* Posts by Robert

8 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Oct 2007

T-Mobile G1

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Choosing a phone by OS

"Apart those with either a technical or professional interest, it's open to question how many mobile phone purchasers weigh up the matter of a device's operating system before handing over their cash.

Looks, camera resolution, cost, yes. OS? Probably not."

Um, think again. The huge (and sorely disappointed) legion of Palm users were loyal to the Palm OS until the company screwed the pooch through bad decisions and mis-steps. Not only did you have the wonderful UI for managing everything, much like the vaunted "MarketPlace" you had a wealth of 3rd party software available (much of it for free). And as the #1 PDA, everyone had "sync" software to sync your PC's list of contacts and calendar entries with your PDA. Corporate software like Outlook and Notes included. And, if you yourself were a developer and so inclined, you could write your own apps.

Similarly, I suspect there are Windows Mobile users who choose by OS as well.

I think Android will indeed fit into this category -- people will definitely choose phones that are running Android because they are, just as people did with Palm phones when they arrived. The decision tree becomes: #1 questoin: is it the OS I Want? Then, after that, all the other questions.

So, not only do some people take into account the OS when they choose a mobile phone, when they do so it is often the most important primary question.

Sun injects Euro universities with OpenSparc

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Feedback loop mistake

You can't say that things start in academia and then get commercialized; it ain't that simple. In this case, Unix didn't start at Berkely and move to Sun for commercialization as Solaris. It started at AT&T Bell Labs, and moved to Berkely and then to Sun. Admittedly, Bell Labs was a commercial version of an academic environment (RIP), like Xerox PARC.

Hasbro kills Colonel Mustard in the corporate office with the marketing ploy

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It's a win-win situation (for them)

If the rejiggered Clue(do) sells, they win -- and they're already getting free PR via articles such as this. I mean, if they hadn't done this, none of us would be thinking about Clue(do) today.

If the bastardized game doesn't sell well, they just reissue "Classic Clue(do)" amid a PR frenzy ala Classic Coke. Again, they win.

Not saying I approve or anything. When I was a kid, the whole Agatha Christie environment felt period and foreign -- and cool. That was part of the whole mystique. It was called a pistol, not a handgun as one would have expected. It was a lead pipe for Heaven's sake -- after figuring out what they did to our brains, no-one has used lead pipes since the Romans. I've never seen a lead pipe in my life. So, back to what I said first. They're doing this just because they can and think it'll work. Not because it it's for the better.

Here's hoping it backfires and we get the Classic Coke scenario and the world is right again.

Microsoft pledges to fight Vista 'myths'

Dead Vulture

Get your derogatory Yank terms staight...

From the article: "Microsoft also ran an ad in newscomic USA Today..."

Nice try, but the official derogatory term is simply "McPaper." Anyone this side of the pond would have known that.

IBM gives mainframe another push

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2 Oxen vs. 1024 chickens

Daniel B.: Have you cracked open the covers on the new mainframes? I think you'll find that rather than one big oxen, it's a big chicken coop with 256 chickens inside.

Automated crack for Windows Live captcha goes wild


Re: I have a new idea (flash captcha)

You're not understanding the whole concept of captcha's. Though they make the human jump through hoops to proceed, that's not their purpose. Their purpose is to present a problem that, using present levels of technology, can (hopefully) only be solved by a human -- but not so hard a problem that any humans would be "left out" or so arduous that the human is dissuaded from proceeding. And, in order for them to remain effective, they must be able to be dynamically generated; if a human must generate them (such as creating a question / answer pair) then the attackers / spammers can just cache the proper answers in a database. (My definition.)

A flash animation that required a human to click would annoy humans, leave out a significant subset of human users, and (here's the real problem) probably be solvable using current computer technology. All you need is an open source flash engine that you can hack to your purposes. No mouse click is really needed; your pwned flash engine can register a simulated click whenever it wants. The trickiest part is figuring out when and at what coordinates to send the clicks. But since the code that drives this flash captcha would be human generated, it could be human reverse-engineered, and the knowledge coded into the bots with the pwned flash engines. The good guys in this "war" might then turn to code auto-generation / obfuscation, but if I had to bet money on who would win, it wouldn't be on the good guys.

Microsoft lifts Visual Studio usage restrictions



Why the heck would you need a separate "back end" to Visual Studio to target Mono? Isn't the main goal of Mono to allow you to run .NET applications unmodified on a non-Windows platform?

Erratic fleshies sabotage, wreck innocent flying robot


HELLO! User interface design error!

No one at El Reg, or in the posts so far has caught the fact that this was really caused by a horrid user interface design? One lever being used for two very different purposes, and with no obvious feedback? As in: "WARNING: ENGINE OFF" in big red letters on the screen?

Operator error indeed. That's like having a button on the dashboard of your car that swaps the brake and accelerator functions (or at very least, brake and windshield wiper).

I'm betting these consoles cost thousands and thousands of dollars. I think they could have afforded a second lever and alert message when an airborn plane has its engine switched off.