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Windows 8 Died at Launch

Windows 8 Died at Launch, Microsoft Moves on to Windows 9

Microsoft attempted something different and daring with Windows 8. It introduced a whole new interface and means of interaction with your PC that was identical to a smartphone or tablet. It threw out the “Start” menu and mouse-driven interface people had used for decades in favor of a touch-driven interface with tiles, some of which received active information updates.

And people hated it.

“They tried to get their entire audience to jump from a UI [user interface] they were comfortable with to a brand new one with a serious learning curve,” California-based Creative Strategies tech analyst and president Tim Bajarin said. “Had they done a more transitionary product, especially keeping the Start button, I don’t think the impact and perception would have been as bad.”

By removing the Start button, which had been a Windows fixture since Windows 95, Microsoft wasn’t just introducing a new way of using the operating system — it was trying to force people away from the only one they had known for two decades.

The result was that Windows 8 was slaughtered in the court of public opinion, often compared to the much-maligned Windows Vista released in 2006. It was an incorrect comparison; Vista was a technological hairball, a truly awful piece of software that often failed when people tried to install it on their PCs.

Windows 8 was technically sound. No one complained of crashing, slow performance or old apps not working on it. People noted it was actually a tad faster than Windows 7, they just hated how it looked. The result was slow sales for Windows 8, but Windows 7, the OS it was supposed to replace, kept selling like hotcakes.

“Its distinguishing feature was support for touchscreens but also legacy applications,” Endpoint Technologies President Roger Kay said. Endpoint is a Boston-based market research firm. “It ended up being a Frankenstein. So the good parts, like being a little faster and more reliable and more secure were almost totally invisible to the end user. So you could tell people it was faster and more reliable and they said ‘I don’t know how to use it.’”

nice write-up on Windows 8, and how microsoft is already looking towards — and probably pushing pretty hard on it — Windows 9… they’re adding the Start Menu back, but it’s probably too late by now… well maybe, i don’t know, just feel like most people have already made up their minds on whether they like it or not.

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The Cost of American Indifference

almost hard to believe, but it’s already friday morning… damn this week has flown by… anywho, i think it’s time to see what victor has to say this week — The Cost of American Indifference

The Obama administration often either denies any responsibility for the current global chaos or claims that it erupted spontaneously. Yet most of the mess was caused by, or made worse by, growing U.S. indifference and paralysis.

Over the last five and a half years, America has had lots of clear choices, but the administration usually took the path of least short-term trouble, which has ensured long-term hardship.

There was no need to “reset” the relatively mild punishments that the George W. Bush administration had accorded Vladimir Putin’s Russia for invading Georgia in 2008. By unilaterally normalizing relations with Russia and trashing Bush, Barack Obama and then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton only green-lighted further Russian aggression, which has since spread to Crimea and Ukraine.

There was no need for Obama, almost immediately upon assuming office, to distance the U.S. from Israel by criticizing Israel’s policies and warming to its enemies, such as Hamas and the authoritarian Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan.

Any time Israel’s enemies have glimpsed growing distance in the U.S.–Israeli friendship, they seek only to pry it still wider. We see just that with terrorists in Gaza who launch hundreds of missiles into Israel on the expectation that the U.S. will broker a favorable deal that finds both sides equally at fault.

Sanctions had crippled Iran to the point that it soon would have grown desperate to meet U.S. demands to stop its nuclear enrichment. Instead, Obama eased trade restrictions just as they were coming to fruition. Iran is now on its way to acquiring a bomb, while supplying missiles to Hamas and Hezbollah.

We had an option in Libya to let the tottering but reforming Moammar Qaddafi government fend for itself. Or we could have taken out Qaddafi and then sent in peacekeepers to ensure a transition to ordered government. But the Obama administration did neither. Instead, the U.S. participated in a multi-nation bombing campaign and all but guaranteed that a failed state would be left on Europe’s doorstep. Now we have just closed our embassy in Tripoli and fled the country entirely. Continue…

after nearly six years in office, i’m still not really sure where Obama’s heads at with most of this stuff… you’d think that after all this time it would be clear, but it sure as hell isn’t — which then lends itself to a whole slew of questions about his motives… but i digress.

Legitimizing Hamas’s War Criminality

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Damn Lindsay

well, that’s definitely not the most flattering bikini shot of lindsay lohan floating around the internet… damn man.

#sexylohan

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Oh, Anna Akana

News Alert! Anna Akana is profoundly asian!

Aspiring actress and moderately annoying youtube personality, Anna Akana, made a video insulting dudes who only go for Asian chicks. Akana insists that white guys who exclusively date Asian women are submissive school girl fetish seeking perverts with Yellow Fever.

