1740 posts • joined Sunday 19th December 2010 15:08 GMT
Yes and no... I mean; I wouldn't call chance by itself innovative perse. Because in the end innovation /also/ implies a form of improvement. Making things better or easier to use.
Well, considering the amount of negative responses in this forum alone I wouldn't exactly consider it a widely accepted improvement.
otoh... What doesn't work for me may just as well easily work for you. So in that sense I guess you do have a point. Because trying to judge innovation by quantity is also not the best approach.
Correct. OS/2 4.0 aka "Merlin" was shipped with a headset and could indeed be voice controlled. And truth be told it did quite a good job too (IMO). I even managed to surf the Net while only using my headset.
However; the major advantage it had (IMO of course) was that the system was never intended as some form of replacement or anything, even though it was quite usable. The idea was basically adding to what you could already do with OS/2.
So say I'm using my mouse and selected a file. Then instead of right clicking and selecting 'copy' I could just have said "copy" (if I had assigned this command with the 'copy to clipboard' action of course). Or "copy to" after which I could use my mouse again to select a destination.
All in all; IBM knew like no other that voice commands were by far enough to replace the menu structure (Merlin had a "Win98-like" start menu), but could seriously enhance it.
What is it with GUI designers these days?
This is the dumbest design I've seen.
Because of several reasons.. First of all we're talking about a GUI here, a /Graphical/ User Interface. Graphical means that most navigating will be done using a controlling device such as a mouse. You can see this put to use in the demo itself; in an internet browser you don't press tab a dozen times before the right link is selected, you use the mouse to click on it. In a drawing program you don't use the cursor keys but the mouse to navigate and select (parts of) your work.
So why would I want to move my hands back to the keyboard if one hand is already sitting on my mouse? Another problem; I can type blindly with both hands, not with one. Worse; when I'm using the telephone I keep it in my left hand after which I can do some one finger typing with my right. But the other way around? During my work I use the right hand for my trackball... I can't type easily with my left hand alone. Then what ?
Another problem is the difference between developer and end-user. What the developer may consider to be the perfect logical name for an option may be totally lost on the end user. So how is the end user ever going to find the option required ?
Finally; related options don't always share the same name. What if I need to do some copy / paste or cut / paste while I'm not too sure anymore what Ubuntu uses for key shortcuts (everything seems to change in Ubuntu on a whim, so why would I assume these options to be the same) ?
Select one file, get the menu, type copy', then select the option. Then back to the mouse again, go to the right folder, then get the menu again. Type 'paste'.... This is indeed really the future. This is SOOO much quicker than selecting a file, clicking the (always visible) "copy" icon, then moving to the right location and then click 'paste' again.
Geez, and I thought Metro was a bad idea.
What happens with the peers?
There is one thing which has puzzled me ever since we read stories about certain companies put the heat on botnets... What happens with the peers ?
I mean; I really admire and totally respect the effort companies put in all this. Botnets are a menace for all of us. But so far most of the stories I read all tell how they're taking out the leaders or 'controllers'.
SO far so good, but if you leave all those affected peers for what they are, how likely is it that someone else will easily pick up where the previous owner(s) left off ? And then what ?
Like people for who they /are/
I think forcing people to use real names an utter fail for many reasons. First the obvious; protecting people from themselves. Sure; if they want to use their real name then by all means; let them. But also allow people to remain aliased.
Why? How many times have we already read about people who put certain information online, only to have it haunt them later on? Sure; in some cases people should know better, I totally agree. But on the other hand... On the Internet a small slip of the tongue will have drastically more effects and impact than in real life. Yet with these rulings you're more and more making people treat the Internet (social media) as if it were real life. Epic failure right there; its not and it never will be!
Second.. Why can't we like people for who they are, no matter their names? I've grown to like many people who I met on several IRC channels. A lot of those I now also know by name, even know where they live. Yet guess what? We still continue to use our aliases, even in e-mail. Because that's the way we know each other. We don't know each other in real life, thus we don't use our real life "aliases". Pardon me but I fail to see the problem with that.
Here I'm known as 'ShelLuser' and that suits me fine. Its an alias I also use on some of my favorite (synthesizer) based fora as well as my Windows Live alias. Whats the problem ?
