Bloatware

simple reasons as to why Windows Live sucks

I’ve started using my Microsoft Hotmail Windows Live account again, and it didn’t take a hard look to find 2 reasons why it is vastly inferior to Google Mail:

  1. Informations are passed on a transparent HTTP connection. Gmail uses encrypted HTTPS all session long.
  2. Windows Live allow me to search keywords in ONE message at a time. Gmail allows me to search keywords in the frickin’ thousands of email I have been getting since opening my account.

Way to go Microsoft, Bing! must be a big threat to Google if you’ve put the same attention to detail in developing it.

Update: last week, Microsoft reported that thousands of Hotmail accounts were exposed over a phishing attack. I know better than to click on an email link to log into my account, so it seems that many of those exposed accounts were used to corrupt the Hotmail network, including my own account. I got about 20 spam mail allegedly sent by contacts, and 10 mail sending failure notices to contacts from my Hotmail list. I proceeded to change my password, and it now seems that the Hotmail spam filter is temporarily disabled, letting all the junk mail reach my inbox. I’m sure this is prompting a lot of long time Hotmail users to move to a more serious provider like gMail or Yahoo.

Update: Turns out my vacation reply has somehow been activated, featured the same text I’ve seen on and on, and was set to reply to every incoming mail (which according to Microsoft makes me more vulnerable):

Dear friend,
how were you going? I would like to introduce you an really good space,there are mainly run various kinds of famous electornic products, it’s true charm pioneer.Now the company is under promotion, all of the products are sold nearly as the same as their cost.
Charmpioneer renders the best service to customers, and provides you with original products which are very cheap, but good-quality.
It is really a good opportunity for taking action, let’s go,just do it, and you will fall in love with it.

The web address: (www.)brcian.com

Update: Now I noticed that my contact list has completely dissapeared whenever I connect with an IM client.

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Bloatware
Cybercriminality
Data irresponsibility
Digital privacy
Economic sustainability
Encryption
Google
Internet
Messaging
Migration
Phishing
Security
Spam
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First critical IE8 vulnerabilities given serious treatment

Just when it appeared Windows and its associated services were looking more stable month after month, Microsoft chose June to tackle a plethora of vulnerabilities including no fewer than 14 that its security engineers believe could be exploitable within the next 30 days.

Read the article at Betanews.com

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Office 2007 isn’t bad at all

I reluctantly had to undergo a corporate workshop on Office 2007, but to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised: The office now features a PDF export filter and allows to easily add slick graphical effects. I’m thinking: hey, this is what OpenOffice should have been like!

Microsoft seems to have taken heed of customers complaints and from the competition (hint: Apple) to produce a cleaner, leaner interface. Microsoft’s Office Open XML is a ZIP-compatible compressed meta-format and became an Ecma standard in 2006. Obviously, the 48 years-old non-profit Ecma International industry standards organisation lists Microsoft amongst its ordinary (financially supporting) members. Needless to say, Office 2007 doesn’t export to Sun’s OpenDocument format.

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Desktop publishing
Economic sustainability
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Internet Explorer using Bing by default

Microsoft really knows marketing. But its latest (unintentional) attempt to promote the new search engine Bing may have gone over the line. According to reports, a glitch in Internet Explorer 6 forced Bing onto users as the default search engine. Even when users manually altered their preferences, Bing emerged once again.

Read the whole article at PCWorld.com.

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No wonder it is so hard to find a pan-european digital music store

I started using Apple Inc.’s iTunes back in Italy. The software has many locks-in: it doesn’t play Microsoft’s proprietary WMA or the open OGG Vorbis audio format. When instructed to consolidate the music library, iTunes does it with a logic of its own, separating the audio files and the images in completely remote registries; and the library manager also operates on its own will: it always switches back to the default music library location even though I specified my preferred one.

Pentafoil tangle

Pentafoil tangle by Carlo H. Séquin

Despite all its drawbacks, iTunes remains the only solution for a European citizen considering digital music purchase over the Internet. The songs are a child’s play to locate, samples can be played, and it only takes a couple of clicks to get the files on the local disc. Moving them from there is another problem… The biggest drawback I could see was the unability to buy music from other European countries. An abberation considering the many laws safeguarding the free movement of goods across the EEC.

Why cant Apple Inc. sell music licenses across internal European borders? I thought it should be easy. Well it turns out that for the time being it is actually impossible. Andrew Orlowski explains on The Register why the European intellectual propriety laws, or lack thereof, makes it very hard for entrepreneurs to launch a pan-european digital music store.

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Copyrights
Cross-platform
DRM
Economic sustainability
Internet
Multimedia
Open
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