According to Akana, she experiences the phenomenon constantly, annoyed when ‘racist assholes’ hit on her solely because she is young, hot, and especially Asian. She makes a big public deal about being racially offended then blows the guy with the most producing credits. Asian chicks are pragmatic like that.

DeNiro likes the dark meat and Leo Dicaprio will only bang models from countries where the basketball lane is a hexagram, so why criticize the coffee house hipsters and Aspy white programmers of the world for flocking towards Asians chicks? The flaw in Akana’s viewpoint is she groups all Asian women together. The same guy with a boner for community college Chinese chicks with dip-dyed hair isn’t the same guy cruising the bio-tech labs for Pinays with coke-bottle glasses. I like short girls. I wouldn’t say I have midget fever, though I’d be willing to contract it if I could bone lots of teeny tiny women with squeaky voices like Care Bears. I guess Anna wishes she were a young Latina or black chick with perfect tits so she could walk through construction sites completely unmolested. Life is super rough for all good looking women. We know. Now do some cartwheels so we can see your white cotton panties.

never even heard of Anna Akana until today.

#chuckles

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USB Hackers

Hackers can tap USB devices in new attacks, researcher warns

BOSTON (Reuters) – USB devices such as keyboards, thumb-drives and mice can be used to hack into personal computers in a potential new class of attacks that evade all known security protections, a top computer researcher revealed on Thursday.

Karsten Nohl, chief scientist with Berlin’s SR Labs, noted that hackers could load malicious software onto tiny, low-cost computer chips that control functions of USB devices but which have no built-in shields against tampering with their code.

“You cannot tell where the virus came from. It is almost like a magic trick,” said Nohl, whose research firm is known for uncovering major flaws in mobile phone technology.

can’t say that i’m totally surprised here… could be totally wrong here, but isn’t something along these lines how the israelis screwed up iran’s nuclear program with that virus?

on a related sidenote, jayden wanted to install Windows 8.1 on his computer last night, and one of first things we had to do was create a bootable USB stick with a copy of Win8 on it — was feeling pretty dumb for a few minutes there, since it’s been ages since i did it… but finally figured it out, updated his BIOS to boot from USB, and got it rolling… surprisingly enough, the install went really damn fast.

Why the Security of USB Is Fundamentally Broken

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The Swift Death of ReaganBook

The swift death of ReaganBook, the Facebook for patriots

If I could look back now, I would say the whole prospect fell apart after Satan poked me.

I joined ReaganBook when I saw it billed earlier this week (admittedly, on liberal sites) as the conservative response to Facebook. This was, I thought, a simultaneously wonderful and naive idea. On the one hand: shutting yourself inside an echo chamber could be a boon to both you and your friends of a different political persuasion. On the other hand: trolls. Surely a name like ReaganBook — a name devoid of any irony, part of a logo that includes an illustration of the president, cowboy hat adorned, done in the style of the Obama “Hope” image — would be bait to any liberals hoping to while away a few minutes on a fake profile. This proved to be the case. ReaganBook is already down.

The site requires no proof of identity (or semblance to reality) to log in, which becomes immediately obvious: everyone seems to be either using real names, the names of famous conservatives, or the names of famous conservatives paired with sex acts. Some are earnest; some are parody. Neither of these are instructive or valuable. The only worthwhile accounts are the ones that can’t be parsed. Someone with a Captain America avatar invites people to talk about guns; Margaret Thatcher leaves more than 700 comments on an innocuous status. There is an eagle crying, several photos of Jesus. Someone with the user name SATAN! SATAN! SATAN! pokes me. A photo of a monkey in a bubble bath is posted, and no one seems sure what side this person is on. Everyone is confused and angry with everyone else.

buddy of mine at work just sent this one over to me, saying that he thought it was right up my alley.

#hmmmmm

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The LEGO Guardians

Guardians of the Galaxy… in LEGO!

i still haven’t seen the LEGO movie yet, been meaning to drop by a redbox and pick it up… so it’s on my list, but damned if i can’t wait to go see the Guardians up on the big screen this weekend.

should be good, mang.

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Ebola Scare 2014

Sierra Leone declares emergency as Ebola death toll hits 729

FREETOWN (Reuters) – Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine Ebola victims on Thursday, joining neighboring Liberia in imposing tough controls as the death toll from the worst-ever outbreak of the virus hit 729 in West Africa.

The World Health Organisation said it was in urgent talks with donors and international agencies to deploy more medical staff and resources to one of the world’s poorest regions.

