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* Posts by ShelLuser

1816 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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'

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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'

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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!

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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...

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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

ShelLuser
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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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Linux in 2013: 'Freakishly awesome' – and who needs a fork?

ShelLuser
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Devil

Awesome?

I don't perse agree. Sure, Linux has seen quite an increase feature wise, the overall acceptance is also pretty good which makes it much easier to setup or rent a Linux server and finally; because of all the setup standards and such there are some pretty awesome tools out there which can really help a company get to its feet (here's looking at you Webmin (link to.. you know ;-)).

Thing is... More and more do I get the feeling its also getting dumbed down. Which is cool, more people using it and you can't say there isn't a free choice here. Well....

So I'm with a hosting provider which has some awesomely features such as console access for every VPS you hire. Premium, Standard, Ultraluxe, Tiny ? It has console access, admins will understand the importance here (done through KVM & kernel virtualization). The best part here; I can use a browser and either opt for HTML5 or Java based access.SO far still cool.

And so I work with CentOS 6, need to resort to the CentOS 5 manual, (5.2 while 5.9 is the latest) but who needs manuals... It seems I do because you see; by default the installer resorts to X. And X has an issue with resolutions thus easily exceeding my used 1024x786 on this machine. With my HTML5 session this results in an unsizable window where most controls fall outside my screen. Not cool.

Resorting to the Java client fixes that, I now get scrollbars which help. But now I can't fill out some partial info (say the first digits of my IP address), flip to another window to check up on something and check back again because it will be extremely hard to re-activate the window; X goes a bit crazy.

The answer is obviously a text based install. Yeah. I had that part figured out myself. So you start in text mode anyway; cool, it seems its zmart. Yet then all of a sudden you end up with a graphical display, and its sure no Grub bootscreen. Long story cut short; you need to break the actual boot process yourself, then manually start the text installer. And of course the manual is pretty vague here.

Sure; its not all bad news. Absolutely not; this is a very particular example from a very particular distribution. There are also others which (IMO) are much up to the challenge. Take for example Debian for that matter.

Even so... Learning about integrated and fully usable ZFS, an out of the box process virtualization feature which strongly reminds me of "Zones" (running a virtual instance of the same OS, but this time locked to a certain point) as well as a text installer by default has so far got me to check out a completely different server environment. I also like the fact that due to their more "lose" licensing demands I even get to see commercial software pop up in their software tree. Sure; now I need to use my brains since you can't assume everything in there is free as in beer. Who cares? I don't since I know what I want ;-)

The icon says it all :-)

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Oracle critical patch plugs 128 security vulns

ShelLuser
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Joke

All pun aside...

One has to wonder; are these recent vulnerabilities or does this also include stuff from, I dunno, 2010 or so ?

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Samsung vs Apple: which smartphone do Reg readers prefer?

ShelLuser
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A good example...

As to why I think Microsoft has used a completely wrong approach with promoting their Windows Phone.

The only commercials you get are Nokia based, in almost every advertisement or even official Microsoft article you'll see Nokia phones whenever the topic is at WP.

Yet guess what; Samsung also makes Windows Phones; I really like my Samsung Omnia W. And although I'm still not too sure if my next phone is going to be a Windows Phone (we'll know next year) I do know this; its going to be another Samsung.

...that is, if I'll actually get a new phone next year ;)

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Microsoft: FINE! We'll match Amazon - by HIKING cloud prices

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Obscure, vague and I wonder; more expensive?

When I check out both Amazon and Azure I always get confused (sort of) when checking their price model. In some way I can agree that it looks fair, after all; you only pay for what you're using and its cut down to fair amounts (pay per GB based on maximum amount (first 1TB, Next 49TB, etc.) or when it comes to instances you pay per hour based on the instance (due to the article I'm focussing on Azure here, but the same goes for Amazon obviously).

Problem is that its very hard to keep track of it all so in a way you're depending on their way of measurement. I had this with my previous hosting provider; one month the bills were normal, then all of a sudden they billed me with for extra traffic while my stats told me otherwise. After 2 months I wrote them an e-mail about it and what do you know? Obviously the error was with me, according to them, but in the mean time I got normal bills again 4 months straight. Yeah, right....

I think that in many cases you'll be better of using a 'regular' hosting provider (if available of course) than these cloud based services. First they sell the name "cloud" while in fact its not as cloudy (redundant) as it should / could be (as we've seen in the not too recent past) and in the longer run I get the feeling you'll end up paying more in comparison.

Here in Holland you can get a 4 Core Xeon, 8GB memory, 300GB storage, 10TB traffic/month, 1 - 3 IPv4 addresses, IPv6 addresses, SMS monitoring and 1 snapshot for approx. E 50,- / month. When using a free OS (Linux, BSD) then there are no extra charges, for Windows you'll have to cover licensing too (approx. E 7,50 / month).

Azure virtual machine? 1 core with 1.75 GB memory starts at approx. E 49,90 / month (E 0,0671 / hour).

Amazon? Well, that shows another issue; the trouble you need to undertake before you finally get a good overview of solid prices. So I'm finally at the EC2 pricing page (link to Amazon): Standard on-demand instance, "Medium" : $0.120 / hour. Say one month: $89,28 (24hrs / 31 days), or E 68,-.

So; what's "Medium" ?

For that you need to go to another page; the EC2 instance types overview (link to amazon) where you'll learn that "Medium" is actually: 3.75Gb memory, 1 virtual core with 2 computing units, 410Gb instance storage, moderate performance (?).

Moderate performance?

You don't get rough numbers but at the end of the page its briefly explained yet still vague: "For many applications, low or moderate I/O performance is more than enough. However, for those applications requiring greater or more consistent I/O performance, you may want to consider instances with high I/O performance.".

And then we're told into how cool high performance is ("High I/O instances can deliver in excess of 100,000 random read IOPS and as many as 80,000 random write IOPS for high performance NoSQL ") but what about moderate and low ? Well, I guess those aren't interesting enough to share the details.

I also strongly get the feeling that both Amazon and Microsoft doesn't really expect (hope?) people to dive in so deeply but instead solely focus themselves on virtual low prices instead.

But then again... Looking back at my regular hosting example above; E 57,50 / month for a Windows server one can also state that I'm paying E 0,0772 per hour. I pay "much more" than Azure (E 0,0671 / hour) but also get more in return.

Sure; I can't terminate per hour / day but only on a per month basis. Thing is; how often do you need to terminate your servers on a per hour basis? When your money is running out perhaps? But like; wasn't that something you couldn't have seen coming ?

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Dell axes IT channel middlemen, installs Windows in the factory

ShelLuser
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Windows

@Tezfair

If you're a Microsoft reseller you want to be part of their Partner Network (link to MS Partner program). The best part here is that small businesses can join free of charge but if you need or want more, you'll have to invest in a subscription. Even so, there are several advantages (link to UK based Partner program page) to be found, and I'm not merely talking about licenses for their business products (Office, SharePoint, Exchange, etc.).

A Gold Partner not only pays quite a bit for his subscription, one could assume they also tend to ship quite a bit of Microsoft software. Yet Microsoft didn't have to think long before they dumped Gold partner Comantra (El Reg link) from their program after accusations that this firm was (phone) scamming UK customers.

So... pardon me for not agreeing here.

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Netflix plotting move to HTML5 video - but only if DRM works

ShelLuser
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@Tom7

Believe it or not; there are some people who actually truly believe that if you use a browser plugin or video player such as VLC to record a video stream then it's illegal. On a not-to-be-mentioned official support forum I once saw a post get removed because I hinted at this possibility (but in all honesty; the whole subject was also bordering offtopic-ness).

The point being though; if some people have apparently already degenerated to this level "It's illegal to..." then I can easily see this work. Behind a nice smoke screen of course.

For the record; we're talking about a video link which anyone can access, without the need to register, to agree to something or anything of the sort. You click the link and watch the video. Problem being is that $company behind said video's sells the right to store them offline.

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Microsoft brings back Windows watch after Apple seeks 'flexible' bod

ShelLuser
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@SQLInjector ;-)

i stopped wearing watches when mobile phones came about.

Same here. Its much easier on the wrist too, not to mention never having to take it off and on again whenever you're working on something where it might get stuck. I also never looked back.

Still, it is one of those classic "if it works for me it doesn't have to work for other people" kind of thing.

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SWARMS of ZOMBIES unleashed on innocent bloggers

ShelLuser
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Megaphone

2 important steps to take...

Actually, fellow WordPress users could consider to resort to only 1 step: download & install Better WP Security (link to plugin page).

When I started using WP the first thing I did was rename the admin account; I do that on all environments I use (including my Win7 desktop and my Windows servers). And then I discovered this critter which also checks for this and a whole lot more...

It will help you enforce stronger passwords, rename the admin account, perform intrusion detection (x number of wrong login attempts results in banning the IP address (or an even wider range)), but also help you with suggesting how you could make the thing even more secure.

It goes pretty far, even a bit too far for my liking, but even so it's also very honest. Some options ("You should rename the wp-content directory of your site") are very plausible enhancements, but they come with risks since other plugins may depend on that directory being present. And as they should they also warn for that.

From hiding your backend, to logon limitations, intrusion detection right down to a nice log page which will show you how the bad guys tried to gain access.

This is one of those plugins which I consider to be a must-have if you're on WordPress.

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Ban drones taking snaps of homes, rages Google boss... That's HIS job, right?

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

@Chris

And who thought it would be neat to provide us with (pretty high res.) aerial / satellite photo's which could almost identify your wife or girlfriend lying on a beach bench in your own backyard in her bikini ?

Has everyone already forgotten about Google Earth and how much trouble many individuals had to go through before Google finally allowed the public to apply for blurring of pictures on their Google Earth environment ?

What I see here is the Pot calling the Kettle black, and also a shameless display of sheer arrogance.

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The Man Who Fell to Earth: Plane plummet plod probe phone

ShelLuser
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@Obviously

"Mentally Ill perhaps?"

Totally desperate seems more plausible to me. The "who cares if I die out there or out here, I'll be dead anyway".

5
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Microsoft Xbox exec quits after ENRAGING the INTERWEBS

ShelLuser
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Windows

@TonyJ

Forced to resign because of a simple opinion.

No, Microsoft can be a really weird bunch but I'm quite positive its the combination of things. First he's an executive, one should be able to expect that those guys know how to share an opinion in a non-insulting manner. Then there's the sheer arrogance of it all, in the end it isn't merely showing but actually radiating.

It's simple; if you make it very clear that you seem totally incapable of even considering the way the other person in a discussion feels like then how the heck are you going to lead your own department? I wouldn't be surprised one bit if that guy doesn't have the foggiest of ideas what's going through the minds of his co workers ("now why would I want to associate with them?"). Not saying this is the case, but he sure makes it look that way.

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Remember Streetmap? It's suing Google in a UK court

ShelLuser
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@R11

Forget about looks; I roll my mouse wheel up and down and the whole page moves up and down. Obviously not what I had intended there.

4
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P2P badboys The Pirate Bay kicked out of Greenland: Took under 48 hours

ShelLuser
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Joke

You're doing it all wrong!

Aarrrghggh mateys, ye needs to go out for pillage and plunder. Not kindly askin' if ye may put yur digital meadhall theres.

4
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Windows 8 has put the world's PC market to sleep - IDC

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Windows

Microsoft still hasn't learned..

They release a product and at first its hopeless, then they start working on it and either completely rehaul it or actually fix all the nastiness. I know its sounds clichéd, but it still holds truth today.

Visual Studio 2012, quite a modern product; the first release sucked (its interface actually gave me an headache). The first update (2012.1) turned it into a "workable environment" but at that time I still didn't buy into the 'doctrine' that "Visual Studio 2012 is the continuance of Expression Web 4" (Microsoft website editor / designer).

Then several months later 2012.2 was released (only a few days ago at the time of writing) and what do you know? I haven't fired up Expression Web 4 ever since I updated. Intellisense now picks up my stylesheets, it picks up ASP ContentPlaceHolder sections from master pages, it responds better...

They fixed most of their horrendous colour change (read: remove all colour from the program) and although I wouldn't call it perfect, it does allow me to code and actually have some fun doing so. This evening I did a rather major rehaul on one of my hobby websites.

Thing is... Making developers having to wait approx. 6 months before your main development platform becomes "workable" isn't the best approach when you're trying to compete with others. That is, if you actually hope for them to upgrade to the latest version...

Sometimes I get the feeling Microsoft doesn't seem to care at. all.

10
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Microsoft leads charge against Google's Android in EU antitrust complaint

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Windows

@Babbit55

"Last time I checked didn't Winmo default to using Bing search and Bing Maps and Nokia to Nokia Maps???"

Even better.

My WP7.5 phone has this optical search button; the moment I press it (which unfortunately sometimes tends to happen by accident as well) I get Bing. I can configure some aspects like allowing my location to be used, allowing MS to get some search results when it comes to looking for pictures, and enabling the search button in the lock screen (you really don't want that ;-)).

Thing is; I can't tell my phone that it should use Google instead of Bing when I press this button.

This doesn't bother me at all btw., I like it this way, but it does show that something is seriously wrong here.

13
1

Office for Mac 2008 support umbilical chopped off

ShelLuser
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Newer isn't always better...

Microsoft claims that its actually a benefit to "always have the latest version" when it comes to Office 365. Quite frankly I heavily disagree on that point.

The latest isn't always the greatest, and that holds especially true with some of the Microsoft products. Unless of course you like change because of the change, but I for one only welcome change when it makes sense.

And trying to make a desktop application appear as it it were a web application isn't a change I'm very fond off. With a regular Office license you can simply tell MS to take a hike and continue to use the software you want. With a subscription model all you can do is allow Microsoft to tell you to take a hike and use whatever they provide you with. Even if you liked an earlier Office version a whole lot better.

4
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'1337 hacker' scrawls all over careless coders' SourceForge sites

ShelLuser
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@Phil

Why wouldn't it be?

If you always keep the keys to your house under the floormat and someone found and used those to enter your house without your permission, most likely to steal things? It might be a dumb mistake on your end that this happened in the first place but in the end its still described as someone breaking into your house.

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Gartner: RIP PCs - tablets will CRUSH you this year

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Pint

Uhm...

"PC sales are in terminal decline thanks to the continued popularity of tablets and there’s nothing an anticipated surge in ultramobiles can do to stop it."

So because PC sales are decreasing (something I consider quite plausible) is per definition proof that tables are taking over?

Only problem is that I can come up with a dozen other theories as to how this situation has come to pass. How about the current financial atmosphere; that's bound to make people spend less. Or what to think about those people who buy new PC's the very moment a new Windows version is released? Considering how "popular" Windows 8 has become so far...

I wouldn't be surprised at all if tablet sales went up (people already have a PC and want something new) only to be followed with the opposite later on (PC sales rising and tablet sales declining).

Why not stop making things way more dramatic than they really are?

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Publishing ANYTHING on .uk? From now, Big Library gets copies

ShelLuser
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WTF?

What about our copyrights?

"Under the rules - known as legal deposit - the country's biggest collector of publications produced in the UK and Ireland will start harvesting what it described as "ephemeral materials like websites" to ensure that the content is "preserved forever"".

Yet what if I published something (put online) which I don't want to be preserved (yet) ?

And let's ignore the obvious "I own copyright on my work" issue but what about situations where I pre-publish stuff to appeal to the visitors while I'm still working on it? I'm doing that a lot with several tutorials I write (I'm passionate about sound synthesis & design and maintain my own hobby website) and as long as a version hasn't reached v1.0 status I wouldn't want to see it getting included with some big collection of stuff. Simply because some things could easily change, sometimes quite drastically.

Another issue; although its very easy to point at Google many people forget that in contrast to popular belief something which gets slurped by Google can be removed again. And it's quite easy too, the keywords being webmaster tools. As others above already pointed out; you can even prevent Google from indexing your site (or parts of it).

So what do these guys provide? Or are we now down to "We're the government, we decide, the end justifies the means, it's all for the common good, stop whining." ?

And some people still wonder why so many are losing faith rapidly when it comes to governments in combination with IT.

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Australian Feds charge 17-year-old 'Anon' with four crimes

ShelLuser
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Joke

@Mahatma

Or he wasn't Anonymous enough ;-)

Maybe that's why they chose this name; if you're not living up to the name you'll be your own worst enemy.

0
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Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 delivers modest improvements

ShelLuser
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Windows

@Geoffrey

Not me, because everyone will realize that I'm biased ;-)

And Eadon... I guess you can't trust him either because, well, he's Eadon and this is a Windows thread so he's biased as well ;-)

So I guess, as always, the truth sits somewhere in the middle.

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2
ShelLuser
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Thumb Up

Slick!

So now Microsoft is making me lose sleep, but what could you expect from such an evil company? ;-)

Only 5 minutes into update 2 and I love it. What I really like about this one is that you'll notice the differences immediately, and I'm not talking about the removed "black letters on dark blue dialog box". I open a solution which contains a moderate ASP Forms project and the load time has been noticeably reduced. In no time do I get to see the Global.asax file I was working on. After which of course you'll notice its load-behind, so at first I didn't got to see the syntax highlighting which became visible later, but that doesn't matter. The fact that you can start coding after a brief moment of loading is priceless.

I couldn't care less about "agile planning", Windows 8 apps and Windows Phone development but I am curious to see what this update is going to do on my TFS Express environment (update running as we speak, as said; gonna lose some sleep here).

This is another change in my overall workflow which I really came to enjoy. Before VS I often used NetBeans together with subversion as VCS, now I resorted to TFS Express which is also quite nice and easy to work with. Both the TFS service provided by MS (see tfs.visualstudio.com) as well as their freely usable Express version (both for up to 5 people at once).

And what to think about the ASP updates? I'm also excited to learn that this update includes the ASP.NET and WebTools 2012.2 update as well. I'm very curious to look deeper into SignalR for example.

