140 posts • joined Wednesday 31st October 2007 23:34 GMT
Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.
But that does not gives you a start menu. It gives you an ugly collection of square blotches of color, which appear to represent applications, with no hierarchical grouping visual clues, that takes up the entire 22 inch screen while showing only a fraction of the choices, having to be scraped back and forth to expose the rest of the blotches. It's a mess.
I'm writing this on Windows 7. When I hit the Windows key, I get a real menu, and I can choose to bring up a new application while leaving my current open windows in place. I have a Windows 8 machine, but haven't touched it in weeks, because a real user workflow does not work on the device. It's probably fine for casual browsing (which I do on my phone anyway, but never mind) but is a definite step backwards for real work.
There's so much that failed here, I don't know where to begin. The start button -- I had a feeling they would just change the graphic rather than change the behavior. As if the graphic was the issue. How condescending.
As I write this, I have nine apps appearing on my 1920 X 1200 screen. If I upgrade this box, I will only be able to effectively display two apps. That's such a total wet-fart fail that I am at a loss for words.
An effective company would fire the person responsible for these decisions. It appears that Microsoft is no longer an effective company.
At this point, it looks like I'll be using Windows 7 until I just can't use it anymore, and then switch to something else. Maybe Chrome or OSX. What a total incredible botch.
We actually have a laptop with a touchscreen that's running Windows 8.0. (Because Windows 7 doesn't do anything reasonable with a touch screen.) Nobody uses it because it's very frustrating and time consuming to use, and some things (like comparing data from multiple apps displayed simultaneously) can't be done at all.
We'll upgrade this appliance to Windows 8.1 because it's free, and then I'll try to find a home for it.
> They forced desktop user to use metro so those same desktop users would know how to use their tablets when they came out.
Exactly. And that didn't even take a great deal of thought. Windows Mobile 6 and earlier was the Desktop (including start button and walking menus) pushed to mobile devices, on the theory that people would gravitate to something they were already used to. The only difference here is that someone said "We tried pushing desktop onto mobile devices; it didn't sell. Let's push the mobile interface onto the desktop that's surely a winner." And of course, all it did was suppress desktop sales.
The Q10 is really tempting. I've been carrying an Android phone for three years. I switched to Android during an extended BES outage. But after three years I still can't type as quickly or as comfortably as I could on my old Tour. And what Blackberry excelled at, better than any iOS, Android or (shudder) Windows phone, is that it is a PHONE first. The Tour excelled as a phone, over and above any Android or iOS based smartphone.
I'm really tempted to switch back to Blackberry. Will have to think about this.
ESPECIALLY since it's an inescapable part of the i-culture that users must swap phones every time an incremental improvement is shat out, or run the risk of not being hip. So what do users do the first time an i-phone comes out that won't fit in their i-car? Replace the car? Wow, if VW can get away with that, they'd be set for life.
Re: Crappy software is better than the browser version
> Its all violently annoying to setup but once you are there it is really useful
This is part of the problem I have with the entire concept. It appears to be made for people who don't want to have to fiddle with a complicated A/V setup, but on the other hand, the device itself takes a fair amount of fiddling over a significant amount of time by a knowledgeable individual in order to do its job. It seems to be more for bragging rights than for actual use.
Re: Who are they kidding?
Alternately, you spend entirely too much on an Harmony for your huge home cinema setup, and all your friends point and laugh while you try to get the durn thing to behave, finally in frustration going back to the native remotes to get anything done.
I paid $250 (US) for an early Harmony, and after five weeks it became shelfware. It my communicate with a gazillion devices, but my receiver was not one of them. It was verrrryryyyyyyy slloooowww to do anything, and often did the wrong thing.
I think these remotes work best in households with one alpha geek and one luddite. The alpha geek is necessary to debug and program the durn thing. The luddite must have an unreasoning fear of A/V systems with more than one component. The geek is forever tweaking the Harmony to find some combination of settings that will make the luddite comfortable with turning the TV on and finding something to watch.
Finally, the geek gives up, the Harmony collects dust, and the family goes back to the original remotes. (Try an armchair remote cozy. It at least keeps them all together.)
Re: April Fools!
I have to agree. I had the SCO graph from Yahoo stocks up on my wall for a long time. The one where it moves along like a regular stock, and then the verdict comes through, and it dives straight into the dirt. So satisfying.
Re: April Fools!
