* Posts by h4rm0ny

4539 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

Top admen beg Microsoft to switch off 'Do Not Track' in IE 10

h4rm0ny
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Re: And lets not forget where its coming from...

Linux was the best thing that ever happened to Windows making them rush out Vista in a panic and then get it right with Win7, and Apple are the best thing that ever happened to Windows Mobile. Everyone who uses modern Windows or a Windows Phone device, owes a little debt of gratitude to Linux and Apple, for giving MS the fright of its life.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: @Christoph

"The only real report I know of was from the Apache programmer who apparently was so upset with this default setting that he threatened to implement a routine in the Apache server to ignore the setting whenever it was coming from MSIE10. Talk about professionalism..."

Heh. That "Apache programmer" happens to be Roy Fielding, employee of Adobe who didn't threaten to implement a routine. He actually submitted a patch that ignored DNT for IE10 users right before a major version release in the early hours of the morning without consultation or approval from anyone else. He's a member of the DNT working group so not exactly a disinterested party. Caused quite a storm of protest amongst other Apache developers, not least of which because his change alters things below the Application layer which, even if you do feel it is right to disregard headers from IE10, is the wrong place to do it as the application layer essentially gets lied to about the HTTP request. A patch was quickly submitted to revert it with a change log reason of (iirc), "don't bring politics into the codebase" or very like.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Available for other browsers too.

"There's an addon for Chrome to do it, and Google would surely have more to lose than most."

Yes. That's why to do it in Chrome, you have to go and install a separate addon. And in Firefox (Mozilla get a lot of funding from Google), you have to go via an Options->Options->Privacy->Tracking (it's off by default). Whereas in IE10, it's presented during install and you are asked to set a value (suggested is On).

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h4rm0ny
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Re: analytics?

I don't mind your site knowing I'm a visitor from the UK or that I'm using Opera. I don't really even mind your site knowing that I'm the same person who visited last week. But I do mind that all the information is passed to Google so that they can compile it against every other site and profile me. There's a reason that Google Analytics is free for you to use on your site - it's because Google are getting my online history for it.

Whilst I respect the use of ads on sites, and I respect that knowing more about your visitors helps sell those ads for a better value, where does it end? Google Analytics has taken over everything. If you block it, about a third or more of the Internet will simply stop working for you as pages simply refuse to load with a response from Google. That's a bad thing.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: For once

"I think MS are doing the right thing and putting their customers first. Or maybe this is a scheme to make it harder for google to target ads to people and thus help keep google's share price below their own."

It's both. Beating their rivals by doing the right thing! It's every company's dream opportunity.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: It's a good default

"But MS could backtrack slightly by asking users when they first launch the browser whether they want it on or off and recommend it's set to on. Then nobody has cause to complain, unless they think users should be kept ignorant so that it's turned off."

That's exactly what happens. You install IE10 or turn on Win8 for the first time and you get a page of config options with an explanation and suggested values. DNT is one of them. But how many people are going to say: "yes please, I'd like to be tracked."

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Yeah, there's pretty much no way to spin the admen's position

"But its an optional standard. It likely at least some of the admen were going to ignore it anyway, but now they all will. it wont Stop a thing!"

The purpose of the optional standard was a token gesture to shelter them from privacy laws. They would say: "look, it's okay that we tracked all these people because they have the freedom to tell us not to." Never mind that they know full well how difficult that is for many people. Of course you might argue that it could be made easy for people or a browser provider could help people choose. Like... Microsoft. ;)

Besides, there's some misinformation going on around here. IE10 doesn't have DNT set to on by default. It presents a screen full of options when you install IE or Win8 which has DNT presented as one of the options and a clear message that you're choosing these settings and asks you to confirm if these are the settings you would like. It's not like Firefox where the setting has a true default and it's not presented to you on install. The user is actually presented with a choice about DNT on install. It's just that 99% of users will elect to go with the suggested setting of having DNT turned on.

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h4rm0ny
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You say this is useless without regulation. If we don't build such a system, then it cannot be regulated and lawmakers will have circles run around them by the advertising agencies.

As to your comment about people being too thick to prevent tracking themselves, that's akin to saying people who aren't tough enough to defend themselves don't deserve protection from assault. The aim is to protect anyone who wants protection, not to selfishly say: "I know how to install various blockers, so everyone else can just do without protection against tracking." If you go to the trouble of blocking it yourself, then you must think it's got a negative to attached to it. So why shouldn't other people be protected from that negative?

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h4rm0ny
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The advertising industry surived decades without knowing everything about us...

...they can survive again.

If we're only given this option on the grounds that we do not use, that's no option. If we accept it on the grounds that a handful of technically knowledgable people will use it whilst we let all our friends and family and everyone else be monitored, then that's rather selfish of us.

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Paul Allen: Windows 8 'promising' yet 'puzzling'

h4rm0ny
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Re: IE Bookmarks and Desktop Links.....

"However the fact you just said if you open from the desktop it opens in the desktop apps, suggest more complexity than is needed for the average user."

If I open IE on the Desktop, I expect it to open in the Desktop. It would be far more confusing for "the average user" if it didn't. And as I sometimes need to use a browser on the Desktop in conjunction with other programs on the desktop, then there is reason to keep it.

As it's clear from your post you aren't using Windows 8 yourself, why are you arguing about how something works with someone who is plainly talking from direct experience?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: An honest question

"This is not a troll, a wind up or sarcasm, but why do people put up with this?"

Because what for you is something you have to "put up with" is for another person, a good new feature. Your post talks about having to re-learn things, but it took me about half an hour to figure out how to work Windows 8 and after the first week, I was doing things faster with it than I could on Windows 7. Basically, you've started with an assumption - that the difference between you and other people is that you don't put up with something and they do. That assumption is only an assumption. For many of us, we don't find it onerous to spend a very short time familiarizing ourselves with the new OS and we actually like it. Assuming that you question is honest as you say, and not trolling or sarcasm, that's my honest answer.

As to your comment about it being easier to learn something because you're "in the trade", that's true. But I'd say several things about Win8 make it easier for the non-technical to use. Flat, non-hierarchical Start menu that shuffles a lot of the more obscure stuff off into an Expanded section, commonly adjust settings being accessible outside of Control Panel and obscure icons. All good stuff. Now when I'm explaining to someone over the phone how to get their network working, I don't have to say: "see the little computer and cable icon in the bottom right, it will look like a little monitor with a cable on the left. It might be next to a little flag. Yes, click on that. No Right Click. Select Open Network and Sharing Centre..." etc. I can just say "Open the Charms menu and tap Settings. Tap Network down the bottom. What networks do you see? Good tap that one." It's objectively simpler.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Having read comments on El Reg for the past couple of months...

"Apparently you've repeatedly completely missed the point made by every even semi-sane and semi-rational person I know that's actually tried Windows 8 (and even Paul Allen apparently!)... IT HAS NEEDLESSLY AND ILLOGICALY AND HIDDEN IMPORTANT CONTROLS AWAY."

I like the No True Scotsman hiding in the above. Anyone who has tried Win8 and doesn't agree with you, is not even semi-sane or semi-rational. The difference between your post and mine is that I will back my opinion up with objective facts. For example, you get rather excitable about how "important controls" have been "hidden away." Pretty much any control that a normal user will need at all frequently, is quickly accessible by the Charms menu at the right hand side of the screen. Once you know it's there (and it's pretty easy to discover even if you didn't know about it, which you must do), you can manage network connections, displays, volume, syncing, updates, connected devices and a tonne of other things via this menu - usually just requiring two or three clicks to get what you want. And Control Panel is still there. Hit the Windows key, type 'co' and you're in Control Panel. I honestly have trouble believing that you would have trouble getting into that. The only thing I've found that takes longer is connecting or disconnecting to a VPN manually.

Honest question - what are you having trouble finding? Maybe I can help.

"This is entirely different from waving your mouse around like Sooty's wand, hoping for magic to happen!"

You can learn where the different menus and controls are in five minutes - your screen only has four corners and four edges! My jokes in my last post about people being intellectually sub-normal, I actually was joking. You can't seriously expect me to believe that you're having trouble learning the handful of ways to bring these menus up or having trouble navigating through them?

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h4rm0ny
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Having read comments on El Reg for the past couple of months...

...it has become increasingly apparent that I am a super-genius. I was not aware of this previously, but since the release of Windows 8 and the difficulties many El Reg posters are having with a Start Screen instead of a Start Menu, with moving the mouse cursor to the lower left when there is no longer a Start button there or how much disorientation is caused to them by having larger program icons with information in them, rather than a small menu item, it has become obvious to me that I must be an exceptionally gifted human being. Not only this, but reports are coming in that children who have been given it to play around with by their parents are able to quickly learn how to find and launch programs the programs that they want. I wonder perhaps if we are seeing a new dawn of human brilliance, some mutant gene now expressing itself.

The alternate view would be that many posters on the Reg are intellectually sub-normal in finding these changes difficult to work with or holding them up, or that they are seeking ways to criticize due to some a priori grudge against Microsoft. But as open-minded and IT literate people, I am quite utterly certain that this is not the case. So I count myself blessed that I was granted these intellectual abilities.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: IE Bookmarks and Desktop Links.....

As I have been using Windows 8 for sometime now, I can confirm that whatever Paul Allen says in the article, it does work the way blackjesus says.

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Liquefied-air silos touted as enormo green 'leccy batteries

h4rm0ny
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Re: Penny wise, pound foolish.

"A storage mechanism to store excess generation until its needed is equally useful for nuclear."

No it isn't. A nuclear power station can provide a steady level of output and can be ramped up or down to adjust for changes in demand. A means to store excess power is therefore of only marginal use for nuclear because mostly it wont be generating excess. As the storage and retrieval process of power has inefficiencies, it is intrinsically worse than just getting the right amount of power output in the first place. Wind power cannot produce a steady level of output and only ever produces the right amount of power needed as one moment of intersection on the graph as it slides lower or higher that what is actually desired. Therefore a means to store excess generation of power is highly useful for Wind Power. Ergo, the mechanism is not equally useful for nuclear as it is for wind power (and other renewables to a greater or lesser extent). For nuclear, it is of marginal value (I don't say no value).

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Rapper rips up Microsoft's Atlanta store during performance

h4rm0ny
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Facepalm

Re: FAIL == Microsoft

Not a Microsoft event. See article.

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Microsoft releases JavaScript alternative

h4rm0ny
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Re: They just killed .NET for Windows 8, why this now?

.NET is still supported in Windows 8. And what's with the Linux logo when you're complaining about a (supposed) lack of .NET?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: They just killed .NET for Windows 8, why this now?

"says "Look we need to be more innovative. Make me something like that.""

Feature for feature, TypeScript knocks CoffeeScript all over the place. Dart I'm not very familiar with but that's a very different principle. With TypeScript you have instant compatability with any browser that does Javascript.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Can't watch the video

"Possibly because, as I said, MS have made a video which I can't watch."

It's also explained in the article and on the linked site, though yes, it would be nice if they hadn't used Silverlight. (Though I'm curious what platform you're on that can't view Silverlight if you want to. It's available for Macs and Moonlight makes it available on Linux, I think).

"In this respect it is like CoffeeScript: you can't just ship it to the browser. Though I assume we can expect to release a version of IE that does support TypeScript and benefits from the kind of compiler optimisations that LLVM can't provide"

Why do you assume that? Remeber that for compatability across browsers, you will only be shipping the Javascript normally, so IE wont have access to the TypeScript source anyway. Though anything IE does in terms of optimizing, other browser makers can equally do. There's nothing to stop Opera or Chrome or Firefox from having optimizations for compiled TypeScript. Nor even writing a parser for TalkScript directly if they wanted to.

"I was suggesting the other way round: JS is being actively developed and, therefore, open to suggestions"

I think that MS do make suggestions and contributions to the JS Working group. They're an active member if I recall correctly. But adding strong typing, class inheritance and futher features onto Javascript is a lot more than a suggestion. It's requesting a re-write of the language into something else. And that would be a real pain for Browser writers everywhere. This way, you have instant compatability with all browsers and past browsers too.

"It looks like Microsoft has come up with another niche language for its developer eco-system"

If you re-evaluate this in light of what I've written above, I think you'll see that this is actually a powerful tool for producing Javascript-based web-applications. It's fully compatible with all current browsers and more far powerful that CoffeeScript, so why should it be niche?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: What...

"And that's the big "if"..."

I don't think it's a big 'if'. Maybe time will prove me wrong but there are two components to that 'if'. Technical ability and good will. For the technical requirements, MS already manage vastly more complicated projects fine. The TalkScript to Javascript compiler is far, far less complicated than even just a VB compiler. And you get bugs in compiled code, but it's very rare that they're due to the compiler rather than the programmer. So that leaves good will. The advantage with the latter is that this has been released free and open. MS can be kept honest by the fact that others can implement it as well. As was pointed out elsewhere, there's nothing to stop Eclipse making a TypeScript plugin for their IDE for example. So we have a solid insurance policy. If MS want this to be successful, and they surely do, then they want it to work well in all browsers otherwise it will hurt uptake.

Time could prove me wrong, but there are strong arguments that we should be safe on this. IMO.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: What...

"Utter tosh. You can develop class based JS applications perfectly fine in JS right now, no external tools required."

No, I don't think you can. Everything in Javascript is an object, but that doesn't mean you can develop class based code in pure Javascript. Scope? Inheritance? There's no Class keyword in Javascript. Creating a function and pretending it is a class is not a substitute. You're wrong to say "utter tosh". Trying to say that Javascript supports OOAD / Class-based applications is rubbish. There are some very loose, partial work-arounds that were never intended by the designers and which omit fundamental elements of class based design.

"I definitely will not want ever to debug javascript issues emanating from auto generated code."

And yet you say that you daily develop in C++ and Python. Do you not also reject these because you don't want to have to debug the intermediary C code that both generate during compile? Same principle and assuming that TypeScript does what it says (and it's a lot simpler than a C++ or Python compiler), then the same in practice, too.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Can't watch the video

"Javascript has lots of problems but why didn't MS make the suggestions to the JS working group? As it is they have suggested something that, like Dart, requires an additional runtime in the browser or, like CoffeeScript, a pre-compile to JS."

You've misunderstood how this works. This isn't like Dart, and it's not really like CoffeeScript which is "syntactic sugar". This actually compiles to Javascript. There's no reason to seek suggestions from the JS working group because this doesn't change anything in Javascript. It happens above that layer with standard Javascript coming out the other end.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: because JavaScript was never intended for the roles it has found itself serving today

I was hoping Python would be come the de facto standard for web programming, but all we got was coffeescript. (I haven't looked at Dart so can't comment on that.)

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Successful as Silverwotsit

"which is made mostly redundant by HTML5."

Well it would be if HTML5 spec actually supported DRM or streaming. There is a W3C draft for streaming, but it's a mess. MS's open standard alternative that they submitted a month or so back is better. Still the DRM issue, though.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: They just killed .NET for Windows 8, why this now?

"Because they just released VS2012, and it's as stupid as shit to look at as Metro was, and this toolkit only works on 2012."

You don't have to use VS2012 to write this. It's just nice to do so. You can download a commandline TypeScript compiler. It's already right there on the Download page for TypeScript. You didn't even bother to check before you posted the above misinformation. And it's open and free so there's no reason at all that an IDE based on TypeScript can't be built for Eclipse or anything else.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: What...

"Getting javascript code that has been written by a machine to work correctly across all major browsers is going to be a pain in the arse that repeats every time you change the original 'TypeScript' and recompile."

I disagree. If I have to pay attention to differences between browsers, I'm going to forget something or miss something. If I can let Microsoft take care or a translation system that will take care of any differences itself, and this system is in use by millions of people so that any problems or errors are found and fixed very quickly, it's going to be far less of a hassle to me as a programmer.

"Besides which, we all know javascript by now. It's not that hard to write unobtrusive, elegant JS, so why stick an obfuscation layer in between?"

If you don't see how much easier it can be to develop large web-based applications with actual classes, structures, being able to develop an IDE (as MS have) which respects variable types even though Javascript does not and other features, then you've probably never worked with more serious languages such as Java, C++, Python, etc. Bringing *some* of the power of that to Javascript, definitely makes things much easier. There's no question about that.

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Windows 8 early-bird users still love Windows 7 more - poll

h4rm0ny
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"It replaces a relatively compact menu arranged in hierarchical way with useful shortcuts and recently user apps list with an entire screen that arranges enormous tiles in a linear horizontal swathe which could span several yards."

On my laptop, the default number of programs that fit on the initial Start Screen is twenty (I can get more in by not using double-width tiles if I choose). On my 24" Desktop monitor, the default is 50 tiles and around a third of them could be reduced to single-width version to free up more space if desired. That's a lot of programs. I counted up how many different programs I use in a month, and it came to twenty. And I'm pretty much a power user. A flat menu is therefore objectively faster for me (and anyone who uses less than me which will be most), than a hierarchical menu.

Additonally, I'm more used to just hitting the Windows key and typing the first couple of letters of the program that I want to launch in either system and Windows 8 is actually faster in this regard than the Start menu so it's a win-win.

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h4rm0ny
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"As for the mode of working: I like overlapping windows. Anything that insists that I should only be able to see one app at a time doesn't have a clue about the sort of work I do. I wonder what the city dealing rooms will do (four or more monitors per workstation, ALL displaying multiple windows from multipe apps)?"

With respect, you obviously haven't used Windows 8. It actually has better multi-monitor support than Windows 7 and you can have lots of overlapping windows. The Desktop is still there. Only the launching of programs is necessarily different.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Fast boot isn't everything...

"That said, that Easy Install is a key plus is odd, this is a one-time action that probably 95% of users will never see... :-S"

This might be explained by the source of the survey. The site is heavily visited by people in support. They probably have to install and re-install Windows many times over what you or I do. Plus Windows 8 has a kind of built-in restore to clean install feature, like on a phone where you can just restore it to factory defaults. They might be thinking about that as it's a big time saver if you do have to re-install Windows.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: That's gotta hurt

Not only is it fashionable to trash the latest version, it's worth keeping a close eye on these actual statistics. According to the results in this report, only 26% of respondents replied that they had previously used Windows 8. That's a bit of a weird result and suggests that only around a quarter of respondents actually have significant experience actually using Windows 8 day to day.

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Microsoft's Bing bods exploit fanbois' Apple maps misery

h4rm0ny
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Re: Bing allowed on Apple Appstore?

"They're not obliged to do any such thing. They have every right to simply say 'No' to Google without any justification whatsoever, if they choose to do so. And until someone takes Apple to court, they will retain that right."

Yes, they are obliged. Having allowed MS to produce a third-party map app for iOS6, if they try to block Google from doing so there will be two very negative consequences for Apple. Firstly, there will be an immediate and very large PR blow to Apple. Secondly, after a short period of time, a lawsuit would head their way from Google and that lawsuit would be justified. Either one alone obliges them to allow a Map App from Google onto iOS6.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Oh Dear - It's Crap

What is your postcode? I have never seen this when I use Bing Maps for any post code.

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h4rm0ny
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h4rm0ny
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Re: Bing allowed on Apple Appstore?

"Your ability to read tenses seems to be.. somewhat flawed. Still, your ability to mewl pettishly while failing is second only to Orlowski's :)"

I can read the tenses fine. I pointed out two things - that what was being talked about had never happened, and therefore talk that it would happen in the future was (without evidence) supposition. I don't know why you think I can't read tenses, but perhaps you saw me saying that something had never happened and didn't understand that I was saying if it had never happened, then what was the evidence that it would happen? Indeed, as MS have been allowed to produce a mapping app for iOS6, Apple are obliged to allow Google to also do so.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Bing allowed on Apple Appstore?

"No it isn't, if you haven't been living under a rock for the last month or so. All grounded quite nicely. Thank you for playing."

As far as I am aware, Google has not released a maps app for iOS6 and Apple have not blocked it. So I am correct in what I say unless I am misinformed on either of these.

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Intel: Behold the TABLETS of our partners, proof of Win8's MIGHT

h4rm0ny
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Re: But the BIG question remains...

"Now that would be funny, running full blown mac os on an MS tablet..."

Why not? People run Windows on Macs.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Win8 Most undesirble Chrimbo Present competition winner 2012. win8FAIL

"What do you mean by "I use Linux daily"? Did you use it in the same sense as in "5 years ago I was using OS/2 every time I withdrew cash from credit card via ATM"? Do you understand that Microsoft went out their way to reach and kill OS/2 even on ATMs? Do you want the same fate for tablets?"

When I wrote I use Linux daily, I meant that I work professionally as a programmer and DBA and technical manager and at least five days of the week, I use a Linux system (Debian) as my development platform. My home network is also run by a Debian server and I use multiple Linux installs for client's servers (nearly all CentOS). Up until Windows 7 came out, I almost exclusively used Debian Linux with KDE as my main desktop environment with an XP machine tucked away for the occasional time I needed to do web development and wanted to test something in IE. I swapped to a dual boot after Windows 7 came out and now I actually have Win8 pre-release as my default and just run Debian in a VM.

I don't think whatever MS do, that either Macs or Android or Linux are going away, so I'm not worried about MS's re-entry into the tablet market.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: BBC reporting that Android Apps will run on AMD Win8 devices

Oh I agree with you. But don't dismiss the significance of people being able to bring all their Android apps onto their PC or Win8 tablet. That's a bit of a blinder by AMD, imo.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Win8 Most undesirble Chrimbo Present competition winner 2012. win8FAIL

"@H4mony, That scenario is rather unlikely. Accountants in grey suits ask for windows, not kids. Kids do have choice, iPad, various Android flavours, kindle, nook, et cetera. Having MS barge in, that's not so good, if they could manage it. They KILLED choice on netbooks by bullying OEMs not to install Linux. Now no one buys any netbooks any more. MS are ANTI choice."

Leaving aside the easily refuted notion that anyone who prefers Windows is an accountant and wears a grey suit (I do neither), the logic that if you removed MS there would be more choice for purchasers is perverse.

I don't see any reason why a kid would not want a Win8 tablet over an iPad. I already listed a few advantages. I suspect a No True Scotsman argument heading my way in which any "kid" that wants a Win8 tablet is dismissed from the argument for one reason or another. As you've actually broadened the discussion to Windows generally, I think it's trivially disproved that vast numbers of kids do not want a Windows machine in front of them instead of a Linux or Mac. I know that if you marched into homes across the land and stuck Ubuntu on children's computers over their Windows installs, they would not react by saying "I prefer this" on the whole. And that's no sleight to Linux - I use it daily - it's just pointing out the absurd absolutes of your position.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: BBC reporting that Android Apps will run on AMD Win8 devices

Wow! That's big news and a major win for AMD. Not sure MS will be very happy as it's a mixed blessing, but if this is accurate and it looks like it... Wow! Win8 comes out with a massive catalogue of Android Apps already for it. MS will be annoyed to see Win8 sullied by software that isn't really optimized for it. And Google will probably be horrified. But for existing users and developers... wow!

Also, that article's photo is fantastic! :D

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Win8 Most undesirble Chrimbo Present competition winner 2012. win8FAIL

You missed off the scenario where Little Gemma asks for a Win8 device and Mum accidentally gets her an iPad. Just as likely to lead to "unhappy kids". Picture little Timmy there trying to jam a USB drive into the side of his iPad, or tiny Gemma staring forlornly at her pile of SD cards or searching from side to side for the MS Office icon.

Your post has made me feel very sad. Let's hope all kids get their CHOICE this Christmas and aren't told what to like. All devices have plusses and minuses.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Battery life

"What isn't clear to me is what the plan is for x86 software that is built using their new "Windows Runtime" API - whether that must be distributed via Windows, or if that's only for the full-screen "Metro" applications, or not required at all. Anyone got a ref?"

I don't know the full answer to that, but if it is the case, then for "distributed via Windows" you can definitely read "distributed via MS, or your company or via your developer key". It doesn't change your question (and the developer scenario is irrelevant), but I think it's worth flagging up because so many here seem to take one sentence and run with it and if you write "must be distributed via Windows", some people will think enterprise users can't deploy their own in-house software without going via MS.

I too would be interested in the answer to your question.

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WTF is... NFC

h4rm0ny
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Re: It's not too bad

But in your example it seems that it is slower because of inexperience or immature technology, and both of these will change. The speed difference is never more clearly shown than on a bus when people just walk on and slide their card against a scanner without pausing, vs, someone stopping to pay in change and counting it out.

Personally I'm fine with NFC payments on two conditions. One - I can still use cash when I don't want to leave a data trail and two - I can use a credit card system rather than direct account deduction. I want to set limits on these things just the same way I only want to carry twenty quid around instead of two-thousand quid.

