* Posts by Sooty

837 posts • joined 26 Mar 2008

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Safe Harbor 2.0: US-Europe talks on privacy go down to the wire

Sooty

I believe that, legally speaking, you can send data to the US without a problem, you just need permission from the data subject to do so. Worst case, they'll probably just tack on an extra "you give us permission..." clause into the hundreds of pages of legalese terms and conditions all these services have hidden away and continue on as usual.

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Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Sooty

Same here, I have an old android phone that supports it, as does my current iPhone. I get 4g for free, it doesn't cost anymore over the normal 3g/gsm data access.

I don't exactly live in a big city, or any city, and getting a 4g signal isn't hard. I even have unlimited data and it's not an expensive contract (£16pcm)

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Video game retailer GAME in email marketing FAIL

Sooty

How does this happen

Why are marketing emails even being sent out through a system that allows this? I'd have expected some kind of mailer application, that you just submit your content to and it does the heavy lifting of sending it out for you to the right people in the right way.

I can't believe you have a marketing department designing the mails, then manually copying and pasting them into something like outlook to send out, so it's possibly some mailing list setup that was configured incorrectly, but it's still hard to see how it's not all automated in a big organisation.

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Discworld fans stake claim to element 117

Sooty

Re: A Wizard's Staff Has A Knob On The End

It makes perfect sense to go with this one although it would probably be 117a

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Software bug sets free thousands of US prisoners too early

Sooty

My guess would be that median was used because when they worked out all 3, it was the lowest value. Or maybe I'm just being cynical.

If a large number, but less than half, were released really, really early, median probably makes them look the least incompetent.

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Hillary Clinton says for crypto 'maybe the back door is the wrong door'

Sooty
Coat

I am very dissapointed in this article

All those missed opportunities for the euphemistic use of the term "Back Door"

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'Traditional' forms of thuggery decline in UK, cybercrime on the rise

Sooty

Re: Not unique to the UK

"Or maybe DVD players are too cheap to bother nicking now."

There is probably quite a lot of this in play, ordinary people aren't going to buy a dodgy dvd player from a bloke in the pub, if they can get one for £20 from their local supermarket.

Even large tvs aren't unreasonably expensive anymore, and it's not exactly easy to inconspicuously cart a stolen 50 inch tv down the street. A 20" tv in the 90s probably weighed more, and cost more, but it was a lot more compact.

Nick a laptop and it could be emailing photos of you back to the owner along with it's location, smartphones can do the same. The thugs have to get more tech savvy for it to be worth it.

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Samsung Gear VR is good. So good 2016 could be year virtual reality finally makes it

Sooty

Re: I'll believe it when I see it happening.

it depends, things like google cardboard open up a world of possibilities.

I've got one, and it's really interesting as a gimmick, but there is no real content for it and it's limited by the processing power of the phone it's running on. But, if you extend the concept of something like the TrineVR experiment, which uses the phone as a wireless VR headset that a proper computer can broadcast a game to, and use the sensor data from, then it becomes a whole new matter. Installing an app on your phone and popping it into a sub £10 holder, is a very, very, easy way to get an entry level VR headset to "give it a go". The sensors in a phone may not be ideal, but they work, and if this takes off they'd be upgraded in the next gen phones.

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Sooty

Re: DVD angles

It's a shame no-one uses this really, I always thought it would be great for something like a "trapped in a mansion, horror/zombie film, where you could choose to watch different bits of it all happening at the same time, with different stuff happening in them. Ie if you weren't watching the arguing teens, you could see something coming in an "empty" part of the mansion. It would mean that you'd have to watch it several times in different ways to get the whole experience.

The main problem with a lot of interactive stories though, is that that they are ultimately limited by how chaotic they become, very quickly. Either your choices are essentially meaningless and only make minor alterations along the way, or you make multiple choices all the way through and end up with only 1 or 2 set endings to choose between. The challenge of scripting and making something that isn't like this is insane, even games don't really do it. This is why in tabletop RPG you have a human controller who is able to improvise and react to what choices you make. Having to pre-plan so much is an impossible task

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Laid-off IT workers: You want free on-demand service for what now?

