Archive for August, 2014

Windows 7 vs Windows 8 vs Logic

August 28, 2014
Advertisement for Windows 8

Advertisement for Windows 8 (click to enlarge).

There is no truth in advertisements.  We’ve gone from “buyer beware” to “buyer be damned” by abandoning the rules of Logic for the sake of selling a product and making a profit.  Here’s a good example:

Advertisement for Windows 8 vs Windows 7

The advertising agency that put this together failed to understand one of the key components of marketing:  Never pit a company against itself.

Microsoft makes money by selling software.  The chart above clearly indicates that Windows 7 is inferior when compared to Windows 8.  So customers should purchase Windows 8 instead of Windows 7.  But both are made by the same company.

That would be like McDonald’s telling their customers to buy Big Macs instead of Quarter Pounders because Big Macs are vastly better than Quarter Pounders.

No.

From a marketing standpoint, McDonald’s wants customers to believe that both are equally delicious and tasty.  It’s up to the consumer to decide which one they prefer while the company profits more by offering both.

Windows 7 is still supported until the year 2020.  It would be logical to compare expired, unsupported Windows XP to Windows 8, but not Windows 7.

Familiar Desktop:

Windows 95 through Windows 7 used a similar desktop environment.  The Metro user interface of Windows 8, however, was so radically different that it was considered unusable by many computer users.  Tech professional Brian Boyko created the best video analysis of  the Windows 8 graphical user interface:

Works with a mouse and keyboard:

True for Windows 7, not so much for 8.

As the video above demonstrates, Windows 8 was built for use on a touch screen enabled device.  Trying to mimic “swipe” gestures with a mouse is problematic at best.  The operating system can sometimes interpret the mouse movement as a finger gesture but often times not.  Which prompted many end users to initiate their own one-finger gesture towards Microsoft.

Works with Word, Excel, Outlook, and other familiar programs:

Which versions?  And what other “familiar programs” are they referencing?

Legacy support of older software programs is theoretically enabled in Windows 7 and 8, but not always functional in practice.

Games in particular that ran on Windows 98 though XP would no longer work correctly in newer versions of Windows.  Microsoft knew this and created Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate versions only.  Little good this did the Home Premium version user, which was the default version of Windows on the vast majority of Windows computers sold worldwide.

Take note also that Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook are purchased separately.  Microsoft no longer includes such productivity software with new computers pre-installed with Windows, like they used to do with Microsoft Works.

Built for touch PCs and tablets:

As far as we have been lead to believe, Windows 7 was never “built for” use on a touch screen device.  That much is true.

The mouse is an input device.  The keyboard is an input device.  The trackpad on a laptop is an input device.  A touch screen is also nothing more than an input device.  So if the proper drivers are installed, there is no reason why someone couldn’t use Windows 7 on a touch screen enabled device.  Right?

Windows Touch—available only in the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate editions of Windows 7—is fun to learn and easy to use. The Start menu and taskbar now sport larger, fingertip-friendly icons. All your favorite Windows 7 programs are also touch-ready. You can even finger-paint in Paint!

Faster startup times:

Faster than what?

This is a lie that has been foisted upon the consumer market since the release of Windows XP.

From a dead start (not suspend, not hibernate), from a completely off state, Windows 3.x would boot in the blink of an eye when loaded on the same hardware used by Windows 7 or 8.

The operating system has not gotten faster.  The hardware has gotten better.  This is easily proven by looking at the system requirements for past and present Windows versions.

For Windows 3.11:

The minimum client installation of Windows for Workgroups requires:

* 80286 microprocessor or better for version 3.1

* 80386sx microprocessor or better for version 3.11

* 2048 kilobytes (K) total memory for version 3.1

* 3 megabytes (MB) total memory for version 3.1 (2 MB with no network installed)

* 3 megabytes (MB) total memory for version 3.11 (4 MB is recommended)

* 6.2 MB of hard drive space (14.5 MB recommended)

For Windows 8:

If you want to run Windows 8 on your PC, here’s what it takes:

* Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2

 * RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)

 * Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

 * Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Newer Windows operating systems could never run on the same hardware requirements as their earlier predecessors.   Modern software is increasingly dependent upon modern hardware for speed and functionality.

Apps from the Windows Apps Store / Mail, people and other built-in apps / Keep your settings and apps on all your PCs and devices:

Well, duh!

