1743 posts • joined Sunday 19th December 2010 15:08 GMT
"Actually Windows + Office revenue is up and still increasing...."
I beg to differ.
My (small) company is (/ was?) a Microsoft reseller, simply because I think there's a good and honest market for desktops with Windows 7 and Office 2010. I also think quite positively about Server 2008. Heck, we even sold several solutions and some customers who we're still in contact with are still quite happy with their environment(s).
But the thing is; I can't sell Windows 8. Not merely because I hate it with a passion and steer clear from it best I can, but because my company simply doesn't have the resources required for its after sales. Meaning: getting customers on the phone at a regular interval because they're having a hard time with Windows 8. This goes double when those customers have upgraded from Windows XP. That is our experience, we sold a few Windows 8 licenses to customers who upgraded their Windows XP versions and didn't want the "old" Windows 7 but the most current Windows. Even though the EOL of both products lies closely together.
A first walk though on site went normally. But then, several days later, the real issues began. Because those customers don't turn to Microsoft or the Internet or whatever for support. They turn to us. Rightfully so, after all we sold it to them, but ye gods...
And for those who don't understand my frustration: the after sales,or support, goes out of our own pocket. We make a profit on selling the license, we make a lot more profit on the time required to setup their environment, but we don't make any money on trying to help people out over the phone. That only costs us time and time is money.
Office 2013? Apart from Microsoft's own push of their 365 subscription model this is also something I'd rather not sell. In our experience a lot of people who upgrade from 2010 (or earlier) run into issues as well. Usually small issues, but annoyances still.
Personally I think that Office 2013 has had a huge makeover to first make sure it would look at feel as closely as possible to the Office 365 web interface, which I consider a huge setback given the limited functionality of said web interface. But second to cover for the lack of functionality which you have in Windows 8.
Think about it: in Win7 I can start Word from my start menu or jump right to a file which I'm after. If Word sits in the "recent program list" (the left side of your start menu) or has been docked on the task bar then you can simply hover or right click and enter the jumplists. All your recently used files, with also an option to pin files which you need to be available at all times.
Windows 8 doesn't have this any more. That is; you can still pin icons on your desktop application's taskbar, but that makes working a whole lot more trivial: "Click start, click the desktop, right click the Word icon and access the jumplist".
So what did MS do? The moment you start Word you're taken directly to the "back stage" view where you can opt to start a new document or open an old one. You can't tell Word that it should always start with a new document unless you're opening one yourself.
All of those changes annoy a lot of Office users it seems. Quite frankly we saw our sale numbers go down, not up. But do keep in mind that we're a rather small company, and selling software and the likes is not our core business.
Microsofts problem is that they're still not used to competition. They're totally clueless. Even up to a point where they introduce change for the sake of change because, in their vision, "change sells". Apparently unaware that if people don't like said change they either don't upgrade or worse: bail and jump on the competitors bandwagon.
Amazingly enough we did see a rise in people asking us about OpenOffice (after which we also make them aware of LibreOffice) as well as asking us how much it would cost them for us to come over and install it.
Am I the only one who glimpsed at the headline and wondered why Scientology would bring out a NAS storage device?
"...but I have no sympathy for people who fall for this stuff."
This was my first reaction as well, however that ignores one very important detail: not everyone who ran into this mess did so by following the instructions on 4chan. What if someone found this on Google (or any other web source) and passed it on? Maybe even with the warning "I have no idea if it'll work!".
The person who would end up trying this wouldn't know it came from 4Chan but from someone he/she might actually trust.
Heck; they might even think "what's the worst that can happen? You reset the device and all is well again".
And that is exactly where things gone wrong.
With my PS3 I can force it to reset itself after which it will check it's USB slots for a mass storage device and then load and apply the firmware present. This is the roughly the same procedure which you need to apply when you're replacing your harddisk.
So if the "old" and "inferior" PS3 can do something so trivial, why can't this "superior next-gen" console?
The blame lies with Microsoft; they failed to supply a back door to get people out of this mess. How hard would it be to insert a ROM which can wipe out the internal HD and then try to download the latest firmware from a specific Microsoft location and apply it?
It was to be expected...
I mean; everyone still remembers the initial presentation where it became obvious that Microsoft was aiming for a daily lockdown on their consoles (you had to log on at least once during every 24hrs otherwise you wouldn't be able to play).
It doesn't matter that they eventually reversed their plans: the damage has been done.
Agreed about Watch_Dogs, that game looks very interesting (pre-ordered it myself). But the thing is: you can also play that on your PS3 or Xbox360 :-)
What free games?
"PS3 stalwarts might be perturbed by the need for a PS Plus account to play online but the service pays for itself in free games"
Only problem is that those games aren't free, you're basically renting them. As soon as your subscription is over so is your access to these "free" games.
"Basically, this is their house (and MS's servers is MS's house) and if they don't want you to come into their house and shit on their carpet then you're pretty much not allowed to go shit on their carpet".
That comparison is flawed. It's not their house. It's their building and they're offering it up for rent to any game company who wants to use it.
When you're playing in a game you're not playing in a Microsoft environment perse, but in that of the game company. For example; Microsoft has nothing to do with a game like GTA V.
Within that context the story becomes a whole lot different. In MY house (which I'm renting) I can say and do all I want. My house, my rules. The only rules that supersede mine are those which are directly related to the well fare of the building. For example I can not tear down a wall if I want to. But other than that I can do as I please.
In my opinion the same applies here. You maybe playing on the XBox but you're still playing games which Microsoft had little to do with. And well; isn't it a little bit hypocrite that when looking at a game like GTA V you can get an NPC swearing at you (Quote: "You f*cking c*cks*cker!" if you steal or ram a persons car) but the very moment a player says the exact same thing he risks getting banned?
Don't be fooled...
Those ads sound the worst but in fact the working environment may very well end up to be outstanding. Because in a lot of cases such an ad is written by someone who got so frustrated about several things that he simply decided to speak his mind. "This is what we want, it sounds horrid, but that's what you'll have to do with". And the only reason a person would do that is passion; passionate about the company and the people and he's simply looking for a perfect fit.
So to weed out all the fakes you start by making it look as unappealing as possible, but only for those who can't read between the lines and actually understand what's going on.
Of course you should remain on your toes either way because there are no guarantees :-)
Now, I meant that a bit jestingly, but on a more serious matter; if that bothers you then install an adblocker and be done with it. If yours doesn't hide the ads then you might need something else. I'm using a combination of AdBlock plus and NoScript (at least available for Mozilla based browsers) and well, you already know my response ;)
"Yet it’s also worth remembering that all those cut-scenes and cinematic touches found throughout the disc were still fairly new entities at this point in videogame history."
Not too sure I agree with that, but I suppose it heavily depends on the platform you're looking at. Because in that era we had already seen the first release of Command & Conquer which basically consisted of missions which were followed by cut-scenes. Same applies to other titles of that genre like the classic Dune and later Dune II. Considering the timespan I'm tempted to say that cut-scenes had already become more mainstream at that time.
But yeah, cut-scenes or not, this one was a classic.
However, I also think Tomb Raider is unfortunately another very good example of trying to milk something dry to such extremes that it doesn't work out too well in the end. Let's not forget that although the franchise boomed at first it also more or less collapsed (looking at Angel of Darkness here). Even resulting in (as I understand it) the selling of the Core Design company, which were the original creators of Tomb Raider.
And although I have no doubt that there's still good money to be made from the Tomb Raider franchise I don't think it will ever get as big again as it once was.
Probably a blonde femail at that ;)
All too funny..
Because stories like these also seem to assume that every owner of an XBox or PS3 will automatically upgrade to "next-gen" and thus add to the workload. But the thing is; there are plenty of people who don't feel that way.
I'm very happy with my PS3, when looking at games such as GTA V online I think it clearly shows that there's a lot possible. Heck; when looking at upcoming titles such as Watch_Dogs which are to be released for all consoles you'll see that there's a lot of still hidden potential.
Right now I'll be a PS3 user for at least another year; because that's when Watch_Dogs is hopefully coming out and I pre-ordered a copy for my PS3 :-)
Big Brother, because that's what watch_dogs is all about and I'm quite excited about what I've seen about the game so far!
"Genuine question from someone who uses pico \ nano , what would be the benefit to learning \ using vi?"
