In the U.K., you don't have to be in the presence of someone to serve them with legal papers. So now Twitter has become a way to get served. We also are happy that the U.S. government is taking cybersecurity seriously, but maybe they could lay off with the cyber prefix a little. And we try to care more about the Palm Pixi. We really do.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1076
(Note: please see our updated correction on this story.)
Now here's an oddity: Microsoft's "Windows 7 compatible" sticker that will be affixed to nearly all Windows computers around Windows 7 launch doesn't seem to include current Atom Netbooks.
The reasoning, according to Microsoft's page and an Engadget report, is that these stickers will indicate that the computer in question can run all versions of Windows 7, including 64-bit. Says Mark Relph, Senior Director of the Microsoft Windows Strategy Group: "To be granted the Logo, products are tested to work with all versions of … Read more
Microsoft's launch party videos have proven to be entertaining to viewers even if not for the reasons for the marketing department had hoped for. There were a great many comments on my post that provided context to their release, but generally speaking most industry-watchers have been confused as to the goals behind the program, questioning the target audience not just for the videos, but for the launch parties as well.
I reached out to Microsoft for comment but they withheld at this time as the videos are apparently just one step in a much larger integrated marketing campaign.
I personally found the most recent video weird, but after thinking through things a bit I think this is a case of a good idea hampered by poor execution. The videos are well-done and professional and try to connect with consumers in a humanistic tone. The fact that it feels like you stumbled into a shiny-happy Windows world filled with sit-com throwaways is the problem. Even if this is a training video to show others how to throw a launch party, it's hard to connect with the vapid characterizations of party guests.
This is the crux of Microsoft's marketing problems. It's not that they aren't good at technical marketing issues, it's that the brand itself is so voluminous, it's very hard for people to connect to specific products like Windows. And the efforts to persuade consumers isolate the tech media and confuse IT shops. … Read more
My previous post described how to add information to and otherwise customize Windows' Welcome screen. But maybe you just want to get your PC going without having to log into an account. You can bypass Windows' log-on screen by changing settings in the Windows Registry, as described in a tutorial on the Computer Performance site, but I find it much simpler to use a free Windows-tweaking utility to do the same thing.
Creating a custom Windows log-on screen has never been faster or simpler. Two free utilities let you do more than replace the boring Windows default start background with a picture of your pet hamsters, though you can do that, too.
Add system info to Windows' start-up sequence In a post earlier this month, I described the beta version of the free TweakNow PowerPack 2009 utility that makes it easy to view system information, maintain Windows, and customize the OS' interface. As that post stated, I encountered a couple of rough edges in the beta version I looked at, but that'… Read more
Every time Microsoft delivers a new OS it's possible to get many of the features of a Windows upgrade in the previous version of Windows. Windows 7 is no exception. Here's a roundup of a few things you can do to make Windows Vista as Windows 7-like as possible, without shelling out for the new OS.
We'll start out with a couple tweaks, then tell you about four free apps you can download. And a tip of the hat to the amazing Gina Trapani at Lifehacker, from whom I picked up several of these tricks.
First the taskbar. Windows 7 lets you "pin" apps to the taskbar and we can approximate that in Vista. Here's how.
Right-click on your taskbar.
And choose Quick Launch.
Now drag the icons you wish to "pin" into the left side of the taskbar.
Right click on the taskbar again and uncheck "lock taskbar."
Now click on the three rows of dots, hold down the mouse, and drag the bar over until you see all your icons.
Now, they look a little small like that, so let's make them bigger. Make sure the taskbar is unlocked.
Now right click on the taskbar again.
Select the view menu and choose large icons.
That's OK. But if you want a real Mac-like dock, forget all that and install RocketDock. It gives you a whole new Macish dock that you can put down at the bottom of the window instead of the taskbar.
But your Windows still looks all Vista-y. One more interface tweak before we move on. Download VistaGlazz 1.3. It's a utility that changes some system files to allow you to implement third-party themes on Vista. Launch VistaGlazz and, if you're sure, agree to allow it to modify your system files. I did it, and had no issues. But I make no guarantee.… Read more
Windows 7 will be breaking down the doors on October 22.
So the advertising has to start round about September 10, right? And, indeed, here it is, making its debut Thursday in the prime-time premiere to which America is no doubt glued, the CW's "Vampire Diaries."
The ad is as safe as certain critics suggested Vista wasn't. There's a girl. And it's not Lauren, the one who isn't cool enough to buy a Mac. No, it's Kylie, the rather younger girl who is frightfully adept at all things digital.
You remember Kylie. … Read more
Microsoft said on Tuesday that it is investigating reports of a zero-day vulnerability affecting Windows 7 and Vista.
The flaw in Windows 7 could allow an attack which would cause a critical system error, or "blue screen of death," according to researcher Laurent Gaffie.
Gaffie wrote in his blog that the flaw lies in a Server Message Block 2 (SMB2) driver.
"SRV2.SYS fails to handle malformed SMB headers for the NEGOTIATE PROTOCOL REQUEST functionality," wrote Gaffie in a blog post Monday.
Gaffie said he had contacted Microsoft. Comments on his blog by other users said … Read more
Imagine consumers en masse dumping their old PC clunkers for a svelte MacBook Air running the sleek, new Snow Leopard operating system. An implausible Orwellian vision but probably not that far removed from Apple's marketing aspirations.
In short, walk into any Apple Store in any tony neighborhood and the message is: relieve yourself of those old bulky PCs and flip phones and we'll give you smaller, more stylish computing with the Apple cachet.
The analogy may be a bit strained, but imagine trading in a 14 mpg Hummer H2 for a 45 mpg hybrid Ford Fusion. The point: … Read more
Sometimes it seems like you need to be a software engineer to understand how to keep Windows running smoothly. That's why I appreciate free utilities that collect various Windows settings and make the OS easier to customize.
Last May, I described two utilities that improve Vista's performance: Stardock's $20 Tweak Vista and Iolo Technologies' $40 System Mechanic. A week earlier, I wrote about two other Vista tweaking tools: the free Ultimate Windows Tweaker from Microsoft MVP Anand Khanse and WareSoft Software's $30 Vista Smoker Pro.
All four of these programs have their pluses and minuses, but … Read more