* Posts by Eddie Johnson

379 posts • joined 23 Oct 2007

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Windows 7: Microsoft's three missed opportunities

Eddie Johnson
Coffee/keyboard

Just one question

Is there still any sort of "Classic/NT Mode" for the desktop and taskbar?

I don't need multicolored transparent window frames and the overhead that comes with them and I quite like my classic start menu where my programs stay where I put them rather than disappearing into oblivion when they haven't been used in a while. Oh and SMALL Icons, because I'm not in kindergarten, using the fat crayons.

UK cops eye shotgun cartridge Taser

Eddie Johnson
Boffin

Just One Question

Will a tinfoil vest provide protection? Maybe a nice window screen version for summer wear?

Apple loses students to netbooks and Windows

Eddie Johnson
Coffee/keyboard

Mirror, mirror...

"When I look at what is being sold in the netbook space today, I see cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens."

Pretty good description of most Apple computers I ever saw with the possible exception of the software. Although, since iTunes is the Apple software more people are exposed to than anything else, I think the description fits there too. Do you know anyone who HASN'T had their entire iPod collection vaporized by an iTunes install suddenly deciding its not authorized?

Microsoft to encircle Google and Apple with Windows Mobile split

Eddie Johnson
FAIL

Even MS Knows Their Limitations

"raise further questions of why didn't Microsoft simply cut its losses and cut down the PC version of Windows for mobile devices."

All Bill's horses and all Bill's men still couldn't trim a bloated multi-gig OS that takes a minute to get fully up and running into something that could be embedded and run in a reasonable amount of RAM without needing water cooling and a car battery.

They'd be better off going back to DOS 6.22 and putting a graphical windowing system on top of ... oh, wait. That didn't work either.

Morrissey tells netdepressives to boycott his re-releases

Eddie Johnson
FAIL

Here's an Idea...

If Morrissey really wants to stick it to the man, have him set up a web site with all his catalog available as mp3 downloads for free.

What? He can't? He sold out all his rights 25 years ago and the labels own his soul? Sucks to be him then.

Will Google regret the mega data center?

Eddie Johnson
Badgers

@zenkaon

"I take it you have never used cloud computing then. I submitted 1350 jobs on Wednesday afternoon and had them all back on Thursday morning. Each job took around 8 CPU hours. No CPU was "local" or under my direct control."

Welcome to the 70's. Its called batch computing. Every branch office didn't have powerful computers so they submitted their jobs (aka punchcards) to the home office. What you are now doing is renting instead of owning. Generally that means you are overpaying for what you are renting while you make the landlord (datacenter) rich.

Nothing new to see here.

Eddie Johnson
Coat

Like Phil said...

Now Microshaft and the other Cloudware* providers can buy a bunch of Sun box-in-a-box datacenters, maybe just mount them on railroad cars, and keep them flowing around the country. Got a new tax you don't like? Take the datacenter on the lam to Canada or Mexico! That'll teach those greedy politicians.

*Isn't it funny that Cloud is just another word for vapor? Any bets on whether cloud computing turns out to be the biggest vaporware project ever?

Puttin' on my coat and exiting the country.

Philips Cinema 21:9 56in LCD TV

Eddie Johnson
FAIL

Why, why, why?

I don't go thru life looking thru a gunslit like in that old tank game, why do filmmakers insist on this horrible format? Its just not the way a person's field of view works. 16:9 wasn't too bad but the 2.35:1 and its approximations just suck and I avoid these films at all cost.

2.35 movies, aka Cinemascope are generally crap, it only works well for scenic views, shots of people generally give you a bunch of disembodied heads.

iPhone actually good at making calls shock

Eddie Johnson
Troll

@Jessica

>>Bearing in mind how often the iPhone wins awards for being the best mobile phone then why was it unexpected?

Usually when Apple stuff wins awards its for looking nice on the desk/shelf/armband, not for actually having good performance or technical features.

