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* Posts by Jordan Davenport

191 posts • joined 22 Oct 2008

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Microsoft Research adds interactivity to Windows 8 Live Tiles

Jordan Davenport

Re: I hate Live tiles

Well, I hate the Live Tiles too (see above), but to be fair, you can toggle a setting in the control panel somewhere to change it so that Windows 8 knows you're on a metered connection and to cut out the unnecessary chatter. That's something that would be nice in any other OS that wasn't designed for mobile devices first and foremost as well. I've only seen that feature on Android otherwise, though I'm not that familiar with iOS's features. That said, the only things that seem to respect that setting in Windows 8 are "Modern" apps.

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Jordan Davenport

What better way to hype a product than a "leak"?

These videos do look like better ways to deal with the "Modern" desktop on a touch interface, but basically, they've just re-invented desktop widgets. That said, I hate the Live Tiles in the first place since they seem to be designed to aggravate ADHD.

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Gnome Foundation runs out of cash

Jordan Davenport

Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

I'm talking Kubuntu, yes. I've set up Arch with KDE before, but I've been bitten by updates on multiple occasions when trying Arch. I don't feel like having to keep up with a website just to see if updates break anything on my system. If I were to move away from Kubuntu, it would probably be to Debian Testing. I really like Debian-based systems aside from the extraneous package dependencies and "recommends". The only reason I use Kubuntu in the first place is for the support I get from the Ubuntu base, especially with regards to proprietary drivers.

Also, looking up more about Blue Systems, though their standard release is Kubuntu-based, I might take a look at Netrunner. The default package list seems similar to what I end up going with anyway. I may try the Manjaro-based (and thus Arch-based) rolling release version too. *shrugs*

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Jordan Davenport

Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

I started with KDE 3.x and moved to GNOME 2.x when KDE 4.0 was as stable as a sandcastle. I moved back to KDE when GNOME 3.0 changed everything and KDE 4.6 was feature-complete as compared to 3.5 and becoming faster and more reliable with each release.

That said, I've had a few problems as of late with 4.12 and 4.13 (yeah, I know, still RC) as packaged by Blue Systems and Canonical, but I don't know if that's a problem with upstream KDE or Canonical's patched MESA libraries or the transition to Qt5 or what. Specifically, using the Folder layout on my desktop, when logging in, it's sometimes shoved off the screen with only a scrollbar on the right.

For what it's worth, I've tried giving GNOME Shell a chance with just about each new release on Fedora, but there's always some quirk that just drives me up a wall. Reducing features in core applications isn't helping out any either.

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Amazon stuffs games into Fire TV box: Soz, rivals... WE don't need to make cash on hardware

Jordan Davenport

Re: Pump the Primes

Though you're right that the US price listing does not include any sales tax, if it were sold for the same price as in the US directly converted into GBP at the current currency trade rate, even including the 20% VAT, it would only cost about £57.89.

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Jordan Davenport

Re: "but all of your video is stored in the Amazon cloud."

Obviously the quality will depend on the speed of your broadband, but as long as it's broadband, buffering shouldn't really be much of an issue these days with modern codecs. Even with my measly 1.5Mbps connection at my old apartment, I was able to stream Netflix on the Nintendo Wii in standard definition without buffering for more than a few seconds as I first launched the movie or TV show.

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As WinXP death looms, Microsoft releases its operating system SOURCE CODE for free

Jordan Davenport

Are you insane?

Black hats would be combing it over for vulnerabilities applicable to Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 too. The community might be able to fix vulnerabilities in XP, but they definitely couldn't with the newer operating systems.

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Windows hits the skids, Mac OS X on the rise

Jordan Davenport

Re: What is more interesting

"You CANNOT compare the curves as the environment has changed too much in the meantime."

I'm sorry, but given that Windows 8 is marketed first and foremost as a tablet-friendly operating system, I'd have to disagree with you entirely. The numbers are indeed directly comparable or, if not, perhaps should be weighted even more than Vista's, given the numerous more devices that should be running Windows 8 in Microsoft's dream world.

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

Jordan Davenport

The funny thing about OS X is that there really wouldn't need to be that many UI changes to enable proper touchscreen support. The dock would be well suited for launching and managing programs, they've already implemented full-screen support in most applications, and full-screen applications are treated as their own virtual desktop in the desktop switcher.

