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Chris Karson
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Attends school of hard knocks
Lives in Osgoode, Ottawa, ON, Canada
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Chris Karson

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Windows 10 Release Candidate: First IMpressions
Tonight I installed built 10162 and I thought I'd share my first impressions.  I have seen a few things about Windows 10 and read quite a bit beforehand, but this is my first real hands-on experience.
First off it looks much better than Windows 8: very professional and most of the weird pastels and abstract art are long gone..  The color scheme is very conventional.
The new start menu seems very good: the layout is attractive and functional.  Laying out the programs alphabetically works for me.  For a desktop user, I think the active tiles actually work here.
The metro interface hasn't made an appearance and I don't miss it on my desktop--maybe when I put Win 10 on my work Surface it will get used, but on a desktop I see it as a hinderance.  Good riddance.  I don't even know how to bring it up (Windows key just brings yup the Start menu as it should).
I installed on an old computer, but the installation was smooth.  All missing drivers except for my recording interface were detected by Windows update.  That was good--I expected this old Asus P5K motherboard to give me issues.  I'm even using the non-intel SATA interface.
Performance seems really really good.  This is a non-scientific test... but the "feel" is very snappy.  Applications take a few seconds to load, but then again I'm used to a core i7 with a fast SSD and this system is an old Q6600 quad core with a spinning disk.
The browser has impressed me... I can't wait to use it daily... I'm not a huge IE11 fan (I use Chrome and Chromium), but the new Edge browser seems fast and functional on first impression.  Oh and Internet Explorer 11 is still there, presumably for backwards compatibility when warranted.  I hope not to have to use it.  There is a hub that integrates favorite, history downloads and something called readling ist which lets you save articles for later.
Windows update is gone... there is a new applet under settings, but it doesn't seem to offer the fine grained control of classic Windows Update.  I sure hope I can control updates the way I want to... perhaps this is one negative for me (although I just might not know how to work it)  Thankfully device manager is still familiar.  I was able to enable Microsoft Update to update other Microsoft products as well.
Cloud integration seems good... fairly easy to opt out of.  I was prompted and urged to use a PIN for logging on.  The claim is that it's more secure than a password.  I used a 4 character number... I'm not exactly sure how it's more secure, but I'll give it a shot.
Metro style apps load in a Window by default which I REALLY like.  It works better than expected.  And there are no hidden menus or crazy stuff like that.
So far this is looking like a Winner to me on the scale of Windows 7... just like how Windows 7 improved on Vista, Windows 10 atones for the sins of Windows 8 and 8.1.  I will be updating my main computer on or about July 29 for sure!  I hope all my hardware is supported!
Take that Steven Sinofsky!
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Adobe Wants You To Trust Them

I attended the Adobe Acrobat DC launch in my city and the message basically was "trust us".  The pitch with the new version of Adobe Acrobat is to store your documents in Adobe cloud (must like with their creative products) and to use their rights management system--they will digitally sign the documents.  They offer no on premise capability--it's all linked to your Adobe identity.

I don't think they'll have many takers... at least nobody who remembers the recent past... when Adobe got completely breached.  Not only that, it's alleged that when Adobe was breached they were caught not adequately hashing passwords and otrher data (in contravention of laws in many states/countries).

http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/10/adobe-breach-impacted-at-least-38-million-users/

Next time you think about putting sensitive data in the cloud you have to think twice.
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Siri Makes Choices for You?

Apple fanboys note: this is going to be a negative post.

So I think Siri is already a big waste of time... it's slow, inaccurate and over-rated.  I've yet to find a practical use for it.  My 10 year old Blackberry had hands free dialing and so did my 13 year old iPaq Phone.  And that's all I can use Siri for--hands free dialling.  Or finding out the capital of Venezuela.

But now Siri has gone completely insane.  Besides being generally terrible... it now has contextual awareness.  What this means is that it reads your email and looks at your various forms of data... shoots that back to the cloud (of course because Siri is cloud-based).  So Siri will make "suggestions" on who to call?  Or place calendar items based on context?

This is very creepy.

I'll have to find the option to turn it off--if there is one.

Lame set of announcements today BTW... Apple introduces streaming music service and a news app.   Yawn.  i guess Steve took the innovation with him to the grave.  I was actually hoping Apple would introduce something that would make my Apple TV useful.
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Baa
 
You spoke. We listened. 
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My experience has been very positive... I actually started writing a proper manual for the device (which I intend on finishing at some point).  The device lacks documentation for sure, but I was able to upgrade it to the newer beta firmware (which seems worthwhile) and it loads everything I have tried.  There is a feature called TopDrive that caused issues until I figured out that I needed to turn that off (I'm not even sure what it does).  Once I did that and figured out the optimal SIO speed things have been good.  Some programs need standard SIO speed for compatibility, but that is easily accommodated as well.  I know there are a lot of great Atari options for modern devices, and I might even buy one (AtariMax, SIDE2, SIO2PC and others all have their strengths), but I like the idea of a stand-alone SD card unit (the only real drawback is that you are limited by the speed of the SIO).  I bought the Lotharek SIO2SD (its an open design so there are others), and I find it to be a very high quality unit and Lotharek stands behind his stuff.  I should post a quick usage video of the SIO2SD... if you have any specific questions just let me know and I'll do my best to answer them.
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Apple Drops Windows 7 Support in Boot Camp

Well they DO still support Windows 8 and likely Windows 10.

I think some corporate users and gamers depend on having Windows bare metal available on their Macbooks.  Honestly losing Win 7 is no big deal (likely hackers will find a way to make it work anyway).

I'm kind of surprised Apple keeps on supporting bootcamp at all... I mean do they really need it?

