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Comment: Re:Guffaw! So much overhaul it's FOUR better! (Score 2) 165

by _xeno_ (#48436113) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

The Windows kernel version has almost never matched the marketing versions:

Windows 95: 4.0
Windows 98: 4.10
Windows ME: 4.90
Windows 2000: 5.0
Windows XP: 5.1
Windows Vista: 6.0
Windows 7: 6.1
Windows 8: 6.2
Windows 8.1: 6.3

(Note: Starting with Windows 2000, the versions are NT versions, Windows 95/98/ME are actually numbered based on the DOS Windows (as in Windows 3.1).)

Comment: Re:Guffaw! So much overhaul it's FOUR better! (Score 5, Informative) 165

by _xeno_ (#48436055) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

That's the reason given but it makes no sense. The Windows API doesn't give out names like that. The Windows 95 version was internally identified as version 4.0. Windows 98 was version 4.10. (ME was 4.90, and a separate flag indicates if the system was Windows NT-based, allowing programs to known the difference between Windows 95 (4.0) and Windows NT 4.0.)

So that explanation makes no sense.

Even more, if you check out the documentation on getting version information, the version returned is now tied to the application manifest as of Windows 8.1 anyway. So you'll only ever get version 6.2 (Windows 8) back unless you explicitly target later version of Windows, meaning the jump to version 10 can't cause problems with older software.

This whole "Windows 9*" check thing makes no sense. Well, except for Java applications, because Sun actually built Java to pull the version number and then translate it into a string rather than expose it via any public Java API. I guess the idea was that you shouldn't need to know the OS your Java app is running on, but as anyone who's done anything with Java knows, that never actually works in practice. As far as I know that's the only case where you'd ever be doing version checks against strings under Windows.

Comment: Re: why can't we go back to the old shareware syst (Score 1) 102

by _xeno_ (#48429075) Attached to: Apple Swaps "Get" Button For "Free" To Avoid Confusion Over In-App Purchases

Turns out that it was only a full version for my device, not my account.

The majority of in-app purchases I've seen tied to your account, not your device, and allow you to restore them when you move to new devices. My experience is admittedly extremely limited (a couple of games my mom and brother own) but in those cases you were able to restore purchases from one device to a new device. More recent games even save to iCloud so you're now even able to keep your save games when moving to a new device, something that you weren't allowed to do earlier.

(For some dumbass reason the only way to transfer documents off iOS devices is still only through iCloud. You can't just connect an iPhone via USB and transfer documents off of it. If a given app doesn't support iCloud, your data is device-specific and can't be transferred off in any way. In 2014.)

Comment: Re:why can't we go back to the old shareware syste (Score 1) 102

by _xeno_ (#48428685) Attached to: Apple Swaps "Get" Button For "Free" To Avoid Confusion Over In-App Purchases

In fact a bunch of games already do this. I know that Capcom has released Ghost Trick and the latest Phoenix Wright on iOS doing exactly what you're talking about. You get the first chapter free and have to pay to unlock the rest of the game. (And, unlike certain other Capcom iOS ports, those two ports are really well done.)

It actually works out pretty well, you basically get a free demo (like you would with shareware) and then you can pay for the full version. The only issue is that due to Apple restrictions, you end up having to download the full game, regardless about whether you decide to pay for everything. I suppose I should be grateful Apple finally discovered how to do delta updates for app updates.

Comment: Re:Consoles should just go away (Score 1) 222

by _xeno_ (#48421057) Attached to: Three-Way Comparison Shows PCs Slaying Consoles In Dragon Age Inquisition

Dunno about "hard-core FPS player" but MMOs are actually moving to consoles. The obvious example is Destiny which launched in September, not to mention the Elder Scrolls Online which is coming to consoles next month.

There might not be quite as many console MMOs as there are PC MMOs, but newer MMOs are definitely looking towards consoles as a target platform.

Comment: Re:Based on my experiences with Microsoft Lync... (Score 1) 54

by _xeno_ (#48394267) Attached to: New Trial Brings Skype to (Some) Browsers

What the hell is this, then?

The Lync thing I'm talking about it only for online meetings. It's a part of Lync implemented as a web app and for some reason if you aren't on Windows it's your only choice if you want to see what other people are presenting. The place I work at doesn't actually use Lync for generic telephony. (Although they do have some form of half-assed integration where someone calling my office phone will, in fact, cause a Lync desktop app notification to appear. I just can't answer the call using Lync because our VoIP system isn't actually Lync.)

Comment: Re:Based on my experiences with Microsoft Lync... (Score 2) 54

by _xeno_ (#48392253) Attached to: New Trial Brings Skype to (Some) Browsers

I think you're talking about Lync in general (that is, the desktop chat/VoIP app). I'm talking about the new Lync webapp that's used for Lync conferencing. For some reason I can't figure out, at least on Mac OS X (which is what my work laptop is), the Lync webapp refuses to use anything other than the internal speaker/mic or the speaker/mic port on the side. It doesn't matter what audio device you have set up in Settings, it just ignores it and uses either the internal speaker/mic or the ports, although you can select which of the two to use. Back when IT still supported the old Lync desktop app, that supported any audio device I threw at it. The new Lync webapp that they're having everyone use in place of the Lync desktop app, on the other hand, does not.

