July 30, 2011

Microsoft, Again - Part II

The last post was written on a BMI flight from Vienna. Now, at 10AM on the following day, I am sitting on an old, smelly BA Boeing 737 (which my uncle flies for Austrian Airlines) on route to Geneva. I am tired, grumpy and have my whiny sister sitting next to me, reading Michael McIntyre's autobiography (apparently very funny, noticed through her annoyingly loud giggles), with her elbow taking up the whole damn armrest.

Moving swiftly on, this post will be based on Windows 8, Microsoft's recently previewed operating system. Now, this is interesting, as they are attempting to merge the PC with the tablet into one system. Just take a look at this video.

July 25, 2011

Feed Me Feedback

As you may know, There has been a recent change to the pages on the top of this blog. The new Partnership Program allows you to fill out a form and send it to me to consider you as a possible partner. The thing I want you, the reader to do, is go to the top of the blog and click on "Contact Us" and on that page, you will see a feedback form link. On that form, you will be able to tell me what your opinion is on the blog. Its good for me to see what you think, and not just what I think!

So, go ahed! Be as brutal as you want!

July 23, 2011

Microsoft, Again - Part I

Welcome to another aviationally-written post, as Henry Dyer describes it, filled with many subordinate clauses and rhetorical questions! If you read my past few Microsoft posts (here and here), you will know that I dislike Microsoft for a variety of different reasons, but I also have praise for them when it comes to the Xbox and Windows Phone 7 (although it never really, and will never really, catch on). There have been a few interesting developments recently, Windows 8, Microsoft+Android and my recent realization that Steve Ballmer, current CEO of Microsoft, does not understand crap.

So, without further ado, let us begin this 3 part series on Microsoft that I hope you find entertaining and interesting. The first thing I want to talk about is Microsoft+Android. A recent TechCrunch article was talking about Android and Microsoft, as you can imagine, but how, you may be asking, does Google Android (a phone OS) relate to Microsoft? Turns out, Microsoft earns more money annually from Android than their own WP7 (Windows Phone 7) software! How is that even possible?

July 18, 2011

< Content&Services >

Yes, there is a reason that the title is written as a HTML tag (although its not a real on) to be explained later in this post all about, you guessed it, content and services. The main point in this post, based on a wide topic, will be the providers of the content and services in question: how they all hold us at ransom, all screw us in payment, all ridiculously priced and are all evil, with a few exceptions. By now, you will know that this post will be yet another fully fledged rant, and with good reason: my family are tech illiterate and what is understood as technical common sense, they lack, to the extent that my grandmother does not understand the concept of highlighting. So, as you may imagine, I have my work cut out with them, meaning I have a lot of stuff to vent.

So, with another introduction done with, lets progress to the good stuff.


By that, I mean all phone based stuff. Mobiles, landlines, mobile Internet and whatever else one can do with the “micro-cancer” air waves [oh damn, I am going to pay for that comment]. As said previously, mobile operators, and landline operators, screw us (not in that sense!). They make you pay for services you do not use, they over charge you and changing providers is not exactly easy! A mobile telephone is a necessity today, and the operators know it, so they can charge ridiculous amounts for the service, PLUS charging us loads for going over our allocated internet usage, when it should be unlimited. Here in the UK, they have capped our service as their lines are overcrowded! THAT’S NOT MY DAMN PROBLEM! I deserve unlimited for the price I pay; stop spending my cash on mansions and instead ramp up the network! Oh, and lets not forget those lovely roaming charges. Don’t we all just love roaming charges? I think its only fair that the operators can charge us hundreds to use our phone outside our home country. Very, very, VERY fair. £10.13 for 1MB of data in Europe, my God what a bargain (notice unbelievably strong use of irony)! We are being held at the mercy of the operators = a monopoly.

July 10, 2011

The Porters

After a historical Friday and an ordinary Sunday, I have finally gotten down to writing a post. You might be asking, why was Friday historic? Well, the Obama Administration have cut NASAs funding, so they have to cancel the Space Shuttle program, as detailed in my “The Ongoing Pinnacle of Human Achievement” post. As you may know, I am highly pissed over this (sounding like a pompous twat!), as the Space Shuttle was very useful for ferrying objects up and down from the ISS, Mir station and other places in low Earth orbit. Friday was the final launch of a Space Shuttle, this specific one being Atlantis. It will bring vital supplies to the ISS (The Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module) so it can go on for a year, following the discontinuation of the Space Shuttle. When Atlantis lands at Edwards Air force Base on the 20/1 of July, it will have signed off to a 30 year long program that has greatly helped our everyday lives in ways we do not even think about. These spacecraft were designed for 300 flights; they have done a maximum of 40 so far. Kind of a shame.

