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Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions


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#3376
MagicAndre1981

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I think they shut it down to reduce piracy. I saw several users who bought a "cheap" Windows key from a untrusted shop and this were Technet keys which MS blocked later.
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#3377
Formfiller

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Mind-bogglingly stupid move!

Even for "NuMicrosoft" that's truly amazing dumbness.

Comment from ZDNet:

there are a LOT of us out there that use Technet for the home lab to keep ahead of what the enterprise is running, so that when new stuff DOES hit the enterprise sector we know what it looks like and how to interact. Or in the case of Win8, what to avoid or how to mitigate problems. Individual consultants with lower budgets are definitely in that boat, but I know IT folks who pay to keep one about, and I personally have one because I lost my company paid subscription after a layoff. Without Technet, a lot of Field Engineers and up through the Systems Administration guys will start to look outside the box, whether that means pirating or personally jumping ship to Linux or Mac. The former is GOOD for Microsoft (just like it was good for them when the Field Engineers who were pirating at home brought their skills as well as snuck Windows into the workplace), but if the the latter happens will have bad consequences for their marketshare in a few short years. So while they're under no obligation, there are consequences. Time will tell what the consequences are, but history would indicate they are on the losing side of this one unless they drop the activation crap so as to encourage piracy on the home front again.


The few pirates are well worth the benefits of having a program like TechNet. It's so unbelievably retarded for a company to kill off its own crown jewels like that. Oh my God. But oh well, it's the era of NuMicrosoft, Windows 8, metro, bleached-out Office, Xbone ..

Edited by Formfiller, 02 July 2013 - 01:19 AM.


#3378
HalloweenDocument12

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I wasn't aware that tech people used it to keep up with the new offerings and to gain experience with the various versions.


What did you think it was used for?

I think they shut it down to reduce piracy. I saw several users who bought a "cheap" Windows key from a untrusted shop and this were Technet keys which MS blocked later.


I know this happened but I don't think it was widespread enough to be that big of a concern. It's far easier to use "Loaders" and other activation bypass methods than to gamble on TechNet keys. Even then, most people get computers through OEMs, which have their own VLKs. Second-hand licenses are for the realm of people who know it can be done but aren't quite knowledgeable to do it themselves, a pretty small audience.

#3379
Formfiller

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I wasn't aware that tech people used it to keep up with the new offerings and to gain experience with the various versions.


What did you think it was used for?

I think they shut it down to reduce piracy. I saw several users who bought a "cheap" Windows key from a untrusted shop and this were Technet keys which MS blocked later.


I know this happened but I don't think it was widespread enough to be that big of a concern. It's far easier to use "Loaders" and other activation bypass methods than to gamble on TechNet keys. Even then, most people get computers through OEMs, which have their own VLKs. Second-hand licenses are for the realm of people who know it can be done but aren't quite knowledgeable to do it themselves, a pretty small audience.


The answer is obvious: It makes no sense whatsoever to kill off TechNet. No sane sense at least.

Microsoft collectively is so far off the deep end, I wouldn't be surprised now if it was done out of spite. Like some sort of punishment against IT pros, because they haven't widely adopted Windows 8.

Edited by Formfiller, 02 July 2013 - 05:57 AM.


#3380
jaclaz

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Formfiller forgot bolding/underlining/highlighting a sentence in his quote

Comment from ZDNet:

there are a LOT of us out there that use Technet for the home lab to keep ahead of what the enterprise is running, so that when new stuff DOES hit the enterprise sector we know what it looks like and how to interact. Or in the case of Win8, what to avoid or how to mitigate problems. Individual consultants with lower budgets are definitely in that boat, but I know IT folks who pay to keep one about, and I personally have one because I lost my company paid subscription after a layoff. Without Technet, a lot of Field Engineers and up through the Systems Administration guys will start to look outside the box, whether that means pirating or personally jumping ship to Linux or Mac. The former is GOOD for Microsoft (just like it was good for them when the Field Engineers who were pirating at home brought their skills as well as snuck Windows into the workplace), but if the the latter happens will have bad consequences for their marketshare in a few short years. So while they're under no obligation, there are consequences. Time will tell what the consequences are, but history would indicate they are on the losing side of this one unless they drop the activation crap so as to encourage piracy on the home front again.



:whistle:

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 02 July 2013 - 03:18 AM.


#3381
Formfiller

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Ha ha, the shills are p***ing off EVERYONE now:

http://www.zdnet.com...ice-7000017541/

Comment:

This is a really dumb move. If it weren't for the techy types, Microsoft would not have near the amount of business it does today. It's the techs that people turn to in order to get advice on what to buy. If MS p***es off the Techs, they'll loose a LOT of revenue due to less input from the people that move and shape the industry.

I know that I would have never started recommending Windows 8 if I had not had it on my test machines. And, I would not be rolling it out to computers in my company. I generally hate trial period software and stay away from it like the plague. This won't change that feeling about this type of offering. Sorry MS, you are loosing a long time supporter in me, and probably a larger number of others than you realize in this stupid move.


Obviously we have a Windows 8 fanboy here. And that usually comes with being a fanboy of the "NuMicrosoft" direction as well.

Here's the reply he got:

You should already have VL

If you are an IT Pro working mostly in an MS environment, then your company should be paying for its software and providing IT Admins like you with MSDN Subs through volume licensing, providing you essentially with unlimited software for testing.

You are bitter because you are just one of them reselling the keys on ebay and giving it away to family and friends. Sorry your gravy train has ended, that $100 per key listing on ebay and craigs list was a good supplement to your income as a bag boy at Kmart.