Except they probably would anyway.
not just the OS, perhaps the apps as well
As many have pointed out, Windows phone users have already been orphaned twice -- Mobile 6 -> Phone 7 -> Phone 8. Phone 9 (or whatever) will most likely need new hardware to run, but will they even retain the API and GUI from Phone 8, or will this be yet another complete departure? As I see it, MSFT is between rock and hard place. If they merely do an incremental upgrade on WP8, they risk furthering the mistake of going to it in the first place. But if they radically depart yet again, they risk losing whatever customer and developer base they still have.
I'm basing this on absolutely nothing, but I envision MSFT engineers coming out with something extremely usable, which management will reject in favor of doubling down on some new funky interface for the sake of differentiation in the marketplace, requiring people to buy yet another device for the questionable experience. And few will.
Re: More proof...
...Well, except that corporations tended to skip right over Vista, hanging on grimly to XP until Windows 7 was viable. Yes, companies tend to be very conservative in what OS they adopt, to the point where they're routinely a couple of major revisions behind. But in the case of Vista, corporations didn't adopt it because of the perception (largely true) that Vista was pants.
I think what the article is implying is that Win8 is going to be a similar situation -- that it's not a matter of being conservative, it's a matter of Win8 being considered broken.
Sorry, our expectations have been set -- watch what we want, when we want it. Gone are the days where we all huddled around the TV eating our dinner on TV trays and watched whatever is on, holding our bladders for the next commercial break. That is so generation-before-last. It's way too late to train users to go back to that paradigm.
It should have been apparent that video on demand would increase network usage, but the attempts to build out for that have been inadequate. A possible compromise might be to spool selected content to the device to be viewed later, if the DRM details could be worked out. But broadcast TV? The time has passed.
There was an incident like that written up in Slashdot awhile back. The guy took his PC to a PC shop (admittedly not a cop shop) and complained that all this porn had been loaded on it. Was promptly arrested on child porn charges. It probably depends on the local laws and specific circumstances, but generally, bringing in the police may not solve your problem.
I'd be tempted to wave goodby to all my stuff and completely scrub the disk. Or maybe microwave it for a few minutes and buy a new one.
wait wait wait...
> The ransomware sports logos of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the German Society for the Prosecution of Copyright Infringement (GVU) to lend an air of authenticity to proceedings.
So... there's kiddie porn on your computer, and you're supposed to believe that the government is concerned about copyright infringement?
It's sad.. it really is...
I loved my Blackberry, and I'd love to go back to it. But it's not the platform that I abandoned when I went to Android -- it was the BES server, administration of which was outsourced a few years ago, resulting in a service that had been dead nuts reliable becoming ... less so. A lot less. Now, I have the opportunity to go back to Blackberry, and the phones are very attractive, but I no longer trust the service or the people managing it. So I wish RIM the best, but I'll stick to Android, thanks.
Google, Amazon and Facebook disallow access from within France. Problem solved.
> Unlike computer games, you don't stay standing up and go 'ouch' if you get hit by 9mm even with body armour.
Um, no, not really. Contrary to what is commonly seen in movies, the impact of a pistol round doesn't really throw people back onto the ground. The force absorbed by the target is identical to the force absorbed by the shooter as recoil, according to this guy named Newton. So if you're not knocked on your ass, the person you're shooting at is unlikely to be, either.
>> "(I don't know if its particularly common but the Five-seveN uses the same round as the P90 which is in use already with the US military at least)."
> Where and by whom? [citation needed!]
From the wiki:
The P90 is currently in service with military and police forces in over 40 nations, such as Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Malaysia, Poland, and the United States. In the United States, the P90 is in use with over 200 law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service. The standard selective fire P90 is restricted to military and law enforcement customers, but since 2005, a semi-automatic carbine version has been offered to civilian shooters as the PS90.
The Five-seven [pistol] is currently in service with military and police forces in over 40 nations, such as Canada, France, Greece, India, Poland, Spain, and the United States. In the United States, the Five-seven is in use with numerous law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service. In the years since the pistol's introduction to the civilian market in the United States, it has also become increasingly popular with civilian shooters.
> Mainly because Glocks have a hell of a kick and a reputation for the exit chute jamming when least convenient.
So... hang on... There might be a bit more felt recoil, the Glock being a slightly lighter firearm than the Sig, but "hell of a kick" doesn't scan, either for the Glock 17/19 or pretty much any firearm in 9mm. It's not that powerful a round.
Moreover, Glocks have a pretty good reputation for reliability. I have a Glock 21 (.45 ACP) that would not feed reliably when I got it, but eventually found out the previous owner had mucked with it. After fixing what he'd done, it could shoot boxes of ammo without one FTF (failure to feed). I'm not sure I believe the stories that you can kick them around in the dirt and freeze them in a block of ice and they'll still fire, but they're considered reasonably reliable.
