9 is going to force on us and wishing they'd just left Win8 alone!
I can see how this would work...
On my way to the office, or in my lunch hour stroll around and stock up on groceries. I got to work on the bus so I don't want to carry a load of stuff with me, but having it delivered to my home at a pre-arranged time... makes sense.
I'd probably not want to do that with meat and fresh veggies (though in the past I've used ShopFast in Australia and AmazonFresh in the US without complaint) and from experiences in China if they can deliver it in a refrigerated truck it's going to be in better condition than if I tried to get it home on public transport!
Right now if you buy white goods it works pretty much that way... the store only has one of each as a display model... pick what you want and they arrange delivery from a warehouse at an agreed date...
Why does it need to visit an Apple page anyway?
No-one seems to be asking/answering the important question here... why if I want to join my WiFi network does the iOS device need to visit a page on Apple's servers in the first place?
the feature is that - by default - you get a cheaper device in return for an ad on the lock screen. I've had an ad supported eInk reader for a while now and I love that fact that I saved a few bucks and to be honest the ads don't bother me (in fact they target things well enough that I have bought something off there) ... you only seen them for a few seconds when you wake the device from sleep so I assume the Fire HD will be the same.
$15 to turns ads off for the lifetime of the device... seems like a great compromise. that's about three sticky latte concoctions here in the US
it's pretty obvious how to turn it off
in both the explanation for the express setup and the custom setup, as well as in IE10 itself it's pretty clear that you're making a choice and that it's following the letter of the standard not some personal interpretation (unfortunately by someone with a bit of power - and you forgot to mention he works for Adobe in his day job)
the downside of his behaviour is that more folks will need to opt for things like porn mode and resort to AdBlock and the like.
wonder which advertiser promised a suitcase full of unmarked sponsorship to Apache in return for them slipping this fix in
Apple, not Amazon
just to be clear...
Amazon only listed four digits of a credit card number (a common practice elsewhere today)
Apple gave away the keys to the kingdom by not refusing to divulge the information when the scammer couldn't remember any of the other detail
Two factor auth - by a phone app, SMS or little dongle you can lose - is a pain in the bum but sadly (for the moment at least) seems to be the way to go... and much as it pains me to say Google with their alternatives (I use the phone app) seems to be the best solution (thanks to my bank and need for RAS access to work I have three token generating devices I have to lug around!)
Re: Or, alternatively
And that's the biggest issue with desktop Linux... User encounters problem, and rather than an open,inded response (like Ken's) we get told we're obviously idiots ... So stop trying to compile an OS and hit install on something else and go back to our lives.
Re: Do no right?
no issue with Google getting this for free (and I don't think the article had too much of a dig) but if taxpayers money funded the original collection of data and it's being shared with with one entity for free I hope it's made available (under the same deal/terms) to other mapping providers so the playing field is level and equitable
is the data being made available for free to just Google, or is it being published in a format that anyone (OSM, Navteq etc) can consume it and help promote the tow paths?
Re: Work away from office
a laptop with a TPM chip (fairly standard nowadays) and running bitlocker to keep the contents of the drive secure. Strong password and/or two factor auth for login. It's not difficult.
if they don't want that level of complexity and can assume a decent data connection then do everything via a citrix or RDP connection from a minimal spec laptop that never has any data on it
once again... taxpayers fined because jobsworths don't do theirs.
those were the days
I started out even older school ... 6502 assembler on an Acorn Atom before moving to the luxury of BASIC on an Oric-1 (found it in the attic the other day, corroded to shit but the manual still looked new if anyone wants it!). Then via an Oric Atmos to a BBC (Model B no less). At some point I even got paid to produce a book of programs for the MSX platform (sadly no matter how careful we were checking it there were errors by the time it got to print!)
Looking at the mess folks can get themselves into today with Python, Node, Ruby etc ... I sometimes long for those simpler days. And don't get me started on trying to do anything quickly with the "proper" languages like C# and Java... talk about over-engineering and obfuscation!
don't forget the lessons of GSM
One thing when I lived in Europe that always impressed me was the ease with which cellphones became prevalent. Even today I can comfortably carry the same device pretty much anywhere in Europe (and further afield) and it'll work.
It was only when I moved to the US that I really appreciated the part that GSM had played in that when I discovered the eternal battles being waged here by the CellCos with competing standards (CDMA, WCDMA, GSM on different frequencies etc) that served to push up their operating costs and make the choices much more complicated for consumers and in general held back innovation. Even now with LTE the US still lags behind the rest of the world but the providers spend a lot of money telling consumers how wonderful it is.
The various DVB challenges were a similar story... one standard to rule them all (putting aside national pride and politics) helps level the playing field and makes it easier for consumers to find good, reasonably priced, kit.
Of course at the end of the day there's so much crap on TV who really cares any more... I can't remember the last time I watched "live" TV for anything other than F1 (and let me tell you that experience in the US is painful compared to watching it in the UK a few weeks ago!)
