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* Posts by Spearchucker Jones

425 posts • joined 1 Feb 2010

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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

Spearchucker Jones

Re: They're onto something

Ditto. Might try one when my Lumia comes up for renewal. Never expected BB to come up with something that lies me from Windows Phone.

Dead keen to have a play work one...

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80 PER CENT of app devs SUCK at securing your data, study finds

Spearchucker Jones

No surprise

Everything you read about security says how difficult it is so don't attempt to do it without a security rocket surgeon. And that no system can be secure, so you're probably better off not even bothering. better off not even bothering. Agile people can't do anything (security) without a user story.

The IT industry actively discourages security and then cries like a baby when someone gets broken into.

Security is NOT difficult. It does require effort though. Effort to learn, and effort to implement, and effort to manage.

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Apple's warrant canary riddle: Cock-up, conspiracy, or anti-Google point-scoring

Spearchucker Jones

Whenever there's doubt, there is no doubt.

That raises another issue governments have. Mass surveillance and the ability to get data of smart phones is only going to catch the stupid people. The clever ones are the ones you (governments) want to catch, and they're exactly the ones who don't have iPhones or Androids. So they spend 99% resources ensuring smart people don't use avenues stupid ones do, and 1% on avenues smart people do use. Net result is you (governments) don't catch exactly the people they want to catch.

So even for uncle Sam this is a zero sum game.

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Americans to be guinea pigs in vast chip-and-PIN security experiment

Spearchucker Jones

Re: 50 ways to love your lever

The US govt. CAN crack the whip. And if the whip doesn't work, they could just invade themselves and install puppet CEOs at the banks...

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UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Of course it won't get rid of MS

I like and support the decision to use ODF, but the cargo-cult statements I'm reading are a bit out there.

>> ...it will allow people to work with UK.gov without paying the MS tax

While a good thing, it's limited to those that want to -- a tiny (mostly IT-skilled) fraction of the population. ODF changes nothing. Outside UK.gov itself, people will send the government documents in the format of their choosing. UK.gov will read documents in whatever format they come in. People know what "Word" means. And "Excel". Ask the average man in the street what ODF means...

Note that the anecdotal evidence of someone's grandmammy and -pappy using Linux on a laptop != the populace.

>> It will also ensure that critical documents will still be accessible in 20 years.

Documents will be accessible anyway, whether ODF or anything else. I can access documents from 20 years ago today, and I don't see that changing. Do you mean accessible through something non-Microsoft? If. You. Just. Need. The. Information. does it even matter who created the software? Readers (even from Microsoft) are free.

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PICS: Nokia Lumia 930 – We reveal its ONE unique selling point

Spearchucker Jones

I have a 920, which I loved. And stopped using when I got a 1520, which is great because I read a lot on my phone. I imagine I'll upgrade when a 1020 replacement makes an appearance.

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Remember when Google+ outed everyone by their real names? Now Google's sorry

Spearchucker Jones

Re: G+ as an "identity service"

If you're splitting hairs then Google+ is a system that manages personas - it's technically not an identity system. An identity is (in the IT sense) universal, whereas a persona has a constrained applicability. Identity has a one-to-many relationship with persona (one identity will use a G+ persona to post a doge picture, and another persona to check a bank balance).

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Microsoft thumbs nose at NSA, hardens crypto for Outlook, OneDrive

Spearchucker Jones

Upvoted you...

...because I agree with you. One inaccuracy is that 911 accelerated dot.bomb. It didn't. I was out of a job six months before that, and I'd clung onto that last job well past the peak of the bust. Tough time for me, so still very familiar with those dates.

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Microsoft gets the hang of funky devices: Xbox magic for enterprise

Spearchucker Jones

Unintended consequence?

Amusing how an article about Google's new design language leads to comments predominantly about Microsoft.

