Saturday, August 24, 2013

DC vs. Marvel: Why Marvel is always better.

I know it isn't exactly science or technology, but a lot of people into science and technology read comic books and watch TV shows and movies.

Both Marvel and DC have 'Rebooted' their comic books and characters to younger readers. The same is being done with Star Trek (Possible Star Wars, but I hope not) and other stuff.

DC does not get it, every time they have a 'Crisis' series or reboot a universe or character it ends up costing them. DC is owned by Warner Brothers and of course can make movie adaptions which don't always work. The Batman trilogy with Christian Bale was a blockbuster trilogy, the Man of Steel, Green Lantern, and a few other movies not as much. If you have to ask why the Batman trilogy tried to stay as close to the comic book as possible and in some cases deviating from the comic (Heath Ledger as The Joker who is more of a schemer and anarchist rather than a criminal who wants fortune and fame and play jokes on everyone. Ledger's Joker for example burned up his share of money, it was not about fortune, fame, money, or jokes, it was about proving others wrong and showing their hypocrisy)  it was so good that it changed The Joker in the Batman comics into more of a sadist, anarchist, schemer.

DC tried to reboot their universe, and they messed some stuff up. They did not reboot Green Lantern, Batman, and didn't reboot The Flash much. The Green Lantern comic worked because of "Blackest Night" and "The Sinestro Corps" being hit miniseries. Batman comics stuck to the old formula of Batman. Basically Batman and Green Lantern have great supporting villains. As part of a good comic formula you have to have great villains. Great villains are people or entities who do evil things for a great purpose. Sinestro for example was once a Green Lantern, until he abused his powers to take over his home planet to fight evil and wipe out crime. This did not go over well with his bosses the Guardians so they stripped him of his Green Lantern ring.  Instead Sinestro harvested fear instead a willpower to create a new power ring, one that uses yellow fear energy instead of green willpower energy. Sinestro is a great villain because he sees himself as 'wronged' and has this 'revenge' thing to get even with the Green Lanterns because he considers himself 'good' and them 'evil' for having wronged him. In Batman you got The Joker, he is a great villain because you cannot predict him as much as other villains and you never know what The Joker is going to do next. But The Joker is on this anarchist scheming trip to try and trick Batman into breaking his own rules and also causing some mayhem in the process. The Joker lies to play pranks on people and trick them into doing things, it is all mind games. Batman has Catwoman who is sometimes bad sometimes good, sure she steals stuff but sometimes gives the money to charity or only steals from evil rich people. Sometimes she helps out Batman and has a romantic interest with him.

DC wants to do a Justice League movie, but first they have to get Superman and Batman together. They can't do a Wonder Woman movie because they are not sure if they can get it right. Well to be honest DC keeps rebooting Wonder Woman's origin and changing her personality as well. If it was me, I'd stick to the Classic Wonder Woman that Linda Carter played in the 1970's and 1980's, the one everyone likes. The one that doesn't age, the one who has good morals, the one that doesn't kill. I'd merge her with the modern DC Nu52 Wonder Woman who is the daughter of Zeus and makes Hera mad, but is also the daughter of the Queen of the Amazons. She can fly, is super strong like Superman, has wrist bracelets that can deflect anything, and of course a magic lasso that can't be broken and makes people tell the truth. I'd remake the Green Lantern movie with the Sinestro Corps War, and then introduce Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner as alternative Lanterns recruited for the war.

You see Marvel has great villains, most of them want to take over the world, just so they can make a better world or free people from tyranny or whatever. Magento wants freedom for mutants, he saw the Nazis and how they treated Jewish people and thinks human beings feel the same way about mutants. Doctor Doom is super smart and crazy, he wants to take over the world because he believes everyone will be better off under his benevolent dictatorship instead of democracy. Thanos (who you might see soon in Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy) just wants to impress 'Death' because he is in love with her, and in order to do that he has to kill half of the galaxy but he needs these Infinity gems or a Cosmic Cube to get such power to do so. Galactus is this big guy who survived the big crunch of the universe before ours, and he is so powerful that he has to eat planets full of life in order to survive. So instead of using his own energy to move and find planets, he gives power to 'heralds' like The Silver Surfer to find them for him. But the Silver Surfer has a good soul and sees that this is wrong and turns on Galactus to save Earth, and then leads Galactus to planets that have life but not inhabited with intelligent life.

Marvel Comics had recently pulled the old switcheroo on Spider-Man. They had Doctor Octopus and Spider-Man switch minds and bodies. So Peter Parker's mind is in Doc Ock's body that is dying. Doc Ock is in Peter Parker's body aka Spider-Man. In their final battle Doc Ock in Spider-Man's body (Fans call him SpOck for Spider Ock) had this metal shield over the back of his head as a helmet so Peter couldn't get back into his own body and died in Doc Ock's body. Fans got upset, the Peter Parker Spider-man they knew was dead. Dan Slot got death threats on Twitter (This is uncalled for, it is just a comic book people, never make death threats just because you disagree with something.) for doing this. I mean at first you miss Classic Spider-Man but Superior Spider-Man with SpoCk makes it interesting to see where the book is going. You see SpOck was bullied and abused as a child, and buried himself into learning all he could about math and science. He made these mechanical arms to help people out and even handle radioactive materials through a shield at a distance. But an accident fused those arms with his body and radically changed his brain chemistry making him crazy and evil. Yet once he switched minds with Peter Parker, it was like that insanity and evil sort of went away as he had access to Peter's memories of being a hero, losing his parents and then making a mistake and his Uncle Ben dies. Somehow this makes SpOck want to become a hero. While he has Peter's memories he does not have his personality, but there was a little of Peter's personality left that followed him around like a ghost until he was able to remove it. After that using Doc Ock's resources and inventions he was able to become The Superior Spider-Man, all of the power and none of the responsibility. But SpOck really gets things done, unlike Peter Parker. Mr. Slot had taken a great villain and turned him into an anti-hero like The Punisher or Wolverine ad put him in Spider-Man's body. Brilliant, even if you hate it, the idea is brilliant.

DC is doing more reboots, Lobo is not Lobo anymore but an imposter and this new 'Teenage Emo Lobo' is coming to kill the fake Lobo and so every single comic about Lobo is now null and void, and people are upset. I figure DC is trying to copy the SpOck thing, or copy that War Marvel had with Skrulls being imposter super heroes. I think DC should have done better by making the new Lobo one of his 'sons' that survived and wants to kill his father to take over his title of "The Main Man". This is what DC tried to do when Hush took over as Bruce Wayne after the real Bruce Wayne was Batman died in a battle with Darkseid, and was traveling through time and dimensions to try and get back. Look DC instead of just rebooting characters, why don't you just make brand new characters that connect with the younger audience instead? Marvel made this Ultimate Universe for that, you can use one of your alternative Earths like Earth-4 or whatever for that. Just stop messing with formulas that work like Lobo, and then changing them for the worse. The same with your movies and TV shows. Otherwise Marvel is just going to eat your lunch as the fans defect from DC to Marvel.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Ubutu Edge, a Linux based smartphone

Canonical has ported Ubuntu to smartphones and is working on the Ubuntu Edge smartphone.

Android is based on Linux as well, but Ubuntu might have more free and open source apps ported to it. The Ubuntu Edge might take a few years to catch on, but they already have a Kickstarter even for under $700 to buy one. They seem close to meeting their goal.

With the Ubuntu Edge you have a smartphone that has the abilities of a PC running Ubuntu Linux. On the Android you have that if you run a special Ubuntu app that installs Ubuntu under Android. The iPhone not so much.

Once the major cell phone carriers sell the Ubuntu Edge it will start to catch on. Since Ubuntu is free and open sourced, any tablet or smartphone can be made to run it. In case of Apple vs. Android lawsuits, all Android phones can be ported to Ubuntu.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Apple is slipping, no new products in a year.

I had hoped Apple would make a new iPhone or something this year, but they haven't. Apple usually has a 'wow factor' when releasing new products or new models of existing products.

I had expected Apple to at least release a new Apple TV that was also a video game console, but nope! I expected the iPhone 5S with a faster CPU and better graphics to match the Samsung Galaxy S4 and other Android devices that outpower and look better than the iPhone 5 does, nope! I hoped Apple would make a cheaper iPhone to conquer the low end smartphone market, nope!

What Apple did was sell more iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4/4S phones at lower prices than the iPhone 5 cost. Sure it cut into their profit margins, but it gained them a bigger marketshare.

I think the lawsuits against Sansumg, LG, and others have cut into Apple's R&D budget for a while. Samsung was making A6 chips and about 90% of the chips used in the iPhone to Apple (storage chips, RAM, DSPs) and since Apple was using them, Samsung must have decided to withhold the new Octocore ARM chips (The A8?) that are used in the Smasung Galaxy S4 that run rings around the A6 chip in the iPhone 5?

There was a time way back when Google and Apple worked together to share technology and secrets to make better smartphones. Google offered Apple the Android OS it bought that was invented in 2005 that has IP going back to Linux in 1993 and also uses Sun/Oracle's Java. Instead Apple took their OSX and ported it to the ARM Platform and made a GUI based on the Android one in 2005 and then modified it and called it iOS. Then Apple decided to sue Samsung and others, despite buying chips from Samsung to make iPhones.

There is a big tablet war going on, Microsoft had released the Surface and Surface Pro based on Windows RT and Windows 8 that are complete and total colossal flops. It burned Microsoft for $900 Million, almost a billion dollars in the red. Microsoft doesn't seem to understand that a tablet is not the same as a PC, and that we are now in a Post-PC market. So trying to make Windows 8 with the Metro UI and then also have a Desktop minus the Start Menu really alienated the PC Users who wanted the Start Menu and Desktop, and nothing like Metro. Plus if a software company makes an App for Metro UI in Windows 8, it won't run in Windows 7 and under. Microsoft should have called it MetroOS or something like SurfaceOS because it is nothing like the Classic Windows anymore. Apple of course has Microsoft at a disadvantage because of this, and even if the iPad and iPad Mini cost more, they don't have the problems of the Microsoft Surface devices.

