* Posts by Azzy

174 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Mar 2010


Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes


Huh! I'm actually not minding it...

I had to take a flamethrower and a barrel of bleach to it, since it came stuffed with all manner of garbage apps, but once I did, and pinned the apps I use to it in it's place, I like it better than the win7 start menu. The tiles are a more comfortable size, since you can resize the menu. The cascading menus of the old start menu really did kinda suck - they're nice to have there to find stuff if you have to, but it's now out of the way, and you use the tiles for the common stuff.

It's a shame most of the live tiles apps that come with windows are kinda lame. Only one I use is the weather one (though like everything in win10, it's sorely lacking in customization) - but they're kinda neat, and I'd use more live tiles if they became available and showed things I cared about.

Looking for laxatives, miss? Shoppers stalked via smartphone Wi-Fi


Re: Erm, what?

Well, according to this order, they can go ahead and do that, as long as they don't tell you that you can opt out, if I read that correctly...

Good grief! Have you seen BlackBerry's square smartphone?


Man, that's sexy. If I were a suit, I'd totally want one... I almost want one now

I honestly don't think I've seen a phone that combines that level of polish with so many original features since 2007. The level of thought that is evident in the design is incredible. I'd really like to get to hold and use one - the trackpad sounds like a really good idea. One of the biggest frustrations I have when using my mobile devices is that selecting text really really sucks. I think the shortcuts also have a lot of potential (though it should be an obvious move for phones with a keyboard, the few current phones that have keyboards don't seem to do that).

It's definitely got potential - if the software, and those upcoming buisiness-friendly features work in practice, this could return Blackberry to relevance.

NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'


Don't lie to us Dabbs, we know you're a terrorist!

A j-walking terrorist with Turkish connections, moonlighting as an IT reporter, conspiring enter the country falsely claiming to be a "production manager", in order to destroy the fabric of our society through promotion of gross lawlessness. I am only thankful that the brave police officer intervened before you were able to put your plan to unlawfully cross the street into action.

eBay says database leak dump offers are fake


Of course they haven't found 123456 in the hashed passwords

Ebay's password complexity rules would not permit that password!

Peak thumb drive is coming in 2016


What about the rest of the world?

It seems like they're undercounting emerging markets, if they're predicting the peak to happen so soon. I'm sure sales will fall (if they aren't already) in developed countries - but largely because everyone (or at least every household) has several already, and the capacities have long since gotten high enough that nobody needs to buy new ones. And they're less necessary now, with the rise of mobile devices and cloud services.

But they seem to be imagining that rest of the world has ubiquitous broadband and home networking too. As more and more people in underdeveloped countries start using computers, it is inevitable that they'll need to move files between computers before they have good broadband.

Windows XP market share decline stalls, Mac OS X surges


That stat counting method underestimates XP machines, particularly ones that won't upgrade

If what I see of XP computer use around me is any indication, checking web server logs is a terrible way to assess the number of XP computers still deployed.

At my apartment, everyone's main computers are running Win7/8 (or Mac OS - I have a roommate who swings both ways) - but each of us has a media center PC's that play stuff off the NAS (all XP, because the hardware is aging and we have doubts about whether they could handle Win7 - the upgrade cost isn't much higher than the value of the hardware, but it works. None of those machines routinely touch the internet - they're just for playing content we've downloaded on larger screens. So those aren't being counted...

And then there are the machines that are being used occasionally (either as extra machines, or by people who don't use computers much).

And these are likely to be kept until they fall apart, and never upgraded - either because the hardware won't perform well with win7, or because we can't cost justify the upgrade, or because the owner isn't good with computers and their kid(s) have moved out so they don't have anyone to train them on the new OS (and let's face it, moving from XP to 7+ does take training for... probably the bottom quartile of computer use skill).

Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?


I'm like that on ebay - it's even better!

About half a monthly-rent-check worth of electronicrap shipped from china, ordered over the past month.

