No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop hating Microsoft

The title of this article is a little misleading, as those of you who read my posts, follow me on Twitter or know me in person will know that I love Microsoft. Windows Phone is my phone platform of choice, I would never consider using anything but a Windows computer, and the thing that I want most in the world right now is a 15.6″ one of these. But even with all the love I bear for the love-child of Ballmer and Gates, there are a large number of things about them which annoy me.

The first and foremost of these annoyances is with Zune. As a Windows Phone user, I am forced to use Zune in order to update, add music and video to and do a large number of other things to, my phone. This is fine, I can add and take away music to and from my phone quickly and easily, and updates will automatically commence if they are available. But when I got my HP Pavilion dv7 with Beats Audio, I began to play music through my laptop, whereas previously I had been using speakers connected to my phone. It soon dawned upon me that Zune, a beautiful piece of software, is one of the buggiest pieces of crap since Windows Media Player. Quite often while playing music, the song will randomly pause, move to a different point or just skip altogether, and on occasion I have closed Zune to find that the song that was playing doesn’t stop playing, much to my teacher’s dismay. When this is Skrillex, chemistry lessons can be quite awkward. What the hell is up with that? A company whom incorporated software into its very name can’t be bothered or is unable to iron out the bugs in their music software. Even iTunes, something which is essentially designed to work on a different operating system and much maligned on Windows, is nowhere near as buggy. This being said, with the Zune name being dumped, and the software being incorporated into the OS, I surely hope that for Windows 8’s sake that at least some of the bigger glitches will be ironed out.

And secondly, what is the point in Windows Media Player any more? The whole thing is utter crap and nobody in their right mind would ever use it. I mean seriously, software that causes computers to blue-screen (I speak through personal experience) through use is not right in any way. And if any person out there does use this utter piece of crap, please explain to me in the comments below why you would put yourself through it. Please.

My final point is the most obvious one. Internet Explorer. This is in every way the single most hated piece of software out there. It is crap, it crashes, freezes and is only there for sane people to download either Firefox or Chrome. And, to make matters worse, you have to have specific permission from Microsoft to be able to uninstall the software. Of course, you can do what both I and Xavier (our EIC) have done and bury it deep within our program files, but it will always be there, taunting you with the possibility that you may one day, have to use it.

So those are the main reasons that Microsoft pisses off even myself, a true Microsoft fanboy. Despite the wonders of things like the Arc Touch Mouse, SkyDrive and Windows Phone, Microsoft isn’t perfect, but by ironing out the bugs and listening to consumers, they could get pretty close.

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Caine’s Arcade gets its 9 year old creator a place at college

Caine Monroy is a 9 year old boy from Los Angeles. He loves arcade games, so he built his own arcade out of cardboard. Nirvan Mullick, a filmmaker, became his first customer, and posted about it on the internet. Then a flashmob turned up, and the arcade made enough money to put Caine through college. Watch Mullick’s fantastic documentary below and visit the website.

Microsoft says Internet Explorer can make a comeback like bird-based communication

We all hate Internet Explorer, and even Microsoft knows that. Their new ad campaign for IE9 has a guy who says that, before he discovered IE9, he did what we all do and uninstalled Internet Explorer after downloading another browser. He then proceeds to declare his love for IE9 and a cat policewoman. Watch the video below, and check out Microsoft’s comeback prospects in some hilarious graphs too.

The Poll: How do YOU pronounce GIF?

We all love a GIF, but how do you pronounce it? To find the most widespread pronunciation, here’s a poll.

Feel free to stick some of your favourite GIFs below. For inspiration, why not head over to The Verge, specifically here, here and here?

Nokia 100 review

Nokia is still one of the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturers not purely because of high-end smartphones, but certain markets demand different devices, like the latest bargain from Espoo, the Nokia 100. Picking this phone up for £15 unlocked, you can’t really expect much other than Nokia’s standard durability, a feature I most value while finding the perfect phone. With no microSD slot for storage expansion, no camera or any other remarkable hardware this is not a phone for you gamers out there or lovers of music but for those who want a simple, reliable and frankly indestructible phone, this is definitely the phone for you.

Hardware

With a 800 mAh battery, a common capacity for most phones of its calibre, you almost never need to worry about charging your phone. The 100 will give you 7.5 hours of talk time and 850 hours on standby, meaning that you can leave it on in your pocket for a whole month before charging. The flash light equipped has proven useful, being bright and not munching on too much battery. This function can be activated by pressing the top cursor twice. Even though this phone hopelessly fails at providing you with entertainment, it still has a built-in FM radio tuner that, with a compatible headset, plays at an impressive quality. Another, and perhaps my final criticism of this phone is the alarm system. I can’t for the life of me figure out how, or if, it works. I have set an alarm on various occasions, each time going off on time but failing to make any noise, even with all the sound settings on loud. There may well be an obvious feature I have not yet activated but this is still a let down.

Due to the phones simplicity, there is not much more to talk about other than how indestructible it is. As I write this, Xavier and Kieran are playing catch with the 100, which is dust proof and made from very tough materials, just as you would expect from a Nokia.  On occasion, the battery does come out with a very sudden impact landing, but the phone boots in just under 4 seconds. Whether this phone is waterproof I do not know but I do not plan to try it out. (Digixav is not responsible for any broken Nokia phones as a result of them being plunged in water – ed) All visible hardware on this phone is either made from stainless steel, copper, zinc or aluminium and the plastics which make up the majority of the phone are ABS/PC, PET, PA and epoxy. These materials may well be the result of how light this phone is, weighing slightly over 70g including the battery.

Conclusion

If you want a cheap, durable, brick of a phone that does precisely what it should, ie. call and text, then look no further than the indestructible Nokia 100, or its dual-SIM cousin the 101. The phone is compact, simple and reliable, and it will almost certainly be able to handle anything you throw it at.

Protesting SOPA and PIPA

Many websites are blacked out today to protest proposed US legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). From personal blogs to giants like WordPress and Wikipedia, sites all over the web — including Digixav — are asking you to help stop this dangerous legislation from being passed. From 1pm GMT today, Wednesday 18th January 2012, we will black out for 12 hours as part of the largest protest in internet history.

Action needs to be taken against SOPA and PIPA.

Please watch the video below to learn how this legislation will affect internet freedom, and sign up below to let the US know how you feel about the bills.

americancensorship.org

Thank you.