* Posts by ShelLuser

1896 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

Hurrah! Doctor Who brings us a bootstrap paradox treat in Before the Flood


Breaking the 4th wall was a bit cheap

So far I think my prediction of the way how this season will play out still holds true: its enjoyable yet the overall quality drops. What I didn't like in particular was the breaking of the 4th wall for the only reason to explain what was about to happen. And the whole paradox felt a bit cheap to me, almost the same as those weird "fixed points in time".

Thing is: instead of explaining it up front why not just roll out the story and let the story explain itself? In other words: actually create that bit of mystery which will leave people wondering which came first? The chicken or the egg?

As always it was entertaining, but in my opinion it's definitely not of the same quality as some of the previous seasons are.


Miss Brittany dethroned for posting 'nude' Facebook pics


Re: Double standards?

I'm not sure to be honest. I mean; surely those girls would have been told what they can and cannot do when entering such a competition. You may not like the rules, and I have admit that it seems a bit exaggerated, but fact of the matter is that the participants knew what they got themselves into up front.

So if you then participate, win and break the rules you agreed on then I can understand that the organization takes action, even if it might not be a popular decision.

Which is the only part I'm a bit confused about: whether she posted those pictures before or after winning. If it was before then the judges have done a horribly lousy job and are taking it out on the wrong person, but if it was the other way around...


Worker drones don't need PCs says Microsoft, give 'em phones instead


Too little, too late?

Why don't they start with some very basic functionality first? You know: I have a Windows (7) computer, which has some shares open. I have a Windows phone which uses wifi to connect to the same network. So allow me to access my PC in order to copy some stuff over to my phone (either using the PC or my phone), all without having to resort to stuff such as OneDrive.

Next: contents. When I use Office on my PC (specifically Outlook) then I want to be able to access all my info from my phone as well. Note: all of it, this includes such trivial things like todo lists.

Once you got all of these items covered then it could be a nice idea to think about "putting the Windows experience into a phone". But seriously.. Start by making the phone actually useful for a change.

I honestly enjoy my Windows (7.5) phone. It roughly does what I want it to do, I can keep track of the info I need, etc. But the first thing which really somewhat disappointed me was when I tried to find a way to access my Windows PC. How could a Windows phone not communicate with a Windows PC?

So yeah; it could be good if Microsoft would finally come to their senses and make this happen. I'd applaud it. But you know what the real problem is with all that? It could very well be too little, too late. How many people have already moved onto Android or iOS in the mean time when they discovered the shortcomings of Windows Phone?


TERROR in the Chernobyl DEAD ZONE: LIFE - of a WILD kind - BURGEONS


Never underestimate...

Natures ability to adapt to the environment.


Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?



And this is why I like reading El Reg, we all focus on the tech side of things and seemingly overlook the rest. I mean: forget about those radio waves getting out: what about the doctor?

Several 'ghosts' which can outrun humans, all banded together in the faraday cage and the doctor decides to join them. We see that they quickly gather around him and continue to repeat their message. We also learn that the 'ghosts' realize their predicament; otherwise they wouldn't try to tamper with the computers again later on.

So how did the doctor get out of there? That's the part which irked me. Maybe he told them a joke and mentioned something in the likes of "Look behind you!" while he quickly slipped out?

It's like I mentioned some weeks ago; this series will most likely become massively entertaining but the quality is bound to drop a bit. Which I think is just what happened here.


Smuggle mischievous JavaScript into WinRAR archives? Sure, why not



If you can persuade a user to execute an executable, then that executable can execute code embedded in the executable.

Actually it goes deeper than that. Because people who don't trust these executables also have the option to right click and "open in archiver". Then WinRAR gets started and it'll display the archives contents, and will also provide options to extract it. Many people who don't trust the executable often use this method instead.

Yet that can now also result in issues.


Devious Davros, tricksy Missy and Dalek Clara delight in The Witch's Familiar


I think you're looking waay too much into this...

Did the young Davros end up in possession of the gunstick? Also, what became of the sonic screwdriver? The two things that could (maybe) help to bring about a Time Lord-Dalek hybrid mutant.

To be honest I think the author looks deeper into these plots than Moffat is doing. Because so far I have yet to see Moffat make a real change stopper and following up on it. I mean: "The impossible girl", Claras was allegedly going into the doctors timeline and she was fixing everything. Yet in later seasons you then hear nothing about this anymore. Not that I mind, but it would enhance the whole atmosphere, it would add a little more depth to the plots.

Yet instead any plots used in a season generally end once the season is done, and we won't hear much about it anymore. There are notable exceptions of course; think about the Doctors daughter, yet one could argue that the Amy Pond era basically spanned more seasons so its only natural that they re-used characters and plots.

Need more proof? Well, remember "Victory of the Daleks"? Most people disliked it because it introduced the new "salt and pepper" brightly colored daleks, yet even so it did open up a whole new plot twist where the daleks had renewed themselves and went back into the timewars. I'd say that's a massive plot twist which just screams for a follow up as it has the potential to rewrite timelord history itself. Yet nothing... On the contrary, it looks to me as if the producers try to pretend that this never happened, as can be seen in these two episode. Understandable for sure since many fans did not care for those new daleks, but still...

It was Moffat who opened the door to all the bizarre time-driven plot twists (like the re-run in the finale which re-used scenes in the season itself but from a completely different perspective). So why stop there? At the very least it could have been a nice way to hook into history and get rid of the new "dalek paradigm".

All of which surely promises more Davros as this season's story unfolds.

But about the daleks: hasn't Moffat already told us last year (or the one before) that he wanted less dalek appearances, not more? In my opinion there was only 1 reason why they were used in the opening episodes: to undo some of the decline in interest and popularity. Although I really hope for more appearances I have some serious doubts that they will reappear in this season.

The master, sorry: Missy, for sure.. but the daleks? I dunno.


NEW ERA for HUMANITY? NASA says something 'major' FOUND ON MARS


Flowing water

My bet is on flowing water to be honest. Which seems big enough considering that there might be something in it, but that's about all I can think of. Maybe they finally discovered the blob?

If they did then here's hoping these guys have watches their classics :)



I recall somebody once saying that if NASA was going to falsify anything, they'd have more reason to falsify discovering life in space rather than suppressing it, because such a discovery would guarantee a raft of funding

There is a difference between disclosing the information to your boss (in this case the government) or to the general population. Why assume that everything will also go public?


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


Flat interface...

My main gripe is once again the interface. Instead of trying to make the 365 online parts look more like the desktop counterpart they're still insisting to reverse this process. We didn't come all this way with high-end graphic cards and powerful GUI extenders only to be greeted with a flat 2D interface.

Granted: this is still a little better than the horrid "lets remove all the color" approach, but yah. Guess my age is showing but for me this flatness still doesn't weigh up against the feature rich (and colorful!) interface of Office 2010. Which to this day still remains my absolute favorite.

The eyes want something too!


You want the poor to have more money? Well, doh! Splash the cash


Nice article but...

... you include the main problem why this isn't going to work: "To start from the beginning, let's abandon any Randian ideas that there's not going to be any form of governmental interference in the income distribution.".

