1817 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010
I think you hit the nail on the head.
The official word on that feature is that it uses your online storage space to save your Win8 settings which will then be retrieved the moment you log onto another Win8 desktop. That will make sure you always get your own desktop. Storage space which conveniently sits outside your common SkyDrive and which, so far, seems totally inaccessible to you.
Something which I consider to be very dubious. I mean; if /my/ data gets stored online why am I not allowed to see what gets stored? Heck; why can't I *remove* my stuff ?
Convenient is it that the moment you want to use their store and all that you'll have to sign in with your Live (now "Microsoft ID"). And all of a sudden all your stuff ends up on some mysterious part of the Internet.
And if only they managed to do a good job here, not even that!
When I started to test Win8 I used a dynamic Naruto Shipuuden theme on the desktop. Quite cool because it really showed how I felt (the picture with Naruto standing behind a fence of barber wire while he cuts his hand holding one of the wires): Imprisoned and incapacitated.
Dynamic... so other pictures are there too.
So; when the Win8 official release hit TechNet I gave that a try too. And amazingly enough; my desktop had the same theme and the same background as when I used the commercial preview. Out of the box. Yet only 1. My dynamic background had now turned static.
And the void? Well, that remained as vague as ever.
I think something really stinks here, and it aren't my feet.
Don't forget the retailers
Some retailers (and a lot have absolutely no idea about IT) also bought in heavily because they simply followed the whole Microsoft doctrine.
Well, that and the opportunity to make a good profit; buy now, sell /much/ more expensive later....
The fact alone that Microsoft only looks at sales figures, no matter to whom they sold it to, says enough.
I smell deja-vu.
On the positive side....
If Apple were to try and invoke their "patent rights" to sue some European company for abusing "their" logo then I'm pretty confident that the case will be laughed out of court.
Really enjoyed this one, and can wholeheartedly agree.
And even though I personally still consider OS/2 Warp (3) & Merlin (4) to be the more extensive environments at that time I also think one cannot deny that Microsoft has done one very important thing right with its Windows environment (apart from the many mishaps and other ickyness which also occurred): the strict design.
Sure; here and there Windows can be picked up as a little bit messy, but its not as if they had to re-design the whole OS structure time and time again (although they did do a few kernel rewrites). With that I'm not referring to the GUI which has seen many changes over the years (including the most heard annoyance regarding programs and options being moved to new places) but the underlying structure.
When Microsoft started with, for example, their management console (mmc.exe) they designed it in such a way that it could be extended, which also happened over the years. And even though it sits in the background and most end users have no clue what it is, the msc "management files" still sit in their comfy home of system32, as they have been from the start.
Microsoft has done a lot of things wrong, and bluffed their way through several encounters, but I also think its fair to state that they managed to set up a rather solid foundation. Which I think may very have added to the eventual success of Windows.
Although OS/2 was obviously better :-)
Seriously though: OS/2 Warp Server (which I kinda missed in the articles) IMO really was way ahead of its time. User management? You could do that the same way you setup folders; from the templates section. Which would also give you a very easy way to pre-customize your objects before creating new ones.
iow: check the properties of an object in the "templates" folder and customize it to your needs. For example; you could set the folder type to "pictures", thus if you created a folder by dragging its object from the templates folder it would always create a folder which view type would be set to "pictures".
Now imagine this same functionality with user accounts. What's that? Annoying to drag an object with the mouse, then having to go to the keyboard to fill in the details, then back to the mouse again to drag in another object (if you had to create several) ?
Indeed; that's why there were also shortcuts available. No need to have your hands leave the keyboard, at all.
aaah, the good ole days. Sure; user management on Windows isn't bad either. But try to setup a default user profile /without/ reading the help screen. It can be found and done, but hardly as easy as "Oh, a user template amongst all the others? Lets customize it!".
Bit of ironic isn't it ?
In the beginning Microsoft also weren't very good at doing stuff themselves, instead they used their money to purchase other firms and incorporated them into their own products. Sometimes these others were competitors which also provided commercial based solutions, so the 'damage' for the public was minimal. Other times they ended firms which did provide stuff for free, that used to suck pretty bad.
Google claimed to do "no evil" and somewhat show how it "should be done". Now look where we are....
Personally I'd rather have Microsoft in comparison to Google. Not because they're less evil or such than Google, but because they never made it a secret about it how they operated. Google otoh...
Microsoft is also trying from time to time to persuade you to use your real name in their Live services (now "Microsoft ID") but are much less intrusive.
So far the major change is that you can no longer have single word names, you need 2. So instead of being ShelLuser I'm now ShelLuser on MSN. Simple and to the point ;-)
Apart from that MS only sends you an email sometimes. Google otoh... Every once in a while they come up with annoying popup banners the very moment I try to comment on a video.. "ARE you sure you don't rather want to use your own name?". time and time again.
Google is much more oppressive and intrusive here.
Barely one day?!
"One downside is the battery, at 1650 mAh, might barely get you through a day.".
Is that because of the hardware or because WP8 has become much more demanding?
Because on my WP7.5 Samsung phone, "merely" 1500mAh, I can easily last 1.5 day if I keep all my smartphone features turned on. When I'm in and around the house I tend to turn those off because I don't need e-mail on both my PC and my phone, and then the livespan easily goes up to 2 - 4 days.
