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Comment: More than 8 minutes (Score 1) 401

by Mr_Silver (#47461361) Attached to: Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

...but not before the customer service representative pressed him for eight solid minutes (audio) to explain his reasoning for leaving "the number one provider of TV and internet service in the country"...

Slight correction: the customer service representative pressed him for a further eight solid minutes.

He'd already been on the call for ten minutes before they started the recording!

Comment: Re:oh, please, it's never "leaked" (Score 1) 346

by Mr_Silver (#47451775) Attached to: Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return

It's always, without exception, a strategic move by the PR department, to encourage public chatter about some product.

As someone who actually had a product (they owned and managed) leak, I can tell you that it is never "always" a strategic move.

This might be orchestrated by the Microsoft PR team, but please don't assume that every leak is.

Comment: Meanwhile in iOS land (Score 1, Flamebait) 91

In iOS, when the factory reset is performed the key is removed so when the phone is reset and tied to a new account a new key is generated which is unable to access the old content. I'd rather the content was erased first, just in case some exploit is uncovered that can get at that key, but it's better than what Android has.

To expect an Android user to know that they must first encrypt the phone then do a factory reset if they want their data actually erased is absurd. Does Google not share the same view as the public on what the phrase "factory reset" actually means?

This (along with the all or nothing approach to app permissions) is something Google's PHDs really need to sort out.

Comment: Re:smartwatch (Score 3, Informative) 381

by Mr_Silver (#47439525) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

I'd like a very *simple* smart watch...

* Simple caller-ID and memo display, programmable shortcut buttons, nothing else.

* Very long charge life comparatively (2 weeks would be okay) and/or very easy charging (put it on a charging pad).

Closest I can think to those requirements are the Casio G-Shock Bluetooth models. Two year battery life and notifications for most of the common things you'd want. A comparison chart can be found here.

Unfortunately they don't really go so well with a suit - although I don't suspect that will be a problem for the majority of Slashdot readers.

Comment: Isn't this obvious (Score 1) 502

It also features a built-in headphone amplifier, beamforming microphone, a multi-core Sound Core3D audio processor, and various proprietary audio technologies.

If you need that kind of stuff then, sure, it's probably a good investment.

I don't and, as a result, haven't bought soundcard since 1996. The ones that came with my various motherboards have been just fine.

Comment: Re:What's next (Score 1) 67

by Mr_Silver (#47388553) Attached to: Apple Hires Away TAG Heuer's VP of Global Sales

The laptops you mentioned aren't selling well because consumers are repelled by Windows 8, the design of most Windows laptops right now is dreadful, and Apple's marketing is ferocious.

Sales of computers running Windows have been in decline for may years now. In April, IDC reported that world-wide shipments of laptops and desktops fell 14% in the first quarter from a year earlier. That is the sharpest drop since IDC began tracking this data in 1994 and marks the fourth straight quarter of declines.

Even if all the issues you identified were resolved, I don't believe that it would reverse that trend.

Comment: Doesn't make much sense (Score 1) 681

One of Microsoft's main goals with Windows 9, the next major version of Windows, is to win over Windows 7 hold outs

If you're a true Windows 7 "hold out" then you won't be moving to a new operating system until that goes out of extended support in January 2020.

Working on one new update every two years, once extended support ends then it'll probably be Windows 11 that Microsoft will want those hold outs to move to, certainly not Windows 9.

Comment: Interesting you say that (Score 3, Interesting) 252

by Mr_Silver (#46944109) Attached to: $200 For a Bound Textbook That You Can't Keep?

Whilst it might not be for everyone, here I am sitting at my PC looking at my Computer Science books (purchased between 1995 and 1998) and I don't think I've opened any of them in the past 10 years (looking at you "Unix System Programming" by Haviland and Salama, reprinted in 1994).

If I get a DRM free digital version after the course has ended and the pricing is right, then this might actually be more useful than a pile of dead wood taking up space on my bookshelf - most of which is probably long out of date.

Comment: Re:Better tablets out there for your money (Score 1) 386

by Mr_Silver (#46833017) Attached to: iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling

There are much better tablets out there for your money.

The problem with all the other non-Apple tablets is that they insist that 16:10 is the perfect aspect ratio because it means that there are no black bars when watching video.

Unfortunately it completely ignores the fact that doing anything in landscape at that aspect ratio means that whenever the keyboard pops up, you lose almost half of the screen. Given a choice between that and some black bars (which I already get on my TV), I'd rather deal with the black bars.

I'd love an Android tablet the size and aspect ratio of the iPad Mini, yet (like high specification handsets with a screen size below 4 inches) no-one in Android land wants to make it.

Comment: Re:What?? (Score 1) 116

by Mr_Silver (#46831415) Attached to: WhatsApp Is Well On Its Way To A Billion Users

Very cheap almost to the point of being free.
Text messages are already free.

They may be for you, but they aren't for everyone. The USA != The World.

- 1:1 and group chat support.
Already do that with regular text messages

SMS doesn't support group chat. Messages to more than one person are sent individually, there is no way for the recipients to see all the people who were messaged and therefore there is no way for them to group reply.

- Picture and content sharing.
Already do that with regular text messages

You might want to read up on the specification for "regular text messages". SMS has no provision for much beyond simple plain text messages.

- No additional fees when you're roaming.
"Roaming" doesn't really happen in most of the modern world

Again, the USA != The World. If I go from France to the UK or USA then I'm roaming.

Like I said, it's a small niche, and it's shrinking rapidly as more and more people just get unlimited texts.

A one billion person niche that isn't solved just by a bunch of unlimited text messages.

Comment: Re:What?? (Score 1) 116

by Mr_Silver (#46830675) Attached to: WhatsApp Is Well On Its Way To A Billion Users

It seems like the only point is to get around the few remaining billing plans on the planet that don't have unlimited text messaging.

This comes up every single time something is posted on Slashdot about WhatsApp.

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.

Comment: Well .... duh. (Score 5, Insightful) 358

by Mr_Silver (#46804527) Attached to: Google: Better To Be a 'B' CS Grad Than an 'A+' English Grad

In other news, industries where command and use of the English language is the priority will state that it's better to be a 'B' English Grad than an 'A+' CS Grad.

Google's comments don't prove anything new about the value of the degrees of either course - short of the fact that it's generally better to have a degree in the industry you intend on working in.

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.

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