Microsoft has recently pledged to provide a free Windows 10 even for illegitimate copies of Windows 7... so this will be like the MusicMatch for Windows for many Mac users (how many have gone out and purchased a full retail non-OEM Windows license... probably not many).
 
Apple says goodbye to Windows 7 on latest MacBook models. http://www.redmondpie.com/apple-drops-boot-camp-for-windows-7-on-latest-macbook-models/
Do you use Windows 7 on your Mac via Boot Camp? Depending on which hardware you buy next, that may be a bit of a problem. Read on further for more details. With the attention of PC enthusiasts very much on the arrival of Windows 10 in the coming months, it is easy to forget that Windows 7 is still being used by millions of people, not least in the enterprise sector where upgrading to the current version of Windows is something that can take years...
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But you'll never get the same level of performance you get with bare metal.  Gamers in particular could not make it work.
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Yet more evidence why you should not trust the cloud.  This isn't the first serious issue Lastpass has had.
 
LastPass hacked. Customers not amused at company's slow response.

Although all of the details aren't available as yet the company is clearly spooked and is locking down accounts for access from "trusted IPs only" at this time. Here's the reaction from customer "Andrew":

>>>
June 15, 2015 at 7:20 pm
I’m with everyone else – you’ve failed your customers and damaged their trust. Why did I find out about this from Mashable and not from LastPass? I work from a Fortune 500 retailer and we routinely email tens of millions of people… this isn’t rocket science or some email campaign of epic proportions that will break the internets… it’s email marketing 101.

Nevermind the elephant in the room: Why would you not properly secure your systems, knowing that hacking a password management platform is OBVIOUSLY the holy grail for hackers? Too lazy? too cheap? Not deserving of your customer’s trust?
<<<

https://blog.lastpass.com/2015/06/lastpass-security-notice.html/
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Asus Smartphones... now in Canada!

I'm not a big contract phone fan, so I think this is a great move... Asus is a trusted brand among tech enthusiasts and they usually deliver great bang for the buck.

The best bargains in Canada for contract-free phones have been the Alcatel Onetouch series... hopefully these are even better!
 
NEW YORK — Starting Tuesday, Canadian consumers will have a new option for a premium smartphone that comes without a contract, yet at a price comparable an iPhone 6 or other high-end phones with a wireless contract. In what could be a game-changing foray…
NEW YORK — Starting Tuesday, Canadian consumers will have a new option for a premium smartphone that comes without a contract, yet at a price comparable an iPhone 6 or other high-end phones with a wireless contract. In what could be a game-changing foray into the North American smartphone market, Taiwanese tech company Asus introduced…
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Travelling to USA shortly... I bought a Nokia 635 phone running Windows 8.1 for $50.  It's an AT&T pre-paid phone... pretty good for the money!  And unlimited mobile data (after 1.5GB they throttle the speed).

The phone has a quad-core CPU with a fairly nice 4.5" screen.  It has a MicroSD slot so the 8GB can be upgraded.  The camera is okay, but no flash.  I expected a bit better camera from a Nokia... but then again its a $50 no-contract phone.

Perfect...

Maybe when I get back I'll try and unlock it for use with a Canadian carrier.
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In the area I bought the phone (upstate NY) apparently t-Mobile doesn't have service.
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New Macbook CPU Power

We'll have to wait and see for actual test results, but from what I have seen it looks like the Passmark score for the new Macbook is around 3,000, which would have been a respectable score for a mobile just a few years ago.  Plus the machine has a fast SSD and 8GB of RAM.

So it's not anywhere near the performance of the netbooks from years gone by--its more like triple the speed.  To put it in perspective, the CPU is around the same speed as a Core i5 Macbook Air from 2012 (but with more memory and faster storage).

So the machine should be very capable of running just about anything.  Just don't try to plug two things in at the same time.  I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist.
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Windows 10 Adopts BitTorrent

Now I wouldn't want to be forced to share updates to other internet users (I have a 100GB monthly cap out here in the country), but if I can share security patches on my local subnet I could save some serious bandwidth.

Microsoft had previous announced a feature called "Branche Cache" but I think this was IPV6 based and not very widely adopted.

This is one of the cooler things I've heard about Windows 10.  And its very non-Apple.
 
A move which should've been made years ago, but still, better late than never. http://www.redmondpie.com/microsoft-embracing-torrents-for-its-apps-and-updates-on-windows-10/
The use of torrents for purpose of file-sharing is a practice that tends to be associated with piracy and copyright theft, which should go a way to explaining why many of the major names in the software business steer well clear of utilizing peer-to-peer. Now, though, it appears that Microsoft has bitten the bullet, and while the move to embrace p2p is very much a reflection of a more forward-thinking Microsoft, it'll also take a great deal of pr...
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In his circles
804 people
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292 people
Rafael Quawrells, CISSP's profile photo
Ilish Karson's profile photo
Shane Monroe's profile photo
William Hernandez's profile photo
Amy Hamilton's profile photo
Peter Vogel's profile photo
RetroTunnel's profile photo
Paul Davies C's profile photo
guadalupe saucedo's profile photo
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IT Guy
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    Government Mule, 1995 - present
  • Reset Magazine
    Managing Editor, 1986 - 1988
  • Ottawa Sun
    Editorial Assistant, 1989 - 1989
  • Self Employed
    Consultant, 1992 - 1994
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Osgoode, Ottawa, ON, Canada
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Tech News | IT Security | Computer Hardware | Linux | Phones and Tablets | Microsoft
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Technology guy who likes the geeky stuff.  Also likes guitars and tube amps and little pluggy things with shiny lights.
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  • school of hard knocks
    present
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