Yet I dare wonder if the modern governments don't form a big (if not huge) part of the whole problem themselves. Because in many countries (at least I know of Britain as well as Holland) have governments started to shift some of their previous responsibilities into private operations (companies, organizations, etc.) who should do the work for them.

Unfortunately the effective result so far is that the population kept paying the same amount of taxes (if not more) while the government as a whole started to do much less for them in return.

Have we already forgotten the prime requirements of said governments? Because one of its key essence, the one which (should) even validate its existence, is to concentrate the means of the population and perform any tasks which are meant to be for the common good. It's not only about making laws or upholding them, it also used to be about making sure that we'd all be able to enjoy the basic needs of life. Primary requirements. Yet all the governments seem to have been doing as of late is turn their back on these responsibilities.

So while tax and redistribution should work, your main obstacle is the government itself. Which, in multiple countries, seems to have grown into some kind of overhead moloch which requires the people to pay it on one hand, but on the other tries to evade its responsibilities best as it can.

I don't have the solution for this, other than reeling them in, but as long as they're included in the plan then I don't see this working anytime soon.


Doctor Who storms back in fine form with Season 9 opener The Magician's Apprentice


A real "timewar"?

When reading the comments and checking the episode myself I have to wonder if we're not having a real timewar on our hands: that of the generations. It looks to me as if a majority of younger viewers seems to like the episode whereas more seasoned who fans don't care for all the "shallow" (action) twists.

And I have to admit that I'm also cynical. My main gripe here is that the popularity of the series has heavily declined with the last season and as such they needed to make this work. My main dilemma is simple: when is something a harmless tribute and when does it become a shameful attempt to share in the others popularity? This episode is surely testing that dilemma because its "borrowing" settings from all over the place. From Star Wars right down to Ghost in the Shell. And I'm not sure I like that approach because Doctor Who should be setting the standards, not borrowing them.

Then another issue: plot twists. Collect everything good about Doctor Who (Master, Daleks, time based plot twists and a bit of obvious mystery), add some spectacular scenes even if they are plain out ridiculous (tank scene) and you'll end up with this episode.

The main reason I'm a bit meh myself is because apart from heavily borrowing plot twists from other work out there the series is now also heavily contradicting itself. There was once a time where the doctor was careful with influencing the time stream, this was even made obvious when he brought Vincent van Gogh to a modern museum. Yet now we roll tanks into ancient history, leave people to wonder where the electricity for the guitar is coming from and we don't care about the possible consequences. One would say nicely dramatic introduction, I can't help thinking: "fillers".

And so we enter the real timewar: the older generation who lived the Doctor Who history and who valued some of the serious parts in the series and the younger who are more drawn towards the more action and less serious (dare I say shallow?) approach, at least that's my impression of it.

Yes, it was enjoyable to some extend, but I also think the overall quality dropped a bit. Especially if you start using other peoples popular work in an attempt to repair the decline of yours. But of course people like it. The modern generation is, after all, generally more centered around itself and doesn't really care too much of their surroundings anymore. Who cares if I bother others when I park my car here, I should be allowed to, right?

SO yeah, I say a battle of the generations.

Personally I foresee an enjoyable yet incredibly shallow season.

We'll see :)


A krayshee sexy Dutch post-pub nosh neckfiller: Stamppot


It is stamppot but..

If you want the real traditional stamppot you're looking for "wortels en uien", or in other words "carrots and onions".

And it's just as the name implies: you cook up a decent batch of potatoes together with carrots and onions and then mash it all together. Couldn't be easier :)


The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined


Re: Made My Day

nope, nothing ... it does not do minecraft well enough

Don't cut them short yet. Try asking them about 'redstone' sometimes, and if you get answers other than "I don't know redstone" then I'd advice you to pay close attention to whatever it is they're doing and / or have build.

Redstone circuitry within that "simple game of Minecraft" can even be used to build memory modules, CPU's, and sometimes even word processors or whole computers. Here's a nice example:


Just because people play Minecraft does not mean that they're doing nothing other than placing blocks to create 8-bit house environments ;)


Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8


It will be worth it, really?

So I'm a member of the Insider program and also eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10. Good news indeed. A few weeks ago we could download the ISO file but nowadays we need to use a tool which conveniently does all of these steps for us: it can either upgrade our current system (Win7/Win8) to Windows 10 or it can create the installation media for us.

Referring to MediaCreationTool.exe by the way. It is truly amazing!

I start it and tell it that I want to install on another computer. I get to select the version I want, it allows me to point it to a download directory and I click ok. Then it shows the 'windows 8' round hourglass-like animation for 5 or so seconds and then it stops without a message what so ever. Even the task manager shows me that it isn't running anymore.

If it can't even manage to create the ISO installation media, do you really think I'd trust it enough to upgrade my PC to a new version? Microsoft sure has been smoking some weird stuff as of late....


BONK! BONK! Windows 10 whack-a-mole – Microsoft still fixing bugs


If only MS were a reliable service partner...

Note; I'm not spouting the common (unfounded) "Microsoft is evil" propaganda here, but merely commenting on examples from the past which just show you how "reliable" Microsoft can be.

Take Windows Server 2003, near its EOL. If you were putting faith in Microsoft and also used their anti virus & anti malware security (Security Essentials) then you had the pleasure of having to deal with a product which refused to work normally ("Security status insecure", the icon would remain orange) because your OS would expire in 3 - 4 months.later on.

Windows XP: same procedure.

Ergo: when they don't like you using a certain product (even though it's still perfectly valid) they'll try to thwart you. Does that sound like a reliable partner to use their software as a service? I have my doubts...


We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror


It's getting a little better with every release (it seems).

So after reading those encouraging words in the article I figured why not give this a try. So I downloaded the ISO (this time I opted for one in my local language), started VirtualBox again and applied the changes.

I have to say there's definitely something positive to notice here: the OS doesn't crash on my with a weird error message. Instead it asks if I want to boot with the CD, I press a key, the (IMO lame) new Windows logo shows and I can see the CD image getting accessed. After 30 - 40 seconds my HD gets accessed once and then the whole OS just stalls. I waited 5 minutes but the Windows logo remains indefinitely.

Now, I have to admit that my hardware isn't state of the art. However, with this same setup I can easily run Windows 8 within VirtualBox without any effort (apart from mental efforts in order not to lose my sanity). Windows 10 on the other hand does absolutely nothing.

Definitely not the kind of experience which convinces me that this might be a liable candidate to replace my Windows 7 Professional somewhere in the far future :)



"The word everyone is looking for and should be thinking about is "clutter.""

Actually it's "accessibility".


What Murphy’s law has to teach you about data centres


Does the author dislike McClain? ;)

Couldn't help notice that his quote got used twice. Murphy, or just an attempt at adding a little filler? ;)


North America down to its last ~130,000 IPv4 addresses


So how many get freed?

Every time we hear these doom stories about IPv4 addresses running out. And although I don't question the fact that there is only a limited amount of addresses available, I can't help wonder... Usually all we're reading is stories about usage. Like this one: now there are only approx. 130,000 IPv4 addresses available for use.

So what happens if someone cancels his subscription, stops hosting his server, or when an ISP applies a change in their subscription scheme where there's a difference between getting a public or private IP address?

I know, I know: in most cases nothing changes (the ISP & data center keeps custody over its address blocks, so does the ISP) but there are also plenty of scenario's where addresses do get freed, up to a point that they become available for public use again.

But I think it's a bit strange that you hardly read anything about that process.


Chrome, Debian Linux, and the secret binary blob download riddle



Unless you're reading every line of code how is this any safer than downloading binaries from repositories? Your security is dependent on other people in both cases.

I agree with you where, as I call it, 'hands on' security is concerned. If there's a small programming error in a program somewhere then it's quite unlikely that anyone will notice. I hate to drag up disasters from the past, but the Debian OpenSSL debacle really showcased this. This goes double in my opinion because the changes were done by a Debian package maintainer and were also applied to the encrypting engine. I'd like to think that the engine is the first place people would look for issues.

However, there is definitely a sense of security to be found in compiling your own software, in my opinion of course. I'm a FreeBSD user and all the servers I run have been compiled from scratch (so, the base OS has been reconfigured and compiled) as well as all the software I use on it (Ports collection).

Here's the thing: at the very least you can see for yourself that the software compiles, and without too many intrusive "hacks". What if a package maintainer or developer found something odd and instead of fixing the programming error they simply used other compile flags to "make it work"? Wouldn't be the first time, and this approach is a sure way to check for it.

However, that's still in the eye of the beholder.

The main security advantage can be found in customizing. If you only use default settings then any intruder will know exactly where to look and how to accomplish certain tasks. But the moment you change those defaults to fit your own environment this task can sometimes become a lot harder. At the very least you'll stall or stop automated processes such as rootkits.


Microsoft says its latest, dodgy Windows 10 build is good for (almost) everyone


It doesn't even boot :S

I'm not really following the whole developments around Win10 because quite frankly, I couldn't care less because Win7 - which support lasts me until 2020 - does an outstanding job on keeping me happy. However, I do think about the future, so when Microsoft popped the offer for a free upgrade to Windows 10 I figured I could always look what it is about.

So I ended up inside their Insiders project, got the ISO and figured I could give it a small test run. Obviously using Sun's VirtualBox because Microsoft's own Virtual PC can't cope with this. Which I think is a shame, but that's another story.

I managed to check out several stages of the Windows 8 build this way but 10 won't even get to the installation screen. All I get is an error which mentions something about my HD being corrupt. So I didn't bother. Guess I'll give this new release another try, but it doesn't really make me feel confident about the future :)


Tough admin forces hacker to STRIP to PANTS, LEAP to his DEATH


Why need a movie?

I can understand why admins need proof before they take action against a player, but what I can't understand is why they couldn't go out to investigate this whole incident themselves in order to gather the required proof. If a hacker already became "legend" then surely that's one heck of a signal that someone is bugging your player base and that action is required?

The article makes it sound as if they simply let things carry on and only took action once they saw the documentary from the journalist. Which strikes me as a little odd.


Cortana on Windows 10 is all talk, no apps shun, says Microsoft


If anyone can do it...

I'm still one of the old boring blokes who has an early generation Windows Phone (WP 7.5) and although it has a few flaws I have to say that the voice recognition is pretty slick, and quite easy to use too. I simply keep the main Win button pressed, I hear a short musical notification and I can issue a command. Like "call family" or "search snowden" and so on.

Even though I use Dutch stuff on a phone which has been set to an English language (partly to activate these features but also because I prefer English here) things work out pretty neatly.

So yah, if someone can pull this off its Microsoft for sure. The only thing I don't get is why I'd want to use this on my desktop. I don't really...


What’s new in Office 2016 for Mac (and why it doesn't totally suck)


Is MS trying to make me ditch Windows?

Right now I still heavily use Office 2010 because I really enjoy this version, and I absolutely dislike the modern interface. Those SCREAMING MENU OPTIONS irritate me to no end, and I also don't think too positively about the simple looks in the interface.

However, when looking at that Excel comparison on the first page I must say that Excel 2016 for Mac doesn't look all too bad. The icons are actually "feature rich" icons; with clear shown detail as to the 'clickable' area, there is depth in the ribbon area; shown without trying to make the interface and the working area "blend in" and of course no screaming menu options.

I don't like the default colour scheme all that much, but that's just one click of mouse away.

So yeah; is Microsoft trying to make us all use Macs?


Sick of Chrome vs Firefox? Check out these 3 NEW browsers


SeaMonkey: it just works....

My main gripe with most major browser names is their constant need for change. In fact; in some cases I think you might even call it an obsessive need; adding change because of the change. Now, that by itself isn't much of a problem unless they implement these changes so that you are forced to use them. And sometimes the bite is in the details...

I don't mind a new look (too much) but why can't I just continue to work with what I have?

So yah, I discovered SeaMonkey years ago and never looked back. It supports all the modern standards, it is pretty lightweight, can do more than just browsing (email & irc client as well) and finally: its interface doesn't change on the whim of a developer. As said: I've been using this browser for years now with the same, boring, standard "Netscape-like" interface. And it just works...


Office MACROS PERIL! Age-old VBScript tactic is BACK in biz attack



Nah, there are much more options than that.

First the one I mentioned in my own post; simply disable the override option so that an end user cannot enable macro's if the document got opened from another location.

Then I remembered another, so easy I fully overlooked it: code signing. VBA programs can be code signed ever since Office 2008 (I think; 2010 for sure). So if you simply make sure that all your own macro code is signed (using an in-company certificate, you don't even need an officially recognized one) then all you have to do is make sure that the office environments will only run signed code.

Problem solved; now all the 3rd party macro code cannot be executed no matter what.

There are plenty of ways to secure your Office environment, the problem is that hardly anyone seems to use them (guess reading sites such as TechNet and MSDN is really old school ;)).



"Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is one of the easiest methods to deliver malware nasties: simply by dropping malicious code into an Office doc as a macro and attaching to an email. The victim would be lured by a plausible pretext into opening an Office file attachment delivered to them by email."

Nice theory but based on old Office technology. Microsoft was late to the party, sure, but they have been working on securing their macro environment. First the differentiation between documents with macro's and those without (.doc vs .docx and .docm (document using macros) extension).

But most of all: Secure locations.

When I open an e-mail attachment which contains a weird macro then so what? Because Office will open the document with macro execution disabled, because it got opened from an insecure location.

By default only the standard location for Office documents is trusted, and those are not the places where downloaded documents or e-mail attachments will end up in.

The only way where this will go wrong is if the user is still tempted to click the button next to the big warning: "Macro execution has been disabled, click here if you want to enable it.". And even then it won't execute fully.

This has been the case since Office 2010 (which is no longer supported even), and I think it may even have been part of 2008 as well.

“Office macro exploits are just about the only cool thing that Visual Basic gets used for any more,” he added.

Then this guy is completely ignorant of what you can actually do with VB or Office macro's.

My whole company administration is automated through VBA. All handwritten but the best part is that I could easily "tie" the components together. Example: I store a lot of customer data in Outlook, its for keeping appointments, e-mails, etc. So; if I have an appointment I can quickly check the address if needed.

