Daily Archives: September 8, 2006

This rendered me speechless.

This post on Xark! is one of the best posts I’ve read yet on the current American political climate, and how a former GOP voter has been completely alienated by the far right of the party. This is one of the best definitions yet of “moderate anger.”

I highly encourage people to read this post, as it clearly lays out the problems we’re facing in our highly polarized political climate.

More on Vista RC1

I loaded Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 last night on my personal PC. This was done as an upgrade install from Windows Vista Pre-RC1 (build 5536).

Some quick observations:

  • Vista Disk Cleanup is a lot more comprehensive than prior versions of the feature. It lets you get at much more, including error dumps, cleaning the hibernation file, and other obscure deposits of wasted space. Vista let me reclaim over six gigabytes with this feature. Very, very cool.
  • I still have some sluggishness on my machine using the DWM. It still likes to spike the CPU when I move windows around, and I wonder if this is a consequence of the nVidia graphics drivers. I’ve used both the Microsoft bundled WDDM driver as well as nVidia’s RC1 beta driver, with no luck in rectifying this. DWM on my work machine barely touches the processor when I move windows and stuff around the desktop — the behavior I was told to expect from DWM — and it has an ATI card. It can’t be my GeForce 6600…right?!?
  • I must say that I’m moving around much more comfortably in Release Candidate 1 than I am in prior builds. Performance is even improved in RC1 over Pre-RC1, and these have been in upgrades. I’m certain that a clean install, which I plan on doing prior to switching to Vista, will perform even better than what I’m getting now.
  • Vista’s upgrade utility doesn’t do a good job of saving settings at all. I had to reconfigure Media Center again (at least it’s displaying my TV audio and video without serious glitching), my taskbar preferences, pinned icons, and Start menu options. At least my wallpaper stayed intact.
  • So far, my favorite Aero Glass theme is “Frost.” It’s not too transparent and the white frosted glass windows are what I associate with Vista. I still wish the white glassy taskbar from the 4000-series builds would come back, though. ;)
  • Titlebar fonts still look like crap, and dropshadows no longer appear under the text on toolbars in Explorer windows. It still seems really messed up, and needs fixing.

All in all, I will conclude with a majority of the blogosphere and say this build would be better dubbed as Beta 3 versus Release Candidate 1. For all the leaps and bounds the Vista team have made over the last several months, the OS still contains way too many small annoyances to be considered release quality, and I fully expect a second and quite probably even a third release candidate to be issued before RTM. (Let’s hope CPP members get all those, too. :)) With that in mind I am not ready to warn people away from Vista before it gets its first service pack, but if RC1 was to be considered very close to the release, then that’s the recommendation I would make as there are still too many lingering issues.

Florence seems to be content

Tropical Storm Florence hasn’t changed much over the last couple days, remaining as a 50 MPH tropical storm as it battles wind shear and other factors inhibiting it. As the discussion states, predicting Florence’s intensity is going to be a mighty tough endeavor, and there’s a lot of uncertainty. Strengthening to a hurricane is still built into the forecast, though.

Here’s the map:

flotrack.gif

Note that Bermuda may be in big trouble with this current track, as it passes the center just to the left of the island, putting it squarely in the path of the worst part of the storm. Just how bad the worst part of the storm is remains to be seen, but as evidenced by the map they are still expecting a hurricane of varying intensity at the time of Bermuda landfall.

As expected: Facebook brings News Feed privacy settings live

As I anticipated several days ago, Facebook has brought privacy settings for the News and Mini Feed features live, the result of well over a half a million Facebook users that demonstrated outrage and protested over the News Feed feature, which debuted as a way to keep in touch with what friends are up to but was largely panned as a privacy violation (despite the information being aggregated by the feed being public information anyway).

Facebook has listened to these complaints loud and clear, though, and brought some nice settings to the table. You can now add and subtract things that you would rather not Facebook broadcast as stories, which is a great thing. The timestamps can also be disabled as well so that movements aren’t tracked.

Mark Zuckerberg has a nice open letter to Facebook users on a user’s Facebook homepage this morning. In it, he defends the Mini-Feed feature and goes further and explains the importance of the free flow of information on the Internet.

I will say that launching without additional privacy options has hurt Facebook tremendously, but the fact that they were able to add this in very quickly is a good, good thing.

In the future, I’d like to see Facebook commission a “beta team” of sorts and enable special features on a limited number of users’ profiles who would like to test certain features before they make it to the public. I feel a little field testing in this matter, rather than popping it out to the public in one giant surprise, would have saved a lot of…erm…face. ;)