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JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

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And ANOTHER Windows Update causes enough headaches out there to lead Microsoft to pull it.

 

I'm really (not) looking forward to the day when automatic Windows Updates become mandatory in the name of keeping everybody current and simplifying tech support.

 

--JorgeA

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Not sure if I should port this subtopic to "Windows 10 First Impressions," so I'm putting it here. A cautionary tale:

 

How one man’s private files ended up on Apple’s iCloud without his consent

 

After security researcher Jeffrey Paul upgraded the operating system on his MacBook Pro last week, he discovered that several of his personal files had found a new home – on the cloud. The computer had saved the files, which Paul thought resided only on his own encrypted hard drive, to a remote server Apple controlled.

 

Here's the danger involved:

 

The criticism was all the more notable because its target, Apple, had just enjoyed weeks of applause within the computer security community for releasing a bold new form of smartphone encryption capable of thwarting government searches – even when police got warrants. Yet here was an awkward flip side: Police still can gain access to files stored on cloud services, and Apple seemed determined to migrate more and more data to them.

[emphasis added]

 

 

Confusion about how devices and cloud services interact apparently was a factor in the theft of intimate photos of dozens of Hollywood celebrities, such as Jennifer Lawrence, last summer. Their phones were secure, but the photos also were stored in online Apple accounts that, while protected by passwords, were vulnerable to hackers, experts say. It’s not clear the victims had any idea their personal photos were on the cloud, but they were -- within the reach of highly skilled Internet creeps.

 

[...]

 

As for the NSA and the other high-tech intelligence operations run by governments around the world, the revelations by Edward Snowden make clear that government hackers are ingenious and voracious. And while the best likely can hack their way into any individual phone – even those with the tougher, new encryption offered by Apple – experts say it’s easier to collect data on a mass scale when it’s collected in centralized locations, such as on company cloud servers.

 

[...]

 

But it turns out that many people use these apps without immediately naming documents or designating a place where they should be saved. Green, the Johns Hopkins cryptographer, long has used TextEdit as an easy way to take notes that he thought were safe on his hard drive, only later giving them a file name. For Paul, he used the same program as a way to create the computer equivalent of a Post-it Note – a handy place to jot a range of information, including passwords, private information, even the occasional love letter.

 

By the time he discovered the files were being uploaded to iCloud, the deed was already done. And though Paul recalled activating iCloud Drive, he could recall no warning that it would operate in this way.

 

[...]

 

... “If you take 100 people and sit them down in front of a factory-new machine running Yosemite with iCloud Drive and have them open TextEdit, create a new window, type their darkest secrets into that window, and power the machine off without saving it anywhere - how many of those 100 would believe that the data hadn’t left the room?”

 

So without a word of warning, Apple -- probably for "your convenience" -- leaves your data exposed to hackers, police, and the NSA.

 

Microsoft of course is headed in the same direction with its nudge and push for OneDive (SkyDrive). You gotta watch these people like a hawk.

 

--JorgeA

 

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And another Apple controversy that's newly applicable to Microsoft with its integrated Bing "search everywhere" function:

 

Petition targets Apple over ‘spyware’ in OS X Yosemite

 

The petition’s complaints center on the Spotlight feature of Yosemite. Spotlight is a unified search service that lets users search everything from their own file structure to their installed apps, web results and a lot more besides. The petitioners say that Spotlight’s default settings, in Yosemite, automatically transmit location data and search terms to Apple, Microsoft “and other third parties.”

 

--JorgeA

 

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Thought this would be appreciated here.

 

Flat Design Is Going Too Far

 

Epic comments:

 

I’ve been a software developer since the early 1980s, and have kept up to date with technologies, designs and trends over the years.

 

I have to say, I have really been annoyed at the trend towards these “flat” interfaces (and I am really happy to have found your article, since my various searches for articles on the subject – using terms used by Google and Microsoft like “cards”, “tiles” etc. have turned up very little).

 

I wouldn’t mind if these interfaces stuck to phones and tablets, but they have migrated to desktop sites and applications as well – places that, in my opinion, they do not belong. Even redesigns such as Microsoft Office’s “ribbon” interface seem overly simplistic to me.

 

I like to see a LOT of information on a screen at once, a dense field of content, so that I can scan over it and find what I’m looking for easily. Things like Google’s new Play Store website interface, where all information is displayed in big colorful flat “cards”, where you can only see a few onscreen at the time (I suppose since they expect you’ll be flicking through them on a phone/tablet with your fingers) I find absolutely useless – I want to search for specific terms or comments or features, and it won’t let me… I am FORCED to act like I’m casually browsing on a tablet, not scanning for information on a screenfull of data, which I prefer.

 

These bright, Kandee-Kolored Klown interfaces seem to me to be built to appeal to 4-year-olds, not adult eyes and sensibilities, and I hope at some point we go back to more sophisticated, information-dense interfaces.

 

 

 

Thank you, Tim. As someone who must fact-check and quotation-check hundreds of sites each week, I have come to HATE these eye-crap sites. Can’t find a **** thing on them. Checking manuscripts takes me easily four times as long as it used to. I’d like to know who could possibly find this design an improvement, or tolerable, other than the designers jerking off over them. :lol:

 

 

Flat design is like a plague, a virus of conformity, killing usability in the name of fashion and profit.

For mobile devices it certainly has some advantages, it goes from simplifying screens to saving some battery life… But the concept was pushed way too far and spreading it to desktop UIs is a huge usability step back.

 

The truth is, most companies do not understand that in order to have the best user experience possible, you need to adapt your design to the device you are using. Or they do understand it but since it is more expensive they try to save some pennies by asking for a multi-device compatible interface. And sometimes it is even worse as they create an interface designed for mobile devices and try to make it work on a desktop devices! And there we go, usability is sacrificed for more profit…

 

Worse comes to worst, companies managed to turn this capitalistic idea into a trend, knowing that something becoming trendy in the artistic world is like a landslide that would take over all web agency worldwide… Today, everyone has this stupid idea that if a design is not flat, it is a failure, a backward version of reality. “Your design is not flat? Haha you are a prehistorical id***, unable to embrace change!”

 

Then we have designers that are not only formatted to follow trends but they actually like it since it allows them to be lazy! “Oh yeah now I don’t have to bother with shadows and perspectives effects anymore! I can just draw some stupid rectangles with a 16 colors palette and they will be happy!”

 

Now it’s like no one cares about usability anymore as long as we are trendy and able to save money when reaching the mobility market. We are all following one way stripped from most creativity and the worse is that we deeply believe that it is good for us. When did this brain-washing happened?!

 

Remember this the next time you have to guess what is a button in a simplistic UI where you can hardly find what you are looking for among a mess of geometrical and colorful shapes…

Excuse me if it’s not the future I had in mind.

Edited by TELVM

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Brainwashing indeed!

 

I'm beginning to think a majority of people may actually feel this way (that the removal of visual cues and flattening of everything is just plain silly), but the fashion industry is doing everything it can to marginalize common sense thinking.

 

The funniest thing - and/or maybe the most frustrating - is when you come across someone who actually tries to tell you it's better.  Makes you want to strangle them.  Not a good feeling.

 

I'm reminded a bit of the film "Demolition Man".

 

-Noel

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Personally, I don't mind flat or square designs. Regarding Windows 8 UI changes, it should have been an option. Say in XP you could use Luna or use the old themes to make things flat or high contrast if you wanted.

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Personally, I don't mind flat or square designs

 

That's a very reasonable position.  Contrast it to those who claim that you should love them and eschew all that has come before or "you're clearly unable to deal with change".

 

Wake up, fanboys, getting on the bandwagon with Microsoft is not a sure path to success any more.  They're not smarter than you!

 

-Noel

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... The funniest thing - and/or maybe the most frustrating - is when you come across someone who actually tries to tell you it's better.  Makes you want to strangle them.  Not a good feeling.

 

I'm reminded a bit of the film "Demolition Man".

 

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Thought this would be appreciated here.

 

Flat Design Is Going Too Far

 

Epic comments:

 

[...]

 

Flat design is like a plague, a virus of conformity, killing usability in the name of fashion and profit.

For mobile devices it certainly has some advantages, it goes from simplifying screens to saving some battery life… But the concept was pushed way too far and spreading it to desktop UIs is a huge usability step back.

 

The truth is, most companies do not understand that in order to have the best user experience possible, you need to adapt your design to the device you are using. Or they do understand it but since it is more expensive they try to save some pennies by asking for a multi-device compatible interface. And sometimes it is even worse as they create an interface designed for mobile devices and try to make it work on a desktop devices! And there we go, usability is sacrificed for more profit…

 

Worse comes to worst, companies managed to turn this capitalistic idea into a trend, knowing that something becoming trendy in the artistic world is like a landslide that would take over all web agency worldwide… Today, everyone has this stupid idea that if a design is not flat, it is a failure, a backward version of reality. “Your design is not flat? Haha you are a prehistorical id***, unable to embrace change!”

 

Then we have designers that are not only formatted to follow trends but they actually like it since it allows them to be lazy! “Oh yeah now I don’t have to bother with shadows and perspectives effects anymore! I can just draw some stupid rectangles with a 16 colors palette and they will be happy!”

 

Now it’s like no one cares about usability anymore as long as we are trendy and able to save money when reaching the mobility market. We are all following one way stripped from most creativity and the worse is that we deeply believe that it is good for us. When did this brain-washing happened?!

 

Remember this the next time you have to guess what is a button in a simplistic UI where you can hardly find what you are looking for among a mess of geometrical and colorful shapes…

Excuse me if it’s not the future I had in mind.

 

 

Epic comments indeed!! :thumbup

 

Just one quibble about the one I picked out above. If and as users find these flat websites harders to navigate, they will tend to drift away from them and the owners' profits will drop. This will still be the case (though to a lesser degree) even if all websites adopt flat design, as some folks will simply surf the Web less if it gets harder to use.

 

That said, de gustibus non est disputandum. Eventually this fashion will fizzle out as developers (re)discover the wonders of lifelike 3D design... or lose their jobs as website traffic drops below projections.

 

--JorgeA

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On other news, the (presumably Nokia originated) project that never was (thanks MS) will hopefully come to light:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jolla-tablet-world-s-first-crowdsourced-tablet

 

Sailfish:

https://sailfishos.org/about-architecture.html

 

is an OS derived from MeeGo, which was sponsored by Nokia before MS acquisition:

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

 

jaclaz

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Hewlett-Packard is marketing Windows 7 Pro as an upgrade!  :lol:

 

post-287775-0-78706600-1416716221_thumb.

 

Lest anyone think that this means an upgrade from, say, Windows 7 Home Premium, here's a sample PC listing from that e-mail circular:

 

post-287775-0-11386700-1416716280_thumb.

 

Officially a "downgrade," but H-P marketing is acknowledging the market's verdict that the OS improvement runs in the other direction. And yes, there are other, less "industrial"-looking models available...

 

This must be a new low for Windows 8.

 

--JorgeA

 

P.S. The choice of browser for that second image is thanks to @dencorso. :thumbup

Edited by JorgeA

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On other news, the (presumably Nokia originated) project that never was (thanks MS) will hopefully come to light:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jolla-tablet-world-s-first-crowdsourced-tablet

 

Sailfish:

https://sailfishos.org/about-architecture.html

 

is an OS derived from MeeGo, which was sponsored by Nokia before MS acquisition:

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

 

jaclaz

 

Pretty cool. They say it's not Android but it will run Android apps.

 

Would that somebody were to make an OS that wasn't Windows (8/10) but ran Windows programs reliably. If only the ReactOS folks (for example) would get their act together...

 

--JorgeA

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Personally to me Windows program availability is only secondary reason why I use Windows. I really like very much Windows itself and its GUI centric approach. Before Windows 8 vision of Windows was going to right way. I want customizable, commercial, elegant, GUI centric and modern looking OS and Windows 7 has been closest to this vision. I will stay on Windows 7 until full Aero theme and Windows 7 style start menu are options.

 

I will not switch to Linux. I personally don't like Linux that much. Linux feel like GUI extension to command line not exactly GUI centric. Linux GUI's are inefficient and not as well designed as Windows 7. ReactOS is based to NT5.0 not to NT 6.0 and is currently not even close to being finished.

 

Somebody should make commercial, customizable, GUI centric Windows 7 like OS.

Edited by Aero7x64
  • Upvote 1

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Would that somebody were to make an OS that wasn't Windows (8/10) but ran Windows programs reliably. If only the ReactOS folks (for example) would get their act together...

 

The idea behind ReactOS is cool, but XP-level compatibility really isn't good enough any more.  They'll need to take it further.

 

I've heard WINE runs a lot of things directly under Linux/OSX.  I have had only the briefest exposure to it myself, some years ago.

 

-Noel

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I (of course) prefer Aero Glass and the 7-style Start Menu, and hope that either Microsoft will shape up or that somebody else will step up to the plate and provide an alternative OS with the desired features (easier said than done).

 

WINE works for many Windows programs, but not all of them and not all of the time. It's worked OK on the Windows programs I've tried in my limited experience with it, but how to use it isn't a model of clarity.

 

--JorgeA

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