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What To Expect With Windows 9

Andreas Mayer Re:Is it me? Or is it you? (535 comments)

I can't figure out if I'm just too old and grumpy or if operating systems are just desperately uninspired.

It's probably a mix of both.

Of course operating systems have matured. Today they do practically everything we can think about. There are no obvious features left to add. So development, especially from an end user's perspective, seems slow.

On the other hand, I don't agree that there is no development like you seem to imply. I'm using OS X, so that's the only OS I can really talk about. Some of the things we got the last few years:
- Spotlight.
A fast global search can really change some workflows. Gone are the days when I had to trawl through nested folders to find that file from a week ago. Now I can search for name or content or even the date I did use it last.
- Time Machine
Switching machines? Just restore from the last Time Machine backup and everything is like it was before.
That new version of application X sucks? Accidentally clobbered some file? No worries. Restore from Time Machine backup.
- iCloud Sync
OK, so not everyone wants that. But it is nice if data is kept in sync between devices automatically.

Of course there is much more, many of it not directly visible. (There's a reason MacBooks have great battery live. And it's not just better hardware.)

So, I agree with you up to a point. OS development is not as exciting as it used to be. But it didn't stop either. Interesting things still happen.

2 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

Andreas Mayer Re:I fixed windows on my system (535 comments)

I fixed windows on my system, I forked out $$ and installed Directory Opus. Now I'm happy with Windows, much more so than with Mac.

I never understood the focus on file managers. Is moving files around really such a big part of your computer use?

2 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

Andreas Mayer Re:how long can I keep my Win7? (535 comments)

I don't get it, why do some people do that? I can somewhat understand about getting a new car that has various gadgets to impress the chicks. But a computer?

I think for those people the computer is not a tool, something to get something done (be it work or games). For them it is more of a toy to tinker with, like a model train. I mean, how many people tinker with their vacuum cleaner, change components of their power drill or build a custom case for their TV? Yet, some people do all these things with their computers. They are not tools; not means to an end. For those people the computer itself is what holds their interest.

2 days ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:define "customer" (290 comments)

from what i understand of the definition of "customer", a "customer" means "someone who is paying for a service".

The law isn't even talking about customers. The term is "Verbraucher" which is better translated as consumer.

The judge explicitly stated that the law in question does apply to non-paying users.

about a week ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:We need more like this (290 comments)

The users have not in fact brought any custom to google. They're receiving a free good or service and should not be entitled to anything.

German law disagrees.

about a week ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:Google should win this if they went to court... (290 comments)

No! Communication *can* be two or one way. It is two way in this case.

The judge ruled that Googles automated reply does not count as communication in this case.

Feel free to argue with him.

about a week ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:What is a customer? (290 comments)

Alternatively since that fine is so small in Google terms, if it's a one-off, maybe they should just pay it and carry on. I wonder how long it would take for further action to result if they did that.

Err... it is €250,000 per case. That is, every single automated reply could cost them €250,000.

Also it says "alternatively 6 month of jail time for a member of the board". The next ruling might skip the fine ...

about a week ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:What is a customer? (290 comments)

Answers derived from the actual ruling. (Translate yourself if you don't believe me. :P)

Is a web site visitor a customer?

If they used some Google service, then yes.

Or does some form of payment for services need to be made?

No.

What about android users, does having an android device make someone a customer or would google need to sell the OS for that to count?

If it's only about the OS, I think the seller would be the only one the user has a business relationship with. But since almost any Android device includes Google services - yes, I think practically every Android user is a customer of Google in the legal sense.

It sounds like the Judge ruled that any person who uses a google service is a customer even if that service is free.

Yes.

It seems like that is a win for the consumer, but I have to wonder if that was the correct decision in this case. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to need to be a paying customer for a company to expend resources to adequately respond to your communications. Some questions can cause hours of follow up work to send a reply.

If Google decides to discontinue all Google services in Germany as a result, would that really be a "win" for the German consumer?

You are of course free to argue about the merit of the law. But the ruling is "correct" in the legal sense.

