1843 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010
Why one country ?
I really don't understand why topics such as these aren't carried over across multiple countries... Several countries have their own "space agency" yet it also seems as if all those several countries find no reason for cooperation.
Sure; a little competition is always good. And often doing it yourself can come with its own benefits.
But shouldn't topics such as these be addresses by an international organisation instead of just NASA? That way all the involved countries can contribute thus also making sure that even in rough financial times we don't need to cut back on issues which really matter on a global scale.
Or put differently: Now it seems as if NASA is has a leading role in all this, and although I have nothing against that they are fully dependent on whatever the US government can provide them with. But issues like these concern the whole world...
I can't help wonder if this is really about finishing the game or getting his hands on the Lamborghini Diablo (or whatever else is in the DLC's).
Unless he's referring to the 'time saver' DLC; you don't need that to finish the game. You need this if you want to finish the game quicker; so instead of unlocking all cars yourself one by one you get everything in one go, or better put: one purchase.
There's also nothing new here; they did the same with Burnout Paradise.
Agreed wrt. enterprises. However, that's not what Microsoft wants us to believe, so with that in mind I think articles like these are good eye openers.
And of course it also brings some food for thought; how long before this sales method also finds its way in the consumer market?
That's why I think...
...software pirates aren't bad or evil per definition.
Although I also admit that we're dealing with a sort of chicken and egg problem. Without pirating software companies would most likely (though not necessarily) spend less on copyright protection, which would then lead up to less annoyances.
The reason I have my doubts there is because some companies exist solely because of software pirating (think about the companies which invent copyright protection schemes) and although some try to balance between userfriendlyness and security, there are also plenty who focus on security over anything else.
But even so; in a lot of cases you're better off with a pirated version. Personally I think its best to obtain both versions, but that's another topic.
In a lot of DVD movies you can't watch the film until you went through a lot of advertisement or several "copying is illegal" warnings. Didn't I PAY to watch the MOVIE?! The download movie plays instantaneously. Some games require you unlock it through means of a security code. Unfortunately many companies considered it smart to print this code onto the CD package itself. You know; the one which gets stacked with other games, and before you know your code got rubbed off. Nice...
Or what to think about the classic issue of the booklet (which doesn't easily fit) getting lost while you still have the package and CD's? Just too bad that the code you needed was in that booklet; not a smart insert leaf or something.... (though modern games do just that btw).
This is no different.. Now you need to be online to be able to play? Well; the pirates can play no matter what, making it all the more appealing (even for regular customers) to use that version. Because ask yourself this; what happens when the company running the "unlock server" decides that its now time to pull the plug?
"they will probably do that in 10 years or so."
Are you sure about that? Changes are much higher that they'll do that when the amount of players reached a certain threshold. And if you happen to be one of those "die hards" who can actually still enjoy a game even if it is 3 - 4 years old (to name but a "random" period) you're simply out of luck; "Go buy the sequel cheapskate!".
Such a wonderful world...
"But some organisations have decided to trust the user and claim big savings in productivity by deploying BYOD."
Trust the user or trust their admins to keep everything safe?
And speaking of which; I can't help wonder how much extra taxation this is going to put on IT. Depending on how you (try to) implement all this I can imagine it now: "So I brought my laptop and I can't see my PC?", "Where is that standard logon screen?", "How do I access my files again?", "Why doesn't my version of Word 2003 open this Word 2010 file?", "My Avast kept saying I have a virus for the past hours but now it seems I can't click the error message away?", "Are you SURE you can't convince management to switch to Office 2003?", "I clicked this icon and then my work PC suddenly showed a blue screen?", "Can you give me an extra HD for my laptop, I tried to copy my documents and now it says my laptop is full", "My PC says "Same IP detected in network", what does that mean?".
Yeah, that's going to save SO much money....
IMO this was an ideal opportunity to use BitTorrent and basically let the fanbase help itself to the whole collection. It will put less tax on your servers, the availability tends to go up longer and most of all: nearly all of your fanbase will be able to fully enjoy the contents.
I know, I know; torrents are "evil".
"bikini-busting princesses do not real science fiction make."
You're just jealous that Lucas replaced you with a computer imagine in the first 3 movies.
Not sure I agree here..
(about introducing Metro in some sort of "Battering ram" style)
"When you think about it, it’s not a bad strategy.
I have to disagree there. Because this strategy does not account for one major aspect: the fact that consumers have many options to simply ignore the environment all together. Even more than in the days of Vista.
Microsoft needs to realize that they're not in a position where they can simply dictate the market any more. Tick people off enough and they're going to look and find alternate solutions. And then you'll have lost them as customer.
Using those self-driving cars is dangerous. It might become self-aware due to the radiation, take control over the nearby power plant and transform into our worst enemy.
A "real" Star Wars could be fun, but I have to wonder how good of a film its going to be when they apparently need to bring in 3 of the bigger names from the past. I mean; Indiana Jones in his prime looked pretty good IMO, but when he got older and we got a sort of "Grandpa Jones" then it didn't really do so much for me anymore.
