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Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions


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#3951
JorgeA

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Even Thurrott gets annoyed by "NuMicrosoft".

 

http://windowsitpro....ft-hate-it-pros

 

Thanks for the link!

 

I'm coming around to the view that Thurrott "gets it," and that what I've interpreted in the past as his advocacy of NuMicrosoft insanity is largely his attempt to describe the company's attitude from its perspective, without necessarily agreeing with it.

 

Maybe he himself is conflicted, or maybe his views are shifting. But it's encouraging to hear him say things like Microsoft "should do the right thing" and offer choice to its customers.

 

From the post you linked to:
 

...But the end game is clear enough: Microsoft intends to move from software to services, and it intends to take its customers with it.

 

Many customers are balking at this so-called journey. Some have regulatory needs that may or may never be satisfied by cloud services. Some simply don't like the idea of relying on external hosters and services providers. Some, yes, are simply old-fashioned. But as Microsoft moves inexorably to the cloud, many see choice disappearing.

 

One problem with their cloud model is that there are businesses that cannot affordto take the risk inherent in having somebody else store their data. When somebody else keeps your data, you no longer have control of how securely it is stored. If I were an executive in a healthcare or financial company, I would simply not trust any assurance that a cloud service might give me about the security of my data -- I would do that in-house where I had total control over the data and its protection. Otherwise, if there were a breach, how would I answer my customers, my CEO, the directors, the stockholders... and the lawyers dashing to the courthouse to file suit? "Sorry, we trusted SkyDrive or Amazon (or whomever) to know what they were doing, and gave them our data..." I don't think that line would wash.

 

 

Later in the piece, Thurrott makes a point I've said in this thread before, that Microsoft should focus on its strengths rather than try to be all things to all people:

 

And as Google and Apple's focus on consumers has led them to great success, maybe Microsoft needs to focus solely on those customers that historically, as now, have been the company's primary source of revenues: businesses.

 

Maybe Microsoft should treat its consumer products like incubation projects: Build them out, establish the brand, and then spin them off. Certainly, I can make more of a case for a purely business-focused Microsoft than anything else.

 

--JorgeA




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#3952
JorgeA

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It seems that AT&T has joined the (totalitarian) party:

 

Drug Agents Use Vast Phone Trove, Eclipsing N.S.A.’s

 

For at least six years, law enforcement officials working on a counternarcotics program have had routine access, using subpoenas, to an enormous AT&T database that contains the records of decades of Americans’ phone calls — parallel to but covering a far longer time than the National Security Agency’s hotly disputed collection of phone call logs.

 

The Hemisphere Project, a partnership between federal and local drug officials and AT&T that has not previously been reported, involves an extremely close association between the government and the telecommunications giant.

 

The government pays AT&T to place its employees in drug-fighting units around the country. Those employees sit alongside Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local detectives and supply them with the phone data from as far back as 1987.

 

[...]

 

Hemisphere covers every call that passes through an AT&T switch — not just those made by AT&T customers — and includes calls dating back 26 years, according to Hemisphere training slides bearing the logo of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Some four billion call records are added to the database every day, the slides say; technical specialists say a single call may generate more than one record. Unlike the N.S.A. data, the Hemisphere data includes information on the locations of callers.

 

--JorgeA

 



#3953
JorgeA

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I hope Tripredacus won't mind my linking to this relevant post of his in another thread. It sounds like the Windows 8.1 option to "upgrade" from Win8 is a bit misleading, or at least open to misinterpretation, which could tick off a lot of users.

 

--JorgeA

 



#3954
JorgeA

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An interesting critique of the new IE/Win8 SmartScreen Filter. Not an entirely disinterested analyst, of course, but his points make sense and it's still a thought-provoking writeup.

 

If you look at the illustrations, the XP-style warning is a heck of a lot more useful than the information-free Windows 8 notification.

 

--JorgeA

 



#3955
JorgeA

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And for those who say that "anti-crime" tools would never be used to persecute political opponents -- well, they're already being used that way:

 

Software Meant to Fight Crime Is Used to Spy on Dissidents

 

SAN FRANCISCO — Morgan Marquis-Boire works as a Google engineer and Bill Marczak is earning a Ph.D. in computer science. But this summer, the two men have been moonlighting as detectives, chasing an elusive surveillance tool from Bahrain across five continents.

