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Chinese CEO Says "Free" Is the Right Price For Mobile Software

HerculesMO Re:Let's get this out of the way... (133 comments)

Simple fact is that now, it costs less for an OEM to use Windows than it does Android.

The big allure of Android was how cheap it was compared to Windows, and it's why it took off so well. I don't know that it will last if Microsoft can give the entire thing away for free. But this is how they won the console wars during the era of the 360, by undercutting the cost and also developing the software at a greatly increased rate.

If Windows 10 is any indication, I think Microsoft is actually doing a good job for once in a long while.

about two weeks ago
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Chinese CEO Says "Free" Is the Right Price For Mobile Software

HerculesMO Re:Let's get this out of the way... (133 comments)

Of course not -- but access to the MS services (like their "store") is included. It is not with Android.

about two weeks ago
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Chinese CEO Says "Free" Is the Right Price For Mobile Software

HerculesMO Let's get this out of the way... (133 comments)

Android is really NOT free.

Plain vanilla (and useless) Android is free.

If you have the Google Play services including the Store and Music, then you are charged to use those.

In comparison and somewhat ironically, Windows is completely free for devices under 8", including all the services and store. And with new OEMs now pushing that as well (since they made it so Windows can run on exact same Android hardware), perhaps we will see some competition to Android on the OEM side. Or not. Either way, the point is that Android is not really free.

about two weeks ago
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Valve Rolls Out Game Broadcasting Service For Steam

HerculesMO I guess it shows that Valve as a company .... (92 comments)

Has fundamentally changed.

Once upon a time they were a great game developer who made exceptional games with a great story, and tied in well with the community to really expand that.

With Steam being the 800lb gorilla in terms of online distribution, now getting a lot of competition from others ala Origin, UPlay, GMG, etc, they have doubled down and basically made Steam the most important piece of software in their portfolio. Sorry folks, don't think we will see Half Life 3 any time soon.

Their business model has changed as well. They went from selling copies of games to becoming a distribution network and "item shop" with the skins they sell in games like CSGO/DOTA. CSGO has not received any real changes despite the game being in dire need of them (browse HLTV or Reddit for any evidence), at the development level. Valve employees are allowed to choose which products to work on, and since DOTA is a cash cow the most effort is spent on that, and on Steam itself.

Don't get me wrong -- I really love Steam. I'm the proud owner of 300+ games which I mostly don't play :) However the idea that Steam is an amazing platform is just ridiculous. It has poor support for most everything, it's poorly designed, the social features are atrocious, etc etc. But it provides a stable base for a delivery platform, and that has been its strength, and also the reason Valve has succeeded. I am glad that Steam look at Twitch as a competitor, but making it so that their streaming is only accessible through the Steam client is well -- a terrible decision. The social features that exist within Steam are subpar at best, so the benefit of the integration is lost on me. Twitch offers a lot more, and with the API they have there are a lot of neat tools that people have already made to take advantage of it in a larger way.

Honestly, I hope Steam's streaming platform falls flat on its face; perhaps it will enlighten them that competition is going to be there, and they should get back to the things that make them great -- making great games, staying engaged with the community (which has fallen off considerably in the last few years), and developing Steam to be a much more premiere community rather than a game library.

about two weeks ago
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Worrying Aspects of Linux Gaming

HerculesMO What is the point, really? (265 comments)

I've been on Slashdot for a long time and always heard that this is the year of Linux on the desktop. It's not this year, or next, and it never will be.

Frankly, I am happy to run Linux to power servers or even for development work. It excels in those areas. However, the sad reality for our resident Windows haters is that well... Windows isn't that bad any more. It doesn't crash. Yeah, Windows 8 is a mess on the UI side but on the performance side, it's exceptional. It can run as a server quite well. IIS is a pretty good web server. SQL Server is also pretty good. And Visual Studio is still arguably the best IDE (though I can't speak from personal experience on this).

