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* Posts by Wibble

573 posts • joined 21 Mar 2009

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Windows 8 fondleslabs: Microsoft tip-toes through PC-makers' disaster

Wibble
Headmaster

No innovation required

At least Microsoft will be on home ground here; just copy Apple et al and let their size and marketing budget do the rest. Or at least that's probably what Monkey Boy is thinking.

Anything that avoids taking the lead in innovation.

Seems like Microsoft's biggest challenge is their so-called executive leaders.

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Infographic: The road to desktop virtualisation

Wibble
Windows

That's the Twitter generation for you

A bit like the economic disaster we all knew was coming, the current trend for twittering passing as communication will also end in tears.

Damn, why did this reply add up to 140 charact

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Facebook 'shrinks' six degrees of separation theory

Wibble
Gimp

Be my friend...

Be my friend, my special friend, be my friend, like me, ooh please be my friend

For goodness sake, just grow up

The one good thing about El Reg is you can UnLike someone. What is it with the 'Mercans where they only have a 'like'.

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LightSquared pulls out all the stops to get FCC approval

Wibble

£ = M c^2

Where M = mess

It's nice to see some natural justice in progress. Let's hope lightspeed's backers loose their shirts.

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Windows XP and iPod: A tale of two birthdays

Wibble
Windows

Hacking XML is *sooo* easy

So lets get this right; to customise the Ribbon(TM) in an Office application, you need to hack XML, or download and install a tool that's aimed at developers.

Hate to say this, but if you can't see everything wrong with that, you should stick to back-end programming and never go be let anywhere near a poor suffering user.

2
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Wibble
Facepalm

Ribbon; for the love of everything logical, why???

My personal experience with the ribbon is it's a waste of space, doesn't do what you want, requires considerably more effort to find something, is *not* customisable, and generally a barrier to productivity.

Seriously.

The 'heritage' interfaces had a minimal toolbar which was customisable enabling one to easily add commonly used features or even custom macros. They also have a context-sensitive menu on the right-click. The best thing is the multi-level menu which hides away, includes icons for those who don't read, and by its very nature encourages a clear hierarchy of functionality. Oh, and works with modern wide-screen formats which are very low resolution in the vertical.

The ribbon, in contrast, is a homogeneous mass of iconic pictures of fixed size and contrast which seriously slows people down when hunting for the right icon to click. The icons aren't particularly well organised and there's no clear separation of function. Not to mention including all the complete rubbish one never uses (e.g. table styles, etc., etc.).

The great thing about Office 2011 is you can turn the damn ribbon off and get back to some productivity. Praise be for Jobs insisting that all applications have a menu.

This will be a huge barrier to many in "up"grading to Windows 8++ and is a great reason to stick with XP; you know, the OS that "just works" (and doesn't have a whopping great WinSXS directory to clutter up your VM discs).

8
3

Mozilla delivers Binged-up Firefox browser

Wibble
Thumb Down

Goodbye Firefox, we're leaving you today...

Firefox is great, but for some reason the current planners are determined to commit hari kari by constantly tinkering with things that aren't broken, but as a result break the bits that work well -- the addins.

Every little update looses more people.

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4

Apple shouldn't bother with TV...

Wibble
Holmes

Someone's going to sort out the 'lounge computer'

The integration of video, audio, TV, games, computing, intarwebs, applications, and a whole host of other things must eventually happen. It's like it's 2007 all over again -- you remember those dark days before the iPhone changed the mobile space forever.

The existing systems are OK, but definitely not great - in a similar way as smartphones were pre-iPhone. Currently you need lots of different systems each with different look & feel and functionality, not to mention loads of remote controls.

Someone's going to end up owning this space and Apple's pretty well positioned to be the one.

Not sure I want an Apple telly though. I'd rather something of the size of a Mini-Mac with tuners, discs, cd/dvd/bluray player, networking, peripherals, etc.

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Can the iPad save newspapers?

Wibble
Holmes

Things I've learned 1: you gets whats yer pays for

I subscribed to the Grauniad on my Kindle but find that I prefer reading it on my iPad. As all content on my Kindle is synced to my iPad against my account it costs no extra, so I've continued with my subscriptions.