So what happens when I need to send 'm a bill or letter? Simple! My Word macro opens the Outlook contact database, checks for the customer name and then retrieves the right data and adds it to my template. Last time I manually typed a customer address in Word is 3 - 4 years ago.

Document references.. You don't think I'm making those up myself do you? That's what my "Private Function RefGen(naam As String) As String" function is for.

Note that I'm not saying that there is no risk at all, but I do think it's hardly as extreme as this guy wants us to believe. For starters he's ignoring the issue that the end user once again needs to click on a button which has a big bold warning next to it.

PS (edit):

The solution is a group policy to only allow certain people to run macro's? Uh huh. I'd personally opt to disable the "run macro anyway" override option which is also doable. Through a policy or, for example, by using a VBA macro which gets automatically started when Office starts.


Untangling .NET Core: Open source for Windows, Mac, Linux



No sane dev wants anything to do with MS, simple as that.

Then there are tens of thousands of developers out there who might disagree with you, on either one or both statements (about dealing with Microsoft or regarding their sanity) ;) The thing is: you don't have to "deal with Microsoft" (much) in order to use their (development) technology. And sure, Microsoft has its share of problems when it comes to keeping their user and fan -base happy, but that doesn't mean that they don't provide have anything interesting at all.

You know, I used to share your opinion regarding C#. Any sane Java developer would steer clear from that as best as they can, right? After all; it is a blatant rip-off from Java (MS trying their "embrace & conquer" technique) which in some ways is an insult to Java. Of course I totally overlooked the fact that Sun was actually happy about some parts because it also meant that Java definitely had its share of popularity.

Then Oracle took over, starting to try and make money from just about everything Sun related (bye bye "geek licenses" (as I tended to call them: free licenses to Sun products restricted to non-commercial but not to production use. iow: you were free to run your hobby website on Sun One: the Sun Java Systems webserver and back it up with the Sun Java Systems Directory Server for example)) and I didn't really feel motivated anymore to even closely support this money squeezer (I'm surprised that they haven't started selling Netbeans already).

So then I looked into .NET and C# and I learned that although there are similarities with Java it actually is a completely different environment. And, in my opinion, one which isn't half bad either.

I primarily use ASP.NET and well; there are plenty of things which it can do which Java (EE) can't. Nothing negative about Java, and most certainly not a comment in the likes of "one is better than the other", they both have their place in my opinion.

Did you know that ASP.NET is a full fledged OO environment where even the webpage itself is a class of its own (the System.Web.WebPages)? And did you also know that .NET supports partial classes? In short: a class definition which is divided over multiple files.

This is the perfect recipe for webdevelopers in my opinion because it fully integrates with the HTML 4.0 ideology where contents (HTML) and design / markup (CSS) should be kept separate. You basically get to keep this model (in a base minimum only one identifier line will be added to the top of your HTML document) where it merely adds an extra component: a separate file in which you can do your coding (your web application code or business logic as MS likes to call it).

Each to his own, but not having to dig through HTML code in order to check up on my programming has already saved me lots of time. From fixing programming errors right down to extending on already existing stuff.

And the fun part? I also don't like the way Microsoft is going. I think quite poorly about Windows 8, I'm still sceptical about Windows 10 and I also think their choices with regards to their development platforms were highly questionable.

That's one of the reasons why I'm now using all of this stuff on FreeBSD and Mono. All thanks to open source software.

So if Microsoft wants to open source this stuff then I'd say let 'm. Chances are high that we'll all be able to benefit from it.

IMO it's hardly as bad as you make it..


Furious GTA V gamers seek similar ban on violent, misogynistic title: the Holy Bible


Change.org has a point, but are also missing a few..

First of all I can fully understand that some people would be offended by GTA V. And lets be honest here: there is no denying that what they say is true; you can pick up prostitutes, pay them to perform sex on you and afterwards choose to kill them in order to get (some of) your money back.

Its true.

But is this reason enough to ban the game?

If I were a police officer I might get offended over this. After all: apparently its perfectly OK to murder or completely annihilate a police department but as soon as it happens to a woman then it should be a bannable offense. And make no mistake about it: this isn't just about blowing up police cars or shooting down cops. Wouldn't be the first time a cop car gets caught in the aftermath of an explosion setting both the car and the inhabitants on fire. Who then run out screaming and yelling while being burned alive. That too is GTA V ladies and gentlemen.

Now that I mention it; would I be a fireman, heck: would I work for any help service I might get heavily offended too. After all: its perfectly OK to get people to call 911 to call for help, and when help arrives you then steal their vehicles (or worse of course). As long as it isn't a woman... Think I'm making this up? Then why did this happen in both versions of the game: IV & V? In IV your cousin (Roman) gets kidnapped and you need to get a police car so that you can pull over a couple of vans which smuggle TV sets for another crime family. If you miss the cop car driving over (and the cop cars parked across the city) then your option is simple: call 911. In GTA V you need to impersonate both a cop (driving on a bike to steal two sport cars) as well as a group of firemen (depending on which heist outcome you picked) to rob a bank.

As said I can understand that some women may get upset over GTA V, I really do.

But I also think that it is unfair to single out what can happen to a woman character in GTA (V). Because the game doesn't discriminate here; you can do the same horrible stuff to any man too. Maybe even worse.. Shopkeepers in GTA V online mostly sound "foreign" to me, perhaps an Indian heritage, I dunno. And what can you do? You can buy food there to help you out (you can use this in missions to boost your health) but you can also rob them if you so choose. Even after you bought stuff to get your money back! Better yet: smack them over the head with a baseball bat (so that they don't die, you'll get less wanted stars) then clean out the cash register yourself when they have fled.

Wear a mask so that they don't recognize you! Next time you pop in you may even notice this very clearly: "Hello friend!", is how they'll sometimes greet you. Some friend you are!

My point is: yes, some women are sometimes treated poorly and can indeed be murdered after performing sexual favours. But men get treated just as poorly.

Most of all: this is all at the discretion of the player. Which is the most important thing to realize: players don't have to kill prostitutes if they don't want to. Same applies to those shop keepers.

Maybe an unfair comment, but considering how GTA is controversial by design anyway I'm going to share this anyway: personally I'd rather see people get their kicks from this violence in-game than in the real world.


The internet is less free than last year. Thanks a bunch, Snowden



The keyword here is control.

When we were still ruled (more or less) by the church it was all heaven and hell; best do what they said otherwise it wouldn't be good for you.

More or less (to a certain extend) during the cold war. Communism was the root of evil so yah; very terrifying indeed. Now; this isn't really a black/white subject but some events regarding Russia didn't quite go as we were being told. Only now does the truth come out here and there.

Terrorism is also a very good way to keep people under control. Once again, and the main problem, is that it is a grey area. There are threats and there are dangerous situations. But not all of it comes "out of the blue". Perhaps an extreme example, yet still legit: when the US has put Saddam Hussein into power he pretty much kept things more or less stable in the Middle East. That is, of course, ignoring the war with Iran but we didn't have much other threats with regards to extremists because they were kept under control. Look where we are now... Just like most everyone who knew the region predicted; create a power vacuum and you will attract problems... Yet it still happened. Under a false flag operation too.

