Posts Tagged ‘windows’
It’s a sign of the times when a supermarket has to cut back on its cleaning bill to save cash, but that’s what mucky Morrisons is doing this winter. In a triumph of bizarre logic, bosses have decided to cancel window cleaning at all its stores in a war against slipping sales, which dropped by 2.4% in the third quarter of this year.
The argument Morrison’s have given is this.
‘The weather forecast for this winter shows an increase in snow and frost.’
And as we know, snow is CLEAN. Except when it melts and becomes like grit filled human effluence. They added:
‘Morrisons has decided to reduce window cleaning at stores because it is less important to customers at the darkest time of the year, because the water that runs off windows can be a slippage hazard in the winter, and so we can spend money on maintenance activity that our customers do care about at this time of year.’
Like tinsel! (Covered in dirt).
The cut came into effect on the 2nd December and window cleaners won’t be back again until February, when presumably, the shop will be just called ISONS, and coughing, diseased staff will have desperately scrawled ‘CLEAN ME’ all over the front of the store.
Don’t know about you, but I might take my business elsewhere…
Microsoft are going to stop their technical support service for Windows XP from April 8th next year, which is leaving businesses in a muddle. As many firms haven’t planned to move to a newer system, they could soon find that they’ve got a unproductive system that is prone to cyber attacks as Microsoft stop releasing security updates.
According to Camwood, less than half of all large organisations have begun the migration process from XP to Windows 7. With Microsoft recommending that companies prepare the change 32 months beforehand, with a year to go, it is looking like there’s going to be a huge number of vulnerable computers.
“In these tough economic times, it is not surprising that business leaders do not want to invest a substantial amount of money in something that essentially isn’t broken, as is the case with Windows XP today,” Adrian Foxall, CEO of Camwood, said.
However, it is soon going to start acting like it’s broken.
While this might seem trivial, we can only hope that local councils, police forces, hospitals and banks are already sorting their houses out.
Microsoft are stirring the interest pot with a preview of Windows 8, which of course, has to challenge Apple and Google in a bid to stay relevant. That said, pretty much every computer on Earth runs on Windows, but Microsoft needs to look to the future to keep up with the pack.
In Windows 8, it appears that Gates’ company are trying to marry the classic XP/Vista operating system with something more tablety. With this, there’s a new system called Metro which is more designed for casual browsing. If you want to use something like Photoshop, then you’ll use it in the same way you always have.
With Metro, Microsoft have developed their own version of browsing by swiping and reviews have noted how stable and speedy it is. The company are crowing about its user-friendliness too, saying that 82 per cent found their way around the whole system within an hour of picking it up.
Is this Microsoft’s renaissance?
It’s already a huge hit on the Xbox 360 and now Microsoft are bringing their miraculous Kinect gaming device to PCs – or at least ones that run Windows. They’ll be hoping to add to the 18 million Kinect devices that have been sold so far, although it’s doubtful that they’ll replicate that kind of success.
The PC version of Kinect will feature a ‘near mode’, allowing it to track movements as close as 40cm to the device, compared to the 50cm range of the Kinect version. Sadly for PC owners, it’ll also be pricier, with the US price set at $249 (£157) compared to $130 (£82) for the Xbox version.
Are you a Windows-flavoured PC gamer? Would you fork out in excess of £150 for a Kinect device. Have you done something different to your hair? It’s looking… different somehow. TELL US.
We’re still some way off from jet packs for all or even flying automobiles but it looks as if being in cars is set to become both weirder and more fun over the years to come.
Following in the tyre-tracks of Ford, Volvo and erm, Google, BMW have unveiled their driverless car, which uses four types of sensors, radar, cameras, laser scanners and ultrasound distance sensors (it says here).
When driven (or not driven as the case may be) on pre-mapped roads it’ll use all of its spooky, magical technology to navigate along the highway without crashing into stuff, even doing a spot of overtaking if the variables are all in place. Have a gander…
But how are we going to amuse ourselves if the car is driving itself? Well you could drink booze, have sex or maybe fanny about playing computer games on one of the windows. Yes, the smart window is coming to the automobile.
Wisely restricted to the windows in the back, Israeli boffins have developed technology that will allow passengers to write messages and play games on the window throughout the journey. Have a gander…
Amazing scenes. Back when we were kids, it was all about writing rude words on steamed-up windows. Have we REALLY come that far?
Nokia have banked their long-term prospects on teaming up with Microsoft, but it hasn’t started well. Their new Lumia 800 handset, which went on sale last week is reportedly set to sell fewer handsets between now and Christmas than the iPhone 4S took in pre-orders in a single day.
Estimates by chin-stroking experts suggest that the Lumia will sell somewhere between 500,000 and a million units by Christmas, stats that don’t stack up all that well against the latest Apple phone, which did over a million in pre-orders in a single day.