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Spearchucker Jones

Re: . . . or not

The Surface Pro 3 is a non-starter for me because the screen is too big. I move around a lot, and don't want to carry a large bag so 10" is my ideal screen size. To be fair I had a Sony VAIO P-Series (VGN-P19VN) before I got a Surface Pro 2, so am used to small text at full resolution. In a perfect world the P-Series would have the grunt to run Visual Studio 2013 at the same speed as it runs Visual Studio 2008, but that ATOM processor just can't.

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Microsoft: NSA security fallout 'getting worse' ... 'not blowing over'

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Cloud security

Cloud security is only an issue when you rely on the cloud provider's security. A solid Needham–Schroeder protocol implementation with decent security primitives and HSMs can get you client-side encryption without affecting performance. The cloud service should be a zero-knowledge service, in that it traffics in and holds encrypted data, but hasn't the keys to decrypt it. If you do your job properly this will work with both structured and unstructured data.

I guess it means admitting that we're responsible for the security of our data, and not the cloud provider. That's something I don't see often.

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SPIDER-TROOP, Spider-troop, does whatever a spider troop can

Spearchucker Jones

"war-fighters"?!?

As opposed to what? Seal clubbers? War lovers? Whatever happened to the soldiers? Guessing someone ran corporate speak up Darpa's flagpole, and that got socialised out to the media...

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Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Nice try Cookie..

Good thing Android has no glaring issues or your argument wouldn't have legs...

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A budget phablet, what a curious thing: Reg puts claws to the Lumia 1320

Spearchucker Jones

capt.spearchucker.jones@gmail.com

I've a 1520, which goes into the back (arse) pocket of my jeans. I walk with it there, cycle and sit with it there. It's near indestructible so haven't had any problems with that. Only time I worry is walking through the West End. The thought of pick pockets makes me put it into the front pocket in my jeans and that well uncomfortable.

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King's stocks are candy-crushed as its top toy suffers splurge slump

Spearchucker Jones

SV keeps saying there is no bubble.

Fair enough. I do however, wonder where IT valuations will go once enough companies list one year and fail the next...

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Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Usable?

The file system is locked down intentionally. It means that one app cannot access another app's data unless the developer built in a mechanism to do that (like for example contacts, calendar and photos). If an app does access a shared data source is must declare that requirement in the app's manifest.

If all of that's too long-winded and boring for you, just know that you can't get a usable file manager for the same reason Whatsapp cannot be pwnd on Windows Phone like it can on Android.

You can indeed opt out of cloud storage for your data. Look for "backup" in settings, where you can see what gets backed up to the cloud, and turn individual items on or off. Windows Phone 8 already acts as a "storage mode" device from your PC. Your other points are addressed by 8.1 (e.g. not needing a search button).

As for your comment further above (that 8.1 features should've been in 7) - yeah. Absolutely. Like copy/paste on IOS. Or NFC on Android.

But hey, what I really suspect would make you happy is a Samsung G5 or an HTC One M8. All the freedom you want.

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Google teases more modular smartphone details in run-up to dev meet-up

Spearchucker Jones

Cautiously curious. If this gets real it could be the first product from Google I'd shell out cash for.

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In three hours, Microsoft gave the Windows-verse everything it needed

Spearchucker Jones

Re: I hate to bang on about this AGAIN

Ah. Silly me (and one or two others) then, for spending all that time creating a responsive design for my web site. Did you know that XAML is mark-up in the same way that HTML is? And that you can build your app using HTML and JavaScript instead of .Net?

Oh, and if you'd paid attention you'd know that you can choose which parts to share, and which not, and that you can even choose to share no components at all (*gasp*).

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Spearchucker Jones

Lots more than that -

They also open-sourced Roslyn (the C# compiler written in C#), they've open-sourced WinJS, and introduced .NET Native. And then of course there's Cortana...

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What does people-centric IT mean, anyway?

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Do this if you want to destroy IT

Securing the network is not enough. Ever heard of the concept of defence in depth? You need to secure the network for sure, but also every resource on that network. And that includes devices, not just service endpoints or file shares.