Re: It's a funny thing you know but.............
now the battery problem is fixed - it was just software after all (not how I was holding it!) I love my 800. the only thing I'm less than happy about is the silly flappy door over the microUSB connector and the fact it's on the top rather than the bottom which means zero chance of a decent dock (desk or car)
Sure, there are some rough edges with Windows Phone but it's only on it's second iteration (7.0 and 7.5) and the classic wisdom is that Microsoft only gets things right in v3
it's about what the endpoints support
to take the last point... HTML5 has not won the war over SL/Flash re video streaming. What does HTML5 support in the <video> tag today? Nothing apart from progressive download on-demand, non-adaptive, unprotected content.
on iOS devices Apple have "extended" the <video> tag to add support for the (proprietary) HLS but that doesn't help the millions of other browsers out there.
From reading the release Azure Media Services supports streaming to multiple different formats concurrently - hence the ability to support Android devices (multiple bitrates to come with the fragmented platform); iOS devices (again catering for small iPhones to iPad3 retina devices); Windows Phone; Xbox and PS3 consoles; Silverlight (for traditional Windows and OSX desktops) as well as directly supporting the adaptive streaming solutions for Win8 ... and it will support MPEG-DASH for the future
Re: Nokia are doomed, but Elop could have done something
I, for one, would subscribe to the "Shitpeas Report" just to have the binder on my bookcase (as opposed to the usual placement of Analysts reports in the "smallest room" where the high quality paper is really useful)
With any prediction like this it amuses me that no-one compiles league tables of how bad Analysts actually are at predicting anything ... I wonder if there's a business in that...
Private vs Public
will be really interesting to see the results and compare.
Given that the selection criteria will (hopefully) be managed by people at least with a clue and that there's some pretty defined structure to it I wouldn't be surprised if there is a higher success rate... or the project will shutter and never be heard of again.
The hard thing is going to be qualifying startups well enough and then helping introduce them to the right people to keep the momentum going but ... it's all good and hopefully will be big enough to make a dent
Re: "subscription which provides updates"
sadly the outcome there is either more expensive units initially or "technical difficulties" that will stop any unit older than 3 months being updated.
these guys are not providing a public service, they're selling a product and pleasing their shareholders. Can't see Ford providing free fuel to keep their car running instead of letting the garages rip us off ;)
but what happens with spotty coverage
much as I hate my Garmin for being the height of 1970s user interface design (and don't get me started on out of date maps) the one thing it's never done is let me down when I needed a route from the back of beyond to civilization because it couldn't find a data connection long enough to plan the route.
While I love not having to sacrifice storage space to maps of the outer reaches there needs to be some balance in intelligent caching and basic routing capabilities on the phone itself before it would ever be a reliable replacement for a self contained unit
The other thing I've noticed is my Garmin is pretty good at working out where I am if I power it on at a strange airport as I get into the rental car... with the phone... it can take quiet a while (I assume smaller GPS antenna plays into this) to work out where the heck I am - very frustrating (though still way less painful than having to resort to a paper map!)
Re: Re: Re: More WTF....
I take it you don't have one of these new fangled Android steroid enhanced LTE touting screen bigger than Grandma's telly things they call a phone?
I never thought I'd say this, but the whole mobile phone arms race really is starting to get out of hand!
LastPass does this, and more
I guess the question "why would you use this instead of LastPass" can be answered by "Oh, I didn't know about LastPass".
the Google alternative scares me for a few reasons, but privacy issues aside being locked to a single browser seems like a dumb choice (what if I want to log into that site in Safari on my iPad... what hoops do I have to jump to get my password). LastPass also plays well with others... I use my YubiKey token to authenticate on a machine to prove it's me autocompleting passwords... are Google going to tie this to a 2 part authentication using an Android?
The problems that both of them face today are:
- site specific rules: how do you auto-generate a password reliably unless you know that the site wants "at least 6 characters, a mixture of upper and lower case, at least one digit and the only special characters allowed are #!$%"
- Multi-page sign-in processes: My bank uses a 3 page sign in process and LastPass copes but I had to set up three entries (one for each page). It needs to become more elegant!
- Rules based form completion: Two of the financial sites I use most days have implemented forms where they ask you to "Enter the First, Third, Fourth and Last letters of your password"... sadly LastPass don't seem to have the trick of auto-filling forms like that yet (though eWise do manage it for most of their supported institutions)
Passwords in general suck. Sites that make me create a whole new identity to post one comment suck even more... OAuth isn't perfect but (like OpenID before it) is a step in the right direction...