This is a strict personal opinion obviously, but for me it boils down to not having to think about which platform I'm on (Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, etc.) when I need to edit a file. I simply start vi (or vim), get to work and that's the end of it.
So in the end I'm simply lazy ;)
And it also does wonders for my Nethack scores :)
Welcome to modern computing!
Where all your capabilities come to a screeching halt the very moment your service provider decides as much (planned or unplanned doesn't really matter here). And some people wonder why I'm quite opposed to software subscription models ;-)
I'm sure all those Office 365 users are quite thrilled right now, I also wonder if people can actually play any games at all on their XBox One.
In the mean time I simply start up Word 2010 by clicking on its icon in the start menu and can get to work. Even if I'm no longer connected to the Innernets, such an amazing achievement don't you think?
I use VI! ;-)
No, this isn't a troll post but obviously I couldn't resist the topic :)
"Could people please start working on the features that are needed?"
With all due respect but whatever happened to starting something new by actually taking a little effort yourself? At the very least mention the stuff required to actually make this work (iow: do some research up front), better yet; setup a source repository for it and start coordinating. And obviously the very best approach: post stuff like this after you did all of the above and actually spend an evening or two coding parts of some of those requirements yourself.
Sure, people are free to ignore his post in its entirety, but for someone who's so focussed on personal freedom and such I consider it a bit odd to see him posting things which sound as if he's dishing out orders.
XBox One vs. Playstation 4? Or...
Personally I enjoy my PS3 but unlike some other (younger ?) gamers it doesn't mean that I disrespect or dislike the XBox. It's just a different product and I happen to enjoy the one I picked better.
But when it comes to the next-gen consoles I can't help seeing a lot of similarities. Especially when it comes to locking down the users in the things they can do. Of course Microsoft really tried to raise the bar to absurd standards (in my opinion) by demanding that players came online at least every 24hrs in order to be allowed and play games.
Yet that doesn't mean that PS4 is fully free of such nonsense (personal opinion) either. For PS3 standards it'll be quite a shock to see that you need to get a PSN plus subscription before you can play any games online in multiplayer. And before anyone comments that PSN Plus gets you lots of free games: think again. I heard that argument a lot of times, but many people overlook the obvious issue that as soon as you end your subscription all your "free" games are also no longer playable. You don't get free games; you get an opportunity to rent a varying amount of games, that's all.
And of course; both provide a lot less multimedia functionality. What's that you say; you can watch movies and listen to music on both of them?
Sure; but what kind of movies and music? The stuff you already got on a CD, DVD or maybe sitting on your PC (through the network)? Not likely. Although both seem capable of playing DVD and BluRay (though I think I read stories about the PS4 doing only bluray) both environments try to heavily lock you into using the respectives company's own media services. PS4 can't access your own (network) media any longer for example, and both consoles refuse to play your own music unless you get it from their respective media stores.
How cool is it that if you want to listen to "Only girl in the world" by Rihanna (because you got addicted to that thanks to GTA V) you won't be able to pop in the CD you bought (on a PS3 you can even rip it and then play the music in certain other games too) but you'll just have to purchase it. Again!..
When it comes to freedom and "next gen consoles" I can't help but notice a severe setback when it comes to allowing us to use this mediabox critter to actually access the stuff we already have and own. Sure; we're talking GAME consoles and not so much media centres. I agree, don't get me wrong.
But even there it becomes horribly obvious that the powers that be try heavily to squeeze as much money out of you as they can by actually denying to support features which could have been supported easily. Using your current hardware? Most likely not going to happen on both (I know PS3 stuff won't work on PS4, not sure about XBox).
Heck; how about playing your current game collection?
What's that; next-gen introduces next-gen environments so its only logical that you can no longer play your old games (in all honesty; this has always been the case so far; PS3 also can hardly play PS2 games).
I agree. To some extend, because weren't these new consoles extremely more powerful than the current ones? And isn't it a fact that virtualisation has become more and more mainstream these days; you can easily "divide" your main server into many smaller virtual parts.
Now, I realize all too well that games are resource hogs per definition, and that virtualisation is another extra layer in between so in the end performance might suffer horribly making it simply undoable to provide this kind of support.
But my point here is that I sincerely doubt that either company has even bothered to try and set something like this up. Because in the end it would be "bad" for them; they'd rather see you buying all your games once again because that makes them more money. Even if you may not have had too.