The best part is, it takes forever to ship, so you A) can't make the mistake of buying anything you actually need (can't wait for delivery) and B) forget what you ordered and why by the time you got it, so you don't waste time using it when it does arrive - the second point has the added bonus of giving you a chance to buy it again without remembering the initial order, and finally C: You don't even need a place to put it for at least a month.

Baby's got the bends: LG's D958 G Flex Android smartie


What a gimmick!

So we're supposed to think that this is a good thing?

It's not like they've made gorilla glass any less brittle (if ya'll haven't noticed, it's common for the gorilla glass on a screen to be damaged before the display itself), so the screen will still break the same way as before. I think they're just hoping the flexibility will deflect attention from the miserable screen resolution (seriously? Phablets should have full HD at a minimum...) and otherwise unremarkable specs and questionable design decisions (like the button positioning)

It'll be a facinating study in the durability of flexible electronics though. My betting is that reliability will be miserable.

Woz he talking about? Apple co-founder wants iPhones to run Android


I know people who'd buy an android iPhone

Within my circles of friends, I don't have trouble finding someone who prefers the design of the iPhone (even with the small screen and second rate hardware specs) - but most of these people still use an android phone and/or complain bitterly about the limitations of iOS.

There are people who like the hardware design decisions, but not the software ones. All apple would need to do is make it possible for someone to install a non-standard OS on an iPhone, and some genius on XDA would figure out how to make android run...

Vultures circle to feast on carcass of free remote desktop service LogMeIn


Re: VPN + RDP?

That's what I don't get either.

Who are these business users who are going to use LogMeIn to provide remote access, when RDP and a VPN works just fine, and covers all the other network services that you might need workers to access remotely?

It's not that hard to set up a VPN by corporate IT standards - and it can be done either with open source software, or paid solutions from companies that actually inspire trust (who the fuck is LogMeIn?) with more luxurious features and enhanced security.

Meanwhile, the personal users (and people at small businesses using LogMeIn without official support) will balk at being charged a fee, because they only picked it because it was the first easy solution they found on google. They'll just move to team viewer or some other similar free tool. Or maybe the unofficial small business users will ask for the paid version, and their IT person will realize they need a proper remote access solution.

Nokia Lumia update spreads Black death


It's not just microsoft who has a crap process for firmware updates...

I recently determined that I can't update firmware for one of my samsung phones (original note) using my desktop computer, because it insisted the battery (at 100%) was low. Some people say you can fix that by unplugging all other USB devices - including the keyboard and mouse - so that was out the window.

Another laptop was unable to communicate with it at all, leaving me to fall back to an ancient windows xp laptop. That worked.

A little while before, I was unable to get ADB drivers to install on the desktop in order to flash CM onto my nexus 7, and on the laptop, I needed to boot into safe mode to install drivers after uninstalling fast-charge (which means now my laptop can't quick-charge my devices)...

My point is, the situation with updating firmware on android devices is an unholy mess too.

Dell confirms Chromebook for Blighty


Re: Some Chromebooks are more equal than others

Man, you've had to pull the battery twice? Wouldn't that be hard if one owned a chromebook without removable batteries? (I don't know how widespread non-removable batteries are on chromebooks). It has been years since I had to pull the batteries on any of my laptops... 2 in 6 months is pretty bad. I hope (for the sake of both the manufacturers and consumers) that this isn't typical.

The lack of SMB access is a nasty (and presumably intentional) flaw in ChromeOS - are there not any workarounds for it like there are on Android (either an app to browse SMB shares, like ESFS et al on android, or wizardry to add in full support (like cifs.ko on android))?

Seagate's LaCie whips out bonkers posh silver-plated storage ball


This wasn't what I had in mind

when I said I was willing to pay extra for an external drive with hardware mirroring...

Google search biz offer BINNED by EU competition chief


We're sanctioning google because they hurt "vertical search" companies?

We should be congratulating them for killing those worthless linkfarms!

I have _never_ viewed a "vertical search" site and not immediately hit back, annoyed that instead of getting to a relevant result, I clicked a link going to a results page on another search engine - and guess what? Their results are ALWAYS worse, usually much worse.