Anyway, now we have that moment of reflection and feeling sorry for the ignorant cuts to the space program, let me explain the title of this post. The porters are the guys who carry things around a building, be it mail, information, or a package, right? The rant above links in with the title, and the next bit, even more.

So, while I was pondering over which post to write from my long list of ideas (yes, I know I promised a Microsoft one, but I need a better internet connection for that one; lots of embedding to do) I saw a seemingly boring and insignificant post title. As you may have gathered, this post is that seemingly boring and insignificant post. Its about ports.

How can I possibly make a post about computer connections interesting? Well, ladies and gentlemen, watch me [hopefully] succeed in doing the impossible: I shall educate you on USB, FireWire and Thunderbolt, a HIGHLY mundane and useless topic, in an interesting and captivating way. Want to know how I will do it? Through the world-famous (yes, even in South Korea) style of ranting that TheCompBlog is based on!

July 4, 2011

A Splurge of Thoughts

On a BMI flight destined for Vienna, I am writing on my iPad while listening to old greats such as the Beatles and Johnny Cash. Looking through my notes app, I find many topics, some old, some new, that I would like to write about. There I find 3 topics I would like to write about, however, there is no way I can write 800 words on a mundane topic such as iTunes Ping or the Microsoft acquisition of Skype, so I will talk about all of them in the style of my ancient "3 More Thoughts" post. Let us start with Ping.

Back in September 2010, Apple released iTunes 10. A new logo, new music browsing services and many other UI fixes, but they made a huge deal about their new music social network, called Ping. Ok, so, you might think that apple would have social sorted by now, but they have not. Look at Facebook, they rule at social, but they are inept at anything else. Now look at apple, they can do everything, but not social, right? Ping was a doomed concept from the start. Remember MySpace? Yep, that small little deflated service sitting in the corner of cyberspace, where nobody ever dares to venture. Well, they tried this exact thing. They realized that they were doing terribly compared to Facebook, so they changed the meaning of their social network to be based around music. This failed, again, and now they have been bought out for a measly $30 million, when they were once worth much, much more.

The concept of music + networking never, and will never, work, for the simple reason that people, like me, do not want others seeing that they listen to something embarrassing. Take an example; if one of my friends started listening to Rihanna, I would laugh at them, as I do not like Rihanna. It's just personal taste, but come on, how does Rihanna compare to the Beatles?

See? Now I have embarrassed myself as well as the person listening to Rihanna.

July 2, 2011

A Gameplay Update

After 2 weeks and 4 projects, I am finally able to write a post again. As a quick update ['upgrade' get it?] to my many school projects, my water rockets both failed, we came second to a different group in biology by 2 points, were not able to fully present our hard work in History and did not receive our prize for doing well in the geography project. So, all in all, a very good end to my first year in my new school! On a lighter note, I got a terrible report for Latin, saying that I ended the year on a disappointing note, did not do well in class at all and put the least amount of effort into my work as is humanly possible (or so was the impression). Now, you might be thinking, "how on earth is this on a lighter note?". Well, that is exactly what I wanted from the report! If you follow me on twitter, you will have seen that I have burned my Latin text books in my backyard! So now you know that I hate Latin and found every lesson of it excruciatingly painful and boring, let me justify.

CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME A VALID REASON TO THE POINT OF LATIN? I have been searching for an answer for the past 2 years and have come up with nothing valid. Please do not give me "It helps when learning European languages". Ok, if I want to learn French, I will go and learn French, not Latin and then French. I kindly invite you to send me an email or to leave a comment regarding this and I will counter your argument with astoundingly stubborn logic. Have a go arguing against my view on #pointlesslatin!

Good, now my rant has been taken care of, lets move on to the point of this post, the 'gameplay' bit.

If you read my previous 'The Ongoing Pinnacle of Human Achievement' post, you will know that I have recently been asked by my sister to set up our old PS2 to play Singstar with her. Those songs were basically the songs of my childhood, lost for years in the back of my mind. This evoked my interest in what other games we might still have in our house. I started looking around the house, in the attic (well, more our top floor), in the TV room and even in the most obscure draws I had never seen beforehand. After about 2 hours of looking, my results were astounding.