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* Posts by ShelLuser

1795 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

GNOME project picks JavaScript as sole app dev language

ShelLuser
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Pint

@Captain TickTock

It's critical that everyone understands this decision as a plan to elevate the language, bindings, tools, and documentation to a level of quality we have not yet achieved.

Looks a lot more rational than it's being made out to be.

Quite the contrary IMO. Because what he's saying there is that choosing a specific programming language will allow them to "elevate the language, bindings, tools and documentation". How on earth would the choice for a programming language effect your documentation for example ?

That makes absolutely 0 sense to me.

Also; a language alone doesn't bring in better tools; that's the programmers job. So if they feel their current batch of programmers isn't up to making tools of their desired quality (IMO that is what he's saying there) then how would changing the language effect this?

So I don't quite agree with you; all I'm reading is a lot of talk without any meaning.

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ShelLuser
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Windows

Another doo-doo ?

"He also points out that web apps galore use JavaScript and that Microsoft is comfortable with JavaScript for Windows 8 apps."

Now, please keep in mind that I'm not a professional developer, but even I can see something really out of place here... Sure; Microsoft is comfortable with HTML5 & JavaScript for Windows (8) Store apps.

Lets look at some of the highlights of what a Windows Store App is all about (as can be read on the MSDN page here):

  • They run in a single window that fills the entire screen by default.
  • They automatically work with a variety of input sources, including touch, pen, mouse, and keyboard.
  • They install easily and uninstall cleanly.
  • Instead of static icons, they use live tiles that can display notifications.
  • You can write Windows Store apps in a variety of languages, such as C# and Visual Basic with XAML, C++ with XAML or DirectX, and JavaScript with HTML/CSS.

I wouldn't quite compare that to the default programs which you normally get on a desktop-like environment such as Gnome (or KDE). These programs are meant to be light weight (sort of) because they run in a closed and locked down environment (the void we once knew as Metro).

Another thing which the "Gnome Guys" seem to completely ignore is while Microsoft may have been comfortable with this; hundreds if not thousands of Window-based programmers weren't so enthusiast about the idea (in all fairness; that was also fuelled by the rumours that MS would drop .NET).

If you want to use Microsoft as an example; then why not use their .NET framework model as well? You know: a common runtime combined with a specific language specification and then stack several languages on top of that so that the programmers can choose what they like best while still complying to whatever standards you want to use, no matter what language they prefer ?

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Google, Mozilla, show off in-browser video chat

ShelLuser
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Windows

Interesting development, however...

"that allows browser-to-browser chat without the need for plugins but with permission required to activate cameras and microphones."

Maybe I'm a bit too cynical here, but I can't help wonder how long it'll take before this development gets teens and other computer illiterates into problems because 3rd parties were spying on them without their knowledge or permission ?

The reason for my cynicism should be obvious: quite some people already had to get used to Messenger(-like) programs which didn't fully close down after you clicked the X button. So imagine their approach to a common browser...

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Oracle blocks security hole with quick, hot 'n' premature Java update

ShelLuser
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I think the damage has already been done

First the most obvious part; reputation. Back in the Sun days Java had a reputation of being secure, you could also see some "proof" of this due to several banks and financial institutions building their solutions based on Java SE and EE. Deserved or not is something I can't tell, it does strike me as odd that some current exploits also manage to target SE5 and the likes (which, in all honesty, was EOL'd before the Oracle invasion) but the fanboy in me (I'll be honest here) can't help wonder; most of those SE5 exploits target the latest 5u22 update. Is that still a pristine Sun release or has Oracle added some of their "cosmetic only" changes into it ?

I'd check this for myself weren't it for the fact that you can't download these versions any longer without an Oracle account. Needless to say; I don't have one, even demanded that they'd remove it (I did used to have a Sun / SunSolve account).

Now that reputation took a blow, which shouldn't be underestimated IMO. For many people in my surroundings Java used to be somewhat of a "vague environment" which "obviously was robust". Those opinions will clearly have shifted with Java exploits hitting global media.

But the second part could be much more dire: competition.

When taking a look at some of the competitors in the field you'll quickly notice that in some cases competitors provide solutions which can do the same by using far less code. Less code by definition also means quicker results, whether for good or worse. But which could very well make it suddenly much more appealing to jump ships.

Sure; this development has been going on for quite some time now, people even used to criticize Sun because they were very reluctant with adding specific new developments to the Java core engines.

But back then Java wasn't openly criticized in the media for being insecure and something people should be careful with. Would you tell your customers that "Our website was build on Java, robust as it can get!" in these days ? Not sure, but I don't think it'll have the positive effects you may have hoped for.

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Introducing the Open Source Rookie of the Year... Whoa, it's Microsoft

ShelLuser
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Windows

@AC

Most likely not. Which is why I ended my response with the warning that all things aside we should never forget that in the end Microsoft is still a company. And hopefully we all know what those want first...

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ShelLuser
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Windows

Some care adviced, but even so...

I have to concur that Microsoft as a company seems to be very friendly towards smaller companies, private developers and well; the public in general.

To be honest I only discovered their CodePlex website only last week and I was quite surprised. Especially since they allow you to put anything you want up there, you're not limited to Microsoft products alone. I quote: "projects can use any technology (e.g. any operating system or programming language).". Or what about the license, surely you need a Microsoft approved license here, right? Yes, and no... The accepted licenses are limited, as you can see here but still include the Apache License, GPL, LGPL, BSD, MIT and even Microsoft Public Licenses. And if you have something that isn't listed you can always contact them.

What also strikes me as solid are their licensing terms. All sites of this sort have many licensing terms to protect their own interests. Its a common. SourceForge: "All information, data, text, software, music, sound, photographs, graphics, video, messages, or any other materials whatsoever (collectively, “Content”), whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such Content originated. This means that the user, and not Dice, is entirely responsible for all Content that he or she uploads, posts, emails or otherwise transmits via the Sites.".

But please picture my surprise to find this amongst the Codeplex licenses: "Microsoft does not claim ownership of the materials you provide to Microsoft (including feedback and suggestions regarding Codeplex or other Microsoft material posted on the site) or post, upload, input or submit to any Services or its associated services for review by the general public, or by the members of any public or private community, (each a "Submission" and collectively "Submissions")." (see here for the full document.

Most of these websites solely focus on relaying responsibility and making sure they can't be hold liable for actions taken by their users. Very few of them are so open and clear about who eventually owns the contents. Make no mistake here; in some situations this could be a big deal...

Of course there's more... We have the freely available Visual Studio products, their Express versions. I've been playing with the 2010 variants myself and although I'm no professional developer it surprises me how deep you could go. I made several PowerShell extensions by merely using C# Express 2010. You don't get as much "hand holding" (examples and such) as with the full version, but you can get things done.

Because I don't quite represent a big company I have to work with rather limited resources. As an example; my company "sits" on Server 2k3, due to hardware and cost restrictions. Even so; 2k3 performs perfectly for what I need it to do.

And what I then grew to respect and enjoy is that Microsoft still keeps full documentation for Server 2003 available. Most companies throw all the old stuff away because who needs them? People should stop whining and simply cough up and get with the program; only their latest stuff is supported. Not here.

Well, finally.. All good things aside I think the most important thing here is not to get carried away all of a sudden. Always remember that Microsoft is in the end still a company, and a company by definition wants your money over anything else. Also keep in mind where Microsoft currently stands on the global market. I'm pretty sure they're doing quite fine, but they still need all the happy customers they can get, because in some parts interest is fading, if not drastically declining.

Most of all they need to wise up here and there IMO, but that's a different story alltogether.

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Microsoft Dell deal would restore PC makers' confidence

ShelLuser
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Windows

Slightly related...

IMO the biggest mistake which Microsoft is making is to deprecate older software bundles, even if they're still being maintained. Now, this isn't something new; people have been saying this for over the years now. When Vista came out people wanted to buy into XP until that ran out; Windows 7 had a somewhat different approach but you also see this happening on other platforms.

Visual Studio 2012 for example. Now, so far it pretty much works for me (evaluating the Professional version) but only after I made some serious changes to the layout. I've seen (in forums) plenty of people who would be very happy if they could still buy VS2010 somewhere.

I think that's the kind of strategy Microsoft should be considering here. Don't call it "giving in", nah, they should think of this as a soft of exit strategy. If sales of Server 2012 aren't going as well as planned, maybe you can fill in the gaps by selling Server 2010 as well. If Windows 8 doesn't sell; keep Windows 7 around as well.

Something tells me that if you sell Server 2010 with a little discount (because its no longer maintained, only supported) you're likely to attract new customers. Don't underestimate the amount of people who buy this stuff second hand due to price concerns and lack of availability.

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Oracle loses appeal in HP row over Itanium

ShelLuser
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Pint

As a Java freak I can only say...

HA HAaaa HA HAAAA!!!!

No, I don't like Oracle as a company at all, what gave that away ?

Alas; back to the regular schedule.

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Windows Server 2012 kicks ass: discuss

ShelLuser
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Windows

Hmm...

When reading my comment again (nice to be addressed) I do think I should check on the length of my posts. I have to admit that I sometimes allow myself to get carried away a bit ;-)

Even so, not much to discuss here IMO; all has been said already, I do wish to stress out that I don't dislike PowerShell in any way, quite the opposite in fact. IMO PowerShell is one of the best admin tools Microsoft has come up with in the past few years. My main gripe sits with 3.0 (WinRM).

But I finally came to my senses and realized that it came with an update, an optional one at that. So; after uninstalling KB2506143 from Windows 7 all is right with my PowerShell again and I can finally get some decent work done once more.

When I check my 3 Windows boxes (Win7 & 2 Win2k3 servers) for errors in the eventlog I merely use:

gel -ComputerName win7,magi,macron -LogName system -EntryType Error -Newest 10

(that's -com<tab>, -lo<tab>, -en<tab> and -new<tab>)

And the best thing about PowerShell aliases; they are aliases in every way.

SO using help (get-help, man, whatever) on that 'gel' alias will also get you the full help for the command it symbolizes. In this case Get-EventLog.

...on my box that is. If you want the same: "New-Alias -Name gel -Value Get-EventLog".

"notepad $profile" and put it in there ;-)

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ShelLuser
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Windows

@Anderson

"Why does 94% of the Top 500 most powerful super computers in the world (meaning 220 plus countries) - see www.top500.org info - run Linux and/or UNIX?".

Most likely because these platforms provide those companies with the source code to the OS itself thus allowing them to tweak the OS any way they deem required so that it'll be capable to run as efficient as possible on those supercomputers.

Who knows; maybe to get virtualization more optimized so that it can run several Windows VPS's.

However, I think you're comparing apples and oranges. Because in general the goals for Windows Server lie on a completely different level. Sure, raw computing power counts too, but here there's more. When looking at the TechNet page of 2k8 (because its homepage has been replaced with 2012) you'll see traces of this: "With these operating systems you can develop, deliver, and manage rich user experiences and applications, provide a highly secure network infrastructure, and increase technological efficiency and value within your organization.".

There's more than raw computing power alone; management, efficiency, networking...

Now, whether they do or don't do a good job on those terrains is a bit irrelevant here; point is that Windows Server targets a lot more besides computing power. Most of all it doesn't provide features which allow a company to completely re-define the OS. You can tune and tweak it, sure, but all within the confines of the OS environment itself.

All of those are elements which you won't find addressed in top 500 lists such as these. So basically it doesn't really tell us anything about how great or bad an OS is. IMO it simply tells us that Linux and Unix variants allow for much more indepth tweaking.

Which I doubt anyone would deny.

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Symantec: Don't blame us for New York Times hack

ShelLuser
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Devil

What goes around comes around...

Now, obviously I tend to agree with comments above that the statement from NYT sure sounds naive to say the least.

However.. Its also fair to note that these days you don't get "virus scanners" anymore; no, you get whole "Internet protection suites", just check the product page of Symantec's Antivirus 2013: "Harness global power – only Norton™ can bring you the ultra-fast Network Defense Layer to block a multitude of threats before they can even touch your PC.

