Re: Never mind design...
Do you think you are a typical user however, as the quote you've used refers to? I avoid Facebook like the Black Death, but I am well aware that most of humanity disagrees.
4617 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008
You can be downvoted just for saying you like a Microsoft product here.
I use Office 365. It is good. The online versions of the programs are better than Google's online office tools (imo), though not as feature complete as the Desktop versions. You can link it to the Desktop version of Office however and it has proper versioning of documents and sharing permissions, etc. and is pretty easy to set up and manage. But there's going to be a pretty massive overhaul and upgrade very soon when Office 2013 comes out. You can buy the particular services that you need - e.g. if you want Sharepoint or not.
Best thing to do rather than take someone's word for it (the above is just my opinion), is to try it out. You can get a free month long preview of both the new Office 365 and the new Office 2013. You should probably try them together as that's how they're planned to work.
They don't interfere with existing Office installs.
I don't know what the proportion of users around the world are that don't install ad-blockers but I would bet it's not that high actually. Similarly, I would bet that most people are different to you in that they just want to see pictures that come with an email rather than manually open them individually. You call it a mishmash of ideas from half a dozen user groups, but would you say that you are a typical person when it comes to IT? If not, then possibly they are right to build it around the responses from user groups rather than what Big_Ted wants... Whilst your post may be completely right for you, is it right for most email users is the point I'm making.
"Evidently only they are allowed to protect their IP"
Actually you have it wrong. Anonymous are not trademarking their imagery (so far as I know), but wanting to prevent others from doing so. By analogy, there is a difference between kicking everyone else out of a park and stopping someone else from kicking everyone else out.
...they didn't have any part in the name or symbols promotion into public consciousness. And yet they'd like to take out a trademark making themselves the sole beneficiaries of any business around these things and legally prevent anyone else from doing so. Wow - love those social ethics.
"It's currently "attached" to the lappy"
Do you also say "Desky" and "Phoney" and "Tabby"? Please, if we have to import Americanisms, at least let's limit it to cases where it's actually shorter to say rather than the same number of syllables. "Lappy" sounds like a breed of French poodle. Can we get a Union Jack icon, please?
According to the blurb on their site, it uses Bluetooth and has no USB connection which seems to continue MS's current design philosophy of building for the people of 2016 rather than the customers of 2012. So I'm pretty unlikely to be buying one of these. I'm still on PS/2 socket here on the grounds that my keyboard should not be using up CPU cycles just to communicate (USB always demands CPU cycles).
The mouse is probably an improvement for mouse users, but a mouse has always been inferior to a trackball (imo - less space required, no flat surface required, much greater precision using the fine control of muscles in the thumb rather than the whole arm).
Keyboards with a clitoris are the best devices for touch typists, imo, as you don't have to reach away from the keyboard ever.
I don't judge groups by which "side" they're on, I judge them by the ethics and intelligence behind their actions. Using phishing techniques to impersonate people and create fake points of view for them - reprehensible. I actually believe that it is good to support whistleblowers on illegal and immoral behaviour and that society needs such a role. But my opinion for Wikileaks is very, very low right now.
I wonder how viable it is to mandate unique-to-printer markers be added to anything produced by a 3D printer? For a time, printers secretly put a small pattern of dots on the foot of any page they printed so that the police could identify which specific printer (not model of printer) the page was from. I don't know if they still do. Similarly there was a system built into some image software and many scanners which recognized the pattern of dots on a bank note and stopped working if found. So I wonder what might be proposed for 3D printers.
Meet the Feebles is one of the most disgusting, perverse films ever made. I am continually amazed watching him churn out things like Lord of the Rings that this is the same person. He also did the film Beautiful Creatures with a young Kate Winslet, which was a very nice film. To me, he seems to have done his entire career backwards - starting off with extraordinary works of off the wall genius and descending into mainstream blockbusters.
Meet the Feebles is the film that features a walrus driving a car out of a whale's anus, a sex scene between a weasel and a sheep and a fox in silver top hat and tales performing a song and dance routine that begins with the lyrics - "You may think it rather odd of me, that I so enjoy the act of Sodomy".
