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Why Wave Failed

Zorkon I know why I hated it... (350 comments)

Lack of control over your waves. Yes, it's supposed to be a collaborative environment. But you should still have control over who you collaborate with.

My team and I were using Wave to sketch out ideas for a project that we were working on. One of the team members invited someone else into the Wave - no big deal we thought, we tangentially knew the guy and he could contribute. But then he invited other people to the Wave (despite the warning we placed at the top of the Wave asking folks not to do that).

At that point, we tried to remove all these newcomers and found that we couldn't. We also discovered (well, knew already) that it was impossible to actually delete content from the Wave, because of its versioning capabilities.

So, our semi-private project had become public knowledge, and we had no way to get control back.

I understand that Google eventually did add the ability to manage Wave members ... but there was no way I was going back after what I experienced. A semi-private wiki with access controls is a much better option for my use-case.

more than 4 years ago
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Survey Says Most iPhone Users Love AT&T

Zorkon Re:Ignorance (490 comments)

Excuse me, but I don't know how else to put this: fuck off.

I love my iPhone, despite it's faults, and I'm a pretty technical person. How technical? I have a degree in physics, have worked with open source and Linux since 1995, was a senior Linux sysadmin for 10 years, and spent a few of the years in between working as an *embedded Linux developer* for mobile projects.

Do I go around telling people that OS X is completely safe and free from viruses and other malware? No. Do I tell them that it's a platform that lets them access the power of Unix without having to fuck around at the command line? Yes.

Same with the phone. Do I say "Hey! This phone was made by Jesus himself and is completely infallible"? Or is it more likely that I say "Hey, it's got its faults - but it's still a great phone ... especially if you're not a Slashdot commenter"?

Enough with the self-righteous anti-fanboy shit. Your generalization of "Apple users" is insulting and wrong.

more than 4 years ago
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'Bloatware' Becoming a Problem On Android Phones

Zorkon Re:I'm Confused... (415 comments)

If I could mod this up 10000x, I would.

I love me some open Linux-y goodness, but Android isn't open. Not in the same way the Ubuntu or a desktop OS is. That's not Google's fault, it's the fault of the phone manufacturers. But the end result is the same - if you want full control over your "open" Android phone, you have to circumvent the restrictions the manufacturer has placed on it - *just* like you have to with an iPhone.

So, given that little tidbit, I'd rather get an iPhone. At least Apple has an idea of how to design quality user interfaces. Android suffers from Linux-UI-itis.

(disclaimer: I own both a Nexus One and an iPhone 3GS ... and develop software for both of them. I bought the Nexus One because it was more "open" ... and then discovered that it really wasn't)

more than 4 years ago
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The Android Gets Its HyperCard

Zorkon Re:This will only worsen the Android Marketpalce (256 comments)

Agreed. This will not do anything to improve the quality of apps in the Android Marketplace.

I have both a Nexus One and an iPhone. Being an open-source Freedom Is Good kind of guy, I *really* want to love my Nexus One and Android ... but when I go looking for apps, I'm put off by the amount of crap floating around in the Android Marketplace.

Now I'm not saying that the Apple app store doesn't have crap in it, but for some reason a higher percentage of Android apps tend to have crappy UIs, poor features, or both. Take a look at RSS readers for both platforms as an example. The shining pinacle of RSS reading on Android is "NewsRob", which looks like a joke when compared against Reeder or NewsRack on the iPhone.

The ability for the unwashed masses to point and click their way thru app-building? Yeah, that's not gonna work out well for anyone.

more than 4 years ago
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Women Dropping Out of IT

Zorkon Re:This just proves (706 comments)

IT at my workplace is unionized ... and it's even worse than the non-unionized IT places I've worked previously. Nothing brings down morale quicker than union Brothers and Sisters bitching about Management on the staff mailing list. Oh, and the union makes it pretty much impossible to fire anyone - meaning that we have some pretty horrible employees working there that wouldn't have stood a chance in any other IT shop that I've ever worked in.

more than 4 years ago
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Apple Sues HTC Again Over Patents

Zorkon Re:I hope they win (263 comments)

Yeah, I gotta agree with this. Of course they're all suing each other - the only people to make money from this are their lawyers and why *wouldn't* they take advantage of the patent system?