ROFLCOPTER! The replier is active throughout the whole thread, shilling hard. There is no stop to the p***-off train. Even Windows 8 fanboys get their grilling, when they move from the official Microsoft-line one single step.

Edited by Formfiller, 02 July 2013 - 06:18 AM.


#3382
HalloweenDocument12

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Are people really paying $100/key from essentially anonymous sources? The people I know who do this stuff give away the keys as comps to their best customers. Reselling TechNet products really doesn't seem to be a good method of supplemental income. Maybe there's something I'm missing.

Also, a lot of people seem to be ignorant as to how much tech "capital" is brought on by employees. Sure, a company should be awesome and give their staff whatever it wants. What if it doesn't happen? Quit? In this job market? What if the company is good in other ways and just lacks this one thing? What happened to taking personal responsibility for enhancing job skills? While on one hand it's nice for the company to provide the best tools, it's another to make the company the ONLY source for tools.

#3383
Formfiller

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Are people really paying $100/key from essentially anonymous sources? The people I know who do this stuff give away the keys as comps to their best customers. Reselling TechNet products really doesn't seem to be a good method of supplemental income. Maybe there's something I'm missing.



There was a bit of an eBay trade, but that's mostly dried up now. And if they are sold, those keys don't cost 100$, more like 10$.

Facts annoy when one is shilling.

#3384
bpalone

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One thing can be said for the NuMicrosoft, you don't have to be creative to come up with new bad news ideas.

Here is the latest news item:

Microsoft To Add Bing Ads To Windows 8.1 Search

The article can be read here.

Just what everyone wants to do, pay for a product that is going to shove MORE advertising in your face. I can just see the folks lining up at the Microsoft Stores right now. They want to be sure to be the first get this brand new advertising model, they just might miss the latest and greatest piece of junk in years.

It also adds to the thought Microsoft, etal, are going to be watching your every move with their new software.

bpalone

#3385
MagicAndre1981

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@ bpalone

be have a 8.1 topic:

http://www.msfn.org/...20#entry1043889

post it there.
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#3386
CharlotteTheHarlot

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@ bpalone

be have a 8.1 topic:

http://www.msfn.org/...20#entry1043889

post it there.

Andre, this thread isn't just 8.0.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#3387
CharlotteTheHarlot

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( Finally getting a break from two weeks of torrential rain, outages, and other fun stuff. Quite a backlog of articles! Apologies in advance if they have been covered because I have no time to doublecheck all the posts. )

Loose ends from the previous week or two ... Xbox and related ...


MSFT: Xbox One Headset is a Must Have (But Not Included with Console) ( Tom's Hardware 2013-06-27 )

MSFT Working on Xbox One Adapter for 360 Headsets ( Tom's Hardware 2013-06-27 )

In the first article you find out Microsoft trumpets the necessity of a headset for hands-free gaming, but does not include one in the box. They do however include a special version of Kinect which is big and pricey and will get much less use than a headset by gamers. Dumb. Then in the second article we find out that headsets from the previous Xbox 360 will not work, yet another example of Apple-envy, copying their legendary ability of creating new incompatible connectors. Apparently Microsoft has just now figured out that is a mistake and has set out to make and adapter. If they continue to follow Apple's lead, it should be very pricey. I gotta ask, when it's early morning in Redmond, does a funny looking car roll up to the Xbox building and spill out a dozen clowns onto the curb? Just askin'. :lol:


Google Working on Android Console Too ( Tom's Hardware 2013-06-28 )

A lot of folks are scratching their heads about this. But you know what it might be? Remember what Microsoft stated about going after Apple ( as if ) on every playing field and at every form factor? It sure looks to me like Google's revenge for Scroogle is a silent but deadly attack on Microsoft on all form factors, and is perhaps underway as we speak. And they actually are eating their lunch almost everywhere. I suspect there is a ton of work going on at the desktop OS level, and if they can just pry themselves away from the locked-up slimmed-down model of Chrome, which is the opposite of Windows, and especially knock out something that seamlessly replaces FAT/exFAT/NTFS, they will finish them off except for the cloud thing. BTW: see recent Ars Technica article: Can Microsoft’s exFAT file system bridge the gap between OSes?, technically good article but as usual the comments are where the terminally clueless congregate to heap praise on their personal Saviour, and it's always Apple or Microsoft.


Sorry Windows Modders, Xbox One's Kinect Sensor Won't Plug Into PCs ( Maximum PC 2013-06-28 )

And some more Apple-envy : incompatibility. Actually the reason why they have two different Kinects is pretty obvious now, the retail one for Windows PC's is announced as going for like $400. :blink: And we gotta wonder what will be really different inside?


Rumor: Sony removed PS4's camera to undercut price of Xbox One ( NeoWin 2013-06-27 )

Sony Reportedly Cut PS4 Camera to Beat Xbox One Price ( Tom's Hardware 2013-06-28 )

Sony Changed DRM Gears After Negative Xbox One Feedback ( Tom's Hardware 2013-06-28 )

The nerve of those Sony guys snookering Microsoft! Especially after the fanboys were carrying on for months and months telling us "Stop picking on Xbox, PlayStation will have all the same restrictions!". Of course they miss the main point - the only way to get any kind of response from Microsoft is to give them some competition. :yes: For substantiation of this theory just have a look at the Windows non-competitive monopoly.


Will Xbox One get a big memory performance boost for final hardware? ( NeoWin 2013-06-28 )

Xbox exec claims comparing console specs is "meaningless" ( NeoWin 2013-06-29 )

Xbox exec: I didn't mean to diminish PS4 performance claims ( NeoWin 2013-07-01 )

Another Softie opens mouth, inserts foot. He started out trying to blur the differences between Xbone and PS4, and there are known differences, especially in RAM as the first article points out ( GDDR5 for Sony, DDR3 for Xbox ), and still makes a mess out of things. You know what's interesting? All these different people with suits and titles and access to the public and they have made no visible effort to select an official spokesmouth instead opting for keystone cops amateur hour. This is the most undisciplined bunch of children I have ever seen. Who would trust their business to them?