If these competing search engines weren't worse than google, I'd use them. But they are worse - and usually much worse. I can't escape the conclusion that the outcome of this will be that google will be required to show less-relevant search results - to degrade the quality of the service provided to consumers - to help half-assed domestic businesses to sell an inferior product.

Android tablets to outsell laptops by 2017: IDC


This is a non-event

Does it really matter if the unwashed masses switch from buying cheap crapola laptops that end up in the landfill in 4 years (half that if the owner is a klutz), or cheap crapola tablets that cost half as much and end up in the landfill in half that time?

Either way, it's stupid people buying low end tech and using it to consume vapid and/or sexual content ("dick and drivel"), and throwing it away when it craps out.

It only matters to the manufacturers in the junk business (as Tim Cook called it, in just about his only decent quote as CEO)....

PANIC OVER DROOPING house prices hits MEMBER-shaped estate


Either you guys have filthy minds, or I don't.

I have to work to see the cock+balls there. The balls aren't really visible, and the cock is mishapen. I'm sure there are plenty of roads in the world that look way more like male genitalia.

It's kinda short though - only 6 houses long. And the surroundings don't look all that nice, either. They really should have used condominiums, before putting it in there....

Winamp is still a thing? NOPE: It'll be silenced forever in December


What a screwing!

Why can't they open source it, or at least release it into the public domain, if they're done with it? Why must they engage in "book burning"?

I use this application on all of my windows systems, and it's integrated with a remote control system that I have put a great deal of time into (based on WWWinamp, but it didn't do everything I needed it to and was no longer being supported, so I decompiled it and added a few features I needed, and fixed a few bugs).

We've found it – the ULTIMATE man-cave accessory



What the hell kind of self-respecting workshop/shed user would put a tool chest blinged out in chrome like the wife's kitchen into their workshop?!

Add in the tiny television (not even a proper display that could take computer input, so you could, say, display resources relevant to whatever you're building), a stereo system taking up a perfectly good drawer, and a miniscule fridge ALSO taking up perfectly good drawer space?

The price is about right for a set of really nice drawers about that size (the kind you can pull all the way out and stand on), but based on the attention paid to stupid things on this unit, I'll wager these aren't really nice drawers, but simply average ones.

Acer suffers terrible let-down after unexpected withdrawal of Wang


Why's the stock falling?

Acer's been getting fucked for years, I'd think the shareholders would be happy to see the wang pulling out...

It's the Inter-THREAT of THINGS: Lightbulb ARMY could turn on HUMANITY


This is not as farfetched as you might think.

I've got a Linortek Fargo, which I use to control the lights in my room, and kick off the microwave to start a cup of tea so it's ready when I get home.

The fargo doesn't use some remote located cloud that I don't control... but on several occasions , I've had to shut down the fargo for some reason or another... and then i'm standing in pitch darkness. That's the dark side to these connected houses - literally. Now, I could have wired it up smarter to have lights on when the unit was off, but I didn't think of that at the time (and it's kinda hard to fix now, due to questionable design decisions on my part).

That's my point though - it's a new thing you have to think about, how will software or hardware failures in the control systems effect everyday living.

McDonalds ponders in-store 3D printing for Happy Meal toys


Not a bad idea...

but before they start making their happymeal toys on-the-spot and just-in-time, maybe they could try that with the food?

Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE


What's wrong with this picture....

Ah! I've got it

They're at work (he's dealing with "co-workers"), but they're using an ink-jet printer.

Ink jet printers have no place in the office. Actually, they really don't have any place in the home either - home users are better off with laser printers too, because ink jets die if you don't print enough on them, which is the case for most home users (office users, on the other hand, print too much for ink jet printers to hold up). I'm honestly not sure what their niche is - I think it might be stupid people.

LG G Flex: A new cheeky curvy mobe with a 'SELF-HEALING' bottom


The point of the curved screen....

...is to distract you from the fact that the screen resolution isn't 1080p like Sammy's flagship phones.

And at the cost of not being able to put it flat on your desk, and it having an awkward shape to fit in your front pockets (does their warranty cover damage from putting your phone in your back pocket and then crushing it when you sit down?).

