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Comment: Does it matter? (Score 3, Interesting) 365

by bigman2003 (#44447041) Attached to: With Microsoft Office on Android, Has Linus Torvalds Won?
The whole idea of 'winning' or 'losing' is misguided. The whole idea of marketshare being an indicator of quality is also misguided. I am an admitted Microsoftie. I'm on a Surface tablet right now. My Windows phone is sitting next to me. I've got an Xbox, subscription to Office 365, etc. I'm all in. The phone market has really taught me a lot. I used to carry an iPhone, but I was never really impressed with it. Eventually I switched to Windows and I was much happier (with my phone). A lot of people look at my phone as a lesser product. They'll send me links to articles predicting the demise of Windows Phone, or articles describing the horrible marketshare. But guess what? None of those articles...or the low marketshare...or the possible impending demise make me think less of my phone. Not at all. They have no impact on how I feel about the technology in my pocket. So the point is- I feel that others should do the same. Ignore the marketshare (unless you are an investor or developer) ignore the articles written by the hacks (Motley Fool is determined to bash Microsoft 30 times per day) and just use the technology in the way it was intended. Don't get emotionally invested in someone else's business. Microsoft put (a decidedly strange version of) Office on Android because they want the money. It has nothing to do with either satisfying, or challenging the fanboys. It has to do with money. That is what companies do. Apple had a horrible marketshare in the desktop OS market. It didn't mean they had an inferior product, just a less popular one. Getting emotional about this is silly.

Roku Finally Gets a 2D Menu System 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-look dept.
DeviceGuru writes "Many of us have griped for years about Roku's retro one-dimensional user interface. Finally, in conjunction with the release of the new Roku 3 model, the Linux-based media streaming player is getting a two-dimensional facelift, making it quicker and easier to access favorite channels and find new ones. Current Roku users, who will now begin suffering from UI-envy, will be glad to learn that Roku plans to push out a firmware update next month to many earlier models, including the Roku LT, Roku HD (model 2500R), Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS, and Roku Streaming Stick. A short demo of the new 2D Roku menu system is available in this YouTube video."
Hardware Hacking

iFixit Moves Into Console Repair 75

Posted by Soulskill
from the red-ring-of-rebirth dept.
sk8pmp writes with news that iFixit, a website known for Apple gadget teardowns and repair guides, is expanding into the game console market, launching a series of troubleshooting and repair guides to help gamers fix their own machines. They're also starting to sell replacement parts and the tools necessary to work on them. "Right now there are repair guides for 24 gaming consoles, including 206 repairs and upgrades. Some of these fixes deal with major issues, such as the infamous Red Ring of Death from the Xbox 360, but others are simpler. For instance, right now there is no easy way to clean out the fans inside your console. 'I think this is probably the number one cause of overheating these days now that manufacturers have mostly gotten their act together,' Wiens said. 'This is routine maintenance, and it's mind-boggling that the manufacturers don't provide people with an easy way to open the case up and blow it out.' You'll also learn how to replace broken LCD screens on your portables, replace the motherboard on your PlayStation 3, and do just about anything else you might want to do to these systems, from the simple to the harrowing."

Two Unpatched Flaws Show Up In Apple iOS 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the rotten-apple dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "The technique that the Web site is using to bypass the iPhone's security mechanisms and enable users to run unapproved apps on their phones involves exploiting two separate vulnerabilities. One of the vulnerabilities is a memory-corruption flaw that affects the way that Apple's mobile devices, including the iPad and iPod Touch, display PDFs. The second weakness is a problem in the Apple iOS kernel that gives an attacker higher privileges once his code is on a targeted device, enabling him to break out of the iOS sandbox. The combination of the two vulnerabilities — both of which are unpatched at the moment — gives an attacker the ability to run remote code on the device and evade the security protections on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The technique became public earlier this week when the site began hosting a set of specially crafted PDF files designed to help users jailbreak their Apple devices and load apps other than the ones approved by Apple and offered in its official App Store."

Comment: Re:Simple, it can be cloned (Score 1) 511

by bigman2003 (#31562778) Attached to: What Is Holding Back the Paperless Office?

My wife signs all kinds of documents for me.

