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Comment: Re: No problem (Score 1) 423

by TellarHK (#46600743) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

Have you ever looked closely at medical devices? I work with some systems less than five years old that cost close to $100,000 and they run Windows XP. Should they be replaced? No, not just because the OS beneath the application layer is old. I'm probably the only person in the office that knows it's an XP machine, which helps with security. Sometimes you can't just upgrade.

Comment: Jealousy, most likely. And I'm in that camp myself (Score 1) 775

by TellarHK (#43834941) Attached to: Google Glass: What's With All the Hate?

I'll go on the record saying that as a technology follower and early adopter on a budget, the release strategy for Google Glass has seemed positively elitist. For a product that doesn't cost much to make, and seems suited to a wide variety of use cases, Google did a good job of locking down availability to the degree where only wealthier, "social media" active types or developers were able to get one. The restriction to developers isn't a problem, but the whole "Let's hand these out to people with a lot of followers." thing seems to be an even more advanced play from Apple's book on hanging out items to celebrities likely to show them off in public.

Say whatever you will about the economy and "economic divide", but when technology like this seems to be filtered to a whole new type of "elites" based on likes, tweets and fans... People can get resentful in a hurry. And yes, this probably is some pretty serious projecting.

Comment: Contact the state and FCC? Hell yes. (Score 4, Insightful) 562

by TellarHK (#41978565) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: AT&T's Data Usage Definition Proprietary?

Granted, contacting them may not actually help you in the short term, but bringing attention to this kind of nonsense is the best way there is to try and put a stop to it. Better yet, find someplace to publish a fully fledged and documented story with relevant emails and the like and THEN start getting some attention to it. This is something there certainly should be standards for, and the government needs a kick in the pants to realize that.

Comment: Razer's comments are NEVER satisfactory. (Score 5, Informative) 249

by TellarHK (#41927383) Attached to: Why Would a Mouse Need To Connect To the Internet?

Never before have I had as much of a love/hate relationship with a company, and this includes Apple. Razer makes some great peripherals, that usually all have some crazy, simple, fixable flaw that they ignore for months before finally getting around to in a half-assed way. Why do I love them so much? I'm a left-handed gamer, and the pickings are pretty slim for me. So I'm stuck with them for a good left-handed gaming mouse.

Examples in the past: The Lycosa keyboards, which had a defect where the touch panel for volume and LED control would stop working after a month or less. It took over a month to get them to acknowledge a problem. Another, the drivers for the Death Adder mouse line. For four months, it was impossible to get a combination of working drivers that allowed you to rebind the left and right buttons to one another (because Razer defaulted to the primary click being on the right, for the LH models).

Razer takes forever to respond to anything, and when they do, it's typically poorly communicated and badly handled. This is a company that is just mindblowingly TERRIBLE at customer relations.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 4, Insightful) 530

by TellarHK (#41900623) Attached to: Apple Considering Switch Away From Intel For Macs

Let's see, what do most users do with computers? Browse the web, read and reply to email, shop, manage photos and maybe videos if they've got kids, and maybe do some light office and bookkeeping work.

Okay, tell me how the iPad isn't enough for that.

Yes, it's a controlled and curated experience. But Apple has sold more of those controlled, curated, locked down experiences in just the last 4 years than they have ever sold in Macintosh computers. Don't forget that you are not the market Apple is aiming for. You're the market that WISHES Apple was aiming for it, because if they were, then we'd see some pretty astounding products on the shelf. Instead, we get products priced to move by the tens of millions to the people who don't know RAM from storage space. And they are _selling_.

Comment: Re:Maybe in five-ten years (Score 1) 530

by TellarHK (#41900545) Attached to: Apple Considering Switch Away From Intel For Macs

One thing people keep forgetting, which amazes me considering the number of Slashdotters that have complained about the amount of non-technical user support they've had to do since the day the site first came online, is that the VAST majority of people really don't give a single shit about performance and speed as long as they can get Required Task Of The Moment done without it pissing them off.

