* Posts by gnufrontier

125 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Mar 2013

Apple stuns world with Donald Trump iPhone


Differentiation is skin deep.

Apple has to introduce something new but it is doubtful they are going to come up with anything that is a game changer like the Ipod and the Iphone. They are now a mature company and even though they want to keep the image of being young and hip they are in effect like General Motors.

Laptops/tablets and phones are commodity items now. It didn't take long for that to happen. Now it is all about either price or the selling of an imagined self tied to product ownership. It will take some time for the Apple aura to fade but it will and then all that will be left is the product itself which in terms of basic functionality (what most people use) is not that different from many others.

They have had a pretty good run and there main job now is not to lose customers. They are definitely in maintenance mode.

People have been overspending on computing functionality for decades, buying powerful machines when all they did was word processing and email, buying gargantuan word processing programs with all kinds of desktop publishing and academic paper format features when all they did was write letters and buying phones based on a huge library of apps most of which will never be downloaded even once.

Even with all creepy privacy invasion and data mining that is going on with web usage it looks like people really only need a Chromebook for those who can type, a basic tablet for those who can't and a smart phone for truly portable communication.

There will always be a market for status products and maybe that is Apple's niche but in the long run, it will not survive as a mass supplier unless they come up with something truly new that none of us knew could be done in the way they do it.

Bookstore sells some data centre capacity, becomes Microsoft, Oracle's nemesis


The Enterprise World

Forget individual users. They were swept up in the wake of IBM's original partnership with Microsoft way back in the 80's. The ripples of that partnership are still washing dollars on Microsoft's shore. Admittedly, the ripples are smaller.

But business people are risk averse. Most are not entrepreneurs after all. TheY are the boring nuts and bolts of the distribution system. They are interested in their business not IT. Their ignorance however shifted billions of dollars from their customers pockets to Microsoft. It is the consumer that pays the price not the business. Companies pass their costs onto the consumer. When you buy a brand name product, you have paid for the advertising. When you buy any product you have paid for the IT needed to keep the business running.

In the main, business people are like most other people, herd animals. Why are businesses still using office ? Don't reiterate the BS about maintaining format. We are not talking about medieval typography. It's not the format it's the formulas. Spreadsheets were the go to application in business not word processing. It is the inertia of business in not wanting to change the massive amount of spreadsheets they have constructed over the decades. Excel VBA is like Cobol on mainframes.

Word processing piggy backed on spreadsheets when it came to vendor selection for that application. MS won the spreadsheet wars and so took the whole suite.

Libre Office is every bit as good as Excel but it is macro incompatible.

Rocky times for startups: Mutual funds devalue and VCs turn off money hose


Like Anything else

I have no experience or inside knowledge of the VC business but that is only needed if one is actually doing that job. One doesn't need either of the former things to know that the dynamic of investment is no different than any other product that is bought or sold. Given the amount of money sloshing around the difficulty in getting returns (for many they don't need the money anyway but I guess old habits are hard to break) it is impossible that there wouldn't be inflation in valuations. One could say the same thing about a loaf of bread if the world's wheat crops failed. Which brings up the issue of what the real problem may be, a shortage of real innovation, a shortage of meaningful innovation. Innovation in tech gadgets and "connectedness" is at a dead end, it's mostly "me to". The future innovation is in genetic manipulation and more general purpose neural networks.

2016: Bad USB sticks, evil webpages, booby-trapped font files still menace Windows PCs


Whack a bug

We are doomed to forever be involved somehow in the war on malware.

Eight in ten IBM Global Tech Services roles will be offshore by 2017


When it comes to transnational corporations there is no such thing as offshore. All shores are their shores.

Bill Clinton killed off internet taxes, says Australian politician



The world didn't miss anything. Those billions are still around just not in his dumb ass pockets.

How do people as dumb as this guy get anywhere.

Microsoft has made SQL Server for Linux. Repeat, Microsoft has made SQL Server 2016 for Linux


Microsoft cannot be trusted

Be prepared to be fooled again.