Also: Apple didn't "set off a patent Armageddon in the mobile space", as the original poster suggests. Nokia started it in October 2009 - prior to that, Apple was a sleeping patent-giant.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/22/nokia-sues-apple-says-iphone-infringes-ten-patents/

more than 4 years ago
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Google Slams Apple Over iPhone Ad Ban

Zorkon Re:Cry me a river (562 comments)

Google started this whole dust-up when they went after Apple. See Gruber's thoughts on the matter:

http://daringfireball.net/linked/2010/06/09/battelle

"There’s no question it’s a dick move on Apple’s part. But what’s the argument against it? That Google gets a pass for being dicks to Apple, and Apple ought to just sit there and take it?"

more than 4 years ago
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iPhone's PIN-Based Security Transparent To Ubuntu

Zorkon Re:Attempted to duplicate - not quite what they sa (264 comments)

Besides, don't most people *want* access to their media on the iPhone/iPod? Remember when you could mount old iPods as drives and access the music on them (there was no "security check" there either). Well, this seems to be the same thing, albeit unintentional (or is it?)

more than 4 years ago
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iPhone's PIN-Based Security Transparent To Ubuntu

Zorkon Re:Attempted to duplicate - not quite what they sa (264 comments)

Benanov: Read my post more carefully (and the original article) before you tell me to read more carefully.

I did exactly what was described in the security advisory and saw the exact same thing they did. I'm just pointing out that almost no "personal" data was exposed (by "personal", I mean emails, calendar and contact info). Your music & photos are up for grabs, and that's not a good thing. But far less damaging than full access to my email accounts as far as I'm concerned.

more than 4 years ago
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iPhone's PIN-Based Security Transparent To Ubuntu

Zorkon Attempted to duplicate - not quite what they say (264 comments)

I plugged my iPhone 3GS into my Ubuntu box. While it's true that Ubuntu did automount the iPhone, the only thing I can find that was exposed was my music, photos and podcasts.

I wasn't able to access email, contact info, or anything else on the phone. I did see the Application Archives, PublicStaging, Purchases, and Safari folders but they're empty. I have lots of email and contact info on the device - but it appears to be inaccessible via this method.

more than 4 years ago
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Federal Court Issues Permanent Injunction For Isohunt

Zorkon Re:Last time I checked (212 comments)

Last time I visited the US was about 10 years ago. We have everything we need up here, believe it or not.

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Publishes Some "Thoughts On Flash"

Zorkon Re:He Is Quick to Forgive Apple, Of Course (944 comments)

Double amen to the above post!

Anyone that gripes about wanting Flash on their phone/mobile device *HAS NEVER HAD* Flash on a mobile device. If they had, they wouldn't want it so bad.

I've got a Nokia N800, and the Flash experience is *terrible*. Let me tell you what great fun it is to wait for a page to render because some advertiser has a tiny little flash ad in the corner of a page. On an iPhone, the page loads instantly. On my N800? Forget it. It'll sit there and churn on that on poorly written/designed Flash app until *finally*, it appears.

And let's say that for the fun of it I actually want to interact with that silly little Flash ad. Oh look! It uses hover states for mouse tracking - something that isn't supported on a touch interface... so instead of playing its silly little game or whatever, I end up clicking through to whatever site it links to.

Flash on a mobile? No thanks. Been there, had that, sent it back to the kitchen.

more than 4 years ago
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Android's "Flea Market" Needs Urgent Attention

Zorkon Re:I don't get it? (226 comments)

I don't get the Android market. Seriously - limited categories, no access to it unless you're on an Android device (recent release of DoubleTwist helps this a little bit), and SPAM in the comments. Not just disgruntled users unhappy with a particular app, but actual honest to goodness SPAM in the reviews.