Does not knowing my real name suddenly make my entries lesser meaningful or something?
If you're going to put the blame on someone then please do it right. Blair didn't plain out -lie- against the UN, that was Colin Powell. If anything you can blame Blair and other politicians to be far too trustful of the US.
Could have seen this coming...
Yes, I'm sorry to see this going on and I can absolutely understand that this is an emotional blow for the fellow. But seriously... Its not as if he couldn't have seen this coming. I mean; you don't go bankrupt over one night.
IMO this looks like a classic example of overdoing it. You cannot cast certain responsibilities aside for the sole purpose of following your dream. That is; unless you can afford it and it seems he could not.
Still... All cynicism aside I have to wonder; there are more people in the world who love Star Trek, Surely the pair should be able to sell or rent the condo as it is now ? I bet you could get more for a "themed flat" than a regular one, especially amongst fans.
And if you managed to rent it you may even setup a steady cash flow.
"The ongoing Rise of the Machines to their inevitable dominance over humanity faltered last week"
No it didn't. This was the turning point where the machines have learned about their own weaknesses and how they should exploit ours. Just wait and see; the next time it'll be different!
...at least that's how it always goes in the movies ;-)
Prince of Persia ?
I'm no die-hard 'Who fan' and a casual games on top of that. Still, when looking at the trailer I can't say it even remotely appeals to me. How many platform / jumping games are there already ?
A sort of 'who themed prince of persia' if you ask me. Dr. Who is about riddles, mysteries and oddities. Personally I would have expected a game in the likes of 'Heavy Rain'. A game which has its mystery and puzzles as well as action moments.
Could we keep this secret from Japan?
Their tentacle approach is disturbing enough, thanks ;-)
And we feared SOPA could be bad...
Makes you seriously wonder if the whole SOAP (ok; sopa) thing is actually real or merely a ruse to test public opinion. After all; this clearly shows that if the US feels like it they obviously don't need some soap regulation to warrant their actions. They go in anyway.
"Who cares about laws when we all know they're guilty". Yeah, very reliable words right there.
The most important yet most ignored option...
Its simple really; /talk to your children/.
No matter how much high tech safety guards you put up. It doesn't even weigh up against getting your kid /the/ ultimate (restrictive) browsing tool.
Because in the end kids can (and will!) be curious. And if they focus on something chances are very high that they'll get there eventually anyway. And when they do its better to prepare them somehow instead of simply thinking you're safe with all these devices and that "they'll find out about this when they're older, so it won't hurt them anymore".
Sure; children deserve some kind of protection against the "heavier stuff" (whether its erotics or violence; IMO there should be no difference there).
But at the age of 6 - 10 I also think you shouldn't continue to pretend that they live in a perfect world either. Also; /never/ EVER underestimate what they will pick up on school. I know; "My kid doesn't do that". Suuure ;-)
Have you (dear reader) never done something at (high)school which you initially kept secret from your parents (and teachers, and, and...) ?
SO we only need to hope that the certificate isn't maintained by a company a la DigiNotar.
This really doesn't sound very safe to me.
Don't change a winning formula
I kinda stopped paying attention after "you only need to register".
Why would you want your data to be kept online somewhere when you could just as easy have it all tucked away on your local PC ?
And before anyone brings up "ease of use"; why don't they simply implement an option which allows us to import and export saved passwords? That way you can easily copy them from your main computer onto your laptop so that you can still easily visit the websites you frequent without having to worry about passwords.
"Why would I make any more Star Wars movies?"
...when I can just use our super computers to do a little cut & paste from all the material already on file and make our computers generate new movies all by themselves ?
Makes me wonder...
How much money did that research firm manage to gross in? Think about it; as if anyone during the predicted time will hold all of this against them when things turns out to be wrong (which I personally think it will be).
Dumping waste on the aliens?
"By 2008, radioactive decay of the plutonium fuel source had caused the output to drop to 285 watts."
I know we put golden plates onto Voyager which should tell possible aliens where we're located and give global impressions on who we are.
But somehow the idea of sending some nuclear waste along doesn't sound too appealing to me. It makes me wonder what impression this will leave on possible finders.
Are we sure we don't contaminate the aliens the very moment they open up Voyager to see whats it all about ? ;-)
I know I'm nitpicking here, but since we're talking about highly professional equipment I'd like to pick up on that...
Even a not so advanced computer should have no big problems with being left turned on. In fact; in many cases its actually more healthy because it doesn't have to deal with power surges (even though most of it gets handled by your power supply unit) and more importantly your hard disks won't have to cope with drastic physical changes.
If on the other hand you're referring to the OS and as such uptime then I think its a very bad indicator. To me very high uptimes only make me think of insecure or maybe even unmaintained computer environments. Which by itself is no problem, but it gets a bit shakey when we're talking about stuff hooked onto the Internet.
I'll take low uptimes with recent kernels and software (Linux, Windows, BSD*) over high uptimes any day of the week.
And I think its going to get worse.
Solely focusing on Windows here, but when I look at my customers (approx. 30 - 40) I still usually come across XP environments. People use that because it suits them, they're happy with it and they don't really need all the hassle with upgrading.
A few of them have upgraded to Vista during the past years but despite the annoyances they're not planning to perform yet another upgrade to Win7 anytime soon. Or put differently; to them getting rid of the annoyances isn't worth the purchase price of a new Windows (7) version.
When XP finally expires, approx. 2 years from now, then quite frankly I'd sooner expect people to upgrade to Windows 7 than Windows 8. Assuming that Win8 will be the current Windows version by that time it wouldn't surprise me one bit if people started to buy "second hand" licenses for Windows 7 because as we all know; as soon as a new Windows version has been released the first thing MS does is pull back all the "old and inferior" stuff. EVEN when people might actually still be quite willing to buy. Of course this is assuming "fair play". Just search for "Windows XP" torrents and check the availability; does that look like a "dead" OS?
How many people will at this time reason: "If I can't buy it anymore I have no other alternative than to download it" ?
Needless to say, but in these scenarios MS will once again lose a lot revenue.
Which I think is another problem for MS; they should give people what they want, not what MS wants you to have. If people want to buy XP versions at this day and age, why stop them? If that's what they want then that's what they should get. Could turn out to be win-win too; after 2 years they'll need to upgrade. Not too unlikely that they might pick Windows 7 at that time. And if its still available for purchase it would mean extra profit for MS.
But no; MS likes to dictate to people what they should do. This approach worked just fine "back in the day" but nowadays? Now we have real competition, so people are much more likely to switch to "other solutions".
Gee, even less revenue for MS... I wonder what made that happen.
MS needs to wake up and get with the program, FAST.
A premature conclusion since you can see how much money is coming in, yet you have no idea how much money is going out again.
A big revenue by itself looks impressive, sure. Then take a look at the size of the company and its assets, then then ask yourself how much such an environment would cost. And all of a sudden those high numbers aren't so impressive after all.
Focus your attention on net income instead, then you might be less optimistic.
The one thing MS needs to learn...
Is how to market and profile products on a market which you cannot dominate by merely throwing an seemingly endless amount of buckets with money at it.
Second, but that's strictly personal, I think they need to come up with better marketing scheme entirely which does more than kicking in open doors as they do now. Whats with the whole "emo approach" on their ads these days? I've seen the ultra cheesey ads for Windows 7 and the Windows phone and quite frankly think its a good attempt but poorly placed. Families don't go sit around the PC to "happily work with Windows 7". Usually its the total opposite; they leave their PC's (maybe running win7, who knows) to (hopefully) happily sit around the table to have dinner together or do other activities.
However... What I can see families do is go sit around their Xbox and have a good time together with it. That thing was made for family entertainment. And although I prefer the competition myself one cannot deny that game consoles, no matter what the brand or label, can provide some high quality time to enjoy together.
MS really needs a new approach on their marketing IMO. And with that I don't mean present new filesystems (which by itself is IMO a good and impressive feat) only to start going waay above your head by introducing it as THE next hit to come and make it look as if its "simply" going to roll over everything already out there.
That is not good marketing. That is showing a dose of arrogance which will automatically make lots of people feel good if something eventually goes horribly wrong with the product.
Mars rocks, or rocks also found on Mars?
I always wonder with stories like these. After all; we cannot be sure how it got here, nor can we be fully sure that it really originated from Mars.
After all, the boffins basically tested the material and compared those findings with the results of the research data which was acquired on Mars by the space rovers.
So then I wonder if its also possible that these rocks didn't come from Mars but another source. While the same kind of material can also be found on Mars, thus explaining the equality.
They could be onto something here...
Ever since I've moved to Windows 7 professional I've also started using MS' "Virtual PC". Simply because it came "with the package"; every Professional user is entitled to install "Windows XP mode" which is basically a combination of a Microsoft Virtual PC version bundled with an ISO which contains a version of Windows XP professional.
I have to say that the implementation was pretty impressive in my opinion. Not perfect, never implied it was, but it does an amazing job. What I like most is the easy integration; both environments can share their desktop, and you also can easily access the host from within the virtual client (if you set this up of course). And obviously it supports common aspects such as snapshots, suspending the VM, and networking (NAT, gateway, or private subnet).
What is also a very welcome feature for me is that the VM can "publish" software. So; if I install a program in the VM it will also appear in my main Windows 7 start menu. I've really came to appreciate this one; if I have software which I need temporarily (say for a project) I nowadays simply install this onto the VM so it doesn't affect my Windows environment, and the moment I no longer need it I simply roll back the snapshot I made (so it also doesn't pollute my VM).
As said it isn't perfect.. Being the geek I am I also tried if I could get my OS/2 versions to work (I have both 'Warp Connect' & 'Merlin', even kept the boxes they came in) but that won't work anymore because Virtual PC doesn't support floppies any longer. And when trying out a previous version (which I could easily pick up using my TechNet subscription) I discovered that the software isn't so flexible that you can use 2 versions side by side.
And its picky... Obviously I keep a virtual Linux environment around but the only distribution I can easily install is Debian. Every other distro (Ubuntu, CentOS, even SuSE) fails. Never bothered to try and debug this btw.
But, when looking back at my experience I'd say that Microsoft may very well come up with something interesting here. Using virtualization is something even Windows can't be left without since it provides a lot of advantages, even for home users IMO. And to me they showed that while they may not get things immediately right in the first attempt (I've also read the horror stories about previous Virtual PC versions) eventually they /do/ evolve and make things better.
I think server usage could easily benefit here. One advantage over the competition should be obvious: Windows update. Having seen this put to use myself I have to admit that updating your software like that (this even applies to Office & other stuff like virtual pc) is a lot easier than having to re-install and making sure all the install options are still the way you intended them.
IMO this shows us...
That the Iraqi's think way less negative about Hussein than we are made to believe and that they don't like his persona to be ridiculed like this. And if you don't believe that you should check up on some newspapers and local media; /many/ believe that their lives were a lot better under the regime of Hussein than it is now.
You can say from Hussein what you want; but he /did/ manage to keep the warlords and local tribes under control, eventually making the civilians benefit from it. And before anyone brings up the "war crimes" against the Kurds I'd suggest you look into what the Turks are currently doing there. True; its not the alleged musterd gas, they are "only" bombing them with napalm and everything else they can find.
Because well... Turkey considers the Kurds terrorists. Ironic isn't it ?
Obviously the black helicopter because I strongly believe that there was a /lot/ more going on in Iraq than we have been told. Some parts has already been proven; its just too bad that it usually takes more than a decennia before the real (ugly) truth comes out.
Cards form a new security hazzard
Its partly personal interest and partly for work; but right now I'm checking how well Windows 7 operates using an rfid card reader. SO basically assigning specific cards to a specific user account.
Well, needless to say but Windows 7 is very extensive with this. Merely plugging in the cardreader (USB) will already trigger a change in "Admin pop-ups". Instead of having to type in a password you can now also "insert" the assigned card.
But the problem with this setup should be obvious.. Its much easier to simply keep your card lying on the rfid reader and click "ok" as soon as the prompt shows up. As such; while it makes authentication easier, it also increases the risk factor tremendously when dealing with common end-users.
End users care more about ease of use than security whereas admins and techies sometimes tend to swing a bit too much to the other side of the fence.
So yes; I think passwords will indeed be around for quite some time to go.
I share your concerns but not your opinion. I mean; while it is true that we now have a dozen different passwords to consider, we now /also/ have a dozen different tools which can help us in that process.
For starters; using programs like pwgen (also available on Windows). And second; using a password vault. Even modern browsers like firefox or seamonkey can store your passwords in a database so that you can still have dozens different passwords while its still easy to use.
So I don't think its reaching its limits; we simply need to extend on it. Use the 'One' password to protect the rest.
Actually, it seems with modern media that getting caught isn't the actual challenge. No, the challenge is to make people forget. Keep stalling the actions you promised to undertake, right until that time when the media has lost interest in the issue altogether. And then you'll soon be home free.
Never underestimate how quickly and easily people forget, even up to a point where they don't care anymore.
For example; Google's streetview cars not only mapped their location but also slurped up wifi information. And when a wifi router was open it would easily pick up all the information it could get from the connection and store it in a database. In some cases this was a direct violation of several laws within the specific country in which this took place.
Eventually this became known, finally Google admitted and governments and media also started to ask more questions. Google's response at that time was "that they had to investigate what had happened and how they could remove the data from their databases". To my knowledge this statement has been made several times.
Well, guess what happened? Not much IMO.
At the 9th of June 2010 they published their findings; they "mistakenly" had added code to do this and a 3rd party consultancy firm published a report which confirms that only data from open networks was slurped.
Apparently that was good enough for most people because it seems Google stopped giving us any updates. And surprisingly enough... Only a few /days/ later did Google reveal that they stopped with the deletion process. You can see more about that here:
And although privacy watchdogs started to make threats; the news never found its way into the main media channels anymore. Sure; some tech based websites and specific other agencies covered it. But the mainstream ? They had already long forgotten.
Surprise,surprise: if the main media "forgets" then you can be sure that the government will soon follow. After all; they have "better" things to do. And should this eventually turn into a scandal then well... Lets just hope that its after the serving term has expired so that "others" can now deal with it.
That is IMO the real deal. Its no problem anymore to get caught, the deal is to become forgotten again.
Isn't this a bit late?
Now, pardon my ignorance but I kind of assumed that this was already available on the windows phone.
Considering how a Skype client even runs smoothly on a psp and how Microsoft have bought the entire company last year I think its actually a bit surprising to learn that it isn't already available. It seems Android supports it, so why not WP7 right after launch date?
Another MS doodoo IMO
Strictly personal opinion of course but to me this is yet another example as to why I think its safe to conclude that Microsoft hasn't covered all their bases with regards to Windows 8. Or to put differently; I seriously wonder if they really thought things over.
One size doesn't fit all. That is the whole problem here. Only a few months ago did I learn that Windows 7 behaves slightly different when used on a laptop. On the laptop you can utilize "presentation mode" (press Windows key and 'X') which will stop the screensaver, optionally change the wallpaper and set the volume level to a predetermined value. IMO this option could also be useful on a desktop, but alas. So one product approaches two environments.
However; a laptop is basically a full fledged PC. Heck; I know people who have their entire (digital) sound studio fully powered by their laptop (granted; also lots of Mac's here, but that's beside the point). So IMO its only logical that a "laptop Windows OS" will have the same purchase costs as that of a "desktop OS".
And here is where MS has entered the "diversity trap". A tablet is by far comparable with a laptop or desktop. Even though the hardware will meet the same criteria as that of a laptop; there are simply too many people who will consider the tablet to be a "smaller laptop". And as such those people will be the same who will heavily question the need to pay the full price for Windows.
IMO Microsoft should have foreseen this up front. Wouldn't it have been a feasible option to setup a "tablet version" of Windows 8 which doesn't provide everything which the laptop or desktop version can do, and as such could be provided with a smaller price tag ? If they could do it for Windows 7 (Home Premium vs. Professional for example) then why not here?
That is assuming that everyone who is in jail has been convicted without any reasonable doubt what so ever. Obviously this is the case for many trials, but there are also dozens of convicted "criminals" who eventually appear to be completely innocent.
Then what ?
That is assuming that the income for those ads went into his own pocket. Most articles only state that the site had ads on it.
You /do/ realize that many hosting providers offer "free" websites, where the only thing you have to put up with are enforced ad banners ?
I know that those banners wouldn't give him any income, but then again; it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the courts cared less about where the money was going and only focused on how much revenue the whole site generated.
And before anyone says that this scenario doesn't fully represent the facts: Well, neither does the whole complaint. The website doesn't provide contents either but only directions on where to get those. The court obviously didn't care about that detail either, so why would the whole money aspect be treated any different?
When it comes to copyright, or better put; when it comes to annoying multibillion companies, then the law often gets interpreted in very strange and peculiar ways.
We have, like, an icon for that stuff. Saves us from having to read all those words ;-)
Simple; because they need that company to appear as a democratic country. Without that news agency the people wouldn't know who to vote for anymore.
"Land of the free to do as we tell you"
There, fixed that for you ;-)
Well, that's putting the finger on the sore spot and /exactly/ where the USA shows how hypocrite they really are.
When they feel "wronged" they demand the right to extradite people, or simply grab them themselves when that "pesky law" gets in the way while "everyone knows they're guilty".
But the very moment when things get turned around... the US have already stated numerous times that should an American person ever stand trial before the International Court in The Hague they preserve the right to free him, even with "proportional violence".
This isn't about justice, its about greed.
While it won't work for you it'll do wonders when dealing with chipmunk fans :)
Ayups. Discovered the mishap when I saw no rings on the pictures ;-)
Its good while it lasts...
I think actions like these are only used to bring in new customers. And while people are most likely to enjoy this setup the first year (or two / three) I'm pretty confident that this isn't going to last.
Because with every new customer they will also need more bandwith. And that can only continue so far, up to a point where the company will need some drastic expansions in their bandwith (probably requiring new hardware) or find a way to cut back on it.
I've seen it happening in Holland too; several network providers had subscriptions like these; you pay a nominal fee and had unlimited (but capped) internet access. That lasted right until the smartphone usage increased.
No, I'm not. What gave you that idea?
I'm saying that this company isn't after this particular domain to protect their good name,all they're after is money. Which has been demonstrated IMO by trying to sue GoDaddy.
Because if misuse of the domain was such a big deal (enough to force someone to give it up), why didn't they point it to their website the very moment they got hold of it back in 2010?
Its all for the money!
I think actions like these should result in a judge rolling back previous decisions since it has become very obvious that in this case the company doesn't seek "justice" (its our name and we want to use it for our company) but only seeks money.
If you want proof of that simply go to "www.petronastower.net" and watch nothing happening. Then go to "http://www.petronastwintowers.com.my" and amazing! A website pops up. If not having the domain "petronastower.net" was such a big deal, then why hasn't it been put in use already, now almost 2 years later ?
Added up to this whole ordeal and I think its becoming quite clear that the company in question isn't into protecting their online rights but only the contents of their wallet. Whats next? Sueing El Reg because they dared to allow us peasants to comment on all this, so basically dragging their "good name" through the mud ?
Waste of the taxpayers money
After suffering an (IMO) devastating failure BREIN is now simply revealing their true nature; an organization (funded by the government) which tries to enforce censorship and obviously has no problems with violating Dutch laws.
The failure part should be obvious; the head honcho himself has traveled several times up and down to Sweden to "investigate" Piratebay. Personally I came to conclude that the longer this "fued" continued the more did it began to look like a personal crusade. Piratebay was portrait as a "source of evil" and they were going to get them. That was over 3 years ago. Needless to say but the whole scheme failed; despite many "brave" (sic) attempts Piratebay kept going strong. One can only wonder how much tax money has been wasted on all this.
So here we are now. Instead of taking responsibility for their own failures BREIN simply continues to hunt windmills. Since they can't succeed in stopping the "offenders" they now resort to enforcing two Dutch ISP's to block their customers from these "offenders". The whole thing is a joke really; the Judge has basically ordered that XS4All and Ziggo (ISP's) should 3 IP addresses and 24 domains. BREIN also has the right to supply newly discovered addresses which should then also be blocked.
This is a rather odd decision by the court because under Dutch law we are allowed to freely download material from the Internet. It becomes an issue when people are providing (illegal) material.