They've been adding small elements from iOS to OS X at a slow but sane pace since 10.7 appeared. Basically all OS X would really need for a touch-screen MacBook would be to increase the icon size in a few applications. My only fear about future OS X interface tweaks is that they might decide to implement the icons from iOS7.

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Roku flashes $50 HDMI TV web dongle at anyone sick of Google's stick

Jordan Davenport

Re: 1$ <> 1£

I find the entire import/export tariffs to be a bit bizarre in general, especially given how they lack uniformity. Back in 2007, I was somehow able to import a few Cisco textbooks from a seller in the UK via Amazon for a total cost lower than the cheapest retailer from the US, including shipping, by 10s of dollars. They were the exact same books that my community college/"university" sold in their bookstore for double the price, down to the UPC. I know the situation is different with books versus electronics, but I don't really see why it should be.

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Jordan Davenport

Re: 1$ <> 1£

Don't forget that the US does not include sales taxes in advertised prices. They vary from state to state and even sometimes city by city.

With Kentucky's low sales taxes of 6% applied and assuming no further local taxes, people would be paying $52.99 (£31.70), which is still lower than £49.99. Yeah, you're getting jilted, but you do have higher taxes than we do. That said, I certainly hope you don't have a 67% VAT... I suppose there is probably a bit of the "screw you Brits, you can pay us more" attitude in the pricing that seems typical of many electronics.

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China's web giants unite to defuse Windows XP bombshell

Jordan Davenport

Re: Maybe

You really don't need source code to repackage a compatible binary, drop it on the system, and write the required registry keys and configuration data.

Years ago, as a teenager, I played around with turning a spare Server 2003 license I had into a workstation since it ran better than XP overall. Restoring features missing from it as compared to XP was as simple as modifying registry values and a few INI files and inserting the XP disc as the installation source. Likewise, installing features such as the Link-Layer Topology Discovery Responder to Server 2003 was similarly simple.

And don't forget about Windows Embedded 2009. I'm not sure whether it's NT 5.1 or 5.2, but most of the updates should probably still be compatible with XP. That said, redistributing these updates in a way not approved by official sources probably breaks copyright law in most countries, but...

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Dead Kim Jong-il's OS makeover takes a page from Dead Steve Jobs

Jordan Davenport

That featured screenshot doesn't look like the boot screen

That screenshot rather much looks like an installation screen instead, particularly given the order in which it's listed in the Google+ source and also given that there's a screen that looks distinctly like OS X's boot screen minus the Apple logo, plus a giant Red Star logo.

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Devs: We'll bury Candy Crush King under HEAPS of candy apps

Jordan Davenport

Someone should make...

Saga of the Candy King

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Windows 8.1 becomes world's fourth-most-popular desktop OS

Jordan Davenport

Re: It's even worse than that......

ATMs would generally run the embedded version of XP, which will still receive updates for a few more years. That said... do the ATMs ever actually receive the updates? THAT is the scary thought.

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Jordan Davenport

Re: Gah :(

Sadly, IE7 won't die until Vista dies in 2017, and IE8 won't die until 7 dies in 2020...

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Microsoft-backed lobby group demands market test of Google's proposed 'search fix'

Jordan Davenport

Re: google site:microsoft.com

For the hell of it, I tried the "Bing It On" challenge with terms relating to Microsoft products such as Windows Defender Offline, Windows XP end of life date, etc, and Google won hands-down. At the end when the winner was announced, the results page asked me to take the challenge again.

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Sony on the ropes after Moody's downgrade to junk

Jordan Davenport

Re: How the Mighty Have Fallen

"Then [...] they can shift their library / IP to PC via Steam."

Yeah... I don't see that ever happening. As happy as that would make many consumers, myself included, I just don't see them ever letting go of their digital distribution platform and embracing someone else's. I could be wrong, but I have the feeling that Sony would rather leave the market entirely than to make marginal profits on second party software licenses sold and distributed on Steam.

That said, yeah, I do agree that they should probably ditch their PC division - the margins were slim when the market was at its peak. Sure, competition benefits the consumer, and the PC sector is far from dead... but it's one of the easiest divisions for them to drop and probably their least profitable.

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Jordan Davenport

Re: How the Mighty Have Fallen

Still is the best? Not really. One of the best? Sure, maybe. For the time being, Samsung and LG make my favorite displays, and I merely see Sony as "comparable."