Stupid gimmick - surely done just to me-too samsung.

Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE updating - especially you, IT admins


The downloads are slow due to traffic? That sure instills faith in the Azure cloud...

Maybe they should have hosted some mirrors on AWS?

Also, making it download only is not really reasonable for a 3.5 GB file, if they want everyone to upgrade. I mean, if they don't want people who live in rural areas where megabit internet isn't available to use their product, they're doing great, but I don't think that's what they wanted.

Or what if you're one of those people who tethers to mobile as their main source of connectivity? That's a $35 download if you're over your monthly limit (at least on most US carriers - maybe things are better across the pond? But then again, I hear there's no 4G LTE there yet...)

Internet Explorer 11 BREAKS Google, Outlook Web Access


It sounds like a human race condition...

Reading over that, particularly the interim fix of disabling Microsoft's compatibility list, it sounds like something like this happened:

Microsoft released IE 11 with Win 8.1 RTM, and people started working with it for compatibility testing.

Both google and microsoft recognized that there was an issue with IE 11 and Google properties.

Microsoft adds google to a compatibility list that makes their pages work.

Google fixes the problem (possibly very close to the Win8.1 rollout) so the compatibility list is no longer needed, but this makes it incompatible with IE 11 if the settings in the compat list are used.

Microsoft releases Win 8.1 and IE 11, and is horrified to discover that Google properties don't work anymore. As is Google.

If this is what happened, I find it hard to be angry at either of them - both of them were trying to do prevent any problems, but wound up breaking eachothers' work.

Thai kids find free tablets hard to swallow as govt scheme hits trouble


What do you think the failure rate would be with a "nice" tablet?

A 70% survival rate for tablets handed out to a bunch of 7-year-olds with the expectation that they bring them to school every day?

Those things are going to be sat on, operated with hands covered in food grease or other filth, used as both weapons and shields, dropped, lost, and submerged in water.

I bet most "nice" tablets would have a hard time getting a 70% survival rate, being handled and dragged around by first graders all day every day for a school year...

Congrats on MP3ing your music... but WHY bother? Time for my ripping yarn


Easiest way is to pitch the CD's and torrent the MP3

That's what I've always done, at least, and I keep the MP3's backed up on a total of 5 storage devices across 3 addresses to prevent data loss (well, 4 at the moment, one of them got dropped while moving, hence the need for backups) - and you can keep a clean conscience because you did buy the music.

Also, shame on you for sending your kid off to college with a phone with 4GB of storage and a broken headphone jack! What will he listen to during lectures?! Why, I'll bet that thing won't even run the latest games!

Microsoft: Surface a failure? No, it made us STRONGER


We alienated our partners, wrote off $900m, and were the laughingstock of the industry...

We plan to do more of this in the future!

For example, we're buying Nokia...

Chap unrolls 'USB condom' to protect against viruses


Does this work with fast charging ports?

Simply cutting the data lines is insufficient, as they are used by charging ports to tell the device that higher power is available, by putting a DC voltage on the data lines (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#Charging_ports_and_accessory_charging_adapters ). It's not clear if the USB Condom handles this correctly.

There's a project on kickstarter right now called "Locked USB" ( http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1137339450/lockedusb-adapter-usb-charger-firewall-and-power-o ), with a few days left to go, which does the same thing, essentially, and claims to allow high current / fast charging to work correctly.

It's sort of insane how phones assume that any USB cable plugged into them is trustworthy for connecting to. It was excusable in 2007, but the smartphone has been around for 5 years, and I'm amazed that phones still don't "ask permission" before connecting to something plugged into them.

Tesla cars 'hackable' says Dell engineer


Uh, it's a little worse than the sunroof, since it unlocks doors.

Since you know where the car is, and can unlock the doors (and even honk the horn if you need help finding it in the parking lot you know it's in)... if you get this security token for any tesla, you can use it to find the car and pilfer it's contents - and since the owner can afford a Tesla, they're rich, so there's gotta be something worth stealing in it too.

Holiday HELL: Pourquoi, monsieur, why is there no merdique Wi-Fi here?


Re: Sad

Don't tell me what to do on my holiday!

I go on vacation to do WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT! If you want to live like we didn't have telecommunications, you can go right ahead. You can stay in a cave, butcher animals with stone tools, and contact your family back home using smoke signals for all I care! I don't judge - but please return the favor! If I'm traveling, I expect to have reliable internet to stay in touch and have something to do other than pickle my brain with margaritas after the sun goes down. No squalid caves, no "no signal", no stone tools, and no smoke signals (unless I'm going to Amsterdam - but apparently there's wifi there anyway)

I want my vacations to be a break from work, not a break from modern civilization.

Do you think spinning rust eats flash's dust? Join the hard drive daddies club


I never before realized how expensive enterprise disk arrays are

I know it's not the point of the article... but was anyone else stunned when they read the bit about disk arrays costing over $2/gb?!

With bulk HDD capacity at around $0.10/gb, the disk arrays have plenty of room to cut costs to be competitive with flash.

No wonder the network drives at the office are so small, new capacity costs a fortune.

Google to snub Samsung, hand Nexus 10 to Asus – report


Well duh...

Nexus 7, made by Asus. Great device, sells in great numbers (for an android tablet)

Nexus 10, made by Samsung. Uninspiring device, doesn't sell.

Google is doing exactly what anyone would do in the situation. Tell Sammy to take a hike, and hire Asus to do it right.

Note that I suspect Samsung didn't really try (or maybe even tried to sabotage it), since they didn't want to cannibalize their own product line...

Acer to downplay Windows in favor of Android, Chrome OS


Re: Bad for Android

I was thinking the exact same thing.

As far as I can tell, there's a key factor missing from Acer's turnaround strategy, and that is to stop selling poorly made crap that's so severely underspec'ed that it can barely run the OS it ships with.

Google patents swish, swosh, swoosh pattern unlock app swipe


It doesn't look like that they thought of having the special unlock motions only unlock one app (blocking access to home screen or other apps). I have trouble reading patentese, but I couldn't find anything that covered using different patterns for different levels of access, though they sprinkle "may" around so much that it's hard to be certain of anything.

They certainly didn't seem to be thinking much about that while writing the patent, even though that's the most interesting (and probably hardest to implement) use of this....

See a young Brit's mobe? 55% chance it has nekkid selfies on it, claims poll


You think the GenY'ers at El Reg were telling the truth?

You need to ask again - but this time demand proof if they deny having dirty pics on their phone... and post the evidence if you catch them lying about it.

It would get lots of views, sort of like a NSFW get-to-know-the-Reg-staff-way-too-well article...

'World's BIGGEST online fraud': Suspect's phone had 'location' switched on



That's gotta be either the best or the worst last name ever.

BOFH: Don't be afraid - we won't hurt your delicate, flimsy inkjet printer


I love how it's not entirely clear at the end, when the boss runs off to the old printer, what's going to happen there.

Will he free the guy?

Press "online"?

Discover that it's a clever trap, and the PFY arranged it so the boss's own tie gets stuck, and the printer turned back on as he tries to free the guy, killing two bird[brain]s with one stone?

Free cloud server self-destructs in 35 minutes


What to do with an instant server?

Well, first you set up an instant server to run some scripts that sign up for more instant servers and load them all up with another script.

These child "instant servers" call home to the main one, and once there are enough children, they all initiate a DDOS attack against instantserver.io

That sounds fun doesn't it?

What's sort of ridiculous is that you can already get a limited time EC2 micro instance for free, and then pay to get it for longer. Only you get it free for a year, instead of 35 minutes, and after that you pay 2 cents an hour for it, instead of 25.

Google study finds users ignore Chrome security warnings


Maybe Chrome users click through more because they're aware of Chrome's reputation for security?

Chrome has consistently done the best out of the mainstream browsers on security tests (ex pwnium, etc). Maybe the users are more likely to be like "So what if the site pushes out malware. I'm on chrome, the malware won't pwn me"?

