1817 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010
For Google's sake...
I hope the North Korean government doesn't hold a patent on "mapping North Korea".
"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 ;-)
"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.
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.
"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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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....
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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?
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.".
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...
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.
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?
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.
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?
I doubt such a lawsuit would work. After all; the server maybe in the possession of the school, but they didn't develop nor maintain the software which was used on it. And if you can't prove that there have been any prior issues where data got leaked or stolen you'll have a hard time proving identify theft.
Another point is that he also can't accuse the school of negligence. After all; the very moment he had reported the bug they started working on it right away and also checked their logs to see what happened and who and how the data got accessed. You can tell as much by their statements where they mentioned to have noticed him accessing that server section twice.
He played it pretty dumb...
First of all, as others already pointed out, he didn't got expelled from identifying the flaw. He got expelled for "allegedly trying to exploit the flaw", where his story obviously is that he only wanted to check if the flaw had been fixed.
But seriously, no personal offence intended, but I think he acted pretty stupid on several accounts. First the obvious part; after you identified a bug there are more ways to check if it was fixed. How about starting with using a little courtesy and asking the people involved? Then you could always jestingly ask: "So you wouldn't mind me trying it for myself?". Heck; if the whole story is true I bet they'd love him to check it out. Its simply the way he did it.
However, the biggest mistake was that he allowed himself to be bullied.
"If you don't sign this then we'll <insert legal threat here>".
The one and only right response at that moment is: "Ok, I will get my lawyer to look into that and we'll get back to you.". Because if you don't, as you can see here, you'll only tumble into the rabbit hole even deeper; and it doesn't even have to be the hole which the "bullies" dug for you.
Because right now he's also in violation of the agreement which he himself signed. Perhaps there's a way out of that mess, I dunno, but at this moment the only option he has left is to get a lawyer. And you can bet that it'll be a helluvalot more expensive than if he would have gotten a lawyer earlier on to look into the NDA and give some legal advice on that matter.
For a computer student I think he didn't play this very smart at all.
At least it's clean ;-)
As we can all see in this Youtube video the old classic beats the modern one in a straight on race.
Although I'm still not too sure if the driver in the 1989' version didn't ease on the throttle a little bit in anticipation of seeing the female host of the show wash the classic in her bikini.
What I also don't get: 8000 voters, how many of those voters has actually downloaded and tried said application? I doubt not that many considering how most votes went on outside electronic channels; I wouldn't be surprised if many of the voters did so because they simply followed the story that was being told to them.
I don't think this is justice or a justified action at all.
If a majority of the people who actually downloaded and used said app. felt insulted then yeah, by all means remove said app. and take action(s) against the author. But not because a bunch of over sensitive ignoranians demand it for reasons way beyond me.
There was a cheap upgrade?
Sorry; I never noticed. I was standing in the queue to grab Windows 7 now that its still available.
The secret to what?
A golden (unwritten but honoured) rule in (electronic) music: "Whatever works for me doesn't have to work for you, and vica versa".
Stuff like this is really totally meaningless IMO.
In fact; reminds me of GoDaddy when their CEO used his blog page to promote the exact same kind of stories; "The secret to his success", filled with a lot of cliches which by themselves hold more than enough truth, but... (see comment above..).
...that the lack of the start menu is a lack in functionality. And as such they're now pushing the start menu functionality onto other programs. Amongst which, you guessed it: Office.
Unfortunately that makes it extremely annoying to work with, for me that is. Its the simple things; whenever I start, say, Word I do so to start a new document. If I needed to start with another document (be this an old file or template) then I would have selected it from the jumplist (in the Win7 start menu).
This Word otoh. always starts with the "Recent files "tab"" (in the backstage view). And you can't get around it, which is /extremely/ annoying.
And don't get me started on the "touch simplified" menu's and such, that's a major annoyance in itself.
I really don't see the need to upgrade from 2010, IMO that still is the better version. Especially if you're on Windows 7.
I don't think its such great news, but then again I also don't live in the US.
To me this strongly looks like an issue of shoving away responsibilities. The administration can't (most likely won't / refuses) to make their own stand on a topic which has become a rather sensitive one. And many people getting involved with a topic automatically means many voters may form their opinion.
The reason I'm so cynical is because this means absolutely nothing by itself. They call out for a study; ok.. Who is going to be researching what exactly, how is the research going to be performed, -what- exactly is going to be researched?
Because in general a research is as good as the used methods and the (sometimes twisted) way the end results get interpretated. You can easily make a research which proves A look as if it fully proves B by merely presenting the results in a different manner.
I wouldn't be surprised if the administration eventually uses the results of the study to give the DA office a slap on the hands and then everyone can go on with their lives while in the end nothing has really changed. The major issue is that it really looked good and official on paper.
Its never the parents fault eh?
Now, I'm not claiming that trying to protect minors from more grown up subjects is a bad idea, absolutely not. But I am reaching a point where I'm getting a little fed up with the fact that its always the other people's problem and responsibility, NEVER of the kids or parents themselves.
I know this is not fully comparable but here in Holland its illegal for kids under the age of 16 to own alcoholic beverages. So far so good; I'd say that if you spot a kid drinking alcohol then he or she will get fined, most likely resulting in the parents (who are legally responsible for minors) to cough up some bucks.
But no; that's not the way we do it. We force supermarkets and other shops who sell alcohol to make sure that they don't sell it to minors. If they do they can be fined pretty hefty because this is obviously a very bad thing to do; shame on them! And the kids themselves who bought the alcohol? Well; that's usually way too much effort to bother with. Instead certainly agencies sometimes get a few minors to help them "protect the children" (or put differently: get minors to perform illegal actions by purchasing alcohol, then fining the supermarket for selling it to them).
As said before: having some kind of protection for those kids isn't a bad thing at all, but to fully and whole shove the responsibility onto other people is IMO. Whatever happened to taking responsibility for ones own actions?
Amazing; if you go to the playboy website then chances are high you'll get into contact with adult material. I think almost everyone who has an Internet connection knows that. So if you don't want your kids to get near that; why not block it or (*gasp*) actually talk to your kids about these subjects so you'll know they can deal with it.
But no; we'll just blame it on the others for not blocking it. That's much easier and better. As if those kids know that if you fill in 1960 as the year of birth you'll get access to adult contents no matter what.
The way I see this...
Now, I'm but an outsider mind you; in my country its not even legal to own a gun unless you have special permission to do so.
But I can't help get the idea that the only reason these muppets never blame gun related crimes on the people who commit them is because they might still be potential customers (yeah, I know how sick this can sound).
This is just so frickin' ridiculous. I guess its only a miracle that the hundreds (more likely thousands) of people who play or played Skyrim didn't start smithing their own swords and started on a killing spree of livestock and other people ("they were obviously bandits, my deadra told me so!").
I would imagine that if the branches to which the device was attached (or where it was hid) got cut down the machine would still drop, thus still generating the momentum required to "phone home".
And I highly doubt that loggers would be willing to invest in "tree studies". If the device can be hidden enough so it won't be easily noticeable when hanging in the tree I'd say its still mission well done.
So does it violate standards?
"On PCs, Microsoft's new phone OS shows up as a mounted device, allowing the user to manipulate files directly. But on Macs, no such file system support was provided.".
With "PCs" I assume the author meant "PCs running Windows" ?
I wonder if this is a fail on the part of Microsoft. If the phone supports the USB mass storage protocol then surely it would be possible for a Mac user to hook it up and gain access to it as well? Especially when you consider that this protocol is supported on all other major OS's ((Windows, Linux, BSD... ) so I think the fail is on Microsoft here.
"It's a great pity that the IPv6 developers chose a new mechanism that was unable to permit a phased change."
And why wouldn't it? As other already mentioned; DNS can use both A and AAAA for the same site; thus leaving it up to the user to, well, use either one.
If any the only thing I think you can blame the "IPv6 lobby" for is that they've been playing "Cry Wolf" for too long. You know; predict the end of the Internet due to running out on IPv4 addresses after which nothing happened. And not once, not twice but at least four times in a row. That was a very good way to lose a lot of credibility really fast.
They should never have made it as dramatic as they did, then people may have taken them a lot more serious than now. Good luck presenting IPv6 implementation plans to the upper brass now: "But haven't we heard those doom stories for the last 10 years now? And everything just kept running, so why should we bother with all this when everything works just fine?".
"Before the usual AC trolls come out calling me a fanboi or whatever, it might be worth pointing out that all the series players - Amazon, IBM, Google, FB, Twitter and so on, they all use Linux / open source solutions."
Actually, although the foundation of what they use is indeed the Linux kernel many of those vendors have put a whole team of programmers to work in order to shape their Linux environment to match their specific needs. That is something many people forget to mention: while those companies may use a Linux solution its not Linux as we commonly know it. Most of them don't simply download a distribution and rely on whatever that manufacturer provides for support.
Which is something most companies do tend to do; they pick up an existing environment where the goal is to get to the result as optimal (or as easy) as possible. Once a product isn't supported any longer they usually move on to the next supported version.
And this is automatically also an argument as to why Linux isn't the best solution by definition.
When looking at such environments: Windows Server 2003 was released around 2006 and support stops around 2015. That's 9 years worth of (continuous) support. You can see Microsoft's own comment on that here.
Around that time (2005) Debian 3.1 'Sarge' was released. Its security updates stopped around 2008, that's merely 3 years. Read about that here.
Sometimes one needs the robustness of Linux, at other times the extensive support of Microsoft is in favour. That's the way the real world works.
Hardly advantages, in fact...
I wonder if the author has actually used any of the stuff he mentions himself.
First PowerShell; going from 2 to 3 isn't an upgrade, its a fscking downgrade. Because Microsoft has released an incomplete product. The reasoning behind it was good: make sudden components more modular and as such allow for more differences. For example; the (excellent) help section now has options to comply with the systems UICulture. Or put in normal words: localized systems will now have the option to get localized help.
And because PowerShell 3 now keeps an online help repository it makes it really easy to distribute new updates to the help section(s) and provide new translated help sections.
Only one small problem.... Microsoft never thought about what would happen if a localized system (say nl-NL) only had the default (en-US) help section because the translations weren't available yet. Worse: they also never stopped to think if users actually wanted to get localized help or a whole environment for that matter. When using the help command I can't specify a language for example...
Resulting in, you guessed it, a totally broken PowerShell experience. The only way to fix things is to manually copy "localized directories" yourself. So copying "en-US" to "nl-NL" every time a change is done. And that's only talking about the help system, don't get me started here...
IIS8? This is Microsoft we're talking about, do you really think that they'll keep that locked into Server 2012? Give it a rest and when all the bugs have been found and removed it'll become available for other platforms as well. You see; Microsoft has realized that in order to get their IIS more out on the Internet they need to make it more appealing. One option to do this is providing free (!) versions which anyone can use, something totally unheard of some years ago.
So... Patience, it'll come.
As for the rest of the features (Hyper, iSCSI, SMB); all very good new developments I'm sure, but do those really justify a whole new server?
I wouldn't be surprised if some companies would get into 2012 because they have to (EOL of the old server) but it also wouldn't surprise me if other companies would skip this line entirely, just like they're seem to do with Windows 8. The Metro tie-in will certainly influence those kind of decisions IMO.
But how long will it last ?
The PS3 has several advantages over the competition in my opinion; for starters you can buy a game and then play it online with your friends without any extra charge. You do need a PSN account obviously (Playstation Network) but all that takes is a registration. Next we have the obvious stuff such as bluray player (but then again; those have become much more common these days) and the option to use it as media player (but even that is a bit limited when compared to dedicated media players).
And although a new model has been released ("slimline") this doesn't mean that owners of a previous ("thick") model suddenly need to upgrade or something. Quite the contrary; when looking at recent developments such as the Move you'll notice that it works on all PS3's.
But there is also a downside to all this. Sony preserves the right to change your system environment, sometimes in such ways that they add forms of advertisement, which can sometimes be very annoying. Right now my PS3 has an icon "Sing star" or something sitting at the top of the games list and you can't get rid of this. Because its not a real game; its an icon which only starts the installer which will then get said game online and set it up for you. They're trying to get you to install & play this game. However; I despise games like that and as such am very unhappy to see such a useless and annoying icon always sitting at the top of my games list without any option on my part to get rid of it.
What I also don't like is that functionality can also change and not always for the better. When this 'change thing' started (somewhere last year, or the year before) Sony 'copied' the trophy list icon (where all 'achievements' are being kept) and put another copy in the games list, just as they did with their online store. It took getting used to, but allright then. Not that I would get that to persuade me to buy more games anyway....
In the mean time they finally made the system more modular. There are options on your system screen which you can now more easily view in-game. Amongst which; the trophy list.
And just after they implemented all those changes they suddenly decided that us players don't need easy access to our trophies and as such removed the icon from the games list entirely. Now its only sitting at its original location; the PSN menu. But that means quite a bit of navigating if all you want is checking your trophies while playing a game... Those are not the kind of changes in favour of the players.. But players are still somewhat forced into all this, because if you don't upgrade your firmware because you don't agree with all those changes then you'll also lose your option to play your games online.
So yeah... I can see how Sony can get the upper hand, but the way they're going now I honestly wonder how long it'll last. Not if they keep this up I think.. That song star nonsense has already made me evaluate where I stand now on gaming and how much I really do online, any more drastic changes and I might even get provoked into "stalling": Keep a recent firmware, don't play online and consider another console for online experiences.
We'll see where its heading...
One essential flaw with this reasoning...
A protest, done decently, is based on a two way communication; the protest group makes their opinion heard (which obviously opposes another opinion) but normally (should) always allows the opposition to make their voice heard as well. When done right a protest may end in a debate which might eventually help to bring both parties together.
DDoS on the other hand does not allow for such situations considering how it totally renders the website of the opposition useless. In my opinion its hardly a form of protest but instead takes more the form of total oppression: "We don't like what your website has to say so we're taking it out completely".
It doesn't matter on which "side" you are; fact remains that one party totally takes away the voice (or online capabilities) of the other.
And although I agree that it may fall within the definition of a protest ("A statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something.") one should have at least a some bit of common sense to realize that you can't use that to justify every take of action; there are limits.
To add to your list (and the feature which bothers me the most): Windows Phone 7 integration.
There is a Skype client on Windows Phone but it hardly matches the functionality of the Messaging hub; the latter remains active whereas the first is merely an app. which can only run as long as the phone isn't in a locked state.
And given the fact that Microsoft is fully betting on WP8 (and Windows 8 in general) I somewhat doubt that us WP7 users will keep the same functionality as we have now. Which I think is a total shame; instant messaging is often much easier (and cheaper!) than having to resort to text (SMS) messages. A contact simply types in a message using MSN on his PC and I receive it on my phone; no extra costs.
In all fairness; Microsoft could come up with something new to surprise the WP7 users before the 15th of March, but given the fact that they still haven't managed to provide full synchronization between Outlook and a Windows Phone (think todo items for example) I wouldn't keep my hopes up.
Lack of vision and feeling the heat...
I think that best sums up the current situation. Microsoft has crown jewels in their possession (IMO that is) but seems to totally and completely lack the skills to promote and exploit these.
Not that surprising I think considering that in the past Microsoft never had to; whatever they said or did happened. But times have changed. And if there's one thing I learned from having to deal with enterprise environments; implementing a certain change can take major efforts. And then I'm not even talking about the change itself; but to suggest, promote, explain said change. In other words; getting people's attention.
But even if you can get people's attention then it still depends on the upper brass if new company courses will actually be seriously investigated. And when looking at the (relatively recent) past; why should they?
I also get the feeling that the company culture is involved with "follow the leader" no matter what. I completely agree with the author; Microsoft should have investigated and expanded their Office line for example. They already have their Office environment available on Apple (afaik) so why not take it from there and expand? Actually trying to open new markets. But that's not happening; instead they devise a new magic keyword, 'touch' in this case, and after that everything needs to follow up on that.
It goes right up to a point where solid products (once again, IMO that is) get heavily disabled where functionality is concerned. I tried previews of the upcoming Office version and quite frankly I'm no believer, even though I heavily favour their Office 2010 product line. The problem; the whole thing seems to evolve around touch; simpler GUI's, controls which are easier to 'touch'.
All fine and well; but what about "touchless" people?
Microsoft is reaching a point where they should think more about what their customers want instead of fully going for what they want and think to be best. Taking away all colour from their Visual Studio went relatively well in the end; but the way this is going I foresee a situation where people may actually dish VS entirely should they pull stunts like that again in the future.
MS is reaching a point where they can no longer afford to tick off people with dumb changes like that.
And this is happening on all fronts; from Office to development environments right to operating systems.
If they don't wise up then things can go worse for them, and such developments go much quicker than most people expect.
"The key problem is that outside of the hardware design, you do not know know that the Lumia range are Nokia made. Take the screen out of the chassis and there is little difference between them and a Samsung Ativ or HTC because there is no flexibility in the WP design language."
That is not entirely true. There are very specific differences between a Nokia and a Samsung phone. First there's obviously specific software which is provided by the manufacturer, but this can also find its way into specific OS changes.
For example; my Samsung (WP7) phone has the option to automatically block anonymous incoming calls, a feature I heavily use. Another feature is the option to turn of the vibration the very moment you press on either the back or search buttons at the bottom. Or one to automatically change the screen brightness depending on surrounding light sources.
All of those are specific Samsung features, which you won't find on a Nokia or HTC.
That's of course assuming they didn't automate the whole process, which I think they did.
So this is probably an issue a single setting being overlooked. As such: a display of incompetence.
Who cares about Google?
Yeah, I need more fluent Google access for movies on my WinPhone, that's the real deal breaker. The fact that you still can't do something as trivial as syncing todo items between your phone and Outlook is obviously totally unimportant.
What have those MS guys been smoking?
Its the Internet, but not as we know it...
I think the story headline holds true for most El Reg readers but unfortunately don't think it holds true for the "Internet masses".
For me the Internet "essence" (to give it a name) has always been the fascination for that "awesome global network". And all CLI mind you. In the beginning it was using telnet to gain access to "digital cities" which were somewhat fun. Mostly Gopher based stuff, but still..
Later it was using Windows' netsock and Netscape (the other alternative 'Mosaic' wasn't that much fun). For me all using Win/OS2 and later (when I finally understood more about the way it worked) I even got OS/2 online. That was really nice.
But for me the real fun started when I finally got a good grasp of this "Unix" thing; I got sent out to a Sun Solaris course (which was the first Unix environment I fully learned, understood and grasped) and it didn't take me long to figure out that "Internet == Unix".
So when I started using Linux (ironically I only started using it to keep my Solaris knowledge fresh, man, did that take a change!) I also soon started messing with Linux to get my Internet access going at home. And that's where the real fun began.
For my parents the Internet started when I used to spent hours in the evening online (all using dial-up) but because I was using Linux I simply "shared" my connection with them as well. That was nice!
And then eventually we got ADSL, I "hacked" the modem / router to do bridging so that it wasn't the modem but my Linux box which would get the public IP address, that eventually led to hosting some websites on my own PC, setting up a FreeS/WAN IP/SEC network with some of my IRC friends (Epic / Splitfire script FTW for me). That led to learning how DNS /really/ worked (root zones) and all of a sudden I could wake up on a nice Saturday morning, get an e-mail telling me about this new cool thing called "irssi" and would simply go to (iirc, its been years): 10.2.1.1 which put me on a US Linux box hosted by a good friend of mine :-)
I honestly don't remember the domain names we came up with. Something ending in ".irc" that's for sure 8-)
"If we have this vpn thing, why not try setup a tunnel to get lan data across? You know; GRE packets or some other global unused protocol"
Some friends even routed their netbios data over it (I didn't use Windows at all back then) so they could simply copy/paste stuff to each other.
That is Internet for me. But for the common masses? I don't think so...
And can you really blame them? Back then we hacked Linux to copy/paste our X509 keys, passwords, etc. all to setup the VPN. Nowadays I have a DrayTek modem/router on both my end as well as my parents end (both online using cable) and setting up the VPN only requires a few mouse clicks and some common understanding of what you're doing.
Opening up Netbios used to be some iptables hacking now its merely enabling an option.
How many people use Linux to really "hack" and setup a cool global network of their own using the Internet? Without using some kind of wizard I mean ;-)
"An honest gentleman had offered us capacity on two of his FM satellites, it's not internet access but it's something."
I can't help wonder why they didn't start here. Everyone could have told them that trying to purchase a satellite was going to be near impossible. Considering that people in South Africa do have access to satellites and such, why not start there?
Even worse; sometimes the virus scanner can be an even bigger problem than the threat its supposed to stop. When I started doing more company stuff on my PC (self employed) I decided that since I liked Avast up to that point that I should simply show some support and apply for a one year subscription.
And then it started; they introduced their "Internet security suite" and I got a free upgrade. It could scan my e-mail, web traffic, the system itself and all through separate engines. So far, so good. Since I don't use torrents / peer to peer stuff on this PC I could turn that down, messenger and such; same deal.
However; I soon started noticing that whenever I did a global update on some in-house software (which basically opens 20 - 30 simultaneous network connections for a moment and passes a few kB's of data) then my PC would freeze. Completely. Only after a while it would become responsive again.
You never guess what it was; Avast. And not even because it thought that I had some sort of virus; because their firewall was plain out crapware: it simply couldn't cope with a simultaneous 30 peer data stream, instead it sucked up all the resources it needed to cope.
Right now I use MS security essentials, the PC gets a full scan every once in a week and that's the end of it.
I think you might want to socialize with other sysadmins then :-)
I'll admit; my desktop also features a female figure (Motoko Kusanagi, the protagonist of Ghost in the Shell / GiTS SAC) but simply her head and left shoulder (so you can see her 'rank' of major) and that's it.
Not all of us sysadmins want to watch skin shots the whole day long.
"cache files are by default publicly downloadable, and the key values / file name of the database cache items are easily predictable.
Yeah, its extremely easy to predict, for example, "dbcache/4/0/1/41194874842fc66679f745de0b453110", everyone knows this is where.... Well, I guess I'm stupid ;)
This file dates from today, but so does "dbcache/a/9/c/a9cfb6fa4674e52b4b5f1dd4f52d218d". How is that easily predictable for anyone who hasn't dived into the codebase of w3-totalcache?
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