There was a time in which I wouldn't buy any Sony product due to failures of one sort or another, starting around the launch of the PS2. Hell, even my Sony LCD TV would screw up and not shut down properly or come back on until I pulled the plug at times, only resolved after a firmware update, and it's not even a "smart" TV.

That said, your referenced "Walmart generation" might buy whatever junk at first, but if it fails prematurely or provides a terrible experience, they won't recommend it or go back for more. Quite simply, "any old shit" brands are catching up with the quality of higher end brands for the most part. Of course they're still far from equal, but the average consumer doesn't really care anyway and wouldn't have spent the money for the higher end product in the first place.

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Windows 8.1 update 'screenshots' leak: Metro apps popped into classic desktop taskbar

Jordan Davenport

"It's not clear how the Windows Store app icon got there in the screenshot, however, because the checkbox isn't checked."

The Apply button is active, not greyed out, so if genuine, it's entirely possible that the person had checked that box to make the Windows Store icon appear and then unchecked it before making the screenshot.

That said, other screenshots show the icon as pinned to the taskbar and not open.

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Lenovo Yoga 10: Mediocre tech, yes, but beautifully fondleable

Jordan Davenport

Re: Uh oh

I've experienced the same problem with the TF300T, though more so with aftermarket firmware than with stock firmware. I imagine ASUS probably made some modification to the scheduler to slow down and better manage the writes and give higher priority to the read speed. It's amazing though that the same company produced the Nexus 7 (both 2012 and 2013) without the same problems with the flash.

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Latest Chrome adds Chrome OS flavor to Windows 8 'Metro' mode

Jordan Davenport

Re: Now do a RT version

I don't know that browsers are explicitly disallowed as they are from the Apple AppStore, though I'll be honest and say I've not read the Windows Store application guidelines. As far as I'm aware though, they just can't hook into the necessary APIs to make a web browser fast enough to use. Furthermore, it would have to be rewritten entirely to use the WinRT APIs.

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How much did NSA pay to put a backdoor in RSA crypto? Try $10m – report

Jordan Davenport

Re: @Fill A different era?

Er, right, I read that. My train of thought derailed when someone else grabbed my attention before I responded. Let me amend that, then... "Here's a new pseudorandom number generator we developed that provides a more random seed than other algorithms."

Have a vote-up for catching my derp.

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Jordan Davenport

Re: @Fill A different era?

I imagine it more went along the lines of "Here's a new encryption algorithm we developed to boost security. If you use it, we'll give you $10,000,000 to cover development costs for inserting it into your encryption products and make implementation worthwhile for you."

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Google: Surge in pressure from govts to DELETE CHUNKS of the web

Jordan Davenport

Does anyone else take issue with that wording?

"we take seriously our duty to provide such information only when authorized by law."

Only when authorized or only when required? Somehow I get the feeling that that word was chosen deliberately.

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Proposed California law demands anti-theft 'kill switch' in all smartphones

Jordan Davenport

This is quite true, and I hadn't considered that earlier. That said, it still puts the onus on whoever buys the device. They'll just about have to know it's stolen so they shouldn't ever try using it as a phone.

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Jordan Davenport

If this is going to be regulated...

Wouldn't it be better just to mandate an operator blacklist of IMEI numbers for stolen devices rather than being OS-dependent? This doesn't prevent selling to other jurisdictions, I'm aware, but if such a blacklist were maintained nationally, that would stop a lot of motivation.

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Google tells EFF: Android 4.3's privacy tool was a MISTAKE, we've yanked it

Jordan Davenport

Re: It's not the ads that bother us. It's the tracking.

"I don't really object to ads. I think most people don't really. It's the tracking we loathe and oppose."

Really, it's a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B. I don't mind unobtrusive ads, but there are some that I do mind, especially the great big flashing ads textually shouting "YOUR ANDROID MIGHT BE INFECTED!!", trying to get people to download junk apps that at best they don't need or at worst will actually install malware or adware on the phone.

I know to avoid these ads, but some older people I know get worried when they see them. It's the same problem as on Windows, really, not that I'd want to be locked into any one walled garden with no gate. I just uninstall anything that has ads like that and advise others to do the same.

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Microsoft: Don't listen to 4chan ... especially the bit about bricking Xbox Ones

Jordan Davenport

Re: I genuinely do not understand...

"After all, the 360 was just another x86 PC-in-a-box."

No, the 360 was PowerPC-based, not x86. The original Xbox, the Xbone, and the PS4, on the other hand, are just x86 PCs in varying degrees of shiny boxes.