So what is the benefit of Linux gaming? Well, none, really. The real benefit is to instigate a bunch of Linux lovers to bring love to SteamOS and as a result, Valve, so that Microsoft never gets off the ground their 'app store'. Because that's the true reason of the discontent by Valve, isn't it? It's not that Windows is "so bad" any more, it's that Valve, which is basically a monopoly, is in threat of having that monopoly broken by Microsoft (kind of ironic if you think about it).

And that's the reality. If you like Linux, that's great. But you can't use the argument of Windows being that bad any more, which is WHY you like Linux. It's simply not true. I'm more of the opinion that the requirement you have should dictate the use of the right tool. And this is a case of forcing the wrong tool (Linux) to match requirements of playing games that seems backwards. But not being a Windows lover or hater, or Linux lover or hater, I suppose I'm in a unique camp that way.

about a month ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

HerculesMO The problem of tech journalism.. (277 comments)

Is that it's well... rudimentary and crude.

Standard journalism often has to reflect on the articles they have written in the past in order to look at their viewpoints and editorial on subjects in the past, explain how those might have changed, and then reflect that in the new editorial they are writing.

Perhaps it's not just tech journalism. It's probably just ALL journalistic standards that have basically gone down in the era of FOX news and infotainment, that we don't pretend to want that intellectual honesty that perhaps once was there. The press is complicit in most things for access -- it's true of Apple's press events (and how Walt Mossberg fawns over anything Apple does), as much as it is true of traditional press fawning over the sitting President in the hopes of better access.

The Verge isn't at fault because they are Apple fanboys; we are at fault for not looking at them with a harsher eye. As Bill Clinton said, people are now more accepting than ever, unless they have a viewpoint they disagree with. And everybody LOVES Apple. It's just not cool not to (apparently).

Of course I'm a weird guy with a Windows phone because I wanted a better camera (at the time), so what the hell do I know...

about 3 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

HerculesMO Finally a chance to share my nerdiness! (287 comments)

So in my basement I have a 36U HP server rack that I got off of Craigslist for around $200. It is 350 lbs and getting it home was a huge challenge; the person who buys my home will inherit this rack; I think next time I do this I'll get a freestanding rack that's a lot cheaper and easier to set up.

Anyway that aside... I have a TP-LINK VPN router that intakes my cable modem connection (100/50 -- Optimum is great!). That plugs into a Dell 48 Port switch on a single VLAN (no need for multiples). I have an i5 server with SSD and 2x2TB drives in mirror that acts as my HTPC and Media Center (the Microsoft one). Attached to that is a Ceton card that records all my TV, and distributes that to two XBoxes in my family room and bedroom (so I can watch live TV and DVR). That setup is amazing. Additionally I have Media Browser (http://www.mediabrowser.tv) running to 3 Roku boxes in the family room, bedroom, and living room.

Every bedroom in my house gets two ethernet jacks. The kitchen and family room also have two. I also run Unifi POE Access Points on each floor of my house (they are great) to do my wireless; I don't have a wireless router.

That's about it... it's a great setup that saves me a lot of money on my cable bill (no boxes), provides a lot of flexibility for content I watch and stream, and it's all backed up to a cloud backup, Crashplan.

about 3 months ago
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VMware Unveils Workplace Suite and NVIDIA Partnership For Chromebooks

HerculesMO Re:And like most VMWare things.... (60 comments)

Just as it pertains to cloud, really. Their offerings are pretty terrible and far behind others in the space. If you're still in a datacenter with physical equipment, it's still a great player.

about 4 months ago
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VMware Unveils Workplace Suite and NVIDIA Partnership For Chromebooks

HerculesMO And like most VMWare things.... (60 comments)

Is heavily marketed and works like absolute dog shit.

Yes, they have a great hypervisor. The rest of their products? Total, and utter shit. They can't compete on so many fronts they are running to provide anything with "Cloud" in it so people buy it. vCloud Automation Center. AirWatch. CloudVolumes. Horizon.

It's going to be interesting to watch a company who sat on its laurels while the cloud rush started and now is running to try to catch up.

