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Comment Not (Score 2) 69

I work in an environment where super paranoid measures are imposed to avoid issues. Every piece of software is isolated on a network with a sniffer that will check the nature and content of any data going out or in, while the software is taken through all of it's use cases. Some of these tests are time consuming because the tested software is complex and involves running very many use cases. Compared to some of these, a phone is in fact very simplistic. In many cases we test closed-source appliances but I can guarantee we do know everything the device transmits. No need for code or much reverse engineering. In conclusion, if someone wanted to prove they are doing something mischievous one could have done it without any source code. Microsoft just showed good will here.
It's funny how people react to news about Microsoft and their technology. Take UAC for example. Everyone started complaining that they have to click an OK button every time they performed a task that involved the system. The same people thought that writing your password in Linux every time you perform an administrative task was an excellent idea. I sense a contradiction here. (For the record, I think requesting specific permissions on administrative tasks is a must so I will be happy to have that feature in any OS).

Comment Re:Kinect. (Score 1) 296

Did I anywhere suggest that "cool" was trivial to achieve? No. I was merely pointing out that the Apple products sell more on the "coolness" than on the "usefulness". There are other products that sell on "cool". For example Nike products do have (or at least had at some point) that label attached to them. No, it's not trivial to achieve. It requires aesthetics and moreover, a well put together and expensive marketing campaign. There are examples of failures in the world of marketing. Subaru had a marketing campaign ran by the same advertiser that made Nike big with this exact principle: coolness. But the approach failed miserably for Subaru. The management team there, was not ready for it simply because it presented a lot of risk.

Not all manufacturers target the same market segments and not all of them have the same strategies. Mind you, I never suggested Apple is not one of the best examples of successful marketing. That still does not imply their products are useful, or, more useful than others. Yes, there are manufacturers that try to stay away from the "cool" driven marketing because it's a risky one. Apple's success with it is an impressively long one. Others simply don't realize it's potential, and that shows Apple does have marketing vision.

Finally no. I was not simply labeling Apple products as "cool". Apple did, with intensive marketing campaigns. I was merely noticing that label.
Your Boeing 747 example is out of place here.

Comment Re:Bought my first Mac (Score 1) 296

Yeah, Linux runs great on my MacBook Pro hardware as well. So I guess, here I am in the third category crippling the market share counts. Bought a Mac, wiped out the OS - because I don't like someone else deciding for me that I should use a dock - and installed Linux. After that, I bought a desktop computer, wiped out Windows - because I don't like someone else telling me what OS and what bloated applications I should get on my computer (I have my own favorite stock of bloat-ware) - and installed Linux. Finally, somewhere in the house there's a laptop with Windows 7 on it, along with yet another Linux next to it. So yeah, out of 2 windows boxes and a mac (all of them PC's by the way) count me in for 0 Mac OS X installs and 0.5 Windows installs.

Comment Re:Kinect. (Score 1) 296

The iPod was and remains a great device but it's usefulness is going to be short lived

I have to correct you here. iPod's have never been useful and never ever sold for that reason. At any point in the iPod history I could buy devices that were half the price, had expandable storage, had voice recording directly to mp3 and always an FM radio. In addition, they functioned on a common AAA battery that brought the advantage of not having to replace the product when the battery ran out. (which happened after 1 year on the single iPod I ever owned.)

iPod's (as well as all other Apple products) always sold because they were and still are marketed as cool. That also explains why Apple products had and still have so little traction in the business markets. Don't bring the iPhone as an argument. I don't know of too many businesses that equip their employees with iPhones. Maybe the executives, but those are a small group. Most employees whom get a company phone still get something waaaay cheaper than an iPhone.

Don't mean to bash Apple, but no, their products are not any better or more useful than others simply because Steve Jobs says so in a keynote (bye bye reality distortion field). Take the iPad. Deemed the revolutionary device between the laptop and the phone it's exactly that. Simply, because in terms of usefulness the only use left in between a smart phone and a laptop is an overpriced toy and news reader. Cool nonetheless. So yes, the question is out there. What happens when the "cool" factor gives in? Microsoft has by now a very solid and pretty constant consumer base for many of their products. Apple has a consumer base made of people inclined to always use whatever's cool and fashionable for the season and there's very little loyalty in there. Just like w0mprat said, I'm not sure what relevance is to be found in those numbers.