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Spearchucker Jones

Re: Do this if you want to destroy IT

"...If that's the way Microsoft operate..."

Have you THOUGHT about it beyond gleefully bashing Microsoft?

Imagine you're an IT guy told to allow BYOD but to make it secure. You realise you can't, unless you're allowed to enforce *some* policy on the devices. So you allow BYOD, as long as your employees agree to resetting their iPads and Nexuseses (Nexi?) to factory spec + your policy.

Of course your employees can agree to this state of affairs ...or not. If not, you cannot reap the benefits (reduced cost) of BYOD.

How do YOU think this should operate?

My suggestion? Don't allow unstructured corporate data (documents, spreadsheets, presentations) onto any cloud or BYOD service or device. Structured data (database data) is allowed, but only through a corp-sanctioned (or developed) app. Email is allowed, but PIN + remote wipe policy is enforced. BYOD allows unrestricted Internet access, but taboo on corp-net.

Corp-net services are accessed through DirectAccess (VPN) or LAN using a corp-provisioned device. If you're important enough, you get a laptop. If not, you get a desktop.

If you want to do a better job of security than the NHS, MOD, Sony or Walmart, make judicious use of X509, F5 BigIP, TMG and so on and so forth. Oh, and don't rely on TLS. Supplement TLS with stuff like VPN. If you MUST allow remote access into SharePoint or something, don't expose corp-net credentials. Set up another AD in the DMZ and federate into corp-net. Don't use Google, and don't use Heroku, Azure, AWS or Office365.

Unless you're a hipster startup with 20-something pimply-faced kids, in which case simply swap out all the "don't"s with "do"s.

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Microsoft: NSA snooping? Code backdoors? Our hands are clean!

Spearchucker Jones

Re: And what about services?

@Lars

Go find a Windows Phone. Preferably a Nokia, because Drive and Maps also want to phone home. Reset the thing, and power it up. And after going through that process, come back here and we can have a conversation.

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Spearchucker Jones

Re: And what about services?

@Decade

Did you read that article you linked to? Clickbait. Lumias, like all other manufacturers (and Windows, Internet Explorer, SQL Server, Visual Studio...) ask on startup if you'd like to share your location data, browsing history and so on to help improve their services. Some of the more benign (search queries for predictive search) are on by default. Just like Google does. Others are off by default.

But yeah, totes the end of the world, because when do we let facts get in the way of a good vent.

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Google Glass: Reg man tests tech specs

Spearchucker Jones

Speech recognition

It's tuned for American English, which is why it's so terrible. I tried adding "y'all" after "Go glass" but that didn't seem to help.

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UK citizens to Microsoft: Oi. We WANT ODF as our doc standard

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Very long term

Consistency. Our nearly obsessive desire to be (and appear to be) consistent with what we have already done. What the downvoters are so ably demonstrating is that once we've made a choice, we encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. Given that my post was a factually correct counterpoint is amusing. And a bit sad, given the assumedly enlightened audience here.

Be that as it may, Microsoft do follow their own spec, just haven't implemented all of it. The problem is quantitative rather than qualitative. ODF vendors don't fare much better with their format.

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Spearchucker Jones

Re: Very long term

Microsoft's format is published and freely available.

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Spearchucker Jones

I've no preference

But do believe that the overwhelming pro-ODF response is because the tech community is predominantly pro open. This is good, but it doesn't mean it's a fair representation of "citizens" of which I presume most, like me, couldn't particularly give a damn.

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Project Tango: Google's all-ringing, all-dancing 3D-sensing smartphone

Spearchucker Jones

Another hairbrained scheme...

...with no idea on how it should be used. If there's a problem it solves, Google would focus on solving the problem rather than asking developers to invent problems that fit the solution. Starting to sound like a cliché I know...

Anyway, I don't give it any more cred than Google Glass, which is their last solution still looking for a problem.

