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Comment: A nightmare for tech support (Score -1) 187

by paleck (#30333048) Attached to: Microsoft Tweaks Browser Ballot As EU Deal Nears

The randomization is bad for one big reason. Since they will never be in the same order, when family calls for help I can't just tell them to click on the middle one(or the one on the far left, etc) I have to either tell them what to look for or have them read off to me what is on their screen until they get to the one I am wanting them to look for. The same thing goes for helpdesk/tech support type set-ups. On the upside big corps probably have a standard disk image with whatever their standard is, but imagine say an ISPs support desk having to deal with a bunch of ridiculous calls just because users who aren't familiar with their computers are call them up asking them which button they should push.

Inside Amazon's web services->

From feed by registerfeed
SLAs for us but not for you, says Amazon's CTO

In 2006, Amazon.com launched several web services aimed at developers: the Simple Storage Service (S3) offering unlimited internet storage, the Simple Queue Service for reliable message delivery, and the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) which lets developer create and manage virtual server instances programmatically.


Link to Original Source
United States

+ - Kentucky getting loony museum of non-evolution

Submitted by AliasMarlowe
AliasMarlowe (1042386) writes "The BBC reports that a creationist organization (Answers in Genesis) is building an alleged museum in Petersberg Kentucky, not far from Cincinnati Ohio. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own _correspondent/6549595.stm

The museum will be replete with animatronic dinosaurs and suchlike, with tyrannosaurs shown peacefully cohabiting with human children in a sort of Garden-of-Eden paradise. Geology, paleontology, and other branches of accepted science are not considered relevant to the "bible-based" twisted storyline. Of course, it's all presented as fact supported by the usual wierd hypotheses of creationists.

The BBC report has overtones of incredulity that such an inane insane fantasy world could really be promoted as fact. Even one of the museum park guides tactfully said he preferred to stick to accepted science. The BBC reporter was accompanied by Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, who castigated the creationist's misuse of facts intertwined with mythology.

Now that Kansas has started cleaning up its school board, is Kentucky stepping forward as the next base for the loony fringe?"
Wii

Journal: Written from my Wii. 4

Journal by dead sun
Well, well. I've found the internet channel on the Wii. This post has been made in its entirety on the Wii. Typing with a virtual keyboard is somewhat a pain, but the word completion is nice.
The Almighty Buck

Apple Execs Reportedly Faked Options Documents 172

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hands-in-the-cookie-jar dept.
theodp writes "Federal prosecutors are reportedly looking closely at stock option administration documents that were apparently falsified by Apple execs to maximize the profitability of option grants. While Apple has said CEO Steve Jobs did not profit from the stock-option backdating, Jobs has reportedly hired his own attorney to deal with the SEC and Justice Department."
User Journal

Journal: My experience with Creative's Zen Micro 1

Journal by Miraba

A year and a half ago, I went off to Europe for 7 weeks. Given the choice of lugging around a case full of cds, a cd player, and a pack of batteries or buying a mp3 player, I chose to drop a few hundred dollars on the latter. I went with the Zen Micro, since it was a) not too expensive, b) had excellent battery life, c) was harddrive-based, and d) wasn't an iPod.

OS X

+ - Worried about moving from Windows to Mac

Submitted by
Steve Ryan
Steve Ryan writes "The direction Microsoft are taking with Windows (for example, the DRM issues in Vista) have led me to believe Windows will soon be an OS which controls the user, rather than the other way round. I like XP, and I find it stable, but I do not want to upgrade to an OS (Vista) which is restrictive. This leaves me with either Linux or OS X. I like Linux, but it may not work with my laptop, so I don't really want to risk it. OS X seems nice. I spend most of my time writing documents and surfing the web, so it should handle everything I want, and I would be happy to buy a lovely MacBook Pro. But... will Apple follow Microsoft's lead and implement a DRM loving policy? If so, Mac is not an option.

End result? I'm confused. Help!"
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft adCenter overcharges new customers

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "Microsoft adCenter's billing system tries to overbill a customer who used a promotional code, and no employees are able to correctly read an invoice or correct the problem. Apparently, the incident is not isolated, judging by users' comments on this blog ( http://adcenter-nightmare.blogspot.com/ ).

Microsoft has finally admitted fault to this one user, but has not fixed his account. It's possible that Microsoft has overbilled everyone else who took advantage of their latest promotions ( http://startadcenter.com/lcoff/ and http://www.startadcenter.com/200unoffdm/), yet it doesn't look like they can fix a single one of these fradulent charges — customer service can't actually touch the billing system."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Human caught cheating in chess!

