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Comment: Re:Dell makes some decent stuff (Score 1) 408

by mridoni (#42312125) Attached to: Dell Gives Android the Boot, Boots Up More Windows 8

In 2006 I got an Inspiron 6400, and almost seven years later I think the only way to stop the damn thing is to throw it into a garbage compactor: In all this time I had to change the display bezel (20 US$) , and the original battery is down to one hour of capacity, but the machine is absolutely rock-solid, to the point that my other (brand-new) notebook is used a lot less than I expected.

Comment: Re:Greengrocers apostrophe? (Score 2) 214

by mridoni (#41892251) Attached to: Skype Hands Teenager's Information To Private Firm

Why do have so many people problems accepting there are non-native English speakers? It's not difficult.

Actually, as a native English speaker living in Germany, I find Germans make these kinds of errors significantly less than native English speakers.

This can be easily explained: English as a foreign language is usually taught in primary schools and (also) in written form. Native speakers learn the basics of the language when they're little kids from their parents before they are able to write. Even when you start going to school, verbal communication is still used more (think of how many words you say during your day, even for insignificants tasks, and how many you write). If this kind of spelling mistakes are not corrected by teachers or parents, they can be easily carried on to adult age, especially for people whose daily occupation doesn't involve a lot of writing.

Comment: Re:"mis-conception" (Score 2) 323

by mridoni (#40714029) Attached to: Microsoft Taking Heat For Five-Figure Xbox 360 'Patch Fee'

The problem here is that, according to TFA, the developer pocketed about 1 million dollars in sales. If he even gets to keep 30% of that, after paying fees and commissions to Microsoft and taxes, it's about 300,000 US$. I understand that paying (again) a hefty certification fee sucks, but certainly we're not talking about a teenager working out of his basement.

Comment: Re:Some clarification is needed. (Score 1) 218

by mridoni (#38517026) Attached to: Apple Fined By Italy For Misleading Customers About Warranty Terms

I also think it's safe to assume that Apple is the seller of the item.

Actually not, here in Italy Apple sells a lot through non-Apple-branded channels (independent retailers, consumer electronic chains, etc.), also giiven the fact that we have just a handful of Apple Stores, and in all these cases the "seller" (as defined by the European Directive) is the retailer itself, not Apple. The fine was levied due to abuses perpetrated by Apple in its stores and on its site, so in these cases the manufacturer and the seller are the same entity.
An Apple customer who used a generic retailer could "sue" the retailer (the "seller") but of course the outcome would/could be different.

Comment: Re:Let's not forget ... (Score 1) 207

by mridoni (#37216536) Attached to: The Press Reacts To Steve Jobs' Departure — in 1985

Quite the contrary: Jobs wanted to cancel or downsize almost everything else in order to support the Macintosh. What everybody seems to have forgotten is that, despite the good reception both by reviewers and the general public, the first Mac wasn't selling well: sales basically slowed down to a crawl in the second half of 1984 (when sales of the Apple II still contributed to 70% of Apple's revenue), and in March 1985 they amounted to 1/10th of the forecast. Jobs was forced to leave because hiis decisions, and his stubborness when confronted with the need to change them, were turning an innovative and promising product into a possible half-baked venture, and ultimately damaging to the whole company.

http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=The_End_Of_An_Era.txt
http://lowendmac.com/orchard/06/1002.html

Comment: Re:Bad strategic moves by Oracle (Score 1) 149

by mridoni (#36483938) Attached to: History of Software Forks Favors LibreOffice

Cheaper is most definitely of interest to a business, $130 may not be a lot but $130 * 500 is a significant amount

You don't buy retail in quantity 500. Volume deals drop the price to something like $50-70. Besides, you can't simply add costs up, come up with a large number and wave it in the air. If you have 500 employees you have far greater expenses, and you have even greater profit that those employees make.

There is one more thing in business, it is called COGS. It reduces the effective cost of a tool, and MS Office is a tool. So you have now a competition between a cheap top-notch tool and a free but somewhat weirder tool. What will you, as a business leader, buy? I think the decision is preordained here.

To be fair it should be said that the US$ 130 price (about the same in EUR) is for the Product Key Card versiion, a sort of not-activated OEM where the supplier of the PC bundles the software and you can optionally activate it buying a so-called "license card". Prices for a full license of Office Home and Business 2010 start from 220$ on Amazon. Not that this matters, given that most businesses are going to buy Open/volume licenses anyway.

Comment: Re:Google voice commands are pretty good (Score 1) 93

The problem I have with Vlingo, or Google voice actions, is that they only work in English. While I have no problem in saying "Call" instead of "Chiama" (in Italian) I would have to "translate" the pronounciation of my contacts'names into English, for Google to be able to find them. This is immensely awkward and, by the way, doesn't work well (I tried). It's a pity, also because Google's voice recognition engine works very well in Italian (Voice Search works, Voice Actions do not) and a major usability hurdle: my old Nokia N70 allows to make a completely hands-free call while my new Desire HD does not. VoicePod is the only software that seems to work, but it doesn't support Bluettoth headphones.

Comment: Re:Patents can be avoided and new servers created (Score 1) 231

by mridoni (#36329176) Attached to: Skype Protocol Has Been Reverse Engineered

The people behind Diaspora decided to shoot themselves in the foot when they published a software implementation with no documentation of design, protocols, etc. I just checked and no technical documentation seems to be readily available (actually I had to resort to Wikipedia to find a link to their forum), something can be probably found in bits and pieces on the support forums, but obviously it is not enough for a project whose aims are so far-reaching. To add insulto to injury, the implementation they're running with is in Ruby: now, seriously, I don't have anything against Ruby and I think diversity in programming environments is a great thing because it's what ultimately innovation comes from. But if you want to get help, support and, ultimately, code from the community, you're supposed to use a language that is more widely used so that people can get up to speed more quickly with your codebase, especially when the documentation isn't there.

Comment: Re:it's just a platform (Score 0) 286

by mridoni (#36156214) Attached to: Miguel De Icaza Forms New Mono Company: Xamarin

No, it's typical for software written by people who don't understand the meaning of the word interoperability, or who were not given specifications in that direction. Yes, if you want to use Mono to run a large .Net project you have to plan in advance, but even if you decide to stay with the Windows backend, there's no reason not to have cross-platform clients, including mobile and web access; in your case it's just bad software design and even poorer planning that prevents them from existing. And, of course, you could also use Mono and have your backend on your OS of choice.

Comment: Re:75% of apps? Shaa, right! (Score 1) 277

by mridoni (#29494229) Attached to: COBOL Celebrates 50 Years

The real problem with VB.Net is that it tries too hard to stay compatible with its awful and numbingly failure-prone predecessor (VB6). If you just activate a couple of language features ("option strict", etc.) VB.Net is actually a modern and well behaved language: there's no automatic type conversion, late binding is disabled, etc. Of course, when you do that, you also find out that writing directly in C# is much faster...

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