Even if a Microsoft Surface is a few hundred dollars cheaper than an iPad, Android tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, and the Google tablet are $200 or less right now. Way cheaper than the Microsoft Surface Tablets that cost $299 to $499 plus they have Apps from several different App Stores like Google Play and Amazon Market, etc. From China you have the 'APad' Standard 7 inch Android 4.X tablet for under $99 and in some cases $59 or $39 in China, or India and since anyone can use Android for free, and Windows RT or Windows 8 has a $90 OEM fee to use, the PC OEMS that used to use Windows RT or Windows 8 switched to Android instead. The RT/8 Tablets did not even sell very well and are in warehouses and being marked down. Port Android to them and reformat them to Android and they will sell.

Apple has locked their platform, Apple has locked their OS, Apple has locked their developers. In order to make as much money as they can, Apple made it so a developer needs to pay Apple $100 a year plus use a Macintosh with XCode to submit apps to their App Store. The only way to buy apps for your iPhone is through Apple's App Store. Only Apple can use iOS, it won't run on non-Apple branded hardware. Apple has the easier to use UI, and the marketing behind them to sell as many iPhones, iPods, iPads as they want. Facetime is built into the iPhone, for example, verses installing Skype on an Android phone. It makes it easier for a video chat from one iOS device to another. But because Apple has locked their tech, it drives people away from them, some even dare I say it jailbreak their iPhone to do what they want with it, even to install free and open source software on it or homebrew games that Apple won't allow in their App Store.

The advantage that Apple has right now is a lock in with the education market. iTunes U for example has videos, podcasts, eBooks, and other materials for free for college/university courses. My son's highschool is going 100% digital with iPads using the ESCO app for reading eBooks, and it does not have an Android port. So Apple has locked in many educational organizations into their devices.

Microsoft has forgotten that many people still want to use a notebook or laptop instead of a tablet, the low end $300 Windows 7 Laptops were just fine, but they got replaced with Tablets that just cost more and do less and are not as powerful. I hope Apple still keeps their Macbook line and does not replace it with Tablets. Some people still want to use a keyboard and mouse or touchpad. The Macintosh really lags in video games because Apple uses low end video adapter and GPUs in the cheaper Macs. What Apple should do is allow video cards in the iMac and Mac Mini series to upgrade them to a faster model later if the user wishes. The Macintosh Pro at least used the ATX standard and PCIe video cards and could have a faster card put in. But Apple has no low end gaming Mac with a fast video card and GPU and fast Processor and an under $1000 price. There are $700 PCs that are used for gaming and people make Hackintoshes out of them to run video games on them because the Mac Pro is too expensive. Now that Steam is available for Linux, Apple has even more competition as Linux can be installed on any AMD or Intel based PC to make a cheaper gaming platform than a Mac Pro. Once the Steam Box comes out, watch out, because it will bring PC Gaming to the TV sets as a video game console. This will take away from Apple's Macintosh sales as well as Windows PC sales.

Microsoft best way to survive the tablet wars is to convert to Android, and then port their apps to the Android platform and make the Microsoft Android Store to sell apps. Windows RT is done, can't get enough apps to it, can't run legacy Windows apps on it, no advertisers for the little apps they do have,  the MetroUI is a joke and the AndroidUI is way better and has widgets that work better than Metro apps work. Microsoft can never license iOS, Apple won't allow it, but Google and Amazon will allow Microsoft to use Android with welcome arms. Face it Microsoft tried to buy out Barnes and Nobel for the Nook store, if they did they'd be selling Nook tablets that use Android already. When Windows RT is a total fail, Microsoft can save face by porting Android 4.2.2 or 4.3 to the Surface line of tablets and just reformat the storage from RT to Android. They can do the same for their Windows 8 Phones that aren't selling, port Android to them and see if they sell better. If Microsoft sees Apple as a competitor, they need Android, it is their only advantage over Apple, Windows RT is a handicap and disadvantage over Apple.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Neo-Evolution: Global Consciousness How the Internet Evolves our minds

You might think this is yet another crackpot theory, one that belongs on SciFI TV TV shows like "Fringe" or "The X-Files", Pseudoscience, absolute rubbish.

Back in 1984 when I was a teenager in high school, a sophomore, aged 16 I had come up with a variety of different scientific theories. I had tested almost perfect in state tests for science, I had read a lot of books (while most teenagers went to parties and got drunk or stoned, I avoided all that and studied computer programming and reading as many books as I could on various subjects. This was before The Internet and search engines like Google. All we had were BBS text based systems and text files people wrote that you could download and read. When I debated with others on the BBS systems many thought I had a PHD and asked me what university I went to, anyway I didn't know everything but I had thought I knew everything. To this date I still keep learning things.) and I found flaws in theories like natural selection, evolution, Relativity, etc. I wrote a series of theories of my own to explain those flaws. One was matter energy points and another was Neo-Evolution.

I saw how evolution and natural selection were flawed, there was no noticeable pattern, no evidence of evolution increasing the information in an organizing in order to allow it to evolve, the DNA had a junk section and nobody knew what it was and they called it 'junk' because they couldn't understand it. We were told that 'random chance' created life, the universe, and everything. That all matter and energy came out of nothing billions of years ago. I saw that this theory of matter and energy coming out of nothing and a random chance goes against the standard model of physics. Sure I believe in a big bang theory, sure I believe in evolution and natural selection, I just think that we got a lot of it, perhaps most of it wrong.

If you study the universe you will notice patterns like the Fibonacci sequence in snails, in hurricanes, in people, in galaxies, in flowers in all sorts of stuff. It is not random, it is an algorythm in nature that causes this stuff. The very 'junk' in our DNA, I had proposed, that we didn't know what it was, is program code to tell cells how to reproduce and create cells in our body using an algorithm of series of algorithms. If we could just decipher that code, much like how one reverse engineers machine code in a computer, we could learn how it works and perhaps reprogram it to cure disease and illnesses and have the cells in the body repair the body instead of causing tumors and cancer, they rewrite the damaged cells in tumors and cancers to reverse the process.

Well I was laughed at when I was in The Academy of Math and Science. People aren't computers, you cannot reprogram DNA, there are no algorithms in nature or DNA itself. I was also laughed at for saying the Moon must have water on it because of the abundance of hydrogen and oxygen from exploded stars long ago. I was told that water on the Moon would evaporate by the very same people, that it would not freeze as I predicted, but evaporate into nothing. That very thinking stopped us from going back to the Moon and putting bases on it, and it violated the standard model of physics. Of course now NASA found ice (water in frozen form) on the Moon, and people are talking about going back there. This 'wrong thinking' put onto us by the media, which created a 'Me generation' concerned only with money and power and greed, forgot the teachings of science and conservation.

The problem is that DNA loses information over the years, each cell in the human body only lives for 10 years and has to be replaced. The new cell is created by other cells using materials in the blood stream. When your DNA loses information about your hair color, it turns grey or white and you start to grow or possible lose hair. The aging process is part of your DNA, when they cloned that Sheep dolly, guess what? It started to accelerate the aging process. The DNA from the donor sheep already had the information damaged to the point that the life clock of the cloned sheep had the age set to an advanced age. This is almost like the DRM protection you find in software of today, copy protection. If you can find the part of the DNA that causes aging in a sheep, and reset it back to year one, you could modify the DNA and clone a sheep that wouldn't age.

OK we have an Internet now that is global, we didn't have any sort of cheap global communication before. We evolved from radio to television, to BBS systems and the Arpanet, and then the Internet and the World Wide Web. Each advancement in technology has caused connections between groups of people all over the world. We now have smartphones that access the Internet and connect us to each other via text messages and voice calls and social networks. We have started to evolve a group-think, where the group thinks alike and people join together on issues and other things. People who don't have the same group-think are kicked out of the group-mind to purify it. This is because they are not part of the global consciousness that the group shares. This is very much like how neanderthals made tribes of like-minded individuals using cave paintings and other symbols. It is a culture that is developing, a society, a series of social norms over the Internet.

If you look at the original telephone system, it is basically telepathy over a wire. You dial a number, get to speak with a person who isn't in the same room, city, or part of the world you are in, but you talk to them as if they were in the same room. My father worked for AT&T and he said the people who often called each other a lot in a group were a neuronet much like how computers link together to share the workload and become faster and better. Fast forward to today and the smartphone, people are so defendant on smartphones to communicate and even live their lives using apps and websites and social network sites that they are one with the smartphone and virtually a cyborg. It won't be long before there is a neurochip to replace the smartphone that is implanted in our brains. But that is getting way ahead, we are still in the smartphone era.

While it is true that our bodies are not evolving and evolution takes millions of years, the same is not true of our minds. There was a Prophecy in the Christian Bible about the Book of Revelation talking about the end of the world, and during end times everyone is surrounded by information. Well we got wireless signals everywhere containing all kinds of information that we are surrounded by. Science and technology have evolved themselves to the point that many people no longer have a connection to God or Nature but science and technology itself. Religion contains two Latin root words, Lig which means connect, and re which means again. You are supposed to reconnect to God to nature to other people, but we somehow short-circuited that connection in our minds with TV shows and movies that we gather together in groups over the Internet to discuss. We follow them like a religion, we follow tech companies too like a religion, Apple, Microsoft, whatever. Our minds have evolved away from spiritual stuff to material stuff.