Mozilla makes rough notes on Firefox 3.6

Eddie Johnson
Megaphone

5 blockers needed for the 5 senses

>>a feature for adding notification sounds to alert users about a new email or instant message

So now, in addition to a script blocker and a popup blocker I'm going to need an audio blocker too. We just fought the visual ad wars, what idiot thinks we won't be assaulted aurally too?

Shouty, shouty says, "HEY: Click HERE to run a FREE scan of your PC!!!11"

Firefox 4.0 flashes lusty leg at Windows lovers

Eddie Johnson
Stop

Stop!

I see we've reached that stage in the development that I call, "rearranging the deck chairs." There is nothing significant needed so the developers add bloat, continually rearrange the user interface to confuse their users, and recode stuff so they can introduce new bugs. Meanwhile the hardware requirements increase, the executable size increases, the performance decreases, and the users are off looking for a replacement. It is development driven only by the need to change things to suit the current direction of the wind.

I absolutely hated what MS did with moving the IE8 menu bar away from the top of the window so undoubtedly Firefox thinks its imperative to copy that nonstandard interface design.

PayPal moves to embed self in everything

Eddie Johnson
FAIL

Give me a break

Basically these APIs will allow third parties to write low quality software into which I'm supposed to enter my lusername and password? Adding yet another weak link to an already untrustworthy chain?

The whole point to PayPal was at least you weren't providing your details to each individual eBay seller, now they expect uou to pass your secure info through various software programs and web sites? And its all safe because there's a little lock icon at the bottom of the window.

Oh hells yeah, sign me up!

Microsoft 'deal factories' fast-track customers to block rivals

Eddie Johnson
FAIL

The Irony of the Name

Deal factories? This is just a crap, made up name for the age old practice of the car dealer saying, "just a second, let me see if my sales manager will approve this." Then he goes in the back room and tells his buddies what an idiot you are for a few minutes, then comes back out and lies to you some more.

There is no deal and there is no factory, there is just another dishonest saleman overcharging the customer by the maximum he will bear.

Nissan ponders Pré-like cordless charging for e-cars

Eddie Johnson
WTF?

When electric cars already can barely compete on efficiency...

When electric cars already can barely compete on efficiency how is using a less efficient charging process going to help? Induction is highly wasteful. EOT.

Now if you want to turn our cars into slot racers that might work. I can just see, it, while you are tooling down the highway you lower the pin, with 2 copper braid wipers, into the slot, click the cruise control on, set an alarm clock for your exit, then go to sleep.

Unpatched Firefox flaw lets fox into henhouse

Eddie Johnson
FAIL

The problem with "trusted sites" advice...

The problem with "trusted sites" advice is that no site that allows user content with scripts and links can be trusted. This includes pretty much all of the top 10 destinations, eBuy, FaceSpace, YouBoob, et al.

I don't know why sites like eBay allow lusers to post JavaScript. I guess for the "rich user experience." All I ever seen people do with it though is try to disable my ability to right click in a misguided attempt to prevent people from saving their precious images - how rich is that?

I've said all along - if I can't use your site without script and cookies I won't be there long.

Second unpatched ActiveX bug hits IE

Eddie Johnson
Happy

@Tom 13

Pray tell what MS software *requires* Admin? Typically most software that /appears/ to require admin needs little more than relaxed permissions on a few reg keys or a folder or two.

All my users are running as User, they don't even get to be power user on their own machine. No print driver installs, no changing the screen resolution, nothing administrative. I've had to loosen a few registry and folder permissions for AutoCAD and some other software but I never had a problem with Office 97. Haven't run any Office version since then and OpenOffice needed no special tweaks at all.

In a friends office I administer the users needed local admin to run QuickBooks and that is reason enough that I tell everyone that QuickBooks is the worst designed piece of software I've ever encountered. I believe they've now addressed that in the most recent version.

