On the PC Pro podcast this week: the marriage of Spotify and Facebook, another new start for HP, the lack of killer Linux apps and Ballmer bashing. Plus, the Sony Tablet S is nominated as Hot Hardware.
On the PC Pro podcast this week we discuss a cold-calling tech support scam, Michael Dell’s strident words on the so-called “death of the PC” and last week’s revelations from Microsoft and Intel. Our hot software candidate is Photoshop Elements 10, the latest version of Adobe’s horse identification suite.
The Igloo Village in Kakslauttanen, Finland is simply amazing! Each igloo has an all-glass roof with climate-controlled rooms perfect for laying down and watching the millions of stars and the Northern Lights put on a show.
Built from special thermal glass, the view stays clear even when the temperature outside drops to under -30°C. Every igloo is equipped with a toilet and luxury beds and, every evening, a hot sauna and a refreshing ice hole await you.
In addition to the glass igloos, the resort features snow igloos, a snow restaurant, an ice gallery with ice sculptures, and a snow chapel for those we want to tie the knot. In total there are 20 glass igloos and 60 beds in the snow igloos, and the snow restaurant provides seating for 50-150 people. Igloo Village starts its season each year between December and January, depending on the weather conditions, and stays open until the end of April.
The Metro interface is designed for when Windows 8 is being used on a tablet
One of the web’s most widely used technologies is going to be absent from some versions of Windows 8.
Microsoft is to drop support for Adobe Flash from the web browser that works with the Metro interface on Windows 8. The Metro user interface is most likely to be used on tablets as it displays applications and programs as easy to touch coloured tiles. Flash will still be supported in the Windows 8 desktop interface and the desktop version of IE.
The announcement about the lack of Flash support was made in a blog post by Dean Hachamovitch, head of IE development at Microsoft. In the post he said Microsoft had worked hard to make Metro rely as little as possible on older technologies. Instead it had concentrated on the latest version of web technology HTML 5.
Supporting HTML 5 meant making Metro plug-in free, he said. One of the most widely used plug-ins for web browsers is Adobe’s Flash as many sites use it to show video, multimedia and games.
“The experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web,” wrote Mr Hachamovitch. “Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style [user interface],” he said.
Microsoft showed off the Metro interface this week at its Build developers conference in California. Windows 8 has been “re-imagined” said Microsoft and the Metro interface was specifically designed with tablets and touch screens in mind.
far the most widely used plug-in, he said. Removing plug-ins will mean longer battery life on tablets, protect privacy and improve security, he said. Users will still be able to get at sites that run Flash by exiting the Metro interface, returning to the classic desktop view and running Internet Explorer.
Adobe responded to the news in a blogpost of its own.
“We expect Windows desktop to be extremely popular for years to come (including Windows 8 desktop) and that it will support Flash just fine,” wrote Danny
Winokur.”In addition,” he wrote, “we expect Flash based apps will come to Metro via Adobe AIR, much the way they are on Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS today.”
In dropping Flash support, Microsoft is following Apple’s lead which has had a long-standing policy of not letting its gadgets support the technology.
In an open letter explaining the ban published in April 2010, Apple boss Steve Jobs said: “We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash”. Flash was “the number one reason Macs crash”, he added.
Hacking attacks compromised the accounts of some 100 million PSN users
The new clauses, dubbed “Binding Individual Arbitration,” state that “any Dispute Resolution Proceedings, whether in arbitration or court, will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class or representative action or as a named or unnamed member in a class, consolidated, representative or private attorney general action”.
The re-written terms and conditions are being presented to gamers when they log in, but some have questioned who will notice the changes. Tech news site The Register wondered who would notice the small print outlining the opt-out terms, and not simply click the “agree” box having scrolled all the way down. Those that want to opt out will have to send a letter to Sony’s Los Angeles headquarters in the US. Once they do, the subscribers will be able to keep their right to file a class action lawsuit without any need for arbitration.
But before subscribers have a chance to opt out, they will still be required to agree to the new terms the next time they log into their accounts otherwise they will not be able to use the online services.
Attacks and apology
A class action lawsuit filed against Sony in April after the first attack, in which the details of 77 million users were stolen and PSN went offline for 40 days, could end up costing the Japanese electronics giant billions of dollars.
Sony Online Entertainment, the company’s computer games service, was also hit, as well as the Sony Pictures website, exposing personal information for 25 million more accounts.In addition, personal data of 2,000 consumers was stolen from a Sony Ericsson website in Canada and details of 8,500 users were leaked on a Sony Music Entertainment website in Greece. Some time later, a group called Lulz Security claimed to have broken into Sonypictures.com.
Sony has since apologised over the security breaches and offered compensation packages.
On the PC Pro podcast this week: The team analyse Microsoft’s huge Windows 8 reveal, play with a freshly installed Windows 8 laptop, and discuss Intel’s news from IDF. Plus, the Fusion Garage Grid10 is this week’s Hot Hardware.