The problem is that materialism is harming the world, we consume too much seafood and the ocean life dies, we consume too much oil/gas/petrol and the climate changes to a warmer one, we cut down too many trees and don't have enough to recycle the carbon dioxide into oxygen for us to breathe. Our devices use more and more electricity despite being labeled as green and low powered, and thus we burn more coal and become dependent on nuclear reactors. In doing this we are causing natural selection to set ourselves up for a depopulation event or series of events.

Either Hollywood does not know what it is doing, or it is putting hidden images in movies and TV shows. You'll find people posting images on Reddit and other websites of stuff they found hidden in images just in logos. But the music has hidden stuff as well. Hidden messages are nothing new. You have to understand that this triggers the unconscious mind, and certain people with certain mental health issues will trigger an episode if they notice this. Those with normal mental health won't even notice the images and hidden messages, and in a way it programs their subconscious. For some reason hiding stuff makes it sell better, so the MPAA and RIAA do a lot of it. It is done on websites as well. Almost like hypnosis, if you know it is there and you don't want to be hypnotized by it, you cannot, but if you want something to hypnotize you it will give you subliminal messages and condition your mind for this new culture, society, group-mind. If you open your mind to this sort of stuff, it will take control and change you. If you remain skeptical of this sort of stuff, it cannot change you, because you know how it works and don't want it to make you like the other people.

It should be used for goodwill, to change people for the better. Make them less materialist, and more towards saving the planet and human race, ending racism, ending hatred and bigotry. Instead it just encourages stuff like that. If in the USA, we export our music, TV shows, and movies to a foreign nation, most people in that nation become addicted to it like a drug and keep wanting more. It changes their culture, their society, and makes them more like the US consumers who are the main target of such things.

We homo sapiens, very much like neanderthals still form our own tribes, but we call them social cliques now instead. Anyone not in the clique gets bullied and harassed, anyone in the clique gets special privileges and secret information.  Both men and women do this. In some parts of the world they are still tribal, and believe in freedom and democracy but in tribal freedom and tribal democracy because their whole tribe is a giant social clique. This is a problem with humanity and perhaps all forms of animal life as we know it. We have to have enemies that we hate in order to justify our own existence because of this social clique mentality of the group-mind. Hate, greed, envy, sloth, gluttony, anger, lust, and worse of all pride drive our egos to attack others and become evil or bad. It is all desire and attachment to material things that causes pain and suffering in the world. Only by breaking that desire and attachment can we solve world problems.Only by removing our own hate, greed, envy, sloth, gluttony, anger, lust, and worse of all pride can we become better human beings.

Television and Videos are on the Internet now, all over the place. Satellite, Cable TV,  will go away once all movies and TV shows migrate to Internet Video and high speed Internet becomes cheaper and people cut the cord to the TV set and watch on smartphones and PCs and Mac, and tablets, etc.

Microsoft has learned that they didn't market the Surface tablets correctly and lost almost a billion dollars. Windows RT and Windows 8 are flops, because Microsoft didn't follow the Windows Success Formula and tried to copy Apple. As a result OEMS who made Windows 8 and RT tablets now make Android tablets and left Microsoft behind. Apple makes the iPad, but does not share iOS with anyone, while Android is free and open sourced to anyone. Eventually Android will overtake Apple in tablets and phones, because Apple charges a $100/year developers and locks iOS devices to just their app store and limits developments to XCode on a Macintosh to submit to the App Store. To become an Android developer you just need to have Java installed and download the free Android SDK/NDK and then develop apps for several Android App Stores for free. The Android Model has tapped into a success formula that Windows once had, allow anyone to use it on their device and don't close it out to developers. Apple is following some sort of 'cult' type religion, as is Microsoft, but Android is more for free thinkers and people who want to be free of the group-mind.

To make a Star Trek comparison, the group-mind is very much like Star Trek's The Borg. People are connected together with common interests over a network and all think the same thing and share the same opinions. They are no longer 'individuals' but part of a hive, or group that thinks alike. Religion is not controlling this, religious people are only now just discovering the power of the Internet. But in a way it is like a religion, with no God, but people in power or creating the media that are in control of groups of people to tell them what to wear, what to buy, what to do, what to say, what groups to attack. Sort of like the Borg Queen, except each Group has their own Borg Queen so to speak that controls their group.

This group-mind is nothing new, it is how religions had controlled people in the past before the Internet or radio to TV. Religious figures like Jesus Christ and the Buddha spoke out against it, and the Roman Empire used it, as did the Egyptians. People used to be controlled by art, music, news from people speaking in villages. As science and technology advanced, so did our own evolution of our minds as we tuned into it and connected with people. People we are supposed to hate have a negative connection, and people we are supposed to love have a positive connection. Religion was supposed to free us of this manipulation so we can be free thinkers with critical thinking, but it was taken over by manipulators.

What you call Atheism these days in books and videos, is nothing more than religion with God removed from it, and the worship of money and material things instead. People who were once Fundamentalist Christians had become Fundamentalist Atheists and used the Internet in the way they accuse religion of manipulating people. There is nothing wrong with atheism, many religions like Buddhism are an atheist religion. True Atheism might question religion and religious people, but it would not attack it for fear of being hypocritical of the religious people who attack atheists. Most atheists I meet are good and kind people, but then some of them are just as bad as those they speak out against. The Internet group-mind has caused this, and it is part of neo-evolution and the evolution of the mind.

In order to become a civilized planet we have to cast off the group-mind and become free thinkers, and critical thinkers and remove all bias and love everyone even our enemies. We need to control our own neo-evolution and evolution of our minds into a good thing instead of a bad thing. Diversity is a good thing and we need to remember that when dealing with people who are different in some way. We are even learning that animals are intelligent like dolphins and gorillas, and so we develop the name sophonts to describe an intelligent being be it human, animal, or machine (Artificial Intelligence) that is capable of learning and doing good things.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Microsoft Stock Down Lowest since 2000

I hate to be an "I told you so" but I did say that Windows 8 and Windows RT will cause a downfall of Microsoft.

First off, Microsoft stole the business plan of Apple, what works for Apple might not work for Microsoft. The Windows RT Surface tablets got aimed at the Apple iPad market and while the Surface costs less than an iPad, it just isn't as good. Microsoft is now attacking the iPad and dumping RT Surface tablets on the market by cutting their price.

Secondl,y Windows 8 is about the worst OS since Windows Vista or even Windows ME. I doubt Windows 8.1 will be any better. Windows 7 was about the best OS Microsoft could make, but many stuck with Windows XP. Windows 8 tried to go for this AOL 1993 for DOS look with the Modern UI and of course made it harder to use. If someone bought Windows 8 upgrade for their PC and it lacks a touch screen, it is going to be very difficult to use.

Thirdly, Windows 8 Phones are just about horrible and I don't know of anyone who seriously thinks of using one. Even the Blackberry phones outsell Windows 8 Phones. Android is about the best selling for a reason, it runs fast and has fewer crashes than the iPhone and other phone. Android is based on Linux and Java and just works. Apple sells iPhone because they are popular and used as a communications device, Facetime works great if you don't know how to install Skype because it is built into the iPhone. Windows 8 Phones have no 'killer app' like iPhone and Android phones.

Fourthly, Microsoft entered the hardware market and thus upset their OEMs that they now compete with, so now Microsoft has a lot of hardware devices that they cannot sell and have to dump on the market.

Many of us upset at Microsoft switched to Macintosh systems, or just downloaded a Linux ISO and installed Linux to use instead of Windows 8. Linux is quickly becoming the third OS next to Windows and Mac OSX as Valve Software ported the Steam store to it, and keep porting video games to Linux. Gabe Newell himself used to work on Windows for Microsoft and runs Valve and stated that Windows 8 was going to tank and ruin Microsoft, and so far he seems to be correct on that.

I think that we are starting to see the end of Microsoft unless:

Microsoft switches gears and brings back Classic Windows by using the Windows 7 code to make Windows 9 and quits the whole Windows 8 or 8.1 mess. Microsoft stops making Surface tablets and instead partners up with some OEMs to make a better Touch screen tablet device with them so that HP. Dell, Acer, etc can save their companies as well. Microsoft should work with Linux developers to port Ubuntu Touch and other stuff to the Surface Tablets so at least they have some resell value. The Windows 8 Phones are good if you can convert Android 4.2.2 to them to convert them to Android phones as Apple will never let you convert iOS to them partner up with Samsung, LG, and others to make better phones and give them an option to use Windows 8 Phone if they wish.

Make a deal with Barnes and Nobel to sell your Microsoft Press books on their Nook store, and instead of making your own tablets make a deal with B&N to port Windows RT to their Nook tablets. B&N just stopped making their own hardware and licensed it to a third party, you might want to use the same third party to make Surface RT tablets for you if you wish, with an Android option to work as a Nook tablet.

Make a deal with Valve Software over Steam and have an option to dual-boot the XBoxOne to a SteamBox mode and then you will have more games available for it. Share technology with Valve and have Valve help you with your Windows problems. Gabe Newell can help you make a Windows that doesn't stink.

Consider supporting a second OS other than Windows, adopt a version of Linux or Android and port a lot of your Microsoft apps over to it. Have it as an option in case your users don't like Windows 8.X or Windows RT, and then you can still sell your hardware to them with the second OS on it to sell even more. If you cannot beat them, join them.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Why IBM could become the next Google

IBM was once the company to beat. First it was Amdal who competed against IBM in mainframes. The microcomputers came about and a small company named Apple wanted to take marketshare from IBM, and they did. IBM fought back with the IBM PC, which did well, but they made a mistake in licensing the operating system from Microsoft. When the IBM PC Clones came out, Microsoft licensed the OS to them as well as IBM. Eventually Microsoft became what IBM once was and all but put Apple out of business including others like Commodore, Atari, etc.