Of course they could manage to surprise. When I read about Sean Connery (also somewhat older by then) in the movie "The league of extraordinary men" (an action movie at that) I also had quite some doubts, but it turned out to be pretty decent IMO. His character fitted perfectly with his age, and we didn't get to see a grandpa perform tricks which normally only a 20 - 30 year old would do.
Still... As some other commentators mentioned; this is Hollywood, where cash flow is deemed more important than realism.
And people wonder...
Why we have to pay more for some MS products in Europe than in the US.
I don't see a victory or anything of the sort here; because eventually you'll know who will be paying the actual bill. The same population which this EU moloch is supposedly trying to protect. Yet when that happens you won't hear the EU anymore. Because price differences are something which simply happen...
Finally we meet an author who obviously highly thinks of us and actually calls us Reg Readers instead of the commonly used commentards. And just when that bright news flash manages to hit me do I realize that you're leaving. Aaaawwww :-)
Anyway, although Apple isn't really my thing I did read several of those articles you referred to and I agree with some of the others; they were very pleasant to read. I hope your next job (if that's the case) will give you as much pleasure & satisfaction as this one has apparently managed to do. Because having some fun at your job and the things you do is IMO priceless.
When are you going to quote Torvalds properly?
"Linux Lord Linus Torvalds is thinking about making Google's Chromebook Pixel his main computer – once he installs a proper Linux distribution on the machine, that is.".
Yet on that page you mentioned (link to Torvalds Google+ post) we read the following: "And it is a beautiful screen, to the point where I suspect I'll make this my primary laptop."
No where in the entire article is he referring to any other computers. So how come you manage to conclude that he'll only use this laptop from now on?
I know you probably meant that in a cynical manner, but the way its going that statement could hold true very quickly. Take for example Windows 8 and their store model...
If Microsoft would continue with their current model where developers need to get a subscription for the sole purpose of being able to program for Windows then I sincerely doubt that the model will last very long.
Yet it seems that is exactly what Microsoft is aiming for.
I can't answer that, because I'm not using any of their new Office stuff. My development is fully based on Office 2010 (which most of my customers are also using) and I have no desire what so ever to upgrade. My main VS2012 usage is building (dll) extensions and (VBA powered) templates. By using VS2012 I can distribute such products using an InstallShield solution; which can be used free of charge thanks to my VS2012 license.
Strictly personal opinion: I think they're trying to make more money by providing less service and solutions. Take their Office 365 environment... Its not bad at all, but can only provide but a subset of what their desktop products have to offer. Yet if you look at what you need to pay for 365 over a longer period you're actually paying a lot more for less money.
Sure; you can end your subscription on a monthly basis. But can you really do that once you've become dependant on such an environment for your day to day work? I would imagine that moving from 365 to a desktop-based solution can be quite a task in itself.
Hook, net, sinker...
Cool, I suppose. But, uhm...
To be honest I have to admit that the integration of Office development within Visual Studio 2012 is actually pretty slick, that is of course if you're into this kind of thing. Which I am, sort off. I got VS2012 Professional, the Office SDK is a free download and then all you need is a version of Office installed.
The thing is; wouldn't it make more sense to start by fixing our interface and feature set before adding new "cool" stuff ?
Many VS2012 developers are anxiously awaiting VS2012 Update 2 which, among several other bugs, also fixes bugs with the (hastily) released blue theme in the theme editor. Sometimes you get black letters on a dark blue background. Which really isn't all that easy to read; and according to the update description its something Microsoft has also come to realize.
But there's more... Microsoft wants us to use their tools to make cool apps. But at the same time they also want to prevent us from doing so.. Sounds strange? Read on..
One of the tools in their discontinued Expression series is Microsoft Blend; a tool which you can use to make "dynamic interfaces" (to put it easy; more info on the website). But, as mentioned, its discontinued and instead embedded with VS2012. You can see on the site itself; instead of being able to download Blend you're pointed at downloading Visual Studio.
And there's the problem; at the moment of writing there is only a Blend version for Windows Phone development or Windows 8 ('app') development. People new to VS2012 who want to utilize Blend for Silverlight or WPF editing are pretty much out of luck; Blend as a stand alone product is gone and there is no full integration with VS2012 as of yet.
There is, however, the previously mentioned upcoming update 2. One of its feature enhancements is Blend for Visual Studio 2012: "Support for Sketchflow, WPF, and Silverlight". All good and well; but what about people who need this tool right now? Well, as said they are out of luck: because if you read closely the update is merely a so called Community Technology Preview (CTP). Put differently: this is merely for testing purposes only, the Team Foundation Server update is the only part which has gotten a "go-live" remark. You're not supposed to use this VS2012 CTP update in a production environment.
So basically Microsoft dumped a tool (Microsoft Blend) while stating that Visual Studio 2012 would be the new all-in-one solution which would provide Blend functionality yet hasn't managed to release it just yet.
Just like they did with Expression Web (mentioned on that same Expression website). VS2012 is supposed to provide all you need for website design / editing. Well; at the time of writing you're IMO better off using Expression Web for your web design where VS2012 can come in handy with programming the underlying logic. It does not provide the same functionality right now.
So summing up: a half-baked interface (don't get me started on the colour removal!) combined with an as-of-yet unfinished feature set. Where people currently using VS2010 (with or without extra "supporting" tools) have a fully complete and functional programming environment.
And they're wondering what is keeping all those developers to embrace these shiney new tools?
""This is another classic case of Microsoft moving the goal posts. A lot people sell SQL Standard and this will hurt," said one Microsoft partner that spoke on condition of anonymity."
Then your whole strategy has been flawed from the getgo and you have no one to blame but yourself IMVHO. Because it seems you're not selling Microsoft products and services for what they are, but for the bonus you may get from selling those.
But shouldn't that bonus be the profit you're hoping to get with selling these products and services to begin with?
My (small!) company is also a Microsoft Partner and reseller at that. And although the whole idea looks neat we're not trying to sell Microsoft based solutions with the sole motivation of grossing in extra money from Microsoft. We sell stuff (on certain occasions) because we think - depending on situation and customer - that it is the best solution for the situation.
In that same strategy we also sell Linux solutions. Guess what; there's no "Linux company" out there which will give us an extra bonus if we manage to distribute an X amount of Linux servers. Yet companies still manage to make money from Linux solutions; even though everyone can download and use Linux for free.
As such my conclusion is that companies who solely rely on extra bonuses have a flawed market strategy to begin with.
How much (taxpayers) money did those "health guru's" manage to gross in for their wisdom ?
I just had a few myself and honestly; this is uberly stupid. Sure; there are plenty of people who can't handle alcohol; but I'm pretty sure there are a lot more who can. Don't take the cheap way out of this; if people misbehave then hold them responsible instead of trying to take it out on the whole population who likes to drink alcohol every now and then.
And if we're talking about health problems here (I hjave to admit; read briefly; I refreshed El Reg before bedtime, guess that makes me an El Reg junkie ;-)).. What ever happened to people's own responsibility ?
Hold people accountable for that they did, not for what they might going to do.
And yeah; I had a few beers myself. Amazing; even managing to wrie up an comment; guess the alcohol isn't that bad at all :-)
We shouldn't worry
Oracle will have this fixed asap, so with a little luck we can expect the fix to be released somewhere in December this year. Think of it as a Christmas present from those generous caring people at Oracle.
Too little, too late
Of course fines are in order because the EU needs the money. Heck, although I think its a good thing that customers are being protected against monopolies or unfair businesses I do place some question marks behind this particular ruling.
Not because I think its bad perse; but because the timing was pretty poor. Because the EU started flexing its muscles when the damage was already done. Even more funnier: where other browsers such as Firefox and Chrome had already managed to gobble up huge chunks of Microsoft's market share. And only then the EU kicked in with their browser choice demands.
Is this about protecting the EU civvies or another good attempt at grossing in some extra (desperately needed) cash ?
The Surface Pro is coming
All 1000 of them; so that Microsoft can start another story about "extremely high demands", or are they going to do it properly this time?
A Cherry for me
I've been a computer nut for quite some time now, it started back in the days when I was a kid with a C64 and eventually worked my way up with a 286 which later became a Compaq 486 and eventually I got the PC I have now.
I've had several, unnamed, keyboards during those days but eventually came across a Cherry 6000M. The funny thing is that I don't know where I got it, but I do know is that this keyboard turned out to be virtual indestructible! You see; during those times (we're talking the 80's here) I smoked. And I also smoked behind the PC; always had an ashtray sitting near my PC because of that. And a lot of that ash (and other junk) ended up in my keyboard. Because you see; I also used to eat breakfast behind the PC or sometimes even lunch.
This keyboard eventually failed me. Approx. 20 years later, at the time of writing only 2 years ago. I cleaned it up, even found ash in there while I quite smoking approx. 25 years ago, but to no avail. It responded a bit better, but several keys failed more than often, thus making typing extremely annoying.
SO I started looking for replacements but the problem was that a lot of keyboards are quite bulky. I also liked the click sounds I got while typing (I type blindfold, and decently fast too) and not too many keyboards have that. I tried some of the keyboards still lying around the house but none felt that good as my good ole Cherry :-(
AND then I discovered the German Cherry website (link to Cherry.de). Imagine my surprise; they don't 'merely' sell keyboards, they sell mice and more advanced keyboards as well (stuff with a cardreader in 'm, as you can sometimes see being used in banks and such).
Because I didn't see my keyboard there I simply wrote them an e-mail telling them that I was looking for that particular keyboard and if they could advice me which one would best suit my needs. "Oh, but we can make that model for you. It will take time but for E 110,- (approx.) it can be done".
I paid and I waited, for 1.5 - 2 months or so. I recall writing them an e-mail because the whole thing went a little bit vague and at one time I was worried that I spend a lot of money on nothing. Needless worries as it turned out because eventually my keyboard arrived. Slightly larger than the one I had (this one has a larger edge at the top which now also features the 'Cherry' logo) but the touch and response is exactly what I came to love and respect so much.
A very expensive keyboard, sure, but if you spend as much time behind the keyboard & screen as I do where a good keyboard has become an essential part then believe me; its money well spent. Especially if this critter manages to last for yet another 25 years :-)
A simple thing like not having a file manager just puzzle people who purchased a Windows Phone. I know that because my co-workers bang on my door asking for help. And if you want to manage your phone on windows, you need Zune.
This! +1, spot on.
I really like my Omnia W, it does what I need it to do (though in all honesty I do wish it could sync a little more data) but I hardly update my media contents because, as you very well mentioned here, that part is totally fucked up.
The reason I'm responding is that your message could make people think that you can then use Zune to somehow copy files back and forth but you can't even do that :(
Instead you need to point Zune to a folder on your PC after which it'll keep that folder synced with your phone. Which shows the completely screwed up design; I don't want each and every one of my mp3 files to be stored on my phone. As such I can't simply tell Zune "there's my music, go sync".
But you also can't easily tell Zune "there's my music, I want this, that and that". Because Zune doesn't work with files and folders; it'll use the information retrieved from the MP3 files. So now you need to somehow give your MP3 files some info so that you know what you have, THEN copy it over. I don't have that because I didn't care for that; I ripped some of my CD's and simply let a player randomly play files (these are files from a time before we had id3.org and such).
As such you'll soon find out that the easiest way to do all that is to copy your stuff to a folder, point Zune to it and then try to get it to copy stuff. More than often it won't because you don't copy; you synchronize. That translates to: "You click a button and hope that it'll copy the media across that you want, but there's no way to be sure but to disconnect the phone and see for yourself".
And don't get me started on "What happens when you discovered that you wanted that extra file to be included afterwards?". Zune will eventually spot the changes; just not one minute after you copied a file to a directory. What idiot thinks that I want to wait 5 minutes for Zune to cope? I want my media copied NOW.
SO you're eventually done, all is well. Because you don't need the bloat you remove the folder which you made with all the mp3 files because there's not much sense keeping the same files on 2 places at once. Waste of space, no ?
And then, several months later, you connect your phone somewhat casually to your PC to charge it. Normally you'd use the adapter but you're in a hurry; you simply take the adapter with you. Then sitting in the bus you want to listen to a nice piece of music...
All of that got neatly synchronized and therefor is now also no longer available on your phone, just like its gone on your PC. Microsoft couldn't have made it any easier; apart from the fact of course that I didn't WANT my files to get removed like that.
Zune is sheer hell. Yet required for WinPhone, go figure :(
"The paradox is this: when Microsoft had a terrible product (except perhaps as a second device, or as an enterprise terminal) it was a lot noisier than it is today. But Microsoft doesn’t do noisy any more."
I'm sorry but I just don't see it. Because you could also turn this around: MIcrosoft makes noise when introducing new products (which, as we all know, are usually "so so") and makes less noise when releasing newer versions of the same product.
And when talking about the Windows Phone; have you already forgotten about that huge Winphone being placed in (iirc) New York where all sorts of stuff went down? Or the several "Smoked by Windows Phone" advertisements ?
Microsoft made a lot of noise with Windows Phone 7.
With message alerts I assume you're referring to broadcast messages aka CB messages?
Because that's supported, on Windows Phone 7.5 no less. However, there is a caveat here; many WinPhones have specific features not supported by the OS itself but provided by the manufacturer. To make it even easier on the customer there's no way to find out if a certain feature is out of the box or not..
So; on my Samsung Windows Phone (Omnia W) I have the option "Advanced text messaging" located under the 'Settings'. There I pick anything I'd need; from channels, to countries.
You should really consider contacting Microsoft to tell them that they need to revise their Windows 8 development guide (link to MSDN page), because according to your story it seems they got it all wrong.
On that page they claim that:
"With Windows 8, you can leverage your existing skills and code assets to create Windows Store apps for your customers.
* Microsoft .NET Framework and Silverlight developers can use their XAML, C#, and Visual Basic skills.
* Developers looking for maximum performance for their games and other graphics-intensive apps can use the power of Microsoft DirectX 11."
Not only do they claim that you can use .NET for Windows 8 development, they also seem to mistakenly mention C#, VB and XAML skills instead of calling it "Java skills".
We're lucky to have smartz pplz like you around I guess ;-)
Did I read this right?
"The vulnerability, originally flagged up to Google in July 2012, was patched last week, freeing Duo Security to go public with its discovery.".
So basically Google took half a year to fix a rather nasty flaw in its authentication system. And although Google deemed the risk factor to be low I think one of the reasons it was low was because it didn't make it out in the open. Yet...
But shouldn't Google out of all firms realize that there is no security through obscurity? The very moment this would have gotten out in the open then there'd be a serious problem, then what ?
