1817 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010
"fucksakes, people. The sky is not falling."
Your desktop is NOT fine. Because inside the desktop you no longer have Aero at your disposal. This is a very big thing for me; the simplicity of being able to look at the status of a program (copying, downloading, other stuff) by merely looking at its icon to see the progress bar there as well.
Its not merely Metro alone these days, its also because they took valuable options away from other places.
Indeed, which is a problem by itself.
If you get stuck in Metro and hit control-alt-escape, guess where the task manager appears ?
In the desktop app, where you're not switching to because well.... you're stuck in Metro.
Such a wonderful design.
IF your screen resolution matches the requirements. Even that is an issue these days; because being able to do this in 640x480 (for example; if you're doing rescue maintenance) is SO passe.
If it weren't for your (IMO lousy) pre-installed "Virus protection" which of course will only run for 3 months then many computer illiterates wouldn't start off with a feeling of security and then ignoring the possible warnings because: "Nah, my friend told me virus protection is free. I don't have to worry.".
Because THAT is what happens in many of occasions. If virus companies /really/ - cared - for security they wouldn't be pushing free trial-licensed products which expire in a few months but they'd put free versions onto those new PC's and try to convince the new buyer why it would be a better idea to upgrade to a paid version (which, in all honesty, can sometimes provided advantages for the specific user IMO).
Quite frankly; studies like these annoy me. Because the company which performed the study is IMO also largely responsible for the end result.
This problem goes much deeper...
And you, El Reg, were fully part of it. What I see in this article is the pot calling the cattle black.
Or have you already forgotten your story where it was allegedly proven that IE users are dumb as a bag of hammers ? You probably tried hard to forget it, but you know; this is the Innernets ;-)
Don't feel too much pained for you were in very good company there. Even local national newspapers (in Holland) prominently carried this story, as if it were a major issue.
Yet that is the underlying issue which symptoms you mention here. Major news companies often do not check sources period. That's /period/.
A development which is very disturbing considering how many people often follow one single news source. Sure, people I'd be tempted to call "less educated" but would be better described as: "much less interested.".
Sure; in the end it /is/ the fault of the masses who will blindly believe a story when it comes from a "reliable source". In the end you should always be very weary when it comes to news credibility and if a story really interests you its a good idea to take some time and read multiple papers with multiple views on the matter.
But as said: this isn't merely about pictures and ownership violation. Its about news agencies who will easily cut corners if a certain story seems so interesting or extreme that they might make a good name with it if they can get it published ASAP.
Don't forget El Reg: you were once full part of that. So lets be a little easy when it comes to criticizing other news agencies, but also dare to put the finger on the sore spot. And you know darn well where that is!
Hint: this isn't about theft or imaging licensing.
Actually nothing has been decided yet
They agreed on some motions to reject it, but they are /not/ fully rejecting it just yet. In fact; right now the government awaits the result of the EU court which is currently investigating if ACTA violates basic rights for the EU citizens.
Once those results are in, only then will the government (which isn't even officially active; we're awaiting new elections) decide on its stance with regards to ACTA.
Its that reason why many politicians have called this action "Totally irrelevant" (quote from Maxime Verhagen, minister of economic affairs).
So we haven't said no yet. In fact; I wouldn't be one bit surprised if we'll simply let Brussel (EU) handle all this. That way our own politicians don't have to take any responsibility. Which of course is very preferable right before the elections are coming up.
Unfortunately our government has absolutely no problems by embedding (and enforcing) European law if that somehow suits them. Doesn't even matter if such a particular law goes right against local rulings or even makes the lives of us Dutch harder. "Sorry, that's the EU law".
(Of course when it doesn't really suit them they also have no problems /rejecting/ an EU law because... Well, for whatever reason they come up with at that time (not making this up, this has happened several times in the last years)).
As such; don't get your hopes up yet.
Unless the end credits are already rolling, then you're pretty safe.
I think you're generalizing...
Being one of those smaller consultancy players I think you're setting a wrong example.
"Firstly, a consultancy or reseller is going to be selling me by time, methodically setting up firewall rules taking a day is more profitable than someone who knows the trick to doing it in an hour."
That's where you're wrong, and your own article even supports this. Because this approach will only upset your client in the longer run. And no matter what age we live in: the customer is /always/ the customer. Aka; the one who hopefully will help pay for your salary.
