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* Posts by ShelLuser

1793 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

We gave SQL Server 2012 one year to prove itself: What happened?

ShelLuser
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Joke

@AC

Well, it should be kept under wraps a bit but it's going to be a huge feature in the upcoming version of SQL server. Then it will fully support several stages of fuzzy logic. All in a wild attempt to bring a more natural and reliable feel to the SQL server.

The beauty is that it will far exceed the previous comments of "it will work, or not...", with the new fuzzy logic module enabled you can be sure that it might work, or not. But there isn't a 50-50 percent chance of things failing or succeeding; the chances go MUCH deeper.

Although the module is best used on the Enterprise management level because these people know what they're talking about when it comes to chance calculations, it's also perfectly usable for home servers. Now you can finally have the best excuse as to why your website isn't working all the time: "Because the evil Microsoft enforced fuzzy logic on my SQL server!".

No one will believe you, but you have to agree that it sounds cool!

What you're experiencing here is merely the first stage of the plan.

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Forget the word 'cyberwar' says Marcus Ranum

ShelLuser
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@Pete2

"> What does the concept of victory mean?

Same as it's always meant - to be able to impose your will on others."

Careful there; you make an awful lot of assumptions here. Because 'victory' could just as well mean successfully defending yourself against an oppressor.

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ShelLuser
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Joke

@jake

Each to his own, but I'd rather not ignore the webmaster of the Doctor Who website when he's sharing new information about the cybermen ;-) I also don't think he's clueless.

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Sky News Google Play page defaced

ShelLuser
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@Don

"I can understand, sort of, why some dumbass hackers would get off just defacing something but why didn't the SEA do something that furthers their ends?"

Who says they didn't?

It's the same reason why you should wipe your system clean after a break-in: you can never be 100% sure what the intruder(s) did or didn't do.

For all we know this could just as easily have been a diversion of some sort.

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Experts: Network security deteriorating, privacy a lost cause

ShelLuser
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Megaphone

"To make it better, CIOs and IT admins need to rethink the way that they approach protecting their networks from hackers and other miscreants."

I think companies should hire better qualified personal and if they actually have those on the payroll also start listening to them.

The main problem in many big companies ("Enterprises") are the sometimes endless layers of managers. In certain cases the management layer has actually grown into an entity of its own. With that I'm referring to Enterprise environments who would hire managers solely based on management skills even though the person in question either completely lacks any in-depth understanding of his department or simply doesn't have enough understanding to fully understand what his team is telling him.

Such a person will more than often make decisions which make him look good. Or put differently: decisions which are most likely not to cause any members of the layer above him to become displeased (or worse) with him (put differently: his department). Even though, especially when talking ICT, sometimes such decisions have to be taken.

"We need to upgrade the firewall today, there have been some flaws found in the operating system so we need to upgrade the kernel. It will require a reboot, so the website(s) will be down for a short moment".

"Ok, but we have a big project coming up this week. Can you guarantee that the website won't be down for more than 5 minutes? No? Then I think we should postpone the upgrade to next week, then it's a much better time. Especially because we won't get as much visitors to the website as we will have this week".

And what do you know; the admin who suggested the upgrade simply couldn't explain well enough that we were talking about a zero-day exploit which could allow 3rd parties to gain access to the server. The manager didn't understand enough from his department to inform about the risks involved, so that he could weigh the risk of a longer downtime to the risk of not upgrading the OS then and there.

The result? Well; you'll be the judge of that. Depending on the flaw and the increase in traffic they could obviously also attract people who might try to exploit said flaw. Or not...

Even so; in my opinion it's issues like these which are the real culprit. The reason I'm pointing to enterprise (-like) environments should be obvious: in many cases when we're talking about break ins and such these are usually involved.

Heck; this could even go as far as an enterprise(-like) environment which provides (hosting) services for smaller companies. In my case there are some very strict rules to follow, which was one of the reason's I started hosting with my current provider: if they detect that you run your own DNS server and it can do recursive lookups for everyone they preserve the right to block said server. If they detect that you run your own MTA and it provides an open proxy then the same rules apply.

How many hosting companies (once again: talking about Enterprise (-like) environments) will simply let it go because they don't consider it their problem ("the customer is responsible for his own server")? Even though enforcing such rules could prevent a lot of Internet "casualties"...

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El Reg drills into Office 365: Email migration

ShelLuser
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Boffin

Surprising

I'm a bit surprised to learn that they haven't improved hardly anything when it comes to the migration or conversion process.

Because although I'm currently very happy with my Outlook 2010 environment I still shudder at the actual process of converting my Thunderbird environment to Outlook 2010, that wasn't easy at all.

And now it seems the same applies to 365, which I honestly consider to be a failure. Especially if you take into consideration that popular software such as Thunderbird is open source, therefore people and companies can easily check the way it stores it's e-mail. Better yet: even if you don't want to, the format used is (to my understanding) very similar to the mbox format, with the exception that they're also using an index or database.

But no... As you said; Outlook 2010 can handle IMAP, but you can't simply tell it to import your Thunderbird settings or point it to an mbox format mailbox and tell it to convert this to it's native PST format.

And yes; I know that there are a dozen software packages out there which can do this for you, that's really not the point here. In my opinion Microsoft should have implemented some sort of solution themselves as well. At the very least to make it easier (and thus more appealing!) to convert! At least they should have created some kind of PowerShell script.

Either way; as said I still remember my conversion. 5 different e-mail accounts; 1 business, 2 Hotmail accounts (business & private), one private blog account and the account provided by my Internet Provider (which I use the least). I ended up exporting all the e-mail from ThunderBird to mbox, uploaded that to my mailserver and with a nice Perl script (mboxtomaildir) I could implement the whole thing and make it accessible using Dovecot.