The thing is, when you pop up a malware or cert warning, with the only option being ignore or leave, you are asking people to stop the task they were trying to do - and the only way to move towards their goal is to ignore the warning entirely. They could improve the effectiveness of these warnings by giving us an alternative other than all or nothing...

They should always give an option to proceed with JS and all plugins disabled.

For cases where the warning is one of those "Site X contains content from Site Y which is known to distribute malware" - which are almost always caused by an ad network getting hacked and filled with malware - why is there no option to "Proceed, but block all content from site Y"?

What's an enterprise SSD sale?


The point is to get an understanding of the scale on which SSD's are being built and used, and by whom. In that light, you have to include Google.

This question is only coming up because we're judging the adoption of a class of device in terms of dollars - that's an excellent way to measure adoption of, for example, dollar bills, but less optimal for anything else. It would be fascinating to see these totals next to total units shipped and total capacity - I think that (particularly combined with similar info for HDD market) would put things in perspective, and give a lot more insight about SSD usage trends. I think most of us would be most interested in those numbers for google's share, naturally.

Acer Iconia W3: The first 8-inch Windows 8 Pro tablet

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Let's play "list the dealbreakers"

* Crap display. Not only is it 1280x800 (the same resolution as the phone I got nearly 2 years ago), but it's not even a nice 1280x800 panel (if El Reg disses it like that, it's gotta suck, considering what they let acer get away with on laptops).

* No micro USB charging connector. Seriously? This is a tablet, with finite battery life. If you use a non-standard charger, I have to carry that with me everywhere I go. With microusb, I can count on there being a compatible charger most places, and even if I need to bring my own, it would handle all my devices. IMO, to be fair when comparing tablets, you need to add the weight and size of any custom chargers to the quoted weight and size specs.

* Micro SD capped at 32gb. God, I hope that's just an oversight in the specs; they're available in 64GB already, and I'd expect another 2:1 increase within the replacement cycle for a new Windows device.

* The OS takes up 30gb of storage on a device with as little as 32.

* Full version of Windows 8 crammed into 2gb of ram, so you can't really do anything with it.

The core problem here is that they want windows 8 pro running on an 8 inch tablet - which is a really tall order with current technology. But they're acer, so they aren't using current technology. As usual, they cheaped out and cut corners until they produced a product nobody will want to use. Chuck it in the bin with the rest of Acer's sub-par product line.

Optical archival system - where to buy from?


Let's run the numbers...

The cost of just the media for optical drives is just plain not competitive with harddrives.

That would be okay if the longevity of the optical disks was better - but reported experiences with optical disks are not consistent with them having greater longevity (not that harddrives have a sterling record, of course, but when not in use and stored carefully, they rarely fail to work when you fire them up again). Even if optical media is only 2x the cost per gb of spinning rust (I suspect it's worse), i wouldn't feel confident enough to keep only one copy. Whether using spinning rust or optical drives, I'd feel like I need at least 2 copies of the backup.

I think the best solution for you is either tape or high capacity harddrives (maybe configured as RAID array, maybe even in their own second 5 bay NAS that is nominally kept powered down in a secure location)

Let's assume you're backing up 16 TB of data (a 5 bay drobo in raid 5 with the largest HDDs you could find), and let's be assume your data is essentially incompressible (such as video, which is the only way for any normal person to use that kind of space)

I was able to find a quote of like $7k for that optical drive, and the media seems to run a whopping $300 for 1.5TB media. That means your 16TB of data would be $3300, plus $7k for the drive, for $10300 for one copy, and $3300 for each additional copy.

LTO 6 tape seems to run like $80 for 2.5TB. The drives are around $2300, plus 50 for an SAS controller, since you probably don't have one. This would be 7 cartridges for $560, so $2910 plus $560 per extra copy of your data.

LTO Ultrium 5 runs $30 per 1.5TB cartridge. The drives are around $1700, plus 50 for an SAS controller. This would be 11 cartridges for $330, so $2080+330 per extra copy of your data.

