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Under the Apple Hype Machine, Amazon Drops Fire Phone Price To 99 Cents

mick88 Re:It's not apple this time! (134 comments)

You have a really good point & it's something I was considering while making my original post but couldn't address it concisely so I left it out. So here's my non-concise ideas on that.

My general take is that WP & the Amazon phones seem to be something more akin to the iPhone: an attempt to make an integrated hardware/software device (or at least one built to strict standards) that has a real distinct brand & tie in to the related manufacturers universes (or more cynically, walled gardens). Andriod, for better or for worse, seems to be a lot more decentralized which probably appeals to the device makers like Samsung whose main interest is moving handsets, not creating a "wonderful" experience for the end user.

So my comparison with Apple, MS, and Amazon was assessing the battle for their respective Universes & Apples dominance in that regard.

However...I see in hindsight that Google _absolutely_ has its own Universe that Android most certainly is a big and successful part of it: Search, Mail, Mobile Devices & Personal data / advertising. It's a mutually beneficial relationship w/ the handset makers because Google wouldn't care about hardware revenue and Samsung etc. don't really have a stake in those other "interests" of Google. It seems obvious that this partnership is a productive one for both sides & would be successful. I guess I just didn't notice it at first because of the divorce from hardware.

Maybe this is exactly why MS bought the handset division of Nokia. Playing the decentralized, hardware agnostic, Google-style game hadn't panned out, so making their own handsets is a further step in creating a competitive platform to Apple's. It may well work out for them over time.

That leaves Amazon's phone, essentially a branded/crippled Andriod, worst of both worlds and, to me, likeliest to fail due to lack of purpose.

about 3 months ago
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Under the Apple Hype Machine, Amazon Drops Fire Phone Price To 99 Cents

mick88 Re:It's not apple this time! (134 comments)

You can knock Microsoft and Amazon all day long for their phones not taking the world by storm, but I think that actually sells short the remarkable phenomenon that is the iPhone & associated Apple universe. One of the takeaways here for me is that it truly is almost impossible to break into the smart phone market this late in the game given what Apple has done - at least here in the US.

To see MS & Amazon, who have generally succeeded and overpowered rivals for many years, fail to make a true dent in the smartphone market is a real testament to Apple's success; Apple really did raise the bar that high. As you pointed out the Amazon flop is in marketing... exactly where Apple does not flop. You would think a good device would be its own marketing but I think that Apple has shown the device and the marketing are one and the same. And maybe what Amazon is learning is that this isn't like the kindle (good device on its own) but requires ramping up the marketing BS by a million fold.

For the record, I am a disillusioned former fan of the AppleVerse so I am cheering for anyone to bring legit competition, even if paradoxically it's those other well-known foes of competition: MS & Amazon

about 3 months ago
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Getting Into College the Old Fashioned Way: With Money

mick88 Re:Not worth it (161 comments)

At first I wanted to write off your post as just typical, cynical slashdotterism. But I re-read it and - well, I realize that you are probably right, particularly in the IT field (it could be argued that if you want to work in academia, school names _do_ matter).

Reading your post carefully, I see you aren't saying that "college is worthless, blah blah blah" but rather that the differences between the universities for undergrad ain't what they used to be. As another commenter here noted (paraphrasing) information has been liberated by the Internet so University isn't the only way to attain subject matter knowledge anymore, closing the gaps between schools.

However, I continue to believe that if a person goes through 4+ years of accredited university experience, learns how to follow directions, learns how to deal with smart people & foolish people, and discovers that they have a passion for something (be it computer science or otherwise) is a person better prepared to be effective in the working world than otherwise. And if that's university's main benefit, then dammit I guess I have to agree that it matters less where you do it.