Yet "men are (still) pigs"?
Even my gf sometimes jokingly uses that phrase whenever she's over and I left some laundry in my bedroom instead of the laundry basket near the washing machine, or when its really time to clean the sink while I figured I'd do that "next week"...
So what do those "One Million Moms" think about that ? Have they never called us men pigs, ever ?
But to join in on the stereotyping a bit; I wonder how many of those moms are blond. Because for all we know this insurance company took their own insurance on this project and were actually hoping that they'd stir the pot. Because thanks to them, and "One Million Moms" of course, now One Million Reg Readers have also taken notice of this commercial.
(because ask yourself this: what would be the sole purpose of a controversial commercial ?)
One problem with the article...
"Not only can Microsoft sign its own damned certs, Server 2012 makes this whole process so simple web administrators will weep."
Which is of course assuming that Microsoft actually uses that stuff themselves. Be very careful there because Microsoft has a solid history of telling the world "A" while doing "B" themselves. For example; when they started pushing Exchange forward as the big Windows MTA which could easily rival Unix environments their own e-mail facility remained hosted by Unix for several years to come. Simply because Exchange wasn't capable to handle their load. Something which they tried hard to keep under wraps of course.
Just because Microsoft has released a new server doesn't mean they immediately started using it themselves, that line of thinking is IMO a bit silly. In fact; I would deem it much more likely that parts of MS are currently running on hybrid solutions; a Windows core which is being maintained in-house themselves and as such its no longer really server 2003 yet also not really server 2008; but instead a 'hybrid' sitting somewhere in between which got all the solid enhancements to their server line of products yet without the bloat.
Because just like any other Enterprise environment Microsoft knows that with every change you apply you always risk introducing a certain danger to the system. Considering that they also maintain their own OS updates; why not utilize that themselves as well ?
"Linus is essentially defending Linux from becoming a project that is subverted by commercial interests."
Now, this is why I wrote my earlier comment because IMO this is only what this article insinuates but it isn't true perse. The way I see it Linus even stands way above petty stuff such as commercial interests; all he cares for is that the kernel which he maintains remains sane.
The reason I come to this conclusion is because "the evil Microsoft" themselves have also contributed code to the kernel. Not only that; one could even argue that their motivation for doing so was partly to get Linux to better co-exist within their Windows networks. But despite their commercial interests Linus still deemed their contributions to be valid enhancements to the kernel and as such they got implemented. IMO because Linus couldn't care less about those commercial interests but more so for getting solid additions to the kernel which he maintains.
Don't take my word for it; check out this link to a PDF file released by the Linux Foundation on kernel development. Go to page 11 (page 10 contains the header of the chart) and see for yourself what company made it into the top 20 list of kernel contributors.
Not the complete story?
Nice article but IMO you left some important details out. Now, I understand that we should obviously check the source material ourselves in order to form our opinion on it, but IMO the El Reg article as-is makes Linus look way more negative than he actually is.
The reason I think so is because your article never makes it clear as to why Linus thinks this is a stupid suggestion, Microsoft had nothing to do with that, something which can be read here (link to lkml.org):
"Umm. And which part of "We already support that, using standard X.509
certificates" did we suddenly miss?
So no. The PE file thing makes no sense what-so-ever. What you mention
we can already do, and we already do it *better*."
...in response to comments that RH only wanted to add functionality to the kernel which allows kernel module programmers to sign the module and vouch for it themselves.
We can finally stop hiding behind the couch then?
Quite a shame that he passed away. However I think one should be grateful that he passed away in his sleep. I can't think of a better, more peaceful, way to die.
"The genius of the old designers was brought about by limitations and improvisations."
Oh so true... Last week I watched 'Return of the Jedi' again and even there these things pop out, especially when compared to the last 3 movies.
During the scene with the Rancor you see Luke, Han and the rest standing on a sort of "sand glider" (I don't know the official name). Several times you get close-ups, for example the moment when Luke walks the plank. If you then focus your attention to the surroundings you'll suddenly notice that this vehicle is battered; it has bludgeons on it, scratches and even some damage here and there.
Put differently: the vehicle actually looks as if its being actively used. When looking at the modern movies you won't get that little bit of detail anymore.
That's not the issue, you're now ignoring the key fundamentals on which cloud computing was based: redundancy; the option to provide a service which can be spread across several (hardware) components. Thus if one component fails then others take over and there's no loss of continuance.
At least that's the theory. Even so; it shouldn't be that hard to (automatically) move virtual instances from one setup to a backup in disasters like these. Yet even that doesn't seem to happen.
So quite frankly I don't think people are uberly negative; they're merely demanding that Microsoft makes good on its promises.
"Wow in most places these kind of things are expected out of governments but not so much multinational enterprises."
Governments usually rely on (Enterprise-like) companies to handle the IT setup for them.
Well, except for the time when someone within the government really felt good about DigiNotar I suppose ;-)
"I would imagine that Microsoft is one of those tremendously process managed places and "it wasn't my job" can now be heard echoing from a thousand voices crying out in terror."
