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Comment: CYA (Score 1) 194

by orlanz (#47676785) Attached to: The Billion-Dollar Website

Somebody had to take the fall, and I guess they found the one group who didn't do the proper amount of CYA. Actually enumerating the failures and irresponsiblities of the various parties involved from the politicians down to the subcontractors... would have been too much work.

I guess they will just fire 1-2 guys and move the rest to other projects like " support" and file this report some where the sun never shines.

Comment: Re:FaceTime (Score 1) 194

by orlanz (#47595521) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

Personally, I prefer Skype for video and WhatApp for chat, even thou the former is a battery hog. Google hangouts isn't as polished as Skype. Maybe in 2-3 years and Google stops changing things, it will be on par with Skype. Then it would bug me a bit if they integrate it too much with Google+, but if it is better than Skype, I would still switch. But by that time, I expect Microsoft to make some nice integration leaps with Skype.

However I wouldn't push either on the "It just needs to work" crowd. Reality is people don't want to learn what they consider is IT. They just want to do their thing they want. FaceTime integration with the phone app, AppleID, and overall interface is just easier. Also, the software & hardware is fairly standard across the user base. The whole ecosystem plug&play integration and Apple's focus on the 70% results in just a nicer overall package.

Sadly, I think Microsoft will catch up to that ecosystem & integration concept sooner than Android. I have given up on HTC and Motorola. HTC could have been king and they messed it up by market fragmentation. That leaves Samsung and Sony. The former is aiming for market share (I hope) and thus isn't focused on standardization & simplicity yet. The latter's road maps and napkin notes look amazing for a social collective, but sucks at execution. Amazon is too focused on... Amazon. And all of them want to build individual ecosystems and social networks. They have neither the social brand value nor unified market share to succeed at it. Wish Google would rein them in under the Android logo.

Also, Apple has cellular partners all over the world who focus on making Apple products work well within their network. Android vendors have only generic Android support and only Verizon does anything serious for Droid here in the US.

Comment: Re:FaceTime (Score 2) 194

by orlanz (#47594361) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

Sound integration systems actually do it via a very simple cradle in the Apple ecosystem. My buddy's apartment complex has a community area with multiple wall & flat table ports that accept iPhones. You just pop it in, and that zone (or more) now has your library playing in it. You can simply redirect the audio to a different zone like the gym, pool, bbq, or sky deck with a single button. The wall ports also have enough space to just store an Android that just hooks to an audio cable. And this is in addition to the mobile wireless integration. The flat screens have Apple TVs that you can swipe in audio & video to/from the iPads or iPhones.

I have seen Samsung & use a LG SmartTV interface, they are ok but less intuitive than the Apple ecosystem. Also, the level of 3rd party hardware integrators for the Apple ecosystem it is far better than the SmartTVs. The Apple ecosystem is just more stable than the SmartTV ecosystem and less difficult to setup and manage. Of course there is a price here but it isn't that much higher than a full audio/video integration system. And the difference is hardly noticed in Healthcare field budgets.

Personally, I have a Plex+linux+home theater+LG+Android+iOS+Windows+Insteon integration in my house. I like the flexibility it offers. But its not a system I would give my parents, the office, or even my semi-techie sibling. The formers will never get it no matter how many times I teach them. The later doesn't see the value of the complexity.

Comment: Re:FaceTime (Score 1, Informative) 194

by orlanz (#47593783) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

Right... cause everyone HAS to hold an iPad to use it. Cause iPads can't be plugged in like TVs. Cause iPads can't integrate into a sound system. Cause Alzheimers patients far enough along to require assisted living will remember how to undo any channel changes or plug cords that get pulled.

Personally, I don't integrate into Apple products in my house or my families'. I have a mix of Androids, Cromecast, Windows, and Apple. However, I have seen the pure iPhone side and when you see the requirements of the submitter, there really is no solution that fits it better than Apple. The submitter doesn't need the flexibility, features, and cost savings at the cost of complexity that the other solutions offer.