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Tibetan STATUE found by 1930s NAZI expedition is of ALIEN ORIGIN

h4rm0ny
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Re: The Kaaba has a big one

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the second part of the Pandorica two-parter should take place in Mecca. It was one of the first things that I thought of.

(Note, really - it's what it reminded me of).

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AI game bot HUNTS DOWN ENEMIES, passes Turing Test

h4rm0ny
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Re: Is it a bad sign ...

You have no idea just how lethal a robot killing machine could be. Seriously. There's a mosquito killing device built by a private company (Intellectual Ventures, I have no affiliation) that simply targets them with a camera and zaps them dead with a laser right out of the air. And it does it fast as well. Really fast. You can just turn it on and the poor things just start falling out of the air. It can even tell the difference between types of insect. Now imagine the precision applied to a robot. It could either swap the laser for a gun (imagine something equivalent to a skilled sniper with a powerful rifle that can target and shoot in less than a second and keep doing this every second for as long as you like) or it could keep the laser and just be taught to shoot at people's eyes (contravening international agreements, but the USA and Israel are no strangers to that).

Yes - you'd better invest more in your Robot Apocalypse bunker. The technology on this sort of thing is now pretty much here. It just hasn't really been made cost-effective / reliable enough for the militaries yet. But it will be.

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Google spikes old MS file formats

h4rm0ny
Silver badge

Re: Download =/= upload

"No it doesn't make sense. Anyone who sends their CV in anything other than doc format doesn't really want it to be read."

I send my resumé in PDF format. I usually say 'other formats available on request' in the accompanying email, but everyone seems happy with PDF so far.

Admittedly I export the PDF from a Word document normally (used to use Scribus), but that's not the point.

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Windows 8 and you – So, what's next?

h4rm0ny
Silver badge

Re: Doomed to repeat it...

"All I want is an XP GUI, an OS that isn't so blindingly stupid that it can't remember where program windows were when they were last closed, and as for bells and whistles, how about having every old version of Windows emulated, so I can play "Day of the Viper" by Accolade, and my old Origin titles again."

Then grab GNU/Linux with a KDE desktop and install Wine.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: .NET debacle history lesson .NETFAIL

"BTW, to address a (reasonable) objection, I used the word "skilz" in an ironic, humorous fashion, as Windows developers do not have real "skills" in the industry strength computer science sense. ;-)"

I started out programming on HP UNIX 11 over fifteen years ago and have been mostly working as a programmer since (three years as a manager, before wanting to go back to programming). And even I think it's hugely insulting and snobbish to pretend that because someone programs on Windows that they do not have any real skills in computer science. I have seen bad Windows programmers. I have seen bad UNIX programmers. I have seen work done in C on UNIX that is an absolute obscenity of design and performance analysis. Picking up a C compiler does not make you a talented programmer and opening up Visual Studio does not make you a bad one. Your attitude tells me a lot about how I should evaluate your opinion.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

"However, due to it's single-task non-windowed model, it's completely useless at more complex work such as writing an email whilst browsing whilst quoting from a document whilst running a web app whilst checking on other emails, etc. You know, the normal day-to-day business things that people juggle around. Compare that with OSX/Windows where multi-tasking is standard"

You can easily have two ModernUI apps running side by side and you can switch between all your running apps very easily and they just appear. Whilst there's a use case for wanting to reference more than one window at a time (typing a document whilst reading from a web-page and another document simultaneously), that's certainly a much less common need and even on a regular laptop monitor, three adjacent windows is becoming pretty awkward and you'd probably end up tabbing between them just like with WinRT anyway.

"The key challenge is that running "Windows" on a tablet, a-la those keyboard/mouseless devices from years ago was an utterly horrible user experience, not least because all the benefits of a iPod-style tablet is missing (zero on time, finger-optimised UI, long battery life, ultra light weight, etc.)."

Win8 has a lot of new features for touch-interfaces. It's very different from the old XP tablets.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Appeal to teenagers, dual screen, low spec machines

"She didn't buy it though, did she? Teenagers aren't a great market for hugely expensive gadgets."

Teenagers are a great market for expensive gadgets. Note the "hugely" was dropped because many of the Win8 devices will not be that expensive. Especially the WinRT ones which, whilst more constrained, will meet a lot of people's needs.

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