Then I setup an account to point Outlook to this temporary mail account and within Outlook moved all my e-mail messages from this place to the official account I setup.

So picture my surprise to read that basically Microsoft hasn't changed a thing with their latest 365 environment. This is really not the way to motivate people to start using Outlook. In fact; the process alone has often made me advice ThunderBird to some of my customers. Simply because moving to an Outlook environment would at least take one hour for the conversion itself (probably a little less, but I normally charge by the hour).

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Google to double encryption key lengths for SSL certs by year's end

ShelLuser
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Seems a bit late

Whenever I need publically recognized certificates I always turn to GoDaddy. Partly because of the price, but also because they really seem trustworthy to me; I came to that conclusion ever since GoDaddy started a global (company-wide) certificate revoke and re-issuing for all certificates which were made using Debian's OpenSSL; all because of the Debian OpenSSL disaster several years back.

That move had to cost them money, I'm very sure of that, but even so they still did it. And there are many certificate selling companies out there which didn't bother at all...

But the thing is: GoDaddy has been requiring 2048bit keys to be used for several years now. SO I can't help thinking that Google seems to be a little late to this 2048bit key party.

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Aha, I see you switched on your mobile Wi-Fi. YOU FOOL!

ShelLuser
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Facepalm

WiFi can be dangerous no matter what.

It's reasons like this why I'm always turning off WiFi the very moment I need to do something more serious with my phone like checking bank records or writing an important (not private perse) e-mail. I have a dataplan, so I can use the Net basically unlimited with my phone subscription, but depending on the kind of WiFi connection it's usually a little faster.

Of course according to my surroundings I'm simply being a little paranoid.

But the thing is: If your phone (or other mobile device) is using a (public) WiFi connection then how sure can you be that no one is eves dropping or doing worse? Yet most people I know don't even care to keep this into consideration.

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More than half of Windows 8 users just treat it like Windows 7

ShelLuser
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Windows

@Khaptain

"TIFKAM appears to have been designed by Microsoft in order to follow Microsoft's strategic plans, it seems very difficult to believe that many actual objectively thinking users were consulted during it's developement."

Oh, but it isn't, Microsoft actually consults its users all the time. If there's one thing Microsoft does "right" (sort off) it's providing a platform for their users to share their opinions on the matter. And for their entire range of products too; from Windows (through their Windows blog) right down to their development products, for example through the Visual Studio UserVoice site.

What does seem unbelievable though is that Microsoft actually pays any attention to all the feedback they've been getting.

There are some exceptions, but even those show how stubborn Microsoft actually is. For example; while a regular suggestion for Visual Studio 2012 ("VS2012") gets approximately a few hundred votes (500 - 600) the suggestion to bring back colours to the interface quickly grossed in a few thousand during the first week. Yet only after approx. eight thousand votes did someone at Microsoft suddenly wake up and considered to write a theme editor module for VS2012 which allowed users to change the colour scheme as they deemed fit. They also added a few more themes apart from the default 2 (which were called "dark" and "light"). At this moment the suggestion in question has gotten thirteen thousand votes and the number still rises.

Microsoft is consulting their users all right, the only problem is that they're totally ignoring what is being said.

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Sony's board debates breaking up with Spider-Man

ShelLuser
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Pint

Whatever...

I'm probably one of the few here but I didn't quite enjoy the Spiderman movies, at all. And it's for the same reason why I didn't like many comics which were based on famous (animated) movies back in the days when I was a kid: the storyline often diverts from the main environment that it becomes "different". Sometimes these changes are subtle, sometimes they're huge.

I think that back in the days they should have considered making animation movies out of all this while making sure you keep true to the story.

Quite frankly the only Spiderman series I did heavily enough (enough to buy the DVD sets for all 5 seasons) was the Animated series (link to Wikipedia). It also introduced some diversions to the main storyline, but none of them would intrude or plain out collide with the spidey character as we knew it.

For this same reason I also favour the X-Men animated series (link to Wikipedia) over the movies, even though I like the X-Men movies, a lot better than the Spidey movies too. I have 1 & 2 on DVD but didn't care at all for the last one. Once again because it heavily diverted from the "main" plot and started to make it look ridiculous in my opinion (Xavier defeated by the Phoenix? Yeah right...).

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FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know

ShelLuser
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Joke

You guys are just gealous!

Simply because you couldn't come up with this brilliant business strategy which will put the .gif format right back on the map:

  • Change pronouncement of product.
  • ???
  • Profit!

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Word 2 to Office 365 and beyond: The good, the bad and the Ribbon

ShelLuser
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Windows

It's not a must have (perse)

It's simply how the Suite - as a whole - works together. That is the key point of Office, which is of course also combined with certain software components which manage to stand out to some extend (meaning: even critics of said software will agree that it's pretty usable nonetheless).

But for me (small business use with sometimes big demands) the key points to Office are Visual Basic for Applications ("VBA") which allows to me to program or script specific changes or additions to the environment, the Office API which provides access within VBA to several of the specific Office functions (exporting an opened Word to PDF format and then creating a new e-mail message in Outlook with the previously mentioned PDF file attached? No problem) and finally the Windows assemblies: also known as COM; the Component Object Model.

(very) Easily put: COM makes sure that software programs can register themselves with the operating system (Windows) while providing (if applicable) an API (programming interface) to allow external programs to access their functionality. This is the reason why you could easily access the Apple Quicktime player right from within Word (if both are installed of course). And this model goes extremely deep. From natively installed faxing services to Java webstart right down to VLC (video / media player) and / or Zune.

