* Posts by k9gardner

59 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Nov 2010


Firm fat-fingered G Suite and deleted its data, so it escalated its support ticket to a lawsuit


Re: Place files in cloud - surprise - can't reach'em anymore

The service people think they're paying for IS the security of having the date in the cloud, where it will always be backed up by service provider policy. Google is simply behaving like the near-monopoly that it is. We've also had cases of inadvertently deleted data that "cannot be recovered." Anybody else would have to recover it. Not Google.

Hand in glove: Google and the US State Dept


Encouraged to defect?

"...nobody is visually representing and mapping the defections, which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition."

Huh? I should think we would want to encourage the Syrian people to stand their ground, and preserve THEIR claim to their very homeland, instead of essentially helping them to evacuate the country.

Google's .bro file format changed to .br after gender bother


.bro or .br?

I think it should have been left as .bro. Do you know that the iOS game "Word Warp" accepts "sis" as a word, but not "bro"?! What's up with that? So we'll take our bro's anywhere we get them, thank you.

Tablets, smartwatches just not doing it for Apple right now


Awful aphorisms

Do we really need to suffer through "fruity folk" twice in one (brief) article?

GOOGLE GMAIL ATE MY LINUX: Gobbled email enrages Torvalds


Not only Linus

I discovered the same problem last week, but didn't go beyond moving the messages back to my inbox. This could be a real problem for any businesses relying on gmail (hosted gmail counts too!). I need to make an announcement to my company, and google needs to make a fix to theirs!

Look, no handsets: How to do telephony without a phone


I still like POTS

I sometimes still think about getting a POTS line installed at home, and wish I had it at the office as well. I just don't enjoy talking on the phone any more as the service is typically delivered today, via VoIP or whatever other protocols might be in use.

There's that little bit of lag, always. There's that "CATNAP" sound quality (a mobile-home industry term: cheapest available technology, narrowly avoiding prosecution). To a hearing-compromised person (as more and more of us will be over the coming years), that's the worst part of it. And there's the dropouts, slapback echo and entirely dropped calls. And finally (off the top of my head) there's the security/confidentiality considerations (i.e. there is none).

So while you can do telephony without the phone, it's just not what it could be. Compare a typical Skype PC-to-PC connection, where at least the sound quality sounds like you're sitting in the same room with the person (although there are still the lag and other problems), for the high bar of what can be achieved, and the typical cell phone to cell phone connection where every call is a series of "can you hear me now," or "excuse me," or "can you repeat that please?" for the low bar. It's a huge gap.

The whole calling experience becomes counterproductive, frustrating, and just makes people sad instead of happy. Other than that, it's great.

Doh! iTunes store goes down AFTER Apple Watch launch


Pig arse-ugly?

Perhaps I could be called a fanboi, but pig arse-ugly Watch?

Let's do it this way. Please provide a list of three watches you do NOT consider pig arse-ugly. Then we'll look at these, and try to reckon whether you're just being anti-Apple-Midas-touch, or whether you truly do have a point here.

At the moment, I'd be hard pressed to come up with a watch that I'd call pig arse-ugly, although if you were to ask about a pig arse-ugly car, I would unhesitatingly be able to offer up the Nissan Juke (http://www.caranddriver.com/images/14q4/638371/2015-nissan-juke-official-photos-and-info-news-car-and-driver-photo-650808-s-original.jpg).

Please do follow through on this so as to maintain some credibility in the watch design category!

Tricked by satire? Get all your news from Facebook? You're in luck, dummy


Some satire is deliberately misleading (and hence not satire)

I know on the surface it sounds kind of idiotic that they would have to do this, but there are some sites that - when push comes to shove - will acknowledge themselves to be "satire sites", but their "news stories" are told without the least bit of humor or irony, and their websites do not make any mention anywhere that they are satirical, spoofs, humorous, or anything. They are simply dangerous and deliberate rabble rousers. Not sure what to do about them, I don't even think calling it satire is helpful. Just lies, basically.

Stephen Hawking biopic: Big on romance, not so much with the science?


Don't bet on it.

I can't think of anything – really, not a single thing – that I would less want to know about than Stephen Hawking's romantic life. But don't bet your money that that's what the movie is about. In my experience, and in yours too, if you really think about it, it's not the filmmakers that are perverse, it's the trailer-makers. Trailers are made by different studios than the pictures themselves. These guys are allowed for some indeterminable reason to take excruciating liberties with the actual meat and meaning of the flick to drum up buzz for the film, even if the trailer bears little or no resemblance to the film. I am not saying I'm going to rush out to see the movie, but I might, if early reviews of the movie, rather than of the trailer, are positive at all.

Spinning SPACE DUCK is comet-chasing Rosetta probe's PREY


Far more likely, as ancient astronaut theorists suggest, is that it ~is~ a rubber ducky, onto which significant amounts of cosmic debris have accumulated due to the high gravitational force known to be exhibited by rubber duckies moving at high velocity through space.

Hey, remember the iPod Touch? Apple just did


Do people perform hardware upgrades on their iMacs? Why on earth? I thought the whole point of it was an all-in-one plug-and-play computer that you don't have to wank around with. That's what it's been for me, I love the beast, and relish the fact that I don't have to go into it for anything.

Gay marriage foes outraged at Mozilla CEO flap, call for boycott


Glass house

Clearly Mozilla is damned / damned on this one. But the lesson to CEOs and other media-magnet corner-office dwellers, whether in publicly traded or private companies, commerce or government, is pretty clear: the "man in the street" sizing you up doesn't distinguish between your public actions and your private ones. As has been wisely written, no good deed goes unpunished. You may think it's a good deed you've done; someone else may have a differing view. If you care about the possible impact on your company, think twice.

Apple vows to add racially diverse EMOJIS after MILEY CYRUS TWITTER outrage


So many emojis missing, it's not even funny

There's not even a bunny with a pancake on his head! Regardless of what color the bunny is, that's just cray.

Boycott Firefox, gay devs urge as Mozilla appoints JavaScript daddy as CEO


Re: Alternatives

I use Safari and Chrome, day in, day out. Right, I know that some things work better in Firefox, some work better in Chrome, etc. That's like saying I'm going to use this car if it's raining outside, that one if I know I'm going to be traversing bumpy roads, and the other one if I'm going to an important meeting. For some of us - many, I would think - we have one car. And we use whatever browser is there. On my iPad, iPhone and Mac, it's Safari. I also use Chrome sometimes.

Dumping Firefox is probably no big deal for 80% of the people who use it.


Clarification for Mr. Eich

"Eich himself blogged about the controversy over his donation last year on his website, maintaining that 'Mozilla had nothing to do with the donation'."

Wow, touché, Mr. Eich, you really shut us up!

The thing is, see… Mozilla had nothing to do with the donation, ok. We get that. But ~you~ had something to do with the donation, and ~you~ are now CEO of the organization. It is ~your~ thinking that we do not want to support. Get it now?

fWHoaR! Researcher crack eternal mystery of what women want in a man


I have a long-ish face...

Thank god I'm gay.

Why 2014 might just be the year of the Google Chromebook


Re: Not quite ready yet

Of course you're right with all of these limitations, and I did my own research before buying my Chromebook. But I was working on a specific project, I needed to do a lot of text editing, on an ad-hoc basis, wherever I happened to find myself. I had actually started trying to do it on my iPad, but that was just really crippling. I was doing a lot of copying/pasting, switching among several Word and PDF documents and websites, etc, and it was painful. Buying the Chromebook, for a price of $250, seemed a no-brainer.

In fact, in the field, it proved to be a very reliable tool for what I needed it for. Now that the project is completed, I still grab it occasionally to do more casual work, searching stuff on the web, etc. But it has a really crappy display, and it gets quite annoying having everything in a browser tab that you have to try to keep track of. Oh, and the computer uses an utterly non-standard AC adapter plug, which shows that Samsung dedicated approximately zero resources in consideration of this aspect of the design (the newer HP model thankfully uses a micro USB like most other phones and pads do), and it inexplicably draws a relatively enormous amount of your battery's capacity while it's sleeping. If you think you're going to shut the lid, put it aside, and pick up where you left off the next day, you'd better guess again. Unless you specifically go through the "Shut down," you will have very little juice left.

These are nit-picky things. The computer is a good little tool, especially for the price. I would have liked a MacBook Air, but couldn't justify the cost for what I was doing. Would it do as an "only computer?" Of course not. I have iMacs in my (three) offices, and I have an old MacBook and an iPad. I've got the computers I need, and the Chromebook is one of those.


Math tutoring available

What a ridiculous article. Do you guys know math? First, I can't figure out what you're saying in the third paragraph. Previously you'd said that Chromebooks had 9.6 percent of the market, Apple MacBooks 1.8 percent, and Windows 34.1 percent. Now all of a sudden you're saying "do the sums," and we have Chromebooks with 21 percent, Apple with 4 percent and Windows with 75. What changed? What are we "summing" here that we were not summing in the first paragraph?

Second, "MacBooks are four to five times more expensive than the average Chromebook - $1,000-plus against around $200." The absolutely cheapest MacBook, the 11" Air, sells for $1,000. They range in price up to $2,600. Apple doesn't publish statistics on sales of individual models, but I'm guessing that the average price over all MacBook models sold is around $1,300. And the average Chromebook is probably ~not~ $200, since that's the ~lowest~ priced Chromebook. I actually have a Chromebook, and one that I have, made by Samsung (XE303C12), sells for $250, and I'd guess that's the most popular one - because it looks most like a MacBook.

Anyway, for the record, four to five times $200 would be $800-$1,000, and that's clearly not the price range of any of the MacBook models. If $250 is the average for Chromebooks however, then yes, probably 5 times that number is the average for MacBooks.

Finally, your statement that "in the US Apple really isn’t that big a player," seems pretty ludicrous, from what you see on the streets. I don't know where the people are that are ~not~ using Apple's product, but they're not much out and about with them. There's a reason, I think, why other vendors - including Samsung as indicated above - make their laptops to look like Apple's. I suspect it has something to do with wanting to sell some of them.

If, in your minds, all of this translates into "not that big a player," all I can say, to quote talkshow host Arsenio Hall, is "Hmmmmm."

Comet ISON seen eructating 300,000km-long methane and CO2 BELCH


Margin of error

It's pretty amusing that they don't know whether it's 3.2 billion or 3.2 trillion kilograms, but they know it's 3.2 and not 3, or 4. Gotta love science.

Seven snazzy smartphones for seven sorts of shoppers


Smartphones vs cellphones

You know... sometimes I just wish that I had a cell phone again. Something that I'd know I could pull out and use to make a phone call, that it wouldn't be out of juice after less than a day, that I could hold on my shoulder when my hands are full, and that I could actually hear the other party clearly without having to hold it "just so" against my ear. I love my iPhone... for everything but making phone calls.

Gay marriage? We'll put a stop to that 'human bug', says Nintendo



Rather than changing or inserting code bits, best bet might be to simply not buy or download the Nintendo software until they open it up to same-sex women couples as well. Have at you!

3D printed gun plans pulled after US State Department objects


I'm not sure why people aren't getting this.

Such hostile invective. The folks who can't understand why the government would take action now, and that they're stupid for pulling the plug after the plans have been released, and that they shouldn't even be getting all up about it, since it only fires a single round at a time... you all really need to look up Moore's Law. While this is not technically a mere technology evolution issue, it involves materials sciences and technology and chemistry, and all of these areas have seen phenomenal growth over the last several decades. Look at the phenomenal polymers like Kevlar and Nomex. These things didn't exist before the 60's. Put together with Moore's, the rate of change is itself increasing, and so it is not unreasonable to expect that in another decade or so there will be "plastics" that will be as strong and heat-resistant as metals are today. There will be plastic guns capable of firing multiple shots, with reasonable accuracy, perhaps with now conceivably lethal plastic bullets as well.

3D printing has only just in the last few years come into the consciousness of all but a handful of people who knew about them longer. And here we are, already, with a 3D printed gun. With zero experience, no metalworking skills, no knowledge of how guns even work, anyone who has a capable enough 3D printer, will be able to generate one of these devices, snap it together, and fire a bullet. Kids doing them as science projects, bringing them to school, undetected. Persons of ill intent doing the same, bringing them onto planes or into offices or banks or sports stadiums and using them for whatever reason they may imagine is worth it.

Doesn't this set off alarms in everyone's heads? As far as what the right answer is, who the hell knows? But to just let it go, and say, well, the cat's out of the bag, nothing we can do, really is not at all reasonable. They had to shut it down in whatever ways they had at their disposal, to buy time to at least form an opinion. I think it's a very complicated issue, and I'm glad for the extra time to work this out, thank you.

Master Beats: Why doesn't audio quality matter these days?


Re: Sad realities

I know what you're trying to say, and a lot of people have said it before, but it's really not true. Apple ~does~ make exceptionally high quality products, which I've been using for years. This is not to say that they've always done, or that they're now flawless - nothing is - but they are insanely great, from concept to industrial design to software standards to execution and beyond (they're even designed for recyclability after they're spent!). C'mon, man, life is short. Enjoy the good stuff that's out there. You know as well as I do that the reason the iPod trounced all the other PMPs out there was that it was so much better than the rest. It's not just the creature but its biosphere too. It all worked, and it worked much better and easier and more intuitively than everything else.

60-inch Apple iTV to be controlled by iRing remote?


Re: Let's see

A great quote from Arthur C. Clarke: "If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right; but if he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

You, sir, sound like you're saying it is impossible for an "iRing" to control more than volume and skip forward/back. But c'mon. More than a few times, Apple has pulled a rabbit out of a hat. Let's see what they do before we declare that they can't do anything.

Steve Jobs' 'spaceship' threatened by massive cost overruns


Cheesy reference?

I'm not sure who among you believes that Americans speak in terms of tossing hard cheese at someone's head, but this writer has never heard such an utterance. Perhaps you've lifted it from the marvelous English (not specifically American, however) phrasebook, "English as She is Spoke."

The Death of Voice: Mobile phone calls now 50 per cent shorter


Texting vs talking

I chuckle with regard to those who say they would rather use full English words and sentences in texts... I'm "old" too, but not a dinosaur! In the interest of time and progress and getting things crossed off so you can go on to the next thing, sometimes expediency is the key, not "correctness."

On the phone calling front, though, I too have found my voice call time way down, for a number of reasons, including this very important one: call/sound quality has to be at an all time low. It is enormously frustrating to be on a call with such low fidelity that sibilants are lost, the voice sounds like it's going through a ring modulator, whole passages may as well be redacted, etc. It is not a joy to talk to someone - even my mother - when both of us are straining to make out what the other is saying.

Compared to calling methods like Skype (pc-to-pc only), where it sounds like we're in the same room, the typical cell phone call is horrid. And it's no accident. The more compression they can apply, the more calls they can handle at once, keeping their costs down (though not necessarily the price for consumers!). Calls get dropped? Who cares. Call quality bad? Who cares. Apparently nobody.

Apotheker: HP board was just as culpable for Autonomy buy


Apotheker is a one-trick pony

And his race was run 10 years ago. Hang it up, kiddo. Enjoy the memories. Let a few people keep their jobs.

Apple updates maps to remove Australia’s ghost-city in the desert


obviously the data

What can you possibly mean when you assert, "The question that didn’t get asked in the midst of the game of laughing-and-pointing at Apple is 'what was the data source'?" That is exactly the question I was asking, and I'm sure I was not alone. It seemed obviously NOT to be the fault of the mapping software, it had to be the data being fed into it.

Apple's former retail boss spills magic beans on store strategy


Re: Apple Store's Stink

This has to be one of the most ridiculous comments I've ever seen. It's like saying "I seriously don't see how these excuses for tires help Ford in any way." They're where the rubber meets the road, baby. That's where it's at. They're a shiny showcase, giving the touchy-feely experience to all who want to buy.


Not getting it

What a ridiculous comment this writer makes. If you don't get it by now, you never will. Enjoy your Blackberry, or whatever other semblance of phone+apps you may use. Life is short; live it as you wish.

How spreadsheets (nearly) conquered and killed the financial industry


Great article

Not only at trading desks, but in all industries I've worked in. Mailorder/retail fashion, entertainment, commercial real estate. Very good exposé of what actually goes on and how it got that way. The solution? There is no solution. I hate to be a naysayer, but large system development is what it is, even with rapid prototyping and other quick-development-metaphors, and PC-spreadsheet mindset, Visio, SAP-Crystal Reports, etc. are what they are, and never the twain shall meet. Something totally new will have to emerge, perhaps biological computing, that will cause systems to ~need~ to be generated from scratch because there will be no upgrade path, and that will ~permit~ new systems to be generated in an organic and graspable manner. Until then I have zero hope that the problems underscored here will be solved.

Ballmer: Windows Phone 8 'WILL ramp quickly', god dammit


Right thing, right price

With all due respect to my brothers and sisters across the pond, what Microsoft does with phone pricing in the UK isn't really going to indicate or determine anything. It's a small market.

In the US, on the other hand, they are also offering a staged release, first through AT&T, then Verizon, and others. Pricing is insanely aggressive - $99.99 for the 920, and only $49.99 for the 820. Both prices are with the usual 2-year commitment.

I am no Microsoft lover, but I believe Ballmer is spot-on here. The phones are gorgeous, they're different, they're powerful (I assume), and they're cheap. With Microsoft's advertising and marketing muscle (and dollars) behind it, I totally believe it will establish itself as a real third-player in the field, which will be good for the overall market.

Windows 8: Microsoft will declare victory, but will anyone believe it?


wrong word

In saying the market "short shifts Microsoft’s potential," I suspect what you mean to say is short SHRIFTS.

Curiosity rover hijacked by will.i.am to debut science song


Come on, it's all right

You ARE being too hard on will.i.am. Anyone who is a fan of Dr. Seuss should appreciate will.i.am's name, and that, I hope, includes all of us here. Anyway, he seems a good spirited guy, trying to reach out to young kids in need of some direction.

Cook's 'values' memo shows Apple has lost its soul


No Apple-beating here.

"The company itself got its start from copying the GUI system developed at Xerox PARC for a small licensing fee." That's not copying. They saw the technology, Xerox was not visionary enough at the time (and still not) to see what to do with it, and Apple (well, the Steves) was. They bought the rights to use it. It was a gamble, as were many other innovations of Apple, which at various times in the life of the company have looked like they might not pay off after all. The fact that Apple did find a rhythm that worked and have been able to come out with bar-raising products time after time is attributable to many aspects of their culture; it's hard to say just which ones. The company is certainly not the devil, and as it is a really huge corporation, certainly not an angel either. But I'm guessing that each person who works at Apple is a reasonably well-intentioned person, and they are trying to do insanely great things. Not a bad mantra, I'd say.

Shove off Prince Harry, now Norway's teen royal in fresh photo uproar


Not "Norway's teen royal"

You can't be "Norway's teen royal" and "not himself a prince" at the same time. He is in fact, by definition, NOT a royal. Rather misleading headline, given that. "Member of the royal family" might be more appropriate. And the mistake he made was not something I'd call "user error," either. Since most of the apps that chug these photos around do not reveal that they are holding and transmitting this metadata, it is very easy to overlook or be unaware of this fact.

How politicians could end droughts forever But they don't want to


Misses the point

Water conservation is one thing, and rationing is another. I'm sure alternatives to rationing can be found in the non-arid region in and around London. I think the author of this article gets totally bogged down however in staking his entire argument on a specific methodology of solving the problem, without sufficiently looking at the "big picture" impact of that methodology. There are many sources of information on the downside of desalination. One such puts it this way: "The process of desalination is not per se environmentally friendly and seawater desalination plants also contribute to the wastewater discharges that affect coastal water quality. This is mostly due to the highly saline brine that is emitted into the sea, which may be increased in temperature, contain residual chemicals from the pretreatment process, heavy metals from corrosion or intermittently used cleaning agents. The effluent from desalination plants is a multi-component waste, with multiple effects on water, sediment and marine organisms. It therefore affects the quality of the resource it depends on." [http://www.paua.de/Impacts.htm]

While desalination has certain significant positive points, it is not without its hurdles to be overcome.

But that's not the point. More intelligent use of water would be more helpful. Don't water those gardens in the peak sunlight hours (oh yeah, I forgot, we're talking about London here! But still...). Use collected rainwater rather than mains water to do so. Whatever. Solutions can be found, short of rationing. It's amazing what can be done if people are just mindful of the fact that they've left the tap running while brushing their teeth, and other such everyday occurrences.

Quantum cruncher beats today's computers by 1080


I guess I don't quite get what they've actually built here. Is it really an equivalent to a silicon wafer? Or...?

But anyway the most important discovery here may just be the significant but unnamed eye-candy assisting Dr. Biercuk. Woo-hoo! :)

Nokia loses $1.7bn in Q1, sales chief falls overboard


It needs to work

Since Nokia bet the bank on Windows Phone, it needs to work. I am a diehard iPhone user, though I wouldn't snub an Android phone if one were thrust into my hands. I have no real clue what Windows is thinking with their phone OS, but I do know that they have a hell of a lot of really smart people working on it, and they believe they have a product which is differentiated from the rest of the market. I have to believe that there's a real product there with some real value for a bunch of people who are tired (as I am) of how many freakin' "keystrokes" it takes to get to anything on a typical smartphone.

Nokia's marketing has been - well, I haven't seen any. Any. At all. So they're not penetrating the channels that would hit me, for what that's worth. Microsoft, yes, I've seen some, but not massive. Both companies need to up the ante if they're truly going to play on this field. It's totally in everyone's interest for there to be this third player in the market. I think those who are hoping that Nokia and/or Microsoft crash and burn on this one are wrong-headed. Lots (I mean lots!) of people's livelihoods are connected with these companies, around the whole globe. They have to find a way to make it work, without excuses, and without delays.

Samsung Series 3 NP300E5A 15in notebook


Re: Manufacturers give customers what they want.

Why is any of this unfortunate? If people knew how many things you could use a screwdriver for, they'd be selling like hotcakes! And I'm only talking about the blade-end of things! And yet there are people without them. I don't think there's anything really unfortunate about that though.


no gaming needed!

I see I'm not the only one who was going to say that I don't need or care about gaming capabilities. I've practically never played a game on a computer, I don't use it for that, don't need those capabilities at all. I'm not saying it's all work and no play, but everything's got its relative priority, right? I'd be interested in knowing how a computer does at: email, generic website access, Excel, Word, YouTube, and occasional content creation or editing with some photo editing software. In that order. That's the nut to be cracked for most people with a brain, and without kids.

Otherwise it's like watching Top Gear reviews of "regular" cars. Even though buying a car today that is far more decent than anything offered 10 years ago is pretty much like shooting fish in a barrel, Jeremy and the boys will have you thinking that if you pick the wrong one, you're not gonna be able to get around Hammerhead quickly enough.

Who cares?

Amid iPad frenzy, Apple staff say 'Remember the workers'


Apple Retail Workers need a union?

Unions serve their function for many job types. Jobs in which the skills needed are skills that can be acquired by any and all, making the workers more or less interchangeable. In such cases, you don't want the employers to have the right to drive wages down by swapping out more senior, higher pay-grade workers in favor of newer, less expensive ones.

Apple retail store workers are not such workers. Have you ever been to an Apple Store? The people are nice. Friendly. They know what they are doing, and surprisingly so. They are not typical retail employees, it is not at all the typical retail experience. I find no comparison at all between, say, walking into a Best Buy and an Apple Store.

Best Buy is good, don't get me wrong. But the chances are probably 50/50 that the person you grab to ask your question is going to have a "not my job" or "not my department" position from the get-go, leaving you to your devices to find the person who can help you. I can only speak from my personal experience to say that every blue shirt and every Genius Bar associate that I've talked to in every Apple Store I've been to has been able to provide meaningful assistance on whatever the topic was that I brought to them.

Am I lucky? I don't think so. Apple has an intense HR screening operation, and an intense training operation. Nobody hits that sales floor without being the right person for the job. You're not gonna get "bad attitude" or any of that typical retail BS from an Apple Store employee. You know what would happen if you did? It would make Apple and the Store look bad. And that would get the person fired. If they were unionized, Apple would not be able to fire them.

In the case of the Apple Retail Workers Union, then, I am totally opposed to the idea. Let's not have it be a group negotiation process to determine who stays and who goes. This does nothing but lower the lowest common denominator. We are trying to raise the bar, not lower it. Other stores would be well advised to avoid union control of the workforce, not to adopt it. It's counter-effective in this market.

Boffins uncloak G-rated teledildonic breakthrough


Further on security...

My only concern is, how wide does the mouth actually open, and is there a safety catch to keep it from closing too quickly?

iOS 5 'crashes more apps' than Android


Sad but true

The problem with iOS 5 is definitely there, but it's not like it wasn't there with 4 as well. I'm a die-hard Apple fan for many, many years, but I certainly noticed the difference between the "get it to market as fast as possible" mindset of the phone/pad world and the more considered approach to product releases in the computer division. Particularly in consideration of Apple's walled garden, where nothing gets released without first having been at least tried out and looked at, the number of issues that cause things to break is a little disappointing. In fact, unless there's some very real truth behind the allegations that Crittercism is not quite looking at a level playing field, it's pretty inexplicable.

I'm sure it'll get fixed in due course, but the fact that everyone is constantly in a mad rush to offer features over finesse will always mean that products are not as polished as they could be. The extent to which we all just accept it because of a nice shiny presentation is the extent to which we'll have to deal with the failure of things we need to work.

Journos can tweet from UK courts: But who's a journo?


When is a journalist not a journalist?

And let's not forget the case of Crystal Cox, sued for defamation in her reporting of an attorney's handling of a particular bankruptcy case. Her defense - that she was a journalist and thereby protected - was thrown out when the judge in her own case decided that a blogger is ~not necessarily~ a journalist.

According to a Boston Globe article (12/8/2011), "Hernandez said Cox was not a journalist because she offered no professional qualifications as a journalist or legitimate news outlet. She had no journalism education, credentials, or affiliation with a recognized news outlet, proof of adhering to journalistic standards such as editing or checking her facts, evidence she produced an independent product, or evidence she ever tried to get both sides of the story."

Nevertheless Ms. Cox was and is a prominent, well-known and well-followed blogger in her own right. And of course we must also consider the case of Julian Assange, about whom the media are split into so many camps it's hard to know which way the wind blows. Salon says he IS a journalist, the State Department (US) says he's NOT a journalist, and at least one reporter (former NY Times reporter Judy Miller) says he's a BAD journalist.

Journalism, like many fields, is both blessed and cursed by having no fixed, official and universally accepted standard of inclusion. It is therefore always open to interpretation. When a judge rules, as did Mr. Hernandez, in a particularly narrow way, it temporarily tilts the balance in that direction. But the preponderance of evidence in support of an alternative view will usually cause it to win out in the end, after much wrangling in the courts and in the press itself.

The current battle is anything but won. At least the Lord Chief Justice, if he errs at all, errs on the side of openness. While tweeting can hardly be considered a substitute for reporting, it at least opens the door for persons who are actually observing with their own eyes and ears what is going on in a courtroom to let others know what they are witnessing. Taken with a grain of salt, that seems like a good thing.