Grad school is probably a different story but for undergrad & the kind of jobs you will be getting with an undergrad degree - I think you got it right.

about 3 months ago
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Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

mick88 Re:yet if we did it (463 comments)

Totally true & in this case I think we all believe that the cyclist's death was accidental. However I think the issue here is the injustice in failing to hold the officer accountable. I think it's fair to interpret that piece as the result of systemic problems (i.e. cops being above the law / held to different standards) vs. the actual accident.

about 4 months ago
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Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung

mick88 Re:Love Free Offline Nokia Here Drive+Maps (67 comments)

Hmm interesting. My "official" 8.1 build on my nokia 635 doesn't have the feature but defaults to Nokia for the turn-by-turn. My HTC 8x running windows 8 did have it tho. I wonder if it's just purposely disabled on Nokia devices now?

about 4 months ago
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Reported iCloud Hack Leaks Hundreds of Private Celebrity Photos

mick88 Re:Where are these photos? (336 comments)

Really good points, all - it's not like someone broke into these people's houses & took pictures of them in the nude unawares. However... I don't think that the "victims" here are necessarily freaking out that the pictures exist or are worried what the public will think of their naked bodies (as you pointed out they are mostly beautiful anyway). I think that they are trying to treat the stealing & dissemination of stolen images as a crime, which it is.

So while I agree that the best solution to keeping your nudie pics off the web is to not take them in the first place (as Joshua would say: "The only winning move is not to play") , I am all for treating it like a crime and following up even if your actions end up Streisand Effecting your photos in the process.

about 4 months ago
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Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung

mick88 Re:Love Free Offline Nokia Here Drive+Maps (67 comments)

The built-in maps do work just fine, however there are no spoken "turn-by-turn" directions anymore. In earlier versions of Windows Phone there was support for this, but no longer. The Nokia app has it & that's about the only reason to use it.

I guess the other handy feature of the Nokia app is that you can change the perspective to a "driver's view" vs. overhead map view, kinda like what you see on TomTom or Garmin.

about 4 months ago
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IT Managers Are Aloof Says Psychologist and Your Co-Workers

mick88 Re:and you wonder.. (378 comments)

I noticed the same thing. However /. got the quote right: the author in TFA did in fact say "life".

more than 2 years ago
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Student Suspended For Posting On YouTube

mick88 Re:Not funny (375 comments)

Yep - you are completely correct: a lot of bad decisions are made as a result of just drawing a line in the sand. However, there would be even more bad decisions if we had no line or, worse yet many lines for many people for many things.

It would just be too complex to have individual cutoffs for all the many things you allude to (voting, criminal offenses etc.) By betting on the average, we take the simplicity is a tradeoff. There isn't a realistic way to accurately gauge exactly which individuals are fit to do what. I'm pretty sure 18 is based on some actuarial data that says "it ain't perfect but it should work in general".

Oh, and at least in the US - 18 is considered the age when you are useful enough to fight in the armed services. So we changed the voting age from 18 to 21 as well, because after after sending kids who were 18 to their death in Vietnam without giving them the right to vote out the leaders who were sending them was rightly seen as an injustice.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: FOSS, Multiplatform Skype Replacement for PC-to-PC Video Chat?

mick88 Re:Skype just works (281 comments)

Microsoft's existing Voice over IP product, Lync (and OCS before it) both work by using voice over port 443. By default, they will try to use encrypted UDP. But if UDP is blocked, it will fall back to encrypted TCP over 443. Skype works similarly and won't pose any new problems for MS that they haven't already addressed with Lync and OCS.

more than 3 years ago
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Porn Reportedly Found At Bin Laden Compound

mick88 Re:So? (537 comments)

>> about half or more of the adult congregation probably owns porn

I rent it. I have a lease with an option to buy.

more than 3 years ago
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Minnesota School Issues iPad 2 To Every Student

mick88 Re:level (456 comments)

The unfortunate thing is that apart from science, classes to teach basic computing skills and the computer lab, there's little reason to believe that technology is going to solve any problem that most students are likely to have.

Easily the most insightful comment in the thread... wish I had mod points.

more than 3 years ago
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Cambridge Computer IDs World's Most Boring Day

mick88 Re:I can say now: faulty (186 comments)

Amen, Brother. I wish I had mod points for you.

about 4 years ago
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Net Neutrality — Threat Or Menace?

mick88 Re:here we go again (253 comments)

why is this feller modded troll? He's responding to a question about his use of the "word" que... There is no mod for "responding to troll", but please someone have some pity on Sir Lewk and at least mod him back to 1 please.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Shows Off Future Product Tech

mick88 Re:One of these words does not belong (61 comments)

The sad fact is Yankees win world series and Billy Beane's A's never do. Microsoft _is_ the Yankees (or modern-day Chelsea for our UK brethren) of technology. Lotta money and they keep winning, even if people don't like it.

Yes there have been teams on the cheap that pop up and win every so often. But when it's an open-market free-for-all (no salary caps or revenue sharing) like MLB or the English Premier League, the teams with the money win the leagues.

So Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and HP (and now Google?) will keep winning - that's what money does for you. Not romantic, kinda sucks, and makes us all a little happy when one of the big boys fail and the upstart gets a moment in the sun.

But that doesn't mean you can't be a twins fan / scunthorpe united supporter / linux nerd. Just recognize that you're in the minority and so what? Who gives a rip? Be happy.

more than 4 years ago
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MS's "Lifeblogging" Camera Enters Mass Production

mick88 Re:Little Brother for everyone! (119 comments)

It's funny you mention Little Brother. Gordon Bell, who is cited in TFA, has a new book out called "Total Recall" in which he talks about the future state of having us all recording / logging everything we do. He says it's not big brother you need to look out for, it really is Little Brother. We will all be each other's own paparazzi, in essence.

It is a pretty good read in general - and TFA is just one of the ways that his predictions are coming true.

more than 5 years ago
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The Sidekick Failure and Cloud Culpability

mick88 Re:What IS cloud computing? (246 comments)

I think more people should be asking your question: "what is cloud computing?". Because, in my opinion, it's easy to hide behind the name "cloud" - hell the name itself implies obfuscation and mystery.

But the real answer is that the "cloud" just is an internet-facing datacenter housing services or data. The trustworthyness (is that a word?) of the cloud is really dependent on the provider of the cloud. Some clouds are more redundant, resilient, and secure than others. That's important to consider when you're evaluating a move to the cloud. You _need_ to know where the data lives & how it's being backed up / secured. The term "cloud" implies it, but doesn't ensure it.

The cloud is like the internet - you could think of it as one giant nebulous entity, but in reality it's a bunch of independently owned & run services. just like AOL != the internet, geocities != the cloud. But there is a relationship there.

To me, this story about the "cloud failure" is like having someone's local ISP have an outage, then cry about how the Internet isn't reliable.

more than 5 years ago
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Is Cloud Computing the Hotel California of Tech?

mick88 Re:Facebook/Myspace != cloud computing (250 comments)

Even though your MS comment was humorous, the reality is that MS actually is in the cloud computing business: http://www.microsoft.com/online/default.mspx

It's becoming a huge part of MS's strategy. And as someone who works with customers to move to cloud services, I can also confirm that it is much easier to move your data to the cloud (both to MS and Google's clouds) than it is to move the data back. There are ways to move data back out, but most of what I've seen / used have been manual. For example - you can always export your Outlook data to a PST and re-import it to an Exchange mailbox. So it's possible, but not pretty.

more than 5 years ago
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"Windows 7 Compatible" PCs Must Be 64-bit

mick88 Re:Competely untrue.... (440 comments)

Completely true!! re-read your quoted text: "this time PCs will have to work with all versions of Windows 7 to qualify for the sticker".

The last bit important - this is only about the sticker. At no point in TFA does it state Win7 will only run on 64-bit capable systems.

more than 5 years ago
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"Windows 7 Compatible" PCs Must Be 64-bit

mick88 Re:Good (440 comments)

Yup you are correct: there is no Office 2007 64-bit. It obviously runs fine on 64-bit windows, but until Office 2010 there's no true 64-bit office apps.

more than 5 years ago

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