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Comment Re:Famous words... (Score 4, Insightful) 263

IMO best combination is PC plus whatever Nintendo console is out at the time. Obviously Nintendo games are never going to come out on another platform, so you need that console for your Marios and your Zeldas etc. But most (maybe 75-80%) of games that come out for one or both of the other two consoles tend to come out on PC as well. So I think if you are restricting yourself to two devices total, PC+Nintendo casts the widest net in terms of 'having the most games available to me'.

Comment Re:Famous words... (Score 1) 263

This is kind of a middle ground between traditional consoles and PCs. The advantage for developing for console is that you have a known, fixed hardware and software environment to target, rather than the thousands of combinations of OS/firmware/hardware/drivers on the PC platform. The advantage of consoles for consumers have traditionally been that they are (1) easier to setup and use (especially if you aren't particularly 'good with computers') and guaranteed to run the games that you buy; and (2) can be played on your big TV with nice comfy couch.

Advantage (2) is being eroded recently since TVs can all accept PC input these days (via HDMI) and the availability of cheap devices like Steamlink that allow you to run the game on powerful PC hardware elsewhere in the home and stream gameplay to the living room TV with minimal lag. Pre-built Steam boxes are also a threat. So an approach like this allows Microsoft to compete in the "I want an easy to use device that allows me to play while sitting on my couch" console market while also having a range of products that vary in price and performance, so you can still get PC-like cutting edge performance if you want. And it's still easier for devs too - sure they might now have to target and test three or four different 'Xbox' variants, but each one of those is a known quantity and it's a far cry from the multitude of possible PC configurations.

Comment Re:DSL shouldn't be considered broadband any more. (Score 1) 104

Yeah, pretty much. Unless they put big money into large-scale VDSL2 rollouts (which needs short line lengths and even then barely matches cable in terms of throughput), copper phone line methods of delivery are fast becoming obsolete. Cable still has some life left in it. But eventually we will need proper fibre rollouts.

Comment Re:How many of those... (Score 1) 126

I have a 4, 4S and 5 sitting in the cupboard all still fully functional. I keep some cheap pre-paid SIMs with long credit expiry in them for lending to family and friends visiting from overseas (who don't want pay for global roaming or bother to set up their own pre-paid account). Also make good GPS logging devices for going biking/hiking etc without having to drain the battery on your main phone. Even without a SIM they still connect to Wifi and are thus useful in the same way that an iPad or iPod Touch are.

Comment Re:I hate Apple... (Score 1) 126

Might have been in the US but elsewhere there was no exclusivity to it. It was just a much better phone than existing smart phones on the market, primarily because the software was stable and functional (having used a pre-iPhone-era smartphone, it was truly awful - terrible UI and crashed all the time).

Comment Re:Sheep. (Score 1) 126

Yep, both my iPhone 5 and 4 are still in perfect working order, even though I've moved to the 6S now. The former I handed down to a family member and the latter I still use as a glorified iPod Touch and take it jogging/biking etc for GPS logging purposes (rather than take my newer phone which I'd care about more if it got dropped/dented/scratched).

Comment Re:Sheep. (Score 1) 126

Factor of 10 might be pushing it a bit. I've used an iPhone as my main phone since the start and have only upgraded twice. Most people only bother once the old phone starts getting frustratingly slow running newer apps, which seems to take at least 4 generations or so. I doubt there's many people who have upgraded every single year since the beginning.

Comment Re:I have a twitter account (Score 1) 106

It's useful as a glorified RSS feed and to get company's attention when you have an issue with them that needs addressing. For a lot of businesses (airlines, phone companies etc.), tweeting at them or DMing them your case ID seems to be the quickest way to get real action happening. Why that is I'm not sure, but the few times I've been caught in a circle trying to get some problem resolved with a company via phone or email, I've tweeted at them and very quickly I've got someone senior that knows what they are doing on the case and my problem fixed. Maybe its the threat of bad publicity or something...

Comment Re:Simple = Mass Communication (Score 3, Interesting) 106

Well for me and many others who don't really tweet anything ourselves, Twitter is effectively just a replacement for RSS. I follow a bunch of news and tech sites etc. and when they post an article, they tweet it, and I click to take a look. I rarely use it to see people's textual tweets/opinions ... it's basically just a feed of interesting URLs brought together into one list that I can browse and click if I want.

Why not just use RSS? No real reason ... this just seems to work well for me, particularly on mobile.

Comment Re:Turkey... (Score 2) 69

That not how I would characterise the difference between Australian TFNs and US SSNs (I have both).

In Australia, the TFN is a very sensitive piece of information and the only people who would ever ask for it are those you would expect to ask for a tax number: the tax department, your employer, and your bank/financial institutions. There are strict guidelines governing its use and it is explicitly defined as identifying information:

On the other hand, the US SSN is used for freaking everything. I had to prove my SSN to sign up for cable TV! I'd say the Australian TFN is far more 'secret' than the US SSN...

Comment Re:Heh, if only it worked (Score 4, Informative) 225

I would suggest getting a chip card from a local bank wherever you are. The technology works great in most places I've been (Canada, Europe and yes even the US), but then, my home bank is in Australia where chip + PIN has been established standard for well over 10 years. The US cards are kinda 'frankenstein' because they have the chip but generally no PIN (i.e. the US went with the weird hybrid approach of having a chip but still requiring signature).

Comment Re:WTF is EMV? (Score 5, Informative) 225

Well unfortunately the US took the half-assed approach of moving to chip, but still requiring signature. Everywhere else it's chip + PIN. By the time you've typed the 4-6 digits of your PIN, the chip reading part of it is generally done and the whole transaction is generally quicker than the whole 'cashier hands you annoying piece of paper and a pen and you sign' rigmarole.

Even better, most places outside the US these days have contactless payments available at most merchants. For smaller amounts ($100, $50, varies by country), tap your card on the reader and you're done. Takes literally 1 second.

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