A diskless 5 bay NAS can be had for as little as $100, but it seems like reputable brands start at $400-500. 4TB drives can be had for like $180. 5 for $900. So 20 TB of raw storage in 5 bay NAS is $1400 - you'd run it raid 5 like before and get $1400 per copy of your 16GB backup


Spinning rust: $1400 per backup ($1000 if you trust a cheap NAS to house the drives)

Spooling rust (LTO6): $2910 for first backup $560 per extra one

Spooling rust (LTO5 ultrium) $2080 for first backup, $330 for each extra one

Spinning optical dye: $10300 for first backup, $3300 for each extra one.

Looking at even these example numbers is, I think, a good exercise to keep these options in perspective.

Who ate all the flash pie: Samsung, 'course, but hang on... GOOGLE?


Re: Research is hard

I'm not getting any explanation either from Google search- other than that they were planning to use Intel SSDs. Which is inconsistent with this report- it implies they are selling SSDs. All I could find was referring to them buying ssds.

Apple: iOS7 dayglo Barbie makeover is UNFINISHED - report


Apple has lost it's way without their messiah...

If Steve was there, he'd have made the marketeers walk the plank (off that yacht that he never got to sail) just for daring to think about designing an icon...

And the people who talked to that blogger? Yeah, them too.

Flattening the styling on the layouts is fine - whether your have flat or faux-3d buttons is a matter of fashion, and fashion is dynamic. In the 00's, starting with WinXP's restyling, faux-3d was in fashion, probably in part because computers had reached a point where they could do that and have the result look decent. Now tastes have moved back to a flatter styling (we can all theorize about why - but really, it's fashion - rationalizing only goes so far). Steve might well have come around to this - but if he was in charge, the flat icons that went out on the developer preview would have actually been good.

Acer Iconia A1-810: The Android tab longing for eight-inch Apple action


Sounds like a crap tablet...

The screen is dim, it's heavier than the competition, and thicker too...

The screen resolution is poor (1024x768? please, my 1.5 year old phone has higher resolution), the touchscreen responsiveness is below par...

It's processor performance barely matches that of the Tegra 3, even though the former has been in shipping devices for nearly a year...

Oh, and it's made by Acer, which has a less than sterling reputation for build quality and power management.

This tablet seems to have nothing to recommend it.

Comcast expands public Wi-Fi net using customers' modems

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Are you kidding me?!

Why the hell should I want my modem giving internet to anyone other than me?

For that matter, why do I want my modem doing wifi period? I do NOT trust the comcast clowns with my wifi security. Will I need to wrap my next modem in foil?

Totally not cool.

Obama weighs in on NSA surveillance imbroglio


I don't call this "making choices as a society"

How could the society have made the choice, when the society in question wasn't even aware of the program until someone leaked a request document?

Acer kicks off Computex with tabs and phabs


Re: Acer Laptops

I've had no problems with the 2 cheap acer laptops I've owned either, nor the one my mother had - but I had a lousy experience with the high end one I bought. As far as I could tell, the cooling just wasn't sized appropriately. If it was cleaned out with canned air every few weeks, I could watch videos on it, and do some light gaming without it overheating and throttling the processor (resulting in the system being entirely unusable). My friend had a mid-range Acer fail within ~2 years (screen died - still in service with external display).

The chargers/power supplies for those laptops are a different story. Budget or high end, they're crap. The charger cords routinely break - the cord between the power supply and connector is coaxial, and the outer wire breaks away from the connector due to inevitable flexing of the cord. Between us, my friend and I have racked up 5 power cord repairs and one replacement with only five computers. The only saving grace is that the power supplies are all interchangeable, so we're not dead in the water when one fails.

I also got duped into buying their A500 tablet. Granted the whole first gen of android tabs sucked - but the A500 was particularly bad. Several times the wifi crapped out and needed factory reset to fix, and physical design was awful - felt much heavier than the specs said. Wound up selling it for less than half what I paid a few months later.

I can't recommend Acer for any scenario that demands a real computer, and there are far better options for scenarios that don't.