ZDNET Should be Ashamed

iOS, Android, and Windows too: Quit your bitching and upgrade already


Author: Jason Perlow

But I will save you some time in the upgrade decision process. If your computer is four years old or more, it’s probably time to say goodbye. If your PC only has 1GB or 2GB of RAM, don’t even attempt the OS upgrade. Go buy a new one, or spend a little bit of money on a memory upgrade if your system can accommodate it. You’ll be way, way happier with your system’s overall performance.

I get it. You don’t want your software updated or upgraded. You believe your system is static, that if it works now, it will continue to work the same as it does always. You don’t want to change, because that would mean acquiring new skills, or doing something differently.

Or worse — the possibility of having to spend money. You’ll be damned if that awful, evil vendor makes you spend more of your hard-earned cash.

I read this awful article the other day, and just laughed and closed the tab. Then this morning I see on Twitter that the author of this piece works for Microsoft. That is right, an online tech publication that has earned the trust of many readers allows an employee of Microsoft to spam their site with this garbage. Everyone involved should be ashamed, and any journalistic entity that allows this should be not called a journalistic entity, but a PR mouthpiece for corporations.

Maybe Mr. Perlow would like to answer my e-mails and calls from people who have been screwed by the Windows 10 upgrade. Maybe ZDNET would like to send out teams of people to help small businesses that have had their point of sale terminals become unusable or have had their accounting software refuse to open.

Lastly maybe Microsoft should learn that allowing employees to do this does nothing but hurt the image of their own company. This is failure all around. We should demand better.

Is Microsoft’s Board Getting Worried?

Microsoft Board Mulls Sales Force Revamp to Speed Shift to Cloud


Author: Dina Bass

Board members at Microsoft Corp. are grappling with a growing concern: that the company’s traditional software business, which makes up the majority of its sales, could evaporate in a matter of years — and Chairman John Thompson is pushing for a more aggressive shift into newer cloud-based products.

A month before Microsoft’s fiscal year comes to a close a board member going on the record like this is interesting. The next few earnings calls are going to be something to watch.

Tech Journalism In 4 Tweets

So Brad Sams puts up a story, Daniel Rubino from a rival site questions his sources publicly, then Rubino “confirms” that Sams did not make it up (which is a POS move), and finally Rubino puts up article that just says what Brad Sams said to begin with.
Was there nothing else worth covering?




Windows 10, We Have A Problem….

These headlines have shown up in my RSS reader over the last few days.  I can’t argue with any of them.  Since the Windows 10 launch it has been obvious the package delivered to users was not ready for prime time.  I have had issues with Mail, Edge, and some awful problems with Action Center that took me editing the registry to fix.  For the most part the OS has been “okay”, but the built in apps that shipped with Windows 10 were not ready.  Given that Microsoft’s big sell with Windows 10 was the new universal app platform this is a shame.  Even those that are okay with operating system will give apps like Edge a try, and never go back.  So Microsoft may fix the bugs, but shipping bad software is going to harm the long term impact of the universal app store.  Does it really help Microsoft if users upgrade to Windows 10, but still use just win32 apps like Chrome, iTunes, etc like they did on their Windows 7 machines?
Many had issues with the user interface of Windows 8, but that operating system launched in a much better working state.

P.S. Bring back OneDrive Placeholders.

Screenshot 2015-09-15 09.43.38Screenshot 2015-09-15 09.43.16

The Surface Pro 2 Is the Device You’ve Been Waiting For

prod_SurfaceFamily_WebOn Monday morning Microsoft once again took the stage to introduce us to their new lines of Surface.  After a rough year 1 Microsoft showed they are not backing down from what they believe are devices that can work for people.  As a SurfaceRT user for a year, and yes a happy one, I was glad to see the new products coming to life.
Let’s start with the new edition of the SurfaceRT which is now simply called Surface 2.  A year ago I wrote that the SurfaceRT name was a mess, and I am glad that Microsoft has seen the error in their ways.  The new Surface 2 is a nice upgrade from the original model.  It has a faster processor, a 1080p screen, and many new features that are part of WindowsRT 8.1 that will launch on the device.  I actually believe that the biggest upgrade to the original SurfaceRT is not the new hardware of the Surface 2 (which is nice), but the baked in operating system.  One of the biggest features of Surface is that a secure system with long battery life can run the full Office suite which is integral in many people’s personal and business lives.  Last years SurfaceRT launched with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote.  One huge missing application was Outlook.  That has now changed.  OutlookRT is now shipping with the Surface 2.

Now onto the device that has me very excited.  That is the Surface Pro 2.  You can call it a tablet, you can call it a laptop, or you can call it an ultrabook.  I don’t care what you call it, I am going to call it the best computing device ever made.  A 10 inch HD display running on the latest Intel Haswell processor with up to a 512GB SSD with 8GB RAM.  This machine is a beast in a small frame.  There are other laptops that have these specs, so why do I think this one is great?  It fits in a tablet frame with accessories available that put it over the top.  You have a choice of three keyboards (which work on both new versions of Surface).  The one that has me the most intrigued is the power keyboard which when connected will give you even greater battery life.  Then you have the docking station that can run all of your peripherals including two HD monitors.   This truly is a powerhouse in an iPad size.  You can run everything from Word to Visual Studio to Photoshop all on this little monster.  Now it will cost you as it starts at $899, but this device is not meant to compete with low end machines.  Microsoft has built a top end ultrabook, and it is priced as such.

When these devices launch in October, go and take a look for yourself.  Just one word of advice until then, if you read someone talking about these products in the same vein as an iPad or a Nexus 7 just assume they are clueless and go find someone who actually knows something.

For all the technical specs, pricing, and more go the Microsoft site.

I will be discussing the big Surface news and more tonight (Wednesday September, 25, 2013) on the Surface Geeks podcast with host David McCabe 9:30 Eastern time. Come watch live and join the chat at surfacegeeks.net.

Surface Or SurfaceRT, Microsoft’s Rebranding is Misleading

Microsoft has put the newly announced Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 in their store for pre-order.  While doing this they subtly changed the name of the original SurfaceRT to just Surface.  They are going to continue to sell the original device under this new name.  I understand that they want to lose the RT part of the name in the new device as it was part of the problem with the original machine.  However, renaming the old device as just Surface gives the false impression that you are in fact not getting a SurfaceRT which is not the case.
Surface or SurfaceRT

Microsoft’s Whiff

Here is a small excerpt of an article I wrote last week on the Surface Geeks website.

Those who have listened to the Surface Geeks podcast over the last several months know that I have been an ardent supporter of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and the direction the company was going.  Sadly, those in charge of Microsoft did not share my optimism and in an effort to pander to a group who will never be happy with anything out of Redmond they have set themselves back years.

Read the whole article here

Leave Susan G. Komen Foundation On The Sideline

A few months ago I wrote a long post describing the problems with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. This was in response to the outcry over the foundation pulling funding from Planned Parenthood to align with its right wing agenda.
After a public backlash, Komen reinstated the funding to Planned Parenthood. One big thing did not change. While they were cutting funds to help with early detection, they were also stopping funding for stem cell research. This again was to align with with the religious right of American politics. Their position on stem cell research has not changed.

As we promote breast cancer awareness this month, please consider supporting other charities and foundations that put a women’s health and finding a cure to a disease that hurts so many ahead of its political ideology. Some things should not be political and this is one of them. People of all political parties, races, religions, and social standing contract this disease and we need charities and government to support the best research.

Common Sense Wins, Susan G. Komen Foundation Reverses Decision

This morning the Susan G. Komen foundation reversed it’s decision and will honor its pledge to Planned Parenthood and the thousands of women who have no other means of health care.  If some out there question whether Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of social media matter, this is another example that shows the power of the masses.  In the last few months we have seen corporations like Verizon and Bank of America reverse decisions to impose new fees and now this, all based on outrage created online.
Now that people are paying attention, we must ask ourselves why in the United States do some women (or people in general) need to count on charity for health care?