I never buy newspapers but have really enjoyed reading the content on my electronic devices. More importantly I've now learned that the point about paying for content is that the quality is massively better. A tenner a month for the newspapers is about right IMHO. Any more and I'd probably not bother.

I'm puzzled as to why £10/month isn't enough as surely the production and distribution costs of news paper is astronomic when compared with digital distribution.

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Groupon IPO seeks $11.4bn valuation

Wibble
WTF?

What is the world coming to?

My first -- and last -- visit to Groupon was as a result of this article.

I despair that they think they're valued at this amount. Endless tat in no particular order; demands for one's email address... A business plan in search of idiots.

I obviously don't get it.

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Pick the right tools for your Office 2010 migration

Wibble

What's that Skippy...?

> Microsoft reports the take-up of Office 2010 is the fastest for a software product in the company’s history.

What's that Skippy? You can smell bullshit?

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iPhone 4S pre-orders obliterate sales records

Wibble
Holmes

What do Microsoft & Nokia think?

One would expect that Microsoft and Nokia dream of selling this number of phones in total, not just in one day!

Maybe in a couple or three years they'll catch up. Or maybe not.

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What's not in the iPhone 4S ... and why

Wibble
Holmes

Lewis didn't write this...

One hopes that Lewis read this article - it has some substance and basis in fact not supposition.

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Ten reasons why you shouldn't buy an iPhone 5

Wibble
Unhappy

Sour grapes?

Or trolltastic?

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3

Pandemonium as Microsoft AV nukes Chrome browser

Wibble

Bluster

How could Microsoft possibly bash Chrome? They have created the absolute worst browsers ever thrown together in the known universe!

Oh, they're still looking for a clue.

OK, here's one. Write your operating systems in a way that doesn't need AV software.

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Ultrabooks vs tablets: tablet demise greatly exaggerated

Wibble
Holmes

Tablets != Laptops

How many times must this be said: tablet devices - fondleslabs - are not the same as Laptop computers. This blindingly obvious fact is still completely missed by many PC manufacturers.

A tablet device does not run Windows. It's very much the sort of device that Apple have produced; a stand-alone device with few if any peripherals.

Interestingly Apple seem to have pitched the price and product absolutely right. All the others need to beat this. Given that they can't improve the product -- such is the standard that Apple have set -- then they must improve the price. As Apple have years of experience of building high-tech high-volume consumer devices, the iPod, the PC manufacturers are indeed batting on a sticky wicket.

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Ten years on from Nimda: Worm author still at large

Wibble
Holmes

On the plus side...

Whilst the numerous worms did some damage, they did have the effect of teaching Microsoft about security. Prior to that time, security was very much an add-on optional extra.

Following the outbreak ISTR Gartner came off the fence and recommended that nobody implement IIS. This stung MIcrosoft so badly that they pulled Longhorn (which was probably going to be called XP Server) and had a root & branch code review, sending all their developers on security courses.

Ten years on, servers and workstations are far more secure by default. Security onfiguration is turned on it's head where you have to have knowledge to turn it off, not as it used to be where you need to be an expert to turn it on.

So maybe the authors of Nimda were being cruel to be kind?

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Microsoft: No Windows 8 ARM support for x86 apps

Wibble

That's what Apple did with their applications when creating a 'universal' binary.

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Wibble
Childcatcher

Tablet != desktop

Oh, of course... You mean that there's no difference between a tablet-centric app and a desktop application for use with a mouse, keyboard, large screen and unlimited CPU power.

Not to mention fat fingers and handheld UI optimisation.

Do you really hate your customers - or 'users' as you would refer to them?

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Wibble
Holmes

Two disparate operating systems

Windows 8 - two operating systems that share the same name. Sure, there'll be some code sharing, but the kernels will be quite different to support the fundamentally different requirements of a tablet (diet Windows) and the full-fat bloat of the desktop.

3
0

Dyson spouts hot air

Wibble
Meh

British Apple?

Dyson are great innovators and inventors but they're let down by poor engineering and manufacturing design. Various examples spring to mind that can be summed up as plasticky tat.

And the hand-driers are deafeningly loud and high pitched. Goodness knows how noisy these heaters would be.

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LOHAN eyes hardcore partner's impressive girth

Wibble
Holmes

Build your own cool box?

Put the ignition system into a tube or box, then wrap that in dry ice (-78C). Allow to cool. Take outside and play:-)

BTW, what's the price of one of these rocket motors?

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Microsoft delivers 'copy Apple' Windows 8 message

Wibble
Holmes

Tablets != desktops...

Microsoft have tried running the Windows interface on tablets and IT DID NOT WORK. Not even with a pen interface to allow pixel accuracy mouse pointer resolution.

Apple proved that tablets are more smartphone like than desktop like and built a dedicated iOS to run it. Apple are also proving, with Lion, that desktops are not tablets -- some of their changes are completely maddening when tablet techniques are implemented on a desktop (e.g. Launch Control, Mission Control, intrusive animated page scrolling, daft full-screen operation, cheesy application changes in Mail and iCal...).

You need two interfaces. One interface for tablet mode when you've fat fingers, no keyboard and portrait layout. You need another interface for the desktop when you have fixed widescreen layout, mouse, no touch capabilities, a decent keyboard and possibly multiple monitors.

Microsoft are stating the bleeding obvious; APPLICATIONS BUILT FOR ONE PLATFORM WON'T WORK ON THE OTHER. Or at the very least they'll be very sub-optimal as user interfaces and even to the level operating system support with CPU capacity as battery life matters when in tablet mode.

Therefore just cut the cord: Windows applications simply don't exist in the tablet space, so it's a clean slate for them to start with.

Tablets represent a long-term structural change in the personal computing space. Microsoft, with their excellent development environment (there's simply no comparing iOS' Objective C with Microsoft's Dot Net) are in a very strong position if they can only get their act together.

8
2

Ford unwraps Evos cloud-connected concept car

Wibble
Unhappy

Concepts are destroyed by the MBAs...

Ford concept cars, in common with all manufacturers, are great and really show great design and innovation.

Then they get strangled by the bone-headed MBA-trained "managers". Hence they end up with a set of revolting bland products that all share some pointless worldwide family relationship. Think how there's little difference between the Ka, Fiesta and Focus.

The old Ka was quirky. Marmite yes, but definitely unique. The new one is so bland it's not even worth describing (I can't even picture it in my mind such is its banal design).

They did it years ago with that utterly hideous Merkin-inspired fat-arsed bug-eyed Scorpio that flopped in Europe.

If only designers could give a damn about managing, or at least play the greasy pole game.

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Windows 8 ribbon entangles Microsoft

Wibble
Unhappy

Can we have two interfaces?

Why not ship it with two interfaces: numpty and classic.

Of course this will be too easy.

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iPad sales shove Apple to top of mobile computing tree

Wibble
Megaphone

Your mother was a hamster...

Whilst I mock you from this iPad I'm using on my boat (it's a horrid, rainy day...).

You just don't get it. The point is it is a lightweight, simple device that is excellent for consumption: instant on, long battery life and CHEAP software such as the excellent chart plotter and tide timetables. My laptop is such a pain to use in that case; heavy, large, no built-in 3G.

Oik.

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Can you handle LOHAN's substantial globes?

Wibble
Holmes

Long dangly; launch a couple of degrees off vertical

Long dangly distance between payload & rocket - say 100M. Launch the rocket a few degrees off vertical to miss the balloon, say 80 degrees.

You'll need to launch off of vertical anyway as you need to move to orbit (OK, you're not going to orbit, but think big:-)

As the payload is pretty light, could use fairly lightweight line. Could have a stiff launch pole to ensure it goes in a straight line when you light the blue touch paper.

Simplicity.

1
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Apple iCloud pricing revealed

Wibble
Unhappy

And the demise of Gallery

The Gallery was also quite useful; nicely integrated between the devices (Mac, iPad & iPhone). Will need to find another service to stash the files.

Odd that the things worth paying for -- find my iDevice and calendar synchronisation -- are now free. Seems like they've turned things upside down.

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Film studios thrash BT in Newzbin site-block test case

Wibble
Holmes

On the other hand...