Sooty

Re: Train up their replacements

I was speaking to someone the other day about this, as I know a team who was made redundant but had to train up their Indian replacements before hand.

They just trained their replacements to do it all wrong before laughing their way out the door.

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Want to slash your phone bill? Go to jail. Go directly to jail

Sooty

I assumed it was an intentional control measure, you play nice and work in the prison, to earn the money required to contact your family.

I never even thought it would be "real" money going to a third party though, I assumed you get paid by the prison to do work, then you pay the prison back to make calls, get luxuries, etc.

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Connected kettles boil over, spill Wi-Fi passwords over London

Sooty

Re: Why? Does water go off?

A teasmade is not that different to my "Bean to cup" coffee maker, fill the hopper with beans, fill the tank with water, set the timer and it will have a fresh pot of coffee ready when you wake up.

You'd have to be insane to put it on your bedside table, although the grinder would certainly wake you up.

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AVG to flog your web browsing, search history from mid-October

Sooty

I use AVG and it's constantly popping up widows telling me that my browsing history is insecure and may be visible to others.

It's not exactly worded in a way that says, we know that because we're selling it to them, though.

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You call THAT safe? Top EU legal bod says data sent to US is anything but

Sooty

the US has never been safe

I did a semester on data protection law as part of my software engineering degree, almost 15 years ago, and everything they did at every point took great pains to hammer it home that the US didn't even come close to meeting EU data protection standards, and you'd have to be crazy to send any data there.

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Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows: The spirit of Clippy lives on

Sooty

good old days

Remember when applications laid out their menus and options in a sensible and logical way, so that you didn't have to rely on typing "how the f*ck do I actually do this simple task" into a search bar everytime you wanted to do something more advanced than copy/paste or change the font?

One of the worst for me has to be access, which I'm forced to use at work. I'm convinced most of the functionality has actually been removed as no-one can figure out how to do half the stuff in 2007 that we did in 2003

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The ONE WEIRD TRICK which could END OBESITY

Sooty

Re: It is not portion size which matters

"Back in the 80s I used to take delight in taking visiting English pals for a sandwich in a New York diner... Next giggle was he look on their face when the sandwich arrived, it being about three times the size the guest was expecting... Next giggle was watching them tryy and pack away the whole thing"

This is part of the UK post war culture, that may go away in the current/next generations. When our parents and grandparents were younger, food was really scarce, you even had rationing. Food was never, ever, to go to waste. If you put it out to eat, you ate it.

Most of us, even now, still grow up with this mindset drilled into us, as a child you aren't allowed to leave the table until you've cleared your plate.

I believe in the US, you don't have this as much, and so find nothing too unusual in only eating part of a meal portion. For people in the UK, actually training yourself to be able to leave part of a meal and just bin it if you're full is difficult, but can be a big help.

I know someone who's diet is just to use a smaller plate, so she eats what everyone else does, and starts with a full plate and eats all of it, but has a lot less. She's lost a lot of weight with this so this might work, however it depends what's in the supermarket meal portions. I got some small portion "low fat" meals from the supermarket and whatever was in them, made me far hungrier after I'd finished it than when I started, I assume they pumped it full of something to replace the fat.

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iCloud phishing attack hooks 39 iOS apps and WeChat

Sooty

Re: Social engineering?

>>And these are supposed to be developers who know their stuff?

Unfortunately, I work as support for developers who supposedly know their stuff, when they get stumped by errors such as system is down, make sure it's running before trying this. I have to explain in detail how to start the system they develop the code for.

I often have to explain in detail basic stuff that anyone employed in the field for more than a day should know inside and out.

I believe many of them are straight out of university and get a 1 day language primer course before being supplied by the agencies as experienced senior developers. Nothing that the code they generate did strangely would surprise me.

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Ad-blocking super-weapon axed by maker for being TOO effective

Sooty

Don't forget the <insert your town here> woman who discovered a miracle slimming/anti-aging pill. So that you also looked like a stick thin 12 year old.

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Apple iPhones, iPads BRICKED by iOS 9's 'slide-to-upgrade' bug

Sooty

I got surprised by this one. I was beta testing IOS 9.0, as I wanted to try the picture in picture (not realising it wouldn't be enabled on my iPad version)

Once the official IOS 9.0 was released I got an update notification, which I didn't really read and assumed it would take me to the official 9.0 release. Instead it took me to 9.1 beta. Downgrading back to 9.0 when the app store decided to stop working was surprisingly straightforward, however unofficial.