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#3388
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Loose ends from the previous week or two ... Xbox and related ( continued ) ...


Alienware Admits Consoles Are Now Resembling PCs ( Tom's Hardware 2013-06-28 )

Maybe so, but never forget that the true goal of Microsoft and everyone else is ... PC's that resemble consoles. And not in appearance. :no: The goal is for the destruction of PC's, by definition. The goal is for no device to be capable of anything not expressly approved of by Microsoft, the Games Industry ( Big Entertainment ), Big Hollywood, Big Music, and of course Big Government. All these skirmishes are the pea-shell game. They will get there in baby steps if necessary, but they will get there. This is why we must fight.


Time Warner Cable to offer 300 live channels on Xbox 360 ( TechSpot 2013-06-28 )

Time Warner Cable app coming to Xbox 360 this summer ( NeoWin 2013-06-28 )

Microsoft and Time Warner Cable Announce Xbox 360 Deal ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-01 )

This one is very strange. In order to even use the app you will have to already have a Time-Warner subscription ( this is cable TV ). Then you will have access to about 300 channels. But wouldn't you already be using the cable for just that on the TV in the first place? More importantly, unless the Xbox has a coaxial cable input like a DVR ( the feed from Time-Warner is coax cable ) then this would have to be connected by ethernet. Now, either way it sure looks to me like Xbox will be loading up the data bandwidth on the cable, blowing your Internet capacity out the Window. Cable is typically sucky over here unless you pay for an extraordinary data plan. If you have the most common arrangement, Cable TV + Phone + Internet ( aka Triple Play ), the Internet portion is only like 15 to 20 Mb/s download. So I don't get how this is that great an idea yet. Maybe someone else knows.


Xbox head Don Mattrick to depart Microsoft, headed to Zynga? ( NeoWin 2013-07-01 )

Xbox chief Don Mattrick heading for top position at Zynga, sources say (update) ( TechSpot 2013-07-01 )

Xbox One Boss Don Mattrick Leaves Microsoft for Zynga ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-01 )

Microsoft's Don Mattrick officially Zynga's new CEO ( NeoWin 2013-07-01 )

Microsoft's Don Mattrick Headed to Zynga, Stock Surges ( Maximum PC 2013-07-02 )

Steve Ballmer Steps Into Don Mattrick's Shoes to Lead Xbox Division ( Maximum PC 2013-07-02 )

Steve Ballmer is Taking Command of Xbox One ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-02 )

Conflicting reports emerge about why Don Mattrick is leaving Microsoft ( NeoWin 2013-07-03 )

The guy who first flipped off criticism by saying if you want backward compatibility to get a Xbox 360. Then after the Xbox 180 announcement his name is floated as a possible top honcho in Softieville. Now he jumps ship. Well my head is spinning. You know what's weird? I can't tell if either Microsoft or Zynga gained or lost on this deal! :lol:


And now for somethng completely different ( and that's the point ) ...

Pre-order Rise of the Triad Remake; Launches This Month ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-01 )

On Monday Apogee Software opened up the pre-orders for its Rise of the Triad remake, now slated to arrive on July 31 for a mere $14.99 USD. It will also be DRM-free, meaning you can download the game and install it on any device that meets the system requirements without restriction.


( I couldn't resist the juxtaposition of old style gaming and lack of restrictions versus the modern evolved locked-down walled garden model. ROTT to the rescue! )

Jeez, I remember this game so well, it was a good step up from Wolf3D which was the engine that is was based on. It managed to come out in that gap between Wolf3D and Doom and IIRC, they were first to unlock the Z-axis ( player could move vertically ), and also introduced elevator and jump pads which obviously became the norm ever since. But the best thing was that the designers went for a wild and wacky arsenal of weapons, setting the precedent for so many later games like Quake and Unreal. If I'm not mistaken, they introduced the bazooka, drunk missile, and that great flamethrower thing. It was definitely way ahead of its time, and it's coming back . :thumbup There is a Wikipedia page for the original that describes a lot of details about the backstory that I never knew at the time. One thing that Rise Of The Triad had that I have never seen since was a random level generator that could create unique one-of-a-kind maps. I thought this was a brilliant idea and have often wondered why no-one else ever exploited the possibilities of it. Since it is not mentioned anywhere in the press release I guess it won't be included in the remake which is too bad. But heck, this is gonna be good.

Spoiler



EDIT: added link

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 04 July 2013 - 02:25 AM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#3389
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Loose ends from the previous week or two ... Windows 8 and Blew ...


Download Windows 8.1 Preview: Start button returns, boot to desktop, better search and more ( TechSpot 2013-06-26 )

Microsoft's Build 2013 keynote, Windows 8.1 showcased and more ( Maximum PC 2013-06-26 )

On the two-year anniversary of the first look at Windows 8, the battle is still going strong. Two years of criticism and we are still at it. Their arrogance and stubborness is legendary and epic. The comment war as usual is lively leading to this funny truth ...

Microsoft can forget any notions of winning the Nobel Peace prize!



Hands-On with Windows 8.1: Boot to Desktop ( Thurrott 2013-06-26 )

Hands-On with Windows 8.1: Start Button (OK, it’s really just a subtly changed Start tip) ( Thurrott 2013-06-26 )

Two articles from Paul Thurrott out of probably a hundred he has devoted to the Windows 8.1 Blew Microsoft PropagandaFest. Paul is nothing if tenacious about defending his baby. He does slip back into medication territory though with this crazy sentence ...

it’s pretty clear that the Start button changes made in Windows 8.1 will satisfy most complaints.