But yah; thats the main problem for governments: the Internet usually doesn't forget. They can make sure to keep some things out of the media (the classic "We found $major terrist!", and 6 months later (on page 13) you read in the newspaper that he wasn't a terrist afterall), and this is happening, but opinionated bloggers and other "community media" usually doesn't forget these things and will address them.

And there's the main problem, especially if it could spell problems for a current administration.

Now you're in trouble...

Big brother is here, they're simply smart enough to stay hidden in the shadows. And anyone who shines their flashlight will soon be dubbed enemy of the state.


Gaming's driving ambitions: The Crew and Grand Theft Auto V



I have to agree with you about the hype part, and I also thought your review was interesting. However; I've also spotted some items I don't agree with. For example: "X game is better than GTA V" really is in the eye of the beholder. At times I like playing Minecraft much more than GTA V but that doesn't make it necessarily better per definition.

One of the reasons why I thought the graphics in GTA V (ps3) were disappointing is because they borrowed (or used) the same graphics engine which was being used in L.A. Noire. Granted; GTA V brings much more detail to the environment, but the look and feel is pretty much the same.

My personal gripe with GTA V is the crammed up storyline. It just isn't long enough to do dive into all three characters. This worked flawlessly in GTA IV but only because all characters got time to develop. Niko had to cope with both learning you all about Liberty City and dive into the character. But as soon as you got TLAD you already knew about the basics thus could dive right into the main course. And it still provided plenty of character building. Same with TBoGT.

Story wise I enjoyed GTA IV a whole lot better. It felt like it had much more depth. And of course there was a surprise angle when you got to play certain missions again yet from a whole different perspective (it was pretty cool when I played Johnny and met up with Niko; I knew what was gonna happen yet they still managed to add new surprising elements to it).

But that magic is all gone in GTA V.

GTA Online.. its kinda cool but also pretty much ruined by R*'s constant changes. Esp. the reward system. It seems to me as if R* doesn't know shit about providing a good balanced multi-user gameplay where economy is concerned. Because right now it seems everyone has a buzzard (attack helicopter) yet few know how to use it. Wouldn't be the first time I tried to take on a mission (taking out an enemy crew for example) only to get shot down by some idiot in a Buzzard.

Its unbalanced. The whole of it. Some missions require a minimum of 2 - 3 players while they can easily be done alone while others force you to repeat your actions because you're alone ('gentry does it'; steal 2 boats. If you destroy one its game over. You need to deliver a boat, go back and deliver the other. While in other missions you can just destroy one vehicle, deliver the other and you're good).

For me the replay value of GTA V is very low.


Google? Microsoft? What the heck do they do in cloud?


The main problem with the cloud...

Is it absurd pricing model. Sure; in theory it sounds wonderful; you only pay per hour and only for the resources you use. Sure, sure.

Unfortunately getting a good indication of what you're paying for and how much will often turn into a major investigation case. And for the record: all of the major cloud vendors are guilty here.

Lets talk Amazon EC2: Free tier (with the dreaded asterisk of course): 750 hours of running EC2 (750/24 = 31,25; nearly a month), 30Gb storage and 15Gb data traffic. Sounds too good to be true? Well, if you look into the detailsyou'll soon notice that it applies to the t2.micro instance. So what's that? Well, in order to check that you'll need the instances overview. And lookie! Now all of a sudden we're looking at: 1vCPU, 6 CPU credits/hour (what are CPU credits?), 1Gb memory and EBS storage only. As it turns out (quote): "Each T2 instance receives CPU Credits continuously at a set rate depending on the instance size. T2 instances accrue CPU Credits when they are idle, and use CPU credits when they are active.". So; what happens if I run out of credits, and how much credits would my hobby Linux webserver use? To know more about this we need to check the "Burst section" on that same pricing page:

"For example, a t2.small instance receives credits continuously at a rate of 12 CPU Credits per hour. This capability provides baseline performance equivalent to 20% of a CPU core. If at any moment the instance does not need the credits it receives, it stores them in its CPU Credit balance for up to 24 hours. If and when your t2.small needs to burst to more than 20% of a core, it draws from its CPU Credit balance to handle this surge seamlessly. Over time, if you find your workload needs more CPU Credits than you have, or your instance does not maintain a positive CPU Credit balance, we recommend either a larger T2 size, such as the t2.medium, or a Fixed Performance Instance type."

So it is possible to obtain a negative CPU credit balance. At what costs? Well, your guess is as good as mine here. You should probably contact them or use their "amazing" pricing calculator (which really only left me with even more uncertainty and questions)... For example; I can tell it that I got a Linux box, 1 instance, t1.micro and its used for 3hours/day. That'll cost me $1,84. But, but, but; wasn't this free? And what happens if that 3 hour usage pops a little (say Wordpress which gets a small boom)? How much for those CPU credits?

Don't gloat yet you guys because Azure isn't much different. So now I'm a Microsoftie (no offense!) and I want a Windows server to experiment on. You know; IIS, a small bit of ASP, and lots of mmc (Microsoft Management Console) action. "Website for free" the pricing page says. If you click it you'll quickly see: "Try for free". Small difference indeed. At least they let you know that a virtual instance starts at approx. $13 / E 9,69 per month. But... what does that get you? Well, an "A0" instance (1 core, 0,75Gb RAM and 20Gb disk size). Not exactly much to run a Windows server on... So what exactly is an A0 instance? Check out their Virtual Machines page and what do you know: it doesn't say! It tells me that I can do Sharepoint, how open the whole thing is ("you can use open and community driven OS"), I'm saving money, get hybrid connections and "True HPC capabilities". But what exactly IS an A0 instance?

Eventually I ran into a loop. the Virtual Machine MSDN page tells me I should check out the Azure documentation page. And that page points me right right back to the MSDN Virtual Machines FAQ when all I'm trying to do is getting some specs.

SO with Amazon I can't get a grip on exact prices, with Microsoft I can't get a good grip on exact specifications...

Last candidate: the Google cloud.

So; same as above: we want an experimentation machine to lust on our Linux, FreeBSD and/or Windows passion. Well, one thing becomes pretty clear when you check out their Compute engine: you'll get a virtual machine, no direct access but all you need to click & install applications on it. Not what I had in mind but it'll work.

So what does this cost me and what performance do I get? That same Compute page tells you at the bottom. For example: n1-standard-1: 1 virtual core, 3,75Gb memory, 2 GCEU which will roughly cost you about $0,069 / per hour. So $1,65 per day and approx. $50,- / month.

But there is more; you'll be charged for a minimum of 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes you'll be charged extra per minute, but at first 10 minutes. Nice approach when you're testing a machines performance or are trying to bugfix it (which will require reboots and/or turning it off or on). Is that it? No; when using "premium operating systems" such as RHEL, SuSE or Windows you'll be charged extra. And there's also storage pricing: Standard persistent disk costs you $0,04 per Gb per month. Or SSD provisioned space: $0,218 per Gb per month.

SO; if your instance is off then it won't cost you anything, right? Wrong! If you have an IP address assigned to an instance but you aren't using it then it'll cost you $0,01 per hour. It'll be free once the machine is on of course.

My conclusion?

