An often irreverent look at this week's other news ...
Windows 8 Consumer Preview: One Day, One Million Downloads
You've perhaps heard the myth that Windows is on the decline, so let me put that bit of silliness to rest. In its first day of availability, the Windows 8 Consumer Preview was downloaded by more than 1 million people. That's according to Microsoft, which tweeted the milestone via its Building Windows 8 account. But I don't need Microsoft's numbers to tell me that things are going well. Our own site has been getting hammered for over two days straight now, thanks to the ton of content I've already posted on the SuperSite for Windows. So, if you're somehow not up to speed on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, please do visit. I'll be posting more each day.
Windows Azure Falls for the Oldest Scam in the Book
I'm pretty sure Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud offerings are compelling and futuristic and whatnot, but you have to admit that this is so embarrassing it's almost unspeakable. But when users first in Europe and then North America started complaining of Azure outages on Wednesday, the problem was quickly identified, if not fixed: Windows Azure, it turns out, couldn't handle the February 29 leap day, which occurs once every four years (with a few exceptions) and is one of the most well understood date exceptions around, from a developer standpoint. Is it possible that Azure's creators skipped CS101? I mean, seriously.
AT&T Starts Throttling Bandwidth Hogs, Redefines the Term "Unlimited"
When you hear the term "unlimited data," you probably think this means "unlimited data." But AT&T Wireless is offering a new definition of the term, in which unlimited data is really "Up to 3GB of data, and then things get slower. Much, much slower." Previously, AT&T was throttling users it said were in the top 5 percent of data abusers, and although it's unclear how this week's change affects things, it's widely believed that more users of AT&T's now extinct (but grandfathered) unlimited plan are affected. I happen to be on that plan, but I use less than 500MB of data per month, so it's unclear what exactly I'm paying for there.
OnLive Desktop Heads to Android
Last week, I wrote about an exciting new mobile app called OnLive Desktop, which brings a fully functioning Windows desktop (plus Office 2010 and Adobe apps) to the iPad, in my article OnLive Desktop and Desktop Plus: Windows, Office, and Adobe on the iPad. It's a compelling solution for those who need just the occasional access to the Windows desktop. And now it's come to Android as well. You can download OnLive Desktop for Android from the Google Marketplace now—and versions for other smartphone types, PCs, Macs, and even TVs (via a small and inexpensive set-top box) are on the way.
iPhone and Android Both Give Away Users' Secret Photos
This week, it was revealed, separately, that Apple's iPhone and Google's Android mobile OSs both share a common (and major) privacy violation. They secretly allow any app that has access to users' Location services to steal their photos. And in the case of Android, it's even worse: Once the app has those photos, it can quietly upload them to an online service without a user's consent. Hooray for smartphones! What Location data has to do with photos is unclear—from a permissions standpoint, that is—but I suspect Apple will fix this quickly and quietly, and that Google will simply pretend that Android is working correctly. You know, given what we know about these companies' modus operandi.
News Flash: People Are Ignorant When It Comes to Love
Speaking of Apple and Google, these two wildly out-of-control corporations just topped Fortune's list of the most admired companies in the United States, proving once again that the public has absolutely no idea what Apple and Google are really doing. Unbelievable.
Listen to Paul. No, Really Listen. Or Watch. Or Both!
This week, Andrew Zarian and I recorded a pre-Consumer Preview episode of the What The Tech podcast on Tuesday, and then Mary Jo Foley, Leo Laporte, and I recorded a special Consumer Preview episode of the Windows Weekly podcast on Thursday. The new episode(s) will be available soon, generally in both audio in video formats, on the web, and via iTunes, the Zune Marketplace, and wherever else quality podcasts are found. You can also find all of my podcast activities on the SuperSite for Windows.
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