Personally, I think Google is making a shitload of money in Germany and they should be able to use some of that to talk to their customers. They would be unbelievably stupid to shut down operations here just to save the cost of paying a few people to actually respond to email.

about a week ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:Customers (290 comments)

The general public can't. But that's because they aren't customers, they are the content.

The ruling states that Google users are, indeed, customers of Google in the legal sense.

about a week ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:The End Result . . . (290 comments)

They'll just change their automated reply to "Thank you for your issue/concern. We'll look into it and get back to you if necessary."

That's actually possible.
But after this ruling I'd expect the consumer protection agency to follow up and check if anyone gets any response to their questions. If not, they'll sue Google again. And of course, in case this happens and the court decides that Google did not do what they were told, the next fine will be substantially higher.

I think it would be better - and in the end probably cheaper - for Google, to just hire some personnel who actually read and answer customer mail.

about a week ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:so does this mean.... (290 comments)

That the German Goverment should also respond to ALL emails,

No. There is no requirement that a company has to respond to all email. But it has to be possible to contact them via email. Responding with an automated mail, saying that email does not get read at all is not allowed.

Someone posted a link to the ruling above. You can read the exact reasoning there. I'm too lazy to translate it all. :P

about a week ago
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New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

Andreas Mayer Re:Why (251 comments)

Why hasn't Google given Microsoft the coup de grace and actively developed some desktop/laptop distro ala Chromebook but without the stupid "web only" focus?

Because that wouldn't help them. Google is all about ads. They developed Android only because they were afraid they would be locked out of the emerging mobile systems.

There is no sign that desktop operating systems try to get rid of the browser. The only way to sell more ads on the desktop is to make the browser the OS. Which is exactly what Chrome does.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

Andreas Mayer Re:Sandboxing (331 comments)

Where's the sense in whitelisting a few applications and then go "but you may run the others too"? Where's the sense in that?

That's exactly how it works in OS X today. And I think it's a very good solution.

about a month ago
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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Launches Nov. 13th

Andreas Mayer Re:That reminds me... (146 comments)

As others have said; Final Fantasy XIV.

No Mac client. No sale.

Guess I'll keep playing WoW.

about a month ago
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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Launches Nov. 13th

Andreas Mayer Re:That reminds me... (146 comments)

Won't run on my Mac.

about a month ago
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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Launches Nov. 13th

Andreas Mayer Re:MMO (146 comments)

No Mac version. So that's out.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Suspending "Patch Tuesday" Emails

Andreas Mayer Re:Great! (145 comments)

RSS is how I get my news.
You don't offer a RSS feed? I'm not going to regularly visit your site.

Fortunately, every site I've ever been interested in offers at least one feed.

about 3 months ago
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Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet

Andreas Mayer Re:Another misconception bites the dust (365 comments)

Except that Germany mostly uses brown coal in it's coal plants which pollutes the environment the most. It's the dirtiest form of energy production. Lot's of CO2 and Sulphur products.

Plants in Germany are filtered. I don't know of any problems with sulfur. In fact, sulfur in the air is a lot less than in the 1980s.
(According to Wikipedia, modern plants filter out 99.5% of ash and 90% of sulfur dioxide.)

Though you are correct in that they produce more CO2. (Wikipedia says typically 850–1200 g CO2 per kWh compared to 750–1100 g CO2 per kWh for black coal.)

Obviously we need to move away from fossil fuels. Hence wind and solar.

about 3 months ago
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Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Andreas Mayer Re:Important Caveat (560 comments)

Just doing a little digging into the details of the 5th Amendment in practice, and found this interesting tidbit:

The Court acknowledged that it is well established that a witness, in a single proceeding, may not testify voluntarily about a subject and then invoke the Privilege against Self-Incrimination when questioned about the details.

That could very well apply in this case, so that even if there is additional evidence in the files beyond what he has admitted to, the moment he started admitting to some of it, he effectively waived his self-incrimination right.

So ... what if he said that there's also information on the laptop that is not related to the case - i.e. about something which he didn't talk about - but which might be illegal?
Then giving up the encryption keys would be self-incriminating, no?

about 3 months ago

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