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft FY2014 Q4 Earnings: Revenues Up, Profits Down Slightly

HerculesMO Re:This must be confusing to y'all (66 comments)

If you are tracking a company's performance by its stock price it's kind of laughable; share holders are a mentally unstable bunch, and unless you sacrifice your company for short term profits they really don't get excited. There is no long term outlook for companies any more, and MS' long term strategy I think, is getting stronger. The cutting of the 18k employees is just showing they are narrowing their focus and really concentrating on the areas they think will be big; cloud, and mobile.

And as somebody in the cloud space myself (for work), I look at Azure with great interest because of their investment into it. We are a huge Microsoft customer already, and we can leverage that size and contract for our benefit with Azure and licensing; Amazon can't beat them on that, and if I get the enterprise tools I want... it's a no brainer. AWS has a lot of features, but the vast majority of them aren't useful at this point for our needs... we need pure infrastructure, autoscaling, and database services -- all of which are available through Azure, and all of which are available for a lower cost.

about 5 months ago
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College Offers Athletic Scholarships To Gamers

HerculesMO This is NOT a scholarship... (102 comments)

This is a marketing gimmick.

Scholarship money is heavily designed to give the student the idea of a "price break" when making a choice in school. Now this school is adding a bullshit scholarship to play video games to lure a lot of students there with the idea that "Oh, I can play video games and get paid!"

No, you're not getting paid for it. You are getting a coupon for the university so they get your business, rather than you choosing another university that might be a better fit, or cheaper for you.

about 6 months ago
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Valve's Steam Machines Delayed, Won't Be Coming In 2014

HerculesMO It will be a failure. (134 comments)

Who wants last-gen games for a Linux console that nobody is really supporting?

Valve's ONLY motivation isn't the goodness of their hearts to the Linux community, it's to stop Microsoft from eating their lunch with the storefront. And right now, Steam works great on Windows 8.1 but MS is also making improvements (albeit small ones) to their store. It will be a long while before I give up Steam.

But the threat is real to Valve, and they want us to undertake all the heavy lifting, all the change, so that only 30% of our library now works instead of 100% on Windows. Thanks, but I'll stay with Windows. The Steam Box holds zero purpose for me since they introduced in home streaming. I can just stream a game to a small HTPC in my living room, or onto my tablet and have it powered by my main rig. But again... MS has technology like RemoteFX that can do the same thing... just a matter of time before it's implemented.

about 7 months ago
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Microsoft Brings Office Online To Chrome OS; Ars Reviews Windows Phone 8.1

HerculesMO Re:Windows Phone 8.1 (69 comments)

I originally bought my 920 for just the camera; I have kids so I wanted to have a good camera at all times.

It wound up being better then the iPhone in a lot of ways, and now with the update (yes, I went to the developer preview mode) it's actually far better than iPhone or Android. And I have a Galaxy S4 I use for work, so it's not for lack of trying everything.

The only quip I have right now is the way that associations for things are handles (open with), but I think there has been some work done here, apps just have to take advantage of it.

about 8 months ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

HerculesMO Re:I am so glad (270 comments)

I'm agnostic... I design solutions around Linux or Windows; it's the core requirement that makes me choose a technology, not a technology that makes me fix my requirements.

about 8 months ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

HerculesMO Re:I am so glad (270 comments)

It is a good case however, for you to not really be in the position to speak from knowledge on the subject. You've hated MS for years, and adding your two cents about "yea I went to Linux" over ten years ago seems about par for the course of Slashdot angry posts about Microsoft.

It's a tool. You use it in the right place, at the right time. When you get religion about a tool, then it tends to be a problem. MS or not.

about 8 months ago
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Adaptation From Flash Boys Offers Inside Look at High-Frequency Trading

HerculesMO Re:I'm not sure that any company can beat it (246 comments)

What I'm saying is that 80% of the time, the timeframe is irrelevant -- the private firms can't beat the indexes.

about 9 months ago
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Adaptation From Flash Boys Offers Inside Look at High-Frequency Trading

HerculesMO I've worked in financial firms for my entire life. (246 comments)

In IT, of course...