It's pretty unprofessional.

more than 4 years ago
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Android's "Flea Market" Needs Urgent Attention

Zorkon Re:What (226 comments)

Yes, it does need saving. The reason you see more and more Android-based phones is twofold:

1. Manufacturers have hopped on the Android bandwagon, ramped up production and are pushing the things.

and

2. iPhones are so popular that people are beginning to look for alternatives that set them apart from the iPhone-toting crowd. Android is the obvious choice.

I decided that I would switch from my iPhone to a Google Nexus One last month. After using the Nexus One as my primary phone for the past 3 weeks, I'm switching back to my iPhone this weekend.

Why? Because I'm willing to give up some of my freedom for a polished phone that works. If I want to tinker with a half-baked open source project, I can always do that on my desktop.

Android is a nice concept, but it's a mishmash of bungled user interfaces and crappy apps.

My major complaints:

1. There is no consistent user interface across *any* of the apps - built-in or 3rd party. It's a free for all. I can understand that when it comes to the 3rd party stuff, but the apps bundled with Android should at least *try* to adhere to some sort of usability and user interface standard.

2. Multitasking, while a great idea, is executed incredibly poorly on Android. Hell yeah, you can run as many apps as you want in the background. But Google doesn't have a good way to manage all of those tasks. There is no decent built-in task management system.

There are 2 buttons on the front of the Nexus One that relate to task management: Home and Back. Pressing Home takes you to the home screen and puts whatever app you were running into the background. Fine. "Back" according to Google documentation, is supposed to quit your app and return to the home screen.

Only guess what? "Back" functionality can be overridden in each program. So in some programs, pressing Back does indeed kill the task. In others, it doesn't. In others, like the Android browser, pressing it repeatedly *eventually* returns you to the home screen - but doesn't exit the Browser process.

And then there's the problem w/tasks that start automatically when you don't want them to. I have an RSS newsreader that automatically runs whenever the phone boots, even though I've set it to *not* poll feeds in the background. Same with the Amazon MP3 marketplace app (hello, why does that have to run on boot? I'm not *buying* anything, so get out of my face).

3. Android Marketplace App sucks. It's hard to find things in the marketplace - you only have a few top-level categories and then giant pools of apps to browse through. Which you can only do on your phone (well, Doubletwist now allows limited Marketplace browsing, but iTunes still wins for usability).

4. Did I mention that the Marketplace reviews are filled with spam comments? Not just people who are unimpressed with the apps, but outright spam.

5. Android forks. Lots of complaints in the Marketplace about how an app works well on one device, but not on another. Holy shades of Windows CE / Pocket PC Batman!

Basically, my experience with Android can be summed up as: "typical open source project - shows lots of promise, but usability and user interfaces were an afterthought".

That's OK when we're talking about a Linux server or desktop where I primarily interact with it on the command line. It is *much less* OK when it comes to a mobile device that I rely on for communications.

While I do miss the Nexus One's beautiful screen, I'm much happier using my iPhone as my day-to-day phone.

more than 4 years ago
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A Skeptical Comparison of HTML5 Video Playback To Flash

Zorkon Simple math (391 comments)

HTML5 = non-proprietary.
Flash = proprietary.

HTML5 > Flash.

more than 4 years ago
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Health Insurance When Leaving the Corporate World?

Zorkon Re:Step 1. (1197 comments)

Give me a break.

The guy went to the US because he could. He didn't want to wait, he didn't want to jump the queue, and he could afford it. It wasn't that waiting "would kill him", it was that he had the money to do it, so *why* wait? He certainly didn't do it because our healthcare system would kill him.

