14 posts • joined Wednesday 24th June 2009 03:23 GMT
What a shame
This really is disappointing news. Like Mondo the Magnificent said, they weren't the most feature-packed boards available, and they certainly weren't the cheapest, but they definitely were absolutely rock-solid reliable.
You could always count on two things with Intel motherboards: 1) They'd work precisely according to their published specifications (which tended to be comprehensive and well written), no more and no less; and 2) They could be relied on to keep ticking, year in and year out. That made them perfect for machines that had to conform to a custom specification and sit in a dusty corner of an office somewhere, reliably chugging along and mainly forgotten about.
This news makes sense, though. My new main work machine has an Intel motherboard and I've come across a few sloppy firmware bugs that would have been unheard of a few years ago. Presumably some staff involved with motherboard development have already moved on.
The 2GB download version includes Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 SP1 offline installers for both x64 and x86, plus the full set of debugging symbols. It's aimed at heavy duty administrators and developers - the regular downloads consumers are exposed to (from Windows Update or otherwise) are much smaller.
Good for Mr Corbett!
Nice to see your work in the Register again, Kieren!
You might well take the piss out of Corbett, but I think he's absolutely right. There will always be a market among the discerning for quality, paid-for editorial, but current newspaper executives have to wake up and reverse the decline of quality that has been ever-quickening over the last decade or so; or else there'll be no place for them in the new world order at all. Only the strongest will survive, and unless newspapers can show that they can reliably deliver better editorial quality than free media alternatives, they'll continue to haemorrhage readers.
One of the ways of ensuring quality is to restrict the use of language to conservative, accessible English. Many readers don't care about technology, and some will be actively frustrated by its faddish jargon. Describing someone as 'posting on Twitter', particularly with the capital T, helps signify that Twitter is some kind of service that people use. Describing someone as 'tweeting' sounds like gibberish to the uninformed. Notable newspapers like the New York Times also have to consider how articles will read in fifty or a hundred years' time. Twitter will be long forgotten, so what does the future reader make of 'tweet'? Will future history books get the wrong end of the stick entirely and have a sarcastic, wry aside describing how people of our era often affected fey bird mannerisms while we talked? (In case any future historians read this, by the way, let me just say: Fuck you, Futureman!)
You're right about the use of 'e-mail', though. It's ever so terribly old fashioned.
Whoops! Palm's board and shareholders must be laughing themselves to sleep! HP have vastly overestimated Palm's value.
Unless I've missed something, the major assets Palm holds that anyone would be interested in are webOS and the Palm brand itself. Both valuable in the right hands, but hardly worth $1.2bn. Divide that number by five and they could have got a good deal and a fair price.
I wonder how much Windows Phone 7 has got to do with this? Perhaps HP are in a panic because they want to sell handheld devices to the corporate sector, but the looming Windows Phone 7 seems to be chasing consumers at the expense of support and functionality corporates are looking for.
That was supposed to be Vista. Except of course no-one from Microsoft actually said it - it was a rumour started by Internet retards.
If Microsoft had really decided to make Vista a rewrite of Windows, we would still be waiting another seven years for it to come out. Besides, if a group of people were to wake up tomorrow and decide to write a new operating system from scratch, it wouldn't be like Windows (or Unix and its stepchildren for that matter). All current general purposes OSes you care to mention suffer to varying degrees from clunky, outdated core design from the era in which they were first conceived.
Sick of hearing about the fundamentalist Muslim terror threat? Wish there was something new to keep you scared?
Here's our all-new, all-exciting Cold War with the Chinese! They eat babies, y'know.
If the developers want to grant the world a special Christmas gift, it would be just smashing if, instead of shitting out a half-baked version of Firefox 3.6, their gift could be to promise to continue testing until it has slightly fewer vulnerabilities and stability issues than 3.5.
Then it'd be a truly happy Christmas. Although I'm easily pleased because the only Christmas present I'm getting this year is a sack full of medical waste.
I've been fascinated by the type of coverage this story has received in the mainstream press and on the web, often in well-regarded publications and sites.
The poorly researched and poorly written nature of Prevx's original blog post was immediately visible with only a cursory glance, so it's disturbing how the rumblings about this (almost) non-issue has brought all the amateurs and incompetents out the woodwork with supposedly expert articles and commentary in tow. That's not exactly uncommon, of course, but this is a particularly clearly-defined episode.