And one thing I've learned is that financial firms generally speaking, don't beat the market. If you look at the S&P 500 as a baseline index for the health of the economy (and it might not be perfect, but it's a good measure), 80% of firms CANNOT beat the S&P in the same timeframe. If the S&P loses, those private firms lose too.

And even if they did... maybe 1-2% over? Which you won't get, because that's what they charge in FEES to manage their funds.

So basically HFT exists, because people still have the idea that investing with Morgan Stanley or somebody is a great idea, and so MS have a huge amount of equity to derive ridiculous profits on for who else -- themselves. Add to that the fees they charge to manage the funds they offer, and the marginal rates of return that investors get well... you know how it goes.

Hopefully my job interviews pending will pan out and I'll get out of finance for good; but sadly the money is what has kept me there, especially with the student loans... yet another benefit from our wonderful financial industry.

about 9 months ago
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Tesla Model S Gets Titanium Underbody Shield, Aluminum Deflector Plates

HerculesMO Re:sky should be the limit... (314 comments)

Agreed... carbon fiber has a brittleness, and while more sturdy than porcelain, exhibits some of the same behavior of cracking rather than absorbing any impact.

about 9 months ago
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Microsoft Ships Surface Pro 2 Tablets With Wrong, Slower Processor

HerculesMO Re:Not news (147 comments)

Also no Windows apps... for a certain market, it will do well. Like my wife.

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Expanding your career in IT through.... sales?

HerculesMO HerculesMO writes  |  about 2 years ago

HerculesMO (693085) writes "I have moved up the ranks starting from a lowly helpdesk guy, to systems administrator, to senior systems administrator, to systems engineering, to senior systems engineering and with some luck, I've wound up in management.

If I am to go down the road of being a CIO/CTO which is the ultimate goal, though I realize perhaps not entirely probably, would it make sense to get sales experience on my resume? I've been offered a few gigs from large tech firms to be part of a sales team; not exactly in a salesman role, but more of a technical walk-through kind of person.

So Slashdot, what do you think? Will it be a benefit to my career or not?"
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Mozilla considers H264 after WebM fails to gain traction

HerculesMO HerculesMO writes  |  more than 2 years ago

HerculesMO (693085) writes "Looks as though Mozilla is considering using H264, one step closer to unification of a single protocol for video encoding. It's a big deal for HTML5 traction, but it still leaves Google holding onto WebM."
Link to Original Source
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Nokia "shareholders" call it quits

HerculesMO HerculesMO writes  |  more than 3 years ago

HerculesMO (693085) writes "The group of 9 shareholders upset about Nokia's decision to abandon MeeGo/Symbian have also given up on their efforts to persuade investors to back their "plan B".

Their site currently redirects to Google. That was a really short lived protest."

Link to Original Source
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DarkFall Online seeing severe problems at launch..

HerculesMO HerculesMO writes  |  more than 5 years ago

HerculesMO (693085) writes "Even though Darkfall Online's limited release was announced February 25th, users are still unable to join the game despite multiple tries on the server. On Aventurine's side, they have entirely disabled any form of communication to them, turning off the forums and disabling the IRC channel (it is now +m). Additionally their main site shows no news updates, only the forums the last update of which was about them identifying an issue. Several ETAs were announced and missed. The MMORPG Forums are reporting many players attempting chargebacks on their credit cards in frustration since the account management is down, and the total beta accounts are yet unknown. Many people have been charged for the game without getting to play it yet, and with the weekend coming up and more players available to play, will Aventurine be able to withstand the barrage if they have not been able to thus far?

Keep your credit card company numbers in handy folks, you may need to do a chargeback if there isn't any movement on the game soon, because the account management doesn't stay up long enough for any fixes. Apparently most of the beta accounts are being activated by *hand* so it doesn't bode well for the security of your credit card information either."
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How to get a book published?

