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Google Launches Cloud Printer Service For Windows

blarkon Ads in the middle of your print jobs (135 comments)

Will the advertisements be in the middle of your print jobs or printed to the side?

about a year ago

Hollywood's Love of Analytics Couldn't Prevent Six Massive Blockbuster Flops

blarkon Re:Better plots? (1029 comments)

Go and look at the list of top grossing films and point at the one with the intricate plot. Avatar's was non-existent. The director even said that he wasn't going with a detailed plot because it would harm the box office.

about a year ago

British Prime Minister Promises Default On Porn Blocking

blarkon Block all? No. Block a lot? Yes (311 comments)

The not unreasonable assumption is that if a child can find porn, then an ISP can automate the process of finding it and blocking it. To the layperson, the idea that all these clever people can come up with a way to search the internet and classify content and even rate the quality of that content but are suddenly flummoxed by coming up with a way of reliably blocking porn that kids can find sounds more like "well, we don't want to block porn, so we'll tell you it's impossible and tell you that you don't understand the internet".

about a year ago

Radiohead's Thom Yorke Pulls Albums From Spotify In Protest of Low Royalties

blarkon Great graphic from Information is Beautiful (301 comments)

I believe since the graphic was made, there has been extensive lobbying for royalties per play to be reduced from the figures shown in this picture. There's something to the original musician's case if it takes more than 4 million plays per month to get to one individual's *minimum wage* of $1160 per month (and that's with the *generous* current pay per play rate).

about a year ago

Windows 8 Passes Vista, Hits 5.1% Market Share

blarkon XP - 37% with less than a year of support (285 comments)

The real news here is that an OS that has less than a year of support left is at around 37% market share. XP is falling at about 1% per month - but will still be a substantial part of the market (probably at least 25%) when Microsoft stops releasing software updates.

about a year ago

Google Adds Microsoft Word, Excel Editing To Latest Chrome OS Build

blarkon Re: Even better: Change MS Office's default format (72 comments)

Google would clearly prefer to drop billions into stuff like balloon internet as opposed to fighting the endless war on Microsoft Office.

about a year ago

Why Engineering Freshmen Should Take Humanities Courses

blarkon Humanities can't explain the need for humanities (564 comments)

In general, advocates of the humanities have done a poor job of explaining why they are necessary. Which is problematic given that one of the things one would hope that someone in the humanities could do was come up with excellent persuasive arguments about things.

about a year ago

Oracle and Microsoft To Announce Cloud Partnership Monday

blarkon Shuttleworth on Azure (82 comments)

Microsoft has built an impressive new entrant to the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market, and Ubuntu is there for customers who want to run workloads on Azure that are best suited to Linux. Windows Azure was built for the enterprise market, an audience which is increasingly comfortable with Ubuntu as a workhorse for scale-out workloads; in short, it's a good fit for both of us, and it's been interesting to do the work to bring Ubuntu to the platform.

Given that it's normal for us to spin up 2,000-node Hadoop clusters with Juju, it will be very valuable to have a new enterprise-oriented cloud with which to evaluate performance, latency, reliability, scalability and many other key metrics for production deployment scenarios.

As IAAS grows in recognition as a standard part of the enterprise toolkit, it will be important to have a wide range of infrastructures that are addressable, with diverse strengths. In the case of Windows Azure, there is clearly a deep connection between Windows-based IT and the new IAAS. But I think Microsoft has set their sights on a bigger story, which is high-quality enterprise-oriented infrastructure that is generally useful. That's why Ubuntu is important to them, and why it was worthwhile for us to work together despite our differences. Just as we need to ensure that customers can run Ubuntu and Windows together inside their data centre and on the LAN, we want to ensure that cloud workloads play nicely.

The team leading Azure has a sophisticated understanding of Ubuntu and Linux in general. They are taking a pragmatic approach that will raise eyebrows around the Redmond campus, but is exactly what customers want to see. We have taken a similar view. I know there will be members of the free software community that will leap at the chance to berate Microsoft for its very existence, but it's not very Ubuntu to do so: let's argue our perspective, work towards our goals, be open to those who are open to us, and build great stuff. There is nothing proprietary in Ubuntu-for-Azure, and no about-turn from us on long-held values. This is us making sure our audience, and especially the enterprise audience, can benefit from the work our community and Canonical do no matter where they want to do it.


about a year ago

Next SurfaceRT To Come With Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, LTE

blarkon Gets it right on the third go (157 comments)

MSFT tends to get things right on their third go. Surface is getting Outlook and a start menu in the next month or so. Surface 2 is going to have a higher resolution display. Will it work? Who knows - but they seem to be giving it a serious shake.

about a year ago

Microsoft Reputation Manager's Guide To Xbox One

blarkon Beware Internet Echo Chambers (611 comments)

Remember the rage around here a few years back when Sony nixed Linux on PS3. Or the whole "rootkit fiasco"? Amazing how quickly past outrage is forgotten.

about a year ago

Professors Say Massive Open Online Courses Threaten Academic Freedom

blarkon Good article on MOOCs here (284 comments) - discusses that MOOCs haven't really been tested in terms of how good they are at educating people. The article also suggests that the push for MOOCs is coming because governments can no longer afford to provide college education, so by pushing to an online model, they can shrink the college sector. They still fulfill their responsibility of "educating people" - but they don't have to pay for all those expensive bits like college buildings and academics. The article suggests that a small number of people will get a "traditional premium education" which costs an arm and a leg and where they get to interact with an academic directly. The majority of people though will get their education in a way similar to how IT vendors do certification today. Students self study from MOOCs and then book themselves in for exams taken at authorized testing centers. Anyway the article is a lot more detailed - but the push for this stuff is coming because it's a quick way for governments to cut a lot of spending whilst claiming to be embracing "the revolution in education".