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Facebook pays $19bn for WhatsApp. Yep. $45 for YOUR phone book

Spearchucker Jones

Re: A beelion users can't be wrong (can they?)

Actually it's worse than that. WhatsApp uploads all contacts in your address book. This means Facebook get your number, but also the numbers and email addresses of all your mates.

When Facebook looks at WhatsApp, I think all they see is a data mining wet dream.

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Microsoft buries Sinofsky Era... then jumps on the coffin lid

Spearchucker Jones

@AC - Re: What we want to know is...

All queuing systems are toys - expensive, unnecessary toys: http://www.infoq.com/articles/no-reliable-messaging

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GOV.UK's criminal record check IT job blow: Home Office snubs new design

Spearchucker Jones

Re: GDS (@Julian)

I think you mistake web sites and CMS (of the content variety) with enterprise systems. Where GDS is decidedly underpowered. Mike Bracken is ex-Guardian, and it shows. Some howlers I've heard from GDS architects (also ex-Guardian, unsurprisingly) - "we don't need single sign-on - people remember their Facebook passwords, don't they" and when a gov. dept. insisted on Windows because of device driver constraints "just pay the vendor to write Linux drivers".

GDS are good for sure. But haven't a clue beyond building public web sites (which they do very, very well). They have no enterprise credibility, and their dogmatism is their weakness. F/OSS at any cost, agile or die, and just as importantly, user-needs bias. That last one completely ignores stakeholders you encounter in enterprise scenarios - sys admins, security, business admins.

And whilst I'm having a go -

ALL of UK.gov IT has one core problem - no business objective. Everything they do is in response to a crisis - usually one published in the media. A sentence you hear all too often is "we must replace our old systems". Great. Why? REALLY why?!? Are they too expensive? Don't they handle the current load? Do they need to be updated in response to changes in primary or secondary legislation?

I've worked as a consultant to gov on and off since 2001, and have never, ever been given a SMART objective. Every time I ask I'm given the "business case". Every business case I've seen is so garbled, vague and ambivalent that IT hasn't a clue why they're building something, or procuring it, or (often) what they're supposed to be building or procuring.

The other unfortunate thing about GDS is their arrogance.

I have very mixed feelings about all of this. On the one hand it means there's always going to be work for capable IT people. On the other, it's why we're paying almost £10 for a pack of fags.

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What you need to know about moving to the Azure public cloud

Spearchucker Jones

Azure is definitely an option...

...just as soon as my backend starts working as a zero-knowledge service that simply routes and stores encrypted blobs, and an encrypted search index. That work is taking time, but it's progressing. And from that point on I couldn't give a damn where my data is stored, so long as it's cheaper than doing it myself.

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Last 7m non-digital Brits are OUT OF LUCK: I'm OFF, says Baroness Fox

Spearchucker Jones

That ID scheme cracks me up.

It's being built by GDS, will do a fraction of what the Government Gateway does (which is being switched off next year, so no pressure there then); is based on the SAML protocol (so no AD integration, but that's ok because we can haz identities in Mongo*); and best (worst?) of all, doesn't, and will not use privacy enhancing technologies (PET). I mean PET in the sense of U-Prove (or CredLib), and not the Information Commissioner's more general sense.

The upshot is that if GDS get their way, your bank, or Vodafone, Experian or Equifax (i.e. whichever identity provider you end up with) will know that you're being treated for amoebiasis because you're using your digital identity to get your amoebicide prescription. Or (less embarrassing, but equally sensitive), that you're suddenly unemployed and claiming tax credits (oh, wait...).

Quite sad really. Take a great technology (identity federation), and do a half-arsed job because GDS is dogmatic about open source, and wields said dogma through the hands of 20-something script-kiddies that haven't seen an enterprise system, let along built one. The other elephant in the room is the choice of Identity Provider. In the UK there are only two logical options (ideally a combination of the two) - the Home Office, and the DVLA. And even those two come with huge privacy implications...

