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Comment He's right. (Score 1) 740

On Black Friday, one of my coworkers bought a new laptop that came preloaded with Windows 8. Last week she brought it in and asked me to look at it because she couldn't get anything with Flash to work in IE.

I know Flash in the "metro" IE is supposed to be severely limited in what it can do, but even the desktop mode IE refused to run Flash. This despite the add-on being present and showing as enabled. After googling around and fucking with it for about 45 minutes, trying to get something to work that should have just worked right out of the box, I gave up and just installed Chrome for her so she'd have something that could run Flash stuff.

She later managed to find a Windows 7 laptop somewhere, bought it, and returned the Windows 8 laptop. When she returned it, the clerk asked her why, and she told him it was because Windows 8 was awful. He told her that Windows 8 machines were being returned to that store in droves, and every person he asked gave him the same reason.

Messing with her laptop was my first experience with Windows 8, and if I can help it, it will be my last. I found it to be a jumbled mishmash of confusing crap, and I've been doing IT for 20 years-- I can only imagine how hard non-techies are going to reject it. I am going to cling to Windows 7 for as long as I can.


Vega Older Than Thought: Mature Enough To Nurture Life 130

sciencehabit writes about new estimates of Vega's age giving hope that any planets it might have are old enough to harbor life. From the article: "Shining just 25 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra, Vega is the fifth brightest star in the night sky. In 1983, astronomers discovered dust orbiting the star, suggesting it had a solar system, and Carl Sagan chose to make Vega the source of a SETI signal in his 1985 novel Contact. At the time, Vega was thought to be only about a couple hundred million years old, probably too young for any planets to have spawned life. Since then, however, estimates of Vega's age have increased to between 625 million and 850 million years old. So suitable planets have probably had sufficient time to develop primitive life." With improvements in telescopes allowing detection of the rough atmospheric composition of exoplanets on the way, this could be pretty exciting.

Comment Re:The reason why is obvious! (Score 0) 738

Apple doesn't have a problem with competition, where other companies make original stuff and pit it against Apple's products. They have a problem with "copytition," where other companies just stamp out slavish knockoffs of Apple products and ride on their coattails.

I suggest you look at the 130+ page Samsung-produced document comparing features and appearance of elements of the iPhone to what Samsung was working on at the time. On pretty much every page, the suggestion is made to change the Samsung phone to make it more like the iPhone.

I'd say it's pretty damning evidence.

Comment Re:Ok.. (Score 3, Insightful) 738

Here's the thing. Appearance designs are not copyrightable or patentable in ANY other industry.

Oh yeah? Form a soft drink company and sell your product in a bottle shaped like this, and see how long it takes a cease and desist letter to arrive.

Trade dress is applicable in more than just the computer industry.

Comment Re:Apple has seen this scenario play out before.. (Score 1) 738

A software platform vendor enableing a rich ecosystem of hardware vendors eating the lunch of Apple's combined OS+Hardware approach. Apple knows how it ended last time

Yeah-- last time, the company that copied Apple's stuff got away with it.

Which is why this time, they patented everything about the iPhone that they could, and why they are suing the shit out of the companies who still attempt to copy it.


Radio Shack's TRS-80 Turns 35 231

harrymcc writes "On August 3, 1977, Radio Shack announced its TRS-80 microcomputer at an event in New York City. For the next several years, it was the world's most popular PC — but it never got the respect it deserved. (I still wince when I hear 'Trash-80.') Over at, I'm celebrating the anniversary with some reflections on the machine and why it was so underappreciated."

Comment Re:Apple is the white looter (Score 1) 257

> Is there any evidence that anyone has *ever* bought a Galaxy Tab when they meant to buy an iPad? Any?

Just this article. Excerpt:

"Samsung was forced to release a bunch of documents it had been keeping under seal that show the likeness between its products and Apple's. Examples outlined in the documents include comments from Samsung workers discussing similarities with Apple's products, and reports Samsung got from retailer Best Buy that Samsung tablets were being returned because customers thought they were getting iPads."


Comment Re:Terrible article (Score 4, Interesting) 407

What idiot modded this troll? It was right on point.

Windows and Office are cash cows, yes, but other than Ballmer's incompetence they're the biggest part of the problem-- everyone at Microsoft is afraid of doing something that might threaten Windows or Office. That's why Microsoft spent years trying to stuff bloated desktop Windows into tablets and phones-- and why they were made to like complete asses by Apple.

And XBox? Pfft. They bought their way into the video game market, plain and simple. IIRC they haven't yet reached the break-even point because of the billions they pissed away at the start. XBox is the last time you'll ever see them be able to pull that move, too. No more showing up late with a mediocre product and coming out on top only because they can outspend their competitors.

And Sharepoint is just another product designed to increase corporate IT inertia and maintain Windows' dominance on enterprise desktops.


Comment Re:Meanwhile.. (Score 1) 610

> Selecting the device has not been a standard operation for universal remotes for over 15-20 years.

Every remote I've ever owned that was capable of controlling more than one device required you to first press the button for the device you want to control, and then press the button(s) to issue commands to that device.

The TV in my basement dates to 1994, and that's how its remote works. So did that of the since-replaced TV in my master bedroom that was bought on the same day. I've got another universal remote on the desk beside me right now that works the same way and dates to about 1997 or so.

So, yes, IME selecting the device has been pretty standard for almost 20 years. I don't know why dude had to be so insulting about it, but he is technically correct. And we all know that's the best kind of correct.


Comment Re:This guy is full of shit (Score 1) 679

I'm sorry, where in my post did I say anything about Linux? Oh, that's right, nowhere-- because I wasn't fucking talking about Linux.

Microsoft set computing progress back by decades because they destroyed many fledgling companies that developed or were developing an advanced product or technology that was perceived as a possible threat to the Windows monopoly. I'll let your apparent ignorance of this slide, since based on your childish name calling you must not have been born when it was going on.

Oh, and Mr. Anonymous Coward says I'm the cowardly one. Classic!


Comment This guy is full of shit (Score 1) 679

The Gates Foundation exists solely to whitewash his reputation for the history books. Gates is nothing more than a latter-day robber-baron. The ruthless tactics he used to line his pockets and squelch any perceived threat to Windows set computing progress back decades.

It sickens me how everyone seems to conveniently forget that, and lines up to kiss his ass because he decided to take the ill-gotten gains amassed via twenty years of unscrupulous business practices and buy respectability for himself.


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