great use of taxes/rates
rather than fine a council - who after all don't care because it's not their money - the people who are actually responsible should be penalized (from the top down, don't just sacrifice peons). Penalties could include everything from a reduction in salary (for individuals or teams) through to outright dismissal
actually give these watchdogs some teeth when it comes to making sure civil servants (or as a friend of mine's child calls them "snivel serpents") actually live up to their name
seems to me that the two goals don't have to be mutually exclusive... but you need to stop spending money on fancy technology (and enjoying the backhanders) and start thinking about the problem holistically (much harder and less useful for handy soundbites)
oh, and when I return to the UK I at least expect the drone manning the desk to be able to read and write English to the standard my 12yo manages... last trip back that was a total fail
Good for Amazon, hopefully good for Windows Phone
In what way is Brandon a "bad employee"? Sure, he's creative and gets things done and engages well with the development community - all of which probably threaten folks who want to hide under a rock and be mediocre
He's had a good track record at Microsoft and looks like he's going on to a great position with Amazon where hopefully he can at least continue to represent for the Windows Phone business he's done a great job of growing
wow, the AC trolls are out
you obviously like living in the past. Xbox has been profitable for some years now - http://www.quora.com/Is-Xbox-profitable-for-Microsoft - like any major hardware/software launch it takes a while to recoup the R&D costs and deal with things like the RROD recall but they stuck with it and continue to enhance and add things like Kinect.
the problem is that while there are some quite viable alternatives - yubiKey or the RSA SecureID/VIP app there's no interoperability and everyone wants to roll their own... and totally pointlessly sites require users to sign up for an account (true even in many cases where you can log-in via OAuth.. you still have to fill out a profile)
the niggly little differences in detail (8 characters, 6 characters plus 2 digits, 10 characters at least one upper case, one digit and one special character, no special characters) just lead to frustration and security busting solutions like post-it notes. even though I know better I use a password manager solution (though it is one secured with a yubiKey token) but it doesn't help with some banking sites that additionally want me to use an on-screen keyboard and enter specific characters from the password.... aaaaaargh
Duke it out
Tim Cook and his oppostive number from Samsung should be thrown in a paddling pool full of jello and the one left standing should be declared the winner and the lawyers won't get a dime.... much more entertaining than the current soap opera...
unlike the US...
where we get 7-9 mins of content per hour of programming (what with the ad breaks and the last week on and the flashbacks)
I fondly remember growing up in London listening to Laser 558 (pirate radio, and don't ask why I remember the station ID) - they started with never more than a minute of advertising per hour and ended up as "never more than a minute from the music" ... but were still a vast improvement on what's available today on radio or TV either side of the pond
Hopefully broadcast Linear TV will go the way of the dodo replaced by a la carte on-demand access with a subscription model which lets you avoid constant interruptions by soap powder hawkers and actually enjoy TV again
why is Military spending running amok?
Why, in a world where everyone is having to tighten their belts are military suppliers able to charge an endlessly increasing premium for what often turn out to be failed or faulty services and supplies?
They seem to be the only ones who benefit from the atmosphere of fear that justifies the inception of many of these projects or initiatives... yet by the time they are delivered the solution is outdated and inappropriate so the cycle begins again
It appears that there are too many big consolidated suppliers and with no patriots (no matter what flag) looking beyond the next bonus cycle holding the military (and us) hostage with the threat of a bogeyman (who they also supply)
I usually use my stripper name when filling out website registration forms ... why the h3ll do they need my real name anyway?
[watched Reg admin scurry away to check my account....]
great bacon to be had around here
what makes it even funnier is that there is some amazingly good British style bacon to be had around here... http://properbritishbacon.com/ are local and even arrange once a month deliveries to the MS campus... it's a real taste of home ;)
throwing the baby out with the bathwater
while there are many good reasons that the world would be better off if Flash were to be "retired" saldy HTML5 is not yet mature enough to take it's place...
More importantly the video world - as folks have already noted the youTube experience isn't quite there yet - the <video> tag puts us back 5 years... no adaptive streaming (HLS, Smooth, DASH), heck not even one default codec (h264, WebM, Ogg anyone?), no DRM and not even support for basic encryption witha secure keystore (so don't expect to watch anything the Studios want to monetize... the AES128 support in HLS is about the minimum they'll go for in streaming only, SD resolution), and finally no Live streaming support so forget concert and sports coverage on the web (or even breaking news). Even things like playlists (ASX, PLS formats) are ont supported unless you want to roll your own (eg a .PLS loader - http://post.offbeatmammal.com/pushing-pls-into )
HTML5 has much goodness, and browser support is improving but the spec needs some refinement in certain areas and the browser posse need to work a bit more on the common ground... maybe Flash will disappear quicker than IE6 but then again maybe it'll find a niche and be with us for a long time to come..
sadly FB is becoming more bloated and desperate to keep users sucked in (so they can mine information and sell it to advertisers)
given how crowded and painful the web experience has become I'm not holding up much hope for a good mobile experience - just look at the unholy mess that is the Android app these days (and try explaining to me why it needs a seperate Messaging app)
the biggest problem I had with MySpace was the user experience was like being poked in the eye with a fork and FB managed for a long time to avoid that but that simplicity is fading... unless they can focus as much effort on good interfaces as they do on clever features they're going to alienate their user base who will jump to the next shiny thing as soon as their friends do (I use twitter and G+ more now because FB is becoming annoying)