Maybe, just maybe, Mr Justice Arnold has set this up to go to the Supreme Court (European Court?) for full consideration?

Maybe, just maybe, it needs consideration by our elected representatives?

At some point personal rights need to be properly debated; which is supreme, (intellectual) property rights or individual freedoms.

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Apple Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Part Two

Wibble
Thumb Down

Mission control is rubbish

Since Leopard we've had Spaces which worked extremely well. This has now been replaced with the awful mission control which may be appropriate on a pad, but sure as hell isn't appropriate on a decent screen resolution or with multiple monitors.

Where spaces gave you two dimensions and up to 9 screens, mis-control has one dimension and list the ability to move application windows between screens. Given the chance I'd switch back to spaces in a trice.

Launch control is a complete waste of space. Just cmd-space and type the first few characters of the application name.

It's like the kids have been playing whilst the Jobs' is away.

1
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Wibble

ICal animations

Can you get rid of that horrible animation in iCal? Straight out of the mid nineties; just as corny then as it is today.

Thankfully someone's done a different skin so one can ditch that hideous faux leather rubbish.

Still can't view weeks straddling months, e.g. Last two and first two weeks of a month.

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MS to WinXP diehards: Just under 3 more years' support

Wibble
Boffin

But XP requires less resources than Vista/7

XP runs perfectly well in 512Mb VMs. Not running Office bloatware helps. Similarly, not running anti-virus adds to the performance.

The footprint of XP is MASSIVELY smaller than Vista/7; there's no winsxs directory at over 10Gb for a start.

Running a stripped down XP VM is almost pleasurable when compared with the Vista/7 nonsense.

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Microsoft muzzles IE chief's 'native HTML' nonsense

Wibble
Angel

Brilliant!

Thanks for the link; brilliant.

With all this native HTML5, I just want to forgive Microsoft's years of intransigent releasing of their non-standard, buggy, insecure, proprietary windows-only browsers. We see the light!

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Got a website? Pay attention, Cookie Law will come

Wibble

Numpties

Impractical, unworkable, broken, knee-jerk reaction created by numpties to a 'problem' that afflicts numpties.

Ignore it as everyone else sure as hell will.

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Microsoft warns on support scams

Wibble
Childcatcher

Idiot tax

Darwin writ large?

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Office 15 steals OVERLARGE font, design vision from Windows PHO

Wibble

Office 2011 - Mac

The great thing about a Mac is there's a single menu which is always visible. The Ribbon can only be an alternative and not take over the design; so it makes sense to be able to remove it.

Never understood why cluttering up vertical space is considered 'a good thing' in an age where widescreen is the most common screen format. The most appropriate format is to have a set of floating menus on the side of the page, a-la the 'traditional' Mac designs.

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Wibble

Gates, Ballmer...

All shareholders in Microsoft as they get away with flogging more snake oil.

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Is Skype Microsoft's PowerPoint part deux?

Wibble
Headmaster

Bing is a noun

noun Grammar

a word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things ( common noun), or to name a particular one of these ( proper noun).

Anyway, what is Bing other than Crosby's forename?

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Easier cookie deleting comes to Adobe Flash

Wibble
Stop

Or ...

use FlashBlock.

There, fixed it for you.

2
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Dixons warns it's getting worse

Wibble
FAIL

He lied too

Worse than the BS he gave to the customer, he lied about the memory - both have 2Gb as 4Gb is build-to-order and not available through the channel.

It's amazing that the kids in the stores don't have the riot act read to them about the sale of goods act which renders the shop assistant liable for mis-selling. 30 years ago I worked in a Dixons over one summer and the managers beat that into the juniors.

Of course the problem nowadays is there's no managers who know their stuff; they can only afford to pay peanuts so there's no career hence no senior staff, leading to crap service, fewer customers and the inevitable slide into insolvency.

I can't help feel that it is possible to compete against the Internet based on service. Trouble is, there's sod all reason for going in a Dixons on the high street as there's nothing worth buying in store and what is there is completely overpriced (friends don't let friends buy Monster Cables).

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Think file-hosting sites guard your private data? Think again

Wibble
WTF?

