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Comment Re:Not new... but also inevitable. (Score 1) 673


People don't realize that all-in-one, integrated, non-repairable electronics are, in the long run, cheaper., and the majority of consumers are cheapskates. Cheaper electronics always wins out in the long-term, and will largely drive out modular, more repairable products, regardless of superior upgradeability or maintainability.

You can't compare computers with cars, as your typical consumer computer doesn't cost anywhere near a car. And, no, the retina MacBook isn't applicable here, because it's bleeding-edge, first-generation technology, which is always expensive (plus, there's the "Apple tax"). Just wait until the technology matures and the costs dive.

Also, if anything, the move to tablet-based computing is going to accelerate the drive for lower-cost (integrated/non-repairable) desktops and laptops.

Anyone remember when TVs were actually repairable (discrete transistors, anyone)? Anyone remember Sam's Photofacts? Yeah, thought so.

Comment Re:Gmail defeated Exchange, not Hotmail (Score 1) 383

While I think hotmail is pretty awful, the non-free microsoft office365 seems to be pretty decent. Not only does it work with iOS (iPhone/iPad) and MS outlook, but Thunderbird, too (and, yes, IMAP IDLE works, too). A basic email-only account is $4/month/account, and adding web access to office files (e.g., excel, word, etc.) bumps that up to $6/month/account. You get 25GB of mail storage, and you can optionally use your own domain name.

Yes, it's a bit more expensive than google, but (1) contact groups actually work with iOS (google contact groups only work with android and not iOS), (2) it gives me an out if google ever decides to inexplicably nuke my account from orbit, and (3) it's not google.

Comment The underlying map data is key (Score 2) 179

Regardless of any really cool/geeky features, the underlying map data can make or break the app. Google doesn't have a problem because, well, they're using the google maps data, which is pretty decent.

On the other hand, Apple has a challenge: what maps data source do they use? Since Apple seems to be trying to avoid Google, I'm assuming that the google maps data is out. I really hope that Apple goes with a major commercial maps data source, and not openstreetmap. If Apple uses openstreetmap, I think Apple's map app is doomed, as I don't think any amount of lipstick is going to make openstreetmap look good.

(OK, don't get me wrong -- I like openstreetmap, and I like the idea of it. However, it's missing 10+-year-old roads in my area. For the people who just started frothing at the mouth and want to scream at me to say that I can edit the maps, you're missing the point. The point is not that I can go in and fix the map data. The point is that, statistically speaking, if some of the map data is inaccurate in my area, it's likely inaccurate in many other places, and this raises severe reliability/trustability issues with me. Like it or not, the google maps data is a lot more accurate than openstreetmap, and thus is a lot more trustable.)

Comment Re:Not wave (Score 1) 314

Wave, as it was released , was basically a threaded and interactive/real-time forum (it was also a marvelous technological solution looking for a problem -- but that's another rant). If any of the current forum software (e.g., phpBB) implemented threading and collapsible subtrees, you'd get the major functionality of wave. (In fact, slashdot comes somewhat close, except that you can't edit/delete your posts.)

In iOS, the "beluga" app was wonderful for group messaging, as it was great at allowing people to come and go. However, they were sold to facebook, and is now supposedly FB messenger. :-( I haven't found any replacement as good as beluga.

Comment Re:Have You Accounted for User Preference? (Score 1) 204

The easiest is to just go with some hosting solution, as maintaining your own server is going to be a lot of work (upgrades, backups, security issues, etc., etc.).

For hosted solutions, I'd look into either google apps or microsoft's office365. Office365 (maybe $72/user/year) might not be quite as cheap as google's offering ($50/user/year), but it seems to be a surprisingly viable alternative to google apps. The only possible issue that I've found with office365 is that password aging is turned on. Not only do they appear to not emphasize that password aging is turned on, but:

1. They don't give you any warning that the password is about to expire, unless you use the web interface (Outlook, Thunderbird, iOS, and android users appear to be screwed). I think some support doc actually recommends that you manually add a reminder to your calendar.

2. Once the password times out, you are, of course, locked out.

3. You cannot change the timeout interval.

4. While you can turn off password aging, doing so requires the use of a windows box and arcane windows powershell command-line commands. Yes, that's not a typo: powershell commands. Yup, there doesn't appear to be a web interface for this.

Comment Re:Small SSDs are cheaper (Score 1) 100

I've moved user directories after installation using these basic instructions, without having to resort to installation foo. I've actually done this 3-4 times over the past year, due to stupidity on my part trashing my system drive (and not having any backups, which I now do have). I've never seen any junction issues, but that's probably because I have c:\users\spoo pointing to d:\users\spoo (c:\users still exists and is valid).

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The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings