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Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions


JorgeA
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Rumor: ValueAct wants a seat on Microsoft's board ( NeoWin 2013-07-21 )

If true, this would seem to signal a more hands-on approach from ValueAct in regards to influencing Microsoft's future plans. The report comes on the heels of Microsoft's latest financial results, where it took a one time $900 million charge because of a price cut on its Surface RT tablet. The news caused Microsoft's stock price to plummet 11.40 percent in trading on Friday. Reuters claims that ValueAct may be opposed to Microsoft launching its own computers.

These are the group of stockholders that are trying to get Ballmer booted.

This has to be worrisome to the fanboys. And they are showing it in the comments with cursing and screeching.

I'm very much against this. Letting people who don't know much about the market and have no passion for IT make decisions for MS. I wonder what they think about MS Research for example.

Well that description: "don't know much about the market" and "no passion for IT" also describes Ballmer, doesn't it? :yes:

Karma has a way of popping up when you least expect it. These interlopers are trying to get onto the Microsoft Board of Directors which kind of reminds me of Elop getting into Nokia. The only unfortunate thing is that they won't be able to kill Microsoft's pOS operating system the same way that Elop killed Nokia's.

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Recall how all the printer manufacturers also got in bed with government or law enforcement, creating some kind of detectable watermark embedded on all printouts because of special firmware code. Hollywood managed to insert themselves into every piece of A/V consumer electronics also. So it sure would not surprise me at all if the spooks already got to the router manufacturers.

To be picky the "all" might mean "some" and in any case limited to colour laser printers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printer_steganography

http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=48

https://www.eff.org/pages/list-printers-which-do-or-do-not-display-tracking-dots

For NO apparent reason, a couple not-so-random links:

http://www.zeroshell.org/

http://www.plugcomputer.org/development-kits/guruplug-server/

And (this time slightly OT, but not much ;)):

http://www.thebigfix.com.au/

http://www.thebigfix.com.au/?p=50

And - curiously enough - sometimes we enter a loop:

http://www.thebigfix.com.au/?p=467

http://makezine.com/2011/04/28/if-youre-going-to-kill-it-open-source-it/

guess what you do when your good idea fails miserably? :ph34r:

You insist on it some ten years later or so! :w00t::

http://www.smartwatchnews.org/2004-microsoft-spot-watch-smartwatch/

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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Here's NSA presentation for their software "XKeyscore". Apparently they use these slides to "sell" this system to allied intelligence agencies, like to the German ones.

NSA-Spaehsoftware-XKeyscore-1374388744-0

LOL! I know the NSA doesn't employ Photoshop wizards, but this is quite pathetic on a artistic level. The slides look like straight from a cheap "HTML generator" website, where some hobbyist is trying to sell off his newest shareware masterpiece...

As an involuntarily-retired graphic designer (after two years w/o a job and only 2 interviews, I've given up and am now applying for clerk typist jobs), it makes me very sad.

That second interview in fact was just last week. The woman clearly didn't like me, and as she perused my printed portfolio she stopped at a website design from my previous job and said "was that done some time ago? Because it looks old." By "old" I guess she meant lacking in the flat Playskool look prevalent today...I just wanted to walk out and drive my car off the nearest highway ramp...:-(

Edited by sparkles
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Funny thing is, Steganos ( or Demcom ) is one of the companies I was thinking about. They were around since at least the late 1990's and had some interesting software. One thing they did was the steganography process of coding messages inside things like image files. Another very unusual thing was developing zero emission utilities that used a display method that thwarted the possibility of someone mirroring your CRT monitor contents remotely by reading the EMR emissions. Pretty cool and cutting edge in the consumer space.

How about that (that you were thinking about this very company). The main thing I was hoping for was some indication that Steganos was a real and reputable company -- and you did provide that. :yes: Thanks!

In the home, if people designed a network where there was a single computer doing Internet it might make sense to sacrifice it as the front facing beast loaded down with security software. Everything else being kept offline can run naked and at full possible speed, not saddled down with all the security stuff. Unfortunately most people don't even come close to this arrangement. It is now normal for everything to be connected to the outside, from the PCs to the laptops, phones, etc. Countless points of failure. Software like this needs to be present on everything. ~sigh~

That's an interesting idea, dedicating one PC in a network to security. I know about using a computer to run a firewall for other computers, but how would that work for all the other security stuff?

--JorgeA

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As an involuntarily-retired graphic designer (after two years w/o a job and only 2 interviews, I've given up and am now applying for clerk typist jobs), it makes me very sad.

That second interview in fact was just last week. The woman clearly didn't like me, and as she perused my printed portfolio she stopped at a website design from my previous job and said "was that done some time ago? Because it looks old." By "old" I guess she meant lacking in the flat Playskool look prevalent today...I just wanted to walk out and drive my car off the nearest highway ramp...:-(

That's a real bummer, sorry you're in that situation.

As for your web design looking "old," what the heck is that supposed to mean? It either looks beautiful and/or is easy to use, or it doesn't. What does "old" or "new" have to do with anything?? If I were the "Lost in Space" robot, right now I'd be spitting out, irrelevant -- irrelevant -- irrelevant...

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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Sparkles said



As an involuntarily-retired graphic designer (after two years w/o a job and only 2 interviews, I've given up and am now applying for clerk typist jobs), it makes me very sad.

That second interview in fact was just last week. The woman clearly didn't like me, and as she perused my printed portfolio she stopped at a website design from my previous job and said "was that done some time ago? Because it looks old." By "old" I guess she meant lacking in the flat Playskool look prevalent today...I just wanted to walk out and drive my car off the nearest highway ramp...:-(

I had something similar (Not computing) happen to me.

I wonder if she had already got her candidate and was using that as an excuse?

What happened to me was, I went for an interview for a junior management job at a firm I was working for on agency.

The man said "You are 47" I said "Yes" It knocked me back as the message I got was that I was "Over the hill " and fit for nothing.

They gave the job to someone else who had not been there very long at all. I got laid off and about 2 weeks later he never turned up again.

Good luck for the future mate

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I had something similar (Not computing) happen to me.

I wonder if she had already got her candidate and was using that as an excuse?

What happened to me was, I went for an interview for a junior management job at a firm I was working for on agency.

The man said "You are 47" I said "Yes" It knocked me back as the message I got was that I was "Over the hill " and fit for nothing.

They gave the job to someone else who had not been there very long at all. I got laid off and about 2 weeks later he never turned up again.

Good luck for the future mate

Yep, 45 is the new 65. And "3 to 5 years experience required" means "no one over the age of 30 need apply." I think I got on her bad side when I said I don't own a mac (blasphemy in the design world)...

Anyone interested in seeing my old ugly webpage design just pm me (I'd post it but it was an internal site, don't want to get sued).

Apologies for momentarily turning this into a jobs forum (going back to Indeed now :whistle:).

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Over the last few days I've received two mailers from Dell (might be related to their buyout situation). PC's featuring Windows 7 vastly outnumber Windows 8 in the ads -- by 7-1 in one, and 27-9 in the other. In the shorter 7-1 ad, Win8 showed up as nothing more than a bonus tablet for purchasing a real computer.

And these ain't merely old or closeout models, as the attachment illustrates (with my helpful arrows ;) ):

post-287775-0-00166000-1374528556_thumb.

This should tell observers something about the relative strength of Win7 vs. Win8, and how another major PC seller views this market. Ten months into the introduction of the oh-so-exciting Windows 8, why would they be putting 7 front and center? :angel

--JorgeA

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Is it possible that the fad for small electronics has peaked? Two suggestive items in the news:

Kindle fired: 75% want printed books, not ebooks

Note that survey respondents expressed a preference for actual books over e-books in any format, including tablets. There has been talk recently of e-reader sales being cannibalized by tablets, but the survey as constructed accounts for both tablets and e-readers.

Apple Could Post First Sales Drop In 10-Plus Years

Apple (AAPL) investors are bracing for the company to report its third straight quarter of declining earnings per share on a year-to-year basis and its first drop in sales in more than 10 years, when the company reports its fiscal Q3 results after the market close Tuesday.

[...]

The key question for Apple is how well iPhone sales performed amid reports of an industrywide slowdown in smartphone sales and increased competition from Samsung...

[emphasis added]

The hope here is that the trend will continue, undermining Microsoft's motivation to push the tile interface and the Metro Store. Maybe Windows 9 will look more like Win7 than Win8 now does. B)

--JorgeA

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The hope here is that the trend will continue, undermining Microsoft's motivation to push the tile interface and the Metro Store. Maybe Windows 9 will look more like Win7 than Win8 now does. B)

--JorgeA

Let's hope so! :angel

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Cool. Thanks. So it is only laser printers. And indeed that EFF link confirmed that one of my big lasers in fact has the dots! I never properly read up on this story although I meant to.

And (this time slightly OT, but not much ;)):

http://www.thebigfix.com.au/

http://www.thebigfix.com.au/?p=50

Very interesting site. I feel right at home there. I think their take on planned obsolescence is spot on. :thumbsup:

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Canary is the world's first smart home security device for everyone ( TechSpot 2013-07-22 )

Inside the cylinder-shaped Canary is an HD camera with night vision and 170 degree wide angle lens, Wi-Fi, high quality microphone and speaker, RGB LEDs, 3-axis accelerometer, motion detection (passive infrared), temperature sensor and an air quality sensor.

[...]

An accompanying app for iOS (Android and iPad support expected later this year) allows you to keep an eye on everything while you are away and will send alerts directly to your phone if an unexpected visitor arrives or the device detects carbon monoxide in the air. As is the new trend, everything is stored in the cloud.

Oh yeah, what could possibly go wrong here. I tried to figure out how this connects but all they say is that you interface with it through an app on your phone from miles away. The video and the actual website specifically do not show how it connects. It sure cannot be Wi-Fi so I'm guessing the unit itself will need cellular access ( and a plan and a bill ). They say it is all done in the cloud. Wonderful. Regardless, it is a nice portable spy unit, pretty much the perfect thing to be in someone's house ... especially perfect if you're a criminal or a spook ( is there a difference now? ). They are marketing it for dummies, they even say so, therefore I expect zero configuration dumbness and the zero effective security that goes with it.

Ironically, both the federal spooks and everyday criminal burglars wholeheartedly approve of these new consumer security devices.

Hacking Spree Continues: Apple's Dev Site, Ubuntu Forums Hit ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-22 )

Apple admits their Dev Center was hacked, some info may have leaked ( NeoWin 2013-07-22 )

Ubuntu Forum Hack Exposes Email and Password Data of 1.8 Million Users ( Maximum PC 2013-07-22 )

Apple developer website hacked, security being overhauled ( TechSpot 2013-07-22 )

Another day another hack. Note that the Apple intrusion has turned out to be non-malicious, it was a security researcher probing their defenses. The point is still the same though, absolutely none of them are safe, Apple, Microsoft, Google, nobody. If an intruder can't easily climb in the window they will just steal someone's laptop or find an employee's device left in some bar.

UK unveils plan to block online porn by default ( TechSpot 2013-07-22 )

UK to block pornography by default; it corrodes your childhood ( NeoWin 2013-07-22 )

I'm not in the UK but I find this troubling and it has nothing to do with porn. It is about power and access. Governments right at this very moment are in the middle of the most blatant power play for the "information superhighway" seen yet. It is about controlling access and setting precedents for more control. Many of us warned about letting the governments use ISPs as their henchman. It started with Hollywood with DRM and many said "So what?". Then Big Tech and the BSA with MegaUpload and more "Who cares?". National Security spying "Go right ahead". Now the kiddie porn excuse will also get "Not a big deal".