The Real Susan. G. Komen Foundation

Yesterday I posted on my Facebook page that the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the group that has “The Race For The Cure” and started the pink ribbon campaign, announced they were cutting all the money they give to Planned Parenthood for mammograms and breast cancer screenings.  There is outrage all over the internet that a charity has given in to political pressure.
Planned Parenthood has been on the Republican’s radar since 2010 because they provide abortion services at some of their facilities.  The facts are that only 3% of all of their services have anything to do with abortion, and it is illegal for them to use any of the money they receive from the government to go to those services.  Planned Parenthood is the only health provider for many women in poor urban settings.  Defunding Planned Parenthood, as every Republican presidential candidate says they will do, is taking an essential healthcare provider for women out of the neighborhoods that need it most.

Now let’s get back the Susan G. Komen foundation.  I don’t think we should be surprised by this move.  It fits in perfectly with what the mission of founder Nancy Brinker has been.  Let’s look at some facts about this foundation.

  • Brinker was a top donor to George W. Bush when he ran for Governor of Texas as well as when he ran for President.  As a thank you for her money she was appointed the ambassador of Hungary.
  • The Komen Foundation has lobbied Congress AGAINST a patients bill of rights since the 1980’s.
  • Komen uses lobbyist Rae Evans in Washington.  Evans is also the lobbyist for Brinker’s husband’s businesses which include Chili’s, Steak and Ale, and Bennigan’s.  Evans has said himself he has no use for advocacy or grassroots organizations.  Brinker’s husband, also on the board of the foundation, has used his ties to his business and the National Restaurant Association (now of Herman Cain fame) to lobby and fight again numerous health care bills that would have helped the women the Komen foundation pretends to represent.  The Komen foundation also just happens to own almost $200,000 in Brinker’s husbands restaurant business.
  • In Food and Drug Administration hearings, the Komen Foundation was the only national breast cancer group to endorse the cancer treatment drug tamoxifen despite being opposed by other breast cancer groups because of its links to uterine cancer. The company that produces the drug, AstraZeneca, has long been a Komen supporter, making educational grants to Komen and having a visible presence at the Race For the Cure.
  • The Komen foundation has tried over the years in Washington to deny any link between the environment and cancer even though there are studies that show a link.  Could the reason be that chemical giant Occidental Corporation gives the Komen Foundation 4000 square feet of offices in Dallas?  Publicly the foundation will talk in platitudes about the environment but with Occidental they lobbied in 2000 and 2001 for looser EPA air, water and chemical regulations at the same time government researchers reported auto and industrial emissions caused cancer.
  • Komen’s new VP is Karen Handel.  She is a Republican who ran for Governor of Georgia.  She has always had Planned Parenthood on her radar, and now she has a chance to do real damage.  She said  “I will be a pro-life governor who will work tirelessly to promote a culture of life in Georgia. … I believe that each and every unborn child has inherent dignity, that every abortion is a tragedy, and that government has a role, along with the faith community, in encouraging women to choose life in even the most difficult of circumstances. …since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.”

There are a lot of good people trying to do a lot of good work in defeating cancer and in this case breast cancer.  Many charities have ties to politicians and Washington.  I don’t want to make it sound like the Susan G. Komen foundation is alone in that.  However, they are alone in that they seem to stand with only one political party and with one way of thinking.  Over the last 30 years while giving millions to help women with breast cancer they have used their money and political clout to also setback women’s health at many different turns.  Their board members sit on boards of General Electric, pharmaceutical companies, and companies that have in the past put profits over healthcare.  That is their mission as a corporation, and we can deal with that.  We should not have to deal with charities taking money from well meaning people and giving to the people who at the best are not helping and at the worst may be increasing the amount of cancer victims in the United States.  Do your research and find a charity that gives to the cause you stand for, and we will all be better off for it.