Lets not be too hard on them; I for one wouldn't be surprised if Win8 also had some influence in all this.
You see; when Outlook starts on my PC it pops up a window with a list of chores to keep in mind (todo items), which I then work on during the day. I can well imagine that in the full-screen Win8 interface such a pop-up could end up somewhere in the background, thus easily missed and never looked at.
Now, obviously the SSL expiration is a plain out schoolboy mistake, anyone could have foreseen that. Still; in our small Dutch country those kinds of stupidities even happen at government level.
But the other aspect is intriguing, especially if you take in mind that Microsoft has also recently released version 4.5 of their Web platform installer. Highlights in this version 'spotlight' are fully aimed at Azure; "Azure SDK for PHP", "Azure SDK for Node.js", "Windows Azure PowerShell" and obviously at first place the Azure SDK for .NET.
Those .NET SDK's are for both VS2012 and 2010, both dated at Februari 2013.
Heck; they even added a new software section: "Windows Azure", even though one could argue that Azure is basically another framework and as such should be listed as such (under 'framework' you'll also find stuff such as Python, PHP, obviously the .NET framework, Node.js and so on...).
Could it be that... ?
Microsoft is really pushing Azure as of late. And it seems either their 'success' or something else has now come to haunt them. And if you look at the prices which they charge then I think some customers have every right to be upset about all this.
(for those of you unknown to the 'web platform installer': its a sort of package manager for Windows which allows you to quickly install specific Windows products. From IIS to SQL Server Express right down to MySQL, PHP, Python, Silverlight and their Visual Studio express versions. If you're interested in (web) development on Windows then this tool is IMO the best & easiest place to start looking).
Fighting the symptoms again eh?
They probably don't agree with me but with accusations like these all I'm seeing is a "copytheft fighting company" going after symptoms and blaming others for their own shortcomings.
Because lets turn this question around: Why are those websites still capable of providing "illegal material" in the first place? Aren't organizations like the RIAA getting paid to go after those "lawbreakers" (paid from the taxpayers money I might add, and they're not exactly cheap either!) ?
So instead of blaming others for their own failures, why don't these misfits start doing their work a little better?
You see this behaviour happening everywhere btw. BREIN (another RIAA-like Dutch organisation) has "bravely fought" the Piratebay for years, thus spending thousands (if not millions) of the Dutch taxpayers money. It even went so far that the head-honcho himself travelled back and forth to Sweden to "show them".
Needless to say but despite all their "victories" BREIN ended up demanding that Dutch ISP's needed to block the Piratebay and several other IP ranges and/or domain names. Which ended up in court and this issue is still being fought over (after all, basically they're censoring us).
Even so: while BREIN claims this situation to be a major victory one could (and should!) wonder why they never managed to shut down the Piratebay in the first place? After all; that has been their main task in life for /years/, all paid by our taxes.
This is no different; by starting to put the blame (and responsibility) on other parties they're basically admitting their own failures. Yet our governments are unfortunately way too stupid (or way too deviously influenced) not to recognize it for what it really is.
When I pay someone to do something for me and they utterly fail then I'd want my money back. Strangely enough NOT the government, even though both (US & Dutch government) could really use a financial break right now.
"Remembering the faint pops and crackles after putting the needle on the start of a new album, holding my breath in anticipation for the first track to start..."
I do indeed. Heck, I'm one of the proud few who can say they got all of Metallica's "real" (before the black album) on vinyl. Heck; I even have the Phantom Menace OST on vinyl (no, I'm not a big fan of the movie; it was a gift from a good friend).
Alas, I'm also a sound designer by heart (semi-professional) and did you know that there are dozens of filters and sound effects out there for the sole purpose of re-creating this sound? For example iZotope Vinyl... I'm mentioning this because this company has a very good reputation on "sound scoping" thanks to their Ozone product range (tools for mastering a piece of music).
Oh; and that sound effect is fully free of charge; usable in any DAW of your choosing.
Denial only hurts more...
"This is not who we are"
That is a very dangerous comment, and which isn't true perse when you look at what is going on right now. This is not what they wish to be, obviously, but that's a totally different story.
Fact of the matter is that any "banded together" group, whether its Python programmers, C programmers, System engineers, etc.; you simply can't know what that group is capable of when strange things happen. Simply because you don't know every member of said group personally. This is also why it is so important to always be careful with the way in which you bring certain news because one person may act on that totally different than another.
To join the stereotyping somewhat: a "base dweller" may somehow feel that this patent request is hurting or endangering his way of life, as such will respond to that in the best way he deems fit. Possibly trying to undermine or "hurt" the event best as possible. Unfortunately that doesn't always get the desired results. And it seems the Python group isn't fully anticipating on this.
If you look at The Python blog you'll notice this for yourself. There are 3 things people can do:
1) If you work in a company that uses Python write them a company letter about it.
2) Send word of EU publications which use the name Python.
3) Financially support them.
