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  1. #1
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    Pizza and tech: An app creates the perfect combo




    TOP STORY

    Pizza and tech: An app creates the perfect combo




    By Katherine Murray

    There's an app for that! We're now well into an era of mini-apps created for smartphones, adopted by Windows 8, and now rapidly making their way onto entertainment systems and other digital devices.

    In a preview of things to come, a Pizza Hut app lets you order your favorite pie right from your Xbox 360 gaming/entertainment system.

    The full text of this column is posted at http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/...perfect-combo/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    There's nothing particularly new about an app to order pizza. I've had a very nice app on my iPad for well over a year now that does the same thing, just for Domino's instead of Pizza Hut. An added advantage to the iPad app is that I can place the order from wherever I happen to be, as long as I've got either WiFi or a cellular data link - I've placed orders from my truck (well, more accurately, I've had my daughter do it - no iPad usage while driving!) for delivery at our destination, so that shortly after we get there the pizzas, sandwiches and pasta dishes are delivered.

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    I don't see anything about 'Windows' or 'Secrets' in this poorly disguised ad for Xbox. If I could give it a '0' I would have, it got a '1'.

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    There are many areas where digital devices may still be improved. Unfortunately, this is hardly one of them.

    The mantra of "There's an app for that" is amusing although it reveals a glut of vanity code. The Pizza ordering application is of little practical use for anyone who doesn't live on a diet of pizza. If they do live on Pizza Hut pizza, they'll be in need of a ER app soon enough. Because a vendor creates an app is not a reason to rejoice. You may also want to consider the political ramifications of supporting an organization (like all the national pizza chains) that prefer to oppress staff's wages while serving chemical sludge to their patrons.

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    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Sorry guys, but it's traditional: pizza and tech go together. I used to design big computers. When I found myself sitting there late at night with an intractable problem, pizza always seemed to help me solve it. It's brain food, you know. Unfortunately, most of those problems remain unsolvable now because I have Celiac disease. (Or is it a disorder? I dunno.) So the really important question is: can I order a gluten free pizza? ... Oh, never mind. I guess I would have to buy the first TV since I sold my 12" B&W one back in 1976. :-)

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allanhm View Post
    I don't see anything about 'Windows' or 'Secrets' in this poorly disguised ad for Xbox. If I could give it a '0' I would have, it got a '1'.
    Apparently, you are stuck back in the olden days when a computer was a desktop tower. Things have changed since 1986. There's this whole new thing called the Internet, and it can be accessed through newfangled programs called Apps, which work across all sorts of devices, all of which run Microsoft Operating Systems. And just because Android or iOS aren't from Microsoft, doesn't mean we Windows users can't learn new tricks from these competitors' Apps. Many of which are also ported to Windows devices, BTW.
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  7. #7
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    XBox DRM and Kinect Privacy Clarified

    The XBox One Used Games policy mentioned in the Rolling Stone article as a concern (and hinted at in the Windows Secrets article) is clarified further here:


    A more balanced overview of the Kinect 2's alleged "spying" is found in these two articles, one from the New York Times:
    Here and here .

    The Verge outlines the privacy concerns and presents Microsoft's responses so far.


    Eurogamer has the most complete original interview I've found so far with Microsoft's spokespeople on both issues. (DRM and licensing enforcement, and Privacy Concerns.)

    On privacy:
    Phil Harrison: Yep. Microsoft has very, very good policies around privacy. We're a leader in the world of privacy, I think you'll find. We take it very seriously. We aren't using Kinect to snoop on anybody at all. We listen for the word 'Xbox on' and then switch on the machine, but we don't transmit personal data in any way, shape or form that could be personally identifiable to you, unless you explicitly opt into that.
    Not necessarily completely transparent, but mildly reassuring on this topic, if you ask me. Others maybe more concerned, or may not trust what a Microsoft PR person says. That is up to the Reader to discern, not for me to prove conclusively.

    In this Post, I'm just reporting where first-hand statements from Microsoft can be found, not speculating on what the XBox or Kinect tea leaves may portend. Rolling Stone (and to some extent, the Windows Secrets Newsletter Article) was speculating, as were several well-respected Gamer Sites I found during my research on this subject recently.

    I don't like speculation. It leads to Conspiracy Theories. (Remember the Urban Myth that Microsoft's Windows Activation Technologies spies on us? That FUD is still circulating among Microsoft bashers.)

    I like direct quotes from authorized reps of the Company itself. Then I like to wait and see actual reviews and expert analysis of actual shipped products. (Trust but Verify.) As with Windows 8 and the RT tablets, a lot less advance speculation and a lot more "Prove It Hands-On" attitudes might have avoided raising so much FUD among potential upgraders and buyers. So with the new XBox One and the new Kinect 2.

    Neither product will be in anyone's hands until well into this Fall.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-06-22 at 01:24.
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    I fail to see how this article has anything to do with Windows. Not only is it a thinly disguised ad for Xbox, it is a flagrant plug for Pizza Hut at a time when there is an obesity (and subsequent type II diabetes) epidemic. I have absolutely no interest in this kind of thinly veiled promotion for something completely unrelated to Windows. Like the pizza this article promotes, the article is junk. I certainly won't be renewing my subscription if this rubbish keeps being published.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldemaar View Post
    I fail to see how this article has anything to do with Windows. Not only is it a thinly disguised ad for Xbox, it is a flagrant plug for Pizza Hut at a time when there is an obesity (and subsequent type II diabetes) epidemic. I have absolutely no interest in this kind of thinly veiled promotion for something completely unrelated to Windows. Like the pizza this article promotes, the article is junk. I certainly won't be renewing my subscription if this rubbish keeps being published.
    See my reply in Post #6 to the exact same comment earlier in this thread.

