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Comment Understatement of the year (Score 1) 564

the PlayBook, which was released to quite a bit of fanfare in early 2011 but failed to earn iPad-caliber sales

Or, rather, it tanked horribly, the huge unsold inventory they tried to shove through "the channel" (retailers and distribution chains), but which users never bought, was so bad that it became a logistic problem of its own.

Comment Well on _my_ PC their typing speed is zero. (Score 1) 240

I have a Das Keyboard ultimate (completely black keys, no letter marks at all) and every time a colleague works with me and wants to type, I love seeing their reaction. I can type for half an hour sitting next to them and they would _not_ notice that the keys are black, so they're just baffled when they try and use it :)

(I do keep a "guest" keyboard and mouse stashed away, but connected to the same PC, but always wait before pulling them out :) )

Comment Re:Why is Slashdot to Hostile to Raspberry Pi? (Score 1) 74

I understand why they did it, but that doesn't change the fact that the process is not really Open, to the detriment of customers.

It's _not_ Open. They're not claiming it is. That's not their purpose. They wanted to make an extremely affordable development platform to promote computer education esp. in schools, and that's exactly what they did.
They are releasing as much info/code/APIs as they can, so at a first glance it *looks* like it's an open source project... it's not. They'll be the first ones to point out that there is a shitton of NDA stuff they're not at liberty to share with the rest of the world. They're Broadcom employees using their own free time to work on an architecture they're familiar with due to their day job. They share what they can and if you don't like it you'll have to talk Broadcom into releasing stuff - or just choose another platform.

Comment Re:wow (Score 3, Funny) 130

you could reboot Windows without using a mouse.

Now that's something!

Windows-Up-Right-Right-Right-Up-Enter. Hadouken...erm, reboot.
Might change slighly if you changed your power settings. Ctrl-Esc if you don't have a Windows key.

Ugh, I just confessed to knowing some MS stuff on /. /me braces for the incoming downvotes :)

Comment Re:Shocked. (Score 1) 851

There isn't really an alternative in the US. Pay as you go will cost you more in the long run since the major providers have very limited options. There's no real competition (read: it's difficult to switch carriers and keep your phone) because of network technologies. And the only pay-as-you carriers with decent rates operate in relatively small markets, or only in urban areas (most of the US population lives in suburban areas with poorer coverage). Finally, even if you can find an unlocked, unsubsidized phone to buy in the US, the monthly plans are the same cost, and still require a 2 year contract.

I'm not implying there's a viable alternative and people are dumb for not choosing it. I'm just surprised there isn't an angry bloodthirsty mob wrecking every major US telco's headquarters. They are screwing people so bad and getting away with it because of a de facto cartel.

Comment Re:Shocked. (Score 2) 851

Having a smart phone != having an expensive plan. I am on a simple pay as you go plan, and have a Nexus S. It's capabilities are far and above being just a phone.

This, a hundred times.
I see these mentions of $50/mo, $80/mo and I'm just baffled at how so many people let the carriers royally screw them with barely a protest.
$80/mo per 24 months is $1920. Plus the $199 you paid upfront for most smartphones, it's $2.119. That's outright nuts.

I paid around EUR629 for my current iPhone (fanboi yada yada) and a 5GB/mo flat costs me 15/mo. I'll probably also do about EUR 5 of phone calls during an average month. Over 24 months, phone included, that's EUR 1109, aka $1441. And I could spend 240 less by going for only 500MB/month, since I rarely go over 1GB and never even try to moderate my use in any way. Without any overage fees: I break the 500MB/5GB barrier? It keeps working at no extra cost, I'm just slowed down to 56kbps. Skype, Viber, Mail and SSH keep working just fine. Of course I can *always* tether at no additional cost. And that's with one of the most expensive smartphones in existence, some android/WP7.5 phones cost way less: a Galaxy Nexus is 538, a Nokia Lumia 800 retails for 430.
My 24month total cost could *easily* be EUR 750 ($980), still with a recent, top-of-the-line, smartphone, still doing the same voice and data traffic. You guys on the other side of the pond should revolt.