No more Sony Vaio notebooks for me!
I have a one-year-old Vaio notebook which also has virtualisation disabled. Fortunately I didn't have to pay for it, which is just as well.
To add to the fun, it also has a 10/100 rather than gigabit Ethernet port, which is simply nonsensical in a modern and otherwise well-specified machine. Oh yeah, and Sony's x64 Windows drivers are provided 'as is', not updated, and not officially supported. Just to really stick the boot in, you understand.
Apparently Sony's customers who buy the model I have deserve second-rate service because they only spent $1800 instead of $3000 on the machine.
If anyone from Sony is reading this, I just want to let you know... I will never buy or accept another Vaio machine. Ever again. You've lost me as a customer for life. I dissuade friends and colleagues from buying Vaio notebooks. I now also try to avoid other Sony brands as much as possible. Enjoy your $268 million operating loss, lads.
Windows Live is a nuisance
Microsoft's upper management seems to be expending too much thought on nursing their pet Windows Live services, to the detriment of their core customer base.
At its heart Windows is a business operating system. Microsoft seem to have forgotten that their grassroots users are the business Windows 'n' Office crowd - anyone who thinks corporates will be moving en masse to the cloud any time soon has badly lost touch with day-to-day life on the ground level.
Time to take a step back and a deep breath. Time to start concentrating more on bringing genuine innovation to Windows itself - despite the continuing lack of real, revelatory innovation coming from their competitors, including Linux (sorry, lads). If they're dreaming of a Windows Live empire, no matter whether it works out or not, the foundations could do with care and attention.
The Win32 API is ubiquitous, but it's also horrendously out-of-date. How about a new, modern native API alongside Win32 that's built with security in mind from the ground up? Y'know, where applications can no longer assume that they can interfere with each other or with OS files and services (the woefully inadequate sticking plaster of Windows File Protection notwithstanding) without specific user or policy authorisation? Where the OS has complete control over software installation so that applications can finally be audited and uninstalled cleanly and completely? On the server side, how about a networking model that moves away from the old fashioned, finicky shackles of Active Directory and onto something cleaner, more freeform (but still programmable), more comfortably scalable and more user- and administrator-friendly?
Just a few examples off the top of my head, not intended to be comprehensive. Huge amounts of work in what I've suggested, of course, for both Microsoft and other software vendors, but things that Microsoft could achieve if they would only put the effort in and get excited about Windows itself again. Not to mention that they're things that would secure the future of the Windows platform and bring customers in their droves to new versions on solid, technical terms rather than endless marketing-driven spit and shine.
As I gaze into my crystal balls...
The fog is lifting! Here are my predictions:
1) Histrionics about viruses on OS X will steadily increase and be amplified over the next few years.
2) The fearmongering will be unwittingly bolstered by hapless bloggers and the mainstream press, being manipulated by press releases and the sinister industry rumour mill.
3) All this will happen as the Windows antivirus vendors start seeing their profits eroded by Microsoft's free antivirus software and become desperate to flog their shoddy wares in new markets.
Cross my palm with silver to continue, or alternatively perhaps someone could hire me as yet another fraudulent tech futurologist.
Norton, McAfee et al are doomed...
... and they know it. Good riddance.
Their consumer-level products are doomed, anyway - I'd give them five years, maximum.
I'm sure that Security Essentials will prove to be perfectly adequate* for most home users and small businesses, and that's all that matters. Plus the price is right, and the beta at least seems unobtrusive and resource efficient.
So what if it has a dreary name and can't compete with more comprehensive enterprise security software? That's not the market Security Essentials is aimed at. As for the other functionality in consumer-level antivirus suites, Symantec and pals are going to discover (as if they didn't know already) that consumers don't understand it and couldn't give a shit about it.
All Microsoft need to do now is build up user awareness. After that it's just a matter of subtly inching it into the default installation of Windows like they did with basic PDF support in Office 2007. Plus it'd be ever so lovely if they could persuade OEMs to stop including abusively intrusive trial versions of Norton and its manky brethren in new PCs.
*: 'Adequate' insofar as any current antivirus software provides much more than a false sense of security against anything other than a fairly narrow set of predefined threats.