* Posts by ShelLuser

1962 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

Windows Phone won't ever succeed, says IDC

ShelLuser
Windows

Well, duh!

For the record: I am a Windows Phone user (using WP 7.5, I have no intention to upgrade) and I actually enjoy the environment. Yes, I am a little bit biased but trust me when I say that I can easily set that aside. I'm a fan, not a fanboy.

I think that Windows Phone ("WP") has plenty of potential to gain a good share on the mobile market. There are plenty of advantages to think of. The simple, blocky, interface may seem a little off at first but once you start using it you'll soon come to appreciate it as well. Especially if you care more about functionality than looks.

But the problem is that Microsoft made a horrendous start, like they always seem to do. WP started out rock solid: hardware manufacturers had to comply to a very specific ruleset in order to call their product "Windows Phone". This gave us users the strong impression that you bought into something for the future, something with a longer time period. Just like Windows itself: I got Windows 7 around 2012 and I tend to use it around its EOL in 2018. That is 6 years worth of Windows 7.

SO we could easily live with the shortcomings of the first devices. It didn't have todo lists? Not to worry: future updates were bound to fix that.

Yeah, and around that time we also learned that Microsoft was ditching their WP7 line entirely and got ready to move onto WP8. Thanks for all the support dear users, now get ready to buy into Windows Phone again if you want to continue to enjoy the full experience.

That may work if you're Android or iPhone (interesting is to note that both environments don't do this: you can run modern version of the OS on older devices if you want to) but not if you're still desperately trying to gain extra market share. You need to attract customers, not piss them off.

Speaking of these other environments... User accessibility is also a big thing. I actually enjoy programming within Microsoft environments like .NET. I enjoy both C# as well as VB (mostly within VBA, but still...). So obviously I was thrilled at the opportunity to "hack" my phone. How can it get more geekier than hooking up your phone to your computer, firing up a free version of Visual Studio and try to get your phone to 'do' something?

I was honestly excited to learn about function calls within Windows which allowed me to control my phone. I really was. But I became horribly disappointed when I learned that the only way to dive into this new hobby of mine was to buy a developers license for E 100,- with Microsoft. That is a lot of money for something you're not even sure you want to dive into. Sure: I knew about the emulator. Did you miss my geek comment above? Anyone can play with an emulator. Where's the fun in that? Messing with my phone which I paid for, that is fun.

And as usual it wasn't until later when Microsoft realized their mistake and ended up providing free access to it. But as always: too little, too late. A lot of real fanatics, some really enthusiastic players, had already moved on. After my previously mentioned disappointment I uninstalled the WP SDK and never looked back. Sure, I know I can pick up the pase again if I wanted to. But the disappointment also made it loose its appeal. And another thing: Microsoft disappointed me once, what guarantees do I have that they won't do so again? Back then that was an issue: I could buy into WP8 and try again. But what guarantees were there that they wouldn't just drop the whole thing again as they have done before?

WP has plenty of potential. But the problem is that Microsoft doesn't know anything about appealing to its customers. They still think that they can dominate the market and that people will follow them no matter what. But times have changed... dramatically.

And until Microsoft changes that mindset then yeah... Then this will probably never come to pass.

4
1

Doctor Who: Oh, look! There's a restaurant at the end of the universe in Hell Bent

ShelLuser

dont overdo it

It wasn't shite, not at all, but I have to admit that I also didn't think it was all that great either.

The problem with these story twists is that they don't add up. They are highly entertaining, awesomely well executed (the bar scene was chilling, the unarmed take over of Gallifrey was very statisfying, and the old Tardis was also a nice touch). But if you dig deeper, like most geeks do, then you'll end up disappointed over so many loose ends.

So the Sisterhood of Karn was on Gallifrey. So they knew where it was. Why didn't they tell the doctor?

And even though I personally like seeing Clara again I also was hoping that the story would focus more on Gallifrey and the time lords instead of only centering fully around Clara Oswald again.

Shite? Go wash your mouth sir. Acting was very well executed, the emotions then layed into it was awesome. But true; it didn't leave me with the amount of satisfaction that I hoped for.

10
0

PHP 7.0 arrives, so go forth and upgrade if you dare

ShelLuser
Pint

just my 2 cents...

"With so much changed, PHP 7 is almost certainly not backwards compatible with your existing code, especially if you’re running anything remotely legacy (yes, even you there with the ‘updated PHP 4 project)."

And this is why I hate PHP from a sysadmin / hosting perspective. Because when the time comes when you will need to upgrade then good luck explaining to your customers that their hacked together website has stopped working and that it's most definitely not your fault but that of the PHP team. Then get ready for: "So why can't you keep using this version?" and in the end you'll end up with some customers probably leaving, others muttering about bad service and some who see what this is and will then start antagonizing the others for not keeping up.

Fortunately this is a major upgrade (5 to 6) which is a lot different and easier to explain than the 5.2 - 5.4 (iirc) update which also broke a lot of stuff.

I know I'm quite the critic here but meh; I think the non-backwards compatibility only shows evidence of a sloppy design. Quite frankly this is also exactly why I'm so in favor of the "Unix mindset": let everything perform small tasks and then bring those tasks together to do bigger things. Sure: from a management perspective not always the easiest but it is most certainly the most flexible.

On the positive side though all these changes may also create more work for the administrators and programmers. I suppose that could also be a positive thing, especially in these times. But quite frankly.. I'd rather stick to using stuff which keeps working while also keeping its history in mind.

8
4

Microsoft whips out PowerApps – now your Pointy Haired Boss can write software, too!

ShelLuser
Windows

Why don't they finally stick with something?!

I realize that this is a matter of opinion but I think that Microsoft has some pretty impressive and useful technologies in their portfolio. For example; a full VBA engine underneath their Office environment; it combines the easily accessible BASIC language and combines it with a pretty slick OO based model allowing you pretty much to glue your Office needs together.

Microsoft also has a problem: usually when they start out with something then it's not always state of the art. I don't think I have to come up with examples; we all know our own Microsoft horror stories. However, it's also fair to say that Microsoft has shown the drive and the skills to turn things around. Drastically. Turning something utter shite into something very useful. I know, I know: matter of opinion.

But here's the thing I fail to get: once they managed to reach that point then they usually abandon their stuff all together. Example? Well, how about Expression Web and Expression Design. An environment made for website development combined with vector graphics support. People familiar with the Dreamweaver / Fireworks combination would feel right at home. I've used Expression Web 4 professional myself, even paid for it, and it was very useful. It allowed me solid HTML design but also provided a bit of programming features.

And there came Visual Studio 2012, which had pretty horrendous start itself. Yet it was still determined that it should replace Expression Web effectively replacing a tool fully aimed at web development with a tool aimed at general development. It was horrid at first, but they did come around. My point: why throw away a working environment in exchange for something not even complete?

You see this all over the place. .NET anyone? For years they pushed .NET forward as the de-facto standard for programming on Windows. Then we got the mobility fever and wham: it had to be replaced / enhanced with a Javascript engine out of all things. Something else? Windows 7: an extremely popular operating system, for many a true replacement for XP. Instead of pushing it to its limits: no, we're going to re-invent the wheel with Windows 8 (disaster) and then Windows 10 (which still has to proof itself).

The problem is that they're fracturing their own market up to such extremes that it's hard to keep up, let alone making sure that you really want to invest in whatever is hip right now because chances are always high that it can get dumped and replaced with something else anytime.

And here is yet another example... There was Frontpage, which I agree wasn't exactly very good. Then we got Sharepoint which showed some pretty serious potential, still had its quirks of course but it mixed pretty good into their Office suite. And so here we are: lets dump it and move on. Even though Sharepoint has come such a long way and is a pretty solid environment right now.

Why can't they stick with their own program for a change and back it up with everything they have?

3
0

Visual Studio Code: The top five features

ShelLuser
Windows

Underimpressed...

I've been using VS2012 for quite some time now, never bothered to upgrade (not even to the Express versions) simply because I could get my work done withing VS2012 easily. However, that doesn't mean that I'm not interested to keep up with current developments and well...

Trying this out made one thing very obvious to me: the only reason they slapped the name Visual Studio onto this is because of the brand and nothing more. This has absolutely nothing in common with working in VS and I think readers really should be careful and not let themselves be fooled by this.

The editor is lightweight and responds pretty good. But there's a catch: because of the lightweight approach it also has a massive learning curve. The icons in the toolbar aren't very easily picked up and worse yet: if you start working with this thing you'll quickly notice that it's basically a mere editor which tries to disguise itself as some kind of "lightweight IDE", yet it lacks all the features you'd expect to find in one. This critter didn't even close my quotes nor brackets, not even after I saved the file I was working on so that it could clearly determine what kind of codefile I was working with.

So yah, definitely not worth my time. Also because I suspect what's going on here: I bet that if you want some extra enhanced functionality then you'll simply have to get extra plugins, some will be free but most will most likely end up payware.

Seriously? If you want a free "Visual Studio experience" then you're better of picking up the Express versions. And if you don't want anything to do with Microsoft then there are still other worthy alternatives, also free of charge. For example Xamarin Studio comes to mind...

For everything else you're most likely better off using the editor which you currently use. I'm pretty sure it provides just as much features, if not more, than this critter.

13
2

Doctor Who: The Hybrid finally reveals itself in the epic Heaven Sent

ShelLuser

Re: Finally it starts to come together.

The episode was entertaining for sure but definitely not great. The major problem with this one is that it has giant problems sitting in plain sight. If the creature stops whenever the doctor speaks a truth which has never been spoken before then saying that he's scared during the second run wouldn't have worked anymore. So eventually the doctor would have run out of truths to tell.

And there's also the problem about resetting rooms which apparently clean up dropped flowers, fill up dirt holes yet still leaves writing in the sand completely alone.

It was entertaining, yes, but there were too many illogical twists kept in plain sight for me.

0
1

So why exactly are IT investors so utterly clueless?

ShelLuser

Lack of drive and an excess of greed...

With drive I'm obviously referring to actually having that spark within you which fuels curiosity. Which makes you go the extra mile to learn what makes something tick. And of course the drive to learn about technology and how to use it.

Greed? We all know that one...

I still remember the perfect example of all this: when a Dutch Internet provider (World Online) decided to take their firm to the stock market. Context: it was a rather small company and the initial price for one stock sat very high. A simple calculation would show you that something wasn't right here. Simply checking their revenue (public information at that time) and dividing that with the amount of employee's and then matching it up to their estimated company value learned you that they had to earn a lot extra if they ever wanted to match up to it.

You didn't even have to be a stock market expert. A few minor calculations combined with common sense and a small interest in the IT market was enough.

Greed prevailed, the launch happened and the stock plummeted. Some people lost thousands that day.

When I played the stock market (very small player) I only invested in companies I took a liking to and which looked trustworthy. Of course I had making money in mind, but I also liked to think that I was actually supporting those companies as well. Which means that when I noticed that things went bad with a certain company and their explanations made perfect sense to me I didn't bail out "just like that". Instead I expanded my portfolio because I trusted them; the dividend I got that year went straight back into the company. In the end that paid off quite well. Maybe not as much as the "jumpers" got who bailed and immediately invested into the next hip thing, but I ended up with both a nice bit of extra cash as well as a good feel of satisfaction.

1
0

Yahoo! Mail! is! still! a! thing!, tries! blocking! Adblock! users!

ShelLuser
Black Helicopters

It's not about spam, it's about /security/

You read that right, welcome to the modern Internet.

Say you have a piece of malware which you want spread out, then why waste your efforts on one website while you could be targeting dozens at the same time with a little preparation? The secret? Target the source which all those websites have in common: advertisements. The best part is that most advertisement uses different sources which usually get displayed in series. So while one client might not see anything wrong with it the other will get the full package, also making detection a little harder.

Think I'm fantasizing? Sorry to disappoint: I've seen just way too many well respected websites fall prey to this. Ending up getting mentioned in several virus scanners as well as through Google and Bing itself.

Now: I realize that you should be able to expect good or better security from a bigger player such as Yahoo, but what guarantees are there? And make no mistake here: above I was only referring to malicious contents which was obviously harming your computer. Since we're talking e-mail: why not try to set up listeners which more or less mask themselves as advertising? A very lucrative business I'd say, especially since you're specifically targeting an e-mail platform.

I know, I know... I may be too cynical; I'll add the black helicopter. But that doesn't make it unreasonable to be careful here, and to simply stop using such a provider. Besides: there's plenty more besides Yahoo: Google, Microsoft, and just about every domain registrant out there.

13
1

Struggling to understand Docker? Let's start with a Minecraft demo

ShelLuser
FAIL

How about a /working/ demo?

The page which the article refers to really shows the narrow mindset of a modern company. I mean, here are the (10) steps to run the demo:

1. Install the Minecraft client, you'll need a Minecraft account.

Done, I'm actually a Minecraft player myself so no problems here.

2. Run the following commands: "docker pull gaetan/dockercraft"

So I open up a command window (cmd.exe) and....

C:\Users\Peter>docker pull gaetan/dockercraft

docker wordt niet herkend als een interne

of externe opdracht, programma of batchbestand.

C:\Users\Peter>

In other words: bad command or filename.

Great demo indeed! Isn't a demo supposed to allow people unfamiliar with the software to learn how it works? So why rely on the software you're trying to demo in the first place?

0
1

Why Microsoft's .NET Core is the future of its development platform

ShelLuser

Re: .NET .. the lame clone of Java

"A poor clone of Java"

It's not, and seeing is believing. Java has always been (and for me it always will be) the "Internet language". Just take a look at the package names and you quickly see where I'm going with this. Of course another side to this was its platform independence.

.NET has always been a Windows platform so in that regard its not even trying to mimic Java. Another mistake you're making here is that .NET consists of both C# as well as Visual Basic (VB.NET). You mean to target C#, not .NET as a whole. It helps to get your facts straightened out before criticizing you know...

But yeah, the only thing which C# and .NET have in common is that there is a runtime required to use anything which was build upon it and that's it. If you know Java then you don't automatically know C#. You'll spot some vague similarities, sure, but that's where it ends. C# (.NET basically) supports standards which Java can only dream about at this time. Take for example something so simple yet so effective as partial classes. One class can be spread out in multiple files.

Maybe not useful for regular programming logic, but it's a godsend for webcoding (ASP.NET). I can split up a webpage in multiple files; thus leaving me with markup (HTML/CSS) and logic (the code file). Not having to wade through stuff which the webdesigners manage to muck up? Or not having them play webcoder while all they do is design? It's awesome.