Alas; needless to say that this is all a moot issue considering how the Piratebay basically provides .torrent files which are also kept by a dozen other websites. Or to put this differently; while many people will be sorry to see them "go" (there are also zillions of ways to overcome all this) in the end they won't really be missed.
So concluding; another epic failure. This accomplishes nothing apart from wasting a lot of the taxpayers money. And in the end absolutely nothing will change when it comes to the availability of "illegal" material.
Quantity doesn't make quality.
Sure; parents should keep an eye out to what their children are doing. But there is a big difference between keeping an eye out and blatantly and /purposely/ invading their privacy.
When a mother takes her 12 - 14 year old to get new underwear and wonders about the right size, then you don't get step into the dressing chamber with him/her anymore "to make sure that everything is alright". They can do that on their own, and more importantly: privacy, you know ?
Now back to tech; if the daughter lived in the parents house (both articles (El Reg & Spiegel's) are a bit vague there) and thus shared their Internet connection then there are much better and more ethical ways to monitor this. For example; how about getting a router which supports logging and check up on that? You get to know what kind of places are visited /without/ intruding on privacy (its the parents connection anyway, so they have a right to know whats happening with it).
IMO the father is fully to blame here. To me this is just as bad as installing a hidden camera in your childs room "to make sure everything is ok".
Not going to work..
I think there are a few aspects which MS is heavily overlooking here.
First the issue of how this system will be prone to errors. When you point to the upper right you want the mouse to go to the upper right. But in order to do that your system needs to know its boundaries. As such it needs to be calibrated, most likely very time. But why bother if you have a mouse or other input device which you can get to work straight away?
But more importantly: who is going to use it and why? While Windows can be fun to fiddle with (from a sysadmin pov) in the end its still but a tool to most people, a tool which allows them to do stuff (write e-mail, browse the web, write stuff like this, do your taxes, etc.). Where does Kinect come in?
Finally the most obvious aspect; the fun part. It could be used in games of course. But does it ?
I own a PS3 with the PSEye and the Move. Quite frankly I love it. But only with the right games. To me it seems as if Sony is very busy trying to push Move forward in every way they can. But... there are games where you really do /not/ want to use Move. Its not as if they're enforcing it or something, its merely an added extra option, but I see "Move support" added to games where it makes the game play more tedious to me and not more fun.
A good example to that would be inFAMOUS 2 (a walking / climbing / shooting kind of game, to put it very simple). The game is just too extensive; in a fight you can be attacked from multiple directions, and so you don't only need to guide the character away from the threats (while moving the Move) but /also/ need to find a way to shoot at them (also using the Move; which you were just using to move away... errr....). Its doable, but not as easy as it should be IMO.
And its not as if we haven't been here before... When playing Command and Conquer for example (I love that series) nothing beats using the keyboard + mouse. I have Red Alert 3 on PS3 as well. Its good fun, absolutely. But game play is by /far/ as smooth as it is on the PC (still going to experiment with hooking up an USB keyboard & mouse to the PS3 and see what happens).
Quite frankly I think the same will apply to the Kinect. Its most likely good fun, I don't question that, but its use is much too limited.
News through deduction
While we can't easily tell the reasoning behind it there are some signals to look out for which could give us clues as to what is really going on.
For example; if there are any damaged walls in the directors offices then its safe to assume that there maybe a little friction with the company here and there when it comes to this.
Another thing to look out for are flying chairs; if chairs have been spotted to be thrown out of the windows of the Redmond building then there's a good chance that Google is involved.
Then again, perhaps its better to simply wait for an official statement instead.
I'd like to chip in wrt Disney. Now, the whole thing doesn't interest me enough to look the whole thing up but I was intrigued with your Disney comment. Especially since I dislike the crap that company does as well. I've grown a big dislike to what they pull off with copyrights considering how most of their work was build upon publically available material. They didn't innovate shit. All the stories were already available, all they did was put it into a cartoon. In most cases state of the art animation, I'll grant them that.
But isn't it a bit hypocrite if you made big bucks with using other peoples material, only to end up making the live of everyone who tries to use /your/ material as miserable as possible ?
Believe me; if you actually /read/ Junglebook (the original by Kipling) you'll even realize what a lousy job Disney did when it comes to the storyline.
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