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* Posts by ShelLuser

1791 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

Microsoft slashes Office 365 prices

ShelLuser
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Pint

Microsoft suffers from legacy & prejudice.

If you start off by making a bad impression then this will come to haunt you. Eventually you'll need to find ways to get rid of it again and once again try to appeal to people so that they may cast aside their prejudice and actually try your product once again. That will cost you time and money.

Unfortunately it appears as if MS never seems to learn from its mistakes. Once they do then I think they can save a /lot/ of money on marketing costs such as these and actually leave a positive impression once in a while which may even last some longer.

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Why Windows 8 server is a game-changer

ShelLuser
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Another example...

Of /why/ PowerShell is honestly a /power/ shell environment when it comes to Windows administration. However, this is also another example as to why this new server (I'm focusing on the Windows Remote Management 3.0 part obviously) isn't hardly as game changing as the author makes it.

The fun thing is is that PowerShell is full Object Oriented commandline environment (OOCLI ?). You don't deal with mere text or collections; you're dealing with objects which can all have their own unique properties, functions and methods. To make this even more interesting; it also fully supports the Windows Component Object Model (COM).

I'd say its pretty much common practice to check for software updates on a computer (be it server or client) every now and then, and when you have a few of those it can be tedious if you need to logon to all of them individually...

That is where PowerShell & COM can come in:

$WUSession = New-Object -ComObject "Microsoft.Update.Session"

$updates = $WUSession.CreateUpdateSearcher().Search("IsInstalled=0 And Type='Software'").Updates

Now "$updates" contains all the update descriptions. To get a good overview (and also if an update has already been downloaded and/or installed yet) simply process the collection of objects:

$updates | Format-List -Property Title, isDownloaded, isInstalled

Now that is what I call power at your fingertips. This beats having to logon to remote computers using remote desktop only to see if there are updates available! Imagine running this with one command across all your servers or clients... Oh wait, you can ;-)

SO, back to the article.. There is a lot of new stuff for PowerShell, sure. But what about software updates ?

No, there isn't any. Yes, it supports 'Windows Server Update Services' (Wsus) but that is /not/ the same. That is an infrastructure which can run on your server to distribute updates towards your clients. Ideal in an enterprise environment, but what about small to mid-size Windows networks which may even have chosen to perform maintenance on the clients manually ?

So more precisely... Its nice that they added Cmdlets for something as trivial as requesting information about your tcp/ip settings, but why haven't they added native support to allow people to check up more easily on Windows updates ?

It took me quite some time to 'hack' that COM class (Microsoft.Update.Session) by searching & studying MSDN but getting information about my network adapters took me no longer than 5 minutes (that starts with "Get-WMIObject -List *network*" for example).

SO pardon me for not being all that impressed yet with the current updates to PowerShell.

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ShelLuser
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@Tim

""Interesting, as PowerShell scriptability is another important marker of Microsoft's growing commitment to openness and standards."

What standards would the use of .NET objects (PowerShell objects) being showing commitment to ?"

Its not merely .NET, its also the underlying WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) structure. If an application or service supports WMI then it can be automatically managed by using PowerShell. This is just my guess: but since WMI's structure is fully open for developers people should be able to utilize it in their own software. Obviously its supported in .NET but can also be utilized through C++.

I think that's where the 'open' statement comes from. As to commitment.. Since they continued to support WinRM / WMI in Server 8 they basically continued to support an already existing administrative layer. At least that's my guess on this.

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ShelLuser
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Windows

@Christian

Its simple really.. If the applications support the current administrative models (WMI, RPC) then they can be controlled using PowerShell (to a certain extend anyway).

Most applications I came across already supported RPC calls thus allowed remote administration out of the box anyway. An example of that could be hMailServer. I have an "admin section" installed on my local Win7 client and can use that to remotely connect to both servers (through RPC).

So there's nothing really new there. As to no GUI; it doesn't matter. In my example above I'm already using the gui part on my client (and the server part without a GUI).

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ShelLuser
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Windows

Re: Finally...

Keep in mind that everything is optional and that CLI usage isn't mandatory. So people can basically decide for themselves what they want to use, the old remote desktop will still be available for those that want it.

Of course; with Server 8 that also means having to deal with Metro which I'm sure will scare a lot of people away. It seems MS is convinced that those people will then resort to using the CLI but quite frankly I'm not convinced. Not upgrading to this particular server version is also a liable option.

You don't have to miss out on PowerShell either; this is even available for MS Server 2003.

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ShelLuser
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Windows

Hardly as exciting as you make it IMO

And the reason for that is that all those cool features (IMO they really are) which will directly affect us sysadmin's aren't exactly new.

Why I'm not that much impressed here? Well; don't take this the wrong way: I think PowerShell by itself is an /awesome/ development when it comes to Windows systems administration. Its very flexible, very versatile and best of all: because its build on .NET it also allows you to fully utilize whatever .NET provides you with. Add support for WMI objects to the mixture and I think it becomes obvious why PowerShell can be very exciting for systems administrators.

But the underlying foundation, even with PowerShell 3.0 (better put: Windows Remote Management 3.0) is still based on .NET and WMI. The main differences in this new version are mainly aimed at supporting File and Storage and virtualisation ("fallback") services. Not that surprising given that this server version has overhauled that section.