The WHO reported 57 new deaths between July 24 and July 27 in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Authorities in Nigeria, which recorded its first Ebola case last week when a U.S. citizen died after arriving on a flight from Liberia, said all passengers traveling from areas at risk would be temperature-screened for the virus.

first heard about the ebola virus cropping up again the other week, and since then it sure seems like it’s been escalating… heard about the amerian dying from it (yikes), then i heard something about a school and/or hospital down in the carolinas either closing or having some kind of quarantine setup — which i thought was a little alarming.

nothing quite as scary as some ebola style virus getting out of hand.

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Russia Wants Apple Source Code

Russia requests Apple provide access to it’s source code…

Reuters reports that Russia has asked Apple to provide the government with access to the company’s source code to make sure its iOS devices and Macs aren’t used for spying. The report claims the proposal came earlier this month when an Apple executive in Russia met with the country’s Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov and others:

The suggestion that two of the world’s flagship technology companies disclose some of their most sensitive business secrets comes as the United States and Europe debate their most severe sanctions yet against Russia for its role in Ukraine… The Russian proposal was voiced last week when Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov met Apple’s general manager in Russia, Peter Engrob Nielsen, and SAP’s Russian managing director, Vyacheslav Orekhov, the Communications Ministry said in a statement.

As noted in the report, as part of the request government officials noted that it’s had a long relationship with Microsoft, which provides its source code to a third-party that in turn provides it to the country’s communications ministry.

man, russia is on fire of late… and i’m sure that Apple hasn’t commented on it yet because they’re still laughing their asses off in cupertino.

#crazybastards

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Women Shouldn’t Laugh in Turkey

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister says women shouldn’t laugh out loud

One of Turkey’s top officials says women should refrain from laughing out loud in public.

A woman “should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times,“ Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Monday during an Eid el-Fitr meeting, which marked the end of the Muslim period of fasting, Ramadan.

“A man should be moral but women should be moral as well, they should know what is decent and what is not decent,” Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported Arinc as saying.

Arinc is a founding member of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (or AKP), whose moderate Islamist politics are steadily transforming a country founded upon secularism. The comments point to AKP’s appeal to conservative Turks. Erdogan, who is running for president, enjoys support among middle-class, observant Muslims.

i can understand the whole burka thing, since what of guy would want to see anything but the eyes of their women? just the idea or outline of a woman’s tits and ass should rightfully be offensive to all men… and women laughing in public? oh fuck that noise, they should be whipped — in public… naked.

p.s. i joke, of course.

 

Women Post Laughing Selfies In Retaliation To Politician’s Sexist Remark

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Kids or Blowjob?

Mom Leaves Kids In Car To Perform Oral Sex On Boyfriend: Cops

She really blew it this time.

A Louisiana woman faces child desertion charges after deputies said she admitted leaving her children unattended in her parked car while she performed oral sex on her boyfriend in his car, according to KBMT.

Police were called to the scene after someone reported the kids, ages 5 and 7, alone in the car around midnight. Calcasieu Parish deputies found Princess Marks, 25, of Lake Charles, in her boyfriend’s car nearby.

Marks told deputies that she was unable to see the children or her SUV from her boyfriend’s vehicle. She was arrested and later released on $5,000.

it’d almost be funny if it wasn’t so fucked up… ditches her kids in the car to go give her boyfriend a blowjob? damn man… not sure what’s going on, but it seems like there’s been an awful lot of reports of kids being left in cars (etc) of late.

Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone

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It’s Popcorn Time!

Popcorn Time shows no sign of slowing, as the ‘Netflix for torrents’ adds support for AirPlay

oh man, that’s pretty cool… i remember when i first heard about popcorn time and got all excited about it, then it was gone… then back, but was pretty sure it’d be sued into nonexistence — and yet, here it still… so better enjoy it while we can. heh.

just wish i had it on my ipad.

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Halo 2, New Again!

New Halo 2: Anniversary Trailer

oh man, the updated Halo 2 is looking fucking awesome.

looking forward to playing it all over again when the halo: master chief collection comes out in a few months… it’s almost silly how much i’m looking forward to re-playing all the Halo’s (1-4)… heh.

p.s. can’t wait for the Halo 2 multiplayer.

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Why Don’t I Criticize Israel?

saw this one pop up in my twitter feed a few times today, and finally clicked on it to read what was up… a bit long, but a good read nevertheless — Why Don’t I Criticize Israel?

For those of you who worry that I never say anything critical about Israel: My position on Israel is somewhat paradoxical. There are questions about which I’m genuinely undecided. And there’s something in my position, I think, to offend everyone. So, acknowledging how reckless it is to say anything on this topic, I’m nevertheless going to think out loud about it for a few minutes.

I don’t think Israel should exist as a Jewish state. I think it is obscene, irrational and unjustifiable to have a state organized around a religion. So I don’t celebrate the idea that there’s a Jewish homeland in the Middle East. I certainly don’t support any Jewish claims to real estate based on the Bible. [Note: Read this paragraph again.]

Though I just said that I don’t think Israel should exist as a Jewish state, the justification for such a state is rather easy to find. We need look no further than the fact that the rest of the world has shown itself eager to murder the Jews at almost every opportunity. So, if there were going to be a state organized around protecting members of a single religion, it certainly should be a Jewish state. Now, friends of Israel might consider this a rather tepid defense, but it’s the strongest one I’ve got. I think the idea of a religious state is ultimately untenable. [Note: It is worth observing, however, that Israel isn’t “Jewish” in the sense that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are “Muslim.” As my friend Jerry Coyne points out, Israel is actually less religious than the U.S., and it guarantees freedom of religion to its citizens. Israel is not a theocracy, and one could easily argue that its Jewish identity is more cultural than religious. However, if we ask why the Jews wouldn’t move to British Columbia if offered a home there, we can see the role that religion still plays in their thinking.]

Needless to say, in defending its territory as a Jewish state, the Israeli government and Israelis themselves have had to do terrible things. They have, as they are now, fought wars against the Palestinians that have caused massive losses of innocent life. More civilians have been killed in Gaza in the last few weeks than militants. That’s not a surprise because Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on Earth. Occupying it, fighting wars in it, is guaranteed to get woman and children and other noncombatants killed. And there’s probably little question over the course of fighting multiple wars that the Israelis have done things that amount to war crimes. They have been brutalized by this process—that is, made brutal by it. But that is largely the due to the character of their enemies. [Note: I was not giving Israel a pass to commit war crimes. I was making a point about the realities of living under the continuous threat of terrorism and of fighting multiple wars in a confined space.]

Whatever terrible things the Israelis have done, it is also true to say that they have used more restraint in their fighting against the Palestinians than we—the Americans, or Western Europeans—have used in any of our wars. They have endured more worldwide public scrutiny than any other society has ever had to while defending itself against aggressors. The Israelis simply are held to a different standard. And the condemnation leveled at them by the rest of the world is completely out of proportion to what they have actually done. [Note: I was not saying that because they are more careful than we have been at our most careless, the Israelis are above criticism. War crimes are war crimes.]

It is clear that Israel is losing the PR war and has been for years now. One of the most galling things for outside observers about the current war in Gaza is the disproportionate loss of life on the Palestinian side. This doesn’t make a lot of moral sense. Israel built bomb shelters to protect its citizens. The Palestinians built tunnels through which they could carry out terror attacks and kidnap Israelis. Should Israel be blamed for successfully protecting its population in a defensive war? I don’t think so. [Note: I was not suggesting that the deaths of Palestinian noncombatants are anything less than tragic. But if retaliating against Hamas is bound to get innocents killed, and the Israelis manage to protect their own civilians in the meantime, the loss of innocent life on the Palestinian side is guaranteed to be disproportionate.]

good read, though it’s also cool to sit back and listen to the podcast he also included…

either way, it’s a fucking mess over there.

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Windows 9 Concept

just stumbled across this interactive Windows 9 concept, and thought it was pretty cool how he went the extra mile to code it up instead of simply posting some concept shots on behance as i would typically expect.

i have no idea what microsoft has in mind for Windows 9, though we all know that they’re working on it… and even though i’m more of a mac guy these days, i still hope that MS keeps pushing forward and comes out swinging with something really nice and tasty… competition is good, and one could argue that they’re being a bit more innovative than Apple of late.

that being said, i was in a Best Buy last night and ended up playing around with a Windows 8 laptop for awhile — even after a year or so, i still can’t decide if i like it.

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Two More Mysterious Siberian Holes

Two more mysterious holes discovered in remote Siberia

Researchers investigating a mysterious hole in the remote Siberian tundra might be busy over the next few weeks.

Two more formations, which are similar in appearance to the first, have been discovered in different parts of northern Russia. One of new openings, which has a diameter of around 15 metres, has been found in the Yamal Peninsula, a permafrost region where the first hole appeared. The second vast opening in the ground was discovered hundreds of kilometres away in the Taymyr Peninsula, to the east.

According to the Siberian Times, both of the holes were discovered by reindeer herders.

speaking of russia, thought news of that first hole was pretty damn strange… then they turn around and find two more out in bumbfuck nowhere by siberian reindeer herders?

yeah, reindeer herders.

a video clip of russia’s mysterious hole…

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