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Comment Re:Yes, but other than that, how did you like it? (Score 1) 453

This is also very informative, at least for me, as it gives me one more reason to avoid Win 8 as i had no idea everything in their new appstore was tied to hotmail. So Barance thanks for submitting this article, most grateful. Sorry about the poor bastard that tried Hotmail and got pwned but there is a good reason why many of us avoid hotmail like the clap.

First things first, Hotmail != Live ID. A Hotmail (or Live.com) account is a Live ID, but a Live ID does not need to be a Hotmail account. It can be any email address you want. My Live ID is my gmail account.

Second, this isn't anything new. Xbox and Windows Phone both use Live ID as the ID into their stores. This is no different than Google requiring a Google account for Android or Apple requiring an iTunes account for iOS/OS X app stores. Windows 8 takes it one step further by giving you the option of using your live ID as your Windows login, but it's not required. You can still use a regular local user, or a domain account if you're on an AD domain.

Third, the author of the article obviously sucks at using strong passwords. A 7-character, all lower-case alphabetical password is just begging to be cracked. Even with thottling in place on Microsoft's services, that could be brute-forced in a trivial amount of time even without a dictionary attack (assuming no throttling or login attempt limits, it would take approximately 32 seconds to crack). He's blaming the tools when he should be blaming his own password management skills. Hacking of Live IDs is no more rampant than hacking of Google accounts or iTunes accounts. Well, okay, not entirely true -- there have been plenty of social engineering hacks through Xbox Live. Stuff like, "Send me your login credentials and I will get achievements for you" or Points scams or whatever. But there's nothing Microsoft can do about social engineering short of identifying the culprits and taking action against them after the fact.

Comment Re:Never got the "point" of XBMC (Score 1) 195

As long as I'm being pedantic, that is correct. It's an abbreviation. An acronym is an abbreviation that intentionally forms a word. So unless you pronounce XBMC as "ex-buh-muck" and not "ex bee em see", it's only an abbreviation.

And it certainly is an abbreviation, as the original project was called "Xbox Media Center". That the abbreviation is now the name doesn't make it not an abbreviation (see KFC, IBM, etc).

Comment Re:Never got the "point" of XBMC (Score 1) 195

Well, that's interesting. Only the Eden logo has the "media center" subtitle. Everything else (the site header logo, the about page, every other single reference to "XBMC" on the web site) refers strictly to "XBMC" and not "XBMC Media Center". So I'll stick with the more consistent representation of the name as "XBMC" with the "Media Center" as part of the abbreviation.

Comment Re:Never got the "point" of XBMC (Score 0) 195

It is called "XBMC Media Center" for a reason

This may be pedantic, but it's not called "XBMC Media Center". It's called "XBMC", originally from "Xbox Media Center". "Media Center" is part of the abbreviation. Calling it "XBMC Media Center" is akin to calling an ATM an "ATM machine" or a PIN a "PIN number". "Media Center", "machine", and "number" are all part of the preceding abbreviations, respectively.

Comment Re:About time common sense prevailed! (Score 2) 292

Needs citation.

There was a case of in-flight wifi systems causing certain new displays to blank out periodically, but:

  • The blanking was within spec, and the display returned to function in less than the required time before it would be a problem.
  • The culprit was the in-flight wifi system, not an individual's personal electronics
  • There is absolutely nothing a passenger could do that would cause a problem like that short of running a super high-powered personal hotspot device while sitting in the very front row of first class.

Your story sounds like an urban legend, especially since there have been many studies that show at worst personal electronics do not interfere at all with any systems.

Comment Re:Ooo, look! (Score 1) 500

We called iconic borderless buttons "tiles"!

But they're more than just buttons. They're "live" tiles, in that they can show you information related to the app without even launching. For example, a weather app may show you the current temperature on the live tile and a more detailed forecast when you start. Or a stock app may show you the change in your portfolio or watched stocks on the tile and give you a more detailed view if you start the app. Or a game might show you a leaderboard, or a notification that a friend wants to play, or that a friend just beat your high score.

Screenshots of the Metro interface on Win8 or WP7 really don't do it justice. You need to see it in action to appreciate it. The Metro interface on Xbox is more static (you can't pin your own tiles, for example, and the active content is just all ads), but it at least has the look and ties together all "three screens" (PC, phone, TV).

Comment Re:Lovely and Intuitive? (Score 1) 500

I've never known a reason before to hit the windows button...I just did it, brings up the Start Menu..but when I started typing the first letters of a program it didn't go to it.

Perhaps this is a Win7 thing?

I only VERY recently had a laptop purchased for me to do some work on later for someone that has Win7...I've only fired it up to install some stuff on it...but when I get home, i'll give the windows button a try.

The GP maybe assumed someone that was familiar with Win 7, or possibly Vista which might have this feature?

XP is 11 years old (Vista is 5 years old, and 7 is going on 3). Running XP today would be the equivalent of running Debian Woody, Ubuntu Wary Warthog, or the initial version of OS X 10.0 Cheetah. If someone were to complain about Linux based on their only experience being a decade old release, they'd be laughed off of Slashdot. Why is it accepted to do that with Windows?

