starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)

Okay, this is going to come off as petty to some, but it really irks me when people—especially in the tech media—think that something should change after a certain amount of time. This is even more true for things like operating systems.

I've already given my opinion on the tech media elsewhere. I think that, for the most part, they're idiots with an axe to grind, so they can get views and stir up their personal hornet nests to gather even larger audiences. I also believe they tend to be completely oblivious to anything outside of Silicon Valley and the tech elite, or that they just don't give a shit.

Now, with that out of the way, let me get to the point. I see so many geeks and tech media take the piss out of Apple, Microsoft, Google, and many others, just because they don't do major updates to something as often as they want.

This was especially true with Windows XP and OS X. I've seen complaints that the Luna design (Windows XP) was dated and a Fisher Price™ OS , and that OS X's skeuomorphic design was out of touch with what people wanted. Even Windows Vista and 7 got hate from some people for having the Aero Glass designs.

Yet, the return of Aero Glass was one of the most-requested features for Windows 10, before Microsoft's massive "fuck you" to fans as the UserVoice service was shut down. This was from mostly normal people, who aren't as tech savvy as the people who frequent sites like Windows Central and Thurrott.com .

For OS X, the skeuomorphic designs were seen as comforting for non-techies. The look of the faux leather and legal pad background for iOS and OS X's Notes app was a welcome sight, as was the design language of many other apps, such as the popped buttons of the window controls.

The problem is that, in the tech industry, geeks and tech media will always be the loudest when they don't get their way. Many of them have no qualms with stamping out the voices of non-geeks, so long as they see themselves as right on the internet.

Honestly, we need more tools to help non-geeks voice what they like about the applications and programs they're using, especially in a world where geeks would gladly cause a panic about anonymous telemetry just to keep such voices in the dark.

But hey, that's just my opinion on the matter.

starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)

Every time I turn around, I see someone in the tech industry say that developers "shouldn't even try to handle passwords themselves", and to rely on things like Google SSO, Facebook Connect, and Login with Twitter. Sadly, that's insecure as well. In fact, they're as bad as using nothing but email to authenticate someone.

More below... )

starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)

So, for those not in the know, the Free Software Foundation have launched a "campaign" against the W3C (and I use campaign generously). Basically, to protest DRM, they're encouraging people to go to a W3C office, take a selfie with a sign to stop the inclusion of DRM in HTML, and send it to the W3C as a form of protest, stating that:

We have reliable advice that this will be very influential to the W3C's leadership -- if they know the whole world is watching them, it will be much harder for them to take this huge step backward for the Web.

Umm... What? I'm sorry, but when did this ever stop any of the members of the W3C from passing something that people don't agree with? Modals, anyone?

The point of the W3C standardization process is that it's supposed to be an open dialog, and even stated as much in a blog post. While they don't always take the route that organizations like the FSF prefer, they do listen.


The problem with the Free Software Foundation is that they refuse to accept anything less than what they desire, and will scream loudly like children until they're either shot down completely, or they get their way. They will gladly push their ideals like a religion, and if you don't like it, they gain a "them or us" mentality that turns anyone who disagrees with them into an "enemy".

I know this from experience. I was deep in the Free Software world, and witnessed people getting chastised and bullied for disagreeing with anything that the FSF was about. They will spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), propaganda, and even outright lie if it means getting their way. They'll even disrupt businesses and such if it means having any sort of effect on the industry.

I have--and continue to--compare them to totalitarianism. Their end goal is to have full control, and I've seen how they act. They act like a corrupt government, sometimes even as a cult.

I will gladly back the idea of freedom in software, but I back the freedom to make a choice. I back the thought that, if DRM exists, people should just seek other ways to get what they're seeking. As far as HTML goes, let those who lock their content behind DRM fail naturally, which is how the open web works.

I am a proponent of the Open Web, where it doesn't matter what licence you use, or what your requirements are. And after my experiences, I will never be on the side of the Free Software Foundation. Feel free to back them--that's your prerogative--but don't forget that those who force their ideals on others often turn into demons themselves.

starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)

Yesterday, while out with my mates, I managed to find some books at Half-Price Books that I wanted. As my mate Calyo owed me for buying air filters for the house, I asked her to take care of three of them, as I had the money for the other two. Here is what I got.

  • Microsoft Expression Web 4 Step by Step by Chris Leeds (ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-3902-7) | List Price: $44.99 | Paid: $7.99
  • Windows Vista Inside Out by Ed Bott, Cael Siechert, and Craig Stinson (ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-2270-8) | List Price: $49.99 | Paid: $3.99

  • Windows Vista Resource Kit (Second Edition) by Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, and Jerry Honeycut, featuring the Windows Vista Team at Microsoft (ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-2596-9) | List Price: $69.99 | Paid: $3.99

  • Windows XP Inside Out (Second Edition) by Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, and Craig Stinson (ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-2044-5) | List Price: $44.99 | Paid: $4.99

  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 Step by Step by Joan Preppernau, Joyce Cox, and Curtis Frye (ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-2560-0) | List Price: $24.99 | Paid: $4.99

The only book I have started reading through is Miscrosoft Expression Web 4 Step by Step, and so far, I am learning quite a bit about the web IDE that I use as my default environment. I may try to write a review of the book later.

I will also be recieving another book eventually that I want to review, but it has not arrived yet: Windows 7 Inside Out. I want to round out the Inside Out series with favourite trifecta of Windows OSes, and Windows 7 is the last one I need.

The primary reason I wanted these books is because: 1) I use Office 2007 (Word, Excel, and Outlook) on my laptop as my main office suite; 2) I use Expression Web 4 all of the time for web design; 3) I love the old Windows OSes, and these books have information that can be rather useful, including things which I have never known about; and 4) I have become something of a tech historian, and I have more interest in older technology than newer technology, especially with Windows 10 being the latest OS in its line.

I should post a picture of all of my old technology books at some point. For now, I am going to relax for the morning and do some reading while I listen to podcasts on Zune.

starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)

As I had been using my new Surface Pro 3 as my primary device for my typical “30 day trial”, I was also forced to use Windows 10. I must say, even an unstable Arch Linux partition would be much more stable than Windows 10.

First of all, application stability. Simply switching applications would often cause background applications to become unstable. For example, going from Word to Pale Moon and back often caused Word to simply lock up and crash. Word, OneNote, and Store apps were the most problematic, but any app had a chance of falling apart just from using Alt+Tab or Win+Tab. Just today alone, I lost almost 10K words worth of work in MS Word, both from Word itself crashing, and OneDrive crashing. Even Windows Vista does not have these issues, and yet, Windows 10 does.

Then there is OneDrive’s stability. OneDrive has been my primary cloud storage solution since the drives in my home’s NAS began to fail, and in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8, it works extremely well. In Windows 10, OneDrive becomes so unstable that a 4KB file could instantly fail to upload, and do so silently in the background. I do not know what level of idiocy has befallen Windows 10’s APIs, but to go from “working perfectly” to “working less than 10% of the time” is absolutely unacceptable for a productivity environment. Mercifully, I do have an external HDD, and I can use Dropbox for some documents until I can revive the NAS with new HDDs.

Then…there is the update problem. Windows 10’s updates being forced on the user is bad, but when they break functionality and have no way to fully roll back the update, that is completely unacceptable. Windows 10 is made for a beta testing environment, not a production environment. Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 allow the user to stop an update from taking hold, and this is a key requirement for having a stable system.

In Microsoft’s efforts to have an evergreen operating system—a feature that many people in the technology industry want, but not as many non-technical users—they have managed to copy Google’s eternal beta design a little too well. Unlike Google, Microsoft’s Windows 10 is actually in a perpetual beta state.

I will continue to use my Surface, but only as an art tablet. My laptop will be used for writing, as I can rely on it.

starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)
I should give this story here as well now.
read more )

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