    The world has moved beyond the Desktop Tower and an all-Microsoft software library of Big Applications for which most folks never paid for licenses anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    See my reply in Post #6 to the exact same comment earlier in this thread.

    The world has moved beyond the Desktop Tower and an all-Microsoft software library of Big Applications for which most folks never paid for licenses anyway.
    And your point is ...?

    My comment was mainly about the flagrant plug for Pizza Hut, rubbish processed food, obesity and type II diabetes. These have absolutely nothing to do with tower computers, Microsoft software or big applications.

    As an aside, Windows Phone 8 is relevant to a 'Windows' newsletter. Accessing your home (Windows) PC or network using an Android or iOS phone is relevant to a 'Windows' newsletter. How to jailbreak your iOS phone is irrelevant in 'Windows' Secrets. Plugging a purveyor of processed, valueless, GM and chemical junk food which is making America sick is unacceptable in any technical newsletter.

  11. #11
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    I believe the Pizza Hut ordering App was only being used as an example of how many things can be done from within a game console these days, specifically XBox. This hardly qualifies as an ad for Pizza Hut, as I see things.No more so than reviewing a product (hardware or software) in a newsletter qualifies as an ad for the product. Not in my world, anyway.
    -- Bob Primak --

  12. #12
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    The world has moved beyond the Desktop Tower and an all-Microsoft software library of Big Applications for which most folks never paid for licenses anyway.
    I think you are half right. I don't think the world has moved beyond the desktop tower. That may be true of many consumers, but not of heavier users. I can't even find utility in my wife's fairly powerful laptop and tablets and phones are a joke. I think we need to accept that the world has gone on to include a much wider range of personal computers than existed just a few years ago, including tablets and phones and so on as truly "personal" computers. Microsoft made the mistake of signing the death certificate on traditional PCs and now I understand that they will be stepping back a bit on Windows8 and making it more compatible with the traditional desktop and laptop non-touch-screen computer.

    Where I agree is that we have gone beyond just using Microsoft software. Creation of a widespread software market was one of the most important outgrowths of IBM's launch of the PC in 1983. That's what they intended when they designed it and released all the design documentation with it. It was a really big deal then. Microsoft seemed to lose their way in the 1990s, trying to own the world through exclusionary business practices which I think were found to be illegal. That, coupled with the maturing of Linux and of the open source world and the entirely new world of "apps" for phones and tablets means the availability of affordable, useful software for individuals and small businesses has just exploded.

    Here are a couple of useful adages to keep in mind:

    1. Change is the nature of the universe. (Especially in technology.)
    2. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Who reconciles those two will remain a happy person ... or make lots of money. I don't know. Probably not both. They don't usually go together.

  13. #13
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Backspacer, I couldn't agree with you more. This Windows Secrets Article is obviously not about Power Users. (They have other columnists for those articles.) One thing I think Microsoft has done so far with Windows 8 is to ignore the needs and complaints from heavier and more serious business and IT users when rolling out the changes in their newest version.

    As for this article, since it's about the consumer side (and probably more aimed at more casual users) I can forgive a bit of brand name mentions and glossing over of some serious privacy and security issues with the newest XBox incarnation, and especially the intrusive new features of the Kinect 2.

    Windows Secrets has as I read it, maintained a good balance between serving business, technical and consumer level subscribers. So even though things have moved way past the old Workstations, these are still very much a part of the modern IT landscape, and very much a part of the Windows Ecosystem, whether Microsoft chooses to acknowledge this fact or not.

    One thing IT history teaches us is that if the dominant player ignores its historic user base, that Company can be replaced by a rival. And sometimes by an Open Source rival. I'm just saying...
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-07-04 at 14:36.
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    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Yeah. Open source is (still) coming. I am using open source applications on Windows more and more all the time. But the reason I haven't moved my company to Linux is application based.

    We have been using the RetailEdge point of sale system since January, 2000 (waited until Y2K to begin, just in case. :-) It is available only on Windows. It is a good POS for a small retail business like ours. A real, physical retail store needs professional software and really has all the same basic needs as Walmart, but without the budget. RetailEdge performs very well in that regard and is affordable. And we all know it. One of the reasons we survived the recession is that my wife is so co-joined with RetailEdge that she was able to wring every penny possible out of our little store. (It helps that she has an MBA with a data analysis specialty.) The owners of RetailEdge have expressed no interest in porting it to Linux. For us, converting to a new Linux POS would mean an immense amount of work and retraining and it just isn't worth it. Even if there was an affordable Linux based POS which actually functioned in a real store. Last time I looked there was not.

    Likewise our business accounting software holds us to Windows, though not as tightly. I use Peachtree (now poorly re-named as "Sage") and as far as I know it is Windows-only. I recently downloaded TurboCash to try out. It is available for Windows and Linux, both. But I haven't had the time to set it up yet. Maybe this fall or winter when things slow down. There is no overpowering reason to change to it. I only upgrade every three or four years, so it costs me an average of less than $100 a year to use.

    So we will remain with Windows for the foreseeable future and I expect Microsoft to continue supporting the needs of real users, not just couch potatoes and other consumer level users. They currently differentiate between servers and single use systems. Maybe they should return to thinking of single use systems as workstations rather than as home computers, and take them more seriously than Windows8 implies that they do.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    So we will remain with Windows for the foreseeable future and I expect Microsoft to continue supporting the needs of real users, not just couch potatoes and other consumer level users. They currently differentiate between servers and single use systems. Maybe they should return to thinking of single use systems as workstations rather than as home computers, and take them more seriously than Windows8 implies that they do.
    Backspacer, I sure hope you are right. But at times like the announcements about Windows 8.1, I get very discouraged. *sigh*
    -- Bob Primak --

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