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Comment Re:Insecurity culture.... (Score 4, Interesting) 363 363

One thing I've noticed too is that when they try to transition from a well cared for workforce to one in which the company essentially says "Work hard, but be ready to get fired at any moment" suddenly a lot of costs start adding up for the company. Suddenly people who might have clocked out for lunch before now start 'working' at their desk. People who would even buy supplies from time to time in order to keep working would just sit idly doing nothing if they didn't have everything they needed waiting on the company to provide everything. Someone who might not have religiously used all of their sick days now uses up every paid sick day available because their throat tickles. Oh and all of those employees you used to classify as independent contractors, a few of them just filed paperwork asking the IRS for guidance on their status. The company now owes 5 years of back taxes on 15% of their payroll. Goodbye last 5 years of profits.

When you become a stickler for rules as an employer you'll suddenly discover that your employees are also really good at finding rules that benefit them.

Comment Re:They're going to be charging money for the OS s (Score 4, Insightful) 281 281

e I don't like the move to an ad-based, MS-store-based business model.

If your biggest complaint is that there are ads in some areas of the solitaire suite then just spend the $1 per month for the next 10 years and you'll be back to where you were paying for windows before. You can even write it off if you're a business as an expense instead of a purchase.

Better, take the $170 for Windows xp/7/8 pro and invest it. Every month you should make about $1.70 in returns. Take that $1.70 and get solitaire every month for life. Take the other $0.70 and every other month buy yourself a nice ad free version of the apps you want for $1.50 like MetroTube. Most ad supported apps in the store also have an ad free version you can buy outright.

Meanwhile the Microsoft Store Based business model works great. All of your purchases are instant. No more filling out a shady as hell paypal form and waiting for a cd key to arrive. No more trying to find virus free freeware on Downloads.com which then ends up installing a firefox extension to spy on you. No more installing tiny applications which may or may not solve the problem you have and may or may not add a rootkit to your system. The Store is safe, it's well sandboxed by the WinRT APIs. It's cheap, since most apps are more like $1.50 instead of $9.99. It's convenient, you just search and all of the apps are in one place, you don't google and hunt through their poorly designed 1980s BBS inspired website. All of the libraries and packages are included no hunting for dependencies. And yes there are some ad supported apps, but I'm fine with that because I believe in developers being able to make a livelihood but sometimes I'm not willing to actually buy an app outright. I'm more than happy to look at a reasonable amount of ads in an app if I don't feel like spending the $0.99 for it. And when I do feel like spending a couple dollars to support an app it's bought outright 99% of the time and I can install it easily on all of my computers without registration or DRM or any bullshit.

Comment Re:They're going to be charging money for the OS s (Score 4, Insightful) 281 281

There is a really really obvious reason Microsoft gave away Windows 10 for free. They take 30% of all apps sales.

Give me a break. Solitaire is still free and *ad-free*. That's right I said Ad-Free, because it is if anyone actually bothered to open Solitaire on Windows 8 or Windows 10. If you want to play Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows 7 solitaire aka Klondike solitaire it's still free and it's still completley ad free.

They also added, in spite of everybody here being entitled little brats, 5 other versions of solitaire like Spider solitaire and freecell. If however you want to try out one of the "Daily Challenges" you may use the curated, daily content for the outrageous price of watching an ad.

God, Slashdot has really hit a new low. God forbid an app, that can be uninstalled is included with a free OS that gives you 5 games for free but offers one tiny bit of premium content in exchange for an ad.

If your tin foil hat paranoid brain can avoid clicking on the daily-challenge button you get multiple high quality card game apps for nothing. Or you can right click on the app in your app list (because it's not even pinned to your start menu by default) and click "Uninstall". Lord have mercy! The pain and trouble! Oh my!

They aren't tracking your surfing habits more than google. They're tracking them exactly the same. The OS isn't scanning the contents of your files and applications and uploading them. Put simply this is some of the most rediculous FUD I've seen in nearly all of Slashdot's anti-Microsoft FUD. Which is saying a lot.

For fuck's sake, Solitaire is not part of some master scheme to spy on you. In fact of all of the large tech companies Microsoft is the one most actively avoiding ads to pay for their products and instead choosing for subscriptions.

Comment Re:Is that even worthwhile? Serious Question... (Score 2) 101 101

Seriously, they must be able to monetize that (why else risk alienating customers) but how?

