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Can Microsoft Really Convince People To Subscribe To Software?

DaveWick79 Re:why subscribe again? (297 comments)

I have to agree with you on the progression in Office - the feature set has been there since probably Office 97 for most of the apps, but 2003 for Outlook. While Office 2007 is a huge progression in UI (argument over backwards vs. forwards aside) it does not add much of anything functionally for me, with the exception perhaps being the mouse over menu popup and the context sensitive toolbars, which are significant as far as usability goes but don't necessarily add additional function.

However, I think you've got your head in the sand if you don't think Windows has progressed since XP SP1. The stability, security, and usability of the Windows platform especially with Windows 7 is far and away better than Windows XP, and with the shift to mobile in Windows 8, new opportunities abound for real business world application development that can translate to a mobile platform.

I don't think the rental model is going to work very well for Microsoft until the prices line up better with real world usage. Buyers are too cost concious these days to go for a pricing model that costs twice as much over the typical 3 years between office releases.

about 2 years ago

PC Sales Are Flat-Lining

DaveWick79 Re:Ultrabooks suck (485 comments)


11.6" LCD, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD. Better battery life than the Macbook Air. Weighs 2.25 lbs.

And it's under $1000. Probably the only drawback vs. Apple is poorer graphics performance, which is only a factor for gaming.

If you really want cutting edge, the UX21A has a higher res 1920x1080 LCD and a touchscreen option. And matches the macbook's backlit keyboard.

There are other options, but ASUS probably has the best right now.

more than 2 years ago

PC Sales Are Flat-Lining

DaveWick79 Re:Ultrabooks suck (485 comments)

For one, Intel's ultrabook as mentioned in the synopsis, is just being released this quarter, so that has no bearing on sales.

I can put together an Intel 14" ultrabook for $900 with twice the RAM and nearly identical size, weight, speed, warranty, SSD, as a macbook air that sells for $1200.

Lenovo, ASUS and others all have sub $1000 13.3" notebooks that compare favorably to macbook.
The macbook does probably look the best and has the sharper screen.

I suggest you check around and see what has been released in the past year before making the judgment that there are no comparisons to Apple, in some cases you may find a better product for less money.

more than 2 years ago

Jawless Creature Had the World's Sharpest Teeth

DaveWick79 Re:Dentist insight... (53 comments)

Because you can tell from a fossil how long they were around. And you can tell that an animal looks like an eel by a set of fossilized teeth.

I don't care how great of a scientist you are, you can't predict what an animal looked like from a set of teeth. Imagine the wild designs they would come up with for humans if all they had to go on was a tooth.

more than 2 years ago

DynDNS Cuts Back Free DNS Options

DaveWick79 Re:Doesn't matter (223 comments)

It's not like updating via a router is the only choice. If you are hosting something on that IP you are going to have at least one box that can run a software client to update.

Also the vast majority of non-commercial users don't need multiple sites on one account - and they don't need a huge selection of dozens of host domains. DynDns is simplifying their free service without affecting the needs of 99.9% of new users. And if you need more sites it is not that hard to setup a free email account to link it to.

So the bottom line is, this is a non-story.

more than 2 years ago

Is the Earth Special?

DaveWick79 Re:But... (745 comments)

The problem with the math is that, while it is probable that given the sample size, a trial and error such as life could occur on one or several planetary objects; the probability that this chance happens over and over and over in the same place to create even a simple life form becomes less and less probable with each generation.

I would have problem from a mathematical perspective agreeing that something like DNA evolved. When you mix in something like just the right size asteroid hitting earth, producing a moon, that in turn paved the way for various life forms to evolve, the probability becomes so slim that it is beyond our comprehension. I find it ironic that in one of the parent posts leading to this thread, the poster refers to humans as somehow believing they are intelligent. Yet we have not found a better explanation of our occurance other than a train of events that is mathematically impossible.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Is Your Data Safe In the Cloud?

DaveWick79 Re:No. (332 comments)

And frankly, if your employer allows you to create your own data partitions on your hard drive, and doesn't require you to sync or store data on a file server, then they deserve to lose their data.

more than 2 years ago

Google+ Loses 60% of Active Users

DaveWick79 G+ is not Gmail (519 comments)

Google foolishly tried to ramp up demand for G+ the same way they did with Gmail. The problem is gmail is standalone and communicates with any email user in the universe. Gmail had/has featureset that goes above and beyond any comparable solution out there, thus the demand was pushed by the limited initial availability (same technique Apple uses to push demand, just look at iPhone 4s and the limited initial production that allows them to flout "sold out in 48hrs" type of headlines) and continued to be pushed after public introduction because it was a superior product.

G+ has no such interoperability and the demand bubble burst before it even went public. Anyone who got an "invite" logged on, saw the interface, and there was nothing to do that you couldn't do as well or better on existing services.

more than 2 years ago

Teacher Cannot Be Sued For Denying Creationism

DaveWick79 Re:Was he really criticizing religion per se? (775 comments)

The reality is that there is a double standard here in the US, in that if a teacher speaks something positive about religion in a public school, specifically about christianity, he/she will be reprimanded, nutjob atheists will sue to get them fired, and everyone starts self-righteously proclaiming their viewpoint of so-called "separation of church and state".
But if someone speaks out against a religion, rarely is it ever mentioned.

If you are going to uphold the practice of censoring those who share their religious beliefs, you should also uphold the practice of censoring those who share anti-religious beliefs.

about 3 years ago

Amazon Drops California Associates to Avoid Sales Tax

DaveWick79 Re:Why are Libs so enamored with taxes? (623 comments)

It has nothing to do with Amazon bluffing. They are still going to sell to CA residents, they just aren't going to do it via affiliates. The small amount of income that Amazon gets solely as a result of having affiliates send a customer their way is outweighed by the immense amount of paperwork that would be required for them to have to track sales tax numbers for every affiliate and be responsible to make payments for each one to the state.

IL has passed the same law and Amazon likewise pulled their IL affiliates. The end result is less cash flow into the state, which means less spending by the residents, and thus less sales tax income for the state. It's legislative stupidity, but that's what the democrats in charge want I guess.

more than 3 years ago

Windows Phones Getting Buried At Carriers' Stores

DaveWick79 It's really just poor marketing on MS' part (412 comments)

The biggest issue is that the advertisments for WP7 are stressing functionality and operability, when the majority of consumers just want "cool". If they advertised this based on the cool apps and games like Apple and Google are, and oh by the way it runs your important stuff too, then they may have some people walking into stores asking for it.

more than 3 years ago

New Dinosaur Species Is a Missing Link

DaveWick79 Re:Missing Links (194 comments)

To be subjective, was the fossil dated based on its features attributing it to be a transitional fossil between the Eoraptor and Tawa?
Or was it placed in that gap because it was dated such first?

It's an important distinction, as if the three species overlapped in date (two were alive at the same time) or this new find is newer than the species it was supposed to transition to, its status as a "missing link" or even a transitional fossil is false. There's not much information out yet about this but my guess is that it is placed in a gap due more to convenience than any proven time period. This is why these missing link discoveries are so ridiculed by creationists, and until this unscientific procedure of placing fossils in the timeline is improved, it is deservedly so.

more than 3 years ago

Bashing MS 'Like Kicking a Puppy,' Says Jim Zemlin

DaveWick79 Re:The will to be free (648 comments)

My experience with the technically illiterate is primarily with my wife, who didn't use a computer at all before we got married. She tolerates Windows, and hated Ubuntu linux mostly due to her inability to figure out how to do basic tasks. At least with Windows she has mostly been able to figure out how to get around and find apps she wants to use.
My argument therefore is that the technically illiterate will find linux more difficult to use unless they limit themselves to very basic task such as web browsing and email. Even with these tasks my wife found the available email clients for linux to be less than easy to work with, especially the contact management. The browser provided her with difficulties installing flash and viewing PDF files. She was frustrated by not being able to use software given to her by her friends for greeting card creation and was unable to find a good program for this on linux.
The technically literate will have a much better experience with linux on the desktop as they will have a acumen to find software and troubleshoot when needed.
Unfortunately, linux is far from passing Windows on the desktop. Maybe someday, but for now the bulk of the development seems to be geared towards the mobile market and will likely not ever compete seriously for the desktop market for the forseeable future.

more than 3 years ago

NASA Wants Revolutionary Radiation Shielding Tech

DaveWick79 Taking advantage of the situation (160 comments)

Frankly I just think NASA is taking advantage of the situation in Japan to beg for funding. Since they have been defunded so much in recent years, this is their window of opportunity to get Congress thinking about them again and sending a few more billion bucks their way.

more than 3 years ago

PC Era Forecasted To End In 18 Months

DaveWick79 One could argue the smartphone IS a PC. (449 comments)

If someone is seriously replacing a desktop or laptop PC with a smartphone, then it becomes their PC. The reality is, people will always buy more smartphones than PC's because 1) you don't accidently drop your desktop in a puddle and have to replace it, 2) Many families share a PC or two but each family member has a phone, and 3) the cost of the smartphone (subsidized, true) is less than a PC.