My mom just replaced her 17" 2006 iMac. Did she think it was too slow? Not necessarily, she just knows from my experiences that a computer that old is likely to crap out and die -eventually-, and she might as well get a new one when she can do it, before that happens. She sure loves the speed of her new 27" iMac (which I suggested, mainly for the screen and her eyesight) but she really doesn't need it for more than managing photos, email, web browsing, and other "Mom" stuff.

Average users do not care about speed, they don't know a G5 from an i7, and many actively don't even want to be told. They want a device of some kind, traditionally called a "computer", that does a few things and does them with the least intrusion. Business uses, academic uses, and geek or gamer uses are completely different (and largely Windows PC based) - and they're a far, far smaller market than "Moms" are, even combined. If they're told that there's a new iDevice that lets them do email, photos, Facebook, web browsing and watch videos from the kids for only $1000 and it comes with a 20 hour battery they'll be whipping out the plastic.

Comment: Re:Maybe in five-ten years (Score 1) 530

by TellarHK (#41900397) Attached to: Apple Considering Switch Away From Intel For Macs

Nothing available today, of course. But Apple has a lot of pull with manufacturers, as well as a pretty talented in-house chip development team, as has been well demonstrated by the AX series of silicon. I also don't see any successor to the MBA running ARM being sold as directly comparable to the ones that are on the market today, either. I see it more as an evolution/extension of the iPad market into something with a more robust OS (but still largely oriented around the iOS interface guidelines) and fitting as a sort of new market segment that Apple would be introducing.

Imagine a subnote with a 20 hour battery, retina touch display, more than 8x the processor and GPU power of the currrent iPad, selling at the entry level MBA's price tag, running a locked-down ARM variant of OSX that gives users all the iOS apps they want in addition to a whole new "exciting" slate of productivity and presentation apps. Not to mention a slew of new casual games derived from iOS staples - which also work just fine.

That device would sell like *crazy*, and it's easily imagined given existing technologies and Apple's pricing margin preferences. Fundamentally, all the Hard stuff is being done with the iPad already. The rest is largely just battery size and silicon speed bumping. People don't care about how fast a machine is, *especially* if they think of it as a device and not a computer.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 5, Interesting) 530

by TellarHK (#41899831) Attached to: Apple Considering Switch Away From Intel For Macs

For the tasks most people want a computer for (or think they want a computer for) an ARM-based solution could work just as well as an x86 based one. Keep in mind that even if Apple made the switch, they wouldn't be making it to the same silicon they're producing today, because they wouldn't need all of the power saving mechanisms that they've had to use for the mobile device markets they're in now. Instead, envision something along the lines of a hybrid machine with one high-end mobile core designed for lower-power usage, and then additional cores that can be brought online as needed with the associated power draw. There are dozens of ways this kind of arrangement could be managed, and people seem to be quick to forget that Apple made some of the big early strides when it came to getting multiprocessor development under control. (Grand Central, for example)

Additionally, who's to say that they won't have a 16+ core ARM chip running at 3GHz in the next couple years? If die size and power management are less of a premium, that's a lot of raw power that could be thrown at things.

I think they'll start with something like the MBA, and move up the line from there.

Comment: Now that people are trained not to "compute"... (Score 5, Interesting) 530

by TellarHK (#41899683) Attached to: Apple Considering Switch Away From Intel For Macs

... It certainly isn't impossible. People already look at iPads and iPhones as "devices" and not what they really are underneath all that glass and aluminum. Just smaller, simpler "computers". I'd say it's a safe bet that 99% of the Slashdot readership at one point had a computer that looks positively ancient compared to last year's iPhone models, but most people simply don't understand the magnitude of what's been accomplished in technology over the last 30 years.

Now that people look at iDevices and their non-Apple kin as devices, it just takes some time to convince them that the idea of a "computer" really isn't what they ever wanted. They've always wanted devices, and with OSX and now Windows drawing more and more from the closed ecosystem models they spawned off for the mobile realm, people will eventually come around.

I give it around two years before Apple comes out with a new line of ARM-based Macbook Airs, though that could change depending on how effectively Intel and AMD (really, just Intel) stave off the situation by getting lower powered x86 options into the marketplace.

Comment: They don't need a distro... (Score 2, Interesting) 316

by TellarHK (#40884925) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should Valve Start Their Own Steam Linux Distro?

Perhaps what Valve need to do isn't create a replacement distribution of Linux, but simply a replacement interface for it. Ditch X11 and all its window management software, and just run it all inside a Valve-designed user interface created to make things nice and simple. They could create a UI with consistent and familiar rules, publish API's to allow developers to create applications that use Valve's hardware-accelerated and streamlined system natively, and allow X11 to be run alongside this new primary user interface just like any other application.

On second thought, I could swear I've heard of something like this before...

Comment: Re:It's a catastrophe for Steam (Score 3, Insightful) 880

Not necessarily. Steam isn't just an application you use to buy games, it's a whole platform you use to buy, play, and message in games. If you buy a game in Steam, it's hooked into Steam's DRM forever unless you break it out. This might -sound- like a bad thing, but in this particular case it's probably one of the best things Valve could use as leverage to fight being locked out of any newer versions of Windows. Microsoft, as stupid a company as they can be, aren't going to want to wind up under the threat of the lawsuits and pure hatred that would come from millions of gamers suddenly unable to use the dozens or hundreds of paid-for games that they already have attached to Steam. This isn't the case of an isolated application being supplanted, this is an entire application store and platform with billions of dollars invested in it.

There are a lot of issues people can have with Steam (particularly here on Slashdot where closed source and DRM are considered unnecessary evils by a significant percentage of the readership) but for people who get games using the platform, it's incredibly convenient and tends to be more hassle-free than buying physical media. Valve managed to get it right, where nobody else was even trying.

Comment: Re:FUD (Score 4, Insightful) 208

by TellarHK (#40612457) Attached to: An Android Tablet Victory May Be Problematic For Free Software

I think it's a fairly safe bet that when someone is shopping for a tablet, if there's a 7" iPad on the table next to a Nexus 7, they're still going to be making that purchase based on a wide variety of other factors than screen size. It really does boil down to ecosystem vs. ecosystem, or price, for most buyers. The fact there is no 7" iPad has nothing to do with Nexus 7 sales, because I think it's a pretty safe bet that given all the other factors out there to make a tablet purchase decision based on, the availability of one size versus another is pointless.

The Nexus 7 will primarily sell to people who don't like Apple, or want/need to buy the cheaper offering on the market versus Apple's offerings. If Nexus 7 sales dip when an iPad 7" hits the market, I won't be surprised, but I don't think it will be anything staggering.

Comment: Re:Damage already done (Score 3, Insightful) 208

by TellarHK (#40612305) Attached to: An Android Tablet Victory May Be Problematic For Free Software

I used to be a naysayer when it came to that kind of thinking, since I figured there was room in the marketplace for open desktop systems and more tightly integrated and locked down mobile experiences. Unfortunately the last year or so have really gone a long way toward making me rethink my stand, and in particular the release of the Macbook Pro Retina tipped the scales. Once Apple starts leading people down a path these days, everyone seems to follow. Instead of getting something nice like a new, smoothly compartmentalized machine, we got one where everything was soldered and glued in place, even worse than tablets had been. Why? To make it a couple millimeters thinner.

Microsoft's price slashing on Windows 8 may be most simply seen as a way to drive adoption of an otherwise ill-received operating system update, but after having used the preview for several days on my laptop I'm starting to sense where they might really be headed, and indeed that's a "Software as a Service" model.

It may take another generation of systems or two, but that's where Microsoft is headed. Windows 10 probably won't feel all that much like Windows as we know it, and it'll probably feel a lot more like whatever tablet/phone combination Microsoft's trying to sell than whatever the ecosystem they have today is offering.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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