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Chill, luvvies. The ‘unsustainable’ BBC Telly Tax stays – for now

Sooty

there is no means-tested element whatsoever

Well i suppose having enough money to buy a tv is kind of means testing.

if you can't afford the tv tax, you could always get shut of the tv? in the same way that i you can't afford to tax your car, you can't afford to have a car.

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Apple Watch fanbois suffer PAINFUL RASH after sweaty wristjob action

Sooty
Big Brother

Re: Compliance?

There... are.. four... lights...

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America was founded on a dislike of taxes, so how did it get the IRS?

Sooty

Re: Huh? What?

Using checks? Who? Is this my grandmother you're talking about? I haven't used checks for merchant transactions EVER and I'm middle aged.

I had to use a cheque recently for a club membeship, i was concerned that my chequebook, issued in 1992 and still mostly full, may not be accepted by the bank anymore.

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Because the server room is certainly no place for pets

Sooty

Re: Let the man talk

You jest, but a scary sounding way to refer to the old stuff you want to replace is quite often the only way you can get the non-technical decision makers to sit up and pay attention to what you are telling them, and get them to open their purse strings to actually do it.

I might start referring to our old, out of support, software that we are trying to migrate to a newer version of as Toxic.

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'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

Sooty

Re: Time & Cost

yep, if i can buy something in my own currency, from somewhere that I know abides by our country's sales laws that is coming quickly from near me, and paying local delivery costs then I'm not going to go elsewhere.

I occasionally get things from other european countries, but only when they aren't available locally

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Over 50? Out of work? Watch out because IT is about to EAT ITSELF

Sooty

Re: Will always be a job for IT people

Automation is great, right up until something goes wrong with it and people realise that the only ones who know what it's doing and how it works left 5 years earlier.

When an automated deployment tool failed and I suggetsed teh developers deploy their code manually while I investigated the problem, they couldn't as it was considered 'to risky' becasue no-one knew what the tool actually did during a deployment.

I am constantly having to build tools and front ends onto what I consider fairly simpe processes so that peopel who have absolutely no idea what they are doing can't cock things up too badly. Then they ae completely crippled when they are unavailable because supposedly experienced people have no idea what it's actually been doing for them under the covers

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Does Big Tech hire white boys ahead of more skilled black people and/or women?

Sooty

Re: Its true here,

"So, um, to be blunt, what is your preference to be called, Black, colored, African American?"

Have you seen the video of a black british runner being interviewed in America after a race, can't remember who it was, but the interviewer kept asking what it was like to be an African American sports hero, and he kept saying I'm not African American, I'm British.

They just couldn't bring themselves to say black and every time replaced it with "African American" and didn't understand why he was getting really annoyed.

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Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Sooty

if you want to be really evil...

Do what one of my "friends" did to me, I lost a bet and the forfiet was to watch all the twilight films... back to back!

The only redeeming thing was I insisted that they personally verfiy I'd done it :)

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Sooty

There are very few unwatachable movies

Anything really bad generally can be an enjoyable watch, with the right frame of mind. It's the ones in the middle that are really unwatchable, not good, but not truly bad either..

I had a "B-fest" B movie marathon over a weekend last year, and much fun was had by all, that included Troll and Troll 2

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Sooty

Re: Bad movies? I LOVE BAD MOVIES!

I have slipstream on DVD, i got it in a boxed set of 40 od sci-fi films that cost me a couple of quid, there are some absolute gems in the set

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Hipsters ahoy! Top Ten BOARD games for festive family fun

Sooty

yep, and due to their amazing business model, it sold out in 2 hours.

maybe in another 5 years it'll be available again, unless you wan to pay hundreds for an ebay copy

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Why the chemistry between Hollywood, physics and maths is so hot right now

Sooty

Re: Just don't think too hard about it

Science fiction is as much written for scientists as ghost stories are written for ghosts.

It very much depends on what you mean by Science fiction. People talk as if it's once single thing, but it actually covers quite a range. There is actually a scale of Science Fiction "hardness".