So yeah; both environments look impressive. But I also believe there's a bad side to the both of them, one which many people try to overlook as hard as possible because "that's just the way consoles are". Sure; with an attitude like that it is indeed, and it'll only get worse over time.
"so that leaves me with IE and Firefox"
I used to think the same, then I discovered SeaMonkey. Its sort of a continuance of a Netscape and Mozilla like environment but backed up with the Firefox engine (uses the Mozilla source code which (quote:) "powers such successful siblings as Firefox, Thunderbird, Camino, Sunbird and Miro.").
Best part is that most Firefox plugins also work easily on SeaMonkey. And unlike Firefox it doesn't get an update every month or so, and even more importantly: when it does get an update the interface doesn't change on a whim.
I've been using it for at least two years now (probably a lot longer) with the default interface and so far haven't had any change to it.
I can only speak for Microsoft's Internet Explorer and you're wrong on that end. Explorer 10 actually removed the (small) rounded corners of the tabs and introduced full squared ones. So quite different from this stuff.
To my knowledge Explorer 11 still retains these "squared tabs".
There are of course 2 possibilities here...
Either the computer systems have developed a higher logic as mentioned in the article, or the engineers working on them are massively overlooking the obvious (which isn't meant as a sneer; but if you work on a system and know it inside out then it's easy to overlook oddities).
Just admit it El Reg...
You just couldn't live without the option to comment on Youtube video's. And to carefully masquerade that problem you've now fully decorated your Google+ page, but we know what's going on! ;)
Events like these...
Make me ignore both groups in their entirety. The world doesn't involve solely around either of them, but it seems both are unaware of that little fact.
Instead it's much more important to remember the flood which happened in 1334 around the Belgian and Dutch coasts.
Although I doubt anyone would remember that event without looking it up it is at least something real which has had much more impact than the running of a TV show or the existence of a boy-band.
Ah, you must be the guy from the advertisement! ;-)
(sorry, couldn't resist ;-))
I'm using VS2012 mostly because there is no other alternative to use 2010, other that getting an MSDN subscription which is a bit too expensive for me. And although I've peeked at the upcoming 2013 it really didn't appeal to me. A "social media" option right on the main screen?
What's disturbing to me is the speed in which this new version came out. 2010 was released in, well, 2010 whereas 2012 got released at the end of 2012, basically 2 years later. And considering the fact that there's still a lot amiss in version 2012 I think it's quite disturbing that instead of addressing all of those (self inflicted!) issues they're now trying to sell us yet another version.
And of course; unlike with regular software products you don't have to expect a discount from Microsoft. If you're already using Visual Studio then prepare to cough up the full price again to "upgrade".
The reason this upsets me should be obvious... One of the new features (link to "What's new in VS2013) is: "You may notice the more than 400 modified icons with greater differentiation and increased use of color".
That feature would be a welcome one had it not been Microsoft themselves which removed those colours to begin with leaving at least 13 THOUSAND developers to demand their colour back (link to official VS feedback forum thread).
In all fairness they did give us a "theme editor" which managed to undo some of the damage. But the black, hard to recognize, icons still remained in place.
And so here is Microsoft's official answer: "Sorry we messed up, we fixed the colours for you, please cough up the same amount of cash to get 2013 and be on your way".
This isn't merely a rant of how I think Microsoft is screwing us over. It's also a rant about how Microsoft are screwing themselves over. There are a lot of VS2010 users out there who know better than to upgrade to the flakeyness which we got now.
The problem, as I see it, is that Microsoft doesn't try to appeal to all those developers in order to persuade them to get into VS2012. Instead they simply sped up their release cycle, apparently hoping that all the
suckers "valued customers" who bought 2012 are now going to buy into 2013 to get rid of their problems.
With an attitude like that, and with the competition that's all around us, I think Microsoft are going to have a rough time ahead.
Personally I don't see the need to upgrade, but if I did I'd simply run an 2013 Express version along side my licensed 2012. Because why should I spend money on something which might have bugs or inconsistencies in it which may never get fixed in the first place?
