49 posts • joined 8 Apr 2012
Re: Why not just replace the last-end compression?
If so, why don't JPGs compress worth a damn? You can take a folder with (say) 2GB of JPG images and compress the whole thing with your choice of compression software, and you are usually lucky to get enough compression to be worth the bother or the extra CPU cycles. Well, that was certainly so last time I tried it, and I tried several different compression methods without seeing any difference worth mentioning between them, though it was a few years back now. Has something changed?
Re: Lies: they can't run 8.1
The thing that is "not good enough", as should be perfectly clear to anyone who has actually read my post rather than just glanced at the headline, isn't the end of support for XP, it's Microsoft's gall in offering to "upgrade" vast numbers of users to a product which ought to and easily could but doesn't install or run on their (perfectly capable) hardware.Or, if want to defend their foolish and inexplicable decision to casually make Windows 8.1 incompatible with lots and lots of surprisingly modern systems, their failure to provide any decent support life for Windows 8.0, which is set to end support as soon as next year.
Note that - as set out above - we are not talking about ancient kit here; we are talking about late-model multi-core systems with performance more than sufficient to run any current operating system at good speed - Core 2 Duos and multi-core Athlons and the like.
Re: How MS could really help
Annihilator says: "they could make installing an up-to-date version of Win 7 a 1-2 hour process instead of the 1-2 day process it currently is. At last count, it takes 8-10 update cycles to bring it up to full patch, 4 of which occur before SP1 even presents itself as an option..... Does anyone know of a reasonably quicker way to do this?"
Yes. First, it is possible to create an up-to-date slipstream install disc which includes all of the service packs and updates, but the procedure is arcane, poorly documented, inflexible, and time consuming. If you haven't already put the hard work into learning how to do this, it's not worth the time it would take you to set it up unless you are doing a very large number of near-identical machines. (It's different for people who have done it a few times before and memorised the arcana, of course. An expert at this would probably do it even for a half-dozen machines. I wouldn't consider it for less than about 50 identical systems - too much like hard work.)
Secondly, and much more usefully, you can just download the service packs in stand-alone installer form from Microsoft. (Search for something like "windows 7 service pack standalone installer".) Burn them to CD or DVD or put them on a memory stick. Install Win 7 as usual, apply the service packs from the DVD, and only then start Windows Update. You will still have 120-odd more recent updates to download and install, but it's still a huge improvement.
(The same applies to 2000, XP and Vista, of course, but one hopes you are not so unfortunate as to have to work on Vista systems.)
PS: Why anyone would downvote you for asking an honest and perfectly sensible question, I have no idea. There is no accounting for some people.
Lies: they can't run 8.1
They are going to tell users on older XP-based systems to "Update to Windows 8.1". Really?
No, I'm not saying that it's unreasonable to expect users to switch to the worst Windows user interface of all time. (Well, it is unreasonable, of course, but it is also easily fixed with Classic Shell or the alternative of your choice, plus a bit of reconfiguration to do the basic things you have to do with Win 8.x to stop it doing things that most users don't understand and can't cope with: switching off that scary sudden death delete, for example, by adjusting the properties of the recycle bin.)
No, the unreasonable part is that, for no good reason and without any warning from
MS, Windows 8.1 won't install or run on a huge stack of machines with only moderately old and still perfectly capable processors, including multi-core AMD Athlon 64 X2 and Opteron 185 units, and a very large number of quite recent Intel Core 2 Duo systems. (Typically with the Intel parts it is the motherboard chipset Windows 8.1 objects to rather than the CPU, but this is of no consequence - either way, the user is screwed.)
There was no good reason for this unannounced change - note that Windows 7 and Windows 8.0 both work perfectly on these systems - and this faces XP users with having to scratch around and find an unsold copy of Windows 8.0 and with the end-of-support nightmare set to come straight back at them as early as next year - yes, Win 8.0 support is set to end in 2015.
Microsoft's response to this shocker has been mendacious and unhelpful. An MS spokesdroid said “the number of affected processors are extremely small, since this instruction has been supported for greater than 10 years”. This is simply not so: the very first CPUs with support for the new instruction shipped that far back, but it was neither used by any software nor common. Mainstream, everyday mass-market CPUs and chipsets did not support CMPXCHG16b for years after that, and a vast number of people with good quality, perfectly capable hardware only a few years old have been shafted by the 8.1 schmozzle.
Their only alternatives, short of throwing away perfectly good hardware, are to run 32-bit 8.1 (not really an alternative at all) or else the elderly Windows 7. This is simply not good enough, Microsoft.
Re: Am i the only one
Noise! Ha! I have, safely salted away in the back room, a pair of Seagate Cheetah X15 drives, the first-ever 15k units (which are not too bad noise-wise, not considering how old they are) and somewhere near them, a couple of older Seagate Cheetah Mark 1 drives, the very first drives to spin at 10,000 RPM. (Everything prior to that was 7200 max.) The Mark Is were very, very fast (by 1997 standards, or the standard of several years later) but very loud. Quite unpleasant to be in a small room with one after a while.
But they were nothing, noise-wise, to the IBM model which followed soon after: the Ultrastar ZX - the second 10k drive model to be sold, and possibly it was a bit rushed to keep up with Seagate because it made a noise like a small jet fighter taking off. Really loud; a penetrating note that set your teeth on edge and made you wonder if it was quite right in the bearings. But it was huge (9.1GB!) and fast, and it ran without the slightest trouble in our office server for six or seven years, 24 hours a day. It still runs now - not that I switch it on more than once every couple of years just to hear that rushing mechanical whine again, and maybe watch the streetlights dim as it powers up - and provides performance vastly inferior to a $10 memory stick from the Post Office with 10 or 100 times the capacity and no noise at all. But where is the glorious mechanical engineering in a memory stick?
Ahh ... push me off the perch, I'm getting old.
It beats me why people use cloud storage at all. Honestly, for 90+% of all computer users, I just can't see any sensible reason for it. On a phone (or equivalently storage-crippled other device), OK, but on a real computer? Why would you want to do that?
Re: Stupid Question...
Err .. it means Window Icon Mouse Pointer in this context. "I have never heard it in relationship to mobile phones before" - that's because it's not in relation to mobile phones, it's in relation to the Windows 8.x for actual computers, though you had to read all the way through to the end of the article to get to that bit. See the last para.
Hide the important stuff
What a strange article! A whole lot of yammer about - let's face it - fairly unimportant stuff to do with telephones that nobody cares about much. All interesting enough and newsworthy in its way, please don't think I'm complaining.
But then, hidden away at the very bottom of the article like an unimportant afterthought, we get the bombshell - Microsoft is planing to give Metro apps a title bar and a close button. That's *massive* news, why wasn't it the headline? Why wasn't it shouted out loud and clear?
Think it through: Microsoft is planning to make Metro usable. (Yes, really.) That's a very significant step which might very well change the future of computing. Up to now, MS has been determined, over time, to replace the open Windows environment with the walled garden of Metro; replace the glorious, chaotic free-for-all of software choice on Windows systems with a strictly controlled, centralised, heavily (30%!) taxed app store model. Never mind the bizarrely user-hostile interface changes Metro brought, the *real* issues with Windows 8.x is and always was the threat to kill off all free, independent software distribution and impose a massive, incredibly profitable 30% tax on every single bit of software sold for Windows.
But, as we all know, the app store model has completely failed to gain traction. The Metro interface was a user disaster, Windows 8 bombed in the market, and the Windows market position itself came under serious threat. The threat of an app store universe where no-one is free to write, distribute and sell software free of the Microsoft Tax seemed remote.
But now this news: Rather than abandoning the brain-dead Metro interface, or stick grimly to it while its customer base disappeared like mist in the desert sun, Microsoft has done the unthinkable: it is actually aiming to make Metro usable. (Well, a bit usable.) This implies, in turn, that MS hasn't given up on the app tax model and the threat of a closed world of computing where both major vendors lock you in and freedom of choice and enterprise are sacrificed just moved closer.
A very useful task for one of these IS backup - all the PCs on your home or small office network, for example. Assuming half-decent backup software, performance isn't really an issue.
And to back it up, well, the obvious device is another one the same. I'm sure Seagate won't mind if you buy two or three of them.
25TB in one go is a very attractive proposition.Pencil me in as a prospective buyer. (OK, I'd rather just use a couple of 15TB internal SATA drives, but that's not something we will be able to buy any time soon.)
What would be the point?
What would be the point? Oh, sure, Sony would get rid of a loss-making line and gracefully exit an ever-tougher market, so there is sense in it for Sony. But why on earth would Lenovo be interested? What does Sony have to offer Lenovo to match the known and visible strengths of the legendary Thinkpad product line? Or Medion's market power in Germany? Or IBM's server business? Or Motorola's phone division? Each of those just mentioned was a strong, successful business with growth prospects. (Yes, even Motorola's phone division, which has fallen on hard times of late but still retains fundamental attributes which, under the right management, can and almost certainly will quickly blossom back into market share and profitability.) Sony's Vaio line, on the other hand, is just another notebook brand with no particular distinguishing qualities. Take the tarnished but still (curiously enough) respected Sony name away from the Vaio brand and there is nothing of any great value left. Why would Lenovo want to spend good money on, when it's all said and done, nothing much?
The one very useful thing (for Sony) talk of a Lenovo buyout could achieve is to hurry along some other buyer, push them to spend up big on Vaio "before Lenovo snaps it up". Not that you'd reckon any buyer smart enough to have the money would fall for it. Why would you spend up big to buy Vaio when you could probably get it by holding your water and spending up small - sooner or later, Sony has to stop bleeding money like water - or, better again, just letting it die a natural death on Sony's dollar instead of yours?
> The new version is the first mainstream release to include a feature that allows users to quickly
> locate tabs that are playing unwanted audio.
YAY! At last! I very much dislike Chrome - it's the airline rubber chicken of the browser world - but this is a feature I have wanted to see for years. The only really surprising thing is that it wasn't invented (like nearly everything else that's any good in browsers) by Opera, back in the days when they made wonderful web browsers instead of buggy fifth-rate Chrome clones.
Rather against my will, consider me impressed.
Re: Will anyone still care?
> Microsoft has got some great technologies, Exchange ....
Exchange? "Great technology"? Hoolie doolie! I haven't laughed so much since Grandma died.
It is a simple sum. Too small to upgrade + impossible to repair = consumer junk. Forget it. Buy a real computer. Or, if you need the portability, buy a laptop, even a tablet. This is a product with huge disadvantages and almost nothing there to justify them.
Thanks Don, a very interesting response - and one which seems to raise more questions than it answers!
(PS: so you need to do a bit more than buy a lathe, hire a basement, and read a Tom Clancy novel to make a bomb? Who'd a guessed it!)
PPS: why don't we have a Slim Pickins icon?
If my memory is to be trusted, uranium 235 is only the second-most favoured fissile material for weapon manufacture; plutonium 239 is the #1. There are also a few others which are theoretically suitable, but (again from memory) none of them are thought to have been used as the main element in a nuclear device. So if the Yanks have helped get rid of all that enriched uranium, what has been done with all the plutonium? Do we know?
"I think you have missed the point" - not at all. The point I made is that the Reg headline is plain wrong in fact. This WD thing is not the first dual drive, in fact if I remember Hitachi's product line correctly it's not even the second dual SSD/mechanical drive - counting all the different Seagate ones as a single product line for the sake of simplicity, it's the third which, in a three-company market makes it the *last*. (Insert quote of your choice here, presumably Matthew 20:16.) I expect dumb headlines from the Reg - hey, that's all part of the charm of the place- but I draw the line at flat-out wrong.
(You point out something the WD drive may be useful for. That's fine, but it's not my point, which is that a headline - OK a sub-head in this case - should have some vague relationship to the facts of the matter.)
THE HEADLINE: "The world’s first SSD-HDD combo"
THE FACT: Seagate has been making a variety of SSD-HDD combos for years. Their design is quite different - for one thing there is no user-level trickery or special setup required or even possible, you just plug them in and use them, with whatever operating system you please.
Wow! Tape is not dead! Errr ... don't tell me, let me guess .... this must be The Register and it's Tuesday? Now how did old Winnie put it? Never in the history of one trade rag has so much been written by so many on one topic to be read by so few with such regularity .... Hmmm maybe not - after all, I read it, just as I read nearly all the other ones, so maybe you did too.
"What did you do on your days off, Granddad?"
"Read articles saying tape isn't dead yet, little apple of my eye."
"Oh. .... And what's a tape, Grandad?"
"I can't remember exactly now, dear one. Some dead computer bizo thingie, probably. there were lots of them."
"You mean like a rhino or a Minke Whale, Grandad?"
"Not really. Deader than that. Well, maybe close enough."
Re: Right and wrong...
Of course there is more being insured and of course there is such a thing as inflation. However, the insurance industry is a bit smarter than the average Register denier, they have been aware of the increasing risks posed by climate change for decades now.
For example: "Munich Re has had climatologists on board since 1974 ..... They have been doing this because it impacts their bottom line. When they began they didn't know whether human activity was the cause of climate change. They only knew that they were witnessing a very suspicious trend in all the accumulated data. What Munich Re can show us is compelling evidence ... of rising insured and uninsured losses from natural disasters going back to 1980 ..... Of course not all these losses are related to climate change. The Fukushima disaster was brought on by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami leading to over $400 billion in total losses in 2011. And the company also acknowledges the rise in the world's population with much of the growth inhabiting low-lying coastal and riverine areas plays a considerable role in these rising losses. But floods, forceful hurricanes and typhoons, droughts, forest and brush fires are on the rise. Data shows that extreme meteorological events which usually ranged between 200 and 600 per year from 1980 to 1996, have risen above 800 five times since 2006. At the same time earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and non-weather catastrophes have actually declined since 2000." - https://www.wfs.org/blogs/len-rosen/reinsurance-business-knows-about-climate-change
* Mutually Insured Destruction - http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/magazine/mutually-insured-destruction.html?_r=0
* No climate-change deniers to be found in the reinsurance business - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/an-industry-that-has-woken-up-to-climate-change-no-deniers-at-global-resinsurance-giant/article15635331/?page=all
It's not just the gigantic European reinsurers. Here is the President of the Reinsurance Association of America: “The industry is at great financial peril if it does not understand global and regional climate impacts, variability and developing scientific assessment of a changing climate”.
Or you can try Australia: Costs soar for reinsurers - http://www.smh.com.au/business/costs-soar-for-reinsurers-20130217-2el7q.html
Wherever you look, the answers are the same: insurance companies are seeing more climate-related disasters and worse damage from them.
Re: Right and wrong...
Yes, there ARE more natural disasters, and more to the point, they are (on average) bigger and do more damage. Don't take my word for it, go straight to the people who have been obsessively measuring and carefully counting disasters for longer than you have been alive, and doing it 'coz their livelihood depends on getting it right: insurance and especially reinsurance companies. No climate change doubters there: they KNOW they are paying out more and more often and they kindly send you written advice of that every year. (Hint: look for the bit with the number on it. There is a "$" or "£" sign in front of it..)
It has? Who? And how many?
Metro "has earned a strong core of vociferous evangelists not unlike the turn of the millennium Macolytes".
It has? Really? First I've heard of it. Oh, there is a handful of Metro fanbois here on the Reg forum - but I do mean a handful, and they are pretty much absent most everywhere else. Then there are the rather more numerous ones (here and elsewhere) who don't much care for Metro but are resigned to using it because they have to; some of this as-yet smallish group has even gone so far as to have discovered the odd Metro feature that they like, but that certainly doesn't make them "strong evangelists". And then there is everyone else - and now we are talking serious numbers - with the usual range of opinions from "not much good" through "lousy" right up to "worse than Stoned, Code Red, or Netsky".
Sorry, the "strong core of evangelists" line just doesn't wash. We would need some pretty solid evidence before swallowing this outlandish claim.
(PS: I apologise for picking up on just this one point from a fairly lengthy article, but it stands out like the dog's proverbials and makes it a bit hard to swallow the remainder of the content - given this whopper, one thinks, what other untruth lurk within?)
Re: Can we lose the exclamation marks now pleeease?
"Can we lose the exclamation marks now pleeease?"
Have 27 upvotes just as soon as I can register another 26 accounts,.
But how about we lose them starting five years ago? It wasn't funny then and it gets less funny with every passing issue.
While we are at it, let's start paying proper respect to company and product names that degrade the language by, for example, adding spurious punctuation. And when I say "proper respect", I mean just that: - i.e., no damn respect at all. Yahoo is written just as you see it - Yahoo.
(One step at a time here. We will leave the iSilly and eDumb product names for another day.)
Re: Tabs on bottom...
"Tabs on bottom... Is there any other browser that supports keeping your tab bar directly above the web page? Tabs-On-Bottom is the only thing that's been keeping me on FireFox."
But only real Opera (v 12.x), which has now been discontinued in favour of the new Opera, which is an inferior Chrome clone in all respects except for the version numbers (which must have been copied from Firefox because they change every five minutes).
And the relentless dumbing down of a once-great browser continues ...
Re: Where does she hide the phone it pairs with?
... and does it have rounded corners?
*Finding* rare earths is not terribly difficult - they are not especially rare.
*Mining* rare earths is not terribly difficult either.
*Transporting* rare earths is easy - all you need is a big truck. Compare to things like iron ore or coal or bauxite where you need hugely expensive capital works like railway lines and gigantic new port facilities just to get the economies of scale you need.
*Refining* rare earths is harder, and refining rare earths without creating a lot of very nasty pollution as a side effect is harder still.
The reason China has dominated rare earth supply isn't really its ability to monopolise supply of the raw materials - you can easily find plenty more the Chinese don't own in Canada, Australia, and various other places. No, China's quasi-monopoly exists because not many other countries are prepared to either (a) tolerate the pollution rare earth ore processing creates, or (b) go to a lot of trouble and expense processing rare earths in an environmentally acceptable way. Why do either of these when you can just buy the stuff from China?
Over time, we will see China crack down on more of its cowboy industries (which will tend to reduce supply and increase the price of rare earth materials); and we will see additional sources of supply come on-line from outside China - this is happening already, but it all takes time and money.
Good to see Samsung thinking outside the box here.
AC posted: "You're better off focussing on Battelle, not the "backwoods courts". Try googling (then searching archive.org) for "Battelle litigation fraud", for instance."
Thankyou for that. I learned a lot. This article - http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131022/13260324972/govt-contractor-uses-copyright-fear-hackers-to-get-restraining-order-against-open-source-developer.shtml - was very useful.
Or, in more detail, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
But why would anyone want to use Google for something every other host has offered and still does offer since Adam wore short pants? What is the point?
Get rid off the dead wood
Microsoft has made one terrible decision after another these last ten years or so. Vista, borking their cash cow Office, Win 7 only a half-good product bringing nothing of consequence to the table that wasn't already there in XP - in reality, the main reason for the success of Windows 7 was that it wasn't Vista -and then the monumental stuff up that was Windows 8. meanwhile, the company continues to loes bucket loads of money on blind, brute-force-stupid attempts to break into things it has never been any good at, such as search and telephones and tablets.
The first step to getting better is to admit you have a disease. Never in the history of computing has a company so desperately needed new, competent management. Hell, forget "competent", *any* sort of new management will do, 'coz even Bling Freddie could do better than Balmer's crew.
Just bring in someone new and get rid of the failures, OK?
Re: Ignore the obvious choice
Joe User : Was there something wrong with using the SysRq (System Request) key? It was the obvious choice, and that key has been around since the PC/AT days.
jaywin: That's used under Windows though.
This was 1981. Windows did not exist. DOS ruled. The dreadful first release of the Windows operating environment (i.e., a type of DOS application) came along just before 1986, and it did not become truly usable and widely popular until v 3.1 in 1992 - 11 years after the standard IBM keyboard was first manufactured.
Fixing where the problem ain't
The reason the number of volunteer editors is dwindling has nothing at all to do with the editing system and everything to do with the bureaucratic nightmare pricktards from hell who relentlessly harass good-faith editors with real and valuable knowledge to contribute; harass them until they just give it up and go elsewhere to work on some other cooperative project where their co-workers actually *cooperate* on the task rather than maniacally defend their own petty power trips.
And yes, I made thousands of contributions there, but that was many years ago and like so many others I won't ever go back unless they deal with the real problem instead of being so absurdly blind to it that they invest thousands of expensive man hours in a technological "cure" for completely the wrong disease.
Get a clue, Wikipedia administrators: it's not the technology. It is you.
Re: Why bash IE? This would be a non-issue if you configured your browser proper.
You can go on denying IE's long and unglorious history of massive problems till the Arctic has finished melting - and you probably will - but the brutal reality is that IE has more problems and it has bigger ones.
Is it possible to reduce IE's high risk factor by reconfiguring it in various expert ways? Of course it is, exactly as it is possible to drive a grossly unroadworthy car with extra care and (mostly) avoid bad accidents. But practically no-one out there in the real world has the ability or the knowledge or the time or the motivation to perform those tweaks of yours. With real-world people, the most you can hope for is that if you nag them often enough they might eventually learn to say "yes" to basic stuff like browser and Flash Player auto-updates and "no" to other stuff unless they know what it is and avoid replying to mail from that nice general chap in Nigeria or opening zip files attached to the warning from the FBI.
It is not "childish" to criticise the worst, least secure browser on the planet. It is downright stupid to defend it despite the overwhelming mountain of hard evidence showing that it is by far the worst mainstream browser product. Further, it is grossly irresponsible to encourage your users to browse with it when there are at least four well-known, well-supported, demonstrably safer products readily available.
I simply do not understand why *anyone* still uses this known, proven, demonstrated, abundantly documented horrorshow of a browser. Sorry, I simply don't get it. Given that we have Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Seamonkey, and various better than half-decent others, and that each and every one of these named alternatives is demonstrably superior in nearly all respects - never mind the constant security nightmares that they *don't* have - what possible rational reason could one advance for using Internet Explorer at all? It seems to be beyond all explanation.
Why would anyone even want to think about downloading this one after the way they comprehensively borked the desktop Opera? What would give you any confidence that they had even a small clue about browsers when they just abandoned the best, most flexible browser UI ever invented and replaced it with a nasty second-rate clone of Chrome?
Re: This could be the best thing MS has done all year
Tim 11 says "If the combination of MS and Nokia can produce the kind of handsets and tablets that enterprises want and have them seamlessly integrated with windows apps, domains, group policy, and that kind of stuff ....". It's an interesting view. The trouble with it is that Microsoft just went to a vast amount of trouble and expense to right royally bork the enterprise desktop by sticking it with the slow motion trainwreck sometimes called "Windows 8" but mostly called things I can't repeat here,
And - here comes the key point - and the whole driving force behind this suicidally wrong-headed bet-the-company product is the Microsoft *phone* people. Yes, that's right, the very same people who are going to "seamlessly integrate" the phone with all the long-established enterprise infrastructure. Yes, you know the stuff I mean., the useful practical stuff all of us here use every day and get at from the old desktop ('coz Metro is too dumb have hooks into any of the techo stuff) or even from the command line ('coz the MS development schedule is schizophrenic and stuff gets neglected for years at a time, so you just do what works).
Why would we think that the team and the mindset which just produced the worst Windows business interface ever made (yes, worse than ME or Vista) could suddenly turn around and start kicking goals on the enterprise integration front?
Making all this even less likely, the Windows that runs on phones and tablets does NOT run Windows software. It only runs toy software from the Metro store, and even that has to be specially recompiled to run on a phone or a slab instead of an X86 computer.
But thumbs up for Tim 11 just the same, 'coz he wrote "Compared to recent MS screw-ups, this one looks eminently sensible for both organizations". Just so. Nokia was on the way out anyway - that particular war was lost when they got into bed with Microsoft instead of going Android - so no harm done, and at least the shareholders get to salvage some value. And as for Microsoft, they've just wasted some tens of billions. So what? It's only money and they have plenty of money. Compared to what they did with Vista and the Office UI and especially the Windows 8 debacle, this is barely a flesh wound.
Why would anyone want someone with this appalling record? Putting Sinofsky in charge of a product that the public is supposed to like and actually *want* to buy ... well, it would be like redecorating your art gallery with a bottle of petrol and a match.
Insurance loss anybody?
Opera <> Chrome <> Opera
Steven Roper says: "Interesting that Safari and Opera have such high error rates while Chrome is so low, considering that all three use the Webkit engine as their foundation (ISTR Opera switched to Webkit a while back didn't they?)"
No. Opera is planning to switch to Webkit, but Opera 12.x is still based on Presto. There are no plans to update Presto any further and they presumably stopped work on it quite some time ago.
There *is* a thing called 'Opera 15.x", and that's what you get if you go to the Opera website and just click "download" today, but no-one uses it, for the very good reason that it is absolutely woefully bad in nearly all respects. It is NOT Opera. It is not even *close* to being Opera. It is just a very poor quality copy of Chrome with almost none of the design elegance or powerful user features Opera is famous for.
Needless to add, Opera users are horrified and are either refusing to move off real Opera (i.e., the 12.x branch) or else jumping ship to SeaMonkey or Firefox. Even real Chrome (the airline chicken of browsers) is markedly superior to the ugly and crippled Opera 15.x. Opera says that they will improve the 15.x version, but the reality is that it is nowhere near ready for prime time and should be regarded as an early Alpha.
PS: what is this instability nonsense anyway? At this moment I have:
* 52 Opera tabs open (not many by my standards, I often have more than 100);
* 4 Firefox tabs; 40 SeaMonkey tabs (this has usually been about the practical limit for SeaMonkey or Firefox (which share a lot of code); they seem better lately, doubtless because of the same improvements mentioned in the article);
* and just the one Chrome tab. Large numbers of tabs quickly become unmanageable with Chrome and the Chrome derivatives because Chrome lacks a single tab close button option and there isn't screen space for the labels. For this and other reasons, Chrome seems not to be much employed by power users and its stability numbers probably benefit from having more "granny users" who don't stress it much. A similar comment applies to Internet Explorer - but on the other hand, IE users tend to be the ones with 17 toolbars and 32 other promiscuous add-ons, which is a huge handicap. Perhaps the dramatic improvement in IE stability numbers has a lot to do with the vastly improved interface for managing add-ons in the newer versions of IE .
There are two scary things here:
1: The number of fools who think that "Google isn't Microsoft, therefore Google can't be evil" is valid logic.
2: The even greater number of fools who *still* don't get it: it does not matter which company has you by the short and curlies and has you locked into its closed ecosystem. Every company with user lock-in or monopoly power turns evil even if its starts out good. Lord Acton was right: power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The particular company does not matter! Only the fact of the monopoly or the lock-in matters.
So wise up. It is vital that we have competitors to Google and Apple in tablet space, even if one of them is Microsoft. We *know* what happens when one company gains an overwhelming market share. Wasn't anybody watching while Microsoft borked the whole PC market for two whole decades? Simply, to misquote Santayana, those who cannot learn from the past condemn themselves to repeating it, which is fine. Why should I care? Alas, these same tools will condemn you and me to repeating it too.
I have an idea
I have an idea which is better than Paypal. How about we all get together and agree on a set of generalised value tokens with pre-specified numerical worth. A central accounting system (which would be provided by organisations such as banks and employers) would issue every citizen with a negotiated number of tokens on a regular basis. To pay, simply hand the shopkeeper an appropriate number of tokens. With modern technology, these could be quite hard to forge and yet still be cheap to produce and easy to carry. You could even have different coloured user-friendly tokens to represent a convenient range of generalised values, although I admit that some backward parts of the developed world would need to upgrade their visual recognition systems to permit this.
At present I call this project the "marketable open numismatic-enabled yield" system but I want the community to help here with a better name as the present acronym, "money" probably won't catch on.
The hard bit
The hard bit with rare earths isn't finding them (they ain't all that rare) and it isn't digging them up (routine stuff); the hard bit is refining the raw material into useful, salable concentrate. The process chemistry is challenging, the plant expensive, the environmental effects nasty if you don't get the first two right.
The Chinese have most of the rare earth market because they spent the money on plant (never mind the side-effects), and historically they haven't cared about their environmental disasters so long as a profit was to be found for someone. It seems that this is starting to change now.
Not at all. Perfectly honest vote in every respect.
Wow! A real phone again after all these years of EasyScratch (tm) toys. I want one.
What to do? Just close the browser.
Re: Too bad
Shane Sturrock says "The classic Windows UI on a tablet has been available for over a decade and people weren't buying it."
Sure. And this is different to the Surface & Metro UI exactly how?
A quick PS. there is no tax included in that 59.5% price gouge I just mentioned. The entire sum - 159.5% of the actual $US199 price - goes directly to Adobe. No Australian GST or other tax is payable. Adobe keep the lot.
A cheap trick that will fool no-one
Window dressing designed to obscure the obscene just-cause-you-live-in-Australia price gouge. For example, Americans can download Photoshop CS6 Upgrade for $US199 ( $AU193). But to download the EXACT SAME product from the EXACT SAME server in the USA, paying in EXACTLY THE SAME way (valid credit card, in the USA, in US dollars if desired) Adobe gouge Australians $US317.41 ($AU307).
That is a 59.5% price gouge with no valid excuse whatever.
Time we slung some Adobe executives in the slammer and left them there until they stopped this robbery.
From the artticle: " XP was the first mainstream desktop OS Microsoft built on the Windows NT kernel ..... We're not willing to classify Windows NT Workstation as a mainstream desktop OS." - and (apparently) we have never heard of Windows 2000.
Sorry, you can't start an article with a gross error like this and expect to be taken seriously, particularly not when your footnote makes it clear that the cause of the error is ignorance, not just a slip of the brain.
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