Comment Re:Yep... (Score 1) 296

just that it was fairly unusual

That may be the case for very small shops. For big shops, their gonna' buy bare even if planning to install Windows onto them simply because big shops tend to avoid OEM installs and just drop their self made images on. Also, big shops typically buy the licenses through various volume license programs because they get savings that way. It's really impossible to say what get's Linux and what gets Windows in the end. Many machines in my server rooms have jumped over from Windows to Linux after a while.

With certainty I see more and more Linux boxes in data centers. Particularly since the recession hit and FOSS has gained a whole lot of interest ranging from small to big businesses. At some point I thought this recession was going to be a boost for FOSS but I guess the communities missed the opportunity.

Still, that does not tell anything. My server room has shifted from predominantly Windows to predominantly Linux in the last 2 years. But that's obviously not a measure. Nothing really is because Linux doesn't sell much so in many cases you cannot speak of a market share to measure. On the desktops, you can get a very off count by looking at browsers hitting a certain site but that's limited to the users of the site and to those users that do not configure their browser not to report such data. Servers, and particularly Linux servers have very little to do with web browsing (as it should normally happen in a secure environment).

All these market share analysis are nothing but waste of time. They're never accurate and can never be verified. Each company will have someone create a favorable report for them. If you really want to know how well a company is doing at the moment look at their stock, earnings and financial reports. This is exactly what the story is about. Apple seems to have surpassed Microsoft in value. That's still not much of an indicator as to which company provides better quality products. It may indicate which company has a better marketing strategy at the moment.

Comment Re:"Freemium"? (Score 1) 94

and I believe that time can come again!

...possible! I did hear talk about a second coming. No, wait, that was about something else I think.

The most important thing in schools nowadays seems to be saluting the flag and singing a national anthem.

While I guess a comeback in education quality is possible (at least in theory), my advice is, don't hold your breath.

Comment Flash on anything... (Score 1) 436

fails to impress. It's a closed format, with no real development alternatives besides Adobe tools. I'd say let's drop the thing and move on. When silverlight came out I was disappointed because it offered nothing better. But HTML 5 may be just the bullet to finally kill it. I wonder why it was even allowed onto Android. Apple took a good decision (even if for ulterior motives) to keep it off. All I have to say to Flash is: Good Riddance.

Comment RISM (Score 1) 329

Research In (Slow) Motion is dramatically loosing market because their technology is getting old and obsolete. Can't believe you still need an "enterprise server" to get connected to MS Exchange these days. Well, it's out of my company simply because it's easier and cheaper to just get Android devices and not host a server for that purpose. The server was also kinda' buggy. Under the circumstances it's understandable why they need to make such compromises to get into some new markets. Crazy enough governments may just ban any other device from their countries if BBs allow them to eavesdrop on their citizens.

Comment Journalism vs. the completeness of 100% (Score 1) 174

According to the survey (PDF), 84% of tablet owners play games, ahead of even searching for information (78%), emailing (74%) and

So, if I get this right, 236% of table owners play games, search and e-mail... Also 150% of my salary goes to charity. The portion above 100%. I think it's high time journalists understood that in a statistical distribution of this kind it's imperative to total 100% to make the story even remotely credible or realistic. No matter how I turn this it can't make sense.

Having that said, if the article was trying to point out that tablets are primarily used to: play games, web search, e-mail and news, social networking, consume media and read, all I can say is: Yes, we knew that, those are the primarily intended uses of tablets. This is a perfect example of an "I ran out of news" article. Just state the obvious and trow some hokum statistical numbers over it. I tend to suspect this is coming from the new and flourishing field of bellyology (scientific argument originating in the belly) which can easily provide strong arguments in any field.

In either case, I won't expect journalists to have an understanding that the 136% of the people counted in just the first three categories don't exist.

