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NASA Pondering Two Public Contests To Build Small Space Exploration Satellites

geraldthewes Re:Save Slashdot Classic! (127 comments)

Yes, save the classic version. The beta has nothing going for it.

about a year ago

Many Early Adopters of the Amazon Fire Are Unhappy

geraldthewes Re:What a surprise (463 comments)

Well except the software is not as good as my iPad for even that.

I would have imagined a great native app to shop on amazon, but it does not exist, so
I have to go to the web browser.
And while the web browser on an ipad is an enjoyable experience, it's not on a Fire.
It's slower, the soft keyboard is less convenient, the experience less snappy and the screen smaller.

The gold box is not well integrated.

The e-mails I receive from Amazon on my ipad/computer are useful, but not integrated. This should
have been built as the mother of CRM devices.

The other complaints from users are valid:

a) No privacy, so anyone can see what movies I watched on the main page (so you prefer not bringing it to work)
b) The cover flip UI is unusable if you have a lot of books. The iPad is more conveninient. Good luck being able to select
book number 43 - and selecting the right one is hard. Usually the page flips and it open the next one instead.
c) I inverted my fire because I don't find the location of the on/off button convenient, but the login screen does
not make use of the orientation, so need to log in upside down.

The hardware is lacking a video out for movies (cant't cost that much)
There is no external SD slot to expand internal storage
So the device can't be use to view PDF's which I do a lot on my iPad.

So yes, very much v1.0 in both hardware and software. I was hoping it would be more convenient - for example
to read in the subway - than my ipad but it's not.

Hope Amazon takes feedback and improve their feedback. Will be interesting how long they support the device.

more than 3 years ago

Responsible Handling of Billing Information?

geraldthewes Not a simple problem (259 comments)

I've build similar systems in the past. It's not a simple problem. In addition to a very robust and well thought network architecture and a very robust encryption architecture for the Credit Cards as mentionned in the previous posts you have to deal with:

Credit Card reconciliation - when you bill on a monthly basis, a lot of cards expire, are cancelled, this needs to be detected, the user informed the next time he tries to use the service, etc... There needs to be good adminstrative/financial metrics to track these.

You need very good operational interfaces and a strong underlying architecture so that people get billed when they should, and not when they should not. It's easy in cruise mode, but harder to keep track as financial processors or external connectivity is down, or after an upgrade, or system crash or other usual operational down-time.

Things get also quite complicated quickly if you offer multiple subscription services (monthly, yearly, first month free, etc...)

This stuff is hard to get 100% right (and it needs to be 100% right). I agree with the other post that recommend either a provider that already does that, or buying software that already does this.

more than 13 years ago


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