Is the iPad the perfect solution, no. But for what the submitter wants, it is far better than anything else on the market. Overall, from a simplistic ecosystem view point, Apple just does it better. Shit just works. There really is no close challenger. Samsung has no focus in this direction, and Microsoft is probably 4-5 years away.

Comment: FaceTime (Score 5, Informative) 194

by orlanz (#47593623) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

An iPad with FaceTime. Sorry, but this is really the simplest one out there. Setup an MDM on it for remote management.

Create an app that posts family pictures that with a click will call them. Or it can hook into the fingerprint reader and call the right family. Or, get a personal iPad for each patient and set it up in their room and have the MDM only allow Facetime to the family.

If you are talking about hundreds of iPads, then even Apple will help you setup all this.

Comment: Re:Past due not reported by companies (Score 1) 570

by orlanz (#47568311) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Most of the US doesn't have "flat rate" options (most medium to big cities do). But this is primarily due to regulations or lack of on the residential prices. The end user prices here are allowed to fluctuate more than most countries while keeping the margins very low and little assistance from the federal government for utilities. This makes it harder for companies to take on the risk of fluctuating billing and covering the end user with a stable energy bill.

So the result is that bills vary. It can go from $30/month to $150/month in summer vs winter for natural gas and reversed for electricity. So most utilities don't do automated billing (variance will kill customer bank accounts). But majority do electronic billing either from the bank side or via an ACH transfer from the utility side. The former is setup through your bank, and the later is setup through the utility's website. Few have autopay. Neither really involve people.

Comment: Re:The American Dream (Score 1) 570

by orlanz (#47565421) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

NO, most countries that don't have a consumer credit system have it FAR worse. They have "family debt" and "blood money". You are just fortunate enough not to need to use or need them. They have the equivalent of the worst possible loan sharks in the US. In most countries, debt doesn't exist at the individual level, it exists at the family level. If your father couldn't pay for it, you would. If you can't pay for it, the interest may be covered by your wife or daughter.

You been in collections several times, and you walked away with all your fingers and toes. Try that in a country without a proper credit system. Dude, you were able to get into & out of collections many times... that's just not possible in many countries.

On the flipside, your are right, there aren't a lot of people who are in debt in the rest of the world (not that we would know cause it isn't recorded or reported). But that's mostly cause debt is a horrible business for the lender and the costs are too high for the user. In the US, the worst that happens is that you are labeled as untrustworthy with money (ie: poor credit score) and some of your assets are taken. But at least with a little time, you can retry. At least it doesn't pass onto your children or wife.

Comment: Re:Surface: the only Hope (Score 1) 379

by orlanz (#47068791) Attached to: With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market

We are a pretty globally gigantic company w/ a couple of IT vendors. All are Microsoft heavy. We got MS everything. None are really looking at the Surface Pro. Primarily cause we don't want to be the first testers* and the price point is about 2x higher than we would like. We are looking at very light weight laptops and the users want shiny iPads.

If MS would drop the price to the iPad, integrate the MDM, policy, cellular, vpn, and office network systems, and provided a stable roadmap... I think business would look at it. But that's going to be atleast 4th or 5th gen at this point... with the business world buying the 5th or 6th gen.

* = This is the 3rd, but the first two are different enough that you can say that they were abandonware.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the New Oligarchy (Score 1) 174

by orlanz (#46865085) Attached to: SCOTUS Ends Novell's Anti-Trust Cast Against Microsoft

Corporate taxation is the most efficient form of taxation we have. On one side you have a ruthlessly efficient system that tries to pay as minimum as it can and on the other we have a system that has cataloged every tax payer & tax rules. There aren't a lot of moving parts. Both sides understand the ever changing & complex tax rules defined by a multi-sided chess game. It is a very good balance. You eventually end up with the corporate world paying for what is required in the social world.

If you tax the end users and consumers, you have a ton of collection costs, lots of moving parts, and even if everyone was good, incorrect collections. Plus the population as individuals have no power to change their taxation rules.

I have ways of making money that you know nothing of. -- John D. Rockefeller