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WhatsApp: 2nd Biggest Tech Acquisition of All Time

Aphrika Social Media bubble... (257 comments)

We've had the bubble. It's only a matter of time until the social media bubble bursts. Currently this seems to be defined as "we'll value your company on how many people use it" or "we're buying your user base", not tangible assets and value... crazy.

about 7 months ago

First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

Aphrika Re:You're all gonna hate me (800 comments)

Obviously there are a bunch of down-sides: low info density, highly GPU intensive, etc.

Actually, it's not very GPU intensive at all. They removed all the transparency, effects, graduations and shadows. This was done to give more battery life on mobile devices where GPU effects can have a tangible impact on battery life.

I'm with you on the information density though. I really wish desktop apps could benefit from the Live Tile features, but that seems to be one area in which the two environments don't overlap. At least 8.1 has the smaller quarter tile App size icon though, which should prove useful.

about a year ago

First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

Aphrika Re:Not good enough (800 comments)

Individual app buttons can be shrunk in 8.1 - there's a new size that's a quarter of the current square tile. Oddly, there's also a huge tile that's twice the size as well...

I'm with you on the Start Screen Search though, it's good to see that working as it should. Long term, I'm happy to see the end of the Start Menu. Sure it looked nice, but pixel perfect mousing when you were four, five levels down and the whole thing reset because you moused onto the desktop was annoying, plus the thing was just a hive of .lnk files under the bonnet that seemed to redraw half the time I was using it. It was archaic and needed to go and I'm surprised so many people were up in arms about it to be honest.

Hopefully they can build on the Start Screen over time. While I don't think 8.1 is there yet - not by a long way - it's certainly a move in the right direction.

about a year ago

Intel Announces Atom S1200 SoC For High Density Servers

Aphrika Great that it supports ECC... but the Atom brand? (78 comments)

Quite a few scientific customers will required that, and for performance per watt computing, it's likely that this chip will find its way into those applications.

However, I am amazed that they are using the Atom branding for what is essentially a very different underlying chip. The initial range of Atoms were lacklustre enough that the name seems somewhat tarnished now. Dumping that brand into the server arena may cause some people to have reservations, regardless of how good the underlying technology is.

about 2 years ago

Windows 8: a 'Christmas Gift For Someone You Hate'

Aphrika Windows 8 isn't all that bad (740 comments)

First time I saw Windows 8, I was horrified. It looked utterly awful and I couldn't imagine myself using it on a day to day basis.

However, due to a drive failure, I installed it and thought I'd give it a shot. Once you get past the Start Screen/Page/Menu thing - which is what 99% of the fuss is about - it's not all that bad at all. It is a dogs breakfast though, and does need some refinement. However I haven't had as much fun finding out new stuff in an OS since I got my first OSX box in 2002.

Firstly, I'm currently using it for development on a multi-monitor setup - 3x 24" monitors with one in portrait mode. Windows 8 handles multiple monitors in desktop mode much better than 7, no question about it. The ability to have the Taskbar setup to display programs running on that monitor is a great change.

Secondly, The desktop environment is much cleaner and I'm glad the huge hive of junk that was the Start Menu has gone. The number of times I aimlessly trawled through it to find some obscure program I needed wasted way too much time... Now, I can just pull up the search and find whatever app, then either run it or pin it to the Start Menu/page, or the Taskbar.

Performance is better too. Simple stuff is a lot faster than 7, and running the whole OS from a new 256GB SSD means I can boot in around 12 seconds. Even spindle to spindle file transfers are a lot faster.

You might notice I haven't really mentioned Metro, well that's because I hardly use it. In my view, it feels like a 'fun layer' that you can almost shut out completely when using the desktop for serious stuff. Today I've used it precisely once as I pin all my apps to the Taskbar in pretty much the same way I use the OSX dock. That said, the live tiles are very nice and some of the news and informational apps are good. Overall though, the ecosystem is lacking in content and I really can't see any point when I'd use a Metro app alongside the desktop.

As far as shutdown goes? Simple, I just map the power button to shutdown and don't have to fiddle around in Metro for it.

So, while not a 'fan' of the extreme changes in Windows 8, I am glad I can shut them out to a degree, and can benefit from the underlying changes made to the desktop. It's by no means a Vista though. While I may not like Metro, the underlying OS is solid and works better than Windows 7.

about 2 years ago

Wiki Weapon Project Test-Fires a (Partly) 3D-Printed Rifle

Aphrika Of course it's going to fail (289 comments)

It's made of plastic, using the template for a metal part.

both materials have different strengths and weaknesses. I'd imagine that a part redesigned to take into account the material would work better.

about 2 years ago

What "Earth-Shaking" Discovery Has Curiosity Made on Mars?

Aphrika Re:water (544 comments)

What, like a boat?

about 2 years ago

Sinofsky Dismisses Trying To Take Over Windows Phone, Developers

Aphrika It doesn't need Sinofsky... (70 comments)

Visual Studio 2010 was awesome. Visual Studio 2012 is a sea of all caps menus, grey and such a minute dash of colour that makes partially sighted people like me wonder if they hallucinated it or got up too fast...

Seriously MS, fix it, along with the Coal Bunker/Snow Blindness colour schemes. I am not on a beach in Malibu, or the cockpit of a B2 on a bombing mission FFS!