Its good, people who want to help the cause should especially look into items 2 and 3. But where does this leave the average "base dwelling" Python programmer?
Also note this specific quote: "Please do consider helping the PSF in any way you can.".
I am generalizing here; but what could a Python using and loving scriptkiddie do best to help them out ?
That is IMO part of the program. They should try to tunnel all of that. I dunno; host a forum somewhere where people can spout of their annoyances about it. It may not really help them, but at least people get the feeling that they're actually doing something (useful). And I think that could help those people to get some steam off and maybe could provide evidence by itself when looking at the possible numbers.
At least its good to read that these folks got legal counsel; very smart move right there.
Or they're simply young and try to copy their surroundings.
And some people simply never stop doing that. I wouldn't call that a personality issue, its simply a way of life. Many people copy behaviour from their surroundings.
This even goes as far as a simple conversation. Many don't even realize it but people will even copy behaviour there. During a simple conversation try (casually) scratching / stroking your chin (or beard if you have one). Most likely you'll see this behaviour copied by others, without them even realizing it. Doesn't have to be an exact copy of course; but if you touch your face chances are high others will too.
People copy others, its in their genes. Why do you think commercials and ads are such a big deal and make so much money ?
"To sell stuff".
Sure; but how do you explain that you can sell stuff by merely showing it to someone? Because some have this urge that "they want to have it too"; they want to copy / mimic.
The money sits with a combination of both.
It was for very good reasons why company employee's were allowed to copy the version of WordPerfect (4 / 5) from their work and use it at home. Even for private usage. Better yet; this behaviour was even openly and actively promoted.
In more than one case business use sterns from home use. Don't underestimate the situations where $boss learns a new product, also learns that the same product (but a more expensive version) can be used in the office and as such now pushes $product forward as that which everyone should use.
Although many would go for "pick a product which works best" most will "pick a product they know".
MS didn't miss it; they screwed up is all...
What this whole mobile drama is basically showing is that Microsoft has no feel for innovation what so ever. Sure; they have some nice ideas and such here and there (sometimes controversial; look at the ribbon for example) but basically nothing fully innovating.
Look at their mobile stuff; at first with CE and Windows Mobile the whole idea was to make the phone look and feel like Windows. Including the start menu. Sometimes that really didn't add up at all. And don't get me started on that stupid stylus you always needed...
Basically: their main revenue came from desktop and as such everything should be modelled after it.
Now they finally discovered touch and found a pretty good working interface for their phone. I really like Metro on the Windows Phone itself since it allows you to quickly add and remove stuff and in general gives you quick access to the features you quickly want / need to access.
Yet now they're trying to go the other way around; it seems MS puts more value into mobile than desktop and as such, you guessed it, all should be based on the mobile segment.
Basically; they hope the new revenue comes from mobile and as such everything should be modelled after it.
So; what happens when it turns out they're wrong and the desktop segment turns out to be larger than anticipated. Or worse; it doesn't WANT to be "pushed" ?
MS didn't miss the bandwagon; they simply ruined all the opportunities they had.
I've been very happy with Oracle as of late...
Since Oracle's latest (mis)fortunes really helped my (small!) firm on making some rather drastic decisions. We're a small IT company doing a lot of things; main tasks lie in systems administration, website hosting, development (usually customer specific software) and information management.
Development has always been a rather (very) small portion of it all and because I've been quite experienced with Java that has always been the language which was used. For several reasons, amongst which my own experience, whenever I needed help (hired temporary co-worker) there was hardly a problem finding a Java guy, safety / security (Java actually has a Security manager (link to API docs) build right in which enhances this feel for security) and of course the cross-platform aspect (though it has mostly been Windows).
Alas; the latest Java mishappens also eventually found their way towards our totally non-technical customers who started asking questions. And that is something you really don't want to happen; esp. since security has always been a major aspect for us. Of course the main issue sits at browser level right now, but for a customer "Java" is "Java"; and right now "Java is dangerous / bad".
And that's where you get a little forced into a situation...
And so we're currently migrating. From Java to .NET; the web part is being rewritten in ASP.NET, the desktop parts are likely going to be a combination of C# & VB (depending on external help) and Centos / Glassfish / Apache is being replaced with Win2k8 / IIS.
Whether this is for good or bad; I dunno. So far its massively more expensive and a huge investment for my company (VS 2012 vs. NetBeans, CentOS / Glassfish vs. Win2k8 (both VPS so the extra costs isn't /that/ high) and not to forget all the work which goes into all this). But a good thing (IMO) is that we're also dropping MySQL in favour of PSQL for this environment. Since we're changing anyway we might as well do it right (and with ODBC / .NET integration the underlying engine doesn't differ all that much).
Even so; we have Oracle to thank for it. And although I don't quite feel "at home" with C# as much as I do with Java I have to say that the transition so far going smoother than I had anticipated. At least I can continue working with VP UML since that easily embeds itself into Visual Studio just like it does in NetBeans. Without extra costs! You don't have to get VS Enterprise for UML support you know; a mere $100,- is all you need.
