Monthly Archives: August 2011

Microsoft Implements Ribbon UI in Windows 8 Explorer

There’s no denying the fact that Microsoft has been walking on egg shells a bit in the last couple of years after having publicly humiliated itself with the failure of Windows Vista (something that many people still refer to even to this day) and the less than admirable reputation that many of the company’s other offerings have earned over the years.  Nonetheless, I honestly think Microsoft is poised for a comeback of awesome proportions.  Windows 7 has been a highly adopted update for users around the world and has even managed to make up for criticism that Microsoft got for Windows Visa, the Windows Phone product line has been revamped to better accommodate a larger variety of users (the “Mango” update is especially promising), and Internet Explorer doesn’t suck (as much) anymore.

All that said, Microsoft still has a lot of work to do in order to fully restore consumer faith and show that the company can be the powerhouse that it once was.  The company’s reputation is ultimately going to leverage on the success of the upcoming Windows 8 release and Microsoft’s ability to stand tall in the mobile industry by making their full-scale desktop operating system foreseeable on tablet computers.  And for all of the criticism that I personally direct towards Microsoft, I really must say that the last few months have made it very apparent (to me, at least) that the company is indeed on the right track.  Even as a Mac OS X user, I really must say that there are a few things that we’re seeing in Windows 8 that the minimalist in me really likes.  But the implementation of the Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer, as shown off yesterday by WinRumors, certainly isn’t one of them.

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7 Reasons I (Finally) Updated to Lion

I didn’t want to do it.  Really, I didn’t.  After having bought my first Mac and fallen in love with the clean and crisp user interface of Mac OS X (10.6, Snow Leopard) I was less than eager to update to the latest version (Lion) when it came out last month.  Don’t get me wrong, I acknowledged that Apple had progressed very far with Lion, but when it came down to it I just didn’t feel it was for me.  At first the iOS-like scrollbars and overall style of the operating system seemed like a step back from where Apple had been before.  But this week, about a month after the release of Lion, I finally took the plunge and updated my MacBook Pro.

Admittedly, my main motivation was simply to stay up to date with software that I realized was focusing development towards Lion-specific features.  But after having been “behind” for an entire month there were several other things that I wanted to try out in Lion for myself, having seen countless screenshots and video tours of the latest release of Apple’s flagship operating system.  In this article I’ll go over seven of my favorite features in Lion; features that, for me at least, were enough to justify an update that I previously tried to avoid.

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Open Source: Constructive or Harmful to Competition?

When we look at the success of businesses and projects – both from the standpoint of those with interest in a business and the consumers that buy and use their products – competition is one of the most important components in any market.  Working in retail, competition is what forces me to offer my prospective customers fair prices because I know that if I don’t I’ll lose business to my competitor down the street.  But competition between businesses in the same industry doesn’t stop there.  Competition is what allowed the small business I work for to get off the ground instead of fall victim to monopolies within the industry.  And perhaps most importantly competition is what drives innovation, forcing engineers and product developers to not only produce more feature-rich goods, but products that are priced reasonably for consumers as well.

Even as much as I like competition, though, I realize that there are always going to be situations where working together produces better end results for everyone involved because if people are willing to work together instead of against one another the combined resources and efforts can go so much further.  It’s for this reason that I have always liked the concept of open source software.  After all, when people with different skill sets and experiences make their work available for others to use and improve upon their work becomes exponentially more valuable.  Not only do others get to make use of the work of others, but through sub-projects, branches, and development groups what would have otherwise been nothing can become something invaluable to millions of users.

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Even at $99 the TouchPad is a Bad Buy

But as I’m sure you’ve heard, HP recently made a pretty stunning announcement that they were intent on removing themselves from the mobile industry, and as reports have also speculated, the larger hardware industry altogether. And now that the company is looking to root itself into the software industry HP has taken a number of steps to tie up their loose ends in the hardware sector.

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How To: Block Ads On Your Website

If you use Google’s Competitive Ad filter (found in the AdSense control panel), you can easily block specific URL’s of websites whose ads you don’t want to appear on your site. While this is great if you advertise a particular product and don’t want a competitors ad to show up, this is also great for people who care about the types of ads shown on their site. Let me explain.

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