Pretty alarming figures to me.
Pot and Kettle
So now the EU states that the ITU lacks transparency ?
HA, now that's a good joke if I ever heard one. Look where that statement is coming from, sjeesj. The same EU which one one hand claims that it won't further provide economic support for certain countries, only to easily 'lower' debts or actually provide millions, if not billions, of extra cash a few months later. For no other reasons other than "it was required".
Sure; the EU members can now expect an increase in costs for approx. 70 million but hey!
Yeah, a VERY open and transparent body this EU is. One which really sets the right example.
Although I agree with you that it can be done; where does that leave Microsoft's core feature wrt 2012; the by default desktop-less installation? Worse; where does that leave remote administration?
The only reason I repeat this particular issue is because I honestly think that 2012 has a lot of potential. If only they would hurry up and backport the admin tools...
Its not only my heavy disdain for the metro void here, but also because I think its much more likely that there are more Win7 desktops to be found in an environment where a new 2012 server is about to be placed. I don't see admin teams updating to Win8 merely because its the only way to admin the server remotely.
So yeah, in my opinion it almost seems as if there is a bit of arrogance at work here. Everything seems to be put to work to try and get Windows 8 out there, no matter what. And THAT is what bugs me the most here. Microsoft used sit WAY above that.
Windows Server 2008, release date 2008 (obviously). It wasn't fully aimed at remote administration as 2012 is, yet was shipped out of the box with WinRM 2.0 (Powershell). And they still backported these features, also onto 2003 and up. In no time!
Also important to note; obviously you could admin 2008 using Win7 out of the box and more easily (PowerShell) but that backporting (see above) also allowed this kind of advanced access straight from XP. Even though at that time Win7 had already established itself as the de-facto new "liked" Windows.
Server 2008 came out, Win7 obviously natively supported the critter but in no time did MS make sure XP could /fully/ cope too. In no time meaning no more than a few weeks (iirc).
Even though they could also have said: "Nah, XP admins should get win7 or get used to remote desktop sessions when using 2008". They didn't.
THAT is what upsets me so when it comes to 2012. I get the feeling this is more about pushing Win8 down our throats than delivering the (IMO) optimal admin experience which MS has always done so far.
A very compelling reason not too...
You'd need Win8 to administer it because the admin tools haven't been backported yet.
And I for one do NOT consider the idea of a desktop fully crammed with every available msc file for easier access to be a very appealing admin setup.
And yes; I know that in theory you should also be able to cope with PowerShell. I say in theory because no matter how much I admire both the provided capabilities, as well as its general versatility, there are plenty of times where an MSC file (read: desktop admin application) is a lot quicker to operate than a rather large commandline instruction. Esp. if you need a function which you don't very often use.
This is why I hate translate tools, that's hardly proper German.
You want something more in the line of: "Schatz, Ich wollte deinen Tod so angenehm wie möglich machen..".
I beg to differ.
In fact; what I totally fail to understand is how so few people seem to recognize that Gangnam Style proofs something very important beyond any reasonable doubt.
The fact that you can make money by actually giving away your music, your performances of said hit, and even allow people world wide to witness one your concerts live, and for free. While the attendee's themselves obviously had to pay for it.
Gangam Style wasn't only one of the most played video's, its also one of the most downloaded songs. People grab it from Youtube, retouch the sound a bit and the rest of the noise is worked out by the massive array of filters which every mp3 player has these days.
In fact; during several broadcasted live concerts it became very obvious that for many people there was only 1 number which counted to them when it came to PSY: Gangnam Style. They didn't even quite care for the rest, even though (but that's personal) I think some of his other work is also quite good.
Those people are more than satisfied with downloading 'Gangnam Style', putting it onto their players, and they're done.
And even despite that, even though the attention solely focusses around 1 and 1 only single song PSY gives it all away, people download like crazy and he STILL is capable to make money out of it.
So what does this tell us about the current music industry, hmm? BREIN, ICANN, and all you other freedom censoring sons of -censored- -censored- ? Isn't this actual proof that you're not protecting anyone's rights, you're merely oppressing the population like the -censored- kinds of power mongers you are in my opinion?
If PSY can do it; why can't others? And no; I'm not talking about scoring a world hit like this, those odds aren't quite high. I'm talking about still managing to make an income while your crown jewels are being put up for download? Heck; while you're giving them away yourself, for free!
THAT is Gangnam Style really showed us here.
Op Op Oppa GANGAN STYLE! *BOOM*
"Installing OS/2 wasn’t very hard, but you couldn’t guarantee it would work on your hardware, and at about a thousand bucks a go this was an expensive experiment."
Sorry, but that's not entirely true. There were plenty of lists supplied which provided in every detail which hardware components were and which weren't supported. It was relatively easy to look this up before you started. Even the IBM OS/2 website was very easy to use when it came to finding these lists (which was pretty much amazing considering how a lot of other information was burried between huge amounts of totally confusing links and pages).
Still; if your hardware (-components) was (/were) mentioned as being supported then 9 out of 10 cases it would easily work. The only time I had major issues with OS/2 was when I actually bought myself an IBM (iirc an Aptiva) with the sole purpose of running OS/2 on it. I mean; if I got myself a /real/ IBM computer, surely it should do wonders with OS/2? Guess again!
