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Comment: Re:Users Don't Dream Big Enough (Score 1) 275

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.

Comment: Re:Doesn't it go further back? (Score 1) 213

by zlogic (#44398659) Attached to: Windows NT Turns 20

Have you actually used WinME? It's the same Win98, but with DOS hidden and locked down and a icons/sounds backported from Windows 2000. Windows 2000 is a much more modern NT-based OS and having used it alongside WinME I can tell the difference is clearly visible, with Windows 2000 winning in almost every test except memory consumption and compatibility with Win9x apps.
Windows 2000 was originally planned to replace the DOS-based 98, but application/driver compatibility was not perfect, so Microsoft instead produced the WinME abomination before finally moving everyone to XP.

Comment: Re:Dumping? (Score 2) 391

by zlogic (#44364287) Attached to: A Radical Plan For Saving Microsoft's Surface RT

Dumping Surface RT could attract enough users that developers would start to take the Windows platform seriously. Then, since MS makes a $50/year per developer account, and 30% from every app sale, they may use the discounted RTs to jumpstart the Windows Store and recover at least some money (maybe unbundle Office and sell it as an addon?).
And hardware cannot sit on shelves forever. Storage space costs money, components get obsolete over time and in 2 years 50 bucks would be the right price. However this may repeat the netbook disaster (from the manufacturers standpoint) where people got accustomed to getting a perfectly usable machine for $300 and sales of more expensive hardware dropped.

Comment: Re:Much worse to come (Score 1) 467

by zlogic (#44341211) Attached to: Microsoft Stock Drops 11% In a Day

Very few sheeple noticed that Microsoft OFFICIALLY cancelled Metro (sometimes called 'new UI' or Windows RT interface).

Would you provide a prooflink? I've been monitoring MS news and the only news was Metro being renamed into "Modern UI" because of a lawsuit from the German supermarket chain.
So far Windows 8/WP8's biggest problems is the lack of good apps. Plus, Metro apps don't integrate well with the desktop and Microsoft's Metro apps have less features than the desktop alternatives (e.g. Mail, Calendar, Onenote). It would make no sense for Microsoft to abandon this platform and start from scratch AGAIN, pissing off developers who just ported their apps to WP8/Win8. What may actually be going on is merging WP8 and Win8 APIs to simplify porting; by the way porting between Win8 and WP8 is already not terribly difficult.
The metro design (just the design, not the whole paradigm) is actually quite successful, just look at how Apple is abandoning their skeumorphic concepts or how Android also shifted to a flatter style in 2.3 and 4.0.

Comment: Re:Perfect is the enemy of good. (Score 1) 1103

by zlogic (#44154973) Attached to: Employers Switching From Payroll Checks To Prepaid Cards With Fees

It's not that well publicised. For a while, I lived with some Eastern European immigrants in a cheap flatshare in London. They were keeping cash under the bed, but they all were able to open a basic account.

Some people don't trust banks, especially if they lived in a Soviet Union-related contry. They had a history of decreasing your savings either by government order (to keep everyone equal) or simply because they f*cked up investing your money.

While money can't buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.