Oh, best thing? No termination fees. No 24month wait to change phone (of course, I paid it in full!). No SIM lock.
If I'm unhappy with my provider I can ditch it *now*, fork 15 eurobucks and get a SIM card from any other operator, with includes 10 of credit. I could port my number over for some cost (around 30 I'm told).
Also nice: If I travel to some other place (Spain, Greece, Italy being frequent destinations) I buy a local SIM card for pretty much the same amount and am good to go. No insane roaming fees. This means my phone number wont work for voice calls/SMS while abroad, though - but most people just IM or VoIP call me and it just keeps working transparently.

Comment Re:Verizon cannot install FiOS without blackberry (Score 1) 272

you sound like you would be happier with an iphone, it does not have confusing "options"

I *have* an iPhone. It's my personal phone.
It has this feature called "proper user interface" in which irrelevant crap isn't in the way and options are there when you're looking for them.

But I'd also settle for a WP7 or an Android - a Nexus, though, not some carrier branded crap in which they mutilate the phone, chop off functions for no reason (or sheer greed), ruin it with some crap branding which slows down the UI and delay updates by half a year, or prevent them altogether. At least the iPhone's "closed" nature prevents carriers from messing with it. They're king Midas in reverse, anything they touch turns into shit.

Comment Re:Verizon cannot install FiOS without blackberry (Score 2) 272

I just had my Verizon FiOS installed today and normally the technician activated the modem using a blackberry. But today he had to call-in and wait about an hour on hold for them to activate the modem remotely. People are comparing Blackberries to iPhones, but Apple iPhones aren't relying on a dedicated network and I don't think there are many businesses that rely on them.

Not quite sure why you bring up the need of a dedicated network as a plus. Since it's just layered on top of the existing cellular/WiFi connection, you just added an extra point of failure as these last 3 days of outage are reminding lot of people. What does this "dedicated" network give you? the impression of improved security because your confidential, corporate email is now going through RIM's servers? The belief that other smartphones can't offer equivalent security? 2005 called, it wants its status quo back.

Besides - the UI on BB phones (I admittedly haven't seen BB7 in person yet - speaking only up to 6 here) is mind boggingly crude and awkward. The browser is disgustingly broken and unusable. Even the damn email client, this pony's one and only trick, sucks big time. Synchronizing additional folders requires a ridiculous amount of submenus, hidden options and absolutely unintuitive labeled functions on my Curve 9300. When on WiFi, it somehow "loses" the connection to my company BES every other day and can't reestablish it. It only resumes working if I delete and recreate the WiFi profile. The amount of crap cluttering the menus is unbelievable. Until a recent software upgrade it couldn't vibrate and ring at the same time. Even configuring a simple sound is an exercise in frustration, wading through a sea of confusing options (I have sound options for "Email", "Level 1", PIN", "Text Messages", BBM Alerts, BBM Groups, BBM New Messages. I challenge any new Blackberry user to figure out what the hell PIN does there and why you can assign a sound to it). The almighty and much boasted physical keyboard is not only wasting half the front of the phone, causing the screen to be stupidly small, but it's also dinky and cramped, and the damn number keys are a bloody hassle to operate. But who the hell needs number keys on a telephone, right?

The whole damn thing seems to have been design by a committee chaired by Ming the Merciless, it's a textbook COUNTERexample of usability principles. They can't die soon enough. Die. Die. Die. DIE. DIE. DIE. DIE.

My company didn't allow me to use a different phone even if I paid for by myself - but they acknowledged that a LOT of employees are unhappy with these relics and recently announced they are going to change this policy at the beginning of next year. Can't wait. RIM, you lose 5000 more customers.

Comment Re:Uhhh (Score 2) 543

This article is from 2009. Why is this now hitting the front page?

It was in Taco's backlog. Now that he left, someone's going thru it, finally. And they're at 2009 already, we'll soon start seeing current news!

(Jokes apart, Thanks for so many years Rob!)

Comment Re:Interesting fact (Score 1) 284

. Facebook no longer has any idea where I live, have lived, what high school I went to, what college I went to, hell I'm not even sure it knows what year I was born. I had to get rid of all of that a long time ago (although in retrospect, I'm think I would have anyway and am glad I did).

It's funny cause you think taking the information off your profile deletes it from FB servers. Odds are, they still know where you live and how often you poop.

And even if you never told them in the first place, with a large enough network of relations they can most likely infer it.

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