Which was partly my own dumb fault; I assumed IBM cared. Which IMVHO is what really killed OS/2; IBM themselves. They didn't seem to care one bit. Take the Aptiva; did it come with OS/2 drivers? No; only Win95. The 486 Compaq I once had supplied drivers for just about anything; /including/ OS/2 (not directly but on demand; I recall purchasing a huge amount of drivers and support software; 3 boxes of 3.5" disks which also included plenty of OS/2 drivers).
I even contacted IBM support with this (considering how I was entitled to support through purchase of my new PC). Needless to say, but they didn't quite manage to get beyond "We think it should work...".
But its the weirdest thing; on the other hand IBM did quite a bit of good. I for once was very impressed how Sun's Java (back then a rather new environment) had found a rock solid home within OS/2. Not sure about OS/2 3 ('Warp') but Merlin (the one with the nice pull down menu) supplied Java right out of the box. That was impressive for those days, at least IMO.
There IBM did manage to do the right thing; Java support really managed to extend the stuff one could do with OS/2; now you weren't merely "limited" to your common DOS batch, OS/2 cmd or Rexx scripts. (not that you were really limited; man... I still vaguely recall the stuff one could do in a cmd file. Sjeesj!).
No, if only IBM would have cared a bit more; imagine OS/2 under the supervision of IBM as an open source project, but not in a way where it would only cost IBM money (like Sun did), but in a productive fashion... That could have easily become a power player which could have gone toe to toe with Windows today.
IMVHO of course.
No thanks, votes will do ;-)
Seriously; if that helped you, why not press the green arrow as a way of saying 'thanks' in El Reg style?
If you make sure you "pre-anonymise" your data so that even you have no clue what you're uploading then there will be no way these agencies can find out!
Of course a downside could be value of said random data, but hey; at least its anonymous...
Ok, a little more seriously: the real solution should be obvious enough; if you require privacy then why share your information in the first place?
Both Google (YouTube) as well as Microsoft (Microsoft ID) are both currently doing their best to persuade me to use my real name and information. Google is a bit more intrusive than MS on this, but even so; they're both persistent.
And I keep telling them "forget it". Right up to a point where I might go "Screw it" (YouTube) but we're not there yet. How many people do allow themselves to be suckered in only to wonder a few months later how its possible that their name seems to end up all over the place ?
Privacy starts with yourself.
DLC; making cheap games expensive
I think the main problem with some games is the massive amount of DLC. And also in such a way that it seems as if you're going to have to buy into this sooner of later if you really want to enjoy all merits of the game, depending on the game of course.
But I've also been looking at Tokyo Jungle for a while but then noticed the /huge/ amount of extra's available. Needless to say but that gives me a totally different impression of said game; I can't help wonder how long gameplay can really last without purchasing any DLC.
It was to be expected...
In fact; I even predicted that I'd be impressed the very moment this situation would last for a few years in the very same article by El Reg. Because now they've not been so keen with saving money by moving to an OSS environment, they've actually been wasting a whole lot of the taxpayers money. Great work!
I think the cause of the problem is twofold.
First, I think their main problem was that they went "OSS because....". They didn't look into their situation to pick the best tool for the job, no, instead they heard a magic word called "open source" and so they went "open source" because it would save them lots of money. That's bound to fail. Go open source because its the best or a good tool for the job, don't go open source only because you want to in order to 'save money'.
Open source isn't a magical environment which can save all your problems.
Second, and I think many people overlook this, is inter operability. Sure; when I compare MS Word 2010 to LibreOffice Writer then they can pretty well go head to head. I never did bother with a one on one comparison because I'm not that interested, because both environments have their strengths and their weak spots.
However... While the LibreOffice components (Writer, Sheet, etc.) work excellent individually they can't match the interoperability which is available with MS Office 2010 at this time. They're getting there, but not quite yet. Meaning? I have an address list which sits in Outlook, and I want to write a letter in Word. I can easily setup a template which can retrieve the information straight from Outlook and use it immediately in Word.
I can have an Excel sheet embedded in Word (I know L.O. can do this too) but in a way that it will remain up to date with the information in the Excel sheet itself (this feature I'm not too sure off). But once again; there's also nothing stopping me from setting up a routine which utilizes the Excel sheet as a sort of database to retrieve the info from there and automatically set it up in Word.
And that's only talking inter-operability within Office. This is a setup standard in Windows, not merely Office. Meaning? If I want to control Acrobat from within Word I can since Acrobat provides the APIs for it, if I want to setup a smart document which needs to check the kind of printers I can; it has an API for it, if I want to get registry access from within Office to connect Office to a 3rd party program (information exchange) then I can because there are APIs for it.
THAT is the kind of inter operability which currently isn't present within L.O.
For personal use all of this is major overhead; but for business use it can help you setup constructions which can save hours and hours of work; thus /really/ spare a whole lot of money.
Let me be very clear here: This fail isn't an Open Source fail, not in the very least. Its a bunch of politicians who heard the magic word without having a frickin' clue what they were talking about.
My hope is that the German taxpayers won't stand for this; this is a huge waste of the taxpayers money....
MS turned things around...
Instead of making their web applications look and feel more like their desktop applications (think Office 2010) Microsoft took, in my opinion, the cheap way out. Instead they turned the desktop applications into something one could easily associate with a web application.
Apparently ignoring the fact that web applications, also because of their minimal interface, offer but a fraction of the functionality which the desktop apps provide. This functionality isn't merely something you can measure with what the software can or can't do; another very important aspect is the user interface.
They had a relative mature interface, chose to cut it short instead of expanding on it and this is the result.
I for one am hardly surprised.
History repeats itself
I see direct parallels with the moment Vista shipped. In the beginning we also got reports about "Expected sale figures" and stories about "Large amounts of Vista being shipped" (to where? customers or retailers?) and so on. And we all know how that ended.
Of course its good that El Reg reports stories like these, but one has to wonder; is this really news? In the sense of something which no one (apart from the boys in Redmond of course) could see coming ?
Wake me up when Windows 9 is in the making ;-)
True, which is also why I think Server 2012 has much potential.
However; all the remote administrative tools are currently only available for / on Windows 8 and haven't been ported to previous platforms yet (at the very least to Windows 7). Which is IMO another fail; and also the reason why, at the time of writing, server 2012 administration is completely tied in with the dinkey toy interface.
Not very appealing IMO.
What were the development costs?
What always surprises me...
Is that when a company has made $awesome_hardware_which_everyone_should_have you hardly ever see one of their own staff working with it. This isn't only commenting on Microsoft, but other companies too. Its a given.
Back in he Compaq days the iPaq was advertised as one of the greatest thing to have but you'd never see the CEO walking around with one. And there are dozens of examples like this.
The moment where I see Ballmer carrying around a Surface and also actually /using/ it to, for example, take notes during a press conference or something then I maybe believe in some of Microsoft propaganda. But until that time first things first; like waiting for version 2 which doesn't start showing wirering in the keyboard after a few weeks of use.
Not a good thing
If you're thrown into a job it can be exciting but it may also leave you unprepared because you never got in touch with the guy / woman before you who might have explained some tricks of the trade.
Even so; I can only hope for her that its commonly known in Redmond that you should be very careful with the combination of Ballmer and chairs. Here's hoping she played enough dodgeball in her youth :-)
Law enforcement is a risk for the cloud too.
What I consider the most compelling reason to make sure what you're doing is that you're using a virtual instance which runs on one or more servers. When the Feds (or any other global police force) suspect foul activity they usually get warrants to inspect, investigate or confiscate an entire server.
Very nice if that server happens to be something running a dozen virtual clients on top of it and one of them is yours.
Shipped? To where?
Sure, boxes shipped. To customers or to sale departments (retailers)? Because well; that was inevitable given the fact that companies are eventually forced into this anyway because MS will sooner or later stop the sale of Windows 7.
I'd be more impressed with sale figures from individual resellers.
The sheer arrogance is baffling...
"A new unified API would be the means to do it: developers would write a Metro app and it would run across a range of Microsoft devices. So although Microsoft was non-existent in tablets and barely visible in smartphones, developers would be obliged to make it their third choice.."
And of course these developers would have to pay to even get the opportunity to actually develop applications for their smartphone (without any option to try on the real thing, even if you want to use your own phone, before you buy).
And once you have your killer application ready then best prepare yourself to pay Microsoft again because while you now can place your application on the marketplace; Microsoft wants to have their cut of the deal as well (which in all honesty is fair since you're using their infrastructure, but within the context of already having to purchase an expensive subscription in order to actually being able to develop something...).
Then there's of course the tie-in with Windows 8 for some development environments. I would have to purchase Windows 8, invest hours in setting the whole thing up on my PC and require a steady dose of medicine to keep my blood pressure low as I actually try to work with this monstrosity.
Are we there yet? Not quite... Paid apps. on the MS marketplace can't be submitted to all markets. Cyprus? Forget about payouts, even though its a European country (part of the European Union). WTF?
Greenland? Nope. Iceland? Nope. Iraq (wasn't that liberated according to the media?)? Nope.
Here's a really funny one: Liechtenstein? Monaco? Can't target those, check out the List of regional info for Winphone development.
"developers would be obliged", well, you don't say....
I always wonder...
"Malware that successfully bypassed Windows Defender was capable of opening backdoors to allow hackers to remotely control the attacked x86 PC, intercepting keystrokes, stealing online gaming credentials, and more."
There's one bit of information I'm always missing with researches like this: what kind of user account and user profile was used? Because the end user can matter a lot when it comes to system security and breach of that security.
2 extreme examples... Although Windows 7 sets up an admin account for you to work with by default (and relies on UAC to block unwanted system changes) its not how I like to work. Instead I lowered my accounts privileges to that of a normal user (I'm on Windows 7 Professional btw; this also provides user account access), removed the password from this account and instead added a password to the global system administrator account. Resulting in the obvious situation that my user account has no write access to system parts of the system partition (C). I can't dump something in c:\program files, I can't do much in c:\windows; the only places I have full r/w access to are my own personal data directories as well as the stuff on the non-system partition (D).
The moment I want to do something beyond my capabilities I either have to raise my privileges (start a raised console ("run as administrator") for example or simply await a UAC prompt. After which I need to type a password and then can perform the required changes.
Needless to say; I'm pretty confident that not much malware which might be capable of bypassing Security Essentials will also easily be capable to install itself. Unless of course it fully runs within user space and doesn't require any extra credentials; but mentioning of stuff such as keyboard monitoring makes me think otherwise. My account credentials simply wouldn't allow me to do this. (unless of course they're actually exploiting local root exploits or local backdoors, the article doesn't quite say).
Another extreme example is a friend of mine who clicks before reading. Sounds dumb, it is dumb, but that's the way he works. When he sees a website popup he's clicked it before you could say "I don't think that looks trustworthy". He'll even go as far as mindlessly clicking "yes" on UAC messages, sometimes even jokingly mentioning that "Oh, Windows needs to ask me if Bill Gates can go to the bathroom, sure; do what you have to do".
Needless to say: its also the kind of friend who calls me every once in a while to ask me if I could help him make his "PC run faster". At one time I even managed (well, stuff like adaware & spybot managed) to remove 584 cases of malware, spyware, tracking cookies and other kinds of crap from his PC. Although his switch to Windows 7 has managed to slow that process down quite a bit.
Needless to say that my user credentials and user profile (the way I work) is bound to stop a lot of crap even whenever that is capable of bypassing my virus scanners. Whereas my friend... With such a user profile I don't think it would even help if his virus scanner (or "protection suite") would be capable of blocking everything. Whenever there's a trojan provided chances are high he'll invite it right over by clicking "yes" ("sure I'd like some new software, lets have it!").
AS SUCH.... What kind of user profile is used during such virus tests? With modern Windows (Vista, 7, 8) its almost inevitable that the user will get a system warning somehow. So do they simply assume the user simply clicks yes all the time or....
These days I simply call it the void ;-)
It sucks up your money (marketplace, win8 purchase, extra time spend to do stuff), sucks up your time and it basically sucked up our beloved start menu and parts of our desktop too.
The only thing is that its usually not black.
Agreed, although for me it does matter where its being used. In Office I really like it. Sometimes I keep it visible (Word, Excel), in other places I simply don't want to lose so much room (Outlook, OneNote).
In other programs however (when trying Explorer in Win8 for example) I didn't particularly like the Ribbon. But as you said: hide it and its gone. Out of your face.
Within Office 2010 I like it... You can either use keyboard shortcuts, "Ribbon shortcuts" (press alt once and you see what I mean) or simply use the Ribbon.
I can fully understand that people who were completely familiar with the menu (and its structure) can have some issues finding the options they need. But for me (not so familiar with the menu and its structure) the Ribbon structure made a lot of sense. There's logic being used: I want to insert something in my Word document? I click the 'Insert' tab and there it is: from inserting empty or premade pages to inserting pictures, illustrations, graphics or headers, footers or symbols. Creating an contents section? Its not something you insert; but something you make: a reference. So click on the 'Reference' tab and presto: from inserting contents or indexes right to footnotes, endnotes (also references!) right down to marking items or adding cross references.
And the option to customize the Ribbon is also a very welcome one. After using MS Office for approx. 3/4 of this year now I have plenty of options I use the most. Some end up in the "quick tool bar" and for the more "complex" (and often used) options I simply made my own Ribbon section. Now I hardly have to switch between "Start" or my own section.
Sure its not perfect; I also have had moments when I was searching for one specific option which I couldn't find. But is that really something only happening with the Ribbon ? I doubt it....
And what about....
The early adopters, you know; the people who are currently still using Windows Phone 7.5 which contains a Skype app which can't run on the background?
Do we get some kind of update too or is MS simply going to thank us for all the valuable user input and the fish?
Problem with the VS 2012 Express stuff is that you're still somewhat tied to Windows 8, which is something I'm really not looking forward of using.
So instead of that stuff I'd sooner recommend grabbing one of the VS 2010 Express versions instead. Works excellent on both Windows 7 or Windows 8 (if that's your thing).
You don't even have to deal with the "Desktop version" nonsense (personal opinion) but instead can focus on language; are you going to use C#, VB or C++ ?
Re: So cancelling Win32 APIs and forcing Metro is "to get back to parity" ?
"Way worse than .NET (the Microsoft Java clone, way more messed up than Java itself)."
Uhm, you do realize that .NET is nothing more but a framework which can be used to gain easier access to specific Windows components? Its not a programming language and most certainly not a Java clone.
What you're referring to is C#(.NET); a programming language which can be used to write applications which fully utilize the .NET framework, comparable to the way a Java program is build upon the Java runtime. And indeed; in a way C# mimics Java.
But don't forget that you can also use Visual Basic as well as C++ to build .NET applications. Heck, MS' own application server (IIS) even provides .NET support for ASP build webpages.
Star Wars VII: Rise of the Gungans!
Which of course will also feature lots of singing and dancing.
Anti DDoS attack system
Unfortunately for the poor shop owner the anti-DDoS methods of the State (government) turned out to be far more effective ;-)
Better yet; its free too! (well; apart from the taxes people have to pay of course).
"The problem is that there are a lot of people in the economy, finance and banking that simply don't have a clue."
I think that's true, but you're forgetting a second very powerful motivator here: greed.
Of course banks are excited about the introduction of a well known brand or company on the stock exchange. Because don't forget that with every transaction you make (buy or sell) your broker gets a piece of the 'pie' too. So if there's a chance that brokers can actually sell thousands of stocks then its bound to excite; the trade alone will generate quite some revenue for them.
That is why you should be very careful with what news or advice you're going to follow when it comes to introductions to the stock exchange (introductions which, no matter the brand or company, are always high risk). Most banks (or brokers) will hold double agenda's; its a given.
In Holland we had such a stock exchange tragedy as well, the company in question was World Online. When they prepared to get onto the market they were actually backed up by several well known national banks. It turned into a disaster, which makes you wonder about the stakes involved for those banks.
My take on the matter is that you should never underestimate what greed can do.
Your story seems plausible if only it wasn't for the huge reserves countries have which they can't seem to get rid of due to the low prices. Worse yet: food (components) like butter, sugar, grain which doesn't sold at auctions is simply destroyed "because". No matter how much quantity it concerns.
This is what is happening in a small country like the Netherlands so I'm pretty sure its happening on a larger scale or in other countries too.
As such: don't forget about the /huge/ overhead which we currently have yet don't use. Of course you won't find stories like these in common media, but if you look into these specific subjects (the trade between farmers and the state for example) I'm pretty sure you'll be shocked.
As such; I don't really think your story holds much truth. There's too much overhead which is currently simply destroyed without the common population even knowing about it.
Welcome to the modern financial world....
(yes; I agree this is disgusting)
Have you heard the rumours yet?
"Will Santa be working overtime to shift Win 8 kit? No. Yes! Maybe"
Rumour has it that Microsoft donated (yes, you heard right) a whole Windows 8 infrastructure (dozens of PC's running Windows 8 Professional and Office 2012, and a server with Windows Server 2012 on it) and even helped Santa replace his old stuff (though unfortunately it was never revealed what Santa was using).
But here's the thing... Rumour now has it that Santa's now working major overtime just to try and meet his schedule. Unfortunately the old guy doesn't seem to know how you can make shortcuts on the desktop or the taskbar because he tries to copy stuff from the metro void. To make matters worse; he even seems to have a tendency to get lost in the metro void everytime he starts it.
Here's hoping Santa will still make it in time for Christmas eve....
(man, that would make a really cool geeky Christmas story IMO ;-))
It was to be expected...
As much as I respect some of the things Microsoft does there's one thing I've learned over the past years when dealing with Microsoft products...
You should never get a version 1.0 product from Microsoft; whether its hardware or software is totally irrelevant. That is; unless you're willing to play beta tester and are prepared to deal with several flaws which most likely are going to surface (some pun intended).
And I'm not saying this to badmouth MS; I'm saying so because this is exactly what MS history has shown us, time and time again. MS Expression 1.0 (website editor somewhat based on Dreamweaver)? 1.0 has potential but was full of bugs and often crashed. The current version (4) has become much more stable and is actually quite usable (and enjoyable if you're into this stuff). Windows Vista first release? Windows XP first release? Windows 7 first release? They all got their service packs and from there on things became a lot better.
More recent hardware examples? Windows Phone 7? The first release didn't even have a task scheduler; while Outlook is very useful (IMO) for task management; the first release of the Windows Phone didn't bother to support it. Only the first major update (7.5) brought in task support. And even that is still lacking because while you can sync your appointments and contacts over the Internet with Outlook (or other software) you still can't do this with task lists (not even with Windows Phone 8).
Microsoft ergonomic keyboards anyone? Their current versions are pretty slick and useful, but I've heard just too many complaints about earlier versions to include as an example too.
Of course not all their v1.0 products are 'bad'. But history does show you that if you pick up a v1.0 you're taking certain risks to be confronted with design flaws and other bugs.
As such; I'm not really surprised here.
Correct me if I'm wrong but...
With the cylinder attached to the phone it becomes quite bulky. A lot of people carry their phone in their pockets, something I don't see happening with such a cylinder attached to it. Which brings me to: if due to the cylinder the phone ends up in her purse; then what is the added value in comparison to carrying a can of pepperspray?
Another thing which strikes me as a bit inefficient is that you have to "snap onto its back a cylindrical housing that contains a pepper-spray cartridge. Rotate the cartridge into firing position, aim your Cupertinian smartphone at the menacing miscreant, press the actuator button". With a simple spraycan you grab it from your purse, pull of the protective lid and then simply press the nozzle.
When you're in a panic situation I don't see people easily capable of rotating something into a "firing position" before usage. What I see them capable of is pulling off a lid as quickly as they can and then pressing a nozzle as hard as they can while aiming the pepper spray at their attacker.
When you're in a panic situation you usually don't think straight; things need to be quickly available and as easy to use as possible.
"Those enterprise features? Well, there's Windows To Go, which lets you boot your desktop from a USB"
As if any sane enterprise sysadmin team would allow remote USB sticks to be plugged into their network and actually boot a computer with something unknown; something which could have been infected with god knows what.
Are you serious Microsoft?
I'm sitting this one out
Although it was entertaining, and quite good, 'Brotherhood' left me with a very unsatisfied feeling after I finished it. The end fight really ruined it for me. The assassins I had carefully trained until they reached their maximum level were gone; unusable. I didn't get the swordfight I had been anticipating and preparing for. Nor did we ever get a scenario in the entire game which closely (or somewhat) resembled the teaser movie.
Instead you were running about with the apple which could do nothing more than turn enemies on each other. Sure; if you let it run long enough (and you had the health for it) you could kill someone instantaneously. But as such close range and such high costs that it was basically useless.
As such I skipped revelations, also because of the reviews pointing out the somewhat misplaced sections where you'd have to defend your structures against an armada of vehicles. That sure doesn't look very assassin like.
It looks like they made something quite interesting with this one, but with the experience I have so far I'm going to sit this one out. So that should I decide to pick it up the bugs will be fixed and the price will have dropped. I just hope it will be more satisfying than Brotherhood was.
I think now would be a good time to try and get your money back, if possible :/
This is where they make some good stuff
To be honest I've been quite impressed with some of Microsofts achievements on this terrain. For example; on my WP7.5 phone I have a (free) Microsoft app called "Translator".
It allows you to translate text from stuff you typed using the keyboard, stuff from the camera (pictures where it'll detect text using OCR) or stuff you simply speak into the microphone.
What I've been really impressed with was the other camera option: when I tell the app to translate from, say, English to Dutch after which I point the camera to my PC screen (when I'm typing this comment for example) then I can see the translated text appear on my screen in real time. It gets better: after the first run it will also detect some of the sentences it initially translated directly (one on one) while there are other sentence constructions for it. Those get changed over time too.
As said I was very impressed with this app. Especially since it gets its information from the Internet (obviously but also allows you to download dictionaries so that you can perform translations without an Internet connection as well.
Honestly; there are some fields where Microsoft can really be a trend setter. In my opinion of course.
But, but, but...
What about a bikini clad princess Leia, is she included too?
I could see it now; shoot her at the lot and all the pigs, errr; stormtrooper thingies self-explode.
Yet its still not ready...
"Come to mention it – how did anyone get around a city before 2009?"
Well, same as we now in 2012. Because the feature you're hinting at, Local Scout, is still not supported in all countries. You guys are lucky because in the bigger countries such as England and Germany Local Scout has been fully implemented.
Yet in a dozen other countries; Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain it simply doesn't work. Of course some application developers jumped right in the gap and created apps to cover for all this. But the fact remains that several years after Windows Phone has been released many of its features are still not fully supported.
Local scout is one, what to think about speech dictation? Or having the option to search for pictures or sounds? Bing maps? Its nice that it comes with a "find directions" function, it becomes a little useless because you have to actually tap the screen to tell the phone that it should show you the next waypoint.
So quite frankly; yes, a new phone is kind of impressive. But being a WP7.5 users myself I'd be more impressed if Microsoft would also have made some improvements to the availability of their phone services.
If you buy yourself a Winphone 8 you're also buying into something which provides many unsupported features if you happen to live in 'other' countries. That really doesn't sound very impressive to me.
IMO she brought this all upon herself. Because when you deal in stocks, and know what you're doing, you'll quickly learn that you can't put your trust in individual sources of information. The fact that some company allegedly withheld information is not even relevant here; if you invest in a firm which is new on the market you should know that there are risks involved. Huge risks... Its a given.
In fact; its reasons like that why "newbies" are commonly advised not to deal with stuff like this but instead invest their money in obligations or bonds which may make less money, but its also a whole lot safer. Especially if you don't fully understand how the stock market works. Another well known unwritten rule is that if you do start investing in stocks its always a good idea to spread your 'wallet'. At least make sure that you have some 'leverage' (bonds, obligations, etc.) which can help you minimize the risks should your stocks suddenly plummet.
Look it up; those suggestions can be found all over the Net. And the most important rule of them all: Don't bet all your money on a single 'horse', especially if you don't know what you're doing.
I would expect that someone who's investing his/her life savings would do some preparing; like in the very least reading up on how this stuff actually works before you dive in.
Sorry but all I'm seeing here is someone who thought to get rich quickly, invested without understanding what she did and now lost her money. Yes, it happens. And now the whole world is to blame except for herself.
I see a direct parallel from years ago: a Dutch internet company called "World Online", at that time led by Nina Brink, also went to the stock exchange. And hundreds, if not thousands, of people were already lined up to buy their stocks.
Fun part was that if you did a small bit of calculating, like taking the opening price of the stock, then looking at the amount of company employee's, multiply that amount with the minimum wage you'd soon realize that something didn't quite add up. If you then checked up with the assumed amount of customers, then multiplied those amounts with a common price which World Online charged for their services you'd see that the rough (estimated) value of the company didn't even qualify for the opening price they charged.
Sure; this calculating was all speculation too. But at least it gave you a very good hint at what could be going on. I was tempted to buy in too; but after that calculating decided it wasn't worth the risk. Of course no one believed you if you warned friends that this wasn't a safe investment.
And looking back it turned out to be true; stock value plummeted in one single day. After a few hours they even halted the trade of the stock to avoid further damages.
Within a week the value went from (iirc) E 48,- to E 8,-.
And after all that thousands of people complained. Just like this woman does. The brokers where they got their stocks didn't provide enough information, their stocks didn't sell quickly enough, information was allegedly withheld.... All the things which this woman now claims were also used as arguments here in Holland back then.
Of course; no one got any compensation what so ever because it was all within the law. Nina Brink earned a fortune, many stock buyers lost hundreds (if not thousands) of Euro's and that was also the beginning of the end for World Online.
Even so; if you do your homework and try to prepare yourself (at least learn something about the stock exchange before diving in head first) you can avoid stuff like this.
But the last thing you should do is buy stocks with the idea to get rich very quickly. It doesn't work that way and 9 out of 10 times it'll bite you in the behinds.
Apples and Oranges
"However, one cannot assume Windows 8 on client devices will ultimately succeed, said the CTO. As the fate of OS2 demonstrated, he said, technical superiority isn’t enough on its own."
Actually the fate of OS/2 didn't show that at all. OS/2 certainly had some major advantages over Windows 3.1 and 3.11 (for workgroups), but the main problem was that the common crowd didn't even know of its existence. IBM wasn't trying very hard to make it better known because the product got hardly advertised, at least not here in Holland.
Being a very interested in the product myself I once even applied for a preview release of OS/2 server; that was (IMO) quite impressive. Looking back it was years ahead of its time; like we have now with Window servers they basically took the core foundation and put server components on top to make it act like a server. But basically you were running OS/2 underneath with a different "layer" on top. You see the same, to a certain extend, with Window servers today.
But the thing is... I was even invited to an OS/2 conference, held by IBM in Holland, where they'd promote their server line more and where they would talk about the upcoming OS/2 version (my story involves around the OS/2 3 Warp era).
Guess what I saw when I exited the bus near the IBM building ? Absolutely nothing. No signs, no banners, no posters, no nothing. You had to search for the right entrance (at first I took the main entrance, but I was supposed to go to a totally unmarked side entrance) because nothing was advertised. As if IBM didn't want anyone to know about this event.
Sorry but that's really not the right way to promote a product. THAT eventually caused OS/2's undoing IMO; it never got promoted, it never got advertised, people simply didn't know it existed and such it never got the attention it IMO deserved. And without the Internet like we have now, news on the matter didn't exactly spread quickly either.
Its been years since I used OS/2 (First OS/2 3 Warp then I upgraded to OS/2 4 Merlin) and its a time I really fondly remember. Especially the Win/OS2 part, that was awesome. Especially when I had some friends or colleagues over who wanted to show some stuff.... "You run Windows inside that ?!"
If they cancel it...
Then I think they really don't know what they're doing.
I mean; why can't they simply merge the two products? So keeping both Skype and Messenger alive while changing the voip core of Messenger with that of Skype?
Then people can continue using either their Skype or Messenger client and MS keeps everyone happy.
MS simply doesn't get it...
The main problem, as I see it of course, is that times have changed. Dramatically. Back in the "old days" we had to cough up quite a few bucks before we could actually do some Windows based programming. And before everyone now starts to go "Yeah, MS sucked": this wasn't an sole MS endeavour. If I wanted to program stuff for Solaris (back in the good ole Sun days) I also had to cough up quite a few bucks to get my hands on a native compiler.
And then Linux and GNU happened. It has caused major changes in the way people approached the "old stuff". Buy a Solaris compiler? Why bother; some cool dudes have ported GCC over to Solaris, I'll just use that. Buy myself a Windows server to get some cool Windows based network going at home (yes guys; some people actually like Windows / Windows based computing)? Sounds cool enough; if only prices didn't start ticking at $ 700,- and up. I'll just get myself a Linux box and put Samba on it!
The way I see it Microsoft really has no clue - what so ever - how to deal with this. Sure; they came to their senses where servers are concerned and introduced low priced "home servers". That was a smart move. They also (as can be seen in the article) started providing free developers environments. It doesn't support everything, but you can do some serious stuff with it (I use the C#.NET Express version to program PowerShell extensions and that works quite well).
But the thing is; I don't think they did that because of market strategy. I think they did all that purely for "damage control". You know: If a $700,- sells only 2 times you could put a cheaper version on the market. Because if a $300,- solution manages to sell 5 times you're already close to achieving more than you did before.
WP8 (and WP7) development? Sure; the development tools are free. But the rest is not; its actually quite expensive. And yes: I know they have an introduction offer right now: "$8,- for 8". Thing is: you don't simply pay $8,- and be done with it. You pay them $99,- and can then hope to actually get your $91,- refund. Also very nice for people outside the US who will get even less discount due to currency changes.
Lets see.... WP7.5 / WP8: small marketshare, free development tools but you have to pay before you can do some serious development (even when using your own phone), and you're restricted to using Windows 8 (as of WP8).
Android... Free development tools, you can easily unlock your phone yourself so that you can get hands on experience without paying a dime extra, its the market leader right now AND you can basically do your development in any environment you'd like; from Windows to Linux.
Gee; I wonder why Windows Phone doesn't manage to attract the real geeks....
Being Dutch I totally agree that Win8 will ramp, the sooner the better!
(fyi: "ramp" is also a Dutch word meaning 'disaster') :-)
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