Tag: "windows vista"

Violation of licence to criticise Windows Vista? Wrong

Fellow MVP Bill Vaughn pointed me in the direction of a Seattle Times article talking about contracts, fine print, licences etc.

OK fair enough, they go on to say:

Increasingly, companies use contract terms to impose severe obligations on customers, often to a ridiculous degree, said Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Some examples:

Software in cars' GPS displays requires you to click through disclaimers while driving, before the map appears.

Cruise-ship agreements call on customers to resolve any dispute by flying at their own expense to the cruise line's .

Provisions waive the right to trial by jury, or agree to arbitration in a venue unsympathetic to customers.

A prohibition on criticizing a product, such as in the license to Microsoft's Windows Vista software.

Hang on a minute. I've read the Vista EULA, I don't remember anything like that in it. So I read it again to make sure. Here's the closest thing I could come across:

9. MICROSOFT .NET BENCHMARK TESTING. The software includes one or more components of the .NET Framework 3.0 (“.NET Components”). You may conduct internal benchmark testing of those components. You may disclose the results of any benchmark test of those components, provided that you comply with the conditions set forth at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=66406. Notwithstanding any other agreement you may have with Microsoft, if you disclose such benchmark test results, Microsoft shall have the right to disclose the results of benchmark tests it conducts of your products that compete with the applicable .NET Component, provided it complies with the same conditions set forth at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=66406.

Their standard .NET benchmarking legal speak they've had for years, only this time it ships with the OS and so is included in the licence agreement for Windows. Read what it says, it's about .NET benchmarks, not Windows Vista, and that if you publish benchmarks of .NET, Microsoft shall have the right to disclose benchmarks of your own competing technologies if they so wish.

Let's have some more accurate reporting Seattle Times, there's nothing about users not being allowed to criticise Windows Vista in there.

Peter Gutmann's Vista DRM claims, again

This guy just doesn't know when to quit. I saw his claims resurface on PC World:

Vista Prevents Users Playing High-Def Content

Vista's complicated, overzealous copy protection system is degrading even premium content's that's not copy protected, such as high-definition home movies, says researcher Peter Gutmann.

Nice to see PC World have heard of a thing called balanced reporting. How about the counter views being published too, huh? Like the fact is Gutmann is factually wrong on many of his claims. A lot of this is just regurgitated from his previous "paper" which I dealt with here.

If this guy is in the real world can he please explain why I can watch HD video I've downloaded from the internet on my machine?

Can he explain why Ed Bott found Gutmann's "mysterious" application that he claims doesn't exist on the file system, in the System32 folder?

Can he explain why Paul Thurrott is watching HD DVDs on his PC with his Xbox 360 HD DVD drive? Despite not having HDCP on his monitor? It's because the software, in Thurrott's case AnyDVD, decides what it's going to do with the content, and not Windows Vista as I explained last year.

Can he explain why Brandon LeBlanc is producing HD videos on his Windows Vista machine?

If you believe the stuff this Peter Gutmann has to say, these everyday tasks which millions of people are doing with Windows Vista today are nothing less than miracles.

Thought about doing a family tree?

Now's a good time, Vertigo have released Family.Show, which is a sample application they were contracted by Microsoft to create to demonstrate the Windows Presentation Foundation (formally known as Avalon, aka funky XAML driven vector graphics thingy). So it's built with all the new fancy technologies, not only WPF but also ClickOnce.

It's basically a family tree/genealogy application. It also imports (and exports) the GEDCOM format which I'm told is used by other commercial applications, plus its free and open source.

Demo: Family.Show
Demo: Family.Show

You'll need Windows Vista, or (I think) Windows XP with the .NET Framework 3.0.

Tempted to start using the Windows Vista Sidebar

Well we're starting to get some good gadgets for the Windows Vista Sidebar, which may force my hand and get me to actually use the Sidebar.

Windows Vista Sidebar Messenger gadget

I just found this gadget which hooks into Windows Live Messenger, and lets you see your contact list, without the wasted screen real estate of having the full client open.

You can download it from the gadget website. It's still pretty early, needs a bit more polish but other than that its a very functional gadget with a wide range of customizable options.

Windows Vista open network files and idling to sleep

So I've been tackling some issues with one of my machines over the last couple of weeks. It hasn't been going to sleep after ten minutes of inactivity, like it's told too.

I hate troubleshooting these sorts of issues as there are so many things that can cause it and it is difficult to track down what's making the machine think it's still in use. A few months ago it was some junkware that Amelia wanted installed that added extra silly faces and the like to Windows Live Messenger, this thing started a process under every user regardless of if Messenger was even running, or setup on their account.

That was promptly thrown in the bin where it belongs.

This time it was a little bit more of a problem. There were no services or applications running that shouldn't of been the only hardware recently installed was a QuickCam Pro 4000, which was installed a couple of weeks prior to the issue appearing. Yes the Reliability and Performance Monitor rocks, it is good seeing when changes to a system had been made.

I did however have one clue. The system would sleep on a fresh boot if nobody had logged on. So that narrowed it down to something happening on the desktop. Daemon Tools is the only non-Microsoft application I've got loading upon login. Then it dawned on me, Battlefield 2 was recently installed, and to save inserting the disc every time I used an image of it, which was being loaded by Daemon Tools from the file server, where all that stuff is stored.

I unmounted the image and sure enough the system began to idle to sleep again.

Failing to see how Daemon Tools itself could be causing the issue, I opened a picture stored on the server, and while that was open the system again wouldn't idle to sleep.

So it seems, if something is open over the network the machine won't idle to sleep. So if you've got sleeping troubles, that's something worth taking a look at. Annoying.

Windows Vista SP1 beta mid-July

According to Mary Jo, who declares that it is official that we've entered the "under-promise and over-deliver era at Microsoft".

Just when Microsoft had customers, partners and competitors all believing that it was going to delay the first service pack for Vista — not releasing a first beta of it until just before year-end — the company is set to deliver Beta 1 of Vista SP1 in mid-July.

Long has the story on the only unconfirmed fix that will be included, apparently ReadyBoost devices will no longer have to be repopulated with data after waking the machine up.

Me? I'd like to see a couple of fixes to Explorer 1) stop losing layout information seemingly randomly, 2) justify all the icons properly the first time, not after you reset the icon size and resize the window.

Now I've got to decide if I want to install the beta or not on my main system. Hmmmmm....

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