So not really exciting. Its nice that we now have a NET TCP/IP Cmdlet "Get-NetIPAddress" but honestly; there's nothing new here which can't already be done:

Get-WmiObject Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration -Filter "IPEnabled = True"

This gets me the settings of all network devices which have been setup with TCP/IP support /and/ have an IP address assigned (this only gives you a selection of info; if you want it all (or filter it yourself) pipe it into "Format-List").

Sure, having a single Cmdlet can be easy, but do you honestly think us sysadmin's haven't made our own functions for this stuff by now ?

As such I don't think this is as exciting as its being presented here. Truth be told; I'll take Server 2008 over this one any time; Metro is too intrusive and time consuming.

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Euro Android devs: Google's hanging on to our pay

ShelLuser
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FAIL

And well all know how this will end...

If the thread has collected enough complaints to become a concern then Google will simply lock down the forum telling everyone to e-mail them and eventually remove the thread in its entirely.

Oh the irony; back then it involved the /exact/ same problems; developers complaining about not getting paid.

If this isn't proof enough that in the end Google doesn't care then I don't know what is.

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Microsoft warns of RDP attack within next 30 days

ShelLuser
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Windows

Lets be a little realistic here...

This doesn't concern end-users.

As stated in the article; Remote desktop is turned off by default, but it gets better; RDP server is not available on consumer products (XP Home, Vista/7 Home premium) but only on the OS Professional versions and above.

So most people won't even notice all this.

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if year > 2013 then PC != Personal Computer

ShelLuser
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FAIL

The author appearantly didn't quite get...

...the /major/ negative impact MegaUpload has left on /legitimate users/.

Lets not kid ourselves; it wasn't all file trading; many people actually used MegaUpload to store their own private stuff; pictures, sound snippets, etc, etc. while thinking they were safe. This secure feeling was partially triggered by the fact that people actually paid to use the services of MegaUpload, thus providing a sense of security / reliability (that's how it works for some people).

Well, we all know what happened. Some people even lost important pictures and other material which they never bothered to put onto their own computer(s) or storage because why bother? It was always right there on the Net. And lets not forget the obvious: most (manual) backups usually happen "tomorrow".

And that incident has got a lot of people thinking, a lot more than the author gives them credit for I think. Storing your stuff in the cloud is nice and easy; until someone throws the switch and then the castle comes crumbling down.

Whereas your own "old fashioned" home PC will simply keep on running (provided that your HD doesn't give out).

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Windows 8: Thrown into a multi-tasking mosh pit

ShelLuser
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Stop

"Unfortunately, the take home message is that the people who will find themselves affected by this are simply afraid of change, their numbers small enough to constitute a rounding error. Microsoft is not losing sleep over us."

This is what people said when Windows Vista came out and we all know what happened next; all of a sudden it seemed Microsoft couldn't even /get/ any sleep while Windows 7 wasn't put on the road.

What the author is also overlooking (IMO) is that Metro goes way /beyond/ the powerusers. A lot of people have only "recently" became familiar with the concept of clicking start, or clicking start and getting a whole new environment to cope with (start menu). So what about those guys ?

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Marvel to animate comic action with AR app

ShelLuser
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High tech but....

No matter how slick things look, you need more than that; a little appeal goes a long way too.

And quite frankly I wonder if they can ever match the success of cartoon series such as 'Spiderman, the animated series' (1994; 5 seasons) and "X-Men" (also 5 seasons). These series are even being enjoyed today while a lot of the more modern cartoons seems to lack quite a bit of appeal to make things last.

Just my 2 cents though, for all I know I could merely be showing my age here ;-)

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The seven types of commentard

ShelLuser
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FAIL

Type 1: Posts which provide new information

Type 2: Posts which ask questions

Type 3: Response posts which answer questions

Type 4: Response posts which provide feedback

Type 5: Response posts which thank for help

Type 6: Response posts which say something bad

Type N: Non-posts by those who read but don't post.

Sorry for the long paste but.. with the restrictions gone... ;-)

Aren't 1 & 4 overlapping? "response" could mean response to the article (my post) or a response to another post / response. bzzzzt.

How does one qualify a combination of 2 & 5 ? I always thank people - up front - for trying to help me out. So if I ask a question to the original author and give thanks up front I'm now 2 groups ? That's not even mentioning the possible inclusion of item 4.

Bottom line... Nice study, shame about the time wasted on all this. There are some things which you hardly /can/ theorize about and IMO this is just one of them. How about trolls? They don't say anything bad perse; they only share that which triggers the most likely amount of responses, no matter if those are bad or good ("genuine"); its quantity over quality.

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Angry Birds in spaaaaace beamed to fandroids by NASA

ShelLuser
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Joke

Re: No winPhone?

That's because they realize that us winphone owners have no time for all this. We have work to do.

Hey; at least it /sounds/ like a good excuse, no ? ;-)

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Google to app devs: Use our pay system ... OR ELSE

ShelLuser
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FAIL

True face revealed...

Because lets not forget the past shall we and ask ourselves /why/ these developers have chosen to utilize other means of payment...

Hmm, I dunno, could it perhaps be due to the massive (hundreds) of complaints in the Android Market forum (the 'technical help' part to be precise) from enraged developers who saw their app being purchased several times yet didn't get zip from Google as payment ?