Don't get me wrong: In general I think quite highly of Visual Studio. It honestly has come a long way, I love how I can easily combine an ASP.NET web project with a desktop project, all in the same solution where both projects utilize a 3rd (mutual) supporting project. The interface in general (when talking 2012: WITH theme editor in place) is pretty slick and straight forward and I'm actually happily impressed with the way I can find my way around C# with all my Java knowledge.
And a strictly personal opinion, but I really think the IIS web / application server can be more extensive, or easier to use, than Java's Glassfish. Even though I also admire that project as well.
THAT is why I rant. I think Microsoft has some huge potential, but they're throwing it away with crappy marketing and a seemingly disdain for their customers. "We listen to our customers" they say, yet when millions of VS2012 users cry out about a shoddy interface they're met with silence at first. Followed up with a theme editor, fair is fair.
But it seems that the real issues with some people have (myself excluded; I'm relatively happy with VS2012 in the way it is now) will only go away if they cough up yet another amount of cash for a new license.
THAT is poor customer service.
Game console danger
This is the major danger we have when using game consoles, and it now becomes horribly clear that it doesn't matter if you're talking PS3 or XBox.
It's not fully clear to me but it seems as if he can't use his console at all to play games, not even in single player, and that is of course a huge issue. Or better put: it should be, but something tells me most people don't care or aren't even aware of it.
Because this proves beyond doubt that although you purchased something which should be usable in a stand-alone fashion, it's all up to the company behind it to (dis)allow gameplay. And that can work against you really quick. What happens if the next generation of consoles comes out? Will we still be able to play with the, at that time, "old" ones or are the companies behind it simply going to throw the switch?
Same applies with games which get continuous updates over time. It can work in favour of the player when new contents and extra options get added, but it can also work against you when $game-company decides to remove certain options. Especially if those are options which you actually liked.
This happens all over the place. From the famous grid start vs. rolling start in Gran Turismo to pinball balls which got odd darker colours in Pinball Arcade (which used to be my all time favourite pinball game before that horrid change) right down to your job rewards getting cut in half if you replay a mission when looking at Grand Theft Auto online (allthough that isn't the best of examples considering that we're talking about online gameplay here).
But fact of the matter remains that if you buy a game for a games console then there's no telling if you'll continue to enjoy that game. On a PC you can opt out of nasty updates if you don't like them, but on a console you don't get that luxury.
So although I personally prefer playing games on my PS3 I can really understand why some people are so driven to also get games to be available on the PC. It's more than mere gameplay; it's also a form of freedom in how you want to play that game.
Overplaying your hand?
I think internet companies and organisations like Youtube and Twitter are massively overplaying their hands, and I wouldn't be surprised one bit if that is going to haunt them.
The problem should be obvious: they want or need to generate more revenue, but being a service provider there's only so much one can do to make that happen. The main problem is that you'll reach a point where your 'free' service is going to apply changes which will make it harder or less appealing for the people to use it. Think about the commercials on Youtube or the annoying banners on Twitter.
You may get away with small changes, but if the intrusion becomes to great then you're going to lose interest, especially if you're operating on a market which is shared by others. And once that process sets into motion then it can go downhill really quick.
I think the same will apply here. At one time I let it slide when Google wanted to merge my Youtube account into a Google account, but that was as far as I went. I never provided my real name. Now I'm confronted with this Google+ thingie and it's just too much for me. I thought Microsoft's Soc.ial site (or whatever it was called) was bad, but this looks even worse.
SO I basically removed my google+ profile (after 1 day of non-usage) and now only use Youtube to look at some videos without the option to comment on them. Hardly something I'll be missing out on.
Something tells me I'm not the only one who did.
So how is Google going to make more revenue when people start paying less attention to their service?
Same will apply to Twitter I think. They need to up their revenue so what other options are there but advertising? But if you become too intrusive with that then people will most likely start using other stuff, and once your usage amounts drop so will your revenue.
I think this could make for some very interesting times.
"Back in the good old days, telling someone your name was considered rather normal."
And if you did so while happening to be a girl then the shit would really hit the fan. You were saying?
"Whip out your calculators now, dear readers, and punch in that stack of numbers"
Why? You don't need a calculator for this, all you need is to carefully look things over. There are only "clean" numbers in there so it's very easy to do this from mind.