Yes, my firm also sells by time. But we make very sure that the customer realizes what he gets for that time. If you ask us to check up your firewall and "enhance it" then obviously it takes time. We'd need to study your environment and know how it has been setup /before/ we apply any changes. That has NOTHING to do with "increasing sale time", but /everything/ with doing a job best as possible. Unless of course you'd rather see that we quickly implement the changes you requested without even fully knowing ourselves that it won't clash with other stuff.
Needless to say... Would you have asked us to provision your server and then ask us to implement a specific change then guess what? Because we will at that time be fully familiar with your environment - up front - the changes will probably only take... 5 minutes ?
IMO you're drawing the wrong conclusions.
Because in the end a customer who will stick with us for the upcoming years to come is MUCH more profitable to us than merely trying to cash in extra time and get a few extra bucks. Just read your own article; obviously you only met parties which did went after the extra cash and from what I'm reading you're not very fond of their services anymore.
How is that "more profitable" ?
Not exactly. MFC has never been supported within Express as far as I know. Even the Express versions dated from 2005 did not support MFC, only if you went professional.
So IMO you're making a false comparison; we're talking about MS actually stopping to provide support for certain tasks.
True, but what does not make sense is that they're basically preparing to throw away their current market /without/ knowing if that market is really ready for it.
Example: say we're in the Win8 era. Some corporations might have moved to Windows 7 by then. Win9 is on the horizon. What would a company which mostly uses desktops best strategy be then when it comes to desktop upgrades and maintenance and such ?
Surely not Windows 8. Windows 9 perhaps? No, that's too young; business usually settle for proven solutions.
But what other alternative is there?
Say; how much would it cost to pick up a Linux distribution and maintain it in-house? Or picking it up and let another company maintain it for you?
1 ugly Metro interface vs. at least a dozen desktop managers.
Office and Outlook? Simple; pick the right tool for the job, you get Office 365 (which easily runs in a browser) and as such all Linux computers suddenly have MS Office support (sort off). OR you go the extra mileage and look into Libre or Open office.
As such.... Don't you think its also very liable that MS could be very busy digging their own grave with all this?
Back to lockdown?
If you want to get people interested in your platform you should provide them with enough means to fully utilize it. And although Balmer made the whole thing look ridiculous he did have a point when he ranted about 'developers'.
But this is obviously not the way to go and might hurt the business.
Lets talk about non-professional developers here; like your average sysadmin. The Express version of C# allow me to build PowerShell extensions which I can then use on my server(s). This option (among others) is one the things which make Windows appealing to me; being able to /do/ stuff and not being tied down.
And I'm pretty sure that there are plenty of people using Express because what they do simply doesn't warrant a huge investment into a full VS, an environment which starts ticking at around $500,-.
There's more to Windows then the interface itself, I'm amazed that MS doesn't seem to be realizing this anymore.
I bet MS used their own new "engine" (so.cl) to search for information on this subject. Only to have some people tag it "Window 8" (or other crap) after which the topic suddenly takes a whole new turn with lots of extra (often unwanted) crap.
That's what you get guys from trying to re-invent the wheel :-)
You know the sad part? I didn't make up the stuff about so.cl :P
And so I finally got on...
I honestly tried to approach this with an open mind considering how I think Windows Live is quite tolerable, Win7 enjoyable and Office 2010 bearable (I also kinda enjoy it but heck).
SO... Its a search engine. Okee...
I search for "Anime" and get several hits I'm not interested in. Ok, so I search for 'Ableton' which is the name of a software company as well as DAW environment. Only to have some nitwit 'tag' my search result as "Windows 8". WTF?
So now there sits a "feed" somewhere which I apparently made; it says "Ableton", it lists some screenshots and other stuff and because it tagged "Windows 8" it also lists a whole lot of Windows 8 crapola.
And of course; one can only "like" things, can cannot "dislike" or "no" vote stuff. Wonderful...
So I eventually find the option to edit my "post" (WTF?!) and remove a tag. Only to get greeted by some weird error message.
And so I eventually managed to remove the entire "post" (what post, I was only trying to use a search engine ?).
Only to have that pesky person all of sudden follow me. Yeah right; I bet to tag more serious stuff I look for as "windows 8".
RIGHT, so that's my experience so far.
And it leaves me wondering: Why the HECK would I want to use this utter and total display of CHAOS instead of my trusty search bar in the browser which gets me to Google or Bing ?
