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* Posts by ShelLuser

1856 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

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
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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
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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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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
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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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Ten... gaming mice

ShelLuser
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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
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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.

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

ShelLuser
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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
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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
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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.

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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
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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.

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ShelLuser
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Re: Hot Areas

Some have but other don't. So if you hoover to the lower left corner you see a "metro preview" appear so you'll know that this will fire up Metro. But the rest doesn't have this. So upper left then the previously ran program appears (preview). And the other two corners will immediately show the controls for the active program.

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ShelLuser
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Re: Metro Controller gets rid of Metro easily enough

But without Metro you also lose the option to start any of your applications. Perhaps apart from skimming \Program Files yourself and making shortcuts for everything on your desktop.

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ShelLuser
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FAIL

Why I think win8 is very poor...

Its simple really... I'm using Internet explorer to download a file, say an ISO file which contains a preview of a certain OS. Although my Internet connection is quite decent it will still take some time to grab 2Gb worth of data.

So first I visit El Reg and skim around, then I decide to play Spider Solitaire.

Note: while doing that I can - at all times - see the progress of my download. I don't want to play solitaire to win a dozen games or so, I want to kill time and as soon as my download is done then I'm through playing. This cannot be done on Windows 8 anymore. Whether you download using the "Metro IE" (which doesn't even have a start page anymore, very annoying and confusing at times) or the desktop IE... As soon as you start Solitaire (Metro) its full screen so you can no longer see what else is going on in your system. VERY annoying.

Another epic failure.. Say one of your metro apps goes haywire (which has happened two or three times now on my box) and your screen is locked. In regular Windows you can always hit control-shift-escape and the task manager comes up, maybe something is stalling? Or when all else fails: control-alt-delete and select the taskmanager. At the very least you get a new window from which can fix stuff (you can even start new programs and such from here).

Windows 8? When Metro locks up and you hit control-alt-delete you still have the option to start the task manager. Its just too bad that it starts up on the desktop "app" while you remain locked in Metro. So your only option is to log off and back on again.

I don't want this full screen nonsense, I want my Windows back so that I can see what the heck is going on in the background.

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ShelLuser
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FAIL

Still not supporting own technology...

So I have the whole thing setup in Microsoft's virtual PC and guess what ?

HAL_INITIALISATION_ERROR.

/Exactly/ the same problem as the developer preview gave us. I consider this to be an epic failure; I mean what is /the/ first pick for Windows users when it comes to virtual machines and the likes?

And its not as if this stuff is anything arcane or something since other virtual environments have no problems at all with it.

Dumb move right there IMO.

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ShelLuser
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Windows

Preview on the preview...

I've turned into quite the Microsoftie over the last couple of months, right up to a point where my company has become an (not fully official as of yet) MS reseller. Quite frankly I grew quite the liking towards Windows 7 & Office 2010 (and some of the other products too) which is quite frankly one of the main reasons I decided to go for partner & reseller -ship (don't kid yourself; the other reason is obviously that I expect to make some income out of it).

Quite frankly I credit Microsoft for their courage, although I'm still not too sure if it isn't stupidity. I actually like Metro; on my upcoming Windows phone (which I expect to get in a week or two, even though I was and still am quite a critic on some points). But this ?

Anyway, its downloading and I'm quite anxious. Will this version be compatible with Windows' own Virtual PC or do I need to get Sun's Virtual box again ? Can I still hook into the OS using PowerShell or rpc (sc.exe) or has that changed? Do I need to create shortcuts to .cpl files on the desktop so that I can avoid Metro to get to the control panel or...

To quote Luke Skywalker... "I have a bad feeling about this..."

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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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'Kill yourself now' - Torvalds throws openSUSE security tantrum

ShelLuser
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WTF?

What is it with Torvalds as of late ?

I'm not following everything he says and does to be honest, so my views on the matter maybe flawed as well. But more and more do I get the feeling that in Torvalds mind there is only one right solution and that's his solution. Everything else is basically inferior by default.

There is a big difference between stating your opinion or presenting it as if it is the one and only truth. Think about it.. Mac file system? "Utter crap" according to Torvalds. Gnome 3 ? An "unholy mess". Windows? 'Can't learn anything from that' (not an accurate quote), according to Torvalds.

While my opinion tends to overlap (I also don't think much of Gnome) I wouldn't call it bad per default. First it does its job and more importantly: there are plenty of people around who /do/ enjoy Gnome. I guess those are stupid idiots too then ?

Same applies to this rant. He has some interesting points but those are also easily reflected. And quite frankly I think his end conclusion is taking it WAAAY to far. Whatever happened to taking a like of LInux' key strengths; the amount of different distributions so that if you didn't like one you could always try another ?

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Microsoft's Azure cloud down and out for 8 hours

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Trollface

They're finally becoming a /real/ cloud provider!

Yes, this is somewhat of a troll / joke but still...

Every major cloud provider has had some extreme outages. Amazon has been down and out for a few days, That UK clouding provider (can't remember the name) has had a downtime of more than 2 weeks. Google has had issues and got down for one day.

And now Microsoft's cloud suffers from the same. As such my conclusion: they're finally becoming a real provider to content with ;-)

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Microsoft tripped up by Blighty's techie skills gap

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Megaphone

I think...

One of the possible reasons is a change in motivation. I never got into IT because "it pays well" but because I honestly think its a fascinating world. And that fascination goes /way/ beyond something as trivial as a choice of operating systems. Because all of them have interesting aspects (or plain out key strengths!) which can make working with them quite an interesting experience.

Do keep in mind that I reflect on this from a technical perspective; /not/ that of the end user who will happily start to panic as soon as their mouse suddenly stops responding... (I don't care if this is X or Windows).

That background has gotten me knowledge on stuff such as setting up a VPN connection between peers and then using GRE packets to tunnel all your data across it. Or knowledge as to why ksh doesn't fully supersede sh (Solaris/Linux). Simple stuff such as using ssh as a tunnel: "cat $file | ssh user@host "dd of=/location/file"". Or what about Windows? Nothing to learn eh; checking up if SpamAssasin is still running on my server, all I need is a mere prompt (on my box): "sc \\magi query spamd". But it also fuels interest in new technologies, such as PowerShell... Getting the latest 5 entries in the system eventlog on a remote server?

All I need is a mere PS prompt: "invoke-command -computername magi -credential sysop -scriptblock { get-eventlog -logname system -newest 5 }"

...btw; renaming the administrator (or guest) account on Windows is yet another insight which I got out of sheer curiosity and which can be quite useful.

Generalizing here: Take a new (modern) graduate with "extensive Linux knowledge". Most often he hardly has the amount of experience as your average Linux hacker with no "IT education" but 4 years worth of hacking experience.

What's that? Breaking into banks and defacing official websites doesn't count for IT experience? Well, if that's your thought then you've just proven my point for me. Look it up ;-)

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Microsoft 'fesses credit cards exposed by Indian store hack

ShelLuser
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@Lee

You're right, but there is one unwritten company "law" which is even more important: never /ever/ attack colleagues / co-workers in public. Because that will make the whole company look bad. So if this branch said that there was nothing wrong; why would HQ (Redmond) question that ?

Although this is about Microsoft as a company I just can't help wonder if the main cause of the problem wasn't with the Indian branch itself.

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ShelLuser
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Forced by who ?

"In time honoured fashion, however, Redmond has now been forced to admit that this prognosis may have been a little over-hasty, and optimistic, according to Wall Street Journal India blogger and Microsoft customer, Amit Agarwal."

Would it also be possible that the Indian branch tried to keep things covered up and that Redmond has now forced them to put the cards on the table?

That scenario sounds much more likely to me, yet the article is a bit vague there. As such; "forced by who?".

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IT staffers on ragged edge of burnout and cynicism

ShelLuser
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The keyword is preparation

Preparing for what might inevitably happen someday. That can go a very long way and its been my experience that a lot of people don't take the time for this. This used used to include me too b.t.w...

For example, if you're in a stressful situation where 10+ customers mail you to report e-mail problems its usually better to try and come up with a scheme which answer ('addresses') their complaints (even if it is an automated response) than to think "ok, got it. just hang on, I'm working on it fast as I can!" because then you can rest assured that they'll eventually going to call you.

Which means that you have to pause your work, so it will take longer before things get fixed, so the risk that more customers are going to call in due to the time the problems last also increases.

I know this sounds all too easy and obvious, just wait until you actually live such a situation. Then its much more tempting to pick up the problems and go go go instead of taking some time first to look into the most efficient way to deal with the problem and its possible side effects (especially these!).

And as said; in my experience most people tend not to do this because "time is money". Yet investing time is sometimes the best way to save lots of it in the longer run.

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Windows Phone armed with 'military-grade' email upgrade

ShelLuser
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Windows

I'd be more impressed...

...If US companies were allowed to export decent encryption methods. But as far as I know they're not, as seems to be indicated in this article as well. 192-bit AES ? GPG can do better than that!

Heck, I'll see your GPG and "raise" with the more ontopic Outlook 2010 which by default provides an SHA256 hash algorithm and 256bit AES encryption algorithm.

How does lowering the encryption algorithm (in comparison with default Outlook 2010) weigh up against "enterprise security" on the Windows Phone ?

I have full confidence that Microsoft will eventually patch this whole security model up and provide a very decent solution. The main problem is that they should have thought about this up front IMO.

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Sony PlayStation Vita

ShelLuser
Silver badge

1.3 MP ?

I have no comments on the Vita itself but IMO the 1.3MP camera is very poor. I don't say that because of the specs, but because it seems all Sony has done is make their camera smaller and not better.

For my old PSP (3000) I have a 'snap on' camera which you can attach to the top. It can then be used to make photo's and stuff as Skype. Its a 1.3MP camera as well, so I would have expected a little better after 2.5 years.

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Galaxy is teeming with homeless planets

ShelLuser
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Nibiru related theory?

It is a very interesting theory but in the end I get the idea its nothing more but a wild educated guess. After all; we also used to have the idea that a solar system would only consist of one star with a few planets, but in the mean time we've also witnesses systems which had 2 stars.

If the scenario of 2 stars is possible, then it wouldn't surprise me if it would also be possible for 2 solar systems to "intermingle" with each other. In other words; sharing a part of space. I'm not familiar with the full math equations here, but it is possible for an object to escape gravitational forces by sheer momentum. And if this would happen in the far outer regions of a solar system then the effect could be so minimal that such a situation could be sustained for a long time.

Still, if this theory does turn out to hold truth then it would be a boon for the Nibiru theorists. As such I also can't help wonder if this new theory is related to it.

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Leap-day Visual Studio beta provokes 'passionate' response

ShelLuser
Silver badge

Change for the sake of change?

I have to wonder.. Because when it comes to layout there really isn't much to discuss when done right. After all; specific window / panel placements should be customizable anyway so that you can expect certain panels and information where /you/ want it, not where it was intended to be.

So with that in mind I can't help think if they removed the colors solely to apply some visual differences to the IDE or perhaps to spark reactions so that they can measure the popularity of the environment....

And quite frankly I don't think having a 'dull' environment would be a problem; the problem will be to recognize the options you have available. When I look at VS C# Express the icons to run or debug the project look very similar. The main difference is the color and a small (white) 'trail' behind the run icon ("start without debugging"). However, if you take away the color differences then it becomes quite hard to keep 'm apart.

Now, for veteran programmers this may be a non-issue because most will know F5 vs. ctrl-F5 after a while. But what about people who just started with this, or if it concerns options you don't use that often ?

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Death to Office or to Windows - choose wisely, Microsoft

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Yawn

"will anyone notice or care when Microsoft's take on these apps gets to the iPad?"

Well, the author sure makes an excellent example of your statement. Because while he claims there will be no way that Office is ever going to be supported on Android Microsoft has proven otherwise:

http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-onenote/archive/2012/02/07/onenote-mobile-for-android-is-now-available-worldwide.aspx

OneNote, an office application to store notes and basically any kind of information you want, has been released on Android earlier this month. Now, I realize that this isn't "Office" as a whole, but surely it does go right against the made statements that MS will "never support Android".

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ShelLuser
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FAIL

The author overlooks stuff...

"The one platform Microsoft is not rumoured to be supporting anytime soon is Google's Android, just as Office-on-Linux remains a chimera."

Do you know the one Office (2010) program I actually use on a daily basis, on both my main PC as well as my XP laptop (which runs Office 2003) ? OneNote. OneNote can be invaluable for storing any kind of information, from passwords to foto's to text snippets and even spoken word. And once you have a few pictures in it you can even make OneNote search for text on those as well. And while its online counterpart (webapp) can't do all of this, it does get you a good way into accessing your notes and information online.

Guess what? Mobile OneNote has also been released for Android a few weeks ago:

http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-onenote/archive/2012/02/07/onenote-mobile-for-android-is-now-available-worldwide.aspx

So what's this about not supporting Android any time soon ?

You're also overlooking the obvious issues here.. Sure, mobile Office on iPads could mean that some people maybe tempted to switch. But with mobile Windows 8 coming around its also not too unlikely that many people may switch to that platform as well.

You seem to think that switching only goes one way; away from Microsoft. Bzzzt. There are also plenty of people who discover some of the advantages which MS Office holds. The world isn't that black / white you know.

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Oracle extends Linux support to 10 years

ShelLuser
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Oracle vs. Red Hat?

Now, I'm very biased here mind you but the way I see it its "Friendly enterprise vs. draconian enterprise".

To me it seems RH knows where its roots lie and seems to respect that. While their main distros were fun they also weren't too special IMO. As such it seems to me as if RH focused on key strengths, as any company should do. The result should be obvious. But what I can then respect is that they also allowed others (CentOS) to utilize the whole open source aspect as well; so basically allowing them to use RH and give it away for 'free'. Quite frankly; thanks to CentOS I came into contact with RHEL (most of my linux servers run CentOS) and I have to say that I quite like the environment.

Still, this is something I don't see Oracle do anytime soon. I'm convinced that their first reaction to a move like CentOS' would be "We'll sue!!".

To me Oracle is the kind of company which knows how to charge big time for average services. Its probably a good player if you want to pay off your responsibilities, but if you'd like a little more quality coming out of it then I don't think this is the right place to be.

I mean; there is more to enterprise than long support terms alone.

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Court rejects Tesla’s latest libel spat with Top Gear

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Devil

Some companies are stupid...

Its the one thing companies usually never think about when they lend a product to a reviewer: what if the reviewer doesn't end up with a positive but a negative opinion on the product ?

I've seen this happening myself one time.. I'm not a professional reviewer, but I do like to write (PS3) game reviews every now and then which usually received quite some positive feedback. However; I've always been positive /and/ negative alike. Some Sony employee's have approached me in the past asking if I could review a certain game (low to midrange). Which by itself is cool, sure, but I still let them know that I could not guarantee that my review would be a positive one. That's not how I work, I write what I see and I'm not the kind of guy who will make things nicer than they are (or what I think it to be).

Unsurprisingly enough the request was cancelled ;-)

But honestly I think that's the main problem; some companies are all too happy to lend their products to reviewers and have it turn up on TV but will hardly - ever - think about the consequences..

And others like Tesla seem too stupid to realize that their lawsuits are WAY more damaging than the Top Gear episode itself. When I saw it for the first time I have to admit that my first reaction was "Whoah!?" because usually the crew isn't that critical. But then I also quickly learned that T.G. is critical by default when it comes to "environmental stuff".

Something Tesla could have known up front as well... Every time the lawsuit comes into the news I'm sure there will be more people going to look for this episode (easily found on the Top Gear website!) and will make others like me clearly remember the negative comments regarding the Roadster again.

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Will Windows 8 sticker shock leave Microsoft unstuck?

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@Ru

"Neither Windows nor Microsoft is associated with positive customer experiences, and yet MS remain determined to brand everything Windows Windows Windows."

From my experiences I came to conclude that MS keeps a rather short termed memory. They do respect standards (especially their own) but when it comes to Windows history...

My take on consumer experiences would be the success which Windows 7 was. Of course, within comparison, but when looking at Vista then 7 was a huge advantage. Fun thing is that even critics are often lenient towards 7 and have a tendency to label it "decent".

So who knows; maybe MS thinks that this alone will provide enough leverage to get people moving into 8....

Still, like 'm or not; if there's one thing MS is pretty good at its turning something sh*t into something quite useful again. They've shown this time and time again when they had released a piece of software which was initially "so so" or plain out bad, yet (much) later releases would often show an (IMO) remarkable comeback.

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ShelLuser
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Megaphone

@Charles

"For all the negative press techies put on the Windows name, in the eyes of the average Joe, it's either Windows or Mac when it comes to computers"

I tend to agree, yet I also believe that this aspect is also one of the aspects which fuels the attention for tablets. In a way a tablet is a nice way out of the current market. (stereotyping:) "No buggy Windows and no overpriced Mac, simply something which /works/!".

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Apache releases first upgrade to HTTP Server in six years

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No matter how much others you'll try...

Chances are high that you'll always find your way towards Apache.

What I came to love and respect from Apache is its ease of use and its versatility. What may look like a boring and tedious way to configure your webserver (editing one or more plain text config files) is actually the most flexible way to do this. Esp. when you're operating with multiple websites.

Think about it; a nice "IIS like" wizard can be very helpful, sure. But how much fun is it going to be if you end up having to supply the exact same information again and again while you could as easily have performed a copy/paste with a text editor (and make the required changes afterwards, thus leaving the parts which are equal) ?

I started out with Apache myself, then I grew a liking towards Sun's JavaONE webserver (webserver with an 'embedded' Java engine, based on Netscape's iPlanet server). It was fun, I still hold it in high esteem but no longer use it. Supported both web interface as well as config files. But as soon as you started to edit stuff manually it quickly became tedious. No fun having to deal with XML in vi IMO.

Alas, I played a while with Apache on Windows, added Tomcat to the mix but that one's just not for me. And here Apache shows you just how extensive it can be; right now I'm experimenting with ASP out of all things. Apache has me covered there as well! Full front end server and all ASP snippets are easily proxied onto a backend IIS Express server.

IMO Apache is truly and by far one of the best webservers out there, and not just for Linux / Unix machines. Even on Windows it does a very impressive and remarkable job IMO.

The main difference is "apachectl configtest / apachectl graceful" vs. "httpd -t" / "httpd -k restart".

Well, and me starting metapad instead of vi :-)

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Ten... sub-£100 mono laser printers

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Amazed with Samsung!

Now, its not a 100 pound printer, slightly more expensive, but 1.5 / 2 years ago I got myself a multi-purpose Samsung SCX-4623 printer (laserprinter, scanner, copier and fax). First because I could get it fairly cheap, and second because this one fully supported networking.

Linux (CUPS) has always given me nothing but trouble with this one, but on Windows everything just works great. Quite frankly, its been almost 2 years now and its still going strong. Its very easy for a small office to have such a critter ready for work, but without the need to put it on your desk or table. It simply sits in the further side of the room.

Before I had this one I always figured Samsung to be good for phones, but that's it. Well, I had to re-adjust that idea a little ;-)

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Microsoft denies report of Office coming to iPad

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@All names

They got that covered already; either with 'Office 365' or their free Office webapps.

Every Hotmail ("Windows Live") user has free access to the common web applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) while Office 365 is said to provide more enhanced versions (I'm not talking from experience here, only what I read).

So basically if people would want to have Office on their iPad they can using these tools.

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Microsoft claims Google bypassed its browser privacy too

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Windows

IMO 2 are to blame, but....

First Google is obviously at fault here for violating standards. As many others already said; the times of "do no evil" are long behind us; now all that's left is hollow marketing talk.

However; IMO one has to wonder as well why MS allowed this to happen in the first place? If you require a code and the code turns out to be invalid doesn't it sound a bit peculiar to accept it anyway? Worse; provide "admin like" access on top of that ?

Still; the main blame sits with Google here IMO. Think about it this way: Would you have believed Microsoft if they claimed that you could no longer access Google's website with MSIE due to a code violation at the hands of Google themselves?

More importantly: could that have triggered a move from MSIE to Chrome because "At least Chrome allows me to access Google's websites without hassle" ?

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Google plots Chrome web password maker

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pwgen ?

Finally, about time. As people mentioned, its most likely going to be a locked-in feature, but still a useful one IMO.

Its the one thing I never could understand with Firefox and derivatives.. they already had a password vault, why could we never export said data and why hasn't anyone come up with the idea of adding some kind of pwgen program ?

Since the browser is open the whole time the plugin would have plenty of time to build its random pool, thus being able to come up with decent passwords. The ability to both generate and store these could have been a very helpful combination.

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Boy died after satnav fault delays ambulance

ShelLuser
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There is probably some truth here...

Yet its most likely not SatNav which is to blame, but the operators of said ambulance.

Note; I'm not saying they are to blame, only that its possible. Here in Holland we've had a few of these issues as well. Yet that turned out to be a combination; some ambulances weren't using the most up to date maps, as such some streets and locations couldn't be easily dealt with. In those cases I'd say the ambulances (at least the people maintaining them) are to blame.

However, if that's the case here as well is something I obviously don't know.

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Brazilians unveil Microsoft SkyDrive's secret – revealing pics

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Windows

Clunky perhaps, but usable

SkyDrive might be a little hard to use when all you have is the browser. But as someone above also mentioned; you can easily install Windows Live Mesh and have that synchronize a directory on your computer onto SkyDrive. That makes its use a lot more pleasant.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some MS software already provides native support for SkyDrive. Office 2010 for example can also save file directly onto SkyDrive. The Windows phone has also been setup with SkyDrive in mind. So IMO its only logical that eventually some sort of desktop client should show up.

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How Google and Apple exposed their Achilles heels this week

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FAIL

Archilles heels?

These aren't archilles heels, these were plain out mistakes. And some dumb ones too IMO.

An archilles heel is something you have to cope with because in the end there's nothing you can do about it, apart from applying extra protection of some sort. But nonetheless the weak spot remains, and it can totally break you.

A mistake otoh should be both avoidable and fixable. With regards to the Google wallet; IMO it is a major design flaw to tie a virtual wallet to a phone instead of the account being used. How hard is it to imagine that phones might get lost someday?

As to Apple... Same applies; if any its a rather poorly chosen revenue expectation. But hardly something which can make or break the entire company and it seems to me as if Apple immediately fixed their mistake, at least tried to.

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PlayStation Vita OS in your phone and telly - Sony's saviour?

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(too?) High quality hardware...

Approx. 3.5 years ago I moved from the rural city of Amersfoort to the wonderful town of Wageningen. It was then and there that I decided that I wanted to get a games console. Funny enough my main motivation was to use it as a media / Bluray player with 'enhanced' capabilities (playing games). I got lucky and could get myself a "media kit deal" which consisted of a bundle with PS3 & PSEye and to pick up the PSP with a big discount in the same purchase.

Up until now I still consider this purchase to be the best electronic device I've got so far.

It. just. works. ! Eventually I got more games, so 80Gb wasn't enough anymore. Guess what? /Without/ revoking warranty you can easily replace the HD (I now have 500Gb). Sony eventually introduced 'Move'. Since I already had the PSEye all I needed were the controllers. New technology on an "old" machine (by then the PS3 Slim had also been released). And it kept on working without me requiring to purchase upgrades or whatever. That feat is IMO impressive.

Of course the downside to all of this should be obvious... Vita is out yet I see no reason to replace my older PSP. Instead I got myself some larger memory sticks so that I could easily store purchases from the store. Large downloads aren't a problem either; I simply buy on the PS3, then transfer onto the PSP.

SO quite frankly; perhaps they sold too high quality hardware?

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Ten... digital adult toys

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IT Angle

Commision?

Apart from the obvious question which has been asked above already I wonder... If we click those "Buy from Amazon" links, does that give El Reg a nice commision? ;-)

This looks more like an ad. than anything else. Since we're on an odd level anyway I have to ask: why didn't you guys lend this to some female co-workers and had them write a review? :-)

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Microsoft explains bland new Windows logo

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Windows

Back to basics?

Or totally out of inspiration? Perhaps they fired the only guy who was capable to come up with new logo design every time ?

I know I've become quite the critic when it comes to Windows 8 but here I simply see yet another fail. Ever since 3.1 the logo has always been RGB-Y, its very distinguishable and plain out recognizable. Even computer illiterates will pick the logo up as being Windows.

And now that everyone knows that this specific logo represents Windows you're going to change it into something which is so plain that its not even remotely fun to look at ?

otoh; maybe its a change for the best after all. Should Win8 indeed turn out into a disappointment (which I personally think is going to happen) then maybe some people won't associate it with Microsoft Windows due to the changed logo ;-)

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Anonymous knocks FTC site offline

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Joke

Victory?

No victory.. Begun, the acta wars have...

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Former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz shows his caring side

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Gimp

@FatsBrannigan

Now.. I'll admit up front; I'm an ex Sun fan & customer (thus biased). But having said that....

While what you say is true wrt free software there's more to it IMO. Because there is one thing Sun didn't have going right and that was marketing. Some of their software products were plain out amazing! (IMO of course). I actively used Sun Java webserver; it could compete with Apache, it had a pretty cool web interface for configuration while /also/ fully supporting CLI. Best of both worlds. And obviously; a Java engine.

Sun Java System Web proxy server ? I could even make it pre-cache websites (in the morning) of which it had noticed that they were heavily visited. Even Squid never had this feature! And believe me; due to the dynamic (flexible) nature of the setup it managed to catch a lot of data while still making sure it would remain up to date.

"Free software". Sure.. You're right. But you're ignoring the fact that even despite these (IMO) extensive features most people didn't know this stuff even existed. Sun wasn't very good at marketing (IMO) so what's the next alternative ?

In the end your best bet is to appeal to home / hobby users and try to get those to learn about your stuff. And the best way to do that is presenting freebies. Sometimes the opinion or preference of a home / hobby user can go in deep and different ways. And lets be fair; its not as if this marketing scheme is something only modern companies have come up with...

WordPerfect, back in the "good ole 5.1 days". Where you had to cough an amount of money for a single wordprocessor which would now easily buy you MS Office Professional Plus (which isn't cheap!). Guess what? Employee's of a company which was using WordPerfect were allowed to copy the software and use it at home. No matter if it was for work, private or fun. If your boss had WP you could copy & use it without violating licenses.

Its not as if Sun went crazy here...

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New Mac OS X: Mountain Lion roars at unauthorised apps

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@AC

"Oh yeah sure then when the preview of the next OS rolls around and apple say "you know what our anonymous statistics showed only 1% of users unticked the box, so we removed it and made the OS even more like iOS""

"...so we removed it and made the OS even more /secure/".

There, couldn't help fix this for you ;-)

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