But hey, it's all good. When labour wins the next election the GDS guys will move on to cushy private sector jobs, and some new version of Martha Lane Fox will scrap GDS and invent a new thing, just as what happened to Directgov.

* Unfair maybe. I've no idea what their identity providers intend using.

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Those Xbox One first-day glitches: GREEN screens of DEATH, disc crunching

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Is no one capable

Turned on my pineapple and started up wireshark because I wanted to see what the Xbox One (or rather, Kinect) transmits to Microsoft. I got as far as that green screen, and waited for a couple minutes. Wireshark was showing what must have been an async call to Xbox.com. Lots of encrypted packets. Xbox.com wasn't responding, but came back almost instantaneously on earlier calls, so I assumed it was just running a complex or long-winded process that needs time. I was technically working from home yesterday, so I got myself a coffee and had just started Outlook when I noticed the screen was now black with a message that the first of many monster updates was downloading (Forza 5 downloads 6 f*cking gigs!!).

All said and done I think Microsoft could've done themselves a favour by providing a more informative screen than that green one, but it is just a software issue, and not hardware. I can understand that your average teenager impatience might construe the whole thing as "it's broken".

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'Last EVER REAL Nokia' phone heads for Verizon, leaky pic-spurt reveals

Spearchucker Jones

Re: 'Last EVER REAL Nokia' phone

@JahBless I said innovation. I didn't say from whom. I know I didn't, because I was there when I didn't.

But hey, if you want to talk about innovation from Microsoft and Nokia, try a 41Mbp camera. Or an outlier like the magnetic keyboard catch on the Surface. More mainstream? OneNote + pen.

Compared to a *barometer*? Or a finger print reader. Yeah. That's REAL innovation, innit.

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Spearchucker Jones

Re: 'Last EVER REAL Nokia' phone

Dude that's starting to get really tired. Disaster how? Whatever your feelings towards Microsoft and their OS, be grateful that there's a third (albeit small) credible player in this market. Keeps them all honest, and drives innovation. Your own choice of device/OS can only but benefit.

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Facebook tests sinister CURSOR-TRACKING in hunt for more ad bucks

Spearchucker Jones

@zog

No need for an ad blocker. Get a surface. Browse FB using the browser in Metro (touch only), and serious web sites using desktop IE (mouse).

Top them apples!

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Crypto protocols mostly crocked says euro infosec think-tank ENISA

Spearchucker Jones

No mention of asymmetric encryption?

It's how you secure symmetric keys, after all...

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Nokia emerges smothered in red ink, manages to flog cheapo Windows Phones

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Out of pure curiosity...

That quarterly payment is ~equal to the WP license fees Nokia pays Microsoft, so the net effect isn't a wad in Nokia's pocket.

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Microsoft: Ha ha, my Wall Street friends - THIS time the victory is OURS

Spearchucker Jones

Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.

Interesting device. On paper (er, screen) those specs are compelling, but the build quality turned me off (it's not bad, but it's not as good as the Surface). I looked at it, the Yoga (nice, but too big), Vaio Pro (crappy keyboard), Vaio Duo (fiddley display contortions) and the Surface Pro 2, which I ended up getting. Reasons for the Pro 2 being 8Gb RAM, the display, the kickstand, the back-lit type cover, and the build quality. Another big one is that I expected it to just work (which it does ...so far).

The "just works" thing is big for me. My previous tablet was a Samsung Series 7 Slate. WiFi took a full two minutes before connecting. The Windows Update that followed the 8.1 update left WiFi with "limited" comms.

I. Just. Need. Shit. To. Work.

I agree that the display port is a negative when compared to full-size HDMI, but other than being a minor inconvenience when presenting, I don't need it (I don't use the Surface at home, where I have a beast of a PC with three 22" IPS displays and a Das Keyboard).

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Surface Pro 2: It's TOOL-PROOF and ultimately destined for LANDFILL

Spearchucker Jones

Re: It isn't a huge prblem...

