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Topic: PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft

The new items published under this topic are as follows.


 Mar 05, 2014 - 10:06 AM - by Michael
Open Mouth, Insert Bootdisk
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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft Let's just say MS's attempt to recruit friends and neighbors to get people to migrate from WinXP didn't go as planned...

In early February, faced with a slight uptick in users on the decrepit operating system the month before, Microsoft hit on an idea: Why not recruit tech-savvy friends and family to tell old holdouts to get off XP?

The response to this earnest effort was a torrent of abuse from Windows 8 users who aren't exactly thrilled with the operating system. Microsoft has come under serious fire for some significant missteps in this process, including a total lack of actual upgrade options. What Microsoft calls an upgrade involves completely wiping the PC and reinstalling a fresh OS copy on it -- or ideally, buying a new device.


Ouch. Not undeserved, but... ouch.
 

 Feb 04, 2014 - 10:40 AM - by Michael
The Length of Copyright
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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft Another editorial on the length of copyright in the games/computers industry - why have a 95 year term when the medium lasts less than a decade?

Rock, Paper, Shotgun looks it over.

And in more detail... The Followup.

So before we move on to the nuances of the argument, let’s get one thing out of the way: Expressing a desire for a game to enter the public domain, let’s say twenty years after publication, does not in any sense whatsoever suggest a desire for developers to not get paid. I resent having to type this. It’s a bit like finding yourself having to say that you’re not in favour of gruesomely starving children to death because you expressed a thought that they probably shouldn’t get to exclusively eat at McDonald’s. What I am in fact saying is: “developers should get paid for the work they do, and then keep getting paid for the same bit of work, over and over and over for the next twenty years, even though they stopped doing any work related to it many years ago.” It’s not entirely apparent how the two sentiments are being confused.

Well, it is, actually – I’m being facetious. The two are being deliberately conflated by a contingent who find the possibility of cultural artifacts ever returning to the culture that spawned them to be so repellent that they must eliminate anything that treads even close to challenging what they see as their perpetual rights to profit from ancient work. (And let’s be clear here – creators are arguing for perpetual copyright here, far outreaching even the current grasp of the law.)
 

 Jan 12, 2014 - 04:18 PM - by Michael
Video Game Locations
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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft Something Beautiful...

 

 Sep 26, 2013 - 09:02 AM - by Michael
CTRL-ALT-DEL: Gates Apologizes
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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft Bill Gates is apologizing for using CTRL-ALT-DEL as the login sequence for a Windows machine.

Fair enough. Though I see the utility of those keys; it's almost impossible to accidentally press all three at once (though that does make it "hard", to lazy folks, to deliberately do so as well).
 

 Aug 08, 2013 - 08:00 AM - by Michael
Kicking the XP Habit... in China
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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft Strange news time: it turns out that China's got an overwhelming number of installations of an operating system that's soon not going to be patched.

This could make for interesting times. Will the Great Firewall filter them out? Will Chinese hackers begin patching the XP kernel? Will China start making their own operating system, or just start pirating Windows 7 or Windows 8?
 

 Jul 09, 2013 - 08:05 AM - by Michael
Why Valve's hit a Rough Patch
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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft It's looking more and more like Valve may have some internal issues.

Like high school level cliques and drama interfering with making games.

I guess that's why they've been sucking on the teat of Steam and of being a "publisher only" for a while.
 

 Jun 18, 2013 - 08:34 AM - by Michael
Free Torchlight Today
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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft I probably don't mention GOG.com enough but... Free Game Today.

Go get yours. GOG.com's summer sale has Torchlight for free today (6/18/2013) and a lot of other classic goodies.
 

 Jun 05, 2013 - 09:23 AM - by Michael
Backwards Compatibility - a real problem
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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft Not unique to Microsoft, BUT... this is kind of a big deal.

It impacts gaming history, it impacts computer history. A lot of history going down the drain because the data can't be read and the platforms to run the code are gone.
 

 Jun 04, 2013 - 07:40 AM - by Michael
Really fixing Windows 8?
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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft Microsoft - perhaps happy with the status-quo that left open source groups or software like Start8 filling the void - have let slip that Windows 8.1, aka "blue", doesn't fix the glaring flaws in Windows 8.

But no reason to worry: Infoworld has their back with an ambitious proposal that every Microsoft designer and executive ought to be forced to read.

Lots of reading to do there, but it's well worth it.
 

 May 11, 2013 - 12:46 PM - by Michael
Why MS Kernel Dev Takes Ages
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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft Here's an interesting theory on why Microsoft's kernel isn't updated as often as the Linux kernel family is:

See, component owners are generally openly hostile to outside patches: if you're a dev, accepting an outside patch makes your lead angry (due to the need to maintain this patch and to justify in in shiproom the unplanned design change), makes test angry (because test is on the hook for making sure the change doesn't break anything, and you just made work for them), and PM is angry (due to the schedule implications of code churn). There's just no incentive to accept changes from outside your own team. You can always find a reason to say "no", and you have very little incentive to say "yes".

There's also little incentive to create changes in the first place. On linux-kernel, if you improve the performance of directory traversal by a consistent 5%, you're praised and thanked. Here, if you do that and you're not on the object manager team, then even if you do get your code past the Ob owners and into the tree, your own management doesn't care.


Now, this might be inherent to business - after all, Linux doesn't have companies demanding that patches don't break their entire business model.
 


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