Sure, I would expect smartphone, tablets, and the ubiquitous "Other app enabled devices" to outsell PC's. The headline makes it sound as if as soon as smartphones outsell PC's by one unit, noone will ever buy a PC again, which is utterly thoughtless.

more than 3 years ago

Antivirus Firms Short-Changing Customers

DaveWick79 Not in my experience (205 comments)

As a reseller of AVG, I have never experienced an upgrade license behaving in this manner.

If the end-user is unintelligent enough to purchase a brand new license direct with AVG, of course they will get a brand new license that starts on the date they purchase it.

However, if they renew an existing license, the license always renews from the existing expiration date, AND they often tack on a few extra days or weeks to the license. Even if they are renewing and also upgrading to a different version (say, Antivirus to Internet Security), the license is upgraded, they are charged the prorated upgrade price based on time left on the existing subscription, and then the renewal year(s) are added.

So if you are getting short changed, it's your own fault, not the vendor.

more than 3 years ago

US Deploys 'Heat-Ray' In Afghanistan

DaveWick79 Re:Very troubling (406 comments)

Which is why the weapon should be very effective against insurgent activity. Rather than become a martyr, you give the Taliban a major hot flash. Sounds great!

more than 4 years ago

US Deploys 'Heat-Ray' In Afghanistan

DaveWick79 Re:Very troubling (406 comments)

As opposed to bullets, which have been known to cause death. Seems fair enough. Cataracts vs. death?

more than 4 years ago

FSF Attacks Windows 7's "Sins" In New Campaign

DaveWick79 Re:These people are delusional. (926 comments)

"What they were really talking about is constantly f*sking with their file formats so that when a user with a new system sends a document to a user with an old system the recipient can't open it... even if the document does not use any of the new 'features' of the updated software... and they then suffer the social shame of *still* being on last year's s/w? There is no reason for it other than to trap people into upgrade cycles that are spurious."

So rather than improve upon an old format, things should stay the way they were back in 1995 so that someone using Office 95 can still open all documents with no conversion necessary.
MS has practically bent over backwards to allow older versions of Office to open newer formats. They have always done this. As far as Windows 7 goes, the hardware requirements have actually decreased. MS may be a bully, but they aren't stupid - they know people aren't going to buy something that runs slow and requires an expensive computer, especially on the tails of Vista.
I can't stand when somebody like the FSF prefers to stifle innovation rather than make a change that might affect a micro-percentage of users negatively. They decry the messing with ODF, but since ODF in it's current state is relative crap, why shouldn't somebody have the balls to improve upon it?

about 5 years ago

Report That OS X Snow Leopard May Include Antivirus

DaveWick79 Hello, Antitrust anyone? (335 comments)

If this rumor is true, and regardless of what scanning engine they decide to use, isn't Apple toying dangerously close to MS's already trodden antitrust territory? You know if MS included AV as part of an operating installation, the whole tech world would be in an uproar.
IMO Apple would be stupid to do this even though they do fly under the radar. Give it away as a free download but for goodness sake don't repeat Microsoft's sins.

about 5 years ago



Move the Train with your Brain

DaveWick79 DaveWick79 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DaveWick79 (939388) writes "From the article: "Forget the clicker: A new technology in Japan could let you control electronic devices without lifting a finger simply by reading brain activity.

The "brain-machine interface" developed by Hitachi Inc. analyzes slight changes in the brain's blood flow and translates brain motion into electric signals.

A cap connects by optical fibers to a mapping device, which links, in turn, to a toy train set via a control computer and motor during one recent demonstration at Hitachi's Advanced Research Laboratory in Hatoyama, just outside Tokyo."

Might this technology be adaptable in the near future to operation of PC's or other technology? Obviously, they've got to cut down on the size of that headgear."

Link to Original Source

DaveWick79 DaveWick79 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DaveWick79 (939388) writes "The "Instantmoto" is being installed at 20 malls and airports nationwide and will carry about 30 products including 12 phones and 18 accessories. Included is the popular Razr and you can choose whether or not to purchase with a service plan. Instead of being dropped into a tray, apparently a robotic arm will "gently deliver" the product to consumers.

The only question now is, will we be able to pay for these items using our cell phones?"


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