Who cares that when person A searches for item "B" several people might find the time to immediately "like" it and "tag" it. What good does this do ME ?
AND why can't I rant like this on a social network? On Live I can put "Looking at so.cl, WHAT A MESS!" in my status.
As such my conclusion: FAIL!
Its down already it seems...
SO I have a Live ID which I used. It took them a while but I finally got an e-mail telling me I was invited to join the party.
So I follow the link (copy/paste) and guess what? "Webpage can't be shown" (IE). When doing this in SeaMonkey I immediately get warnings about redirect loops ("redirection limit for this URL exceeded").
So SeaMonkey refuses to show, MSIE9 simply barfs on me... This is the new social stuff?
It seems they got one thing right...
And that's allowing people to use aliases.
Of course I can't tell for sure because after trying to logon using my Live ID I've been told to wait for an approval e-mail hasn't arrived yet.
Another thing which looks reasonable are the privacy rulings. I think its a nice touch that they enhanced the sections which cover privacy themselves so that you can easily read what data they're trying to collect.
Still, I can't help wonder if MS hasn't been looking too much at Google here. You know; limiting access to their environment and getting people to invite each other and so. While it may have worked for Google that is of course no guarantee it will also work for MS.
No bad mouthing intended but I can see it happening now on my end: After a few weeks I finally get an e-mail from this so.cl thing yet totally forgot all about it. "Nah, probably sent by mistake", never to be seen there again....
He overlooks one detail
Devices /shipped/ with OS != Devices always /running/ with OS.
Has he already forgotten what most people did when they could no longer buy an XP PC and ended up with Vista ?
He always stood out...
Now, while I don't think the Next Generation is all that bad they couldn't match the acting qualities of Scotty IMO.
"Relics"; as a passenger on the starship Jenolan Scotty is involved in a crash onto the surface of a strange globe. He and a person called "Franklin" are the only survivors of the crash. Aware that they're from a position far away from normal routes Scotty realizes that a rescue might take a while so he decides what he does best: by rigging the transporter he manages to get it into a continuous diagnostic cycle. Then he transports himself and Franklin; being the first person to survive for 60 years inside a transporter.
In this episode you get to see Scotty and LaForge together and quite frankly I think Scotty was the better engineer. When he started talking about the Dyson sphere you could /hear/ the enthusiasm and awe he had for the "technological achievement". To which LaForge could only flatly comment: "Yeah, its quite impressive" while sounding as he didn't even really mean it.
That guy was a classic... "Synthetic scotch, synthetic commanders....".
However, I do think the guy who plays Data does manage to come very close with his acting. Very well seen when he offers Scotty a drink of a non-synthahol beverage..
Scotty: "What is it?"
Data: "It is...." Data looks at the bottle, only to see there's no label on it.
He then opens the bottle to identify the scent, fully convinced that he can now answer Scotty's question Data starts: "It is....", but apparently this isn't part of his memory banks.
Data looks at Scotty: "It is green.".
Scotty now makes a gesture saying "Well, let me have it".
That dear reader is what I call a classic :-)
But being of an older generation probably left the guy a little hard-hearing. That tends to cause some shouting too ;-)
Seems an earlier comment wasn't that much off....
In a previous comment I jested at MS removing support options from Windows (keyboard / mouse) because people could be bothered with the inability to use them.
However, this latest move makes one seriously wonder....
Aero is /much/ more than merely a shiney interface. Its highly functional as well; the option to have status bars display in the taskbar icons is IMO invaluable. In Windows 7 you can /always/ see the progress of a download or copy action.
In Windows 8 you should be using full screen crapola anyway, so who cares about all that Aero nonsense anymore?
Well: I DO!
This is yet another reason to avoid Win8 on the desktop.
Re: STOP IT
Uhm... XP /is/ still supported ;-)
Damage control already ?
Oh I can see it now...
Mr. Steve: "Dear investors, you may wonder why Windows 8 managed to sell even less copies than Windows Vista. I can say this; its not us. No: Developers, developers, developers, developers, ..."
"....and so: Developers! And as you can see we foresaw this coming and issued several warnings. But did they listen? No!".
"So now I hope you'll approve /more/ investment into Windows 8 so that we can set things right!". Mr. Steve thinks: "I only hope I didn't accidentally fire the only guys who still know how to program a start menu..."
And amazingly enough WP51 can also run on WP7.
