Category Archives: Uncategorized

Microsoft Finally Listened To Me (Ha Ha)

(Originally posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013)

Today it occurred to me that an idea I had long ago, that I wrote about many times and nagged Microsoft to implement, that they refused to do for reasons which I understood but did not sympathize with, well they have done it in Windows 8. But not because of anything I said.

My idea, the first incarnation of which I first wrote about for eWEEK in 2007, was that Microsoft should open up Windows Update to 3rd parties to offer updates. The obvious candidates were programs like Adobe Acrobat and Flash which were emerging at the time as major malware platforms. (I’m pretty sure I had this idea much earlier, maybe 2005, but didn’t write about it till this column.)

Microsoft politely declined to respond to my suggestions. Off the record people told me that they couldn’t accept the liability of distributing other people’s updates. There’s something to this, and so I modified it in a later column (which I can’t find at the moment), that what Microsoft should open up is just interfaces to Windows Update: They don’t need to host anyone else’s updates, they just need to allow programs to register at install time with the system to pull updates from a location at the ISV using Windows Installer protocols. In this way, if users are set up to use Windows Update, they will at the same time update, through the ISV, all applications registered with it.

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Desktop Users – You’re On Your Own

(Originally posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013)

Ed Bott’s column this morning does a good job of explaining how, with Windows 8.1 (Blue), Microsoft is going hard-core for the tablet market. What he doesn’t go on to say, and what is the unfortunate corollary, is that they are actively using Windows 8/8.1 to drive users off of non-touch systems on to touch-enabled systems.

With Windows 8, Microsoft redefines tablets as PCs, with their tablets having the benefits of PCs (keyboard, mouse, printing, corporate network access, etc.). Keyboard and mouse maybe there on your tablet/PC, but they aren’t your main interface to the OS – touch is.

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My First HDTV

(Originally posted Saturday, June 08, 2013)

My downstairs TV has been dying for months so today I bought my first HDTV to replace it. I’m really happy so far. I remember back in the day HDTVs were supposed to be complicated to set up. This couldn’t possibly have been easier. The hardest part was that I ran an ethernet wire from the basement and put the heads on myself (it sent through a hole too small for a pre-made patch cable).

The Vizio E390i-A1:
vizio.jpg

$399 + tax at Costco. 120Hz, 1080p, 3 HDMI.

Even the Wii U just worked right when we turned it on the first time.

My hat’s off to these guys, they have done a great job with UI and OOBE.

Did Microsoft Make WebGL Secure? How?

(Originally posted Friday, June 07, 2013)

​Microsoft has dropped strong clues, without saying it explicitly, that, Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 8.1 (Blue) will support WebGL, a DirectX-like standard for fast gaming on the web. The biggest clue was this video they posted on Vine.

Others have found direct evidence in leaked builds.

It’s not hard to see why they would want to support WebGL. Everyone else does. They spelled out the reasons they haven’t so far in a Security, Research and Defense blog post 2 years ago.

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