Isn't it possible that these features are needed to help the app work better? If your phone is running hot and low on battery maybe it'll update its map less frequently.

Comment Re:How? (Score 1) 110 110

And how, exactly, does one program a robot to be compassionate or empathetic? Can emotion be reduced to a few simple formulas, some generic algorithms? I'm not convinced.

Yes it basically can be reduced to a few simple formulas. Have you ever been to couple's counselling or the like? The rules are very simple. You listen to what someone says. The only questions you ask are ones that help you understand the spirit of what they're saying. When they're done you repeat back "I heard you tell me that XYZ" in your own words as faithfully as possible. Hey presto, empathy and social connection.

It sounds corny but it works incredibly well at (1) helping the other person feel understood, (2) changing your own mental approach so you really do understand them better in a good way.

It also works really well in a professional setting, in meetings.

Comment Re:I'm surprised they missed "Wi-Fi Sense." (Score 1) 483 483

It's also enabled by default

When you connect to a network, there's a checkbox for "do you want to share it", and this checkbox is the ONLY checkbox you're asked about. Not hidden away or something.

If "enabled by default" means "prompted for every single time", then you have a different notion of "default" from everyone else. The only thing that's enabled by default is the initial state of the checkbox in the place where it prompts you. You still see the checkbox plainly, and you still have to click OK.

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 873 873

But rather, it will occur when the new technology does something that the old technology doesn't do at all, not even poorly.

Fuel up in your garage? Personally I find the idea of charging off of any electricity source enormously appealing as well. I'm not saying I would charge up off of a solar panel on a mountain top, but it's a cool feature to know that you could theoretically setup a small hydro generator on your property and drive pretty much indefinitely without needing a massive global petroleum infrastructure to keep driving. That notion has green appeal, it has libertarian appeal, it has national security appeal and it has zombie apocalypse aficionado appeal. All the major demographics.

Comment Nobody in 2005 could imagine a smartphone!? (Score 1) 873 873

75% of US consumers and over 85% of US millennials own smartphones. In fact, in 2005 few if any of the futurists would have even been able to imagine the kind of device most of us now depend upon.

Really? I guess that handful of futurists who could forsee it must have been rocking Palm Treos in 2002. Or maybe they had a pocketPC in 2000.

I was browsing the internet (through my PCMCIA dial up modem) on a PocketPC and running apps and playing games on the touchscreen in 2001. Obviously a cellular connection would have been desirable but at the time bandwidth was terribly constrained however it wasn't like anybody had any trouble thinking "Well if cellular internet is slow today, eventually we'll get at least dial up or DSL speeds."

If futurists didn't see Smartphones coming they were stone dead blind.
 

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 873 873

You're completely missing the economics of car ownership. Whatever you are spending, the car company can spend too. Car services are currently grossly overpriced but it's only a matter of time before they become competitive.

If the total cost of ownership is $3,000 per year (insurance, payments, gas etc). You can spend that or a corporation who can write it all off as an expense can also spend the exact same. If you are careful about model/make they can be careful.

Theoretically you could set up a 'car service' corporation and spend exactly what you spend today but funnel it through a corporation. Some people do stuff like this for airplanes. So at very worst they should match your car ownership expenses. If they charge a profit then that percentage is how much you miss out on. But counter to the profit angle is also the utilization angle. My car is about 8% utilized. That means there is a 92% opportunity for a company to spend about what you spend and then have your car spend the other 92% of its life earning revenue. That's a massive opportunity to not just compete with ownership but actually beat ownership on price.

Comment Re:more problems than just windows 10... (Score 1) 170 170

Redmonds XBox is the revenue jumper cable that keeps cringe-worthy projects like phone and surface alive

Surface? Time to catch up. While everyone was busy ridiculing Surface's failure, Surface has become a $4B a year product for Microsoft with double digit quarter to quarter growth. That's admittedly about 1/4 of ipad's sales but that's also prior to more affordable devices like the surface 3 launching to compete in the Ipad's bread and butter $400-$500 price range.

Comment Re:App store lockdown (Score 1) 170 170

those kinds of applications are installed by the TrustedInstaller account, which has privileges above and beyond normal administrative accounts in Windows. I have seen no indication that this situation has changed in version 10.

I imagine you haven't seen any indication since you probably never bothered looking, spending 2 seconds googling or even care.
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