Bone-dry British tech SMBs miss out on UK.gov cash shower


Reducing construction landfill waste.

Are we sure a piece of software is the solution to this problem?

WANdisco boss: 'We're seeing a humongous movement to the cloud'


Big Box

If your business requires an internet connection to operate then one is already at the mercy of the connection. The cloud is to data what the grid is to electricity.

Bruce Schneier: We're sleepwalking towards digital disaster and are too dumb to stop


Too little too late is the theme of all history

Humans have been sleepwalking into the future for as long as time has been a concept in consciousness. We have no choice in that matter. The future does not exist.

There are certainly going to be some major problems that are the result of our being so interconnected and there will be major panics.

We will respond to those after the fact. It has never been any different.


Re: It's gonna be difficult...

Laws do not protect you from law breakers and there is a certain percentage of those based on population size when things are going well and a larger percentage when things are going not so well.

One may as well be sacrificing virgins to the moon god for all the good laws are going to do for you.

Why is that the belief persists that a rule written on a piece of paper has some kind of magic power over all human beings ? We are talking about rules written by humans here and not some narrative about an omniscient and omnipotent being that hands out rules written on stone which aren't followed either by the way.

If that is what you are wrapping yourself in to keep out the chill then be prepared to shiver under that ragged blanket.

Amazon, Azure and Google in race to the bottom ... of cloud storage pricing


Digital gold ! An apt description. The storage people are selling pick axes and mules while the media trumpets the riches to be found. Yea. Right.

Go and whistle, IDC. The storage world's going to hell in a handbasket


Your analysis sounds plausible. I am still waiting however for the light bulb to go on and illuminate the fact that most of what is being stored is completely irrelevant will never be accessed again and never needed to be stored in the first place or if it did can be deleted in short order.

If it is in the past it is totally irrelevant except for where the law states one has to keep certain data for x number of years.

Big data can barely handle what is presently coming through the pipe let alone going back in to the past and sucking up more sludge.

There is a mass disorder in the IT world: data hoarding.

LinkedIn sinkin': $10bn gone in one day as shares plummet 40%


So who lost ? The smart money or the dumb money ?

FTC: Duo bought rights to Android game – then turned it into ad-slinging junkware in an update


I guess Ali and Murtaza thought they could do better with this than calling up people and saying they were from Microsoft and that there was something wrong with the person's computer.

Internet lobs $$$s at dev of crucial GPG tool after he runs short of cash


Scooge McCorps

This isn't the first time that we have been treated to stories of free software being used by corporations who could easily support a project. No corporation deserves any kind of fealty. That includes the "Scientology of Tech", Apple.

Scores of profs give hated US patent law an F minus, demand massive rewrite


Just words

It doesn't matter what bozos sign what petition. There is only one rule: follow the money.

If you want to do battle, get a bigger wallet.

Everything else is just window dressing.

US govt cuts squeeze crucial computer science, shoot country in foot


computing the value of computing

The use of the analogy of flying to the progress in computing is a false analogy. It presupposes that the value of faster calculation is equivalent to moving objects faster through space. Computers have helped in tracking and determining an efficient way to move a greater volume of objects through space but that is a support function. Computers have also assisted in modeling how objects move through space in order to get better fuel efficiency. But that is in the past and past performance is not an indicator of future performance. The question is has the law of diminishing returns set in for supercomputing ?

Underlying all this is the presumption that the problems that need solving are technical problems which is hardly the case. The problems that need solving are human interaction problems. They are the problems of fear, mistrust, hatred, greed, suspicion, competition, repression. Our technology enhances the ability of some to leverage these impulses at the expense of others.

Enhanced computing power is not something that will result in benefits to all people. All technology is ultimately used in the service of exercising and projecting power.

Atomic research resulted in a host of other problems that we are still dealing with and despite the end of the cold war have not gone away. We are only beginning to see the issues that are side effects of all the computing research that has been done.