Starting from the bottom: 300 + 200 makes 500. And added up to the 500 above it makes 1000.
The 1500 above that one makes 2500 and that can be added up to the first 2500 making 5000. Now all that's left is 4000 and 500, which should be extremely easy. 5 + 4 is 9 after all, so now we have 9000 and the remaining 500.
No need for your stinkin' calculators ;-)
Where did the subtleties go?
Explosions, fire fights, even a whole space war it seems. Not to mention a plot which has been done several times before (where multiple doctors meet up; this was even used during last years Christmas special if I recall correctly).
Now, I'm not saying this is a bad thing. But after recently having gone through of the somewhat older material again (with thanks to a certain online tech magazine which featured those) I couldn't help notice that in those days the focus was fully set on the storyline where any special effects were solely used to enhance said storyline. Sure; they probably didn't have much of a choice due to restraints, but in many cases it added up quite nicely.
When looking at trailers like these I can't help wonder if Who really needs to be "bigger, badder and stronger" by mixing in a zillion special effects. Are those effects there to enhance the story, or to divert ones attention from that same story? Even if that were the case it still wouldn't be a bad thing, this is entertainment after all and if we're entertained then I'd say mission accomplished.
It's just that sometimes I honestly wonder where the subtleties in Dr. Who have gone to. I think there are times where they can achieve more with less so to speak.
And in the end I'm looking forward to seeing both Smith and Tennant in action together. In my opinion Tennant was a more convincible Doctor than Smith, the latter is always a bit too joyful for my taste. The change between joyful / careless and becoming serious is something I always considered to be a little bit too enforced on his character.
I wonder if Tennant "still has it" :-)
The hosting provider (or its admin) have also bought Twitter stocks and saw the opportunity to stir the pot ;)
You won't hear any of those comments from me. In fact; I'm a happy Win7 and Office 2010 user and I consider these two products to be quite solid. In fact; I even don't hate Microsoft Explorer all that much (although I commonly use SeaMonkey myself). Their "In-Private navigation" option for example is something I consider to be quite slick.
It's not so much hating, but some of the things MS does seem hypocrite. Take this, not too shabby, Anime. You see that the old "RGBY" Windows logo is strongly visible there. But wasn't it Microsoft themselves which recently told us that this logo is now obsolete and that we should focus our love and attention on a new, mono coloured, logo?
It's stuff like that which doesn't add up. "We now have a new Windows logo", "And here we promote our product with the logo which we recently called old and obsolete". It doesn't add up.
And being an Anime fan myself I can't help notice that story-wise Microsoft are now flaunting with the storyline of another product. I mean; looking at this video I'd say the girl more personalizes Netscape than Explorer. Think about it: shot down by Microsoft on numerous occasions (trying to twist the web by changing standards into non-disclosed standards) and although Netscape was heavily wounded (which is a nice touch in this video IMO) they sure knew how to defend themselves from the onslaught which was Microsoft.
THAT is an accurate look at history. Yet as Microsoft has done so many times they now seem to be trying and rewrite history. Worse yet: using the storyline of their "victim" to promote their own goods, how sick is that?
This isn't hating, this is Microsoft pulling yet another odd move.
Well, there isn't anything directly explicit to be seen there but yeah; I wouldn't watch that while being at work.
And all of a sudden I understand!
It was so obvious that I feel silly not to have seen this sooner.
Microsoft has said many times that PC sales would be less important and that they need to focus their full attention to mobility, in other words tablets and phones.
So what better way to help speed up this process by forcing people to use a PC operating system which no one really wants to use?
Now, of course I am joking here a little bit, sure. Still; what other alternatives (besides going Apple) do end users have who are not that familiar with alternatives such as Linux?
Oh the irony; if all of those people would end up buying Win Phones or Surfaces I could see how this might work out, but as far as I know Android and the iProducts are in much higher demand.
Is Microsoft now helping their own competitors?
Princess Robot Bubblegum!
That transformation sequence (including the music!) awfully reminds me of the "Anime" episode which can be seen in Grant Theft Auto IV :-)
In case you're wondering what this is all about then check out this page on the Rockstargames website (click "videos" at the bottom and you can see what I'm referring to).
While I fully agree that big corporations or big business environments can and usually will do everything to secure their income I really don't think that is the case here.