Peter Jackson - what happened to you?
I'm sorry to see you got a downmod. I asked for the deficiencies sincerely and you answered. Things like lack of SD slot and 8GB storage on the Lumia don't really bother me - it's a tonne of storage for what I need, but it's interesting to see what concerns others. Similarly, I use my Lumia for business so if it's not as great with games as an iPhone or such, that doesn't bother me. But again, different people different needs. All of these things should be addressed with the Win8 devices, I would imagine. Win8 has SD slot support as well as multi-core and different screen resolutions (though like you, I prefer a small phone-sized device, not a min-tablet so I wont be buying any giant versions. I'll probably stick with my current Lumia for quite a while).
"... and there are no apps, no developers making apps"
There are over 20,000 apps which disproves both parts one and two of your statement at once. And there are only so many apps that can be useful. Once you've got what you need, it doesn't matter if there are ten thousand apps you haven't installed or two-hundred thousand apps you haven't installed. Also, as of the release of WP8, you're going to be able to use the same development tools and APIs for Desktops, phones and tablets all at once. (And with the new APIs for handling screen size and resolution, sometimes you'll even be able to deploy the same software to all platforms). This is a BIG thing.
"... the Microsoft lockin and guaranteed security problems."
As locked in as if you spent your money on apps for a iPhone or an Android phone - same whichever you invest in. Unless you're talking about something else in which case I have to ask what. As to guaranteed security problems, again, what are the security problems WP7 has?
"... and they will leave you in the lurch when Windows Phone 9 arrives with another new app format."
Metro is the next big shift. We've had the Win32 APIs since Windows 95. That's a pretty good run. The new Metro APIs will undoubtedly last through a few versions of Windows at least. And Microsoft have always been pretty good about maintaining backwards compatability. For example, you can run WP7 apps on WP8 which kind of undermines what you've just said.
"they are just forced into doing so because of part of the Android patent protection racket that Microsoft have been running."
It's so good to have members of the Samsung Board of Director's gracing us with their presence and sharing this knowledge. I don't mean to be rude, but for the sake of any few doubters could you just confirm your status as someone privvy to the inner decisions of Samsung's business decisions? ; )
"This is little more than fulfilling a contractual obligation, so you can bet they won't be anywhere as near as good as a S3, S2, Nexus etc.."
Clearly Samsung has a clever strategy in which they run TWO R&D departments, one of which makes the quality goods that you admire and another which they fund separately deliberately so that it can waste money developing inferior goods as well. It couldn't be that they're likely to produce similar models using similar processes and research. That would just be... efficient. Not to mention that they would undoubtedly prefer to sell lacklustre products so that their rivals would outsell them. If I were heading up the WP8 side of the business that's totally what I would do - because it would look great to the investors if the other WP sellers all did much better than us.
Sorry - I don't usually get sarcastic but your post is just a mix of false statements and unsupported speculation. Samsung have a very good reputation for quality. I doubt they'll tone that down because they can't be bothered. If you told your board of directors that you weren't really bothered about the Microsoft market, you would be out of the door before you could say "Anyeong".
"If you're green and are true to your principles you have to accept this."
Many, many of us are. Unfortunately an aging Old Guard have a lock on most of the environmental organizations. It's why I'm not a member of groups like Friends of the Earth. I actually would be if they focused on positive environmental issues such as preventing deforestation of the rain forests (care about CO2 or not, it's an environmental tragedy for all sorts of other reasons). But you can't be a member of these groups if you are pro-nuclear. You wont be listened to by the people who manage all the campaigns and press-releases, they simply will not hear you. They are people (specifically referring to the FoE leadership now) who will knowingly distort figures and omit data so that people 'reach the right conclusions'.
The only place for nuclear-minded environmentalists to go is single-issue groups or campaigns. For example, I'm part of some wildlife conservation movements. But even there it's hard to contribute without suddenly finding cross-polination from FoE or similar has infected the group. Next thing you know, you're watching it spout rubbish about Fukishima and wondering why you ever bothered to get involved.
And this is a big shame because we need public pressure in order to keep the environment something that is a factor in our country's decisions. But any environmental pressure suddenly finds a bunch of dishonest life-style environmentalists swooping in to speak on behalf of it and turn it to their own aims.
Fuck Friends of the Earth's leadership! Plenty of people who care in that organization being lied to and misled and even more being dissuaded from calling themselves environmentalists because of the anit-intellectualism of those fossils. We need to care about the environment. And the absolute best thing we could do right now is start moving our energy base to nuclear.
"In the end we took a product, but hosted it ourselves.."
Mind my asking what you chose? I can't find anything off the shelf that would be easily deployable and supportable across a lot of users. I was going to look into Lync but deployed with our own server obviously. It's closed source unfortunately, but probably safe. Thoughts?
"Pointing out that they could already give some Skype info in the past does not negate the fact that the change in structure along with new techniques can give them more information than just connection details and times, which is what the US government is pushing them for."
I think the point is that it doesn't give them more - that the capabilty to listen in is already there. When they basically admit that they can already do this, it does take the wind out of conspiracy theories that they're adding the capability. Or have I missed something? I always assumed that Skype had the technology to do this already. Where did all these people come from who thought they didn't or is this just the media trying to be shocked on other people's behalf again?
That's what people should take as a default. Any telecoms provider (old or new) will help law enforcement listen to your calls. If they didn't, the various governments would flatten them. Email and modern telecomms have been the best thing to happen to Intelligence agencies in centuries.
The technology for secure communication is there, however. In fact it's used - for example Lync (way better than Skype) supports encrypted voice (and IMs) and you can use that, but you need your own network, otherwise you still have a third party in the loop.
But there are fine Open Source products for this as well. A few things are needed though - wrapping this up in a more friendly fashion for the WIndows and Mac users is one. (Linux users can handle themselves. And so can plenty of Windows and Mac users but even these have to admit they're a small part of the userbase). Secondly, the ability to move your account around without faffing around with certificates, etc. A nice touch is that in recent years we have been provided with an additional component to make doing this ourself easier - the unique identifiers in modern computers and smartphones used for DRM, can also be used for giving ourselves unique profiles without faffing around with security certificates or trying to work out how to call someone from a different device. You could use the APIs in Windows 8 to add devices to your account, just as you can with any Metro program. And I expect you could put something together in OSX also. Then you have an account with approved devices that you can use to make encrypted calls.
What's lacking? Well critical mass and a provider that can plug your VOIP service into the normal phone networks. Companies are available that provide the latter. Obviously once you dial outside the network then you're no longer encrypted, but the idea is to get more and more people on the network. VOIP is where we'll end up sooner or later anyway. Applications should have a little padlock indicator like HTTPS in browsers - indicating that this call is secure or not.
Anyway, just thinking online. If you're using a public network, you are solely reliant on your country's judiciary to protect you from snooping so the question is do you trust them? Sometimes you're even dependent on another country's judiciary! If your call goes through the USA and you're not a citizen, take it for granted that they'll listen in if they want to. Exactly how far did we get with prosecuting the Bush administration for illegal wiretaps. Not far - the Obama administration killed the investigation as soon as they got into power. If you want privacy - you need to do it yourself.
"Well I've provided Linux desktops for several 70-80 year olds over the last few years and guess what - they never even knew there WAS a command line - why should they - they were just using programs - you know clicking on icons."
I've likewise provided Ubuntu for people. And they have also been fine. Really, it's Linux + Gnome or KDE (or even xfce) is good enough for the Desktop. The major weakness is that you have to install it yourself and it doesn't have everything work out of the box as well. If you bought a PC with Ubuntu pre-installed by a manufacturer that had checked everything out, as you do with Mac OS or Windows, then one of the major disincentives for most people would be gone.