Soft sci-fi is closer to fantasy, but the hard sci-fi is where people have actually done the maths and it all checks out.

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Apple KILLS SUPER MARIO. And Zelda. And Sonic

Sooty

except, they have some old emulated snes games that they only sell for the wii-u, you cant get them on a DS or a Wii.

I never thought I'd say this, but at least with Apple you can buy it once on your account and download it to all of your devices

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Soon EVERYONE will be doing it with a strap-on: The Reg's 20 festive wearables

Sooty

Gear Fit

I have one, and I really like it. it's unobtrusive, fairly stylish and a great bit of tech. The phone software is pretty terrible though, proper integration and sync could make it a lot better

The unfortunate downside to this is that when my samsung phone broke i replaced it with a iPhone, making it slightly less of a smart, smartwatch. Given that it uses blutooth I cant imaging knocking up a generic andriod or IOS app for it would be much of a stretch, and it's certainly not must have enough to sway someone to buy a samsung phone just to get one. Samsung need to pull their finger out and open them up to a wider audience.

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Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

Sooty

Re: Stinker

It's possible it's a clever marketing ploy, and now the Barbera Streisand effect will mean that loads of people will get it on DVD just to see what all the fuss was about.

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Blade Runner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it

Sooty

Re: BR game ...

I really hope telltale do one, I think that could be great.

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FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study

Sooty

Re: fat vs terrorism

you joke, but you could probaly be arrested for wielding a bacon butty these days

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HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

Sooty

Game of Thrones

"Game of Thrones has typically been sold exclusively to one broadcaster per territory"

As a result of this it's pretty much the most pirated TV show ever. Strangely poeple aren't prepared to change their TV service provider just for one show.

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Apple iPhone 6 Plus: GORGEOUS FAT pixel density - but it's WASTED

Sooty

ipad & iphone apps

As this has the same, if not higher, resolution than an ipad, and isn't much smaller than an ipad mini, will I finally be able to run my "HD" apps on it that currently refuse to install on an iphone?

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Order an iPhone 6 from midnight PT – if Apple's web store holds up better than its livestream

Sooty

well - I've ordered mine

Start the piss taking!

I'm not actually a fanboy, I genuinely needed to replace my phone it just happended to co-oincide with the release so I waited a week or so for the announcement. I had an iphone 4 years ago and other than being the sort of person who holds it wrong, I had no real issues. Since then I've had an s2 and an s4 and had to have them both repaired due to minor things, charging socket failure and headphone socket failure, which might be chance, but it has put me of getting another samsung.

I already have a old iphone and an ipad, so I have loads of apps, music and videos already in the apple ecosystem so it makes sense to go for one. That they look pretty slick is a nocre bonus

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Cameras for hacks: Idiot-proof suggestions invited

Sooty

Re: How about a low-end DSLR ?

You might want to look at micro four thirds cameras, they are generally full featured DSLRs but relatively compact. A 'standard' slow zoom kit lens will give a realtively good range, but if you want really good low light performance (wide aperture) on any zoom lens they start to get expensive.

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Brit IT workers are so stressed that 'TWO-THIRDS' want to quit

Sooty

Re: Stress in my role is from not being allowed to tell the truth

"Could have been worse. I was usually told, "It's not working", with no indication of how to reproduce the failure, nor any indication of how they knew it was failing."

That is actually the norm, mostly it's split 50:50 between "it's not working" with no further explanation, and an error message that they are incredibly proud of having provided, but that gives no useful information on its own.

If the error hadn't been blindingly obvious I'd have had to go back and ask what environment they were using, and what code they were running.

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Sooty

Stress in my role is from not being allowed to tell the truth

I deal with 'developers' non-stop who have the sort of problems anyone with half a brain could sort out themselves. They haven't read the documentation, and aren't following standards so things don't work as they should, and just don't understand what they are doing. They also can't perform the most basic diganosis checks on things or understand simple coding concepts.

