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Comment Re:One huge customer - schools (Score 4, Informative) 345

There's a number of aspects of what you said that are inaccurate, and I believe the approach you're taking is deficient in a number of areas.

Let me cover a few of these off:

1. Cloud access does not lead to wasting time with flash games.

Firstly, I think you are confusing cloud computing with Internet access. Leverage a cloud service (e.g. Google Apps or some SaaS based learning service) is completely different to unfettered internet access to play flash games. If your school chose to use Google Apps or Office 365 it doesn't all of a sudden mean a deluge of flash games.

2. Chromebooks can be managed with Chrome Management Console

With the Chrome Management Console you can control a vast array of policies - such as URLs that can be visited, what can be installed etc. All reasonably similar to the level of control you may have now on your windows machines. However, Chromebooks go beyond this as it is much harder for a student to bypass the controls that Chromebooks have as they is so locked down and have TPM for verified boot etc. So your statement that it's easier to "curtail games on your system" is probably false. For a brief summary, look here: https://www.google.com/chrome/... there's a whole lot more info on the detailed policies if you search for it.

3. The hidden cost and inefficient of managing your own onsite storage and backup.

You're almost spending more money than you need to managing your own infrastructure. Your cost of storage is certainly an order of magnitude higher than Google's due to their scale. You're doing backups - but it sounds like they're on site. Where's your geographic redundancy? Google will store your data across multiple geographically separate datacentres and manage all the infrastructure for you.

4. Your unjustified fear of losing control

You seem to still believe that Google is mining kid's information to serve them ads - yet Google Apps for education doesn't serve any ads. (http://www.google.com/edu/trust/)
You also seem to believe that using the cloud means you don't know who will access it. In fact Google, Amazon, Microsoft etc. all make it pretty clear the controls they put in place regarding security and privacy - and back these up with SLAs etc. I'd have a lot more confidence in their security and privacy controls than in your own IT team. This is probably most contenious area, but you could start by talking to other schools who have made the shift to see how they overcame these kind of concerns.

I get that change is scary - and there's a lot of cloud FUD out there. But I'd really suggest you take the time to understand as it is fundamentally shifting how the vast majority of IT systems are delivered. I also think that keeping on doing things how you've always done them isn't a sustainable strategy in the long run.

Comment Re:Both (Score 1) 121

Another thing to keep in mind is that since Type 1 is genetic, you've got it from birth...

Not quite true - whilst it does seem to be genetic to a large degree, having Type 1 at birth is very rare. The average age of diagnosis is 6 - 7 years old. That said, having personally managed Type 1 in a 1 year old (and ever since) - you're absolutely right that a 10 day injection and I assume reduced blood glucose monitoring in between would be a great thing.

Comment Re:Still working on it. (Score 3, Interesting) 162

> Only instead of VT102 escape codes we are using HTML5 on much more capable terminals
Awesome false analogy...comparing a terminal to a web browser experience.

> But it is the same siren song, users with computers is dangerous, expensive, etc. Let US take all that away... for low monthly payments

If you've ever worked in a large enterprise you'll have seen the cost that businesses spend on trying to manage and maintain their IT assets. Personally, in the days when things can be accessed via a browser, I prefer the approach of bring your own device and none of the corporate IT lockdown - but most businesses aren't quite ready for that.

I look around my office now and see half the people working in nothing but their browser all day (Email, CRM) - they wouldn't even notice the switch except for being pleaed about the faster boot time. But as I said in my early post - this isn't for everyone. The other half of my office would be hamstrung I gave a Chromebook to them to do their job.

It's a pity you can't take a small amount of time to understand the niche that Chrome OS fits into and respond to it based on that.

Comment Re:Still working on it. (Score 5, Interesting) 162

I think you're missing the point. Chrome OS is not really for consumers - it's for Enterprises and Educational institutions.

These groups want a device that is highly secure, low / no maintenance and can be given to any random employee / student without much thinking about it. Add in the Enteprise controls that are available through a simple Web GUI and you can massively simplify the management and operation of your IT assets.

Is it something you give to your accountants or marketing team - no. Is it something you give to people working in the field or call centre staff or students - yes it is.

When you think of it this way, then Chrome OS is quite a unique solution and not worth the slamming that everyone here is giving it. There are some valid questions about how much of this could be folded into Android - but at present it has value, just probably not to you.

Comment Re:The following parts don't make sense... (Score 2) 118

a language that less than .0002% of the people in the world would recognize does that mean a TM is invalidated?