I am always skeptical when those whose livelihood and reason for being is dependent upon government funding run around telling us that the sky will fall if they don't get what they want.

UK defamation law reforms take effect from start of 2014


Re: Doesn't seem to be much different

"seems like a reasonable balance for a civilised (sic) society to pursue."

It may be true but we will have to wait for the appearance of a civilized society to determine if that is a fact or just an opinion. A reading of history suggests that a civilized society is the opinion that those who live in a powerful society have of their own society. The inherent bias is "might makes right" which has been the case since the appearance of cities proved to be a stronger form of organization than disparate groups of subsistence agriculturalists and pastoral nomads.

I don't know that there has ever been a society classified as civilized that has not had economic gain as the value that trumps all other values. As Toynbee observed, "civilization is a very thin skin".

This new law in effect is an example. The law is after all about financial compensation and the absence of a mechanism for those of modest means to take advantage of it underscores the inherent bias.

It is difficult to know what is balance when one can't see the pressure being placed by a thumb on one side of the scale.

GAH: Now it's INSTAGRAM and Windows Phone 8


Enough with the number of apps

Counting apps in these online marketplaces is like counting the number of available web pages from a Google search. Who cares is if there are 14 million pages found with your search terms. You are not going much past the first page if that. It's the same with apps (after all - we are talking about interacting with a web site - which is all these apps do and the most popular sites will have the most popular apps). What is of interest is the download numbers of the top apps which is probably 90% of what is used or apps that are trending higher in download activity. It doesn't matter if one phone has a 100,000 apps and another has a million apps.

Most apps are not necessary at best and will just mess up your settings somehow at worst.

Just look at software for the PC - how much software is there anymore and that is not because of declining PC sales. Fact is, most software was never useful or any good anyway or was a poor imitation of what was already out there. Code writing exercises. People settled on a few packages and that was that.

We should be getting there real soon now with all these mobile apps. Everything happens faster including the maturing of markets.

Amazon, Facebook, Google give Cisco's switches the COLD shoulder


Black box = profits

Since when has it been the case that the tech industry has not made its money from presenting the marketplace with a black box which is just another phrase for lock in.

Salesforce forces Force sales-force sales: Or tries to anyway


Partners ? Read people we will sell data to.

With all this integration of apps to works with all sorts of web based services, it seems the partner agreements are much more about providing access to data. I don't remember ever reading a terms and agreement doc that doesn't say "we will share information with our partners" as part of the "How we protect your privacy." statement.

Compuware investor lost patience with shake-up, slams down ultimatum


5% share ? I fart in your general direction.

It's obvious that Starboard wants to just get out of the stock and not take too big a loss. They don't believe there is value "locked up". They just want to find somebody who is fool enough to buy it before it hits the ground and one is left selling to the scrap yard. As for the top brass at Compuware ... hey they just want to hold on to their jobs as long as they can.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, just take a sniff.

Android mobes outsell iPhones, but Apple gets MORE PROFIT THAN ALL


Premium market

No matter what the product, when one is catering to the premium market, the profit margin is always higher. The status factor is worth at least half the profit. In the premium market one is not so much selling materials as opposed to a perception of one's self in relation to others.

There is no doubt that Android is the common man and Apple is the status brand.

To maintain profits in the premium market one has to continue to keep "exclusivity" front and center. Apple has taken its proprietary approach to technology and through the alchemy of marketing turned it into "exclusivity".

The battle has long ceased to be about the technology although that is often what most of the discussion focuses on. The real battle is in the heads of consumers. Android users don't want to feel like second class citizens so they talk about Apple being overpriced while Apple users like to tout the Iphone features and "just works" mantra so they don't admit to themselves that they feel superior to Android users.

There is no shortage of product available to give you that superior feeling. You think women buy Louis Vuitton just so they have a handbag for their makeup ? Guys wear Ferragamo belts to keep their pants up ?