And that is one small example which is impossible with Java. Even today. Even though this was already possible with C# and .NET as a whole 3 years ago. Longer even.

3
2

Hillary Clinton: Stop helping terrorists, Silicon Valley – weaken your encryption

ShelLuser

How long before they target OSS?

No one mentions it but you know that's going to be next. After all: one of the reasons why you cannot fully regulate encryption is also because there are plenty of geeky programmers out there who value their privacy just as much as I do. Who stand with innocent until proven guilty.

I tell you it'll be a matter of time before the "law abiding tech companies" are favored above the "hippie mentality" of "open source software" because the first can be relatively easily controlled ("you know what: you add that backdoor to your security suite and you can expect a huge investment in a few weeks") whereas the latter is pretty much a free for all.

"Open source software is a movement which helps terrorists". Fun part? This can actually be true because the whole idea behind free software is providing it for anyone. So anyone can pick up and modify your code. Of course the "anyone" part will be left out when it comes to the government propaganda.

9
0

DS5: Vive la différence ... oh, and throw away the Citroën badge

ShelLuser

My only 'problem' with cars these days...

... is that they all more or less look alike.

Oh, I'm sure that a car expert can narrow down all the specific features and specific styles which make this car stand out from the rest. Sure. Maybe it's me getting old. But last century it was easy to immediately recognize and distinguish between, say, a Citroen and a Volkswagen or a Ford. Nowadays I'm more than often not too sure anymore.

In general it's usually more of the same to me. And the best way to separate one from the other is the logo. What gives?

5
0

Kids' tech skills go backwards thanks to tablets and smartmobes

ShelLuser

@Petur

Users are only getting as dumb as the interface they are facing.

Well, I think there's more to it than that. For example the teachers also have a big influence in all this.

When teaching this stuff it is important to stimulate curiosity, to motivate kids to dive deeper into the matter they're working with. I think that crucial part is severely lacking with "modern" education. Let's do a Google search; why not try to make the kids wonder how Google actually manages all that? How does all that Internet data end up "in" Google?

Still, I think matters are far worse than this. I mean: a Google search isn't merely an IT related task, it's also about being able to break a subject down into smaller parts. I'd even argue that it is (or should be) a bit of common sense at work: finding the relevant keywords.

How hard can that be I wonder...

3
0

Coffee fixes the damage booze did to your liver, study finds

ShelLuser

How long before...

"Alert, alert: drinking 3 cups of coffee per day is dangerous and can seriously damage your <insert random organ here>?"

Call me cynical if you will but that's the trend I've been spotting with these kinds of stories. Do note that I'm not claiming that this can't be true or such, I simply don't know. But more than often will you hear one party which claims that $substance is good for your health and a few months later another party will announce the opposite.

2
0

Untamed pledge() aims to improve OpenBSD security

ShelLuser
Black Helicopters

Only goes down, not up ;)

Interesting development, leave it up to OpenBSD to come up with specific ideas to further secure the whole lot. Oh, and in case you're thinking what I was thinking when I first read this: pledge() can be called multiple times but only to reduce further abilities, not to regain them. Just found out about this myself in the pledge() manual page.

Now.. I'm an administrator, not so much a programmer, but I can't help draw some parallels with SELinux, even if that comparison doesn't really cover it. But... There is a routine in the kernel to secure things and the userland programs will need to support those routines in order to work with it. With that in mind, whilst knowing that I might make an unfair comparison, but I have to admit that this system appeals a lot more to me and I think it also has much more potential.

Here's the thing: security isn't only about covering all your bases. It's also about accessibility: not making it too hard for people to use. Because it you make things too complicated and too hard then chances are very high that several people will bypass or ignore it. And so here we are: one simple function call is enough to start using this routine, which I think makes it very accessible. And with that quite secure.

I really hope that we'll eventually see this popping up in FreeBSD as well.

10
1

Is the world ready for a bare-metal OS/2 rebirth?

ShelLuser

Good times...

Where most of my friends ran Windows and Windows for Workgroups I simply ran OS/2 Warp (later 4; "Merlin") and kept Windows in its own sub-area. I clearly recall like yesterday: I had bought myself a Compaq Presario 486 which I really enjoyed. It came with a "Compaq personalized" version of Windows 3.1 / 3.11 which even replaced the Program Manager (progman.exe) with something else. I don't quite remember what, but it turned your desktop into some kind of notebook. Even allowing different pages with different icon groups. It was very easy and nice to work with.

Best part? I got all of that working inside WinOS/2. Not all Compaq floppies picked up as they should, but even the Compaq's graphics driver for Windows could be used within WinOS/2 (in all fairness: given my Windows inexperience at that time it is possible that the drivers simply installed without doing anything).

So my trusty Compaq fired up with OS/2 with all the native OS/2 software I had downloaded & purchased (Stardock's Object Desktop FTW!) and whenever I needed Windows I simply started it while all my OS/2 software just kept going. This became especially true when I discovered the Internet where I did most using Netscape on OS/2.

Fun fact: the OS/2 image viewer I used back then (forgot the name) was nearly identical to IrfanView which I'm using now. Way ahead of its time.

OS/2 was expensive, I remember buying a copy for approx. 400 or 500guilders or something, but it was worth every penny. Rock solid, never failed on me and it kept working. And native Java support! :)

Honestly... If they could pull something off with a Windows stack which would allow Windows (7, 8 & 10) software to run natively within OS/2 like WinOS/2 did then it could be well worth the upgrade. Unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon, but if only... One can dream, right?

4
0

Hurrah! Doctor Who brings us a bootstrap paradox treat in Before the Flood

ShelLuser
Meh

Breaking the 4th wall was a bit cheap

So far I think my prediction of the way how this season will play out still holds true: its enjoyable yet the overall quality drops. What I didn't like in particular was the breaking of the 4th wall for the only reason to explain what was about to happen. And the whole paradox felt a bit cheap to me, almost the same as those weird "fixed points in time".

Thing is: instead of explaining it up front why not just roll out the story and let the story explain itself? In other words: actually create that bit of mystery which will leave people wondering which came first? The chicken or the egg?

As always it was entertaining, but in my opinion it's definitely not of the same quality as some of the previous seasons are.

3
1

Miss Brittany dethroned for posting 'nude' Facebook pics

ShelLuser

Re: Double standards?

I'm not sure to be honest. I mean; surely those girls would have been told what they can and cannot do when entering such a competition. You may not like the rules, and I have admit that it seems a bit exaggerated, but fact of the matter is that the participants knew what they got themselves into up front.

So if you then participate, win and break the rules you agreed on then I can understand that the organization takes action, even if it might not be a popular decision.

Which is the only part I'm a bit confused about: whether she posted those pictures before or after winning. If it was before then the judges have done a horribly lousy job and are taking it out on the wrong person, but if it was the other way around...

7
1

Worker drones don't need PCs says Microsoft, give 'em phones instead

ShelLuser
Windows

Too little, too late?

Why don't they start with some very basic functionality first? You know: I have a Windows (7) computer, which has some shares open. I have a Windows phone which uses wifi to connect to the same network. So allow me to access my PC in order to copy some stuff over to my phone (either using the PC or my phone), all without having to resort to stuff such as OneDrive.