The thing is that battery powered cars have, by definition, one major flaw. Which is the battery. Anyone who has a little sense of physics knows that a battery is not merely a power storage device but also a huge energy wasting process.
During every stage of producing the required power, storing it and then re-using it you have to deal with huge losses of energy.
Now, instead of spouting off with boring formulas and such let's do a different approach: what is the number one complaint from people who are using laptops? I don't know about your environment but over here most of the people I know who prefer using laptops do so by plugging them into an outlet. Because "the batteries are hardly working". Usually the process of the batteries becoming way below average is something which is already happening within one or two years of usage.
Now; I know the next argument: of course the Tesla firm uses something a bit better than mere laptop batteries, of course they do. But that doesn't mean that their batteries don't suffer from the same flaws which batteries in general have.
Batteries are not a "what comes in also comes out" kind of process, you get less energy back than which you put in. Ergo you're wasting energy by using them. Sometimes huge amounts (laptop batteries) and sometimes lesser amounts (which I assume to be the case here). But you're still losing energy.
Electric cars are a worthy effort, but in the end I think their main purpose is only to make money while (ab?)using the environmental problems to do so.
"Most people outside the U.K. have no idea what a "boffin" is"
Maybe, but I also think most people reading El Reg usually share a common interest in something new.
I'm from outside the U.K. and quite frankly I welcome the opportunity to learn new words or find out where my interpretation might have failed me (like my classic "hover" v.s. "hoover" mistake some years ago).
And what's wrong with taking a little effort if you don't understand something at first anyway?
It get's a little boring
But still holds much truth:
- Discontinue (heavily) used service without proper replacement.
I slowly come to conclude that some higher up at Microsoft is a huge South Park fan ;) First the bonus for their resellers (partners), then TechNet, now this? Or colours and such in Visual Studio?
One can only dread at the idea where this is going.
"Obama to Merkel: No Americans are listening to you on this call
...we hired a local German professional to do that for us ;)
Context is in order here, true. How about remarking that the NSA even bugged the United Nations office in Washington or the EU building in Brussels?
This idiocy is going way beyond "spying on your neighbors".
"However, the Metro tiles UI is here to stay so better get to filling out those applications in Afghanistan."
That's what they said about the start button / menu too, and look where we are now. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more and more changed back until we reach a point where people are being given a choice in this matter.
Because if people continue to ignore Windows 8 then Microsoft will have a serious problem on their hands. They couldn't afford this with Vista and they can surely hardly afford it now.
Re: Greenpeace doom mongering
"And there is your proof that men are from Mars. Men destroyed the red planet and moved to the next one."
Actually I think the proof for men from Mars is even more obvious than this. After all: who or what are throwing all those Mars rocks towards Earth?
Conspiracies I tell you! :-)
It could have been so good... :(
Needless to say but I'm sticking with Windows 7 and have no intention what so ever to even look at this critter (through TechNet, now that it still exists).
I think it's a really sad development because there is plenty of potential here for something good. The idea to allow desktop users to gain access to their mobile start screen for example could be very slick. I'd pay to see that; you setup your new (online) grocery list and because you know that you'll be getting those within the next few days you can already pin the list on your mobile start screen. Right from behind the PC. That would have rocked.
Or what to think about easier content management? We have SkyDrive (or whatever new name they need to come up with). Why can't I simply drop a few items there and opt to have my phone synchronize with that? Need some new music: just dump it on SkyDrive and the phone automatically adds it to the playlist(s). That would also allow us to do a lot of content management for the phone right from behind the desktop.
The infrastructure is there, the technology (Metro) is also available on the PC, and the compatibility is also a fact (I can already create documents from behind my PC and then look at the info on my phone, even while on Windows 7 & WP7.5).
So why doesn't Microsoft take that extra step?
"Even if you have all the code, and reviewed all the code, you are still compiling it with a compiler in binary form.
So then you would need to compile the compiler again, with another compiler, but you have that compiler in binary form, so you can't trust that one either. So there's a chicken and an egg problem."
Although not solely related to security this approach is actually being used in FreeBSD (only learned this pretty recent myself).
If you compile a FreeBSD kernel (which is part of the source code for the OS) or the entire OS itself the first thing which is being done is compiling the base components which are required for building. These get placed in /usr/obj and from that moment on everything else is build using those new set of tools.
