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Comment: Re:That ship has already sailed. (Score 4, Interesting) 113

by TellarHK (#47757619) Attached to: IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

As of last night, I actually have a license from IBM to run V5R2 on an older AS/400 system I purchased through Craigslist. I prodded the giant, it woke up just a little tiny bit and managed to decide that giving a hobbyist a license for an obsolete version of the OS/400 platform wasn't going to kill anyone.

It's my hope that I'll be able to help prove that there are more people like me, and indeed, far more talented and curious than me, to show IBM that there's some value to be had for them in opening up access to at least older platforms to enthusiastic hobbyists. The AS/400 platform is an incredibly neat system, and it shows that IBM really does have a niche that nobody else can touch. I've never used AIX, but would love to check that out as well. I hope that some time in the future, I'm not a one-off case when it comes to hobbyists getting an actual license.

But your comment was well timed for me, because I wonder if IBM might be coming around as an institution and realizing that the mindshare gap they have is a problem that it's worth investing a little bit of time and effort in fixing.

Gah, I really wish this article had come up after I had been awake for a while at least. Time for coffee and letting the page refresh in case I can organize my thoughts just a little tiny bit more coherently.

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.

Privacy

Tracking the Web Trackers 97

Posted by timothy
from the let's-track-ann-from-account-services dept.
itwbennett writes "Do you know what data the 1300+ tracking companies have on you? Privacy blogger Dan Tynan didn't until he had had enough of being stalked by grandpa-friendly Jitterbug phone ads. Tracking company BlueKai and its partners had compiled 471 separate pieces of data on him. Some surprisingly accurate, some not (hence the Jitterbug ad). But what's worse is that opting out of tracking is surprisingly hard. On the Network Advertising Initiative Opt Out Page you can ask the 98 member companies listed there to stop tracking you and on Evidon's Global Opt Out page you can give some 200 more the boot — but that's only about 300 companies out of 1300. And even if they all comply with your opt-out request, it doesn't mean that they'll stop collecting data on you, only that they'll stop serving you targeted ads."

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.

NASA

Singer Reportedly Outbids NASA for Space Tourist's Seat 242

Posted by samzenpus
from the money-well-spent dept.
RocketAcademy writes "ABC News is reporting that Phantom of the Opera singer/actress Sarah Brightman outbid NASA for a seat on a Soyuz flight to the International Space Station. Brightman reportedly paid more than $51 million. If that story is true, there may be some interesting bidding wars in the future."

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...

Pause for storage relocation.

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