Comment Re:How To Tweak GNOME 3 (Score 2) 353

I couldn't agree more. I stayed away from Windows and from Mac OS X as much as I could simply because I do want to have the option of customizing my work environment to fit my needs. Both Gnome 3 and Ubuntu Unity are now moving to the Mac OS X model with little to configure left to the user. On top of everything I found that both Gnome 3 shell and Ubuntu Unity feel utterly inappropriate for coding and system administration purposes. The overall feeling is that my laptop has been transformed from a useful tool into a consumer device.

Having said that, it's time for me to part ways with Gnome after about 6-7 years and to move to something else. Not very decided what it's going to be. I'm looking for something fast, light, without acceleration requirements. KDE doesn't seem to fit the bill as it seems to be fairly crowded so I have XFCE and LXDE to look at. Any suggestions?

Comment Hokum? (Score 2) 143

This story is speculative at best. The article itself reads:

There is no direct evidence that Foy's wife was infected through sexual contact, but the circumstantial evidence is strong.

Would it be possible that the virus got transmitted by direct contact of open wounds on the two? (Like scratches, sores, etc....). I would not exclude the possibility

I work in life sciences and I know for a fact that in order to have scientific proof for something like this you would need to have it confirmed in a quite large number of subjects. A single suspected instance of the transmission is far from being a scientific discovery .

I have to agree though, it makes for a good, attractive title. Coming up next on "Sex uncovers wormhole! A scientist finds that after having had sex for 10 hours he traveled backwards in time to find himself at only four minutes after having started....". Stay Tuned.

Comment The answer is No. (Score 2) 257

I am a programmer and I program in C# sometimes. C# like Java, VB, etc. was established with the idea of high level quick programming. A programming language that allows anyone to program. The problem with it is, that, anyone programs in it. I won't go to say that you can't program hard core staff with it...just most of its programmers don't.

Mono, is a framework and not a programming language. And it does incorporate the basic stuff of the .Net framework. Having that said it's not a bad framework and brings the ability to develop cross-platform in C#. However, the fact that it only includes the basics disables that "rapid programming" paradigm which exists around C# + .Net in quite a large part.

Programming cross-platform has never been and never will be trivial. Java offers that capability at a high performance cost (still). Also, looking at many OSS developments in Java I tend to think that it brews bad habit. Again, that might not be Java, it may be simply poor programmers and poor architects.

If searching for that "one language to rule them all, one framework to rule them all" grail, have a look at C/C++ and the standard libraries. But don't look at that as being the fastest development path. It's simply the smallest common denominator and that poses some challenges. Programming cross-platform is definitely not an easy task and not for everyone.

Food for thought: Not all software has to be cross-platform.

Comment No guaranteed answer (Score 1) 898

There's no guaranteed answer to your issue(s). Based on what I understand you are asking for a machine that:
A. Will be capable to support web surfing and document editing.
B. You will not need to be replaced a few years.

Issue A has a very simple answer. Any. Pretty much any laptop or netbook out there has sufficient power. That will last for as many years as you keep using the same software. Experience tells me that users whom are not comfortable switching from Windows with Mac are quite happy with the same software until they are forced to upgrade so this should not be an issue.
Issue B has a more tricky answer. Picking a brand does not mean a whole lot nowadays. I work in an IT department and most employees use laptops. I have seen all the major brands, including Lenovo, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Sony, Apple, etc., having hardware failures at fairly random times and with fairly random components. Yes, that's right, I have seen MacBooks that failed in their second year. At the same time, with each of these brands, I've had very good experiences too. I can think of a few examples in each that have lasted for more than 5 years. I actually still have a few laptops running Windows XP and still being used. I won't suggest any brand because it seems to be a bit of a lottery with any of them.

In conclusion, as many have already suggested here, if installing Windows on that MacBook is not an option or you're not interested in that saving, pick a brand and model based on what you need. If you like the capabilities of the MacBook Pro, try finding something with similar hardware specs. You won't find many that have a reasonable multi-gesture touch-pad or illuminated keyboard but you can find roughly the same hardware in terms of graphics, cpu, memory and hard drive. Good luck.

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