Further proof that Nokia might have well and truly had it comes when you compare the Lumia projections with the sales of the Nokia N8 – that smartphone sold between 3.5 and 4 million in its first quarter.
Any of you got your hands on a Lumia 800? Want to tell us about it? Anyone ever seen the Beast of Bodmin while we’re asking?
Earlier in the year, they were on a burning platform apparently, but now Nokia are getting to grips with the situation by launching a couple of new Windows smartphones. The Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710 run on the Windows 7.5 OS and are said to herald the ‘rebirth’ of Nokia. We’ll wait and see about that, eh?
Stephen Elop is Nokia’s new boss (and if you ask us, Elop is a better name for a phone than Lumia) and he is describing the new handsets as “the first real Windows phone”. He’s the man responsible for the “burning platform” quote and he today said that Nokia had been seen as “reliable, trustworthy”, like a mother that will “comb your hair… but that’s not good enough”. Erm, okay mate, whatever.
The new phones will be laden with special goodies that will make them stand out from other Windows phones and see the abandonment of Nokia’s dabblings with those pesky other operating systems Symbian and MeeGoo. The 800 will be the top-range handset while the 710 will be pitched as the ‘affordable Windows phone’.
The aforementioned special goodies will include map thing Nokia Maps, navigation thing Nokia Drive, live-streaming music thing Mix Radio and augmented reality thing Liveview. Best of the bunch could be Nokia Pulse, a social networking thing with built-in location services – it all sounds a bit stalky, but in a nice way, obviously.
Nokia have also launched a range of brightly-coloured ‘basic’ phones, called Asha, that will be aimed at developing countries (‘Asha’ is the Hindi word for ‘hope’ it says here). Elop says that they will bring the internet “to the next billion people” and will have touch screens, 5 mega pixel cameras, bright screens, 32GB storage for music and long battery life.
Nokia there then. Are they back in the game or are they still on the burning platform? And who’s going to comb our hair for us if they burn to death? Your thoughts below please.
There’s been some poll, which inevitably didn’t ask you or me for our opinion on anything, but we’ll somehow have to accept it.
The poll concerned the top 50 tech inventions of the past 50 years and, it isn’t surprising that the iPhone came out on top.
However, what was interesting is that the Walkman came second, beating Apple’s iPod into third place.
Is the Walkman much more important than the iPod? Sure, it was the iPod that got an entire library worth of music into one small unit, but the Walkman was the first device that got everyone listening to music outside of the house AND ignoring each other on public transport.
In terms of being ‘better’, what it lacked in the number of tracks it housed (a C90 could get around two and a half LPs on it), the Walkman pasted MP3 players on things like twin headphone sockets (to save you from sharing an ear each, thereby making Beatles albums impossible to enjoy) and replaceable batteries. Basically, a Walkman worked ’til you broke it.
“The fact that over 30 years on, the original Sony Walkman is still seen as a greater invention than the iPod is testament to how ground-breaking Sony’s cassette player was,” says Kieran Alger, Editor of T3.com, which conducted the poll.
“It was the first device to make music properly portable, to give us a soundtrack to every day. It changed the way we listened to music and saw the world. We’re still in love with that idea today, forgetting how annoying it was having to fast-forward to your favourite song – or when your tape chewed up altogether.”
The top ten tech inventions of the past 50 years according to T3.com were the Apple iPhone, Sony Walkman, Apple iPod, Microsoft Windows, Apple iPad, YouTube, Sony Trinitron TV, Sky+, Facebook and the VHS video recorder.
Sadly, no room for any games consoles there, which seems a little off. We would’ve loved to see Nintendo Game & Watch in there.
Mozilla, who brought us Firefox obviously, are announced that they’re going to build an open source mobile operating system, which has the terrible codename of Boot to Gecko (B2G).
Of course, Firefox is one of the most popular web browsers in the whole wide world and now wants to get in on that lovely mobile action.
When B2G is completed, it will go toe-to-toe with Android, IOS and Windows Phone 7.
Mozilla said, “We want to take a bigger step now, and find the gaps that keep web developers from being able to build apps that are – in every way – the equals of native apps built for the iPhone, Android, and WP7.”
“To that end, we propose a project we’re calling Boot to Gecko to pursue the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web. It’s going to require work in a number of areas.”
The project is very much in its infancy, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be waiting forever for it to arrive as Mozilla is well-known for getting things done pretty speedily.
Andreas Gal, a researcher at Mozilla says: “We want to do Boot to Gecko the way we think open source should be done. In the open, from day 1, for everyone to see and participate.”
Exciting times, in an incredibly nerdy way.
Remember when Nokia were top of the mobile phone pops? Seems like a long time ago now and it’ll be a long time before they ever get back there again. In fact they almost certainly never will, at least if their latest financial figures are anything to go by.