And I'm probably seeing things here, but I can't help wonder if Google's reaction had anything to do with it as well. You know; closing down the entire forum and telling people that they should e-mail them. Perfectly reasonable no? Of course, apart from the small detail that one of the common complaints in the original (now deleted, how convenient!) thread was actually that sending e-mail to Google (which most developers seemed to have done first) had absolutely no result.

And here we are now. As you can see; "do no evil" doesn't exist within a company and is an utopia. Because in the end only 1 thing matters company-wise: income. Developers /dare/ to threaten the revenue? Then they'll pay!

You can't hold that against Google mind you, its what any company would do. HOWEVER, given the recent past (see above) and their motto "do no evil" one could have expected a little more lenience here.

As such; true face revealed, and I personally consider it a major failure.

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MYSTERY programming language found in Duqu

ShelLuser
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@Vesselin

If they knew what it does then why would the language matter ?

They only seem to know that the code section is used to communicate with the other servers when it has infected a machine. But it sounds to me as if they're not quite sure /how/ it makes it happen.

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Lingerie-clad she-devils romp past watchdog

ShelLuser
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Megaphone

I have to wonder...

Is this aimed at women or men ?

Because well, taste differs of course; but when looking at that video I think the woman in the night gown is sexier than all those lingerie clad girls. Some of them wear so much clothing that I'd hardly describe it as lingerie...

Apart from that; I think some people are better of realizing that some companies are hoping that they'll receive complaints. Because that means their product will get mentioned in more media; as such the advertising is working. Think about it; would El Reg have covered this if it wasn't for the complaints?

otoh... given that its El Reg I suppose they might have ;-)

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Java won't curl up and die like Cobol, insists Oracle

ShelLuser
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Happy

Love / Hate relationship

Now; I'm not a professional developer but a sysadmin. However, within that context I sometimes need to be able and perform tasks which are sometimes easier written yourself. When I came into contact again with Solaris (when 10 came out) I also started to grow a more mature interest in Java (before that it was only as end-user, for example; I ran several Java programs on OS/2 Merlin without actually realizing the full extend of what Java really was). And it didn't take me long to adapt to NetBeans (started with version 4.1) and actually enjoying myself learning Java.

So that's basically where I am today. I have good insight knowledge on Java SE, have some basic experience with Java EE (and some stuff associated with it, such as EJB (Enterprise Java Beans)) and have some beginning experience with Java ME (mobile) although I don't plan on extending on it.

Now; ever since Sun got ran over (personal opinion) I started to move away from Oracle because I don't like their policies. However, I can't bring myself to move away from Java as well. The language is simply too extensive for that. How much languages are there which you can apply for development on both Windows and Linux for example? Where there are also options available for Apple and BSD platforms? And where the language itself isn't that hard to grasp and most importantly: well documented...

And that basically also forms my opinion on the matter; I don't think Java is going to die anytime soon, not even with Oracle trying (which they don't so it seems) because its simply too extensive and too easy to use. But most of all because of the massive amounts of fans it has. I mean; even though I personally don't really like projects such as Kaffe and "OpenJDK" you can't ignore the tremendous effort people put into that nor can you wave away the progress they made. Sure; their VM may not be a "real" Java in every detail, but it sure as heck provides a solid foundation to work on. Java programs which aren't too specific will run on those environments.

As long as you have devoted fans like that around then I don't see a language dropping "just because".

Heck; even my first love Borland Pascal is still around and kicking some ass, also on Linux!

...which reminds me to setup BP6 sometimes to see if I can use this on Win7 to play with some of my old programs.

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Carmageddon

ShelLuser
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Devil

Re: Making a new game

Whoah, if this is what it promises to be then I can only hope it'll make the PS3 as well. It'd be a no brainer to get this one!

I only hope they're not going to overdo it. But... if its the original crew then we may not need to fear. Its the main problem with Carmageddon over the years IMO; number 1 was radical, number 2 was different but still very much enjoyable (you guys discovered the 2 giant pinguins on that snow track too? "That'll teach 'm to shit in the woods" or something, totally weird & bizar). But from there things went totally down hill IMO.

Instead of a "rugged racer" number 3 looked more like a candy-themed racer where you should "pick up the candies" in order to score points. And obviously the amount of pedestrians had been decreased by a lot.

But as said; I'm positive that the /original/ crew will be more hell bent on getting the /real/ "carmageddon experience" across instead of trying to "make a game which appeals to as many people as possible ("maybe we should add some ponies for the girls?")".

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ShelLuser
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Thumb Up

Times have changed...

This was a classic. I owned the complete uncensored game package (a "big" CD package which also contained all the expansions) and quite frankly; the carnage was plain out madness but the fun part was that the tracks / cities weren't all that bad either.

There was actually a lot to discover in most races; hidden pathways, huge bridges which put you /way/ above the city (the only question was always "how the heck do I get up there?") and sometimes you'd even travel over totally abstract sceneries (small islands only connected by a single road/bridge which were actually quite nicely setup). Or what to think about "How to get rid of the competition?", it was hilarious to see how some cars would still continue to run after they had been literally flattened :-)

Yes, it was carnage and total mayhem, but that's not all what made this game a classic IMO.

I always toyed with the idea to try and install Carmageddon sometime, even though the resolution is total bogus by today's standards. And then I got hold of Grand Theft Auto 4 which can really bring the "carmageddon experience" to a whole new level. As said; how times have changed...

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No joke: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 debuts on April Fools' Day

ShelLuser
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Joke

Denali?

Or is that Denial ?

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Boffins, tourists threaten Antarctica with alien invasion

ShelLuser
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Pint

@Graham

"What, like coconuts...?"

That depends, are we talking about British or African birds ?

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Workers can't escape Windows 8 Metro - Microsoft COO

ShelLuser
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Thumb Up

@Neil

HA HA HA, I had to look it up but its a good one!

That's just my not native English showing up...

I'll be sure to keep in mind that next time I'll hoover those extra 'o''s away ;-)

Thanks for the heads up!

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ShelLuser
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Joke

Re: Just installed it.

Its not Windows 8, its you.

You see, your problem is that you haven't been sufficiently brainwas^D^D^D^Dtrained yet.

So pull out your creditcard, take a few courses, and by that time you'll be very happy with Windows 8. Simply because you know that if you admit you're still not happy you're also admitting to have spend hundreds of dollars on training. And most businesses won't do that ;-)

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ShelLuser
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@Tony

People with a single monitor who also a regular 1024x768 resolution /will/ experience issues when they want to use Metro apps in multiple windows. While all previous versions had no issues with that what so ever.

So yes; it /does/ stop you from using multiple windows. I agree if you state that the behavior on the desktop is still like the previous versions. But for how long?

Don't forget; they're already busy re-hauling Office and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if a lot of the new Office ends up on Metro.

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ShelLuser
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@TeeCee

Full agree.

As to people on Vista who might skip 7... A lot of people in my surroundings who are using Vista basically use it with the same looks & feel as XP / Win9x. Others have learned to adapt yet "aren't looking forward to that ordeal again". Keep in mind; this is all pretty recent, only a few years ago.

I only showed the Metro snippet which MS has released to some of them while telling them that "this is what the new Windows looks like". Solely based on that (obviously limited) experience I'd say chances are much higher that people move up to 7 than that they'll go to 8.

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ShelLuser
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@Keith

While you are mostly server orientated you don't have to worry; Microsoft has you covered because they even managed to put Metro into their new Windows Server 8 as well!

Trust me; its true (I didn't believe this at first either).

2 OS environments with the same annoyances. They can't play favorites after all ;-)

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ShelLuser
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FAIL

@DF118

I'm also sick with the flu (spend most time of the day in bed during the past 4 days mind you) and simply sitting a while behind the PC in the evening, also skimming El Reg during that time, is simply very relaxing.

It also helps you to keep up with incoming e-mails and such. Maybe even picking up some work from home if you feel up to it!

Just because people people spend time here doesn't mean they can't be sick.

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ShelLuser
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Windows

Win7 "smokes" Win8

Perhaps people recall those commercials where a guy with a Windows Phone bets with people using 'other' smartphones that he can perform certain tasks /much/ quicker. For example; taking a picture and putting it on a social website, sending an e-mail, navigating towards a certain point, etc.

I bet that I can take on any Windows 8 installation and "smoke it" with a mere Windows 7. Where of course we'll both start in the default (desktop on Win7 & Metro on Win8) and both are tuned for work (Win7; recently used programs on the start menu, Win8; tiles structured for work).

Lets connect to the server of $customer. Hint: you recently used this connection (not too long ago).

Win7: Click start, go up (remote desktop), hoover (1 sec?) and go to the "recent" list in the jumplist. CLICK, you're in.

Win8: Click Remote desktop, wait (splash screen; I bet 1.5 sec), click the "recent" pull down then find & select the entry. Click, you're in.

Addition: lets type over the serial number of Office 2010 which you just installed (yet forgot to activate).

Win7: (when working full screen): set the program to 'windowed' so it can sit in the corner of your screen. Now open up the document containing the serial number, place it so that you can both read & type. Now simply type it over. Easy does it.

Win8: Go back to Metro, start the program containing the data. Now you'll end up on the desktop. Well, unless you're a genius who can memorize an entire Microsoft serial you'll have no other option than to memorize a small part and alt-tab back and forth between full screen remote desktop and your serial document.

Lets open the Word document you made last week.

Win7: Click start, go up (Word), hoover (1 sec?) and go to the recent list again. CLICK, document is open.

Win8: Click on Word to start it, wait a moment. Now, click 'File' go to 'Recent' and search for the document in the list. CLICK, and its open. Note: If you use 'recent documents' a lot you could have pinned this on the quick launchbar in Word. That could have saved some time.

Lets go to the control panel to find & check your backup.

Win7: Click start, click control panel. OR; click start (or hit windows key) and type "control", it'll pop up ready to hit enter on (optionally you need to move down a little with your cursor).

Win8: Type "control" but wait.. search results only display apps, nothing else. SO either press tab, hit cursor down and then press enough shift-tab to get back to the search result screen OR start using the mouse to first click "system" (iirc, the option below 'apps') and then click "control panel".

(I'm aware of win8 keyboard shortcuts which can move you directly into a search mode. But do you honestly think your casual "search user" will remember those? Even so: how is that easier (keyboard combo) than merely hitting "windows key" and start typing?)