Submitted by AP2005
AP2005 (922788) writes "A day when humans should hang their heads in shame in front of their robot overlords. CNN reports that an Indian chess player was caught using a bluetooth headphone to communicate with his friends who relayed him moves decided by a computer."
Games

+ - How Sony learned from Microsoft's Mistakes

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "FiringSquad has just written an analysis of the PS3. What makes this unique is that they look at the PS3 using their article from last year describing the 11 design mistakes of the Xbox 360. It's interesting to see how accurate their predictions were re: Xbox 360, and to see how some of Sony's features directly address the problems faced by the Xbox360 launch. Surprisingly, they predict that the PS3 will come out on top. They argue that the "broken" programming model of the PS3 is bad, but that Polyphony Digital, Konami, and Square Enix are willing participants of Sony's religion of massively parallel architectures. That is, the Xbox 360 is designed to be developer-friendly, the PS3 is design to be friendly to Polyphony Digital, Konami, and Square-Enix. After all, Blu-Ray is useless unless you're the one developer who still uses a lot of pre-rendered cutscenes."
Businesses

+ - Merrill Lynch predicts AOL / Yahoo merger in 2007

Submitted by Grv
Grv (989986) writes "A Merrill Lynch analyst has told investors that of the possible big mergers in 2007, an AOL tie-up with Yahoo is the most likely. According to reports, a Yahoo purchase of AOL could bring profits in as little as two years, even if the buyout price was a sky-high $18 billion. Both companies are in trouble, with Yahoo recently seeing a bit of an executive-level revolt (previous /. coverage). Still, it's hard to see how an AOL-Yahoo merger could possibly stave off Google."
Announcements

+ - Daylight Savings Time will change in 2007

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "The Miami Herald writes in a Question and Answer column that there will be a change in daylight savings time, starting in 2007. The change is one of many being made as a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 in an attempt to conserve energy around the nation.

From the Wikipedia article: "The bill amends the Uniform Time Act of 1966 by changing the start and end dates of daylight saving time starting in 2007. Clocks will be set ahead one hour on the second Sunday of March instead of the current first Sunday of April. Clocks will be set back one hour on the first Sunday in November, rather than the last Sunday of October. This will make electronic clocks that had pre-programmed dates for adjusting to daylight saving time obsolete and will require updates to computer operating systems. The date for the end of daylight saving time has the effect of increasing evening light on Halloween (October 31)."

Microsoft has apparently already released an update for this daylight savings time change and will include the change in the up-and-coming OS, Windows Vista."
PlayStation (Games)

+ - Back to the drawing board: PS3 vs Xbox 360

Submitted by
Timmus
Timmus writes "A year ago, FiringSquad wrote about the eleven design mistakes of Xbox 360. In their latest article, they see how accurate their predictions were (answer: very). The article continues with an discussion of how Sony has learned from Microsoft's mistakes. Finally, they close with a very interesting analysis which predicts why the PS3 will succeed, even though every other analyst claims the opposite.

Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 are developer oriented — it's a question of who they're targeting. The Xbox 360 adopts a balanced approach favored by legendary programmers such as John Carmack. It's fundamentally and academically, the right way to do things when designing a console capable of playing a wide variety of games.

Sony has taken an approach that's hated by the majority of developers, but is well-liked by Polyphony Digital, Konami, and Square-Enix. [These companies] buy into the religion of massively multithreaded games that harness multiple parallel CPUs... [and] approach games with the same vision that Sony offers with the PS3.
I.E., Blu-Ray is completely worthless to developers. You only need the capacity if you've got a ton of pre-rendered HD cutscenes. Nobody uses pre-rendered cutscenes anymore, except Square-Enix... Polyphony Digital, Konami, and Square-Enix program with the wrong paradigm, but that's the paradigm that Sony catered to."
United States

+ - Electronics Help Amazon Post Record-Setting

Submitted by wndmltudtkd
wndmltudtkd (1044128) writes "The Web retailer Amazon.com's 2006 holiday season peaked with more than four million orders placed on Dec. 11, the company said Tuesday. That broke last year's single-day record of more than 3.6 million orders, set on Dec. 12 In its 12th holiday season, Amazon.com said that it again had its "best ever" sales and that it shipped more than 99 percent of orders in time to meet deadlines worldwide. As many as 3.4 million units went out in a single day."

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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