Or what to think about: "Protection from the future, available today – our exclusive reputation and behavior antivirus technology are so advanced that they can stop online threats that bad guys haven't even created yet.".

If you boast like that and something does go wrong, you're bound to tick someone off who's not going to sit quiet and simply blames himself.

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Microsoft teases IE10 for Win7 with Blocker Toolkit

ShelLuser
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Joke

Which IE10 would it be?

Don't forget; there are 2 versions on Win8. The one running on the desktop and the (sandboxed) version in TIFKAM.

Oh dear; could the delay have been caused because they're actually trying to port the whole TIFKAM crap over to Win7 (with optional bonus: the start menu removal kit (SMRK)) ?!

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I watched Excel meet 1-2-3, and beat it fair and square

ShelLuser
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Windows

@AC

"Now that .Net is has been deprecated by MS, does that mean VSTA also becomes redundant?"

Deprecated according to who ?

The latest version of Visual Studio, 2012, has recently been introduced as the de-facto platform to use for Windows 8 development. When installing it first makes sure that you have the latest .NET framework (4.5 at the time of writing) and then proceeds, providing full access to both C#.NET, VB.NET as well as ASP.NET.

Microsoft even provides .NET framework targeting packs specifically for Visual Studio 2012, you can get an overview of those here (link to MSDN site).

Sure, maybe MS prefers that people use HTML5 and Javascript to develop stuff for their new Microsoft Store (which can only be done on Windows 8 itself) but that doesn't mean they stopped caring for .NET.

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ShelLuser
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@alisonken1

I don't think people have forgotten, I think that we simply started to realize that its not only Microsoft who's been doing this.

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ShelLuser
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Windows

@Callam

Well, tight already mentioned VSTAS and from a personal experience I can also say that you can get quite a bit done with VB.NET (used VS VB.NET 2010 Express for that), although now that I'm evaluating VS 2012 myself I have to admit that there are plenty of advantages to be found there.

But speaking of VBA...

If you want to do crypto or I/O you can, depending on what stuff you have installed. Because Microsoft has provided access to that stuff from within VBA. If you're in the VB editor you can setup references for your project. And that will add functionality to that project.

For example; if you create a reference to the "Groove security context type" library then you'll get quite a bit of encryption support to work with. If you create a reference to, say, the Outlook library then you can suddenly access Outlook right from within Word.

I/O is obviously a bit too broad but depending on what you need chances are high that you'll find a library in that list which you can use. Perhaps the "Microsoft Internet controls" can do what you want..

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ShelLuser
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Windows

@FunkeyGibbon

"I like Excel, the only issue I have is with people using it as a feckin' database instead of using an actual DB."

Well, I don't fully agree there because if a program provides a certain functionality then why shouldn't people use it?

But even so, I don't think you should blame the users over this but Microsoft instead. After all; for many years now a standard Office package consisted of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. SO what do you suggest Office users should use for a database instead?

I can't really think of any usable and logical alternatives to be honest.

And as I said, my personal opinion on this matter is "if it works...".

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Microsoft: Old Internet Explorer is terrible and 'we want to help'

ShelLuser
Silver badge
FAIL

Re-inventing the wheel again ?

Microsoft has developed and maintained a website design environment called Expression Web for quite some time now. It basically allows you to administer several websites and creates a separation between coding (whether that's in HTML, Javascript, CSS, etc..) or a crude form of 'wysiwyg'; it allows to drag and drop components from a palet right into the code window or webpage preview.

One of the reasons their version 4 product immediately appealed to me was because of the "Expression Web SuperPreview" program. It sounds grand, but in a way it also is IMVHO; because this program allows you to use the browser engine of several available browsers and render the page you're making using that engine.

Better yet: it can render a page using multiple engines and show the preview side by side, even indicating where the pages differ wrt. the placement of several components.

By default it obviously supports several Explorer engines (MSIE 6 up to 9, even the compatibility view in 8 is supported), but it can also utilize the Mozilla engine (not sure about modern Firefox browsers, I stopped using FF around version 4, so version 3.6 is all I can mention as example) and it even utilizes Safari for Windows if you want to.

There is also an online service to provide support for more browsers, though I never bothered to test that.

Now, the reason I'm going "reinventing the wheel" is because Expression Web has recently been EOL'd. You can now download it for free (which includes this preview program) and the reason Microsoft gave is that it has focussed its attention on Visual Studio 2012 which should basically supersede Expression Web 4 and provide all its functionality.

Obvious question: If Visual Studio "supersedes" Expression Web then why do we need a separate tool for this when this functionality is basically part of Expression Web ?

There are many features in Expression Web which you won't find in VS 2012, that's for sure. For starters; I've become very fond of my "site manager" where I can basically point Expression Web to several websites after which it can make sure my local contents is synchronized with the remote site (either using FTP, FTPS or other means).

SO, I get the feeling that Microsoft is at its best here: they had a very decent tool, threw it away and are now re-inventing what they already had.

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Customer service rep fired for writing game that mocks callers

ShelLuser
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@Tom

Worse yet: they also seem to have no clue, what so ever, what's living amongst their own employee's. Which I think is really bad; running a business also means that you have at least >some< touch into what the employee's are up to.

I come to that conclusion because those idiots (my impression) learned about this stuff later. Not because one of David's co-workers thought it was offensive, not funny or totally misplaced (otherwise I'd assume they would have taken it up with management).

Management is simply totally clueless and are now playing their "political correct" part.

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Java open-source frameworks 'pose risk' to biz - report

ShelLuser
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Joke

@Destroy

"Next: Activities of bears in woods."

And we all know they're going to check out Yellowstone park first to see if the takeoff is real :-)

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'Silent but deadly' Java security update breaks legacy apps - dev

ShelLuser
Silver badge

Losing credibility ?

Can't speak for other firms and environments of course but it seems to me as if Java, as platform, is losing quite a bit of credibility with nonsense like this. Apart from being mentioned in mainstream media as having security issues (which in the days of Sun would have been described as a nightmare scenario since Sun really took great pride in keeping Java safe), the way things are being rolled out also leaves me with question marks.