That model alone allows for some extreme functionality of its own; want to access the Windows clipboard from within a VBA program? No problem... Most importantly to note: all of this is possible out of the box, so without the need for an external programming environment such as Visual Studio.

I think it's this speciality which makes Office so extremely appealing to so many people. It's not merely your average Word processor or Excel spreadsheet; it can also provide a complete development platform of its own where the basic Office-based functionality is obviously provided out of the box.

Personally I think it's this reason (apart from the obvious issue of the original company being Sun) why suites such as OpenOffice and later LibreOffice provide very deep ties into Java, also allowing people to utilize it to write extensions for the entire Suite. It's also a model which surpasses the "simple" macro editor and instead opts for a full blown programming environment. The major issue here though is the interoperability. I haven't tried the latest LibreOffice so my knowledge on this matter is dated, but last I checked on OpenOffice I noticed that the people behind these projects are also making some rapid improvements on these parts, it's most certainly a development to keep an eye out for.

Still, personally I think the free Office suites have some way to go before they can match the interoperability provided by Microsoft Office. But as said: they are coming very close already.

Side note: And when the free suites break this barrier then I think Microsoft will start to get serious problems, because then people are directly eating away at one of their main pillars. And they can do it all for free...

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Soylent Corporation prepares to DEFEAT FOOD

ShelLuser
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As always, the main problem...

Is that any possible negative effects will only manifest itself after many years of usage, by which its usually a bit too late. There is a reason why its usually healthier to follow a varied pattern for your food...

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BYOD beyond the noise

ShelLuser
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Boffin

Just for clarity...

It would be nice to start with Bring Your Own Device before using the abbreviation, especially since this movement has several off springs like bringing your own phone, pc, laptop, etc. Not everyone keeps up, that's why we have you afterall...

Although I made quite a bit of fun about in the comment section of one of the earlier articles I do see the potential here, but in my opinion the thing shouldn't be focussed on bringing your own gear but to allow your personal broader and wider access to your data. That's the main key point, one which could have been made anyway. However, I'm a little sceptical about the massive touting people are doing because let's face it: giving access is one thing, using said access is something completely different. That takes someone who feels committed and involved with his job.

But yes, it can work. This reminds of a sysadmin job back in the 90'ish. It was an enterprise-like company, but not as big that we could afford 24hr monitoring of our services. We did have something as a hotline; one person who would "take watch" for the evening to make sure that if their were problems he could get into his car, go to the office and step in when required. Due to safety concerns there were no outside connections permitted, none what so ever. At once time the upper brass became a little more lenient and allowed a Unix machine to be accessible from the outside with limited connections to the internal network.

And so I designed a scheme to relay 3389/tcp data internally, and went through all the official channels to get permission for implementation, even more tiresome than developing the model itself. The result was that certain people, amongst myself, would now get strictly controlled access to the internal Windows server network from their home location (this was only allowed if you had a static IP address; both for easier administration as well as a form of signal to the upper brass that you were deeper involved with this technology).

The result should be obvious; many people, including myself, would easily logon during the evening in their own time to check if everything was still ok. This even prevented a disaster one day because one of my colleagues did the same, spotted something weird, immediately called the manager and prevented a major disaster due to a bug in one of the monitoring scripts. This guy was working from home, in his own time, because he felt that was important.

This BYOD thing is basically no different, apart from one thing... I fear that its main motivation isn't so much to involve more people into the way the company works, but to try and apply a cost reduction on hardware and making it more appealing for the crowd to use their own stuff. I can see how this will have a psychological effect too: "Ha, at least those asses from ICT will no longer be able to tell me how to use my computer!". Of course without an extra pay check for all the hours you put into getting the whole thing to work.

And there's the small issue, one which I made fun off in my previous post about this subject, that there's usually a good reason why ICT restricts several things on the network.

I think a lot of companies are going to find out that BYOD sounds awesome in theory, and that the first signs will also be very positive due to a large number of employers embracing the idea. But I think it will mostly be fuelled by the wrong motivations (cost reduction, less limitations) and that can come to haunt you....

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Biz bods: Tile-tastic Windows 8? NOOO. We lust after 'mature' Win 7

ShelLuser
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Windows

Maybe a bit flawed?

First I'm missing a link to the research summary (link to Forrester.com summary). And when reading through that article I can't help wonder if the research isn't a bit flawed here and there.

Not saying that the end results aren't true, but lets face it: a lot of researches also predicted the end of the PC as we knew it, and that has actually yet to happen because although tablets are becoming more popular, they're usually an extension of what people already have. It's extending on the "PC experience", not replacing it perse.

And of course they also make sure to add catchy results, such as stating that a majority of end-users would prefer Windows 8 over Windows 7, all according to their own research data of course.

Yet the thing is; there's one very important factor we need to keep in mind here, this company is selling access to their survey data (link to forrester.com dataservice page). As such it has a commercial interest in making their researches as appealing or provoking as possible.

And let's face it; didn't a majority of the so called experts also predict huge successes for Windows 8? When looking at the Forrester blog some people associated with this company sure seemed to think so, what to think about Windows 8: Think you can skip it? Think again! (link to Forrester blog post dated March 8, 2012).

Seems people have little problems with skipping it though...

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BlackBerry Messenger unleashed: Look out Twitter and Facebook

ShelLuser
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Windows

@Mike

"I also belive that opening it up will kill blackberry."

And I think it will do quite the opposite. In fact, I pick it up as a direct assault on the Windows Phone, and not just that: one which is actually working too. You see; obviously Android and iOS have the biggest market share, but there are plenty of people (like myself) who don't like the idea of allowing Google to "control" their live (think Android) nor like the "overpriced" gadgets which are Apple and in many cases tied into Apple. Please note: this is my opinion on the matter, not saying it's so per definition.

So for those kinds of people the Windows Phone was quite a welcome change, and it started out pretty good as well. But the thing is: it has been going downhill ever since. My gf used to be able to use Messenger on her computer to send me an IM which I could then received on my phone when I was on the road. No more: it's now all Skype, and personally I hate Skype. Not to mention that this option doesn't work as well as it used to.

For us the instant messaging part has become a big deal, together with the option to share some kind of (shopping) list using OneNote which we can then access and modify together.

Well, BBM (link to Blackberry BBM page) looks like a very interesting replacement to me. And although OneNote (link to Office OneNote page) isn't available for the Blackberry right now a lot can happen in a year. And even if it doesn't there maybe other solutions available as well.

So... I'm a Windows phone user and right now I'm now looking at Blackberry as a possible replacement for my phone next year. That wouldn't have happened otherwise.

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Congress: It's not the Glass that's scary - It's the GOOGLE

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

At least they're now honest about it...

"There is what I call the creepy line. The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it."

I think Google will also have no problems with possibly crossing said line either, in my opinion I think they're doing so anyway. The only problem is when they get caught. But then again, a company with a bank account of that magnitude will also have little problems coughing up any fines which the authorities can dish out.

Even so, I actually prefer this attitude than the previous one of "do no evil", one which has often been proven to be bogus. At least they're honest about it.

So the bottom line is simple; if you care for your privacy, if you can sometimes extend that care into a "paranoid bordering opinion" then its best to avoid Google, which means also not to consider getting a Google Glass. Its perfectly doable too; I don't got an Android smartphone, I don't use gmail or any other of their services. The only thing I do sporadically use is their search engine, and their webmaster tools.

"We have been warned".

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British LulzSec hackers hear jail doors slam shut for years

ShelLuser
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Boffin

@Tapeador

I think you're confusing theory with the cold facts. Yes, in theory the government is 'us' and is basically paid to handle the chores which involve all of us (think cleaning up the city, road management, etc, etc).

The reality however is different; the government as a whole has grown into a machinery of its own with very few connections into the community. As such it holds their own agenda's, doesn't always put the interest of the people above their own (a very good and global example is the ongoing lobbying done by politicians to try and get a spot somewhere in the European parliament) and in many cases even tries to undo itself from its own responsibilities (think about privatising "community services" (my own wording) such as water and electricity services).

Don't take this message the wrong way; this isn't a justification to DDoS the living daylights out of them. I'm merely commenting on your vision of the government, that vision is in my personal opinion quite flawed to say the least.

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Windows 8 'sales' barely half as good as Microsoft claims

ShelLuser
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Windows

@Jess

Same here, only a few use it and everyone I know who does immediately installed a 'start menu replacement'. Most of the people around me who were still on XP bought Windows 7 instead (a few of them because of me; I warned them that if they waited too long they couldn't buy Win7 anymore even if they wanted to).

I'm much more curious how much Windows 7 has sold in the past months. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the 'sale spike' Microsoft was hoping to get with Windows 8 actually happened with Windows 7.

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El Reg drills into Office 365: What's under the hood?

ShelLuser
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Windows

@K

In all fairness those kind of businesses would most likely settle for a plan which included the desktop versions.

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ShelLuser
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Joke

@Nya

At least he didn't start blaming Office for the typo's ;-)

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ShelLuser
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Windows

Good article, but...

"Office 365 subscribers gain access to Office Web Apps. These are in-browser variants of the installable Office applications. Currently supported are Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Onenote."

Yet guess what? I'm not a 365 subscriber but an Office 2010 user and I also got access to the Office web apps. Thing is; everyone who has a Microsoft ID can get access to their free e-mail services (the service formerly known as Hotmail) but also to their web applications. And considering how "low level" plans of Office 365 focus themselves on the web applications one has to wonder what the extra value is on those plans.

I think you made a very good analysis so far, Office 365 isn't cheap in comparison but its been my experience that it also doesn't take away the need for support of some sort (depending on the company and chosen plan of course). Something Microsoft also seems to acknowledge because some plans come with specific 24/7 phone support. They wouldn't roll that in without a good reason...

And although I also agree with regards to Lync as being a good means of communication, there is something many people / companies tend to overlook: if you already have a license for a Windows 2008 or 2013 server you also gain the right to use Sharepoint (link to Office Sharepoint website) on that server, the 'free' Foundation version to be precise. (this even applies to Server 2003, but that's a bit dated).

Although its main focus is aimed at websites these days one of its features is allowing so called "workspaces" to be build which can be used by a variety of users. If you then pick up the freely available Sharepoint workspace (link to Office Sharepoint Workspace page) you can achieve something somewhat comparable to what you'd get with Lync.

Which addresses a completely different aspect by itself: the information given to you by Microsoft these days is somewhat "tainted". They try everything to persuade you to start a subscription while in fact you may have other, more cheaper, alternatives available. Even while you may not realize it yet. But information on those options is more than often sparse to say the least...

Alas, nice article and I'm very anxious to read your findings.

Oh; please do share which subscription you got or are evaluating...

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Degenerate dwarfs tear neighbors limb from limb

ShelLuser
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Joke

@David

The real question though; will it also help the medicine go down?

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Microsoft honcho pleads with media: 'Stop picking on us!'

ShelLuser
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Windows

In many cases they were asking for it...

Sure, I agree with the "complaint" when we're talking about bashing or plain out trolling, but in general I think Microsoft was asking for it, big time even.

Simply because when we reached a point where everyone could clearly conclude that Windows 8 wasn't really taking off Microsoft remained in denial. Worse: they first started to blame their entire surroundings ("The vendors haven't been trained enough", "The customers don't understand it", "The resellers don't put enough effort into it"), while continuously waving away any criticism. But it got even get worse than this: how about sharing sales figures as a form of proof how well Windows 8 was selling, while everyone could easily conclude that we were looking at figures which would have been made anyway, one way or the other (Windows 8 gets bundled with new PC's after all).

If Microsoft would have been open with their audience from the get go then I'm pretty sure that they wouldn't have gotten as much comments as they got now. There's nothing wrong with taking some pride in your work, not even if many others don't seem to like it. Just don't try to pretend the product is better than it actually is, because that is going to haunt you in the end.

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'Ultimate nerd chick’ prompts C64 clone cancellation

ShelLuser
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Why would you want to recreate it?

I'm quite the C64 fan, for me it was one of the first real "homecomputers" which I owned and I sure spend years on it. It was awesome. As such it should be no surprise that I have several models lying around the house; the new "flat" design with the new SID chip, two or three of the old "bread basket" models, datasette, 1541, etc.

But the thing is; in my opinion nothing beats the original. That's also one of the reasons why I also got some older models apart from my "new" flat model. An opinion backed by others it seems when focussing on the flaws which were in the design.

The reason I'm questioning all this is because there doesn't seem to be a shortage or anything if you want to get one yourself. When I check out "Marktplaats", a Dutch trading website comparable to eBay, then I get approx. 150 results when looking for the Commodore 64 (link to Marktplaats.nl search results). E 75,- for the machine and several games, right down to the print plate, advertisement for a repair serivce, joysticks, the VIC20, the original matrix printer, etc, etc.

When checking the international eBay website I get almost 4000 different results.

So looking at the fund raising idea from within this context I have to agree with the harsh verdicts. My personal take on this is simple: Why would you want to recreate it when there's still so much original material available out there?

If you want a C64 yourself al you have to do is check the wanted advertisements, choose and pick one up.

Nothing beats the original in my opinion.

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'Hotmail, since you changed to Outlook, you've been a massive pr**k'

ShelLuser
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Windows

At least it doesn't get (too much) in your face.

Its not my favourite interface and I even use most of it with Outlook 2010 instead of the web interface. I also can't appreciate that even despite all these changes they still haven't fixed the limitation of not being able to synchronize todo items between a Windows phone and Outlook on the desktop (all of that is also going through Hotmail / Outlook website).

But at the very least it's not as annoying and intrusive as Skype is. This week it finally happened: I can no longer logon using MSN messenger but only with Skype. Ironically enough I can still use my Windows phone to logon to MSN, which makes me believe that they're not going to shut it down completely.

Even so, I'm done with it and somewhat looking for another messaging option because I can't stand Skype and tend to stay clear from that in a 10km radius (which I assume is impossible, but you can't blame me for trying ;-)). I can't appreciate a program which immediately begins to try and persuade me to buy into a subscription or get "Skype credits". When I check my own profile? I get one half of the screen fully dedicated to a subscription model, even though I don't have nor want one. Why I should buy into a "pro" account, how I can upgrade, what interesting features I'll get, that kind of crap.

I'm quite unhappy with Skype and the only reason it's still sitting on my PC is because Messenger automatically installed it. Most likely I'll dump both somewhere next week and look for something less intrusive.

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Microsoft: Subscription-only apps? Not for us, yet

ShelLuser
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Windows

And why should they?

Microsoft is already walking this path with their Office 365 subscription model. But as long as the common Office products bring in money then I'd say Microsoft would be a fool to whack that simply in an attempt to gross in more money. I doubt even they are that stupid (but I have been proven wrong before on those opinions, so who knows...).

Personally I think Microsoft couldn't afford a move like this, not right now while they admitted that their latest "flagship" has indeed entered some rough weather.

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Speaking in Tech: 'You can't NOT look like a douche wearing Google Glass'

ShelLuser
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Pint

Its kind of funny...

Well, to me that is. People who wear glasses will often try other solutions (think contacts) so that they don't have to wear them any more whereas people who don't (have to) wear glasses will now gladly wear them because it's "cool".

Maybe this is a good thing for the people who actually need to wear glasses and get picked on because of that... "Nah, this isn't merely something I need to be able to see, it's the next beta of the Google glass. Now stop pestering me you ignoraniant" :-)

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The Metro experiment is dead: Time to unleash Windows Phone+

ShelLuser
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WTF?

That's not what happened...

Now that Microsoft bigwigs have realised that cramming their desktop operating system into a touchscreen tablet format was unwise

No they haven't. The problem was that they crammed a mobile platform onto the desktop and expected people to embrace it. You're now twisting the events around.

This is of course not saying that this didn't happen; but that moment is already past us a long time ago. Its when Microsoft decided to dump Windows Mobile 6 and redesign the whole OS which resulted in Windows Phone 7. You know: Windows Mobile which included a start menu, making many people wonder why you'd need that if all you wanted to do was to start programs?

I also think its important to realize that there's nothing wrong with Metro perse. The problem is that Microsoft thinks of Metro as an all-base-covering solution while it's not. I honestly enjoy and appreciate Metro on my Windows Phone 7.5 (I didn't care for the upgrade to the WP8-like environment), but I hate it when I start seeing live tiles on my PC in a place I only want to use to (quickly) get access to my programs.

I also think the design of Metro is actually quite slick, also from a developers perspective. The sandbox model can really help to enhance security.

But its simply not a proper design for the desktop. You can't expect people to mimic a hand swipe with a mouse cursor, because under normal circumstances a click with the right mouse button would be used.

However, it seems the days of Microsoft "domination" are really behind us it seems. People don't blindly buy into stuff because it's new, also because they don't have to. Once Microsoft starts realizing this small issue who knows what could happen...

I'm honestly hoping for a ground breaking Windows 9 sort of environment. I disliked Vista but loved 7. I'm sure Microsoft can pull it off again, if they really try.

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Coke? Windows 8 is Microsoft's 'Vista moment'. Again

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The only thing which really bothered me...

The initial statements coming from Redmond that "the vendors didn't get it", which also included members of the Partner network like myself, was something I didn't quite appreciate.

Now, I realize it's all business and when looking at my position I get what I pay for (I have a free subscription to the Partner network, simply because my company isn't big enough (yet >:-) ) to justify a subscription plan). But even so this doesn't feel right; when it comes to Windows 7, Office 2010 (and partly 2013), .NET and their server line of products I'm actually quite a believer. Its why my company often sells these kind of products.

But the thing is; I'm not a fan because we're talking Microsoft. I'm a fan because this stuff works for me, and I think it can work for several of my customers as well. Within this context I'm not a Windows 8 fan, at all. Its a completely flawed design in my opinion.

And what does Microsoft do? Basically tells the world that "I didn't get it".

I realize it's all business, I shrug and move on. But how many actual fans of their products who also didn't like Windows 8 have they pissed off with this? People who like Windows because it's Windows and also got stuck in the awkwardness that was Metro?

Fool me once (Vista); shame on you. Fool me twice (Win8); shame on me. Fool me three times?

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Adobe kills Creative Suite – all future features online only

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Stop

@Robert

The whole POINT of cloud computing is to force a rental system on users.

No, its not.

The whole point of cloud computing is to provide redundancy in a way which is impossible to achieve when working with hardware-only solutions. Just because these <del>idiots</del> marketing people continue to turn it into a commercial slugfest doesn't mean that this is what cloud computing is all about. FAR from it.

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Good news: Debian 7 is rock solid. Bad news: It's called Wheezy

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@Pete 2

"Well the cost is in one's time, even for a home user. There is a measurable "cost" in terms of the hours taken to to a major software install - even if no money changes hands."

I agree with that to be honest, but that's also because I run my own business. Its easy if you end your working day and then can basically do whatever you want; the pay check will be in the mail (so to speak) at the end of the month. It becomes a bit more of an issue if you have to pay for your own time (which sometimes means that you're still working around 2am because you're trying to get a job done as quickly as possible).

But there is justification here. As others mentioned already it's not so much a collection of new features which gets presented here; with Debian it's more of a "re-evaluation" (as I like to call it) of the whole distribution and a check up on how things (still) work together. If there have been any issues in the past with package dependencies and such which would have risked a big impact then these are the moments those can be addressed.

Then there's also the more obvious issue of upgrades. Stable is just that: stable. So it often uses older (but still supported) versions of the software. But even with open source environments there comes a time where people need to move on; stuff changes, things work differently and older versions get obsoleted. And that is what this is also about: newer software versions which have proven to be stable will be implemented. Even if that sometimes means that there are only minor changes.

It's not only about features, with Debian stability and continuity are also key issues.

As said: I agree with you on your time = money comment. But also realize that the "oldstable" release will be supported where security updates are concerned for approx. one more year. So there's plenty of room to plan for an upgrade.

But if this model doesn't work for you, then well... Maybe it's time to look into other models. The BSD environments for example strictly separates 3rd party software from the base system so that upgrading also becomes easier. But just as with Debian a release of the base system is approx. supported for two years, where it actually becomes often more strongly advised to consider an upgrade.

Then there's always the option to go commercial and look into stuff like RedHat Enterprise Linux. Or their free counterpart CentOS.

Which is another issue to keep in mind here: if you don't like this model then there are plenty of other Linux (or more Unix-like) environments to chose from.

In the end keep well in mind that you get much more than you paid for. Never underestimate the time and effort that goes into keeping an OS like this supported.

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BitTorrent goes straight (to email hell) with 'Bundles'

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Devil

I don't trust this...

I think this only serves one purpose: to allow more advertising and other crap to be pushed down our throats. Of course I could be uber cynical here due to my experiences with uTorrent; at one time the advertising and other "toolbars" became so obnoxious and awkward that I dug up a previous installer, went back to the previous version and immediately turned off the option for updates all together.

And so I'm still looking into something less intrusive for Windows, but can't really be bothered that much because the Torrent protocol hasn't changed at all and as such the older version simply works.

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Microsoft: All RIGHT, you can have your Start button back

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Windows

@Nobby

Microsoft are forced to shoehorn old features into new versions because some people are so frightened of change.

Hardly. There is a huge difference between a change which actually enhances the whole workflow and a change which got implemented because of the change. That is the nature of this problem here.

Microsoft opted to change the desktop in such ways that it would be fully optimized for touch screens, apparently not (willing to?) realizing that when it comes to a non-touchable environment the change is actually a huge setback when it comes to functionality. That is the main issue.

Metro is a very solid environment which is in my opinion well designed when looking at mobile computing. But the problem is that it doesn't provide the same functionality as the start menu in Windows 7 provides. Think about jump lists (to quickly start a recently used file) or the "run as administrator" options. Those have become extremely awkward in Windows 8.

I know many people didn't use the start menu to its full potential but only to blindly click stuff to, well, start it. These are often the same kinds of people who would easily fill their entire desktop with icons so that they could quickly start a program.

But the problem is that there are also plenty of people who do know how to use the start menu to its full potential. And judging from the very weak acceptance of Windows 8 it's my believe that those form the majority.

Don't treat a desktop as a mobile environment and don't treat a mobile environment as a desktop. That's the main problem at hand here. First Microsoft went one way (a start menu on the iPaq PDA for example) which was often extremely awkward, now they're merely going the other way around.

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PLAGUE of SEX CRAZED MONSTER GRASSHOPPERS to hit East Coast

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Joke

Look on the bright side...

At least they don't have tentacles, because then it could become a totally different hentai-alike story where the Japanese could only dream off ;-)

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First, the bad news: EA bags Star Wars games rights

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Devil

@Gordon

That's because you're reading other things in "believer" than he actually meant. He didn't mean a true believer in the sense that one should try and keep true to the story as it was laid out in the first original 3 movies. No, I think he's a true believer that the franchise as a whole still has enough spunk in it left to generate a nice steady revenue.

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Star Trek: The original computer game

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Pint

From a time...

Where people still could use a bit of their own fantasy and imagination.

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Ultra-hackable Google Glass could be a security nightmare

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FAIL

Nothing to see (as usual?)

From the same article: "This means that if you leave your device in someone else's hands, and it has an unlocked bootloader, with just a minute alone they can access anything you have stored on it.".

So how do we unlock the bootloader? That is explained in the same article, and well.. I consider the explanation itself more then enough to label this a "non issue":

"The most common command to unlock the bootloader is simply "unlock". On most devices that provide this command, a menu will be displayed that explains that by unlocking the bootloader your warranty will be voided, and that it is disrecommended by the manufacturer. It also has a side effect: it will delete all of your personal data stored on the device (I mention this in more detail later, and explain why).".

For me it's simple.. Leave your device in the hands of a stranger and its contents are in jeopardy, this is the same as with any other mobile device. But the other thing, as can be read here, in order to make this exploit work attackers don't only need physical access but unlock the bootloader as well, which effectively removes all your data. Yet isn't the common idea of an exploit to get their hands on your data first?

So; don't leave your device with someone you don't trust and all is well. Yet if you happen to do so anyway and they are going to try something nasty chances are high they won't be able to get to your private stuff. Mission accomplished.

Why not try another article when there are some real exploits to report? At the very least something remote (here's assuming Glass uses wifi and such).

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Another negative climate feedback: Warmer plants cool the planet

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@DougS

That's not the AC talking but his teacher, as he clearly shared. And its not uncommon too; I still remember the stories that when my father was still in school several teachers would predict / forecast the coming of a new ice age.

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Fanbois vs fandroids: Punters display 'tribal loyalty'

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Pint

Yawn...

Amazing, people who own a certain brand of car are also very inclined to stick with the brand whenever they need a new one. Of course that is something most people already knew for years ;-)

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Police arrest suspect in BIGGEST DDoS ATTACK IN HISTORY

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@AC

I wouldn't get my hopes up. In fact; I think its for a well known reason why this happened to be a Dutchie who appeared a bit more in the spotlight. Because chances are high he'll get away with community service, or even less.

You see; our district attorneys (I believe that's the right verb, or I've been watching too much Law & Order) don't exactly hold a good reputation on this matter. Only last week did we get the news how an arrested and convicted rapist saw the jail time which was demanded by the DA cut almost in half because that same DA had neglected the whole proceedings for almost 10 years. Judge ordered that the 'suspect' didn't have to suffer for the incompetence of the DA office.

That's about the situation here, so I really wouldn't get my hopes up that he has a rough time ahead.

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Ubuntu 13.04: No privacy controls as promised, but hey - photo search!

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@Connor

"Of course most importantly, every time you purchase something from Amazon, which most of us were doing anyway, Canonical gets a cut from Amazon's end. If you like your free OS, surely that is an easy, free, zero-effort and non-obtrusive way of helping pay for it?"

You make a good argument IMO but there are also flaws within your reasoning. Because lets face it: without Debian there wouldn't be an Ubuntu. Most of the real work isn't done by Canonical at all, but with all the volunteers which maintain the Debian packages, which also eventually find their way into Ubuntu.

As such your argument could also be easily turned around: how much of Canonical's cut finds its way back into Debian? If Canonical likes their free OS so much to build a whole company on top of it, surely its also an easy zero-effort to help pay for it?

Yet somehow I don't see that happening.

With that in mind I think people have every right to complain or share their discomfort. The OS isn't free afterall; it has a pricetag attached. You either pay through advertisement, or invest some of your own time to de-install the whole lot, time costs money too you know.

IMO there's more to this than merely "helping pay for the OS".

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Reddit: So very sorry for naming innocent man as Boston bomber

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FAIL

Call me sceptical if you will, but...

I think they're only sorry that they failed to catch the real bombers. Because anyone could see up front where witch hunts like this could lead to; the risk of accusing and thus damaging innocent people is always a very realistic and dangerous aspect. That's why such "hunting efforts" are best stopped before they fully take off. But no...

Shit like this keeps happening time and time again, and when the damage is done they're always "sorry" and simply carry on with their lives. Yet the people who got the worst part of the accusations will most likely continue to suffer from them for several months if not years to come. Yet that small detail more than often never finds its way into the main news because well... A few people getting threatened on a continuous basis is hardly news worthy after all. Celebrities have to deal with that shit all the time, so who cares?

