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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 7 declined, 2 accepted (9 total, 22.22% accepted)

+ - MS still doesn't get "mobile"->

Submitted by obarthelemy
obarthelemy (160321) writes "The dismal ratings of the PlayStore's "Outlook.com" mail app illustrate the challenges MS faces when trying to become relevant in the mobile space. That brand-new mail app illustrates what *not* to do:
- unannounced update from the generally-accepted Hotmail app. Hotmail just stopped working yesterday.
- limited to 1 month of messages
- no widget
- no themes
- horrendous ergonomics, with "menus" sometimes popping submenus, sometimes doing things straight away, with no hint as to which."

Link to Original Source

+ - 2013: the year of Android on the desktop ?->

Submitted by obarthelemy
obarthelemy (160321) writes "While Ouya and Gamestick are having a go at consoles, even cheaper Android computers are quickly gaining traction as low-end desktops, HTPCs, and gaming consoles.

At $50 for a dual-core A9 computer with typically 720p to 1080p HDMI out, 1GB RAM, 8GB Flash, a SD slot, 2 to 3 USB ports, Wifi N, Bluetooth, and nothing else, the poetically named MK808B, MK802III, Neo G4, UG007 and their numerous ICS-running, PlayStore-equipped brethren have enough chops for basic Internet stuff, dlna/LAN/Airplay streaming, Skype, light Office work and light gaming and emulators. Basically, tablets in desktop's clothing.

While not having a touchscreen nor gyroscope nor accelerometer throws off quite a few games (the portrait aspect ratio doesn't help, either), almost all non-game software runs fine, as do about half the games. Surprisingly, Android has OK keyboard and mouse support (no right-click, tough), and most devices also support xbox and DualShock controllers, though few games actually take advantage of that.

No major OEM has launched a product yet, so a few small manufacturers (Minix, Rikomagic, Tronsmart...) are making a name for themselves. Upcoming quadcore, 2GB RAM refreshes with Android 4.2 might further boost interest.

Sent from my Minix Neo X5"

Link to Original Source
Facebook

+ - Facebook France showing old private messages on some users' Timeline->

Submitted by obarthelemy
obarthelemy (160321) writes "Since midday, it seems some French Facebook users are seeing old private posts/messages pop up on their public Timeline. This has major /popcorn potential, if you've ever used FB's private messages to exchange secrets, talk behind someone's back, have an affair... or even talk business.

Facebook denies this being a security issue, so it's probably a bug. It's being investigated, in the mean time users are advised to disable the Timeline feature.

Cue ruminations about whether entrusting important communications and data to a third party that doesn't offer any king of guarantee, except the guarantee that it is selling them on, is wise."

Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: iGoogle replacement ?-> 1

Submitted by obarthelemy
obarthelemy (160321) writes "With iGoogle scheduled to close, I'm looking for another web site that can be my home:

on a single web page, and in any browser (no browser-specific extensions please)

- display multiple mail and webmail inboxes (gmail, yahoo, hotmail, and pro POP/IMAP)
- display Google Reader feeds (or a collection of RSS feeds directly, but Google Reader would be much better)
- and Google Calendar
- and Google Tasks

I have no clue why Google is discontinuing their home page service, but if that's what they want, I'll make my home somewhere else ^^"

Link to Original Source

+ - FOSS, Multiplatform replacement for Skype ?

Submitted by obarthelemy
obarthelemy (160321) writes "Skype having just been borged, now may be a good time to edge our bets and look for a replacement. I'm *not* looking for for something that interfaces with POTS, but just a simple PC-to-PC video chat tool that is very easy to configure and use, reliable, multiplatform (my family has Windows, Linux, MacOS; iOS and Android would be nice extras), and has good video/voice quality. We're almost only skyping with each other.

What would you recommend ?"

+ - in-browser technical 3D graphics and plans ?->

Submitted by obarthelemy
obarthelemy (160321) writes "Is there a way to easily generate and integrate 3D graphics on a web page ?

I'm looking for an easy, standard, and if possible open way to be able to display a variety of non-interactive, but generated on the fly, 3D graphics within a web browser (including IE6, no flames please, not my call). We're looking to convert a large number of vertical technical apps from fat-client to web-based. One, if not the main, sticking point is visualization of 3D data, especially with IE6 still being the company standard (no chance to be able to change that). We do have a lot of non-official Firefox; plug-ins are frowned upon.

Java, Javascript, Flash, and PDF would certainly be OK. A more specific solution would have to offer very strong guarantees. I failed to find a ready-made toolkit though ?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Which Linux for non-techie Windows users ? 8

Submitted by obarthelemy
obarthelemy (160321) writes "Having at last gotten Linux to run satisfactorily on my own PCs, I'd now like to start transitioning friends and family from XP to Linux instead of 7. The catch is, these guys don't understand nor care much about computers, so the transition has to be as seam- and pain-less as possible. Actually, they wont care for new things, even the upcoming upgrade to Seven would be a pain and a bother, which is a great opportunity for Linux. I'm not too concerned about software (most of them only need browser, IM, VLC, mail and a Powerpoint viewer for all those fascinating attachments). What I'm concerned about is OS look and feel and interface: system bar on the bottom with clock, trash, info on the right, menu on the left... menu items close to those of Windows...

Is it better to shoot for a very targeted distro ? Which ?
Are they themes/skins for mainstream distributions instead ?

I've been looking around the web, it's hard to gauge with distro is well-done and reasonably active, and which does not really work. Puppy Linux also looks good, different but so very easy I imagine I could 'sell' it.

I'm NOT asking whether it's good or bad for Linux to look and feel like Windows. Actually, I'm fairly convinced it is not a good thing, but I don't feel up to training handfuls of newbies and fielding tens of support calls."

+ - iPad margins 40-55%

Submitted by obarthelemy
obarthelemy (160321) writes "Cost analysis show that Apple is making a nice margin of the iPad (40 to 50%), especially the high-end ones. Not as high as on the iPhone (60%), though.

main components breakdown goes like this:
- screen $100
- 16gigs RAM $25
- case $25
- CPU $15
- Bluetooth, Wifi $5
- assembly $10
- 3G modem (some versions) $16 (sold for $130)

Total for 16 Gig iPad = $270 (sold for $499), for 32 Gig + modem iPad = $332 (sold for $729). These costs do not include warranty, R&D, marketing, logistics....

As usual, margins for high-end versions go up very fast, especially with the 3G chip being sold at almost 90% margin.

Sources:
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9150045/Apple_makes_208_on_each_499_iPad"

Two can Live as Cheaply as One for Half as Long. -- Howard Kandel

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