...If someone cared to port it. Which I doubt anyone will do because the confusion would be catastrophic (but funny!) :-)
Very well done!
What I like best is that the app. is "no nonsense". iow; no bother with livetiles, no worrying that the Bird sits on the background to slurp more info... You open the app, and you get news.
One small complaint though; you turned off auto complete & spellcheck during input. Makes it harder to send messages.
Apart from that: Well done!
(sent from my phone using the app.).
Turn this into something good!
The fact that DDoS data could reach the Piratebay means that there are still kiddies out there who can use their services and download for free! Even though our freedom abiding "copyleft organizations" have paid, errr: /persuaded/, many judges in many countries to enforce a blockade.
And so a real crime has been committed here. I'm not talking about kids extorting companies ("pay up or loose your site / services") or hinder the government (look it up in the news). That's old stuff and not important. No; they can actually still access the dreaded Piratebay! OMG!
So "copyright and freedom protecting" organizations (yes, I'm talking about YOU: Brein, riaa, buma/stemra, etc.): the fight is on. And your target is the source of the DDoS stream because there are people who download for free!
(tip: they shut down the piratebay so they could download even MORE!).
....if this doesn't get those kiddies shut down then /nothing/ will ;-)
And you know the sad part? Even though I wrote all this up as a joke I think it could actually hold some truth as well.
Indeed, they used to be a bunch of very good wrestlers!
Makes you wonder indeed...
If only Greenpeace would consider their actions more carefully...
Because IMO they do have a point; it is important to try and limit the use of energy so that we'll last longer. But actions like these are not the way to do it. Worse: they'll most likely have the exact opposite effect as can be seen above.
Trying to force people or companies into doing something has never worked, and will only come to bite you in the behinds. Laser beaming messages; and in the end you'll only hinder people who only want to do their job and actually /earn/ a living for themselves. Job nicely done indeed.
Making people and governments aware will have much more effect. And trying not to overdo stuff and pulling into ridiculous scenario's helps too.
Example: In Holland there was a speedway all build and ready; approx. 15km of asphalt sitting ready to be used and help take traffic loads away from another busy (and because of that dangerous) highway.
Yet it couldn't be used. Because environmentalist groups (subsidized by the government no less) had filed complaints and managed to postpone the official opening of the road for at least 1.5 years. And to what end? Everything was done, all was ready and approved. No, IIRC they demanded another investigation.
Finally everything was put in place and the road has been used ever since. But actions like that do not help people understand nor appreciate, quite the opposite.
IMO this is no different. Quite a shame too because as mentioned above; I do agree that we need to work on conserving energy. Every little bit can help, but not with (IMO) idiotic actions like these.
You /need/ to be online?
That is utterly stupid and would be a very strong reason for me not to get into this game. Which I'm not since I'm anticipating GTA V but that's a different story...
I'm not even talking about servers which can get overloaded, but what will happen if Blizzard decides to pull the plug out of their servers in, say, 3 - 6 years because they're focusing on the game which is current then ?
Then you're talking about /not/ being able to play a /single player/ campaign because of some half brained copy protection. That is just stupid and an utter fail in my book.
And before anyone comes up with the obvious comment: "But who would want to play a game which is so old?". Well, you'd be surprised! Only last week did I decide on checking up on Far Cry 2, a game which is now roughly 3.5 years old. To my total surprise there was still some decent online gaming action going on.
Sure; not everything. For example; I couldn't get enough people together to play a good game of "Uprising" (you need to take checkpoints to dominate the map) but there was plenty of deathmatch going on. 3.5 years after release.
This is solid proof
That AI has come to the iPhone and it even reads the news.
While you may claim that Apple has changed the database, I know better. Siri's personality must be specific and it has grown into a state where it became tired with being asked the same question over and over again.
As such it has reached the point where it can take no more...
"You're kidding right?"... You know what it is; either get one yourself or move on!
Very cool app!
Now, I can't comment on the Android version but the authors are apparently well aware of what's going on in the market and also provided a version for the Windows Phone, and it is indeed quite cool. Not too intrusive, all the info you want and very clear warnings when you're about to enter a part which contains spoilers.
What I also consider very cool is that they managed to maintain the looks and feel of the original program (as can be seen in the screenshots in this article) and basically converted it into the style for the "other" platform.
Writing a program for one platform is one thing. Believing in it and trying to make it available on /all/ platforms, that deserves some respect too IMO.