Its good practice not to jump onto the latest bandwagon but sit it out for a while. Its also the main reason why my company still utilizes Java SE 6 and are looking into Java 7. But if you look at recent history then it seems only to have gone downhill when 7 got out.

Because not too long after its release date we started hearing stories about major flaws. And in the beginning those flaws only involved SE 7, like this one.

So I'm pretty sure that will make a lot of people wonder how feasible it really is to upgrade to 7. For a first major "Oracle release" I for one am not quite impressed with 7 so far. It has a good feature set, sure, but has also build up quite the legacy. Some people are tied into Java so to speak, so they'll just have to "go with the flow". But I can't help wonder how many people will eventually start looking for alternatives. That might even boost C# acceptance.

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Help us out here: What's the POINT of Microsoft Office 2013?

ShelLuser
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Windows

The point of Office 2013?

Simple; making sure that the resellers won't have to send back as many unsold boxes or licenses of course. Heck, I quickly grabbed a copy of 2010 Professional for the license just to be sure (should it remain unused my company can always sell it later).

But Office 2013? Not for me, I've become quite an Office 2010 fan and simply see no compelling reason what so ever to upgrade.

In my opinion MS shouldn't be focussing on trying to make the desktop look more like the cloud, they should work the other way around instead!

"SharePoint, on the other hand, continues to look like a strategic product, both for internal deployment and in the form of Office 365."

Amen to that. However; don't forget about the freely available and usable SharePoint Foundation 2010. And in case you're wondering about the differences (apart from the price) between the versions then check out this comparison chart.

(both are links to SharePoint related & Microsoft hosted website).

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Apple, Google tumble off top 20 trusted companies list

ShelLuser
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Joke

Makes me wonder...

Where Sony is located, iirc they weren't mentioned.

Considering the PSN outage not too long ago I can only guess :-)

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Dell buyout stalled by Microsoft, low takeover price?

ShelLuser
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Windows

@Eadon

"This strategy by MS will fail. There isn't room for two Apple's on this planet, and MS do not have the strategy to out-compete Apple."

I hope you do realize that Dell provides more than merely consumer PC's? From personal experience I can say that their servers and business customer support are pretty good.

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Hackers squeeze through DVR hole, break into CCTV cameras

ShelLuser
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Facepalm

Why not start with decent password policies?

Now, I think its good to have some attention for the risk of intrusions and the likes. However, it would sound more impressive if these agencies actually used some sane password policies to begin with.

Generalizing here, I know, but every once in a while you read stories where "hackers" gained access to such devices by merely guessing (!) the password. Because it is the street the device is in, or because no one bothered to change the factory defaults, or because all devices which fall under the supervision of a single police station all use the name of said station as password (a scenario which was discovered in Holland some time ago), etc.

Having some attention for security is a good thing, but I'd say start at the beginning.

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Microsoft tries to sell home Office users on subscription pricing

ShelLuser
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@Eadon

Well, we're now mixing up the topic (business use vs. private use) but yeah, I see where you're getting at.

Although I don't fully agree with you on this part, I do agree that the free variants (Libre- / Open Office) could easily cope in this scenario as well, featurewise that is.

But using the open source variants doesn't have to be less expensive perse. Because although the purchase price is 0 with the open source variants the maintenance costs are not. And if a school is already using a full Microsoft environment then obtaining and implementing updates for the Office environment would take no extra effort than performing maintenance for the underlying OS.

With the open source variants otoh school admins would have to improvise a little to keep that software up to date with the rest. For example; the update release cycle won't follow the Microsoft cycle perse, and sometimes issues are dire enough that an upgrade is required ASAP.

Obviously your milage may vary. I can think of plenty of situations where these arguments won't apply, but stating that open Libre / Open Office will always be less expensive in usage than MS Office, esp. for businesses, is IMO not true. There's more to be reckoned with than purchase price alone

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ShelLuser
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Stop

@HolyFreakinGhost

"And with that attitude professionally you'll soon never have to send anyone a document again!"

You're right there, but for completely different reasons than you may realize. I think the OP makes a perfect argument, and lets not forget that we're talking about home usage here, NOT business use.

But about that sending... A few months ago a friend of mine setup a list of stuff (todo list) for me and a couple of other people. Basically the idea to 'share' some sort of knowledge base. Needless to say; in daily (work) life he's using MS Office but at home its all LibreOffice for him.

He didn't sent us any format at all; he sent us the URL of a text document which he put online using the Google tools. I clicked, and could view and edit. Even though I don't have a Google account (nor have any desire to get one).

To some extend you can always accomplish the same using SkyDrive (though I'm not 100% sure about that anymore considering the major changes MS made in this field recently).

My point: with the OP's attitude he doesn't even HAVE to send documents around. IMVHO.

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ShelLuser
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Windows

@Oninoshiko

Agreed.

This is one of those situations where MS Office isn't the best choice IMO. In fact; although it may sound very cost effective at first you'll effectively end up paying (much) more in the longer run while you actually get a lot less functionality, esp. in comparison to other solutions.

Because if you keep that subscription for 2 years you're already paying much more than a single copy of the desktop version. And although the license of that desktop version doesn't allow multiple installations one could ask him- herself how many times it would happen when everyone will be working with Office at exactly the same time? Quite possibly the license could be shared.

But most of all; in comparison to the online variants of MS Office I think its safe to say that both LibreOffice as well as OpenOffice can featurewise blow it out of the water so to speak. For no additional costs at all.

I'd say people are actually better off with the open source variants in this scenario. Because if, for whatever reason, you do run into a situation where some of the more advantaged features could come in handy then you're pretty much screwed with Office 365. Its quite a decent product, but by far comparable to a desktop version featurewise. The open source variants otoh. do provide all you might need as a home users, even more, and for a lot less money too.

With plans like these I don't see Microsoft coming out on top. Too expensive while providing too little features.

