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Comment Re:acrobat reader dc, for those that want... (Score 1) 17

You do realize that you still run all the Adobe software on your local computer -- the only thing that makes it "the cloud" is that it includes a document management and file storage piece. Oh, and I think /some/ settings are shared across installs of the software.

When they switched to this model, they also changed it so you rent the software instead of purchase it. The advantage is that they push updates more frequently, but you are paying a monthly fee for it.

Comment Re:lolwut? (Score 1) 95

Sure. But the hard things are :
  - Ads, and tracking their placement, etc.
  - Encrypted Content (most content producers don't want their content streamed unencrypted -- and that causes issues for vanilla browser deployments)
  - Streaming (this becomes less trivial if you are looking to utilize existing infrastructure to stream to the browser).

And these are why HTML5 video is still slow to roll out. Once the HTML5 spec had a basic video player, everybody moved onto the next shiny object and left the rest so everybody had to come up with their own solution.

Comment Re:How is this different from any university? (Score 2) 326

A lot of it has to do with the states dropping their support of higher-ed. In Michigan, as recently as 2000, 80% of the major Universities' operating budget came from the state. In 2015, it was down to 15%. Costs to educate each student (budget / number of students) has been flat, without considering inflation. Funding sources from outside the state have gone up, but not enough to offset the difference. Consequently, tuition used to cost $135/credit hour for in state, and now it costs $375/credit hour.

Comment Re:How is this different from any university? (Score 1) 326

When I helped run our Boy Scout troop when I was much younger, I learned some things about the United Way. In order to become eligible to receive a donation, you have to sign your organization up to volunteer for the United Way. In our case, we had to help run one of their call centers for I think three or four weekends. THEN, after you become eligible, you then have to buy their merch -- things like United Way flags, shirts, etc to promote them. Finally, the donation will usually come at an awards dinner -- which a few people from your org have to attend (and pay for).

They gave us a check for $1,200 for a new trailer. Not counting volunteer time, the troop ended up paying about $1,000 in fees, merch and expenses to participate. Sure, next year it would have been better but to tie up 8 guys for 4 weekends for $200, there were much better ways to get donations or raise money (selling popcorn would usually net us about $8,000 and selling Christmas Trees would net us closer to $10,000).

Comment Re:these new companies trying to get around old la (Score 3, Informative) 257

In Michigan it's not easy to become a dealership (not a franchise -- they can't sell cars).

You first have to join the dealer trade association. Then you have to apply to become a franchise with the state. The Secretary of State decides your initial market area that you are allowed to cover. If you don't belong to the dealer trade association, you immediately are not given a territory, and most likely won't be approved by the State. In order to get your dealership license, you also have to have a setup for service, dollars spent, setup with the SOS for tab registration, etc. Essentially you have to dump a ton of money into the location right away -- in essence a huge barrier to entry for anybody starting up.

Comment Re:Biggest effect will be on nearby Best Buys (Score 1) 167

This actually started with Wallmart. When Wallmart started carrying electronics, they were demanding to be cheaper than their competitors. They used their strength as a retailer to force the vendors to make custom versions of their products to accomplish this. On printers, they would ship without ink, for computers they would have 30 or 60 day warranty instead of 1 or 2 years. For TVs, they may have had certain featured disabled (for example, DVI ports were there, but you couldn't tune to them).

MOST electronics stores carried the same SKU at the time, and Wallmart/Sams Club had their own. Then other retailers started demanding custom packages -- so they got their own SKUs too. It's not that bad, but you will typically see 3 or 4 different SKUs... a discount retailer (Wallmart), a big box retailer (BBY/Micro Center), and online retailer (Amazon) and sometimes a SKU for premium retailers.

Comment Re:What Employee Works Without Pay? (Score 1) 120

And I think that is the key. They were upfront about it, and allowed you to make an informed decision. The owners of this wrkriot company lied and deceived their employees about what was going on.

If there are rough waters ahead, be open and honest about it. Most people will understand and try and help out. In this case, they lied about what their situation was to most of the employees they brought on and continued lying when they ran out of runway and couldn't pay them anymore.

The crazy thing was they leveraged themselves so much, they had no way to control their spending. Private jet service? Hiring dozens of employees when you are on the edge of the cliff? Just speaks volumes of their willingness to live reality vs. living the dream.

Comment Re:everyone is moving to cloud, nobody needs hardw (Score 1) 239

People who build real big data centers are usually too smart to buy Cisco. For the last 10 years, people buy Cisco for the name, not for the product. Cisco does not perform as well, they cost more, and they are harder to use than products from their competitors. They also like to do things their own ways -- which makes compatibility issues a real deal when you try to work with other vendors.

Cisco's deal was to talk to the CEOs, sell them over a nice steak and not consider tech specs. For a SMB or medium sized business, that was easy to do. Large technology firms, like data centers, actually pay attention to what they are buying.

Comment Re:Dumb (Score 2) 145

The problem with your example of Amazon is that Amazon invests every penny they earn back into the business. Companies like Delta don't. So when there are bad times, Amazon will be much better poised to do well because they've diversified and built up their business to handle it. All it takes is a generator to malfunction and Delta could be out of business forever (yes, a bit of a stretch, but still).

Delta has a virtual monopoly for a large swath of the nation. You have no choice to fly delta in the midwest and large portions of the south. In recent history, they were never /that/ bad off. In the last market crash, they decided to burn their cash on buying NorthWest instead of modernizing their own systems or investing in their own infrastructure. In the last three years where they've been posting record profits they continued to do cost-cutting measures in all portions of their business, and move money out of the business by paying investors and the execs.

Comment Re:Report: Fire destroyed generators (Score 1) 239

From the reports I've been seeing, it wasn't the ATS that failed, but rather a generator that caught on fire -- and in order to extinguish the fire safely, they had to cut commercial power.

Freak accidents like that happen. But what also happens is that companies that big invest in redundant systems in geo-redundant locations. What happens if a tornado, sharknado or other natural disaster happens and takes out the physical servers? Does Delta just cancel flights for the next month while they rebuild?

Comment Re:Google (Score 3, Informative) 75

If you compare any of the APIs from Google, Microsoft and Amazon, you will clearly see why the different groups are in the place they are.

Google's API set is probably one of the crappiest I've ever seen. It's impossible to do anything with their service unless you use their pre-baked SDK. Sure, it's a REST api, but you can't authenticate against it, because they won't really tell you how -- only why you wouldn't want to do it. They have no docs on how to use their APIs with just CURL.

Microsoft's is better. Their APIs are a pain (mostly because they keep changing), but at least they are pretty well documented and done in a way that you can actually use if you want to. They offer a really rich set of features.... but they do keep changing them on the fly and don't really version stuff like you would expect.

Amazon knows how to API enable their stuff. Their own services and tools use their own published API to do things. They give lots of examples in a bunch of different languages. If you write against it, it will pretty much work forever unless you change your own setup.

Comment Re:What is the appeal of these things? (Score 1) 129

If you would have read what I said -- I didn't mention checking on SM on it... I don't do that either.

When I bought it, on sale, about 18 months ago, I spent $160 for it. I think brand new, no discounts, the Moto360's went for $250 for the base model, and if you wanted the steel band, they were $300.

I would spend $500 for it? No. It really is mostly a toy. People spend a lot more on less useful things that get less use and are out of date just as quick (like video cards, high-end cell phones, dirt bikes, etc.)

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