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Google lets users slurp own Gmail, Calendar data

Jordan Davenport

What about IMAP?

I've used IMAP to upload emails I had downloaded from one service to another service through Thunderbird and other mail clients before. How is this new, exactly - that you don't have to rely on an email client to download the data now?

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'Best known female architect' angrily defends gigantic vagina

Jordan Davenport

Re: Compensating for something?

"I think not. Unlike men, women rarely boast that it's REALLY BIG."

Except when men get a giant car, they're pretty much shouting the opposite. Perhaps in the same vein this is a clever way for her to proclaim she's got dainty woman parts?

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Winamp is still a thing? NOPE: It'll be silenced forever in December

Jordan Davenport

Re: That actually sounds like a good time

Maybe if you get drunk again when you need to support it

Isn't that standard protocol? Seems to be the case any time I have to call for support for things beyond my demarc.

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Are you experienced? The Doctor Who assistants that SUFFERED the most

Jordan Davenport

How many times did Rory die, anyway?

Infinity excluding the final paradox, technically.

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Samsung debuts its spanking new Tizen OS-for-mobes .... in a camera

Jordan Davenport

"the smallest version can fit in 256 KB of RAM"

Really?

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Google Chrome: Extensions now ONLY from the Company Store

Jordan Davenport

Re: Internet should be considered a public utility

Internet should be considered a public utility.... and regulated. It should also be funded by the national budget.

Whoo, boy, I can see it now - government-run porn sites! Would those be demonstrations of how we're being shafted by taxation?

How much freedom do you actually want? None?

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Jordan Davenport

Distributing your Chrome Extension will cost in some form or fashion no matter what method, even if you're distributing it yourself on your own servers. Google won't want to piss off their developer community too much either by charging a ransom for freely distributed software, so I don't think the money is really much of a factor in this move.

I do however agree with your concern about what's allowed in their store, though. This maneuver is by their own admission an attempt to control what sort of extensions are published and used, even if they are only explicitly referring to malware. I too expect ad blockers to be among the next set of casualties, given that Google is first and foremost an ad broker.

Blocking ads is such a morally gray matter, given the Internet can't run for free, but the principle should encourage ad pushers to use less-annoying advertisements which people wouldn't bother to block in the first place. Instead, they seem to have taken the opposite approach overall, making them more "discoverable" to try to regain money lost on the people that use ad blockers. As it stands, using an ad blocker does increase your privacy due to the methods now used to target users, so that can be a deciding factor in just what shade of gray you see.

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Jordan Davenport

Re: Hey google

I do agree that you should be able to do whatever you want with the hardware you own. However, you are bound to the licensing terms of whatever software you use. Unfortunately, the builds you're most likely using are THEIR software. Chrome is by no means free (you pay with data, not with money) or open source; its brother Chromium is, on the other hand. Google can do what they want with their proprietary builds, but anyone can undo that in Chromium if they so wish.

I'm not saying that open source software is The Way even if I do prefer it overall, keep in mind. At least for the meantime, you as the user do still have the choice in which software you use. If you don't like how Google are directing Chrome's future, show them that you won't tolerate any totalitarian decisions they make and just switch away. On Windows, you have the choices of Mozilla Firefox, Opera (now a Chromium fork anyway), Internet Explorer, SRWare Iron (another Chromium fork), Maxthon (some weird fusion of Chromium and IE), Avant Browser (did I say Maxthon was a weird fusion? I spoke way too soon), and countless others.

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Microsoft offers Google-esque multi-meddling options in Office Web Apps

Jordan Davenport

I've used that feature in Google Docs before for a university class group project, mostly while sitting next to each other in a computer lab. Each of us took a different section of the research project and created one document simultaneously. Sure, we could've just had four separate documents that we combined into one at the end, but this way, we were able to monitor the content the others were working on as they entered it and try to keep to an overall theme and tone. If we had any questions or comments, it could be clarified immediately.

That said, that's the only time I've ever used that feature, mainly because I prefer to work on documents locally, not in the cloud.

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Here's what YOU WON'T be able to do with your PlayStation 4

Jordan Davenport

Re: 300 MB update

Writing isn't so much of an issue to a hard drive as it is to solid state media. Sure, there's some wear and tear, flipping electron alignment from one state to the other, but it shouldn't affect the lifespan that greatly. The thing that would concern me more is partition fragmentation. Surely the part used for recording would get its own partition to reduce fragmentation, though. I will grant that it's a strange choice.