Let me tell you a *true* story:

My dad was born in 1933. That makes him 77 years old. He had his hip replaced 15 years ago. About 7 years ago he contracted an infection (one of those nasty antibiotic resistant ones that are so popular these days) and it settled in his hip. Multiple courses of antibiotics didn't help, so they pulled the artificial hip out, replaced it with a "block" (a non-functioning hip doused in antibiotics), then a month and a half later, they replaced the hip again.

A year later, that pesky infection came back. This time, no bullshitting around. His doctor got him an appointment with one of the top artificial hip guys in Canada. It took a couple weeks (not months or years). They scheduled Dad for another series of operations - the hip came out, a new block went in and this time it took care of that infection. Then back in for another surgery, and a new artificial hip.

It's been 5 or 6 years since that last operation, and my Dad is doing great. We're not bankrupt, we didn't have to take out a loan or 2nd mortgage to pay for it. And all this happened when he was in his *70s*. Nowhere along the line did anyone say "Oh, you're over 50, you're not worth it". We didn't get any kind of special treatment either - my dad's just an average retiree who lives in a small town in Southern Ontario.

I love our healthcare system. It may have its faults here and there, but it most certainly works.

more than 4 years ago
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Does Microsoft Finally Have a Phone Worth Buying?

Zorkon Re:Will have to wait and see (427 comments)

But you have a small, tiny screen. With no window manager. In order to "Google something while composing email", you have to switch between two full screen applications.

So from an end user point of view, there is no difference between multitasking between two running apps, and starting/stopping two apps from saved states.

"So I can look over my contacts list while on a phone call"

You can do that on a "non-multitasking" iPhone. In fact, you can browse the web while on a call. Or compose an email for that matter.

None of the examples you've provided actually require a device that multitasks user applications. Now, if you had thrown down the "run an instant messenger in the background" argument, *then* you might've had something... but push notifications work surprisingly well for that too.

You just *think* you want multitasking because you haven't realized yet that the way you interact with full-screen modal apps in a small handheld device is very different from how you work in a windowing desktop operating system.

more than 4 years ago
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Does Microsoft Finally Have a Phone Worth Buying?

Zorkon Re:Will have to wait and see (427 comments)

Sorry, *NO* multitasking in the new OS. The response of the Microsoft-using phone community is going to be *so* much fun to watch over the next few months.

more than 4 years ago
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IdeaPad U1, What We Wanted the iPad To Be

Zorkon Re:But what did Apple want? (401 comments)

My mom doesn't use USB sticks (there's a bad joke in there somewhere). Neither does she write code in an IDE (seriously? You're concerned you can't build code on a tablet device). She doesn't care about Flash.

She reads books. She watches videos. She sends and receives email. She looks at pictures of her grandkids. She plays the occasional game (like the kind you find in the app store).

The iPad is a *perfect* device for this kind of person. Why would I buy it? Well when it's $10 more than a Kindle DX, why the hell wouldn't I buy it?

As for "office" apps, did you miss the bit in the Keynote about Apple releasing the iWork suite for it? If that's not good enough, then how about this: both *Microsoft* and *IBM* have been making noises about developing for the iPad (sources: http://www.t3.com/news/microsoft-hints-at-office-for-ipad?=43603 and http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/ibm_plans_to_design_apps_aimed_at_ipad/

You obviously don't get it. You want a full-featured computer. One that you can play WoW on, write some Java in Netbeans or Eclipse, maybe download a few torrents and re-encode them from DIVX to some other format.

You don't want an iPad. An iPad is a general purpose computing device meant for the 95% of the population that *doesn't* do all of that. Yes, they're out there and there are a *lot* of them. Way more than there are of us. And they'll want iPads, for the exact same reason that they're all buying iPhones over other manufacturer's phones.

My mom and sisters never complain that the iPhone doesn't multitask. They don't care that the iPhone isn't an open platform, or that you have to go through the Apple store to develop these things.

As the *only* techie in a decidedly non-techie family, I can tell you that the average person just doesn't give a crap about the stuff we geeks love.

You watch - the iPad is going to do *very* well, much to our combined consternation.

more than 4 years ago

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