I accept documents that are signed, but I've never met the person, and I probably won't. I don't have any sort of official signature to compare against. For all I know, someone else other than the 'human authorized' signed the document.

Physical signatures are not perfectly secure. The expectation that digital signatures must be perfectly secure is naive.

I think that society is looking for a 99.9% solution- knowing that there will always be a way to cheat the system. The amount of effort to make ANY system perfect is just not worth the trouble.

Comment: Re:Electric Shock (Score 4, Interesting) 951

by bigman2003 (#31316572) Attached to: How Do You Get Users To Read Error Messages?

I disagree with your comments about the puppy picture. It is not an apology at all, it is a VERY effective means of communicating with your users.

I *do* use this method. I have pictures of cake, a cartoon alien, a dumpster, etc. throughout my systems with different pictures having very specific meanings (to me).

Every error gets emailed to the developers, and also logged, so there is a lot of 'professional' stuff going on behind the scenes.

But here is a scenario I've been in are sitting in a meeting, and the conversation turns to your newest creation, when one of the people says, "I was using the system this morning, and I got an error." Which could be a show-stopper as far as an positive discussion is concerned.

But then they add, "It was a piece of chocolate cake." To which I respond, "Okay, thanks for letting me know about that- I'll get it fixed ASAP."

The conversation moves forward, because confidence was restored in the system. The user did not have to talk about, "I don't know what it said- some computer gobbley-gook," which I would respond with "I will look into it."

With the cake picture, the user tells me everything I need to know, in a very simple and easy to understand way.

Comment: Re:Geek Sociologists Replacing Jock Sociologists (Score 2, Informative) 68

by bigman2003 (#30798030) Attached to: Should Gaming Worlds Join the Workplace?

Just a guess (being that this is Slashdot, it is a fairly educated guess) you spent high school playing computer games, NOT being the captain of the football team. (So did I, so I don't have any problem with it.)

But the point is...the recruiters are going to tell you ANYTHING to get you to join the military.

It's a sales job, and flattering you is part of the job. I wouldn't believe anything a recruiter says. In fact, if you had signed up, you'd know that the entire military jokes about it constantly. "What? Did you believe your recruiter?"

I'm not even disputing the information you are putting out, just pointing out that your source is notoriously bad.

Comment: Re:half the jobs in IT are cleaning up (Score 4, Funny) 783

by bigman2003 (#29896755) Attached to: Moving Away From the IT Field?

Not quite the same, but...

I work for part of a University that has a name that sounds like a telemarketing firm.

Frequently, one of my high level clients will call me in a panic and leave a message. I call back, but 50% of the time I get screened by a receptionist who just assumes I am trying to sell something.

If the client is a jerk, I don't even bother to explain. I'll wait until they call back and then tell them I got screened.

This happened to one client 5 or 6 times. Finally I explained to the secretary who I was, so the call would go through. The secretary said, "Oh, I know who you are...but she gave me a list of words to use to screen calls with. And your unit has two of those words in the name. Besides, it's fun to watch her get mad when she doesn't get the call."

I don't blame the secretary at all. But then again, you could only get away with that in the public sector.

Comment: Re:Microsoft and Innovation (Score 1) 275

by bigman2003 (#29549173) Attached to: Ballmer Admits, "We Screwed Up Windows Mobile"


In my rush to beat you at being an insufferable jerk, I forgot to make a good point.

When I said that their tablets and pdas do have good handwriting recognition, I mean exactly that. I mean, it is good. I've used it, it works. It understands what I am trying to write.

I'm not sure why it needs to be relative to anything, but if you NEED a comparison, how about: "It is very good compared to not having handwriting recognition."

Kinda like how 'light' is good...I guess you could say relative to 'dark', but sometimes dark is good too. But I still stand behind the statement that 'light is good.'

Comment: Re:Microsoft and Innovation (Score 1) 275

by bigman2003 (#29549133) Attached to: Ballmer Admits, "We Screwed Up Windows Mobile"

Sorry you aren't very good at using the Internet.

But if you 'Google' the term, "handwriting recognition" you will find many other devices/products/software packages that allow for handwriting recognition that are NOT produced by Microsoft.

But if your contribution to the conversation starts and ends with, "Good relative to what?" then I am guessing that the whole purpose of looking up information is lost on you.

I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader