* Posts by h4rm0ny

4617 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

Microsoft drives German patent tank into Google's front room


If it really is that elementary, then this patent should be thrown out. How old is this patent? I can imagine twenty years ago, having a virtual keyboard on a touch-screen seemed an amazing idea, but even then it should have been seen as an inevitable progression. By all means copyright your code, but patenting having a virtual keyboard call the same functions as a a real keyboard is just good design (if that's what the patent says).

UK electric car funding - another subsidy for the rich say MPs


Re: Plug in cars ain't green.

"Back on the first hand, I will let you respond by noting that an electric car could (in principle) be running off carbon-free electricity, and it is CO2 we are trying to reduce rather than mere energy consumption."

I'm not entirely convinced about CO2 being the nightmare that many think it is, but for me, one of the big advantages of electric vehicles is that they reduce localized pollution in cities. And that's a very good thing. People forget what clean air actually smells like in a city. Also, they are quieter. A city of electric vehicles rather than internal combustion engines would be a quieter, cleaner and all round nicer place.


Re: Plug in cars ain't green.

"The French have nuclear powered trains? Not directly. Maybe the electricity they use is generated by nuclear power, but that's all."

Yes, that's what they meant and there's no "but that's all" about it. The French trains move because of an energy source that is clean and is cost-effective and is statistically safe. The fact that they don't actually have onboard nuclear reactors is irrelevant.

Senate hears Microsoft and HP avoided billions in US taxes


Re: "But ethically, at least to this El Reg hack, the situation stinks."

"No it doesn't. What stinks is having such a high tax rate that companies will move the revenue elsewhere. If you want the tax then lower your rates."

Which inevitably leads to China or whoever offering lower taxes until all countries have completed in a race to the bottom and no country is charging any company and just being grateful that the company deigns to base its business there.

HTC hawks fresh WinPho smartphones


Re: Death of HTC

"I understand that HTC and Samsung just pocketed the marketing bribe from Microsoft"

That's very interesting. Do you have any other tidbits from the HTC and Samsung board meetings you sit on that you'd like to share with us?


Lumia 710 is definitely lower than that now. I got mine SIM-free and new from Carphone Warehouse for £165. That was earlier this year.


I doubt it's direct copying. Apple pioneered the Colour Vampire style and for the last six or seven years, monochrome has been the way you tell people you're trendy. Now people are bored with that and have recalled it's actually quite nice to have colourful things around you. There's going to be a backlash against this idea that minimalist = simple. Look at the WP7.5 interface. Simple as they come and easy to use, but bright and cheerful with it. It's going to be like the Beatle's Yellow Submarine in the tech world two years from now and Apple are going to have to stick with their "Look at me, I'm Damian Hirst" approach and look seriously dated and over-serious, or go the colour route in which case they'll look like they're copying things. I imagine they will try to forge a new look for their devices that is noticeably different to the bright colours, but not as dull as their existing range. Perhaps they'll go pastel as it's the only way they can leave the minimalism without jumping on the glossy and bright funwagon.

In fact, you heard it here first: my prediciton for Apple future themes are pastel.



Apple has quite a knack for coming in at the right time. There were lots of MP3 players before the iPod, the market was just establishing itself and beginning to take off, then Apple came in with a streamlined one of their own and the world's greatest marketing. Similar for smartphones - the iPhone didn't really bring anything especially new, but it came in as Smartphones were really becoming de rigeur. They can probably afford to wait for Microsoft and Google and Visa to establish NFC as common and do the same again. It's risky as, but I think they know they wont manage to become the standard this time (too many BIG players in NFC with too much interest in keeping things standard), but I'd say they've got a year before lack of NFC really starts hitting sales. It's not much in the public conciousness just yet.

But I could be wrong. Android and Microsoft are ahead of Apple here, so I imagine they'll make people very aware of that, if they can.

New vicious UEFI bootkit vuln found for Windows 8


Re: @h4rm0ny - Severe disconnection between two brain hemispheres

I've gone back and read my original post. I did write "selling keys to Red Hat". Badly put - I should have written signing the keys Red Hat provides for a fee. But it's a bit like when you buy a certificate from Verisign for your website. Technically you're actually creating your own key and you're paying them to acknowledge it. Same thing. Anyway, apologies for any confusion. My point and logic is the same, but please substitute in the above terminology.


Re: @h4rm0ny - Severe disconnection between two brain hemispheres

"You're being largely misinformed here. Microsoft is not selling keys, they are signing boot loaders with their own key so there is still one single key being used, Microsoft key. Please stop spreading incorrect information."

There was no intent to cause any confusion. The signature used to verify a boot loader or OS by UEFI is called a "platform key". The service Microsoft are providing is to sign and include Red Hat's platform keys. So the statement is correct. Red Hat's VP Tim Burke uses the same terminology I do in their press release: Microsoft will provide keys for Windows and Red Hat will provide keys for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora".

There are multiple keys. I wasn't clear in what I wrote, though. Sorry about that - unintentional.


Re: "MS have mandated that Secure Boot can be disabled on any x86 device "

"And what have they (MS) mandated for any non-x86 device (Windows RT or whatever the name is today)? Why the difference?"

Why are you asking questions that have already been answered several times? As you perfectly well know, WinRT devices come with Secure Boot turned on and not configurable by the user (as far as I'm aware). Presumably the difference is because MS want to sell these things as a complete hardware+software solution, like the iPad. It's a shame. Hopefully they will be forced to change this and allow keys from other OS's to be installed.


Re: still vulnerable to the old attacks if the SecureBoot technology is not turned on by default

"and for other OSes whose binaries have been signed by Microsoft."

This part is wrong and the rest of your post follows from it. Red Hat asked MS to provide them a key because MS offered it cheaper than Red Hat could do it themselves. There's no requirement that a key be provided by Microsoft.


Re: We told you so

"I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Microsoft and the UEFI knew about this long ago or even designed it into the software to shut out all other OSs."

You have a demonstrated attack that threatens any installed OS (Ubuntu, Windows, BeOS, anything), a countermeasure released by a specifications foundation made up overwhelmingly by hardware manufacturers which protects against it and which can be (and is) used by multiple OS producers (MS, Red Hat, Ubuntu) and somehow this becomes an attempt by MS and "the UEFI" (what the BIOS replacement running on my motherboard?) to shut out all other OS's?


Re: Obviously this is on purpose

"On the face of it you're correct, except that the BIOS doesn't have to have an off switch. Bit of a bugger then if you get a machine and find you can't turn it off."

You're in luck. Microsoft have required manufacturers to allow a physically present user to turn off Secure Boot on any x86 system. It's part of the specification that has to be met in order to receive a Windows 8 sticker.


You are seemingly unaware that both Red Hat and Ubuntu also use Secure Boot. It's a security feature that is not limited to MS and there's no "holding the entire PC manufacturing industry to ransom". They have mandated that Secure Boot can be disabled on any x86 device thus enabling any OS manufacturer to take advantage of this security feature. Is that what you're angry about?


Re: Severe disconnection between two brain hemispheres

"Why would you pay for an OS that does not trust you ?"

Because malware operates on the principle that the OS cannot tell the difference between "you" telling it something and the malware telling it something. You don't complain about the OS not trusting you if the hash of a downloaded program doesn't match what it's supposed to be, so why are you complaining about the fingerprint of the boot loader not matching what it's supposed to be? Its not any more the OS not trusting you than your virus scanner checking a program you are installing.

"Folks running other OS do not want to disable secure boot but in detailing the specs, Microsoft had no objection to UEFI storing and using one single encryption key (Microsoft's one, of course) so those folks have to disable secure boot if they want to run other OS than the one Microsoft dictates (f.y.i. including older or not authorized versions of Windows)."

Microsoft also had no objection to people storing more than one single encryption key (they are already selling keys to Red Hat for a small fee and Red Hat could do it themselves if they wanted). Besides, what is wrong with turning off the security feature if you don't want it? It's no more difficult than turning off your virus scanner if you don't want it.


Re: Um, no, actually...

"Unfortunately I'm not exactly the best qualified to answer this, but here goes."

Just thinking that puts you ahead of a lot of posters here. ;)

"As I understand it the problem is basically MS hijacking the territory re secure boot, and demanding that OEMs implement UEFI by default, without any obligation to give other OS providers an automatic right to be able to have their own keys for authentication by the UEFI system, i.e. everybody has to go cap in hand to MS.

This is incorrect. You don't have to get a certificate from MS to have a signed boot loader. Indeed, you don't actually need a signed boot loader just because a device is UEFI, only if it's using Secure Boot which is a feature of UEFI that can be turned on or off by the device manufacturer and usually by the user also. (And note, UEFI is not the property of Microsoft. It's the new BIOS). You can get a signature from a number of places or even do it all yourself if you want to. Red Hat bought a certificate for their boot loader from Microsoft because MS had the infrastructure in place and were cheapest. They could have done it themselves but this would have cost them a lot more. They're actually saving themselves money by buying what they need from Microsoft.

"Ubuntu and Redhat have already sorted a deal with MS, but everyone else will have to have UEFI disabled."

Point of clarification: not UEFI disabled, but Secure Boot disabled. Think of it like turning off AHCI in the BIOS, with UEFI being the BIOS. Note, MS require any x86 devices to allow disabling of Secure Boot as part of their certification process, so signatures wont be needed except for ARM devices which makes them similar to things like the iPad.

"Anyone else is welcome to correct the above."

Likewise, if I've got anything wrong in *my* explanation, someone do my post the same courtesy.


Re: Does that mean...

"I can install a penguin based OS on a "Built for Windos" machine?"

Your question shows a misunderstanding. UEFI is not Secure Boot. Secure Boot is a feature of UEFI. And Secure Boot actually prevents this attack so this is not an exploit that would allow you to bypass it and install a Linux bootloader. But your question is also a red herring as you already could if it's an x86 machine. Microsoft certification requires that the user be able to turn off Secure Boot which is all you need. On RT platforms you cannot turn off Secure Boot, but this isn't a work around for Secure Boot anyway, so it wont let you install an ARM Linux on a WinRT device.

Fans rap Apple's 'crap' Map app


Re: The launch video reminded me of the crowd faking tears at Kim jungs death

Maybe the audience actually were impressed. Okay, from what I've seen this is definitely not as good as Google's service and may not be for some time (another year? another two years? three?). But still, it's hugely impressive to create something like this. In amongst all the slating of Apple that is going on here, it's worth remembering how hard it is to compete with Google on their maps at all. It's good that they made this. It keeps competition in the market and being a programmer myself, I can see that this must have taken a lot of work.

Google acts against prostitution app after complaints from Congress


Right to tell...

In the UK, prostitution is legal. (And this applies for men as well as women). You can sell sex to someone. The legal restrictions come in two areas. One area is to do with "decency". So you can't necessarily solicit people walking down the street legally. You can't go into bars and start 'harrassing' the customers. Morality of the government interfering in this way is debatable, but it's about where you can conduct the business rather than whether or not you can. That can be a bad thing, but equally, you probably wouldn't want to find your street was suddenly an advertising and picking up point for prostitution. These laws allow control of that.

The second and more significant area, is that it is not legal to profit from another person's prostitution. "Living off immoral earnings" is an old-fashioned term, but if a woman is selling sex to people and you are taking a cut of that (or all of it), then you are breaking the law. This too is reasonable. There are various laws in this area, e.g. that define a brothel, etc.

The legal approach to prostitution in the UK was actually reasonable (even if implementation was variable) up until Jacqui Smith got involved in 2008. Jacqui Smith (as Home Secretary) tried to introduce a law that made men who paid for sex from those "controlled for gain" criminals. Basically, if a person was made to be a prostitute by someone else, formerly, the pimp was the criminal, the prostitute a victim (in theory) and the customer sent away without necessarily being charged (ways they could be, but it wasn't an intrinsic element). Jacqui Smith's proposed law changed that. If you (as a John) bought sex from someone and she turned out to have been "controlled for gain", then you would be charged. That's good in theory, but in practice, how can any person know that this is the case. You're naive if you think asking is feasible. Certainly a lot of times a customer ought to or will know, and such people are rapists and should be ashamed of themselves. If you know that a girl has been locked up, threatened, drugged and made to have sex with you, you share the blame for her state. But innocents get caught in the net - how can you know that this is the case in all circumstances? The legislation was watered down a year later (when the Daily Mail had lost interest) and now it's just a mess that is filled with loopholes and ambiguity.

If you ignore the Jacqui Smith fiasco and that implementation of these laws is patchy and inconsistent, the legal approach to prostitution in the UK is a good one.

The best thing that can happen for postitutes in the UK, is to take the power out of the hands of brothel landlords, pimps, "boyfriends", etc. and put it in the hands of the prostitutes themselves. The more a woman can put up her own profile on some online site, the more easily she can be paid directly and even be sure of that payment, the less others can insert themselves between her and the customer which is where the greatest harm often comes in.

I don't know about this particular app. But a popular, known, online prostitution site where women (and men) manage their own profiles and ideally can manage payment through it, e.g. by some pay in advance or escrow or credit points system, is actually a good thing, imo.

Apple iOS 6 review


Re: Not that useful on a 4

This might be a stupid question but I can't work it out from comments or the article. Can you still use the Google maps on iOS6? I presume you can still access the online version. Is it possible that Google will release an App that provides it in a more useful format and / or other app writers can use Google maps instead of the Apple maps?


Re: Not that useful on a 4

The iPhone4 came out two years ago, though. Is it reasonable to ask that devices always be built with hardware capabilities two years ahead of current needs? Is the expectation that hardware development should always be ahead of software development? Do you expect the OS writers to say 'this hardware they've given us, we shouldn't use it to its full capabilities so that when we release a new version two years from now, it will still run on this hardware." Is that coherent?

Microsoft announces Office 2013, Office 365 pricing


Re: Whatever.

"I use a stored template (macro) to open a blank, serialized, professional looking invoice (estimate, whathaveyou) ... in sc, not vi. And I usually print 'em out on a daisy-wheel printer when I'm sending 'em off to established Fortune 500s. I almost always land the contract, in the case of the estimates, and always get paid in the case of the invoices. And sometimes I get a contract without a bid (if I want it) because a muck-a-muck remembers the daisy-wheel printout and correctly assumes I've been around the block a time or three."

My laser printer gives much better quality than any daisy-wheel printer ever did and it can handle professional logos, decent underlining, tables, etc. To try and turn your use of a daisy wheel printer into a selling point just pushes your argument even further into being non-applicable to the rest of the world. Besides, it is five years I think, since I last had to send someone an actual paper invoice rather than one by email for their records being acceptable. As to your use of macros in vi to create your invoices, it's a strawman to argue as if I said you couldn't, I said it was easier with Word. By a lot. You're arguing with someone who does use vi and can (just about rememeber) LaTeX, etc. but even I would find it a lot quicker to open Word and bang out an itemised invoice with a nice readable table and appropriate columns for services, costs in Word than in vi and the other 99.99% of the population even more so. Ditto for adapting any existing templates, form letters as such on the fly as needed. Don't get defensive - no-one is saying that you can't do your invoices with macros in vi. But it's absurd to suggest that the vast majority of users could or should spend all the extra time learning how to do so and all the extra time actually doing so. It's terrible elitism to think that laying out a tabled-invoice or formal letter is the preserve of people who are comfortable with LaTeX, etc. And your "almost always land the contract" - are you really telling me this is down to your documents coming out of vi and your daisy wheel printer rather than a long CV? You can't think your skills are so much on an equal footing with your typeface as that.

"My CPA does my taxes, using my provided data. (Tax laws change far to fast here in the USofA; I run some 16 interlocking businesses out of this place, so it makes sense to pay a CPA)."

I bet you they use MS Office and that they would take a lot longer and charge a lot more if they had to use vi, bc and sc to do your accounts. Or are you like someone denying you benefit from something if someone else does it on your behalf?

"If you update hardware when it's not necessary, you are wasting money by definition."

No you are not. "Necessary" is a strange absolutist word that I didn't use. I can do my taxes with pen and paper if I choose to - software is not "necessary", but if the benefit to me is worth the cost, then the money is not wasted. I just pointed out that for most professionals, <£100 for as a one-time cost for basic hardware that can run Win8 and Office 2013, is one of our smallest business costs. For someone who has been bragging about landing all your contacts with established Fortune 500's, it seems to me even tiny benefits in time saving would render that small fee worthwhile. You can't convincingly argue against the use of Office 2013 because someone will need £100 worth of computer equipment to run it on when almost everyone already exceeds those requirements already anyway.