"...but that's the whole shell game being played. Too externally identical devices, both with identical start screens and mostly indistinguishable Metro modes. 2 wildly different prices. A recipe for hoodwinking customers if ever I saw one, talk up the pro device, sell the RT, hope the disappointed buyers don't make too much noise."
You definitely are not a marketing person. Misrepresenting a product is really the last thing you want to be doing for sustained business. Disappointed customers who feel they've been "hoodwinked" are the worst kind of press. What you describe is the sort of tactic a short-term seller like a person in a pub would benefit from, not a long-term business.
"Show me where my statement implied they had. The word assumption would not be applicable if they had."
Well if you're not claiming that MS in any way suggested that WP7 devices would be able to run WP8, then it seems unreasonable to blame them for people making such assumptions, yes? So either you think MS are to blame for anyone assuming this, in which case I continue my request for a citation, or you don't in which case I ask you why your criticising them for other people's assumptions that weren't based on anything MS said.
"It would be reasonable to expect that if an operating system is being replaced, that the supplied phones would either have minimal software compatibility problems or an upgrade would be available. neither appear to be the case, so the buyers have been tucked up."
Why is it reasonable to expect that hardware running a current OS will be capable of running a future OS? Who gave you this expectation? Is it normal to do that? As I understand it doing so on numerous Android devices is problematic. I was told that running a newer iOS on an earlier iPhone makes it run dreadfully. So where did you get this expectation? It's not an expectation I had.
As to the rest of your post, the gist of it is 'we don't know how it will be so let's assume the worst'. If you actually take a moment to read the developer blogs or take a look at the APIs, you'll find we actually do know quite a lot about this. People are writing software for Windows 8 right now, so plenty of people do know how compatible WP7 and WP8 are. So again, I ask you why when you obviously haven't looked into this in detail, you feel it is right to post your assumptions so confidently in contradiction of what we actually do know and can check for ourselves.
"If multi-form-factor support was as easy as a recompile, Java would have won the day a long time ago. the fact that it hasn't is a hint that recopiling is not the only (or even the most important) issue."
Oddly enough, your post is a lot of what MS published on their developer blog. Particularly this one (though also others): Scaling to Different Screens
That you can deploy the same code to multiple devices (Windows Phone 8, tablets, desktops) is important, but there are actually new APIs in Windows 8 to do things like auto-rearrange menu systems for different screen sizes, alter images based on different screen resolutions. You'd probably find the link above very interesting.
"Since WP8 is not yet released, and the previous assumptions that WP7 devices would be upgraded to WP8 have proven false, it is probably best to assume the worst."
What assumptions? Show me any statement anywhere where Microsoft suggested at all that you could install WP8 on older WP7 devices.
On the other hand, they have actually stated that forward compatability is going to be the case and as you can actually grab the developer tools for WP8 and get stuck in now, you can actually see that it will be compatible. Why do you feel the need to post baseless assumptions where they spread and become misinformation? Can you not take a little care in checking your facts if you're going to write on a public forum?
...then don't trust it, basically.
All the telecoms provide hooks into the system for the government / law enforcement. The degree of Judicial oversight in this is not something I know a lot about, but the technology is pretty simple and available - someone basically taps in the number they want to intercept and listens in. I was interviewed for a job working on such a system for a telecomm years ago. Some years back in Greece, a hacker managed to eavesdrop on various politicians and business leaders by the getting control of the technology to do this for him or herself. Vodafone was the company in question that time, but it really could have been pretty much any of them. There's zero doubt that Skype have the easy technology to do this. So if they are asked to do it under a country's laws (laws which these days also say you're not allowed to tell anyone that you've been asked to provide this information as well), then it's probable that they are.
I mean - how are we doing with the charges against the Bush administration for ordering illegal wiretaps? Oh, charges were dropped by the Obama administration? Really? You don't say.
If you want to trust secure communications, secure them yourself. Seriously.
I love how Gartner is ignored routinely by the IT community until suddenly some people hear what they want to hear and start quoting it repeatedly. Misquoting it mind you. It's not "Gartner", it's one employee's blog post and it was one of four or five in a series examining Windows 8. And he was really positive about it.