 

What they found was the widespread use of sophisticated, off-the-shelf computer espionage software by governments with questionable records on human rights. While the software is supposedly sold for use only in criminal investigations, the two came across evidence that it was being used to target political dissidents.

 

The software proved to be the stuff of a spy film: it can grab images of computer screens, record Skype chats, turn on cameras and microphones and log keystrokes. The two men said they discovered mobile versions of the spyware customized for all major mobile phones.

 

But what made the software especially sophisticated was how well it avoided detection. Its creators specifically engineered it to elude antivirus software made by Kaspersky Lab, Symantec, F-Secure and others.

 

 

 

One may be tempted to say that "it can't happen here," but is that a bet you'd be willing to lose? We know that in the U.S., critics of the current administration have been singled out for special attention by the federal tax-collection agency (IRS). How long before someone (of either party, at some point) rationalizes that the opposition "might" be involved in "civil disobedience" -- meaning, breaking some law -- and are "therefore" suitable targets for this kind of spying?

 

Power corrupts, and absolute power...

 

--JorgeA



#3956
jaclaz

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Not an entirely disinterested analyst, of course,

 

I simply LOVE :) understatements :yes:

http://community.nor...our/ba-p/833024

Make sure you protect your Windows 8 investment, choose a security product that bridges gaps present in the current operating system. Norton One and Norton 360 Multi Device products are designed to protect all your devices including those running Windows 8, and proven to make your Windows 8 device faster and safer.

 

Gerry Egan is Senior Director of Product Management, Norton by Symantec.

 

 

I would personally would like to have a look at the tests that can lead anyone to believe that the absurd amount of bloat that constitutes a current Norton Antivirus or "protection solution" can make Windows 8 (or any other OS for that matters) faster.

 

 

jaclaz



#3957
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Microsoft Rumored to be Considering BlackBerrry Purchase ( Tom's Hardware 2013-09-04 )
 
Interesting little tidbit ...
 

Sources told Bloomberg that the Microsoft-Nokia deal is more of a sprint than a marathon, that talks between the two began back in February. Both parties reportedly agreed that the current two-year-old smartphone collaboration just wasn't working as expected.

 
That's quite illuminating really. You had WP landing a pitiful 3-4% marketshare and then several OEMs bailing or planning to bail. This is why I think there were some plans being made for a Nokia Android model ( would have been a huge hit for sure ) which got Microsoft fired up to land Nokia. It's all for naught though, they're going to stay right where they are in single digits. And we lose a competent handset builder in the process. Just great. The MicroDestroyers continue effin up the Tech world to placate their inferiority complex and envy of Apple and Google.


HTC on Microsoft-Nokia deal: 'We are assessing the situation' ( NeoWin 2013-09-04 )
 
I'll bet they are. As above, I suspect they were planning an exit and now will finally do it. Great comment replying to a typical fanboy ...
 

Nokia was the only one that gave two nuts about it - and it did them good


Yep, it REALLY did them good...

130903130753-nokia-620xa.png

 
:thumbup yep, he looks perfectly suited to become a Microsoft hotshot, even CEO. He's even got the chair phone throwing thing down ...

Cx7TW2f.jpg

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


#3958
CharlotteTheHarlot

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It seems that AT&T has joined the (totalitarian) party:
 
Drug Agents Use Vast Phone Trove, Eclipsing N.S.A.s
 

For at least six years, law enforcement officials working on a counternarcotics program have had routine access, using subpoenas, to an enormous AT&T database that contains the records of decades of Americans phone calls parallel to but covering a far longer time than the National Security Agencys hotly disputed collection of phone call logs.
 
The Hemisphere Project, a partnership between federal and local drug officials and AT&T that has not previously been reported, involves an extremely close association between the government and the telecommunications giant.
 
The government pays AT&T to place its employees in drug-fighting units around the country. Those employees sit alongside Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local detectives and supply them with the phone data from as far back as 1987.
 
[...]
 
Hemisphere covers every call that passes through an AT&T switch not just those made by AT&T customers and includes calls dating back 26 years, according to Hemisphere training slides bearing the logo of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Some four billion call records are added to the database every day, the slides say; technical specialists say a single call may generate more than one record. Unlike the N.S.A. data, the Hemisphere data includes information on the locations of callers.

