Category Archives: Rants and Raves

I WANT TO BE SURPRISED!!!

Apple iPad mini appears in Media Markt inventory in cellular and WiFi flavors, €250-650 price range — Engadget.

Apple should just start selling the damn thing and dispense with the announcement. There are no surprises left. There is nothing left to reveal. The iPhone 5 was the most completely leaked device I have ever seen. By the time they announced it is was a big yawn, tell me something I don’t already know, moment.

Part of me wants to believe that this device only exists on Johnny Ive’s desk. Wouldn’t it be great if Apple is behind all of these rumors just so they could poison the rumor mill just to keep people guessing the next time Apple releases something.

I doubt it is just a rumor, tho. I do think it will happen. Latest announcement date is October 23rd which means there should be some sort of cryptic invitation sent out any day now just as there was for the iPhone 5. As I said before, I will believe it when I see it in Tim Cook’s hand.

10/16/12: Apple indeed did send out invitations titled “We’ve got a little more to show you.” Emphasis on the word ‘little’.  The announcement will indeed be on the 23rd

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Google Chrome on iOS

I downloaded the Chrome app and it is nice and I like how I can go to a page I was browsing on another device or computer running Chrome. But the real reason I was running Chrome both on my PC and my MAC was that it was faster. MUCH FASTER than the native browsers IE and Safari. This is not the case with this app. If anything, it is slower than mobile Safari. Still, I will give it a try.

Google on iOS: All about the ecosystem | Macworld.

My problems(s) with Hosted Email

Control. The biggest “problem” for us was the lack of control. You no longer have access to the server itself, but instead to a Management console which will vary depending on which vendor you choose. You can no longer see logs to see if a piece of email arrived or left the server. You may or may not even have the ability to add or delete users, instead you have to request this be done for you. 

Mailbox retention. Since you pay by the user, the tendency is to close a mailbox soon after an employee departs instead of keeping it open for a while to monitor for client emails. 

Spam. While you have some control over Spam, you probably won’t have the control that a service like Postini or a device like Barracuda will provide. Some services barely allow access to your quarantined email or just send you notices of what is quarantined.  The spam filter on our particular service was pretty lax. It kind of has to be as it is filtering email for a wide population as opposed to being tuned to a particular organization’s needs. 

Scanning. A lot of companies have a multipurpose machine that scans to email. Two out of three of our scanners could not send to an external email server. We had to reconfigure them to scan to file. Even if they could scan to email, it would have gobbled up bandwidth as the attachment would have to travel out to the server and then back down to the individual. Not very efficient. Also if the method of moving files inside an office is to use email, expect more time (and bandwidth) to be spent moving those files for the same reasons. 

Speed. If the client is using Outlook, expect email startup to be slower depending on how you have it configured. We had to turn on caching as Outlook was looking to the email server way too much and receiving emails with large attachments really slowed things down. 

Email disclaimers. You will have limited or no control over this depending on the service you choose. We wanted to have email disclaimers everywhere, including inside of Encrypted emails, and that proved very difficult for them to do.  They ended up getting it done, but it is a plain text disclaimer that has the providers name stuck in the middle. Also, the rudimentary disclaimer software they used, did not differentiate between an external and internal user so the disclaimers tended to build up in an email conversation. 

Encrypted emails. Sending an encrypted email is a very unforgiving and complicated process. With our service, first you MUST put the word [ENCRYPT] in the subject line. Failure to do it exactly as shown will cause the email to go out unencrypted. The first time a recipient gets an encrypted email, they must register supplying their name, address, phone number, create a password and a pin (in case they forget the password) Problem was the clients tended to forget both password and pin. There was no way for the client to automatically recover a forgotten password and there was no way for me to change it. I had to email our hosted email providers and have them delete the users “account” and re-email the encrypted document and have the client start all over. 

Network alerts. Many of our network devices were unable to provide alerts to an external email server. 

Email archiving. We found out it just archived incoming emails from external sources. Check on that. I hear the Microsoft product archives both. 

Disk Storage. Most providers limit the size of your Mailbox. We have some users that like to keep everything they send and receive. This could become an issue for some users. There was also no way for me to monitor the mailbox size from the management console. 