I can be quite the critic, but I also strongly believe in credit where credit's due, and in this case I think Microsoft produced a very good and solid update.

...if only it would update my TFS Express a little quicker, then I could finally get some sleep ;-)

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Sci/Tech quango promises an end to 'events with no women'

ShelLuser
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Stop

Gender over Quality?

"The quango, nowadays officially a charity but one which spends lottery money on "innovation" (more here) promised to actively seek out women to chair public meetings and debates."

History shows us that there have been numerous of attempts in a dozen different environments to try and get more women involved with $environment. Unfortunately more than often resulting in people focussing almost entirely on gender and not so much on qualifications any longer.

Heck; within our local (Dutch) government there have been situations where a better qualified man was turned down for a lesser qualified woman (the not to great qualifications became apparent at a later time). And only for the sole purpose of getting more females on board.

So pardon me for considering this a failure in the making. Not only is it unfair towards the public who sometimes no longer gets the quality they're used to, but it's also extremely unfair towards the women who were hired based on their gender instead of their qualifications. Especially if they end up becoming quite unpopular with the public. In those cases the public portraits the fail on the person in question, while in fact the real guilty party remains safely behind the scenes in the shadows.

10
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Scottish SF master Iain M Banks reveals he has less than a year to live

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Happy

Very smart man indeed...

"As a result, I've withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I've asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry – but we find ghoulish humour helps)."

Yes, that frickin' helps indeed. Don't ever think its hopeless and try to continue to focus on the bright side, not the down side.

Because we've seen this many times before in history... Man was told he had only 3 months to live, only to end up 5 years later. In most of those cases the person in question didn't focus on the downside of things but figured that he'd better make the best out of what he still had.

And it's a good thing your widow seems to share your sense of humor.

Honestly folks.. A smiley on my post. Because the last thing that guy needs is a bunch of people who are now going to become all sad and depressed on him.

6
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Microsoft gives away Windows 8 to Mac devs

ShelLuser
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@Eradicate

Did you miss the bit about this being an offer for developers using Apple hardware?

No I didn't. As such I was referring to the comment in the article that Microsoft apparently thinks that using multiple OS's is the most common way to test different browsers. Which I consider to be a bit hypocrite since there are much better ways for this, one of them mentioned above.

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ShelLuser
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Windows

Hypocricy

“We heard that the most common way you test across browsers is through virtualization of browser and operating system combinations using your favorite virtualization platform, such as Hyper-V, VMWare, VirtualBox, or Parallels,” Singhal wrote

True, and because of that the Microsoft website designer Expression Web 4 includes a program called SuperPreview (download link).

What this program does is take several webbrowser engines and renders the page you're working on using those engines. It supports several versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer (obviously) but also FireFox as well as Safari. The best part is that it can display the same page, but rendered by different engines, side by side and even indicate problem areas. You can read more about this program on it's MSDN page

Yet guess what? This program gets dumped (it already lacked quite severely with regards to supporting modern browsers) together with Expression Web itself. There is also no comment (to my knowledge anyway) that it will surface again together with Visual Studio (which is the destined replacement for Expression web).

So please excuse me for stating that I consider this move quite hypocrite to say the least. You already had an awesome tool, which not only could clearly display changes and differences, it could all be done on one single developers workstation. No need for virtualisation, VMWare, Hyper-V at all.

You only needed to have the appropriate browser engines installed.

Then again; this is Microsoft we're dealing with and they have a tendency to simply drop good working software on a snap.

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Card skimmers targeting more than ATMs, says EU

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Boffin

@Gordon

From the very inception of the "Pin Code" we have been laughing at how insecure this system is.

True, but my humor wasn't aimed at the pin code itself but the usage of a magnetic strip which got swiped, thus very easily read and copied.

Which basically supports your criticism in my opinion; the sheer time alone before certain banks finally switched from using the magnetic strip to the chip itself, some took ages. The fun part was that at a given time my creditcard (visa) had already implemented this system way before the "common" banks had.

But there's another aspect... In theory I think "chipping" (electronic wallet) is much more secure than pinning. After all; with an electronic wallet you can only loose what's on the wallet itself, people can't easily copy your card and gain access to your whole bank account. Another pro, in my opinion, is that you can pay by simply clicking "yes". No pin or such required at all, only when transferring money.

Yet the electronic wallet is something which according to many people has to go (here in Holland at least). In most places you can only pay with your pin code and no longer with the "chipknip" (Dutch name for electronic wallet).

Which makes me conclude that a lot of banks and electronic payment providers don't have safety and security at the top of their priorities list. It needs to be cheap, it needs to work and it needs to provide them with revenue.

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