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Exoplanet Has Showers of Pebbles

catscan2000 Re:Not unusual (341 comments)

Or, my favorite, a planet where it's raining men ;-) (with apologies to the Weather Girls)

more than 4 years ago
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Why Users Drop Open Source Apps For Proprietary Alternatives

catscan2000 Re:We dumped SugarCRM for Salesforce (891 comments)

As someone who knows someone who works at Salesforce.com as a product manager, I'm wondering which annoyances in Salesforce.com bug you the most. I can forward them to him.

more than 4 years ago
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Disney Strikes Against Net Neutrality

catscan2000 A quick letter that I sent to my ISP (442 comments)

ESPN's web site has a link that makes it easy for users to tell ISPs that they want ESPN360, but ISPs need to hear our point of view and know that they have plenty of customers who don't want their ISP to give into ESPN360's shenanigans. I posted the following onto my ISP's customer feedback page. Please feel free to clean up and use in any way that you see fit.

-----------

I just wanted to give my feedback about ESPN360. I prefer that Speakeasy continues to operate as a neutral ISP regarding ESPN360 and does not pay ESPN360 to get their content for Speakeasy subscribers. I believe that individual end users who want to access ESPN360 content should pay ESPN360 directly and not through their ISP, especially as there are Speakeasy customers who do not use or have even heard of ESPN360. As an entertainment web site, ESPN360 is not offering a service that is of general public value that would warrant ISPs instead of individual end users to pay ESPN360 for access.

I enjoy my Speakeasy service as it exists today, and I hope that ESPN360's plan to get ISPs instead of end users to pay for their content fails. If ESPN360 succeeds, other web site operators may attempt the same strategy and lead to service fragmentation on the Internet, which raises the barrier to entry for new ISPs and also raises the operational costs of existing ISPs. It's an attempt to impose a cable company business model onto ISPs, which could additionally lead to ISP responsibility of delivered content.

Please keep Speakeasy as a neutral Internet connection by turning down any attempts from ESPN360 to get Speakeasy to pay for ESPN360 access.

Thank you for your attention.

more than 5 years ago
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IE Market Share Drops Below 70%

catscan2000 Re:Layoffs (640 comments)

I researched this for a small architecture firm earlier this year, and my recommendations for them were in the following order, with the first listings having the most preference for their particular business:

1. Rackspace.com hosted Exchange
2. Scalix
3. Yahoo! Zimbra

Google Apps probably would have been #1 if it had better feature parity at the time that I reviewed it, and it's possible that Google Apps would probably now be in the top three.

A really nice thing for the customer about the three recommendations above is that all feature full compatibility with Microsoft Outlook. I personally detest Outlook, but they like it, and all three are fully compatible with Outlook's groupware features.

more than 5 years ago
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Quicken 2007 For Mac Lacks EV Cert Support

catscan2000 Mvelopes.com (108 comments)

To add myself to the set of Quicken alternative comments, I'd like to promote Mvelopes.com. It's an easy-to-use software as a service (SaaS) solution that runs as a full-page Flash application and uses a proactive budgeting approach rather than Quicken et al's reactive budgeting approach. With mobile browser access, it's possible to check the balance of each virtual envelope before making purchases, which helps make it proactive -- you can avoid spending money in the first place if the current balance of the relevant envelope isn't sufficient. In Quicken and other solutions, you enter in receipts after the fact and then get depressed about always spending more than you planned to in various categories.

I don't work for Mvelopes's company, but I am a very happy customer. I used Quicken from about 2002 to mid-2008, and I have to say that Mvelopes is far easier to use and keep up to date. It saves me at least two hours per week over my previous process, and I used to use Excel for budgeting because Quicken's budgeting modules suck, especially compared to Mvelopes's granular envelope spending and funding plan features. Mvelopes was designed with budgets at its core, which it calls envelopes, and envelopes are funded with each paycheck and other income sources as they come in.

Mvelopes isn't free, but it's competitive with the Quicken upgrade treadmill, and their online customer service is good enough. Bugs get fixed, and they are always adding features and improving usability further. It's reminds me a lot of the upgrade model of my employer, Salesforce.com. There's no software to install, besides Flash, and no action on your part needed to get updates. As a result of being a paid service, versus Mint.com, the data is private, and they don't load the UI with third party advertisements. Their privacy policy might not be as strong as the one at Salesforce.com, but it's good enough for me, for whatever that's worth :-).

Hopefully, this helps..

more than 5 years ago
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The Myth of Upgrade Inevitability Is Dead

catscan2000 Re:last sentence (597 comments)

Many will probably disagree with me on this, but I consider Windows to be a legacy operating system that I run on rare occasions within a VMware Server virtual machine. When run in VMware Server on a more modern desktop Linux operating system or even on a Mac, the risk likeliness of getting infected by viruses and malware is reduced by not using it often and limiting its use to specific applications that don't yet work on Linux or on a Mac. If its use is restricted to an internal accounting app, as an example, it would be difficult to get infected by an email virus or, if its firewall is enabled and VMware's NAT was in use, other standard Windows worms. As a result, it should be okay to use it past XP's end-of-life until it can run in Linux or Mac (or become web based).

When implementing the aforementioned scenario, it's possible to restrict IE browsing with IE URL Lock at https://www.moonlightdesign.org/urllock/ (shameless plug, though it's open-source) or, if your Windows apps don't use IE in any way (the reference pane in Office, as an example, uses IE to render reference info and search results), it's possible to use the proxy-is-localhost configuration approach or an upstream block to restrict browsing.

more than 5 years ago
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OpenSUSE 11.0 Released

catscan2000 Re:Justin (301 comments)

At the risk of being labeled a troll, I typically tell colleagues who ask about the Microsoft deal that Apple has numerous patent and other technology licensing agreements with Microsoft, and yet we don't see a groundswell of people on Slashdot calling Apple on the carpet for their Microsoft agreements.

In response, I've heard that the difference is that Apple doesn't pretend to be fully open-source whereas Novell does to an extent, though Apple does have an open-source kernel and other bits in addition to a proprietary system. Similarly, Novell's SuSE (not openSuSE) is a product that users typically need to pay for. From a high-level view, this looks like both companies offer a proprietary system as well as an open-source subset of that proprietary system.

As a result -- at least, from that simplification of the issue -- I think that anti-SuSE people on Slashdot are treating Novell unfairly versus Apple. I'm not a fan of the Microsoft deal, either, but I do like openSuSE on technical and, especially, usability grounds, and that is why I both advocate for and use it both at home and at work.

Now I'm off to download the latest version :-)

(there goes my karma, though :-(. Please be nice!)

more than 6 years ago

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