 
--JorgeA


Another stunning example of the real life Matrix we had no idea we were really living in. The government paid lip service to all those criticisms for decades and then not only continued the path, but exceeded everyone's wildest fears. I can't think of a conspiracy theory from back in those days that hasn't been proved true and surpassed. The drug thing alone is bad enough ( I don't see a corresponding Amendment to the 18th, which itself was repealed, allowing the drug war in the first place ). Obviously, this far exceeds prohibition because it guts the first, fourth and fifth Amendments to the core.

Their "out" has always used the FCC oversight of "public airwaves" as the linchpin for all these intrusions. A perfect example of how precedent layered upon precedent gets you from point-a to point-z in quick fashion. Now anything is fair game.

The sheeple better wake up.

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


#3959
Formfiller

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I hope Tripredacus won't mind my linking to this relevant post of his in another thread. It sounds like the Windows 8.1 option to "upgrade" from Win8 is a bit misleading, or at least open to misinterpretation, which could tick off a lot of users.

 

--JorgeA

 

 

I am pretty sure the scenario in the link happens only when you put in the DVD.

 

The upgrade through the store is a real upgrade I think (what a colossal p***-off if not!)


Edited by Formfiller, 05 September 2013 - 11:16 AM.


#3960
Formfiller

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Metrotards are obviously p***ed about Aero Glass:

 

http://www.neowin.ne...ersion-released



#3961
MagicAndre1981

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It Fanboy/Troll central. What did you expect?


Posted Image

#3962
JorgeA

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It gets worse with every new round of revelations:

 

N.S.A. Able to Foil Basic Safeguards of Privacy on Web

 

[emphasis added below]

The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents.

 

The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents

show.

 

Many users assume — or have been assured by Internet companies — that their data is safe from prying eyes, including those of the government, and the N.S.A. wants to keep it that way....

 

Beginning in 2000, as encryption tools were gradually blanketing the Web, the N.S.A. invested billions of dollars in a clandestine campaign to preserve its ability to eavesdrop. Having lost a public battle in the 1990s to insert its own “back door” in all encryption, it set out to accomplish the same goal by stealth.

 

[...]

 

Some of the agency’s most intensive efforts have focused on the encryption in universal use in the United States, including Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL; virtual private networks, or VPNs; and the protection used on fourth-generation, or 4G, smartphones. Many Americans, often without realizing it, rely on such protection every time they send an e-mail, buy something online, consult with colleagues via their company’s computer network, or use a phone or a tablet on a 4G network.

 

[...]

 

According to an intelligence budget document leaked by Mr. Snowden, the N.S.A. spends more than $250 million a year on its Sigint Enabling Project, which “actively engages the U.S. and foreign IT industries to covertly influence and/or overtly leverage their commercial products’ designs” to make them “exploitable.” Sigint is the acronym for signals intelligence, the technical term for electronic eavesdropping.

 

By this year, the Sigint Enabling Project had found ways inside some of the encryption chips that scramble information for businesses and governments, either by working with chipmakers to insert back doors or by exploiting security flaws, according to the documents....

 

[...]

 

At Microsoft, as The Guardian has reported, the N.S.A. worked with company officials to get pre-encryption access to Microsoft’s most popular services, including Outlook e-mail, Skype Internet phone calls and chats, and SkyDrive, the company’s cloud storage service.

 

Microsoft asserted that it had merely complied with “lawful demands” of the government, and in some cases, the collaboration was clearly coerced. Some companies have been asked to hand the government the encryption keys to all customer communications, according to people familiar with the government’s requests.

 

N.S.A. documents show that the agency maintains an internal database of encryption keys for specific commercial products, called a Key Provisioning Service, which can automatically decode many messages. If the necessary key is not in the collection, a request goes to the separate Key Recovery Service, which tries to obtain it.

 

How keys are acquired is shrouded in secrecy, but independent cryptographers say many are probably collected by hacking into companies’ computer servers, where they are stored...

 

Simultaneously, the N.S.A. has been deliberately weakening the international encryption standards adopted by developers. One goal in the agency’s 2013 budget request was to “influence policies, standards and specifications for commercial public key technologies,” the most common encryption method.

 

Cryptographers have long suspected that the agency planted vulnerabilities in a standard adopted in 2006 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and later by the International Organization for Standardization, which has 163 countries as members.

 

Classified N.S.A. memos appear to confirm that the fatal weakness, discovered by two Microsoft cryptographers in 2007, was engineered by the agency...

 

[...]

