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Comment Re: in-vehicle concierge (Score 1) 410

I laughed. Sorry I'm without points.

I've got a 2003 (first model year) Honda Pilot that I bought new in late 02. Other than a backup camera, which would have been useful in preventing a couple of small bumps, I'm happy I didn't buy any of the optional items that I could have - they'd be so old now that I'm not sure they'd be compatible with anything I now own, and for the self-contained portions, well they'd probably have broken long ago (door locks sure didn't last very long, what makes me think anything more sophisticated would).

Comment Re:Free Microsoft advertisement... (Score 4, Insightful) 193

I'm curious, genuinely, as to why all the "@#$!% Windows!" posts are being so happily upvoted, while the ones that are rationally pointing out the upside to MS's new direction are seemingly being ignored. You would think, with all the bitching that is normally done here concerning closed versus open, overly expensive software versus free or low-cost alternatives, that people might actually stop with the automatic MS-hate and consider their stance anew.

No software is EVER bug-free (own an Android phone? Enjoying all that perfection?); OSes are complex environments, and sometimes you just can not get every feature in place in a reasonable amount of time. At some point, you have to declare that you've reached a close of a phase of development. Despite our glee at the old "nah, that's a feature" joke, I don't think anyone honestly believes a company with as much money at stake as MS has really has a "screw it" attitude. They're a HUGE company, and for anyone who's ever worked in that sort of environment, you know that you actually have to marvel that any product at all EVER ships.

In part, it is because no OS is ever perfect (you Mac users take a look back, and you'll remember how bad the OS really was years ago, and admit that it too has its own unique problems even today despite being dramatically improved) that MS has moved to this model - fixes to issues can hopefully happen more quickly, new features added sooner.

Along with this new model of publishing Windows comes something else (relatively) new for MS - a new monetization method. For all the grousing about how old and lame the Redmond folks are, now that they are embracing the "freemium" model used by many mobile apps (ads for the free version, or pay to remove them) there's all the complaints for moving to the "new school" way of business. The second - and a little more understandable but I think still defensible in today's environment - complaint is privacy (mainly, the sale of your habits to merchants). First, while not easy for the newbie to do, 10 can be locked down fairly well (PC Mag has a decent article, and it's not the only one); second, if you use Facebook, Twitter, or other social platform, or any search engine, you began giving up privacy the moment your fingers touched a keyboard. If your activities are highly illegal (not just minor film/music torrenting) and you haven't been caught, you're already not worried about this issue; for the average person, yes we don't like the idea of targeted ads and trending our preferences, but to say that there's a person sitting around looking at that data and saying, "Aha! Bob Smith, I *knew* you were into midget clown rodeos!" - well, that's just silly. The only privacy I really, honestly care about is banking, taxes, and when I watch porn - my wife is cool with that last part, but I don't want my kids to type something in only to have YouPorn instead of YouTube pop up. Local browsing, then, is still hidden from other "common" users on my machine, and if I choose to do things like bank on line, I simply have to hope and trust that the certs on the HTTPS connection the bank provides haven't been compromised. That's going to be true for any platform I use to do these things.

I applaud MS for attempting to move in a new direction - it shows, finally, a willingness to change, even if there are missteps along the way. They will have issues with Windows, just as all other OSes do. They will piss people off from time to time. But to complain because they don't do something, then complain because they do? That's not proper criticism, it's just bias.

Comment Re:Getting charged negative dollars for cable (Score 2) 105

To be fair, I should have been clearer. I have Cox Cable in the southeastern US, and the cost for cable Internet access is about $62/month; add TV (with DVR rental) and you're looking at another $150~$200. No thanks. Between free content on Youtube, Hulu, and "broadcast" networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC), and only $8 for Netflix, I'm happy with what I get for the price point. If you like live sports that's really the only big down side.

Ultimately, it's a total of $70 for all the goodies I can consume on the Internet each month, no data limits, etc. Also, Cox has been surprisingly good as an ISP in general; our bandwidth (DL speeds) were just doubled for zero cost, and in this case it actually WAS noticeable. If the chart that was widely publicized about how ComCast dicked over its subscribers until Netflix ponied up is accurate, Cox's internet division is one of the rare almost-good guys in the USA's ISP world.

Comment I'm Catholic, this isn't really news. (Score 1) 669

I don't agree with every stance of the Church, but this is one that has been held true from my earliest recollection (I'm middle-aged). Evolution and scientific origins of the cosmos are entirely legit, and that gives me hope that in time other reasonable and logical viewpoints might be adopted.

Comment Wife changed my mind (Score 1) 258

When I first saw the Lumia 1520, which my wife wanted, I laughed my ass off. A year later, and now that I'm the one using it, I have to admit I love it, and find it to be a great tool. True that if you don't have big pockets or carry a purse it's going to be tough to haul around (not heavy, just big), but I don't have that problem. Screen visibility is awesome, watching videos is wonderful, and even gaming is better since my fingers don't hide everything I'm trying to control.

In short, bigger is better - for me. YMMV, certainly.

Comment Re:Missing option (Score 1) 219

Your pessimism is disappointing. There are plenty of people who want this to happen, and who want to help achieve it (read / watch / listen to the news; search for videos with well known astrophysicists and other scientists). Have some hope and faith, and open your eyes to more than the naysayers - the world isn't nearly as dark and doomed as it seems you feel it is. Human beings have not lost their desire to learn and discover. We will get there - it's just an incredibly difficult thing to accomplish, that's all.

Comment Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (Score 1) 269

So, you've been using computers since at least 1999. Congrats. Considering your decades... errr... years of desktop use, I hate to have to tell you this, but there are plenty of good reasons to pin apps to the task bar. Not every app is best served this way, but plenty are. Perhaps with some more time and experience you'll learn that, instead of attempting to speak for the rest of us.

Comment Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 1) 352

Whoa, simma! :)

Let me address this in a narrow band. It's a good user experience when we limit our discussion to the user experience on the phone itself, removing programming considerations from a developer POV, and from an "I bought an app for my PC but it doesn't run on my phone" POV. I don't think people currently expect their phones to be like their desk/laptop OS environments. You have a valid point that MS are being misleading with the naming convention, but again, user expectation probably doesn't lead to much in the way of true confusion here.

I've never owned a Mac (iPhones yes, Mac no), so I can't say with 100% certainty, but I'm pretty sure the experience on one is vastly different from the other. Android, true, has some cross-formfactor success, but from phone to desktop (Android to Linux) we're looking at a new app again, so I wouldn't think people, tech-savvy or not, will be confused too much.

I hope you don't take this as argumentative - I simply like using my Windows Phone 8 / 8.1 phone, more than I liked my iPhones, more than I enjoyed using my wife's Android phone. I did state, MS' marketing strategy is crap, no doubt. I have shunned Windows 8 for the desktop so far, though I've had co-workers tell me it's fine, they just chuck the "Metro" side of things (in which case... it's Win 7 again with a few enhancements).

MS is doing so little on the consumer side right these days, let's highlight what they get right (competition drives innovation, right?) and encourage people to at least consider it as a viable option for their choice of mobile phone.

[A computer is] like an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy. -- Joseph Campbell