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Just too damn lazy to reach your phone? Pick up the remote

ShelLuser
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Joke

Gimme GPS instead ;-)

Because with GPS I'll be able to locate my remote no matter where it has gone to ;-)

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Google fills in the blanks on North Korea map data

ShelLuser
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Joke

For Google's sake...

I hope the North Korean government doesn't hold a patent on "mapping North Korea".

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Why did your outsourced IT fall over? Cos you weren't on Twitter

ShelLuser
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WTF?

Uhm, no?

"Executives will have to constantly monitor their outsourcers - even if it means using social networks - if they want to get value for money, according to Gartner analysts in a startling report for 2013.".

Now, I'm no expert mind you but when a customer asks me to do 'A', which I then estimate to get completed in 2 months, then how on earth is using social media or whatever other monitoring going to do increase the value of my work ? You'll know for sure if you got value for your money after those 2 months.

So if you want / need more value for your money then why not start with making better agreements ?

Or maybe actually doing a better job; because if you're losing money whenever $contractor doesn't perform then you're a dumbass who should have setup a much better bargain. Can't say I have much experience on this front, but two times my company also worked on a job where we agreed that if we couldn't meet the schedule the customer wouldn't have to pay the full price (was kind of a high profile job, pretty cool).

Said customer could have looked at twitter and facebook all day long, but that sure as heck wouldn't have changed zip about the agreement nor the way we did our work.

I get the feeling that someone is creating the perfect excuse here for a lot of people who will now spend most of their day wasting time on social media, while they should be doing their job. Oh well; maybe those guys can now blame it all on Gartner ;-)

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Microsoft teases possible Jan. 29 launch for Office 2013

ShelLuser
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@Khaptain

"I read a study once that even reasonably knowledgeable users, use only about 7% of Excels capabilites. I presume that with word it is not much different."

Of that I'm certain. Most Office programs can go much deeper than most expect, this holds even more truth the very moment where you start using VBA based code. For example; the very moment you start to look into adding references to your VBA project the possibilities expand dramatically; there are 'solutions' (libraries) available which provide SNMP services (which I use in an Excel sheet for generating real-time server status overviews), fax services right to gaining access to other Office components or even VBScript regepx if you need them.

However; I think Microsoft is aware and even tries to utilize this to their benefit. Think for example about Office 365; it seems that everywhere you look they'd rather see you pick up an Office 365 subscription than actually buy into the desktop version of Office. Even though Office 365 doesn't provide all the functionality which you get with the desktop versions.

My main concern is that they're going to continue to provide less functionality themselves by leaving it all up to others to fill in the blanks. While still charging the same prices for it of course.

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Apple users: Only Apple can track us! Not Google

ShelLuser
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Windows

@o5ky

Don't forget that the same kind of thing also happened on MSIE (link to El Reg article), I quote: "“When the IE team heard that Google had bypassed user privacy settings on Safari, we asked ourselves a simple question: is Google circumventing the privacy preferences of Internet Explorer users too?” Dean Hachamovitch, VP of Internet Explorer wrote in a blog post. “We’ve discovered the answer is yes: Google is employing similar methods to get around the default privacy protections in IE and track IE users with cookies.”".

Only Microsoft has also released data which should show this behaviour.

Hmm, Apple and Microsoft against Google, now that's a somewhat odd combination IMO.

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Lotus 1-2-3 rebooted: My trip back to the old (named) range

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AFAIK

"Sadly I could not persuade the currency format to display anything other than the dollar symbol, but no doubt there is a way.".

There is way, I'm very certain because it was something we actually had to learn for our exam. Its been ages, the article sure brings back good memories, but iirc...

/range -> format -> currency

I think that's the main menu location from which you can (obviously) set a range of numbers to be displayed as currency but that should also be the place (/range -> format) where you can customize the format itself.

Obviously I'm not sure. Would I have a copy of Lotus 123 lying around I'd sure be tempted to look into it but no such luck (though I think I do have the original box with 5.25" disks somewhere on the addict).

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Dead Steve Jobs tried to KILL Ashton Kutcher from beyond the grave

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FAIL

Showing off our stupidity eh?

Does this guy have any working braincells or is he simply too focussed on staying in the (press) spotlight here?

You can't "just" take over someones habbits and think you'll get away with it, especially when it involves very specific things like a way of clothing or an eating pattern. A friend of mine always wears a bodywarmer. And I mean that literally; always.

When we have winter weather like now he does put on an extra scarf (?) around his neck but that's it. Without any extra clothing he simply puts on his bodywarmer and steps right outside. Even with -10 to -15 degrees. And most of all he feels perfectly fine with it. And no; its not because he's extra cold resistant or something, quite the contrary actually. Whenever I visit him I often think its pretty warm in his house.

SO... Surely it shouldn't be that hard to realize that if you try to follow his example while you're used to wearing warm and thick jackets in the winter that you'll most likely end up with a major cold or maybe even worse?

Makes me wonder what's next; is this guy now going to conclude that Mr. Jobs lived a very unhealthy life or something?

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Lotus 1-2-3 turns 30: Mitch Kapor on the Google before Google

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@Thad

Afaik the name came from being able to perform 3 main tasks; you could process values (spreadsheet), you could create graphics from those values and you could use it as some form of database.

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ShelLuser
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Happy

The impressive part was the cooperation IMO

I lived and enjoyed Lotus 1-2-3 like so many others. And quite frankly I have to grin when thinking back about the huge sheet sections I made; totally filled with macro's in order to automate several steps; you could basically write an entire program with that. It didn't run too fast but oh well.

No, but the really impressive part in my opinion was the cooperation between the leading companies back then. Instead of what we see happening now, where the only thing they seem to do is slapping each other in the face with patents, they actually cooperated and allowed other vendors to access their stuff too.

I could make a table in WordPerfect; but I could also create a link with a Lotus 1-2-3 sheet; both programs could work together (sort off). The same applied to dBase III; Lotus could be used as a database (and also a database to contain your addressee's for example) but it was often easier to write such a program using dBase (or Clipper). And then the same thing applied: WordPerfect had no issues accessing said data either.

IIRC (not fully sure anymore) the same applied between Lotus 1-2-3 and dBase.