Next: contents. When I use Office on my PC (specifically Outlook) then I want to be able to access all my info from my phone as well. Note: all of it, this includes such trivial things like todo lists.

Once you got all of these items covered then it could be a nice idea to think about "putting the Windows experience into a phone". But seriously.. Start by making the phone actually useful for a change.

I honestly enjoy my Windows (7.5) phone. It roughly does what I want it to do, I can keep track of the info I need, etc. But the first thing which really somewhat disappointed me was when I tried to find a way to access my Windows PC. How could a Windows phone not communicate with a Windows PC?

So yeah; it could be good if Microsoft would finally come to their senses and make this happen. I'd applaud it. But you know what the real problem is with all that? It could very well be too little, too late. How many people have already moved onto Android or iOS in the mean time when they discovered the shortcomings of Windows Phone?

4
3

Terror in the Chernobyl dead zone: Life - of a wild kind - burgeons

ShelLuser
Mushroom

Never underestimate...

Natures ability to adapt to the environment.

0
0

Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?

ShelLuser

@Chris

And this is why I like reading El Reg, we all focus on the tech side of things and seemingly overlook the rest. I mean: forget about those radio waves getting out: what about the doctor?

Several 'ghosts' which can outrun humans, all banded together in the faraday cage and the doctor decides to join them. We see that they quickly gather around him and continue to repeat their message. We also learn that the 'ghosts' realize their predicament; otherwise they wouldn't try to tamper with the computers again later on.

So how did the doctor get out of there? That's the part which irked me. Maybe he told them a joke and mentioned something in the likes of "Look behind you!" while he quickly slipped out?

It's like I mentioned some weeks ago; this series will most likely become massively entertaining but the quality is bound to drop a bit. Which I think is just what happened here.

0
0

Smuggle mischievous JavaScript into WinRAR archives? Sure, why not

ShelLuser

@Ben

If you can persuade a user to execute an executable, then that executable can execute code embedded in the executable.

Actually it goes deeper than that. Because people who don't trust these executables also have the option to right click and "open in archiver". Then WinRAR gets started and it'll display the archives contents, and will also provide options to extract it. Many people who don't trust the executable often use this method instead.

Yet that can now also result in issues.

11
1

Devious Davros, tricksy Missy and Dalek Clara delight in The Witch's Familiar

ShelLuser

I think you're looking waay too much into this...

Did the young Davros end up in possession of the gunstick? Also, what became of the sonic screwdriver? The two things that could (maybe) help to bring about a Time Lord-Dalek hybrid mutant.

To be honest I think the author looks deeper into these plots than Moffat is doing. Because so far I have yet to see Moffat make a real change stopper and following up on it. I mean: "The impossible girl", Claras was allegedly going into the doctors timeline and she was fixing everything. Yet in later seasons you then hear nothing about this anymore. Not that I mind, but it would enhance the whole atmosphere, it would add a little more depth to the plots.

Yet instead any plots used in a season generally end once the season is done, and we won't hear much about it anymore. There are notable exceptions of course; think about the Doctors daughter, yet one could argue that the Amy Pond era basically spanned more seasons so its only natural that they re-used characters and plots.

Need more proof? Well, remember "Victory of the Daleks"? Most people disliked it because it introduced the new "salt and pepper" brightly colored daleks, yet even so it did open up a whole new plot twist where the daleks had renewed themselves and went back into the timewars. I'd say that's a massive plot twist which just screams for a follow up as it has the potential to rewrite timelord history itself. Yet nothing... On the contrary, it looks to me as if the producers try to pretend that this never happened, as can be seen in these two episode. Understandable for sure since many fans did not care for those new daleks, but still...

It was Moffat who opened the door to all the bizarre time-driven plot twists (like the re-run in the finale which re-used scenes in the season itself but from a completely different perspective). So why stop there? At the very least it could have been a nice way to hook into history and get rid of the new "dalek paradigm".

All of which surely promises more Davros as this season's story unfolds.

But about the daleks: hasn't Moffat already told us last year (or the one before) that he wanted less dalek appearances, not more? In my opinion there was only 1 reason why they were used in the opening episodes: to undo some of the decline in interest and popularity. Although I really hope for more appearances I have some serious doubts that they will reappear in this season.

The master, sorry: Missy, for sure.. but the daleks? I dunno.

0
0

NEW ERA for HUMANITY? NASA says something 'major' FOUND ON MARS

ShelLuser

Flowing water

My bet is on flowing water to be honest. Which seems big enough considering that there might be something in it, but that's about all I can think of. Maybe they finally discovered the blob?

If they did then here's hoping these guys have watches their classics :)

0
0
ShelLuser

@Steven

I recall somebody once saying that if NASA was going to falsify anything, they'd have more reason to falsify discovering life in space rather than suppressing it, because such a discovery would guarantee a raft of funding

There is a difference between disclosing the information to your boss (in this case the government) or to the general population. Why assume that everything will also go public?

0
0

Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows: The spirit of Clippy lives on

ShelLuser
Windows

Flat interface...

My main gripe is once again the interface. Instead of trying to make the 365 online parts look more like the desktop counterpart they're still insisting to reverse this process. We didn't come all this way with high-end graphic cards and powerful GUI extenders only to be greeted with a flat 2D interface.

Granted: this is still a little better than the horrid "lets remove all the color" approach, but yah. Guess my age is showing but for me this flatness still doesn't weigh up against the feature rich (and colorful!) interface of Office 2010. Which to this day still remains my absolute favorite.

The eyes want something too!

16
6

You want the poor to have more money? Well, doh! Splash the cash

ShelLuser

Nice article but...

... you include the main problem why this isn't going to work: "To start from the beginning, let's abandon any Randian ideas that there's not going to be any form of governmental interference in the income distribution.".

Yet I dare wonder if the modern governments don't form a big (if not huge) part of the whole problem themselves. Because in many countries (at least I know of Britain as well as Holland) have governments started to shift some of their previous responsibilities into private operations (companies, organizations, etc.) who should do the work for them.

Unfortunately the effective result so far is that the population kept paying the same amount of taxes (if not more) while the government as a whole started to do much less for them in return.

Have we already forgotten the prime requirements of said governments? Because one of its key essence, the one which (should) even validate its existence, is to concentrate the means of the population and perform any tasks which are meant to be for the common good. It's not only about making laws or upholding them, it also used to be about making sure that we'd all be able to enjoy the basic needs of life. Primary requirements. Yet all the governments seem to have been doing as of late is turn their back on these responsibilities.

So while tax and redistribution should work, your main obstacle is the government itself. Which, in multiple countries, seems to have grown into some kind of overhead moloch which requires the people to pay it on one hand, but on the other tries to evade its responsibilities best as it can.

I don't have the solution for this, other than reeling them in, but as long as they're included in the plan then I don't see this working anytime soon.

1
0

Doctor Who storms back in fine form with Season 9 opener The Magician's Apprentice

ShelLuser
Windows

A real "timewar"?

When reading the comments and checking the episode myself I have to wonder if we're not having a real timewar on our hands: that of the generations. It looks to me as if a majority of younger viewers seems to like the episode whereas more seasoned who fans don't care for all the "shallow" (action) twists.

And I have to admit that I'm also cynical. My main gripe here is that the popularity of the series has heavily declined with the last season and as such they needed to make this work. My main dilemma is simple: when is something a harmless tribute and when does it become a shameful attempt to share in the others popularity? This episode is surely testing that dilemma because its "borrowing" settings from all over the place. From Star Wars right down to Ghost in the Shell. And I'm not sure I like that approach because Doctor Who should be setting the standards, not borrowing them.

Then another issue: plot twists. Collect everything good about Doctor Who (Master, Daleks, time based plot twists and a bit of obvious mystery), add some spectacular scenes even if they are plain out ridiculous (tank scene) and you'll end up with this episode.

The main reason I'm a bit meh myself is because apart from heavily borrowing plot twists from other work out there the series is now also heavily contradicting itself. There was once a time where the doctor was careful with influencing the time stream, this was even made obvious when he brought Vincent van Gogh to a modern museum. Yet now we roll tanks into ancient history, leave people to wonder where the electricity for the guitar is coming from and we don't care about the possible consequences. One would say nicely dramatic introduction, I can't help thinking: "fillers".

And so we enter the real timewar: the older generation who lived the Doctor Who history and who valued some of the serious parts in the series and the younger who are more drawn towards the more action and less serious (dare I say shallow?) approach, at least that's my impression of it.

Yes, it was enjoyable to some extend, but I also think the overall quality dropped a bit. Especially if you start using other peoples popular work in an attempt to repair the decline of yours. But of course people like it. The modern generation is, after all, generally more centered around itself and doesn't really care too much of their surroundings anymore. Who cares if I bother others when I park my car here, I should be allowed to, right?

SO yeah, I say a battle of the generations.

Personally I foresee an enjoyable yet incredibly shallow season.

We'll see :)

2
0

A krayshee sexy Dutch post-pub nosh neckfiller: Stamppot

ShelLuser

It is stamppot but..

If you want the real traditional stamppot you're looking for "wortels en uien", or in other words "carrots and onions".

And it's just as the name implies: you cook up a decent batch of potatoes together with carrots and onions and then mash it all together. Couldn't be easier :)

1
0

The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined

ShelLuser

Re: Made My Day

nope, nothing ... it does not do minecraft well enough

Don't cut them short yet. Try asking them about 'redstone' sometimes, and if you get answers other than "I don't know redstone" then I'd advice you to pay close attention to whatever it is they're doing and / or have build.

Redstone circuitry within that "simple game of Minecraft" can even be used to build memory modules, CPU's, and sometimes even word processors or whole computers. Here's a nice example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_ULtNYRCbg

Just because people play Minecraft does not mean that they're doing nothing other than placing blocks to create 8-bit house environments ;)

3
0

Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8

ShelLuser
Windows

It will be worth it, really?

So I'm a member of the Insider program and also eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10. Good news indeed. A few weeks ago we could download the ISO file but nowadays we need to use a tool which conveniently does all of these steps for us: it can either upgrade our current system (Win7/Win8) to Windows 10 or it can create the installation media for us.

Referring to MediaCreationTool.exe by the way. It is truly amazing!

I start it and tell it that I want to install on another computer. I get to select the version I want, it allows me to point it to a download directory and I click ok. Then it shows the 'windows 8' round hourglass-like animation for 5 or so seconds and then it stops without a message what so ever. Even the task manager shows me that it isn't running anymore.

If it can't even manage to create the ISO installation media, do you really think I'd trust it enough to upgrade my PC to a new version? Microsoft sure has been smoking some weird stuff as of late....

2
2

BONK! BONK! Windows 10 whack-a-mole – Microsoft still fixing bugs

ShelLuser
Windows

If only MS were a reliable service partner...

Note; I'm not spouting the common (unfounded) "Microsoft is evil" propaganda here, but merely commenting on examples from the past which just show you how "reliable" Microsoft can be.

Take Windows Server 2003, near its EOL. If you were putting faith in Microsoft and also used their anti virus & anti malware security (Security Essentials) then you had the pleasure of having to deal with a product which refused to work normally ("Security status insecure", the icon would remain orange) because your OS would expire in 3 - 4 months.later on.

Windows XP: same procedure.

Ergo: when they don't like you using a certain product (even though it's still perfectly valid) they'll try to thwart you. Does that sound like a reliable partner to use their software as a service? I have my doubts...

3
3

We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

ShelLuser
Windows

It's getting a little better with every release (it seems).

So after reading those encouraging words in the article I figured why not give this a try. So I downloaded the ISO (this time I opted for one in my local language), started VirtualBox again and applied the changes.

I have to say there's definitely something positive to notice here: the OS doesn't crash on my with a weird error message. Instead it asks if I want to boot with the CD, I press a key, the (IMO lame) new Windows logo shows and I can see the CD image getting accessed. After 30 - 40 seconds my HD gets accessed once and then the whole OS just stalls. I waited 5 minutes but the Windows logo remains indefinitely.

Now, I have to admit that my hardware isn't state of the art. However, with this same setup I can easily run Windows 8 within VirtualBox without any effort (apart from mental efforts in order not to lose my sanity). Windows 10 on the other hand does absolutely nothing.

Definitely not the kind of experience which convinces me that this might be a liable candidate to replace my Windows 7 Professional somewhere in the far future :)

1
0
ShelLuser

@ecofeco

"The word everyone is looking for and should be thinking about is "clutter.""

Actually it's "accessibility".

0
0

What Murphy’s law has to teach you about data centres

ShelLuser

Does the author dislike McClain? ;)

Couldn't help notice that his quote got used twice. Murphy, or just an attempt at adding a little filler? ;)

1
0

North America down to its last ~130,000 IPv4 addresses

ShelLuser

So how many get freed?

Every time we hear these doom stories about IPv4 addresses running out. And although I don't question the fact that there is only a limited amount of addresses available, I can't help wonder... Usually all we're reading is stories about usage. Like this one: now there are only approx. 130,000 IPv4 addresses available for use.

So what happens if someone cancels his subscription, stops hosting his server, or when an ISP applies a change in their subscription scheme where there's a difference between getting a public or private IP address?

I know, I know: in most cases nothing changes (the ISP & data center keeps custody over its address blocks, so does the ISP) but there are also plenty of scenario's where addresses do get freed, up to a point that they become available for public use again.

But I think it's a bit strange that you hardly read anything about that process.

3
0

Chrome, Debian Linux, and the secret binary blob download riddle

ShelLuser

@Fibbles

Unless you're reading every line of code how is this any safer than downloading binaries from repositories? Your security is dependent on other people in both cases.

I agree with you where, as I call it, 'hands on' security is concerned. If there's a small programming error in a program somewhere then it's quite unlikely that anyone will notice. I hate to drag up disasters from the past, but the Debian OpenSSL debacle really showcased this. This goes double in my opinion because the changes were done by a Debian package maintainer and were also applied to the encrypting engine. I'd like to think that the engine is the first place people would look for issues.

However, there is definitely a sense of security to be found in compiling your own software, in my opinion of course. I'm a FreeBSD user and all the servers I run have been compiled from scratch (so, the base OS has been reconfigured and compiled) as well as all the software I use on it (Ports collection).

Here's the thing: at the very least you can see for yourself that the software compiles, and without too many intrusive "hacks". What if a package maintainer or developer found something odd and instead of fixing the programming error they simply used other compile flags to "make it work"? Wouldn't be the first time, and this approach is a sure way to check for it.

However, that's still in the eye of the beholder.

The main security advantage can be found in customizing. If you only use default settings then any intruder will know exactly where to look and how to accomplish certain tasks. But the moment you change those defaults to fit your own environment this task can sometimes become a lot harder. At the very least you'll stall or stop automated processes such as rootkits.

2
0

Microsoft says its latest, dodgy Windows 10 build is good for (almost) everyone

ShelLuser
Windows

It doesn't even boot :S

I'm not really following the whole developments around Win10 because quite frankly, I couldn't care less because Win7 - which support lasts me until 2020 - does an outstanding job on keeping me happy. However, I do think about the future, so when Microsoft popped the offer for a free upgrade to Windows 10 I figured I could always look what it is about.

So I ended up inside their Insiders project, got the ISO and figured I could give it a small test run. Obviously using Sun's VirtualBox because Microsoft's own Virtual PC can't cope with this. Which I think is a shame, but that's another story.

I managed to check out several stages of the Windows 8 build this way but 10 won't even get to the installation screen. All I get is an error which mentions something about my HD being corrupt. So I didn't bother. Guess I'll give this new release another try, but it doesn't really make me feel confident about the future :)

3
0

Tough admin forces hacker to STRIP to PANTS, LEAP to his DEATH

ShelLuser

Why need a movie?

I can understand why admins need proof before they take action against a player, but what I can't understand is why they couldn't go out to investigate this whole incident themselves in order to gather the required proof. If a hacker already became "legend" then surely that's one heck of a signal that someone is bugging your player base and that action is required?

The article makes it sound as if they simply let things carry on and only took action once they saw the documentary from the journalist. Which strikes me as a little odd.

3
0

Cortana on Windows 10 is all talk, no apps shun, says Microsoft

ShelLuser
Windows

If anyone can do it...

I'm still one of the old boring blokes who has an early generation Windows Phone (WP 7.5) and although it has a few flaws I have to say that the voice recognition is pretty slick, and quite easy to use too. I simply keep the main Win button pressed, I hear a short musical notification and I can issue a command. Like "call family" or "search snowden" and so on.

Even though I use Dutch stuff on a phone which has been set to an English language (partly to activate these features but also because I prefer English here) things work out pretty neatly.

So yah, if someone can pull this off its Microsoft for sure. The only thing I don't get is why I'd want to use this on my desktop. I don't really...

0
0

What’s new in Office 2016 for Mac (and why it doesn't totally suck)

ShelLuser
Windows

Is MS trying to make me ditch Windows?

Right now I still heavily use Office 2010 because I really enjoy this version, and I absolutely dislike the modern interface. Those SCREAMING MENU OPTIONS irritate me to no end, and I also don't think too positively about the simple looks in the interface.

However, when looking at that Excel comparison on the first page I must say that Excel 2016 for Mac doesn't look all too bad. The icons are actually "feature rich" icons; with clear shown detail as to the 'clickable' area, there is depth in the ribbon area; shown without trying to make the interface and the working area "blend in" and of course no screaming menu options.

I don't like the default colour scheme all that much, but that's just one click of mouse away.

So yeah; is Microsoft trying to make us all use Macs?

2
1

Sick of Chrome vs Firefox? Check out these 3 NEW browsers

ShelLuser

SeaMonkey: it just works....

My main gripe with most major browser names is their constant need for change. In fact; in some cases I think you might even call it an obsessive need; adding change because of the change. Now, that by itself isn't much of a problem unless they implement these changes so that you are forced to use them. And sometimes the bite is in the details...

I don't mind a new look (too much) but why can't I just continue to work with what I have?

So yah, I discovered SeaMonkey years ago and never looked back. It supports all the modern standards, it is pretty lightweight, can do more than just browsing (email & irc client as well) and finally: its interface doesn't change on the whim of a developer. As said: I've been using this browser for years now with the same, boring, standard "Netscape-like" interface. And it just works...

8
0

Office MACROS PERIL! Age-old VBScript tactic is BACK in biz attack

ShelLuser

@AC

Nah, there are much more options than that.

First the one I mentioned in my own post; simply disable the override option so that an end user cannot enable macro's if the document got opened from another location.

Then I remembered another, so easy I fully overlooked it: code signing. VBA programs can be code signed ever since Office 2008 (I think; 2010 for sure). So if you simply make sure that all your own macro code is signed (using an in-company certificate, you don't even need an officially recognized one) then all you have to do is make sure that the office environments will only run signed code.

Problem solved; now all the 3rd party macro code cannot be executed no matter what.

There are plenty of ways to secure your Office environment, the problem is that hardly anyone seems to use them (guess reading sites such as TechNet and MSDN is really old school ;)).

8
1
ShelLuser
Windows

Bullshit

"Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is one of the easiest methods to deliver malware nasties: simply by dropping malicious code into an Office doc as a macro and attaching to an email. The victim would be lured by a plausible pretext into opening an Office file attachment delivered to them by email."

Nice theory but based on old Office technology. Microsoft was late to the party, sure, but they have been working on securing their macro environment. First the differentiation between documents with macro's and those without (.doc vs .docx and .docm (document using macros) extension).

But most of all: Secure locations.

When I open an e-mail attachment which contains a weird macro then so what? Because Office will open the document with macro execution disabled, because it got opened from an insecure location.

By default only the standard location for Office documents is trusted, and those are not the places where downloaded documents or e-mail attachments will end up in.

The only way where this will go wrong is if the user is still tempted to click the button next to the big warning: "Macro execution has been disabled, click here if you want to enable it.". And even then it won't execute fully.

This has been the case since Office 2010 (which is no longer supported even), and I think it may even have been part of 2008 as well.

“Office macro exploits are just about the only cool thing that Visual Basic gets used for any more,” he added.

Then this guy is completely ignorant of what you can actually do with VB or Office macro's.

My whole company administration is automated through VBA. All handwritten but the best part is that I could easily "tie" the components together. Example: I store a lot of customer data in Outlook, its for keeping appointments, e-mails, etc. So; if I have an appointment I can quickly check the address if needed.

So what happens when I need to send 'm a bill or letter? Simple! My Word macro opens the Outlook contact database, checks for the customer name and then retrieves the right data and adds it to my template. Last time I manually typed a customer address in Word is 3 - 4 years ago.

Document references.. You don't think I'm making those up myself do you? That's what my "Private Function RefGen(naam As String) As String" function is for.

Note that I'm not saying that there is no risk at all, but I do think it's hardly as extreme as this guy wants us to believe. For starters he's ignoring the issue that the end user once again needs to click on a button which has a big bold warning next to it.

PS (edit):

The solution is a group policy to only allow certain people to run macro's? Uh huh. I'd personally opt to disable the "run macro anyway" override option which is also doable. Through a policy or, for example, by using a VBA macro which gets automatically started when Office starts.

4
3

Untangling .NET Core: Open source for Windows, Mac, Linux

ShelLuser
Windows

@Hans

No sane dev wants anything to do with MS, simple as that.

Then there are tens of thousands of developers out there who might disagree with you, on either one or both statements (about dealing with Microsoft or regarding their sanity) ;) The thing is: you don't have to "deal with Microsoft" (much) in order to use their (development) technology. And sure, Microsoft has its share of problems when it comes to keeping their user and fan -base happy, but that doesn't mean that they don't provide have anything interesting at all.

You know, I used to share your opinion regarding C#. Any sane Java developer would steer clear from that as best as they can, right? After all; it is a blatant rip-off from Java (MS trying their "embrace & conquer" technique) which in some ways is an insult to Java. Of course I totally overlooked the fact that Sun was actually happy about some parts because it also meant that Java definitely had its share of popularity.

Then Oracle took over, starting to try and make money from just about everything Sun related (bye bye "geek licenses" (as I tended to call them: free licenses to Sun products restricted to non-commercial but not to production use. iow: you were free to run your hobby website on Sun One: the Sun Java Systems webserver and back it up with the Sun Java Systems Directory Server for example)) and I didn't really feel motivated anymore to even closely support this money squeezer (I'm surprised that they haven't started selling Netbeans already).

So then I looked into .NET and C# and I learned that although there are similarities with Java it actually is a completely different environment. And, in my opinion, one which isn't half bad either.

I primarily use ASP.NET and well; there are plenty of things which it can do which Java (EE) can't. Nothing negative about Java, and most certainly not a comment in the likes of "one is better than the other", they both have their place in my opinion.

Did you know that ASP.NET is a full fledged OO environment where even the webpage itself is a class of its own (the System.Web.WebPages)? And did you also know that .NET supports partial classes? In short: a class definition which is divided over multiple files.

This is the perfect recipe for webdevelopers in my opinion because it fully integrates with the HTML 4.0 ideology where contents (HTML) and design / markup (CSS) should be kept separate. You basically get to keep this model (in a base minimum only one identifier line will be added to the top of your HTML document) where it merely adds an extra component: a separate file in which you can do your coding (your web application code or business logic as MS likes to call it).

Each to his own, but not having to dig through HTML code in order to check up on my programming has already saved me lots of time. From fixing programming errors right down to extending on already existing stuff.

And the fun part? I also don't like the way Microsoft is going. I think quite poorly about Windows 8, I'm still sceptical about Windows 10 and I also think their choices with regards to their development platforms were highly questionable.

That's one of the reasons why I'm now using all of this stuff on FreeBSD and Mono. All thanks to open source software.

So if Microsoft wants to open source this stuff then I'd say let 'm. Chances are high that we'll all be able to benefit from it.

IMO it's hardly as bad as you make it..

7
2

Furious GTA V gamers seek similar ban on violent, misogynistic title: the Holy Bible

ShelLuser
Pint

Change.org has a point, but are also missing a few..

First of all I can fully understand that some people would be offended by GTA V. And lets be honest here: there is no denying that what they say is true; you can pick up prostitutes, pay them to perform sex on you and afterwards choose to kill them in order to get (some of) your money back.

Its true.

But is this reason enough to ban the game?

If I were a police officer I might get offended over this. After all: apparently its perfectly OK to murder or completely annihilate a police department but as soon as it happens to a woman then it should be a bannable offense. And make no mistake about it: this isn't just about blowing up police cars or shooting down cops. Wouldn't be the first time a cop car gets caught in the aftermath of an explosion setting both the car and the inhabitants on fire. Who then run out screaming and yelling while being burned alive. That too is GTA V ladies and gentlemen.

Now that I mention it; would I be a fireman, heck: would I work for any help service I might get heavily offended too. After all: its perfectly OK to get people to call 911 to call for help, and when help arrives you then steal their vehicles (or worse of course). As long as it isn't a woman... Think I'm making this up? Then why did this happen in both versions of the game: IV & V? In IV your cousin (Roman) gets kidnapped and you need to get a police car so that you can pull over a couple of vans which smuggle TV sets for another crime family. If you miss the cop car driving over (and the cop cars parked across the city) then your option is simple: call 911. In GTA V you need to impersonate both a cop (driving on a bike to steal two sport cars) as well as a group of firemen (depending on which heist outcome you picked) to rob a bank.

As said I can understand that some women may get upset over GTA V, I really do.

But I also think that it is unfair to single out what can happen to a woman character in GTA (V). Because the game doesn't discriminate here; you can do the same horrible stuff to any man too. Maybe even worse.. Shopkeepers in GTA V online mostly sound "foreign" to me, perhaps an Indian heritage, I dunno. And what can you do? You can buy food there to help you out (you can use this in missions to boost your health) but you can also rob them if you so choose. Even after you bought stuff to get your money back! Better yet: smack them over the head with a baseball bat (so that they don't die, you'll get less wanted stars) then clean out the cash register yourself when they have fled.

Wear a mask so that they don't recognize you! Next time you pop in you may even notice this very clearly: "Hello friend!", is how they'll sometimes greet you. Some friend you are!

My point is: yes, some women are sometimes treated poorly and can indeed be murdered after performing sexual favours. But men get treated just as poorly.

Most of all: this is all at the discretion of the player. Which is the most important thing to realize: players don't have to kill prostitutes if they don't want to. Same applies to those shop keepers.

Maybe an unfair comment, but considering how GTA is controversial by design anyway I'm going to share this anyway: personally I'd rather see people get their kicks from this violence in-game than in the real world.

13
0

The internet is less free than last year. Thanks a bunch, Snowden

ShelLuser

@Khaptain

The keyword here is control.

When we were still ruled (more or less) by the church it was all heaven and hell; best do what they said otherwise it wouldn't be good for you.

More or less (to a certain extend) during the cold war. Communism was the root of evil so yah; very terrifying indeed. Now; this isn't really a black/white subject but some events regarding Russia didn't quite go as we were being told. Only now does the truth come out here and there.

Terrorism is also a very good way to keep people under control. Once again, and the main problem, is that it is a grey area. There are threats and there are dangerous situations. But not all of it comes "out of the blue". Perhaps an extreme example, yet still legit: when the US has put Saddam Hussein into power he pretty much kept things more or less stable in the Middle East. That is, of course, ignoring the war with Iran but we didn't have much other threats with regards to extremists because they were kept under control. Look where we are now... Just like most everyone who knew the region predicted; create a power vacuum and you will attract problems... Yet it still happened. Under a false flag operation too.

But yah; thats the main problem for governments: the Internet usually doesn't forget. They can make sure to keep some things out of the media (the classic "We found $major terrist!", and 6 months later (on page 13) you read in the newspaper that he wasn't a terrist afterall), and this is happening, but opinionated bloggers and other "community media" usually doesn't forget these things and will address them.

And there's the main problem, especially if it could spell problems for a current administration.

Now you're in trouble...

Big brother is here, they're simply smart enough to stay hidden in the shadows. And anyone who shines their flashlight will soon be dubbed enemy of the state.

16
1

Gaming's driving ambitions: The Crew and Grand Theft Auto V

ShelLuser

@AC

I have to agree with you about the hype part, and I also thought your review was interesting. However; I've also spotted some items I don't agree with. For example: "X game is better than GTA V" really is in the eye of the beholder. At times I like playing Minecraft much more than GTA V but that doesn't make it necessarily better per definition.

One of the reasons why I thought the graphics in GTA V (ps3) were disappointing is because they borrowed (or used) the same graphics engine which was being used in L.A. Noire. Granted; GTA V brings much more detail to the environment, but the look and feel is pretty much the same.

My personal gripe with GTA V is the crammed up storyline. It just isn't long enough to do dive into all three characters. This worked flawlessly in GTA IV but only because all characters got time to develop. Niko had to cope with both learning you all about Liberty City and dive into the character. But as soon as you got TLAD you already knew about the basics thus could dive right into the main course. And it still provided plenty of character building. Same with TBoGT.

Story wise I enjoyed GTA IV a whole lot better. It felt like it had much more depth. And of course there was a surprise angle when you got to play certain missions again yet from a whole different perspective (it was pretty cool when I played Johnny and met up with Niko; I knew what was gonna happen yet they still managed to add new surprising elements to it).

But that magic is all gone in GTA V.

GTA Online.. its kinda cool but also pretty much ruined by R*'s constant changes. Esp. the reward system. It seems to me as if R* doesn't know shit about providing a good balanced multi-user gameplay where economy is concerned. Because right now it seems everyone has a buzzard (attack helicopter) yet few know how to use it. Wouldn't be the first time I tried to take on a mission (taking out an enemy crew for example) only to get shot down by some idiot in a Buzzard.

Its unbalanced. The whole of it. Some missions require a minimum of 2 - 3 players while they can easily be done alone while others force you to repeat your actions because you're alone ('gentry does it'; steal 2 boats. If you destroy one its game over. You need to deliver a boat, go back and deliver the other. While in other missions you can just destroy one vehicle, deliver the other and you're good).

For me the replay value of GTA V is very low.

1
0

Google? Microsoft? What the heck do they do in cloud?

ShelLuser
Pint

The main problem with the cloud...

Is it absurd pricing model. Sure; in theory it sounds wonderful; you only pay per hour and only for the resources you use. Sure, sure.

Unfortunately getting a good indication of what you're paying for and how much will often turn into a major investigation case. And for the record: all of the major cloud vendors are guilty here.

Lets talk Amazon EC2: Free tier (with the dreaded asterisk of course): 750 hours of running EC2 (750/24 = 31,25; nearly a month), 30Gb storage and 15Gb data traffic. Sounds too good to be true? Well, if you look into the detailsyou'll soon notice that it applies to the t2.micro instance. So what's that? Well, in order to check that you'll need the instances overview. And lookie! Now all of a sudden we're looking at: 1vCPU, 6 CPU credits/hour (what are CPU credits?), 1Gb memory and EBS storage only. As it turns out (quote): "Each T2 instance receives CPU Credits continuously at a set rate depending on the instance size. T2 instances accrue CPU Credits when they are idle, and use CPU credits when they are active.". So; what happens if I run out of credits, and how much credits would my hobby Linux webserver use? To know more about this we need to check the "Burst section" on that same pricing page:

"For example, a t2.small instance receives credits continuously at a rate of 12 CPU Credits per hour. This capability provides baseline performance equivalent to 20% of a CPU core. If at any moment the instance does not need the credits it receives, it stores them in its CPU Credit balance for up to 24 hours. If and when your t2.small needs to burst to more than 20% of a core, it draws from its CPU Credit balance to handle this surge seamlessly. Over time, if you find your workload needs more CPU Credits than you have, or your instance does not maintain a positive CPU Credit balance, we recommend either a larger T2 size, such as the t2.medium, or a Fixed Performance Instance type."

So it is possible to obtain a negative CPU credit balance. At what costs? Well, your guess is as good as mine here. You should probably contact them or use their "amazing" pricing calculator (which really only left me with even more uncertainty and questions)... For example; I can tell it that I got a Linux box, 1 instance, t1.micro and its used for 3hours/day. That'll cost me $1,84. But, but, but; wasn't this free? And what happens if that 3 hour usage pops a little (say Wordpress which gets a small boom)? How much for those CPU credits?

Don't gloat yet you guys because Azure isn't much different. So now I'm a Microsoftie (no offense!) and I want a Windows server to experiment on. You know; IIS, a small bit of ASP, and lots of mmc (Microsoft Management Console) action. "Website for free" the pricing page says. If you click it you'll quickly see: "Try for free". Small difference indeed. At least they let you know that a virtual instance starts at approx. $13 / E 9,69 per month. But... what does that get you? Well, an "A0" instance (1 core, 0,75Gb RAM and 20Gb disk size). Not exactly much to run a Windows server on... So what exactly is an A0 instance? Check out their Virtual Machines page and what do you know: it doesn't say! It tells me that I can do Sharepoint, how open the whole thing is ("you can use open and community driven OS"), I'm saving money, get hybrid connections and "True HPC capabilities". But what exactly IS an A0 instance?

Eventually I ran into a loop. the Virtual Machine MSDN page tells me I should check out the Azure documentation page. And that page points me right right back to the MSDN Virtual Machines FAQ when all I'm trying to do is getting some specs.

SO with Amazon I can't get a grip on exact prices, with Microsoft I can't get a good grip on exact specifications...

Last candidate: the Google cloud.

So; same as above: we want an experimentation machine to lust on our Linux, FreeBSD and/or Windows passion. Well, one thing becomes pretty clear when you check out their Compute engine: you'll get a virtual machine, no direct access but all you need to click & install applications on it. Not what I had in mind but it'll work.

So what does this cost me and what performance do I get? That same Compute page tells you at the bottom. For example: n1-standard-1: 1 virtual core, 3,75Gb memory, 2 GCEU which will roughly cost you about $0,069 / per hour. So $1,65 per day and approx. $50,- / month.

But there is more; you'll be charged for a minimum of 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes you'll be charged extra per minute, but at first 10 minutes. Nice approach when you're testing a machines performance or are trying to bugfix it (which will require reboots and/or turning it off or on). Is that it? No; when using "premium operating systems" such as RHEL, SuSE or Windows you'll be charged extra. And there's also storage pricing: Standard persistent disk costs you $0,04 per Gb per month. Or SSD provisioned space: $0,218 per Gb per month.

SO; if your instance is off then it won't cost you anything, right? Wrong! If you have an IP address assigned to an instance but you aren't using it then it'll cost you $0,01 per hour. It'll be free once the machine is on of course.

My conclusion?

They're all a bunch of rubbish. Its hard (if not impossible) to get a good grip on pricing or what it is you're paying for. At most you'll be paying for "virtual computing space" while you may hope that you'll actually get charged for what you're using it for (how are you going to check and/or complain otherwise?).

My advice? If you want easy computing or such you should look into a regular hosting provider. Sure, you'll pay per month but at least you'll know exactly what you pay for. Like with my favourite provider: 1 Xeon CPU, 1Gb memory, 50Gb SSD storage, 1Tb data traffic, 1 IPv4 address, /64 IPv6 range and all that for E 10,- / month (= approx. E 0,0134 per hour). Community OS's are free (Linux and BSD) and for Windows based OS's you'll pay an extra licensing fee per month.

Cloud computing is nice if you're a big company which doesn't want to mess with on-site management and instead have that delegated / outsourced. But for everyone else I'd say your regular hosting provider is all you need. Best yet: even those can provide cloud based services (like the one I mentioned above). Main difference is that it's their private cloud, yet publically accessible still.

Don't give in to the hype!

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Microsoft: So sorry for NOT paying Xbox indie game devs on time

ShelLuser

@Hud

At least MS fessed up and promised to take action.

Last time this happened with Google (android) they simply locked the topic, told ppl that they should e-mail Google (even though one of the most heard complaints was that mailing didn't do anything at all) and eventually the thread got removed entirely.

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