31 May 2012

Apparently there seems to be a bug, at least in a few cases where the Skype add-on for Chrome version 5.1.0.9560 (at least this version) breaks the cut and paste ability of HTML/rich text.  The version of Chrome in this case was 19.0.1084.52.  If this add-on is enabled and Chrome is open and you attempt to copy text that isn't plain text, IE: HTML or Rich, upon pasting into a new document such as Word or Outlook, it simply pastes the plain text version.  The issue is also apparent in Firefox and all of it definitely points to the Skype Click to Call add-on.

14 May 2012

Tech-Stew Podcast E15: Back to the Dark Ages was recorded on Friday May 11th, 2012.

Summary: 

Rumors of the Apple Television resurface, Microsoft only allowing Internet Explorer with Windows RT, No DVD playback out of the box with Windows 8, the Xbox subscription plan, JUICE to explore the moons of Jupiter, Wi-fi Wallpaper and more.

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10 May 2012

Tired of being stuck on those chkdsk screens on process 3 of 6 for what feels like an eternity?  Well, Microsoft is proclaiming that with Windows 8 they have revamped the process of checking the disk for errors and it is faster and less disruptive than ever before. 

Most of the improvements in Windows 8 surround the ChkDsk utility, that inspects the hard disk and checks for errors and issues.  In the past users would run the utility and would have to stop using the machine while the tool ran and had to endure long check times.

10 May 2012

Mozilla has come forth with a big reveal that Windows RT (Formerly Windows 8 on ARM) will only support a single browser:  Internet Explorer.  From a technical side Firefox would be able to run in Metro mode on Windows RT, but would be crippled to the point of unusable.  Only Office 15 is allowed to run in the classic Desktop Mode with Windows RT.

The issue has to do with API access.  Third-party developers will only have access to the WinRT (Metro) API.  However, Microsoft's software will have access to the lower level Win32 API.  Firefox could build Firefox for ARM but without the ability to tap into the Win32 API it can't compete with Internet Explorer.

Some of the logical reasons behind this move by Microsoft is that they have not wanted to port x86 code to ARM, largely because these ported apps may not have the efficiency and stability of a low-power ARM tablet requirement. 

Another reason could be due to malware attacks.  Since a browser is an open pit for malware attacks on the operating system making it so there is only a more secure Metro Internet Explorer could be a protection mechanism. 

Metro Internet Explorer

The Tech-Stew Take Home

This move by Microsoft seems akin to the early dark days of the 90s and possibly a move to gain market share with Internet Explorer, at least on the surface.  Hopefully the primary motivation here is that they are just trying to protect the operating system and by association the end-users giving them a more pleasant experience with less risk of malware attacks.

The downside is that due to this restriction it means we won't see any browsers with add-ons on Windows ARM tablets.  Nor will there be any HTML5 web apps.  Competition gets squashed as a result and the chance of ARM tablets winning out over x86 tablets becomes less likely.

Source:  PCWorld


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05 May 2012

As we had recently found out, much to the dismay of us Home Theater PC (HTPC) users, Media Center is not included by default in the new Windows 8 product SKUs.  Instead it would be available only if you purchase Windows 8 Pro and an add-on.  What could be driving Microsoft's reasoning behind not including it out of the box.  The numbers do the talking.  Meanwhile DVD playback is completely gone from Windows Media Player.

27 Apr 2012

Tech-Stew Podcast Episode 14:  Why Microsoft Why, was recorded on Thursday April 26th, 2012

Summary:  Intel's Ivy Bridge launch, SkyDrive updates, Windows 8 versions, Windows RT, mining metals on asteroids, chips to see through clothes, Cutting the ice on Europa and more

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25 Apr 2012

In recent days we have seen the official release of Google Drive and Microsoft has reduced their SkyDrive default free space to 7GB from 25GB.  So how does it all break down.  Which service is the best, which offers the most space for the least amount of money?  Microsoft has provided a chart to compare services compared to the other big three ranging from iCloud to Google Drive to Dropbox.  So who is the true winner here? 

25 Apr 2012

Microsoft has released the SkyDrive desktop application for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.  It has also released a "preview client" for Mac OS X Lion users.

SkyDrive for Windows will allow the drag and drop of files up to 2GB in size to and from SkyDrive folders.  Similar to other cloud storage vendors, all files and SkyDrive content will be managed in a central folder that syncs with Microsoft's cloud storage.  Included now is the fetching files option that allows you to access, browse and stream files from a remote PC that is running the SkyDrive application.

If your an existing SkyDrive user and you still haven't claimed your free 25GB, after Microsoft reduced the space to 7GB, you can do so through this link.

Source:  blogs.technet.com


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