HerculesMO HerculesMO writes  |  more than 5 years ago

HerculesMO (693085) writes "I've been working on my novel (off and on) for about 5 years, and I've finally finished it to a point where it's reasonably readable. It does need some work (obviously) but I really don't know where to start.

I've read so many book REVIEWS here, that I figure some of us nerds may have some insight into the publishing world (whether it be through technical books or not). I'm not sure what steps to take to get my manuscript into book format (and yes, electronic soon to follow, but not everybody has a Kindle) and get published.

Anybody out there in the nerd world have some ideas? For reference, the book I have written is fiction and a tinge over 70,000 words."
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Tivo for the PC is coming!

HerculesMO HerculesMO writes  |  more than 6 years ago

HerculesMO (693085) writes "New software from the folks who bought you Tivo is now being introduced to have the same UI and usefulness on the PC. Is it too little too late, especially with Windows Media Center around, and a plethora of others like SageTV, MythTV, and BeyondTV? I'm open for debate on this one, but given the inability to secure CableCard for the PC without OEM vendor support for it, it makes this a very difficult product to market and sell in such an enclosed environment. And given that Vista Home (which is what most PCs come with) has Media Center capability out of the box that isn't horrible compared to the alternatives, why would anybody pay a monthly fee, plus a software fee for the Tivo service? So what do you think?"
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Disaster Recovery -- Doing the prepwork?

HerculesMO HerculesMO writes  |  more than 6 years ago

HerculesMO (693085) writes "Our company is currently getting ready for a "DR" test, of which I've been made project manager for this year. Our DR procedure is largely a lot of tape restores, with very few systems set up for native replication. We use DoubleTake here pretty heavily, though I've never been convinced of its amazing utility for SQL replication — I always felt that this is something that should be done at the SQL level with logshipping or mirroring.

That said... Our DR plan really gives us the window of about a month to "work on" getting ready for DR. And in reality, I want to be ready if they declare a disaster today. Right now, the simple fact is that if we had a real disaster, or a surprise test — we'd fail miserably.

I just want to know what folks out here do in their DR scenarios (mostly from a Windows side, since we are understaffed — Unix recovers pretty well), how they make systems fault tolerant, especially applications that are not always 'clusterable'.

Thanks for your insight!"
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Best client management platform?

HerculesMO HerculesMO writes  |  more than 6 years ago

HerculesMO (693085) writes "Our company is now starting to look at multiple client management suites from different sources. BMC, Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager, Altiris, etc are all being considered. We run 100% Windows desktops in our enterprise.

We are trying to find the software package that has the best blend of ease of use, power, and functionality. I know SMS 3.0 was more an 'addon' product to things like Altiris or BMC, but System Center has supposedly changed that dynamic.

Can anybody with enterprise level experience with these applications lend a hand, and help a fellow sysadmin make the appropriate recommendations to the company?"
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Laptop security and encryption...

HerculesMO HerculesMO writes  |  about 7 years ago

HerculesMO (693085) writes "Our company is looking at deploying company-wide, encryption software that causes a lot of issues, although does alleviate some security concerns. We currently employ RSA SecureID tags for our VPN access, and I had always thought that there was a way to use those same IDs to secure our laptops, without having to remember multitudes of passwords. Additionally, I wonder what type of built-in security (aside from a BIOS lockout) do laptops offer to protect data if a laptop is lost?

I am not looking forward to rolling out this software company-wide, and I am looking for reasonable alternatives first, so I can present my case. If you all have any ideas, I would appreciate it.

Thanks!"
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Mint.com -- Safe way to manage finances?

HerculesMO HerculesMO writes  |  more than 7 years ago

HerculesMO (693085) writes "I just found out about Mint.com — a site that seemingly has a lot of features, a good interface and simple way to manage my finances. The question I have is whether a service like this is secure, safe, or whatever. I am hasty to put my information into the site, since I don't know how trustworthy it is."

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