Our favourite web stories from the week…
Shocking news this week as a post on the Building Windows 8 blog shows signs that somebody at Microsoft ‘Gets it’. The preview of the new task manager looks really excellent.
Whilst this is a very unsexy element of the OS it shows MSFT are starting to pay attention to ‘the little things that matter’ as Apple have been doing for a decade or more. There’s an element of shameless copying in the simple view (see image), but the power users view looks fantastic. A heat map of resource hogs, visible disk and network I/O and actual names for services! No more svchost.exe! Now, let’s hope they’re putting the same thought and attention into the rest of the OS. I think a few people might be surprised by Windows 8, myself among them.
“This week saw the death of another giant of the tech world, but one that most consumers have never heard of. Dennis Richie was the co-creator of the C programming language, and the UNIX operating system. It’s hard to overstate the effect both of these had on the world of computing, and just how much we all owed Dennis, even when we didn’t know it. He also co-wrote the programming book “The C Programming Language” which I still consider the high watermark of technical writing: an incredibly clear and concise explanation of a complex subject that you could read and understand in an evening. It is a great example of why learning to communicate clearly is so important to anyone in an engineering profession.” Obit: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/13/dennis_ritchie_obituary/
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“Epic levels of geek win for anyone that can make two floppy disk drives  sound like the Star Wars  Imperial March. It turns out the video was posted last month so it isn’t exactly news, but worth a re-post – just because…The crazy assed swine who decided this was a good idea tells all on his blog“
(References for Storm UK staff who are under 30:  yes, these were big in their day  ..and that too…)
“The digital newspaper innovators at the Guardian released their iPad app, which has a strong grid system that both looks great and will be easy to publish. It’s also interesting that they chose to base the app on the printed newspaper, and not of the website – it will be updated only once a day and is described as “reflective” by the editor. I think they run the risk of overdoing the colour accents – like they have on their amateur-looking Zeitgeist page.”
Without wanting to appear like an apple fanboy, rather than talk about my favourite news story, i’m going to talk about my most annoying. BBC News, (and other “mainstream” outlets) all have stories along the lines of “Apple’s iOS5 upgrade causing problems“.
The problem is, they’ve got the headline a little bit wrong there. It should read, “Apple’s iPhone users discovered to be incompetent at reading instructions”. The iOS5 upgrade wasn’t really an upgrade because so much had changed. It was a transparent backup -> restore OS -> restore from backup -> sync. The problem is, people ignored warnings about needing to backup, and continued anyway, OR they didn’t let it sync/restore from backup after the restore. If you’re going to be doing something as potentially dangerous as flashing your firmware, at least read instructions.
The only issue Apple had with updates was their signing servers had a little glitch for an hour or so resulting in people not being able to upgrade. Not losing apps, or bricking phones.
On a lighter note, Plus.net show just what happens when Apple release a software update now rather well (hint: The internet struggles)
It is a glorious time to be a designer using photoshop- Adobe has spent so many years incrementally improving their photo editing software that it has now reached a HAL level of ingenuity.
Released earlier this week was footage from the recent Adobe MAX 2011 conference, showcasing Photoshop’s latest astonishing feature, the ability to completely correct blurry photographs. The function will analyze and automatically sharpen any blur to a print-worthy final product. The program can actually detect how the blur occurred when you moved your camera and compensate for the movement to correct the blur.
So cheers Adobe, blurry photographs are now soon be a thing of the past, to be remembered jovially alongside pogs and 10p chomps.