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Jordan Davenport

Re: "Massive" 300MB update?

Windows 8.1 is more than just an added start button - it's a completely new version of Windows, with a new kernel version (NT 6.3), new driver models, etc. Windows 8.1 is to Windows 8 as Windows 7 is to Windows Vista. They just didn't charge money this time for the workstation version. The download for Windows 8.1 is the entire OS image.

Could they have supplied it as an update or a service pack? Probably. They didn't, though, possibly so that using the built-in restore-to-default button would restore you to vanilla 8.1, not 8.

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Jordan Davenport

Re: "Massive" 300MB update?

Codec packages for h.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-1 Layer 2, AC3, DTS, PCM, etc. should be rather small, less than 20MB, one would think. The actual player itself shouldn't be much larger than 50MB or so, and I'm being very generous here. For what it is, it is rather curious that the download would be so large.

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Open-source hardware hacking effort 'smacked down' by USB overlords

Jordan Davenport

One option might be to use an incompatible format for the ID, one that would require the additional software mentioned by the original poster. That piece of software would have to operate at a pretty low level, though.

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Ubuntu 13.10 lands on desktops, servers and (er, some) phones

Jordan Davenport

which means Canonical promises to support it for three years on the desktop and for five years on servers

While true for LTS releases prior to 12.04, unless they've gone back to their old model, LTS releases are supported for five years both on the desktop and servers.

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The life of Pi: Intel to give away Arduino-friendly 'Galileo' tiny-puter

Jordan Davenport

Re: Two stools

According to their product brief, this thing does indeed have 256MB DRAM.

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Google's latest PRIVACY MELTDOWN: Web chats sent to WRONG people

Jordan Davenport

Re: Fixed already.

The problem that caused it may not be fixed, but it appears to be no longer causing issues. Those logs also state "Any messages sent after 01:30 PDT are unaffected."

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Chaos Computer Club: iPhone 5S finger-sniffer COMPROMISED

Jordan Davenport

Re: How easy is it REALLY to get your fingerprint from a phone?

While I do agree... I don't know about you, but I tend to wipe my screen off rather frequently to keep it from being all smudged simply so I can actually see the thing. The rest of the thing is rather not-smooth thanks to the bumper case I've got.

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Jordan Davenport
Joke

Re: Security by obscurity

Or just scan some other unique bodily appendage instead. That alone might make a thief think otherwise when stealing the phone...

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Meet the Unmagnificent Seven: The critical holes plugged in Firefox update

Jordan Davenport

Re: Linux anyone?

I'm a Linux proponent, but even I can't back your sentiments here. Once you get malware on a computer that's compiled for that target system, it's going to run with whatever privileges it's given by the current user, no matter what OS you're using unless memory is so thoroughly managed that you need a 3GHz or faster CPU core just for a simple calculator or text editor.

Malware that can gain root/admin permissions has been steadily on the decline for several years now, even on Windows. Linux on the desktop is barely used at the moment (though market share is slowly rising), so it's not profitable for malware developers to compile for the system. The best practice is just to stay up-to-date with security patches and be careful about your browsing. You can take a proactive approach if you're ready for the hassle by installing several security extensions such as Ghostery, AdBlock, NoScript, etc; disable third party cookies; make plugins click-to-run; etc. Simply running on Linux won't offer you much protection unless it's an environment loaded into RAM and never saved to the disk.

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Jordan Davenport

Re: Try and not to be so negative ..

WebRTC has actually been in Firefox for a while now. It's just new to the Android version in 24.

As a side note, it is my preferred browser on all platforms, but I see they still haven't fixed the weird bugs with text entry in the Android version. I typed this response on my tablet and have had troubles with the cursor jumping around when trying to clarify pronouns with unset antecedents earlier in the paragraph.

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Want the latest Android version? Good luck with that

Jordan Davenport

Re: MTP vs UMS

Bah! Apparently CyanogenMod 10.1 stable did get rid of mass storage mode as well! It worked in the milestone build I was using but not on stable when I just attempted to re-apply it. I guess Google probably did in fact remove it from Jelly Bean.

As to why Google switched from mass storage to MTP, I found this article on reddit with a response from an Android dev: http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/mg14z/whoa_whoa_ics_doesnt_support_usb_mass_storage/

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