As mentioned this is mainly done for optimization and not so much security, but I suppose one could argue that this could provide a little(?) extra where trust in the build tools is concerned.
Still, in the end a bit offtopic considering that FreeBSD doesn't use TrueCrypt but relies on gbde (GEOM based Disk Encryption) and the geli cryptographic subsystems. (though TrueCyrpt is available as well as a separate program).
They're right, except on one minor point..
You shouldn't call Oracle but my company instead ;-)
A little more seriously.. They do have a point of course. For example; if you look at scalability then yes, there are plenty of open source projects out there which could very give you a lot of trouble at the very moment your demand goes up. And if you insist on continuing to use those products there will be extra costs involved to make sure everything continues to work.
What Oracle isn't telling though is that Open Source has already matured to a point where you get a choice. We're no longer in the ages of "If you want a webserver you got Apache" or "if you need SQL then here's MySQL". Instead we got a lot more: there's NGinx, Roxen, LightHTTPD, Tomcat, Jetty (If you fancy Java), Savant (for the Windows minded environments).
SQL? PostgreSQL, NoSQL, Firebird, MariaDB, MaxDB and I'm sure there's even more than this.
That is the part which Oracle seems to be leaving out.
Its not you. If you ever find your way into Berlin (wonderful city in my opinion) check out the Story of Berlin (link to German site supporting English language). It's an exposition on the Kurfürstendamm. I've been there a few years ago and I hope to go again sometime soon.
They show you a lot about the old Berlin and the great divide. The air bridge for example, that was plain out impressive. Backed up by the US; flying in everything an entire city needs. Food, medicine, water, the whole lot. Just try to imagine the sheer impact that must have had. 24 hours a day. And flying goods in is only one step; think about the continuously ongoing distribution?
That too was the US. Plain out impressive and daring alike.
So yeah, things have changed dramatically.
"Passing off unhealthy crap as "food" should be illegal."
Just what we need; a government telling us what is and isn't healthy which can then banish everything else. People in Russia often drink vodka so I'll bet that drinking vodka provokes communistic ideals; better ban that too.
In Afghanistan and Iraq lots of people drink goat milk. Must be the food for terrorists, so lets make that illegal too...
Sure I'm jesting here. But in my opinion the last thing we'd want is the government telling us what and what not to eat only because a bunch of people can't restrain themselves. There's nothing wrong with a bit of unhealthy food, as long as you make sure to balance it out.
Tape can be very reliable
I grew up with a C64 with a Datasette (tape drive) and the well known 1541 diskdrive. I had plenty of my stuff on tape because there were several friends who didn't have a 1541 just yet, so we also swapped tapes.
A few months ago I set up my C64 again just for nostalgic sake and guess what? Both the tapes and the disks worked like charm. I didn't even clean the heads of both devices.
So yeah, in my opinion there is most definitely a sense of reliability when it comes to magnetic storage.
Sure, I can see the advantages of the whole approach but I can also see the dangers. Because the main problem with relying on computer models is that you're not so much relying on a computer which can't make mistakes (a very commonly used argument to promote stuff like this) but a computer program made by a human who can make mistakes.
Mistakes which can happen in both the programming as well as the underlying logic which has been applied.
This is not saying their efforts aren't impressive. But I honestly think that in some cases the use of computers is also dumbing us down. For example; scientists before us who had no computers or anything of the sort were still able to calculate the orbits of the planets around us such as the moon as well as harder to spot ones like Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.
Something tells me that scientists today are no longer capable of doing so without a computer being present. Which doesn't have to be a bad thing perse, but it does make me wonder about the growing dependency.
A dependency which is easily excused yet while often forgetting or ignoring that computers, or better put: their programmers, aren't immune to making mistakes.
In science something becomes scientific when several scientists have taken notice of a piece of work and have agreed with it. So what about scientific computer models?
But why must their be growth?
It seems to be a general believe within some (usually US) companies that companies need to grow in order to prosper. Something which I've always considered utter nonsense. Because what's the matter with being able to maintain a status quo in which the company can continue doing what it does yet without expansion?
The only thing which will hurt a company is the need to shrink. But that's something completely different from not expanding.