Command & Conquer 3 problems with standard user

It seems Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars has a major issue with running as a standard user. Symptoms include standard users not being able to run the application, with the system reporting that it does not have permissions.

In my experience this is due to the update application not setting the proper permissions on files after modifying them, it basically removes the users group from the CNC3.exe and other files.

To resolve this issue navigate your way to the Electronic Arts folder. Right click on the Command & Conquer 3 folder and click Properties.

Navigate to the Electronic Arts folder and right click on Command & Conquer 3

That will open up the Properties window, you'll want to click on the Security tab and then click on the Advanced button.

Click on the Security tab and click on advanced

You'll then need to click on the Edit button near the bottom (you'll notice its got a little shield icon meaning you'll need to elevate at this step), you'll then be presented with this window, which at the bottom has a check box next to 'Replace all existing inheritable permissions on all descendants with inheritable permissions from this object' you'll need to check that box, and then OK your way back out.

Check ''Replace all existing inheritable permissions on all descendants with inheritable permissions from this object' and click OK

It will then go and set the proper permissions on all the objects inside the Command & Conquer 3 folder. That should resolve the issue. However unless EA fix their update application it could well happen again when they next release a patch.

Other than this oversight the application otherwise runs fine as standard user, and installs fine from a standard users' desktop while elevating using UAC. So it is only a relatively minor fix for EA to apply at their end.

Katie Melua and good science

Katie Melua in her song Nine Million Bicycles had a bit of bad science in the second verse:

We are 12 billion light-years from the edge,
That's a guess, no one can ever say it's true,
But I know that I will always be with you

Anyway, after a tongue-in-cheek article appeared in the Guardian about this she did another cut with some more accurate lyrics:

We are 13.7 billion light-years from the edge of the observable universe,
That's a good estimate with well-defined error bars,
And with the available information, I predict that I will always be with you

Here's Michael Shermer featuring it in one of his talks.

Much better. :D

HTC Shift - Ultra Mobile PC

HTC, the manufacturer of a lot of Smartphones and Pocket PC phones, are now moving into the Ultra Mobile PC market too.

HTC Shift Ultra Mobile PC

Yes, it runs Windows Vista, including Aero and it features a 7 inch touch screen. The specs are as follows:

VIA CPU (the one we tried had a 1.2GHz chip).
Windows Vista Business Edition.
7-inch sliding, tiling wide-touchscreen.
30GB drive.
Tri-band UMTS / HSDPA, quad-band GSM / GPRS / EDGE .
WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0.
Biometric reader, front-facing camera.

Microsoft pushed the development of the Ultra Mobile PC devices over the last couple of years, as a sort of mini-Tablet PC. With a number of manufacturers releasing models. Its definitely good to see more manufacturers join in with such a wide array of devices to try and push the price point down, hopefully to the point at which I can afford one.

Engadget has more details.

Dear Robert Peston

This is in response to Robert Peston's whinge on his BBC blog. Mainly about how his iPAQ isn't supported on Windows Vista, and how Outlook XP makes him type his password in.

My HP iPAQ PocketPC will never be compatible with Vista, even though the software it runs is Microsoft software. Hey ho. That's an expensive and serviceable bit of kit written off prematurely.

That iPAQ would be running a very old version of Windows Mobile then. Windows Mobile Device Center (the actual software that interfaces with it, Windows Vista doesn't per-se) supports the last four versions of Windows Mobile.

Have you actually checked with HP to see if they have a ROM update that carries Windows Mobile 2003 or above? May be you should find out and if they don't, ask HP why they don't (let's be honest - they want you to buy a new one). A lot of Pocket PC manufacturers release updates. Perhaps you should shop around next time and find out which manufacturers have the best track record for doing this.

Your engineer has however held out the tantalising prospect that Olympus may produce new drivers such that I would eventually be able to transfer sound files from my digital voice recorder to my new Vista laptop. But so far, those drivers are proving a bit elusive and my digital recorder may also become redundant.

Right so this is an Olympus problem so why are you writing an open letter to Bill Gates? A guy who after all didn't handle the development of Windows Vista and a guy who doesn't and can't tell Olympus what to do without being dragged to court over being anti-competitive or abusing power of a near-monopoly.

I installed Office XP on my new laptop, and have been puzzled and irked that Outlook will not save sign-on passwords. It means I have to type in my passwords every time I check my e-mail accounts for new mail.

Right so it works other than that?

This is what AppCompat Guy says: "This was a difficult deliberate choice. During the development of Vista, it was discovered that the password storage algorithm used by Outlook was too weak to protect your data from future, potential attacks. Both the security and application compatibility teams decided that protecting your data outweighed the inconvenience of having to retype your passwords. As the appcompat representative, I can assure you this was not a decision we took lightly"

Right. So the password encryption used in Outlook XP (6 years old) could in theory within the next few years become retrievable using a realistic amount of CPU time on a compromised machine.

Between a rock and a hard place. What would you be saying if your e-mail password was compromised, yet Microsoft had the ability to prevent it? Well Microsoft have prevented it. What's worse you having to type your password in, or somebody potentially reading your e-mail?

So just to be clear, Microsoft has created a new operating system that isn't properly compatible with a best-selling, still perfectly useable version of its own software. Which of course provides quite a powerful incentive for me to spend up to £99.99 on upgrading to Microsoft Outlook 2007

You do not need the latest version of Outlook (2007). Even a four year old version of Outlook will do the job fine too.

The upgrade adviser (downloadable from Microsoft's website) would of told you your iPAQ wouldn't sync, it would of told you Outlook XP has some issues, and it probably would of said your Olympus voice recorder won't work or at the very least it doesn't have any information about it. May be you should just install Windows XP on the machine, and ask the supplier for a refund on Windows Vista?

And a quick word on all the comments on Robert's blog coming from the Apple-faithful, getting a Mac isn't the solution.

1) You'd have to spend well over one thousand pounds to get the thing doing nearly what the Windows machine did. You'd need new software, new hardware, new peripherals, etc. Instead of one or two things being incompatible virtually everything would be incompatible.

2) Apple have a horrible track record of compatibility. Just take the iChat application, if you're using an old (in Apple land old is just 2 years) version of Mac OS, say 10.3, you can no longer chat to people on 10.4, because Apple released an update for 10.4 which stopped people from being able to connect to the iChat application on 10.3, because they no longer supported 10.3. So that's a hundred pounds somebody would have to put down, just for a tiny incremental update so they could chat to somebody again. I won't even bother going into the whole Mac OS 9 -> Mac OS X thing, or the whole PowerPC -> x86 thing.

Get real, we're trying to ease the problems Robert Peston, and some other users are having, not make them twenty times worse.

First 90 days of Windows Vista, security comparison

In a sort of follow up to my previous post about Windows Vista being the most secure operating system.

Jeff Jones has totalled up the number of vulnerabilities that have been discovered in the first 90 days of the Windows Vista launch (end of November), and compared it to Windows XP, Mac OS X.4, Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, Red Hat Linux Enterprise 4 Workstation and Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.

Here's the figures:

Windows Vista: 5.
Windows XP: 18.
Mac OS X.4: 27.
Ubuntu Linux: 100.
SuSe Linux:111.
Red Hat Linux: 201.

That's one fifth as many security related problems as Mac OS X.4. Take note Apple, you don't want to find yourselves in hot water over trying to mislead people, again, do you?

I got some feedback left on my other post on this topic.

Not taking into consideratio that the vulnerabilities for the windows are alot more common

Come on, are you serious?

That's because Windows is a lot more common (90+% of the market). Now let's follow this through, if you replace Windows with its 5 security issues, do you get more or less potential security issues when replacing it with Red Hat and its 201 issues? You get more, much more.

Let's assume that 90% is 400 million machines. Which means with Windows in the first 90 days of launch there's 2 billion potential holes in the worlds computers. With Red Hat's 90 days that figure goes up to 80.4 billion potential holes in the worlds computers. With Mac OS it's 10.8 billion! Come on get real. We're talking about how secure the operating system is, not how much software there is for it, which obviously will follow the OS with the largest market share.

Microsoft have made huge improvements over the last few years on security and that is undeniable, and they'll continue to make even more improvements in the future. By the time the next version of Windows ships people saying Windows is massively insecure will sound as dumb as all the people who are saying Windows is hugely unstable today, after 5 years of Windows being solely based on NT.

But it's "natural"

I was going through some of the comments posted by people on BBC News' thread on non-proven drugs (popularly known as alternative medicine) being available on the NHS.

Obviously they shouldn't be, NHS funds should only be spent on things that actually work. However certain aspects of society, like the Royal Family insist on promoting un-proven drugs. Un-proven drugs unlike clinically tested drugs have no evidence to show any effect, have not been tested for safety, for effects with other drugs, for the proper doses etc. They're just put on shelves untested and sold.

Anyway one comment stood out.

Dont forget that all chemical produced medicines have side effects and are addictive natural medicines have no side effects and are not addictive and work in a slow gentle way.

What a load of nonsense! All drugs are chemicals, everything is chemicals, "natural medicines" are drugs, they're chemicals too and they of course have side effects. Just off the top of my head:

Cyanide (produced by plants, bacteria etc). Side effects include death.
Digitalis (produced in plants like foxgloves). Side effects include heart failure.
Heroin (produced by opium poppies). Side effects include addition.
Uranium (produced by supernova). Side effects include death.
Arsenic (produced by supernova). Side effects include death.

I demand freedom of choice from the national health service that is my basic human right as per the charter to deny me that is a form od dictatorship

The NHS, being publically funded must make best use of the money the public give to it. Wasting it on unproven, and by unproven I don't mean studies haven't been done, they have been done and there is no effect, is a waste of the tax payers money, and indeed it would be responsible for the loss of life of a great many people, when that money could be spent on drugs and treatments that do actually work and save people's lives.

and dont forget the chinese have been using alternative medicines for thousands of years and they are doing ok thankyou

That's nice but they often used the drugs being sold today for different purposes than what they're currently sold for. So that's irrelevant.

Until the introduction of scientific medicine life expectancy worldwide was about 40-45 at the most. So for all those thousands of years those un-proven drugs had no effect on average life span. With the introduction of scientific medicines and treatments life expectancy is now around 75.

We are so lucky to have scientific medicine, most people throughout history have not been so fortunate. Don't throw it away and squander it with such utter nonsense I'd rather not have to break out the leeches again.

Science is a method of understanding, with science we can discover what actually works and what doesn't. Science should be applied to everything so we can stop wasting our time, and money with things that don't work. When drugs are found to have no effect they should no longer be sold, they shouldn't hide under the "natural" umbrella and fool people into thinking they're actually getting treatment when they're not.

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