Acer's new Haswell all-flash Chromebooks sip power for less than $200



I can get a used i5 laptop for $ 250.00 on Craig's list. Chromebooks and their ilk are trojan horses for the data gathering behemoths of the cloud.

Security used to be the tradeoff for liberty, now it's convenience.

Chromebooks, phones, glasses, watches ... what's next - wifi tatoos ?

'I'm BIG, I'm BALD and I'm LOUD!' Blubbering Ballmer admits HE was Microsoft's problem


Quintessential American

Balmer is America. He embodies the dominant cultural forces.

It is easy to run a company when one has a monopoly. One just has to have the best legal team available to skirt the rules and minimize the penalties for overstepping the boundaries. Bush had Colin Powell.

But in a more competitive environment, the alpha male comes under attack and one realizes the alpha male was never that strong to begin with, just intimidating.

The faces of this new gilded age look more like a Benetton ad.

Microsoft fears XP could cause Indian BANKOCALYPSE


Re: Running scared Y2K

Oh, spare me. That work needed to be done anyway and should have been done sooner. It wasn't like anybody didn't know that the year 2000 was coming. Just because businesses left everything to the last minute don't expect to be lauded for your sacrifice or whatever you think you were doing in solving a problem that was the product of short sightedness anyway. The only question to ask is , Was it worth saving the two bytes ?


Microsoft fears loss of revenue

XP more likely to be "infected" ? Well, hasn't that always been the case since they purchased the XP licenses ? Microsoft admits its OS is insecure (and sold it that way). As for the others, I am skeptical they are any better. If the Indian banking system had any sense, they would migrate to Linux. How much more likely are they to be infected using Linux than by Vista or Windows 8 ? But hey, we are talking about a country of slums, open toilets, dirty water and crumbling infrastructure. I think XP is the least of their problems. Spare me the Microsoft "concerns" and why is the Register contributing to Microsoft's marketing FUD with this bogus story?

Apple wins patent for entrance to retail store


The Apple Hajj

All the Apple worshipers have to make a pilgrimage at least once in their lives and walk around the glass cylinder.

These companies have such an inflated sense of themselves and their products.

500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?


Enough with the meellion

What is it with that spelling ? Is that some sort of trademark for the Register? I guess its original purpose was emphasis but it has been so over done that it has become trite and annoying.


More media generated paranoia

Who can blame Microsoft for being tired of fixing its old mistakes and wanting to concentrate on its more recent set. Big deal, XP support ends. They are taking away your rubber crutches. What a surprise it will be when you find out that you could walk all along.

As for the security issue ... spare me. The user is the first and last line of defense. Tell them quit clicking on stuff they don't recognize from people they have never heard of in order to find out what it does.

After all, it's not like machines weren't getting infected when Microsoft was spewing out updates and offering support. Take it away and what really changes.

App Store ratings mess: What do we like? Sigh, we dunno – fanbois


What to download ?

I recommend Backdoor. It measures the amount of methane you contribute to the environment in a day. It's free but for 4.95 you can get the paid version which comes with a phone holster to put inside your underwear.

Disk-pushers, get reel: Even GOOGLE relies on tape


Non-accessible archive

Tape is the landfill of archiving. There are legal requirements regarding storage. There's also the nuclear option during litigation when one can back up a few vans full of tapes and say to the plaintiff - here you go - it's in there somewhere.

Dell 'disappears' cut-price Windows XPS 10 RT tab



How about Zune 2 ?

T-Mobile pulls BlackBerry products from US retail stores


Stock valuation floor.

The stock valuation floor of any company is potentially $ 0. If anybody buys anything it will only be the patents.

iOS 7 SPANKS Samsung's Android in user-experience rating


Cars and Phones

Forced recollection has an impact. I wonder how many people have even thought about their user experience until asked.

Apple has positioned itself in the mind of the consumer as the purveyor of premier design. Android doesn't really have a focused position in the minds of most consumers.