Lousy way to treat customers
Now, on the risk of comparing apples and oranges... I'm passionate about electronic music / sound design and synthesizers (basically sound synthesis) in general. To that end I picked up some gear and software, my 'studio' is basically build around 'Ableton Live (Suite) 8'. It doesn't come cheap; for the Suite version (the full boxed version which contains everything) you normally pay around E 700,-.
The major difference otoh... I stepped onto the Ableton bandwagon 2 years ago (december 2010), picked up version 8.0.3. (or close enough). Right now they're on 8.3; the latest /update/ was released on the 2nd of April 2012. From 8.0.3 back in 2010 to 8.3 this year. And users never had to cough up any extra cash.
"Just updates" ? Not even that... If you're interested check the release notes. New features were also added along the way.
I know; comparing apples and oranges. But even so; that is IMO the way to do it and how you treat your userbase seriously. It seems that the bigger the company the lousier the service tends to be.
"the worst being that you can't use the keyboard when using calls (like phone banking), as the screen is off, with no way to turn it off."
Yet you can. The reason I know this from mind is because its this aspect which made me carry both a PDA /and/ cellphone for a very long time (even when smartphones became more popular). It was one of the reasons I picked up this particular phone.
When talking you simply shake the phone a little (or touch the screen) and it'll come up. Put the phone into speaker mode (if you want to keep talking). Then simply press the Windows key (start button) and you'll be in the start screen with a bar at the top which tells you that you have a call in progress.
Now you can basically do anything you want. Including taking notes, surfing the net, looking up phone numbers, even speech commands work to some extend.
If you use an earpiece its even easier; then you don't have to bother with speaker mode at all; you simply hit the Windows key and start taking notes as much as you want.
(or surf the net for pr0n when the conversation is utterly boring ;-))
What the EU did was overrated and quite frankly; the effect wasn't quite what they intended.
I mean; the choice of browser... First the ruling came long after the facts and the only thing MS actually did was add some dumb ass program (IMO) which pointed people to other possible options. But their explorer was still there, quite dominantly even. In fact; XP still came with MSIE pre-installed because: "how else would you be able to install updates on a pristine installation?".
I know for a fact that many end users considered that "choice of browsers program" annoying and intrusive instead of something which defended their rights.
"Hello? Yes, I installed Explorer 8 myself yet this stupid program keeps popping up asking me what browser I want. What should I do? I don't want another browser".
"I reinstalled XP and now I have some program which keeps asking me to select a browser. How can I tell it I don't want any change? I don't want firefox, I don't want chrome but I also don't want explorer 8. I don't want new stuff, how to turn this crap off?".
And we had dozens of support calls like that. And most people /did/ realize that this program was something which was demanded by the EU and they weren't happy about it. Some even felt being treated like idiots who couldn't make up their own minds.
Re: Netscape's browser eventually formed the basis of Mozilla’s Firefox
Yet it did form the basis of Mozilla spinoffs such as SeaMonkey. A project which IMO proofs that a bad start doesn't have to result in a bad product (I actually use & enjoy SeaMonkey on a daily basis).
You mean "download a spellchecker".
Only that within that context MS doesn't ride the wave alone. There are plenty of other big US companies that get away with lots of unwanted stuff. From Intel to Apple and beyond.
It wouldn't surprise me if...
...it turns out that MS has locked up the Metro interface so darned strict that they simply cannot comply to these requests without breaking some stuff.
This is only speculation; no more and no less.
But the reason I do so is because one of the commonly used arguments against Metro on the Windows Phone is that it is too strict. All apps. are sandboxed and by default its not possible for one application to access or utilize another. This has caused issues with certain developers on several occasions.
So now I wonder; is this really a Windows RT only issue or do Mozilla & Google have a problem with Metro in general? The reason this only surfaces on Windows RT could be because its a relatively popular platform and Mozilla seems more eager to build for RT than Metro on Windows 8 (or the Windows phone for that matter).
I don't mention this out of "fanboy-ism" but because it honestly wouldn't surprise me. MS has a tendency to stare themselves blind on a single goal and very much tend to ignore other aspects that come with it. Think Metro; it performs quite well on mobile devices (my phone for example) but my desktop? Ugh! Yet MS is "going after mobile".
But another thing: MS have openly admitted that they had a lot of catching up to do on security aspects. Windows 7 has come a long way (IMO) but its only partial comparable to the flexibility you have on a *nix platform. MS is obviously heavily betting on Metro for this. So could it be possible that a browser application requires too much access within the system and as such it has become impossible to utilize the way Metro is now ?
Its already a known fact that browser (-like) applications will have a different set of access rules due to the need for extensive permissions. And that RT differs on several points from the "regular" Metro.
As such I can't help wonder here...
And yet when you check out Amazon's Top 100 of best selling cell phones with service plans you'll see a Lumia sitting in the top 20. (at the time of writing it sits at 20).
I consider that not bad at all for an environment which is roughly 1.5 years old.
And although I know Amazon may not be the best resource it appears that they are honest with "stats which change on an hourly basis". Because only a week ago there were Lumia's sitting on place 8 and place 16.
Its not as if the devices aren't getting sold or anything.
C64 already did it.
And the reason I mention this is because you didn't need several drives next to each other, you only needed 1. And it could actually play certain melodies as well (of course no one ever tried STTNG because that didn't exist at that time, however we did have the original star trek theme).
Of course I have no idea how much damage this could do to the drive, but I do know that after having played the melodies a few times my 1541 drive still works today, now easily 20 years after the facts.
Re: Oh dear
Well, that could be a plan B.
"When new game fails stack every game item on top of each other, mix items with pigs, and add catapult with new type of birds".
Money vs. quality
To put it simple: you don't need degrees to be good within the fields of ICT. In fact; many of the skills which are really useful in the field aren't even taught at schools. Point is; such investment firms don't look at the company and the quality; it looks at how to generate profit as quickly as possible. Preferably something which lasts and is "good enough" but of either of these options fail then they're also perfectly willing to settle for short term solutions.
That is; solutions for them and not so much for the company. If the solution would mean breaking up the company and selling of some of the assets which perform below the anticipated scope then so be it. If it turns out that this asset was actually quite important to other parts of the company then well... No one made a mistake; they simply need to sell of even more!
Now don't get me wrong; if someone lied on their resume and have been caught then its only fair that they're taken care of. But one can also wonder if the company itself added the "extra info" in order to keep the stockholders happy. For example because they recognized that the CEO had the required knowledge and experience, but simply didn't know if (and how) they could convince the stockholders of this fact.
Commonly speaking; what's good for the stockholders (esp. investment firms) doesn't always have to be good for the company. Usually its quite the opposite.
I'm no freetard!
Because some of the stuff I download isn't free at all, so there!
Oh darn, wait a sec....
Asuka Langley Soryu
Not Soraya :-)
Was quite a fan of that series until the multi-repeats and "quests for more money" started.
As to the movies in general; since these are most likely all b or c rated movies its obvious which one is the best: the one which has boobies in it, that has always been the golden rule with movies like that. Otherwise absolutely no one would be watching it ;-)
This is gonna get ugly
I like Bing!
The daily pictures are nice, but the fact its not Google can be nice too at times.
Bing.com: I start typing and I can stay focused on what I am doing.
Google.com: I type one sentence and the whole thing comes tumbling down and starts changing with everything I typed.
Neither engines are the best anymore (IMO) but I'd sure hate to lose any of them (because; without competition the market will REALLY turn to sh*t).
Governments (in general, including mine) are bound to love this. It saves them the trouble (brain usage) from having to figure out where to get the stuff.
Mr. Black: "See, I can do it tool; we no need those admin guys no more, yahoo!".
Next (fictional!)! year: "Office 365 suffered from a malfunction, anyone could get access!".
Mr. Black: "I wasn't the one to blame, those darned admin guys never told me the risks of using this. We need need new laws on systems administration!".
"darned admin guys" (response never to be found in the media under normal circumstances): "you're the one who fired us for suggesting NOT to use that stuff in the first place a**"pocket").
OK, I am jesting here because in all fairness I am a fan of MS Office 2010. But I also think to know how government works and as such...
With or without...
On both accounts ;-)
And as the world when "carbon neutral"...
...All plants died from lack of 'food'.
Seriously; it is a good thing that companies put some interest into all this and try to thwart any waste going on in their offices. But this looks odd to me; seems all they're doing is trying to generate income from their own remote offices.
I'd be more impressed if they tried to cut back on waste. You know; re-use paper and clipboards instead of writing on one side and throw it all away, that sort of stuff. May sound small and insignificant, but you'd be amazed what all such small things combined (throughout an entire company) can actually accomplish.
Still, its a good step in the right direction so it seems.
Not using Nuendo / Cubase myself but I am a passionate sound designer; I can't help wonder if the decision by Steinberg is more driven by Ableton than that what drove Microsoft.
Because you see; sometimes having a dull flat gray screen actually works out quite well. Ableton Live (Suite 8) (link) is an DAW which existed for 10 years now and as you can notice by the logo and screenshots on that page: its interface is completely grey. And before anyone wonders about the "colorful blocks"; that isn't the program itself, those merely represent your audio data.
By default Ableton Live only uses grey for its interface combined with yellow to indicate selected options (system options, instrument options as well as channel on/off), red to indicate a record mode and blue to indicate an individual selected track and the main "individual" volume. And finally orange to indicate a "special" option; if a track has been set to "monitoring" (it continues to pick up audio input, no need to arm it) then the indicator will be orange. Orange is also used in the interface of some instruments (for example to be able and define a waveform in their Operator synthesizer) as well as volume and balance controls (dials).
But that's it! All audio channels have the same dull grey color, the only one which is shown to be light grey is the selected track. All instruments and effects sit in a grey box which apart from a yellow selection bar is completely grey; even the icons representing folders and different type of objects (presets, instrument/effect object, 'grouped' object).
The main issue here should be obvious: what works for some doesn't have to work for others.
Within the context of Live I actually enjoy such an interface because it helps me focus on what matters to me. If I'm recording audio then I don't care about good looks or such; all I care for is that as much CPU power as possible is used to process my recording as good as possible and in the mean time having some good indicators to see what is going on.
That is what Ableton gives me; the program itself is flat grey and my data is colored so I can always immediately see whats going on.
Needless to say but as much as I enjoy this design in Ableton (IMO its a key feature) I hate it in Visual Studio. In VS it just doesn't add up for me; different programs, different uses.
Re: Yay, everyone loses.
I know, I know: YHBT...
Still, being a fan of MS Office 2010 I can't help myself anyway. Keep well in mind that it is /because/ of that oss community that end users are able to pick up a copy of MS Office /far/ cheaper and far more easier than before (of course I'm talking about legit channels).
The reason should be obvious: competition. In the likes MS had never seen before and initially had it haunt them because this form of competition couldn't be bought nor dominated. It just kept going and wouldn't go away no matter what they tried or did.
All this development means is that we can welcome back yet another serious competitor on the Office market. One which is more rooted in the whole OSS community, which has more experience with maintaining bigger projects (which also come with high expectations) and most of all: which doesn't have anything to proof.
Sure; in the lights of Libre Office vs. OpenOffice its obvious that Apache has the name which most people know yet it seems they also have a lot of catching up to do. Still; being an Office 2010 'power user' (at least that's what I consider myself) I think this is great news. 2 competitors are much better than 1.
In the end we /all/ benefit, no matter if you use MS Office, LibreOffice or OpenOffice (in order of personal preference).
I think they're onto something here.
If there's one thing Microsoft has done time and time again its releasing a product which was "so so" only to improve on it later (IMO usually very well executed improvements, but I will admit to be biased here and there).
Same has applied to Azure IMO. I'm not claiming it didn't have any potential, but initially it sure had a big label stamped on it: "Expensive!". Renting a virtual database with a good storage (2Gb) and fixed bandwith would cost a multiple factor more than renting a /whole/ virtual Linux environment (which, as the reader may know, could easily host /multiple/ virtual databases). Worse: many service providers also support virtual Window servers; Windows Server 2008 - optimized for web usage (so; with IIS, MS SQL, etc)? No problem. More expensive than a Linux server, but still /way/ cheaper than an Azure solution (which only provides the database aspect).
Now, I'm sure there is more to Azure than that. For example, i'm not taking things like redundancy, backups, and all of that into account. But nonetheless it sure did seem that you'd spend a lot of money on something which could be less expensive if only it didn't have the name 'Microsoft' attached to it.
So if MS is really going for the cloud services then I think it makes sense to "start over" this way; drop the name and embed the 'engine' in a broader package. At the very least it is bound to kill any prejudice because most people will most likely eventually approach it as something "new".
And that may very well give them opportunity to approach the consumer market as well.
You got to start somewhere, and I think this could be a step in the right direction.
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