Urban legend nips iiNet 'subliminal' campaign


It should be banned

You make the claim, "If iiNet had decided instead to flog a dodgy weight-loss cure, the ads would still be airing..." etc. What is that statement based on? I don't know what the British tendencies are in this regard but here across the pond I think we would pretty uniformly try to squash any such use of this technique. And I'm glad about that. I don't know about you; I don't trust the government very much, but I trust advertisers far less.

Apotheker right hand man Wohl exits HP


So true

At one time I worked in the music industry - or the "record industry" as we called it at the time, since that's what we made. It was a large, well-known, international record label group. There was this nasty business of "promotion", involving just that bit of cocaine, hookers, etc., that had gotten the industry into hot water some years before. So they set up instead this network of "independent promoters," who were paid literally millions of dollars to do the same thing, to get the music played on the radio, and to get rack space in the retail outlets, only they were "consultants" instead of a division of the company, and these funds were kept in an intricate system of off-the-books accounting.

Which is a long roundabout way of saying that SAP never directly does these installations, they always work through consultants, and they're always the high-end guys like PWC, Deloitte, Bain, who at the time that my company (this is a different company now, in the fashion industry) implemented SAP were certainly high rollers in the entertainment end of things. I'm not saying drugs 'n ho's, but I am saying that there were lots of dinners and drinks and god knows what else going on. But you don't have consultants whose hobbies include flying his own helicopter on the cheap, that's for sure. And it was the customer paying for all of it.

In the end, was it worth it? The idea of consolidating into a single business data platform only has merit if you move the entire business - all of its departmental systems - into that platform. Which almost no one does. The development of the "hooks" to all the other operational systems is what most of these consultants were doing. It creates a horrendous budget, millions of dollars to implement, and the end delivery almost never shows a real reduction in outlay for IT expenses, which is the entire justification for any SAP implementation.

Yes, that's just one man's opinion, but it comes from my own direct experience in an SAP implementation project. Not a pretty picture. That HP wanted to reinvent itself along those lines - more than a decade after the heyday of most such undertakings - paints HP's board the fool more even than Apotheker. They were snowed. Hopefully they have awakened now, and will not let the same thing happen again.

Ten reasons why you shouldn't buy an iPhone 5


No fanboi here

Just FYI, I'm no fanboi. There's no need to be insulting. It wasn't a rant, there was no frenzy, no tears, no anger. You are ~seriously~ not a good reader-between-the-lines if that's what you came away from my carefully and patiently thought-out response with.

I'm not a fanboi, I'm a 30-year veteran IT professional who has worked with every major type and many instances of computer since the mid-1970's. I've been a programmer, a manager, a consultant, I've worked in application development, network administration, web development, general communications and phone systems.

I'd like to ask you, sir: what are your credentials?


An ignoramus with a microphone is still an ignoramus

I don't know why people who have not really done their homework like to spout off facts as though they understood the relevance of them in the grand scheme of things. And in the internet age, where anybody and his brother can not only have an opinion, but share it with the masses, it just becomes so frustrating, or laughable, or I don't know what. Most of the time it's best to let it go, to ignore it, but this is The Register, which I really like to read a lot, and it's about the iPhone, a subject on which I consider myself very knowledgeable and experienced. So, ughhh, please forgive me while I address each of Mr. Page's 10 "reasons not to by an iPhone (5)" (which are really not reasons not to buy a 5 specifically, but an iPhone in general).

1. Every "smart phone/pocket computer" (which this really is) has this battery-life problem. The reason that Apple builds the battery in is actually a sound one. Did you know that they build the battery into their laptops also? The MacBook series does not have a removable battery either. Now why on earth would someone do that? Well, it's to save space and weight. If you have a standalone battery installed, you have the battery, the case that the battery is in. That case has contacts which must mate with contacts in a special reserved bay inside the device. If you do away with the ability to remove the battery, you do away with the need for a case, for the contact interface, and for the specific shape and reserved space for the battery. You can put the battery chemistry anywhere it'll fit, and it'll fit almost anywhere, around and sandwiched between other components. It's the best way to maximize battery life and minimize weight. It's a drag that the battery doesn't last longer, trust me I know! But it is what it is, and the phone would be larger and/or heavier if it did have a removable battery.

2. No memory card slot. Same argument applies here. Anything that needs to interface with an external standard-spec device (like a 3rd party battery or SD card) needs to have a physical interface, which adds weight and takes up space and adds a failure point. Omitting these interfaces, if you can get away with it, is a good idea. Apple was the first to do away with the floppy disk drive in its computers. They have long since focused on wireless communications as the way to get data back and forth, and it works in most cases. Their reliance on third party software to use the iPhone as an external hard drive is a bit mystifying, but still, life is short; you download what you need, and it works. Besides, I always seem to have hundreds of pictures and vids in my iPhone, a decent amount of music, and I have 7 email accounts set up on it, and I'm not running out of space.

3. One of the best and worst things about the iPhone - and for those who know, the Mac as well - is the "walled garden" issue. The good side is obvious: there are thousands of programs available on the Windows platform, and on other phones running other systems, that should not exist. They are abortions of code, a wart on the face of all users. They are garbage, and worse. So the fact that Apple has always managed to erect some kind of structure to manage the mayhem has been one of the biggest reasons that people love these computers and these phones, it's not some kind of cult or anything. It's because you know that every program that you can get onto the thing will have been looked at by someone who pretty much knows what to look for, and that means a lot! It's like the difference between getting your news from a consortium of vetted providers like CNN, NPR, BBC, New York Times, Financial Times, etc., rather than just doing a Google search for your daily news and going with whatever comes up. If you don't like that approach, then I guess you're just an anarchist who likes to buck the system at every turn, rather than just working with what works. As I said, life is short. Pick your battles.

4. Not that great as a phone. True. I've said many times that I love my iPhone for everything except making phone calls. But I suppose the fact that it is essentially my lifeline that I carry with me everywhere, with texting, email, contacts, calendar, language translation, currency conversion, weather, scientific calculator, dictionary, maps, voice recorder, and, yes, Facebook and YouTube, that I can also make phone calls with, well, it just offers the best combination of things that I've been able to find, in spite of its downside.

5. Not going to dignify this particular observation with further comment, except to question: what is that "demonstrably better gadget"? I haven't found it.

6. The fact that Stephen Fry likes - loves - the iPhone makes me go, "See?! I'm right about this!" Stephen is a great guy, very smart, sincere, focused, intelligent, besides being funny. He "gets" people, he is very approachable and discerning, flexible, dynamic, observant, respectful. All of the better qualities that I like to think that I possess as well, to greater or lesser degree. If someone like that did NOT like the iPhone, I would seriously begin to question my own ability to read people. The fact that he likes it means that all is well in my world view.

7. I spent something like five months without an iPhone when I inadvertently left mine on the subway. I didn't immediately get a new one because I was waiting for the 4 to come out (I had a 3). So I used a plain flip-phone for the interval. It was a rough period. It made me appreciate just what a device like this gives me, and it gives me so much that I consider the $200 that it cost to engage with AT&T on this subject worth doing. I am not happy with AT&T's service in NYC, or with their pricing, which is antagonistically high, but that's the case with any of the big carriers, and is nothing to do with iPhone vs, say, a Droid phone. So I think the price for what you're getting is fair.

8. Antenna problems in the design of the 4 were unfortunate. However, Steve Jobs' suggestion for a way to deal with it, was not so far off. If it "doesn't work when I hold it like this," then don't hold it like this. There are definite ways to work with it, and most of the time I don't think about it. I have it in a case, which I would not be without anyway. And just like a pen, or a cup of coffee, or a book, or a flashlight, or a circular saw, you have to hold it a certain way or it doesn't work. Grow up folks. What did I say before? Life is short. Get on with it.

9. You don't get much screen considering how big it is. Compare it to the Blackberry, which was the primary target. Case closed. Yes there are bigger phones with more screen real estate, but none as crisp and readable as this. I have looked at all, and have found none that are as nice as this.

10. Apple, as any retailer, learned its lesson about product pricing and stuck with it. The very first iPhone was overpriced, everybody knew it, and Apple lowered it, and even refunded half the difference that those early adopters paid. The price right now does not go up for each model; each one has been introduced at $199 for the regular model; this was true of the 3, the 3gs, the 4, and the 4s. What's the beef? Buy it now, and start taking advantage of the benefits, or you'll always be chasing the market.

All in all, Mr. Page's ignorance of the subject at hand is sad, for his sake, but the fact that he espouses his ill-researched views in a public forum like The Register is what made me respond to them here. I am not connected with Apple in any way, I have nothing to gain or lose by whether anyone agrees with me or not. But I know what I've got in the iPhone, I know that everyone I know who has one likes most of it, doesn't like the same things about it that I don't like, and thinks that it's better than what else is out there. Conversely, I don't know anyone who has a Droid phone, who is fully utilizing it to the extent that the iPhone folks are, who likes it at all. This is just my own personal universe, my observation. I have worked with the Droids and found them to be a hodge-podge of different ideas and philosophies and interpretations and executions. That's what the iPhone ISN'T, by and large, and it's what makes it the phone for me.


Simply not true

Every Apple product I've ever used for 20 years has been among the best in class. The iPhone is no exception.