However, if you step back from all these little steps you will see we went to bed in a free land and woke up in Communist China, because our governments are reproducing in small increments what the Chinese regime did all at once with Google. The only difference is scale. In China, Google is expected to and actually has turned over the identities of dissidents to the regime. Over here they already do the same but slightly limiting it to Hollywood Movie downloaders, software pirates, pornographers and terrorists ( unfortunately that last word has quite a bit of flexibility to it ). So, that's today. What will tomorrow bring?

EDIT: fixed CRLF ( extra lines ) from the editor bug that plays around with the first QUOTE tag in the post

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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NSA and German intelligence sharing powerful online surveillance tools ( TechSpot 2013-07-22 )

The documents say the program is meant to help German intelligence "expand their ability to support NSA as we jointly prosecute CT (counterterrorism) targets." A cooperation that has recently been ramped up, the documents mention head of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service Gerhardt Schindler's "eagerness and desire" along with the German agency "willingness to take risks and to pursue new opportunities for cooperation with the US."

Yesterday it was the UK, today it is Germany. I'm sure everybody else will be exposed as we go forward. Is anyone else starting to agree that what this is all about is the powers-that-be, governments all over the world that is, are simultaneously making their move on the Internet to preserve their own power? The spy scandal is truly about government preservation, not citizen protection. They are implanting themselves at every point of the information infrastructure to be able to respond quickly against "insurrection" ( as they define it ) and also to thwart even the possibility of the people organizing themselves. Stopping terrorists is merely a side project that gets them funded.

Microsoft: 3 TB of data uploaded to SkyDrive per day from Windows 8.1 users ( NeoWin 2013-07-22 )

And the worldwide governmental spying network thanks you for your patronage. You know what nobody ever mentions? By intertwining SpyDrive into the operating system as an ambiguous storage location ( yes, this is Microsoft's obsession forever, blurring the distinction between online and offline ), what will happen is that these hipsters using the cloud will wind up in the worst possible security configuration imaginable. They will naturally have more data in the cloud than exists on their local devices. Now when any of their devices gets stolen, all of which have access to the same cloud, the bad guy gets control of far more booty than they could have hoped to get off the dinky little device. The cloud is a force multiplier, but in a bad way.

If you get mugged on the street the crook gets away with the rings on your fingers and the wallet in your pants but everything in the dressers and drawers and the vault at home is still perfectly safe. The cloud arrangement is like the crook getting your rings and wallet, and the house key and he runs home to thoroughly clean it out also. Sure, the cloud and your devices certainly can be configured into a safe arrangement, but as is always the case it is being marketed for dummies ( e.g., MetroTards ). I'll bet there is quite a disclaimer in the EULA to cover this gift horse to criminals and spooks.

Microsoft Research working on embedding coded tags in 3D printed objects ( NeoWin 2013-07-22 )

Wow, we were just talking about the Laser Printer encoding. Microsoft wants badly to be the first at something, and as usual it jumps in first whenever it will help the government spy on the people.

Microsoft's Fresh Paint app now available for Windows Phone 8 ( NeoWin 2013-07-22 )

Look everybody ... Skeuomorphism! ... Why aren't the MetroTards complaining? Besides that little hypocrisy, they completely ripped the thing off anyway ...

sN5C82q.jpg

EDIT: fixed CRLF ( extra lines ) from the editor bug that plays around with the first QUOTE tag in the post

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Cool. Thanks. So it is only laser printers.

Only COLOUR laser printers.

jaclaz

Yeah that's what I meant. Thanks again.

But how can we be really sure that they didn't figure out a way using grayscale on non-color printers ( or any color on bubblejets ). Hmmmmm.

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