:blink: Say what? Is he living in an alternate universe?


With Windows 8.1, can Microsoft get its mojo back? ( Ed Bott ZDNet 2013-06-27 )

Relatively sane musings from Ed MicroBott, for once! In it he has a pretty good line ...

So far, the most successful app developers for Windows 8 are those making Start menu replacements. Ouch.



New Start8 beta compatible with Windows 8.1 preview released ( NeoWin 2013-06-27 )

And the MetroTards never fail to miss an opportunity to open their mouthes and cry like the little girls that they are.


Confirmed: Windows 8.1 Doesn’t Allow Users to Disable the Start Button ( Softpedia 2013-06-28 )

Hey, even I think that should be an option. I don't think it's fair to confuse the MetroTards. ( Okay, I actually do but my belief in choice supercedes messing with the 'Tards :lol: )


Distributors, Analysts Agree Windows 8.1 Won't Perform Miracles in the PC Space ( Maximum PC 2013-06-28 )

The MPC gang teeing off on Microsoft in the comments. It's like exercise, you gotta get up and stretch your legs every so often.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#3390
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Loose ends from the previous week or two ... Windows 8 and Blew ( continued ) ...


Windows 8 hits 100,000 apps milestone ( NeoWin 2013-07-01 )

Today is the day: Microsoft has hit a pretty big milestone for Windows 8, with the Windows Store passing the 100,000 apps mark. It's taken just over seven months for Microsoft to hit the big 100K after Windows 8 launched in late October last year


This article has made the rounds but guess what, it includes a yet another big lie!. When they say "just over seven months", I wonder what kind of calendar they are using! Let's go to the videotape, shall we: Windows Store in Windows 8 RTM now open for paid app submissions (2012-08-01 ) ... ruh roh! That is 11 months on the nose. And this is being repeated all over the place. It goes to show the group-think mentality that is prevalent among these Nimrods.


Windows 8 market share passes Windows Vista ( NeoWin 2013-07-01 )

Windows 8 bests Vista as third-most used OS, gains 5.1% of market ( TechSpot 2013-07-01 )

Small Victory: Windows 8 Finally Leapfrogs Vista in Market Share ( Maximum PC 2013-07-01 )

Windows 8 vaults past Vista, IE10 continues to surge ( Ars Technica 2013-07-01 )

Windows 8 Finally Passes Windows Vista in Market Share ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-01 )

Posted Image

Celebrate .... Wait, what? ... Windows 8 just increased by 0.83 %, but since it passed Vista ( hehe, Ars Technica says "Vaults!" ) it is big news among fanboys. Meanwhile Windows XP and 7 are at 37% and 44% repectively.

I don't know if anyone has noticed but there is a positively ironic consequence coming thanks to Microsoft's insane version numbering policy, that marketing-propaganda trick of avoiding "Service Pack" nomenclature and opting for a point release. Now they are going to have no choice but to break out Windows 8.0 and 8.1 as separately as the Mac OS X versions are! :lol: If they don't it will be as transparent a scam as they have ever pulled, but I wouldn't put it past them. I suggest the folks at Net Applications to be expecting a phone call about this!


Desktop Gadgets (unofficially) comes to Windows 8.1 ( NeoWin 2013-07-02 )

Winaero, an independent 3rd party, has added gadgets to Windows 8.1 Blew ( and had already done the same for 8.0 ). Naturally the MetroTards start to cry ... "oh no, don't put them back please!" ... and: "2007 called..." ( courtesy of Dot MetroTard ) ... and: "gross" ... and: "Why??" ... and my favorite: "What's next? Active Desktop?". Figures he has no clue that he is using Active Desktop, and an even uglier implementataion of it than it was originally. Hey MetroTards, 1998 called, they want their Tiles back!


Windows 8.1 to be invaded by ads within Bing search results ( NeoWin 2013-07-02 )

Pretty contentious discussion with a handful of hardcore MicroZealots defending the indefensible, as usual. Here's a bit showing typical arrogance from a hapless Microsoft employee and a good response back at him ...

The intersection of local/web is really cool. The ability to find content in apps (i.e. artists in Music, locations in Maps, etc) is very useful.

Of course this should be the default. The thing that's best for the vast majority of users is what you make the default, not the less helpful thing some crotchety forum posters want for unclear reasons =P


If privacy isn't important to you, then it's likely you're not very important. In time, if that changes, so will you're attitude on these things. It should be important either way, but that's another story.


Well stated. So we're "crotchety forum posters" eh? I guess that NuMicrosoft attitude really is company poilcy now. Well I goota ask this: do you fools really think you're hipsters? Do you seriously NOT cringe at those idi0tic dance commercials? Do you really think that a billion dollar marketing campaign can spin your image as anything except a lumbering dinosaur following in the footsteps of IBM?

Another Great comment at the same thread ...

How many times can Microsoft shoot itself in the foot before they just fall over?


Exactly.


Windows 8 usage on Steam up to 13.02 percent in June ( NeoWin 2013-07-02 )

~sigh~ Not this sh!t again. First of all just look at their dopey wording - Windows on Steam? :lol: Secondly, as mentioned every month in the past this is a survey of Steam users, a voluntary questionaire, not a system information query. It constitutes a self-selecting subset of Steam members, and not a representative sample. It is even less accurate than the CEIP telemetry that Sinofsky and Julie and Jensen used to kill the Start Menu! Finally, and most importantly, Steam users are not "power users" or hard core "gamers". There are some on Steam certainly, but the bulk of their clientele are moderate to light gamers that are looking for the easy way to get to gaming without messing around with all the roadblocks that Microsoft has thrown our way. So in summary, each time they look at the Steam survey for some much-needed good news, they are making further fools of themselves. But I guess that is what fools do.


EDIT: added article(s)

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 04 July 2013 - 02:40 AM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#3391
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Loose ends from the previous week or two ... The Competition and Miscellaneous ...


Intel Subsidiary Havok Launches Free Mobile 3D Engine ( Tom's Hardware 2013-06-26 )

Here's an interesting tidbit of news: Intel subsidiary Havok, based out of Dublin, Ireland, has released a completely free end-to-end mobile 3D game engine. What's more, games developed with this engine can be deployed for free on iOS, Android and Tizen mobile platforms without commercial restrictions on company size or revenue.

[...]

"With features like an extensible C++ architecture, a flexible asset management system, advanced Lua debugging and customizable game samples and tutorials, Project Anarchy offers game developers the ability to quickly iterate on their ideas and create incredible gaming experiences," the company said.


Along with many other I haven't been too happy with Intel lately. I keep hoping that they will wake up and realize that Microsoft will dump them like a bad habit if Windows ARM takes off or some other chip family comes along. Maybe, just maybe they are testing the waters of independence ( remember, Wintel has no real need for Microsoft to write an operating system because Intel is fully capable of producing software for the chips they design and manufacture ). Here is a little more perhaps shedding light on their angle ...

So what's the catch? Why is this engine free? Havok only requires a few things in return: participate in the Project Anarchy community, allow Intel/Havok to do some co-marketing when it comes time to ship the game, and build an x86-compatible version of the game alongside any other version. Oh, there's a "Pro" version too. Surprised?


Very interestink! ( - Arte Johnson )


Yahoo closing several products, including Yahoo Axis and AltaVista ( NeoWin 2013-06-29 )

Yahoo Takes AltaVista Search Engine Off Life Support ( Maximum PC 2013-07-02 )

Hasta la vista, AltaVista

AltaVista is shutting down, and if you find that the least bit surprising, it's probably because you're shocked to discover it still exists. Well, it does, for a few more days anyway. On July 8, 2013, Yahoo will pull the plug on one of the web's earliest search engines, ending a run that spanned nearly two decades (AltaVista launched on December 15, 1995).


Well, for a proper fond farewell I decided to launch one last search into AltaVista ( Yahoo powered by Bing ) using an appropriate subject search. So here is a final souvenir from AltaVista ( 234 KB ) ...

Spoiler


Mozilla and partners launch first Firefox OS smartphone ( TechSpot 2013-07-01 )

ZTE Open to release tomorrow, as first Firefox OS device for the public ( NeoWin 2013-07-02 )

Firefox OS Tablets Coming Soon, Says Mozilla CTO ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-02 )

Mozilla Announces First Firefox OS Smartphones ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-02 )

It may not look like much yet, but they are not aiming at the top-end boutique hipster. I didn't really know what to make of this but I think it has to do with the good name recognition they have earned in the long fought battle in the browser arena. Both Mozilla and Firefox carry an independent connotation, and that just might help them grab a foothold in a market that is getting saturated. I figure if you are looking for a cheap phone and you have to choose from several brands that are not all familiar to you, the name alone might just lock up that purchase when faced with a quick decision. Regardless of their success, every one of these things that sells is one less WP that could have moved. And I think the exact same plan will work for their tablets as well. So how's that plan working out Ballmer?


HP executive confirms a smartphone is in the pipeline ( TechSpot 2013-07-01 )

HP Hints Again at Return to Smartphone Market ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-02 )

HP looking to get back into the smartphone race ( NeoWin 2013-07-02 )

And another one! I'm more optimistic than all the commenters at these threads who keep reminding us of Palm and WebOS. They have a different CEO now and she can't possible be as bad as the last guy. I suspect all they need to do is follow through and not kill the project and they will at least sell some phones and maybe tablets. And once again, every one that moves is one less MicroToy that sells. None of these stories are good news for Microsoft and Steve Ballmer, who only thrive in a monopolized, captive market. This, on the hand, is what we call competition, so may the best man win ( ... and may the fat man lose ).


Google's Moto X ad says it is 'the first smartphone that you can design yourself' ( NeoWin 2013-07-02 )

Motorola Ad Teases Customizable, U.S.-made Moto X Phone ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-03 )

This does look interesting ( and many of the commenters at NeoWin would seem to agree ). They're hitiing all the points for USA buyers, made in America ( mostly ), simple and effective ads, even the new updated Motorola logo looks sharp. But the thing about designing the phone ( spec'ing it ) yourself is quite a differentiator. That puts them miles above Microsoft IMHO, and truthfully it is unexpected from Google also. We may have something very different here indeed. :yes:


EDIT: added article

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 04 July 2013 - 02:42 AM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#3392
HalloweenDocument12

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You know what's interesting? All these different people with suits and titles and access to the public and they have made no visible effort to select an official spokesmouth instead opting for keystone cops amateur hour. This is the most undisciplined bunch of children I have ever seen. Who would trust their business to them?


The shills are funny in these situations because they try to assert that these spokespeople don't carry the opinion of the company, even when it's a CxO speaking. If you can't listen to these people then who?

[ROTT] was a good step up from Wolf3D which was the engine that is was based on. It managed to come out in that gap between Wolf3D and Doom and IIRC, they were first to unlock the Z-axis ( player could move vertically ), and also introduced elevator and jump pads which obviously became the norm ever since. But the best thing was that the designers went for a wild and wacky arsenal of weapons, setting the precedent for so many later games like Quake and Unreal. If I'm not mistaken, they introduced the bazooka, drunk missile, and that great flamethrower thing. It was definitely way ahead of its time, and it's coming back.


Technology-wise, ROTT was an upgrade over Wolf3D and was originally supposed to be another Nazi game, which is evident in the game itself. The project was delayed, though, and Doom beat it to market. ROTT was still awesome, though, and was the best multiplayer FPS of its time. The influence on other multiplayer FPSes like Quake is obvious. ROTT introduced several staple multiplayer modes and had the most total modes at the time and allowed the most players, 11, over the usual 4 or so.

Doom had pseudo Z-axis in that one could move up and down stairs, elevators, etc, but no objects could occupy the same space vertically, so Doom was something like 2.5D. ROTT didn't entirely eliminate this restriction as those platforms were hardcoded spites. As in, literally hex edited into the game because while they figured out how to remove the Z restriction, they couldn't build it into the engine.

ROTT had unique weapons for its time. Doom had introduced the vanilla rocket launcher, plasma gun, and BFG, but ROTT introduced what you mentioned plus the baseball bat (and balls), dog mode, magic wand, god hand, and others I am surely forgetting. It also introduced begging enemies (that would get you back if you didn't kill them). Besides allowing character selection, there were subtle differences between the characters. Another first, I believe, but this is usually attributed to Goldeneye I think, probably due to Oddjob's obvious and extreme advantage.

EDIT: ROTT also introduced modifiable environments (smashing pots, bullet holes) and disintegrating enemies (burning, explosions). Okay, I'll stop now.

Edited by HalloweenDocument12, 03 July 2013 - 12:05 PM.


#3393
HalloweenDocument12

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Hasta la vista, AltaVista

AltaVista is shutting down, and if you find that the least bit surprising, it's probably because you're shocked to discover it still exists. Well, it does, for a few more days anyway. On July 8, 2013, Yahoo will pull the plug on one of the web's earliest search engines, ending a run that spanned nearly two decades (AltaVista launched on December 15, 1995).


Count me in. I thought AltaVista was shut down when they redirected Babel Fish to Yahoo some years ago. For true nostalgia, they should make AltaVista return nothing but 404s and "Bad Redirect" notices.

#3394
JorgeA

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( Finally getting a break from two weeks of torrential rain, outages, and other fun stuff. Quite a backlog of articles! Apologies in advance if they have been covered because I have no time to doublecheck all the posts. )

Welcome back. :hello: Glad you survived!

Do take a look at the previous posts if you can. There's a number of interesting/funny images, cartoons, and videos embedded in some of them.

Google Working on Android Console Too ( Tom's Hardware 2013-06-28 )

A lot of folks are scratching their heads about this. But you know what it might be? Remember what Microsoft stated about going after Apple ( as if ) on every playing field and at every form factor? It sure looks to me like Google's revenge for Scroogle is a silent but deadly attack on Microsoft on all form factors, and is perhaps underway as we speak. And they actually are eating their lunch almost everywhere. I suspect there is a ton of work going on at the desktop OS level, and if they can just pry themselves away from the locked-up slimmed-down model of Chrome, which is the opposite of Windows, and especially knock out something that seamlessly replaces FAT/exFAT/NTFS, they will finish them off except for the cloud thing.

That sure would be a welcome development. It'd be a sneaky strategy on Google's part, but I wouldn't mind if they tried it. Evidently MSFT needs strong competition before they'll take their customers' preferences seriously.

--JorgeA

#3395
JorgeA

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Time Warner Cable to offer 300 live channels on Xbox 360 ( TechSpot 2013-06-28 )

Time Warner Cable app coming to Xbox 360 this summer ( NeoWin 2013-06-28 )

Microsoft and Time Warner Cable Announce Xbox 360 Deal ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-01 )

This one is very strange. In order to even use the app you will have to already have a Time-Warner subscription ( this is cable TV ). Then you will have access to about 300 channels. But wouldn't you already be using the cable for just that on the TV in the first place? More importantly, unless the Xbox has a coaxial cable input like a DVR ( the feed from Time-Warner is coax cable ) then this would have to be connected by ethernet. Now, either way it sure looks to me like Xbox will be loading up the data bandwidth on the cable, blowing your Internet capacity out the Window. Cable is typically sucky over here unless you pay for an extraordinary data plan. If you have the most common arrangement, Cable TV + Phone + Internet ( aka Triple Play ), the Internet portion is only like 15 to 20 Mb/s download. So I don't get how this is that great an idea yet. Maybe someone else knows.

It sounds like the concept is to have the Xbox work like a set-top box, maybe even taking the place of the STB.

Incidentally, this announcement would help to explain Microsoft's relegating Windows Media Center to second-class status in the Windows world: they don't really care about WMC because the focus is now on the Xbox.

The type of connection would depend on how the cable company sets up its delivery system. Some of them are using switched digital video (SDV), which requires the use of a supplementary piece of equipment in addition to the STB or DVR. So, conceivably the coax could go out of the wall into the SDV adapter, and then the adapter would connect to the Xbox by HDMI/component/composite video.