They're all a bunch of rubbish. Its hard (if not impossible) to get a good grip on pricing or what it is you're paying for. At most you'll be paying for "virtual computing space" while you may hope that you'll actually get charged for what you're using it for (how are you going to check and/or complain otherwise?).

My advice? If you want easy computing or such you should look into a regular hosting provider. Sure, you'll pay per month but at least you'll know exactly what you pay for. Like with my favourite provider: 1 Xeon CPU, 1Gb memory, 50Gb SSD storage, 1Tb data traffic, 1 IPv4 address, /64 IPv6 range and all that for E 10,- / month (= approx. E 0,0134 per hour). Community OS's are free (Linux and BSD) and for Windows based OS's you'll pay an extra licensing fee per month.

Cloud computing is nice if you're a big company which doesn't want to mess with on-site management and instead have that delegated / outsourced. But for everyone else I'd say your regular hosting provider is all you need. Best yet: even those can provide cloud based services (like the one I mentioned above). Main difference is that it's their private cloud, yet publically accessible still.

Don't give in to the hype!


Microsoft: So sorry for NOT paying Xbox indie game devs on time



At least MS fessed up and promised to take action.

Last time this happened with Google (android) they simply locked the topic, told ppl that they should e-mail Google (even though one of the most heard complaints was that mailing didn't do anything at all) and eventually the thread got removed entirely.




Well, he has a (misquoted) point I think.

I think the main issue here is that Hawkins doesn't say that doomsday is going to happen. That's only what the media makes of it in their headlines. Look at El Reg: "Stephen Hawking again warns AI will supersede humans".

So now the actual quote from the interview: "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."

And there are more misquotes. El Reg: "Humans limited by slow biological evolution cannot compete and will be superseded.".

Quote from the BBC article: "Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded".

So basically all he's saying is that it could spell doom for us and if it did then he thinks its because of our slow evolution in comparison. No where does he claim that this is going to happen no matter what.

With these kinds of articles it really is important to read past the headlines and base your opinion on that which has actually been said.


One year on, Windows 8.1 hits milestone, nudges past XP


Stimulating warez perhaps?

If you take into consideration that Windows 7 is dominating the market (50.4%?) I cannot help wonder if the strategy of not selling it (the consumer version) won't have an opposite effect: instead of stimulating Windows 8.1 I think it also creates a serious potential for the use of warezed copies.

In my profession its the most heard of excuse when it comes to Microsoft products: "I'd love to buy it if I could, but I can't. So....".

If the people prefer Windows 7, why not sell it? Sometimes I think Microsoft still have no clue, what so ever, to appeal to the market.

Which I personally consider a tremendous shame. Despite of my criticism sometimes I'll also be the first to say that if there's one thing Microsoft has its a lot of potential. Some of their software is really pretty solid and of good quality (your mileage varies of course).

If only they learned how to sell it...


Star Wars: Episode VII trailer lands. You call that a lightsaber? THIS is a lightsaber


Seems they're re-using stuff again...

Solely judging from the trailer I do think that it gives away the impression that some people have a hard time coming up with new ideas, which would be my only gripe with all this.

I mean; when looking at SW1 the double bladed lightsaber was a pretty nifty spinoff from the classic design. But this new design looks to me as if they desperately wanted something new (why?) and thus came up with this. Which leaves me wondering; what's wrong with the classic lightsaber design in the first place? Some things are good enough as it is and don't need constant evaluation.

And well; when looking at the Falcon getting chased by tie fighters... Could be an interesting angle, but also makes one wonder; wasn't the empire overthrown? But most of all; wouldn't it be more interesting to add something new into the mix instead of re-using aspects from the past?

Still, one way or the other: the trailer sure did its job well. After all; it got people to talk about Star Wars again, and sometimes pretty passionate too. Mission accomplished!


Azure has put new life into Active Directory



"Azure AD's the future, and it'll ****ing crush anything else out there."

I recall reading the same thing about Metro aka the start screen within Windows 8 and future versions. The start menu was gone for good because the "tiled start screen" was the new way to go; it would completely (re)organize your information streams with the utmost efficiency.

Microsoft was so convinced that they even pushed this forward within their server products.

And look where we are now ;)

I admire your passion but you might want to check up on how the modern market is working ;)



The main criticism here isn't so much regarding the centralisation but towards cloud storage and Azure in particular. Even within *nix environments the value of centralised management is well known, otherwise we wouldn't be having features such as LDAP and NIS / NIS/yp.

But there is a huge difference between storing this information in-house or placing it wide in the "open" within a cloud. That is where the cynicism and criticism comes from.

You're making yourself completely dependant on the service provider(s) (cloud as well as the connection provider) whereas with in-house management you will keep a large dose of freedom and flexibility.

Black Helicopters

I beg to differ ;)

"It will be more deeply integrated into every aspect of Microsoft and will be the de facto identity service of the next 15 years."

Sure, and the new Windows servers were also going to revolutionize things and get everyone cheering. The cold fact however is that there are millions of Windows 2k3 servers out there within environments where people simply don't see the appeal or need for all these new "benefits".

Now, don't get me wrong here: first and foremost I'm not claiming that there isn't any value in these developments at all. But I do think it gets way to much hyped (even in this article) where people only look at the (theoretical!) advantages but ignore the potential risks which lure in the shadows.

You say: push everything into the cloud to broaden your potential whereas I say: create a single point of failure with every bit of risk involved. Because lets be honest: cloud services aren't really well known for their reliability.

Another problem here is the cost factor. Its often argued that this new way of doing things makes it easier, and thus there's less time involved with management. Less time means less money and as such you're looking at a potential revenue saver. But are we really?

First and foremost there's risk management. Often ignored but oh so important: what happens if the cloud services do fail? What costs are involved when you're looking at a few hours or even half a day of non-productivity? Easily ignored ("that stuff doesn't happen anymore") but what if it does? Then your whole company comes to a screeching halt.

Directly followed with: what are the extra costs involved for insurance? Sure; you could rely on regular cloud storage (which isn't free), but I'm pretty sure that companies would really want some kind of failsave. Ergo we're looking at things like SLA's (Service Level Agreement), which often don't come cheap either. After all; if you're going to be hosting your data in the "cloud" you'd want some guarantees that this cloud will be available when you need it.

You say less administration overhead, I say less freedom: "No $admin, upcoming week is our sales week and we're doing a training. Could you please postpone the full maintenance for 2 days so our staff has time to prepare?" versus: "Darn, we were fully prepared for the upcoming sales week training but Microsoft will be performing maintenance on their Azure services tonight, so we can't fully rely on it right now.".

And well... Looking at Azure pricing wouldn't it be fair to say that there is a really big chance that anything which you might safe by incorporating this technology will also find its way back into having to pay for it? Quite dearly even if you want to make sure that scenario's as the one I described above can never happen.

Which brings me to: "If it isn't broke, why change it?".

Seriously: is this really about providing a better product, or about trying really hard to make companies and people more depending on these new services which Microsoft has to offer?

I know I'm often quite cynical, but it really looks to me as if Microsoft is basically saying "Ok, lets throw away 20+ years worth of development and start all over". Where the customers are obviously the guinea pigs.

Lets not forget that Microsoft is in dire need of more revenue. Sales are dropping just like customer opinions. They can't rely on Windows to be sold based on principle anymore, so they really need to find other ways to gain revenue. Enter the cloud subscriptions...

Good for us? Or mostly good for them?


A WHOPPING 8 million Windows Server 2003 systems still out there


Not surprising...

I think it could become a very dangerous time for Microsoft where their server products are concerned because lets be honest: most products don't really look very appealing at all. Although it shouldn't but "eye candy" matters, at least to some extend. If that weren't true then how come we gained so much when looking at Windows 7 in comparison to, say, Windows 2000 or Windows XP?

And on servers, especially those with a graphical user interface, some people will expect to see an environment which will at least look somewhat familiar. Its what has been happening over the server lines for over the past years anyway.

Well, I don't have to mention how great Windows 8 is going, and the new server line basically follows the same path as the client. Including the addition of all the touch crapola. If people hate it on the desktop, why would they embrace it on the server-side? I personally think you'll get even more resistance on that front.

Another problem: once a new product is out, good luck getting the previous one! Windows 7 is more or less still around, but trying to get Microsoft Office 2010? Or what about server products; Windows Server 2k8 is pretty straight forward, but these days 2012 needs to be pushed forwards making 2008 nearly impossible to get.

Which poses us with yet another problem where "eye candy" is concerned. Windows used to be all about providing us with a detail rich interface, which really looked pretty amazing. Of course also taxing on the hardware, but lets ignore this for now.

So here we are; and what is the current development all going to be? Making the interface as flat and minimalistic as possible. Each to his own, but the modern products look extremely unappealing to me. Starting with the often flat and boring icons, right down to hard to look at screens (such as the new MS Office products). And since the server products follow the clients...

If people hate the clients (think Windows 8) why would they bother looking into a server which follows the same idiocy? (something I never quite understood; why make developer and server products follow a consumer market? isn't it fair to say that functionality should have a higher priority than desktop styles?).

My take? Open up the sales of Windows server 2008 again, and I think you might be surprised at the results. Same applies to the Office products. I know for a fact that plenty of people would rather buy Office 2010 than getting their hands on the new stuff. And I think the same (to a certain extend) applies to the server range as well.

Alas; for me & my (small!) company its already too late. We started a full transition into FreeBSD and so far things are looking pretty good. Solid support & documentation, nearly every piece of software is provided; both open source as well as commercially licensed products (Ports collection) and best of all: with the help from the Mono and Samba projects you may very well end up with a better Windows-like server than the original!

So far we never looked back.


Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray



"I think whoever is in charge of this at MS should be told their number one priority is to make sure that it's a piece of piss to be able to write some simple game and the choice of technology is a no-brainer."

Uhm, but it already is a nobrainer where technology is concerned. A mere Google search for "visual studio gaming" would point your direction towards the XNA Game Studio environment.

I don't develop games myself, but from what I can tell this has been around for quite a while already. It's basically yet another approach of their "write once, use everywhere" doctrine since this platform should allow you to develop for all Microsoft gaming platforms (Windows, XBox & Windows Phone).

As I understand it its a replacement for DirectX; more of a framework (like so many others) which more or less abstracts some of the requirements. Here is an interesting discussion with regards to the differences between the two platforms.

Although I do agree with your comments; Microsoft makes certain things a whole lot harder then they need to, I also don't think it applies here.


Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows


Missing 2 things...

One of the things which I think should also be in the list is an image viewer. I'm actually surprised that none was included because well, surely we still like to look at a few pictures every once in a while? I'm very happy with IrfanView. It's an image viewer which provides tons of extra features as well, including features such as editing your pictures a bit (scaling / resizing, cropping or cutting out a selection and obviously plenty of filters and effects to apply).

When it comes to editing then it's not always perfect (trying to cut a transparent PNG file can sometimes be a little awkward, I usually resort to The Gimp for that), but it goes a very long way for "merely" an imageviewer.

Second; although you mentioned a program which can make it easier to copy things onto cloud environments, what about copying files to local storage media or even regular network shares / drives? I've become quite fond of TeraCopy. Its a free copy program which also has a paid counterpart. The reason why I like this program is because despite the commercial alternative it doesn't get in your face. You can use it to its full potential, even though the authors obviously hope that you'll get the commercial version too.

And clicking "test" while copying a large(r) file only to discover that the copy action did not go as expected and that the copy checksum failed can really be a priceless experience.

Finally... Sure, Winzip and Peazip are excellent programs. I'd still would like to mention WinRAR too. An archiver which has been with us for decades already; I licensed this product during the BBS era (last century) and I still have and use a license today (to be honest; I got new licenses too; one for my company and a new one for personal use, simply because it makes little sense to advertise for your BBS these days ;)).

It's a brilliant piece of software IMO, I especially like the integrated checksum parts where it can add a so called "recovery record" (both embedded or detached) which allows you to repair an archive in case it should get damaged. Invaluable option... It heavily leans upon the so called PAR checksum options; a format which allows you to create a checksum block which can also be used to recreate parts of the original file.

This feature alone makes WinRAR a very powerful archiver for me; especially when we're talking about making backups which are meant to be kept around for an X amount of time.


Dragon Age, Inquisition: Our chief weapons are...


What about gameplay?

Read a lot about impressions but I can't find much about gameplay here. At least the screen shots show that blasted 'weapons wheel' is still there, which would be a no no for me. Its what I disliked in D.A. II because it didn't have any easy quick select options; only the weapons wheel. Very cool indeed while you're under attack and can't prepare with potions being quickly available to you with one press of a button.

I'm also missing out on customization options. Another big issue with DA2. Because you hardly could.

And speaking of storyline: DA2 went horribly wrong (IMO) where storyline was concerned by degrading the Marabi warhound as an entity instead of a fully worth player. Simply because it went straight against their own storyline and backgrounds. After all: In 1 we learned that a Marabi would easily fight itself to the death to protect its master. That's the whole vision of he warhound. Yet in 2 you could only summon him with a spell. And no matter how much you (its master) were under attack: when time ran out, *poof*, and it was gone. Uhm, fighting to the death? how?

The reason I mention this is because the author mentions the criticism regarding DA2, but doesn't bother to explain how and where this game differs.

Another thing: it looks to me as if this game is full 3rd person. Its been a while since I played DA but I do recall that one of the reasons I initially picked it up (and bought the whole official guide too) was because it wasn't 3rd person. I don't like seeing a bunch of puppets running across your screen and you just have to "imagine" that those can represent you.

Its what I loved about DA, the original concept: attacking thieves could actually hide behind you, esp. if you didn't have the presence of mind to look around but instead kept focussing on the enemy in front of you. THAT was brilliant gameplay in my opinion. Heck; even better: I could do the same thing myself too!

3rd person ruins that experience because... Good luck hiding as a thief when there's an "all seeing mastermind" (the player) present.

Final comment, but this is just me being critical: so we gain influence by capturing forts or keeps. Why does this sound horribly familiar to me? You do the same thing in Assassins Creed, Far Cry 3 & 4, Watch Dogs, and so on. Isn't that approach getting a little old?