IBM tried with OS/2 but once again Microsoft stabbed them in the back by withdrawing from supporting OS/2 and making Windows 95 and Windows NT and deals with OEMS to preinstall them on PCs, and to not install OS/2 instead. Even if an OEM installed OS/2 they owed Microsoft for a copy of Windows.

Lotus tried to take on IBM, but IBM bought them out. IBM just dropped the Lotus 123 and other apps, but kept Lotus Domino. IBM Lotus SmartSuite is gone, and IBM Lotus Symphony exists instead which is based on OpenOffice.Org.

IBM found restored revenue in Linux, and dropped the PC line to Lenovo. IBM got out of the PC business and went into the software business. Linux replaced OS/2.

But IBM is working on web servers and web apps. Could they be developing their own search engine, web email, web document storage, and other services? Is IBM becoming the next Google?

While I don't see IBM making any more Windows apps, they can make Linux and Android apps, maybe even some iOS and Mac OSX apps. Windows 8 pretty much killed the Windows market, and the Apple iPhone and iPad are taking people away from Windows Surface tablets because they are superior. Android is a very big thing too, and it beats the Surface prices by half. Linux grows, as Microsoft drops support for older Windows versions, those Older Windows users are switching to Linux instead. If IBM plays their cards right they can write apps for those platforms to use their web services and then take on Google.

In fact IBM invented the smartphone in 1994 called the IBM Simon, I think they have the mother of all IP lawsuits waiting to get filed. But instead they should settle out of court and make deals with Google/, Samsung, and Apple to share technologies and then build apps for these other smartphone platforms and tablet platforms.

The main reason why IBM lost so much money in Windows software, is that each new Windows service pack was designed to break compatibility with IBM's apps so Microsoft could sell theirs to replace them. When IBM could no longer sell their software, they started to look into web software and web services. That could be the very thing that not only saves IBM, but makes them the next Google.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Rise of the Mirror Internet or Darknet

Mirror Internet? Yeah sort of like that Star Trek episode "Mirror Mirror" where Captain Kirk was evil and Mr. Spock wore a goatee. Where everything was flipped upside down. Good was evil and evil was good. Imagine the Internet, now imagine a flipped over Internet, a Mirror Internet called a Darknet.

Wait, what exactly is a Darknet? It is an alternative to the Internet and not available from the Internet but uses the same or almost the same technology. It is something that is being developed.

Using an Internet MEME with Bender from Futurama I can better illustrate  with satire and sarcasm what this Darknet might become. It will be a private Internet that one can join and have no government regulation, it will be full of free MP3 files, pirated files, DRM-Free software and other things. Yes it is being worked on, and yes it is not fully compete yet.

Why is it growing more and more popular? Well as governments regulate the Internet more and more, bring about censorship and get rid of being anonymous and basically take away rights, freedoms, and liberties the Darknets avoid all of that and create an adhoc network of peers, and IP addresses not available on the Internet for security reasons, and domain names not accessible on the Internet as well, plus web sites and lots of storage that cannot be accessed by the Internet.

Basically this is an old trick, back in the Arpanet before the Internet there were Darknets that were off Arpanet for security reasons. Many corporations have Intranets which are almost the same thing, the difference being the Darknet is not owned by a corporation and run by individuals as a hobby of sorts to share data and files and other things that the Internet would not allow. Since it is not technically the Internet, it is not subject to the rules of the Internet.

It has not yet caught on because nobody has figured out a way to make money on it yet. Most Darknets are run on a volunteer basis by people who donate their time, money, and resources to run it. Those people don't want the Darknet used for illegal means, but still want their anarchy or whatever so that they have their freedoms without turning into what they hate most, a fascist state.

I suppose there will be startups who want to invent technology for the Darknets to use, and a payment system (Bitcoin?) to pay for access to it, and software to hook up to a Darknet and keep track of bandwidth used and make autopayments.

What already exists? Meshnet is one such project, Reddit users click here for more info. There is software being developed call CJDNS that will allow your system to connect to a Darknet or one like Meshnet. Another Darknet is Hyperborianet that you can connect to and try out.

Note that some Darknets got taken out because they traded in child-porn, groups like Anonymous went after them. This has caused some concern about setting rules for a Darknet, and most supporters are anarchists that don't want rules, but have to implement them anyway. Most don't want illegal activity such as piracy, but cannot prevent it. A system might be made to ban IPs from Darknets for violating rules.

Some people at Microsoft figured out that Darknets would defeat DRM long ago. Darknets are usually run by Ethical Hackers and they see DRM as unethical so they seek to remove it from software used on their Darknet.

It is painfully obvious that for any Darknet to be successful it should follow a set of rules or ethics, and anyone who violates those rules can be banned or disciplined. For example no child porn should be allowed. In order to enforce that there will need to be a reporting system and people who are paid as administrators to carry out bans or disciplines in some way. In order for that to happen the Darknet has to have a paywall in order to fund their own administrators to keep order on the Darknet. After a while the Darknet will resemble the Internet in the way it is managed, except that instead of a government regulating things it will be a group of paid administrators. That is where the startups come in with business models, software, and services.

How Microsoft messed up the Software Market

Customers don't want DRM, they don't want software locked to one machine. They want the freedom to upgrade their hardware and move the software they bought to the new machine. If the original machine breaks down they want the software to move to the new machine without having to buy a new license.

Here is the problem that Microsoft created, you cannot own software any more just the license to use it. You have to pay for a license to use software and receive a serial key and then activate that serial key over the Internet. There is a chance of a false positive check for a pirated key, so even if you legally bought the key it can still turn up as 'bad', 'invalid', or 'pirated', or just plain get rejected by the activation server.

To make matters worse the DRM software eats up CPU cycles, memory, and system resources and phones home every X minutes or so to sell the software vendor (it Spyware) what you are running on your machine, your private info, and every software title you have installed with serial key. Many claim that this DRM is a legal virus that invades privacy and violates the users' freedoms, rights, and liberties. Microsoft and others just consider it the way of doing business.

For example Microsoft Office 2013 cannot be transferred to a new PC if your current PC breaks down and is replaced. I am sure that when corporations upgrade their PCs from an old one to a new one they won't want to keep buying new licenses for Office 2013 every time they upgrade a user's PC. I am sure when people at home upgrade to a new PC they won't want to buy a new license for Office 2013 as well. Nobody in their right mind wants to keep buying new licenses for software they already bought a license for just because the hardware had changed.

If you read on Reddit why people there hate Electronic Arts and the Origin system, well some EA games have an "Activation Counter" for them and after X activations they have to buy a new license for the game. The die-hard video game user is always going to upgrade the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and video card to be able to play the latest games. Each hardware upgrade requires them to do another activation. Well after so many, EA locks them out of the video game they legally bought a license for and forces them to buy a new license if they want to keep playing. This idea was taken from Microsoft over Windows XP activations, the first copy of Windows that needed Internet activation of the serial key. Each new hardware upgrade requires another activation, and after the activations run out, you have to buy a new license of XP. In some cases if you talk nice to Microsoft operators they can reset the activations, but it is difficult to do some times.

Many people turn to piracy not because they cannot afford the software license, and not because they want everything for free, but because they legally bought a license and have been locked out of that license by activations. This DRM model has created even more pirates than it was meant to eliminate. You cannot treat customers that way and not expect them to find a way around DRM somehow. Many pirates are also hackers who removed the DRM from games and software and distribute them on P2P file sharing networks. The pirated versions run faster, use less RAM, and don't have the problems that the commercial versions have because the DRM code was taken out and the software just worked better as a result.

Look, Apple does not have a serial key for MacOS X, sure Apple ties the software to the hardware so that the MACH kernel in MacOS X cannot be installed on Non-Apple branded PCs. Hackers found a way around that by modifying the MACH kernel or patching the OS so that it supports Non-Apple branded PCs. Apple did not add in a serial key or online activation because they get customer satisfaction. Plus the App Store in MacOS X versions that are Hackintosh versions still works and Apple earns money from App sales from their App Store and media on iTunes even with Hackintosh versions of MacOS X.

Apple knows if they add in the Microsoft software model to MacOS X that their customers would react, so Apple does not add in serial keys and online activation to their OS. Of course because of that Apple tends to earn more money than Microsoft, and Microsoft has not yet figured that out yet. You see Apple gives away MacOS X at low prices of $39 an upgrade to Mac owners, and doesn't crack down much on Hackintosh owners, because they know it is the best way to keep customers happy and earn money from them.

Windows 8 is about the worst Windows since Windows Vista or Windows ME or that MS-Bob thing. Microsoft is quick to replace it with a Windows Blue project that is either a new Windows or a service pack for Windows 8 to make it less awful and more awesome. If Microsoft was smart they'd just license Linux and build a Windows GUI on top of that to run Legacy Windows apps on it and call it Winix or something like MS-Linux, or the old Lindows they sued Linspire over the name. Microsoft should port their software to Linux, Android, iOS, and other platforms and remove the DRM and serial key activation, they stand to earn a lot more money this way.

Look, the Microsoft dominance is coming to an end, and Microsoft knows it is a post-PC world. This is what happened to IBM when it became a post-Mainframe world and the PCs entered the market. IBM countered with the IBM PC and PC-DOS, but Microsoft gained the upper hand by controlling the DOS license and licensing DOS as MS-DOS to PC Cloners. This allowed Compaq, Dell (PC Limited) and others to make sales of IBM PC compatible systems. A standard was formed with MS-DOS and Microsoft used it as leverage to get Windows bundled with OEM sales of PCs along with MS-DOS until Windows 95 replaced the MS-DOS preinstalls. This was all done without DRM or online activation of serial keys.