Eddie Johnson
Alert

I can't believe...

There are really people out there that still run ActiveX?

Oh wait, right. You disable it and disable it, and every time you update something on your system its magically reenabled again. Sorry, my bad.

Serena Software to pick over Borland's remains

Eddie Johnson
WTF?

A Challenge for Reg Readers

I challenge someone to provide a useful, practical definition of ALM in 3 sentences or less.

Can't? That's why its worthless.

Net sleuth calls eBay on carpet over shill bidding

Eddie Johnson
Dead Vulture

@AC

>> How on earth does the shill bidder know the maximum proxy bid placed by the "real" bidder? Even the seller doesn't know how high the proxy bid is.

They nibble at it to find it. Lets say the item is currently at $12 with a bid increment of $.50. The shill bids 12.57 or some odd amount like that. The proxy bid then jumps to $13.07 normally, if it stops at $13 you know you found the other bidder's max. You keep bidding small amounts until you see the counter bid go up by less than the minimum bid. People planning to snipe an auction will typically do something like this, leaving the other person still the top bidder until the last moment but knowing the other person is topped out.

eBay is a joke, nobody auctions anything there anymore, anyhow. Anything I look at is a Buy It Now and the price is typically higher than the cost at Walmart/WhateverCo once you add in the exorbitant shipping that is usually charged.

Sprint to outsource network operations

Eddie Johnson
Dead Vulture

I think the term your looking for is ...

>> it does beg the question of what to call Spring and its ilk when they can no longer be considered "network operators" as such.

Pretty much just a reseller. a third party, rebranding reseller of Ericson network services. That and a holding company for a physical network that loses value at an incredible rate each year.

Can you hear that? That's the sound of Sprint dying a slow death.

Firefox 3.5 patch coming soon as Mozilla cranks up downloads

Eddie Johnson
Unhappy

Their download numbers are being influenced...

...by the unavailability of 3.0.11. For at least the last 3 days, if you go to http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-older.html#languages and attempt to download US English version you are redirected to the FF 3.5 page. British English is available as are others I spot checked but the ENUS link sends you to 3.5. Cheaters.

Mozilla's servers wobble as Firefox 3.5 hits interwebs

Eddie Johnson
Badgers

Tell me what really matters

How much faster is it than 3.0 with JavaScript disabled and Adblock engaged, the typical settings of people who really care about performance?

What's that you say, 0%?

Ah, thought so.

Gotta admit though, I'm intrigued by the thought of video without any extensions required. I just hope they know better than to allow *any embedded control whatsoever*.

Safety wonks condemn digital TV satnav

Eddie Johnson
Boffin

A Reader Generated Comment Pertaining to the Issuance of Advice Regarding ...

A Reader Generated Comment Pertaining to the Issuance of Advice Regarding the Need to Seek Further Information on the Aforementioned Subject Matter

"Vernon recommended that the firm read the European Statement of Principles on Human Machine Interface for In-Vehicle Information and Communication Systems report."

Umm, no, sorry. After reading just the title I've used up my monthly reading allowance. I imagine the first sentence of the report is 3 pages long and utterly incomprehensible.

Microsoft forbids changes to Windows 7 netbook wallpaper

Eddie Johnson
Dead Vulture

A Last Desperate Grab

At holding on to a dying business model.

Treat your users like crap and lock features away, that's a great way to grow your market share.

Sapped council staff offered SAP counselling

Eddie Johnson
IT Angle

The inefficiency is obvious

Actually I think the project has provided "the visibility to pinpoint inefficiencies." Unfortunately, the number one inefficiency they've found is the SAP. Eliminating that project would improve govt efficiency by 78%. It would also boost morale, provide untold health benefits by reducing stress, and probably make the birds sing too.

AMD claws cash back from Intel

Eddie Johnson
Joke

AMD FTW!

Yes, but what does Gartner say? I'd bet they forecast a 22% annual growth rate for all processors over the next 5 years, reaching $477B by 2013, with Intel capturing 68% of the market, AMD capturing 27% of the market and others capturing 14% of the market. For an explanation of why this adds up to more than 100% get out your wallet and click [here] for the full report.

Site news: Unique commenter handles coming

Eddie Johnson
Happy

JFTFOI

I detest the use of the word "handle" in this context. The internet is not a CB radio.

Of course I also detest "nym" and most of the other alternatives just as much so I can't really made a positive suggestion.

Firefox 3.5: In, out, shake it all about

Eddie Johnson
Heart

@AC: Does it at least crash less?

My Firefox 3 session has been open for at least 30 days with 60+ tabs in multiple windows. The window I'm currently in has 43 tabs alone. If you find it buggy I suspect its either A) crappy extensions, B) visiting dodgy websites or C) virus infested computer. I browse behind a proxy that blocks *.ru, *.cn, banners, cookies and most external scripts. It is currently using 716M of my 3.4G though.

Junkbuster: Rocking like its 1999.

Microsoft's Google challenger is not a search engine

Eddie Johnson
Happy

@Steve

"But they failed to build to their target markets in any real way, with the result that in the end there really wasn't much difference between their word processor and Word."

You may be right for the general market but the funny thing is, I still fall back to WP8, (just checked the file dates, 1997) for stuff you still can't do in Word or OpenOffice. Try and have left justified and right justified text on the same line for example, something that's pretty common in headers and footers. Its an absolute disaster in Word/OpenOffice and is as easy as Alt+F7 in WP. Word can only do justification by paragraph so the only way to fake it is by creating a table.

And didn't you just love WP's Reveal Codes mode? :) Being able to edit the control codes in the data stream is like falling back to Unix stuff like nroff/troff.

European 'standard' e-car power connector details emerge

Eddie Johnson
Happy

Those who fail to study history...

Clearly the people designing this are idiots because they missed one of the most obvious points - one end should be male and the other female. When I run out of gas... er... electricity - while pulling into my drive I need to run to all the neighbors and collect their cables, then chain them together to reach my vehicle stalled out in the street.

Amazon joins with TuneCore for on-demand CD pressing

Eddie Johnson
Pirate

Actually not a bad deal...

I'm pretty sure a traditional record label + the retail store takes a lot more than 60%, supposedly the band is lucky to see $1 from an $18 CD sale. Since Amazon is performing as both the manufacturer and retailer they're just taking 30% for each of these services.

Nvidia staggers off the mat

Eddie Johnson
Coat

Wishful thinking

So there will be a market for DXCompute about... uh... (calculating MS Vista/Vista2 market penetration)... 2016?

If they'd stop making my OS slower I wouldn't need a faster computer.

Microsoft teams up with US gov on double 'ard XP

Eddie Johnson
Coat

@N

>>That aside, be a good thing if they did make it available as an update as there must be a huge market for the refuseniks that are hanging on to XP

The refuseniks are hanging on to NT and 2K, the MASSES are hanging on to XP.

The bleeding edge is trying to get something done with Vista.

Firefox users caught in crossfire of warring add-ons

Eddie Johnson
Linux

For everyone who thinks you should always install new updates

I'm assuming this never hit me because I'm still running NoScript 1.8.7 and it says 1.9.2.6 is available. From my point of view the whole OSS code review system worked. The news broke before I got around to installing the borked version.

Maybe the lesson here is to slow down and not install every last update you are ever offered. Read the notes, determine if there is a clear benefit, and don't believe blanket, "more secure than the last version" type statements such as MS is prone to making.

Eddie Johnson
Happy

@Fraser

The ONLY one of those I know is "Invent" and that's not from ads, that's from visiting their website to download drivers. I too do not see ads on TV or the net. I read them in the newspaper when they interest me. I'll read a pulled ad but don't push them at me or I will rebel.

Pioneer BDR-203BK

Eddie Johnson
Dead Vulture

Title

>>The bundled software is Cyberlink’s Blu-ray Disc Suite 6 and this seems to be becoming more popular than the Nero equivalent with Blu-ray drive makers.

Yea, Nero shot themselves in the foot back with version 6, worst software from a previously excellent company I'd ever seen. In just about every case they made the wrong decision. In wizard mode the forward/back buttons are disabled as soon as you get a burn error - the one time you want to go back and do it again and you can't. If you lay out a disk and its just over the 4.3G limit you can't tell on the display until you attempt to write, then it errors out. Again, no option to go back and remove a file - wouldn't you rather start over from the beginning? Default volume label? "My Disc" - did they hire Bill Gates?

RIP Nero.

Fired IT director admits $94k rampage on organ bank

Eddie Johnson
Flame

Remember

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

This idiot got busted reacting in the heat of the moment.

Meet Phorm's PR genius

Eddie Johnson
Happy

I've seen the future and its Q$3)x7p

<<I mean, really. What can you and I actually do about this? Other than point and sneer and feel clever? And don't say vote for the other guys next time, because I don't think there's a political force in the world which is immune to the power of the brown envelope.>>

The day is coming for end to end encryption of all internet traffic. Deep packet inspection will be worthless. I already encrypt all my search traffic thru https://ssl.scroogle.org/ to thwart these idiots and their ilk.

Windows 7 — It’s like Vista, only less annoying

Eddie Johnson
Flame

@michael

No you are not the only one. First thing I do on XP is switch desktop to Classic scheme, then disable the stoopid desktop cleanup to get rid of annoying popups. Stuff I haven't used in 90 days is exactly what I NEED shortcuts to - you don't use it often enough to remember. Then I switch the taskbar to classic mode, delete all the MS crap from the Start menu, drag an Explorer link out from its burial plot in Start/Programs/Accessories and place it directly in the Start menu where its actually usable, then configure it with a "/e,C:\" option so it actually opens somewhere useful (yep, me too @AC). Then you spend half an hour trying to disable all the crap new Explorer options, bring back the Attributes column in details view and finally click on Reset All Folders" and "Apply to All Folders" 4-5 times before it sticks. :( Now log out and you have a 50/50 chance that all your changes stick. As long as you didn't install any patches.

If W7's big "improvement" is all about hiding all that "complicated configuration" then its an epic fail to me. And why the hell do I want to waste processing power drawing color transitions, roll down windows and transparent title bars when my goal is to actually get some work done, as quickly as possible? Stop with the eye candy MS and realize a computer is a work tool, not a cosmetic accessory.

Windows 7 gets built in XP mode

Eddie Johnson
Flame

@joshua

<<The reason some xp apps cant run under vista or 7 is the new code base doesnt allow for any app to run with admin privledges or any direct hardware access less ya go thru the HAL or directx, less its manually SU, many apps ASSume they have admin rights so install services or starts or stops them without going thru the proper api, or were taking shortcuts that vista or 7's security wont allow.>>

The funny thing about this is you just described NT4. Back when it was done properly. Then MS tried to merge the shitty 9x OS's into the code base and allow Win2K to support gaming, which necessitated allowing apps to interact more closely with hardware. And this is why I still have NT4 servers running. Other than USB support and the latest incarnation of NTFS MS has added pretty much nothing to the OS since 1995.

Anyone who has coded an app to require admin access since the days of NT4 is just full on incompetent. Yes, Quickbooks, I'm looking at you!

Baby Shakergate: Apple officially sorry

Eddie Johnson
Happy

This is why I would never buy an Apple product

So its offensive, so what? I will never buy into Crapple's censorware software system. This is the perfect illustration of why open systems are so necessary. I demand my right to be offensive and politically incorrect.

Cabinet Office stuck with creaking PCs for five years

Eddie Johnson
Flame

The same way you should eat food grown close to home...

you should compute on a computer close to you.

Their idea about thin clients and a green computer room is ass backwards. Those gigabit Ethernet switches are some power hungry beasts. Mine generate a LOT of heat too which has to be air conditioned away. Concentrating all the equipment in one area requires air conditioning all year round whereas a PC on the desk actually reduces the need for heating the office during winter.

Replacing equipment only to be green will always be a net failure. The environmental cost to manufacture that new green PC will offset the minimal savings it will achieve - running a 5 year old machine and just adding 2G of RAM is way more responsible. Go out and get a new, low power 80G hard drive and it will offset the extra power of the RAM you add. You really only need a 20G HD in your workstation but you can't even buy them anymore.

There are just so many things wrong with the plan I don't know where to start.

The very idea of cloud computing is flawed for this same reason.

Symmetrix and the death of monolithic arrays

Eddie Johnson
Coat

If you try really hard...

...you could probably jam a few more buzzwords in that first paragraph and make it totally incomprehensible. Oh, wait, nevermind.

Seagate shows off HDD-to-TV media player

Eddie Johnson
Coat

Question for all

Are there even any Reg readers who haven't sworn to never buy another Seagate product after the .11 fiasco?

Just askin'.

MS blames non-Redmond apps for security woes

Eddie Johnson
Unhappy

@Richard Gadsden

Why do you want to use MS's update facility? Its the most fragile POS I've ever encountered. It only works about 30% of the time thru a proxy, its overly complex, and it insists on using about 75 different domains making it near impossible to create firewall rules for. Other software I have that updates automatically does a hell of a lot better than MS. For one, AVG updates on its own about 360 days of the year, maybe the other 5 it gets stuck or wants to reboot so manual intervention is needed.

Spam regains pre-McColo reach

Eddie Johnson
Unhappy

Its not just with the email

I noticed a corresponding fall then rise with Usenet spam. In January and February the newsgroups were obviously much cleaner, especially with regard to a handful of the most prolific porn spammers.

Firefox exploit sends Mozilla into 'high-priority fire drill' mode

Eddie Johnson
Flame

If NoScript can mitigate this..

It would be nice if you provided a brief 2 sentence explanation of the preferred config. I need to know what to do to my 2.0.0.20 installs that they aren't going to update. It's probably already set that way but it would be nice to know. And no, I can't just upgrade to 3.x, 2.0 is in use on several of my NT machines where Firefox 3 isn't supported. I guess they can't render that stupid remote control forward/back button without DirectX or something.

Newfangled rootkits survive hard disk wiping

Eddie Johnson
Happy

This one is simple

It really is time to bring back a hardware write protect switch. It shouldn't be a big deal because Average Joe doesn't ever have a reason to update his BIOS. The advanced users who do will figure it out.

Oh, and code signing. BIOS images should be signed. Not just the package you download over the interweb but the actual image on the flash/EEPROM.

Worm breeds botnet from home routers, modems

Eddie Johnson
Happy

As many have said

As many have said disabling administration from the WAN side is the solution. In my Linksys it is disabled by default. When you go to enable it the on page help says, "Remote Router Access : Allows you to access your router remotely. Choose the port you would like to use. You must change the password to the router if it is still using its default password." So I have to go to a non default password.

So all the factory default solutions you guys are floating are not the answer - all it takes is 2 things. Design it as Linksys has, requiring the user to change the password plus, here is the biggy - force the luser to choose a complex password. If other routers are designed as mine are the fault lies squarely upon the lusers who are enabling this and using stupid passwords.

Intel freezes top salaries, reprices options

Eddie Johnson
Flame

Mixing Metaphors

Worthless stock options are "out of the money." "Underwater" is a term used for mortgages. The term underwater is inappropriate for options because they can be out of the money in 2 different directions, both too high (for a put option) and too low (for a call option).

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