The implementation of “apps” only exists within Windows 8.  Users of Windows 7 would never miss these apps since they never had access to them.

People who use a specific operating system over an extended period of time become familiar with the functions and nuances of that software and with the available software packages for that system.  This true for Mac, Linux, iOS and Android users.

The idea that consumers would switch from Windows 7 to Windows 8 just to have access to the apps in the Windows store is a ludicrous argument.  The natural tendency for most people is to stick with what they know and what works for them.  This would explain why nearly 25% of all computer users are still running Windows XP.

Start Screen with live updates:

This is true of almost any operating system where the end user has enabled automatic login.  The start screen thus becomes the main desktop screen.  And if automatic updates are also enabled, the operating system would naturally update from the start screen.

So this is not an advantage of Windows 8 in particular.

Isn’t time for a change?

Windows 8’s uptake falls again, now slower than dud Vista

Microsoft wants you to forget Windows 8

Consumers vote with their pocketbooks.  The dismal sales of Windows 8 is a clear rejection of the operating system.

Even Microsoft can’t wait to put Windows 8 behind them.

The advertisement posted above is a total farce.  Don’t blame the company that sent it or the advertising agency that created it.  These people are just trying to do the best with what they have to work with.

Thank goodness that the buying public is smart enough to recognize the logical fallacies within advertisements like this one and make better-informed decisions about what not to buy.

 

 

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What Identity Thieves Want

August 2, 2014

ID Thieves 1

The major misconception about identity thieves is that they only want your information in order to obtain credit cards in your name.  While some do have that goal, others have more heinous reasons for wanting to impersonate you.

Email scammers will often use the lure of large sums of money in order to obtain your personal information.  The information they request looks harmless on the surface.  The follow quote is from an actual scam email:

You are required to contact the above person and furnish her with the following of your information that will be required to avoid any mistakes:-

1. Your Full name:
2. Your Country:
3. Contact Address:
4. Telephone Number:
5. Fax Number:
6. Marital Status:
7. Occupation:
8. Sex:
9. Age:

They are not asking for your social security number, driver license number or bank account numbers.  The information above is all an identity thief needs to create false documents and impersonate you.

If you can put your name into Goggle and find the information listed above about yourself, then you are ripe for identity theft.

Some email scammers may go as far as requesting photographs:

Therefore do not hesitate to contact and re-confirm the following information as listed below:

1. YOUR FULL NAME:
2. YOUR HOME ADDRESS:
3. YOUR DIRECT CELL NUMBER:
4. A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE:
5. YOUR COUNTRY:
6. AGE AND GENDER:
7. OCCUPATION:

Are there photographs of you posted along with your personal information on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or other social media websites?

Can anyone with Internet access find the names of your spouse and children?

Do you have “friends” or “followers” on any of your social media web pages that you have never heard of before?

Anonymity on the Internet is your only line of defense.  Did you waive your right to privacy in a vain attempt to become famous?

You not only put yourself at risk, you put your entire family at risk.  Is it worth it?

Some people in high profile positions have no choice but to release personal information about themselves.  However, famous people are rarely ever the target of ID thieves, since their names are too easily recognized.  The average Joe Schmo, on the other hand, doesn’t warrant even a second look when presenting his identification credentials.

Criminals who manufacture methamphetamine (meth) require large amounts of the drug pseudoephedrine, which is chiefly found in nasal decongestants.  US Federal law requires retailers to obtain and record the identification of anyone purchasing over-the-counter cold remedy medications containing pseudoephedrine.  Such decongestants can only be legally purchased in limited quantities.

Meth makers will use a large number of false identifications at different locations to obtain the necessary amounts of pseudoephedrine to keep their production at profitable levels.

Your identification might be used in such nefarious operations if you’ve provided enough personal information online for someone to produce a fake ID.

Take note that both of the examples quoted above ask for your age.  This gives the identity thief the year you were born.  From that, they can obtain through public records your exact birth date.  Is your real birthday posted online?  In with your profile, perhaps?

Using a pseudonym online is a good idea if and only if that pseudonym is never cross-linked to your real name.  Hiding behind a nom de plume only works if no one can connect it to your actual identity.

What information can identity thieves find about you?

Do they already have all of your personal information?

You sure about that?

ID Thieves 2