Microsoft is now in the shoes IBM was, the Surface is the new IBM PC but it is threatened by the iPad and Android tablets. Now Ubuntu is coming out to smartphones and tablets. But the Firmware in the Surface makes it difficult to install Linux or another OS on it. People might reject it for that. Unlike IBM that didn't control DOS, Microsoft does control Windows, but Microsoft is not doing enough innovations in Windows to keep up with MacOS X, Linux, Android, and others. Even Bill Gates had admitted that Microsoft failed in doing innovations and the Windows Phone needs more work, etc.

Microsoft is not doing enough innovations because they spend so much time and money on DRM and locking the software down to just one set of hardware and giving the users a hard time when they have to switch to new hardware because the old one failed or they needed a upgrade. It is like trying to hold water in your hand and you keep squeezing it tight, and some water escapes, so you keep tightening your grip. Meanwhile Apple keeps a soft grip that cups water and so does Ubuntu, Android makers, and others. Guess which ones will hold the most water, or users? Microsoft take note, loosen your grip.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Future Features of Next Gen Computers

We can look at current technology to predict trends for future technologies. These are the areas that startups and current computer companies should focus on.

Voice recognition and speech synthesis, being able to talk to a computer and have it talk back. This was made popular in "Star Trek" and IBM Viavoice, and Dragon naturally Speaking made it work even if all the credit is given to Apple for Siri. Windows 7 for example has limited voice recognition and speech synthesis. This is good for the blind and nearly blind, as well as people who are disabled and cannot type or in some cases cannot speak. It makes it easier to write books by narrating the words to the computer instead of typing them out.

Handwriting recognition, this has gone back to the 19th century but has never been perfected. The Apple Newton used it but it was awful, always getting the wrong words. The PalmPilot solved the problem by using shorthand. With modern touchscreens where the finger is used, one cannot write very well with a finger so a stylus is needed to work like a pen for this to work. The best use of this technology is to scan in handwritten books and documents so they can be converted to text and indexed and searched.

Vision and movement using cameras. The XBox Kinect may not have been the first, but it is popular enough to use as an example. By moving your hands or other body parts video games can be played, but the potential for real life solutions is almost endless. "Minority Report" showed a system of hand gestures to control a computer. This will help the deaf and hard of hearing who use ASL or some form of sign language to have the camera turn singing into words for use in documents or operating a computer.

Robots, we are not using them as much now because of cost. Making robots cheaper would be a key to selling more of them. Finding a use for them besides factory work, and cooking might be profitable.

Artificial Intelligence, even if your AI web robot can't pass the Turning test it can still have uses. Most commonly asked questions can be answered by a AI web robot. Think of it as an automated FAQ page. The AI web robot can be programmed for other things such as verifying identity and providing minor tech support issues.

3D Printing, once this becomes cheaper it will really take off. It will allow small businesses to make plastic and metal items using 3D printers, and allow large companies to automate fabrication of parts to giant 3D printers. Instead of tooling up a factory to make a few parts, the 3D printer can just print them in a few hours, reducing the cost of fabricating those parts. After a while a 3D printer will become so complex it can print electronic parts and that will revolutionize the computing industry.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Third Industrial Revolution in the USA

The Third Industrial Revolution in the USA has already started. Many people will lose their jobs to machines, robots.

EDIT: I forgot the second industrial revolution already happened, this current one is the third. Sorry for that.

Factory work is coming back to the USA, but don't get excited, jobs will go to robots instead of human beings or more machines will be used instead. Even the jobs of cooking food will go to robots at fast food restaurants. Almost any manual labor can be assigned to a robot or machine these days.

Retail clerk jobs, well the world wide web is more cost effective. Retail stores are being shut down because more people order online. Web robots using AI (Artificial Intelligence) answer tech questions and questions about products now. As soon as voice recognition is perfected, AI robots will take over phone support calls and help desks.

Mass production, well we have 3D Printers now, can print almost anything. Not as advanced as Star Trek replicator technology, but if a business can afford a 3D printer they can easily make things with it. There are even deconstruction devices that can smash 3D printed things back into materials to be recycled and be printed into new things.

The Military, well Drones are used instead of people now. It won't be long before AI Robots are used. Will we see Terminators, Cyclons, etc? Skynet? We are going to have robots in mass use before you know it as a military force.

Well what about programming? Some programming languages make it very easy to program, just point to a data source and it generates source code using AI. Maybe some know Ruby on Rails does this and other programming languages have followed suit. Now there are programs that can write programs. No need for a programmer unless there is some debugging needed the AI cannot handle. Engineering, they have AI engineering programs as well.

There should be massive layoffs as this happens. The only available jobs will go to those who can repair and replace robots, fix the AI programs when they have problems, or the best programmers who can debug in the languages the AI robots use to program in. Managers to oversee the people who can fix the automated robot workers are needed as well.

We will start to see a different sort of startup be formed as a result of these changes.

The US economy will become worse as more and more people lose their jobs. We might see a Second Great Depression or maybe a Second Civil War as well.

Even Undocumented Migrant Workers will lose jobs to robots, how can you beat a salary of free? Robots don't have salaries. BTW Did you know that Robot means 'slave'? Robot comes from the Czech robotnik, which means "slave." and the USA got an economic boost after it was formed from the labor of slaves. Slaves were freed by President Abraham Lincoln and we've seen many civil rights laws and reforms since then.

Does anyone have any ideas how to survive a second industrial revolution? How to create jobs in the bad economy that follows it? Please let me know by replying to this blog.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Microsoft Outlook broke email standards

Recently for my son's 8th grade fund raiser, someone sent out a document for a flier to have everyone print out and distribute. But most people could not read it. The person sent it again, and it was the same unreadable mangled file.

It was a winmail.dat file. I couldn't find any software that could open it.

After searching for it, I found out that when Outlook is sending a rich text or HTML format email it encodes it as a winmail.dat file and includes the file attachment as well inside of it. Only Outlook can decrypt this file and remove the file inside. If Outlook sends the email as plain text, every email client can read it and find the attachment.

As it turns out there are a lot of winmail.dat extractors out there. The one I found was Winmail Opener that was free and works with Windows, and since I use Ubuntu it worked with WINE. I extracted the DOC file and then emailed it to every parent on the list so they had their flier to print out and distribute.

Now some email clients have been updated to open this file, but not all of them. If you are told the problem or failure is on your end, don't believe it but download one of these winmail.dat opening programs listed above and then extract the file from it. Microsoft seems to only care about selling software and not following email standards and helping people. Most people using Outlook as an email client don't know the harm it causes others who cannot read the emails they send.

This is of course not the first time Microsoft has done this sort of thing and it won't be the last either. But because Microsoft has a monopoly by preinstalling Windows on every PC sold, they can do whatever they want.This allows them to gain IT corporate sales and push their Office and Back Office software on businesses and then when it doesn't work with other software out there because it does not follow standards, it hurts everyone else.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Science, technology, startups and suicide

I am writing this blog because of the number of suicides in the startup community. They were all good people and my condolences to their family and friends. This blog is written to address the problem in our community with mental illnesses, stress, and related topics.

I had friends kill themselves before, it was devastating. I am mentally ill myself (how could I not be after what I went through in my life, even seeing my best friends kill themselves and friends and relatives checking on me to make sure I did not follow them), and when I did computer work it was "balls to the wall" as in 100% effort, reach your true potential, full steam ahead, work overtime, take work home, drive yourself to success type of work. The type of work still done by modern startups. Problem is, doing that type of work can be stressful. Learning stress management and anger management can help.

My point is that doing that type of work can lead to unmanaged stress and physical and mental health problems. Not everyone can do that type of work and not suffer in some way. Some suffer by not having a social life, by not having a family, not going out and having fun with friends, etc. This type of work can ruin a relationship or marriage even. This type of work can lead to alcohol and/or drug abuse. This type of work can cause one to become burned out, broken, and suffering from writer's block and become dysfunctional. All of these are problems that must be addressed.

You see when I worked, I neglected my mental health and my emotional health. I do so because management was very demanding, and I didn't have time for breaks. If I got sick and missed one day, I've have a manager call me up and tell me to get back to work, even if I had a bad case of the flu or had a wisdom tooth pulled. Yes I was ordered back to work while infected with a flu virus, and with bleeding gums and my face puffed up like Eddie Murphy in "The Nutty Professor" because it was still num and packed with cotton and bleeding. No excuses, come back to the office and finish these projects or you are fired. I worked as best I could.

I provided value to the company I worked for, I worked with others on a team, who could have taken over my projects, but management didn't want me to miss any days and were very strict. I worked myself so hard I developed schizoaffective disorder and ended up on short-term disability. After that it wasn't the same. People at work would bully and harass me for being mentally ill. As soon as I suffered a panic attack, I was fired. That threw me into a big cycle of major depression and I had suicidal thoughts. Why wasn't I good enough anymore? It became difficult to find work after that. I had the skills, the knowledge, the experience, but no work. What work I did find was only temporary after that, it was only to finish projects nobody else knew how to finish and I had to debug them and rewrite code. I became so sick I ended up on disability and vowed to myself I would one day beat the mental illness and become well enough to work again.

The problem is most companies or startups are not equipped to handle employees with a mental illness. Many employees hide their mental illness least the management think they are of a lesser value because they are mentally ill and demote them, lower their salary, or even fire them. Mental illnesses are a disability protected by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) but when most companies, startups, schools have a disability policy they think more of people in wheelchairs than the mentally ill in how to accommodate them. In not accommodating a mentally ill person, it makes them feel worthless and drives negative thoughts that could lead to suicide or worse.

There is usually a state program like EAP, Employee Assistance Program that can help an employee with their mental illness, emotional problem, stress, etc. In many cases the employee should be referred there instead of fired or demoted. There should be staff on hand working with HR that are trained in psychology, sociology, and therapy for employees who need help. Many startups ignore this and it is turning into a problem.

Any person can suffer this problem, from the lowest ranked employee up to the CEO, they may even hide the fact that they are mentally ill and act happy and smile, and then you'd never know it until their suicide or maybe bad actions or dysfunction. If one wants to solve this problem, they have to provide treatment for mental illnesses and support and accommodation for the mentally ill.

Part of the problem is the stig of the stigmatization of mental illness being perceived as evil or bad by the news media. Not everyone who is mentally ill ends up as a public shooter, terrorist, sociopath, criminal, etc. The news media won't report that, but will mention every 15 minutes that the person was mentally ill, even before an evaluation or background check is done. It makes us nonviolent mentally ill people look bad, even if we never committed a crime or never been in prison. It may be part of the reason why mentally ill people at startups hide their mental illness, and refuse to seek treatment.

I can tell you this, if you are mentally ill, seek professional help before things get worse. There are medications, therapy, treatments, training you don't need to suffer alone as there are support groups as well. If someone you know is mentally ill, don't shut them off and accuse them of being of weak character, etc, support them, see about getting them professional help so they can return to a normal cycle and continue doing work.

You see this "balls to the wall" mentality most startups have, may be doing some people harm. If one becomes sick, they need to stop and get better and seek professional help, rather than be forced to keep working while sick. In the planning for projects, add in extra days in case employees become sick, have employees work together on projects so one can take over for another in case they get sick. If an employee becomes sick, and your employees are bullying and harassing him/her, tell them to stop it and discipline them. That is not the right way to treat a mentally ill person. You may even be liable if it continues. Have employees take a "mental health break" when you see them stressed out. Offer to walk with them during the break to see how the project is going and any help they might need for it. They need support in times like that.

Remember that with the right support and accommodation for the mentally ill, a lot of bad things can be avoided. Firing a mentally ill person just for being mentally ill only makes them worse, and in some cases can ruin or destroy them. Diversity is always a good thing, and mentally ill people might have a creative mind or a point of view that can help you avoid problems or come up with solutions.

Our legal system needs reform as well, people suspected of crimes cannot be treated the way some of them were treated recently where they were bullied and harassed until they did a suicide. Such treatment should be outlawed and people who do these things need criminal charges filed against them.

I won't mention any names in my blog, but I think everyone should know it is a growing problem that needs to be addressed.

Please let me know how to support and accommodate a mentally ill person in your workplace. I think we need to brainstorm ideas and make it a better workplace for the mentally ill people out there.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Investors don't count Apple out just yet

Apple (AAPL) stock has taken a beating recently, despite record profits and over 500 million people owning iOS (iPod, iPad, iPhone, iPad Mini devices) many investors think that Apple has reached its peak in sales and will only go downhill.

Now before you decide to dance the Charleston on Apple's grave, they aren't dead yet. The Apple Doomsday Clock hasn't been set in over a decade because Apple made a great recovery from the 1990's when the Apple Doomsday Clock would get as close to midnight as it possibly could and many where waiting for it to finally hit midnight and then Apple goes bankrupt and becomes another statistic. It won't happen in these modern times because Apple has too good of a hold on the current market.

Yes the iPhone 5 had quality control problems, but consumers didn't seem to mind the imperfections or maybe didn't notice them. Yes Apple Maps and iOS 6 had quality control problems so bad, that Apple had to fire a lot of people. Again consumers didn't seem to mind or maybe didn't notice them (It looked like Salvador Dali's painting of melted watches only it was street features for Apple Maps) and most iOS 6 problems were for older devices not the newer ones, which seems to have forced a lot of people to upgrade just to avoid them. (My iPod Touch 5th Generation has nothing but App Crashes with iOS 6.0.1 and no update in sight to fix it, it worked great with iOS 5 though.)

I mean look at Microsoft, almost everything they release is as buggy or poor quality like Apple released last year. Microsoft is having problems selling Windows 8, so they blame the PC makers while PC shops charge $125 to downgrade those Windows 8 PC systems to Windows 7. Look at Oracle and all of the bugs the recent Java had. Poor quality control is an industry standard apparently since the 1990's when "Good Enough" replaced "Total Quality Management" and "Zero Defects" and "Continual Quality Control" and terms like "Six Sigma" were forgotten and considered only used by 'Geeks' and 'Nerds'.

In fact products still sell in record numbers even with poor quality control, consumers hope that there will be a future software update that will address the quality control problems. Sometimes there is, but it introduces other quality control problems.

Apple is now Post-Jobs, Steve Jobs was one of the best people to have one of the best quality control programs on the planet. People had called Steve Jobs a 'jerk' but it was only because he rejected poor quality products and software and sent it back telling them to 'do it right this time' until it passed his quality control tests and was ready for release. Somehow Apple has lost that process, but it doesn't matter as people still buy their products and services in record numbers.

True the iPad Mini has cut into sales of the iPad, but that is only to be expected. Apple needed a smaller tablet device to compete with all of those cheap Android tablets out there. So Apple is saving itself from losing marketshare to Android by selling the iPad Mini, also the iPad Mini allows Apple to sell a cheaper device and reach a newer market. It hasn't yet kicked in, but in the future it will reach newer markets as the cost of making iPad Mini devices goes down in a price war with Android.

Sure Macintosh sales are down, this is the Post-PC era. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, it was to be a PC-Killer. Since the Macintosh is basically a PC running an Intel chip these days and using PC technology, it stands to reason Macintosh sales are down while people buy iPad and iPad Mini devices instead. The PC has not evolved into the Post-PC era yet, and PC makers are feeling the crunch as the mobile market and tablet market cuts into their sales. There is one use for a Macintosh that an iPad cannot do yet, and that is develop iOS apps using XCode to submit them to the Apple App Store. So the Macintosh is still needed to develop iOS apps and using XCode to submit them to the App Store.

The Apple TV has not caught on yet, Apple is reinventing it into another DVR like the TiVO. What Apple should be doing with the Apple TV is not just making it a DVR, but also making it a video game console as well. Make game controllers, keyboards, mice available for it along with a camera that can sense motion changes and release a SDK for developers to develop video games for it. Have it compete with the Microsoft XBox and Sony Playstation series video game consoles. Get some major video game companies to port their existing video games to it. Put in a decent video adapter with 3D graphics in it, because it is not an iPad it is more of a set top device that can use AC power so you don't have to limit the power requirements of the components. Provide a feature to pay a monthly fee like $8/month to watch movies and TV shows in a streaming format to compete with Netflix and Hulu and tap into the iTunes library for media to stream.

Apple has to innovate itself out of the problems it faces. That means improving quality control of software and devices, that means getting rid of contracting companies that use child labor, that means building some of the devices in the USA, that means inventing new devices and features for existing devices and finding new uses for existing devices and software.

Now keep in mind Apple is mostly a consumer and entertainment company and the 'business' use of their devices is mostly for 'creative content' like picture editing, video editing, desktop publishing, web page design, etc. Apple does not have the market the Windows PC has for Finances, Accounting, Business Management, Administration, Healthcare, Point of Sales, or even running the Backoffice of a business yet. These are areas they could develop for and move into, but haven't done so yet.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why Apple and Microsoft should fear Ubuntu!

Let's face it, Linux has been growing since 1991 and Ubuntu is one of the more popular distributions. Ubuntu is based in Debian Linux and some failed Linux systems like Lindows/Linspire gave Ubuntu a lot of source code to help it become more user friendly. You have a whole community of open source developers contributing to Ubuntu and a ton of free and open source software that each one costs less than a bottle of water. Sure there are commercial apps to buy for Ubuntu as well.

Some feel like Apple has hit their peak in the iOS market, 500 million iOS devices sold (how many are upgrades though from older iOS devices?), and Apple had some quality control problems with their iPhone 5, Apple Maps, and iOS 6. Apple has tied the operating system to the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Macintosh forcing hardware sales of Apple branded mobile devices and Macintosh computers. Apple had placed all their eggs in one basket outsourcing to the Chinese Foconn and just now noticed how vulnerable that makes them and decided to start up a USA based factory. Apple's stock has taken a tumble despite showing profits, investors don't think Apple can grow any bigger and has hit their peak. But then investors have been proven wrong before.

Microsoft is going balls to the wall with Windows 8 and its evil twin Windows RT and that 'Surface' tablet PC with the detachable keyboard. Meanwhile PC shops and PC support sites are offering the $125 downgrade to Windows 7 to users because of how much Windows 8 sucks. Microsoft removed the Start Menu that users loved, and replaced it with the 'Start Screen' called the Modern GUI because Microsoft got sued over the Metro name, and Windows 8 GUI doesn't sound so catchy. People are confused over Windows RT for ARM based systems, it comes with a pre-installed MS-Office but won't run Legacy Intel X86/X64 Apps and it looks exactly like Windows 8. But Microsoft doesn't care they keep marketing Windows 8/RT as the net big thing and have bet most of their money on promoting it.

Why should they fear Ubuntu? Well if they upset customers too much Ubuntu can easily be installed on Windows 8 PCs and Mac OS X Macintosh systems for free. Ubuntu is being ported to smartphones and tablets and those free and open source community developers are designing a much better and user friendly GUI interface for it, plus any Linux or Ubuntu app can easily be ported to the mobile Ubuntu and there is more Ubuntu apps than iOS and Windows RT  and Windows 8 Phone apps. Ubuntu stands to grow really fast once it has mobile devices running it, not only that some bold FOSS developers might port Ubuntu to those iOS, Windows RT, Windows 8 Phone devices to allow users to 'switch' to Ubuntu and keep their current devices. What will Apple do if their iOS devices are ported to Ubuntu and they can no longer receive payments to the App Store or iTunes store? The same with Microsoft. See the problem here for Apple and Microsoft? If they don't please their customers, they might jump ship and change operating systems to Ubuntu that would be a better experience for them. Did I mention that both Microsoft and Apple make their operating systems run slower on older devices to force the buying of their latest devices for a faster experience? Did I mention that Ubuntu has a lower overhead memory footprint, and a monolithic kernel that loads and unloads modules from system memory to save memory and make the OS faster?

Uh yeah, it is that serious. Almost any device can be made to run Ubuntu, it has been ported to many different platforms and many different CPU types. Unlike Apple or Microsoft, Ubuntu doesn't have a fascist policy on software applications to their software store that excludes others for 'silly reasons' and so Dotcoms based on sales from their app go bust because Apple rejected them or Microsoft rejected them, but they may find a market on Ubuntu. That means if Apple and Microsoft reject popular apps, and they end up on Ubuntu devices people will start to move away from Microsoft and Apple to the Ubuntu platform.

Steve Wozniak was once quoted as saying "Never trust a computer that you can't throw out of a window." during the 1980's computer wars with Mainframes. Perhaps the new quote in this modern age is "Never trust an operating system or software that you don't have access to 100% of the source code." Ubuntu is all open source, Ubuntu has software that is open source. While Apple supports open source projects and based Mac OS X and iOS on *BSD Unix aka Next it does not give away 100% of their source code, getting the source to Microsoft software, they'll just laugh at you. 

I got tired of Windows 7 Home Premium Edition crashing on my Acer laptop and I reformatted the hard drive with Ubuntu 12.10 and never went back to Windows. I own Windows 8 licenses but discovered it was total crap and went back to Windows 7 on my PC, and then reformatted it to Ubuntu 12.10 and never went back to Windows. I own a Macbook that runs Mac OS X and I got tired of the lockups and slowdowns and crashes so I mothballed it and will only use it if I need access to xcode to develop iOS apps, as there is no other way to do so because of limits Apple placed on the app store. Ubuntu does not limit developers that way, it frees them to use any tool they need to develop for their OS. With Apple and Microsoft you have fascism, with Ubuntu you have freedom. Once the average user figures that out, I know they will look into Ubuntu and maybe other Linux distributions.

Help for Acer with their Gateway and Packard Bell brands

First off do not copy Apple or Microsoft, and do your own thing. Apple will sue you into oblivion, and Microsoft will drag you down the Windows 8/RT black hole with them.

Packard Bell already has a reputation of affordable PC systems, but this is the Post-PC world of tablets, smartphones, video game consoles and other mobile and set top devices.

Consider Android devices for Packard Bell using ARM chips. Make a device called the PackPad that runs Android 4.X and has a 9 inch screen, and make the MiniPackPad that has a 7 inch screen, and the MicroPackPad that has a 4 inch screen. Do not copy any of Apple's GUI and do not make them look like the iPad or iPod. Give them a Packard Bell look and feel from the classic PC series.

For Gateway consider using AROS for the Gateway tablets or Ubuntu. I know you experimented with AROS as AspireOS for some of the Acer brand, and AROS has a brand called AEROS that combines AROS and Linux together that you can license and rebrand as GatewayOS for your Gateway Tablets. Keep the Cow motif with a white design with black splotches for the case design. With GatewayOS based on AEROS you can run Linux, AROS, and with WINE some Windows applications on the tablet. Ubuntu is going to be available for smartphones and if you can port some of the code to GatewayOS you can have a winning mobile OS for mobile devices. You can even make GatewayOS available for other tablets and PC systems as an alternative to Windows 8.

Just because it is the Post-PC world now does not mean the PC is dead. Come up with the UberPC idea that is a PC with mobile device features in it like touch screens, built in batteries for a power source so it can be unplugged, Intel and ARM chips so it can run ARM operating systems in a virtual machine and the ARM chip can help offset the Intel or AMD CPU.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Help for a Post-Jobs Apple

We have a Post-Jobs Apple now, some things are not working out.

Apple Maps was a disaster, and iOS 6 is buggy on older devices. Nothing that cannot be fixed with some debugging and quality control. Steve Jobs was considered a jerk, but it was only because he would reject work and send it back to be redone so that the quality was there before it shipped to the public. Tim Cook ought to do the same thing that Steve Jobs did.

There is a market for cheaper smartphones, and Apple's iPhone cannot meet that $100 smartphone need in foreign markets. Apple will have to redesign a new phone to reach that $100 market. Let us call it the ePhone after Apple's eMac and other educational devices that were cheaper in price. Make the case out of plastic, don't use a retina display, use a slower ARM processor, use less flash storage maybe 4G or 8G with an option for a MicroSD reader to store things on. Apple can make an ePad and ePad Mini based on those designs for people who want a Tablet for under $200 and still want iOS. Start selling them in foreign markets to compete with Android devices and cheaper smartphones and tablets.

Not everyone can afford a Macintosh, but many want to develop for iOS and the Macintosh. This has lead to the 'Hackintosh' movement of cracking Mac OS X to run on PC hardware and cut into Apple's Mac sales. The solution to this is simple, Apple makes a 'Rent-A-Mac' program where they create virtual machines that run different versions of Mac OS X and OS X Server software that people can rent for $X/month to connect into with a remote control software Apple develops for Windows and Linux systems, that uses the Apple ID and Password to log into and manage virtual machines. I'd imagine $5/month for a 512M RAM Mac OS X 10.6 or 10.7 system with XCode and a dynamic IP in a virtual machine and $8/month for a Mac OS X 10.8 system with 1G RAM and XCode with a dynamic IP. Apple can rent Mac OS X Servers with a static IP for more money that can host web sites, etc. Apple should do this before some other company finds a way to create Mac OS X virtual machines for rent.

Make an add-on for Mac OS X to run iOS apps for testing, and allow it to work like an iPad but using a mouse on a Macintosh. Have it emulate different ARM processors.

Innovate the 'iAuto' device. A device that replaces the stereo system in an automobile and has a Siri voice activated system to play songs, read email (text to speech), play videos, and the like. It has a built in Mefi device to provide Wifi access for iPads, iPhones, and uses a Data Cell Phone carrier contract when bought to cut down on the price of the device. It uses the Apple App Store to download apps and can sync with other iOS devices to play videos or songs with Airplay. The iAuto can be installed by a automotive dealer, and Apple can make deals with the automotive industry to pre-install them in some automobiles by request. It also has an AM/FM radio built in, and some models have the Satellite Sirius/XM receiver option. Apple designs the iRadio app to use Radio Streams over the Internet using the cellular data plan to stream them live. There is a small touch screen to use to navigate and display a GPS using Apple Maps or any Maps or GPS program.

Bring back Apple Sherlock as a web search engine, and make it an app for iOS. Have it filter results with Web 2.0 tags and have users add tags to each web site that is submitted. Have a way for users to flag spam so it can be filtered out as well. Make Sherlock a web site integrated with other Apple web sites so it can search for Apple products or for Apps and even give reviews by the users on them.

Facebook Ho-hum, here is what you should really be doing.

Great a search engine that can search my friend's feeds and pictures. Really nice there, Google Plus already had that with their social network as did Linkedin and others. This is going to earn more revenue for Facebook, how?

Ho-hum, not really exciting.

If you want to earn more revenue for Facebook consider this:

Put in an eBook store with your own Facebook eBook reader for multi-platforms so people can self-publish ebooks and sell them in your store. Even download them in PDF, ePub, and Mobi formats for PDF readers, Nook, iBooks, and Kindle. Cross publish them to Kindle, Nook, Apple iBooks, etc as well. Join the ePublishing revolution.

Put in an App Store for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and other platforms and develop your own SDK to help people develop apps that Facebook can sell to earn more revenue. Document your Facebook API so developers can hook into Facebook features. Call it Facebook Apps or something.

Offer Cloud services of storage, virtual machines, web servers, database servers, email, and of course backups available for a monthly or yearly fee. You can offer free limited services and then charge for adding more storage and more bandwidth to the services. Build tools to help with content and media creation.

Facebook Phone? Nope, just develop for the Android, iOS, and Windows 8/RT devices to better integrate with Facebook via a series of applications. If you develop your own phone, some other company is going to out innovate or undercut you. Just develop for the more popular platforms and make deals with smartphone makers to offer discounts in exchange for sponsorship.

Facebook Ads for websites, something to compete with Google AdSense. Who by the way just rejected my AdSense application. It seems they reject a lot of applications. A prime market for Facebook or anyone else to tap into.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Beware of Startup Sharks

I've worked in the computer industry for over 25 years. I've started up two small businesses with cofounders, I've worked for FORTUNE 500 companies, I've worked as a contractor, I've done a lot of things. I learned over 37 programming languages and can learn almost any programming language. I've trained and tutored people and mentored them as well. Consider me retired, but I still receive job, contract, and business opportunities even if I took down every copy of my resume from the web and changed my phone number and email address.

I've been writing ideas and designs for projects on paper notebooks since 1995 using a method I developed myself when I couldn't find a better one. One might think why don't I at least do one of those projects and then make a business on it? If a person asks me that question, I know they are inexperienced with the way the business cycle works, and finding a market.

Sure some anonymous guy at Hacker News is offering MVPs $8000 yo develop for 2 months their project and then he will take 50% of their stock and market it for them. Uh, what's wrong with this picture? Seems like a good deal, you get paid $25/hr to develop your MVP and then take on a cofounder who owns 50% of your company?

What is the problem? So many let me list then here.

First you don't know who this person is, he is an anonymous contributor to a news web site, could be anyone. Did you run a thorough background check on him? Did you check for criminal history, credit history, educational degrees, immigration status, bank accounts, medical history? First off I don't want to say anything negative about this guy, but I just don't generally trust an anonymous person. Before you do business with anyone, check them out to see who they are.

Second what are the legal issues? Is he going to sign an NDA (Non-Discloser Agreement), or a No-Compete Contract, or even any contract at all? You'd better consult a lawyer to have some papers drawn up and have him sign them before you release anything to him. Also what if your MVP might infringe on an existing patent or copyright, how will you both deal with it? Will he just cash in his shares at the first sign of a lawsuit or even C&D (cease and desist) letter? Are you going to patent and trademark and copyright the company's IP so competitors cannot steal it? How is going to draw up the business plan, the incorporation papers, and issue stock?

Third who keeps track of the accounting? How do you know the books are not cooked and everything is fair? Consult with an accountant and have a CPA audit your books.

Fourth you don't create a market after making a product. You do research and development and analysis for your market and you find out who you are selling solutions that people in a certain market need and then cater your MVP to them. This guy wants you to do it completely backwards. That makes as much sense as building a house and then making the blueprint after it is built. Work on your blueprint first, and build the house that people need by designing the blueprint to serve those needs. Find a need, fill it, serve it. Find a problem, solve it.

Fifth marketing, is it really that hard that you have to give away 50% of your stock to do it? You mean to tell me you don't know how Google Adwords works, or how to give a speech at user groups that have an interest in your MVP, or how to create social networking pages for your MVP, or how to make a web page and use SEO to bump it up to the top of Google? You really don't know how to set the pricing strategy, product, promotion, placement, process, and people? You don't even know how to use Vistaprint for cheap Business Cards that you pass out to people in real life and meet them at conventions, business meetings, or just bump into them at sporting events or whatever? You don't know how to contact web sites that do reviews of MVPs and can help promote it? You don't even know how to submit your blog or web site about your MVP to Hacker News?

Sixth copycats, you will always have other organizations copying you as soon as your MVP hits Google and is searchable. Is this guy going to help you out innovate them? Is he going to design your business plan on how to deal with copycats and improve your MVP so copycats can't steal customers? Plan on copycats. Why did the Apple iPhone do so well? It was not the first smart phone, that was the IBM Simon from 1994. The Qualcom PalmOS based smartphone, the RIM Blackberry smartphone, and the Microsoft Windows CE smartphone were all out before Apple. Apple saw the weaknesses in every smartphone and used total quality management to make a better quality smartphone. Google did the same with Android. Now they are suing each other, despite tons of prior art. But Linux based smartphones are coming out now. Apple iOS 6 is buggy on older iOS devices but not new ones, and Apple Maps was a failure. If the Linux and Ubuntu smartphones can develop a higher quality product, then they have the edge. Always improve the quality of your MVP and add in new features that people want. Don't let the copycats do it first. The Japanese have a method called Kaizen, continual improvement process. It gave them the edge in the 1980's and 1990's because better quality products means less support costs and less of an overhead cost.

Seventh Human Resources, your company will grow how will you manage employees, who will run HR? Better study up on employment laws and business laws and consult a lawyer on what you can and cannot do with an employee. Is your cofounder going to do this for you, or just the marketing? Sure your business will grow, but when you need the right people and need to manage people without legal headaches, is he qualified?

Eight every business has risks. Has he told you the risks? For example say you are in a car accident and cannot finish your MVP by two months, what happens? What if your primary job requires you to work extra hours and you cannot finish that MVP? What if you are a consultant and you have to put off clients for that MVP, and it does not work out and you lose clients? What if your manager at your first job finds out your are 'Moonlighting' and decides to fire you?

Ninth user documentation, is he going to write it or are you? What about help menus, FAQs, tutorials and the API needed by developers to be fully documented so they can hook into your MVP? Will there be Youtube videos and podcasts?

Tenth graphics and illustrations, will he design them for you? Are you good with photo editing software like Photoshop etc? Do you use GIMP instead? Who is going to make Powerpoint slides to explain this to people? Will there be whitepapers?

Eleventh tech support and help desk, will he help with this or stick you with this task? Face it the Internet is full of people who can't figure out simple stuff. Sure you wrote an easy to use UI/UX, so easy a chimpanzee can use it.  But people are still going to struggle with it. People are still going to want their hands held. People are still going to request features be added to the MVP, that are already there but only because they don't know how to use them. You will get angry and upset people as well, how do you handle them?

Twelfth what happens when nothing works right, everything fails, and then he puts the blame 100% on you, and sues you for all the money you got? Worst case scenario I'm sure. What if you have a Dotbomb on your hands? Worse yet he issues more stock and buys it up and puts himself in control and then fires you even if the business does well. There has to be an exit strategy in the business plan for you. Either sell your stock to him, he sells his stock to you, you sell the company stock to a bigger company, and you outline in the contract what happens if the business fails, what happens so it isn't a surprise.

Who knows maybe this guy isn't a shark and knows how to deal with these twelve problems or even more I haven't thought of? After all he seems to be going after younger, more inexperienced developers who don't know these sort of things. I advise anyone considering such an offer to do research into these issues before taking such an offer. Before you go diving into an ocean, check for sharks first.

TL;DR First thing you should do is research your target market, fill a need, develop your MVP first, retain a lawyer and accountant, and then get VC money when you have something to show for it.

Edit: Wow, over 4000 page views in just a few hours time. Thank you Hacker News and Google GPlus, and for all the Tweets on Twitter that made Beware the Startup Sharks trending for a while.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Adobe scores major 'Own Goal'!

Adobe was advertising on Life Hacker and other web sites that Adobe Creative Suite CS2 and individual apps like Photoshop CS2 were now free and the activation feature was removed.

Many Mac and Windows users rejoiced, free Photoshop CS2, yes! Just sign in with an Adobe ID and then register for the software and get assigned a serial key and then install the software with the serial key. There was much rejoicing on the Internet and Adobe's servers even went down and the web page at Adobe for the free software was 'temporary available' but forums where posting direct links to Adobe to download the files and serial keys (it turns out any valid key would work, for anyone, since the activation feature got removed that checked for duplicate keys) and so people kept downloading free versions of old CS2 software.

But wait Adobe now says it isn't so, you are supposed to have a license for the CS2 software before you download and install it. That it is only free for existing CS2 users because the old version requires activation and Adobe couldn't afford to run the activation servers anymore, so they released the old CS2 software without the activation part. Not what their original message said, not what people had Tweeted or posted on social networking sites, not what news sites reported. Adobe goofed on the press releases apparently and now has to wait for management to issue an announcement on the subject.

Let's face it the software is so old, 2005 old, so old that the Macintosh version only runs on PowerMacs and won't run on Mac OS X 10.7 or higher (Mac OS X 10.4 to 10.6 for Intel Macs had an option of a Rosetta emulator to run PowerMac software on Intel Macs, but Apple removed it with Mac OS X 10.7 and up) and it was told that the Windows version only ran on old Windows versions like ME and XP and 2000. (Not true people reported it working with Windows Vista/7 even in 64 bit mode and some in Windows 8) Linux users found that it works with WINE as well.

I won't post links to places to download it or that has serial keys. I want to report on this and let Adobe sort it out.

Photoshop CS2 doesn't have the features or power of Photoshop CS6, nor does it have Cloud support or support multicore processors or advanced graphic cards. Adobe doesn't support it anymore nor do they sell a license for it either.

This could have been a big marketing promotion for Adobe, use the old version for free and if you like it consider buying the latest version. Photoshop is one of the most pirated software applications out there, and this free CS2 version puts a damper on CS2 piracy. Why pirate CS2 when you can download a free version from Adobe? One that doesn't use a crack that is malware infected, one that doesn't take weeks to download, one that is fully functional and up to date (pirated versions didn't update for some reason and are old and outdated) one that you can register with Adobe and create an Adobe ID for future purchases.

Look a lot of video game companies have given out free versions of their old video games and it has lead to sales of their newer video games. For example Skyrim's sales keep going up and they offer free versions of older video games based on their series with Daggerfall and Arena. Steam offers a free to play version of Team Fortress 2, and then once the user creates a Steam ID to play it for free, they get offered other video game software, which they buy and Steam also has sales on video games every once in a while.

If you want to attract more customers to your business, you need to give something away for free. That is advice I learned from SCORE and retired business people giving me free advice for my small business. Adobe can take advantage of this and give away free copies of at least Photoshop CS2, and then offer Adobe ID users who download it a discount on Photoshop CS6 or the Creative Suite CS6, and then they will earn more revenue for more sales.

I mean people often go for free and open source alternatives to Adobe Photoshop like The Gimp, Paint.Net, even use MS-Paint but if Adobe offers a free Photoshop they will win goodwill, and that is something that cannot be bought, it has to be earned.

My son just told me something about this today, "Adobe is off to a good start in 2013 with this free CS2 giveaway" sure they may lose millions in sales right now, and that is a write-off, but later on when CS2 owners want to upgrade to CS6 it will be more revenue than they lost, and they will make it up with record sales. Just the thing Adobe needs because they are struggling anyway as the industry tries to get rid of the Flash standard with the HTML5 standard.

An 'Own Goal' is a term in Soccer (USA) or Football (Europe) in which a player on the team kicks the ball to their own goalie and it passes the goalie and scores a point for the other team by going into their own goal. In other words a big mistake. But Adobe can turn this around to their benefit if they wanted to do so.