I suppose seeing could be believing, but so far I'm not a believer.


Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row



I for one hope that someday people will grow back a bit of common sense and stop looking for meanings which aren't there in the first place.

So just because Barbie is a girl you can't write up a story about how she doesn't understand computers because she's a girl and therefore its sexist? However, you can write up such a story when the main character is a male? So how is that not being sexist?

I'm getting annoyed too; with the double morals being uphold.

So when someone writes a story about how a girl doesn't know anything about a computer its an outrage (even though, shudder, some people (who cares about gender in the first place? you? you sexist!) actually really don't know shit about computers).

Yet when someone writes a story about how certain women allow themselves to be degraded to mere party / company or heck: sex slaves (Fifty shades of grey anyone?) then it's quickly turning into a best seller. Oh I know: "that's different because its targeted at adults".

Sure, however; this Barbie book was targeted at teens and from what I can tell only a bunch of stuck-up adults actually had problems with it. So... different? How?

In my opinion some people should be forced to watch The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs. A South Park episode no less. One of the many reasons why I think the older seasons were /so/ much better than what we got now.

SO basically; the boys write a book, with the only intend to make it as offensive and disgusting as possible. A mother (don't want to spoil the plot ;)) finds it, gets disgusted with it yet still thinks she understands "what the meaning of the story is".

While in fact there was none. Just writing up a disgusting piece of work for fun. Using as many "no no" words as possible.

This is IMO no different. Just because Barbie is a girl some people consider it sexism if she doesn't know shit about computers. Apparently those people are even totally incapable to realize that the target audience would never get those ideas of sexism.

Unless of course you bring them into contact with such. Like, for example, making a huge fuss about it and making all the kids believe that this actually is a BIG deal, even though they never would have thought so in the first place.

And voila; now all of a sudden you realized the exact opposite of what you tried to do; because now the people involved get into the stereotyping that "writing stories about girls who don't know IT is bad".

Why it's bad? Would anyone ask that question at the risk of being called a sexist?

So now we're down to "girls aren't bad with IT per definition, because 'we' said so".

Gee, and when I put it like that it sure as heck sounds like dictatorship to me!

Who cares about allowing people to decide for themselves if they think the story is suitable for their children or not?. Naah, who cares about freedom of choice anyway? This is all for the common good after all!

Yah, and that last sentence is what most dictators also use to justify their actions. Just saying....


Far Cry 4 REVIEW: It's a far cry from Far Cry 3


Not quite sure...

My main gripe is that Far Cry has so far always been radically different. FC1 on the islands fighting a horde of mutants ("trigands"), FC2 which put you in the role of a hitman right within an African turbulent war... And FC3 which, as was to be expected, changed the decor quite radically again and introduced us to Vaas.

Thing is; I liked FC3 but I didn't consider it all that great. It had too many flaws which added up could easily be a deal breaker, at least to me. Take for example the option of not being able to quickly swap between your weapons; only the current and the last can be quickly picked up (d-pad), the rest is all weapons wheel. While we could easily switch between the three main categories in previous titles. That has always bugged me with this game.

Missions aren't all that brilliant either. You see; when I learned "towers = weapons" I started on a raiding rampage, combining stealth with force. And I have to admit; the experience was very good! Didn't take me too long to get all the towers on the first island (amazingly enough, the weapons dealer in the main camp kept bugging me about "unlock more towers", yah, duh?). SO I eventually came across missions where it felt like I had weapons which the developers didn't anticipate for.

What I mean?

So you have an assassination: need to kill this dude between the left and right island. He's sitting right in the middle (small strip) between the main Rakya village and, as said, the section left to it. And as is accustomed: you need to kill the main villain with a traditional knife. Everyone else is expandable So far, so good.

Thing is: I had a sniper rifle here. So I started to scope the area out, sniped of some of the bad guys and the main villain started to walk towards me. So: way outside the mission parameter. I sneaked up, killed him and... mission failed, you need to use the knife!. Which is of course exactly what I did.

As it turned out you need to enter the mission area before you can do stuff. And some of the areas in FC3 are horribly small. In this case I never went near it, but thanks to my sniper rifle could already step in. Apparently the developers never anticipated this. Duh!

My other main gripe was that once you liberated the outposts there wasn't really much left to do. They were never taken back (not even attacked), and from there on you could basically go wherever you wanted to go without any risk. This was a major downer on re-playability for me too, but Ubisoft fixed this in the mean time by allowing you to reset the whole outpost issue.

FC3 was nice, but not that good IMO. At least not for playing the game in a completely different (but still valid!) manner.

So yah... this game seems a lot like a repeat of moves to me. Outposts, main villain, etc. The critic in me can't help wonder how much they're going to try to sell the visual aspects and perhaps use it to draw attention away from gameplay.

Not saying that they will, but if they do then I wouldn't be surprised.

So yah, I'm not a believer and most likely going to sit this one out.


Doctor Who trashing the TARDIS, Clara alone, useless UNIT – Death in Heaven




In fact, it's not a completely unknown plot twist either since it has been done before. Season 2: Army of Ghosts / Doomsday. The head of operations of Torchwood gets converted, but is later seen killing other cybermen while ranting "I did my duty for queen and country".

Not just that, we even see something like a tear coming from her eyes. Talk about a situation which doesn't add up!

Which is basically my only gripe with this new season: the heavy re-use of plots which have already been done.

btw; the only reason I remember this is because of the interesting clash between the Daleks and Cybermen in that episode arch. Both species tried to invade earth yet unknown of the others presence. And it was as funny as it was dark:

Cyberman (talking to a Dalek): "You will identify first!".

Dalek: "Daleks do not take orders!"

Cyberman: "You have identified yourself Dalek..."

That was as brilliant as it was simple. But in comparison to all that I have to agree that this season is lacking.


Find My Phone does just one thing but Samsung's messed it up


Still needs 'help' from the user..

The youtube movie starts with the following quote:

"Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) is an attack that tricks the victim into loading a page that contains a malicious request".

So it still boils down to "be careful what website(s) you visit". It doesn't make this attack less dangerous, obviously not, but even so the targeted users can still do a lot themselves to prevent any damage as well.




When reading the headline...

I was hoping for some kind of revenge act from Sun Microsystems and that they somehow "sabotaged" Oracle. Oh well,wishful thinking ;)


Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings


This proves one important thing...

"“It hurts my eyes,” Steve Ballmer once joshed during a demonstration of Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 managing Red Hat Linux.".

In my opinion comments like that clearly prove that Ballmer's main approach was that of marketing and administration and that he severely lacked any feeling for the technical approach of things.

I don't care if you're pro or anti Linux or Windows; one cannot deny that Microsoft has made some interesting progress here within their line of virtualization products. Yet it seems that even that detail is completely wasted on Ballmer and all he can see is his own petty ideas.

Must have been fun for the developers who worked on this.. First thing the head honcho says is that your work is hurting his eyes, such motivating words indeed!

Anyone with a small bit of feel for tech would at the very least recognize some progress here. Who cares if Microsoft are more or less re-inventing the wheel here?

And I think that lack of "tech vision" on the part of Ballmer is one of the reasons which caused Microsoft to alienate themselves from so many users, developers and fans.