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Comment: Re:anyone remember itanium? (Score 1) 257

by zlogic (#47227945) Attached to: HP Unveils 'The Machine,' a New Computer Architecture

Itanium was popular with the server market, it just didn't evolve fast enough. Windows XP actually had an Itanium version from day 1 and a lot of MS products had Itanium releases.
Totally new hardware platforms sometimes allows to get rid of old stuff and rethink approaches. For example, Apple's iPhone/iPad basically set the new standard of what a smartphone or tablet should be - before that we had Windows Mobile, Palm and Symbian without an app store and with capacitive screens and bulky tablets running desktop operating systems.
This probably won't be a consumer OS, rather something like a dedicated database machine or Hadoop-like node.

Comment: Stories do matter (Score 1) 169

by zlogic (#46851999) Attached to: Why Should Game Stories Make Sense?

A few examples of good stories:
* Half-Life does not have a really complicated story, but it's good enough to turn mindless running around corridors (Quake II-style) into achieving actual goals.
* Bioshock Infinite has an insanely great story with an awesome ending. Forget the graphics (not bad at all), forget the gameplay (also quite entertaining), the story is probably the best in history of gaming. This game will definitely be remembered.
And bad ones:
* Unreal II: The Awakening has a terrible story and dialogue. But graphics were great and gameplay was OK (typical for FPS developed during that time). Probably nobody remembers this game now (except for how bad the dialogue was).
* Unreal Tournament, Quake III have absolutely no story in single-player. It seems nobody played single-player at all, or only used it to train for multi-player deathmatches.

Some gameplay types do not need a story, and sadly it seems that this includes most modern games, such as free-to-play timekillers (no need for a story when the purpose is grinding for coins) and multiplayer games where the any sort of story interferes with the gameplay.

Comment: Background (for those who didn't read TFA) (Score 1) 149

by zlogic (#46817701) Attached to: VK CEO Fired, Says Company Under Kremlin Control

This Pavel Durov guy sent a resignation letter on April 1 saying that he resigned. Then a follow-up letter on April 3 stating that this was an April Fools joke and he'd like to recall the resignation letter.
Now, the VK social is undergoing hostile takeover and there's lots of going on that we don't know about.
What most don't seem to understand is:
You don't make such kind of jokes on April 1st without expecting consequences.
Imagine if
* Your boss joked "you're fired, pack your shit" and gave you a pink slip on April 1st
* A senior developer joked "I'm tired of all this bullshit and all you dumbass bozos building pointless crap" and gave his resignation on April 1st
* The CEO joked "I'm tired of all this bullshit and all the f-ing politics I have to deal with" and gave his resignation on April 1st
and made a follow-up two days later saying that was a joke and the statement should be recalled.

This still is a sad day in the history of Russian Internet. It seems that blocking of stuff is getting more and more aggressive (Navalny's blog was banned simply because he's under house arrest and is not supposed to use the internet). Some ISPs even roll out DPI which is sadly a better alternative to DNS-based blocking because of much less false-positives.

Comment: Re:Users Don't Dream Big Enough (Score 1) 276

This sounds almost like Microsoft's reasoning for Windows 8/Metro:
- Users are dumb and want trivial things like a better Windows 7
- Most people use computers for Office, music, video playback and browsing the internet
- We should develop technology that is easier to use and runs on portable devices to better compete with Apple and Google
- We're Microsoft after all, let's do really innovative stuff like unifying the phone, tablet and desktop interfaces! Instead of incremental upgrades we'll bet the company on a futuristic solution with an app store, brand-new touch-friendly interface and a unique graphics design. This will go into history as the most innovative move of the decade and show these pricks at Apple and Google that Microsoft is just as good if not better.

Comment: Re:Zero? (Score 2) 53

by zlogic (#46676747) Attached to: Facebook and Google's Race To Zero

I only have data on Russian operators (which also operate in other countries such as India, Vietnam and Eastern Europe):
MTS: default rounding is 100 KB
Beeline (partially owned by Telenor): default rounding is 150 KB
Megafon (partially owned by TeliaSonera): default rounding is 100 KB
Tele2: default rounding is 100 KB

If you choose a "data" tariff, rounding is usually 1 KB, but calls are much more expensive.
Also, most operators provide reasonably priced ($5-$15/month) mobile data packages which have a daily/monthly quota and lower your speed to 64KB/s when the quota is exceeded.

All three operators have access to the "free" Facebook and also local social networks. But because of the rounding, it's not free at all and only suitable for occasional use, otherwise it's much easier to just get a proper data package.