Don't get me wrong; I'm not questioning the main motivations here. But the people who started this whole ordeal really should have known better up front in my opinion.

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AWS says private clouds are vaporware

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Yeah right...

"Amazon Web Services (AWS) Adam Selipsky has told an event in Sydney, Australia, that private clouds aren't really clouds."

Translation: AWS' Adam Selipsky has told an event in Sydney that private clouds aren't making Amazon any money, and therefor also better be avoided.

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Human rights groups rally humanity against killer robots

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Pint

Instead of aiming for the tools...

Why not focus your energy on the powers that would actually use or wield these?

Or put differently: focus on the heart of the problem instead of the symptoms; it gets you much better results. Of course; "protest against a future SkyNet" sells so much better...

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Red Hat renames JBoss application server as WildFly

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Brilliant strategy

Don't change or enhance the product. No; put resources into renaming it, that's bound to attract more customers and make the whole thing appear a lot better.

Guys, this isn't the 90's anymore. JBoss is (was?) a very solid application server, but it could never really beat (for example) Tomcat. And I don't see this helping in any bit. Just check the website yourself: "JBoss has a new name, and it's even @#$%ing faster!".

Each to his own, but hollow marketing like that makes me simply click the close button and forget all about it.

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Microsoft: Worried about web privacy? Tell us everything...

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Windows

Has anyone (including author) ever read their policies?

First I have to strongly disagree with the authors accusations that Microsoft is "contradicting their own statement" when it comes to privacy, simply because they make it known that they collect information such as an IP address and the time and date you enter the survey.

Because anyone who has a little bit of understanding how this whole thing actually works will know that nearly every frickin' website out there does exactly the same thing. How do you think people generate website statistics? Well, usually by letting programs such Webaliazer or AWStats go over the logfile(s) of the webserver. Any idea what you can find in there? More than merely an IP address and date and time I can tell you that; you'll also see what browser people are using, you can roughly deduct their geographical location, check the time/date and even determine what OS is being used.

The main difference as I see it is that Microsoft makes this clearly known, and then you "attack" them over it, how stupid is that?

Honestly; have you ever read any of their usage policies for some of their websites? (TechNet, MSDN, Codeplex, and / or ASP.NET)?

I think you'll be surprised.

For example; just go to codeplex.com, click the 'terms of use' link you see at the bottom. There you'll find a clear and short description of how to behave on that website. What happens to any stuff you upload to them ("Microsoft does not claim ownership of the materials you provide to Microsoft (including feedback and suggestions regarding Codeplex or other Microsoft material posted on the site) or post, upload, input or submit to any Services or its associated services for review by the general public, or by the members of any public or private community, (each a "Submission" and collectively "Submissions").") but also clear rules as to what they might do when they find out you're trying to harvest information yourself.

A terms of use which starts, at the top, with "PRIVACY AND PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION" and a direct reference to their privacy statement ?

There are 3 times when Microsoft may disclose information about Codeplex visitors and its also very easy to find when:

  • comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process
  • protect the rights or property of Microsoft or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the services
  • act on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public.

Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't be critical here. But I am saying that compared to some of the other companies out there Microsoft is in my opinion the least intrusive when it comes to privacy concerns. Of course I fully agree if you now raise the other possibility: "Or they simply haven't been caught yet like Google has".

True. But here's the major difference: should they get "caught" then their legal disclaimers and documents give you an awefull lot of ground to sue their asses off. While "other company" disclaimers are usually very vague when you over them; they usually always end the same: the company in question cannot be directly held accountable for....

These privacy statements are completely different. They don't make (contradicting) open claims, they make solid promises.

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Office 365 - what's in it for you? Speak your brains

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Windows

Lame interface(s)...

My main gripe with the new Office is the new interface and the way they changed several usability features, I simply can't bring my self to liking it even though I'm a die-hard 2010 user.

It's simple; the new Word or Excel 2013 gives me an headache. I can't stand the all-bright, vaguely coloured and extremely NOISY interface. There's no longer a clear separation between your work space and the Ribbon section above. Totally unworkable for me since its too distracting. At the very least make sure there's a clear separation like there always was. Even Office 2003 (pre-Ribbon time) used clear separation and easily spotted sections.

I also dislike the way Office starts. When I fire up Word I do so because I need to start working on something. If I need to work on a document otoh. I simply open that. Usually through the use of the jumplists in the start menu.

Yet when you start Word 2013 you'll first have to go through the start screen, you can't make Office skip this. So hit escape to make it go away and you can start on your work. Absolutely annoying to me since the times where I had to use the backstage view after starting Word (or Excel) can be counted on one hand.

And yeah; I know this start screen is a detail. But that's as far as I got with Office 2013; the interface didn't exactly make it appealing for me to check it out some more to see if there were any other options which I might have liked a lot better in comparison to 2010. It did the total opposite; so after the start screen ticked me off I called it a day and didn't bother any more. I'm very happy with Office 2010 and I see absolutely no reason what so ever to upgrade to this migraining catastrophy.

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Study: Most projects on GitHub not open source licensed

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@Charles

"What really gets up my nose about FSF is that they feel entitled to redefine, and limit, the use terms like freedom."

Uhm, don't shoot the messenger ?

The FSF only provides the means, its fully up to the author(s) themselves to use or ignore a certain license.

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Microsoft joins the two-step verification party

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Windows

As long as they...

...don't make it as intrusive as Google then I'm all fine with it.

Google keeps nagging that they want my cellphone number because its "very important" that they have that; without it they can't text me "important information to unlock my account" should I ever lose the password.

Yeah right.....

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