Not so sure. Got mine yesterday morning, and it's got everyone that's seen it pretty interested. Granted, one wants to run Linux on it, but it's getting a fair bit of interest, nonetheless.

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Microsoft boffins test rival 'Google Glass' geek goggles, say insiders

Spearchucker Jones

Re: But I'm far sighted!

Maybe it's different when you go over +2 (I'm +2). That said, I played with Glass a few weeks back, and focus is very, very adjustable, so suspect your friend didn't know, or adjust adequately.

My biggest problem is talking to the damn thing. One, it hardly understands me (the Google bloke says the current version is tuned to American English). Two, and more importantly, there is NO WAY on this earth I'm standing in the middle of Kings Cross and saying "Go Glass..."

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LIVE CHAT: You, El Reg, experts chat about Win 8.1 and Surface 2

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Surface Pro 2

@qwarty

You probably want to stop buying tablets from dodgy Nigerians. Surface Pro 2 has two 720p HD cameras, front and rear-facing. Surface RT has a 3.5 megapixel front-facing camera, and a 5.0 megapixel rear-facing camera.

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Got a mobile phone? Then you've got a Trojan problem too

Spearchucker Jones

The [informed] user has a choice - choice of OS.

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Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE updating - especially you, IT admins

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Not Funny!

Everything I read on both TechNet and MSDN made it clear by calling it a start button. Maybe you're just a victim of tech journos' seeming inability to sweat the details (like writing Windows Mobile, instead of Windows Phone).

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Here comes Windows 8.1! Microsoft grits teeth, pushes upgrade to world

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Still not enough

I do get that beating up on Microsnot and Windoze is a popular (and official) pastime these days. However:

I've been using Windows 8 since October last year. Even though I run it on a Series 7 Slate (i.e. with touch screen), the only Metro app I've used relatively frequently is Video. Everything else I do on the desktop (which really is a vast improvement on 7). My single most compelling reason for Windows 8 is taking notes and drawing diagrams with a stylus in OneNote (insanely good).

But this is about RT. So, even though I've not found a single WinRT app in the store that is compelling enough to use daily, I'm actually slowly warming to the idea of creating WinRT apps. Now that the store submission requirements have been relaxed, I think we might actually see touch-based apps on Windows that are usable.

I've a Surface Pro 2 on pre-order, so for now I can only offer my expectation - that the Pro2 will allow me to use a tablet as I would an iPad, and when I need to, to run Visual Studio, SQL Server and Office as though I was on a desktop (small screen notwithstanding).

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Will you strap on a Google KitKat 4.4 smartwatch this month?

Spearchucker Jones

Even more strangerer...

...is that the company that was singled out is the same one that a). created SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology [1]), and launched watches with it 2003/4(?), and b). the Reg itself has stuff on Microsoft's (rumoured) Surface watch, posted as far back as July this year [2].

Sooo.... duh, wut?

[1] Microsoft Research came up with SPOT - it used FM radio signals to broadcast news, weather and stuff to wristwatches.

[2] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/15/microsoft_surface_watch_spotted/

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Microsoft puts something hard and sensitive in your pocket

Spearchucker Jones

Note that A makes you part of a VERY tiny fraction of the installed base, and that B is logical as, in it's commercial form it can't be.

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Spearchucker Jones

"Apple everywhere" and "security" simply don't... either. Nor, for that matter,

"Google everywhere" and "security" simply don't...

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iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)

Spearchucker Jones

Re: Competition

SD cards. It's one of those eternally-bitched-about things.

What is it about them that makes them so critical? Do SD-card advocates change their phone so frequently that data portability becomes important to the point that cloud storage just isn't fast enough?

Or do they need so many movies and music on their phones that 16Gb doesn't cut it anymore?

My phone doesn't have an SD card slot, and even though previous phones did, I've never had a need for it. And yet I've always got 3 or 4 movies on my phone, and more music than I have time to listen to in a weeks' commute.

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