By my rough calculation our 4 million people gives us 0.057% of the world's population recognising the phrase :-)

The basic fact is that this is an extremely arrogant move. A company is taking a "common word", which ironically means gift, and using it for commercial gain for open source software that was created in the very country they're applying their trademark in.

The Maori meaning of "koha" is more complex than Gift - and if you start to understand the moral obligation that underpins true "koha" - you really feel that these guys are a bunch of knob-ends.

That said, our intellectual property office recently let a large brewery trademark the term "Radler" - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10738427 - so unfortunately they might be needing their legal fund to try and get Koha back out of corporate hands.

Comment Re:Well. The answer is simple. (Score 1) 432

Good response. I do own a honeycomb Tablet - the Acer Iconia A500, and I also write mobile apps from time to time.

I haven't really found my use of the device has suffered due to a lack of honeycomb optimised apps. The main reason being that the browser is good enough that you don't really need them. I use the in-built apps predominantly, and then a twitter app, a Google reader app and ConnectBot (ssh access). Angry Birds looks brilliant on the device, so that's the main thing.

So, from my experience, my summary of the issues are:
  - there isn't a big need to create tablet optimised apps as the browser is good enough in most cases
  - the Honeycomb emulator is very slow making development and testing more painful than it should be.
  - not being able to search for tablet optimised apps in the Android Market means you can't tell if it's a honeycomb app or not.

A while ago I wrote an app that collects business KPI data from a site we run so that we could do diagnostics more easily on the go. I ported the 2.1 app across to Honeycomb, and used fragments to build it up in a tablet specific fashion. It was easy enough to do - but the end result was unecessary, as the same data is accessible from a web browser for no effort. It was a good learning exercise - so I'm glad I did it - but the resultant app wasn't useful.

So in summary - I own an Android tablet, and I'm happy.

Comment Re:Platforms vs. Hosting offerings (Score 1) 396

I agree, if they'd focused on Cloud platforms then it would be a clearer set of questions.

In this case, we could drop a few options. Furthermore, VMForce (Salesforce.com's Java PaaS offering) isn't in existence yet. A more appropriate platform to include would be Force.com - the existing, accessible and rather useful PaaS offering from Salesforce.

So, focusing on cloud platforms, the corrected poll options would be something like this (with the language they support in brackets)

- Amazon Elastic Beanstalk (Java)
- Engine Yard (Ruby)
- Microsoft Azure (.NET and supposedly anything else but really .NET)
- Google App Engine (Java or Python)
- Heroku (Ruby)
- Force.com (Apex - proprietary Salesforce.com language)
- Cowboy Neal's Arse (Swahili)

Personally. I really like Force.com as you can build business apps quickly. Once you get outside Force.com's sweetspot then Heroku would be next on my list.

YMMV.

Comment Re:Temporary solution? (Score 2) 148

There was somthing call 'pig sushi' that I heard about a while ago, that had pig Beta cells wrapped in an coating that stopped the immune system from getting at them.

I havn't heard any more on that, but it did tackle the problem head on.

The trials are continuing as we speak here in New Zealand. The company concerned is Living Cell Technologies

And there is an article describing it here

It's a very clever solution that solves the rejection issue. The main questions are on how much insulin can be produced and over what time period. The reality is that anything that introduces at least some reasonable level of insulin production - even if not enough to eliminate injections - should reduce the extreme blood sugar highs that cause the most long term damage to Type 1 diabetics.

It will be fantastic if this can succeed (like all of the other potential cures to this disease).

Cellphones

Google Releases the SDK For Version 1.6 of Android 69

Qwavel writes "This release includes improvements to the Android Market, the Search Framework, and Text-to-Speech. It now has support for more screen resolutions and CDMA phones. Android 1.6 is based on v2.6.29 of the Linux kernel and is expected in phones that will be available next month. The mystery of Android 1.6, however, is Google's continued unwillingness to commit to a Bluetooth API and any Bluetooth functionality beyond the basic audio functions."
Printer

Linux-Friendly Label Printer Recomendations? 188

pdkl95 writes "I have been using some small, simple desktop label printers for quite a while now. Unfortunately, it's rapidly becoming clear that my printing needs are for something far more 'industrial strength.' Several of the label printers have failed, and they never really had the management features I wanted. So, does anybody have recommendations on label printers, that can hold up to a quite heavy load? The catch is that I'm printing to them from CUPS under Linux, and it seems like specialty-printers are a windows-centric field."

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