And that's not even mentioning how we can no longer group our apps together. I click start, I click "all programs" and I have a group "Develop". This contains NetBeans, my UML tools, and even the several Visual Studio Express versions I use. 3 clicks and I'm there.

Wait; it gets better.. Because I use this group on a semi-regular basis I put this in the middle of my start menu. As such I never have to look for it. It sits a few inches away from where I clicked "all programs".

Win8? Either you somehow group it all together into Metro ("remember; the 4th section of icons is the develop section. How you should remember? Well, the 4th letter of the alphabet is 'd' right?). OR you find your way into the "all applications" (right click on an empty space, then click the option at the bottom) and try your luck there. However; both metro and "all apps" are nothing more than a pile of apps without /any/ structure.

My bet? Workers will easily escape the Metro nonsense. We'll simply stay on Windows 7 until either Microsoft comes back to its senses OR until the competition has managed to come up with solid alternatives. Keep in mind: Win7 is supported until 2018 at least, and a LOT can happen in 6 years.

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FSF fandroids fight to 'free' Android from Google's forepaws

ShelLuser
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Windows

Re: @David W. - I'll make it easier for you

A Microsoftie here ;-)

Microsoft: Closed, and both free and not free components.

IIS (MTA / FTP server) has an express version which can be used free of charge (even for commercial usage). SQL Server 8 also knows a free express version. Developer tools (usable for Windows development but also for ASP.NET (useful in combination with the free IIS server)) are also available free of charge.

Reason I'm mentioning this is because I honestly believe that this would never have happened if Open Source Software wouldn't have kicked off the way it has.

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Anonymous web weapon backfires with hidden banking Trojan

ShelLuser
Silver badge

If you identify yourself as "anonymous" (so basically you could be anybody) and still call out for people to support you in your "efforts" then isn't it a /little/ bit predictable that something like this could happen sooner or later ?

Because how are your "followers" going to know to deal with the real thing? By taking your word for it? On the Internet? Yeah right ;-)

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ShelLuser
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@boltar

Careful now.. Quantity doesn't make quality but most of all; this could also mean that Linux is still not a platform which is interesting enough for kiddies to attack.

Quite frankly that makes perfect sense since normally you don't attack Linux with trojans and the likes. Instead you aim for local (root) exploits which you can exploit through bugs with (accessible) software running on Linux (sql injections for example). Now, if you look up those numbers you'll realize that Linux is basically just as vulnerable as Windows.

The main difference is that Windows is being attacked "as a whole" (single entity) whereas Linux can suffer from flaws within /any/ remotely accessible software running on it (from Apache to MySQL to....), added up to the almost constantly available local root exploits.

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ShelLuser
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Windows

@sisk

"First off, the only reason Apple allows you to unlock your iOS devices is because legally they have no choice in the matter. The law of the land is that if you own the hardware you can unlock it and the only thing the manufacturer can do about it is void your warranty and refuse to support you."

You should tell that to Microsoft as well. Because a Windows Phone is locked and won't be unlocked unless I apply for a developer subscription with Microsoft ($100,-/year) after which I'll be allowed to - temporarily - unlock my phone, but solely for "testing purposes".

Now, Microsoft tends to do crazy and dumb stuff IMO, an example of that would be Metro. But I doubt that they would knowingly violate the law, especially on a market where they're hardly noticeable yet.

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Google’s privacy policy: Incoherent and confusing

ShelLuser
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Windows

What is there not to understand?

Although I fully agree that there are major security concerns here lets not make things worse then they are, shall we?

One of the authors claims is that Google uses overlapping terms. So "Personal information" with "Information" and "Sensitive Information". But how hard is it really to follow up?

http://www.google.nl/intl/en/policies/privacy/

"Information we collect", obviously this is a broad term because it can include anything. Its split in two; stuff we give them (by opening an account), and stuff we provide through use of their services. And here its made fully clear what's being collected: "device information, log information, location information, unique application numbers, local storage (wtf?), cookies & identifiers". All of these terms are described in a separate paragraph.

So if you, like me, go WTF? after reading "local storage" (are they keeping track of my free diskspace?!) then read the paragraph: "We may collect and store information (including personal information) locally on your device using mechanisms such as browser web storage (including HTML 5) and application data caches.". What is there not to understand here?

And if you wonder what a cookie is then Google has all those so called "key terms" covered as well:

http://www.google.nl/intl/en/policies/privacy/key-terms/

And to finish, Google even makes it quite clear how you can "fight" this. In short; review & control info you provide, view & edit ad preferences, check your profile, control who you share info with (google+ related), and you can even take information away from them:

http://www.dataliberation.org/

One whole site dedicated to help end users of Google products (Youtube, Calendar and even Analytics) to "get the f* away!".

Even more: (quote from the policy page): "You may also set your browser to block all cookies, including cookies associated with our services, or to indicate when a cookie is being set by us. However, it’s important to remember that many of our services may not function properly if your cookies are disabled. For example, we may not remember your language preferences. "

Do I think Google poses a certain threat wrt privacy? Absolutely! Do I think that they may indeed violate certain laws? I wouldn't rule it out up front.

But I don't think you can accuse them of not providing the information you need to read up for yourself what and how they're using whatever information you provide them. Now, whether all this info is true or not... that is something I don't know. But it IS there.

IN FACT... In some cases Google is even more transparent than Microsoft is. Whoah, bold statement eh?

Windows 8 syncs a lot of your settings to the "cloud". So stuff as color scheme, desktop background, theme settings, etc. This isn't put on your local SkyDrive, nor is it put onto the 5Gb separate "synced storage" which is also part of the deal. No, this is put onto a "separate section which is only accessible by Windows". And in order to make sure all is secure its encrypted and whatever. Also (this is what I /do/ believe:) they don't sync sensitive data such as logon credentials until you confirmed that the new Win8 PC is to be trusted.

But; what happens with all the synced data when you stop using Windows 8? Heck; what /exactly/ is being synced? Even if you don't opt-in for this sync stuff then it /will/ store some data. I've tried by wiping win8 clean and re-installing it. Amazing; my desktop had the exact same theme (Naruto) as before. On a pristine Win8!

Try finding out /where/ this data is stored and more importantly; how you can access /your/ data in order to wipe it clean. You won't. I asked on TechNet 3 days ago, no response as of yet.

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2

NASA lost 'full control' to hackers, pwned 13 times last year

ShelLuser
Silver badge

Just wait when they caught one...

Then they'll sue and all damages will be fully paid for, may even finance setting up a new security system.

I seriously wonder how much NASA cares. I mean; the last hack from England where some kid was only trying to get data on "aliens". He was also perfectly willing to share his findings and actually help the guys out to straighten things out.

Although I didn't keep up with every detail, but last I heard there was no interest apart from extraditing him to the US to stand trial and be locked up for quite a few years. Major fail right there IMO; instead of going for damages and money (which IMO is disputable in this case) they also could have gone after his insight knowledge on security.

Yet I think the big money is what keeps looming over the horizon in events like these.

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Hello? You'll never guess where I am ... I'm under a ferry

ShelLuser
Silver badge

Publicity ?

I think money is most likely a bigger aspect in all this. Roaming usually isn't cheap. And if you can get a full train roaming (assuming that it will be turned into "no mans land")...

Before anyone goes "but people will hardly use it" I have to wonder: how many people will realize that their smartphone is still happily seeking new data to collect while its already too late?

I'd be more impressed if they would hookup some kind of wifi :-)

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Space FIREBALL over Blighty sparks hunt for rich meteorite

ShelLuser
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Joke

"Our own origins are locked up in these pieces of rock. They are pristine material from the beginning of the solar system and hold the ingredients of life."

So he admits that the Blob has finally landed on earth ?

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Metro breakdown! Windows 8 UI is little gain for lots of pain

ShelLuser
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Windows

Re: initial impressions

Uhm, Win8 CP /has/ the media centre onboard. It opens in the desktop app. and has a few differences from the one on Win7.

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ShelLuser
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Unhappy

@mark

I owe you an apology (not that I said anything bad or something) because well... At first I didn't really believe what you said; then I looked it up this evening. This is (IMO) ridiculous...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt0isrUIm2A (not my video mind you).

In 1:20 and 2:40 you can clearly see the "improved" design. I don't get this at. all. I mean; us sysadmins don't need a "hand guided" start menu because we /know/ that we can tweak and configure it. Commonly speaking, but us sysadmins usually don't have a start menu the size of the mount Everest.

This is bad IMO. Because now we no longer have any option to group certain tools together. Instead of groups /everything/ will now be thrown onto this big heap called Metro and we'll just have to try and sort it out.

Oh this is going to be SO much easier when a rookie takes over for a day... "Yes, you'll find the admin tools for the rdp control in the 3rd section of tiles. No; that's the 3rd section, you know; there's a little space between them. What's that? No; its not a named section, MS decided to remove all that because it was confusing. Just remember; the third group of tiles".

So back to creating desktop clutter then...

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ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Another problem for sysadmins...

I was looking at Win8 to verify my previous statements and well... Remote desktop connection anyone ?

By default this is a Metro app. So total suckage when it comes to usability; simply because in many cases you /need/ to be able and look at your own screen. For example; not all programs allow you to use the clipboard (copy/paste) to enter serial numbers.

What I usually do is keep the remote session in one end of the screen and my OneNote window (where I store all this info) on the other. So now I can easily type it over.

In Windows 8 this has become MUCH easier (/sarcasm off). After you started the remote desktop app. you need to enter the name and credentials and such and then you're in. So far, so good. Now to get back to OneNote. err.... Yes; alt-tab or go back to the Metro screen and fire up the desktop. Happy alt-tab switching between desktop & remote desktop !

To make things even more easy (less confusing perhaps?) Windows 8 has also removed the jumplists. Example: In the "inferior" Windows 7 the remote desktop app. sits on the list of my most used apps. One click and I can connect. Better yet: a mere hoover and I have my 2 Win2k3 servers pinned at the top and I can immediately connect with some recently used customer servers.

This has become MUCH better in Windows 8. Because now the confusing jumplists are gone, and it gives us a simple "recently used" list. Of course only /after/ you started the application, why would you know up front where you'd want to connect to ?

TIP: "mstsc.exe". This is the previous remote desktop app and it still exists in Win8. So instead of searching for "remote desktop" search for "mstsc" and fire that up. Now you end up on the desktop with the normal rdp client application.