 

Even agency programs ostensibly intended to guard American communications are sometimes used to weaken protections. The N.S.A.’s Commercial Solutions Center, for instance, invites the makers of encryption technologies to present their products to the agency with the goal of improving American cybersecurity. But a top-secret N.S.A. document suggests that the agency’s hacking division uses that same program to develop and “leverage sensitive, cooperative relationships with specific industry partners” to insert vulnerabilities into Internet security products.

 

By introducing such back doors, the N.S.A. has surreptitiously accomplished what it had failed to do in the open...

 

This is close to a textbook definition of a rogue agency.

 

One small but provocative aspect of some of these programs is the names given to them, such as "Manassas" and "Bullrun" In the U.S., and "Edgehill" in the UK. These are names from the countries' respective civil wars. A civil war is a conflict within a country, either between competing would-be governments... or by the existing government against the people.

 

--JorgeA



#3963
JorgeA

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Google argues for right to continue scanning Gmail

 

...Google argued that the case should be dismissed, and that "all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing."

 

Umm -- no. I do not "expect" that my e-mail will be read by anyone or anything other than the intended recipient, and I certainly don't "necessarily" expect this. In fact, I expect my e-mails not to be read by anyone other than the person I'm sending it to.

 

This is so absurd. Imagine if businesses or the government were to routinely open our postal mail, in the name of "security" or of "providing better targeted advertising." The public wouldn't stand for that!! So, why put up with it when we send our mail via the Internet??

 

--JorgeA

 



#3964
jaclaz

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Hey JorgeA, you missed this one :w00t::
 

The spy device that really is 'undercover': Vest scans nearby mobiles to track them and steal an owner's personal details

 
http://www.dailymail...al-details.html
 
 
Courtesy of Trewmte on Forensic Focus:
http://www.forensicf...wtopic/t=10966/

jaclaz

#3965
Aero7x64

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I haven't yet commented about the cloud that has been discussed earlier in this topic. I don't think that the cloud is so good idea. In the cloud you lose control of data. I rather have control of my data.


Edited by Aero7x64, 06 September 2013 - 11:54 AM.

pbb0R8v.png

#3966
JorgeA

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Hey JorgeA, you missed this one :w00t::
 



The spy device that really is 'undercover': Vest scans nearby mobiles to track them and steal an owner's personal details

 
http://www.dailymail...al-details.html
 
 
Courtesy of Trewmte on Forensic Focus:
http://www.forensicf...wtopic/t=10966/

jaclaz

 

 

 

I did see that one during my Web surfing, but it got lost in an avalanche of other privacy-related articles that seemed more ominous, and more directly related to our thread here.

 

Also, the whole idea of this vest strikes me as vaguely ridiculous.

 

--JorgeA



#3967
JorgeA

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I haven't yet commented about the cloud that has been discussed earlier in this topic. I don't think that the cloud is so good idea. In the cloud you lose control of data. I rather have control of my data.

 

+100 :thumbup



#3968
JorgeA

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Here's a great take on why Microsoft got rid of the Start Menu:

 

The Start menu -- cause or effect?

 

The piece is chock-full of good insights, ascribing the removal of the Start Menu to the internal dynamics of the Microsoft management culture, and it's best read from start to finish (it's not long). The core of the argument:

 

Ballmer is, by trade, a business manager (and a darned good one) but he did not bring Gates' programming and software development skills to the party. Combine this with Microsoft’s historic and continuing berating and confrontational management style and you find an environment where everyone (even the boss) is forever trying to prove themselves by leading change -- regardless of whether that change is needed/necessary, or not. Such an environment does not reward brilliantly managing what you already have; it only values something new that kicks away the old. That is an accident waiting to happen; change for its own sake and almost regardless of external demand.

In short, the answer was that Microsoft stopped listening to its customers and started dictating to them. The mantra of a common interface that ran through the new Microsoft culture has been allowed to overcome the more important and influential voice of the consumer (the one with the money). Microsoft left a version of the command prompt (cmd.exe – from the 1980s!) in place, for goodness sake, so keeping legacy code obviously was not a problem. The Start menu decision was management dogma, pure and simple.

 

Stepping back for one second, the basic marketing question that comes to mind is; "what harm would it do to give your customer the choice of Modern UI or Start menu?" Why not follow the successful adoption process from Windows 95? After all, if Modern UI is as good as Microsoft claims, then people will naturally migrate to it as they see the benefits outweighing their archaic old Start menu. Again, the answer is wholly within Microsoft; managers need to bring change in order to prove self-worth to the company. If Modern UI and the Start menu were allowed to coexist, then there was always the risk that the Start menu would win the popularity contest and the change would fail; along with the sponsor’s career. On the back of that risk, the Start menu had to go.

 

The only place where the writer goes astray is at the very beginning, where he talks about a fuss being raised when the Start Menu replaced Program Manager in Windows 95. I was active in cyberspace back then, and don't recall any controversy over that. In fact, personally ProgMan never made any sense to me, while I understood the Start Menu + Taskbar combo practically at once. But that small detour doesn't detract from the strength of the writer's analysis.

 

--JorgeA

 



#3969
JorgeA

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Some possible (and hopeful) details on the type of encryption that the NSA has compromised. A commenter on that news in Ars Technica writes that:

 

That story is light on details, but it mostly appears to be about two things:
1) crappy, weak VPNs, which everyone has known to be vulnerable for a decade or more
2) getting access to master keys for SSL/cert authorities, which is completely expected (and a well-known argument against DNSSEC)

 

I see no indication that RSA-based or AES-based encryption is broken. Backdoors in code are one thing, but I'd be completely floored if SSH and PGP were actually broken. I'd be quite surprised if there were massive backdoors in OpenSSH or GnuPG or TrueCrypt.

 

--JorgeA



#3970
monroe

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Just read this article, didn't see any mention of it ... possible back doors in hardware and software.

 

http://www.ft.com/cm...144feabdc0.html

 

September 6, 2013 7:45 pm

 

‘Back door’ spying claims set to hit tech groups

 

By Richard Waters in San Francisco

 

A range of US hardware and software companies are in danger of being dragged into the widening scandal over internet surveillance, following the latest leaks from Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.

The leaked documents include NSA claims that it has collaborated with technology companies to plant “back doors” into their systems – or ways for the agency secretly to penetrate systems without the users’ knowledge.

 

“They’re crossing a line – if they’re putting back doors into the software itself, it’s a serious problem,” said Mark Anderson, a US technology commentator.

 

The Snowden leaks have already proved deeply embarrassing to US internet companies, after it was revealed that they had complied with secret US court orders to hand over information about their users and, in some cases, set up systems to facilitate the transfer of the data.

 

However, the latest disclosures threaten to draw a wider number of companies into the scandal, potentially undermining international confidence in their products.

 

... more at the link ... this is the very last part of the article:

 

Some computer security experts said that official attempts to plant back doors were likely to play only a small part in overall efforts to compromise IT systems.

 

“Computer security is still in such a [bad] state that you don’t need to insert a back door,” said Paul Kocher, a US cryptography expert. “If the front door is locked, you can just go in through a side window.”

 

The latest Snowden revelations did not refer to any technology companies by name as having collaborated with the intelligence services. Intel and Cisco Systems both repeated earlier denials that they had ever put back doors in any of their products.


Edited by duffy98, 06 September 2013 - 10:28 PM.


#3971
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Some days you wake up and feel like you are on another planet. Yesterday was one of them for me. It just suddenly dawned on me all the contortions that the tech companies are going through in order to shoehorn the Idiocracy interface down our throats ...

HP Envy Recline All-in-One PC Invites You to Kick Back ( Maximum PC 2013-09-05 )
 

hp_envy_recline.jpg



Lenovo Showcases New Yoga, Flex Multimode Devices ( Tom's Hardware 2013-09-05 )

lenovo-yoga-2-pro,9-C-399504-1.jpglenovo-thinkpad-yoga,9-D-399505-1.jpglenovo-flex-15,9-B-399503-1.jpglenovo-flex-20,9-A-399502-1.jpg



Asus Zenbook UX301: Haswell, Gorilla Glass 3 lid, high-res display ( TechSpot 2013-09-05 )

Decent hardware for sure. But I dare you to watch their admittedly slick video and visit their website and find the mention of Windows 8.



Panasonic's 20 inch Toughpad 4K tablet with Windows 8.1 ships in November ( NeoWin 2013-09-05 )

a90g-460.jpg



Idiocracy, it's really here :yes: ...

ZICdkPI.jpg


EDIT: typo, fixed spacing thanks to this idi0tic god-forsaken pathetic piece-of-sh!t Invision IPB editor

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 07 September 2013 - 01:49 AM.

