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Comment: Re:Sounds like Microsoft is making a pretty penny. (Score 1) 322

by Mr_Silver (#46741401) Attached to: IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

And you would expect hundreds of QA engineers to be employed for this task? (lets not forget they already have everything in place to continue patching and testing)

Certainly not "hundreds", but slightly more than the zero that the OP currently thinks are required.

Comment: Re:Sounds like Microsoft is making a pretty penny. (Score 1) 322

by Mr_Silver (#46735917) Attached to: IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

Every corporation and agency is independently paying millions and millions to have them continue to patch their computers. I would not wager a guess at how much it costs to continue producing patches, but I cannot imagine it is more than a handful of full time devs.

You appear to have overlooked a testing team in your planning! The regression testing on the various h/w, s/w and language variants won't be small either.

Unfortunately on large scale projects, it's not good enough to fix the bug, check if it seems to run okay on the developers own computer and then call it a day.

Comment: Re:Windows XP did not instantly become unsafe Apri (Score 1) 322

by Mr_Silver (#46735799) Attached to: IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

Because of their ignorance, governments have already paid Microsoft probably more than it costs to fix the few security defects found each year.

Correction, it wasn't ignorance that caused Governments and other organisations to end up running late on project with a fixed delivery date at least five years in advance.

It was incompetence.

Comment: Re:conversational format (Score 1) 142

by Mr_Silver (#46631111) Attached to: The Inside Story of Gmail On Its Tenth Anniversary

Wasn't Gmail the first to introduce the conversational layout? I remember the first time I saw it I was blown away over how simple the idea was yet how much impact it made on UX.

Not quite, Microsoft Outlook had conversational layout in 2003. There are probably other programs that had it even earlier than that, but Outlook was probably one of the most mainstream.

The improvement that Google made was that the conversation included the emails you sent, not just the ones you received. Sadly, it took another 7 years before Microsoft got around to updating Outlook to include that feature.

Comment: Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (Score 4, Insightful) 155

by Mr_Silver (#46584911) Attached to: Canonical's Troubles With the Free Software Community

Not that being Apple has done that much good for their computing platform. They are still the same marginal also-ran that they have been since before Linux ever started.

Last year, the Mac took 45% of all profits in the PC market and earnt an average 19% operating margin on its Mac sales.

In comparison, it was 4% for Dell and less than that for HP, Lenovo, and Acer.

Pretty good for a "marginal also-ran" if you ask me.


Comment: Excuses? (Score 1) 367

by Mr_Silver (#46544167) Attached to: Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

But that's hard to do with Microsoft dictating the software upgrade timetable.

Looking at the lifecycle fact sheet, Microsoft are currently giving 9 years notice on when 8.1 will end extended support.

How many years do they want? If they cannot manage with nine years notice, realistically how will a few extra years help?

Secondly, what makes them think that if they installed Linux that they wouldn't need to do any further upgrades?

Comment: Re:Let me guess... (Score 1) 107

It's Window 8 only, right?

To be fair to Microsoft, this is not a new strategy for them. Windows 7 SP1 can only go up to DirectX 11.1 and Windows Visa SP2 can only go up to DirectX 10.1.

Unless I've read the history of this chart incorrectly, then I would assume that both DirectX 12 and 12.1 would be compatible with Windows 8, but that you'll need to upgrade to Windows 8.1 if you want to get DirectX 12.2

Comment: Mark and Bill (Score 1) 281

by Mr_Silver (#46500681) Attached to: Eric Schmidt On Why College Is Still Worth It

Case in point, Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college, and I don't think anybody would say he made a mistake.

True, but for every Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, there are probably hundreds of others who drop out of college and never make anything of it.

Just because a small few did well out of it, doesn't automatically mean that everyone will.

Comment: It's not Android (Score 2) 105

by Mr_Silver (#46324343) Attached to: Nokia Announces Nokia X Android Smartphone

Don't think of this as an Android phone, it will never be marketed that way.

Think of it as a new operating system than just so happens to be easy enough to have Android apps ported to it.

If the changes to support maps, in-app billing and the Nokia store are as simple as Nokia makes out to be - then it's a bit of a no brainer for developers to do. Especially since it's far less effort than building a new app for a whole new platform (like, say, Tizen).