Support. Depending on the service you select, you may be dealing with a re-seller as we were. We used a service called ExchangeDefender which was re-sold to us by our now former IT consultant. I suggest you stay away from them. On the flip side of that, you have services like Office 365 where you are dealing with M$. Dealing with Microsoft is no picnic, either. 

As you can tell, we were never really happy with a hosted solution, but stuck with it because of the perceived cost savings. Also, with the mail server being outside the network, this can be an advantage, particularly if you have a lot of users who work outside the office or you have temperamental internet access. However, with Server Virtualization becoming mainstream, it is no longer necessary to have a separate box for the email server making it now more cost effective to bring it back in house.

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Fear and Loathing and Windows 8

Yes, be afraid. Be very afraid. Windows 8 is coming (later this year) and unless you like learning something almost entirely new, you are going to hate it.

Fortunately, there should be at least a year of being able to choose which OS you want on your new computer if you buy it online.

This is an excellent article that does a nice job articulating where all the pain points are going to be in adopting this new OS.

As an IT administrator, having to adopt this scares the &*$%$ out of me and I will definitely be putting off any upgrade as long as I possibly can or until M$ comes to their senses.

Mobile Opportunity: Fear and Loathing and Windows 8.

Facebook Camera hands-on — Engadget

Good review of the new Facebook camera app. My only problem with it, is the name. When you install it, it just says Camera as the name. We already have an app with that name. It seems a little arrogant of FB to imply that this is your default camera app.

Facebook Camera hands-on — Engadget.

Introducing Facebook Camera – Facebook Newsroom

I don’t get it. FB paid a MILLION $$$$ to acquire Instagram only to kill it with their own app. Unreal.

Introducing Facebook Camera – Facebook Newsroom.

I just downloaded the app and it is great for posting a bunch of shots at one time. You can use the built in camera, but the real plus is how it hooks into your camera roll.  You just tag the ones you want to upload, add a description and you are done.

It has some lame filters on it that I will probably never use, but then I rarely used the filters on Instagram either. It also is a great way to browse only the pictures in your stream.  If you have groups set up it also has some nice controls over who gets to see your photos.

 

YouTube is going the way of TV

Just saw a report that political ads will be attached to the front of YouTube videos. Great! Has anyone ever been persuaded to vote for or against a candidate based on a tv ad? I think they are the biggest waste of the taxpayers dollars.

iPhone App Reviews by the Experts at Macworld | Macworld

When I buy an app from the App Store, I usually read some of the recent reviews to see if the app is worth purchasing. I even do this for free apps because I don’t want to waste my time if it doesn’t work. The problem with these reviews is that they are often very poorly written, with little or no thought to spelling and/or punctuation and quite often are really not a review of the app but are the first impressions of the person who downloaded it. Generally I will toss out the best and worst reviews and concentrate on the 2 to 4 star reviews. I have seen plenty of times where the “reviewer” will give an app one star just because they failed to use the app properly.  I particularly hate the reviews that rate the app one star because it doesn’t do a particular feature that it never claimed to do but the reviewer apparently thought it did or should do.

If you are looking for an app and want a professional review of  it, you should look here. These are written by Macworld writers who know how to judge an app on it’s merits an not the personal feelings of the individual.

iPhone App Reviews by the Experts at Macworld | Macworld.

SquareTrade Offering Warranty For Jailbroken iOS Devices, Puts AppleCare To Shame | Redmond Pie

I use SquareTrade, not because I want to Jailbreak my device, but because they have the better warranty. If you fully immerse you iPhone in water (drop in the toilet) it is not covered by AppleCare. SquareTrade will. Their warranties cost about the same as Apples and cover more.

I am not a fan of jailbreaking your iOS device mainly because it is a hassle and you are opening your phone up to more instability and possible hacks (if not done right). I also have not found that many apps that I just have to have without jailbreaking. Apple usually has a pretty good reason for not alloowing them.

via SquareTrade Offering Warranty For Jailbroken iOS Devices, Puts AppleCare To Shame | Redmond Pie.