about a year ago

Crowd-Funded Radio Beacon Will Message Aliens

blarkon Get Your Space Lizard Snacks! (196 comments)

The reason there aren't a whole lot of beacons detected by SETI is pretty clear. Every time someone lights up a beacon, the Space Lizard Starfleet turns up in orbit and it's buffet time. Beacons are like an evolutionary test. The races that send them out end up as lunch. The races that keep quiet get to live another day.

about a year ago

USA Calling For the Extradition of Snowden

blarkon Re:Murrica (955 comments)

SOPA et all gives the EFF something "important" to do as a distraction from doing things that are important. Get nerds excited about copyright protection for a bunch of Hollywood elites and they don't excited about their data being sifted by three letter agencies. It's the same strategy that the right uses - get voters wound up about abortion and same sex marriage and they'll ignore the other stuff that may be detrimental to them and have an actual impact on their lives.

about a year ago

Steubenville Hacker Faces Longer Prison Sentence Than the Rapists

blarkon Juveniles get different sentences to adults. (297 comments)

Juveniles get different sentences to adults. "Vigilante Hacker" is an adult and the reported possible sentence is "maximum possible" which is quite different to "an actual sentence".

about a year ago

EFF Makes Formal Objection to DRM In HTML5

blarkon Content moving to apps more of an impediment (270 comments)

While I understand why they've taken this position, "The Internet" != "WWW". Increasingly content producers are publishing content through app stores because apps provide content creators with a piece of mind that distribution across the DRM free web does not.

We will get to see the result of the grand experiment of publishing content on the web versus through apps. Content follows the money. If there is more money to be generated distributing content over a DRM free web, that's where it will stay. But if there is more money to be made distributing it through locked down apps on locked down platforms - well there's no reason to think that people won't abandon any technology as quickly as they adopt it if the content that they want to view migrates somewhere else.

about a year ago

US Entertainment Industry To Congress: Make It Legal For Us To Deploy Rootkits

blarkon Surprise is that this doesn't happen already (443 comments)

What's really surprising is that torrents aren't infected up the wazoo with malware anyway.

about a year ago

Bloomberg To HS Grads: Be a Plumber

blarkon If it can be automated, it will be automated (368 comments)

If your job can be automated, it will be automated. Most jobs that involve sitting in front of a desk at a computer will be automated as AI improves. AI won't get rid of *all* the jobs, but it does allow one person to do the work that at one stage would have required many people. Plumber is bloody hard to automate and it's pretty difficult to come up with software that allows one plumber to do the work that five plumbers did a couple of years ago.

about a year ago

Spain's Extremadura Starts Move To GNU/Linux, Open Source

blarkon The expense isn't the license, it's support (182 comments)

In terms of person hours, the cost of a Windows and Office license is such that if an IT support person needs to spend more than a couple of hours directly supporting a Linux machine over its lifetime than they would supporting an equivalent Windows/Office machine, the organization is spending more rather than less money. And people who can competently support Linux aren't cheap - they are certainly more expensive on a $ per hour basis than the stream of Windows support people that Microsoft created a whole division called Microsoft Learning for to ensure that supply exceeds demand. Until competent Linux desktop support people are as cheap as competent Microsoft desktop people, it's going to be hard to overcome the fact that while the OS may not cost a dollar to license, computers require support and support costs $. (And given the whole OSS financial model is to make the $ on the support end ... )

about a year ago



Authors moving to patronage model?

blarkon blarkon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

blarkon (1712194) writes "With ebook prices falling and some readers even unwilling to pay more than 99 cents for an ebook, some authors are starting to consider a move back to the patronage model that was succesful in providing them with a living before the widespread use of copyright. Might such a model work or are the days where a midlist author can make a living off their work a relic of the 20th century?"
Link to Original Source

Does Windows Phone 7 have a data transmission bug?

blarkon blarkon writes  |  more than 3 years ago

blarkon (1712194) writes "Microsoft commentator and Windows Phone 7 Expert Paul Thurrott has reported a serious bug that indicates Windows Phone 7 is uploading up to 50 MB of unidentified data every day. The phone operating system apparently ignores Wi-Fi connections for sending this data, leading some Windows Phone 7 owners hitting their 2 GB plan data limit while doing little more than checking email and social networking sites. Thurrott has written a book on Windows Phone 7 and is unlikely to be making such a claim unless it has some substance. At the moment no one knows what this data contains or where it is going, though Thurrott suspects it may be related to the Windows Phone Marketplace"

Computer troubleshooting and falsification

blarkon blarkon writes  |  more than 4 years ago

blarkon (1712194) writes "Ever wasted time troubleshooting an IT problem because you’d jumped to the wrong conclusion and compounded the error by looking for evidence to support your intuition? Orin Thomas suggests that we should try to disprove troubleshooting conclusions we’ve arrived at through intuition. Looking for disproof rather than proof as a way of testing an idea was first proposed in the 1930’s by philosopher Karl Popper."
Link to Original Source


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