Xbox head Don Mattrick to depart Microsoft, headed to Zynga? ( NeoWin 2013-07-01 )

Xbox chief Don Mattrick heading for top position at Zynga, sources say (update) ( TechSpot 2013-07-01 )

Xbox One Boss Don Mattrick Leaves Microsoft for Zynga ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-01 )

Microsoft's Don Mattrick officially Zynga's new CEO ( NeoWin 2013-07-01 )

Microsoft's Don Mattrick Headed to Zynga, Stock Surges ( Maximum PC 2013-07-02 )

Steve Ballmer Steps Into Don Mattrick's Shoes to Lead Xbox Division ( Maximum PC 2013-07-02 )

Steve Ballmer is Taking Command of Xbox One ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-02 )

Conflicting reports emerge about why Don Mattrick is leaving Microsoft ( NeoWin 2013-07-03 )

The guy who first flipped off criticism by saying if you want backward compatibility to get a Xbox 360. Then after the Xbox 180 announcement his name is floated as a possible top honcho in Softieville. Now he jumps ship. Well my head is spinning. You know what's weird? I can't tell if either Microsoft or Zynga gained or lost on this deal! :lol:

Is there the start of a pattern here? Mattrick is the second MSFT exec (Sinofsky was the first) to oversee the launching of a major new company product amid great controversy, and then leave immediately thereafter.

--JorgeA

#3396
JorgeA

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Confirmed: Windows 8.1 Doesn’t Allow Users to Disable the Start Button ( Softpedia 2013-06-28 )

Hey, even I think that should be an option. I don't think it's fair to confuse the MetroTards. ( Okay, I actually do but my belief in choice supercedes messing with the 'Tards :lol: )

Agreed that it should be an option. In fact, my worry is that if it's impossible to disable the pseudo-Start Button that takes you to the Metro Start Screen, then it will be at best awkward and definitely ugly to have a real Start Menu overlaid on top of it. And, when you clicked in the area, how would the computer know which of them to activate?

Worse than a middle-finger salute to Windows users, this pseudo-Start Button could actually cripple all the replacement real Start Buttons out there. Maybe that was part of MSFT's thinking. Does anybody have insight into this?

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 03 July 2013 - 04:49 PM.


#3397
JorgeA

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Desktop Gadgets (unofficially) comes to Windows 8.1 ( NeoWin 2013-07-02 )

Winaero, an independent 3rd party, has added gadgets to Windows 8.1 Blew ( and had already done the same for 8.0 ). Naturally the MetroTards start to cry ... "oh no, don't put them back please!" ... and: "2007 called..." ( courtesy of Dot MetroTard ) ... and: "gross" ... and: "Why??" ... and my favorite: "What's next? Active Desktop?". Figures he has no clue that he is using Active Desktop, and an even uglier implementataion of it than it was originally. Hey MetroTards, 1998 called, they want their Tiles back!

:lol:

Glad to hear that it's still possible to get the Gadgets.

BTW, has anybody else wondered about the timing of the original announcement last year that people should stop using Gagdets for "security" reasons? It was right around the time that Win8 was coming out (within a month, IIRC). I've always suspected that trying to eliminate the Gadgets was an attempt to make the Vista/Windows 7 Desktop look that much more static in comparison to what the 'Softies viewed as the dynamic, constantly updating live tiles. Moreover, if you're using Gadgets that get their data right from your own PC (like the picture gallery and the CPU meter), then there can be no question of a security problem, so why issue a "fix" to get rid of all of them? :unsure:

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 03 July 2013 - 05:00 PM.


#3398
Formfiller

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BTW, has anybody else wondered about the timing of the original announcement last year that people should stop using Gagdets for "security" reasons? It was right around the time that Win8 was coming out (within a month, IIRC). I've always suspected that trying to eliminate the Gadgets was an attempt to make the Vista/Windows 7 Desktop look that much more static

--JorgeA


Of course it was.

I had an argument about this on Channel9:

http://channel9.msdn...house/Dick-move

The fanboys didn't like it one bit and flailed around with ad hominems.

It's one of my "how to handle the boyz"-threads.

Edited by Formfiller, 04 July 2013 - 04:14 AM.


#3399
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Loose ends from the previous week or two ... Miscellaneous ...


Telefonica joins forces with Microsoft to eliminate iOS, Android duopoly ( TechSpot 2013-06-26 )

Telefónica to push Windows Phone 8 to fight 'duopoly of Android and iOS' ( NeoWin 2013-06-26 )

Looks like Microsoft has roped in an unwitting accomplice in a last ditch effort to save its WP. They probably have been approaching all kinds of major carriers that deal in Android and iOS handsets and could only get this one to play ball, else we would have heard something more, eh? One commenter at TechSpot speaks his mind ...

Maybe they think the people in these other countries are stupid enough to buy a Windows Phone.

I do not think they are. Although if Telefonica is a monopoly, they might be able to ram it down there customers throats.




Understanding the Duopoly Phenomenon ( John C. Dvorak PC Magazine 2013-06-26 )

Dvorak's philosophy on duopoly. I take it a little farther myself, and play down the Apple-Microsoft faux competition. It is a duopoly but not a competition. It is more like the crips and bloods dividing up the territory and scrupulously avoiding trespassing each others' turf, ever. They have never competed, until Surface. Ever.


Steve Ballmer: 'Rapid Release' is the new norm ( NeoWin 2013-06-26 )

Microsoft Shooting for Weekly Refresh with Office ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-01 )

Ah, just what the doctor ordered - an ever-changing codebase. Now there is a real plan for stability. :no: Eh, whatever. The real reason for it is so that when you get automatically billed you can then say: "Well I guess it's worth it, I mean it must be because they're always updating this thing in the background." ( everyone has heard that kind of comment before ). Microsoft calls it an update, I call it a placebo. The Windows sheeple are merely patients in a giant double-blind medical trial.


GUIs: The computing revolution that turned us into cranky idiots ( ZDNet 2013-06-28 )

The author writes a pretty good historical article, and is doing fine until he flat-out lies about Windows 95, so I guess his whole post must be brought into question.

We saw this, for example, with the introduction of the Start Menu in Windows 95, which was utterly pervasive in Windows until 2012. Mind you, Windows 95 was an extremely successful operating system, but the migration to using the new GUI from Program Manager did not go without its own share of people kicking and screaming along the way.


Where do they get this stuff? ~sigh~ Rather than tear him a new one I'll just quote two excellent replies found in the comments ...

yes, a little history

Windows 1.0 was a toy. The only graphical programs it ran were its own applets, like Clock, and it could only handle tiled windows. Windows 2.0 had only one graphical program, Excel 2 for Windows, and they were so closely tied that Windows 2 was bundled with Excel 2.

Re Windows 95, that's the last Windows version I can remember for which people lined up outside software stores (remember those?) before they opened in order to be some of the first to get it. Maybe there was some complaining about the new UI, but what really sold Windows 95 were long filenames, FAT32 file system, better multitasking than in Windows 3.1, .LNK shortcuts rather than .PIF ones, and new desktop functionality like putting shortcuts on the desktop. And for those who really didn't like the new UI, Windows 95 included Program Manager and instructions in its README on how to revert to Program Manager.

That is, back before MSFT had fully consolidated it's iron grip on humanity's privates, it allowed for users to choose their UI - new or old. Choice - what a concept!


I was in IT at the time of the 3.1 to 95 transition

and it is a modern day fantasy presented by Windows 8 defenders that users objected to that change. They absolutely didn't. I had a stable of Windows NT 3.51 users who were irritated that they would be stuck with Program Manager for another year.

There's a reason people lined up for Windows 95. it was a major improvement and everyone knew it.

As to the Alto interface, I used it, as Xerox employed it some of their printing technology. They didn't change it much over the years, as it was used by operators for very specific tasks... and contrary to the other Windows 8 defender myth that UIs must change drastically, Xerox's UI (used on their print consoles) was used with a primitive bezel touch screen.

Yes - the Alto interface, the original pointer driven UI, was also able to drive a touch screen. So the notion that you need blinky tiles and multiple inchoate UIs in order to operate a computer is yet another myth.


These two actually do know what they are talking about. I might have been a little hard on the author because he only has that little sentence, but it has become a meme among the MicroParrots and must be corrected.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#3400
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Loose ends from the previous week or two ... Miscellaneous ( continued ) ...


EDITORIAL: Microsoft's Customer Relationship Status: It's Complicated. ( NeoWin 2013-06-29 )

An editorial by a NeoWinner and quite a fine one at that! Good writing and contrary to the screams and cries in the comments, he's very accurate IMHO. Here's a good zinger ...

The Start screen and interface paradigm itself were a product of this Sinofsky style rationale. The Mark Twain attributed Disraeli method of “lies, damned lies and statistics” has never been fruitful in product development. Microsoft Windows 8 was no exception; thus Sinofsky’s retreat to academia where this scientific method belongs.


:lol: I won't spoil it. He's good and he's ticking off the MetroTards and MicroZealots. Read it for yourself!


ComScore: Microsoft's US smartphone market share down in May 2013 ( NeoWin 2013-06-29 )

Posted Image

I'm sure others have probably mentioned this already, but I'm just getting the headline and chart together in here for the record. WP sinks lower. Tsk Tsk. Shame about Blackberry in the USA though. We really do need more than a couple of choices.


Microsoft loses in court in SkyDrive UK trademark dispute but will appeal ( NeoWin 2013-06-30 )

UK's BSKYB Wins 'SkyDrive' Suit Against Microsoft ( Tom's Hardware 2013-07-03 )

Another legal blunder, and it mirrors or exceeds the Metro fiasco. I'm not sure how they expected to win this case, it seems iron-clad. The UK "Sky" name is even known over here, unlike Metro AG in Germany ( speaking for myself of course ). I'd argue that they could have kept "Metro" because from what I remember the trademark doesn't carry to different industries and product types. Now "Sky" is different because it is transmission of data, and clearly they were going for the primary definition of it as a metaphor. If NewsCorp ever considered online storage or even a plain website the confusion to "SkyDrive" would be patently obvious. So what to make of this? I say it is doubtful that Microsoft employs lawyers dumb enough to believe they could snake the term "Sky" away from them. So what does that leave exactly? I guess it means they never expected to win, and this whole thing came up out of nowhere, catching them flatfooted like before, because they did no due diligence in selecting the name. Even regular people who buy a house or property know they need to pay for a title search. It only leaves incompetence as an excuse. Ah well. Another day another screwup I guess.


Microsoft starts offering Surface tablets via authorized resellers ( NeoWin 2013-07-01 )

Microsoft partners with resellers to boost Surface tablet sales ( TechSpot 2013-07-01 )

So I guess Best Buy and Staples isn't cutting it? Let's review. They started out as exclusive to Microsoft stores. FAIL. Then they add to some big box retailers like Best Buy. FAIL. Then they expand into MicroStores inside Best Buy. FAIL. ( remember all the incredible excuses at each step! ) Now they go for general release in any store. What will be the result? FAIL. Well maybe. With enough availability and the right price they could probably sell the things. So what about that price then ...

256 GB Surface Pro for $1,199.99 on sale at CDW ( NeoWin 2013-07-01 )

Let's just look at the specs like we were buying any old laptop ... 10 inch screen, i5 CPU, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Integrated Video, Windows 8, NO keyboard, 1-year warranty all yours for just $1200 . :whistle: I said it a long way back in this thread. By the time this Windows 8 nightmare gets going we will have $1000 netbooks. I guess I was wrong. I should have said $1200 netbooks. ( Note to MicroZealots, the much maligned netbooks do run x86 software :yes: ).

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...





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