They’ve announced a 25% drop in net sales of all mobile phones and have unveiled an unenviable operating loss of €487m (£424m), compared to a s €295m operating profit of a year ago. Ouch. It all comes a few months after Nokia CEO Stephen Elop’s deranged ‘Nokia, our platforms are burning’ internal memo was leaked.
But it’s all going to be okay, because Nokia have teamed up with Microsoft for a ‘strategic partnership’ that involves cooking up some fancy new Windows-driven phones. Yes – that should sort everything out and result in a happy ending for both companies. Well, some kind of ending anyway…
There have been roughly three billions attempts by Microsoft to get consumers excited about the prospect of a Windows tablet device. Some of them were very exciting although entirely fictional, some were seemingly real but as exciting as a bag of spanners.
Nearly two years later we’ve arrived at the Windows 8 operating system, and finally there may be cause to cheer. The Windows 8 interface debuted at this week’s D9 event in California, and while it won’t be commercially available for several months, it does look impressive. It exists for one thing. For another, it’s showing signs of innovation that beat Apple – being able to operate apps simultaneously in the same space, for example.
The only issue is that the Office suite of applications doesn’t seem to have been re-engineered for touchscreens. That obviously wouldn’t matter if you were running Windows 8 on a PC, but it’s difficult to imagine that Excel would be a doddle on a tablet without a complete overhaul:
Last week we featured a scam involving spook caller IDs – crooks seemingly masking their real telephone numbers in a bid to lighten your pockets. Avid Bitterwallet reader Jo has been in touch with similar warnings about three more scams that have affected her family in the past month.
My mum received a call from someone claiming to be Windows and asking to turn on the computer so we could receive a critical update. Little did they know that I recently moved out taking all internet-capable devices with me so that would be impossible. Thankfully my mother clocked on in any case and politely declined and put down the phone. My father also received a similar call – thankfully my parents are luckily quite technology-savvy.
Another variation of the scam was aimed at my boyfriend. I answered the phone to someone claiming to be from his bank and thought it may be regarding a letter we sent to them recently so thought nothing of it. He was out so I asked them to call back later. They actually called his phone number later on and his mother answered; she realised it was a scam when they failed to specify which bank they were from.
They get you by saying “I’m calling from your/the bank” and do some quick talking and you forget to ask which. I didn’t even clock that myself but thankfully they now seem to have given up after his mum told them where to shove it.
A more worrying thing happened to my sister’s partner last month. He received a letter from a postal company saying a parcel was to be delivered but, being out at the time of delivery, he needed to phone to arrange a re-delivery and mentioned a number. Not being so untrusting or paranoid as to think to Google the number he rang it and later received a phone bill with a £250 charge for the call, as it was listed as a premium rate number.
While we’re aware of the first two, the third scam is a new one of us; plenty of companies use home service couriers, and couriers in general don’t necessarily have high brand awareness. Most of us would struggle to name more than a handful, so posing as an unknown courier might not arouse suspicion, only curiosity in what the delivery might be.
Despite all of Jo’s family being registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), it hasn’t done a thing to stop the scam calls; it may be that scam calls are more effective in some instance, because there’s an expectation that any calls received must be legitimate. Regardless, no matter how savvy you are, these rapscallions are just as likely to target your parents or other family members, so make sure they know what tricks to expect.
Now we know you may not be fans of the iPad, but what fresh hell is this?
That’s right – the iTablet. No, really. It’s a a touchscreen tablet that runs on Windows or Linux, manufactured by UK company X2 Computing. No word on pricing yet but according to Pocket Lint, X2 reckons “the iTablet will revolutionise the way that Windows users can access and use data on the move”. No, no it won’t. If you seriously thought it did, you wouldn’t have called it the iTablet to jump on Apple’s bandwagon. And cutting and pasting Windows into a tablet doesn’t make it a tablet operating system, does it?
We’re not knocking the spec – three USB ports, USB connected 1.3-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G – all the stuff critics said the iPad should have had. But the casing looks cheap, the UI is designed for another product altogether – you’re serving Rola Cola and pretending it’s the Real Thing.
Want your computer without the operating system bundled in with it? Easy – don’t use the OS and demand the manufacturer refund the cost of it. Well, it’s not that easy, but it’s a cracking precedent that’s been set.
The Register tells the story of Graeme Cobbett who was paid £70 by Dell, after he bought a Studio 1555 notebook and installed Ubuntu-based Linux Mint – instead of using the pre-loaded Windows Vista complete with a free upgrade to Windows 7.
“By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, return it to the retailer for a refund or credit. If you cannot obtain a refund there, contact Microsoft or the Microsoft affiliate serving your country for information about Microsoft’s refund policies.”
Cobbett got around the problem by booting up the notebook from the new operating system on CD. Because he didn’t open up Windows, he didn’t accept the terms. It only took two months and 14 email exchanges with Dell but eventually he was paid his refund for rejecting Windows.
[The Register] thanks to Bitterwallet reader Mark Pearson