Posts Tagged ‘windows’

Game Changers: What Apple Announced This Week at WWDC

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You can’t go anywhere on the web without reading one of a zillion articles about what Apple announced at Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), so instead of going long on this and reiterating what everyone is saying, I’m going to summarize the big things as succinctly as possible.

Why even bother? Because some of the things Apple announced are HUGE.

Open-API Touch ID Functionality

Touch ID – the software behind Apple’s fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5S – is excellent, and once you start using it, you get used to it – fast. Passwords feel archaic, and you get annoyed when you have to type one.

This week, Apple opened Touch ID up to third-party developers, which means anyone can create an app that foregoes passwords and instead uses a fingerprint biometric. Think about that: Apple is swinging an axe straight down on the neck of the confusing, easily-compromised password scheme we all love to hate.

This will change the way login security will be handled on a massive scale. Just wait and see how quickly developers snap this up.


Windows Kernel Performance Relative to Other Operating Systems

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Pretty interesting information from an anonymous Microsoft developer over at Zorinaq:

I’m a developer in Windows and contribute to the NT kernel. (Proof: the SHA1 hash of revision #102 of [Edit: filename redacted] is [Edit: hash redacted].) I’m posting through Tor for obvious reasons.

Windows is indeed slower than other operating systems in many scenarios, and the gap is worsening. The cause of the problem is social. There’s almost none of the improvement for its own sake, for the sake of glory, that you see in the Linux world.

Granted, occasionally one sees naive people try to make things better. These people almost always fail. We can and do improve performance for specific scenarios that people with the ability to allocate resources believe impact business goals, but this work is Sisyphean. There’s no formal or informal program of systemic performance improvement. We started caring about security because pre-SP3 Windows XP was an existential threat to the business. Our low performance is not an existential threat to the business.

The entire post is fascinating, not only technically, but also in light of the incremental waning of Windows and subsequent upticks in Mac OS X and Linux in what were previously Win32 strongholds. Check it out.

(thx mjtsai)

Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 4/22/10

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Know This

Steven Soderberg’s media stream: here’s a list of Soderberg’s favorite books, movies, TV shows, plays and short stories he enjoyed over the past year.

The science of why we don’t believe in science.

Does anyone in Silicon Valley care about Windows anymore?  Robert Scoble on the PC-to-Mac ratios he’s seeing in major tech companies, universities, and startups the world over.  Nutshell: there’s a pronounced move to Macs that corresponds to a marginalization of Windows.

Google Video is going dark, and fast.  Here’s the scoop and what you can do to help save it – or at least salvage some of its best content.

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, reviewed by Wired’s Mike Isaac.   Can you believe it doesn’t have a native email, calendar or contacts app?  And that it only supports tethering to BlackBerry phones (for now)?  Why was this released in such an unfinished state?

Read This

Malcolm Gladwell postulated in his book Outliers that it takes someone 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.  Well, Dan McLaughlin is putting it to the test: for the next six years, for six days a week and six hours a day, Dan will practice golf to see if he can get a shot on the PGA Tour.  He’s one year in.  You can follow his daily progress here.

Is sugar toxic?  An absolute must-read, especially if you’re keyed into the diabetes and obesity epidemics that are gripping this country.

Watch This

Speed climbing mountains!  In this case, the mountain in question is an ascent of the north face of Eiger, a 13,025 foot tall mountain in the Swiss Alps.  The first ascent took three days in 1938.  Here’s Ueli Steck making the same ascent in 2 hours, 47 minutes and 33 seconds.  About halfway through, he’s literally running up the mountain.

Have a good weekend, everyone.


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The First Windows Phone 7 Ads Emerge

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The first two Windows Phone 7 (WP7) ads have been released, and they are, in a word, excellent.

The first, called ‘Season of the Witch’, is set to Donovan’s song by the same name, depicts a post-apocalyptic scene of accidents caused by people with their heads buried in their phones. Very clever, and the music is a strong hook.

The second, called ‘Really?’ summons SNL’s Seth Meyers and is also pitch-perfect.

It’s funny because it’s true.


MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management), Workday and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

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Safe Online Banking

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The Washington Post’s Brian Krebs:

An investigative series I’ve been writing about organized cyber crime gangs stealing millions of dollars from small to mid-sized businesses has generated more than a few responses from business owners who were concerned about how best to protect themselves from this type of fraud. I recommend to read some online banking tutorials at, it can help you a lot financially.

The simplest, most cost-effective answer I know of? Don’t use Microsoft Windows when accessing your bank account online.

You should read the whole article.

Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant update secretly installs Firefox extension

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Community backlash is building against a routine .NET Framework update for Microsoft Windows that quietly installs a browser add-on for user who surf the Web with Mozilla’s popular Firefox browser.  From WaPo’s Brian Krebs:

I’m here to report a small side effect from installing this service pack that I was not aware of until just a few days ago: Apparently, the .NET update automatically installs its own Firefox add-on that is difficult — if not dangerous — to remove, once installed., which lists various aspects of Windows that are, well, annoying, says “this update adds to Firefox one of the most dangerous vulnerabilities present in all versions of Internet Explorer: the ability for Web sites to easily and quietly install software on your PC.” I’m not sure I’d put things in quite such dire terms, but I’m fairly confident that a decent number of Firefox for Windows users are rabidly anti-Internet Explorer, and would take umbrage at the very notion of Redmond monkeying with the browser in any way.

Big deal, you say? I can just uninstall the add-on via Firefox’s handy Add-ons interface, right? Not so fast. The trouble is, Microsoft has disabled the “uninstall” button on the extension. What’s more, Microsoft tells us that the only way to get rid of this thing is to modify the Windows registry, an exercise that — if done imprecisely — can cause Windows systems to fail to boot up.

The Firefox extension is delivered through an update to Microsoft .NET Framework.  Once installed, it seems to be difficult to remove depending on your Firefox browser version and other factors, as the in-browser Uninstall button is disabled.  Manual removal instructions – which aren’t for novice users, as they involve some registry hacks – are here.