Trying to hold back my outrage that these people are allowed to develop production code and trying to stop it bleeding through in my replies to their problems is unbelieveably stressful. Trying not to swear and question their parentage isn't easy.

a recent example, i was asked to investigate and resolve an SSL error, could i check all the config, certificates, etc... The devs provided me with the error message they were seeing. After banging my head on the desk a few times i replied that 'Host not found' isn't exactly an SSL issue, and that their url was wrong.

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94% of Brit tech bosses just can't get the staff these days, claims bank

Sooty

Re: Age old problem

The problem is that a lot of big companies, banks, etc. don't live or die by the sexy new technologies, it's the unsexy stuff that they rely on. Which is why I got into middleware. You don't tend to get huge numbers of people who specialise and excel in the stuff that is effectively invisible, but gets everything working together, but the ones who do are usually older.

We do desperately need younger people who can come in, learn some of our systems before the experts retire in a couple of years, and commit to 5-10 years of support. you'd think that kind of job security would be tempting to a lot of people, but it's near impossible to get people who want to do that. Also until it becomes critical my company won't do anything serious about it. They'll leave it until the last second, panic, buy something off the shelf that doesn't work as well and throw money at a third party to get it all working in some semblance of what we already had.

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Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)

Sooty

Re: Those cheap bastards!

The one reason I might opt to get a Linux machine out of the box, sans Windows, is that it would save getting rid of all the crapware that comes with a new Windows machine from a major supplier..

Can't remember if it was dell or not, but I read a while ago about one of these suppliers charging extra to not install all the crapware.

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Anatomy of OpenSSL's Heartbleed: Just four bytes trigger horror bug

Sooty

Re: So what happened to the coder

If the OpenSSL team was in the financial sector or such, the coder would've normally been put on leave at the very least

That is really not a great idea, if you punish people badly for making coding errors, it doesn't exactly encourage them to come forward and admit them. That sort of reaction encourages people to sweep problems they notice under the capet and pretend they don't exist, rather than risk being punished.

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

Sooty

Re: 9 to 5

I have a company phone and, unless i am explicitly rota'd on and being paid to support out of hours i choose whether to answer it or not. But then, from my contract, the moment i answer it i get a minimum of 2 hours of time and a half, or doubletime depending when the call is, so i do usually answer if it's someone in my team calling, rather than a manager.

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Cops bang up squiffy, nude Virginian minx

Sooty

Re: Indecent?

I was really not expecting her to look like that at all.

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QUIDOCALYPSE: Blighty braces for £100 MILLION cost of new £1 coin

Sooty

Re: How exactly does this prevent counterfeiting?

When the £20 note was replaced, the new ones were visually very different and people were given 3 months before the old ones were no longer legal tender and accepted in shops. UK notes tend to be a lot more differentiated than US ones, so you can't really put a few in a stack after they have left general circulation without raising a few eyebrows.

With these also being clearly, visually, different I wouldn't be surprised if a similar thing happened and the old ones were given a sharp cutoff. I think only a month's notice is actually required, and should be plenty of time to swap a normal amount over. If you have buckets full of the things it might be harder, but most people don't tend to have more than a few before using notes.

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Sooty

Re: Risk Management?

In reality it will be many years before the old £1 goes out of circulation after the new one is introduced so the transition period will be quite long.

I've been trying to remember how long the 5, 10 and 50p hung around after the "new" ones came out, it didn't feel like too long a time, nor the £20 note. Change tends to end up in shops and machines in bulk and should get swapped out fairly quickly. While they will be around for a long time it shouldn't be too long before they are a novel rarity rather than something generally used.

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Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update

Sooty

Re: Windows 9?

Windows 9 since 8 is clearly today's Vista.

I'm going to be contravertial and disagree with that, windows 8 is actually really good under the covers, it was just lumbered with a UI that is rubbish. From my experience, most of the stuff that made me want to punch someone was sorted out in 8.1, which is at least a free upgrade... unlike Vista to 7 :)

There are still annoyances, and I have to rely on the search to find options instead of just going to a sensible place, but it certainly now a usable interface on top of a pretty slick underlying OS.

Cards on the table, i do have a touch screen laptop, but i rarely use it for more than swiping the side menu on. I boot directly to desktop and don't use any 'modern' apps. Occasionally I still press the start menu by mistake, expecting it to do something useful, but the side menu/search has pretty much replaced that and i'm almost used to it.

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