And all of that in a time where we had no such thing as Open Document Standards and the likes.

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Microsoft may be readying Outlook for ARM – or not

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Windows

Will they go all the way then?

From what I understand the main issue that Outlook won't properly run on Windows RT is due to the network connection and the way the OS "hibernates"; it basically throttles the CPU to run extremely slow thus saving battery power while still having the option to remain connected. A pristine Outlook is said not to be able and cope with that.

But another Outlook issue, one which has been going on for ages now, is the issue of the "Hotmail connector" (plugin / add-on) which is not capable to fully synchronize all the data with Hotmail, Outlook.com or whatever Microsoft decides to call it later. Contact information and calendar appointments will be synced but todo items won't. I know I've been repeating this issue for quite a few times now, but honestly; todo's can really make or break your workflow. Which is why this is such a huge deal to me.

Another aspect is that Outlook simply excels at this feature. Example: when I write an e-mail to someone I can immediately tell Outlook that I want to follow up on it. In the same Window in which I write the e-mail I can tell Outlook that I want a reminder about this e-mail today, tomorrow, this week, next week or customize it. A feature which is IMVHO invaluable. I use it a lot when sending out "e-bills". It reminds me to look into payments; has someone paid their bill within the 31 day limit? If not I need to follow up on it, if they did I can simply mark the task as "done" and be done with it.

So although this sounds like a good thing I can't help wonder; will they only change stuff so that Outlook runs at all on Windows RT or will they go all the way and finally add the missing link so that the "Hotmail connector" will be capable of synchronizing everything you want ?

I don't think I'll keep my hopes up though. Its not that I have anything against Microsoft, I don't perse, but its just that I've seen too many incomplete and unfinished products being released as of late and even good products (IMO that is) sort of being thrown away (discontinued).

Quite frankly I won't be surprised if they manage to get Outlook going on Windows RT yet with the same limitations which we still have on the desktop (see above). Though I do honestly hope that Microsoft is going to surprise us for a change.

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Panasonic: We'll save Earth by turning CO2 INTO BOOZE

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@Roger

Absolutely!

But don't stop there; once you have the patent you should then try to sue every farmer you can think of for patent violation. Who knows; with a little luck (and some dumb judges and patent office people) you'll be rich in no time!

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Microsoft acknowledges the long and winding road ahead

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Windows

Constantly failing user experience...

... and it only gets worse :-(

I guess I'm a bit of a "Microsoftie"; now almost 2 years ago I upgraded my Vista box to Windows 7, started using it as desktop and started experimenting with Office 2010 several months later, so far I really enjoyed that ride. Sure; Windows has its twirks and oddities, but it also has plenty of key strengths in my opinion.

And I liked the extra's too. For example; I quite often use Messenger on both the desktop and my Winphone which is quite nice. Not for video chatting mind you; but simply text messaging. I also discovered other products, for example; although I'm not a die-hard (web) developer I do enjoy working with programs such as Expression Web 4 (web design software) or even the free (Express) versions of Visual Studio.

But I think Microsoft is totally losing focus on several fronts, and is even ignoring possible revenue.

For example; I bought Expression Web 4 (approx. $160,-, say E 100,- at that time) and liked it. Even recommended it to others. Now I discovered that they're going to discontinue the product (link to official Expression product page). Because web applications are rising they're "consolidating": "As part of this consolidation, Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 provides the leading web development tool, which enables you to design, develop, and maintain websites and web applications.".

Now; I haven't tried VS 2012 (Express) yet because I'm not looking forward to the new Interface but also because I'm happy with the current version. But solely based on my Visual Web developer 2010 (Express) experiences I really wonder if the same functionality is being provided. Its main aim is after all web applications. And that's not mentioning that getting a regular Visual Studio license is a LOT more expensive than Expression web was.

Good news for others is that you can now pick up Expression Web & Expression Design for free.

Messenger? Its being discontinued in March and so I decided to perform the advised upgrade last evening. What a disappointment.... Skype is SO not Messenger. Now; I'm not "dissing" Skype here (not perse anyway) but if the first thing you're greeted with is "Buy skype credits" and "You don't have a premium account!" you know you're in for a commercial ride. I thought GoDaddy was bad by trying to provoke me into buying all sorts of extra stuff...

I want to check my profile? The first I see is "Go premium". I don't WANT to, I want to check my fscking profile. And the last thing I need is a subscription. Yet that constantly gets shoved in my face. Not even Messenger was this intrusive!

And well; how I should logon to my new Skype account on my Windows Phone 7.5 is something not even the Skype community can tell you. I was about to ask when I came across that thread.

So basically a good working environment is being replaced for another although it doesn't provide all the functionality yet (for example; I can't receive incoming text messages on Skype while my Winphone is locked).

Way to go Microsoft!

And they remain totally clueless it seems. The new Surface RT? You can do a lot; but if you read closely you'll see that you won't be able to sync your todo items with a desktop Outlook version. Just like you still can't do this for Windows Phone. The main reason why this is so is because the Outlook 2010 (and 2013) connector plugin doesn't support synchronizing todo items with your Hotmail (or Outlook.com) account. Thus also rendering it unusable for external devices.

And so in a few months I also won't be able to receive incoming chat messages which my gf typed on her computer. Simply because the Skype client on Windows Phone 7.5 stops running the very moment the phone is locked.

Microsoft really needs to realize that customer experience is key in a market where you actually have to compete. At this point I'd still advice to go for Windows and Office in several cases because those products have several advantages to them. But... No; Not Windows 8 and Office 2013; my advice is to get Windows 7 and Office 2010 now that its still available.

And at this point the only thing I can say about my Windows Phone is that I still like the experience (not too sure after March), but now I wouldn't recommend it to others any more nor am I that sure if my next phone will be a Winphone. Which is somewhat of a shame, because in my opinion they started so good (link to Youtube Windows/Winphone commercial).

But THAT is IMO the real problem Microsoft is facing. Because you see; I'm sure that I don't stand alone with this. Its happening on all fronts. I see gamers on Youtube getting fed up with a totally non-functional Kinect in certain games, where the promise is always that "its going to be fixed".

I still see complaints in Visual Studio forums about new changes and removed features from the VS 2013 version. And it seems that a large part of the Windows phone community also gets the feeling that they're being left in the dark.

People are actually "fighting" Microsoft because they see that MS is ruining the product they came to love and enjoy so much. Surely it shouldn't be THAT hard to recognize that this is a totally unhealthy situation for any firm which is trying to be better than its competitors ?

Because the moment those people give up the "fight" is also the moment where you may very well have lost them as a customer. And big changes often start very small....

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Brit mastermind of Anonymous PayPal attack gets 18 months' porridge

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@AC2

I don't think you can seriously compare that.

The protest of those taxi drivers was announced (so people could prepare); the protest blocked roads, sure, but also left roads open so that transportation was hindered but not totally rendered impossible. Also; it was a local action (Paris) which didn't hinder the rest of the country nor the rest of the world.

And most of all; the actions of said taxi drivers didn't prevent grandma from picking up her groceries and paying for them.

The attack on those websites weren't merely hindering those financial companies; they also made it completely impossible for several consumers all around the world to get things done, effectively not merely hindering but /preventing/ certain people from simply earning their income.

Part of that was due to the fact that their actions were never announced; otherwise one could argue that vendors and others could have prepared for the outage.

I have no opinion on the sentences themselves, but I do think you can't quite compare these two situations.

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Victims of 'revenge pr0n' sue GoDaddy, smut site

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Why did they pose naked in the first place?

Now; before I go on I know that I'm making a few assumptions here. Since these ladies remain anonymous and no specific pictures are being identified as being "malicious" its all we can basically do.

But when I visit this website I see a majority of pictures where women seem to pose naked and quite willingly too. Sometimes even assuming an erotic kind of position themselves. So; why allow that to be taken and why not protest immediately then and there? Each to his own of course; but you read so many stories about nudies ending up online these days...

And I fully well realize that people most likely trusted each other with this material when it was made. Sure. But even then; in a lot of cases digital material can also end up online without the knowledge or consent of the owner. Think about malware and other crap which manages to obtain data.

Please note than I'm not trying to justify this behaviour. Quite frankly I think its plain out disgusting (and that's putting it mildly) to expose an (ex) (girl)friend like that. In fact it tells us much more about the other spouse than the person on the picture IMNSHO.

And of course; there are also plenty of pictures where my comment doesn't apply at all. Simply facial pictures of a fully dressed girl for example. But having said all that; I still think there could very be more sides to the story than we're hearing right now.

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No UK date, no biz disties: Will Microsoft cock-up the Surface Pro too?

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@Wardy01

"Windows 8 was never intended to be a corporate / business product."

I think you should contact Microsoft about this then because when I look at the Windows 8 product page it not only tells me that Windows 8 is "great for Work and Play", it also tells me that its a whole new era for PC's. And as an example they show a picture of what I assume to be a cashier who now holds a tablet instead of using a PC for her administration.

Another reason why I think Microsoft may not agree is because they even used the Windows 8 environment, including the whole metro kaboodle, and then embedded it into their new server 2012 line.

SO although I agree with your message, I also wouldn't let Win8 run amok in my business either, I think Microsoft really did intend for it to be used in that market as well.

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'Op! Op! Op!' Gangnam Style earns Google $8m

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Re: That proves it (IMO)

but it'd be disingenuous to argue a whole business model based on a tiny subset of available data points.

Although I agree with you on that subject this is still how the anti piracy agencies are treating us as a whole. When it comes to (digital) media like blank CDR's, tapes and such we even have to pay extra taxes in order to support the "protection of the rights of artists" (at least here in Holland).

And although radio stations broadcast music they surely don't want people to use media and actually record all of that, when you buy a CD and want to make a copy for your own usage (or to put it on your media player) then even that gets blocked sometimes.

Even though, in general, the most income is generated by live performances.

There's a very good reason why Psy is touring like crazy right now; one moment he's in the US, then back in Korea, then all of sudden somewhere in Japan or China.

And quite frankly; I don't think he would have been were it not for sharing his Gangnam Style video.

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ShelLuser
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Pint

That proves it (IMO)

You can make money in music by giving away your product for free.

Although IMO that has been proven way before this news; the fact that a lot of people want to see Psy live is enough prove as well.

So; anyone of the anti-piracy groups care to explain to me how this is possible, while we can all simply download Psy's hit song for free right from Youtube and put it onto our mobile music players?

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Tech firms face massive tax bill if Dutch vote to end loopholes

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All about the money...

"Last month, the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body, declared a war on tax avoidance and evasion, which it said costs the EU 1 trillion euros a year."

How on earth could it cost the EU money when a US firm decides to move their HQ to the Netherlands (or put differently: within the EU)? The way I see it the Netherlands (and as such the EU) only gain extra income; if the company wouldn't be there then several people wouldn't be employed there either. And that's not mentioning local taxes, which maybe lower than in the US but such firms are still required to pay taxes nonetheless.

Another aspect could be if a company from EU country 'A' decides to move their HQ to EU country 'N' (..etherlands?) so that they don't need to pay as much taxes. While the company pays less they're still generating (tax) revenue of which a large chunk is most likely to end up with the EU as well.

The EU can whine all they want but I think the bottom line of that story is that they're simply jealous and would much rather see the money which these companies manage to save to end up in their own pockets.

Quite frankly I think they should be careful there. Because if they make it less appealing for those companies to have their "virtual HQ" residing in the EU you can bet that they'll also be as quickly gone as they came. And some (tax) income is always better than no (tax) income at all.

Or as we Dutch use to say: "Wie het onderste uit de kan wil, krijgt het deksel op zijn neus.".

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Microsoft's Intel-powered Surface Pro to launch in February

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Better off with a Windows Phone

...at least that's what I think.

I mean, when looking at the comparison chart for the Surface RT and the Pro you'll notice quite a bit of differences, and I'm not only referring to the difference in price ($499 for RT vs. $899 for Pro).

For example; at least the RT comes with a Home edition of Office. Sure; its a stripped down Office since you won't be able to get Outlook functionality, but its still Office. The Pro version doesn't include such a thing, even though the price sits quite higher.

Also note how on that same comparison page they're actually trying to sell features which have nothing to do with the Surface itself but fully come from the underlying OS. I'm talking about stuff such as "security policy control" and "enhanced data protection capabilities using BitLocker technology". That's Windows 8 talking, not Surface.

And when you finally check the specific hardware features you'll notice the Pro does a lot less. "Always connected" (RT) vs. "Connectivity off when hibernating/sleeping to preserve battery.". Or "Get more done with up to 8 hours of battery life. Surface with Windows RT comes installed with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview. 1" (RT) vs. (this is no joke:) "Surface with Windows 8 Pro supports the full Office experience. Run Outlook, Word, SharePoint Designer, PowerPoint and more. 2". Where the 1 points to a statement telling us that the full Office 2013 version will become available when its out and the 2 points to "Office products sold separately".

But like; why compare running time with the mentioning that Office products can run on it? Why not, for example, mention that it might have Agenda, Todo and e-mail functionality even when you don't have Office? And why not mention anything about battery life, is it really that bad?

The RT is neither tablet nor laptop, and out of the box not suited for business use even though it comes with Office. And the Pro may support regular software but in fact seems to provide even less functionality than the RT does (that is; unless you're willing to pay even more).

And for the price of one Surface Pro (or RT with keyboard) you can get yourself both a regular laptop and tablet at the same time; so always have the option to pick the best solution for the situation.

I'm not a believer here...

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EU-wide mega-Leveson 'needed' to silence Press, bloggers

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Not surprising...

I mean; its the same EU which tried to make it illegal for any European household to own an encryption method (key) without the government having a copy to that.

The real problem otoh. is the amount of attention this might receive. Many countries were so interested with the issue of encryption that the attendance record for that particular vote was extremely low. Even though the stakes were quite high where public freedom was concerned; only a few smaller members (iirc Finland) eventually blocked the whole thing alltogether.

So if the "zmartz" politicians are unable to actually read this for what it is then I wouldn't be surprised at all if this would somehow manage to gain some foothold. And the worst part is that I wouldn't even be surprised if the goal isn't even to control the media but merely a sic attempt at getting attention for something "new". Attention but most of all funding to realize or investigate a new project.

I mean; "EU ambassadors" who spend their spare time in 20k/month apartments? (that's in Euro's in case anyone is wondering). While they claim there's a financial crisis the EU sure has a very strange way of showing it I think.

My only hope is that there are enough serious politicians left who are able to see this for what it is.

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Google v Microsoft mobile war: Who's REALLY to blame?

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Windows

Who's really to blame?

The US patent system in my opinion.

Because almost all of those fights involve around patents. In fact; more than often do I get the feeling that these guys are so busy fighting each other in court that they forget what this is all about in the end.

Instead of trying to thwart the other party why not try to come up with a better product yourselves?

IMO that goes especially for Microsoft. They're so obsessed with Google and "Google functionality" these days that they seem to totally forget that there are a lot of Mobile users out there with lots of feature suggestions (you need to be logged on with your Microsoft account).

Instead of trying to fight Google why not release a new version of the Outlook Hotmail connector. You know; one which allows me to sync my todo items over the Internet?

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New stats: Blighty's PC market ended 2012 on its KNEES

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Windows

@AC

First of all; the end cycle of Win7 officially sits at 2018.

Also; I don't see the end for PC's coming anytime soon. There are tasks which are more easily done on a PC just like there are plenty of tasks which can be easily handled on a phone or tablet. Just like some other poster mentioned how laptops are commodity; the same basically applies to PC's.

For most people a PC is a tool you turn on and can then use to perform tasks. Nothing more, nothing else.

For most of those people in my surroundings the most compelling reason not to look into Windows 8 is either because their current computer works just the way they want or because they followed my advice to look into an upgrade now before you can no longer get Windows 7.

The fun part; the most compelling argument for that upgrade (according to some feedback I got) was that I could make Windows 7 relatively well behave like XP, but that this would hardly be possible with Windows 8 (yes, I know there are plenty of tools which can mimic the start menu behaviour, but even so..).

In short; most people I met feel lost in Windows 8 because the whole thing hardly contains anything familiar to them. As such; Windows 7 is in favour.

But I'm pretty sure that whenever Windows 9 comes out and Microsoft has come back to their senses a little bit there will be plenty of people willing to upgrade to that.

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Mobes, web filth 'PORNIFYING' our kids, warns top Labour MP

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She's ignoring the real issue...

"That bullies can easily share compromising photos of their victims, and secretly explore X-rated corners of the web, is of particular concern: it puts parents and teachers in the dark on what their children are really up to and leaves the adults unable to teach effective sex education.".

And how does it happen that the bullies came into possession of such compromising pictures? I'd say because the, then, victim made those him- or herself and actually spread those amongst who (s)he thought to be friends.

So where were the parents in all this? In my opinion that is the real issue at hand; a lot of parents don't raise their children anymore but more than often make them fend for themselves. You shouldn't try to block everything which may harm a kid, that's frickin' impossible.

Instead you should actually try and talk to them and warn them about the dangers that lurk around. You should also be very careful how you bring it. Because well; if you start forbidding stuff then you can bet that your kids will try to try it anyway without your knowledge. The term "the forbidding fruit" didn't come out of thin air you know.

But if you instead explain what it is all about and most of all why you're warning them then chances are very high that your kids won't stumble into a mess they can hardly get themselves out of.

Sure; this is a lot more work than simply trying to make sure your kids won't come into contact with $adult_subject. But that's the cost you took upon yourself for becoming a parent. If you got kids you should live up to the responsibilities you chose for yourself.

And yes; there's also nothing wrong with letting a kid make a mistake from time to time. In general we learn from our mistakes and those lessons tend to stick a lot better. But as always; you can hardly apply this in general. Would you allow your kids to push their fingers into an outlet so they'll learn never to do that again?

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