Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:So embarrasing for Microsoft (Score 2) 90

Businesses will buy expensive phones if they do the things they need and support integration and management with the systems they already use. You really need third party tools to manage iOS and Android's all rely on Google Apps and have weird holes in their capabilities (e.g. device backup is a PITA). If the argument is for getting phones for middle managers who aren't important enough to demand an iphone and exemption from IT policies, having policy-based management that's already built into your enterprise directory system is probably a decent argument. I'm thinking this is more of a push to eat what's left of RIM's market.

Microsoft's Surface devices may to a certain extent be a "showing of the flag" rather than a highly competitive design. I support Surfaces in my organization and I think they're pretty great, but I say that with the understanding that they're as much a nudge to wider portable PC hardware manufacturers and to engage Apple in a certain amount of one-upmanship as they are compelling devices. It's a radical sort of product that can be made to serve in a wide variety of situations and putting them out in the world may be providing the impetus for improvements in other portable hardware.

Comment Re: hey, CBS doesn't promote Fox, either (Score 2) 223

Point of order: You can actually install Amazon App store apps through the Amazon (Store) app that IS available via Google Play. And yes I know that is a horrible sentence to parse. I think you do still have to have "third party sources" turned on for your Android device, but the Amazon App store is not 100% required.

Apple doesn't offer access to its content for non-Apple set top boxes and it doesn't offer even an option of non-Apple hardware for much of anything, but people still eat Apple's shit with a smile on their face.

I own most of the major STB devices aside from Apple's, but in my opinion the larger, not-Stick FireTV is the best of breed option. It works with services I'd actually want to use. It's responsive in its UI and can be used for light gaming. It's open enough to support non-Amazon apps if you're willing to sideload them. If Amazon wants to push its position in that market,I think I'm OK with that.

If Google really wants to push the issue, killing Amazon's API key for Youtube access on FireTV devices would probably be a strong bargaining chip, but having used both Chromecast and Nexus Player as well as Google TV hardware, I think STB devices are still an afterthought and besides, there are still plenty of places to buy them.

Comment Re: I wonder (Score 1) 206

Safari isn't downloading the file to the device if it's being put into Dropbox et al, is it? And if that data doesn't belong in the cloud? If the device doesn't immediately have a viewer, the device can't interact with it, however useful it might be to have on local storage.

I think you misunderstand the definition of the word "arbitrary."

Comment Re:I wonder (Score 1) 206

> Why the F**** o you even want filesystem access? Wouldn't it be nice to not have to deal with all of that BS?

My organization has a couple VIPs who want to use iOS as primary computing devices, which required an almost complete change in the way some data is handled, all for want of the ability to store some data they'd be able to download with a web browser on any other platform.

I also think it's nice to be able to segregate personal and business data instead of lumping
everything together. In addition to missing the concept of end-user access to directories, it also still doesn't have multi-user support. iOS treats data as an undifferentiated lump, which is particularly awesome when you get to see somebody's Hedonism II vacation memories mixed in with photos of in-process construction projects or something (fortunately, that wasn't someone who worked for my company, but it sure did liven up that particular meeting).

> You've been able to do that since iOS 5 or 6, as long as you have an App that will handle the content you want to download, or a storage app that will let you manage and browse arbitrary content (See Dropbox, Documents, etc.)

The keyword here is arbitrary. Dropbox supports a lot of data formats but arbitrary it is not.

Dropbox for iOS won't handle arbitrary content, only content for which it and/or the device has a viewer. Why would you want to copy arbitrary content to an iOS device? Because it has multiple gigabytes of potentially encrypted flash storage, maybe? To keep something that doesn't belong in cloud storage out of cloud storage and on a thing that users are unlikely to lose, break, wash or allow to leave their grubby hands for even a single moment.

> Last time I checked, you don't need to use iTunes for anything other than transferring music & movies. You don't even need it to activate the device...

You CAN need it to copy data on and off the device and assign it to apps, particularly if that data is not directly accessible from the web somehow. This is particularly obnoxious if you have apps that handle the same sorts of data but won't talk to each other. Maybe they both support Dropbox. Maybe.

Comment Re:I have a feeling that (Score 1) 206

To be fair, you also weren't using any special capabilities of your fruit to do that, either. It was a dumb terminal from the moment the VPN connection was negotiated. I can exactly the same tasks you just described on anything with a reasonably high resolution screen and a functional 3G or 802.11 connection, even a Palm or WinCE device.

Where does the "just works" part come in?

Comment Re:I wonder (Score 0) 206

It's a perfectly rational proposition to hate iOS from having to actually use it. Missing filesystem access, not having lower case keys on the keyboard (until today, actually), being unable to download arbitrary content using a web browser, being forced to use a media player for system management tasks etc. It's pretty bad when your OS compares unfavorably to Windows RT.

Comment Re:Not all that uncommon in reality (Score 1) 217

I don't mind if the download process is gated to user authentication, but I'm troubled at using online authentication for rights management for single player, offline games. will let me redownload my media over if I ever lose the file and doesn't force me to use some weirdo client wrapper/launcher/DRM thing just to make games go, but IMO the over-reliance PC gaming has placed on Steam is a serious miscalculation on the part of gamers and developers everywhere.

Comment Re:Not all that uncommon in reality (Score 1) 217

I was on a 19.2 dialup connection when Half-Life 2 was released. The "special edition DVD" version of Half-Life 2 that I paid $70 for also didn't have anything on it but a Steam installer and a bunch of artwork. As I recall the total install size was five or six GB, but that would have required weeks of connections and reconnections to obtain on the link I had available.

I've still never played Half-Life 2.

Comment Re:175W (Score 2) 60

And as a related issue, who is making a true SFF power supply big enough to handle that card plus a gaming-class CPU? A lot of "ITX" rigs are built using configured mini-towers (e.g. the Bitfenix Prodigy), but if I wanted to throw one of those in a vanilla case like an Apex MI-08 or Antec ISK-150, their PSUs would die approximately 10 seconds after I fired up Crysis or whatever it is that kids are playing these days.

Comment Re:title because I need a title (Score 1) 620

I have a clone of the system drive and database system from when I replaced the drives. It's one of those deals where the people who own the damned thing fear change. I have daily snapshots from the DB so I'm probably just fine migrating it, but the customer doesn't want anything about that machine (it's an IBM pedestal server from ~1993. A 75MHz Pentium I think) to change.

I did swap out the SCSI card and drives in 2009 and again in 2013 and at this point I'm just just waiting for something to properly break so I can have that machine bronzed or something.

Comment title because I need a title (Score 1) 620

One of my customers still has a Netware 3.12 machine. I'm the third person to be responsible for it. The last two guys are both retired now. I got the gig based on being the youngest person the company could find who actually knows Netware. It runs their ordering/job cost/inventory systems and whatever files or reports it makes can actually be used by their relatively modern accounting software.

Another guy I do work for has a System/38 machine in his office. I have no earthly idea what he does with it since he's a primarily a studio photographer, but I have seen him accessing it through a terminal session. My best guess is that it has something to do with his home-made film printing system. He was an engineer for a while and his place is full of cool stuff.

I've also been in law offices where secretaries were still using Windows 3.1 as recently as 2013, but in that case I'm pretty sure it was just the lawyers in question being just THAT cheap.

You've been Berkeley'ed!