A well appointed Camry with leather seats and all the bells and whistles can easily make one wonder if they are missing anything by not driving a Lexus. What would be missing would be the "life style/status" position that a Lexus commercial is selling you as opposed to a Toyota. Look at the ads and tell me the difference between the cars. It's not going from A to B in comfort with good gas mileage.

What's the difference between Apple and Android for the average non-technical user ? Look at the ads.

Quarter of a million quid fine for data-wipe gaffe? ICO told: Nae, laddie


Liability costs

It is amusing that the British are so concerned with their privacy. Does any nation have as many surveillance cameras per capita as England ? There doesn't yet seem to be an understanding by the members of any society today that privacy is an anachronism. We are holding on to a value that was for a different time much like the morality and view of human beings that rests on Christian theology (at least in the West).

Societies today in the developed world are highly complex machines where people are simply the cogs that make it function. Everyone in the tech world knows the difficulties one has to overcome to scale for large volumes of data. The scale of our societies today seems to be moving in a direction that requires that the concept of the individual become irrelevant. We are becoming more and more like ants.

Oddly enough, in days when people lived in small villages there was no privacy. Escaping to large urban population centers provided a sense of anonymity but what really happened was that one's identity became an identity based upon the system's knowledge of you. Computational capacity has allowed for the system to expand its knowledge and control over identity. We may exist as flesh and blood but our life in the developed world is a data life. If all records of a human being's existence were eliminated, that person actually would cease to exist. They may exist as any animal does but their existence within a society would cease and their range of action would be very circumscribed.

We know what is happening which is probably why there are so many people screaming today about privacy issues. We are always looking to hold someone liable for things that don't go the way we would like them to go and though there will be the occasional scapegoat, the overall direction doesn't change. There will always be those people at the margins who will attempt to remove themselves from the system to keep their nebulous concept of privacy intact but for the rest of us, that battle is over.

There is no conspiracy in all this, no cabal at command central. It is a dynamic necessary for societies to exist at the scale we currently live. Our existence is the sum total of the trail of records we leave behind us like slime from a snail.

Amazon founder Bezos snaps up Washington Post


He'll make a fortune

If Amazon stock is any indicator, Bezos can go public in a year and the more money he loses the higher the stock will go. Just look at Amazon's stratospheric stock price and their abysmal earnings. He could sell slightly sour milk at five times the fresh price. He's that good.

US feds: 'Let's make streaming copyrighted content a FELONY'


Chop off their hands and gouge out their eyes

Why stop with just making it a felony ? We are an insufferable species.

Curiosity sings 'Happy Birthday' to itself on Martian anniversary


Machines are made not born.

I find the whole notion lame.

Report: NSA spying deals billion dollar knockout to US cloud prospects


Cloudy thinking

This is not an article. It is more like a summary of a press release sent by the lobbying group promoting their bogus survey as having some merit. I would really like to see how they came up with their numbers. I can almost guarantee they aren't worth the back of the napkin they were calculated on.

ACLU warns of mass tracking of US drivers by government spycams


Big Data Plane - Nobody is in the cockpit.

It's not like any human being sees this data. The data is funneled through some data analytic engine filled with meaningless statistical drivel and a bunch of switches (ie case, if then type rules but fancier)

The issue isn't privacy, its that our civilization is on auto-pilot and once the system turns its Eye of Sauron on you, your life is over. It's no different than identity theft which also screws you up because you have to correct systems - not correct people. People have nothing to do with it. We are extensions of the machine, its caretakers.

It's not as bad as it is going to get I can assure you (nothing goes backwards slowly - there is only collapse) but just as we can't have what we have without all the energy we suck out of the ground, we can't manage this behemoth of a civilization without a bunch of auto pilots.

Forget human beings - we are irrelevant. "Welcome my son, welcome to the machine. Where have you been? it's alright we know where you've been." (Pink Floyd)

The whole privacy issue is another example of what Jacques Barzun author of From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present called Primitivism - a desire to get back to basics - and which is most pronounced in time of technological change.

Bottom line is that nothing changes - civilization marches on - more humans underfoot.

But I am an optimist. I'll be dead before it gets real bad.

Confidential Microsoft brief: 'We're TOAST if we fight Google on price'


Re: Extras?? We just needed an internet connection

Goggle advertising is way less in your face than what they see on television. They can't escape being targeted. Tell them not click on the ad links.

ARTICLES without comment boxes - Climate, CO2, Anything authored by L. Page...


Greening of deserts - not a surprise

Climate change is not extinction of humans it is disruption of the way of life of people in different places. For some the disruption will be good for others not so much. Modern civilization is an expensive endeavor. It will continue until it becomes prohibitively expensive. In the mean time there will be floods, famines, social unrest ... the same old litany of our history but on a larger scale. But know this, any changes will be driven by commercial interests. The search for the opportunity to shift wealth and power from others is the ever present carrot that dangles in front of us.

I can already imagine Monsanto scientists trying to develop weather models for the next 20 years so the execs can decide when it would be most opportune to start buying arid land cheap before it becomes productive.

Confidence in US Congress sinks to lowest level ever recorded


Binary human

It seems the end point of a mature democracy when there is no charismatic savior type figure running is a close to 50/50 split of political philosophy even if much of it is of the bumper sticker variety. One doesn't need even an intro course in physics to know that when two opposing forces are equal or close to equal, there is very little movement. When no one gets what they want it is easy to point to the other side as being obstructionist.

Voters and non-voters alike will say why can't elected leaders compromise and get along yet if one looks at the behavior or attitudes of these critics one will find there are plenty who can't get along with others either due to differences in personality, politics, consumption patterns, standards of social etiquette, dress and a host of other reasons too numerous to mention.

Members of Congress reflect the people of the United States. Our low opinion of them is because we pretend we are looking through a window instead of into a mirror.

Maybe we need to remember that mass politics always seeks the lowest common denominator and that seems to be the number 2.

Copyright troll Prenda Law accused of seeding own torrents


Cut out the middleman.

Pedestrian attorney runs in front of slow moving car. Sues driver.

Raspberry Pi DUMBS DOWN to target world+dog


The Hobbyist

The PI is cheap but so is an old laptop. The market for PI is the electronics/software hobbyist. Broadening one's appeal by adding tools is not a negative. More people began to try Linux once people didn't have to compile the code.

If the PI serves a purpose it will flourish for a time, if not it will disappear regardless of what becomes available for it.

Big Brother? Social networks are far worse, says Estonian president


Big Data

Being anti-social, I don't do social networking.

The collection of all this data by commercial entities is for commercial purposes. Of course, any government can demand or subpoena (depending on the type of government) the information.

Regarding the commercial purposes of data collection, it is no different from what commercial entities have been doing for a long time; trying to figure out who is going to buy their stuff. Statisticians can put forward probabilities regarding the behavior of masses but it seems human behavior remains somewhat of an enigma otherwise how would one explain New Coke and the multitude of products and services that have relied on big data and bright minds to go into the marketplace only to find no one was interested.

I think it was Henry Ford who said that half of the money he spent on advertising was wasted but he didn't know which half. Much of what we are seeing here is the continuing push by those whose business is advertising, that they can deliver customers. This is what all companies in the business of advertising promise. And advertising companies measure their contribution by click through, coupon redemption, promo codes, sign ups, hits etc.. It's all the same stew it's always been but with additional spices and a few more styles of kitchen sink.

Penguin chief: Apple's ebook plan 'dramatically changed' market


No pity for publishers

Publishers like music companies are seeing diminishing profits due to technological shifts. This happens with every business. Think about all those poor scribes put out of work by the printing press. Boohoo.



Standard operating procedure. All one needs is high demand and control of supply. It's what every company in the world is working towards.