Comment: Re:Zero? (Score 2) 53

by zlogic (#46675933) Attached to: Facebook and Google's Race To Zero

DNS requests still count; and many operators are rounding traffic to 100KB intervals. Meaning if you open a free Facebook or Google page and thus results in a 0.5 KB of DNS requests, this counts as 100KB of traffic. Also, mobile pages consume much less traffic - especially ones for dumbphones and/or compressed by something like the Opera Mini proxy. So in the end using these "free" sites doesn't really save much - except for cases when you primarily view pictures.

Comment: Re:Interesting... (Score 1) 180

by zlogic (#45892173) Attached to: McAfee Brand Name Will Be Replaced By Intel Security

McAfee used to be a great product. It began to suck soon after the company was acquired by Intel.

McAfee started to suck long before the Intel acquisition, probably some time after the Network Associates merger. I'm using a corporate version of McAfee stuff (Antivirus, HIPS, Endpoint Encryption) for a long time and their level crappiness hasn't changed much after Intel took over. Still has a horrible UI, takes forever to scan drives.
Endpoint Encryption is still security via obscurity - to decrypt or recover data, you need a "password of the day" (can be found in online forums), a special CD with the recovery tools (can be found on pirate sites), and the encryption key is simply hidden in some HDD sector, all that protects it is a tiny 6-digit numeric password! I mean the official recovery tool is designed specifically to make it difficult determining the encryption key sector.

Comment: Re: Time to appeal (Score 1) 511

by zlogic (#45803979) Attached to: US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal

There could be a possibility that the anti-terrorist organizations are working so well that the terrorist threat is so low. Think about it, if NSA, DHS and others suddenly stopped tracking terrorists, just in New York alone half the city would probably be in ruins because of contless terrorist acts!

Comment: Killing mice (Score 1) 361

by zlogic (#45709257) Attached to: How long do your computer mice last?

I have a cheap mouse at work that after 1.5 years lost its feet. Without them the plastic bottow started to wear off, caused by the constant grinding. The process was slow, but after another 1.5 years the optical sensor is having trouble focusing since it's become too close to the table surface :) I'll wait until the bottom part is completely worn off and the internals fall out, this is much more fun than changing mice every 1-2 years.

Comment: Re:Well... there goes Microsofts Android ... (Score 1) 192

by zlogic (#45633387) Attached to: German Court Invalidates Microsoft FAT Patent

Exchange is the de-facto standard for mail in companies with 1000+ employees (probably smaller companies as well), and compared to IMAP offers
* push email
* contacts (and calendar) sync via the same account
* enforcing corporate policies such as a requiring a device password and a maximum lock timeout.

Support for Exchange on Android and iPhone has provided a huge boost to the popularity of BYOD and is one of the main reasons why Blackberry is now failing. Previously companies had to buy RIM servers and devices and give them out to employees needing email access on the go. Now only an Exchange server with Exchange Activesync support is requred and any phone can be used, even cheap chinese phones like ZTE and Huawei where previously >$700 Blackberries were required. Most people also prefer to carry just one phone for their personal and corporate use, and for company-issued phones Android phones, even with the MS tax, have a much more attractive price than iPhone. So adding Exchange Activesync is probably the cheapest and easiest solution for companies already using Exchange, and adding support for it in all Android phones is a smart move by Google - together with Apple and Microsoft they practically stole Blackberry's customers.

I'm sorry, but the only alternatives to Exchange are:
* hosted email on Gmail, Yahoo etc. - not good for security/privacy considering the recent hacking of LinkedIn, Adobe and many other companies
* using a set of open-source products which would provide a scalable solution for intergated email, calendar and contacts; a desktop and web-based interface; and support for major mobile platforms.
* Lotus Notes. If you want users to kill themselves out of frustration :)

Comment: Re:Well... there goes Microsofts Android ... (Score 3, Interesting) 192

by zlogic (#45626631) Attached to: German Court Invalidates Microsoft FAT Patent

MS gets FAT32 royalties from pretty much every device with SD cards. GPS devices, MP3 players, TVs, digital cameras, car audio etc.
Most "modern" Android devices don't have memory expansion slot (which sucks) and use ext4 internally. Most of the other MS patents taxing Android cover Exchange connectivity and that's unlikely to be invalidated soon.

Comment: Re:Too busy for a pipe dream! (Score 1) 253

by zlogic (#44513631) Attached to: Elon Musk Admits He Is Too Busy To Build Hyperloop

It's also easier to make the driver a scapegoat (throw him under the bus) instead of doing an investigation on why the software failed to activate the breaks. That's what the Soviets did - even when failure was clearly caused by faulty equipment, they blamed the operators; if the operators got killed, this was even better because they would not try to demand a real investigation.

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre

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