How do these file hotels make money?

These file hotels make money by putting adverts onto pages. Therefore it's in their interest to maximise the number of page views.

In any case, anyone expecting security for free gets everything they deserve.

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IE is tough on Flash cookies but ignores homegrown threat

Wibble
Flame

FlashBlock rools KO

That is all.

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Calling all commentards: Want some new icons?

Wibble

Picture of a Frenchman

Image of a Frenchman comes to mind; beret, striped top, onions, head tilted to one side, hands held out and the word "baff" coming out.

That's what the bastard station porter did to me when he sent my bicycles on the wrong train in Nice.

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Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy look-and-feel

Wibble
WTF?

I'd rather the original

So you buy supermarket own-brand baked beans rather than the real thing?

I have had my iPhone for yonks longer than the Samsung copy. I couldn't give a toss what other people think; I like my iPhone and have done ever since I bought the iPhone 1.

It's completely reasonable to see Apple going after a company that, to be honest, seems to be copying Apple's ideas. At first glance the iPhone and iPad have been copied. When you see an iPad-like slab in the likes of PC World, they look remarkably like the real thing.

Hardly surprising that Apple are trying to protect their differentiation. I'm all for it as I don't want every pleb to have a rip-off copy of my exclusive fondle phones or slabs. I paid good money for that exclusivity.

0
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Wibble
Flame

And copyright?

So, taking this to it's logical conclusion, you can simply rip off any software design you like?

Software patents are abhorrent, that there's little doubt. But copyright is another issue altogether. WTF should an organisation put a huge effort and expense into building a new UI just to have it copied almost exactly by everyone else?

0
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Wibble
Stop

It's hard to tell them apart

To be honest it's hard to tell them apart, such is the similarity of the look & feel. It's hardly surprising that Apple are getting upset.

At least Microsoft didn't copy Apple with their nascent phone OS (still won't make it sell though:-)

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'Fierce competition' drives Apple's iPhone 6 changes

Wibble

Fewer dropped calls please

I do hope they get the basic P-H-O-N-E functionality sorted. I've never had a phone before that's as unreliable as the iPhone. That's holding it without touching the edges, just the glass covers and using it hands-free.

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Five desktop virtualisation tips for IT project managers

Wibble
Thumb Down

Requirements, what bloody requirements

Rather an odd thing to ask, but don't you need to know what 'done' looks like?

The article appears to be written in management consultant mode; they don't like good requirements as it means a client that knows what they want so fewer change requests.

Why no mention of matching the tech to the possible given the constraints of budget, existing systems and hardware...?

1
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Server vendors and the dead hand of commoditisation

Wibble

Why use VM tech?

Just a point, but are't the VMs running on top of a Windows or Unix host? e.g. all I/O & memory scheduling goes through the host OS queues.

The main reason for using VM tech is configuration and logical functional separation, particularly in the enterprise space. As the previous poster points out, performance throughput & utilisation aren't the reasons for using VMs -- except, of course, in the minds of clueless SFB PHBs.

1
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Android, Steve Jobs, and Apple's '90%' tablet share

Wibble
Happy

Uses for an iPad or other tablet...

Commuting - excellent for catching up with your email, diary, browsing the intarwebs, listening to music or podcast, reading a book, whilst sitting or standing on a train/bus/plane.

Reading in bed. Excellent device that doesn't need the light on (thus not disturbing my partner). Also listening to the iPlayer, podcasts, etc. (much better sound quality from the built-in speaker than an iPhone). The screen's much bigger than a phone, so it's easier to read without my glasses.

Lightweight browsing in front of the telly, in the kitchen, on the bog...

Excellent mapping applications for use as a GPS substitute in a car.

Excellent charting applications when sailing (a tenth of the price of normal charts).

Playing the odd game - nothing like flinging a few birds at pigs.

In short it's an excellent consumer of information that's an excellent form factor - no keyboard, instant on, portrait format screen, etc.

It's not as good as the normal laptop/desktop when using it for serious browsing, development, writing, drawing.... All the sorts of things you'd use your ultra-portable for (but not in portrait format).

I'm absolutely delighted with my iPad and use it daily ever since I got it last May.

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