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ShelLuser
Silver badge
FAIL

If only Gates were around...

Your article is a bit flawed. Because by default you do /not/ get to see all those system programs in Metro, these are hidden by default. Only if you opt-in to have them displayed do they show up. Please don't start mixing up the facts. Do note: I'm talking about the customer preview, so the latest release.

Also: compmgmt.msc is still there in Win8, this also shows you all your hardware components. So its not as if this has suddenly been moved into Metro. What has changed is that "My computer" has become much harder to access (otherwise you could have more easily right clicked, then selected "properties" and found the hardware devices). But the hardware management location hasn't changed. It can still be accessed from the control panel as well.

What has changed though is consistency. At first I didn't want apps to be able and access my location settings, so right after installation I had this turned off. I found my way into the Metro "control panel" only to discover that I couldn't change this setting from there. "Go to control panel and use the "Location manager"". Eventually I discovered that it was sitting under the "Hardware" item. Why the split up? Why didn't they tell me to go to the "hardware section" instead of mentioning an option which could have been located in /any/ of those sections (well, apart from accessibility I suppose, but I did go through the rest and of course first totally overlooking this in 'hardware').

When it comes to first new releases then MS is losing their grip. Windows phone 1st release? It didn't even support tasks (todo schedules)! This feature has become very trivial for (small) businesses, but not available on the first Windows phone release (it has been added in the Mango update!). That is poor. I learned that people eventually resorted to /purchase/ schedule apps from the store because they couldn't miss out on not having their tasks with them as they were accustomed to on their previous phone.

Speculating here but I somehow get more and more convinced that Gates wouldn't have let this monstrosity being enforced upon the market. Not saying he was perfect, /far/ from it, but Ballmer is a business guy who has very little feeling for tech. As such it wouldn't surprise me /one bit/ if this had all been calculated:

"The number of people staying on Windows 7 will mean a cut in revenue but they might warm up to the idea when Win9 comes out. So when Win9 comes out these will upgrade eventually as well (maybe we can raise prices by then or disable upgrading fee's). The loss of revenue in the mean time will be compensated by not having to support several different platforms but only 1 main core. And eventually this will turn into a profit because we can now also cut back on development costs for trivial accesoires apps (clock, notepad, calculator) because those will be supplied by Metro developers who even pay us to have them released!"

Welcome to the future!

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5

Windows 8: Sugar coating on Microsoft's hard-to-swallow tablet

ShelLuser
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Windows

@miek

Actually you cannot compare the two. Because F11 gives you a choice, after you went full screen you can always go back to windowed mode. 'Kiosk mode' otoh doesn't give you this freedom. SO basically it behaves quite a bit like Metro in that respect; you start fullscreen you stay fullscreen and you end fullscreen.

Gee, I wonder why it never became a success....

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ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Wonderful tablet..

Shame about the desktop...

Its simple and I think the author worded it quite well; would I be interested in tablets and such then I'd be cheering because within that context I can honestly see Windows having the advantage, especially in an environment where there are already several Windows machines.

But on the desktop... that's a whole different beast. I get the feeling that MS bets on tablets and touchscreens overtaking the desktop, but quite frankly I don't see that happening anytime soon. Think about it; resting your arms on your chair, typing on the keyboard and all you need to do is move your hand a little to get to your mouse (or trackball in my case). vs. having to move your hand towards your screen and touch, click and swipe stuff. How long are you going to last doing that the whole day? Another issue; isn't that screen of yours getting dirty and more difficult to read this way ?

But most of all; the main reason why I don't get it is that MS should already have known that full screen is not the right way for the office. Did you know that Internet Explorer has a 'Kiosk' mode for quite some time now? Simply use the '-k' commandline parameter while starting and you see what I mean; fullscreen explorer (easiest way to try is opening up cmd.exe and going to \program files\internet explorer\. From there start "iexplorer.exe -k").

Its fun to play with, but unusable because you miss out on so much important information (the clock for one thing). This is supported from IE7 iirc (only tried it on 8 & 9 myself).

So why would a whole suite of fullscreen apps be any different ?

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1

Ten... gaming mice

ShelLuser
Silver badge

I love my trackball...

Your hand remains fixed, you get a good feeling for where stuff needs to go and well, sometimes it can be even quicker than a mouse. Esp. if you have the tendency to lift your mouse up and place it where you felt it should have been. I managed to ran into my keyboard in the heat of a fight that way (totally my own dumb fault, but still; never happened with my trackball) :-)

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Google rolls out privacy policy, snubs Euro outcry

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Stop

@moiety

And how does not using Google's products help you here?

It amazes me how a lot of people don't realize how deep this actually goes. So you visit El Reg like I do, seems we share a good taste ;-) You /do/ realize that El Reg uses 'Google Analytics'? In short: a Javascript program gets started on /your/ browser, your browser then transmit some data to Google (data regarding the page visit, but also data regarding your browser and version and such) after which Google presents this data to the owner of the website.

But the whole new approach also opens up the door for them to utilize this data in other means.

Any idea how many websites use Google analytics because "its so easy to setup" ?

And that's not even mentioning some of the (IMO) cooler tech sites. Most of them have setup some pretty fancy navigation or counters or voting system or... In many cases powered by none other than googleapi.com. And there we go again; the data which is coming in through those channels can now also be utilized.

So bottom line; switching to Bing (or whatever other search engine) in favor over Google is futile. Because no matter the search engine you will eventually still end up on those websites using Google stuff again.

0
0

Tick-like banking Trojan drills into Firefox, sucks out info

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Re: This is a MICROSOFT PROBLEM

Well, there is also an easy MS solution for it. MSIE has the 'InPrivate mode' which basically tells it not to load nor activate any extensions and it won't store any internet data (cookies, temporary files, etc.).

Bottom line; if you use this mode to do online banking then trojans like these stand no chance because they don't get activated in the first place.

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ShelLuser
Silver badge

This is the reason...

Why having a challenge/response security is very important with online banking.

One of the banks which got involved into all this is the Rabobank in the Netherlands. That is; they got mentioned in the Dutch newspapers, but it was immediately stated that the same problems applied to others (ING for example).

However; Rabo generates a challenge based on the amount you're transferring. That challenge is then used to create (one or more) response value(s) which are then used to authorize the transfer. In other words: if you pay careful attention to what you're signing off to then you /will/ notice that something is going wrong.

Another issue to keep in mind: this is also a good reason to keep all your important software located on your C (Windows system drive), esp. when using Vista or Windows 7. For example; as can be read on the URL shown in the article; one of the locations this trojan tries to attack is %Program Files%\Mozilla FireFox\ (adding stuff like error.jar, components\nsLego.js, etc).

However; accessing %Program Files% on your system partition will require a raised environment (administrative access). On my Windows 7 this would trigger a password prompt, on others it would trigger an UAC confirmation. Either way; you would get alerted as to what is going on.

So my suggestion is; even if you have 2 partitions (system & data, a common way for Windows computers to be setup) then always try to install important software onto C and the rest onto other locations.

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Windows Server 8 beta ready for download

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Not even gonna bother with this one...

Even though I'm a sysadmin and quite frankly am both intrigued and fascinated with some of the stuff Microsoft has done on Windows administration. For example; I really enjoy working with stuff such as PowerShell. And don't cut MMC short; "remote desktop service management" on my Win7 workstation. I have both of my Win2k3 added in a group thus allowing me with one click of a mouse to check up on both servers (who are logged on, open sessions, etc.).

Win8 can't be run using MS' own virtual PC. SO I don't think this critter will fare any better. Oracle's VirtualBox did it, yet this evening I actually ran into a BSOD on Win7. The very /first/ time that has ever happened after running Win7 for roughly one year now. As such I won't be keeping it around.

To me Win8 server shows the same shortcomings as Win8 client; MS is fully staring themselves blind on a single goal or motivation and everything else has to make room for it, no matter the cost. Win8 client should be obvious; tables & touch. How the desktop users are to cope is totally unimportant (note; this is only how I perceived things).

Win8 server seems to have Unix and previous Novell servers in mind. CLI is the way to go. Now, I do agree that you can do a lot on the commandline, PowerShell is a very good example of that. But a CLI only gets you so far, esp. on a GUI based OS.

And that's even ignoring that PowerShell 2.0 does /not/ even allow you to edit files on a remote server. Its not supported, perhaps using an edlin-like client or "copy con" commands. But a full screen editor such a vi? Forget about it.

So quite frankly. I'm gonna read about this one, but am not gonna bother trying.

8
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Microsoft drops 'risky' Windows 8 preview on World

ShelLuser
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Windows

@Stim

Windows Live messenger for example. I often use this to keep in touch with friends and colleague's ('business partners') alike. VERY handy if you're coding something and want to discuss some stuff during the process (copy code snippet & paste in chat window).

While I'm working I get to see status updates appear when people sign in, with a mere right mouse click (on the icon obviously) I can check who's online and a mere mouse hoover is enough to set my status.

This has now moved into Metro. So now I have to /leave/ my code window (heck, I have to leave the whole desktop!) in order to do something as trivial as checking who's online.

That is supposed to be easier ?

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ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Re: Obvious really...

Metro by itself isn't that bad. The problem is that its being enforced upon us /and/ in combination that many desktop apps have been replaced with a metro variant. As such people have no choice but to leave the desktop to run certain apps.

With all the hassle that comes from it. I can't use a workplace where I can no longer easily see what time it is for example. On the desktop I always have my clock visible. On metro; forget about it. Its a combination of all those little annoyances which make windows 8 for a lot of business and professional users totally unworkable.

A lot of people don't use Windows primarily to "have fun". First its to get a job done, and if it can provide any fun aspects in between then that's a small bonus but nothing more than that.

IMO they should have split things up. Provide a "Windows Phone" (WP7), "Windows Mobile" (Metro powered Win8) and "Windows desktop" (Windows 8). Where the current win8 is the mobile version and the full Windows 8 has a normal start menu which can be used to bring us to the Metro environment.

Heck; for all I care they give us a choice; start menu or start screen.

But the consumer preview as I've used it is IMO simply unusable for any serious work. Too much distraction and way too much inconsistency.

1
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Blighty's Post Office computer system goes titsup

ShelLuser
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Joke

Just admit

That you installed the Windows 8 preview onto the wrong computer thus causing it to backfire! ;-)

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