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best 32-Bit Windows System In 2012?

Aphrika Re:Why is Server 2008 not on the PAE list? (313 comments)

Ok, I stand corrected, I'm wrong there. I can only assume I never met the 32-bit version of 2008. I've been running 64-bit Server since 2003 with Pentium Ds, which was a bit of a black sheep to be honest... that said, with Server 2008 based on Vista core, the 32-bit version must suck.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best 32-Bit Windows System In 2012?

Aphrika Why is Server 2008 not on the PAE list? (313 comments)

Because 2008 and 2008 R2 are only available in 64-bit flavours, they do not need to support Physical Address Extension (PAE), which by definition is a way of allowing a 32-bit OS to address more than 4GB RAM.

about 2 years ago

Gabe Newell Confirms Source 2 Engine

Aphrika Ah, it's Spinal Tap all over again... (88 comments)

Company bases new product on previous product, increments version number by one...

It's just 'one better' isn't it?

about 2 years ago

New Credit Card Includes Display and Keypad

Aphrika I had one of these in the 1980s... (118 comments)

...all the rage it was. I could do maths and stuff on it and everything. Fitted in my wallet and was credit card sized and 1mm thick...

So why the big fanfare about sticking electronics in a card again, 30 years later?

about 2 years ago

Microsoft Escapes Kaspersky's Top 10 Vulnerabilities List

Aphrika No, they're not getting it... (112 comments)

They don't understand that in businesses, you don't run users as admins, which is what the Adobe Updater appears to require for autoupdates.

What they need to do is bring out a decent admin tool like WSUS for their products which enables centralized administration. Ditto Apple, Firefox, Java and a truckload of other software that would probably have a bigger market share if they just understood that where business is concerned with patching and security; Microsoft 'just gets it'. That's one of the key reasons why IE is the business browser of choice, because patching it is easy and quick, not convoluted and frustrating.

That said, it is possible to centrally manage Macs, to a degree...

about 2 years ago

Microsoft Escapes Kaspersky's Top 10 Vulnerabilities List

Aphrika Re:Windows is no longer relevant (112 comments)

Windows 8 is the best desktop OS. More secure, faster, more stable and has more software and hardware than Windows 7...

...IF, you can handle the FrankenOS of Metro/Win32...

about 2 years ago

Windows Browser Ballot Glitch Cost Firefox 6-9 Million Downloads

Aphrika Re:How about other companies? (245 comments)

Because of the past. When IE6 had a huge market share (>90%, but lets be honest, at the time it was the best browser out there), the EU stepped in.

Now the EU don't like monopolies and accused MS - rightly - of some underhandedness in getting their browser in front of punters by including it in the OS and not allowing it to be removed (even though you could just 'not use it', weird). Cue the Ballot Screen (which sucks).

Personally, I think the playing field since around 2010 can be considered levelled and any harping and whining now is pointless. I agree with what you're saying about OSX etc. though, but you also need to wonder why email clients, media players and anything else that's bolted on to the OS hasn't fallen foul...

about 2 years ago

Surface RT vs. iPad: a Comparison

Aphrika Re:It's got Office and that's good enough for some (357 comments)

Plethora of cheap and free online and offline competent Office suites doesn't really work for most business people I'm afraid...

Sure, some suites might do most or some of what people want, but when it comes down to it, most people just want stuff to work. And if the RT version of Office means that stuff "just works" then people will buy it, regardless of position on whether it's free, cheap or whatever...

about 2 years ago

Surface RT vs. iPad: a Comparison

Aphrika It's got Office and that's good enough for some (357 comments)

Ok, so it's a slightly less featured version that the full x86 Office 2013, but if it means I don't have to fart around with reformatting at teh last minute in Keynote, Page and Numbers on an iPad, or any of the other feeble attempts at Office compatibility to do a presentation, then that's just fine by me. Sure I could take a laptop, but I get some good results by simply passing the tablet around.

10 years ago, people were paying £450 for a full Office software suite, so the idea of spending an equivalent amount for Office on a tablet isn't that much of a dealbreaker when you consider it.

about 2 years ago

Why Microsoft Shouldn't Copy Apple's iOS Walled Garden

Aphrika Skyrim would never appear in the Windows Store... (244 comments)

That's for Metro apps. Skyrim is a Win32 app. Sure, the Metro bit is a walled garden, but the Win32 bit is still as open as ever on x86, you simply just avoid ARM based Win RT devices... job done.

about a year ago

Notch Won't Certify Minecraft For Windows 8

Aphrika ARM locks ARM users into 2nd rate experience! (303 comments)

Seriously, whether the desktop was available or not on Win RT ARM tablets, the experience would always be inferior. Saying that ARM users are getting a second rate experience is stupid. Have them install something that runs badly on their hardware, that's a second rate experience.

What the Metro and MS store is allow developers to write across both architectures with ease. While a Metro app may appear that taxes an ARM tablet, that same app isn't going to break a sweat on a multicore x86 box.

You may as well say iPhone users get a second rate experience because the iPad screen is bigger...

That said though, MS wording as to what Windows 8 certification actually is seems confused. It should really be Certified for Metro, and they should do more to differentiate between cosmetically identical, but technically different products in Windows 8 and Windows RT devices.

about 2 years ago


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