Re: The point is not always to kill
> I think the only place I've seen a Desert Eagle is coming out of Robocop's leg- the film's prop department stuck some extra metal on the end and thought it would appeal to teenage lads and Zmodem.
Um, no, it was a Beretta 93R in 9mm, although the part about extra metal on the end is probably correct. As I recall, it fired in 3 round bursts, which is probably not a good idea with any of the calibers for which the DE is chambered.
The Desert Eagle is a more massive handgun. There are versions with a barrel that long, but they don't look the same.
> The film, like the rest of the 1980s Verhoven classics, is being remade this year- wonder what they'll give Cyborg Murphy this time?
I did not recognize the handgun in the remake of Total Recall. (Much better film than the original, BTW.) I suspect it was created for the film. I suspect the same will be true for the new Robocop. (A film I plan to miss.)
> And Arnie's laser sight in The Terminator required a cable from the sight to a battery on his belt; again just a prop.
This is correct. Of course, these days, laser sights are common and relatively cheap.
Re: Desert Eagle? Are you kidding?
I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about. As previously mentioned, the DE is routinely chambered in .357 mag, .44 Mag, and (rarely) .50 AE. I own a Ruger Super Blackhawk (single action wild west revolver) in .44 Mag, and shoot it regularly (although after 18 rounds or so, I'm done with it for that visit). The gun is uncomfortable to shoot and the noise and kick are prodigious. On the other hand, it'll knock over a rather large steel plate at 25 yards where my 9mm will only go "tink".
Getting to the point: I rented a DE in .44 Mag one time, and was somewhat surprised at how much more comfortable it was to shoot than the Blackhawk, partly because of the increased mass and partly because of the gas operation. I wouldn't consider it to be something someone shoots "just once" and I don't see any real swaggering potential, to be perfectly honest. It's a massive gun, but that's because it shoots a high powered round.
.357 and .44 Mag are fairly common on the range in the US, and .357 Mag in particular is considered the "top stopper" for a defense round. .44 Mag is not generally considered a common defense round, being rather unmanageable in a tactical situation, but .44 Special (same slug, less powder) is.
...so I'm a little puzzled by this "desperately trying to compensate" thing. Unless one's experience with firearms was limited to the world of Ian Fleming, where .25 ACP is considered an effective defense round and .32 a top stopper.
Now, the .50 AE is a bit ridiculous. But the .50 AE is not considered a round for personal defense even in the movies.
tablets aren't a substitute for netbooks.
No supported version of flash on any model of android or ios tablet. Way too many websites still using flash. Flash works on all netbooks. Therefore, tablets are not a substitute for netbooks even for casual browsing.
Wife recently got a Kindle Fire HD. Found that the browsing capabilities are largely useless, as everything she was trying to do required flash, which the Fire HD does not support. All she can do is read books with it, and she could already to that with her original Kindle. Total fail.
It's not exactly like that. Often it's: CIO of company A outsources to company B, collects bonus based on estimated savings, immediately resigns, new CIO assumes position, realize he's totally screwed. The outsource is a fiasco, customers are complaining, and the cost to get out of the contract and hire and train a new set of workers is prohibitive. In the meantime, investors are asking "where are our savings?" and when the situation is explained to them, they retort "the previous CIO assured us that this would make us loads of cash. You must not be doing it right." New CIO looks like an idiot through no fault of his own.
Although management covered it up, it was already looking like the outsource had destroyed decades of experience and competence at my company and we were starting to fail badly by the time the CIO quit. When the company tried to promote someone into the position, there were no takers. A year later, the position is still not filled.
The point being, this is a situation where one person or a very few people in the company can lead an initiative to do something profoundly stupid that ultimately wrecks the company. And then, get out before the fall. It's not necessarily the company's fault.
What idiot at Netflix thought it would be ok to host their service on a competitor's machines? I mean, what did you expect to happen? "Sorry, something broke, your service is not available. But our competing service is fine. What a coincidence."
I don't want a full desktop environment on a tablet
Really I don't. What I want is a touch-centric version of the Adobe Creative Suite on a tablet, and a reasonable way to get the photos and video from my camera to the tablet. That's all. Within reasonable constraints, it doesn't even matter what OS the tablet runs, because pretty much any commercial OS has the other stuff that most people use. Or, as was once said in XKCD, "since you do everything through a browser now, we're pretty much indistinguishable". All that's missing are the tools I actually need to get my work done. Once that happens, I'll dump the Windows laptop and never look back.
But the tablet-centric tools are toys, designed to spiff up photos taken with the tablet's built-in camera, not for serious use. All those neat ads and demos you see of someone editing and integrating media entirely on touch,,,, yeah, that doesn't exist yet. And the companies that could bring us that, don't really seem to be serious about touch.
It's really not about the OS (although I have misgivings about Win8) it's about the applications. A killer tablet app, truly killer, that's designed from the ground up with touch in mind, will make whatever OS it runs on the winner in the tablet world.
I don't care if it's IOS, Android or Linux. I care a little whether it's "windows 7 tablet edition" (I own a win7 tablet, it really REALLY sucks) or "Windows 8" (really tried to make it work, gave up in frustration) but for the most part, it's the applications, not the OS, that should be interesting to content creators.
Re: The Microsoft effect
Microsoft has always counted copies shipped rather than copies sold, be it devices or operating systems.
I'm in the IT business, and know only one person with a Windows phone -- and he works for Microsoft. Although I do see them on the TV all the time, accompanied by a "technology provided by Microsoft" credit at the end.
> The Windows Phone 8 launch has been brilliant for them and they've managed to streamline their business and operations leaving them to focus on making high end quality smartphones.
Translation: Nokia has dumped the products that made them number one and put all their eggs in a basket that has a lot of hype and 3% market share. They may just survive, but it will be as a much smaller company.
"samsung because they are samsung"
> I can't imagine anyone buys Samsung because they are Samsung - they buy them as currently they make some of the better Android hardware - that's all.
So Samsung doesn't generate Apple-like religious fervor, they just make devices that people want to buy. Why is this a bad thing? It's not a personality cult, it's a phone, for Fudd's sake.
Re: Typo alert...
> Samsung may be number 1 for now - but in a year or two it could easily be someone else.
Very true. But probably not Nokia.
well that's ok...
Now, if they could produce an Android widget that didn't get wedged and hang the phone, they'd really have something.
Ok, fine, but who is still buying HP consumer PCs? They're junk. I hate to work on them and I routinely recommend that customers not buy them. All HP has done is give another reason for that recommendation.
Re: John Gardner
Wow. Speaking as the owner of a Super Blackhawk, one of those things with full load .44 magnum has a tremendous recoil and huge amount of barrel flip. It's one of those guns where you're at the range and you've shot 12 rounds through it and you think "ok, that's enough".
I'm not sure what the saab gunport looks like, but if it's a port in the window, I'd expect the barrel flip from that monster at least crack the glass, maybe even shatter it.
is this news?
My wife had a cockatoo for several years. He soon mastered the technique of reaching through the bars and manipulating the lock on the door. Then he'd get out and chase the dogs around the floor until we recovered him and restored him to his cage. We eventually had to use a padlock on his cage, and as I passed it on the way to work I could see him reaching through to spin the dials. Never figured out the combination, though. We used to call him the bird from hell.
Re: John Gardner
Surely not a Blackhawk -- that's a single action, "cowboy" type pistol where you eject spent cartridges one at a time and load new cartridges one at a time. Are you sure it wasn't a Redhawk? Double action, and the cylinder swings out for easy reloading.
Re: Back on topic...
Re: the slide had cracked -- perhaps by practicing with overpressure ammo? There was a problem in the US for awhile with Beretta slide failure, but as I recall it was traced back to using overpressure (SMG "black ring") ammo. Beretta changed the slide design anyway.
Re: the gun you have on you
Regarding grime on a gun, I think it was Massad Ayoob in one of his self-defense books who talked about teaching a personal defense class at a small town police station, and discovering that many of the officers had not pulled their weapons out of the holster in years, the weapons were filthy with accumulated grime, and the action on one (a revolver) was completely frozen -- wouldn't cycle at all. Maintenance is important, especially if your life depends on it.
Re: Jar Jar Binks vs Eeyore
Only if Eeyore rips his throat out. And feels sad about it afterwards.
Re: New Star Wars trilogy planned - why?
First and second. Otherwise, I agree.
we have the option of not seeing it
and if jarjar doesn't die horribly in the first ten minutes, they'll never get me into a seat. Life is too damned short.
Re: the gun you have on you
Not nonsense at all. When a gun jams, it doesn't (usually) mean the bullet has lodged in the barrel. (When this happens, it's usually a severe defect in the ammunition. Exceedingly rare.) Most often, either the empty casing will not fully eject from the gun, causing a "stovepipe" (casing sticking up out of the mechanism) or (less often) the extractor will fail to grab the casing and pull it from the chamber.
In the case of a stovepipe, one is trained to swipe one's hand across the top of the gun to dislodge the empty casing and allow the gun to completely cycle. If the extractor has failed catastrophically, there's not much you can do. If the extractor is still working, albeit unreliably, you can cycle the slide manually and try to get another round in the chamber.
Causes of a stovepipe are usually the slide gummed up or something wrong with the recoil spring. A friend put a stronger recoil spring in his Glock to supposedly make the recoil more manageable, and ended up with the only Glock I'd ever heard of that wouldn't cycle reliably. Putting the stock spring back in cured the problem.
But even if the gun has failed to cycle, the round you just fired really did fire, and the bullet went where you were pointing.
Re: I love the iconic pic of Connery......
Colt Woodsman, I do believe.
the gun you have on you
There's a saying that the best gun is the one you have on you. A police officer who is carrying openly can afford to carry a full size high capacity firearm and enough ammo to carry him thorough a firefight.
A spy almost by definition is operating in deep cover and needs to plan his or her equipment accordingly. The PPK doesn't hold many rounds and the 9mm kurz (or .380) has inferior ballistics to the full size 9X19, but carrying a big heavy gun is counterproductive if it "prints" through your jacket or otherwise gives away the fact that you are armed, when the whole point of your presence is to be unobtrusive.
Speaking as someone who has carried concealed in the past, and could legally now if I felt the need, I can say from personal experience that carrying a full size double stack firearm plus extra magazines "Die Hard" style gets really old after awhile. And is nearly impossible when wearing a tuxedo. (Seriously.) After awhile you really appreciate the thinness and lightness of a compact, single stack pistol, especially in situations where it's important for bystanders not to know you're armed. (The "concealed" in "concealed carry".)
In the stories, Bond was a master marksman, and someone with skill can make up somewhat for a firearm's reduced capacity. Although I haven't seen the movie yet, I suspect his PPK was loaded with +P (over pressure) rounds, which helps make up for the .380's somewhat anemic ballistics. (At the cost of accelerated wear on the gun.)
As to the PPKs reliability, I imagine the gunsmiths at the hypothetical MI6 are knowledgeable enough to ensure that Bond's weapon is free of defects and feeds reliably. Although I don't own one, (I tend towards Beretta) an associate carries one, we practice together, and his has never jammed in years of use.
So yeah, it's a nice call-back to what Bond carried in the books, but it's not as impractical as it sounds, given the role of a spy.
That's good to know. The only thing... the *only* thing... that's keeping me from getting one and giving up Microsoft is that Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, tools I use regularly in the field, have not yet been ported to Android. Everything else I need has become available.
The MOMENT Adobe does this, I'm leaving Microsoft behind.
(The iPad doesn't count, as it's engineered to make it very difficult to get media from a non-Apple device in and out of the tablet.)
Re: Are you for real?
I'm American, and I thought it was hilarious.
Oh, this is completely backwards. So Windows on a tablet was the next big thing but Microsoft couldn't convince people of that? Sorry, I was there, and Windows on a touch screen was an incredibly frustrating, brain-dead, crappy idea. We currently own a Windows 7 "touch edition" tablet and it isn't any better.
I haven't seen Windows 8 yet. But Microsoft's idea of a "touch" interface up to 7 was simply rebranding the accessibility tools that have been there since Windows 95. A on-screen keyboard that pops up in a random place, usually covering up the text box you're trying to fill. Odd squiggly motions designed to emulate the actions of a three button mouse. It was crap. Microsoft had no understanding of how to build a touch interface -- they thought it means providing touch alternatives to standard Windows KVM actions. It was a nightmare, other than in very specialized environments where you spend all of your time in a true touch-enabled application. You first had to get the OS out of the way in order to get anything done.
People put keyboards and mice on Microsoft tablets because they *had* to, in order to get *work* done, not due to some psychotic clinging to the input methods of yore.
Will Windows 8 really be different? Maybe. But Microsoft still seems to be trying to wedge the same gooey paradigm into every environments, this time going the other way, making a phone interface work on tablets and PCs. For this reason we may upgrade our useless Windows 7 fondleslab to Windows 8, but none of our other machines will see 8. For a regular PC, 7 is good enough, and 8 looks like a fiasco.
I have a theory.
I think the only guy who knew how to build service packs left the company.
Re: Thank god for desktop Linux
I never really thought of it that way. To me, this means I'm going to be using Win7 until universal heat death or Microsoft comes to their senses, whatever comes first. But I realize now that I may at some point have to move to something else, and linux may be a good choice by then. The only thing that's keeping me from making the leap now, is that certain tools I use daily, (mostly made by Adobe) that don't yet run on Linux. Or Android.