I have no clue how relevant the Lync webapp is to the new Skype browser thing the story is referring to. I can only hope it turns out to be completely unrelated given how poorly the webapp works. But it's potentially relevant given that Skype and Lync are now operated by the same team and they're basically discontinuing Lync in favor of Skype. (Unless it turns out to just be a branding thing, and Skype for Business will be an entirely separate code base from Skype. Microsoft hasn't exactly been clear on the future direction of Lync.)

Comment: Based on my experiences with Microsoft Lync... (Score 5, Interesting) 54

by _xeno_ (#48391983) Attached to: New Trial Brings Skype to (Some) Browsers

Oh, goodie, I can only hope this new browser-based version of Skype works as well as the new browser-based version of Lync does, especially with Microsoft rebranding Lync as Skype for Business.

I remember when I used to be able to use my USB headset with Lync, prior to corporate moving to the new browser-based version of Lync. Now I can only use the built-in speakers and microphone because Lync manages to completely ignore the global sound settings somehow! I sure hope they manage to bring this feature to the new browser version of Skype.

Granted, this was still a step up from the Lync client which routinely crashed if the network hiccuped in any way, but still. I can only hope the Skype team is taking over the Lync team and not the other way around.

I will give Lync some credit. It makes a great excuse for blowing off a meeting. "Oh, sorry, I tried to attend your meeting, but Lync blew up." "Oh, yeah, it does that to me all the time. We'll try again tomorrow."

Comment: Re:The UK doesn't have freedom of speech (Score 2, Informative) 316

I love how the Democratic Party invention of free speech zones somehow became a "Dubya" thing. They may have only become widely covered starting in 2000, but they were originally an invention of the DNC to keep pro-life protestors away from their 1988 convention.

Both parties have been using them since the 2004 elections, so it's not like you can lay the blame solely on the Republicans either. Both parties do it.

Comment: Sounds like movie reviews (Score 3, Insightful) 473

You can always tell when a movie is going to be - uh, "good" - when they refuse to show it to reviewers prior to it launching in theaters. Likewise, when a game has reviews coming out before it launches, you usually know it's going to be a good game.

Of course, the big problem with games is that for some crazy reason publishers rely on "preorders" to establish launch day sales. You get things like 10% off if you "preorder" the game instead of waiting for launch day, or you get special DLC that's only available if you preorder. I don't understand why publishers are so interested in preorders. But it's yet another way of trying to get people to purchase a product before they can review it.

Now if you don't mind, I need to stop my rant about preorders so I can go back another video game Kickstarter.

Comment: Re:Ted Cruz is Already Attacking Net Neutrality (Score 2) 704

by _xeno_ (#48351923) Attached to: President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

Speaking as a Massachusetts resident, I can tell you that Romneycare was in no way a Republican idea. At the time, the Democratic-controlled state legislative branch was essentially trying to take over healthcare via heavy regulation. This wouldn't be the first time: Massachusetts heavily regulates auto insurance and as such had some of the highest auto insurance rates in the nation. We've since deregulated auto insurance to some degree which has allowed some additional competition and a general lowering of rates. You're still required to buy car insurance, though.

Romney basically negotiated Romneycare in an attempt to prevent the same disaster that was Massachusetts auto insurance from being repeated in the Massachusetts health industry. He didn't get everything he wanted, quite a lot of "Romneycare" was pushed through thanks to the Democratic-controlled legislature.

And it didn't work. People lost jobs. (I personally know people who were forced out of the state due to Romneycare when their job evaporated because their employers couldn't afford to offer insurance.) Emergency room visits went up and doctor visits went down.

By the time Obamacare became law, the law was already a miserable failure here, so - uh, yeah. Enjoy your known-failed "conservative" approach to health care, I guess.

Comment: Re:Amusing this should show up today (Score 2) 132

by _xeno_ (#48306427) Attached to: Mozilla Teases First Browser Dedicated To Devs

The debugger tab informed me the library was "blackboxed" and at that point I figured it was best to just give up and try a different browser. Chrome had no problem getting the error message and console message in the right order and its error message was more useful anyway.

I've had issues with Firefox's developer tools before. I remember managing to crash the browser by trying to inspect a JSON object that turned out to contain some huge number of entries. The DOM Inspector is also generally really slow and freezes the browser if you try to inspect some deeply nested node. Chrome's developer tools are, generally, better than Firefox's. The only reason I use Firefox these days is because NoScript is still better than anything I'm aware of for Chrome or, really, any other browser.

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill