Microsoft, or at least someone there, is stupid. Let me explain why I think so. Windows 8 is their latest and greatest operating system. It is provided on just about every new PC sold, including on the ultrabook my parents recently purchased. They were going away on an archaeological training dig in Cambodia and about an hour before they left tried out a new 2TB Western Digital Passport external drive to be used as one of two for backing up data they were going to collect.
When the ultrabook was fired up it went through the normal process, asking a few location questions and the name of the main account to be used and the such like. This account was, of course, a member of the Administrators Group, all standard stuff. When the drive was plugged in the "Access Denied" panel came up. Of course, in the limited time available I tried the usual searches and blogs, tried some suggestions including a registry change, but still the same message cropped up.
Finally I activated the Administrator account, something that requires the use of the command line Net User command, and found that when I plugged the drive in under this account there were no problems at all accessing it. So, some brilliant mind working on Windows 8 decided that in this case, external USB 3 hard drives would be by default not accessible to the thousands of home PC buyers lumbered with Windows 8, even from the standard account everyone would create as part of the Administrators Group. In a couple of months, when my parents get back and I have more time I'll find out how to do it, but come on Microsoft, really?
According to Tim Cook, the COO of Apple after Steve Jobs passed on to that great tablet in the sky, it was Jobs' idea to wage "thermonuclear war" on Google's Android and, by extension, Samsung. Apparently Cook didn't want to go after the supplier of their CPUs and last year they spent more than over US$8 billion on parts from the Korean manufacturer. Perhaps some time soon, this suing from the grave can stop and everyone can just go back to resting in peace.
Arecent Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) report found two-thirds of all mobile phone traffic will be video by 2017. That is over 11 exabytes per month or, in more understandable terms, a lot. Given that the figure is close to 50% today, that may be an underestimation.
I've been saying and writing about it for years _ US software and application manufacturers have been charging other countries outrageous prices and mark-ups for the same products compared to US prices. Apparently the Australian parliament has finally noticed this and has called for Apple, Microsoft and Adobe to front up and explain why. That part is easy _ more money. The hard part may be getting them to stop. They have been doing it in Thailand for as long as I can remember. The day after I wrote the above, Adobe dropped the prices for their Creative Cloud but not their other products.
Another app I just found that was for the US only is the Amazon Cloud MP3 player that gives you access to music albums you buy from Amazon, but only in the States. That is over 350 songs I can't play because I'm not there. If readers are still wondering why there is music piracy, here's a neon sign clue.
How do you feel about a SIM-less phone? Apple loves the idea being worked on by Gemalto and Ericsson. The latter are thinking about machinery but Apple is thinking about people. In Europe the GSM standard is required and this means a removable SIM. Theoretically, an embedded SIM could allow the switching of networks, but would you really trust Apple to allow this to be free and open? Then there is security. Every new SIM has an embedded key that is quite hard to access and is the basis of the secret GSM sessions used when making a call. For the embedded SIM to work well, network operators will need to share some restricted data with each other or via a third party. Again, I don't see that happening easily, unless Gemalto is the party used.
You know you're a success when your product name is indistinguishable from the underlying technology. In a recent survey carried out by Gartner, many people did not distinguish between Samsung's Galaxy smartphone range and the Android operating system. So Samsung is now synonymous with Android, and to many people they are the same.
I don't think Google or Samsung are bothered by this in the slightest given Android accounted for about 70% of mobile phone OS sales in the last quarter.
When did tolerance for a bit of political spin change to not challenging outright lies from our politicians? Some claim that there has been global warming over the past 16 years, but there is no data available to back that up.
Some claim that storms, hurricanes, floods and other extreme weather events are increasing and will continue to do so. If anything, the available evidence shows the opposite. Other claims, like no more rain and kids never seeing snow again, have been shown to be just plain wrong.
James Hein is an IT professional of over 30 years' standing. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
- Writer: James Hein
Position: Database Writer