"My overall opinion on Windows 8 is actually really good. That’s why I’m surprised at the amount of press – they love taking that one sentence and pulling it out of context. That’s driving me nuts. Overall, it’s actually a compelling product, combining a tablet OS and a desktop OS... I think that’s a very smart move."
As to "0xB16B00B5"... instead of removing it, could they not just have added "0xB16C0C" and called it equality?
"Is that a fact? Can you give a reference for that please ? (I am not being sarcastic, it would be helpful, I'd like to see the wording, thanks)"
No problem. You can find the MS hardware certification requirements on their website. Here is a link to the PDF of them: MS Hardware Certification Requirements
If you skip down to the section on UEFISecureBoot (begins on page 118) it is covered in this section. As per usual, when you actually get into the detail it's more complicated, but the summary version that it is a requirement to be able to disable secure Boot on x86 is correct. Relevant passages below:
"17. Mandatory. On non-ARM systems, the platform MUST implement the ability for a physically present user to select between two Secure Boot modes in firmware setup: "Custom" and "Standard". Custom Mode allows for more flexibility as specified in the following:
a. It shall be possible for a physically present user to use the Custom Mode firmware setup option to modify the contents of the Secure Boot signature databases and the PK. This may be implemented by simply providing the option to clear all Secure Boot databases (PK, KEK, db, dbx), which puts the system into setup mode.
b. If the user ends up deleting the PK then, upon exiting the Custom Mode firmware setup, the system is operating in Setup Mode with SecureBoot turned off.
c. The firmware setup shall indicate if Secure Boot is turned on, and if it is operated in Standard or Custom Mode. The firmware setup must provide an option to return from Custom to Standard Mode which restores the factory defaults.On an ARM system, it is forbidden to enable Custom Mode. Only Standard Mode may be enabled.
18. Mandatory. Enable/Disable Secure Boot. On non-ARM systems, it is required to implement the ability to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup. A physically present user must be allowed to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup without possession of PKpriv. A Windows Server may also disable Secure Boot remotely using a strongly authenticated (preferably public-key based) out-of-band management connection, such as to a baseboard management controller or service processor. Programmatic disabling of Secure Boot either during Boot Services or after exiting EFI Boot Services MUST NOT be possible. Disabling Secure Boot must not be possible on ARM systems."
"I'm not so sure you're right. Doesn't Win 8 mandate secure boot?"
Windows 8 does not require Secure Boot. Windows 8 certification for new machines requires it. So if you want to purchase Windows 8 and deploy it on your home PC or in your company, you don't need Secure Boot machines. You can go right ahead. But if you're a manufacturer and you want the laptop you've just released to have the sticker on it, then it needs Secure Boot (and except on ARM, the ability for the user to disable it as well).
"I never made such a claim; the referent of 'they' in my earlier comment was deliberately left hanging, and the comment to which I replied made no reference to Microsoft saying anything on the subject."
Well you're blaming Microsoft so either your "they" meant MS or else you're blaming MS for what other people said. In either case, I stand by my post.
"Nice how you jump straight from misreading my argument to ad hom; it's very progressive of you, although citing such an old-fashioned thing as "false memory syndrome" shows a disappointing lack of imagination"
That's not an ad hominem. An ad hominem is where I say your argument is wrong because of who you are. Suggesting that you might be suffering from false memory syndrome is actually a conclusion based on me perceiving your argument to be flawed and seeking an explanation for why that may be. E.g. you are 'remembering' something that never actually happened. People do this all the time.
Basically, my intent wasn't to insult you. My intent was to explain that I'm pretty certain that you're wrong and ask you to provide evidence for what you wrote. That still stands. So either you aren't saying Microsoft stated that any XP machine could run Vista (though you've only said that it's not proven that you were, which is a weird response), or you are saying that other people than MS misled you and you are using this as a basis to criticise MS. Which also doesn't seem supportable. That's not an ad hominem. I've made none.
"And you can take a safe bet that those makers won't be bothered to provide the UEFI key to their kit, or if they do it will be lost somewhere in the supply chain and not reach the end-buyer. As long as Windows works, they will consider it "Job done", even *IF* MS is not leaning on them."
It's a requirement by Microsoft to get your Windows 8 sticker for your x86 device, that the user be able to disable secure boot. That's been said several times on these forums.
"I believe they also said that if your machine runs XP it will run Vista, and look how well that worked out."
I think you have false memory syndrome. Plenty of computers that were running XP could run Vista. And plenty couldn't. It had to do with the age of the computer. I don't believe that MS ever said that just because XP ran on your machine that it met the requirements for Vista. Citation?
But anyway, we can see how well Win8 runs on a machine that runs Win7 because I'm doing it at home on my Desktop and my laptop. In both cases, I actually find Win8 faster. People have backed that up with various performance tests as well.
Why would you need to hunch over it? The reason desks are flat today is because things roll off them if they're not. But if it's all digital then there's no reason you can't have it like a drawing board. - they are much more comfortable to work at.
Sadly the cost of something like this will still be too high for the time being. But it would be awesome to have a drawing-board format device. Maybe an A3 version would be affordable.
"How do we know this isn't just a bunch of liars who claimed to have invented the rectangle and completely made up a lie that that's worth a billion dollars"
Whilst obviously there are stupid patents and people who lie about, it does happen that these sorts of losses occur. When you get a Chinese company going from nothing to building cars comparable to American or Japanese companies in five years... Well that just doesn't happen through good R&D. It comes about through wholesale copying of other company's work.
"You do in racing cars."
Really? Actually square, not just rounded but slightly squarified? I can see the latter being useful for knowing exactly where you are with it or the ability to quickly exert more force without having to maintain as hard a grip, but actually square sounds both uncomfortable and more dangerous if you slammed into it. Do you have a photo of a racing car steering wheel?
"Your argument sounds like you have a few Apple products."
I have no idea where you got that from. I don't have any! I prefer Windows (both on computers and phones). I'm very confused how you took my post as having a pro-Apple bias. I was essentially saying that rounded corners are an obvious thing for practical reasons that anyone would almost certainly arrive at. The implication being that it's not the sort of thing that should therefore be patentable.
Others have said that there is prior art. I expect there is but my comment on the matter is that it is more than a design issue actually. If you have something that just stands on your desk like a monitor for example, then rounded edges make no difference other than as a design aesthetic. But if it's a device you are to hold comfortably in your hand, lounge around with, turn about at different angles, then sharp corners are no longer just a design aesthetic but a practical matter. Rounded corners on a tablet are pretty much obvious for anyone who's ever held one in their hand.
There's a reason you don't often see square steering wheels in cars and it's not just because of tradition.
"Merely demonstrating the shallowness of the sheeples' bleatings."
It's pretty reasonable to guess that someone outraged at mass slaughter by nuclear weapons is outraged by the slaughter part of it and will be outraged by the same number of people being killed in some other fashion unless there's some very good reason to assume otherwise. No 'shallowness' there.
The information on Japan is interesting though and I'll look into that as it is new to me.
"The point is that the US would avoid using nukes in such a manner - attacks on civilian targets "
This needs no counter argument to anyone with knowledge of history. I suspect you're trying to set up that Hiroshima and Nagasaki had roles in the Japanese war effort. They were also cities filled with innocent people and for most of us the latter is the most important part.
"Actually not a bad effort, though lacking in fundamental research. C+"
Thank you. The parts about Japan's military threat level at the end of WWII were interesting. B+ on that. Brought down to a C overall by a couple of logical fallacies and not considering both sides of an issue.
Actually, whilst you could technically leave various encryption modules out of the Linux kernel, I'm pretty sure they're in the source code by default. I think Blowfish et al. run afoul of USA's export restrictions. Nonsense and I fully agree with you, but the poster did ask about legal restrictions and at least within the USA, even if impossible to enforce, they do exist (unless I'm wrong).
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018