Comment Re:Lovely and Intuitive? (Score 1) 500

eh.. no? Even my computer illiterate parents do that. Slashdot likes to make fun of Joe sixpack, but sometimes we seems so stuck in the past that we are actually less proficient with using modern Windows 7 PCs than ordinary Joes. Like the leet people who think they speed up their PC by turning off hardware accellerated Aero "eye candy", replacing it with the software default that actually is slower.

Or the people who turn off search indexing to "speed up games" and end up making the start menu search unusable. Or the people who insist on doing a complete OS reinstall every couple of months. Or the people who don't run AV software because it's too intrusive (they've obviously never tried MSE). Or turning off UAC, disabling the firewall, turning off "unnecessary" services because they don't understand what they do, etc.

There are a lot of things "power users" do that are not relevant anymore or even damaging to actual performance and functionality, simply because that's what they've always done and they can't comprehend that things change and get better over time.

Comment Re:WD Live (Score 1) 217

It's a little confusing, but you can tell by the name:

  • WD TV - the original 720p device. Obsolete
  • WD TV Live - Replaced the WD TV, added 1080p and a bunch of other features, but is missing hardware support required for Netflix/Hulu support. Obsolete, but often still available for ridiculously good prices, and still perfectly functional if you don't need Netflix or Hulu. I have one of these for the bedroom.
  • WD TV Live + (sometimes written as "Plus" instead "+") - The WD TV Live, plus Netflix and Hulu. It's literally exactly the same, with the addition of the hardware-level DRM that Netflix requires. Obsolete just like the WD TV Live, but also often available for ridiculously good prices.
  • WD TV Live Hub - Has a built-in hard drive, and debuted the new UI. Intended to be more of a stand-alone media "hub" rather than a streaming player, thus the included hard drive. I bought one of these for the in-laws to use on their boat where they have intermittent internet connections.
  • WD TV Live Streaming - The replacement for the WD TV Live +, with the Hub's new UI and remote and a redesigned case. I don't know why WD didn't just ship the new UI on the older WD TV Live +, given that they're pretty good about updating firmware frequently.

The Live +, Hub, or Live Streaming are all excellent choices for inexpensive streaming media players with Netflix/Hulu support.

Comment Re:Scrolling (Score 1) 267

Maybe less smooth than CE kernel which is better at (hard) realtime than either Linux or iOS.

Implying that has anything to do with how smoothly it scrolls. WP scrolls smoothly because a lot of work was put into GPU acceleration of scrolling. App developers can still easily muck it up (by not virtualizing long lists, for example). Conversely, Android can also scroll quite smoothly if the developer puts the work into it. The difference is that WP makes it easier to achieve smooth scrolling in the normal usage case (not-too-long lists).

Comment Re:A cheer goes up (Score 1) 335

The latter is also more flexible with the various resolutions of computers, smart phones, and tablets. Flowable layout is a prudent choice nowadays.

Too bad a large majority of sites don't have flowable layouts. So many sites with narrow layouts (usually less than 1000px, because obviously 1024x768 maximized is the standard?), even narrower content areas (yay, 425px content columns!), using non-scalable units for text sizes and positioning.

Web page "designers" need to get over their magazine mentality and realize that the web is supposed to flow. And seriously, em math is no more difficult than pixel math, and often actually easier. If you want a nice, flowable, scalable, column of text that's not too wide for readability, make it 30ems wide. Now as the base em size changes, everything. just. works. Or use percentages (though nested percentages can get tricky). Either way, pixels for layout and font measurement must die.

Comment Re:Windows Phone 7 has potential. (Score 1) 185

I'm not too worried about that, it's more being constantly bothered to join, last thing i want is a phone which will start telling me that i need to join any particular thing. I don't mind the windows live id, because i already have a few to pick from. Thanks for the info though.

I've not seen any nagging. It's been a while since I've gone through OOBS but I think it just prompts you once ("Hey, you can add accounts!") and then never again.

Also, if you have multiple live IDs and you have one associated with an Xbox Live account, use that for the WP7 phone. You gamerscore and avatar will carry over to the phone, and any achievements you get from phone games will add to your Xbox gamerscore total. It's a nice little touch that makes phone gaming a little more interesting than, "I've got a minute to kill, may as well throw some birds at pigs."

Comment Re:Talk about control freaks (Score 2) 185

You need a special TOKEN just to develop for the damn things? And there's a shortage? Do they have a basement full of MS trolls hand-crafting each token?

Not exactly, no. You can develop for the emulator for free (all the tools and SDKs are available for free). If you want to put what you developed on your phone itself you can either pay $100/year for access to the market (the standard approach that Microsoft wants you to do, because it gets apps in the market and everybody judges smartphone platforms by the size of their market) or you could pay the Chevron guys $9 and get the exact same level of access to your phone but not be allowed to submit apps to the market. The apps you write can only be used by other people who have paid for Chevron or are "official" developers. They call this "homebrew".

I don't know why Microsoft chose to limit the number of tokens for Chevron customers, but at least they're actively working with the homebrew enthusiast community rather than doing everything in their power to shut them down like Apple.

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