"Care to cut me a personal check (cheque to you brits) for the 90 quid? Why not?"

No, because I have no reason to like you or give you the money. If you were going hungry, I probably would, but apparently you run "16 interlocking businesses" and have "established Fortune 500's" for your clients, so there doesn't seem reason to think you need it.

"Clearly, I was referring to the so-called "cloud" based "access all your docs from any machine, anywhere" aspect."

No, that is not clear. Clear would have been writing "even though this article is about Office in general and the rest of my post talks about Office in general and there's no reason you actually need to upload your private data to the cloud, I am here going to choose to write only about the online service where you do". You in no way made that distinction clear and in using the argument against Office that you don't want to have to upload your data to the cloud, you imply that this is in some way required. If you don't want a piece of functionality, don't use it. I think you didn't understand that the software was distinct from the data's location and if you did understand that, then you should have been more honest about acknowledging that it was entirely the user's choice as to whether they wanted to use this feature or not. If it's the user's choice, then it's not really a problem for those that don't want it whilst being a benefit to those that do. Choice is good.

"500 trillion flies eat shit. Do you?"

You said that anyone who uses MS Office "lacks the cognitive skills to be online" and I pointed out that this was demonstrably false and insulting. The above retort isn't in any way a counter to my point, it's just... I don't know... venting anger and dislike, I think.

"Of course. But at least I'm not a shill for any given multi-national. Can you say the same?"

Yes. Everything I've written above I believe can be supported and I don't receive any material reward for writing it from anyone.

"OK, if you say so. Out of curiosity, what flavor was the kool-aid?"

Fact-flavoured. Mmmmmm, lovely facts. Of course, they're not to everyone's tastes. Is there any reason you need to bring the conversation down to the level of sarcasm and ad hominem attacks on my integrity?


Re: An honest question

That's probably less the case than it was. Office 2013 supports both ODF and the new, actually implementable OOXML (as opposed to the mess that was rushed through ISO five or so years ago). Both should be supported by any mainstream office product for many years to come. I think generally MS Office is preferred because it offers a lot more in the way of enterprise features, a nicer interface and supports a lot of more advanced features that tend not to be supported in Open Office. I just find it a lot nicer all round and paying $99 for being more productive over a year is easily worth it for me. This is becoming even more true with the online capabilities of MS Office. But each their own. Document compatability is much less of an issue than it used to be.


Re: End of the line

"Can you open that case again as most people end up with a mobile phone at the end of their contract!"

That is true and a difference between phone contracts and MS Office. But I was addressing the OP's argument that people will always spend more money up front to save money in the long-run. Phone contracts are just one example out of many, that most people just don't think that long-term. And frequently people plunge straight back into a contract for the sake of getting something more up to date, just as many will stay with the rental model of MS Office for the sake of always having the latest version.


Re: Whatever.

"Anybody who voluntarily continues to use vi is obviously a masochist who likes things to be far harder than they need to be and as such is not qualified to say what makes a good end-user experience."

I use vi for any scripts I want to write and also any web-programming, e.g. PHP or Django development, which whilst an IDE probably would offer advantages, I find I don't actually need.

Besides, I've spent ten years learning shortcuts and commands in vi. I'm not going to quit when I've just passed the half-way stage, am I?


Re: Sorry...

"Huh? Well of cause it will take four years, your comparing the 4 times cheaper home edition to the 4 times more expensive Professional edition. So, how much of a saving is there if you compare apples to apples instead of trying to pull a fast one on us? About $40 saving for the home user, for 1 year. After that it's about $60 more expensive and gets more so each year."

The subscription version for Home however is for five users. The purchase install is for one device. If you're the only one, then buy the purchased version. If you want your whole family to have it, including children at school or Uni., then get the subscription one for five people. I don't get why some people look at a choice of options, and then get angry that one of the options is not as good for them as the other. Get the one that suits you. Purchase prices are comparable to the purchase price of previous versions of Office.


Re: End of the line

"For many family types, an annual subscription is going to highlight just how much Microsoft stuff is costing them, instead of it being hidden in the upfront purchase price. After the first annual renewal, I can see many cash strapped families thinking how can I avoid this."

Have you ever looked at how many people buy their mobile phones on contract rather than buying SIM-free upfront? Case closed, I think.

"For small businesses, the idea of all your data being somewhere out in the etherworld ... no, lots of owner managers are not going to buy that one."

Nothing in this model demands that your data be stored online. And businesses can deploy their own clouds. Doesn't have to be SkyDrive. It can be your own server in your own office if you want. Or just don't use the cloud at all. The software still installs locally.

"Sounds like - with this strict one device licence - you'll have trouble if a PC breaks down, and either needs replaced, new hard drive installation."

Less problems if you think about it. If I have the old-fashioned install on my machine and it breaks, I have to re-obtain, re-install elsewhere. With the streaming version, I just grab my spare device (or someone else's), log-in and use Office again. I've tried the Streaming version and it took about two minutes and I was up and running and as far as I could see it was pretty much feature for feature comparable. And it still works with all my data locally. I think some people don't understand the difference between local installs, streaming version and the Online Office.

"Pure and simply another money grabbing exercise by Microsoft. Nothing else. I see no benefit whatsoever to the average user."

Permanent updates, ability to use anywhere with or without installing, integrated video calling, included online storage and syncing, licencing based on user rather than device (if preferred), a choice of purchasing model that best suits you, a more secure system of plugin writing and deployment than the old VB Macro monstrosities and all the other refinements of a new version of Office.


Re: You can't throw money at it.

"As a small business owner, I have never felt comfortable with on-line applications. There have been times when a drive went tits up and I didn't have a backup of my data, but I am more diligent about that now. I could (and did) get some data back from a recovery company (at quite a cost). My biggest fear is that I won't have access to the application or my data when I really need it. If my internet goes down, I can still print out invoices with my accounting system that resides on my computer. If I had an on-line accounting systems I would be screwed. I would be even more screwed if their internet, server farm or entire business packed it in. I couldn't even throw money at the problem. I would also be stuck with manually inputing all of my accounting for the year into a purchased accounting software package. There went my week or two. Losing my correspondence and other business documentation could be just as bad."

So install one of our five licences locally, just as you did with Office 2010 or whichever. You don't have to use the online or streaming versions only - those are just convenient extras. The only difference is that the local install will occasionally check if your subscription is still valid and throw up a message prompting you if it isn't.


Re: EU law

Presumably you can sell a permanent licence and if you are renting on a month by month basis, you can't. Or at best, you could try and sell the last few months of rent. Bit like buying a house vs. renting, it seems to me. Is it unfair in the latter scenario that you can sell the deeds to your house but trying to sell the last week of your tenancy is difficult? I honestly think that someone trying to sell on the last $8 (one month) of MS Home Office subscription is really just crazy.


Re: Whatever.

"I've been using sc, bc, dc and vi to run my businesses for decades."

I use vi pretty much every day for coding. But the Gods help me if I ever had to write a professional looking invoice in it. I mean yes, I can just about remember how to use LaTeX, but I'd prefer to open Word and click on my stored Invoice template. You have to be joking if you think sc and bc can be favourably compared to Excel for doing my taxes, either!

"Explain again how microsoft (and/or google, etc.) can fix what ain't broke, without me spending an awful lot of money throwing unnecessary hardware at the (lack of) problem?"

Win8 and Office 2013 run absolutely fine on hardware that is even four years old which is a lifetime in hardware terms. Win8 actually runs better on most older hardware than Win7. If you are calling a dual core 2.8GHz machine with 2GB or RAM "unnecessary hardware" then you're a weird person. You can get such hardware for less than £90. Is that really the biggest expense in your business?

"To say nothing of trusting a second party to *always* be able to provide my business data when I ask for it (to say nothing of trusting a third party with my client's data ... )."

You are confused. Nothing about a rental model means that the data has to leave your machine. Even with the streaming version that you deploy ad hoc, that doesn't mean that the documents ever have to leave your own machine.

"And then there's the old "trusting a multibillion dollar multi-national advertising company". Corporations using this kind of thing are just asking for it. Induhviduals using it haven't the cognitive skills to be online."

Yes, anyone who uses MS Office lacks the "cognitive skills to be online". Oh look - a billion people have just proved you wrong. You're a troll and an ill-informed one who doesn't understand the difference between installed software periodically checking a online and uploading all your business data.


Re: Ok if you have unlimited

"Ok if you have unlimited Internet, a steady connection and only go where you can get a wireless signal."

You can use the subscription version offline. It still installs. It's just that the purchased version wont expire and the subscription version will. So long as your device is allowed to connect up once a month or similar, it should stay working.

"What if you are someone who doesn't change to the newest product every year."

Well technically, it will be about every four years before you start to cost yourself slightly more by renting. But to answer your question, if this is the case then you buy the permanent version. Would you prefer it if there were only one sales model that suited only you?

Win8 tablets may cost MORE than iPads – AND LAPTOPS


Re: I smell fail

None of these devices are tablets. They're more powerful ultrabooks with touchscreens.

Ballmer: Win8 'certainly surpasses' Win95 in importance


Re: h4rm0ny

"h4rm0ny is one the more prominent pro-Microsoft shills on this site."

I don't and never have worked for MS. If you have to try and cry shill rather than address my arguments, then you should question your own biases.


Re: La la la la la

And in a lot of ways he was right about Vista. It finally brought a security model to Windows that was equivalent to what UNIX and Linux had had for over a decade. It brought in a lot of the groundwork for Windows 7 and Windows 8. Vista was more secure than any previous version of Windows (I think). It was also annoying, but that's a different issue. So what if he was saying Vista had the best X or Y yet. That doesn't logically preclude saying Win8 has a better X or Y because Win8 is coming out after Vista. Both statements can be true.

Windows Phone 8 stands a chance as Apple, Android dither


Re: @JDX Apple's walled garden for music

I always thought the 'Walled Garden' referred to the inability to put things on there unless they were bought via Apple's own store. Before Apple, remember, it was usually the case that you could install something from anywhere. The walled garden seem to be Apple's one area where they really did pioneer things. (Mostly unfortunately, imo. Now MS is following suit).


Re: Bit confused by this "HD Voice" mularkey.

Personally, if the often poor voice quality can be improved, I'm all for that. Mind you, I liked HD over SD as well and I remember the vast numbers of posts on here that angrily argued how it was unnecessary and they couldn't see the difference or you were an idiot to care about it if you could.

Apple's first batch of iPhone 5 preorders sold out in an hour


Re: Every time

"Or maybe the demand was too high and despite good planning they were sold out...... Of course, this doesn't work too well with the agenda of your comment."

"Good planning" isn't fully compatible with "demand was too high". If they don't have enough to meet demand, then they didn't produce enough. The only question is whether the forecast was wrong by error or by design. Selling out is good publicity. Almost any company would try that trick and Apple is possibly the world's greatest marketing company so it's hardly unlikely that they would have deliberately held back. It's not even a particularly serious accusation. It's quite possible that they have a whole bunch of containers of these things waiting in China that they decided to place on this month's ship rather than last months just so they could get the "SOLD OUT!" headline. Companies have done far, far worse things than that in the pursuit of profit.

The only real negative for them of the 'sold out' ploy, is if either the hype on the iPhone5 is very shortlived (which it probably will be) or if something else steals their thunder (which with a variety of WP8 phones imminently about to be launched is quite possible). In this latter case, the Marketing 101 could actually backfire for once.

Final Office 2013 for ARM may not ship until January


"Did I read that right, you can't check email unless you pay for an app from the app store?"

It comes with a mail application built in, there will be a lot of free alternatives I have no doubt and most people have a web-interface to their email accounts as well.


Re: The new Office doesn't ship?

@ShelLuser - you never seem to bother to actually look into Windows 8 at more than the most cursory level to see if what you list as a big problem is actually easily resolvable or even a problem at all.

Example: When you start Word 2013 you make the default page sound like some difficult thing to escape from. No, you don't have to press Escape even, you can just click on the blank document template that is right there prominently displayed. I actually find the recent document list useful (it's certainly better than previous versions, what with being compartmentalised into locations and having everything clearly titled in a different font). But if you don't want this as your default - you can turn it off. Open up options, it's right there on the default option page that first appears - Show Start Screen on Start-up. Just untick this and you go straight into a blank document every single time. It literally took me thirty seconds to do that.

"Talk about fail.. I mean honestly; why not give us users a choice. You know; allowing a wide range of end users to use your products the way WE want ?"

Why did you not bother to make a trivial check to find that there actually is a choice before pouring your anger out on a forum posting inaccurate comments? Seriously, more than half the time I use Word, I want to open up an existing document and it's one click to get a blank from the default page anyway. This is not cause for the endless angry posts you make here.

"And here we are now: Microsoft reinventing he wheel without paying attention to any prior cause. As usual. While ending up making things much harder on the end user. As usual again it seems."

I'm sorry to say it, but another flying off the handle post from you without any fact checking as usual. You spend four paragraphs talking about lack of choice (translation, an extra click, compensated for by reduced multiple clicks in other use cases) when the option is right there on the first tab in Options.

Work for beer, Neil Gaiman's wife tells musicians

Thumb Down

Re: @Law I need to lie down somewhere...

I'm very familiar with the Dresden Dolls and knew who Amanda Palmer is. I had no idea she was married to Neil Gaiman who I am vaguely aware of as a comic book artist.

Shame on El Reg. for referring to an established and successful female artist as "the wife of..."

Who's afraid of Windows 8? Trio leads Microsoft migration pack


"If it had been a member of the audience trying to log in rather than a trained MS demonstrator, they'd still be at the opening screen wondering how to make it do anything more interesting than bob up and down when you click on it."

If you click on the screen a box appears labelled password. What sort of criticism is this?


"Thing is, previous UI changes have been optional at first, and were much less drastic - they were still based around mouse and keyboard. Win8 introduces (and somewhat forces) a UI that only makes sense via touch. It does this even if it detects that no touch input is available."

Then I don't believe you have actually used Win8 to any significant degree. It works just as well as Win7 with mouse and keyboard - I have no touch screen with it and have been using it comfortably for over a month now. It's faster to do most tasks and better handles my multi-monitor set up. I've yet to find anything that is more difficult in Win8 with keyboard and mouse than in Win7 and in many cases, it's quicker.

Apple iPhone 5 hands-on review


Re: Thinth

"Am I alone in finding thinner phones more awkward to handle?"

I don't think they've reached the point of being hard to handle - they're still perfectly comfortable in that regard (screen size is more of an issue for me). But I don't see any great benefit of having them this thin though. Like everyone else on here is saying, more battery life is a far better selling point than shaving a few milimetres off the thickness. Ditto for weight. Even my little hands can handle a phone that weighs more than this. Not that I'm not impressed by the technical progress, but I think it's more for the fashonistas than for practical purposes..

Reg hack runs Windows 8 on 82-inch touchscreen



Article would have been better with a note saying what the resolution on the display was.

iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software


Re: Pricing and not pretty

Bloody Hell! I paid £160 for my Lumia 710 SIM-free and it already does pretty much everything I want. Admittedly, I don't play games on it so that might be an issue. But seriously? £700 for a phone? Ouch!


Re: What would I have liked?

"uSD card slot, 'admin' logon with sudo rights, higher res display, removable battery twice the size, USB host port, SSH server."

SSH capability, e.g. a SSH capable shell - useful (albeit not to most people). But an SSH server? What are you planning to do with your phone?


Re: Notes

"Not even a full 720p screen?"

Why on earth would you need a 720p screen on something that is 4"? There are televisions that are 720p. About six years ago, you would have thought 720p on an 18" monitor was nice. I'm all for progress, but some things just seem excessive to me.


"It's a little tall for my tastes and will require longer pockets."

But for someone else it will be just right. Different people have different tastes / needs (for example, I want a small phone that's comfortable to hold). It seems mysterious to me that Apple are only releasing one size of phone. Surely it would make good sense to target all sections of the mobile phone using market. Am I missing something here?

I like the battery life they report for this thing. I think the "HD Voice" thing is present on several existing phones already though and we're just waiting for more network operators to provide the service....?

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019