Well, that's one down, how many more to go? :-)
Rumour has it...
...That the delay is caused because no one bothered to inform the XBox department. It seems XBox sits completely on Messenger functionality when it comes to online playing and all other specific XBox online activities.
One department apparently had no clue what so ever about the other department and was >< close to simply wrecking it.
I don't know if this is true or not, its a rumour I've picked up from multiple directions within my surroundings, but it is the kind of rumour I consider to be very plausible.
Last week we saw how Bill Gates wasn't so happy with the strategy on the mobile market. Well, here's another disaster in the making; while Messenger can be used on the Windows phone even when its locked, Skype cannot. I've tried Skype on Windows but ugh...
btw; Has Microsoft ever stopped to think about how company employees might feel about this? After all; Messenger is basically part of the OS whereas Skype is an 'evil' third party program. Ok; maybe being I'm a bit silly here, but there are plenty of companies where Messenger is allowed partly because of this.
How long will it last?
"In a statement, Tony Bates, president of Microsoft's Skype division, said that all Lync users would be able to share presence, IM, and voice communications with Skype users by June, with Lync-to-Skype video connectivity planned for some time in the next 18 months."
That's almost the same kind of story which Messenger users got, and now look where we're at; they're about to pull the plug on it.
SO; how long before they'll do the same to Lync?
And yes; I know Skype doesn't provide the same functionality as Lync does, but that hasn't stopped MS before; just take a look at Messenger vs. Skype on the Windows Phone...
Why not the other way around?
The Higgs particle didn't quite survive long in our reality or universe. So why can't it be the other way around instead; our universe taking the place of another ?
I only hope...
That this will be an accessory and won't replace the dual-shock controller; I just love that critter. You get a lot of controls at your fingertips and quite frankly the force feedback in that thing never stops to amaze me (provided its put to good use of course; some games excel in this, while others fail miserably).
I recently ran into Trisqual GNU/Linux and I have to say that its been very pleasant working with this one as an alternative desktop.
The distribution is based on Ubuntu but obviously doesn't copy all the lame nastyness which has been added as of late. If you're interested then here you can find a whole chart explaining how they set things up.
Their whole motto is basically providing a Linux distribution which is fully free, or in their words: "Trisquel is different. We naturally want to bring you an operating system that is tight, beautiful, and robust. We want your software to be feature-rich and work exactly as you expect it to. But we'll never compromise your freedom, either." (see their FAQ page here).
All in all a pretty decent distribution IMO, I enjoyed working with this one on occasion.
But /why/ ?
It seems to me that this whole "public domain" argument is more aiming towards making a statement then actually changing something for the benefit of FOSS.
Because in the whole article there is no argument given, - none what so ever -, how FOSS would actually benefit from all this. All we're getting are several comments on how copyright and such are outdated. For example:
"This Article argues that this IP-based approach [used by free and open-source licenses], while perhaps helpful in the beginning, is no longer necessary and in fact prevents the movements from reaching their full potential."
So what exactly is this full potential ?
Quite frankly I would have expected this to be mentioned in this article as well. If you're going to write about such topics then please come up with something a little more than merely spouting some seemingly random comments.
SO I dug up the following from the mentioned paper which curious enough is still but a draft and one which really could use some proper formatting and outlining. Its sheer hell to read, possible also why the author of this article only managed to copy a quote from the beginning...
Alas; the author first compares the public domain ("PD") model against trademarks and copyright. How he feels that those are automatically linked to FOSS is way beyond me: "A PD approach, therefore, would need to effectively override any copy rights, waive any patent rights (both with respect to any patent rights already obtained as well as prospectively), and relinquish any remedies that come with either". (page 35).
Here you see the first fail IMO. Because the author never seems to think about "the opposition". For example: would Python have been put in the PD then chances were very high that the company which is now allegedly trying to get a patent on the name could actually do so (since its completely free) after which they would fully own Python and all the assets that come with it.
I guess the author would consider that a huge win for FOSS but I only see a major failure there.
The author then goes on with arguments such as: "Containing the prospect of Trolls" (how ironic!).
He argues that a direct benefit of PD would be to limit the likelyhood of "IP Trolls". Well, I beg to differ as can be seen above. Another aspect which the author seems to be totally unaware of is how the whole patenting system actually works.
As you can see here (link to the official instructions on how to oppose a patent) one of the requirements to oppose a patent is: "In general terms, an opponent must have rights in an earlier trade mark or other form of trade sign.".
Needless to say but if you put your stuff in the PD sector you don't even have so much as copyright anymore. So instead of preventing "IP trolls" I'd say its much safer to assume that it will actually increase it. There is enough value within FOSS which a lot of companies would like to get their hands on, you can be sure of that.
Alas; all I see is a lot of 'blah blah' and theoretical approaches without being able to give one substantial argument as to how FOSS would benefit. All I see is people wanting change because of the change, possible hoping they'll be "immortalized" themselves for suggesting it.
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