Finally, yes, Nokia could have just shoved out a pure Android phone with decent hardware - but, against the mighty Samsung's advertising budget and the fact that all the other OEMs are unable to turn a profile - how exactly do people think that Nokia will make enough money?

Not to mention that Nokia would be beholden to Google and where Google wants to take Android, which may not be in their best interests. It's a gutsy move, but if they didn't do something radically different then there is an extremely good chance that they'd just be another Android OEM making a loss.

Even the highly praised Moto X had a price cut in January - an immediate indication that it's not selling as well as hoped.

Comment: Why use WhatsApp? (Score 2) 280

by Mr_Silver (#46322801) Attached to: Who's On WhatsApp, and Why?

Lots of people have packages with tonnes of text messages making them, essentially, free or very low cost - however SMS doesn't do anything beyond 1:1 communication in plain old text. So picture sharing and group chats are out.

MMS can do that, but it's often excluded from SMS packages - so after a few messages it can start to get rather expensive. Even more so when you are sending these things to different countries.

iMessage can do that too and it's nicely integrated into iOS. If your friends aren't using iOS though then it all falls down.

So, combining these all together gets you the following wish list:

  • Very cheap almost to the point of being free.
  • 1:1 and group chat support.
  • Picture and content sharing.
  • No additional fees for sending worldwide.
  • No additional fees when you're roaming.
  • Not tied to users of one operating system.

WhatsApp (and the like) fill this gap.

In the future, I expect to see an update to WhatsApp on Android that allows it to take over as the main SMS application. That way it can work in the same way as iMessage on iOS - if you send a message and the recipient is on WhatsApp then it goes via them. If not, then it gets sent as a plain old text message.

Comment: Re:Actually one of my beefs (Score 1) 293

by Mr_Silver (#46093077) Attached to: Why Does Facebook Need To Read My Text Messages?

Permissions are a very hard problem to solve, but I think the Android way of presenting them all up front at a high level does at least make it easy and most importantly very low time/irritation cost for the user to check them.

Out of interest, how many times do we need some app overreaching on permissions before people will finally accept that the all-or-nothing-big-old-list-of-permissions-with-no-context is actually a really crappy way of doing things that the majority of users blindly ignore because they don't understand what it's trying to tell them?

I'm genuinely curious.

We must be well into double figures by now, so what is it? Triple figures before there is begrudging acceptance that there might be an issue?

Comment: Analysis? More targetted scattergunning (Score 5, Insightful) 188

by Mr_Silver (#46035935) Attached to: Python Scripting and Analyzing Your Way To Love

Whilst what he did was very clever, at the end of the day he manipulated the scoring so that his profile was placed in front of thousands of womens search results because it had a high match percentage (that normally would never have been seen).

The TL;DR version of this story is that if thousands of women see your profile and, at the same time, are told by a website that you're a high match to them, then you've got a very good chance they'll contact you. Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

That, to me, is the digital equivalent of (the old advice) that you'll never meet someone unless you get yourself out there.

Comment: Woah! Not so fast everyone! (Score 1) 513

by Mr_Silver (#46025633) Attached to: HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8

Before everyone gets their knickers in a twist, read this article by Ed Bott.

In short, this is just a marketing stunt, OEMs are still allowed to keep selling Windows 7 machines for quite a while yet and the number of Win7 machines that HP are selling hasn't actually increased (in fact, it's gone down by 1 - from 4 in August to 3 now).

Now we've sorted that out, I'll let you all get back to the regular programme of bashing Windows 8... :)

Comment: Re:Can't directly compare PC and phone sales ... (Score 1) 511

by Mr_Silver (#45974399) Attached to: Apple Devices To Reach Parity With Windows PCs In 2014

PCs have a longer lifespan, they are way overpowered for what most people use them for. I have a five year old 3GHz 64-bit AMD box. It is still quite usable, I upgraded the video card recently, about $150, and it is still quite usable for gaming. I have no compelling reason to replace this five year old PC.

People say this a lot but every time I've come to upgrade my computer (after a long period of time) I've found that the newer CPUs are incompatible with my existing motherboard.

Once I've bought a new motherboard then I find that my existing graphics card and memory won't fit in the slots available because the connectors have changed. Then to top it off, the new graphics card and motherboard I bought need a greater wattage than my existing PSU can supply - so I need a new one of those too.

In fact, I updated my computer recently and the only internal components that I could keep were the hard drive and the DVD rewriter. Everything else had to be replaced.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.