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


#3972
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Symantec Updates 4 Norton Products for Windows 8.1 ( Tom's Hardware 2013-09-05 )

Ha! Just in case you were wondering how this so-called "operating system" could get any worse, here ya go!


Just for fun you gotta check this out ...

Found: LG pulls post-apocalyptic prank on unsuspecting interviewees using 84-inch UHDTV ( TechSpot 2013-09-05 )

Elaborate advertising for sure. If this actually shows real people then this ruse is Orson Welles caliber hoaxing!


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


#3973
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Lenovo implies better Intel chips eliminate the need for Windows RT ( NeoWin 2013-09-06 )

Man this is one confused comment thread. It pains them greatly because Lenovo is the darling of the fanboy community due to their seemingly steadfast support of Microsoft Tiles. That's just an illusion though. They are merely the least vocal OEM despising it. But here they are, Lenovo, adding a voice to the chorus of critics of Windows 8 ReTard Edition. Poor MetroTards. So they start beating up Intel instead, and everyone else spoiling their party.


Power Cover keyboard accessory for Surface to include built-in battery ( TechSpot 2013-09-06 )

Surface Dock: The peripheral we have all been waiting for ( NeoWin 2013-09-06 )

Uh well duh! Plenty of kudos from fanboys waiting a year for such obvious necessities. Microsoft has really outdone itself by reinforcing the old adage that nothing from them labeled version 1.0 is anything except beta testing.


Press image of Lumia 1520, first 6-inch Windows Phone, leaked ( NeoWin 2013-09-06 )

Industrial strength hypocrisy from our MicroTard friends. Just scroll back a thousand posts ago in this thread to see their reaction to uber-large Samsung and other Android phones! They were apoplectic but are suddenly impressed by MicroNokia.

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


#3974
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Security News ... read 'em and weep ...

Why the Latest NSA Leak Is the Scariest of All ( Tom's Hardware 2013-09-06 )

binary-eyes-shst-130906.jpg


The spy agencies' activities have gone on for more than a decade. Like a silent but pervasive cancer, they have penetrated and weakened every corner of the Internet.

"Not only does the worst possible hypothetical ... appear to be true," wrote Johns Hopkins cryptographer Matthew Green on his blog last night, "but it's true on a scale I couldn't even imagine."

"The companies that build and manage our Internet infrastructure, the companies that create and sell us our hardware and software, or the companies that host our data: We can no longer trust them,"
wrote American encryption expert Bruce Schneier on the website of the British newspaper The Guardian.

[...]

"The (actually substantial) goodwill that NSA built up in the public crypto community over the last two decades was wiped out today," tweeted University of Pennsylvania cryptography expert Matt Blaze.

The implications are that, if they wanted to, the spy agencies could access nearly every Internet-based purchase, money transfer, email, Internet phone call, instant message or file transfer made by anyone, anywhere.


... MUCH MORE AT LINK


NSA Forced Tech Companies to Cooperate with Spying ( Tom's Hardware 2013-09-06 )

In most cases, coercion is not necessary. The NSA will first approach a company and ask for voluntary cooperation on the grounds of national security. Many companies agree, though few do so openly.

Only a few examples of voluntary cooperation have arisen. The best known involves "Room 641A" at an AT&T Internet hub in San Francisco.

[...]

To protect themselves from legal liability under the pre-2008 warrantless wiretapping program, many cooperating companies insisted on a legal paper trail showing that the government had ordered them to do so.

Such may have been the case with Verizon Business Services, the corporate-phone-exchange division of Verizon, which in 2006 began receiving FISA court orders every 90 days compelling the unit to turn over all its call logs to the NSA.

[...]

What if you don't want to turn anything over? Hire a team of lawyers.

In 2008, Yahoo challenged the FISA Amendments Act as unconstitutional, but the effort failed.

Google has been very vocal about its opposition to government surveillance it refused to unlock the Android smartphone used by a convicted pimp for the FBI but has managed to do so without having any executives locked up.

That wasn't the case with former Qwest Communications chairman and chief executive officer Joseph Nacchio, who claimed his 2007 conviction on insider-trading charges was based on his refusal to cooperate with a warrantless 2001 NSA request to hand over call logs.

 

Major Tech Companies Helped NSA Monitor the Internet ( Tom's Hardware 2013-09-06 )
 

The National Security Agency (NSA) has secured private data from huge tech companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft, as a leak from whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed. But while some of these companies resisted the NSA, others worked together wholeheartedly to share their users' information.

[...]

Although the NSA documents did not specify which companies lent their support willingly, The Guardian reported in July that Microsoft had been one of them. Microsoft attempted to explain its role but was not clear on the extent of its involvement, and succeeded only in confusing the issue further. While there's no definitive evidence from either the NSA or Microsoft, reports from both The Guardian and The New York Times suggest that the two entities worked together WITHOUT coercion.

[...]

If Microsoft is in cahoots with the NSA, the extent of what the government could access is staggering. In addition to providing personal email service through Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail), Microsoft also handles a huge amount of business email through the Outlook email application, file storage through SkyDrive and corporate data through Windows Server software.

 

British Intelligence Placed Undercover Operatives in Tech Companies ( Tom's Hardware 2013-09-06 )
 

According to a report in The Guardian, they have also placed a number of flesh-and-blood spies in tech companies who are funneling information back to the agencies. The newspaper reported yesterday (Sept. 5) that GCHQ established a Humint Operation Team (HOT "humint" stands for "human intelligence") to monitor the world's biggest telecom companies from the inside.

 

SSL vs. TLS: The Future of Data Encryption ( Tom's Hardware 2013-09-06 )
 

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol is responsible for keeping a lot of your online data secure, and the United States' National Security Agency (NSA) has likely already cracked it. Knowing what SSL and its more-secure successor, Transport Layer Security (TLS), are may help you keep your data safe from prying eyes.


These are related to the stories that Jorge just mentioned. They come from the latest spy leaks and frankly it is getting very depressing indeed. One must wonder why they even bothered with the SOPA and other legislative 3-ring circuses since they are just doing whatever the he!! they want to anyway.

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


#3975
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Here's a great take on why Microsoft got rid of the Start Menu:
 
The Start menu -- cause or effect?
 
The piece is chock-full of good insights, ascribing the removal of the Start Menu to the internal dynamics of the Microsoft management culture, and it's best read from start to finish (it's not long). The core of the argument:
 

Ballmer is, by trade, a business manager (and a darned good one) but he did not bring Gates' programming and software development skills to the party. Combine this with Microsofts historic and continuing berating and confrontational management style and you find an environment where everyone (even the boss) is forever trying to prove themselves by leading change -- regardless of whether that change is needed/necessary, or not. Such an environment does not reward brilliantly managing what you already have; it only values something new that kicks away the old. That is an accident waiting to happen; change for its own sake and almost regardless of external demand.

In short, the answer was that Microsoft stopped listening to its customers and started dictating to them. The mantra of a common interface that ran through the new Microsoft culture has been allowed to overcome the more important and influential voice of the consumer (the one with the money). Microsoft left a version of the command prompt (cmd.exe from the 1980s!) in place, for goodness sake, so keeping legacy code obviously was not a problem. The Start menu decision was management dogma, pure and simple.
 
Stepping back for one second, the basic marketing question that comes to mind is; "what harm would it do to give your customer the choice of Modern UI or Start menu?" Why not follow the successful adoption process from Windows 95? After all, if Modern UI is as good as Microsoft claims, then people will naturally migrate to it as they see the benefits outweighing their archaic old Start menu. Again, the answer is wholly within Microsoft; managers need to bring change in order to prove self-worth to the company. If Modern UI and the Start menu were allowed to coexist, then there was always the risk that the Start menu would win the popularity contest and the change would fail; along with the sponsors career. On the back of that risk, the Start menu had to go.

 
The only place where the writer goes astray is at the very beginning, where he talks about a fuss being raised when the Start Menu replaced Program Manager in Windows 95. I was active in cyberspace back then, and don't recall any controversy over that. In fact, personally ProgMan never made any sense to me, while I understood the Start Menu + Taskbar combo practically at once. But that small detour doesn't detract from the strength of the writer's analysis.
 
--JorgeA


Yeah he's just making that part up. It is now a big lie of Goebbels proportions.

If you read through the comments you will see one very special 'Tard going by the name "Will". I would bet some money that it is Dot MetroTard himself because no two fanboys could be that stoopid. "Don't listen to the customers". Seriously, there should be Twilight Zone music playing when MetroTards post comments. :yes:

EDIT: Twilight Zone I meant!

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 08 September 2013 - 12:56 AM.

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





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